School Bus Safety: Be Prepared, Not Scared

Photo of kids getting aboard school bus

Posted by David Friedman, 8/25/14; Courtesy of US  Department of Transportation 

It’s that time of year again, when our kids start making their way from home to school. For those of you who are putting a child on a school bus for the very first time, I know first-hand that it can be a nerve-wracking experience. My wife and I recently put our young son on one of those big yellow buses for the very first time.

We had many questions —will he be nervous when it sinks in that we’re not getting on the bus too, will he make new friends, will he like kindergarten, and will he get a great education? Most of all, there was that feeling of powerless when he eagerly stepped aboard and waved goodbye from his seat for the very first time.

But, as a concerned dad and Acting Administrator of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, I had checked the numbers. School buses are the safest way to get to school, even safer than in the family car. And when you are sending your little one off for a first solo adventure, I hope that fact will bring you comfort.

When it comes to school buses, the real safety challenge is not riding the bus, but approaching or leaving the bus; that’s actually when the risk for injury is greatest.

So, if your children ride the school bus, please walk with them to the bus stop and wait with them until they get on the school bus. And to make the school bus trip even safer, prepare kids for getting on and off the bus by sharing these keys for school bus safety:

  • Be especially careful around the school bus “danger zone,” which is the 10 feet in front, behind, and on each side of the bus.
  • Wait until the driver says it is safe to board. Then get on one at a time.
  • Once on the school bus, go directly to your seat and sit down facing forward. Remain in your seat facing forward when the school bus is moving.
  • To cross the street once you’re off the school bus, walk five giant steps from the front of the bus, cross in front of the bus when the driver indicates it is safe, stop at the edge of the bus – look left-right-left again for traffic, and if there’s no traffic, cross the street.
  • Ask the driver for help if you drop something while getting on or off the school bus.
  • Keep your loose items inside your backpack or book bag.
  • Be respectful of the school bus driver, and always obey his or her instructions.

Click here to access to full article


Check Out the Redesigned Child Passenger Safety Charts!

The Center for Injury Research and Prevention at The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) has released redesigned child passenger safety charts that provide valuable insight for child passenger safety technicians, educators, researchers, and policymakers. Based on data collected through CHOP’s Partners for Child Passenger Safety (PCPS) study, the charts have been graphically updated for use in presentations and other educational settings. Each is available in both PDF and PowerPoint format for easy use.

The update of the charts was made possible through generous support from the Association of Global Automakers, which represents international motor vehicle manufacturers, original equipment suppliers, and other automotive-related trade associations with a goal to create public policy that improves motor vehicle safety, encourages technological innovation and protects our planet.

The nine charts are available online here. Please use the buttons below to share via social media!

Courtesy of Center for Injury Research and Prevention at The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) 

Congratulations to Dr. Robert W. Schulze for being Appointed Chief of Surgical Critical Care!





Please join in congratulating Dr. Robert W. Schulze, Attending Surgeon, Sections of Acute Care & Trauma Surgery and Surgical Critical Care at Boston Medical Center andAssociate Professor of Surgery, Boston University School of Medicine, has been appointedChief of Surgical Critical Care


Robert W. Schulze, MD, FACS, FCCM 


Dr. Schulze is a graduate of Boston University (BA, MA, MD). He completed a residency in General Surgery at the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey in New Brunswick, NJ, and a Fellowship in Trauma and Critical Care at the University of Maryland in Baltimore, MD. In addition, Dr. Schulze completed a research fellowship at New England Deaconess Hospital in Boston, MA. 


Prior to joining BMC/BUSM, Dr. Schulze was most recently Director of Surgical Nutrition and Surgical Critical Care at SUNY Downstate Medical Center in Brooklyn, NY andAttending Physician of Surgery at Kings County Hospital Center also in Brooklyn, NY.


Dr. Schulze has authored and co-authored numerous chapters and scientific publications and is a Fellow of the American College of Surgeons (ACS) and the American College of Critical Care Medicine. His research and clinical interests include surgical education, ARDS, advanced ventilator management, sepsis, pre-hospital trauma care and violence prevention programs.    


Please join in congratulating Dr. Schulze on this appointment. 

Support the White House Petition Drive to Stop Needless Child Deaths in Hot Vehicle.

The Safety Institute asks for your help to support the White House Petition Drive to Stop Needless Child Deaths in Hot Vehicle. 

