Monroe Carell Jr. Children's Hospital at Vanderbilt

Volume 14 Issue 10  .                                                                                              Spring 2020

Safety Source

Thank you for being a Safety Source family!

Reducing Distractions Edition

This week we want to focus on Reducing Distractions and provide you with tips on how to keep your whole family safe whether when you are in the car or the community. There are interactive tools for your children to learn the importance of Reducing Distractions when driving 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!

Join us today

Pediatric Trauma Injury Prevention Program Manager at Monroe Carell Jr. Children's Hospital Purnima Unni speaks with us about how to help teens avoid life altering injuries by making better life choices. She also talks about the successful BITZ program and how it has positively affected the teens involved.

Click to Join us!
Newsletter Highlights

Video for Kids

Interactive video for Kids to learn about Distracted Driving and why it is important to prevent. 

Activities for Kids to learn about Distracted Driving

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

Interactive Quiz about Distracted Driving

Test your child's knowledge about Distracted Driving topics through an interactive online quiz. 

More Information for Parents

Information for parents about how to reduce distractions when driving 

Pool Safety 101

Drowning is the leading cause of injury-related death among children between the age of 1 and 4-years-old.

The USA Swimming Foundation reports nearly 90 children younger than 15 drowned in a pool or spa from January through May 2018, and every year about 19 children drown during the July 4 holiday.

Studies show that although 90 percent of parents say they supervise their children while swimming, many acknowledge that they engage in other distracting activities at the same time. Distracting activities include talking, eating, reading or taking care of another child. Even a near-drowning episode can have lifelong consequences. Kids who survive a near-drowning may have brain damage, and after four to six minutes under water the damage is usually irreversible.

Parents are cautioned all the time about water safety, but drownings still occur. Always be aware and be in the present moment with your children. Following are a few water safety tips:

  • Give kids your full attention – Actively supervise children in and around water, without distraction.
  • Use the Water Watcher strategy – When there are several adults present and children are swimming, use a Water Watcher card to designate an adult as the Water Watcher for a certain amount of time (such as 15 minute periods) to prevent lapses in supervision and give parents a chance to take a break.
  • Teach kids not to swim alone – Whether you're swimming in a backyard pool, neighborhood pool, or at the lake or river, teach children to swim with an adult. Older, more experienced swimmers should still swim with a partner every time. From the first time your kids swim, teach them to never go near or in water without an adult present.
  • Wear Life Jackets – Always have your child wear a life jacket approved by the U.S. Coast Guard while on boats, around open bodies of water or when participating in water sports. Make sure the life jacket fits snugly.
  • Learn CPR –Learning CPR should be the difference between life and death. Knowing what to do to help a person in distress could save a life.
  • Be extra careful around pool drains – Teach children to never play or swim near pool drains or suction outlets, which can cause situations where kids can get stuck underwater.
  • Check the pool first if a child is missing – Be sure to check the pool first anytime a child is missing or unaccounted for. Install barriers around the pool such as a fence and secure gate to keep children out.
  • Watch out for open bodies of water around the house – A person, especially small children, can drown in any amount of water. Be cautious when children are around open bodies of water such as a wash bucket, bathtub or hot tub.

For additional information on swimming pool and water safety, please visit the Safe Kids Worldwide website at

Distractions and Outdoor Activities

We all could agree that cell phones have altered the way we live our lives. During an era of social distancing, the video capabilities of cell phones have made it easier to connect with family and friends. Although these features help to connect us, if we don’t use them with modesty they can put us at risk for injuries.

Did you realize that distracted walking and biking have become a growing safety concern? Bicyclists have to rely upon their vision, hearing, and full attention on the road in order to best protect themselves. 1 Doing anything less can increase the risk of injury. In some cities across the US, police officers can issue tickets to cyclists who are using a cell phone or electronic device in their hand(s) while riding. Riding a bike requires the same amount of sensual dependency like driving a car, if not more .

Each year more and more pedestrians are injured due to texting, talking, or listening to music on their phone. These injuries can range from minor injuries to possibly even death. Nearly 6,000 pedestrians were struck and killed by a motor vehicle in 2017. 2 Most people understand the dangers of distracted driving but do not consider the risks involved with walking distracted. Consider the following safety tips to avoid distracted walking:

  • Use headphones at a lower level so that you can still hear what’s going on in your surroundings.
  • Try stepping to the side and out of the flow of pedestrian traffic if something on your phone requires your attention.
  • If you are an avid walker, try downloading the Type N Walk app on the iOS App Store.

You have the power to make a change in your community. Making a change can be as simple as holding your loved one accountable or possibly sharing the above safety tips with them. Small steps can make a big difference!


Reducing Distractions with Car Seats

Mornings can be a stressful time for parents and children. Everyone is rushing around to get ready for the day. A stressful morning can affect your whole day. Injuries are more likely to occur when you are stressed or distracted. It is important to create a low stress morning routine for you and your child.

Here are a few tips to help reduce your morning stress:

  • Pack lunches, diaper bags, backpacks etc. the night before to help prevent forgetting any important items. It can also help you think through your day ahead of time and where you might be traveling.
  • If you will be using a different car, place the car seat in appropriate car the night before.
    • Take pictures from every angle before removing the car seat to help you reinstall it correctly
  • Refer to the manual when installing the car seat in the other car to help install properly.
  • If another driver will be transporting your child, be sure to train them on the appropriate way to place the child in the car seat.
  • You can even model how to place the child in the car seat the night before and allow the other driver to practice while you observe.
  • By adjusting the car seat, the night before, you can install it appropriately with plenty of time and problem solve if a problem arises.
  • Use a GPS system to map your route the night before, especially when traveling to a new location. This will allow you to become familiar with your commute during a time where you are not under stress.
  • Allow extra time when traveling to compensate for any unexpected traffic or wrecks. This will help you arrive to your destination without rushing and in plenty of time.
  • Review the anticipated schedule with your child the night before so they are familiar with the plan and know what to expect.
  • Lay out your clothes and your child’s clothes the night before. This can be helpful for a child who might have issues with specific clothing items or like to choose their outfits

Stress is bound to happen to all of us but if you can take adequate steps to reduce your stress, it can help create a positive environment for you and your child. Mornings can be hard on each family member but by planning you can hopefully be prepared for any unexpected events that may arise.

Click for more information about Car Seats
Distracted Driving

Did you know that texting and driving is not the only form of distracted driving? Distracted driving is considered any activity that takes your attention away from driving and focusing on the road. The National Highway Transportation Safety Association says that 2,841 people were killed in 2018 by distracted driving.

There are 3 different types of distracted driving: visual, manual, and cognitive. A visual distraction causes the driver to take their eyes off the road. A manual distraction forces the driver to take their hands off the wheel. Lastly, a cognitive or mental distraction means that you your mind is thinking about something else besides driving. Texting while driving, eating and drinking, or trying to navigate the GPS system are activities that fall into at least one of the three forms mentioned above. Texting and driving is the most dangerous distracted driving activity because it involves all three forms.

Teens, parents, and educators all play a vital role in stopping distracted driving. Prevention and education start at home. Parents should always model good driving behavior. Your children pay more attention to you than you may think. It is important that teens hold not only themselves but also their peers accountable. If you see a friend driving unsafe, speak up an explain the dangers of distracted driving. Maybe offer to respond to a text for them or navigate the GPS.

Click for more information Teen Driving Safety
How to Yummy and Healthy Cars

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 Railroad Safety
Click for Tips from Safe Kids
Tips from AllState
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

2200 Children's Way, Nashville
TN 37232 United States

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.