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As a parent, you want your child to receive the best care – especially when you are away from him or her. Thanks to a babysitter background check, you can hire a responsible babysitter who will provide your child with the care that he or she deserves.
How Does a Babysitter Background Check Work?
A babysitter background check is more than a traditional credit or employment background check. In fact, a babysitter background check provides access to the following babysitter information:
Identity Verification: To run a babysitter background check, you’ll first need a babysitter’s full name, social security number and driver’s license number to confirm his or her identity. Or, if a babysitter is not a U.S. citizen, you’ll need his or her passport number and work permit for identity verification.
Criminal Records: With a criminal records check, you can review a babysitter’s history of arrests, misdemeanor and felony convictions and incarcerations. CriminalWatchDog recommends requesting a babysitter’s address history for the past seven years; this information will help you determine if a state or national criminal records check is necessary.
Driving Records: Your babysitter will likely need to drive your child to and from school, extracurricular activities and various appointments. If a babysitter has a driver’s license, your local Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) can provide you with a copy of his or her driving records; these records will show a babysitter’s history of traffic and speeding tickets and other driving violations.
Sex Offender Registry: The U.S. Department of Justice maintains The Dru Sjodin National Sex Offender Public Website, which provides public access to sex offender data nationwide. Here, you can find out if a babysitter has a history of sexual abuse or crimes.
Child Abuse and Neglect Records: Each state keeps records of child abuse and neglect, but state laws vary relative to child abuse and neglect records disclosure. Contact your local child protective services department to find out if you are eligible to screen a babysitter for past child abuse and neglect.
A babysitter background check often requires a parent to contact a babysitter’s professional references, too. It is generally a good idea to ask a babysitter for at least three references and to contact each one. Sittercity also provides a list of questions you can use when you contact a babysitter’s references so you can gain the insights you need to make an informed hiring decision.
Babysitter Hiring Tips
In addition to performing a babysitter background check, there are lots of things you can do to hire the right babysitter for your son or daughter, such as:
Contact a local moms’ group
Local moms’ groups are available in cities and towns nationwide, and they are usually easy to find on Facebook and other social networks. A local moms’ group likely includes moms who have previously hired babysitters and can put you in touch with some of the best local babysitters.
Use a babysitter service
Care.com, UrbanSitter and other online services can help you quickly evaluate local babysitters. They also perform babysitter background checks and give you the chance to meet with a babysitter before you finalize your hiring decision. To determine if an online babysitter search service is right for you, find out how the service works and read client reviews.
Perform an initial babysitter interview
If you believe a babysitter is a good candidate, a face-to-face meeting is a must. This meeting allows you to speak directly to a babysitter, learn about his or her background and expertise and receive firsthand responses to any concerns or questions. It also gives a babysitter a chance to ask you questions and determine if there is a good fit for both parties.
Learn about a babysitter’s basic first aid and CPR expertise
A good babysitter is prepared for any situation – even a cardiac emergency. Ask a babysitter if he or she has received basic first aid and cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) training. Then, find out how he or she may respond to pediatric cardiac emergencies.
Schedule a “working” babysitter interview
If a babysitter passes the first interview, you can next set up a “working” interview to see him or her in action with your child. A working interview provides a valuable learning opportunity because it enables you to see how a babysitter interacts with your child. If a working interview goes well, you may have found your babysitter.
The Bottom Line on Babysitter Background Checks
Why settle for an ordinary babysitter when you can hire one who has a history of excellent work? By performing an extensive babysitter background check, you can hire the babysitter that your child deserves.
Babysitter background checks frequently help a parent differentiate an ordinary babysitter from an exceptional one. If you conduct a comprehensive babysitter background check, you can receive insights into a babysitter’s background that you are unlikely to obtain elsewhere. Best of all, a babysitter background check can help you make an informed babysitter hiring decision that both you and your child can enjoy for years to come.
Babysitter Background Checks: Extra Steps to Help Keep Your Child Safe was last modified: January 18th, 2019 by Zack Zarrilli
Happy New Year! 2019 has arrived, and there are many New Year’s resolutions you can make to keep your family safe in the new year. These New Year’s resolutions include:
Become CPR- and Basic First Aid-Certified
A cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) class usually requires only a few hours to complete, and its benefits can last a lifetime. During a CPR class, you will learn how to perform CPR, use an automated external defibrillator (AED), assist conscious and unconscious choking victims and more. Plus, upon successful completion of a CPR class, you will receive a CPR certification card that stays valid for two years. Both parents and kids can sign up for a CPR class, too.
In addition to CPR classes, basic first aid courses are available for parents and kids. A basic first aid class covers a variety of life-saving topics, including:
Bone and muscle injuries
Hot and cold emergencies
Like a CPR class, a basic first aid course typically takes just a few hours to finish. If you complete a basic first aid class, you will earn a basic first aid certification card as well.
Prepare Healthy Meals as a Family
You don’t need to be Julia Child, Emeril Lagasse or any other famous chef to prepare healthy meals for your family. In fact, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) offers several tips to help families prepare healthy meals, such as:
Choose fruits and vegetables. Fruits and vegetables contain nutrients, minerals and vitamins that support a healthy diet.
Select whole grains over refined varieties. Foods labeled with “100% whole grain” or “100% whole wheat” are healthier alternatives to foods that contain refined grains.
Add fat-free or low-fat milk to your diet. Fat-free or low-fat milk contains calcium and other nutrients and has fewer calories than whole milk.
Enjoy lean protein. Pork, chicken, beef, eggs and other foods loaded with lean protein will help you satisfy your hunger pangs.
Find healthy substitutes to high-calorie gravies and sauces. Avoid high-calorie gravies or sauces when preparing meals; instead, substitute these products with healthy alternatives like low-fat parmesan cheese or a squeeze of lemon.
The right mix of foods will help you stay healthy in 2019 and beyond. Best of all, if you prepare healthy meals as a family, parents and kids alike can reap the benefits of a healthy diet.
Fix Your Home
Remember the broken window or leaky faucet you said you would fix last year? Well, 2019 provides a new opportunity to perform home repairs you previously ignored.
