Monroe Carell Jr. Children's Hospital at Vanderbilt

Volume 14 Issue 14 .                                                                                             Summer 2020

Safety Source

Thank you for being a Safety Source family!

Summer Play Equipment Edition

This week we want to focus on how to stay safe especially with play equipment such as playgrounds and trampolines. There are interactive tools for your children to learn the importance of play equipment 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 Playground Safety Tips and how to stay safe this summer. 

Activities for Kids to learn about Playground Safety

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

Interactive Quiz about Firework Safety

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

More Information for Parents

Information for parents about Playground Safety Tips

Summer Playground Safety

Playgrounds are a great way to get kids out of the house and exercising during the summertime, but safety precautions should be taken to ensure a fun and safe experience. Follow these tips to make sure your child stays safe while having fun on the playground:

  • Always actively watch children while at the playground
  • Check the playground before children begin to play. Check for broken or rusted equipment or anything that just doesn’t look right.
  • Teach children how to play nicely with others and that pushing and shoving can be dangerous.
  • Dress kids appropriately, removing any necklaces, scarves, or drawstrings that could get caught on a piece of equipment.

In addition, your child’s age is important in determining the best playground and equipment to play on. Children under 5 should play in a different area than older children, as young children and older children play differently and little ones could get hurt. Babies starting to walk need an area with a smooth and easy surface to walk on. Babies with good head control who are able to sit up with support can try the bucket-shaped baby swings.

One of the most important aspects of a safe playground is the ground surfacing. Here are several tips regarding the best surfaces:

  • Avoid playgrounds with non-impact absorbing surfaces, like concrete, dirt, grass, or asphalt.
  • Ideal playground surfaces are made of mulch, wood chips, shredded rubber, sand, or rubber mats.
  • The playground surface should be at least 1-foot-deep and extend at least 6 feet around all equipment.

If you see any hazards or broken equipment on a playground, report it to the organization responsible for the playground, and don’t let your child play there until it is fixed.

Keep the above tips in mind when visiting the playground for a safe and fun summertime family outing.


Trampoline Safety Tips

As many families across the country try to find ways to keep their children active, engaged, and outdoors, the purchase of home trampolines has increased over the past few months. We want you to be an informed buyer and caregiver when considering purchasing a trampoline for your home. Trampolines are not only popular with children of all ages but also with adults. Thousands of children including adults are treated for trampoline related injuries every year.2

Here are some ways children can get hurt while playing on a trampoline:

  • 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.

Tips for Sharing the Road

As more people are staying home and trying to find ways to stay active, bikes are becoming sold out both in stores and online. With an increased number of people riding bikes, it is important to be a safe driver and know how to share the road with cyclists. [UP1] The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration states that pedestrian and cyclist’s death in motor-vehicle-related crashes have increased over the past 10 years. 1 It is important to remember that bicyclists and motorcyclists have unique safety challenges when riding as they are smaller and less likely to be seen. For this reason, you want to always double check your view.

Allstate recommends 9 ways to share the road with cyclists:

  1. Remember that Bikes have a right to the road too.
  2. People riding bikes are required to follow some of the same driving laws as drivers. Such as riding on the right, yielding to crossing traffic and when changing lanes.
  3. Learning common hand signals can be helpful.
  4. Understanding what the biker is trying to communicate via hand signals can help with avoiding collisions and injuries.
  5. Allow for enough space when passing someone on a bicycle.
  6. Imagine that the person on the bike is another vehicle. Giving the cyclists that same amount of space as another vehicle can help avoid swiping the rider or possibly even a collision.
  7. Avoid distractions and electronics while driving.
  8. Although, many states have established a Hands Free Law, distractions can also include eating, changing the radio in the car, and even accessing the GPS. Make sure to have your attention on the road.
  9. Keep an eye out for cyclists even after you’ve parked.

It is important to keep an eye out for cyclists even after you’ve parked your car because you can still pose as a threat when opening your car door. Double check to make sure no one is coming when opening your car door[UP2] .

It is important to know that bike riders are not allowed to ride on the sidewalk. Therefore, having a better understanding of how to share the road can help to prevent collisions and swiping the rider.


[UP1]Can you fix this sentence

[UP2]Have a few lines to end this article

Click for more information about Teen Driving Safety
Tennessee State Law about Child Passenger Safety

It is helpful to know the requirements of the Tennessee State Law in regards to Child Passenger Safety to help you ensure your child is safe in the vehicle. Tennessee’s Child Restraint Law (T.C.A. 55-9-602) outlines the requirements that must be met when moving a child to a different seat. It is important to know about the law so you can make your child is in the correct seat. 

TN State Law about Child Passenger Safety:

  • Children under one (1) year of age, or any child, weighing twenty (20) pounds or less, must be secured in a child passenger restraint system in a rear facing position, meeting federal motor vehicle safety standards, in a rear seat, if available, or according to the child safety restraint system or vehicle manufacturer's instructions. (Note: If the child safety seat has a higher rear-facing weight rating, usually 30 or 35 pounds, it may be continued to be used in a rear-facing position so long as the child's weight permits. Check the manufacturers instructions accompanying the child safety seat for more information.)
  • Children age one (1) through age three (3), and weighing more than twenty (20) pounds, must be secured in a child safety seat in a forward facing position in the rear seat, if available, or according to the child safety restraint system or vehicle manufacturer's instructions.
  • Children age four (4) through age eight (8), and measuring less than four feet nine inches (4'9") in height, must be secured in a belt-positioning booster seat system, meeting federal motor vehicle safety standards in the rear seat, if available, or according to the child safety restraint system or vehicle manufacturer's instructions. (Note: If the child is not between age four (4) and age eight (8), but is less than four feet nine inches (4'9") in height, he/she must still use a seat belt system meeting federal motor vehicle safety standards.)
  • Children age nine (9) through age twelve (12), or any child through twelve (12) years of age, measuring four feet nine inches (4'9") or more in height, must be secured in a seat belt system. It is recommended that any such child be placed in the rear seat, if available. (Note: If the child is not between age nine (9) and age twelve (12), but is four feet nine inches (4'9") or more in height, he/she must still use a seat belt system meeting federal motor vehicle safety standards.)
  • Children age thirteen (13) through age fifteen (15) must be secured by using a passenger restraint system, including safety belts, meeting federal motor vehicle safety standards.

Tennessee Child Passenger Safety Law provides guidelines, it is also important to consider best practice to ensure your child is as safe as possible. The National Highway Safety Administration has created best practice guidelines to help you identify the appropriate time to move your child to a new seat. It is also important to double check your car seat manual as this will be the best tool in providing guidance on your specific seat. Best practice suggests leaving your child in the child passenger seat until the child exceeds the height and weight requirements of the seat. Best practice may be older than what the law requires. But remember, if you are meeting the best practice guidelines, you will also meet the law requirements.

Child passenger safety can be overwhelming but just take it one step at a time and always read your car seat manual as that will provide you with the most updated information on your specific seat.

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 Flower 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
Click for Tips from Safe Kids
Tips from AllState
Click for Tips from AllState
Tips for Teens and Safe Driving
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Thank you to our generous partners and organizations
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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.