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Archive for the ‘Safety’ Category

If you’ve ever been stung by a bee, you know it can be painful, right? The summer is the perfect time for these and other insects to find a way to attack your body. Let’s face it; any kind of insect bite can be an awful experience, both for adults and children.

Here are some summer safety tips for avoiding, and treating insect bites:

General

To avoid insect bites, purchase DEET. Most over-the-counter repellents now contain DEET, and are safe to use on children as young as 2 months old, as well as adults. Stay away from open beverages that contain sweetener. Sweetened beverages, like soda and juice, attract stinging insects.

Mosquitoes

Standing water are breeding grounds for mosquitoes (which in many parts of the country carry the West Nile Virus). Empty, or cover the pool at the end of the day, and don’t leave any potted plants outside that may contain standing water. Always wear shoes, and dress in long pants, and a lightweight, long-sleeved shirt to cover skin. Also, wear light-colored clothing. When outdoors, particularly at night, you can purchase Citronella candles, and place them on the patio tables. Added tip: Place water on a white plate and put a few drops of Joy dishwashing soap in the water. This will help keep the mosquitoes away while you and your family are enjoying outside activities.

Bees and Wasps

The first thing to do when stung by a bee or wasp, is to look at the spot where you were bitten, to determine if there’s any stinger remaining. If there is, use a firm object, like a credit card to sweep across the area, and pull out the stinger. Don’t squeeze or pinch the skin to remove the stinger. This will cause additional venom to be released into the bite. Use soap and water to clean the area of the sting. Treat any reaction by applying a cool compress, or ice. To relieve the redness and pain, adding hydrocortisone to the affected area will help. If you develop a severe allergic reaction, such as difficulty breathing or swallowing, call 911 and seek emergency care immediately.

Ticks

It is important to note that if you live in the Northeast and upper Midwest, you need to be on the look-out for ticks carrying Lyme disease this summer. If you spend a lot of time outdoors, especially in wooded areas, you may be susceptible. You can tell if you have Lyme disease, as a rash will develop, which looks like a bull’s-eye near the bite. The rash is often accompanied by flu-like symptoms, such as fever or headache, nausea and vomiting. Some people, however, may only develop flu-like symptoms, and not a rash. If you are bitten by a tick, and develop a rash, seek medical assistance for possible treatment and testing for Lyme disease.While most everyone looks forward to outdoor activities during the summer, insect bites can not only ruin a wonderful day, but develop into subsequent problems. By following these safety tips, you can enjoy the summer with your family.

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Beaches and pools are synonymous with summer. However, the fact is that 90% of all kids who drown are under four years of age; and this is just in backyard pools. To make this an enjoyable and safe summer, here are summer safety tips:

  • Make sure you lock the entrance to the pool and that it is fenced in, so the kids can’t access it.
  • After your children are finished playing in the wading pool, drain it, and store it away.
  • Always have a cell phone available near the pool.
  • When at the beach, only swim where lifeguards are visible.
  • Stay out of the water if you notice strong winds.
  • Always stay within sight of the lifeguard. Be aware of any signs posted on the beach regarding restricted areas.
  • If you see a lifeguard signaling you to come out of the water, do so immediately.
  • If you use a flotation device, ensure you are in control of it.
  • If you bring your kids to the beach, always keep them close, and within sight.
  • If you are not a good swimmer, stay close to shore.
  • Be aware of riptides that can pull you out to sea.
  • Keep your eyes open for jellyfish, or other dangerous sea animals.
  • If you see someone who is drowning, alert the lifeguard right away.
  • It would be advantageous to take a CPR course, in case of a potential drowning.
  • If you have toys in your backyard pool, make sure you take them out, and put them away.
  • Buy flotation devices for your kids.

No matter how diligent you may be, there is always the possibility of something going wrong. Whether enjoying the pool or the beach, it just takes a matter of minutes for any type of situation to emerge. Be careful, be cautious, and watch your kids like a hawk!

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Summer is a time for pool parties, beach parties, and sun bathing. However, with the suns rays growing ever stronger, you should take precautions to prevent overheating and dehydration.

Here are some summer safety tips as you spend your days in the sun and heat:

  • When sunbathing, always wear sunscreen, preferably SPF 15. Make sure to reapply it every two hours.
  • Try to stay in the shade during the hours between 10am and 4pm when the sun is at its strongest.
  • Wear sunglasses and a hat when sunbathing at the beach. If possible, bring or rent an umbrella. (This is especially important if you are bringing the kids along.)
  • Drink plenty of water on a hot day. You want to avoid any form of dehydration. Gatorade or Propel will also do the trick and lend some flavor to that water!
  • When exposing babies to the sun, ensure they are wearing lightweight clothing, including hats with brims. Be sure to apply sunscreen to all parts of the body, even the face, back of the neck and backs of hands.
  • For younger and older children, apply sunscreen thirty minutes before going out to the pool, beach, or engaging in any activities. Ensure you have plenty of fluids for them to drink, as well.
  • If you go to the supermarket, or engage in any outdoor activity on a very hot day, dress in light-colored cotton clothing, wear sunscreen, and sunglasses, and be sure to bring plenty of water with you. Unfortunately, the older we get, the more likely we may suffer from dehydration.
  • If you and your family are participating in any physical activity, make sure you are all well hydrated. Drink liquids every 20 minutes.
  • If it’s very, very hot, reduce your activity to fifteen minutes. The moment you become dizzy or flushed – stop. Go to a shaded area, and drink water until your body has a chance to cool down.
  • Take care of your pets. Ensure they have plenty of water to drink, and are kept in a shaded area in your backyard. Otherwise, keep them indoors, and limit their activity as well.
  • Carry wet washcloths in a plastic bag, if you are spending the day out. This is great to have if you are feeling faint, or are walking for a long period. Another idea…keep this plastic bag in the cooler for a REALLY cool treat!
  • When driving, especially in high temperatures, bring bottles of water and wet wash clothes, as well.

