Pack the bags, pack the kids, and get going on an adventure! From babies to big kids, a family vacation to a far-off land – even if that means Louisville, Kentucky – is a stimulating way to make memories for a lifetime. Whether you’re considering a flight to a foreign country or a short road trip to grandma’s house, there are safety considerations that we hope we’ve helped with. This week, we covered TSA guidelines and child safety during air travel. We showed you how to make hotel rooms safer for little ones. We offered help for road trips with car seat safety tips and backseat activities.
Don’t forget to grab travel safety products from KidSafe to help baby-proof the rooms you’ll be staying in at your destination. They don’t take up much room in your luggage but you’ll be packing away great big peace-of-mind.
The safest place for a child in any moving vehicle is a child safety seat, even in a plane. There are no rules that require you to bring a child seat along with you, but it is recommended by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP). After two years old, kids can no longer travel as a “lap child” and must have their own seat. But whether you’ve got your child in your lap or in their own seat, there are dangers associated with each that a car seat can help solve. Read more in detail about car seats on planes.
Desperate to keep your kids entertained in the backseat on your next road trip? We understand. Bored kids trapped in a small space are bad news. Here’s a great collection of puzzles, games, and activities that can be played with the whole family or by themselves, from tried-and-true names such as Highlights, Crayola, and Dr. Seuss. There are 36 in all!
Current laws and guidelines say you should keep your kids in the backseat and in a safety restraint or seat made especially for children, at least until the age of 12 (or until they’re big enough to touch both feet to the floor). If you’ll be doing any traveling this summer, it’s more important than ever to make sure you’ve got the right car seat for car or air travel. A car seat cannot be safe if it’s not used properly. Know the basics of finding the right type, size, and placement of a child car seat.
There’s really no such thing as completely baby-proofing anything, but that doesn’t mean we can skip conscientious steps to protect our children. To a baby, everything in a hotel room is interesting! There’s new furniture and electronics and hanging curtain cords, and the list goes on. Here’s a quick rundown on baby-proofing a hotel room.
Did you know the TSA has special rules for kids at airport checkpoints? Agents are expected to treat your kids with respect and to do what they can to make the process smooth for you and your kids. There are rules in place to ensure this. Here’s one of those rules: TSA agents can never separate you from your kids. Here’s another: they have to let you pass with any reasonable amount of breast milk, baby food, etc., even if it’s over the 3.4-ounce limit.
To go over these and all the other TSA guidelines for the screening process, check out TSA’s info guide to traveling with children. If you anticipate problems, you can always print out a copy of these guidelines to keep with you as you travel through airports.
While we’re at it, here are some great air travel hacks to keep your traveling smart.
Are you going on a trip with your kids this summer? Congratulations! Even if you’re not going very far, taking children on travels helps to develop their cultural awareness and curiosity, and it helps strengthen family bonds. What a great way to educate and stimulate young minds! But, of course, there are important safety considerations when you’re traveling with kids, particularly our littlest family members.
This week, we’ll make sure you’ve got your bases covered when it comes to road trips and air travel. We’ll do a survey of airport procedures and baby-proofing rooms at your destination. We’ll cover some awesome travel hacks and activities for the kids so they stay happy on the way. We’ll also make sure you know how to choose the proper safety restraints for your kids. Happy travels!
90 percent of emergency rooms visits due to fireworks involve consumer fireworks. More than half are burns. Many of the injuries are life-altering. Many experts recommend not using consumer or home fireworks at all, and to make summer memories at professionally conducted fireworks displays instead.
Did you know that more pets go missing around the Fourth of July than any other time of the year? They have acute hearing and smell, after all. Summertime fireworks and what may sound like cracklings of celebration outside can be absolutely terrifying to your pet! As pet owners, there are simple steps we can take to ensure that our pets stay comfortable during fireworks blasts. Act comforting, act normal, and help filter out some of the noise with distractions. Here’s a reminder infographic to help keep these steps in mind.
The risk of fireworks injury is highest for children ages 5-14, with more than twice the risk for the general population.
This is not to say kindergarteners are setting off fireworks (we certainly hope not!). This is a serious reminder that bystanders are in as much danger (or more) than the people who are doing the actual lighting. However, even sparklers – a kid favorite – can reach temperatures around 1000 to 2000 degrees Fahrenheit!
“Safe and sane fireworks don’t exist,” says Dr. John Hall, Division Manager of Fire Analysis and Research for the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA). “When things go wrong with fireworks, they go very wrong, very fast, far faster than any fire protection provisions can reliably respond.”
