Does Child Safety Differ in a Truck vs. SUV?

So, Which is it, a Truck or SUV?

As a conscientious and law-abiding parent, you’ll want to have your child in the right car seat when driving. But will your child’s safety be more at risk in a truck vs. SUV?

Child Safety Seats in all Cars and Trucks

First and foremost, the issue of child safety seats must be addressed. Having your youngsters in properly fitted and bolstered seats is the priority. Whether your children are in a truck, SUV, sedan, or minivan, they need to be in an apparatus that is befitting their size, age, and weight.
There are three types of seats specifically created for infancy through about age 13.

1. Rear-Facing Seat

Till two years old or manufacturer’s suggested weight and height.

2. Forward Facing seat

Harness straps and are safe for kids until they outgrow them or are allowed by your state law to move into a booster seat.

3. The third is a booster seat

Secures the child with the vehicle’s seat belts. All the above-mentioned seats need to be installed with LATCH or a locked seatbelt.

The Good Safety News For Trucks

If you do not have proper back seats, you may legally place a rear-facing car seat up front. HOWEVER, you must turn off the front passenger air bag.
If you have an extended cab, you are allowed to place a rear or forward facing car seat or booster IF OVER 80% of the chair fits on your truck’s existing seat.

What an SUV Has That a Truck May Not

Side airbags often come standard in newer SUV models. Head protection side airbags have proven to reduce the risk of death in SUV drivers by 52%. Side airbags in the back have shown to protect children in car seats. Always check with the car seat manufacturer’s manual for proper installation.
Another feature that pickup trucks do not always have is electronic stability control. Without ESC, losing control from skidding and weather conditions are more likely. Stability control comes standard in all SUVs.
Other Truck Pitfalls
Since it looks like the odds are stacking up on the side of the SUV, we might as well list some other safety shortcomings driving our kids in pickups and other types of trucks.

Riding in the Back?

1) Riding in the back seat is twice as safe as riding in the front seat. Many trucks don’t have a proper backseat.

Truck Cargo, way worse than you think …

2) The risk of death of those driving in truck cargo space was eight times higher than those riding, restrained, in the cab. The cargo area is not meant for passengers. Children’s safety seats do not fit or belong there.

No Latch?

3) Many trucks do not have LATCH, which is an attachment system for car seats. The seat has lower anchors along with a top tether for extra safety. Without LATCH, you must use the vehicle seatbelt, which may not provide optimum seat restraint.

Lap and Shoulder belts? Really?

4) Lap and shoulder belts -may not be available in pickup rear seats. This makes it unsafe for older children in booster seats that require those apparatus.

Should There Be a Truck Stop?

When exploring truck vs. SUV child passenger safety, at least in this blog, it seems an SUV would be a safer choice. Does this mean that all trucks are unsafe for children and their seats? Absolutely not. Sometimes we just need to work with what he have and make it the best for ourselves and our kids.

May you and your little ones have safe, memorable, and happy travels in both a truck or SUV just be safe.


How to Keep Kids Safe in the Kitchen

Whether you’re teaching your kids how to cook or they’re just running around, there are ways to prevent accidents in the kitchen.

Safety First

Kitchen mishaps occur frequently and are actually quite common in U.S. households. Sometimes dangerous equipment is used by children who are unsupervised. Plugs, cords, and outlets can get in the way and cause an accident. Teapots, pans, and pots near the edge of the stove can be pulled down and create grave injury.

Each year over 100,000 children in America are rushed to the hospital with burns. The majority of those injuries are from cooking or food-related accidents. And, sadly, over 1,000 children die each year from burn injuries.

The more positive news is that many of these accidents can be avoided or prevented. Here are some safety suggestions:

1) Cords from electric flying pans, rice cookers, crock-pots, etc. should be far from reach of little hands. Make sure no wires are dangling off the edge of a counter—this includes those from coffee makers, electric kettles, and toasters.

2) Use the back burner on the stove whenever possible. If you use pans in the front, make sure to turn handles away from the front edge. Also, burner-covers are a smart safety tool for once you’ve removed your pan but the stovetop is still hot.

