Child Health & Safety News 11/20: Does My Child Need the ER?

twitter thumbIn this week’s Child Health News: The risks of crowdsourcing kids’ screen decisions cnn.it/2zAsdH9  a MUST READ if you have young tweens!    bit.ly/2zjt5jz

Welcome to Pediatric Safety’s weekly “Child Health & Safety News Roundup”- a recap of the past week’s child health and safety news headlines from around the world. Each day we use social media to communicate relevant and timely health and safety information to the parents, medical professionals and caregivers who follow us. Occasionally we overlook something, but overall we think we’re doing a pretty good job of keeping you informed.  Still, quite a bit happens every day – so to make sure you don’t miss anything, we offer you a recap of this week’s top 20 events & stories.

  • These families lost kids to the flu. Now, they’re fighting to prevent more deaths to.pbs.org/2zXaUOC
  • Baby fractures skull after falling through spindles on banister bit.ly/2iwHvn4 Parents are warning others to measure the gap between the spindles! Especially if you have an older house… 2017-11-19
  • ‘Just doing my job’: Trooper saves unresponsive infant on roadside bit.ly/2mzD67c  2017-11-19
  • 9 Kids’ Holiday Gift Safety Tips bit.ly/2mC8GkA from check age appropriateness to watch for button batteries… from Children’s Hospital 2017-11-19
  • New Numbers On Child Labor Are Not Encouraging n.pr/2mK3fjZ1 in 10 kids worldwide are doing work that’s preventing them from getting an education or is damaging their health 2017-11-18
  • One of the hottest toys on the market could be bad for your child’s health bit.ly/2isWmyC Some Fidget Spinners made outside the US contain high levels of lead 2017-11-18
  • Obesity is rising among children and needs a more aggressive multi-pronged approach bit.ly/2isAkMq 2017-11-17

PedSafe Child Health & Safety News Headline of the Week:
Life or death decisions – When to take a child to the E.R. bit.ly/2htTIYz

  • Counselling for cyberbullying has doubled in five years – children’s charity bit.ly/2hrmjOr 2017-11-17
  • How to Ensure Your Holiday Dinner Guests Leave Smiling Not Sick zpr.io/nfCVT 2017-11-17
  • Finland minors can block parents from seeing specific medical records (doctors visits, prescriptions, labs, etc.). bit.ly/2ideY5F 2017-11-16
  • No Forced Kisses for Your Kids: A Holiday Safety Tip for Families – Thurs Time Capsule bit.ly/2yvMeiS 2017-11-16
  • While Moore Runs For Senate, Women And Children’s Health Is Under Attack By GOP – Forbes bit.ly/2yYjEqs 2017-11-16
  • 5 Ways to Make Thanksgiving Cooking Safer for Your Family bit.ly/2mig7gF 2017-11-15
  • How a Probation Violation Delayed a Child’s Life-Saving Organ Transplant bit.ly/2hkmBq5  2017-11-15
  • Student Mental Health – How to Get Help When They Need It zpr.io/nfMpS 2017-11-15
  • Dental Sedation Kills 4 Year-Old Who Might Have Been Saved By A Toothbrush  wbur.fm/2mgTM37 …we have to stop treating dental health as something that “can wait” 2017-11-14
  • Gun owners urged to practice good gun safety – especially around children bit.ly/2zw6H6U  2017-11-14
  • bit.ly/2l84JDC 2017-11-13
  • A beautiful piece honoring those who fought to make sure our children grow up free and safe! Thank you Veterans! bit.ly/2mgjIfe 2017-11-13
  • How to Celebrate Your 2017 Holidays with Kids and Pets  bit.ly/2AwtQCM  2017-11-13

Caution! Beware of Snowmobiles with Kids. As Risky as ATV’s

Having the opportunity to write for this amazing website has given me the opportunity to bring awareness to a wide range of topics which mostly come from experiences I have had responding to calls here in south Florida at my fire department.  What I would like to speak out today is something I have NO experience with, Snowmobiles.  I want to cover this because while planning a family ski trip I kept seeing snowmobiling as a thing to do and wanted to know more and how I can relate to them.  What I found is that snow mobiles are ATV’s on snow.  I wanted to compare the two.  I looked at size, weight, speed, passenger room, and of course injuries, and here is what I found.

