September 19, 2006 -- The Nanaimo News Bulletin (British Columbia) ran a short item today about a bungy jumping promotion that local nurses organized to highlight the importance of child car safety seats. According to Chris Bush's article, the nurses wanted to show the public that bungy jumping was actually safer than riding with an improperly restrained child. We commend the Nanaimo Regional General Hospital maternity nurses (and one of the nurses' sons) for advocacy that serves the interests of nursing as well as the public. And we thank Mr. Bush and the News Bulletin for covering it.
"Nurses risk leap for car seats" reports that several of the nurses "took the leap into the Nanaimo River Canyon" at the Bungy Zone, which claims to have had 175,000 jumps with no accidents since opening in 1990. The piece quotes obstetrics nurse Vanessa Pearson: "The fact is bungy jumping is statistically safer than travelling our roads with an infant poorly restrained." The piece cites the ICBC (presumably the Insurance Corporation of British Columbia) as estimating that 80% of child seats are not used properly or "simply provide inadequate protection." The item reports that it was actually Pearson's son Ashton who "first came up with the idea for the promotion to raise awareness and resources for car seat safety," and that he challenged his mother to jump with him to celebrate his 16th birthday. The piece notes that Ashton and three friends raised more than $1,000 to "support car seat safety programs and equipment at the hospital," and it gives readers a way to contribute more to the cause.
An event like this obviously increases understanding of important health issues like child safety, but it also shows nurses taking an active role in promoting public health. This is especially important because many people believe that "nursing" is shift work that occurs only at the bedside. In fact, nursing's holistic practice model encompasses a wide range of important health promotion and policy activities. Such as bungy jumping.
The article is no longer online, please see it below.
CHRIS BUSH/The News Bulletin
By Chris Bush
The news Bulletin
Sep 19 2006
Nanaimo Regional General Hospital maternity ward nurses took the leap into Nanaimo River Canyon to point out the importance of using child car seats Friday.
Their appointment at the Bungy Zone was made to point out the safety of bungy jumping compared to riding in a car.
"The fact is bungy jumping is statistically safer than travelling our roads with an infant poorly restrained, " said obstetrics nurse Vanessa Pearson.
Since opening in 1990, the Bungy Zone claims a safety record of 175,000 jumps with no accidents.
ICBC estimates 80 per cent of child car seats are not installed properly, have children poorly harnessed in them, or simply provide inadequate protection.
It was Pearson's son Ashton who first came up with the idea for the promotion to raise awareness and resources for car seat safety.
To celebrate his 16th birthday, he challenged his mother to jump with him.
He and three friends raise more than $1,000 to support car seat safety programs and equipment at the hospital.
Friday's event was co-sponsored by ICBC, BCAA and WildPlay Element Parks.
Pledges and donations can be made to the program until Friday (Sept. 22) through the Nanaimo Regional General Hospital & District Foundation.