Emergency 101 – How informed should children be?

Emergency 101 – How informed should children be?

The readers that follow me on Instagram will recall the story of my friend Jana whose son was hailed a local hero for saving his mum’s life. Jana was driving home as usual after pick up – I’d even chatted with her while we waited for our boys to finish football and all was well. She became unwell whilst driving and barely made it into the house before she collapsed!

Jana and Noah

Her 7-year-old son was able to call emergency service and comfort his 1-year-old sister whilst they waited for the ambulance. The local police and response team were so pleased with the way he handled the situation and was able to get them to the house that he was hailed a local hero. He has had several newspaper interviews and a television appearance.😊Oh yes, like my son said: “Noah is famous now”. Thankfully she is fine now and the only problem the last time I checked was who Noah would choose as his new best friends – cause he has been approached by a lot of boys who want to be friends with him as “he is the only famous person they know” 😉.

Anyway, this story had me thinking of my boys and wondering how equipped they are to deal with emergencies. God forbid that we find ourselves in one, but the truth is these things do happen.

Being the wonderful person that I am 😛, I have decided to share some important things our children should be aware of based on my research. As usual, please feel free to leave comments. Thank you

  1. Dialing emergency service: This is very crucial as it could save your life or the life of whoever is with them. From an early age, children should be told what the emergency number is. Of course, this is different in different countries but whatever country you are, make sure your children not only know the emergency number but how to dial it. It is also important to teach them how to assess when it is necessary to dial the number. It should only be dialed when someone needs help right away because of a serious injury or an immediate danger. This should be reiterated and if possible rehearsed often so that whenever the need arises, they are prepared.
  2. Ensure that your children know important information such as your home address, your name, and your phone number. Phone numbers are sometimes hard to learn – even adults struggle with it. It is important to help them learn it and also write it clearly on a sheet of paper and keep in an agreed safe pouch in their school bag or whatever bag they carry on them when they go out. This is not only necessary for cases where they dial emergency service but also for situations where they have somehow gotten lost they can give details to a responsible adult to call their parents. It even happens in big stores, one minute they are behind you, the next you can’t find them, no matter how young, they should know their parents’ name so it can be announced. It’s just easier for everyone.
  3. Make sure your children are aware of any allergies/medical conditions in the family. They should be informed of their own allergies as well as that of their parents and siblings. Children should know where allergy cards are kept, this could save a life.
  4. Practise family evacuation plan, let them know what to do in case of fire or any natural disaster. Talk about these things with your children, some of us think they’re too young and we’re protecting them but from the age of 4, children should be told about emergency situations and how to react. Teach them how to react in case of a burglary, when it is safe to call emergency service or to hide etc.
  5. Children should be told about the dangers of opening the door for strangers or talking to strangers. Keep all doors locked at all times, and warn them not to open the door for anyone. They should be taught situations in which they should run, hide or scream.
Home Alone 2

We watched Home-alone with the boys over Christmas and it was a good opportunity to explain different emergency scenarios to them. Even though I got some hilarious superhero kind of response from them on how they will handle emergencies, I also got to explain more situations and how to respond. Watching documentaries about how to respond to emergencies could also help get the message across successfully.

Teenagers and young adults.

Parents of teenagers and older kids, need to give them more information as they are going through the independence stage and would be doing more things without their parents or even without any guidance. I found some good precaution guide on safekids.co.uk and they include:

  • Carry a whistle, alarm or even pepper spray.
  • Never take short cuts through secluded areas unless in a large group
  • Walk facing traffic so a car can’t pull up behind you.
  • Always keep valuables well hidden and keep their phones, mp3s out of sight to avoid mugging.
  • Do not use any device that requires earphones at night so they can hear when someone is approaching.
  • Always ask the name of the driver if they call a taxi and check when it arrives, they should also always sit at the back of a taxi.
  • Sit near the driver on a bus and in a busy carriage on a train.
  • Learn to say NO to whatever they are not comfortable with no matter who it is.
  • Go into a shop or busy place if there’s a suspicion of being followed.
  • Report anything unusual to your parent.

And in cases where children are home alone, the following is advised;

  • Always have your key ready before you get home. Keep all doors locked once in and let your parents know where you are.
  • Keep a chain in the door and answer only if you can see that you know who it is.
  • Call your parents and neighbours if worried about anything.
  • Do not stay alone with an adult or older teenager unless your parents say it is okay.

I think it is imperative that parents put their children, especially female children through a self-defense class. We live in an unsafe world and unfortunately, young females find themselves preyed on more often than not. A basic self-defense training can go a long way in some situations. Also, let them know to scream for help in threatening situations.

Please if you live in a country where the emergency lines are not reliable, ensure that your children know who to call in case of emergency. Please write numbers of reliable family members and attach to the fridge or wherever they can easily get it from and dial for help.

Most homes these days don’t have landlines and a lot of us use our mobile phones. Please ensure that your children know how to dial emergency numbers on a locked phone. This is because most mobile phones are locked when not in use.

