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Parenting

Family New Year Resolutions!

1:30

The beginning of a new year often brings the feeling of a fresh start in life; a time to wipe the slate clean and begin again!

New Year resolutions do not have to be grandiose or all encompassing. Simple changes – one at a time- make accomplishment much more likely for adults and kids.

Resolutions are goals. Changes we want to make to improve our lives in one-way or another. They might be centered on healthier food choices, exercise, learning, finances, creativity, family time, relationships, de-cluttering…. The list is as individual as its creator.

Resolutions can be a great way for children to learn how to set goals that are meaningful. Parents can help their child pick a few to work on in the upcoming year -without imposing their own ideas of what to choose.

Begin as a family where everyone sits down and talks about what resolutions actually are and how they can be accomplished. Let each child make their own list and discuss what and why they think each goal is significant. You can then discuss ways to accomplish these goals. When it’s your turn to add to the list, tell your children your resolutions and why you think they are important goals for the New Year.

After the lists are completed, put each list somewhere that it can be seen every day as a friendly reminder.  Corkboards, refrigerator doors, blackboards or even an app with a daily alert are some places to consider.

One-way to help make resolutions stick, is to do them together. There are plenty of family resolutions that can benefit everyone throughout the New Year! Here are some ideas worth considering:

1.     Be creative: Take music or art lessons. Learn a short play and perform it as a family. Clear some space in the garage for an art exhibit or family concert. Start your own YouTube family channel (only seen by other family members) and share your accomplishments with the grandparents, siblings, cousins and nieces and nephews!

2.     Improve your education: Help your little ones practice writing skills, coloring, reading, computer and research skills. Look up details on historical or current events. Challenge each other with math, spelling, literature, science and environmental projects.

3.     Examine healthier food choices: Learn how to replace junk food with healthier choices. Many kids would love to learn how to cook and grow their own food! Make the kitchen a cooking school once a month and find a place in the yard for a small garden. Even a patio can be used for potted vegetables and herbs. Children that learn about healthier food choices when they are young, tend to keep and expand on those choices, as they get older.

4.      Exercise together! Walking, bicycling, yoga, swimming together doesn’t feel like exercise, but the benefits are still the same.

5.     Master a milestone! From taking a first step, to potty training, to getting a license to drive, to graduation and beyond. Every life has milestones each person meets. Practice and enjoy them together!

6.      Help another in need. Pick a charity or non-profit to volunteer with as a way to teach compassion, responsibility and gratefulness. Reaching out to others may not only help improve the lives of others, but build life-long friendships and an understanding of what truly matters. This extends to pets as well. Rescue an animal or volunteer to foster a pet!

As old man time makes his way home and the New Year baby begins its new reign, we wish the very best for you and your family in 2018!

Parenting

Should You Take the Kids "Black Friday" Shopping?

2:00

The day after Thanksgiving is one of the busiest shopping days of the year. It’s come to be known as “Black Friday;” a day where deals can definitely be found.

In some places, it has become more like a scene from the movie “Fight Club” than a shopping spree. There seems to have developed a need so great for the cheapest electronics and clothes that people are willing to fight, push and steal from each other to get them.

So, should you take your kids with you if you’re planning on doing a little shopping on this unruly day?  The short answer is no. However, if you find yourself in a situation that it’s either the kids go, or there is no holiday shopping to be had, then do some planning ahead of time to prepare.

If there is anyway possible to avoid taking a newborn into a crowd of grabbing hands, shoving elbows and long lines – not to mention the germs- please do it.  Newborns will be the most vulnerable and will demand all of your attention. If you do take a baby with you, make sure you have a partner who can help with your baby’s care and safety.

In an article on The Penny Hoarder, author Nicole Dieker, reached out to Rosemarie Groner, a mother of two and owner of the Busy Budgeter blog, for tips on how to successfully navigate Black Friday with the kids.

Groner shares her thoughts and suggestions on the topic.

