Is Your Child in the Right Car Seat? #therightseat

CAR SEAT SAFETY
Did you know that every 33 seconds a child under 13 is involved in a car crash in the United States? That probably isn’t the first thing you think about when you are hauling your kids to school, the grocery store, or anywhere else around town. And really, you shouldn’t have to worry about whether or not your child is safely snuggled into the right car seat every time you get in the car. Instead, make sure your child is in the right seat from the get-go.
Safety seats, if used correctly, can dramatically reduce the risk of fatality or injury. But over half of car seats are misused in a way that could reduce their effectiveness and 1 in 3 children killed in car crashes were completely unrestrained at the time of the crash. Just the thought of that is devastating. So why not select the right car seat from the start?

And just because you THINK you know you have the right car seat, think again. Wouldn’t it just be best to know, without a doubt, that your child is in the right seat?
Unfortunately, there are so many parents out there who are not educated on the ins and outs of car seat safety. It is so important that we get the word out and educate parents and caregivers about the importance of selecting the right seat for their child’s age and size, and to remind them that car seats, booster seats and seat belts offer the best protection for children in crashes and help save lives.
CAR SEAT SAFETY
Don’t wait until it is too late. Check out http://www.safercar.gov/parents/CarSeats/Car-Seat-Safety.htm to make sure you have the right seat buckled in the right way.

Car Seat Safety Tips:

  • Find a car seat that fits your child. As children grow, how they fit in their car seat will change. Make sure the car seat you purchase is designed to fit your child’s current size and age.
  • Not all car seats fit in all vehicles so test the car seat you plan to buy to make sure it fits correctly in your vehicle.
  • Before installing your car seat in your vehicle and putting your child in the car seat, read the manufacturer’s instructions so you know how your car seat works.
  • All-in-One car seats offer you the advantage of using the same seat for the following positions: rear-facing, forward-facing with harness, then booster. These seats typically have higher height and weight limits for the rear-facing position, allowing you to keep your child rear-facing for a longer period of time.

Make it your priority to make sure your child or a child you love is safe when they are buckled in.

What You Should Teach Your Kids About Motorcycle Safety

The only thing many people ever learn about motorcycles is that they’re dangerous. They call helmets “brain buckets.” And they don’t want anything to do with them. While they have never driven a motorcycle, they have seen them driven in an unsafe manner. They have perhaps seen what happens when a ride on a crotch rocket goes horribly wrong.

Against that backdrop of fear and ignorance are your kids who very much want to upgrade from their bicycle to something with a motor attached. From go carts, to dirt bikes, to ATVs, there is a rich tradition of child cyclists in the U.S. In other countries, motorcycles and mopeds are the mainstream form of transportation. Running away from motorcycles as if they were a taboo subject is likely a mistake, especially with teens. Instead, here are some things you could teach them about motorcycle safety:

Visibility Is More Than Half the Battle

Being visible is one of the most important things you can do when driving a motorcycle. To drivers of four-wheeled vehicles, motorcycles are practically invisible. Compared to cars, there are just not that many motorcycles on the road. Because people don’t expect to see them, they don’t.

There is also a bit of psychology going on with the motorcyclist. Their visibility is better than ever. They have no blind spots. They can see everything from every angle. With their increased visibility, they assume that everyone can see everything in an equally unobstructed manner. As it happens, this is a fatally flawed illusion.

A motorcycle accident attorney like Michael Pines knows the importance of making one’s self visible. From his site:

Unfortunately, car accidents involving motorcycles occur almost every day in San Diego County. Nationally, there are over 4,000 fatal motorcycle accidents that occur annually according to reports at the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). Of these accidents, nearly 75 percent involve another automobile.

One of the most common causes of motorcycle accidents in San Diego is the other driver’s failure to see the motorcycle.

It is a given that you can see the other cars. Your safety on a motorcycle is largely based on how well the drivers of the other cars can see you.

Treat It Like a Car

You do not ride a motorcycle as if it were a horse or a carnival ride. You drive it as if it were a car. A motorcycle is every bit a motor vehicle that belongs on the open road as much as any other vehicle. In most states, you have to have a driver’s license for a car before you can even apply for a motorcycle license.

Besides the expectations of other drivers, one of the reasons motorcyclists are invisible to other drivers until the last moment is that they are able to dart in and out of traffic in ways that larger vehicles can’t. A motorcycle can hide in the blindspot and more easily become invisible to drivers who are not taking the utmost care. By driving a motorcycle in the same way as you drive a car, you can avoid the outcomes of those who drive it like a stunt vehicle.

