Kevin Bacon & Social Exponential Reach

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I know what you’re thinking; “What does Kevin Bacon have to do with anything marketing related”? Just stay with me. It all comes together. As I’m sure 7,000 other blogs have told you, social media is an important piece of your marketing mix. At this point you’ve probably seen all kind of stats that all have the same bottom line; start using social media! But what do those numbers mean? What is the true reason that these sites are valuable? The answer is exponential reach.

Let’s say you have a Facebook friends list of 200 people. You share an update with those 200 people in your immediate network. Simple enough right? 200 people have now seen that update. It doesn’t stop there though. Now let’s say that 5% of that immediate network decides this update is worth sharing with their friends. That means that 10 people share your post. While that doesn’t sound like anything amazing, keep in mind that they each have a network of 200 friends who now have the ability to see your update. Again, staying conservative, say only 5% of each of their networks actually see that same post. That’s an additional 100 people reading your post. So where you would have originally only reached your initial 200 contacts, you have now reached 300.

This is exactly what exponential reach is. It’s the ability and opportunity to reach an audience that would otherwise be untouchable. It isn’t only about who you know, but who that person knows and so on. It helps to think of it in the same terms as “6 degrees of Kevin Bacon”. Because of the movies that Bacon has been in he has made connections with a huge array of stars. So many that the game challenges you to find the link between Bacon and any random actor/actress you can think of. This will, according to the game, likely happen in less than 6 degrees of separation. Exponential reach is eerily similar.

Your network can grow so rapidly all through connections on social media. If Facebook and sites of the like didn’t exist you would be limited to the number of hands you had to physically shake. Online it’s as simple as clicking the “like” and “share” button. While an additional 100 viewers might not seems worth your time remember that as a business you are working with a much larger pool of people and their network will likely be larger. Through your connections you can open the door to a much larger network of potential customers.

 

 

Photo Credit: Matt LeClair

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Elder Holiday Safety

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I love Thanksgiving! It is my family’s favorite holiday. Growing up in a small family with relatives spread across the country from New York to San Diego, Thanksgiving was the time we would all try to gather in one place. Sometimes we gathered with my aunt in New York, my parent’s house in Oklahoma, or with my grandparents in California. Sometimes we all met at a place where none of us lived like Las Vegas. It did not matter where we gathered as long as we were able to spend time together.

This year brings about many changes as we gather in Tulsa, Oklahoma at my parent’s house. My grandmother will not be with us this year; she passed away several months ago. However, my grandfather, who turns 95 on November 6 will be joining us from San Diego. 

Having an elderly relative visit calls for some pre-planning. Falls are a major cause of accidents for seniors; every 15 seconds, an older adult is treated in the emergency room for a fall and every 29 minutes, an older adult dies following a fall in the home.

 Falls can be caused by health conditions that affect balance and eyesight, by lightheadedness, and mobility problems that occur more often as we age. My grandfather is very mobile; plays tennis twice a week, still drives and lives on his own, but in a new environment, the potential hazards are too great to ignore. We needed to “Elder- Proof” my parent’s home.  

 Before you make changes, conduct a thorough assessment of the environment, looking for obvious hazards and potential safety challenges. As when your children were little, you may be required to remove potential hazards from the home. Start with some simple changes that can make the environment safer, but without major costs.

 

Here are three priority issues for elder-proofing your home:  

 1. Removing fall hazards. Remove any throw rugs or any rugs that aren’t permanently tacked down, such as rugs around toilets. Check for other floor dangers, such as slick floors. Remove low furniture that could be a tripping hazard, such as ottomans or low coffee tables. Check that no electrical cords cross pathways. See that spills are immediately wiped up. Move kitchen and other storage items to an easy to reach level, avoiding the temptation of step stools.

 

2. Improving lighting. Aging eyes are not as sharp, which also leads to potential dangers. It’s been estimated that the average 85-year-old needs approximately three times the light to see something that a 15-year-old would need. Therefore, look for lighting issues and ensure plentiful ambient lighting. Place extra lighting at stairs and walkways, and install nightlights in bathrooms and halls.

