Prevention and Safety
From Steve Hahn, Prevention and Safety Chairman:
October is a month that is full of prevention initiatives including Red Ribbon Week and Bullying Prevention. The notion of prevention carries with it ideas of safety and preservation for our children and families. At the core of curriculum and programming implementation, teaching children how to make positive choices regarding alcohol, tobacco, and other drugs (ATOD) as well as creating bully free environments at school and away from school remains top priority. THIS IS NO SMALL TASK! This takes a great amount of coordination with the local PTA, districts, schools, and community partners. However, the return on our prevention investment is the well-being and safety of our children, a gift that benefits the present and the future.
Please click on the prevention resource links provided to help move your prevention efforts forward during the month of October:
http://www.odmhsas.org/resourcecenter/(S(a0c03055era101u3smcdmorg))/ResourceCenter/Publications/Current/235.pdf (Preventing Drug Use Among Children and Adolescents: A Research-Based Guide for Parents, Educators and Community Leaders)
http://www.ok.gov/okswat/documents/NFormerz%20Curricula.pdf (Students Working Against Tobacco Curriculum, Grades 9-12)
http://ok.gov/sde/sites/ok.gov.sde/files/SchoolBullyingPrevAct.pdf (OK Bullying Prevention Act)
http://ok.gov/sde/sites/ok.gov.sde/files/OKSchoolSecurityAct.pdf (OK School Security Act)
http://pathwayscourses.samhsa.gov/bully/bully_intro_pg1.htm(Adult online training model, free)
In addition to your prevention efforts during the month of October, please extend your activities throughout the academic calendar year. Our efforts contribute to a positive social and emotional climate at school which ultimately leads to safer schools and increases in academic achievement.
We would love to hear about what your PTA is up to! Please contact me with your prevention stories during the month of October! I would love to flood our Facebook page with success stories!
Check out National PTA and their great information on safety.
Prevention Fact Sheet
Since 1999, an average of 100 children ages 14 and under have died from fall-related injuries annually.
In 2008, 91 children ages 14 and under died from unintentional falls.
- Each year since 2001, an average of more than 2.3 million nonfatal fall-related injuries among children were reported.
- In 2009, almost 2,350,000 children sustained nonfatal fall-related injuries.
- Falls are the leading cause of unintentional injury for all children ages 14 and under.
- In 2009, more than 45 percent of nonfatal fall-related injuries and 56 percent of fall-related deaths were among children ages 4 and under.
- Window falls account for approximately 8 deaths and 3,300 injuries among children ages 5 and under annually
Where, When and How
- The risk of a child being injured as a result of a fall at home is twice the risk as at child-care.
- Young children are at risk from falls associated with furniture, stairs and baby walkers.
- Windows and playground equipment are major risk factors for toddlers and older children.
- Window falls occur more frequently in large urban areas and low-income neighborhoods.
- Children living in multi-unit dwelling buildings have the highest number of window fall incidents.
- A recent study showed that more window falls occur in the spring and summer than other seasons. Falls most frequently occur between noon and early evening, the most common playtime for children.
- Each year from 2004 to 2008, approximately 3,000 children under 15 months of age sustained baby walker-associated injuries.
- Males are more than twice as likely as females to die from fall-related injuries.
- Window fall victims are more likely to be male children, under 5 years of age and playing unsupervised at the time of the fall.
- Low-income children are more likely to be injured from falls due to unsafe environments, including aging or deteriorating housing.
- The risk of falls from buildings among minority children under 5 years of age is approximately twice that of white children.
- Window screens are not enough. Protect children from falling out by installing window guards on upper floors, making sure they are designed to open quickly from the inside in case of fire.
- In New York City and Boston, education and window guard distribution programs resulted in a 96 percent reduction in the incidence of window falls over 10 years.
- Today, 98 percent of baby walkers sold in the U.S. comply with Consumer Product Safety Commission standards. Since the introduction of the standards in 1997, there has been a 60 percent reduction in the baby walker-associated injury rate and a $173 reduction in injury costs per baby walker.
- The use of safety gates at the tops and bottoms of stairs reduces a young child's chances of falling. The cost of a safety gate is about $13 to $40.
- Protective surfacing under and around playground equipment can reduce the severity of fall-related injuries.
- Almost 50 percent of the total lifetime cost of unintentional injury among children ages 14 and under treated and released from the emergency department is due to falls.
Our Kids and their Safety
For a website in Oklahoma with great information on safety topics:
- Avoiding Fights
- Bad Weather
- Bus Stop Safety
- Clothes on Fire
- Drugs and Alcohol
- Drugs and Needles
- Electrical Safety
- Friends Using Drugs
- Home on Fire
- Home Phone Safety
- Internet Safety
- Knives and Guns
- Meeting the Bus
- Park Safety
- Preventing Fires
- Someone Stealing
- Stranger Danger
- Stranger Safety
- Water Safety
Checklist to Help Prevent Violence in Schools
10 Things You Can Do to Prevent Violence in Your School Community
1. Talk to Your Children
Keeping the lines of communication open with your children and teens is an important step to keeping involved in their schoolwork, friends, and activities. Ask open-ended questions and use phrases such as "tell me more" and "what do you think?" Phrases like these show your children that you are listening and that you want to hear more about their opinions, ideas, and how they view the world. Start important discussions with your children—about violence, smoking, drugs, sex, drinking, and death—even if the topics are difficult or embarrassing. Don't wait for your children or teens to come to you.
