Author, Teacher, Psychologist and Speaker

Posts Tagged "child safety"


Posted by on Oct 28, 2013 in Blog | 3 comments

Halloween is a tradition celebrated by both children and adults every year on October 31st. It is one of the most exciting and fun-filled times of the year! We dress up in costumes, go to parties, play games, and go trick or treating.


Halloween costume


Halloween can also be the deadliest time of the year, especially for our children.  Kids have a greater chance of being fatally injured by a car on Halloween than any other day of the year. 32% of victims are children between the ages of 12-15. And statistics show that 60% of child pedestrian fatalities occurred between the hours of 5pm to 9pm, with nearly 25% between pm and 7pm. (Fatality Analysis Reporting System (FARS)


Be Halloween Safe


5 Tips for Trick or Treat Safety:

  • Always trick or treat with an adult or older sibling.
  • Carry a flashlight with fresh batteries.
  • Walk direct routes with the fewest street crossings.
  • Walk on sidewalks or paths, or facing traffic as far to the left as possible.
  • Look left, right and left again before crossing the street at corners.

5 Tips for Costume Safety:

  • Decorate costumes and bags with reflective tape or stickers.
  • Choose light and bright colors.
  • Make sure the costume is made of flame resistant fabric.
  • Make sure the costume is the right size to prevent trips and falls.
  • Choose face paint and makeup whenever possible instead of masks, which can obstruct a child’s vision.

5 Tips for Food Safety:

  • Don’t eat candy until it has been inspected at home.
  • Eat a snack before heading out too avoid the temptation.
  • Look for the warning labels on juices, fruits, nuts, etc.
  • Avoid homemade treats unless you know the cook well.
  • When in doubt, throw it out.

5 Tips for Traffic Safety:

  • Slow down and be especially alert in residential neighborhoods.
  • During peak trick or treat times, be extra watchful for children in dark clothing.
  • Watch for children walking on roadways, at intersections, on medians and on curbs.
  • Watch for children darting out from between parked cars.
  • Enter and exit driveways and alleys slowly and carefully.

Halloween can be a dangerous time of year for our furry friends, too!


Cat Costume


5 Tips for Pet Safety:

  • No tricks or treats for Spot or Tiger, especially dark or baking chocolate, or those containing artificial sweetener.
  • Pumpkins and decorative corn can produce stomach upset in pets.
  • Keep carved pumpkins containing burning candles away from your pet.
  • If your pet chews wires from lights and decorations, it might suffer cuts or burns, or receive a possibly life-threatening electrical shock.
  • Guard the door when opening for trick or theaters so that your pet doesn’t dart outside.

Some fun things to do with your kids this week:

5 Books to read:

  • The Hallo-Wiener by Dav Pilkey (4-8 years)

Hallo Weiner

  • Five Little Pumpkins by Dan Yaccarino (4-8 years)

5 Little Pumpkins

  • The Berenstain Bears & The Haunted House by Jan & Mike Berenstain (4-8 years)

Berenstain Bears

  • Always October by Bruce Coville (8 – 12 years)

Always October

  • Weirdo Halloween by R.L. Stine (8 – 12 years)

Weirdo Halloween

5 Movies to watch:

  • It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown!

It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown

  • The Goonies [PG]The Goonies
  •   Casper [PG]              


  • Monsters, Inc. [G]Monsters, Inc
  • The Worst Witch [G]

The Worst Witch

5 Activities to do:

Pasta Skeleton Craft

Pasta Skeleton

Pasta Skelton Template

Pasta Skeleton Template


  • a variety of pasta and dried beans, i.e. spaghetti, macaroni, tiny tube pasta, long tube pasta, wagon wheels, long spirals, tiny shells, wagon wheels
  • a sheet of black construction paper
  • white glue
  • white marker or crayon
  • pasta skeleton template


  • Arrange the pasta on the paper before gluing to adjust for spacing on the skeleton. (The wagon wheels are great for the head, tiny tubes or lentils for spine vertebrae, longer tubes or spirals for collarbones, arms and legs, spaghetti for fingers and toes, small shells or dried white beans for kneecaps, wrists and ankles and dried lima beans for the hips).
  • Glue the pasta to the black paper.
  • You can label the bones and write your name with a white marker or crayon.

Egg Carton Bats and Egg Carton Spiders

Egg carton batEgg cart onspider



Bat Supplies:

  • egg cartons
  • crayons or markers
  • scissors

Bat Directions:

  • Separate 3 cups from an egg carton (See picture).
  • Cut out part of the bottoms of the 2 outside cups to resemble bat wings.
  • Add eyes, a mouth, and decorate.
  • Hang it from a string or a rubber band.

Spider Supplies:

  • egg cartons
  • crayons or markers
  • scissors
  • pipe cleaners

Spider Directions:

  • Separate one cup from an egg carton.
  • Using the point of a scissors, an adult should make 8 small holes (4 on each side) at the base of the cup.
  • Insert a pipe cleaner into each of the holes for legs.
  • Draw a face and decorate the body.

