Showing posts with label emergency preparedness. Show all posts
Showing posts with label emergency preparedness. Show all posts

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Keeping Your Kids Safe This Summer

Summer is the best time to be a kid. It’s the season of beach weekends, camping trips, sun bathing, and long days at the pool. Unfortunately, it’s also the season of riptides, spider bites, sunburns and swimmer’s ear. Injuries, illnesses, and accidents can quickly transform a fun day in the sun into a harrowing – and expensive – trip to the emergency room. Here are a few tips to help prevent some of these summer mishaps and keep the good times rolling.

Emergency room sign

Watch the water

Water safety is no small concern when it comes to protecting your kids this summer. According to reports released by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission , 137 children under 15 years old drowned in a pool or spa during the summer of 2012. According to the report, fifty-four of these fatalities occurred soon after the child moved away from a nearby adult. Talk to your children about the importance of staying close while swimming, and make sure you always keep your kids in clear sight. This is especially important when visiting the beach or a lake, since these places are not usually monitored by a lifeguard.

You may also want to learn about what drownings actually look like. They are less noticeable than many people might assume, which is why parental vigilance is so essential around bodies of water.

Children in water

Watch for critters

Summer is the season of mosquitos, spiders and ticks, oh my! It is a good idea to wear bug repellant when spending extended time outdoors, so go ahead and stock up on your family’s supply. In addition, here are a few other tips to help you deal with unexpected critter appearances this summer:

  • Remember to check your children for ticks on a fairly regular basis, especially since they can often go unnoticed.
  • If you find a tick on your child’s skin, do not panic. Instead, remove the tick immediately with a pair of tweezers. Contrary to popular belief, it is NOT a good idea to use a hot match, kerosene or petroleum to remove a tick. Once removed, you should save the tick for identification, in case your child develops symptoms and needs to see a doctor.
  • You should take your child to a doctor if he or she develops a fever, headache, rash or any other symptoms following a tick bite.
  • Spiders! They may be gross, but the good news about spiders is that only a few species have dangerous bites. The spiders you most need to look out for are the black widow and the brown recluse spider. If you suspect your child has been bitten by one of these spiders, apply ice to the bite to slow absorption of the venom. You should then seek medical attention for proper treatment.
Tick on finger

Stay safe indoors, too

Home safety can sometimes be overlooked when thinking about how to keep kids safe this summer, but the security of your home is an important aspect of summer safety. If your children are the appropriate age, they may spend quite a few hours at home with little to no adult supervision this summer. Make sure your kids know they should never answer the door for strangers. It is also a good idea to keep a list of phone numbers for neighbors or nearby family friends who your children could call if they ever ran into an emergency at home.

Now may also be a good time to invest in a home security system, especially if you are planning to go on family vacations and will be periodically leaving your home empty. If you decide to get a security system, make sure you teach your children how to operate the system to ensure it is used effectively and to avoid false alarms.

Keeping summer fun

A safe summer is a fun summer. Taking a few key precautions can help keep your family both happy and healthy this summer, ensuring that it is a memorable season for all the right reasons.

Brian Jones
Guest Writer
Brian is the father of three beautiful kids and has been writing about personal safety for as long as he has been a dad. Feel free to reach out to him on Twitter

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Be Prepared: Emergency First Aid Kits

By definition, emergencies are rarely planned – they catch us by surprise, and can happen in a moment's notice.  When an emergency occurs, time is a critical consideration. That's why it may not be enough to rely only on your area's 911 emergency systems, no matter how well-funded or organized it is. 

The initial minutes after an injury are often entirely in the hands of those around you, without trained emergency personnel on site.  This is one of the main reasons why having a stocked and ready emergency first aid kit in your home, your car and workplace is a good idea.

Are you ready for an emergency? Do you have first aid kits in your car, home and workplace? Do you know what's in your first aid kits and supplies?  Do you know how to use the supplies that are in your first aid kit?
What Do You Need?

When you are getting ready to assemble a first-aid kit, you have two options:

1.Buy premade emergency first-aid kits.
2.Assemble homemade first aid kits.

If you are not certain what to include in your emergency or disaster first-aid kit, buying a premade kit is probably the best option. This way you can be certain that you at least have the basic supplies you need for the most common emergencies.

Assembling homemade first-aid kits requires you to know what should be in them. So, you might need to do a little homework to find out what you should include. A good understanding of what emergencies you might face and how to handle them will help you decide what supplies you need.  This will help you to be better prepared to use your kit should the need arise. The U.S. government site,, is a good resource to learn about building and maintaining your first aid kit.

A premade kit is a good start for emergency preparedness, but if you purchase a store-bought first-aid you may need to add supplies to it to be fully prepared. Also, whether premade or assembled at home, remember to replace any supplies as soon as they are used. Also, restock items like batteries, from time to time, to make sure that they will work in case of an emergency.

first aid kits and supplies
You can buy premade emergency first-aid kits for the car.
What first aid kit supplies should you have on hand?  There are certain basics that should be in all emergency first aid kits, but there are also other considerations:
basic first-aid kit
Examples of general first aid kit supplies you can use.
  • General first aid kit supplies:  To be prepared for common household or workplace injuries, your first aid kit should include various types of bandages, adhesive tape, antibiotic ointment, cold packs, latex or synthetic gloves.  Review the  Mayo Clinic's recommendations for a basic first-aid kit, for a list of supplies.
  • Consider your lifestyle:  Beyond the basic first-aid kit supplies, consider the hobbies or other unique activities that may require special supplies. For example, if you or your family members are avid hikers, your basic first-aid kit should include a snake bite kit or poison oak first-aid supplies.
  • Consider your geography: A basic first-aid kit may not include supplies that are of necessary for your location. For example, extreme heat or cold, high altitude environments or an area known for a particular species of animals or insects known for venomous bites or stings.
First Aid Training

It's one thing to own an emergency first aid kit; it's another thing to know how to use the first aid kit's supplies. Some disaster first aid kit's supplies may not need instruction for use, such as Band-Aids. But do you know how to make a tourniquet? Or when you should use one? What about the right way to treat a first-degree burn versus a second-degree or third-degree burn?

Ensure that you and your family members are prepared to perform the act of first aid until trained personnel are on hand:
  • Make sure your first-aid kit includes a first-aid manual.
  • Consider first aid training
How do you find first-aid training?  
  • Check with your local YMCA, YWCA, or American Red Cross chapter for available first aid training classes.
  • Google "first aid training" and the name of your city or community to find training near you.
  • Check with your workplace. Many companies offer free first-aid training classes as part of their disaster preparedness.
In an emergency, training could mean the difference between life and death – for your coworkers, your family members, or even you.

Ric Moxley
Contributing Writer