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Real Life Crime Fighter, Phoenix Jones, Fighting Crime in Seattle

by Cassie October 8, 2015

National Crime Prevention Month

Did you know that October is National Crime Prevention Month?

It’s an appropriate match, given the season – a month of frightful diversions, Halloween dress-up, and other spooky activities. And for the last 31 years, the National Crime Prevention Council (NCPC, aka Officer McGruff the Crime Dog) has designated this month to spread the word about crime prevention and awareness, including important issues like victimization, volunteerism, and ways we can all contribute to safer and more caring communities.

Obviously, this topic is near and dear to us; we’re all about helping keep our communities (and your families and homes) safe. So in the spirit of both Halloween dress-up and the crime-fighting season, we thought we’d throw a spotlight on a local superhero: Phoenix Jones.

Phoenix Jones: Seattle Crime-Fighting Superhero
Have you heard of Phoenix Jones aka Ben Fodor? He’s a local legend in Seattle, thanks to his real-life superhero actions – mask and all!

The story goes like this: A few years ago, Jones’s car was broken into. After the fact, Jones learned that several people had witnessed the vandalism, but no one had done anything. But the real kicker was that Jones’s young son had been cut on the broken windows surrounding the vehicle. The community’s inaction had unintentionally resulted in a child’s injury.

Fast-forward to a second incident, when Jones’s friend was assaulted near a crowd – a crowd that did nothing to help – and the Seattleite’s secret identity was born. The vigilante dons full superhero getup – a bulletproof vest, stab plating, pepper spray, handcuffs, first aid kit and, yes, a mask – to help fight crime.

His reported good deeds include chasing off car thieves, discouraging drunk driving, breaking up fights, and subduing suspects until police arrive for an arrest.

We Can’t All Be Superheroes: How You Can Help
The thing is, as much as we cheer for the good guy – for brave souls like Phoenix Jones – we can’t all be superheroes. And in fact, the police don’t want us to be. Strictly speaking, vigilantism isn’t something law enforcement would encourage, since street superheroes do not receive formal training in how to respond to life-threatening situations.

But that doesn’t mean that we can’t help. The NCPC offers up several things you can do to promote crime prevention in your community, among them:

• Download the Crime Prevention Month Kits, offered by NCPC which cover important topics like keeping kids out of gangs and protecting your assets.
• Request a police department photo op with McGruff the Crime Dog. Don’t forget to invite local schools to attend!
• Suggest your local paper publish a crime-prevention series throughout the month.
• Invite Officer McGruff to your local Halloween parade.

Be a local superhero: spread awareness about crime prevention in October!

A Safety in Football is only 2 points, but Safety to us is Immeasurable!

by Cassie September 3, 2015

Football & Safety

 

 

Ba-dum-ching! (You see what we did there?)

Okay, okay, all punning – or would that be punting?! – aside, it’s fall and that means one thing: football season! And that in turn means we’re looking forward to a season’s worth of Sunday and Monday evenings, rooting for our two home teams, the Philadelphia Eagles and the Seattle Seahawks. Who’s with us?

So here’s the thing: We can’t all play pro football, but we can emulate our favorite players. And since we’re all about safeties – okay, no more punning, we promise! – we want to highlight a few ways we can take our cues from the pros about personal health and safety at home.

Stretch Like a Pro

We bet you’ve never stretched before raking leaves, but you should! Scientists are still undecided on whether stretching prevents injury, but stretching definitely helps warm up your muscles and has been shown to reduce soreness after unfamiliar exercise. And as we get older and creakier, new activity – like a-few-times-a-year intense raking – is guaranteed to hurt the next day. And the next and the next, if we’re unlucky.

Do yourself a favor and copy the pros: stretch your arms, legs, hips and especially your back before you bend, squat, and scoop up leaves. Or prep the garden for winter, or do a massive fall cleaning, or start any other major physical activity that will challenge your muscles.

Get Active

Fall is such a great time to get active: temperatures are cooling but there’s still plenty of sunlight; kids are back in school so you can create solid routines; and the air has that delicious crispness that makes you want to spend all your time outside, inhaling the sweet, sweet scent.

It’s a great time to get physical (just ask the pros) – to improve your health through safe, fun outdoor activity. So toss a ball around the backyard, or go big and organize a neighborhood pickup game. (There’s no shame in flag football.) Celebrate the season with a barbecue and old-fashioned backyard games, like horseshoes, bean toss, and croquet. Whatever gets you moving is good in our book.

