Tag Archives: safety

Training Thursday Vol. 11 – Bath Time

Welcome to volume 11 of Bell Family’s video training series, where each Thursday we release a video to help coach sitters on an array of childcare topics.

This week we are featuring a training video on bath time!

Here are some fast bath time tips to always keep top of mind:

1. Never leave a child alone in the bath even for a minute. Drowning can occur in even an inch of water. Just scoop the child up in a towel if you need to answer the door or tend to something else.

2. Make sure the water is not too cold or too hot. Use a thermometer to make sure the temperature is between 90-100 degrees Fahrenheit.

3. Make sure there is a no-slip guard on the floor of the tub, and a towel or rug outside the tub, so when the child gets out he/she does not slip.

4. Don’t put too much water in the tub.

5. Teach the child to sit – no standing in the tub!

6. Use soaps and shampoos sparingly – they can dry out skin or cause irritation – less is more.

7. Keep electrical appliances away from the water.

Read more on baby (infants under 12 months) bath time tips here, and toddler (12-24 months) bath time tips here.

These videos are recommended to all BFC childcare providers to view for the latest techniques when caring for children. These videos were designed by our team comprised of long-time babysitters, full-time nannies, mothers, grandmothers, elementary educators, and social worker.

Bath

Note: Always follow the family’s instruction and care methods, and keep the family informed of everything with their baby.  These videos are not required to view, but a simple recommendation. For more information or for questions, please contact our office or read our terms.

Why Choose Bell Family Company?

Letting a new person into your home to watch your child can seem like a daunting matter. There are so many childcare services out there, but not all of them are a good fit for your family.

It’s so important to be thorough in your childcare search and here is why.

In a recent article published on the CafeMom website, they share a story of a mom who hired a sitter, and then discovered through her online search that she was a felon!

The mom was in a bind when her usual babysitter cancelled that morning, and she had (stay-at-home) work to be done on a deadline. With the family being new to the area they didn’t know anyone else nearby. As a result, the mom turned to a “Sitters and Tutors” Facebook group.

When the sitter (who claimed to be a mom herself) arrived, all seemed normal and the toddler gravitated toward her immediately. The mom soon got back to looking into the credentials of the Facebook group, and those of the girl that was now in her house watching her child. That is when the discovery of the fraudulent babysitter occurred. Upon her further investigation, the mom found out that the sitter only had nine friends, and a profile picture that was a stock image of a fireplace. That made it relevant that her Facebook profile/group was fake, and the identity of the sitter was a mystery.

The mom managed to handle the situation calmly and collectively, and got the sitter out of the house with her not suspecting she was onto her. However, when the mom returned to her computer to Google the sitter, she found her mug shot and read that she was previously arrested for credit card theft.

This story is alarming for any parent to read, and makes it evident that families need to be extra cautious as to where they are seeking childcare.

This is why Bell Family Company is a great fit for your childcare needs:

- Our core mission is to provide the highest quality family care in a convenient & efficient manner.
- Our sitters and nannies are the best in the business and become true, long term role models for your children.
- Our  GoodHire Background Check Process provides parents peace of mind that their little ones are always in great hands.
- Our comprehensive suite of offerings reduces daily stress for today’s busy families.
- We are a licensed, bonded & insured.

Sign up today to be apart of our family, and to have yours in great hands!

Outside-sitting

Written by our Marketing & Social Media Consultant, Taylor Bell

Training Thursday Vol. 4 – Kitchen Safety with Kids

Welcome to volume four of Bell Family’s video training series, where each Thursday we release a video to help coach sitters on an array of childcare topics.

This week we are featuring a training video on kitchen safety with kids!

The first bit of advice is to always follow the parent’s instruction on the family’s kitchen rules. The other advice is as follows:

1. Oven: Make sure the children are always kept away from the oven to ensure they don’t touch it, or pull down the handle. Even if it is not on, it’s good practice to keep them away from it.

2. Microwave: The general rule is to keep children away from it when it’s on. Pay special attention to those that are near the floor. If that is the case, keep the children away from it.

3. Outlets: All outlets should have stoppers, and even if the outlet has stoppers, still keep the children away from it. It’s not something they should play with. If you are at a place without stoppers, keep the children away, or block it with another object.

4. Cords: Cords should always be out of a child’s reach. The child could pull it down on themselves or wrap it around their body/neck causing strangulation.

