Author Archive

25

Safe Kids Grand Forks Talks Holiday Travel

Nov

The holiday season is on its way which means extra travel for many people. Here are some travel safety tips to remember any time of the year.

Car/Booster Seats:
Before leaving home, familiarize yourself with the child passenger safety laws for where you are traveling. However, regardless of the state laws, follow “best practice” for use of car seats and booster seats. For example, a state may require only children under 4 to use car seats. The “best practice” is for a child less than 4’9” to be in a car seat or booster seat.

In general, car seats with an internal harness system can be used on airplanes. Check the label for FAA approval and check with the airline you are flying for restrictions. Children under age 2 are safer riding in a car seat than on your lap. Booster seats cannot be used on airplanes.

Packing:
If you are planning activities make sure you think about the safety gear, including helmets that may be needed. Either pack them along or check to see if the appropriate sizes are available where you are going.

Consider packing “child-proofing” materials such as outlet plugs, blind cord wind-ups, cabinet locks and door knob covers.

Prepare an emergency kit for your car. Include a flashlight, first aid kit, jumper cables, blankets, water and non-perishable food.

Medications:
Ensure you have packed all essential medications for you and your child. Leave medications in their designated bottles with child-proof caps.

Upon Arrival:
When staying at a hotel or resort, familiarize yourself and your children with the fire escape plan. Know where the exits are located.

Remember hotel rooms and family and friends homes are not all “child-proof”.

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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18

The Dangers of Winter Coats in Car Seats

Nov
No Comments   Posted by safekids |  Category:Uncategorized

As temperatures dip we bundle our children up to prepare them for the elements, but even with good intentions, a bulky coat and a car seat is a dangerous combination.

We all want to keep our children warm while traveling in the car, but there are ways to safely transport children in the cold weather while still keeping them warm.

As a general rule, winter coats should not be worn underneath the harness of a car seat. A bulky coat under a child seat harness can result in the harness being too loose to be effective in a crash. Here is a simple way to check if your child’s coat is too big to wear under their harness, as well as what you can do test if it’s too big:

  • Put the coat on your child, sit them in the child seat and fasten the harness. Tighten the harness until you can no longer pinch any of the harness webbing with your thumb and forefinger.
  • Without loosening the harness, remove your child from the child seat,
  • Take the coat off, and put your child back in the child seat and buckle the harness straps, which are still adjusted as they were when he was wearing the coat.
  • If you can now pinch the webbing between your thumb and forefinger, then the coat is too bulky to be worn under the harness.

If you find that the coat cannot be safely worn under the harness, here are a couple things you can do to keep your child safe and warm in his/her child seat.

  • After securing your child in his/her child seat, turn the coat around and put it on backward with their arms through the arm holes and the back of the coat acting like a blanket
  • Lay a blanket over your child to keep him/her warm.

One of the most common misuse conditions seen in child seats is that the harness is too loose, and wearing a big winter coat under the harness is just one of the ways that it can happen. It is very important that the harness is tight enough that you can’t pinch the webbing between your thumb and forefinger. Extra slack in the harness can be very dangerous; it can lead to too much excursion or even ejection during a crash.

These tips should help keep your precious little ones safe and warm this winter.

For more information about car seat 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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11

Carbon Monoxide Alarms Could Prevent Half of All CO Deaths

Nov

With the arrival of the holiday season comes the arrival of colder weather, as well as an increase in the number of fuel-burning appliances being used in the home. These appliances include ovens, space heaters, generators, indoor grills and fireplaces, and they can cause dangerous levels of carbon monoxide (CO) to build up in the home.

Families today are better at understanding the importance of having working smoke alarms in every sleeping area, but what about carbon monoxide alarms? Carbon monoxide is so dangerous because it is odorless, invisible, and it can kill. CO can make a child seriously ill in small doses that might not noticeably affect an adult.

According to a study from 2004 to 2006, children younger than 5 years old have the highest estimated rate of CO-related visits to the emergency room each year among all age groups in the United States.  More than 25 kids die from CO poisoning every year.

Important safety tips to protect families from CO poisoning:

*Prevent CO buildup in the first place – make sure heating appliances are in good working order and used only in well-ventilated areas.

*Don’t run a car engine in the garage, even to warm it up; move the car outside first.

*Install a CO alarm outside every sleeping area, on every level of your home and at least 15 feet away from every fuel-burning appliance.

*When you check your smoke alarm batteries each month, check the batteries on your CO alarms at the same time – and replace the batteries twice a year.

*Never use a stove for heating.

*Have all gas, oil or coal burning appliances inspected by a technician every year to ensure they’re working correctly and are properly ventilated.

*If a CO leak is suspected, open windows to allow fresh air into the home. If someone who has been in a poorly ventilated room with a fuel-burning appliance exhibits symptoms including headache, fatigue, nausea, vomiting, or confusion, move the victim to fresh air and call 911.

