Holiday Cooking Safety Tips

Cooking brings family and friends together. With the holiday season around the corner, you may find yourself spending more time in the kitchen cooking for family gatherings and holiday parties. According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), cooking fires are the number one cause of home fires and home injuries. Follow these fire-safe tips to prevent cooking fires and keep your family and friends safe this holiday season.

Check yourself and your surroundings.
• Never wear loose or baggy clothing while cooking. If you have long hair, be sure to tie it back.
• Keep objects that can catch fire away from your stovetop.
• Make sure sharp objects and containers with hot liquids are away from the edge of the counter.
• Turn pot handles toward the back of the stove.

Be alert while cooking.
• Stay in the kitchen while you are frying, boiling, grilling, or broiling food. If you leave the kitchen for even a short period of time, turn off the stove.
• If you are simmering, baking, or roasting food, check it regularly, remain in the home while food is cooking, and use a timer to remind you that you are cooking.

Have a Kid-Free Zone.
• When cooking with kids in the home, have a “kid-free zone” of at least 3 feet around the stove and areas where hot food or drink is prepared or carried.

Working smoke alarms save lives.
• Most importantly, remember to test and check your smoke alarms. Replace any smoke alarm that is 10 years old.

Safety tips brought to you by Wellington Fire Protection District.

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Wellington Fire Protection District
8130 3RD ST., P.O. BOX 10, WELLINGTON, CO 80549
Phone: (970) 568-3232 Website: http://www.WFPD.org

Teen Drivers – What’s a Parent to Do?

Written by Heidi McBroome, Insurance Agent at All About Insurance.

Because teenagers are new drivers, they simply don’t have the behind-the-wheel experience necessary to understand the dynamics associated with driving a motor vehicle. There’s a vast difference between riding in the passenger seat and being behind the wheel. By teaching teenagers responsible driving behavior, you can help prevent crashes. Here are a few ways to help your teenager through the Graduated Driver’s Licensing period.

  • Choose vehicles for safety, not image. Ask if the car has airbags and antilock brakes? Make sure it is not brand new, but has 4 doors, front wheel or all-wheel drive for good all-around practical safety on the road.
  • Provide new drivers with plenty of supervised driving practice, even after they have obtained a license, including night driving and driving under hazardous road conditions. Go above the required amount of driving instruction. And have them drive you around even after they are licensed.
  • Mandate safety belt usage. It is a primary offense and the ticket is going to impact more than just the points they lose. It will raise insurance rates and cause a disruption to daily routine if you have to go to court.
  • Restrict the number of passengers allowed to ride with your teenage driver. Crash rates increase sharply when a teenage driver has passengers, particularly other teenagers.
  • Enforce “no drinking and driving” rules. I would add no eating either.
  • Emphasize that safe driving requires your teen’s full attention. Distractions such as cell phone use, navigation, social media, radio, and text messaging will greatly increase his or her risk of motor vehicle-related injury.
  • Place restrictions on nighttime driving to enforce curfews.
  • Enroll new drivers in a driving school to educate them about cars, driving conditions and driving techniques. This will prepare teenagers for the road, and it could reduce crashes.
  • Discuss and reinforce responsible driving behavior with teenagers.
  • Have a contract between you to create the discussion. (Here is an example of one you can use: https://www.cdc.gov/MotorVehicleSafety/pdf/Driving_Contract-a.pdf)plain logo

Car Seat Safety Outside of Your Car

Written by Gregory Colton, EMT/Child Passenger Safety Coordinator, UCHealth Emergency Medical Services.

Ambulance crews across the country respond to thousands of pediatric calls every day.  Of all those calls nothing will make us push our ambulance to the limits like responding to a call for a baby who has fallen asleep and does not wake up.  Sleep related incidents are a leading cause of death for infants and we all know it too well.

We frequently talk about safe use of car seats in your car, but what about car seat safety outside of your car?  A properly installed and adjusted car seat can protect your child from many dangers, but when used incorrectly a car seat can become a potential hazard.

Rear-facing-only or ‘infant’ car seats often have two parts, a base that stays inside the vehicle and a carrier that caregivers can take with them.  Many parents opt for these systems due to their convenience and ability to be used in a stroller.  This may give parents the impression that their car seat carrier is a handy multifunctional device.  However, it is important to remember that your child’s car seat was designed to be just that, a car seat.  Car seat carriers are engineered for safe riding in cars and compatible strollers.  They are not intended for napping or extended use outside of a vehicle.

