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Winter Safety Tips
Whether winter brings severe storms, light dustings or just cold temperatures, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) has some valuable tips on how to keep your children safe and warm. Please feel free to excerpt these tips or use them in their entirety for any print or broadcast story, with acknowledgment of source.
What to Wear
Dress infants and children warmly for outdoor activities. Several thin layers will keep them dry and warm. Don’t forget warm boots, gloves or mittens, and a hat. Choose boots that are large enough to comfortably accommodate two pairs of socks.
Remove drawstrings from clothing which may get caught on tree branches or play equipment. Replace with velcro.
The rule of thumb for older babies and young children is to dress them in one more layer of clothing than an adult would wear in the same conditions.
When riding in the car, babies and children should wear thin, snug layers rather than thick, bulky coats or snowsuits. See Winter Car Seat Safety Tips from the AAP for help keeping your little ones warm and safe in the car.
Blankets, quilts, pillows, bumpers, sheepskins and other loose bedding should be kept out of an infant’s sleeping environment because they are associated with suffocation deaths and may contribute to Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS). It is better to use sleep clothing like one-piece sleepers or wearable blankets.
If a blanket must be used to keep a sleeping infant warm, it should be thin and tucked under the crib mattress, reaching only as far as the baby’s chest, so the infant’s face is less likely to become covered by bedding materials.
Hypothermia develops when a child’s temperature falls below normal because of exposure to colder temperatures. It often happens when a youngster is playing outdoors in extremely cold weather without wearing proper clothing or when clothes get wet. It can occur more quickly in children than in adults.
As hypothermia sets in, the child may shiver and become lethargic and clumsy. Speech may become slurred and body temperature will decline in more severe cases.
If you suspect your child is hypothermic, call 911 at once. Until help arrives, take the child indoors, remove any wet clothing, and wrap him in blankets or warm clothes.
Frostbite happens when the skin and outer tissues become frozen. This condition tends to happen on extremities like the fingers, toes, ears and nose. Skin first becomes red and tingly, then gray and painful and finally white, cold and hard without pain. Blistering occurs after the skin thaws.
Prevent frostbite by dressing in layers, covering all body parts when outside in cold weather. Bring children indoors if clothing gets wet.
Playing in temperatures or wind chills below -15 F should be avoided because exposed skin begins to freeze within minutes.
If frostbite occurs, bring the child indoors and place the frostbitten parts of her body in warm (not hot) water. 104° Fahrenheit (about the temperature of most hot tubs) is recommended. Warm washcloths may be applied to frostbitten nose, ears and lips.
Administer acetaminophen or ibuprofen when you begin rewarming because as the skin thaws pain occurs.
Do not rub the frozen areas.
After a few minutes, dry and cover the child with clothing or blankets. Give him/her something warm to drink and seek medical attention immediately particularly if blistering occurs.
If your child suffers from winter nosebleeds, try using a cold air humidifier in the child’s room at night. Saline nose drops or petrolatum may help keep nasal tissues moist. If bleeding is severe or recurrent, consult your pediatrician.
Many pediatricians feel that bathing two or three times a week is enough for an infant’s first year. More frequent baths may dry out the skin, especially during the winter.
Cold weather does not cause colds or flu. But the viruses that cause colds and flu tend to be more common in the winter, when children are in school and are in closer contact with each other. Frequent hand washing and teaching your child to sneeze or cough into the bend of her elbow may help reduce the spread of colds and flu.
Children 6 months of age and up should get the influenza vaccine to reduce their risk of catching the flu. It is not too late to get the vaccine! Around 80% of all influenza illness generally occurs in January, February, and March.
Winter Sports and Activities
Set reasonable limits on outdoor play to prevent hypothermia and frostbite and make sure kids have a place to go warm up when they get cold. When weather is severe, have children come inside periodically to warm up.
Alcohol or drug use should not be permitted in any situation. They can be even more dangerous in winter activities like snowmobiling or skiing.
Allow children to skate only on approved surfaces. Check for signs posted by local police or recreation departments, or call your local police department to find out which areas have been approved.
Advise your child to:
Skate in the same direction as the crowd
Avoid darting across the ice
Never skate alone
Not chew gum or eat candy while skating
Consider having your child wear a helmet, knee pads and elbow pads, especially while learning to skate
Keep sledders away from motor vehicles.
Children should be supervised while sledding.
Children less than 5 years of age should not sled alone.
Keep young children separated from older children.
Sledding feet first or sitting up, instead of lying down head-first, may prevent head injuries.
Consider having your child wear a (hockey not bicycle) helmet while sledding.
Sleds should be structurally sound and free of sharp edges and splinters, and the steering mechanism should be well lubricated.
Sled slopes should be free of obstructions like trees or fences, be covered in snow, not ice, not be too steep (slope of less than 30º), and end with a flat runoff.
Avoid sledding in crowded areas.
Snow Skiing and Snowboarding
Children should be taught to ski or snowboard by a qualified instructor in a program designed for children.
Never ski or snowboard alone.
Young children should always be supervised by an adult. Older children’s need for adult supervision depends on their maturity and skill. If older children are not with an adult, they should always at least be accompanied by a friend.
All skiers and snowboarders should wear helmets. Ski facilities should require helmet use, but if they do not, parents should enforce the requirement for their children.
Equipment should fit the child. Skiers should wear safety bindings that are adjusted at least every year. Snowboarders should wear gloves with built-in wrist guards. Hip pads have been shown to be effective in preventing fractures as well. Eye protection or goggles should also be used.
Slopes should fit the ability and experience of the skier or snowboarder. Avoid crowded slopes.
