Talking about Death + Teen Drivers

Joseph Primo, author of What Do We Tell the Children?
Topic:
Talking to kids about death and dying.
Issues: Learning to help kids deal with the “how” and “why” of death and loss; the importance of honest communication; giving kids coping skills they’ll be able to use throughout their lives.

Tim Hollister, author of Not So Fast.
Topic:
Parenting your teen through the dangers of driving
Issues: How brain development affects driving; what driver’s ed doesn’t produce safe drivers; how and why to prepare a “flight plan” for each drive before handing over the keys; how an when to say no.

On-The-Job Deaths Spiking As Oil Drilling Quickly Expands : NPR

92% of workplace deaths are male. In oil drilling, it’s closer to 100%. NPR (and most other news outlets) completely ignore that fact.

On-The-Job Deaths Spiking As Oil Drilling Quickly Expands : NPR.

Take a Car Seat, Kiddo

kids without car seats

kids without car seatsDear Mr. Dad: My wife and I are arguing about whether or not we need to put our 4-year old into a car seat on short trips. His daycare is only about 10 minutes from our house and I drop him off on my way to work. He’s a fighter and sometimes, by the time I finally get him into his seat, we could have already been at daycare. I just don’t get the point. So who’s right—me or my wife?

A: Let’s get the most important thing out of the way first: you’re wrong—hopefully you won’t be dead wrong. Worse still, you’re not alone. A new study done by Safe Kids Worldwide (safekids.org) and General Motors Foundation found that 21 percent of parents think it’s okay to skip car seats and booster seats for short drives. It isn’t. Car accidents are one of the top causes of childhood deaths.
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Texting while Parenting? Almost as Bad as Texting while Driving.

A few weeks ago, I did a post on the dangers of texting while driving. Thousands of people are killed every year by distracted drivers (Research shows that using a cell phone while driving has about the same effect on  the driver’s  ability to focus and react as having a few beers).

But texters can do plenty of damage to themselves and others without getting behind the wheel. In fact, texting–or checking email or even talking on the phone–while doing just about anything else is dangerous.  According to Beth Ebel and her colleagues at the University of Washington, 30 percent of pedestrians are distracted in some way ( observed more than 1,000 pedestrians crossing busy streets at a variety of randomly chosen times. Thirty percent of pedestrians were distracted in some way–listening to music, texting or talking on the phone. How distracted were they? According to Ebel and her team, people whose head is buried in their phone cross the street more slowly than those without phones (about two seconds longer), are less likely to look left and right before stepping into the street, and are more likely to jaywalk. And the results can be horrific.

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Driven to Distraction—and Death

Dear Mr. Dad: I’m worried about my two teenagers. They both have a driver’s license, but even though we’ve talked about the dangers of texting while driving, I suspect they’re doing it anyway. They’re generally smart, responsible young people, but all it takes is one second. What can we do to keep them from making a mistake that could kill them—or someone else?

A: Given that more than 80 percent of teens use a cell phone while driving, you’re absolutely right to be concerned. Car crashes are the leading cause of death for all age groups from 3 to 33. In 2010, distracted drivers were responsible for 6,000 deaths in the US—a fifth of all fatalities. According to a recent study out of Virginia Tech, a driver who’s texting is 23.2 times more likely to be involved in a car accident than someone who either keeps her phone in her pocket or turns it over to a child in the back seat. By contrast, drunk drivers are only eight times more likely to get into accidents.

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On the Fence about Whether Your Kids Should Have Flu Shots? Just Do It—Now

flu shotBetween August 1, 2004 and May 5, 2012, 829 children in the US died from the flu, according to a new study by researchers at the CDC. And a third of those kids died within three days after symptoms first appeared. Unfortunately, by then it’s often too late. The solution? Make sure your kids get a flu shot. Not getting one is putting their lives at risk.
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