• Safety Tips for Injury Prevention

    The Comprehensive Children’s Injury Center (CCIC) provides the following safety tips to help parents become better informed on injury prevention tips for all children and every season.

    • All fireworks are potentially dangerous and can cause injury.
    • Children aged 5 to 9 years have the highest injury rate.
    • Sparklers can burn at temperatures over 1000 degrees F and can easily set clothing on fire and cause serious burns.
    • It is strongly recommended that fireworks only be used by professionals.
    • If you choose to use fireworks, please follow these tips:
      • Never allow children to play with or ignite fireworks.
      • Read and follow all warnings and instructions before use.
      • Light fireworks outdoors in a clear area away from houses, dry leaves or grass, and flammable materials.
      • Keep a bucket of water nearby for emergencies and for pouring on fireworks that do not go off.
      • Do not try to re-light or handle malfunctioning fireworks. Soak them with water and throw them away.
      • Be sure other people are out of range before lighting fireworks.
      • Never ignite fireworks in a container, especially in a glass or metal container
      • Keep unused fireworks away from firing areas.
      • Store fireworks in a dry, cool place.
      • Never have any part of your body directly over a firework while lighting.
      • Do not experiment with homemade fireworks.

    IMPORTANT TIP: Make sure you know what your local laws are. Many states do not allow the use of fireworks.

    Pedestrian Safety

    • Never let your young children go trick-or-treating alone. Make sure an adult is always with them.
    • If your older children are going alone, plan and review a route that is acceptable to you. Agree on a specific time when they should return home.
    • Encourage your children to walk from house to house. Don't let them run.
    • Allow your children to only visit homes with a porch light on - remind them to never enter a home or car for a treat.
    • Remain on well-lit streets and always use the sidewalk. Look left, right and then left again before crossing the street in the crosswalk.
      • If no sidewalk is available, have your children walk at the far edge of the roadway facing traffic.
      • Instruct your children to never cut across yards or use alleys.
    • Walk with a flashlight and put reflective tape on your child's costume and/or bag so drivers easily see them.

    Costume Safety

    • Plan costumes that are bright and reflective.
    • Make sure that shoes fit well and that costumes are short enough to prevent tripping, entanglement, or contact with flame.
    • Use nontoxic face paint instead of masks. Masks can limit the child's ability to see.
    • Test the face paint or makeup on a small part of the child's skin to check for allergic reaction.
    • Toy swords, knives, and other toy weapons should be short, soft, and flexible.
    • Wear flame-resistant costumes. Look for a tag or sticker saying the customer is flame-resistant before purchasing.

    Nutrition and Treat Safety

    • Don't allow your child to eat any candy that looks like it has been tampered with.
    • Check candy for choking hazards (hard or chewy candy) for younger children.
    • Limit the amount of candy eaten each day.
    • Avoid eating homemade treats made by strangers.
    • Brush teeth well after eating candy, especially sticky candy.

    Other Halloween Options:

    • Try decorating pumpkins with markers and stickers instead of carving.
    • Invite children over to have a costume party with games. This will limit the dangers of walking from house-to-house in the dark.
    • Many recreation centers, schools, churches, and community centers host a Halloween party, harvest festival, or fall party.

    Trees

    • When purchasing an artificial tree, look for a "Fire Resistant" label.
    • When purchasing a live tree, check for freshness
      • Make sure the needles are soft and don't fall off
      • Live trees need water, and lots of it! Check your tree's water level daily.
      • Dry trees can burn in seconds!
    • When setting up a tree at home, place it away from fireplaces, radiators, portable heaters, and exits.
    • Remove live trees from your home as soon as possible. Many tree fires occur on or after New Year's Day.

    Lights

    • Check each set of lights for damaged sockets or wires.
      • Make sure all bulbs work and there are no frayed wires, broken sockets, or loose connections.
      • Throw away any bad strands.
    • Follow the manufacturer's recommendations concerning the maximum number of light sets that can be connected together.
    • Turn off all lights when you go to bed or leave the house.
    • Use only light sets and extension cords marked "for outdoor use" outside your home.

    Decorations

    • Use only non-combustible or flame-resistant materials to trim a tree.
    • Never use lighted candles on or near a tree or other evergreens.
    • Keep children and pets in mind when placing decorations on a tree.
    • Remove all wrapping paper, bags, paper, ribbons, and bows from tree and fireplace areas after gifts are opened. These items can pose as suffocation and chocking hazards to a small child or cause a fire if near a flame.
    • Keep potentially poisonous holiday plant decorations , including mistletoe berries, Jerusalem cherry, and holly berry away from children.