In some instances, you may be well-equipped to complete home repairs on your own. Common do-it-yourself (DIY) home repairs include:
Ceiling Stain: Spray-on products are available that allow you to seamlessly cover up a ceiling stain.
Clogged Drain: A plunger or chemical drain cleaner often helps clear out grime or hair that causes a clogged drain.
Loose Showerhead: With a few sprays of expanding foam, you can instantly tighten a loose showerhead.
Smelly Washing Machine: Certain mold-killing tablets can be run through a washing machine to eliminate unpleasant odors.
Weed-Infested Lawn: Various lawn care products often make it simple to remove weeds and other lawn pests.
Of course, if you are uncertain about how to complete a home repair or want to perform a major home upgrade, there is no need to leave anything to chance. In this case, seek out a certified home improvement professional. If you have an expert home improvement professional at your side, you can quickly and safely correct any home problems.
Make 2019 a year to let your creative juices flow – you will be happy you did. If you enjoy family-friendly activities that drive creativity, you may discover innovative ways to celebrate 2019 to the fullest extent.
Ultimately, there are lots of safe, easy ways to get creative in 2019, including:
Visit an art gallery or museum. Check out one art gallery or museum each month; this can help you foster both creative and cognitive growth.
Use a sketchbook or journal. Produce one sketchbook drawing or journal entry each day; this may help feed your creative spirit, as well as relax and wind down at the end of the day.
Launch a blog. Create at least one blog post per week on a subject you know and love; this allows you to share your creativity, knowledge and insights with others.
Master a new skill. Enroll in at least one art class, cooking course or another creative training program; this allows you to develop a new skill in an exciting and engaging learning environment.
Schedule a family vacation. Plan a family vacation to a new destination; this ensures you and your family can visit fun attractions and landmarks together in the new year.
It is not too late to set a New Year’s resolution for 2019. Take advantage of any of the aforementioned New Year’s resolutions, and you can put your family in position to enjoy a happy, healthy and safe 2019.
New Year’s Resolutions: Family Safety was last modified: January 10th, 2019 by Zack Zarrilli
Each year, approximately 150,000 people seek medical treatment following a skiing or snowboarding accident, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) reports. CPSC also notes skiers most commonly experience knee injuries, while snowboarders most commonly suffer wrist injuries. Additionally, CPSC points out more people ski than snowboard, yet snowboarders are three times more likely than skiers to get hurt.
Even a minor snow sports injury can become a long-term problem for a skier or snowboarder. Fortunately, those who learn about common snow sports injuries can treat these issues properly. They may be able to prevent such injuries from occurring, too.
Now, let’s take a look at six common snow sports injuries, as well as ways to treat these issues.
Ankle sprains happen for a number of reasons. In some instances, choosing the incorrect ski or snowboard boots or bindings may cause an individual to overuse his or her ankle, fall and suffer an ankle sprain. Or, in other cases, a bad landing after a jump puts extreme pressure on the ankle joint and foot bones, leading to an ankle sprain. To treat an ankle sprain, it is important to compress the injury to reduce swelling. Then, an individual can perform ankle exercises and use an ankle support until he or she is fully recovered.
A dislocated shoulder occurs when the bone in the upper arm moves out of the socket linked to the shoulder blade. Meanwhile, for skiers and snowboarders, a bad landing off a jump may result in a dislocated shoulder. Common dislocated shoulder symptoms include intense pain, swelling and bruising on or around the shoulder. If an individual suffers a dislocated shoulder, he or she should try to avoid moving the shoulder joint and ice the injured joint. This individual should also seek out a doctor who can provide additional medical aid.
Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL) Injury
An ACL injury sometimes occurs due to a rapid change of direction or stopping suddenly. As such, people who ski, snowboard or engage in other high-intensity activities are more susceptible than others to ACL injuries. Individuals who experience ACL injuries often report hearing a “popping” sound, as well as pain and swelling in the knee. If a person suffers an ACL injury, he or she should try to avoid placing weight on the knee. This individual should also ice the knee, place an elastic bandage or compression wrap around it and lie down while keeping the knee elevated.
A spinal injury refers to damage to any portion of the vertebrae, and it may lead to changes in strength and sensation in body areas below the injury site. Jumping is one of the top reasons why skiers and snowboarders suffer spinal injuries, followed by falls and overuse. An individual who experiences extreme back pain, body paralysis or weakness or numbness in the hands, feet or toes may be dealing with a spinal injury. In the event of a spinal injury, it is vital to stay still and obtain immediate medical support. And remember, the time between a spinal injury and treatment can play a key role in determining the injury’s extent and recovery time.
Hand or Wrist Injury
Even a minor slip may lead a skier or snowboarder to extend his or her hands in the hopes of preventing a severe fall. Yet in this instance, a skier or snowboarder may fall directly onto his or her hand or wrist, resulting in a sprain or break. A hand or wrist injury may cause pain, swelling, tenderness and bruising, among other symptoms. To address this injury, an individual should try to rest the hand or wrist for at least a few days and ice the injury. In certain cases, anti-inflammatory painkillers such as Advil and Aleve may help an individual alleviate pain and swelling associated with a hand or wrist injury.
Soaring down the slopes on skis or a snowboard provides an unbelievable thrill. But maintaining the ideal combination of speed and balance is rarely simple, especially for skiers and snowboarders. If a skier or snowboarder cannot maintain this combination, he or she may be susceptible to a fall or collision that results in a head injury. All head injuries require immediate medical attention. For minor head injuries that cause bleeding, for example, stitches may be required. On the other hand, head injuries that cause a lack of coordination or light-headedness may require physical and occupational therapy and other treatments.
Snow Sports Injury Prevention Tips
Some of the best ways to reduce the risk of snow sports injuries include:
Ensure ski or snowboard bindings are not too loose or too tight.
Ski or snowboard on trails that fall in line with your skill level.
Stay on-trail – without exception.
Remain hydrated throughout the day.
Stop skiing or snowboarding as soon as you feel tired.
Lastly, enrolling in a basic first aid training course may be beneficial for skiers and snowboarders of all ages and skill levels. A basic first aid course empowers individuals with life-saving skills that can be used to help treat snow sports injuries. Therefore, after an individual completes basic first aid training, he or she could become a life-saver in a snow sports emergency.
