Browsing Tag

Accident and Injury

I Want Data: Pregnancy When You Have A Rare(ish) Disease

By February 29, 2016 No Comments
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“Can’t you just look at the monitor and tell me when to push?” I asked my nurse. “I feel like I need more data to tell me whether or not I’m getting any closer to having this baby.”

I had been pushing for more than three hours and the epidural left me with little physical data about how my contractions were progressing. After what seemed like an eternity, my nurse looked at me and said “How’s this for data?” She then picked up the intercom and announced “Delivery Room 3.” Soon a sea of medical personnel showed up to help deliver my baby.

As a scientist, I like to have information. This was especially true when I was in active labor, but my quest for data on pregnancy and childbirth actually started about a year earlier. My husband and I are both scientists, so we tend to approach things systematically and with data in hand. So when we decided it was time to start a family, I started to look for information.

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Categories: Chronic Illnesses + Conditions, Pregnancy, Birth + Family Planning

Recent Reports of Skin-to-Skin Benefits Fail to Mention Key Infant Safety Risks

By January 5, 2016 1 Comment
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Last week, news of a recent study trickled  across my newsfeed, touting the benefits of skin-to-skin contact with infants. That study, published online by the American Association of Pediatrics,  presented evidence in support of Kangaroo Mother Care (KMC), which is a method that involves infants being carried and held with prolonged skin-to-skin contact (S2S).

As is often the case, though, the mainstream media picked up the story and ran with it, touting the potential benefits of the practices, while making no mention of any risk. But there are risks – and I believe a parent needs to be aware before putting the practices into place.

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Categories: Accidents, Injuries, + Abuse, Ages + Stages, Newborns + Infants, Science 101 + Mythbusting

An Open Letter to My Late, Great, Childhood Best Friend

By October 19, 2015 No Comments
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 To highlight the importance of safety training for teen drivers and the impacts of losing someone to an accident, Managing Editor Julia Bennett writes an open letter to her childhood best friend, who died in a crash thirteen years ago today.

 

Ashwee

My friend, Ashley

Dear Ashley,

Today marks the beginning of my thirteenth year on this planet without you, the thirteenth year that the gaping hole of where you should be in my life screams out a reminder to my brain and my heart.

When we were kids, I never imagined that you wouldn’t be around for our adulthood together. It was incomprehensible to me when that thought first crossed my mind a few months after your death. It was like trying to wrap my mind around the concept of infinity. This first up-close experience with the loss of someone close to me, someone whom I had mapped out well into my future self’s life – it did not make any coherent sense. I took it for granted that you would be here.

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Categories: Accidents, Injuries, + Abuse, Ages + Stages, Tweens + Teens

Rear-Facing Car Seats Until Age 2 … And Beyond

By July 22, 2015 1 Comment
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Several readers have written in to say that grandparents claim that keeping toddlers in rear-facing car seats until they are age two (and beyond) is cruel or can damage the child’s legs. We tapped an expert for answers. – The Scientific Parent Editorial Staff

Why is rear-facing safer?

Instead of having your head pull violently away from your chest, as happens when you are forward-facing in a frontal crash, the rear-facing child is cradled in their seat in much the same way as you catch a fastball in a mitt. This video shows two 12-month-old crash test dummies each secured in the same car seat but one is rear-facing and one is forward-facing – watch how much the forward-facing dummy’s head and neck move – and remember that this video is slowed down tremendously as crashes happen quicker than the blink of an eye. For more on the physics behind why rear-facing is safer, see here.

Current Research and Evidence:

What seats are big enough for 2-year-olds rear-facing?
Convertible seats are ones that start rear-facing and then convert to forward-facing for older kids; kids typically start using a convertible seat rear-facing after out-growing an infant seat. The weight limit for rear-facing is now typically 40 pounds for most convertible seats, with several even going to 50 pounds rear-facing. The height limit is typically the same for most rear-facing seats – the child’s head must be at least 1 inch below the top of the car seat.