 

3. Removing potential fire and burn hazards. Remove space heaters, candles, and other devices with open flames. Install a protective screen on any fireplaces. Wrap exposed hot-water pipes, and lower hot water temperatures.

 

In addition, adaptive tools can improve home safety for many seniors. 60% of falls by seniors occur most often in the bathroom. Durable medical equipment such as raised toilet seats, shower chairs and professionally installed bathroom grab bars are examples of equipment that can help prevent bathroom falls.

 

At my parent’s house, we removed throw rugs, placed a shower chair in the bathtub, installed nightlights throughout the house, and moved the computer to the first floor so grandpa had no reason to climb the stairs. Keeping loved ones safe at home is a team effort. Regardless if your aunt is visiting for the weekend or if you are taking care of your parents at home, the goal for all is a safe and comfortable home that promotes healthy and independent living. 

 

Lea Rosenauer

Development Director, Project MEND

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** Believing that mobility and independence are basic human rights, Project MEND empowers individuals through the reuse of medical equipment to become active members of their communities.  You can find out more about Project MEND at www.projectmend.org

 

*** Additional resources for preventing falls 

No More Falls Coalition Texas                            www.nomorefallstx.org

National Council on Aging                        www.ncoa.org

Fall Prevention Center of Excellence          www.stopfalls.org

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention          www.cdc.gov

 

Understanding Back Pain

We have all heard the quote, “pain is weakness leaving the body.” This statement is not true. Pain is a reflex sensation designed to increase your odds of survival. When it comes to back pain, many times the survival reflex goes wrong. Our society’s search for the “quick fix” ends up costing more time, money, and loss of function because we are usually only treating the symptoms and not the cause of the pain.

Because of these things, constant questions flow through the minds of many individuals with back pain: Will the pain ever get better? How long will the pain last? Will I be able to get back to the activities I loved to do before my back pain started? The end result of all these questions is fear, doubt, and frustration.

 There are two underlying problems to the way the pain is currently treated:

  1. The true “cause” of the back pain is never addressed, and/or;
  2. Who determines how and when you are treated. Basically, there is a fundamental problem with the way our “system” works.

To understand this more clearly, we have to know the answer to the million dollar question: What causes back pain?

 

To understand back pain, you must first understand that it is actually more of a medical syndrome rather than an actual diagnosis. Back pain is a descriptive term for a variety of conditions. The problem is that many health care professionals try to treat “back pain” as if it is one condition with the same cause rather than a symptom which may arise from multiple different causes.

Dr. Dennis C. Turk is a professor of anesthesiology and pain research at the University of Washington and a past President of the American Pain Society. He states the exact cause of back pain is not found in about 85 percent of patients. He goes on to say that, “sophisticated magnetic resonance imaging seldom sheds light. Indeed, in many studies the scans have picked up spinal abnormalities in many people who have never reported back pain.”

Despite this, many people with back pain undergo diagnostic testing designed to identify a structural cause regardless of the fact that these tests cannot show the source of pain.

 

The problem with just managing the symptoms of back pain is that you are not addressing the factors that caused the back pain in the first place. It’s like you are putting a band-aid on a huge cut. It may help with the bleeding, and it may even help to cover up the wound a little, but you are not doing anything to take care of the wound itself.

 

Treating back pain through one approach is usually ineffective. Treating back pain effectively requires addressing every area of your life. In next week’s blog, I will discuss the different types of treatment approaches and why it is important to look at the big picture, rather than one solution to your back pain.

 

By:

Steve Alaniz, PT

CEO

Momentum Physical Therapy & Sports Rehab

WeGetYouHealthy.com

(210) 888-1278

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Community Spotlight: San Antonio Humane Society

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Hello from The San Antonio Humane Society! For those of you, who don’t know us, let me begin our introduction by letting you know we’re a non-profit, no-kill organization that has served Bexar County and its surrounding areas since 1952. Since we have Humane Society in our name, a lot of people ask, are you affiliated with the Humane Society of the United States or the ASPCA? The answer is a short one, no! Being an independent organization, we are able to tailor our focus to what is really important to us, serving the homeless pets and needs of our local San Antonio community, and we think we do that quite well! Every year, we shelter, medically treat, and rehabilitate more than 5,000 pets that have been injured, abused, or abandoned until they are ready for adoption. Then, we help those amazing pets find the forever loving homes they deserve. Overall, our mission is to protect and improve the lives of dogs and cats by providing shelter, care, adoption, rescue, spay and neuter programs, and community education. Every day we feel so lucky to have the opportunity to serve our San Antonio community and are always looking for new ways to share about our shelter and our pets!

