Posts belonging to Category Safety



Sports Safety Guide for Parents

Most of us recognize the benefits of our children playing sports. It is a great way for children to build self esteem, develop social skills and be physically fit through regular exercise.  We also know that hand in hand with playing a sport comes the risk of a sports-related injury.

logo of Safe Kids USAAccording Safe Kids USA (www.safekids.org) each year more than 3.5 million children and adolescents playing sports sustain a sport-related injury that requires medical attention.

Safe Kids describes these athletic injuries  as ranging from something mild such as ankle sprains and muscle strains to  severe injuries such as concussions or heat illness.

Experts say that many sports-related injuries occurring in games and practices are likely preventable. So how can we keep our children safe while playing a sport?

Safe Kids USA advises us to learn what we need to know to keep our kids safe when playing sports by focusing on:

  • Pre-participation Physical Evaluations – Make sure your child gets an annual physical screening before playing sports
  • Concussion Prevention, Recognition and Response- Concussions are a brain injury. Know the signs of a concussion! Most concussions do not cause a loss of consciousness – check out Concussion Fact Sheet for Parents at www.safekids.org
  • Acute and Overuse Injury Prevention – learn what causes overuse and acute injuries and what can be done to prevent them
  • Heat Illness Prevention – Children often dehydrate before they show any symptoms of dehydration . Encourage your child to drink before, during and after playing sports.

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SanitizingToys and Things Kids Touch

sanitizingIn a fact sheet put out by the Partnership for Food Safety Education, www.fightbac.org, they talk about sanitizing surfaces that children frequently touch such as tables, chairs, high chairs and toys.

The Partnership message states that dangerous germs such as, hepatitis and rotavirus  can live on surfaces for several weeks. If someone touches these surfaces, germs can get on the person’s hands and then be transferred into the mouth, to other people, or to food. That’s why it’s so important to clean and sanitize frequently-touched surfaces.

Cleaning and sanitizing aren’t the same. Cleaning, removing dirt and debris, comes before sanitizing. A sanitizing solution is then used to kill germs. Here’s a “recipe” for a safe and effective sanitizing solution: combine 1 tablespoon liquid chlorine bleach with 1 gallon of water in a clean bucket.

According to the Partnership for Food Safety Education the best way of cleaning and santizing is as follows:

  • Clean surfaces and  high chair trays, sinks, kitchen counters, and large plastic or rubber toys, cutting boards, dishes, utensils, and counter tops with hot water and soap and thoroughly rinse.
  • Apply the sanitizing solution and allow to air dry.

  • Wash high chair trays with hot water and soap after every use and dry thoroughly with a single use paper towel.
  • Cutting boards, dishes, utensils, and small plastic  toys can also be run through a dishwasher at 170 °F to disinfect them.

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How Safe is….

How Safe is the Playground Sandbox?

It is that time of year…time to visit the playground with all of its climbing opportunities. Young children always gravitate to   the sandbox, but how safe is a box full of sand? What is in the box besides the sand?

Recently, microbiologists from NSF International (NSF) swabbed 26 different public places testing for the highest level of general bacteria to determine how safe these areas are for public use.

NSF’s team of microbiologists found that the location that harbored the highest level of bacteria and is the least safe place is a playground sandbox.

Sandboxes are actually an ideal setting for bacteria. Not only are they exposed to wildlife, such as cats and raccoons, but they can also hold on to the bacteria that is left from human contact, such as saliva, food items, and other bacteria from human hands.

Before you consider allowing your child to play in a public sandbox, you need to know that the sandbox is to be raked and sifter daily to remove debris. The sandbox also needs to be covered at night to prevent animals using it as a littler box.

NSF International is an independent, not-for-profit organization. Since 1944, NSF’s  main commitment continues to be making the world a safe place for consumers. To explore the NSF consumer website to learn more about NSF, its programs and services, go to www.nsf.org

How Safe Are Amusement Park Rides?

Government statistics demonstrated that fixed-site amusement rides constitute a safe, if not one of the safest forms of recreation available to the public. These statistics do not apply to portable rides that are set up in a community for a limited period of time.

