Celebrating Safe Kids Week

Safe Kids Larimer County Celebrates Safe Kids Week with Resources to Help Parents Protect Kids from Preventable Injuries

Safety Advocates Unite to Remind Busy Parents to Take Time to Focus on Simple Steps to Keep Kids Safe at Home, at Play, and on the Way

In honor of Safe Kids Week (May 8-14), Safe Kids Larimer County, based at UCHealth, is providing tips, resources, and activities to educate parents and caregivers about simple ways to keep their kids safe from a range of preventable injuries.

At a time when parents are focused on many priorities at once, Safe Kids Week is a national celebration dedicated to celebrating kids, raising awareness about child injury prevention, and inspiring parents to take the time to focus on proven and practical tips to keep their kids safe. 

Preventable injuries are the number one cause of death of children in the United States, and millions more are injured in ways that can affect them for a lifetime.

“Safe Kids Week is a wonderful opportunity for Larimer County residents to celebrate kids, learn about how to keep them safe and, ultimately, save lives,” says Alison Weston, Safe Kids Coordinator. “This is a week where we can all take just a little bit of time out of our busy schedules to focus on a few simple steps that can make a big difference in the safety of our children.”  

To support parents and caregivers, Safe Kids Larimer County is offering helpful resources, including:

  • Parent’s Guide to Child Safety – a comprehensive 24-page guide with expert advice and easy-to-follow tips to help families reduce risks, prevent injuries and keep kids safe at home, at play and on the road. Available in English and Spanish.
  • Family Safety Activity Book – a fun booklet that includes a maze, word search, coloring pages, puzzles, and other exciting games to keep you and your kids ages 4-8 entertained and safe. Available in English and Spanish.
  • Home Safety Graphic – an interactive graphic that takes parents room by room to show useful tips on how to keep their kids safe no matter where they live.

Medication Safety for Children

Drug Take Back Day is this Saturday (4/30). Safely getting rid of unneeded medications is a great start to keeping children and teens from getting into them.

Medicine is the leading cause of poisoning in children. In 2017, nearly 52,000 children were seen in the Emergency Room for medicine poisoning. This is why it is extremely important to keep your children away from medicine. Keep this in mind when childproofing your home. Here are a few tips on how to keep your medicine safe from children.

  1. Get rid of unneeded medications. Visit one of the law enforcement agencies who are participating in the Drug Take Back Day this Saturday, April 30th or find a permanent drop off location here.
  2. Store medicine up and away and out of site from children. Children are naturally curious and ready to explore, especially places within their reach. Keeping medicine/vitamins at or above counter height will prevent children from reaching it – this includes medicine you use every day.
  3. Consider common places where medicine is kept. Many people tend to keep medicine in their purses or on the counter. Consider hanging bags on a high shelf or putting medications away when children come to visit.
  4. Understand which products are harmful to children. Many common products such as eye drops, diaper cream, and vitamins are harmful to children. Store these items as you would over-the-counter or prescription medicine.
  5. Save the Poison Help number to your phone and have it visible at home: 1-800-222-1222. Poison control specialists are available 24 hours a day and provide free medical advice for poison emergencies.
  6. Share medicine safety information with family and friends. Share this information with babysitters, grandparents, and other family members to keep medicine out of reach and out of site from children to prevent medicine poisoning. Also make sure they know the Poison Help number!

Winter Sports Safety

It’s finally time for the winter sport we all love, but there are a few safety precautions to take before hitting the slopes, ice, or snowy hills with your loved ones. Below you will find each winter sport divided with safety precautions you should take:

Ice Skating

Our natural instinct when falling is to put our arms out to catch our fall but when we land on ice. However, since ice is a frictionless surface, our arms slide out from under us and we hit our head. Due to this, it is best to use wrist pads to help create a grip on the ice to minimize face/head injuries. Another important way to stay safe on the ice is to wear a helmet. More than 10,000 children each year are treated in the Emergency Room due to ice skating injuries.

Avoid skating on a pond for ultimate safety, however, if skating on a pond is necessary, be sure to check the thickness of the ice yourself prior to sending kids out on it. Always supervise kids when ice skating, especially on a pond.

Skiing/Snowboarding

When it’s finally time to hit the slopes with the family, make sure to bring a helmet that is specifically designed for his/her sport. Bicycle helmets do not provide enough protection. If your child is skiing, make sure their safety bindings are checked yearly for proper function and invest in lessons if they’ve never skied before.

Protective goggles should be worn to protect their eyes for both sports as well as proper gloves. If your child is snowboarding, their gloves should have built-in wrist guards to prevent wrist injuries when falling. The snow may look soft, but the landing is not!

Sledding

Protecting your head while sledding is often overlooked but crucial to injury prevention for children. A winter sports helmet is best; however, a bike helmet is better than no helmet. Another way to stay safe sledding is to sled during the day when you can see best to make sure there are no bumps, rocks, or poles blocking your path. If your child is 5 or under they should sled with an adult. All children should sled feet first, facing forward.

A few other ways to stay safe sledding include: walking up the side of the hill when done and leaving the middle open for active sledders. The last sledding safety tip is to ride one person at a time and only one person per sled (except for adults riding with a child).