Common Questions from Parents + Grandparents:

DSC_0146-300x198What about their legs?
As kids get older, their feet will touch the back of the vehicle seat; this is both comfortable and safe. Ever wonder why a 5-year-old can sleep comfortably with his chin on his chest and never wake up complaining of a stiff neck? It’s because kids’ joints aren’t fully formed, which lets them sit comfortably in positions that would be painful for even a yoga master. For this reason, a 3-year-old can sit comfortably rear-facing with her legs crossed or in the “frog leg” position.

Other parents worry about leg injuries; studies show that forward-facing kids suffer many more leg injuries than rear-facing kids. The leg injuries to forward-facing children occur when the child’s legs fly up and hit the back of the front seat and the front seat moves backwards, compressing the child’s legs. Rear-facing kids will often go into a “cannonball” position during a frontal crash… meaning that however scrunched they might look, they end up super scrunched in the instant of a crash and we know that this does not cause injury.

My toddler wants to see out!
Rear-facing does not have to be boring! Older kids can ride quite upright so they can see out the side and rear windows. If there’s a head rest blocking your child’s view out the back window, you can usually remove it. By 9-12 months your baby knows you’re there when you talk to them from the front – even though they can’t see you. You can calm and entertain your child with songs and stories – and for older children games of “I spy” – all while they are rear-facing.

My toddler gets motion sick!
Volvo looked at several thousand pre-schoolers and found the same rates of motion sickness in those riding rear-facing as those riding forward-facing. Regardless of the direction your child rides, placing them in the center seat with an unobstructed view out the front/back window (and limited visibility out the side windows) will help keep the nausea away. See here for more info about how to help a child who gets motion sick.

My toddler gets bored!
Here are some toys and games for kids of different ages that are travel friendly.

The Car Seat Lady’s Recommendations

It’s not coincidence that flight attendants sit rear-facing. Rear-facing is the safest way for everyone to travel, not just babies. Therefore, it is our recommendation that children ride rear-facing until at least age 2 – and ideally longer, until reaching the maximum height or weight for rear-facing in their convertible car seat, which for most kids is around 2-4 years old.

Note that it is now law in a few states that children ride rear-facing until at least age 2.

A version of this post originally appeared on The Car Seat Lady website and can be found here.

Resources:

American Academy of Pediatrics, Committee on Injury, Violence & Poison Prevention. Child Passenger Safety. Pediatrics. 2011; 127: 788-793.
Henary B, et al. Car Safety Seats for Children: Rear Facing for Best Protection. Injury Prevention. 2007; 13 (6): 398-402.
Bull M, Durbin D. Rear-Facing Car Safety Seats: Getting the Message Right. Pediatrics. 2008; 121 (3): 619-20.
Watson E, Monteiro M. Advise Use of Rear Facing Child Car Seats for Children Under 4 Years Old. BMJ. 2009; 338: b1994.
Arbogast KB, et al. Injuries to Children in Forward Facing Child Restraints. Annu Proc Assoc Adv Automot Med. 2002; 46: 213-30.

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Categories: Accidents, Injuries, + Abuse, Ages + Stages, Newborns + Infants, Policy, Politics, + Pop Health, Toddlers + Preschoolers

Which Fireworks Are The Safest This July 4th?

By July 2, 2015 No Comments
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When I was five years old, my neighborhood held a July 4 block party. I still remember snippets of the warm, sticky evening vividly. There were games for all the kids to play, and tables full of hamburgers, hotdogs, and sugary treats I ate with abandon, as my parents were too busy socializing to notice.

And then came the most thrilling part of the night. One of our neighbors handed all the kids a sparkler. I felt so lucky and happy to hold that spectacular, flickering stick in my hand. It was a mesmerizing, nearly magical moment. That is, until the sparkler fizzled out. To keep the fun going, I searched around for another sparkler, and snatched up one lying on the grass. The sparkler was no longer visibly burning, but the end I picked up was still searing hot. I can still remember the throbbing pain as the intense heat burned my fingertips. In an instant, my glorious July 4 evening came to an end. The pain from that sparkler lasted for days, causing blisters on my thumb, middle and pointer fingers.