Avoid skiing in areas with trees and other obstacles.
The AAP recommends that children under age 16 not operate snowmobiles and that children under age 6 never ride on snowmobiles.
Do not use a snowmobile to pull a sled or skiers.
Wear goggles and a safety helmet approved for use on motorized vehicles like motorcycles.
Travel at safe speeds.
Never snowmobile alone or at night.
Stay on marked trails, away from roads, water, railroads and pedestrians.
The sun’s rays can still cause sunburn in the winter, especially when they reflect off snow. Make sure to cover your child’s exposed skin with sunscreen and consider using sunglasses or goggles with UV protection.
Winter is a time when household fires occur. It is a good time to remember to:
Buy and install smoke alarms on every floor of your home
Test smoke alarms monthly
Practice fire drills with your children
Install a carbon monoxide detector outside bedrooms
Keep space heaters at least 3 feet away from anything that could burn, and turn them off when leaving the room or sleeping
If someone try to kidnap you and put you in the trunk.
Sids Prevention and Crib Safety
Running and Walking Safety Tips
5 Essentials For Women Walking Alone at Night
1. Don’t wear headphones: Your ears are an important piece of sensing danger. You may even consider heightening your hearing through listening techniques.
2. Carry a Whistle: While many women already do this, most do it incorrectly. Don’t carry it on your keys or in your purse. When walking at night, carry it around your wrist or in your hand.
3. Wear Running Shoes: Bring an extra pair of shoes with you to work. There is nothing more vulnerable than having to run from an attacker in high heels.
4. Take Basic Self Defense: You don’t have to spend $1,000 and 3 months of training to learn basic self defense. However, I would recommend taking a physical class. There’s nothing like hands on experience.
5. Learn How to Use a Weapon: Sure. This is a last resort tactic. But we must remember, anyone willing to attack a women, will likely have a weapon. A weapon is an advantage. It levels the playing field. But you must know how to properly use it. Ask a friend or do some research on how to properly use a knife, pepper spray, or taser. Preparedness is the greatest form of confidence. – See more at: http://thedailypositive.com/5-safety-tips-women-walk-alone-night/#sthash.GB3nbSjH.dpuf
Toddler/Preschooler Safety Tips
Now the real fun begins! Once your child is up on his/her own two feet, he or she is ready to conquer the world, and every day is a new adventure. This is an exciting and fun stage of life, but certainly has its risks and dangers too. The following are things you need to know to keep your budding explorer safe.
Poisoning is a particular danger because children this age (1-4 years old) are curious about everything! Younger toddlers will be inclined to put things into their mouths, and preschoolers are curious about items found in drawers and cabinets. Protect your child from an accidental poisoning:
Keep all medicines (and vitamins as well) out of the reach of children.
Never refer to medicine as “candy.”
Store all cleaning products or other dangerous products out of the reach of children and/or in a locked cabinet.
Keep the number for poison control 1(800) 222-1222 on or near your phone.
Little fingers want to touch everything, so you need to take extra precautions to keep your child from being burned:
Keep your child in a safe place while you are cooking or ironing.
Turn pot/pan handles inward on the stove.
Never allow children to be unsupervised in the kitchen.
Keep items such as matches, lighters, curling irons, candles, and hot foods and liquids out of a child’s reach.
If Your Child Gets Burned
Children of this age fall often, either because they are still a little unsteady on their feet, or because they are enjoying the thrill of climbing. Some tips to keep your child “well grounded”:
Keep doorways leading to dangerous areas, such as basements or attics, locked.
Keep safety gates at the top and bottom of each stairway.
Keep window guards on all windows.
Put skid-proof pads underneath all rugs.
When grocery shopping, use the safety strap to buckle your child into the seat, and remain close to the cart at all times.
Keep a close eye on your child when they are climbing on furniture or at the playground so you can react quickly in case of a fall.
If Your Child Falls
This age group is particularly susceptible to choking because so many things – both foods and non-foods – go into their mouths. The following are some key tips for preventing your child from choking:
Until age 4 avoid foods that can block the airways such as: peanut butter, hot dogs, popcorn, whole grapes, raw carrots, raisins, nuts, hard candies or toffees, and chewing gum.
Provide safe finger foods such as bananas, well-cooked pasta and vegetables, o-shaped low-sugar cereals (such as Cheerios).
Keep items such as coins, buttons, balloons, safety pins, barrettes, and rocks out of your child’s reach.
Follow age recommendations on toys, especially those with small parts, and make sure toys are in good repair.
Be vigilant. Small children put many things in their mouths. A watchful adult is often the best defense.
If Your Child is Choking
When riding in a vehicle, your child should be restrained in a safety seat appropriate for his/her size and age.
Childproof your home and practice standard home safety tips.
Never leave your child alone in or near water. Small children can drown even in very shallow water, such as the bathtub, wading pool or toilet.
Children should wash their hands frequently, especially after playing outside. Kids this age still put their hands and other objects into their mouths often, and this is the chief way of transmitting colds and viruses.
Outside play should always be supervised by an adult.
Why You Shouldn’t Let Your Baby Sleep in a Car Seat, Swing or Bouncer
Babies need between 12 and 16 hours of sleep each day depending on their age. But where they sleep is even more important than how much they sleep—and a new study set to be published in The Journal of Pediatrics found that “sitting devices” like car seats, swings, and bouncers can lead to injury and even death if babies are allowed to sleep in them.
Researchers examined the deaths of 47 young children under the age of 2, all of which occurred while in a device made for sitting or carrying. Two-thirds of the deaths occurred in car seats, while the rest occurred in slings, swings, bouncers, and strollers.
