Breakpoint's Booster Seat and Burn Awareness Issue
Loyola University Burn and Shock Trauma Institute, Injury Prevention Program
Your sports-loving child may not be preparing for the
Olympics, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t at risk for sports-related
injuries. With any sport there is a potential risk children take when they
Knowing that over 3 million children experience sports and
recreational-related injuries, what types of injuries can occur and how they can
be prevented is the first step will help ensure your child’s athletic
participation will be a positive experience.
The risk for unintentional injury is also present when
children engage in recreational activities as well. Playground safety, inline
skating safety and skateboard safety will also be covered in this month’s
issue of Break Point.
Break Point is produced by Loyola University, Burn and Shock
Trauma Institute Injury Prevention Program.
Please call us at (708) 327-2455 or email to: Kathy
O'Day with any comments or questions.
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Do You Know What Is Inside Your Medicine Chest?
As spring approaches many think of spring cleaning and
preparing for the warmer weather. Don’t forget to add the medicine chest to
your list of chores. When was the last time you checked for expiration dates on
your prescription medicine or over-the-counter medications? If you are like many
people, probably not for a very long time.
It is important to clean out your medicine cabinet periodically and throw out
medicines, which have either expired or are more than two years old. Once a medication has expired the
product begins to break down. It can become weakened in strength, and could
cause adverse reactions. Some warning signs that medication has gone bad
include: discoloration or residue at the bottom of the bottle; pills that are
crumbly or give off a vinegary odor; ointments that have separated.
There are some other things to be aware of when cleaning
your medicine chest:
For senior adults,
- Never mix medications in a single container. Some chemicals react with each other
and neutralize the medicines or cause harmful side effects
- Keep your pharmacist informed about additions and deletions to your medications
to prevent hazardous drug interactions.
- Categorize all your medications to prevent confusion. Talk to a healthcare professional
about developing a medication management schedule.
- Keep all medications out of the reach of your grandchildren.
Poison prevention tips regardless of age:
- Never administer or take medications prescribed to someone else, even if the
symptoms are similar.
- Always turn on the lights before taking or giving any medications to ensure that
you are able to identify medication properly.
In an emergency situation, call the Poison Control
Center immediately at: 1-800-924-5969
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The Prepared Athlete
What causes sports-related injuries in children? There are
a variety of reasons. Children’s coordination and their reaction time increase
with age. They are still growing and developing. In addition, they mature at
different ages and different rates. Therefore, a substantial difference in
height and weight between children of the same age can exist. When children of
the same age but varying sizes play sports together, there may be an increased
risk of injury.
As children grow older and bigger, the potential for and
severity of increase, largely because of the amount of force involved. For
example, a collision between two 8 year old pee wee football players who weigh
65-70 pounds does not produce as much force as that produced by two 16 year old
high school football players who may each weigh up to 200 pounds. As children
grow bigger and stronger, there is an increased incidence of sports-related
injuries. Children under age 10 are more likely to be injured on playgrounds or
from bicycle riding or on playgrounds, while injuries due to organized sports or
overexertion tend to occur more frequently in older children.
According to National SafeKids Campaign, each year in the
U.S. approximately more than 775,000 children are treated in emergency
departments for sports or recreational activities and 20% of children
participating in sports activities are injured; one fourth of these injuries are
considered serious. 21% of traumatic brain injuries in children are the result
of sports or recreational activities.
More than half of the sports-related injuries that occur
can be prevented. Here are some guidelines to follow to help prevent serious
- Proper equipment that is fitted to the child and is the correct
size is essential. Equipment should be approved by an appropriate certifying
- Appropriate safety gear for the specific sport. For example,
helmets with polycarbonate shields for baseball, softball, bicycle riding, and
hockey and protective eyewear (polycarbonate goggles) for basketball and racquet
sports. Ask your child’s coach about appropriate helmets, mouth guards and
- Check that playing fields are not full of holes and
ruts, possibly causing the child to fall. Basketball courts and running tracks
should not be concrete.
- Qualified adults should supervise any team sport or activity that
your child participates in. Select leagues and teams that have the same
commitment to safety and injury prevention that you do. The team coach should
have training in first aid and CPR. Be sure that the coach enforces playing
rules and requires that safety equipment be used at all times. Additionally,
make sure that children are matched for sports according to their skill level,
size and physical maturity.
- Make sure the child has been adequately prepared and that they
know how to play the sport. Proper preparation will help ensure that your child
has fun and reduces the chance of injury.
Here are some other tips to help children prepare for
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Taking A Safety Tour With Young Children
Poison Prevention Week (March 11-17) marks a perfect time
to take a walking tour of your home with your children. Walk from room to room
and spot the poisonous substances, explain how they could get injured and see
what substances are not in a safe place.
When talking with children, it can be very useful to have
the children try to identify the poisons to assess how much they know. You may
also want to ask them questions about poisons and let them explain to you why
they are dangerous.
You may want to start with a checklist so you and your
child can look at the checklist together to see if you spot anything dangerous
that may cause injuries. You could also have your child draw a picture of your
home and include an attic, garage and a basement. Have the child draw pictures
of what they saw and discuss the picture after your walking tour. You may also
want to have a celebration with a treat if your house is childproof.
While this list is not exhaustive, it is a good starting
point for your walking tour:
Dish washing- detergent- liquid dish soap- scouring soap- window cleaner- oven cleaner- medicines- vitamins- furniture polish - drain cleaner/opener - ammonia
Gasoline- kerosene- car wax/soaps - weed killers/pesticides- paint windshield-antifreeze
Laundry detergent- bleach - fabric softener - dye
Rat/ant poisons -moth balls & sprays
Alcoholic beverages-flaking paint- broken plaster
Cosmetic products- shampoo- medications-cleansers –lotions-perfume-mouthwash
Medicines/pain killers - cosmetics
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Surf's Up- A guide To Internet Sites On The Web
Kids Source On Line
Pharmacy Association Offers Healthful Advice
During Poison Prevention Week. PARD website has poison prevention tips for the
American Academy of Pediatrics
The Break Point article on inhalant use is an
excerpt from the AAP article, read the full text along with FAQ’s on inhalant
use/abuse. Why children use inhalants, how to treat someone who is using
inhalants and tips to avoid inhalant use.
Internet Public Library -- Poison Prevention
This site has activities geared towards young
children and poison prevention. There are pages that can be printed to be
colored, games and a certificate that can be reproduced. There is also a page
for parents that provide tips to navigate the site with your child.
National Institute on Drug Abuse -- Research Report Series
Inhalant Abuse Issue
This issue of the National Institute on Drug
Abuse Series answers questions parents may have on what inhalant abuse is, who
may be abusing inhalants, the short and long term affects of inhalant abuse, and
provides a glossary to help parents identify some terms of inhalant use. There
is also a reference section parents may want to look at for further information.
Life Essentials by Zee
This site offers safety tips to help avoid some
of the common ways children can obtain poisons. There are also pages to get
safety tips on other injury prevention issues. This company also provides a
catalogue of custom-made first-aid kits that suit your families needs.
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Coming Next Month in Injury Prevention
- National Youth Sports Safety Month
- Sports Eye Safety Month
- World Health Day (April 7, 2001)
Loyola University Medical Center Injury Prevention Program
| Transportation | Falls
| Home and Leisure Safety | Fire/Burns
| Poisons | Fire Arms
| Water Safety