Parents are the key to prevent teen driving crashes

January 25, 2011 by  
Filed under ADDICTION, HEALTHCARE

I have twin seven-year old boys and though I look forward to the day when they leave the nest, I also dread the coming of puberty and the potential problems that come with it. Alcohol, drugs and smoking are just a few of the possible pitfalls that await them. As parents, we do our best to steer our kids clear of these dangers. Yet, risky and dangerous behaviours among teens are as common as ever.

But the situation is not as hopeless as it may seem. Studies that shown that teenagers generally would listen to what their parents have to say. Thus, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is calling to all parents to talk to their adolescents about driving safety, with the firm belief that parents “play a key role in preventing teen crashes, injuries and deaths.”

Here some statistics from the CDC about teen crashes:

Here is a recommendation from Dr. Arlene Greenspan of the CDC:

Talk with your teen about the dangers of driving, and keep the conversation going over time. In addition, supervise your teen’s driving as often as possible.”

She suggests at least 30 to 50 hours of supervised practice driving over a minimum of six months and this should include different roads and road conditions and times of the day.

In addition, CDC recently launched the campaign “Parents Are the Key” with the following recommendations to help reduce the risk for teenage crashes:

I have one more tip to add: set a good example.

From the backseat, your kids are observing how you drive. By setting a good example and explaining to them the safety issues as they happen, I believe we can convey to our kids early on the principles of early driving. Here’s some of the conversation I have with my kids while driving:

“I can only drive 50 kph here. See that sign over there?”

“I have to drive slowly and carefully today. It’s foggy/snowy/raining and I can’t see as clearly.”

“See what that guy did? He turned without signaling. That’s very dangerous.”

And finally, do not drive while intoxicated! Show your kids the right and safe way.
credit-n.ru/zaymyi-next.html

Monday mornings and accidents

October 18, 2010 by  
Filed under HEALTHCARE

Monday. It is the first day of the week. For many people, it is the start of another week of work or school. What a drag. In contrast to Friday (TGIF), Monday is not exactly the most favorite of week days.

Even statistics shows some figures peculiar to Monday.

Accidents at home and at work seem to peak on Monday mornings. Studies by Swiss researchers showed that accidents in the work place are most frequent on Monday morning. British statistics also show high rates of domestic accidents on Monday mornings, based on insurance claims data.

So what makes Monday mornings such a dangerous period of time? Here is the main reason: Change of routine.

Routine change. People have a different routine on the weekends. Late nights and sleep ins. No work and lots of play. Weekend mode, so to speak. Monday marks the start of going back to the old routine. However, it takes some time for the human body to switch back to working mode. Research compared the change that the body experiences on Monday morning as a mild jetlag.

Time change. Switching from summer to winter time (or daylight savings to standard time) and vice versa occurs on a Sunday. This is a major adjustment to the human body with effects on sleep routine, appetite and heart health. Research has shown that it takes several days till the body xxx. Monday mornings after time change are especially difficult for everybody, equivalent to a major jetlag.

Weekend travels and holidays. People travel on weekends, be it for a short break or a long Thanksgiving or Christmas weekend. The happenings on those weekends can have a major effect on your physical and mental state on the Monday after.

Examples of common accidents on Monday mornings (source: UK’s National Accident Helpline):

  • fires started with hair straighteners
  • letting baths overflow
  • spilling drinks onto laptops

According to UK’s National Accident Helpline:

Claims data on accidents in the home over the last three years has revealed that a third more domestic accidents happen on Monday mornings compared to any other day of the week.

Accidents are more prevalent on Mondays because more people are recovering from a weekend of staying up later and often of drinking much more heavily than they would do during the week, according to statistics released by Halifax.

Psychologist Glenn Wilson adds:

“Mondays are marked by low performance and inattentiveness as the body and brain struggle to recover.”

So now you know what is wrong with Mondays. Now you have to ways to make it better. Mine is to start the week with an early Monday morning run.

