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SCA Awareness Month–Spotlight on Parent Heart Watch

12 Oct

If you’ve been watching the news lately, you may be familiar with the miraculous survival story of a 12-year old Texas girl who was saved by the quick action of two school teachers and an Automated External Defibrillator (AED). See the story here.

This story highlights the importance of CPR training and AEDs in schools, the workplace and other public areas. It also reminds us that, although relatively uncommon, Sudden Cardiac Arrest (SCA) is a real and potentially devastating occurrence.

Since October is Sudden Cardiac Arrest Awareness Month, we thought we’d take the opportunity to spotlight one of our favorite causes, Parent Heart Watch.

Parent Heart Watch is a nonprofit network of parents, families and partners dedicated to reducing SCA in youth. Parent Health Watch stresses the importance of early detection of dangerous heart conditions, CPR and AED training, and knowing the ‘Cardiac Chain of Survival’

Response LifeSafety strongly advocates CPR and AED training for all and the use of AEDs in schools and organized sports. We applaud the state of Texas for requiring AEDs in all public schools and Parent Heart Watch for the incredible work they do to educate the public.

For more information on Sudden Cardiac Arrest, visit Parent Heart Watch. For your CPR and AED training needs, visit our website.

Before You Turn the Key, Make Sure You Can See

24 May

With the school-year coming to an end and summer vacation right around the corner, Response LifeSafety reminds EVERYONE to be aware of children in and around vehicles. Every year, vehicle-related incidents take the lives of children. The following is an excerpt from kidsandcars.org regarding backover accidents and vehicle safety.

Every year, thousands of children are hurt or die because a driver backing up didn’t see them.

These incidents for the most part take place in residential driveways or parking lots.

  • The predominant age of victims are one year olds. (12-23 months)
  • Over 60% of backing up incidents involved a larger size vehicle. (truck, van, SUV)
  • Tragically, in over 70% of these incidents, a parent or close relative is behind the wheel.
  • The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention 2/18/05 study reports over 2400 children are treated in hospital emergency rooms every year due a child being struck by or rolled over by a vehicle moving in reverse.
  • In the U.S. fifty children are being backed over by vehicles EVERY week.  Forty-eight (48) are treated in hospital emergency rooms and at least two (2) children are fatality injured every WEEK.

This problem is only going to get worse unless we work for better visibility behind the vehicles we drive.  The government does not have any regulations about what you should be able to see behind a vehicle at this time.  Because we are driving larger, longer and higher vehicles we are seeing many more backover incidents.

KidsAndCars.org urges all adults to heighten their awareness before they engage a vehicle into reverse; especially when children are present. Young children are impulsive and unpredictable; still have very poor judgment and little understanding of danger. In addition, young children do not recognize boundaries such as property lines, sidewalks, driveways or parking spaces.

Toddlers have established independent mobility between the ages of 12-23 months, but the concept of personal safety is absent. Backovers are often the predictable consequence of a child following a parent into the driveway and standing behind their vehicle without their parent’s knowledge.

Backovers can happen in any vehicle because all vehicles have a blind zone; the area behind a vehicle you cannot see from the driver’s seat. The danger tends to increase with larger vehicles.

It’s always best to look carefully behind the vehicle before you get in and again before you put the car in gear to back up. Remember to back up slowly, and pay attention to your mirrors.

KidsAndCars.org recommendations to keep children safe include:

  • Walk around and behind a vehicle prior to moving it.
  • Know where your kids are. Make children move away from your vehicle to a place where they are in full view before moving the car and know that another adult is properly supervising children before moving your vehicle.
  • Teach children that “parked” vehicles might move. Let them know that they can see the vehicle; but the driver might not be able to see them.
  • Consider installing cross view mirrors, audible collision detectors, rear view video camera and/or some type of back up detection device.
  • Measure the size of your blind zone (area) behind the vehicle(s) you drive. A 5-foot-1-inch driver in a pickup truck can have a rear blind zone of approximately 8 feet wide by 50 feet long.
  • Be aware that steep inclines and large SUV’s, vans and trucks add to the difficulty of seeing behind a vehicle.
  • Hold children’s hand when leaving the vehicle.
  • Teach your children to never play in, around or behind a vehicle and always set the emergency brake.
  • Keep toys and other sports equipment off the driveway.
  • Homeowners should trim landscaping around the driveway to ensure they can see the sidewalk, street and pedestrians clearly when backing out of their driveway. Pedestrians also need to be able to see a vehicle pulling out of the driveway.
  • Never leave children alone in or around cars; not even for a minute.
  • Keep vehicles locked at all times; even in the garage or driveway.
  • Keys and/or remote openers should never be left within reach of children.
  • Make sure all child passengers have left the car after it is parked.
  • Be especially careful about keeping children safe in and around cars during busy times, schedule changes and periods of crisis or holidays.

These precautions can save lives!

For additional information visit www.KidsAndCars.org

Preventing the preventable–spotlight on KidsAndCars.org

19 Oct

In the world of emergency services, responders see a lot of accidents, some tragic, some meaningless, some that leave a lasting impression. But there is no more tragic or heartbreaking accident than one that both involves a child and is 100% preventable.

Since 1996, KidsAndCars.org, a national nonprofit child safety organization, has been dedicated to preventing injuries and death to children in or around motor vehicles.

This summer, KidsAndCars.org continued their campaign to increase awareness and reduce the number of vehicular heat stroke and hyperthermia incidents across the country. In 2010 alone, there have been at least 49 vehicular hyperthermia deaths in the U.S., due to parents leaving a child in a vehicle or a child becoming trapped in a vehicle that they entered without a caregiver’s knowledge.

KidsAndCars.org also focuses on the dangers of children being backed over (backovers) or hit by vehicles moving forward (frontovers), incidents involving power windows, and the importance of never leaving a child unattended in or near a vehicle.

Their website provides the most comprehensive and current information on all of these topics and is worth much more than just a passing glance. Our children are our most precious and irreplaceable cargo, and Response LifeSafety is proud to support such an organization that exists to protect them. Find them on Facebook, forward them to a friend, prevent the possibility of a tragic accident.

“KidsAndCars.org works to prevent sudden tragic events through data collection, education and public awareness, policy change, regulations and survivor advocacy.

It is difficult to think of anything more tragic than the needless (preventable) death of a child. Every one of these deaths is a tragedy, especially to family and friends; and each one serves as a powerful warning that other children are at risk.”

Janette E. Fennell, Founder and President, KidsAndCars.org