Upcoming Events

  • Safe Kids Larimer County Meeting September 3, 2015 at 9:00 am – 10:30 am Locations Vary...check web site
  • Safe Kids Meeting September 3, 2015 at 9:00 am – 10:30 am Loveland Fire Station #6, 4325 McWhinney Blvd., Loveland

“Safe” Teen Drivers Still Play with Their Phones While Driving

Even Self-Proclaimed ‘Safe’ Teen Drivers Play With Their Phones Behind The Wheel

Posted: 05 Aug 2015 02:15 PM PDT

From: Huffington Post

If you think a 9-to-5 schedule is tough, be glad you’re not a high schooler. Their schedules are packed with activities — sports, community service, yearbook club, AP tests — to help them make it into college, and their smartphones provide an easy way to constantly obsess over whatever their friends are doing.

That sounds like a recipe for 24/7 stress — and a new survey suggests it all could have fatal consequences when teens get behind the wheel.

Students Against Destructive Decisions and Liberty Mutual Insurance on Tuesday released the results of a recent study indicating that an “always-on” lifestyle can lead to dangerous driving habits. The groups report that 52 percent of teens surveyed get less than six hours of sleep every night during the week, though the National Sleep Foundation says they should be getting eight to 10.

Worse, these drowsy drivers are glued to their smartphones: 34 percent of teens in the study said they glance at app notifications when they’re driving, and 88 percent of those who consider themselves “safe” drivers confess to using apps when they’re behind the wheel. (A spokesman for Liberty Mutual told The Huffington Post that a previous version of the study’s press release erroneously stated that 48 percent of surveyed teens look at app notifications when driving.)

Although teens generally favor Facebook and Instagram over Snapchat, 38 percent of surveyed teens reported they use Snapchat when driving. In comparison, 20 percent said they use Instagram; 17 percent Twitter; 12 percent Facebook and 12 percent YouTube. The study did not provide any specific information about how teens use the apps.

Concerned parents should have a talk with their kids about safe driving habits, but not when they’re behind the wheel. Fifty-five percent of the teenagers surveyed say they text when they’re driving because they’re updating their parents, and 19 percent said their parents expect a response to a text message within a minute. That said, 58 percent of the parents surveyed said they don’t expect a rapid reply. So, really: Have a conversation and establish some ground rules, you guys!

In the United States, nine people are killed in accidents involving distracted drivers every day.Technology isn’t always the villain, but needless to say, smartphones and driving certainly shouldn’t mix.

SADD and Liberty Mutual surveyed 1,622 11th and 12th graders across the United States for their study. The groups also surveyed 1,000 parents of high schoolers.

Water Safety Tips



Drowning is the leading cause of injury-related death among children between 1 and 4. On average more than 1,000 children drown each year and more than 5,000 are seen in emergency rooms for injuries from near-drowning incidents.

Studies show that although 90 percent of parents say they supervise their children while swimming, many acknowledge that they engage in other distracting activities at the same time like talking, eating, reading or taking care of another child. Even a near-drowning incident can have lifelong consequences. Kids who survive a near-drowning may have brain damage, and after four to six minutes under water the damage is usually irreversible.

Safe Kids Larimer County recommends the following five tips to keep kids safe in and around water:

  1. Give kids your undivided attention. Actively supervise children in and around water, without distraction.
  2. Use the Water Watcher strategy. When there are several adults present and children are swimming, use the Water Watcher card to designate an adult as the Water Watcher for a certain amount of time (such as 15-minute periods) to prevent lapses in supervision and give parents a chance to read, make phone calls or take a bathroom break.
  3. Teach kids not to swim alone. Whether you’re swimming in a backyard pool or in a lake, teach children to swim with an adult. Older, more experienced swimmers should still swim with a partner every time. From the first time your kids swim, teach children to never go near or in water without an adult present.
  4. Wear life jackets. Always have your children wear a life jacket approved by the U.S. Coast Guard while on boats, around open bodies of water or when participating in water sports. Make sure the life jacket fits snugly. Have the child make a “touchdown” signal by raising both arms straight up; if the life jacket hits the child’s chin or ears, it may be too big or the straps may be too loose.
  5. Learn CPR. We know you have a million things to do, but learning CPR should be at the top of the list. It will give you tremendous peace of mind – and the more peace of mind you have as a parent, the better. Contact the Red Cross at 1-800-Red-Cross or coloradoredcross.org for information about local child and infant CPR classes.
  6. Be extra careful around pool drains. Teach children to never play or swim near drains or suction outlets, which can cause situations where kids can get stuck underwater.

