Making Utah a Safer Place for
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SAFE KIDS Takes Message to Navajo
SAFE KIDS Saves
Scooter Savvy = Scooter
Get on the Bus …
Safety Is Key When Selecting Kids’
Don’t Get Burned This
Seats Give Kids a Life-Saving
THE SENTINEL – FALL
SAFE KIDS Takes Message to Navajo Families
Coalition Delivers Helmets,
Car Seats to Underserved
part of the Utah SAFE KIDS Coalition’s goal of reaching out to
communities that are often missed, Navajo families in the Montezuma
Creek and Monument Valley areas were the primary recipients of this
year’s SAFE KIDS Week activities.
fact, the Coalition kicked off SAFE KIDS Week in Southern Utah on
the Navajo Reservation the first week of May. As part of the activities
the coalition gave away bicycle helmets, t-shirts and water bottles
to every student at Montezuma Creek Elementary and Monument Valley
High Schools. In
addition, a team of certified car seat checkers held a clinic to
make sure as many seats in the area as possible were installed
Among other activities were a fire safety lesson and an
assembly for high school students focusing on the problem of
drinking and driving.
The school football field was the site of a hands-on activity
that invited students to get a feel for what it’s like to be
intoxicated and try to function normally. The kids wore special “Fatal
Vision” glasses that simulated intoxication while trying to play
soccer. They learned
quickly that perception changes radically under the influence of
alcohol, and fell all over themselves on the field.
The following anecdote as told by a coalition member
sums up the success of our visit:
Late Friday night, we traveled to the
tiny town of Aneth to visit a foster brother of one of the
volunteers. We found
the house and the two visited for a short time. as we were leaving, a
neighbor drove up and a little girl got out of the car wearing the
very bicycle helmet and t-shirt we had given her the day
before. Clearly, these
gifts meant something special to that child, and we can only hope
she will wear the helmet every time she
Through the generous donations of AAA Utah, the SAFE
KIDS Coalition gave away 40 new car seats, 600 bicycle helmets, 600
t-shirts and 600 water bottles. This activity could not have
succeeded without this gift, or the generosity of all the volunteers
who donated their time and expertise to this important
THE SENTINEL – FALL
SAFE KIDS Saves Lives
Child Survives Crash After
Parents See TV News Show
Thursday, May 25th was a typical hectic
morning at the home of Jason and Kristi Cable of Bountiful. The two were busy getting
ready for work, and had the television tuned to FOX-13 News when a
particular story caught their attention. “The reporter was talking
with a representative of the Utah SAFE KIDS Coalition about child
safety seats,” said Jason.
“With an eight-month-old daughter at home, we thought we
“We were so intrigued by the report, which demonstrated
how to install car seats properly, that we sat down and watched the
whole thing,” added Kristi.
turned out that watching that report was a life-saving stroke of
luck for the Cables, who were just getting ready to take their
daughter McKenzie to the babysitter’s house. They realized after watching
the program that their own car seat was installed incorrectly. “Not only did we have the
seat much too loose,” said Kristi, “we also had the clip in the
wrong place.” Added
Jason, “So we went right out to the truck and corrected
everything.” Not five
minutes later, Jason was in a terrible crash just blocks from
was late for work and admit I was trying to race through a yellow
light,” said Jason.
“Unfortunately, another driver was also anticipating his
light would turn green and came into the intersection too
early. He hit me
Jason needed 30 stitches to close a head wound and
suffered a sprained neck.
McKenzie had only a slight cut and a bump. “If we hadn’t tightened the
seat down that morning, she would have been hurt much worse,” said
police officer Jon Hadlow investigated the accident and agreed. “I have no doubt the child
would have been hurt more seriously if the Cables hadn’t just seen
the car seat report,” Hadlow said.
this day, the Cables credit Utah SAFE KIDS and Fox-13 News for
teaming up to save their child’s life. “If you ever hear of a car
seat safety check,” said Jason, “take advantage of it. There are so many things
that can go wrong when you’re installing a seat, you really need
help from the experts.”
