| |The week of October 19-25, 2014 is National Lead Poisoning Prevention Week. Its time to take note of where the risks are to protect your family.
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) estimates that one million children are affected by lead poisoning and one-half a million children in the U.S. are believed to have lead poisoning. A child who has lead poisoning might not look or act like they are sick. However lead poisoning can lower your child's IQ, make it difficult for them to pay attention and do well in school. Because lead poisoning can:
- Damage the brain and nervous system
- Slow down growth and development
- Cause learning and behavior problems
- Result in hearing and speech problems
Lead is in our environment and sources include:
- Homes built before 1978
- Older water pipes
- Some toys
- Some imported candy
- Lead-based products from certain jobs and hobbies
Lead poisoning is 100% preventable. Don't leave your child at risk. Below are helpful preventive resources.
Select to learn about lead hazards in your home
Photos of candies that are known to contain lead
Another tragic, preventable death of a teen that was backed over while sunbathing in her driveway.
Every week 6 children in the United States are injured from being backed over by a vehicle in a driveway or parking lot. This is equivalent to one average sized classroom of children every week that are injured from being backed over by a vehicle ranging from toddler-ages to teens.
While 50% of these injuries happen in driveways from vehicles backing-up, children are also injured on sidewalks and in parking lots. Drivers are not aware of the child and often the child is unaware the driver was moving the vehicle. While most newer vehicles have back up cameras and sensors, while these are helpful, drivers need to take more caution of children around their vehicles and parents be more aware and educate older children and teens.
TODDLER AGES: For parents and caregivers of toddler aged children, practice "safe" play areas such as lawns, porches or patio (being cautious of multilevel fall risk of course).
OLDER CHILDREN & TEENS: For parents and caregivers of older children and teens remember that these children often become more focused on their own activity, not their surroundings. Their brains are also not yet developed to understand risk. Nor do they have the experience to understand the dynamics of driving a vehicle (i.e. difficult to see while backing, difficult to see in blind areas, unable to stop quickly, etc.).
It is for these reasons that Dr. Safety urges drivers to practice the "Tips For Drivers" below and parents and caregivers model in their own behavior and teach their children the "Tips for Older Children and Teens. Remember practice safe behaviors and Watch Before You Back!
- Walk around the back of your parked vehicle to check for children-or anything that can attract a child like pets or toys -under or behind your vehicle before getting in and starting the engine.
- When backing, remember your car crosses a sidewalk where children could cross on a bicycle, walking, or running. A simple honking of your horn will alert others you are backing out.
- After exiting a vehicle, always hold your child’s hand. If you have other children, have each hold another’s hand.
- When walking with your children teach children how to recognize when a driver puts a car in reverse (white back-up lights turn on).
- When going back to your vehicle, look around for children who might be around when backing up.
Tips for Older Children & Teens
SIDEWALKS (walking, running, or riding a bicycle, scooter, skateboard, blades)
- Be aware of “blind” driveways and alleys where delivery trucks and cars may be backing up.
- If you see the white “back-up” lights turn on, on a vehicle, you must STOP!
- These light turn on when a driver makes the car go backward to let people know they are backing-up. Let the car back away, then continue walking.
- Be aware of vehicles that back-up by looking for their “white” back-up lights. If you see them turn on, you STOP, back away & let the vehicle backup.
- Always walk, never run.
DO NOT PLAY OR RELAX ON DRIVEWAYS
Educational Material (click above to download)
Awareness Flyer (click above to download)
CONTACT DR. SAFETY: DrSafety@proconsumersafety.com
For injury prevention information or media advisory contact Pro Consumer Safety
Children and hot cars don't mix! Pro Consumer Safety provides guidelines for prevention and educational material to help prevent these 100% preventable deaths. On average nearly every week in the United States a child under the age of two dies of hyperthermia from being left alone in a motor vehicle. In over half of these confirmed deaths, the parent forgot their child was in the car. This is usually from a change of routine. In 29% of cases the child was playing in an unlocked vehicle then got locked in, and 19% of cases the parent left the child for a moment then got distracted and forgot their child. Parents and caregivers need to understand that the body of a baby can heat up 3-5 times faster than that of an adult. As a result children should NEVER be left alone in a motor vehicle.
