Health and Safety Podcast Transcript: Aug. 11, 2010
Hello, and welcome to the Fairfax County Health and Safety Podcast for Aug. 11, 2010. I’m Jim Person, Fairfax County emergency information officer. Coming up, summer injuries, heat, Volunteer Fairfax, emergency exercise, back-to-school immunizations. Links to topics mentioned in this podcast can be found online at www.fairfaxcounty.gov.
According to health experts at Nationwide Children's Hospital, falls, bicycle crashes, burns, motorized vehicle accidents and near-drownings are the leading causes of hospitalization for American children during the summer. Among the tips offered by health experts:
- Children should always wear a helmet when riding a bicycle, use hand signals and walk the bicycle across busy streets and intersections. Parents should make sure the bike's seat and handlebars fit the child.
- Keep hot foods and beverages away from the edges of tables or countertops, and supervise older children when they're using fireworks or near a campfire.
- Many children are attracted to motorized vehicles such as cars, scooters, golf carts and ATVs. Parental supervision is the key to preventing injuries.
- Drownings and near-drownings often occur in backyard swimming pools or landscape ponds, but can also occur in just a few inches of water. Parents should always practice touch supervision, meaning they need to be close enough to reach out to a child at any time. Children should always wear an approved flotation device when in a pool and parents should be certified in CPR.
Heat is the number one weather-related killer in the United States. National Weather Service data shows that heat causes more fatalities per year than floods, lightning, tornadoes and hurricanes combined. Never leave your child unattended in a vehicle, even with the windows down; and make sure your child's safety seat and safety belt buckles aren't too hot before securing your child in a safety restraint system, especially when your car has been parked in the heat. More information is available at www.weather.gov.
Fairfax County residents are needed Saturday, Sept. 25, to act as mock emergency volunteers. Volunteer Fairfax, the Fairfax County Office of Emergency Management and the Fairfax County Health Department will be testing Volunteer Reception Center (VRC) plans, which assigns volunteers to the needs of emergency response and recovery specialists. By simply walking through the VRC, you will help improve the ability to direct volunteers in future emergencies. No prior training is needed and there are no physical limitations prohibiting participation. The event will take place throughout the morning and early afternoon, although your commitment will not last the length of the exercise. There also will be additional information and resources available to help you better prepare your family, business and property for an emergency. If you are interested in acting as a volunteer, e-mail Volunteer Fairfax at ERexercise@volunteerfairfax.org.
It’s almost time to head back to school. The Fairfax County Health Department reminds all parents to review their kids’ immunization records to ensure they are up-to-date before school begins. A certificate of immunization is required for children entering kindergarten, sixth grade, and new students transferring into Fairfax County Public Schools. This year, Virginia legislation has changed some school entrance requirements. Required school immunizations are available through your health provider or one of the five Health Department clinics. In addition to regular hours, the Health Department has extended clinic hours on Aug. 24, Aug. 31, Sept. 3 and Sept. 7, to accommodate busy schedules. To learn more about required school immunizations, clinic locations and hours, visit www.fairfaxcounty.gov/hd.
That’s it for this edition of the Fairfax County Health and Safety Podcast, produced by the Fairfax County, Virginia government. Thanks for listening. Additional information about health and safety topics and emergency preparedness may be found online at www.fairfaxcounty.gov. And remember, if you have a police, fire or medical emergency, call 9-1-1. For non-emergency needs, call 703-691-2131.