Asphyxiation (positional or strangulation) was the cause of death in 46 cases; 52 percent of the deaths were caused by strangulation from the device’s straps.
Related: How Safe Is Your Baby’s Sleep?
Sleep-related deaths are the number one cause of death in kids between 1 and 12 months old. To avoid injury or death, experts urge parents to never, under any circumstance, leave infants and young children unsupervised—sleeping or awake—while in these devices. They also advise that car seats should only be placed on a firm, stable surface and any buckles should be fastened correctly.
The best place for your baby to sleep is on her back, in a crib that has a firm mattress and is free from any loose bedding. To be sure your baby’s sleep environment is as safe as can be, check out the American Academy of Pediatrics’ Safe sleep guidelines.
Fire Place Safety
What Is Hypothermia?
Hypothermia is a potentially dangerous drop in body temperature, usually caused by prolonged exposure to cold temperatures. The risk of cold exposure increases as the winter months arrive. But if you’re exposed to cold temperatures on a spring hike or capsized on a summer sail, you can also be at risk of hypothermia.
Normal body temperature averages 98.6 degrees. With hypothermia, core temperature drops below 95 degrees. In severe hypothermia, core body temperature can drop to 82 degrees or lower.
What Causes Hypothermia?
Possible causes of hypothermia include:
Cold exposure. When the balance between the body’s heat production and heat loss tips toward heat loss for a prolonged period, hypothermia can occur. Accidental hypothermia usually happens after cold temperature exposure without enough warm, dry clothing for protection. Mountain climbers on Mount Everest avoid hypothermia by wearing specialized, high-tech gear designed for that windy, icy environment.
However, much milder environments can also lead to hypothermia, depending on a person’s age, body mass, body fat, overall health, and length of time exposed to cold temperatures. A frail, older adult in a 60-degree house after a power outage can develop mild hypothermia overnight. Infants and babies sleeping in cold bedrooms are also at risk.
Other causes. Certain medical conditions such as diabetes and thyroid conditions, some medications, severe trauma, or using drugs or alcohol all increase the risk of hypothermia. For more on Hypothermia see website above.
Babies: How Can You Tell if Your Baby is Ill?
A change in behavior is often a sign of illness in babies. If your baby is ill, he may cry more or have a change in activity level.
When to see a doctor
See your child’s doctor right away if you notice any of the following signs:
a fever (for babies 3 months old or younger)
listless or limp
having convulsions (seizures)
fontanelle, the soft spot at the top of his head, is starting to swell
purple splotches on his skin, or another type of rash
pale or flushed
refusing to breastfeed or drink from a bottle
appears to have trouble swallowing
vomiting or has diarrhea
In newborn babies and young infants three months of age or under, fever may be the first and only sign of a serious infection. If you notice a temperature that is even just slightly above the normal range, bring your newborn baby to the doctor as soon as possible. A normal temperature is 38°C (101°F) taken rectally or 37.5°C (99.5°F) taken under the armpit.
One of the first signs of illness in babies is a change in behaviour. The baby may cry more or have a change in activity level. Generally, if your baby is active when awake, feeding well, and can be comforted when crying, small differences in activity level or crying are normal. However, if your baby becomes lethargic or irritable, it may be time to see a doctor. Lethargy or irritability may be signs that an illness is present.
Lethargic or listless babies have little or no energy. They sleep longer than normal, and they may be difficult to wake for feedings. When awake, they are drowsy or sluggish; they are not alert and they do not pay attention to visual stimulation or sounds. Lethargy can develop slowly over time, and parents may have difficulty recognizing it.
Lethargy may be a sign of a common infection such as a cold, or a serious type of infection such as influenza or meningitis. Lethargy can be caused by heart conditions or blood diseases such as thalassemia. There are numerous other conditions that can cause lethargy, and lethargy is usually one of many symptoms associated with any particular condition. Therefore, if you notice that your baby is particularly lethargic or listless, bring him to the doctor for an examination. Treatment will depend on the particular condition that is making your baby lethargic and listless.
Crying is a baby’s only way of communicating. Over time, babies develop different cries depending on what they need: food, sleep, a diaper change, or a cuddle. Parents gradually learn to decipher their baby’s cries and respond accordingly. Usually parents can console their baby by providing what he needs and cuddling him. However, some babies may begin to cry inconsolably. This may be due to a condition called colic, where babies may cry non-stop for three hours or so each evening. Colic begins shortly after birth and may continue for the first six weeks of life.
A baby who becomes very irritable, fretful, and fussy, with long crying periods, may be ill or in pain. The baby may also become quite jittery or start to tremble. Irritability may be a sign that your baby has constipation, abdominal pain, an earache, or a viral or bacterial infection. The cause of your baby’s irritability may simply be constipation but it might be something more serious. If your baby is irritable and continues to cry longer than normal, bring him to the doctor for an examination. Treatment will depend on the particular condition that is making your baby irritable.
It is important to realize that while fever is serious in newborn babies, it is not necessarily a bad thing if the baby is over three months of age. Fever is the body’s way of fighting infection, so it is actually a good thing.
How to take your baby’s temperature
There are two ways to take your baby’s temperature: rectally or under his armpit. Do not use a mercury-filled thermometer. The most accurate method is the rectal way; however, many parents do not find this approach very appealing. Here are a few tips for taking your newborn baby’s temperature.
Measuring temperature rectally using an electronic thermometer:
It is much easier to take a baby’s temperature if two people are doing it.
Lay your baby on his back and bring his knees up over his abdomen.
Make sure the thermometer is clean.