Though not typically recommended, this may be the day when giving your little one unlimited screen time on a tablet or cell phone is warranted. An all-day shopping trip becomes more fun for the kids when there is a digital distraction to keep them occupied.

It’s also a good idea to pack small toys to keep kids entertained, and Groner suggests packing special toys that kids don’t usually get to play with. 

It’s also possible to buy new toys to increase the delight/distraction factor – just make sure the new ones are within your budget.

Packing your kids’ favorite snacks is another great way to delight and distract. The kids get their favorite goodies — and yes, this is the time to pull out those special-occasion treats — and you also save money by not having to buy snacks at the food court. 

“Packing a cooler full of drinks, sandwiches and portable snacks like Go-Gurt, trail mix and chips can help you avoid the high cost of eating out,” Groner explained. It’ll also help you keep the kids happy, fed and hydrated so you can keep shopping. A small roll around cart is essential for keeping everything you’ll need portable.

What about those famous Door-busters? Should you tackle those? Many stores have moved the open door time for these super-shopping events to Midnight or 1:00 AM. Some people even camp out in front of the store hoping they will be the first ones through the doors.

Groner suggests you skip it. “Unless I could save several hundred dollars on something I would have bought anyway, I would skip the frustrations involved in that. I can’t think of anything that I could get to make camping outside of a store with kids overnight worth it.” If you feel left out on great deals – look for the same items online on Cyber Monday. Shop in your pajamas with a cup of coffee, from your own home instead!

If Black Friday shopping is still calling your name, shop in teams. If you’ve got another parent, relative or friend available to shop with you, use the power of teamwork.

“It’s a great idea to team up with another adult,” Groner said. “That would give you both a chance to break away for a few minutes kid-free to grab something while the other handles the kids.”

With two adults, you also have someone available to take kids to the bathroom, sit with them as they eat a snack and help entertain them when they get bored.

If you have a small child, consider using a well-made child harness to make sure your little one doesn’t disappear in the crowd.

Black Friday shopping has become a sport for those who are free to move about easily, have plenty of stamina and little distraction. If you’re the parent of small kids, online shopping may be just the ticket for your holiday gifts.

Story source: Nicole Dieker, https://www.thepennyhoarder.com/life/how-to-survive-black-friday-shopping-with-your-kids/

 

Your Baby

Choosing the Safest Fish to Eat During Pregnancy

2:00

As a parent or an expectant mom, you may have travelled down the same path as many others- searching for the healthiest diet for your family or soon-to-be newborn.

Fish is one of the foods that rank high on the healthy food chart. It’s frequently referred to as a “brain food” because of its brain-boosting nutrients, particularly omega-3 fatty acid. Certain fish are an excellent choice while others may contain high levels of mercury; a known toxin than can harm a developing child.

Mercury is a common seafood pollutant. This neurotoxic chemical can harm a baby’s developing brain in utero, even at very low levels of exposure.

Seas are increasingly polluted by toxic chemicals from 2 major sources: small gold mines and coal fired power plants, according to a recent report by Healthy Babies Bright Futures (HBBF.)

Mercury in a mother’s body can be transferred to her fetus during pregnancy, exposing the developing fetus to the potent neurotoxin.

The report states that millions of women of childbearing age who eat mercury -contaminated fish have enough of the toxic chemicals in their bodies to harm a developing child. “55% of the global sample of women measured more than 0.58ppm of mercury, a level associated with the onset of fetal neurological damage.” This is the finding of a new, first of its kind report on mercury levels in women of childbearing age in 25 countries by HBBF partner, IPEN: the International POPs Elimination Network

While these findings may make you wonder if any fish are safe to eat, many health experts recommend that women who are pregnant should not give up eating fish out of fear of mercury toxins, but should focus on eating fish found to be very low in mercury. These include: wild Alaska salmon, sardines from the Pacific, farmed mussels, farmed rainbow trout, and Atlantic mackerel (not trawled).  

High mercury risk fish to avoid include shark, swordfish, orange roughy. bigeye tuna, king mackerel and marlin.

