We’ve discussed pool safety tips in the recent past, but they certainly bear repeating ahead of a long weekend that will find people across California heading out onto the water. A new report finds various officials in Orange County (Florida) detailing some vital steps to take to ensure safety. First, make sure that kids are supervised around bodies of water at all times. Explain to children that horseplay and going underwater to see who can hold their breath the longest are unacceptable activities. You or someone in your group should have an understanding of CPR, and a cellphone should be on hand so that you can call for help should an emergency arise. If you have a pool or jacuzzi, make sure to cover them when not in use and lock doors that lead to the unit. Should a child go missing, check the water at once.
For more tips, click here.
Consumer Reports is directing citizens to a new study out of the United Kingdom which enforces the idea that babies are in greater danger of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome if they sleep in the same bed as their parents.
The research, which can be found in a publication called BMJ Open, took a look at nearly 1,500 cases of SIDS throughout the UK. The study specifically analyzed those children who did not seem like they would be predisposed to the condition. The parents in the cases studied generally abstained from drug usage, alcohol consumption, and smoking. Researchers came to the conclusion that more than four out of five instances of SIDS could have been avoided if the newborn was placed in his or her own sleep environment.
This study aligns with recommendations previously offered by the American Academy of Pediatrics in 1992. At that time, the organization proclaimed the advisability of placing a child in his or her own crib. In the years since, those directives have gone even further. The AAP asks that parents place their kids on their backs. Stuffed animals and blankets should be removed from the crib, and if parents still want to keep an eye on their children, then it’s acceptable to keep the crib in the same room as the parent.
Parents can also ensure safety by making sure their cribs meet the standards of the CPSC.
Safe Kids Worldwide, as its name suggests, is an organization dedicated to ensuring the safety of children across the world. It attempts to spread awareness about common dangers that far too often lead to serious personal injury. In order to commemorate the rollout of a new Washington chapter of the agency, a new report has been issued which offers some valuable safety tips.
Parents should first enure that they know how to install carseats. Evidence suggests that nearly three out of four are installed incorrectly, but parents can protect their kids by tightening the seat to the point where the base moves less than an inch. You might seek out assistance at a car seat check in your area to ensure you’re doing it correctly.
You also need to make sure to supervise your kids around common household dangers. Furniture and televisions should be anchored to the ground, and you should not let kids climb those items lest they topple with the child aboard.
You also want to limit your children’s exposure to loose medication. Child-resistant locks can be placed on cabinets, but these aren’t completely tamper-proof, and a child might also gain access to something like the occasional loose pill in a purse or some such container. That’s why supervision is perhaps the most important precaution around the home.
With Memorial Day just around the corner, kids are going to be getting out of school soon, and parents are going to start enrolling their kids in various summer camps. But whether that camp is of the sports or the plain outdoor variety, parents must take pains to make sure their children won’t be put in danger while they’re away from home. A report out of Ohio explains the steps that parents might take in order to ensure their children are in the right hands at camp.
When you sign you’re children up for camp, you’re basically entrusting their safety to strangers. As such, you might speak with camp organizers to learn a little bit more about the hiring procedures in place and the track record of those who are going to be responsible for your child’s wellbeing.
Every camp should put their employees or volunteers through a rigorous screening process complete with an interview and a criminal background check. Administrators should confirm the legitimacy of any references and even conduct a search on the National Sex Offender database.
Once a camp counselor or some other type of employee is hired, they should be adequately trained. That includes careful review of written materials detailing what to do in emergency and suspected abuse situations and in-person training that can also help a camp worker to prevent, identify, and report child abuse. Responsible adults should not only supervise employees but also offer continuous training throughout the duration of the camp and react to any suspicious circumstances that might crop up.
Not only should the number of staff members be adequate to ensure the proper supervision of all child participants, but each employee should know at least basic first aid and CPR procedures. This becomes especially important when intense physical activities will be commonplace or contact sports will be played. Trainers should be on hand to deal with particularly strenuous injuries, and one shouldn’t hesitate to call emergency responders if a situation is particularly serious. Supervision should also extend to off-activity hours, as kids and teens have a tendency to engage in horseplay that could prove to be just as dangerous as sanctioned sports activities.
Parents should also check up on action plans that are meant to go into place when certain hazardous situations crop up. When a serious weather emergency tears through, or a child goes missing, all employees should know their role and act at once to ensure that the safety of all can be assured. When camp begins, operators might even take the time to run child campers through some safety drills that will enlighten them as to the proper steps to take during an emergency.
The High Point, North Carolina-based Lea Industries has announced the recall of 34 types of beds from the Lea children’s collection. Each of the affected models would have been sold online and across the country between August 2008 and this past March. At issue is the fact that breaking is a possibility in the side mattress support rails, and thus a person on the bed could fall. 22 instances of a break have been reported at this time, including one in which a bunk bed broke and fell onto a six year old girl, causing facial injuries. Owners of the estimated 59,200 beds available in the United States are being advised to disallow their kids from sleeping in the beds until new components can be obtained for free from Lea.
