Posts belonging to Category avoiding injuries

Safety Tips for Pool and Spa from NSF International

childrenThe Consumer Product Safety Commission estimated that almost 300 children under the age of 5 drown in swimming pools each year and thousands more are injured.

One of the organizations that knows how to protect our children from such accidents is NSF International.

NSF International helps protect you by certifying products worldwide and writing internationally-recognized standards for food, water and consumer goods. As an independent, not-for-profit, global public health and safety organization, NSF is committed to improving human health and safety worldwide.

Here are some safety tips for pool and spa owners from NSF International:

  • Small children require constant adult supervision around pools and spas. There is no substitute for the watchful eye of caring adults.

  • Never use a pool or spa that has a broken or missing drain cover. If family or friends have pools that your children visit or you swim at a public pool, check for properly attached drain covers and instruct children to keep away from the drains.
  • In addition to being correctly installed, drain covers and grates should meet current anti-entrapment standards set forth in the Pool and Spa Safety Act to help prevent body parts and hair from becoming trapped. Covers that meet these standards will display ANSI/APSP 16 or ANSI/ASME A112.19.8 on the cover’s exterior. Download our Hazards of Pool & Spa Drain infographic for more information.
  • Make sure you know if anyone using your pool is a non-swimmer, especially the children.
  • Establish and enforce rules for pool and spa use. Don’t allow kids to run or play games near the pool. Keep toys, particularly tricycles or wheeled toys, away from pools, as children playing with these could accidentally fall into the water.
  • Install a certified barrier or pool alarm to help prevent unauthorized persons from entering the area surrounding your pool or spa. Wristband alarms are also available to alert parents if a child should accidentally fall into the water.
  • Keep your pool and spa properly sanitized and maintained. Use pool treatment chemicals safely and always read and follow the manufacturer’s instructions. Store chemicals in a cool, dry area out of the reach of children.
  • Make sure that an emergency shut-off switch for the pump is installed nearby and that it is easily accessible. Everyone should know where these switches are located and how to use them.
  • Check local building codes to ensure the fence surrounding your pool meets minimum type and height requirements. Gates leading to the pool area should have a self-closing and self-latching mechanism to prevent unauthorized entry.
  • Drain standing water from the surface of pool and spa covers, as small children can drown in even the smallest amount of water. Always remove covers completely before using a pool or spa.

Are You Ready for a Hurricane?

hurricaneHurricanes are a real happening in many parts of the U.S. The season is here and we need to be prepared.

Some of the measures the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) recommends taking before a hurricane hits your area are:

  • Put together a kit with emergency supplies and a family communications plan
  • Learn community hurricane evacuation routes and how to find higher ground. Determine where you would go and how you would get there if you needed to evacuate.
  • Make plans to secure your property in preparation for a hurricane:

  • Cover all of your home’s windows. Permanent storm shutters offer the best protection for windows. A second option is to board up windows with 5/8” marine plywood, cut to fit and ready to install. Tape does not prevent windows from breaking.
  • Install straps or additional clips to securely fasten your roof to the frame structure. This will reduce roof damage.
  • Be sure trees and shrubs around your home are well trimmed so they are more wind resistant.
  • Clear loose and clogged rain gutters and downspouts.
  • Reinforce your garage doors; if wind enters a garage it can cause dangerous and expensive structural damage.
  • Plan to bring in all outdoor furniture, decorations, garbage cans and anything else that is not tied down.
  • Determine how and where to secure your boat.
  • Install a generator for emergencies.
  • If in a high-rise building, be prepared to take shelter on or below the 10th floor.
  • Consider building a safe room.

To learn more about your flooding risk and how to protect yourself and your business, visit the Federal Insurance and Mitigation Administration (NFIP) Web site, or call 1-800-427-2419. For more detailed information on how you can protect your property, view NFIP’s printer-friendly handout Avoiding Hurricane Damage.

During a hurricane, FEMA advises you to:

  • Listen to the radio or TV for information.
  • Secure your home, close storm shutters and secure outdoor objects or bring them indoors.
  • Turn off utilities if instructed to do so. Otherwise, turn the refrigerator thermostat to its coldest setting and keep its doors closed.
  • Turn off propane tanks
  • Avoid using the phone, except for serious emergencies.
  • Moor your boat if time permits.
  • Ensure a supply of water for sanitary purpose such as cleaning and flushing toilets. Fill the bathtub and other larger containers with water.
  • Find out how to keep food safe during and after and emergency.

You should evacuate if you are directed by local authorities to do so. Be sure to follow their instructions.


Summer Fun Tips From Those in the Know

The following tips can insure a safe time.

Grilling Tips:

 The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics mentions these barbecue safety tips:

  • Buy two sets of grilling tools (one for raw meat and one for cooked meat) and a meat thermometer to make sure food is thoroughly cooked.
  • Grill lean meats to avoid flame flares caused by fat drippings.
  • Don’t allow your food to become charred. Some studies suggest charred meat may be linked to cancer.
  • Let your meat marinate for a few hours before cooking to help reduce the chances of charring.

tipsScuba Diving Tips

The American Academy of Family Physicians wants you to know that diving without training can raise your risk of problems including dizziness, chest pain and shortness of breath.

