Monroe Carell Jr. Children's Hospital at Vanderbilt

Volume 14 Issue 12 .                                                                                             Summer 2020

Safety Source

Thank you for being a Safety Source family!

Summer Holiday Edition

This week we want to focus on how to stay safe especially during the summer Holidays and provide you with tips on how to keep your whole family safe this summer. There are interactive tools for your children to learn the importance of firework safety,  as well as information for parents. We hope this will be a fun way to learn about important safety topics together as a family. Let us know if we can be a resource to you in anyway! As always, we try to include the best topics to keep your family happy, healthy, and safe! If you wish to see a particular topic or question addressed in our next issue, please let us know!

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Newsletter Highlights

Video for Kids

Interactive video for Kids to learn about Firework Safety Tips and how to stay safe this summer. 

Activities for Kids to learn about Fire Safety

Lots of activities to learn about Fore Safety and how you can help your family stay safe. 

Interactive Quiz about Firework Safety

Test your child's knowledge about Firework Safety topics through an interactive online quiz. 

More Information for Parents

Information for parents about Firework Safety Tips

Safety with Fireworks

Fireworks are a fun way to celebrate the Fourth of July, but every year, numerous adults and children are treated at the hospital for fireworks related burns and injuries. Things like bottle rockets, firecrackers, and sparklers can lead to blindness, hearing loss, and burns if not handled properly. According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission, it is estimated that 9,100 people were injured in 2018 from handling fireworks. 62% of these injuries occurred in the weeks surrounding the Fourth of July. Children ages 10-14 had the highest prevalence of fireworks injuries treated in the emergency room, followed by teens ages 15-19.

Additionally, sparklers burn at 1,200 degrees Fahrenheit, hot enough to cause third degree burns. Many people think these are a safer alternative to traditional fireworks, but sparklers can leave nasty burns and lead to a trip to the hospital too. Glow sticks are a fun alternative to sparklers for children.

It is always best to leave the fireworks to the experts and attend a professional show, but if you plan to have your own backyard fireworks show, always follow these precautions:

  • Always read and follow all instructions and warnings on the label
  • Never allow children to light or play with fireworks
  • The adult lighting the fireworks should always wear eye protection
  • Light only one firework at a time
  • Use fireworks outside only
  • Make sure that other people are out of range before lighting the fireworks
  • Never relight a dud firework. Douse and soak in water and throw away
  • Always have water handy in case of fire
  • Light fireworks on a smooth, flat surface away from any buildings. Keep away from dry leaves and any other flammable materials
  • Never point fireworks at other people or animals
  • Never shoot fireworks in glass or metal containers
  • Dispose of fireworks by soaking them in water and placing them in the trash can

Have a safe and happy Fourth of July!

For additional fireworks safety tips and information, please visit our website at



Grill Safety Tips

Grilling is one of the most popular ways to cook food especially in the summertime. A growing awareness is needed for grilling related injuries. The National Fire Protection Association says that on average over 9,000 home fires are caused by outdoor grilling. Stay safe this summer when grilling by following these safety tips:

  • Only use your grill outside! Remember to position your grill at least 3 feet away from any siding or deck rails.
  • Establish a 3 feet safety zone around the area near your grill. This will help to prevent children from getting injured.
  • Once you start the fire, always keep an eye on your grill. Consider planning ahead for the items you will need. So you won’t have to walk away from your grilling station.
  • Remember to check and remove the grease tray before lighting your grill. 1 in 5 grill fires, the grills had not been cleaned.
  • Use long handled grilling tools to avoid the risk of getting burned.
  • It is important to teach your children that lighters, and matches are dangerous, and any loose lighters should be reported to an adult.
  • Once the coals from your grill have cooled off, remember to place them in a metal can.

Hosting cookouts and grilling with families can be an exciting time. By keeping these safety tips in mind during the summer months, will help to keep your family safe.

Summer Driving Tips for Teens

As many schools across the country have closed for summer break and states across the country beginning to phase into reopening, the rate of teen drivers on the road will begin to increase. Ford Driving Skills for Life- a Ford Fund safe driving program for teen drivers, put together eight tips to keep teens safe this summer.

  • Wear your seat belt
    • One of the safest choices drivers and passengers can make is to buckle up. Over 14,000 lives were saved by seat belts in 2017. 1 Air bags are not enough to protect you in a crash. Air bags are designed to work alongside seat belt use, not replace them. Teen drivers should require always wear a seat belt and require their passengers to do the same.
  • Limit Passengers
    • Conversations with multiple passengers can be incredibly distracting, and peer pressure can lead to dangerous behaviors like speeding or recklessness. Graduated Driver Licensing laws limit the number of passengers allowed at one time. Check your state’s GDL law and how it applies to you. Did you know adding two passengers under the age of 21 doubles the risk of car crash for a teen driver?
  • Don’t Drive Drowsy
    • The National Sleep Foundation says drowsy driving can be just as dangerous as drunk driving. Drowsy driving crashes occur most often between midnight and 6 a.m.
  • Don’t drive impaired
    • Every day, almost 30 people in the United States die in drunk-driving crashes — that's one person every 50 minutes.3 Driving a vehicle while impaired is a dangerous crime. If you drink, do not drive for any reason. Call an UBER, a sober friend, or possibly a family member.
  • Avoid distractions
    • Every day in the US, nine people die from a distracted-driving-related motor vehicle crash, with six of these deaths being teens aged 16 to 19. Distracted driving can also be listening to music or eating while driving. This concept describes anything that can take your focus away from the road.
  • Reduce Night Driving
    • The inexperience of a teen driver mixed with unfamiliar roads can result in a crash.
  • Watch out for Construction Zones
    • You can receive a big ticket if you do not abide by the construction zone advisement. This also applies to moving over for emergency vehicles on the highway
  • Know the Roads
    • If possible, take the time to review the road signs and driving laws. It is important for them to become familiar with the road rules.

