Child Abuse Prevention

April is National Child Abuse and Neglect Prevention Month. Children and families thrive when they have access to safe, stable, nurturing relationships and environments. Learn how to prevent child abuse and neglect before it begins with CDC’s resources!

Facts about Child Abuse and Neglect

Child abuse and neglect are significant public health problems in the United States:

  • In 2017, an estimated 1,720 children died from abuse and neglect.
  • About 674,000 children were identified as victims of child abuse or neglect by child protective service agencies in 2017.
  • An estimated one in four children has experienced abuse or neglect at some point in their lives.

Child Abuse and Neglect Are Preventable

Children’s lives are shaped by their experiences, including what happens in their environment and the types of relationships they have with parents, teachers, and other caregivers. Children who experience abuse, neglect, and other adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) are also at increased risk for negative health consequences and certain chronic diseases as adults. Safe, stable, nurturing relationships and environments are essential to preventing child abuse and neglect. Additionally, policies and programs that are supportive of children and families can help prevent such abuse and neglect. Read more

Bicycle Safety

Go For Life shared that riding a bicycle is not only a fun family activity, it’s also a great way to exercise. Some people even use their bicycle to commute to work, go to the grocery store, or visit friends and family. When you’re out and about on your bike, it’s important to know how to be safe.

Getting Ready to Go

  • For better control, choose a bicycle that’s the right size for you.
  • Make sure the brakes are working properly and the tires are inflated to the correct pressure.
  • To make sure motorists can see you, get a flashing red light for the rear of your bike and white light and/or reflectors for the front.
  • Wear bright, neon-colored clothing with reflective stripes and patches so that motorists can see you at night and in low-visibility conditions.

Riding Safely

  • Always wear a helmet that fits correctly.
  • Avoid riding your bicycle at night.
  • Obey all traffic laws, including stoplights, signs, signals, and lane markings.
  • Ride your bicycle in the same direction as traffic, never against it.
  • Stop at all intersections before crossing the street.
  • Signal when you make turns.
  • Be careful near parked vehicles; someone might suddenly open their door.
  • Watch for vehicles going in and out of driveways.
  • Yield to pedestrians.
  • Alert pedestrians when you’re close to them. Say “passing on your left” or use a bell or horn.

Read more

Plan to Stay Safe, Mobile, and Independent

The Center for Disease Control asks, “How would you get to the grocery store if you suddenly found yourself unable to drive? Would you be able to get to doctor appointments, social engagements, or church? Does your community have reliable public transportation or rideshare services?”

Mobility is the ability to get where you want to go when you want to go there. Many people make financial plans for retirement, but not everyone plans for the mobility changes that may come with age. One in four Americans now 65 years old will live into their 90s. It makes good sense to plan for what’s ahead.

CDC developed the MyMobility Plan to help older adults address possible changes and stay safe, mobile, and independent longer. This planning tool is aimed at adults nearing retirement age and provides information and tips in three main sections:

  • MySelf – a plan to manage personal health to maintain mobility and stay independent
  • MyHome – a home safety checklist to help prevent falls
  • MyNeighborhood – a plan to get around in the community

Read more

Plan to Stay Safe, Mobile, and Independent

The Center for Disease Control asks, “How would you get to the grocery store if you suddenly found yourself unable to drive? Would you be able to get to doctor appointments, social engagements, or church? Does your community have reliable public transportation or rideshare services?”

Mobility is the ability to get where you want to go when you want to go there. Many people make financial plans for retirement, but not everyone plans for the mobility changes that may come with age. One in four Americans now 65 years old will live into their 90s. It makes good sense to plan for what’s ahead.

CDC developed the MyMobility Plan to help older adults address possible changes and stay safe, mobile, and independent longer. This planning tool is aimed at adults nearing retirement age and provides information and tips in three main sections:

  • MySelf – a plan to manage personal health to maintain mobility and stay independent
  • MyHome – a home safety checklist to help prevent falls
  • MyNeighborhood – a plan to get around in the community

Read more

What can a caregiver do from far away?

The National Institute on Aging shared that anyone, anywhere, can be a long-distance caregiver, no matter your gender, income, age, social status, or employment. If you are living an hour or more away from a person who needs your help, you’re probably a long-distance caregiver.

