1. Communicate, and talk to your child about sexual victimization and potential on-line danger.
  2. Spend time with your children on-line. Have them teach you about their favorite on-line destinations.
  3. Keep the computer in a common room in the house, not in your child’s bedroom. It is much more difficult for a computer-sex offender to communicate with a child when the computer screen is visible to a parent or another member of the household.
  4. Utilize parental controls provided by your service provider and/or blocking software. While electronic chat can be a great place for children to make new friends and discuss various topics of interest, it is also prowled by computer-sex offenders. Use of chat rooms, in particular, should be heavily monitored. While parents should utilize these mechanicisms, they should not totally rely on them.
  5. Always maintain access to your child’s on-line account and randomly check his/her e-mail. Be aware that your child could be contacted through the U.S. Mail. Be up front with your child about your access and reasons why.
  6. Teach your child the responsible use of the resources on-line. There is much more to the on-line experience than chat rooms.
  7. Find out what computer safeguards are utilized by your child’s school, the public library, and at the homes of your child’s friends. These are all places, outside your normal supervision, where your child could encounter an on-line predator.
  8. Understand, even if your child was a willing participant in any form of sexual exploitation, that he/she is not at fault and is the victim. The offender always bears the complete responsibility for his or her actions.
  9. Instruct your children:
  • To never arrange a face-to-face meeting with someone they met on-line.
  • To never upload (post) pictures of themselves onto the Internet or on-line service to people
    they do not personally know.
  • To never give out identifying information such as their name, home address, school name, or
    telephone number.
  • To never download pictures from an unknown source, as there is a good chance there could
    be sexually explicit images.
  • To never respond to messages or bulletin board postings that are suggestive, obscene,
    belligerent, or harassing.
  • That whatever they are told on-line may or may not be true.

Source: Federal Bureau of Investigations www.fbi.gov/publications/pguide/pguidee.html

In 2009 there were 2 deaths and nearly 9000 emergency room visits for injuries resulting from fireworks related incidents. Most injuries occurred to people younger than 20 and resulted in the loss of a limb in many cases. “Fireworks not only create significant dangers to citizens when used improperly or illegally but also increase the demands on fire departments and firefighters.” said Glenn Gaines, Acting U.S. Fire Administrator.

Tips:
  1. Never allow young children to play with or ignite fireworks.
  2. Make sure fireworks are legal in your area before buying or using them.
  3. Avoid buying fireworks that come in brown paper packaging, as this can often be a sign that the fireworks were made for professional displays and could pose a danger to consumers.
  4. Adults should always supervise fireworks activities. Parents often don’t realize that there are many injuries from sparklers to children under five. Sparklers burn at temperatures of about 2000 degrees – hot enough to melt some metals.
  5. Never have any portion of your body directly over a fireworks device when lighting the fuse. Move back to a safe distance immediately after lighting
  6. Never try to re-light or pick up fireworks that have not fully functioned.
  7. Never point or throw fireworks at another person
  8. Keep a bucket of water or a garden hose handy in case of fire or other mishap.
  9. Light one item at a time then move back quickly
  10. Never carry fireworks in a pocket or shoot them off in metal or glass containers
  11. After fireworks fully complete their functioning, douse the spent device with plenty of water from a bucket or hose before discarding to prevent a trash fire.
Source: U.S. Fire Administration

Before using your bicycle, make sure it is ready to ride. You should always inspect your bike to make sure all parts are secure and working properly. Remember to:

