Here’s a little something for the kids to do while you’re in the kitchen cooking to keep them busy.
Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, Happy Kwanzaa, and Happy Holidays from your friends at Safe Kids Larimer County.
Buying presents for the kids, traveling around town to see the holiday lights, flying to see Grandma and Grandpa, decorating the Christmas tree, lighting the menorah, shoveling the sidewalks…all things we do during the holiday season and all things that should make us think about how to be safe while doing it.
Are you giving a gift of a bicycle, skateboard, scooter, Ripstik??? If so, a helmet should definitely be included. For younger kids just learning these skills you should also consider elbow and knee pads as gravity will win more often than not. You should always supervise kids when they are learning a new skill…have you tried to ride a Ripstik? It’s not easy and would require a trip to the emergency room for me!
Anytime you are driving, even short distances, everyone should be properly buckled up. Most crashes happen close to home, so “we’re not going far” is no excuse. Parents and caregivers need to model good behavior as studies have shown that even if kids are buckled in a car seat in the back seat of the car, if the driver doesn’t buckle up, the kids won’t buckle up when they become drivers. With all the technological advances in cars and car seats over the last few years you would think you need a degree in engineering to install the car seat. Don’t feel bad. Ask for help. There are over 38,000 certified child passenger safety technicians around the country to help you figure it all out. Put multiple kids in one car and it becomes a giant puzzle to get everything to fit correctly. Check http://sklarimer.org/car-seat-resources/ for a list of inspection stations in Larimer and Weld Counties. Make sure to give yourself a week or so when calling to make an appointment.
If you’re flying off to warmer weather to visit family and friends, a car seat is a must. You need it to get to the airport. You know how to use your seat. Don’t chance it on the other end with a rental seat that you’re not sure is clean or safe or borrowing a family member’s seat you are not familiar with. Take your own. The FAA recommends all children ride in an appropriate restraint on an airplane because you never know when you’ll encounter turbulence. But, we know money is a factor. Children under the age of 2 can ride on the lap of a parent/caregiver. Have the car seat gate-checked…NEVER check it with your luggage. Have you seen them handle the luggage!?!? Yikes! Also be aware of the child passenger safety laws in the different states. Many states are now enacting a rear-facing until the age of 2 law. Booster seat laws also vary among states.
Decorating Christmas trees, lighting the menorah, putting out poinsettias all pose safety risks for kids. Decorate with the children in mind…get on their level and see what is interesting to them. Put ornaments up higher on the tree…sure the bottom half of the tree might be naked, but kids won’t try to eat the ornaments or break something valuable. Don’t use table cloths as they are a way for children to try to climb the table. Don’t leave candles unattended. Have you heard the saying “a moth to a flame”…same goes for kids. Some holiday plants are poisonous, like poinsettias, so if you’re going to have them in your home, put them up out of reach. Mistletoe is also poisonous to kids and pets.
Shoveling is strenuous on the body. Take frequent breaks, dress for the weather, hydrate, and share the joy with your neighbor kids by hiring them to do it. North-facing houses are especially difficult because they do not get the sunlight to help the snow and ice evaporate. Stay on top of the shoveling and watch for ice build up. Use ice melt that won’t destroy your sidewalks and driveway.
Have fun, stay safe, and enjoy the holiday season!
During the winter months we see more colds and illnesses taking its toll on families. While we are thankful for the over-the-counter remedies to lessen our symptoms, keep in mind that children don’t understand the dangers of over medicating. The medicines are pretty colors and usually have a great taste to get kids to take them easier. Here are some safety tips to keep in mind:
FOR KIDS UNDER 5 YEARS OF AGE:
- Put medicine up and away, out of sight.
- Check purses, nightstands, counters, etc. to make sure it’s not easily accessible.
- Products such as diaper rash cream, vitamins, eye drops, etc. can also be poisonous if ingested by young children.