It is important to talk with your child early and to continuously host safe driving conversations throughout their driving experience because laws change. Parents play a key role in empowering their teens to practice safe driving behaviors because laws can change over time.

Click for more information about Teen Driving Safety
Understanding the different parts of a Car Seat

As you prepare to go on family trips, it can be a great time to familiarize yourself with the various car seat parts. Car seat language can confuse even the most informed parents. By understanding the different parts and how they work, this can help your child be as safe and provides guidance on which parts should be used during installation as well as parts that should be checked frequently to ensure they are working safely. Here is a guide to better understand the main parts of a car seat and their individual functions.

Harness straps

These straps come over the shoulders and hips and attach to the buckle located at the crotch strap between the legs. The harness straps should be buckled and secured on every car ride. You will need to adjust them as your child grows. When you place the child into the car seat, you should not be able to pinch more than one inch of fabric on the harness straps. If you pinch the harness straps and you are able to pinch a significant amount of fabric, the harness may be too loose and need adjustment to ensure the child is safely secured in the seat.

Harness slots

The harness slots are the openings on a car seat that adjust the level of the harness straps closest to the shoulders. When using the seat in the rear-facing position, the harness straps should be at or below your child’s shoulders. When forward-facing, the harness straps should be at or above the shoulders. You may have to look on the back of the seat to see how to move the harness straps to different harness slots. Always look at the car seat manual for guidance and specific instructions for your specific seat.

Harness adjuster

Harness adjusters allow you to tighten and loosen the harness straps. When preparing your child for a car ride, especially in colder weather, remove any bulky coats or jackets and then tighten the harness straps. The harness adjust may be located underneath fabric or close to the buckle. The harness adjuster helps tighten the straps if they are too loose when you pinch the harness straps.

Chest clip

The chest clip holds the shoulder straps together over your child’s. In the rear-facing and forward-facing positions this clip should be at armpit level. Internal injury could occur if the clip is placed too low over the soft parts of a child’s body. Always check the position of the chest clip every time you secure the child in the seat.


Located between a child’s legs on a rear and forward-facing car seats, this buckle secures the harness straps in place. A child should always be buckled into the seat during every time the vehicle is in motion even for feeding or during traffic.

Lower anchor attachments

These straps attach with clips on each end to the lower anchors found in most vehicle seats. Use them to secure most child safety seats instead of the vehicle’s seat belt. Don’t use them together with a seat belt unless the manufacturer’s instructions specifically state to do so. The lower anchor attachments with have two clips unlike the tether strap that will just have one clip. It is important to know the difference between the lower anchor attachments and tether straps so you do not miss them up when installing the seat. If you are not using the lower anchor attachments, refer back to the car seat manual to see how the straps should be secured to seat to prevent the attachments from hitting the child and causing injuries to the child.

Tether strap

This single seat-belt-like strap connects the rear of a child safety seat to an anchor point in the vehicle. These straps are typically only used in the forward-facing position to reduce the forward motion of a child’s seat and the child’s body in a crash. Anytime you are using a forward-facing seat, you should use a tether strap. Reference your vehicle’s manual for the exact location of these anchors so you don’t confuse them with cargo hooks. Your manual will show you the specific symbol to look for in your car to know where to attach the tether strap.

Click for more information about Car Seats
Are You interested in learning more about Child Passenger Safety?

We are now offering online webinars that offer important safety information about Child Passenger Safety. If you interested in learning more, or about us partnering with your organization, please contact us! 

Learn more about Online Webinars for Child Passenger Safety
How to make July 4th Themed Snacks

Easy recipes for your child to learn how to cook while having fun in the kitchen! 

Click for Recipe
Meet the Injury Prevention Team

Purnima Unni

is the Pediatric Trauma Injury Prevention Program Manager for Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt. She has a Masters in Public Health and is a Certified Health Education specialist with over 20 years of experience in injury prevention. She is a wife and mother of two girls and her rescue puppy. She loves to cook, travel and watch murder mysteries.

Eppiphanie Richardson

is an Atlanta native who decided to take on Nashville as her newest adventure. She is also the Associate Program Manager for the Be in the Zone-Turn Off Your Phone Campaign which educates teens and parents on the dangers of distracted driving. She has a passion for healthcare and serving others. She feels privileged to be able to serve Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt. In her free time, she enjoys exploring Nashville, dancing, running, and spending time with her husband and son.

Mimi Sanders

is a Nashville native and received her Masters from Vanderbilt University. She is the Associate Program Manager for the Kohls Seat Smart Program, which focuses on educating caregivers, children, and community partners on the importance of car seat safety. She is so excited to join the team at Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt. In her free time, she enjoys volunteering with her local church’s special needs ministry, hanging out with family and friends, and doing yoga

Carson Stratton

is a Tallahassee, Florida native and senior at Auburn University majoring in health services administration and minoring in business. She is currently interning with the Pediatric Trauma Injury Prevention Program, doing research, forming best practice guidelines, and creating educational information. She is very excited and grateful for this opportunity to work with the team. In her spare time, she loves spending time with friends, going to Auburn football games, playing tennis, and watching Friends and The Office.

Visit our Website
Resources from our generous partners
Tips about Firearm Safety
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Tips from AllState
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Tips for Teens and Safe Driving
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Thank you to our generous partners and organizations
Safety Source Newsletter-Weekly Edition

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This newsletter is brought to you by the Pediatric Trauma Injury Prevention Program and Kohl’s Stay Seat Smart Program at Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt.