Author Archive

17

Keeping You Baby Safe While Sleeping

Feb

SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome) takes the lives of many infants every year. Safe Kids Grand Forks would like to share some information about SIDS and what you can do to avoid it.

WHO IS AT RISK FOR SIDS?
- SIDS is the leading cause of death for infants between 1 month and 12 months of age.
– SIDS is most common among infants that are 1-4 months old. However, babies can die from SIDS until they are 1 year old.

KNOW THE TRUTH… SIDS IS NOT CAUSED BY:
- Immunizations
– Vomiting or choking

WHAT CAN I DO BEFORE MY BABY IS BORN TO REDUCE THE RISK OF SIDS?
Take care of yourself during pregnancy and after the birth of your baby. During pregnancy, before you even give birth, you can reduce the risk of your baby dying from SIDS! Don’t smoke or expose yourself to others’ smoke while you are pregnant and after the baby is born. Alcohol and drug use can also increase your baby’s risk for SIDS. Be sure to visit a physician for regular prenatal checkups to reduce your risk of having a low birth weight or premature baby.

02 - safe sleep

MORE WAYS TO PROTECT YOUR BABY
- Breastfeed your baby. Experts recommend that mothers feed their children human milk for as long and as much as possible, and for at least the first 6 months of life, if possible.
– It is important for your baby to be up to date on her immunizations and well-baby check-ups.

WHERE IS THE SAFEST PLACE FOR MY BABY TO SLEEP?
The safest place for your baby to sleep is in the room where you sleep, but not in your bed. Place the baby’s crib or bassinet near your bed (within arm’s reach). This makes it easier to breastfeed and to bond with your baby. The crib or bassinet should be free from toys, soft bedding, blankets, and pillows. TALK ABOUT SAFE SLEEP PRACTICES WITH EVERYONE WHO CARES FOR YOUR BABY!

When looking for someone to take care of your baby, including a child care provider, a family member, or a friend, make sure that you talk with this person about safe sleep practices. If a caregiver does not know the best safe sleep practices, respectfully tell the caregiver the importance of following these rules when caring for infants.

For more information about safe sleep, 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

Skiing and Snowboarding Safety from Safe Kids Grand Forks

Feb

As winter sports are gaining in popularity, young children are hitting the slopes to learn skiing and snowboarding. However, not every young child may be prepared for the experience. Your child’s age, strength, and ability to cooperate are a few factors to consider. Qualified instructors can often help parents determine if they’re ready for these sports. Most resorts begin ski school at 4 years old. Although snowboards are made for children as young as 4 years, some resorts will not teach snowboarding to children younger than 7 years.

With the growing popularity of skiing and snowboarding comes a greater number of injuries. However, the risk of injury can be reduced.

The following is information from the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) about how to prevent skiing and snowboarding injuries.

Injury prevention and safety tips

    • Technique. The key to  successful skiing and snowboarding is control. To exercise control, one must learn proper skills, be aware of others on the slopes, and be able to adjust to changing snow conditions. It’s also important to learn how to fall safely. Qualified instructors can help children learn the proper skills to participate safely and avoid injury. Age-specific classes can  enhance the child’s experience.
    • Skills. If a slope is too difficult for skiers or snowboarders, they should remove their equipment and side- step down the slope.
      Supervision. Children need to have adult supervision, and teens or young adults need to have a buddy.
      Equipment. Practicing with the proper gear inside the home and in the backyard can make the transition to the slopes easier. Safety gear should fit properly and be well maintained.

        • Skis and snowboards. The binding setting should be properly adjusted. Rental or sales professionals can help choose equipment that is the proper size and fit.
        • Helmets. Use only helmets that are specifically designed for skiing or snowboarding. They should be professionally fitted to the child.
        • Protective eyewear. Eye protection is important to reduce glare from the reflection off the snow. Goggles should fit with the helmet being used. They should be made with polycarbonate or a similar material. The material should conform to the standards of the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM).
        • Wrist guards and knee pads. Snowboarders may also benefit from wrist guards and knee pads to prevent bruises and fractures.
        • Clothing. Winter clothing needs to be worn in layers with synthetic inner layers for wicking moisture and a waterproof outer layer, or shell.
        • Sun protection (sunscreen, lip balm with sunblock). Altitude and glare from snow make sun damage       more likely.