Adoption

One of the main cornerstones of the San Antonio Humane Society is our adoption program. If you’ve never stopped by our shelter at 4804 Fredericksburg Road, we encourage you to swing by for a visit. Many people have the misconception that all shelters are dreary and smelly places, but we have to admit we love to see the reaction on people’s faces when they walk through our doors and realize what a clean and happy place our shelter is. Our dogs have large kennels with outdoor yards and playmates, our cats have kitty condos with lots of toys and plush beds, and our puppies have clean compartments with the works. But what really makes our pets special is that they have tons of people who care about them. In addition to our staff, we have more than 900 active volunteers who spend countless hours playing and socializing with our pets. So when you’re ready to adopt, rest assured that your pet was well taken care of and loved unconditionally at his/her temporary home. Our adoption process is simple: meet the pet of your dreams, spend some time together to thoroughly fall in love, fill out an application, meet with our adoption counselors to answer all of your questions about pet ownership, and then take your new companion home! This is the best part of our job, connecting friends for life!

 

Spay & Neuter

Another essential program at our shelter is our spay/neuter program. Millions of companion pets are euthanized every year across America because there are not enough loving homes for them. Spaying and neutering pets helps ensure every dog and cat born has a home waiting for them. In addition to spaying/neutering all of our shelter pets, we also offer spay/neuter services to the public seven days a week. We believe spaying/neutering is essential to helping to reduce San Antonio’s homeless pet population. Last year, we spayed/neutered 8,387 dogs and cats in our in-house surgery suite and hope to see this number continue to grow.

Education

At the San Antonio Humane Society, we are also very passionate about pet education, especially for our San Antonio kids! We offer a program called Camp Humane multiple times throughout the year to educate kids of all ages on proper pet care and all things pet related. We also offer tours to people of all ages to come learn about our shelter and pets. Recently we have also begun taking our programs off our campus and moving them into the community. We’ve loved working with Harlandale School District and other organizations around the city to spread the word about pet education.

As you can tell, we could go on and on about our shelter happenings and our wonderful pets, but we would love for you to stop by to experience it all for yourself! We’d love to introduce you to our adoptable pets and share our shelter. For more information, visit the SA Humane website, “Like” our Facebook page or stop by 4804 Fredericksburg Road; we can’t wait to see you!

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Jenny Puls

Communication Associate

San Antonio Humane Society

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Trident Uses Vine For Marketing Magic

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I don’t know about you, but Vine has quickly become one of my daily routines since its launch in January. As I’m sure you know, the mobile app allows for 6 second video streaming and has spread like wildfire. It seems though that it has moved beyond simply being an outlet for things like “Smackcam” and other nonsense. Vine has moved to marketing and advertising.

Mashable recently wrote an article about Trident being the first to launch a six second Vine TV ad. After selecting two of the most popular “Viners”, both of which I follow, Trident released four Vine ads. Although all were popular, one was selected for a TV ad. This “Paid in Layers” campaign, although the first, seems to have sparked something as it is reported that Dunkin Donuts will soon follow.

The Viners selected were Nicholas Megalis and Rudy Mancuso and as I said before, I follow them both. In fact, their Vines are some of the few I look forward to watching everyday. I remember seeing the one of the Trident Vines featuring Rudy and the first thing I thought was “This is Brilliant”. When you really sit down and think about it, Nicholas, Rudy, and Vine did most of the work as far as gaining an engaged audience. Due to the popularity of their videos, all Trident had to do was put Nicholas and Rudy on the screen and people would love it.