More serious medical problems can include decompression sickness (the “bends”). They offer these general guidelines for safer scuba diving:

  • Don’t push yourself beyond your comfort level, and always stay within your dive plan.
  • Slowly and gently equalize the pressure in your mask and ears as you descend and ascend.
  • Educate yourself on local dangers, such as currents, tides and dangerous marine life.
  • Always dive with a buddy and stay calm and relaxed; turn to your buddy if you need help.
  • Always use the proper equipment.
  • Make sure your doctor says it’s safe for you to dive.
  • Never drink alcohol before a dive.

Source: womens health dot gov, a program of US Dept of Health and Human Services

Watch Those Button Batteries

batteriesCoin-sized batteries are the reason for seeing double the children’s emergency room visits during the past twenty years.

In a study that is online and in the June issue of Pediatrics, researchers document serious complications, including deaths, occurring when children swallow “button batteries,” found in items ranging from remote-control devices to children’s toys.

The researchers looked at U.S. National Electronic Injury Surveillance System data concerning all battery-related visits to the ER among children up to age 18.

Four different types of accidental contact with button batteries were found: swallowing and insertion of a battery into the mouth, ear, or nose.

Researchers found that over the 20-year period such contacts translated into nearly 66,000 ER visits, with a dramatic increase over the final eight years. Button batteries accounted for 2,785 ER visits by kids younger than 18 in 2009, up from 1,301 in 1990.

Toddlers and others 5 years and younger faced the highest risk for accidental button-battery contact, with the average age of incoming ER patients just below 4 years.

Boys accounted for more of the ER visits (about 60 percent). Most cases (nearly 77 percent) were the result of swallowing batteries. Nose contact accounted for roughly 10 percent of cases, followed by mouth exposure (7.5 percent) and ear insertion (almost 6 percent).

The study report carries a message for parents stating that if they suspect that their child has swallowed a battery they need to get to the ER right away. To prevent such accidents, parents need to store and dispose of batteries while keeping them out of reach of their children. They need to tape all battery compartments shut.

The study report also carries a message for manufacturers stating that we need to have the industry make battery compartments inaccessible and child-resistant for all products, not just toys.

The study report concludes by advising parents to heed the general advice regarding choking, especially for those 5 years and younger. Children should never be within reach of any object that can fit through a choke tube, which is about the size of a cardboard tube of a toilet-paper roll. This is particularly the case with objects not normally considered dangerous, such as children’s toys that have batteries and other small parts, and various objects found in the kitchen or bathroom.

(SOURCES: June 2012 Pediatrics)


Watch Those Bottles, Pacifiers and Sippy Cups

sippy cupA recent national study of ER visits raises a red flag on the rates of cuts and bruises for infants and toddlers and what is causing them…pacifiers, bottles and sippy cups.

Previous research on injuries related to bottle, pacifier, and sippy cup use has largely focused on case reports of infant injuries or fatalities attributed to pacifiers or pacifier parts causing asphyxiation or to bottle warming causing burns.

This study, published online May 14 and appearing in the June issue of Pediatrics. is the first to use a nationally representative sample to investigate the range of injuries requiring emergency department visits associated with bottles, pacifiers, and sippy cups among children aged 0-3 years.

Using a nationwide survey, researchers estimated that more than 45,000 visits to the emergency room between 1991 and 2010 in children under 3 years old were because of injuries related to using bottles, pacifiers and sippy cups.

Most injuries involved children aged between 1 and 2 years who had a bottle and fell and cut their mouth.

“A lot of parents baby-proof their house but don’t ever think about the possibility of an injury related to these products,” said Sarah Keim, a researcher at Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Columbus, Ohio, and lead author of the study.

The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that parents transition their children from a bottle to a cup between 12 and 15 months of age to avoid problems such as tooth decay. The AAP also recommends weaning babies off pacifiers between 6 and 12 months.

For the study, Keim and her colleagues collected data from the U.S. National Electronic Injury Surveillance System, a network of about 100 hospitals nationwide that record injuries in their emergency departments related to consumer products.

Two-thirds of the injuries were in children between 1 and 2 years. “This is right around the time that kids start to walk and run and aren’t very good at it yet,” Keim said.

About 66 percent of the injuries were related to a bottle, and 86 percent involved a fall.

It is not clear why more injuries were associated with bottles than the other products, Keim said. “There could be something about the products themselves that are potentially more dangerous or that children are using them more.”

Injuries related to pacifiers made up about 20 percent of cases. They occurred most often in children under 1 year old and led to bruising and dental damage. Sippy-cup injuries, which were most common in children older than 2 years, were more likely to affect the head, neck and face.

Keim said it was reassuring to see that choking injuries made up a small portion of overall injuries.

Having children stay seated while drinking may help protect them, the authors said.

To learn more about child product safety, visit Keeping Babies Safe.

(SOURCES: Sarah Keim, Ph.D., principal investigator, Center for Biobehavioral Health, Research Institute at Nationwide Children’s Hospital, Columbus, Ohio; Mark Zonfrillo, M.D., pediatric emergency medicine physician, injury epidemiologist, Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia Center for Injury Research and Prevention, and assistant professor, pediatrics, Perelman School of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia; May 14, 2012, Pediatrics