5. Cleaning Supplies: If you need to clean something up, make sure you are not spraying bleach, or any other harmful chemical around the children. Use a green friendly cleaner to wipe up the mess. Also, make sure the cleaning supplies are far from the child’s reach at ALL times.

These videos are recommended to all BFC childcare providers to view for the latest techniques when caring for children. These videos were designed by our team comprised of long-time babysitters, full-time nannies, mothers, grandmothers, elementary educators, and social workers.

Ava_Amelia_eat

Note: Always follow the family’s instruction and care methods, and keep the family informed of everything with their baby.  These videos are not required to view, but a simple recommendation. For more information or for questions, please contact our office or read our terms.

Trimming Newborn’s Finger Nails

Last week I got to spend time with both of my nephews (ages 9mo and 8mo). I don’t get to see them too often since they live states away, so when I do get the opportunity to spend time with them I am quick to snatch them up for some playtime. What I would soon find out is that playtime usually involves them grabbing my face. They laugh and giggle as they do it (baby giggles = adorable), but shortly later I find myself beginning to wince and looking for his mom to pass him back to. Why you ask? Two words: finger nails.

A baby’s finger nails are perhaps the smallest vicious thing out there if gone untreated. It’s important to keep them trimmed so they don’t scratch out themselves, as well as other people who hold them.

I recently discovered an article posted by The Bump, which asks the question, “What is the best way to trim a newborn’s finger nails?” Here are some of the answers they provided:

1. Carefully, you should wait until the baby is sound asleep so that he/she will not move as much as when he/she is awake. Then, push down on the finger tip and either clip or cut the nail. Finally, use an emery board to file and smooth out any rough edges.

2. I found it hard to trim my newborns nails. I just put gloved on her hands for the first few months. Her nails didn’t grow very long. Now that she is almost 5 months old I have to trim her nails about 1-2 times a week to keep her from scratching herself and me. I put her in my lap (crossing my leg like a man) or in a cradle position and push back on the tip of her fingers to expose the nail. Then I cut them in stages since she can’t sit still for all 10 fingers.

For the full list of answers, visit The Bump website here.

 

Written by our Marketing & Social Media Coordinator,  Taylor Bell

 

Go Directly to (Baby) Jail!

It looks like this time the baby can’t pass “Go” and collect $200. Like any monopoly opponent, you rejoice when the other person has to go to jail because that means you have time to own the game, or in this case, the house.

Baby jail is a great way to keep your crawling infant safe, and also free up your hands to catch up on all of the housework!

The walls are great for balance, and allows the baby to pull themselves up to stand or walk.

You can even place your baby’s favorite toys inside for play and exploration!

Here’s one I put together for my little guy. You can buy it online at Target here.

Jail

Written by our Founder & CEO, Lindsay Bell

 

Ride-Sharing Tips with Lyft and Uber

Trips with Tykes released an article a few months ago that highlighted some great tips to keep in mind if your kids are traveling with Lyft or Uber.

If you’ve never used either of these services, first download either the Lyft or Uber app to your smartphone and set up an account with your credit card information. You will be prompted what to do next once you’ve completed this step. At the end of your ride, the app allows you to rate the driver, and the driver can also rate you as a passenger. You’ve been warned not to throw a ragging party in the back seat. The app will then charge the linked credit card on the account. No need to rustle in your bag to find buried cash or your credit card anymore!

Now that you are comfortable with how it works, let’s hear about some great tips if you are using either of these services to travel with kids.

1. Lyft and Uber will save you money.
Perk: both car services regularly offer promotions to entice new members to join and try them out.

2. They’ll keep you from being ripped off.
Technology tracks Lyft and Uber drivers and charges by the mile, so it keeps the drivers honest.

3. Make sure to select the right vehicle size.
The bigger the car you request, the more you’ll pay with ride-sharing services. My family of four (including two small kids) has never had an issue squeezing into a regular Lyft or a standard Uber (called UberX).

4. Plan for carseats.
Many Lyft and Uber drivers in the US will deny you a ride if you don’t have a car seat for a child of an age that requires one. Uber offers UberFamily in a few cities that includes a single car seat for an additional charge (usually $10).

5. Know about surge pricing.
Both services implement surge pricing when cars are in short supply (Lyft calls it Prime Time).

For the complete list of tips, read the article, here.

Ava_car

 

Written by our Marketing & Social Media Coordinator, Taylor Bell 

Choking Hazards for Kids

In a recent article published by Lucie’s List, they talk about the most common choking hazards amongst children. Now that you are up to date with the CPR procedures from our last blog (read here), we wanted to highlight some of the items to look out for in the case you need to perform CPR.

