Video Exposes the Dangers of Social Media

Your teenager knows better than to meet up with a total stranger just because they’ve been chatting on Facebook, right? Your daughter understands that there are predators out there who are tying to lure underage girls, doesn’t she? She would never leave the house to meet a stranger, or invite someone into your home while you’re away or worse, get into a van with someone she didn’t know, would she?

Most parents would like to believe that their child has enough common sense not to “talk to a stranger” or make an appointment to meet with someone just because they’ve been chatting on Facebook or some other social media site but most parents are dead wrong.

In this video, Coby Persin sets out to prove to parents that they really don’t know how naive their children really are and the result is pretty astounding, have a watch…

Coby_Persin


Backpack Safety

Backpacking for fun and the upcoming school year

With school starting back up, families are thinking about books, supplies, and backpacks. With so many textbooks and technology being brought home, those bags can get heavy, which can mean back problems.. Also with temperatures may start cooling off soon and also some of you may be headed to the forest for fun, or hunting. Getting the family involved in backpacking can be a lot of fun. It is a great form of exercise and a great way to spend time together as a family. Without distractions from things like friends and television you can really enjoy the time together. Backpacking is for everyone, even the little ones among us. Parents who love backpacking are sure to want to introduce their children to the joys and adventure. Children bring a special challenge even to the most experienced backpacker. They have some special needs, but they also can bring a newfound sense of excitement to a backpacking trip.

Part of the reason children can be so enjoyable on a backpacking trip is that they are full of wonder. They will appreciate even the littlest thing. If they see a butterfly they may want to spend time just watching it. They may be content to sit by a stream and splash in the water. They can experience lots of new things in the outdoors of America

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Children can make a backpacking trip a while new experience. Even if you have traveled the particular area numerous times you will be amazed at how different a child can make the experience. They will see things you never noticed and teach you a little something along the way. They may require extra work to bring along, but it is well worth it. A family backpacking trip is something you will surely treasure.

When you backpack by yourself you have much more freedom than when you take children. A child will not be able to do everything an adult can. If you backpack with small children you need to consider things like:

  • They will not be able to handle a rigorous trip, so plan small.
  • They also can’t carry as much, so you may end up carrying some of their load.
  • Kids will burn through food easily if you let them. Try to eat a series of smaller meals throughout the day to ensure they stay filled up.
  • They may not be as content to simply sit around the fire watching it burn as you might do, so bring some toys and plan activities for when you are not hiking.

Backpacking for school

While backpacks are considered the most efficient way to carry books and other items kids need for school, it’s important they weigh less than 15-20 percent of a child’s body weight. Otherwise, over time, a child can experience back pain and soreness that can lead to problems that may require medical treatment. Compared to satchels or briefcases, backpacks are considered safer because they distribute weight evenly across the body and are supported by the back and abdominal muscles. Children and teens also prefer them because they are fashionable, hold more items, and come with multiple compartments that help them to stay organized.

But despite their usefulness, a major study recently reported by the American Physical Therapy Association has found that more than 50 percent of children surveyed carry backpacks that are too heavy. “When a backpack is filled with heavy books and incorrectly positioned, the weight’s force can pull your child backward. To compensate, your child may bend forward at the hips or arch his or her back, causing the spine to compress unnaturally, “said Hunt.”This can lead to shoulder, neck and back pain.”

Wearing a backpack on one shoulder can also cause the child to lean to one side to compensate for the extra weight and can also lead to pain. In severe cases, children can develop a condition called “scapular winging,” which occurs when the nerve that supplies the shoulder muscle becomes pinched, causing the muscle to not function properly. Girls and younger children may be especially at risk for backpack-related injuries because they are smaller and often carry loads that are heavier in proportion to their body weight. “If your child complains of pain, or if you notice that one of your child’s shoulder blades is not moving or not symmetrical, a doctor should be consulted,” says Hunt.

To help your child wear a backpack safely American Physical Therapy Assoc. recommends the following:

 

1. Keep backpack use limited to necessities only. See that your child cleans out his or her backpack daily by removing any items that can be left at home or in a locker.
2. Distribute weight evenly. Encourage your child to wear both straps of the backpack whenever he or she carries it. This will help distribute the weight of the backpack evenly across the back and promote good posture.
3. Recognize signs that the backpack is too heavy. Pay attention to whether your child is slouched or leaning to one side when wearing a backpack or is experiencing any type of back pain, tingling or numbness in the shoulders or arms

4. Select the proper backpack. Enhance comfort and safety by purchasing a backpack with multiple compartments, so that weight is more evenly distributed. Padded straps can also help prevent straps from cutting into shoulders. Newer backpacks with wheels are also an option, provided that the handle extends long enough to allow children to stand upright while pulling it. The backpack and wheels must also be sturdy enough so that it does not topple over.
5. Pick up the backpack properly. Teach your child how to pick up his or her backpack by demonstrating how to bend at the knees and grasp the pack with both hands before putting it on.

