Upcoming Events

  • Car Seat Class August 26, 2014 at 5:00 pm – 6:15 pm Loveland Fire Station #6, 4325 McWhinney Blvd., Loveland For families in need of a car seat/booster seat for their child . Registration is REQUIRED by calling 970.495.7508. Bring $20 donation to class.
  • Clase de asientos del carro August 29, 2014 at 12:00 pm – 1:00 pm El Nidito the Family Center, Hickory Trail, Fort Collins, CO, United States Para familias necisitan un asiento del carro/asiento elevado. Registration a 970.495.7508. $20 donativo.
  • Car Seat Class August 30, 2014 at 9:00 am – 10:00 am Fullana Learning Center, Fort Collins, CO, United States For families in need of a car seat/booster seat for their child . Registration is REQUIRED by calling 970.495.7508. Bring $20 donation to class.
  • Safe Kids Larimer County Meeting September 4, 2014 at 9:00 am – 10:30 am Poudre Valley Health System, South Lemay Avenue, Fort Collins, CO, United States

Car Seat Disposal

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

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.





FOOD is a Bigger Choking Hazard

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.



Child Resistant is NOT Childproof

Child Resistant Caps do not guarantee your children can’t open them…watch this video that the Today Show did to prove it!


Buckle Up, Phones Down

For your teen driver…


Best Used Vehicles for Teen Drivers


Posted: 24 Jul 2014 02:18 PM PDT

From: Insurance Institute for Highway Safety

When children are very young, parents have no shortage of information about how to ensure the safety of their precious offspring. Most know to keep small objects out of reach, vigilantly heed recall notices for cribs and strollers, and research the right child restraint for the family vehicle.

But what happens when those kids, who just yesterday were taking their first steps, reach that other mobility milestone — getting their first car? Motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death among teenagers, and the type of vehicle a teenager drives has a big effect on the degree of risk. Nevertheless, many teenagers are driving — and dying in — the least protective types of vehicles, new studies from IIHS and HLDI show. Parents need more information about which vehicles are the safest choices for young drivers.

IIHS is known for its ratings of new vehicles, but for many families, a 2014 TOP SAFETY PICK orTOP SAFETY PICK+ isn’t in the budget for a teen’s vehicle. In a national phone survey conducted for IIHS of parents of teen drivers, 83 percent of those who bought a vehicle for their teenagers said they bought it used.

With that reality in mind, the Institute has compiled a list of affordable used vehicles that meet important safety criteria for teen drivers (see below). There are two tiers of recommended vehicles with options at various price points, ranging from less than $5,000 to nearly $20,000, so parents can buy the most safety for their money, whatever their budget.

“A teenager’s first car is more than just a financial decision,” says IIHS President Adrian Lund. “These lists of recommended used vehicles can help consumers factor in safety, in addition to affordability.”

Defining safety

The recommendations are guided by four main principles:

  • Young drivers should stay away from high horsepower. More powerful engines can tempt them to test the limits.
  • Bigger, heavier vehicles are safer. They protect better in a crash, and HLDI analyses of insurance data show that teen drivers are less likely to crash them in the first place. There are no minicars or small cars on the recommended list. Small SUVs are included because their weight is similar to that of a midsize car.
  • Electronic stability control (ESC) is a must. This feature, which helps a driver maintain control of the vehicle on curves and slippery roads, reduces risk on a level comparable to safety belts.
  • Vehicles should have the best safety ratings possible. At a minimum, that means good ratings in the IIHS moderate overlap front test, acceptable ratings in the IIHS side crash test and four or five stars from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). IIHS has been conducting frontal tests since 1995 and side tests since 2003, so it is possible to factor these in even for relatively old vehicles. NHTSA’s tests have been around even longer.

In the survey of parents, the mean purchase price for a teen’s vehicle was about $9,800, while the median was just $5,300. There are many options on the recommended list for under $10,000 but just three that cost less than $5,300.

“Unfortunately, it’s very difficult to get a safe vehicle for a teenager at the prices most people are paying,” says Anne McCartt, IIHS senior vice president for research. “Our advice to parents would be to remember the risks teens take and consider paying a little more.”

All of the recommended used vehicles have standard ESC and provide good protection in moderate overlap front crashes. Those considered “best choices” for under $20,000 also have good ratings for side crash protection, good head restraints and seats for rear crash protection, and good roof strength to protect occupants in rollover crashes. Vehicles considered “good choices” for under $10,000 have good or acceptable side crash protection and head restraints rated better than poor.

