Tips and Tricks (or-Treats) for this Halloween Season

Halloween is almost here and that means two things: your kids will want all the candy in the world, and they will want to get all this candy while dressed up as their favorite character. While Halloween is an enjoyable holiday for people of all ages, it can also be a scary one if proper precautions aren’t taken. Here are some things to keep in mind during this spooky season.

1. Make sure costumes are safe.

Since it will be dark outside, costumes should be bright and reflective. They should also be short enough, so your child won’t trip or get their costume caught in any hazards like debris, jack-o-lantern flames, etc. Any body paint should be tested on a small section of skin before the big day so allergic reactions can be avoided. Also, double check that your child can see through their eye mask if they have one!

trick-or-treating children on Halloween
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2. Use flashlights to see what’s around you.

Sure, there are some street lamps and porch lights, but a flashlight with fresh batteries is the best way to ensure a lit pathway while trick-or-treating. Phone flashlights work too!

3. Always use sidewalks and crosswalks and avoid walking through lawns.

It’s late at night and it might be difficult to spot trick-or-treaters. Play it safe and stick to the side. As for lawns, there might be tripping hazards like a garden hose or other miscellaneous items that the homeowner forgot to remove.

family walking on crosswalk

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4. Always read the ingredient label.

If your child or someone in your family has a food allergy, be sure to separate treats containing
the ingredient and let the rest of your family know why. Some candies are made in places where
contamination could have occurred. Err on the side of caution to protect your family this year.

5. Check for tampered treats.

If a treat is unwrapped, homemade, or otherwise suspicious, throw it away. Although it’s rare to
find tampered treats, it’s not worth the risk. Most likely, your children won’t miss one or two
treats. Worst case scenario: head to the stores on November 1st to pick up all of the discounted
Halloween candy.

candy

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5 Ways to Let Your Little One Help Decorate This Halloween

Pumpkins are a must-have decoration during the fall, but unless your child is patient enough to watch you carve the pumpkin, it can be hard to include the little ones in the fun. Your child can express their creativity by decorating the outside of a pumpkin. Here are five ideas for pumpkin decorating with young children:

1. Use Paint

Toddlers love finger painting (and making a mess), but this way, they can paint as many layers with as many colors as they want. Make sure to use washable paint so the mess is easier to clean! If using tempera paint, mix it equal parts with washable glue to prevent flaking after the paint dries.

paint covered hands
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2. Use Stencils

Whether it’s a shape or an animal stencil, you can hold it onto the pumpkin while your child fills it in. This offers some guidance, while also letting them have at it. Switch it up with different colors and different stencils for a unique design!

3. Decorate with Stickers

The great part about this method is that you can use old stickers that have been laying in your craft supplies for a while or buy stickers from the dollar store! Your little one can decorate while also working on their motor skills.

child holding pumpkin
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4. Use Glitter

While glitter is the messiest way to decorate a pumpkin, it can also be the most fun! Will your
child dump the glitter over the whole thing? Will they strategically pour the glitter? Or will they
simply toss it up in the air and let it fall where it may? Pick a nice day and decorate outside with
your child if you choose this route.

5. Make it a Costume Party

If you really want a mess-free decorating experience, opt for dress-up! Your child can dress the
pumpkin in hats and scarves and call it a day. You could even have a pumpkin fashion show!

pumpkin with witch hat

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Preparing for Flu Season – Useful Information You Need to Know

hot beverage on bedside table

Flu season is fast approaching. Take preventative measures and know what to do before you or your child falls ill. Flu season is suspected to come early this year.

How do I prevent the flu?

1. Get a flu shot

2. Eat healthy, exercise, and maintain healthy practices

3. Boost your immune system

However, getting the flu shot is not a guarantee that you will not catch the flu but getting the vaccine could help lessen the symptoms of the flu. The flu shot takes about two weeks to become effective, so a good time to get the flu shot is by the end of October. Healthy children 6 months or older can get the flu shot.

Obviously, taking care of your body and overall health should be a priority regardless of if it is flu season or not. Proper nutrition, drinking plenty of water, and exercise does wonder for your body and immune system. Maintaining healthy practices includes washing hands, disinfecting surfaces, washing clothes and bedclothes regularly, using separate cups and utensils, and sneezing or coughing into the inside of your elbow. To get a leg up over flu season and boost your immune system, try implementing a multivitamin to your daily routine.

