News and Blogs

2014 Summer Safety Tips

FIREWORKS SAFETY
Fireworks can result in severe burns, scars and disfigurement that can last a lifetime.
Fireworks that are often thought to be safe, such as sparklers, can reach temperatures above 1000 degrees Fahrenheit, and can burn users and bystanders.
Families should attend community fireworks displays run by professionals rather than using fireworks at home.
The AAP recommends prohibiting public sale of all fireworks, including those by mail or the Internet.
BUG SAFETY
Don’t use scented soaps, perfumes or hair sprays on your child.
Avoid areas where insects nest or congregate, such as stagnant pools of water, uncovered foods and gardens where flowers are in bloom.
Avoid dressing your child in clothing with bright colors or flowery prints.
To remove a visible stinger from skin, gently back it out by scraping it with a credit card or your fingernail.
Combination sunscreen/insect repellent products should be avoided because sunscreen needs to be reapplied every two hours, but the insect repellent should not be reapplied.
Use insect repellents containing DEET when needed to prevent insect-related diseases. Ticks can transmit Lyme Disease, and mosquitoes can transmit West Nile Virus and other viruses.
The current AAP and CDC recommendation for children older than 2 months of age is to use 10% to 30% DEET. DEET should not be used on children younger than 2 months of age.
The effectiveness is similar for 10% to 30% DEET but the duration of effect varies. Ten percent DEET provides protection for about 2 hours, and 30% protects for about 5 hours. Choose the lowest concentration that will provide the required length of coverage.
The concentration of DEET varies significantly from product to product, so read the label of any product you purchase. Children should wash off repellents when they return indoors.
As an alternative to DEET, picaridin has become available in the U.S. in concentrations of 5% to10%.
When outside in the evenings or other times when there are a lot of mosquitoes present, cover up with long sleeved shirts, pants and socks to prevent bites.
PLAYGROUND SAFETY
The playground should have safety-tested mats or loose-fill materials (shredded rubber, sand, wood chips, or bark) maintained to a depth of at least 9 inches (6 inches for shredded rubber). The protective surface should be installed at least 6 feet (more for swings and slides) in all directions from the equipment.
Equipment should be carefully maintained. Open “S” hooks or protruding bolt ends can be hazardous.
Swing seats should be made of soft materials such as rubber, plastic or canvas.
Make sure children cannot reach any moving parts that might pinch or trap any body part.
Never attach—or allow children to attach—ropes, jump ropes, leashes, or similar items to play equipment; children can strangle on these. If you see something tied to the playground, remove it or call the playground operator to remove it.
Make sure your children remove helmets and anything looped around their necks.
Metal, rubber and plastic products can get very hot in the summer, especially under direct sun.
Make sure slides are cool to prevent children’s legs from getting burned.
Do not allow children to play barefoot on the playground.
Parents should supervise children on play equipment to make sure they are safe.
Parents should never purchase a home trampoline or allow children to use a home trampoline because of the risk of serious injury even when supervised.
Surrounding netting offers a false sense of security and does not prevent many trampoline-related injuries
If children are jumping on a trampoline, they should be supervised by a responsible adult, and only one child should be on the trampoline at a time; 75% of trampoline injuries occur when more than one person is jumping at a time..
BICYCLE SAFETY
A helmet protects your child from serious injury, and should always be worn. And remember, wearing a helmet at all times helps children develop the helmet habit.
Your child needs to wear a helmet on every bike ride, no matter how short or how close to home. Many injuries happen in driveways, on sidewalks, and on bike paths, not just on streets. Children learn best by observing you. Set the example: Whenever you ride, put on your helmet.
When purchasing a helmet, look for a label or sticker that says the helmet meets the CPSC safety standard.
A helmet should be worn so that it is level on the head and covers the forehead, not tipped forward or backwards. The strap should be securely fastened with about 2 fingers able to fit between chin and strap. The helmet should be snug on the head, but not overly tight. Skin should move with the helmet when moved side to side. If needed, the helmet’s sizing pads can help improve the fit.
Do not push your child to ride a 2-wheeled bike without training wheels until he or she is ready. Consider the child’s coordination and desire to learn to ride. Stick with coaster (foot) brakes until your child is older and more experienced for hand brakes. Consider a balance bike with no pedals for young children to learn riding skills.
Take your child with you when you shop for the bike, so that he or she can try it out. The value of a properly fitted bike far outweighs the value of surprising your child with a new one. Buy a bike that is the right size, not one your child has to “grow into.” Oversized bikes are especially dangerous.
SKATEBOARD, SCOOTER, IN-LINE SKATING AND HEELYS SAFETY
All skateboarders and scooter-riders should wear protective gear; helmets are particularly important for preventing and minimizing head injuries. Riders should wear helmets that meet ASTM or other approved safety standards, and that are specifically designed to reduce the effects of skating hazards.
Communities should continue to develop skateboard parks, which are more likely to be monitored for safety than ramps and jumps constructed by children at home.
While in-line skating or using Heelys, only skate on designated paths or rinks and not in the street.
Most injuries occur due to falls. Inexperienced riders should only ride as fast as they can comfortably slow down, and they should practice falling on grass or other soft surfaces. Before riding, skateboarders should survey the riding terrain for obstacles such as potholes, rocks, or any debris. Protective wrist, elbow and kneepads should be worn.
Children should never ride skateboards or scooters in or near moving traffic.
Riders should never skate alone. Children under the age of eight should be closely supervised at all times.
ALL-TERRAIN VEHICLES
Children who are too young to have a driver’s license should not be allowed to operate or ride off-road vehicles. Children are involved in about 30 percent of all ATV-related deaths and emergency room-treated injuries.
Because their nervous systems and judgment have not fully developed, off-road vehicles are particularly dangerous for children younger than 16 years.
Don’t ride double. Passengers are frequently injured when riding ATVs. Most ATVs are designed to carry only one person: the driver. Passengers can make ATVs unstable and difficult to control.
All ATV riders should take a hands-on safety training course.
All riders should wear helmets, eye protection, sturdy shoes (no flip-flops), and protective, reflective clothing. Appropriate helmets are those designed for motorcycle (not bicycle) use, and should include safety visors/face shields for eye protection. Wearing a helmet may prevent or reduce the severity of these injuries.
ATVs lack the common safety equipment found on all cars and trucks that are designed for street use. ATV tires are not designed to grip on pavement, so operators should not ride on paved roads. Parents should never permit nighttime riding or street use of off-road vehicles.
Flags, reflectors and lights should be used to make vehicles more visible.
Drivers of recreational vehicles should not drive while under the influence of alcohol, drugs or even some prescription medicines. Parents should set an example for their children in this regard.
Young drivers should be discouraged from on-road riding of any 2-wheeled motorized cycle, even when they are able to be licensed to do so, because they are inherently more dangerous than passenger cars.
LAWN MOWER SAFETY
Only use a mower with a control that stops the mower blade from moving if the handle is let go.
Children younger than 16 years should not be allowed to use ride-on mowers. Children younger than 12 years should not use walk-behind mowers.
Make sure that sturdy shoes are worn while mowing.
Prevent injuries from flying objects, such as stones or toys, by picking up objects from the lawn before mowing begins. Have anyone who uses a mower wear hearing and eye protection.
Do not pull the mower backward or mow in reverse unless absolutely necessary, and carefully look for children behind you when you mow in reverse.
Always turn off the mower and wait for the blades to stop completely before removing the grass catcher, unclogging the discharge chute, or crossing gravel paths, roads, or other areas.
Do not allow children to ride as passengers on ride-on mowers.
Keep children out of the yard while mowing.
Drive up and down slopes, not across to prevent mower rollover.
Keep guards, shields, switches, and safety devices in proper working order at all times.
If children must be in the vicinity of running lawnmowers, they should wear polycarbonate protective eye wear at all times.
© American Academy of Pediatrics, June 2014
- See more at: http://www.aap.org/en-us/about-the-aap/aap-press-room/news-features-and-safety-tips/Pages/Summer-Safety-Tips.aspx#sthash.jONTdQjS.dpuf

