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Eye Injury Prevention

Sight is one of our most trusted senses. 2,000 eye injuries occur every day and 90% of all of these injuries can be prevented by the use of protective eye wear to shield eyes from potential flying objects, fumes, dust, sparks or splashing chemicals. Protect your eyes and the eyes of your children with these simple reminders.

Use protective eye wear, especially when:

  • using hammers, power tools, or chemicals
  • welding
  • using household chemicals like bleach and other cleaners
  • always read labels carefully and work in a well ventilated area
  • while playing sports such as racquetball, paintball, lacrosse and hockey
  • when mowing the lawn, trimming or edging
  • while blowing leaves or sweeping

 

Be careful when opening bottles under pressure like a bottle of champagne, and avoid splashing while cooking with hot oils and other fluids.

 

Supervise children’s use of tools and toys. Pencils, scissors, knives, paperclips, bungee cords, wire hangers, rubber bands, fishhooks and small / flying toys can be dangerous. Teach children how to safely carry sharp objects, to never point flying toys at another person, and to never play with laser pointers!

 

And finally, always remember to protect your eyes from damaging UV rays by wearing broad-rimmed hats and/or sunglasses.

 

Staying Safe in the Summer Sun!

When the temperatures rise and we are exposed to extreme heat and humidity, our bodies lose the ability to cool themselves down. This may lead to dehydration and heat-related illness. Heat-related illness includes:

heat cramps

painful cramps, muscle spasms and sweating

Treat with hydration, seeking a cool environment and halting any strenuous activity.

heat exhaustion

heavy sweating, nausea, weakness or dizziness, muscle cramping

Treat by getting into a cooler environment with a fan if available, remove bulky or tight clothing, utilize cool compresses or spray cool mist on skin and hydrate.

heat stroke

sweating may or not occur at this point because of significant dehydration; altered mental status

This is a medical emergency and the affected person must be taken to the hospital immediately. Call 911.

Extreme heat tips

  • Always use protective sunblock.
  • Drink plenty of fluids. If you are working outside, drink 2-4 glasses of cool water every hour. Avoid alcohol and sugary drinks.
  • Seek shade or cooler areas if you start to get hot.
  • Wear lightweight, light colored , loose fitting clothing.
  • Limit your outdoor activity and sun exposure.
  • Remember never leave a child or a pet in a parked car! It takes less than 2 minutes for a car’s temperature to rise to an unsafe level.

People at greater risk for heat-related illness are:

  • infants/young children and the elderly
  • people with high blood pressure, heart disease or a fever
  • people with obesity
  • people with mental illness
  • people who use drugs and alcohol

Summer Safety Tips for Families

Summer is almost here! Playing outside, riding bikes, trips to the playground, beach, and/or pool should be fun and not cause for stress or worry! To keep your summer fun and safe, here are some tips from the American Academy of Pediatrics worth sharing.

Bugs

They are everywhere! Ticks, mosquitoes, black flies, wasps/bees- UGH! Avoiding them can be tricky but avoiding areas where they may be—such as stagnant pools of water, tall grassy areas near woods, and not being out in the early morning and early evening can limit our exposure. Not using scented soaps, perfumes, and hair sprays on your child and not dressing them with bright colors can limit bugs from being attracted to your kids. DEET containing bug repellent products can be used on children older than 2 months of age—including up to 30% DEET. 30% DEET protects for a longer period of time (5hr) than 10% DEET (2hr). DEET is safe as long as it is not put in the mouth or eyes and washed off when your child comes inside. It can protect your child from not only mosquito bites but ticks as well. Ticks can carry Lyme disease and mosquitoes can carry infections like Wet Nile, Dengue Fever and EEE. Never use the combined bug and sun products—as sunscreen should be reapplied every 2 hours, but bug repellents should not.

 

To prevent a trip to the Emergency Department, ensuring the playground is safe is a must!

