Heads-Up on Teens and Pedestrian Safety

By the time your child reaches his teen years, you’d think you no longer have to worry about him safely crossing the street. Think again.

The teen pedestrian death rate is twice that of younger children and accounts for half of all vehicle-related pedestrian deaths according to Safe Kids Worldwide.

pedestrian safety tips

They have years of maturity and physical development over the younger kids, so why are twice as many teens dying from vehicle-related pedestrian injuries? About half of those injuries may be attributed to “distracted” walking.

According to a 2014 Safe Kids Worldwide study of 1,040 teens, half reported crossing streets while distracted by mobile devices. Of the teens who had actually been hit or nearly hit by a vehicle:

• 47 percent were listening to music
• 20 percent were talking on the phone
• 18 were texting

“Texting while walking is not a good idea, but headphones are especially distracting,” said CHOC Children’s Community Educator Amy Frias, who is also the Safe Kids, Orange County coordinator. “Headphones put kids into their own zone when they should be more aware of their immediate surroundings.”

Additionally, more teens who had been hit or nearly hit reported crossing streets in risky ways. They were more likely to attempt crossing from the middle of the street or from between parked cars, instead of at an intersection or using a crosswalk.

Safe Crossing at Every Age

Unintentional pedestrian injuries are the fifth-leading cause of death for children ages 5 to 19 in this country. Since opening in January 2015, the CHOC Children’s Trauma Center has treated pedestrian injuries in eight children ages 3 to 12 years. The most common times of day these injuries occurred: before school and in the early evening.

Whether your child is 6 or 16, these important safety tips could be lifesaving:

Put down all the devices — Insist your child pay full attention whenever walking on sidewalks or roads.
Cross only at intersections and crosswalks — Make eye contact with the driver before stepping into the street.
Be as visible as possible at night — Light-colored clothing helps make it easier for drivers to see your child.
Instruct teen drivers to check behind their cars before backing up — Be extra careful and take a moment to make sure a small child is not playing or walking behind your vehicle.
Set a good example — Children under age 10 should cross the street with an adult. When walking with your child, explain how you always follow traffic safety rules, too.

The Julia and George Argyros Emergency Department at CHOC Children’s is home to Orange County’s first pediatric-focused trauma center. Serving children ages 14 and younger, 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 pedestrian safety tip sheet.

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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 Children’s 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 Children’s 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 Children’s 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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Emergency Medicine: Then and Now

EDMy first stop after falling out of that tree 50 years ago was the emergency department. So, it’s been especially fun watching how emergency medicine has changed since 1964 – and, boy, has it.

CHOC Children’s has Orange County’s only emergency department that’s dedicated exclusively to the care of kids. The Julia and George Argyros Emergency Department at CHOC Children’s Hospital opened a year ago this month, and it’s much different from where I first received care all those years ago.

CHOC’s ED strives to be as ouchless as possible. Child Life specialists are on hand to help distract patients from pain and discomfort. They use gadgets like iPads, games, bubbles and more to make the trip easier.

Also, ED staff have techniques to help minimize pain from injections, blood draws and stitches. For example, they might use an ultrasound machine to find a patient’s vein before drawing blood. Numbing medication like lidocaine is also used o minimize pain before injections.

And even without pain, kids want their moms and dads nearby. CHOC understands this, and has ensured that its ED exam rooms are larger to accommodate multiple family members and strollers.

_____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

The Julia and George Argyros Emergency Department at CHOC Children’s Hospital is exclusively dedicated to the treatment of pediatric patients. The 22,000-square-foot, full-service emergency department is designed to meet the unique needs of children. Doctors, board-certified in emergency medicine, and specially trained nurses provide the very best patient- and family-centered care 24 hours, seven days a week.

 

 

CHOC’s New Emergency Department is Now Open – What to Expect During Your Visit

An Emergency Department trip can be nerve-wracking and daunting – for children and parents alike. To help calm your nerves, here’s a summary of what you’ll encounter at the Julia and George Argyros Emergency Department (ED) at CHOC Children’s Hospital:

Parking

Pull into the ED driveway off Pepper Street. Valet parking is available for ED visitors: Just leave your keys with an attendant. Complimentary valet parking is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Screening

Once you enter the ED lobby, a registered nurse at the screening desk will greet you and determine your reason for visiting. If there’s a wait, you will be called to the screening desk in the order of your arrival – unless your child’s condition requires immediate attention.

Registration

Next, an employee will obtain your registration information. This happens in two steps: When you arrive, the employee confirms your basic identification information. Before you leave, staff will ask for other information, such as your insurance carrier and primary doctor.

Triage

Your child will be called into a triage suite, where a nurse will ask questions, collect vital information such as temperature, pulse and weight, and perform a basic exam. During triage, the nurse assesses the child’s condition and determines the urgency of the situation and what type of care the child will need.

In most cases, children are seen by a triage nurse in the order that they arrived, but those with serious injuries or illnesses may go ahead of other patients. This is why you might notice some families being called first even if they arrived after you. If a treatment area or exam room is available upon your arrival, you will bypass the triage process entirely.