August 4, 2014

The 19th child to die of vehicular-related heat stroke was a 3-year-old boy discovered Wednesday after dying inside a hot car at his home in Sylmar, California. The entire family was napping when somehow the young boy got out of the home and entered the family vehicle., the leading national organization solely dedicated to keeping children safe in and around motor vehicles, has noted an increase in the number of heat stroke deaths this year involving children who have entered unlocked vehicles on their own. On a national basis, for the past 20 years, approximately 30 percent of children die in hot cars when they get inside on their own. This year seven of the 19, or 37 percent of children, have died in these circumstances. launched a “We the People” petition drive on the White House petition website.  The petition will urge the White House to authorize the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) to:

  • Provide funding for research and development of innovative technology to detect a child in the rear seat when a driver leaves the vehicle and a child is left alone.
  • Identify, evaluate and test new technology to accelerate implementation of the most feasible and effective solutions.
  • Require installation of technology in ALL vehicles and/or child safety seats to prevent children from being left alone in vehicles
  • Go to the White House petition website and sign the petition.

Make kids safer in and around motor vehicles by helping us spread the word!  Post the petition on Facebook, websites and other social media sites.

Courtesy of Safety Institute. 

Clients of BMC’s violence interventional advocacy program find experience supportive

Published on July 22, 2014

Researchers from Boston University School of Medicine (BUSM) and Boston Medical Center (BMC) have found that participants who received care through BMC’s Violence Intervention Advocacy Program (VIAP)—an interventional program targeting the physical, mental, emotional and social needs of violently injured youths—were less likely to retaliate for their injuries and experienced life changing behaviors through connections to caring, steady, supportive adults who helped them feel trust and hope. These findings are reported in the journal Academic Emergency Medicine

Violence, particularly among persons younger than 24 years of age, is on the rise in the U.S. and is a public health problem. In 2011, emergency departments treated 707,212 patients aged 12-24 for violent injuries, compared to 668,133 in 2007. Most urban violence occurs in poor communities and young, African-American males are disproportionately affected. Up to 40 percent of injured African American youth who are less than 24 years old and hospitalized sustain subsequent injuries. One half of which return as victims of homicide.

In-depth, semi-structured interviews were conducted with 20 VIAP clients who were mostly male, African American and younger than 30, reflecting the typical VIAP clientele. Education level ranged from having some high school or GED to having some higher education. Most reported they had not suffered a prior violent injury before enrolling in VIAP. The interview consisted of open-ended questions structured around the following areas: life pre- and post-injury, hospital experience, VIAP experience, retaliation, and general questions relating to family/friend dynamics, accomplishments in life and goals. All interviews were coded, analyzed and the findings were organized into three main domains: challenges to physical and emotional healing, client experience with VIAP and effectiveness of VIAP.

Click here to read full article

FDA Warning: Avoid Pure Caffeine Powder

caffeine powder.PNG

By: Joan Salge Blake, Correspondent 7/21/14

The FDA is warning consumers to avoid powdered pure caffeine, particularly, the variety being sold in bulk bags over the Internet. These products are essentially 100 percent caffeine. One teaspoon of pure caffeine is roughly equivalent to the amount in 25 cups of coffee. The FDA is aware of at least onedeath of a teenager, thus far, who had used these products.

According to the FDA, pure caffeine is a powerful stimulant and very small amounts may cause accidental overdose. Symptoms of caffeine overdose can include rapid or dangerously erratic heartbeat, seizures and death. Vomiting, diarrhea, stupor, and disorientation are also symptoms of caffeine toxicity. These symptoms are likely to be much more severe than those resulting from drinking too much coffee, tea, or other caffeinated beverages. Unfortunately, teenagers and young adults may seek out these products. Individuals with heart conditions should clearly avoid them.

The FDA wants to know about adverse events associated with powdered pure caffeine and other highly caffeinated products. You can report any adverse reactions to the FDA:

• By phone at 240-402-2405
• By email at

Courtesy of:

New Grant Funding to Create a Centralized Location at Boston Medical Center to Help Marathon Bombing Victims

Many victims are still hurting more than a year after the bombing.

By Faiz Siddiqui | GLOBE CORRESPONDENT   JULY 08, 2014

Many victims are still hurting more than a year after the bombing.

During a golf outing a few weeks ago, Patrick Downes began chatting with a friend about what it might be like as an amputee to raise a child. Downes, who lost part of his left leg in the Boston Marathon bombings, pictured waking in the middle of the night to comfort a crying son or daughter from a wheelchair, or watching the child scurry into the street faster than a prosthetic would allow a father to run.

He found comfort in broaching the subject with a fellow bombing victim.

“We talk about these rich things, but we’re just goofing around on a golf course,” Downes said in an interview. “I want to make it very real for people, so that they can have the opportunity to get together and really heal as a group.”
If all goes according to plan, they will soon have such a place. Beginning in August, victims of the Boston Marathon bombings will be able to find mental health, behavioral, and psychological services inside a centralized location at Boston Medical Center, state and federal officials announced Tuesday.
Backed by $1.9 million in federal grants, the Massachusetts Resiliency Center will serve as a gathering place where bombing survivors can seek assistance and care, and meet in a central location, free of charge. Victims spanning more than 30 states and five countries will have the chance to receive electronic consultations aimed at finding services and providers in their communities.

Click here to read full article 

Courtesy of Boston Globe. 


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