  • Environment. Weather conditions can change rapidly. Bring extra clothing, and plan to quit early if conditions become hazardous.
  • Fatigue and nutrition. Skiing and snowboarding are hard work and require rest and adequate nourishment. Fatigue and dehydration can lead to poor control and injury.

Rules of the slope

The National Ski Areas Association endorses a responsibility code for skiers and snowboarders. Athletes should know the code or “rules of the slope” to help prevent accidents and injury. The code is prominently displayed at ski resorts. The 7 safety rules of the code are

  1. Always stay in control and be able to stop or avoid other people or objects.
  2. People ahead of you have the right of way. It is your responsibility to avoid them.
  3. You must not stop where you obstruct a trail or are not visible from above.
  4. Whenever starting downhill or merging into a trail, look uphill and yield to others.
  5. Always use devices to help prevent runaway equipment.
  6. Observe all posted signs and warnings. Keep off closed trails and out of closed areas.
  7. Prior to using any lift, you must have the knowledge and ability to load, ride, and unload safely.

Remember

Skiing and snowboarding injuries can be prevented when athletes use the appropriate safety equipment and safety guidelines are followed.

For more information about winter sports 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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03

Almost One-Third of Children Who Died in Crashes are Unbuckled

Feb

Engineers are working hard to ensure that cars and car seats are designed to keep kids as safe as possible. But it’s up to every parent to take full advantage of these innovations by making sure car seats and booster seats are used and installed correctly. Here’s what you need to know to ensure that your most precious cargo is safe in cars.

Road injuries are the leading cause of preventable deaths and injuries to children in the United States. Correctly used child safety seats can reduce the risk of death by as much as 71 percent. 31 percent of children ages 8 and under who died in motor vehicle crashes in 2012 were unrestrained.

We know that when adults wear seat belts, kids wear seat belts. So be a good example and buckle up for every ride. Be sure everyone in the vehicle buckles up, too.

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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27

National TV Safety Day is January 31st

Jan

A report released by Safe Kids Worldwide and SANUS revealed that every three weeks, a child dies from a television tipping over and nearly 13,000 more children are injured each year in the U.S. This represents a 31 percent increase in TV tip-over-related injuries over the last ten years and young children are at greatest risk of TV tip-overs. 7 out of 10 children injured by TV tip-overs are 5 years old or younger. This age group also accounts for 9 out of 10 serious injuries requiring hospitalization, including head injuries, which are among the most severe.

Every 45 minutes, or less than the length of a Sesame Street episode, a child visits the ER because of a TV tipping over.

Dramas and tragedies should be on TV, not caused by them. Many TV tip-overs are a result of unsteady TVs that are not secured to the wall. Flat screen TVs that are top-heavy with narrow bases can be easily pulled off an entertainment center or table. Large and heavy old-style tube TVs placed on dressers or high furniture can also tip over if children climb the drawers to reach a remote control, a piece of candy, a video game or anything else that attracts their attention. Three out of four parents don’t secure their TV to the wall. Most families are unaware that securing a TV is an important safety measure. Others decide not to mount their TVs because of concerns about damaging the wall or installing the TV incorrectly. You wouldn’t think to bring a baby home from the hospital without a car seat or have your child ride a bike without a helmet, mounting your TV will protect your TV, and most important, your child.

Safe Kids Worldwide is launching a national effort to prevent injuries from TV and furniture tip-overs and educate communities by calling on families to conduct a quick TV safety check, which includes the following steps:

*Check Your TV. Assess the stability of the TVs in your home. Remember, a curious, determined child can topple a TV. Children playing with friends or pets could knock a TV over, while other kids might be tempted to climb up to reach items placed on or near a TV, such as remote controls or candy.
*Secure Your TV. Securing your TV to the wall is a safe solution. Much like child proofing with a toddler gate or electrical socket cover, TV mounts and furniture straps are necessary precautions for keeping your family safe.

For more information about TV tip-overs, 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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20

Medication Safety from Safe Kids Grand Forks

Jan

Every minute of every day, a poison control center answers a call about a young child getting into medicine or getting too much medicine. In 2012, there were almost 64,000 emergency department visits that involved a child exposed to medicine. Every one of these emergency department visits involved a scared child and a worried family, and could have been prevented. On top of that, an estimated $34.4 million is spent every year on medical costs for trips to the emergency department as a result of medicine exposures in young children, twice what the federal government spends annually on poison control centers.

