Camper Loses Her Life in Tragic Zip Line Accident

May 26th, 2016 10555040795_515543b93d_z

Last year at a summer camp in North Carolina, a 12-year-old girl fell more than 40 feet to her death when a tether attaching her to the camp’s zip line snapped. The camp had dual zip lines and somehow the lines became tangled. Her tether essentially melted from the friction.  …continue reading the rest of Camper Loses Her Life in Tragic Zip Line Accident

Choosing the Right Childcare: Understanding State Licensing Reports

April 22nd, 2016 cute kid

April is National Child Abuse Prevention Month. Sadly, I continue to hear stories about childcare providers abusing or neglecting children all the time. Parents searching for childcare shouldn’t have to worry about their children being hurt. I worked for many years in the childcare industry and have helped my friends investigate childcare centers they were considering for their children. Luckily, here in Wisconsin, all state inspection and licensing reports are available online. …continue reading the rest of Choosing the Right Childcare: Understanding State Licensing Reports

Bounce Houses: Growing in Popularity and Serious Injuries

March 23rd, 2016 bounce house

Take a kid to a party with a bounce house and chances are you won’t see them for long. Most kids are thrilled to jump and flip in these inflatables for hours. Bounce houses and other inflatables seem to be at every church picnic and child birthday party, providing endless entertainment for kids and even adults. However, injuries are on the rise and some of these injuries can be life threatening. …continue reading the rest of Bounce Houses: Growing in Popularity and Serious Injuries

Drowning Tragedy at YMCA Pool

February 19th, 2016 pool

Last month, a talented swimmer on the Dartmouth College swim team was exercising in a Florida YMCA pool while on vacation with his family.  After a challenging 4000-yard swim set, he attempted four laps across the pool without taking a breath. Unfortunately, he was not successful. …continue reading the rest of Drowning Tragedy at YMCA Pool

Do I Have to Let that Dog in Here?

January 28th, 2016 service dog

A client walks into a community organization with a large dog. The dog doesn’t have a vest or badge identifying it as a service animal and the person is not blind. The organization has a clear sign prohibiting animals on the premises. The person states the dog is their service animal. What should the organization do? …continue reading the rest of Do I Have to Let that Dog in Here?

Dangerously Cluttered Spaces

November 24th, 2015 6164476347_1f88932c0c_z

West Bend’s loss prevention representatives spend a lot of time in the field working with non-profit, youth-focused, and community-based customers. Like most homes and businesses, our customers own a lot of stuff. From extra toys to fitness equipment, it’s hard to find space for everything. Most people might think, “So what? It’s just some clutter…it’s not a big deal.”

But sometimes it is a big deal. …continue reading the rest of Dangerously Cluttered Spaces

Introducing Kayla Olson, Our New Childcare Editor

November 11th, 2015 Kayla Olson with West Bend

I am very excited to introduce Kayla Olson,’s newest contributor. Kayla will serve as the site’s Childcare Editor. Her extensive background working in the childcare industry for more than a decade provides West Bend and with a powerful and informed voice.

Kayla’s primary role with West Bend will involve finding common ground between the realities of working with children and West Bend’s desire to help youth-focused organizations manage risks.

What follows below is a brief interview I had …continue reading the rest of Introducing Kayla Olson, Our New Childcare Editor

Stress and Abuse in Child Care

October 30th, 2015 172270537_cef84daa6e_z

A new story about abuse in child care centers pops up just about every day. And these stories span the country; from New York City (where a provider was caught on camera treating toddlers roughly at a Montessori school) to Albuquerque (where a longtime caregiver was caught shaking infants in her classroom). These videos are hard to watch and it’s very disheartening to see children …continue reading the rest of Stress and Abuse in Child Care

Serious Car Wreck: Do You Drive Like This?

October 20th, 2015 Screen Shot 2015-10-20 at 10.18.14 AM

Do you ever pass on the right while driving? Or cut across multiple lanes of traffic to get to your exit? Let’s be honest, we’ve all gotten frustrated and decided it would be faster to go around in the right hand lane or quickly jump into the exit lane going way too fast. Take a look at this shocking video and I guarantee you will think twice about it next time.

Driver Changes Too Many Lanes at Once

Can you beat this drowning simulator?

August 13th, 2015 Lifeguard Simulator

Many people think that if someone is drowning, it will be extremely obvious. Lots of splashing, screaming for help, and arm waving. But this almost never happens. The Instinctive Drowning Response, a phrase coined by Francesco A. Pia, PhD, prevents someone from waving or calling for help. Their bodies focus on breathing, not speaking, and their hands and arms are often instinctively pushing down on the water, not waving for help. This makes it much harder for lifeguards to spot victims.

A fantastic new website lets you see this for yourself. Computer programmer Francisco Saldaña created …continue reading the rest of Can you beat this drowning simulator?