Where's Baby? Look Before You Lock

Safe Kids Cobb County Warns About the Risks Of Heatstroke

As outside temperatures rise, the dangers for children being seriously injured or even dying from being left alone inside a hot car also rise. That’s why Safe Kids Cobb County has joined with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) in an effort to reduce these deaths by reminding parents and caregivers about the dangers of heatstroke in young children.

“More than half of all vehicle-related heatstroke deaths in children are caused by a child accidentally being left in the car, and more than 30 percent are from a child getting into a hot car on their own,” said Tommy Sanders, Safe Kids Cobb County Honorary Chairperson. “In an effort to prevent these needless tragedies, we want to urge all parents and caregivers to do three things:

1) NEVER leave a child in a vehicle unattended;

2) Make it a habit to look in the backseat EVERY time you exit the car;

3) ALWAYS lock the car and put the keys out of reach. And, if you ever see a child left alone in a hot vehicle, call 911 right away.

According to NHTSA, heatstroke is the leading cause of non-crash vehicle fatalities for children 14 and under. In fact, one child dies from heatstroke, early every 10 days, from being left in a hot vehicle.

Warning signs of heatstroke include: red, hot, and moist or dry skin, no sweating, a strong rapid pulse, or a slow weak pulse, nausea, confusion or acting strangely. If a child exhibits any of these signs after being in a hot vehicle, cool the child rapidly (not an ice bath but by spraying them with cool water or with a garden hose). Call 911 or you local emergency number immediately.

“Children’s body temperatures can rise up to five times faster than that of an adult, and heatstroke can occur in temperatures as low as 57 degrees,” said Sanders. “On an 80° day, a car can reach deadly levels in just 10 minutes.”

NHTSA and Safe Kids Cobb County want to remind everyone of a few key safety tips to prevent deadly accidents and to prevent vehicular heatstroke:

• Never leave an infant or child unattended in a vehicle—even if the windows are partly open, or the engine is running and the air conditioning is on;

• Don’t let children play in an unattended vehicle. Teach them a vehicle is not a play area;

• Make a habit of looking in the vehicle - front and back - before locking the door and walking away;

• Take steps to remember not to leave a child in a vehicle:

• Write yourself a note and place it where you’ll see it when you leave the vehicle.

• Place your purse, briefcase, or something else you’re sure to need in the back seat so you’ll be sure to see a child left in the vehicle.

• Keep an object in the car seat, such as a stuffed toy. Once the child is buckled in, place the object where the driver will notice it when he or she leaves the vehicle;

• Always lock vehicle doors and trunks and keep keys out of children’s reach. If a child is missing, check the vehicle first, including the trunk.

• Ask your childcare center to call you if your child doesn’t arrive on time for childcare.

• If you see a child alone in a hot vehicle, call 911 or your local emergency number immediately. If they are in distress due to heat, get them out as quickly as possible. Cool the child rapidly (not an ice bath but by spraying them with cool water or with a garden hose).

With spring comes the delight of longer, warmer days and our renewed focus for keeping kids safe as the temperature rises. Did you know that even in temperatures as low as 57 degrees, an unattended child in a vehicle can be seriously hurt or die from heat stroke?

Inside our homes, it seems obvious, but sometimes we forget that when we open windows to let in fresh spring air, children can fall through them. And no matter what the season, every day in the U.S. about 165 young kids - or roughly four school busloads of children - are seen in emergency rooms after getting into medications, which are the leading cause of child poisoning today.

This month we share safety tips to help prevent injuries and deaths due to heat stroke, falls and accidental poisonings from medication.


Never Leave Your Child Alone in a Car

Starting in March, when the sun gets stronger, we hear report after report that a child has died of hyperthermia, also known as heat stroke, while unattended in a vehicle. These tragedies affect mostly infants and toddlers, but it can happen to children of all ages. Learn how you can help raise awareness and prevent these tragedies in your community.

Protect Your Children from Accidental Medication Poisoning

It's National Poison Prevention Week, and medications are the predominant cause of poisonings among young children. Each year more than 60,000 children are admitted to emergency departments after getting into medications unsupervised.

Safe Kids' new Medication Safety Guide provides resources to avoid this very preventable form of poisoning. Check out our Facebook page for a chance to win a Poison Center refrigerator magnet..

Medication Safety Guide

Win a refrigerator magnet -

National Window Safety Week: April 1-7

Keeping windows and doors open not only provides fresh air through your home, but creates a hidden danger for your little ones.

