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.
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.
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.
Safe Kids would like to express our gratitude to the Northeast Colorado Regional Emergency Trauma Advisory Council (NCRETAC) for a $10,000 funding award to support our car seat education and distribution program in Larimer County. This funding will allow us to continue our mission of educating parents how to properly travel with their children and provide car seats to families in financial need. We value the NCRETAC’s partnership in injury prevention. To learn more about what the NCRETAC does, check out their web site at www.ncretac.org.
Using a rear-facing car seat until a child is age two reduces risk of serious injury, but close to one-quarter of parents report they turned the seat around before their child was even one year old, according to a new University of Michigan study.
In March 2011, the American Academy of Pediatrics updated its guidelines for child passenger safety, extending the recommendation for rear-facing car seat use from one year of age and 20 pounds in weight to a minimum of two years of age or until a child has outgrown the weight/height limits of their rear-facing seat.
The U-M researchers asked parents about when they transitioned their child to a forward-facing seat in two national surveys – one in 2011, one month after the new guidelines were published and again in 2013.
The research was conducted as part of the C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital National Poll on Children’s Health.
In 2011, 33% of parents of 1-to 4-year-old children who had been turned to face forward had done so at or before 12 months. Just 16% reported turning their child’s seat at 2 years or older.
But in 2013, 24% of parents of 1- to 4-year-old children who had been turned to face forward made the switch at or before 12 months. Only 23% reported waiting to turn until the child was 2 years old or older.
“So we’ve seen some improvement, with a higher proportion of parents reporting that they are waiting longer to make the switch to a forward-facing car seat. However, almost one-quarter of parents are turning their children before their first birthday,” says lead author Michelle L. Macy, M.D., M.S., of the University of Michigan’s C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital. “And few parents report waiting until that second birthday to make the turn.”
“Getting parents to delay the transition to a forward-facing seat still represents an opportunity to improve passenger safety in the U.S.,” says Macy, who is an assistant professor in the Department of Emergency Medicine and a member of the Institute for Healthcare Policy and Innovation.
Motor-vehicle collisions remain a leading cause of death among children younger than 4 years and the leading cause of death among older children in the United States, in part because child passengers continue to be unrestrained, and 20 percent of 1- to 3-year-olds and nearly half of 4- to 7-year-olds do not use the recommended restraint for their age.
This study is the first national assessment of the age at which parents report making the transition from rear-facing to forward-facing car seats.
“There are lots of reasons why parents are eager to change from the rear-facing to forward-facing seat: the perception their children are too large, the desire to see their children when driving, and a greater ease of removing their children from a forward facing seat,” says Macy, who also is a member of the U-M Injury Center. “But delaying the switch can make a big difference. In Sweden it is culturally accepted that children up to age 4 are in rear-facing seats and child traffic fatalities are among the lowest in the world.”
In the surveys, parents indicated car seat packaging and clinicians were the most common sources of information about when to start using a forward-facing car seat.
“We hope this research further encourages clinicians to spend time with their patients talking about the benefits of extending the use of a rear-facing car seat. It will be the kids that benefit, if their parents get the right information about how to use restraints and when to make transitions,” says Macy.
January 31 is National TV Safety Day…just ahead of the big game. Make sure your TV is secure and little ones can’t climb and accidentally tip it over. Stay safe while watching your favorite team play!
Consider Safe Kids this Holiday season when thinking about spreading good cheer. With your help we can save the life of a child (or children) by providing car seats to families who cannot afford them. Each family who attends our classes is asked for a donation to help support our efforts to keep kids safe. They understand the value in buckling their children up, learning how to properly use the car seat, and contributing toward the safety of their child by attending a 1-hour course. Many of our class participants are referred by friends, so we know the message is getting out there.
In 2013 we distributed over 500 car seats to families in need at a value of over $29,000. It is only possible to continue this program with your help! Donations are needed. Can you put a price on your child’s life? Consider donating today at https://pvhandmcr.thankyou4caring.org/ and selecting Safe Kids-Car Seats.
Thank you and happy holidays!
From the NFPA
Even though we’ve been unseasonably warm in northern Colorado, make sure you are ready for the Winter Freeze and upcoming holiday season. We’ve recently had two kitchen/cooking fires in Fort Collins that caused quite a bit of damage (but luckily no injuries). Below are three safety tip sheets put out by the National Fire Protection Association (nfpa.org). Go over them with your family to ensure everyone enjoys a safe holiday season.