Resources Safety Alerts
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When you babysit, you are entrusted with a child’s life. Your primary responsibility is to care for the children’s needs and most of all: keep them safe. You can prepare yourself for this important trust by following these guidelines.
What To Do When The Parents Leave:
In Case Of Fire:
A well-prepared babysitter will be highly respected and greatly appreciated by parents. Any sitter who takes these recommendations to heart will be in great demand.
Back to School Safety
School can be fun and exciting with every day bringing new experiences, but it can also be difficult or even frightening for children. Kids today are faced not only with the challenges of learning new material, interacting with other students, and bullying, but also an increased threat of physical violence in our schools. Although Bakersfield is an “All America City,” over the last few years we have had some schoolyard experiences with gun-related violence, sexual crimes against minors, and theft. If you have children, grandchildren, or are a caregiver of children, the information provided below is designed to help keep your children safe.
Getting to School is Your First Step:
Riding the Bus:
Walking and Biking to School:
For more information on school safety, visit the National Safety Counsel at http://www.nsc.org/.
Children Home Alone:
If your child is home alone after school, follow these simple tips:
For more information on protecting your children when they are home alone, you can visit the National Safe Kid Campaign website at: http://www.safekids.org/tier3_cd.cfm?folder_id=301&content_item_id=617
Safer Schools Begin at Home: Four points parents should discuss with their children about school safety include:
For further information on school safety or violence, please visit the Center for the Prevention of School Violence. We all have a desire to provide our children with a safe and nurturing learning environment. Hopefully, some of the tips we’ve supplied will help ensure your child’s education experience is safe and happy.
Whether your child can’t wait to splash in the tub or views bath time as cruel and unusual punishment, you always need to keep safety in mind when it comes to bathing. Below is a list of useful tips that can help your child stay safe in the bath.
Gather supplies first. Collect soap, towel, diaper, clothing, toys, and any other items you plan on using before you even run the bath water. Place these items where you can reach them easily. Trying to keep one hand on a slippery little body while stretching for the shampoo isn’t safe for anyone!
Supervision. Until your child is age six or so, never leave him or her unattended or under the supervision of a sibling younger than junior high school in the bathtub. There is nothing important enough to risk drowning, and when it comes to bathtubs, the potential is real.
Don’t run to answer the phone.
Don’t check to see who is at the door.
Don’t leave your child to be watched by an older brother or sister.
Remember, about 80 children drown in bathtubs each year. Don’t let your child be another number in that statistic. Make no exceptions to this rule. Simply put: Don’t Leave!
Hands on. Kneel beside the bathtub and keep one hand always firmly around your child. Infants and young children want to crawl and stand as they play, but it’s important for their safety that you keep them sitting while they bathe.
Water heater. To reduce the risk of scalding, set your home’s water heater to a maximum of 120 degrees Fahrenheit. A good way to test for a safe temperature: You should be able to hold your hand comfortably under the tap even when the hot water alone is running.
Bath temperature. Fill the tub before your child gets in and make sure that the water is a comfortable temperature. If you need to add more water while your child is in the tub, position him or her well away from the faucet, check the temperature of the bath frequently, and always turn off the hot water before the cold if there are separate controls. When your child is very young, teach your child that he or she is not allowed to touch the faucet handles. As your child gets older, teach your child how to control the hot and cold water.
Faucet covers. Placing a soft, insulated cover over the bathtub faucet is a prudent safeguard against accidental burns or bumps. They are available at many baby-supplies stores, and often come in the form of engaging rubber animals to add to bath-time fun.
Bath seats. Several types of bath seats and rings adhere to the bottom of the tub with suction cups and offer bathing infants and toddlers support while sitting. These are fine to use, but don’t let them lull you into thinking that you can leave your child unattended. The suction cups can come loose, and it isn’t hard for a child to slide out of the seats.
Mats and decals. Prevent bathtub falls by placing a rubber mat in the tub or affixing non-slip adhesive decals or strips to the bottom of the tub. They are readily available at hardware or baby-supplies stores and come in a variety of colors and designs.
Electrical hazards. Keep electrical devices (including hair dryers, curling irons, and electric razors) well away from the tub. Also, make sure that any outlets near the tub are the type that meet safety standards to protect them from water.
Slippery floors. Wet kids and slippery floors don’t mix. Be sure to use (and teach your child to use) extra caution and keep a non-slip bathroom rug by the side of the tub for your child to step onto after bathing.
When you ride on the road, your bike is a vehicle and you must obey traffic laws.
