Halloween Safety Tips

Halloween Driving Safety Tips

Keeping kids & pets safe during Halloween

 Driving on Halloween requires an extra measure of awareness and caution because very young kids to teens who are excited, distracted, and hard to see fearlessly take to the streets, which are shared by vehicles.  Be sure to slow down in residential areas and drive below the speed limit, in order to look for kids who may not see you or pay attention to you.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)  states that kids are four times more likely to be hit by a car on Halloween, than on any other day of the year. The most dangerous time for drivers and children is between 4 PM to 8 PM, when the majority of children are out trick-or-treating. For these four hours one day a year, please put down your cell phone and give the road your full attention and look for kids crossing the street. They may not be at a corner or in a crosswalk. Most important, they may be paying no attention to traffic.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, Halloween is one of the top three days for pedestrian injuries and fatalities, making following Halloween safety tips for drivers critical. Be safe this Halloween and follow these Halloween safety tips for drivers in any residential area, just as you want drivers to follow them in your neighborhood where your kids are trick-or-treating.

Halloween Safety Tips for Drivers

  • Be especially alert and careful near driveways and parked cars, where children are more likely to dart out in front of you.
  • Never pass stopped vehicles, which may be unloading or loading children.
  • Turn on your headlights, even if it is light outside.
  • Widen your field of vision. Look for children in yards, on porches, and in driveways who may be seconds away from darting out in front of you.
  • Be aware that children in dark costumes will be very hard to see at night.

* For more information, see our latest blog entry Halloween Safety Tips for Parents.

Halloween Safety for Pets

We at Advanced Bio Treatment have pets, too, and in our line of work, we see too many very sad accidents that might have been prevented by practicing basic Halloween safety for petsPets are family too, however that doesn’t always mean they enjoy everything that we enjoy. While Halloween might be a festive, exciting time for humans, it can be a stressful and dangerous time for our cat and dog companions. Halloween safety for pets means being aware of the dangers Halloween celebrations pose for them.

Keep Halloween plants and pumpkins away from your pets, eating them can cause gastrointestinal problems and even an intestinal blockage. Chocolate, gum, and some artificial sweeteners are poison for dogs and cats. Don’t let children share their treats with your pets. Never leave pets outside on Halloween. They often become victims of mean pranks or sinister rituals that leave them injured or dead. In general, it may be a good idea to keep pets away from trick-or-treaters. Even a friendly dog can knock down and injure a child. Additionally, the strange costumes, crowds, constant door-bell ringing, and noise may make a pet nervous and anxious. Because your pet may feel stress during Halloween celebrations, make sure your dog or cat wears a collar with and ID tag just in case your pet escapes and then gets lost.

Pets may dart out the door when you open it for a trick-or-treater. It’s best to lock your pets in a secure, quiet room during Halloween festivities and don’t take your pet trick-or-treating. Costumes make even familiar people smell different, which may alarm your pet. Costumes, together with the noise and general commotion of Halloween celebrations, may cause a dog to become aggressive and break away from you or bite someone.

Pet Halloween Safety Tips

  • Outside cats should be kept inside several days before and after Halloween. Black cats are especially at risk for pranks and cruelty during this time.
  • Unless your pet really enjoys being dressed in a costume, don’t do it. If you do dress up your pet, make sure the costume is comfortable and does not restrict your dog’s or cat’s movements, vocalization, or breathing.
  • Make sure your pet is not allergic to the costume.
  • Make sure the costume contains no small pieces that your pet can chew off and choke on or swallow.
  • Keep all candles, wires, and electric cords out of your pet’s reach

Just in case your pet snags some treats, keep your vet’s number, a 24-hour animal emergency clinic’s number, and the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center hotline number handy: 888-426-4435.

Have a fun – and safe – Halloween!

 

Forms of Domestic Abuse: It’s Not Just Physical

Forms of Domestic Abuse: It’s Not Just Physical

Often, when people think of domestic abuse, they think of physical abuse, and for this reason, victims of other equally traumatic and destructive forms of domestic abuse often don’t seek help. It’s important to identify the types of domestic abuse to know where to get help for domestic violence, and to be aware of the many resources for domestic abuse and domestic violence victims. Over 33% of women and 25% of men in the United States have experienced some form of domestic violence.

It is critical that domestic abuse victims understand:

  • You are NOT alone.
  • It is NEVER your fault.
  • You are NEVER to blame for your partner’s behavior.
  • You do NOT deserve the abuse.
  • There ARE people and organizations waiting to help you.
  • There ARE safe, effective resources to help you escape from or transition away from the abuse.
  • Your partner is NOT going to change because you stay with him or her. The abuser is less likely to change when the abusive behavior is reinforced by your acceptance of it.

5 Types of Domestic Abuse

Domestic abuse is about two things: power and control. The key elements of domestic abuse are: intimidation, humiliation, and injury.

Essentially abusers “mix and match” 5 types of domestic abuse to achieve this power and control:

1. Sexual abuse in which your partner forces you to engage in sex or specific sexual acts, withholds sex, or ignores your sexual feelings and desires.