You may ask yourself—what can I really do from far away? Long-distance caregivers take on different roles. You may:

  • Help with finances, money management, or bill paying
  • Arrange for in-home care—hire professional caregivers or home health or nursing aides and help get needed durable medical equipment
  • Locate care in an assisted living facility or nursing home (also known as a skilled nursing facility)
  • Provide emotional support and occasional respite care for a primary caregiver, the person who takes on most of the everyday caregiving responsibilities
  • Serve as an information coordinator—research health problems or medicines, help navigate through a maze of new needs and clarify insurance benefits and claims

Read more

Be Prepared to Stay Safe and Healthy in Winter

Winter storms and cold temperatures can be dangerous. Stay safe and healthy by planning ahead. Prepare your home and cars. Prepare for power outages and outdoor activity. 

Although winter comes as no surprise, many of us are not ready for its arrival. If you are prepared for the hazards of winter, you will be more likely to stay safe and healthy when temperatures start to fall.

Take These Steps for Your Home

Many people prefer to remain indoors during winter, but staying inside is no guarantee of safety. Take these steps to keep your home safe and warm during the winter months.

  • Winterize your home.
    • Install weather stripping, insulation, and storm windows.
    • Insulate water lines that run along exterior walls.
    • Clean out gutters and repair roof leaks.
  • Check your heating systems.
    • Have your heating system serviced professionally to make sure that it is clean, working properly, and ventilated to the outside.
    • Inspect and clean fireplaces and chimneys.
    • Install a smoke detector. Test batteries monthly and replace them twice a year.
    • Have a safe alternate heating source and alternate fuels available.
    • Prevent carbon monoxide (CO) emergencies.
      • Install a CO detector to alert you of the presence of the deadly, odorless, colorless gas. Check batteries when you change your clocks in the fall and spring.
      • Learn symptoms of CO poisoning: headache, dizziness, weakness, upset stomach, vomiting, chest pain, and confusion.

Cars driving on snowy roadGet your car ready for cold weather use before winter arrives.

Don’t Forget to Prepare Your Car

Get your car ready for cold weather use before winter arrives.

  • Service the radiator and maintain antifreeze level; check tire tread or, if necessary, replace tires with all-weather or snow tires.
    • Keep gas tank full to avoid ice in the tank and fuel lines.
    • Use a wintertime formula in your windshield washer.
    • Prepare a winter emergency kit to keep in your car in case you become stranded. The kit should include:
      • cell phone, portable charger, and extra batteries;
      • blankets;
      • food and water;
      • booster cables, flares, tire pump, and a bag of sand or cat litter (for traction);
      • compass and maps;
      • flashlight, battery-powered radio, and extra batteries;
      • first-aid kit; and
      • plastic bags (for sanitation).

Equip in Advance for Emergencies

Be prepared for weather-related emergencies, including power outages.

  • Stock food that needs no cooking or refrigeration and water stored in clean containers.
  • Ensure that your cell phone is fully charged.
  • When planning travel, be aware of current and forecast weather conditions.
  • Keep an up-to-date emergency kit, including:
    • Battery-operated devices, such as a flashlight, a National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Weather Radio, and lamps;
    • extra batteries;
    • first-aid kit and extra medicine;
    • baby items; and
    • cat litter or sand for icy walkways.
  • Protect your family from carbon monoxide.
    • Keep grills, camp stoves, and generators out of the house, basement and garage.
    • Locate generators at least 20 feet from the house.
    • Leave your home immediately if the CO detector sounds, and call 911.

Children playing in the snow
Wear appropriate outdoor clothing: layers of light, warm clothing; windproof coat, mittens; hats; scarves; and waterproof boots.

Take These Precautions Outdoors

Many people spend time outdoors in the winter working, traveling, or enjoying winter sports. Outdoor activities can expose you to several safety hazards, but you can take these steps to prepare for them:

  • Wear appropriate outdoor clothing: wear a tightly woven, preferably wind-resistant coat or jacket; inner layers of light, warm clothing; mittens; hats; scarves; and waterproof boots.
  • Sprinkle cat litter or sand on icy patches.
  • Learn safety precautions to follow when outdoors.
    • Work slowly when doing outside chores.
    • Take a buddy and an emergency kit when you are participating in outdoor recreation.
    • Carry a cell phone.

Grandson hugging grandfather
Be prepared to check on family and neighbors who are especially at risk from cold weather hazards.

Do This When You Plan to Travel

When planning travel, be aware of current and forecast weather conditions.

