Tag Archive | safety

The Internet, TV and Our Toddlers

While there are many benefits to navigating the internet or watching TV, there are also many problems when it comes to allowing our children to navigate these means independently. Our children are becoming obsessed with watching cartoons online or on TV, it’s almost a sickness. I noticed my 4 year old would throw these random tantrums or be rude or talk back to me or just plain act bratty and I was becoming very concerned. I would wonder, what is she so angry about (she’s 4)? or why is she being so rude or acting up (she knows better)? Until one day I noticed one of the kid’s YouTube channels she was used to watching was of this girl (about 8 or 10 yo) acting up and doing the rudest things to her parents…screaming at them or throwing things at them, ect. The parents filmed and were also part of the “skits”.  They acted as if it was funny or as if it was ‘ok’ for her to treat them disrespectfully. I found it so odd and immediately told her she was not allowed to watch that channel and told her mimicking the wrong things of others is not right and gave her a whole speech as to why the little girl was acting wrongly. Since I prohibited her from watching that channel, she’s no longer acting this way…she has her moments of acting up, like most 4 year olds, but it is not nearly as bad as during those days of her watching that channel.

I also noticed that when it came time for me to take away the phone or the tablet or if I didn’t want to turn on the TV, she would cry, as if it was the end of EVERYTHING in her world. That actually made me so upset because it showed a type of obsession. I would tell her “if you cry you will not be able to watch anything for a long time.” Now she gives me the back the phone or tablet as soon as her time is up or doesn’t give me such a hard time about keeping the TV off or even asks if she can watch something. Basically, monitoring what they watch and setting up rules is something we need to be adamant about.

There are cartoons that look perfectly safe and cute and we would never think anything negative about them, but if we actually sat down and paid attention to them we would find some pretty disturbing things being ingrained in our kids. For example the Peppa Pig cartoon which many parents believe it is wrongly influencing our children.  Thankfully my daughter doesn’t watch Peppa Pig, but I know this cartoon is very popular. Check out this particular article HERE where a mother reveals some of the negatives of the Peppa Pig cartoon.

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But it doesn’t stop there; recently an extremely disturbing Mickey Mouse video surfaced in the YouTube Kids App.  This particular Mickey Mouse video shows normal Mickey Mouse cartoons singing the “Finger Family”song.  TODAY better describes it was follows, “one channel available on YouTube Kids, Superkidz Finger Family, has offered a dark take on the “Finger Family” song. Recently, some moms have shared on social media their shock at finding graphic images of Mickey Mouse and his family, shooting one another — and themselves — in the head with guns.” How crazy is that?!  See full article HERE

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As crazy as it may sound, we have to monitor everything; all of the kid’s YouTube channels and even the cartoons on TV have to be reviewed by the parent(s) first.  Oftentimes I sit down with my daughter and analyze what she’s watching whether it is on TV or YouTube to see if it brings anything valuable to her life.  Even if it is strictly entertainment, I make sure it is typical kid humor and entertainment.  I would say, sit down with your kids from time to time just to get a feel of they are watching.

xoxo

Kari Aragon

-a concerned mom-

 

Kiddle.co  – The New Search Engine For Kids

As parents, we always strive to protect our children as best as possible; including, but not limited to their protection from the craziness of the internet. Nowadays our technology is part of our everyday lives and the majority of us have access to at least one medium of technology that allows for our connection to the internet.  Our children are now growing up in our more technologically advanced world and can easily maneuver a cell phone, a tablet, a laptop or computer from a very early age, whether it is to use a kid friendly app or to watch or read something on the internet.

