CEP-Safety meetings

Safety meeting recaps – CEP – Continuing Education Program

As part of the Au-Pair program LCC’s do different safety meetings with the Au-Pairs. Below are notes from each of the meetings and some on the upcoming events.

SELF DEFENSE MEETING:

I normally hold one each year and the Au-Pair enjoy and appreciate it very much. They have a take home guide

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WATER SAFETY:

  • Never leave a child unsupervised in or around water in the home. Empty all sinks, tubs and buckets immediately after use. Store all containers upside down and out of reach.
  • Do not rely on a bath support ring to keep a baby safe in the tub without adult supervision.
  • Never leave a child unsupervised in or around a swimming pool or spa, even for a moment. A child can drown in the time it takes to answer the phone. All wading and inflatable pools should be empty when not in use.
  • Teach children to practice safe water habits. They should always wade into water first before diving or jumping to avoid hitting their heads on a shallow bottom. Children should not push or jump on others in the water.
  • Children should never swim alone.
  • Never let older children swim in unsupervised areas like quarries, canals or ponds. Older children are at risk of drowning when they overestimate their swimming ability.
  • Make sure children are swimming in designated areas in oceans, lakes and rivers. Look for clear water with little or no current and check the depth of the water before swimming or diving.
  • Children over the age of 3 should learn to swim from qualified instructors but caregivers should keep in mind that lessons do not make children “drown-proof.” Never rely on a life guard, a floating device or swimming lessons to protect a kid.
  • Adults and children over the age of 13 should learn infant and child CPR.
  • Children should not dive in water unless an adult is present and knows that the water is more than nine feet deep.
  • Adults should not rely on pool covers to prevent children from drowning. Water must be kept from collecting on the surface of pool covers.
  • Children and adults should wear a U.S. Coast Guard-approved PFD when on a boat, near open bodies of water or when participating in water sports. Air-filled swimming aids, such as “water wings,” are not considered safety devices and are not substitutes for PFDs.
  • The American Red Cross is a good resource
  • http://www.redcross.org/services/hss/tips/healthtips/safetywater.html
  • The Girl Scouts of America discuss safety tips and activities for being around water. http://www.girlscouts.org/adults/links_resources/health_safety.html

Water Safety Checklist

Making simple changes around the home and watching children carefully are the keys to keeping young children safe from drowning.

In the house:

  • Always stay with my host child at bath time.
  • There is a non-slip mat in the bath or shower to stop slipping.
  • keep the toilet lid shut.
  • keep the plug for the bath out of reach of children.
  • make sure large water containers are out of reach of children.

Outside:

  • the host family’s pool has a fence around it.
  • check for water hazards around my home. (eg. drainage on section after rain, paddling pool emptied when not in use).
  • Always be aware of water hazards in my neighborhood. (e.g. neighbors’ pools, rivers, streams, and drains)
  • the host children have a safe, fenced area to play in outside.

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PLAYGROUND SAFETY:

  • Always supervise children when on playgrounds. Maintain visual and auditory contact at all times.
  • Ensure that children use age- and size-appropriate playground equipment.
  • Prevent unsafe behaviors like pushing, shoving, crowding and inappropriate use of equipment. Continually enforce the rules of safe play.
  • Remove hood and neck drawstrings from all childrens clothing. Never allow children to wear necklaces, purses, scarves or clothing with drawstrings while on playgrounds.
  • Tie shoelaces to prevent tripping and entanglement in equipment and look for trip hazards on the playground.
  • Make sure that children use playground equipment in a safe manner. They should use ladders to get on slides, slide feet first; sit on swings; and not jump off moving swings or walk in front of or behind moving swings. In addition, children should use handrails and guardrails on equipment and should not climb or sit on top of elevated bars.
  • Make sure the surface of any playground on which children are playing is safe. Acceptable surfaces include loose-fill materials maintained at the appropriate depth, usually 9-12 inches, such as hardwood fiber mulch or chips, pea gravel or fine sand. Shredded rubber, rubber mats, synthetic turf and other artificial materials are also acceptable surfaces. Asphalt, concrete, grass or soil are not acceptable surfaces. Surfacing should extend a minimum of 6 feet in all directions around stationary equipment and further around swings and other moving equipment.
  • Check for unsafe design elements on the playground, such as open “S” hooks, equipment which is not securely anchored, openings between three and one half inches and nine inches which could allow head entrapment, inadequate spacing between equipment, platforms with no guard rails and protrusions or sharp edges that could cut a child or catch a string or item of clothing. Any problems should be fixed immediately or reported to the playground’s maintainer
  • Surfaces around playground equipment have at least 12 inches of wood chips, mulch, sand, or pea gravel, or are mats made of safety-tested rubber or rubber-like materials.
  • Protective surfacing extends at least 6 feet in all directions from play equipment. (For swings, be sure surfacing extends, in back and front, twice the height of the suspending bar.)
  • Play structures more than 30 inches high are spaced at least 9 feet apart.
  • No dangerous hardware is apparent (like open “S” hooks or protruding bolt ends)
  • Spaces that could trap children, such as openings in guardrails or between ladder rungs, measure less than 3.5 inches or more than 9 inches.
  • There are no sharp points or edges in equipment.
  • Absence of tripping hazards, like exposed concrete footings, tree stumps, and rocks.
  • Elevated surfaces, like platforms and ramps, have guardrails to prevent falls.

