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    Preschool arts and crafts sea horse themes and ideas

     

    If you are teaching preschool arts and crafts and are looking for a Sea Horse theme, then here are some great ideas that you can use. First of all, children love the ocean and Sea Horses hold a special appeal to most preschoolers because of their unique appearance. If you are fortunate enough to bring live Sea Horses in your classroom, then you can display them in a tank. However, for most preschool teachers, this won’t be an option and a more creative approach will be needed to ensure that your preschool arts and crafts Sea Horse theme is a success. Tissue Paper Sea Horse For this activity, you will need construction paper Sea Horse cut outs. Simply trace your Sea Horse template or shape on to construction paper then cut them out. For a free Sea Horse template that you may print visit here: firstschool. ws/t/cpseahorse. html Let each child have some pre cut tissue paper and a little cup of Elmer’s glue. They can apply the glue with a paintbrush and decorate their Sea Horses with the tissue paper. Underwater Sea Horse Scene Here is an activity that you can use to create an underwater scene. This is a great addition for your preschool arts and crafts Sea Horse theme. First, you will need to print out this template of Sea Horses provided by First School. firstschool. ws/t/cp_animals/sea-horses. html Have the children color the pictures with crayons. After children have finished their scenes, lightly paint over their pictures with blue tempera paint. This will give an underwater appearance to their pictures. As an alternative, you can have the children draw their scenes as well as Sea Horses, then color their pictures with crayons, and cover with the blue Tempera. Sea Horse and Ocean Book for Preschoolers For this activity you will need to print two copies of the Sea Horse template on cardstock (this will be the cover of the book). Again, you can find the free template here: first-school. ws/t/cpseahorse2.html. Next, you can add regular blank paper for the inside of the book. Have the children color and decorate the covers. Let the children paste pictures of ocean animals inside the book.

         
    Preschool learning activity stimulating children s minds

     

    It is important for those who work with preschoolers to choose a preschool learning activity carefully. Teaching preschoolers is a rewarding experience and young children are like pliable putty in their preschool teacher’s hands. Those who teach children, especially preschoolers, experience one of the finest joys that life has to offer. If you have ever watched a young child’s eyes widen in amazement as they see a new creature emerge before their sight - as with a science-based preschool learning activity, then you understand the true rewards of teaching children. Choosing the best preschool learning activity for young children will enhance their skills, prepare them for kindergarten, and help them develop important emergent skills. Some skills that are critical to early childhood development include: • Language Arts/ Literacy • Mathematics • Science • Social Studies/ Character Building • Physical Education/Health You should make sure that any preschool learning activity that you select will enhance the child’s understanding and awareness of these core skills and developmental areas. Language skills are critical for developing an understanding of reading, writing, speaking, listening, and communicating. Some simple Language activities may include listening games, rhyming, and following oral directions. Mathematics is essential for the early learner’s awareness of numbers, spatial concepts, patterns, and how mathematics pertains to their daily environment. Mathematical preschool activities may include counting, estimating, reading books that focus on numbers, and using items such as toy cash registers and number based puzzles. Science and Social Studies skills are essential for children to develop an understanding and awareness of the world around them. It is important to teach children how to draw conclusion, ask questions, and observe the world that they live in. Teaching children the importance of health and physical fitness through play is not only fun, but it is also vital to develop their sense of self. Activities should promote safety, hygiene skills, and health through proper nutrition.

         
    Preschool readiness tips to ensure your child is prepared

     

    Is your child ready for preschool? If your child has been attending daycare, you may think that he or she will automatically be ready for the preschool environment, however this may not be the case. Here are some ways that you can help prepare your child for preschool. Preschool Idea #1- Encourage your Child to Spend time with Others Before you can expect your child to play with other children, you must first expose him or her to other playmates. This is the best training to introduce your child to concepts such as sharing and taking turns. Many preschoolers are isolated from other children and this can make integration into the preschool more traumatic. By simply arranging for your child to have play dates with friends, or by enrolling him or her in a social gathering, you can ensure that your child will have the exposure needed to feel confident in a social setting. Preschool Idea #2- Acknowledge Your Child’s Fears It is very important that if your child tells you that he or she is fearful about starting preschool, that you acknowledge their fears and don’t dismiss them. Many times, well-meaning parents shrug off their children’s fears and in turn reply with upbeat and positive replies. However, it is crucial to your child’s emotional development that they express their fears and insecurities and feel that they are acknowledged. To help them overcome their nervousness, try watching a video together that pertains to starting school, or even read a book together that discusses it. The Franklin series, by Paulette Bourgeois, has a great book called, “Franklin goes to School”. You can also browse for more titles at your local library. By taking the time to prepare your child, instilling routines or rituals, and planning on more activities for your child that involve other children, you can ensure that your little one will be well prepared when it is time for him or her to start preschool.

