Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Halloween Safety Tips


Halloween is an exciting time of year for kids. Here are some tips from the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) to help ensure they have a safe holiday.

All Dressed Up:

  • Plan costumes that are bright and reflective. Make sure that shoes fit well and that costumes are short enough to prevent tripping, entanglement or contact with flame.
  • Consider adding reflective tape or striping to costumes and Trick-or-Treat bags for greater visibility.
  • Because masks can limit or block eyesight, consider non-toxic makeup and decorative hats as safer alternatives. Hats should fit properly to prevent them from sliding over eyes.
  • When shopping for costumes, wigs and accessories look for and purchase those with a label clearly indicating they are flame resistant.
  • If a sword, cane, or stick is a part of your child's costume, make sure it is not sharp or too long. A child may be easily hurt by these accessories if he stumbles or trips.
  • Obtain flashlights with fresh batteries for all children and their escorts.
  • Do not use decorative contact lenses without an eye examination and a prescription from an eye care professional. While the packaging on decorative lenses will often make claims such as “one size fits all,” or “no need to see an eye specialist,” obtaining decorative contact lenses without a prescription is both dangerous and illegal. This can cause pain, inflammation, and serious eye disorders and infections, which may lead to permanent vision loss.
  • Teach children how to call 9-1-1 (or their local emergency number) if they have an emergency or become lost.

Carving a Niche:

  • Small children should never carve pumpkins. Children can draw a face with markers. Then parents can do the cutting.
  • Consider using a flashlight or glow stick instead of a candle to light your pumpkin. If you do use a candle, a votive candle is safest.
  • Candlelit pumpkins should be placed on a sturdy table, away from curtains and other flammable objects, and should never be left unattended.

Home Safe Home:

  • To keep homes safe for visiting trick-or-treaters, parents should remove from the porch and front yard anything a child could trip over such as garden hoses, toys, bikes and lawn decorations.
  • Parents should check outdoor lights and replace burned-out bulbs.
  • Wet leaves should be swept from sidewalks and steps.
  • Restrain pets so they do not inadvertently jump on or bite a trick-or-treater.

On the Trick-or-Treat Trail:

  • A parent or responsible adult should always accompany young children on their neighborhood rounds.
  • If your older children are going alone, plan and review the route that is acceptable to you. Agree on a specific time when they should return home.
  • Only go to homes with a porch light on and never enter a home or car for a treat.
  • Because pedestrian injuries are the most common injuries to children on Halloween, remind trick-or-treaters:
    • Stay in a group and communicate where they will be going.
    • Remember reflective tape for costumes and trick-or-treat bags. 
    • Carry a cell phone for quick communication.
    • Remain on well-lit streets and always use the sidewalk.
    • If no sidewalk is available, walk at the far edge of the roadway facing traffic.
    • Never cut across yards or use alleys.
    • Only cross the street as a group in established crosswalks (as recognized by local custom). Never cross between parked cars or out driveways.
    • Don't assume the right of way. Motorists may have trouble seeing trick-or-treaters. Just because one car stops, doesn't mean others will!
  • Law enforcement authorities should be notified immediately of any suspicious or unlawful activity.

Healthy Halloween:

  • A good meal prior to parties and trick-or-treating will discourage youngsters from filling up on Halloween treats.
  • Consider purchasing non-food treats for those who visit your home, such as coloring books or pens and pencils.
  • Wait until children are home to sort and check treats. Though tampering is rare, a responsible adult should closely examine all treats and throw away any spoiled, unwrapped or suspicious items.
  • Try to ration treats for the days following Halloween.

Monday, October 20, 2014

Ebola--What you need to know

What is Ebola?
Ebola is a dangerous virus that can cause people to get very sick and even die. The virus is causing the biggest problems in western Africa, where it has spread quickly. People all over the world are concerned about Ebola and are taking steps to stop it and to treat those who are sick.

Ebola symptoms can start with fever and headache, kind of like the flu. But it can get worse and cause life-threatening symptoms, such as bleeding and trouble breathing.

It's very important that infected people get treatment right away. People who have Ebola also need to be cared for in a special way so that the disease doesn't spread to doctors, nurses, or other in their families and communities.

How do people catch Ebola?
Ebola does not spread like colds or the flu because it does not float through the air. Ebola also doesn't spread through food or water, like some other viruses.

Instead, Ebola spread when someone touches the body fluids(such as spit) of a sick person. That's why it's so important that hospital workers protect themselves by wearing surgical gloves and other protective equipment.

What is an Outbreak?
An outbreak is when many people are getting sick with the same illness around the same time. You may have heard of a flu outbreak, which is when lots of people get sick from the same types of flu virus. When an outbreak happens because of a virus, more people could get sick because there is a lot of that virus around.

Where did Ebola come from?
Scientist aren't sure how the first person gets Ebola at the start of an outbreak. But they think that people may pick up the virus by touching or eating infected animals. Tropical animals in Africa believed to carry the virus include great apes and other primates, fruit bats, porcupines and forest antelope.

Ebola gets its name from the Ebola River in the Democratic Republic of Congo (formerly Zaire). The disease was first reported in a village on the river in 1976. Since then, there have been a few outbreaks of the disease in western Africa, Uganda, and Sudan.

What do Kids need to do about Ebola?
Ebola is making many people sick in Africa, but no matter where you live, it's a good idea to keep up on a good routine of handwashing. If you keep your hands clean, you can help prevent more common illnesses such as colds and he flu.

**We will keep you updated if you need to know more information in the future
***Article by Kids Health/reviewed by Dr Rupal Gupta MD

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Why you should Cook with your Kids

Even though we are short on time and sometimes it's easier to keep the kids out of the kitchen, having your child help you cook will provide some reasons why your child should be your little sous chef!

Here are some reasons from kidsarefrompluto.com and DDI Vantage Family Focus

Literacy--Cooking provides a natural way for children to learn new vocabulary and their meanings. As you are cooking, talk to your child about the ingredients, the cooking processes , and the changes occur. Read the recipe out loud to your child and go back to it as you cook. This teaches them two of the most important aspects of learning--obtaining information and executing instructions.

Food Knowledge--Cooking together is a fun opportunity to talk about the carious types of foods and their nutrition. Teach your child why eating fruits and vegetables are beneficial to your health.

Brain Development--Sensory experience are great fro brain development. It is amazing how cooking engages all of your child senses--sight, hearing, smell, touch, and of course, TASTE!

Motor Skills--Fine motor skills (fingers, hands and co-ordination) and gross motor skills (arm and body), develop through practive, practice and more practice! There are numerous cooking processes that give your child the chance to improve these skills: stirring, whisking, chopping, peeling, beating, kneading, tenderizing and much more!

Mathematical Concepts--Cooking with your child offers a hands- on way to become familiar with mathematical concepts, especially with theories relating to measurement, number and sequencing. Toddlers can learn to count the number of eggs used in making your favorite omelet and grade schoolers can get a mini lesson in fractions from how many teaspoons of salt to use in the chicken noodle soup.

Self-Esteem-- Your child will feel a great sense of accomplishment when seeing everyone eating and enjoying something they took part in making.

Family Tradition--Food plays an important role in every family's unique culture. Teach your children to follow the recipe

Developing Life Skills--Cooking is a very useful skill in life and involving your children in the kitchen at an early age is a big step towards developing their independence for the future.

It is fun! Need we say more? When kids have some input during meal preparation, they tend to ea better, especially if they are a picky eater.

**info from : kidsarefrompluto.com and DDI Vantage Family Focus