Stay Safe this 4th of July

The 4th of July is a great time to get together with family and friends and celebrate our independence as a country.  One of the time old traditions on this holiday is fireworks.  However, there are laws in each city of the state of Colorado that govern whether or not you can use fireworks.  The City of Loveland, the Town of Windsor, and unincorporated Larimer County all allow fireworks as long as they don’t explode or leave the ground (that means you can light fountains and smoke balls–not bombs).  ALL fireworks are illegal in he City of Fort Collins and the Town of Timnath.  This was also stated by Poudre Fire Authority:

“Fireworks that are sold along Mulberry/I25 are legal as they are outside city limits.  These fireworks  can only be used in Laporte, and parts of Bellvue.  Purchases made at the fireworks stands on Mulberry by citizens are legal, until they cross back in city limits; if they get pulled over they can be fined.”

Want to be safe and still enjoy the festivities?  Go to a professional fireworks display put on by your city or town.  Grab the picnic basket, Frisbee, sunscreen, and bug spray and head out to see the show.  Most start at dusk.



Unrestrained Pets Cause a Distraction to Drivers

BOSTON (CBS) – Travel organization AAA is warning drivers to restrain their pets on road trips, adding that more than 10 percent of people surveyed admitted to taking pictures of their pet while behind the wheel.

A recent “Consumer Pulse” survey found that while 38 percent of pet owners bring their animals with them on road trips, more than 37 percent admit to never restraining their pets in the car.

“A 10-pound dog in a crash at only 30 mph becomes a 300 pound projectile, while an unrestrained 80-pound dog will exert approximately 2,400 pounds of force,” said Amy Stracke, Executive Director, Auto Club Group Traffic Safety Foundation.

“This poses a serious risk of injury or even death for either your pet or anyone else in its path, reinforcing the importance of restraining your four-legged friend every time they are in the car.”

According to the AAA survey, about 13 percent of pet owners admit to being distracted by their pet while driving.

The most common distraction was drivers petting their animals, with 42 percent admitting to doing so while behind the wheel.

Seventeen percent of drivers admitted to giving food or water to their pet, while 12 percent said they have taken a photograph of their pet while driving.

In order to assure safety of both humans and animals, AAA recommends drivers use restraints for their pets while on the road.

“A restraint will not only limit distractions, but also protect you, your pet and other passengers in the event of a crash or sudden stop,” Stracke said.

For tips on traveling with your pets, visit the AAA website.

Taken from: http://boston.cbslocal.com/2015/06/23/survey-unrestrained-pets-lead-to-distracted-driving/

unrestrained dog

Drowning is Silent: Portable Pools

Taken from http://www.onsafety.cpsc.gov

Does the warm, spring weather have you preparing to set up a portable pool in your yard? No matter what state you live in — even Florida, California, Arizona and Texas, where pool season and drowning risks are year-round — read this blog if you own or are about to buy a portable pool.

Portable pools are affordable, transportable, but can be just as dangerous as any other pool. CPSC has received an average of 35 reports of deaths of children under the age of 5 in portable pools each year. These pools account for 11 percent of all pool drownings for children that age. You can prevent these deaths.

If a portable pool, either large or small, is in your plans or already in your yard, put Pool Safely’s simple steps into play. Whether the pool is a small blow-up pool or a thousands-of-gallons type with rigid sides, portable pools are often left full of water and unsupervised. Just like in-ground pools, portables need barriers and fencing that keep unsupervised children out. Empty and store small portable pools when you are not using them. Cover larger ones.

Here are some general safety tips:

  • Fence portable pools and encourage your neighbors to do the same.
  • If you can’t fence the pool, use smaller, easier to store portable pools. Then, empty the water ANY time you are not supervising the pool and turn it upside down or store it away.
  • NEVER leave a child unsupervised near any pool or spa.
  • Cover larger pools and put ladders away when adults are not supervising or using the pool. When you buy the pool cover, ask at the store if it meets the latest standards.
  • Install door alarms that will alert you when someone leaves the house and enters the pool or spa area.
  • Teach children to swim, float and other life-saving basics. But do NOT consider young children “drown-proof” because they have had swimming lessons.