  • Both are gas powered.
  • Both have “dry weights” that can be 300lbs or higher!
  • Both can reach speeds well over 50 mph with some snowmobiles going well beyond that.
  • Both come in single or multi-passenger models.
  • Both have varying laws about operating age depending on the state you are in.
  • Both have caused fatal injuries to all age groups with snowmobiles having drowning added to its list.
  • Both list striking stationary objects such as trees as a major factor in accidents.
  • Both have leading causes of non-fatal injuries listed as head, neck, and face injuries.
  • Both list leading causes of head trauma due to a lack of proper helmet protection.
  • Both list excessive speed as a contributing factor in many accidents.
  • Both are susceptible to hidden dangers in the mud or snow respectively.

Having looked at all these factors, I found that snow mobiles are no different SAFETY wise than ATV’s.  Yes driving on snow offers some obvious differences but the safety aspects are the SAME.

SNOWMOBILE vs. ATV:  SAFETY FEATURES

  • Both are not recommended to be driven by anyone under 16 years of age.
  • Both should always be ridden with a proper helmet and any extra safety restraints when available.
  • Both should be ridden with reflective gear that can be seen at night.
  • Both should be driven cautiously and preferably by experienced drivers.
  • Both weigh a lot and require strength to drive properly.
  • Both should be driven away from bystanders and other traffic as to avoid collisions.
  • Both should be given the respect they deserve as powerful machines.

Having said all this and hopefully made you aware of how safety is similar in many recreational machines, I do not wish to discourage you from going out and riding these machines, I just want you to do it safely.

Good luck and stay warm.

How to Ensure Your Holiday Dinner Guests Leave Smiling Not Sick

thanksgiving_dinnerEvery host wants guests to leave the table with a full stomach, not a stomach bug. Unfortunately, 76 million cases of food-borne diseases occur in the United States each year, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that 325,000 of those cases result in a trip to the emergency room. This time of year, with heaps of food and extra guests, it’s all too easy to contaminate meals with food-borne bugs or a nasty flu virus.

Luckily, there are a few simple safe-cooking precautions that will keep your friends and family safe and healthy this holiday season. Barbara Kowalcyk, director of food safety at The Center for Foodborne Illness Research & Prevention in Grove City, Pa., shares her tips to help prevent both food poisoning and germ-sharing.

At the Store

Keep raw meats and poultry separate from packaged foods in your cart. The outside of meat packages can be contaminated with bacteria, and touching them means you can easily spread germs and bacteria to other products. “Don’t be afraid to use a plastic bag from the produce department as a glove when handling meats,” says Kowalcyk. “A little precaution now can save you from a big mess later.”

At Home

Proper preparation is the key to safe cooking. Before cooking any meals, clean your hands and all work surfaces. Designate different cutting boards for different types of foods to help prevent cross-contamination. It’s also important to pay attention to what you’re doing. “Don’t go from cutting a chicken to making a salad. Wash your hands,” says Kowalcyk.

Knowing which foods to wash also prevents illness. Always wash the tops of cans and all fruits and vegetables. “People are often surprised to learn that something like a salad can make them sick,” says Kowalcyk. She recommends skipping prepackaged bagged leaves and buying the whole head instead. Remove the outside leaves as well as any with tears, which are the most likely to be contaminated.

Don’t put meat and poultry in the sink. “It doesn’t need to be washed,” says Kowalcyk. Washing raises the risk of contaminating other surfaces in your kitchen. It only takes between three and 10 microbes to start an infection (more than a million can fit on the head of a pin). Just a few drops of dirty water can really wreck havoc on your kitchen. Washing the food won’t kill bacteria, but cooking your food to the proper temperature will.

If You’re Sick

If you’re fighting the flu or a cold, you should stay out of the kitchen altogether. Give instructions to another family member or consider wearing a mask as you prepare the food. If nothing else, wash your hands more often — especially after you cough or sneeze.

In the Oven

Testing meat for color, touch or until juices run clear is not a good way to tell if food is done. “Testing the internal temperature is the only way to know if it’s cooked to a safe temperature,” says Kowalcyk. She recommends you ditch the dial thermometers and pop-up buttons included with some prepackaged turkeys since both may not be calibrated properly. Instead, use a digital thermometer to test meat at its thickest point and poultry at the joint between the thigh and leg.