Dip the thermometer in some water-soluble jelly.
Insert the thermometer into your newborn baby’s bottom, about 2.5 cm (1 inch) in.
Wait for the thermometer to take the reading. This is usually indicated by a beep. Read the temperature carefully and write it down in a notebook.
Clean the thermometer after use with soap and water.
The normal range for a temperature taken rectally is 36.6°C to 38°C (97.9°F to 101°F).
Measuring temperature under the armpit:
An armpit temperature of 37.2°C (99°F) or higher means a fever.
Place the bulb of the thermometer in your baby’s armpit, and hold his arm down alongside his body. Make sure the bulb is completely covered in the armpit.
Wait for the thermometer to take the reading.
The normal range for a temperature taken under the armpit is 36.7 to 37.5°C (98.0 to 99.5°F).
Oral thermometers are not recommended until about age four. Ear thermometers should not be used in newborn babies and young infants because they tend to give inaccurate readings in the very young. Ear thermometers can be used over age two years. Fever strips, which are placed on the child’s forehead, are also not recommended because they are not accurate.
What causes fever?
Fever is usually a sign that your newborn baby’s body is fighting an infection. Bacteria and viruses usually thrive at a temperature near our normal body temperature. When we have a fever, our body temperature is elevated, which makes it harder for bacteria and viruses to survive. Fever also activates the immune system and sets the infection-fighting white blood cells into action. Usually, fever is associated with common illnesses such as colds, sore throat, or ear infections, but occasionally it can be a sign of something more serious.
Sometimes fever is not a response to illness, but rather it is caused by heat exhaustion or heat stroke. Heat exhaustion is a severe heat illness with symptoms of dehydration, fatigue, weakness, nausea, headache, and rapid breathing. It occurs when people in a hot climate do not drink enough water. Heat stroke is a life-threatening medical emergency where the body becomes so hot that is no longer able to regulate its temperature.
Treatment of fever in newborn babies
Do not try to use medication to treat a fever by yourself if your newborn baby is less than one month of age. Bring him to the doctor instead. The doctor might recommend that you give your newborn baby acetaminophen, but he will need to specify the exact dosage required.
In the meantime, you can continue to breastfeed or bottle feed your newborn baby as normal, if he will feed. If he is showing signs of dehydration, you may need to give him an electrolyte solution in between feedings, or replace the feedings with the electrolyte solution. Check with your doctor to make sure. The signs of dehydration include dry mouth, less than six wet diapers per day, tearless and sunken eyes, a sunken fontanelle, and dry skin.
You can also try giving your newborn baby a sponge bath with lukewarm water. If you let the water evaporate off his skin, it will help to cool him down. Do not add alcohol to the water.
When a newborn baby develops a fever associated with infection, it can become a great cause for concern. This is because newborn babies can get sick very fast. Luckily, they also respond very quickly to treatment, if the infection is caught in time. This is why it is important to bring your newborn baby to the doctor as soon as possible. If a doctor suspects that a newborn baby has an infection, he may begin antibiotic treatment right away.
Treatment of fever in older babies
Most fevers are caused by viruses and will get better without treatment. Because of this, many doctors do not recommend reducing a fever in infants over six months of age unless the fever is over 38.5°C (101.5°F). However, if the infant is having aches and pains from the fever, acetaminophen can be used to make him feel more comfortable.
If a fever is found to be caused by a bacterial infection, the infection should be treated with antibiotics. Antibiotics work to destroy the bacteria, and in the process lower the fever. Sometimes antibiotics and acetaminophen are used simultaneously to treat the fever. Fevers that shoot up past 41.5°C (106.7°F) are rare and should be treated immediately.
If a fever is due to heat exhaustion or heat stroke, it can be dangerous and requires immediate attention. Heat exhaustion can be treated by bringing the child indoors, loosening his clothing, encouraging him to eat and drink, and giving him a cool bath. Heat stroke is a medical emergency and should be treated immediately by a physician. While waiting for medical help, bring your child indoors, remove his clothing, and sponge him with cool water.
Choking Prevention for Babies
It’s not only normal for babies to put things in their mouths, it’s also a sign that they are taking interest in the world around them. In the first year, children explore their surroundings by seeing, touching, hearing, smelling and tasting.
However, not everything that they put into their mouths is a good thing. Some of the most common things around the house can lead to harm. Here are some tips so you can minimize the risks.
Top Safety Tips
Supervise your baby when he or she is eating or playing.
Children under 5 should not eat small, round or hard foods, including pieces of hot dogs, cheese sticks or chunks, hard candy, nuts, grapes, marshmallows or popcorn.
New parents have a million things to do, but learning CPR should be on the top of the list. It will give you tremendous peace of mind – and the more peace of mind you have as a parent, the better.
Before you’ve settled on the perfect toy, check to make sure there aren’t any small parts or other potential choking hazards.
Keep a special eye on small game pieces that may be a choking hazard for young children. While these kinds of games are great for older kids, they can pose a potential danger for younger, curious siblings.
Nursery Safety Tips
You and your baby will be spending a lot of time in the nursery, so take steps now to make sure it’s a secure environment for your little one. Here are some safety tips:
Keep drapery and blind cords out of baby’s reach from the crib and changing table.
Place a working smoke detector in or near your child’s bedroom.
Make sure that window guards are securely in place to prevent a child from falling out the window.
Never place a crib, playpen, or other children’s furniture near a window.
Put plug protectors in unused electrical outlets.
Make sure your child’s toy box doesn’t have a heavy, hinged lid that could trap your child.
Use a cool-air humidifier instead of a vaporizer–to avoid burns.
