Tag Archives: Safe Kids

A.C.T. to keep kids from hot cars

AUGUSTA, Ga. – More than 500 children have died since 1998 after being left or becoming trapped in a motor vehicle.

“Heat is more dangerous to kids than adults,” said Rene Hopkins, a nurse educator and coordinator for Safe Kids Greater Augusta, led by Children’s Hospital of Georgia. “When left in a hot vehicle, a young child’s core body temperature can increase three to five times faster than that of an adult. A locked car in the summer sun quickly becomes an oven.”

Temperatures inside a vehicle on a warm day can climb from 78 to 100 degrees in three minutes and to 125 degrees in just six minutes, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

“At those temperatures, kids are at great risk for heat stroke, which can lead to a high fever, dehydration, seizures, and death,” Hopkins said.

Safe Kids urges parents, caregivers, and bystanders to A.C.T. to prevent hot car dangers:

Avoid heatstroke-related injury and death by never leaving your child alone in a car, not even for a minute. Also, make sure to keep your car locked when not in use, so kids can’t get inside and become trapped.

Create reminders when transporting children, so they are not left in the vehicle. For instance, place something in the back of the car next to your child, such as a briefcase or purse that will be needed at your destination. “This is especially important if you’re not following your normal routine,” Hopkins said.

Take action. If you see a child alone in a car, call 911. Emergency personnel are trained to respond to these situations. “They’d much rather respond to a false alarm than a fatality,” Hopkins said.

Safe Kids Greater Augusta, led by Children’s Hospital of Georgia, works to prevent accidental childhood injury, the leading killer of children ages 1 to 14. Safe Kids Greater Augusta is a member of the Safe Kids Worldwide network. To find out more about local Safe Kids programs, call 706-721-7606, or visit grhealth.org/safekids.

Safe Kids records big numbers in 2014

Safe Kids Greater Augusta, led by Children’s Hospital of Georgia, logged nearly 2,000 hours of service in 2014 among its members, according to Coalition Coordinator Rene Hopkins. As a result, more than 6,000 adults and children combined were provided valuable  safety tips and educational tools to help prevent childhood injuries, the leading killer of children ages 1 to 14.

Hopkins shared the numbers at the annual Safe Kids Awards Luncheon on Jan. 30. Here are other 2014 achievements she highlighted:

  • 1,600 pedestrian reflectors were greater augusta trnsprntdistributed
  • 170 car seats were distributed, which included education on appropriate installation and usage
  • 93 infant sleep safety kits were given through Cribs for Kids classes
  • 84 bike helmets were distributed
  • 49 Safe Sitters were trained

These numbers are quite impressive, considering Hopkins is the sole staff member of CHOG’s Safe Kids coalition. “I couldn’t have had such a good year of prevention efforts without all of the instructors, volunteers, and members who help me put on these classes and events,” Hopkins said.

In addition, Angie Gifford was named the Safe Kids Greater Augusta Member of the Year for 2014.  Gifford, a full-time nurse in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit at CHOG, has been a member of Safe Kids for many years and is a certified Child Passenger Safety technician and Cribs for Kids instructor.

“When we launched our Car Seat Class, Angie was one of the first to sign on as an instructor,” said Hopkins. “Then when we launched our sleep safety class, she was among the first to sign on to teach that class as well. Over the years she has helped to develop training programs and hospital policies for angle tolerance testing of low birth weight and premature infants to assure their safety in the car.  Hopkins said that Gifford even comes in on her days off to be sure that a premature child is properly fitted in a car seat before the parents take the baby home. “That’s how much she cares.”

Safe Kids needs more instructors and donations to provide training in the community. To find out more about Safe Kids, contact Hopkins at 706-721-7606 or ihopkins@gru.edu, or visit grhealth.org/safekids.

 

 

Safe Kids applauds local man’s efforts to save child left alone in hot vehicle

AUGUSTA, Ga. – Safe Kids Greater Augusta presented Nick Ortalaza with a Badge of Courage Award today for saving a child left alone in a hot vehicle on July 12 near Woodcrest Apartments in Hephzibah. Ortalaza noticed the boy, found a way into the vehicle, and quickly removed him from danger while his wife called 911.

“He stayed fairly calm during the situation,” said Christine Ortalaza. “We’re just glad we were there and that the little boy is OK.”

Ortalaza, who has two children of his own, said he’d do anything to help keep a child safe.