3) Don’t leave food that’s cooking unattended.

4) Keep young children away from sharp knives and equipment with moving blades.

5) Create a no-kid zone in the kitchen when you’re cooking or baking. For babies and toddlers use a gate. For older kids, let them know the boundaries and why.

If Something Happens…

Tend to the wound immediately. If it’s a burn, wash with cool water. DO NOT USE ICE. Also, Do NOT put butter or powder on a burn. (Those are wives-tale remedies that create a worse scenario.) Cool water will sooth, decrease inflammation, and help to clean out any bacteria that may later cause infection. Depending on the injury you will want to either contact your physician or go to the E.R. The sooner you treat a burn or a bad cut, the better the outcome.

A Positive Project

Cooking and baking with your kids is great for their self-esteem. It empowers them—allowing them to be creative and learn self-sufficiency.

Cooking is an excellent one-on-one opportunity to teach and have a memorable time. Guiding our kids towards healthy food choices can (and should) begin at a very young age. Perhaps start with allowing them to add their own choice of toppings to homemade pizzas. Baking teaches them about measurement and timing. With supervision, you can help them manage a hot stove and/or oven.

Food experts suggest that you let the child “make a mess.” By that, they do not mean destroy your kitchen. Rather, let them experiment and continue without cleaning every two seconds. And don’t follow them with a sponge every step of the way as it may hinder their process. Once more, this is about teaching, letting go, and being a safety for our kids. Bon Appetit!

For more articles on family safety, healthy choices, and healthy foods, check out

Calm The Mind
Calm The Mind

14 Safety Tips For When You Exercise Outdoors

In life, family generally comes first. With exercise, safety is the priority. Whether you are alone or with your family or friends, keeping everyone out of harm’s way and free of injury is number one. At the gym, employees should help guide. But when you’re outside, it’s you who must be the most mindful. Below we’ve shared some helpful safety tips for when you exercise outdoors.

Dress for Success—especially outside

#1) Don’t be fooled by trendy exercise clothing you see in generic superstores. Sure, you want to look good in case you run into a cute neighbor or plan to take a selfie. More importantly, however, you want your clothing to “perform.” If it’s cold or wet, you want your jacket to keep you warm and dry. On the other hand, when it’s hot, you want to keep cool, but also protect your skin from sun exposure.

#2) With that said, it’s worth spending a little more on quality material and manufacturing. You only need one of each, really, for outdoor exercise wear: jacket, hat, hiking pants, merino wool shirt and leggings, long-sleeved UV protective shirt, shorts, and gloves. Unlike the gym, no one will comment that you’re wearing the same jacket again. In fact, outdoor peeps are used to seeing one another in their “signature” outdoor gear.

#3) Additionally, wear bright colors. You want to be seen, especially if it’s twilight, foggy, or you’ve fallen off the path into a ditch or ravine. Thank goodness bright blues, pinks, and greens are fashionable everywhere for


exercise outdoors!      


#4) Also, spend time researching and picking out proper footwear. Buy quality. If your feet get messed up, you’re not going anywhere. This is the one item worth buying a reputable, brand name, and spending the money. If they’re as good as they claim, the hiking, running, or trail shoes should last a while and keep your toes, arches, and ankles in good shape.

#5) Wear reflective clothing. Again, you want to be seen by cars, animals, and rescuers. (Bonus: most animals will run away if they see you first.) A lot of products now have glow-in-the-dark and reflective strips incorporated into their designs. Shoes, jackets, pants, and hats can all be purchased with this feature nowadays. You can also purchase reflective tape and add it to your favorite oldie outdoor wear.

TIP: Go to specialized stores. Speak to the salespeople and ask them what they recommend. Try stuff on. Take pictures and notes. Then, go home and log onto the Internet and find the items you want for less money elsewhere. Don’t feel guilty. Maybe your local store price matches? Also, outlets like REI have amazing sales several times a year.

You can always create a wish list.       

