Winter 2014-2015
Timely Topics
Winter Weather is Just Around the Corner:
Be Sure You, Your Family and Your Home are Safe

While the winter season brings holiday cheer, family gatherings, and great food; we also need to prepare for snow, ice, and cold weather. This year, make winter safety one of your high priorities for you and your family. Our friends at AAA have put together a series of winter driving tips-great resources to keep in mind whether traveling short or long distances during the winter months.
  • Avoid driving while you are fatigued.
  • Never warm up a vehicle in an enclosed area, such as a garage.
  • Make certain your tires are properly inflated.
  • Never mix radial tires with other tire types.
  • Keep your gas tank at least half full to avoid gas line freeze-up.
  • If possible, avoid using your parking brake in cold, rainy and snowy weather.
  • Do not use cruise control when driving on any slippery surface (wet, ice, sand).
  • Always look and steer where you want to go.
  • Use your seat belt every time you get into your vehicle.
  • Keep a Winter Driving Kit in your car should an emergency develop.
Learn more about each winter driving tip.
Carbon Monoxide in the Home

Something extremely important to keep in mind this winter season is prevention against carbon monoxide poisoning. Carbon monoxide is called the "invisible killer", as it is a poisonous gas that has no odor and cannot be seen - therefore, it is difficult to identify until an individual shows symptoms of exposure.

The initial symptoms associated with low to moderate carbon monoxide exposure include:
  • Headache
  • Fatigue
  • Shortness of breath
  • Nausea
  • Dizziness
However, as the exposure increases, the symptoms may become worse and lead to:
  • Mental confusion
  • Vomiting
  • Loss of muscular coordination
  • Loss of consciousness
  • Ultimately death
In the home, any heating or cooking device that burns fuel can be a source of carbon monoxide. One of the best things you can do for you and your family is to purchase at least one carbon monoxide detector and install it close to the sleeping area of the home.

Learn more about how to identify and prevent carbon monoxide poisoning.
Sledding Safety

Kids always look forward to the snow that comes with this season. Sledding has been a winter past-time for generations and still continues to be a favorite among other winter activities. However, be sure to review the following sledding safety tips with your children each year to prevent any possible injuries while playing in the snow.
  • Keep sledders away from motor vehicles.
  • Children should be supervised while sledding.
  • Keep young children separated from older children.
  • Sledding feet first or sitting up, instead of lying down head-first may prevent head injuries.
  • Consider having your child wear a helmet while sledding.
  • Use steerable sleds, not snow disks or inner tubes.
  • Sleds should be structurally sound and free of sharp edges and splinters, and the steering mechanism should be well lubricated.
  • Sled slopes should be free of obstructions like trees or fences, be covered in snow not ice, not be too steep, and end with a flat runoff.
  • Avoid sledding in crowed areas.
 Learn more safety tips related to all aspects of the winter season from the American Academy of Pediatrics.

Partner Spotlight
Working Together to Promote Safe Travel for All
Greater Cincinnati Automobile Dealers Association

For close to 20 years, Cincinnati Children's has been privileged to have a great partnership with the Greater Cincinnati Automobile Dealers Association. Through their support and generosity, we have been able to help thousands of children ride safer while in the car. Learn More about the GCADA Child Passenger Safety program.
Promote Our Message
Holiday Safety Awareness
The holidays are always a fun, exciting time of year for kids. We here at the CCIC would like to ensure that their holiday season is also a safe one. Therefore, we would like to highlight some brief holiday safety tips from the American Academy of Pediatrics to keep in mind this time of year.
  • When setting up a tree at home, place it away from fireplaces, radiators, or portable heaters. Place the tree out of the way of traffic and do not block doorways.
  • Turn off all holiday lights when you go to bed or leave the house. The lights could short out and start a fire.
  • Keep potentially poisonous holiday plant decorations, including poinsettias, mistletoe berries, Jerusalem cherry, and holly berry, away from children.
  • Be sure to keep hot liquids and food away from the edges of counters and tables, where they can be easily knocked over by a young child's exploring hands. Be sure that young children cannot access microwave ovens.
  • Foods that require refrigeration should never be left at room temperature for more than two hours.
  • Remember that the homes you visit may not be childproofed. Keep an eye out for danger spots like unlocked cabinets, unattended purses, accessible cleaning or laundry products, stairways, or hot radiators.
  • If a glass-fronted gas fireplace is used, keep children and others well away from it with a screen or gate. The glass doors can get hot enough to cause serious burns and stay hot long after the fire is out.

Learn More about holiday safety by reviewing the complete list of safety tips from the American Academy of Pediatrics.
Quick Tips
Helpful Hints to Keep in Mind this Winter Season
Monthly Smoke Alarm

A smoke alarm has to be working properly to be able to warn you and your family when there is a fire in your home. Fires can happen any time of year - so it is important to check your smoke alarm battery once a month to be sure you and your family are well protected. 
Kids' Coats and
Car Seats

In cold weather, children in car safety seats should wear thin layers with a blanket over the top of the harness straps if needed, not a thick coat or snowsuit. Learn more about why car seats and winter coats don't mix.

Child Injuries:
ER vs. Urgent Care

Not sure where to take your child if they are sick or injured? Check out the newest guide from Cincinnati Children's that explains which facility is best for your child's needs, as well as a map of all of the facilities in the Cincinnati area.
Expert Advice
Home Safety Helpful Hints
Ask an Expert
Dawne Gardner, MBA
Injury Prevention Coordinator

Q: Why is it important to have both a smoke detector and a carbon monoxide detector installed in the sleeping area of your home? 

A: Carbon monoxide (CO) detectors are not substitutes for smoke detectors. They each serve a different goal and are both very important to saving lives. A CO detector will not detect smoke in your home or alert your family to fire. A smoke detector is not equipped to alert your family to dangerous levels of carbon monoxide in your home that may be emitted from faulty furnaces or other heating appliances, portable generators, water heaters, clothes dryers, or cars left running in garages.

It is recommended that every home have at least one smoke detector and one carbon monoxide detector installed in the home's sleeping area to help increase the chance of a family being alerted to any smoke or carbon monoxide hazard that may arise during the night while the family sleeps. Whether purchasing the detectors separately or investing in a dual Smoke/CO Detector with the technology to handle both types of danger, always remember that the device only works properly if it is checked regularly and batteries are changed according to the manufacturer's instructions. Both smoke and carbon monoxide detectors can be very inexpensive and can save lives.
The Doctor is In
Wendy Pomerantz, MD
Emergency Medicine
Q: How do I pick safe toys for my children?


A: That's a great question, because in 2011, approximately 262,300 children were treated in an emergency room for a toy-related injury.

As a result, here are a few tips I would suggest when picking out toys for your kids:

  • Read all warning labels carefully before choosing any item.
  • Consider a child's age, interests, and skill levels when purchasing toys; look for age recommendations on packaging.

  • Look for toys with sturdy construction and avoid items with sharp edges and points.

  • Be careful with button batteries found in toys. If ingested they can become lodged in the esophagus causing serious injury and even death.

The Consumer Product Safety Commission website has information about safety hazards and recall information. It will be useful to check this site before purchasing toys for your children as well.

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