The good choices list is meant to provide consumers with a wider array of affordable options. However, compared with the best choices, this second-tier list is somewhat limited and includes many low-volume vehicles that may be hard to find.

“For the list of good choices, we compromised on the things we thought we could compromise on. Standard ESC is not one of those things, and that, frankly, is what is keeping this list so short,” Lund says. “That’s how important we believe this feature is.”

ESC is an offshoot of antilock braking systems that prevents sideways skidding and loss of control that can lead to rollovers and other kinds of crashes. The technology monitors how a vehicle responds to steering input and selectively applies the brakes and modulates engine power to keep the vehicle on the right path. ESC reduces fatal single-vehicle crash risk by about half and fatal multiple-vehicle crash risk by one-fifth (see “Stability control reduces fatal crash risk by a third,” June 19, 2010).

Vehicles that have been rated by NHTSA were included in the recommended lists only if they earned four or five stars in the front and side tests under the agency’s original testing regime or an overall rating of four or five stars under the newer, more stringent rating system that began with 2011 models. One vehicle, the Hyundai Santa Fe, was excluded from the list of best choices because its 2012 model had an overall rating of just three stars.

High-horsepower vehicles also were left off the lists, but many of the recommended models have high-horsepower versions that should be avoided. The base engines of all the listed vehicles have adequate power for teens.

Parents who don’t find a suitable vehicle from the lists of recommended models should seek out a midsize or larger car, an SUV or a minivan with the most safety they can afford. Besides ESC, specific things to look for in a used vehicle are side airbags and low horsepower. In some cases, it may be possible to find an ESC-equipped vehicle for a model on which the technology was optional. Those models aren’t included in the recommended lists because equipped vehicles can be difficult to locate. Keep in mind that SUVs and pickups are particularly risky when not equipped with ESC because they are the most prone to rollover crashes. Information about the availability of ESC and side airbags can be found here.

Planning ahead

All of the best choices among the recommended used vehicles and many of the good choices on the list are prior winners of the Institute’s TOP SAFETY PICK award.

However, most of these vehicles wouldn’t meet the current TOP SAFETY PICK criteria. In addition to good ratings in the moderate overlap front, side, roof strength and head restraint tests, 2014 winners must have a good or acceptable rating in the Institute’s newest crash test, the small overlap front test, which replicates what happens when one edge of the vehicle’s front hits another vehicle or an object such as a tree or pole. Until recently, few manufacturers designed vehicles with this kind of crash in mind, though many are doing so now because of the IIHS test.

Although there are few affordable used vehicles with good small overlap protection today, in a few years it will be easier to factor in ratings from this new evaluation. Parents whose children still are years away from driving should consider planning ahead for that day. If possible, when buying the next family vehicle, choose one with the most up-to-date safety features, with an eye to giving it to your teenager to drive when the time comes. Look for an IIHS TOP SAFETY PICK or TOP SAFETY PICK+ winner that also earns at least 4 of 5 stars from NHTSA.

Recommended used vehicles for teens starting under $20,000

Vehicles on this list earn good ratings in the IIHS moderate overlap front, side, roof strength and head restraint tests. If rated by NHTSA, they earn 4 or 5 stars overall or 4 or 5 stars in the front and side tests under the old rating scheme. All come with standard ESC.

Prices, rounded to the nearest $100, were taken from Kelley Blue Book on July 1, 2014, for the lowest trim level and earliest applicable model year based on the following criteria: vehicle in good condition, typical mileage and private party purchase in Arlington, Va.

