Posts for category: Safety
You would never let your children ride in a car without a seat belt. For the same common sense safety reasons, you shouldn't let your children ride their bikes without helmets either. While riding a bike is a fun and timeless childhood activity, it can also be a very dangerous one if you don't insist your children follow proper precautions.
But Bicycle Accidents Almost Never Happen!
While you may not think bicycle accidents are that common, the truth is that hundreds of thousands of children are involved in bicycle accidents every year. While not all of these are fatal, too many of them are. When something as simple as an adequate helmet can save your child’s life in the case of an accident, it’s hard to think of a single reason not to get one.
But My Child Doesn’t Like Helmets!
Do your children complain that their helmets are too hot or uncomfortable? These complaints are common, but they don't have to be persistent. First, choose the right helmets for your children ones that will be comfortable while still providing enough protection. Then, simply insist that your children wear them. Once your children see that helmets are a requirement and they will not be riding their bikes without them, they'll be much less likely to put up a fuss.
Sure, bike helmets may not seem "cool," but at the end of the day, looking cool matters far less than staying safe. If your child is worried about how the helmet makes them look to their friends, one way to make it more fun for them is by letting them customize it. Buy colorful stickers and let your child decorate the helmet to their heart’s content!
It’s the Law
In fact, in some states, you may even have the law on your side as well. In California, for example, children are required to wear bicycle helmets by law. If they neglect to wear them while riding their bikes, their parents could be faced with a fine.
You already insist that your children wear their seat belts and eat their vegetables. It's time to start insisting that they wear their bicycle helmets as well. Even if your children complain, you'll know you've made the right choice.
A hit to the head during a soccer game or a hard fall from skateboarding may result in a serious head injury and even a concussion. The American Academy of Pediatrics describes a concussion as any injury to the brain that disrupts normal brain function on a temporary or permanent basis. These injuries are typically caused by a blow to the head, most often occurring while playing contact sports such as football, hockey, soccer, wrestling or skateboarding.
For some children, concussions only last for a short while. Other times, a person can have symptoms of a concussion that last for several days or weeks following the injury. Not all symptoms of concussions will be obvious, and in some cases take several hours to set in. Look for these signs of a concussion if your child suffers a head injury:
- Nausea or vomiting
- Dizziness or loss of balance
- Memory loss or confusion
- Poor concentration
- Vision problems
- Irritability or changes in mood
- Sensitivity to light or noise
Seek Medical Attention
If your child injures his head or you believe he may have a concussion, it is important that the child discontinues play immediately and visits a healthcare provider for an evaluation. All concussions are serious and should be monitored right away. A pediatrician can properly diagnose the concussion and its severity, and then make appropriate treatment recommendations.
Rest from all activities is the best treatment for concussions. Your pediatrician can make appropriate recommendations for when the child should return to future play. Recovery time depends on the child and the severity of the concussion.
Preventing Head Injuries
Not all head injuries can be avoided, but you can do a few important things to prevent them.
- Buckle Up. Make sure your child is properly buckled up in a seat belt, car seat or booster seat.
- Safety Gear. If your child plays sports, make sure he wears appropriate headgear and other safety equipment.
- Awareness. Children should be taught how to play safe and understand the importance of reporting any type of head injury to their parent or coach.
All head injuries should be taken seriously. Early detection and treatment is the best way to prevent serious complications. It’s never a bad idea to contact your pediatrician when you have questions or concerns about your child’s head injury.
Whether it’s at the park, school or in your own backyard, kids of all ages enjoy climbing on the monkey bars, going down the slide and swinging. Playgrounds are a great place for kids to exercise, take in fresh air and socialize with friends. Unfortunately, it’s also a place many kids get injured every year as a result of faulty equipment and improper use. In fact, each year more than 200,000 kids under the age of 15 are treated in hospital emergency rooms for playground-related injuries.
While there are some inevitable dangers, the good news is that many of these injuries can easily be prevented with proper supervision. Do you know what to look for to make sure your playground is safe?
Play it Safe: What to Look for at Your Playground
Risks linked with playground safety may not be as apparent as those associated with swimming or biking; you just have to know what to look for. You can make the playground safe and fun for your kids by checking equipment and surfacing for potential hazards and following some simple safety guidelines. These include:
- Always supervise your child to ensure playground equipment is used properly.
- Regularly check playground equipment for loose, sharp or broken parts.
- Know which surfacing is most appropriate. Sand, wood chips and rubberized matting are the safest surfaces for playgrounds, while concrete or asphalt could lead to a serious injury if a child falls.
- Make sure playground equipment is age and size appropriate for your child.
- Minimize injuries by teaching your kids basic playground rules.
- Play areas for younger children should be separated from those for older kids.
- Don’t let children wear drawstrings, purses, necklaces or other items that could get caught on equipment.
- Report dangerous playgrounds to responsible parties.
- Ask your pediatrician about other tips for playground safety.
Don’t let careless behavior or a faulty apparatus ruin playground fun. To minimize injuries, always be on the lookout for faulty equipment, improper surfaces, and careless behavior. Play is an essential part of a child’s physical, social, intellectual, and emotional development. Following these playground safety tips will help your kids play as safely as possible.
- What to do in an emergency
Food and Medication Interactions
- Stimulate or suppress appetite
- Alter the amount of nutrients and rate of absorption
- Affect the way the body breaks down and uses nutrients
- Slow down or speed up the rate food is digested
Visit Your Pediatrician
- Carefully inspect your playground equipment. It is recommended that you have a proper shock-absorbing surface underneath your playground. Also, be sure that the play set is properly anchored to the ground, that surfaces are smooth, that there are no protruding bolts and that all “S” shaped hooks are closed all of the way.
- If you have a sandbox for your child, you will want to line it with landscape fabric to prevent weeds from growing up and to simplify water drainage. Covering the sandbox is also a good idea in order to keep pets and rodents, as well as their droppings, out of the sandbox.
- Be sure all landscape supplies and equipment are stored and secured in a locked shed.
- Pools are vital when it comes to backyard safety. Be sure your pool is properly barricaded. Install a fence that is at least four feet tall and make sure there are no weak areas that your child can squeeze through. The gate to the pool should also have a self-locking mechanism so that your child cannot open it. Pool alarms can be purchased to alert you if your child has opened the gate or if someone has fallen into the pool. Remove steps and ladders if the pool is not in use.
- Check the fences in your yard. Be sure there is no loose hardware, splinters and missing slats.
- Outdoor furniture should be checked to make sure it is sturdy and safe. Garden swings should properly be secured to the ground.
- Outdoor electric outlets should have childproof outlets so that your child cannot open it.
- An outdoor grill or barbecue should be stored and secured when not in use. Propane tanks, matches and lighter fluid, as well as sharp utensils, should not be accessible to your child at any time. Also, never leave the cooking area unsupervised when using the grill.
- A simple outdoor safety precaution is to ensure your child wears proper footwear and snug fit clothing. Clothing that is loose fit or has drawstrings and accessories can easily become caught on play equipment.
- Talk to your child about rules and boundaries when playing outside. This can help your child play safe by establishing areas that are off limits, rules for slides, play equipment and other toys.
- Check out the plants in your backyard to be sure none of them are poisonous.