Teamwork is Where it’s At

Fall isn’t all fun and games: like spring, there’s something about the transition of season that urges organization and deep-cleaning. So whether you’re planning to overhaul the garage, tackle the attic, or weatherproof the basement, you probably have some Major Task on your fall to-do list.

Here’s the football advice: do as the pros do, and don’t go it alone. The best efforts are coordinated, so enlist the help of your family or friends. At the very least, laborious tasks aren’t quite as boring with company; at the most, you’ll have an extra hand to help reach high, lift heavy, or steady a ladder – all things that will keep you safe and make your tasks immeasurably easier.

It’s That Time Again! 6 Back to School Safety Tips

by Cassie August 26, 2015

Be Safe Going Back to School

We know. We know! It’s already August, and that means your family focus has honed in on one thing: it’s back to school time.

The start of school is exciting. It’s a flurry of activity – school supply shopping, clothes to buy, and there may be a new backpack in store. There are decisions to be made, perhaps a new bus stop to investigate, and a school lunch menu to pore over.

And of course, there are new safety concerns: street crossings on the way to the bus stop or school, heavy backpacks, and after-school hours home alone. Take some of the anxiety out of your preparations with our back to school safety tips:

1. Practice Walking Safety
Depending on their age – and provided your kids are conscientious about street safety – walking to the bus stop (or school) is a great way for them to learn personal responsibility. If you’re ready to let your children walk alone, be sure to practice the walking route a few times before school starts. Make sure they know the route well, including being familiar with potential danger areas. If you can, encourage your kids to walk with a friend or other children from the neighborhood.

2. Practice Bike Safety
If your kids ride bikes to school, our walking guidelines still apply; for example, be sure to practice the route in advance. Additionally, make sure your kids know to ride single file, on the right-hand side of the road. They should always come to a full stop before crossing the street, and should walk their bike through all crossings. Be sure they wear a helmet at all times.

3. Practice Bus Safety
If your kiddo rides the bus, much of their safety is taken care of but that doesn’t mean there aren’t a few tips to impart: teach them to stand far from the curb – at least three steps is a good rule of thumb – and to always, always cross the street in front of the bus, at least 10 feet from the front windshield. And even though cars should be stopped both ways, your kids should always look left-right-left before crossing.

4. Stranger Danger
Even older kids may need a reminder: Always be aware of your surroundings, especially when walking alone. Remind walkers that if they ever suspect they’re being followed, or if a stranger ever approaches them on the street, that they should state aloud, “You’re not my mom/dad!” and immediately seek out a trusted adult or neighbor, or even a nearby business, library, police station or other public safety zone.

5. Backpack Wisely
What with binders, folders, notebooks and multiple subjects’ worth of textbooks, your kids’ backpacks bulk up fast. Keep their backs safe with an ergonomic model (yes, really! they exist), which will help distribute the weight. Also, keep backpacks to less than 20% of a child’s body weight, e.g. no more than 20 pounds for a 100-pound student.

6. Home Alone Precautions
We’re not talking comedic, movie-worth booby traps; we’re focused more on simple things you can do when your kids get home before you do. Precautions can be as simple as asking your kids to text when they get home, to notifying any stay-at-home-neighbors that your kids will be home alone for a few hours everyday (and letting your kids know that they can always contact said neighbors for help).

Also consider the advantages of smart home safety. New technology makes it possible for your locks to auto-text you when your kids walk in the door, or your camera security system to send you a video of your kids doing their homework. You can even set smart appliances to have a warm, nutritious after-school snack ready and waiting.

Are You and Your Loved One Immunized?

by Cassie August 6, 2015

Safe Immunization Season from My Alarm Center

August is National Immunization Awareness Month, so here’s your friendly reminder: are you and your family up-to-date on your vaccinations?

Of course, vaccines are a year-round kind of thing but this mid-year campaign encourages everyone to check in on their boosters, double-check with their family members, and encourage friends and extended family to get their shots. Here are a few things you should know:

Vaccines: Not Just for Kids

While most families and medical providers are diligent about keeping kids up-to-date on their vaccines, many adults fail or forget to get their boosters. But consider this: every year, thousands of adults in the U.S. fall victim to vaccine-preventable illnesses. The CDC recommends all adults get the flu shot and Td/Tdap (tetanus, diphtheria, and pertussis/whooping cough) vaccines and depending on your age, health and other circumstances, your doctor may also recommend boosters against chickenpox, hepatitis A, hepatitis B, human papillomavirus (HPV), MMR, meningococcal, pneumococcal and shingles.

