A parent’s guide to pool safety

With summer making its arrival in Canada, pool season has begun. Pool safety is an important topic this time of year. According to the Lifesaving Society, hundreds of Canadians die each year from drowning. Parents, take note – for children under 10, drowning is the second leading cause of preventable death and children under five are the most at risk of drowning.

So, before you, or your children, dip your toes into the backyard pool, it’s important to review some pool safety tips.

1. Appoint a supervisor

Children of all ages require active supervision when in the pool. This means a parent/guardian who is placing their whole attention on the water. Accidents can happen quickly, and a rapid response time is critical. Don’t be fooled by Hollywood films – drowning is quiet and splashing or screaming doesn’t occur. The attention of a parent/guardian can be the difference between life and death.

2. No diving in shallow pools

Most backyard pools are not deep enough for diving, no matter the age of the diver. This is a frequent cause of injury. It’s important to do your own research into what your pool’s size allows. Establish clear rules with your children about diving in the pool, especially in the shallower end. Some parents choose to put up signage, which is available from many hardware stores, as a reminder. Most importantly, talk with your kids and make sure they understand your family’s pool safety rules.

3. Ensure proper fencing

Small children’s curiosity can lead to drowning by falling into pools. Multiple items are available for purchase which can prevent unsupervised access to water by young children. Examples include latching gates and four-sided fencing. It’s important to comply with any local fencing bylaws in your area so make sure to research these before you open your pool for the summer.

4. Arms’ reach matters

For children under 5, it’s important to keep them within arms’ reach when in the water. While supervision may be sufficient for older kids, younger children require the physical support and balance of a parent. This is a great opportunity to teach your kids the basics of swimming and create lasting memories.

If you have been injured, and need legal assistance, call #1000 on your cell phone for free. We will offer you a free claim assessment.

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How to stay safe while trick-or-treating

Halloween can be an exciting time of year for children, but the highlight of Halloween, trick or treating, can come with a lot of safety hazards and dangers. Make sure you read these seven tips from The National Safety Council to help you keep yourself and your loved ones safe while trick-or-treating this Halloween.

1. Supervise young children

A young child should never go trick-or-treating alone. A parent or responsible adult should always accompany young children as they do their rounds throughout the neighbourhood for treats.

2. Set guidelines for the evening

If your children are older and are going out without you, it’s a good idea to set some guidelines before they leave for the evening. Plan and go over with your child a route that is safe and they will stick to. Staying in well-lit and familiar areas make for a safer evening. Remind your child to avoid trick-or-treating alone and stay with a buddy or a group. Before they leave decide on a time when they should expected to be home.

3. Pick and choose where to knock

While you’re out with your children, only approach homes that have a porch light on. Make sure to explain this to your children if they are going out without you as well. Not only will the bad lighting pose a safety issue but it also indicates that a knock on the door will not be welcomed. A lack of outdoor lights or decorations means there’s a good chance they aren’t participating in the Halloween fun.

4. Educate about stranger danger

Trick-or-treating on Halloween means your child might be interacting with a lot of strangers. While you probably have told your child on other occasions to never get into a stranger’s car or to never go into a stranger’s home it’s a good time to remind them before the trick-or-treating begins. The fun and excitement of Halloween can be distracting so let them know if they’re offered to go with a stranger, get into a stranger’s car or enter a stranger’s home to get a treat to say no.

5. Be aware

There can be lots of distractions on Halloween so it’s important to stay focused on where you’re going. Being glued to a phone and not paying attention to where you are going can be a problem for both parents and children. Keeping your eyes up, using a flashlight, looking both ways before crossing the street and walking instead of running can go a long way in keeping you and your children safe.

6. Wait to eat the treats

Whether your child is going out on their own or with you, setting a rule to wait to munch on their treats till arriving home is a good idea. Going through your child’s candy loot is essential for safety. Look at each item for tampering with the packaging and any allergens that might affect your child. Homemade treats, unless made by a close family member or friend you can trust, should be thrown out.

7. Pick your costume carefully

Your costume plays a big role in your Halloween safety. All parts of your child’s costume should be fire-resistant and if you or your children will be going out after dark, attaching reflective tape to their costumes and treat bags is a good way for them to stay visible. Also, if you or your child are using makeup as part of a costume ensure it’s nontoxic, test it in a small area before applying lots and remove all of it before going to sleep.

If you have been injured, and need legal assistance, call #1000 on your cell phone for free. We will offer you a free claim assessment.

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What every parent ought to know about bike safety

Your guide to make your child’s ride to school a safe one.

Cycling to school can be a great opportunity for you and your children. Not only does it begin creating healthy fitness habits for your child, but it also creates a bonding activity for the both of you.

However, cycling poses some serious dangers to your child. Before you hit the road, or trail, with your kids make sure you read over these tips from Liv:

1. Pick an appropriate route

Before venturing out with your children on a bike-ride to school consider the route you are going to take. Ride it first on your own and notice any key aspects of the route. Are there bike paths available? What is the traffic like when you will be biking? How long or steep is the ride? If the route has lots of traffic, is too difficult for you child’s fitness level, or poses dangers for their experience level you should find a safe and appropriate route for them, or reconsider.

2. Prepare your child’s bike

Kids grow quickly, and that means they can grow out of their bicycles quickly. Make sure that your    child’s bike still fits, and that it works properly. Teach your children to check the air pressure, breaks and chain before hopping on their bike each time to prevent an accident or injury. Also, your child’s bike should have a horn or bell, as well as proper lights in case of inclement weather or riding at night.

3. Get and adjust a certified helmet

According to Ontario law anyone under the age of 18 must wear a helmet while cycling. But it takes more than just wearing one to protect your child. The helmet needs to fit properly. While purchasing a helmet make sure it is the correct size, as well as certified, and before your child wears the helmet make sure you adjust it for proper fit. Never let your child wear a helmet that has already experienced impact.

4. Avoid dangerous clothing

Wearing certain types of clothing while biking can create a safety hazard for your children. Children should avoid wearing footwear that could get caught in parts of the bike—like running shoes with untied shoe laces or loose sandals. Also, loose pant legs or other loose pieces of clothing below the waist can become caught in parts of the bike and should be avoided.

5. Educate on bike safety

Before you and your child leave home on your bikes you should talk to your child about bike safety. Going through the basics of yielding to and communicating with pedestrians, biking on the right side in a straight predictable line, and taking caution at intersections or driveways is a must. Also, have your children practice good communication with drivers.  Making eye contact with drivers to make sure they are seen and using biking signals to communicate with drivers are skills they should learn as early as possible.

Even if you and your children are practicing safe cycling, sometimes you can still be injured by others. If you or someone you love has been injured by another party’s negligence while cycling we can help with their recovery journey.

Fast dial #1000 free from your cell and we’ll get you the support you need.

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