Category Archives: Safety Saturday

Parking Lot Safety Board

Our mission at Parking Pal has always been to find ways to keep kids safer. We want parking lot injuries to be a thing of the past. That’s why we created our Parking Lot Safety Board.

Final Preschool board

What is our Safety Board Package?  It is a laminated version of all the images you see above. It also includes a Parking Pal Magnet and our new book “Cars Are Big and I Am Small” pictured below.

fish_book

Who is it for?

TEACHERS

PRESCHOOLS

DAYCARES

MOPS

SAFEKIDS GROUPS

ANYONE WHO WORKS WITH KIDS

Make a board like this:

preschool safety project

Order our SAFETY KIT by itself or along with some Parking Pals and Books at our group pricing rate for a fun way to teach those little ones safety in parking lots.  Email info@parkingpalmagnet.com for more info.

ChildProof Your Car With These 5 Tips- Making Summer Travel Safe

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The summer season is the time when families like to pack up the car and head off on a road trip for their summer vacation. These trips in the car can be fun and entertaining for all, but when your kids are cooped up in the car for too long they end up getting cranky and bored. One solution is to make several sightseeing stops along the way so everyone gets a chance to stretch out their legs. However, it’s important to keep a close eye on your children when they’re out of the car and in a busy parking lot. During your family travels this summer, keep your kids safe with these five ways for childproofing your car.

1. Parking Pal Magnet

Parking lots are dangerous and it only takes a few seconds for a tragedy to occur, keep your kids safe with the Parking Pal. The Parking Pal is designed to be placed on the side of your vehicle, where it will remain safely attached at all times. While in a parking lot, children place one hand on their Parking Pal creating a safe spot. It was specifically created with bright colors, playful illustrations, and a small palm children love to place their hands on. After a couple learning sessions, your child will discover that the Parking Pal is their safe spot, and they will know where to go the second they are outside the car. It also helps teach them that parking lots are no place to play.
Available for $8.99 at http://www.parkingpalmagnet.com.

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2. Buckle Up

It’s crucial that you make sure your kids are buckled up at all time. Teach your children to always buckle up as soon as they get in the car. You must also lead by example because your kids will not be willing to listen if they see that you are not abiding by the same rule. It’s required by law for kids to wear a seat belt and for adults too in most states. Different booster seats and car seats also have various buckles so read the manual to see if you are correctly buckling in your kids.

3. Car Reverse Alert Beeper by Dreambaby®

The Dreambaby® Car Reverse Alert Beeper will alert anyone behind your vehicle that you are backing up. Simply stick the beeper over your reversing lights and it will emit a high-pitched noise when the vehicle is put into reverse. Little ones are often hard to detect through mirrors and windows so this will be an extra precaution to help prevent accidents when backing up your car. Available for $9.99 at www.shop4kids.com.

dream baby

4. Trunk Safety

These days all cars are required to feature a glow-in-the-dark interior release handle inside the trunk of the car so anyone can get out of a locked trunk. Still, older car models do not include this feature. When children are playing and parents aren’t around, the trunk of the car may seem like a good hiding spot. Kids do not know any better and this can pose a serious danger. Make sure your children cannot access the car unsupervised. If you have an older car, a retrofit Quick-Out Emergency Trunk Release kit is available for $9.99 at www.kidsandcars.org/online-store.html.
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5. Childproof the Interior

Don’t forget about the interior of your car when getting ready to child-proof. When driving with your kids, enable the childproof locks if you can to prevent kids from opening the door while the car is in motion. If you have any dangerous items in the backseat like an ice scraper, wiper fluid, or car cleaner, take them out and keep them in the trunk of the car away from the kids. The foldable back seats of your car should always be kept locked in an upright position to prevent kids from getting into the trunk.

For more car safety tips visit http://www.kidsandcars.org. Make your summer vacation fun and safe with these childproofing tips.

