We Have The Perfect Gift For Your New Driver

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It seems like just yesterday when you pulled the stabilisers off your baby’s bicycle.  Now, they have a licence to drive and the world has ‘opened up’. All in the blink of an eye, right?

No parent likes to think about a potential roadside danger, but for a little added peace of mind, we have the perfect gift for your new young driver.

Popular as a present to commemorate the milestone of a newly passed driving test, or with Christmas coming up, a fab stocking filler, our ‘Boot-It’ car safety kits, make the perfect gift for any new driver.

At just £19, ‘Boot It’ makes the perfect gift for first time drivers, night shift workers, and travellers. A stylish pale blue hold-all containing;

‘Get Me Out Of Here’ multi-tool

‘I See You’ flashlight

One pair ‘Keep Me Clean’ pink vinyl gloves

‘Keep Me Dry’ pink waterproof poncho

‘Now You See Me’ hi-vis vest

‘Keep Me Warm’ foil blanket

‘Snow Queen’ ice scraper

‘Keep Calm and Report It’ accident form and pen

Safety Tips booklet

Coincidentally, here in the UK, Road Safety Week runs from November 18th to November 24th. Who knew?

The week, organised by ‘Brake’, a road safety charity, is an annual event and the biggest road safety awareness event in the UK. This year’s theme apparently, is ‘Step Up For Safe Streets’ and actually, the website looks really informative and interesting.

For more info on road safety head over to Brake, or SafeGirl

 

Ghosts and Gouls

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It’s All Hallow’s Eve and there is great excitement in our house.

We have had two days of pumpkin carving, costumes bought, soup made, and the obligatory visit to the local farm for Instagram purposes done and dusted.

I love this time of year. Three of my babies are Autumn born, so it’s a busy few weeks, and memory evoking of cuddling up in front of a roaring fire with a newborn in arms.

With the clocks going back an hour last weekend, the evenings are drawing in much earlier, and although we all carry a personal alarm all year round, as way of routine now, I am even more vigilant during the colder months.

Trick or Treating is becoming more popular and a bigger event in the UK each year, and I instil our safety tips in my girls, so thought, while sitting here with my spiced latte, watching my youngest make her first Pumpkin Pie, I’d share them with you ahead of tomorrow night.

Stay in groups (no wandering off alone)
Costumes should be flame resistant
Always carry a personal alarm
Remember to look both ways when crossing the street
Examine all treats before eating

Stay on the pavements when possible
Avoid dark houses
Flashlights to see the way, and glow sticks to make children more visible
Enjoy!

The good news is there are still a few hours left of our Halloween Offer. 20% off all of our safety products. Just enter code Halloween at check out http://www.safe-girl.co.uk

Happy Halloween!`

‘Step Away’ Door Wedge Alarm

I posted a photo of our fabulous ‘Step Away’ door wedge alarm on Instagram earlier today and have had an overwhelming response and lots of orders, as well as a few questions.

It seemed logical to write a little post detailing the personal alarm further and I have added a little video so you can see the alarm in action.

SafeGirl’s ‘step away’ door wedge alarm is ideal for frequent fliers, college and university students and anyone who is uneasy about staying solo in a hostel or hotel room.

Simply jam the alarm under a door to make it harder to open, and if an intruder tries to force entry, you (and hotel staff) will be alerted with an ear-splitting alarm.

Usage: Turn the slide switch on the base to “ON” position; product is on stand-by. Alarm activates when swing cover swung in approximately 1.5 degrees. The alarm will only be switched off by turning the switch to “OFF” position.

130 decibel alarm (as loud as a military jet aircraft take-off from aircraft carrier with afterburner at 50 ft)

Child Locators Are Not Just For Kids

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I sold one of our fantastic child locators to a wonderful older lady yesterday.

She told me that her husband now suffered from dementia and was always wandering away from her when they were out shopping. She planned to sew the child locator into the seam of his jacket, so she could press the hand held unit for such occasions and locate him easily. What a lovely idea!

I love hearing personal stories like these, or different ways our safety products help people.  It reminded me of a fabulous review of our Mommy I’m Here Child locators, written on a wonderful blog, years ago.

I had never thought at the time of how useful it could be to parents of children with Asbergers or Autism, but since this article was published back in 2011, we have sold so many to such families. It’s one of my favourite reviews so rather than try describing it myself, and do it any injustice, I shall let you read it here…

revolutionary device designed to keep children from wandering could benefit families of children with autism

 

Andrea x

Off to uni?

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How quickly is this year going?

I can’t believe it will be September soon and my babies will be back off to uni and college.

We’re still enjoying our lazy mornings and day trips but soon it’ll be new stationery buying time. And mine are all being packed off with a Pack It Student Safety Gift Set 

Currently only £19, Pack It makes the perfect gift for students and travellers. Stay safe and have peace of mind with this gorgeous safety kit.

‘A stylish pink hold-all, containing

‘I Scream’ personal safety alarm

Pack of 2 ‘Not In My Drink’ rape drug testing coasters (4 tests)

‘Step Away’ door wedge alarm

Safety Tips booklet

Anyone Else A Hot Mess?

