Monroe Carell Jr. Children's Hospital at Vanderbilt

Volume 14 Issue 12 .                                                                                             Summer 2020

Safety Source

Thank you for being a Safety Source family!

Sports and Summertime Edition

This week we want to focus on Sports Safety Tips especially during the summer 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 how to stay safe in the heat, 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 Sport Safety Tips and how to stay safe this summer. 

Activities for Kids to learn about Sport Safety

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

Interactive Quiz about Sport Safety

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

More Information for Parents

Information for parents about Sports Safety Tips

New Study Suggests Parents Support COVID-19 Restrictions for Youth

The results of a new scientific survey of more than 10,000 people across 45 states provides insight into Americans' perceptions and expectations around a return to youth sports amid the novel coronavirus pandemic.The survey was conducted as part of a collaborative research study between the IUPUI Sports Innovation Institute and the Westfield-based Grand Park Research Hub, part of the Grand Park Sports Campus. Their findings were recently published in the Sports Innovation Journal.

Representing at least 13 different sports, a total of 10,359 people from 45 states completed the IUPUI research team's entire survey.

The study assessed the feelings of parents, athletes, coaches, officials and administrators toward 12 adaptations being considered and implemented by venues for restarting youth sports programs.

The study's results provide youth sports facilities and event operators with data on how specific adaptations are received by stakeholders who are looking to return to youth sports in a timely but safe manner.

Among the study's findings, participants identified seven critical or expected changes as youth sports emerge amid the pandemic:

  • Venues and events should invest heavily and visibly in sanitization of facilities, playing areas and equipment -- before, during and after events.
  • Venue operators and event managers can feel confident that the recommendations provided by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the National Federation of State High School Associations to sanitize playing areas and equipment after each use will be well received and welcomed by users.
  • Promotion and monitoring of social-distancing guidelines should take place.
  • Personal contact between players should be limited.
  • Admission should be limited to those under age 65 with no underlying medical conditions.
  • It will be expected for users to complete a health and contact information questionnaire prior to entering venues in order for youth sports to return during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The study also found that parents of recreational athletes viewed the adaptations in a more positive light and as a more necessary part of the youth sports experience than did parents of travel athletes. Travel sports parents demonstrated an increasing comfort level in traveling for competitions over the summer months, from 42 percent in May to 76 percent in August.

The survey was distributed to 40 youth sports organizations, which circulated the survey to their members. A total of 10,359 people from 45 states and representing at least 13 different sports completed the entire survey. Nearly 92 percent of respondents were parents, but with the option to select multiple roles, coaches (25 percent), administrators (10 percent), athletes (9 percent) and officials (3 percent) were also represented.

Source: Indiana University Press release

Hydration Tips

Living in the south, we know that summers get hot. When outside in this heat, there is the chance of dehydration if proper steps have not been taken to stay hydrated.

The amount of water a child needs depends on their age, size, and level of activity. It is recommended that children under 8 drink at least 4-6 glasses of water a day. For children 8 and over, at least 6-8 glasses of water are recommended. If children are active or playing sports, their water intake should be more than this minimum. If children aren’t drinking enough water, dehydration is very likely. Signs of dehydration include dizziness, lightheadedness, nausea, headache, dark yellow or brown urine, and dry mouth.

Water is the best option for staying hydrated. Although sports drinks help replace lost electrolytes, they are really only beneficial if your child has significantly sweat during a long, intense workout or activity. Many sports drinks contain excess sugar and calories, so only drink them for an electrolyte boost when needed. Additionally, energy drinks are not recommended for consumption by children. The caffeine, sugars, and other ingredients can lead to sleep problems and high blood pressure, and they can cause preexisting conditions to worsen.

Some additional tips for keeping kids hydrated:

  • Always pack at least one water bottle per child when you go out.
  • Encourage your child to drink water before, during, and after physical activity. The key to staying hydrated is staying ahead of it by hydrating hours before physical activity.
  • If your child doesn’t like water, try adding fruit slices to make the taste more appealing.
  • Let your children pick their own water bottle. It makes it a lot more fun for them to drink out of a water bottle they picked out themselves.
  • If your kids aren’t asking for bathroom breaks, they probably aren’t drinking enough.

Dehydration is 100% preventable. Help your kids stay hydrated by drinking water for a fun summer in the sun.


The Signs and Symptoms of Concussions

Many kids participate in summer sports to prepare for the upcoming school year, and with this comes the risk of concussions. Whether playing on the football team or simply riding a bike, it is possible to get a concussion. A concussion is a brain injury caused by a hit or blow to the head. Something as small as a mild bump or ding can cause a concussion. Symptoms may appear right away or show up weeks later. If you notice your child experiencing any of the following symptoms, seek medical attention right away:

  • Appears dazed or stunned
  • Is confused about assignment or position
  • Is unsure of game, score, or opponent
  • Forgets an instruction
  • Moves clumsily
  • Answers questions slowly
  • Loses consciousness (even briefly)
  • Shows behavior or personality changes
  • Can’t remember events before or after the hit

If your child notices any of the following symptoms, seek medical attention right away:

  • Headache or pressure in the head
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Balance problems or dizziness
  • Double or blurry vision
  • Sensitivity to light
  • Sensitivity to noise
  • Feeling sluggish, foggy, or groggy
  • Concentration or memory problems
  • Confusion
  • Just doesn’t feel right

Concussions can happen anywhere at any time, but there are some steps you can take to help prevent your child from getting one. If your child is on a sports team, make sure they are following the coach’s rules for safety and exhibiting good sportsmanship at all times. Also, make sure your child is always wearing the right protective equipment, like helmets and mouth guards. These aren’t foolproof, but they help to limit the severity and frequency of concussions.