Popular quotes about Monday:

“It’s another manic Monday.” – popular song

Sometimes it pays to stay in bed in Monday, rather than spending the rest of the week debugging Monday‘s code

Dan Salomon quotes

On Monday mornings I am dedicated to the proposition that all men are created jerks.
 H. Allen Smith quotes (American Writer, 19061976)

“Monday is an awful way to spend 1/7 of your life.”
Steven Wright

Other versions: Monday is lame way to spend 1/7 of your life

Beware of the New Year Hazards

December 31, 2009 by  
Filed under Featured, HEALTHCARE

Sorry, I don’t want to be such a spoilsports and dampen your holiday spirit. But studies have shown that a lot of accidents happens at certain time of the year, especially around the 4th of July in the US and during the holiday season. Here are the reasons why

Alcohol

Drinking alcohol is all part of the New Year’s celebrations. And we all know that drinking and driving do not mix. According to Dr. Thomas J. Esposito, a trauma surgeon at Loyola University Health System in Maywood, Ill., as interviewed by the New York Times:

“Any degree of alcohol increases the chances your judgment or coordination can be impaired, whether on New Year’s Eve or any other day. Alcohol is associated with 50 percent of the injuries we see in the emergency rooms.”

However, it is not only the drivers who should pay attention to their blood alcohol levels. The NYT report continues to point out that pedestrians should take care as well. In fact, a study have shown that

“January 1 (New Year’s Day) has more pedestrian crash deaths on average, plus it has the fifth largest number of deaths per day overall, also due to alcohol impairment.”

The NYT report gives the following safety advice to inebriated pedestrians on New Year’s Day:

  • Stay and drink in one place. Avoid moving from one place to another.
  • Call a cab or get a ride with a “sober” driver.
  • Walk with a “sober” buddy.
  • Walk in a large group.
  • Wear lightly colored clothes to make you visible to drivers. Reflectors are especially useful.

Weather

If you are celebrating in the northern hemisphere, you know how the weather is at this time of the year. Even a sober driver can have problems with icy streets and snowstorms. For pedestrians, icy streets are fall hazards. Combined with alcohol, it can be fatal.

Now, if you are celebrating in the tropics or in the southern hemisphere, you have to deal with other climate hazards. In Australia, barbecue parties are very popular during the holidays but the risk of bush fires is rather high at this time of the year.

In addition, alcohol and heat can be a fatal combination that lead to drowning, heatstroke, as well medical conditions such as cardiovascular events.

Food

We eat more than we are supposed to at this time of the year. It is only expected that some adverse effects can come with it.

We’ve tackled this topic many times on this site so I don’t want to say much more. Too much fat, too much calories, and too much sugar can wreak havoc with our body. However, aside from these usual culprits, foodborne outbreaks caused by such nasty bugs like Salmonella and Campylobacter have been reported during celebrations with severe and sometimes fatal consequences.

In addition, a high incidence of food allergies also needs to be reckoned with at this time of the year.

Fireworks

In many countries, fireworks are part of the New Year’s celebrations. However, fireworks can be very dangerous if not handled correctly. Injuries due to fireworks are widely reported the world over, with the highest in the age group 5 to 14 years of age in India. Injuries were serious, even fatal. In the US,  a study released in 2006 reported the following:

“An estimated 85800 pediatric fireworks-related injuries were treated in US emergency departments during the 14-year study period. Injured children had a mean age of 10.8 years, and 77.9% were male. Fireworks users accounted for 49.5% of the injuries, whereas 22.2% of the injuries were to bystanders; however, user status could not be determined in 28.3% of cases. The overall fireworks-related injury rate decreased significantly during the study period, but subgroup analysis did not indicate consistent declines among all ages and types of fireworks. Injuries were most commonly caused by firecrackers (29.6%), sparklers/novelty devices (20.5%), and aerial devices (17.6%). The most commonly injured body sites were the eyeball (20.8%), face (20.0%), and hands (19.8%), and the most common injury type was burns (60.3%). Approximately 91.6% of all children with fireworks-related injuries were treated and released from hospital emergency departments, 5.3% were admitted, and 2.3% were transferred to another institution. Bystanders accounted for 13.3% of admitted cases and 20.6% of transferred cases.”

Despite all these warnings, I wish you all a Happy New Year and as the Germans say ” a safe and smooth slide” into the New Year.

Photo credit: stiock.xchng

Related Posts with Thumbnails

NOTE: The contents in this blog are for informational purposes only, and should not be construed as medical advice, diagnosis, treatment or a substitute for professional care. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health professional before making changes to any existing treatment or program. Some of the information presented in this blog may already be out of date.