Clean it frequently, and empty it when not in use to prevent bacteria and mold growth.
The Changing Table
Use a safety belt on the changing table.
Keep baby powder and other supplies out of baby’s reach when changing.
Never leave a child unattended on a changing table.
Put carpet or a nonskid rug beneath the crib and changing table.
Remove bumper pads, toys, pillows, and stuffed animals from the crib by the time baby can pull up to stand.
Remove all crib gyms, hanging toys, and decorations from the crib by the time baby can get up on his hands and knees.
Make sure the crib has no elevated corner posts or decorative cutouts in the end panels.
Fit the crib mattress snugly, without any gaps, so baby can’t slip in between the crack and the crib side.
Make sure slots on crib are no more than 2 3/8 inches apart.
Make sure that all screws, bolts, and hardware — including mattress supports — are in tight to prevent the crib from collapsing.
Make sure there are no plastic bags or other plastic material in or around the crib.
Check the crib for small parts and pieces that baby could choke on.
Make sure the night-light is not near or touching drapes or a bedspread where it could start a fire.
To reduce the risk of SIDS (sudden infant death syndrome), put baby to sleep on her back in a crib with a firm, flat mattress — no soft bedding underneath her.
Sleep Safety and Suffocation Prevention Tips
Make Sure Your Crib Is Up-to-Date
Check that your crib meets safety standards of the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) and the Juvenile Products Manufacturers Association (JPMA), and make sure it has all the right pieces.
If you can fit a can of soda between the slats of a crib, that means a child’s head, hand or foot could get stuck.
If the sides go down, don’t use the crib.
We know that stuffed animals, bumpers and all those cute accessories make a baby’s crib seem warm and cozy. Unfortunately, they can often do more harm than good. A firm mattress covered with a tight-fitting crib sheet is all you need to make your baby sleep like a baby.
Corner posts of the crib should not stick up more than one-sixteenth of an inch. It doesn’t seem like much, but anything more can be risky.
Check to make sure there are no design cutouts in the headboard or footboard.
If your crib doesn’t meet CPSC standards, don’t use it.
If you are getting a used crib, check to see if it has been recalled at www.recalls.gov.
Position Your Child’s Crib or Bed in the Right Place
Avoid placing a crib, bed, high chair or playpen near windows, draperies, blinds, or wall-mounted decorative accessories with cords.
Do not hang anything on or above a baby’s crib on a string or cord.
Room-sharing is a safer option than having your baby sleep in bed with you. Place your baby’s crib, play yard or bassinet in your room for more convenient feeding and close contact.
Remember to always return your baby to his or her own crib when you’re ready to go back to sleep. This is tough sometimes because parents are often more tired than the babies, but it is much safer.
If your child has a bunk bed, check the guard rails on the top bunk. Make sure that there isn’t enough space between the guardrail and bed frame or the head and footboards that a leg or arm could get trapped.
Help Your Baby Sleep Safely
Lay your baby on his or her back to reduce the risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS).
If you’re worried about keeping your baby warm on those cold winter nights, try using a sleepsack (wearable blanket). They’re pretty cozy.
Babies should not sleep on beds, sofas, recliners, chairs, soft surfaces, bouncy chairs or baby swings. If this happens, make sure to return your baby to a safe sleep environment.
We know that stuffed animals, bumpers and all those cute accessories make a baby’s crib seem warm and cozy. Unfortunately, they can often do more harm than good. Soft bedding can block a baby’s airway during sleep. A firm mattress covered with a tight-fitting crib sheet is all you need to make your baby sleep like a baby.
New parents have a million things to do, but learning CPR should be on the top of the list. It will give you tremendous peace of mind – and the more peace of mind you have as a parent, the better.
Understanding the Dangers and Talking to Your Child
More than half of American youths ages 12 to 20 have tried alcohol. Girls are nearly as likely as boys to experiment with drinking. Underage and binge drinking is risky and can lead to car accidents, violent behavior, alcohol poisoning, and other health problems. Drinking at a young age greatly increases the risk of developing alcohol problems later in life. Talking to kids early and openly about the risks of drinking can help reduce their chances of becoming problem drinkers.
Early age alcohol use
Today, the average age an American girl has her first drink is 13; for a boy, it’s 11. In the U.S. and many other countries, underage drinking is a widespread problem with often serious consequences. Young people who drink are more likely to be the victims of violent crime, to be involved in alcohol-related traffic accidents, and to have depression and anxiety. Other risky behaviors are also linked to early drinking. Young people who start using alcohol before age 21 are more likely to:
Be involved in violent behaviors
Engage in unprotected sex or have multiple sex partners
Develop alcohol problems in later life
Early age alcohol use
Kids are experimenting with alcohol at earlier ages than ever before. A national survey found that slightly more than half of young adults in the U.S. between the ages of 12 and 20 have consumed alcohol at least once. Some researchers speculate that teens are more vulnerable to addiction because the pleasure center of the brain matures before the part of the brain responsible for impulse control and executive decision making. In other words, teenagers’ capacity for pleasure reaches adult proportions well before their capacity for sound decision making does.
In past generations, boys were much more likely than girls to experiment with alcohol in their teens, but girls are catching up. In 2009, 58% of all males ages 12 and older were current drinkers, higher than the rate for females (47%). But in the youngest group (ages 12 to 17), the percentage of current drinkers was nearly the same (15% of boys, 14% of girls).
While many young people will independently cut down on their drinking or stop drinking altogether as they reach their mid-20s and assume the responsibilities of being an employee, spouse, or parent, the risks of early age drinking remain. People who have their first drink at age 14 or younger are six times more likely to develop alcohol problems than those who don’t try alcohol until the legal drinking age.
