New Brunswick Ciclovia Did it Again!

Our super nurse volunteers (courtesy Diana Starace, Safe Kids  Middlesex County)
Our super nurse volunteers                                                       (courtesy Diana Starace, Safe Kids Middlesex County)

KMM and Safe Kids Middlesex County (based at the Level 1 Trauma Center at Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital) teamed up again to distribute free bicycle helmets and challenge kid’s bike safety skills at New Brunswick Ciclovia.

The third city-wide open streets event of this year took place on Sunday, October 12th. Four volunteers from the nursing program at New Jersey City University helped us fit helmets on heads, explain the importance of helmet use to kids and parents, and guide children through a short skill course.

Riding the course (courtesy Veronica Torres)
Riding the course (courtesy Veronica Torres)

 

 

 

 

 

 

Thank you to all the families that came out on this beautiful day!

Check Twice – July 31 is National Heatstroke Prevention Day

Tomorrow, July 31, is National Heatstroke Prevention Day and we at KMM would like to share with you some safety tips everyone can use.  Let’s prevent this ver terrible tragedy from occurring.   wheresbaby_4c_horz

When outside temperatures are in the low 80s, the temperature inside a vehicle can reach deadly levels in only 10 minutes, even with a window rolled down two inches. Children’s bodies overheat easily, and infants and children under four years old are at the greatest risk for heat-related illness.

KMM, along with NHTSA, Safe Kids and its safety partners, are urging parents and caregivers to take the following precautions to prevent heat stroke incidents from occurring:

  • Never leave a child unattended in a vehicle — even if the windows are partially open or the engine is running and the air conditioning is on;
  • Make a habit of looking in the vehicle — front and back — before locking the door and walking away;
  • Ask the childcare provider to call if the child does not show up for care as expected;
  • Do things that serve as a reminder that a child is in the vehicle, such as placing a purse or briefcase in the back seat to ensure no child is accidentally left in the vehicle, or writing a note or using a stuffed animal placed in the driver’s view to indicate a child is in the car seat; and,
  • Teach children that a vehicle is not a play area and store keys out of a child’s reach.

 

Information source: NHTSA website

New York City by Four

1497648_688135747892945_821497177_nThe Big Apple during the Holiday Season is truly magical – especially through the eyes of  a child experiencing it for the very first time.

Recently, I took a day off from keeping Middlesex moving (no worries, Middlesex kept moving because of our terrific staff) and I practiced what I preached.

Together with my husband and two absolutely delighted children, we drove to our local train station.  And because we were commuting with children, we raced to grab the NJ TRANSIT Northeast Corridor train bound for the Big Apple just in the nick of time.

The train ride into NYC was filled with late morning commuters who I swore, cracked a smile when they noticed my gleeful children asking the train agent if she had hot chocolate to share , “You know, like on the Polar Express!”

Soon we pulled into New York Penn Station and we tightly gripped the children’s hands and headed up to the busy Manhattan streets, that under the gray skies truly looked like they were paved with glitter.

On foot, we navigated the Avenues pointing out landmarks the children had either seen on tv or read about – until we reached our destination –  Rockefeller Center.

Despite the complaints about the long, fast paced walk, the pay-off was priceless.

After completing the obligatory holiday stops: the Christmas Spectacular, visiting the Lego, American Girl and FAO Schwartz stores and a quick prayer in St. Patrick’s Cathedral, we piled into a bona fide yellow NYC cab at rush hour to meet with friends for dinner in Tribeca.  “No seatbelts!?!??!” cried the kids in glee.

Dinner was splendid and filled with much laughter and smiles despite the trip being almost over.  But the trip would not be complete without a ride down under – that is, the subway.  So as the night came to close, we hoped on the 2 express and grabbed the only available seat and huddled together as we swayed along the bumps and jerks of the New York Subway.

As we waited for the NJ TRANSIT train home in the nicely decorated waiting area, the children were still smiling ear to ear.

“Thank you Mommy and Daddy. I wish we could do this every year!”

We saw New York City by four with four and created memories that I hope, they will enjoy for a long time!

 

 

 

Safer Routes to School, All Year Round

Through a partnership with the New Jersey Department of Transportation and local communities and schools, KMM is making it safer and easier for children to walk and bike to school.  Walking to school is a fun and recreational exercise for students and parents. Children practice and observe safe pedestrian skills with the added bonus of arriving at school alert and ready to learn. In addition, by walking and biking to school children learn an environmentally friendly alternative to driving. In the big picture, reducing driving for school drop off reduces local traffic congestion, auto emissions, agirl_on_bikend traffic accident risk.

The biggest SRTS event of the year is Walk to School Day, held in early October. This year, we registered 19 schools in 14 different towns, representing 5,000 eligible students. Walk to School Day events included group walks to school, tables at the school entrance, and walks around the school neighborhood during the school day. In addition to stickers, worksheets, and bookmarks, KMM provided reflective zipper pulls for each participant and “We Take Safe Routes” banners to each school. Executive Director Bill Neary and staff members Peter Bilton and Vicki Becker helped at events in Milltown, East Brunswick, New Brunswick, and Highland Park.

This year, we’re adding a Spring Walk and Bike to School Day which will be discussed at a workshop in February. Also on the agenda are walking school buses, KMM’s Golden Sneaker contest, bike rodeos, and engaging walk and bike safety classroom or assembly presentations. To learn how you can bring a Safe Routes programto your school or register for our February 25, 2013, contact KMM.

~PB

Don’t Clown Around

MH900442373Earlier this year, I watched my youngest board the big yellow bus.  He kissed me goodbye without any reservation, hugged me tight and gleefully boarded the bus.  Having seen his older sibling board the bus each day for three years, this day was long coming for him.   As the bus pulled away, I waved and wiped a tear away.

Fast forward to present day.  While kisses and hugs are still shared, the novelty of the bus has worn off and I no longer shed tears.

“Mommy, please drive us to school today.  I want to be the first one in class so I can get the “cool” jobs.”

“Mommy, the bus is so boring.  I have to sit in my seat and not move.”

Needless to say, my Little Man is growing up fast.

However, last week while I waited for the afternoon bus,  I was witness to a crash at the intersection in our neighborhood.  And I was not the only one.  The afternoon bus, which was making its way to our stop, also was close enough to the crash to see what happened.  As the bus slowly made its way to our stop, I could see the shock in the eyes of the children on the bus – including my own children.

“Mommy, did you see that!  I am so glad I was sitting with my seatbelt.  We had to stop and I wasn’t paying attention because we were so busy talking about Santa and by the way I need to change my letter to Santa and………”

And so my friends, it never hurts to brush up on our skills.  I came across this video the team over at Middlesex County Traffic Safety Program created to help children learn the rules of bus safety.  I share this video with you and encourage you to share it with others – especially your little ones!  Please click on the link below.

http://vp.telvue.com/player?id=T01258&video=136576&mini=true

~CCF