Tag Archives: children


There will be many travelers over the Easter Holiday weekend, and we want to wish them safe adventures wherever they go.  Sunrise Services will be observed throughout the world, and for those wishing to attend, allow time to arrive safely, due to the early hours these observances are held.  Many families will gather in their church of choice for the true reason we celebrate Easter, the miracle of Christ’s resurrection. 

Happy memories of  Easter Egg hunts come to mind for this grandmother.  The fun of watching my children and grandchildren hunt through the grass and yard for those colorful treasures was so much fun; however, it also reminds me of how hard it was for me to find those things!  My best friend would always have to share hers with me, because I usually came up with nothing!  (These were the hunts we had at school.) Thanks, Mackie!

If you are fortunate to get to spend time with family and friends during this long weekend, enjoy every minute of it.  If you find yourself spending time on a short trip, enjoy that, too.  Life is too short to waste on worries, instead, live every day as though it were your last. 

From all the folks at Texas America Safety Company, and Blog4Safety – Have a safe and happy Easter holiday.  pb



 Another “hot” topic for July, (in addition to fireworks safety), is the observance of  UV Safety Month.  Not only can the sun’s ultraviolet rays harm your eyes, but it can damage your skin, as well.  Too much sun can cause wrinkles.  Worse yet, it can cause skin cancer.   If you have places that you suspect could possibly be skin cancer, see your dermatologist, as early detection offers a good chance for successful treatment.  Make it a habit to wear sunscreen when going outdoors.  Most dermatologists will tell you, many of these suspicious places are the result of being exposed to too much sun when you were younger.  It’s never too early to start protecting your child’s skin. 

Whether at work or play, as summer heats up, it’s important for you to understand the damage that Ultraviolet waves can do to our vision.  Ultraviolet (UV) is the invisible band of radiation with a wavelength shorter than visible light and longer than x-rays – between 400 nanometers (nm) and x-rays at 4 nm and below.  Here are their three regions: 

  •       UV-A: (400-315 nm), Near UV
  •       UV-B: (315-280 nm), Mid UV
  •        UV-C:  (280-100 nm), Far UV 

Long- term exposure to ultraviolet radiation can damage eyes, and can lead to such disorders as cataracts and macular degeneration.   UV-blocking eye protection should be worn when people are exposed to the sun reflecting on water, sand, asphalt, and snow.  Many individuals are not aware of the dangers that contact with UV rays pose.  Everyone should wear eyewear blocking 99% of UVA and UVB rays, and a brimmed hat.   According to Prevent Blindness America, children are also at risk for eye damage from exposure to UV radiation.   They should wear the same UV-blocking eyewear for outdoor play, especially between 10 am and 3 pm, when UV rays are the most intense. 

When choosing sunglasses, be sure to choose lenses that absorb at least 99 to 100 percent of both UV-A and UV-B rays.  Avoid labels that state “Provides UV Protection”, but do not distinguish the proportion of UV rays it blocks.  Carefully select the type of eye protection that best fits your needs and likes: polarized, wraparounds, or vented. 

Remember these tips for sun safety AT WORK OR PLAY:

  1. Stay in the shade as much as possible;
  2. Wear sunscreen with an SPF of 15 or higher;
  3.  Save your sight;
  4.  Cover up!
  5.  If you work outdoors, take frequent breaks!
  6. Stay hydrated. 

Source: Gatewaysafety.com/Prevent Blindness America


WASHINGTON, D.C. – On the grounds of the National Mall, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) issued its annual report of deaths and injuries involving legal and illegal fireworks for calendar year 2012. Fireworks can have a life-altering impact on consumers, including severe eye injuries, loss of limbs, and even death. CPSC works closely with U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP); the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Fireworks, and Explosives; the Department of Transportation; and the Department of Justice to enforce federal safety standards and raise awareness about the dangers of fireworks.

Last year, CPSC received reports of six men who were killed by professional-grade, homemade or banned firework devices.  In addition, an estimated 8,700 consumers were treated in U.S. hospital emergency departments for fireworks-related injuries.

Between June 22, 2012 and July 22, 2012, more than 5,000 consumers were treated in hospital emergency rooms due to fireworks-related injuries. Sixty percent of all fireworks injuries occur during the 30 days surrounding the July 4 holiday. More than half of these reported injuries involved burns to the hands, head and face. About 1,000 reported injuries involved sparklers and bottle rockets, fireworks that are frequently and incorrectly considered safe for young children.

