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Ride, Roll and Fun!

Summer-Blog-Post-3

By Teresa Schaeffer

Bicycles, tricycles, scooters, rollerblades and skateboards can be a great way for children to exercise, burn off some energy, have some fun and develop a sense of independence while improving their gross motor skills at the same time but these activities are not without risk. Apart from automobiles, these activities are related to more childhood injuries than any other consumer products. The consumer Product Safety Commission estimates that there were nearly 240,000 accidents involving bicycles and tricycles alone last year.

Here are a few important things you can do to keep your child safe this summer:

  • Dress your child in bright or reflective clothing so that they can be seen easily and do not allow your child to ride when it is dark.
  • Never allow your child to wear headphones because they need to be able to hear oncoming traffic and pedestrians.
  • Make sure the equipment is the correct size for your child and that it matches your child’s abilities. The child’s feet should touch the ground when seated on a bike and it should be a good fit for their current age.
  • Make sure your child’s equipment is in good working order. It should be kept in good repair and inspected often. On bikes be sure to include the brakes, tire pressure, gears (if applicable) and check the tightness of the chain. If you don’t know much about the workings of a bike, find a local bike shop and ask for an annual tune-up.
  • If your child will be riding in the street, make sure they know the rules of the road to keep them safe. Riders should understand and obey all street signs, traffic lights and crossing signals and should always ride in the direction of traffic. Never against it. They also need to always be aware of cars coming out of driveways, parking spaces and parking lots. Make sure your child and knows the following hand signals so that they can effectively and safely communicate.
    • Left turn: Left arm extended straight out
    • Right turn: Left arm bent up at the elbow, or right arm extended straight out
    • Stopping: Left arm bent down at the elbow
  • Have your child wear a helmet every time they ride a bike. Be sure your child knows that riding with a helmet is non-negotiable and there are absolutely no exceptions to the rule and check to make sure that it fits properly and securely each time they ride.

Wearing a helmet is the easiest and most effective way to prevent injuries and provide life-saving protection for your child. A properly fitting helmet can reduce head injuries by up to 85%. The catch is it that it has to actually be worn. With so many different designs you can find one that is not only comfortable for your child to wear but also fits their style. Look for vents in the helmet for an extra cool ride and a dial adjustment system to make sure it has a very secure and comfortable fit.

No matter what style you choose, check that the helmet has been safety tested. The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) and American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) test helmets to see if they comply with certain minimum standards and are ready to protect your child in the case of a fall or accident. Look for at least one of these certifications on any product you are considering purchasing for your child. If your child will also be skateboarding, be sure to get a dual certified helmet for both biking and skateboarding. A dual certified helmet will have stickers on the interior that say both CPSC and ASTM.

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Summer Safety Tip #2 Bug Off! Protecting Kids from Ticks and Lyme Disease

Summer-Blog-Post

By Teresa Schaeffer

As the weather warms up, bugs come out in full force and the disease spreading tick is one of the worst of the bunch. Don’t let their small size fool you. These creepy crawlies can pack a dangerous bite when it comes to disease.

When most people think of ticks, they think of Lyme disease which is common in the northeast but these pesky bugs can carry other diseases as well including Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever and Tularemia. Symptoms may include fever, chills, headache, joint of muscle pain and a “bulls eye” looking rash or a splotchy rash and stomach pain in the case of Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever.

If you find an attached tick:

  1. Grasp the tick as close as you can to the skin's surface with fine tipped tweezers.
  2. Slowly and steadily pull straight up and away from the skin, applying steady pressure.
  3. Check to see if you left any of the tick's head or mouth in the bite.
  4. Clean the area with soap and water and follow up with triple antibiotic cream.

The best way to avoid Lyme and other diseases is to prevent tick bites. Ticks thrive in tall grass, brush and wooded areas. Avoiding these areas will lower your risk but not completely eliminate possible exposure. Just spending time outside, walking your dog or playing the back yard can bring you into contact with these creepy bugs. If you hike, stay in the center of the trail and away from the tips of branches where ticks gather. Use an insect repellant containing DEET on your skin, clothes and gear.

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Computers, Tablets and Smartphones Oh My!