         
    Preschool teaching you can teach your child at home

     

    You may think that only a licensed teacher is qualified to teach your child. However, did you know that your child’s first teacher is you? Yes, it’s true! Not only are parents their children’s primary caregivers, but they are also their first teachers, and with a little help, you can successfully teach your preschooler at home. Preschool teaching may seem a bit overwhelming at first, but if you are patient and take your time with your child, you can find the time that you spend together to be a rewarding experience for both of you. You don’t need a degree to teach your preschooler, just love, patience, guidance, and a few home based activities. Language, Mathematics, Social Development, and Science are just a few of the skills that you can encourage your children with when preschool teaching. Creating a quiet and fun filled atmosphere is key to developing an atmosphere conducive for learning. Some of the activities that you should include when preschool teaching include reading, listening, writing, developing number awareness, patterns, sequencing, counting, self awareness, character training, and recognizing the world around them. Some simple ways you can encourage these skills are as follows: • Create a reading center in your home • Read together • Count objects together • Sing together and act out phrases of the songs • Encourage writing by making lists • Recite rhymes together • Teach children how to be responsible for their own belongings. • Provide children with musical instruments • Encourage children to tell stories with puppets • Teach children about the importance of eating healthy foods • Encourage frequent hand washing and discuss the importance of killing germs for health • Instruct children in the correct way to brush their teeth • Teach them how to blow their nose correctly • Discuss money and play store • Teach child how to dial 911 in case of an emergency • Give oral directions that are increasingly complex By taking the time to talk with your child, listening to your child, and encouraging your child to ask questions, you are strengthening their ability to understand and grasp the world around them. You should always make sure that you spend quality time with your child and encourage them to explore their surroundings.

         
    Preserving your baby s dental health

     

    When it comes to caring for an infant, most parents are well aware of the need for routine pediatrician visits as part of their baby's health care regimen. What's less well-recognized is the importance that early and regular dental care plays. For optimal oral health, the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD) recommends that dental visits begin with the appearance of a child's first tooth as an effective way to kick-start a lifelong program of preventive dental care. One Baby Tooth + One Pediatric Dental Visit = Zero Cavities "The 'first-tooth visit' lets the pediatric dentist check for proper oral and facial development, see if the teeth are growing in properly, and detect early tooth decay," says H. Pitts Hinson, president of the AAPD. "It also gives the dentist a chance to walk parents through a complete program of home dental care for the child." Tooth decay, even in the earliest stages of life, can have serious implications for a child's long-term health and well-being-and it's becoming more of a problem every day. A recent report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention comparing the dental health of Americans in 1988-1994 and 1999-2002 found a 15.2 percent increase in cavities among two - to five-year olds. In addition, the U. S. Surgeon General has identified tooth decay as the most common childhood disease. A possible contributor to this trend is the fact that only three out of five children visit a dentist at least once a year. While parents may avoid taking a child to the dentist to save money, studies show that children who have their first dental visit before age one have 40 percent lower dental costs in their first five years than children who don't, making preventive care a sound health and economic decision. Without preventive care, the impact of tooth decay on child development can be striking. A study in Pediatric Dentistry showed that children with cavities were significantly more likely to weigh less than 80 percent of their ideal body weight. Even more disturbing is evidence that the effects of poor oral health may be felt for a lifetime. Emerging research suggests that improper oral hygiene may increase a child's risk of having low-birth-weight babies, developing heart disease or suffering a stroke as an adult. No one is better-equipped to care for primary teeth than pediatric dentists. Pediatric dentists complete two to three years of advanced training after dental school, preparing them to address the unique needs of infants, children and adolescents-including those with special health care requirements. Having the first dental visit in an office designed for kids before the onset of any tooth problems establishes trust and confidence in dental care in children that can carry over into adulthood.

