Keep Kids Safe: Prevent Accidental Injury
March is a good time to spring into action with children, who are venturing back outside after cold weather. It's also Brain Injury Awareness Month, sponsored by the Brain Injury Association of America, so it's a good time to focus on helmets, bicycles, and safety in contact sports in partnership with the local emergency department, schools, sports clubs and sporting goods stores.
Activities to educate kids and their parents about preventing brain injury might include:
A bicycle rodeo*
Cooking up some fun with a Jello brain*
A teddy bear or injured doll clinic*
An eggmobile demonstration*
A safety helmet poster and/or coloring contest
* Denotes online resource at www.emsweek.org
Fortunately, many communities have multiple ways to reach out to children, including public and private school systems, libraries, after-school programs and day care centers, scouting associations, religious organizations and libraries. Talk to leaders of these organizations to plan joint activities to benefit local children.
Local businesses are another good source of community outreach. If you are teaching helmet safety, call the owner of the local bike shop or a store that sells scooters, skateboards, in-line skates and other pint-sized sports paraphernalia. Ask them if you can advertise a bike helmet safety program in their store—perhaps you can even do a meet-and-greet with their customers in conjunction with your event.
Reach out to a local baseball team (high school, college, minor or major league) and ask recognizable sports "heroes" to raise awareness about the importance of wearing batting helmets.
Another potential community partner is a local children’s museum. The best way to establish a strong partnership with a children’s museum is to develop exhibits and programs that meet the goals of both organizations. The International Association of Children’s Museums has 341 member museums, mostly in urban and suburban areas. Check the Web site, www.childrensmuseums.org, to find a museum near you.
Rescue Buddies Offer Kid-Sized Comfort
When it comes to kids, nothing comforts like a cuddly doll or a teddy bear. Now, EMS agencies can support pediatric patients on the ambulance by purchasing and giving away Rescue Buddies—soft-sided friends that little ones can cuddle for comfort when they are facing an emergency medical situation.
About 12 inches tall and available in light, medium and dark skin tones and blond, brown or black hair, Rescue Buddies come with a colorful blanket and a non-toxic marker, which can be used to autograph the doll and offer a message for a speedy recovery.
Rescue Buddies are part of a line of dolls created by The Shadow Buddies Foundation, a Kansas-based company dedicated to providing emotional support to children through education regarding illness, disability and medical treatments. Shadow Buddies are condition-specific dolls that have scars, finger sticks, or wear or carry medical paraphernalia that seriously ill or medically challenged children recognize as their own.
Rescue Buddies not only provide comfort to children during emergency medical situations, they also provide medics with a tool to help pediatric patients identify "where it hurts" or what might have happened before the ambulance arrived. According to the company, Rescue Buddies are a unique form of play therapy because they remain with children throughout their treatment and provide long-term psychological support.
Rescue Buddies can be personalized with the logo or name of an EMS organization embroidered on the doll’s shirt. Rescue Buddies are available exclusively through BoundTree Medical at www.Boundtree.com.
It’s a Fact: Play Can Be Dangerous
Brain injury is the leading cause of sports-related death in children.
Each year, more than 3.5 million children ages 14 years and under receive medical treatment for sports injuries.
Approximately 2 out of 5 traumatic brain injuries among children are associated with participation in sports and recreational activities.
Nearly three-quarters of U.S. households with school-age children have at least one child who plays organized sports.
Children sustain more than 275,000 nonfatal bicycle injuries each year.
Nearly 690 children are injured daily due to bicycle-related crashes.
More than 70 percent of children ages 5 to 14 ride a bicycle regularly.
National estimates report that bicycle helmet use among child bicyclists ranges from 15 percent to 25 percent.
Apart from the automobile, bicycles are tied to more childhood injuries than any other consumer product.
For more, visit: www.SafeKids.org.