Blog-post---technology

Parenting today is very different than when we were kids and requires a whole new set of standards. Let’s face it, computers, tablets and smartphones are an integral part of our everyday lives and children have access to technology at a very young age. That isn’t going to change so what should we as parents and early educators do about it?

According to a joint statement by the National Association for the Education of Young Children and the Fred Rogers Center for Early Learning, when “used intentionally and appropriately, technology and interactive media are very effective tools to support learning and development.”

But how do we as educators and parents determine what is appropriate? Lisa Guernsey, author of Screen Time: How Electronic Media—From Baby Videos to Educational Software—Affects Your Young Child provides some positive guidance for families and early educators. She suggests that parents and educators determine when and how to use various technologies based on the Three C’s: the content, the context, and the needs of the individual child.

Parents should ask themselves the following questions:

  • Content—How does this help children learn, play, imagine, or explore?
  • Context—What kinds of social interactions are happening? Does it complement and not interrupt my child’s learning and play?
  • The Individual Child—What does this child need right now to enhance his or her growth and development? Is this technology an appropriate match with my child’s needs, abilities, interests, and development stage?

When monitoring and setting limits to your child’s use of electronic devices consider the following:

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5 Tips for Indoor Gardening With Children

Indoor-Gardening-Blog

By Connie Pelton

Source

“I’m bored!” Most parents have heard that dreaded complaint from their child in the winter when kids are cooped up in the house. You can chase away your child’s boredom blues by creating an indoor garden together. You’ll get a jumpstart on the spring planting season and keep your kids busy. A gardening project provides children with the right combination of skills and tasks to further their development. Here are five tips to help your little gardener bring a little bit of the outdoors inside.

1. Create a Windowsill Garden

Source

Windowsill gardens are easy and kid-friendly. By using containers, kids can watch seeds grow into larger plants. Seasoned gardeners suggest growing herbs by using a long, narrow container to fit your windowsill and to catch drainage. But any leftover container you have around the house, including butter or margarine tubs or plastic cups, will work as well. You can find seeds and potting soil at your local garden store. Herbs are great for windowsill gardens as they grow pretty quickly, and you have a wide array of choices. Mint, rosemary, dill, oregano, and thyme will grow and thrive as long as you keep the soil damp and give the plants some sun. Add some natural mulch to the top to keep the plants moist.

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Are you wondering if your preschooler is ready for kindergarten?

Kindergarten-Readiness-Blog
Hand-eye coordination, hand strength and visual motor integration are important parts of the learning process for young children. Hand-eye coordination and visual motor integration allow your child to track the movements of their hands with their eyes. Once they enter school, it impacts handwriting as they use their eyes to guide, direct and contro...
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Is There a Difference Between Limit-Setting and Discipline?

In life, people use a lot of different words to describe the same thing. Discipline and limit-setting, for example, are two words parents like to use interchangeably. The question is – do they mean the same? The short answer – not really. As a parent, it is certainly in your best interest to know the difference between the two. This way, you can le...
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3 Musical Instruments You Can Make At Home With Your Children

3 Musical Instruments You Can Make At Home With Your Children
​ Children are huge fans of music; and they are huge fans of arts and crafts. What if you could blend the two together? What if you could sit down with your child and create homemade musical instruments together? With this guide, you can! In fact, here are three musical instruments you could make with your child. 1. Coffee Can Drums One of the easi...
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Guide to Childproofing Your Yard

Guide to Childproofing Your Yard
Everything changes when you have children. Suddenly the warm and comfortable home you know and love becomes a danger zone with all sorts of accidents waiting to happen. Suddenly, you need to baby and childproof things you didn't even know you could baby proof or childproof! For example, is your yard a safe and secure place for your child to play? W...
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The Sensory Diet: What You Can Do to Help Your Child

​ A sensory diet could be an important plan for your child and an official sensory diet can only be prescribed by a Certified Occupational Therapy Assistant or Occupational Therapist (OT). A child that doesn't have the ability to process multiple sensory inputs in a functional way – because he/she has a sensory processing disorder (SPD) – needs a s...
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How Important Is Quiet Time For a Child?