Want to know which vaccines you need? Take this quiz.

Get Your Flu Shot

It’s the height of summer so it’s easy to forget that flu season is just a few months away. But it is, and it’s important to remember that the flu isn’t just an inconvenience – it can be dangerous and even deadly. Every year, a seasonal flu vaccine is developed to help fight the most virulent influenza strains; the vaccine is recommended for everyone 6+ months, and is especially important for children under 5, pregnant women, seniors 65+, and the immune-compromised (e.g. patients with asthma, diabetes, heart disease, or HIV/AIDS).

Planning to Travel?

A few vaccines – yellow fever, typhoid, rabies, etc. – aren’t part of the U.S. routine vaccination schedule, since certain illnesses are very uncommon with national borders. If you’re planning on traveling abroad, be sure to talk with your physician about extra vaccines you might need (this handy list will also help).

Here’s to a healthy year!

The Future’s So Bright, We Should All Wear Shades

by Cassie July 9, 2015

UV Awareness Month

July is UV Safety Month, which makes sense: the sun is out in full force, and we’re out in full force to enjoy it!

Of course, all those sun hours require some precautions – and protection. We’re sure you’ve already slathered on the sunblock and grabbed your favorite hat, but did you know that the right sunglasses can be just as important as the right sunscreen? That’s because sunglasses are sunscreen for your eyes – for corneas and retinas, and all that other good stuff that allows us to see.

So today, we’re talking sunglasses. Specifically, how to choose the right sunglasses for you (and the whole family):

1. Function over Form (though preferably both)
We’re going to let you in on a little secret: size matters. With sunglasses, that is. When you spend time in the sun, and especially when you’re in the sun at high altitudes or near water, where UV rays are stronger and reflect back at you, you need sunglasses that really cover your eyes.

And when we say cover, we mean cover. If your fashion sense can stand it, grab a pair of wraparound shades – ones that cover your entire eye, extending above and below the actual eye and wrapping around your temples to provide full coverage. If you can’t quite stomach that, then at least go big: choose large sunglasses that will help block UV rays from filtering in to damage your eyes. Jackie O knew what she was doing.

2. Look for UV Protection
A lot of sunglasses are advertised as providing UVA/UVB protection, but what you’re really looking for is a pair that provides 99% or higher UV block. Your chosen lenses should also meet ANSI Z80.3 blocking requirements (defined by the American National Standards Institute) and offer UV 400 protection, meaning that your eyes are fully protected from even the smallest (in terms of wavelength) UV rays.

3. Consider Your Lifestyle
Great shades come in various colors and styles. If you drive often, opt for brown, green or gray lenses, which minimize color distortion – at traffic lights, for example. If you spend a lot of time at the beach or on the water, select polarized sunglasses, which help reduce glare off slick surfaces.

4. Try Them On
Your sunglasses should be comfortable, since you’ll likely be wearing them for hours on end. Choose a pair that fits snugly without rubbing or chafing your nose, ears or temples. Be sure your favorite pair doesn’t pinch either, as extended wear can cause severe headaches. Additionally, make sure the lens falls close to your eyes (to protect against UV penetration) without being so close as to touch your eyelashes.

Your eyes are precious. Protecting them is always in style!

Have a Fun and SAFE Independence Day

by Cassie July 1, 2015

Fireworks Safety from My Alarm Center

Every year, we look forward to the Fourth of July. It’s one of the best holidays, don’t you think? Not only is there that little matter of patriotism, but Independence Day is a time for family, for barbecues, for fireworks and for a paid holiday off work. The weather is gorgeous. Everyone’s smiling. There’s much fun to be had.

This year, make sure your Fourth of July is both fun and safe. Take a few precautions, and have a great day!

1. Be Careful with Fireworks

If fireworks are legal in your state, follow safety protocols. Light fireworks one at a time, and immediately back away as soon as one is lit. If a firework does not go off, or if the fuse goes out, immediately douse with water. Do not try to reuse.

Fireworks should always be handled with care, by responsible (and sober) adults. Never let children play with fireworks, and always supervise “kid-safe” sparklers and other festive additions.

