Halloween is just around the corner and if your house is anything like mine the focus is on what costume we are going to wear and which neighborhoods give out the best candy! Halloween is a fun and exciting time for kids, but as parents we need to make sure our little ghosts, Darth Vaders, or princesses are being safe. At Life Skills First Aid we want Halloween to be filled with wonder and enjoyment so here are some tips to follow to make it scarily safe.
- Costumes should be flame resistant with reflective strips so that children are more easily seen at night.
- Glow sticks are a great way to make your child seen,wrap them around wrists or wear as necklaces.
- Use face paint rather than masks or things that will cover the eyes. It’s already dark out and seeing through a mask makes it that much more difficult.
- Walk on sidewalks, or well lit paths- not in the street. Stay on one side to trick or treat then cross the road once (at crosswalk) and continue down. Don’t crisscross your way down the road.
- Visit homes that are well lit.
- Do not enter a house or apartment, only accept candy outside the home. Do not get into a car with a stranger.
- If your child is old enough to trick or treat without an adult (yikes!) set agreed-to route and explain the importance of arriving home on time. Ensure your child is in a group and not alone. (I will probably dress up as a ninja and follow stealthy behind when this happens!)
- Remind your kids not to eat their treats and goodies until they are examined by an adult at home. Remember to not eat candy that is opened.
In our house my son has a nut allergy so we end up trading out the treats he can’t eat for ones I buy. (plus when he goes to bed I get my fix of Peanut Butter Cups and O’Henry Bars!!!).
This is a great holiday for the kids and can be a lot of fun for the adults too! To go over these tips with your kids make a game out of it. Write a list of do’s and don’ts on a board and see if you kids can answer each correctly, maybe they get an early Halloween treat for all the right answers. Do a “dry run” of your route. Have a safety chat while carving pumpkins.
Have a scarily safe Halloween!
Life Skills First Aid, it’s not just training it’s a LIFE SKILL.
I can’t believe the summer is half over! I just got back from an amazing family vacation to Nova Scotia where my in laws have a cottage on a lake. My kids were in heaven, each day was filled with a variety of swimming, jet skiing, fishing or playing in the paddle boat. Now that we are home we plan on doing the same here with all the incredible lakes, rivers and beaches the Cowichan Valley has to offer. I am sure most of you are doing the same. With all this beautiful weather it is hard to think of a better way to spend the rest of the summer than at the water. So I figured now was a good time to remind you all how important it is to be Water Smart.
Every year hundreds of Canadians drown while participating in water activities. What was supposed to be a fun-filled day quickly turns into a preventable tragedy. According to a Canadian Red Cross Report:
- Young kids 1-4 years of age and Males ages 15-44 are at the greatest risk of drowning.
- Drowning is one of the leading causes of unintentional death for Canadian Children ages 1-4.
- Other factors in adult water-related incidents included alcohol consumption.
While these are scary facts they are all preventable. One of the easiest ways to prevent an incident is always watch kids in and around water…ALWAYS. And not the kind where you are reading your book on the sand and glancing up every few minutes. You need to ACTIVELY SUPERVISE them.Kids can disappear within seconds, and a small child can drown in only a few centimeters of water. Plus isn’t swimming with your kids way more fun than burning on the beach.
If you are unsure of your childs swimming ability put them in a lifejacket/ PFD, but remember you still need to watch them. A lifejacket is not a substitute for you.
It’s also a great idea to put your kids in Red Cross Swim Lessons. They will not only learn how to swim but they will be taught Water safety Skills as well.
You can register your kids in Red Cross Swim Lessons at Cowichan Aquatic Centre and Crofton Outdoor Pool visit http://www.northcowichan.ca for the swim lesson shedule.
Make sure you are familiar with where you are swimming, don’t dive if it is shallow or you are unsure of the depth. Know the drop off area, and always wear a lifejacket / PFD when doing any kind of boating activity.
For more information about lifejackets and PFD’s check out the Red Cross Website http://www.redcross.ca
Take a First Aid course so you are prepared to deal with any unexpected emergencies that could arise. Keep a First Aid kit stocked and accessible.
Summer is half way over, get out there and soak up the sun! Be Water Smart and you will ensure you and your family will have a great time.
Here’s a picture on our trip of my two kids doing just that.
Home Alone…Stay Safe
I am not going to lie I am really looking forward to the day when my kids are able to stay at home alone. Don’t get me wrong I will be super nervous and probably phone a million times to make sure nothing is burning and no one is fatally wounded (or setting booby-traps to catch burglars), but not having to arrange child care last minute or rush home to make sure my kids are picked up will be pretty great. Oh and as an added bonus I won’t have to add an additional $10.00/hr to my date night bill to pay the sitter (sorry honey we can’t have the steak, we have to pay the sitter lol!). But my kids are 5 and 7 so I still have a few years to go.
School is done for summer (Wahoo!) and for some of you this is a transition year, your kids are not little anymore. This may be the year when they are going to be home for the day while you are at work or they may be off to their babysitting job (we have a course for that too!). If you are like me you want to make sure your kids are ready for the new responsibility that they will be taking on. I have great news! The Red Cross has launched a new program called Stay Safe, this course is designed for kids age 9-13 who will be staying at home without adult supervision for periods of time (in the province of BC children 10 and older can stay home alone, if there are other siblings or kids they must be 12 years old).
