Monroe Carell Jr. Children's Hospital at Vanderbilt

Volume 14 Issue 7     .                                                                                              Spring 2020

Safety Source

Thank you for being a Safety Source family!

Everything has become virtual very quickly and families are spending more time using the internet. We want to make sure you all have the information to keep your family safe while online during this time.  In this issue there are activities for kids about internet safety, an interactive quiz, a video, and information for parents. We also have information about tips on how to use your car manual effectively.  Also, updated information for teens about licenses and aggressive driving. 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 the internet safety and why it is important.  

Activities for Kids about Internet Safety

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

Interactive Quiz about Internet Safety

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

More Information for Parents

Information for parents about how to keep your child safe online 

Keeping on top of Internet Safety

It should come as no surprise that our children are spending a lot more time online. Whether it is school work, chats with friends and grandparents, or music lessons —a lot has shifted online.

It is important that children and teenagers stay connected and have a sense of normalcy however this also presents a new set of challenges for every parent. How can you maximize all that the internet has to offer, while reducing the potential harm it can cause?

Maintaining this balance is a challenge in a normal day, let alone in these trying times

UNICEF has shared 5 ways you can help keep your children safe online

1. Keep them safe with open communication

Have an honest dialogue with your children about who they communicate with and how. Make sure they understand that mean, discriminatory or inappropriate contact is never acceptable. If your children experience any of these, encourage them to tell you or a trusted adult immediately. Be alert if your child appears to be upset or secretive with online activities or if they are experiencing cyberbullying.

Work with your child to establish rules on how, when and where devices can be used.

2. Use technology to protect them

Check that your child’s device is running the latest software and antivirus programs, and that privacy settings are on. Keep webcams covered when not in use. For younger children, tools such as parental controls, including safe search, can help keep online experiences positive.

Be cautious of free online educational resources. Your child should never have to provide a photo or their full name to use these resources. Remember to check the privacy settings to minimize data collection. Help your child learn to keep personal information private, especially from strangers.

3. Spend time with them online

Create opportunities for your child to have safe and positive online interactions with friends, family and you. Connecting with others is more important than ever at the moment and this can be an excellent opportunity for you to model kindness and empathy in your “virtual interactions”.

Help your child recognize and avoid misinformation and age-inappropriate content that may increase anxiety about the COVID-19 virus. Many digital resources from credible organizations like UNICEF and the World Health Organization are available for you and your child to learn about the virus together.

Spend time with your child to identify age appropriate apps, games and other online entertainment.

4. Encourage healthy online habits

Promote and monitor good behavior online and on video calls. Encourage your children to be kind and respectful to classmates, to be mindful of what clothes they wear and to avoid joining video calls from a bedroom.

Familiarize yourself with school policies and helplines to report cyberbullying or inappropriate online content.

As children spend more time online, they can be exposed to more advertising that may promote unhealthy foods, gender stereotypes or age-inappropriate material. Help them recognize online ads and use the opportunity to explore together what is wrong with some of the negative messaging you see.

5. Let them have fun and express themselves

Spending time at home can be a great opportunity for your children to use their voices online to share their views and support those in need during this crisis.

Encourage your child to take advantage of digital tools that get them up and moving, like online exercise videos for kids and video games that require physical movement.

Take a deep breath. Know that we are all in this together. And together we will get through it.

Source: UNICEF

Making the Most of your Car Manual

When thinking about child passenger safety, it is important to know where to locate information both in your car manual and in the car seat manual. Both provide important guidelines to ensure your child is appropriately restrained correctly. Often, your car manual would be located in the glove compartment. But if you cannot locate it or it did not come with the car when you bought it, you can always look up the manual online by searching for car model, year car was made, and the manufacturer.

First, you want to locate the car model, year the car was made, and the manufacturer. Often, this is located on the front cover of the manual. These are important detail that can help you register your car in case there is a recall on the car. Next, you may see a table of contents where you can locate information about how your car operates, specific car features, and passenger safety. When locating information about car seats, look for the key words such as “child restraint” or “child passenger safety.” Your manual may not use specific words such as car seat but if you look for these other key words that can help you locate information about the car seats.

You will also want to locate information about the seat belts and where your air bags are located in the car. Knowing where the seat belts and air bags are in the car, we will you know the best location to install the car seat. It will also provide information about the appropriate way to position the seat belt on adults as well as when using a car seat. Also, it is important to never place a rear facing seat in front of an active air bag. When available, the back seat is always the safest place for children. There may be air bags in the front of the car or on the sides, but your car manual will help tell you exactly where to place the car seat.

