Weekend from ParentingintheLoop

Weekend from Parenting in the Loop

summer weekend

Summer Safety

Weekends and summer are times of get togethers with family and friends for fun and food.  Keeping it safe is essential especially for kids as they rely on the adults to keep them free from hazards.

“It only takes a second”…

How many times I have read that statement and spoken those words?

One weekend many years ago I was standing at the Top of the Fairmont Hotel in San Francisco with my one year old daughter in between me and my husband. We both admired the view at exactly the same moment. When we looked down at our daughter she was not there and no where in sight! The elevator doors were just closing and my heart was skipping many beats at the same moment. It seemed like an eternity but it was only a second later that I heard her voice saying, “hi”…”hi” and I realized that she was walking throughout the hotel bar greeting all of the people who were having drinks and enjoying the gorgeous view.

Yes…it only takes a second for a catastrophe to happen. Summer, pools and beaches are so much fun for everyone but it only takes a second to change that into a horrific event. Keep your eyes on your children around water no matter what. “It only takes a second”

Now every time we go to the pool or near any kind of water, I review safety strategies with my 3-year-old son. I remind him …

  • Anytime he doesn’t know what to do or is scared in the water, to look for the sky and roll over on his back.

  • That he knows how to find the edge of the pool and that it’s always a safe place to grab on to.

  • That he knows how to blow bubbles and close his mouth so water doesn’t get in.

     

I Only Looked Away for a Second

Have a happy and a safe weekend!

Weekend Pick “Red Sneakers For Oakley”

Weekend Pick “Red Sneakers for Oakley”

Weekend pick- Red Sneakers for Oakley

Would you wear your red sneakers this weekend?

It would help to honor the life of young Oakley Debbs, who died of anaphylaxis in November while on vacation with his family. Read about Oakley and his red sneakers at Redsneaker.org and follow Red Sneakers on Facebook and Instagram to support the nut allergy awareness initiative started by his parents.

The Restaurant Nut Allergy Awareness Initiative Join the restaurants nationwide who are bringing awareness to food allergies by marking items on their menus with the Red Sneakers for Oakley logo which is becoming the symbol for “Food Allergy Awareness”. We have provided the files below so that your menu designer can integrate the symbols into the menu. Also we ask that you place the logo which contains the statement this food may contain nuts somewhere on the menu so people understand what the Red Sneaker symbol is for.

Source: Red Sneakers For Oakley

My pick for this weekend focuses on food allergies. Since I read about Oakley’s death over the Thanksgiving holiday, I have been supporting his grieving family’s efforts in Food Allergy Awareness along with many others on social media.

It is so very important to understand all you can about food allergies and anaphylaxis that can tragically snuff out a life in a matter of minutes. Knowing the signs and symptoms of a food allergy reaction and having a plan of action is mandatory. Having an Epi-Pen and using it can be lifesaving!

Safely eating foods at home and at restaurants is not as simple as it should be. Anything that makes it easier and safer should be welcomed.

I love the Restaurant Nut Allergy Awareness Initiative that has been initiated by RedSneaker.org and I urge you to support it any way you are able.

You may just save a life.

My heart goes out to the Debbs family on the loss of their beloved Oakley. I would encourage you to wear #redsneakersforoakley this weekend!

 

Weekend Pick from Parenting in the Loop

Weekend Pick from Parenting in the Loop

Now that many schools are back in session it is time for kids with allergies to begin another challenging year in some cases as they try to avoid exposure to their food allergens.

Here is a great piece in Spokin that I thought would be handy for those parents of kids with food allergies.

Only one weekend post for this week while I am enjoying a back to school adventure in Los Angeles.

weekend readMANAGING THE LUNCHROOM   My daughters have multiple allergies which make managing all things lunchtime essential.

1. Label your child’s lunchbox with their allergies. Big + Bold

 

2. Review your lunchroom or cafeteria menu ahead of time and make alternative plans for high-risk days. When our lunchroom serves fish sticks, we ask our school to allow for our fish allergic daughter to eat lunch in a separate area.

 

3. Make arrangements for having the lunch area wiped down including the tables, both the top and underneath, and chairs each day to avoid cross contact. My daughter has a sesame allergy, so we need to be careful in the event a child wipes hummus on or under the table. Depending on the school, I ask the person who is closest in proximity to my daughter to execute this task.