Cracking Open the Safe…

For the most part, working-out indoors is safe because the environment is controlled. The main cause for injury would be performing an exercise incorrectly. You lift too heavy, drop a weight on your foot, or pull a muscle or tendon.

Conversely, when you exercise outdoors, there’s a host of unpredictable elements.

First of all, as we’ve touched upon, you’ve got the weather. This will affect how you dress, as well as your ability to forge through your workout. If you’re in the city, you’ve got traffic, lots of people around, and noise. In the suburbs, there may be predators—and not just animals. In the mountains or wilderness, there can be tricky terrain as well as wildlife to contend with. None of these factors, however, should scare or deter you from getting a safe, satisfying workout.

And so then, let’s take a look at some more safety tips so you can confidently enjoy your outdoor exercise.

#6) Bring a friend or let someone know where you’re going. Never go exercising outdoors without telling someone or leaving a note where you’ve gone. If you don’t return on time, won’t it be safer when someone is able to come look for you?

#7) Bring water—even if your plan is to jog around the block. Lack of hydration is the number one cause for heatstroke (besides the beating hot sun, duh.) If you are going on a prolonged outdoor adventure, make sure you bring plenty of water. A hydration pack (like a Camelback) can be a life saver.

#8) Check the weather report for the forecast. Be prepared for rain, snow, ice, and even scorching sun. A hat is always a must, regardless of weather, and sunscreen is also important, even in the winter.

Look and Listen for Safety’s Sake…

#9) Always have a light source. Your phone most likely has a magnifying light feature. A headlamp is lightweight and can always come in handy. (Just remember to change out the batteries every so often. Or, carry spares.)

#10) Speaking of phones… You should probably bring one. However, DON’T hike, run, or jog and concurrently look at your texts. That’s a recipe for a tripping disaster. If you must, stop completely, and check the message or the call. Always leave for the outdoors with your phone fully charged. If you have a pack, you can carry a lightweight solar charger as a back up.

In addition to a regular cellphone, if you’re far from civilization, you may want to invest in a satellite phone with GPS. They can be pricey, but your location can be found if there’s an unforeseen problem—which may get you help sooner than later.

#11) Bring a whistle. If, for example, you’re alone hiking and you fall, who is nearby to help? Who can hear you? Perhaps you don’t have enough energy to yell. That whistle may also scare off unwanted four-legged visitors…


City Mouse vs. Country Mouse

#12) First aid in the city probably isn’t an issue. There will always be someone around to help or guide you. In the burbs, you may want to consider carrying a few bandages for blisters. In the wilderness, obviously you’ll want to pack an anti-bacterial cleanser, bandages, anti-bacterial ointment, rope, a knife, and a snake-bite kit, among other supplies.

#13) If you’re adventuring outside a city, learn about the wildlife on your journey and destination. Do bears, cougars, moose, snakes, or other critters live where you will be going? When you exercise outdoors away from large masses of people, you can expect animals to be dwelling there.

Read up on how to behave if you’re confronted by a non-human. You might want to carry bear spray or a bell. Learn how to alert the wildlife to let them know you are traveling in their environment. (You never want to surprise an animal.) Remember, it’s their land, too.

It’s also wise to learn about the plants where you’ll be exercising. It’s important to recognize and protect against poison, ivy, oak, and sumac. And, don’t eat any wild berries or leaves unless you’re starving and know they’re not deadly if humans consume them.

#14) Behavior between humans can sometimes be unsafe when you exercise outdoors—whether in the city, suburbs, or out in the mountains, jungle, or plains.


When in a city,       avoid walking or jogging near


dark alleyways or on industrial streets. Stick with the crowd. Speak up and turn in the other direction if you feel someone’s intentions are unsavory.

When in the suburbs, it’s probably best not to accept an invite into a stranger’s home if they offer you a drink or use of their bathroom. Additionally, learn to walk/run against the traffic. If a car slows down or stops near you, simply cross the street.

No matter what environment, if you feel in danger and need help, don’t be afraid to blow that whistle. Loudly.

