Safety first should be every family’s mantra when traveling. This is whether they have small or big kids to bring along during their trip.
Many families travel on the road all year round and if you’re one of them, make it a point to check everything including seatbelts before you leave and during your trip. This way, you avoid accidents and injuries among your loved ones.
The seatbelt is a very important safety tool in the car. The standard one found in the vehicle is meant for adults hence, parents must ensure they use the proper child restraint appropriate for their kids’ age.
Babies must be put in a baby capsule and they must be fastened first. Toddlers up to three years old should be in a car seat and if you’re placing them in the front seat, they need to be positioned facing backwards. This is the safest position recommended by the experts. More »
Let’s face it. One of the things we parents have to deal with is our kids getting sick or injured. It’s a part of growing up, especially if you have accident-prone kids like I do.
My four-year-old Ollie gets a bump/wound/scratch almost daily, and a few months ago had a bad accident in our garden where he cut his head open and was rushed to the ER. While playing with his big sister, he fell through the fence constructed by our handyman and nearly fell into our pool (which had just been cleaned out and empty). He was grabbed just in time by the handyman, so didn’t fall into the pool but slammed his head on the tile. My husband saw the whole thing and was going to kill the handyman for his shoddy work (it wasn’t nailed in properly), but he did save Ollie’s life…so it was a hard one. Luckily Ollie didn’t need stitches and aside from my husband being covered in blood ala Carrie, it turned out to be a minor injury. It could have been much much worse though, so we are grateful and have since taken extra precautions to make sure that all areas in our home were safe. Ollie was feeing a bit traumatized for the next few days (as were all of us), but I think he’s recovered now.
Here are some great tips from After The Injury, a really useful website for parents who have to deal with their child’s injuries. Whether your child’s injury is big or small, it helps to remember these things so that your child recovers faster.
While doctors know that injury prevention is the best “medicine,” the sad truth is that kids still do get hurt- lots of them- even with the most vigilant parents. In fact, 9.2 million children are treated in an emergency room for an injury each year, making it equally important for parents to know how to handle what happens after the injury.
1. Let your child know that he or she is safe. In the first days and weeks following an injury many children fear that something bad might happen to them again. Learn more about helping your child with new fears or worries.
2. Allow children to talk about their feelings and worries, if they want to. Let your child know that it’s ok to feel a little upset. The circumstances of an injury can be frightening, and it’s not always easy to know how to talk with your child about it. Here are some things that other parents have found helpful for talking with their child.
3. Go back to normal routines. It is important to help your child get plenty of sleep, eat regular meals, keep up with schoolwork, and spend time with friends. Here are some options to consider if the injury gets in the way of things s/he used to do.
4. Increase time with family and friends. Children who get support from family and friends seem to do better in recovering after upsetting events. Try reading together, playing games, or watching movies together. Listen to what some parents had to say about how to help their children remain connected after an injury.
5. Take time to deal with your own feelings. In addition to all of the things you do to help your child, it’s important to remember to take good care of yourself. Learn more about your own reactions and get tips for taking care of yourself.
6. Keep in mind people in the same family can react in different ways. Your child’s feelings and worries about the injury might be different from yours. It’s important to monitor how your child is doing and when reactions might signal trouble. Learn how to gauge your child’s emotional recovery and identify any reactions that might need special attention.
Visit After the Injury to read full tip sheets, learn more about child injury and pain care, take a quiz to rate your child’s reactions to injury, and create a personalized care plan to help parents help their child recover from injury.
Photo via Ramberg Media
The other day I was told that my daughter and her best friend Dan were at the park and were “being mean” to Frances, a three-year-old. They were all at the park together, Nat, Dan Maxine (Dan’s little sister) and Frances, and the older ones started playing a game which involved being “mean” to Frances. I don’t know the exact mechanics of what happened as this was relayed to us Moms later by the babysitters, but what was most upsetting was that the older ones apparently threw rocks at poor little Frances.
It’s a horrible thought, that your child is capable of maliciousness. We all believe in our heads that our kids are nothing short of angelic (beneath the naughtiness). I didn’t find out until more than a week after the incident (Dan’s busy Mom forgot to tell me – he got grounded) , so by then it was too late to punish Nat. But we did have a little talk. I needed an explanation. I knew Nat wasn’t an angel, she certainly had more than her fair share of naughtiness, but she wasn’t a mean kid either. Ok, so she did tease her little brother a lot, but she was always sweet to the baby and I just didn’t see any maliciousness in her behaviour for the 7 years that I’ve known her.
So was this park incident just mischief or maliciousness? Was my daughter actually bullying?
According to Wikipedia:
Bullying is the act of intentionally causing harm to others, through verbal harassment, physical assault, or other more subtle methods of coercion such as manipulation.
