7 Tips for Outdoor Running Safety

Fall weather in Ottawa is the perfect for running outdoors! Running outside is a great way to burn calories, boost your confidence, and boost your overall health. However, if you aren’t prepared for a run, you could face risks such as leg injuries, fall hazards, adverse weather, and dangerous traffic patterns.

Here are seven safety tips to keep in mind before you run outdoors:

  1. Wear running shoes that offer adequate support to help avoid severe injuries.
  2. Determine your baseline fitness level before you run so you don’t overexert yourself. You can do this by timing how long it take you to run one kilometre on a flat path, then create a running program based on this time and your future fitness goals.
  3. Plan out a route before you run to make sure it’s in a safe, well-lit area. You can do this by driving or biking along the route, preferably with a friend or family member.
  4. Always look at the weather forecast before you run to make sure you won’t encounter an unexpected storm or low visibility.
  5. Stretch before you run, and slow down to take a break or drink water whenever necessary.
  6. Always stay aware of your surroundings. It may be tempting to listen to music using earbuds or headphones, but this can make it harder to hear what’s around you, including dangerous vehicle traffic.
  7. Consider running in a group. Not only is it safer, but it can help motivate you to run more regularly.

Simple Summer Activities in Ottawa Your Children Are Sure to Love

Summer is often filled with outdoor parties, warm weather, and no school. Unfortunately, the arrival of summer can bring stress for many parents as they search for ways to keep their children happy, healthy, engaged, and safe without breaking the bank.

Listed below are a few simple – and inexpensive – summer activities that you and your children can do together this summer.

Go berry picking.

  • Many berries come into season in the summer. Take your children to your local berry farm to pick your own delicious strawberries, blackberries, and raspberries. Here’s a list of 17 berry farms around Ottawa.

Make homemade frozen treats.

  • Cooking together is a great way to create memories that will last a lifetime and to instill healthy habits in your children. After picking all the berries, check out this Pinterest board for loads of recipes.

Take a hike.

  • Enjoy the summer weather and your local scenery, and get some exercise by taking a family hike at your nearest hiking trail. The National Capital Region has some beautiful trails and Gatineau Park has over 15km of trails.

Catch a show at the NAC.

  • This summer, the NAC is offering free family programming daily at 11am. Perfect indoor activity for the rainy days we continue to enjoy.

Watch a movie outside.

  • There are a number of free outdoor movies around the city for you and your kids to enjoy under the stars. Here’s a list of outdoor movies until August 26.

Visit one of the many Ottawa Valley fairs.

Or one of the MANY Ottawa Valley festivals.

It’s a special year in Canada.

There are so many added events in Ottawa this year thanks to Canada 150! Here is a list of some of the summer events you can enjoy with your family!

Experience the amazing museums in the National Capital Region.

This post is brought to you by Scrivens Insurance and Investment Solutions. If we missed a fair, festival, or event, please let us know so we can have the most complete list possible!! Please share this post to be sure nobody misses an event!

Let the good times roll!

Removing Distractions BEFORE You Drive

Distracted driving is a serious and deadly problem. And, although many conversations about distracted driving focus on cellphones, the truth is that any distraction can be enough to cause a deadly accident. The following list includes some of the ways you can get rid of distractions and keep yourself safe on the road:

  • Get plenty of rest before you drive. Studies have shown that fatigued drivers perform just as poorly as those who drive while intoxicated.
  • Know where you’re going and the road conditions before you drive. Looking at a map or having to focus on the weather can take your attention off of the road and surrounding traffic.
  • Secure any items in your vehicle that may roll around. You may be tempted to reach for them while you’re driving.
  • Don’t use your cellphone or a hands-free device while driving. If you absolutely must contact someone, pull over to the side of the road first.

Not only can resisting the urge to drive distracted, safe driving can save you money!

Click here for a free car insurance quote

Simple Ways to Protect Your Mink for Years to Come

Putting on a fur coat can make you feel luxurious. But if you do not take proper care of your prized possession, it will not remain in peak condition and may lose value.