I’d love to say this isn’t a fairly typical story in the Clark household, but having spent years comparing, struggling, and trying to get a grip with life, I have succumbed to the hot mess that I am, and laugh. What’s the best thing for the soul? Laughter! So I thought I would share the events of just the past few hours with you.

It’s ‘bins out’ day today. Feeling extra tired last night, I thought I would go to bed early, and give myself a rare lie-in, by putting them out ready for the morning.

After a long soak in a hot bubble bath, I got into my fresh sheets and started to dose off. Only to be roused 30 minutes later by the rustling of rubbish bags outside.

Leaping out of bed and running to the window, I caught a fox scratching away at my refuse. I opened the window and hissed at it, only for the pest to lie down and gaze up at me, daringly.

To cut a very long story short, after a six hour stand off with said fox, and by now, too tired to sit by the window hissing and spitting, I lay wide awake in bed, with my keys in hand, clicking my car locked and unlocked whenever the rustling began. Determined not to give in, and go down and move the rubbish back into the wheely bins.

Having had less than 30 minutes sleep all night, I gave up early, and promised myself to make the most of the day, despite resembling some kind of zombie. I pulled my gym kit on, and car key still in hand, opened the front door, as I received this text.

Anyway, I am off to sell some personal alarms……

Is Personal Safety An Outdated, Anti-feminist idea?

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I’ve been doing a bit of soul-searching recently and pondering my stance on personal safety.

Having always considered myself a feminist (I was brought up on the belief that if we consider men and women as equals we are feminist – surely we all should be then?) I am particularly interested in the increasingly popular idea that instead of telling women to avoid being harassed, maybe we should tell men to stop harassing?

Yes – I know men are abused, harassed, raped too! But the facts are that 20% of women in England alone have experienced sexual harassment, compared with 4% of men, and over 98% of perpetrators are male, so for now, please indulge me.

The glaringly obvious personal problem I have with taking the view that we, as women, should carry on regardless, taking no safety precautions, and expecting all sexual predators to stop, is that I would go out of business. Women’s Safety is after all, how I survive.  But beyond that, I am a mother of four daughters. Do I feel comfortable allowing them to just go for it? Give up their personal alarms? Walk alone down dark alleys? Accept lifts from strangers?

My answer is a definite no! In an ideal world, of course we wouldn’t have to worry about how other people are going to behave towards us. Whether or not our drink will be spiked by a rape drug. And I really don’t bow down to the idea of changing the way we dress, or the advice by the police to join a running club and not go running alone. That would be my idea of hell – trying to keep up with other joggers and without my earphones!

Yes, the emphasis should be on controlling the would be assailants, rather than victims (male or female), and the advice to not go out alone, or not wear certain outfits is beyond outdated.

But anything more radical and gung ho seems to be throwing all caution to the wind and in my eyes, a little irresponsible.

There always has been, and always will be, a threat to women, AND to men, in the form of other, ill-intentioned people. So surely a few cautionary adjustments in the form of being aware, carrying a rape alarm, and only using licensed taxis, are more common sense than a big step backwards for women’s rights?

That’s my thought anyway?

 

A Scary Incident

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Well it’s pretty well known now that my four babies carry a personal alarm with them everywhere, and have had safety awareness drummed into them from an early age.

We had an incident last month. Quite a scary one in fact.

My second daughter Jemima was travelling home from college on her regular 4.45pm train, when two young men got on the train and approached her.  One sat on her lap, and the other filmed the entire episode on his phone, along with Snaps to friends.

They were aggressive, and threatened to rape her, grabbing her phone and telling her boyfriend they were ‘taking his girl’ with them.

During the ten minute train ride, they touched her body, barricaded her in so she couldn’t escape, and made sexual, degrading comments and threats. A terrifying experience for a 16 year old!

There were a few other passengers on the carriage, and nobody did anything.

We were lucky. Jemima managed to jump over one of the man’s legs and make a dash for the doors as they opened.

It was only hours later, after making a police statement, and a hot bath, that we even remembered the rape alarm she had attached to her bag.  Unbelievable!

Would it have helped? Who knows. Studies have shown a safety alarm is more likely to deter an assailant than to attract help. Thankfully it didn’t matter this time that we hadn’t used it. But it has shown us that anything can happen at any time, and I don’t think we’ll be forgetting it again in the near future!

 

They’re Flying My Nest!

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I know it’s a cliche, but where does the time go? It only feels a short while ago I was excitedly stocking up on nappies and baby lotion.

As we sat nervously in the Nursery School welcome meeting, I still remember tearing up as the head made her speech about how excited she was at welcoming her new ‘gifts’ in the September, and spending the next three years ‘unwrapping them’.

And now we’re taking it in turns to view halls of residence and universities all over the UK. Two of my fledglings are off to uni already!