- Use the dosing device that comes with the medication. Kitchen spoons are not all the same size.
- Write clear instructions for caregivers about your child’s medicine.
- Track when you give medication on a form like this one. 5 Med Schedule-Med 2014
FOR KIDS 6-10 YEARS OF AGE:
- Model responsible medicating behavior. Don’t refer to candy as medicine or vice versa.
- Teach your child that medicine should always be given by an adult to ensure correct dosage.
- Take time to read the medicine labels with your child, even over-the-counter medicine.
FOR KIDS 11 YEARS OF AGE AND OLDER:
- Teach kids how to read over-the-counter labels. Great tips can be found at http://www.scholastic.com/otcmedsafety/
- Talk to older kids about the importance of only taking medicine that is meant for them.
- Instruct older kids that medicine labels are rules not guidelines.
- Check in with older kids and talk about medicine they’re taking regularly. Many kids this age are self-dosing over-the-counter medicines (cold medicine, headache medicine, etc.).
Always keep the Poison Control number handy in case you need them. 1.800.222.1222. They can also answer questions about how to take or give medicine, concerns about plants, chemicals, carbon monoxide, bites, stings and more.
Keep your holidays injury-free with important kitchen safety tips
As the holiday season approaches, cooking as a family is a great way to make lasting memories. Children can safely help out in the kitchen too, but parents must pick the right tasks for each child’s age and skill level.
“Parents and caregivers should check for preventable hazards before their children enter the kitchen, and they should supervise their children at all times while they’re in the kitchen,” says Janet Werst Safe Kids Larimer County coordinator. “Simply being in the same room as a child is not necessarily supervising. An actively supervised child is in sight and in reach at all times.”
Burns, such as those from spills, steam, hot surfaces or a flame, can be especially devastating injuries. Young children have thinner skin than adults do, and therefore burn more severely and at lower temperatures. “Thermal burns from contact with a hot surface or a flame cause the greatest number of burns in children,” adds Scott Pringle, Deputy Fire Marshal with Loveland Fire Rescue Authority and President of Safe Kids Larimer County. “However, children ages 4 and under are hospitalized in burn centers more for scald burns from hot liquids, while children ages 5 to 15 are hospitalized more for fire and flame burns.”
Children who can follow directions may be ready to help out in the kitchen with tasks that do not involve knives, appliances or heat. “You know your own children. Don’t give them knives or let them handle anything hot until they have shown the maturity and coordination to do it safely,” says Werst. “Some children mature faster than others, so it’s up to parents to use good judgment about each child’s capabilities.”
Here are some guidelines for kitchen activities that children of certain ages may be ready to handle:
Children between 3 and 5 can:
- Get ingredients out of the refrigerator and cupboards.
- Stir ingredients together in a bowl.
- Pour liquids into a bowl.
- Rinse foods under cold water.
- Use a cookie cutter to cut out shapes in dough.
Children between 6 and 8 can:
- Use a butter knife to spread frosting, peanut butter or soft cheese.
- Peel vegetables.
- Measure ingredients.
- Stir together ingredients in a bowl.
- Set the table.
Children between 9 and 12 can:
- Begin to follow recipes.
- Use electrical kitchen appliances such as blenders, food processors, electric mixers and microwaves.
- Help plan the meals.
- Open cans.
- Squeeze garlic from a garlic press and use a grater to shred cheese and vegetables.
- Turn stove burners on and off and select oven temperature when an adult is present.
Children older than age 13 can:
- Operate the stovetop without adult supervision.
- Drain cooked pasta into a colander.
- Remove a tray of cookies from the oven.
- Heat food in the microwave without adult supervision
Before your witches, skeletons, and Captain America look-alikes roam the streets on Halloween, have a discussion with your children about how to trick-or-treat safely. Safe Kids Larimer County and the University of Colorado Health would like to remind you that Halloween does not have to be a scary night for parents if everyone (trick-or-treaters and drivers) obeys some safety rules.
