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Columbus, Ohio
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Blog

Why injury? It's this simple: more children die from injuries every year than from the next three leading causes of death combined. Nobody knows this because no one is talking about it. In the U.S., one child dies every hour from an injury that could have been prevented. Around the world, a child dies every 30 seconds as the result of an injury. You don’t need to have a child to know that we can do better.

 

Teen Pedestrian Safety: Crossing the Street

End Injury

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Is Your Teen Crossing the Street Safely?

Driving, dating, too much screen time: these are common talking points in households with older children and teenagers. But pedestrian safety? Isn’t that something everyone learned in kindergarten?

The belief that some safety skills are mastered in elementary school could be why pre-teens and teenagers say they hear less about safety from their parents than when they were younger. Parents might assume that their older children know how to use sidewalks and roadways safely, but research is showing a spike in pedestrian injuries in the past few years. Teens interact with traffic differently than young children, meaning they need a different set of reminders to be safe.

Data from the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration shows that teen pedestrians are more likely than younger children to be injured or killed by a vehicle, but many teens don’t realize that they ARE at risk—about five teens a week are killed and hundreds more are injured. Make a point to talk to your teens and older children about walking safely. Here are some tips to start the conversation.

Be engaged: When you are getting ready to cross the street, pause music and stop talking or texting. Look up and pay attention to what is going on around you.

Follow the rules: Follow traffic signals and cross streets only at intersections, not mid-street. When you follow the rules, drivers know what you are going to do.

Wait and see: Try to make eye contact with drivers and wait until you know what drivers are planning to do before you step into the street. Do not assume that drivers will drive safety or are paying attention.

Prevent Child Injury is a national group of organizations and individuals, including researchers, health professionals, educators, and child advocates, working together to prevent injuries to children and adolescents in the U.S. Prevent Child Injury promotes coordinated communication to the public about prevention of child injury, which is the leading cause of death of our nation’s youth.  To become a member of Prevent Child Injury or for more information and resources on this and other injury topics, please visit www.preventchildinjury.org.

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Playground Safety: Check for Safe Surfaces

End Injury

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Whether in your back yard, at school, or at a local park, playgrounds are a source of fun for a child. Unfortunately, many schools and park districts do not have the resources to constantly check on playground conditions, which is why they need help from people in the community who use the playground.  When you see a problem, let the organization managing the playground know—you can be a source of important information needed to help maintain a good play space.

No matter where your kids are playing, remember to check the surfacing first.

Is it the right type? Surfacing should be either loose materials such as wood chips, sand, or pea gravel OR permanent rubber-like materials. Permanent rubber-like surfacing and engineered wood fibers are the only surfaces that meet the requirements of the Americans with Disabilities Act.

Is there enough coverage? Surfacing should extend 6 feet out from the edge of playground equipment. Swings and slides need more coverage depending on how tall they are, so check with the Consumer Product Safety Commission to see exactly how much coverage your playground needs.

Is it in good condition? If surfacing is loose materials, check heavily-used areas like under swings and at the end of slides to make sure 12 inches of material is in place. Check permanent rubber surfacing for worn spots or holes.

If not, make another choice. If you didn’t say yes to these three questions, let the organization that oversees the playground know that the playground needs attention and find a new place to play until the playground meets guidelines.

More tips available at http://www.preventchildinjury.org/toolkits/playgrounds-safe-surfaces.

Prevent Child Injury is a national group of organizations and individuals, including researchers, health professionals, educators, and child advocates, working together to prevent injuries to children and adolescents in the U.S. Prevent Child Injury promotes coordinated communication to the public about prevention of child injury, which is the leading cause of death of our nation’s youth.  To become a member of Prevent Child Injury or for more information and resources on this and other injury topics, please visit www.preventchildinjury.org.

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Over the River and Through the Woods: Safe Holiday Travel

End Injury

Last week, I got a text from my mother asking about my Thanksgiving plans. I hadn’t even given it a moment’s thought. I looked at the calendar and wondered aloud, “Where did September and October go?”

Sure enough, it’s that time of year: the six-week stretch of holidays. And with the holidays comes plenty of travel. In my family alone, Thanksgiving requires travel from five different cities in three different states to get to my parents’ home, where we will be celebrating the day. The American Automobile Association estimates nearly 50 million Americans will travel more than 50 miles on the road, in the skies, or on the rails to get to turkey and stuffing. About 90% of these travelers are expected to be in a car, meaning plenty of extra traffic on our streets and highways.

With the vast majority of us hitting the road this Thanksgiving, here are some tips to remember to keep your holiday travel safer for you and your family.

You (or the driver): Get a good night’s sleep. Buckle up and follow all speed limits. Be patient and courteous, and keep an eye out for drunk or erratic drivers. Designate one person in the car to answer your phone, respond to texts, and give driving instructions.

Children: Make sure your children are in the right safety seats and that the seats are installed correctly (see www.safercar.gov for all the info you need, including where to find a professional child passenger safety technician). Check the child passenger safety laws in the states you are traveling—the laws may be different than your home state. Pack plenty of kid-safe, car-friendly games, drinks, and non-perishable snacks for the car.

Teen drivers: Check teen driving laws in the states where you will be traveling. Consider not letting your teen drive at all—increased traffic and potential bad weather can cause major problems for inexperienced drivers.

Your car: Get your vehicle tuned up by a qualified mechanic. Check your emergency kit (or buy one). Pack your car so that packages, luggage, and extra stuff doesn’t fly around if the car suddenly stops.

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