Archive for the ‘Emergency’ Category

10 Fire Dangers Commonly Involving Kids

November 15th, 2012 by admin

Few words strike fear in a parent’s heart like “fire.” There are many different ways for children to inadvertently start or be injured in a fire, and the potential for destruction is so great that the mere mention of fire can set off a panic among parents. Here are 10 of the most common dangers of fire in relation to children.

  1. Matches and Lighters – Most children have a natural curiosity about fire that is paired with a limited understanding of the dangers that are typically associated with it. Access to matches or lighters can present a very real fire hazard as that curiosity takes hold.
  2. Attempts at Cooking – Many appliances and gadgets in the kitchen produce heat; from the stove to the toaster, there are several opportunities for a child to accidentally set a kitchen fire in their attempts to cook.
  3. Burning Candles and Horseplay – Kids, especially when there are more than one in the room, have a tendency to spontaneously burst into spirited play. However, rough-housing in a room with a lit candle can lead to serious problems. Should the candle be knocked to the floor or a flammable object fall into its wick, a small fire can quickly become a large blaze.
  4. Campfires – Camping is a part of childhood for many, and sitting around campfires is a cherished part of the experience. When proper caution is exercised, the potential for a devastating fire injury is reduced; be sure that kids have a good knowledge of campfire safety before sending them off into the great outdoors.
  5. Unattended Fireplaces – There are few things as homey as a crackling fireplace on a cold day, but leaving the fire unattended in a house with children can easily lead to injury and property damage. Curious kids might be tempted to throw things into the fire or engage in other unsafe behavior in the absence of an adult.
  6. Hairstyling Appliances – Older kids that are beginning to use heated hairstyling appliances like curling irons and straighteners can create a fire hazard by placing the appliance on a flammable surface or forgetting to unplug it when they’re finished.
  7. Lamps – When messy kids throw clothing over a lamp, or those with a penchant for decorating deliberately place scarves over lampshades, they are inadvertently creating a fire hazard in their own bedrooms.
  8. Overloading Electrical Outlets – As more and more of the modern child’s entertainment comes from electronic gaming and computer devices, there may not be enough outlets in the room to accommodate everything. This can cause kids to overload outlets with surge protectors and the like, which can pose a serious fire risk.
  9. Flammable Substances – The moment that a kid understands what flammable liquid is and the noticeable effect it has on an already-burning fire, curiosity can take hold and lead to very serious trouble. Educating kids about the dangers and repercussions of playing with fire is the best way to prevent this risky behavior.
  10. Smoking – Despite the many programs aimed at keeping kids away from smoking, there will always be a few that insist on sneaking cigarettes. The need for secrecy paired with a limited understanding of fire safety make cigarette-related fires among the most common.

Kids are never too young to start learning about fire safety and prevention; this ongoing lesson could be one that saves their life. Additionally, if you have concerns that your child has an unhealthy fixation or obsession with fire, there are programs through your local fire department that can point you in the right direction to get help.

10 Substitutes for a Toilet in a Pinch

January 22nd, 2012 by admin

At certain times and places, it just isn’t convenient to take a call. When it comes to nature calls especially, it isn’t always feasible to be selective about the venue. As the saying goes, When ya gotta go, ya gotta go.

So maybe now’s a good time to contemplate a Plan B for when you’re traveling this holiday season. And while you’re at it, Plans C through K as well. In other words, 10 substitutes for a toilet in a pinch:

