What does SAFETY mean? SAFE
Sure of how injuries occur and can be prevented
Awareness of steps to take to prevent injuries
Fearless teaching of injury prevention steps
Empowerment of children to know how to stay safe
There are no or few true accidents. They are either unintentional or intentional injuries.
We know why, where, when, how, and to whom they happen.
We know that they can be prevented.
A child’s job from the day they are born is to learn about their world. They do it well. They touch, hear, taste, smell everything, but they do not understand the words safety and danger until they are about seven years old.
Adults must step in and teach them how to be safe.
Johnny is 20 months old. He is napping in his crib.
A Sad but Real Story
There is a sliding door leading to the backyard from his bedroom. The pool does not have a fence on its fourth side. If Johnny comes out the door, he will have no barrier to the pool. There are no other barriers or door alarms.
Johnny’s Mom is folding clothes in the next room.
Twenty minutes have elapsed and she goes to wake him up.
He was not in his bed. She searched the house first.
After 10 minutes, she finds his face down at the bottom of the deep end of the pool.
Thirty minutes have elapsed since he fell into the pool.
She pulled him out, made no attempt to do CPR, but carried him to the phone and called 911.
He was blue and limp.
911 attempted to walk her through CPR.
After four minutes, EMS arrives and takes over.
They begin CPR, transport him to the local ER. Forty minutes have elapsed.
At the ER, he is still blue and has no heart rate.
After 15 minutes of CPR, they get a heart rate, but Johnny is unresponsive and will never wake up again.
The children’s hospital is called. They arrive and after 45 minutes, they continue to stabilize him and transport him to the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit.
During the next 24 hours, they insert multiple IVs and tubes to continue life support.
He is on a breathing machine, heart monitor, and other machines that monitor bodily functions.
A social worker meets with the family for support. The team, MDs, RNs have a constant vigil at his bedside.
Medicines and machines are adjusted to maintain life.
H2O in the lungs makes it difficult to maintain breathing.
The lack of 02 causes seizures. The lack of blood flow to the kidneys leads to the kidney shutdown.
He begins to swell beyond recognition. Dialysis is started.
He develops an infection and pneumonia.
The battle continues. After two weeks, he is stabilized.
He has had four surgical procedures and discharge planning begins.
He has never awoken and his only response is non-purposeful arching and moaning to painful stimuli.
He has a gastrostomy tube inserted into his stomach for feeding. He needs a tracheostomy because his tongue blocks his breathing passages.
…. But he goes home.
After two years at home – his exhausted family transports him to a long-term care unit where he lives for 20 years.
He dies of pneumonia and has had no family contact for 10 years. The family could not bring themselves to come and visit.
During these years, he is readmitted to a children’s hospital 30 to 50 times for seizures, contractures, sepsis, orthopedic problems (both hips have dislocated), aspiration, and feeding intolerances.
The cost for initial care is $75,000 and $2 million per year.
I don’t know what to say to follow this…. Drowning is preventable.
Kids Safe and Secure
~ By Mary Frances Marlin ~