Safety Tips

"An Ounce of Prevention is Worth a Pound of Cure"

By Marie Vandenberg, Publisher/Editor Macaroni Kid Clintonville, WI September 18, 2021

Nothing wrecks a well-planned day of family fun faster than a trip to the emergency department.  I'm including a few hints and tips to keep the fun flowing.  Up first, is a topic near and dear to my heart and it's a source of frustration for many parents.  When was the last time you folded yourself into a pretzel trying to get the car seat installed correctly? It's really fun when someone else needs to watch the kids for you so you need to install *your* car seat in *their* car.  For the last several months, I have included Car Seat Fittings in the calendar.  I reached out to another provider to find out when they do car seat checks.  It’s not listed on the flyer, but Shawano Ambulance will be doing FREE car seat checks at the Bonduel Founders Day Celebration!  No appointment will be required.  If you are not able to make it to the monthly car seat checks in Antigo, or the Bonduel Founders Day event, you are able to call Shawano Ambulance (715-524-2036) to make an appointment.  They will check to make sure it’s the proper seat for your child, that there isn’t a recall on it, it’s not expired and it’s correctly installed and fitted. If you need a little extra help making sure that your child is properly fastened into it, they can help with that too.  The last time I needed help getting a car seat fitted in my car, we needed to reference several manuals to get it fitted correctly.  Unfortunately, there is a shortage of car seat fitting events so they are not able to keep an inventory of car seats if yours is really not right, but they can help point you in the right direction. There’s a reason why CPST’s go through an insane amount of education and other requirements to become certified and to maintain their certification.  It's one little step that will go a long way to keep your most precious cargo safe.  I have to admit, the drop-off line at school makes me cringe every.single.time.  Please, please make sure your car seat is properly installed.  The CPST's are awesome, incredibly helpful, and very passionate about keeping our littles safe. 

Next up, isn't it amazing how fast the kids find something that they're not supposed to have and get it in their mouth?  It's about as fast as when something they don't want in their mouth comes back out.  (Those are almost never the same item). In case you haven’t seen it yet, I have included the Poison Control number in the Business Directory.  When I was growing up, we loved sticking the Mr. Yuck stickers on everything.  Those bright green stickers were everywhere.  I went a really long time without needing the Poison Control center - and then I had my daughters. I’ve needed to use them myself at least three times and then my niece got into something she wasn’t supposed to.  My sister called me for advice.  I told her what I would do.  I only had to tell her four times to call the Poison Control Center ("But, But, But....").  She did.  My niece was fine, my sister was able to laugh about it and she was able to save her emergency room visit co-pay for another time.  They are interlinked with 55 different centers around the country- when you call, you are connected with your local center, but, if something weird happens, they are able to connect with other poison control centers to get you the help that you need.  For instance, someone is bitten by an exotic venomous snake (we only have one species in Wisconsin and it’s not near us), the hospital can contact the poison control center to get the anti-venom sent to the hospital (in the event that the snake keeper doesn’t have their own).  The operators were so kind and helpful.  During a very scary time, they were able to make us laugh.  My kids ended up being fine without an emergency room visit as well. 

My license and certifications also require additional training.  One of the classes I took recently highly encouraged us to impart the importance of parents and caregivers getting their CPR certification.  I know that with certain current events, getting that certification isn’t as easy as it once was.  I’ve been CPR certified since high school, I’ve done the online version, in-person and a computerized mannequin version.  I have to say, the computerized mannequin was, by far, the hardest and best one I’ve ever taken. But, it was through a past employer so it's not so easy to find a current one of those classes.  When my son was a tween, he took a week-long class at the local police department and got CPR certified.  When it was time to get re-certified, we had a little trouble finding a class for him, and then he opted for the more advanced “health-care provider” class. He much preferred the more advanced class because they dug more into the “why” instead of the “just do this”.  His classmates were also quite patient with this young teenager.  I know some high schools offer CPR, but some aren’t covering all 3 age groups and honestly, all 3 are equally important (in fact, I think infant and child might be slightly more important).  As I find classes, I will be putting them on the event calendar so you can find the one that fits with your schedule.  I guess this is one area that no one ever wants to talk about it.  It's not pleasant, but this is one time that the training cannot be replaced with anything else.  

One last safety tip for this week.  Get a fire extinguisher, at least one, preferably one for each floor of your house, and each of your vehicles.  Then go to the Fire Department open houses and practice on the simulators so you know what to do when the unthinkable happens.  It could potentially save your life, house or vehicle.

Speaking of unthinkable events happening, one last plug - the Bear Creek First Responders are hosting Oak Creek Police Department Captain Mike Bolender for Active Shooter Training.  There are still some seats available, so be sure to get registered to save your spot.

We'll get your back to our regularly scheduled family fun shortly.  As much as this is a buzzkill to think about this stuff, if we have some training, and are prepared, we can stay safe while having fun.  Nothing ruins family fun like a trip to the emergency department.  So, hopefully, this helps just a little.  Of course, if you have any questions, feel free to reach out to me and I'll do my best to help, even if it's just to point you in the right direction.  

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The Macaroni Kid Clintonville WI area covers a large portion of central Wisconsin. We work hard to support local businesses and families.   We help you find your local family fun for the following communities: Adam's Beach, Almon, Aniwa, Antigo, Bear Creek, Belle Plaine, Big Falls, Birnamwood, Bonduel, Bowler, Breed, Buckbee, Caroline, Cecil, Clintonville, Eland, Elderon, Elmhurst, Elton, Embarrass, Galloway, Gillett, Gresham, Hayes, Hintz, Hogarty, Hunting, Keshena, Legend Lake, Leopolis, Lunds, Marion, Markton, Mattoon, Middle Village, Mosling, Mountain, Navarino, Neopit, Nichols, Norske, Norrie, Northland, Pella, Phlox, Polar, Pulcifer, Red River, Shawano, Shepley, Split Rock, Suring, Thornton, Tigerton, Tilleda, Underhill, Whitcomb, White Lake, Wittenberg, and Zoar.