Steps for buying your new home

1. Figure out how much you can afford
What you can afford depends on your income, credit rating, current monthly expenses, downpayment and the interest rate.

Home Economics
Homebuying programs in your state

2. Know your rights
Fair Housing: Equal Opportunity for All- brochure
Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (RESPA)
Borrower’s rights
Predatory lending

3. Shop for a loan
Looking for the best mortgage: shop, compare, negotiate – brochure
Let FHA help you
Learn about interest only loans
Avoid Predatory Lenders

4. Learn about homebuying programs
Homebuying programs in your state
Let FHA help you (FHA loan programs offer lower downpayments and are a good option for first-time homebuyers!)
HUD’s special homebuying programs
Good Neighbor Next Door(formerly known as Teacher/Officer/Firefighter Next Door)
Homeownership for public housing residents
Indian Home Loan Guarantee Program(Section 184)

5. Shop for a home
Wish list – what features do you want?
Home-shopping checklist? take this list with you when comparing homes
Homes for sale(including HUD homes)
“Fixer-Uppers – home purchase and repair programs
Manufactured (mobile) homes
Build a home
Shopping for a Home FAQ’s

6. Make an offer
Making an offer

7. Get a home inspection
For Your Protection Get a Home Inspection
10 Questions to ask a home inspector

8. Shop for homeowners insurance
Homeowners insurance
12 ways to lower your homeowners insurance costs

9. Sign papers
You’re finally ready to go to “settlement” or “closing.” Be sure to read everything before you sign!
Settlement Costs and Helpful Information

