Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Keep Kids Safe this Holiday Season

With Christmas right around the corner, kids will soon be out on holiday break and families will be traveling all over to spend time together. While it is a time that many kids look forward to, it is also a time when parents will be juggling work and childcare.

Safety is always of the upmost importance, so follow these tips to make sure your kids stay safe during the holiday season!

Ø  Never leave small children home alone. Make sure to leave them with a trusted babysitter, family member or friend.

Ø  When shopping, make sure to always keep an eye on your child. Teach your child to go to a store clerk to ask for help if they get lost or separated from you.

Ø  Always accompany your child to the restroom. Holiday shopping means lots of people everywhere so it is important to stay close by your child to keep them out of harm’s way.

Ø  Never leave a child unattended in the car. Strangers could be watching and a child is safest when they are by your side.

Ø  Make sure your children know their full name, address and phone number in case they get separated from you.

Ø  Always remind your child to talk to an adult if they feel like a stranger is bothering them.

Ø  When cooking at home, do not leave hot stoves unattended. Keep children from accidently getting burned.

Ø  And most importantly: remind your child that if they are in an emergency or feel they are in danger, to find the nearest phone or adult and call 9-1-1.

Cell Phone Sally hopes everyone has a safe and happy holiday! Check out the video below for some more holiday safety tips from the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission!

Monday, November 25, 2013

Stay Safe during the Thanksgiving Holiday!

This time of year, where family and friends gather near to celebrate each other and all that they are thankful for, is also a great time to remind everyone to practice holiday safety. It is also an excellent time to remind children what to do in case of an emergency! (You know- call 9-1-1!)

Many families will be on the road traveling to visit friends and relatives for Thanksgiving. Please remember not to use your cell phone when you are driving. It is best to always pull over if you need to talk on the phone. And it is especially important to never text and drive. It only takes seconds for an accident to occur so keep your eyes on the road. Distracted drivers and any harsh weather conditions can be a recipe for disaster. So remember- keep alert and dial 9-1-1 if you find yourself in an emergency situation.

One of the best parts of Thanksgiving is all the delicious dishes created by loved ones! When preparing yummy dishes, please remember to be safe. Below is some great information on fire-safe cooking from FEMA. Remember; if a fire occurs please do not hesitate to dial 9-1-1 for help!

Home Safety
Be smart if you plan to travel away from your home for the holidays. Do not post that you are going to be out of town on any social media sites. Secure all windows and doors so there is no easy entry into your home and set an alarm system if you have one. If you can, have a friend move your car occasionally while you are gone so it looks like someone is home. Thieves love to prey on easy targets so please do not be an easy target and keep your home safe.

Turkey Fryer Safety

Monday, November 4, 2013

Maximize Your Public Education Efforts by Utilizing Simulators

Every educator out there is dealing with budget cuts and having to find new innovative ways to get the public education message across. The great news is if educators work together, they can come up with awesome new ways to teach public education with no costs to their program. At a recent NPEF conference (National Public Educator Forum), a seminar was given on the use of simulators. Since this conference, there have been more and more educators across the country utilizing these simulators to help teach adults and kids about driving safety.

What are simulators?
Simulators create a unique way to show people how a dangerous situation can affect them without actually putting them in danger. Simulation gives individuals the opportunity to practice what to do in a dangerous situation. Some examples of simulators used in the 9-1-1 community include: Texting and Driving Simulator, Drinking and Driving Simulator, How to Dial 9-1-1 Simulator, and Rollover Convincer (Seatbelt Test).

Where can you get a simulator?
There are various companies that make simulators and they usually cost around $1,000- $3,000 dollars. But there are also organizations and companies that provide simulators for use free of charge. One example is State Farm who, through grants, bought simulators throughout the U.S. to help educate the public on distracted driving.

