Over the years, we have posted hundreds of safety tips and to-do lists. Frankly, it can be a bit overwhelming, even for us. While any task that reduces your family’s risk of injury is worth doing, especially the simple and inexpensive ones (which most are), there are a few that can dramatically reduce your risk and should not be put off any longer.
Start your year off right. Complete these five, simple tasks and we promise you will rest a little more easily in 2012!
1. Make sure your kids know your cell phone number by heart. At the very least, make sure they know your full first and last name. You might be surprised by how many young children will say that their parents’ names are Mommy and Daddy, which doesn’t help much when they are lost. We also highly recommend using the Family Locator app from Life360. If your children are not old enough to carry phones, there is an option for GPS locator devices.
Did you know? 2,000 children are reported missing each day (NISMART-2 2002)
2. Create a fire escape plan and do a few practice fire-drills with your kids. Scared kids will often hide or try to take cover under a bed or in a closet during a fire. If they have practiced safely getting to a window or door, they are much less likely to make this potentially tragic mistake.
3. Place a fire extinguisher under the kitchen sink, near the laundry room and in the garage. If you already have them, check that the indicator is on “Full.”
Did you know? On average, in the United States in 2010, someone died in a fire every 169 minutes and someone was injured every 30 minutes. (Karter 2011) Children aged four and under are at greater risk. (CDC 2010; Flynn 010)
4. Add CO detectors to each level of your house, especially near bedrooms and rooms with gas appliances such as the kitchen and laundry room. In some states, it is now the law to have CO detectors installed.
Did you know? Each year, more than 20,000 Americans visit the emergency room and more than 4,000 are hospitalized due to CO poisoning. 400 die every year. (CDC 2011)
5. Along with children’s furniture and gear, register your appliances, electronics and sporting goods for recall notifications. If you prefer not to register with the manufacturer, or you wish to register all your belongings in one place, Items I Own is the answer.
Did you know? An estimated 300,000 injuries and deaths have occurred from recalled products after they were recalled, most often because the owners did not learn about the recalls. (WeMakeItSafer 2011)
There you have it. Simple, right? This is by no means an exhaustive list; there are many more safety tasks we believe you should definitely complete to help protect your family, but if we had to pick just five for you to do right now, these would be at the top of our list.
Here’s to a happy, healthy and SAFE 2012!