Being knowledgeable in basic first aid and CPR is important for au pairs (and anyone else caring for children). Au Pair in America’s commitment to infant/child safety begins before au pairs arrive to the U.S., with pre-arrival training and continue throughout the au pair year.
#1 Training At Orientation
Our orientation includes seminars by American Red Cross instructors who provide hands-on demonstrations in infant/child CPR and safety. Printed materials are provided that reinforce the safety information and can be used to review from time to time.
#2 Enroll in a Red Cross Certification Class
After settling into their host community, all au pairs are encouraged to complete an Infant/Child CPR and First Aid certification program. Au Pair in America will pay for this training through the American Red Cross.
Classes are available through the Red Cross. Au Pair in America will pay for the cost of a class providing an au pair has at least six months left on her visa and is taking one of several approved childcare/child safety-related classes, such as Adult and Pediatric First Aid/CPR/AED. Au pairs should check with their community counselor and host family before signing up. Au Pair in America will register the au pair directly.
To locate a class, visit www.redcross.org/takeaclass. For step-by-step instructions on how to locate a class and have Au Pair in America complete enrollment, click here.
#3 Stay Current on Safety Information
The Official American Red Cross First Aid app puts expert advice for everyday emergencies in your hand. Available for iPhone and Android devices, this app gives you instant access to the information you need to know to handle the most common first aid emergencies. With videos, interactive quizzes and simple step-by-step advice, it’s never been easier to know first aid. Download the app for free from the American Red Cross website or in your app store.
Photos: Robin Leon
School will resume pretty soon and here are a few good reminders and tips for a safe start:
Courtesy of the Consumer reports.
Every school day 23 million children ride a big yellow bus. While school buses are one of the safest modes of transport, there are real risks in getting on and off and walking to bus stops. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has offered some tips to help students, parents, and motorists safe around buses.
Tips for drivers:
- When backing out of a driveway or leaving a garage, watch out for children walking or bicycling to school. Better yet, walk around your car or out to the sidewalk to check for any children walking in your path before you get in.
- Drive slowly and watch for children walking in the street, especially if there are no sidewalks. Also be aware of children playing or waiting around bus stops.
- Be alert and aware on the road. While children are typically taught about looking both ways, they could dart into the street without looking if they are late or distracted.
- Learn the school bus laws in your state. Yellow flashing lights indicate that the bus is preparing to stop to pickup or drop off children. Drivers need to slow down and prepare to stop. Red flashing lights and an extended stop arm signal indicate that the bus is stopped, and that children are getting on or off. Cars must stop a safe distance away and not proceed until the red lights stop flashing, the stop sign folds back, and the bus continues on its way.
Tips for children:
- Get to the bus stop at least five minutes before the bus is scheduled to arrive.
- When the bus approaches, stand at least 6 feet away from the curb, and line up away from the street.
- Wait until the bus stops, the door opens, and the driver says that it’s okay before stepping onto the bus.
- If you have to cross the street in front of the bus, walk on the sidewalk or along the side of the road to a point at least 10 feet ahead of the bus before you cross. Be sure that the bus driver can see you, and you can see the bus driver.
- Use the handrails to avoid falls. When exiting the bus, be careful that clothing or backpacks don’t get caught in the handrails or doors.
- Never walk behind the bus.
- If you drop something near the bus, tell the bus driver. Never try to pick it up because the driver may not be able to see you.
Now that the start of summer is under way, we will begin our monthly Summer Safety Tips. Come back and check regularly to find out how to spend a safe and wonderful summer with your kids.
Let’s start this off with SWIMMING SAFETY TIPS:
There Is No Substitute for Active Supervision
- Actively supervise children in and around open bodies of water, giving them your undivided attention.
- Whenever infants or toddlers are in or around water, an adult should be within arm’s reach to provide active supervision. We know it’s hard to get everything done without a little multitasking, but this is the time to avoid distractions of any kind. If children are near water, then they should be the only thing on your mind. Small children can drown in as little as one inch of water.
- When there are several adults present and children are swimming, use the Water Watcher card strategy, which designates an adult as the Water Watcher for a certain amount of time (such as 15-minute periods) to prevent lapses in supervision. Download a Water Watcher card here.
Start Slow With Babies
- You can start introducing your babies to water when they are about 6 months old. Remember to always use waterproof diapers and change them frequently.
