Tag Archives: Safely

Traveling Safely With Your Family

Family road trips can be very memorable, but also very boring at certain points. If you have children, you will no doubt hear the question “Are we there yet?” multiple times before you arrive at your destination.

This question stems from boredom in your children. Unfortunately, boredom in children is the root cause of many accidents every year.

For example, your children may get bored and they will begin to get inventive with the things around them. The things they begin to do could be very distracting to you as a driver and you may get into an accident.

This would put a negative end to your family road trip that was supposed to be a lot of fun and a way to become closer as a family. Fortunately, this can be easily prevented with a little fore thought and preparation.

You can keep your family safe by making sure that your children do not get too bored. As you know, children tend to have a very short attention span.

In the car, they may become interested in the door handles while you are trying to distract them. You should immediately lock the doors if you have not already to prevent them from accidentally opening the door.

Throughout the years, hundreds of games have been designed to be played in the car. Many of these can now be easily found online.

A few of the activities you may resort to include singing, coloring books, ‘I Spy’, finding the alphabet, and so forth. You can write down and print off a whole list of games to try to entertain your children with in the car.

However, you will need to be prepared for the moment when your children get so tired of the car they do not want to do anything on your list. At this point, you may need to pull out some kind of reward system, such as if you are good we will go to McDonalds for dinner.

Otherwise, we will go to Subway. You may also want to include small prizes for the games you play to keep them interested in the games.

Children can be satisfied by really inexpensive items, such as a piece of candy, fruit, or a small toy. You do not need to spend a fortune to entertain your children and keep your family safe.

If possible, it is best to travel with two adults so one can entertain children while the other drives. For single parents, you may want to plan a trip with another single parent family with children so that you can drive safely.

If you are traveling with your spouse, you can enjoy the times when you children fall asleep by talking to your spouse. Simply talking to your spouse about random things may become rarer and rarer with the demands of your children.

However, talking to him or her can strengthen your relationship significantly. Even if you do not have a spouse or another adult that can come along, older children can help entertain the younger ones.

You may have to provide incentive to the older child, but it will be worth it if the safety of your family is involved. The older child will probably ask for a CD or money.

However, this is nothing compared to the cost of a car accident. Entertaining your children will only take a little time and preparation and it will insure their lives.

You do not want to take any risks with the lives of your family members when you do not absolutely have to. Snacks can also go a long way both for keeping you awake while you drive and for keeping your children quiet.

It is best to invest in healthy snacks though as sugar can make children very energetic and then very tired. The states of energetic and tired are two states you want to avoid on a long car trip as this is when they tend to get bored.

You may want to pack granola bars, fruit, fruit snacks, crackers, water, chopped vegetables, cheese and so forth. However, do not depend on snacks for meals.

Snacks are not very filling and your children will tend to get cranky without a full meal. Be sure to budget in stops at restaurants or packing a lunch for your trip.

After proper meals, children tend to fall asleep as well. The most important thing is that you keep your family safe on the road if you are going to have fun on your family trip.

Tom Selwick is a public safety representative for 25 years and has authored hundreds of articles relating to public safety and barricades. He has worked in public safety for years promoting safe transportation practices.

Contact Info:
Tom Selwick
TomSelwick09@gmail.com
http://www.interwestsafety.com

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3 Tips for Safely Dealing With the Returning Military Personnel for Businesses and Families

Let’s start with a simple story regarding how many of we “civilians” have dealt with stressful situations. Perhaps something similar to this has happen to you. As an example, you get a call in the middle of the afternoon. You have just won a contest (or have to take care of a family emergency) and you have just 2 hours to get the business done or you lose out on this special deal… or family business. You must drive 40-50 miles to get where you need to be. You pull things together quickly and head out the door. As you jump into your car, you realize that you must fight commuter traffic to get where you are going and this will make your time pressure even greater. You get stuck in traffic and are surrounded by tired, frantic, hostile drivers that are all in a hurry. When you finally arrive at your destination, you are stressed and perhaps even a little traumatized by the harrowing events. Most of us can relate to this scenario and we can begin to recover from this experience. Now imagine the situation of a real life and death threat that does not end in a couple of hours but in a situation that goes on 24/7 (all day and all night) for 365 days. Whether they are under fire or not the very real threat of death is constantly there. This requires adaptations and adjustments that are both physical and mental. This is what our military personnel must confront when they are deployed in a combat zone for a one year tour of duty.

