Wednesday, December 31, 2014

New Year’s Eve Safety Tips from Cell Phone Sally

It’s time to celebrate the beginning of a new year! Can you believe it is almost 2015 already? While this is a wonderful time to celebrate, it is also a great time to remember the importance of safety so that you can enjoy your New Year’s Eve to the fullest!

Here are some great safety tips to ensure you and your loved ones enjoy ringing in the New Year:

·         If you plan on drinking, please make sure you have a designated driver. Even if you have only had a couple drinks, it is never a good idea to drive. Practice safety first!

·         If you will be attending a party or an event where there will be a lot of people, never let your drink out of your sight. You never know if someone will tamper with your drink so keep it in your sight or in your hands at all times.

·         If you live in a city, then you most likely cannot use fireworks due to safety issues and hazards. Why not leave the fireworks to the professionals and go see a display put on in your local area?

·         Safety is always in numbers so whatever you decide to do, make sure you are not alone. Staying in groups will ensure you have a great evening!

·         If you have pets, bring them inside tonight because fireworks can be very frightening for them.

·         And of course, remember to have fun! And if you find yourself in an emergency, please do not hesitate to contact 9-1-1.

 Cell Phone Sally wishes you a Happy New Year! May 2015 be memorable for you as well as for 9-1-1 public education- Cheers!

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Practice Safety First When Traveling for the Holidays

Many people have begun or will begin traveling to different cities, states and sometimes countries, to spend time with their loved ones this holiday season. While it is the most wonderful time of year, it is almost an important time of year to practice safety first!

Here are some quick tips on keeping you and your family safe as you travel.

Traveling Away From the Home
  • Make sure all your doors and windows are locked in the home before leaving.
  • If you have an alarm, make sure to turn it on while you are out of town.
  • Have a neighbor or family member watch your house, pick up your mail and even park in your driveway periodically, if possible.
  • Leave a radio or television on so the house sounds occupied.
  • Make sure expensive items or gifts in your home are not visible through windows or doors.
  • If you have a Christmas tree, make sure it is placed in water or wet sand to keep it fresh.

On the Road
  • Keep all doors locked and windows closed when you are away from your vehicle. This will help prevent thieves from easy access to your valuables.
  • Never leave your car unoccupied while it is running. (And as a reminder, don’t leave children unattended in the car either for their safety too)
  • When leaving your vehicle, make sure all valuables are out of sight. If you have to leave something in your car, put it in the trunk.
  • Always remember to wear your seatbelt and practice cautious driving, especially if road conditions are bad.
  • Never drink and drive.
  • If you are involved in an accident, please do not hesitate to contact 9-1-1 for help.

Whatever your plans may be for the holidays, we hope everyone enjoys time with loved ones. Remember: practice safety first and we will see you all again next year in 2015! 

 

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Preventing Carbon Monoxide Poisoning

As the weather becomes colder throughout the country, we are reminded of the risks of carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning that can occur especially during this time of year. Also known as the quiet killer, CO comes from fumes produced by furnaces, vehicles, portable generators, stoves, lanterns, gas ranges, or burning charcoal or wood. When the fumes become trapped inside the home, it can potentially cost lives.

Now is the time to make sure your homes are equipped with CO detectors. (Don’t forget to replace the batteries on a regular basis- at least once a year!) More than 500 people die each year due to unintentional CO poisoning. By recognizing and preventing CO poisoning, you can help lower the number of unintentional deaths and help save lives.

The scary thing about CO poisoning is that the symptoms are very similar to the flu. Because of this, many people do not realize they have had CO poisoning. The most common symptoms are: headache, dizziness, weakness, nausea, vomiting, chest pain, and confusion.

What can you do to help prevent carbon monoxide poisoning?

·         Have your heating and water system (or anything serviced by gas) checked once a year for any problems by a qualified technician.

·         Install battery-operated carbon monoxide detectors in your home and change the batteries at least once a year. 

·         Please seek medical attention or call 9-1-1 immediately if you suspect carbon monoxide poisoning.

