Monroe Carell Jr. Children's Hospital at Vanderbilt

Volume 15 Issue 20 .                                                                                     Fall 2020

Safety Source

Thank you for being a Safety Source family! 
Cooler Weather and Home Safety Tips Edition

This week we want to provide safety tips for the cooler weather and ways to keep your family safe as the weather changes. There are interactive tools for your children to learn about winter home 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 heater safety

Winter Home Safety

Learn how to keep your home safe as it gets cooler! 

Interactive Quiz about Safety

Test your child's knowledge about Fire Prevention through an interactive online quiz. 

More Information for Parents

Information for parents about Indoor Winter Safety

Staying Safe with Portable Heaters

Now that Daylight Savings time has ended and the temperature has begun to drop, you may feel inclined to purchase or pull out a portable space heater. Although, space heaters can be a helpful necessity during the winter months, they can also pose as a potential threat to your home if not used with caution.

According to the National Fire Protection Association, heating equipment is the second-leading cause of U.S. home fires and the third-leading cause of home fire deaths. More than half (53 percent) of all home heating fire deaths resulted from fires that began when heating equipment was too close to things that can burn, such as upholstered furniture, clothing, mattresses or bedding.1 Remember to keep space heaters at least three feet away from anything that can burn, and always closely supervise children and pets when a heater is turned on. Make sure you turn heaters off when you leaving the room.

Here are some additional safety tips to follow:

  • Be sure to never place anything on top of a space heater.
  • Space heaters should always be on a flat level surface.
  • It is important to always plug your heater directly into a wall outlet. Plugging the heater into an extension cord can cause the chance of overheating and can lead to a home fire.
  • Be sure to regularly check that your space heater is working properly. This includes looking for any frayed wires or an accumulation of dust on the coils and grills.
  • Keep heaters away from water. Never touch a heater with wet hands.
  • Avoid using your oven to heat your home.
  • Never leave pets or young children alone in a room with a space heater.
  • Never leave your space heater turned on while you’re sleeping or if you are not at home.
  • Be sure that your portable space heater has been tested, proven, and certified to meet specific safety standards by a Nationally recognized testing laboratory.

Install and maintain carbon monoxide alarms in your home to avoid the risk of CO poisoning. Following the safety tips mentioned above can help to protect you and your family. For more information on how to keep your family safe, visit our website here.

Ask the expert: Common Car Seat Questions

Car seats can be very overwhelming because there is so much information and it is hard to know where to get the most accurate content. We have created a bi-weekly series where caregivers have submitted questions and we help answer those questions. Feel free to email us any questions you have or if there is a topic you would like featured.

Using the LATCH system or the seat belt can be confusing. We will discuss each system and how to use each system correctly.

Can you use the LATCH system or the seat belt? Is one safer than the other?

Refer to your safety car seats and vehicle's manuals to confirm which options are available to you. Experts recommend using the system that your owner's manuals recommend and that you will use correctly every time. If either option is available for your safety seat, this means the seat has been crash-tested with each system and is safe to install either way, as long as your vehicle permits.

Lower anchors are a pair of metal U-shaped bars hidden in the vehicle’s seat crack. Use them to fasten the anchor straps. The tether anchor, often a ring or bar, is found behind the vehicle seat. Always consult your vehicle owner’s manual to locate appropriate LATCH anchors for each seating position. Some seating positions may not be equipped with LATCH. The LATCH system does have weight limits. You should not use the lower LATCH anchors once your child and car seat reach a combined weight of over 65 pounds but always check your car manual and car seat manual for the specific weight limit. It is not recommended to use both the LATCH system and the seat belt together but choose one when installing the seat.

If using the seat belt, be sure that you know how to convert the belt into an Automatic Locking Retractor by pulling out the belt all the way and then slowly feeding it back. The belt should make a clicking sound and tighten as it retracts. Place seat belt through the car seat at the belt path. Look for arrows and directions on the car seat label to show you the correct belt path to use. You have to remove all the slack from the seatbelt and ensure it does not move more than an inch at the belt path. Use the top tether on all forward-facing car seats.

Again, make sure to always check your manuals for specific requirements about your seat and car before installing your car seat.–-LATCH

Click for more information about Car Seats
The Benefits of a Driver’s Education Course for Your Teen Driver

Although it may be an exciting time for your teen, most parents find that teaching their child how to drive can cause stress and anxiety. Many parents take on the responsibility of teaching their teen how to drive but forget that enrolling their teen into a driver’s education course can be a great alternative or an additional resource.

Here are a few benefits as to why every parent should consider enrolling their child in a driver’s education class:

  • Gaining Defensive Driving Skills- Most driver’s education courses will teach your teen driver how to drive defensively. These techniques can aid in avoiding crashes and gaining the ability to drive in various weather conditions.
  • Learning the Rules of the Road- Your child will become familiar with the rules of the road in their driver’s education class. This can include state laws such as the Graduated Driver License Program and Tennessee Hands Free Law.
  • Builds Confidence- Typically, after completing a driver’s education course, the student will walk away feeling more confident in their driving abilities. Your teen driver will have a better awareness of the road which can boost their confidence ultimately making them a safe driver.
  • Basic Car Maintenance- Many courses teach basic mechanical knowledge and car maintenance. This information can be very valuable if anything ever goes wrong while your teen is driving alone.
  • Lower Insurance Premiums- Some insurance companies offer a discount for teens who have successfully completed a driver’s education course.
  • Additional training and practice- Driver’s education courses can provide your new driver with additional driving practice that can help them to be a safer driver.

Please download our Parent Teen Driving Agreement here to help guide the safe driving conversation in your family. For more teen driving 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 Hot Chocolate

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

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Resources from our generous partners
Tips about Car Seat 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
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.