Making Sure Your Kids are Safe this Halloween
Halloween is such a fun holiday, the kids love dressing up and trick-or-treating, but it can also be scary and I’m not talking scary as in BOO! I’m talking about the fact that your children could be in potential danger. There are a lot of dangers on Halloween night you’ve got to be aware of, that is why I am going to give you some tips and tricks on making sure your kids are safe this Halloween the best way possible.
It is always a good idea to plan a route to go trick-or-treating on, ahead of time. Especially if you live in a big area, this way you can stay on track and not get lost. If your kids are old enough to go on their own make sure you plan a route with them anyway and make them stick to it so you know where they will be in the case of emergency or if you just feel the need to go check up on them.
Try and stay in areas that you and your kids are familiar with this way you know kind of what to expect and you know the people around these areas. It’s a lot safer than just going somewhere completely random and again if your kids are old enough to go on their own and you’ve told them to stay in familiar neighborhoods, if you know anyone you could ask to have them call and check in once your kids have passed by just to take extra caution.
Where Not to Go
Stay away from alleys and back yards, of course, you never know what could happen, even if it looks like a “short cut” don’t go, you are better off staying on a well lit up path. Also, don’t go to houses that aren’t well lit up. If they are kind of dim this could indicate that they just don’t want trick-or-treaters or they could be very unfriendly and just all around people you should stay away from.
Thoroughly inspect your children’s candy, especially before they have any. There are a lot of sick people out there that like to put things such as razors, needles, and poisonous substances into candy they hand out and even sometimes drugs that look like candy. I know it is difficult not to just let them eat it, but you should think about safety first.
Make sure ahead of time that your kid’s costumes are safe. Look out for anything hanging off or big wigs that could go up in flames if they get close to a candle. Try and find flame retardant materials for their costumes. Just in case of a situation like that, review the stop, drop, and roll procedure so they will be ready if anything happens.
Halloween safety for your children is the utmost important thing. Halloween may be a fun time but it can be dangerous for your kids and making sure your kids are safe this Halloween is pretty easy if you just plan ahead of time and pay attention to any potential dangers out there. With that said I hope you and your kids have a great one! Are there any tips you would add to this list? Have you used any of these methods to keep your little ones safe on Halloween? Share in the comments!
Staying Safe at the Beach with Young Children
Does the warm weather have you itching to head to the beach? Although the warm weather makes you want to have a relaxing day on the beach, you might be hesitant to go if you have young children. As a parent, you want to keep your children safe and this can be difficult to do on the beach. Even though it can be difficult, keeping your children safe on the beach is doable. If you’d like to pack up the kids and spend a day with your toes in the sand, follow these tips for a trip to the beach.
Use Safety Gear
Strapping safety gear onto your young children is a great way to keep your kids safe at the beach. Safety gear can be anything from a life jacket to arm floaties. Both of these can help keep your children afloat in a worst-case scenario. When choosing safety gear for your children to wear, always find gear that is sized appropriately and that won’t overheat your child.
Keep Both Eyes Open
Even with floaties and life jackets, your young children can still drown. Always keep your eyes open so that you can keep track of your children. If your children are old enough to go in the water, either go in the water with them or stand on the shore close enough so that you can assist your children as needed. This might mean you won’t have a relaxing day on the beach, but it will mean you have a safe day on the beach.
Check the Weather
Most people check the weather before they go to the beach, but oftentimes they simply check the temperature and if it’s sunny. Although you definitely want to check these, you might also want to check the wind since wind can cause large waves. This can be dangerous to even adept swimmers, so be cautious any time you notice a strong wind or high waves. You’ll also want to check any current advisories posted for the beach you’ll be visiting.
Setting boundaries, both in the sand and in the water, can help keep your young children safe. Boundaries in the sand help keep your children close enough for you to monitor, while boundaries in the water keep your children at a safe distance to shore. A great rule for a water boundary is to tell your children the water has to be under their knees. This keeps your children from going too far where they could drown or be caught by a rip current.
Be Cautious of the Sun
Not all beach safety rules have to do with the water. The sun can be an equally dangerous part of the beach. In order to keep your children safe, provide plenty of fluids to stay hydrated and apply sunscreen throughout the day, especially if your children took a dip in the water. You might also want to consider using sun hats and beach umbrellas on those hot days. These items can shade your children and keep them safe from heat stroke.