    Gifts

    • "Think Big" when choosing toys for small children
      • Small parts could be a choking hazard.
      • Make sure gifts are appropriate for the child's age.
    • "Think Easy" when choosing a gift for someone who may have arthritis or some other physical challenge.
    • Consider giving the gift of safety!
      • Smoke detectors, carbon monoxide detectors and fire extinguishers make great gifts!

    Fireplaces and Heaters

    • Before starting a fire in a fireplace, remove all decorations (including stockings) and be sure the flu is open.
    • Do not burn wrapping paper in the fireplace. They can burn extremely fast and throw off sparks.
    • If a glass-fronted gas fireplace is used, keep children and others well away from it with a screen or gate. The glass doors can get hot enough to cause serious burns, and they stay hot long after the fire is out. Always place a screen in front of a wood-burning fireplace as well.
    • When plugging in electric heaters, make sure the outlet was designed to handle the load.
    • When using kerosene heaters, make sure you use the correct fuel.
      • Using the wrong fuel can cause a fire or even an explosion.

    Be Prepared!

    • Check the batteries in your smoke detector and carbon monoxide detector monthly!
      • Change the batteries as instructed by the manufacturer.
    • Install smoke detectors on each level of your home, especially near sleeping areas.
    • Develop a fire escape plan and practice the plan with your family!

    Why is lawn mower safety so important?

    • Lawn mower injuries can:
      • cause life changing injuries, both physical and emotional
      • be very painful and disfiguring
    • Following safety guidelines can save lives.

    How common are lawn mower injuries?

    Lawn Mower injuries are on the rise, up 3% since 2009.

    Common causes of lawn mower injuries:

    • Contact with rotating blade
    • Being hit by flying objects
    • Overturning
    • Ride-on mowers running over person

    Injury prevention tips:

    • Do not let children less than 12 years old operate any lawn mower.  For ride-on mowers, children should be at least 16 years old.
    • Never have passengers on ride-on mowers.
    • Keep young children at a safe distance from the area you are mowing.
    • Pick up stones, toys and debris from the lawn to prevent injuries from flying objects.
    • Use a mower with a control that stops it from moving forward if the handle is released.
    • Never pull backward or mow in reverse unless absolutely necessary - carefully look for others behind you when you do.
    • Always wear sturdy shoes while mowing - not sandals.
    • Always wear eye and hearing protection.

    What kind of injury can happen?

    • Dislocated bones
    • Deep cuts
    • Arm, leg or genital amputation
    • Missing fingers or toes
    • Burns
    • Eye injuries

    Treatment of lawn mower injuries:

    • Often requires a team of specialized doctors
    • Child may need multiple surgeries to repair the injury
    • May need therapy to help regain function to injured limb
    • It is very important to protect babies and children's skin from sunburns.
    • Babies under 6 months have skin that is thinner than other skin and therefore needs even more protection!
    • Most of our sun exposure (between 60-80%) happens before we turn 18 years old.
    • Sun exposure in early childhood and the adolescent years contributes to the risk of developing skin cancer later on in life.  
    • Here are some great tips for children younger than 1:
      • Babies under 6 months of age should be kept out of direct sunlight.
      • Dress your baby in comfortable lightweight clothing that covers their entire body.
      • If your baby gets sunburn, contact your pediatrician immediately.
      • If you cannot keep them covered or in the shade, sunscreen can be applied.
        • Before using sunscreen, apply a small amount to limited area and watch for any reaction
    • For kids older than 1 year old ,here are some more safety tips:
      • Choose sunscreen specifically made for children, preferably waterproof.
      • If a rash develops, contact your child's pediatrician.
      • Dress your child in clothing made of tightly woven fabrics.
      • Sunglasses with UV protection are also a great idea to protect your child's eyes from the sun.
    • More sun safety tips:
      • Avoid going out in the sun when the sun is the strongest: between 10 am and 4pm.
      • Use sunscreen even on a cloudy day. The sun's rays can still get through clouds.
      • Look for sunscreen that will protect against both UV-B and UV-A rays for the bet protection
      • Sunscreen should be reapplied often for the best protection.
      • Use a SPF (sun protection factor) of at least 15.
      • Put on sunscreen at least 30 minutes before going outdoors-it needs time to work on the skin.
      • If you child develops a sunburn, keep them out of the sun until the burn completely heals.
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