Safe Sound Family’s Weekly Roundup (December 21)

by Erin Raub | Last Updated Feb. 2nd, 2013

Candle for Sandy Hook Elementary

In memory of the victims of Sandy Hook Elementary School

A week later, my heart is still heavy from the tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary School. Though to most of us those families are strangers, we all feel connected. We grieve for those who were lost and for those who survived. We wish we could help.

One of my online communities clued me into something that everyone can do: 26 random acts of kindness. It can be as simple as conceding a parking space in a crowded lot, or treating a stranger to a cup of coffee. But by committing 26 random acts, we can all sprinkle a bit of kindness and joy into the world. We can honor the memories of 26 innocent souls who lost their lives last Friday. And maybe our acts will brighten the day of someone who truly needs it.

Carbon Monoxide & Your Child’s School

This week, 49 children and staff from an elementary school in Georgia were hospitalized from carbon monoxide poisoning. (Everyone seems to be on the mend now, thankfully!) A faulty furnace was at fault, but the school had also failed to install a carbon monoxide detector. Though carbon monoxide – the “silent killer” – is extremely dangerous (at least 244 school children and staff have been hospitalized in the last two years), detectors are not required in school buildings. Talk to your child’s school, ask questions, and if necessary, lobby for protections. Our kids are worth it.

Online Gaming Safety

If you have a teenager, you’re probably aware of security measures to take regarding Facebook, email and web surfing. But here’s one that’s easy to overlook: online gaming safety. If your teen has an XBox, Playstation or Wii, chances are it’s online – connected for gaming, online chat, and other purposes. The Playstation 3 even has a wide-angle webcam that makes for great gaming – and a great view into your home. Online gaming is also a playground for sexual predators, so it’s very important to talk to your little gamers about all types of online safety.

Recalls, Recalls Everywhere

Just an FYI to parents of babies and young children: there were several recalls this week. First, the Baby Jogger City Versa stroller was recalled due to fall hazard; then, Water Balz, Skulls, Orbs and Flower Toys were recalled due to ingestion danger; and finally, Consumer Reports designated the iCandy Cherry and the Mutsy Evo a safety risk – and placed both on their Do Not Buy list. Maxfield & Oberton also announced that it will discontinue sales of Buckyballs, a popular rare-earth magnetic toy that can present serious risk if ingested.

12 Scams of Christmas

Forget holiday cheer: to hackers, this is the time of year for suckers, scams and identity theft. And since a reported 70% of Americans holiday shop online, many of us are at risk. Last month, McAfee, a security technology company, released a list of the season’s top security threats – the 12 scams of Christmas.  You want to be on the lookout for fake gift cards, fake retailers, fake everything – plus online phishing, phony social media, and other concerns. They also give us some great tips on how to protect yourself and your family. I’m sure these risks will persist well into 2013, so be on the lookout.

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