The FDA and the EPA joined forces this year and released new guidelines on fish consumption for pregnant women or those who might become pregnant, breastfeeding mothers and parents of young children. To governmental agencies created a chart to help these consumers more easily understand the types of fish to select. The agencies have an easy-to-use reference chart that sorts 62 types of fish into three categories:

  • “Best choices” (eat two to three servings a week)
  • “Good choices” (eat one serving a week)
  • “Fish to avoid”

Fish in the “best choices” category make up nearly 90 percent of fish eaten in the United States. The chart can be found online at https://www.fda.gov/Food/ResourcesForYou/Consumers/ucm393070.htm

The HBBF report also includes a warning about canned tuna. Limit your intake of canned tuna. While tuna is higher in Omega 3s and nutrients than most fish, the mercury levels can vary in individual tuna. Light canned tuna is recommended over white tuna; however, HBBF notes in their report that scientists found that for both types, the potential harm to a baby’s brain exceeds the fish nutrients’ brain-boosting assets.

One tip to remember is that larger fish tend to absorb more mercury than smaller types of fish. Fish should not be eliminated from any family’s diet; the benefits far outweigh the dangers. However, it’s important to choose fish that are known to be lower in mercury for a healthier outcome.

Story sources:  Charlotte Brody, RN, http://blog.hbbf.org/toxic-mercury-and-your-babys-ability-to-learn/

https://www.fda.gov/Food/ResourcesForYou/Consumers/ucm393070.htm

 

Parenting

Family Fun Activities During the School Break!

2:30

Once the excitement of opening presents and playing with new toys starts to wane, many parents may be looking for ways to keep the kiddos entertained during the school break; especially if the weather turns bad and kids are inside a lot.

Here are some fun family activity ideas from thespruce.com, to consider:

Baking! From toddlers to teenagers, kids love the mixing and the measuring, but most of all, they love the treats at the end. As you teach kids to bake, scale holiday baking projects to your kids’ abilities and ages. Baking can be kept simple such as cookies or cakes, but even a go at bread might surprise everyone with a banana or zucchini loaf!

TV Holiday specials! TV you say? Keeping your kids from watching too much TV over Christmas break is always a challenge. But TV isn't all bad if you watch together--especially today when all family members could be watching on separate devices! There are plenty of funny and poignant holiday movies and specials that the whole family can enjoy together.

Try a winter sport! If you’re in a part of the country where snow is prevalent, take the family for a winter outing. Skiing, sledding and snow tubing are great fun. Ice-skating is now available in more places than ever with ice rinks popping up during the holidays in towns across the country. Not only are these activities exhilarating, but they are a great way to burn off calories and take in some fresh air. If the weather is nice, hiking and bicycle riding are other fun “get moving” activities.

No snow or ice-rink available? Try an indoor sport! Roller-skating, swimming, basketball, Ping-Pong and pool are a few indoor activities to try over your holiday break. If there’s a roller rink nearby, then it’s easy enough to find a place to skate. Some kid-friendly restaurants and arcades have Ping-Pong and pool tables. 

Volunteering is great to do any time of the year, but during the holidays, there are so many opportunities to lend a helping a hand to others.

Celebrate your child’s creativity with art! Art is one of those wonderful activities that can be scaled to almost every age and ability level. And depending on the project, it can be done with or without adult supervision. So you can work at home while the kids create art or you can roll up your sleeves and get messy too. Art projects can become gifts for relatives or decorations for the house. Setting up a dedicated art space makes set up and clean up easier.

Take a trip to a museum.  Many museums and attractions count on Christmas break for a big surge of visitors; so don’t expect to be the only ones there. However, many attractions put on special programs for kids and/or offer discounts on admission at off-peak hours.

Read a book together. Even if you regularly read together, change things up a little during Christmas break. Choose something a little different from your ordinary reading material so it stands out as a holiday tradition. Maybe try a book of Christmas poems or a classic novel read in daily installments. And if reading together is not part of your routine the holiday season is a great opportunity to start.