While medicines are important for helping us get well and stay healthy, we know that more can be done to keep young children from gettinginto medicine and dfrom being given too much medicine. Children often get into medicine that is left in an easy-to-reach place like a purse or bag, or on a nightstand or dresser.

Check out this infographic for more information:


For more information about medication 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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13

Winter Safety from Safe Kids Grand Forks

Jan

Whether winter brings severe storms, light dustings or just cold temperatures, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) has some valuable tips on how to keep your children safe and warm.

Hypothermia

  • Hypothermia develops when the body’s temperature falls below normal due to exposure to colder temperatures. It often happens when a child is playing outdoors in extremely cold weather without wearing proper clothing or when clothes get wet. It can occur more quickly in children than in adults.
  • As hypothermia sets in, the child may shiver and become lethargic and clumsy.  Speech may become slurred and body temperature will decline in more severe cases.
  • If you suspect your child is hypothermic call 911 at once. Until help arrives, take the child indoors, remove any wet clothing, and wrap him in blankets or warm clothes.

Frostbite

  • Frostbite happens when the skin and outer tissues become frozen.  This condition tends to happen on extremities like the fingers, toes, ears and nose. They may become pale, gray and blistered. At the same time, the child may complain that his/her skin burns or has become numb.
  • If frostbite occurs, bring the child indoors and place the frostbitten parts of her body in warm (not hot) water. 104° Fahrenheit (about the temperature of most hot tubs) is recommended. Warm washcloths may be applied to frostbitten nose, ears and lips.
  • Do not rub the frozen areas.
  • After a few minutes, dry and cover the child with clothing or blankets. Give him/her something warm to drink.
  • If the numbness continues for more than a few minutes, call your doctor.

Winter Sports and Activities

  • Set reasonable time limits on outdoor play to prevent hypothermia and frostbite. Have children come inside periodically to warm up.

Ice Skating

  • Allow children to skate only on approved surfaces. Check for signs posted by local police or recreation departments, or call your local police department to find out which areas have been approved.
  • Advise your child to:
    • Skate in the same direction as the crowd
    • Avoid darting across the ice
    • Never skate alone
    • Not chew gum or eat candy while skating.
    • Have your child wear a helmet, knee and elbow pads.

Sledding

  • Keep sledders away from motor vehicles.
  • Children should be supervised while sledding.
  • Sledding feet first or sitting up, instead of lying down head-first, may prevent head injuries.
  • Consider having your child wear a helmet while sledding.

Sun Protection

  • The sun’s rays can still cause sunburn in the winter, especially when they reflect off snow. Make sure to cover your child’s exposed skin with sunscreen and consider using sunglasses.

For more information about winter 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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06

Safe Kids Grand Forks talks Snowmobile Safety

Jan

Snowmobiles offer kids and adults a great chance to go off and explore, it’s important to take time to teach kids that every adventure starts with safety.

So here are 5 safety tips to help keep kids safe on snowmobiles:

  • Never snowmobile alone. Much like swimming, teach your kids to snowmobile with a partner, every time.
  • Wear helmet and appropriate gear. Be sure to protect kids by ensuring they wear a helmet and protective gear to keep them safe.
  • Ride with your kids. Riding with adult supervision is always best, but we also understand that some kids will want to go off with their friends as soon as they can. Before you allow this to happen, ride with your children and monitor their ability. Do they use good judgment? Are they staying on a safe path? Make your kids prove that they are responsible enough to ride without an adult.
  • Stay in areas designated for snowmobiles. Snowmobiles provide a great sense of freedom and it can be tempting to wander off and explore. Help your kids understand it’s important to ride only in areas where snowmobiles are permitted. It will help ensure that every ride is a safe ride.
  • Understand the laws in your state. There are many states that allow young children to operate snowmobiles. It is important to know the laws and regulations specific to your state.

More information on ND snowmobile laws and regulations can be found at http://www.parkrec.nd.gov/recreation/snowmobile/lawsandregistrationsnow.html

For more information about snowmobile 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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30

Choking and Suffocation Facts from Safe Kids Grand Forks

Dec

Suffocation, choking, aspiration & strangulation are the leading causes of unintentional injury-related death among infants under age 1.

Aspiration – Child inhales and causes an object to be sucked into the windpipe or lungs.

Choking – Objects block their internal airway.

Suffocation – Materials block or cover their nose and mouth.

Strangulation – Items become wrapped around their necks and interfere with breathing.

• Children under 3 are especially at risk due to their small airway, inexperience with chewing and their natural tendency to put things in their mouth.

