Archives for October 2012

Halloween Safety

If you do participate in Halloween, here are some tips we originally published in 2009. Have a good night, whatever you’re doing!

Pumpkin Festival
source: nates_pics

Halloween is an exciting time of year for kids, and to help ensure they have a safe holiday, here are some tips from the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP).

All Dressed Up

  • Plan costumes that are bright and reflective. Make sure that shoes fit well and that costumes are short enough to prevent tripping, entanglement, or contact with flame.
  • Consider adding reflective tape or striping to costumes and Trick-or-Treat bags for greater visibility.
  • Because masks can limit or block eyesight, consider non-toxic makeup and decorative hats as safer alternatives. Hats should fit properly to prevent them from sliding over eyes.
  • When shopping for costumes, wigs, and accessories look for and purchase those with a label clearly indicating they are flame resistant.
  • If a sword, cane, or stick is a part of your child’s costume, make sure it is not sharp or too long. A child may be easily hurt by these accessories if he stumbles or trips.
  • Obtain flashlights with fresh batteries for all children and their escorts.
  • Teach children how to call 9-1-1 (or their local emergency number) if they have an emergency or become lost.

Carve a Niche

  • Small children should never carve pumpkins. Children can draw a face with markers.  Then parents can do the cutting.
  • Votive candles are safest for candle-lit pumpkins.
  • Candle-lit pumpkins should be placed on a sturdy table, away from curtains and other flammable objects, and should never be left unattended.

Home Safe Home

  • To keep homes safe for visiting trick-or-treaters, remove from the porch and front yard anything a child could trip over such as garden hoses, toys, bikes, and lawn decorations.
  • Parents should check outdoor lights and replace burned-out bulbs.
  • Wet leaves should be swept from sidewalks and steps.
  • Restrain pets so they do not inadvertently jump on or bite a trick-or-treater.

On the Trick-or-Treat Trail

  • A parent or responsible adult should always accompany young children on their neighborhood rounds.
  • If your older children are going alone, plan and review the route that is acceptable to you. Agree on a specific time when they should return home.
  • Only go to homes with a porch light on and never enter a home or car for a treat.
  • Because pedestrian injuries are the most common injuries to children on Halloween, remind Trick-or Treaters:
    1. Stay in a group and communicate where they will be going.
    2. Carry a cell phone for quick communication.
    3. Remain on well-lit streets and always use the sidewalk.
    4. If no sidewalk is available, walk at the far edge of the roadway facing traffic.
    5. Never cut across yards or use alleys.
    6. Only cross the street as a group in established crosswalks (as recognized by local custom). Never cross between parked cars or out driveways.
    7. Don’t assume the right of way. Motorists may have trouble seeing Trick-or-Treaters. Just because one car stops, doesn’t mean others will!
  • Law enforcement authorities should be notified immediately of any suspicious or unlawful activity.

Healthy Halloween

  • A good meal prior to parties and trick-or-treating will discourage youngsters from filling up on Halloween treats.
  • Consider purchasing non-food treats for those who visit your home, such as coloring books or pens and pencils.
  • Wait until children are home to sort and check treats. Though tampering is rare, a responsible adult should closely examine all treats and throw away any spoiled, unwrapped, or suspicious items.
  • Try to ration treats for the days following Halloween.

© 10/09 American Academy of Pediatrics

For even more safety tips, to send these tips to a friend, or to download them in Spanish, visit http://www.aap.org/advocacy/releases/octhalloween.cfm.

Huge Mystery Giveaway!

There will be no daily giveaway today or tomorrow so that we can prepare for a HUGE mystery giveaway on Wednesday. Leave a comment on this post telling us what you hope will be included in the giveaway for an extra entry in Wednesday’s HUGE mystery giveaway!!

Not Easy but Good by Ellen Stumbo

My daughter has Down syndrome, and dealing with her diagnosis was difficult. I pictured a life defined by limitations, rather than possibilities. After a while, I began to see the blessing that I had in my daughter, and I came to realize she was the baby I always wanted, I just never knew it before.

If I could go back in time, this is what I would tell myself:

 

  • Dealing with her diagnosis will be one of the hardest parts of the journey. The rest is simply everyday life.
  • Grieving comes in waves. New stages might require for you to grieve all over again. It’s okay. It does not mean you don’t love your child or that you have not accepted her diagnosis. It is normal to feel this way.
  • Reaching milestones will be an accomplishment of extravagant joy and celebration.
  • She will be a child first. Her disability will only be a part of who she is, not what defines her.
  • You will love her with a fierceness that will surprise you and fuel you every day.
  • Your heart will expand a 1000 times over.
  • She will bring you incomparable JOY.
  • You will come to realize how much you needed her.
  • Thanks to her, your priorities will change as you understand what really matters in life.
  • It will not always be easy, but it will be good!
  • You can do it, and you will be better than okay.