Snowmobiling

Snowmobiling is an exhilarating sport, but can be very dangerous for children if you do not take safety precautions. It is recommended that children under the age of 6 not ride on a snowmobile and nobody under the age of 16 should drive one. Both kids and adults should wear helmets and goggles (be a good role model!)

If out in the backcountry (not on a group tour) it is to always safest to travel in groups and make sure others know where you are headed, and yield to those with the right of way.

*In Case of Emergency*

Kids are at a greater risk for frostbite than adults are, so make sure they are dressed warmly. Frostnip is the early sign of frostbite and includes red, numb or tingly skin. If frostbite occurs, remove all wet clothing from the child and place it in warm (not hot) water until they can feel sensation again. Frostbite occurs mostly in fingers, toes, ears, nose, and cheeks. Don’t be caught off guard and dress your children in multiple layers!

Stay safe and have fun!

For more information visit kidshealth.org

Preventing Carbon Monoxide Poisoning

As we begin to utilize items to keep us warm this winter, please check the batteries in your Carbon Monoxide (CO) detector to make sure it is working properly. It is always advised to have a battery-powered CO alarm, and this can help to lower the chance of casualties or accidents. Each year 430 people die in the U.S. as a result of accidental CO poisoning, and the truth is that many of these accidents could have been prevented.

Carbon Monoxide is an odorless, poisonous and tasteless gas, which is why it is so harmful. CO is typically found in furnaces, vehicles, stoves, gas rangers, generators and from burning wood or charcoal. The CO from these items can build up in rooms or spaces without enough ventilation, leading to those in these areas at risk for poisoning. Aside from the risks or harms of CO, the positive side is that this is preventable. There are both DO’s and DON’T’s when it comes to preventing CO exposure, and I will give you some tips to keep you and your loved ones safe.

To Prevent Carbon Monoxide Poisoning

DO’s:

  • Install a battery-powered CO detector in your home. If you already have CO detectors, be sure to check that the battery is still working, and if not be sure to change them.
  • Have a qualified technician check you water heater, heating system, and any gas, coal, or oil burning appliances. This should be done every year to ensure that they are functioning correctly and are not at risk for malfunctioning.
  • If your CO detector makes any sort of noise, immediately exit your home and call 911. If there was a potential exposure make sure that you and others are examined by medical professionals, especially if you are experiencing light-headedness, dizziness, or nausea.

DON’T’s:

  • Use or burn anything on a stove or fireplace that doesn’t have proper ventilation, as this can cause a build-up of CO.
  • Heat your house with a gas oven, as this can cause a high production of CO.
  • Run cars or trucks inside a garage that is attached to your living spaces, even if you have doors or windows open.
  • Use a camp stove, generator or charcoal grill in or outside of your home less than 20 feet away from doors, vents or windows.

Carbon Monoxide poisoning is preventable, but you have to be sure to take the time to make sure that your home and the items you are using are safe. It is easy to make a small mistake that has everlasting consequences. Take time out of your day to take action on these CO poisoning DO’s and DON’T’s to better protect yourself and those around you.

5 Tips for a Safer Thanksgiving Day

Thanksgiving for many is the optimal chance to spend time with family and reflect on all that they are thankful for. Alongside the joy of this day, there is also a list of tasks to be completed, long lists for the grocery store and an extensive amount of preparation to be done prior. Not only do you need to prepare for the meals you will be cooking, but there are also other areas in which you should prepare for; safe cooking and protecting the children who are around you. Between the constant hustle and bustle of this day there are hot items in the kitchen, adults running around and the need for a close eye to make sure everyone is safe. Let’s keep the thrill of Thanksgiving and submerging yourself in time with your family by going over safety tips for cooking on this day!


Quick reminders to help keep you and your family safe!

  1. Keep children out of the kitchen, although this may be hard it can keep from children being exposed to potential burns, or accidents. You can do this by creating a line with tape or other items and being sure to tell the children they need to stay behind it, for their safety. If you do allow for older children to help, make sure that they are accompanied by an adult at all times.
  2. Test your fire alarms. Prior to beginning all of the prepping and cooking, make sure that your fire alarms work. Not only should you double check them the day of Thanksgiving, but you should also check them regularly.
  3. Stay in the kitchen when you are cooking. It only takes a second for an accident to happen or for something to catch fire. If you need to step away from the kitchen when you are cooking food, ask an adult nearby to take over.
  4. Use the back burners of a stove and turn the handles away from the edges of the stove. If children do find themselves in the kitchen, they may be tempted to touch the stove or grab a pan that is hanging over the edge of the stove, and this can cause serious injuries. If you need to use all burners, try using larger pots on the edge with handles that are smaller and higher.
  5. Keep the floors clean. It may be hard to keep the floors free from clutter, but it is important to do your best on a day like this. When there are people going in and out of the kitchen it can be easy to trip over items that are on the floor and cause an injury. This day is a time to enjoy the presence of those you love and make long lasting memories. To help keep the day as seamless as can be, (aside from all of the cooking madness) enlist the help of these safety tips. Not only can you make sure that you and other adults are kept safe, the children you share this day with can also be protected.

Have a happy Thanksgiving filled with full stomachs, full hearts and most importantly, safety!