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techdirections May 2014 : Page 24

A Peer-Reviewed Article Helping Students Make Their Homes Safer By Elizabeth Jarvi, Tarek Mahfouz, Suchismita Bhattacharjee, and Edward J. Lazaros eljarvi@bsu.edu; tmahfouz@bsu.edu; suchi@ou.edu; ejlazaros@bsu.edu H OMES can be dangerous places for adults and young people alike. With so many technological advances in today’s soci-ety, many homes are cluttered with multiple technological items that can cause potential harm. Common items like power cords can be especially hazardous for children. The more aware people are of these everyday hazards, the more likely it is that we can reduce the number of injuries and fatalities that occur in the U.S each year. The goals of this article are to inform teachers about how to teach middle school students about tech-nology-related safety in the home; increase students’ knowledge of cor-rect safety procedures by identifying specific technology items that could present a hazard; and encourage collaboration between parents and students on these concerns. Background Homes should be a place of safety and relaxation, but some of their contents present a major threat to the safety of children. Although 92% Suchismita Bhattacharjee is an assistant professor, College of Archi-tecture, University of Oklahoma, Nor-man; and Elizabeth Jarvi is a former student, Tarek Mahfouz is an assistant professor of construction manage-ment, and Edward J. Lazaros is an assistant professor of technology and coordinator of the online Master of Arts in career and technical education, Department of Technology, Ball State University, Muncie, IN. hazardous situations in the home can of people surveyed think of their be prevented through awareness. To homes as safe places, about 20,000 help reduce injuries, both parents deaths and 21 million injuries that and children should receive educa-require a visit to the doctor occur in tion related to safety practices (Pos-the United States every year (John-ner et al., 2004). son, 2007). As many as 4.1 million Introducing students to methods children end up visiting emergency and procedures on how to be safe rooms each year (Posner, Hawkins, and look for hazardous items and/or Garcia-Espana, and Durbin, 2004). situations will help increase aware-Many of these injuries are pre-ness and knowledge in the home. ventable. According to the National Too many parents aren’t sufficiently Safety Council, “In 2009, there were knowledgeable about identifying an estimated 90,300 home and com-technological items that can be dan-munity-related unintentional injury gerous, so there is great benefit in deaths, accounting for 70% of all educating students in that regard. unintentional injury deaths that year. An additional 30.5 million people suf-fered nonfatal medically consulted Objective injuries due to home and community-After completing this activity, stu-related incidents, which correlates dents will have an increased aware-to about one out of every 10 people” ness of household safety and how (Home Recreational Safety, 2009). to prevent injuries that occur in the According to the recent publi-home. They will complete a safety cations of the Centers for Disease checklist provided by the teacher Control and Prevention, about 12,000 that identifies common hazardous children die every year from uninten-household technological items. They tional injuries. Injury is the number will have an opportunity to fix and one cause of death among children. (Centers 3.38% 16.43% for Disease Q Fire or burn Control and Q Suffocation 33.82% Prevention, Q Drowning 5.80% 2012). Figure 1 shows a Q Falling breakdown 19.32 Q Poisons of causes Q Various 21.26% of deaths of children from home acci-dents. Fig. 1—Percentage breakdown of deaths of children Common from home accidents injuries and 24 tech directions X MAY 2014

Helping Students Make Their Homes Safer

Elizabeth Jarvi,Tarek Mahfouz,Suchismita Bhattacharjee,Edward J. Lazaros


HOMES can be dangerous places for adults and young people alike. With so many technological advances in today’s society, many homes are cluttered with multiple technological items that can cause potential harm. Common items like power cords can be especially hazardous for children. The more aware people are of these everyday hazards, the more likely it is that we can reduce the number of injuries and fatalities that occur in the U.S each year.

The goals of this article are to inform teachers about how to teach middle school students about technology- related safety in the home; increase students’ knowledge of correct safety procedures by identifying specific technology items that could present a hazard; and encourage collaboration between parents and students on these concerns.

Background
Homes should be a place of safety and relaxation, but some of their contents present a major threat to the safety of children. Although 92% of people surveyed think of their homes as safe places, about 20,000 deaths and 21 million injuries that require a visit to the doctor occur in the United States every year (Johnson, 2007). As many as 4.1 million children end up visiting emergency rooms each year (Posner, Hawkins, Garcia-Espana, and Durbin, 2004).

Many of these injuries are preventable. According to the National Safety Council, “In 2009, there were an estimated 90,300 home and community- related unintentional injury deaths, accounting for 70% of all unintentional injury deaths that year. An additional 30.5 million people suffered nonfatal medically consulted injuries due to home and community related incidents, which correlates to about one out of every 10 people” (Home Recreational Safety, 2009).

