Archive for June, 2011

Drowning doesn’t look like TV drowning: Signs you need to know!

My husband sent me this article last week about what real drowning looks like – and it’s not how it appears on TV or in movies.

I wanted to make sure that all mothers and fathers saw it to make us more aware and vigilant this summer as our kids frolic in pools and the ocean. (Email this blog to your mom friends and post it on Facebook. Reading it could save a child’s life. Here is the article in Spanish!)

Mario Vittone has nineteen years of military service in the U.S. Navy and Coast Guard.  His writing on maritime safety has appeared in Yachting, Salt Water Sportsman, On Scene, Lifelines, and at the Naval Safety Center’s Online Resource Site. This article is taken from his blog and it describes what is called The Instinctive Drowning Response.

Parents need to understand, according to Vittone, that drowning is deceptively quiet event! There is generally no waving, splashing or yelling that you see on TV or in movies. He reports that “unless rescued by a trained lifeguard, …

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Do you have a ‘fun’ neighborhood?

We have landed in a small, but very active neighborhood. There are probably 30 kids between two streets (not long streets), and we are loving the amount of activities the neighborhood does as a group.

Take for example last week when the kids got out of school. One neighbor sent out an Evite to the entire neighborhood for a night at the park (which is just one street over) to celebrate the last day of school. I think about 50 or 60 people showed up. Everyone brought drinks, baked goods or Popsicles to share. We played en masse soccer (girls vs boys, kids vs grownups), capture the flag (rising fifth graders versus everyone else) and my personal favorite kickball (even mix of grown ups and kids.) We stayed for three hours and the games were still going strong when we left at 9:30. The kids were exhausted from running and went to bed great!

Plus I got to meet neighbors and the kids were able to make friends.

For Halloween several ladies organized a neighborhood block party. They …

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‘Plants vs Zombies’: OK for an 8-year-old?

My 8-year-old is loving an Internet game called “Plants vs Zombies.” It is also available on DS, iPad, X-Box and others. (I tried to paste in a sample of game play above but for some odd reason it wouldn’t save so click here to see the You Tube channel and how the game is played!)

I am having a hard time deciding if this game is alright for him to play. The basic gist is plants killing zombies by throwing balls at them. When the zombies are hit enough times their heads pop off and roll away.

It’s not gross. There is no blood. It’s not shooting bullets or anything that resembles a weapon. They have funny little zombie characters like a Michael Jackson zombie. (Wait is that not funny because he is actually dead?)

The game for DS is rated E-10, meaning for kids 10 and up. Walsh is only 8. (How closely do you stick to those guidelines?)

This is what the review on CommonSense Media says about the game:

“What parents need to know

Parents needs to know that this PC game contains a …

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Are you hiding the ‘good food’ during summer?

Every few weeks I move the hiding place for the 12-packs of Coca Cola from cabinet to cabinet in the garage so my kids don’t figure out where they are and help themselves.

Cookies and sweets are routinely placed on the top of cabinets that have ledges so the kids can’t see them or reach them even with step stools. Also I like to stick brownie pans on top of the china cabinet and sometimes in the oven where they don’t usually notice them.

I try to freeze the Otter Pops (the popsicles in the little squeeze bags) in groups of 10 or 15 so they don’t eat all 100 in just a few days.

And yes I often have a baby lock on the second refrigerator so they don’t sneak into the laundry room and help themselves to treats.

It’s a challenge, especially in the summer when kids are around the whole day, to make sure treats and snack food aren’t scarfed down in a day or two when they are supposed to last a week or two.

I always thought it was odd when my mom would retrieve a 2-liter of Coke or …

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Academy of Pediatrics: Few sports drinks, no energy drinks for kids/teens

We know it’s hot and kids are sweaty when they come back in from playing but The American Academy of Pediatrics says sports drinks should be consumed sparingly by kids and teens and the energy drinks should NOT be consumed at all!

The academy warned in the June issue of Pediatrics that downing Gatorade, Powerade and other sports drinks can increase the risk of weight problems in the average child.

It also warned that the effect of large amounts of caffeine and other stimulants have not been tested on kids and there are potential risks. It warns there can be a lethal dose of caffeine.

From MedPage Today:

“Energy drinks often contain the same carbohydrates, minerals, and electrolytes as sports drinks, but also have stimulants like caffeine, guarana, taurine, ginseng, L-carnitine, and creatine.”

“Guarana boosts total caffeine content as one gram equals about 40 mg of caffeine; taurine potentiates caffeine and may cause coronary vasospasm…”

” ‘The total amount of caffeine …

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