The Key to Safety Is Good Judgement

The same accident report above mentioned that less than half of motorcyclists who suffered serious injury were wearing a helmet. Of the possible serious injuries, concussion is the least of them. It is clearly poor judgement to get on a motorcycle as driver or passenger without a suitable helmet.

Good judgement will also inform you that black leather jacket is not nearly as important as being highly visible in that bright, neon orange. When it comes to vehicle color, you might want to take lime green for a spin.

Drive in the left edge of the lane for maximum visibility. Don’t sneak up on cars by weaving in and out of traffic just because you can. Don’t drive faster than traffic. Don’t drive in the rain. Pull over some place safe and wait it out. These are not laws, but good judgements. At the end of the day, what you have to teach your kids is good judgement. Whether it is motorcycles or choosing their friends, good judgement is what will keep them alive and well.

Leeo Smart Alert Nightlight

When we are away from home there can be a touch of anxiety which strikes us.  It comes out of the blue usually when you are just out of the range of I can still turn around and check.  Is the house ok?  No matter how much our significant other tells us otherwise we are positive something bad is happening like a , God forbid, fire.  Who will hear the smoke detector, how long will it take for the fire department to answer the call, what can I do?  All these answers can be answered with a new device called the Leeo.

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Leeo is a smart smoke detector sensor/temperature sensor/nightlight/ smart home device that can help you feel more at ease when you leave the house.

The way Leeo works is you set it up to connect to your local wireless network and also sin up for an account with your smart phone, after a few registration steps you are greeted by your new smart temperature gauge for now.  But if a smoke detector alarm goes off, Leeo jumps into action, from the app you can listen to the alarm, dismiss the notification, or contact local 911.  There is also a way to contact someone closer to home when you are away as well, in app, so in an emergency everyone can be notified and disaster can be averted.

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What we really like about Leeo is its ease of use, it really is just a matter of plugging it in and going through maybe 5 minutes of settings.  Then your device is already protecting your house.  It also has a sleek fit anywhere design and a color pallet of 18 million options.  So you can actually set the mood of your room with one of its defenders.

The Leeo Smart Alert Nightlight is available now at electronic stores and Amazon.  It retails for $99.99, but there is a promotion going on right now where the price is $49.99 on Amazon and Best Buy to act soon.

Buzzed Driving is Drunk Driving

The Ad Council and the U.S Department of Transportation to ask for your help to prevent drunk driving fatalities during the holidays.
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According to the National Safety Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) the period between Christmas and New Year’s typically has one of the highest rates of impaired driving fatalities.

Fatalities related to drunk driving are 100 percent preventable and the spike in buzzed driving around the holidays is especially alarming.
Some stats:

  • In 2014, 9,967 people were killed in alcohol-impaired driving crashes. These alcohol-impaired fatalities accounted for more 31% of the total motor vehicle traffic facilities in the United States.
  • Alcohol-impaired drivers were involved in 37% of traffic fatalities during the Christmas holiday period and 44% of traffic fatalities over New Year’s – making the winter holiday seasons one of the deadliest times to be on the road.
  • Buzzed driving can cost around $10,000 in fines, legal fees and increased insurance rates.

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Support Fire Prevention Month with Smokey the Bear #FirePreventionMonth

The Ad Council, the U.S. Forest Service, and the National Association of State Foresters ask for your support in raising awareness for Fire Prevention Month. The sad truth is that nearly 9 out of 10 wildfires are still caused by humans.

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  • In 2014 there were 7,933 wildfires caused by lightning, but 55,679 wildfires caused by human error (as reported to the National Interagency Fire Center).
  • In 2014 more than 3.5 million acres burned due to wildfires in the U.S. of those, more than 1.5 million acres burned due to human-caused wildfires.

Although most of us don’t behave this way intentionally, each year we learn of devastating wildfires caused by careless behavior which can impact millions of acres of forest and thousands of homes.

We can also be more responsible in our homes when it comes to fire safety as well. Half of home fire deaths result from fires reported between 11 p.m. and 7 a.m. when most people are asleep. Only one in five home fires was reported during these hours.

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Take the pledge and encourage your readers to do the same –
Pledge to be smart when using fire outdoors so you can do your part to prevent wildfires.


Take care when you are out and about, or even at home. Remember- only you can prevent forest fires!