I can also say it worked like a charm. I was so excited by the videos and the innovation but I wondered to myself, would this really make people buy more gum? A few days later I was checking out at a grocery store and what did I notice out of the corner of my eye? Tridents new gum. There was nothing particularly special about the packaging and it wasn’t on display. It was next to all the other gum waiting for those impulse buyers. The first thing that popped into my head was Rudy Mancuso singing his catchy little jingle about the grape and lemonade collaboration that I must buy. I can honestly say that had I not seen the Vines, I would have never noticed the gum.

What do you think? Is Vine turning into the next big thing when it comes to marketing and advertising?

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Brenda’s Blurbs

Many business owners are unaware of this reporting requirement.  It applies to you if you have one or more employees!

Beginning Oct. 1, any business with at least one employee and $500,000 in annual revenue must notify all employees by letter about the Affordable Care Act’s health-care exchanges, or face up to a $100-per-day-per employee fine .

This article does a good job of outlining exactly what your letter to your employees needs to include.

http://www.benefitspro.com/2013/09/09/small-businesses-unaware-of-health-coverage-notifi

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Community Spotlight: Project MEND – Medical Equipment Reuse in Action

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Making life more available for people with disabilities

 

The last few weeks as I have been out and about shopping, movies, etc… I have seen more and more individuals using wheelchairs. Many people are uncomfortable around individuals with a physical disability, yet I am moved by courage these individuals show by being active in our community. 

 On a daily basis, I see how donated wheelchairs, walkers, transfer benches, and other durable medical equipment can enhance a person’s mobility and independence; for example, Mr. Manuel Uriegas recently called to thank Project MEND for helping him with a refurbished electric wheelchair. “Project MEND is truly a blessing. For the first time in almost a year, I could go to church with my family and enjoy my yard. Thank You for all your help.” said Mr. Uriegas. So many lives could be improved or enhanced with just a little help; a wheelchair to enable them to attend a grandchild’s school program or a hospital bed to provide comfort and assist family members keep a loved one at home can make a huge difference.

 For more than 20 years, Project MEND, a 501c(3) nonprofit organization, has been providing this assistance to San Antonio and the surrounding communities. Project MEND’s mission is to provide low-income persons with disabilities with refurbished, donated medical equipment and assistive technologies that will enhance their independence, self-sufficiency, and mobility.  

 Project MEND provides this service by receiving donated medical equipment from the community at large. This equipment is refurbished, sanitized, and processed into inventory. The equipment is then redistributed to eligible clients. This process has a number of benefits including saving equipment from dump sites, keeping unsanitary and potentially bio-hazardous equipment contained and out of the hands of untrained individuals, promoting a green-friendly environment, and providing a cost savings to the community.

 2013 is Project MEND’s 20th Anniversary. Since its inception, Project MEND has distributed nearly 5.5 million dollars of medical equipment to those in need. It took 14 years to build capacity to distribute 3 million dollars of equipment but only six years to distribute the next 2.5 million.  In 2012, Project MEND served 1,107 clients; benefiting more than 4,200 family members and distributed nearly $400,000 of medical equipment.

 To celebrate 20 years of service, we are launching “Toast of the Town” a dinner and auction event. The Murlin Johnson Legacy Award in recognition of Project MEND’s founder, Murlin Johnson, honors a community member that exhibits the values that Murlin infused into the agency: determination, integrity, and service. Project MEND is proud to present the 2013 award to Dennis E. Noll, President and Chief Executive Officer, San Antonio Area Foundation.

 Dennis was instrumental in assisting Mr. Johnson expand the agency by instituting pick-up and delivery processes for donated equipment. With that first van, the agency was able to double its impact in the community.  We invite you to learn more about Project MEND and attend “Toast of the Town.”  Information can be found at http://www.projectmend.org or by contacting me; Lea Rosenauer, Development Director at (210) 223-6363 ext. 229 or lea.rosenauer@projetmend.org

 

 Ms. Walton can best describe results of Project MEND’s services “I appreciate the kindness and generosity of Project MEND. Without your help, life would be less available.  Now it is more pleasant.”  If you would like to know more about donating used medical equipment, please contact the Project Mend Warehouse at (210) 223-7283 or warehouse@projectmend.org  

 

Project MEND is always seeking opportunities to inform the medical community about our services. Durable Medical Equipment Reuse addresses the needs of the medically vulnerable individuals in our community. If you would like to know more about Project MEND’s services or would like to contribute financially to the continuing operations of Project MEND please contact me.

