Safety for Kids’ Sake!
Traumatic brain injury (TBI) is the leading cause of death and disability among children. Each year, approximately 200,000 children in the U.S. are hospitalized due to brain injuries sustained on bicycles, skateboards, scooters and skates. A properly worn helmet is the single most effective safety device available to reduce brain injury and death by as much as 88 percent, according to former U. S. Surgeon General C. Everett Koop, MD. Still, estimates show that only 15 to 25 percent of children actually wear helmets, despite our state’s mandatory helmet law, which requires anyone under age 17 to wear one while biking, skating and participating in other wheeled activities. And this figure does not include the children who are injured as the result of being unsecured passengers in motor vehicle accidents.
The Brain Injury Association of NJ (BIANJ) also has some fact sheets and prevention activities that revolve around bicycle safety and pedestrian and transportation safety (http://www.bianj.org/prevention-education). You can access their brochures online through this link.
The “Think Positive” helmet program http://www.bianj.org/think-positive-a-helmet-safety-reward-program
is run by the Brain Injury Association of New Jersey. This program provides positive incentives to children who are wearing helmets and abiding by traffic laws while operating a bicycle, skateboard, or scooter. Such incentives include coupons for free pizza at local pizzerias, Best Buy gift certificates and other small token items that reinforce safe behavior.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), at least 72% of the 3,500 observed child vehicle safety restraints were being used incorrectly. When that happens, the risk that the child will suffer an injury or more severe injury rises even more. NHTSA estimates that a properly installed and used child safety seat lowers a child’s risk of death by 71% for infants and by 54% for toddlers ages 1 to 4. This is an astounding figure, and a strong argument for ensuring the proper installation of child restraints, car seats and booster seats.
Keeping Kids Safe on the Way to School
Car Seat Recommendations for Children
Cape May county article on positive ticketing: http://www.officer.com/web/online/Top-News-Stories/New-Jersey-Police-Hand-Out-Positive-Tickets-To-Bikers/1$42328
SAFE KIDS USA: http://usa.safekids.org/index.cfm
General safety for kids in and around cars.
Car seat check-up events and locations in New Jersey.
Interactive Graphic on Getting Kids to School Safely
TBI as a Public Health Problem in Young People Among children and youth aged 0 to 14 years in the U.S. Each year traumatic brain injury results in an estimated:
Emergency Department Visits
Unintentional injury is the leading cause of death, and traumatic brain injury is the type of injury most often associated with death.
The annual total of TBI-related deaths is:
More than times the number of deaths related to HIV/AIDS
Times the number of deaths from asthma
The number of deaths from cystic fibrosis
School buses are equipped with yellow (or amber) and red flashing lights. The yellow lights go on before the bus stops and the red lights go on when the bus has stopped. This means the bus will be picking up or discharging children. Motorists may proceed only after the lights have been turned off.
The law says:
It is illegal for motorists to pass a stopped school bus when the red lights are flashing
- Fine between $100-$250
- Five points on driving record
- Imprisonment and/or community service
- Possible license revocation
FYI – Did you know you have to stop for a frozen dessert truck with its flashing red lights on?
On a two lane roadway / on multi-lane roadways:
Vehicles approaching from both directions must stop at least 2 feet away from the bus
On a divided highway:
- Vehicles approaching the bus from behind must stop at least 25 feet away from the bus
- Vehicles approaching in the other direction, on the opposite side of the median, must slow to 10 miles per hour.
- Divided highway is characterized by a safety island or raised median