Sunday May 19, 2013
Although the year seemed to get off to a slow start, we have seen several big measles outbreaks lately that are already boosting this year's numbers. Unfortunately, it is unlikely that the official measles case count from the CDC, which is now at 40, includes the large numbers of cases from the measles outbreaks in New York City or North Carolina.
There are now at least 30 cases of measles in the Borough Park and Williamsburg sections of Brooklyn, New York. And in North Carolina, the case count is up to at least 23. So we have almost surpassed last year's total measles count for the year (54 cases) in just two outbreaks.
And with large ongoing outbreaks in the UK and in Pakistan, in addition to many other developing countries where measles is still endemic, this could be another big year for measles. It is certainly a good reminder to get your kids vaccinated and protected against this vaccine-preventable disease.
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International Measles Outbreaks
Saturday May 18, 2013
In this week's Saturday Safety Roundup, stories of:
- a 12-month-old in Dallas, Texas who died after she was left in a hot car while her mother went to work as a teacher's aide at an area elementary school.
- an 11-month-old in Miami, Florida who died after he was left in a hot car after his mother went into their home without him.
- an 11-year-old in Bossier City, Louisiana who was unintentionally shot in the abdomen by a 13-year-old with a .22 revolver that belongs to a family member.
- an 11-year-old in Lake City, Florida who died when his 4-year-old sister unintentionally shot him in the neck on Mother's Day.
- a 15-year-old in Houston, Texas who died while sitting in the front seat of a car after he was unintentionally shot by another teen who was sitting in the back seat.
- a 13-month-old in Tullahoma, Tennessee who is in critical condition after her father unintentionally shot her in the chest while cleaning his gun.
- a 5-year-old in Denton, Texas who died after he was unintentionally shot in the head by an 8-year-old friend who had found a .22-caliber rifle in a bedroom at the younger child's home.
- a 6-year-old in Amarillo, Texas who unintentionally shot himself in the abdomen while at a relative's home.
- a 14-year-old in Santa Fe, New Mexico who was unintentionally shot in the thigh by a friend who was playing with a gun.
- a 13-year-old near Arborfield, Arizona who died when the ATV he was driving between his farm and his grandparent's home rolled after it got caught on some barbed wire between two fence posts.
- a 7-year-old in Tooele County, Utah who died when the ATV she was riding on as a passenger veered off a road, went into some trees, and a low-hanging branch ruptured an artery in her neck.
- a 16-year-old in Hinesburg, Vermont who died after an ATV accident. His father found him unconscious about a half mile from their home.
- a 12-year-old in Baldwin, New York who died when his ATV flipped while he was trying to remove a post from the ground.
- two toddlers in La Mesa, California who drowned in a backyard swimming pool.
- a 4-year-old in Topeka, Kansas who nearly drowned in a lake near his home. His father found him in the lake after he noticed he was gone.
- a 17-month-old in Glendale, California who is in critical condition after nearly drowning in a backyard pool at a relative's house, which he may have got to through a doggy-door.
- an 11-year-old in Springtown, Texas who died after he tripped and fell near a school bus that was pulling away from a bus stop and was run over.
- a 2-year-old in Middletown, Ohio who suffered severe burns on both of her arms after falling into a 13-gallon trash can that was filled with hot water (to clean it) while reaching for a pencil. The hot water heater in the home was set to 160 degrees.
- a 12-month-old in Mayo, Florida who is in serious condition after getting run over by a pickup truck as she played in her driveway.
Keep your kids safe. Not all, but many of these types of accidents can be prevented.
Many of the accidents and tragedies are ones that we see week after week, especially drownings, dog bites, falls, ATV accidents, unintentional shootings, and even lawn mower accidents.
Spread the word about child safety to help save lives and reduce these types of accidents and tragedies.
Layers of Protection - Child Safety Tips
Road and Traffic Safety
Kids in Hot Cars Alert
Health and Safety Slogans
Friday May 17, 2013
We may soon be getting safer strollers.
And that's good news if you have been affected by one of the many stroller recalls over the last few years. In addition to stroller recalls, the CPSC states that there have been "more than 1,200 stroller-related incidents, including four fatalities and nearly 360 injuries that occurred from 2008 through 2012."
Unfortunately, "soon" is a relative term. According to a press release from the Consumer Product Safety Commission, they "voted today to approve a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPR) to create a federal safety standard for strollers." There will now be a 75-day public comment period and then once the rules finally become final, at least another 18 months until they become effective following publication in the Federal Register.
While it is not a quick process, it is important to note that since the passage of the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act of 2008, the CPSC has approved safer federal standards for cribs, play yards, baby walkers, baby bath seats, and portable bed rails for kids.
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Stroller Recalls List
Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act of 2008
Wednesday May 15, 2013
Often, when you ask younger kids what they like best about school, they will say recess.
That's not surprising. Everyone could use a nice little break in their day to have some fun.
The American Academy of Pediatrics, in their policy statement on "The Crucial Role of Recess in School," even stated earlier this year that a "safe and well-supervised recess offers cognitive, social, emotional, and physical benefits" and that "recess is a crucial and necessary component of a child's development and, as such, it should not be withheld for punitive or academic reasons."
While most of our kids go to recess at school, there are things that can make it even better, including recess before lunch (may lead to less food waste than having recess after lunch) and structured recess.
In fact, a new study that was released by the Mathematica Policy Research and the John W. Gardner Center for Youth and Their Communities at Stanford University found "widespread benefits, including less bullying, more physical activity, and more time for teaching" using the Playworks Training program. Playworks is a national nonprofit organization that is supported by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and is already serving 360 schools in 22 cities.
Using Playworks, trained coaches teach kids "basic sports, playground and cooperative games, as well as lessons on physical health and fitness and principles of violence prevention and safety."
"These findings reinforce what we have seen across the nation in schools that partner with Playworks to make recess and play a priority," said Nancy Barrand, senior adviser for program development with the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. "This study suggests that a great recess is an essential building block for healthy school environments that help kids thrive socially, emotionally, and physically."
What are your kids doing at recess?
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Make Recess Count
The Importance of Free Play
Bullying and Bullies