Saab 9-5 sedan 2010 and later $17,500
Lincoln MKS 2009 and later $15,500
Buick Regal 2011 and later $13,500
Ford Taurus 2010 and later $13,500
Buick LaCrosse 2010 and later $12,900
Volvo S80 2007 and later $9,000
Toyota Prius v 2012 and later $19,100
Mercedes-Benz C-Class sedan 2009 and later $16,000
Honda Accord sedan 2012 and later; coupe 2013-14 $14,400
Audi A4 2009 and later $14,300
Toyota Camry 2012 and later $14,300
Buick Verano 2012 and later $14,100
Subaru Outback 2010 and later $14,000
Lincoln MKZ 2010 and later; built after April 2010 $13,500
Kia Optima 2011 and later $13,300
Hyundai Sonata 2011 and later $12,100
Subaru Legacy 2010 and later $11,900
Dodge Avenger 2011 and later $11,600
Audi A3 2008 and later $11,300
Volkswagen CC 2009 and later $11,200
Chevrolet Malibu 2010 and later; built after November 2009 $10,900
Chrysler 200 sedan 2011 and later $10,700
Mercury Milan 2010-11; built after April 2010 $10,700
Ford Fusion 2010 and later; built after April 2010 $10,200
Volkswagen Passat 2009 and later $10,000
Volvo C30 2008 and later $9,800
Volkswagen Jetta SportWagen 2009 and later $9,400
Volkswagen Jetta 2009 and later $8,200
Honda CR-V 2012 and later $18,100
Kia Sportage 2011 and later $13,800
Hyundai Tucson 2010 and later $13,100
Subaru Forester 2009 and later $12,800
Mitsubishi Outlander Sport 2011 and later $12,000
Volkswagen Tiguan 2009 and later $10,200
Honda Element 2007 and later $8,900
Volvo XC60 2010 and later $18,000
Saab 9-4X 2011-12 $17,800
Toyota Highlander 2008 and later $17,100
Toyota Venza 2009 and later $15,900
Ford Edge 2011 and later; built after February 2011 $15,500
Ford Flex 2010 and later $15,100
GMC Terrain 2010 and later $14,900
Kia Sorento 2011 and later $14,500
Infiniti EX 2008 and later $14,400
Chevrolet Equinox 2010 and later $13,700
Dodge Journey 2010 and later $11,200
Subaru Tribeca/B9 Tribeca 2006 and later $8,500
Volvo XC90 2005 and later $7,300
Buick Enclave 2011 and later $19,900
GMC Acadia 2011 and later $17,800
Chevrolet Traverse 2011 and later $16,600
Chrysler Town & Country 2012 and later $18,100
Honda Odyssey 2011 and later $17,100
Toyota Sienna 2011 and later $16,400
Dodge Grand Caravan 2012 and later $15,200
Volkswagen Routan 2012 $14,000

Recommended used vehicles for teens starting under $10,000

Vehicles on this list earn good ratings in the IIHS moderate overlap front test and good or acceptable ratings in the side test. If rated by NHTSA, they earn 4 or 5 stars overall or 4 or 5 stars in the front and side tests under the old rating scheme. They also have standard ESC and a better-than-poor rating for head restraints and seats.

Prices, rounded to the nearest $100, were taken from Kelley Blue Book on July 1, 2014, for the lowest trim level and earliest applicable model year based on the following criteria: vehicle in good condition, typical mileage and private party purchase in Arlington, Va.

Acura RL 2005 and later $9,700
Mercury Sable 2009 $9,700
Kia Amanti 2009 $9,500
Ford Taurus 2009 $9,100
Audi A6 sedan 2005 and later $8,300
Hyundai Azera 2006 and later $5,700
Subaru Legacy 2009 $9,900
BMW 3-series sedan 2006 and later $9,300
Mazda 6 2009 and later $8,900
Saturn Aura 2009 $8,800
Acura TL 2004 and later $7,900
Volvo S40 2007 and later $7,700
Audi A3 2006-07 $7,400
Mercedes-Benz C-Class sedan 2005-08 $6,900
Suzuki Kizashi 2010 and later $6,600
Volvo S60 2007-09 $6,500
Audi A4 2005-08; built after October 2004 $6,200
Volkswagen Passat 2006-08 $5,100
Saab 9-3 2005 and later $4,000
Nissan Rogue 2008 and later $9,800
Ford Escape 2009 and later $8,700
Mazda Tribute 2009 and later $8,100
Mitsubishi Outlander 2007 and later $6,300
Suzuki Grand Vitara 2006 and later $5,600
Mazda CX-9 2007 and later $9,800
Ford Edge 2007-10 $9,600
Hyundai Veracruz 2007 and later $9,600
Hyundai Santa Fe 2007-10 $8,900
Honda Pilot 2006 and later $8,800
Saturn Vue 2008-09 $7,700
Ford Taurus X 2008-09 $7,500
Mazda CX-7 2007-11 $7,200
Suzuki XL7 2008-09 $6,200
Volkswagen Routan 2009-11 $8,600
Dodge Grand Caravan 2008-11 $8,200
Chrysler Town & Country 2008-11 $8,100
Honda Odyssey 2005-10 $6,700
Hyundai Entourage 2007-08 $6,300
Kia Sedona 2006 and later $4,600


Note: Some listed models include a “built after” date. This applies when a manufacturer makes changes to improve safety in the middle of a model year. Information about when a specific vehicle was manufactured can be found on the certification label typically affixed to the driver door or near it.