I once experienced being rear-ended in my car. It was horrific! As I decompressed from having my car “totaled,” I lived with trauma and spent more time looking in my rear view mirror than I ever had before. After 8 or 9 months, I relaxed a bit, but I am still more aware and cautious about what is happening behind me as I drive down the road. People surviving in dangerous environments, for long periods of time, often do not just “switch off” the survival postures as soon as they return home. These people return home changed. They are never going to be exactly as they were before their deployment. This “change” is not necessarily bad, just different or maybe unfamiliar. It takes adjustment from both sides to allow for the healthiest re-integration for the returning combat personnel. Our returning family member, friend, or employee will require time to decompress and to ease back into “normal” routines. After a year of combat deployment and the “adrenaline rush” of working in a combat zone, they may not find that their basic jobs, or their family life, is as interesting or exciting as their lives were in deployment. In some cases people get “addicted” to the excitement of deployment and may want to re-deploy without the full support or understanding of their family or friends. There may be a change in “stateside” values where regular work may be boring or seem unimportant compared with combat duty.

If you are not a returned veteran, it is viewed as disingenuous to say, “I understand.” What the returning vet is going through as the re-integration process develops. Unless you have been in combat, you probably can not accurately put yourself in their place. Since every individual who survives the traumas of combat in their own unique way, it may even be difficult to truly capture the state of mind of the returnee in every aspect of their psyche. It is not helpful for returning vets to feel that they are being “judged” by people who do not fully understand their situation.

The immediate “on” that is needed for survival “in country” is not easy to let go of even with the relative safety of being at home. Survival mode is difficult to switch off. “Knee jerk” survival habits may “kick in” in response to home side situations like sudden noise or traffic congestion. Expect change! For family re-integration, it may be best to continue normal family routines and let your returned vet learn to fit into your routine without expectations of the length of time that this requires, and without the expectation that the vet will be able to “jump in” to the normal family routines. Solid and consistent routines will help. This can be made even more difficult when babies or young children are part of the family. Both the child/baby and the returning vet will both have re-adjustments to make.

Tips for Dealing with Your Returning Vet:

1. “Home Coming” ritual should be discussed, in advance, with your returning vet. Re-integration may be best suited with a “heros” return for some vets but a quiet return and being “left alone” for a while may be the request of the returning person and should be respected! Be happy, but do not force anything. Even a loving family deluge may be difficult until your returning person is really ready. So communicate about this in preparation of the return.

2. Re-integration into the family (and back into “normal” life) should begin within 2-4 weeks but can take much longer. When enough time has passed, a gentle pressure to “normalize” can be applied. A future article will discuss this issue of “Enough time.”

3. A “Safety Plan” for a “TTO” (Training Time Out) should be in place even before deployment. This will include a “code word” or “signal” that when an agitated person needs to take a break from a discussion due to the upsetting nature of the content or situation a safe, short term separation for a Set Amount of Timeshould be allowed and encouraged before continuing the discussion. (A recommended half hour or more to “cool down” and to practice stress management should be arranged.) If one “time out”, TTO, is not enough, then you should come back together and request this additional time. It is important to return, when ready, to complete discussion rather than to walk away and leave unfinished business in an unsatisfactory, unresolved way. We all have the urge to “handle things now” and we can’t end the discussion until there is a resolution. This is neither healthy nor realistic, many issues take time and considerable thought before coming to a conclusion. We also need to learn that not every situation has to have a “winner” and a “loser,” simply different views. Safety for both parties is the key!!!

Dave Thomason is a 24 year Navy veteran serving in the 1991 Gulf War, 1999 Kosovo Campaign, and the Global War on Terrorism. He is currently working as and Educator/Consultant to the Navy on Domestic Abuse, Stress and Anger, and Combat Stress.”