Choking is a leading cause of morbidity and mortality among children, especially those aged three years or younger. More than 60% of childhood deaths due to choking occur in the first year of life.

Of 17,500 incidences of non-fatal choking here are the items kids most often choke on:

Food: 41%
Candy and gum: 19%
Other non-foods: 17%
Coins: 13%
Unknown: 10%

In the breakdown of these categories, here are some specific items to pay special caution to:

1. Balloons (other) – latex balloons were associated with 29% of deaths overall, making it the most dangerous hazard for kids. TIP: Use the Mylar balloons instead (the shiny foil ones).
2. Hot dogs (food) – about 17% of choking deaths are form hot dogs alone. TIP: Cut hot dogs length-wise before serving.
3. Grapes, carrots, and bananas (food) – the pediatrician of the article writer said that bananas are the number one choking hazard based on his personal experience. TIP: Never give your child a whole item; cut them into halves or quarters.
4. Water bottle tops (other) – bottle tops are everywhere and often ignored. TIP: Make sure the tops are always tightly sealed and/or out of the reach of children.
5. Coins – these aren’t high on the “deadly stuff” list, but coins are around everywhere especially on the ground (a kid’s favorite place to be). Pennies and nickels are the highest risk. TIP: Shiny coins often attract kids. To be safe, don’t let them play with them. Plus, they are dirty and germ-infested. Yuck!

For additional items to look out for, read the full article here.

How to Perform CPR

Are you needing a quick refresher on compressions only CPR? Well, it just so has it that the refresher you are looking for is below.

If your child does choke, you should know how to perform CPR. To become certified in CPR, contact the Red Cross or call 1-800-RED-CROSS. The next best thing is to print out the Red Cross CPR/AED guide (download it here). It’s super easy to follow in a panic and we suggest you keep it somewhere in or near your kitchen.

Newborn/Infant
Perform CPR if the child is not breathing, has no pulse and has lost consciousness.

1. First do back blows

- If a baby is conscious but can’t cough, cry, or breathe and you believe something is trapped in their airway, carefully position them face up on one forearm, cradling the back of their head with that hand.
- Place the other hand and forearm on their front. The baby is now sandwiched between your forearms.
- Use your thumb and fingers to hold the jaw and turn them over so that they’re facedown along the other forearm. Lower your arm onto your thigh so that the baby’s head is lower than their chest.
- Using the heel of your hand, deliver five firm and distinct back blows between the baby’s shoulder blades to try to dislodge the object. Maintain support of the head and neck by firmly holding their jaw between your thumb and forefinger.
- Next, place your free hand (the one that had been delivering the back blows) on the back of the baby’s head, with your arm along the spine. Carefully turn the baby over while keeping your other hand and forearm on the front.

2. Then do chest thrusts

- Use your thumb and fingers to hold the jaw while sandwiching the baby between your forearms to support their head and neck. Lower your arm that is supporting their back onto your opposite thigh, still keeping the baby’s head lower than the rest of their body.
- Place the pads of two or three fingers in the center of the baby’s chest, just below an imaginary line running between the nipples. To do a chest thrust, push straight down on the chest about 1 1/2 inches. Then allow the chest to come back to its normal position.
- Do five chest thrusts. Keep your fingers in contact with the baby’s breastbone. The chest thrusts should be smooth, not jerky. Repeat back blows and chest thrusts.
- Continue alternating five back blows and five chest thrusts until the object is forced out or the baby starts to cough forcefully, cry, or breathe on their own. If coughing, let them try to cough up the object.
- Repeat the chest compressions and so on, until help arrives.

Child (toddler to approximately 7-8 years old, dependent on weight)
Check for alertness.  Tap the child gently. See if the child moves or makes a noise. Shout, “Are you OK?”

- If there is no response, shout for help. Tell someone to call 911 and get an AED (if available). Do not leave the child alone until you have done CPR for about two minutes.
- Carefully place the child on his/ her back. If there is a chance the child has a spinal injury, two people should move the child to prevent the head and neck from twisting.

1. Perform chest compressions

- Place the heel of one hand on the breastbone — just below the nipples. Make sure your heel is not at the very end of the breastbone.
- Keep your other hand on the child’s forehead, keeping the head tilted back.
- Press down on the child’s chest so that it compresses about 1/3 to 1/2 the depth of the chest.
- Give 30 chest compressions. Each time, let the chest rise completely. These compressions should be FAST and hard with no pausing. Count the 30 compressions quickly.