Candy Corn Tissue Paper Collage

Candy Corn Tissure Paper Collage


  • White Card Stock
  • Glue
  • Yellow, Orange and white tissue paper


  • Cut a triangle from card.
  • Round the edges into a candy corn shape.
  • Rip the tissue paper into pieces and scrunch into small balls.
  • Glue the tissue paper to the triangle to make stripes. (See picture)

Pumpkin Bowling

pumpkin bowling


  • 5 to 10 empty two-liter bottles
  • two medium-size pumpkins (not too big)
  • gravel (pebbles)
  • white paint and black paint


  • Put enough gravel (pebbles) inside the two-liter bottles to keep them weighted down so they will stand easily without falling over.
  • Paint the two-liters white to use as bowling pins and paint the pumpkins black for use as the bowling balls.
  • Set the bowling pins up in a group and line the children up about 20 feet from the pins.
  • One at a time let each child roll the pumpkin and try to knock down as many pins as possible.
  • Let each child have two turns and add up the scores.
  • The child with the highest score wins the game. If there is a tie, let those children bowl again until the tie is broken.

Haunted House



  • large cardboard box
  • black paper
  • white or yellow tissue paper
  • black pant
  • white chalk
  • scissors
  • sticky tape
  • flashlight


  • Stand the box on one end.
  • Open it up at the top and fold open the flaps to form a roof. (See picture)
  • From one of the flaps cut out a rectangle to form a window. Carefully with the scissors make holes in the box and cut 2 windows from each side of the box.
  • Paint the box black and leave to dry. Make sure that you put down plenty of newspaper or stand it on an old plastic tablecloth first!
  • Cut the black paper into thin strips.
  • Tape the strips to the inside of the box to form crosses at the windows.
  • Cover the windows with tissue paper (taping on the inside of the box).
  • With a thin brush (or perhaps a black marker pen), gently paint cobwebs, spiders and cats at some of the windows.
  • Switch on the flashlight and put it inside your box to cast spooky shadows at the windows .
  • Tape the flaps at the top of the box together and with lots of sticky tape fasten the roof together.
  • Draw a door on the front of your house with the white chalk.
  • You can add a witch and her broomstick.



Happy Halloween

Have a safe and happy Halloween!

pumpkin with candy


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Posted by on Aug 21, 2013 in Blog, Uncategorized | 0 comments

Back to School


It’s that time of year again! Some schools in the south have already started classes, while the typical start for the rest of the country is after Labor Day. Whether you have already begun or are gearing up – with over 55 million school children in grades K-12 attending our schools, there are some very important safety considerations to note.



Getting on the bus


~ Choose a safe place to wait for the bus, away from traffic and off the street.

~ Wait for the bus driver to come to a complete stop and give the okay to board.

~ Look both ways, make sure all traffic has stopped before you cross the street.

~ Stay seated at all times, keeping your hands and arms inside the windows.

~ Keep the aisles in the bus clear.

~ Don’t throw anything out of the windows.

~ Listen to the driver and other adults in charge, obeying the rules and directions.

~ Do not stand up to exit until the bus has come to a complete stop.



~ Review your child’s route and the bus stop procedures before the first day.

~ Tell your child not to walk in front of the bus until it has come to a complete stop. ~ Remind them not to bend down in front of the bus as the driver may not see him before starting to move.


School Zone




~ Be alert for cars and school buses dropping off children, children walking and biking.

~ Pay attention to the directions of school crossing guards.

~ Remember: In normal traffic, both directions of traffic must stop when school bus stop arms and flashing red lights are displayed. On multi-lane roadways with a raised or grass divider, traffic traveling in the same direction as the bus must stop.

~ Be aware of posted speed limits in and around school zones and schools.


Safe Routes to School




~ Obey all traffic regulations and signals.

~ Ride in the same direction as auto traffic.

~ Walk your bike through intersections.

~ Always wear a bicycle helmet and wear bright colored clothing.


School Crossing




~ Obey all traffic signals and/or the crossing guard.

~ Do not cross the street against a light, even if you don’t see any traffic coming.

~ If possible, walk with a friend, or in the case of small children, with an adult.

~ Wear something reflective that will it make you more visible.

~ Walk only on sidewalks and/or designated paths, not on the road.

~ Do not walk between parked cars.

~ Walk the route with a parent before school starts, especially if it is a new school, to determine the safest route.


School Speed Limit




~ All front seat passengers and minors must wear a seat belt.

~ Obey the crossing guard and the speed limit within the school zones.

~ Drop your children off and pick them up as close to the school as possible.

~ Don’t leave until they are in the schoolyard or building.

~ Parents should require seat belt use by the driver and all passengers, limit the number of teen passengers, do not allow eating, drinking, cell phone conversations or texting to prevent driver distraction; limit nighttime driving and driving in inclement weather. Remember, many crashes occur while novice teen drivers are going to and from school.


Back to School Internet



~ Never share personal information about yourself, your family members, your school, your telephone number, and your address.