With my now almost 4 year old, I often find myself constantly checking in on her while she is using her tablet to watch kid-friendly YouTube channels, because it is very easy to end up on a different channel that is absolutely not kid-friendly.  I recently came across this post which talked about a new kid-friendly search engine called Kiddle which filters searches to only show kid-friendly results.  Even though my daughter is still not reading or searching for anything on the internet, when I heard about this new kid-friendly search engine I thought, “wow, a fabulous idea” for when she does start using the internet for her own searching

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Although, I think this is a great idea for kids between the ages of 7-14 who are constantly on the computer, who read and write and can maneuver their way around the internet,  this might only work if parents can really restrict access to other search engines and still monitor their kid’s searching habits. I don’t really believe there is any true way to restrict our kids from searching the internet, however, this idea is fantastic, as I strongly believe kids need to be kids first and foremost and our internet certainly exposes kids to all sorts of negative things at an earlier age than necessary. I figured that once she starts using the internet to search I can take away access to the other search engines and download Kiddle for her to use.  And even though there’s only so much I can control and keep away from her, I think any little bit helps to keep her mind as innocent as possible for as long as possible.  After a certain age I don’t think there is much you can do as far as restriction on their searching, but I think that if this search engine can really develop this idea and do more than what it claims it can do now, it can give some parents some peace of mind, at least for a little while. However, at the end of the day, our parenting skills is what is most important and what takes precedence over any negative exposures to our children.  If we are always doing our best as parents and teaching them as best as possible, right and wrong, good and bad and just being a good human being overall, they will be able to make good decisions in their lives regardless of what they see.

But if you would like to know more about this new search engine you can check it out here or check out this other article which goes into more details about the pros and cons of it. It definitely gives you a better breakdown of what to expect.  If you  are a parent of a child who is beginning to use the internet on their own, maybe you can check out this new search engine and see how it works for you and your kid(s).  I would love to hear about your experience.

XOXO
Kari

Tiny Prints - Birth Announcements and More

5 WAYS TO NATURALLY INDUCE LABOR

11224741_10206608765801416_3816183014202982893_nI have a friend who just recently gave birth, but a week before and after her due date had passed, she asked if I knew of any methods to naturally induce labor as she was ready for the baby to ‘come out’. She was scheduled to be medically induced a week after we spoke, but she didn’t want to wait and at the same time wanted it to happen on its own.  She mentioned she had been walking tons for the past week and cleaning and just staying active overall.  I told her to do some light squats and hip circles on a yoga ball, etc…She said she had done all of that, but would try the squats.  She later asked me if I had ever heard of anyone drinking Castor Oil or Karo Syrup to induce labor…I said no, but that I would find out.

As someone who had a midwife during my pregnancy, I am all for promoting the most natural ways to give birth rather than it being medically induced.  So, I went on a quest to find out from other moms what they’ve done to naturally induce labor. I put up a post asking moms the question and was immediately showered with answers with things that they had done themselves that worked for them.  So for those of you preggos out there who are past their dues dates and are looking for ways to naturally induce labor, here are some of the most common answers I received to my question.

  1. SEX – Have lots of sex
  2. Foot Massage/ Pedicure/Acupuncture/Pre-natal massage/Warm Bath
  3. Walk, walk and walk… a lot (squats and pelvic circles on yoga ball are good too)
  4. Foods that can help: Eat Eggplant Parmesan (CLICK HERE FOR RECIPE), Pineapple, Spicy Food, Chinese Food.
  5. Let the baby come out when it wants to (it won’t be in there forever LOL)

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Although, many of the women were against drinking Castor Oil as it causes extreme abdominal pain, diarrhea and meconium (having the baby poop inside; which of course would not be a good thing), some of the women had actually used Castor Oil and claimed that it worked for them (as long as you don’t abuse the dosage).  Of course this post is for informational purposes only and in no way it is to be taken literal.  I am not a professional in this field and your decision to try any of these suggestions would your own responsibility.

I thought it was very interesting finding out what other women claimed help induce their labor process.  Some of the woman said that after doing one or two of the above they were in labor just a few hours later.

So if you are in this situation and are looking for a natural way to induce labor, I think the 5 suggestions in this post are fun to try and non-threatening.