  • Ideally, the playground area should have at least 9-inches of sand or wood chips/bark or 6-inches of shredded rubber underneath the equipment and 6 ft in all directions around the equipment.
  • Check for protruding bolts/nails or open “S” hooks which can lead to injuries.
  • Make sure your child cannot reach any moving part that might pinch or trap any body part.
  • Check to make sure the slide or bars or seats are not too hot—this can cause burns.
  • NEVER attach ropes, jump ropes, leashes or other similar items to playground equipment—children can get rope burns or strangle themselves.
  • Make sure your child wears shoes to prevent tripping or injuries to their feet!
  • ALWAYS supervise your child.
  • Many injuries occur when children play on a trampoline—if you have one ensure only one child jumps at a time and that the trampoline is enclosed.

Bike Safety

Always make sure your child—at any age and any place—wears a helmet! A helmet should have a sticker that says it meets the CPSC safety standard and fit properly—it should be snug on the head and worn level on the head to cover the forehead and not tipped backwards or forwards. The strap should be fastened with about 2 fingers able to fit between the chin and the strap. AND, if your child does fall and the helmet hits the ground, it needs to be replaced. Also the bike should fit the child—an over-sized bike can be dangerous and lead to injuries.

Skateboard, Scooter, Heelys Safety

Not only are helmets (that meet ASTM safety standards) needed but so are protective wrist, elbow, and knee pads. Children should use skateboarding parks and avoid riding in streets or using homemade ramps and jumps. Also, ensure your child rides alone on the skateboard/scooter/heelys and is not being pulled by someone—this can lead to falls and broken bones!

Fireworks

Can be beautiful to see, but can result in severe burns and scars—even sparklers! It is best to attend community firework displays run by professionals and NOT use fireworks at home.

Sun

Always ensure your child has sunscreen (even on cloudy days!) with an SPF 15 or greater that protects against both UVA and UVB rays. It should be applied liberally and reapplied every 2 hours OR after swimming or sweating. Eyes can also be “sunburned” so wearing sunglasses that protect against UVA and UBV rays—especially if at the beach or if your child is very light skinned- is a must!

Water Safety

NEVER leave your child alone near water (any pool, spa, beach, river, pond)—not even for a moment. NO ONE should swim alone—not even an experienced older teen. Inflatable swimming aids are not safe and should not be used as a substitute for an approved life vest. Swim lessons can help, but do not make your child “drown-proof”. If you have a pool of any kind, check out www.poolsafely.gov for tips to keep you and your child safe while enjoying the pool! If you go to a beach or public pool, never let your child swim unless there is a lifeguard (or an adult who knows about water rescue) present. For more water safety tips, visit www.healthychildren.org.

 

 

Kids in cars – THE SAFE WAY!

by Brenda Foley, MD

Motor vehicle related accidents are one of the leading causes of death in children in the U.S. It has been demonstrated that the appropriate use of car-seats can reduce traffic deaths of children by at least 80%. However, it is thought that as many as 80% of car-seats are not used correctly.

Tips using car-seats to keep your child safe

  • There is no “best” or “safest” car-seat. How much a car-seat cost does not determine how “good it is”!
  • New is better – Using a used car-seat bought at a yard sale or thrift store may not be safe, as car-seats wear over time and older seats might be missing parts, labels, and instructions on proper use. Also, they may have damage you cannot see or have been recalled.
  • Make sure the car-seat not only “fits” your child but fits properly in your car—in the backseat! The car-seat should be buckled tightly in the car and should not wiggle more than one inch side to side or front to back. Your child should fit “snugly” in the seat and you shouldn’t be able to pinch any of the harness straps between your fingers.

There are many types of car-seats:

  • Infant only carrier type car-seats
  • Convertible safety seats
  • Combination seats
  • Booster seats

Always follow the manufacturer guidelines of the car-seat. Ideally, children under 2 should be REAR-facing but many children will “outgrow” the infant carrier type car-seat. This is based on your child’s weight and height and they can still be rear-facing in a convertible car-seat. Continue using a 5-point harness type car-seat for as long as possible—until your child has reached the max height/weight limit. ALWAYS refer to the car-seat manufacturer’s instructions on proper use.

Children should not sit in the front seat until they are 13 years or older and should always where a seat belt with a shoulder strap. The lap belt should fit on the hips and NOT the belly and the shoulder strap should fit snugly across the center of your child’s shoulder, not the neck.

Check out this website for more information on picking out a car-seat and using it properly: