Halloween Safety: No Tricks, Just Treats

Everyone loves a good scare on Halloween, but not when it comes to child safety. There are several easy and effective behaviors that parents can share with kids to help reduce their risk of injury.

Do you remember how much fun it was to get dressed up as your favorite action hero, cartoon character or princess and go door-to door- for Halloween treats? Well, your children now get to experience that same joy. Just as your parents did for you, now it’s your turn to prevent Halloween accidents and injuries by supervising your children closely. 

Scary Fact: On average, children are more than twice as likely to be hit by a car and killed on Halloween than on any other day of the year!

As you’re putting the finishing touches on your child’s costumes, be sure to add something so they will be seen by drivers. Kids can wear glowsticks or carry flashlights to make them easily seen by drivers.

This Infographic from Safe Kids Worldwide highlights some important safety tips to help remind your little ghouls, goblins, super heroes and fairy princesses to help stay safe this Halloween.

Safekids USA 2013 Halloween Safety Infographic

Infographic courtesy of Safe Kids Worldwide

Visit Safe Kids Worldwide more tips on how to keep your kids happy and healthy on Halloween HERE.

Have a Spooky, yet SAFE Halloween!

Kids, the School Bus, and You! (Yes YOU!)

With summer coming to an end and school bells ringing in another school year, it is important for parents and drivers to remember to do their part to keep kids safe as they travel to and from school.

School Zone Safety

Riding on a school bus is the safest way for your child to travel to and from school (Yes, it’s even safer than you taking them yourself!). However, the greatest risk is not riding the school bus –but rather the threat of being struck by a bus or motorist while approaching or leaving it.

Therefore children need to be especially careful around the school bus “danger zone,” (the 10 feet in front, behind and on each side of the school bus) and motorists need to be on a vigilant lookout for child pedestrians – and be extra cautious around school buses.

Most of the children who lose their lives in bus-related crashes are pedestrians, four to seven years old, who are hit by the bus or by motorists illegally passing a stopped school bus.

Passing a school bus is a MAJOR offense that carries the same consequences as a DUI

For this reason, it is necessary to know the proper laws and procedures for sharing the road safely with school buses:

  • The area 10 feet around a school bus is where children are in the most danger of being hit. Stop your car far enough from the bus to allow children the necessary space to safely enter and exit the bus.
  • Be alert. Eliminate your distractions. Children are unpredictable. Children walking to or from their bus are usually very comfortable with their surroundings. This makes them more likely to take risks, ignore hazards or fail to look both ways when crossing the street.
  • Take extra precautions in school zones and neighborhood areas where children and teenagers might be walking or riding a bicycle.
  • Never pass a school bus on the right. It is illegal and could have tragic consequences.
Whether children walk, ride their bicycle or take the bus to school, it is extremely important that they take proper safety precautions. Here are some tips to share with your children to ensure their safety when traveling to and from school.
  • Whether you’re getting on or off the bus, stay 10 feet ahead of the bus when crossing the street in front if it, and NEVER walk behind the bus
  • Be sure the bus driver can see you and you can see the bus driver.
  • Never walk behind the bus.
  • If you drop something near the bus, tell the bus driver. Never try to pick it up first because the driver may not be able to see you.
Most young children who are hit by motor vehicles are injured near their home or on neighborhood streets in broad daylight. One third of all child pedestrian fatalities occur during the after school hours, between 3 and 7 pm.Teach your child these tips to increase their safety while walking:
  • Always look left-right-left before crossing the street and never run or dart out from in-between parked cars. The driver will not be able to see you.
  • Be sure to keep on the lookout for cars as you cross, they can approach very quickly!
  • Never run out into streets or cross in between parked cars.
  • Use a cross-walk if you can –otherwise be sure to only cross the street at corners.
  • Keep on the sidewalk –if there’s no sidewalk then be sure to face traffic as you walk.

If you live in Indiana and would like to discuss your insurance with me Click Here.

Related articles:

Sources:
1.  Curb Back-to-School Tragedies with AAA’s Tips

Image courtesy of anankkml / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

The Dangers of Teens Behind the Wheel

Are you familiar with the “disease” that is the leading killer of teenagers, claiming the lives of 2,400 each year? What’s more is that this “disease” could easily be prevented through inexpensive behavior changes.