  1. Wear a Properly Fitted Bicycle Helmet. Protect your brain, save your life.
  2. Adjust Your Bicycle to Fit. Stand over your bicycle. There should be 1 to 2 inches between you and the top tube (bar) if using a road bike and 3 to 4 inches if a mountain bicycle. The seat should be level front to back. The seat height should be adjusted to allow a slight bend at the knee when the leg is fully extended. The handlebar height should be at the same level with the seat.
  3. Check Your Equipment. Before riding, inflate tires properly and check that your brakes work.
  4. See and Be Seen. Whether daytime, dawn, dusk, foul weather, or at night, you need to be seen by others. Wearing white has not been shown to make you more visible. Rather, always wear neon, fluorescent, or other bright colors when riding day or night. Also wear something that reflects light, such as reflective tape or markings, or flashing lights. Remember, just because you can see a driver doesn’t mean the driver can see you.
  5. Control Your Bicycle. Always ride with at least one hand on the handlebars. Carry books and other items in a bicycle carrier or backpack.
  6. Watch for and Avoid Road Hazards. Be on the lookout for hazards such as potholes, broken glass, gravel, puddles, leaves, and dogs. All these hazards can cause a crash. If you are riding with friends and you are in the lead, yell out and point to the hazard to alert the riders behind you.
  7. Avoid Riding at Night. It is far more dangerous to ride at night than during the day because you are harder for others to see. If you have to ride at night, wear something that makes you more easily seen by others. Make sure you have reflectors on the front and rear of your bicycle (white lights on the front and red rear reflectors are required by law in many States), in addition to reflectors on your tires, so others can see you.

Many bicycle-related crashes resulting in injury or death are associated with the bicyclist’s behavior, including such things as not wearing a bicycle helmet, riding into a street without stopping, turning left or swerving into traffic that is coming from behind, running a stop sign, and riding the wrong way in traffic. To maximize your safety, always wear a helmet AND follow the rules of the road.
Bicycles in many States are considered vehicles, and cyclists have the same rights and the same responsibilities to follow the rules of the road as motorists. When riding, always:

  1. Go With the Traffic Flow. Ride on the right in the same direction as other vehicles. Go with the flow – not against it.
  2. Obey All Traffic Laws. A bicycle is a vehicle and you’re a driver. When you ride in the street, obey all traffic signs, signals, and lane markings.
  3. Yield to Traffic When Appropriate. Almost always, drivers on a smaller road must yield (wait) for traffic on a major or larger road. If there is no stop sign or traffic signal and you are coming from a smaller roadway (out of a driveway, from a sidewalk, a bike path, etc.), you must slow down and look to see if the way is clear before proceeding. This also means yielding to people who have entered a crosswalk.
  4. Be Predictable. Ride in a straight line, not in and out of cars. Signal your moves to others.
  5. Stay Alert at All Times. Use your eyes AND ears. Watch out for potholes, cracks, wet leaves, storm grates, railroad tracks, or anything that could make you lose control of your bike. You need your ears to hear traffic and avoid dangerous situations; don’t wear a headset when you ride.
  6. Look Before Turning. When turning left or right, always look behind you for a break in traffic, then signal before making the turn. Watch for left- or right-turning traffic.
  7. Watch for Parked Cars. Ride far enough out from the curb to avoid the unexpected from parked cars (like doors opening, or cars pulling out).

The safest place for bicycle riding is on the street, where bicycles are expected to follow the same rules of the road as motorists and ride in the same direction. Children less than 10 years old, however, are not mature enough to make the decisions necessary to safely ride in the street. Children less than 10 years old are better off riding on the sidewalk.

  • For anyone riding on a sidewalk:
  • Check the law in your State or jurisdiction to make sure sidewalk riding is allowed.
  • Watch for vehicles coming out of or turning into driveways.
  • Stop at corners of sidewalks and streets to look for cars and to make sure the drivers see you before crossing.
  • Enter a street at a corner and not between parked cars. Alert pedestrians that you are near by saying, “Excuse me,” or, “Passing on your left,” or use a bell or horn.

According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, approximately 26,000 persons are treated in hospital emergency rooms each year with skateboard related injuries. Sprains, fractures, contusions and abrasions are the most common types of injuries. Deaths due to collisions with cars and from falls also are reported. Several factors - lack of protective equipment, poor board maintenance and irregular riding surfaces - are involved in these accidents. Skateboard riding requires good balance and body control, yet many young skateboarders have not developed the necessary balance and do not react quickly enough to prevent injury.

WHO GETS INJURED

Six out of every 10 skateboard injuries are to children under 15 years of age. Skateboarders who have been skating for less than a week suffer one-third of the injuries; riders with a year or more of experience have the next highest number of injuries. Injuries to first-time skateboarders are, for the most part, due to falls. Experienced riders mainly suffer injuries when they fall after their skateboards strike rocks and other irregularities in the riding surface or when they attempt difficult stunts.