Common Snow Sports Injuries and How to Treat Them was last modified: January 4th, 2019 by Zack Zarrilli
Preparing for a school shooting requires collaboration among parents, students, teachers and staff. With the right approach to school shooting preparedness, however, individuals of all ages can take the necessary steps to minimize risk and stay safe throughout an active shooter incident.
Now, let’s take a look at 10 tips to prepare for a school shooting.
Develop and Follow a School Emergency Action Plan
There is no telling when a school shooting will take place. As such, an emergency action plan is a must-have for all schools, regardless of size or location. This plan helps school administrators prepare for active shooter emergencies and identify and implement appropriate training programs. School administrators should work closely with parents, teachers, students and law enforcement to develop an emergency action plan. Also, it generally is a good idea to update this plan regularly.
Implement Lockdown Protocols
A lockdown is a lynchpin of an effective school emergency action plan. During a lockdown, it is crucial to lock all doors and windows, turn off all lights and remain in place until authorized personnel deliver an “all clear” message. School administrators should establish lockdown protocols and share them with students, faculty and staff. Additionally, schools should perform lockdown drills at different times throughout the year and update their lockdown protocols as needed.
Offer Situational Awareness Training
Situational awareness training allows a school to educate its students, faculty and staff about what to do if they identify potential risks. If a person looks suspicious or displays odd behaviors, it is paramount to report this individual to school administrators right away, because doing so could stop a school shooting.
Use Active Shooter Drills
Active shooter drills help schools prepare for the worst-case scenarios. They enable students, teachers and staff to prepare for everything from school lockdowns to massive school shootings. Meanwhile, these drills often help individuals build the skills and confidence they need to properly respond to a school shooting.
Instill the Will to Escape
The top priority during a school shooting is to vacate the premises as quickly and safely as possible. In the event of a school shooting, an individual should be ready to leave his or her belongings behind and try to exit the building. He or she should also try to help others escape the building whenever possible. And once an individual gets away from a school shooting, he or she should warn others to stay away from the premises and call for emergency help.
Yell “Gun” or “Gunman”
Shout the term “gun or “gunman” to immediately notify others about an active shooter emergency. This helps ensure students, faculty and staff will instantly know that an active shooter emergency is in effect so they can respond accordingly.
Find a Safe Place to Deny Access
If escape is not an option during an active shooter emergency, go to a closet, classroom or any other safe area to hide. Next, use chairs, desks and other furniture or items to barricade the door closed and deny access to a shooter.
For those who shelter in place and have a cell phone during an active shooter emergency, call 911. Then, provide the 911 dispatcher with as much information as possible about the incident. After the call is over, either silence the cell phone or keep it on and stop talking so the 911 dispatcher can continue to hear what is happening at the scene.
Encourage Individuals to Stay Active
During the 2007 Virginia Tech massacre, several students in Room 204 lowered themselves down from a second-floor window to escape, The Lily reported. Comparatively, students in Room 205 used tables and chairs to barricade the door closed and prevent the shooter from entering the classroom. The aforementioned examples show the importance of taking action to survive a school shooting. If possible, individuals should take any actions that they feel will improve their chances of survival during a school shooting.
Confronting an active shooter is a last resort in a school shooting. But keep in mind that in some instances, individuals may be able to overpower or wrestle an active shooter if he or she stops to reload a gun.
The Bottom Line on School Shooting Preparedness
By taking a proactive approach to prepare for active shooter emergencies, schools can teach students, teachers and staff how to reduce the loss of life in a school shooting – or perhaps even stop a school shooting from happening. Plus, schools can offer active shooter training in conjunction with cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR), basic first aid and other lifesaving training programs. That way, schools can help students, teachers and staff gain the expertise that they need to survive and thrive in school shootings and other life-threatening emergencies.
How to Prepare for School Shootings was last modified: January 4th, 2019 by Zack Zarrilli
Hiking is good for the body, mind and soul. It helps lower the risk of heart disease, improve balance and enhance bone density. Additionally, hiking has been shown to help alleviate stress and anxiety. Let’s not forget about the captivating sights, sounds and smells of nature you may experience during an outdoor hike, either.
There are lots of great reasons to go hiking, especially for those who live in or visit Southern California. In fact, SoCal is home to several hiking gems unlike any other.
Now, let’s take a look at six of the best “hidden” hiking gems in Southern California.
Broken Hill Loop
Located at the Torrey Pines State Reserve near San Diego, Broken Hill Loop offers approximately 3.5 miles of land for hiking, birding and other outdoor activities. Broken Hill Loop is rated as a moderate hiking trail, and it is accessible year-round. Plus, Broken Hill Loop provides beautiful beach views, and most people can accomplish the hike in a single day, travel expert Tava Hoag says. Of course, no discussion of Broken Hill Loop would be complete without mentioning the fact that the trail is home to the Torrey pine, an endangered pine species.
Potato Chip Rock
Potato Chip Rock is an 8-mile hiking trail located near Poway Lake in Poway. It is simple to access from the freeway, and once you arrive, you may be floored by the awe-inspiring rock formations across the trail. One thing to keep in mind, however, is that most of Potato Chip Rock is an uphill climb, according to travel and lifestyle blogger Gennifer Rose. As such, Rose recommends hikers pack plenty of water and wear comfortable footwear any time they visit Potato Chip Rock.
Top of the World
Lifestyle blogger Jennifer Le says Top of the World in Laguna Beach is a terrific option for hikers of all skill levels. On one side of the trail, hikers can enjoy wonderful views of the ocean. And on the other side, hikers can check out spectacular views of the mountains. Top of the World is also a great trail for hikers who prioritize mindfulness. It is a quiet, serene hiking trail, and as a result, makes it easy for a hiker to get in touch with nature.
In addition to Broken Hill Loop, Hoag recommends Cistern Trail at Malibu Creek State Park, which offers a short hiking trail that both kids and adults can appreciate. The trail is only 1.3 miles long and can usually be completed in about an hour. Cistern Trail features stunning valley and creek views, and hikers can see old Jeeps from the film South Pacific on the trail, too. Meanwhile, Cistern Trail boasts many swimming spots, so it is typically a good idea to bring a swimsuit and towel whenever you visit.