Follow-up investigations of incidents showed that most injuries were associated with malfunctioning fireworks or improper use. Malfunctioning fireworks often resulted in unexpected flight paths and dangerous debris.  Improper use included igniting fireworks too close to someone, lighting fireworks in one’s hand and playing with lit or used fireworks. Most victims recovered from their injuries or were expected to recover completely; however, several victims reported that their injuries might be long term. 

 “These figures represent more than numbers; they represent the lives of real people who have been affected well beyond the Fourth of July” said CPSC Chairman Inez Tenenbaum. “The federal government is working hard to keep the public safe by monitoring the ports, the marketplace, and the transportation of fireworks.  Now, we need consumers to do their part and celebrate safely.”

Working with CBP, CPSC conducts surveillance on imported fireworks. During 2012, the agencies collected and tested shipments of imported fireworks for compliance with the Federal Hazardous Substance Act (FHSA). About 30 percent of the tested products were found to be in violation of the law and were immediately stopped at the U.S. port. This import surveillance program strives to keep violative and dangerous fireworks off of U.S. store shelves and roadside stands.

“The solid partnership between CBP, CPSC and other agencies at the Import Safety Commercial Targeting and Analysis Center (CTAC) enables greater sharing of information and targeting to ensure the safety of imported fireworks,” said CBP Assistant Commissioner Allen Gina.  “Interagency collaboration at the CTAC results in the identification and interdiction of potentially unsafe imported merchandise, including non-compliant fireworks, and truly exemplifies working together as one U.S. Government at the Border to protect American consumers.”

At the national level, CBP, CPSC and the Pipeline Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) work side-by-side at the CTAC in Washington, DC to effectively combat the importation of illegal fireworks.  The CTAC provides a platform for the agencies to share data, analyze import trends and conduct joint risk-based targeting to identify fireworks shipments that pose a safety risk.

“Fireworks are explosives. Protecting the public means making sure that our safety regulations work when these explosives are being transported,” said PHMSA Administrator Cynthia Quarterman.

“As the federal law enforcement agency charged with enforcing federal explosives laws, ATF actively works with other federal agencies, such as CPSC, through its fireworks enforcement program to protect the public from the dangers of illegal explosives devices,” said ATF Acting Director B. Todd Jones.

Consumers who decide to purchase legal fireworks are urged to take these safety steps.

  • Make sure the fireworks you want to buy are legal in your area before buying or using them.
  • Never allow young children to play with or ignite fireworks, including sparklers. Parents may not realize that young children suffer injuries from sparklers. Sparklers burn at temperatures of about 2,000 degrees ─ hot enough to melt some metals.
  • Always have an adult closely supervise fireworks activities if older children are allowed to handle devices.
  • Avoid buying fireworks that are packaged in brown paper because this is often a sign that the fireworks were made for professional displays and could pose a danger to consumers.
  • Never place any part of your body directly over a fireworks device when lighting the fuse. Back up to a safe distance immediately after lighting fireworks.
  • Keep a bucket of water or a garden hose handy in case of fire or other mishap.
  • Never try to relight or handle malfunctioning fireworks. Soak them with water and throw them away.
  • Never point or throw fireworks at another person.
  • Light fireworks one at a time, then move back quickly.
  • Never carry fireworks in a pocket or shoot them off in metal or glass containers.
  • After fireworks complete their burning, douse the spent device with plenty of water from a bucket or hose before discarding the device to prevent a trash fire.
  • ATF encourages the public to report the manufacture or sale of illegal fireworks to your local law enforcement agencies or to the ATF hotline at 1-888-ATF-BOMB (1-888-283-2662).

Source: USCPSC

Note: Please pay attention to these tips.  During my high school days, some boys threw some type of firecracker at a girl, and it broke her foot.  She paid for their prank with pain and discomfort.  As the article says, these are explosives; leave the handling of them to the experts. pb


During the summer months, workers who are exposed to extreme heat should recognize symptoms of heat stress, and how it can be prevented.  The month of May is more than half-gone, and things are heating up already.  May is Melanoma/Skin Cancer Detection Month, and May 25th is Heat Safety Awareness Day.  So we hope you will take heed: 

Things that can lead to heat stress are: inadequate water intake, physical exertion, direct sun, high temperature or humidity, and some medicines.  Workers should stay hydrated and maintain a safe core body temperature, which should never exceed 100°F.  Ingesting fluids on a regular basis also puts less strain on the cardiovascular system. 