~ Use strong passwords, keep them private.

~ Never open email or click on links from strangers.

~ Never download unfamiliar links that may contain viruses.

~ Use computers with a good antivirus protection.

~ Never send pictures to strangers.

~ Use caution before you post online. Once it is in cyberspace it is there forever!

~ Lock and protect your computer and mobile devices.

~ Report any suspicious, inappropriate, cyberbullying or cyberstalking behavior to authorities.


Cyber Safety


Keep these tips in mind and have a safe, happy, and exciting school year!







Back to School Safety

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The Vital Value of “AMBER Alert”

Posted by on Jan 4, 2013 in Missing Kids | 1 comment


AMBERAlert square


On December 19, 2012, two young boys from Georgia, Ben and Henry Cleary were supposed to be accompanying their father, Daniel Cleary of Roswell, GA, on an overnight trip to Chattanooga, TN. They were scheduled to return to their mother’s home in Atlanta on December 26.


Ben & Henry Cleary


When they failed to return home by the set date, Theresa Nash, the boys’ mother, went to the estranged father’s home in Roswell and found that the phone had been disconnected and all of his belongings were missing. The boys were the victims of an apparent parental abduction.


Mrs. Nash reported this to the authorities and The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children issued an AMBER Alert for the boys. CNN then picked up the story and reported the kidnapping on Saturday evening. Someone recognized the boys and reported that they were seen with Cleary at a hotel in Austin, TX, over 1000 miles from their home.


Theresa went to Austin to pick up her sons and Cleary was taken into custody Saturday, December 29, 1012.





The AMBER Alert™ Program is a voluntary partnership between law-enforcement agencies, broadcasters, transportation agencies, and the wireless industry, to activate an urgent bulletin in the most serious child-abduction cases. The goal of an AMBER Alert is to instantly galvanize the entire community to assist in the search for and the safe recovery of the child.




An AMBER Alert, otherwise known as a Child Abduction Emergency code, is a worldwide abduction alert bulletin throughout many countries. It is issued immediately upon the suspected abduction of a child. “AMBER” officially is a backronym, which stands for “America’s Missing: Broadcasting Emergency Response”.  It is originally named for Amber Hagerman, a 9 year old girl abducted and murdered in Arlington Texas in 1996.


About 600 kidnapped children have returned home thank to AMBER Alerts.




AMBER Alerts are distributed via commercial, internet and satellite radio stations and by broadcast and cable television by the Emergency Alert System and NOAA Weather Radio. They are also issued via email, electronic traffic signs, and LED/LCD billboards.

You can also receive AMBER Alerts on SOCIAL MEDIA:


amber-facebook Sign up to receive AMBER Alerts in your Facebook News Feed. Simply to go to the    AMBER Alert Facebook page at and “Like” your state under the “AMBER Pages” tab. You can also receive AMBER Alerts from outside your area by clicking “Like” for additional states.


amber-google Use the AMBER Alert Google Gadget to receive AMBER Alerts on your iGoogle or    Web page.
AMBER Alerts are also part of the Google Public Alerts platform. Receive AMBER Alerts when you use Google Search and Google Maps.



Sign up to receive AMBER Alerts through your AOL Alerts.



amber-yahoo Sign up to receive AMBER Alerts through your Yahoo! Alerts.



amber-myspace MySpace will relay AMBER Alerts to all users within the zip codes of where the AMBER  Alert was issued. Notifications will appear at the top of your profile.


You can  also receive AMBER Alerts on your cell phone or other wireless device:




Wireless AMBER Alerts is a multi-media public service advertising (PSA) campaign designed to raise awareness of Wireless AMBER Alerts and encourage all wireless subscribers to aid in the search for abducted children. The first three hours after a child is abducted are the most crucial in bringing them home quickly and safely and this initiative between the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children and the wireless industry has the potential to reach more than 242 million wireless subscribers.




Wireless AMBER Alerts™ will distribute AMBER Alerts to wireless subscribers who opt in to receive the messages. Subscribers capable of receiving text messages, and whose wireless carrier participates in the Wireless AMBER Alerts Initiative, may opt in to receive alerts by registering at or their wireless carrier’s web site and designating up to five zip codes from which they’d like to be alerted in the case of an AMBER Alert activation.


The alerts about abducted children will join the system that also sends imminent threat alerts, such as for natural and man-made disasters, and presidential alerts, such as for national security.




These subscribers become the eyes and ears of law enforcement when a child has been abducted. Join those who have already signed up for Wireless AMBER Alerts™ and help bring an abducted child home safely.


For an AMBER Alert, authorities need confirmation that the child has been abducted, that the child is 17 years old or younger, that authorities believe the child is in danger of serious bodily harm or death and that there is a description of the abductor or vehicle used in the abduction.


Click here to receive AMBER Alerts on your phone.

Click here to see active AMBER Alerts.

You can read more AMBER Alert success stories here.

Click here for a Toolkit for Raising awareness.










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