You've heard it again and again. Bike helmets save lives
and prevent many permanent head injuries. It's important to model responsible,
safe bike-riding behavior for children however young.
Everyone riding a bike, from infants in carrier seats
to adults should ALWAYS wear a bike helmet. Even when your young ones are
just learning to ride that foot to floor trike, make a helmet standard
gear. Statistics show that when one child in a group of children wears
a hel met, it's more likely that others will also. Peer pressure can work
in everyone's favor if you instill good habits early.
Don't ride wearing loose clothing that can get tangled in
wheels or chains.
Kids and Bikes
Signal turns properly so that other riders and motorists
know you intend to turn.
Yield the right of way whenever traffic rules or common sense
indicate. Being right doesn't help injuries heal.
Obey all traffic signals.
Know your local traffic ordinances regarding the use of bicycles
on roadways and sidewalks.
When riding on sidewalks ride slowly, give verbal warnings
when approaching someone and yield the right of way to pedestrians.
Make sure of the following:
That kids know what streets they are allowed to ride on,
and that they check for vehicle traffic whenever they enter a street. Always
know where your children are supposed to be riding.
That kids never ride friends on racks and handlebars.
Trick riding should only be attempted when full safety gear
is worn and in the presence of a trained instructor who can teach the proper
In case of a breakdown call a trusted adult for help. Teach
them that they should never accept a ride from a stranger or enter a stranger's
house. Go to a store, a payphone or a police officer to call and then wait
with the bike, away from traffic and in an open area, for the adult to
Never leave a lighted barbecue unattended.
Keep small children and pets away from any lighted grill.
Always store lighter fluid in the original container,
away from flames andout of the sun. never store it in the trunk of a car
for long periods of time.
Never squirt lighter fluid onto an already charcoal lighted
Never substitute gasoline or kerosene for charcoal lighter
Wait until flames die down before approaching a lighted
Make sure that all coals are completely extinguished before
emptying a grill or leaving the area.
Inspect all connections before lighting the grill.
Never overfill propane tanks
When cooking any food on the grill, make sure flames are
not in contact with the food. Never flame char meat.
Cook all meats to the appropriate internal temperature.
Overcooking can create heterocyclic amines(HCAs) and undercooking presents
a risk of bacterial food poisoning.
Grilling Meat and Cancer Risk.
Overcooking any food, but especially meat, can create HCAs.
HCAs are known cancer causing agents. Overcooking meats causes a chemical
reaction inthe meat that results in high levels of HCAs. Lean meats are
more susceptible to this problem than fattier meats. Here are some steps
that you can take to prevent this:
Don't rely on color. Some meats, especially ones that have
been frozen can appear gray on the inside without being fully cooked. Somewhat
acidic meats, like pork, can still appear pink but be fully cooked. Check
the temperature of the meat.
Micrwave meat before grilling. This drives off many of the
juices, which reduces the liklihood of HCA formation but can also make
the meat dry inside..
Use marinades. Researchhas found that marinades tend to reduce
the formation of HCAs, particularly if they are made with ingredients that
are high in anti-oxidents. Barbecue sauce (especially tomatoe and sugar
based ones do not reduce HCAs and may actually increase them.
Try mixing 10% ground fruit into ground meat (REALLY!), specifically
darkly colored fruits like plums, sour cherries or red grapes. This techinique
has been shown to reduce HCA formation and result in much jucier cooked
meats. At least one line of products made with sour cherries is currently
in use in some school districts. Depending on the fruit, it may impart
a faint flavor to the meat.
Never leave foods sitting out in the heat and sun for any
length of time. There is always a risk of bacterial food poisoning.
In 1995, there were 74,582 injuries involving lawn mowers,
according to the Consumer Product Safety Commission; 25,300 people are
injured by riding lawn mowers each year. Of those injured, 75 are killed,
15 of which are children. Two common injuries are amputations and injuries
from thrown objects.