Well, like I said, I wasn’t there. Nat and Dan have been known to cook up mischief when they were together, but never to this degree (weelll…they were caught pelting toys at the babysitter when they were 3). But more importantly, they are actually very sweet kids. Compassionate, kind and basically good 7-year-old’s – definitely not the bullying types.
So Nat, to the best of her ability, told me what happened two weeks ago. She said they were simply playing a “monster” game and Frances was the “monster”- which the unsuspecting Frances she didn’t know she was. She said they weren’t really being mean to the little girl, and that she couldn’t remember if she was throwing rocks or not. Okay…. At least she was very sorry when I explained how this sort of thing was just unacceptable and that if it happened again there would be serious consequences. I think she knew it was wrong in the back of her mind, but the mischief and fun in playing this game took over. The incident is over now, and the kids are all friends…so lets pray it doesn’t happen again.
Photo via bullyinguk
The creation of dollhouses is an outgrowth of people’s interest in dolls. Being a plaything that usually resembles a baby or child that is especially appealing to girls, a doll can be further enjoyed by its owner in its own miniature house, complete with objects that make it look like an actual home. Dollhouses for girls have long been a source of joy and entertainment to girls of various ages.
The earliest-made dollhouse was known to have existed as early as the 15th century. Craftsmen filled the miniature houses with every conceivable household article such as furniture, books, clothing, musical instruments, silver, glassware, and china to make them very realistic. Dollhouses for girls come in different styles, most of which reflect architectural trends of a particular place and time.
Dollhouses were used by adults to showcase decorative figurines. It occupied a different level of importance as children were not allowed to get close to them primarily for their preservation. The more famous ones can be found in museums. Germans were believed to be the first ones to use dollhouses as toys. English dollhouses were inspired by the so-called Nuremberg kitchen imported from Germany. It was originally intended as a cooking game being a small model of a room with kitchen equipments. Succeeding variations came with several additional rooms which soon evolved into dollhouses. Americans were introduced to dollhouses in the 19th century.
Dollhouses were only found in the homes of wealthy people until the 20th century. They were objects of intricate and excellent craftsmanship typically having glass fronts and elaborate decoration. They were and are still considered trophy collections, played only by adults. It is a good thing that present dollhouses for girls are a lot more child-friendly and can truly be enjoyed by a child.
Large doll houses have entirely changed the playing landscape of children. No longer limited by the confines of the truly miniaturized versions of houses, the larger versions ensure more playing opportunities with playmates. The bigger size not only makes it possible to have more features that can hold a child’s attention, it also allows playmates to play simultaneously in different areas of the doll house.
Opting for large doll houses necessitate minor assembly work as it is not practical for manufacturers to have them packed fully assembled because of their size. The expected joy derived from having an excellent doll house choice more than makes up for the little extra work. The size also permits the inclusion of more furniture and accessories which are of course, such a delight to young children.
Large doll houses also offer more flexibility in personalizing doll houses while providing more opportunities to highlight a child’s creativity. The small hands of children may not yet be up to the care required by smaller versions of doll houses. The semblance of realism in a child’s point of view is much better achieved in the doll house’s advantageous size.
The size of large doll houses likewise allow for more extra details such as turrets, balconies, surprise rooms, and drawbridges. It also facilitates a wider range of interactive activity such as rearranging rooms and furniture to produce an entirely new look for the house. They are also much sturdier and can handle maximized play of children. Many models are provided in fun designs and colors to make imaginative play more exciting. A custom-made doll house can be as large as a young girl wants it to be.
Ever since my daughter started 1st grade, one thing that has been a constant battle is HOMEWORK. I can’t say that I blame her point of view. After a full day at school, then some club or sports afterwards, who wouldn’t just want to veg on the television when they got home? Add the fact that she has 2 little brothers making noise (and a mess) somewhere close by in our very “cozy” (read: small) house, or the new puppy is tugging at her heels….so it can’t be easy to get back in school mode and work when there are so much better things to do at home!
After another especially bad argument of “This is the 10th time I’ve told you to do your homework!” , my husband, who is always silently neutral when I am close to hysterical, said why not try this – LET HER FAIL. Hmmmm……. If she wont do her homework, she’ll have to deal with explaining to her teacher why, she’ll be made to do it at recess instead of the playground and she’ll probably not be happy at all with the consequences. So instead of Mom-the-Ogre banging her head against the wall, our 8-year-old will learn a valuable lesson on her own…….what a great idea!!!
