Sunday, September 15th begins Child Passenger Safety Week. With school having just started, this is a good time to think about how you keep your kids safe while on the road. Naturally, you will have a car emergency kit in your vehicle, but there is so much more to consider.
To help you teach your child, and maybe even refresh your own memory, Traffic Safety Marketing is offering a free activity book PDF called Let’s Learn About Safety. This 20-page book includes coloring pages, word puzzles and more. This is a big file to download, because it includes other materials as well, just so you know before you start to download it.
For kids old enough to ride the bus to school, they also offer a bilingual PDF titled Tips to Increase Your Child’s School Bus Safety. This PDF offers tips for parents so they can teach their child to be safe on the school bus, as well as approaching and walking away from the bus. It also provides ways that parents be be safer during the school year, such as slowing down and watching for children in school zones.
Use these materials to help your child have a safer school year.
Image credit: Traffic Safety Marketing
Keeping your child safe at home is almost second nature. We are always sure to have a child safety kit and home survival kit on hand to protect our children from everyday household hazards and emergencies, as well as a first aid kit for unexpected emergencies. But preparedness and safety don’t only apply at home.
Make sure, now that school is under way, that your child’s school always has current contact information in case of an emergency. In addition, your child should have an emergency contact card at all times.
Find out where your school will take children if there is a need to evacuate. Ask about their food and water storage for classrooms in case children need to shelter in place, and see how the school plans to contact family in emergency situations. Lastly, have an emergency person who is authorized to pick up your child if you are unable to. Make sure the school knows who this person is in advance of an emergency situation.
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You probably already have your emergency kit (and if you don’t, you should!), but FEMA offers lots of resources to help us be better prepared for emergencies and disasters. With September being National Preparedness Month, they have some extra activities to encourage people to prepare.
The 30 Days 30 Ways preparedness challenge is one of those activities. The goal is to help communities to be better prepared by giving people one new preparedness task each day. This is a fun way to get you into a preparedness mindset and you can win great prizes by playing along.
Want to play? Check out the game rules and then jump in. You can play as much as you want so don’t be intimidated thinking you must commit to playing every day if you’re not able. But if you can, you’ll feel better prepared and closer to your community. Encourage your friends, neighbors and family members to play as well. You’ll be helping them to be better prepared, too.
Ready to learn more? Check out this video and then visit 30 Days 30 Ways to participate.
Image credit: 30 Days 30 Ways
You may remember walking to school when you were a child (up hill, both ways!) but today, not everyone feels safe letting their youngster make the trek on their own. Here are a few safety tips that will help ensure that your child gets to school safely.
Walking isn’t necessarily out of the question if the walk is short and your child is old enough. Typically, once a child is 9 or 10, he is old enough to be able to walk to school responsibly. To make that walk safer, walk with your child several times to be sure he knows the route. Point out traffic signs and lights, as well as potential hazards he should be aware of.
Teach your child to always use cross walks and only cross the street when the light is green (or if there is no traffic in the absence of a light). Look for areas with crossing guards and teach your child to always obey them.
Find out what other children live close to you that may also walk to school and create a “pool” of kids who will travel together. The old saying about safety in numbers is true, and someone is less likely to hurt a child in a group of other children. To make it even safer, parents may be able to take turns walking with the group.
If it will be dark while your child walks, make sure he has reflective clothing so it is easy to see him from a vehicle and give him a flashlight. Always have a plan for when your child will be home. If he will be late, make sure he knows to notify you beforehand. That way, if he is late, you know to look for him. An older child or teenager, you may feel safe giving them pepper spray for emergency protection. Make sure they know this is not a toy and teach them how to use it responsibly. Check local laws before carrying pepper spray. Another safety tool for any age is a safety whistle.
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Summer is almost over, and in some places kids have already gone back to school. Others are trying to squeeze in that last bit of fun before summer ends by going camping, boating, or hiking. This isn’t the time to forget about safety and preparedness. Have the right supplies so your summer ends on a positive note.
Always have a first aid kit sufficient for the number of people who are with you, as well as emergency supplies including water, high energy food, insect repellent, map, compass, knife, firestarter, a personal shelter and extra clothing.
Whatever activity you choose to pursue, make sure you have a plan. Spontaneity is fun, but you should still have a basic outline of where you will be and when you expect to be back. Give a copy of this plan to someone who isn’t going with you. If you are not back when expected, they should call for help.
Also, be aware of potential hazards in the area you plan to be. Monitor the weather with your weather radio, just in case an unexpected storm will require you to change your plans.
Make sure your summer ends as one full of great memories, not sad ones.
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