2. Fill Your Bucket

Keep a bucket of water close, to douse any fires caused by grilling, fireworks, or other celebrations. Better to be prepared!

3. Hold the Mayo (Or Keep it Cold)

Picnics and the 4th go hand-in-hand, but remember that the sun and certain foods do not. If you’ll be picnicking at a park, the lake, or even a backyard, hold the egg and dairy products in order to prevent food poisoning and other food-borne illness. And if your famous egg salad just isn’t complete without mayo, keep the mayonnaise in a cooler until it’s time for lunch.

4. Keep an Eye on the Kids

The Fourth of July usually means swimming or parades or other festivities. The goal should be to have a great time, but don’t forget to exercise a little caution in the process. For example, pool parties can spell danger for younger kids and weak swimmers, so insist kiddos wear life jackets and always supervise your kid when swimming. Likewise, parades are often crowded so try to keep children close, and arm them with contact info in case you get separated.

5. Practice Safe Grilling

What’s Independence Day without a few hamburgers and hotdogs, fresh off the grill? (Answer: It wouldn’t be Independence Day!) As you char up the next batch, be sure to practice safe grilling: keep your grill away from the house and other structures; keep the grill and surrounds clear of grease and other flammables; steer kids and pets away from the grilling area; and always keep water and a fire extinguisher close.

Happy Fourth, everyone! May yours be one of laughter, fun and sun.

CPR Certifications Save Lives (& How the Good Samaritan Law Protects the Certified)

by Cassie June 4, 2015

CPR Training & Safety from My Alarm Center

In an emergency, we all know to call 911. But what if, instead of standing by idly, completely unable to help while waiting for the ambulance to arrive, you were able to administer critical assistance? What if you were able to save a life?

That’s what CPR, or cardiopulmonary resuscitation, is all about. The horrifying truth is that 92 percent of people in cardiac arrest will die before they even reach the hospital. Literally every second counts, and the 3-5 minutes that lapse between calling 911 and the arrival of emergency medical personnel can be the difference between life and death.

Indeed, the American Red Cross states that CPR can double or even triple someone’s chance of survival. You read that right: double or triple! Unfortunately, the American Heart Association (AHA) reports that only 32 percent of cardiac arrest victims get CPR from a bystander. The takeaway: You – yes, you – have it within your power to save lives. All you need is some CPR know-how.

Getting CPR Certified

Once you’ve decided to get CPR certified, the next step is to look for the nearest class. Thankfully, CPR Certification courses are common across the country; the American Heart Association’s Find a CPR Course search will help you locate one near you.

Most CPR certification courses take about 4-5 hours and run $30-$75. Ask around, though; you may be able to find discounted rates at the local YMCA, Red Cross, or other associations.

And remember to keep your certification up-to-date! (Typical CPR renewal rates are every 1-3 years.)

How Does the Good Samaritan Law Work?

Of course, CPR certification is worthless if you’re too uneasy to use it. After all, it’s no secret that our society is litigation-happy; likewise, it’s also unsurprising that the CPR-certified are often concerned about legal liability and other repercussions. So here’s the deal: All 50 states have a “Good Samaritan” law on the books, designed to protect you from legal consequences of your life-saving actions.

First things first – how does the law define a good Samaritan? Laws vary by state, but generally speaking a good Samaritan is:

  • Not a medical professional or emergency rescue worker;
  • Does not expect monetary compensation for services rendered;
  • Is acting selflessly and voluntarily;
  • Does not act willfully negligent or reckless in giving CPR; and

• The victim does not refuse assistance. (In this case, call 911 immediately and wait for assistance from emergency personnel.)

Note that there are addendums to each of these points. For example, if you accept money after the fact, even if you administered CPR with no expectation of monetary reward, the Good Samaritan laws in your state may no longer protect you. The key is to provide selfless, voluntary assistance and to refuse any offered compensation.

 

Go forth and save lives, good Samaritans. Check out below how My Alarm Center went through CPR training.

