Tag Archives: injuries

DHEC in the News: Toy safety, flu, type 2 diabetes

Here’s a look at health and environmental news from around South Carolina.

Select safe, age-appropriate toys for a Merry Christmas

‘Tis the season for giving.

While Santa is preparing to bring tots the trendiest toys for Christmas, S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control wants to remind parents that safety should be a top priority this holiday.

In 2016, there were more than 174,100 toy-related injuries – treated in the emergency room – associated with children younger than 15, according to the Consumer Product Safety Commission.

Physicians stress flu shots after two influenza deaths

Columbia, S.C. (WACH) — The South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) is urging South Carolinians to get their flu shot.

We are now in the thick of what officials call the “peak flu season”, between the months of December and February. It is the time frame where a good portion of influenza cases manifest.

Officials in the state are particularly concerned, after two deaths thus far this South Carolina flu season, according to DHEC stats. One of those deaths was in the Midlands, the other in the Upstate.

14 tips for preventing type 2 diabetes in children

Thirty years ago, type 2 diabetes was rare in children. Now, unfortunately, it is commonplace.

This is partially due to lifestyle choices where convenience has become the norm. Fast food is available on every corner, we don’t walk far for anything, and active outdoor playtime has given way to cellphones and tablets, video-game systems and TV screen time.

These unhealthy choices have led to endemic sedentary routines and a rise in weight gain, obesity and type 2 diabetes. Many parents are aware of these issues but might find it difficult to figure out lasting solutions.

Give the Gift of Safety this Christmas

By Adrianna Bradley

Tis the season for giving and while Santa is preparing to bring the hottest and trendiest toys to children for Christmas, DHEC wants to remind parents that safety should be a top priority this holiday.

According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission, in 2016 there were more than 174,100 toy-related ER-treated injuries associated with toys to children younger than 15 years of age.

DHEC wants parents to choose holiday toys with care. Check out these toy safety tips to keep your children safe this holiday season.

10 Toy Safety Tips

  • Always pay close attention to the age recommendations on toys and choose one according to a child’s age, interest, and skill level. Also, be aware of other safety labels such as “Flame retardant/flame resistant” or “Washable/Hygienic materials” on dolls and other stuffed toys.
  • Discard the plastic wrappings from toys immediately; they become deadly playthings to small children.
  • For children 1 and under, choose toys that are colorful, lightweight, have various textures and are made of non-toxic materials. Children, this age learn through sight, touch, sound and taste and often put things into their mouths to explore them.
  • Don’t give young children any toys with small parts, such as removable eyes, noses, etc.; they are choking hazards.
  • Inspect all toys for sharp points or edges made from such materials as metal or glass. These toys should not be given to children under 8 years of age. This includes stuffed animals with wires that could stab, cut or shock if exposed.
  • Toys with strings, cords or ribbons of any kind should not be hung in cribs or playpens. Young children can become entangled, which can cause injury or death.
  • Teach older children to keep their toys that might have removable small parts, sharp points or toys run on electricity out of reach of younger siblings. Young children are very curious and may investigate toys that aren’t appropriate for them.
  • Keep toys and play equipment in good condition, make sure protective gear fits appropriately and discard any toys that are broken to prevent injuries.
  • Supervision is essential; provide safe hazard-free play environments both indoors and outdoors. Toys get used and abused by children; regularly conduct a toy maintenance check for safety and durability.
  • Teach children early to put toys away when they are finished playing with them. This will prevent accidental falls.

For more information on toy safety, you can visit our website at http://www.scdhec.gov/Health/ChildTeenHealth/EarlyChildhood/PreventInjuries/.

Watch the video below for a quick review of the 10 toy safety tips:

Stay Safe this Independence Day

By Adrianna Bradley

It’s time for Fourth of July celebrations — the night when skyrockets, missiles, and Roman candles illuminate our skies with crackling noises and whistling sounds. While the displays are visually compelling, the S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) and the Columbia Fire Department is urging everyone to stay safe if they are participating in any firework activities this Independence Day holiday.

“Thousands of people are treated in emergency departments for injuries sustained from fireworks,” said Neal Martin, program coordinator of DHEC’s Division of Injury, and Violence Prevention. “You cannot take safety for granted when it comes to fireworks.”

Fireworks can be harmful

Fireworks-related injuries are preventable. They range from minor and major burns to fractures and amputations. In South Carolina, the most common fireworks-related injuries are burns and open wounds to the hands, legs, head, and eyes.  About 53 percent of firework-related injuries occur in July, with an average of 80 hospitalizations and ER visits in the state.

“Fireworks are exciting to see this time of year, but they are dangerous when misused not only for the operator but also for bystanders and nearby structures,” said Bengie Leverett, Public Fire Education Officer at the Columbia Fire Department. “Everyone is urged to use extreme precaution when using the devices.”

Put safety first 

The best way to prevent fireworks injuries is to leave fireworks displays to trained professionals. However, if you still want to light up fireworks at home, DHEC and the Columbia Fire Department want you to keep these safety tips in mind:

  • Observe local laws. If you’re unsure whether it is legal to use fireworks, check with local officials.
  • Monitor local weather conditions. Dry weather can make it easier for fireworks to start a fire.
  • Store fireworks in a cool, dry place.
  • Always read and follow directions on each firework.
  • Only use fireworks outdoors, away from homes, dry grass, and trees.
  • Always have an adult present when shooting fireworks.
  • Ensure everyone is out of range before lighting fireworks.
  • Keep a bucket of water or a garden hose handy in case of fire or other mishap.
  • Light fireworks one at a time, and keep a safe distance.
  • After fireworks complete their burning, douse them with plenty of water from a bucket or hose before discarding it to prevent a trash fire.

Never:

  • Point or throw fireworks at another person.
  • Re-ignite malfunctioning fireworks.
  • Experiment or attempt to make your own fireworks.
  • Give fireworks to small children.
  • Carry fireworks in your pocket.

Firework Safety for New Year’s Eve

By Bryony Wardell

When the clock strikes midnight, remember that it’s best to leave fireworks to the professionals.  But if you choose to use fireworks, also choose to protect yourself, your family members and your friends.

Fireworks can cause serious injuries, including burns, contusions, lacerations and eye injuries and can even be deadly.

Safety Tips!

Smart Purchasing

Please obey local and state laws regarding the sale and use of state approved fireworks.Buy only consumer-grade fireworks.  Avoid buying fireworks packaged in a brown bag, which often means they were made for professional displays and could be dangerous for consumer use.

Handle with care

Read all warning labels and follow directions on each device. Never put your head or any part of your body over a firework. Never hold a lit firework in your hand.Fireworks should not be carried in your pocket. Don’t aim or throw fireworks at another person. Store fireworks in a cool, dry place and keep a fire extinguisher of water bucket handy.

Adult supervision

Firework activities should be adult led, and adults should never allow children to handle or ignite fireworks.  Make sure you, your kids, and others watch from a safe distance.

Safe lighting

Light from the side (never standing directly over) using a blunt or handheld igniter.  Wear protective eyewear.  Remember that a dud is a dud, and you should never attempt to re-light a short fuse or a firework dud.   And, call 911 immediately if someone is injured from fireworks.

For more information on firework safety, visit www.cdc.gov/family/minutes/tips/fireworks/.