  1. The woods – Always a good alternative to indoor plumbing. Just ask the proverbial bear. Stop your car roadside, head into the brush just enough for some cover, and go to work. If no TP is available, the foliage is lovely this time of year.
  2. Plastic Shopping Bag – Careful positioning and manual dexterity are paramount here – as is some hand sanitizer just in case. The bonus of this method is the ease with which your makeshift commode can be tied up and flung at passing gawkers.
  3. Paint Bucket – This option offers the benefit of a more natural seating arrangement, but presents a logistical dilemma, namely how to discard the contents upon completion. We suggest lining it first with a kitchen trash bag.
  4. Gatorade Bottle – Recommended for Number One use only, unless your aim and balance are impeccable. Just remember to separate this container from your Lemon-Lime thirst quenchers.
  5. Litter Box – Kitty litter is such a versatile product. You can clean up spills with it, use it for traction on ice or snow, or for added weight on your rear tires. So why not use it for its main purpose too? Throw a plastic tray in your trunk along with it, and take to the road with confidence.
  6. GoGirl – For the lady on the go – and who really, really has to go – we recommend trying this. It’s a complete field kit in a can. You can’t miss! Thanks to that pretty lavender funnel.
  7. Depends – Don’t laugh. These adult diapers have been sparing incontinence sufferers for many years. They can help you out in a pinch too, as long as you’ve got the time and the privacy to put one on ahead of time.
  8. Travel John – This line of products is specifically designed for just such an occasion. Absorbent materials, well-designed and even reusable.
  9. Camping Toilet – These devices are pretty handy road companions as well as camping accessories. They come in styles ranging from basic to high tech, and can be a real blessing in a pinch.
  10. Pick Your Poison, Sports Fan – And finally, we humbly submit the following option: take along a football helmet and jersey of your favorite team’s rival. Relieving yourself never felt this good.

5 Reasons Why CPR Training is Important for Sitters

December 13th, 2011 by admin

You may think that CPR training is not important for a babysitter, who is only going to be taking care of kids for a few hours at a time. This is far from the truth. CPR training is very important for babysitters to have, no matter how infrequent their babysitting jobs and how short the time is that they are in care of the children. Here are five reasons why.

  1. Caregiver – Any caregiver needs to know CPR. Being a caregiver means that you are the person responsible for the well-being of those you care for. In the case of a babysitter, you are responsible for the care and well-being of other people’s children. This is a very weighty responsibility and should be entered into with training that will cover as many different scenarios as possible.
  2. Kids get into trouble – Kids do not fully understand all the dangers around them and seem to manage to find ways to get themselves into dangerous situations, no matter how hard you try to keep them safe. They find their way to water, which could drown them. They swallow things that can make them choke. They ingest things that can be harmful to them. They wrap things around their necks, put bags over their heads and shut themselves in small spaces. When a babysitter has more than one child in her care, at one time, it is especially easy to lose track of the most adventurous one. Even with just one, it is amazing how fast they can disappear, when you turn your back.
  3. Emergencies cannot be predicted – To think that ‘nothing’ is going to happen in the few short hours that a babysitter is caring for children is naïve. Although, the risk may be lowered, it still remains. Emergency situations can happen at any time. They only take moments to develop; they cannot be predicted.
  4. Time is of the essence – When a person has stopped breathing and/or their heart is no longer beating, you cannot wait for someone else to arrive; CPR needs to be started immediately. The longer a person’s brain is deprived of oxygen, the lower their chances of being revived and recovering. If a child should require CPR, while in a babysitter’s care, the babysitter is most likely the one who will need to provide it.
  5. The only ‘adult’ in the house – The children are not the only ones, whom a babysitter may need to administer CPR to. Unexpected situations can arise where a babysitter may find themselves giving CPR to a parent, prior to or upon returning to the home. In other cases, it may be a neighbor who is in need of emergency assistance.

CPR training is important general knowledge for everyone once they reach their teenage years and beyond. Emergency situations can arise at any time and in any place. You never know when you will be the only one available to administer CPR.

Tips for Sitters to Handle Emergency Situations

November 1st, 2011 by admin

What’s worse than having to deal with an emergency while babysitting? Not being prepared to deal with said emergency. You can never fully prevent an emergency from happening, but you can plan ahead and be better equipped with a few tips and tricks.