Factors affecting risk of developing a drinking problem
As well as the age at which they start consuming alcohol, a number of other factors influence a teen or young adult’s drinking behavior and whether it will become a problem. These include:
Race and ethnicity. Some racial groups, such as American Indians and Native Alaskans for example, are more at risk than others of developing alcohol addiction.
Genetics. A teen with an alcoholic sibling or parent is four times more likely to develop a problem with alcohol than someone without such a family history.
The presence of mental health disorders. Alcohol problems often go hand in hand with mental health problems such as depression, bipolar disorder, anxiety, and schizophrenia.
Personality traits. Teenagers who believe alcohol makes it easier to socialize, for example, tend to drink more than those who don’t believe that alcohol loosens their social inhibitions.
Influence of family and peers. Teens are at greater risk for developing alcohol-related problems when alcohol is readily available at home or among their peer group, and if drunkenness is acceptable.
Gender. Men are more likely to drink heavily than women, but women become addicted at lower levels and shorter duration of use. See Women and Alcohol.
Dangers of drinking while young
The years between 18 and 25 are a time of considerable change, as teenagers spread their wings and leave home, many for the first time. While these may be exciting years, widespread alcohol use means they may be risky years as well. The highest prevalence of problem drinking occurs among young adults aged 18 to 25, nearly 42% of whom admit to binge drinking at least once a month (drinking five or more drinks in rapid succession for men, four or more for women).
Many of us typically think of college as the setting where older teens and younger 20-somethings drink to excess. However, several studies show that heavy drinking is widespread among allyoung adults regardless of whether or not they attend college. College students tend to drink less often than nonstudents, but when they do imbibe—at parties, for example—they tend to drink more.
The prevalent use of alcohol among teens and young adults is alarming for a number of reasons:
Alcohol is a major factor in fatal automobile crashes. About one-third of drivers ages 21 to 24 who died in a car crash in 2009 had a blood alcohol level that was over the legal limit.
Drinking may have lasting health effects. Some researchers believe that heavy drinking at this age, when the brain is still developing, may cause lasting impairments in brain functions such as memory, coordination, and motor skills—at least among susceptible individuals.
Drinking can lead to sexual assaults and rape. Each year, approximately 97,000 students between the ages of 18 and 24 are victims of alcohol-related sexual assault or date rape.
Teen girls who drink face special challenges
Teenage girls experiment with alcohol for many of the same reasons that boys do, but they face some challenges boys don’t:
Among teenage heavy drinkers (those having five or more drinks in a row at least five times in one month), girls are more likely to say that they drink to escape problems or to cope with frustration or anger.
Girls are more likely to drink because of family problems than because of peer pressure.
Drinking can delay puberty in girls, while abusing alcohol can cause endocrine disorders during puberty.
Teenage girls who drink are more likely to have unprotected sex than girls who don’t drink, putting them at increased risk of pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases.
Binge drinking and alcohol poisoning
Binge drinking—consuming five or more drinks at a sitting, for males, four or more for females—can cause teens to pass out, black out (lose memory of events that occurred while they were intoxicated), feel sick, miss school, or behave in ways that would otherwise be uncharacteristic of them. For example, they may drive while drunk or get into arguments. Some binge drinkers imbibe heavily every weekend and abstain or drink only in moderation during the week. Others binge less often—for example, during holidays, on special occasions, or at times of great stress. This kind of problem drinking may go unnoticed because people may excuse an occasional binge as a celebration that got carried away or as a response to unusual stress.
Although many young adults drink responsibly or abstain altogether, binge drinking is still a common problem. While teens as young as age 13 admit to this practice, it becomes more popular in mid-adolescence and peaks in the college years. College students between the ages of 18 and 22 are more likely to report binge drinking than non-students of the same age. Recent news reports of deaths from alcohol poisoning on college campuses have spotlighted the dangers of binge drinking.
Binge drinkers are eight times more likely than other college students to:
Fall behind in schoolwork
Binge drinkers also face the grim consequences of alcohol poisoning, a severe and potentially fatal reaction to an alcohol overdose.
How to recognize and treat alcohol poisoning
Because alcohol is a central nervous system depressant, drinking too much, too fast, slows some bodily functions (such as heart rate, blood pressure, and breathing) to a dangerous level, causing the drinker to lose consciousness.
Possible signs of alcohol poisoning include:
Unconscious or semiconscious state
Slow respiration—eight or fewer breaths per minute, or lapses between breaths of more than eight seconds
Cold, clammy, pale, or bluish skin
A strong odor of alcohol on the breath and coming from the skin
What to do if someone develops alcohol poisoning
Here’s what to do in an alcohol-poisoning emergency:
Never leave someone who may have alcohol poisoning alone to “sleep it off.”
Call 911 immediately.
Gently turn the person on his or her left side, using a pillow placed at the small of the back to keep him or her in that position. This will help prevent choking should the individual vomit.
Stay with the person until medical help arrives.
How to talk to teens about responsible drinking
As a parent, grandparent, teacher, or friend, you have a major impact on the choices that the children in your life make, especially during the preteen and early teen years. One study reported that adolescents from families with alcohol problems were less likely to use alcohol themselves if they felt a sense of control over their environments, had good coping skills, and had highly organized families. Other researchers have found that preserving family rituals, such as keeping established daily routines and celebrating holidays, also can make a difference in steering kids clear of alcohol abuse.