2. Emotional / psychological abuse, which can be verbal or non-verbal and includes threats against you, your friends, or your family. Such as:

  • Name-calling
  • Belittling
  • Making all your decisions for you
  • Withholding affection
  • Isolating you from family and friends
  • Restricting access to phones and computers
  • Accusations
  • Extreme jealousy

3. Physical abuse, which could include hitting, beating, and punching, pushing, shoving, choking, biting, pulling hair, and prohibiting access to medical attention.

4. Financial abuse includes withholding funds, stealing, identity theft, creating  financial dependence, forcing you to work, forbidding to work, and financial control.

5. Spiritual abuse includes forbidding you to practice your own moral, cultural, or religious beliefs or forcing you to give up some or all of your values.

 

Get Help for Violent Domestic Abuse

Once you recognize what domestic abuse is, the next step is to know where to get help for domestic violence. At the end of this article, we list many good resources for domestic violence victims, including explanations of what domestic abuse is, why abusers abuse, and where to get help. If you are a victim or someone you know is a victim, please keep these resources handy and pass them along to the victim.

If you’re unsure whether a situation constitutes domestic abuse or you’re unsure what to do, the National Domestic Violence Hotline staffs advocates who can talk to you 24/7 about your relationship and who can point you to helpful resources. 1-800-799-7233.

Domestic Abuse Safety Tips

Until you are comfortable making the decision to leave your abuser, here are some safety tips that may help you make a safe and quick escape:

  • Consider purchasing a pre-paid cell phone that your abuser knows nothing about so that your abuser has no record of phone numbers you have called.
  • If you use a cell phone to which the abuser has access, turn off the GPS and auto answer so that your abuser cannot track you.
  • Always use a safe computer outside your home if you seek information or help online or if you communicate with anyone online about the abuse.
  • Change your user names and passwords for all your private, sensitive information.
  • Be aware of the precursors to your abuser’s violence. Know what the signs of an explosion are and be ready with plausible reasons to leave the house.
  • Have a code word or signal that lets you communicate with neighbors, friends, and family that you’re in trouble and the police should be called.
  • Make sure you always have a full tank of gas.
  • Always leave the driver’s door of your car unlocked.
  • Always park your car so that you can drive straight out, rather than back out, of the driveway.
  • Leave a key hidden in the car or in another safe place that you can get to quickly.
  • Have cash, clothes, phone numbers, and important documents hidden in a safe, accessible place such as a friend’s home.
  • Practice getting out quickly, and have your children practice with you.
  • Memorize phone numbers of people with whom you can stay and who can help you.
  • Memorize the numbers of the local battered women’s shelter and National Domestic Violence Hotline.

We are Advanced Bio Treatment. We are here for you 24 hours every day of the year, and we take emergency calls and work with your insurance company. Should you need our services, please call us at 800-295-1684.

Resources for Domestic Violence Victims

http://www.weaveinc.org/

http://www.thehotline.org/

http://www.acf.hhs.gov/programs/fysb/resource/help-fv

https://www.domesticshelters.org/?gclid=CP3h45Db5cgCFYI8gQodRb8C-w

 

 

Cyber Bullying Statistics & Cyber Bullying Facts

Cyber Bullying Statistics

Statistics suggest that 40 to 50% of teens have been victims of cyberbullying. To effectively prevent and combat this lethal form of bullying, you must understand how it works.

There are two broad and overlapping categories of cyberbullying: “Direct” and “Proxy.”

Direct cyberbullying happens when cyberbullies directly attack the victim via texts, email, or posts on their own social media. For example, cyberbullies might send a death-threat instant message, send unauthorized pictures of the victim to hundreds or thousands of people, or post degrading information about the victim on the cyberbully’s Facebook page.

Proxy cyberbullying involves an unwitting (most of the time) third party whom cyberbullies set up to do the damage for them. For example, cyberbullies might copy information and pictures from the victim’s Instagram or Facebook account and upload the information and photos to a Web site that traffics children and teens. The traffickers and pedophiles who contact or stalk the victim become the unwitting co-conspirators in the cyberbullying.

Cyber Bullying Facts

How Cyber bullying Works:

