Five tips to keep kids free from injuries and illness

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (April 24, 2014)  The arrival of warmer spring weather means kids will be out on their bikes, families will be taking more road trips and allergies will bring on coughs and sneezes.

That makes spring a good time to address five tips for avoiding kids injuries and illnesses, which are the focus of a safety campaign by Norton Children’s Hospital with support from Kohls department stores.

The Kohls Cares High Five Prevention Program highlights these ways kids can stay out of the hospital:

  • Buckle up in the car.
  • Wear a helmet on a bike, skateboard or scooter.
  • Be safe and be seen when walking.
  • Eat right and stay active.
  • Wash hands to prevent the spread of infection and illness.

Armed with a recent grant of $123,805 from Kohls, Norton Children’s Hospital and the Children’s Hospital Foundation have mounted a drive to spread the word about these five health and safety prescriptions.

Our mission is to care for kids, but wed also like for fewer children to need the hospital in the first place, said Stephen Wright, M.D., pediatrician and medical director of Norton Children’s Hospital. We know from experience that many hospital visits could be avoided if parents encouraged their kids to follow these five practices.

Statistics at Norton Children’s Hospital support the value of the Kohls High Five recommendations. Here is a snapshot of some 2013 patient care numbers and other findings related to the five issues:

  • 1,305 children were treated at Norton Children’s Hospital after being in a car crash.
    Seat belts can reduce the risk of serious injuries by 50 percent, making them the single most effective device for preventing vehicle-related death and injury, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Thats why parents need to make sure all kids in a vehicle are properly restrained, whether that means putting a newborn in a car seat or reminding a teen to buckle up before driving.
  • 297 children were treated for bicycle-related injuries.
    A properly fitted helmet can reduce traumatic brain injury by up to 88 percent, yet only 45 percent of children age 14 and younger regularly wear a bike helmet.
  • 106 children were treated for pedestrian-related injuries.
    Parents should teach kids at an early age to put down the cellphone or other device and then look left, right and left again when crossing the street. Also, children on foot should learn how to stay visible to drivers at all times.
  • Pediatric obesity has led to a dramatic increase in Type 2 diabetes among children and adolescents.
    Insulin resistance and the development of Type 2 diabetes is strongly linked to obesity. To stay healthy and fit, children and adults should follow the 5-2-1-0 guidelines every day: 5 fruits or vegetables, 2 hours or less of television time, 1 hour or more of physical activity and 0 sugar-sweetened beverages.
  • During the 2012-2013 flu season, more than 165 U.S. children died as a result of the flu.
    Keeping hands clean is one of the most important steps to take to avoid getting sick and spreading germs to others, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Washing your hands is easy to do and only takes a few minutes.

Wisconsin-based Kohls department stores support kids health and education programs nationwide with proceeds from the sale of plush toys, books, CDs and cookbooks located at checkout counters in all of the companys more than 1,100 stores. Since 2006, the Kohls Cares program has awarded $1,174,775 to the Children’s Hospital Foundation in Louisville in support of initiatives at Norton Children’s Hospital.

The companys most recent gift provided funds for health and safety activities such as car seat checkup clinics and the annual Children & Hospitals Week, which was held this year in early March. At this event, Norton Children’s Hospital used the Kohls grant to hold a special program for kindergarten students at Louisville Slugger Field, teaching them about the importance of the High Five. Activities included touring a mock hospital, including an emergency department, X-ray room and surgery area. Kids also learned ways to stay safe, including preventing burns and poisoning and not smoking. They also learned about the importance of eating the right foods, getting enough rest, brushing their teeth and exercising each day.

Kids are kids and, inevitably, some of them will fall off their bicycles or catch a cold from someone at school, said Amy Medley, Children’s Hospital Foundation Office of Child Advocacy of Norton Children’s Hospital. Adults  whether parents, doctors or nurses  cant protect them from everything, but by teaching children safe practices like wearing a bike helmet or covering their mouths when they cough, adults can lessen the extent of kids accidents and illnesses. Thats the goal of Kohls High Five and the medical care team at Norton Children’s Hospital.

For more information on the Kohls Cares High Five Prevention Program, visit NortonChildren’sHospital.com/high5.

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About Norton Children’s Hospital 
Licensed for 267 beds and located in the downtown Louisville medical center, Norton Children’s Hospital is the regions only full-service, free-standing pediatric hospital, and the only hospital in the Louisville area offering a Level I Pediatric Trauma Center. Norton Children’s Hospital provides a complete range of services for children, including pediatric intensive care and one of the nations largest Level IV intensive care units for newborns.
Located adjacent to Norton Brownsboro Hospital in northeastern Jefferson County, Norton Children’s Medical Center  Brownsboro is the only pediatric outpatient center of its type in Kentucky, offering 365-day-a-year pediatric emergency services; a full complement of pediatric diagnostic imaging services, cardiology services, a full-service laboratory and a wide range of pediatric outpatient surgery services. When it opens in 2014, the new Norton Womens and Norton Children’s Hospital in St. Matthews will offer specialized pediatric emergency services, surgery, inpatient care and an expanded neonatal intensive care unit.

As regional facilities that treat more than 155,000 children each year who seek care regardless of their familys ability to pay, Norton Children’s Hospital and its sister facilities rely on support from the community. The Children’s Hospital Foundation raises millions of dollars each year to support programs, equipment and facilities, research, advocacy and education at these facilities. The Children’s Hospital Foundation raised $14 million in 2013 to support the mission of Norton Children’s Hospital facilities. For more information, visit NortonChildren’sHospital.com.


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