Talking to young people openly and honestly about drinking is also vitally important. Delaying the age at which young people take their first drink lowers their risk of becoming problem drinkers. That’s reason enough to talk to the teenagers in your life about alcohol, but it’s not the only one. These are some of the other important reasons:
Alcohol has harmful effects on developing brains and bodies.
For adolescents ages 15 to 20, alcohol is implicated in more than a third of driver fatalities resulting from automobile accidents and about two-fifths of drownings.
Drinking interferes with good judgment, leading young people into risky behavior and making them vulnerable to sexual coercion.
Teenagers who use alcohol and tobacco are at greater risk of using other drugs.
Teenagers who drink are more likely to develop behavioral problems, including stealing, fighting, and skipping school.
Underage drinking is illegal.
Start the conversation early
While most people recognize the importance of discussing alcohol with kids, they aren’t always sure when to initiate this discussion. Adolescents are often nervous and confused as they face their first opportunities to try alcohol and are often interested to hear your thoughts on the subject.
Set the stage early by letting your teenager know that he or she can talk to you about anything, without judgment or lecturing.
Open up and listen
Ask open-ended questions, and listen to the answers without interrupting.
Talk openly about your family history. If your family has had problems with alcohol, your child should know about it. Be open about your own experiences, too.
Set clear expectations, and communicate your values. Youngsters are less likely to drink when they know that parents and other important adults in their lives have strong feelings about it.
Control your emotions. If you hear something that upsets you, take a few deep breaths and express your feelings in a positive way.
Ask about your teenager’s friends. Express an interest in getting to know them better. Getting to know these friends and their parents will help you understand your teenager’s world.
New Risks for Kids Crossing the Street
Today’s parents may need to update their advice for crossing the street safely to: “Look both ways and turn off the cell phone!”
A new study shows teens are twice as likely as adults to be hit by a car while crossing the street because they were distracted by an electronic device like a cell phone or iPod.
Researchers found 18% of teens treated at an urban emergency room for pedestrian accident injuries were using an electronic device when they were hit by a car while crossing the street. That’s compared with only 9% of adults.
Among younger children, jaywalking or crossing in the middle of the street and darting into the street were the most common contributors to child pedestrian accidents.
The results were presented today at the American Academy of Pediatrics National Conference and Exhibition in New Orleans.
Risky Behaviors Contribute to Pedestrian Accidents
The study looked at what factors contributed to pedestrian car accidents among 1,075 people who were treated at a major trauma center in New York City after being hit by cars in the years 2008 to 2011. Of those involved in pedestrian accidents, 145 (13%) were children.
Among children aged 6 and younger, pedestrian car accidents occurred most often because the child darted into the street (44%) or crossed in the middle of the street rather than at a crosswalk (36%).
“While most of the young children in our study were supervised by a parent or guardian, these children still exhibited a lot of risky behaviors in terms of mid-block crossing and crossing against the signal,” says researcher Nina Glass, MD, of Bellevue Hospital Center in New York City.
Medicine Safety Around Children
Most parents and grandparents know to keep medicine up and away from children. But it’s the exceptions ‒that one time when you leave your medicine in reach of a child ‒that leads to a call to the Poison Help Number, a call that happens every minute of every day. Here are some tips for protecting your child.
Why Is Inline Skating Safety Important?
Inline skating has exploded in popularity. Skaters can be found most everywhere that bicyclists, skateboarders, and joggers go. This increases the chances of painful collisions.
Most inline skating injuries happen when a skater loses balance and falls on a hard surface. Skaters who wear protective equipment are less likely to be injured. The most commonly injured body parts are the hands and arms, although abrasions to other areas of the body are common. Most seriously, skaters who don’t wear helmets can get head injuries.
Always wear safety gear — and make sure you have it on properly — anytime you go inline skating. Here’s a rundown of what you’ll need when you skate:
Helmet. A helmet is a must every time you skate. It’s the most important piece of safety equipment. People who skate occasionally for fun can wear bicycle helmets, but if you do a lot of inline skating or use it to get around, it’s a good idea to invest in a helmet designed specifically for inline skating or skateboarding. These come down lower in the back, toward the base of the skull, for maximum protection in the event of a backward fall. (They also look more high tech than bicycle helmets!) When buying a helmet, check to be sure it meets all safety standards for inline skating.
Helmets must fit properly. Helmets that are too large or improperly fastened can come off during a fall. If you need fit or sizing tips, ask when you buy the helmet. And always fasten chin straps snugly under your chin so the helmet doesn’t move around.
Skates. You’ll want a comfortable but sturdy pair of inline skates, with plenty of ankle support. One way to check if skates offer the support you need is to feel the plastic of the boot. If you can squeeze it, the material is not strong enough. Be sure to get skates that match your needs whether you’re planning on racing, competing in freestyle events or just casually rolling down the boardwalk.
Check your skates before you put them on. Make sure that wheels and brakes are in good shape and tightly secured. If wheels or brakes are misshapen or worn, replace them right away. Check that any buckles are in proper working order. Always buckle up your skates and keep them nice and snug when you skate.
Pads. Cuts, scrapes, and sprained or broken wrists are a constant danger to inline skaters. In addition to wearing a helmet, you’ll want to wear knee pads, elbow pads, and wrist guards every time you skate. Knee and elbow pads should have a cushioned interior with a hard plastic shell to protect against scrapes. Wrist guards should be made from rigid plastic that holds the wrist securely in place in the event of a fall. All pads should fit properly and be securely fastened at all times.
Other Gear. Some skaters like to wear long pants and long-sleeve shirts below their pads for extra protection against scrapes and cuts. Light gloves can keep your fingers safe. Lastly, fitted mouth guards are a good idea in any activity that might involve falls or collisions.
