Involve Families in Your Injury Prevention Efforts
EMS outreach often is focused on potential patients. When we think about heart disease and stroke, for example, we focus on seniors. To promote bike helmets, we direct our efforts towards children. But when it comes to prevention, families also play an important role in maintaining a safe environment for both seniors and children.
In April, why not off EMS outreach often is focused on potential patients. When we think about heart disease and stroke, for example, we focus on seniors. To promote bike helmets, we direct our efforts towards children. But when it comes to prevention, families also play an important role in maintaining a safe environment for both seniors and children.
In April, why not offer some family activities to reinforce injury prevention messages? Read the stories on these pages to learn about family events that can raise awareness about your EMS service and promote safety at the same time.
It's a Fact: Dangers Lurk in Everyday Places
In 2005, more than 1,400 child occupants died in motor vehicle crashes and nearly half were unrestrained.
More than 203,000 occupants under 14 years of age were injured in motor vehicle crashes in 2005.
From 1993 to 2002, there were 159 reported fatal injuries to children less than 12 years of age associated with airbag deployment. Of the total child fatalities, 69.2 percent were unrestrained and 29.6 percent were improperly restrained.
For children ages 0 to 8, restraint use has increased from 15 percent in 1999 to 73 percent in 2005.
84 percent of infant seats showed critical misuses. Booster seat misuse was 41 percent.
The most common form of misuses for all child restraint systems (CRS) includes loose vehicle seat belt attachment to the CRS and loose harness straps securing the child to the CRS.
On average, an annual 3,600 injuries occur to children from near-drowning incidents.
Drowning is the second leading cause of unintentional death among children ages 1 to 4 years and children 10 to 14 years. For infants under 1 year, drowning is the third leading cause of death.
In 2006, near-drowning incidents in the pool were responsible for 3,703 injuries to children less than 5 years of age.
For more, visit: www.SafeKids.org
If you are doing a car-seat check, call your local automotive or truck dealer. Ask to use their vehicles as demonstration models, or invite them to donate a free car seat for a raffle. If drowning prevention is your priority this year, reach out to local swimming pool and fence contractors. Talk to swim instructors at the YMCA. Even ice cream vendors can offer a cool venue for EMS outreach.
April Pools Day No Joking Matter
With its rugged coastline, and hundreds of lakes, rivers and swimming pools, Washington is the perfect place for summertime water fun. But with more than 100 drowning deaths each year, it's also a dangerous place for water enthusiasts.
That's why a coalition of state agencies introduced a pre-season water safety program 16 years ago called April Pools Day. Held the third Saturday of April, the event features CPR and water rescue demonstrations, lifejacket fashion shows and drowning prevention activities.
East Pierce Fire and Rescue Department, in Bonney Lake, Washington, conducted its own April Pools Day event for the first time last year. About a dozen EMTs set up stations at a local pool and took groups of children through various water safety activities.
Washington lakes are cold, rarely registering above 53 degrees, so one activity was a hypothermia demonstration. A bucket of water was chilled to 53 degrees, and children immersed their arms in the bucket and were asked to hold them there while the risks of hypothermia were explained. None of the children kept their arms immersed through the entire explanation.
Another activity had children sitting in chairs, pretending to be in a boat. They were told the boat had tipped and, since no one was wearing a life jacket, they had to find their life jacket and put it on within seconds. A third activity had children in the pool. Tangled life jackets were thrown into the water, and children quickly learned how difficult it is to untangle and put on a jacket while swimming. Other demonstrations showed the proper way to reach drowning victims with various tools, and how to right a capsized boat and climb back in.
A Yummy Way to Raise Money
By noon, the line inside the Ben & Jerry's Scoop Shop in West New York, New Jersey, stretched out the door, down the street and around the block. Word was out: Ben & Jerry's was scooping free ice cream cones, but why the ambulance?
"Every year, on April 29th, Ben and Jerry celebrate the founding of their business with free ice cream," explained store owner Sibel Berberoglu. Inspired by Ben & Jerry's, Berberoglu wanted to give back to the community, so after conferring with the mayor's office, she and her husband decided to make Free Cone Day a charity event for West New York EMS. "We learned the unit always needs supplies and equipment, and we wanted to help raise money for that," Berberoglu said.
On the day of the event, off-duty EMS staff arrived with one of the department's two ambulances. "They offered tours of the ambulance and checked blood pressures," said town commissioner Lawrence Riccardi. When crowd size swelled, EMTs even stepped in to scoop ice cream.
Meanwhile, Ben & Jerry's employees approached everyone, monster ice-cream bucket in hand, asking for donations for the EMS crew. "Almost everyone gave something," Berberoglu said. By the end of the day, the town's EMS department was $600 richer.
"It will help us buy some muchneeded supplies," said Riccardi. But the money wasn't the only reward. "It was good publicity," he added. "As a result of the day, people became much more aware of EMTs and how much they do for the community."er some family activities to reinforce injury prevention messages? Read the stories on these pages to learn about family events that can raise awareness about your EMS service and promote safety at the same time.