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Tornado Safety For Au pairs and Host Children

Tornado Safety For Au pairs and Host Children

Use the guide below to discuss tornado safety with your host family. Request a meeting to discuss where you would go inside their home and what they expect from you when a warning or a watch is given in your area.

What you need to know about Tornadoes:

What is a Tornado?

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A tornado is a violently rotating column of air extending between, and in contact with, a cloud and the surface of the earth. Tornadoes are generally spawned by thunderstorms, though they have been known to occur without the presence of lightning. The stronger tornadoes attain an awe-inspiring intensity, with wind speeds that exceed 200 mph and in extreme cases may approach 300 mph.

The United States has the highest incidence of tornadoes worldwide, with about 1,000 occurring every year. Tornadoes touch down in the Atlanta area each year.

According to Stu Ostro, a Senior Weather Specialist at The Weather Channel, this is due to the unique geography that brings together polar air from Canada, tropical air from the Gulf of Mexico, and dry air from the Southwest to clash in the middle of the country, producing thunderstorms and the tornadoes they spawn.

Tornadoes can come one at a time, or in clusters, and they can vary greatly in length, width, direction of travel, and speed. They can leave a path 50 yards wide or over a mile wide. They may touch down for only a matter of seconds, or remain in contact with the ground for over an hour.

How do I know if a tornado will touch down where I live?

The National Weather Service broadcasts severe weather conditions on radio, TV, or on NOAA Weather Radio.  Every host family should have a NOAA weather radio in the home or a weather alert app on their phone. The radio or phone app makes a loud alert sound, letting you know there is an emergency.  Ask your host parents to make sure your have this app. Some areas of Atlanta have outside warning sirens. This is a very loud alert sound outside. The siren is activated when a tornado has been sighted in the specific area.

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How does an au pair in your home know there is a watch or warning?

A tornado WATCH means conditions are right for a tornado to occur.  A tornado WARNING means a tornado has been sighted in the posted area or is visible on radar.  A location of the sighting is normally given along with its projected movement.

Become familiar with your specific area. What part of Atlanta do you live? What is the county that you live in? What is the closest major highway or street?  Become familiar with the television channel that will give you details of where a tornado is touching down. During a tornado warning, listen out for info about your area on television.

A Tornado watch has been issued. What Do I do?

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FOR TORNADO WATCHES:

Stay tuned to a local radio or television station or your NOAA Weather Radio. Your phone app can also be helpful.  Local news stations on CBS, ABC and NBC all have very sophisticated technology used by the weather person to give information about the potential for a tornado in a specific area.  Call your host parents for advice about picking up children who are not at home.

Bring all children inside.

DO NOT SEEK SHELTER UNDER A TREE OUTSIDE.

Bring Pets to their safe place.

Secure any loose objects outdoors, or move them inside

Survey local structures for the most suitable shelter

Stay in communication with the host parents to help you decide if the warning will become more serious.    Be alert to changing weather conditions. Look for approaching storms. Look for the following danger signs:

Dark, often greenish sky

Large hail

A large, dark, low-lying cloud (particularly if rotating)

Loud roar, similar to a freight train.

A Warning Is Issued What Do I need to do?

When a tornado warning has been issued, you may have very little time to prepare. How you respond now is critical. OBEY ADVISORIES PROMPTLY! ACT QUICKLY!

In A Frame Home

Seek shelter in the lowest level of your home (basement or storm cellar). If there is no basement, go to an inner hallway, a smaller inner room, or a closet. Keep away from all windows.

Make sure you have a portable radio for information while you are in the safe room. Cover your head and eyes with a blanket or jacket to protect against flying debris and broken glass. Instruct the children to do the same. If you have a bicycle helmet this is ideal!  You can cover yourself with a mattress, but don’t waste time moving mattresses around.

Keep your pet on a leash or in a carrier.

Multiple tornadoes can emerge from the same storm.

If a tornado has hit your area,  do not go out until officials say it is safe. Most injuries from tornadoes occur due to flying debris or down gas or electric connections.

Keep yourself and the children calm. Sing or talk to keep young children distracted. The storm will pass by soon!

If you are outside:

Try to get inside and seek out a small protected space with no windows.

Avoid large-span roof areas such as school gymnasiums, arenas, or shopping malls.

If no inside protection is available, get into a vehicle, buckle your seat belt and try to drive to the closest sturdy shelter.

Stay in the car with the seat belt on. Put your head down below the windows; cover your head with your hands and a blanket, coat or other cushion if possible.

If you can safely get noticeably lower than the level of the roadway, leave your car and lie in that area, covering your head with your hands

If you cannot get inside a car, crouch for protection beside a strong structure, or lie flat in a ditch or low-lying area and cover your head and neck with your arms or a piece of clothing.

