Friday, October 29, 2010

Halloween Safety Tips


I recently wrote a quick guest post for Multiples and More on Halloween Safety. And then today realized I should have posted these on my own blog!

Halloween 2010 Safety Tips

Before Halloween
  • Plan out your costumes. Make sure everything fits and if you're in a colder climate make sure it will fit over a warm coat.
  • Make sure part of their costume is reflective. Streetlights aren't always bright and not every place has them. If you're in a town without sidewalks reflective striping is a must.
  • Incorporate glow sticks, glow necklaces or glow bracelets as part of their costumes.
  • Pick up some fun Halloween themed flashlights.  Not only does it help the kids find their way, it helps you spot them if they get a little too far ahead of you.
  • Plan out where you are trick or treating.  Stick to your neighborhood or neighborhoods you know well.  This is not about where the candy is, but where it is safe.  If your state has an online sex offender registry check it.  In NH you can find it at http://www4.egov.nh.gov/nsor/search.aspx.  Check where sidewalks and cross walks are.  Plan your trip in a loop or several small loops so you can end up back where you started.
  • Check the trick or treat times for your town.  If you have younger children plan to go out at the start when it might not be as dark.
  • If you would be alone with several young children recruit a friend, family member or mother's helper to come with you.  Or partner up with a neighbor who has children and trick or treat as a group.
  • Make sure you have buckets or bags to hold candy and a flashlight for each child.
  • If you will be alone with several children think of what types of costumes might allow them to be connected together.  If you have a small group of cowboys or cowgirls have a section of rope for everyone to hold.  If you have princes and princesses then a magic ribbon or sash that everyone needs to hold might help keep the group together.
Halloween Day
  • Have an early filling meal shortly before going out.  This way the kids won't want to eat their candy right away.
  • Have good footwear.  Both for you and your children.  They might be running across grass or dirt.  If one falls and the rest don't your group can get separated.
  • Keep it reasonable.  If the kids seem distracted or too excited cut it short.  This is exciting for them, which can make it hard for them to remember what is expected of them.  Short and fun is better than drawn out and stressful.
  • Review safety rules with the kids. Everyone needs to stay together as a group. Have a safety meeting spot if anyone thinks they have been separated from the group. Do not visit houses that do not have the outside light on. 
  • Photograph the kids together when you leave the house. It will help you remember what everyone is wearing.
  • Before and after each house you visit do a head count. 
  • Walk up to the door at each house with the kids, don't stand at the curb.
  • Sort candy when you get home.  Remove anything that is open or that you don't want the kids to have.
Some towns have alternative Halloween celebrations that you can use to replace trick or treating.  One year when my older girls were little I took them to a Trick or Treat at college dorm.  They had activities for the kids and trick or treating on marked floors.  Some towns have a structured Halloween activity.  Check with your local Recreation Department or School to see what is happening in your town.

Have a safe & happy Halloween!
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Monday, October 18, 2010

2010 Guidelines have been released!


The new 2010 CPR Guidelines have been released! I'm still sorting through them but here's the quick list of the changes for layperson rescuers:

Adults
  • Determine unresponsiveness and check breathing quickly
  • Send someone to call for help
  • Start compressions.  No breathing first!  Push at least 2 inches on the chest at a rate of 100 compressions per minute.
  • Ratio is 30 compressions and then 2 breaths
  • Use an AED (Automated External Defibrillator) as soon as one is available.
Change is the removal of look, listen & feel and the 2 rescue breaths before cycles of compressions begin.

Children
  • Determine unresponsiveness and check breathing quickly
  • Send someone to call for help
  • Start compressions.  No breathing first!  Push at least 1/3 the depth of the chest or 2 inches at a rate of 100 compressions per minute.
  • Ratio is 30 compressions and then 2 breaths
  • Use an AED (Automated External Defibrillator) as soon as one is available.
Changes:
Removal of look, listen & feel and the 2 rescue breaths before cycles of compressions begin.
Pushing more deeply on the chest.
Using an AED as soon as it is available (still checking if I'm reading that correctly)


Infant
  • Determine unresponsiveness and check breathing quickly
  • Send someone to call for help
  • Start compressions.  No breathing first!  Push at least 1/3 the depth of the chest or 1 1/2 inches at a rate of 100 compressions per minute.
  • Ratio is 30 compressions and then 2 breaths
  • Use an AED (Automated External Defibrillator) as soon as one is available.
Changes:
Removal of look, listen & feel and the 2 rescue breaths before cycles of compressions begin.
Pushing more deeply on the chest.
Using an AED for an infant is new. Pediatric pads should be used, but if they are not available adult pads can be used.

The new emphasis is on Chest Compressions First. The idea is to start chest compressions as quickly as possible. In situations where the rescuer is not sure they can provide breaths Hands Only or Continuous Chest Compression can be used.

There will be a lot more information forthcoming, this is just a quick update on the guidelines that were released this morning. Good news for anyone who recently purchased an AED - you do not need to reprogram it! But there is some additional information on AED's that I will be posting once I've had a chance to digest it all.

Want to read the full summary? Link here.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Home Escape Plan

When your smoke alarm sounds do you know what to do?  Do your children know what to do?

For Fire Prevention Week 2010 the National Fire Protection Association has created 2 really nice placements or posters for young children to learn and practice escape plans.  There is a poster for boys and a poster for girls

The steps are easy to learn and great to practice with your kids!
  1. The smoke detector sounds.  Even if you don't see smoke go outside
  2. Go to your meeting place.  This is a safe location you can choose outside.  Have your children help you pick your meeting place.
  3. Wait at your meeting place for your family to join you.
That's it!  Easy Peasy.  But Fire Prevention Week isn't the only time of year for practicing Home Escape Plans.  Practice them several times a year with your children so that they know what to do in an emergency.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Happy Fire Prevention Week 2010!


This year's Fire Prevention Week Theme is "Smoke Alarms:  a sound you can live with".  This is an important reminder on what we need to do, and teach our children to do, when the smoke alarm goes off.

Does your home have working smoke detectors?  Have you checked them regularly?

Do your children know what to do if the alarm goes off?

Do you have a Fire Drill or Fire Safety plan at your workplace?

These are all important things to do and practice.  To help you out with these the National Fire Protection Association has a very good website with tips, tools and information you can download to help you with your Fire Safety plan.

Today I'm going to provide you with this link to a fun Smoke Detector Inspection Checklist you can use at your home.  As you test your smoke detectors, involve your children.