At Texas A&M University, simulators that can be reserved for use at schools or safety fairs by approved entities. Through their distracted driving simulator, they have a participant drive on a busy highway while reading and responding to text messages on their cell phones. Another simulator they have is a Rollover Convincer which demonstrates an adult dummy wearing a seatbelt in a rollover crash and then the dummy not wearing a seatbelt in a rollover crash. Both of these simulators have made great impacts on the community and help show the dangers of distracted driving as well as not wearing your seatbelt.
In Pennsylvania, Huntingdon County 9-1-1 applied for a grant that helped them purchase their very own 9-1-1 simulator. Through their simulator, you are able to practice making a real 9-1-1 call. (This particular simulator was created by Retina Systems Inc.) Joe Thompson of Huntingdon County 9-1-1 worked hard to partner with other organizations in order to receive a grant to purchase this simulator. He said it has been a great success and people are always asking him how they can get one for their local area.

How can I find out more information on Simulators?
With public education budgets gone, there are opportunities out there for individuals to apply for grants that could go toward the creation of these simulators. It just takes a little effort to find out more so that your public education program can have its very own simulator. Below are some links to get you started on finding out more about simulation and how it can benefit your 9-1-1 program.

9-1-1 Interactive Simulator: http://www.911interactivesimulator.com/

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Texting to 9-1-1: What You Need to Know

As technology moves forward, more and more carriers and areas are providing the option to text to 9-1-1 for emergencies. Having the option to text to 9-1-1 can be useful in times where talking on the phone could put someone in danger. But what much of the public does not realize is that many carriers and areas of the country still do not have the capabilities to provide texting to 9-1-1.

For example, in some areas of Texas, Verizon users now have the capability to text to 9-1-1 while other carriers do not provide this option yet. If you were to text to 9-1-1, you would most likely receive a bounce back message requesting that you call 9-1-1 for help. As of September of this year, all the major cell phone carriers are required to provide a bounce back message if someone tries to text to 9-1-1. These carriers include Sprint, T-Mobile, AT&T and Verizon.
9-1-1 entities across the country are working hard so that all carriers can soon provide the public with the option of texting to 9-1-1, in the event that they cannot call 9-1-1 for help. In the meantime, remember, to ALWAYS contact 9-1-1 by making a voice call to ensure that you get help during an emergency situation. For the deaf or hard of hearing, remember to use a telecommunications relay service.

An emergency situation includes any of the following:
·         A fire

·         A crime

·         A car crash

·         A medical emergency

When you call 9-1-1, make sure you know your location and answer all the call-taker's questions. For more information on Text-to-9-1-1, please visit the FCC site at http://www.fcc.gov/text-to-911.

A video clip of Text to 9-1-1 in Jonesboro, Arkansas

Monday, October 14, 2013

October is National Crime Prevention Month

Since 1984, October has served as National Crime Prevention Month, a time to reflect on what we can do to prevent crime and stay safe. During this month, government agencies, civic groups, schools, businesses, and youth organizations have reached out to educate the public, showcase their accomplishments, and explore new partnerships.

Not only is this month a great time to focus on crime prevention, but it also is a time to focus on Halloween safety for the little ones (trick or treating) and the big ones (going downtown to festivities and parties). While law enforcement will do their best to keep our society safe, it is important that citizens work together to keep their community safe as well. Some great ways to do this is by getting to know your neighbors, coworkers and community members. Working with them, you can help come up with ideas so that you know you are helping each other stay safe and protected.

For those little ones trick or treating, here are some tips:

·         Make sure to wear bright, reflective clothing so that cars can see you.
·         Carry a flashlight with you and make sure the batteries work.
·         Only go trick or treating in well lit areas and have an adult or trusted older child with the younger children at all times.

·         Make sure to look both ways before crossing streets.

For those big ones going out to parties and festivals, here are some tips:

·         Watch for pedestrians on roads when a lot of people are out.

·         Don’t drink and drive.

·         Keep your purse or personal items close to you.

