Summer Heartbreak: Hot Cars and Kids

June 28, 2016

Every year, as the weather gets warmer, tragedies involving children and hot vehicles appear in the news. These stories are always so devastating. The fear felt by the child and the extreme guilt by the parent or caregiver is heartbreaking. Just in the last few weeks, there have been several examples from all over the country:

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Camper Loses Her Life in Tragic Zip Line Accident

May 26, 2016

Last year at a summer camp in North Carolina, a 12-year-old girl fell more than 40 feet to her death when a tether attaching her to the camp’s zip line snapped. The camp had dual zip lines and somehow the lines became tangled. Her tether essentially melted from the friction. 

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Choosing the Right Childcare: Understanding State Licensing Reports

April 22, 2016

April is National Child Abuse Prevention Month. Sadly, I continue to hear stories about childcare providers abusing or neglecting children all the time. Parents searching for childcare shouldn’t have to worry about their children being hurt. I worked for many years in the childcare industry and have helped my friends investigate childcare centers they were considering for their children. Luckily, here in Wisconsin, all state inspection and licensing reports are available online.

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Bounce Houses: Growing in Popularity and Serious Injuries

March 23, 2016

Take a kid to a party with a bounce house and chances are you won’t see them for long. Most kids are thrilled to jump and flip in these inflatables for hours. Bounce houses and other inflatables seem to be at every church picnic and child birthday party, providing endless entertainment for kids and even adults. However, injuries are on the rise and some of these injuries can be life threatening.

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Dangerously Cluttered Spaces

November 24, 2015

West Bend's loss prevention representatives spend a lot of time in the field working with non-profit, youth-focused, and community-based customers. Like most homes and businesses, our customers own a lot of stuff. From extra toys to fitness equipment, it's hard to find space for everything. Most people might think, "So what? It's just some clutter...it's not a big deal."

But sometimes it is a big deal.

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Introducing Kayla Olson, Our New Childcare Editor

November 11, 2015

I am very excited to introduce Kayla Olson, CultureOfSafety.com's newest contributor. Kayla will serve as the site's Childcare Editor. Her extensive background working in the childcare industry for more than a decade provides West Bend and CultureOfSafety.com with a powerful and informed voice.

Kayla's primary role with West Bend will involve finding common ground between the realities of working with children and West Bend's desire to help youth-focused organizations manage risks.

What follows below is a brief interview I had

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Stress and Abuse in Child Care

October 30, 2015

A new story about abuse in child care centers pops up just about every day. And these stories span the country; from New York City (where a provider was caught on camera treating toddlers roughly at a Montessori school) to Albuquerque (where a longtime caregiver was caught shaking infants in her classroom). These videos are hard to watch and it’s very disheartening to see children

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Defending the Daycare with the Sunburned Kids

August 03, 2015

A childcare center in Oklahoma is in hot water after extremely graphic photos of two children that were severely sunburned began circulating around the internet. According to the daycare, the children were told to keep their shirts while on a field trip to a pool but they did not listen to their teacher. The kids are currently hospitalized with second- and third-degree burns and will likely have permanent

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Wisconsin Businesses Can Now Save Your Life

July 28, 2015

I was excited to see this month that Wisconsin has joined the growing list of states broadening access to epinephrine auto-injectors. Epinephrine auto injectors, commonly known by brand names like EpiPen, can mean the difference between life and death for someone with severe allergies. The new law allows more public facilities, such as amusement parks, restaurants, and sports arenas to stock epinephrine and requires employees to

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Safety at the Y in 2014

April 10, 2015

West Bend Mutual Insurance Company works with more than 200 Y associations throughout the Midwest. Each year, these Ys submit hundreds of insurance claims to West Bend. This year, we conducted a thorough analysis of each of these claims and held a live online seminar for our customers to discuss the results. To help make other Ys (and similar organizations) safe for

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