25

PEDESTRIAN SAFETY TIPS FROM SAFE KIDS GRAND FORKS

Aug

School is almost back in session and many children will be walking to school, home, a friend’s house, a caregivers house, or event just across the parking lot to get into a car. Here are some safety tips from Safe Kids to remember when you are walking.

Pedestrian-Crossing-Sign_originalTeach Kids the Basics from the Beginning
· Talk to your kids about how to be safe while walking. It’s always best to walk on sidewalks or paths and cross at street corners, using traffic signals and crosswalks. Most injuries happen mid-block or someplace other than intersections. If there are no sidewalks, walk facing traffic as far to the left as possible.
· Teach kids at an early age to put down their devices and then look left, right and left again when crossing the street.
· Remind kids to make eye contact with drivers before crossing the street and to watch out for cars that are turning or backing up. Teach them to never run or dart out into the street or cross between parked cars.
Let Your Actions Speak as Loud as Your Words
· Set a good example by putting devices down when you are driving or walking around cars. If we put our devices down, our kids are more likely to do the same.
· Children under 10 should cross the street with an adult. Every child is different, but developmentally, it can be hard for kids to judge speed and distance of cars until age 10.
Drive with Extra Care and Anticipation
· When driving, be especially alert in residential neighborhoods and school zones and be on the lookout for bikers, walkers or runners who may be distracted or may step into the street unexpectedly.
· Give pedestrians the right of way and look both ways when making a turn to help spot any bikers, walkers or runners who may not be immediately visible.
· When driving, put cell phones and other distractions in the back seat or out of site until your final destination.
· Enter and exit driveways and alleys slowly and carefully.
· Take Action Against Distraction
· Teach kids to look up and pay extra attention when using headphones, cell phones or electronic devices such as a tablet or game. Make it a rule to put these devices down when crossing the street. It is particularly important to reinforce the message with your teenagers.
· Be aware of others who may be distracted—and speak up when you see someone who is in danger.
· If your kids need to use a cell phone, teach them to stop walking and find a safe area to talk. For headphones, pull them down or turn off the volume before crossing the street.

For more information about pedestrian safety, contact Safe Kids Grand Forks at safekids@altru.org. Altru Health System is proud to serve as the lead agency for Safe Kids Grand Forks.

 

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11

Each Year 2,200 Children Die from Preventable Injuries in the Home

Aug

Home is a place to relax, play and enjoy spending time with family. There will be minor scrapes and bruises along the way, but too many kids are affected by serious injuries that are often completely preventable. Safe Kids Grand Forks urges parents and caregivers to check their homes for basic safety precautions so kids of all ages are as safe as possible at home.

To learn more safety tips, visit the home safety section on the Safe Kids website.

Approximately 2,200 children in the United States die from preventable injuries in the home each year. Around 60 percent of these deaths were among children ages 4 and under. Most fatal injuries at home are caused by fire, suffocation, drowning, choking, falls, or poisoning.

Safe Kids Grand Forks recommends the following 10 tips to childproof your home.

Install smoke alarms on every level of your home and in every sleeping area.  Working smoke alarms double your chances of surviving a home fire. Use Daylight Savings Time as a reminder to check your smoke alarms.

Keep button battery-controlled devices out of sight and reach of children. These include remote controls, singing greeting cards, digital scales, watches, hearing aids, thermometers, children’s toys, calculators, key fobs, tea light candles, flashing holiday jewelry or decorations.

Secure the TVs in your home. Mount flat-screen TVs to the wall and place old tube TVs on a low, stable piece of furniture.

Never leave your child unattended around water. We know it sounds strict, but babies can drown in as little as one inch of water. Keep toilet lids closed and use toilet seat locks to prevent drowning. Keep doors to bathrooms and laundry rooms closed.

Check to make sure the water heater is just right. With everything going on, we know the water heater is the last thing on your mind. But a small adjustment can give you one less thing to worry about. To prevent accidental scalding, set your water heater to 120 degrees Fahrenheit or the manufacturer’s recommended setting. You can also test the bathwater with your wrist or elbow before putting your child in it.