Besides the obvious entry of “parents everywhere”, people that are committed to promoting injury prevention and fire safety during Fourth of July celebrations (and New Year’s and other days that are observed with the lighting of fireworks) include:
Consumer Product Safety Commission
National Fire Protection Association
Offices of Fire Marshals
National Council on Fireworks Safety
National, state, and local organizations are getting together this Independence Day because it is the time of year in which there are the most injuries due to consumer fireworks. These injuries can be grievous and life-altering. No one likes the idea that a few simple minutes of flash and bang can turn into a lifetime of blindness or debilitating injury, and these organizations are making the moves necessary to limit the availability of home fireworks to help prevent it.
In the month surrounding Independence Day (before and after), 200 people a day end up in the emergency room due to consumer fireworks-related injuries. Those that died did so because they were monkeying around with their own homemade devices.
In 2010, U.S. hospital emergency rooms treated an estimated 8,600 people for fireworks-related injuries; 57% of 2010 emergency room fireworks-related injuries were to the extremities and 37% were to the head.
Most of the injuries were from sparklers, reloadable shells, and firecrackers, though a third of all injuries was unspecified. The most grievous injuries include loss of limbs and disfiguring burns that never go away.
Property Damage, Fires
Typically, far more U.S. fires are reported than on any other day, and fireworks account for two out of five of those fires, more than any other cause of fires.
In 2010, fireworks caused an estimated 15,500 reported fires, including 1,100 total structure fires, 300 vehicle fires, and 14,100 outside and other fires. These fires resulted in eight reported civilian deaths, 60 civilian injuries and $36 million in direct property damage. Though different than bodily harm, this type of damage is no small thing.
Alliance to Stop Consumer Fireworks
The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), along with the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) has founded the Alliance to Stop Consumer Fireworks. The Alliance is working to warn individuals about the dangers of consumer fireworks and instead, encourages people to celebrate and enjoy holidays with professional displays of fireworks.
The Alliance members include:
American Academy of Family Physicians
American Academy of Ophthalmology
American Association of Public Health Physicians
American Burn Association
American College of Emergency Physicians
American Society of Plastic Surgeons
American Society for Reconstructive Microsurgery
American Society for Surgery of the Hand
Center for Injury Research & Policy
Emergency Nurses Association
Fire Department Safety Officers Association
International Association of Arson Investigators
International Association of Fire Chiefs
International Association of Fire Fighters
International Fire Marshals Association
Metropolitan Fire Chiefs
Minnesotans For Safe Fireworks
National Association of Pediatric Nurse Practitioners
National Association of State Fire Marshals
National Association of School Nurses
National Volunteer Fire Council
Prevent Blindness America
Too Risky for Amateurs, says NFPA
To keep the public safe from fireworks-related injuries and deaths, the nonprofit NFPA urges everyone to treat fireworks, whether legal or illegal, as suitable only for use by trained professionals.
Some of the more dangerous fireworks are the ones that fail to discharge or explode. They may be lying around for people, and especially curious children, to pick up. Many are still active despite not going off right away. They are simply too risky to handle and should be disposed of in a bucket of water immediately.
Michael Shannon was killed as he was standing between his daddy’s legs during a family celebration one Fourth of July. His mother said that she assumed these products were safe because they were on the market. She couldn’t have been more wrong, and she lost her son due to her assumption.
The Shannons have been working to spread the awareness of the dangers of consumer fireworks to other families like theirs who may think they can use them safely. It is their message that there simply is not.
Please Stay Safe
Though we’ve taken the stance that consumer fireworks should be avoided, we would like to share some safety tips in the interest of harm reduction.
Know your fireworks; Read the warning labels and performance descriptions before igniting.
Avoid fireworks packaged in brown paper. Thee are generally not consumer grade or made for professional displays.
Have a designated shooter to organize and shoot your family show.
Alcohol and fireworks do not mix. Save your alcohol for after the show.
Parents and caretakers should always closely supervise teens if they are using fireworks.
Parents should not allow young children to handle or use fireworks.
Fireworks should only be used outdoors.
Always have water ready if you are shooting fireworks.
Obey local laws. If fireworks are not legal where you live, do not use them.
Wear safety glasses whenever using fireworks.
Never relight a “dud” firework. Wait 20 minutes and then soak it in a bucket of water.
Soak spent fireworks with water before placing them in an outdoor garbage can.
Never attempt to alter or modify consumer fireworks and use them only in the manner in which they were intended.
Report illegal explosives, like M-80s and quarter sticks, to the fire or police department.