·         Do not use camp stoves, generators, grills or anything gasoline or charcoal-burning inside the home or garage.

·         Never leave a vehicle running in the garage.

·         Never heat your home with a gas oven

·         Do not burn anything in a stove or fireplace without ventilation.

Remember, carbon monoxide poisoning IS preventable! Make sure to protect yourself and your family by being prepared and aware. If you think you might have carbon monoxide poisoning, please call the Poison Control Network at 1-800-222-1222. If someone is having life threatening reactions, please do not hesitate to contact 9-1-1. For more information on carbon monoxide poisoning, please visit the CDC website: http://www.cdc.gov/co/faqs.htm.
 
 

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Thanksgiving: A Time of Thanks with Reminders to Be Safe

Thanksgiving is around the corner and soon people all over will be busy whipping up delicious dishes for their family and friends to enjoy. While this time of year reminds us all to be thankful for our blessings, it is also a good time of year to remind children what to do in case of an emergency! (You know- call 9-1-1!)

Here are some helpful tips to get you through Thanksgiving safe and sound!

Traveling

Many families will be on the road traveling to visit friends and relatives for Thanksgiving. Please remember not to use your cell phone when you are driving. It is best to always pull over if you need to talk on the phone. And it is especially important to never text and drive. It only takes seconds for an accident to occur so keep your eyes on the road. Distracted drivers and any harsh weather conditions can be a recipe for disaster. So remember- keep alert and dial 9-1-1 if you find yourself in an emergency situation.

Cooking
One of the best parts of Thanksgiving is all the delicious dishes created by loved ones! When preparing yummy dishes, please remember to be safe. Below you can find important information on fire-safe cooking from the National Fire Protection Association. Remember; if a fire occurs please do not hesitate to dial 9-1-1 for help!

Home Safety
Be smart if you plan to travel away from your home for the holidays. Do not post that you are going to be out of town on any social media sites. Secure all windows and doors so there is no easy entry into your home and set an alarm system if you have one. If you can, have a friend move your car occasionally while you are gone so it looks like someone is home. Thieves love to prey on easy targets so please do not be an easy target and keep your home safe.


 

Monday, October 27, 2014

Halloween: Tips for a Spooky Safe Time!


Halloween falls on a Friday this year which is great for parents and kids alike! No school the next day means a night of trick or treating plus sleeping in the next day. While this time of year brings spooky fun and dressing up as your favorite characters, it is also a time when safety becomes an important topic.

Check out some tips from Cell Phone Sally on how to have a happy Halloween as well as a safe and smart holiday:
  • Always buddy up when trick or treating. Walk in groups with a trusted adult.
  • Avoid costumes that are too dark. Light and reflective clothing is best. Fasten reflective tape onto costumes and bags to help drivers see you.
  • Make sure to examine all the candy when you get home. Check for any choking hazards or candy that has been tampered with. And don’t eat too much candy when you get home- it could make you sick to your stomach.
  • Take a flashlight with you to help guide your way in the dark.
  • Always look both ways before crossing the street. Cars move fast so be aware of your surroundings.
  • Enter homes ONLY if you are with a trusted adult. And never under any circumstances accept a ride from a stranger.
  • Carry a cell phone with you to make sure you can contact help in case of an emergency.
  • If you are ever in an emergency situation, please do not hesitate to contact 9-1-1.

 Looking for more safety tips? Check out some information from the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission: http://www.cpsc.gov//PageFiles/121343/100.pdf.  We hope everyone has a wonderful Halloween!

 

Monday, October 6, 2014

It’s Fire Prevention Week!







October 5th through the 11th marks Fire Prevention Week. During this time, it is important to promote fire safety and prevention. Many times, fire hazards can go undetected. But if you follow these important tips in this blog, you will be well on your way to fireproofing your home!
What are some examples of fires that happen at home? Many times fires in the home are caused by candles left burning, cigarettes left burning, stoves left on and children playing with matches or lighters. But all of these incidences can be avoided with a little common sense and an effort to protect your home and family.