Do not get under an overpass or bridge. You are safer in a low, flat location.

Never try to outrun a tornado in urban or congested areas in a car or truck. Instead, leave the vehicle immediately for safe shelter.

Watch out for flying debris. Flying debris from tornadoes causes most fatalities and injuries.

If you are in a car:

Ideally, you should avoid driving when tornadoes or other kinds of dangerous weather threaten, as a vehicle is a very unsafe place to be. If, however, this is not possible, stay as calm as possible, and assess the situation.

The best choice is to take shelter immediately in a nearby building.

If your vehicle is hit by flying debris while you are driving, pull over and park.

If no building is near, one option might be to get out of the car and lie flat in a ditch or other low-lying area that is of sufficient depth to provide protection from the wind If you do so, beware of water runoff from heavy rain that could pose a hazard, get as far away from the vehicle as possible, and shield your head from flying debris.

Do not leave a building to attempt to “escape” a tornado.

If you are already in a sturdy building, do not get in a vehicle to try to outrun a tornado.

This information was obtained in Weather Channel web site. For more information go to:  http://www.ready.gov/tornadoes

 

Sun Safety Tips from Macroni Kids

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Macaroni Kids has some important safety tips. See full article at

https://alpharetta.macaronikid.com/articles/5b19339ca3600634584d781a/have-fun-in-the-sun-with-these-summer-safety-tips-for-kids

Everyone loves summer, especially children.

But while you’re planning some family fun in the sun, be sure to make safety a top priority. Accidents are the leading cause of death for children ages 1 to 4 in the United States, and the summer months bring with them a unique set of risks.

Keep reading for 5 tips to keep your kids safe this summer.

#1: BE SMART WITH SUN SAFETY FOR KIDS

Sunburn, dehydration and sun or heat stroke are among the hot-weather risks parents need to be aware of when young children are playing outside.

  • Sunburn. Apply sunscreen with an SPF of 15 or above, at least 30 minutes before letting children go outside.
    • Reapply every 2 hours, or after swimming or sweating.
    • The sun’s UV rays can penetrate clouds, so you still need protection on overcast days.
    • Have kids wear protective gear, such as sunglasses with UV protection, a hat and tight-knit cotton clothing.
  • Dehydration. Provide plenty of water when kids are engaged in outdoor activities, and avoid sugary or caffeinated drinks.
  • Sun or heat stroke. Plan outdoor activities for earlier in the morning or later in the afternoon when possible. It’s safest to stay indoors between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m., when the sun’s rays are at their strongest.

Babies are at greater risk from excessive sun exposure. Protect your infant with lightweight clothes with long sleeves and legs, a wide-brimmed hat, and a lightweight blanket. Apply baby sunscreen, and choose a stroller with a large canopy to shield those harmful rays.

#2: COOL OFF WITH WATER SAFETY FOR KIDS

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, drowning is the leading cause of injury death for children ages 1 to 4 in the U.S., and over half of all drownings occur in the summer.

Adult supervision and other water safety habits are essential, whether you’re planning a trip to the beach, a day at the lake or just an afternoon splash in the neighborhood pool.

  • We really cannot emphasize this enough: there is no substitute for adult supervision. Never let children swim without an adult or lifeguard on duty.
    • Inflatable swimming aids such as “floaties” provide a false sense of security. Keep babies and toddlers within an arm’s reach at all times while in or near water.
    • Never leave children unattended at the pool for any reason — that includes turning your head to answer the phone, read a book or converse with other adults.
    • Likewise, never leave children unattended in a hot tub.
  • Obey all posted rules at public pools or other swimming areas — especially those pertaining to running and horseplay. Keep wheeled toys away from the water’s edge. Observe all diving rules.
  • If you have a pool at home, keep it securely covered when not in use, and protect it with a childproof fence and locking gate. Don’t allow diving from the side of the pool. A hot tub should have a locking lid.
  • Learn CPR and other First Aid so you’re prepared in the event of an accident.
  • Children must wear a properly-fitting life jacket at all times while riding on a boat, and adults must never consume alcohol while operating a boat.

#3: PREVENT INJURIES WITH PLAYGROUND, CAR AND BIKE SAFETY

Summertime brings with it road trips and lots of outdoor adventures. Don’t let all those fun outings end in tragedy or a trip to the hospital.

