Thursday, August 03, 2006

ER-proof your kid

...Is HA too late? Have you already dragged your little darling to the ER this summer?

…Writing in the Detroit Free Press, Cassandra Spratling recommends breaking out the helmets for kids, if you haven’t made them a requirement already.

…Helmets come in three types: bicycle, extreme, and motorcycle.

…Older kids and adults who bike, in-line skate, or do skating or bike stunts should wear an extreme helmet, such as a Tony Hawk helmet, named after the famed skater. Regular bike helmets are not strong enough if you do bike stunts.

…Helmets should fit well and not be pushed back on the head. This exposes the frontal lobes to oncoming sidewalks and walls. The top of the head should touch the top of the helmet inside. When strapped, there should be no more than two adult fingers worth of slack.

…Skaters need to add kneepads and wristguards.

…Skate only in designed places, not parking lots (or hopping on banisters).

…Children also should never swim alone.

…They should not use floaties or waterwings (toys) to keep them up.

…Don’t swim in lakes or holes that are not posted as safe. Kids could be jumping into rebar or rusty cars.

…On a boat, kids need a properly designed and fitted life preserver, no matter how well they swim in a controlled pool situation.

…Kids unexpectedly tossed off a boat into a natural body of water can be so shocked they swim like rocks.

…HA’s dad used to make her wear a life preserver and also put a rope under the armpits of the little kids—when they went off the boat, he yanked them up like yoyos.

…This is fine until the rope slips off.

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