Mother Teresa once said “I want you to be concerned about your next door neighbor. Do you know your next door neighbor?” FSC has the good fortune to be neighbors with Shaw Plant 6 whose management team and maintenance crew have taken Mother Teresa’s message to heart. There have been countless times when Shaw Plant 6 has responded to maintenance issues that have arisen at our building, allowing us to focus funding and energy on our efforts to prevent child abuse and neglect. Many thanks to these individuals who are concerned about their neighbors and their community!
Warmer weather is here and we have already heard of the seemingly inevitable news that children have died from heat stroke while trapped in a vehicle.
It has been known to happen as early as February if the temperature is warm, but typically around the middle or end of March we hear of the first event of the year – a disturbing, horrific incident of an infant or toddler dying from being trapped in a sweltering car.
Since 1998, the annual average of juvenile deaths in cars has been 38, according to the Department of Earth and Climate Science. Since 1998, there have been more than 700 juvenile deaths triggered by hyperthermia, or heat stroke; more than 70% of these are under the age of two and two thirds under the age of 6. Here are some other statistics:
• Child vehicular heat stroke deaths for 2014: 31
• Child vehicular heat stroke deaths for 2013: 44
• Child vehicular heat stroke deaths for 2012: 33
• Child vehicular heat stroke deaths for 2011: 33
• Child vehicular heat stroke deaths for 2010: 49
• Child vehicular heat stroke deaths for 2009: 33
Parents running quick errands may think their cars will remain cool; but even on mild days, temperatures inside vehicles can rise to dangerous levels in just minutes. A young child’s core body temperature can increase three to five times faster than that of an adult, causing permanent injury and even death.
The family car parked in the driveway can also be dangerous. Unlocked cars pose serious risks to children who are naturally curious and often lack fear. Once they crawl in, young children often don’t have the developmental capability to get out. About one-third of heat-related deaths occur when children crawl into unlocked cars while playing and become trapped.
Here are some tips on protecting your children:
•Never leave your child in an unattended car, even with the windows down, even for a few minutes. It takes just 10 minutes for the temperature in a car to go up 20 degrees. Cracking the windows or parking in the shade are not sufficient safeguards.
•Check to make sure all children leave the vehicle when you reach your destination, particularly when loading and unloading. Don’t overlook sleeping infants.
•Make sure you check the temperature of the child safety seat surface and safety belt buckles before restraining your children in the car.
•Use a light covering to shade the seat of your parked car. Consider using windshield shades in front and back windows.
•Teach children not to play in or around cars.
•Keep car keys out of reach and sight.
•Always lock car doors and trunks, especially when parked in the driveway or near the home.
•Keep the rear fold-down seats closed to help prevent kids from getting into the trunk from inside the car.
•Be wary of child-resistant locks. Teach older children how to disable the driver’s door locks if they unintentionally become entrapped in a motor vehicle.
•Contact your automobile dealership about getting your vehicle retrofitted with a trunk release mechanism.
•If your child gets locked inside a car, get him out and dial 9-1-1 or your local emergency number immediately.
Let’s make summer a fun and happy time with none of these tragedies of children being left unattended in parked cars.
As parents, we’ve all heard our children tell us, “That’s not fair!” So…
Do you try to make sure both pieces of cake are exactly the same size?
Do you count the Christmas and other gifts so each child gets the same amount?
Do you let your teen attend events that her friends attend even if you have misgivings?
If so, you’re attempting to be fair, and it won’t work. Here’s why.
1. You can cut the cake as evenly as possible, measure how full the glasses are, and count out the exact number of Easter goodies placed in each basket. Someone is likely to see it as unequal anyway.
2. It requires a lot of energy to even things out. Measuring, counting and comparing are a waste of time, effort, and energy.
3. By making sure that everything is fair, you set yourself up for regular complaints and verbal hassles.
4. Attempts to be fair contribute to sibling rivalry. “He got more than I did.” This pits child against child.
5. You are setting yourself up for manipulation. Children can use your desire to be fair to invite guilt and shame.
6. Treating each child equally does not meet the needs of the specific person. If one requires eyeglasses and another needs a special diet, do you give both children glasses and put each one on the same diet? Of course not. Different kids have different needs. Think equity, not equality.
7. Attempting to make things fair for your children helps them develop a dysfunctional life myth that everything in life should be fair. While most child development experts don’t advocate telling children, “Life isn’t fair,” they don’t advocate teaching them through your behaviors that life ought to be fair either.
8. To allow children to expect that everything should be fair sets them up for recurring frustration and disappointment.
9. Striving to be fair encourages feelings of entitlement in children. It contributes to their learning to expect to get what they want when they want it.
10. When your teen says, “It’s not fair. Everyone else gets to go. Why not me?”, the adult is required to do the thinking. You end up doing the thinking and the convincing. Say, “Convince me why you should go,” to require the child to do the thinking.
Next time you hear, “That’s not fair,” explain to your children that you’re not attempting to treat them equally. Tell them, “Different people have different needs.” Say, “I address needs. I don’t try to be fair or make things even. Tell me what you need, and we’ll talk about seeing if we can make it happen for you.”
This information was adapted from an article by Chick Moorman and Thomas Haller, two of the foremost authorities on raising responsible, caring, confident children.