·         Walk with your head up and eyes and ears alert to prevent predators from thinking you are an easy target.

·         Walk in groups and don’t go down streets that are not well lit.

·         If you find yourself in an emergency, remember to dial 9-1-1 for help. Do not text to 9-1-1 as only some areas of the U.S. have this capability currently.

For more information on how to stay safe during crime prevention month, please visit http://www.ncpc.org/about/news/october-marks-crime-prevention-month.
Kansas City Crime Prevention Efforts

Monday, October 7, 2013

It’s Fire Prevention Week!

In 1922, Fire Prevention Week was established in honor of the Great Chicago Fire that occurred in 1871. During the Chicago fire, hundreds of people died and over 17,000 structures were damaged. After this horrific fire, the Fire Marshals Association decided that the anniversary of the Chicago fire would be a time to remind the public about fire safety and fire prevention.

According to the National Archives and Records Administration’s Library Information Center, Fire Prevention Week is the longest running public health and safety observance on record. Fire prevention and safety is extremely important. Since cooking is the leading cause of home fires and home fire injuries, this year’s theme is focusing on preventing kitchen fires.

Here are a few ways to keep your home safe from fires:

·         Make sure there are smoke alarms in each room of your home. Check the batteries to make sure the alarm works and is properly installed.

·         Make sure you are being safe when cooking. Check out this link for a cooking safety checklist: http://www.nfpa.org/~/media/Files/Safety%20information/Public%20educators/Community%20tool%20kits/cooking%20kit/cooking_safety_checklist.pdf

·         Never leave candles lit when you are not home.

·         Looking to help teach kids about fire safety? Check out Sparky’s website: http://www.sparky.org/

Remember if a fire is out of control; please do not hesitate to call 9-1-1.

Monday, September 9, 2013

National Preparedness Month: A Good Time to Prepare Your Family

This month is National Preparedness Month which means it is a great time to make sure you and your loved ones are prepared if a disaster ever strikes your area. You can never be too prepared for an emergency, which is why following these key tips and tools will help make sure you are prepared as possible.

Some disasters that could strike your area include hurricanes, earthquakes, floods, or even a house fire in your home. A disaster plan can ensure you are ready if you and your family ever have to deal with one of these emergencies. A plan should include the following:

§  A meeting place right outside your home in case of a sudden emergency like a fire or gas leak

§  A location outside the home where family members can meet if you are unable to get to your home

§  A contact such as a family member or close friend that lives outside of the area that can help connect

It is a good idea to hold a family meeting and discuss how to prepare and respond to emergencies. Each member should have a duty assigned to them so that everyone can work together when stress can usually be high due to an emergency occurring. Plan out an evacuation plan from the home and keep all important documents in one location. The documents should be secured in a safe box that is fire proof. Have a plan in place for your pets as well.

The Red Cross also has a great site set up to let your family know you are safe in the event of an emergency. Visit this site for more info: https://safeandwell.communityos.org/cms/index.php

Remember, if you find yourself in an emergency; please do not hesitate to call 9-1-1.  

Monday, September 2, 2013

September is Baby Safety Month

With summer coming to an end, now is a great time to focus on protecting babies and their health. Baby Safety Month was created as a month-long education campaign that focuses on increasing consumer awareness of safety issues regarding baby products and how to correctly use baby products to protect children from harm.

There are many ways you can keep your baby safe, but one important focus is on a baby’s sleep and making sure they are safely secure. Here are some great tips for a safe sleep environment for your baby:

Ø  When putting a baby down for a nap, always make sure to put your baby on its back.

Ø  Make sure the mattress the baby is sleeping on is firm and that the sheet is fitted so they don’t get tangled up in the sheet.

Ø  Remove soft objects like stuffed animals or blankets from the crib.

Ø  When you put a baby down to sleep, make sure they are in a onesie or sleep sack for warmth. A blanket is not needed and can cause more of a hazard to their sleep.

