Monday, October 29, 2012

Safety Tips to Maximize Halloween Fun!

Halloween falls on a Wednesday this year and many children and adults alike will be out trick or treating and attending parties or haunted houses. Halloween is a time when people enjoy dressing up in costumes and eating delicious treats, but it also is a great time to shine a spotlight on safety. Below are some tips and tools to help maximize safety and ensure healthy fun on this spooky holiday.

Trick-or-Treating Tips:
- Avoid trick-or-treating alone. It is always best to walk in groups or with a trusted adult.
- Use reflective tape on costumes and bags in order to help drivers see you at night.
- Costume items such as knives and swords should be short, soft and flexible.
- Make sure to go through the treats to check them for tampering or choking hazards. Eat only factory-wrapped treats. Avoid eating handmade treats from strangers.
- Take a flashlight with you so you can see and others can see you. And remember to walk, not run in between houses.
- Look both ways before crossing the street and make sure to use crosswalks.
- Enter homes only with a trust adult and only visit well-lit homes. Do not stop at dark homes and never accept rides from strangers.
For those handing out candy or attending parties:
- Provide healthy treats or low calorie treats for trick-or-treaters.
- Leave your light on and your house well-lit for trick-or-treaters.
-Always remind drivers to watch out for trick-or-treaters and to drive slowly and safely through neighborhoods.
- Make sure to have lots of fun!!!

Check out this video for Halloween tips:

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

National Lead Poisoning Prevention Week 2012

October 21st through the 27th marks National Lead Poisoning Prevention Month. Young children frequently put toys or other objects that are close to grab in their mouths during childhood and early development. Unfortunately, putting hands in the mouth can put children in contact with lead paint or dust.

There are many sources of lead, but the most common lead exposure occurs from chips and particles of old lead paint. While children can be exposed to lead through paint chips and dust, they can also be exposed to lead that might be in house dust or soil around the home.
Lead is an invisible source (to the naked eye) which means that it is exposed to as many as 30% of children without their knowledge. Some of these items containing lead include:

·         Imported candies
·         Imported toys or jewelry
·         Imported cosmetics
·         Pottery or ceramics
·         Drinking water that is contaminated with lead
Children are not the only individuals we need to worry about when it comes to lead poisoning. There are many work and extra-curricular activities that can expose individuals to lead. Some activities that could cause exposure to lead include remodeling projects on the home, home repairs, indoor firing range use and pottery making, to name a few.
How to Protect Children from Lead Exposure
Lead poisoning is easily preventable with these simple tools. The goal is treat children immediately who have been poisoned with lead and also stopping children from coming into lead exposure in the first place. Possible lead hazards need to be identified and removed from the home and away from a child’s environment.
If you have any reason to suspect your child or you have come in contact with lead poisoning, please contact your health care provider. Your provider can then decide if a blood test is necessary to test for elevated lead levels in the blood. A blood test is the only way to tell if you or your child is suffering from lead poisoning. Never hesitate to call the Poison Control Center hotline for more information at 1-800-222-1222.
What Parents Need to Know:

How to Prevent Lead Poisoning in your Home:

Monday, October 8, 2012

National Fire Prevention Week

During the second week of October, people across the U.S. are focused on promoting fire prevention and safety. Fire safety is important knowledge for everyone in case they are ever found in an emergency situation.  Unfortunately, many fire hazards in the home go virtually undetected because people are unaware or do not take the time to fireproof their home. By utilizing some simple tools, you can create a safer environment in your home and educate everyone on what to do in case a fire breaks out.

A lot of fires that start in the bedroom are usually caused by misuse or poor maintenance of electrical devices, leaving candles burning too long, smoking inside or even children getting a hold of a lighter or matches. With a little education, most of these issues can be addressed and avoided. An example is making sure flammable items such as bedding and clothing is at least three feet away from lit candles or portable heaters. Items such as electrical blankets and appliances should never be used if the power cords are frayed or cut. And lastly, remember that electrical outlets should never be overloaded with lots of appliances plugged into one outlet. Below are more tips and tools on how to protect your home from a fire.
*Make sure all fire alarms in the household are up and operating correctly. Replace batteries if needed.
*Designate escape routes from different parts of the home and practice them to be prepared in case a fire does break out.

*Don’t forget what you learn in school: Stop, Drop and Roll! This is very important in case your clothing or hair catches on fire.

*Remind kids that lighters and matches are not toys and are tools for lighting things. IN the same regard, make sure matches and lighters are out of reach of children and in a safe place.
For more information on fire safety and prevention, please visit or

Below is a great video from the Live-Safe website:

Monday, October 1, 2012

Focusing on Bully Prevention

October marks the month where we focus efforts on bully prevention. Whether you are an adolescent or an adult, bullying is never okay and by taking a stand, we can help stop bullying or prevent it from occurring.

There are various types of bullying but in its most basic form, bullying is unwanted, aggressive behavior from one person or a group of people. Bullying can continue for a short time or a long time but it is shown that those who bully and those who are bullied, can have serious lasting problems. Examples of bullying include: name-calling, teasing, taunting, threatening to cause harm, to name a few. Social bullying exists too in the form of leaving people out on purpose, spreading rumors, telling someone not to be friends with another person or embarrassing someone in public. Physical bullying such as hitting, kicking, punching and screaming or taking someone’s things is also a serious problem. Bullying can occur during school hours or after school hours. 

Cyber-bullying is bullying that occurs through the internet or electronic technology. Most cyber-bullying can occur through emails or on social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter. It could be a mean text message or an embarrassing photo or even fake profiles created to bully someone.

Sadly, kids who are cyber-bullied usually end up skipping school, using alcohol or drugs, have a lower self esteem and have more health problems than the average kid.  

Everyone plays a role in bully prevention whether you are a student, teacher, parent or onlooker of bullying. That is why it is so important that as a community we make an effort to stop and prevent future bullying. Make sure to talk to kids about bullying so that they understand it is not acceptable behavior. Explain the warning signs and how they can report bullying to teachers, parents or trusted adults. Communicate with kids and make them feel comfortable enough to tell you if bullying is occurring with them or someone they know.
It is a great idea to talk about how to stand up to a bully as well. They can use tips such as humor or telling the person directly to stop or even just walking away from the situation. Encourage kids to help other kids they might see being bullied too. At there are numerous tips, videos and tons of information on bullying and how to prevent it from happening to others or even you.

Links to great informational resources on bullying:

Check out these videos on examples of bullying and take the quiz after viewing:
Here is a great article on how one woman dealt with bullying: