911 Nine Years Later

Last updated on March 3rd, 2018 at 01:04 pm

Today marks the anniversary of the attacks on US soil; marks the anniversary of the fall of the twin towers and marks a line in time when our lives were forever changed. For a child, nine years is a long time, for some a life time. They will never know a time before the attack. It is said that history repeats itself. What if we don’t want it to? What if we don’t want our children to continue to live in such a world or to endure such fear and suffering?

We teach peace. We teach acceptance. Ground_Zero_MemorialOne reason for the attack was not accepting differences, not valuing variety- variety in appearance, in speech, in custom and in belief. At some level the attacks may well have been based on some fear of the unknown. For some reason we seem to notice and pay more attention to differences than we do to similarities. Sure we may be black, white or brown. We are male or female and there is even some gender confusion. We are Protestant, Muslim, Catholic, Jewish or Agnostic. Some are rich, others poor. One may be blind and another deaf. But consider:

We are all human. We had parents- we were born. We all enjoy some language and if we try can communicate with each other. We all are sometimes right and other times wrong. We all endure the raging hormones of puberty- we all will feel attraction to another. We eat. We breathe. We laugh and we love. We share the same planet. We will all suffer the passing of another and each of us will one day die. We are all human and as such will all make mistakes.

If we don’t want history to be repeated we should teach our children to recognize the many and varied things we have in common with each other- that all humans share. When we are able to do this we will have achieved acceptance and the cycle of war will end.

New Booster Seat Ratings

Last updated on March 3rd, 2018 at 01:05 pm

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) has released their newest rankings of child booster seats. If you have (or soon will have) a child within this Seat belt fitcategory (approximately ages 4 to 8 ) this information is invaluable. The IIHS has tested 72 different seats and provided their safety rating for each one. As a parent or grandparent, aunt or uncle this allows you to make, safe informed decisions and eliminates the guesswork and the ‘I hope so’ fear that you made the right decision for your child.

The following is how the IIHS suggests that booster seats fit and help protect children:

Boosters elevate children so safety belts designed for adults will fit better. The lap belt should fit flat across a child’s upper thighs, not the soft abdomen. Good boosters have belt-routing features that hold lap belts down and forward. The shoulder belt should cross snugly over the middle of the shoulder. Then it’s in position to provide effective protection in a crash.

Here is a partial list of their “Best Bets.”

BEST BETS

  • Britax Frontier 85 (combination highback)
  • Chicco Keyfit Strada (dual highback)
  • Clek Oobr (dual highback)
  • Cosco Juvenile Pronto (dual highback)
  • Cybex Solution X-Fix (highback)
  • Eddie Bauer Auto Booster (dual highback)
  • Evenflo Big Kid Amp (backless)
  • Evenflo Maestro (combination highback)
  • Graco TurboBooster Crawford (dual highback)

Click here for a complete list and for more information.

Surviving their very first “off to school” day

Last updated on March 3rd, 2018 at 01:05 pm

Summer is nearing an end, and children are preparing to go to school or have already begun. For some of you, this is a repeat performance, but some of you are experiencing the “empty First day of schoolnest” for the very first time and entertain a profusion of ambivalent feelings. Your “baby”, who you have fed, clothed, nurtured, and loved is venturing off to a room filled with many other children of similar age, to fend for themselves out from under your protective shadow. How will this ever happen??!!

By the end of day one you soon find out that things went fairly well. Here come those feelings again. “I guess he/she doesn’t really need me anymore. I’m so happy it went well. They are sure growing up fast. That really makes me feel old.”, etc. Rest easy parents. As the leaves are beginning to turn strikingly beautiful colors, and the smells and sounds of Autumn begin circulating, so too your children are changing and entering a different but predictable and natural stage in their lives. Sure, you have looked over their every move for the past five years but it’s about time they find out how to do some of this for themselves: a process that will never stop.

Human beings are the only creatures in the animal kingdom who hold onto their young, emotionally and physically, for such a long time after birth. Most animals are born and within hours are up on their feet and moving around the immediate area and some even begin finding and eating food for the very first time. It is not a lack of mothering that this represents but a practical issue that most animals do not have permanent homes in which they will stay for a couple of years. No, they must be able to move around, looking for food sources, protecting themselves from larger predators; not held behind by a small image of themselves needing minute to minute nurturing and requiring some form of transportation.

Most animals form packs or herds because there is safety in numbers; they can and must be out in the world foraging and raising more young so that the species may continue.

It’s not that your children don’t need you anymore, they don’t need you for the same things. But they need you just as much if not more than they did as an infant. It is you who will instill values into these youngsters that they will add to their growing library of such things and take with them for ever. No small task! And by the way, look in the mirror; you’re no older than you were the day before they left for school.

Keep Them Safe and Happy this Labor Day Weekend

Last updated on March 3rd, 2018 at 01:06 pm

Summer’s over!

Keep them Safe and Happy this weekendLabor Day weekend is upon us. The days are getting shorter and the nights a little cooler. I’m even seeing a few leaves beginning to drop. Kids are back in school or will be soon. Parents are scrambling to organize fall activity schedules. Sadly many of the outdoor community pools where so many of us spent relaxed and happy summer afternoons will be closing this weekend. The pools will probably be packed with kids and parents enjoying one last blast of summer fun. Make sure your summer ends on a good note and don’t let you guard down – be in arm’s reach of your learning or non-swimmers and keep a close eye on the competent swimmers in your family. It’s been a very hot summer all over the northern hemisphere (as it was in the southern hemisphere during their summer) and drowning rates are up as people flocked to pools, rivers, lakes and the ocean to keep cool and have fun, but didn’t know how to have fun safely.

Having fun is a key point and one that can be easily overlooked with all the tragedy of drowning accidents. Kids naturally have fun in the water from the time they are put in their first bath right through to splashing in puddles, slippery slides, catching tadpoles, floating boats and swimming. Is there a person out there who hasn’t involuntarily smiled when they see the exuberance on a child’s face as they race through a fountain or splash in a rain puddle?

While water can be a lot of fun, a source of life, and a fact of daily life since it covers 70% of the earth’s surface, we must also never lose sight of the fact that water can be dangerous – drowning is the second leading cause of accidental death for children in every developed country and an even bigger problem in developing countries.  Teach your child how to have fun safely – teach them water safety and teach them to swim. Don’t just put them in swim lessons in the summer, swimming is a great exercise year-round, not to mention a great way to burn off steam during the cold months and an excellent time for them to develop the swimming and safety skills in time for next summer’s fun. When you’re looking at the activities for fall and winter, add swimming lessons to the list. The only problem you will probably have is fighting with your kids to get out of the water afterwards, especially if you build in a few minutes of ‘play’ time after the lesson, but the reward will be exhausted, happy, and safer kids.

As for this weekend, remember you don’t need to keep them out of the water to protect them…just keep them within reach.  Wishing you and your family a happy and safe Labor Day weekend!