Safe Kids Larimer County has been in existence since 1998, first led by the Larimer County Health Department and led by UCHealth since 2002. We work closely with a number of community businesses, agencies, and organizations to expand our reach to reduce accidental injury to children birth to 19 years of age. For years Safe Kids’ focus was through age 14 and was primarily targeting child passenger safety. We have expanded to include teen drivers and would like to highlight an organization who is helping us accomplish our mission of reaching the teens with safety messages: Alexa’s Hugs
Alexa’s Hugs began from a tragedy in 2013 when a beautiful, vibrant, and loving 19 year-old, Alexa, lost her life due to fatigue, distraction, speed, weather, and not buckling up. Her parents, Tad and Jona Johnson decided to turn their grief and the tragedy they faced into something positive. They did not want another family to experience what they went through and started Alexa’s Hugs, a non-profit dedicated to educating teens to make good choices and provide positive encouragement for seat belt use, among other teen driving issues.
Alexa’s Hugs and Safe Kids joined forces, with the help of UCHealth, to obtain a 3-year Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) grant to engage high schools in seat belt challenges and messaging. In our first year working together (Alexa’s Hugs had been in the high schools for 2 years prior) we were able to work with ten (10) schools in six school districts to assist them in developing their own safety campaigns. Pre- and post-seat belt observations were done by Alexa’s Hugs and volunteers where we saw an 11.5% increase in seat belt use! A little positive messaging and encouragement from peers goes a long way!
For more information on the results of the high school challenge, visit http://www.alexahugs.com/schools/2015-2016-seat-belt-challenge/.
We are proud to partner with Alexa’s Hugs to address teen driving injuries and fatalities and we look forward to this year’s challenge.
As I write this there have been 9 childhood deaths related to being left in a hot vehicle. It doesn’t even have to be that hot outside for the inside of the vehicle to heat up quickly. To help prevent heat-related deaths remember to ACT:
A: Avoid heatstroke-related injury and death by never leaving your child alone in a car, not even for a minute. And make sure to keep your car locked when you’re not in it so kids don’t get in on their own.
C: Create reminders by putting something in the back of your car next to your child such as a briefcase, a purse or a cell phone that is needed at your final destination. This is especially important if you’re not following your normal routine.
T: Take action. If you see a child alone in a car, call 911. Emergency personnel want you to call. They are trained to respond to these situations. One call could save a life.
A child can drown in as little at 2″ of water. Children cannot determine the depth of the water in a pool to determine if it is over their head. An infant’s head is 1/4 of the entire body size and weighs more than the rest of the body, so they are top heavy and once they tip over (into water for example) they have a hard time getting back up
Studies show that 10% of pool-related deaths in children (under the age of 5 years) happen in “kiddy pools”.
Active supervision is key. Don’t get distracted by the cookies in the oven, the book you’re reading, or the phone. Drowning can be very silent and you won’t know it’s happening unless your eyes are on the child. Empty pools at the end of the day so they are not a temptation. Learn CPR, just in case and sign those little ones up for swim lessons. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends swim lessons for children over the age of 4, but safe exposure to water younger than 4 is a good idea.
Their body temperature rises faster than ours and the temperature in a car rises quickly, even on a semi-cloudy day. Remember to check the back seat. We all get busy and distracted.
More Children Accidently Poisoned by ‘Essential Oils’
Tennessee poison center reports doubling of dangerous exposures since 2011, mostly in kids
Friday, May 13, 2016
Between 2011 and 2015, reports of toxic exposures to these oils — such as tea tree oil — doubled, the center said. Even more alarming, four out of every five cases were in children.
The oils, which are derived from plants and used in aromatic and homeopathic products, can cause harm when consumed. And children face a heightened risk from exposure, the experts said.
“The rule of thumb in toxicology is ‘the dose makes the poison,’ so all essential oils are potentially harmful,” said Dr. Justin Loden, a certified specialist at Vanderbilt University Medical Center’s Tennessee Poison Center.
“In children, poisoning typically occurs when they try to swallow the oil, but choke so that a little of it goes into the lungs, which causes pneumonia; it only takes less than half a teaspoonful to do that. This hazard applies to every essential oil,” Loden said in a university news release.
Children have also been poisoned by excessive or inappropriate application of essential oils to the skin, he added.
The oils, which have become increasingly popular in recent years, can be used in a variety of ways. These include diffusing them into the air by using a vaporizer or rubbing them on the skin, Loden explained.
But kids can be harmed by excessive application of these oils, because their skin is thinner and can absorb dangerous amounts. Children may also try to swallow the oils, which often have a pleasant smell, but then they choke due to the bitter taste and send the oil down into their airways and their lungs, Loden said.
Highly toxic essential oils include camphor, clove, lavender, eucalyptus, thyme, tea tree, and wintergreen oils, the researchers noted. Many essential oils can cause symptoms such as agitation, hallucinations and seizures. Symptoms may also include chemical burns, breathing problems, liver failure and brain swelling, among others.
While there are hundreds of essential oils, “tea tree oil is commonly cited, and most of those cases are accidental ingestions by children,” Loden said.
To keep kids and pets safe, Loden recommends storing essential oils properly — locked and out of reach. Follow instructions regarding their use, and seek help by calling Poison Control (1-800-222-1222 in the United States) in an emergency, he advised.