Keep small objects out of reach. Look at every room as your child would. Ask yourself what looks interesting and what can be reached. Get down on your hands and knees, and check for small things children can choke on such as jewelry, coins, small toy parts, buttons, pins, nails, batteries and stones.

Install window guards and stops to prevent serious falls. Screens are meant to keep bugs out, not children in. Properly install window guards to prevent unintentional window falls. For windows above the first floor, include an emergency release device in case of fire.

Keep cleaners and medicines out of reach. Store household products and potential poisons out of children’s sight and reach, including cleaning supplies, pet food, medicine, vitamins, and alcoholic beverages. Putting medicines up and away is particularly important, as it only takes a few seconds for kids to get into medicine that could make them very sick.

Make sure your home has a carbon monoxide alarm. As with smoke alarms, install a carbon monoxide alarm on every level of your home, especially near sleeping areas, and keep them at least 15 feet away from fuel-burning appliances. Be sure to test alarms regularly. This invisible, odorless gas can be fatal.

Keep emergency numbers by every telephone. If you suspect a child has been poisoned, call the Poison Control Center at 1-800-222-1222.
For more information about home safety, contact Safe Kids Grand Forks at safekids@altru.org. Altru Health System is proud to serve as the lead agency for Safe Kids Grand Forks.

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04

Trampoline Safety is Flippin’ Important

Aug

If you or your kids love jumping on trampolines (and who doesn’t?), make sure you are jumping safely by following these 5 rules:

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1. One at a time
Make sure there is only one child on the trampoline.

2. Supervise
Watch children at all times, and take extra care with younger children as they are more prone to serious injury.

3. Safety padding
Always use safety padding on the frame.

4. Check condition
Regularly check the:
* mat and net don’t have holes
* springs are intact and securely attached at both ends
* frame is not bent
* leg braces are locked.

5. Hazard free surrounds
Make sure:
* the area around the trampoline is free from hazards like fences or garden furniture
* there is an overhead clearance to avoid objects like clotheslines, trees and wires.

For more information, contact Safe Kids Grand Forks at safekids@altru.org. Altru Health System is proud to serve as the lead agency for Safe Kids Grand Forks.

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28

Heatstroke Awareness Day – Friday July 31st

Jul

Each year, especially during the summer months, we hear reports of the tragic loss of young children as a result of heatstroke in hot vehicles. If you care about the safety of children follow the simple, and important, safeguards that can save lives and avoid unnecessary heartache.

85 degrees

Child heatstroke in a hot car can happen to any caregiver from any walk of life, even to the most loving and conscientious parents. When outside temperatures are in the low 80s, the temperature inside a vehicle can reach deadly levels in only 10 minutes, even with a window rolled down two inches. Children’s bodies in particular overheat easily, and infants and children under four years old are at the greatest risk for heat-related illness.

Safe Kids Grand Forks is urging parents and caregivers to take the following precautions to prevent heatstroke incidents from occurring:
· Never leave a child unattended in a vehicle—even if the windows are partially open or the engine is running and the air conditioning is on;
· Make a habit of looking in the vehicle—front and back—before locking the door and walking away;
· Ask the childcare provider to call if the child does not show up for care as expected;
· Do things that serve as a reminder a child is in the vehicle, such as placing a purse or briefcase in the back seat to ensure no child is accidentally left in the vehicle, writing a note or using a stuffed animal placed in the driver’s view to indicate a child is in the car seat; and,
· Teach children that a vehicle is not a play area and store keys out of a child’s reach.
In addition, NHTSA and Safe Kids urge community members who see a child alone in a hot vehicle to immediately call 911 or the local emergency number. A child in distress due to heat should be removed from the vehicle as quickly as possible and rapidly

For more information about heatstroke, contact Safe Kids Grand Forks at safekids@altru.org. Altru Health System is proud to serve as the lead agency for Safe Kids Grand Forks.

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21

Summer Safety from Safe Kids Grand Forks

Jul

The summer is one of the most exciting times of the year for your kids, but it’s also a time when kids can be at risk for injuries. That’s why Safe Kids Grand Forks is encouraging all parents and caregivers to be prepared with simple safety tips this summer season.

Risks of swimming tragedies increase in the summer. Two-thirds of drowning deaths occur in the summer, between May and August, and most commonly on the weekends.

