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Archive for June, 2012


Posted on: June 25th, 2012 by Angela Ardolino No Comments

If you lived in Florida during the 2004 and 2005 hurricane seasons, you certainly remember the awesome force of tropical systems. After nine named storms having struck the state, the Division of Emergency Management reassessed the storm response and one thing they discovered was the Floridians needed to be better prepared for disasters.

Although it’s already July, it’s never too late to get your family prepared. When you’re preparing here are some things you and your kids can do together to prepare for hurricane.

–          Supplies – Remember that after a storm it may take up to 72 hours for responders to reach survivors. Your family should have an emergency supply kit with everything your family needs to survive at least three days. Enlist your kids to collect all the supplies and create a list of what your family has, needs to replace and needs to purchase.

–          Weather Watching – Create a family weather team that keeps an eye on the local weather. Once a week the kids can present the weather using your home video camera to record the “newscast”. That’s sure to make some great memories.

–          Write It Down – Encourage your kids to start a storm journal where they track dates and details about current storm conditions. The will help ease the anxiety that comes along with larger storms as well as provide an interesting record of events to look back on.

–          Evacuation – If you live in an evacuation zone, have your kids each prepare a shelter bag in case you must leave your home. It should include clothing, toiletries, medications and any other important items you may need.

Preparing for Hurricane Season can be a daunting task. Involving your kids in some of the prep work will not only ease your burden but will teach them about being prepared for emergencies.

For a full, list of everything your family should do to prepare for Hurricane Season visit, or


Posted on: June 19th, 2012 by Angela Ardolino No Comments

A home fire is something we hope never happens to us but most families don’t have a plan in place in case the worst does occur.  In 2009, fire departments treated more than 13,000 fire-related injuries that could have been prevented. With more than 350,000 residential fires in the United States annually, there are a number of small steps your family can take to prepare.


Fire in the home is a scary thought and can cause your kids to do impulsive things that may not be best. Here are a few ideas to plan and practice in case of a fire in your home.

–          Identify two escape routes in your home. Make sure that everyone (kids included) understand where both are in case one is blocked by flames.

–          Practice fire drills at least twice a year. It should be second nature for your family to know what to do in case of a fire.

–          In case of a fire, decide on a meeting place outside your home so everyone in the family can be accounted for quickly.


Make sure to establish rules about fire in the home. Don’t assume that your children know not to play with fire.

–          Every room in your home should be equipped with a working fire detector. Make sure to test it twice a year and that your children know what it sounds like so if it ever goes off.

–          As simple a it sounds, make sure everyone knows “Stop, Drop and Roll”. This could be a lifesaver.

–          Children are never to play with matches, lighters, candles or any other fire starting or fuel source.

–          Set the right example. If you don’t play with fire, your kids won’t either.


The most important part of fire safety is prevention. Take a few minutes to walk around the house and make sure that there are no concern areas that may lead to issues later on.

–          Make sure all flammable liquids (including cleaners) are stored outside of the home, out of reach of children.

–          Have one fire extinguisher for every 1,000 square feet of living space. Clarify that all family members know where they are located and how to operate them.

–          Never leave burning candles or the stove unattended while in use.

–          During the holidays, take special care with tree lights and have your chimney and shoot cleaned an inspected before and after the season.

–          If you use space heaters in your home, make sure they are plugged in directly to a wall (not an extension cord) and are at least three feet from anything else (walls, tables, furniture). Always unplug them before leaving the house or going to bed.

Preventing a fire depends on your proactive, not reactive, approach. When it comes to preventing fires, get the entire family involved. If everyone knows the plan and preventative measures, not only will you avoid a home fire, you’ll also instill a sense of responsibility in your kids.



Posted on: June 12th, 2012 by Angela Ardolino No Comments

Summer has finally arrived which means your kids are bound for the outdoors. It can be exciting for kids and parents alike and a great opportunity to go swimming, picnicking or on adventures. This time of year is also a dangerous time of year as almost half of all injury-related deaths in children occur between May and August. Whether it be in the pool, on bike, out in the sun or in the backyard is always important.

Here are some tips to keep you and the kiddos safe over the summer recess.

Water Safety

At this time of year, drowning deaths among children skyrocket compared to the rest of the year.

–          Never leave your child alone in the water, even in shallow water. A child can drown in as little as one inch of water.

–          Enroll your children in swimming lessons. Some swim schools offer class for children as young as 6-months.

–          When out in the gulf, make sure that children wear Coast Guard-approved flotation devices when on a watercraft. But never rely on a flotation device to protect your child. Make sure there is an adult supervising your children at all times.

Sun Safety

We are fortunate enough to live in the Sunshine State, where sun shines year-round. But with all the time you and the kids will be spending outdoors this summer, it’s important to protect yourself.

–          Make sure to use a broad-spectrum sunscreen that blocks both UVA and UVB sunlight.

–          Cotton clothing has an estimated SPF of only 6, so even if your kids are going out wearing t-shirts and shorts make sure they are lathered up.

–          If you’re going in the water, apply your sunscreen about 30 minutes before hand. And don’t forget to reapply throughout the day.

Bike Safety

Nothing says summer like a nice neighborhood bike ride.  But bikes are not toys and can certainly cause injury. Don’t forget to:

–          Always wear a helmet. Head injuries are reduced by 85 percent when riders wear a helmet and other safety equipment like knee and wrist pads. It’s estimated that 75 percent of bicycle-related deaths could have been prevented with bicycle helmets.

–          When riding on the street, make sure kids understand all riding hand signals, ride with the traffic flow and stay as far right as possible.

–          Don’t let your kids ride unsupervised unless they’ve shown they can follow all the rules you’ve established.

Insect and Allergy Safety

As Florida residents we’re used to mosquitoes and Poison Oak. Here are a few tips to help make this summer itch-free.

–          If mosquitoes become a big problem in your backyard or neighborhood, make sure that there is no still water around as that’s where mosquitoes breed. If that doesn’t solve the problem, contact the Public Works Department Mosquito Control and they will treat your yard or neighborhood for FREE. Contact them at (813) 635-5400

–          When summer allergies flare, something as little as washing your hair after going outside can help stop allergy attacks.

–          Avoid activities that involve going through brush or heavy foliage. If you do find some sort of irritating plant (ie: poison oak, ivy or sumac) heat one cup of salt, one gallon of vinegar and eight drops of liquid detergent and spray on any plants you want to get rid of. Warning – this will kill any and all plants so only spray it on plants that cause irritation or allergies.