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Posts for category: Safety

By contactus@priority-pediatrics.com
May 14, 2019
Category: Safety
Tags: safety   First Aid   Emergencies  

By: Kathleen Berchelmann, MD, FAAP

Every year the summer arrives with full force in my ER: cutstickspoison ivy, infected bug bitessunburnseye injuriesbroken bones, and all other kinds of summer fun gone wrong. Luckily, you can easily treat or prevent much of the summer craziness if you are prepared.

Being prepared means you need a "Dr. Mom" first aid kit and know how to use it. Although pre-made store-bought first aid kits are a good start, these kits typically lack many items you'll need for your family.

Shopping List for Your Summer First Aid Kit

So to help you get ready, I have prepared a shopping list below for your summer first aid kit. Get it built now, so that you spend your summer having fun, not in the ER.

  • Pre-made first aid kit: It's cheapest and easiest to start by buying a pre-made kit, because otherwise it is difficult to find small packages of all the different kinds of gauze, tape, and antibiotic ointment you will need. Find a large kit with a sturdy container with extra space to hold all the things you will add to it. Or, get a small duffle bag or backpack to hold your first-aid kit, and start by putting the pre-made kit in the bag. Be sure the pre-made kit includes Band-Aids, gauze, tape, antibiotic ointment, and anti-itch or steroid ointment.
  • Water bottle for cleaning out wounds: The first thing you'll need to do with a crying kid is clean out their wound. And the nearest water source is probably too far to walk. You can use your water bottle to treat dehydration, too.
  • Benadryl (Diphenhydramine): Benadryl is probably the most important over-the-counter medication to have in your first aid kit—it's a first line treatment for insect bites, hives, and other allergic reactions that can be deadly. Some premade kits will include Benadryl tablets, but if you have young children be sure to include a bottle of liquid, Children's Benadryl or the generic equivalent. Benadryl is also a great treatment for an attack of seasonal allergies
  • EpiPen: If you have a family member with a history of severe allergic reactions (anaphylaxis), ask your physician for a prescription. I keep mine in the outside pocket of my first aid kit for quick, easy access.
  • Numbing spray: Wound numbing spray can be purchased over-the-counter at any pharmacy and can really save-the-day when a child is burned, sunburned, or has a painful cut or scrape.
  • Prescription medication: Ask your physician for an extra prescription for any medication you use frequently, especially asthma and allergy medications. Keep the extra supply in your car first-aid kit. You'll be grateful when you can stay at your child's sporting event rather than head home for an inhaler or other medication.
  • Ibuprofen and Tylenol: Most pre-made kits include these standard pain medications, but you will have to add the liquid kind for children.
  • Dramamine, nausea medication: There's an easy fix for vomiting, car sick kids—nausea medication. Don't leave home without it. You'll kick yourself for not having it while you clean the vomit out of your car.
  • Sunblock: The worst sunburns occur when you least expect it—at sports events, or while doing yard work. Have some 30+ sunblock ready to cover those little spots on your ears and neck that your hat doesn't cover. Include some SPF lip balm or ChapStick, too.
  • Bug spray: The best protection comes from a repellant that contains 30% DEET. Insect bites are annoying at best, but at worst they get scratched and infected. We are seeing a growing number of insect bites that become infected with the antibiotic-resistant bacteria MRSA, which is difficult to treat.
  • Afrin nasal spray for nosebleeds: Although I generally don't recommend Afrin nasal spray for congestion related to allergies or illness, Afrin is a quick fix for a nosebleed. This medication causes the capillaries in the nose to constrict, thereby limiting the blood flow to the nasal mucosa and stopping the bleeding.
  • Hydrocortisone ointment: This inexpensive over-the-counter medication will treat almost anything that itches—insect bites, poison ivy, etc. If you stop the itch, the kids won't scratch, and you reduce the risk of secondary infection.
  • Flashlight/headlamp: If you don't have a reliable light on your cell phone, include an LED flashlight or headlamp. You can buy these very affordably now, even at the dollar store. A flashlight is not just for nighttime injuries—you'll need a bright light to get a good look at splinters, or look in kids' mouths, ears, etc.
  • Baby wipes: Even if your kids are out of diapers, a pack of baby wipes is infinitely useful in the car, especially for keeping hands clean and wiping noses.
  • ChapStick: ChapStick or lip balm can sooth cold sores, lip injuries, and sunburned lips in addition to regular chapped lips. You'll be glad you have it when you child complains about their chapped lips for the sixth time in ten minutes while you are on a family outing.
  • Clean towel: A nice clean towel is perfect for setting up your first-aid station while you dress a wound or remove a splinter. It's also useful for containing bleeding on bigger injuries. Consider a highly absorbent microfiber towel that can be stuffed into a small space.
  • Feminine hygiene supplies: Besides their obvious uses, tampons and maxi pads are very helpful for wound management and are an essential part of any first aid kit. Did you know that the modern tampon was invented in the 1800's for management of bullet wounds? An OB-style tampon can very effectively treat a persistent nosebleed. The smallest OB tampons fit nicely in the nose. Bleeding wounds can be easily controlled with a maxi-pad held in place with an ace wrap.
  • Premade finger splint: Not sure if that finger is broken or not? Just put it in a pre-made finger splint until you get your child to the doctor. You can buy premade finger splints at any pharmacy.
  • Alcohol wipes: I mostly use these for sterilizing my first aid kit instruments, such as tweezers and scissors. They are also useful for cleaning skin before trying to remove splinters.
  • ACE bandage: Although a first line treatment for sprains and strains, ACE bandages are also useful for holding bandages in place on bigger wounds, and holding splints on fractures.
  • Small scissors: For cutting dressings to the right size, cutting medical tape, opening packages, trimming fingernails and hangnails, etc.
  • A bottle of Gatorade: Very useful for hypoglycemia, dehydration, etc. Also useful as an occasional bribe for an over-tired, hungry child.
  • Ziploc bags: Ziplocs are essential for keeping track of teeth that fall out or are knocked out. Did you pull a tick off your child? Stick it in the Ziploc bag for later identification. Certain kinds of ticks are more likely to carry pathogens that cause Lyme disease and other illnesses.
  • Tweezers & small magnifying glass: I mostly use these for removing splinters, but occasionally they are necessary to remove bugs from ears, fishing hooks from fingers, etc. Of note, tweezers are NOT the best way to remove a tick—tweezers often cause you to remove the tick body and leave the head in the skin. The best way to remove a small deer tick is to scrape it off with a credit card. You can clean the credit card first with your alcohol wipes. Here's more on how to remove a tick.