SOURCE: Vanderbilt University Medical Center, news release, May 10, 2016
NHTSA Campaign ID Number : 16C004
Synopsis : Graco Children’s Products Inc. (Graco) is recalling certain Graco TurboBooster booster seats, models 1967886, 1963973, 1963974, 1963975, 1963976, and 1975173, manufactured between December 22, 2015, and April 5, 2016. The instructions for the booster seats are missing the information that the seats should be securely belted to the vehicle at all times, even if the seat is unoccupied. As such, these seats fail to comply with the requirements of Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard (FMVSS) number 213, “Child Restraint Systems.” In the event of a vehicle crash, an unoccupied and unsecured child restraint may strike other occupants and cause injury. Graco will notify registered owners and provide the missing printed instructions, free of charge. Non-registered owners can obtain the missing printed instructions by contacting Graco customer service at 1-800-345-4109. The recall is expected to begin on, or about, June 10, 2016.
Here’s a little something for the kids to do while you’re in the kitchen cooking to keep them busy.
Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, Happy Kwanzaa, and Happy Holidays from your friends at Safe Kids Larimer County.
Buying presents for the kids, traveling around town to see the holiday lights, flying to see Grandma and Grandpa, decorating the Christmas tree, lighting the menorah, shoveling the sidewalks…all things we do during the holiday season and all things that should make us think about how to be safe while doing it.
Are you giving a gift of a bicycle, skateboard, scooter, Ripstik??? If so, a helmet should definitely be included. For younger kids just learning these skills you should also consider elbow and knee pads as gravity will win more often than not. You should always supervise kids when they are learning a new skill…have you tried to ride a Ripstik? It’s not easy and would require a trip to the emergency room for me!
Anytime you are driving, even short distances, everyone should be properly buckled up. Most crashes happen close to home, so “we’re not going far” is no excuse. Parents and caregivers need to model good behavior as studies have shown that even if kids are buckled in a car seat in the back seat of the car, if the driver doesn’t buckle up, the kids won’t buckle up when they become drivers. With all the technological advances in cars and car seats over the last few years you would think you need a degree in engineering to install the car seat. Don’t feel bad. Ask for help. There are over 38,000 certified child passenger safety technicians around the country to help you figure it all out. Put multiple kids in one car and it becomes a giant puzzle to get everything to fit correctly. Check https://sklarimer.org/car-seat-resources/ for a list of inspection stations in Larimer and Weld Counties. Make sure to give yourself a week or so when calling to make an appointment.
If you’re flying off to warmer weather to visit family and friends, a car seat is a must. You need it to get to the airport. You know how to use your seat. Don’t chance it on the other end with a rental seat that you’re not sure is clean or safe or borrowing a family member’s seat you are not familiar with. Take your own. The FAA recommends all children ride in an appropriate restraint on an airplane because you never know when you’ll encounter turbulence. But, we know money is a factor. Children under the age of 2 can ride on the lap of a parent/caregiver. Have the car seat gate-checked…NEVER check it with your luggage. Have you seen them handle the luggage!?!? Yikes! Also be aware of the child passenger safety laws in the different states. Many states are now enacting a rear-facing until the age of 2 law. Booster seat laws also vary among states.
Decorating Christmas trees, lighting the menorah, putting out poinsettias all pose safety risks for kids. Decorate with the children in mind…get on their level and see what is interesting to them. Put ornaments up higher on the tree…sure the bottom half of the tree might be naked, but kids won’t try to eat the ornaments or break something valuable. Don’t use table cloths as they are a way for children to try to climb the table. Don’t leave candles unattended. Have you heard the saying “a moth to a flame”…same goes for kids. Some holiday plants are poisonous, like poinsettias, so if you’re going to have them in your home, put them up out of reach. Mistletoe is also poisonous to kids and pets.
Shoveling is strenuous on the body. Take frequent breaks, dress for the weather, hydrate, and share the joy with your neighbor kids by hiring them to do it. North-facing houses are especially difficult because they do not get the sunlight to help the snow and ice evaporate. Stay on top of the shoveling and watch for ice build up. Use ice melt that won’t destroy your sidewalks and driveway.
Have fun, stay safe, and enjoy the holiday season!
During the winter months we see more colds and illnesses taking its toll on families. While we are thankful for the over-the-counter remedies to lessen our symptoms, keep in mind that children don’t understand the dangers of over medicating. The medicines are pretty colors and usually have a great taste to get kids to take them easier. Here are some safety tips to keep in mind:
FOR KIDS UNDER 5 YEARS OF AGE:
- Put medicine up and away, out of sight.
- Check purses, nightstands, counters, etc. to make sure it’s not easily accessible.
- Products such as diaper rash cream, vitamins, eye drops, etc. can also be poisonous if ingested by young children.
- Use the dosing device that comes with the medication. Kitchen spoons are not all the same size.
- Write clear instructions for caregivers about your child’s medicine.
- Track when you give medication on a form like this one. 5 Med Schedule-Med 2014
FOR KIDS 6-10 YEARS OF AGE:
- Model responsible medicating behavior. Don’t refer to candy as medicine or vice versa.
- Teach your child that medicine should always be given by an adult to ensure correct dosage.
- Take time to read the medicine labels with your child, even over-the-counter medicine.
FOR KIDS 11 YEARS OF AGE AND OLDER:
- Teach kids how to read over-the-counter labels. Great tips can be found at http://www.scholastic.com/otcmedsafety/
- Talk to older kids about the importance of only taking medicine that is meant for them.
- Instruct older kids that medicine labels are rules not guidelines.
- Check in with older kids and talk about medicine they’re taking regularly. Many kids this age are self-dosing over-the-counter medicines (cold medicine, headache medicine, etc.).
Always keep the Poison Control number handy in case you need them. 1.800.222.1222. They can also answer questions about how to take or give medicine, concerns about plants, chemicals, carbon monoxide, bites, stings and more.