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DRIVING SAFETY:

  • Children should be properly restrained on every car ride, with kids ages 12 or under always in the back seat.
  • Make sure child safety seats are properly installed. Read the car seat instructions and vehicle owners manual to find out how to install the seats.
  • Infants, until at least 1 year old and 20 pounds, should be in rear-facing child safety seats.
  • Never put a rear-facing infant or convertible safety seat in the front passenger seat of a vehicle with a passenger airbag.
  • Children ages 1 to 4 and 20 to 40 pounds should be in a forward-facing convertible or toddler seat.
  • Children ages 4 to 8, usually about 40 to 80 pounds, should be in a car booster seat.
  • Kids who have outgrown the car booster seat (over 80 pounds and usually over the age of 8) should wear a lap/shoulder safety belt.
  • If it is necessary for a child over age 1 to ride in the front seat with a passenger air bag, secure him properly in the correct restraint, move the front seat as far back from the dashboard as possible. Make sure the child does not lean toward the dashboard.
  • No infants (less than one year old) should ride in the front seat.
  • Never talk on the phone while driving and avoid changing CD’s and similar.
  • HELPFUL SITES:
  1. http://www.safechild.net/for_parents/index.html
  2. http://kidshealth.org/en/parents/auto-baby-toddler.html

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BICYCLE SAFETY:

  • Kids, family members, and caregivers should wear helmets every time they ride.
  • Helmets and bikes should be the right size for a child. A bicycle helmet should fit comfortably and snugly, but not too tightly. It should sit on the top of the head in a level position and should not rock forward and back or from side to side. The helmet straps must always be buckled.
  • Helmets should meet or exceed the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commissions federal safety standard or those developed by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI), the Snell Memorial Foundation or the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM).
  • Children on their bicycles should follow the same rules as drivers – obey all lights and signs, ride on the right side of the road, and pass on the left.
  • Children should avoid biking at night and should wear reflective clothing when biking at dawn, dusk or during inclement weather so drivers can see them more easily.
  • Children should learn not to ride into the street without looking for traffic first and should avoid any sudden swerves out into traffic. When I ride a bike with my son, I insist we get off the bike to cross the street, whether there is a light, crossing guard or not.
  • Bicycling should be restricted to sidewalks and paths until a child is 10 years old and demonstrates an ability to ride well and observe the basic rules of the road.
  • Children should be taught to be defensive riders and watch for other riders, pedestrians, and drivers who are not paying attention.
  • Children should learn and use proper hand signals.
  • Children should drink plenty of fluids while biking and wear sunscreen of at least SPF 15 or greater on sunny days.
  • The National Bike Safety Network devotes an entire website to bike safety providing the latest information on current programs, research, legislation, and other resources in bike safety. http://www.cdc.gov/ncipc/bike/default.htm

  • http://www.safechild.net/for_parents/bicycles.html

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CARBON MONOXIDE POISONING PREVENTION

  • Make sure that CO alarms are installed in every sleeping area and on the ceiling at least 15 feet from fuel-burning appliances. Check that the alarms are in working condition.
  • When using a fireplace or wood-burning stove, open the flue for adequate ventilation. Ensure that space heaters are vented properly.
  • Never use barbecue grills indoors.
  • Do not leave a vehicle running in a garage, even with the door open.
  • List poison control center and emergency medical service numbers near each phone.

