Thank you for being a Safety Source family! Preparing for Spring Edition
As we transition into the spring season, it is important to be prepared for the weather ahead. Our March monthly newsletter will highlight National Poison Prevention Week and Severe Weather Preparedness Month. In this issue, you will find interactive tools for your family regarding poison prevention as well as helpful 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 any way! As always, our goal is 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!
Video for Families
Interactive poison prevention video for families of children with special needs.
Tornado In A Jar Experiment
As a family, help your child create a simple science experiment.
Interactive Fire Safety Quiz
Test your child's knowledge about fun winter safety through an interactive online quiz.
More Information for Parents
Poison Prevention Safety Tips for Parents
Cleaning Tips for Car Seats
Spring is the time to enjoy warmer weather with your family. But winter illnesses may be lingering on surfaces in your home and car. A proper cleaning routine is one way to reduce the spread of germs and keep your family healthier. A great place to start is your car, and specifically your child safety seat.
Before you remove anything from your car seat, refer to the owner’s manual. Each car seat is different and may have guidelines about specific cleaning details. The manual is your best resource to know what cleaning supplies you can use and to obtain directions for how to clean your car seat. If you can’t locate your manual, the manufacturer’s website will have a digital version
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that surfaces be disinfected using an Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)-registered disinfectant. However, car safety seats and seat belts, as specified by the manufacturer, may be cleaned, but must not be disinfected because chemicals can degrade the necessary strength, possibly affecting the safety of the seat. In most cases, all parts of car safety seats and vehicle seat belts can only be cleaned with mild detergent and water, but be sure to check your manual first.
To ensure you can correctly reinstall the safety seat after you are finished cleaning, take pictures of the seat while it is installed. Note locations where straps and belts pass through the seat and where your LATCH connection points are found. Take pictures from various angles - above, below, front and back - to help you remember exactly how the seat was installed.
After you remove the safety seat, vacuum the area around the seat to clean up any food crumbs. As you clean the seat, be sure not to remove any labels or instructions, as these are necessary to ensure correct seat usage. Allow time for the car seat to dry thoroughly before reinstalling it. Dry the seat cushions and padding separately in direct sunlight or your clothing dryer, if the manual states this is acceptable.
Your spring safety seat cleaning is also a good time to check its expiration date. Locate the manufacturer label on the side or base of the seat. Typically, car seats are only good for six years after the manufacture date. If your car seat has expired, you must buy a new one. Plastic becomes dry and brittle over time, especially under prolonged exposure to heat and sunlight. A new car seat will ensure the greatest safety for your child.
Double-check your manual to ensure you have reinstalled the seat correctly. Your freshly cleaned child safety seat will look better while keeping your child safer.
If you need more information about the proper use of your car seat, visit Safe Kids.
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!
March 21st -March 27th marks National Poison Prevention Week. Poisons pose a danger to everyone but are especially dangerous for children. Each year, thousands of children are treated in emergency departments for ingesting medication or after unintentionally being given the incorrect amount (1). Here are some tips to prevent these injuries.
Administering Medicine Safely:
Dosing errors occur when a parent or caregiver gives too much or too little medicine. These are the most common types of medication errors that bring children into emergency departments. Oftentimes, confusion about units of measurement (i.e., milliliter (mL) vs teaspoons (tsp)) leads to dosing errors. Medical professionals recommend using milliliters (mL) when giving oral liquid medicines. Household spoons should not be used since they often come in varying shapes and sizes. It is extremely important that you use the dosing devise that comes with your child’s medicine to ensure the correct amount is given (2).
Storing Medicine Safely:
It is equally important that medicines are stored in a safe location, up and away out of sight/reach of young children. Here are some simple tips to keep medicines away from children (2):
Choose a safe spot in your home out of sight and reach of young children. Keep all medicines away.
Lock the safety cap each time you use a medicine bottle. If the cap turns, make sure you hear the click of the lock or cannot twist the cap anymore.
Put medicines away after locking the safety cap each time they are used.
Remind guests in your home to keep bags, purses, or coats that may have medicine in them out of reach of children.
Find a safe storage space like a lock box or high cabinet when traveling to store medicines.
Call the poison control center immediately if you think your child is in danger of having ingested a medicine. 800.222.1222
Brain Injury Awareness Month is recognized during the month of March to bring awareness to traumatic brain injury (TBI) prevention and improve overall quality for those living with TBIs. TBIs affect millions of people in the US each year and are caused by impact or force to the head/body or by a penetrating injury to the head. Falls are the leading cause of TBIs, and they disrupt the normal function of the brain (1).
TBIs are the leading cause of death and disability in children. These brain injury characteristics are generally recognized in accordance with age and are important to be aware of in children (2):
Infants: accidental head injury, abusive head trauma
Toddlers/school children: accidental head injury (due to increase in motor skills, child safety seats, pedestrian injury)
Adolescents: bicycle and motorcycle-related accidents, sports-related head injuries
One of the best things you can do to protect you child or teen from a TBI is to make sure they wear a helmet when partaking in high-risk activities such as bike riding or sports. While there is no concussion-proof helmet, it can help protect you from a TBI substantially. Follow these helmet tips for best use:
Helmet fits properly and is well maintained
Worn consistently and correctly
Appropriately certified for use
This year’s theme for Brain Injury Awareness Month is #MoreThanMyBrainInjury (4). You can join the campaign by:
Increasing your understanding of brain injury as a chronic condition
Reduce the stigma associated with brain injury
Improve care and support for those with a brain injury
It is important both this month and every month to recognize the increasing prevalence of TBIs. Do your part to increase prevention awareness through education and taking preventative measures, and support those who endure such traumatic injuries.
