September marks National Preparedness Month and Safe Kids Larimer County and partners want you to be prepared in the event of a natural disaster or emergency. Do you have a plan? Do you have a 72-hour kit? What about your pets? There’s a lot to think about and many times disasters happen with very little warning. Don’t get caught unprepared. Check out www.readycolorado.com for resources to keep you, your family, and even your pets safe. Below are some links to checklists you can do with your family.
Car seats cannot be accepted at the Colorado State Patrol Office in Fort Collins due to rodent issues. For now, keep those seats in your garage/basement as Safe Kids and partners are working on a “Car Seat Take Back Day”. If you need to get rid of the seat sooner, we recommend cutting the straps and putting the car seat in the trash.
Help us keep kids safe by providing low-cost helmets to families who can’t afford them. Safe Kids, PEDAL, and The Egg & I are teaming Up to raise money to purchase helmets for kids! Helmets will be available for a $10 donation at the Loveland and College Avenue Egg & I locations on Saturday, September 13. You can also make a donation anytime you dine there this entire week.
Parents: 6 Tips for Protecting Your Child From Sports Concussions
As students return to school, UCLA pediatric neurologist Dr. Christopher Giza, director of the UCLA Steve Tisch BrainSPORT Program, offers seven tips to help parents protect their children from athletic concussions and other brain injuries.
1. Check that your child’s protective sports gear is properly fitted and in good repair.
2. Educate yourself about the common signs of concussion. Make sure your child’s teachers can recognize the symptoms, too.
3. Ask whether your child’s school and team have a concussion policy, including education and assessment for student athletes.
4. Make sure your child’s coach is knowledgeable about concussions and incorporates this understanding into safe practice and competition.
5. Investigate the experience of officials and referees who monitor your child’s sport and team to ensure rules are enforced.
6. Find out whether your child’s school and team keep a certified athletic trainer on staff.
Remember, emphasized Giza, a coach is your child’s sports instructor. Parents should vet their child’s coach the same way they screen their child’s other teachers.
Please do NOT take any old or expired car seats to the Colorado State Patrol office in Fort Collins. They are no longer able to accept them. We will notify you when we have identified a new location. Thank you for your cooperation.
Back to School Safety Tips
By Janet Werst, Injury Prevention Coordinator, University of Colorado Health
Families are starting to get back into the routine to head back to school. Some important things parents should remember to review road safety rules to make sure they get to the classroom safely, whether walking or biking.
Before sending them on their way, talk to your child about a safe route to school. Got to http://www.fcgov.com/saferoutes/schools.php and pull up a map of your neighborhood school and talk about the traffic flow, obstacles, and a safe route for them to follow. Encourage him to stay on that safe route and not deviate unless they talk to you first (ie. Going to a friend’s house after school). Identify safe places to stop if he needs help (flat tire, feeling unsafe, etc.).
Discuss personal safety with your child as well. Your child should never go with a stranger or someone you have not approved. Develop a safe password, so if there is an emergency they know you talked to the adult that is asking them to get into their vehicle. More information on personal safety can be found at http://www.fcgov.com/police/pdf/childsafe09.pdf
A bicycle is considered a vehicle and must follow the same rules of the road:
- Right on the RIGHT with the flow of traffic.
- Stop at all stop signs and traffic signals
- Make eye contact with drivers to make sure you know who has the right of way.
- Use hand signals to let drivers, pedestrians, and other cyclists know your intentions.
- Be predictable—don’t swerve around cars and be aware of your surroundings.
- If a bike lane is provided, use it. Safe Kids recommends children under the age of 10 years old ride on the sidewalk, until they can control their bicycle safely.
More than 27 million children ages 5 to 14 ride bicycles. Other safety tips include:
- Wear a bike helmet at all times when bicycling and snap the straps! Helmets should be replaced every 3 years, when it no longer fits, or if it has been involved in a crash.
- Wear light colored clothing if riding after dusk.
- If riding after dark, make sure the bicycle has a head lamp and tail lamp. Reflectors are not enough to be seen.
- Make sure schools provide cyclists with “safe areas”.
For our little pedestrians, the rules are a little different.