Lost Palms Oasis
Lost Palms Oasis at Joshua Tree National Park is located near Desert Center. It is best-known for its broad array of beautiful flowers and scenery, even in some of Joshua Tree’s remote areas, Hoag says. Lost Palms Oasis is rated as a strenuous trail and generally requires about six to eight hours to complete. Fortunately, hikers can choose between Lost Palms Oasis’ full 7.2-mile hiking trail or a shorter loop.
Idyllwild Park offers five hiking trails and 202 acres of open space. It often provides a superb spot for camping excursions, as hikers can spend the day on different trails and sleep under the stars at night. For those who enjoy rock climbing, Idyllwild Park boasts giant granite boulders that anyone can try to scale. Lastly, the Mile High Café at Idyllwild Park is a must-visit, according to several SoCal hikers. This family-owned restaurant serves exceptional meals that visitors can enjoy before or after a hike.
Safety Tips for Southern California Hikers
The aforementioned trails are excellent choices for people who want to get outdoors and hike to their heart’s delight. Yet hiking emergencies sometimes occur without notice. And hikers who fail to prepare accordingly risk getting lost or suffering accidents or injuries.
There are many things that hikers can do to stay safe as they explore the hidden hiking gems of Southern California and other trails, such as:
Pick up the right gear. Hiking essentials include water, rain gear, a map, a compass and food. Pack your hiking gear and double-check your inventory before you go hiking; that way, you can ensure that you have the right items with you at all times during a hiking trip.
Hike during the day. No one wants to get lost in the dark while hiking. To avoid this problem, hike during the day whenever possible. You should also set a turnaround time, regardless of how far you plan to hike.
Learn the trail. No two hiking trails are identical, and you should spend some time learning about a trail before you visit it. Then, you can learn about local wild animals, poisonous plants and other dangers you may encounter and prepare for these risks.
Check the weather. Take a look at the forecast right before you visit a hiking trail. If the forecast calls for rain or other inclement weather, ensure that a hiking trail is still passable in harsh weather conditions.
Hike in a group. Hike with a group of family members and friends – you will be happy you did. In addition to enjoying a fun hiking experience with loved ones, hiking in a group is much safer than hiking alone.
Tell loved ones where you are going. Provide family members, friends and other loved ones with full details about where you plan to hike and how long you expect to be gone. If a loved one does not hear back from you by a certain time after your hiking trip, he or she can then pursue emergency assistance.
Enroll in wilderness CPR training. Wilderness cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) training may prove to be the difference between life and death in a hiking emergency. This training only takes a few hours to complete and will empower you with the skills to perform basic first aid, CPR and other life-saving techniques.
When it comes to hiking, there is no need to leave your safety to chance. By using these safety tips, you can get ready for any hiking trip. Best of all, you will be better equipped than ever before to enjoy a fun, exciting and safe hiking experience.
Hidden Hiking Gems of Southern California was last modified: December 18th, 2018 by Zack Zarrilli
Household safety hazards are present in every home, regardless of size or location. Fortunately, there are lots of things that you can do to identify and address household safety hazards before they escalate.
Now, let’s take a look at 10 household safety hazards, along with tips to reduce or eliminate these issues.
Household falls sometimes cause broken bones, head injuries or other serious injuries. To prevent household falls, ensure all staircases are stable and feature solid handrails. Additionally, clear outside stairs of hazards like dirt, debris and snow and install grip tape or mats to make these surfaces less slippery than ever before.
A U.S. fire department responds to a fire every 24 seconds, according to the National Fire Protection Association. Meanwhile, an unattended iron, candles or other fire hazards may increase the risk of a household fire. Installing fire alarms on all levels of a home and checking the alarms’ batteries at least once a year is paramount. Also, purchase a fire extinguisher and learn how to use the device; that way, you will be ready to use a fire extinguisher in a household fire emergency.
Accidental ingestion of poisonous cleaning and home maintenance supplies can be fatal. Or, over-the-counter and prescription medication abuse may also lead to poisoning. To limit the risk of poisoning, store cleaning, and home maintenance supplies and medications away from kids and teens. It is generally a good idea to err on the side of caution, and if necessary, you should lock up any poisonous household liquids as well.
Choking was the fourth-leading cause of unintentional death in the United States in 2017, the National Safety Council reports. There is no telling when a household choking emergency will occur, but there are several techniques that you can perform to help choking victims. For example, the Heimlich maneuver can be used to help prevent a choking victim from suffocating. Furthermore, cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) training classes teach individuals how to administer CPR and other life-saving techniques to conscious and unconscious choking victims.
A consumer affairs agency study found deaths from drowning in bathtubs rose 70% between 2004 and 2014, The Wall Street Journal reports. Drowning is a household hazard that commonly affects children during bath time. To eliminate this risk, watch a child closely and never leave a bathtub that has a child in it unattended during bath time. Also, you should fill a bathtub with only a few inches of water.
Even low exposure to carbon monoxide (CO) in a home may cause severe headaches and dizziness. With a carbon monoxide detector in place, however, you can be alerted if CO reaches a hazardous level inside your residence. It is also important to maintain your home’s heating, ventilation and air condition (HVAC), gas, oil and other systems that otherwise could leak CO.
Window blind or curtain cords present strangulation hazards for children. Therefore, you should keep these cords out of reach of children at all times. You should also trim or remove window cords as needed, or you can install cord wraps to help disguise window cords.
Dishwashers and stoves are the primary culprits behind household burns. As such, you should ensure a dishwasher is latched securely during use. It may even be beneficial to pick up a dishwasher appliance lock to prevent a child from opening a dishwasher when it is being used. In terms of stove safety, use a stove’s back burners any time you can; this makes it more difficult for a child to reach a hot stovetop. Installing stove knob covers helps prevent a child from inadvertently turning on a stove, too.
Forks, knives and other utensils are sharp objects found in most kitchens. Comparatively, homeowners commonly use rakes, saws and other sharp tools to maintain their lawns. Any sharp objects in a home need to be stored in a safe location. For sharp kitchen utensils, store these objects in a drawer where a child cannot easily reach them and use a drawer lock. On the other hand, yard tools can be locked in a shed or garage when they are not in use.