Another fun idea is not only to read a book together – how about writing a book together? Well, maybe not a whole book, but a story! Children who are just beginning to talk can contribute to a group story. Older kids can write or illustrate. This is also an activity you can participate in or something you can have them work on without you if you are working.

And then there’s the old standard activity that has been part of many a treasured holiday memory- playing games together. Kids games run the gamut from old-fashioned Candyland to video games. But one thing that is universal is:  kids like it when the parents play. You can also try puzzles. These are available for just about every child’s age group.

How about a talent show? This is an activity with so many possibilities! And it's great for all ages, including the grown ups. If you're working, the kids might put together a show and perform for you later. Or, the whole family could show off their talents for visiting guests--lip-syncing and dancing to a favorite song or just singing a few carols. The show can be as elaborate or simple as you like.

Story source: Laureen Miles Brunelli, https://www.thespruce.com/things-to-do-during-christmas-break-3542442

Daily Dose

Christmas Traditions

1:30 to read

As I am excitedly getting our house ready for Christmas I find myself reflecting on family Christmas traditions.  It started when I was decorating the tree and found myself unwrapping ornaments and reflecting on the memories that they bring back. There are the ornaments with pictures of little boys from pre-school days, all sorts of ornaments that we purchased on family trips (often with 3 little ones being reminded, “be careful when you touch”, hand crocheted angels from my talented Grandmother and so many ornaments that friends have given us over the years. It takes even longer to decorate the tree when you have the time to reflect on the meaning of each ornament…and where it should be placed so that everyone can see “their ornament” when we all gather.

 

This is “our year” to have our adult children and their families for Christmas. We have added 3 new stockings to the mantel this year…thrilled for each new addition to our family. My stocking started a family tradition as one of my dearest childhood friend’s grandmother knitted me a stocking one year.  When I was married she knit one for my husband. The last one she knitted before she died was for our first born son. I was determined to “carry on” the stockings….but did not have a pattern. But..after much searching I found someone to knit stockings for the next two sons and for years our five stockings hung on the mantle. But, as they married and had children I had to search for another person to copy the stockings…and I have kept her busy this year. She is a Godsend. 

 

We always go to church on Christmas Eve followed by the tradition that everyone gets to open a present. This has now evolved into a sort of family “white elephant” where each person can “steal” another’s gift…but they are usually all socks or ties or something along those lines but with different patterns. It is amazing how fun this is and how intense it can get. Really, over socks? 

 

The last thing we do before bed on Christmas Eve is to read “Twas the Night Before Christmas” aloud, and we continue to do this. Happily, this year there will be grandchildren to start listening and I hope that this tradition continues for along time.

 

Making memories and having traditions is part of the “glue” that holds a family together. Children need that sense of stability and tradition, even when they act like they don’t!  Whether they are serious or silly things you do together….they are your traditions. 

 

Merry Christmas!

 

 

Parenting

Alert! Cold Weather and Accidental CO Poisoning

2:30

As you know, extreme cold weather has gripped much of the U.S. this winter. From Texas to Florida, up the east coast and across the heartland, families have been struggling to stay warm. That’s pretty hard to do with temperatures in the minus 20s and wind chills in the minus 30s.

As temperatures drop, the use of gas heating goes up along with the risk for accidental carbon monoxide poisoning or CO.

That's because carbon monoxide exposure is both highly toxic and very hard to detect. The gas is colorless, tasteless and odorless.

As a result, more than 20,000 Americans seek emergency care each year for carbon monoxide poisoning, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. More than 400 die.

As recently as last week, a teenager was killed and 41 others were sickened by carbon monoxide in a New Jersey apartment building. Officials say a clay liner in a chimney fell and blocked the carbon monoxide exhaust from escaping. No one in the apartment knew the liner had fallen and the carbon monoxide detector was not working at the time.

If you heat your home with gas, oil or coal, installing a carbon monoxide detector is one of the most important things you can do. Just like fire detectors, you have to make sure that the batteries are charged and replaced at least once a year.

