10 Ways to Teach Kids about Poison Ivy

poison ivy is no funGetting a case of Poison Ivy is a misery for your child, and a sure way of losing out on several days of warm weather fun.

It is well worth the time to educate your child about poison ivy, in the hopes that he or she will be able to recognize and avoid it when out in a wooded area or on a camping trip.

The following guest post comes from Carrie Dotson, Summer Nanny Jobs at www.summernannyjobs.com/blog

10 ways to make your children aware of Poison Ivy.

  1. Take them to a nature museum: A nature museum may have a pressed specimen of Poison Ivy if they don’t have any on property. Experts at the museum can speak about Poison Ivy, describing what it looks like.
  2. Have them color a picture of it: Since the shape of Poison Ivy leaves are the most important thing for identifying it in the wild, coloring a picture should help your child learn what it looks like.
  3. Show them a video online: There are visuals of Poison Ivy along with a lot of information about the plant. Check out this video on how to recognize and avoid Poison Ivy: http://www.howcast.com/videos/22122-How-To-Recognize-and-Avoid-Poison-Ivy.
  4. Read a book about it: Visit a library and check out a book about Poison Ivy. Ask your local librarian for an age-appropriate recommendation.
  5. Show them a live plant: Go on a hike in your area and find some Poison Ivy.  Show your child where Poison Ivy tends to grow and how it grows. Showing your child how Poison Ivy can hide in among many other weeds and that it can be hard to see is an important part of teaching him to avoid it.
  6. Make a craft project: Have your child cut out Poison Ivy shaped leaves from green felt. Glue all of the pieces down onto another piece of felt.
  7. Let them try to draw the shape in shaving cream: Put some shaving cream down on the table and smooth it out. Illustrate the shape of the Poison Ivy leaves and then have your child copy you.
  8. Host a game show: Playing a game where your child answers questions about what you’ve taught him can be a fun way to review.
  9. Have a contest: See who can remember the most information about Poison Ivy and then give the most knowledgeable child a prize.
  10. Teach someone else: Sometimes teaching someone else can help to solidify a concept in your mind.  If your child has a younger sibling or friend, let him teach the sibling what he has learned about Poison Ivy.

http://www.summernannyjobs.com/blog/

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Make it a Happy and Healthy 4th of July!

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Here comes the 4th with its promise of fun. But we all need to take precautions to insure that it is a fun day.

Outdoor activities and fireworks are the biggest pastimes for 4th of July celebrations. Here are some tips on making it a safe, happy 4th.

  •  Never swim alone on the 4th or any other day, and make sure that any time kids are in the water someone is watching them closely.
  • Cover food and beverages outdoors to discourage uninvited guests such as bees and wasps. Wearing shoes, long sleeves, and long pants outdoors and avoiding perfumes and scented lotions, and sugary drinks can also help prevent bee stings.
  • Apply sunscreen both before and during your party on the 4th. The American Academy of Dermatology recommends using sunscreen with a minimum sun protection factor (SPF) of 15.

  • Check prescription medications you are taking to assure you will not have a reaction from being out in the sun or heat for an extended period of time
  • If you’ll be hiking or camping over the 4th,wear long-sleeved, light-colored shirts and long pants tucked into socks or boots to protect yourself from diseases caused by ticks.
  • Keep children away from campfires and grills. Gas leaks, blocked tubes, and overfilled propane tanks can be a cause of grill fires and explosions.
  • Don’t leave the picnic foods out all day. Allowing food to sit in outdoor temperatures can invite illness. The U.S. FDA suggests never leaving food out for more than one hour when the temperature is above 90 F and not more than two hours at other times.
  • If you live where fireworks are legal and they will be part of your 4th of July celebration be sure to store them where the kids can’t get into them. Keep the kids away from the fireworks at all times, and keep spectators at a safe distance. Professional fireworks displays are always a safer choice than putting on your own show.

A special note on using sparklers on the 4th;

  • Children under five are too young to safely hold a sparkler and don’t really understand why they might be dangerous. Avoid giving them one to hold.

  • Babies or children can wriggle in your arms and reach out unexpectedly. Avoid holding a baby or child when you have a sparkler in your hand.

  • Children over five will still need you to supervise them when they use sparklers. It’s safest if they wear gloves when they’re holding them. They might seem like ‘fireworks lite’ but sparklers can reach a temperature of 2000ºC. Have a bucket of water handy to put them in so that no-one can pick up a hot one off the ground. Teach them not to wave sparklers near anyone else or run with them.

4th

REFERENCES:

CPSC.gov. Fireworks Safety.

USDA

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Protect Your Food Supply When Camping

campingThe last weeks of summer are a great time to enjoy outdoor activities such as camping.

The US Dept of Agriculture wants you aware of safe food practices that insure a fun camping trip, free of food borne illnesses.

When it Comes to Safe Drinking Water While Camping …

It is not a good idea to depend on fresh water from a lake or stream for drinking, no matter how clean it appears. Bring bottled or tap water for drinking. Always start out with a full water bottle, and replenish your supply from tested public systems when possible.

 The surest way to make water safe is to boil it. Boiling will kill microorganisms. First, bring water to a rolling boil, and then continue boiling for 1 minute.

What Foods to Bring Camping?

Advances in food technology have produced relatively lightweight staples that don’t need refrigeration or careful packaging. For example:

  • peanut butter in plastic jars;
  • concentrated juice boxes;
  • canned tuna, ham, chicken, and beef;
  • dried noodles and soups;
  • beef jerky and other dried meats;
  • dehydrated foods;
  • dried fruits and nuts; and
  • powdered milk and fruit drinks.

Powdered mixes for biscuits or pancakes are easy to carry and prepare, as is dried pasta. There are plenty of powdered sauce mixes that can be used over pasta, but check the required ingredient list. Carry items like dried pasta, rice, and baking mixes in plastic bags and take only the amount you’ll need.

General Rules for Outdoor Food Safety
Plan ahead: decide what you are going to eat and how you are going to cook it; then plan what equipment you will need.

  • Pack safely: use a cooler if car-camping or boating, or pack foods in the frozen state with a cold source if hiking or backpacking.
  • Keep raw foods separate from other foods.
  • Never bring meat or poultry products without a cold source to keep them safe.
  • Bring disposable wipes or biodegradable soap for hand and dish washing.
  • Plan on carrying bottled water for drinking. Otherwise, boil water or use water purification tablets.
  • Do not leave trash in the wild or throw it off your boat.
  • If using a cooler, leftover food is safe only if the cooler still has ice in it. Otherwise, discard leftover food.
  • Whether in the wild or on the high seas, protect yourself and your family by washing your hands before and after handling food.

 

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