According to the recent publications of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, about 12,000 children die every year from unintentional injuries. Injury is the number one cause of death among children. (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2012). Figure 1 shows a breakdown of causes of deaths of children from home accidents.

Common injuries and hazardous situations in the home can be prevented through awareness. To help reduce injuries, both parents and children should receive education related to safety practices (Posner et al., 2004).

Introducing students to methods and procedures on how to be safe and look for hazardous items and/or situations will help increase awareness and knowledge in the home. Too many parents aren’t sufficiently knowledgeable about identifying technological items that can be dangerous, so there is great benefit in educating students in that regard.

Objective
After completing this activity, students will have an increased awareness of household safety and how to prevent injuries that occur in the home. They will complete a safety checklist provided by the teacher that identifies common hazardous household technological items. They will have an opportunity to fix and amend these hazards with help from parents and/or guardians and will then participate in a simple in-class math activity to calculate the mean, median, and mode of each hazardous item identified by the class.

Performing these calculations will increase students’ mathematical competence and will show concretely how many items are a possible danger in the household. Finally, students will summarize in writing what they have learned.

Specifically, students will:
1. Collaborate with parents to complete a technology safety checklist.
2. Identify technology hazards that could cause injury in the home.
3. Take part in an in-class learning experience that uses collaboration between teacher and students to identify ways to prevent unintentional injuries in the home.
4. Use math to calculate the mean, median, and mode for potential hazards that were identified.
5.Use language arts skills to write a one-page paper on ways to prevent household hazards and potential injuries.

Limitations and Requirements
1. Each student, with adult assistance, must complete the safety checklist in the time frame specified by the instructor.
2. Students should be careful in the course of completing the checklist.
3. Note that some homes may contain fewer hazards than others, so the results of the safety checklists will vary.

Procedure
1. Introduce information on home injuries and share injury statistics with your students. This information is provided in the Background section and in Fig. 1.
2. Introduce and review hazardous materials and discuss what makes a common technological item a safety hazard.

Table 1 provides a list of standards, which are related to this activity, for the teacher.

Activity 1
1. Distribute the technology safety checklist.
2. Students will take home the checklist and in collaboration with their parents/guardians will fill it out. Students will identify potential safety hazards that exist in the home and note them on the checklist.
3. If students have access to a camera, they should photograph possible hazards, print the photos, and attach them to the safety checklist.
4. Students will turn in their completed technology safety checklists by the deadline specified by the teacher.

Activity 2
Each student will stand at the front of the classroom and read from his or her technology safety checklist to share information gained with the class. During the presentation, the teacher will tally the information on the board at the front of the classroom.

Activity 3
1. Give a brief mathematics lesson on mean, median, and mode and distribute the Activity 3 handouts.
2. Students will use the tallied information on the board to calculate the mean, median, and mode for the safety-related data collected.
3. Students will turn in their completed calculations for teacher evaluation.

Activity 4
1. Lead a classroom discussion and collectively brainstorm ways to use the data collected from the technology safety checklist to prevent hazards and potential injuries in the home. Identify simple actions that can be implemented in the home with the help of parents/guardians to prevent household hazards and potential injuries.
2. Each student will write a one page paper that includes information from the brainstorming session on ways to prevent household hazards and potential injuries. Students should specifically describe what can be done in their own homes with the help of their parents/guardians.

References
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), National Center for Injury Prevention and Control. Division of Unintentional Injury. (2012) “Vital Signs”. < http://www.cdc.gov/ vitalsigns/pdf/2012-04-vitalsigns.pdf > (Accessed December 2013).

Johnson, T. D. (2007, September). Tips for creating a ‘home safe home’. The Nation’s Health, September 2007.

National Safety Council (2009). Home and recreational safety. Retrieved from http://www.nsc.org/safety_ home/HomeandRecreationalSafety/ Pages/HomeandRecreatioalSafety.aspx <December 2012>

Posner, J. C., L. A. Hawkins, F. Garcia- Espana, & D. R. Durbin. (2004). A randomized, clinical trial of home safety intervention based in an emergency department setting. Pediatrics, 113 (6) 1603-1608.

Suchismita Bhattacharjee is an assistant professor, College of Architecture, University of Oklahoma, Norman; and Elizabeth Jarvi is a former student, Tarek Mahfouz is an assistant professor of construction management, and Edward J. Lazaros is an assistant professor of technology and coordinator of the online Master of Arts in career and technical education, Department of Technology, Ball State University, Muncie, IN.

Read the full article at http://www.omagdigital.com/article/Helping+Students+Make+Their+Homes+Safer/1692154/206487/article.html.

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