If you think your child has a concussion, there are three steps to take:

  1. Seek medical attention right away. A healthcare professional will assess your child and determine when it is safe for your child to return to sports or activities.
  2. Keep your child out of play and off the field. Don’t let your child back onto the field until a doctor gives the go ahead. Children who return to play too soon are at greater risk of experiencing a second concussion. Repeat concussions can be very serious and can cause permanent brain damage.
  3. Tell your child’s coach about the concussion. Your child’s coach might not know about the concussion if it happened in another activity or sport.

Playing summer sports is a fun and great way to stay healthy, but it is important to be aware of the signs and symptoms of a concussion to keep your children safe.


Summertime Car Maintenance

As different parts of the country begins entering into different phases for reopening and families begin to get back on the road, remember that it is important that you prepare your car for the summer ahead. For some people, their car hasn’t moved in months and for those deemed an essential worker their car may have increased its’ usage. Either way, most people have not taken their car to get serviced in months. Consider these helpful car maintenance tips as we enter into our new normal during the summer months:

  • Get your car battery checked- Make sure that your battery is not only securely mounted but also free of any corrosive buildup near the battery terminal. It is also a good idea to have a trained technician test the strength of your car battery.
  • Check your tires’ air pressure- According to AAA, driving on under-inflated tires can cause tires to overheat and increase the likelihood of a blowout, especially when road temperatures are extremely high.
  • · Have the fluids in your car checked- Incorrect fluid levels in your vehicle can cause severe damage.
  • · Inspect your lights- Remember to inspect all your vehicle’s lights and bulbs. It is also important to clean out any bugs or debris that may have built up over time in the lenses.
  • Wash and vacuum out your car- Remove any clutter that has accumulated over time. Use glass cleaner to clean your windows. Don’t forget to clean out your trunk as well!
  • Make sure you rotate your tires and change your oil- These routine checks are done every couple of months. So, make sure that your vehicle hasn’t passed the recommended time frame.

Several of these car maintenance tips can be completed at the same time and often at the same car servicing location. Remember, it is important to prepare your vehicle for the summer heat!

Click for more information about Teen Driving Safety
Summer Road Trip Car Seat Tips

Summer can be a great time to visit family or take a road trip together as a family. Summertime is a great time to make memories and we want to help you do it safely. Using a car seat is a critical safety feature that should be used during every road trip. Before leaving for your trip, make sure your current seat still fits your child based on the weight and height restrictions that are on the seat. You always want to make sure the seat has not expired. Ensuring the child has the appropriate seat, will help your child remain comfortable and safe during the road trip.

If you will be using a rental car or a different car once you arrive at your designation, it may be helpful to call the car renter company ahead of time to gather specific information about the car such as if it has a LATCH system, how many seats are in the vehicle, and also how many seatbelts are in the car. You can use the seat belt pathway if the car does not have the lower anchors. But always check the car manual and the car seat manual to make sure. You will also want to mention how many car seats you will need to fit in the car to ensure the vehicle is large enough to install the car seats properly.

Once you have gotten the rental car, it is important to look in the car manual to locate where the air bags are as well as any other safety features such as the TETHER system. This will help you with the installation of the car seat in a car you may be unfamiliar with. You never want to place a rear-facing seat in front of an active airbag.

If you are using your own car for the road trip, it may be helpful to install the seats ahead of time to ensure it is installed correctly and the child has plenty of room on the road trip. If you have questions about how to install the seat correctly, be sure to look at the car seat manual and the car manual. If you may be removing the seat throughout the trip, you could take pictures of the seat installed correctly so you know how to reinstall if you remove it from the vehicle.

While it may be tempting to add accessories to the car seat to help distract the child during the road trip, we do not recommend that you add any additional items to the car seat that did not come with the original seat. Addingproducts or accessories that did not come with the seat may increase the likelihood of injury if your vehicle was in a wreck because the accessories have not been crashed tested like the car seat has.

Overall road travel tips

  • Have your tires, battery, belts, fluids, and air conditioner checked by a qualified mechanic before leaving on your trip. Also, check to see if your car needs an oil change before your trip as well.
  • Always make sure the driver is well-rested and not distracted by activities that may be happening in the car
  • Reduce distractions such as cell phones and remember to drive hands-free
  • Plan your route in advance to ensure you know where you are going and avoid getting lost
    • Pre-plan where you are going to stop for food and lodging so you know in advance you can find a place that the whole family will enjoy
  • Pack lots of activities for the children to do in the car such as crafts, books, or electronic devices
  • Pack Healthy Snacks that are not messy and the children can eat on their own if old enough.
  • Tell your children about the road trip in advance to help them know how long they may be in the car and when there will be breaks in the road trip
  • Back seat is the safest place for children under the age of 13
    • Make sure windows are on child lock so all items remain in the car
  • Remove any potential projectiles (hard books, toys, etc.) that may injury the child if the car had to stop suddenly.
  • Prepare an Emergency Kit that includes the following items:
    • Water
    • Warm blankets
    • A flashlight
    • Jumper cables
    • Flares
    • Tools to change a tire
    • A fully charged cell phone
    • A first-aid kit

Remember to enjoy yourself this summer and safe travels!

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 Baseball 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.

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Resources from our generous partners
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Tips for Teens and Safe Driving
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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.