Pro Consumer Safety urges parents, caregivers and other adults to practice the following guidelines to help keep children safe:
- Never leave child alone in a motor vehicle, not even for a minute (in 19 states it is illegal to leave a child alone in a motor vehicle. See link to laws below). Take your child with you first before leaving your car.
- Leave Reminders: After you buckle your child up in their appropriate child safety restraint, leave reminders on the back floor next to your child, such as a briefcase, a purse or a cell phone (something needed at your final destination). This is especially important if you’re not following your normal routine such as a different parent taking the baby to day care. Also request that your day care provider or babysitter call you anytime the baby does not show up. This prevents forgetfulness during a change in routine.
- Lock Your Car: Keep your car locked when you’re not in it so children are unable to climb in on their own.
- Call 911: If you see a child alone in a motor vehicle, call 911. Emergency personnel want you to call. They are trained to respond to these situations. One call could save a life.
Educational Material (click above to download)
FACT SHEET (click above to download)
For more information or media advisory contact Pro Consumer Safety
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Every day 35-children are injured from a top-heavy furniture fall and every 3-weeks a child is killed from a TV tip-over. Most of these children are 5-years of age and younger (Safe Kids Worldwide) and all could have been prevented.
Toddler aged children learn about their environment by doing, reaching, climbing and observing, by modeling their caregivers behavior. While this is helpful for the child to learn, it can also put them at risk for injury. From climbing up onto an unstable piece of furniture to reach for a toy or by pulling onto a reachable flat screen panel TV, for example. While supervision is the best prevention, 100% of supervision is not always possible. So having the necessary layers of protection will help prevent an injury during a brief lapse in supervision.
Anchoring a flat screen panel TV's onto a wall or strapping it to a wall or cabinet (that is also anchored to the wall) and anchoring top-heavy furniture onto a wall are among these layers of protection. However what is often left out of the recommendations for parents is the importance of "properly" securing these to the wall. Properly securing these to a wall means using the appropriate method of attaching the TV or furniture to the wall, via a screw into a wooden stud or using the appropriate hollow wall bolt.
Prevention: One of the most important components among these layers of protection is to anchor TV's and furniture "properly" so when they are anchored, they remain stable and cannot fall onto a child. This concept is similar to that of child restraint systems (CRS). Whereas even with the most expensive and safest car seat installed in the most expensive and safest vehicle is only as safe as it is properly used and correctly installed. When anchoring a TV or furniture to a wall it must be done correctly anchored "properly" to be effective.
Correct use & properly anchored: Remember when anchoring TV’s and furniture to the wall, the anchors, mounts, straps and braces used are only as safe as they are correctly used and properly installed. When anchoring into a wall:
- Find a wood stud in the wall to fasten into. If found, screw the mount, strap or anchor onto the wall, then screw anchor onto furniture or TV.
- If however a wood stud is not found and you must use the hollow section of the wall, you must use the appropriate hollow wall “anchor bolt” or “molly bolt” for either a “plaster” wall (older homes) or “drywall” wall (newer or remodeled homes). If you are unsure of the type of wall, contact your local hardware store to help make a determination. Once known, they can assist you with the type of hollow wall bolt needed. See types below.
Types of Hollow Wall Bolts
Once you know if the wall is plaster or drywall you can then determine which type of hollow wall bolt is needed. Again if you are unsure consult your local hardware store regarding types and size needed. They can also assist you with the strength size of the wall bolt needed (i.e. for heavy furniture or larger wall mounted flat panel TV's).
TV Safety Guide
Flat Screen Panel TV's
Furniture Safety Guide
Unstable & Top-heavy Furniture
| | Mounted on Wall
- Use appropriate wall mount brackets
- Follow manufacturer’s instructions
| |Anchored to Wall
- Use appropriate anchor strap
- Follow manufacturer’s instructions
- When using an anchor strap, whether anchored to wall or cabinet, make sure cabinet is stable and cannot topple over. If not stable, anchor cabinet to wall.
Strap to Furniture
| | Anchor furniture to wall using:
- Wall brackets, braces, or straps
- Anchor at top or side of furniture