On its website, The International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions (IAAPA) reports that their association worked together with the National Safety Council (NSC)  to establish a nationwide amusement ride injury reporting system for all facilities operating fixed-site amusement rides in the United States.  This system analyzes data from a statistically-valid sample to produce an annual amusement ride injury estimate for the overall fixed-site amusement ride sector in the U.S. Participation in this survey is mandatory for all IAAPA members operating fixed-site amusement rides in the U.S.

According to IAAPA, in 2009, approximately 280 million guests visited U.S. amusement facilities and safely enjoyed 1.7 billion rides. The most recent survey highlights that an estimated 1,086 ride related injuries occurred in 2009. Only 65 of the injuries in 2009 were reported as “serious,” meaning they required some form of overnight treatment at a hospital; this comprised roughly 6 percent of all ride injuries.

Information on the IAAPA site, from both government and independent data supports the fact that the number of patrons who experienced an incident while on a ride was miniscule – essentially one one-thousandth of one percent, or 0.00001.

Outside analysis of the NSC reporting data also found that the injury risk of fixed-site amusement rides (estimated at eight per million visitors) compares very favorably with those of other common recreational and sporting activities.  Using participation figures from the National Sporting Goods Association (NSGA) and injury estimates from the CPSC database, fixed amusement ride injury risk was determined to be 10 to 100 times lower than for most common recreational and sporting activities including roller skating, basketball, football, soccer, fishing, and golf.

Examination of public documents and other relevant data consistently shows that only a small percentage of those mishaps that do occur are caused by factors subject to either ride operations, staff or mechanical error.

For more information, visit:

www.nsc.org

www.iaapa.org

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Scooter Safety

scooter

Scooters have stood the test of time, with each generation enjoying scooters in one form or another. A scooter can be great fun…a speedy way to get around. Today, there are even scooters for toddlers!

Kids need to practice scooter safety; accidents are on the rise. Over one third of all scooter accidents occur in children under eight years of age.

With the promise of fun comes the reminder that scooter safety is a very important consideration.

 Scooter safety for young children is best summed up as follows:

  • A helmet, knee pads and elbow pads must be worn whenever a child rides a scooter. No matter if it is summer and hot or they are just going a short distance
  • Children under eight must be supervised when riding a scooter.
  • Scooters need to be ridden on smooth, paved surfaces schoolyards, parks and sidewalks
  • Riders must remember that the street is not a safe place to ride.
  • If they ride on sidewalks, people walking on the sidewalk have the right of way.

To insure scooter safety, children need to learn how to scoot from an adult, just as they do for bike riding and skateboarding.

 

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Take 25

Take 25 is a preventive child safety campaign created by the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children (NCMEC).

Take 25 Take 25 encourages parents, educators and others involved in caring for children to take 25 minutes to speak with their child(ren) about safety. The Take 25 website, www.take25.org is a site you will want to visit. It is filled not only with what to say and share with children, but how to say it so as not frighten children in the process.

Take 25’s focus is on prevention. Their site provides free safety resources including safety tips, conversation starters, and engaging activities. A key feature on the site is the page, “25 ways to make kids safer,” with categories that include:

  • Home safety
  • Internet safety
  • Going to and from school
  • Being out of the house on their own

The discussion guidelines page advises adults to be prepared for a safety discussion by knowing the safety materials, considering what to share and how to share it given a child’s age and having visuals that will help the child understand what is being explained to him or her.

Take 25 content suggests making the most of everyday opportunities to speak about personal safety rather than waiting for the “right time,” Such everyday opportunities could be a family meal or a ride in the car or a walk. Take 25 literature stresses that any discussion needs to include encouraging your children to talk openly and ask questions.

Guidelines on Take 25 reinforce talking not lecturing children on safety.

Safe behaviors can be shared in ways that are not frightening to young children. The way that adults share safety information can help children develop the confidence to believe that they will know what to do, or who to turn to in an unsafe situation.

Take 25 gives parents the means to feel more comfortable when their children are out on their own.

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