The United States Department of Agriculture recommends cooking foods to the following minimum temperatures to ensure safe consumption:

  • Beef, Pork, Veal & Lamb (steak, chops, roasts): 145 F (62.8 C) and allow to rest for at least 3 minutes
  • Ground meats:  160 F  (71.1 C)
  • Ham, fresh or smoked (uncooked): 145 F (62.8 C) and allow to rest for at least 3 minutes
  • Fully Cooked Ham (to reheat):  Reheat cooked hams packaged in USDA-inspected plants to 140 F (60 C) and all others to 165 F (73.9 C)
  • All Poultry (breasts, whole bird, legs, thighs, and wings, ground poultry, and stuffing):  165 F (73.9 C)
  • Eggs: 160 F  (71.1 C)
  • Fish & Shellfish: 145 F (62.8 C)
  • Leftovers:   165 F (73.9 C)
  • Casseroles:   165 F (73.9 C)

click here to access a printable version of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Safe Minimum Internal Temperature Chart

At the Table

Don’t let food sit out for more than two hours. This includes the time it may be on the counter or table before you serve it. Keep hot foods hot in the oven and cold foods cold in the refrigerator. “Don’t let your foods get to room temperature,” says Kowalcyk. “That’s where bacteria likes to grow. And the longer it sits out, the more you increase your risk of getting sick.”

After the Meal

Transfer warm leftovers to shallow dishes so they’ll cool down evenly and quickly in the fridge. Also keep in mind that the temperature increases in an overstuffed fridge, so you may need to adjust yours for a few days after a big meal to make sure it stays at a safe 40 F.

The Next Day

Everyone loves leftovers, but not everyone should reach for the cold turkey. Those vulnerable to illness — young children, pregnant women and people with chronic conditions — should reheat leftovers to 165 F before eating them. “Most people will be OK, but it’s always better to be safe than sorry,” says Kowalcyk.

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Editor’s Note:  This post first appeared on Pediatric Safety in November of 2010.  The chart has been updated to include the most current information available on the minimum safe internal temperatures for food.   If  you’re preparing dinner for guests, print a copy and keep it handy.  Wishing all of our readers a happy and healthy Thanksgiving!

Student Mental Health – How to Get Help When They Need It

Mental health problems are as common among students as they are in the general population.

But it’s not just students who have a diagnosed mental health condition that can benefit from counselling.

Alan Percy, head of counselling at the University of Oxford, says: “A lot of difficulties are not caused by medical problems, but by normal life problems, such as family or relationship issues, or anxiety about their work.

“While these problems are distressing, through counselling we can help students to understand them, and then suggest strategies for dealing with their feelings.”

When to get help

It’s normal to feel down, anxious or stressed from time to time, but if these feelings affect your daily activities, including your studies, or don’t go away after a couple of weeks, get help.

Signs of depression and anxiety include:

  • feeling low
  • feeling more anxious or agitated than usual
  • losing interest in life
  • losing motivation

Some people also:

  • put on or lose weight
  • stop caring about the way they look or about keeping clean
  • do too much work
  • stop attending lectures
  • become withdrawn
  • have sleep problems

Where to go for help

Talk to someone

Telling someone how you feel, whether it’s a friend, counsellor or doctor, may bring an immediate sense of relief.

It’s a good idea to talk to someone you trust first, such as a friend, member of your family or a tutor.

This is especially important if your studies are being affected. Many mild mental health problems can be resolved this way.

University counselling services

Many colleges and most universities have a free and confidential in-house counselling service you can access, with professionally qualified counsellors and psychotherapists.

You can usually find out what they offer and how to make an appointment in the counselling service section of your university’s website. This free service in universities is available to both undergraduates and postgraduates.

Many universities also have a mental health adviser who can help you access the support you need.

As well as counselling or therapy, you may also be entitled to “reasonable adjustments” such as extra time in exams, extensions on coursework, and specialist mental health mentor support.

Student-led services

Many student unions also offer student-led services. Although the students involved aren’t qualified counsellors, you may prefer to talk about problems such as stress and depression with another student.

Online self-help

There are also online self-help services you may like to explore, such as NHS Choices’ Moodzone and the Students Against Depression website.

When to see your GP (* physician)

For more serious or longer-lasting mental health symptoms, see your GP as you may need prescribed treatment or referral to a specialist.

If you have or develop a mental health condition that requires treatment, it’s important to arrange continuity of care between your college doctor and your family GP.

A mental health adviser can support this communication. Your condition may worsen if moving between university and home results in a gap in treatment.

