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Keys to Kids’ Safety
The Keys to Kids' Safety Program provides community outreach initiatives and child safety resources such as educational materials and trainings. This program addresses vehicle and bike safety, safe sleep practices, home environment and poison safety.

We conduct childrens' car seat inspection and installation events, provide education to community members and, in some cases, provide low-cost car seats, cribs, and other necessary safety equipment to parents, caregivers and agency personnel to ensure the safety of Monroe County children.

To find out about Keys to Kids' Safety events in your area, check our News & Events page regularly.  For more information about the program, please contact our Child Safety Program Director or call 305-293-8424.

Riding bicycles is a great way for children to spend some time outside having fun and getting exercise! We want to help you make sure your child is safe while riding in a seat on your bike or on their own. The Florida Keys Healthy Start Coalition provides free bicycle helmets to all children in Monroe County (while supplies last). We also have trained helmet fitters to make sure your child's helmet fits properly. Please call (305) 293-8424 to set up an appointment. Also, remember, parents can set an example by wearing your own helmet and following all safety laws.

Below is information on Florida law, as well as some additional bike and helmet safety tips.  

Florida Law Requires

  • Every bike rider under 16 must wear a properly fitted and secured helmet, including children in a bicycle trailer or a bike seat.
  • Parents and guardians must not knowingly allow a child to violate this law. Anyone who violates the helmet law may be issued a citation and fined.

Bicycle Safety Tips

  • Children should not ride on a bicycle until 1 year of age.
  • Small children should be securely fastened in a mounted seat on the adult’s bicycle or in a trailer.
  • All bicycle riders should wear a helmet, including adults.
  • Bicycle riders should obey all traffic laws. It is safest to ride on the right side, with the flow of traffic.

Helmet Fitting Tips

  • Helmets should fit snugly and be level on your head. The helmet rim should be one or two finger widths above the eyebrow. 
  • The straps should form a "V" shape under the ears and be tight enough that no more than two fingers fit between the strap and
  • the chin.
  • The buckle should be centered under the chin. 

If you would like to have this information in poster form, please feel free to download our poster to print and hang wherever you would like.  

Effective January 1, 2015, Florida drivers must follow an enhanced child restraint device (car seat) law, which will reduce tragic outcomes in vehicle accidents. The new law extends the requirement of a car seat or booster seat until a child’s 6th birthday. For more details, visit our News Release on the new law.

As state and federal guidelines can change and as your children grow, keeping up with car seats can be overwhelming.  Here are a few web sites that may help you sort through the options and make decisions.

This year, Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center and Toyota celebrate Buckle Up for Life's 10th anniversary by launching a campaign to raise awareness on proper child passenger safety. 

Los choques automovilísticos son la causa principal de muerte entre niños de uno a trece años de edad. Unase al compromiso de “Abróchate a la Vida” hoy y ayude a hacer que la seguridad del niño pasajero una prioridad. 

Florida Occupant Protection Resource Center

HealthyChildren.org from AAP  (Spanish Version)

They have a good overall article about car seat safety.  Topics they address include: Types of Car Seats At a Glance, Installation Information: Seat Belts & LATCH, Infants & Toddlers: Rear-Facing, Shopping for Car Seats, and more.  There are installation tips, common questions, and lots of great information.

NHTSA (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration):

  • Is Your Child in the Right Car Seat?
  • How to Find the Right Car Seat?
  • How to Install
  • Get Your Car Seat Checked
  • Registration and Recalls
  • Car seat information in Spanish 

NHTSA Car Seats & Ease of Use

Safe Kids Worldwide

The Safe Kids Worldwide web site has a great interactive page titled "Car Seat, Booster Seat or Seat Belt: Where Does Your Kid Fit?"  This page can help you determine what type of seat your child should be in, and when to switch them to the next size/type of car seat. 

We offer classes on Infant/Child CPR and Choking prevention on occasion.  Participants will learn life-saving skills for their families including CPR, choking prevention, poison control, shaken baby prevention and first aid. To keep the costs down, you will NOT receive the Red Cross certification card but the instructor IS a Certified Instructor.

No childcare is provided. You may bring your own food/drinks and should dress comfortably.

Check our News and Events page for upcoming classes and information about registration and costs.  

SafeKids Worldwide provided the following information on heatstroke.

Babies and young kids can sometimes sleep so peacefully that we forget they are even there. It can also be tempting to leave a baby alone in a car while we quickly run into the store. The problem is that leaving a child alone in a car can lead to serious injury or death from heatstroke. Young children are particularly at risk, as their bodies heat up three to five times faster than an adult’s. These tragedies are completely preventable.

Here’s how we can all work together to keep kids safe from heatstroke.

Reduce the Number of Deaths from Heatstroke by Remembering to ACT

  • A: Avoid heatstroke related injury and death by never leaving your child alone in a car, not even for a minute. And make sure to keep your car locked when you’re not in it so kids don’t get in on their own.
  • C: Create reminders by putting something in the back of your car next to your child such as a briefcase, a purse or a cell phone that is needed at your final destination. This is especially important if you’re not following your normal routine.
  • T: Take action. If you see a baby alone in a car, enter the establishment with the model, color and license of the vehicle and have the owner paged.  Call 911 if the baby appears to be in physical distress.