What’s the Take Away

We certainly hope we haven’t frightened you from leaving your home or your local gym! Getting outside in nature—from a hike, to a trail run, to a walk in a city park—they’ve all shown to boost your immune system, improve your mood, and help keep your mind and body fit. And, you can be safe! We hope you’ll get excited to read some of our other articles on exercise, nature, and best health on GetThrive!

If you found this article helpful, feel free to contact us with your feedback, or check out Get Thrive on Facebook and join our community and conversations! Thank you— we appreciate your time and voice.


Alternate sources:

Author and photographer: Carra Robertson

Pixabay: Dark city image and illustration




Are Your Online Prescriptions Safe?

Ordering medication online is commonplace these days. But when your prescription arrives, do you know if it’s actually safe to take? There are hundreds of online pharmacies that have been distributing counterfeit, expired, or contaminated drugs. Fortunately, the FDA is finally taking action…

Are Your Drugs Legal or Illegal?

Prescription medications that are being sold online could be dangerous for consumption. There are countless sites that sell unapproved versions of particular drugs—that’s illegal! These websites are selling products that are either illicit, fake, poisonous replicas, or defective. This could include anything from antibiotics to sleeping aids to opioids.

The U.S. Federal Drug Administration (FDA) along with law enforcement agencies have been targeting these online vendors. There has been an effort on the part of global drug regulatory agencies to target and take action. The commissioner of the U.S. FDA explained that, “these online pharmacies are often run by sophisticated criminal networks.”

Because of this significantly concerning, illegal activity, the FDA has recently taken action to halt over 500 websites from selling medications online. Thirteen separate warning letters were issued to the sites by the FDA. Additionally, Internet registrars have assisted with the crackdown, resulting in the confiscation of 100 of the sites. It’s an admirable start.

Prescription Safety on a Global Scale

This seemingly legal distribution of illegal and potentially dangerous drugs is not just a problem in America. This is a global crisis. Interpol is the world’s largest police force with members including almost 200 countries. “Operation Pangea X” is a mission being led by Interpol to combat the sale of illicit medications online.

Drug Sale Concerns in America

Aside from the possibility of danger from contaminated drugs, there is also the concern of perpetuated and increased addiction—especially with opioid-based medications. This country is already experiencing an epidemic as far as prescription painkillers are concerned. Illegal distribution from online pharmacies does not help our quest to quell opioid addiction. Easy access to medications only fuels the critical dilemma.

Another associated problem with online drug-dealers is credit card and identity fraud. Many of these sites are run by huge crime networks—and they could be anywhere in the world! An innocent customer provides a credit card or a check and he/she can soon find him/her self in debt or with an emptied-out bank account.

A Prescription for Safety

The fact that one of the USA’s largest safety/protection agencies is taking action against this type of activity is a step in a positive direction. In the meanwhile, here are some safety tips for getting your prescription filled online:

  • Do not order from a website that advertises, “No prescription necessary.”

  • You can try looking up the legitimacy of an online pharmacy on sites such as; but, beware, some other “verified” sites are sponsored by illegal pharmaceutical dealers…

  • Use the website that is recommended by your insurance company

As with any circumstance involving medication, it’s always better to err on the side of safety and compilation of information. For other current, helpful tips on how to keep you and your family at its best in health, check out





Cyberbullying is a Worry for Moms and Dads Too

We read all the time about the unfortunate act of cyberbullying amongst teens and its detrimental effects. Kids these days are subjected to a more dangerous type of shaming and teasing than we’ve ever experienced in past generations. Rightly so, parents are greatly concerned about cyberbullying and its potential negative mental health threat to their children.

Online Bully, Bully

Cyberbullying is a very real and seriously, damaging activity. Some Internet users, both young and old, derive a sense of power from admonishing others online. Often times, they shame, threaten, or humiliate. Sometimes, it’s done anonymously. The bottom line is that those actions may have repercussions that can affect the victim’s mental health in a significantly negative fashion.

For teens, especially, bullying peers online is a perilous practice. Victims can feel harassed, intimidated, and even tormented. This can create severe anxiety, depression, and, at worst, suicide. Experts in the field, as well as parents, understand that cyberbullying can be the source of major mental health problems for youngsters.