Click here for more about the recall.
The threat of a child being scalded by a hot substance should not be underestimated by parents. Research suggests that the most typical reason that children have to seek out hospital treatment for a burn is because they were scalded. Tap water and boiling pots atop a stove are typically to blame, but healthcare professionals are taking note of another hazard that has become increasingly common in nature: soup burns.
The Shriners Hospital for Children Northern California estimates that 8% of kids admitted with a burn were burned by soup, and that number is actually far lower than the Chicago-based Stroger Hospital, which figures that hot soup scaldings account for as much as 40% of burn treatments.
The University of California at Davis School of Medicine’s chief of burn surgery not long ago headed up a research effort that tested out various instant soup cups to determine what would be the most likely to tip over. The study deduced that height is usually to blame for ease of tipping, as the taller the cup, the more likely that even a slight jostling will lead it to tip.
One lawsuit has already been filed in Los Angeles County Superior Court by the parents of a scalded child. Doctors say that kids are more at risk of scalding because of their relatively thin skin. Noodles also tend to stick to skin and soup retains heat better than other substances.
The Powell Company, an importer based in Culver City, California, has announced the recall of Anywhere Lounger bean bag chairs. Around 6,300 bean bag chairs of various colors are thought to be impacted by the recall, and each would have been available from furniture outlets across the country between last June and this past February. These items may not have an attached permanent zipper enclosure, a situation which could enable kids to unzip the product. The children would then be exposed to small beads that may pose an ingestion, strangulation, and suffocation threat. No such incidents have been reported at this time. The product should be removed from your kids’ grasp and inspected to determine if opening the chair is possible. If it is, Powell should be contacted.
For more about the recall, click here.
Given that May has been designated as National Bicycle Safety Month, there’s perhaps no better time to get your child more invested in wearing a helmet every time they head out on two wheels. To make sure that your kids are properly protected, consider some valuable tips from Safe Kids and the Bicycle Helmet Safety Institute.
The first thing you can do is set a good example for your child. If you put on a helmet every time you ride, your kids will be more likely to do the same. Should your kids still be hesitant to put on a helmet, talk to them about its importance and detail how their bike is basically their first vehicle. Ask them to show that they can demonstrate responsibility.
Having a helmet properly fitted is almost as important as wearing a helmet in the first place. To figure out if a helmet has been adequately affixed, have your kid look up and tell you if they can see the rim. If they can, you’re good to go. A “V” shape should form below your child’s ears, and the helmet ought to be tight but not painfully so when your kid opens his or her mouth.
Make sure to swap out the helmet if your child is involved in a crash, but otherwise, conduct replacements whenever the helmet falls into disrepair. And every helmet you buy should come with the a label detailing the approval of the CPSC.
We recently brought you word of an investigation by the Food and Drug Administration into caffeine’s effect on children. The move was prompted in part by the introduction of a caffeinated gum onto the marketplace, but really, momentum for such an action has been building for awhile now thanks to the prevalence of energy drinks, caffeinated potato chips, and other products loaded with caffeine.
But now, the very item that arguably led to the FDA’s decision to launch an inquiry will be withheld from the market for the time being. Wrigley has announced that their Alert Energy Caffeine Gum will not be marketed and sold until the FDA is able to properly explore the risks of caffeine to kids. The company’s North American President explained that talks with the FDA had highlighted the need for new regulatory standards, and thus the gum will be held up, presumably until those standards are in place.
The FDA has voiced support for Wrigley’s decision to voluntarily refrain from the sale of caffeinated gum. He hopes that their actions will serve as a standard for other companies that have released caffeinated products.
The American Academy of Pediatrics is attempting to get the word out about the threat caffeine might pose to children. Because it would appear that kids are unable to process the stimulant the same way that adults can, the organization is concerned that the development of cardiovascular and neurological systems would be impeded.
People across the country have been glued to their TV sets listening to developments from the story out of Ohio in which a young woman escaped her captor’s residence after being abducted ten years ago. The incident has served as a reminder to parents of the threat of abduction faced by kids and teens every day, and if you’re a parent, some tips from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children as related by a new report from USA Today might prove helpful.
One of the best things you can do is speak with your children about situations they should avoid, especially if they’re entering that 11 to 17 year old age range where they begin to express their independence. Tell them that it’s okay to walk away from an uncomfortable situation, and if the situation continues, for instance if a stranger persists with an unwanted conversation, the child should be instructed to fight, scream, and do what’s necessary to get away.
Danger can be mitigated when kids travel in groups. Advise your kids to always have a companion when they’re unaccompanied by an adult. When someone approaches them to converse, they should ignore that person and leave immediately, following the steps described above if they can’t get away. Impoliteness can be a strength in such situations.
Finally, supervise activities and make sure you know where your child is at all times. Develop a relationship with those persons whose care you leave your children in, such as their teachers and daycare providers.