Fire Safety Checklist:

ü  Keep flammable items like bedding and curtains (including clothing too!) far from portable heaters or lit candles

ü  Install and check twice a year working smoke alarms throughout your home. Also make sure you change the battery at least once a year.

ü  Create an emergency escape plan in case of a fire. Designate escape routes and practice them with your family. It could save your life!

ü  Make sure each of your family members know how to Stop, Drop and Roll in the event that their clothing would catch fire.

ü  Don’t store old mattresses in the home or the garage.

ü  Don’t let children play with matches or lighters and let them know these are not toys. Matches and lighters, like medications and chemicals, should be stored high up and out of reach of curious children. J

 

In case of a fire, remember to always call 9-1-1 for help and know your location. It could save your life!

Want to test your knowledge and see if you are fire prevention ready? Click here: http://www.nfpa.org/safety-information/fire-prevention-week/fire-prevention-week-quiz.


NFPA Launches free App for Fire Prevention Week: http://sparkyschoolhouse.org/  
 

Monday, September 15, 2014

National Child Passenger Safety Week is September 14-20th

Did you know that car crashes are the leading cause of death in children ages one to 14 years old? Sadly, many of these deaths could be prevented by simply installing or utilizing car seats, booster seats and seat belts properly.
September 14th through the 20th is a week dedicated to reminding and teaching the public about the proper use of car seats and boosters. Roughly three out of four car seats are installed incorrectly which is a huge safety risk. Here’s the great part: if and when a car seat, booster and seatbelt are used properly, it can reduce the risk of significant injury in infants by 71% and toddlers by 54%!

Please take the time to make sure your children’s car seats are properly installed. In most towns and cities, you can find a trained technician that can ensure your seats are properly installed at no charge to you. Additional information and an inspection station locator are available from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration at http://www.safercar.gov/cpsApp/cps/index.htm. Promotional materials (in English and Spanish) are also available at http://www.trafficsafetymarketing.gov/cps.


Wednesday, September 3, 2014

It’s September: Time to Get Prepared!


It’s that time of year again when we prepare, discuss and plan for a possible natural disaster that could occur in your area. September marks National Preparedness Month and, as you all know, you can never be too prepared for an emergency.

Now is the time to get together with your communities, your workplace and your family to put an emergency plan in place. Encourage your loved ones to practice their emergency plans so that if a disaster does strike, they will be more prepared to handle it.

This year’s theme is Resolve to be Ready and by following these basic steps in planning, you and your family can be prepared:

Ready.gov provides a family emergency plan at this link: http://www.fema.gov/media-library/assets/documents/34330. This is a great tool for preparing for any disaster. They have several other tools that show you how to build a kit as well as information on how to get involved in the community preparedness process.

Don’t let your family face an emergency without being prepared. It could save your life!


Thursday, August 28, 2014

Children with Special Healthcare Needs Class

On Tuesday, September 23rd the Emergency Medical Services for Children, Texas Parent to Parent and Dell Children’s Medical Center of Texas will be holding a class regarding children with special needs. The class, called Assessment and Management of Children with Special Healthcare Needs, will take place at Dell Children’s Medical Center Auditorium in Austin, Texas from 8:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m.

This class will aim to bridge gaps between families and emergency care professionals as well as provide important professional education and training. Children with special needs and their parents have the opportunity to work with nursing and EMS educators and pediatric specialists to discuss hands-on training, family-centered care, communication barriers and more.
If you are interested in attending this FREE event, please contact Sam Vance at Samuel.Vance@bcm.edu or 832-824-3672 to register or to obtain more information.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

CSEC Holding MLTS Workshop to Address 9-1-1 Concerns


Due to the considerable attention given to MLTS (Multi-Line Telephone Systems) following a tragic incident that occurred in a Texas hotel in December 2013 ( See Kari Hunt story), the staff of the Commission on State Emergency Communications (“CSEC”) will conduct a workshop regarding Accessing 9-1-1 Service Via a Multi-line Telephone System (“MLTS”) on Wednesday, August 27, 2014, from 1:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m., in the William P. Hobby Building, 333 Guadalupe Street, Room 100, Austin, Texas 78701.
In the emergency communications industry, CSEC works with various government and municipal entities throughout the state to ensure that 9-1-1 access is available. The issue being addressed in this workshop consists of phone systems found in businesses that have multiple phone lines commonly called MLTS. With an MLTS in place, the ability to dial out may require an additional digit such as the number “9” to reach a 9-1-1 operator. Many people are not aware that you have to dial “9” first when trying to reach 9-1-1 which can cost lives.

“The faster the caller can reach an operator for help the better,” Connie Chavarria of the City of Laredo said. “The public has become familiarized with simply dialing 9-1-1 for help.”
Because this issue has come to the table, all 9‑1-1 entities, businesses (including hotels, hospitals, and schools), MLTS vendors, communications service providers, third‑party provider community, and interested persons are invited to attend this public workshop.

“I feel it is crucial to start a nationwide campaign, and a message regarding MLTS should be added to our 9-1-1 education program,” Leticia Truex of Potter Randall 9-1-1 said. “Everyone has a responsibility. The 9-1-1 entities should require that phone vendors allow direct access. Public Educators and all others involved with 9-1-1 need to educate the public, companies with MLTS need to know what their phone systems are and aren’t capable of and post such information for their customers.”
This workshop will address all and any issues regarding MLTS lines. It is important that all 9-1-1 entities participate in this discussion including directors, educators, businesses and schools. Change comes when we all work together, which is why CSEC is holding this workshop.

“Like any kind of public education message, first there should be awareness, starting with the independent phone vendors, and the building managers to the principals, teachers, front desk clerks and security guards,” Pam Frisk of Panhandle Regional Planning Commission said. “People, including children, are told to dial 9-1-1, not 9-9-1-1.  Especially in an emergency, they will rely on what they have been told to do and not necessarily think, ‘Hey I need to get an outside line first and then dial 9-1-1’.”
Please join us for this important workshop. To register for the audio portion of the workshop, please visit here: http://bit.ly/911MLTS. For more information on the MLTS workshop please visit www.csec.texas.gov.

Thursday, July 31, 2014

2014 NPEF Conference Wildly Successful


If you were one of the public educators from across the country who had a chance to participate in the 2014 National Public Educator Forum (NPEF) Conference right outside Chicago, then you know how much valuable insights and ideas were shared. This three day conference was packed with amazing speakers, insightful workshops and innovative ideas!
Over 130 emergency services educators came together in Naperville, Illinois for this educational conference. Educators heard from keynote Mel Robbins who shared her Five Second Rule as well as other ways to successfully manage your time and resources. They also saw the Lewisville Fire Clowns put on their fire safety course which was hysterical and educational at the same time.
Other noteworthy speakers included Marsha Geisler who shared her fantastic teaching strategies as well as the closing keynote speaker, Kelly Rasmussen, who taught attendees how to spread your public education message effectively. Some additional important topics covered included Text to 9-1-1, Tag Team Tactics and Legal Issues within Social Media.
At this year's conference the attendees also participated in an NPEF PSA. Check out the video below!
    


We can't wait for next year's conference- it is sure to have more innovative ideas for educators to take back home and implement in their 9-1-1 programs! See you all next year!  



Naperville Mayor with Cell Phone Sally
The Lewisville Fire Clowns


Creating 9-1-1 PSAs
Making Chicago Memories!
Creating a NPEF PSA!
Keynote Speaker Mel Robbins






NPEF Conference Committee

Monday, July 28, 2014

Utilizing Girls Scouts and Boy Scouts for Help with 9-1-1 Public Education

Beth English and Girl Scout Lauren Alexander

Have you ever considered utilizing Girl Scouts or Boys Scouts to help with your public education efforts? As many people know, for Girl Scouts to earn their Gold Award and Boy Scouts to earn their Eagle Scout Award, they have to do a big project that gives back to the community.

