Accident Prevention and Playground Sets

When it comes to playground sets safety must come first. Wood swing sets are your wisest choice because they are simply more durable than plastic or metal. They are rooted into the ground, they don’t fall over easily, unlike metal swing sets that become giant rockers after a winter or two and they don’t snap and break like plastic. In fact both metal and plastic can develop seams and cracks that you cannot see and that can eventually break.

Yet another thing to consider is that wood can support a lot of weight, and that means it can support the weight of growing children. Even adolescents can’t resist swinging off the trapeze on wood swing sets. Wood swing sets have triple joints and also bolts that often slide completely through the wood in a way that is embedded. This means that if something does happen to compromise the structure the bolts will still keep the lagging structure together. Your child is not in danger of collapsing and falling like they would be if they were standing at the top of a plastic or metal set.

Another thing to consider is that wooden swing sets are not made of toxic materials. Plastic materials give off gas fumes that can be toxic, especially in really hot weather.

A big part of accident prevent is choosing playground sets that are age appropriate. The great thing about today’s wood playground sets is that you can assemble them in components that suit your child’s age. To have fun your child does not have to go up a ten foot metal ladder and risk a fall. You can get a five foot slide that attaches to a fort-like or tent-like enclosure that is lower and offers less of a drop should your child slip.

Yet another way to prevent accidents is to make sure that any swings on the set are at least 22 inches apart. This prevents them from clashing with each other when two children are swinging on the set at once.

Quality playground sets have guidelines that tell you what components are appropriate for what age. For instance a climbing wall is more suited for a kid over age seven rather than a toddler. Tire swings suit ten-year-olds better than little seats with bucket swings.

Finally, it is a good idea to make the area beneath playground seats a bit softer by placing it in a “bed” of cedar chips or shredded rubber. Make a rule that the area must be kept free of any clutter, such as branches, skateboards and toys, as a falling or slipping child might risk injury.
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Author: Todd Leavitt

The laughter of children is like music to a parent’s ears. This is why Tree Frog Swing Sets builds quality wood swing sets and playground sets to give children more fun and enjoyment.

This week is Australian Food Safety Week 2010 (8-14 November)

The theme is Myths and Mastery.

Australian Food Safety Week is the major activity of the Food Safety Information Council, Australia’s leading disseminator of consumer targeted food safety information

The week focuses on debunking incorrect food safety beliefs held by consumers and highlight good food safety practices.

For activities and resources => http://bit.ly/9hLTtT

Halloween Safety Tips for your Trick or Treaters

October is Crime Prevention Month so the National Crime Prevention Council has several initiatives going on to help cut down on crime. Halloween is one of those nights – mischief, drinking and parties can all lead to bad things happening.
Here are a few tips from the NCPC (www.ncpc.org) for the younger crowd to help keep the night safer for them and a more positive, fun experience

Youth Safety on a living internet

REPORT OF THE ONLINE SAFETY AND TECHNOLOGY WORKING GROUP
JUNE 4, 2010

http://www.ntia.doc.gov/reports/2010/OSTWG_Final_Report_060410.pdf
SUBCOMMITTEE ON INTERNET SAFETY EDUCATION

Summary
In the late ‘90s, experts advised parents to keep the family Internet connected computer in a high-traffic part of the house, but now parents must account for Internet access points built into many digital devices, including cell phones. Research has told us that many of the early significant concerns regarding children and their use of the Internet, such as predation, exist but not nearly in the prevalence once believed. Other risks, such as cyberbullying, are actually much more common than thought – starting as early as 2nd grade for some children. Meanwhile, “new” issues such as “sexting” garner a great deal of media attention, though recent studies suggest it is not quite as common as initially believed. Given all the above and the finding of the preceding task force (the ISTTF) that not all youth are equally at risk, it now seems clear that “one size fits all” is not a good strategy. Instead, a strong argument can be made for applying the Primary/Secondary/Tertiary model used in clinical settings and risk-prevention programs to Internet safety. This “levels of prevention” method would represent a tailored and scalable approach and factor in the high correlation between offline and online risk. The approach would also work in concert with non-fear-based, social-norms education, which promotes and establishes a baseline norm of good behavior online.
Research also shows that civil, respectful behavior online is less conducive to risk, and digital media literacy concerning behavior as well as consumption enables children to assess and avoid risk, which is why this subcommittee urges the government to promote nationwide education in digital citizenship and media literacy as the cornerstone of Internet safety.
Industry, NGOs, schools, and government all have established educational strategies; however effectiveness has not been adequately measured. At the federal level, while significant progress has been made with projects such as OnGuardOnline and NetCetera, more inter-agency coordination, public awareness-raising, and public-/private-sector cooperation are needed for national uptake in schools and local communities.

Recommendations
• Keep up with the youth-risk and social-media research, and create a web-based clearinghouse that makes this research accessible to all involved with online safety education at local, state, and federal levels.
• Coordinate Federal Government educational efforts.
• Provide targeted online-safety messaging and treatment.
• Avoid scare tactics and promote the social-norms approach to risk prevention.
• Promote digital citizenship in pre-K-12 education as a national priority.
• Promote instruction in digital media literacy and computer security in pre-K-12 education nationwide.
Online Safety and Technology Working Group 7
• Create a Digital Literacy Corps for schools and communities nationwide.
• Make evaluation a component of all federal and federally funded online safety education programs (evaluation involving risk-prevention expertise).
• Establish industry best practices.
• Encourage full, safe use of digital media in schools’ regular instruction and professional development in their use as a high priority for educators nationwide.
• Respect young people’s expertise and get them involved in risk-prevention education.

