Tag Archives: safety

Fire Safety For Kids

firephoto by matthewvenn

We were in Chicago over the weekend and visited the Children’s Museum at Navy Pier. If you ever have a chance to go, I highly recommend it. One of their exhibits is on fire safety. There is a firetruck to climb on, fireman costumes to dress up in, pretend hoses to spray, flashing lights, radios, and a bedroom with lightweight fabric draped all around to simulate smoke. The bedroom is to train kids to “get low and go” to stay under the smoke. They find their way in the dark, under the hanging “smoke.” It’s a great opportunity to talk to kids about fire safety. They had brochures for parents to pick up, so I did. I know we need to work a little more on a concrete plan.

Here are the 10 Steps to Fire Safety (from the Chicago Fire Department):

Smoke Detectors Save Lives! Put a smoke detector outside your sleeping areas. Change batteries twice a year (when you change your clocks) and test them monthly so kids can hear the beeping sound.

Have an Escape Plan! Create and practice escape routes from different areas of your house – especially from your bedrooms at night.

Sleep With Doors Shut! Fire travels through open areas first. Closed doors help keep fire and smoke from spreading.

Get Low and Go! Smoke and heat rise toward the ceiling. Air is more breathable near the floor.

Never Hide – Crawl Outside! Young children may fear the sights and sounds of firefighting equipment. Talk about why they should NEVER hide from firefighters, no matter what.

Know Two Ways Out! A fire may block a certain path. Know two ways out of the house or building.

Feel Every Door! As you crawl, feel doors with the back of your hand. Don’t open a door if it’s hot – there may be flames on the other side.

Go to the Family Meeting Place! Make sure everyone knows where to meet after they leave the home (a neighbor’s house, street corner, or particular tree).

Call 911 for Help! It’s OK to scream and yell in an emergency. Find a neighbor and call 911.

Practice Your Escape Plan! Practicing how to exit your home in a fire is the BEST way to prepare.

If your child has disabilities, call your local fire department’s non-emergency number and explain your family’s situation. They can suggest escape plans, perform a home fire-safety inspection, and recommend special equipment, such as smoke alarms with flashing lights and vibrating elements to place under pillows.

More information for those with disabilities:

U.S. Fire Administration

Great books for kids:

A Day with Firefighters

Fighting Fires

Firefighters A to Z

Fire Truck

I Want to be a Firefighter

No Dragons for Tea: Fire Safety for Kids (and Dragons) – we love!

Free coloring book download

If your child is curious about fires, the bedroom is the most common place for children to “play” with fire. If you suspect your child is experimenting, look for burnt matches or burn marks under your child’s bed, desk or in the closet, and GET EXPERT ADVICE.

Hopefully, you never need any of this information, but if you do, preparedness is key and can truly save lives.

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Posted by on August 23, 2011 in Parenting tips, Special Needs


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ID Bracelet Giveaway

CONTEST CLOSED. “Kel” (Comment #4) was the winner. Waiting for her contact information to send out her prize. Wish I had one to give to all of you! Thanks for entering.

We recently purchased a MY-MED ID bracelet for Jenna. It’s similar to the one shown above and features a USB storage device enclosed in water resistant silicone. The storage device includes already installed software that allows you to simply fill in the blanks with important information for your child. Programming the information was as easy as plugging in the USB device and filling in the blanks!

Before we ordered Jenna’s, I accidentally ordered the MY-ID bracelet (the one pictured above). It’s the same idea, but doesn’t include as many pre-programmed spaces for medical information. This is good news for you, because you get to benefit from my mistake! That’s right! I’m giving away the above pictured MY-ID bracelet to one lucky reader!

I think these bracelets are priceless for kiddos who are prone to wander, especially if they’re non-verbal. I can even see advantages for “typical” kids when visiting theme parks, festivals, malls, or other places where there might be a higher likelihood of being separated. Even though the MY-ID bracelet doesn’t include multiple spaces specifically for medical information, there’s a “Notes” section where medical conditions or medications could be included. From the MY-BANDS website:

“Each band comes with instructions for loading numerous emergency contacts onto the USB device, so emergency personnel have easy access to this critical information so they can reunite you with your child. There is also enough space to upload a current photo and scanned fingerprint.

MY-ID is unique as it holds the emergency contact information of whom to call when a child is lost, or missing, NOT the childs name and personal information.”

Jenna usually doesn’t like wearing jewelry of any kind, but this band is light and comfortable and she never complains. In fact, she loves wearing it, and frequently prompts me to remember that she needs to put it on!

To enter the giveaway, all you have to do is leave a comment! Simple as that! Make sure you include an email address so we can contact you if you win.

Contest details:

  • Only 1 entry per person
  • Winner will be selected at random using a random number generator
  • Contest ends at midnight on August 5
  • A winner will be selected and announced on August 6 during the chat/blog hop for BlogHer at Home
  • Winner will be contacted via email

For more fabulous prizes and fun over the next week, be sure to check out the BlogHer at Home website!