Recently, Beth English, the Director of Communications for the City of Rowlett, Texas, was able to utilize a Girl Scout to help with a public education initiative. Here’s her story!

“It was a stroke of pure luck, actually! I was going through her mother, who is a Proforma franchisee, to order stuff for the Texas NENA booth,” Beth said. “I asked her about printing up some business cards for Smart911, and it was while we were talking about this, that her mother told me about the Gold Award and that it would be a good project for her to work on.”

Beth met with the Girl Scout, Lauren Alexander, and they discussed exactly what Beth is doing with Smart911. Lauren then sat with Beth in the Communications office so she could see how the calls come in, what the challenges are, and how they process the medical calls.

“We discussed our timeline as far as when I will get to implement Smart911 and when her project is due,” Beth said. “We also batted around some ideas for different groups she could spread the message to, different media types she could use, and others that she could contact for help.”
Lauren put all the information about her project with 9-1-1 into a report for the Girl Scout board for them to approve. Once they gave approval, Lauren got to work right away with Beth on her Gold Award project.

The project will take a while to complete, but so far, Lauren has already established relationships with various organizations in order to have sign up sheets for Smart911 at their business locations. Lauren is also working on getting donations set up to fund any printing paperwork she may need to help spread the word. She is also working on getting businesses to donate food items for events where the Smart911 information can be shared.
Beth promises that once Lauren has completed the project, she will update us on the successes and benefits of this collaboration so please stay tuned!

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Celebrate Independence Day with Safety in Mind

The 4th of July marks Independence Day, a time when the nation celebrates its freedom! With so many celebrations going on, it comes as no surprise that the amount of fires goes up. Fires usually start due to fireworks combined with lots of heat and dry weather. While we hope everyone celebrates this special holiday with lots of enthusiasm, we also hope that everyone practices safety first.

Here are a few tips and guidelines to remember when celebrating the Fourth of July:

o   Know where your fire extinguisher is and keep it close if you will be using fireworks. (Note: In most cities, they do not allow you to set off fireworks in the city limits so please remember to obey laws at all times.)

o   Have close access to your water hose in case a fire erupts and the extinguisher cannot stop the fire on its own.

o   If a fire does get out of hand, please do not hesitate to contact 9-1-1 for help.

o   If you have pets, please keep them inside on this day and evening. Fireworks can be very scary for pets and spook them badly.

o   If you choose to play with fireworks, make sure when you throw away the remains that they are free of heat and fire. This will eliminate chances of the trash igniting in flames.

o   Keep fireworks out of children’s reach or hands. Fireworks should only be handled by adults to protect children from accidentally harming themselves.

o   Never attempt to make your own fireworks.

o   Never set off fireworks inside.

o   When setting off fireworks, make sure not to aim them toward anyone. They should always be aimed away from where people are standing.

 

We all know fireworks are meant to be enjoyed so please enjoy all the beautiful designs and colors and sounds that they create. All that we ask is that you think safety first to ensure you and your family have a wonderful Independence Day! Happy 4th!

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Summertime Safety

It’s that time of year again! Kids are out of school for summer, pools are open and outside activities are prevalent all around town. While summertime is a fantastic time to enjoy the outdoors, it is important to also stay safe and protect yourself.

Check out some tips below to make sure your family stays healthy and happy this summer!

Watch Out for Mosquitoes and other Bugs

Warm temperatures tend to attract bugs that can make you quite itchy! From mosquitoes to ticks to even fleas, these bugs can be quite the nuisance. Not only can they be a nuisance, but they can also carry diseases such as the West Nile Virus or Lyme disease.

To help prevent bites from these pesky bugs, make sure to wear insect and tick repellent. It is always a good idea to use repellent that contains DEET. Make sure to cover yourself properly with repellent where any skin might be exposed.

If you do happen to get bit by a mosquito, apply anti-itch cream to help reduce the itchiness of the bite. (Because the more you mess with it, the more it will itch!)

