Tag Archives: tips

Protecting Children from the Flu

As the flu continues to spread rapidly, it is important that everyone takes the necessary precautions to stay healthy.  There are many steps you can take to make sure that your children do not get the flu this year. CNN.com had many great tips to keeping your children healthy during this time of year.

  • Vaccinate: It is never too late for your children to receive the flu vaccination.  Even though the vaccine cannot fully guarantee your children will not get the flu, it still increases the chances of not contracting the illness. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the vaccine is about 62% effective. The vaccine can shorten the illness if they do get sick.
  • Coughing etiquette and social distancing: Continuously tell your children to cover their mouth and nose with a tissue if they feel that they are going to sneeze or cough. After they are done coughing or sneezing, they should immediately throw away the contaminated tissue. Then they should make sure to sanitize their hands. The faster they do these measures, the fewer germs will spread. Also, if your children begin to show any cold-like/flu-like symptoms, keep them home from school if at all possible. CNN Money just discovered that one in three U.S workers has no paid sick days. This will make it extremely hard to contain the flu with many sick people going to work when they should stay home. Another great way to prevent children from getting sick and swapping germs is to suggest to the teacher to separate the desks from one another during this time of year so children are not too close to one another.
  • Clean surfaces often: Sanitize all objects that are shared by the family such as door knobs, railings of the staircase, bathrooms, television remotes, telephones, toys, and chairs.
  • Practice a healthy lifestyle: Make sure the whole family is getting plenty of sleep at night, consuming plenty of vitamin C and iron, eating fruits and vegetables, drinking plenty of water, and having at least one hour of physical activity during the week.

Has the flu bug hit your household this year?  Please share your tips with us to prevent the spread of this nasty bug.  Flu Activity Video:

Conquering the Bedtime Battle

Sometimes getting the kids to bed is not as easy as parents would like it to be. Summer is coming to an end and that means that a routine bedtime will become a part of a preschooler’s schedule. In Step2’s last blog, Back to School Tips for Preschoolers, it was suggested that if your child has fallen out of a bedtime routine, it is essential to begin getting back on track before school begins. However, that is easier said than done.

Here are some great tips from Parenthood.com to help ease the struggle and win the bedtime battle!

1. Deal with your own stress and emotions before you begin the bedtime routine. This is a great idea! By relaxing and calming down before the potential battle may begin, it is a good to take a step back and assess how you will handle the bedtime situation. Children may resist going to sleep if they are being yelled at. The calmer a parent is, the less resistant a child will be.

2. Ease the transition to bed for your children. Warn your children ahead of time that bedtime is coming up. You do not want to completely drag them away from the television or playtime. Participating in bedtime tasks earlier on in the night may ease the transition and not surprise children that it is time for bed. Having them brush their teeth after dinner or putting on their pajamas (which means no more outdoor play!) an hour before bed limits them to what they can do to try to delay their bedtime.

3. Negotiate rules with your children. Let your children help create the rules for bedtime. However, make sure to stand your ground! Talk about the benefits of going to sleep at a good time on the weekdays so that they can have special rewards of staying up later on the weekends.

4. Create an environment that fosters sleep. If your child has toys all over their room before bedtime, they are more likely to want to continue to play and become easily distracted. Make sure a child’s toys are put away in toy chests. Also, make sure you have a good book to read to them to help them focus on going to sleep.

5. Don’t sweat the small stuff. Some days are going to be harder than others to get a child to sleep. If they are 15 minutes late for their bed time, do not stress out. However, make sure to emphasize that a bedtime routine is important to your little ones!

What to Do When Your Child Says “Mommy, I’m Bored”

“Mommy, I’m bored…” is definitely one of the most common phrases to come out of my child’s mouth. Over the years, I have learned how to defend against the inevitable boredom that sets in after my children spend too much time playing with the same toys and games day after day. The versatility of a child activity table has been a lifesaver for me and my kids.

I have found that setting up a comfortable table that is full of different designs and colors entices my children to play and stimulates their imaginations. As the kids color books or draw, they improve their hand-eye coordination and enhance their motor skills. While they build impressive building block structures or assemble dominoes, they are nurturing skills like problem-solving and creative thinking. The child activity table is also a great place for my kids to interact with friends. They love showing off their artwork, and I love watching them build social skills.

Most child activity tables are also low maintenance. I find it very easy to clean up spills, wipe off marker and fold it up for easy storage. I would definitely recommend that any parent or grandparent set one up. It is a great tool for fostering ingenuity and helps keep the childhood years free from boredom.