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!

Baby Safety Month

As a parent your top priority is keeping your children safe, and there are never enough chances to educate yourself on ways to do so. With the arrival of September, you are now in luck, because it is Baby Safety Month. What better time than now to take action to keep your baby safe?

These are simple, quick, and effective tips you can easily put into action to better protect your baby.

  • When putting your baby down for a nap or for the night, lay them on their back and there only needs to be a firm mattress with a fitted sheet. As tempting as it may be to put cute stuffed animals or extra blankets in the crib with your baby, these can actually cause more harm than good.
  • Always keep an eye out for broken toys that may be scattered on the floor or near your baby. These items can pose as a choking hazard to young children and babies. Anything smaller than a
  • Be sure to keep your baby’s bed away from windows or furniture. Having cords, strings or high surfaces can be a strangulation or fall risk.
  • Utilize baby gates! Having baby gates around your home can help to keep your baby away from harmful items or rooms that may be unsafe for your baby.
  • When bathing your baby, be sure to have the water no hotter than 120 °F to ensure the water is at a safe temperature, so you do not burn or injury your baby.
  • Keep your child rear facing in their car seat at least until 2 years of age, longer if the car seat allows it. This protects their head, neck and back in a crash much more than forward facing.

Want to dive deeper into keeping your baby safe? This booklet has tons of great information. Or, make a list of these and put it somewhere you will see it often so you can be sure to remind yourself on how to keep your baby as safe as can be!

Safe and Fun Summer Swimming!

A nice dip in the pool, tubing in the river, or maybe even going on a boat on the lake. As the warmer months begin approaching, it is inevitable that most people will be spending more time in the water. When most think of water we think of summertime, playing, and overall exciting times. Although these fun times make up most water-related summer memories, there is a high risk of water injuries occurring.

  • Did you know that for children younger than 15 years old, nearly 68% of reported fatal drowning victims were boys?
  • Between years 2014 and 2016, 74% of children being treated in the emergency department for non-fatal, pool- or spa-related drowning incidents were younger than 5 years old.

How can we prevent drowning?

As a parent you want to ensure that your child is safe around bodies of water, such as pools, lakes, and rivers. There are different ways to protect your child from unsafe situations. These include preventative measures, educating your children on water safety, and learning how to respond in a drowning situation. Drownings are typically silent and occur quickly. Meaning the prevention of drownings are extremely important, and this starts with education and action.

Water Safety

This starts with making sure that young children do not have easy access to open bodies of water, especially unsupervised. Protection against unsafe access to water includes 4-sided fencing with a self-closing or self-latching gate around any areas of water that could present as dangerous.

It is crucial to teach children how to swim. Children who cannot swim on their own face a much higher risk of drowning, leading to potentially life-threatening injuries. There are many resources to help teach your children how to swim, such as signing them up for classes at a local parks and recreation department.

Although it is important that children can swim on their own, accidents do happen. At any time that children are swimming or playing in the water, there should be a designated water watcher. This could be any adult who is able to swim and give their direct attention to children in the water and can keep an eye out for any situations that appear to be unsafe or alarming.

In situations where an accident does occur and drowning happens, it is essential that those around know how to properly respond. Knowing how to give CPR can save someone’s life and allow for a quicker response in such situations.

Lastly, checking pool drain covers can prevent drowning. If there is pool drain cover that is not correctly installed, broken or even recalled, this can lead to drowning. The drains can create a strong suction, resulting in the pulling of items or even children to the bottom of the pool.

Before summer arrives and outdoor activities are at their peaks, take the time to confirm that you have covered all safety precautions concerning swimming. Engage in a swimming lesson, limit easy access to bodies of water and brush up on your CPR! Follow these simple steps to foster safe swimming. 

Prevent Accidental Poisonings in Your Home

Where do you store your medicine, cleaning supplies, or items such as bug spray? If you are like most of us, you may have said in a cabinet or under the sink. Storing items such as these may not seem to be a big deal, however, incorrectly storing these items could put your children at serious risk for accidental poisoning. It only takes a bit of time and effort to drastically decrease the chances of this happening.

Let’s take a look at a few statistics according to the American Association of Poison Control Centers.

  • 91% of poisonings take place at home.
  • Poisoning is the leading cause of injury-related death in America.
  • The exposure to cleaning products we typically store within the home is the second leading cause of poisoning in children.

Although these thoughts and numbers may pose as fear-invoking, you can easily make changes to where you store potentially harmful items. Storing harmful items in areas that are out of reach to children can lower the risk of poisoning. There is a common misconception that “storing” the medicines you may not take on a regular basis is enough, but it is important to do the same with medicines you take frequently. Let’s go over simple, yet effective ways to protect your children from accidental poisonings.

  1. Keep all medicine out of the sight or access of children, even if it is something you take daily. Children are inquisitive and will get into items such as medications if it is within their reach.
  2. Child-proof areas that you may store your cleaning supplies, or medications. Items such as safety cabinet locks can prevent children from gaining access to these items or try storing them out of sight and out of reach.
  3. Buy items with child-resistant packaging when you can. If medication bottles or cleaning supplies are not child-resistant, it is crucial to store these items both out of sight and out of access.
  4. Use alarms to keep track of medication intake. Instead of leaving medications on counters or surfaces that children can get to, set alarms to remind yourself when to take the medication.
  5. Keep and list the Poison Help number in your phone and home for yourself and caregivers: 1-800-222-1222. There are 24-hour services provided to help you with poison related questions, emergencies, and overall medicine safety.

It may not be possible to entirely eliminate the chance of accidental poisoning, but it is possible to take steps to decrease the risk of this happening. Being more aware and taking preventative steps to eliminate access to medications or cleaning supplies can heighten your child’s at home safety. Take a look at these links for more resources on this topic.

https://www.safekids.org/checklist/medication-safety-checklist

https://www.safekids.org/tip/parent-medication-tip-card-pdf