- Walk on the sidewalk. If a sidewalk is not available, pedestrians should walk AGAINST traffic (facing the cars) as far off the side of the road as possible.
- Cross at corners and use crosswalks if available.
- Look LEFT, RIGHT, and LEFT again to ensure it is safe to cross. Do not assume that a green light or walk signal means it is safe. Drivers are not always paying attention.
- Make eye contact with drivers to make sure you know who has the right of way.
- Children under the age of 10 years old should be supervised while walking to school. You can find information on walking school buses at http://www.fcgov.com/saferoutes/
Now that your child is ready to mentally tackle the challenges of getting to school, don’t forget to do the ABC Quick Check suggested by the League of American Bicyclists to ensure it is safe for him to ride.
A is for air
- Inflate tires to rated pressure as listed on the sidewall of the tire
- Use a pressure gauge to ensure proper pressure
- Check for damage to tire tread and sidewall; replace if damaged
B is for brakes
- Inspect pads for wear; replace if there is less than 1/4” of pad left
- Check pad adjustment; make sure they do not rub tire or dive into spokes
- Check brake level travel; at least 1” between bar and lever when applied
C is for cranks, chain and cassette
- Make sure that your crank bolts are tight; lube the threads only, nothing else
- Check your chain for wear; 12 links should measure no more than 12 and 1/8 inches
- If your chain skips on your cassette, you might need a new one or just an adjustment
Quick is for quick releases
- Hubs need to be tight in the frame; your quick release should engage at 90 degrees
- Your hub quick release should point back to ensure that nothing catches on it
- Inspect brake quick releases to ensure that they have been re-engaged
Check is for check it over
- Take a quick ride to check if derailleurs and brakes are working properly
- Inspect the bike for loose or broken parts; tighten, replace or fix them
- Pay extra attention to your bike during the first few miles of the ride
If in doubt, take it to a bike store. For more information and safety tips, visit www.safekids.org or call us at 970.495.7504.
By: Rachael Rettner, Senior Writer
Published: 07/29/2013 12:44 PM EDT on LiveScience
For kids, the food most likely to “go down the wrong pipe” and cause choking is hard candy, a new study finds.
Between 2001 and 2009, more than 16,100 children ages 14 and younger visited the emergency room because they were choking on hard candy, the study found. Overall, nearly 112,000 children visited the emergency department for nonfatal choking related to food during the eight-year study, about 12,400 per year. That means that about 15 percent of all child emergency room visits related to choking on food were due to hard candy.
Other top foods that sent kids to the emergency room include the following:
Other candy: 13,324 visits (12.8 percent)
Meat other than hot dogs: 12,671 visits (12.2 percent)
Bone: 12,496 visits (12 percent)
Hot dogs: 2,660 visits (2.6 percent)
Bread or pastries: 2,385 visits (2.3 percent)
French fries: 874 visits (0.8 percent)
The majority of children who came to the emergency room because they were choking on food were treated and released, but about 10 percent needed to be hospitalized. Kids who choked on hot dogs or seeds, nuts or shells were more likely to require hospitalization than those who choked on other foods.
The average age of kids treated for nonlethal food choking was about 4.5 years old, and more than half were boys.
The researchers, from Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Columbus, Ohio, analyzed information from a national database of emergency-department visits, focusing on choking visits involving food that did not result in death.
Young children may lack the teeth necessary to properly grind food, they still may be learning how to chew and they may have a high activity level, which may make them more likely to choke on food, the researchers said.
Foods that may pose a greater choking risk to children include those that are similar in shape to the child’s airway (such as hot dogs), those that are difficult to chew (raw fruits and vegetables) or those that are consumed by the handful (such as seeds and nuts), which may be too much for a child to chew, the researchers said.
The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends that children ages 5 and younger should not be given hard candies or gum, and that raw fruits and vegetables be cut into small pieces when they are fed to young children.
Children should be supervised while eating, and should never run, walk, play or lie down with food in their mouth, the AAP says. Parents and caregivers should be familiar with techniques to rescue their children if choking does occur.
The AAP also recommends that the Food and Drug Administration take action to label foods that may pose a choking risk to children.
The study is published today (July 29) in the journal Pediatrics.