Keeping Kids Safe Around the Campfire

Summer and S’mores go hand-in hand…and in order to have the S’mores, you have to have a campfire.  The most common type of injury at campfire sites is tripping and falling, which causes burns.  Establish a 10 foot safety zone around the campfire to keep people from getting hurt. Active supervision is also key.

What happens if your marshmallow catches on fire…kids should drop it in the fire or on the ground and stomp it out (yes, it’s a gooey mess).  Trying to blow it out could lead to burns on the face or the hair catching on fire.

Remember that alcohol and fires don’t mix.  Someone has to be responsible for actively supervising the fire and making sure it is completely out before going to bed.  Winds can reignite embers while you’re sleeping and those embers could get out of the fire pit starting a fire where it doesn’t belong.

Some things to remember:

  • Choose your site in an open area, not too close to trees or bushes
  • Do not use gas or lighter fluid as it is very explosive
  • Remove any flammable debris (leaves, sticks, etc.) so the fire doesn’t spread unintentionally
  • Remember your patience.  Your fire may not start right away.  Use a safe fire starter and approved kindling (many campsites do not allow you to bring in your own wood or gather wood from the forest)

If you are burned:

  • Put out the fire
  • Remove any clothing that is on fire
  • Do not try to remove any clothing stuck to the skin, but cover with a dry bandage and seek medical help immediately.

For more information:  www.cdc.gov/family/camping/






One in 25 Reports Falling Asleep at the Wheel: CDC Report

THURSDAY, July 3, 2014 (HealthDay News) — In a new government survey, one in 25 U.S. drivers said they had fallen asleep at the wheel a least once over the prior month.

The study found those most at risk for having accidents while driving drowsy are those under 25, males, people who binge drink, people who don’t wear seat belts, folks with sleep problems, and, not surprisingly, those who regularly sleep less than five hours a night, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

“About 4 percent, or one in 25 people, reported falling asleep while driving in the month before the survey,” said lead author Anne Wheaton, a CDC epidemiologist.

The problem is worse among people who sleep less than they should. In fact, most drowsy driving occurs early in the morning or late at night “when your body is telling you, you should be in bed,” Wheaton said.

As many as 7,500 fatal motor vehicle accidents in the United States might be caused by drowsy driving each year, she said. Many of these are single car accidents, according to the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety.

You don’t have to fall asleep to be a danger if you’re tired at the wheel, note the study authors. Drowsy drivers have slower reaction time, poorer judgment and vision, as well as difficulty processing information, according to the National Sleep Foundation. Drowsy drivers are also likely to be less vigilant and motivated and more moody and aggressive, the sleep group says.

Although the report only covers 10 states and Puerto Rico, Wheaton said other states report similar statistics, so she believes these data are applicable throughout the country.

The finding that binge drinkers are more likely to drive while drowsy is particularly troubling. Drinking is a double-edged sword, Wheaton said. “Alcohol amplifies the effect of drowsiness, but also if you’re drowsy, it doesn’t take as much alcohol for you to be impaired,” Wheaton said.

Wheaton doesn’t know if there is more drowsy driving than there used to be, but she is sure the problem isn’t going away.

“We do know that people are getting less sleep than they used to. You’ve got people who have really long commutes. And we think that the prevalence of sleep apnea is also increasing, because it tends to go along with obesity, and we know that that’s increasing. So it’s [drowsy driving] definitely not going down,” she said.

Wheaton’s advice: “Get enough sleep.” In addition, don’t drink and drive, see a doctor if you have a sleep disorder, and always wear a seat belt, she said.

The study authors also noted that interventions to prevent drowsy driving aimed at young men might be helpful, as this group has a higher risk of drowsy driving.

If you find yourself nodding off at the wheel, the researchers recommended getting off the road and getting some rest. “Turning up the radio, opening the window, and turning up the air conditioner have not proven to be effective techniques to stay awake,” they wrote.

The findings were published July 4 in the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

SOURCES: Anne Wheaton, Ph.D., epidemiologist, U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention; July 4, 2014, Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report


Grilling safety Tips

Check out these grilling tips from the National Fire Protection Association!  Happy 4th of July!



Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 69 other followers