community newsletter from the Comprehensive Children's Injury Center 
Spring 2015
Timely Topics
Pedestrians: Be Safe and Alert this Spring

Now that the weather is warming up and we are looking forward to outdoor activities, it is a perfect time to refresh on a few areas so we keep our families safe. One important topic, particularly among your teenagers, is pedestrian safety and distracted walking. 

In a recent study from Safe Kids Worldwide, it was revealed that "40% of teenagers have been hit, or nearly hit by a car, bike, or motorcycle while walking." Distracted walking plays a major role in these incidents. According to the research survey responses, half of the students said that they crossed the street while distracted by a mobile device. In addition, those teens who had been hit or nearly hit more frequently responded that they crossed the street without using the crosswalk, or ran across the street.

Given that this is such an alarming statistic, Safe Kids Worldwide, FedEx, and the Comprehensive Children's Injury Center at Cincinnati Children's recommend the following tips to keep all of us safe while walking:

1. Put down phones and headphones when crossing the street.
2. Make eye contact with drivers before crossing.
3. Be especially alert when it's dark outside, and make sure you are visible to drivers.
4. Cross at a traffic signal or crosswalk when possible.
Playground Safety

Another fun activity when the weather warms up is to take little ones to the park to play on the playground. Although this is a great way for them to use all that stored energy from the winter months, it is important to be sure they are safe while playing. 

Here are 5 quick tips to remember when at the playground:

1. Actively supervise children on the playground.
2. Teach children that pushing, shoving or crowding while on the playground can be dangerous.
3.  Little kids can play differently than big kids. It is important to have a separate play area for children under 5.
4. Ensure that your children are dressed appropriately for the playground. Avoid the risk of strangulation by removing necklaces, purses, scarves, and clothing with drawstrings that could get caught on equipment. 
5. Take your kids to playgrounds with shock-absorbing surfaces such as rubber, synthetic turf, sand, pea gravel, wood chips or mulch, so that if they fall, their landing will be more cushioned.

For a complete list of playground safety tips, check out this list from  Safe Kids Worldwide.
Spring Cleaning

With the arrival of Spring, many of us begin to think about cleaning our home from top to bottom. While keeping a home clean can be helpful to keep germs and illnesses away, sometimes those same cleaners can be dangerous to young children - especially when they look similar to many juices .

According to the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), approximately 2.4 million people - more than half under age 6 - swallow or have contact with a poisonous substance each year. 

As a precaution when doing any kind of housework, be sure to keep these safety tips in mind. 

1. Store all cleaning products in their original containers - out of children's reach.
2. Use non-toxic cleaners over heavy-duty cleaning products.
3. Supervise your children to be sure they do not go near cleaning products while they are in use.
4. Post the Poison Control number by each phone in the house, and store on your cell phones: 1-800-222-1222.

Learn of other spring hazards and how to keep your family safe, here.
Partner Spotlight
Working Together to Build a Safer Cincinnati

Here at Cincinnati Children's, we are pleased to partner with Messer Construction Company, and we are grateful for their commitment of time, resources, and funding to promote our community-based injury prevention programs. 

Come volunteer with us for an upcoming Home Safety Day, and you might see some yellow Messer shirts in the crowd.  

In addition, check out our new home safety "how-to" videos to see some Messer associates in action. 

Thanks, Messer, for your continued support!
Join Our Cause
Make a Difference
Be one of the first supporters to like our new CCIC Facebook page! Our hope is to provide you, our readers, with additional tips, stories, and photos as they relate to keeping the little ones in your life safe.

You can also utilize this resource as a way to ask us questions related to injury prevention for your children. If you ever want to clarify car seat installation instructions, check on the latest home safety equipment available, or learn how to select the proper size of helmet for your children - we are literally a Facebook post away!

What are you waiting for - head on over to our Facebook page and "LIKE US" now!
Upcoming Events
Mark Your Calendar
Closing the Health Gap Health Expo

Saturday, April 25th

Stop by the CCIC's booth at the upcoming Closing the Health Gap Health Expo in Washington Park.
Learn more about how to prevent child injuries while they are at home, at play, and on the go.
"Put a Lid on It": Helmet and Bike Safety Week

Week of May 2nd-10th

Bike Helmet Safety Awareness Week is an event sponsored by the Ohio Chapter AAP. Wearing a helmet each time you ride a bike is a proven way to save lives.

PIN Home Safety Day in Norwood 

Spring 2015

The next PIN Home Safety Day in Norwood is coming! Call Dawne Gardner
at 513-636-3153 to l earn more  about volunteering, or registering your home for a home safety visit.
Expert Advice
April is National Distracted Driving Awareness Month
Ask an Expert
Stephanie Estes
Injury Prevention Coordinator

Q: What are Graduated Drivers Licensing (GDL) Laws?

A: New drivers are often inexperienced behind the wheel and have the highest crash rates.  Graduated Drivers Licensing laws were established allowing new drivers to gradually gain experience behind the wheel. GDL laws vary by state and traditionally include bans on passengers, distracted, and night-time driving.

In Ohio, a teen may apply for a Temporary Instruction Permit Identification Card also known as "temps" at age 15 �. After receiving their temps, teens are eligible to begin supervised driving and driver's education courses which includes:

  • 50 hours of supervised driving by legal guardian (including 10 hours at night)
  • 24 hours of classroom instruction
  • 8 hours of driving with certified instructor

Once those requirements are completed and the teen has had their temporary permit for at least 6 months, the teen is eligible to take the maneuverability and driving exam to obtain their probationary license, as follows:

  • If you are 16-17, no driving between the hours of midnight and 6:00 am
  • If you are 16-17, you may have one passenger who is not a member of your family unless accompanied by your legal guardian
  • If you are 17-18, no driving between the hours of 1:00 am- 5:00 am
  • If you are 17-18, you may have a passenger per each seat belt
Upon turning 18 and successfully completing the temporary and probationary license periods, teens receive their full unrestricted driver's license.
The Doctor is In
Mike Gittelman, MD
Emergency Medicine
Q: My teen is about to get his/her license, what can I do to make sure they will be safe? 

A:  Nationally, motor vehicle crashes (MVCs) are the leading cause of death for 16-20 year olds, causing approximately 6,000 fatalities annually. This accounts for more than 40% of all teen deaths.

Teen drivers are at greatest risk for motor vehicle crashes because they have less experience; tend to take chances; succumb to peer pressure; overestimate their abilities; wear safety belts less frequently; are easily distracted by cell phones and other passengers; and may experiment with drugs and alcohol.


As a result, parents must set clear rules and consequences which results in better communication and safer parent and teen attitudes. To help with these conversations, the Ohio Chapter, American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) developed the PACT for Safe Driving. This program is centered around a parent-teen driving contract that can be downloaded for free from the Ohio Chapter, AAP's website. The contract includes AAP recommendations for several areas, including: distracted driving, night-time driving, alcohol use, and number of passengers in the car.


In addition to using the parent-teen contract to establish clear expectations, here are a few other recommendations to insure your child will be safe behind the wheel:

  • Influence what vehicle your child will drive and control access to the vehicle
  • Encourage seat belt use on every ride
  • Discourage distractions when driving (eating, drinking, music, cell phones)
  • Talk to your child about driving while impaired or with others impaired in their car
  • Be a positive role model for your teen
Remember, just because your teen is old enough to drive doesn't mean he or she has the experience and maturity to handle driving in every situation. Download a parent-teen driving contract today to set guidelines and allow greater independence with increased experience.  � 513-636-7865, "Option 1"