A new US study shows a significant percentage of sex offenses against minors are committed by minors:

Juvenile predators: New study
Written by Anne Collier
January 05, 2010

Much has been reported (often with hype and inaccuracy) about “pedophiles” or “predators,” with people thinking these terms only refer to adults. But a new study released by the Justice Department’s Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention offers quite a reality check. “It is important to understand that a substantial portion of these offenses are committed by other minors who do not fit the image” those terms tend to conjure up, according to the report, “Juveniles Who Commit Sex Offenses Against Minors,” by David Finkelhor (director of the Crimes Against Children Research Center at the University of New Hampshire), Richard Ormrod, and Mark Chaffin.

Here are some key findings:

* More than a third (35.6%) of those known to police to have committed sex offenses against minors are juveniles (though “juvenile sex offenders account for only 3.1% of all juvenile offenders and 7.4% of all violent juvenile offenders”).

* “Juveniles who commit sex offenses against other children are more likely than adult sex offenders to offend in groups and at schools and to have more male victims and younger victims.”

* “Early adolescence [particularly ages 12-14] is the peak age for offenses against younger children. Offenses against teenagers surge during mid-to-late adolescence, while offenses against victims under age 12 decline.”

* One out of eight juvenile offenders – are under 12.

* 7% of juvenile offenders are females.

* “Females are found more frequently among younger youth than older youth who commit sex offenses. This group’s offenses involve more multiple-victim and multiple-perpetrator episodes, and they are more likely to have victims who are family members or males.”

* 77.2% of juvenile offenses committed by females occur at home and 68.2% of such offenses committed by males occur at home.

* Several intervention strategies have already been proven effective in reducing recividism among child and teen offenders, and this was encouraging:”Researchers found that one brief treatment for preteens reduced the risk of future sex offenses to levels comparable with those of children who had no history of inappropriate sexual behavior.”

The only reference to the Internet in the report is the recommendation that it be used to get “prevention and deterrence messages” to youth.

Source: Connect Safely http://www.connectsafely.org/NetFamilyNews/juvenile-predators-new-study.html

Five Basic Rules of Sports Safety

August afternoons sizzle in Southwest Missouri. I remember how hot and thirsty I was after 2 hours of baseball that day. I remember Mike falling to the ground near second base, someone going for help, and Mike’s dad carrying him from the field.

“Heat stroke,” his dad told me a few days later. “You boys need to drink more water,” he said matter-of-factly. The advice was too late for Mike. I first saw him again at school several weeks later. Mike was different. He walked with a limp.

Last summer I saw Mike at our high school reunion. Thirty years had passed. I recognized him right away. He walked with a limp.

Playing sports is fun; getting hurt is not. Injuries like Mike’s last a lifetime. Here are five basic rules for sports-related safety. They will help you stay healthy and active for a long time. Take care of your body. Don’t be like Mike.

Warm Up and Stretch: Before exercising, whether it’s a pick-up game of basketball or the soccer finals, take a few minutes to prepare your body for the workout that’s coming. Warm up by jogging or doing jumping jacks to increase your blood flow and muscle temperature. Finish getting ready by doing some slow, gradual stretching to lengthen your muscles to prevent muscle pulls and tears. Take some time after your game to stretch a little so your muscles don’t tighten up and hurt later on. Talk to your coach to get some pointers on the right way to stretch before and after exercising.

Use the Right Equipment: Make sure you wear the right protective gear for the sport you’re playing. Almost every sport has specially designed gear to protect you. Talk with your parents or your coach to know what gear you need. A different style of helmet is worn in baseball, biking, skateboarding, football, hockey, and skating. Wearing cleats helps your feet grip the ground and avoid ankle and leg injuries when playing football, baseball, softball, and soccer. Other sports require pads (such as wrist, elbow, and knee guards); eye protection; mouth guards; or an athletic supporter (for boys). And don’t forget to wear the gear correctly. If you don’t fasten the strap on your helmet, it will fall off when you need it most. It doesn’t matter whether you’re practicing or playing the big game. Wear your protective gear!

Follow the Rules: Every game has its own set of rules. That’s so everybody playing knows what to expect. In football, it’s okay to tackle the guy with the ball. But what if someone tackled you in basketball? Not only is it against the rules, there’s a pretty good chance you’d be hurt. When everyone knows the rules of the game-what’s legal and what’s not-fewer people are hurt. Games are always more fun when you know and play by the rules.

Don’t Play If You’re Injured: Sure it’s important not to let your teammates and coach down, but if you’re hurt, no one expects you to keep on playing. Playing after you’ve been hurt will probably make the injury even worse and put you on the sideline for a long time. The same goes for playing again before an injury has time to heal completely. Be honest with your coach if you’ve been hurt and follow their advice about when to play again.

Drink Plenty of Water: Sweating makes the water level in your body go down. And when you’re playing sports, it happens really fast. Just like a car radiator, you want to keep the water level from dropping too low. Don’t wait until you’re thirsty to begin drinking water. Take a bottle of water with you to soccer practice or to play in the park. Drink up.

One hundred years of surf lifesaving in Australia

I tend to take the surf lifesavers for granted. I surf = I swim between the flags – no question. So I’m so glad to be able to celebrate with the surf lifesavers.

Here is the website –
http://www.slsa.com.au/default.aspx?s=yearofthesurflifesaver

And for the classroom
Between the Flags education kit
To celebrate the 2007 International Year of Surf Lifesaving in Australia, the National Museum of Australia has developed an education package