 

It’s National CPR and AED Awareness Week. Get involved with local communitygroups and sign up for classes that offer…

Posted by My Alarm Center on Monday, June 1, 2015

If Someone Were Drowning Would You Know What To Do? Read This And You’ll Know.

by Cassie May 28, 2015

My Alarm Center , Water Safety So the weather is warmer and we will all get a chance to go swimming in the ocean or a nearby pool. However, medical emergencies are something we don’t want to think about; the mere thought of a loved one having an emergency is enough to make our minds engage in evasive maneuvers. But the thing is, planning for a medical emergency before there’s an actual emergency is one the best ways to prepare and stay calm (or as calm as possible), were an emergency to occur. Drowning is one such emergency, but luckily, it’s one of the easiest to prepare for. Unlike broken bones, a heart attack or similar situation, you don’t need a medical degree to react to drowning: you just need a cool head and some basic first aid skills–and a phone handy, so you can call 911.

Drowning is a Leading Cause of Death First and foremost, you should know that drowning is the fifth-most common cause of accidental injury death in the United States. It’s most common in the very young and very old, and especially for the young, it can happen anywhere: in the pool and at the beach, but also at home in a kiddie pool or bathtub. It takes just a few seconds and a few inches of water.

Prevent Drowning Before it Happens As in all things safety, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. Just a few quick words about preventing drowning:

  • Teach everyone in your family to swim
  • Never leave children unattended near water (even a few inches of bath water)
  • Install a safety fence around your pool, and locks on your hot tub cover
  • Only swim where there are lifeguards
  • Do not dive into unfamiliar water

What to Do When Someone is Drowning Accidents happen. The first and foremost important thing to know about drowning is how to recognize it. Because it’s not like what you see in the movies: instead of screaming and splashing, drowning is often silent. So if you see someone’s head quietly but strangely disappearing beneath the surface, know that s/he might be in as much trouble as a swimmer who is flailing and calling for help. Once you know that someone needs help, here’s what to do:

  1. Alert the lifeguard: Unless you are a trained lifeguard, do not attempt to rescue a drowning person; they are often panicked and may pull you under.
  2. Call 911: As soon as you’ve notified the lifeguard, your next move is to call 911 immediately. Explain that someone is drowning, so that the EMTs can ready themselves on the way.
  3. Provide flotation: Pools and beaches should be equipped with life-saving flotation devices, often attached to a rope that you can use to pool a swimmer to safety.
  4. Take life-saving measures: If the drowning victim is unconscious, do not immediately give CPR! . First, tilt his or her head back, lift the chin and check for breathing. If s/he is not breathing, give two slow rescue breaths (mouth-to-mouth). If the breaths go in, you may start CPR, provided you are trained. If the breaths do not go in, reposition the head and chin, and try again. If you give CPR, know that in real life, CPR is aggressive enough to break ribs. And in addition to coughing up water, drowning victims often vomit during resuscitation; this is normal. Click right here for a very helpful PDF File from RedCross.org on CPR for adults. Here is the same guide for CPR on children.
  1. Wait for help: Provided you called 911

Get Out And Get Physical…But Do It Safely

by Cassie May 19, 2015

A Work out safely message from My Alarm Center

Spring is in the air. The sun is shining. The sky is blue. (Oh so blue!) And it’s National Physical Fitness & Sports Month. Oh, yes–it’s a beautiful, breezy, bountiful May.

Springtime is a great time to get active outdoors. The mercury has risen, so there’s no need to bundle up to play a pickup game or go for your run. But it’s not too hot either, so you won’t sweat out a week’s worth of water in the first 10 minutes. And you’re probably a little stir crazy after the long (so long), cold (so cold) months of winter, you’re just itching to get outdoors and into the fresh air.

There’s no time like present, so grab your sneakers and while you lace up, check out our safety tips for outdoor fitness:

Protect Your Skin

Choose SPF workout gear whenever possible, and always slather on the sunscreen 30 minutes before you hit the outdoors. (Yes, even if it’s cloudy.) Don’t forget to rub some in on your ears, neck, and down the part of your hair!

Protect Your Eyes

Speaking of the sun, be sure to protect your eyes with UVA/UVB sport sunglasses, which provide extra protection around all edges (top and sides).

Choose the Right Gear

When it comes to outdoor exercise, one size does not fit all. For example, street runners need gel or padding to prevent foot injuries, while trail hikers should opt for thick-bottomed, hard-soled, high-top boots. Invest in the gear that will keep you safe and your body healthy.

Hydrate, the Right Way

You already know you need to stay hydrated while you exercise. If you’re outside for under an hour or if you’re taking it slow, water is an excellent choice. But if you’ll be under the sun, in the heat, and intensely active for more than an hour–think marathon training, not a leisurely stroll–then swap plain water for something with electrolytes and carbs, both of which you’ll need to replenish.

