5 Tips to Keep Your Kids Safe

By Eric Long of kidsport GPS (www.kidsportgps.com)

 

lostAccording to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, roughly 800,000 children are reported missing each year. That’s over 2,000 a day. Shocking, isn’t it?

When I was a kid, my friends and I spent our hours after school meandering the neighborhood. Mom and Dad had no idea where I was or what I was doing. In summer…sun up; I’m gone. I was a racecar pulling in for a PB&J pit stop around noon, and dinner was just a distraction. I was gone for hours upon hours. No big deal. Today? Different world!

My daughter is almost 10. If she is three minutes late from a bike ride, her mom and I are freaking out. We lose sight of her at the park and we panic. On vacation? When I am not playing with her, I am a CIA agent scanning the crowd for suspicious characters.

So how can we keep our kids safe in today’s modern world? No tool or device will keep your kids safe 100% of the time, but here are five things you can do to mitigate the risks:

  1. Family Talk – Take time to talk to your children about safety and abduction prevention. The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children has an excellent campaign called Take 25 (http://www.take25.org/) that provides free tools such as safety tips, conversation starters, and mini-lessons to help trusted adults begin conversations with children about safety.
  2. ID Card – Create and give each child a laminated ID card with his or her name, date of birth, address, phone numbers, etc. If your child is too young or otherwise unable to speak for him or herself, consider writing the information somewhere on his or her clothing in permanent marker.
  3. Child ID Kit – Prepare an ID kit for each child in the event that he or she is missing. The kit should include a physical description (nickname, date of birth, height, weight, gender, fingerprints, hair and eye colors, etc.), any identifying features (glasses, braces, scars, birthmarks, piercings, etc.), any medical information (conditions, disorders, diseases, medications, etc.), and, most importantly, an up-to-date, good quality digital photo. Be sure to take your kits with you on trips and vacations.
  4. Emergency Hot Spots – Whether you are at a playground, amusement park, ski slope, vacation resort, or any crowded location, always identify the nearest help and information centers, emergency stations, and police posts. Inform your children where to go and what to do in case of an emergency or if they get lost.
  5. kidsport GPS Tracking Device –The kidsport GPS band is a GPS tracking device developed specifically for kids that allows parents to locate their kids on their cell phones, iPads or computers. It will be available this fall, but families can pre-order now. To find out more, visit www.kidsportGPS.com.

No parent I know can imagine what it is like to have a child go missing. It is our greatest fear. But by educating a children and taking safety precautions, we can help reduce the chances of that ever happening. The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (www.missingkids.com) has a lot of excellent information on child safety and what you can do as a parent or guardian.

safetytatAnother great tool My Good Parenting found is a product called SafetyTat. They are fun and functional temporary tattoos that detail emergency info.  SafetyTats read ‘If Lost, Please Call’ and list a parent or guardian’s mobile phone number. Designed to be worn on a child’s arm or hand, SafetyTats are easy to apply and are perfect for amusement parks, water parks, shopping at a crowded mall, or even while traveling through a busy airport. It is a great solution for small children that cannot carry around an ID card and cannot remember this important information. www.SafetyTat.com

Child Safety Tips

By the Lost and Found Experts at FinderCodes

playgroundFinderCodes, an asset recovery system based on QR code technology, has gathered some of the most common places kids get hurt and provided easy prevention measures to make sure your kids stay safe no matter where they are!

Walking to School

If your children walk to school, make sure they’re getting there as safely as possible. Choose a route that avoids busy streets and construction and walk the route with your kids before sending them alone. Along the way, point out “safe houses” where your kids can stop in case of an emergency. Team up with a buddy to walk to school or give them a phone to use in case of an emergency or even if they just need to talk to you along the way.

At a Playground

Have a parent or caregiver prepared with a First Aid kit watching your kids at the playground at all times. It’s terrible to think about, but children can easily get hurt or abducted at playgrounds if you’re not careful. Always keep track of what they’re doing, where they are and who they’re playing with. Make sure your children know the rules – don’t talk to strangers and always stay within your sight. To prevent your kids from getting hurt on playground equipment, only let them play on safe, age-appropriate equipment.