March is the official start of Severe Weather Preparedness Month. For many Tennesseans, 2020 was one of the most active severe weather years in recent memory. In 2020, 35 tornadoes touched down in Tennessee (1). These tornadoes combined resulted in 27 deaths, hundreds of injuries, and billions of dollars in damage (1). Such devastating weather events have proven that we need to be “Weather Ready” in Middle Tennessee at all times. Preparing for severe weather events before they strike will help you stay safe throughout the year. The following resources and tips can help you prepare for severe weather.
Preparing your family
Although severe weather in the Tennessee Valley region can happen at any time of the year, Spring and Fall are the most common periods for severe weather to take place. March, April, and May have historically been the most active for severe weather in the Middle Tennessee region (2).
It is important to familiarize yourself with the terms used to describe severe weather threats and react accordingly.
Watch - conditions are favorable for violent weather. This is the time to monitor the weather for changing conditions. Be prepared to take shelter.
Warning - severe weather/tornado has been spotted on the ground and/or indicated on the radar. Take cover immediately. Turn on a battery-operated radio or television and wait for updated weather information.
Purchase a weather alert radio and keep some spare batteries on hand.
Maintain an emergency supply kit. This will come in handy if there are extended power outages due to a severe weather event. An emergency supply kit should include the following:
Flashlights with extra batteries
3-day supply of bottled drinking water
3-day supply of nonperishable food
Can opener and utility knife
Eating and cooking utensils
Paper towels, toilet paper, soap, and detergent
Blankets and sleeping bags
Shut-off wrench or pliers to turn off utilities
Signal flare, matches, and whistle
Medications or special need items (diapers/formula/etc.)
What to do when a tornado warning is issued for your area:
Go to the lowest most interior part of your home immediately. Put as many walls between you and the outside as possible.
Stay away from windows
Refrain from opening windows
Use your arms to protect your head, and/or cover yourself with a mattress or sleeping bag
Be mindful of where heavy objects are on the floor above
Tornado Warning Signs
The science of weather forecasting is not perfect. Severe weather events do occur without warning. Stay alert to the sky and look/listen for these signs of tornadic activity:
Strong, persistent rotation in the base of the cloud
Whirling dust or debris on the ground under the cloud base
Loud continuous roar or rumble
Small bright blue-green to white flashes at ground level near a thunderstorm
Have an emergency plan in place and know where to take shelter at home, work, or any other venue you frequently visit. Be aware of where you can quickly take shelter. Practice your plan at home at least once a year. Let’s all do our part to be as prepared and aware as possible heading into severe weather season!
Whether you are a pedestrian crossing the street or you are the driver of a vehicle approaching a group of people at a crosswalk, it is important to understand how to keep pedestrians safe and the laws that protect them. There was a 3% increase in the number of pedestrians killed in traffic crashes in 2018, which totaled 6,283 deaths.1 Here are a few tips that may help to reduce future injuries.
Follow these basic safety tips when walking through your community:
Always walk on sidewalks when available. If a sidewalk isn’t available, walk on the shoulder or path facing traffic.
Always remain alert. Avoid becoming distracted by your phone which could lead to Distracted Walking.
Always cross the street at crosswalks or intersections when possible.
Never assume that a driver sees you or that they will stop.
When walking at night, always wear bright clothing and reflective material to help with visibility. The risk for injury as a pedestrian can increase at night.
Watch for cars backing out when walking through a parking lot.
Pedestrian safety tips for teen drivers:
Avoid distracted driving. Driving distracted can take your attention off the road causing you to not be able to look out for pedestrians.
Never pass another vehicle at a crosswalk. There may be people you can’t see crossing the street.
Be cautious when backing out of a parking spot or onto the street. A pedestrian could be in your blind spot.
Always yield to a pedestrian at an intersection or to a pedestrian that is crossing the street.
Remember to slow down when approaching a crosswalk as you may not be able to see a pedestrian until it’s too late.
Follow the speed limit when entering and exiting a school zone. Adhere to the crossing guard when present.
As a driver, it is important to remember, pedestrians’ always have the right -of- way in crosswalks. If the pedestrian is walking across the street in a designated school zone while the flashers are on regardless if they are in marked crosswalk or not, you must come to complete stop and remain stopped until the pedestrian has completely crossed the street. The Tennessee Code 55-8-134 officially states that Unless in a marked school zone when a warning flasher or flashers are in operation, when traffic-control signals are not in place or not in operation, the driver of a vehicle shall yield the right-of-way, slowing down or stopping if need be to so yield, to a pedestrian crossing the roadway within a crosswalk when the pedestrian is upon the half of the roadway upon which the vehicle is traveling, or when the pedestrian is approaching so closely from the opposite half of the roadway as to be in danger.
Walking can be a great opportunity to increase your physical activity and to spend time with your family and friends. Adhering to these safety tips can help to keep you and your loved ones safe.
We are so excited to have two interns as part of our team!
is a Dallas native and current Senior at Vanderbilt University majoring in Human and Organizational Development as well as Medicine Health & Society. He is an intern for the Pediatric Trauma Injury Prevention Program who is focused on creating injury prevention programming to address Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs). Omar is thrilled to be joining this amazing team. In his free time, he enjoys reading, running, and working as a research assistant at VUMC.
is a third year undergraduate student at Vanderbilt University from Connecticut. She is studying Medicine, Health, and Society and chemistry and hopes to attend medical school in the future. Maia is an intern for the Pediatric Trauma Injury Prevention Program and is excited to incorporate her passion for public health and accessibility advocacy into her work with the program. In her free time, she enjoys volunteering, exploring Nashville, and coaching ski racing back home.
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.
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.
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