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First Aid & Emergencies
If someone is unconscious or has trouble breathing, call 911!
CPR & Choking
Downloadable poster with CPR and choking rescue instructions (prints best legal size)
Poisons, overdoses, chemical exposures
If a child is unconscious, becoming drowsy, having convulsions, or having trouble breathing, call 911 or your local emergency number. Bring the poisonous substance (safely contained) with you to the hospital.
Swallowed Poisons Any nonfood substance is a potential poison. Examples include cleaning, pest control, automotive or gardening products, too much of their own medicine or any of someone else's medicine. Call the 24-hour Poison Help Line at 800-222-1222 first. The fastest way to get instructions is to call Poison Help before calling your doctor or going to the emergency room; many things can be managed at home but sometimes it is necessary to go to the nearest emergency department even if your child seems fine. Try to have any containers & information available when you call.
Fumes, Gases, or Smoke Get the child into fresh air and call 911, the fire department, or your local emergency number. If the child is not breathing, start CPR and continue until help arrives.
Skin Exposure If acids, lye, pesticides, chemicals, poisonous plants, or any potentially poisonous substance comes in contact with a child’s skin, eyes, or hair, brush off any residual material while wearing rubber gloves, if possible. Remove contaminated clothing. Wash skin, eyes, or hair with a large amount of water or mild soap and water. Do not scrub. Call Poison Help for further advice.
An expert at the Poison Help Line is available 24 hours a day, every day, by calling the Poison Help Line phone number: 800-222-1222. Program it into your phone now! The number is the same anywhere in the US.
Do NOT use syrup of ipecac unless the Poison Help Line specifically tells you to. It is almost never useful and can be quite harmful. Having it at home is no longer recommended.
Do not give the child anything to eat or drink. Try to have the substance label or name available when you call.
OHSU Poison Control Center The OSHU Poison Control Center covers Oregon, Alaska and Guam. and has many helpful resources on their website.
Medication safety: Up and Away program
Poster with instructions for common childhood injuries, accidents and emergencies (prints best legal size) from the AAP.
Allergic Reactions/Anaphalaxis: Swelling, problems breathing, and paleness may be signs of severe allergy. Call 911 or your local emergency number right away. Ask the person if they have emergency medicine like an EpiPen, if possible and help them use it.
Burns: Apply cool or cold water for 20-30 minutes, do not use ice.
Eye injuries: Cover the painful or injured eye with a paper cup or eye shield until you can get medical help.
Fractures and sprains
Stings, bits, allergies
How to choose OTC medications for children
Why OTC cough and cold medicines are NOT recommended for children by the American Academy of Pediatrics and by the FDA
If you aren't sure how much, when or how to give your child medicine, ask your doctor.
If the medicine is a liquid, use the measuring tool that comes with the medicine—not a kitchen spoon. If you don’t have a medicine syringe, ask us for one!
Keep a daily record of the medicines you give to your child. Share this information with anyone who is helping care for your child. One idea for keeping track of prescription medicine right on the bottle.
Make sure to read the pharmacy stickers about refrigeration and whether to take with or without food.
Not all medications have to be given at exact time intervals; if you will have to change family schedules, send medicine to school or any other significant adjustment to follow the instructions, ask your doctor for help with the dose schedule.
Don't mix liquid medicines into a bottle, drink or food because if the child doesn't finish the entire amount he or she won't get the right amount of medicine. If you need to mix it in something, just use a small enough amount that you can be sure it will all be eaten.
It is often better to make a small amount of something taste worse and then follow it immediately with something better tasting than to make the whole amount taste a little less icky.
Keep ALL medicines in 'childproof' containers, out of reach and out of sight.
Tips for Giving Acetaminophen to Children (adapted from the FDA website):
Never give your child more than one medicine containing acetaminophen at a time. To find out if an over-the-counter (OTC) medicine contains acetaminophen, look for “acetaminophen” on the label under “Active Ingredient.” Ask the pharmacist a prescription pain medicine contains acetaminophen.
It is especially important to give the right dose for your child’s weight and age. Using weight and age, look at the “Directions” section of the Drug Facts label to find the amount to give your child. If a dose for your child’s weight or age is not listed or you can’t tell how much to give, ask your pharmacist or doctor.
Never give more of an acetaminophen-containing medicine than directed.
If your child swallows too much acetaminophen, get medical help right away, even if your child doesn’t feel sick. For immediate help, call the 24-hour Poison Control Center at 800-222-1222 or 911.
Can I give my child acetaminophen and ibuprofen at the same time?
If you do, download this sheet to help you do it safely. It’s very easy to lose track!
Preventable injuries are the #1 killer of kids in the United States.
A nonprofit organization working to help families and communities keep kids safe from injuries & the definitive resource for protecting kids from preventable injuries. Find links to downloadable instructions, checklists and infographics, educational videos, news, recalls, events, and research.
Consumer Product Safety Commission CPSC
The government agency charged with protecting the public from unreasonable risks of injury or death associated with the use of the thousands of types of consumer products. Information on rules, recalls, procedures and requirements for businesses.