Playing Sports

The most important safety tips to teach your little athletes are to wear the right equipment and to play by the rules. If they’re riding a bike or horse, wear a helmet. Protect your hockey or volleyball player with the right padding. Football players need a helmet and secure padding, and soccer players need to wear shin guards. Playing by the rules ensures no one gets hurt because of foul play.

In any situation where kids are carrying things they’re likely to lose (sports equipment, backpacks, jackets, etc.), it’s important to mark them so that if they get lost, they can be returned easily. FinderCodes Lost & Found Kits are perfect for that. As an added bonus, our smart tags keep personal information like names, addresses and phone numbers private. That means your child’s information will not be on display to strangers, and their safety will not be compromised.

At a Pool

Always have a CPR-trained lifeguard or adult nearby when your children are swimming. Make sure your kids know not to eat, drink or run near the water. If your children want to play in the pool but don’t know how to swim yet, give them a life jacket or floatie to stay safe.

In the Car

Keep a bag in the car ready to go with snacks, water, a First Aid kid and sunscreen. Use proper car seats – use these guidelines. Pull over if you need to help your kids with something in the backseat or need to answer your phone. Never leave your kids alone in the car and always remember to take your keys with you when you get out.

In Case of Fire

According to www.safekids.org, about 488 children (ages 14 and under) die every year because of residential fires, and another 116,600 children are injured by fire. Prevent fires at home by making sure your electrical appliances, cords and outlets are safe and not overloaded. Unplug appliances that are not in use, and keep your smoke detector batteries fresh. Teach your children to stay low to the ground if they smell smoke, and to get outside. Of course, a lesson in “stop, drop, and roll” is very important, too.

Teaching Teens To Be Healthy

Teaching Your Teen to Be Healthy Without Emphasizing Weight

teaching teens to be healthyGoing through puberty is hard enough without having to worry about health and weight issues. Children are cruel to each other and verbally lash out making sure to point out other children’s insecurities and being a struggling teen is even harder. A teenager’s body is already going through so much change and if he or she has health or weight issues, on top of that it can make life very hard.

That is why parents need to keep open lines of communication with their teens and make sure to support them without adding to his or her problems. Communication and making one’s teenager feel good about who they are is the key to keeping him or her balanced. Struggling teens shut down and bottle things up keeping it all to themselves thinking no one will understand what he or she is going through. Leading by example is the best way to relate and keep communication with one’s teen helping them silently in the background. It is important to be the teens helping hand.

There are many ways a parent can help their struggling teen with his or her weight issues without voicing the problem. When one’s child was small it was easy to take them out to the park and play, or be able to relate to them on some level. However, as teens he or she is learning who they are and trying to do things on their own. Parents just need to find time to be there with their teens without making them feel they are intruding. Teens help others but rarely think of themselves.

Start with mealtime, parents can take a cooking class that will teach them how to cook healthy foods without letting on that it is healthy food. When it comes to cooking meals, take that time to have the teenager help with preparing the meal. By doing this the parent is spending time with their teen and teaching them how to eat and cook healthy foods. This also allows the teen time to open up and talk if he or she may have a problem. By being the teens helping hand things tend to go smoother.

Have only healthy and good foods in the house. When a teenager comes home from school or activities make sure to have good healthy snacks readily on hand. Teens are always on the go and this ensures the first thing he or she will grab is something that will help their bodies, not hurt them.

Keep your teenager active. Another good way to communicate and get your teenager active is to suggest the teen helping the parents to stay active. Invite the teen to accompany on walks, have them spot during workouts, ask them to accompany you to a swim. Do anything you might feel will interest the teenager and make it appear as if it were to benefit the parents health and make them feel welcomed. The teens help will be easier given if they are helping the parent.

Inspire, uplift, encourage, and always let your teenager know no matter what, they have the support of the parents. Inspire the teenager to be all he or she can. Uplift them every possible chance by giving praise for things done well. Encourage him or her to try new things even if he or she falls and let them know they succeeded no matter what.

By doing these simple little things, struggling teens will see there is hope and security in life. Having the teens helping the parents is in turn helping themselves. All of these suggestions guarantee open communication, a loving family life, and the security a teen needs to know that their parents will love and help them with any problem they may have.