kid safety

Don't Teach Stranger Danger


                Growing up I’m sure many of you were taught “Stranger Danger”. It was catchy, short, simple and even rhymed. However, many people don’t know that Stranger Danger is no longer advised to be taught in our schools and groups like the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children are strongly against it. Statistically less than 1% of kidnappings occur by a “stranger”. The message of “stranger danger” can mistakenly convey to children that only strangers harm children and teaching kids to “never talk to strangers” can prevent ways that can assist a child in staying safe.

Adults need to also understand that the risk to children are FAR GREATER from someone they know. When we tell our children to never talk to strangers, we have eliminated a key source of help for them. We are essentially telling them all strangers are bad. For example, if your child is lost in a store they may be surrounded by “strangers” that are also available rescuers that could assist them when they are in trouble.  Stranger Danger has been known to prolong the amount of time a child was missing in certain situations because the child was afraid to ask people around for help.  Instead of saying “Never talk to strangers.”, educate your children to know not to approach just anyone if they are lost or in trouble, but to look for a police officer, a clerk with a nametag or a parent with children. Also be sure to teach them the importance of staying still if they get lost. If they begin to wander around to search for you it will take finding them even longer.

                Instead of Stranger Danger, children need to be educated on how to recognize and avoid potentially dangerous situations. Talk to your kids about ways to stay safe.  Let them know the importance of getting permission before going anywhere with anyone and that they should always tell you right away if anyone asks them to keep a secret from you or makes them feel uncomfortable. When you are out and about with your child find teachable moments, take time to point out places they can go for help in different environments. Identify people (store employees, police officers, etc.) that they should go to if they ever need help.  Tell them the importance of using the buddy system. All of these conversations and teachable moments will help prepare your child in case they find themselves missing or in a dangerous situation.

For more resources and helpful tips visit www.kidsmartz.org

 

Protecting What Matters Most

 

Your home is supposed to be a safe haven for you and your family. Protecting the ones, you love takes more than just an alarm system to protect you from danger coming from the outside. You also need to take careful steps to ensure that the inside of your home is safe as well. Each year in the U.S., about six children a day die from an injury inside their own home. We’ve compiled a list of helpful things to consider to help keep loved ones safe in your home.

 Watch Diligently Around Water

-          Drowning is the leading cause of injury related death in the home for children 1-4 years of age. Leaving a young child alone in a bathtub is very dangerous, even for just a minute.  A young child can drown in less than 2 inches of water. That means supervising bath time, putting child locks on toilet seats when (infants and toddlers are in the home), and making sure that pool areas are blocked off are all key ways to help keep your children safe.  ALWAYS watch children closely with your undivided attention when any kind of water is involved.

Keep Medicine Out of Reach

-          3 out of 10 parents surveyed that have a toddler in their home say they keep medicine and cleaning products on a low shelf or an unlocked cabinet.  Poison centers answer over a million calls a year about a child under 5 years of age. Making sure to keep all medications (including things like diaper cream and vitamins) out of reach is a crucial step in avoiding an accidental injury or even death due to the ingestion of such a substance. 

 Secure Televisions and Furniture

-           Almost half of the parents surveyed said they have not secured TVs and furniture to prevent them from tipping over and falling on a child. TV and furniture tip overs send children to the hospital at an alarming rate and can result in death. Every 3 weeks a child dies from a television tipping over. Be sure to properly secure furniture like bookcases to the wall. Our technicians can also assist you with properly mounting televisions and make sure that the proper sized mount is used.

Keep Cribs Clear

-          When it comes to cribs, bare is best! Almost 75% of parents in a survey stated that they place items in their baby’s crib. These items ranged from blankets, stuffed animals, and/or bumpers. Babies cribs are to remain clear of these objects as they pose a risk of suffocation. Since babies spend most of their time sleeping, making their crib a safe place is vital for their protection. Make use of approved sleep sacks instead of loose blankets, and keep the stuffed toys for play time instead of when it’s time to rest. Also ALWAYS place your baby on their back to sleep.

Don’t Get Burned

-          In 2013, more than 126, 035 children in the U.S. were injured due to a fire or burn. Something as simple as adjusting your water heater to 120 degrees can help prevent accidental burning. Also remember when cooking on the stove, never hold a child in your hands. Instead utilize a high chair or learning tower at a safe distance so you can still involve them in what is going on without putting them at danger. Another great tip is to always use the burners in the back when possible and turn handles of pots and pans away from the edge. As you already know keep all lighters and matches out of reach for small children and talk to your older children about fire and cooking safety.

 Consider Adding Life Safety Devices:

-          Alarm systems are great ways to help keep you and your loved ones safe. If you don’t already have monitored smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors, consider the added protection it can provide your family. Carbon monoxide is an odorless gas that you cannot see so a carbon monoxide detector is key in detecting it and alerting you and your family. 

If you have any questions about how to better protect you and your family, please reach out to our team.

Playground Safety

Yes it’s true….bumps and bruises are a part of childhood. However no one wants to see their child end up with a serious injury. Playgrounds are supposed to be a place for our children to have fun and use up their extra energy, but they can also be a place where children get hurt. Did you know falls are the most common playground injury; and in almost half of the cases, lack of supervision is involved? Active supervision is key for helping keep kids safe! Here are some other helpful tips to avoid unnecessary injury.

 

-          Look for playgrounds with shock-absorbing surfaces

-          Talk to your children about how crowding and pushing can be dangerous on playground equipment

-          Dress appropriately for the playground. Items like necklaces and scarves and even drawstrings can get caught in equipment and put your child at risk of strangulation.

-          Actively supervise children instead of using that time to catch up on emails or talk on the phone. It helps keep kids safe and also give you a special and fun way to bond with your children.

-          SHARE with us any helpful tips you have for playground fun and safety.

playground