Source: Maggie’s lunchroom guide

Enjoy one of the few summer weekends left.

Childproofing away from home

 

Childproofing When You Are Away From Home

childproofingSmall children are at risk for accidents especially at home since that is where they spend  the most time. There are all kinds of services and ways to go about making a child’s environment safe and providing a play area that is welcoming and worry free.

What about when you go away to a relative’s home or to a hotel, that safe environment is sometimes more challenging to acquire.

I just came across this video which is so helpful for those parents traveling during these summer months or actually anytime. Here is Childproofing 101!

Here’s to a safe summer for everyone including your littlest travelers who are curious and ready to explore everything that is new and different!

Here’s how to spot potential dangers when away from home and what to pack in your safety kit.

Source: Childproofing away from home | Video | BabyCenter

Posting family pics on social media? Please protect them from thieves!

Social Media and Your Family Pictures

Social mediaWith parents using social media sites to post family photos, do they need to worry about the photos they’re sharing being taken? The short answer: yes.

This is such an important question to ask yourself if you share family information online.

Source: Post family pics on social media? Here’s how to avoid having them stolen

Pictures of kids on online can be used by others without your knowledge. If that is surprising to you then you need to read this link from a mom whose family pics were used without her permission.

Protecting my photos does concern me even if none of them contain pictures of my family. They are my photos and my property even on social media. But understanding the internet the way I do makes me constantly vigilant like a protective animal keeping their ‘babies’ out of harms way. I am always aware of unethical users who are slithering around the web looking for photos to use as their own.

Our children and grandchildren rely and trust us to protect them and we need to include the internet as a possible place where they could be abused in the virtual world. Their digital footprint is literally in our hands every time we post news or photos about them. What an awesome thought!

So thoroughly think about the ‘stuff’ you post on Facebook, Instagram and your other social accounts especially when it relates to your children. Parents should also ask grandparents to do the same and perhaps monitor family tags that might include your kids.

Privacy settings on social media are paramount to judicious use of the internet.

Weekend Pics from Parenting in the Loop

Weekend Pics from Parenting in the Loop

The holiday season throws me off schedule as it does for many others. I publish my blog pretty much without any help. My daughter does write for me when she has time but I am usually the one who actually edits and clicks “publish”. So hence the lapse in postings. My schedule is God, family and then all other things.

Here is my delayed weekend picks.

Phones for Kids:

A lot of us have kids that are becoming ready for their own mobile phones. Maybe they are just for checking in or for safety of knowing that they can get in touch with a parent if necessary ICE (In Case of Emergency).

What do you do to prepare them for having a cellphone at their fingertips? Here are some tips.

Weekend PicksShe’s going to be a few minutes late.” “I told her we’re almost there.” “Her train is being held at the station.” “I told her we’re here.” “I’m asking her where she is.” “The train is moving again.” “She’s almost here.”

Social Media and Kids:

being-13-motherlode-tmagArticle

Along with cellphones comes social media for kids. A perplexing time for young adolescents. Parents need to stay savvy and ahead of their kids if that is possible. Social media is here and before you know it your kids will be exposed to it. What is your child’s “Peer Culture”. Check out this piece and keep on the look out for more social media influences in your child’s environment.

Thirteen-year-olds who are already on social media spend a lot of time there, living their social lives both online and off. CNN’s new documentary, “Being 13,” and an accompanying report, “Being Thirteen: Social Media and the Hidden World of Young Adolescents’ Peer Culture”, reveal an entire world of just barely teenage posting, commenting, jockeying and, most of all, lurking on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook.

 

Porn and Children:

motherlode-teen-porn-tmagArticle

Pornography exists so how do we protect our children? How do we talk to them about pornography? Here is an article that discusses this uncomfortable topic. In the end it does suggest that parents should be talking about this topic and sexuality with their teenagers.

 

In Does Porn Hurt Children in the Sunday Review, David Segal pointed to the absence of definitive research linking pornography exposure during adolescence to negative outcomes for teenagers and noted the ethical impossibility of conducting the kinds of studies that might prove, or disprove, such links. In spite of the lack of evidence of harm, every researcher he interviewed felt uneasy about the messages teenagers might take from pornography and suggested that “at a minimum” parents should be talking with their teenagers about sexuality in general and porn in particular.