Therapy and counselling

Counselling and cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) offers an opportunity to explore the underlying issues of your unhappiness or any worries you have in a safe environment, including helping you develop ways of coping.

As well as university or college counselling services, you might be able to refer yourself for NHS counselling. Search for psychological therapy services** in the UK to find out what’s available in your area.

The University Mental Health Advisers Network (UMHAN)** represents the network of mental health advisers working in higher education dedicated to providing practical support to UK students experiencing mental health difficulties.

Disabled Students’ Allowance (DSA)

At all UK universities, you have the opportunity to apply for a Disabled Students’ Allowance (DSA)**.

Your mental health adviser can help you apply for a DSA, but you will need to provide evidence of a long-term mental health condition.

The DSA pays for:

  • specialist equipment, such as a computer, if you need it because of your mental health condition or another disability
  • non-medical helpers
  • extra travel as a result of your mental health condition or disability
  • other disability-related costs of studying

Even if you decide not to apply for a DSA, the mental health adviser will still be able to let you know what support is available.

Drugs, drink and mental health in students

If you’re feeling low or stressed, you may be tempted to drink more alcohol or relax by smoking cannabis.

Consider how this may make you feel in the longer term though, as your mood could slip, making you feel a lot worse.

Some cannabis users can have unpleasant experiences, including confusion, hallucinationsanxiety and paranoia.

There’s also growing evidence that long-term cannabis use can double your risk of developing a serious mental illness, such as schizophrenia.

Ecstasy and amphetamines can also bring on schizophrenia, and amphetamines can induce other forms of psychosis.

Any underlying mental disorder could be worsened by drug and alcohol use.

Read more articles about drugs.

Editor’s Note: *clarification provided for our US readers.

** Resources in the United States





Child Health & Safety News 11/13: Erasing Kid’s Sexting Records

twitter thumbIn this week’s Child Health News: The 10 Most Violent Video Games of 2017 (and What Your Kids Should Play Instead) bit.ly/2zjt5jz

Welcome to Pediatric Safety’s weekly “Child Health & Safety News Roundup”- a recap of the past week’s child health and safety news headlines from around the world. Each day we use social media to communicate relevant and timely health and safety information to the parents, medical professionals and caregivers who follow us. Occasionally we overlook something, but overall we think we’re doing a pretty good job of keeping you informed.  Still, quite a bit happens every day – so to make sure you don’t miss anything, we offer you a recap of this week’s top 15 events & stories.

  • 7 New Ways Doctors Will Manage Your Child’s Food Allergies cle.clinic/2yQ6T1n 2017-11-12
  • Psychosocial readiness ‘far more important’ than age in pediatric IBD transfer to adult gastroenterology care bit.ly/2zOju5c 2017-11-12
  • WeWork Founder Hopes Her New School Will Help 5-Year-Olds Pursue Their Life’s Purpose bit.ly/2zuaDVM 2017-11-11
  •  When You Love A Child You Leave Your Needs Behind zpr.io/nRdvS 2017-11-10
  • Thor: Ragnarok is Sensory Friendly Twice in November at AMC zpr.io/nRdvC 2017-11-10

PedSafe Child Health & Safety News Headline of the Week:
Boy wins first stage in fight to have details of sexting incident erased bit.ly/2iODkSH

  • Thank you for performing CPR on my child bit.ly/2hXWUfP A reminder that ER Docs are often parents too…and how much THEY CARE!  2017-11-09
  • Pneumonia, Bronchitis and Kids, More Common Than You Think – Thurs Time Capsule  bit.ly/2ywa0Lr 2017-11-09
  • How to Reduce Your Baby’s Teething Pain zpr.io/nRKem 2017-11-08
  • 10 Bad Excuses for Not Disciplining Your Kids bit.ly/2hKAnTM 2017-11-07
  • What I learned from the allergies that put my son’s life in danger bit.ly/2A7DHic  2017-11-07
  • Mindfulness training may help mothers cope with stress when their babies have a heart condition bit.ly/2iwWo7Q 2017-11-06
  • We shared our stories, let’s honor hers. Help @UNICEFUSA stop the sexual exploitation of girls. #HerToo 2017-11-06
  • National standards and policies in child protection lacking in Malta –  paediatrician warns  bit.ly/2h5Su5G 2017-11-06
  • How to Raise a Confident, Assertive Child zpr.io/nRZys  2017-11-06

How to Celebrate Your 2017 Holidays with Kids and Pets

As I was contemplating what to write my post about this month, (yeah, I think everyone gets writers block once in a while) I suddenly realized how quickly the holidays have descended upon us again!  And when I looked back over some of my old posts, I realized that not only has it been about three years since I have written about the holidays, but I have also never written one about Thanksgiving!  I decided to update my holiday article from three years ago, not only to add some important updates and edits, but also to include Thanksgiving and the things that somehow always seem to happen at that time of year.