Ø  The room temperature for a baby should be between 68 and 72 degrees. You do not want your baby to overheat.

Ø  When your baby is sleeping, make sure to check on him or her frequently.

Ø  Always make sure the products you use around the baby or put on or in their crib meet federal safety measures.
If you make sure to follow these simple tips, your baby will have a much safer sleep environment. Another key area to focus on in protecting your baby is making sure you follow car seat safety guidelines. Here are a few tips to make sure you are providing the best safety for your child while in the car:

Ø  For the best protection, make sure you utilize a car seat that is rear-facing. (The American Academy of Pediatrics suggest utilizing a rear-facing car seat until at least two years of age.)

Ø  Make sure to read the manual for installing the baby car seat and follow it step for step to ensure the utmost safety for your baby.

Ø  To make sure you have installed the car seat correctly, you can make an appointment to have it checked out. Visit www.seatcheck.com or www.nhtsa.dot.gov for more info.
Keeping a baby safe is important. For more tips on baby safety, visit these websites:

Monday, August 26, 2013

Back to School Preparations: Know Your Location

As students prepare to return for the new school year, now is a good time to remind them how important it is to always know your location. Many students carry cell phones now and can assume that when they call 9-1-1, the dispatcher will know their location and can send help immediately. Unfortunately, that is not the case and dispatchers need citizens to know where they are calling from in the event of an emergency. This way, they can dispatch help to the correct location.

Here are a few tips to remember when teaching your kids about knowing your location when calling 9-1-1:

·         Make sure they have their home address memorized. Even if they just learn the street name, it can help!
·         If your children are somewhere besides their own home, teach them how to look for identifying landmarks such as schools, stores, or office buildings that can help pinpoint their location.

·         Teach your children how to read street signs so they can tell 9-1-1 the names of cross streets where they are located. Tell them to be aware of their surroundings so they can explain if they are near a busy intersection or in a more secluded area. (Telling a 9-1-1 dispatcher a mile marker location helps too!)

Students will have a lot on their minds when they head back to school. But if you can help assist them in reminding them of these key tips to help in an event of an emergency, then it could end up saving their lives or someone else. It is extremely important to be aware of your surroundings and to stay alert. Let’s help keep our children safe and remember to Know Your Location. If you or someone you know is ever in an emergency, please dial 9-1-1.
Here is a great video created by Washington State on Knowing Your Location:

Monday, August 19, 2013

Public Education: Be Creative on a Budget

Many public educators have had to deal with budget cuts or constraints to their public education program recently, but that doesn’t mean public education efforts have to suffer. It just means public educators must work harder to be creative and focus on avenues that are cost-effective, reach the most amounts of people and create a positive impact on the community.

Even Cell Phone Sally has had to come up with her own ways to provide public education services to public educators and the public alike. Hopefully, by sharing some of our cost-saving measure ideas, it can give you thoughts or inspiration for how to maximize your very own public education program.

Activity Sheets
Through the www.csec.texas.gov website, Cell Phone Sally provides free activity sheets that anyone can use for their public education program. Not only is there 10 different activity sheets in English, but there are also 3 activity sheets in Spanish. Many of these activity sheets come from the Cell Phone Sally classroom kit. Why not download some of these today and use them for your classroom visits or conference booths. Kids love to color and learn at the same time so this is a great resource. Click here to find a list of all the available activity sheets: http://bit.ly/CPSactivitysheets.

