Playing it safe

Playgrounds are great places for children to exercise, but you want to be sure your children are safe while they’re having fun.

More than 200,000 children visit the emergency room every year after being injured on playgrounds. While the swing set can seem terrifying in the face of that statistic, rest assured that you can keep your children safe on the playground by following these guidelines from the National Safety Council and the American Academy of Pediatrics:

Anchors away — All playground equipment should be anchored in the ground and have no sharp edges.

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Trick-or-treating with food allergies

by Lindsay Lambarth, DO
Baylor College of Medicine, PGY-2
The Children’s Hospital of San Antonio

Did you know that almost 40 percent of children with food allergies have experienced severe reactions? And that in the United States, 170 different foods and ingredients have been identified as the cause of allergic reactions?

Halloween can be a difficult time for children with food allergies due to the high risk of reaction when ingredients are not monitored closely.  To help keep trick-or-treating safe for children with food allergies, the Teal Pumpkin Project was created.  Teal pumpkins serve as a symbol of safety during Halloween for children with food allergies and indicate that non-food items are available.

How can you participate?

  1. Place a teal pumpkin in front of your home (classroom, office, or wherever treats are provided this season) to show that you have non-food items available.
  2. Provide non-food treats such as pencils or stickers for trick-or-treaters.
  3. Display a flyer or poster to inform others of what the teal pumpkin stands for. Follow the link below for free resources and flyers to print.

https://www.foodallergy.org/education-awareness/teal-pumpkin-project/free-resources

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Walk to school safely with these 10 tips

October is Walk to School Month

By Jacqueline Khalaf, RN
Injury Prevention and Community Outreach Coordinator
Trauma Department, The Children’s Hospital of San Antonio

Walking to and from school can be great exercise for children of all ages. If you’re lucky enough to live only a few blocks from your child’s school, here are a few tips to consider to make sure your child is safe when walking to and from school:

  1. Walk on sidewalks when possible. If there are no sidewalks, walk facing traffic and as far from traffic as possible.
  2. Children under 10 should not cross the street without an adult.
  3. Don’t be distracted by phones and other devices. Eyes up!
  4. Be aware of your surroundings. Be on the lookout for loose animals, strangers, and traffic.
  5. Always cross as crosswalks. Don’t run. You are more likely to fall if you are running.
  6. Look left-right-left and ensure vehicles stop at crosswalks before you cross the street.
  7. Make eye contact and wave to the motorist. If they wave back, this indicates they have seen you.
  8. Consider your second-edge — sometimes crossing happens mid-block instead of at crosswalks, such as between two parked cars. Make sure to stop at the edge of the vehicle (second edge) to look left-right-left again so that you see approaching traffic and drivers see you.
  9. Hold the hands of little ones when crossing the street. Young children may play or run, not understanding the dangers of crossing the street.
  10. Make sure children are visible using reflective equipment, lights, or wearing bright colors when it is darker outside.

Source: Safe Kids Worldwide. (2016). Safety Tips. Retrieved from https:/www.safekids.org/safetytips.

 

Is your child’s car seat the right fit?

By Jacqueline Khalaf, RN
Injury Prevention and Community Outreach Coordinator
Trauma Department, The Children’s Hospital of San Antonio
Certified Child Passenger Safety Technician

Child Passenger Safety Week is acknowledged in September. Here are some tips to keep kids properly restrained in vehicles.

According to the Texas Department of Public Safety:
All children younger than eight years old, unless taller than 4’ 9”, are required to be in the appropriate child safety seat system whenever they ride in a passenger vehicle. The safety seat system MUST be installed according to the manufacturer’s instructions.

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Talking to your child about tragedy

Raising three little girls is no easy task, and I spend countless hours preparing them for issues that may arise in their worlds.  By far, one of the most painful things I have ever had to teach my daughter was what to do in the event of an active shooter in her school in the aftermath of the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre.

