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MID-WINTER CHECK UP

winter

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

There’s lots of great ways to enjoy the winter. Sledding, ice skating, and the chance to wear big puffy coats and heavy boots. Of course, there’s also winter weather to consider and so far, we’ve seen it all: cold, wind, snow, and some sunny days too. Now that we’re about halfway through such an unpredictable winter, we thought it might be a good time to give you 5 things to think about when it comes to keeping your family safe.

Car Seats and Winter Coats. We know you want your little ones to be warm, but please don’t buckle your child into a car seat while wearing a bulky coat. The coat can compress in a crash and create a loose car seat harness, putting your child at greater risk of injury in the event of a crash. Instead, lay the jacket over your children like a blanket once they’re safely secured.

Sleep Safety. Extra blankets can seem so cozy in a baby’s crib but soft bedding can block a baby’s airway during sleep. A firm mattress covered with a tight-fitting crib sheet is all you need for your baby to sleep well. If you’re worried about keeping your baby warm on those cold winter nights, try using a sleepsack (wearable blanket). They’re pretty cozy, too.

Winter Sports. Kids love to push the limits when they’re skiing or snowboarding. Make sure they wear helmets and other proper gear to keep them safe if they fall on the slopes. Kids also might not be inclined to drink as much water when they’re playing in cold weather because they don’t get as hot. Remind them to stay properly hydrated.

Carbon Monoxide. This is a great time to make sure your home has a carbon monoxide alarm on every level, especially near sleeping areas, and keep them at least 15 feet away from fuel-burning appliances. If you’re warming up a vehicle, don’t forget to remove it from the garage immediately after starting it. It’s extremely dangerous to leave a car, SUV or motorcycle engine running inside a garage.

Fire Safety. Create and practice a home fire escape plan with two ways out of your house in case of a fire. This can be a fun activity for the whole family. Here’s a handy worksheet to help get you started. And remember to keep space heaters at least three feet away from anything that can burn. More tips on fire.

For more child safety tips go to:  www.safekids.org.  Have a fun and safe winter.

Winter Sports Safety

With snow comes outdoor activities like sled riding, skiing, snowboarding and ice skating. Thousands of children suffer injuries during these activities that may be prevented.

Helmets are essential for many outdoor winter activities. The risk of head injury is too great to leave the helmet in a closet at home. Helmets prevent or reduce the effects of 53 percent of the head injuries suffered by children while skiing or snowboarding.

Children should bundle up and enjoy the outdoors. Before heading out, it is important to remember a few key items in addition to the hat and gloves.

Safety Tip

Top Winter Safety Tips

  • Always wear sport-specific, properly fitting safety gear when participating in winter sports.
  • Kids should always wear helmets when they ski, sled, snowboard and play ice hockey. There are different helmets for different activities.
  • Parents should wear helmets too. Remember, your children learn safety habits by watching you.
  • Dress in layers and wear warm, close-fitting clothes. Make sure that long scarves are tucked in so they don’t get entangled in lifts, ski poles or other equipment.
  • Stay hydrated. Drink fluids before, during and after winter play.
  • Kids — or caregivers — who become distracted or irritable, or begin to hyperventilate, may be suffering from hypothermia or altitude sickness, or they may be too tired to participate safely in winter sports. They need to go indoors to warm up and rest.
  • Children under 6 should not ride a snowmobile, and nobody under 16 should drive one. All snowmobile drivers and passengers should wear helmets designed for high-speed motor sports. A bike helmet isn’t sufficient for a four-wheeled motorcycle that can go up to 90 miles per hour.

Get Ahead in the Game – Prevent Concussions: Former Philadelphia Flyer Primeau Shares Concussion Experience

Safe Kids Atlantic/Cape May together with Atlanticare Health Services hosted a sports injury prevention clinic, Get Ahead in the Game – Prevent Concussions, for coaches, athletic trainers, parents and children recently to focus on injury risks associated with ice hockey and lacrosse. 

Former Philadelphia Flyer Keith Primeau discussed a player’s perspective of safety and importance of using correctly fitted, appropriate helmets to prevent concussions in sports.  Primeau retired in 2006 after suffering the most severe concussion in a series of head injuries, ending his 14 year NHL career.

Coaches, athletic trainers, nurses and parents listen intently as Keith Primeau speaks about his experience with multiple concussions, which eventually ended his career with the Philadelphia Flyers.

Given that more than 30 million children nationally participate in sports each year, and over 3.5 million receive medical treatment due to sports injuries, Safe Kids New Jersey believes that youth sports safety is a challenge worth facing.  Watch for more to come from Safe Kids in the upcoming months on sports injury prevention.

At the event, David Cane from Cascade (a manufacturer of sports helmets) demonstrated proper helmet fit for lacrosse and ice hockey:

Make Helmet Use a No-Brainer this Winter

The cold weather does little to keep winter sports enthusiasts inside – especially children. In fact, children ages 14 and under are at a high risk for winter sports injuries. In 2007, there were 17,000 estimated injuries among children from skiing and snowboarding; 24,500 estimated injuries from sledding; and 1,500 estimated injuries from snowmobiles and other equipment. Safe Kids New Jersey has some winter safety tips to keep your kids injury-free.

According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, ski helmets could prevent or reduce the effects of 50 percent of head injuries suffered by children under 15 while skiing or snowboarding. Kids should always wear helmets when they ski, sled, snowboard, or play ice hockey but parents should know that there are different helmets for different activities. Make sure your child’s helmet meets federal safety standards, and have an expert check that the helmet fits correctly so it won’t come loose at a critical moment.

Along with wearing a helmet while skiing or snowboarding, parents should know these ten useful tips to keep their children safe when doing outdoor activities this winter:

Sledding

  • Kids can suffer serious head injuries from sledding, and should always wear a helmet. When sledding, do not go down a hill head-first. Sit up, face forward, use a clear, safe path and make sure an adult is supervising.
  • A good sledding hill does not lead to a street, a body of water or a crowded gathering place. In addition, remember to inspect sleds regularly for worn, damaged or loose parts that could break or snag at high speed.

Snowmobiles

  • Children under 6 should not be riding a snowmobile and no one under 16 should drive one. All snowmobile drivers and passengers should be wearing helmets designed for high-speed motor sports – a bike helmet isn’t sufficient for a four-wheeled motorcycle that can go up to 90 miles per hour.

Ice Skating and Hockey

  • There is no consensus among experts about the need for helmets while ice skating, but parents should consider them for kids who are just beginning to learn to skate.
  • Helmets are a must for ice hockey, along with mouth guards, knee pads and elbow, shoulder and shin protection.
  • Teach kids how to protect themselves if they do fall through ice. Remind them to stretch their arms out wide and kick as if swimming, shout for help, and try to crawl backward onto solid ice.

General

  • Always wear sport-specific, properly fitting safety gear when participating in winter sports activities. Since proper equipment fit and maintenance are important for safety, bring your child along when shopping for skates, helmets, boots, etc.
  • Dress in layers and wear warm, close-fitting clothes. Make sure that long scarves are tucked in so they don’t get entangled in lifts, ski poles or other equipment.
  • Stay hydrated and wear sunscreen with an SPF of 15 or higher.
  • If children become distracted, irritable, or begins to hyperventilate, they may be suffering from hypothermia or altitude sickness, or are too tired to participate safely in winter sports. They should go indoors, rest and warm up.

Remember, your children learn safety habits by watching you, so parents should always wear the right helmet for their winter activities too.