While that injury didn’t cause long-term damage, the pain was so intense that I suspect it’s why I still remember the evening with such clarity.

Decades later I now work at the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) and I learned that sparklers – that celebratory stick often considered safe enough for young children to hold – burn as hot as 1,200 degrees Fahrenheit. To put that in perspective, wood burns at 575 degrees, and glass melts at 900 degrees.

Between my personal experience as a little girl and as a professional at NFPA, the thought of having my boys hold a sparkler is unthinkable. The Consumer Product Safety Commission’s (CPSC) 2012 Fireworks Annual Report showed that in the month around July 4th, sparklers alone accounted for two out of five of the emergency room fireworks injuries.

Beyond sparklers, I would never let my boys use any type of consumer fireworks, nor would I let them go anywhere consumer fireworks are being used by other people. They’re simply too dangerous.

According to the CPSC report, three out of five of the fireworks injuries were burns, while one-fifth were contusions or lacerations. Two out of five people injured by fireworks were under the age of 15. The risk of fireworks injury was highest for the children under five, followed by children 10 to 14 years of age. Males accounted for 57 percent of the injuries overall.

Of course, I still plan to enjoy and celebrate July 4 with my boys just like everyone else at my town’s public fireworks display, which is put on by trained professionals. It’s the safest way to enjoy fireworks. And let’s face it, they’re more spectacular than any display you’ll see in someone’s back yard.

 

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Categories: Accidents, Injuries, + Abuse

Choosing the Right Water Flotation Device for Your Child This Summer

By June 22, 2015 1 Comment
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As a professional lifeguard one of the most common questions I get from parents is, “what’s a safe flotation device we can use at the beach or pool this summer?” There is a lot of confusion around this topic and most parents don’t realize that the right or wrong flotation device can mean the difference between life and death. Any person (including children) who cannot swim, is a weak swimmer, or is fearful around water should wear an appropriate flotation device.

Buying a flotation device for your child is a daunting task, you walk into a store and are presented with seemingly infinite choices which can range from blow-up inner tubes with the latest and greatest cartoon character, to water wings, noodles, and life jackets.

A number of parents opt for the ever-popular water wings, which many of us grew up wearing.  While these may appear as a good option because of their popularity, they’re really more of a toy than a safety device.  Water wings are not an approved flotation device and can easily slip off, restrict the movement of a child’s arms, unexpectedly leak air, and can actually hinder a child’s attempts to swim. Another popular product are bathing suits that have flotation built into them, but like water wings the floaties can ride up or slide out.

So the question remains, which one do you choose?

The answer comes down to one simple question that parents need to ask: is the flotation device both tested and approved by the United States Coast Guard (USCG)?  When I ask parents this I usually get a strange look.  “What does that even mean?”  When you are looking for a safety flotation device for your child, you need to look for the USCG stamp of approval (see pink image below).

Photo Courtesy: WHO World report on child injury prevention

Photo Courtesy: WHO World report on child injury prevention

Yes, that usually means I recommend life jackets – and no, they are not just for boating.

Before moving forward, it is important to mention that regardless of the device you choose, it should never be a substitute for constant supervision of your child around any type of water.

When making their selection, parents need to determine the intended purpose of the device; if it is solely for fun and recreation in a controlled environment with constant supervision, then the toy devices mentioned above may be acceptable to use as toys. However, if the purpose is to add an additional layer of safety to ensure that a child remains safer in the water, look for that USCG stamp that assures it is a safety enhancement. When properly selected and used, life jackets will provide a secure tight fit, good buoyant flotation which supports the user, and not greatly reduce arm movement.

When shopping for these types of devices, parents need to be cognizant of a few factors:

USCG -approved devices have a designated weight range assigned to them. Parents should choose one that fits their child’s current weight. This is important to ensure a secure fit and the proper amount of flotation.

USCG Approval Label on Flotation Device

USCG Approval Label on Flotation Device

There are five types of USCG approved flotation devices. Each type has different advantages and disadvantages which you can read about here. Parents should choose a device based on the planned activity and the design of the device being used. Types 1-3, and some type 5 are vest-style devices and can be suitable for children depending on their weight class, but type four devices are not suitable for weak swimmers or children, as they are designed as throwable devices, like life preserver rings.