Public Service Announcements don’t have to cost a lot of money nor do they have to be created on a fancy video camera anymore. If you have an iPhone or Android phone, you could easily record a PSA on your phone and download it online and share with your community. CSEC recently partnered with the Student Television Network and had middle school and high school students create PSAs on 9-1-1 topics. Six of those PSAs have been posted on the Cell Phone Sally YouTube site. Feel free to share or just view for inspiration! More PSAs will be posted throughout the year, so come back regularly to check them out. Here is a link to the most recently posted PSAs: http://bit.ly/911PSASeries3

Cell Phone Sally Videos and Songs
Why not utilize videos and songs created by Cell Phone Sally for your public education program? CSEC recently made the CPS video 9-1-1: Getting Help is Easy available for free online in both Spanish and English. The Cell Phone Sally songs are also available in both English and Spanish. Check them out here: http://bit.ly/CPSVideo-Song.  Also, if you go to the CPS YouTube site, you can also find the videos there and embed them onto your own site. (https://www.youtube.com/user/CellPhoneSally911)

Social Media
Social media is the quickest and easiest way to get your public education message out to the public. Whether you choose to use Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, a blog site or Google+, there are multiple avenues for getting your message out and making a difference in 9-1-1 public education. Need some inspiration or ideas on what you can do with your social media sites? Check out links to Cell Phone Sally’s social media sites as well as the National Public Educator Forum social media sites.

Cell Phone Sally Social Media Site Links Found Here: http://bit.ly/CPSSocialMedia

NPEF Social Media Sites:

These are just a few ideas to get you started. Public education is a vital part of making sure our society runs successfully. Why don’t you start making a difference today? For more information or any questions on 9-1-1 public education, please contact melinda.crockom@csec.texas.gov.

Monday, August 12, 2013

Recent Outbreak of Cyclosporiasis in the United States

There has been a recent outbreak of a cyclosporiasis infection in the United States that consumers should be aware of to protect their health. The Center for Disease Control currently knows of 466 cases reported throughout the following states: Arkansas, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Iowa, Illinois, Kansas, Louisiana, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, New Jersey, New York (including New York City), Ohio, Texas, and Wisconsin.

Cyclosporiasis infections have been linked to pre-packaged salad mixes. While this infection has not caused any deaths, it has caused 27 hospitalizations.  The CDC says it is not yet clear whether all the cases in various states came from the same outbreak. Cyclosporiasis is an intestinal illness caused by the microscopic parasite Cyclospora cayetanensis. The time between becoming infected and becoming sick is usually one week. Symptoms include watery diarrhea, loss of appetite, weight loss, stomach cramps, bloating, nausea and fatigue.  It should be noted that some individuals who become infected might not have any symptoms at all.
If the infection is not treated, symptoms could last anywhere from a few days to a month or more. It is also very common to feel tired. If you think you might have been infected with cyclosporiasis, please contact your physician for treatment. If you are infected, your physician will be able to treat the infection with antibiotics. Make sure to drink plenty of fluids if infected as well, because this will help flush out your system.

For more information on this outbreak, please visit the CDC website here: http://www.cdc.gov/parasites/cyclosporiasis/outbreaks/investigation-2013-qa.html. Remember to always take care of your health.

Monday, August 5, 2013

Catchy 9-1-1 Jingles Boost Public Education Outreach

Catchy 9-1-1 songs have shown in the past that they can make an impact on the public by helping them learn the proper use of 9-1-1 as well as making learning about 9-1-1 services fun. Kids love them and parents and educators enjoy sharing them. Songs are a great way to educate the public because who doesn’t love a fun catchy tune that gets stuck in your head and makes you want to move about? Some examples of previous 9-1-1 songs include Everyday Heroes by Dave Carroll and 9-1-1 Getting Help is Easy by Trish Murphy.

The Commission on State Emergency Communications (CSEC) recently reached out to two different song writers/producers and provided them with a list of 9-1-1 topics. These 9-1-1 topics are issues that public educators in emergency services address everyday including pocket dials, texting to 9-1-1, knowing your location and when to call 9-1-1. Both song writers took these topics and each created their own songs. The only direction CSEC provided was the 9-1-1 topics and guidance on the type of song it be such as whether it was a reggae, jazzy or rock version.  
“This is the first time I was aware of how great the need to improve people’s understanding of the use of emergency communications, so once I caught the vision of that, the song seemed to come pretty naturally,” song-writer Barry Bynum said. “I have always held that music is a great vehicle for teaching and imparting wisdom.”  