Signs of heat disorders are:

  • Heat Exhaustion – This is the result of a combination of dehydration and excessive heat.  Headache, nausea, dizziness, weakness, giddiness, and thirst are symptoms.  Workers with heat exhaustion should be given fluids, and encouraged to rest.  Workers can stay hydrated by keeping containers of fluids handy at all times.
  • Heat Cramps – Caused by an electrolyte imbalance caused by sweating and lack of water replenishment.  Workers in hot environments should drink water every 15 to 20 minutes and drink carbohydrate-electrolyte replacement liquids (e.g., sports drinks).
  • Heat Stroke – This is the most serious heat related disorder.  Confusion, irrational behavior, loss of consciousness, lack of sweating (usually), an abnormally high temperature are primary signs of heat stroke, resulting in a medical emergency.  The worker should be doused with cool water and given fluids.  Drinks that contain alcohol, caffeine or large amounts of sugar can cause workers to lose body fluid, and very cold drinks can cause stomach cramps.  Cool fluids are easier to drink and more easily absorbed into the body.
  • Heat Rashes – Most common problem where skin is persistently wetted by sweat.  Creams or ointments should not be used as they keep the skin warm and moist, and may worsen the condition.  Powders may be applied. 

A reminder to workers: be sure to drink fluids before becoming thirsty; if you wait, your body is already dehydrated.  Wear a wide brimmed hat if your work doesn’t require a hardhat, use sunscreen, and wear polarized safety eyewearthat have the proper UV protection.  Be sure to protect your body with a sunscreen with a high SPF (Sun Protection Factor) rate.  Protect your children from sunburn, because many times skin cancer shows up at a later age, waiting all that time from childhood to adulthood to become a serious problem.  Children’s eyes should also be protected from the UV rays of the sun; it is important that they wear sunglasses , just as their parents do.

Source: OSHA, CDC



April 29 – May 3 was Air Quality Awareness Week.  Sorry that we are two weeks late, but this is a very important subject that affects all of us – any age.  This information is from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency:Two of the most common pollutants in the U.S. — ozone, sometimes called smog, and particle pollution —  pose health risks for hundreds of thousands of Americans each year. Are you one of them?
Many of us are. If you’re very young, if you’re a senior citizen — or if you’re somewhere in between – you may be at increased risk from ozone or particle pollution exposure.
That’s bad news. The good news? You can do something about it.

  • Children (including teenagers)are at greater risk from air pollution because their lungs are still developing, they are more likely to be active outdoors, and they breathe more air per pound of body weight than adults. Both ozone and particle pollution can prevent children’s lungs from working and developing like they should.  Children are also more likely than adults to have asthma which also increase their risk.
  • People with asthma or another lung disease are risk from both ozone and particle pollution, which can increase symptoms like coughing and wheezing– and can lead to a trip to the doctor or hospital.
  • Healthy adults who are active outdoors are at risk from ozone, which can make it more difficult to breathe deeply, cause symptoms such as coughing or scratchy throat, and inflame and damage the lining of the lungs – damage that can continue even after symptoms are gone.
  • People with cardiovascular disease (that’s your heart and blood vessels) are at risk from particle pollution, which can contribute to heart attacks, strokes, cardiac arrest, congestive heart failure – and premature death. Ozone can also harm the heart.  And both pollutants can increase the risk for premature death.
  • People in middle age and older. As we hit middle age, our risk for heart and lung diseases generally increases – and so does our risk from ozone and particle pollution. Factors that increase your risk for heart disease and stroke – like being overweight, having diabetes, or having high blood pressure or high cholesterol, also may increase your risk from particle pollution. 

Now for the good news: You can take steps to reduce your pollution exposure. Use the Air Quality Index (AQI) to adjust your outdoor activities so you can and reduce the amount of pollution you breathe in while still getting exercise. It’s not difficult – and your health is worth it.

Your local weather team can forecast the amount of allergens and pollutants in the air, so you can be prepared.  If you work in an atmosphere where there are particles floating around, be sure your company has the proper respiratory protection for you.  As suggested, don’t go outside to play sports if the Air Quality Index is high.  While working in the yard, wear a face mask and safety glasses. 

Car pooling is a way of reducing emissions that are released into the air by vehicles.  Let’s do all we can to keep our atmosphere clean in order to breathe and enjoy fresh air.