Make sure the device being used is in good working order. Ensure that the device is not missing any buckles, discolored, or ripped/torn anywhere.

Parents often ask if life jackets restrict the child’s ability to learn to swim or inhibits a child’s “natural swimming instincts.” The answer to that question depends on what the true purpose of the child being in the water is. A child needs time and proper instruction to learn the coordination skills involved in swimming efficiently. So long as your child is in the water with a qualified swim instructor in a controlled environment they shouldn’t require a life jacket.  But let’s say you take the same child to the beach or to grandma and grandpa’s pool just for fun.  That environment is less controlled and much can happen in the blink of an eye.  For fun around the water an approved flotation device is the way to go, especially if you want to safeguard for if your child accidentally falls in or suddenly can’t touch the bottom.

Examples of a USCG approved device, the Puddle Jumper

Examples of a USCG approved device, the Puddle Jumper

I often hear from parents that their child will not wear a life jacket and this is a valid argument. If you can’t get your child to wear the life jacket, then obviously it can’t help them. In cases like this encourage parents to think creatively when it comes to this issue. When teaching a water exploration lesson to toddlers last week, I noticed that a parent brought in a flotation item that had a cartoon character on it and the child was excited to wear it in the water. My initial thought was that this was going to be another unapproved toy. To my surprise the USCG stamp of approval was on the device. As an example, these images of a Puddle Jumper alongside this article show something both “fun” and USCG approved – and sometimes something as simple as the right color or fun cartoon character can make a child interested in wearing the life jacket. I encourage parents to put the time and effort into finding a device that is both approved by the USCG and that your child will want to wear, because they do exist.

When looking at water safety and safer swimming in a broader context, having a proper flotation device is only one step in ensuring a safe water experience. No matter where you choose to swim, nothing is more effective than having your eyes on your child at all times. Even if you are swimming at a location where lifeguards are present, keeping constant watch over your child is best way to keep them safe. Last year I was lifeguarding for a pool party and a parent came up to me at the end of the party. He said that he always felt like his kids were in good hands and he didn’t need to always keep an eye on them. Though I appreciated the confidence in our skills, I explained to him that lifeguards are responsible for watching everyone and we are human so errors can happen. Always watching your children in any situation is the best solution. If lifeguards are not present, a designated “water watcher” should be used. This person’s job is to keep an eye on everyone in the water and make sure everyone stays safe.

The National Drowning Prevention Alliance released a position paper in 2009 on the concept of layers of protection. Do not just rely on one safety step, such as flotation devices or supervision alone, the more safety steps taken will limit the risk of a tragedy. Other important factors include choosing a safe location to swim, teaching children and adults swimming and water safety, knowing what to do in an emergency, and preventing unapproved access to the water. Every safety step counts for a safer summer of swimming!

Update 7.13.16 | Thanks to TheScientificParent.org reader Ashley who pointed out that puddle jumpers are not approved personal flotation devices for use by children in Canada. Transport Canada advises when parents are choosing a water flotation device for their children they should look at the label to ensure it has been approved by Transport Canada, the Canadian Coast Guard or Fisheries and Oceans Canada.


Resources:

Alga, A. & Collins, M. (2014) Best life jackets for infants, toddlers, and preschoolers. Lucie’s List, Retrieved from: http://www.lucieslist.com/lucies-list-blog/2014/06/18/best-life-jackets-for-infants-toddlers-and-preschoolers/

American Red Cross (n.d.) Home pool safety: Maintaining a safe environment around your home swimming pool. Retrieved from: http://www.redcross.org/prepare/disaster/water-safety/home-pool-safety

Balint, V. L. (2014). Do water wings prevent drowning? Raising Arizona Kids. Retrieved from: http://www.raisingarizonakids.com/2014/03/water-wings-floaties-help-prevent-drowning/

Boyse, K. (2010). Water and pool safety. University of Michigan Health System. Retrieved from: http://www.med.umich.edu/yourchild/topics/water.htm

