Thursday, August 25th, 2016

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Here's How New Law Affects Your Child in the Car


Suzanne Burt' s 9-year-old daughter sat in a car seat facing backward until she was 1. It was a best practice then, but times have changed and so has the law. Burt's son, Charlie, is 15 months old, and she plans to keep his car seat facing backwards until he's at least 2 years old, something that's now required by law. Law or no law, research shows that's the safest thing for kids, Burt said. It's not worth turning Charlie around sooner just so he doesn't have to bend his legs. "Even if you're the safest driver in the world, it just takes one person … to ram into you," said Burt, of Spring Garden Township.

On August 12, a new law took effect in Pennsylvania that requires children younger than 2 to be in rear-facing car seats until they max out the weight and height limits designated by the manufacturer. A few years ago, the American Academy of Pediatrics updated guidance on child car seats, recommending that children remain rear-facing until age 2 or until they hit the maximum limits of the seat. Pennsylvania is the fourth state to require it. The first year, violators will get a warning and after that, there's a $125 fine.


What You Need to Know About Pennsylvania’s New Car Seat Law
In June 2016, Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf signed a law designed to make our youngest kids safer in cars, which goes into effect on August 12. This information will help you take the necessary steps to ensure that you are in compliance with new regulations. Passing Act 43 was a bipartisan effort sponsored by Sen. Pat Browne (R-Lehigh) and Rep. Mike Schlossberg (D-Allentown). “We have no greater responsibility as public servants than protecting our most vulnerable, including especially young children,” said Governor Wolf when he signed the bill. Always a leader in child safety, Pennsylvania is the fourth state to pass this law, following California, New Jersey, and Oklahoma.

The new law requires children under the age of 2 to be buckled up in an approved rear-facing car seat until they outgrow the maximum height and weight limits of the car seat’s manufacturer. Previously, Pennsylvania law simply required children to be in a car seat under age 4 but did not require rear-facing at any age.



Be Safe During Holiday Celebrations

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission indicate that approximately 12,000 people are treated each year in emergency departments because of fireworks-related injuries. Of these, an estimated 20% are eye injuries.

Fireworks Safety Tips

  • Parents should never allow young children to handle or use fireworks
  • Leave fireworks to professionals
  • Children should be a safe distance – at least 50 yards/150 feet – from where the fireworks are being set-off
  • Always purchase fireworks from a reliable source
  • Use fireworks as directed on consumer product safety label; never alter products
  • Observe local laws and use good common sense
  • Have a designated individual to conduct your family show
  • A responsible adult should supervise all firework activities
  • Use fireworks outdoors in a clear area away from buildings and vehicles
  • Light one firework at a time and then quickly move away
  • Never carry fireworks in your pocket or shoot them into a metal or glass containers
  • Wear safety glasses whenever using fireworks
  • Always have water ready when using fireworks
  • Do not experiment with homemade fireworks
  • Never relight a “dud” firework; wait 20 minutes and then soak it in a bucket of water
  • Soak spent fireworks with water before placing them in an outdoor trash can

More information on fireworks safety.


Warm Weather Safety Tips
It’s that time of year again to get outside and enjoy the warm weather. As children make their way outside, remember to always have sunblock, any safety gear needed for activities and proper fencing around any open water. Children should be supervised at all times. Summer Safety Tips


Water Safety
Drowning is the second leading cause of unintentional death for children ages 1-4. Overall, approximately 750 children ages 14 and under die each year due to unintentional drowning; and on average, there are an estimated 5,016 injuries to children after near-drowning incidents each year. Water Safety Checklist


ACT to Keep Kids Safe from Heatstroke
A child dies from heatstroke (also known as hyperthermia) about once every 10 days from being left alone in a hot vehicle. In fact, heatstroke is the leading cause of non-crash vehicle fatality for kids 14 and younger. Children climb into unlocked cars to play, or are left alone in the car. Young children are particularly at risk as their bodies heat up three to five times faster than an adult’s. Because of this, and because cars heat up so quickly – 19 degrees in 10 minutes – tragedies can happen faster than you think. These tragedies are 100 percent preventable. Read More


The Danger of TV Tip-Overs
There are few things cuter than a baby learning to stand, an unsteady toddler trying to climb, or a fearless preschooler who still doesn’t quite understand balance. And while young children are learning to perfect their stride, we want to take extra steps to ensure their safety. Protecting kids from the potential risk of tip-overs by making sure furniture and TVs are secured is an important way to help keep them safe.

Between 2000 and 2010, on average, every three weeks a child dies from a TV tipping over. And nearly 13,000 more children are injured each year in the U.S. Top-heavy furniture, TVs and appliances can be unsteady, and if pulled or climbed on, they can tip over and seriously injure young children. Over the last ten years, injuries from TV tip-overs have risen by 31 percent. Young children are at greatest risk and seven out of ten children injured by TV tip-overs are 5 years old or younger. These tragedies are completely preventable with just a few simple precautions.

Much like childproofing with a toddler gate or electrical socket cover, TV mounts and furniture straps are important steps to keep your family safe. Remember, a curious, determined child can topple a TV. Children playing with friends or pets could knock a TV over, while other kids might be tempted to climb up to reach items placed on or near a TV, such as remote controls or candy.

Click here for top safety tips to help prevent tip-over hazards


Imagine a World Where Every Kid Is a Safe Kid


Every 8 Minutes a Child Goes to an Emergency Room for Medicine Poisoning
Safe Kids Pennsylvania issues alert: 3 out of 4 ER visits for medicine poisoning are due to kids getting into parents’ or grandparents’ medicine

Safe Kids Pennsylvania offers these tips for families:

  • Keep all medicine up and away when young children are around, even medicine you take every day.
  • Be alert to potential hazards of medicine stored in other locations, like pills in purses, vitamins on counters, and medicine on nightstands.
  • Even if you are tempted to keep it handy in between doses, put medicine out of reach after every use.
  • Choose child-resistant caps for medicine bottles, if you’re able to. If pill boxes or non-child resistant caps are the only option, it’s even more important to store these containers up high and out of sight when caring for kids.
  • Take the time to read and follow the label before taking or giving medicine.
  • Program the nationwide Poison Help Number (800) 222-1222 into your phones.

Media appearance on Good Day PA!
Keeping Families Safe Around Medicine (report)
Safety tips (complete list)


Fire Safety
Every day, at least one child dies from a home fire and every hour approximately 14 children are injured from fires or burns. Ninety percent of all fire-related deaths are due to home fires, which spread rapidly and can leave families as little as two minutes to escape once an alarm sounds. Fires are not just a problem in the United States. In 2008, nearly 61,400 children around the world died due to a fire or burn. More Information


Protect Kids from Swallowing Coin Lithium Button Batteries
Visit for more information.