Poison control centers report that more than half of the incidents they handle each year involve children under the age of six. The majority of these poisoning injuries result from the inadvertent ingestion of common household substances. Learning to reduce the likelihood of a poisoning incident in your home is an essential part of safe parenting and childcare provision, simply because even the most closely-watched children can find a way to get into dangerous things during the split second an adult’s back is turned.
Keep an Eye on Medications

The prescription medications that safeguard your health and the over-the-counter pills that ease minor aches and pains can be a blessing to ailing adults, but present a very serious danger to young children. Making sure that all of your household medications are stored in a place children cannot reach and are inside child-resistant containers is imperative. It’s also very important to make sure that you keep an eye on visitors’ belongings. When Grandma stows her pills in a daily dosage container with a simple flip-top and tosses it in her purse for easy access on the go, there’s very little keeping an inquisitive child from ingesting those medications. This especially holds true for toddlers and preschoolers that may have learned to associate “Grandma’s Purse” with “candies and sweets.” Make sure that visitors have a safe place to store their bags while they spend time in your home.

Clean Up Your Household Cleaner Shelf

Keeping all of your household cleaners in the cabinet under the sink is both wildly common and quite convenient. Even if you spring for the cabinet locks touted by baby-proofing experts as infallible, it’s important to keep in mind that no baby-proofing product is immune to failure. Installing cabinet locks is a great idea that can keep children from accessing a variety of unsafe objects, but moving the chemical cleaners to a high cabinet is the most effective way of keeping them out of kids’ reach.

Check the Paint

Buying older houses in rebounding neighborhoods is a popular trend for lots of reasons. Older houses have character, the price point can be more manageable than a shiny, new McMansion and they’re generally packed with charming features. Before moving into your new-to-you home, however, you’ll want to make sure that none of the paint inside it contains lead before you start scraping. Using a lead testing kit is your safest bet, especially if you suspect that the existing paint is a relic from a society that wasn’t so aware of the danger of lead.

Food Poisoning is Still Poisoning

Just because food is intended to be ingested doesn’t mean that it can’t be poisonous. Making sure that you are well informed regarding safe food handling practices and that all foods you feed your child are kept at the proper temperature and prepared in such a manner so harmful bacteria is eliminated is essential to his health. It’s also important to make sure that your child isn’t able to access the contents of the garbage can. Adults might think that the off-putting smell of a garbage can is enough to repel anyone, but the curiosity of an inquisitive child knows no bounds.

Monitor Your Carbon Monoxide Detectors

When you change your clocks and the batteries in your smoke detector at the beginning and end of daylight savings, make sure that you also change the batteries in your carbon monoxide detector and test it to ensure full functionality. Carbon monoxide is tasteless, odorless and colorless, so the only way to truly protect your family from accidental poisoning is to make sure that your first line of defense, your detectors, are working.

Kitchens, bathrooms and garages are the most common sites of accidental household poisonings. Paying special attention to these areas of your home and making sure that any potentially dangerous substances are stored far out of kids’ reach can help you prevent a poisoning emergency in your home. It’s also imperative that you store all chemical products in their original containers, as they contain important information that your physician or poison control specialist will need to ensure that your child gets the proper treatment in the event of an inadvertent poisoning emergency. Parents and childcare providers should also know how to spot the signs of poison ingestion, which consist of burns or redness around the mouth and lips, a chemical smell on kids’ breath, vomiting, dizziness, sleepiness, confusion and other strange behavior, including difficulty breathing, seizures and unconsciousness.

Sent to us by Lynda Albertson of  NannyBabysitters
Thanks, Lynda, and a reminder that every home should keep a first aid safety kit on hand.



 Top 25 Safety Articles of the Week: March 8

Posted by Erin Raub in Weekly Roundups

fire rope ladderSomething this simple can save your family’s lives.

It’s the little things in life, right? And while the phrase usually refers to life’s simple pleasures, “little things” can really be a lot of things. Like an inexpensive, compact fire ladder that saves a man’s life as he flees from a burning building.

Yes, it is the little things in life – little things that allow us to continue enjoying life. Safety measures are so important, not as a way to incite paranoia or fear but as prevention. We’ve all heard the maxim, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. So this week, we’re focusing on not just the latest safety news but also on the latest ways to prevent data fraud, childhood illness, and more. Be safe!