National Drowning Prevention Alliance (2009). Layers of protection around aquatic environments to prevent child drowning. Retrieved from: http://ndpa.org/resources/safety-tips/layers-of-protection/

REI (n.d.). PFDs for kids: How to choose. Retrieved from: http://www.rei.com/learn/expert-advice/kids-personal-flotation-device.html

United States Coast Guard (2014). PFD selection, use, wear and care. Retrieved from: http://www.uscg.mil/hq/cg5/cg5214/pfdselection.asp#faq

 

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Categories: Accidents, Injuries, + Abuse, Ages + Stages, School-Aged Children, Toddlers + Preschoolers

Parents: If You Want To Be Right, Prove Yourself Wrong

By June 2, 2015 1 Comment
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Like most suburban Washington, DC neighborhoods, ours is off a small street that has become shortcut for commuters looking to avoid a congested intersection, most of whom fly down the street well above the speed limit. In this area, everybody’s neighborhood is somebody’s super secret traffic hack (DC traffic is the worst, well… almost).

Last summer we received a letter in the mail notifying us that the city was giving us options to help reduce speeding. Our options, put to an informal mail-in vote were:

  1. Speed bumps or
  2. Pay for additional police enforcement.

My husband and I groaned at the option of speed bumps. Anyone who has ever had a sleeping infant or toddler in a car knows that speed bumps are sleeping baby landmines. We both supported paying for increased police enforcement. Besides, we reasoned, speed bumps don’t slow people down, people just speed up between them, right?

Being a data nerd, before we voted I dug into the peer-reviewed research and it turns out we were absolutely wrong.

Speed bumps were far more effective in reducing risk than increased police enforcement. And I discovered that decades of study across the world showed that not only do speed bumps slow drivers down, but they reduce both car accidents and pedestrian deaths. So we changed our vote, and the speed bumps were added a few months ago.

But this isn’t about speed bumps or traffic. It’s about not being afraid to be wrong and changing your mind with new information, even if it’s inconvenient.

Our generation of parents has been trained to view actions as synonymous with character. If a parent makes a less-than-ideal decision (or hell, a benign decision that we wouldn’t make) we’ve been trained to believe they must be a bad parent. My husband and I weren’t bad parents because we initially thought speed bumps wouldn’t reduce the traffic issue. We were just wrong about that issue. When we had better information we changed our opinion.

So why do many of us persist in our current beliefs even when we’re confronted with evidence hat those beliefs are incorrect? Our brains don’t help matters. In fact the brain is hard wired to reassure us that we’re right, even when we’re wrong. Even the smartest among us are guilty of persisting in beliefs even when confronted with contradictory information. The ways in which we convince ourselves that we’re right when we’re actually wrong are called confirmation biases, and there are a few different types.

Leslie's son itching to make a run for freedom (and danger).

Leslie’s son itching to make a run for freedom (and danger).

I wanted to escape the confirmation bias trap with the speed bump issue and do what was truly safest for our toddler – who incidentally wasn’t always consistent when told that the street wasn’t for playing – so I did what I usually do in these situations: Try to prove myself wrong.

The first thing I did was to voice my opinion to others who I didn’t think would necessarily agree with me. This was an example of avoiding the confirmation bias known as the echo chamber, wherein we seek information from sources we think are likely to agree with us.

While chatting with neighbors I mentioned that we were thinking of voting for increased enforcement, to which my neighbor replied that he’d been at a meeting with a city planner who explained that speed bumps were much more effective at reducing pedestrian deaths. I was a little skeptical of what the city planner had apparently said. “Of course he’d say that,” I thought, “increased enforcement probably costs the county a ton in police overtime and he’s looking to save money.”

My dismissal of the city planner’s statement is an example of a phenomenon called motivated reasoning, first identified in the 1950s. Motivated reasoning is often subconscious, meaning that we don’t do it on purpose. In this process we often discard, or put less emphasis on evidence that contradicts our current point of view, and include or put heavy emphasis on evidence that supports it.

