Safety and Injury Prevention - CHRISTUS Trinity Mother Frances Health System

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Safety and Injury Prevention

Injury Prevention Geared Toward Children

Bicycle Helmet Safety

  • Establish the helmet habit early.  Have your children wear helmets as soon as they start to ride bikes - even if they are passengers on the back of an adult's bike. If they learn to wear helmets whenever they ride bikes, it becomes a habit for a lifetime. It's never too late, however, to get your children into helmets.
  • Wear a helmet yourself.  Children learn best by observing you. Whenever you ride your bike, put on your helmet. Plan bicycle outings during which all family members wear their helmets to further reinforce the message. The most important factor influencing children to wear helmets is riding with an adult who wears a helmet.
  • Talk to your children about why you want them to protect their heads.  There are many things you can tell your children to convince them of the importance of helmet use.
    • Bikes are vehicles, not toys.
    • You love and value them and their intelligence
    • They can hurt their brains permanently or even die of head injuries
    • Most professional athletes use helmets when participating in sports.
    • Bicycle racers are now required to use them when racing in the United States and in the Olympics.
  • Don’t let your children ride their bikes unless they wear a helmet.   Be consistent. If you allow your children to ride occasionally without their helmets, they won't believe that helmet use really is important. Tell your children they have to find another way to get where they are going if they don't want to use their helmets.
  • Encourage your children’s friends to wear helmets.  Peer pressure can be used in a positive way if several families in the neighborhood start making helmet use a regular habit at the same time.

Child Car Seat Safety

  • Child Safety Seat Ease of Use Ratings
  • Do’s and Don’ts
    • The most important thing to remember is, do read the manuals — both the owner's and the car seat manufacturer's.
    • If you're not sure if your car seat is installed correctly, have it inspected. Most people who work at baby product stores are not specifically qualified to install your car seat.
    • Do take your kids and their car seats with you to the dealership when you're auditioning new family cars. Is there enough clearance for rear-facing seats in the backseat? This might be an issue if you're buying a compact car. And is there enough legroom for older kids in front-facing seats, or will they always be kicking the back of your seat? Does each safety seat fit securely on the seat bottom cushion or is it likely to wiggle around?
    • Don't put your kids in the front seat. Since the most common type of crash is frontal, the rear seat is the safest place for children to ride. A study by the Insurance Institute of Highway Safety (IIHS) showed that children under 13 are up to 36-percent less likely to die if they are seated in the rear seat. Despite this, an estimated one-third of children ride improperly restrained in the front seat. Front airbags don't protect children, either, because they were designed for adults

Other Injury Prevention Tips

ATV  (All Terrain Vehicles) Injury Prevention

  • Wear a helmet.  ATV riders are even more likely than motorcyclists to sustain a head injury
  • Don’t operate an ATV while intoxicated
  • Never drive an ATV on a public roadway – ride only on designated trails, and be aware of potential hazards in the area

Swimming Safety Tips

  • Never swim during a storm or when there is lightning.
  • Never swim alone. Always use the buddy system.
  • Swim only in safe, guarded areas.
  • Know how deep the water is.
  • Don’t dive or jump into water that is not at least 12 feet deep.
  • Don’t run around a pool, push people in or dunk other swimmers.
  • Don’t chew gum or eat food while swimming, diving or playing in the water.
  • Take swimming lessons.
  • Be extra careful in the ocean and don’t run into the waves, which can knock you down.
  • Rivers are very dangerous for swimming. It is best to stay out of them.

Sun Safety Tips

  • Wear a hat, sunglasses and loose, dry clothing.
  • Wear sunscreen, even on cloudy days, in the shade and in winter.
  • Stay out of the sun between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. That’s when the sun’s rays are the strongest
  • Drink lots of water, even if you’re not thirsty.
  • Tell an adult if you feel dizzy or weak or if your head or stomach hurts.

Additional Resources, American Academy of Pediatrics

Safety Rating Program for Child Restraint Systems, NHTSA

American College of Surgeons