A Thorough Spring Cleaning Checklist

FOYER
Dust lighting fixtures.
Wash walls and trim
Wash doors, knobs and switch plates.
Wash bench or other furnishings. Launder bench cushion, if applicable.
Empty out coat closet. Wash walls and floor, if needed. Sort items as you return them to the closet. Store out of season items, donate unneeded items.
Clean or replace entry mat.
Sweep and scrub floors.
Reseal grout lines, if necessary.
BEDROOMS
Open windows
Dust furniture.
For each drawer: remove items, wash drawer, place items back neatly. Donate Items you no longer need.
Remove everything from closets. Sweep and wash closet floor. Put everything back neatly. Donate items you no longer need. Try not to store things on closet floor.
Move Bed. Sort and put away anything that was under bed. Sweep or vacuum under bed. Try not to store things under bed.
Put bed back. Freshen mattress by sprinkling with baking soda, letting sit briefly, and the vacuuming it up.
Launder bedding and curtains. Wash pillows and duvet in hot water. Air out mattress pad, if you have one.
Dust lights. Clean lamp shades.
Wash windows and window sills. Take out and wash window screens.
Wash switch plates. Wash walls and trim as needed.
Wash mirrors or dust art.
Wash doors and doorknobs.
Wash floor registers and other vent covers.
Sweep and wash floor or vacuum.

BATHROOMS
Open windows
Empty all cabinets and vanity. Wash inside, replace items neatly. Discard expired medications and cosmetics.
Wash outside of cabinets and vanities
Clean tub. Wax if necessary. Clean drain.
Clean toilet, inside and out. Remove seat and clean around seat bolts.
Clean sink and drain.
Shine faucets.
Clean mirror and frame .
Dust light fixtures.
Wash windows and window sills. Take out and wash window screens.
Wash switch plates. wash walls and trim. Wash doors and door knobs.
Wash floor registers and other vent covers.
Sweep and wash floors.
Reseal grout lines if necessary.
KITCHEN
Open windows.
Remove and clean window coverings. Click here for instructions on cleaning mini blinds.
For each cabinet or drawer: Remove items, wipe out drawer, place items back neatly. Donate unneeded items.
Wash and sanitize cutting boards
Sharpen knives
Wash cabinet doors and knobs
Clean and organize pantry. Check food expiry dates.
Clean oven.
Clean stove top. Remove elements and drip bowls, if applicable, wash and put back.
Clean and organize fridge and freezer. Defrost freezer, if necessary. Check food expiry dates.
Clean under fridge and stove.
Vacuum refrigerator coils.
Clean microwave.
Clean crumbs out of toaster.
Clean and descale kettle.
Wipe down any other counter appliances
wash counters and back splash.
Wash and shine sink. Shine faucet. Clean drain.
Clean Dishwasher.
Dust light fixtures.
Wash windows and window sills. Remove window screens and wash.
Wash switch plates.
Wash walls and trim as needed.
Wash doors and door knobs.
Wash floor registers and other vent covers
Sweep and wash floor.
Reseal grout lines, if necessary.
DINING ROOM
Open windows.
Wash curtains.
Wipe down table and chairs.
Wipe down or dust other furnishing.
Clean chair pads, if applicable.
Polish table, if necessary
Create a pretty spring vignette on table!
Dust any displayed china or serving dishes.
Launder table linens.
Shine silverware.
Dust art.
Wash windows and window sills. Take out and wash window screens.
Wash switch plates
Wash walls and trim.
Wash doors and door knobs
Wash floor registers and other vent covers.
Clean floors.
LIVING ROOM/ FAMILY ROOM/ PLAYROOM
Open windows.
Vacuum sofas.
Spot clean sofas, if applicable.
Launder throw pillows and blankets.
Dust shelves, furniture and decor.
Clean lamps and lampshades.
Wash windows and window sills.
Take out and wash window screens.
Clean television screen.
Carefully dust electronics.
Tidy electronics wires. Tuck nicely out of sight. Label them, if practical.
Sort through music and DVD collections. Purge things that no longer suit your families interests. Organize what is left in an attractive manner.
Sort books and magazines. Donate or recycle ones that no longer suit your families interests.
Wash hard plastic children’s toys with warm soapy water. Rinse and dry. Launder stuffed toys. Donate or store toys that your children have grown too old for.
Wash switch plates.
Wash walls and trim as needed.
Wash doors and knobs.
Wash floor registers and other vent covers.
Clean floors.

LAUNDRY ROOM
Open windows.
Wash windows and window sills.
Take out and wash window screens.
Wash cabinet doors.
Wash inside cabinets.
Wash laundry sink. Shine faucet. Clean drains.
Wash outside of washer and dryer.
Wash inside of washing machine.
Wash lint trap with soap and water to remove filmy build-up from laundry soaps and dryer sheets. Let air dry thoroughly before putting back in place.
Wash switch plates.
Wash walls and trim.
Wash doors and door knobs.
Wash floor registers and other vent covers.
sweep and wash floors.
Reseal grout lines, if applicable.
STAIRWELLS
sweep/vacuum stairs
Spot clean walls.
Wipe down handrail.
Dust art and light fixtures.
OUTSIDE
Sweep porches and walkway.
Wash thresholds.
Wash exterior doors. Give front door a fresh coat of paint, if necessary.
Clean or replace welcome mat.
Wash siding.

REMEMBER TO:
Clean blades of ceiling fans.
Sort through and organize family photographs (digitally or into albums).
Sort and clean any extra zones such as linen closets, utility closets and office spaces.

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