How to Ride in Traffic:
Rule 1: Be Predictable
Ride so drivers can see you and predict your movements.
Rule 2: Be Alert
Ride defensively and expect the unexpected.
Rule 3: Be Equipped
You’ll ride more easily and safely.
Car Seat Safety
California’s car seat law requires that children use a child safety restraint system until they are either 6 years old or 60 pounds.
It’s also important that your car safety seat be installed properly to insure that your child is fully protected. Sadly, an estimated 90% of child restraints are used incorrectly.
Call the manufacturer to check recalls or check online at http://www.nhtsa.gov/. Booster Seat Safety – The 5-Step Test
Lap and shoulder belts protect average size adults, but children need additional protection. Booster seats give children the lift they need so that lap and shoulder belts can do their job. Children should stay in a booster seat until the adult lap belt stays on the upper thighs, away from their stomach, and the shoulder belt comes across the chest without rubbing their neck. Passengers should never ride with the shoulder belt under their arm or behind their back. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration recommends using a booster seat until the child is 8 years old, 80 pounds, and 4′ 9″ tall. If your child is NOT riding in a booster, try this 5-Step Test:
If you answered “no” to any of these questions, your child needs a booster seat to ride safely in the car.
Secure your child in a rear-facing seat:
Make sure that:
Placing the seat in your car:
Make sure that:
Getting a proper fit:
Make sure that:
Cell Phone Driving Safety
These tips are meant to protect you, your family, and everyone else on the road. Cell phones are wonderful tools, when used safely.
The cellular phone industry posts the following tips, which we believe are insufficient for driving safety. Still, if you follow only these safety tips, you can make a big difference in the safety of our roads:
Get to know your phone
Get to know your phone and its features such as speed dial and redial. Carefully read your instruction manual and learn to take advantage of valuable features most phones offer including, automatic redial and memory dial. Most phones can store up to 99 numbers in memory dial. Also, work to memorize the phone keypad so you can use the speed dial function without taking your attention off the road.
Use hands free devices
When available, use a hands free device. A number of hands free wireless phone accessories are readily available today. Whether you choose an installed mounted device for your phone or a speaker phone accessory, take advantage of these devices if available to you. (***Note, studies have shown that the distraction of a driver’s attention from the road contributes to accidents involving cellular phones and that hands free devices do not reduce the incidence of accidents***)
Position your phone within easy reach
Position your phone within easy reach. Make sure you place your wireless phone within easy reach and where you can grab it without removing your eyes from the road. If you get an incoming call at an inconvenient time, let your voice mail answer it for you.
Suspend conversation during hazardous conditions
Suspend conversations during hazardous driving conditions or situations. Let the person you are speaking to know you are driving. If necessary, suspend the call in heavy traffic or hazardous weather conditions. Rain, fog, snow and ice can be hazardous, but so is heavy traffic. As a driver, your first responsibility is to pay attention to the road.
Pay attention to the road
Do not take notes or look up phone numbers while driving. If you are reading an address book or business card while driving a car, or writing a “to do” list, then you are not watching where you are going. It’s common sense. Don’t get caught in a dangerous situation because you are reading or writing and not paying attention to the road or nearby vehicles.
Dial sensibly and assess the traffic
Dial sensibly and assess the traffic. If possible, place calls when you are not moving or before pulling into traffic. Try to plan your calls before you begin your trip, or attempt to coordinate your calls with times you may be stopped at a stop sign, red light or otherwise stationary. But if you need to dial while driving, follow this simple tip: dial only a few numbers, check the road and your mirrors, then continue.
Do not engage in distracting conversations
Do not engage in stressful or emotional conversations that may be distracting. Stressful or emotional conversations and driving do not mix. They are distracting and even dangerous when you are behind the wheel. Make people you are talking with aware you are driving. If necessary, suspend phone conversations which have the potential to divert your attention from the road.
Use your phone to call for help
Use your phone to call for help. Your wireless phone is one of the greatest tools you can own to protect yourself and your family in dangerous situations. With your phone at your side, help is only three numbers away. Dial 911 in the case of fire, traffic accident, road hazard, or medical emergencies. Remember, it is a free call on your wireless phone!
Use your phone to help others
Use your phone to help others in emergencies. Your wireless phone provides you a perfect opportunity to be a “good Samaritan” in your community. If you see an auto accident, crime in progress or other serious emergency where lives are in danger, call 911, as you would want others to do for you.