ENVIRONMENTAL HAZARDS

Irregular riding surfaces account for over half the skateboarding injuries due to falls. Before riding, skateboarders should screen the area where they will be riding by checking for holes, bumps, rocks and any debris. Areas set aside especially for skateboarding generally have smoother riding surfaces. Skateboarding in the street can result in collisions with cars causing serious injury and even death.

THE SKATEBOARD

There are boards with varying characteristics for different types of riding (i.e., slalom, freestyle, or speed). Some boards are rated as to the weight of the intended user. Before using their boards, riders should check them for hazards, such as loose, broken, or cracked parts; sharp edges on metal boards; slippery top surface; and wheels with nicks and cracks. Serious defects should be corrected by a qualified repairman.

PROTECTIVE GEAR

Protective gear, such as closed, slip-resistant shoes, helmets, and specially designed padding, may not fully protect skateboarders from fractures, but its use is recommended as such gear that can reduce the number and severity of injuries. Padded jackets and shorts are available, as well as padding for hips, knees, elbows, wrist braces and special skateboarding gloves. All of this protective gear will help absorb the impact of a fall. With protective gear, it is important to look for comfort, design, and function. The gear should not interfere with the skater's movement, vision, or hearing. The protective gear currently on the market is not subject to Federal performance standards, and, therefore, careful selection is necessary. In a helmet, for example, look for proper fit and a chin strap; make sure the helmet does not block the rider's vision and hearing. Body padding should fit comfortably. If padding is too tight, it could restrict circulation and reduce the skater's ability to move freely. Loose-fitting padding, on the other hand, could slip off or slide out of position.

TIPS FOR USING A SKATEBOARD

  1. Never ride in the street.
  2. Don't take chances: Complicated tricks require careful practice and a specially designed area
  3. Only one person per skateboard
  4. Never hitch a ride from a car, bus, truck, bicycle, etc.

Learning how to fall in case of an accident may help reduce your chances of being seriously injured. If you are losing your balance, crouch down on the skateboard so that you will not have so far to fall. In a fall, try to land on the fleshy parts of your body. If you fall, try to roll rather than absorb the force with your arms. Even though it may be difficult, during a fall try to relax your body, rather than stiffen.

Grill Safety Facts:

  • Fire departments respond to an average of 7,900 home fires involving grills, hibachis or barbecues each
    year, including 5,000 outside fires and 2,900 structure fires.
  • June and July are peak months for grill fires.
  • Thirty-three percent (33%) of home grill structure fires start on an exterior balcony or unenclosed porch.

Rules for grills in Bellevue:

  • No charcoal burning grills are permitted on wooden decks. Gas grills are allowed
  • Hot ashes shall not be deposited in a combustible receptacle.

Fire in the grill, under hot dogs and burgers, is a welcome sight at the family cookout. But fire anywhere else can make your summer kick-off barbecue memorable for all the wrong reasons.

SAFETY TIPS

  • Propane and charcoal BBQ grills should only be used outdoors.
  • The grill should be placed well away from the home, deck railings and out from under eaves and
    overhanging branches.
  • Keep children and pets away from the grill area.
  • Keep your grill clean by removing grease or fat buildup from the grills and in trays below the grill.
  • Never leave your grill unattended.

CHARCOAL GRILLS

  • There are several ways to get the charcoal ready to use. Charcoal chimney starters allow you to start the
    charcoal using newspaper as a fuel.
  • If you use a starter fluid, use only charcoal starter fluid. Never add charcoal fluid or any other flammable
    liquids to the fire.
  • Keep charcoal fluid out of the reach of children and away from heat sources.
  • There are also electric charcoal starters, which do not use fire. Be sure to use an extension cord for
    outdoor use.
  • When you are finished grilling, let the coals completely cool before disposing in a metal container.

PROPANE GRILLS

Check the gas tank hose for leaks before using it for the first time each year. Apply a light soap and water
solution to the hose. A propane leak will release bubbles. If your grill has a gas leak, by smell or the
soapy bubble test, and there is no flame, turn off the gas tank and grill. If the leak stops, get the grill
serviced by a professional before using it again. If the leak does not stop, call the fire department. If you
smell gas while cooking, immediately get away from the grill and call the fire department. Do not move the
grill.