Winter Safety Tips (Part 2)

Yesterday we looked at general cold weather tips for children. Today, we want to look at skiing and snowboarding safety tips.

1. Make sure that children know their limitations. Too many children, watching older, more experienced snowboarders and skiers want to imitate them. Make sure they learn that it takes time to become a good skier and that they should never attempt something until they have learned the basics that will allow them to move on to the next level.

2. In the same vein, make sure that children know when they are ready to graduate to the next level. Do not allow them to move from the bunny hill until they can demonstrate that they have complete control and can turn and stop whenever they want to. Too many accidents happen when a skier or snowboarder gets going too fast and has lost control.

3. Make sure that all of their equipment is checked annually by a qualified ski shop. Children grow up fast and bindings need to be adjusted to fit and release properly to avoid injury.

4. Never allow children (or adults, for that matter) to ski anywhere except in designated areas. “Hors Piste” is dangerous, no matter how old or experienced you are.

5. Never allow anyone to ski or snowboard alone. Always go in pairs or in groups. Teach children to watch out for each other.

6. Make sure that children wear warm clothing and protective gear. They might not think that it “looks cool” but they must be made aware of the necessity of the protective gear. Protective gear includes a helmet with side vents that allows them to hear properly, gloves or mittens, wrist guards if snowboarding and brightly colored clothing that keeps them from blending into the snow or background so that they are easily visible to others on the slopes.

Thursday we’ll look at snowmobiling and sledding safety.

Winter Safety Tips (Part 1)

Well, for better or for worse, winter is here and with winter come a number of dangers that don’t exist the rest of the year. This week we’re going to look at some winter safety tips for every and any winter activity you might be involved in.

Today we’ll look at some general safety tips relating to cold, frostbite, clothing, etc….

1. When sending your children outside to play, make sure that they are always in pairs or in groups. This tip is, of course, one that is good practice no matter what the weather is like but it is especially important when temperatures drop and/or if there is snow on the ground. Snow drifts and cold temperatures can make for dangerous conditions for a child playing alone.

2. Make sure that children are staying warm and dry. Check on them often and have them come in regularly to warm up. This is especially crucial for very small children who don’t have as much body mass and fat to protect them from the cold. Smaller children’s body temperature can drop rapidly and, because they might not be as aware as older children about when to come inside, they are in greater danger of hypothermia and frostbite.

3. Teach children to be aware of their surroundings at all times. Make sure they understand the snowplows and snow blowers can be extremely dangerous because of the amount of snow that they move. A small child can very easily and quickly be completely buried by either if the operator does not see them.

4. Never send children outside to play when temperatures fall below zero Fahrenheit.

5. Make sure that children are aware of the dangers that metal, especially metal poles pose. Any body part with moisture can freeze to metal objects (We’ve all seen the movie “The Christmas Story” and while it may make for good comedy, all to often kids do actually stick their tongues on metal poles and it’s not a lot of fun getting them loose).

6. Make sure that children understand that they need to come inside to change and warm up if they get wet, especially in their boots because of the dangers of frostbite.

7. Think “Layers” when going outside in winter weather. Layers provide pockets of air between the layers which provide better insulation. They also allow for the removal of one layer at a time if the child is too hot.

Tomorrow… Skiing and snowboarding winter safety.

New educational video available on preventing electrocutions with cranes

Construction v-tool on preventing electrocutions with cranes

From the OSHA newsletter:

A new animated video in OSHA’s educational series about potential hazards in the construction industry is now available. “Prevent Electrocutions: Work Safely with Cranes near Power Lines” is the 14th video in the series, which are based on real-life incidents and include detailed depictions of hazards and the safety measures that would have prevented the injuries and fatalities. Available in both English and Spanish, the videos are brief, easy to understand, and geared to the needs of employers and workers. To stream or download the videos, visit OSHA’s construction v-tools Web page or the Department of Labor YouTube channel.

Hair Straighteners and Burns

Hair Straighteners, which can reach temperatures over 400 degrees, are responsible for an alarming number of burns in children. According to an article in the Mirror, one hospital in England reported 110 burns treated on children in the past 5 years while another reported 155.

That’s a lot of burns on children, frighteningly, many of whom are under 2 years of age.

Children are at a lot greater risk when it comes to burns because “their skin is up to 15 times thinner than adults.” Some of these children required plastic surgery and skin grafts.

Injuries are caused when children grab the straightener or when it falls off the counter on them.

Parents need to be aware of the fact that these straighteners look like toys to small children. Additionally, parents need to realize that straighteners can take over 15 minutes to cool down enough not to cause serious burns.

Are Phthalates Killing Us?

You might never have even heard about phthalates (my spell checker didn’t even know what they were) but they just might be killing you or worse. What worse than death? Well might you ask. Start by watching the first video below and then watch the second one under this one to find the answer to that  question.



Antibacterial Soaps to be banned?

We’ve mentioned this before (See the blog post here), antibacterial soaps simply don’t work. There is absolutely no proof that they help prevent the spread of germs.

In spite of this, they seem to be everywhere, even in supermarkets and small stores for patrons to use to supposedly protect from germs. And therein lies the problem. Because the widespread use of antibacterial soaps the FDA is now looking at imposing stricter controls because the main active ingredient triclosan seems to be interfering with hormone levels and helping produce “super bugs” that resistant to drugs.

The FDA is now going to require manufacturers of antibacterial soaps to show proof that their products are more effective in fighting germs than soap and regular water alone. If they can not do so they will have to relabel, reformulate or remove the products from market.

Unfortunately this isn’t going to happen overnight. Manufacturers apparently have until the end of 2016, three years from now, to respond. That’s three years of these products potentially continuing to produce bacteria that isn’t going to respond to antibiotics and other drugs. It might be a little too little a little too late.