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8607 Roberts Drive, Suite 150 Sandy Springs, GA 30350-2237


New Research Yields New Safety Tips

Published July 12, 2012


Horizons in Hemophilia, July 2012

By Jeff Cornett, RN, MSN, Director of Training, Research, & Advocacy

Recent research studies have highlighted safety risks to young people.  Some risks are obvious but most people have probably never considered some of these risks.  Parents of children with bleeding disorders should pay particular attention to this new information. Want your toddler to be safe going down a playground slide?  Many parents would say that the safest way is to have your child ride in your lap.  Research reported in the New York Times shows that this may actually put the child at risk for a broken leg.  Here’s how the accident happens.  The child is wearing a rubber-soled shoe and is sitting in the adult’s lap with his or her feet between the adult’s legs.  When the shoes touch the surface of the slide, the rubber stops the child’s foot.  Meanwhile the adult’s weight pushes down on the child, twisting the child’s leg, causing it to break.  This type of break, a spiral fracture, is very painful and serious.

Doctors at just one New York hospital reported that nearly 14% of the leg fractures they saw in children over an 11-month period were from toddlers riding down a slide with an adult.  Doctors say to avoid this injury, instruct the child in how to use a slide safely and let him or her go down by himself.  You can also stand next to the slide and put the child on it at the half-way point.

You always put your child in a safety seat so he or she is secure in the car, but how do you secure your dog?  ABC News recently reported on the dangers of driving with your pet in your lap or otherwise unrestrained in the car.  According to AAA, 31% of drivers admit to being distracted by a pet on their lap.  This distraction causes accidents, leading some states to outlaw driving with a pet on your lap.  In an accident, an unrestrained pet becomes a projectile, putting the passengers at risk of injury as well as the pet.  In a 35 mph crash, a dog weighing 50 pounds will fly forward with 1,500 pounds of force.  Go to the pet store for an inexpensive, easy-to-use harness for your pet.  You, your passengers, and your pet will all ride safer.

Speaking of distractions while driving, in June the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported the results of the first nationwide survey of texting by teens:  58% of high school seniors said they had texted or emailed while driving during the previous month. About 43% of high school juniors admitted to doing the same thing.  In Georgia, text messaging is against the law for all drivers.  Drivers under the age of 18 are prohibited from all cell phone use behind the wheel.  Talk to your teens about texting while driving (and set a good example by not doing it yourself).  You’ll not only save them from a fine, you may save their lives.