I was informed by my son’s school and also by my son of a lockdown drill at school on what to do in case of an attack. It scared me but that’s the reality of our world now. Not only do we have to be alert but we have to teach our children how to be alert. The schools take them through fire drills, lockdown drills etc. But sadly we don’t train them on how to deal with emergencies at home. They should know basic safety precautions such as;

  • not to talk to strangers
  • Not to answer the door
  • They should know where smoke alarms are and what to do when it goes off.
  • Ensure all doors are shut and switches are off before going to bed.
  • Know where to find basic first aid kit etc.
  • Personal information should not be given to strangers.

Natural Disasters.

You never know when a natural disaster could occur, especially for people who live in disaster-prone areas. It is generally advised that everyone should have a disaster supply kit(parents.com.)

This kit should contain items such as;

  • three days (or more) supply of water and non perishable food,
  • can opener and other tools
  • supplies such as paper cups, plastic utensils and a compass
  • First-aid supplies, prescription and non-prescription medication, sanitation products.
  • Items for baby like diapers, formula, flashlight, entertainment etc.

It’s a very long list, please check out www.parents.com for more on Natural disasters.

Conclusion.

No one prays for emergencies, but they do happen even to the best of us. It is therefore in our own interest to prepare ourselves and our family for such occurrences.

Read Noah’s rescue story herehttps://www.newsshopper.co.uk/news/17410241.petts-wood-boys-police-visit-for-calling-999-after-mum-collapses/

Abi Adewoye (Aunty Lulu)

Credits

Parents.com

Safe.co.uk

@metpoliceuk

@theautismhelper.com

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Making my passion my profession – Taiwo’s story…

Making my passion my profession – Taiwo’s story…


“We’re a team of Fashion Forward Florists with an eye for Avant Garde, daily creating bespoke flowers for gifts, weddings, events and tributes

I”m extremely delighted to start this series on amazing people that have followed their passion/talent and are excelling at it. It excites me because my desire is that we all find that thing we love and prosper at it.

My first interview is with a dear friend who I love to call the ‘Lagos Florist’. Taiwo and I met at graduate school from where she went on to a successful oil and gas career but decided to leave that to pursue her passion.

The above quotation is her company description and it encapsulates their work perfectly. She has quickly worked her way to become the go-to Florist in Lagos and definitely in the whole of Nigeria as they work anywhere their services are required.

Let’s meet Taiwo


Taiwo Debo-Akande


My name is Taiwo Debo Akande. I’m an Oil & Gas Lawyer turned florist. I’m extremely passionate about what I do. I love to read, cook, eat & learn about new things. I’ve got a two-year-old who takes a lot of my time but I won’t have it any other way! My Motto is #Youonlyliveonce! So go for it!

Tell us a little more about what you do?

I’m a florist based in Ikoyi, Lagos, Nigeria. It’s a very exciting job as we get to help people express their emotions either by showing love, gratitude, concern or paying their last respects to loved ones or remembering their loved ones. I absolutely love what I do and I’m very excited about continuing to discover flowers every day. Working with nature is absolutely rewarding!

How did you get into floristry?

As mentioned earlier, my background is in Law. Having bagged my LLB, BL & LLM in Energy Law & Policy, I proceeded to work first with a Lagos based Law firm and thereafter with an Oil company also in Lagos.
After about four and a half years of working, I decided to start my own business as I had an overwhelming urge to express my creative side. As the years went by I found that I’d much rather be putting together colours and designs for new clients home than drafting contracts and sipping tea at meetings all day!


I started Adela’s Haven in 2010 and added on Adela’s Hampers in 2012. In 2015 after a personal loss that forced me to slow down, I decided to pursue my interest in Floristry. And here we are today!
The Haven and Hamper businesses still run but they are pretty much seasonal. The flower shop meanwhile is open every day. Especially as the outlook on and appreciation for flowers has significantly increased in Nigeria over the last three years.

Can you enlighten us on the role of florists in society?

The Role of florist in society is quite significant. A florist helps society express their individual thoughts and what better way to do it than to say it with flowers! Weddings, funerals, marriage proposals, wedding anniversaries, birthdays, falling in love, heartbreak, births, Ill health – all of life’s changing scenes are hallmarked by the gift of flowers. At least for the discerning.

Tribute flowers


As such flowers play a key role in everyday life and not only do they help individuals express themselves but they also convey unequivocal messages and bring indescribable joy to the recipient.

Which florist do you identify with?


My Floristry is pretty much me. However, in terms of where I’d want my floristry to be, I’d say it’s McQueens any day!  Their style is simple, understated elegance yet they work with all types of flowers and their art is absolutely distinctive.
I took a summer course there last year August 2018 and it totally changed my perspective on Floristry & the possibilities.



Why Floristry?

As I’d said earlier, I had a personal loss in 2015 and my haven for getting through and past it was Floristry! I’d always been interested in flowers and had bought and vased flowers for my home for years but beyond that I didn’t quite know what else to do with it or how to make a business of it.
It’s been an absolute delight and such a rewarding experience getting to learn MY Floristry MY way.
I went in pursuit of the knowledge of it not knowing where it will take me but I’m so glad I’m here today doing what I absolutely love with no regrets whatsoever!! And even better, I continue to pursue that knowledge with utmost excitement for what the future holds !