The car manual will also provide guidance about how and where to install different types of seats such as rear facing, forward facing, and booster seats.

Also, your car manual will tell you how to use the LATCH system and if your car has the ability to install the car seat using the lower anchors. The manual will also tell you where to attach the tether part of the car seat into the correct location in the car. Tethers are important safety feature of the car seat to use especially when the seat is forward facing.

When installing the car seat, it is always important that you look at both the car manual and the car seat manual. Both manuals have critical information about child passenger safety and need referenced together to ensure the car seat is installed as safely as possible.

Overview of items to locate in the manual:

  • Child passenger safety or child restraint information
  • Location of air bags and seat belts
  • Installation of different types of car seats
  • Safety information about how long children should ride in the back seat
  • LATCH system location and guidance
  • Tether locations in the car
  • Seat belt guidance for all passengers including expecting moms
Driver Services Center Update

During this challenging and constantly changing time, many areas of our lives are different than before. If you were born during the summertime like myself, than you may have been planning to either renew or get your license this summer. As of today, here are a few changes that both you and your teen should know as it relates to Tennessee’s Driver Services Centers and the service they are offering.


  • The knowledge test to obtain your Learner’s permit has temporarily been suspended in all Driver Service Centers until May 18th, 2020.
  • The skills test to obtain your intermediate restricted license has temporarily been suspended in all Driver Service Centers until May 18th, 2020.


  • In-Person photo requirements waived until October1st, 2021. The requirement that citizens must appear in person to have a new photo has been waived until October 1st, 2021. This gives customers an opportunity to renew online.
  • All learner permits, driver and commercial licenses, Photo Identification Licenses, and Handgun Carry permits that would expire between March 12th, 2020 and May 18th, 2020 will be extended for 6 months from the original expiration date. A letter will be issued to those affected and must be kept with you during the extension period.
  • The issuance of REAL IDs, will temporarily be suspended until May 18th, 2020. The federal government has extended the REAL ID implementation date until October 1st, 2021.
  • License renewals are being processed online through the Department’s e-services portal.

It’s important to know the changes as it relates to your family’s needs. For more information, please visit the Department of Safety’s website here.

Aggressive Driving

It wasn’t until recently when I discovered the true definition of aggressive driving. When I hear the word aggressive driving, the definition that comes to mind is speeding well above the driving limit. However, there are several other things to consider when defining what aggressive driving is. Other forms of aggressive driving include following too closely, improper passing and lane change, red-light running, failure to yield, and changing lanes without signaling.

Some drivers would say they only drive aggressively when they are running late. Others would consider themselves aggressive drivers all the time. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration defines aggressive driving as “occurring when an individual commits a combination of moving traffic offenses so as to endanger other persons or property."

Here are few tips on what to do if you encounter an aggressive driver on the road:

  • Ignore any gestures and avoid responding to the other driver
  • If possible, try your best to move out of the aggressive driver’s way
  • Allow for the other driver to pass you. Do not try to speed up and block their way.
  • Avoid any confrontation and double check to make sure your seat belt is on.
  • If you feel as if you feel as though you are being followed, call the police and drive to a public place such as a police station, hospital or fire station.

If after reading this, you think a family member might be an aggressive driver, have a conversation with them about the dangers that are associated with aggressive driving. Educate your loved one that their driving behavior doesn’t just affect them but others around them. Consider this as a final thought, weaving in and out of traffic can seem as if it is saving you a ton of time but in actuality is only saving you a couple of minutes and putting you and others in harms way.


Learn More about Teen Driving
Learn more about COVID-19 Resources
How to Make Emoji 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.

Savannah Larkin

is from Atlanta and currently a junior at Vanderbilt University, double majoring in Human & Organizational Development; Medicine, Health, & Society. She is an intern focusing her research on Pediatric Drowning Prevention Best Practices and continuing work on current programs. In Savannah’s spare time, you can find her cooking, doing puzzles, playing Candy Crush, swimming, playing tennis, attending Vanderbilt sporting events, and watching football. Anchor Down & Titan Up!

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Resources from our generous partners
Tips about Keeping Children Safe Around the Car
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Tips for helping your child with emotions from AllState
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Tips for Teens and Safe Driving
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Thank you to our generous partners and organizations
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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.