I seem to be a constant walking mix of two emotions at the moment – overwhelming pride, and complete anxiety. Reading up as much as I can so I am completely armed with knowledge for anything the events might throw at me, I came across a wonderful piece in The Huffington Post, by Marshall P.Duke, Professor at Emory University,

“It is a moment that comes along once in a lifetime. Each child only starts college once. …Such moments are rare. They have power. They give us as parents one-time opportunities to say things to our children that will stick with them not only because of what is said, but because of when it is said.

Here is what I tell the parents: think of what you want to tell your children when you finally take leave of them and they go off to their dorm and the beginning of their new chapter in life and you set out for the slightly emptier house that you will now live in. What thoughts, feelings and advice do you want to stick? “Always make your bed!”? “Don’t wear your hair that way!”? Surely not. This is a moment to tell them the big things. Things you feel about them as children, as people. Wise things. Things that have guided you in your life. Ways that you hope they will live. Ways that you hope they will be. Big things. Life-level things.”

I am really lucky with my eldest. Meg will be renting a house with her boyfriend, who is an absolute hero and I know she will be well taken care of.

And my second is extremely independent and mature for her age. But as we concerned parents know, it’s doesn’t always matter how you conduct yourself.  If you’re anything like me, you will have conjured up images of everything from getting lost on the way home, and ending up on the Orient Express, to aliens invading and choosing only my baby to abduct.

We’re also lucky that thanks to SafeGirl, we know an awful lot about personal safety, so not wanting to be selfish, here’s a few tips to put your mind at ease a little:

I am actually a  huge advocate of the ‘why should women be told to act differently , dress differently, not wear earphones etc, and we should be telling men not to attack women’ philosophy, but the sad truth is that I personally would rather ensure my babies are a little safer, and we can all sleep a little better at night.

Make sure your mobile is charged and able to make calls when you go out, in case of an emergency or if you lose the people you are with.
Try to leave a pub or club with friends, keep money you need to get home separate so that you don’t spend it, and pre-book a licensed taxi or know the locations of official taxi ranks.

When you do go out, know how you will get home, and plan ahead if you’re going somewhere you don’t know. Let someone know where you’re going and when you expect to be back.
If you have to walk alone in the dark, try to avoid badly lit areas, parks, alleyways and underpasses. When alone on public transport, sit near the driver on a bus, and in an occupied carriage on a train or the underground. Avoid using your phone in isolated places, as it can distract you from your surroundings.
Carrying a personal alarm with you is a good idea – many men see these as female accessories, but figures show that male students stand a much higher risk of being attacked in the street.

Watch how much you drink
It’s easier to do something risky or foolish when you are drunk, and you’re more likely to lose your belongings. Eat before you drink alcohol, and drink plenty of water to help you not get drunk. Keep track of what and how much you’re drinking. Drinks do get spiked with drugs, so never leave your drink unattended or accept a drink from a stranger. Think about carrying some rape drug testing coasters.

Consider taking a student safety kit with you. Filled with a safety tips book, a door wedge alarm, a personal alarm, and much more, we can’t take away the tears as your baby birds flee the nest, but we can alleviate some of the worry….

 

 

 

Baby Driver

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Meg, 19, and my eldest of four daughters, bought her first car just before Christmas.

As with so many things I have been realising of late, I only now am beginning to appreciate the anguish I put my own mother through as a young new driver.

Every time I left the house, keys to my fourth-hand, battered but beloved Austin Metro in hand, I heard the same phrase yelled out after me,

‘It’s not just you but everyone else on the road you have to worry about!’ a sentence that has actually  gone through my mind pretty much every time I have attempted the North Circular as a responsible 30+ year old driver and all the years since.

Of course, for the thirteen or so years prior to any fear or safety awareness dawning on me, I was blissfully unaware of anyone else on the road. Sounds blaring from my one working, if extremely crackly speaker; ciggie in hand; no seatbelt; 8 or so mates crammed into the back of ‘Cruella’ (named by said mates as my driving style apparently bore more than a slight resemblance to Cruella Deville – my mother never knew this!).

Ambling in at 2am, after night whizzing up and down the Southend Arterial, chucking my keys on the table, smoke still in hand, I sometimes asked why mother was still up, as I headed to the kitchen for night time snacks.

Now I get it! Looking back, how on earth did she remain sane at all in those days before smart phones and family RAC membership?

Luckily, Meg is a lot more conscientious than I ever was at that age. And of course, I am hassling her constantly by text – berating her if she doesn’t reply immediately, then lecturing her she’s not texting while driving!

At then end of the day, if our young drivers are as careful as they can be, and abide by the safety rules, many dangers are out of our/their control.

We’re only 5 months into our new regime of me sleeping even less than usual, and Meg pulling over every 5 minutes to tell me to stop texting her, and we have already had 3 breakdowns. The first being a rookie error of leaving the lights on and draining the battery.

Ashamedly, despite being with Meg when said incident took place, and being the retailer of booster cables for young drivers and women, as well as lots of car safety products and gifts. And having ensured the car was stacked full of every one of these products before we had even left the car showroom forecourt, neither of us knew how to actually use the jump lead booster cables. 

There’s a story for another time. But needless to say, we do now!

The good news is the cables are now only £8 a set. That’s an extra 20 minutes sleep for you and me!