Monroe Carell Jr. Children's Hospital at Vanderbilt

Volume 14 Issue 15 .                                                                                             Summer 2020

Safety Source

Thank you for being a Safety Source family!

Summer Camping Edition

This week we want to focus on how to stay safe especially when camping.There are interactive tools for your children to learn the importance of camping 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 Camping Safety Tips and how to stay safe this summer. 

Activities for Kids to learn about Camping

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

Interactive Quiz about Camping Safety

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

More Information for Parents

Information for parents about Camping Safety Tips

Camping Safety Tips

As social distancing continues, many families are going camping to get out of the house and get some fresh air. Camping is a great family activity, but it can be dangerous if proper precautions and preparation are not taken.

The best way to remain safe while camping with friends and family is to always be prepared. This means always bringing along the proper supplies. You should always pack a supply kit that contains a first-aid kit, compass or GPS, map, flashlight, blankets, sunscreen, bug spray, batteries, food, water, clothes, and medications. Informing friends or family of your campsite location and checking the weather are important steps to do before you head out on your trip. The CDC also recommends getting vaccinated to protect against certain diseases that can be transmitted while camping. These vaccinations include tetanus, pertussis, meningitis, and hepatitis. Any furry friends brought along should be up to dateon their vaccinations as well.

In addition to the above tips, keep the following in mind as you head out on your camping adventure:

  • Pack and store food in tight, waterproof containers and keep them in an insulated cooler. This protects against food spoilage as well as curious animals.
  • Never use fuel burning equipment inside a tent. This includes gas stoves, grills, and lanterns. Using these inside a tent can lead to carbon monoxide poisoning.
  • Do not pet, feed, or walk near wild animals.
  • Be on the lookout for poisonous plants, like poison ivy and poison oak. If you are unsure of the plant type, don't touch it.
  • Apply a bug spray that contains DEET regularly to protect against mosquitoes, ticks, and other bugs.
  • Regularly apply a sunscreen, with at least SPF 15 frequently to protect against sun damage.
  • Place a plastic ground cloth underneath your tent to help your tent stay dry.
  • If hiking, biking, or swimming, make sure to bring sturdy hiking shoes, helmets, and life jackets.

Keep these tips in mind during your family camping adventure to have a safe and healthy trip. For additional camping safety tips, please visit


Railroad Safety with Teen Drivers

Drivers may sense frustration when they are required to stop at a railroad crossing. However, as a teen driver it is important to understand all the dangers that are associated with driving including rail safety. According to Safe Kids Worldwide, in 2017 there were over 2,000 collisions reported at railroad crossing in the United States. 1

Safe Kids recommends that if the lights are flashing or the gate is down at a railroad crossing, wait for the train to pass completely, the gates to lift and the lights to stop flashing before crossing. It is never okay to rush across and try to beat the train.

Here are a few other important safety rail tips to know:

  • Trains are typically closer and faster than you think.
  • Once a train starts to brake, it can take a mile for the train to stop. So, when you see a train, it’s already too late. 1
  • If your car ever stalls on the tracks, immediately get out and away from both the vehicle and the tracks. Once you are safely away from the vehicle and the tracks, locate the Emergency Notification System sign and call the number to inform them about your vehicle. 2
    • The Emergency Notification system sign is typically near the train tracks, that provides an emergency number and the rail crossing number which correlates to your exact location.
  • Trains are wider than they look. That’s why it is important to allow yourself enough time to completely clear the tracks before attempting to cross. If not, you could still be at risk for getting hit by the train.
  • Look for a second train! It is important to know that a train could be passing through the opposite direction that you may not be able to see right away.
  • Be aware of school buses and trucks that are required to come to a complete stop before traveling over the train tracks

    Click for more information about Teen Driving Safety
    Learning about the Different Types of Car Seats

    There are several different types of car seats and it can be confusing knowing when to move your child to a different type of seat. First it is important to understand the different types of seats and then review the law requirements as well as best practices regarding child passenger safety. When buying a seat, it is always important to select one that meets the height and weight requirements of your child, fits in your car, and one the caregiver can install correctly every time.

    Rear Facing 

    Typically, is used for newborn and young children because it protects the child’s head, neck, and spinal cord. A rear-facing seat means the seat faces in the opposite direction of the driver where the child’s feet are facing towards the back of the vehicle. It is always important to check the height and weight requirement of the seat. Best practice suggests leaving the child in a rear-facing seat as long as they still meet the height and weight requirements. Read more about rear-facing seats.

    Forward Facing 

    After a child has outgrown the rear-facing seat, the child moves to a forward-facing seat which contains a five-point harness and a tether strap. Always use the tether strap when using a forward-facing seat because it prevents the child’s forward movement in a vehicle crash. Read more about forward-facing seats.

    Convertible Seats

    Some caregivers choose to select a convertible seat that can be used rear-facing and forward facing once the child has met the height and weight requirements of the rear-facing seat. When installing a convertible seat, always check your car seat manual to see the correct position to place the seat belt as that will differ depending on if it is rear-facing or forward-facing. Read more about convertible seats.

    Booster Seats 

    After your child gets too big for the weight or height limits of the forward-facing car seat, use a belt-positioning booster seat with the vehicle lap and shoulder seat belt. There are two types of booster seats, which include a high back and low back booster seat depending on your child’s height and weight. Read more about booster seat safety.

    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 Campfire Cookies

    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
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    Tips for Teens and Safe Driving
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    Thank you to our generous partners and organizations
    Safety Source Newsletter-Weekly Edition

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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.