My daughter has collaborated with God to work in my selfish heart. A heart that many times is so lost in this world that it forgets that the standards I live for are not the ones set by people, but those set by God. It has turned out Down syndrome was not a limitation, but a gift that has expanded my heart.

October is Down syndrome awareness month. As I look at my daughter, I recognize I have much to celebrate and be thankful for.

Ellen Stumbo is a writer and speaker. She is the mother of three daughters: Ellie; Nichole, who has Down syndrome; and Nina, who was adopted and also has special needs. She is wife to Andy, a pastor.

Closed: October 29 Giveaway: Firebird

Congratulations to our winner Jini! We’ll be in touch soon!

Today we are giving away one of B&H’s newest releases, Firebird!

Firebird is a bright orange baby oriole who just loves the sunshine. But whenever a storm blows in, he frets and asks Mama why God allows the rain to take the sun away. When Firebird is finally old enough, his mother gently instructs him to fly up through the thunder and lightning to see what’s on the other side. It’s a rough flight, and just when he’s about to give up, Firebird rises above the storm to discover the sun shining where it always had been. God never lets the storm take the sun away. With that truth in his heart, Firebird continues to bask in the sunshine, but just as important, he learns to rejoice in the rain.

Firebird is a children’s book that parallels the life of Samantha Crawford, a storybook artist in the inspiring new film Unconditional who has lost sight of God’s love.

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Friday Links

Did you read or write something you’d like our readers to see? Leave a link in the comments, on our Facebook page, or send us a Tweet!

Closed: October 26 Giveaway: Your Girl or Your Boy by Vicki Courtney

Congratulations Sarah and Jeanette C. You are our winners!

Today you have a chance to win a copy of either Your Girl: Raising a Godly Daughter in an Ungodly World or Your Boy: Raising a Godly Son in an Ungodly World by Vicki Courtney. (Feel free to enter both giveaways, but you can only win one of them!)


If you are the mother of a daughter eighteen years old or younger, especially one in the tween or teen years, you know that you are in a war for her mind, body, and soul. Best-selling author Vicki Courtney’s Your Girl addresses the times in which our daughters live, the high calling of motherhood, and the necessity to enter the battle to counteract negative influences of the culture.

“Father God, help us to raise this generation of girls to be Yours, and Yours alone,” Vicki writes. She encourages moms to rely on God’s Word while passing down key godly attributes including worth, modest, and purity. Your Girl also helps mothers teach their daughters to stand for truth, protect their hearts, and navigate the uncertain currents of girl politics.


If you are the mother of a son eighteen years old or younger, especially one in the tween or teen years, then you know that you are in a war for his mind, body, and soul. From his very first step to his first big steps into manhood, the things of this world relentlessly compete for his attention.

Best-selling author Vicki Courtney’s Your Boy keenly observes the complex culture young men face today and shows what mothers can do in spite of negative worldly influences to raise godly sons. “As mothers we have a brief time to make a godly impact on our sons; to grow the next generation of godly men. It is perhaps the highest calling God can give a woman,” Vicki writes. Frogs and snails and puppy dog tails; we know what little boys are made of. Now find out what it takes to make a man.

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Closed: October 25 Giveaway: Wholly Kids

Congratulations to our 5 winners: Kay Lynn Davenport, Tracye Goad, Becca Beauregard, Aline Appleby Tucker, and Deborah Sisco!

Today we have 5 copies of Wholly Kids to giveaway! This is a great resource for parents, but also for church staff. If you win, consider giving your copy to your Kids ministry leader!

Helping leaders and parents understand child development just got a whole lot easier! Wholly Kids is an easy-to-read book full of fun illustrations and details about how kids learn.

Topics:
Characteristics of Kids (Spiritual, Social, Emotional, Mental, Physical)
Information for Preschool Kids, Younger Kids, and Older Kids
Boys and Girls Learn Differently
Socioeconomic Factors Affect Learning
How Do You Learn (Exploring Learning Styles)
Creating an Environment for Learning (Relationships, Room Decor, etc.)
Guiding Behavior
Teaching Special Learners

Features:
Uses pictures to convey information
Easy to read
Indexed for ease of use
Helps parents and teachers learn about child development
Assists teachers in knowing benchmarks for learning

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Safe to Sleep Campaign from the National Institute of Health

The U.S. national campaign to reduce the risk of sudden infant death syndrome has entered a new phase and will now encompass all sleep-related, sudden unexpected infant deaths, officials of the National Institutes of Health announced.

The campaign, which has been known as the Back to Sleep Campaign, has been renamed the Safe to Sleep Campaign.

The NIH-led Back to Sleep Campaign began in 1994, to educate parents, caregivers, and health care providers about ways to reduce the risk of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS).  The campaign name was derived from the recommendation to place healthy infants on their backs to sleep, a practice proven to reduce SIDS risk. SIDS is the sudden death of an infant under 1 year of age that cannot be explained, even after a complete death scene investigation, autopsy, and review of the infant’s health history.  Sudden unexpected infant death (SUID) includes all unexpected infant deaths: those due to SIDS, and as well as those from other causes.