  • Avoid traveling when the weather service has issued advisories.
  • If you must travel, inform a friend or relative of your proposed route and expected time of arrival.
  • Follow these safety rules if you become stranded in your car.
    • Make your car visible to rescuers. Tie a brightly colored cloth to the antenna, raise the hood of the car (if it is not snowing), and turn on the inside overhead lights (when your engine is running).
    • Move anything you need from the trunk into the passenger area. Stay with your car unless safety is no more than 100 yards away.
    • Keep your body warm. Wrap your entire body, including your head, in extra clothing, blankets, or newspapers. Huddle with other people if you can.
    • Stay awake and stay moving. You will be less vulnerable to cold-related health problems. As you sit, keep moving your arms and legs to improve circulation and stay warmer.
    • Run the motor (and heater) for about 10 minutes per hour, opening one window slightly to let in air. Make sure that snow is not blocking the exhaust pipe—this will reduce the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning.

Above all, be ready to check on family and neighbors who are especially at risk from cold weather hazards: young children, older adults, and the chronically ill. If you have pets, bring them inside. If you cannot bring them inside, provide adequate, warm shelter and unfrozen water to drink.

No one can stop the onset of winter. However, if you follow these suggestions, you will be ready for it when it comes.

Be sure to visit CDC’s Winter Weather webpage for more winter weather safety tips.

Home Safety and Alzheimer’s Disease

The National Institute on Aging shared that over time, people with Alzheimer’s disease become less able to manage around the house. For example, they may forget to turn off the oven or the water, how to use the phone during an emergency, which things around the house are dangerous, and where things are in their own home.

As a caregiver, you can do many things to make the person’s home a safer place. Think prevention—help avoid accidents by controlling possible problems.

While some Alzheimer’s behaviors can be managed medically, many, such as wandering and agitation, cannot. It is more effective to change the person’s surroundings—for example, to remove dangerous items—than to try to change behaviors. Changing the home environment can give the person more freedom to move around independently and safely. Read more

What you should know about trampolines and bounce houses

Uzma Muneer, D.O.Specialty: Pediatrics shared in Edward-Elmhurst Health Blog that you may want to think twice before taking your kids to the next trampoline park or inflatable bounce house party. Before you know it, innocent fun can result in sprains, strains, broken bones, or even something more serious. It happened recently to a 3-year-old boy in Florida, who fell and broke his femur after jumping on a trampoline with his parents right next to him. The accident left the boy in a body cast from the waist down. Another 10-year-old girl recently broke her nose after bumping heads with another child on a moon bounce.

Although these play sets can be fun to jump on, thousands of people are injured on trampolines and bounce houses each year. Common injuries include:

  • Broken bones (sometimes surgery is needed)
  • Concussions and other head injuries
  • Sprains/strains
  • Bruises, scrapes, and cuts
  • Head and neck injuries

Parents should be aware of the risks these play sets can pose and how to minimize accidents.

Read more

ATVs kill more children than bicycles: Pediatricians urge families to yield to safety

Trisha Korioth, American Academy of Pediatrics, shared in Advocate’s Children Health that you don’t see them just on farms anymore. All-terrain vehicles are popular among outdoor enthusiasts of all ages who ride them through trails, fields and off-highway vehicle parks.

The four-wheeled motorized vehicles require skill and quick thinking. Therefore, the Itasca-based American Academy of Pediatrics warns that children under 16 should not use them.

In 2015, at least 73 children younger than 16 died and 26,700 were seriously injured by ATVs.

“More kids die on ATVs than die from bicycle crashes,” said Dr. Charles Jennissen, a pediatrician and safety expert who studies ATV injuries and deaths in children.

His 13-year-old cousin and a neighbor were killed when they drove an ATV onto a roadway near his boyhood farmhouse and were struck by a pickup truck.

More than half of ATV deaths occur on public roadways. Despite their name, ATVs are not safe on all terrains. They have a high center of gravity and off-road tires that unevenly grab paved or gravel road Read more

Tips for Keeping Your Car Cool in Summer

The Allstate Blog Team shared that if you are wondering how to keep your car cool during summer, there are plenty of simple things you can do. From maximizing your air conditioning to taking advantage of a shady spot when parking, the following tips can help you maintain a cooler vehicle on those hot and humid summer days.

Block Car Windows from the Sun

Cars can trap heat, causing the temperature inside them to quickly rise, says the National Weather Service. According to one test, a parked car’s temperature rose from 80 degrees to more than 94 degrees in about two minutes and reached 123 degrees within an hour. A car can reach up to 200 degrees inside, according to Consumer Reports.

Reducing the amount of heat entering through your windows may help keep your car cooler, making it more comfortable when it’s time to take a ride. Here are some tips to help keep your car cool in the summer:

  • Sun shades: Sun shades help block the direct rays coming into your vehicle, says Consumer Reports. This keeps the temperature slightly lower, which can help your car cool down more quickly once the vehicle is started.

Read more