         
    Pressure to potty how to cope with pressure from family and friends and help your child achieve potty training success

     

    Moms and Dads get bombarded with parenting advice from every direction. From play groups to magazines, from families to co-workers, parents constantly feel pressure for their little one to reach developmental milestones. Potty training is no exception, especially since approximately four million toddlers will share this milestone this year alone. Many family members or peers are often quick to prescribe the "correct way to train" or to dictate the "proper age" for a child to start training, but paying attention to your child's cues is the best way to ensure success. To help make the potty training process easier, the PULL-UPS® Potty Training Partners (PTPs), a dedicated panel of child psychologists, pediatricians and parenting experts, offer their tried-and-true tips to parents. Focus on the Positives, from Potty Training Partner Jan Faull "Parents often benchmark their child's successes by comparing their progress to other potty training children-whether he or she has begun, mastered or completed training," said Faull. "Your task as the parent of a unique potty trainer is to focus on the smaller victories that have been achieved by your child-even the littlest things will help your child ultimately master potty training." Faull says to celebrate when your child shows interest in the bathroom or even knows that he or she is wet. Once your child is a little further along, be proud of him or her for successes such as sitting on the potty on his or her own, or even pulling on and off PULL-UPS® Training Pants and clothing independently. Try Training Using Different Learning Approaches, from Potty Training Partner Jen Singer Friends and family are quick to tell you what the "right way" to potty train is and pressure you into trying different methods, but remember what works for one child may not be right for your child. "Every child is different in how they learn potty training. My two sons took to training in their own way and time," said Singer. The brand that invented the training pant now offers new solutions to make potty training easier for parents and toddlers: • PULL-UPS® Training Pants with Cool Alert™ have a special coolness zone inside of the pant that helps toddlers feel cool within seconds of becoming wet to help them learn to stay dry. • PULL-UPS® Night* Time Training Pants have extra absorbency for maintaining potty training consistency at night. • PULL-UPS® Training Pants with Learning Designs® now have more vibrant underwear with graphics and designs that fade when wet inside and out of the pant to help toddlers learn to stay dry. And all PULL-UPS® Training Pants have Easy Open Sides for Mom...just in case! Remember the Simple Stats, from Potty Training Partner Bernie Dorsey If the pressure from others or a preschool deadline is still making you feel like your tot needs to rush the potty training process, Partner Bernie Dorsey recommends taking a step back and remembering a few basic potty training facts that prove every child will learn in his or her own way and time. "On average, most children take at least eight months or more to complete potty training, and even with success, most children still have setbacks," said Dorsey. "Whether your child starts first or finishes last, helping him or her achieve potty training success in a way that's most natural and comfortable is what should guide your process all along. There are also plenty of preschools that accept kids who wear training pants." Parents need to remain patient as well as stay informed in order to help their child succeed.

         
    Prevent your teenager from becoming a statistic

     

    Parents please don't be naive in thinking that your teenager is not having sex, the majority of teenagers are. We have to better educate our children on the risks of unprotected sex. This task may sound embarrassing for both you and your teenager but it must be done. Schools only scrape the surface when discussing unprotected sex, stating that they can catch STD's and fall pregnant; where they fail is by not shocking our teenagers with the realities of these subjects. We as parents will have to do this. Teenagers think that "it can't happen to me because my boyfriend/girlfriend is clean, they have only had a couple of partners". You need to give your teenager a reality check, so they KNOW that it can happen to them. Inform them that every time they have unprotected sex with just one partner, that they are potentially having sex with a thousand! Then explain that their partner may have only had sex with five people, then that five have all had sex with five people, then that twenty five have all had sex with five people and so forth! Also explain that it only takes one person in that link to have an STD to pass it on to everyone else after them in the chain. Explain to them fully that there are more STD's than just the killers like AIDS and HEP. Tell them about diseases like Chlamydia that won't kill them, rather make them seriously ill and make them infertile; so that when they decide to settle down and have a family, it won't happen because they were thought their boyfriend was 'clean'! Tell them about genital warts, and the horrible and embarrassing process to have them removed! Petrify your teenager, MAKE them wear a condom! Then most importantly you have to remove the glamour from teenage pregnancy. Inform that the majority of teenage mothers are single, unemployed and poorly educated. Then let them know about the sleepless nights, the constant 24/7 attention that a baby needs. Not being able to go out with their friends, tell them they would have to kiss their social life goodbye. Again petrify your teenager and MAKE them wear a condom. My final advise is to make condoms readily available to your teenager, if you cannot bring yourself to do this have a friend or relative do this for you, make sure that they don't live too far away though. Don't count the condoms that they take, as this might scare them into not taking any at all! Remember that they will give them to their friends who don't have access and bear in mind that they are young and inexperienced; it might take a few condoms just to get one on!