 

Thank You

 

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Lea Rosenauer

Development Director

Project MEND

 

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Community Spotlight: Solar San Antonio

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SSA, a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization, works with the City of San Antonio, Bexar County and CPS Energy to develop long-term policies that advance solar power and renewable energy in the city. This planning also includes developing strategies to ensure residents, of all income levels, can benefit from solar.

 Solar Energy

Solar energy is a clean, renewable source of power that benefits the environment, the regional economy, and human health. Solar San Antonio’s (SSA) mission is to make solar energy accessible to everyone.  Our founder, local activist William Sinkin, is well known in the city for being the earliest advocate for solar in San Antonio. Creating solar power does not produce any harmful emissions. It also protects the U.S. against power outages and shortages in natural resources, such as fossil fuels and natural gas. It is a common misconception that solar power is incredibly expensive. Instead, falling costs in manufacturing and local rebates make it an affordable investment for a home or business owner concerned about rising energy costs and sustainability. Payback times are typically 6-8 years.

Going Solar

The companies we work with have made donations to be members of our organization and have had a lot of experience working in the city. They range from large companies that do various electrical works, to small businesses that specialize in energy efficiency. Solar Companies that participate in the program must become professional members in our organization as well as maintaining professionalism and experience within the city.  The companies vary from large electrical and renewable energy businesses to small businesses that specialize in energy efficiency. We also serve as an educational resource for any homeowner or business owner interested in “going solar.” Our main website has a plenty of information regarding the benefits of solar power, financial incentives available, and different types of systems available to utilize the sun’s free energy. In addition, anyone can call us with questions or fill out an application online at http://www.bringsolarhome.com to start the process of getting solar power. The application is a short form that we use to gather more information about the building on which the applicant is hoping to install solar panels. Once we receive an applicant’s information, we send it along to three different solar installation companies approved by CPS Energy for three free quotes.

 Solar fest

We also organize a free public event every year in October called Solar Fest. Solar Fest is held to promote a sustainable lifestyle and renewable energy to the community. This year, Solar Fest will be held from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Oct. 12 at the Olmos Basin Park Soccer Fields. Solar Fest is a 100 percent off-the-grid event, meaning vendors use solar power or bio-diesel for electricity. This event is a great opportunity for families, homeowners, and business owners to interact directly with solar installers and other green vendors and renewable energy professionals. Come enjoy the HEB Kid’s Zone and CPS Food Truck alley too!

Anyone can call our office any time from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday-Friday, at 210-354-0236. We have a staff dedicated to answering any questions about solar.

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Sarah Mills

Communications Director

Solar San Antonio

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Community Spotlight: Transition Possible

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Transition Possible is a 501(c)3 nonprofit that works to positively impact wounded service members and veterans who are striving to transition back into their lives and find their “new normal.” Our mission is to create awareness, inclusion, and integration of wounded service members and veterans into our community and to heal the mind and body; physically, emotionally, and socially though adaptive sports and fitness.

 

 

Transition Possible

 We are passionate about the health and wellness of our wounded heroes and believe it is our duty as citizens, as communities, as businesses and institutions to make every effort to assist our wounded heroes in transitioning back into their lives and to make sure they are afforded every opportunity to live and achieve post-injury. Transition Possible serves veterans who have incurred a service-connected physical injury resulting in an amputation or functional limb loss or those who have incurred PTSD or TBI on or after the 1990 Gulf War. We serve our wounded veterans to heal the mind and body physically, emotionally and socially though CrossFit, adaptive sports and community engagement. Transition Possible supports the health and wellness of our wounded service members and veterans through several programs and services. 