Keep Your First Aid Kit in Your Car

You'll never have to remember to pack it. If you need something while you are at home, just go out and get it. If you have more than one family car, consider making a first aid kit for each car.

Additional Information from HealthyChildren.org:

By contactus@priority-pediatrics.com
May 14, 2019
Category: Safety
Tags: safety   parenting   texting   Driving  

Two-Thirds Of Parents Surveyed Have Read Texts While Driving, And More Than Half Have Also Written Texts, Researchers Say

 

Reuters (5/13) reports, “More than half of U.S. parents believe it’s unsafe to text while driving, but most of them do it anyway,” researchers concluded after surveying “435 parents in 45 U.S. states.” The study revealed that “52 percent of millennial parents (22 to 37 years old) and 58 percent of older parents said they thought it was ‘never’ safe to text and drive,” but nearly “two-thirds of parents have read texts while driving, and more than half of them have also written texts.” What’s more, “roughly three in four parents said they didn’t recall their child’s pediatrician speaking to them about distracted driving or the dangers of texting while driving.” The findings were published online in a research letter in JAMA Pediatrics. HealthDay (5/13) also covers the study.

By contactus@priority-pediatrics.com
May 14, 2019
Category: Safety
Tags: safety   Guns   Weapons   Storage  

Safe Storage Of Guns Could Prevent Up To A Third Of Gun Suicides And Accidental Child Deaths, Researchers Say

 

In the New York Times (5/13) “The Upshot,” Aaron E. Carroll, MD, a professor of pediatrics at the Indiana School of Medicine, writes, “Legislators and gun safety advocates often focus on how guns are” bought, even though “many lives could be saved, especially among children, if they looked more at how they are stored.” Just in the past decade alone, “guns killed more than 14,000 American children.” In new research, investigators have found that “even a modest increase in owners who lock up their guns would pay off in an outsize drop in gun deaths.”

        

CNN (5/13) reports, “US households with children do not safely store firearms in the way the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends: locked up and unloaded.” Were parents simply to lock up “all their guns, then up to a third of gun suicides and accidental deaths among children and teens could be avoided, researchers” estimated. The findings were published online in JAMA Pediatrics.

       

The New York Daily News (5/13) also covers the study.

        

FURTHER READING

Study: Safe gun storage prevents child and teen deaths 

By contactus@priority-pediatrics.com
February 19, 2019
Category: Safety
Tags: teens   car seats   texting   distractions   booster seats  

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.

Dr. T

By contactus@priority-pediatrics.com
October 15, 2018
Category: Safety
Tags: safety   Fire   Bedroom   Door  

Why You Should Always Close The Door Before You Go To Bed; It could save your life.

From Women's Health by 

Your nightly routine can (and should) include brushing your teeth, washing your face, and getting into comfy PJs, but new information shows that most Americans skip a very important step before climbing into bed.

Nearly 60% of people sleep with their bedroom door open, according to a recent survey conducted by the safety science organization UL. That simple choice could mean life or death in the event of a house fire, as a closed door can slow the spread of flames, reduce toxic smoke, improve oxygen levels, and decrease temperatures.

With the increased use of synthetics in furniture and home construction, closing the door could make all the difference when it comes to getting out safely. The average time to escape a home fire has gone from 17 minutes to just three minutes or less in the past few decades due to flammable materials and contemporary open floor plans.

It's not only about a lack of awareness. Most people who sleep with the door open do so because they mistakenly believe it's safer — but it's the exact opposite of what firefighters recommend. That's why the UL Firefighter Safety Research Institute (FSRI) has launched a new public safety effort to coincide with National Fire Prevention Week, going on right now.

The "Close Before You Doze" campaign aims to share how closed doors can help save people's lives. In one eye-opening demonstration, the group showed how a fire burns in a closed room versus an open one. The side-by-side video footage reveals what an impact a door can make.

Start making it a habit to close not only your own bedroom door at night, but your kids' rooms as well. It's also a good time to test smoke and carbon monoxide detectors, check your home for potential fire hazards, and review your family's escape plan, or create one if you haven't already. Those small precautions could make all the difference.