If more than one person in the home suddenly feels ill for no apparent reason, or if a CO alarm goes off, get everyone outside immediately and call 911 from a pre-arranged meeting place. CO alarms are available at hardware stores for about $20. That is a small price to pay to help detect odorless, poisonous gases in the home before it’s too late.

For more information about CO poisoning, 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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04

Hunting Safety Tips from Safe Kids Grand Forks

Nov

Did you know that half of all households in America have at least one firearm? For that reason and now that it is gun hunting season, it is important that all guns and firearms be properly locked and stored. Approximately 150 children age 14 and younger die each year from accidental gunshot wounds and hundreds more are injured or permanently disabled.

Accidental shootings among children most often occur when children are unsupervised and out of school. You can help enforce gun safety by following these guidelines:
1) Assume all guns are loaded. Before handling a gun, make sure it is unloaded.
2) Keep guns out of sight and reach of children.
3) Always keep guns unloaded and locked up.
4) Use a trigger lock on all guns.
5) Lock ammunition in a separate place from the gun.
6) Teach your children to stay away from guns.

Parents should teach children to follow a safety procedure if they see a gun:
STOP! -
DON’T TOUCH -
LEAVE THE AREA -
TELL AN ADULT –

Gun locks are available free of charge at the Safe Kids Grand Forks office and the Grand Forks Police Department.

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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28

Halloween Safety with Safe Kids Grand Forks

Oct

The leaves are falling, the air is colder, and Halloween is almost upon us. Halloween is a fun holiday and a great time to reinforce some general safety tips with your children as well as some safety precautions that apply mainly to Halloween. Below are some important safety tips to keep your Halloween safe.

Pedestrian and Motorists Safety Tips:

  • • Decorate costumes with retro reflective tape or stickers.
  • • Use costumes that are light or bright to make children more visible at night.
  • • Teach children to walk, not run while trick-or-treating.
  • • Remind children to stop at all street corners before crossing.
  • • Remember to cross the street only at intersections and crosswalks.
  • • Look left, right, and left again before crossing & while crossing.
  • • Obey all traffic signs and signals.
  • • Watch for children walking in the street or on curbs.
  • • Enter and exit driveways very carefully.
  • • Teach children to enter and exit cars on the curbside, away from traffic.

General Halloween Safety Tips:

  • • Accompany children under age 12 while trick-or-treating.
  • • Attach the name, address and phone # in the children’s clothing in case they get separated from their parents.
  • • Instruct children to travel in familiar neighborhoods and along designated routes.
  • • Instruct children to never enter a home/apartment unless accompanied by an adult.
  • • Be careful with costumes around jack-o-lanterns or candles that may be serving as a porch/step decoration.
  • • Tell children to bring all treats home before eating them. Carefully inspect items to be sure they have not been tampered with and are safety sealed.

Halloween Falls Safety Tips:

  • • Apply face paint rather than wearing a mask. If a mask is worn, be sure that it fits properly and the eye holes are large enough for full vision.
  • • Give trick-or-treaters a flashlight to use.
  • • Make costumes short enough to avoid tripping.
  • • Secure hats so they do not fall over children’s eyes.
  • • Dress in shoes that fit. Large, adult size shoes make it easier to fall.
  • • Allow children to carry only flexible knives, swords or props. Anything they carry could injure them if they fall.
  • • Teach children not to cut across lawns. Lawn ornaments and clotheslines are “hidden hazards” in the dark. Stay on the sidewalks at all times.

Halloween Burn Safety Tips:

  • • Look for flame resistant labels on costumes, masks, beards and wigs.
  • • Use fire resistant materials when making costumes.
  • • Avoid costumes made of flimsy material and outfits with big, baggy sleeves, tails or flowing skirts. They are more likely to come in contact with exposed flames.
  • • Keep candles, pumpkins with candles, matches and lighters out of children’s reach.
  • • Use flameless candles in pumpkins rather than ones with true flames. (Safe Kids Grand Forks has them for sale.)

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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14

Safe Kids Grand Forks talks Fire Prevention

Oct

Each year nearly 600 children die and nearly 40,000 are injured in fires. Burns have been recognized as the most painful and devastating injuries a person can sustain and survive.

Did you know?

- The youngest children are at greatest risk. Kids ages 5 and under are more than twice as likely to die in a fire than the rest of the population.
- Boys are nearly twice as likely as girls to play with fire.
- Child-play home fires tend to begin in a bedroom when children are left alone.
- Home cooking equipment is the leading cause of residential fires and fire related injuries.
- Residential fires caused by smoking materials (i.e. cigarettes) are the leading cause of fire-related deaths.
- Children in homes without smoke alarms are the greatest risk.
- Home fires and fire-related deaths are more likely to occur during the cold weather months when there is a use of portable or area heating equipment such as fireplaces and space heaters.