Keep children and pets indoors and under supervision when
mowing is in progress. NEVER ALLOW CHILDREN TO RIDE ON A LAWN TRACTOR.
Fuel the mower when then engine is cool, in an open space
where fumes can't accumulate and cause respiratory distress or explode.
If refueling during mowing, wait ten minutes for the engine to cool.
Wear long pants, heavy shoes and eye protection when mowing.
Ear protection is also a good idea, and a dust mack if the weather has
Be aware of terrain. Lawn tractors can tip over and throw
the rider causing injury from blades and crushing. Push mowers can get
out of control and roll down hill owver the operators feet.
Never leave an operating mower unattended. Turn it off and
take any ignition key with you.
Store lawn tractors with the deck lowered and all pressure
off the blade.
Store fuel in a properly ventilated area, away from children
and sources of sparks.
Never remove or otherwise defeat safety features built into
mowers and tractors.
Never back-up on a lawn tractor without first checking that
NO ONE IS BEHIND YOU.
SWING SET SAFETY
The following information comes from the Consumer Product Safety Commision.
Fall Height (In Feet) From Which A Life Threatening Head Injury Would
Not Be Expected
|Type of Material
6 Inch Depth
9 Inch Depth
12 Inch Depth
|Double Shredded Bark Mulch
A use zone, covered with a protective surfacing material, is essential
under and around equipment where a child might fall. This area should be
free of other equipment and obstacles onto which a child might fall.
Stationary climbing equipment and slides should have a use zone
extending a minimum of 6 feet in all directions from the perimeter of the
Swings should have a use zone extending a minimum of 6 feet from
the outer edge of the support structure on each side. The use zone in front
and back of the swing should extend out a minimum distance of twice the
height of the swing as measured from the ground to the swing hangers on
Swing Spacing - To prevent injuries from impact with moving swings,
swings should not be too close together or too close to support structures.
Swing spacing should be:
Swing sets should be securely anchored.
At least 8 inches between suspended swings and between a swing and the
At least 16 inches from swing support frame to a pendulum see-saw.
Minimum clearance between the ground and underside of swing seat should
be 8 inches.
Elevated Surfaces -
Platforms more than 30" above the ground should have guardrails to prevent
With Summer coming most of us will
be increasing our exposure to the sun. While we tend to be very protective
of our children, it might be time to rethink our strategy for minimizing
exposure to damaging ultraviolet radiation.
Sunscreens have been the first item
in most people's arsenal against too much sun exposure. But skin cancer
rates in the US have been rising since 1973. So why aren't we seeing an
improvement? Sunscreens are rated according to their ability to block Ultraviolet
B radiation. but sunlight also contains UVA radiation, which is implicated
in the development of skin cancers such as melanoma and basal cell carcinomas.
So the use of high SPF sunscreens might actually increase the risk of developing
skin cancer later in life by giving people a false sense of security. Certainly
it doesn't make sense to stop using sunscreen, but it also doesn't make
sense to rely on it solely for protection. The effectiveness of TODAY's
high SPF value sunscreens won't be known for decades because cancer takes
years to develop.
In the meantime, you can take some
basic precautions to minimize your risks....
For more information on skin cancer and
sunscreens, visit The
Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Institute.
Schedule outdoor activities outside
of the hours of 10AM to 4PM when the sun's rays are the strongest.
Wear protective clothing and stay in
Avoid sun exposure as much as possible
if you are genetically predisposed to skin cancer or if you have other
risk factors, like numerous skin moles.
Sunburn and Tanning History and Recommended
Always burns easily; rarely
tans: 20 to 30
Always burns easily; tans
minimally: 2 to
Burns moderately; tans gradually:
8 to under 12
Burns minimally; always tans
well: 4 to under
Rarely burns, tans profusely:
2 to under 4
*Sun Protection Factor
(Source: FDA's 1993 tentative
final monograph on sunscreen drug products)
FDA Consumer magazine (June 1996)
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for more information.