Home Safety

  1. Lauren of Safety Source, the blog for the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), shares with us a new tip sheet on outdoor electrical safety.
  2. If I haven’t yet convinced you of the importance of a fire safety plan, then you have to read this week’s story from John of the Culture of Safety on how a fire ladder saved a man’s life.

Family & Child Safety

  1. The Kids With Food Allergies Foundation shares evidence that certain airborne chemicals have been linked to immunoglobulin E (IgE) and asthma.
  2. The Huff Post and Moms Rising question the presence of questionably effective, possibly dangerous chemical flame retardants in kids’ products, like nap mats and pajamas.
  3. If you worry about your young driver acting irresponsibly in the car, KidSafe this week featured a new invention that stops teens from texting while driving. (I wish I could install in on every adult I ever pass while driving!)
  4. Tim from uKnowKids does it again, this time offering up some valuable info that is also heartwarming: check out his roundup of current anti-bullying and anti-cyberbullying movements around the U.S. 
  5. Alison the SafetyMom hits the nail on the head with this week’s post, titled with the self-explanatory With Parenting Styles, One Size Does Not Fit All. You got that right!
  6. Free Range Mom Lenore always brings us the latest on all things preventing kids from being kids, and this week she has some uplifting news: a public call to ditch the “misguided security blanket” afforded by helicopter parenting policies, and focus on the real problem: red tape and lawsuits.
  7. Pets are important members of the family, but we don’t always apply the same precautions to our furry friends as we do to our kids. Jim Tedford, Director of Animal Welfare Initiatives and Alliances, gives us all the details on pet-proofing to prevent poisoning.
  8. And speaking of your four-legged family members, Natalie Lester, a PetSafe Brand Communications Specialist, shows us how one door + one containment system can = independence for your pup.

Mobile & Cyber Safety

  1. Last Watchdog Byron reminds us that being on a smartphone or tablet does not make us invulnerable to data stealing, especially with the latest scams that have you clicking on links you never intended.
  2. Brian of Krebs on Security warns that suspicious activity this week prompted a password reset for all Evernote users, while Oracle’s Java also issued its third critical security update in a month.
  3. If you’ve ever been interested in the online dating scene, don’t miss this article from Safe Kids (they care about parents’ safety, too!) on online dating safety tips.
  4. Tim, of uKnowKids, clues us in to the latest sex trafficking scheme – using Facebook to find victims – and how you can protect your kids.
  5. If you’ve ever lost or had your smartphone stolen, Scott from A Silver Lining reminds us that these little touch-screens are actually mini-computers – and need to be treated as serious security risks.
  6. David of We Live Security has some excellent points on how hundreds of thousands of Facebook likes can be deceptive (and completely wrong). The article reminds me of what my mom always asked: If all your friends jumped off a bridge, would you do it too?
  7. Lisa, of Sophos Naked Security, peels apart the onion layers (it’ll certainly make you cry) of the latest debit-card fraud – scammers pretending to protect your from scammers.

Senior Safety

  1. Ryan of Inside Elder Care reminds us to really dig into the policies of our parents’ or other loved ones’ assisted living or nursing care communities. What will happen in an emergency? Will community staff perform CPR?
  2. Susan at Help! Aging Parents gives us some pointers on helping our parents make the best decisions for their health, like whether they should get life-changing surgeries.
  3. The Aging Wisely blog develops a debate about the work-family balance, and how it applies to work-at-homers and eldercare.
  4. Safety Mom Alison features a really cool infographic on the “communication lifeline” – the relationship between caregiver and seniors. Alison is also hosting a Twitter party on March 13 to discuss signs your aging parents need help.

Work Safety

  1. In the U.S., construction mishaps account for 17 percent of all work-related accidents. Carl at Blog4Safety provides 5 tips for a safer construction workplace.
  2. Blog4Safety gives us another good one on how to identify the dangers of asbestos.
  3. And speaking of creating a safer workplace, Kevin from the Safety at Work Blog discusses the lack of a “safety culture” for employers and employees.
  4. If you’re in the U.S., your time is going to change this weekend. Roy at The Society for Human Resource Management reminds us all to be careful that sleep deprivation doesn’t lead to workplace accidents next week.