Educate Your Kids About Swimming Safely
- Every child is different, so enroll children in swimming lessons when you feel they are ready. Teach children how to tread water, float and stay by the shore.
- Make sure kids swim only in areas designated for swimming. Teach children that swimming in open water is not the same as swimming in a pool. They need to be aware of uneven surfaces, river currents, ocean undertow and changing weather.
- Whether you’re swimming in a backyard pool or in a lake, teach children to swim with a partner, every time. From the start, teach children to never go near or in water without an adult present.
Don’t Rely on Swimming Aids
- Remember that swimming aids such as water wings or noodles are fun toys for kids, but they should never be used in place of a U.S. Coast Guard-approved personal flotation device (PFD).
Take the Time to Learn CPR
- We know you have a million things to do, but learning CPR should be on the top of the list. It will give you tremendous peace of mind – and the more peace of mind you have as a parent, the better.
- Local hospitals, fire departments and recreation departments offer CPR training.
- Have your children learn CPR. It’s a skill that will serve them for a lifetime.
Take Extra Steps Around Pools
- A swimming pool is a ton of fun for you and your kids. Make sure backyard pools have four-sided fencing that’s at least 4 feet high and a self-closing, self-latching gate to prevent a child from wandering into the pool area unsupervised.
- When using inflatable or portable pools, remember to empty them immediately after use. Store them upside down and out of children’s reach.
- Install a door alarm, a window alarm or both to alert you if a child wanders into the pool area unsupervised.
Check the Drains in Your Pool and Spa
- Educate your children about the dangers of drain entanglement and entrapment and teach them to never play or swim near drains or suction outlets.
- Pools that pose the greatest risk of entrapment are children’s public wading pools, in-ground hot tubs, or any other pools that have flat drain grates or a single main drain system.
- For new pools or hot tubs, install multiple drains in all pools, spas, whirlpools and hot tubs. This minimizes the suction of any one drain, reducing risk of death or injury. If you do have drains, protective measures include anti-entrapment drain covers and a safety vacuum release system to automatically release suction and shut down the pump should entrapment occur.
- Regularly check to make sure drain covers are secure and have no cracks, and replace flat drain covers with dome-shaped ones. If a pool or hot tub has a broken, loose or missing drain cover, don’t use it.
- If you do have drains, protective measures include anti-entrapment drain covers and a safety vacuum release system to automatically release suction and shut down the pump should entrapment occur. Go to www.PoolSafety.gov for a list of manufacturers of certified covers.
- Check to make sure your pool or hot tub’s drains are compliant with the Pool and Spa Safety Act.
Courtesy of Safekids.org
Outside Temperature :
Inside Vehicle Temperature:
Never leave a child unattended in a vehicle, even with the window slightly open.
Teach children not to play in any vehicle.
Lock all vehicle doors and trunk after everyone has exited –especially at home. Here is a great suggestion from one of my cluster’s host moms:
One thing I always do now—
ALWAYS Leave my door (drivers door) Wide OPEN when I get out of the car. Then I unload the kids and ensure everyone is out before I go back and close my door. That way I know everyone is out before there is potential for locking anyone in.
Keep keys out of children’s reach.
Check vehicles and trunks FIRST if a child goes missing.
Have a safe summer everyone:-)
Dehydration means that the body lacks the necessary amount of fluid. Infants and small children are more likely to become dehydrated than older children or adults, because they can lose relatively more fluid quickly.
Here are some steps to take to make sure children remain hydrated in the summer months:
- Encourage your child to drink plenty of water. On hot days, children should drink significantly more water than usual, as they are losing more due to the heat.
- Do not wait until your child is thirsty to give him water. By the time they feel thirsty, they are already becoming dehydrated.
- If your child is resistant to drinking enough water, have other liquids on hand for your child to drink throughout the day.
- Be alert to changes in behavior. A child may act confused or more irritable when they are becoming dehydrated/overheated. Get them into cooler temperatures and drinking more fluids.
- Dress your child in lightweight clothing in the summer months, particularly if she’ll be playing outdoors in warm weather. You may also consider clothes that are well ventilated as they do not trap heat close to the body.
- When there are heat and/or air quality advisories because the weather is dangerously hot, you should avoid taking the children outdoors. Check with your host parents for further guidance on this topic.
