It’s fall, and with Halloween upon us, we want to make sure that you are fully prepared for trick-or-treating.
A lot of kids are happy to go door-to-door with bags, or if you were me, I just took a giant pillowcase to each neighboring house and whichever of my siblings had the most full pillow case at the end of the night was the winner.
However, there are some children who aren’t able to easily go to every door in the neighborhood. There are some children who have allergies or diabetes and simply cannot have the goodies on Halloween and have been left out over the years.
The #TealPumpkinProject has been sweeping the nation and is a way for houses to say that they have a non-food item to offer those children who simply don’t have the option to enjoy candy on Halloween.
So how does it work?
If you want to participate – paint a pumpkin teal and put it outside. This lets people know that you are providing non-candy items. Of course you can also provide candy for the other children! And please, spread the word. Use the hashtag #TealPumpkinProjectand tell your friends on facebook. Try to organize a teal pumpkin painting party in your neighborhood! And the most important thing that you can do is to put your house on the map.
What are some non-food items that you can have in your arsenal?
A little extra caution can go a long way while driving at night.
Summer has ended, and while fall and winter have their own pleasures — including the Blowing Rock Winterfest — longer nights mean increased danger on the roads.
You might think you drive just as well at night, but consider this: Even though nighttime driving accounts for just 23% of vehicle miles traveled, more than 50% of fatalities for vehicle occupants 16 and older occur between 6 p.m. and 6 a.m., according to the National Safety Commission (NSC).
Because we’re big advocates for safety at policyline insurance, we thought it would be helpful to take a look at why night driving is more dangerous, and what you can do to decrease that danger.
What’s dangerous about night driving?
1. Decreased vision. We won’t go into all the biological details, but different parts of the eye (such as iris, pupil and retina) work differently at night. Your peripheral vision is actually slightly improved, but it’s more difficult to focus on objects ahead of you. And traveling between well-lit areas and darker roads creates issues as well.
2. Driving too fast for your headlights. Depending on vehicle speed and headlight setting, many people “over-drive” their headlights. That means, by the time they see something on the road, it’s too late to stop in time to avoid it.
3. Impaired judgment. Whether due to drowsiness or the use of alcohol or drugs, it appears that drivers at night often don’t use good judgment. According to the NSC, 66% of fatalities at night involve vehicle occupants who weren’t wearing seat belts.
So what do you do?
Sometimes, there’s no way around driving at night. So here are some tips to help you make a safe trip — whether you’re just running to the store, or you’re headed all the way to Asheville.
1. Make sure your vehicle’s lights are in good working condition. And not just headlights, but turn signals, taillights, etc.
2. Avoid speeding. Leave a bigger cushion between you and other cars than you would during daylight hours. Leave yourself more time for the trip.
3. Be more aware of your surroundings. You shouldn’t be using your phone, messing around with the radio or trying to find something on the floor while you’re on the road anyway — and distractions are even more deadly at night.
Of course, if you’re not comfortable driving at night, the best thing is to avoid it altogether if possible. There’s nothing wrong with asking for a ride from a trusted safe driver or waiting for the sun to come out!
We’re open all day! (8:30am-5:00pm)
When you’re driving around during the day, stop in to policyline insurance for a review of your coverage. We won’t keep you after dark, we promise. Just give us a call at 1-800-725-POLICY. We’re here to help!
At policyline insurance, we can work with you to make sure you’ve got the coverage you need, while at the same time using all possible credits and discounts to make that coverage affordable. Just give us a call at 1-800-725-POLICY or send us a note at firstname.lastname@example.org. We want to help you meet your goals, and make sure what’s important to you is protected!
Parents, class is back in session in North Carolina, so you’ve likely already reviewed the basic safety tips for kids who walk or bus to and from school.
Those tips, of course, are:
Walk with a buddy
Stay in well-lit areas
Never accept a ride with strangers
Once home, lock the door and don’t let anyone in
However, Dr. Michele Borba, author of The Big Book of Parenting Solutions, urges you not to overestimate your kids’ safety smarts. Kids under 10, for example, may not grasp the concept of crossing a street safely, she says.
She suggests teaching them: “Stop. Left. Right. Left.” Meaning that children should, “stop at the curb, look left, right, then left again before crossing, and keep looking as they cross.”
Another thing kids need to know, says Borba, is how to ask for help. Have kids practice saying, “I need help,” out loud and instruct them to “find a uniformed employee, a police officer or a woman, preferably with a child,” when they need assistance, she says.
Once home, kids will likely use the Internet, so be sure to discuss digital safety too.
Staying Safe Online Internet safety advocate Sue Scheff, author of Wit’s End and Google Bomb, says that, “we need to put parental controls/security measures on computers and cell phones. Unfortunately, these aren’t guarantees, so having a cyber-smart child is your best defense.”
Teach kids about the dangers of sharing personal information, such as their home address and phone number, online. And about using social media responsibly.
While online, it’s best for kids – and adults – to converse and connect only with people they truly know and trust, to keep their social accounts private and to still be cautious even then. After all, photos and information that go online today will still be there years later, when kids apply for college scholarships and jobs.
Above all, stay involved in your kids’ digital lives. Let them know you’re there for them, always – to talk, not to judge or punish, says Scheff. “Many kids fear having their Internet removed if they tell their parents they are being bullied online,” she says.
So keep the lines of communication open to help keep everyone safe, both in and outside of your home.