Keeping Kids Safe as They Walk to School

With the fall semester back in session, kids are out walking to and from school. To ensure safe journeys, it’s key that children and teens eliminate distractions, a CHOC Children’s community educator tells CHOC Radio.

In podcast No. 35, Amy Frias reminds parents that children should not play with phones or video games while walking to school, and also covers some other safety tips:

  • How to cross streets safely
  • When children can cross streets alone
  • Reminders for drivers

CHOC Radio theme music by Pat Jacobs.

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CHOC Walk in the Park: Insider Tips for Event Day

The 25th annual CHOC “Walk in the Park” is around the corner. With 15,000 Walkers expected at this year’s Walk, here are some tips to help teams and individual walkers have a fun morning.

Parking & Meeting Up

  • The Mickey and Friends Parking Structure will open the morning of the Walk at 5 a.m. Parking is free for registered CHOC Walk participants, even if you will be staying at the Disneyland Resort for the entire day.
  • The tram does not run to and from the parking structure the morning of the Walk, so allow time to walk from the structure to Disneyland’s main entrance.
  • Talk to your team about a designated place where you will meet at the structure, in Downtown Disney or in the esplanade between Disneyland Park and Disney California Adventure Park.

Entering Disneyland

  • Because all participants will be arriving for the Walk at the same time, it is important to allow for extra time to get through the turnstiles and onto Main Street U.S.A. for the Walk’s opening ceremony at 6:15 a.m. You will want to budget even more time if you will be stopping in Downtown Disney for coffee or a snack.
  • Animals (except service dogs), roller skates, bicycles, scooters and skateboards are not allowed.

What to Bring

  • Because breakfast is limited in Downtown Disney before the Walk and food is not sold in the parks during the Walk, walkers should bring light snacks and drinks, especially for young children. Keep in mind that glass bottles and containers are not allowed, except for baby food jars and baby bottles.
  • Don’t forget your camera because there will be Disney magic, characters and surprises throughout the Walk. Selfie sticks are not allowed in Disneyland or Disney California Adventure.
  • Disneyland stroller and wheelchair rentals are not available the morning of the CHOC Walk, so be sure to bring what you will need with you.
  • Wagons are not allowed inside Disneyland or Disney California Adventure during regular park hours, but are allowed in the parks during the CHOC Walk. If you will be heading into the parks after the Walk, be sure to switch out your wagon for a stroller back at your car afterward.

CHOC Walk in the Park

Team Spirit

  • An exciting addition to this year’s CHOC Walk weekend is the Ambassador’s Luau on Saturday, Oct. 10 in the Grand Ballroom of the Disneyland Hotel. The Luau is a festive and exotic Polynesian-themed event perfect for team building the afternoon before the Walk. For more information and to purchase tickets, click here.
  • Have fun with your team! Don’t forget, you can dress in school colors, wear matching t-shirts to support your loved one, or make signs to thank your supporters and help your team stand out in the crowd.
  • After the Walk, head over to the team photo area at the Downtown Disney Stage and get a team picture with Choco and the 2015 Honda Miracle Odyssey.

Downtown Disney CHOC Walk Festival

  • The fun doesn’t end when you cross the finish line. The CHOC Walk Festival will feature tons of great giveaways from CHOC sponsors, a DJ spinning great music, and the chance to purchase the 25th anniversary CHOC Walk in the Park hoodie, shopping bag, CHOC Kids Cards, CHOC Walk commemorative lapel pins and lanyards.
  • Don’t miss the CHOC Walk Selfie Squad who will be out throughout the festival and team photo area with CHOC Walk selfie signs and a helping hand for those big group pictures
  • Special discounts are available at many Downtown Disney stores and restaurants after the Walk. For a full list of businesses opening early for breakfast and discounts available the day of the Walk, click here.