Call roadside assistance when necessary
Call roadside assistance or a special wireless non-emergency assistance number when necessary. Certain situations you encounter while driving may require attention, but are not urgent enough to merit a call to 911. But you can still use your wireless phone to lend a hand. If you see a broken-down vehicle posing no serious hazard, a broken traffic signal, a minor traffic accident where no one appears injured, or a vehicle you know to be stolen, call roadside assistance or other special non-emergency wireless number.
Child Safety on the Internet
The 10 Golden Rules on Internet Safety
Child-proofing Basics for the Home
Your young child is naturally curious about his surroundings, and does not always realize the dangers with touching an electrical outlet, or playing near a hot oven. Childproofing your home is one of the best ways to avoid accidental injuries.
It is always important to remember that if a child is determined enough, any safety devices can be defeated. NOTHING is as effective as your own supervision. The following are a few basic childproofing tips for your home:
The Living Room
The Bedroom/ Nursery
Driving in Tough Weather Conditions
Winter driving this year seems to be especially hazardous. Portions of California are receiving record rainfall. There are reports of drivers being locked in their cars for hours at a time due to snow. Here are some safe driving tips to keep in mind when bad weather hits.
Driving in the Rain
The most important thing to remember when driving in wet conditions is your reaction time and stopping power are not the same as under dry conditions. It can take up to 3 times the distance to stop on wet pavement as opposed to dry pavement. For example, a car going 35 mph which normally comes to a stop at 210 feet on dry pavement may take up to 600 feet to stop on wet pavement. The stopping distance increases exponentially as the car’s speed increases. Even when it isn’t raining, slightly wet pavement mixed with dust, oil, and grease can be extremely slick. If the pavement is wet the best rule is to slow down.
In the event you start to skid, the general rule of thumb is to steer towards the direction in which you are skidding until you regain traction. However, the braking system varies from vehicle to vehicle. It’s a good time to refresh your memory and re-read your car owner’s manual for the manufacturer’s recommended braking technique.
Keeping your vehicle speed down is also the best way to avoid hydroplaning, which is the total loss of traction as the car tires lose contact with the road’s surface when traveling over an area of standing water. If you see an area of standing water, slow down. Hitting a puddle or an area of standing water at high speed, in addition to hydroplaning, can cause your car to stall.
When driving in the rain on the larger highways, the center lane is usually the driest lane since the rainwater tends to drain towards the edges.
Visibility of your vehicle and the ability to be seen by other vehicles is also very important to your safety when driving under these conditions. For your own visibility, make sure to use the defroster or the air conditioner to keep your windshield and mirrors clear. A new California law makes it mandatory to turn on your headlights at any time the windshield wipers are in use or when visibility is limited to 1000 ft. As is the case with fog and snow, rain also reflects headlights back to the driver. When driving in the rain, use low beam instead of high-beam setting to avoid dealing with light reflected back towards you. AAA has some extra driving tips, too.
Driving in the Snow
Most of the above mentioned tips for driving in the rain apply to driving in the snow. However, when preparing to drive through the snow it is even more important that you check the condition of your antifreeze, and washer fluid levels and ensure that they are appropriate for cold weather driving. You should also check the treads on your tires and ensure that they are inflated to the right pressure. Your brakes, exhaust system, wipers, heater, and defrost system should also be in good working order. It is even more important that you maintain a slow steady speed in snow and on icy roads. At 40 mph a car that takes 110 feet to stop on dry pavement can take up to 770 feet to stop on ice. Once again, review your owner’s manual for the suggested technique for your car’s particular braking system. Inappropriate use of your brakes can lead to loss of control in icy conditions, so be sure you use your brakes cautiously.
When driving in deep snow keep a steady safe speed since you may need to use your car’s momentum to keep moving under these conditions. Coming to a complete stop may cause your car to become stuck in the snow.
If you are planning a trip through snowy areas, put together a travel kit that includes a sturdy ice scraper, a de-icer, sand to place under your tires, water, food, extra jackets and warm blankets. Some preparation can help avoid disaster in the event you become stranded. Additional tips on driving in the snow can be found at: www.dot.ca.gov/hq/roadinfo/wntrdriv.htm
Driving in Fog
The San Joaquin Valley is notorious for fog, which can make driving nearly impossible. If you must drive through the fog, keep in mind these safety tips:
Find more safe driving tips at: http://www.nada.org/NADAGuides/Safe_Driving_Tips.htm
An earthquake is a sudden, rapid shaking of the Earth caused by the breaking and shifting rock beneath the Earth’s surface. The San Joaquin Valley is in the middle of some of the most active earthquake faults in California. Following these earthquake safety tips may save lives.
