Thursday, December 30, 2010

Happy New Year!

This New Year’s make a resolution you can keep--childproof your home! As you pack away all your holiday decorations, take some time to look around your home for common dangers. It’s easy to eliminate the most obvious hazards — and it doesn’t have to involve a lot of expensive equipment.
The first step in childproofing a home is to explore every room at a child’s eye level. Literally get down on your hands and knees and crawl around. You’ll be surprised at how much you can reach and how many small objects you can pick up. Anything that can fit through a standard 1½-inch toilet paper tube is a potential choking hazard. Of course, cleaning products, medications, alcohol, firearms and other potentially harmful products need to be stored out of reach and locked up.
Approximately 2,096 children in the United States, ages 14 and under, die from accidental injuries in the home each year and 3 million kids are treated in emergency rooms for accidental injuries occurring at home. Nearly 80% of these deaths are among children ages 4 and under. Most fatal injuries at home are caused by fire, suffocation, drowning, choking, falls, poisoning or firearms discharged unintentionally.
There’s no substitute for active supervision, but childproofing your home provides extra protection and peace of mind. 
Safety comes first, even if it means making your home a little less convenient for adults. Safety gates and cabinet locks are a small price to pay to keep a child out of the emergency room.
You can find more tips at Safe Kids USA.  

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Are Your Toys Are On the Nice List?

Well, it's the day before Thanksgiving and you know what that means...time to make out the naughty and nice list!!

Once we're all stuffed like our turkeys, we'll sit down and look through the sales ads to make our Black Friday plans. Toys are at the top of the list in our family and boy is it a struggle to select just the right items (my daughter is 2, so she's not able to nag me for the 'it' gift yet).

Sadly, last year there were an estimated 181,900 toy-related injuries. Yeah...I know! They're toys for goodness' sake. Shouldn't they be kid-friendly? Unfortunately, despite extensive regulations and testing, hazards still get through the toy-making process. (Perhaps we should talk to elf-management about that.) Thus, parents and other caregivers are left to step up and take care of toy patrol.

A few things to keep in mind when shopping:

  • Purchase age-appropriate toys. Those guidelines are there for a reason.
  • Be careful with small parts. Children under age 3 put things into their mouths and can choke. 
  • Look for well-made toys.
  • Read the warning labels before buying. Read the assembly instructions and keep them! 
  • Complete the warranty cards and mail them. You will be notified of any recalls.
  • If you are shopping for gently used toys, do a quick check at www.cpsc.gov to see if they are on recall. CPSC also offers email notification on toy recalls. 

For more information on toy safety, go to www.safekids.org.

Have a happy Thanksgiving!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Wait! Thanksgiving is here?

Somehow Thanksgiving crept up behind me and is now breathing down my neck. Anyone else surprised that we only have 1 week until turkey day? This year my dd is going to enjoy making a huge mess helping me in the kitchen. She's 2.5 and it got me thinking about what she can do, shouldn't do and cannot...no, I'm serious! do not do that!...do in the kitchen. For safety, of course.

Below are some guidelines from Safe Kids USA for kitchen activities that children of certain ages may be ready to handle:

Children between 3 and 5 can:

  • Get ingredients out of the refrigerator and cupboards. 
  • Stir ingredients together in a bowl.
  • Pour liquids into a bowl. 
  • Rinse foods under cold water.
  • Use a cookie cutter to cut out shapes in dough. 

Children between 6 and 8 can:

  • Use a butter knife to spread frosting, peanut butter or soft cheese.  
  • Peel vegetables.
  • Measure ingredients.
  • Stir together ingredients in a bowl.
  • Set the table.

Children between 9 and 12 can:

  • Begin to follow recipes.
  • Use electrical kitchen appliances such as blenders, food processors, electric mixers and microwaves.  
  • Help plan the meals.
  • Open cans.
  • Squeeze garlic from a garlic press and use a grater to shred cheese and vegetables.  
  • Turn stove burners on and off and select oven temperature when an adult is present.  

Children older than age 13 can:

  • Operate the stovetop without adult supervision.
  • Drain cooked pasta into a colander.
  • Remove a tray of cookies from the oven.
  • Heat food in the microwave without adult supervision
Y'all be safe and if you're frying a turkey, please do it outside. Remember, inside the garage is not outside.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Community Car Seat Check Today!!

Hey everyone,

Safe Kids Guilford County is having a community car seat check today at Lowe's Home Improvement in Elmsley Square from 1pm-4pm. The address is 109 West Elmsley Drive, Greensboro 27406 (near I-40).

If you are unsure that you are using your car seat or booster seat correctly, please stop by. We can also discuss when your child is ready for the seat belt. Remember, 4 out of 5 car seats are misused!

Thanks to generous funding from Volvo Trucks North America, we have car seats and booster seats available in case yours needs to be replaced or in case you don't have one. We do ask for a small monetary donation for these seats and that donation goes back to our child passenger safety program.

This is a service to the community by many volunteers who care about the safety of children. We will teach you how to travel safely with your loved ones. We hope to see you there.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Have a Fun Halloween!

I hope all you little princesses, pirates and superheros have a great time on Halloween. Please remember to wear reflective accessories or glow-in-the-dark costumes and carry a flashlight. Also remember to look left, right and left again before crossing the street. You know the adults are not always paying attention like they are supposed to when they're driving.

I'm taking Savannah, my 2.5 year old, trick-or-treating in the neighborhood. While last year she was a little overwhelmed and scared, I think this year she definitely understands there is candy involved...and nothing will keep her away from candy. She is going as a puppy dog and looks adorable in her costume. She's also going to  wear a reflective-zipper pull on her costume and I'll be sure to take a flashlight and hold her hand.

Hope you all get all the goodies you can handle!

Happy Halloween!

For more safety tips, visit Safe Kids USA.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Halloween Safety

This Sunday, October 24 at 7am, I will be on the Greensboro Clear Channel radio stations with Cpl. Jeremy Fuller of the Guilford County Sheriff's Office to discuss Halloween safety tips with Dennis Elliott. If you're up, hope you'll listen!

The following morning, I will be on WFMY The Good Morning Show to discuss Halloween safety with Tracey McCain. The hits will air live at 6:20am and 7:20am, so watch if you can! (I always love going to the studio for interviews, but the exhaustion that sets in mid-afternoon is difficult--I must be well-caffeinated.)

I'll also be at the Natural Science Center on Thursday, October 28, 4:30pm-7:30pm for the Zoo Boo Bash. This scare-free event will offer spook-tacular games, crafts, face-painting and trick-or-treating! Kids should come in costume and be ready for tons of fun. Ticket information can be found at the Natural Science Center.

If you can't listen to the radio, watch the News 2 segments or go to the Zoo Boo Bash, please remember that kids need to be visible and drivers need to pay attention on Halloween. Kids are 2 times more likely to be hit by a vehicle and killed on Halloween than any other night of the year. Glow-in-the-dark costumes, face-paint and accessories, like glow-sticks and flashlights, go a long way to make kids visible. Drivers need to put down that cell phone! Calls and texts can wait until you are stopped.

For more great Halloween safety tips, visit Safe Kids and the CDC.