Is Your Child in the Right Car Seat? #therightseat

Did you know that motor vehicle crashes are a leading cause of death for children age 1 to 13 in the USA? In 2013, a child under 13 was involved in a crash every 33 seconds.
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During Child Passenger Safety Week, please visit SaferCar.gov/TheRightSeat to determine your child is in the right seat for his or her age and size and to locate a car seat inspection event in their area.  Additionally, parents and caregivers can register their child’s car seat with the manufacturer so as to be informed in the event of a recall.
  • If a car seat is not installed correctly, your child’s safety could be compromised. Every car seat has different installation instructions. You can find resources and tips here to help you get “the right fit” on your car seats:     http://www.safercar.gov/parents/RightFit.htm
  • Free Car Seat Inspections: During Child Passenger Safety Week, there will be events across the country where Certified Child Passenger Safety Technicians will inspect car seats and show parents and caregivers how to correctly install and use them. In most cases, this service is free of charge.  Locate a car seat check event here: http://www.safercar.gov/cpsApp/cps/index.htm

 Car Seat Safety Tips:

  • Find a car seat that fits your child. As children grow, how they sit in your car will change. Make sure the car seat you purchase is designed to fit your child’s current size and age and allows some room growth.
  • Not all car seats fit in all vehicles so test the car seat you plan to buy to make sure it fits well in your vehicle.
  • Before putting your child in a car seat, read the manufacturer’s instructions so you know how your car seat works and how to install it.
  • All-in-One car seats offer you the advantage of using the same seat for the following positions: rear-facing, forward-facing with harness, then booster. These seats typically have higher height and weight limits for the rear-facing position, allowing you to keep your child rear-facing for a longer period of time, which physicians and safety experts strongly recommend.

Remember, the best car seat is the one that fits your child properly, is easy to use,  fits in your vehicle correctly, and which you’ll use every time…

  • The information here can help you choose the right seat for your child. Keep in mind that:
    • Your child under age 1 should always ride in a rear-facing car seat.
    • Children ages 1-3 should be kept rear-facing as long as they fit the car seat.
    • Keep your child in the back seat at least through age 12.
    • Be certain you’ve installed your car seat correctly by having it checked at an inspection station or by a Certified Child Passenger Safety Technician. Bring the car seat instructions AND the vehicle owner’s manual with you to a seat check appointment!

September is National Preparedness Month #NatlPrep

“We Prepare Every Day” is the first in a series of videos that aim to deliver a strong preparedness message by showing people with disabilities taking charge to prepare themselves and their families for emergencies.

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The launch of the new PSA coincided with the 25th Anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) on July 26, and it precedes National Preparedness Month in September.  The PSA provides equal access to all viewers by including open captioning, a certified deaf interpreter, and audio description for viewers who are blind or have low vision.

Created pro-bono by Free Range Studios, “We Prepare Every Day” shows whole community and individual emergency and disaster preparedness as a part of everyday planning. One of the goals of the PSA is to encourage all Americans to “Be Informed, Make a Plan, Build a Kit, and Get Involved.” Resources and guidelines on how to do this can be found at Ready.gov/MyPlan.

Be Informed
First, you need to be informed about potential emergencies and disasters where you live, work, or visit. Then, you can go about making a plan that fits you and your loved ones.

Make a Plan
Making a family emergency communication plan with your friends and family before a disaster occurs is important.  Why? Because it will help you answer questions: how will you get in touch with each other? How will your family get to a safe place?  It’s important to make a plan now so that you will know where to meet, how to find each other following a disaster, and how to communicate in an emergency that works for your family’s specific communication needs.

Build a Kit
While each person’s abilities and needs vary, everyone can take steps to prepare for all types of emergencies. By evaluating your own individual needs and making an emergency plan that fits those needs, you and your loved ones can be better prepared.  For example, if being without access to medications, help, or other services you need to maintain your health, safety and independence for even a couple of hours or days could be devastating, and you need to be prepared more than ever.

Get Involved
People with disabilities are encouraged to take a seat at their community and local government- level planning tables.  Planning for emergencies and disasters with people who have disabilities and others with access and functional needs rather than planning for them will allow us to understand and address the needs of the whole community in a disaster.

To get more information on how to make a family emergency communication plan, build a disaster supply kit or to learn how to get involved in community preparedness, please visit Ready.gov/MyPlan.

  • While each person’s abilities and needs vary, every individual can take steps to prepare for all types of emergencies. By evaluating your own individual needs and making an emergency plan that fits those needs, you and your loved ones can be better prepared. Some items to consider including in your post:
    • What medical devices or assistive technology devices you need to have with you if there is an evacuation order from local officials
    • Your plans to remain independent if you require oxygen or mechanical ventilation
    • Practice your plan with your support network, just like you would a fire drill.
    • Discuss your needs and/or the needs of a family member; learn about their assistance requirements or the services they depend on.
    • Advocate including people with disabilities and others with access and functional needs into emergency planning in your community.

All of these questions and more are covered in the free guide available for download here: http://www.fema.gov/media-library/assets/documents/90360