Window falls increase dramatically during the spring and summer months; however, they can be prevented. It takes supervision and a device called a window guard. Learn more about window safety.

Spring Forward, Check Your Smoke Alarm 2012

Spring: It's time for a change!  Change your clocks and batteries.
When it's time to "spring forward" and change the clocks on Sunday, March 11, make sure to change the batteries in all of your smoke alarms. If batteries were recently changed, it's still very important to conduct your monthly test of your smoke alarms. It could save a life! 

Did you know that having a working smoke alarm reduces a person's chance of dying in a fire by half? 

For the best protection, install smoke alarms on every level of your home, outside every sleeping area, and in every bedroom. Smoke alarms should be mounted high on walls or ceilings and tested monthly. 

It's important to replace smoke alarm batteries once a year, unless they're 10-year lithium batteries. Even if your smoke alarms are hardwired, replace the batteries in case of a chirping sound or a power outage.

Reminder: Smoke alarms do not last forever. The maximum life span is 8-10 years. After that time, the entire unit should be replaced. If the unit does not respond properly when tested, it should be replaced immediately. 

More About Fire Safety
Learn How to Test Your Smoke Alarms
Fire Prevention Tips

Winter Safety Guide 

Furniture Hazards
Facts:  The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission estimates that between 2000 and 2010 there were at least 245 deaths related to tip-overs of furniture, televisions or appliances among children ages 8 years and under.

Most of these deaths, 90 percent of them, involved children younger than 6.

In 2011, the CPSC identified this issue as one of the top hidden home hazards.

CPSC data also shows that in between 2008 and 2010 there were 22,000 injuries associated with product instability or tip-overs involving children younger than 9. That number is more than half of all estimated instability and tip-over injuries between 2008 and 2010.

Over the last decade, 60 percent of tip-over fatalities involved a television.

Kids are also in danger of suffocation if they become accidentally trapped in a cabinet, toy chest or laundry machine; in 2007 alone there were 3,270 injuries to children ages 2 to 14 involving toy chests.  

Furniture Hazards/Tip Overs
Top safety tips to help prevent tip-over hazards   If a piece of furniture is unstable or top-heavy, secure it to a stud in the wall using brackets, braces, anchors or wall straps. Large items such as TVs, microwaves, fish tanks, bookcases, heavy furniture and appliances can topple off stands and fall on children.

If you have a newer, flat screen TV, make sure it’s properly anchored to the wall.

Read the manufacturer's instructions for tips or warnings regarding placement of your TV or furniture.

Keep heavier items on lower shelves or in lower drawers.

Don't keep remote controls, candy, toys or other items that attract children on top of furniture, as your child might be enticed to reach for these items.

Supervise young children at all times.

Video on YouTube

Childproofing Your Home

Prevent fire injuries and burns

Create and practice a fire escape plan with two ways out of every room.

Install working smoke alarms and CO detectors in every level of your home, in each bedroom and outside every sleeping area. Test the alarms every month and replace the batteries at least once a year.

Keep matches, lighters, candles and heat sources out of reach.

Store appliances and electrical devices properly

Keep electrical cords in good condition.

Don’t overload outlets, and use covers when they’re not in use.

Set your water heater temperature at 120 degrees.

 Prevent choking, suffocation and strangulation

Use cordless window products, if possible. If not, cut the cords short, eliminating the loops, and tie them out of reach.

Eliminate openings of more than 3 ½ inches in stair railings, balconies and furniture.

Get down on your hands and knees to check for small objects. Keep rooms free of items that can fit into a small parts tester or toilet paper tube.

Prevent serious falls

Install hardware-mounted gates at the top and bottom of the stairs.

Use stationary play centers instead of baby walkers with wheels.

Keep hallways and stairways well-lit and free of clutter.

Tack down rugs and runners.

Install window guards or stops on all windows not designated as emergency exits, to prevent them from opening more than 4 inches.

Winter/Sports Safety:

Facts:  In 2009, more than 26,000 injuries were sustained by children ages 14 and under involving skiing, snowboarding or snowmobiles.

In 2009, more than 18,000 injuries were sustained by children ages 14 and under involving toboggans, sleds, snow discs, etc.

Helmets prevent or reduce the effects of 53 percent of the head injuries suffered by children while skiing or snowboarding

For children ages 8 to 13, the rate of sports-related concussions was highest for football and ice hockey players, when taking into account participation rates.

