Sharp Healthcare, a California nonprofit organization that connects people to needed health services, is working hard to reduce the number of youth personal injuries that occur each year. Its program Sharp on Survival seeks to educate young people about everyday dangers and how to lower their risk of becoming hurt. Let’s take a closer look at this program and some of its highlights that you can pass on to your children.
What is Sharp on Survival?
The Sharp on Survival is a grant-funded program that pairs volunteer VIP (Voices for Injury Prevention) ambassadors with school groups to teach the kids effective ways to stay safe. Lead VIP Tim Boice has been involved with the group for over 15 years when it started with “Feet First, First Time,” a lesson plan for preventing shallow diving injuries. Boice was in high school when he suffered a severe spinal injury that confines him to a wheelchair. He says, “Use your mind, affect your body. Prevention is the only cure. I’m preaching prevention.”
Crunching the Numbers
The need for this program and others like it is significant. According to The East County Californian, eight children under 18 die, and over 100 are hospitalized from traumatic injuries daily. People aged 24 and younger are at the greatest risk for preventable personal injuries. Furthermore, it estimates that up to 90% of youth injuries are preventable if kids exercise basic safety precautions.
Top 3 Safety Precautions Kids Should Take
There are several key takeaways from the organization’s education efforts that you can use to inform your children and adolescents. They include the following:
1. Always wear a seatbelt.
Incidentally, all three members of the current Sharp on Safety VIP team suffered debilitating injuries while unrestrained in the backseat of vehicles. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), upwards of 15,000 deaths are prevented in the U.S. every year when people wear their seatbelts properly.
2. Use a helmet no matter what.
If your child is riding a bike, skateboard, scooter, rollerblades, or another toy that puts them on the street, be sure that they always wear their helmets. Though kids might say helmets are “nerdy,” it cannot be overstated how important they are for preventing catastrophic head and brain injuries. Researchers from Australia compiled the results of over 40 helmet safety studies and found that the correct use of a helmet reduces the risk of a serious head injury by over 70%.
3. Dive feet first every first time.
If your child is swimming in an unfamiliar pool, tell them to jump or dive in feet first as well as check the posted pool depth. The American Red Cross supports a minimum of 9-foot water depth for headfirst dives. Diving feet-first will help kids gauge the pool’s depth and determine if it is deep enough to dive into head-first. Only children old enough to understand the dangers of diving should be permitted to dive headfirst and older children should be taught how to dive safely.
When Personal Injury Occurs
We applaud the work of those involved in the Sharp on Survival program. However, in the unfortunate instance that your child does suffer a personal injury, Hales & Associates may be able to help you file a personal injury claim on their behalf. Contact our Murrieta office today at (951) 489-3320 to schedule a free consultation with an experienced personal injury attorney who can recover the compensation your family needs and deserves.