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These tips have all been sent in by other parents, carers and professionals in the learning disability community. We hope they will give you plenty of ideas to try, but please remember Netbuddy is not responsible for the information provided or any of the activities suggested.
Check out our Epilepsy section for more great tips on epilepsy & safety.
Worried about loosing the person you are caring for at a theme park? When you get there take them to guest services and introduce them. Also write your contact details on a piece of paper and put in their pocket.
I've just discovered Google Latitude which allows you to find friends and family on a map and share where you are with the people you choose. Could be useful for people with learning disabilities, enabling them to be independent and you, as the carer, to have peace of mind knowing where they are. www.google.com/latitude
kidsidtags.co.uk make tags which you can attach on a belt pull or other loop on clothing. You can get any information you want printed on them – mobile phone number in case of emergencies etc. They're weatherproof & sold in packs of 3. Each tag can have the same info or different, so you can use different tags for different situations.
To keep a child or adult from undoing a standard seatbelt, purchase a Buckle Boss. Its a device which fits over the part containing the red button. Easily opened with a car key or lolly stick (or similar) but impossible with just fingers.
Hate crime resource CDs
The Safety Net project have developed a range of CD resources about Learning Disability Hate and Mate Crime. Designed for people with a learning disability, staff and supporters, the CDs include PowerPoint training sessions, case studies, film clips and useful publications/ easy-read booklets. Cost £5. To order: firstname.lastname@example.org
Contact your local fire station
It is always worth registering with your local fire station if you have somebody in the house with a physical disability. As a wheelchair user myself, I wasn't aware of this until recently
Individually hand made belts and harnesses for vehicles, wheelchairs, walking - practically any situation you can think of. See www.crelling.com for more information
Safe walking technique
If you are caring for somebody who is prone to running off, a "safe walking" technique might be useful in certain situations. For this, you need a supporter on either side, supporting under the elbow and effectively jamming the person in if required. Only works if the person can tolerate people that close - but does allow them to have independent movement with a quick response if necessary
Pocket guide to hate crime
This is a really useful guide, produced by the LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Transgender) National Youth Council. It describes how to recognise hate crime and what to do about it. A Pocket Guide to Hate Crime - 2011(1).pdf (1.3 MB)
Protective head gear – disguise it!We saw in a bicycle magazine that you can now buy bicycle helmets which look like hats. We liked that idea a lot and have glued a baseball cap over Sasha’s protective head gear. She looks cool!
Soft padded helmet
We found a state of origin head gear soft padded helmet great for John. It helped to break the habit of headbanging and also protected his head when practising supported walking. I added a padded neck guard so he couldn't rip the velcro of. www.dealsdirect.com.au (Australian link)
The autistic young man I care for is an escape artist I just heard about personal GPS systems. The best one I have found is a watch and you can set geographical limits which will alarm if he goes out of the boundary. It is supplied by a company called http://www.personal-gps.co.uk/
Safety travel vests
If you struggle to keep seat belts in place have a look at this: RideSafer Travel Vest
What's in your mouth?
Simon is prone to puting things in his mouth that he shouldn't. I carry a toothbrush with me, it’s useful for hooking things out of the mouth, safer than fingers. He is used to having his teeth brushed so he thinks that is what we are going to do.
Emergency info card
We made an E-card the size of a credit card for Sam to keep in his wallet. We have put his photo on one side and emergency contact information on the other – including his name and stating his syndrome.
For 'escapists' try installing a dog safety gate rather than a child safety gate. The dog gates are much higher but otherwise the same width, etc.
Beth is prone to wandering off when we are out, so we put a wristband with our mobile phone number, and also write her mobile number on her arm in case she loses the wristband.
To buy ID bands etc look up:
- www.travellingwithchildren.co.uk to get some cool Velcro bands for £3.99.
- www.familysafeplus.co.uk or call 08700 62 49 14
- Identity Tag www.medicalert.org.uk/
Autism alert card and bracelet
I am getting our son an autism alert card and bracelet with a contact number in case he goes wandering off in a crowd. You can get them from the National Autistic Society website. He has a badge to wear too so people understand if the child has an anxious moment and also it makes a day outing far less stressful. You can also get badges, T-shirts, ID cards etc on ebay.
Houdini proof buckle up
Toby was always unbuckling his seatbelt. We just turn around the buckles on the car seat which stops him. In the event of an accident, firemen just cut the belt, they never undo the buckle, so there is no problem with getting out in an emergency.
Safety around the house
Alan likes opening windows so we put hooks on windows that only allow them to open 2 inches. Lots of kid's shops and websites offer good household safety solutions
When choosing kitchen utensils, crockery and gadgets ensure that they are an opposite colour to your worktops, as this makes them easier to spot and can be a really important safety feature.
Buddi personal safety & tracking device
If you want to give someone you care for their independence, but you also want to know they are safe and you can locate them if you need to, you could try the Buddi personal tracker devide. Buddi has an emergency support button, which is really useful for peace of mind.
This is a small waterproof wrist bracelet that alerts you when the wearer goes out of a predetermined range of up to a quater of a mile. A display then directs you to their location. It is expensive but looks good - I haven't used it just saw it advertised.
Message in a bottle
I've just received my 'Message in a Bottle' kit from The Lions Club and want to shout out what a simple but life-saving idea this is!
The kit comprises of a small plastic tub, 2 stickers and detailed information sheet to complete. Any person in the household who has a medical problem, or requires medication should be listed on the sheet with all contact emergency details.
The sheet is sealed in the tub and placed in a door compartment of your fridge (which is normally the last thing to burn in a house fire). Fire, Ambulance, Police are all aware of this scheme. Contact your local Lions Club for a kit.
I supported someone who found it difficult to use a kettle safely. She now uses a small tea urn and can make hot drinks safely and independently.
Temporary emergency bracelet
Make your own emergency bracelet by folding over a length of gaffa/duct tape long enough to comfortably fit on the wrist and permanent marker. Fasten with another small section of tape.
For holiday peace of mind with little escape artists, get a child locator. The child can press a panic tag if they lose sight of you, or you can activate it and it will locate them. Look up www.loc8tor.co.uk for more details. The Loc8tor Plus costs £99.99 and includes a panic alarm that the person can activate if they find themselves lost in a supermarket or on the beach.
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