Motivated reasoning happens in a few ways, including only looking for information that we know supports our beliefs. For example, my neighbor’s statement was enough to make me investigate how wrong I may actually be. So I turned to the peer-reviewed literature, but I knew I had to search smartly if I wanted to get an accurate answer.

Had I been looking simply to confirm my hypothesis I could have searched for “speed bumps” ineffective traffic deaths, in JStor, in which case the results focus on citizen’s individual freedom and less on the statistical data. Instead I searched for traffic deaths “speed bumps”. I specifically kept the search terms neutral because I wanted to know what the data actually said and the resulting studies showed me that I was wrong.

When I brought the evidence to my husband and told him we were going to be changing our vote, he groaned and protested. I gave him a little while to think it over and he eventually came around acknowledging that the improvements in safety outweighed the inconvenience of the speed bumps. Not that he had any say in it, I’d already changed our vote and mailed in our ballot.

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Categories: Accidents, Injuries, + Abuse, Science 101 + Mythbusting

Pediatric Emergencies: Prepare to Avoid Them and Prepare To Deal With Them

By May 5, 2015 1 Comment
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Summer break is nearly upon us – which means that about now, parents everywhere are weary of slogging through their kids’class projects and are ready for a break (yes, please!). But with the delicious siren song of summer comes all of the typical childhood shenanigans that lead to injury  – plenty of free time to putter around outdoors, attend camps, play sports, travel, play in the pool and slide on that old Slip’n Slide.

I can point to any number of old scars on my body and tell you a story about how I got them as a kid, playing outside during that long stretch of break between school years. It was a rite of passage to come back to school in September with a cast, stitches, a peeling sunburn, a new scar, or scabbed knees and elbows. The stats back it up, too – childhood injury and fatality rates historically spike during the summer time, when warm weather and more free time lead to less supervision and increased physical activity.

There are plenty of dos-and-don’ts for avoiding summertime injury and accidents, list after list of tips for parents to follow to keep their kiddos safe, such as those from the American Academy of Pediatrics and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Personally, it seems like half of these injury prevention warnings are common sense (watch your young children around open water, don’t let your child operate motor vehicles of any kind, or play with fireworks), and the other half make me feel as though wrapping our kids in bubble wrap is an inadequate means of protection (don’t wash in scented soaps? Really?). Regardless, I’d recommend checking out those tips just to make sure you’re up to speed on solid preventative safety practices.

On the other hand, accidents do happen. According to the CDC, the #1 cause of death in children ages 1-18 is accident or injury. Though rare, top accidental causes of death causes include drowning, motor vehicle accidents, suffocation, and other physical injuries, which gives you an idea of what injuries would be on the extreme end of the spectrum of summertime accidents. The World Health Organization’s materials on child injury prevention have additional tips for accident and emergency preparedness, such as learning CPR designed specifically for children or infants and having a well-stocked first aid kit that includes emergency contact numbers in the event something does go awry.

A third piece of this preparedness puzzle is one that I believe tends to get lost in all of the “tips” chatter mentioned above. What do you do when your kid is hurt, when you’ve done what you can to protect them, and you need to get to the doctor ASAP? The last thing any parent needs is to be at a loss when something has gone wrong – and believe me, if you have kids, know kids, care for kids, are around kids in any capacity, you know it can happen easily.

A few years ago I had the great privilege to work with an outstanding group of perinatal doctors and nurses, who mentored me on the ins and outs of perinatal clinical care. In pediatric and neonatal intensive care and emergency care scenarios, all of the equipment you would expect to find is much smaller and very specifically made, tailored for use on literally miniature human bodies. Small intubation kits, smaller neck braces, tiny blood pressure cuffs, the list goes on and on.

Injury rates in pediatric patients increase during the summer

Injury rates in pediatric populations spike in the summer

Along those lines, a recently released study says that E.R.s in the US are now considered more well-prepared for pediatric patients in terms of appropriately-calibrated equipment and trained professionals. I consulted with my friend Julie Vass, a Maternal-Child Registered Nurse who has 23 years in the industry and two healthy adult children who have survived plenty of summer breaks, to discuss the pediatric readiness study.