         
    Preventing sibling rivalry

     

    I'm at the kitchen table writing on my laptop while my ten year old son tackles and pins the six year old neighbor girl in the living room. It's a wrestling match. When the kitchen timer rings, the next round will be my seven year old daughter against the eleven year old neighbor boy. Sometimes they do tag team. To the casual observer I may look negligent, but I'm actually quite conscious of every move. My laissez-faire style has developed from countless hours spent observing such altercations from a quietly attentive eye in the back of my head. This group of kids has always displayed an underlying concern for each other. They've earned the privilege of holding wrestling matches. Despite the many thumps, thuds and crashes, no one has ever been hurt. The big ones somehow control their bodies so as not to hurt the little ones. It is really an amazing thing to witness . . . I'm not quite sure how they do it. They're like puppies. They feel where each person stops and starts, they sense the line between play and abuse, and they really don't want to cross it. They just need and want to get physical in their play together. Parents are often concerned about physical interactions between kids. We feel the urge to rush in and protect the little ones. We set down all kinds of rules designed to keep things safe -- no hitting, no pushing, sometimes even no name-calling (I'll tackle that one in another article). But these rules are not necessary for the kids. They are for us, so that we feel like watchful and responsible parents. In most cases, kids do not want to hurt each other. Even when they are fighting for real, not just wrestling. They simply want to defend their own bodies, possessions and personal space. For example, if one child grabs a toy that another child was already using, the natural reaction will be to grab it back, push the offender away, and then go back to playing. Rarely will the one who was using the toy put it down in order to pursue or punish the offender. And rarely will the offender persist more than once or twice when met with this kind of resistance. It is only when we grownups interfere with this natural feedback loop that things can get out of control. This is because often we ask the one who was violated to use his or her words to get the toy back. Guess what, folks? This hardly ever works with young children! They are physical, not verbal. I know, we think we are teaching them to be civilized and all that. But to take away a child's natural and appropriate defense against a violation and substitute one that is usually ineffective leaves the child with no way to protect himself. At which point he becomes an enticing victim, and as he is violated again and again and not allowed to defend himself effectively he gets angry. And when we aren't looking he really wallops the other kid. I first observed this dynamic when my daughter was about a year old. She would just grab a toy out of her 3 year old brother's hand and run away. I had taught him that under no circumstances was he to hit his sister. She totally ignored his civilized request that the toy be returned. So unless he came and got me and asked me to intervene, he lost his toy! My rule had disempowered him and set him up to be victimized. It also made me the enforcer, and involved me in almost every one of their interactions. If I was too busy to help, he lost. When I got interrupted repeatedly from whatever I was doing to be the toy police, I lost! It didn't take long for me to see that this was just not going to work. I was annoyed from the constant interruptions. My baby daughter was well on her way to becoming a bully. And coincidentally, right around that same time something strange happened to our hallway. It must have become a lot narrower, because suddenly it seemed impossible for them to pass each other in opposite directions without his elbow making contact with her chest and knocking her over. (and we wonder about the roots of sibling rivalry) So I taught him that he was allowed to take back whatever she grabbed, using words accompanied by force if necessary. And he was also allowed to hold her arms down to her sides when she started hitting him. In this way balance was restored. She learned that there were unpleasant consequences to grabbing and hitting. He learned how to defend his space without becoming overly angry or aggressive. I was relieved to see that they could really work things out on their own without my constant intervention. And as an added bonus, our hallway returned to its normal size. A key part to this strategy is that the one who is enforcing their boundaries is not allowed to use any more force than is necessary to stop the attack. So if my son were to grab the toy back and then chase her around the house hitting her over the head with it, I'd need to intervene. When I encouraged this intuitive balancing, conditions became very conducive to forgiveness. Anger did not build up to the level of a grudge. A violation occurred, it was corrected, and they got right back to the business of playing, which was all they wanted to do in the first place. I wonder what a child raised in this way would have to say about the current world situation? Maybe that people must not be allowed to hurt other people, violate boundaries, or threaten the safety of others. So we will use only exactly as much force as is necessary to protect ourselves and others from violation. And then as soon as possible we'll get back to the business of living together as stewards of this planet. Copyright 2001 Karen Alonge