Household Safety Checklist
An accident or injury can occur in any part of your home. Some safety hazards are obvious — such as a toy truck left lying at the top of the stairs. Others are not so easily identified — such as a stairway railing that has become loose.
Please go to the website above for full list.
Safe at School
Our Safe at School Campaign works to make sure that the diabetes management needs of students are met so they are healthy and safe when they are at school, and all school sponsored activities. By working as a team, families, health care providers, and school staff can make this a reality.
Younger and newly diagnosed students depend on school staff to monitor blood sugar1. A class of carbohydrates with a sweet taste, including glucose, fructose and sucrose. 2. A term used to refer to blood glucose. X and administer insulin hormone that helps the body use glucose for energy. The beta cells of the pancreas make insulin. When the body cannot make enough insulin, it is taken by injection or through use of an insulin pump. X. Others need support as they self manage. And all students need trained school staff who can recognize and treat high and low blood glucose the main sugar found in the blood and the body’s main source of energy. Also called blood sugar. X, and administer emergency glucagon hormone produced by the alpha cells in the pancreas. It raises blood glucose. An injectable form of glucagon, available by prescription, may be used to treat severe hypoglycemia. The opposite of insulinX.
– See more at: http://www.diabetes.org/living-with-diabetes/parents-and-kids/diabetes-care-at-school/#sthash.aTGAfEAt.dpuf
Top 10 Home Safety Tips for Kids
Home — it’s where children grow and learn, the place where they find comfort, love and care. It’s where they can see, touch, explore and experience the world around them, so their minds and bodies develop properly. It’s also a place where children need to feel safe.
However, home injuries are a leading source of accidental death for children. Almost 21 million medical visits and 20,000 deaths each year are the result of accidents in the home [source: Home Safety Council ]. Media reports bring attention to the possible accidents that can occur, such as being bitten by a trusted pet, choking on balloons or wandering out the front door.
Fortunately, home injuries are largely avoidable through education and prevention. Parents can take proactive steps to childproof the home and keep their children safe by teaching them a few practical rules.
Take a look at the top 10 home safety tips for children. For the full list go to health.howstufworks.com link above
Bus Transportation Tips
Bus Safety for Special Needs Schools
Ten Tips for Keeping Your Kids Safe In School
As soon as we put our children onto the bus, or walk them through the school door, it never fails. We seem to morph into a mom with multiple personalities.
You know exactly what I mean, experiencing thoughts like…..
I’m so sad my baby is growing up. I’m so happy my baby is growing up!
I’m so sad I’m not with him. I’m so relieved I have a few hours alone.
I can’t wait until he gets home. Can’t he stay just a little longer?
While we may feel a host of conflicting emotions, there’s one emotion that seems to plague even the most experienced of school moms. Fear.
Fear is a common response to the unknown. We send our children off into the care of others that we really may not know much about. For the first time in awhile, we aren’t sure exactly how they’re spending their day or who they’re spending it with. We aren’t sure how the teacher will respond if our child cries, gets into a fight or realizes he forgot his lunch. All we do know, for sure, is that mom isn’t there to make sure everything is alright.
As you start off the school year, incorporate these 10 safety tips into your Back to School Regime.
- Be sure your child knows his and your contact information. He should have his full name and address, your full name and the best number to reach you at memorized.
- Avoid labeling your child’s clothing, backpack or jackets with his name where it is visible. You don’t want a stranger to be able to call out your child by name, so be sure his name isn’t anywhere visible on his clothing or school bag.
- Ask your child open ended questions. Make asking your child questions about how his day went a part of your afterschool routine. If anything concerns you, bring it up with his teacher. Teach your child that it’s okay for him to talk to you and his teacher about his needs or concerns.
- Be familiar with how your child’s school handles emergencies. Be sure to educate yourself about the policies and procedures regarding school lock downs and other emergencies. Let your child know who is listed on his emergency contact form.
- Be a presence. Get involved in your child’s school. Join the PTA or volunteer to be a room mother. Let your presence declare that you have a serious interest in your child’s school year success.
- Provide ways for your child to make friends. Get your child involved with something that interests him, encourage play dates and foster friendships. Being involved in a peer group can help your child feel positive about his school experience.
- If your child walks or rides the bus to school, talk specifically about safety rules and have a set check-in time for him to call you when he gets home from school.
- Role play. Engage in situational role plays that can help your child learn to navigate different situations that may come up. For example, it could be helpful to role play with your 2nd grader how to handle a situation where he lost his lunch money. Role play possible ways of handling the situation, like by telling the teacher or the cafeteria worker or by asking to call home.
- Consider providing your child with a preprogrammed cell phone. There are several cell phones on the market that allow a set number of contacts to be programmed into the phone. Consider giving your child a phone so that he can reach you should the need arise.
- Pay attention. Pay attention to changes in your child’s eating habits, sleeping habits and personality. If you notice your child seems withdrawn or isn’t sleeping well, inquire as to why. A change in behavior may signal that something is wrong.
Our children will look to us for reassurance about school. If we appear worried, we won’t do our children any good. While a cautious parent is a good parent, a wise parent will take great care to monitor the message they are sending to their child.
Read more: 10 Tips For Keeping Your Kids Safe In School http://www.momtastic.com/parenting/107240-10-tips-for-keeping-your-kids-safe-in-school/#ixzz4I196WJ6a
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Read more: 10 Tips For Keeping Your Kids Safe In School http://www.momtastic.com/parenting/107240-10-tips-for-keeping-your-kids-safe-in-school/#ixzz4I18yRVcn
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