More Fun In the Parks

  • Present your CHOC “Walk In the Park” wristband at a Disneyland Resort ticket booth to purchase special CHOCtober Disneyland Resort tickets. Purchase a 1-Day 1-Park ticket for $51 or a 1-Day Park Hopper ticket for $81 to use for admission back into the park on the day of the CHOC Walk or for your next trip to the Disneyland® Park and Disney California Adventure Park. Tickets are valid from Oct. 11, 2015 through Nov. 6, 2015 and do not have block out dates. A maximum of 5 tickets may be purchased per wristband.

You can learn more about CHOC “Walk in the Park or register to participate by clicking here. For real-time event information follow CHOC Walk on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. You can also follow along with the fun by tagging your CHOC Walk photos online with #CHOCWalk.

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National Prescription Drug Take Back Day is Sept. 26

With prescription and over-the-counter (OTC) medication abuse remaining one of the fastest growing problems among teens and young adults, it’s important to ensure unwanted, unused and expired medications are removed from homes.

From 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Sept. 26, Orange County residents can safely, easily and anonymously empty their medicine cabinets at locations throughout the region participating in National Prescription Drug Take Back Day, held in conjunction with local law enforcement and the Drug Enforcement Agency. See below for a list of drop-off sites in Orange County.

Drug safety is important to practice year-round. Here are some tips to help your family take charge of medications in your home:

  • If you have to do something else while taking medicine, such as answer the phone, take any young
    children with you.
  • Be aware of any legal or illegal drugs that guests may bring into your home. Ask guests to store drugs where children cannot find them. Children can easily get into pillboxes, purses, backpacks, or coat pockets.
  • Do not call medicine “candy.”
  • Talk to your teen about prescription and OTC drug abuse. Ensure your teen understands that buying
    or using prescription medication without a doctor’s order is dangerous and illegal.
  • Keep your family’s medications in a secure location and secure the cap completely after each use.
    Set clear rules about taking the correct dosage at the right time. Ask friends and family to keep
    their prescription and OTC medications in a safe place, too.
  • Explain the purpose of each prescribed or OTC medication, including possible side effects. Although
    you may not have prescription medications in your home, your child’s friend or family might. Stress
    that it is both illegal and extremely dangerous to share any kind of medications.
  • Get to know your teen’s friends and their parents. Ensure you are all on the same page when it
    comes to drugs, alcohol and medications.
  • Check with your child’s school. When teaching about substance abuse, does it include prescription
    and OTC medications?
  • Discard all old and unneeded medications properly. Mix medications with used coffee grounds, dirt
    or kitty litter; add hot water; and place in the garbage. Never flush them down a toilet.

To participate in National Prescription Drug Take Back Day, here’s a list of drop-off sites in Orange County:

San Juan Capistrano City Hall
32400 Paseo Adelanto, San Juan Capistrano, CA 92675

Placentia Police Department
401 E. Chapman Ave., Placentia, CA 92870

Villa Park City Hall parking lot
17855 Santiago Blvd., Villa Park, CA 92861

University Hills Community Center
1083 California Ave., Irvine, CA 92617

Costa Mesa Police Department front lobby
99 Fair Drive, Costa Mesa, CA 92627

Buena Park Police Department front lobby
6640 Beach Blvd., Buena Park, CA 90622

Brea Police Department front lobby
1 Civic Center Circle, Brea, CA 92821

Huntington Beach Police Department front desk
2000 Main St., Huntington Beach, CA 92648

Mission Viejo City Hall
200 Civic Center, Mission Viejo, CA 92692

Lake Forest City Hall
25550 Commerce Centre Drive, Lake Forest, CA 92630

Seal Beach Police Department
911 Seal Beach Blvd., Seal Beach, CA 90740

Kaiser Permanente Anaheim Medical Center, office building 1
3460 E. La Palma Ave., Anaheim, CA 92806

Tustin Police Department, front parking lot
300 Centennial Way, Tustin, CA 92780

Buena Park Police Department, Ehlers Event Center
8150 Knott Ave., Buena Park, CA 90620

