Garanimals Blog

Archive for the ‘Safety’ tag

October 17th, 2014 at 8:56 pm

Halloween Safety


Halloween is such a fun holiday for kids! They get to dress up in costumes, trick-or-treat with friends, and get free candy. But with all that comes some concerns that you should discuss with your kids ahead of time. Safety first! Here are some things to think about, whether you’re taking your kids or they’re heading out with friends:

Costume Safety (For Parents)

  • If you are trick or treating in the dark, make sure the costume is visible. Give your kids a flashlight or flickering necklace hold or wear while they’re out. There is also reflective tape you could add to the costume.
  • Make sure the costume fits and isn’t hanging onto the ground, creating a tripping hazard. Also make sure any eye holes are big enough to be seen through.
  • Any props like guns, swords, etc. should be evaluated as to whether they are really needed for the costume.
  • Make sure any hair spray or makeup has been tested beforehand. Sometimes cosmetic substances like that can be irritating to the skin.

Trick or Treating Safety (For Kids)

  • Stay in the neighborhood (parents and kids should discuss boundaries beforehand). Be careful when crossing the street. Watch for cars and obey any traffic signals.
  • Never enter someone’s home, even if they invite you in.
  • Only go to each house once.
  • Don’t be greedy, take only one piece of candy (or two if the homeowner says you can) and leave the rest for other trick-or-treaters.
  • Stay with your group and/or adult or parent at all times. Don’t wander off.
  • Use manners – always say “thank you” after receiving your treats.

Candy Safety (For Parents)

  • Check your children’s candy to see if anything has  been tampered with, or if there is anything they are allergic to or should have because of certain dental or health issues. It’s generally a good idea to discard anything homemade or in unsealed bags.

Be safe and have lots of fun!!

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June 23rd, 2014 at 10:50 am

Bike Safety for Kids


Just this weekend while my son was riding his bike, he wiped out and got some bad scrapes on his elbow. Of course, I found this out after I cleaned off the mud from the huge puddle he fell into. My first tip is for parents (one I need to follow myself) – ALWAYS make sure your first aid supplies are stocked and on hand. You can never have enough bandaids (in every size), antibiotic cream or antibacterial/alcohol wipes. It’s summer and kids (especially boys) are prone to injuries, so be ready!

Accidents happen, but there are safety measures that can be taken to help prevent or lessen the degree of injuries. One of the most important areas to protect is your child’s head. Helmets provide protection for your face, head, and brain…I don’t think I need to mention why this is crucial!

Make sure your child’s bike is the right size for them. All too often, children ride bikes that are too big or too small for them, which increases the likelihood of accidents. If your child stands straddling the bike, there should be 1-3 inches of space between them and the top bar. If not, its time to move up to the next bike size.

Make sure wheels, handlebars and seats are tightly fastened to the bike. Add air to the tires if they need more. Check the chain and oil it regularly. Also check that the brakes are working correctly.

If your child is riding with you on the street or sidewalk, make sure they have bright clothing on, even in daylight. Also make sure shoes are tied and clothing isn’t too loose that it would get caught on anything. Sneakers are the best to wear when bike riding because the treads grip the pedals.

Define what area around your neighborhood is appropriate for your child to ride. This can change as your child gets older. Go over safety rules and make sure your child checks for cars backing out of driveways, and is mindful of road signs. Also teach them about obstacles like sticks, puddles, rocks, and other children! Discourage them from doing “tricks” with their bikes like jumping obstacles, bumping friends’ tires with their own, or racing down steep hills.

With these guidelines, children can be a little safer on their bicycles!


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June 6th, 2014 at 12:26 pm

Bad Weather Safety

Screen Shot 2014-06-06 at 1.04.16 PM

Weather can be very scary for children this time of year.  It is important to prepare your children for bad weather such as thunderstorms, tornados, and hurricanes, depending on where you live.

One thing that is great to do is to create an emergency kit with your children. Purchase a plastic tote to keep under your stairs or another safe place in case of a disaster. In it you can include water (a gallon per person for a few days is recommended), canned foods and an opener, a first aid kit, emergency medications, blankets, towels, a flashlight with extra batteries, and a whistle or horn to signal for help.

Thunderstorms with Lightening
These can be very scary for children. A neat way to ease a child’s fear is to count from the flash of lightening until you see the BOOM of thunder. Once you have your number of seconds, divide that number by five. For instance if you count 30 seconds divided by five, the thunderstorm is six miles away.

Safety Tips 

  • If they see or hear a thunderstorm, they should come inside right away.
  • Stay away from metal objects when a thunderstorm is going on.
  • If they cannot get inside, they should stay away from anything tall and crouch down on their knees, protecting their head with their arms.

Tornadoes are very dangerous for communities. It is good to discuss with your children things to look out for when a large thunderstorm is approaching. This would include coming inside before a thunderstorm hits, the sights and sounds of a tornado, what the warnings mean on the news, and ways to safely secure themselves should a tornado hit.