L. John Mason, Ph.D. is the author of the best selling “Guide to Stress Reduction.” Since 1977, he has offered Success & Executive Coaching and Training.

Please visit the Stress Education Center’s website at Stress, Stress Management, Coaching, and Training for articles, free ezine signup, and learn about the new telecourses that are available. If you would like information or a targeted proposal for training or coaching, please contact us at (360) 593-3833.

If you are looking to promote your training or coaching career, please investigate the Professional Stress Management Training and Certification Program for a secondary source of income or as career path.

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The Secret to Safely Traveling With Birds

Traveling with your bird can be a fun and rewarding experience for you and your bird. Traveling with your bird can also be easy if you follow the guidelines set out in this article.

Traveling In an Automobile

Who wants to go for a ride? If your bird is anything like mine, she loves to hear that question. Going for a ride can be fun and safe if you follow the guidelines of this article. Without making the process sound too technical, there are three distinct stages of travel that you should consider. Those three stages are the Preparation Stage, Travel Stage, and Arrival Stage.

Preparing to Travel With Your Bird by Automobile

You may have a hundred things to plan for before your journey especially on a long trip. However, adding a couple more considerations to allow your bird to go with you will be well worth your time and your bird will thank you.

There are three simple things to consider when preparing for your journey – Food, Water, and Shelter. Simple enough right?

Taking enough food to last the journey is obviously a major consideration. If you are running down to the grocery store then you can forget about this consideration. For longer trips, it is a good idea to make sure your bird has food PRIOR to your journey because your bird probably will not be interested in eating during any short trip. It most likely won’t be interested in eating because it’ll be distracted and/or afraid because of its new surroundings. Providing nutrition prior to travel will also help the bird’s body cope with any travel related stress.

However, if there is a possibility of the trip being extended or the possibility of being stranded away from home (snow, car malfunction, etc) you will still want to make contingency plans. Just take a couple days supply of food, and place it in a Tupperware bowl, or a sealed baggie depending on how much food will be required. Toss it in the automobile and you’ll have it just in case of emergency. The type of food that you take depends mostly on your bird’s normal diet. If your bird will eat pellet food then your food preparation is very simple. If your bird’s diet consists only of fruit and vegetables then your preparation time may take longer. Fruit will generally last a couple days if you wait until feeding time to cut/chop/dice it and most vegetables will also last a couple days. Taking the time to prepare food for your bird will be very beneficial to your mental well being and your bird’s physical well being just in case something goes wrong.

Water is another important thing to consider when preparing for your journey. Much like food, it may or may not be needed depending on the length of your journey. However, just like preparing food in case of an emergency, carrying in a little water is simple and may be very beneficial if something goes wrong which unexpectedly extends your journey. Usually a small bottle of water is all that is required for most journeys. Adding another bottle for longer journeys or in case of an unexpected emergency is easy and may turn out to be beneficial to you and your bird. Fruits and vegetables high in water content provide another means to keep your bird hydrated during travel. Depending on your bird, sometimes they’re more likely to eat an apple slice, grape, orange slice or other food which will provide them with the water necessary to keep them hydrated.

It is a good idea to make sure your bird has water PRIOR to your journey because most likely, your bird will not be interested in drinking during a short trip anyway. It most likely won’t be interesting in drinking because it will be distracted and/or afraid because of its new surroundings. Providing water prior to travel will also help the bird’s body cope with any travel related stress.

Food and Water preparation usually are very simple because we provide our birds with food and water several times a day. Providing for shelter during travel isn’t as common but it can also be very simple. Commercially available carriers for birds are everywhere (online, local pet stores, etc). It is also very simple to convert a small cat or dog carrier into a bird carrier. These can be found at garage and yard sales and usually at very reasonable prices. It is very simple to add a perch to a dog or cat carrier. For plastic rigid carriers, a wooden dowel can be screwed into the carrier using two screws through the side of the carrier into the wooden dowel. For metal carriers, a perch from the bird’s cage can be attached inside the carrier just like it is attached to the bird’s cage.