So this is the plan starting tonight at our household. Will let you know what happens. In the meantime, here are a few useful homework tips I found:
Hot Homework Tips
Parents Homework Tips
Homework Tips According to Grade
Photo via Jessicizer
Halloween is my favorite holiday (after Christmas, of course!), so the next few weeks will be all about spooky ideas, tips and treats to make our little ones’ Halloween the best one yet. This week, I have a guest post from Kelly Rockey who writes about Halloween costumes over at Star Costumes. It’s all about safety – probably the most important thing we parents have to think about when getting our kids ready for Halloween. Thanks, Kelly!
It’s that time of year when your little ones turn into goblins and witches and head out in search of Halloween treats! We all want Halloween to be a happy and safe holiday for our kids, but sometimes with the excitement of the season kids can be less than careful. Using these simple safety tips can help you make the most of the Halloween season and keep your children safe at the same time.
1. Pick a Safe Costume – Help your child pick out a costume that will help keep them safe by making sure it has a few key characteristics. Make sure it is fireproof and that vision is not obstructed with small eye holes. Make sure there are no long capes, strings, or hems on the costume that the child can trip on. Bright colors can help them be seen at night; if they are wearing a dark colored costume make sure they are carrying a light or you can affix glow in the dark tape strips onto the costume.
2. Practice Pumpkin Safety – When carving pumpkins all children love to help, here’s how to let them help safely. Do not let them use a sharp knife to cut into a pumpkin. For older children there are plastic saw-type knives on the market. For younger children just have them scoop out the gunk and then draw a face on it for you to cut for them. When placing the pumpkin out with a candle, make sure that it is out of the way enough that your child’s costume doesn’t brush by it and accidentally catch on fire. Or better yet there are “flameless” LED lights on the market now that are completely safe and look realistic. Another option is to use a glow stick for an eerie but safe glow.
3. Keep Their Props in Check – If your child’s costume requires them to carry an ax, pitchfork, butcher knife, or the like then you must make sure that the tips are smooth and flexible enough to not cause injury if fallen on. Also teach your child to never swing at or hit anybody with their prop.
4. Safe Candy is Yummy Candy – Always inspect your child’s candy before letting them eat it. Do not let them eat any candy that has open or broken wrappers. Always trick or treat in a familiar neighborhood so you know where your child’s treats are coming from. Feed your child a spooky Halloween dinner before going out trick or treating so they are less likely to eat their candy before you have a chance to check it.
5. Basic Safety for Halloween and Everyday – To make trick or treating as safe as possible make sure that your children know basic everyday safety such as looking both ways before crossing the street, never getting into a strangers car, and not talking to strangers. Also never let your children go out trick or treating without a responsible adult or teenager to chaperone them.
Photo via Halloween Blog Online
The new school year is upon us, and it’s every parent’s mealtime (and lunchbox) crusade – getting your kids to eat healthier. Well, its mine at least. Easy(ish) when they’re young and they pretty much eat anything you put in front of them. Not so easy when school starts and they discover a whole new world – like their classmate’s lunch boxes filled with no-no’s like soda and Doritos.
When my 3 kids were babies I started them all of with what I think is the Bible of healthy-baby-eating, The Super Baby Food Book. Well, I admit that it got to a lesser degree with #2, but with #3 came the the advent of commercial organic baby food, which made things a lot easier. Whether you are a DIY Mom like Ruth of the Super Baby Book (who also makes her own Play Dough, mind you), or prefer to buy from the organic aisle at the supermarket, know that giving your kids a healthy diet now means setting up their foundations for a healthy life. Now isn’t that a worthwhile mission?
Here are my tips on how to help you get started (and hopefully keep going!):
1. Teach Them About Health
My Mom did this for my sister and I (she was and still is what you would call a “health nut”), and I have to say that it stuck. Explain to your kids WHY certain foods are good or bad for you and you’ll be surprised how well they’ll respond. I try and use language they understand like: “…healthy food like fruit and vegetables helps you get bigger and stronger, but also makes your “soldiers” strong to fight bad germs so you don’t get sick“. There are a few kids shows now which touch on this, as well as books. Read/watch and talk about it with them and be prepared to answer their questions.
2. Vegetarian Meals= Budget meals
Yes, its true! Add a vegetarian meal or two to your weekly menu and see how much you can save. It’s a known fact that fresh produce is significantly cheaper than meats (which are some of the costliest food items in stores), so by serving say, a vegetarian lasagna rather than the “al forno” with beef, you not only give your kids a veggie-filled nutritious meal, you also save on the weekly budget (yipee!), plus it’s good for the planet. Why? read about vegatarianism and the environment here.
3. Make it Fun!
My kids and I like to play quick games like guessing which food is “healthy or not”. For example, what’s better? french fries or apple slices with cinnamon? (Okay, so my husband doesn’t join in and prefers to roll his eyes- but WE enjoy it!). The winner gets a small prize like stickers. You can also make healthy food attractive and fun by using a cookie cutter to make shapes and adding “faces” (raisins and sliced red pepper make easy instant characters). Brit Mom turned kid-food guru, Anabel Karmel is a total wiz at this and I love her cookbooks.