If you do try any of these, I would love to hear if they worked.

Wishing you a happy and healthy labor and baby.

Xoxo Kari
The Honest Company - Safe, Stylish, Convenient

Candy Tactics your kids will love

I’ve never been one to have a sweet-tooth. In fact I could go without candy and dessert without ever needing a ‘fix’ – bottom line I have no need for candy or sweets of any kind. However, other circumstances have made me Love candy in ways you couldn’t imagine… Wait maybe you can imagine.

I have compiled the top 5 reasons why I love candy…can you relate? 

1. Potty-Training – I used the candy tactic on my toddler when she was potty training. One jelly bean for each time she went to the bathroom. It worked wonders! She was fully potty trained before 2.5 years old.

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2. Eat your food and you get dessert – my little one is not necessarily a ‘picky’ eater. She pretty much eats everything, including fruits and veggies, but she can be an “annoying” eater, as in she plays with her food and takes forever to finish.  That’s when I bring out the candy or dessert tactic… “You can have dessert when you finish all of your food”

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3. Clean-up time bribing – Getting your child to clean up after themselves can be challenging at times…But not when you bring out the candy tactic. “I’ll give you a lollipop after you pick up all of your toys” – works like a charm. 

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4. Behave in public – She’s normally a really well behaved kid so I don’t use this very often, but when she decides she wants to act out – I definitely gotta pull out the candy card. 

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5. Bedtime – This one is very rare but has worked.  “Close your eyes and go sleepy time, when you wake up I’ll take you to get some frozen yogurt. I did it last night…she woke up asking for her frozen yogurt. Lol

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These tactics have worked out great! Probably because she has a sweet tooth lol. I do not give her candy every time I use the tactic though… It’s just a way to get her to do something and then I entertain her until she forgets about it. As parents we gotta figure out what works best for each of us because if we don’t find alternatives that work we can easily go crazy. Lol 

I hope you find my candy tactics helpful. what do you do to get your child to perform a task? Share your tactics. I may need to switch up mine here and there.” 🙂

Xoxo 

Kari 

We Love Sesame Place!

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What a fun-filled weekend this past weekend was!  Lots of celebrations…I love celebrations…I am happy to say that there’s always so much love surrounding them and good vibrations emanating from all over the place.  We are truly blessed. Among all of the celebrations I attended to this weekend, one in particular was Sesame Place’s Autism Awareness Day!

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Sesame Place is a kid-friendly amusement-water park geared toward children ages 2-13.  It has a variety of rides which kids can ride by themselves or accompanied by an adult if the child is too little.  They are located in PA about an hour and 20 minutes from Northern NJ and officially opens for the season this coming weekend.

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A friend of mine gave us tickets to attend this special event and we couldn’t have been more thrilled to go. Since we know how much our little one L O V E S Sesame Street, we knew this would be a major event for her.  She was certainly over the moon with excitement once we arrived. I wish you guys could have seen the expressions on her face. She was in heaven! This certainly was the perfect amusement park, for the best little girl. Later in the day, one of my sisters and two little brothers came to the park to join in on the fun which made the day even more special.

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It was a sun-filled Sunday, just the perfect day to be outdoors. As I looked around, I noticed every child was truly enjoying this magical day.  It was great to see all of those little smiling faces, running around, going on the rides, eating candy, meeting all of the characters and more.  Everything was so perfect! My little one finally got to go on rides for her size… and she was having a blast.

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We got to sit and watch Elmo Rocks Concert which was fantastic.  She was totally enjoying and rocking to the beats of Elmo, Cookie Monster and friends. She also got to say hi to Elmo and take pictures with Cookie Monster and Abby…her favorite characters!  And to top it off, she got to see ALL of the characters during their wonderful 20 minutes closing parade.   She truly had the time of her life.  We can’t wait to bring her again once the water rides open…that will be another amazing experience.