 

Weekend time is my favorite. A time to switch gears and slow down for some moments of reading and just kind of catching up on some stuff that gets lost during the hectic weekdays. I find that it takes a time to unwind which is usually Friday night dinner out with friends and on Saturday a slower pace is enjoyed with sometimes a lunchtime meal at a favorite spot. Sunday usually I start to gear up again to prep for the week ahead.

What do you do on your weekend?

Weekend Reading from Parenting in the Loop

Weekend Reading

Weekend

Martha’s Vineyard Fourth of July

It is already the Fourth of July weekend…and it has hardly felt like summer at all because of cool temperatures and mega amounts of rain so far here in Chicago. The sun is shining today and it promised to be a sunny Saturday with great fireworks weather.

Picnics and outdoor fun sometimes help us to forget some of the things we need to do to keep ourselves and family safe from food poisoning and food disasters. Here are some tips for a safe Fourth Weekend.

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Food on the Fourth–safe eating tips

Foodborne illness can be extremely dangerous—especially for pregnant women and young children. Symptoms, such as vomiting, diarrhea and fever, can become life-threatening.

So if you will be celebrating the 4th of July with family, friends, and a cookout, remember to keep foods fresh and safe. Here are some important safety tips:

 

“It only takes a second”…how many times I have read that statement and spoken those words. Many years ago I was standing at the Top of the Fairmont Hotel in San Francisco with my daughter in between me and my husband. We both admired the view at exactly the same moment. When we looked down at our daughter she was not there and no where in sight! The elevator doors were just closing and my heart was skipping many beats at the same moment. It seemed like an eternity but it was only a second later that I heard her voice saying “hi”…”hi” and I realized that she was walking throughout the bar greeting all of the people who were having drinks and enjoying the gorgeous view. Yes…it only takes a second for catastrophe to happen. Summer and pools and beaches are so much fun for everyone but it only takes a second to change that into a horrific event. Keep your eyes on your children around water no matter what. “It only takes a second”

Fullers Beach MV

The day my 2-year-old son almost drowned before my eyes.

Since my daughter and her husband are expecting their first child in the near future they are discussing cord blood banking and its importance. We are so lucky to live in a time when this is an option. Cord blood and stem cells have the potential to save a life. It is an important discussion to have and an even more important decision to make before delivery.

IMG_6615

Every expectant parent deserves to know the power of the stem cells contained in their baby’s umbilical cord. Leading organizations have come together to present Cord Banking Basics, a source to help expecting parents make informed decisions about what to do with their babies’ stem cells.

My sincere wishes for a happy and safe Fourth of July Weekend!

3 Must Reads This Weekend

3 Must Reads this Weekend

Weekend Fun at Fullers Beach Martha's Vineyard

Secondary Drowning and How You Can Save Your Child

There is nothing like a summer weekend for family fun times. Water safety is something we should all be aware of especially during this time of the year.

Water is fun but it can also be dangerous. If your child falls in or has a water incident and displays any of these signs it could be secondary drowning which can happen in even 1/2 inch of water.

  • child is not acting like himself
  • he is lethargic
  • he is coughing even after the event is over
  • his lips changed color
  • he has a change in his breathing

These can be a sign that he has water in his lungs and needs immediate medical help. Call 911 immediately.

Click the following link for a video on CPR for children.

 

Source: What Is Secondary Drowning And How Can You Prevent It :: YummyMummyClub.ca

Flying with Baby

Traveling with baby on a weekend getaway can be trying at best. Here are a few tips that just might help you as you get ready to board a plane with your little one.

  • Crying At High Altitudes-This is stressful for you more than other passengers even when they give you dirty looks. Sucking on a pacifier, nursing or feeding your baby a bottle might ease the pressure on his ears.
  • Ear pain– Again this is experienced by some babies and not others. If your baby has a cold and you are going to travel you might want to have your pediatrician take a quick peek at his ears to make sure he does not have an infection.
  • Noise level- The decibel level in the plane may be upsetting to your baby, using small  pieces of cotton to cover your baby’s ears may help him fall asleep through the noise.
  • Flying with Baby – HealthyChildren.org

9 Signs of Mean Girl Behavior Warnings

No one wants their daughter to be a “mean” girl. Here are some 9 signs that might be the beginning of trouble.

  • She is bossy
  • She is always making threats
  • She forms clubs to exclude other kids
  • Click the link to read the rest: Is Your Daughter a Mean Girl

Happy Weekend from ParentingintheLoop!