Put Your Safety First

Here at Parking Pal we are all about keeping kids safe!  Looks like we aren’t the only ones.  I recently came across a really COOL video for kids all about safety.  It has a very catchy tune.  I actually can’t stop singing the chorus.  My 8 year old watched it and thought it was cute, but I think it would be great to start showing this to kids as a much younger age.

http://youtu.be/CD_otOjgiIk   “A song for kids to remind them of all kinds of safety issues they need to be aware of. From chewing their food,crossing the street,playing with matches etc. A fun and entertaining way for parents to reinforce being safe. Great for teachers in the classroom and homeschoolers also.” – Discover and Learn

But they don’t just have safety songs….they have all sorts of educational music for children.  Check out their website here.

discover and learn

12 Tips to Keep Your Kids Safe This Holiday

By Kim Estes

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The Holidays are here. OK, I said it. Hard to believe but true! The holiday season is often hectic and can be incredibly stressful to many parents. This year, global changes and uncertainty are also factoring into our holiday mood. There are so many things going on around us and often personal safety gets overlooked during this hectic time. However, now is the best time to brush up on safety with your family. There will be lots of interaction with family and friends and new experiences and new places. Now is a great time to practice “what if” scenarios with your kids. Believe it or not, taking time to talk safety with your kids will take some of the anxiety out of your holiday season and theirs.

Here are some great tips on how to stay safe during the holidays.

Safety while shopping:

• Have a designated spot (like a sales counter) to meet at if you get separated.

• Make sure younger kids practice their name, your name and cell phone number

• Remind kids never to leave the store, no matter what!

• Practice identifying “safe grown ups” while you are out and about

• Older kids should always take a friend when going to the mall without and adult

• Remind kids to always check first with you before going anywhere or accepting gifts

• Never leave children unattended in stores, arcades, or playgrounds

Safety at holiday parties:

• Let your child chose who they wish to show affection to. Do not force them to kiss or hug someone. Even if it means hurting Grandma or Uncle Joes feelings. Your child needs to know they have power over their own bodies.

• Check in on your kids when you are at a large gathering or function. Make sure they are doing OK.

• Kids need to check first with a parent before going off with someone at the party (eg. To play video games or watch a movie in the bedroom or leaving the house to go play in the front yard)

• Have each adult at the party take 20 minute “shifts” to cruise around and check on the kids to make sure they are all doing OK.

• If someone is making your child uncomfortable (excessive tickling, hugging, wrestling) intervene on your child’s behalf to end the behavior. You child needs to know they have your support and that you are there to protect them, no matter what.

Most of all have a safe and wonderful holiday season!
About the Author: Kim Estes is the owner of Savvy Parents Safe Kids and has worked with parents for over 15 years, educating them on various parenting topics. Kim is a certified prevention educator through the National Security Alliance, the Kid Safe Network and is a Darkness 2 Light facilitator. As a Child Safety Expert, Kim has appeared on local and national TV and Radio shows, helping to raise awareness on the importance of prevention education. For more information about her work or to schedule a workshops go to: www.savvyparentsafekids

Help, My Mommy Is Lost

By Kim Estes- Guest Blogger
I remember when I was a kid, my friend had this story in her family that even to this day, is a centerpiece of her families “funny stories”. The kids all remember shopping with Mom, when the manager’s voice came over the store intercom. “Will the parents of a girl named “Jeff”, please come claim your child”. What can I say, it was the 70’s and “Jeff” did indeed look like a girl with his long mop of hair. Over the years, the focus has been on the humor in the gender mix up. As a parent, I now listen to the story and think, “wow, I think that is amazing that Jeff knew what to do when he got lost”.

When we are separated from a loved one in a public place, the reactions can vary. If you are at help, my mommy is lostHome Depot, intently discussing your opinions on faucets, only to turn around and realize your partner is gone and you are babbling to yourself, can be at a minimum, embarrassing. When a parent and child are separated, you go from fear to panic in 60 seconds. For the parent of a child who is a known “sprinter” it seems you always live a constant state of anxiety every time you leave the house.

In this day and age, kids are strapped in with the security of Fort Knox in everything from the grocery cart to the stroller to their Burly. Eventually, they get their wobbly sea legs under them, they move on fast forward. So how does a parent go about talking to their kids about what to do if and when they ever get lost? Well, here are some age appropriate tips on how to talk to your kids without scaring them but empowering them to know what to do if the situation ever arises.

9 months – 2 years: At this age, you can start to introduce the concept of a “Safe mom/Dad with kids”.
You can ask them to point out “the moms with a stroller” in the store. Make a game of it! This will help them with the next level of discussion later.

