1000 SW Jackson
Topeka, KS 66612-1274
(785) 296-8649 (FAX)
NHTSA Region VII
Dennis Cooley, MD
American Academy of
SAFE KIDS Coalition
Kansas Safety Belt
Fire Marshal's Office
New Year's Resolution:
Practice Active Supervision
Safe Kids Kansas offers safety tips
There’s no doubt about it – children are much safer now than they were two decades ago. However, accidental injury is still the leading killer of Kansas kids. Although inj ury prevention education and increased use of safety devices have helped significantly, in the last five years 342 Kansas children ages 0-14 died and more than 4,500 were hospitalized due to accidental injuries.
In response to this epidemic, Safe Kids Kansas urges parents and caregivers to make a New Year’s resolution to actively supervise their children at all times.
“Injury prevention saves lives,” says Jan Stegelman, Safe Kids Kansas coordinator. “The minutes you spend checking a car seat or installing a smoke detector alarm could make the difference between a safe adventure and a life-threatening injury. One of the most important things that parents and caregivers can do to prevent accidental injury to their child is to practice active supervision.”
Active supervision means giving your child undivided attention (watching them constantly – not talking on the phone, eating, or talking with other adults with your back turned). Active supervision is the best way to prevent injury in hazardous settings such as a pool, driveway, playground or kitchen.
“There is no substitute for active supervision to prevent accidental injuries,” says Stegelman. “Remind anyone who cares for your child that active supervision means keeping your child in sight and in reach at all times.”
Safe Kids Kansas provides these additional tips for keeping your child safe this year:
Use the right gear. At home, make sure your smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors work and are hung installed in the right places according to the manufacturer ’s instructions; install gates on the stairs and locks on the cabinets. At play, make sure your child is using all of the appropriate safety gear for the sport and that it fits properly. On the way, use the right kind of car seat based on your child’s age, weight and height, and make sure you’re using it correctly.
See the world through your children’s eyes. Literally, at least once a year, get down on your hands and knees and inspect your home at your child’s eye level. You’ll be surprised at how much you can reach and how many small objects you can pick up. Anything that can fit through a standard 1½-inch toilet paper tube is a potential choking hazard.
Teach your children the safety rules — not only the rules of sports and games, but safety rules for the kitchen, the yard, the car, the driveway, the playground, the bike path, the pool and anywhere else your child’s behavior could be a factor in safety. And practice what you preach; the “do as I say, not as I do” approach has been proven ineffective. Kids really do pick up safety habits — good and bad — by watching adult role models!
To learn more about child injury prevention, visit www.usa.safekids.org.
Safe Kids Kansas, Inc. is a nonprofit Coalition of 67 statewide organizations and businesses dedicated to preventing accidental injuries to Kansas children ages 0-14. Local coalitions and chapters are located in Allen, Anderson, Atchison, Clay, Coffey, Dickinson, Doniphan, Douglas, Ellis, Finney, Ford, Franklin, Geary, Jackson, Jefferson, Johnson, Leavenworth, Marion, McPherson, Meade, Mitchell, Montgomery, Nemaha, Osage, Pottawatomie, Republic, Rice, Riley, Saline, Smith, Shawnee, Wabaunsee, Wilson and Woodson Counties, as well as the cities of Chanute, Emporia, Leavenworth, Norton, Pittsburg, the Wichita Area and the Metro Kansas City Area. Safe Kids Kansas a member of Safe Kids Worldwide , a global network of organizations whose mission is to prevent accidental childhood injury.