Thanks, Erin, for including us in your top twenty-five list of safety articles.  You offer a whole range of reading for our supporters, and we are honored to be part of it.  Pat


Sent to us by Paul Taylor of BabysittingJobs.com

Preparing your child to act calmly under unthinkable circumstances is a scary and disheartening responsibility, but it is an essential one. Ensuring that your little ones are equipped to properly handle an emergency situation at a young age gives them the ability to reach out for assistance when they need it most, even when you’re not available to point them in the right direction. Teaching small children how to reach emergency services is less of a practical challenge and more of an emotional one, though there are some ways to simplify the process even further to make sure that they gain this much-needed skill.

Work on Critical Information

Emergency dispatchers can trace a call to determine a child’s location if they’re too shaken up to provide their address or aren’t quite sure what it is. Knowing their full names, your name, their address and telephone number makes the dispatcher’s job much easier. If your household is among the increasing number of American families that don’t maintain landline telephones, you’ll also want to make sure that your child knows how to turn on a cell phone and that he’s confident entering the three digits before connecting.

Talk About What 911 is For

Explaining to your child what 911 services are for helps him understand that dialing the number will summon help from police, firefighters and paramedics if he’s in trouble. Talking about what sorts of situations would warrant a call to 911 and how the emergency responders can help him when there’s an emergency lets him know that there is help just around the corner if he needs it, and that all he has to do is dial three numbers to get help if there’s no conscious or capable adult in the house.

Talk About Emergency Workers

Kids need to know who to expect when they call 911 and that it’s okay for them to come into the house if an adult is incapacitated and can’t let them in. This is especially important if you’re also working on the concept of “stranger danger.” When your child is in the process of learning that some strangers can be dangerous and he shouldn’t talk to them, the idea of a large group of strangers coming into your home can be terrifying. This conversation is also a good excuse to discuss the role that emergency workers play in society, and what each uniform or title means.

Discuss Accidental Dials

While it is possible for kids to accidentally dial 911 on a landline phone, it’s more likely to happen when they’re playing with a cell phone that has an emergency dial feature. Kids who understand how important it is to only call 911 during an emergency may panic and hang up, which forces the dispatcher to call back or send help to ensure that there is no emergency in your area. Make sure that your little one knows that he should stay on the line and explain to the person who answers that he made a mistake and that there is no emergency.

What is an Emergency?

In a small child’s mind, the concept of “emergency” can be rather vague. Little ones need to understand the difference between a real emergency and merely an unpleasant situation to avoid tying up the time and efforts of a dispatcher who may be delaying an actual emergency to handle the call. Kids should be taught that a lost dog, missing toy or sibling altercation are not emergencies. Working on understanding what types of situations warrant attention from emergency service responders and which ones need to be handled by an adult at home can help to prevent unnecessary calls that waste resources because children are confused about the role of 911 in their lives.

Some Jokes Aren’t Funny

For the most part, prank calls have gone the way of the dinosaur with the advent of private-call blocking and caller ID. To ensure that your child never decides to explore the concept of a prank call by dialing emergency services, you should make sure that he understands the danger of taking time and energy away from dispatchers who could be missing an important, legitimate call. Letting your little one know that dialing 911 as a practical joke is never funny and will have severe consequences is an effective way of discouraging the idea before the idea manifests itself and he is tempted to try it out.

When you’re teaching a toddler how to actively dial the numbers that will connect him with emergency services, it’s wise to remove the battery from a cell phone or unplug the line from a landline phone altogether to prevent accidental dials. Remember also that working on mastery of his address and when to call 911 is an ongoing process, not the result of a single conversation.


According to the Centers for Disease Control, all states in the U.S. have widespread flu activity, with the exception of Tennessee and Hawaii.  Some states are seeing an increase in flu activity while others are seeing the numbers of cases going down.  The nations’ total this flu season for pediatric deaths is 29.  Although the government doesn’t keep a running tally of adult deaths from the flu, estimates are that it takes about 24,000 lives every year. 

Federal officials are taking unusual steps to make more flu medicines available and urging wider use of them as soon as symptoms appear.  One reason is that the number of older people hospitalized with the flu as risen sharply.  Dr. Thomas Frieden, director of the CDCP, reports that this season is shaping up to be a worse-than-average season, especially for the elderly.  Two drugs, Tamiflu and Relenza, can cut the severity and risk of death from the flu, but must be started within 48 hours of first symptoms to do much good. 

Some of the signs of the flu are:

  • Feeling as though you have been hit by a truck;
  • Coughing;
  • Aching;
  • Head is pounding;
  • Fever
  • Sometimes diarrhea and vomiting. 

