All posts filed under “Children’s Health

bully free zone
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What to do about school bullies

Let’s face it, when it comes to school bullying there is the bully and victim.  Parents may need to offer support, guidance, love, and correction depending on which role your child may play in this scenario.

If your child is being bullied there are skills you can teach them to help to avoid or react to the conflict.  KidPower.org offers the following skills which you can read in depth on their website:

  • Skill #1 – Act with awareness, calm, respect, and confidence
  • Skill #2 – Learn in a power, positive way
  • Skill #3 – Set boundaries about disrespectful or unsafe behavior
  • Skill #4 – Use your voice
  • Skill #5 – Protect your feelings from name-calling
  • Skill #6 – Speak up for positive inclusion
  • Skill #7 – Be persistent about getting help from busy adults
  • Skill #8 – Use physical self-defense as a last resort

For every child that is bullied there is also the child who is the aggressor.  What if this is your child?  How will you know?  Everydayhealth.com has 7 signs that your kid may be a bully.

  1. Your child has trouble sleeping
  2. Your child has behavioral issues
  3. Your child is getting in to trouble at school
  4. Your child is obsessed with popularity
  5. Your child’s friends show aggressive tendencies
  6. There is violence at home
  7. Your don’t have a good relationship with your child

Bullying is an unfortunate and painful part of school.  The best defense is a good offense.  Talk with your kids about bullying and how to prevent or report these actions.  As a parent, talk with your school administration about their policies on bullying.  The StopBullying.gov website is a great resource for working with your schools to engage with parents and staff, creating a safe environment,  and educating students and staff.

 

caption-arrow  Feature photo by  Eddie S

Time to get back in to the classroom
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Transition from summer to school

The days are getting shorter and thoughts of getting kids back to school are in full swing.  Every parent faces the inevitable task of transitioning kids from a summer schedule to a school schedule.

Here are several areas of transition to concentrate your focus:

1. Anxiety – Both kids and parents may have anxiety about going back to school.  Talk with your kids about their anxiety and help them with a plan to return to school. Recognize the anxiety and plan a fun day to celebrate the end of summer.

2.  Sleep schedule – If your kids are used to staying outside late to play it can be a hard  shift to catching an early school bus.   Start at least one week before school by shifting the wake up and go to bed time by 10 minutes each day.

3. Healthy eating  - The ice cream truck will soon be gone and it’s time to start moving the kids from summer sugary and salty snacks back to healthy and natural snacks and meals.

4. One-on-one time – Kids grow up so quickly, try to schedule good quality time with each of your kids before everyone gets busy with the school year.  Make some final summer memories just the two of you.

If you’re kids are riding the bus for the first time, check out the School Bus 101 guide on tips to ease any fear or anxiety – for both of you.

 

caption-arrow  Feature photo by  USAG – Humphreys

packpack
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It’s backpack season again – how to hunt for the right one

As the first days of school draw near you’re no doubt hearing “I need a new backpack” from your kids.  Backpacks serve as fashionable storage for most students but parents may not know that there is the right kind of pack for right kind of kid.

To purchase a pack that is safe for your child consider the following from KidsHealth.org:

  1. A lightweight pack that doesn’t add a lot of weight to your child’s load
  2. Two wide, padded shoulder straps: straps that are too narrow can dig into shoulders
  3. A padded back, which not only provides increased comfort, but also protects kids from being poked by sharp edges on objects (pencils, rules, notebooks, etc.) inside the pack.
  4. A waist belt, which helps to distribute the weight more evenly across the body.
  5. Multiple compartments which can help distribute the weight more evenly.

The right pack for your kids help to alleviate back, shoulder and posture trouble in the future.  To start the year with a happy and healthy  back here is a great list of backpack strategies for parents and kids.  How about bringing a stack of books with you to test the weight, size, and fit?

 

caption-arrow  Feature photo by  Jim Larrison

bento lunch
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Lunch is served

There are two camps of thought; 1) a brown bag lunch from home is healthier than cafeteria food, 2) changes in cafeteria food make it healthier than what Mom’s packs from home.  There are many internet articles to support both claims but ultimately you’re going to do what’s best for you and your kids.

Today, we’ll focus on lunch from home.  How can we pack a lunch for ourselves and our kids that is nutritious, fun, and not boring? Let’s face it, what’s good for our kids is also good for us.   Let’s focus on moving away from a basic sandwich, chips, carrots, and cookie.  Let’s talk “bento-esque” lunches.

Small portions of a variety of interesting lunch items will keep your kids interested in lunch and avoid the “swap” of something they don’t like.  How about a small meat/cheese roll up, gold fish crackers, kiwi and berries, with a chocolate pudding?  There are so many options for lunches but they key is to keep the portions in check and make it fun, colorful, tasty, and healthy.   Parents.com has a large list of bento style lunch ideas.   There are also lots of idea on Pinterest if you search “bento lunches”.  Don’t get hung up on the fancy bento dishes/containers, you can just as easily use baggies or individual plastic/glass storage containers from home.