2-4 years- One thing that you never want to do when teaching your children personal safety is to scare them. With some kids, even the concept or thought of being lost, even for a nano second, is very scary. The word lost can seem very permanent to a child. As an alternate to using the word “lost” you can insert the word “directions” and use role play examples that involve moms or dads and not the child. Here is an example: If you are in the store with you child, you can say to them “OK, if Daddy was waaaay over in the broccoli section and you and I are waaaay over here in the bread section (or maybe the wine section, depending on how your week is going) who could Daddy ask directions from if he needed to find us? Do you see a mom with kids? This is the simplest introduction of “what to do” in a very non threatening way. You can explain to your child that sometimes we get lost or maybe we just need directions on how to get back to each other in the store.

5 – 8: At this age, most kids are in school and are getting used to spending some time away from Mom & Dad. They have gotten used to asking adults for help. At this age, you can talk to your child more about what to do if they get lost and add an option to go find a “cash register” person if they need to locate you.

Another option for your child (and a personal favorite of my kids) is the “freeze and freak out”. It is exactly like it sounds. Freeze in your tracks and yell MOM! I have told my kids that when a mom hears a kids distress call, every mom in the store will come to help. We train our kids to use “indoor voices” so this is concept that may seem really strange to the kids. They may not think they can yell for help in a store. Make sure to let them know that they can yell and they can do so LOUDLY!

Here are the “DON’TS: DON’T instruct your child to only find a policeman or security officer. Kids can often mistake any person in a suit or uniform as a policeman. Plus, when is the last time you saw a uniformed officer patrolling Safeway or Nordstrom?

Last but not least talk early and often with your kids about personal safety. At every age and stage, make sure that your kids know to never, ever, ever leave the store without the grown up they came in with. If you come in with the nanny, grandma, grandpa, mommy or daddy, you leave with them. My kids think it is a funny notion that I would never leave a store until I found them. I would stay in the store looking for them, even if I had to spend the night in the store, live of frozen pizza and pop-tarts and sleep on the marshmallow bags until I found them. And of course, I would.

savvy parents logoAbout the Author: Kim Estes is the owner of Savvy Parents Safe Kids and has worked with parents for over 15 years, educating them on various parenting topics. Kim is a certified prevention educator through the National Security Alliance, the Kid Safe Network and is a Darkness 2 Light facilitator. As a Child Safety Expert, Kim has appeared on local and national TV and Radio shows, helping to raise awareness on the importance of prevention education. For more information about her work or to schedule a workshops go to: www.savvyparentsafekids.com

Somebody call 911

These are words no one ever wants to say or hear. The fact remains, that you may. I know this for 911 safety tipstwo reasons – I have had to call 911 (several times) and I used to be a 911 dispatcher (ambulance only). There are more than a few things I learned about calling 911 while working for them that I otherwise would not have ever known, and I am going to pass that knowledge on to you, dear reader.  Most are common sense. So….onto the Safety Saturday Tips!!!

– Learn and teach nine-one-one, not 911. Silly for me to say, I know, but in a true crisis, people say some really strange things, and sometimes logic goes right out the window. It is nine-one-one. Not nine-eleven. There is no nine-eleven on the phone.

– Remain calm. It is hard. I KNOW it is hard. You (possibly) will want to cry, scream and will someone to get to you faster. I assure you, they are on the way before you even know it.  If you are calm, the dispatcher can help you help the person in need. Being calm will also help you to…..

– State your address and phone number clearly. Usually your address will show up because it is linked to your phone number and you may only need to verify it. Unless technology has changed, this only holds true for a land line. If you call 911 on your cell phone, no address comes through.

– Answer the questions asked of you, no matter how dumb they may seem. Yes, the dispatcher heard you say that someone has sliced their leg open something horrible and can even hear them screaming in the background. So when you are asked if they are conscious, answer the question. When they ask if they are breathing, answer the question. When they ask if they have a pulse, answer the question (I will explain more about this later).

– Follow the directions the dispatcher gives you. And please, no matter what…..

– DO NOT HANG UP! Please. Unless the dispatcher tells you to.

A couple of other things that can be helpful –

– Make sure your street address is clear on your home or property or both.

– For each person in the home have a list of medications and any allergies written down and keep it  in an easily accessible  place. The paramedics will want this.