Disclaimer: I didn’t receive any payment or products for writing this post. The opinions expressed here are completely my own.


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Choosing a Booster Seat for the Car

Like many parents, we did a lot of research before we purchased a booster seat. We narrowed our choices down to the Britax Frontier 85, and the Clek Oobr largely based on safety ratings and the fact that we wanted a booster with a back and headrest. We realized that this would be significantly more costly, but given the fact that Jenna will probably be in one for the next 3-5 years (depending on her growth) we felt like the seat would be “safety insurance,” and the assurance of safety is key and basically priceless.

We decided to go look at both models and have Jenna sit in them to make our final decision, only to learn that (where we live) neither model is available in stores. Both were listed as “online purchase only” everywhere we looked. So, we decided to order both from Amazon and return the one that didn’t work. We ended up choosing the Britax (pictured above), but I always love hearing pros and cons from people who’ve actually compared products, so I thought I’d share our thoughts & observations.

* Even if you have no interest in either of these seats, please take a moment to review the safety ratings for all booster seats here and the basic information for fitting a booster seat (if you haven’t already)!*

Pros For Both:

  • Excellent safety rating
  • Very easy to install via the LATCH system
  • Easy to adjust headrest
  • Easy to thread seat belt guides (the Britax uses the car’s belt when shoulder height excedes 20″)
  • Rated for use to 100 lbs (Clek) & 120 lbs (Britax)
  • Arm Rests
  • Cup Holder (2 built in for Britax – 1 clipped on for Clek)
  • Excellent padding on sides of headrest for side impact protection

Pros Specific to Clek (pictured directly above):

  • Super-clear instruction manual. Very easy to read with great illustrations. Well done, Clek!
  • Easy to remove fabric covers
  • Contemporary look (according to Jenna: it looks grownup instead of like a “baby” carseat)
  • Option to recline seat (easily) for more comfortable sleeping/riding
  • Storage compartment for instructions built-in *under the seat* BRILLIANT, Clek!
  • More fun/funky fabrics to choose from, including this & this from Paul Frank
  • Some might consider it a “pro” that the back can be removed to create a standard booster (we didn’t because no side impact protection for the head)

Clek Cons:

  • Not as much seat padding as the Britax Frontier (or maybe just firmer? It didn’t feel as cushioned)
  • Clip-on cup holder
  • No 5-point harness
  • Within 2 minutes of sitting in the car with the seat belt fastened, Jenna slid her arm our of the shoulder strap. Without a doubt, this would be a common occurrence & an ongoing battle w/her. No shoulder belt = SERIOUSLY decreased safety (obviously)

Granted, the shoulder belt escape move is somewhat of a “discipline” issue, but it won’t be accomplished overnight, and as easy as it was for her to slide out of it, I have to wonder if it would sometimes happen accidentally. (Jenna’s  44″ and 43 lbs, for the record) Regardless of whether the action would be purposeful or accidental, it’s one more thing to worry about, and when it’s just one of us driving in the car with her, it would be difficult to constantly monitor.

The 5-pt harness on the Britax Frontier was the main selling point for us. For a comparable price, it seemed like a fairly large safety difference. Even though it means a little more time for fastening, we feel like it’s worth it for the safety factor. Not only does the 5-pt harness keep her secure and avoid the shoulder-escape-maneuver, it also prevents “submarining,” which is common in safety tests with standard boosters (when the child slides out of the shoulder belt and under the lap harness).

Jenna declared that SHE liked the Britax better because the 5-pt harness felt more comfortable (she said the shoulder belt felt tight and rubbed her “funny” with the Clek), it was more “cushy,” and it had two cup holders (versus only one on the Clek). She apparently has plans to hold snacks or toys in the second holder. 🙂

The Britax featured all of the same “pros” as the Clek, with the exceptions of:

  • A more complicated instruction manual, even though installation and adjustments are just as simple
  • More complicated removal of covers for washing (although I’ve done it w/a Britax carseat & it’s doable)
  • No option to recline the seat
  • The arm rests don’t seem as long (might be a “pro” when getting in & out, though)

One of the features that drew us to the Clek was the recline feature because we frequently have LONG car trips to grandparents’ and medical specialists. We thought reclining might make it easier and more comfortable for Jenna to sleep. However, the recline feature was simply not enough to win out over the outstanding safety of the 5-pt harness system of the Britax. I also have some questions about whether the safety of the Clek is compromised in any way when placed in the recline position, but I didn’t find any data on this.

Both look to be excellent, well designed/constructed seats with many positive features and excellent safety ratings. In a nutshell, the 5-point harness and excellent safety rating of the Britax wins out for us.

Disclaimer: This is not an ad! I received no compensation for this review, although I gladly will if someone would like to offer it.


Posted by on March 28, 2011 in Jenna, Product Reviews, Travel


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