Thursday, July 30, 2009

teaching fire safety to your children

Teaching our children about fire safety and protecting our homes.

  • Get your family involved.
  • Teach your children evacuation techniques, in case of a fire.
  • Have a plan and practice it.
  • Have a fire drill this week and see how everyone does.
  • Use a stopwatch and time everyone.
  • Set the meeting place at the end of the driveway.
  • Teach the children what to do if they hear the smoke detector in the middle of the night.

We may not be able to get to our children, and they need to know what to do. There are ways of explaining and teaching them without scaring them. Here are 10 tips on teaching fire safety to children from

  1. Escape Route Planning
    Designate two ways out of every room, if possible. Today’s media rooms (rooms created without windows) can create a particular fire entrapment issue, and parents should evaluate their home and establish a plan in those instances.
  2. Windows Are For More Than Fresh Air
    Make sure that windows are not stuck closed, that screens can be removed quickly, and that security bars can be opened. For parents in particular, if a child’s bedroom is upstairs, they should be able to complete these tasks in the event of an emergency.
  3. Second Floor Safety
    Escape ladders should be placed near second floor windows, and children should practice using them. For extremely young kids, a “mini-exercise” from a first-floor window can at least educate the child as to expectations.
  4. Feeling Way to Safety
    Children should practice feeling their way out of the home in the dark or with their eyes closed. Parents and providers can turn this into a game by blindfolding a child and placing in a room and asking them to feel their way to a designated area. Daycares and childcare providers can set it up as an obstacle course, and then provide cues and help so that when they reach a designated end point, a special treat awaits! (It could be as simple as lunch served outside!)
  5. 9-1-1 Is A Critical Teaching Skill
    Children show know how to call 911. Consider teaching a 911 song to reinforce the numbers (one option is sung to “Frere Jacques”): There’s a fire! There’s a fire! 9-1-1! 9-1-1! Call the fire department! Call the fire department! 9-1-1! 9-1-1! Reinforce this by letting them practice on an unplugged phone. Or, have them create telephones with large keypads they can practice on. (One crafty childcare provider uses the small sticky notes taped on a cardboard phone cutout.)
  6. Smoke Detectors 101
    Teach children about smoke detectors, why they are installed, how they work, and the sound that they make. Children need to be able to associate the sound going off with a fire as part of fire safety for kids. Adults should change batteries regularly to avoid having the alarm go off because batteries are running low, and risk frightening a child.
  7. Out Means Stay Out
    Teach children that once they are out of a burning house or building, they must go to the designated place and never, ever venture back in. If someone or a family pet is missing, they should inform a fire fighter or adult. There are too many tragedies that could have been avoided in the cases where an individual who has gotten out safely to venture back in the home or building, only to perish.
  8. It’s In The Touch
    Instruct kids how to check doors to see if they are hot, and if so, how to find another way out. Fire safety for kids includes having them find a towel to use for handling, touching or grabbing items to avoid burns, and to also use the towel or cover to protect their faces and cover their mouths.
  9. Stop, Drop and Roll
    Teach kids what to do in the event that their clothes catch fire. Make sure they understand “stop, drop and roll.” Many a fire-related injury could have been avoided or greatly minimized if a child heeded this advice instead of the natural instinct of running.
  10. Practice Monthly
    Practice your escape plan at least twice a year with children as part of fire safety for kids, preferably monthly. Families and providers should also practice fire drills and alter areas affected by fire.

Another great website for you children to play on and learn with games, coloring, puzzles, quizzes and more and they can even become a Jr Fire Marshal and download a certificate they can proudly display!

Saturday, July 18, 2009

gift ideas

Can’t decide what to get your cousin Betty for a shower present? Don’t want to give the same old thing? Check out the article on AOL for some great gift giving ideas.

Men's Diaper Bag …a diaper bag for Dads! Believe me hubby does not want to use the same one you do; he will feel like he’s carrying your purse. I had a couple of laughs reading the top ten wedding gift mistakes. I can relate to that one, as we received some atrocious gifts for our wedding too! Do not make that mistake, read the article for some great ideas.

Anniversary coming up? Do you know what the traditional and modern gifts are for the anniversary you will be celebrating? Great gift giving guide for every year! Print the article and slip it somewhere your husband is sure to notice!

Have a party to go to? Need an idea for a hostess gift and you don’t want to bring flowers…again? Try a basket with wine and dark chocolate! Don’t forget the men. They are the hosts too. How about a beer basket with some great salted pistachios and other yummy snacks.

Keep this article handy so you won’t be without ideas this summer. But be warned, that when word spread of your fabulous gift giving ideas, your mailbox will be filled with invitations!

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

organizing those busy schedules


I know you all think I’m organized and have it all together, right? HA. Not so. If I don’t write things down, it’s gone forever. Lost into the vast wasteland that is my brain! I have post it notes everywhere, and calendars for everyone in the family and a master calendar. With school coming up so fast, its time to get it together and get all those appointments written down, birthdays written down and other important dates. Get yourself a big white board calendar. You can use different colors for each child. With sports practices, and games, and fund raising events, and dr. and dentist appointments…good gracious, it’s too much to keep inside my frazzled brain! Don’t wait to mark things down till later, believe me you will forget! Keep it simple. Don’t go into a frenzy of spread sheets and graphs. All you need is a simple calendar.

A White board is great, different color markers for different people in the house, and a smaller calendar to put future dates on. Each month just take the smaller calendar and add them to the white board. You can use the white board for strictly the kids and their events, and use a smaller calendar for you and your husband, and for birthdays of friends, relatives etc. If you can find a white dry erase board with a corkboard attachment or magnet attachment, grab it. It’s perfect for the forms and permission slips your kids will be bringing home. Do not try and magnet all these things to your refrigerator. It will just end up lost and looks messy and overwhelming. So let’s get organized now, before we get unorganized!

Folders can be useful too if that’s what works for you. Have a binder for each child with their friends phone numbers, their sports schedule, homework or project schedule, pemission slips etc. You can go through it each night to review and get ready for the next day. Remember to keep your childrens papers separate from your papers and from the bills. Each member of your family should have their own space for these things. Don’t forget there are many websites that can be used to set up reminders. One cute site that’s free right now for the first 3 months is You’ll get your own personal assistant Dottie, who will text message your phone with reminders of Dr. appts, anniversaries, birthdays and other important dates. Stay on top of things, write down appointments, and keep things organized and you will have a smooth school year. And your children will have a successful school year!