How I became living proof that carbon monoxide poisoning can happen to anyone, any time

As the Safe Kids Wisconsin coordinator, I teach children and families how to prevent carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning, and I provide CO alarms to homes with children. I tell families to have furnaces, water heaters and other fuel-burning items serviced on a regular basis to make sure they are working properly. Statistics show an increase in CO poisonings in the colder months. However, CO leaks can happen any time of the year — as I found out firsthand.

I awoke to the CO alarm going off in the middle of the night. My first thought was that the …Continue reading →

1,000 ways we’re keeping our kids safer

Car seat collection event

More than 1,000 car seats were collected and dismantled during the event.

Recently, Safe Kids Wisconsin held its first statewide car seat collection event. Our goal was to remove expired, recalled and damaged seats from circulation to ensure they aren’t used after purchasing at a rummage sale or picked up off the curb. And, it was a great opportunity for families to clean out their basements and garages to get rid of old car seats that were just too hard to throw in the trash. Some seats were older than 30 years old!

Together with local organizations and groups, we dismantled more than 1,000 seats! They were stripped of harnesses, fabric covers, screws, bolts and rivets – …Continue reading →

Parenting tips to prevent TVs and furniture from tipping over onto your child

I’ve been told children are born with two fears: loud noises and falling. Objects falling on them, however, isn’t something they fear.

I know that all pieces of free-standing furniture and TVs have the capability of tipping over. As a parent of a 10-month-old and as the Safe Kids Wisconsin coordinator, I am well aware of the potential hazard that poses for my son. After all, my son is curious and into everything just like all other toddlers and kids. …Continue reading this post

Video: The dangers of button batteries in toys

As parents, we know to keep coins away from children as they could – and do – swallow them. There is another item the size of a coin that could be much more dangerous if swallowed: button batteries. Many of us have them in our car remotes and other small remotes used around the house. …Continue reading this post

Tips to keep your Thing One and Thing Two safe this Halloween

Did you know twice as many kids are killed while walking on Halloween compared to any other day of the year? That’s a frightening statistic!

I have a 4-year-old daughter and 6-month-old son. My daughter decided she and her brother should go trick-or-treating as Thing One and Thing Two from the children’s book “The Cat in the Hat” by Dr. Seuss. So, I set out on my search, not only for their costumes, but also for a …Continue reading this post

It’s hotter in the car

Throughout the country, temperatures are climbing into the upper 90′s with heat indices well above 100. This is a perfect time to remind everyone about the dangers of heat stroke in cars. We all forget things, right? But what about our own children? That’s nearly impossible, isn’t it? As schedules get more hectic, multitasking has become the new way of life. This can cloud our brains, causing us to forget something very near and dear: our kids.

Between 1998 and 2009, 445 children died in the U.S. from heat stroke because they were left unattended in cars that became too hot for them to survive. More than half of those children were forgotten by a caring adult because he or she got distracted after leaving the vehicle. There are a few simple things you can do to prevent this nightmare from happening to you:

  • Set your cell phone reminder to be sure you drop your children off at daycare.
  • Set your computer programs to ask, “Did you drop off at daycare today?”
  • Place your cell phone, PDA, purse, briefcase or gym bag on the floor in front of your child in the back seat. This forces you to open the back door and see your child when you leave the car.
  • Ask your child care provider to call if your children do not arrive when expected.

You can learn more about the dangers of children left in vehicles at SafeKidsWI.org.

~ Libbe Slavin, coordinator, Safe Kids Wisconsin Coalition.

Steer clear of leaving your children in the car

We all forget things, right? But what about our own children? That’s nearly impossible, isn’t it? As schedules get more hectic, multitasking has become the new way of life. This can cloud our brains, causing us to forget something very near and dear: our kids.

Between 1998 and 2009, 445 children died in the U.S. from heat stroke because they were left unattended in cars that became too hot for them to survive. More than half of those children were forgotten by a caring adult because he or she got distracted after leaving the vehicle. There are a few simple things you can do to prevent this nightmare from happening to you: …Continue reading →

Installing CO detectors in your home is the law

Did you change the batteries in your smoke alarm this past weekend as you turned your clock forward? How about your carbon monoxide detector? Carbon monoxide or CO detectors may not be as familiar as smoke alarms to some people, but they are just as important. And now, they’re the law.

Just like smoke alarms, CO detectors now are required in single-family homes as well as duplexes. They already were required in multifamily homes or apartments.

More than 15,000 people are treated for unintentional CO poisoning each year. CO is extremely dangerous because it is a colorless, odorless gas that only can be detected by installing CO detectors.

…Continue reading →

Will your ghosts and goblins be safe and seen this Halloween?

Soon our neighborhoods will be filled with ghosts, goblins, witches and more as they take to the streets in search of tricks and treats. But Halloween is one of the most dangerous holidays for child pedestrians. They are twice as likely to be hit by a car on Halloween. To help ensure your kids have a fun and safe holiday, consider these tips:

…Continue reading →

New report links injuries to developmental age

Every parent goes through the stage where they feel like a day doesn’t go by without a bump or a bruise. As children age, they develop physically, cognitively and behaviorally.  Understanding these developmental stages is the key to preventing unintentional childhood injury. That is what National Safe Kids Week 2009 is all about.

Safe Kids USA recently released the first-ever safety report to combine specific age-appropriate safety tips with research on cognitive, behavioral and physical abilities and limitations to support why certain safety precautions are critical. …Continue reading →