The summer is a great time to connect with family and friends and spend time outdoors, hanging out by the pool or grilling out at a barbeque. But with all these activities come safety risks that we may not always think about. By reminding ourselves of a few safety tips, the summer can be safer and fun for everyone.

Safe Kids Grand Forks recommends the following top tips to stay safe during the summer.

  1. Give kids your undivided attention. Actively supervise children throughout the summer, whether it’s at the playground or in and around water. Small children can drown in as little as one inch of water.
  2. Use the Water Watcher strategy. When there are several adults present and children are swimming, use the Water Watcher card strategy to designate an adult as the Water Watcher for a certain amount of time (such as 15-minute periods) to prevent lapses in supervision and give parents a chance to read, make phone calls or take a bathroom break.
  3. Educated your children about swimming safety. Every child is different, so enroll children in swimming lessons when you feel they are ready. Whether swimming in a backyard pool or in a lake, teach children to swim with an adult. Older, more experienced swimmers should still swim with a partner every time.
  4. Learn CPR. We know you have a million things to do, but learning CPR should be at the top of the list. It will give you tremendous peace of mind – and the more peace of mind you have as a parent, the better.
  5. Be extra careful around pool drains. Teach children to never play or swim near drains or suction outlets, which can cause situations where kids can get stuck underwater.
  6. Wear life jackets. Always have your children wear a life jacket approved by the U.S. Coast Guard while on boats, around open bodies of water or when participating in water sports. Make sure the life jacket fits snugly. Have the child make a “touchdown” signal by raising both arms straight up; if the life jacket hits the child’s chin or ears, it may be too big or the straps may be too loose.
  7. Drink water during sports. Have your kids bring a water bottle to practice and games and drink plenty of water before, during and after play. This is especially important in summer months to avoid dehydration.
  8. Set up your grill with safety in mind. Use long-handled grilling tools and position your grill well away from siding, deck railings and overhanging branches, while keeping a safe distance from play areas and foot traffic. Periodically remove grease or fat buildup in trays below the grill so it cannot be ignited by heat.
  9. Never leave your child alone in a car, not even for a minute. It can be tempting to leave a child alone in a car while you quickly run into a store, but it can cause serious injury or even death in a matter of minutes. Reduce the number of deaths from heatstroke by remembering to ACT – Avoid heatstroke, Create reminders, and Take action if you see a child left alone.      
  10. Wear a helmet for biking and other wheeled sports. We have a simple saying: “Use your head, wear a helmet.” It is the single most effective safety device available to reduce head injury and death from bike crashes. Kids should wear a helmet when riding a scooter, skating, skateboarding or biking.

For more information about summer safety, contact Safe Kids Grand Forks at safekids@altru.org. Altru Health System is proud to serve as the lead agency for Safe Kids Grand Forks.

If you would like to receive email notification when our new posts are available, please email jwangen@altru.org. Ask to be added to our notification list for the Area Voices blog and/or Safe Kids quarterly newsletter.

 

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14

Safe Kids Grand Forks asks you to be a “Roll” Model

Jul

We can all play a part in being a “Roll Model” to decrease the risks of bicycle traffic crashes and preventable injuries and deaths.

Being A “Roll Model” Means

  • Riding and Driving Focused – never distracted
  • Riding and Driving Prepared – always expect the unexpected
  • Safety First – we never know when a crash will occur, regardless of skill level or age; always wear a bicycle helmet when on a bicycle and a seat belt when in a car
  • Rules of the Road – a bicyclist is considered a vehicle on the road with all the rights on the roadway and responsibilities of motorized traffic
  • Sharing the Road – both motorist and bicyclist should look out for one another and show mutual respect safe riding tips Before riding, make sure you, yours family and the bicycles are ready to ride. Be a “Roll Model” for other adults and children.

Remember to: Wear a bicycle helmet – everyone, at every age, should wear bicycle helmets. Adjust your bicycle to fit – stand over your bicycle. There should be 1-2 inches between the rider and the top tube (bar) if using a road bike and 3-4 inches if using a mountain bike. The seat should be level front to back and the height should be adjusted to allow a slight bend at the knee when the leg is fully extended. The handlebar height should be level with the seat. See and be seen – No matter the time of day, wear neon, fluorescent or other bright colors when riding, to be most easily seen.