The truth is, no such “disease” exists: motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of teenage deaths – not any disease.1,2 In 2012, 2,439 teen drivers and passengers died in motor vehicle crashes.3 In half of these fatal crashes, the teen wasn’t using a seat belt, and this proportion has been relatively unchanged over the last decade. In both fatal and nonfatal crashes, a greater percentage of passengers are unrestrained than drivers.4

SERIOUSLY how freaking hard is it to take 5 seconds to buckle up?!?!

The top reason teens gave for not buckling up is that they “forgot”, or that it just wasn’t a habit.  Note to Parents: These habits start young! Teens who aren’t using seat belts have indicated that they do not  see their parents use a seat belt when they drive. So parents: In order to help your teen stay safe on the road, set a good example!! Of course, not using a seat belt is only part of the issue. Teens who don’t use seat belts are almost more likely to admit that they text while driving than those who do wear seat belts — a problem that we all know is much too common. Of teens who don’t use  a seat belt admit to 73% texting while driving —  compared to 52% for those who do wear their seat belt. Granted, the goal is to have 0% of drivers texting and driving, but the point is that danger has been compounded by not wearing a seat belt with the greater likelihood of texting while driving.  Keeping teens safe in cars starts long before they are ready to drive or ride with friends. By following these tips, we can make sure that teens are making safe decisions when riding as passengers today and drivers tomorrow:

  • Make using a seat belt for every ride a habit, starting when kids are young.
  • Be a safety role model by observing speed limits, putting phones away while driving, and following the rules of the road.
  • Talk to teens and kids about ways to speak up if a driver of any age isn’t driving safely

Teens in Cars (SafeKids) Infographic courtesy of Safe Kids Worldwide

If you live in Indiana and would like to discuss your insurance with me Click Here. 

 

Related articles:

Sources:
1. CDC Leading Causes of Death for Ages 13-19 in 2010
2. NHTSA 2010 Fatality Analysis (Ages 13-19)
3. NHTSA 2012 Fatality Analysis (Ages 13-19)
4. NHTSA 2003-2012 Fatality Analysis by Restraint Use (Ages 13-19)

Skip the Bottle-Rocket Wars for a Fun (Safe) Fourth of July


Fireworks Safety!

Watching a fireworks show is a truly magical experience at any age whether you are at a local park or club, or making your own show in the backyard. But did you know that on average 240 people end up in the emergency room EVERY DAY with fireworks-related injuries in the month around the July 4th holiday?!?1 If you want to see fireworks, the most safe way is to leave it to the professionals and go to a public fireworks show. However. if you are going to light fireworks on your own irregardless, there are special precautions you must take to keep your family safe as you celebrate. The good news is you can enjoy your holiday and the fireworks, with just a few simple safety tips:

Proceed with caution:

Light one firework at a time in an open space outside and away from dry grass, brush, and
     trees.

Have a bucket of water handy in case of emergencies.

If a “dud” firework does not go off, do not try to relight it. Instead, wait 20
     minutes and then soak it in a bucket of water.

Never light a firework in a glass or metal container

Obey local ordinances regarding private fireworks. Do not drink alcohol while
     lighting fireworks, as they can pose burning hazards if you are not careful.

Never point or throw a firework at another person.

 

Even seemingly innocent sparklers are dangerous – they causing 31% of firework injuries these “harmless” fireworks are the#1 cause of fireworks injuries!!!
***Trust me, I my dad can tell you first-hand HOW HOT those suckers are when an excited 4-year-old comes running directly out you with burnt-out sparkler anxious for the next one while setting the sparkler down on his arm. I am rather confident that he not only knows what 1,200° feels like, but what it is like to truly have your patience tested!***

Sparkler Safety

Don’t forget about Fido! Fireworks are scary for your pets!
While it may seem like a great idea to reward Rover with scraps from the grill and bring him along to watch fireworks, and enjoy a spectacular light show…when in reality your pets don’t associate the noise, flashes, and burning smell of pyrotechnics with celebrations, instead find it all to be a terrifying attack to their senses. As a result, more pets go missing on the 4th of July than any other day of the year.  Be prepared beforehand and help your pets celebrate the evening free from fear, and be sure to your pet’s ID tag is up to date.  And should the unthinkable happen, be sure to utilize ASPCA’s new app that can help owners quickly and effectively reunite with their beloved pet. 



Now that we’ve addressed how to have a fun, safe, injury-free Fourth of July!


Sources:
1. 2014 Fireworks Injuries Update | CPSC