Vass said that while it’s great that ERs are more prepared for children in those ways, parents should remember that an ER isn’t necessarily the best go-to option for kids with injuries, despite the fact that it can be panic-inducing as a parent when they’re hurt. She says it’s best to talk to your child’s doctor before you need to use emergency services.

“Ask your pediatrician, when should I take my child to the emergency room?” Vass says. “What conditions are serious enough that they can’t wait? And then find out which E.R.(s) or urgent care centers your child’s physician recommends.”

Typically physicians have practicing privileges in specific hospitals, or have familiarity with other facilities, which can help inform you of your local options. Also, for small children and babies some options may be better than others based on their size – so be sure to ask. Under the age of 8 or so, kids may require smaller equipment, but depending on their height and weight, children may alternatively be treated using the smallest adult-sized equipment. For standard treatments like stitches or setting broken bones, though, most hospitals can handle it easily.

Vass says that the most prepared trauma centers tend to be the larger, higher-level facilities, which may not always be your closest neighborhood/community hospital. That kind of information is good to know if you’re driving your child for care yourself. But remember, Vass says, if it’s a true emergency, a parent should always go to the nearest ER or better yet, call an ambulance, which typically rushes you to your closest and most immediate facility for care.

“Just remember, a small hospital can organize a transport team to a bigger location much faster than any parent,” said Vass, which can be reassuring for parents who aren’t familiar with their options or when time is of the essence.

I still have a tiny NICU blood pressure cuff given to me by one of my dear nursing friends, who knows of my penchant for miniature things. It fits perfectly around my pinky finger, much to my fascination. But it also reminds me of how crucial the right equipment is when it’s really needed. There really is no substitute for a properly prepared facility for our smallest patients – or an empowered, prepared parent who can advocate for their child when they need it the most.

 


 

Resources:

Gausche-Hill M, Ely M, Schmuhl P, et al. A National Assessment of Pediatric Readiness of Emergency Departments. JAMA Pediatrics. Published online April 13, 2015. doi:10.1001/jamapediatrics.2015.138. Accessed May 4, 2015.

Loder, R.T., Abrams, S. Temporal Variation in Childhood Injury From Common Recreational Activities . Injury. Volume 42, Issue 9, September 2011, Pages 945–957 doi:10.1016/j.injury.2010.02.009 Accessed May 4, 2015.

Is it a Medical Emergency? Kids Health. Kidshealth.org. Accessed May 4, 2015.

Foltran, F., Francesco, A. et al. Seasonal Variation in Injury Rates in Children: Evidence from a 10-year Study in the Veneto Regiion, Italy. International Journal of Injury Control and Safety Promotion. Volume 20, Issue 3, 2013. Accessed May 4, 2015.

2014 Summer Safety Tips. American Academy of Pediatrics. June 2014. Accessed May 4, 2015.

Family Health: Make Summer Safe for Kids. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Accessed May 4, 2015.

Stay Safe this 4th of July – Fireworks Info Page. HealthyChildren.org. Accessed May 4, 2015.

CDC Childhood Injury Report. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Accessed May 4, 2015.

WHO Child Injury Report Fact Sheet: What You Can Do To Keep Kids Safe From Injury. World Health Organization. Accessed May 4, 2015.

Ready Reference: Pediatric First Aid/CPR/AED. American Red Cross. Accessed May 4, 2015.

CDC Chart: Leading Causes of Death by Age Group 2013. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Accessed May 4, 2015.

CDC Chart: Leading Causes of Injury Deaths Highlighting Unintentional Injury.  Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Accessed May 4, 2015.

Emergency Care of Children Fact Sheet/Guidelines. American College of Emergency Physicians. Accessed May 4, 2015.

When Your Child Needs Emergency Medical Services. HealthChildren.org. Accessed May 4, 2015.

WHO Child Injury Report: Multimedia Guide. World Health Organization. Accessed May 4, 2015.

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Categories: Accidents, Injuries, + Abuse, Ages + Stages, Newborns + Infants, School-Aged Children, Toddlers + Preschoolers, Tweens + Teens