Stay Safe covers topics such as:
How to stay safe at home and in the community without the direct supervision of an adult.
The importance of setting and following rules while at home alone.
How to prepare for, recognize and respond to unexpected situations (eg. unexpected visitors, inclement weather, strangers).
Basic First Aid
The Stay Safe course is 5-6 hours and can be broken up into two days. Each participant will receive a certification at the end of the course and will leave with the tools they need to safely stay home alone with confidence. The BEST PART is you the parent/caregiver will feel a little less nervous about this new independence your child will have.
If you are interested in this course please contact me at email@example.com.
Just before Christmas 2008 I became pregnant with my first baby. I had a really easy pregnancy with no crazy symptoms. I ate a healthy diet (except for the cookie dough blizzard and onion rings, yes together!), I exercised moderately, took my prenatal vitamins and all in all did everything you are supposed to.
My delivery was…well it was super long and painful and I am glad it is over but hey I had a beautiful (big) baby boy and the world was a wonderful place. Isaac was a great baby, so happy and easy-going (he is still that way). When he was 10 months old I thought I would defy the doctor’s advice…eeek (pause for effect), and I gave him a bit of peanut butter on his lip. We had no history of food allergies in our family and up until then Isaac had been loving all foods (He was also breastfed for a year). So when his lip turned red and he started to scratch his face you can imagine my shock and horror at what I was witnessing.
Allergies! Oh no not my kid!!!
Yep. My Kid. My perfect wonderful kid has a nut allergy, an anaphylaxis allergy. We have since had him tested (twice) and he is allergic to ALL NUTS! Now I am very aware that an allergy is minor in the grand scheme of things, I mean it is avoidable and treatable and as far as allergies go there is almost no other allergy that is as widely labeled. Everything now shows it has nuts, is nut free, or may contain traces. It’s pretty amazing really. That being said I am a mom and from the moment that test showed two happy pink stripes I have been in a constant state of worry and fear for the well-being of my child. All you parents out there know what I am talking about right. So of course I would prefer no allergies or an allergy that caused hives instead of vomiting, swelling of the lips, throat and tongue, but that is not the case.
So Isaac wears an Epipen as well as a Medic Alert bracelet (it is a cool black strap and metal ID). Whenever he goes to someones house I also remind the parents that he has an allergy to all nuts (the poor parents, you can almost see their brains trying to remember all the foods in the house that may be a probem…LOL! ) then to really make them nervous I have to ask if they are comfortable using an Epipen. Most parents are honest if they don’t know how and that is when I bust out my EpiPen trainers (Ya, First Aid Instructor!!!) and give them the demo. Isaac has also taken the trainers to school for share day and all the kids and the teachers get to practice using them. It’s cool for Isaac to show his peers how to use his EpiPen and it is a nice reassurance that if he should need it at school there are lots of people who will know how to help him.
The school that my kids go to recently sent home a brochure about the Medic Alert ID bracelets. They have a program with participating schools called No Child Without, which provides a free Medic Alert ID to any student who has a medical condition. I immediately called and they were super helpful and Isaac received a really cool looking black velcro wrist band in less than two weeks. I will include the link incase anyone wants to look into this for their child. Its http://www.nochildwithout.ca.
Isaac is now 7 years old and while we have only had two minor incidents I know the possibility is always there. We have encouraged him to always try new foods and read labels, he is super responsible and always asks about ingredients before he eats something unknown. He carries his EpiPen at all times (I still have to remind him…but hey he is a busy boy!) and I know that if he needed it he would know what to do.
So would you know what to do? Could you recognize an allergic reaction? The signs and symptoms of anaphylaxis? Would you think to check for a Medic Alert bracelet? Could you administer or help someone administer an EpiPen? If not, thats ok I can help. So many people now have allergies and it is important to educate yourself on how to help, I offer many different Red Cross First Aid Courses that educate you on how to prevent, recognize, and provide care for emergencies.
You can also download the red cross first aid app there is information on allergies and anaphylaxis and how to provide care for these emergencies.
If you would like to set up a First Aid course for your staff, group of friends or club contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
“It’s not just First Aid Training it’s a Life Skill”
I now live in Duncan BC on Vancouver Island (yippee!) When we moved here however so many people joked about the island sinking into the ocean following an earthquake…dun dun duuuuu! Even though I am not a believer in the island sinking theory I must admit that earthquakes happen here and we need to be prepared. Not just for earthquakes but for any emergency, after all they are called emergencies for a reason. It’s not called a scheduled disaster or a planned “let’s see how well everyone can do during a fire”. Emergencies happen suddenly and without warning. My kid’s school has asked parents to provide a “Comfort Kit” for each student in the event of an emergency in which kids are separated from their parents for a prolonged period of time. This got me thinking about how my family would react to a sudden emergency and if we were prepared for the unexpected. So are you prepared?