Action in the case of CO poisoning
Review symptoms of a carbon monoxide poisoning and action to be taken.

Exposure to CO can be deadly. Carbon monoxide impairs the body’s ability to use oxygen. Symptoms of CO poisoning are similar to the flu, only without a fever:

  • headache
  • fatigue
  • nausea
  • dizziness
  • shortness of breath

It can progress to loss of consciousness, brain damage and death. Carbon monoxide poisoning can be so mild, however, that many people may not notice the initial signs. Since exposure can cause drowsiness, people can be overcome while sleeping.

If you or your host children experience any of the symptoms listed above, get fresh air immediately and contact a doctor for proper diagnosis. Also, open windows and doors, turn off combustion appliances and contact the fire/police department.

Carbon Monoxide Kills Website: More information about the causes of CO poisoning and prevention. http://www.carbonmonoxidekills.com/

A guide to preventing CO poisoning and tips on recognizing symptoms: http://www.carbon-monoxide-poisoning.com/

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HOUSEHOLD POISONING PREVENTION

  • Ensure that all medications and household products are locked out of sight and out of reach of kids, even if they are labeled as child-resistant. Child-resistant does not mean child-proof. Items to watch for include cleaners, cosmetics and medicines.
  • Always read labels, follow directions and give medicines to kids based on their weights and ages. Only use the dispenser that comes packaged with medications.
  • Make sure you know where your family’s ipecac syrup is kept in the case of a poisoning exposure. The ipecac syrup should be used only on the advice of a poison control center or a physician. If the local poison control center has recommended that activated charcoal be kept on hand as well, make sure you know where to find it in case of an emergency.
  • Buy products in child-resistant packaging when available. Always store products in original packaging to avoid confusion.
  • Discard old medicine regularly by flushing it down the toilet.
  • Never create new cleaning solutions by mixing different products designed for other uses. New mixtures could be harmful to kids, and might not be stored in properly labeled or child-resistant containers.
  • Avoid taking medicine in front of kids, as they tend to mimic adult actions.
  • Never refer to medicine as candy.
  • For homes with a residential swimming pool, make sure pool supplies and chemicals are locked out of reach.
  • Make sure potentially poisonous plants are kept out of reach.

Action in the case of a household poisoning:

  • List poison control center and emergency medical service numbers near every phone.
  • In a poisoning emergency, call 1-800-222-1222.
  • If the victim has collapsed or is not breathing, call 911

Poison on the Skin:

  • Remove contaminated clothing and flood skin with water for 10 minutes. Then wash gently with soap and water and rinse.

Poison in the Eye:

  • Flood the eye with lukewarm (not hot) water poured from a large glass 2 or 3 inches from the eye. Repeat for 15 minutes. Have patient blink as much as possible while flooding the eye. Do not force the eyelid open.

Inhaled Poison:

Immediately get the person to fresh air. Avoid breathing fumes. Open doors and windows wide. If victim is not breathing, start artificial respiration.

Swallowed Poison:

  • Medicine: Do not give anything by mouth until calling for advice.
  • Chemical or Household Products: Unless patient is unconscious, having convulsions, or cannot swallow-give milk or water immediately…then call for professional advice about whether you should make the patient vomit or not.

Always Keep on Hand at Home:

  • A one ounce bottle of SYRUP OF IPECAC for each child in the home. Use only on advice of poison control center, emergency department or physicians.

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FIRE PREVENTION

  • Test smoke alarms once a month. Replace the batteries in smoke alarms once a year. Daylight savings time is a perfect reminder. Make sure that there is an alarm on every level and in every sleeping area of the house.
  • Plan and practice several fire escape routes from each room of the home and identify an outside meeting place. Practicing an escape plan may help kids who become frightened and confused in a fire to escape to safety.
  • Consider escape ladders for sleeping areas on the second or third floor. Learn how to use them and store them near the window.
  • Keep matches, gasoline, lighters and all other flammable materials locked away and out of reach.
  • Teach kids never to play with matches and lighters and to tell an adult if they find them.
  • Teach kids that only adults should light candles, a campfire or a barbecue.
  • Teach kids what firefighters look like so they will not be scared in the case of a fire.
  • Never leave cooking food unattended.
  • Keep clothing, furniture, paper and other flammable materials away from a fireplace, heater or radiator.
  • Avoid plugging several appliance cords into the same electrical socket.