Go a Step Further: Take Steps to Remind Yourself

  • SafeKids.org suggests leaving an item of importance next to your child – including a briefcase, purse or cell phone, your left shoe – anything you need once you reach your destination.
  • Make a habit of looking into all the seats of the vehicle before you exit or walk away.
  • Set up a system with your child care provider. Have them call you if your child has not been dropped off at the normal time. 
  • Put a stuffed animal in the car seat when your child is not in it – when you put your child in the seat, take the animal out and put it next to you as a reminder.
  • Use technology to help you. 
  1. Create a calendar reminder to drop your child off at daycare.
  2. Purchase a car seat the “talks” to your car and reminds you that the baby is still in the seat.
  3. There are several apps, such as Precious Cargo, that provide heat warnings in vehicles which are extremely easy to use and will keep you constantly alert.

Teach Kids Not to Play in Cars

  • Make sure to lock your vehicle, including doors and trunk, when you’re not using it. Keep keys and remote entry fobs out of children’s sight and reach.
  • Teach kids that trunks are for transporting cargo and are not safe places to play.
  • If your child is missing, get help and check swimming pools, vehicles and trunks. If your children are locked in a car, get them out as quickly as possible and dial 911 immediately. Emergency personnel are trained to evaluate and check for signs of heatstroke.

For more information on heatstroke, visit SafeKids.org or KidsAndCars.org/heatstroke.html. 

Downloadable files below can be printed and posted.

The text4baby web site has a great list of health hotlines for parents.  These can be great resources but should not be used as a substitute for medical advice.  Use them in partnership with your health care provider. 

Anyone can get food poisoning, but babies and toddlers are at especially high risk and once they become infected, young children can have a hard time getting well. Serious complications may develop, resulting in hospitalizations, lifelong health problems, and even death.

This guide from the Partnership for Food Safety Education has tips for parents, grandparents, and baby sitters on ways to reduce the risk of food poisoning in households with small children.  English and Spanish versions are available.

 

Here in the Keys, almost every child is exposed to dangers related to pools or the ocean.  Wise, informed parenting can minimize those dangers and help you know how to keep your children safe when they are in or on the water.  

FKHSC is now a PoolSafely Partner!  Drowning is the leading cause of unintentional death in children ages 1-4. Florida leads the country in drowning deaths of children in that age group. Even if you don't have a pool at your home, education can help them at other's pools and even when they're playing in the ocean.  

We have some of the PoolSafely supplies available for parents, including the Water Watcher Cards with Lanyards.  This information card on a lanyard helps designate an adult water watcher to ensure someone is always supervising children in and near water. The card lists the Pool Safely safety steps and instructions for the supervising adult.  Call us a 305-293-8424 if you would like some of these free resources.

Go to PoolSafely's Kids' Corner to take the PoolSafely Pledge, learn the PoolSafely song, download an app for kids, and more.  Educating yourself and your children can help prevent a tragedy.  

Another great resource is WaterproofFL.  Visit their site to learn the steps you can take to secure your pool and protect Florida’s children.

 

Knowing how to select a life jacket can be confusing.  Here's a great brochure entitled How to Choose a Life Jacket, from the US Coast Guard's boating safety division.  Their web site has lots more information on choosing and wearing life jackets, too.  

AAA State of Play is a commercial playground equipment company.  They have a good list of water safety resources on their web site, which you might find useful.  

Children’s Safety Network National Resource Center for Injury and Violence Prevention is dedicated to working with state, territorial and community Maternal & Child Health and Injury & Violence prevention programs to create an environment where all children and youth are safe and healthy. The web site covers an extensive array of injury topics. 

Click here to go to the American Association of Pediatrics' web site section on Safety & Prevention.  There you will find lots of articles about children's safety at home, at play, on the go, and all around.  

 

 

Click here for their Spanish language site.

 

 

If you're looking for information you can trust about kids and teens that's free of "doctor speak," KidsHealth is the most-visited site on the Web for information about health, behavior, and development from before birth through the teen years. The link above will take you to their page with Household Safety Checklists.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration works to save lives on our nation's roadways including helping keep children safe on the road.  The Parents Central section of their web site has information about keeping children safe in and around vehicles, how to install car seats, an age and size chart, information about recalls, and much more.  

Red Cross has water safety resources, tips and general child water safety information.  Most of the other web sites listed here do as well, so feel free to search water safety on the other sites.  

Safe Kids Worldwide is a global organization dedicated to preventing injuries in children, the number one killer of kids in the United States. Around the world, a child dies from an unintentional injury every 30 seconds. And millions of children are injured in ways that can affect them for a lifetime.  Their web site can help you keep your children safe from preventable tragedies.

University of Miami's Poison Control Center has checklists and resources for poison control, home safety, first aid, and plants and animals including venomous "critters".  This is a great resource for issues specific to our region of the country.  They also have some basic information in Spanish.  

Florida Keys Healthy Start Coalition Inc