How and where burn deaths and injuries occur:

- Curling irons, room heaters, ovens and ranges, irons and gasoline
- Hot foods and liquids spilled in the kitchen and where other food is prepared
- Hot tap water
- Fireworks
- Electrical cords and extension cords
- Microwave burns

Prevention Tips:

- Install smoke alarms in your home on every level and in every sleeping area. Test them once a month and change the batteries twice a year, or as needed.
- Keep matches, lighters and other heat sources out of children’s reach.
- Keep all portable heaters out of children’s reach.
- Keep flammable items such as clothing, furniture, newspapers or magazines away from the fireplace, heater or radiator.
- Store all flammable liquids such as gasoline outside of the home.
- Avoid plugging several appliance cords into the same electrical socket.
- Never use the microwave to heat baby formula or milk in bottles.
- Do not use tablecloths or placemats that children can tug on, bringing down hot foods and liquids from the table.
- Keep electrical cords out of children’s reach
- Avoid toys with electrical cords or batteries for children under age 8.
- Make sure children’s bath water temperature is no hotter than 100 degrees F. Use a tub temperature tester or your forearm to check the water’s temperature before placing the child in the water.
- Never leave candles burning unattended.
- Set your water heater to 120 degrees F or below.
- Use back burners and turn pot handles to the back of the stove when cooking.
- Cover unused electrical outlets with safety devices.
- Keep hot foods and liquids away from the table and counter edges.
- Never allow children to handle fireworks.

For more information about fire 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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07

Safe Kids Grand Forks Talks Pedestrian Safety

Oct

Walking to school, parks and a friend’s house are great ways for children to get exercise. Unfortunately, children continue to be at risk for unintentional injury or death as pedestrians. Safe Kids has tips for teaching children pedestrian safety and decreasing this risk.

Did You Know?

Here are some facts concerning young pedestrians:

• Since 2005, nearly 300 pedestrian fatalities among children have occurred each year.
• Children do not have fully developed depth perception until approximately 10 years of age. This means that their ability to determine the speed and distance of oncoming vehicles is limited.
• The number of children walking to school has decreased dramatically over the last 40 years from approximately 48% to 13%. Increased traffic volume around schools typically leads to a further decrease in children walking to these schools.

Pedestrian Safety Tips

• Cross streets only at corners and at crosswalks. If there is a traffic light, do not cross until the signal is in your favor.
• When preparing to cross, look left, look right, look left for traffic. Before stepping out in front of traffic, assure that the tires of any on-coming cars have stopped and you have made eye contact with the driver.
• Make sure to keep looking left and right as you cross.
• If walking in low light conditions, wear light colored clothing or a reflective device. Carrying a flashlight is also a good idea if it is getting dark.
• Never run across the street. This decreases the chance that a driver will see you. If you have to run to get across, the car is too close.
• When sidewalks are not available, walk facing traffic and as far to the left as possible.
• Provide children under age 10 supervision while walking and crossing streets. They also require supervision while playing, especially near a street or the driveway.
• Always model safety behaviors to children.
• Remind children to NEVER walk out into the street between two parked cars.
• Remember walking is a healthy, fun way to get places. Keep safe and keep Safe Kid Worldwide and Safe Kids Grand walking!!!

Vehicle Reminders for Drivers

• When backing out of a driveway or leaving a garage, watch out for children walking or bicycling to school.
• When driving in neighborhoods with school zones, watch out for young people who may be thinking about getting to school, but may not be thinking of getting there safely. Remember, school-aged children are impulsive.
• Slow down. Watch for children walking in the street, especially if there are no sidewalks in the neighborhood. Follow posted school speed limit signs.
• Watch for children playing and congregating near bus stops.
• Be alert. Children arriving late for the bus or school may dart into the street without looking for traffic.
• Learn to obey the school bus laws in the community. Obey the flashing signal light system on the buses. You must come to a complete stop when the stop sign on the bus is extended. This pertains to vehicles approaching the bus from all directions.
• Be aware of crosswalks on the street and stop well before the crosswalk, not IN them.
• Grand Forks has a city ordinance that prohibits people operating motor vehicles from dropping children off in front of a school where the child has to cross the street other than at a marked crosswalk.
• Children should exit the vehicle on the “grass” or “curb” side so they do not get out directly into oncoming traffic.
• Be sure to not park your vehicle in the “no parking” zone near crosswalks. It makes it difficult to see children preparing to cross.

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

Be a Role Model

Sep

Following is a message every adult should read because children are watching you and doing as you do, not as you say. Role modeling is very important in childhood safety, especially with motor vehicle restraints. Read on.