Many SUID cases are due to such causes as accidental suffocation and entrapment, such as when an infant gets trapped between a mattress and a wall, or when bedding material presses on or wraps around an infant’s neck.  In addition to stressing the placement of infants on their backs for all sleep times, the Safe to Sleep Campaign emphasizes other ways to provide a safe sleep environment for infants.  This includes placing infants to sleep in their own safe sleep environment and not on an adult bed, without any soft bedding such as blankets or quilts. Safe to Sleep also emphasizes breastfeeding infants when possible, which has been associated with reduced SIDS risk, and eliminating such risks to infant health as overheating, exposure to tobacco smoke, and a mother’s use of alcohol and illicit drugs.

“In recent years, we’ve learned that many of the risk factors for SIDS are similar to those for other sleep-related causes of infant death,” said Alan E. Guttmacher, M.D., Director of the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD), the NIH institute which sponsors Safe to Sleep.  “Placing infants on their backs to sleep and providing them with a safe sleep environment for every sleep time reduces the risk for SIDS as well as death from other causes, such as suffocation.”

A new one-page fact sheet, “What does a safe sleep environment look like,” shows how to provide a safe sleep environment, and lists ways that parents and caregivers can reduce the risk for SIDS.  The fact sheet is available here.

Have you been affected by SIDS? It’s such a scary thing, isn’t it?

Closed: October 24 Giveaway: Illustrated Study Bible for Kids

Congratulations Angela W. and Dawn R.! You are our winners! We will be in touch soon!

This morning we have two Illustrated Study Bibles for you! One for girls and one for boys. Make sure you fill out the appropriate form below based on if you are interested in the boys or girls version (and if you are interested in both, fill out both forms, but you can only win one!)

Pink simulated leather edition, the popularIllustrated Study Bible for Kids offers a fresh and exciting approach to Bible reading among children in grades 1-6. It features the complete text of the popular Holman Christian Standard Bible translation plus dozens of full-color illustrations, maps, and reconstructions. Also included are easy-to-read study helps like The Ten Commandments for Kids, How to Have a Quiet Time, Test Your Bible Knowledge, and a Bible Dictionary for Kids.Features include the Words of Christ in red, plan of salvation, forty-four color pages, seven color maps, seven color biblical reconstructions, and various other parent-acclaimed topical helps.

Brown simulated leather edition, the popular Illustrated Study Bible for Kids offers a fresh and exciting approach to Bible reading among children in grades 1-6. It features the complete text of the popular Holman Christian Standard Bible translation plus dozens of full-color illustrations, maps, and reconstructions. Also included are easy-to-read study helps like The Ten Commandments for Kids, How to Have a Quiet Time, Test Your Bible Knowledge, and a Bible Dictionary for Kids. Features include the Words of Christ in red, plan of salvation, forty-four color pages, seven color maps, seven color biblical reconstructions, and various other parent-acclaimed topical helps.
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Growth Spurts: Birth to 1

Not An Apple
photo source

Baby choices

Choices are important for baby development. Your baby develops thinking skills as he looks at two toys and makes a choice of which one to grasp. He exercises muscles as he reaches for a toy. He remembers and develops preferences for certain objects. He begins to explore independence as he acts on those preferences. As he makes choices, he is beginning to develop decision-making skills and confidence in his abilities.

Comment on what he chose: “You chose the red ball.” As he grows, offer more opportunities for him to make choices. In the future, your child will face many decisions. He will hear lots of ideas and beliefs. The ability to make tough decisions and develop spiritual convictions is rooted in these first choices.

Well-Baby Visits

Well-baby visits are frequent checkups to monitor your baby’s growth and development. The pediatrician will check the following:

  • Measurements. Your baby’s length, weight, and head circumference are measured and recorded on a growth chart to observe steady growth over time.
  • Head. The doctor will check the fontanels (the soft spots) of your baby’s head, as well as any flat spots.
  • Ears. The doctor will observe your baby’s hearing and check for fluid or infection in her ears.
  • Eyes. The doctor will track your baby’s eye movements, as well as look for blocked tear ducts and eye discharge.
  • Mouth. The doctor will examine your baby’s mouth for thrush, a common yeast infection. As your baby grows and starts teething, the doctor will examine her incoming teeth.
  • Heart/lungs. The doctor will listen to your baby’s heart and lungs to ensure that breathing and heart rhythms are normal.
  • Abdomen. The doctor will check for hernias and enlarged organs.
  • Hips/legs. The doctor will move your baby’s legs to detect any dislocation.
  • Genitalia. The doctor will check for tenderness, lumps, and infection.

Do you dread or look forward to well-baby visits? I feel like I didn’t mind them until my toddler was underweight … now I feel like I’m being reprimanded every time!