CO can be emitted from gas furnaces, gas powered water heaters, charcoal grills, propane stoves, portable generators and cars left running in an enclosed area such as a garage.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends these guidelines to help prevent accidental CO poisoning:

·      DO have your heating system, water heater and any other gas, oil, or coal burning appliances serviced by a qualified technician every year.

·      DO install a battery-operated CO detector in your home and check or replace the battery when you change the time on your clocks each spring and fall. If the detector sounds leave your home immediately and call 911.

·      DO seek prompt medical attention if you suspect CO poisoning and are feeling dizzy, light-headed, or nauseous.

·      DON’T use a generator, charcoal grill, camp stove, or other gasoline or charcoal-burning device inside your home, basement, or garage or near a window.

·      DON’T run a car or truck inside a garage attached to your house, even if you leave the door open.

·      DON’T burn anything in a stove or fireplace that isn’t vented.

·      DON’T heat your house with a gas oven.

·      DON’T use a generator, pressure washer, or any gasoline-powered engine less than 20 feet from any window, door, or vent.  

Symptoms of CO poisoning may include sleepiness, headache, dizziness, blurred vision, vomiting, shortness of breath and convulsions.

Anyone experiencing such symptoms should be immediately pulled out into the open air. It's important to seek medical help right away: Call 911 or the Poison Control Center at 1-800-222-1222.

This has been and looks to continue to be, a brutal winter indeed.  Many families rely on gas and fireplaces to stay warm when temperatures plummet, like the ones we’re experiencing now. It’s extremely important to make sure that your home is protected from this silent killer, carbon monoxide.

Story sources: Alan Mozes, https://consumer.healthday.com/public-health-information-30/poisons-health-news-537/beware-carbon-monoxide-dangers-when-cold-weather-strikes-729829.html

https://www.cdc.gov/co/guidelines.htm

Your Child

July 4th Food and Fireworks Safety Tips

2:00

This July 4th may be even more special than usual for a lot of families. Besides the excitement and patriotic fervor of celebrating our country’s official Independence Day, it may finally stop raining long enough for people to enjoy being outside.

However the day unfolds, you can bet there will be plenty of families and friends celebrating with good food!

Grilling is particularly popular on the Fourth as well as picnics. To make sure that the food you prepare is safe and stays safe for consumption, the USDA and the FDA offers these food preparation tips:

•       Clean: Make sure you clean all surfaces, utensils, and hands with soap and water.

•       Separate: When grilling, use separate plates and utensils for raw meat and cooked meat and ready-to-eat foods (like raw vegetables) to avoid cross-contamination.

•       Keep cold food cold. Place cold food in a cooler with ice or frozen gel packs. Cold food should be stored at 40°F or below to prevent bacterial growth. Meat, poultry, and seafood may be packed while still frozen so that they stay colder longer. 

•       Organize cooler contents. Consider packing beverages in one cooler and perishable foods in another. That way, as picnickers open and reopen the beverage cooler to replenish their drinks, the perishable foods won’t be exposed to warm outdoor air temperatures.

•       Clean your produce. Rinse fresh fruits and vegetables under running tap water before packing them in the cooler - including those with skins and rinds that are not eaten. Rub firm-skinned fruits and vegetables under running tap water or scrub with a clean vegetable brush while rinsing with running tap water. Dry fruits and vegetables with a clean cloth towel or paper towel. Packaged fruits and vegetables that are labeled "ready-to-eat," "washed," or "triple washed" need not be washed.

•       Cook: Cook foods to the right temperature by using a food thermometer. That’s the only way to know it’s a safe temperature.

•       Remember: Ground beef and egg dishes should be cooked to 160°F. Steaks, roasts, pork and fish should be cooked to 145 degrees F, and Chicken breast and whole poultry should be cooked to 165 degrees F. Shrimp, lobster, and crabs  cook until pearly and opaque. Clams, oysters, and mussels cook until the shells are open

•       Chill: Chill raw and prepared foods promptly if not consuming after cooking. You shouldn’t leave food at room temperature for longer than two hours (or 1 hour if outdoor temperatures are above 90° F), so if you’re away from home, make sure you bring a cooler to store those leftovers.

