Gun Safety: The New Topic In Education

Lately, there has been a lot of news about gun safety in schools throughout the U.S., whether it is with new laws allowing college students to bring a gun on campus, or having elementary children sign a voluntary pledge declaring that they will not bring a gun to their school. It seems as though this topic has become something that every school should address in some way to ensure that every student understands the dangers that weapons, such as guns, can potentially have.

No matter if you are for or against guns, I think we can all agree that it is important for all of our children to be aware of them and learn why bringing guns onto school grounds can be a hazard to themselves or to others. However, many people are not sure how to go about firearm safety education or if it is something that should even be taught in schools.

According to the most current data from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 3,184 children and teens died from gunfire in the United States in 2006- which was a 6 percent increase from the previous year. Of these deaths, 2,225 were homicides, 763 were suicides and 196 were due to an accident or undetermined circumstances and 17,451 children suffered non-fatal gun injuries.

With these rates and the increasing number of school shootings and accidents with youth and firearms that have occurred over the last few years, more and more schools across the country are providing their students with weapon safety classes. Most of the programs that are offered are similar to other education programs such as drug and alcohol education like D.A.R.E. or Sex Ed. A majority of the time, local law enforcement and fire crews come in and do activities with the students, such as demonstrations, videos, role playing, coloring and more.

“Gun education is not mandatory in any state as far as we know, but of course we think all schools should have it,” said Heidi Cifelli, manager of the National Rifle Association’s Eddie Eagle Gun Safe Program. “Gun education is the best way to save young lives.”

Right now, there are two programs that a majority of the schools who offer gun safety are using. The first is the Eddie Eagle Gun Safe Program which is put on by the National Rifle Association. This program provides K-3 students the basics of gun safety with the popular slogan. If you see a gun: Stop! Don’t Touch. Leave the area. Tell an Adult. The program provides students with a workbook with various activities, as well as small rewards for participating and completing the program. The program is taught by the school’s local police departments and has been used by schools nationwide since 1988.

The second program that schools have been using is the Straight Talk About Risks (STAR) program. This K-12 program is put on by Center to Prevent Handgun Violence and includes a number of videos and role playing activities to teach younger students what to do when they come across a gun or weapon of some sort, how to oppose peer pressure to play with guns, and how to differentiate real-life violence from television violence. For the older students, the program presents activities that teach coping skills, decision-making skills, refusal skills for resisting peer pressure, and conflict management skills.

No matter what your stance on guns are, or what program your school uses, it is important that our children get some form of firearm safety whether it is at school or at home. It is important to keep our children safe, and by educating them on firearm safety, hopefully we will see a decrease in gun related incidents or deaths.

Crib Bedding Safety Tips

Ask ten people what ‘safety’ tips they follow when caring for their newborn and you’ll most likely get a very wide range of answers. Each parent/care-giver probably has generations of traditions, customs, or practices that have been handed down as ‘the gospel’ concerning infant care. For example, some parents swear by bumper pads as part of their crib bedding. Others absolutely refuse to use them… the question everyone should ask is, “what does research say?”

New scientific research often contradicts commonly used practices and therefore ongoing education is vital in caring for your little ones in the best way. For example, the ‘Back to Sleep’ campaign (encouraging parents to put their infants to sleep on their backs because it reduced the occurrence of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS)) was instituted in 1994, but renewed again in 2000 because many parents were holding on to their old, less safe, practices. One good source for the best infant care is the government of Ontario. They’ve created a fantastic program meant to educate new parents and correct the improper practices used by experienced parents. Some of the safety guidelines regarding baby bedding and toddler bedding are discussed below.

Newborn babies sleep a lot… they spend more time in their crib than out. The first area of crib bedding safety stressed by the government of Ontario is the type of sheet covering the mattress. It must be a fitted crib sheet that fits securely on the mattress and wraps around the corners. Anything else has the chance of coming loose, carrying with it the risk of suffocating a squirming infant.