For many of us, the Holidays are such an exciting time: family and friends gathering around, sharing laughs, some songs, sharing old memories, and creating new ones.  You spend weeks preparing for it, who to invite, how you are going to fit everyone around the tables, what you are going to serve….

You put so much time, energy and love into every aspect of this. You think of each adult and child (this one is vegetarian, that one may have a milk sensitivity) and you think you have covered it all. But have you?

Let’s face it, you can’t possibly plan for EVERY ‘surprise’, but you can take steps to keep any negative ones to a minimum when it comes to all the children that will be there and any pets as well.

Visiting Family:  As far as Thanksgiving goes, we have all heard thousands of times that that is the most traveled day of the year. This holiday is very synonymous with ‘Family.’  For many of us, ‘family’ also includes the family dog! So if you want to bring Fido along with you, please read my post How To Travel Safely For The Holidays With Pets AND Kids  This will give you quite a bit of information on everything from car and air travel to a helpful list of what to pack for your pup. And I will add one more tip that was not in that post… if you are planning to go away without Fido, make sure to book your reservations for him at your favorite boarding facility or dog watcher in advance. I do private in-home boarding in my house, and only take a limited amount of dogs…. and some of my regular clients booked me for the holidays as early as August!

So having covered the traveling with your kids and pets over the holidays, I have compiled a list …. starting with all the very pretty things that come hand in hand with the holidays, things that seem innocent enough, but can become a deadly hazard.

Ribbons and garland:

They seem pretty harmless, but a child watching us decorate may see us ‘drape’ a few strands of it around our necks for easy access to it while we put it up. While we see it as ‘convenient’; they may see it as a cool necklace or costume. A garland or ribbon wrapped around their necks may not be a great idea. For that matter, it might not be a great idea around yours either. I will add one more danger to it….. it is a sparkly hanging thing….. so how does the dog distinguish that from any one of their numerous pull toys? It is a recipe for potential disaster that is easily avoidable. Instead, grab a folding stack table and lay it across that for easy access.

One quick helpful hint…. while you decorate, put the animals in another room. Cats especially love ribbons, rubber bands, and anything else they can pounce on or play hockey with – at a minimum, you will save yourself the frustration of having to chase them around trying to reclaim your decorations, but you will also avoid the ‘worse case scenario’ of them swallowing them, which can get twisted up inside them, costing you thousands in vet bills or worse.

Candles and Scented Plug Ins

While candles do add to the ambiance, remember that small curious hands and tails wagging furiously in all the excitement tend to send any object on a coffee table into flight. Put those and any glass ornaments high up and out of reach. And those plug-in oils…. Make sure you unplug them before bed, and beware of when the oil runs dry because that is when they become a horrific fire hazard.

Poisonous Plants

Many people are aware that some Christmas plants may be poisonous…. But are you familiar with which ones are on the list? Although I knew some of them, after I started to do more research, I was surprised at how incorrect my own knowledge was! For example, I would have topped the list with the poinsettia…. After all, the name almost sounds like the word ‘poison’ .  But at the top of the list was the seemingly ‘innocent’ plant of Holly! Which is deadly unlike the  poinsettia which was listed as ‘not that bad’. So I will add a link here which provides some names, their dangers, and even some pictures to help you recognize what may harm your little one or your pet.

Children’s Interactions with Pets

As a dog trainer, I often hear, “I don’t understand…. My dog has never bitten anyone before!” It is very important to keep in mind that this is not your dog’s normal setting. With their heightened senses, the constant noises and the mouth-watering aromas of all the fantastic food being prepared can be overwhelming to them – and lets not forget the Football game playing on the TV at peak volume! My family was never huge into sports, but I have been to some Thanksgiving dinners where ‘watching’ the game can get pretty loud and boisterous! With all of this going on, your dog  may not react the way they typically do. Your pet may be a mild and quiet little thing, or generally pretty social and outgoing…. But just because you enjoy the hustle and bustle, don’t assume your pet will too.  A sweet child innocently reaching over to pet the dog while he is overwhelmed can lead to a bite.  They might be much happier having a quiet space away from it all. And if they tend to startle easily, or be a bit skittish, it is probably best to crate them, put them in another room, or possibly think of boarding them somewhere for the night.