  1. First and foremost, getting your CPR certification and having first aid knowledge will not only help you in case of an urgent situation, but also make you more marketable. You will put the parents at ease knowing that you have outside training to handle emergencies, and set yourself apart from those babysitters who lack the certifications. Redcross.org allows you to search and sign up for certification classes close to you.
  2. Before the parents leave make sure you know if the child (or children) has any allergies, any medications they may need to take as well as what time they need to take the medication (the last thing you want to do is try and treat the child with something that will end up making the situation worse!), and where to reach the parents in case you are unable to handle the emergency. Also know who the parents want you to contact in the event that you are unable to reach them.
  3. Keep your cellphone or a home phone with you or nearby at all times so that you can quickly make a phone call to 911 or the parents if necessary. This doesn’t mean talk, text, or play on your cellphone the whole time – the child still needs your undivided attention – but it is better to have a phone close to you in case you need to get ahold of someone fast.
  4. Don’t leave the child alone. Kids are curious by nature and will forever be pulling things off tables, getting into containers they shouldn’t, opening doors and cabinets, eating toys or foods they shouldn’t, and trying to be all around invincible. The best way to prevent anything traumatic from happening is by being present to stop any potential mishaps.
  5. If something does happen, DON’T PANIC. The last thing you want to do is elevate the situation by panicking. If the child sees that you are upset it is only going to intensify their negative reaction, which will make an already stressful situation worse. Likewise, if the child sees you calm and collected, they are more likely to be calmer as well. Also, if you’re panicking you’re more likely to be careless. You need to be calm and clear-headed to effectively deal with a stressful situation.
  6. Keep all doors and windows locked. This way, you eliminate any opportunities for the child to unknowingly sneak out of the house or slam any toes or fingers in doors or windows, or for intruders to easily get into the house.
  7. Know where all the emergency exits are located. If there is a fire, a gas leak, or an intruder you want to be able to get out of the house as quickly as possible. Once you’re outside and away from the house you can call the appropriate people or find a neighbor to help you handle the situation.
  8. If someone calls the house, don’t let them know that the parents are not at home and don’t offer any unnecessary information. Just let them know that the parents are unable to come to the phone and take a message for them. Letting strangers know you’re babysitting makes you a more vulnerable target.
  9. In case there is an unexpected power outage, make sure know where the flashlights or candles are located and keep them in a place you can easily get to. You don’t want to be rummaging around in the dark hoping to find emergency lights.
  10. Be aware of your surroundings. Keep an eye out for anything or anyone that is suspicious or out of the ordinary. Trust your instincts and know when you need to reach out for help and when you can handle a situation. Emergencies are not the time to try to be the hero; they are the time to be calm, smart and decisive.

As in all situations, it’s better to be over prepared then underprepared, and parents will have more respect for a babysitter that reacts calmly and rationally during an emergency then one who panics and makes a situation worse. Obviously no babysitter wants to encounter an emergency situation while on the job, however it’s better to anticipate what could happen and prepare accordingly.

What a Babysitter Should Do in Case of Emergency

October 22nd, 2009 by admin

If you’re the babysitter, or plan to start babysitting, then there are certain things you should know how to do if an emergency arises. When parents hire a babysitter, they will be more apt to hire you if you know CPR. You should take an emergency care class and become certified in CPR (Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation).

As the babysitter, make sure you have easy access to important phone numbers and a stocked emergency kit. If the situation at hand is more serious, don’t panic. If your reaction is calm, then it will make for a quicker and clearer way of thinking. Time is of the essence in an emergency, and if you panic, it can take precious time away from the victim.

Make sure there you have contact numbers for the parents while they’re away from home. The first number you will need to dial will be 911. The parents should be the next party you call immediately, as you’ll need to be able to reach them directly should an emergency occur.

As the babysitter, you should have emergency instructions written down and kept in a place that will be easy to retrieve if needed. See if there is a way you can aid the child or infant. If it is a choking situation, then you should see if you can clear the obstructed airway. If it has been a fall and a bump to the head has occurred, then keeping the child awake will be best, especially if they’re becoming lethargic.

For lacerations, punctures, or serious cuts to the body, controlling the bleeding until help arrives is crucial. Use something safe that is close by to apply pressure to the wound. Do not take your hand off of it. If a child has received a puncture to the body and the object is still there, don’t remove it, or it can cause hemorrhaging. Leave the object where it is, it can help keep the bleeding down by acting as a plug where it entered. Emergency care classes can help babysitters with emergency situations.