You can find an expert car seat checker
at any of the coalition chapters.
SENTINEL – FALL 2000
Buckle Up, Utah!
State Imposes New
Restrictions on Seat Belt
Now parents in Utah have even more reason to use seat
belts and car safety seats.
Besides the fact that these devices save lives, a new law
places stricter requirements on their use. This spring, the Utah
legislature passed a law requiring all children be properly
restrained in a car safety seat until their fifth birthday. Previously, parents could
remove the car seat on the child’s fourth birthday. Here are other requirements
of the revised law:
The driver and all passengers must be buckled
if a seat belt is available.
You may be stopped and cited if anyone under 19
years of age is unrestrained.
Occupants of a motor vehicle 19 years and older
may be cited for a seat belt violation only if stopped for some
The driver is responsible for all unrestrained
occupants in the vehicle under age 16.
Violators will be subject to a fine of $45,
which can be reduced to $15 upon completion of a traffic safety
Did you know that, in a crash or sudden
stop, your body weight is multiplied by the speed of the car? This means that a 40-lb.
child, in an impact at 40 m.p.h., will strike the interior car
surfaces, or objects outside the vehicle, with the force of a 1,600
lb. object! Parents,
USE YOUR SEAT BELTS AND CAR SEATS!
SENTINEL – FALL 2000
Scooter Savvy = Scooter Safety
if there weren’t enough dangerous toys on the market for kids, now
the scooter industry gives us a few more. You’ve no doubt seen the
lightweight, collapsible scooter/skateboards around your
neighborhood – and perhaps witnessed one or more of the inevitable
crashes that occur when kids push the limits of their
you might suspect, doctors at Primary Children’s Medical Center, and
at emergency rooms across the state, are seeing a lot of kids with
broken bones, cuts and head injuries sustained while riding these
streamlined scooters, also called kickboards or rollerboards. “We’ve treated at least one
child a week for a scooter injury,” said Primary Children’s
Pediatric E.R. physician Bob Bolte, M.D. “And that doesn’t account
for the dozens more being seen at urgent care centers and doctor’s
Nationally, 4,000 kids were seen in emergency rooms for
scooter injuries in August alone. Twenty-nine percent of those
had bone fractures and dislocations. “Those injuries can be
severe,” said Dr. Bolte, “but I’m more worried about the kids riding
these things in the street and getting hit by a car. We haven’t seen any
fatalities yet, but it’s only a matter of time,” he
with any wheeled transportation, it just makes sense to wear proper
protective gear. A
well-fitted helmet is a must, and knee and elbow pads can do a lot
to cushion a fall.
As a parent, you should supervise your
children while riding, and keep them out of traffic and away from
steep grades. And don’t
forget a helmet yourself when it’s your turn to take a
– FALL 2000
Get on the Bus …
And Off It,
Each year, nearly three-fourths of all school
bus-related deaths occur in a specific “danger zone” around the
bus. In these cases,
students are struck either by a passing vehicle or by the bus
itself. Motorists can
forget to stop. In some
cases, a student might walk too close to the bus or bend down to
retrieve a dropped item and is suddenly outside the driver’s
view. All these
situations can be avoided.
This year make a difference by following these safety
Motorists coming upon a school bus from EITHER direction must stop
when the bus displays flashing red warning lights and extends the
stop signal arm.
Vehicles may not pass until the lights and
signals are turned off.
Never pass on the right side of the bus, where
children enter or exit.
Never walk behind the bus.
When getting off the bus walk at least five
giant steps away from the side of the bus.
If you drop something near the bus, tell the
driver. Never try to
pick it up because the driver may not be able to see
Do not wear clothing with drawstrings, and be
careful with book bag and backpack straps that may get caught in
doors or handrails.
If you must cross the street in front of a bus,
walk on the sidewalk or along the side of the road to a point at
least five giant steps ahead of the bus before you cross. Be sure the driver can see
you and you can see the driver. Make eye
If you must cross the street, watch for
vehicles that might not have stopped for the bus’ flashing
Wait for the bus to come to a complete stop
before you move close to the bus.