“About 30 to 40 children die each year in the U.S. from being left in a vehicle, but there’s one more survivor this year because of you,” Safe Kids Coordinator Rene Hopkins told Ortalaza during the presentation at Children’s Hospital of Georgia, lead agency for Safe Kids Greater Augusta.

“Heatstroke tragedies happen far too often and are completely preventable,” said Hopkins.

For more information on preventing child heatstroke deaths, visit the Safe Kids Worldwide website.

Safe Kids Greater Augusta, led by Children’s Hospital of Georgia, works to prevent accidental childhood injury, the leading killer of children ages 1 to 14. Safe Kids Greater Augusta is a member of the Safe Kids Worldwide network. To find out more about local Safe Kids programs, visit grhealth.org/safekids or call 706-721-7606.

Play it safe with fireworks

AUGUSTA, Ga. – Fireworks have become synonymous with celebrating America’s freedom and independence, but playing around with them can rob you of yours.

“Every Fourth of July thousands of children and adults are treated in emergency rooms for injuries, mostly burns to the hands, head and face from experimenting with fireworks. Unless you are a professional, you should not play around with these dangerous devices,” warns Rene Hopkins, a nurse educator and Coordinator of Safe Kids Greater Augusta, led by Children’s Hospital of Georgia.

Safe Kids and CHOG recommend the following tips to help keep you and your family safe around fireworks:

  • Leave Fireworks to the Professionals
    “The best way to protect your family is to not use any fireworks at home. Instead, attend public fireworks displays and leave the lighting to the professionals.”
    If you plan to use fireworks, make sure they are legal in your area.
  • Be Extra Careful With Sparklers
    “Little arms are too short to hold sparklers, which can heat up to 1,200 degrees,” says Hopkins. “Give young children glow sticks instead. They can be just as fun, but they don’t burn at a temperature hot enough to melt glass.”
    Sparklers cause the greatest number of injuries, with children ages 5 to 14 being injured by sparklers more than any other type of fireworks.
  • Take Necessary Precautions
    1. Closely supervise children around fireworks at all times.
    2. Do not wear loose clothing while using fireworks.
    3. Never light fireworks indoors or near dry grass.
    4. Point fireworks away from homes, and keep away from brush, leaves and flammable substances.
  • Be Prepared for an Accident or Injury
    1. Stand several feet away from lit fireworks.
    2. If a device does not go off, do not stand over it to investigate it. Put it out with water and dispose of it.
    3. Always have a bucket of water and/or a fire extinguisher nearby. Know how to operate the fire extinguisher properly.
    4. If a child is injured by fireworks, immediately go to a doctor or hospital.
    5. If an eye injury occurs, don’t allow your child to touch or rub it, as this may cause even more damage.

“Fireworks are explosives, not playthings,” Hopkins cautions. “They can cause severe burns, scars and disfigurement that can last a lifetime.”

While some fireworks can be legally and safely ignited at home, public fireworks displays managed by professionals are the wisest way to celebrate the holiday.

Safe Kids Greater Augusta, led by Children’s Hospital of Georgia, works to prevent accidental childhood injury, the leading killer of children ages 1 to 14. Safe Kids Greater Augusta is a member of the Safe Kids Worldwide  network. To find out more about local Safe Kids programs, classes and events, call 706-721-7606, or visit grhealth.org/safekids.

 

 

Don’t leave children in vehicles, especially in hot weather

Georgia Governor Nathan Deal hopes a new YouTube video titled “Look Again,” featuring Georgia parents who have lost children to vehicular heatstroke accidents, will help raise awareness and prevent similar incidents in the future.

Watch video.

“During Georgia’s hot summer months, there is a higher risk of serious injury or death as a result of a child being left alone inside a vehicle,” said Deal. “Since 2010, seven children in Georgia have died due to vehicular heat stroke. I ask that all Georgians join me in preventing future loss of life by being aware of your surroundings and never taking the chance of leaving a child in a car, even for just a minute. Lives can be saved if we take the time to Look Again.”

Safe Kids Greater Augusta, led by Children’s Hospital of Georgia, is a supporting partner in the Governor’s initiative, and also works in an ongoing basis with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the General Motors Foundation,  and other partners to spread the word about the dangers of heatstroke nationwide.

“Heatstroke sets in when the body isn’t able to cool itself quickly enough. Young children are particularly at risk as their bodies heat up three to five times faster than an adult’s,” said Rene Hopkins, nurse educator and Safe Kids Coordinator for CHOG.