6. Lastly, following these general safety tips for safe backpack use:

  • Wear both straps to distribute the weight evenly.
  • Put on and remove backpacks carefully. Avoid excessive twisting.
  • Wear the backpack resting evenly over the middle of the back. The backpack should not extend below the low back.
  • Adjust the straps so they are not too loose but still allow for free arm movement and ease in putting on and taking off the backpack.
  • Keep the load at 10-15 percent or less of your child’s body weight.
  • Carry only those items needed for the day with the heaviest items closest to the back.

When selecting a backpack, APTA recommends selecting one with:

  • A padded back,
  • Hip and chest belts,
  • Multiple compartments and a Reflective material to enhance visibility at night.

Backpacks are a convenient way to carry books and other school supplies, but wearing them improperly or overloaded can put children at risk for spinal injury. Have a safe yet fun backpacking adventure.

Information Source: National Safety Council, CPSC, American Physical Therapy Association, www.apta.org., WebMD, American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons

Today’s post comes to us courtesy of Ken Oswald, Safety and Security for Plateau

keno@plateautel.com

 


5th Grader Invents Device to Prevent Leaving Children in Vehicle

A follow up on the subject of a couple of recent posts about children being left inside hot vehicles…

A 5th grader Andrew Pelham from AZ has invented a low tech, easy to build device to remind parents that they have a child in the back seat.

All it is, essentially is a collection of rubber bands linked together and bound in neon duct tape. One end hooks on the back of the driver’s seat and the other end hooks onto  the driver’s side door whenever a child is in a car seat in the back. When you get where you’re going and try to get out of the car the device blocks your path reminding you that there’s a child to take out of the car.

Watch the video below and then head over to http://www.ezbabysaver.com to learn how to make your own EZ-Baby Saver.

EZ_Baby_Saver

Way to go Andrew! There’s a future safety professional!

 


Seven Dangerous Apps You Don’t Want on You Kids Phone

Kristin Peaks is the Senior Digital & Social Media specialist at Cook Children’s in Fort Worth, Texas.

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Part of what she does is to keep an eye on Social media sites as well as stay educated about the new apps that are out there to be downloaded. She’s identified seven apps that you definitely DO NOT want your children to have on their smart phone.

Have a look at her article “7 dangerous Apps that parents need to know about



Teach your kids about Gasoline Fires to protect them

If he could, teenager Austin Bailiff would talk to every kid in the world about gas and fire. He knows what it’s like to think, “It can’t happen to me.” And he lives every day with the terrible reality that it can.

Share Austin’s videos with your kid. Sometimes, hearing stuff from other kids is more powerful than hearing it from us. That’s Austin’s hope. That’s why he tells his story.

Watch these videos with your kids. It just might save their life or keep them from a lifetime of pain from burns

gas-fires1 gas-fires2


A Tatoo that could save your childs’ life!

Stumbled across a website the other day that I just have to share with you, http://www.safetytat.com/

What is it? Simply put they are temporary tatoos (you know the kind the kids have put on at the fair or at a kids’ birthday party) that contain important information like your childs’ allergies and/or an emergency contact phone number.

They come in a couple of different formats.

1. The original safety tattoo that is applied with water and last anywhere from 1 to 5 days although they recommend reapplying a new one each day. Once the temporary tattoo is applied you simply use a permanent marker to write on the information needed.

2. Quick Stick Write-on! Child ID Tattoo that requires no water to apply. They are sweat-proof and water-proof and last up to two weeks.

There are several designs and styles in both formats so you’re sure to find one that your child will proudly sport till his or her friends get jealous enough to tell their parents about it as well.

SafetyTat1  safetytat3 Safetytat4 Safetytat5Safetytat2



Back to School Safety Awareness and Tips

Millions of students will head back to school over the next few weeks and tens of thousands of school buses and parents will be on the roads. Its crucial that all motorists understand how to safely share the roads with school buses, pedestrians, and bicyclists. It is also a good time for parents and children to talk about how to stay safe at school.

When you cannot be with your kids, make sure they always, always know how to reach you. Just knowing you are a phone call away and can come home in the case of an emergency or serious situation can provide an older child with peace of mind and confidence in your absence. For younger children, you will want to think about after school care. If you are working when the kids come home from school, and don’t have a spouse or caregiver either at home or already lined up, you will need to think about whom will care for your kids until you get home.

Many working parents have the same caregiver whether it’s summer vacation or school year, but as kids get older, they may be ready to be at home alone for a couple of hours until you get home from work. According to many experts, most kids are not mature enough and responsible enough to be left alone until they are at a minimum of 11-12 years of age. Again, you are the best judge of your kids’ comfort level and maturity. Talk to your kids and be sure that they would feel comfortable with being alone or being in charge of the younger ones for a couple of hours. If you have any doubts at all, it’s best to find someone to care for the kids until you get home. Here are some things to think about:

Traveling to and from School

Walking To School

Parents should walk or bike the route prior to school starting and look for any possible hazards the child may encounter and identify a safe place to go if the child needs help.

Stop, look and listen before crossing the street. Always cross at the crosswalk and obey traffic signals.

Walk or bike with a friend. It is safer and more fun with a buddy.

Go directly to school and directly home afterward.

Do not play in vacant fields or lots.

Stay on the sidewalk or bike path and do not take short cuts.

