National Injury Prevention Day | November 18th

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Hi, I’m Haley, and I’m an Injury Prevention professional. Didn’t even know this was a thing? It definitely is, and don’t worry, I didn’t know it was a thing until I became one two years ago. How did I end up here? I started as a Certified Athletic Trainer working to prevent and treat sports injuries. In the meantime, I earned my Masters in Education. I wanted to see injuries on a higher level, so I went back to school and became a Trauma ICU nurse. Several years later, an opportunity presented itself to combine my love of trauma, education, and injury prevention. Now I get to have fun every day teaching people about how to prevent traumatic injuries in my community!

 

an injury prevention specialist wearing a badge and a shirt that says, “this shirt could save a life."

 

November 18th is a very important day in my profession as we “shine a green light” on injury prevention! Green lights will be shining around St. Louis to bring awareness to preventing injuries in children. How do we prevent injuries in our kids? It’s not easy! We know even if we wrapped them in bubble wrap, they would still find a way to get hurt. Bumps and bruises are going to happen but what doesn’t have to happen are serious life-threatening injuries. By learning how to be safety-minded, it will become second nature to ensure we are providing safe practices in every aspect of our children’s lives.

 

Injury prevention begins from the moment you take your new baby home. Safe car seat installation and use are crucial if you were to get in an accident. If you reuse a car seat for a second child, ensure that it is not expired and has not been in an accident. As your child grows, keep regular height and weight records to ensure you are using the appropriate car and booster seats.

 

Practice good water safety at home. You may not consider water safety now that pool season is over for the season but burn injuries are always a risk year-round. Indoor water temperatures should be set at 120 degrees or lower. When cooking ensure, pot handles are out of reach so children cannot pull scalding water down on themselves.

 

Take steps to prevent falls off furniture or down stairs. Don’t leave children unattended on furniture and keep a hand on them while changing. Use safety gates, install safety guards on windows, use cord wind ups, and avoid wheeled walkers as they can cause falls down stairs.

 

If your child plays sports ensure they have properly fitted helmets and mouthguards. Do not allow your child to swap helmets during games as it is not specifically fit to them. Ensure your child’s coaches are trained in CPR and bleeding control. Check to see if they have an Athletic Trainer. If they don’t, what is their emergency action plan?

 

Even after you tried everything, they still got hurt— now what? You can plan ahead for this scenario, too! A lot of times when this happens, you aren’t conveniently near a healthcare professional. Take CPR, First Aid, and Stop the Bleed classes to help you stay prepared. Before my daughters were born, I ensured everyone who would be caring for my kids (husband, grandparents) took all of these classes. I even took care of signing them up! CPR and First Aid classes are offered at minimal cost across St. Louis. Stop the Bleed classes are actually free! I provide them on demand to the community.

 

Once you’ve taken all your classes, make sure everyone caring for your child has a rescue mask for CPR and a Stop the Bleed kit. Missouri has so many beautiful parks. If you’re someone who goes hiking or camping, make sure this is a part of your packing list. The further you get away from major hospitals, the more prepared you need to be. This may all seem overwhelming, but once you are trained, packed, and prepared, the only thing you need to worry about is having fun! When injuries occur, you’re ready for them. 

 

Printable resources are available at www.ssmhealth.com/Cardinal-Glennon/resources/safety-program . You can keep a copy of these in a binder when you need a reference on safety topics. Have other safety questions? You can find me at @mamastrebs, and you can follow along on National Injury Prevention Day on November 18th using hashtag #BeInjuryFree .

 

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Haley was born and raised in small town Kansas. She moved to St. Louis after graduating from the University of Kansas to attend graduate school at Lindenwood. Her 2 year plan to live in St. Louis turned in 12 when she met her husband. They were married on home plate at Busch Stadium in 2015 and are parents to two girls, Presley (4) and Piper (7 months), Haley stared her career as a Certified Athletic Trainer working at high schools all throughout St. Louis. After returning to nursing school she was a Trauma ICU nurse for 5 years before taking on her current role as the Injury Prevention and Outreach Coordinator at a Level 1 Trauma Center. Outside of work Haley blogs about local food and businesses as part of the Yelp Elite Squad, volunteers for Make-A-Wish MoKan, and loves strength training and self care. Haley considers herself a “wrangler of tiny females”. She loves raising a strong willed preschooler who both challenges and amazes her. Haley loves living in St. Louis and feels it has so much to offer to inspire children and foster creativity. You can follow her at @mamastrebs.

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