Carl Wentzel, board-certified emergency medicine physician and medical director for Bon Secours’ Harbour View and Maryview emergency departments, is encouraging parents to think about child safety. A Family Safety Day will be held at Harbour View Health Center Aug. 24.
Carl Wentzel, board-certified emergency medicine physician and medical director for Bon Secours’ Harbour View and Maryview emergency departments, is encouraging parents to think about child safety. A Family Safety Day will be held at Harbour View Health Center Aug. 24.

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Bon Secours plans Family Safety Day

Published 10:06pm Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Bon Secours Harbour View Health Center hopes to make the community safer with a Family Safety Day set for Aug. 24.

The event, from 9 a.m. to noon, aims to prevent accidents and increase child safety at home, in school and on the playground, said Carl Wentzel, medical director for Bon Secours’ Harbour View and Maryview emergency departments.

“You would think it’s commonsense, and a lot of it is, but it’s amazing how we find a couple of friendly reminders can go a long way in helping people,” Wentzel said.

The free event will include bike safety demonstrations, car-seat safety checks, McGruff the Crime Dog, school bus safety tips, Suffolk Fire and Rescue vehicles, speed and agility events from Bon Secours InMotion, and demonstrations on healthy and safe school lunches as well as child fingerprinting and stranger-danger warnings.

In Wentzel’s view, prevention is the best medicine.

“We have a great emergency department here, but if we can prevent injuries, that’s our goal,” he said. “Our overall goal is to improve the health of the community.”

Wentzel offered 10 tips for keeping children safe:

  • With bikes, always wear a helmet, “the single most effective safety device available to reduce head injury and death from bike crashes.”
  • For all sports, wear the proper equipment.
  • Store medicines, including vitamins and adult medicines, “up, away and out of sight.”
  • Don’t let kids play on high porches, decks, stairs or balconies.
  • Properly install window guards to prevent window falls, and include an emergency release device in case of fire for windows above the first floor.
  • Don’t let children climb on furniture or use drawers or shelves as steps.
  • Secure televisions and furniture to the wall to prevent tip-overs.
  • Teach kids not to go near water without an adult, and remember that flotation devices can create a false sense of security.
  • Install smoke alarms in every level of the home and every in sleeping area.
  • Drive safely, wear your seat belt, obey traffic laws and don’t text behind the wheel.

Transition periods like the end of summer, with kids returning to school, are good times to consider family safety, Wentzel said.

“Family activities are going to be changing, and that’s why we find it helpful to put some safety tips out there,” he said.

“Try to put yourself in the child’s perspective. Safety tips for a toddler are going to be different than those for a teenager. It’s a different set of issues.”

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