Tornadoes often sound like a train or airplane. If they hear a siren or these sounds, they should take cover right away. When bad weather is approaching the news or a radio should be monitored constantly.

Safety Tips 

  • Go to a basement, or if there is no basement go under something sturdy, such as a staircase, or in a closet in the center of the house. This should be the lowest lying area in your home as well.
  • Stay away from windows or doors.
  • If you are in a car, get out and go to a sturdy building or the lowest lying area of ground you can find, such as a ditch.
  • Keep your face covered with your arms protecting your head.

Talk to your children how hurricanes are formed. These storms are able to be tracked and form over the ocean so there is typically more time to prepare for these than other storms. Talk about the different effects of hurricane on coastlines and watch for warning alerts that occur with hurricanes.

Safety Tips 

  • If you live in a mobile home, near the water, or in a high-rise building, seek shelter in a safer area.
  • If you must stay in your home, go to a basement, safety shelter or the most secure area.
  • Stay away from windows and doors.

If you live in an area where flooding can occur, go over safety information. Be sure to stress that playing with water is fun, but floods are dangerous and can be harmful.

Safety Tips 

  • Get to the highest point in your home.
  • Do not drive through rushing waters during a flood.
  • If you are caught in flooding waters get to a tree, higher ground, or grab ahold of anything that is floating in the water to climb on.
  • If you are in a car, get out ASAP.

Here are some fun resources to explore the weather:

NOAA’s Play time for kids –

Interactive Weather Maker –

Weather Wiz Kids -


Most importantly, make sure your kids know that you will do everything in your power to keep them safe!!


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October 28th, 2013 at 5:00 am

Advice for Safe Trick or Treating

trick-or-treatThe time has come to go Trick-or-Treating! It’s full of fun and treats but it is also important to stay safe.

Safety starts with costumes. If your going out at night make sure to carry flashlights and either have light colored costumes or some reflective tape. Make sure that long material is tucked up so your child’s feet don’t get tangled, causing them to trip. Also, make sure that your little one is in comfortable shoes. Even before you leave, make sure you have considered routes and their length. With kids of any age, sore legs and frustration can set in, leading to tears all the way home. With small ones, a stroller or wagon is especially helpful to make the journey.

Adults should always accompany children under 12 and try to take them out before it is too dark. Approach houses that are well-lit and never go inside strangers’ homes. It’s also important to check the candy before you let them eat anything they have received. Be sure to toss anything that looks like it has been unwrapped.

Before approaching houses, teach your children to look for a porch light that is on. Typically this is a sign that the people inside are waiting with candy. As you walk up be sure to watch for moving and sound-making decorations so your little one doesn’t become frightened. Sometimes the noise can send them into a  tirade.

Last but not least, HAVE FUN! When you sense that your group is ready to call it a night, respect that. A bucket full of candy isn’t worth tired little ones! Have a safe Halloween!!


Kim Ross also writes at  A Little Bit of This and That ~ The Adventures of a Stay at Home Mom.


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September 20th, 2013 at 9:59 am

Child-proofing your Home

At every doctor’s appointment my pediatrician reminds me that my child’s biggest hazard is himself. This means safety – fire, drowning, choking, poisoning and falls are some of the biggest dangers that children face. A few child-proofing steps can keep your family safe at home.

The Kitchen

  • Install safety latches on all cabinets and drawers to keep children from potentially poisonous household products.
  • Use the stove’s back burners and turn pot handles toward the back of the stove to keep hot pots and pans out of the reach of children.
  • Keep kitchenware and appliances out of reach and away from the edge of counters and tables.
  • Put visual reminders like the Mr. Yuk stickers from poison prevention centers on hazardous items.

The Bathroom

  • Install safety latches on cabinets and drawers to keep children from potentially poisonous household products.
  • Keep the water heater thermostat set to 120 degrees.
  • Unplug hair dryers, flat irons and electric rollers after use. Keep them away from curious children to prevent burns and electrocution dangers with water.
  • Use outlet covers in unused outlets.
 Around the House
  • Use safety gates at the top and bottom of stairs and in the doorways of rooms that you don’t want children in.
  • Put corner and edge bumpers on furniture and other items like a fireplace hearth to protect against injury.
  • Place furniture away from high windows so children won’t climb onto windowsills. Screens aren’t strong enough to keep children from falling through windows.
  • Watch for hanging cords on blinds and window shades.
  • Remove free-falling lids from toy chests.
  • Secure bookcases, shelving, and heavy furniture to walls with brackets and anchors. Put heavier items on bottom shelves and in bottom drawers.

Remember that child-proofing doesn’t make your home 100% safe. It is still important to watch your child at all times.

Kim Ross also writes at  A Little Bit of This and That ~ The Adventures of a Stay at Home Mom.

