My Blog

Posts for category: Safety

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.

By contactus@priority-pediatrics.com
September 01, 2018
Category: Safety
Tags: guidelines   car seats   update   car safety   toddler   rear facing   2018  

Key takeaways for parents in preparation for Child Passenger Safety Week is 

Sept. 23-29, 2018

  • 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. (CDC)
     
  • 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. (CDC)
     
  • Of children ages 12 years and younger who died in a crash in 2015, 35 percent were not buckled up. (CDC)

 

  • Child safety seats are often used incorrectly. Approximately 59 percent of car seats and 20 percent of booster seats are installed or used incorrectly. (CDC)

 

  • 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.  (CDC)

 

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.

 

Car Seats: Product Listing for 2018

 

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).

 

Dr. T

By contactus@priority-pediatrics.com
June 10, 2018
Category: Safety
Tags: safety   Fireworks   injury   July 4th   July Fourth  

 

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.

Stay Safe this 4th of July

There is No Safe Way to Use Backyard Fireworks

Fireworks Safety and Tip Sheets

By contactus@priority-pediatrics.com
May 26, 2018
Category: Safety
Tags: safety   Poisoning   button battery   ingestion   death  

From the Academy of Pediatrics

Button batteries can cause injuries, death if swallowed

Trisha KoriothStaff Writer
 
  • Parent Plus
 

When you need to change a button battery, hunting down a screwdriver to open the tiny lid that covers the battery may seem like a nuisance. But the American Academy of Pediatrics urges parents to make sure the lid is closed tightly to keep the batteries out of children’s reach.

Children can suffer serious injuries or die if they swallow button batteries. Injuries are most common in children under 5 years old.

Children can suffer serious injuries or die if they swallow button batteries. Photo courtesy of Robert E. Kramer, M.D.
Children can suffer serious injuries or die if they swallow button batteries. Photo courtesy of Robert E. Kramer, M.D.

The batteries are used in toys, remote controls, thermometers, hearing aids, calculators, bathroom scales, key fobs, cameras and holiday ornaments.

Lithium batteries the size of a penny or larger are the most dangerous, and even dead batteries are harmful when swallowed. Smaller batteries also can get caught in the esophagus, or children can put them in their ears or nose.

If you think your child may have swallowed a button battery, go to the emergency room right away. Batteries can cause serious burns within two hours of being swallowed, so they need to be removed as soon as possible. Children also have died after batteries were removed because of tissue damage that caused massive internal bleeding.

A child who swallows a button battery may have the following symptoms: blocked airway, wheezing, drooling, vomiting, chest pain, trouble swallowing, no appetite or coughing and gagging when eating.

Children who put batteries in their ear may have drainage from the ear, pain, hearing loss or facial paralysis. If a battery is put into a nostril, it can cause nasal tissue injury, infection and damage or holes in the cartilage that separates the nostrils.

To keep children safe from button battery injuries:

  • Use screws provided and tape to keep battery compartments sealed shut.
  • Keep loose batteries out of children’s reach. Never place batteries in cups or near pill bottles.
  • Check with your garbage company or local authorities to find out how to recycle batteries. Authorities advise placing tape on both sides of the dead battery and storing it in a zip bag out of children’s reach.