How tall is your child? We know exactly what babies weigh and how long they are, but most parents I know couldn't tell you the exact height of their child as they grow older. There is one height, however, that every parent of young children needs to know: 4'9" (57 inches).
Our new study helps answer some of the questions parents have about when to switch from a booster seat to just a seat belt. We surveyed 1,000 parents of children ages 4 to 10 and found that an alarming number of parents are allowing kids to use a seat belt alone before they are big enough. In fact, 7 in 10 parents do not know that a child should be at least 57 inches (4’9”) to ride in a car without a booster seat.
I’m a state trooper, a certified child passenger safety technician and a father of four kids under the age of 11, so I understand the importance of safety seats. I’ll never forget the day in March 2014, when I saw for myself just how important they are. I was volunteering at a car seat inspection at the Fabius-Park Township fire department, just outside of Three Rivers, Mich. The forecast that day was for rain and snow. Ice had already started covering the roads.
My son, Murphy, is passionate about playing football. Along with that passion comes bumps, bruises, and a fair share of helmet clashing. The physical intensity and risk of injury rises each year as he ages, and his practice schedule is a grueling 6-8 hour-per-week regimen. Murphy managed to play relatively injury free until well into his third year in 2012.
This is National Childhood Injury Prevention Week, which means it’s a great time to brush up on a few of the easiest things parents can do to keep their kids safe. When it comes to safety for your children, you already know the basics: buckle up, wear a helmet, learn to swim, look both ways. Here are some lesser-known – but just as important – tips to help keep your family safe.
Change every diaper. That’s my first piece of advice for one of my best friends, Muppus, who just had a healthy baby boy. (We call him Muppus because that was the name of his band in high school.) I’ve benefited from the advice of Muppus on so many extremely important things – like how to build the perfect fort — so I thought sharing all the things I learned as a parent of two boys might be a nice way to pay him back.
We were delighted recently when our partners at Safe Kids China asked us to visit and conduct a child passenger safety certification course in Shanghai. Our goal was to teach and certify health and safety professionals in Shanghai about the benefits of using child safety restraints in the car.
Only an estimated 2-3 percent of the population in China have or use car seats. But things are starting to change. A newly passed law will go into effect soon in Shanghai that will require children under 4 to ride in car seats. This is huge step in the right direction.
In May 2013, my eleven year-old son Giovanni was pitching for his little league baseball team in Staten Island, New York. It was the bottom of the fifth inning. He had already struck out two batters and the third batter, about a foot taller than my son, was on deck. Giovanni’s first pitch went right down the middle of the plate. The batter swung and hit, and the ball hit my son in the face.
For many kids, back to school means back to sports. Youth sports are, and should always be, a valuable experience, filled with challenges, competition and fun. But too many kids are stuck on the sidelines because of an injury that is preventable. In 2013, 1.24 million kids sustained a sports injury severe enough to go to the emergency room.
We conducted a survey of parents, coaches and young athletes to explore how the current culture of sports may be leading to unnecessary injuries, and how that culture needs to change.