A television can easily tip over if it is placed on top of a media console or desk. Thus, it is crucial to install a wall anchor device for a TV, place a TV on a low, sturdy base and move a TV as close to a wall as possible. You should also avoid placing items on top of a TV; otherwise, a child may be tempted to climb a TV to reach an item that was placed on top of it.
As the aforementioned list shows, there is no shortage of household safety hazards. With the proper approach to household safety hazards, anyone can take steps to address these issues before they get out of hand.
Household Safety Hazards was last modified: December 7th, 2018 by Zack Zarrilli
Hurricane Florence recovery efforts are underway, and the costs associated with the storm could be substantial. The total costs of Florence-related property damage and disruption are projected to fall between $17 billion and $22 billion, according to risk management firm Moody’s Analytics. Additionally, Moody’s expects Florence to rank among the 10 costliest hurricanes.
The Atlantic hurricane season runs from June to November, but storms sometimes occur outside these months. As such, it is important to know how to prepare for hurricanes. If people have the proper hurricane safeguards in place, they can limit the risk of property damage due to a hurricane. Perhaps most important, those who know how to identify and address hurricane dangers could prevent the loss of life during a hurricane.
Ultimately, there are lots of things that you can do to get ready for a hurricane and stay safe until the storm passes, such as:
Build a Hurricane Survival Kit
A hurricane survival kit should include the following items:
Water: Keep at least one gallon of water per member of your household for at least three days; this water can be used for both drinking and sanitation.
Food: Keep at least a three-day supply of food; all food items should be non-perishable.
Radio: Choose a battery-powered or hand crank radio that allows you to receive continuous weather updates.
Flashlight: Select a flashlight that is rugged, durable and easy to use. Make sure to include extra batteries as well.
Wrench/Pliers: Add a wrench or pliers that you can use to turn off utilities as needed.
Dust Mask: Choose a dust mask that allows you to filter out air contaminants.
Customize your hurricane emergency kit based on your individual needs. For instance, if you take prescription medications, you should include these medications in your hurricane survival kit. Or, if you have a dog or cat, you should include extra water, food and various pet supplies in your hurricane survival kit.
Protect Your Home
Hurricane property damage can escalate quickly. Fortunately, there are many ways to safeguard your home in a hurricane, including:
Remove debris from rain gutters and downspouts
Bring outdoor furniture, decorations, trash cans or anything else that is not tied down outside your home indoors
Install an emergency generator
Trim trees and shrubs around your home
Use straps or clips to fasten your roof to your home
Cover your home’s windows using storm shutters or marine plywood that is pre-cut and ready to install
Also, learn about your home’s elevation and find out if your area is flood-prone. This will help you identify nearby levees, dams and other potential hurricane property dangers.
During a hurricane, it is important to do everything possible to protect yourself and your loved ones against heavy wind and flooding. If authorities tell you to evacuate your home, follow their instructions. That way, you can take refuge in a designated storm shelter. You can also make arrangements with friends that don’t live in the hurricane area. If you are ordered to evacuate, you already know you have a place to go and can leave quickly.
Avoid swimming, walking or driving in flood waters during a hurricane – without exception. If you cannot make it to a designated storm shelter, find a small, interior, windowless room on the lowest level of a building that is not susceptible to flooding.
If you shelter in place with family members, friends and other loved ones, try to remain calm. New noises and smells may cause your stress levels to rise during a hurricane, so you should try to arrange your shelter to make it a personal space. If you feel comfortable in your hurricane shelter, you may be able to help others feel comfortable throughout the storm as well.
Make a Family Hurricane Communication Plan
If you are forced to evacuate your home in a hurricane, there is a risk that you may be separated from family members. Thus, you should create a plan to ensure you can stay in touch with loved ones throughout a hurricane, even if you lose power.
Collect the contact information for all family members included in your hurricane communication plan. Then, you should share this information with all plan members and post it in a central location in your home. You can even print a wallet-sized card of family members’ contact information that each plan member can take on the go. And don’t forget to review and practice your family communication plan; otherwise, family members may struggle to get in touch with one another when it matters most.
You should strive to communicate with family members via phone, text messages, emails and social media during a hurricane. With multiple communication methods included in your hurricane communication plan, you can boost the likelihood that you can get in touch with family members.
Texts tend to be faster and more reliable than phone calls in hurricanes, too. Phone lines frequently become overloaded in hurricanes, and as a result, it may be tough to make phone calls during storms.
Cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) training empowers individuals with the ability to administer life-saving assistance in hurricanes. It teaches people how to use an automated external defibrillator (AED), assist conscious and unconscious choking victims and much more.
It doesn’t take long to become CPR-certified. A typical CPR training class requires just a few hours to complete, and individuals can usually enroll in a CPR course at their convenience. Plus, after an individual completes a CPR certification class, he or she will obtain a CPR certification card that stays valid for two years.
Of course, other life-saving training classes can be completed in conjunction with CPR courses. Some individuals, for example, enroll in basic first aid training that focuses on how to aid people who are dealing with bone and muscle injuries, seizures and other life-threatening issues.
For those who want to become difference-makers in hurricanes, it helps to prepare accordingly. Thanks to the aforementioned tips, you can minimize risk and protect yourself and others during a hurricane.
5 Hurricane Safety Tips You Need to Know was last modified: October 4th, 2018 by Zack Zarrilli
SureFire CPR is committed to helping individuals learn life-saving skills in an engaging, interactive learning environment. As part of this commitment, we are proud to announce the acquisition of Happy Heart CPR.
Happy Heart CPR is owned by Teresa Penrose, a certified basic life support (BLS) healthcare provider and American Heart Association (AHA) Heartsaver cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR), automated external defibrillator (AED) and first aid instructor. It offers life-saving training certifications and renewals to individuals across Southern California.
Teresa is moving on to the next phase of her life in Kentucky, and we wish her the best of luck in her future endeavors. Meanwhile, SureFire CPR is ready to step in for Teresa and provide her students with the same level of care.
SureFire CPR: Here’s What You Need to Know
Like Happy Heart CPR, SureFire CPR offers a wide range of life-saving training courses, and these include:
BLS: Teaches students how to perform adult, child and infant CPR, use breathing barriers and bag valve masks and other BLS essentials.