         
    Private tuition how to find a good tutor

     

    Many teachers earn a nice little tax free income by giving private tuition. This is not officially a tax free income, but very few declare it on their income tax return. Private tuition can be extremely beneficial to students. It can boost their confidence, fill in knowledge gaps and give practice in answering examination questions. Finding individual help for your son or daughter is not cheap. You may be able to find a teacher who will work at your house for Ј5 an hour, but, you have to ask yourself why he is prepared to work for such little reward. A good tutor will have a full diary and will be able to command a reasonable hourly fee. I charge Ј25 for one hour with a GCSE student and Ј30 for AS or A2 work. I also have a full diary and do not need to advertise, as I get my tutees from word of mouth recommendations. ·How do you find a good tutor? Ask friends. You may be given names to ring, or names to avoid. Advertise in the newspaper or answer newspaper or postcard adverts from tutors. Ring a local school that you know has at least one good teacher in the subects you are interested in. ·How can you check a tutor out? Ask him, or her, for references. Find out which school or college the tutor works in. Ring and ask if there is a teacher there by that name. ·Is it worth going through an agency? Tuition agencies take a very large slice off the payment you make to the tutor, typically about a third. Good tutors do not need to work for agencies. The agency has usually checked out the tutors it uses, so at least you are not likely to be employing a paedophile. ·What precautions can I take? Leave the door open in the room where the tutor and student are working. Listen to see how much teaching is happening. Go in and out a few times. Never leave your daughter in the house alone with a male tutor. Some tutors ask you to stay in while they are working, to avoid the possibility of malicious or unfounded allegations being made. Private tuition can make an enormous difference to an individual’s chances of success at GCSE or A-level, but only if you start early in the final school year. Leaving things until the Easter before the exams will just be wasting your money. It takes time to build trust between a tutor and student and to establish full two way communication.

         
    Problem solving and conflict resolution for children

     

    Problem solving and conflict resolution for children should begin being taught early on. If you’re a parent of multiple children in your family this becomes apparent as it won’t take siblings long at all to become engaged in some type of ‘sharing’ violation with one another. Children of a family with other children almost immediately are engaged in a social type of activity albeit only with their brothers and sisters early on. Conflicts and resolving those conflicts soon become part of their day. At an early age children are in more of a self exploration and self discovery mode. From there and from a socialization progression you will see kids playing together but not as a coordinated group. In other words, the next progression is to see a group of children ‘geographically’ playing together but they all still have their own toys and objects. The next step of the socialization of play is around 2 to 3 years old where you’ll see kids begin activities that begin to require interaction and subsequently problem solving and conflict resolution. As a homeschooling parents you have the opportunity to actually teach conflict resolution and problem solving techniques and skills rather than just solving them. As a part of conflict resolution it’s important to get children to express themselves and their feelings and get past their initial emotional reaction. This will initially take some time and practice, and you should take the time to get back to, and discuss the conflict that occurred at a later time or date after the emotions have calmed sufficiently down. Discussing previous conflicts and how they could have reacted and handled them is a key in their emotional growth. As all children do early on, before they have the ability to concisely express themselves, they learn that many times crying and even screaming resolves their conflict because as parents we try to assuage the behavior by getting them what they want or need. The time needed for this emotional growth and self education just isn’t available in the public schools. But as a homeschooling parent this should be a practiced activity. Understanding and teaching conflict resolution to your children is an integral part of their social development and growth. Without these tools, children will grow into adults resolving problems the only way the have ever known how to do – with emotional behavior, and sadly, many times with force. There is a tremendous amount of excellent information on these techniques and teaching them to children of all ages. Make them part of your day, and a part of your child’s life and they will grow in depth and confidence.

