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5 Outdoor Safety Lessons to Teach Your Kids This Summer

kid It’s that time of year again. You’re stuck inside at work, longingly looking outside the window, and your kids are at home, celebrating their summer vacation by playing outside and soaking up the sun. While Blink’s home-monitoring system can give you peace of mind about your kids while they are inside your home, what about when they are running over to the park to meet their friends for a pick-up baseball game, or just meeting up with the neighbor to play outside at their house? Though you may not always be there to protect them, the next best thing you can do is to teach your kids about safety. Here are 6 things you should ensure your kids know and do each time they go to play outside in order to keep them safe all summer long:

1) Wear Sunscreen

The last thing you want is to come home, after a long day of work, and find your child is a shocking shade of lobster. While it’s always good to have an aloe-plant in the house in case of incidences like this, it’s a lot better to prevent it from ever happening in the first place. Make sure you keep your sunscreen on a shelf they can reach, and, more importantly, explain to them why they should always use it. It’s always more effective to explain to your kids why something is a rule rather than simply relying on the classic “because I said so” go-to. But hey, if they still put up a fight, it’s always good to keep this phrase handy.

2) Drink Plenty of Water

We get it kids, you get carried away – you’re having so much fun that you just don’t want to have to stop to take a water-break, I mean, you’re not even thirsty! The thing is, you don’t have to be thirsty for your body to need water. Make sure that you have plenty of re-usable water bottles in the house (let your kids pick theirs out so that they will feel more inclined to use them), and explain to them that they should be taking a water-break at least every 20 minutes. Teach them about the signs of dehydration – such as dizziness, nausea, blurred vision – and what they should do in case they or any of their friends experience any of these. For more tips on how to encourage your kids to drink water, read this.

3) Know Which Pain is Bad Pain

As simple of a rule as this may seem, it is commonly very hard for kids to get it right – in order to ensure that your kids know when it is time to get parents involved, or when they just need to pick themselves up and ‘rub some dirt on it’, you need to first teach your kids how to tell the difference between a serious injury and a minor one. This doesn’t mean taking a field trip to the hospital and asking your kids, room by room, “serious or not?,” but rather simply explaining how they can tell the difference in the future. For example, if a child is bleeding, it is important to get the cut cleaned and covered to prevent any infection – but if this is just a scratch, they can probably wait until after the game. If there is no cut but just pain, let your kids know they should immediately take a break for 5 minutes and then see how it feels – if it still hurts, they should head home or call a parent, and if it doesn’t, then they can try easing back in to playing.

4) Let a Parent Know Where They Are Going

It is extremely important that you always know where your kids are and who they are with. In case of an emergency (injury, allergy, or God forbid something worse), you simply don’t have the time to waste trying to find your kids. With technology and ease and speed of communication today, there is really no excuse for your kids to not be able to tell you where they are. Explain this – explain that it’s because you love them that you need to know where they are, and explain that it’s as easy as just shooting you a quick text or telling you via the Blink home monitoring camera before leaving. When they do a good job at this, be sure to acknowledge it and thank them so that they understand how much you appreciate it and how much it means to you.

5) Obey the Rules of the Road

Your kids may not have their licenses yet, but that doesn’t mean they shouldn’t know the dangers and rules of the road. Whether they are riding their bikes, or just walking along the street, your kids are still involved with road traffic and should understand how to stay safe and what to watch out for. Aside from the basic “look both ways” rule, teach them that when they are biking, they should bike with traffic, whereas when walking they should go against traffic (while always remaining in a single file line when with friends). Teach them how, though they might follow the rules, other cars, bikes, or people may not, and therefore it is always better to be more cautious than less. With these safety lessons in mind, you can be sure that you will always receive a Blink motion-activated alert of your kids’ arrival back home after a fun day in the sun. Order your Blink home security system today!

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The Pre-Vacation Checklist to Protect Your Home and Wallet

“Honey, did we forget to…?” pexels-photo-2 The dreaded question. Your mind instantly fills with uncertainty and you’re already contemplating turning the car around (with an illegal U-turn of course) because you can’t remember if you did close, lock, or turn off that one thing.   Nobody likes starting off a vacation this way. Though you are supposed to be embarking on a stress-free, sun-filled getaway, you are instead racing home full of road-rage, worried that this one mental oversight may make you late for your beloved escape. No matter how often you may travel, you should always create a checklist of all things major and minor to be done before you leave. This is especially true if you don’t have a Blink system you can use to check on your home after you’ve already gotten in the car. Not sure what to put on your checklist? Here are some items you should consider, just to get you started:

1. Close the garage door.

We are all guilty of it – simply take that second glance as you’re pulling away. I guarantee that craning your neck now will hurt a lot less than the whiplash you will get later from that sudden U-turn.