The most important thing I need to stress here is that if you want to have your family dog with you, you must remember that he is ultimately your responsibility… so be aware of what his body language is saying at all times to ensure everyone involved is safe. If you are not sure what your dog’s body language means, please read my article Recognize a Dog’s Body Language Before Your Child Gets Bitten

There is one more important thing you will want to be aware of… if there are young children at your holiday gathering, keep an eye on them around the dog as well. One difference between Thanksgiving and Christmas is that Thanksgiving can tend to be a non-stop food-fest. The holiday is pretty much centered around families getting together and eating. Young children running around with food or snacks in their hands can be a potential recipe for danger on a few levels:

1.  Danger to your Pet.  Young children tend to drop things and keep going. There are certain foods that are not only potentially dangerous, but toxic to your pet. See Pet WebMD’s comprehensive list of holiday no-no’s for your pet.

2.  Danger to your Child.  Worse than a child  accidentally dropping their food and continuing on, is the child that realizes they have dropped it and goes back for it, just to find out it is already in Fido’s mouth. A toddler trying to reclaim their food from a dog who just received some seriously ill-gotten-goods can become a very high risk for a bite.

One suggestion I would make is to bring an exercise pen with you. My favorite one is the one without the door made by MidWest.  I like this one because it both opens and folds very easily, and comes in numerous heights depending on how large or small your dog is. You can fold into any shape you want, or open it up all the way to block a large entryway or doorway. It is a very versatile item.

Alcohol Consumption

More often than not, drinks tend to be all set out on one table. The bottles of wine and beer are right next to the bottles of soda. This is potentially a ‘free-for-all” for experimenting teens. I have been in recovery for a long time, and attend 12 step fellowships meeting regularly, and I wish I could say that I never see ‘members’ under the age of 21…. But I can’t. I am seeing more and more young people attending meetings. And when I listen to their stories, more often than not, they begin with drinking the ‘free-flowing’ alcohol served at their family’s parties. Make a separate table for the liquor, and designate one or two adults to serve.

And while I am on this subject, medicine cabinets are another very serious danger. We are in the middle of the worst opioid crisis the U.S has ever seen. Opiods are narcotic pain killers (Vicodin, Percocet OxyContin and Fentanyl) which suppress the central Nervous System. All of these medicines are highly addictive, and according to the National Institute of Drug Abuse (NIDA)  ‘have led to more deaths in the past few years than car accidents, diseases and guns.’ In August, the US declared this epidemic a ‘National Public Health Emergency’. Has anyone in your family had surgery or dental work recently that required pain medicine? If you are not addicted to pain pills, then you probably think nothing of leaving the left over pills in the medicine cabinet. Years ago, when I was using, we had a name for pills that had labels on the bottles identifying them as narcotic or ‘May Cause Drowsiness.” We called them ‘party invitations’. Please go through your medicine cabinets and either get rid of them or lock them up!

Outdoor Safety

Even though it is cold outside, drowning accidents are not exclusive to summer only.  Make sure the pool out back is securely locked or gated.

One suggestion which may keep young kids, tweens, and teens all out of trouble and occupied, and allow parents to relax and have fun…. Set up a ‘babysitting’ scenario. Figure out how many of each group you are going to have, and ‘assign’ a child or two to each older child. You can even pay them a small fee for doing the service! Assign age appropriate younger kids to older ones.  Give a kid no guidance and too much freedom, you are asking for a bored kid to look for trouble, but assign them a responsibility, and throw in the possibility of some monetary gain, and more often than not, they will step up to the plate.

Sorry Mom’s and Dad’s, the dog needs to stay with you! Children and animals should never be left alone together unsupervised. If you can’t watch the dog, I do not suggest just locking him in a room. He could get very stressed out, and if someone accidentally opens that door and he charges out in panic, someone could get hurt. The safest place for your dog if you can’t watch him is in a crate.

Follow some of these guidelines or ideas, and avoid any future regrets. I have learned throughout my life that I much prefer saying, “I am so glad I ___“ than saying, “If only I ____“.

I wish everyone a happy, safe and healthy holiday season!!