         
    Problems facing today s teens

     

    : Teen problems are growing. If you think that being a teen today is the same as it was when you were in their shoes, you are probably mistaken. Now, listen to yourself say how strict and how hard life was when you where young. But, you need to realize that teens today face huge, life threatening decisions just about ever day. What they face has a lot to do with where they grow up. Yet do not be fooled into thinking that your child is safe. In the normal course of your teen's day, he or she may face any of these things; one or more of them. Drugs. Think that drugs are simple like they used to be? They are not. Kids today are not just smoking the easy stuff. They are into crack or other strong and deadly drugs. Sex. Not only are they exposed to it on the television, but they are encouraged by others. They may be engaging in sexual acts that you have never heard of. They may be doing it unprotected as well. At school, after school, on the car ride home - there are many opportunities you do not realize.

    Teens get pregnant and have babies. Violence. Today's teen problems often revolve around violence. They see friends with guns at school or after school. They witness huge fights. They hear threats.

    They see anger and deal with it daily. Depression. With all that they see and do, teens face depression today at an alarming rate as compared to just a decade ago. Depression is not something that just goes away, but can cause them harm and threaten their lives. Driving. Teens drive drunk. Teens drive under the influence of drugs. Teens get in cars that others are driving under the influence.

    Teens may also be responsible drivers, but share the road with those that are not. Teen problems that are at a lower level can be just as deadly. They face lying, cheating, emotional trauma, learning disabilities and divorce. All of these things a child will face daily in some cases. In those cases, it is no wonder that they have low self esteems, high drop out rates and some of the students will break under the pressure. Teen problems should be addressed and noticed by their parents first.

         
    Promote independence with pocket money

     

    In seminars I am often asked about pocket-money and whether it should be earned or only given when children behave well. My belief is that children should receive pocket-money as their small share of the family-wealth just as they should share the workload at home. This is not to say that the family income is divided equally between all members. Rather, children are given a realistic sum of money, given their age, needs and ability to deal with money. It makes sense to provide guidelines about spending including letting them know just what they are expected to buy. A child in lower primary school may get enough to purchase some sweets and one or two other items, whereas a child in upper primary school may get enough to cover lunch orders, bus money and some treats. An allowance that covers clothing can be useful for adolescents who can be very costly to outfit in the latest fashions. Let them know you will buy the basics items and that they can make up the difference between brand names and basic items from their pocket-money. Pocket-money can teach children a great deal about goal-setting. By encouraging children to save for a big ticket item such as a bike or skateboard children learn a great deal about planning and looking ahead, the value of budgeting and experience personal satisfaction of reaching a goal When used in this way, pocket-money is an excellent way to develop independence in children and young people. But my children don’t spend money wisely! It helps if you give them guidance from the start and also insist that they divide their pocket-money three ways – some for spending, some for the future and some for charity or a social service. I am loathe to interfere too much in their spending as it is their share of the wealth and they need to have some control over their spending. However there are times when for children’s own long-term best interests that parents need to step in. For instance, if a child has a weight-problem and he or she is always buying sweets then parental interference is the best option. It is about knowing your child and using common sense. Should children be given pocket-money if they misbehave? It is wisest to keep pocket-money and behaviour separate. Parents can get themselves into also sorts of bother and cause a great deal of resentment in children when they withdraw pocket-money until they behave better. Look for other ways to promote good behaviour rather than withholding their allowance. How often should pocket-money be given? It helps if pocket-money is given regularly. Like adults children should have a pay day each week or fortnight when they receive their share of the family wealth. Give it to them in coins so they can easily allocate it to different uses. At what age can I start with pocket-money? You can start giving pocket-money to children as young at four and cut it out on their fifteenth birthday so they are encouraged to get a part-time job. For four and five year olds give them a couple of coins and relate them to two items that you routinely buy for them as treats. Let them know they can buy these themselves or put their money in a money-box for later. The use of pocket-money is one way to remove pressure children place on their parents to buy, buy, buy. When they come home from school and ask you to buy the latest toy because all their friends have one you can let them know that they can purchase it or at least make a contribution from their personal wealth. For more practical ideas to help you raise confident kids and resilient young people read Michael's best selling parenting book - One Step Ahead. It is available at the shop at parentingideas. au. Michael Grose is a leading parent educator. he is the author of six book and 300 articles, and he gives over 100 presentations a year. For more ideas to help you raise confident kids and resilient young people subscribe to Happy Kids, Michael’s Grose’s free fortnightly email newsletter for parents. Get a free report Seven ways to reduce sibling fighting when you subscribe at parentingideas. au

