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Filtering by Category: teenager

Weigh your child's backpack

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We're at the start of a new school year, so it's time to take a good look at your child's backpack. Kids stuff all kinds of things into their backpacks: textbooks, notebooks, lunch, water bottles, sports equipment, headphones, laptops, who knows what else. As all that stuff piles up, so does the weight, but kids really shouldn't be carrying more than 10-15% of their body weight. Weigh your child's backpack to make sure a typical load isn't putting too much strain on those young shoulders.

Check out this article and infographic about heavy backpacks, and here's a handy chart to help you figure out how much weight your kid can safely carry.

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Make safety a habit all year long

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Little steps can add up to big impact. Taking a few minutes every week to think about safety is a habit worth creating.

 

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Take the Lock Your Meds® Pledge

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Most parents of young children know to keep medications up, away, and out of sight, but what about the parents of teenagers? In some cases, teens aren’t looking to drugs like marijuana to get high—they’re looking in their parents’ or grandparents’ medicine cabinet. Research shows that the number of teens who abuse prescription medication continues to rise. Take the Lock Your Meds® Pledge and secure the medications in your home.

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Talk to your teen about "5 to Drive"

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Car crashes are the #1 cause of death for our country’s teenagers. The “5 to Drive” campaign takes on some of the biggest risk factors for teen drivers, such as distracted driving, extra passengers, and speeding. Click here to learn more about the program, and then talk to your teen about following the rules of the road.

 

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Install a working smoke detector in every bedroom

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It's simple: smoke detectors save lives. You probably have one installed near your stove and maybe in the hallway. But did you know you also should have a smoke detector in each bedroom or sleeping area? Having enough smoke detectors will give your family the best chance to get out of the house safely.

Click here for more information about where to place smoke detectors.

 

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Show your kids how to safely meet new dogs

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Dogs are everywhere: at the park, on the sidewalk, at your neighbor’s house, maybe in your own home. Teaching your kids the right way to greet dogs will keep their experiences fun and safe.

The tips in the links below will help you and your child understand when it's okay to pet a dog and what signs show that the dog is too excited or overwhelmed--a prime time for bites.

National Dog Bite Prevention Week (American Academy of Pediatrics)

Dog Safety for Kids (Doggone Safe)

Safe Kids Safe Dogs

What I Learned (Too Late) About Keeping Kids Safe Around Dogs (The New York Times)

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Learn and enforce your state’s graduated driver’s license laws

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Many states made changes to graduated driver's licensing laws in the past few months. Stay up-to-date on the rules your teen must follow to stay safe--and legal--on the road. Click here for a complete list of state laws on graduated driver's licensing.

Once you know the law in your state, enforcement is the next step. Talk to your teen about why the laws are important, and have your teen sign a driving agreement (such as this one from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) that lays out rules, expectations, and consequences.

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Find a safe route to school and practice the trip with your child

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Walking, riding, rolling, or busing? No matter how your child gets to school, safety is always a top concern. Before the start of the new school year, take some time to figure out the safest way for your children to get to and from school or the bus stop--and then practice the trip with them. Point out any safety hazards, like busy intersections and distracted walking.

Bonus: You can use these checklists to identify safety issues in your community, and then let school and elected officials know how they can create safer routes to school for everyone.

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Don’t sweat it. Drink plenty of water when out in the heat.

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It might seem simple, but getting enough to drink can make a huge difference in the health of your child, especially in the long, hot days of summer. Drinking plenty of water helps prevent muscle cramps, heat exhaustion, and heatstroke. Also, kids can’t handle heat as well as adults can, so it’s really important that kids drink water before, during, and after sports and recreational play. Click here for a handy infographic from Safe Kids Worldwide showing you how much your child should be drinking.

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Celebrate July 4 with glow sticks instead of backyard fireworks

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There is no safe way to use backyard fireworks. Even sparklers, considered “safe” by some people, burn as hot as 2000 degrees. That’s a temperature that can melt metal and set clothes on fire. About 25 percent of the people injured by backyard fireworks every year are bystanders. A child only has to watch an adult using fireworks to be hurt.

 

What to do? Well, even young children can have fun with glow sticks. They’re available at most toy and party supply stores, and they are pretty inexpensive. Best of all, they can look like sparklers without burning like sparklers.      

 

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Start a conversation about childhood injury - share the Make Safe Happen video.

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It can be found here. One of our Operation End Injury actions is downloading the Make Safe Happen app,  created by the experts at Nationwide Children’s Hospital. The app is part of a larger child safety project from Nationwide Insurance called Make Safe Happen.

The video that introduces the project is also a simple, gripping intro to the issue of childhood injury. Your family members and your friends may not know much about it now, but if they see the video, they will want to learn more.

 

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Pack for camp (or other summer adventures) with expert help

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We know that sunscreen needs to be in the duffel bag. But plenty of other items are important for your children to take along to summer camp – or just on the weekend cabin trip. The packing list and other tips here might be surprising.  

For example, did you know the kind of shoes your children wear make a big difference? Many camp injuries happen because of trips and falls, and the American Camp Association says that wearing closed-toe shoes instead of flip-flops may prevent those injuries.

 

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