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Safety Messages from American Academy of Pediatrics

Carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning is the most common cause of poisoning deaths in the United States, resulting in an estimated 50,000 annual emergency department visits. In 2008, Hurricane Ike hit the Texas coast, knocking out power to over 2 million residents. The study, “Dying to Play Video Games: Carbon Monoxide Poisoning From Electrical Generators Used After Hurricane Ike,” examines incidents where gasoline-powered electrical generators were used to watch television or power video games, resulting in the CO poisoning death of one child, and the poisoning injuries of 15 other children. The study authors agree that generators continue to be the cause of many CO poisonings, and education is still needed, especially in states at risk for hurricane-related power outages. For more information, contact Caroline Fife, MD, at [email protected] or 713 305 2971, or Neil Hampson, MD, at [email protected] or 206-583-6543.]

June is Internet Safety Month. The AAP offers a microsite to help parents with many aspects of keeping their kids safer online at http://safetynet.aap.org/ New tips on social media and “sexting” will be available in late May for the campaign.

Thousands of children are treated for lawnmower injuries each year. The AAP is partnering with the American Society for Reconstructive Microsurgery, the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons and the American Society of Maxillofacial Surgeons for their annual lawnmower safety campaign. Check back at www.aap.org for more information and tips during the last week of May.

The AAP is a partner in National ASK Day, which will take place on Father’s Day, Sunday June 21, 2009. Held annually on the first day of summer, a time of year when children play more often in other homes, ASK (Asking Saves Kids) Day reminds parents about the importance of asking if there are guns in the homes where their children play. For more information, go to http://www.paxusa.org/


The American Academy of Pediatrics offers tips on boating and swimming safety, fireworks and off-road vehicles. Tips are available in English and Spanish at http://www.aap.org/advocacy/releases/summertips-p2.cfm

“Protecting children from tobacco smoke” is the theme of the American Academy of Pediatrics 2009 art contest for children. Children in grades 3 to 12 are invited to submit original pieces of art for a chance to win cash prizes and a trip to the 2009 AAP National Conference & Exhibition in Washington, DC, on October 17, 2009. First-place winners will receive a $500 prize, with an additional $500 for the child’s school, and a trip to Washington, DC, for the child and his or her guardian. The second-place winners will receive $250, with another $250 for the child’s school. Winners will have their artwork featured on AAP’s Web site and in other promotional materials. Entries should be mailed to American Academy of Pediatrics, Art Contest, 141 Northwest Point Boulevard, Elk Grove Village, IL 60007. All entries must be postmarked by Friday, July 31, 2009. Entry form, rules and guidelines are available at http://www.aap.org/artcontest/

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