Beat the Heat

There are a few things you should know about outdoor exercise, even in moderate heat. First, be aware that if you exercised in the heat yesterday, you’re more prone to heat exhaustion and other problems today–no matter how cool it is. Also, while it often feels better to exercise in humid weather, humidity affects your body’s ability to cool itself; be just as careful on hot & humid days as on hot & dry days. Finally, be sure to water up before you go outside: 16 to 32 ounces, 15 to 20 minutes before you exercise should do the trick.

Be Safe

When you exercise outside, you introduce two new levels of safety concern: accidents and predators. To prevent accidents, be sure to wear the right gear (including reflective clothing in the early morning, at dusk, or after nightfall), keep your eyes open and, if you must use headphones, only use them in one ear. To deter theft or other predatory behavior, leave expensive jewelry at home, exercise with friends (or run with your dog), and always choose a safe exercise route or location.

Always carry identification, a cell phone, and a few bucks with you. (FYI, several brands offer workout clothing with built-in pockets.)

Helmets, Reflectors, & Knee Pads…oh my! The Keys to Bike Safety

by Cassie May 14, 2015

The Keys To Bike Safety from My Alarm Center

The days have turned so beautiful, we almost can’t stand it. It feels so good, smells so good, looks so good, we want to be outside. All. The. Time.

So it’s no surprise that our kids–your kids–are itching to get out there, too. They want to run and jump and play, come home with grass-stained knees and dirt jammed under their fingernails.

And one of these days, they’ll be asking to drag their bikes out of the garage. Hurray! Biking is an incredible activity for kids, blending physical fitness with coordination, with social activity, with self-confidence with, well, plenty of other good-for-you benefits. So in honor of gorgeous weather and National Bike Safety Month (yep, that would be May!), we’ve pulled together a few quick and easy tips on bike safety for kids.

Bike Safety for Kids

As parents, we know that kids get hurt. It’s almost a rite of passage: they fall and skin their knees and bump their elbows. But as parents, we want to protect them from all of it. Of course, we know we can’t–some things are just inevitable. But what we can do is protect our little ones from the worst of it: the most serious injuries that’ll put them out of commission for weeks or months, or worse, life-threatening accidents that can change lives forever.

So let’s get the scary stuff out of the way. Here’s what you need to know:

  • According to the National SAFE KIDS Campaign, bicycles are the second-most common product to injure kids. (The first is cars.)
  • Almost half of all bike-related hospitalizations are diagnosed as traumatic brain injury, which can be life threatening.
  • According to the SAFE KIDS campaign, helmets can reduce the risk of head injury by up to 85%.
  • Additionally, SAFE KIDS says that 75% of bicycle-related child deaths could have been prevented by a helmet.
  • BUT, fewer than 40% of kids reportedly wear helmets! (Even though in many states, bicycle riders must wear helmets by law.)

The lesson here: If your kids love riding on two wheels, encourage them to bike ‘till they can’t peddle anymore. And make sure they’re protected while they do.

Protective Equipment for Child Riders

Now onto the good stuff: how to protect your kids without wrapping them in bubble wrap and calling it a day. (We know, it’s tempting.) Here are a few pointers:

  • Helmets: If you’re going to pick just one piece of bicycle safety equipment, this is it. Choose a well ventilated, brightly colored (and preferably reflective) helmet that’s labeled as meeting CPSC or Snell standards. A properly fitting helmet has thick, strong straps that secure it snugly, sitting level on your child’s head. The helmet should not flop forward or backward, and should stay put even after sudden movement. Your child should wear his or her helmet always, every time, and for the whole ride. No exceptions.
  • Safety Clothing (including reflectors): After helmets, good bike-riding clothing is the most important safety precaution you can take. Chose bright colored clothes, preferably reflective–stick on some reflective tape, if your kid insists on wearing his/her favorite dark shirt–that’ll make your children visible to drivers. Avoid loose-fitting pants or long shirts, which can get caught in bike chains. (Also watch out for long straps, if your children ride with a backpack or bag in the front basket.) And always require your kids to wear shoes with good pedal-grip: no flip-flops or jellies or other slippery shoes, and no barefoot riding allowed!
  • Kneepads: Kneepads may not save lives like helmets do, but they do prevent painful injuries. If you can get your kids to don kneepads, do it. Even if you have to bribe them with an post-ride popsicle.

Have fun and stay safe!

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