Perhaps you never had the chance to take swim lessons or never had the need to know how to swim. As long as you stay away from water bodies you are fine but when you least expect it and need to know how to swim, will not only put you at risk but also your loved-ones who will survive you. Everyone should know how to swim.

As a former lifeguard we are trained in preventive strategies and understand that drowning can occur when we least expect it. We also know that a victim who is drowning is silent. They do not have time to yell out for help like in the movies. They drown silently, but tragically. A victim can loose consciousness  in only two minutes and result permanent brain damage in 4-6 minutes of submersion. There are times when someone see's a loved-one in trouble in the water and tries to save them, but only becoming a victim themselves. This can be because of their inability and lack of training on how to help someone who is drowning that puts them at risk, but sometimes a natural instinct sets in and they act to-save, even though they do not know how to swim.
Contact your local parks and recreation department or  American Red Cross for a swim class near you!
This is what happened recently when a brave father, who did not know how to swim, instinctively jumped in the water to help his son, but unfortunately lost his own life. He is a hero and his child was saved by a bystander.  Knowing how to swim will not make you a lifeguard because it does not train you in prevention or rescue techniques. But knowing how to swim can save your life (and a loved one) when you least expect the need to know how to swim. Whether it is helping a loved one or a similar tragedy. Every day in the United States, on average, 10-people die from unintentional drowning (CDC) and one in five are children ages 14 and younger.  The most common drowning location is private swimming pools, followed by lakes, rivers and ponds. In addition to preventable drowning related deaths and near-deaths, even survivors among those who have drowned also carry significant emotional and psychological trauma from their loved ones who have died.

If you do not know how to swim, whether you are a parent or not, have nieces or nephews,  or even if you feel that you are not around water, remember when the need arises and that unexpected instinct kicks in when you least expect it, the life you save can be yours and also will help reduce risk of emotional and psychological trauma among your surviving loved ones. Find a swim class near you by contacting your local parks and recreation department or local  American Red Cross.
Pro Consumer Safety reminder that Sunday, March 13, 2016 clocks change ahead at 2:00 am to 3:00 am. Remember:
  • MOBILE DEVICES: Not all mobile phone carriers change the time forward right at 2:00. So the time on your mobile device may vary. Allow for this if you set the alarm for in the morning
  • SMOKE ALARMS/CARBON MONOXIDE DETECTORS: This is a great time to  check and/or change batteries in smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors

Daylight saving tips from ABC News

Pro Consumer Safety reminder that Sunday, March 8, 2015 clocks change ahead at 2:00 am to 3:00 am. Remember:
  • MOBILE DEVICES: Not all mobile phone carriers change the time forward right at 2:00. So the time on your mobile device may vary. Allow for this if you set the alarm for in the morning
  • SMOKE ALARMS/CARBON MONOXIDE DETECTORS: This is a great time to  check and/or change batteries in smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors

The week of October 19-25, 2014 is National Lead Poisoning Prevention Week. Its time to take note of where the risks are to protect your family. 

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) estimates that one million children are affected by lead poisoning and one-half a million children in the U.S. are believed to have lead poisoning. A child who has lead poisoning might not look or act like they are sick. However lead poisoning can lower your child's IQ, make it difficult for them to pay attention and do well in school. Because lead poisoning can: 
  • Damage the brain and nervous system
  • Slow down growth and development
  • Cause learning and behavior problems
  • Result in hearing and speech problems
Lead is in our environment and sources include:
  • Homes built before 1978
  • Older water pipes
  • Some toys
  • Some imported candy
  • Lead-based products from certain jobs and hobbies
Lead poisoning is 100% preventable. Don't leave your child at risk. Below are helpful preventive resources.
Select to learn about lead hazards in your home
Photos of candies that are known to contain lead

A recent home fire in Los Angeles, took the life of an elderly man and injured a Los Angeles Fire Department  (LAFD) Firefighter.