4. Go Organic
Finding organic food is really easy these days, and the health benefits are huge. Would you prefer to feed your kids things without harmful chemicals and pesticides? With more nutrients and vitamins? I would. It’s a really simple choice, and really worth the extra effort.
5. Plan Ahead and Cook More, Mom!
I really believe that planning ahead, being organized and cooking yourself is the key to healthier eating. Look online for new healthy recipes to try (you can get the kids to help choose here), add more fruit and veg to your meals, and take a few minutes every Sunday to plan healthy weekly menus- this really helps keep me in budget too!
Photo via Tanya Dawn
Continuing from my last post, here’s the second installment, packing for preschoolers and grade schoolers. Traveling with this age group is actually a lot easier than with the younger ones. For one thing, they can carry their own bags (yay!) and they don’t need the cumbersome items like the bottles, formula, diapers, jars and so on. Phew!
If your kids are above age 3, then all you need are a few things for your carry-on. The rest, your kids can carry themselves. If you do have a baby or toddler, then see the previous post.
Aside from my stuff (toiletries, cosmetics, extra shirt, book) here’s what I usually take for the kids:
- 1 change of clothes for each child, including underwear (plus one extra top for preschoolers)
- 1 diaper for the preschooler (only for evening or longhaul flights)
- Ziplock bag of snacks
- Small plastic cutlery for each child (no knives in the plane)
- Baby wipes, tissues, small hair brush
- Small pack of crayons, markers and 2 pens – extras in case the kids lose/fight/need extra.
- small pad of paper
- 1 book
- Bottle of water (if flying, get this after the security check)
- 2 small toys (boys tend to go for cars/trains, girls a “Polly Pocket” type of small doll)
- 1 “lovie” like a favorite doll, stuffed toy, mini-pillow or blanket
- 2 snacks – like a small box of raisins, biscuits
- 1 book
- 1 jacket or cardigan
- Small notebook/pad/ coloring book
- crayons / pen, pencil and eraser (neatly in a case)
- Video game (like a Gameboy or DS) – Useful for long airport waits, but keep it handy for airport security.
The Kids Suitcases
- 2 outfits for each day
- 1 “smart” outfit for a party or dinner out
- 1 pair of underwear for each day
- 1 pair or shoes, smart or closed
- Sandals or slippers depending on season
- Swimsuit, goggles, water wings (if needed)
- Winter essentials if needed, like gloves, thermal undies, boots etc.
- Hat or cap
- Cardigan or sweater (depending on season) – 1 every 3 days of trip
- 2 books
- 2 extra toys per child – puzzles, small action figure or car sets, barbie etc.
- Toiletries – 2-in 1 shampoo, 1 bar dove soap, toothbrushes, toothpaste, hair brush
And Don’t Forget In Your Luggage!
- Small bars or pack of laundry detergent and rubber gloves
- Medical Kit – digital thermometer, first-aid supplies, medicine for both kids and adults, moisturizer, rash cream, mosquito repellent (if needed).
-More snacks, food if necessary (I take a few boxes of organic macaroni cheese if we’re going to a place with cooking facilities. Easy to just add veg for a healthy and quick meal)
Photo via catd_mitchell
Last night I was putting the kids to bed, and while I was tucking Ollie into the bottom bunk, Nat started swinging from the bunk’s ladder, saying “Mom! Look at all the ways I can get down”, proceeding to swing to the floor from different directions.
As I kissed my 4-year-old goodnight and tried to listen to something he was saying about a Super Mario game, I found myself saying “NAT!! Get down from there” “NAT! That’s really dangerous!” and “NAT! Stop that right now!”. THEN I heard a loud thud. I looked and Nat had fallen and whacked the back of her head on the floor. She was crying hard, saying “I’m so sorry Mom!” and I rushed to her side, feeling both angry and concerned. Why oh why don’t they just listen???
A goose egg appeared almost immediately, which I applied an ice pack on and I gave her paracetamol to deal with the pain. The fact that she cried loudly, spoke and did not lose consciousness or vomit, were signs that it wasn’t a serious head injury, but still, it was scary and worrying (she slept in our room last night, just to be sure). Especially after the recent tragedy with Natasha Richardson, who we were all very fond of .
I did some research after she went to bed, and was relieved to find out that most bumps to the back and front of the head are not likely to cause serious injury, as opposed to in the sides of the head. Here’s an interesting article I found on children’s head injuries, using case studies to help you understand better. It is such a common yet possibly dangerous occurrence with kids that I think every parent should at least be aware of the basics.
Photo via 123rf