         
    Prosthetic limbs help children

     

    Parents whose children have lost an arm or leg often blame themselves for the loss. They may feel responsible for the accident or prenatal condition causing amputation. They may worry their child will never be able to have the same experiences as other children. But it doesn't have to be that way. Modern prosthetics can help children with limb loss live a normal life. Parents may have a lot of questions about prosthetic limbs, such as whether their insurance will cover it, or if there are alternatives available for those without insurance. The answer is yes; most first-tier health insurance providers cover pediatric prosthetics. In addition, funding may be found among charitable foundations or from private donors who understand the whole new future a properly fitted prosthesis can provide. Another question parents may ask is whether prosthetics can be functional but still have a realistic appearance. The technology advances in modern prosthetics are remarkable, and myoelectric upper extremity prostheses are state-of-the-art. In the absence of a hand or arm, the child's brain continues sending signals to grasp or open the hand in the residual limb. Myoelectric sensors can read these signals on the skin. A computer chip magnifies those signals, actuating a tiny powerful motor to accomplish the task. Many infants and children learn to open and grasp with their "myo" on command in a matter of days. Pediatric Prosthetics Inc., a company specializing in prosthetics for children, is also employing advanced technology with lower extremity prosthetics to make them lighter, stronger, more comfortable and more responsive to the needs of active children. It is the first prosthetics company focusing solely on the needs of the children and their families. It now has strategic alliances with prosthetists in 21 states and is continuing to expand that network. Linda Putback-Bean, founder of Pediatric Prosthetics, has been specializing in fitting infants and children for more than 20 years. She has also hosted summer camps and numerous support group meetings for families affected by pediatric limb loss. Linda and her staff combine well over 50 years of experience fitting infants and children. She and her associates travel to their patients' hometowns whenever necessary to ensure all the children get the personal care and support they require.

         
    Protect your children from drowning and other water accidents this summer

     

