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Keeping Our Children Safe

Lately there have been many reports on the news of missing children and adults. It breaks our hearts to see innocent children who are taken advantage of. No child should have to suffer trauma like kidnapping or physical harm ever.

In a day and age where children are more are more into looking down their phones and iPads than paying attention to their surroundings, it is more crucial now to inform our children of safety.

Here are some tips for parents on keeping your children safe:

Be Alert: Over 50% of the children kidnapped in non-family abductions were taken from the street, in a vehicle, or from a park or wooded area.

How To Talk To Your Child

Who?

You

  • A parent is the best person to teach a child about personal safety.

What?

Effective personal safety skills

  • Smart Thinking
  • Strong Character
  • Sticking Together

How?

LISTEN to your children

  • Know your children’s daily activities and habits.
  • Listen to what they like and what they don’t like.
  • Encourage open communication. Let your children know they can talk to you about any situation.
  • Reassure your children that their safety is your #1 concern.

TEACH your children

  • Set boundaries about places they may go, people they may see, and things they may do.
  • Reinforce the importance of the “buddy system.”
  • It’s OK to say NO—tell your children to trust their instincts.

Get INVOLVED

  • Know where your children are at all times.
  • Your children should check in with you if there is a change in plans.
  • There is no substitute for your attention and supervision.

PRACTICE safety skills with your child

  • Rehearse safety skills so that they become second nature.

What You Can Do To Help Your Child

Safety at Home

  • Children should know their full name, home phone number and how to use the telephone. Post your contact information where your children will see it: office phone number, cell phone, pager, etc.
  • Children should have a trusted adult to call if they’re scared or have an emergency.
  • Choose babysitters with care. Obtain references from family, friends, and neighbors. Once you have chosen the caregiver, drop in unexpectedly to see how your children are doing. Ask your children how the experience with the caregiver was, and listen carefully to their responses.

Safety in the Neighborhood

  • Make a list with your children of their neighborhood boundaries, choosing significant landmarks.
  • Interact regularly with your neighbors. Tell your children whose homes they are allowed to visit.
  • Don’t drop your children off alone at malls, movie theatres, video arcades, or parks.
  • Teach your children that adults should not approach children for help or directions. Tell your children that if they are approached by an adult, they should stay alert because this may be a “trick.”
  • Never leave children unattended in an automobile. Children should never hitchhike or approach a car when they don’t know and trust the driver.
  • Children should never go anywhere with anyone without getting your permission first.

Safety at School

  • Be careful when you put your child’s name on clothing, backpacks, lunch boxes or bicycle license plates. If a child’s name is visible, it may put them on a “first name” basis with an abductor.
  • Walk the route to and from school with your children, pointing out landmarks and safe places to go if they’re being followed or need help. Make a map with your children showing acceptable routes to school, using main roads and avoiding shortcuts or isolated areas. If your children take a bus, visit the bus stop with them and make sure they know which bus to take.

Safety on Social Media

  • Monitor computer time and social time on cell phones and tablets.
  • At night, put all cell phones and tablets in an office, room or with you as a parent. This will prevent any late night interactions with someone inappropriate.
  • Have your children’s passwords. This way you can check up on who is their friend on social media. Check for questionable behavior or profiles and teach your children warning signals when appropriate or necessary.

 

Hopefully these tips help! Let’s keep our children safe!

 

Tips and Suggestions taken from: PERSONAL SAFETY FOR CHILDREN—A GUIDE FOR PARENTS

 

In an Emergency or if you have information about a missing or exploited child:

Call 911 and notify your local police
Call 1-800-THE-LOST (1-800-843-5678)

To report information about child pornography, child molestation, child prostitution,
and the online enticement of children:

Log on to NCMEC’s CyberTipline at:
www.cybertipline.com

 

 

