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Nursing 101

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According to CDC, Children are exposed to many hazards and risks as they grow and develop into adulthood. As they continue in their developmental milestone, injuries become the leading cause of death and disability for children and teenagers in the United States. The physical, social, cultural, and economic environments in which they live can significantly increase or decrease their injury risks. Children face a variety of situations that put them at risk for injury. Awareness of age-specific risks are key to effective prevention. Let’s look at the toddler age-group. Because of their size, growth and development, inexperience, and natural curiosity, they are particularly vulnerable to injury also referred as unintended injuries. Though, Toddlers are exposed to many types of injuries such as: Motor Vehicle, Suffocation, Drowning Poisoning, Fire/Burns, fall, Recreation. However, the most common cause of unintentional injury death for children age 1-4 years was a motor vehicle (MV) crash, with the majority of events involving a vehicle occupant. While properly used restraints can reduce serious injury by up to 70%. A child riding on a lap is not protected but is at double risk: Not only is it physically impossible for the parent to keep the child from being thrown into the windshield and dashboard, but if the adult is not wearing seat belt, the force of the adult’s body may crush the child. Although laws requiring seat-belt use are now in force in all 50 states, many parents fail to use safety restraints. This is the simplest and easiest way to keep a young child safe.
Children at this age level are less likely to be injured as pedestrians than are older children, as parents correctly recognize that young children cannot cross streets safely in the absence of an adult. However, toddlers are more likely than older children to wander into the street or driveway; and, because toddlers are small, drivers are more likely to back over them when leaving a garage or driveway.
Environmental Changes
Infant safety seats typically face the rear. Toddler seats more often face forward. It is central to the child’s safety that the correct seat for the child’s body weight be used, the correct routing of the seat belt around the safety seat be followed, and straps be adjusted to the child’s body and used (e.g., shoulder straps should not be slipped off and lap straps should go across the thighs, not the abdomen).
A regular seat belt is not safe for a child if the shoulder strap cuts across the child’s neck or face when fastened. A lap-only belt in such a case is safer, although it is not as protective as an age-appropriate safety seat. Environmental barriers such as fences between traffic and areas where children play (including driveways) are a preferred strategy. Research suggests that minivans and other vehicles with less visibility when backing up may be poor choices in a family with very young children.
Parents should have a rule that the car does not move until the child is secured in a safety seat. Children have been killed as their car pulled out of a driveway and the child slipped out of the door. Most children who have been in a safety seat from birth may never protest using the restraint. Others may undo their restraint if not supervised. Firmness, as well as contingent reward (receiving a reward for correct behavior) for use and sufficient entertaining attention when the child remains in the restraint helps.
Research has shown that children are better behaved in the car when wearing safety restraints. Parents are also less likely to be distracted by a child in a restraint. Parents can also keep their children (and others’ children, too) safe by not driving after drinking alcohol, when very tired, or when taking medication that limits judgment or reaction time. For some children, injury causes temporary pain and functional limitation, but for others, injury can lead to one or more of the following: permanent disability, traumatic stress, depression, chronic pain, and a profound change in lifestyle or decreased ability to perform age-appropriate activities Some children are at greater risk than others for an injury. Injury-related death and disability are more likely to occur among males, children of lower socioeconomic status, those living in specific geographic regions, and in certain racial/ethnic groups.
The goal is to keep all children safe. Motor vehicle injuries are the leading cause of death among children in the United States. But many of these deaths can be prevented. Placing children in age- and size-appropriate car seats and booster seats reduces serious and fatal injuries by more than half.

References

Center of Disease Control and Prevention. (2010). Leading causes of injury and death. Retrieved from: www.cdc.gov
Liller, K.D. Unintentional Injuries in Children. Medscape Education. Available at: http://www.medscape.org/viewarticle/553273

Safe Kids, USA. Preventing injuries: at home, at plan, and on the way. Available at: http://www.safekids.org

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Screening young children for lead poisoning: guidance for state and local public health officials.

Available at: http:// www.cdc.gov/nceh/lead/publications/screening.htm…...

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