CPR: Teaches students how to aid conscious and unconscious choking victims, use an AED and assist cardiac arrest victims until advanced emergency personnel arrive on scene.
Advanced Cardiac Life Support (ACLS): Teaches students how to serve as a leader and team member in a resuscitation team.
Pediatric Advanced Life Support (PALS): Teaches students how to respond in pediatric emergencies.
Additionally, SureFire CPR provides affordable training packages that enable individuals to obtain multiple life-saving certifications at the same time. These packages include:
3 Star Package: Includes BLS, ACLS and PALS courses.
3 Star Plus Package: Includes electrocardiography (ECG) and pharmacology, ACLS and PALS courses.
4 Star Package: Includes BLS, ACLS, PALS and ECG and pharmacology or neonate resuscitation program (NRP) courses.
5 Star Package: Includes BLS, ACLS, PALS, ECG and pharmacology and NRP courses.
Let’s not forget about the expert instructors who teach our life-saving training classes, either. We employ firefighters, registered nurses (RNs), emergency medical technicians (EMTs) and other medical professionals who share their real-world insights with students. Plus, our instructors are happy to respond to students’ life-saving training concerns and questions.
Our instructors ensure students – regardless of age or background – can learn the skills they need to become life-savers in emergencies, too. They use both classroom and hands-on lessons to teach students how to perform life-saving techniques in emergencies. That way, students can gain the confidence they need to administer life-saving assistance at any time.
At SureFire CPR, we understand devoting time and energy to participate in life-saving training classes sometimes is difficult as well. To accommodate our students’ busy lives, we offer flexible course schedules. We provide classes at different days and times during the week, enabling students to enroll in courses at their convenience.
Lastly, SureFire CPR offers classes at different locations across Southern California. We currently host classes at our offices in Laguna Hills, Los Angeles, Orange and Corona. Also, we provide on-site CPR training at homes and businesses.
Sign Up for Life-Saving Training Classes from SureFire CPR Today
SureFire CPR’s goal is to provide classes that are taught by skilled instructors and make it easy for individuals to obtain life-saving training certifications. To date, we have made strides to achieve our goal. We have partnered with Children’s Hospital of Orange County, VA Healthcare, MemorialCare Medical Group and other Southern California medical institutions to offer best-in-class training for medical professionals. Of course, we provide life-saving training courses for citizens at large as well.
Now, SureFire CPR is available to Happy Heart CPR students who want to continue to build their emergency training expertise. We are offering a “Happy Heart CPR” discount to Happy Heart CPR students, too. Enter the promo code: HAPPYHEART when you register online for a SureFire CPR class, and you will save 15% on our training.
If you have any questions about SureFire CPR and our course offerings, we are happy to assist you in any way possible. To find out more about SureFire CPR, please call us today at (888) 277-3143.
SureFire CPR Welcomes Happy Heart CPR was last modified: September 10th, 2018 by Zack Zarrilli
We often hear about people dying from cardiac arrest. But if asked to define it, most Americans are at a loss to give the correct answer. Contrary to popular belief, cardiac arrest is not the same as having a heart attack.
A heart attack is caused by a blockage in an artery that interrupts the flow of blood to the heart. If the blockage isn’t quickly opened, the part of the heart no longer receiving blood starts to die. One of the main differences is the heart continues to beat during a heart attack but not during cardiac arrest. A heart attack can cause cardiac arrest and sudden death, but it is a different type of illness with different causal factors.
Cardiac arrest is defined as “the abrupt loss of heart function in a person who may or may not have diagnosed heart disease”. It occurs due to a malfunction of the heart’s electrical system, such as an arrhythmia, and can cause death because the heart stops working properly.
Cardiac arrest is a leading cause of death in the U.S., with more than 300,000 out-of-hospital cases diagnosed by medical professionals every year. Yet, in most cases cardiac arrest can be reversed if the victim receives treatment (CPR and a defibrillator) within a few minutes. The key is having someone on hand with training in how to treat a cardiac arrest, which can be easily obtained from companies like SureFire CPR.
Common Causes of Sudden Cardiac Arrest
The life-threatening arrhythmias associated with cardiac arrest usually develop as a result of pre-existing heart conditions, including:
Coronary artery disease
Enlarged heart (cardiomyopathy)
Valvular heart disease
Congenital heart disease
Electrical problems in the heart
Other risk factors can include:
A family history of coronary artery disease
High blood pressure
High blood cholesterol
A sedentary lifestyle
Excess alcohol consumption
Illegal drug use
A previous heart attack or episode of cardiac arrest
Famous Hollywood/L.A. Celebrities Who Died of Cardiac Arrest
Sadly, Hollywood and Los Angeles have a long history of movie stars, musicians and other famous people who died from cardiac arrest. These include:
Michael Jackson. One of the biggest pop stars in the music industry, Jackson died in 2009 at age 58. Most people attribute his death to a drug overdose. But the actual cause of death was cardiac arrest, likely caused by taking a combination of lorazepam and Propofol, a surgical anesthetic. Jackson had become addicted to prescription drugs, specifically, pain-killing opioids, after undergoing multiple cosmetic surgeries and suffering scalp injuries suffered in a fire. Jackson’s personal physician found him in his room on the morning of June 25th, not breathing and with almost no pulse. Despite administering CPR, he was unable to revive Jackson before he died.
Tom Petty. One of the most popular rockers of his generation, Petty died in October, 2017 at the relatively young age of 66 after suffering a cardiac arrest due to an accidental overdose of painkillers. Petty had been taking the drugs, which included the very powerful opiates fentanyl and oxycodone as well as several sedatives, to medicate the pain of a broken hip and other injuries. He was found unresponsive in the bedroom of his Malibu home in the early morning and was rushed to the UCLA medical center, where efforts to revive him were unsuccessful.
Brittany Murphy. A star of the stage and screen, Murphy enjoyed a short but successful career as a film and stage actress, singer, and voice artist. One morning in December, 2009, Murphy’s mother found her collapsed in the shower, unconscious and barely breathing. Her mother immediately called 911, and Murphy was rushed to Cedars-Sinai Medical Center for emergency treatment. Unfortunately, she was pronounced dead due to cardiac arrest shortly after her arrival. There was speculation that the cardiac arrest could have been caused by an undetected heart condition, type-2 diabetes, or thyroid problems Murphy was rumored to have. The Chief Coroner who performed the autopsy said that Murphy likely died from “natural causes,” but others pointed out that it is rare for a woman of her age to die suddenly from cardiac arrest. To this day, the cause of the cardiac arrest remains a mystery.