Warm weather events present opportunities for foodborne bacteria to thrive. As food heats up in summer temperatures, bacteria multiply rapidly. Safe food handling and cooking when eating outdoors is critical for your family’s health.

Most cities have banned fireworks within the city limits except for controlled displays. However, rural and unincorporated areas still allow the sale and use of fireworks by citizens.

Fireworks are now much more sophisticated and larger than mere firecrackers and sparklers; injuries associated with fireworks can be devestating. 

In 2013, U.S. hospital emergency rooms treated an estimated 11,400 people for fireworks related injuries; 55% of 2014 emergency room fireworks-related injuries were to the extremities and 38% were to the head. The risk of fireworks injury was highest for young people ages 0-4, followed by children 10-14.

On Independence Day in a typical year, far more U.S. fires are reported than on any other day, and fireworks account for two out of five of those fires, more than any other cause of fires.

The Consumer Product Safety Commission recommends these fireworks handling safety tips:

•       Never allow young children to play with or ignite fireworks.

•       Avoid buying fireworks that are packaged in brown paper because this is often a sign that the fireworks were made for professional displays and that they could pose a danger to consumers.

•       Always have an adult supervise fireworks activities. Parents don't realize that young children suffer injuries from sparklers. Sparklers burn at temperatures of about 2,000 degrees - hot enough to melt some metals.

•       Never place any part of your body directly over a fireworks device when lighting the fuse. Back up to a safe distance immediately after lighting fireworks.

•       Never try to re-light or pick up fireworks that have not ignited fully.

•       Never point or throw fireworks at another person.

•       Keep a bucket of water or a garden hose handy in case of fire or other mishap.

•       Light fireworks one at a time, then move back quickly.

•       Never carry fireworks in a pocket or shoot them off in metal or glass containers.

•       After fireworks complete their burning, douse the spent device with plenty of water from a bucket or hose before discarding it to prevent a trash fire.

•       Make sure fireworks are legal in your area before buying or using them.

The Fourth of July is definitely one of the most treasured holidays for Americans, make sure your family has a safe one!

Sources: http://www.fda.gov/Food/ResourcesForYou/Consumers/ucm109899.htm

http://www.cpsc.gov/en/Safety-Education/Safety-Education-Centers/Fireworks/

 http://www.nfpa.org/safety-information/for-consumers/holidays/fireworks

 

 

Parenting

Happy July 4th!

1:30

This July Fourth marks 240 years since the adoption of the Declaration of Independence and a new nation was formed. It’s one of the biggest and most commemorative holidays of the year. For many American families, the day will be celebrated with friends, flags, good food, parades, music, reunions, water play, fireworks displays and numerous other festive activities.

It’s a great day for patriotic fun with family and friends, but don’t forget about safety and the pets.

Food preparation, sun exposure, water activity, fireworks and our precious pets all require extra attention on this very special holiday!

Drink plenty of water and limit alcohol consumption- especially if children need looking after.

Protect against food poisoning by following these simple rules:

•       Clean: Make sure you clean all surfaces, utensils, and hands with soap and water.

•       Separate: When grilling, use separate plates and utensils for raw meat and cooked meat and ready-to-eat foods (like raw vegetables) to avoid cross-contamination.

•       Cook: Cook foods to the right temperature by using a food thermometer. That’s the only way to know it’s a safe temperature. Remember, burgers should be cooked to 160°F.

•        Chill: Chill raw and prepared foods promptly if not consuming after cooking. You shouldn’t leave food at room temperature for longer than two hours (or 1 hour if outdoor temperatures are above 90° F), so if you’re away from home, make sure you bring a cooler to store those leftovers.