Every 30-minutes in the U.S., someone dies from a home fire. Two thirds of deaths happen in homes with either no smoke alarms or with non-working smoke alarms. Most victims of home fires die from smoke or toxic gases (Hall 2001). While smoking is the leading cause of fire-related deaths, cooking is the primary cause of residential fires (Ahrens 2011).  Having smoke detectors, home fire sprinklers, along with carbon monoxide detectors will help to keep your family safe. Further information is below along with an option to purchase these as well as other fire safety items at the store below. Smoke alarms, home fire sprinklers, and carbon monoxide (CO) detectors protect lives. In California (and some other states) home fire sprinklers are also required by law in apartment building and newly contsructed homes. More at . . . 

Every day 35-children are injured from a top-heavy furniture fall and every 3-weeks a child is killed from a TV tip-over. Most of these children are 5-years of age and younger (Safe Kids Worldwide) and all could have been prevented.

Toddler aged children learn about their environment by doing, reaching, climbing and observing, by modeling their caregivers behavior. While this is helpful for the child to learn, it can also put them at risk for injury. From climbing up onto an unstable piece of furniture to reach for a toy or by pulling onto a reachable flat screen panel TV, for example.  While supervision is the best prevention, 100% of supervision is not always possible. So having the necessary layers of protection will help prevent an injury during a brief lapse in supervision.

Anchoring a flat screen panel TV's onto a wall or strapping it to a wall or cabinet (that is also  anchored to the wall) and anchoring top-heavy furniture onto a wall are among these layers of protection.  However what is often left out of the recommendations for parents is the importance of "properly" securing these to the wall.  Properly securing these to a wall means using the appropriate method of attaching the TV or furniture to the wall, via a screw into a wooden stud or using the appropriate hollow wall bolt.

Prevention: One of the most important components among these layers of protection is to anchor TV's and furniture "properly" so when they are anchored, they remain stable and cannot fall onto a child. This concept is similar to that of child restraint systems (CRS). Whereas even with the most expensive and safest car seat installed in the most expensive and safest vehicle is only as safe as it is properly used and correctly installed. When anchoring a TV or furniture to a wall it must be done correctly anchored "properly" to be effective. 

Correct use & properly anchored: Remember when anchoring TV’s and furniture to the wall, the anchors, mounts, straps and braces used are only as safe as they are correctly used and properly installed. When anchoring into a wall:
  1. Find a wood stud in the wall to fasten into. If found, screw the mount, strap or anchor onto the wall, then screw anchor onto furniture or TV.
  2. If however a wood stud is not found and you must use the hollow section of the wall, you must use the appropriate hollow wall “anchor bolt” or “molly bolt” for either  a “plaster” wall (older homes) or “drywall” wall (newer or remodeled homes). If you are unsure of the type of wall, contact your local hardware store to help make a determination. Once known, they can assist you with the type of hollow wall bolt needed. See types below.
Types of Hollow Wall Bolts                                                  
Once you know if the wall is plaster or drywall you can then determine which type of hollow wall bolt is needed. Again if you are unsure consult your local hardware store regarding types and size needed. They can also assist you with the strength size of the wall bolt needed (i.e. for heavy furniture or larger wall mounted flat panel TV's).

TV Safety Guide

Flat Screen Panel TV's                                                           

Furniture Safety Guide

Unstable & Top-heavy Furniture                                      
Mounted on Wall           
  • Use appropriate wall mount brackets
  • Follow manufacturer’s instructions
Wall Mount
Anchored to Wall        
  1. Use appropriate anchor strap
  2. Follow manufacturer’s instructions
  3. When using an anchor strap, whether anchored to wall or cabinet, make sure cabinet is stable and cannot topple over. If not stable, anchor cabinet to wall.
Wall Strap
Wall Strap
Strap to Furniture
Anchor furniture to wall using:
  1. Wall brackets, braces, or straps
  2. Anchor at top or side of furniture
Furniture Anchor

TV & Furniture Child Safety Guide.pdf
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