This is the second post from the archives of author, fitness advocate and photographer Terri Webster Schrandt. Although the summer has only a weeks left to run in our part of the world.. summer is approaching elseqhere… there were far too many frightening reports in the media of people being drowned or missing after swimming in the sea over the last few months, and this commonsense post from Terri is well worth reading and circulating.
Don’t Become a Memory: Three Easy Ways to Be Safe in the Water (2015) by Terri Webster Schrandt
Young children get swimming lessons and learn water safety skills. Image by Kimberly Glaster, used by permission.
Memorial Day Weekend in the United States heralds in the summer season. This three-day holiday weekend kicks off warm temperatures, family outings, BBQs, and of course, swimming and water recreation.
Memorial Day Weekend also brings an increased risk of child drownings, reports this article..
Pool, lake, and beach parties are favorite ways to celebrate, but parents must remember to stay alert and vigilant while children are in and around water.
For children between the ages of one and four, drowning is the second leading cause of preventable death in the United States (just behind auto accidents). Even when not fatal, water-related accidents cause significant, life-changing injuries from the lack of oxygen to the brain, including permanent brain injury and loss of basic functioning.
There are thousands of tragic stories about children, teens and adults drowning in swimming pools, rivers, lakes and oceans. Fortunately, most of these can be prevented by doing just three things.
One: Wear a life jacket (or PFD–personal flotation device) in open water. PFD-Water-SafetyIn late May, water temperatures in lakes and rivers can be deceptively cold despite the warm sun. Rivers and lakes this time of year can be filled with swiftly moving debris which can trap unsuspecting swimmers and drag them under the water.
Additionally, there may be state laws and local ordinances requiring the wearing of PFDs. Click here for an example of the Kids Don’t Float Campaign.
The Sacramento County Board of Supervisors adopted an ordinance in 2008 that reads, “It is unlawful for any parent to permit his or her child under the age of thirteen (13) in his or her care to access any public waters unless said child is wearing a life preserver.” Violation of the ordinance is punishable by a fine of $500 and/or six months of jail.
Two: Parents, WATCH YOUR CHILDREN! Do not assume someone else is going to watch your child at a backyard birthday pool party, or that the lifeguard will see your child in distress in a crowded swimming pool or beach front. It is simply YOUR job to watch your child. Taking classes in CPR and first aid is highly recommended.
Three: Save the alcohol for another time. Leave the beer at home when boating, rafting or swimming. Here are some sobering (pun intended) statistics:
image by pubs.niaaa.nih.gov
- In 2012, the US Coast Guard counted 4515 accidents that involved 651 deaths, 3000 injuries and approximately $38 million dollars of damage to property as a result of recreational boating accidents.
- Almost seventy-one (71) percent of all fatal boating accident victims drowned, and of those, almost eighty-five (85) percent were not reported as wearing a life jacket.
- Alcohol use is the leading contributing factor in fatal boating accidents; it was listed as the leading factor in 17% of deaths.
- Twenty-four children under age thirteen lost their lives while boating in 2012. Ten children or approximately forty-two (42) percent of the children who died in 2012 died from drowning.
- Two children or twenty (20) percent of those who drowned were wearing a life jacket as required by state and federal law.
Four (Bonus Tip): Educate yourself about water safety. Just about every country has free, educational resources for water safety. The Red Cross organizations in the US, Canada and Australia, and the International Red Cross are a wealth of information.
The NRPA (National Recreation and Park Association) recognizes that May is National Water Safety Month and offers these water safety tips
Are there ordinances or laws about public water safety where you live? Has your community ever experienced a tragic drowning?
Please be safe as the summer swimming season begins.
©Terri Webster Schrandt 2015
There is truth to the old adage that a picture is worth a thousand words. As a blogger, are you weary of constantly hunting for images to illustrate the subject of your blog posts?
Perhaps you are a new blogger struggling to get more readers. Or a seasoned blogger continually seeking inspiration for quality blog posts.
This guidebook is designed to help you utilize your own images on your blog or website.
While free image sites abound, there are limitations to using so-called “free” images. Gone are the days when bloggers can innocently copy and paste an image from the web and paste it into their blog post.
What will you get out of this guide?
In each chapter I give easy but important tips for maximizing the use of images on your blog’s website and within each blog post.
