There are so many tragic stories involving kids and cars, ranging from being left in the heat to being hurt in the driveway. Cars are a wonderful convenience, but they also must be treated with respect when it comes to safety, most importantly when it comes to our children. Caution should be observed at all times when it comes to those who cannot take care of themselves. It is our job as parents, friends, and fellow drivers to use proactive precaution when it comes to our little ones.Read More
One of the best things about summer is sitting on the back deck with your favorite drink in hand and juicy meat on the grill. All over Northern Virginia throughout the summer you’ll smell the aromas of backyard grills, enticing you to go home and do the same. While this is an essential part of summer, you must at all times practice grill safety. Countless homes have burned down and people injured because of careless and improper grill usage.
First off, never attempt to grill inside or in an enclosed area. Keep your grill away from the house and away from anything flammable. If you are in your yard, be sure there are no bushes or trees near the grill. When lighting or using the grill, also be sure that any children or pets keep a safe distance.
While in Use
Always be sure the lid is open when lighting a grill. Check your propane tank regularly for any possible leaks. While cooking, never leave your grill unattended. You must always be watchful to ensure nothing catches fire and there is not a smell of gas while you’re cooking.
After You’re Done
You should regularly clean your grill once you’re done cooking to remove excess grease and food debris. Be sure that you have turned off the gas. For charcoal grills, let the coals completely cool before disposing of them properly. Check once more to be sure there are no leaks with your propane tank. (An easy test is rubbing your hose with soap water. If there are bubbles, you have a leak!) If you do have a leak, call a professional to repair it or the fire department if you cannot get the leak to stop by turning off the gas. Summer is all about having fun outside and enjoying the company of your neighbors and friends. It is definitely worth taking a few extra precautions to ensure this time does not result in a disaster for all! For more information on home safety, please reach out to us at Watch Guard – we’d love to hear from you!
Did you know there is an invisible killer that takes as its victims hundreds of Americans every year and injures thousands more? It sneaks into your home, sometimes at night, and quietly does its job until you either feel so sick you go to the ER or you simply never awaken. This may sound scary and depressing, but the reality is that carbon monoxide poisoning takes far too many lives, especially the young and elderly. The good news is, though, that you can easily take measures to prevent yourself from becoming a victim and to alert you when it is trying to take over your home.Read More
Summer is in full swing, which means lots of trips to the pool, park, and beach! You’ll be making some of the best memories of your life during these summer months, but are you prepared for the risks that come along with this for your kids? We often talk about the good old days when we could ride our bikes around our neighborhood and be gone until sun down with no worries. We were up and at ‘em bright and early and explored the whole town with our friends until we saw the sun setting in the evening sky. Pick up baseball in the field, belly flops into the pool, and hanging upside down at the park – that was our summer.
Unfortunately, long gone are those days for our children now. We must take extreme precautions, now more than ever, to ensure our kids’ safety during these restless summer days. With cell phones and television as the main source of entertainment, we must proactively guarantee our children stay active in the outdoors but safe, as well.
How do we do that?
Provide Supervised Freedom
Studies have shown that children who are free to experience mistakes, and even some injuries, on their own do better later on in life. We cannot suffocate our children by constantly hovering and having them avoid important life lessons. On the flip side, though, it is our duty to protect these little ones entrusted to us. As a good middle ground, allow them to play in the backyard while you’re watching through the window. At the park, let them run around and make friends without you being a referee, but also have one eye on them at all times. Children need to feel a sense of freedom and independence in order to grow and mature, but always be there ready to step in when necessary.
Join in the Fun
Although independence is critical, so is time together. At busy public places such as ballparks, community pools, theme parks, and beaches, you should always stay side by side with them. These are target areas for any potential wrongdoers to your children, as all it takes is a blink or a glance away for them to snatch your child right up. So instead of depriving your kids of the fun to be had at these places, just jump right in with them. Ride the rollercoasters and jump in the waves - after all, you have that legendary belly flop to impress the younger generation! Remember, though, that bathrooms are especially dangerous at these locations, so always accompany your kids, no matter how old they are.
Trust Your Gut
It may not be scientifically proven, but there is no denying the power of the parental gut instinct. If your kid is asking you to go somewhere and it just doesn’t sit right, don’t trust it. If you sense there is just something off about the parent who’s offering your child a ride, you’re probably right. If those clouds off in the distant make your stomach turn, then get them out of the pool and into the house. Despite having limitless technology, communication, and information at our fingertips, sometimes the best decision just comes right down to what your gut says. Go with it.
Now, once you are indoors, if you want to discuss further steps to take to guarantee a fun and safe home environment for those rainy days and summer nights, please give us a call at Watch Guard today!
Pool season is officially upon us, and that means we need to be ever watchful of our little ones. This is uniquely true for home pool owners who have to be concerned over not only their own children’s safety, but also the safety of the area neighborhood kids who may attempt access to their pool.
Securing your Pool
Hopefully, if you do own a pool, you have already done your research and ensured you are following your local and state guidelines. Such guidelines include the height and access points of your fence, alarm systems, drain and pool covers, etc. It is critical that you follow these for pools, hot tubs, and any outdoor water or spa structures. Pools in the summer are like magnets for kids, and they may not always ask or knock before jumping in. Their life may depend on you knowing these guidelines and strictly adhering to them in order to make your pool a secured area.
Knowing the Signs of Drowning
If you are a pool owner, educate yourself on the signs of drowning. It is not what you see depicted in movies – a person cannot cry for help and will not be splashing around. They will be silent, perhaps grasping for air, using their arms to push themselves up enough to get their mouths just above the water line. Their eyes will either be closed or unable to focus. If you have any suspicion, always, always err on the side of concern. If they can’t answer you, they’re not ok. If kids playing in the pool stop making noise, then it is highly unlikely that everything is fine – that’s not normal. Parents or supervisors of children playing in the pool are not there to lay out or enjoy a cool drink – they need to be there to carefully and observantly watch the kids to ensure the safety of the little ones just wanting to have some summer fun. It may come down to seconds when saving a child from drowning, so don’t look away!
Practicing Safety in the Pool
For those younger children or those who do not know how to swim, use lifejackets and not the arm floaties. Especially after applying sunscreen, those can pop right off of their arms while in the water. If you are with several kids, have them use a buddy system and never swim alone; however, do not allow another child to be the responsible person. An adult still needs to be the one watching for the signs of drowning or any other dangerous water behavior. Do not allow children to play near drains or run on the slippery areas surrounding a pool. It would be wise to learn CPR and always have a phone near the pool to easily and quickly call 911.
Pools are the epitome of summertime fun, but unfortunately, pools are also fatal for hundreds of children every year. When children are in the water, they must be your one and only focus – there will be plenty of time for adult swims and sunbathing later once they are out of the pool.