- Children under the age of 10 should trick-or-treat with an adult. Their little brains have not developed enough to understand the potential dangers around them.
- Cross the street at corners. Do NOT zigzag across the street. Kids forget that cars are still allowed to drive down the street and don’t always remember to stop and look both ways.
- Stay on the sidewalk. Many homeowners decorate their lawns with tripping hazards for trick-or-treaters and it’s the neighborly thing to do. Children should not enter anybody’s house without your permission, even for a minute or to warm up.
- Make sure the costume fits. Avoid any baggy or flimsy costumes that could pose a tripping hazard. Choose to use face paint over face masks to ensure your child can see their surroundings. If it’s expected to be cold, consider buying a costume a size or two bigger to fit over a coat.
- Be Seen. Carry a flashlight or glow sticks so you can be seen by other trick-or-treaters and drivers. Put reflective items on your costume.
Drivers can do their part to keep from bumping into the trick-or-treaters. The best way to do this is to avoid driving during trick-or-treat hours, but we know that is not always realistic. So, here are some tips for you:
- Be alert. Trick-or-treat hours normally run between 5:30 and 9:30 p.m. Keep your eyes open for little ones darting across the street.
- Slow down. While this is true of all residential streets, remember when you were that age and how excited you were to get to the next house. Kids’ peripheral vision is limited and they cannot tell the distance or speed of your car.
- Drive with your lights on. This will allow others to see you and for you to see kids easier.
If you are supervising your children from your vehicle, Safe Kids recommends you park your car in the middle of the block and turn off the engine. Do NOT drive up and down the street while you are trying to watch your children as your attention will not be on the road. Do NOT back up if you can avoid it.
Once everyone gets home safely go through the treats with your child and dispose of any that are not in original, sealed packages. Decide together the rules on enjoying the treats or talk to your dentist who might have a buy-back program.
If you’d prefer to not venture out on the dark streets on Halloween there are plenty of safe events happening around the county for kids. Alternative events include:
- Lee Martinez Farm, Fort Collins (Pumpkin Patch, Treatsylvania, hayrides)
- Old Town Square, Fort Collins (Tiny Tot Halloween)
- Haunted Landfill at Garbage Garage Education Center, between Fort Collins & Loveland
- Halloween Family Fun Festival, Loveland (Safe Kids will be distributing reflective items for trick-or-treaters on Saturday, October 31)
- Gulley Greenhouse, south Fort Collins
- Area high schools host indoor activities
- Something from the Farm, south Fort Collins
- Halloween Enchanted Garden at the Gardens on Spring Creek, Fort Collins
- Halloween event at the Promenade Shops at Centerra, Loveland
For more information on Halloween Safety Tips, visit www.safekids.org. Talk to your kids today!
The total estimated lifetime medical and work loss costs of injuries and violence in the United States was $671 billion in 2013, according to new research released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The lifetime medical and work loss costs associated with fatal injuries was $214 billion while nonfatal injuries accounted for over $457 billion. Each year more than 3 million people are hospitalized, 27 million people are treated in emergency departments and released, and over 192,000 die as a result of unintentional and violence related injuries each year. Injuries and violence are a significant public health problem in Larimer County. Motor Vehicle injuries, suicide, and older adult falls are the leading causes of hospitalization in northern Colorado.
“UCHealth is committed to the health of our community and that includes providing education on how to prevent injuries that result in hospitalization,” said Janet Werst, Community Health Supervisor. Although injuries are among the most common and costly health problems in the U.S. and Colorado, they are also one of the most preventable. Colorado is working to implement evidence-based programs and policies to prevent injuries and violence to reduce not only the pain and suffering of victims, but also the considerable costs to society. For example, UCHealth offers Stepping On, an evidence-based fall prevention program for older adults. To learn more about violence and injury prevention in Colorado visit www.vipreventionnetworkco.com. To read the new CDC research visit http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr. To learn more about the CDC’s National Center for Injury Prevention and Control works to prevent injury and violence visit http://www.cdc.gov/injury.
