Pool And Summer Safety Tips From UL

June 30, 2010 by  
Filed under Blog Tours, Product Reviews

Summer, is the perfect time to head outdoors and enjoy the warmer weather with your family.  This means time spent swimming in the family pool, and running, jumping and climbing on the backyard swing set.  As a parent, you want to do what you can to keep your children and family safe. Just like you would child proof your home, there are safety measures for outdoor play that, sometimes, we tend to overlook.

Pool safety, is one of the things that I am so vigilant about.  Having had first hand experience with the loss of a family member’s young son many years ago, makes it something that is burned into my memory.  To this day I still remember and watch my boys like a hawk when they are playing in just 2 feet of water.  After, they are done, the pool gets emptied, because you just never know when they may think to go back to it when you are sidetracked.   I know that you obviously cannot empty a much larger pool, but you can put safety measures in place, to avoid injury or tragedy.

This summer, Underwriters Laboratories (UL), a leading product safety testing organization, has taken some time and provided some useful tips to help keep you and your children safe around play sets and the pool.  There is also a really great Disney video about pool safety you can watch with the whole family.

When you go out for a swim:


  • If you have a pool at home, install a fence. The fence should be at least four feet high and have a self-closing, self-latching gate that has a locking mechanism beyond a child’s reach.
  • Cut overhanging tree limbs and remove chairs or ladders from the pool area to prevent children from climbing over the fence that surrounds the pool.
  • Keep grates and drain covers in good repair and secured in place. Alert your family and guests to stay away from these devices, as the suction from drain outlets can be strong enough to cause entrapment of hair or body parts, which can potentially cause a person to drown.
  • Make sure you know infant and child CPR if you own a pool.


  • Supervision is a must. Follow the 10/20 rule when you’re at the pool. The 10/20 rule states the supervising adult needs to position themselves to be able to scan the pool every 10 seconds, and reach the water within 20 seconds.
  • Always have rescue devices, such as UL-LISTED life preservers, nearby.
  • Flotation devices, toys and inflatable swimming aids are not safety devices. They are toys and can easily puncture and deflate.
  • Always drain wading pools after children are done playing. Infants can drown in just a few inches of water.
  • Have a telephone nearby and appropriate emergency numbers posted.
  • Remove all toys when you leave the pool. Toys may attract children to the unattended pool.

When at play on the backyard play set:


  • Make sure your backyard is large enough for playground equipment. The site must also provide good visibility and security. Before setting up equipment, look out for obstacles, such as the garage, tree branches, utility poles and wires.
  • Read and follow the manufacturer’s directions when setting up play set equipment. Be sure your child’s weight and age fall within the manufacturer’s recommended limits for the equipment.
  • Install protective surfacing, such as rubber tiles or mulch under the play set, at least six feed in all directions, to prevent serious injuries should a child fall.



  • Carefully inspect backyard playground equipment. Make sure equipment is anchored safely in the ground, all equipment pieces are in good working order, S-hooks are entirely closed and bolts are not protruding.
  • Check for spaces that could trap children, such as openings in guardrails or between ladder rungs. These spaces should measure less than 3.5 inches or more than 9 inches.
  • Always supervise children on play set equipment to make sure they are playing safely.  
  • Never attach ropes, jump ropes, clotheslines, pet leashes or cords of any kind to play set equipment. If used improperly, they can be potential strangulation hazards.
  • Watch for potential trip hazards, such as rocks, tree stumps and concrete footings. Make sure you’re children are aware of them as well.
  • Do a sandbox check. Before letting your child dig in, rake through the sand to check for debris or sharp objects. Also, inspect for any animal contamination or insect problems.

Doing a safety check list doesn’t have to be a chore.  In fact, you can head out as a family and go over the check list together!  This way you can help teach your children the importance of safety and what is unsafe, and do something together as a family.  It is pretty scary to think of something happening to your children, and an ounce of prevention goes a long way.  Sometimes, I think we put off the little things, and that can sometimes cause big consequences.  So take the time out to be safe, so you can enjoy a fun and relaxing Summer!  Thank you to UL for some really great safety tips.  This will be something we do every year.

“I wrote this review while participating in a blog campaign by Mom Central on behalf of Underwriters Laboratories. Mom Central sent me a gift card to thank me for taking the time to participate.”

NetSmartz Teaching Your Teens to Stay Safe

January 31, 2009 by  
Filed under General, Mom Central


In this day and age, everything is becoming so mainstreamed and it seems that our children are being introduced to the computer even sooner.   Being a mother to two very young children, it makes me a little nervous about introducing my kids to the internet.  Although, my boys are toddlers, I still hear about all the horror stories about how teenagers go missing after talking to and meeting with strangers they have talked to online.  I think computers and kids are basically inevitable with how fast technology changes, but  I also think it is very important that your children know what these dangers and are aware of the tactics a perpetrator  can use and how to be safe while being online.  It is such a scary scary thought, and I believe education is so important and as a parent you should use as many resources that are available to you and your children

NetSmartz, a leading online resource of the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children, used their expertise to develop NSTeens to educate, engage, and empower kids as Internet users, The website, NSTeens includes bios, comics, and videos of seven teen characters. Their comic How Much Is Too Much illustrates the consequences of improper Internet use and shows the impact teens can have when they use their network to empower people. Videos cover important topics such as social networking, cyberbullying, and offline consequences. Each cartoon video also portrays interviews with teens talking about their Internet use.

I think this is a terrific way to tell your teenagers about being safe on the internet.  It teaches then in a very non intimidating fun way so they might actually pay attention!  We know how powerful just hearing one sentence can be, because those are the things kids remember if they are in trouble or in a bad situation.   NSTeens is a wonderful resource and can help your teen to make smart decisions and avoid potentially harmful scenarios.