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Sutter Pediatrics hosts safety fair

Experts provide courtesy checks on bicycle helmets, life vests and car seats
By: Sena Christian, The Press Tribune
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Analyse Walters stood patiently as a bicycle helmet was properly secured on her head. The 5-year-old rides a scooter and her mom, Chanel, wanted to ensure that her child had the right protective gear. But this mom didn’t have to do it alone. The Sutter Medical Foundation hosted a children’s safety fair Tuesday in the back parking lot of Sutter Roseville Pediatrics on Douglas Boulevard. At least 100 people attended the free event, as experts from the Placer County Safe Kids Coalition provided courtesy checks on bicycle helmets, life vests and car seats. “I found out the proper way (to fit a helmet),” Chanel Walters said. She brought her three kids to Sutter Roseville Pediatrics for a doctor’s appointment, but then happened upon the safety fair. In addition to Analyse’s scooter riding, Walters said her 7-year-old son Valentino skateboards and her 11-year-old daughter Samantha rides a bike. But Tuesday’s event was about more than just helmet fittings. Risks abound when children ride in cars, play by swimming pools, cross the street or innocently open up medicine containers or cleaning supplies. Each year, more than 5,000 children 14 years and under are killed by an accidental injury, according to Safe Kids USA. Many more suffer serious injury or disability. Parents can help protect their children with correct safety gear and precautions. During Sutter’s event, certified car seat installers checked car seats and taught parents the proper way to put in this safety device. The Roseville Fire Department led kids on a tour of a fire truck and officers from the Roseville Police Department were available to answer questions. But the bike safety table, hosted by the City of Roseville’s Pedal Safe program, was the most popular draw. And with good reason, considering more than 1,000 children a day are treated in emergency rooms for injuries received while riding. Head injury is the leading cause of death and disability in bicycle crashes. But a child is 14 times more likely to survive a bike crash if he or she is wearing a helmet. Pedal Safe Coordinator Sue Schooley and alternative transportation analyst Mike Dour taught kids how to determine if their helmet fit correctly. For instance, the device should be snug but not tight and level to the head so the rider can see its front tip. Children who wear their helmets tipped back have a 52 percent greater risk of head injury than those who wear them properly, according to Safe Kids USA. Children who ride scooters should also wear helmets, along with kneepads and elbow pads. Skateboarders and inline skaters should wear helmets, kneepads, elbow pads and wrist guards. Schooley and Dour gave away about 60 helmets to safety fair visitors. The Placer County Safe Kids Coalition donated the helmets. Volunteers also gave away more than 20 life vests. “Everyone is amazed that they’re free,” said Janice Sills, a regional manager for Sutter Health. She said the local pediatrics center will continue to offer this event in the future. This is good news for people like Kim Lunsford, whose two young daughters often ride their scooters and bicycles. Her oldest daughter, 12-year-old Kelsey, was fitted for a new helmet Tuesday. Lunsford said she appreciated the free event and equipment. “It was great,” she said. Sena Christian can be reached at senac@goldcountrymedia.com. ---------- SAVE THE DATE What: Roseville Bikefest — bring your bicycle and helmet to get checked out at this safety event. When: 9 a.m. to noon Saturday, Oct. 2 Where: Heritage Oak Elementary School, 2271 Americana Drive in Roseville Cost: Free Info: Call (916) 774-5365 or visit www.roseville.ca.us/bikefest ---------- SAFETY TIPS FOR KIDS Water Safety: Never take your eyes off your kids Learn infant and child CPR If your child can’t swim, stay within arm’s reach Keep your pool fenced or completely covered Bike Safety: Kids should always wear a helmet Make sure the helmet is the right size and fits properly Children should never ride in the dark Motor Vehicle Safety: Children ages 4 to 8 (40-100 pounds and under 4 feet, 9 inches) should be in a booster seat restrained with lap and shoulder belts in a back seat on every ride Don’t let children put shoulder belts under their arms or behind their backs Pedestrian Safety: Hold your child’s hand and look both directions Cross streets with children until they reach the age of 10 Require a child to carry a flashlight at night, dawn and dusk Home Safety: Keep emergency numbers by the phone and first aid supplies handy Keep household products, beauty supplies and medicines out of children’s reach Put outlet covers on all sockets Never leave children alone in the bathtub Gun Safety: The safest home is one without a gun If you have guns, lock them away Never keep guns loaded Lock bullets in a different place away from the gun Source: First 5 California, Safe Kids USA