If someone approaches you or makes you feel uncomfortable, dont talk to them and keep walking or riding.

If a vehicle is following you, turn around and go the other direction.

Dont put your name on clothing, backpacks, books or lunch boxes that are visible to others.

If approached by a dog, do not run. Do not touch the dog. Stand still and tell the dog to go home. If the dog will not leave, slowly back away from the dog putting distance between him and you; then continue walking.

Biking To School

Bright colored clothing will make you more visible to drivers.

Always wear a bicycle helmet.

Backpacks should be tight on the upper back and not dragging on the rear tire.

Respect traffic lights and stop signs.

Ride on the right, going the same direction as traffic.

Use appropriate hand signals.

Bus Stops

Know your bus number.

Stay in a group while waiting for the bus.

Do not play in the street. Stay on the sidewalk or grass.

Wait for the bus to completely stop before approaching it.

Look both ways before crossing the street to get on the bus. Make sure to always remain in clear view of the bus driver.

Stay seated while on the bus and keep hands and head inside the windows.

If someone offers you a ride, say NO.

A parent could be at the bus stop before and after school for extra safety.

For Parents Vehicle Traffic

Here are some simple reminders for drivers:

  • Slow down and be especially alert in the residential neighborhoods and school zones
  • Take extra time to look for kids at intersections, on medians and on curbs
  • Enter and exit driveways and alleys slowly and carefully
  • Watch for children on and near the road in the morning and after school hours
  • Reduce any distractions inside your car so you can concentrate on the road and your surroundings. Put down your phone and dont talk or text while driving

· Give children right-of-way in crosswalks and school zones.

· Avoid backing your vehicle at schools.

· Children should exit to the right side of the vehicle.

· Do not leave until your child is completely on school property.

Reminder for your kids:

  • They should cross the street with an adult until they are at least 10 years old
  • Cross the street at corners, using traffic signals and crosswalks
  • Never run out into the streets or cross in between parked cars
  • Make sure they always walk in front of the bus where the driver can see them

If your kids will be walking to school, or have to walk a few blocks to a bus stop, make sure you teach them to obey traffic signals and rules if they must cross streets with lights and crosswalks. Younger children need closer supervision, but this is a great time to start teaching those habits. By the time they walk by themselves to school or the bus stop, they will be confident in their ability to know what to do.

Have a relative, trusted neighbor or family friend designated to be the person who will pick your child up or meet them at the bus stop if you can’t be there. Make sure your child knows who that person is, too.

Have conversations with your kids about their day at school-what happened, who they had lunch with, what they are learning. Kids are not always forthcoming if there are any problems at school, and keeping lines of communication open and noticing any changes in behavior and/or grades can be big clues for you as the parent. Bullying has become a larger and larger problem now and the more you talk with your kids the better you are able to resolve any issue that may arise.

When kids are using the computer and the Internet for homework and school projects, monitor their time spent, and the websites they’ve visited. Use the parental controls on your system when available. There are some great programs out there that can help keep your kids away from questionable sites, and out of potentially unsuitable chat rooms or message boards. Cyberbullying is also on the rise, be aware of what your kids are doing while on the computer.

School can, and should be, fun and exciting for kids. They get to see their friends every day, learn new things, and spend time outside playing sports or other recreational activities as part of their school day.

But there are dangers, some bigger than others, that exist for children at school, on their way to or from school, and at after school activities. Armed with some knowledge and some planning, parents and children can be aware of the dangers and therefore be more prepared to avoid them, or deal with them as they happen.

Give your kids the tools, the safety knowledge and the resources to take care of themselves when you cannot be there, and parents and children alike can relax and enjoy the school year more!

Safety First, Safety Always!

Information provided by the National Safety Council and Safe Kids.Org

 

 

Today’s post is courtesy of Ken Oswald, Safety and Security Manager for Plateau


Kite Safety

Stay Away From Power Lines When Flying Kites

Ben Franklin was lucky. His famous kite flight during a thunderstorm could have been deadly. Ben is a well-known example on “what not to do” with the first rule of kite flying: Park your kite during thunderstorms.

Now that warm windy spring weather is here, more children are playing outside. Here are some special safety suggestions for playing it safe while enjoying this fun, family activity as well as other spring safety tips.

Kite safety:

  • Adults should supervise children flying kites
  • Never fly kites near power lines or during thunderstorms
  • If the kite approaches a power line, release the string immediately
  • Do not attempt to retrieve a kite in a power line; notify an adult
  • Never use metallic string as kite string
  • Never use metal rods or other metal parts when building kites

Other outdoor tips for children:

  • Pad-mount transformers, areas around power substations, utility poles or other electric equipment are off-limits to children. Obey warning signs such as “Danger,” “High Voltage” or “Keep out”
  • Never carry fishing poles, flagpoles, ladders or anything tall in an upright position near power lines. If an object starts to fall into an overhead line, let it go!
  • Never touch or approach a downed power line. Report the hazard to an adult immediately
  • Do not climb fences or trees that are close to power lines

Today’s Post comes to us courtesy of Ken Oswald

Safety and Security Manager for Plateau

koswald@plateautel.com