Extra Care for Your Fur

Love your fur? Treat it well and wear it for years to come by taking these care precautions:

  • While storing your fur at home, give it ample space to hang in your closet
  • Always hand the fur on a broad-shouldered hanger or ask your fur dealer for a special hanger designed for your garment
  • Do not expose furs to a lot of light or heat. This can cause oxidation, which can change the colour of the fur
  • Do not cover furs in plastic bags, as they need air circulation to prevent the leather side from drying. If you must cover your fur for a short time, do so with a loosely woven cloth bag
  • Store your fur in a specially designed vault during the summer months to prevent the leather from drying out and to protect it from dust, dirt, and insects
  • Have your fur professionally cleaned at least once every year by a fur specialist. This cleaning process enhances the lustre of the fur and allows the retailer to inspect your garment for repairs
  • Avoid wearing shoulder bags while wearing your fur, which can break the hairs and create bald patches. Also, avoid snagging your garment on jewellery or spraying hair spray or perfume on it
  • If your fur gets a little wet from snow or rain, simply shake it out and hang it up so it can dry slowly. Do not use a hair dryer or try to comb or brush the fur when it gets wet. If your coat is drenched, take it to a fur specialist immediately
  • Do not sit on your fur for a long period of time. This may lead to crushing and premature wear
  • If you notice a small tear, have it fixed by a professional immediately. By fixing minor problems right away, you will avoid replacing pelts later on

Need assistance insuring your fur? Scrivens can help. Call today to learn more about our insurance solutions: (613) 236-9101.

5 Tips for Hiring the Right Babysitter

Finding a babysitter that you trust with the care and protection of your children can be difficult. And the added pressure of choosing someone who gets along well with your family is especially daunting.

Thankfully, the following tips will help simplify the babysitter-selection process:

  1. Hire a sitter who is at least 16 years of age
  2. Ensure that the sitter has taken CPR and other relevant courses
  3. Invite the sitter to spend time with you and your children before you hire him or her for the job. This will allow your children to acclimate and give you some insight into how the sitter interacts with your family
  4. Conduct a thorough interview and be sure to check references. Ask questions related to experience, availability, and cooking ability
  5. Trust your gut. Oftentimes, you will be able to get a good sense of what a person is like in the first 10 minutes of meeting with him or her. If your instincts are telling your something, it’s best to follow them.

When interviewing candidates, it’s good to keep the information of one or two backup sitters in case your top choice falls through.

Protecting your children from the Ottawa summer heat

Extreme summer temperatures are not only uncomfortable, they are also dangerous for your health. This is particularly true for young children who are unable to communicate heat discomfort and are more susceptible to illnesses like heat exhaustion and heat stroke.

ottawa heat wave

These illnesses occur when the body is not able to sweat fast enough to cool itself, and the condition is left untreated. The major symptoms often include:

  • Dizziness, weakness, nausea, headache and vomiting
  • Blurry vision
  • Sweating
  • Feeling hot and thirsty
  • Having difficulty speaking
  • Confusion
  • Seizures

As a parent, it’s important to be on the lookout for signs of heat illness in order to keep your child safe.

To prevent heat-related health concerns altogether, be sure to keep your child cool and hydrated during extreme heat. If at all possible, remain in an air-conditioned location if the outside temperature is above 30 degrees Celsius.

Clothing and accessories like hats and umbrellas can provide much-needed shade if you are outside in the sun for prolonged periods of time. Sunscreen is also useful in protecting your child’s sensitive skin from UV rays.

Above all, never leave a child unsupervised in a parked car, even for very short periods of time. If this happens, even lower temperatures can lead to heat-related illnesses or death, regardless of whether or not your car window is cracked.

Replacement costs versus market value

11921740_10153569479836465_7119294662327610543_nWhen determining your insurance coverage options there is an important distinction to note: market value or replacement cost.

The Canadian insurance industry uses “insurance to value” (ITV) to measure risk and to ensure your insurance covers the replacement cost of your home.  If you do not have the appropriate coverage, you may find yourself short when it comes to replacing/rebuilding your home in the event of a loss.

Many people believe that market value is the best determinant when calculating insurance premiums, however replacement cost would be a more accurate assessment.  For example, what would it cost you to rebuild your home after a major event such as a fire?  The cost not only includes the higher costs of materials required but also the labour (which will be higher after an earthquake or other disaster due to scarcity), debris removal, changes in building codes, etc.

Being underinsured doesn’t help anyone.  Under many insurance policies it is up to you to report any changes in your property, such as renovations or additions, which may warrant an increase in your coverage to fully insure the replacement value of your home.

We are here to help!

As a trusted advisor, we will ensure that you carry the most appropriate amount of insurance.  Have you done any renovations or improvements to your home?  If you don’t declare it, you can’t insure it.

The real estate value of your home is not necessarily the same as the cost of replacing your home.  The costs of labour, materials, and constructing to code are likely to have increased since your last full inspection.

For more information about being underinsured or replacement costs, please give us a call at Scrivens Insurance and Investment Solutions at 613-236-9101.