Action in the case of a fire

If you are woken up by the sound of your smoke alarm or by the sound or smell of what you think is a fire, remember: STOP – THINK – ACT

  • Stay calm. Wake all the members of your family.
  • Make your way out together, through the nearest exit.
  • Do not open any doors other than the ones you need to escape through.
  • If a door feels hot DO NOT open it.
  • When everyone is safely outside call the Fire Department from a public telephone or a neighbor’s house.
  • DO NOT GO BACK TO THE HOUSE for any reason until the Fire Department tells you it is safe to return.

Some fires generate a lot of smoke. This can kill you. If you have to go through a smoke–filled hallway or room, get down on your hands and knees and crawl under it. If you see smoke or fire in your first escape route, use your second way out. If you must exit through smoke, crawl low under the smoke to your exit.

If you are trapped in a room by smoke or fire, you need to try to stop the smoke from getting into the room.

  • Close the door.
  • Block any gaps into the room. Use towels, blankets or spare clothes.
  • If there is a telephone in the room dial 911.
  • If there is no telephone, go to the window and shout for help.
  • Once you know you have been heard and help is on the way, stay near to the floor by the window. Smoke and heat rise so you are safer near to the ground.
  • If your windows are double glazed, use a heavy object and hit the window in a bottom corner. To make any jagged edges safer, use a towel or blanket.
  • Always remember you must not stop to collect anything. Fire is unpredictable. NEVER take chances.
  • Teach kids to stay low to the floor and crawl to the nearest exit in the case of a fire. Kids should also learn to touch doors before opening them. If the door is warm, it could mean there is a fire on the other side.
  • Teach kids to call for help from a neighbor’s home, not from inside a burning building. No one should re-enter a burning building.
  • Teach kids that if their clothing catches on fire they should STOP, DROP and ROLL. Practice with them.
  • National Safe Kids Campaign: general information on fire safety and fire safety events. www.safekids.org
  • The National Fire Protection Agency: information on fire-related data, programs and educational resources. www.nfpa.org
  • U.S. Fire Administration: information on fire-related data, programs and educational resources. www.usfa.fema.gov

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SPORTS INJURY PREVENTION

In the case of a sports injury the first line of action is to prevent further damage.

The primary treatment for acute sports injury is R.I.C.E.: Rest, ice, compression and elevation. Never apply heat to an injury. Heat will increase circulation and increases swelling. Then consult a professional to determine whether further treatment is necessary. In the case of a severe injury, such as an obvious fracture or dislocation of a joint, prolonged swelling, or prolonged or severe pain, seek medical help immediately

  • Rest: Reduce or stop using the injured area for 48 hours. If you have a leg injury, you may need to stay off of it completely.
  • Ice: Put an ice pack on the injured area for 20 minutes at a time, 4 to 8 times per day. Use a cold pack, ice bag, or a plastic bag filled with crushed ice that has been wrapped in a towel.
  • Compression: Compression of an injured ankle, knee, or wrist may help reduce the swelling. These include bandages such as elastic wraps, special boots, air casts and splints. Ask your doctor which one is best.
  • Elevation: Keep the injured area elevated above the level of the heart. Use a pillow to help elevate an injured limb.

National Youth Sports Safety Foundation – information on reducing the number and severity of injuries kids sustain in sports and fitness activities.  http://www.nyssf.org/

Baseball and Softball Safest playing with:

  • batting helmet
  • shin guards
  • elbow guards
  • athletic supporters for males mouth guard
  • sunscreen
  • cleats
  • hat
  • breakaway bases

Basketball Safest playing with:

  • eye protection
  • elbow and knee pads
  • mouth guard
  • athletic supporters for males
  • proper shoes
  • water
  • hat (if outdoors)
  • sunscreen (if outdoors)

Football Safest playing with:

  • helmet
  • mouth guard
  • shoulder pads
  • athletic supporters for males
  • chest/rib pads
  • forearm, elbow, and thigh pads
  • shin guards
  • proper shoes
  • sunscreen
  • water

Gymnastics Safest playing with:

  • athletic supporters for males
  • safety harness
  • joint supports (such as neoprene wraps)
  • water

Soccer Safest playing with:

  • shin guards
  • athletic supporters for males
  • cleats
  • sunscreen, water

Track and Field Safest playing with:

  • proper shoes
  • athletic supporters for males
  • sunscreen
  • water