August is Heatstroke Awareness Month – 5 Tips You Must Know

It’s Heatstroke Awareness Month and CHOC would like to remind everyone never to leave a child alone in a car. Sadly, there have been 11 vehicular heatstroke deaths in the United States, this year alone.

Heatstroke occurs when the body isn’t able to cool itself quickly enough and the body temperature rises to dangerous levels. Symptoms can quickly progress to seizures, organ failure and even death. Young children are particularly at risk, as their bodies heat up three to five times faster than an adult’s. More importantly, these injuries are completely preventable.

Keep your little ones safe with these tips:

  1. Never leave your child alone in a car, not even for a minute. No exceptions.
  2. Teach kids not to play in cars. Keep your car locked when you’re not in it so kids don’t get in on their own. Remind kids that trunks are for transporting cargo and are not safe places to play.
  3. Create reminders by putting something in the backseat of your car next to your child, such as a briefcase, purse or cell phone that is needed at your final destination.
  4. Go a step further – create extra reminders. Develop a plan with your daycare so that if your child is late, you’ll be called within a few minutes. Be especially careful if you change your routine for dropping off children at daycare.
  5. Take action. If you notice a child alone in a car, call 911. If your child is missing, get help and check swimming pools, vehicles and trunks. If your child is locked in a car, get him out as quickly as possible and call 911 immediately.

Download this important tip sheet.

Check out this video for more information.

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Be Safe this Fourth of July with these Must-Know Tips

Every year, fireworks cause thousands of eye injuries and burns. CHOC and the Orange County Fire Authority ask you to consider taking your family to a professional fireworks show as a safer alternative.

CHOC summer safety

If consumer fireworks are part of your family’s festivities, however, take a minute to check out these important tips:

• Supervise children at all times. Fireworks should be handled by adults only.

• Buy only state fire marshal-approved (“Safe and Sane”) fireworks, from a licensed firework stand. Police in Orange County will be vigorously enforcing laws against illegal fireworks. You can be fined up to $1,000.

• Only these OC cities allow consumer fireworks: Anaheim, Buena Park, Costa Mesa, Fullerton, Garden Grove, Huntington Beach, Santa Ana, Stanton, Villa Park and Westminster

• Back up to a safe distance immediately after lighting fireworks. Spectators should also keep a safe distance.

• Never re-light or pick up fireworks that have not ignited fully.

• Do not alter fireworks or combine them.

• Point fireworks away from people, homes and cars, and keep away from leaves, dry grass and flammable materials.

Find a public fireworks display near you.

Check out this video from the Orange County Fire Authority and the Santa Ana Police Department.

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Your Four-Inch Window of Prevention

Window screens may be effective for keeping bugs out of your home, but they’re not strong enough to keep your child inside. Since opening in January 2015, the CHOC Trauma Center has treated a surprising number of children injured from window falls. In recognition of National Trauma Awareness Month, learn how to prevent the leading cause of non-fatal childhood injuries in the United States.

CHOC Children's Trauma Center

Every year, unintentional window falls send thousands of children ages 6 and younger to emergency departments nationwide. A young child can squeeze through an opening larger than 4 inches, and any window higher than 6 feet from the ground poses a risk for serious, possibly fatal injury.

Since opening in January 2015, the CHOC Trauma Center has also seen a significant percentage of fall-related injuries. About 40 percent of all trauma cases have been related to unintentional falls. Of those, 35 percent were window falls.

“Boys younger than age 5 are at the biggest risk,” said CHOC Community Health Educator Amy Frias, who is also the Orange County coordinator for Safe Kids Worldwide. “They’re playful, spontaneous, energetic and imaginative.”

Window screens will not support a small child’s weight, she added. Young children are naturally top heavy.

Protect Your Child From Window Falls

Remember to supervise your child around windows at home, and whenever visiting family and friends. Extra precautions may buy you precious extra seconds:

  • Lock it down— Install a removable window lock or guard to limit the opening to no more than 4 inches. Be sure it is one that may be removed quickly in the event of an emergency, such as a fire.
  • Outsmart your little “climber.” Keep beds, bookcases, play chests and other furniture away from windows.

If your child falls out of the window, call 911 and avoid moving your child. A traumatic injury to the head, neck or spine may not be immediately obvious.

The Julia and George Argyros Emergency Department at CHOC is home to Orange County’s first pediatric-focused trauma center. Our specially trained physicians, surgeons, nurses and respiratory therapists are available around the clock to provide immediate intervention and care for traumatic injuries.

Download this tip sheet to learn more about childhood injury prevention, including unintentional falls.

Learn more about pediatric emergency and trauma services at CHOC.

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Home Safety Tips Every Parent and Caregiver Must Know

Children under the age of 5 are at the greatest risk of hurting themselves in the home because that is where children spend most of their time learning and growing. Forty percent of unintentional injuries occur in and around the home. The good news is that most of these injuries can be prevented.

Just in time for National Trauma Awareness Month in May, please be sure to check out the following injury prevention tips:

home safety


  • Put a lock on the medicine cabinet to help prevent a poisoning.
  • Put a toilet lock on toilet lid to help prevent drowning.
  • Turn down hot water heater to 120 degrees Fahrenheit or lower to help prevent scalds and burns.

Child’s Room

  • Move furniture away from windows to help prevent falls.
  • Wind up or cut blind cords to help prevent strangulation.
  • Always use straps on changing table to help prevent falls.
  • Always place baby on his/her back to sleep.
  • Remove soft bedding and stuffed animals from cribs to help prevent suffocation.

Family Room

  • Use window stops or locks so windows do not open more than 4 inches to help prevent falls.
  • Put corner protectors on tables with sharp corners to help prevent injuries from falls.
  • Keep toys and small objects away from children to help prevent choking.
  • Install outlet protectors in all outlets to help prevent electrocution.


  • Always strap your child in a high chair to help prevent falls.
  • Cut all round-shaped foods into small pieces to help prevent choking (hot dogs, carrots, grapes).
  • Install stair gate to help prevent falls.
  • Put sharp objects in a locked drawer to help prevent cuts.
  • Keep all buckets stored upside down to help prevent drowning.
  • Keep emergency phone numbers including Poison Control by the phone. Poison Control 1-800-222-1222.

For more safety tips around the home, visit our community education page.

Learn more about pediatric emergency and trauma services at CHOC.


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