We have all felt the affects of the weather over the past couple of years. With temperatures in the 100’s, or above in most states, it’s important to follow these tips, as well as listening to the radio or news channels. Remember: Safety first, summer fun later!

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Shopping online has become the wave of the future. No standing in lines, no posted hours to shop and you don’t even have to take a shower and get dressed to do it! These are all great advances from the old method of shopping; however, you need to make sure you’re safe when doing so. To this end, here are some tips for keeping your online shopping experience a safe one.

  1. Never buy anything from an unknown company. If they don’t have a phone number or address – stay away from them.
  2. Ensure that whenever you buy a product, you are sent a receipt by email.
  3. Some card companies are offering virtual credit cards – check into this type of service as it changes card numbers each time a purchase is made.
  4. Always look for the Veri Sign logo, BBB logo, and the lock on the bottom right corner of the website. This ensures the company is well known, and is using a method to conceal your information.
  5. Do not apply for credit cards on line. The company may be a bogus one.
  6. If you have several department store cards, and buy from them online, change your password every month.
  7. Research the stores you buy from beforehand. Ensure they are credible and have been around for a number of years.
  8. Shopping online and using your credit card unfortunately leaves you open to hackers. Make sure you have virus protection software installed in your computer, as well as a firewall.
  9. Change your passwords monthly. Although this can be a huge pain, it will be well worth it in the long run!
  10. Clear out your cache every time you sign off.
  11. If you are using a cable modem; unplug the PC cable from the modem every night. Using a cable modem means you are on a network; avoid any hackers from engaging in illegal activity.

If you are careful, you can shop almost anywhere and any time online as long as you keep these tips for keeping your online shopping experience a safe one in mind.

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Baby-Proofing Your Home

Ask any parent what the most important part of bringing a new baby into your home is, and often the answer is “Safety.” If you are a new parent, or will be a parent, here are some safety tips for baby proofing your home.

  • Use socket covers – This is probably one of the best tips ever. These handy little plastic covers plug right into your wall sockets. You never have to worry about little fingers sticking something into an outlet again.
  • Lock cabinet doors – Most hardware stores sell door locks. These come in all shapes and sizes. The most popular locks are plastic ones that slip on and off (with ease to adults) and keep kids out of lower cabinets.
  • ***Extra Tip*** Babies and toddlers will always be interested in cabinets and will find a way to get into them. Suggestion: make a couple of cabinets “baby-friendly.” We locked all of the cabinets except two – the Tupperware cabinets. She loved to just open those up and make a complete mess of the Tupperware – so you have to clean up…just think of how much fun she had!
  • Use a baby gate – This one is another favorite among many parents. A baby gate is a simple and easy way to keep your baby in one area of your home. It is usually a simple design, made of wood that attaches and locks itself to a door facing.
  • Put cleaning products away – This is another huge rule that is sometimes overlooked by parents. If you keep your cleaning supplies in the kitchen under the sink and don’t utilize locks on your cabinet doors, you take a huge risk of chemical exposure to your baby. The best advice is to place all cleaning products out of reach of your children. If this isn’t possible, the second best advice is to use locks on your cabinet doors.
  • Inspect tables – If you have coffee or end tables in your home, inspect these to make sure they are safe. As your baby grows, these become attractive instruments in your baby’s efforts to pull up and stand. Make sure the legs are stable and tightly secured to the table’s base.
  • Cover the fireplace hearth – This can easily be overlooked when baby-proofing, but is really an essential zone in your house for a safety check. If you don’t want to purchase the premade bumpers or gates, use pillows. We had pillows lined up across the hearth for the better part of a year. When that little one is not-so-stable on their feet, a pillow is a nice, soft place to fall into!
  • Put lamps out of reach – If you have table lamps, be sure that they are out of reach. Sometimes baby’s are attracted to lamps because of the light. If your baby reaches for the lamp, this poses both a fire hazard and risk of injury to your baby.

It’s not always a quick or simple thing to do, but baby-proofing your home can keep your baby safe and give you the comfort zone that you need to provide a calm, relaxing atmosphere for your little one.

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Whether it’s the recent rash of violent storms which have plagued our country, or unavoidable accidents in the home; having a first aid kit is essential to treat anyone in your family at a moment’s notice.

Does your family have a first aid kit? If not, you can either buy a kit already equipped for home use or take a little time to put one together. Here are some items you will need:

  • Bandages of different sizes, including triangular
  • Tape, preferably adhesive
  • Alcohol wipes (which you can buy by the box)
  • Antibiotic ointment or creams (Neosporin)
  • Disposable Ice Packs
  • Disposal latex gloves
  • Gauze pads of various sizes (including a roll of self-adhesive gauze)
  • Tylenol, Advil and Aspirin
  • Ipecac
  • Antihistamine
  • Epinephrine
  • Scissors
  • Tweezers
  • Safety Pins

While you may have most of these supplies in your medicine cabinet, it is a safety measure to be able to access these items if they were in one container. If there was an emergency, such as the recent rash of snowstorms and hurricanes in the U.S., this would be the first item you would need to grab as you exit your home. Perhaps your child fell off his bike and is badly hurt, having this kit immediately available can same him a great deal of pain until you rush him to a hospital or clinic.

You can also add to the kit any items you feel necessary. Maybe some things you didn’t have in the past when confronted with a home accident, sudden illness, or child injury. If your local community offers a one day course on first aid, which also includes CPR training, it would be a good idea for the entire family to participate. When faced with any life threatening situation at home, at least you will be prepared and have whatever you need to assist your loved ones.

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