A WARNING TO PARENTS: Practice these safety
measures with your children.
Don’t let them become another traffic
– FALL 2000
Safety Is Key When Selecting Kids’ Toys
More than 3 billion toys are sold in the U.S. each
year, and 70% are sold between November 1 and Christmas. No parent would
intentionally buy a toy that would put a child at risk for injury,
yet every year thousands of kids wind up in emergency rooms with
Falls and choking account for the majority of
toy-related deaths and injuries. Kids are also strangled,
burned and drowned while playing with seemingly safe
Here are some safety tips:
with your children, watch how they play with their toys, and
teach them how to play safely.
sure toys received from friends and relatives are
aware that children can choke on small toy parts – especially
those from older children’s toys.
Strings, straps and cords
should be shorter than 7 inches. Children have been strangled
by longer strings and cords.
Insist that children always
wear helmets while riding bikes, skateboards, in-line skates and
Teach children to put away
their toys after playing to prevent falls. Store toys for older and
younger kids separately.
Inspect toys regularly for
damage and potential hazards.
Make repairs right away or discard damaged toys out of
and toy darts should have blunt tips with rubber or flexible
plastic suction cups and cork or other protective points. Don’t allow the children to
take them off or shoot them at others.
Toys are meant to provide children with
fun and entertainment.
But they become dangerous when misused or if they are in the
hands of children who are too young for them. The proper selection and use
of toys, combined with parental supervision, can greatly reduce the
number of children who get hurt.
SENTINEL – FALL 2000
Don’t Get Burned This Holiday Season
Practice Christmas Tree
the holidays approach, many Utah families are considering purchasing
a fresh Christmas tree as the center of their decorating
schemes. For decades,
these fragrant fir, pine and spruce have been the symbol of the
winter holiday season.
Sadly, these icons too often become a threat to the health
and safety of Utah families.
1999, the State Fire Marshal’s Office reported more than 1,000 house
and apartment fires across Utah. At least seven, and probably
many more, were started by Christmas trees. Sometimes, the trees were
allowed to become so dry the decorative lights caught a branch on
fire. Other times,
parents plugged too many lights into one outlet and caused an
But these tragedies don’t have to happen. You can keep your family
safe by following a few common sense rules:
As soon as you get your fresh tree home, cut about an inch off the bottom
of the trunk and place it immediately in a reservoir-type stand
filled with plenty of warm water. This will allow the tree to
soak up adequate liquid and prevent drying.
Add water to the reservoir EVERY DAY. Cut trees dehydrate
quickly. A dry tree is
a deadly tree.
Never use lights with frayed cords or empty
Use mini-lights. They produce much less heat
and are safer than larger, old-fashioned lights.
ALWAYS turn off all Christmas lights and any
other lighted decorations before going to bed or leaving the
Do not use candles on or near your tree. In fact, the holidays are a
popular time for burning scented candles, which should be done only
under close adult supervision.
Never burn your tree or any part of it in your
Test your smoke detectors.
The last suggestion is among the most
important; you have a much better chance of escaping a fire alive if
you have a working smoke detector. If you can’t afford smoke
detectors, contact your local fire department. And have an escape
plan. Know how every
member of your family will get out of the house should a fire
start. And have a safe
and happy holiday season.
SENTINEL – FALL 2000
Seats Give Kids a Life-Saving “Boost”
Police across the country continue to see tragic
crashes involving small children who are not properly secured in
booster seats. Once
again, the Utah SAFE KIDS Coalition reminds parents that until
children are eight years old and weight at least 80 pounds they
should ride in a booster seat.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration says
that adult lap belts ride up over the stomach on a small child and
the shoulder belt cuts across the neck. In a crash, this poor fit
can cause serious and even fatal injuries. Parents need to know
Booster seats are very effective in saving
All children age 12 and under should sit
properly restrained in the back seat and not in front of an
With so many different styles of seats and
boosters, parents should ask a certified safety seat technician how
to install their equipment properly.
If you need help with booster seats, call
your local SAFE KIDS coalition or