We all want our baby to be happy and comfortable.  As a result it can be tempting to keep them happy by letting them continue sleeping in their car seat and let them be comfortable by loosening the harness straps.  It seems innocent enough, but this actually creates a very dangerous situation for a child.

Two of the most important ways a car seat carrier keeps your child safe are through proper recline angle and proper positioning.

  • Recline angle – A baby’s head is heavier than its brand-new neck is ready to hold up. At an incorrect recline angle a baby’s head can drop forward and block off their airway.
  • Positioning – Babies are squirmy little worms. Without something to stabilize them in place a baby can roll onto their side or their face and suffocate or slide down and be strangled by the harness straps.

We strongly recommend using the car seat carrier outside of the vehicle or stroller as little as possible.  That said, we do understand that the ideal world is not always achievable.  If you do have to use the carrier by itself please keep the following points in mind:

  • Always keep the harness buckled and snugged down tight. – This will keep your baby safely positioned. Remember the pinch test and the chest clip at armpit level.
  • Place the carrier on a firm, hard surface low to the ground. – This will help prevent the carrier from toppling over or resting at an incorrect angle.
  • Keep the baby under constant supervision. – A baby’s blood oxygen levels can drop dangerously low when their airway is blocked even for a brief time.
  • Transition the baby from the car seat to the crib as soon as possible. ­– A firm, flat crib free of potential suffocation hazards is the safest place for a baby to sleep.

If you need help with your car seat or have any questions there are a number of EMS, law enforcement, and fire professionals who are passionate about child passenger safety and here to help.  Please click here for a list of available resources in your community.

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Back to School Safety

Written by: Master Police Officer Dave Sloat, Loveland Police

As we start to get our children ready for the upcoming school year gathering school supplies and school clothes, we also need to think about back to school safety.

Family life can be hectic when school starts and we sometimes get in a hurry. Please review the below safety tips and share with your children their first lesson of the new school year.

Kids going to and from school

  • “Use your head, wear a helmet.”
  • Tell your kids to ride on the right side of the road, with traffic, not against it. Stay as far to the right as possible. Use appropriate hand signals and respect traffic signals, stopping at all stop signs and stoplights.
  • Tell kids to look left, right and left again when crossing the street. Teach them to never run or dart out into the street or cross between parked cars.
  • Cross streets at corners, using traffic signals and crosswalks. Most injuries happen mid-block or someplace other than intersections.
  • It’s always best to walk on sidewalks or paths. If there are no sidewalks, walk facing traffic as far to the left as possible.
  • Teach your child never to talk to strangers or accept rides or gifts from strangers. Remember, a stranger is anyone you or your children don’t know well or don’t trust.

Motorist

  • “STATE LAW – YIELD to pedestrians in crosswalk.”
  • Flashing school zones reduce the speed limit to 20-mph while the flashing yellow beacons are operating. Please slow down while driving through these zones and look out for school children crossing the street!
  • Always come to a complete stop, checking carefully for children on sidewalks and in crosswalks before proceeding.
  • Watch for bicycles.
  • Eliminate distractions. Reduce risk by not using your cell phone or eating while driving, for example.
  • Always stop for school busses that are loading or unloading children.
  • Watch out for school crossing guards and obey their signals.

 

For more important safety tips please visit the ‘Safety Tips’ section of the Safe Kids website!Loveland PD.jpg

Swift water safety tips

Each year we see many water rescues and even a few deaths in our rivers. Poudre Fire Authority offers these water safety tips:

1. Tell someone where you are going. 

Or better yet, go with a partner. Let someone know when you expect to return and if your plans change, and be sure to leave a note on your dashboard to alert others.

2. Be prepared.

Children and inexperienced swimmers should always wear life jackets, even if they aren’t planning on getting in the water. Also, be aware that not many places west of Ted’s Place (intersection of U.S. Highway 287 and Colorado Highway 14) have cell service.

3. Don’t forget the power of the river.

Seriously though. The river is strong and usually calls the shots. Remember that water is high during spring runoff and also after heavy rains (or a late snow in May).

Also, be wary of river banks. Even if you’re not planning on swimming, banks can be unstable and give way beneath you.

4. Know your surroundings.

Check the weather ahead of time and keep an eye on the skies.

5. Know what to do.

If you’re caught in any fast-moving water, try to float feet-first in a half-sit position.

6. Reach or throw, DON’T GO.

If someone is caught in fast-moving water, reach out or throw something to them. Don’t go into the water yourself or you may also be swept away. Also, call 911 as soon as you can.

7. Carry a first-aid kit.

Or take a CPR class. These may seem like no-brainers, but having basic tools and knowledge may save be all that’s required to save a life.

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