Spring Safety Checklist

April is an exciting month because we know warmer weather is on its way. Daffodils peek through the ground, birds chirp, people drive with the windows rolled down, and children play outside. This lends a perfect opportunity for some safety checks.

Child Passenger Safety

  1. Check to make sure your child hasn’t outgrown his current car seat.
  2. Check the car seat’s position. The rear-facing position, according to the most recent recommendation, is the safest placement for children well beyond the “1 year or 20 pound” recommendation. The new recommendation for rear facing is up to 30 pounds, or when the child’s head is within 1” of the top of the seat shell, whichever is first. By keeping your child rear-facing, you dramatically reduce the risk of head and neck trauma should you be involved in a front-end automobile accident. (Check the owner’s manual of your child’s car seat for recommendations.)
  3. Make sure the child restraint harness is nice and snug, especially when there could be slack from using big, bulky winter coats.
  4. Have your car seat checked by a professional. Call Safety City USA at (248) 551-0103 for a listing of scheduled car seat checks.

Pedestrian Safety

  1. When driving, make sure you lookout for children in your neighborhood who may jump out into the street without looking for traffic.
  2. Don’t leave young children outside unsupervised (even for a moment).
  3. Teach (or remind) your children the safe practice of how to check for cars before crossing the street: Look left, right and then left again before crossing.
  4. Teach your children to walk against traffic. Have them use a flashlight during evening hours so drivers will be attracted to the moving light and be alert of your child.
  5. Teach your children to walk in groups of people and not by themselves to prevent an abduction.

Bicycle Safety

Inspect your child’s helmet:

  1. Take a close look at your child’s helmet. After the long winter, it might be cracked or may not fit properly. Adjust any straps before your child takes her first ride.
  2. Check the fit of your child’s helmet to make sure it is snug. If the helmet is too loose, it may ride up and leave little, if any, facial protection.
  3. A helmet can make a difference between a mild injury or one with long-term effects. Consider purchasing a new helmet after any major spill because the helmet may no longer be structurally sound. Check for cracks and look at the integrity of the helmet. If you are uncertain, purchase a new helmet.

Teach the safety rules:

  1. Teach (or remind) your children to abide by bicycle safety rules, such as getting off their bicycle and walking the bicycle as they cross the street.
  2. Teach (or remind) your children of hand signals when turning and to abide by the “rules of the road.”  Accidents may happen when the automobile drivers aren’t alerted or prepared for a turning bicyclist.
  3. Teach (or remind) your children to respect space between other bikers to prevent a collision.
  4. Supervise your children with any jumps or tricks. It is not uncommon for children to rupture a spleen if the handle bars jab into their abdomen with force!

For more safety suggestions or to schedule a class for injury prevention contact Safety City U.S.A. at (248) 551-0103.

– Kathy Parish, R.N.

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