Heather O’Rourke. A popular American child actress discovered at age five by renowned movie director Steven Spielberg, O’Rourke is a sad example that cardiac arrest can occur at any age. She died at the young age of 12 of due to cardiac arrest and septic shock caused by a misdiagnosed intestinal stenosis. O’Rourke became ill with giardiasis, a parasitic disease that induces fever, diarrhea, weight loss and other symptoms, about a year prior to her death. She was prescribed steroids to treat the disease, but in January of 1988 she became violently ill again and collapsed at home. Paramedics arrived to rush her to the hospital, but she suffered cardiac arrest on the way and died later that day.
Christopher Reeve. A highly popular actor, film director, producer, screenwriter, author, and activist, Reeve was most famous for his role as Superman before a tragic equestrian accident confined him to a wheelchair. After living with his condition for many years, Reeve required in-patient treatment at Northern Westchester Hospital for a pressure wound due to a bed sore, which frequently occurs with people suffering from paralysis. The wound became severely infected, causing a serious systemic infection. Reeve fell into a coma after suffering a cardiac arrest and never came out of it. He passed away with his family at his side in October 2004 at age 52.
John Ritter. Ritter achieved success and fame for his roles in the highly successful TV sitcoms “Three’s Company” and “Eight Simple Rules For Dating My Teenage Daughter”. In September of 2003, he fell ill with an aortic dissection, a serious condition in which the inner layer of the aorta tears, causing blood to leak and the inner and middle layers of the aorta to separate. This led to cardiac arrest, which took Ritter’s life at age 54.
Alex Haley. A prolific writer, Haley was best known for penning “The Autobiography of Malcom X” and “Roots: The Saga of An American Family,” which drew a record-breaking television audience of 130 million viewers when it was aired in 1977. One evening at home, Haley suffered an apparent heart attack, suspected to be caused by underlying heart disease. He was rushed by ambulance to the emergency room at Swedish Hospital in Seattle, Washington, where the doctors applied CPR. Unfortunately, the damage to his heart was too extensive and he died within an hour of being admitted to the hospital.
Famous Hollywood/L.A. Celebrities Who Became Life-Savers
Anyone can be a life-saver in a cardiac emergency – even a Hollywood heavyweight. Over the years, several film and TV stars have stepped up to deliver life-saving assistance in cardiac emergencies, including:
Matthew McConaughey. American actor Matthew McConaughey has starred in a wide range of popular movies – everything from animated comedy “Sing” to sci-fi thriller “Interstellar.” In addition to possessing a broad range of acting talents, McConaughey is CPR-certified. At the 2001 Toronto Film Festival, McConaughey performed CPR on a woman who had suffered a seizure. Bystanders applauded McConaughey for his heroic efforts, and some remarked that he was ready to administer life-saving support when others panicked.
Clint Eastwood. “Dirty Harry” star Clint Eastwood proved to be more than just an ordinary bystander at the 2014 Pebble Beach Pro-Am golf tournament. Steve John, the tournament’s director, was enjoying appetizers with Eastwood and others when he choked on a piece of cheese. John told CBS Sports that Eastwood immediately saw that he could not breathe and administered the Heimlich maneuver. By doing so, Eastwood saved John’s life.
Ryan Reynolds. Thanks to CPR training, “Deadpool” actor Ryan Reynolds became a real-life superhero to his nephew. In a June 2017 Instagram post, Reynolds stated that CPR training he had received years earlier helped him save his nephew’s life. Additionally, Reynolds noted that CPR training “takes only a few hours and it’s also kinda, sorta fun.”
Dustin Hoffman. Actor Dustin Hoffman may be best-known for his roles in “The Graduate,” “Rain Man” and other award-winning movies. Yet for one jogger, Hoffman may always be best-known for his role as a life-saver. While in London, Hoffman once saw a jogger collapse in front of him. Hoffman called paramedics and stayed with the jogger until they arrived on scene.
Jennifer Lawrence. Jennifer Lawrence, an actress who portrayed Katniss Everdeen in “The Hunger Games” films, faced a life-threatening situation similar to Hoffman’s. Lawrence was walking her dog in Santa Monica, California when a woman collapsed in front of her. That day, Lawrence played the role of hero and attempted to revive the woman and called 911. She also waited with the woman until paramedics arrived.
Omarosa. Omarosa, an American writer and participant on the reality TV show “The Apprentice,” once provided life-saving assistance to then-boyfriend Michael Clarke Duncan. When Duncan was suffering a heart attack, Omarosa performed CPR and called 911. Best of all, Omarosa managed to keep Duncan alive until paramedics were available. Omarosa later embarked on a campaign to promote CPR training and heart health following Duncan’s death in September 2012.
Jack Osbourne. Jack Osbourne, an actor and producer who has appeared in “Austin Powers in Goldmember,” “The Osbournes” and other movies and TV shows, likely expected to enjoy a worry-free vacation when he and his wife traveled to Hawaii for their honeymoon in 2012. Yet during the trip, Osbourne noticed a woman who appeared to be having trouble in the water. Osbourne discovered the woman was simultaneously drowning and having a heart attack. Fortunately, Osbourne was CPR-certified, and he was able to resuscitate the woman. Osbourne waited with the woman until advanced medical personnel arrived as well.
It Could Happen to Someone You Know
Medical crises happen every day. Knowing what to do in an emergency can mean the difference between saving someone’s life or watching them succumb to cardiac arrest. That’s why SureFire CPR offer instructor-led CPR classes and a wide range of other courses in emergency procedures.
Summer is a wonderful time to get outside and enjoy the beautiful weather. Yet it is important to do so carefully; otherwise, you risk accidents, injuries and other immediate and long-lasting health issues.
There are lots of things you can do to stay safe during the summer. Now, let’s take a look at five summer dangers, along with tips to address such problems.