Prepare a Home Earthquake Plan:
Choose a safe place in every room–under a sturdy table or desk or against an inside wall where nothing can fall on you.
Eliminate Hazards, including:
Prepare a Disaster Supplies Kit for Home & Car, including:
Know What to do When the Shaking Begins:
Identify What to do After the Shaking Stops:
Family Travel Safety
Vacation is a time for fun and relaxation. Don’t let yours be ruined by a crime or accident. Follow these crime prevention tips by being safe and being smart!
Secure your place of residence:
Packing your Bags:
On the Road:
Hotel and Motel Security:
Fog Driving Safety
When winter arrives in the San Joaquin Valley, so does Tule fog. The following are driving safety tips for safely maneuvering through the fog.
Home Fire Safety
Preparation and prevention is the key to home fire safety.
General Fire Safety and Protection Tips:
Make sure all family members know what to do in the event of a fire. Draw a floor plan with at least two ways of escaping every room. Make a drawing for each floor. Dimensions do not need to be correct. Make sure the plan shows important details: stairs, hallways and windows that can be used as fire escape routes.
Test windows and doors-do they open easy enough? Are they wide enough or tall enough?
Choose a safe meeting place outside the house.
Practice alerting other family members. It is a good idea to keep a bell and flashlight in each bedroom.
Conduct a Family Meeting:
Conduct a family meeting and discuss the following topics:
Be Prepared – Plan Ahead:
Practice evacuating the building blindfolded. In a real fire situation, the amount of smoke generated by a fire most likely will make it difficult to see.
Practice staying low to the ground when escaping.
Feel all doors before opening them. If a door is hot, get out another way.
Learn to stop, drop to the ground, roll if clothes catch fire.
Additional Tips for Fire Safety:
Install Smoke Detectors: Check smoke detectors once a month and change the batteries at least once a year. Smoke detectors sense abnormal amounts of smoke or invisible combustion gases in the air. They can detect both smoldering and burning fires. At least one smoke detector should be installed on every level of a structure. Purchase smoke detectors labeled by the Underwriters Laboratories (UL) or Factory Mutual (FM).
Post Emergency Numbers Near Telephone: Be aware that if a fire threatens your home, you should not place the call to emergency services from inside the home. It is better to get out and place the call to fire authorities from a safe location outside the home.
After a Fire Emergency: Give first aid where appropriate. Seriously injured victims should be transported to professional medical help immediately. Stay out of the damaged building. Return only when fire authorities say it is safe.
Make Sure You Have a Safe Fire Escape Method for all Situations: You may have installed a very expensive home security system. But if you cannot escape the burning structure you have a false level of confidence.
Space Heaters Need Space: Keep portable and space heaters at least 3 feet from anything that may burn. Never leave heaters on when you leave home or go to sleep. Children and pets should always be kept away from them.
Smokers Need to be Extra Careful: Never smoke in bed or when you are sleepy. Carelessly discarded cigarettes are a leading cause of fire deaths in the United States.
Be Careful Cooking: Keep cooking areas clear of combustibles and wear short or tight-fitting sleeves when you cook. Keep the handles of your pots turned inward so they do not over-hang the stove. If grease catches fire, carefully slide a lid over the pan and smother the flames, then turn off the burner.
Matches and Lighters are Dangerous: In the hands of a child, matches and lighters can be deadly! Store them where kids can’t reach them, preferably in a locked area. Teach children that matches and lighters are “tools” and should only be used by adults.
Use Electricity Safety: If an appliance smokes or has an unusual smell, unplug it immediately and have it repaired. Replace frayed or cracked electrical cords and don’t overload extension cords. They should not be run under rugs. Never tamper with the fuse box or use the improper size fuse.
Cool a Burn: If someone gets burned, immediately place the wound under cool water for 10 to 15 minutes. If the burn blisters or chars, see a doctor immediately!
Be Careful of Halogen Lights: If you have halogen lights, make sure they are away from flammable drapes and low ceiling areas. Never leave them on when you leave your home or office.
Fire can engulf a house in 60 seconds!
Make sure you have a safe and quick method of escape!
School Safety for Children
Use this checklist to prepare your children for a safe school year.
Walking and Biking to School:
Riding the Bus:
If your child is home alone for a few hours after school:
Swimming Pool/Water Safety
A swimming pool in the yard can be very dangerous for children. Each year, many children drown in backyard swimming pools and in small kiddie pools. If possible, do not put a swimming pool in your yard until your children are older than 5 years. Children are in danger because:
If you have a pool, protect the children from drowning
Remember, teaching your child how to swim DOES NOT mean your child is safe in water.
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