Playground, Amusement Park and Carnival Safety

Amusement Park and Carnival Safety

Amusement ParkAn article by Globe Life on summer safety reminds us that amusement parks and carnivals can be great fun or they can result in a trip to the emergency room. What makes the difference? For one, parents may incorrectly assume that a ride is appropriate for their child. Secondly, children may not pay attention to or observe the safety regulations for a specific ride.

The National Safe Kids Campaign advises parents to remember that height guidelines are not always reliable.

Parents need to be sure of their child’s ability to obey ride instructions for their own safety. Alan Korn, Director of Public Policy, and General Counsel for Safe Kids USA advises parents to reinforce the authority of the ride operator. “If the ride operator tells children to keep their hands and feet inside the car or to hold the handrail, explain to your children that there is a good reason for the rule.”

Officials estimate that thousands of children, each year between the ages 14 and under are injured because they used poor judgment or behaved improperly on the rides.

Playground Safety

Safe Kids USA encourages parents and caregivers to make sure playground equipment is appropriate for a child’s age. Each year, more than 200,000 preschool and elementary school age children are injured from falling while using playground equipment.

When their imaginations run wild, children sometimes believe they have superpowers that enable them to do remarkable physical feats on the playground equipment at the cost of their own personal safety. This puts children at risk of becoming seriously injured.

Most playground injuries are related to the climbing equipment, such as monkey bars.

In fact, the amount of injuries that result from children playing on monkey bars is significant enough that many experts want them removed from playgrounds. Since falls cannot always be prevented, parents can make sure that the playground surface is loosely filled with wood chips, mulch, sand, gravel, shredded rubber, or rubber like surfacing materials.

During the summer months, playground equipment, such as slides and monkey bars, can get hotter than 140 degrees, causing burns on children’s hands, legs and other uncovered body parts. It may be wiser to avoid the playground entirely during heat waves.

Source: Globe Life, Safe Kids USA

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Hiking with the Kids

School is almost over, summer is fast approaching, and the season of family get togethers, reunions, vacations and barbeques is close at hand. Quite a few of these events may take place in a park, where there will be the chance to take the kids out for a family hike.

Hiking is a great way to spend some quality time together as a family, and is a terrific form of exercise. Getting out in nature, and maybe leaving behind all the instant communication technologies, can be quite liberating too.

hiking

Now, before you get up and hit those trails, there are some simple and important rules you should keep in mind. Remember, you want this to be a fun experience, for both you and your kids.

You can always hike more, but never less.

So, start out with a short hike in mind. If it is going well, you can simply add to it as you go along. Go too far, for too long, and you may be carrying the little ones back to the car.

Safety first.

Bug bites, sunburn and skinned knees are the most common safety issues you want to make sure you can take care of on the trail.

• Sunscreen and bug-spray all exposed skin before setting out on the trail.

• Long pants are better than shorts in protecting the legs from bug bites.

• For the skinned knee, or hand, some anti-biotic cream and band-aids are a good idea to have on hand.

Stay hydrated!

Make sure you bring along plenty of water. There is no such thing as too much water, and the best place to carry your water is inside you. Do not wait until you are thirsty to drink. Stop every 20-30 minutes and take a few swigs of water. Stay away from sugary drinks, straight water is more than good enough.

Keep up your strength.

Have some good energy snacks with you too. Depending on the length of the hike, you may want to stop, perhaps at a scenic viewpoint, and take a little break with something to eat.

Have a plan if…

The last simple rule needs a whistle Make sure each child has a whistle attached to them. I don’t mean in their pocket, I mean around their neck, or looped into their belt, so they cannot lose the whistle. If, they should ever become separated from the group, they can blow the whistle loud and clear, while staying put. Make sure this is explained to them before, and reviewed during, the hike.

Have fun!

These rules, if followed, will go a long way in making that family walk in the woods a good one. Having it be a good time, a good memory, that is the key to getting the kids – and you – to want to do it again. Hiking is a great exercise that can take your kids to great places as part of a life-long activity.

Some helpful websites for making the family hike fun and safe:

Hiking with Kids – American Hiking Society http://www.americanhiking.org/resources/hiking-with-kids/

• A short list of ideas to keep the hike “kid-friendly.”

Helpful Tips on Hiking – American Hiking Society

http://www.americanhiking.org/gear-resources/tips-for-your-next-hike/

• An excellent resource on everything you may need to know about getting started with hiking. From boots to bug-spray, rain gear to snacks, and safety and first-aide on the trail.

hiking

Kids and Hiking – REI

http://www.rei.com/learn/expert-advice/kids-hiking.html

Just Jeff’s Hiking Page

http://www.tothewoods.net/HikingWithKids.html

Tips for Hiking with Kids

http://www.wta.org/hiking-info/children/resources-for-families/how-to/tips-for-hiking-with-kids

 

Article by: Ned M Campbell is the head coach of James Madison High School’s wrestling team in Brooklyn, NY, and is a USA Wrestling nationally certified coach. He is a West Point graduate and former U.S. Army Officer, who also teaches history at James Madison teamHigh School.  Prior to teaching, Ned M Campbell worked with children and adults with disabilities during summer programs with IAHD and Southeast Consortium,  and volunteered time supporting a therapeutic horseback riding program for youth and adults with disabilities.