Santa Ana Police Department, west-end office
3750 W. McFadden Ave., Suite 1, Santa Ana, CA 92704

Orange City Hall parking lot
360 E. Chapman Ave., Orange, CA 92866

Kaiser Permanente Hospital parking lot
6670 Alton Parkway, Irvine, CA 92618

Oasis Senior Center, overflow parking lot
801 Narcissus Ave., Corona del Mar, CA 92625

La Habra Police Department front lobby
150 N. Euclid St., La Habra, CA 90631

Orange County Sheriff’s Department, Yorba Linda service station
20994 Yorba Linda Blvd., Yorba Linda, CA 92887

Fountain Valley Police Department parking lot
10200 Slater Ave., Fountain Valley, CA 92708

Fullerton Police Department drive-through on Highland Avenue
237 W. Commonwealth Ave., Fullerton, CA 92832

Laguna Hills City Hall
24035 El Toro Road, Laguna Hills, CA 92653

Westminster Police Department parking lot
8200 Westminster Blvd., Westminster, CA 92683

Cypress Police Department front parking lot
5275 Orange Ave., Cypress, CA 90630

Garden Grove Police Department
11301 Acacia Parkway, Garden Grove, CA 92842

Car Seat Safety for Children with Special Needs

The AngelRide carries infants who must lie down.
The AngelRide carries infants who must lie down.
Choosing the right car seat and installing it correctly can be confusing enough, but imagine the challenges that mount for families of children with special needs.

Traditional store-bought car seats may not work for children with certain conditions, and parents often must turn to specialty options that can be expensive with limited options.

“A lot of the families of patients with special needs will begin to see that and feel so overwhelmed,” says Elizabeth Perez, a CHOC Children’s community educator.

Parents and guardians should never attempt makeshift accommodation for children with special needs. Instead, Perez and her colleagues in CHOC’s Community Education department can help families in these unique circumstances navigate the process to select and acquire a car seat that fits their needs.

“Once we get that call, we meet with the family,” Perez says. “They will bring their seats and their vehicle, and we work to see what kind of seat they’ll need.”

Community educators can also help the family, as well as their clinicians and social workers, write letters to their health insurance provider to seek assistance for the family in purchasing the special car seats or accessories, which can be very expensive, Perez says.

Many conditions might make choosing a car seat more complicated, and require parents to find specially made seats, she says.

For example, children with cerebral palsy may have low muscle tone and trunk control and will have limited and less affordable options once they reach the upper weight limits of standard car seats.

Children with respiratory problems other conditions that prevent them from sitting up can face challenges as well, Perez says. In these cases, families might rely on “car beds,” which allow passengers to securely lie down on their backs, stomach or sides.

Children with behavioral challenges, autism, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder or cognitive impairment may also need special restraints in the car if they cannot stay secured in a car seat and risk distracting the driver. In these cases, harness system or travel vests might be helpful.

Also, children missing limbs or those wearing spica casts that immobilize the lower body can need special accommodations.

Contact CHOC’s Community Education department at 714-509-8887 for more information about car seat safety for children.

Join us at Festival of Children at South Coast Plaza

Festival of ChildrenJoin us at Festival of Children in September, at South Coast Plaza, Costa Mesa. CHOC Children’s will host a booth with health tips for families and an opportunity to meet CHOC’s beloved pet therapy dogs.

Free Mommy & Me classes will be offered every Friday in September at 11 a.m., on the Carousel Court Stage. Hear from CHOC community educators on the following topics:

Sept. 4 – Home Safety

Sept. 11 – Water Safety

Sept. 18 – Child Passenger Safety

Sept. 25 – Pediatric Emergency

Festival of Children highlights all children charities serving our community for National Child Awareness Month in September. The event at South Coast Plaza will also feature other activities and crafts for children. Visit the Festival of Children website to learn more.

Learn more about CHOC community education.

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