I can tell you that I know a lot of this from experience! My friend Julie and I were on a Chicago Trip with our Daughters for a Wisconsin Parent story and, on the way back, we were on the side of the Illinois tollway in freezing weather and a dead car. We had some of this in Julie’s car – and our kiddos were nice and toasty, but we weren’t. It doesn’t take long to have that body temperature drop!
Much of the country is blanketed in snow or facing winter weather advisories left and right. Some families use this time of year to escape the cold for warm weather destinations, while others embrace the winter wonderland and opt for wintery destinations. Wherever you’re going there are a few tips, and a few precautions to keep in mind when traveling by car this time of year.
It can feel like one more thing to add a safety kit into your vehicle when it’s loaded up with suitcases and other travel gear. However, including a safety and survival kit is incredibly important. What should your kit include? According to the National Weather Service these items should be in your vehicle at all times during winter weather travel;
- Blankets/sleeping bags
- Flashlight with extra batteries or crank powered
- First-aid kit
- High-calorie, non-perishable food
- Extra clothing to keep dry
- An empty can and plastic cover with tissues and paper towels for sanitary purposes
- A can, candles and water-proof matches to melt snow for drinking water
- Sack of sand (or cat litter) to help gain traction if stuck in snow or ice
- Windshield scraper and brush
- Tool kit including tow rope and booster cables
- Water container
- Compass and road maps – cell phone batteries and GPS systems can die quickly
If you are traveling with several people, then make sure to have enough extra clothing and blankets for everyone. You may also want to consider keeping a pair of winter boots in the car for everyone, should you need them.
When driving in winter weather conditions, slow down! Often times road conditions can be worse than they appear and hitting a small patch of ice can lead to your vehicle spiraling out of control. Also take care to stop often to fill your tank. Having as much gas as possible, and at least ¾ of a tank at all times can be a true life saver if you become stranded.
What should you do if stranded?
DO NOT leave your vehicle. It will be much easier for people to see a car than a person in the snow. The only times you should leave your vehicle is you know your surroundings and are certain you can walk to safety. Or, if it is a last resort and your only means of survival.
DO stay buckled. If you’re on the side of the road and conditions are bad, there is a risk that other drivers could hit or slide into your vehicle.
DO open the back window a crack. It is possible for the tail pipe of your car to become blocked with snow. This can lead to carbon monoxide fumes entering the vehicle if it is running. Having the window opened slightly allows the gas to escape.
DO turn your engine for 10-15 minutes each hour. By doing this you can heat the car, or melt snow for water. By only running the car sporadically you will conserve gas and conserve engine and battery power.
Most importantly, do not panic. In a situation like this, it won’t matter what you’ve got in the car to survive. Panicking will stop you from thinking straight and can lead to deadly mistakes.
I have a FREE printable for you — to help keep your car and family safe – please share it with everyone you know who needs to think/plan for the rare possibility that they would need it. It could save a life.
I just found out the Dean car seat rental program has been cut. (HERE is the info on the program, if you aren’t familiar with it) If you have used the program in any way (rental, car seat inspection or information resource) would you be willing to show your support that this program is really important, it has made a difference and encourage the Dean Foundation to find a way to keep this program going? (If you are currently renting a seat through the program, you should have or will be receiving a letter explaining what is happening). The sooner, the better! Below are the contacts (unfortunately, there are no email addresses available). It’s best to send a letter to all four:
Dr. Leslie Taylor – Executive and Medical Director
2711 Allen Blvd. Ste. 300
Middleton, WI 53562
Dr. Judith Fitzgerald – Board of Directors, President
Davis Duehr Dean
1025 Regent Street
Madison, WI 53715
Mark Rothwell, Vice President – Marketing and Communications
Dean Health System
1808 W. Beltline Hwy.
Madison, WI 53713
Dr. Craig Samitt, President/CEO
Dean Health System
1808 W. Beltline Hwy.
Madison, WI 53713
It’s a valuable resource for so many! $5 = a car seat for 6 months and helps make sure that the kiddos on the road are safe – when some wouldn’t invest in a car seat because they couldn’t afford to. (Yes, we’d like to think that everyone would do everything that they can to protect their peanuts…)
It is a FANTASTIC investment – a cross cut shredder! With the rise of identity theft – ANY thing that comes to you with your name on it, came from a computer somewhere.
