Tag Archives: summer


Drowning prevention tips from parents, for parents (and anyone who cares about kids)

Do you have kids? Or grand-kids? Or nieces and nephews? If so, this post is for you – it has valuable information about keeping those beloved kids safe in and around water. And even if you don’t have kids yourself but you simply frequent pools and beaches in the summer, we encourage you to take note, too. We offer useful tips to keep kids safe from people who know.

First, we point to a popular prior blog post that contains useful information that many people didn’t know: ” We are conditioned by movies and pop culture to think that a drowning person would yell and wave for help and splash violently to get attention. In reality, drowning is a quiet, desperate event – so quiet that every year, children die in pools and water just feet away from parents or friends who do not recognize the signs of distress.”

Drowning doesn’t look like what we see in the movies

We’ve also recently come across a few useful articles featuring Moms who offer great advice about protecting kids from downing. One mother, sadly, gained her expertise the hard way after the drowning death of her toddler. The other Mom gained her expertise in her job investigating drowning deaths as her job.

In A Layered Approach to Preventing Drowning, Nicole Hughes shares her sad experience and the lessons she learned from her 3-year old son Levi’s drowning death:

“Our son drowned when there were six physicians in the room, 12 adults, 17 kids,” said his mother, Nicole Hughes, a writing teacher and literacy coach in Bristol, Tenn., who now works extensively in drowning prevention, including with the American Academy of Pediatrics.

“Everything I read about drowning before Levi died, it was like background noise,” Ms. Hughes said. “We think it’s happening to neglectful parents” who don’t watch their children when they’re swimming. But as she learned after Levi’s death, for most toddlers who drown, it doesn’t happen in the context of time spent “swimming” — that is, time they’re known to be in the water. And drowning is the leading cause of preventable deaths in children from 1 to 4.”

In addition to offering great advice for parents to raise awareness, the article also points to a helpful  Drowning Prevention Toolkit from American Academy of Pediatrics.

The second article offers water safety tips for parents from Natalie Livingston, a Mom who investigates drownings in her role as vice president of Oostman Aquatic Safety Consulting. She knows what she is talking about – she “spent 25 years as a lifeguard and worked as the general manager of a water park for 10 years. She trains lifeguards, consults in both private and public operations, and is hired as an expert witness in drowning cases.”

Livingston lists 10 in-depth, practical tips with advice that you might not think about, tips that she applies to her own children. For example, would you think to teach your child how to escape the grip of a struggling, panicked person? Or raise awareness about water depth in practical terms they can understand? Those are among the many lessons she offers.  You can also follow Livingston on Facebook at Aquatic Safety Connection for more tips. Her tips have gone viral online, and she was recently featured on Good Morning America. Take the time to check them out!

In addition to Livingston’s tips, the article offers these additional water safety recommendations:

  • Swim Lessons Save Lives
  • Learn CPR — Drowning patients need oxygen — give air first!
  • USCG approved lifejackets only — no arm floaties or inflatables
  • Designate A Water Watcher / Swim with a Lifeguard
  • Always use pool barriers and layers of protection
  • Enter the water feet first
  • No running
  • Stay hydrated / protect yourself from the sun
  • No drugs / alcohol
  • All water is dangerous — even inches
  • Always swim with a buddy
  • Lost / Missing kids — always check the water first

See related posts on pool safety:
Swimming pool and spa safety issues and insurance coverage

Pool & spa owners: Minimize your risk with simple steps for safety

Reprinted from Renaissance Alliance – no usage without permission.


Summer safety: Preventing tick-related illnesses

Sorry to put a damper on your summer, but we’re in prime tick season right now. If you like spending time in the great outdoors, there are some steps you should take to stay safe from tick-related illnesses, which can be very serious.

Disease carrying ticks are found in all 50 states. In northern and New England states with a high deer population, black-legged ticks — also known as deer ticks — are a great menace because they can transmit Lyme disease.  But don’t be fooled into thinking that the risk of Lyme Disease is confined to the North – deer ticks can be found in all states and as weather patterns shift, tick populations are shifting, too. In the south, dog ticks and Gulf Coast ticks that carry Rocky Mountain Spotted fever and Lone Star ticks that cause meat allergies are more common. (see Ticks and Diseases in Florida)

Wherever you live, some of the most important steps in preventing tick-related diseases are knowing where and when tick encounters are most likely to happen, knowing how to dress to prevent ticks and checking yourself, your kids and your pets after outdoor activities to remove any ticks. What type of activities? Gardening, hiking, golfing, camping, walking the dog, playing in the yard … any outdoor activities, particularly those that occur in or near wooded areas.

One resource for tips on preventing tick related problems is from the University of Rhode Island. Check out the site called the TickEncounter Resource Center, with lots of great information on tick identification and removal, as well as tips for your protection, for treating your yard, and protecting your pets. It has a lot of information about the various types of ticks and diseases that they carry.

One of their primary recommendations for preventing ticks is dressing appropriately. They offer this reminder:

“What you wear when working or playing could reduce your chances of tick bites. Remember: Ticks start LOW and crawl UP; ticks do not jump, fly or drop from trees, they are down on the ground and crawl up until they find a good spot to attach. Tucking pant legs into socks is a good way to keep ticks on the outside where they may be seen or get brushed off.”