CPSC SaferProducts.com Searchable recall and repair notices
Comprehensive recall resources from boats to cosmetics from the USDA, FDA, EPA, Coast Guard, NHTSA and CPSC.
Recall lists divided into food, home, personal and medical/veterinary product categories.
Salem Fire Department program to provide bike helmets and smoke alarms to families who can't afford them.
Everyone should learn to swim. Participation in formal swim lessons can reduce the likelihood of childhood drowning death by 88%, though we should never trust infant or toddler swimming lessons to protect children from drowning. Proper adult supervision is ALWAYS required. Seattle Mama Doc explains, and HealthyKids.org reviews supervision of young children around water.
Local swimming lesson resources
NW Aquatics (Olinger and STSC) Salem Tennis & Swim (summer only)
PoolSafely.gov CPSC national pool & spa safety campaign
HealthyChildren.com Pool Rules
KidsHealth Swimming safety
Red Cross Swimming pool and spa safety tips
Beach, Lake & River Safety
All Terrain Vehicles (ATVs)
Why you should never allow a child under 18 years old to ride an adult ATV.
Symptoms & Diagnoses
What parents need to know about fever. More excellent advice from Dr. Tanya Altman
Online sibling of the KidsDoc symptom checker app from the AAP. Also available as an app: KidsDoc symptom checker for iPhone and Android.
The Ameriican Academy of Pediatrics' website for parents with information on children's health & safety, and a symptom checker. Updated frequently and a good place to start, especially for topics that have been in recent news. Excellent collection of best practice, evidence based information from the AAP dedicated to the welfare of all children. I'm proud to be a member of this amazing organization with one non-partisan, science based agenda.
Online sibling of the KidsDoc symptom checker app from the AAP.
Excellent patient information sheets from one of the most well respected references for physicians. No subscription required to search from this page.
Credible, searchable, easy to use website covering a comprehensive range of kid's health topics. Tabs lead to "For Parents", "For Kids", and "For Teens" sections with well written, age-appropriate articles on subjects of interest to each group. Good for parents seeking information for themselves and for their kids.
Extensive website from the Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto, Canada.
Vaccine information sheets:
Catch-up schedule and app
How to hold your child for vaccines (Spanish)
Tips for a less stressful vaccine visit
Vaccines when your child is sick
Parent led, local education and advocacy group providing well-researched answers to questions and countering rumors and misinformation.
A vast amount of information on vaccines and vaccine preventable diseases for the public and healthcare professionals. A very well respected nonprofit vaccine resource.
One of the nation's best Children's' Hospitals has a wonderful vaccine education center with information for parents, kids, teens and healthcare providers.
Vaccine Preventable Disease Information
All Vaccine Preventable Diseases (pdf)
Diseases you almost forgot about (cdc webpage)
Risks of not vaccinating (pdf)
Vaccine research & safety
The Journey of Your Child's Vaccine from research & development through ongoing monitoring (Infographic)
Common Concerns (Boost Oregon)
Infant Vaccine Q&A
Insuring the safety of vaccines
What is the ACIP?
About thimerosal (mercury) and vaccines
Understanding how vaccines work
Vaccine facts trivia
What is the Vaccine Injury Compensation Program (VICP)?
Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS) is a national early warning system to detect possible safety problems in U.S.-licensed vaccines. VAERS is managed by the CDC and the FDA, and its objectives are to detect & monitor unusual or adverse events that may be related to vaccines, monitor and address safety and administration errors, and monitor and provide information for public health emergencies (such as a flu pandemic). Anyone can report an adverse event that happens after a vaccination.
CDC Vaccine information sheets (VIS):
Special health and educational needs
A safe online platform for people with serious health conditions to tell their stories, connect with others and raise support for the causes they believe in. The Mighty is working to build a community so that having a disability or disease doesn’t have to be isolating. You'll find information on mental illness, autism, disabilities, cancer, chronic illness and rare diseases for those who have them and their parents.
Free online magazine & resource for parents and caregivers ofthoe with special needs.
What is asthma? TED-Ed video
Down Syndrome (Trisomy 21)
Northwest Down Syndrome Association (NWDSA)
National Down Syndrome Society (NDSS)
National Association for Down Syndrome (NADS)
Cri du Chat
Fetal Alcohol Association/Effect
Type I ('juvenile' insulin dependent)
Type II ('adult' onset)
Mental Health & Substance Use
A non-profit organization based in British Columbia who's mission is to promote awareness of anxiety disorders and support access to evidence based resources and treatment. Fabulous source of information for kids, teens, adults, educators and health professionals.
The AnxietyBC Mind shift app is designed to help teens and young adults cope with anxiety by learning mindfulness techniques.
Coping Cat Parents Anxiety information and resources for kids, parents and educators.
The TLC Foundation for Body-Focused Repetitive Behaviors is a donor-supported, nonprofit organization devoted to ending the suffering caused by hair pulling disorder, skin picking disorder, and related body-focused repetitive behaviors.
Here to Help Mental health and substance abuse information and resources for individuals, family members and professionals from BC Partners for Mental Health and Addictions Information.
Vaping Daily (formerly Quitday.org): Quit smoking and vaping information and resources
How to quit smoking or smokeless tobacco from the American Cancer Society