Monday, May 31, 2010

Family Fun at Fisher Cat Stadium

Through a fundraiser my husband participated in we received tickets to a Fisher Cats game Memorial Day weekend. In addition to the game we also received a tour of the stadium before the game. The picture above was taken from one of the decks next to the box seats.

All the kids had a great time! We received a full tour, including the press box and behind the dugouts. The kids were able to go on the field during the singing of the National Anthem and they had activities between each inning. One staff member was dressed as the Tooth Fairy and had a little 'helper' who helped her clean the bases before the game. The small playground we had seen at a game last year was replaced by a play area behind the bleacher sets that had 3 different inflated activities for the kids - a slide, bouncy house and batting cage. Each inflatable activity had a staff member monitoring it and access to the area was limited. We went later in the game and had to wait our turn to enter since the area was full. The safety part of me would gladly wait rather than have the kids jumping all over each other in an overcrowded area.

The staff and employees at the stadium were pleasant and really are an asset to the game! Despite long lines at some of the food vendors everyone was nice and not rushed. Clean up crews were in constant motion keeping the stadium clean. For each activity that involved kids on the field the staff stayed with them and made sure no child left the field without a parent to pick them up at the gate.

The only constructive criticism - the new bouncy house play area was located on the deck behind the right outfield bleacher seats. This was the only smoking area in the stadium and occasionally I could smell smoke while waiting for two of my children who were in the bouncy house. I'm not sure what happened to the traditional playground that used to be behind the center of the stadium.

When I was looking up the directions before we left I discovered that I could reserve a parking spot right next to the stadium for only $10! That's how much the private lot next door charges and half the cost of what we paid to another private lot when we went last summer. You can reserve your spot on a first come/first served basis the day of the game until 3pm. Very much worth it to not have to walk little kids down the street after an evening game.

Taking four kids ranging from 3 to almost 12 is always a bit of a challenge, but there was enough going on to keep everyone occupied and interested. I had no problem walking my 3 year old up and down the stadium when she really didn't want to sit in her seat. The fireworks show afterward was a perfect ending to a great evening at the ballpark. I am already looking forward to taking the family to another game.

Monday, May 24, 2010


Tonight I did something I said I would never do. I dropped my daughter off at her softball game and didn't stay to watch. I feel horrible. I don't always hang out during practice, but throughout soccer, basketball and softball my husband or I have always stayed and watched the game. Tonight he is working and I don't have anyone to watch the little kids. So I dropped her off and told her I'd be back before it was over. I know a lot of other parents do this, but I've tried so hard to be there for all of their games and activities.

With a large age range of kids it can be hard. Taking 3 non-softball playing kids to their oldest siblings game just isn't their idea of fun. At one game my 3 year old starting yelling she wanted to go home barely into the second inning. At the last game I brought the whole gang thinking we would tailgate in the minivan along the outfield fence. That didn't turn out as bucolic as I had hoped. Tonight it's an away game and the parking is not next to the field. It's really hot and the mosquitos are out in full force. It's not like the fall when we just wear long layers to keep the bugs at bay, it is hot and a little muggy out. I weighed the options of bring unhappy younger siblings soaked in insect repellent - meaning showers and a much later bedtime vs. dropping her off and going back to pick her up. And dropping her off seemed the better option for my sanity level. How do parents of preschoolers attend sports with older kids? Have you ever done the drop and bolt at your child's sports games?

Saturday, May 15, 2010

What do you want in a First Aid kit?

I recently did a survey on First Aid kits. I've begun selling CPR and First Aid supplies on my website. My goal is to offer products that are reasonably priced and user friendly. So far I've found a lot of really, really expensive (embarrassingly expensive) first aid kits; and some that don't have sticker shock. Since my background is EMS I know what I need in my kit, but not everyone does. To get a better sense of what potential customers might want in a first aid kit I did a simple 1 question survey .... What would you look for/at when buying a first aid kit?

I made a list of different reasons for purchasing one kit over another and added a comment box to get any additional info that someone might want to share. The results didn't completely surprise me and will help me to offer products people are looking for at the price they want to pay.

25 people took the survey, the results are:
72% contents
52% price
48% size of the kit
48% easy to understand (packaged in pouches labeled for situation - cuts, burns, etc.)
44% ease of refilling contents
28% durability (i.e.... can it survive soccer season outdoors)
28% a small first aid book
16% location to purchase: online vs. local store (note to self: I should have made this 2 questions since I don't know what someone would prefer)
8% non-traditional contents (flashlight, emergency radio)
0% more gizmos than you'd ever need
0% electronics that tell you what to do
8% all of the above

What am I going to do with this info? I'm continuing my research into different brands and suppliers of First Aid kits. Currently I am offering First Aid kits from Genuine First Aid. So far they have the most reasonable prices that I've seen. I'll be posting a review of the kits I just ordered soon.

Friday, May 7, 2010

False CPR certification

I saw a link to a news story today .... Firefighter accused of giving false CPR certifications. While it makes me sad in a way I'm not surprised. Occasionally I am asked to do group BLS CPR recert 'session' during employee's lunch hours (so maybe a 30-45 min 'class'). I use the quotes because it really isn't a class, or a session and during an employee's lunch break it just can't easily be done.

When you take a CPR or First Aid class it should include hands-on practical skills. In my courses you have to practice and perform all the skills; and for Healthcare Providers you must take and pass the AHA written exam. My goal is to make sure each person in my class can perform the skills as if it was myself or a member of my family you could be saving.

How long or how quickly can you learn or recertify in CPR? For Healthcare Providers who are experienced in CPR a renewal session can move very quickly. But you need enough time for each person to demonstrate all of the skills and take the required written test. One person could do it in 30-45 minutes - if they are fully prepared to test; but in a group setting it can take longer.

Be wary of instructors who can promise certification in just mere minutes or with minimal practice time. The American Heart Association, along with other certification agencies such as the American Red Cross and the American Safety & Health Institute, all use repetitive skills practice in their courses. This is because through studies they've determined that hands on skills practice is the best way to learn or renew a skill.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Registering that AED ...

NH Revised Statutes Annotated
Section 153-A:32

153-A:32 Automated External Defibrillator Registry. – There shall be established in the department of safety a registry for all automated external defibrillators in the state. The department is authorized to release information from the registry to first responders in an emergency through the enhanced 911 system. Registration shall include the address and precise location of the automated external defibrillator.
Source. 2002, 156:2, eff. July 14, 2002.

Section 153-A:33

153-A:33 Registration Required. –
I. The owner of an automated external defibrillator shall register with the department of safety under RSA 153-A:32 within 30 days of acquisition.
II. Manufacturers or distributors shall provide written notice to purchasers of the requirement to register automated external defibrillators with the department.
III. The provisions of paragraphs I and II shall not apply to owners who purchase an automated external defibrillator for use in a private residence.
Source. 2002, 156:2, eff. July 14, 2002.

If you own or purchase an AED in New Hampshire you are required to register your AED. Whomever sells you the AED should inform you of this. The State of New Hampshire has a form to make registration quick and easy.