Shelby's Not Breathing

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

A powerful reminder about safe sleep practices.

Having a Safe and Fun Halloween

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Here are a few safety tips from the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission to protect children who plan to go trick-or-treating this Halloween.

Treats: Warn children not to eat any treats before an adult has carefully examined them for evidence of tampering.

Flame Resistant Costumes: When purchasing a costume, masks, beards, and wigs, look for the label Flame Resistant. Although this label does not mean these items won't catch fire, it does indicate the items will resist burning and should extinguish quickly once removed from the ignition source. To minimize the risk of contact with candles or other sources of ignition, avoid costumes made with flimsy materials and outfits with big, baggy sleeves or billowing skirts.

Costume Designs: Purchase or make costumes that are light and bright enough to be clearly visible to motorists. For greater visibility during dusk and darkness, decorate or trim costumes with reflective tape that will glow in the beam of a car's headlights. Bags or sacks should also be light colored or decorated with reflective tape. Reflective tape is usually available in hardware, bicycle, and sporting goods stores.

To easily see and be seen, children should also carry flashlights.

Costumes should be short enough to prevent children from tripping and falling.

Children should wear well-fitting, sturdy shoes. Mother's high heels are not a good idea for safe walking.

Hats and scarves should be tied securely to prevent them from slipping over children's eyes.

Apply a natural mask of cosmetics rather than have a child wear a loose-fitting mask that might restrict breathing or obscure vision. If a mask is used, however, make sure it fits securely and has eyeholes large enough to allow full vision.

Swords, knives, and similar costume accessories should be of soft and flexible material.

Pedestrian Safety: Young children should always be accompanied by an adult or an older, responsible child. All children should WALK, not run from house to house and use the sidewalk if available, rather than walk in the street. Children should be cautioned against running out from between parked cars, or across lawns and yards where ornaments, furniture, or clotheslines present dangers.

Choosing Safe Houses: Children should go only to homes where the residents are known and have outside lights on as a sign of welcome.

Children should not enter homes or apartments unless they are accompanied by an adult.

People expecting trick-or-treaters should remove anything that could be an obstacle from lawns, steps and porches. Candlelit jack-o'-lanterns should be kept away from landings and doorsteps where costumes could brush against the flame. Indoor jack-o'-lanterns should be kept away from curtains, decorations, and other furnishings that could be ignited.

From the Consumer Product Safety Commission

School Bus Safety

Friday, October 16, 2009

BUS STOP: Your child’s bus stop should be in an area that is well lit, easily accessible, and away from traffic. If you live in an area where there is heavy snowfall, make sure that the stop is sufficiently free of snow, ice and related debris.

CLOTHING: Children should be wearing bright colored clothing, especially if waiting for the bus before sunrise or getting home after dark. Place removable reflective tape on their outer garments including on their hats and coats.

Boarding: Teach your children to stand back away from the curb and to remain there until the bus has completely stopped and the driver opens the door to board. Teach them to board the bus in an orderly manner, without pushing or shoving and be seated immediately.

SEATING: Virtually all school buses DO NOT come equipped with seatbelts, nor are seats strong enough to resist impact in the event of a crash. Teach your children to be seated at all times. Face the front of the bus and keep their feet in front of them rather than out in the aisles. Staying directly behind the seat in front of you protects you in case of an accident.

IN CASE OF AN ACCIDENT: Teach your children various brace positions to prepare for the possibility of an accident. Learn optional exit strategies including using the emergency door or windows.

AWARENESS OF WHAT IS GOING ON AROUND THEM: Teach your children to be aware of the traffic in the area; to be constantly looking both ways as they cross streets; and to never walk behind the school bus. Teach them the DANGER ZONES: Behind the bus, where the driver cannot see them or in front of the bus where the driver cannot see them unless they are ten feet or three giant steps in front. The driver should be able to see them and they should see the driver.

A bus driver needs to be able to hear emergency vehicles, trains at railroad crossings, and other emergencies that might arise during the bus route. Children need to understand the importance of obeying the school bus rules and the consequences that could result.

You can keep your children safe by raising their awareness of potential hazards while the rest of us can make school bus safety a priority by obeying the rules of the road. Let’s make the rest of this school year a safe one.

What's the 411 About 211?

Friday, October 9, 2009

Prevent Child Abuse Indiana has sponsored a telephone information line since the mid 1990s. Initially 1-800-CHILDREN (1-800-244-5373) was answered by PCA Indiana staff. Unfortunately, that limited the times we could answer the line to “office hours.” It became clear that people need assistance at all hours of the day and night, and are often uncomfortable leaving a voice mail message.

Last year PCA Indiana worked out an agreement with the Central Indiana 211 Center, also known as Connect2Help. Anytime you call 1-800-CHILDREN now, the line will be answered by Connect2Help staff.

Their highly trained specialists answer the 1-800-CHILDREN line 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Connect2Help always has Spanish-speaking staff available, and uses a translation service for callers who need assistance in other languages.

Connect2Help has a database of over 60,000 programs and services and can assist callers in finding the resources they need.

The resource database is also posted online, and is available to the general public at Click on the link to the left labeled “Search our Database.” You will find a wealth of information about agencies, programs and services to meet a variety of needs.

Staying Healthy

Friday, October 2, 2009

Families all have a goal to be healthy! Health is something we all may take for granted, but it takes effort to assure everyone in the family is staying as healthy as they can.

Some basic steps toward preventative measures are so important, such as: 8 hours of sleep, plus naps, laughter, vitamins, handwashing, and eating plenty of fruits and veggies. Brushing teeth 2 times a day, flossing once and visiting the dentist 2 times a year are all basic requirements.

Taking care of our mental health is just as important as taking care of our physical needs. Just getting the basics done is a feat worth celebrating!

Other more controversial topics may also be requirements for your family. Immunizations and flu shots may be discussed with your doctor.

Paying for all these services is a whole other topic, isn’t it? Many states are offering health coverage for children of all ages. Please check with your state to see what services are being offered!

*Remember caregivers, you need to take care of YOU too! Regularly scheduled “fun breaks” need to be in place for you, as well as taking care of your physical and mental health.