Both songwriters were pumped and intrigued to provide CSEC with 9-1-1 tunes and the results were impressive, catchy and fun! After some public educators heard the end results of each song, they had the tunes stuck in their heads all day. This just goes to show how these songs can make an impact and can help teach children and adults alike the proper use of 9-1-1 services. Two music genres were created, one reggae  and the other an upbeat rock tone. They both can be utilized in classrooms, conferences and wherever public education is needed. They are great for posting on your public education websites too!
Below we have provided links to the 30 second versions of each song. Check them out and get inspired. You can easily create 9-1-1 songs too that can make an impact in your area. For more information on creating 9-1-1 songs, please contact Melinda Crockom at melinda.crockom@csec.texas.gov. Please share with us your favorite 9-1-1 jingle!

Click here to view the songs!

Monday, July 29, 2013

NPEF Conference in Austin a Huge Success!

For those of you who were lucky enough to attend the National Public Educator Forum Conference in Austin, Texas this past week, you know how beneficial it was for public educators across the country to take part in this conference. Not only did educators get the opportunity to network and share a plethora of ideas, but they were also able to see numerous sessions from keynote speakers that helped to encourage, invigorate and motivate them to go back home and make their public education programs great!

One of the best parts of the conference was when educators broke into groups and had to come up with a skit regarding issues 9-1-1 public educators have to address with the public. There were nine different groups who worked together over the conference to polish their skits and then presented them in front of everyone on the second to last day. The skits not only had everyone laughing, but all attendees were thoroughly impressed with the ideas conveyed on 9-1-1 issues such as pocket-dialing and knowing your location.
Another part of the conference that had everyone in stitches was when the conference attendees created their very own Harlem Shake video! We had some of the educators dress up as Cell Phone Sally, Kid Friendly Keith and Josh. We had others dressed in the cost-effective Cell Phone Sally sandwich costumes and we even brought out our very first 9-1-1 mascot called Super Telly! We incorporated all the costumes into the video and it turned out great. Check out the video below to see the public educators in action!

The NPEF conference was quite the success and many are already looking forward to next year’s conference near Chicago, Illinois! Below you can find a link to the flyer with more information.  Windy city bound, the only blues you will find is if you are unable to attend!

Remember, the NPEF group is here to help public educators work together to make their programs impactful and successful. For more information on NPEF or if you would like to become a member (it is free!), please visit their website at www.911npef.org.

NPEF Conference Harlem Shake!

NPEF Conference in Action!

Cell Phone Sally Sandwich Costumes! "We do what we want!"

The Conference Share and Freebie Table

The NPEF Skit Winners! (Their skit addressed pocket-dials)

Friday, July 19, 2013

NPEF Conference Starts Sunday in Austin!

The National Public Educator Forum Conference, dedicated to public safety professionals, is coming to Austin, Texas this Sunday through Wednesday (July 21st-24th). Over a 100 educators will join together from all over the United States and Mexico to share public education ideas, cost-effective measures and foster relationships within the public safety community.

This will be the third annual conference for NPEF, a group that has over 400 members and is FREE to join! (For more information on becoming a part of NPEF, please visit their website at www.911npef.org) Throughout the conference, attendees will learn invaluable information regarding the ever-evolving 9-1-1 industry as well as learn practical training with innovative ideas on making public education more successful and more efficient than ever.

One of the great things about this conference is that every attendee has the opportunity to attend every session, which means you don’t miss out on anything! With 15 sessions over a four-day period, educators learn hands-on training while meeting and working with other educators throughout the U.S. One thing you can distinguish in the public education industry is that educators learn more and make the best of their programs when they work together and share ideas.
Educators, administrators and others involved in the public safety industry will leave this conference feeling energized, motivated and reignited about their public education program. NPEF conference coordinators cannot wait to show attendees what they have in store for them this year! For more information on the conference sessions, please visit http://www.911npef.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/05/Session_Schedule_2013.pdf. NPEF is on Facebook too so check them out here: https://www.facebook.com/911NPEF.


