by Rynette R. Kjesbo, M.S., CCC-SLP
June is National Safety Month. It is a time to learn about
safety and how to change harmful behaviors that can lead to injury
or death. The National Safety Council reports:
- Injuries are a leading cause of disability for people of all ages.
- Preventable injuries are the fourth leading cause of death in the United States (after heart disease, cancer, and chronic lower respiratory disease).
- About 136,053 people died from unintentional-injury-related deaths in 2014.
- The top causes of unintentional injury and death in homes and communities (in order) are poisoning, motor vehicle crashes, falls, choking and suffocation, drowning, and fires and burns.
- It can take paramedics up to 12 minutes to arrive at a specific location. Basic first aid and CPR training can save a life!
Suggestions for Parents
- Keep emergency numbers nearby – this includes phone numbers for doctors, fire,
police, poison control, 9-1-1, etc. Have “in case of emergency” contact information
available as well as important information about medical conditions, medications
being taken, and allergies.
- Always watch children around water – this includes pools, the beach, hot tubs,
and even bathtubs and sinks! Typical pool toys (floats, inner tubes, etc.) are
not designed to keep kids safe. Use a life jacket approved by the Coast Guard.
Drowning can happen quietly, quickly, and in just an inch of water, so stay nearby.
- Keep young children safe around medications and toxic substances – all
medicines, vitamins, and toxic substances (including cleaning agents and chemicals)
should be put away and kept out of a child’s reach.
- Make safe choices on the road – never use a cell phone while operating a motor
vehicle. Make sure child safety seats are properly installed and that all passengers
are using seat belts. And never leave a child alone in a car – not even for a minute!
- Become certified in First Aid and CPR – the American Red Cross offers training in
First Aid and CPR, as well as in many other areas such as Swimming & Water Safety,
Babysitting & Child Care, and more!
- Keep a first aid kit on hand – the Occupational Safety & Health Administration
(OSHA) states that a first aid kit should include gauze pads, adhesive bandages,
gauze roller bandages, triangular bandages, wound-cleaning agent, scissors, a
blanket, tweezers, adhesive tape, latex gloves, resuscitation equipment, elastic
wraps, splints, and directions for requesting emergency assistance.
- Keep a fully-stocked emergency preparedness kit in your home and vehicle – this
kit should include supplies such as water, food, medications, a battery-powered
radio, a flashlight, and a first aid kit.
- Be prepared for emergencies and practice emergency drills with your family –
make sure smoke and carbon monoxide detectors are working properly. Plan two
escape routes out of every room. Set up an outside meeting place for after an
escape. Make sure everyone knows a designated phone number to call in case your
family is separated.
“Help Save Lives and Prevent Injuries During National Safety Month in June,” accessed May 26, 2016, http://www.nsc.org/act/events/Pages/national-safety-month.aspx
“National Safety Month,”accessed May 26, 2016, https://healthfinder.gov/nho/JuneToolkit2.aspx
“Red Cross Training – Get Trained & Certified,” accessed May 26, 2016, http://www.redcross.org/ux/take-a-class
“Safe Kids Worldwide: Safety Tips,” accessed May 26, 2016, http://www.safekids.org/safetytips
“United States Department of Labor Occupational Safety and Health Standards,” accessed May 26, 2016, https://www.osha.gov/pls/oshaweb/owadisp.show_document?p_table=STANDARDS&pid=9863