– If able, open the door to help identify the home.

– If there is more than one person besides the person in need, send them outside (if there is someone there who is in a panic, they are a good person to send outside to wait for help).

– Assure the person in need that help is on the way.

While the tips above are specific to medical assistance, I am pretty sure they would translate over to police and fire.

Some tips just for kids.

– Teach them nine-one-one, your address and phone number. ParkingPal’s Emergency phone list can be a good tool to keep handy.

– If someone in the home has a medical condition, teach them that as well.

– Set up a 911 drill at home (without actually calling). The main reason to make sure they know the address.

– Check if your city has any kind of Safety Day. If they do, take your kids and let them meet your city’s police officers, fire fighters, paramedics and EMT’s. Let them get to know them as real people and not just cool cars with the lights and sirens. Because Emergency Vehicles are cool, until one gets behind you with the lights going because you were driving just a little too fast on the highway, not that I know that from experience.

 

Please keep in mind that different counties probably have different 911 systems, and what I say may not be correct for your county – I am only familiar with one type. The system I used had computer generated questions based on the initial complaint. The system would not let us go onto the next question without an answer. The first questions being breathing, pulse and consciousness. Because these are the MOST IMPORTANT ONES (for a medical emergency) Again, I do not know if all emergency systems work this same way.

I’m a Big Kid Now- Car Seat Safety

I’M A BIG KID NOW

Another school year has begun. They’re another year older and one step closer toMC900436925 being a grown up in every sense of the word. Especially in their minds. They’re back at school, making new friends, and ever eager to impress and fit in. They have a built in desire to be independent, and graduating out of their car seat is no different.

You’ve heard it all before right? I’m a big kid. I’m not a baby anymore. I don’t need a baby seat. None of my friends have to sit in baby seats. It’s not cool! So what are you to do? What’s the truth? Is it just as safe in a regular seat belt? Do they really need to be in a booster seat? What’s the difference? How do we keep them safe and avoid the battle of our common sense versus their witty excuses?

The truth is that letting them sit in a big boy or girl seat with a seat-belt designed to protect a fully grown adult ISN’T just as safe. It’s not the same. Their bodies are NOT just smaller versions of our. Their bone structure is less mature. They ARE smaller but that means the same energy from hitting that tree had a lot more room to spread out on me and you than it did on them. Reality is that being in a booster seat is SAFER. It correctly positions the seat-belt over their bones and not their neck and belly. This helps to stop the movement during an accident. The National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration NHTSA generally recommends booster seats for kids 4 to 8 years old, less than 40 pounds, and under 4 feet 9 inches, although it’s a really good idea to check with authorities regarding your local laws.

The solution? Make their booster seat fun. Dress it up. Let them put their favorite stickers on it. Personalize it! Talk about it. Refrain from using phrases like “baby seat” and replace them instead with chants like “belts over bones”. It’s not about being grown up. It’s about their safety. Let them know that this seat is specially designed to protect them. Most importantly, set a great example. Always buckle up, and ALWAYS use the booster seat for your child.

For more information regarding the use of booster seats please visit www.NTHSA.gov

To find a local car seat inspection check www.safekids.org

This blog post was written by :
Jeremy B. Richter
Critical Care Paramedic
Child Safety Advocate
Founder of SAFE DAWG

SAFE DAWG is a child injury prevention program that teaches safety to kids K-8. A big part of their program includes Free car seat checks. Jeremy is a National Child Passenger Safety Technician. Stay tuned for more safety post from Jeremy.

Phone Home

Do you remember being young and having to learn your phone number and address? It was like, a whole big deal at our school. A whole safety week where we made a small village in our gym. It had roads, and trees, and stop signs and I think even little cars. It was AWESOME! And during this safety week, we learned all things ‘Safe’.

– Stranger Danger

– Bike Safety

– Fire Safety

– How-to-cross-the-road Safety

– 911 Safety

This was back when cell phone literally did not exist and we still had a rotary phone. So when we had to learn our phone number, we only had to learn one number. It was THE number to know. I still know it. It is one of the few that I retain in my memory. I have about…..oh three of them there. Our home number, my best friend’s parents number (from when we were children) and my cell phone number. That is it. These are the only phone numbers I remember. Not my husband’s, not my mother’s, not my daughter’s, not my sister’s or my brother’s. I do not know any of my doctor’s phone numbers, or the pharmacy, the dentist or the vet. Do you see what I am trying to say….in the event that I lost my cell phone, or locked it (with my keys) in my car, there would only be one place I could call. Home.