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August 5th, 2013 at 8:26 am

Car Seat Safety

The car seat is one of the most confusing things I have experienced with my children. I have constantly questioned:

  • Are they in right?
  • Should my child move to the next type of car seat?
  • Where should the seat belt actually be worn?

It may be confusing, but is one of the most important items we purchase as parents. I want to give you some general guidelines on what type of car seat is most appropriate for your child. Be sure to always check the information on the actual seat to determine if that seat is still a good choice for your child.

  • Car seats expire, so be sure to check for the expiration date in the user guide.
  • Car seats are junk after they take part in a moderate or severe crash. Most insurance policies will pay for car seat replacement when an accident occurs.
  • Do not put anything under or behind an infant unless it came with the seat or was made by the manufacturer of the seat.
  • Winter coats and snowsuits can increase injury in infants in a crash. It is a safer choice to tuck blankets over the harness straps.
  • Do not purchase safety seats second-hand. You never know the history or expiration. The integrity of the seat diminishes in crashes and can make the seat unsafe.
  • Look for places that will help you install your seat. Check with your local fire or police station or the following websites:
  • NHTSA (or call NHTSA Vehicle Safety Hotline at 888/327-4236)
  • SeatCheck (or call 866/SEATCHECK [866/732-8243])
  • National Child Passenger Safety Certified Technicians (or call 877/366-8154) This site provides information in Spanish and also provides a list of CPS technicians with enhanced training in protection of children with special needs.

Most importantly – Make sure anyone transporting your child is using the same guidelines you use! 

Kim Ross also writes at  A Little Bit of This and That ~ The Adventures of a Stay at Home Mom.


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July 19th, 2013 at 12:17 pm

Stranger Danger

Every summer our local police department puts on a week long program called Safety City. At this program the kids learn about what to do during a fire, bike safety, approaching animals, what to do when you find a gun, and Stranger Danger. I love all the topics but one that I think is super important during this age is Stranger Danger.

It is important to tell your children that strangers look like normal people, they aren’t always scary looking. They can be in your neighborhood, at the store, or even in the park.  Teach your children they should NEVER take anything a stranger gives them, especially candy. I also tell my boys that they can tell me anything and I will not get mad at them.  This also applies to the rule that NOONE should touch their private parts.

The most important thing is to “rehearse” what your child will do if a stranger goes for them. My sons learned to yell:


Stay Away!

Leave me Alone!

And then to run as fast as they can away to someone they know or a police officer. They need to know that it is okay to say NO to a stranger, to scream, to fight, to kick when they feel unsafe. The rules of “respecting” grownups go away when children are afraid. Children have “gut” feelings just like us and should learn to follow them.

A scary topic for us as parents, but so important to talk with our kids regularly about strangers. Plus, as a parents, we should never get offended if a child acts weird towards us when just meeting us. They are labeling us a stranger and doing the right thing.

What tips do you have to teach about strangers?

Kim Ross also writes at  A Little Bit of This and That ~ The Adventures of a Stay at Home Mom.

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July 27th, 2011 at 5:00 am

Pets, Fire and Carbon Monoxide Poisoning

Two weeks ago, July 15, was National Pet Fire Safety Day. In an earlier post on Pet First Aid, I talked about posting a pet fire emergency sign so first responders know to look for your animals. Many fire departments offer signs or window clings free of charge. Since about a half a million pets are affected by fire every year, here are a few more ways to keep your animals safe.

Create a family disaster plan and be sure to include your pets. Think ahead about where you might take your pet if your family had to leave home in an emergency.

Pets Start More than 1,000 Fires a Year

Never leave your pet unattended around an open flame. Long tails and curious paws can easily knock over a candle. Apparently, the number one place that pets start or spread fire is from the cooktop. If you leave your pet uncrated during the day, you might want to remove or cover the stove knobs.

Keep collars with name tags and phone numbers on your pets at all times, in case they escape during an emergency.

The American Red Cross recommends that you keep young pets, especially puppies, crated while you’re away from home and to keep the crates near an entryway, so firefighters can easily find and move the animals to safety.

Perhaps the best way to protect your entire family is to install and maintain smoke detectors. The US Fire Administration recommends that you:

  • replace your smoke detectors every 8-10 years
  • replace the batteries once or twice a year (a good time to do this is when you change your clocks for daylight savings time)
  • test hardwired smoke detectors once a month

Carbon Monoxide Poisoning

Like the canary in the coal mine, our pets are often affected by the presences of carbon monoxide long before we are. Here are the symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning in animals:

  • nausea
  • vomiting
  • cough
  • loss of stamina
  • uneven gait

If you notice any of these symptoms, call your vet immediately. And install carbon monoxide detectors or combination smoke/carbon monoxide detectors today to protect your entire family.

Susan Bearman also writes at Two Kinds of PeopleMike&Ollie: 24-weekers Who Beat the Odds and The Animal Store Blogas well as being a regular contributor to The Chicago Moms and Technorati.


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