Remember to follow these tips for yourself too, so you stay well hydrated.
Photo: Darwin Bell (Flickr)
We live in a time of constant sharing through social media. We often share pictures, plans of somewhere we are going or rants about problems, without thinking much about who will see it and what could be the consequences.
Before clicking “post”, stop to think:
- Am I violating someone’s privacy?
- Am I sharing personal info. that could put me in danger?
- Would I want my current or a future employer to see this?
This will help protect your privacy and safety as well as that of your host family. It is important to respect your host family’s privacy and not share personal details and information. This applies to all kinds of situations, including: personal conversations, email and social websites.
For your own safety, it is a good idea to be careful what personal information you share about yourself as well. You should not give out information like your telephone number and address to people you don’t know. Safer to meet a new friend in a public place, than to give them your address before knowing them.
Once you post something on the internet (even if you later delete it), it can show up elsewhere. Unless you have specific permission from your host family, you should never post pictures of them, their children or their home on the internet.
If you have a blog or website where you post in your native language, remember there is translation software. So, even if you say it in your native language, be sure it is not something that might be misinterpreted in translation or something you will regret saying.
There are some basic rules to remember to stay safe in the car in difficult driving conditions:
- Start early and take your time
- Accelerate slowly especially on hills
- Drive slowly to avoid having to stop while going up a hill, as it will be hard to start again
- Don’t make any sudden turns or stops,
- Be sure that the mirrors and windows are always free of snow and ice,
- If you skid, try to steer in the direction the car is sliding to regain control.
- The changes in temperature sometimes cause potholes in the streets. If you don’t see the pothole in time to steer around it, apply the brakes before hitting the pothole and release them just before you reach the pothole. If you keep the brake on as you hit the pothole it will do more damage to the tire.
- Try to keep your gas tank at least half full.
- If your wheels spin on ice switch to low gear, even on automatics.
- Leave extra space between you and the car in front of you.
- Remember that bridges and exit ramps are icier than roads.
- Ask what kind of brakes your car has and how to use them in case of a skid.
June 21st marks the first day of summer- Long hot days make for children to need some quiet time. Relax and unwind at the end of the day with some summertime reading.Pick out a few good books at the library and make a point to go back weekly.Most libraries will have a summer reading program and a list of age appropriate books you can choose from.
Also,observe some simple safety rules when playing outside during the summer:
- Apply sunscreen regularly
- Stay hydrated
- Never ever leave anyone-infant,child,pets- alone in a parked car. Consequences are fatal .
Watch this video and share it :http://diply.com/beinglatino/mom-leaves-child-in-car/124531
- Make sure metal slides are cool to prevent children’s legs from getting burned.
- Do not allow children to play barefoot on the playground.
- Supervise children on play equipment to make sure they are safe
- Never leave a child alone in or near the pool or spa area.Always be within arm’s reach.
The days are starting to grow longer and warmer and children are able to spend more time outdoors. Go out and help them discover the wonders of Spring.
Put some string or yarn outside. Watch to see if it gets carried away to become part of a bird’s nest.
Watch for sprouts of early bulbs and look for buds on trees and bushes that are starting to swell. Cut small branches and put them in a vase of water in the house. Watch as the flowers or leaves start to unfold.
If you live near a pond , look for frog eggs or go to a nature center that has a pond. You can bring some home by putting pond water and a small clump of frog eggs in a container. Take some weeds from the pond too. About a week after they hatch , feed them fish food. When their back legs have grown put them back in the pond.
Take advantage of the spring breeze and blow bubbles, fly a kite or make a homemade pinwheel:
Draw an X on a square piece of paper from corner to corner. Cut halfway along each line and fold alternate corners into the center. Overlap the points and connect it to a stick with a pin. A bead behind the head of the pin may help it to spin better.
Collect early Spring flowers and press them between sheets of newspaper weighted down with heavy books for a week or two. Once dry, arrange them on paper and glue them down –make greeting cards, book marks, or a picture.
Children are in danger of being hit by a car if they dart out into the street while playing. Children should be supervised at all time when playing, especially in public places.
Children of all ages like to climb. They fall off play equipment and bicycles, down stairs and off furniture. Lock doors to dangerous places such as basement stairs, use gates on stairways and window guards above the first floor.
HAVE A SAFE AND HAPPY SPRING!