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Indoor Air Dangers to Kids

Many people think of air pollution as only being a problem when you step outside. But the fact is, it can be just as big of a problem inside your home. Many normal household products emit volatile organic compounds or VOCs that can cause problems like headaches, rashes, nausea and eye and throat irritations. These irritants can be particularly harmful to children who breathe faster than we do as adults. Babies are at a particularly higher risk because they are closer to the ground where the heavier contaminants hang in the air.

The eye and throat irritations typically come after carpeting is installed. Not only can the carpeting cause problems but also the padding and adhesive that is used. If you are planning to have carpeting installed in your home, choose a low-VOC product and ask the installers to unroll it several days beforehand to allow it to air out. Make arrangements to stay somewhere else while the carpet is being installed and keep your home well-ventilated for several days after the installation. If your children are prone to allergies or have been diagnosed with asthma, consider using other flooring options.

Paint and paint strippers are another pair of harmful pollutants that are found in the home. When you paint, again, use a low-VOC paint and keep the windows open during your painting party and after while the paint dries completely. Don’t store paint cans because gases can leak even if the cans are sealed. If you do have to store the containers keep them away from your main living areas.

Another area that can cause problems is Teflon. Using cookware with the nonstick abilities can release fumes into the air when they are exposed to very high temperatures. Avoid these problems by not using these products in the oven or on the high setting on top of your stove.

Finally, craft supplies can also be an issue. When your kids are feeling crafty you don’t have to tell them no, just head outside or to a well-ventilated area to let them create their masterpieces. Fumes from markers, glue, paint and other supplies can not only cause headaches but also eye nose and throat irritations as well.

Simple measures can be taken to minimize the dangers you expose your children to – be careful and cautious and keep your children healthy.

by Jennifer on October 1, 2015.

How to Make Time for Your Family

by Jennifer on September 23, 2015.

How to Eat Out With Kids

A lot of people – particularly busy parents – enjoy dining out at a restaurant, but many parents can be decidedly nervous about going out to eat with their children because of how the children might behave during the meal. The good news is that there are a few tips that can help you make the scenario of the family eating out together a much smoother and more enjoyable experience for all concerned.

 One good idea is to check before you go out to eat that the menu of the restaurant you intend to eat in will have something that your child will actually be willing to eat. Another good idea is to beat the rush by going to the restaurant at an off-peak time, such as between 4 p.m. and 5 p.m. on a weekday afternoon.

Choose to be seated in a booth if you can, as this usually makes it a lot easier to keep your children contained. Not all restaurants are prepared for children so bring along something to keep them entertained such as a coloring book and crayons.

Hope this helps and enjoy!

by Jennifer on September 15, 2015.

Get Started on Reading to your Kids – Early!

Reading to your children should start early. Really early. The American Academy of Pediatrics recom­mends starting as soon as your children are born.

Reading stimulates brain development and language skills, as well as fostering a closer emotional bond between parents and children. Remember these tips:

  • Read widely. Infants respond to voices around them, so start out by reading anything that’s handy—sports pages and cookbooks will do, as well as very simple picture books.
  • Ask questions. As your child grows older, get him or her involved. Ask them what they think will happen next, or why a character behaved that way. You’ll start teaching some basic critical thinking skills, and you’ll make the experience more enjoyable.
  • Read every day. Make reading a regular activity. Don’t just limit it to bedtime. Bring a book with you to doctor’s appointments and the store so you can read while waiting.

by Jennifer on August 9, 2015.

Parents and Children – We All Need Consistency

Children need consistency. After all, if the same action meets with smiles and praise one day and yelling and punishment the next, how are they supposed to make any sense of the world?

Parents need consistency too. Without it, not only do they make a rod for their own backs in terms of their children’s behavior, but they become exhausted trying to decide each time how to handle a particular situation. Although it is not always easy to be consistent, here are a few useful tips to help keep you on track.

1. It is impossible to have a strategy for every conceivable difficult situation, so decide which behaviors you want to prioritize and concentrate on those.
2. Choose a quiet and relatively stable time to bring in new regimes and disciplines so that you can give them your full attention.
3. Psyche yourself up for the times of day when bad behavior is most likely – mornings, the period after school, and before dinner and bedtime.
4. Write yourself reminders of the good and bad behaviors that you have chosen to prioritize, and post them where they are always in view.
5. Expect your children to test you and for there to be temporary setbacks. Persevere.
6. Keep reminding yourself that consistently reinforcing good behavior is not a form of punishment but teaches your children valuable life lessons.
7. Don’t expect miracles overnight, but remember that with patience and perseverance, change will occur.

by Jennifer on July 30, 2015.