Lots of families will be enjoying water activities at the beach or lake on July Fourth. Make sure your family plays it safe by:

•       Making sure the children – and even adults – always have a life jacket on when in the water or on a motorized water vehicle (boat, jet ski, etc.)

•       Never letting your children swim alone. An adult should always be present and paying attention.

•       Always stepping feet first into shallow water and never try to dive.

•       Reviewing safe boating practices.

•       Always having a phone handy should an emergency arise.

•       Knowing your limits when it comes to water.

Daylight hours are longer during the summer and the sun’s rays can be intense. If possible, limit your exposure to the sun between 10:00 am and 4:00 pm. Children are particularly susceptible to sunburn, so make sure they have plenty of sunscreen on. And once again, make sure you and the kids are drinking plenty of water! Watch for signs of heat stroke – rapid, weak pulse, fast, slow breathing, and hot, red skin.

Fireworks and the Fourth of July go hand-in-hand. The best way to protect the family from fireworks injuries is by attending a sponsored and controlled city or community fireworks event. Leave the explosions to the experts and enjoy the nighttime display!

If your city or county allows personal fireworks and you plan on having a few at the house, make sure safety is your first priority.

Fireworks can be dangerous, so in order to prevent injuries and deaths that are related to fireworks, here are a few firework safety tips to follow this Fourth of July:

·      Children should never be allowed to ignite or play with fireworks.

·      An adult should always be supervising firework activity.

·     A fire extinguisher, garden hose or bucket of water should always be on hand in the event of a mishap or fire.

·     No one should ever try to pick up or re-ignite a firework that did not ignite properly or fully the first time around.

·     Fireworks should only be lit one at a time and the person lighting them should immediately move away from the firework after lighting it.

And don’t forget about the four-legged family members! Pets don’t associate fireworks with celebrations and most are terrified of the loud explosions and whistles they produce.  Board or keep your pets indoors.

Make sure that lighter fluid and matches are out of your pet’s reach. While it’s tempting to feed your pets left over scraps, keep them on their regular diet. Keep citronella candles, insect coils and tiki torch oil products out of reach. These products can be poisonous to pets. And make sure that your pets have identification tags on them in case they escape. Having your pet chipped is inexpensive and provides a good way for owners to be tracked down in the event that a pet does run away.

July Fourth is a true American tradition. Here’s to having a fun and safe celebration!

Story sources: http://www.aspca.org/pet-care/general-pet-care/fourth-july-safety-tips

http://www.armymwr.com/july4th-safety.aspx

http://blogs.usda.gov/2012/07/02/four-food-safety-tips-for-the-fourth-how-to-protect-your-family-from-a-surprising-july-4th-danger/

 

 

Daily Dose

The First Newborn Visit

I know the office will be busy with many new babies born at the end of last week.Monday morning heading to the office and I know the office will be busy with many new babies born at the end of last week. This is one of my favorite times when young parents bring that precious your-baby in after being home for a few days. Now the questions begin, not usually as many when you are in the hospital and the your-baby has nurses helping as caregivers.

The most common response after I ask, "how things are going as a family", is "we are tired, but elated", and "I don't know babies could make that much noise". IT is amazing that even while sleeping babies do make a lot of little squeaks, burps, snorts and toots! The biggest thing to review at this visit is how the your-baby is feeding, stooling and wetting and making sure that they are not too jaundiced. Physiologic jaundice of the newborn is normal, but occasionally a better develops high levels of bilirubin and may need to have it treated with phototherapy. Lastly, sleep position. Tired parents will do almost anything to get their newborn to sleep. The only condition is that they must sleep on their backs. The "back to sleep" program has drastically reduced the incidence of SIDS, so all infants should be put down to sleep on their backs. Babies do need tummy time while they are awake, but it is tempting to let them sleep that way if they seem more comfortable. The answer when I am asked this is NEVER, until your your-baby is old enough to roll over on their tummy by their self. The best part of the visit is that I get 15 minutes of holding a newborn! That's your daily dose, we'll chat tomorrow.

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