The following websites provide additional information about protecting children from abduction and exploitation:
Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, Department of Justice
OJJDP Publications—Child Protection
http://ojjdp.ncjrs.org/pubs/missing.html
National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC)
http://www.missingkids.com
NCMEC’s website to teach children about dangers on the Internet
http://www.netsmartz.org
The Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Crime Against Children Program webpage
http://www.fbi.gov/hq/cid/cac/crimesmain.htm
The Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Tip and Public Leads webpage
https://www.ifccfbi.gov/complaint/terrorist.asp
McGruff the Crime Dog
Information for child safety, identification, abduction,
fingerprinting, and crime prevention
http://mcgruff-safe-kids.com/

 


INA Urges Nannies, Parents, and Placement Agencies to Follow Water Safety Guidelines

Since the 2010 tragic drowning incident in Long Island, New York, that involved a nanny and the toddler in her care, INA has committed to sending an annual reminder to nannies, parents and agencies that only child care providers who have the proper training should take children swimming or near large bodies of water like a pool, lake or ocean.

INA recommends that children are only to be taken swimming by a nanny if she is a lifeguard, if she has successfully completed a credible water safety and rescue course, or if there is a lifeguard present.

INA recommends that any child care provider who works in a home where there is a large body of water present be properly trained in water safety and rescue.

To find an American Red Cross Water Safety and Rescue course in your area, visithttp://www.redcross.org.

(Taken from www.nanny.org)

 

 

Extreme Heat: Effects on Children and Pregnant Women

As of late, throughout the country, after the various storms and wildfires, temperatures have steadily risen. This week alone in Michigan, we’re enduring temps in the 90s for at least three days. Now, we must do all we can to keep kids hydrated and healthy. The article below is from the Evironmental Protection Agency (EPA) and gives tips about how to keep children and pregnant women safe and healthy in extreme temperatures. We’d love to hear from you, too. What do you do to keep cool when the summer is suddenly raging? Ice cubes made with fruit juice and fruit pieces? Running outside through sprinklers? What else did we enjoy as kids?

Extreme Heat: Effects on Children and Pregnant Women

Heat-related illnesses are common, yet preventable on hot days. Children and  pregnant women need to take extra precautions to avoid overheating on days of  extreme heat. Dehydration, heat stroke, and other heat illnesses may affect a  child or pregnant woman more severely than the average adult. Download a copy of this information (PDF) (2 pp, 80K, About PDF).

Why are children more susceptible to extreme heat?

  • Physical characteristics – Children have a smaller body mass to  surface area ratio than adults, making them more vulnerable to heat-related  morbidity and mortality. Children are more likely to become dehydrated than  adults because they can lose more fluid quickly.
  • Behaviors – Children play outside more than adults, and they may be  at greater risk of heat stroke and exhaustion because they may lack the  judgment to limit exertion during hot weather and to rehydrate themselves after  long periods of time in the heat. There are also regular reports of infants  dying when left in unattended vehicles, which suggests a low awareness of the  dangers of heat events.

How do I know if my child is dehydrated?

  • Decreased physical activity
  • Lack of tears when crying
  • Dry mouth
  • Irritability and fussiness

What should I do if my child has become dehydrated?

  • Have the child or infant drink fluid replacement products
  • Allow for rehydration to take a few hours, over which children should stay  in a cool, shaded area and sip fluids periodically
  • Call your doctor if symptoms do not improve or if they worsen

How do I know if my child has suffered a heat stroke?
Heat stroke, a condition in which the body becomes overheated in a relatively  short span of time, can be life-threatening and requires immediate medical  attention.

  • Skin is flushed, red and dry
  • Little or no sweating
  • Deep breathing
  • Dizziness, headache, and/or fatigue
  • Less urine is produced, of a dark yellowish color
  • Loss of consciousness

What should I do if my child has suffered a heat stroke?

  • Immediately remove child from heat and place in a cool environment
  • Place child in bath of cool water and massage skin to increase circulation  (do not use water colder than 60 degrees F – may restrict blood vessels)
  • Take child to hospital or doctor as soon as possible

How can children be protected from the effects of extreme heat?