Protect Yourself from the Harsh Summer Sun

The sun puts out the strongest rays during midday, so if you can, please try to avoid being outdoors during this time (12pm-2pm). If you do go outdoors make sure to pile on the sunscreen! You should always be wearing at least SPF 15 but we recommend wearing SPF 30 for the upmost protection.

If you go into the water or stay out in the sun for more than a couple hours at a time, make sure to continuously reapply sunscreen to protect your body from sunburns. Sunburns hurt and can also cause skin cancer. If you do happen to get burned, make sure to apply aloe vera to help the burn heal.

Other ways you can protect your skin? Cover up with light clothing, wear hats or visors and spend more time under a tree in the shade!

Keep Hydrated

The summer months can have you feeling more dehydrated than usual. Keep your body hydrated by drinking lots of water throughout the day. If you spend more time outdoors, then it is especially important that you drink lots of water before you go outside and while you are outside.

For more summer safety tips for kids, check out the CDC website here: http://www.cdc.gov/features/KidsSafety/.
Remember, if you find yourself in an emergency situation, please do not hesitate to contact 9-1-1.
Check out these tips from the Los Angeles Fire Department:
 

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

You Can Never Be Too Prepared! #HurricanePrep2014

May 25-31, 2014 marks Hurricane Preparedness Week and highlights the importance of planning and being prepared when disaster strikes. Being prepared for this natural disaster is vitally important for protecting your family and home.

Starting June 1st, we will embark on hurricane season which continues through the end of November. Hurricanes can be incredibly destructive and wipe out entire towns and cities. While these natural disasters can be extremely scary, being prepared for them will help you feel more safe and ready to tackle the storm.

One of the first things you should do with your family is build an emergency preparedness kit and make a family plan. A previous blog post shares excellent tips and tools for preparing your family. You can find the blog here:  http://cellphonesally.blogspot.com/2013/09/national-preparedness-month-good-time.html.

Once you have your emergency kit ready, focus on tackling these issues prior to a hurricane heading your way:

v  Identify levees and dams in your area to make sure that they do not pose a hazard to you and your property.

v  Cover all your home’s windows with permanent storm shutters or board up windows with plywood that is cut to fit.

v  Always keep trees and shrubs trimmed down so they are more wind resistant and do not hang over your roof.

v  Make sure to clear loose and clogged rain gutters and downspouts.

v  Reinforce doors as well as your garage door.

v  Install a generator for if you lose power.

v  If you live in a high-rise building, make plans to get shelter on a lower floor.

v  Bring in outdoor furniture, decorations and garbage cans to avoid having them fly away.

v  If you are in an area that gets hurricanes more often, it might be a good idea to build a safe room.

 
Hurricanes not only cause strong high winds, but they also cause heavy rains and flooding. By following these tips and tools, your family will be prepared for when disaster strikes. As they say, you can never be too prepared! For more information, please visit http://www.nhc.noaa.gov/prepare/ready.php. If you ever find yourself in an emergency, please do not hesitate to contact 9-1-1.

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

It’s National EMS Week!



This week marks National Emergency Medical Services Week (May 18th-24th, 2014). President Gerald Ford first declared this week National EMS Week in 1974. During this time we take the time to honor and celebrate all the amazing individuals who serve as EMS practitioners!

EMS for Children Day 2014
During this week, on Wednesday, we also celebrate National EMS Children Day. This year marks the 30-year celebration of the program and it is a great time to focus on raising public awareness about the need for specialized emergency care for children. When it comes to emergency care for children, it is important to handle it differently than an adult emergency. This includes physically, emotionally, and psychologically.

By bringing awareness to this topic, EMS hopes to start a national quality improvement initiative. For more information on EMS week and various activities going on, please visit http://www.ems.gov. To learn more about EMS for Children, visit http://emscnrc.org/Events/EMSC_Day.aspx.

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Celebrate Our Fallen Heroes during National Police Week

This week, May 11-17, marks National Police Week. In 1962, President Kennedy signed a proclamation which authorized May 15th as Peace Officers Memorial Day and the week in which the 15th falls as National Police Week.