What are your professional goals?

My professional goals are mainly to put my own stamp on the growing florist industry in Nigeria by continuing to create avante Garde pieces and designs whilst also expanding my business to a place where we have stores across the country and contracts with places of repute that are floral Savy!

Words of encouragement for budding florists?

Do you! Discover you! Learn your art and skill and OWN it! Floristry is a personal art. 
Never mind what anyone else is doing and DO NOT let them tell you that you can’t be you cos you are you! Go for it !

1.Flowers from Adela used as a cake topper.
2. Flowers from Adela entwined with ballons.

How do you juggle your career with motherhood?

It is HARD work!! And some days I don’t know how I do it, but I do! 
It’s a constant battle between wanting to spend all your time with your child and family and cook meals and have playdates VERSUS wanting to take on that next Challenge and perfect your art and satisfy your personal need and desire for growth. But somehow with the grace of God, it all gets done.

What are the challenges you encounter in running your floristry business?

There’s a certain temperate that flowers require to thrive. Nigeria doesn’t have that temperate, we are a tropical country. 

Hence as a Florist, we have to create/simulate the right temperate for our flowers. The process is very electricity dependent which is currently a challenge in Lagos. We, however, have had to invent other ways to simulate this temperate which allows our flowers to thrive.

Another challenge we face is a lack of understanding and appreciation for the actual cost of flowers and how much additional costs and work go into delivering the final product. Some people get it, but a larger number don’t.

This creates a challenge for us as Florists both from a creative and pricing perspective because it’s a constant battle attempting to balance my creative art and the price we put on that, bearing in mind the cost of the flowers and what clients are willing to pay.

What actions have you taken to help promote the role of florists in Nigeria

Having recognised a gap in the Floristry Industry in Nigeria, whereby the older generation of florists have not passed on their knowledge to younger or aspiring florists, we decided to open up the first of its kind in Nigeria – The Adela Flower School. 

We had our first class in July 2018 and it was a huge success. We’ve had a second class late 2018 and we are planning a full session for 2019.

Our hope is that we will be able to create opportunities and more jobs in Floristry by equipping anyone who comes to our school with the basic knowledge they require to begin their own career in Floristry. Whilst also continuing to support them with the supplies they may require.

Adela Flower School training Session.

On a lighter note, what would you do if you had super powers?

If I had superpowers, I’ll bring my Dad back to life! I’d want him to see how far I’ve come! Despite putting me through school all the way to a Masters in Law, he let me be me and pursue my floristry dream! I love him forever for that! 
He gave me a ticket to my first florist training in the UK. He encouraged, counselled and guided. 
Absolutely priceless. 💜

Follow Taiwo on instagram @adelasflowers.

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Health Talk With Adeola

health talk with Adeola

Welcome to another edition of Health Talk. May I humbly ask our female readers to please read this! Can you also kindly pass on to the wonderful men in your life. Husband, brothers, fathers, friends… please don’t exclude anyone. 🙏🏽 Thanks.

Aunty Lulu.

This month on Health Talk, let’s talk about Men’s health …

Hello 👋 everyone … it’s time to give men some attention .

Men generally have much lower health care seeking habits than women. Some men feel it’s not manly to seek such help and would man it up for as long as they can. We want men to be aware that it’s okay to discuss freely with their doctors and timely too, to prevent the negative outcomes of delayed health seeking behaviours .

A lot more men are coming forward to seek health care realising that many men share these concerns and can choose to see male doctors if it makes it easier to disclose sensitive health concerns ..

Two particular areas where men find it difficult to seek help are :

  1. Mental health
  2. Male genital problems

MENTAL HEALTH

Mental health conditions can creep in slowly and it can be a challenge at times to actually come to the realisation and the acceptance that one is struggling with it .

Depression and Anxiety – which are the commonest types can start insidiously and can be subtle resulting in most men suppressing it . These conditions when not not dealt with it can soon take over, become obstructive and interfere with optimal functioning in every areas of life .
Please seek help early and there are lots of interventions available from talking therapies and/or medications among other means.

MALE GENITAL PROBLEMS

These are, but not limited to testicular /scrotal pain or lumps and bumps which can be a symptom of infection, cysts, hydrocoele, varicocoele or something more serious like testicular cancers which are common in younger men.

Erectile dysfunction is another condition that men find difficult to discuss but these are amenable with medications and can alert doctors to underlying heart problems or diabetes amongst other causes that would otherwise be missed. Erectile dysfunction also commonly occur as a side effect of some medications . Doctors do listen and treat this with confidentiality and lots of sensitivity.

Prostate problems can manifest as difficulty in passing urine ,poor stream or needing to urinate frequently amongst other symptoms.This is common in older men and most find it embarrassing but again there can be sensitive discussions about treatment options as well as the important need to exclude prostate cancer .

***Breast swellings and lumps can occur in men and this should necessitate an urgent visit to the doctor to exclude serious causes .

The above is just an overview to raise awareness and to encourage men to seek help early and I will be discussing each problem more deeply as necessary as we go along .

Thank you for your time and I will be happy to answer your questions.

Adeola.

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