For more information, contact Safe Kids Grand Forks at safekids@altru.org. Altru Health System is proud to serve as the lead agency for Safe Kids Grand Forks. If you would like to receive email notification when our new posts are available, please email jwangen@altru.org. Ask to be added to our notification list for the Area Voices blog and/or Safe Kids quarterly newsletter.

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30

Leave the Fireworks to the Pros

Jun

We know fireworks are fun and it’s tempting to try to put on your own show. But this is the time of year when there is a significant increase in the amount of injuries and fires due to the use of fireworks. That’s why we recommend leaving fireworks to the professionals. It’s the best way to enjoy the show and stay safe at the same time. Here are a few tips about fireworks.

Leave Fireworks to the Professionals

  • The best way to protect your family is to not use any fireworks at home. Instead, attend public fireworks displays and leave the lighting to the professionals.
  • If you plan to use fireworks, make sure they are legal in your area.

Be Extra Careful With Sparklers

  • Little arms are too short to hold sparklers, which can heat up to 1,200 degrees. How about this? Let your young children use glow sticks instead. They can be just as fun but they don’t burn at a temperature hot enough to melt glass.
  • Closely supervise children around fireworks at all times.

Take Necessary Precautions

  • Do not wear loose clothing while using fireworks.
  • Never light fireworks indoors or near dry grass.
  • Point fireworks away from homes, and keep away from brush, leaves and flammable substances

Be Prepared for an Accident or Injury

  • Stand several feet away from lit fireworks. If a device does not go off, do not stand over it to investigate it. Put it out with water and dispose of it.
  • Always have a bucket of water and/or a fire extinguisher nearby. Know how to operate the fire extinguisher properly.
  • If a child is injured by fireworks, immediately go to a doctor or hospital. If an eye injury occurs, don’t allow your child to touch or rub it, as this may cause even more damage.

 

For more information, contact Safe Kids Grand Forks at safekids@altru.org. Altru Health System is proud to serve as the lead agency for Safe Kids Grand Forks. If you would like to receive email notification when our new posts are available, please email jwangen@altru.org. Ask to be added to our notification list for the Area Voices blog and/or Safe Kids quarterly newsletter.

 

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23

Bike Safety with Safe Kids Grand Forks

Jun

At Safe Kids Grand Forks we know there are many great reasons to ride your bike – it offers fun, freedom and exercise, and it’s good for the environment – and we encourage kids and families to ride as much as possible.

It’s also important to think about how to stay safe. Did you know that more children ages 5 to 14 are seen in emergency rooms for injuries related to biking than any other sport? However, those injuries don’t have to happen.

Help us spread the word about bike safety by talking with your children and sharing the following simple tips to keep bike riding safe and fun.

  • We have a simple saying: “Use your head, wear a helmet.” It is the single most effective safety device available to reduce head injury and death from bicycle crashes. Watch: How to fit your child’s bike helmet in three easy steps.
  • Tell your kids to ride on the right side of the road, with traffic, not against it. Stay as far to the right as possible. Use appropriate hand signals and respect traffic signals, stopping at all stop signs and stoplights.
  • Teach your kids to make eye contact with drivers. Bikers should make sure drivers are paying attention and are going to stop before they cross the street.
  • When riding at dusk, dawn or in the evening, be bright and use lights – and make sure your bike has reflectors as well. It’s also smart to wear clothes and accessories that have retro-reflective materials to improve biker visibility to motorists.
  • Actively supervise children until you’re comfortable that they are responsible to ride on their own.

For more information about bike safety, contact Safe Kids Grand Forks at safekids@altru.org. Altru Health System is proud to serve as the lead agency for Safe Kids Grand Forks.

If you would like to receive email notification when our new posts are available, please email jwangen@altru.org. Ask to be added to our notification list for the Area Voices blog and/or Safe Kids quarterly newsletter.

 

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09

Be on the Lookout for Children in Cars

Jun

Have you ever wondered if your actions can really make a difference? Last summer, in Huston, a man was walking in the parking lot and spotted a baby crying in a car seat alone in a car. The windows were cracked a few inches and the doors were locked.