Lobby

If all treatment rooms are full following triage, you and your child will wait in the lobby. While there, please do not allow your child to eat or drink. Notify the screening nurse if the child’s condition changes or if she needs a scheduled medication. If you must leave the ED before treatment, notify an employee.

Treatment Area/Exam Room

Here is where your child will receive treatment. The ED has several types of treatment areas that are each set up to provide a specific type of care. You might notice another family called ahead of you from the lobby should a space related to that child’s needs become available.

Once inside, you will be given a hospital gown for your child. Please undress your child and place him or her in the gown as quickly as possible to avoid a delay in the exam. If you bypassed the triage process, your child will undergo a similar exam here before seeing an ED physician.

Your physician might order tests and perform treatments, which will all be carefully explained to you. The doctor will also review test results with you. The physician will also plan for follow-up care, and, if necessary, hospital admission.

Discharge

A patient is discharged once the physician gives approval for you and your family to leave. Be sure that you have a clear understanding of any instructions from your physician before you leave.
Your Emergency Department Packing List
The decision to take a sick or injured child to the ED can be abrupt, but if you have some time, consider bringing along a few items that could prove helpful during the visit:

• Diapers, formula and other baby supplies
• A list of any medicines your child takes
• Any referral paperwork, X-rays or lab results
• A blanket, stuffed animal, favorite toy or anything else that will comfort your child
• Personal necessities, such as a cellular phone charger, and change for the pay phone

Though documentation is not necessary, it’s important to know the following information when you visit the ED:

• If your child is current on his or her immunizations
• Your child’s primary physician
• Your child’s medical history

Here’s what not to bring to the ED:

• Food or drink is not allowed in the ED, and consuming anything before treatment can put a child at risk.
• If possible, try to make childcare arrangements for infant siblings during influenza season. Babies are at particular risk for contracting the flu.

Learn more about the Julia and George Argyros Emergency Department at CHOC Children’s.

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CHOC Children’s ED Strives to be ‘Ouchless’

Stitches, shots and sutures can be scary for Emergency Department patients of any age, which is why the Julia and George Argyros Emergency Department (ED) at CHOC Children’s Hospital strives to make visits as ouchless as possible.

Staff members take a holistic approach for pain management at CHOC: Not only do they focus on minimizing physical pain, but they also focus on alleviating mental discomfort. Staff members are versed in age-appropriate techniques, and also call on Child Life specialists to help or relieve fear and anxiety in patients. In line with CHOC’s mission to provide family-centered care, ED staffers also rely on the simple presence of a parent or guardian to help calm patients.

Distraction also plays a strong role in comforting patients. Here’s a short list of distraction methods or tools used in the ED:
• books
• iPad
• games
• movies
• stickers
• coloring books
• video games
• bubbles
• beads

ED staff members also have a variety of medical tools at their disposal to help ease pain and minimize discomfort during procedures. Here’s a short list:

Ultrasound-assisted blood draws

CHOC Children’s ED has a one-poke goal, meaning staff members work to ensure that a needle is injected just once during a procedure. If a patient’s veins are difficult to find, perhaps because they are dehydrated, staff may rely on an ultrasound machine to help identify the location of a vein. This increases the chances that one poke will be sufficient to achieve the procedure’s goal.

J-Tip Needle-Free Injection System

The J-Tip allows CHOC Children’s ED staff to administer numbing medication, such as lidocaine, transdermally and without needles. The device uses pressurized gas to propel medicine into the subcutaneous portion of the skin in less than a second. Once activated, the J-Tip emits a “pop” and “hiss” noise, similar to what’s heard when opening a soda can. The J-Tip is easy to use for staff and virtually painless for patients.

Toot Sweet

Efforts to minimize discomfort are made for even the smallest of patients at CHOC Children’s ED. Staff members offer babies pacifiers dipped in Toot Sweet, a 24-percent water and sucrose solution. Absorbed through the mucous membranes in the mouth, the solution has proven to calm and soothe infants. The solution can be administered just minutes before a procedure, or during as necessary.

LET

Patients receiving stitches at CHOC Children’s ED hardly feel a thing thanks to LET, a topical anesthesia mixture containing lidocaine, epinephrine and tetracaine. A staff member will apply the numbing gel to the affected area before administering stitches. The affected area will feel numb and weak, which usually wears off after 20 minutes or so.

LMX

CHOC ED patients who will undergo a lumbar puncture or who have ports that must be accessed will first be numbed with LMX, a topical liposomal lidocaine cream. It takes between 20 and 30 minutes to take effect, and wears off between 40 and 60 minutes after application.

The Julia and George Argyros Emergency Department at CHOC Children’s is located at 1201 W. La Veta Ave., Orange, CA 92868, in the Bill Holmes Tower. 

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  • Heads-Up on Teens and Pedestrian Safety
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  • When Should I Take My Child to the ED?
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  • Emergency Medicine: Then and Now
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