Helmets have been shown to reduce the risk of concussion, particularly in sports such as football, skiing and snowboarding.

Links back to Safe Kids Website:
Winter Sports Safety
Which Helmet for Which Activity
Winter Sports Safety: Signs of Dehydration and How to Avoid It
Sledding Safety Coloring Book
Winter Safety Coloring Book

Top Winter Safety Tips:

Always wear sport-specific, properly fitting safety gear when participating in winter sports.

Kids should always wear helmets when they ski, sled, snowboard and play ice hockey. There are different helmets for different activities.

Parents should wear helmets too. Remember, your children learn safety habits by watching you.

Dress in layers and wear warm, close-fitting clothes. Make sure that long scarves are tucked in so they don’t get entangled in lifts, ski poles or other equipment.

Stay hydrated. Drink fluids before, during and after winter play.

Kids — or caregivers — who become distracted or irritable, or begin to hyperventilate, may be suffering from hypothermia or altitude sickness, or they may be too tired to participate safely in winter sports. They need to go indoors to warm up and rest.

Children under 6 should not ride a snowmobile, and nobody under 16 should drive one. All snowmobile drivers and passengers should wear helmets designed for high-speed motor sports. A bike helmet isn’t sufficient for a four-wheeled motorcycle that can go up to 90 miles per hour.

Cover your child’s exposed skin with sunscreen to protect his skin from the sunlight, which reflects off the snow.

Babysitter Safety

Selecting a Babysitter - Choose a babysitter recommended by a trusted source such as a relative or a close friend.

Request references for the babysitter you are considering and talk with references before leaving your children with the babysitter.

Make sure the babysitter is qualified to care for your children and capable of handling an emergency situation.

Tell your babysitter where your will be, how long you will be gone, and post all your phone numbers in case he needs to reach you with any questions or concerns.

Safety Tips  

Use the following tips as a guideline to help you prepare your home and your sitter before you leave.

Make sure your baby’s crib is safe by checking the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission’s Ensure that your babysitter knows that no soft bedding, pillows, or stuffed animals be placed with the infant in the crib.

Test the smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors with your babysitter so she will know the sound of the alarms in case they sound. Make sure she knows the family’s outside meeting place in case of an emergency and to call the fire department from a neighbor’s home or cell phone once outside.

Ask him to cut food into small pieces before feeding young children in the home. Instruct him not to give any hard, round foods such as grapes, candy, or peanuts to infants and toddlers.

Remind your babysitter to latch the safety gates at the top and bottom of the stairs and to always use safety straps on high chairs, changing tables, and strollers.

Ensure that your babysitter knows to stay within arm’s reach of all children when they are in or near water, including the bathtub, pool and spa, and toilet.  

Button Batteries

Facts:  The coin-sized batteries children swallow come from many devices, most often mini remote controls. Other places you may them are: singing greeting cards, watches, bathroom scales, and flameless candles.

It takes as little as two hours to cause severe burns once a coin-sized lithium battery has been swallowed.

Once burning begins, damage can continue even after the battery is removed.

Kids can still breathe with the coin lithium battery in their throat. It may not be obvious at first that something is wrong.

Repairing the damage is painful and can require multiple surgeries.  

Top Tips for Battery Safety

SEARCH your home, and any place your child goes, for gadgets that may contain coin lithium batteries.

SECURE coin lithium battery-controlled devices out of sight and reach of children and keep loose batteries locked away.

SHARE this life-saving information with caregivers, friends, family members and sitters.

Call the National Battery Ingestion Hotline at 202-625-3333 for additional treatment information.  

Main Battery page 



Press Releases

March 15, 2010 - Safe Kids Cobb County Joins National Health and Safety Partners to Eliminate “Forgotten Child” Deaths - more.

September 30, 2008 - Safe Kids Cobb County and FedEx Team Up to Educate Children about Pedestrian Safety - more.

September 9, 2008 - Child
Passenger Safety Advocates in
Cobb County Urge Parents and Caregivers to Check Their Child’s Car Seat - more.

April 28, 2008 - Accidental injury
death rate of children 14 and under down by 45 percent since
1987, says Safe Kids USA 20th anniversary report. - more.

April 28, 2008 - Safe Kids Cobb
County brings lifesaving training to local Cub Scouts. - more.

Safe Kids Cobb speaks to Head Start
Pre-K students about pedestrian Safety.

Life jacket loaner station at Cauble Park.

Life jacket loaner station at Dallas
Landing Park.