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Friday, 30 March 2012

Mind the bump on the road: road safety advice for pregnant drivers

Photo by ‘Haven’t the slightest

You can still drive safely in the late stages of pregnancy although Scottish driver Emma French did cut things a bit fine when she sat her driving test in October 2011. 
It was reported that Emma’s waters broke four hours before she was due to take her driving test. She still sat the test and passed with just ten minor faults before driving herself to hospital and giving birth to healthy baby Eva.

It is hoped that Emma followed the following safety advice while learning to drive in the months before she gave birth – advice which will safeguard you and your unborn baby’s safety on the roads.

1. Put a belt over the bump 

Did you know that wearing a seat belt lowers the risk of injury to your unborn child by up to 70 per cent? The statistic comes from the direct.gov.uk website which states that the wearing of a seat belt if you are pregnant is compulsory. The only exception occurs when your doctor issues you with a certificate of exemption on medical grounds.

The website advises that if you are a pregnant driver you should ensure your comfort and safety by:

· Placing a diagonal strap between your breasts, positioning it around the side of your bump

· Lowering the lap strap as much as possible across the hips and under the bump. Is it over your belly button? Then it’s too high!

Research conducted by Loughborough University in 2001 found that 87 per cent of pregnant women wear seatbelts incorrectly. Following the advice given above should mean that you don’t become one of the unsafe majority.

2. Adjust the car’s environment 

As the pregnancy advances you will need to adjust your car’s environment. Inevitably, you will need to push the driving seat back – the Sussex Safer Roads campaign stresses that this can alter your view of the car’s mirrors so make sure that you can see clearly out of them before you drive off. It is also vital to ensure that, after moving the seat back, you don’t have to stretch too much to use the wheel. Sit as far back from the airbag as possible so that you can lower the risk of injury even further.

3. Tell your boss

If you are pregnant and your job involves driving it is always a good idea to tell your boss. UK working regulations state that your employer will be required to undertake a risk assessment of the work to be carried out by an employee who is pregnant. It is their responsibility to ensure your working environment – especially if it is the inside of a car – is safe.

4. Preparing for baby’s arrival 

If you’re leaving hospital by car after you have a baby your new child must be seated in an appropriate car seat. The website childcarseats.org.uk stresses that babies should be in rearward-facing baby seats until they weigh at least 9kgs and can sit up unaided. “Keep them in a rearward-facing seat for as long as possible” the website states.

It is always a good idea to buy a child seat from a retailer who will fit it for you. Many retailers are happy for customers to return after the birth of a child to double-check the seat’s fitting.

Whoever fits your seat, make sure that you don’t buy a second-hand one; you can’t be sure of its history and whether it’s been damaged in a crash before.

5. Look after yourself

When the pregnancy test shows a positive result it is time to start thinking about your safety as well as that of your child’s. Take plenty of breaks while on long journeys and if you haven’t got breakdown cover already now is the time to investigate taking out a policy. This is something which could prove invaluable further down the road – whether you’re pregnant or not!

This is a sponsored post by James Christie who writes for GEM Motoring Assist: a road safety organisation which provides breakdown cover

Tuesday, 27 March 2012

Making hard reach items easier to obtain...

A growing number of us are turning to eBay and other classified sites like Gumtree to purchase a lot of large items i.e. furniture, baby cribs, children’s playground equipment, electrical goods - even motorbikes and cars. However, the problem of bidding on large items is that they are often only available if you go and pick them up yourself. This makes some desired items unattainable to buy, either because they are too far away or because they won’t fit into the family car.

In situations like this you can search for courier services or freight haulers, but the price that is offered is in some cases worth more than the item you have purchased! However, by using websites like uShip to obtain quotes from many courier services, you can benefit from a unique online shipping marketplace; linking people with customer-reviewed transport companies that can move hard-to-ship items, meaning those hard to reach items are now obtainable.

Transporters place competing bids to win a customer’s business, which drives down delivery costs and makes the shipping process more affordable and efficient.

With the help of transport marketplaces like uShip you will be able to find a courier or transporter who is able to ship any item to your front door at the fraction of the cost of the larger players in the market. If you need something shipped, then making uShip your first stop will in the majority cases save you time and a lot of money!

This is a sponsored post, supplied by uShip

Wednesday, 21 March 2012

Child locator by Safe Girl Security

Safe Girl Security kindly sent us a Child Locator and Alert to try out with my girls.

During our stint at festivals and days out last year, I realised that I am really rather neurotic about losing my children in large crowds of people.  It wasn't helped by the fact that my husband lost my five year old for about 60 seconds (which believe me seems like a very very long time when you can't see your child) at a theme park last year.  And it seriously put a dampener on the rest of the day. 

This child locator is really easy to use - you attach the teddy bear receiver (pictured) to your child's shoe or belt and if your child goes out of range (approximately 25 feet) the alert feature on the parent keychain starts chirping loudly.  You then press a button on the keychain which makes the teddy bear that is strapped to your child start chirping, telling you of your child's whereabouts.  

This child locator is perfect for someone like me, although Tom (husband) is less convinced.  For me, it gives peace of mind in a crowded place with a wandering and very fast nearly three year old.

This child locator and alert retails at £24.99, which I think is very reasonable indeed.

Wednesday, 14 March 2012

Cadbury World with Superbreak

Superbreak.com recently gave us complimentary tickets for Cadbury World, with a night in a Birmingham hotel thrown in too. Firstly it was so nice for someone else to do all the organising such as booking the tickets and finding the hotel - lovely in fact!

The girls were beside themselves with excitement about going, as was I. It is somewhere I have always wanted to visit - I am a chocoholic and also have grown up knowing a Cadbury descendant!

Our day at Cadbury World did not disappoint - it was packed full of things to do and see.  I was fascinated about learning the Cadbury history and the story of how Dairy Milk came into being.  The day was packed full of information, videos, fun rides, chocolate making, chocolate decorating, and chocolate tasting! 

The highlight for the girls was the Cadabra ride, which was a little car that took you through a world of cocoa bean characters - there was so much to take in, I could have done with going round a further ten times.  The kids also loved the opportunity to concoct their own chocolate creation, and squealed with delight at the vibrating benches in one of the video rooms.

The absolute highlight for Tom and me was the entertainment in the marquee adjacent to the African Adventure play area.  The magician/ventriloquist called Kimmo was absolutely brilliant, and had adults and children in hysterics.

Unfortunately we didn't have time to go around the Bourneville village which offers a whole load more things to do and see, but we had a fantastic day out. 

We then had a short drive to our hotel which was right in the centre of Birmingham next to the canal where there are many lovely shops and restaurants.  It was a real treat to be able to all go out together, Tom and I both have a drink, and relax, and then head back to the lovely hotel for a really good nights sleep.

Thank you Superbreak.com - it was a top notch package!  The girls have been requesting that we go back to the 'chocolate factory' ever since.