    Copyright 2006 Scott Corbett The summer season is a special one for families. Older children are out of school and younger children can enjoy being outdoors with their families. For many people, summer especially means swimming—in pools, lakes, rivers, and the ocean. Along with the special pleasures that summertime weather affords, however, comes an increased level of risk. Every year, hundreds of children drown and thousands end up in hospital emergency rooms because of submersion in water. In fact, in California, Arizona, and Florida, where swimming pools are common, drowning is the leading cause of accidental death in and around the home for children under the age five. A child can drown in as little as an inch of water and will lose consciousness after only two minutes underwater. Irreversible brain damage occurs within four to six minutes. One of the most unsettling statistics about child drownings is that nearly half of the drowning victims were last seen in the house before the accident happened, and almost a quarter of them were last seen on a porch, patio, or in the yard. Thus, almost 70% of all child drowning victims were not expected to be in or around the pool at the time of the accident. Even more disturbingly, 77% of swimming pool accident victims had been missing for fewer than five minutes. So, by the time a parent notices that his or her child is missing, the child may have already drowned. Parents should always keep in mind is that these drownings can occur in a matter of minutes. Since these drownings are often silent, not accompanied by splashing or screaming, parents are given no alarm that something is wrong. The Hidden Danger at the Bottom of your Pool and Hot Tub In addition to the threat of drowning by accidental submersion, entrapment in a pool or hot tub drain is another risk. Entrapment occurs when a child’s body becomes attached to a drain because of its powerful suctioning. Entrapment can also occur when a child’s bathing suit or hair becomes entangled in the drain or other underwater object, such as a ladder. The danger of entrapment was given national attention in 2002 when former Secretary of State’s James Baker’s granddaughter, Graeme, drowned in a hot tub at a family friend’s graduation party. She was discovered almost immediately by her older sister and mother, but they couldn’t pull her to the surface. Finally two adult men were able to free her body by breaking the hot tub’s drain cover, but she had already drowned. Seven-year-old Graeme was a strong swimmer who had been swimming unassisted since she was three years old and who was a member of a swimming and diving team. Nonetheless, she was unable to resist the powerful suction of the tub’s drain when it trapped her under the water. Parents should also keep in mind that toddlers are at special risk for drowning and entrapment. Any parent can attest to the fact that toddlers are curious and impulsive, and they can vanish from sight in a matter of moments. Safeguard your Pool and Spa Tub--What can Parents do to Prevent these Accidents? A safety checklist developed by Safe Kids Worldwide ( usa. safekids. org/water), and based partially on the US Consumer Product Safety Commission’s reports on the subject, suggests the following: Safety Checklist for Adults and Parents: 1. First and foremost, never take your eyes off your children. Someone should always be designated as a “water watcher.” Don’t depend on life guards. 2. While supervising, stay alert and avoid distractions like reading or talking on the phone. 3. Teach children to swim after age four. 4. Teach children to tread water, float, and get out of the pool. 5. Tell children to stay away from pool and spa tub drains. 6. Tie up long hair to prevent drain entanglement. 7. Don’t relay on water wings or other inflatables. If your child cannot swim, keep him within reach. 8. No diving in water less than nine feet deep. 9. If you find a loose, broken or missing drain cover, fix it or notify the owner/manager of the pool. 10. Keep gates to the pool area latched. 11. Learn infant and child CPR. 12. Know where to find and how to use lifesaving equipment at the pool. Safety Checklist for Pool and Hot Tub Owners 1. Erect fencing at least five feet high on all sides of the pool. 2. Install self-closing, self-latching gates on your fence. 3. Use a lockable latch and keep the area locked when not in use. 4. Do not prop the gate open. 5. When hot tub is not in use, secure it with a locked cover. 6. Place alarms on doors and windows with access to pool and spa area. 7. Keep lifesaving equipment by the pool or tub. Entrapment Protection 1. Install anti-entrapment drain covers. 2. Equip the pump with a safety vacuum release system (SVRS), which is an emergency sensor that shuts off the suction automatically if the drain becomes blocked. 3. For new pools and tubs, install at least two drains or use a no-drain circulation system. 4. Replace drain covers immediately if they are broken or damaged. Nancy Baker's Message to Lawmakers, and How You Can Help Beyond the kinds of actions you can take on your own, you may also wish to support legislation that seeks to improve pool and spa safety. Graeme Baker’s mother, Nancy, is now lobbying Congress to ensure that mandatory standards replace the voluntary ones that were in place when her child died. She argues that these voluntary standards are haphazardly enforced and inconsistently communicated to pool and tub owners. Nancy Baker and former Secretary of State James Baker are supporting legislation proposed by U. S. Representative Debbie Wasserman (D-FL) which would provide incentive grants to those states that make the use of pool and spa safety devices mandatory. Currently only four states have laws requiring barriers around pool areas. It is notable that no state has a comprehensive set of safety laws that incorporate barrier requirements and safety devices. Please contact your Congressional representatives if you wish to support this effort. But most of all, keep a close watch on your children this summer, and make sure that the season of laughter and play stays that way.

         
    Protect your children with a password

     

    When we think of password protection, we think of bank accounts, computers, or even voice mail phone systems. Our children are equally precious to us and need our protection. But how do we protect them? When my kids were small we established a password, or codeword that only they and I knew. We chose a word very familiar to them, something they could remember, yet not something easily guessed by an outsider. In the car we would roleplay many situations that might happen and how my children could respond. It was very important that if anyone other than I was going to pick them up at school or from a sports practice or even a girl scout meeting, this person must know our password. If the person did not know the password, then my children were not to get in their car under any circumstances. There were no exceptions to this rule. Once you start making exceptions young children become confused. Their mother, their father, and their grandmother knew their password and often discussed it with them. I know our system worked, because one day after her brownie meeting, a friend of mine offered to drive my daughter home, knowing I was home not feeling well. My daughter asked this adult woman if she knew the password. Of course the woman did not. My daughter comfortably looked at her and told her she could not get in the car with her. I have never been more proud of this very precious little girl.

         
     
         
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