Parents Voice Concerns

Recent research out of the University of Michigan revealed informative data regarding the issue of teen Internet-intimidation. A poll was taken from over 1,500 parent participants who had kids 18 and under. As it turned out, cyberbullying was one of the moms’ and dads’ biggest worries. In fact, one-third of the participants were concerned about their children’s mental health in regards to online bullying.

The other greatest concern for the polled parents was overall Internet safety. Their unease ranged from online predators to pornography to their children providing too much personal information to the wrong sources. These apprehensions are well founded considering the vast, virtual world in which we live today.

Internet Safety Tips for Teens (and Others)

There are a lot of sites that offer proactive strategies for safe Internet use as well as how to talk to your kids about healthy online habits. Some experts recommend calling it something other than “Internet Safety.” They claim that youngsters either rebel or shut down from the lecturing, or become fearful from the term.

We want our youngsters to gain all the advantages the World Wide Web has to offer. Immediate access to all types of information can be incredibly beneficial on many levels. But obviously, safety is a key concern. Sameer Hinduja, Ph.D. and Justin W. Patchin, Ph.D. have some helpful advice for parents:

  • Talk to other parents and your kids about what they are reading and seeing. Educate each other and look for ways to avoid placing yourself in a cyberbully situation.
  • Protect your password from EVERYONE! Remind your children that, unfortunately, friends come and go at this age. Even the best of friends should not have your passwords.
  • Don’t post any photo you would not want your grandparents to see. Use that as a barometer for sensible photo updates. This way, no bully can post a photo of you that can be misconstrued as sexual or as something you don’t want to represent.
  • Never open emails or files from people you don’t know. Just delete them. You don’t need a virus or a bully hacking into your account.
  • If you log on to any of your accounts away from your own computer, DON’T FORGET TO LOG OUT. If you’re at the library checking emails or whatever, if you don’t log out, the next person that uses that public computer has access to your stuff—all your stuff.
  • Think before you post. You never know whom you may offend. Triple check your photo or writing before it goes out into the online world, never to be taken back…
  • “’Google” yourself. Regularly search your name in every major search engine. If any personal information or photo comes up which may be used by cyberbullies to target you, take action to have it removed before it becomes a problem.”

And finally, don’t BE the cyberbully. The ramifications of your actions can be dire. Kindness and empathy are essential when commenting online. And as most moms used to say, “If you have nothing nice to say, say nothing at all.”

Teach by example. If you don’t want your kid bullied or to be a bully, model him/her a positive way.




Treadmill Safety

Treadmills have been around for years. In fact, it’s a very popular way to exercise. They are relatively easy to use and they are also very healthy. However, recently we have a seen an increase in the number of injuries at home and at gyms from the use of treadmills. And why?

While it may seem silly, treadmill injuries can be severe and even life threatening. Recently the CEO from Survey Money died from a treadmill injury.

Why the Increase in Treadmill Injuries?

The increase in treadmill injuries may be linked to walking and using a Smart phone or device. Similar to texting and driving, when we are walking and using a treadmill while simultaneously using our phones, we are distracted—ultimately causing accidents and injuries.

Don’t Turn Your Health Upside Down…

Exercise is great for us. In fact, using a treadmill promotes cardiovascular and pulmonary health. But let’s not turn something healthy upside down by adding the risk of accidents and injuries to it. We automatically increase our risks for treadmill accidents and injuries while using a cell phone.

Gyms are full of heavy machinery. Therefore, it is important to focus 100 percent on using that machinery rather than shifting our attention and concentration to our cell phones.

The Bottom Line: Redefined

The bottom line redefined here: Concentrate on your own health and safety while using a treadmill, and avoid using one if you are going to be distracted. Yes, do use your cell phone to count calories and listen to music, but avoid accidents and injuries, which do the exact opposite of keeping you healthy.

For more information on treadmill accidents and injuries, and on health related topics and trends, sign up and subscribe to THRIVE by visiting today.