My Safety Saturday tip – give your child(ren) a Home number to call. I am not saying to go out and get a land line if you only use cell phones. But teach them One number that is their Home Base number. If you are a stay at home parent, and you have a land line, you could use that. If you have two working parents, choose one cell phone as a home base. I don’t think there is anything wrong with teaching kids several numbers – home, work, grandma’s or aunt’s – I do believe it is wise to give them a main one to try first. One that gets so embedded into their tiny little sponge-like brains, that they will remember it….forever. Or at least until they stop locking their cell phone AND their keys in their car.

Smart Phone Dangers….Safety Saturday

cell phone dangersWe all do it. Snap pictures on our smart phones and load them onto Facebook, Twitter and any other manner of social media you can think of. Vacations, night out with friends, kids here, kids there…..visually sharing our everyday lives with our “on-line” family. And there is nothing wrong with that. It’s fun, it keeps us connected to people and lets us live vicariously through each other. But, along with that photo of little Emma proclaiming that “Our daily trip to the park!” or a picture of our feet with the sand captioned “A week of fun in the sun!” we are announcing our location. We are telling the virtual world where were are, what we are doing and when. The photos we take with our smartphones not only show sweet Alex on his first day of school, they also contain the latitude and longitude of where that photo was taken. That Exif metadata attached to each picture we take can be viewed and then be mapped….rather easily. This discovery of mine, is not a new one at all. Most of you are probably already aware of it. And while I knew of the GPS capabilities of my phone, and that the pictures I took had location data stored into them, I wasn’t overly worried about it. Not until my oldest daughter started using her phone for all of the above.

Er…..hold up there.

So you want to wander through life taking pictures of you and your friends and POST THEM ON THE INTERNET!!! Suddenly, the danger seemed real. Very real. Some random stranger could check out her photos and figure out, quite literally, where she was. What her roaming-with-friends habits were. What she looked like, what she likes, her name. I am sure the list goes on and on and on.

The safety part of this post, or rather where the danger lies, could go in a hundred different directions. Because there are so many different “scenarios” I can only suggest the most basic of solutions.

1- Turn your GPS off on your phone. If the phone can’t log it’s location, it can’t tag it onto the photo.

2- Inform your kids, specifically teens who have phones, that it can potentially be a security threat.

3 – Check privacy settings on your accounts periodically to make sure that only the people you want to see things, can.

4 – Be aware of the sites and apps your using. Some sites automatically wipe the geotagging from your photo when it is uploaded (Facebook & Twitter), others do not.

My favorite is option 1 (though I do them all). It is quick and requires minimal effort on my part, and I can get back to snapping and uploading!

Interested in writing a guest blog on children safety topics or other family-friendly topics? If so, email your topic idea to info@parkingpalmagnet.com.

Top 5 Dangers of Kids and Vehicles- Part 2

Top 5 dangers of kids around vehicles This is part two in our feature of the dangers of kids around vehicles.  To see the top 3 dangers click here.  The 4th danger is Power Windows.  According to KidsandCars.org “Power windows in automobiles have killed or injured thousands of children. Since 1990 over 50 children have been killed by power windows, with untold numbers of brain injuries and amputations of fingers, etc.; most of them to children age three or younger.” 

 Click on the picture below to see  3 sets of power window controls-the top two are more dangerous and the bottom one is a little safer. 

power window dangers 

The 5th danger of kids and vehicles is Trunk Entrapment!  This simply means kids getting locked in a trunk. Kidsandcars.org says “Sometimes children play in places they shouldn’t, like the trunk of the car. If your child got trapped inside, could he or she get out?”  What a great question….have you talked to your kids about the dangers of trunks?  Maybe you drive and SUV and don’t have a trunk.  But what about when they are at a friends house.   A glow in the dark internal trunk release is now required in all new vehicles with a trunk. You can also purchase a kit and add it to an older model trunk.

Please take a minute to talk to your kids about the dangers around vehicles….it just might save their life.