Dehydration occurs when the body lacks a sufficient amount of water. There are many physical symptoms associated with dehydration, and these include:
Recent research indicates approximately 75% of Americans suffer from chronic dehydration, according to Medical Daily. Without the proper amount of water, the body cannot effectively digest and absorb vitamins and nutrients. And as a result, those who are dealing with chronic dehydration may experience long-term fatigue, joint pain and other health problems.
Extreme heat makes people more susceptible to dehydration during summer, but there are many things you can do to limit the risk of dehydration, such as:
Carry a reusable water bottle. Take a reusable water bottle with you everywhere you go and refill the bottle throughout the day; that way, you can stay hydrated at all times.
Wear the right clothing and accessories. Light-colored clothing is less likely to absorb heat than dark-colored apparel. Also, a hat and sunglasses will help you remain cool and comfortable outdoors.
Eat the right foods. Consume fruits, vegetables and other foods that are easy to digest and high in water content.
Take a break. The sun reaches its peak between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. so you may want to take a break from outdoor summer activities during this time frame.
Dehydration can affect anyone, at any time. But if you prepare accordingly, you can avoid mild, moderate and severe dehydration symptoms.
Heat exhaustion occurs when the body overheats, and it is associated with excessive exposure to high temperatures and humidity and strenuous physical activity. Common heat exhaustion symptoms include:
If heat exhaustion goes untreated, it may lead to heatstroke, a life-threatening condition. Fortunately, there are numerous precautions you can take to prevent heat exhaustion, and these include:
Stay hydrated. Drink lots of water to help your body maintain a normal temperature.
Apply sunscreen. Use a sunscreen that has a sun protection factor (SPF) of 15 or higher to safeguard your skin against sunburns that otherwise may lead to heat exhaustion. You also should reapply sunscreen approximately every two hours.
Wear lightweight clothing. Loose-fitting and lightweight apparel will help you keep your body cool.
Rest frequently. Avoid strenuous activity and take regular breaks in cool spots.
In the event of a heat exhaustion emergency, try not to panic. Instead, stop all activity, rest, move to a cool place and consume cool water. If heat exhaustion symptoms linger, contact a doctor.
Ticks thrive in hot and humid summertime conditions, and they may carry Lyme disease, a condition that causes fatigue, headaches and other physical symptoms. Lyme disease is transmitted through the bite of an infected black-legged tick. And if Lyme disease goes unaddressed, it may lead to long-term heart, nervous system and joint problems.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates approximately 300,000 people experience Lyme disease due to tick bites annually. If you know how to protect yourself against tick bites, however, you can reduce the risk of tick bites while camping, gardening or enjoying other summer activities.
Some of the best ways to prevent tick bites during summertime include:
Know where to expect ticks. Ticks are commonly found in wooded and grassy settings. Therefore, if you walk or play in these areas, you should keep an eye out for ticks.
Use insect repellent. Insect repellent that contains DEET delivers outstanding protection against ticks and other bugs. Apply insect repellent generously to your body. You should treat your boots, socks and other apparel and accessories with insect repellent as well.
Perform a tick check. When it comes to Lyme disease, it is a good idea to err on the side of caution. With a tick check, you can examine your body for ticks and remove ticks following any outdoor activities.
A proactive approach to ticks may enable you to avoid tick bites. Additionally, this approach may protect you against Lyme disease.
Unintentional drowning is one of the leading causes of unintentional death in the United States. Approximately 10 people die from unintentional drowning every day, CDC reports. Among these people, two are age 14 or younger.
It is crucial to understand the risks associated with unintentional drowning. If you plan to swim at a beach or pool this summer, here are some of the things you can do to prevent unintentional drowning emergencies:
Choose the right life jacket. Pick up a life jacket that will enable you to keep your head above water and breathe while swimming. A life jacket should provide a snug fit and be tested for wear and buoyancy at least once a year.
Use the buddy system. Never swim alone; swim with a friend, family member or any other buddy. Whenever possible, you should swim at a beach or pool that has a lifeguard on duty, as well.
Sign up for swimming lessons. Swimming lessons are available for kids and adults and teach students how to swim safely.
Avoid alcohol. You should never drink alcohol before or during swimming – without exception.
Check the weather. High winds and other inclement weather can quickly change swim conditions. Thus, you should take a look at the weather forecast before you go to a beach or pool.
Of course, cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) training enables anyone – regardless of age – to reduce the loss of life in drowning emergencies. A CPR class teaches individuals what to life-threatening situations including drownings. Plus, a CPR class usually requires just a few hours to complete and enables students to earn a CPR certification card that remains valid for two years.
August and September are among the peak months for car accidents in the United States. Some of the reasons why this is the case include:
School is not in session. Teen drivers tend to spend more time on the road during summertime, and these inexperienced drivers may be more susceptible than others to collisions.
Summer heat may cause vehicle failures. Hot, muggy weather increases the likelihood of tire blowouts and associated traffic accidents.
Roadway projects are common during summertime. Road crews tend to complete road construction projects in summertime. These projects may lead to shut-down traffic lanes, detours and other roadway changes that boost the risk of collisions.
In some instances, car accidents are unavoidable. Yet sometimes there are many things you can do to protect yourself and others when you drive this summer, such as:
Schedule a service trip. Regular car tune-ups, oil changes and other car maintenance tasks enable you to keep your car running.
Buckle up. Wear your seatbelt every time you drive, and ensure your passengers do the same.
Stay alert. If you feel tired while driving, take a break. Furthermore, if you are traveling on a long road trip, don’t hesitate to stay at a hotel or family resort overnight and resume your journey the next day.
Don’t text and drive.Keep your eyes on the road – not your phone. If necessary, you can always have a “designated texter” to hold your phone while you drive.
There is no telling when a car accident will happen. Thanks to the aforementioned tips, you can limit the risk of car accidents. You may even be able to stop car accidents from happening.
Clearly, there are lots of summer dangers to consider. If you prepare for summer dangers, you can stay safe during beach trips, camping excursions and other summertime activities. Best of all, you can put yourself in a position to enjoy an accident-, disease- and injury-free summer.
5 Summer Dangers You Need to Know About was last modified: August 8th, 2018 by Zack Zarrilli