Campbell is a published writer, and a contributing writer to the “Can Do” Street blog for kids and parents. In addition, he is the voice of Coach Campbell in “Can Do” Street programs.

Editor’s Note: Be sure to check out Coach Campbell’s co-article for kids, on this subject, featured on the “Can Do” Kids blog at http://candostreet.com/blog-kids/

 

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Kid Jitters and Emergencies

Across the US, there have been several weather emergencies in recent months. Many parents have been confronted with the challenge of keeping children calm while trying to protect them from harm.

Nicholas Garlow from HHS HealthBeat, a production of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, shared the following message  on just this subject.

Keeping little ones calm during emergencies can be difficult.  Make sure you explain your family’s emergency plan to them well before an emergency.

Different places like day care centers and schools have different plans.  Understand those plans and explain them in kid-language before a disaster to reduce their anxiety if disaster strikes.

Psychologist Dr. Dan Dodgen is with HHS’s Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response. He shares, “Particularly for parents, it is important to remember to monitor media to make sure that children aren’t getting exposed to too much information over the air. Young children may interpret a replay as a separate event.

Parents – please remember that children often follow your lead.  If you keep calm during emergencies, there’s a greater chance they will too.”

To learn more about public health emergency readiness, go to phe.gov.

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Picky Eaters

PickyMealtime with a picky eater is a daily challenge! Getting a picky eater to eat more than one or two foods from the food pyramid is a feat.

There were a few years there when my mother had two picky eaters and three that had the following rigid eating guidelines:

  • No food could touch another food on the plate.
  • All foods on the plate needed to be in the same amount so the eater could eat in clockwise order and finish all the foods in equal rotation.
  • Each bite of food had be followed by one sip of water or milk.

The mealtime rules had to be followed otherwise the meal could not be eaten!

Eventually we all grew out of our picky and ritualistic meal behaviors. Today we all eat just about anything under any mealtime conditions.

What follows are URL addresses of sites that have suggestions for handling the picky eater in your home. You may have tried some, but hopefully there will be some suggestions that you haven’t tried. Good Luck!

http://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/childrens-health/in-depth/childrens-health/art-20044948

https://www.ucsfbenioffchildrens.org/education/picky_eaters/

http://www.choosemyplate.gov/preschoolers/picky-eaters.html

http://www.parentingscience.com/picky-eaters.html

http://www.webmd.com/parenting/features/feeding-a-picky-eater

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Today’s Kids and High Cholesterol

Would it surprise you to know that even kids who are not overweight are testing high for cholesterol?

In a recent press release, HealthDay News reported the following news about a new study, in Texas. The study demonstrated that one of three Texas kids screened for cholesterol between the ages of 9 and 11 had borderline or high cholesterol, potentially placing them at greater risk for future cardiovascular disease.kids

The lead study investigator, Dr. Thomas Seery, a pediatric cardiologist at Texas Children’s Hospital and an Assistant Professor of Pediatrics at Baylor College of Medicine, in Houston, shared that obese kids were more likely to have abnormal cholesterol levels, but a large percentage of normal-weight children also had borderline or high cholesterol, “The reality is that 35 percent of kids who were not obese had abnormal cholesterol as well,” Seery said.

Seery and his colleagues undertook their research after new guidelines for juvenile cholesterol screening were issued by the U.S. National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute in 2011 and endorsed by the American Academy of Pediatrics.

The guidelines call for all children between the ages of 9 and 11 to undergo a cholesterol screening, with a follow-up screening between ages 17 and 21.

To see what these screenings might reveal, the researchers reviewed the medical records of nearly 13,000 children tested for cholesterol levels between January 2010 and July 2013 as part of a routine physical exam within the Texas Children’s Pediatrics Associates clinics, a large pediatric primary care organization.

They found the following:

  • Boys were more likely to have abnormal levels of total cholesterol, “bad” LDL cholesterol and triglycerides (blood fats).
  • Girls were more likely to have abnormal levels of “good” HDL cholesterol.
  • Hispanic children were more likely to have abnormal levels of triglycerides and HDL cholesterol.
  • Obese children were more likely to have across-the-board abnormal levels of every type of cholesterol, with 41 percent suffering a borderline or high total cholesterol levels.
  • About 35 percent of healthy-weight children had abnormal total cholesterol levels.

Dr. Seery hopes these findings will lead pediatricians to follow the recommended cholesterol screening guidelines for children.

These screenings present the perfect opportunity for clinicians and parents to discuss the importance of healthy lifestyle choices on cardiovascular health,” he said. “Our findings give a compelling reason to screen all kids’ blood cholesterol. Doctors and parents should emphasize the importance of a healthy diet and regular exercise in controlling cholesterol levels in kids,” he said.

Because the new research was presented at a medical meeting, the data and conclusions should be viewed as preliminary until published in a peer-reviewed journal.

 

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