2.  Open the airway

- Lift up the chin with one hand. At the same time, tilt the head by pushing down on the forehead with the other hand.
- Look, listen, and feel for breathing. Place your ear close to the child’s mouth and nose. Watch for chest movement. Feel for breath on your cheek.
- If the child is not breathing: Cover the child’s mouth tightly with your mouth.  Pinch the nose closed. Keep the chin lifted and head tilted. Give two rescue breaths. Each breath should take about a second and make the chest rise. Continue CPR (30 chest compressions, followed by two breaths, then repeat) for about two minutes.
- After about two minutes of CPR, if the child still does not have normal breathing, coughing, or any movement, leave the child if you are alone and call 911. If an AED for children is available, use it now.
- Repeat rescue breathing and chest compressions until the child recovers or help arrives.

Adult
100 beats per minute. Sing a song that goes along with the pace of the compressions (“Stayin’ Alive” by the Bee Gees or “Let’s Get It Started” by the Black Eyed Peas).

 

Newborn and Infant Safety Techniques (1 month-1year)

1. Burping

- Hold the baby with their chin near your shoulder. Support the baby with one hand and gently pat/rub their back with the other to soothe them while allowing their body to stretch out with your hand.
- Sit the baby on your lap with one hand, supporting their chin and pat/rub their back.
- Lay the baby at a slight angle (with their head higher than their chest) on your lap facing you; rub their belly to soothe them while they stretch out their body. We advise this method as a last resort after the above two.

2. Choking

- ONLY if you clearly see and can easily extract the item that is obstructing the airway, take it out. DO NOT stick your fingers down the baby’s throat to try and scoop something out (this can shove it farther down).
- If you cannot see the object, don’t try to find it. Start back blows.

3. Changing a diaper

-  A newborn/infant’s diaper should be changed following each feeding, approx. every 2-3 hours. As child gets older, time frame will vary. Consult parent for schedule.
- Be sure that you put the diaper on correctly- not backwards.
- Dispose of used diaper properly.

Toddler Safety Techniques

- For naps and bedtime: Do not have anything in the crib with them, unless the parent instructs.
- Make sure electrical outlets are covered or inaccessible.
- Always keep one hand on an infant sitting on a high surface, i.e. a changing table to prevent falling.
- If there are stairs in the home, always use a gate.
- Keep your purse and any hazardous household items (electrical cords, medicine, cleaners, art supplies, toiletries etc.) out of a child’s reach.
- Stay with ALL children throughout bath time and never use more than a couple inches of water.
- Always ensure food is broken up into small enough pieces to prevent choking.
- Never administer medicine without the parent’s permission.

Pre K and K Safety Techniques

- Always use a helmet and/or protective pads when appropriate.
- If at a playground, make sure the equipment is age-appropriate for the children you are supervising.
- When crossing the street, choose street corners with crosswalks and make eye contact with drivers prior to crossing in front of them and always hold the child’s hand. Even if they are older, you must guide them across.

Elementary and Up Safety Techniques

- You are their biggest role model. Model safety first! Teach them safety rules for crossing streets, playing at playgrounds, etc.
- Avoid playing on non-impact-absorbing surfaces, like concrete.
- Remove helmets before using playground equipment.
- Keep screen use to a minimum.

1. AED reminders

-  Don’t use AED near water.
- Don’t use while child is wet or in a bathing suit.

2. First aid tips and tricks

- Carry 1st aid Kit with you- band aids, Kleenex, wipes, etc.
- Don’t give kids medicine without parental permission.
- Always use sunscreen in summer.
- Bring water always.

3. Fire safety tips and tricks

- Make sure the home is installed with fire alarms and carbon monoxide detectors. Change the batteries in all detectors every six months.
- Develop a home escape plan with the children and family in case of an emergency. Have two exit routes available. Do a practice fire drill so the children understand where they are supposed to go (make an activity of it).
- There are two types of apartment buildings, fireproof and non-fireproof:
a) A fireproof building is usually a high-rise, so the building is made of concrete, not wood. If the fire is not in your apartment, it is probably safer to stay inside than to enter a smoke-filled hallway. Keep the door CLOSED, and seal the gaps with duct tape or wet sheets/towels. Open the windows slightly. Call the Fire Department. b) A non-fireproof building is usually an older building, has an exterior fire escape, and is made of wood. If the fire alarm goes off, leave the building immediately.