 

  

Transition Possible & CrossFit

The Transition Possible CrossFit Affiliate Membership Program partners with existing CrossFit Affiliates to provide membership scholarships to wounded warriors as well as reimbursement for specialized equipment and additional training for coaches and trainers. CrossFit is a strength and conditioning program that concentrates on constantly varied functional movements performed at high intensity to achieve overall physical fitness. The CrossFit program is designed for universal scalability making it the perfect application for any committed individual regardless of experience or fitness level preparing you for any physical challenge. In addition to the physical benefits of this exercise program, the group setting and community aspect provide a unique environment that fosters the healing of the mind and body; physically emotionally and socially in a way not found in many other physical fitness programs.  This setting is perfect for wounded warriors who are looking to find their “new normal” and get back into life post-injury. By becoming a part of this supportive and encouraging fitness community known as CrossFit , our wounded heroes will have the opportunity improve their health and fitness and find their inner athlete. 

 

  

Team Bomb Proof

 Transition Possible will also sponsor Team Bomb Proof, an adaptive athletic team that will participate in athletic events throughout the nation, raising awareness and promoting inclusion and integration. Wounded veterans and service members can apply to join Team Bomb Proof and Transition Possible will choose various athletic events during the year for team members to participate in such as Ironman competitions, CRASH-B’s, mud runs and various CrossFit Competitions. Transition Possible will cover expenses related to participation such as fees for entry and travel expenses for these athletes. Additionally, Transition Possible will assist in locating training resources for these events through community contacts if needed.

 

The Warrior Community

 The Warrior Community Online Forum for Adaptive Athletes is a highly interactive online resource designed for the sharing of information regarding exercise and movement adaptation for individuals with amputations, functional limb loss or prosthetics as well as those needing adaptations for symptoms associated with PTSD and TBI. This forum, which will be housed on the Transition Possible website, will enable athletes, coaches, trainers, CrossFit boxes, fitness facilities and inspiration seekers to connect with others in the adaptive community by creating a profile that will allow them to share pictures, videos and articles, participate in discussion boards, as well as find and offer resources. It will also include the CrossFit Affiliate Locator feature which will help wounded warriors to locate a Transition Possible recognized CrossFit Affiliate in their community. 

 

For more information on how to support the programs and services of Transition Possible or to get involved please visit our website at http://www.TransitionPossible.org or contact Executive Director, Ali Barrera at ali@transitionpossible.org.

 

 

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Ali Barrera
Executive Director
Transition Possible
http://www.transitionpossible.org

 

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Be Aware of the Risks That Come with Water Fun

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Drowning can happen any time kiddos are in or around water, so it’s important to identify the dangers and mitigate the risks.

 

Risk is Hiding Where You Least Expect It

According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission:

  • 65% of all preschooler drownings occur in the child’s home pool.
  • 33% of preschooler drownings occur at the homes of friends, neighbors or relatives.
  • 70% of all preschoolers who drown are in the care of one or both parents at the time of drowning.

 

Consider the dangers when your children are around any type of water, including:

  • Natural bodies of water like rivers, lakes and oceans
  • Water Parks and Theme Parks such as Schlitterbahn, Sea World and Fiesta Texas
  • Friends’ or neighborhood pools
  • Bathtubs

 

Parents Must Assess Risk

It’s important that parents ask as many questions as possible when assessing the risks of any swimming or water activity.

 

Ask these questions before you allow your kiddos to go swimming:

  1. How many kids will be there?
  2. How many adults will be there?
  3. Who will be supervising? (Lifeguard and a Water Watcher?)
  4. What’s the temperature of the water?
  5. How strong are my child’s swim skills?
  6. Are there any possible hazards seen or unseen in the water?

 

Ensure Your Kiddos Know How to Swim

Making sure your children learn how to swim is the best defense to ensure their safety around water. In swim lessons, children learn lifesaving safety techniques and are developed into confident, lifelong swimmers!

 

Who’s Watching the Water?

Being close to your children isn’t enough. You need to know who’s watching the kiddos at all times and, most importantly, who’s watching the water! Even if there is a lifeguard on duty, you must always keep your eyes on your kiddos.

 

 

Pick up a FREE Water Watcher Tag at any of our locations! Visit http://www.love-to-swim.com to find the location near you.

 

 

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Mary Reilly-Magee

Owner & Founder

Love To Swim And Tumble School

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