Posts for category: Safety
Grand Rounds at Children's Healthcare of Atlanta at Egleston Hospital was very interesting today. Dr. Mark Zonfrillo of Alpert Medical School of Brown University and Hasbro Children's Hospital spoke on Child and Adolescent Road Traffic Safety_a topic dear to the heart of most pediatrician and 21st Century parents and grandparents.
He made some key points, among them were:
1] car restraint systems for children should be used all the time, even short neighborhood trips.
2] apparently fathers are less diligent than mother's in proper and regular use of children car restraint systems/car seats.
3] a car seat should be used until the child exceeds either the height OR weight standards of the individual car seat.
4] car seats that require a TETHER for proper use must use the tether for safety or the child may suffer avoidable injury or fatality otherwide.
5] booster seat use age range can go from 4 years through 10 years of age.
6] children are safest in the back seat of a vehicle and should not ride in the front passenger seat until 13 years of age.
7] car seats with five-point strap restraints are the safest restraint seat, especially facing the rear of the vehicle according to seat specifications.
8] Teen drivers' greatest driving risk is their LACK OF EXPERIENCE, which makes the first 6 months of their driving the period of greatest risk of fatality or injury.
9] the second greatest risk factor for teen drivers are other teen passengers in the vehicle. The risk and the number of crashes increase with increasing numbers of teen passengers in the vehicle with a teen driver. Apparently GA law allows no teen passengers in a vehicle with a teen driver in the first year of driving. In South Carolina, one teen passenger is allowed in the vehicle with a teen driver.
10] GA has a midnight teen curfew for teen drivers.
11] To correct inexperience, teen drivers need a minimum of 30 to 50 hours of SUPERVISED driving by an experienced adult driver.
12] Teens because of their inexperience driving are poor at hazard detection and anticipating or scanning for hazards when driving.
13] Teens have poor insight into the SIGNIFICANCE of their inexperience driving.
14] 16 years is the minimum age in GA for unsupervised teen driving.
15] It takes about 5 sec to do a cell phone text; at 55 MPH, in those 5 seconds, the vehicle will travel the length of a football field. There is increased risk of accident if one's eyes are off the road for greater than two seconds. https://www.itcanwait.com/
It was quite a presentation and very sobering. It reminds me when my daughters were teens, my wife and I had them take a performace driving course at the Atlanta Motor Speedway, https://atlantamotorsportspark.com/teen-driving/. We do what we can! But I really like the idea of 30-50 hours of supervised teen driving by a parent or other experienced adult from the initial point of teen licensing.
Why You Should Always Close The Door Before You Go To Bed; It could save your life.
From Women's Health by Caroline Picard,
Key takeaways for parents in preparation for is
- Children should ride properly restrained on every trip, in every type of transportation, beginning from birth.
- Rear-facing is the safest way to ride. Parents should keep children rear-facing as long as possible until they fit within the weight and height limits set by the manufacturer of their car safety seat.
- While parents look forward to children moving from one milestone to another, car seats are one area where delayed transitions are best. Each transition – from rear-facing to forward-facing, forward-facing to booster – lowers the child’s protection in the event of a crash.
- When a child rides rear-facing, the head, neck, and spine are all supported by the hard shell of the car safety seat and all move together, with little relative movement between body parts. When children ride forward-facing, their bodies are restrained by the harness straps, but their heads – which for toddlers are disproportionately large and heavy – are thrown forward, possibly resulting in spine and head injuries.
What is the change in recommendations?
- Previously, the AAP recommended children should remain rear-facing at least to age 2; the new recommendation removes the specific age milestone.
- The prior recommendation to keep children rear-facing to age 2 was based in part on a study that found lower risks of injury among children ages 1 to 2 years who were rear-facing. That data was supported by biometric research, crash simulation data and experience in Europe where children ride rear facing for longer periods. However, in 2017, questions arose about the original study, and it was retracted by the journal Injury Prevention. A re-analysis of the data found that while rear-facing still appeared to be safer than forward-facing for children younger than 2, the injury numbers were too low to reach statistical significance.
- This means we don’t have a large enough set of data to determine with certainty at what age it is safest to turn children to be forward-facing. If you have a choice, keeping your child rear-facing as long as possible is the best way to keep them safe.
- The AAP decided to update its recommendations to reflect how the science has evolved.
- Fortunately, car seat manufacturers have created car seats that allow children to remain rear-facing until they weigh 40 pounds or more, which means most children can remain rear-facing past their second birthday.
Facts about car seats and motor vehicle injuries:
- Motor vehicle injuries are the leading cause of death among children in the United States. (
- In the United States, 633 children ages 12 years and younger died as occupants in motor vehicle crashes during 2015 and more than 132,000 were injured. (
- Of children ages 12 years and younger who died in a crash in 2015, 35 percent were not buckled up. ( )
- Child safety seats are often used incorrectly. Approximately 59 percent of car seats and 20 percent of booster seats are installed or used incorrectly. ( )
- Car seats reduce the risk of death in car crashes by 71 percent for infants and 54 percent for toddlers ages 1 to 4. Booster seats reduce the risk for serious injury by 45 percent for children ages 4 to 8 years. ( )
Child Passenger Safety Week culminates with National Seat Check Saturday Sept. 29. Certified child passenger safety technicians will be available at car seat events nationwide to provide safety tips and car seat installation instructions to parents and caregivers.
My bottom line and practical advice is to let your toddler ride in an appropriate rear facing car seat until he/she doesn't fit any more (knees are almost in your child's face).
Do Not Let Children Play With Fireworks
We urge you to celebrate the holidays safely! Fireworks are involved in thousands of injuries treated in US hospital emergency room visits each year. The best defense against children suffering severe eye injuries and burns is to not let children play with any fireworks. You can further protect yourself and your family by attending only authorized public fireworks displays conducted by licensed operators (but be aware that even professional displays can be dangerous).
If an accident does occur, these six steps can help save your child’s sight:
- Do not let your child rub the eye. Rubbing the eye may increase bleeding or make the injury worse.
- Do not attempt to rinse out the eye. This can be even more damaging than rubbing.
- Do not apply pressure to the eye itself. Hold or tape a foam cup or the bottom of a juice carton over the eye. Protect the eye from further contact with any item, including the child’s hand.
- Do not stop for medicine! Over-the-counter pain relievers will not do much to relieve pain. Aspirin (should never be given to children) and ibuprofen can thin the blood, increasing bleeding. Take the child to the emergency room at once – this is more important than stopping for a pain reliever.
- Do not apply ointment. Ointment, which may not be sterile, makes the area around the eye slippery and harder for the doctor to examine.
- Do not let your child play with fireworks, even if his/her friends are setting them off. Sparklers burn at 1800 degrees Fahrenheit and bottle rockets can stray off course or throw shrapnel when they explode.
Click Here to reach the fireworks information center.