Tuesday, July 16, 2013

July Marks Herbal/Prescription Awareness Month

The popularity of herbal and dietary medications taken in the United States has increased in recent years due to consumers looking for way to maintain their health through other means than regular pharmaceutical products. The problem with these herbal medications also known as dietary supplements is that they are not regulated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Not only are they not regulated before they are marketed to consumers, but they also have no consistencies on the dosage amounts. While pharmaceutical companies are held to standards where they are required to perform studies on effectiveness, dosage and safety, those who produce herbal supplements do not have these same requirements.

Popular supplements that consumers take regularly include vitamins, fish oil, ginseng, flaxseed and glucosamine, to name a few. While these supplements are generally safe, other supplements can be potentially harmful and can cause adverse reactions when mixed with other medications. Consumers can be thrown off by the idea of the product being natural, that they assume it is safe. But since these supplements are not regulated, the dosages can vary from batch to batch and differing brands. There could also be exposure to dangerous pesticides.

So remember, before taking any type of herbal or natural supplement; make sure to do your research! Locate dependable, well-known brands that have a reputation for providing healthy products. You can also discuss with your doctor any supplement you plan on taking especially if you are looking to add it to help treat a health condition or improve your wellness.
Do not hesitate to discuss any supplement use with your health care provider if you are:

·         Planning on replacing regular medication taken with a supplement

·         Taking any medication and plan on adding a supplement (you want to make sure they do not have bad interactions)

·         Planning on having surgery. Some supplements can increase bleeding or affect anesthesia

·         Pregnant or nursing a baby. Most supplements have not been tested on pregnant women and therefore it is not know whether these supplements are safe.

If you take a supplement and are having any unusual reactions or are not sure about a medication taken, please contact a poison control center at 1-800-222-1222. If you are having life threatening reactions to a supplement taken, please do not hesitate to call 9-1-1.

Monday, April 29, 2013

May is Global Youth Traffic Safety Month

Each May youth across the nation come together to focus on one of the leading causes of death for teens which is traffic related crashes. Global Youth Traffic Safety Month was created to empower teens to create and teach each other by utilizing traffic safety education projects and by supporting local law enforcement in protecting teen drivers. Sadly, teenagers are involved in three times as many fatal car crashes as all other drivers. Many of these fatalities are preventable which is why public education is so important.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) founded the National Organizations for Youth Safety (NOYS) which is a collaboration of business, organizations and federal agencies that serve youth as well as focus on youth safety and health. Together they have created many programs that focus on educating youth on traffic safety including a website for parents and teen drivers called UnderYourInfluence (http://www.underyourinfluence.org/), a toolkit called YOUTH-Turn that helps teens turn adversity into constructive opportunities, and Global Youth Traffic Safety Month which dedicates a whole month to educating the public on safe driving tools.

According to NHTSA, more than 3,500 teen lives are lost each year. During the summer months, the numbers of lives lost are the highest. Traffic education is crucial now more than ever. This year, NOYS is focusing on bike safety, teen drivers and pedestrian safety. Help young drivers in your area have the safest summer they can by following these key steps!

Ø  Just Drive: Avoid all distractions – they can wait!

Ø  Always Buckle Up

Ø  NEVER drive impaired or ride with anyone else who is!

Ø  Plan your Route and your Ride: Always take the safest way and ride with safe drivers.

Ø  Stand up for your own Safety: Speak up and get out if you need to!

For more information on Youth Traffic Safety Month, visit http://www.noys.org/global_youth_traffic_safety_month.aspx. And remember if you are ever in an emergency situation then do not hesitate to call 9-1-1.