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.

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Prevent child deaths in hot cars

Amanda Krupa from the American Academy of Pediatrics shared that a child left in a hot car can die of heat stroke very quickly. But this tragedy can be prevented.

Here are some facts about hot cars and tips from the American Academy of Pediatrics to keep kids safe.

Facts about child heatstroke in cars

• Heat stroke is the leading cause of non-crash, vehicle-related deaths in children under age 15.

• Heat stroke can happen when the body is not able to cool itself quickly enough.

• A child’s body heats up three to five times faster than an adult does.

• When left in a hot car, a child’s major organs begin to shut down when his temperature reaches 104 degrees Fahrenheit.

• A child can die when his temperature reaches 107 degrees Fahrenheit.

• Cars heat up quickly. In just 10 minutes, a car can heat up 20 degrees Fahrenheit.

• Cracking a window and/or air conditioning does little to keep it cool once the car is turned off.

• Heat stroke can happen when the outside temperature is as low as 57 degrees Fahrenheit.

Set reminders

Any parent or caregiver, even a very loving and attentive one, can forget a child is in the back seat.

Being especially busy or distracted or having a change from the usual routine increases the risk. Read more

What to know about traveling with Medicare

Happy portrait of senior couple, woman embracing her husband

www.Medicare.gov suggests that before you go, remember to look into Medicare coverage outside the United States.

If you have Medicare Part A (Hospital Insurance) and Part B (Medical Insurance), your health care services and supplies are covered when you’re in the U.S. However, in general, Medicare won’t pay for health care services or supplies if you travel outside the U.S. (except in these rare cases).

That doesn’t mean you have to travel abroad without coverage. Here are 3 ways you can get health coverage outside the U.S.:

  1. If you have a Medigap policy, check your policy to see if it includes coverage when traveling outside the U.S.
  2. If you have another Medicare health plan (instead of Original Medicare), check with your plan to see if they offer coverage outside the U.S.
  3. Purchase a travel insurance policy that includes health coverage.

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The Overprotected American Child

Andrea Petersen, author of “On Edge:A Journey Through Anxiety,” shared with the Wall Steet Journal the following article:

Why not let them walk to school alone? Parents and communities are figuring out ways to give their children more independence—and it just may help them to become less anxious, more self-reliant adults.

A few weeks ago I left my 9-year-old daughter home alone for the first time. It did not go as planned.

That’s because I had no plan. My daughter was sick. My husband was out of town. And I needed to head to the drugstore—a five-minute walk away—to get some medicine for her. So I made sure my daughter knew where to find our rarely used landline phone, quizzed her on my cellphone number and instructed her not to open the front door for anyone. Then I left. Twenty minutes later I was back home. Both of us were a bit rattled by the experience—her first time completely alone, with no supervising adult!—but we were fine.

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April is National Child Abuse and Neglect Prevention Month

The Center for Disease Control shared that children and families thrive when they have access to safe, stable, nurturing relationships and environments. Policies and programs that are supportive of children and families can prevent child abuse and neglect and other early adversity. CDC works to better understand the problem of child abuse and neglect and to prevent it before it begins.

Facts about Child Abuse and Neglect

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

  • In 2016, more than 1,750 children died in the United States from abuse and neglect.
  • According to child protective service agencies, about 676,000 children were victims of child abuse or neglect in 2016, although this number likely underestimates the true occurrence.
  • One in 4 children have experienced abuse or neglect at some point in their lives and 1 in 7 experienced abuse or neglect in the past year.
  • The total lifetime cost associated with just 1 year of confirmed cases of child abuse or neglect is $124 billion.

Exposure to child abuse and neglect and other adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) cause toxic stress that can disrupt early brain development and harm the nervous and immune systems. Exposure to childhood adversity can increase a person’s risk for future violence, unhealthy behaviors, poor health and wellness, and limit life opportunities. This impact can be long-lasting and may continue across future generations. Read more

Take steps to prevent high chair accidents

Amita Health shared with the Daily Herald Newspaper that the recent recall of 36,000 Graco high chairs in the U.S. serves as a reminder that high chairs can pose safety hazards, and parents must be vigilant about minimizing high chair risks for their little ones.

A study by the journal “Clinical Pediatrics” showed high chair-related injuries rose more than 22 percent between 2003 and 2010, with emergency rooms treating about 9,400 such injuries each year. That works out to one high chair injury every hour.

Head injuries caused by falling were the most common injury reported in the study — an unsurprising finding given that high chairs usually are higher than regular chairs and situated near hard surfaces such as tables or countertops.

“Putting your child in a high chair is such a habitual, everyday activity that it’s easy for busy parents to become complacent and forget some basic safety steps,” said Dr. Carol Salman, an Amita Health pediatrician.

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10 Common Food Safety Mistakes

Gloria Kent, the Content Manager for  Recommendedthings.com,  shared that when we eat we often make mistakes which could create problems over a period of time. We avoid some basic safety factors to be kept in mind when it comes to foods. For example, not keeping the food properly stored and closed, not checking on the contents before buying them, not being sure about the expiry dates and other such things could create problems.

It is all about being informed and knowledgeable and we are sharing some of the important food safety mistakes which many of us often make. We are sure it will help a lot in understanding the same and then putting it into practice.

Click on MORE to see a a comprehensive piece on some of the common lapses regarding safety of food items.

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Be Prepared to Stay Safe and Healthy in Winter

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention shared that 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. Check on older adults.

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.

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Cold Weather Safety for Older Adults

The National Institute on Aging shared that if you are like most people, you feel cold every now and then during the winter. What you may not know is that just being really cold can make you very sick.

Older adults can lose body heat fast—faster than when they were young. Changes in your body that come with aging can make it harder for you to be aware of getting cold. A big chill can turn into a dangerous problem before an older person even knows what’s happening. Doctors call this serious problem hypothermia.

What Is Hypothermia?

Hypothermia is what happens when your body temperature gets very low. For an older person, a body temperature colder than 95°F can cause many health problems, such as a heart attackkidney problemsliver damage, or worse.

Being outside in the cold, or even being in a very cold house, can lead to hypothermia. Try to stay away from cold places, and pay attention to how cold it is where you are. You can take steps to lower your chance of getting hypothermia.

Keep Warm Inside

Living in a cold house, apartment, or other building can cause hypothermia. In fact, hypothermia can happen to someone in a nursing home or group facility if the rooms are not kept warm enough. If someone you know is in a group facility, pay attention to the inside temperature and to whether that person is dressed warmly enough.

People who are sick may have special problems keeping warm. Do not let it get too cold inside and dress warmly. Even if you keep your temperature between 60 and 65 degrees Fahrenheit, your home or apartment may not be warm enough to keep you safe. This is a special problem if you live alone because there is no one else to feel the chilliness of the house or notice if you are having symptoms of hypothermia. Read more