Simple steps save lives. Find more Pool Safely steps and safety videos at PoolSafely.gov.

Car Seats are not safe OUTSIDE the car

According to a study in the Journal of Pediatrics there have been 47 deaths recorded by the US Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) between 2004 and 2008 that occurred in car seats, swings, slings, strollers, and bouncers.  Of those, 31 occurred in car seats.  The cause was strangulation from the straps or asphyxiation.  Why you ask?  1.  Children were not properly buckled (harness was loosened or not buckled appropriately) and the child moved in the seat getting caught up in the straps and 2.  the car seat was placed on an elevated surface and fell over, causing injury and death to the child.

The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that these types of devices not be used for sleeping arrangements for the baby.  Babies need to be in a safe, FLAT environment (unless otherwise directed by your pediatrician) to reduce the chances of SIDS or Sudden Infant Death Syndrome.

As you can see from the picture below the parents loosened the harness and moved the harness retainer clip (chest clip) down.  The infant can wiggle and move and potentially get caught up in the straps.

Baby Boy in Safety Seat

Baby Boy in Safety Seat


Safe Kids Larimer County Recognizes Partners

Today Safe Kids Larimer County recognized the multitude of community partners responsible for helping us reach over 50,000 Larimer County residents (and beyond) with safety messages and practical tools and tips to keep kids safe.  Through social media alone we reached almost 12,000 people with information on how to transport children safely in the car, how to wear a bike helmet correctly, how to keep kids safe from poisoning, marijuana safety tips (now that it’s legal in CO), winter safety tips, and much, much more. (Do you like us on Facebook??)

A special thank you goes out to our lead agency, UCHealth, for the unwavering support of our prevention efforts.  They provide salary for the Injury Prevention Coordinator and a number of community health educators who work with our community agencies and organizations to spread the message.

According to the Colorado Department of Transportation, the child restraint use in Larimer County is in the 90th percentile and the Colorado Kids Survey reports that 85% of children are wearing bike helmets.  While 100% is always our goal, these are impressive numbers when you compare them to the state and the nation.

You can see a list of our partner agencies at here and learn more about what they do.  Thank you!

2014 YE Report

What Every Grandparent Should Know

There are more and more grandparents involved in the raising of their grandchildren across the country.  While grandparents have the best intentions for keeping the kids safe, they may not realize safety recommendations have changed from when their kids were little.  Here are a few tips to share with grandparents you know.

  • Back to Sleep…this has changed over time, but the AAP recommends babies sleep on their backs with nothing else in the crib.  Consider a sleep sack in colder weather versus a blanket that could get wrapped around the baby’s head.
  • Buckle Up Every Trip…car seats may not have even been an option when you were little.  Show the grandparents how to use your car seat correctly and have them practice.  You can also refer them to one of our inspection stations throughout Larimer County for education. Remind them to buckle up as well.  Seat belts didn’t become mainstream until the 1970’s!
  • Keep Medications Up and Away…if grandparents aren’t used to having little ones around they forget how curious they can be and medicine can look like candy.  Encourage medications be kept on a high counter or even better, in a cabinet out of reach.
  • Baby Walkers are NOT Safe…it was the standard for everyone to have a walker in the house, but there are too many dangers in them falling down stairs.  Use an exersaucer instead.
  • Do NOT Prop a Bottle…I know my mom did this…I was the baby of 5 children, so she wanted to use her time wisely. Propped bottles can lead to choking.  Feeding time is meant to be actively supervised and shared with an adult.

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Marijuana and Kids

Have you heard the radio commercials from the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment about marijuana? Check it out at http://goodtoknowcolorado.com/.  While it is legal in the state of Colorado for those over 21 years of age, it is not meant for children.  The brain doesn’t full develop until the mid-20’s and adding any kind of drug (alcohol, marijuana, etc.) can affect the growth and development of the brain. But, as with alcohol and smoking, we cannot turn a blind eye and pretend that children may not experiment with marijuana.  Are you prepared to talk to your kids about marijuana?

The Children’s Hospital Colorado has some great resources and tips on how to have a conversation with your children.  Visit http://www.childrenscolorado.org/wellness-safety/parent-resources/marijuana-what-parents-need-to-know/talking-to-kids-about-marijuana today.

Nationwide Commercial Hits Home

We never want to think about losing a child to a preventable injury.  Let’s talk about it now and do what we can to prevent the unthinkable.


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