If you think you are that is great, your ahead of most. If you are like the rest of us you probably have been meaning to pack a “go” bag or store up on supplies, but just keep putting it off. Well here is your nudge. I am going to give you a list of things to put into a “go” bag in the event of an emergency. As well as some tips that you may not have thought about.
In most cases you will want to fill a large backpack with enough supplies to get you through 72 hours. Remember that you will need enough for everyone in your household so add more or take some away depending on your number. It’s also a good idea to have more than one. You may want a bag in your home and your vehicles, remember you may not be home when you need it. Even if you don’t plan on having a “Go Bag” it is a great idea to keep First Aid Kits in your home and all vehicles. Ok here is the list of supplies for a 72 hour Emergency Preparedness “Go Bag”:
Fill a large backpack with the following:
- Tent (small and light)/ Large Tarp
- Blanket or compact sleeping bag
- Duct Tape (can use to secure a shelter or almost any else!)
- Poncho/Rain gear
- Gloves/Hat (for warm and cold weather)
- extra pants and warm shirt (you can cut them incase of warm weather)
- extra socks/ boots/runners (I would opt for boots as they will hold up better in wet or cold conditions)
- Body warmers Reflective Blankets
- Headlamp/Flashlight (extra batteries)
- fire starter/ lighter or matches (the light anywhere kind)
- Glow Sticks (dollar store sells)
- Swiss Army Knife (with can opener)
- Copies of ID (Drivers License, passport, birth certificates, SIN, Medical Care Card)
- Copy of Immunization Records
- Copy of Marriage Certificates
- Photo of Family
- Recent photo of kids
- Extra Cash ($50-$100)
- Pencil and small note pad
- USB with any other important documents. Insurance policy, photos of home and contents etc.)
- Cell phone and charger (wall and car)
- Water! Potable ready to drink. At least 1 gallon per person per day for 3 days.
- Reusable bottle (Nalgene etc..)
- Walter filtration tablets for purifying water once you run out. (Coffee filters are great to strain any debris that may be in the water before you use the filtration tablets.)
- Headlamp or flashlight (extra batteries)
- Fire starter and matches (light anywhere kind)
- glow sticks
- High calorie and energy food like power bars, protein bars, granola bars
- Meals-ready-to-go are also good
- beef jerky, dried fruit and non perishables that are light to carry.
- packets of re-hydration powder (Gatorade) to mix in water.
First Aid Kit
- Emergency First Aid Kit. You can purchased one from the Red Cross or you can make your own. Your kit should include at least the basics:
- Sterile Gauze
- first aid manual
- medical tape
- scissors, gloves, tweezers
- triangle bandage
- pocket mask / barrier device
- medications extra medication for each member of the family for at least 7 days. Such as inhalers, heart medications, epipens (take a photo of the prescription in case you lose the bottle).
- Radio with batteries
- Leash/Collar with ID and contact info
- Any medications
- Zip lock bags (large)
- garbage bags (ground sheet/ poncho etc.)
- bug spray/ sunscreen
- Toilet paper, sanitary napkins, baby wipes.
- Small and light games for kids (cards, travel game)
This is a suggested list, you can add or take away to customize it to you (for instance if you have a baby you will include diapers and formula). Hopefully you will never need it but if you do you will be so happy you took the time to prepare this for you and your family.
Another amazing way to prepare yourself for emergencies is to take a Red Cross First Aid Course. I offer a variety of First Aid Training options so check out my courses page to find the right one for you.
You can also download the Red Cross First Aid App in the App Store and on Google Play.
For more information about First Aid Kits click on the Red Cross link below.
Hope this helps everyone feel a little safer and more prepared. Happy packing!
I have spent the past 5 years in isolated communities in Northern BC, we did not have cell service…I know some of you may need a minute for that to sink in. So when we moved back to Duncan, Vancouver Island this past June we bought our first smart phones, that’s right the last cell phone I had was a flip up with a the text key pad. I was immediately stuck by how much “stuff” a phone could now do. It’s not that I had been living under a rock or anything I knew about apps and stuff, but had never experienced it first hand. So amazing.
So as a training partner with the Red Cross I knew they had developed a First Aid app, I am so impressed. This free app is so easy to use, and works for IPhone, IPad and Android. You can learn about different emergencies like choking, broken bones, and stings or bites. There are short quizzes to take to test your knowledge. The Emergency category breaks down step by step how to handle a medical emergencies. There is even an Emergencies Abroad section that lists every country and has an audio translation of “I need an ambulance” and “my location is” in the country’s language.
While this app is in no way a substitute for training, it is a great support and learning tool. The best way to prepare yourself for an emergency is by taking a Red Cross First Aid Course. According to a poll conducted by the Red Cross in 2014, only 1 in 5 Canadians have taken a CPR course in the past 3 years. If you are one of the 4 people who has not taken a CPR or First Aid course in the past 3 years now is the time. Contact me to set up a course for your business or to inquire about an upcoming course at email@example.com.
Don’t forget to download the free Red Cross First Aid app today, http://www.redcross.ca/app or visit Apple App Store of Google Play Store.