“Children simply can’t cool their bodies fast enough to handle the extreme heat. And when a child’s temperature reaches 107 degrees, the child is at risk of death,” she cautions.

Watch this interview with Hopkins about how fast cars heat up.

Safe Kids recommends parents, caregivers and bystanders A.C.T. to save children:

  • Avoid heatstroke-related injury and death by never leaving your child alone in a car, not even for a minute. Also, make sure to keep your car locked when you’re not in it so kids don’t get in on their own.
  • Create reminders by putting something in the back of your car next to your child, such as a briefcase, a purse or a cell phone that is needed at your final destination. This is especially important if you’re not following your normal routine.
  • Take action. If you see a child alone in a car, call 911. Emergency personnel are trained to respond to these situations, and they’d much rather respond to a false alarm than a fatality.

Do your part, A.C.T. and Look Again.

 

For more Safe Kids tips visit safekids.org.

Safe Kids Day coming up Saturday

From the day they’re born to the day they’re driving, every stage in a child’s life can present dangers. Preventable injuries are the No. 1 killer of kids in the United States, and each year, 1 million families around the world lose a child to these injuries.

Want to learn about Safe Kids programs that can help you prevent accidental injuries? Then, join us for Safe Kids Day: 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, May 24, at GRU’s Christenberry Fieldhouse. The event, which is free to families and caregivers, is an expansion of the former Babypalooza event sponsored by Augusta Family Magazine. To reserve a booth, become a sponsor, make a donation, or for more information, contact Rene Hopkins at ihopkins@gru.edu or safekids@gru.edu.

Safe Kids Greater Augusta, led by Children’s Hospital of Georgia, works to prevent accidental childhood injury, the leading killer of children ages 1 to 14. Safe Kids Greater Augusta is a member of the Safe Kids Worldwide network. To find out more about local Safe Kids programs, call 706-721-7606, or visit grhealth.org/safekids.

Hopkins named Georgia’s Safe Kids Coordinator of the Year

ReneAwardPic2013
Safe Kids Worldwide CEO Kate Carr (left) presents the Safe Kids Coalition Coordinator of the Year award to Rene Hopkins, Coordinator of Safe Kids Greater Augusta, led by Children’s Hospital of Georgia.

AUGUSTA, Ga. – If there’s one message Rene Hopkins wants you to remember, it’s this one: “The greatest gift you can give a child is a safe environment.” Hopkins, Coordinator for Safe Kids Greater Augusta, led by Children’s Hospital of Georgia, has been named the Safe Kids Coalition Coordinator of the Year for 2013 by Safe Kids Georgia.

“Rene has passion and commitment for children and their safety, and it shows in everything she does,” said Kimberly D. Basso, Director of Pediatric Patient Care Services at Children’s Hospital of Georgia. “Under Rene’s direction, the coalition has developed several effective programs aimed at reducing childhood injuries in the Augusta area. She is truly deserving of this award.”

Though she only has an annual operating budget of about $13,000, Hopkins is able to distribute more than $60,000 in child safety products to the community each year because of her ability to secure grants, donations, and community partnerships.

A registered nurse educator, Hopkins is responsible for establishing and maintaining childhood injury prevention programs through grant writing, research and data collection, community partnerships, education, legislation advocacy, and distribution of safety equipment. She coordinates more than a dozen monthly Safe Kids programs to educate parents and caregivers, including Safe Sitter, Car Seat Classes, Youth Firesetters Prevention Intervention, and Cribs for Kids.

In addition, Hopkins provides Child Passenger Safety Certification training for local law enforcement personnel, teaches early childhood development at local colleges, and organizes the annual Babypalooza baby safety expo.

Hopkins has been CHOG’s Safe Kids Coordinator since 2001. Previous positions include assistant pediatric nurse manager, pediatric transport nurse, and pediatric intensive care nurse.

She has been widely published in local, regional, and national media on child safety topics and is a frequent conference speaker and presenter. Hopkins is the recipient of several other awards and recognition, including the 1997 Medical College of Georgia Dedication to Excellence award, the 1998 Georgia Nurses Association Spirit and Commitment Award, and the 2010 Georgia Poison Prevention Award.

Safe Kids Greater Augusta, led by Children’s Hospital of Georgia, works to prevent accidental childhood injury, the leading killer of children ages 1 to 14. Safe Kids Greater Augusta is a member of the Safe Kids USA and Safe Kids Georgia network. To find out more about local Safe Kids programs, call 706-721-7606, or visit grhealth.org/safekids.