When you thought I wasn’t looking I saw you hang my first painting on the refrigerator, and I immediately wanted to paint another one.

When you thought I wasn’t looking I saw you feed a stray cat, and I learned that it was good to be kind to animals.

When you thought I wasn’t looking I saw you make my favorite cake for me, and I learned that the little things can be the special things in life.

When you thought I wasn’t looking I heard you say a prayer, and I knew that there is a God I could always talk to, and I learned to trust in Him.

When you thought I wasn’t looking I saw you make a meal and take it to a friend who was sick, and I learned that we all have to help take care of each other.

When you thought I wasn’t looking I saw you take care of our house and everyone in it, and I learned we have to take care of what we are given.

When you thought I wasn’t looking I saw how you handled your responsibilities, even when you didn’t feel good, and I learned that I would have to be responsible when I grow up.

When you thought I wasn’t looking I saw tears come from your eyes, and I learned that sometimes things hurt, but it’s all right to cry. When you thought I wasn’t looking I saw that you cared, and I wanted to be everything that I could be.

When you thought I wasn’t looking I learned most of life’s lessons that I need to know to be a good and productive person when I grow up.

When you thought I wasn’t looking I looked at you and wanted to say,’ Thanks for all the things I saw when you thought I wasn’t looking.’

Each of us (parent, grandparent, aunt, uncle, teacher, friend) influences the life of a child. Be a positive influence on the children that you love and care for. Buckle-up!!!

Statistics show that if the adult in the vehicle is buckled-up, the child is most likely properly restrained as well.

Be a role model and help keep kids safe: Buckle up!!

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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16

Safe Kids Grand Forks Celebrates Child Passenger Safety Week

Sep

According to National Highway Traffic Safety Administration research, over 8,000 lives of children under age 5 have been saved by the proper use of child restraints during the past 30 years. Research shows that child restraints provide the best protection for all children. For maximum child passenger safety, parents and caregivers should refer to the following 4 Steps for Kids guidelines for determining which restraint system is best suited to protect children based on age and size:
1. For the best possible protection keep infants in the back seat, in rear-facing child safety seats, as long as possible up to the height or weight limit of the particular seat. Best practice to keep your child rear-facing until 2 years of age or the upper height/weight limit of your convertible car seat.
2. When children outgrow their rear-facing seats they should ride in forward-facing child safety seats, in the back seat, until they reach the upper weight or height limit of the particular seat (usually around age 4 and 40 pounds).
3. Once children outgrow their forward-facing seats (usually around age 4 and 40 pounds), they should ride in booster seats, in the back seat, until the vehicle seat belts fit properly. Seat belts fit properly when the lap belt lays across the upper thighs and the shoulder belt fits across the chest (usually at age 8 or when they are 4’9” tall).
4. When children outgrow their booster seats, (usually around age 8-12 or when they are 4’9” tall) they can use the adult seat belts in the back seat, if they fit properly (lap belt lays across the upper thighs and the shoulder belt fits across the chest). Make sure feet are flat on the floor of the car and back is against the back of the seat.

For more information on Child Passenger Safety Week, a national effort to remind parents and caregivers of the lifesaving effect child safety seats have in protecting young children, please visit www.nhtsa.gov or 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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10

Safe Kids Grand Forks Celebrates Farm Safety Month

Sep

September is Farm Safety Month. Nearly 1 million children live on farms and ranches in the US. Children living in rural areas are at significantly greater risk of unintentional injury-related death, especially from:
• Agricultural injury
• Motor vehicle crashes
• Drowning
• Residential fires
• Alternative modes of transportation 

The Facts Are In
• Each year, approximately 70 children, ages 14 and under die from farm injuries.
• An estimated 150,000 children suffer a preventable injury associated with production agriculture.
• Drowning rates are three times higher in rural areas and fire death rates are double the rates in larger cities and triple the rates in small towns.
• Kids ages 10-12 are at highest risk for injury, often because they take on a job or task that they are not able to handle yet. 

Steps To Safety
• Do not allow children to perform inappropriate farm tasks.
• Use safety seats and belts correctly and do not allow anyone to ride in truck beds.
• Never allow children under 16 to operate machinery, ATVs, snowmobiles, or large lawn tractors.
• Always supervise young horseback riders.
• Never tie yourself to the horse and always wear an equestrian helmet
• Do not allow passengers on tractors, riding lawn mowers or other motorized vehicles.
• Teach children never to go into a farm pond without adult supervision.
• Teach children to never climb into trucks or bins loaded with grain.
• Be aware of areas where water may collect with spring melting or following rain (ditches, animal feed areas, etc.)
• Locate power lines and plan activities away from them.
• All adults and teens on farms should learn first aid and CPR and know how to get help in case of an emergency.
• Never remove safety features from machinery (guards, shields).

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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