2. Turn the lights off.

Or, better yet, set the light timer if you have one (these turn on the lights automatically while you’re away for better home security). Either way, do a final walk-through of your home to make sure all lights are off or all timers are set and working.

3. Turn off all appliances and electronics.

This can be a hefty list depending on your house, but a whole number of things can cost you money while you’re away or worse, cause a fire. Take the time to check your various items before you leave so you don’t have to worry about any nasty surprises when you get home. Some items to consider: TV, speaker system, curling/straightening iron, coffeemaker, stove, computers, etc.

4. Take care of [insert adorable pet name here].

Speaking of avoiding nasty surprises – whether you choose a pet-sitter or opt for the kennel, confirm with your caretaker the dates, times, and expectations for their care while you’re away. If you have a pet you can leave at home alone, double-check that they will have plenty of food, water, and space for taking care of their business.

5. Turn off the water.

This may not be necessary if you are just leaving for a weekend, but better safe than sorry. Shutting off the lines to your washing machine, toilets, etc. will ensure that the first step back into your house isn’t into a layer of water.

6. Stop the mail and newspaper.

Or, if you’re lucky enough to have super-friendly and helpful neighbors, ask them to pick up your mail and newspaper each day. If you forget to do either of these, an overflowing mailbox or driveway riddled with dailies will send a very obvious signal to people that you are either away or dead, both of which frankly make your house an appealing target for break-ins.

 7. Arm your home security system.

With burglaries occurring every 15 seconds and summer being the most popular time of year for break-ins, it’s very important that you have a plan B in case you do forget to stop your mail and newspaper. Now I know what you’re thinking, “too expensive, too difficult,” but the reality is that home security solutions are becoming increasingly popular and affordable thanks to the invention of DIY systems. Take Blink for example – at $99 (and no monthly fees), you simply download an app to your phone and just like that you can arm or disarm your system from anywhere. Better yet, you can also receive real-time video clips of any activity within your home, whether it be Scruffy saying hi to the dog-sitter or someone trying to break-in while you’re away.  

8. Turn off the heat/AC.

Very obvious, but easily forgotten. And if you have a pool, remember to turn its heater off as well. Aside from the money it will save, this should be on your checklist because one dip in your pool’s now frigid waters and the neighborhood kids will immediately be discouraged from using it while you’re gone.

9. Lock all windows and doors.

This can be time-consuming depending on your home, which is why you should always aim to give yourself at least a half-hour cushion between when you are all packed and ready to leave and when you really have to leave. In these 30 minutes you should be able to carefully secure, turn off, unplug, and close all necessary items before legitimately being able to enjoy a worry-free vacation. Start preparing for that worry-free getaway by ordering a Blink system today – systems start at just $99 with no monthly fees! Learn more here.

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You Can Steal but You Can't Hide - Blink Catches Package Thief in the Act

Am I the only one confused as to when the world became some people’s personal grab bag of goodies? No, sir or miss, I do not have a giveaway of cardboard boxes at my front door on occasion. No, that package containing the size 9 shoes I bought for my mom’s birthday and addressed to me is not for you. However, with an estimated 23 million Americans having experienced package theft, this is the unfortunate reality of online shopping these days. But this doesn't mean there is nothing you can do about it. It may be time you consider installing a security camera like Blink user Anthony T. and catch the thief in the act! [embed]https://youtu.be/wMb_8bPWMHg[/embed] Better yet, install two and capture every angle of his or her face. [embed]https://youtu.be/zivVwt9rGrI[/embed] Does anyone else find it incredibly irritating how casual she is about the whole thing? She walks away as if she's thinking to herself, "just all in a day’s work.” Hopefully the police are able to put an end to this day job.  #WhenIBlinkISee —————– Do you have a funny, adorable, or interesting Blink video to share? We would love to see it! Post it on Facebook, Twitter, or YouTube with the hashtag #WhenIBlinkISee, or email it to us at info@blinkforhome.com and follow our blog to see if your video gets featured! —————–

Camera-angle-silo The No-Wires, No Monthly Fee $99 Security Camera Get Your Blink Security Camera System Today!