How Important Is Quiet Time For a Child?
Quiet time is an essential part of every child's daily routine. It allows the parent/caregiver a chance to recharge and take a break. It is also a great time for older kids to read, finish school work, or take a nap. Babies need a nap, but with a baby aboard it can become essential for all toddlers. It might take a while to get the routine accepted...
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5 Ways to Ease Your Child’s Separation Anxiety

5 Ways to Ease Your Child’s Separation Anxiety
Nothing is more stressful or heartbreaking for a parent than listening to their child cry when they leave them at preschool, with a babysitter, or at daycare. Unfortunately, separation anxiety is a real issue that most children deal with. The truth is, your child's entire life is consumed by being with you. You are your child's entire world. If tak...
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Fun Playdough Activities To Help Your Child With His/Her Fine Motor Skills

Fun Playdough Activities To Help Your Child With His/Her Fine Motor Skills
​ Developing your child's fine motor skills is important; it allows them to better explore their world, and of course, to make more intricate messes for you to clean up. But, finding age-appropriate and safe ways to channel their exploration can be a challenge. Thankfully, play-dough is an excellent tool, especially if you use a home-made recipe wi...
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The ABC's of Car Seat Safety

It's the first day back to work after you've delivered your child. You're already late, and you forgot to install the car seat the night before. Like most of us would do in this situation, you probably take a quick glance at the instructions, install the car seat quickly, give it a good tug, and put the baby in. It's no surprise that car seat insta...
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Fun Activities to Teach Your Child How to Use Scissors

Fun Activities to Teach Your Child How to Use Scissors
​ A few weeks ago, we talked about how to teach your preschoolers how to use scissors as well as how to get the right kind of scissors in your home. Once your household has mastered the basics of having scissors and using scissors safely in a home with a preschooler, the next step is really perfecting those skills. Here are some fun (and easy) acti...
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A Guide to Making Sure Her Mother’s Day is Extra Special

​ Mother's Day is a very special day that happens once each year. It is a day to honor, cherish, and love a woman (or women) in your life who have one of the hardest jobs in the world – being a mother. While giving a gift on Mother's Day is about a child giving a gift to his or her mother, a spouse, partner, or caregiver has to be involved in the p...
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How To Keep Your Kid's Clutter Organized

How To Keep Your Kid's Clutter Organized
From clothing to toys to school supplies, children come with a lot of gear. While most of what your children have around the house is necessary for one reason or another, failure to keep it organized will result in a chaotic and cluttered house. Furthermore, some parents have other obstacles to deal with when it comes to organization such as a todd...
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Benefits of a Quality Preschool and Pre-K Program

Benefits of a Quality Preschool and Pre-K Program
Spring is a great time of year for parents to start weighing their options for what type of program is best for their soon-to-be preschool or Pre-K child. There are many benefits to these early learning programs, and how they can prepare your child for Kindergarten. Enrolling in a preschool program will provide your child with an opportun...
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Fun Ways to Teach Your Child Numbers and Counting

Fun Ways to Teach Your Child Numbers and Counting
Numbers are used in almost everything that we do throughout life. Having a child that is having a hard time catching on with numbers and counting can be frustrating. With the right programs, games, and teaching materials, you can teach a child of any age about numbers and counting. There are 7 Stages to Teaching Numbers to Kids The general guidelin...
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5 Egg-Cellent Easter Crafts and Activities For You and Your Children

5 Egg-Cellent Easter Crafts and Activities For You and Your Children
Easter Sunday is right around the corner! Have you planned anything fun for you and your children to do together? Fortunately, there are tons of Easter themed crafts and activities you can do with your children. In fact, most of them are even budget friendly! Check out these 5 egg-cellent ideas below. 1. Make an Easter Egg Tree Easter egg trees are...
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Creative Ways to Get Your Child to Try New Foods

Creative Ways to Get Your Child to Try New Foods
"No" and "I don't want that" are every child's favorite things to say at the dinner table. For a parent, few things are more stressful than having a picky eater. In addition to either having to be comfortable eating the same handful of things on a regular basis or making an entirely different meal for your child every night; you also have to worry ...
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