Family Summer Safety

Summer Safety

Safety is a concern for your family during these months when you are having picnics and may be around water. Children pose specific safety concerns at this time of year.

Here are some suggestions:

summer

Sandy Fun

Summer Food Safety:

  • Cleanliness: Handwashing is most important and then keeping surfaces clean when you are preparing food so you do not cross contaminate any of the foods. Always  thoroughly wash fresh fruits and vegetables.
  • Cooking: Make sure foods are cooked thoroughly and to the proper temperature so that bacteria and germs are destroyed. Allow food to rest for the recommended time so that the internal temperature of the food continues to destroy germs.
  • Chilling: Did you know that a room temperature bacteria can double in your food every 20 minutes? Refrigeration kills bacteria so keep foods at cold temperatures so that you do not get sick.

Outdoors:

Sunscreen is something everyone should use especially women who are pregnant as their skin is more sensitive to the sun. Sun exposure increases your risk of skin cancer and will age your skin prematurely.

A baby burns more easily than older children because their skin is thin. Sun safety is so important especially for babies younger than 6 months.

Sun Safety:

  • Stay out of the sun between 10a.m. and 4p.m. when the sunlight is strongest. Babies that are younger than 6 months should avoid the sun altogether.
  • Wear your hat with a brim along with your UV protection sunglasses.
  • Wear lightweight clothes that cover arms and legs.
Parenting

A Day at the Beach…Martha’s Vineyard

Summer Water Safety:

Never leave your children alone around water. Babies can drown in as little as one inch of water.
• Don’t be distracted when watching your children at the pool or beach. Make sure someone is always watching them and do not rely on family members unless they are specifically designated to watch your children at a given time.
• Use a proper fitting Coast Guard approved life vest for children under 5 years old
• Learn CPR.

Here’s to a safe summer!

Source: News Moms Need » 

Tags: CPR, food safety, food-borne illness, sun safety, sunscreen, water safety

 

Twenty Innocent Children…Don’t Forget Them

Have You Hugged Your Children Today?

children

Tonight, I am reminded by my friend and fellow ChicagoNow blogger, Sheila Quirke, aka. Mary Tyler Mom that tomorrow marks two years since the horrific and violent tragedy at Sandy Hook. Twenty innocent children lost their young lives along with their teachers and others at school that day.

I am thinking of their families, their parents, siblings, grandparents and all those who knew and loved these little ones.

It makes me cry.

I can’t even imagine the utter pain that these families have suffered over the past two years and how they will continue to suffer from such a tragic loss.

Nothing is more devastating than the death of a child.

What continues to scare me to the core is the everyday violence that we have almost come to expect when turning on the news. It seems that each day since that violent shooting, there have been more and more gun related deaths.

It breaks my heart when I hear about another child that is an innocent victim of a shooting. Children should be safe in school and in their homes…they should be safe walking to and from their neighborhood school…they should be safe in playgrounds.

But sadly, they are not.

I have been following and supporting the work and progress of Sandy Hook Promise along with reading the shared stories by Daniel Barden’s dad.  Mark Barden writes so beautifully about his son, Daniel, who lost his life that day as a first grader in Newtown.

Mark Barden lovingly writes how Daniel was such a sensitive child especially when it came to the needs of others, I feel like I knew his gorgeous little boy with the beautiful smile.

I keep reading Mark’s emails and his stories, hoping against hope that somehow, some way this nightmare will go away.

It will not.

This is a “living nightmare” for Daniel’s family. However, through his sorrow, Mark and the other members of Sandy Hook Promise are trying to make a difference with their work surrounding gun control.

I support Sandy Hook Promise and I pray that others will support their work too. It will not bring back their little ones but it hopefully will prevent some other families from suffering a similar tragedy caused by someone with a gun.

Sheila has written a post at ChicagoNow that I recommend reading. It is not easy to ponder the events of this horrible day but if we do not remember our past we will be forced to repeat it.

Thank you Sheila for your thoughtful words.

Two years ago tonight, twenty families in Newtown, Connecticut tucked their first graders into bed for the very last time.  These children got on their pajamas, some of them might have bathed, they brushed their teeth, complaining about it, I imagine.  Their moms and dads might have read them books and sung them songs.  And then, for the very last time, they turned out the light and said. “Good night.”

via Read This Before You Tuck Your Children Into Bed Tonight | Mary Tyler Mom.