- Children and toddlers have a curiosity about fire. Make sure they are taught to NEVER play with matches and lighters. If a child expresses curiosity about fire, calmly but firmly explain that matches and lighters are tools, not toys.
- Never leave a child unattended in a room with a lit candle.
- Do not use candles if the power goes out. ONLY use flashlights.
- Never use an extension for large appliances.
- Turn off/unplug all space heaters whenever you leave the room. Do not leave children unattended in rooms with space heaters. Never plug in space heaters into extension cords.
- Using a fire extinguisher for a SMALL fire: 1) Pull the pin, holding the extinguisher upright 2) Aim at the base of the fire, from 20 ft. away 3) Squeeze the handle 4) Sweep from side to side.
- Fire extinguishers can only be used ONCE, and must be replaced or refilled after a use.
- Cooking fires/grease fires should NOT be extinguished with water because it will splash the grease and spread the fire. First, turn off the stove. Then use either baking soda or slide a lid over the pan to smother the flame. Do not attempt to pick up/move the pan, and do not take off the lid before a couple of hours.
- Always stay in the kitchen whenever there is something on the stove. Keep pan handles facing inwards in case a child tries to grab at the handle. Ideally, keep pans on the back burners if the children are around.

Note this post was developed and sourced by Bell Family from our training and experience in CPR, First Aid, and Fire Safety through the American Heart Association and from our training with the Fire Department of New York. We also cited trusted blogs for added information. Note this is NOT a training or certification. These are simply helpful tips.

FDNY with sitters_edited-1

Written by our Marketing & Social Media Coordinator, Taylor Bell!

When Your Baby Hits Their Head

When your baby falls and bumps their head, mama calls the doctor and the doctor said..

When your baby hits his/her head for the first time it is no joking matter. A wave of fear, nervousness, and helplessness overcomes you. I was out at a work meeting when I came home to my husband and baby. My baby was cheerful as usual, but then my husband looks at me intently and says “I **cked up.”

I immediately get that sinking feeling in my stomach and he goes into how the baby fell out of his swing. I remain as calm as I can and pick up my baby, analyzing his body for any bumps or bruises. He looks fine. I then call my sister who has toddler twins (that fell constantly) and asked her what she recommended. She gave me a few stories about how the girls fell and then said to call the pediatrician just in case. We make the call and the doctor calls us back within 20 minutes.

The doctor was calm and asked us for a play by play. She said the couple she spoke to prior to us had the same thing happen.

We were instructed to do the following:

1. Scope out his body for any bumps or bruises.
2. Pay special attention to the baby’s head exactly where he fell.
3. Be aware of any troubled breathing or changes in breathing patterns.
4. Be aware of any projectile vomiting.

I couldn’t hear the monitor well at night, so I slept in the nursery with the sleep machine off to hear better. I checked on him every hour or so (I couldn’t sleep anyway), and then monitored him for a full 24 hours for any changes in behavior, vomiting, or trouble breathing.

He seemed fine. In  the end, I’m glad we called the doctor and I stayed in the same room as him. It gave me a piece of mind.

Carseat2

Written by our Founder & CEO, Lindsay Bell

Installing a Nanny Cam

Thinking of installing a nanny cam? Make sure to read these laws first!

What Nanny Cam Laws Should I Know?
It can be difficult to make the decision to purchase a camera, but if you choose to, it’s important to know the legalities. Families can choose whether or not to tell their caregiver that they have a nanny cam. And there are two types of laws you need to be aware of: ones for video surveillance and ones for audio recordings.

  • Video surveillance laws: It’s legal to install a nanny cam in all 50 states, even if you choose to videotape your nanny without her consent. However, you can’t tape her in private areas of your home, such as the bathroom or a live-in nanny’s bedroom. If you do install a nanny cam, be sure to do so in common spaces, such as the kitchen or playroom.
  • Speech laws: While you can videotape your nanny, several states have laws to protect against audio recordings. If you live in California, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Hawaii, Illinois, Louisiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, Montana, Nevada, New Hampshire, Oregon, Pennsylvania or Washington, you must notify your nanny if you have a nanny cam that records both audio and video. Not only could you be prosecuted for violating this law, but any evidence of abuse or neglect found on the tape could be inadmissible during legal proceedings.

For more information, read the full article provided by Care.com here.

We also found two other articles that provide helpful info if you are still debating on the nanny cam purchase.

For the NY Times article, click here.

For the Brick House Security article, click here.