Fortunately for the baby and his family, the man decided to get involved. Working together with another bystander, they notified security and called the police. The baby was rushed by ambulance to a local hospital and a life was saved.

Would you do the same? This same situation faces more people than you think. According to a national online survey, almost 2 out of every 5 parents surveyed said they had seen a young child left alone in a parked car in the last year.

Some reported that they took action. Others reported that they did nothing.

Why is making that call to 911 so important? Many people are shocked to learn that the inside of a car can rise 20 degrees in 10 minutes and keeps getting hotter with each passing minute. And cracking the window doesn’t help.

Heatstroke sets in when the body isn’t able to cool itself quickly enough. Young children are particularly at risk as their bodies heat up 3 to 5 times faster than an adult’s. Children simply can’t cool their bodies fast enough to handle the extreme heat. And when a child’s temperature reaches 107 degrees, the child is at risk of death.

Since 1998, over 600 children across the United States have died in cars from heatstroke – that’s one child every 10 days. This year, 4 children have already died from heatstroke in the United States. Once again Safe Kids is joining with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the General Motors Foundation and other partners to spread the word about the dangers of heatstroke. We want parents, caregivers and bystanders to join in our effort to eliminate heatstroke deaths by remembering to ACT.

ACT

  • A: Avoid heatstroke-related injury and death by never leaving your child alone in a car, not even for a minute. And make sure to keep your car locked when you’re not in it so kids don’t get in on their own.
  • C: Create reminders by putting something in the back of your car next to your child, such as a briefcase, a purse or a cell phone that is needed at your final destination. This is especially important if you’re not following your normal routine.
  • T: Take action. If you see a child alone in a car, call 911. Emergency personnel want you to call. They are trained to respond to these situations, and they’d much rather respond to a false alarm than a fatality.

One call could save a life.

For more information, contact Safe Kids Grand Forks at safekids@altru.org. Altru Health System is proud to serve as the lead agency for Safe Kids Grand Forks. If you would like to receive email notification when our new posts are available, please email jwangen@altru.org. Ask to be added to our notification list for the Area Voices blog and/or Safe Kids quarterly newsletter.

 

 

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26

Boating Safety from Safe Kids Grand Forks

May

00 colorful dots - CopyWhether it’s in motorboats, sailboats, kayaks or canoes, there’s a good chance most of us will be hanging out in some kind of boat this spring or summer. After all, it’s one of the best ways for family and friends to spend time together and experience the freedom that comes from cruising on lakes, rivers and oceans.

We all know how important it is to wear sunscreen even on cloudy days but did you know about these five simple tips to ensure your adventure on the water is as safe as it is fun?

Five Simple Tips

  • Always wear a life jacket. Always have your children wear a life jacket approved by the U.S. Coast Guard while on boats, around open bodies of water or when participating in water sports. Make sure the life jacket fits snugly. Have the child make a “touchdown” signal by raising both arms straight up; if the life jacket hits the child’s chin or ears, it may be too big or the straps may be too loose.
  • Don’t drink and drive. A large portion of boating crashes each year involve alcohol consumption by both boat operators and passengers. To keep you and your loved ones safe, it is strongly recommended not to drink alcoholic beverages while boating.
  • Educate your children about swimming safely. Teach children that swimming in open bodies of water is not the same as swimming in a pool. They need to be aware of uneven surfaces, river currents, ocean undertow and changing weather.
  • Take the time to learn CPR. We know you have a million things to do, but learning CPR should be on the top of the list. It will give you tremendous peace of mind – and the more peace of mind you have as a parent, the better. Local hospitals, fire departments and recreation departments offer CPR training.
  • Keep little kids warm. Young kids are at a higher risk for hypothermia, so take a few extra precautions to keep your child warm. If your children seem cold or are shivering, wrap them tightly in a dry blanket or towel.

For more information about boating safety, contact Safe Kids Grand Forks at safekids@altru.org. Altru Health System is proud to serve as the lead agency for Safe Kids Grand Forks.

If you would like to receive email notification when our new posts are available, please email jwangen@altru.org. Ask to be added to our notification list for the Area Voices blog and/or Safe Kids quarterly newsletter.

 

 

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