SAFE HALLOWEEN We love Halloween and so do the kids, but it’s a holiday that is full of tricks and treats, which often offers an safety warning. The CDC offers great tips on staying safe and healthy this Halloween. See their “SAFE HALLOWEEN” acronym below and have a safe and wonderful Halloween. Going trick-or-treating? S - Swords, knives, and other costume accessories should be short, soft, and flexible. A - Avoid trick-or-treating alone. Walk in groups or with a trusted adult. F - Fasten reflective tape to costumes and bags to help drivers see you. E - Examine all treats for choking hazards and tampering before eating them. Limit the amount of treats you eat. H - Hold a flashlight while trick-or-treating to help you see and others see you. WALK and don’t run from house to house. A - Always test make-up in a small area first. Remove it before bedtime to prevent possible skin and eye irritation. L - Look both ways before crossing the street. Use crosswalks wherever possible. L - Lower your risk for serious eye injury by not wearing decorative contact lenses. O - Only walk on sidewalks whenever possible, or on the far edge of the road facing traffic to stay safe. W - Wear well-fitting masks, costumes, and shoes to avoid blocked vision, trips, and falls. E - Eat only factory-wrapped treats. Avoid eating homemade treats made by strangers. E - Enter homes only if you’re with a trusted adult. Only visit well-lit houses. Never accept rides from strangers. N - Never walk near lit candles or luminaries. Be sure to wear flame-resistant costumes. Have a wonderful and happy Halloween!
Through Baby Safety Month, September is a time to celebrate your baby and keep them safe. There are so many ways to baby-proof your home or take precautions with your kids, and here are a few ideas: Falls are the leading cause of non-fatal injuries for all young children. Every day in the U.S., approximately 8,000 children are treated in the emergency room for fall-related injuries. What Can You Do? The best way to prevent injury is direct supervision- watch, listen and stay close to your child. Strap in for Safety Child safety devices, like safety belts and straps, should always be used when available. Straps, safety belts, and harnesses on baby gear reduce the risk of infant fall injuries. Whether it's in the home or on the go, learn how to properly use straps on a variety of products and the importance of correctly using them EVERY time in order to keep baby safe. Baby Safety Month September is Baby Safety Month. Baby Safety Month started in 1983. In 1986, it was extended to a week-long celebration, until 1991, when JPMA sponsored the first “Baby Safety Awareness Month.” Since then, every September has been designated as Baby Safety Month.
According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission and the Mayo Clinic, hospital emergency rooms treated an estimated 251,700 toy-related injuries in 2010 throughout the United States. 72% were to people less than 15 years of age. Additionally, in 2007 alone, toymakers recalled over 19 million toys worldwide because of safety concerns such as lead paint and small magnets. When it comes to toys and gifts, the excitement and desire to get your children their favorite toys may cause shoppers to forget about safety factors associated with them. Before you make these purchases, it is critical to remember to consider the safety and age range of the toys. This holiday season (and beyond), please consider the following guidelines for choosing safe toys for all ages:
- Inspect all toys before purchasing. Avoid those that shoot or include parts that fly off. The toy should have no sharp edges or points and should be sturdy enough to withstand impact without breaking, being crushed, or being pulled apart easily
- When purchasing toys for children with special needs try to: Choose toys that may appeal to different senses such as sound, movement, and texture; consider interactive toys to allow the child to play with others; and think about the size of the toy and the position a child would need to be in to play with it
- Be diligent about inspecting toys your child has received. Check them for age, skill level, and developmental appropriateness before allowing them to be played with
- Look for labels that assure you the toys have passed a safety inspection – “ATSM” means the toy has met the American Society for Testing and Materials standards
- Gifts of sports equipment should always be accompanied by protective gear (give a helmet with the skateboard)
- Keep kids safe from lead in toys by: Educating yourself about lead exposure from toys, symptoms of lead poisoning, and what kinds of toys have been recalled; being aware that old toys may be more likely to contain lead in the paint; having your children wash their hands frequently and calling your doctor if you suspect your child has been exposed to lead. Consult the last two websites listed below for more information
- Do NOT give toys with small parts (including magnets and “button” batteries which can cause serious injury or death if ingested) to young children as they tend to put things in their mouths, increasing the risk of choking. If the piece can fit inside a toilet paper roll, it is not appropriate for kids under age three
- Do NOT give toys with ropes and cords or heating elements
- Do NOT give crayons and markers unless they are labeled “nontoxic”