If your family chooses lunches from the school cafeteria, try supplementing with additional fruit or veggies.  It’s fun to see what school lunches look like in other countries.  America certainly has room for improvement in many of our schools.   And kudos to those schools that are serving nutritious and good food to our kids.

Start gearing up for school and get a plan of action.  Lunch can and should be fun.

caption-arrow  Feature photo by  Melissa

10 best sunscreens for kids
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How to protect your kids from sunburns the right way

We’re still in the midst of the summer sun.  By now the kids, and yourself, might have a slight “kissed from the sun” glow to your skin.  But it’s never too late to stay vigilant against the damaging UV rays that cause sunburn, premature aging or skin cancer.

With so many products on the market it may be hard to make an informed decision while the kids are waiting in the car (air conditioner running) and the cooler is packed with healthy snacks.  Everyone just wants to get to the river (lake or ocean).  You hear in your head “c’mon, let’s just go, I won’t burn, I promise.”  But you’re too smart for that.

Here is a list of the top 10 sunscreens to protect your kids.  Remember to read the directions and re-apply as often as instructed.

caption-arrow  Feature photo by  AnnCN

 

 

Myappleaday.com
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Sunglasses: Look cool and be safe

Are your sunglasses a fashion statement? Whether they are or not, wear them to protect your eyes from the sun. The sun’s UV rays can hurt your eyes any time of year, even on overcast days. The damage adds up over your lifetime, and it can lead to vision problems like cataracts.

Before you buy sunglasses, here are some things to consider:

  • Choose sunglasses that block 100 percent of UVA and UVB rays
  • Green, brown or gray lenses are best
  • Bigger is better
  • Wraparound styles can block rays that sneak in from the side
  • Wearing a hat with your shades gives you even more protection

Make your sunglasses a daily habit. Even kids who spend much time outdoors should protect their eyes from UV rays.

caption-arrow  Feature photo by  Mike Mozart

Tick2
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What you need to know about ticks

Ticks — tiny brown bugs — can carry Lyme disease and other illnesses. Here are some tips to avoid them:

  • Watch for ticks in woods and grassy areas, often near rivers, mountains or dry climates.
  • Use insect repellent with at least 20 percent DEET.
  • Check your shoes, clothing and body for ticks after being outdoors.

If you find an attached tick, grasp it with tweezers as close to the skin as possible and pull it straight out. If you get a rash or fever in the following weeks, contact your doctor.

caption-arrow  Feature photo by John Tann

 

travel
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Healthy travels

Holiday’s, winter break, vacation time… whatever the reason you are traveling this season take time to brush up on some safety basics.

Here are some basic traveling tips to keep in mind:

  • If you are going out of the country, check with your doctor to see if you need any vaccines and to be sure that you are healthy enough to fly.
  • Be aware of certain hazards like storms, violence, or disease outbreaks.
  • Keep your luggage by your side at all times.
  • Don’t pack a lot of cash.
  • Have fun and be safe!

For additional safe travel ideas click HERE.

caption-arrow  Feature photo by Nam Nguyen

 

candy cane heart
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Quick holiday safety tips

Winter holiday’s are one of my favorite times of the year. My family and I go and buy a tree to decorate, hang  lights, bake, head to the mountains, and shop till we drop!

The last thing on my mind is safety when I am having so much fun! Holidays are fun, but it is important to remember that there are also added hazards that you don’t have the rest of the year.  Some general reminders that I would like to share with you all to help you have a safe and fun holiday are:

  • If you purchase an artificial tree, make sure that it is fire resistant
  • Place fire-prone decorations like paper snowflakes, wrapping paper, and your tree away from electrical outlets and the fireplace
  • Be sure to keep small decorations and toys away from children as they can be a choking hazard
  • If your cooking or going out for the holiday, don’t eat food that has been sitting out for more than 4 hours
  • Try to stay as stress free as possible (hard to do I know)

Keep these quick safety tips in mind so you and your loved ones can have a happy holiday! Any safety tips to add to my list?

caption-arrow  Feature photo by Shandi-lee Cox

achoo
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Don’t say “achoo” because you can beat the cold and flu!

It is the time of year when everyone is starting to catch a cold, or is recovering from one. I am somewhat of a germaphobe, so being in the office this time of year makes my germ senses go off the radar.

How do I get over my germ phobia? First of all, I try not to think about it too much and I definitely don’t go anywhere without my hand sanitizer! Some other things that I make sure to do are:

  • Drink plenty of water
  • Get enough Zzz’s
  • Get my flu shot
  • Eat a healthy diet
  • Wash my hands constantly (and then apply hand sanitizer)
  • Take the stairs instead of the elevator
  • Wish on my lucky stars that I don’t get the cold or flu!

This has been a good strategy for me the last few years and I have not had the flu while using this method (knocking on wood now). I hope these simple little tips will also help you fend off the cold and flu this season!

Do you have any methods to avoid the cold and flu this season? This germaphobe would appreciate any tips and tricks to staying healthy all the way through the holidays!

caption-arrow  Feature photo by Allan Foster