2. Set Clear Rules and Limits for Your Children
Children need clearly defined rules and limits set for them so that they know what is expected of them and the consequences for not complying. When setting family rules and limits, be sure children understand the purpose behind the rules and be consistent in enforcing them.
Discipline is more effective if children have been involved in establishing the rules and, oftentimes, in deciding the consequences. Remember to be fair and flexible—as your children grow older, they become ready for expanded rights and changes in rules and limits. Show your children through your actions how to adhere to rules and regulations, be responsible, have empathy toward others, control anger, and manage stress.
3. Know the Warning Signs
knowing what's normal behavior for your son or daughter can help you recognize even small changes in behavior and give you an early warning that something is troubling your child. Sudden changes—from subtle to dramatic—should alert parents to potential problems. These could include withdrawal from friends, decline in grades, abruptly quitting sports or clubs the child had previously enjoyed, sleep disruptions, eating problems, evasiveness, lying, and chronic physical complaints (stomach-ache or headaches).
4. Don't Be Afraid to Parent; Know When to Intervene
Parents need to step in and intervene when children exhibit behavior or attitudes that could potentially harm them or others. And you don't have to deal with problems alone—the most effective interventions have parent, school, and health professionals working together to provide on-going monitoring and support.
5. Stay Involved in Your Child's School
Show your children you believe education is important and that you want your children to do their best in school by being involved in their education. Get to know your child's teachers and help them get to know you and your child. Communicate with your child's teachers throughout the school year, not just when problems arise. Stay informed of school events, class projects, and homework assignments. Attend all parent orientation activities and parent-teacher conferences. Volunteer to assist with school functions and join your local PTA. Help your children seek a balance between schoolwork and outside activities. Parents also need to support school rules and goals.
6. Join Your PTA or a Violence Prevention Coalition
According to the National Crime Prevention Council, the crime rate can decrease by as much as 30 percent when a violence prevention initiative is a community-wide effort. All parents, students, school staff, and members of the community need to be a part of creating safe school environments for our children. Many PTAs and other school-based groups are working to identify the problems and causes of school violence and possible solutions for violence prevention.
7. Help to Organize a Community Violence Prevention Forum
Parents, school officials, and community members working together can be the most effective way to prevent violence in our schools.
8. Help Develop a School Violence Prevention and Response Plan
School communities that have violence prevention plans and crisis management teams in place are more prepared to identify and avert potential problems and to know what to do when a crisis happens. The most effective violence prevention and response plans are developed in cooperation with school and health officials, parents, and community members. These plans include descriptions of school safety policies, early warning signs, intervention strategies, emergency response plans, and post-crisis procedures.
9. Know How to Deal With the Media in a Crisis
Good public relations and media relations start with understanding how the media works and what they expect from organization's that issue press releases, hold press conferences, and distribute media kits.
10. Work to Influence Lawmakers
Writing an editorial for the local newspaper, holding a petition drive, speaking before a school board meeting, or sending a letter to your legislator can be effective ways to voice your opinion and gain support from decision makers for violence prevention programs in your community. Working with other concerned parents, teachers, and community members, you can influence local, state and even federal decisions that affect the education, safety, and well-being of our children.
The Oklahoma Poison Control Center, a program of the University Of Oklahoma College Of Pharmacy at the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center, is one of 57 accredited regional poison control centers in the United States. A toll free number (1-800-222-1222) can be dialed from anywhere in the state and the caller will immediately be connected with a trained specialist who is ready to assist with a poisoning emergency or medication information question. These services are provided at no cost to the caller. The center is staffed 24 hours a day, 7 days a week by specially trained and certified pharmacists, nurses, as well as a physician assistant.
Each year more than 2 million poisonings are reported nationwide; more than 90 percent of these poisonings occur in the home. In 2011, the Oklahoma Center received nearly 49,000 calls, with over 50 percent of the calls related to children less than five years of age. Since accidents, medication errors, and inquisitive toddlers are a fact of life, the Center maintains constant outreach and education efforts to help minimize the number of childhood, adult, and occupational poisonings, as well as provide emergency treatment advice. Poison prevention education is a key component of the Center’s mission.
The Oklahoma Poison Control Center serves as a valuable resource for Oklahomans, providing immediate, free and expert treatment advice when an actual or suspected exposure to poisonous, hazardous or toxic substances occurs. The (800) 222-1222 help line is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year.
The Poison Control Center also communicates poison prevention messages, tips and important information through the center’s website (www.oklahomapoison.org) and through the Facebook page: Oklahoma Poison Control Center.
For More Information about Prevention and safety
OKPTA Prevention and Safety Chair