  • Hydration – Make sure children are drinking plenty of fluids while  playing outside, especially if they are participating in sports or rigorous  physical activity. Fluids should be drunk before, during and after periods of  time in extreme heat.
  • Staying indoors – Ideally, children should avoid spending time  outdoors during periods of extreme heat. Playing outside in the morning or  evenings can protect children from dehydration or heat exhaustion. Never leave  a child in a parked car, even if the windows are open.
  • Light clothing – Children should be dressed in light, loose-fitting  clothes on extremely hot days. Breathable fabrics such as cotton are ideal  because sweat can evaporate and cool down the child’s body.

How do I care for my infant during hot weather?

  • Check your baby’s diaper for concentrated urine, which can be a sign of  dehydration.
  • If your infant is sweating, he or she is too warm. Remove him or her from  the sun immediately and find a place for the baby to cool down.
  • Avoid using a fan on or near your baby; it dehydrates them faster.
  • A hat traps an infant’s body heat and should only be worn in the sun to  avoid sunburn.
  • Never leave an infant in a parked car, even if the windows are open.

Why are pregnant woman especially at risk during periods of extreme  heat?
An increase in the core body temperature of a pregnant woman may affect the  fetus, especially during the first trimester.

How can pregnant women protect themselves from the effects of extreme  heat?

  • Wear light loose fitting clothing
  • Stay hydrated by drinking six to eight glasses of water a day
  • Avoid caffeine, salt, and alcohol
  • Balance fluids by drinking beverages with sodium and other electrolytes
  • Limit midday excursions when temperatures are at their highest
  • Call doctor or go to emergency room if woman feels dizzy, short of breath,  or lightheaded

Where can I find more information about extreme heat?

Keeping Children Calm During the Storm

Within the past few months, the U.S. has been battered by floods, storms, hurricanes, and tornadoes, wiping out hundreds of lives, homes, property, and just America’s general peace of mind. Children become as afraid and stressed as adults during these times. How do we talk to them about natural disasters and other situations they can’t control? The article below appeared in the Orlando Sentinel in 2009, but still has a few good tips on how to calm our children.

How to keep kids calm despite storms

May 31, 2009

Surviving nature’s fury can be stressful for adults and children alike.

But experts say good preparation can get families through it, starting well before a hurricane approaches. Keeping calm and busy is essential during a storm. And talking with kids afterward will help them cope with any fears or bad memories.

Families should put together a disaster kit ahead of a hurricane with flashlights, medical supplies, water and other items. Children can create their own activity survival kit with items they might need to stay busy or to make them feel safe.

Because a hurricane can knock out power for days, items should include some of the child’s favorite books and board games. Crafts are a good way to spend time, so include scissors, crayons, markers, and paper.

Children also should pack their favorite blankets, pillows or stuffed animals to give kids a sense of security.

The kits also should include pictures of the family and pets. They can be assembled in a backpack or duffel bag — preferably one that a child can carry.

Video games and other electronic toys may become useless without power. But some hand-held video games run on batteries, so keep a good supply available.

During preparations before a storm, you may ask children to help out so they can feel involved and in charge of sometimes scary situations. Have them put together snack bags for the family, check batteries in their games and other devices, occupy younger children, or some other duties.

Talk with children or provide them with age-appropriate books and reading materials to help them learn about hurricanes, satisfy their curiosity, or quell fears. Parents should be ready to talk with children about their concerns.

Try to keep children busy during the storm. Don’t watch too much television-news coverage of the storm damage.

If you have to evacuate, talk to children about keeping the family safe and how a home and other possessions can be replaced. Do not bring expensive video games or toys to a shelter — they can be lost or stolen.

After the hurricane passes, try to keep children from going outside until you know it is safe from downed power lines and storm debris that can injure them. After leaving a shelter, talk to young ones about how the home and neighborhood may be damaged to prepare them for the tremendous change.

Some say parents should try to restore normal family routines — meals, family, playtimes — as soon as possible to show the situation is under control. Watch for signs of stress with children such as nightmares and persistent fears of weather, loud noises, or being left alone.

  International Nanny Association


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