We are now in the thick of the fall sports and recreation season. Last year, 46 million kids played some form of team sports. As we keep a keen eye on the games, we also know we need to keep an eye on keeping our kids safe.
September is Baby Safety Month, which just so happens to coincide with our anxious wait for the arrival of our first child…how fitting! Leading up to September has been a fun and strange combination of gearing up while also paring down.
Have you ever texted a friend while walking down a sidewalk and thought ‘what’s the worst that could happen?’ For this unsuspecting guy, it was almost running into a hungry-looking brown bear. Luckily, everyone turned out okay. But what if that bear had been a car going 30 miles per hour?
Our research report, “Teens and Distraction: An In-Depth Look at Teens’ Walking Behaviors,” is an observational study that tracked a remarkable 34,000 middle- and high-school students crossing the street in a school zone. A shocking 1 in 5 high school students and 1 in 8 middle school students were observed crossing the street while distracted by technology.
While working at Safe Kids, regardless of whether we have children or not, we develop a parents’ radar for ways kids are vulnerable to injury. I am no different. Earlier this summer, I visited my family in Santa Cruz, California, and spent a lot of time watching my then 8-year-old nephew, Logan, play baseball with his team, the Mets.
As the program manager for sports safety, where much of my work is focused on keeping kids healthy and in top shape for sports, I’m inspired by the young athletes I meet or hear about each day. Kids who are full of passion for the sports they love and a desire to work hard and play their best each time they’re out on the field.
When I’m not working at Safe Kids, I spend most of my time coaching a club field hockey team with girls ages 12-19. This is an elite club that was created for the best players from northern Virginia to come together, play in tournaments and hopefully get recruited to play in college. They are incredible athletes and have an inspiring passion for the game.
As a technical advisor at Safe Kids Worldwide, where I work closely with families to help keep kids safe in and around cars, I dread hearing my work cell phone when it dings in the middle of the night or on a weekend. Unfortunately, that “ding” is often an e-mail telling me that yet another child has died because of heatstroke.