  • Car safety for kids. Never let kids ride in the cargo areas of pickup trucks or vans. Children under 12 should ride in the back seat, and properly restrained in an appropriate child safety seat for their height and weight.
  • Bike safety. Bicyclists of all ages, including kids, must wear a properly fitting helmet while riding a bike. Make sure your child’s bike is the right size, and teach him or her to obey all traffic rules while riding.
  • Playground safety. As with other summertime activities, kids should always have adult supervision when having fun on the playground.
    • Equipment should be firmly anchored and well-maintained. There should be shock-absorbing material such as rubber, gravel or wood chips, and equipment should be installed at least 6” from fences or sidewalks.
    • Avoid clothing or accessories that could cause strangulation. These include drawstrings, necklaces or loose-fitting garments.

#4: BE CAREFUL WITH POISON IVY

Poison ivy, poison oak and poison sumac all contain urushiol, a rash-causing substance that produces an allergic reaction in 60-80% of all people.

You don’t even have to touch the plant to be affected. Urushiol can be transferred by touching another person or an article of clothing that has been in contact with an offending plant. If can also be inhaled if a poison ivy plant is burned.

You can reduce the risk to you and your kids by:

Learning to identify poison ivy, poison oak and poison sumac leaves

  • Avoiding outdoor areas where you know poison ivy is present
  • Wearing long sleeves and pants in areas where poison ivy may be present
  • Washing skin as quickly as possible if exposure occurs
  • Bathing and washing clothes after time outdoors
  • Bathing pets who may have been exposed

Symptoms of poison ivy exposure include red, itchy, swollen skin and blisters.

  • Call a doctor if your child develops a fever or any type of rash.
  • The rash typically takes 1-2 weeks to heal.
  • Treatment includes cool showers and soothing lotion to calm the skin.
  • If your child has a severe reaction, your doctor may prescribe pills or creams to promote healing.

#5: WATCH FOR TICK BITES

Always check for ticks after you or your kids have been outdoors during the summertime. Removing the tick as quickly as possible reduces the risk of tick-borne illness such as Lyme disease.

  • Don’t use petroleum jelly or a hot match. These don’t work and may cause the tick to burrow even deeper into the skin.
  • Remove the tick using the following steps:
    • Use tweezers to grasp the tick as close to the skin as possible.
    • Pull firmly and steadily until the tick is removed.
    • Don’t twist or rotate the tick.
    • If part of the tick stays in, it will eventually come out on its own.
    • Gently wash the affected area with soap and water.
  • Call your pediatrician. He or she may prescribe antibiotics if your child is at risk of Lyme disease.
  • Pay attention for symptoms of Lyme disease. Early treatment is crucial for long-term recovery.
    • Red ringed rash around the affected area
    • Red or irritated skin
    • Flu-like symptoms
    • Painful or swollen joints
    • Facial paralysis

Are you thinking about extending your au pair experience?

Extension Year Tips

Choosing to extend is a great choice! It does require some planning and thought before you decide. These facts will be helpful in your decision making process. Call or email your counselor, if you need help making the right choice.

  • You must have at least 72 hours of education completed at the time of your request to extend. If you are currently enrolled in a class that will finish, you’ll need two letters sent to your CC from the institution in which you are enrolled.  One letter must confirm that you are enrolled and the hours you will get. The second letter is written when you finish the course and should state how many hours you earned.
  • If you extend for 12 months, APIA will pay for your flight back home, including any surcharge that you may have. This makes your flight back home FREE!
  • You have a choice to extend for 6, 9 or 12 months.
  • You cannot extend your second year, once it begins. If you choose six months, you cannot stay longer.
  • You may change your mind during your second term and still receive your flight back home, if you give your host family and CC at least one month’s notice.
  • If you are not able to give at least one months notice that you need to leave, you will be required to purchase your own flight home to your country.
  • If you leave early in the second term, you will lose your travel month. You will be expected to return home at the end of your one month notice.
  • There is no guarantee that you will get matched for your second year. Many au pairs do not make a match and return home.
  • Once you are matched with a second term family, you cannot change your mind and choose another family that calls later. You must honor your commitment.
  • Deciding to stay with your current family can work well. Sometimes, there are some things that you will want to change about your second year experience. Talk with your host family to see if they are willing to make the changes you need to stay a second term!
  • Many au pairs underestimate the difficulty getting re-adjusted in a new city. You will not have friends. You will not know your way around. Your host family will be new to you. Your host children will be new. All the comfort of your current situation will be gone. You will be starting over!
  • A second term in a new city can be exciting. You will have an opportunity to make new friends, see a new city and learn another way of life here in the USA!
  • The education requirement still applies in the second year. Standard au pairs will have 250.00 education allowance towards a six month extension. You will need to achieve 40 hours of educating.   500.00 education allowance is given towards a nine and twelve month extension. You will need to achieve at least 72 hours of education.
  • Your transfer to your new second term family is on the last day of your contract. You may not join them earlier or later than this date.

Written by AMCMAINS 2011.