Know that the flu is a virus, which means that antibiotics won’t cure viruses.  Usually the flu passes without complications.  However, in the case of high fever, especially in children, a doctor should be involved in their care.  High-risk groups, pregnant women, children, or the elderly may want to see their doctor, because they are at a higher risk to contact the flu.  Some antiviral drugs such as Tamiflu or Relenza can be taken as early as possible to enable the illness to not be as severe.  Of course, the flu shots seem to be helping all three strains that are circulating, also helping it to be a lighter case than without the shot. 

Warning signs to get to the emergency room ASAP if these symptoms are experienced by children: 

  • Not drinking fluids
  • Extreme irritability
  • Fever with a rash
  • Having trouble breathing or breathing rapidly
  • Blue tinge to the skin
  • Child won’t wake up or interact
  • Flu symptoms have improved, but cough and fever return and worsen 

Symptoms to watch for in adults may be similar; however, they may also experience: 

  • Vomiting that is severe and persistent
  • Confusion
  • Sudden dizziness
  • Pain or pressure in the chest or abdomen 

Here are ways to help prevent the spread of this “bug”: 

  1. Get the flu shot
  2. Stay home if you are sick
  3. Keep your kids home from school until they’ve gone 24 hours without fever
  4. Wash hands very often
  5. Cover mouth and nose when sneezing or coughing
  6. Use a face mask to protect others when you cough or sneeze.
  7. Stay out of public places
  8. Understand that this is a serious illness that could result in complications, such as pneumonia 

The CDC states that the flu again has surpassed an “epidemic” status, based on monitoring of deaths from flu.  It happens every year, and it takes everyone’s cooperation in preventing the spread of flu by following the instructions above.  Persons will appreciate your missing church, school, or work, if you are ill.  You can always catch up on what you miss, and you’ll know you did your part in keeping others safe from flu.


 Written by Kaylee Wilson; Submitted by Joyce DelRosario

There are a lot of things that parents fear, and for a child to become an addict at a young age is one of a parent’s worst nightmares. There are some things that parents can do to help deter their children from this ill fate. These things include keeping children safe from friends who are addicted to prohibited drugs. 

Addiction is something that strikes even people who may seem to have their lives completely together, and friends of children can often be involved in activities that put others at risk. This is just one of millions of reasons to develop a healthy relationship with children that include communication and trust. Yes, it is very important for your child to trust you, as you want to be able to trust them. This can help in developing communication, and knowing when they, or one of their friends may possibly be in trouble. 

Knowing Your Child, and Knowing Their Friends; Recognizing a Problem

It is not always easy to see problems when they are hidden in plain sight. This is why it is important to have communication with children. It is also important to know the type of company that they keep, and the company that the company keeps. There are warning signs for problems, which if caught in time can help your child, and their friend. 

There are many signs of use of prohibited drug use, and noticing them may help you and your child, address the problems before they escalate out of control. It is important that you do not cut the ties of communication between you and your child. This can happen by directly prohibiting contact with their friends. 

There is another approach to severing the ties to illicit drugs. It may serve you better to attempt to help your child get help for their friend/s. You can try to get in touch with the other parents to be able to aid in the intervention of the child that is in trouble. 

Working with Your Child to Understand the Damage Done by Addictions

It cannot be said enough, how important it is to be able to communicate with children. This is even more so when it comes to explaining the danger of addiction in a way that children will listen. Sometimes, it pays to be able to communicate with your child. 

There are many instances, where children became involved with illicit drug activity due to misunderstanding, and not knowing the consequences. Having a way to communicate with your child, and developing trust on both sides of your relationship  may aid in educating your child on the dangers of illicit drugs. 

There are many resources that are available to help you break the barrier of communication with your child. 

Dealing with Friends Who Are Addicted to Illicit Drugs

It may not always be easy for a child to cut ties with friends, and it is for this reason that communication can play an important role. Friends that are addicted may bring your child into a world where they do not belong. It is important that you always know where your child is, and what they are doing. 

You may not be able to completely cut ties and associations, but you can make compromises, as can your child. You can make sure that if they have to be around the friend that is addicted, it is with supervision, and you know what your child is doing. Eventually, the friend will need help, which you can help your child reach out and try to help through places, such as http://thefamilycompass.com, and get the friend the help that they may be looking for. 

About the Author:

Kaylee Wilson is a proud single mom and a professional writer. She currently contributes at http://thefamilycompass.com. The Family Compass brings together a vast collection of resources that will help families find their bearings.