The only thing under the newborn should be a sheet, a mattress pad, and a firm, water-proof mattress. Included in the safety ban are soft pillows, adult beds, sofa cushions, waterbeds, and beanbags… pretty much anything that isn’t specifically designed for infant sleep. The soft, fluffy types of blankets that make the nursery look so nice (sheepskins, stuffed toys) should be used for decoration only and removed when the baby is put down. These things can cause the baby to overheat or suffocate.

Not all bumper pads are created equal. Safe bumper pad styles fit snugly around the entire crib and tie, or snap, securely into place. There should not be a gap between the mattress and bumper pad. If the pads have ties, the ties should not be longer than nine (9) inches long.

Since most newborns feel safe when swaddled it is important to use the proper technique and blankets when swaddling. Thin receiving blankets are recommended over every other style. If the baby isn’t swaddled the blanket should cover the baby up to the chest and be tucked around the crib mattress. This keeps blankets from inching up and covering the face, creating another suffocation hazard. Baby bedding should be checked periodically for loose stitching that could irritate or cause choking if the baby somehow got it in their mouth.

The purpose of safety guidelines is not to create a state of paranoia. Risk detection and safety education is the best way to create peace of mind. Once a parent has prepared the crib, nursery, or sleeping area properly they can rest assured that they did everything they could to promote a safe, healthy environment for their precious baby.

Importance of Road Safety Education

Public health problems are taken into serious considerations for the effective solution of problems. Health problems include number of entities but unfortunately, things are not pertained into serious frame in our country ‘Pakistan’. Health and Education are the two important and focused parameters that should be on prior basis for any developing country because it is associated for the rapid change in the economy of respective country. Due to the increase in vehicle ownership, the graphical trend of road traffic accidents in Pakistan is abruptly disturbed which include minor, severe and fatal road crashes of all type of road users. The problem is again connected with the health issue, road traffic is not a problem that should be tackled through Enforcement action, it is a common health problem affecting common public. As per the statistical analysis of Social Research and Development Organization (Non Government Organization and Research center working on the effective road safety education culture and promotion for entire Sindh), high severity rate is recorded for Karachi, a metropolitan city of Pakistan. The areas include Korangi road, Korangi Industrial area, National Highway (Urban), MA Jinnah road and Shahrah-e-Faisal.

There is the immense need to facilitate the users in terms of effective road safety education. Education is the least important parameter among the three E’s of transportation but it could play the major role when set from initial phases. In this connection planning and management from the perspective of stakeholders is mandatory. Road users are not aware from civic sense, traffic rules and regulations and unfortunately they are the registered direct license holders of vehicles. This corresponds to the negligence driving by the road users and ultimately leading towards road crash. It is not the blame game to target the users but it needs the orientation of existing system. The system should be designed in a manner that without basic road safety knowledge, a person should not be able to withstand for his/her personal vehicle. Road safety education and important subject matter should be introduced at primary; secondary and higher level in order to better immaculate the awareness raising issue. Inauguration of traffic safety seminars, forums, conferences not only for the relevant stakeholders but also for the common man is another important way forward step of betterment. It should be the part of documented legislation that road users are capable enough to attend these types of seminars in the past at the time when license is issued.

Government functionary bodies, Private sector, Universities, Schools, Colleges, Engineers and Practitioners need to sit together and should work on the curriculum and syllabus of road safety education at different levels. For any productive result, the basics should be as stronger and involvement of road safety in the syllabus is the first step. After the accomplishment of this step, the further steps including the awareness programs, Engineering and Enforcement issues will be partially resolved. In the similar way, training sessions should be arranged and effectively designed for each class of road user like drivers, riders, pedestrians and passengers. Each class has its own responsibilities and rights and they are linked with technical traffic crash problem.

Road safety is a problem that cannot be resolved overnight or even removed but it can be minimized in number of ways discussed above. Apart from that, it is also the responsibility of every single individual to develop civic sense which is the major issue. Every one is interested in his/her own share within the traffic stream. The traffic environment is dependent on the players of the road that are basically road users and their skills can be enhanced only by proper road safety education.