As our country reels from yet another school shooting, many families are having difficulty finding the right words to explain what this means for their children. What you tell your children and how much you tell children can be challenging to navigate, particularly because you are likely not the only source of information for them. Depending on their age, they may be processing information from family, friends and neighbors; the news, including TV, newspapers, and magazines; and the internet, which often displays false information that is perpetuated by social media. However, you must remember that you will always be their favored and most trusted source. So what, and how, should you tell your children?

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3 reasons why only 2 hours of screen time is best for your 1 child

By Dr. Allison Wells
The Children’s Hospital of San Antonio
Baylor College of Medicine – Residency Program

Have you ever found yourself at your child’s check up wondering if your child has too much screen time? Have you ever wondered why your pediatrician recommends only two hours of screen time per day for your child? And what exactly does “screen time” mean anyway?

Screen time is defined as the amount of time someone spends in front of any electronic viewing device – this means TV, smart phone, tablet, computer, laptop, and video games. Most children in our society grow up with these devices. In fact, many are tiny experts at using smart phones before they are even potty trained. But is screen time good for them? A lot of research has been done to look for the answer to this question.

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Is your child at risk for lead poisoning?

By Dr. Ruchi Kaushik
General Pediatrics
The Children’s Hospital of San Antonio

Affecting almost 1 million children in the United States, lead poisoning remains the most preventable environmental health problem. Any child may be at risk for lead toxicity. If you are the parent of a child six years and younger, read on to learn about the risks, prevention, screening, and treatment of lead poisoning.

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Manteniendo a sus niños seguros alrededor del agua

Por el dr. Alberto Carranza
Emergenicia Pediátricas
The Children’s Hospital of San Antonio

El verano esta a la vuelta de la esquina! Con ese calor, que es mas divertido para un niño que jugar en el agua, sea en una piscina, un rio o en la bañera?  Sin embargo, esa misma emoción puede terminar en un accidente serio si no se toman medidas de precaución.  Por eso, nos tomaremos un momento para discutir un poco sobre accidentes en agua para evitar tragedias y percances. Continue reading “Manteniendo a sus niños seguros alrededor del agua”

Keep your kids safe around water

By Dr. Tracy McCallin
Emergency Department
The Children’s Hospital of San Antonio

Every day, ten people die from drowning. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), one out of every five drowning deaths involves a child under 14 years of age. Safe Kids Worldwide estimates that more than 50 percent of children who drown are age four or younger. In 2012, Texas led the United States in drowning deaths for children one to four years old. According to 2016 statistics from the Texas Department of Family & Protective Services, lake and residential pool drownings are on the rise.

We are fortunate in San Antonio to have access to many different options to stay cool on hot summer days including pools, nearby lakes, and rivers. These bodies of water can pose additional risks, such as strong currents after a lot of rain which can make swimming difficult even for advanced swimmers. Families must also be careful in the backyard with wading pools and buckets, and even the sink or bathtub can be a risk for drowning since young children can drown within seconds in less than two inches of water.

But it’s not all bad news, because drowning is preventable. Here are some tips you can use this summer to help prevent drowning and keep your children safe in the water. Continue reading “Keep your kids safe around water”

Cries for help

By Dr. Nancy Kellogg
Center for Miracles
The Children’s Hospital of San Antonio

For more than 10 years, The Children’s Hospital of San Antonio – Center for Miracles has served as the only child abuse center of its kind in South Central Texas. The caring team of physicians, nurses, and staff are specially trained to care for children who are at risk for, or traumatized by, abuse and neglect. We strive to provide timely medical and psychosocial care for children referred to our Center. Our physicians are some of the only child abuse specialists in the state.

The Center offers a comforting, family-focused environment in which to serve the children of San Antonio and beyond. Restoring a child’s health and peace is our main goal. Teachers, day care providers, social workers, nurses, extended family, and others who come into contact with children have a responsibility to report cases of child abuse and neglect.

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