Mailing labels from magazines before you toss them, old bank deposit slips, ATM receipts (I still want to call them TYME machines…..) after you matched them to the bank statement, etc.
I figure I will be shredding for almost an hour today – It’s been a while.
After that, I get treated to lunch by my Mom
What a great reward!
Nothing spoils the holiday season more than an unfortunate highway issue – either from weather or an accident. I am a firm believer that, if you are prepared, you never have to worry. It’s sort of like “insurance” to keep you and your family safe.
If you don’t have an Emergency Road Kit, it’s time to make one!
Consider including the following:
- First aid kit
- Jumper Cables
- Cat Litter (for traction- preferably CLEAN)
**If you missed some of the December Daily posts – you can see them HERE
Sadly, crime goes up in a recession (even though it’s been two years now since the experts say the recession ended…) These are simple, common sense type of things we can all do to protect our belongings.
1. Of course I look familiar. I was here just last week cleaning your carpets, painting your shutters, or delivering your new refrigerator.
2. Hey, thanks for letting me use the bathroom when I was working in your yard last week. While I was in there, I unlatched the back window to make my return a little easier.
3. Love those flowers. That tells me you have taste… and taste means there are nice things inside. Those yard toys your kids leave out always make me wonder what type of gaming system they have.
4. Yes, I really do look for newspapers piled up on the driveway. And I might leave a pizza flyer in your front door to see how long it takes you to remove it..
5. If it snows while you’re out of town, get a neighbor to create car and foot tracks into the house.. Virgin drifts in the driveway are a dead giveaway.
6. If decorative glass is part of your front entrance, don’t let your alarm company install the control pad where I can see if it’s set. That makes it too easy.
7. A good security company alarms the window over the sink. And the windows on the second floor, which often access the master bedroom – and your jewelry. It’s not a bad idea to put motion detectors up there too.
8. It’s raining, you’re fumbling with your umbrella, and you forget to lock your door – understandable. But understand this: I don’t take a day off because of bad weather.
9. I always knock first. If you answer, I’ll ask for directions somewhere or offer to clean your gutters. (Don’t take me up on it.)
10. Do you really think I won’t look in your sock drawer? I always check dresser drawers, the bedside table, and the medicine cabinet.
11. Here’s a helpful hint: I almost never go into kids’ rooms.
12. You’re right: I won’t have enough time to break into that safe where you keep your valuables. But if it’s not bolted down, I’ll take it with me.
13. A loud TV or radio can be a better deterrent than the best alarm system. If you’re reluctant to leave your TV on while you’re out of town, you can buy a $35 device that works on a timer and simulates the flickering glow of a real television. (Find it at http://www.faketv/.com/)
8 MORE THINGS A BURGLAR WON’T TELL YOU:
1. Sometimes, I carry a clipboard. Sometimes, I dress like a lawn guy and carry a rake. I do my best to never, ever look like a crook.
2. The two things I hate most: loud dogs and nosy neighbors.
3. I’ll break a window to get in, even if it makes a little noise. If your neighbor hears one loud sound, he’ll stop what he’s doing and wait to hear it again. If he doesn’t hear it again, he’ll just go back to what he was doing. It’s human nature.
4. I’m not complaining, but why would you pay all that money for a fancy alarm system and leave your house without setting it?
5. I love looking in your windows. I’m looking for signs that you’re home, and for flat screen TVs or gaming systems I’d like. I’ll drive or walk through your neighborhood at night, before you close the blinds, just to pick my targets.
6. Avoid announcing your vacation on your Facebook page. It’s easier than you think to look up your address. (**Seriously, A friend of mine got hit and it was narrowed down to their FB posting – sorry Anne!)
7. To you, leaving that window open just a crack during the day is a way to let in a little fresh air. To me, it’s an invitation.
8. If you don’t answer when I knock, I try the door. Occasionally, I hit the jackpot and walk right in.
Sources: Convicted burglars in North Carolina , Oregon , California , and Kentucky ; security consultant Chris McGoey, who runs http://www.crimedoctor.com/ and