This time each year, tens of thousands of law enforcement officers from around the world come together in Washington D.C. to participate in various events through the week to honor those who have paid the ultimate sacrifice.
Being a police officer is sometimes a thankless job. These individuals work tirelessly to keep our communities safe day end and day out. Their commitment to justice is incredibly appreciated by the community, so please take the time to appreciate the police in your community.

For information on events going on this week in honor of National Police Week, please visit http://www.policeweek.org/schedule.html.

Friday, May 9, 2014

May Marks National Family Wellness Month

May is the time to celebrate National Family Wellness Month, when summer is around the corner and schedules become packed with outside activities and fun. This month serves as time to focus on healthy family lifestyles and habits. By working to make our own families healthier, we are really working on contributing to a healthier community for the future overall!

Here are some tips and ways to celebrate family wellness this month. What are you waiting for? Get out there and have some FUN!

Visit a Park: An easy and cheap way to have fun with the family involves heading to the park. Head to your local park (If you live in Texas, here is a link to find the closest part to you: http://www.tpwd.state.tx.us/state-parks/) and enjoy a hike, play on the playground, take a swim, fly a kite, or ride a bike! There are so many great wellness activities that can happen at a park so pack a picnic and head outdoors.

Plan a Family Game Night: Taking time to enjoy games with the family is a great way to interact with loved ones. Pull out some old fashion board games such as Monopoly, Pictionary, or Sorry. Have a Wii? Try playing some Wii Fit games or other family games that bring out a little fun competition. Whatever you decide, the main point is to enjoy playing with your family because that is what boosts overall wellness.

 
Build a Garden: An excellent way to improve wellness is by planting a garden with your family. Whether you choose to plant a veggie or a flower garden, the results are still the same. The time you spend creating and putting love into the garden is what will improve the overall wellness of your family. Plus, you have an awesome garden to show off!


Make a Scrapbook: For the kids, school is coming to an end and summer is beginning. Now is the perfect time to put together a scrapbook! Have each family member create a few pages each for the scrapbook. The scrapbook can include pictures, stories and visuals that explain different parts of family life. Have fun bonding over memories and seeing everyone’s contributions to the scrapbook!

Set a Goal: Have each family member set a long-term and short-term goal. They can be well-thought out or very simple. The important part is setting a goal and sticking to it. Need to exercise more? Have the family take a bi-weekly walk in the evening. Want to eat healthier? Have a goal where the family all pitches in on creating at least one meal a week together. Make it fun for both kids and adults.

Whatever activities you decide to do, the main goal here is to improve the overall health and wellness of your family. So get out there and celebrate life and all it has to offer you!

Friday, April 25, 2014

9-1-1 Public Education Efforts Showcased in April

9-1-1 education is alive and well. Throughout the country, educators have been working hard to show appreciation to telecommunicators as well as educate the public on the importance of emergency services and how they work most efficiently.

To wrap up 9-1-1 education month we compiled some helpful reminders and tips on utilizing these important emergency services:

·         9-1-1 is only for emergencies. Do not call 9-1-1 as a prank or a joke.

·         If you call 9-1-1, please do not hang up. Explain to the call-taker that you accidentally dialed 9-1-1.

·         Remember to stay calm and speak clearly.

·         Always stay on the line until you are told by the call-taker that it is ok to hang up.

·         If you have a child or children, teach them to know their first and last name, their parent’s names, their home address and phone number. It is a good idea to keep this information close to a landline phone.

·         If Text to 9-1-1 is available in your area, please remember to call if you can and text if you can’t.

·         Do not let children play with your phone unsupervised. Try and reduce accidental 9-1-1 calls.

We also want to share with you a Public Service Announcement (PSA) video we created this month in honor of 9-1-1 Public Education Month. We encourage you to create your very own PSA too! Here is how we made ours: CPS costume: Check, Video Camera: Check, 9-1-1 song: Check and iMovie editing: Check! Please share your PSA with Cell Phone Sally and we will showcase it on YouTube and other CPS social media sites.  


 

Here are some great articles on 9-1-1 Public Education Month: