Is there anything better than summer time? My answer is no, that is why we live in Southern California!
As many of you know already we just moved into our very own condo! I honestly never thought we would own, let alone in Los Angeles! We are fortunate enough to be able to do it. Now that we have a condo, it has actually changed the way I look at safety around the house. I wanted to share a short list of 5 things we should make sure we keep in mind.
More than two million emergency department visits a year are related to childhood falls. Thankfully, many falls can be prevented. Prevention is not difficult. It does require your attention and some effort. Obviously, supervision is the most important thing you can do to prevent childhood injuries
- Never leave babies unsupervised on any piece of furniture including changing tables, beds, and sofas.
- Use safety straps and other safety features on high chairs, shopping carts, and changing tables.
- Use safety covers or install padding on sharp corners.
- Use stationary “walkers” instead of wheeled walkers.
- Be sure televisions and other heavy furniture are stable and secure to prevent tipping.
- Use safety gates to keep young children away from stairs.
- Don’t place toys or items that attract children on top of furniture.
- Make sure stairs are clear of toys and other objects.
Windows (I am thankful that we are on the 1st floor and we have plantation style shutters)
- Install window guards on all windows above the first floor.
- Do not rely on window screens to keep children from falling out.
2) Choking Infants and Children
Choking hazards for children include food, toys and household items.
Signs of a choking child include:
- Difficulty breathing
- A weak cry or cough
- Bluish skin color
- Loss of consciousness
- Inability to make a sound
- High pitched sounds while inhaling
To prevent choking in children, keep small objects out of reach, cut food into small pieces and don’t let them have hard candy. Again, sounds obvious but young children should be supervised while eating and playing.
Choking in Older Adults
In older adults, having dentures and difficulty with swallowing can increase their risk of choking. Older adults who live alone may not have the help they need if they choke. Choking adults will be coughing, gagging or wheezing, and they may pass out or turn blue.
What Should You Do?
- Call 911 immediately
- If the victim is coughing forcefully, encourage continued coughing to clear the object
- A person who can’t cough, speak or breathe needs immediate help; ask if they are choking and let them know you will use abdominal thrusts (the Heimlich maneuver)
- If the victim is or becomes unresponsive, lower the person to the ground, expose the chest and start CPR with 30 chest compressions; look inside the mouth each time you give breaths and remove any object
- For a responsive pregnant victim, or any victim you cannot get your arms around or for whom abdominal thrusts are not effective, give chest thrusts from behind; avoid squeezing the ribs with your arms
- Even after choking stops, it’s important to seek medical attention
- Review the poison prevention home checklist from your Poison Control Center.
- Keep all potential poisons up high and out of the reach of children — preferably in a locked storage container.
- Keep medications and vitamins out of the reach of children.
- Keep products in original containers. Do not use food storage containers to store poisonous substances (i.e. plant food in a drink bottle).
- Identify all household plants to determine if poisonous.
- Post the Poison Center phone number, 800-222-1222, near each phone in the home.
- Carbon monoxide (CO) is the leading cause of accidental poisoning deaths in America.
- CO is known as the “silent killer” because you cannot see, smell or taste it.
- The only way to detect CO in your home is with a working CO alarm. Install a CO alarm on every level of your home, especially near sleeping areas and at least 15 feet away from fuel-burning appliances.
- Here is a good resource from Safe Kids, a partner of Kidde on CO safety: http://www.safekids.
- And a CO safety page from Kidde: http://www.kidde.com/
- Set your water heater to 120 degrees.
- Cover any unused outlets.
- Install barriers around fireplaces and furnaces. (We do not have one, we don’t need one – this is LA!)
- Always supervise young children in the kitchen and around electrical appliances and outlets.
- Install smoke alarms on every floor of your home, in hallways, inside bedrooms and outside of sleeping areas.
- For additional peace of mind, You want – no need to get yourself the RemoteLync Monitor from Kidde. I first discovered this product at last year’s Dad Summit (or Dad 2.0), and at first I had no idea what it was, but I am so thankful now that they were there to present and educate us on their product.
RemoteLync uses a patented technology to listen to the smoke and carbon monoxide (CO) alarms already installed in your home, notifying you via the free app, text or email if the alarms sound. You can also set up a network of contacts to receive the alert simultaneously.
A home fire starts every 70 seconds in the U.S. The RemoteLync Monitor helps you stay connected to home and keep your family safe. I have one at our new condo and I can not rave about this enough! Even if it’s not your first condo, or you rent your place, this will help ease your mind in case you are not around so you will be alerted immediately, giving you the opportunity to help family, friends or even pets. A MUST HAVE, without paying the $99+ a month charge others will want you to pay!
5) Swimming/Water Safety Tips
We do have a local swimming pool at our condo, even though both of my boys are strong swimmers for their ages, I never want them to become one of these statistics. Summer is the time for having fun in the water, yet drowning is a leading cause of unintentional death. Each year more than 1,000 children under the age of 14 drown. Another 16,000 are rushed to hospitals for near-drowning. Children ages 4 and under are at the greatest risk. Many adults do not realize that a child can drown is as little as one inch of water. Most drowning occurs at home or in residential pools. Drowning is many times called the “silent killer” as you might not hear a cry for help or the sound of a splash to alert you that a child is in trouble. To keep your summer fun and tragedy-free, follow these safety tips:
- Never leave a child alone in or near water, including bathtubs, sinks and toilets.
- Never rely on any type of support ring to keep your child safe in the bathtub.
- Empty all buckets and any other containers that hold water or any other fluid immediately after use.
- Use toilet locks.
- Never leave a child alone in or near a swimming pool even just to answer the telephone.
- Enclose a pool or spa with four-sided fence which is a minimum of five feet in height, that has self-closing and self-latching gates. It is recommended that the side of a house not be used as any of the sides of the fenced area.
- Make sure all wading pools are emptied and turned over immediately after use.
- Learn first aid and CPR, especially infant CPR.
- Use door and pool alarms and automatic pool covers for extra protection.
- Teach every child how to swim. Get professional training, but never rely solely on the swimming lessons to protect a child from drowning.
- Teach the importance of never running, pushing or jumping on other around water.
In open water:
- Never leave children alone and make sure older children always swim with a friend about the same age or with an adult.
- Always make sure that children swim in approved designated areas in oceans, lakes and rivers. Always check the depth of the water before swimming or diving. If swimming in the ocean, check the current and under-tow.
- Be sure every child wears a proper fitting life jacket when on a boat or near water. Air-filled swimming aids, such as “water wings,” are not safe substitutes for life jackets. Never rely on a life jacket alone to protect your child.
Get and keep the proper gear.
In the home use toilet locks and non-slip appliqués or bath mats in tubs.
Around pools, make sure they are enclosed and have rescue equipment, such as a shepherd’s crook, life ring, solid pole, or rope readily available.
In an emergency, you do not want to have to hunt for the safety equipment. Keep emergency telephone numbers poolside. Use door and pool alarms.
A little planning can help ensure that your family and friends will have a safe and enjoyable summer.
Resource: The National SAFE KIDS Campaign, 1301 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W., Washington, DC 20004
I hope this is a good reminder to us all, and I hope that everyone enjoys the rest of summer! Get out there, be safe and have fun!
Okay, one final thing, I live in LA and we have been having crazy weather!
Do You Know What to Do During a Weather Emergency?
Daily routines can be disrupted with little or no warning by a catastrophic event, such as an earthquake, tornado, hurricane or flood. Help might not always be available, so emergency preparedness is key.
When you face a weather-related emergency, try to stay informed through radio, TV or the Internet. In some cases, however, cable, electric and cell phone service can be knocked out, making communication nearly impossible. The National Safety Council recommends the following general precautions that apply to many disaster situations:
- Have an emergency kit in your car and at least three days of food and water at home
- Be sure to store all important documents – birth certificates, insurance policies, etc. – in a fire-proof safe or safety deposit box
- Assign one family member to learn first aid and CPR
- Know how to shut off utilities