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This day was just so wonderful overall.  Seeing her beautiful face lit up throughout the entire day we knew we made the right choice when we accepted those tickets.   If you are close to PA or willing to take an hour plus ride, I would suggest you take the kids. While we were there we ate at the Cookie Monster Cafe where each kid got to take home a super cute Cookie Monster Plate and Drink Cup as a souvenir.   My only suggestions would be to try to eat a good meal before arriving at the park. The food there is expensive and not the healthiest.  Other than that I can assure you, your children will have a great time!

There is a Groupon deal going on right now. Go HERE to view.

Hope you enjoy looking at the pictures of our Sesame Place Adventure!

Xoxo

Kari

Keeping it safe on the playground!

2014-05-27 10.38.00Memorial weekend was off to a good start, my son, age 3, and I decide to attend a nice gathering with friends and family at Alley Pond Park in Queens, NY.  We were enjoying a nice day at the park, riding scooters, eating the inevitable chips and junk food that all kids love so much. Overall, we were having a great day.

My little boy was getting a bit bored towards the end of the day though, so we decided to head to the playground that was nearby.

The playground was a bit high and, in hind sight, tailored a bit toward older kids but I figured he would be ok. There was a bridge that he stumbled on, but again I figured he would be ok. About 5 minutes later my boy trips on the edge of the bridge and goes flying head first into a wooden step. I swore he broke his nose!

It took all I had to keep calm and pick him up and assess the damage. He had a black bruise in the middle of his forehead almost immediately and it was swelling up by the minute. I was applying ice, but at a park with limited supplies it seemed useless.

A peaceful fun day had now turned into a frantic one in a split second. I gathered all my stuff and rushed him to nearest hospital, as head injuries are a bit tricky. I kept talking to him and making sure he was conscious and coherent.

He was evaluated and observed for 4 hours and determined to be ok. He was a very brave boy. We are definitely counting our blessings. The nurse reassured me that the forehead is the ideal spot for a kid to get hit, as it is the hardest part and odds are the brain won’t be affected. Not that anyone wants their kid to have a head injury but if it did happen, that is where you would want it to occur.

The doctor advised me to keep checking for the main symptoms such as fainting, vomiting, dilated pupils, dizziness, disorientation, headache and mood changes. She told me to apply ice on the bump for 20 minutes every hour to hour and a half for the first 24hrs and then only heat.  I was a bit surprised about the heat. I have never heard of applying heat to an injury before. Even in movies you see a piece of meat for a black eye or ice for injured athletes. So I chose to share this story in hopes of informing other parents who may not have heard about this and to make sure they know what symptoms to look for in case of a head injury.

Apparently, the swelling will go down with the ice but if you continue with the ice after 24 hours you will be stopping the blood flow the injury needs to heal and therefore causing a hard bump underneath the bruise. I forget the medical terminology for this bump. I believe it’s a hematoma, but apparently it will take a VERY LONG time go away unless you apply the heat early on. It may take years before you see a difference without applying the heat to increase blood flow.

This bump is not at all dangerous, and other than for cosmetic reasons, isn’t an issue but I figure no one wants their kid going around with a lump in the middle of their forehead if it can be prevented.

We were definitely lucky this time around and I will be a bit more conscious about the playgrounds he plays in. We learned the hard way that all playgrounds are not safe for toddlers. From now on I will choose playgrounds no more than 3 ft off the ground to make sure they are age appropriate.

 

No Child Should Be Left Alone In A Car

20140714-150151-54111183.jpgI have recently come across so many posts regarding parents who have “forgotten” their child in the car on a hot day (or any day for that matter) which has caused the child to overheat, and in many cases lose their precious life.  The idea of being so consumed by your daily routine to the point of completely forgetting/neglecting to get your child from the back seat is just unfathomable to me.  Is it really possible?  I can’t imagine how it could be.  I understand people get busy, have daily life snags, may have an overwhelming amount of things to do, their daily routine may change a bit, but to FORGET YOUR CHILD! That’s just ridiculous! Can’t you see your child is in the back seat with your peripheral vision? Or when you get out of the car, obviously there’s someone in the car, can’t you sense it? Have we become that detached? As a parent I couldn’t bear to live with the thought that I was so busy with non-sense that I forgot my beautiful child.