Whether you’re purchasing a carrier or converting one, there are a couple things to consider. The traveling container should be;

Large enough for the bird to stretch its wings but it isn’t necessary for it to be large enough to fly inside.
It should have openings in it large enough to provide good ventilation. Having ventilation on at least two (2) sides should be sufficient. Ideally, the holes should be large enough for you to stick your fingers inside the cage to give your bird reassuring neck rubs.
It should have openings in it for you to see inside to periodically check to make sure that your bird is ok.
It should have containers inside it to place food and water.
It should have a perch inside it for the bird to stand on.
It should have a handle on it or another means to carry it and to strap it into your automobile seat belts.

Depending on how familiar your bird is with the carrier, you may need to prepare your bird for the carrier. Ideally, you should start this process a couple weeks prior to your departure date. This will allow sufficient time for your bird to get used to the carrier. You can start by letting your bird explore the outside of the carrier with the door open. Eventually your bird will explore the inside of the carrier. You may entice it with a favorite toy or treat. Eventually and gradually, your bird will feel more at ease around and in the carrier. This procedure should be done as far in advance as possible to your departure date in order to give your bird plenty time to get acquainted with the carrier.

To prepare the carrier for travel, all you have to do to the carrier is to put some bedding in the bottom of it such as paper, paper-towels or other suitable bedding and it’s ready to go. On long flights, a favorite toy may be added to the carrier to help distract and amuse your bird during the trip.

One final consideration for your trip should be to include a basic first-aid kit. Though some might find that this is going too far, it is a simple precaution and it takes very little space but may be very rewarding if it is needed.

Here is a short-list summary of the preparation need to take your bird on a journey with you in your automobile.

Feed & water your bird prior to traveling.
Purchase or make a suitable carrier and place bedding into it.
Take enough food & water with you in case of emergency.
Pack a simple first-aid kit.

It’s that simple. This literally takes minutes to prepare for and your bird will thank you for it in the long run.

Traveling With Your Bird in an Automobile

So you’ve spent the time to prepare for the journey and now it’s time to go. What do you do now? There’s really not much to do at this point. Just place your bird in the carrier and put it in the car. The most important thing to do is to strap the carrier into your seatbelt system. This will be critical in the case of an emergency but more importantly it will stabilize the carrier and create a much smoother ride for your bird. This will prevent the carrier from rolling, slipping, and sliding as you start, turn and stop the automobile. It is critical that you disable the air-bag if strapping the carrier into a seat with an airbag. Most automobiles either automatically disable the airbag or you can do it manually. If disabling the airbag isn’t an option, place the carrier in the back seat where there aren’t airbags.

Arriving at Your Destination in an Automobile

So you’ve spent the time preparing for the journey, you’ve finally finished your journey and you arrive at your destination. Now what? Hopefully you’ve read this article and prepared for your arrival because this part of the process is often overlooked. We are usually so excited and/or worried about preparing and traveling that we forget to think ahead to our actual arrival. Here are some thoughts and tips about your destination that you should consider before arriving.

Does your destination allow birds? You should call ahead to verify.
Can your bird get out of the carrier to stretch when you arrive?
Do you have a larger cage to put it into when you arrive?
Can you ship a cage, supplies, food, toy to your destination?
Do you have a harness to let it safely get out of the carrier?
If visiting a friend, will they allow it to get out of the carrier in their home?
Do special precautions need to be taken for its safety at the destination? Are there birds, dogs, or cats around that may harm it?

Summary & Concluding Remarks

Traveling with your pet bird can be a fun experience for you and your bird if your plan for your trip. Spending the time planning will reduce your stress levels and your bird’s stress levels. So plan your trip, grab your bird, go for a ride or a flight and most importantly have some safe fun.

The Author is the creator of the InfoSuperFlyway.com. It’s a web page dedicated to Kibibi a Congo African Grey Parrot with parrot recordings, funny parrot videos, top ten lists, parrot jokes, clicker training info and a large database of parrot articles.

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