Another important thing is to make sure that after outdoor activities, you do a thorough tick check –if you can catch a tick and remove it early you can prevent disease because according to the CDC, it generally takes 36-48 hours of attachment before disease is spread.  The CDC suggests using a hand-held or full-length mirror to view all parts of your body. Ticks are great at hiding, they like warm, moist areas of the body such as the scalp, armpits and groin. Their bit is painless. The CDC says to check these parts of your body and your child’s body for ticks.

illustration on what body parts to check for ticks


Also, be sure to check your pets and your clothes and gear. The CDC says:

Tumble dry clothes in a dryer on high heat for 10 minutes to kill ticks on dry clothing after you come indoors. If the clothes are damp, additional time may be needed. If the clothes require washing first, hot water is recommended. Cold and medium temperature water will not kill ticks.


The Center by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) offers more tick resources, including prevention, information on tick removal information and more as well as Lyme disease and Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever resources.

For local alerts on ticks and other season health issues, check your state health department. Many states have created specific tick-related resources such as the ones we cite above from Florida and Rhode Island. These can be found by simply entering “ticks your state” name in Google.



Reprinted from Renaissance Alliance – no usage without permission.

The Importance of Memorial Day

Memorial Day is Approaching!

memorial day

Memorial Day is next Monday, May 30th! This day is considered the unofficial start to summer. While it is a weekend to enjoy nice weather and good company, it’s purpose is to honor men and women who passed while in the U.S. military.

Interesting facts about Memorial Day:

  1. Memorial Day was originated in 1862  and was originally called Decoration Day.  It was a time for the nation to decorate the graves with flowers for those who had passed away from war.
  2. It’s typical for people to confuse Memorial Day with Veterans Day. Veterans Day is a day to thank and honor those who have served in the military during both peacetime and wartime. Memorial Day is the day to remember and honor all military personnel who died while serving the country, especially those who died in a battle or by wounds they sustained while in battle.
  3. The “National Moment of Remembrance Act” was passed in 2000 by Congress. This designated 3:00pm local time on Memorial Day every year as the National Moment of Remembrance – a time to honor the men and women of the United States who died in the pursuit of freedom and peace. All Americans are encouraged to pause at that time for a moment of silence.

Keep in mind there are many safety precautions to take during Memorial Day weekend – American Red Cross offers a full list of safety tips for Memorial Day.

Have a fun and safe Memorial Day weekend!

Related links
Complete history of Memorial Day
Camping safety recommendations
Swimming pool safety tips
Barbecue safety tips

Camping Safety Recommendations

Camping Safety Tips



As warmer months approach, you may be considering bringing your children camping or taking a trip with friends. When you think of camping, you most likely associate it with fun, sunshine, and fresh air. It is important to keep in mind camping is an activity where you need to be cautious of your surroundings and be prepared for any potential emergencies.

General safety tips include:

  • Planning your meals in advance
  • Keeping an eye on the weather forecast prior to your trip
  • Packing a first-aid kit
  • Avoiding approaching wild animals
  • Wearing sunscreen &  keep lots of bug spray handy
  • Supervising your children (especially if you are in the woods)
  • Never leave your campfire unattended
  • If there is water surrounding, make sure to keep an eye on children & never leave them unattended near it

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends you get vaccinated before going on a camping trip – these can help against conditions and diseases when camping. Your doctor may recommend tetanus, pertussis, meningitis, or hepatitis A shots.

While it may seem adventurous to purposely get stuck in a rainstorm that’s near your camp, or watch lightning strike in the distance, it can be extremely dangerous. According to experts, when you hear thunder, the storm is within 10 miles. It’s important to seek shelter – or even sit in your car – if you hear thunder nearby.

Other helpful links
Travel Smart: Get Vaccinated
Vaccine recommendations & requirements for your travel destination
Hiking, camping & food storage

Remember to give us a call at Cochrane & porter for any questions or insurance needs. You can reach us at 781-943-1555 or info@cochraneandporter.com. Safe Camping!

Hiking Safety


In order to ensure that you are prepared responsibly for a trip, you should have knowledge of the weather, area, limitations of your body, and some common sense to make sure that you will have a safe and enjoyable trip. The following are recommendations that we believe will lead to a successful and mishap-free trip:

Traveling with at least four people. You will want to make sure that in the event that there is an emergency, you will have two people who can go for help, and one person can stay with the person who is injured. Especially if the location is isolated, having at least four people is very necessary.

Learning the basics of first aid. The most important symptoms to identify include heat exhaustion, hypothermia, dehydration, and heat exhaustion. Carrying a first aid kit with you at all times is beneficial as well.

Setting a comfortable pace while hiking. The rule of thumb is to design a group trip so that it is comfortable for the weakest member of the group; others can go ahead if they wish. It is also important to practice any skills that ahead that may be necessary, such as reading a compass or give first aid. If your trip requires you to be in good physical condition, we recommend preparing ahead of time to ensure that you are in healthy shape.

Wearing appropriate clothing. It is important to remember that even though it might be warm and humid outside, there are many possibilities that a tick could fall on you. Be sure to wear light clothing that covers as much on your body as possible.

Traveling only during daylight. It is possible that traveling in the darkness can cause a fall, so it is important to only travel during daylight. If it is necessary for you to leave the camp site after darkness, be sure to bring a good flashlight and travel with another person.

In order to be prepared for potential weather changes or minor injuries, the following items will help to ensure that you remain safe:

  • Compass
  • Candle
  • Warm clothing (extra socks, rain gear, etc.)
  • Extra food
  • Flashlight
  • Bug spray
  • Map
  • Plenty of water
  • Sunscreen
  • Trash bags
  • Extra pair of prescription glasses (if necessary)
  • Whistle
  • Radio with batteries

At Cochrane & Porter, we also like hiking. If there are any safety tips that we have missed, comment below. Or, tell us about your favorite places to go hiking!

Remember to be prepared and always use your best judgment. Safe hiking!