One call per month to poison control centers about liquid nicotine…four-years later…215 calls per month. Children are mistaking flavored liquid nicotine for candy and are ingesting it. Over half of the calls to poison control centers are for children under the age of 5.
E-cigarettes are battery-powered cartridges filled with a nicotine liquid that, when heated, creates an inhalable mist. Little is known about the long-term health effects of the products, which were developed in China and moved into the U.S. market in 2007.
“Some evidence suggests that e-cigarette use may facilitate smoking cessation, but definitive data are lacking,” Dr. Priscilla Callahan-Lyon of the FDA’s Center for Tobacco Products wrote in a recent medical journal article.
The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment has an educational page where you can learn more about e-cigarettes.
If you have liquid nicotine in your house, talk to your kids about it and keep it up and out of reach.
Does your home have working smoke alarms? This year’s theme for Fire Prevention Week (October 4-10) is all about having working smoke alarms outside every bedroom.
Do you test your smoke alarms monthly? Let the test run the full cycle so everyone in the family can hear the sound and know what to do.
How old is your smoke alarm? The sensors only last 10 years, so if yours are older than that, it’s time to replace them. Same goes for hard-wired alarms!
Do you have a fire escape plan? Have the kids get involved in identifying two ways out of the house and picking a safe meeting place. Then actually PRACTICE it at least 2 times a year.
Want more information on fire safety? Check out www.nfpa.org
DID YOU KNOW? Fire Prevention Week started all because of a cow. That’s right…a COW! According to popular legend a cow knocked over a gas lamp, which caught the barn on fire and eventually caught the entire city of Chicago on fire. Learn more about it by searching for the Great Chicago Fire of 1871.
Let’s join Owen S. on his Eagle Scout journey and learn some great safety tips at the Cycle Safely FREE Bike Rally.
WHEN: Sunday, October 4
WHERE: 4-H McKee Building at The Ranch
Why is Owen doing this?…
“This project came to be after I was in a serious bike accident on the Spring Creek Trail. My front tire hit a hole in the pavement and I flew over my handle bars. The doctors at the ER said if I wasn’t wearing my helmet correctly, I would have suffered traumatic brain injury. While admitted in the hospital, I was given a new helmet. I want to make sure hospitals have replacement helmets. I would also like students to walk away with the tools they need to bike safely. My proposal was approved now on to creating a detailed plan.”
“My project has 2 parts. The first is a new helmet collection. WANT TO HELP?? Amazon has some great deals on helmets for all ages. Free shipping if you are Amazon Prime.Let me know through PM if you want to help me out and I will send you the address where you can ship the helmets. Don’t have prime? Want to make a cash donation for helmets? PM me for info on how to do that too. All money collected buys new helmets to benefit Strap and Snap and area hospitals.”
BRING YOUR BIKE AND HELMET! This event is for girls and boys grades 1-5. Each participant will receive a free t-shirt thanks to my amazing sponsors. Open to the first 60 participants. Information taught include a bike and helmet check, basic first aid, rules of the road, and a fun obstacle course.This is a FREE EVENT but registration is required- Message- Parent’s Name Child’s name, age and shirt size to XXXXXXXX
For more information, check out his Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/events/830243153757371/ or https://www.facebook.com/pages/Cycle-Safely-An-Eagle-Scout-Project/1895086200717002?fref=ts
Thank you to the following sponsors of Owen’s project:
- LRO Studios
- Associates in Family Medicine (Dr. Brickl)
- The Sewing Circle
- Safeway in Windsor (water!)
- King Soopers in Weld and Larimer County (gift cards)
- Alpine Ear, Nose, and Throat
- Archer Homes
- Berkshire Hathaway Home Services
- Crane & Seager Orthodontics