The Facts Are In

• Each year approximately 900 children ages 14 and under died from accidental airway obstruction injuries. Of these children, most were ages 4 and under.

• Children sustain approximately 17,200 suffocation injuries each year.

• Since 1990, at least 57 children, nearly all ages 3 and under, have died due to entrapment in bunk beds.

Did You Know?

• The majority of childhood choking, strangulations and suffocations occur at home.

• 60% of infant suffocation occurs in the sleeping environment.

• Infants can suffocate when:

a. Their faces become wedged or buried in a mattress or soft cushion.

b.When someone in the same bed rolls over onto them.

c. Their mouths or noses are covered by or pressed against a plastic bag.

• Children placed in adult beds are at increased risk for airway obstruction injury.

• Since 1990, at least 209 children ages 2 and under have died in adult beds from smothering as a result of being laid on by another person.

• Annually, cribs and play yards are involved in over 53% of all nursery product-related deaths among children age 5 and under.

• Cribs are responsible for about 26 strangulation and suffocation deaths each year (primarily older, used cribs).

• Children are at risk for choking on small round foods such as hot dogs, candies, nuts, grapes, carrots and popcorn that pose choking risks.

• Nonfood items tend to be round or conforming objects, including coins, small balls and balloons.

• Balloons are the most common cause of toy-related choking deaths of children.

• Unlike other causes of choking death, balloon-related deaths are as common among children ages 3 and older as younger children.

• Strangulation occurs when items (clothing, drawstrings, ribbons or other decorations, pacifier strings and window blind/drapery cords) become wrapped around the neck.

• Children strangle in openings big enough for parts of their bodies but too small for their heads. These include spaces in bunk beds, cribs, playground equipment, baby strollers, carriages and high chairs.

Steps To Safety

• Place infants to sleep on their backs on a firm, crib mattress in a crib that meets national safety standards.

• Never allow a baby to sleep on a couch or bed with an adult. They need to be alone, on their backs and in a crib to sleep at all times during sleep.

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

Battery Safety from Safe Kids Grand Forks

Dec

Christmas and Birthdays in most households means lots of new toys. Some of those new toys may require batteries. More and more household items and toys are using button batteries. While these batteries are great as they are tiny and high powered, they can cause serious damage to a child if one is swallowed.

Learn the Facts about Button Batteries

  • When a child swallows a button battery, the saliva triggers an electrical current. This causes a chemical reaction that can severely burn the esophagus in as little as two hours.
  • The scary part is that it may not be obvious at first that there is something wrong, since kids can still breathe and act normally after ingesting a battery, though it may seem like your child has a cold or flu.
  • Repairing the damage from battery ingestion is painful and often involves multiple surgeries. Even after a battery is removed, kids can experience terrible side effects to their vocal chords and windpipe.

Keep Button Batteries Out of Reach

  • Search your home, and any place your child goes, for gadgets that may contain coin-sized lithium batteries.
  • Keep coin lithium 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, flameless or tea light candles, flashing holiday jewelry or decorations all contain button batteries.
  • Keep loose batteries locked away, or place a piece of duct tape over the controller to secure the battery compartment.

Get Treatment Right Away

  • If you suspect your child has ingested a battery, go to the hospital immediately. Don’t induce vomiting or have your child eat or drink anything until assessed by a medical professional.
  • The symptoms may be tricky to recognize (they include coughing, drooling and discomfort), so if you have even the smallest doubt, don’t take any chances. Go to the emergency room right away.
  • Enter the National Battery Ingestion Hotline (202-625-3333) into your phone right now. Call anytime for additional treatment information.

Tell Your Family and Friends

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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16

Fireplace Safety Tips from Safe Kids Grand Forks

Dec

When enjoying your fireplace, safety is a must! It is important to remember these basic safety precautions:

*Never leave a young child alone near a gas fireplace; they can be burned before, during, and after use of the fireplace.

*Create a barrier around the gas fireplace with the use of safety guards can be installed to keep your child at a safe distance at all times. Safety gates can keep your child from being in the room alone.

*Fireplace glass and other surfaces get extremely HOT and can cause burns if touched. Consider purchasing a safety attachment designed to disperse heat from the fireplace doors.

*Fireplaces, stoves and inserts (and their surrounding material) will remain hot for a period of time after being turned off, so caution should be used at all times.

*Keep clothing, furniture, draperies and other flammable materials a safe distance away.

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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