Play it safe with fireworks

warns Rene Hopkins, a nurse educator and Coordinator of Safe Kids Greater Augusta
Rene Hopkins

AUGUSTA, Ga. – Fireworks have become synonymous with celebrating America’s freedom and independence, but playing around with them can rob you of yours.

“Every Fourth of July thousands of children and adults are treated in emergency rooms for fireworks injuries, mostly burns to the hands, head and face. Unless you are a pyrotechnic professional, you should not play around with these dangerous devices,” warns Rene Hopkins, a nurse educator and Coordinator of Safe Kids Greater Augusta, led by Children’s Hospital of Georgia.

Safe Kids and CHOG recommend the following tips to help keep you and your family safe around fireworks:

Leave Fireworks to the Professionals

  • The best way to protect your family is to not use any fireworks at home. Instead, attend public fireworks displays and leave the lighting to the professionals.
  • If you plan to use fireworks, make sure they are legal in your area.

Be Extra Careful With Sparklers

  • Little arms are too short to hold sparklers, which can heat up to 1,200 degrees. Give young children glow sticks instead. They can be just as fun, but they don’t burn at a temperature hot enough to melt glass.

“Sparklers cause the greatest number of injuries, with children ages 5 to 14 being injured by sparklers more than any other type of fireworks,” says Hopkins.

Take Necessary Precautions

  • Closely supervise children around fireworks at all times.
  • Do not wear loose clothing while using fireworks.
  • Never light fireworks indoors or near dry grass.
  • Point fireworks away from homes, and keep away from brush, leaves and flammable substances.

Be Prepared for an Accident or Injury

  • Stand several feet away from lit fireworks. If a device does not go off, do not stand over it to investigate. Put it out with water and dispose of it.
  • Always have a bucket of water and/or a fire extinguisher nearby. Know how to operate the fire extinguisher properly.
  • If a child is injured by fireworks, immediately go to a doctor or hospital. If an eye injury occurs, don’t allow your child to touch or rub it, as this may cause even more damage.

“Fireworks are explosives, not playthings,” Hopkins cautions. “They can cause severe burns, scars and disfigurement that can last a lifetime. So, be careful.”

Play it safe with fireworks

warns Rene Hopkins, a nurse educator and Coordinator of Safe Kids Greater Augusta
Rene Hopkins

AUGUSTA, Ga. – Fireworks have become synonymous with celebrating America’s freedom and independence, but playing around with them can rob you of yours.

“Every Fourth of July thousands of children and adults are treated in emergency rooms for fireworks injuries, mostly burns to the hands, head and face. Unless you are a pyrotechnic professional, you should not play around with these dangerous devices,” warns Rene Hopkins, a nurse educator and Coordinator of Safe Kids Greater Augusta, led by Children’s Hospital of Georgia.

Safe Kids and CHOG recommend the following tips to help keep you and your family safe around fireworks:

Leave Fireworks to the Professionals

  • The best way to protect your family is to not use any fireworks at home. Instead, attend public fireworks displays and leave the lighting to the professionals.
  • If you plan to use fireworks, make sure they are legal in your area.

Be Extra Careful With Sparklers

  • Little arms are too short to hold sparklers, which can heat up to 1,200 degrees. Give young children glow sticks instead. They can be just as fun, but they don’t burn at a temperature hot enough to melt glass.

“Sparklers cause the greatest number of injuries, with children ages 5 to 14 being injured by sparklers more than any other type of fireworks,” says Hopkins.

Take Necessary Precautions

  • Closely supervise children around fireworks at all times.
  • Do not wear loose clothing while using fireworks.
  • Never light fireworks indoors or near dry grass.
  • Point fireworks away from homes, and keep away from brush, leaves and flammable substances.

Be Prepared for an Accident or Injury

  • Stand several feet away from lit fireworks. If a device does not go off, do not stand over it to investigate. Put it out with water and dispose of it.
  • Always have a bucket of water and/or a fire extinguisher nearby. Know how to operate the fire extinguisher properly.
  • If a child is injured by fireworks, immediately go to a doctor or hospital. If an eye injury occurs, don’t allow your child to touch or rub it, as this may cause even more damage.

“Fireworks are explosives, not playthings,” Hopkins cautions. “They can cause severe burns, scars and disfigurement that can last a lifetime. So, be careful.”