Seven informative chapters walk you through–
- the importance of using images;
- the real dangers of using others’ copyrighted images;
- easy ways to edit your images using free programs and apps;
- building unending inspiration and content around your own images;
- attracting readers with images used in quotations, blog link-ups, and other tools;
- how social media sites link your images, and why you need them;
- a list of image resources available.
After reading this short guidebook, you will want to grab your smart phone or inexpensive digital camera and start taking photos!
One of the recent reviews for the book
As a teacher author, I spend lots of time worrying about the legal and practical use of photos in my blogs (I have three of them). I’ve heard horror stories from efriends who ended up paying $thousands for photos they thought were free and ended up with someone’s copyright. Getting permissions and using public domain images–that’s the smart way to handle blog images but not as easy as it sounds. I have my own photographs but they usually look amateurish.
That’s why I picked up Terry Schrandt’s Better Blogging With Photography: How to Maximize Your Blog Using Your Own Images (Second Wind Leisure Publishing 2016). I use tons of pictures in blog posts, social media, and books I write. Making sure they’re all legal is a challenge. I know just enough about copyright law to worry that despite my best efforts, I’m breaking the law. Terry points out the solution is pretty simple: Make your own pictures.
The book starts by asking one simple question:
“Are you a new blogger struggling to get more readers? Are you a seasoned blogger continually seeking inspiration for quality blog posts? Do you feel there is something missing from your blog or website?”
She explains that any online writing goes better with pictures. Your blog must include the image that will attract an audience, make them look twice, and then announce it appealingly on social media platforms.
Here’s how Terry unpacks this (the chapter titles):
Why use images on your blog or website
How to curate and use your own images
Editing your images
How to use your images to generate blog ideas and readers
Cresting readership with your images
Photo-friendly social networking
A few of her suggestions I liked are (with quotes when taken directly from the book):
“I started taking photos of everything, just in case I needed it for a blog post.”
“…if you write a blog post with no images, you may as well not even bother to publish the post.”
“According to Katie Paul: ‘When I blog, I usually spend more time finding and formatting a photo than I do writing the post. I pay careful attention to my pictures because I know that 63% of social media is made up of images and engagement with images is…'”
“Why use your own images? Can you say ‘copyright infringement’?”
“Even posting the following so-called disclaimer on your blog is basically useless. ‘This blog claims no credit for any images posted on this site unless otherwise noted.'”
“Creative Commons sites do not guarantee that they have the right to give you permission to use the image at all. You are using the images at your own risk.”
A nice use of images is as background for quotations.
Good online image editors (both freemium) are PicMonkey and Canva.
I teach a lot of classes that touch on the legal and professional use of images online. The safest solution is to create your own. With a few adaptations, this book could be a text for those classes. As Terry says, “…a thousand words (in a blog post) are worth a picture!”
Read all the reviews and buy the book: https://www.amazon.com/Better-Blogging-Photography-Maximize-Images-ebook/dp/B01I2NNLRU
Find more reviews and follow Terri on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/31356910-better-blogging-with-photography
My name is Terri Webster Schrandt and I blog about the fun things in life from my perspective. I take leisure very seriously because it involves one-third of our lives…really!
I am lucky to have an active lifestyle that involves windsurfing, stand-up paddleboarding (SUP), camping, reading, writing, teaching, walking the dogs, traveling, and…
Most of my posts reflect my leisure places & spaces and my reactions to them. I share a variety of stories all related to a healthy leisure lifestyle.
I use all my own images for my posts and participate in several photography challenges.
My summer weekends are spent in the Sacramento delta windsurfing and stand-up paddling (SUP) with my husband of three years (we knew each other in high school and found each other on Facebook—read about that here).
WHY DO I BLOG? These are my goals:
The ultimate goal with this blog is to educate people about the importance of leisure, one blog post at a time!
I love photography and constantly take pics with my Lumix FZ-300 and my Samsung Galaxy mobile phone. Sharing these photos in posts and on Instagram is a much-loved hobby!
My ultimate goal? To continue to write and self-publish non-fiction e-books.
Connect to Terri
My thanks to Terri for allowing me to share some of the posts from her archives.. Please head over to her blog and explore further.. thanks Sally.