  • Instant messaging
    • Cyberbullies send cruel, nasty IMs (instant messages) or texts, death threats, and compromising videos and pictures.
    • In collusion with other bullies, they send thousands of texts to the victim, resulting in huge cell-phone bills.
    • In collusion with others, they repeatedly report the victim to the victim’s service provider, resulting in the victim’s provider closing the victim’s account. The provider is especially likely to close the account if the victim has attempted to defend himself by retaliating.
    • They pose as the victim by creating a username almost identical to the victim and, posing as the victim, engage in cyberbullying
  •    Password stealing – Once they steal a password, cyberbullies can:
    • Lock the victim out of his or her accounts.
    • Pose as the victim to engage in cyberbullying
    • Change the victim’s social-media profiles to make them inappropriate, obscene, racist, etc.
    • Hack into the victim’s computer, cell phone, and other electronic devices.
  • Blogs, Web Sites, Social Media
    • Can be created and used by cyberbullies to spread rumors about another person, stalk, bully, sabotage,  and post personal information, pictures, and videos of another person.
  • Email and Texting
    • Cyberbullies obtain unauthorized, sometimes lewd or obscene, pictures of the victim, often from the victim’s own accounts, and send the pictures to everyone in the cyberbully’s address book.
    • They post unauthorized pictures of the victim to a Web site or file-sharing program from which anyone can download them. Sometimes cyberbullies Photoshop legitimate pictures to degrade the victim.
  • Junk Mail
    • Cyberbullies add their victim’s name to in appropriate mailing lists, such as porn sites, and the victim starts receiving thousands of emails from the site.
  • Malicious Code
    • Cyberbullies can hack into a victim’s computer, control it, and stalk the victim, or they can destroy the computer altogether by sending viruses and other destructive codes to the victim.
  • Posing as the Victim
    • Far and away, impersonating the victim is one of the most serious and damaging kinds of cyberbullying. Impersonation begins when cyberbullies gain control of the victim’s online accounts or gain access to the victim’s computer. Cyberbullies then have access not only to the victim’s accounts but also to personal information about the victim that can be passed on to unknowing, albeit dangerous, third parties.
    • Cyberbullies pretend to be the victim and instigate attacks against the victim by attacking others, especially others who are potentially dangerous to the victim, such as a hate group. Cyberbullies attack from the victim’s email or social-media accounts, and the recipients of the attacks believe the attack is coming from the victim and retaliate.
    • Cyberbullies send nasty, cruel, rude, or inappropriate messages and email from the victim’s email account to everyone in the victim’s address book.
    • Cyberbullies change the victim’s passwords so that the victim has no access to his email or social-media accounts.
    • Cyberbullies post profiles of the victim on prostitution sites frequented by child molesters and traffickers.

Protecting Yourself and Your Children Against Cyberbullies:

  • Keep the security settings on social-media accounts at the highest settings possible. Learn how here: Facebook      Instagram      Twitter
  • On Facebook, you can control who sees your posts, who can find you using search, how much of your personal information is shared online, whether posts you are tagged in need to be viewed and approved by you before showing on your timeline, and who can comment among other things. Click here to navigate to Facebook’s online help on setting this up.
  • Only add people you actually know in real life and be careful of friend requests you receive from people already on your friends list. It may be a hacker or another person posing as your friend in order to gain access to your posts and shared information. Always check with your friend via phone or in person before accepting a second request.
  • On Instagram, your profile is automatically set to public when you sign up, but you can change this to only allow approved followers to see your profile, images, posts and other information. You will have to be in the mobile app to do this, it can’t be done from a desktop. See how here.
  • Twitter allows users to protect their tweets, making them available only to approved followers. You can also prevent users from finding your account by your name, email or screen name and, for added security, enable login verification, which sends a unique code to your phone that you have to enter along with your password before you can access the account. This means a hacker cannot get in with just your password. Find out how in the Security and Privacy section here.
  • Avoid sending intimate messages and photos (“sexting”). These messages can be hijacked by another person, or used later by a disgruntled ex, and be sent to thousands of other people.
  • Don’t share compromising pictures, information, or messages online.
  • Be careful when using mobile apps like Snapchat, which were designed to automatically and permanently deletes messages, photos, and videos seconds after they are viewed, but have been hacked in the past, and there are multiple secondary apps out there to permanently capture and save the images, messages and videos sent. The best rule is never to send an image or video you would be uncomfortable with everyone seeing.
  • Block cyberbullies from email, phone contact, video-conferencing software (like Skype), and social media. A quick Google search on the privacy settings for your email service, phone device and model, or other video or social media account will direct you on how to do this.
  • Never respond to cyberbullies. Not only does responding encourage cyberbullies; it also jeopardizes you in any legal proceedings that may result.
  • Never delete the messages and attacks of cyberbullies.
  • Always tell an adult you trust about any attempt at cyberbullying.
  • Report to the police any threats to harm you.
  • Report cyberbullying to the attacker’s Internet provider and/or social-media sites. See how at the following links, view the comprehensive list from the Cyberbullying Research Center, or Google the specific site or provider to get information on how to report cyberbullying.  Facebook      Instagram      Twitter     Comcast
  • See the Cyberbullying Research Center’s list on How to Report on Various Sites, Messaging centers, phone service providers, etc. for a more comprehensive list here.
  • Consider advocating the adoption of an anonymous bullying reporting app for your child’s school, university, or your workplace. Find out more on one of the top apps, StopIt here.
  • See an article on a list of Anti-Bullying apps available from AT&T for your or your child’s phones here.
  • Educate yourself and your kids on cyberbullying, it’s impacts, how to react if it happens to them, and what to do to protect themselves and others. Visit sites such as StopBullying.gov to learn more and consider watching films like Cyberbully (UK – 2015) and Cyberbully (US – 2011) as a family. Check Parental Guidance ratings to ensure the material is appropriate for your child’s age group.

We are Advanced Bio Treatment. We are here for you 24 hours every day of the year. Should you need our services, please call us at 800-295-1684.

Cyberbullying Resources

What is Cyberbullying?

Cyberbullying Research Center

Report Cyberbullying