Welcome to Locally Grown! Locally Grown introduces you to the people and stories behind local Lake County Businesses. Have you had a chance to meet Sedrik Newbern from Allstate – Phoenix Insurance & Financial Services? Kari describes Sedrik as “exactly what makes Lake County great: people who work hard, give harder and love the land they live in.” Today he’s helping us make special occasions all about fun, and not mayhem with some tips from Allstate.
Birthday Party Safety Tips
- Food Safety & Allergies
Food allergies are becoming much more common avoiding reactions and problems should be on everyone’s radar. Ask parents about food allergies when they RSVP. If you know a child has a severe allergy consider going over the menu with the parent and asking them for suggestions. Also be sure to do to your best label reading on everything pre-purchased.
If you are grilling for your party there are several steps you should take to make sure its safe, like checking on recalls: The government SaferProducts.gov website can help you search for product recalls. You also want to check for loose or cracked hoses or other dangers. If you are grilling in a park make sure you douse the coals with water before dumping them out. Charcoal can get up to 1,000 degrees burning anyone who would step on it.
Aside from allergies you will need to think about spoilage and food positioning. Make sure you are using good food practices and that it’s kept cool (or hot) until ready to eat. Food sitting out all afternoon is prone to spoilage. Also consider the ages and stages of children present. Hot Dogs are the food that children most commonly choke on, and also a popular party food. Making sure children are supervised when eating and not running around can alleviate the danger. Hiring a babysitter or local big kid to help supervise the party can also aid in calming the chaos.
- Balloons and Party Favors
Balloons are another common choking hazard. It’s makes sense, children see adults put balloons in their mouth to blow them up all the time, they are just mimicking the behavior. Good supervision and the use of foil balloons instead of latex can hep prevent this.Party favors can be a hazard too, especially for siblings who tag along or are present at pick-up. Protect yourself by making sure that party favors are age-appropriate. Also remember what’s age appropriate for the birthday party and child may not be appropriate for siblings. Having back up bags for siblings with different items or making sure you tell the parents at pick up that there are small parts can go along way.
- Piñata Safety
Piñatas are a fun activity for children of all ages and taking some precautions will ensure that no one gets hurt from a crazy swing. First, designate a space far enough away from the piñata for guests to watch with no chance of getting hit. Next make sure all the children (and adults understand the rules:
– Whose in charge of the bat
– Everyone gets a turn until the piñata is broken open
– How many strikes they get per turn
– Who they give the bat to when their turn is over (and adult!)
– Where to wait for their turn.
- Bounce House Safety
Bounce Houses, Jump castles, Moon Bounce, whatever you call them they are becoming a very popular and common feature at birthday parties. Keep your children safe and do your due diligence by:
– Hiring a reputable company and ask to see safety certificates
– Limit the number of children who can be inside at one time
– If you have a larger group of mixed age consider alternating times as big kids only and little kids only
– Prohibiting food and drink as they can make the are slippery
– Ensuring children vacate the unit is winds pick up
- Clowns, Magicians and Party Entertainers
Children love to interact with favorite characters and be wowed with magic tricks. As the party organizer, it’s best to call the entertainers references before the party to get a feel for the demeanor of the entertainer, how well they interact with children and how their performance was perceived by the children.
- Petting Zoos
Children love animals and they are a great addition to birthday parties making them both memorable and educational. However animals are animals – and will often nip little fingers when tempted with food. To help prevent this, show all birthday party guests how to properly offer an animal a treat before entering the petting zoo. Asking parents to stay and help out at the party is also a good idea.Other things to keep in mind:
– Hire a company that has USDA certification
– Make sure they have full liability coverage
– Make sure children wash their hands after interacting with the animals
– Keep food and drink away from the animal area
- Swimming Pools
Hopefully if you have a swimming pool and small children you have already taken the necessary precautions to keep them from falling into the pool. If you are planning a pool party, keep it mall, get permission form parents and make sure there are always at least two adults present while the children are in the water.If you don’t have safety measures in place, such as a gate, cover, or fence, be sure to keep the party away from the pool area. If feasible have the party in the front yard instead of the back, lock all doors leading to the pool or backyard.
- Household Accidents
Accidents can happen anywhere. Something as simple as playing too rough with your dog can lead to a dog bite, a child could tip running down stairs or fall off a swing. Children are children after all. As the supervising parent all you can do is try to identify and minimize potential hazards. Always ensure you have parent’s contact information for each of the children present just in case of instances.
A little pre-party planning and safety checks can make sure your child’s day is both fun and safe!
Allstate Insurance: Phoenix Insurance & Financial Services
1013 W. Park Ave., Libertyville | (847) 362-0099
Allstate Insurance: Phoenix Insurance & Financial Services is open Monday through Friday,
from 8:30 a.m. – 5:30 p.m.
Tips were originally published on the Allstate Blog and have been edited and modified for this space. Find more details and tips on the Allstate Blog.
Disclosure: Allstate Insurance: Phoenix Insurance & Financial Services is our featured Locally Grown Business of the Month. This series of features is part of a paid partnership with Little Lake County. Contact littlelakecounty[at]gmail[dot]com if you are interested in featuring your own locally-owned business in our series.