Monroe Carell Jr. Children's Hospital at Vanderbilt

Volume 15 Issue 18 .                                                                                     Fall 2020

Safety Source

Thank you for being a Safety Source family! 
Fall Safety Tips Edition

This week we want to provide safety tips for the fall season and also about fire safety. There are interactive tools for your children to learn the importance of autumn and fire 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!

Newsletter Highlights

Video for Kids

Interactive video for kids to learn about fire safety

Activities for kids to learn about fire safety

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

Interactive Quiz about Child Passenger Safety

Test your child's knowledge about child passenger safety through an interactive online quiz. 

More Information for Parents

Information for parents about Fall Safety with COVID-19

Halloween Safety During COVID-19

Keeping your family safe during COVID-19, is a priority for many families. As the fall season approaches, Halloween will soon follow. The CDC suggests that many traditional Halloween activities are considered high-risk activities for spreading viruses. Consider having your family participate in these alternative activities:

  • Hosting a pumpkin decorating contest with household family members
  • Decorating your house, apartment, or living space.
  • Organizing a Halloween scavenger hunt where children can find Halloween- themed items inside and outside your home.
  • Hosting a virtual Halloween costume contest
  • Having a small group, outdoor, open-air costume party where people are distanced more than 6 feet apart.

With neighborhood trick-or-treating uncertain, drop candy-filled goodie bags at friends’ or neighbors’ doorsteps as a contact-free way of spreading the wealth without spreading the germs.

Although, Halloween may look different for your family this year, your child wearing a Halloween costume may still be an option. Here are a few things to consider when selecting a costume for your child:

  • Visibility: Make sure your child’s costume has bright colors on it. If not, consider adding strips of reflective tape or stickers to it. This will help with being visible to drivers at night.
  • Swapping out costume masks for face paint: Try using face paint and make-up as an alternative to masks. Costume masks can often block your child’s vision causing a potential hazard. Make sure that the face paints used comply with Govt. standards, like the FDA of USA. Read the guidelines given on the paint boxes and comply by them. Also consider water-based face paints, as they are easy to use and even easier to wash off. Be careful with your eyes when using or washing off paints.
  • Costume length: Make sure that your child’s costume doesn’t have any long or trailing material as this could cause your child to potentially trip and fall.
  • Costume Accessories: If your child’s costume comes with a long sword or cane, make sure that it is made of a soft material. Be sure to add reflective tape or glow-in-the-dark tape to any costume accessories.

Thanks to COVID-19, Halloween is going to look a lot different this year. It will be important to strategize with other parents on creative ways to minimize risk and maximize fun.

Fall Safety Tips with Car Seats

Pumpkins, leaves changing colors, and apple cider are some of the best things about fall. Fall is a great time to enjoy the cooler weather with family. Many families start to spend more time outside enjoying the weather and changing of seasons. Fall can also be a great time to recall importance information about child passenger safety. It is important to review these critical safety tips to keep your family as safe as possible during the fun fall season. Below are child passenger safety tips to remember specifically during this season:

  • As the weather gets cooler, children will be wearing more jackets and coats. It is important to always remove your child's coat before placing the child in the car seat to ensure the harness straps are tightly against the child’s chest.
    • You can use a jacket or blanket to cover the child’s feet and legs once they have been safely placed in the car seat with the harness straps.
  • Remember to always register your car seat for important safety recall information and replace seats that have expired.
  • Never leave a child unattended in the vehicle even for a short period of time. The vehicle can become cold very quickly, so it is important to always remove the child from the car when entering a store or home.
  • When dressing up for Halloween, it is important the costume does not interfere with the car seat. The harness straps and chest clip should be tightly secured across the child’s chest.
    • You can use the pinch test to ensure the harness straps are tight enough. When you grab the harness straps, you should not be able to grab more than one inch of fabric. If you are able to grab more than an inch, the straps need to be tightened.
    • It may be best to pack the costume and change into it once you arrive at your designation to prevent extra fabric from getting in the way of harness straps.
    • Make sure all parts of the costume are in the vehicle and not accidentally caught in the car doors.
  • For more information about Halloween safety, read these tips.


Click for more information about Car Seats
Emergency and Fire Safety Preparedness In Your Home

Cooking and heating are the leading causes of home fires and fire injuries, and winter months are the peak time for fire-related deaths. Fire prevention week, Oct. 4-10, 2020, is the perfect time to review and practice fire safety.

Protecting your family from home fires involves planning. Follow these tips regarding smoke alarms to help keep your family safe against a home fire:

  • Install at least one smoke alarm on every floor of your home including your basement. This includes outside every bedroom and furnace area.
  • Replace the smoke alarms in your home every 10 years.
  • Clean and dust the smoke alarms in your home at least once a month and never paint over a smoke alarm.
  • Remember, to test smoke alarms every month by pushing the test button. The batteries in your home should be replaced at least once a year.

Children have fire drills at school in case of an unexpected fire. This concept should be used at home as well. It is important to make a home escape map with your family. Create an escape plan with your family on how to get out of your home in case of an emergency. Children as young as 3 can begin to learn what to do in case of a fire.1

  • Draw a map of your home.
  • Include all the windows, doors, and rooms that can lead to outside.
  • It is important to know 2 ways out of every room. Mark each of these exits on your home escape plan.
  • Decide on a safe place to meet outside. Make sure that your meeting location is in a safe place and away from your home.
  • Practice a family fire drill at least twice a year. (Avoid practicing going out of your windows)

In case of a fire:

  • Get your family out as fast as you can if you see or smell smoke.
  • Remember to grab your cell phone if you can.
  • Help your children get out of the home.
  • Go to your family meeting place outside and stay outside. Do not go back into your home.
  • Call the fire department from outside. Do not stop to dress or put out fires.
  • If you are unable to get out, stay low by a window where the fire fighters can find you quickly. Air that is low or near the floor is safe to breathe.
  • Make sure your child knows what to do if his or her clothes catch fire.1
    • Stop! - Do not run.
  • Drop! - Drop to the ground right where you are.
  • Roll! - Roll over and over to put out the flames. Cover your face with your hands.
  • Cool - Cool the burned area with water.
  • Call - Call for help.

One of the best ways in protecting your family from a house fire is planning. Remember to have an emergency plan and review it with your children often. Consider using this fire escape template for your family. For more home safety tips, visit our website here.

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 fun pumpkin 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

Visit our Website
Resources from our generous partners
Tips about Child Passenger Safety
Click for Tips from Safe Kids
Tips from AllState about Returning to School
Click for Tips from AllState
Tips for Teens and Safe Driving
Click for Tips
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.