When I am at work I think about my child constantly.  Wondering how she’s doing, what she’s doing, did she eat, did she take her nap, etc.  If I knew my hubby was out and about with her and perhaps needed to drop her off somewhere, I always call and find out how it went, if he dropped her off and so on.  So if your wife or husband happens to be responsible for dropping of the child at the babysitter’s or at daycare and this is not normally their responsibility for instance, wouldn’t you call and find out how things went when dropping off the child?

Or as the parent that was responsible for dropping off the child to remember, “oh, wait I strapped in my kid this morning and I’m supposed to drop him/her off.” Or even perhaps the babysitter, daycare, school call the parent and find out where the child is…aren’t they supposed to be expecting him/her to arrive? I believe most daycares and schools do call if the child is absent, therefore, I just don’t understand how you can forget your child for 8+ hours out of the day and no one calls anyone! It just boggles my mind.

I once saw a story on TV of a lady who had four children.  One particular morning she was responsible for dropping the baby at daycare, however, because it wasn’t her normal routine she went to work and forgot her child in the car on a hot day.  What the heck can you possibly be thinking about that is so important that you completely forget you were driving with your child in the back seat? The child was found dead by a colleague of hers at like 6 PM when she walked by her car in the parking lot. The mother seemed genuinely devastated she had lost her child and who knows maybe she genuinely forgot.  However, one of the most recent stories is of the one father from CT who forgot his child in the car the entire day. He is now in custody since after some investigation it turns out the father actually went to the car during lunch, went out and grabbed lunch all while his precious child was in the back seat overheating.  You can’t possibly tell me he did not see his child during his lunch break! He is obviously in custody because of his intentional negligence and I hope justice is served for the sake of the child.

These are just two stories of this type.  According to Department of Earth & Climate Sciences San Francisco State University already 17 children have died this year due to heat-stroke or Hyperthermia.  That is just devastating because these incidences are completely avoidable if parents were more present. It saddens me to know these children have gone through such agonizing deaths while the parent was doing who knows what.

In an effort to bring awareness to this situation and in hopes that no child should ever go through this, Terry Williams filmed himself in a hot car to show others what it is like.  In his video you can see how much he is sweating in a just a few minutes.  Imagine now a child with less resistance to hyperthermia than an adult.  Here’s his video:

He is asking everyone to try this out for themselves and help spread the word in order to prevent these types of incidents. I find it absolutely courageous that some parents/people have decided to put themselves in the child’s position to show the world what these poor little angels have gone through. Let’s continue to spread the word and create awareness…it can save a child’s life!

Here’s a re-enactment of a possible circumstance of leaving a child in the car.

Perhaps it is possible that one can genuinely forget their child in the back seat of the car.  As a mom myself, I ask all parents to live in the present moment and avoid something like this happening to your child. When you go in the car after buckling your child in the back seat do something to remind you that your child is there, put kid’s music on or talk to your child the entire ride.  Some other parents have suggested taking off one shoe and putting it in the back seat or taking the child’s toy or teddy bear and putting it in the front seat with you.  These are just some ideas, but as a parent I’m sure you can come up with other ideas that will help you remember if need be.

While doing some research on this topic I found a very useful and informational website, www.kidsandcars.org that can provide you with great information for car-child safety and here are a couple of their nice Fact-Sheets that are great to follow:

http://www.kidsandcars.org/userfiles/dangers/heat-stroke/look-before-you-lock-front.pdf

http://www.kidsandcars.org/userfiles/dangers/heat-stroke/look-before-you-lock-back.pdf

 

xoxo

Karintia