Monroe Carell Jr. Children's Hospital at Vanderbilt

Volume 14 Issue 8     .                                                                                              Spring 2020

Safety Source

Thank you for being a Safety Source family!


May is National Trauma Awareness Month. It offers us an opportunity to reflect on how to keep ourselves, our families, our work force, and our communities safer by helping to prevent injuries and deaths.

This week we want to focus on Bike Safety and provide you with tips on how to keep your whole family safe when Bike riding together. There are interactive tools for your children to learn the importance of bike safety as well as information for parents.  We hope this will be a fun way learn to about important safety topics together as a family. Let us know if we can be a resource to you in anyway!

Newsletter Highlights
Video for Kids

Interactive video for Kids to learn about bike safety and why it is important.  

Activities for Kids about Bike Safety

Lots of activities to about how to be safe while riding bikes together as a family.

Interactive Quiz about Bike Safety

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

More Information for Parents

Information for parents about how to keep your child safe online 

Bike Safety Tips

Spring is a great time to get outside and get exercise as a family. Bike riding can be a fun family activity. Below are some tips to keep your family safe while enjoying bike riding together.

Learn More about Bike Safety
Tips from Safe Kids
Visit our Website for Bike Safety Tips
Visit our Website
Helmets & Traumatic Brain Injury

A traumatic brain injury (TBI) is an injury to the brain that disrupts normal brain function. A concussion, or a mild head injury is also considered a TBI. The leading causes for traumatic brain injuries in children are falls, motor vehicle related injuries, and playing sports. Symptoms of TBIs can fall into one of four categories: thinking/remembering, physical, emotional/mood, and sleep disturbance.

Studies have shown that wearing a helmet can reduce your risk for a traumatic brain injury. Did you know there are different types of helmets for different activities? Each helmet protects your head from impact in a different way depending upon the activity. Parents should always model good behavior when it comes to safety practices

Helmet Tips

  1. Encourage children to always wear a helmet for any wheeled sport activity no matter how short or close to home.
  2. Make sure your child has the right size helmet and knows how to put it on correctly. Take the Helmet Fit Test
  3. Bicycle helmets should be replaced after a major impact.
  4. Attach reflective stickers to your child’s helmet so that they are visible to drivers.
  5. Remind your child not to run in the house. Running in the house can lead to them tripping and hitting their head against an object.
  6. Your child should not use a bicycle helmet when riding an ATV. An ATV helmet will have a label that states it is approved by the U.S. Department of Transportation or the Snell Memorial Foundation.


Click for more information Concussions
Click to learn more about Helmet Fit Test
How to Make the Most out of your Car Seat Manual

When it comes to installing a child safety seat correctly, manuals are excellent sources of information.  Always keep both the car and car seat manuals in an easily accessible place, such as your vehicle’s glove box or another storage bin or seat pocket.

Can’t find your manuals? The good news is that you can find replacements of manuals  freely available online.

Your car seat manual will contain information about the height and weight requirements of the seat.

The manual will also provide important safety information such as never leaving the child in the car seat unattended, not using the seat if it has been damaged or missing parts, and ensuring you keep all your labels on the seat.

Next, you might find the table of contents, which tells you where to locate specific information related to your car seat such as harness adjustments, securing the child in the child restraint, installation guidance, cleaning instructions, airplane usage, where to place the seat in the vehicle, Lower LATCH system, Tether instructions, and much more.

Typically, the manual will provide instructions on how to move the harness to appropriately fit your child and how to ensure the child is safely secure with the harness and chest clip. There may be pictures or words to help provide you with guidance.

Common uses for your vehicle manual

Correct installation in your vehicle. What installation methods does your seat’s manufacturer allow? What positioning options are available? Pictures and diagrams are often included to make installation easier.

Where a seat should be installed. Can you install a seat in the center of the rear seating area? The back seat is the safest location for installing a child safety seat. But each vehicle may vary regarding which seating position is best. For example, some vehicles’ rear center seat would not be a safe location as they lack anchor points.

Location of anchor points. Where is the tether anchor in my vehicle? Check your manual for the location of anchor points for each seating position. It will provide instructions about how to use the LATCH system as well as weight and height restrictions for using the LATCH system. It is important to either use the LATCH system or a seat belt but never use both together. Each vehicle will have specific instructions on what installation methods are allowed.

Height, weight and age limits. When can my child start using this seat? When will they outgrow it? Different seats have different limits and restrictions.

Expiration. How long will this safety seat remain safe? Most seats expire between six and 10 years. Check your manual your specific seat’s useable life. You should also be able to find this information on a label adhered to the seat itself.

Care instructions. How do I clean the seat’s cover or cushion? Care instructions are helpful to determine correct cleaning methods and avoid damage.

Use on an airplane. Do you travel frequently? Consult your manual to learn if your safety seat is approved for aircraft use. Look for a notice that states: “This safety seat is approved for use in aircraft,” or something similar.

Tether system. It will also provide guidance on how to use the tether system, which should always be used when installing a forward facing seat.

Click for more information about Car Seats
Steering Techniques & Hand Positions

The way we position our hands on the steering wheel can have a big impact on the way you drive. Many times the driving practices that were taught to your parents have now become out of date due to the changes in technology. It is important to have good hand control to maximize the control you have over your vehicle while driving. Prior recommendations on where to place your hands have changed due to the change in steering wheel sizes and the advancement of air bags. NHTSA states holding the wheel at 2 o’clock and 10 o’clock isn’t recommended anymore due to this reason.

Here are three important hand position recommendations:

  • Always have a firm grip on the steering wheel when driving.
  • Your hands should be placed on the outside of the steering wheel with your hands on opposite sides.
  • Never turn the steering while gripping it from the inside.

It is important to know that there are three different types of methods you can use when turning the steering wheel:

  • Hand- to – hand steering or commonly known as the (push/ pull steering)
  • Hand over hand steering
  • One hand steering

Where you place your hands on the steering wheel is important but also how you sit in the driver’s seat can impact the control you have over your vehicle. Consider the following tips next time you get behind the driver’s seat:

  • Your seating position should allow for you to have an upright spine. Adjust the back of the seat to help with this.
  • Your arms should not be stretched out when driving. If you notice that your arms are stretched out, try pulling your seat closer to the wheel.
  • Consider using cruise control for long distance driving. This will allow for you to place your feet flat on the floor.
  • Utilize the head rest. The back of your head should touch the head rest allowing you the opportunity to relieve pressure off your neck.

Learning how to drive can be exciting and scary all at once. That’s why it’s important to make the experience as easy as possible. Try sharing a few of these tips with your parents. Ask your parents to share with you what makes them feel more comfortable while driving. You never know, you might learn something new about your loved one!

For more information and tips on how to be a safer driver, visit Ford and Ford Driving Skills for Life here.

Learn More about Teen Driving
How to Bikes out of Vegetables

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.

Email Purnima
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.

Email Eppiphanie
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.

Email Mimi
Visit our Website
Resources from our generous partners
Tips about Bike Safety
Click for Tips from Safe Kids
Tips for helping your child with emotions from AllState
Click for Tips
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.