What can I do if I or my children get the flu or another virus?

If you or your child has the flu, make sure to drink plenty of fluids, rest, and manage fever and pain. Check with your health care physician or pediatrician first, but acetaminophen or ibuprofen can be used to alleviate pain and fever symptoms.

In addition to pain medications such as ibuprofen, applying heat using a heating pad or other methods to areas that are painful and sore can help reduce pain. Taking a warm bath can help break a fever.

If you or your child has a stuffy nose and cannot breathe properly, try using a humidifier or the CLEARinse Nasal Aspirator to clear the nose. Interestingly, this nasal aspirator was developed by an ER Doctor and made with young children and babies in mind. As always, wash your hands and disinfect surfaces and other areas in your home.

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Your Toddler’s Tantrums are a Good Thing

upset child

It can be hard to keep your cool when your child is having a tantrum. It can feel like there is no end in sight, frustrating, and helplessness. Believe it or not, tantrums are healthy for children and your relationship with your child.

Why are tantrums good for my child?

When your child is throwing the temper tantrum of all tantrums, they are getting their emotions out. Part of developing, emotionally and mentally, is learning how to manage your emotions. Children are simply in this learning process, so go easy on them! They trust you and feel safe in showing their emotions and telling you how they feel.

Releasing their emotions will make them feel better, relieve their stress, clear their head, and more. Many times, children have breakdowns after they are told, “No.” Hearing that they cannot have something or take an action is healthy for you and your child. It shows children that there are limits and that you, as the parent, are standing your ground.

What can I do during and after my child’s tantrum?

During the tantrum, try asking them to explain how they feel and why they are acting in that way. Let them know that it is okay to express their emotions.

Afterward, teach them why you said, “No,” to them. Explain their behavior related boundaries. Let them know that you said “No,” to candy because they did not eat their veggies at dinnertime. Everything is a learning process!

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Pros and Cons of Children Using Devices

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Children are increasingly using devices more and more every day. Chances are, you know a parent who occupies their children by letting them watch videos or play games on their cell phone. Letting your child use devices is completely your own choice. Hopefully, this post will help you make that decision!

Pros of Using Devices

There are so many things your child can learn from engaging with a device. There are several educational applications, videos, and more than they can learn from. Your child can learn colors, types of animals and noises, math, geography, and so much more. If your child is fussy or misbehaving, the device can occupy them while you handle the situation.

By using devices, your child will be comfortable with using technology. Using devices can help them stay ahead of the curve in society and school because of the widespread dependability on technology. It can even develop their cognitive skills quicker.

Cons of Using Devices

When children use devices, they may have trouble making friends in the future because they have not learned how to communicate with others to a certain degree. They also may have issues with their eyesight from looking at the blue light the device screen gives off. Sometimes, children may use earbuds. This could cause earwax impaction because they earbuds go inside of the ear. Earwax impaction is one of the most common causes of hearing loss. They may have a higher risk of obesity because using devices requires them to be sedentary.

How can I give them the best of both worlds?

Try limiting their screen time. This allows them time to learn and play on their devices, but also ensuring that they put them down too. Teach them that having the chance to use technology is a privilege. This can be accomplished by having a routine of chores/homework first and then screen time.

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Benefits of Arts and Crafts

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Arts and crafts are a wonderful way for your child to stretch their imagination and creativity. These activities can be as simple as coloring a picture or painting. They can even be more difficult too such as helping you sew. Kids can gain many different skills or developments from doing crafts that you may not have considered. Below is just a short list of benefits your child will gain from arts and crafts.

So, what are the benefits?

Arts and crafts develop coordination since these activities use both hands. It even helps develop fine motor skills such as holding items in your hands or moving objects from one place to another. Your child will also develop their executive functioning skills. These are skills used for paying attention, planning, holding onto a thought, or even controlling impulses.

By doing arts and crafts, your child will have a higher self-esteem because of the positive emotional response completing these activities will give. At a young age, they will learn to take pride in their work and accomplishments. They will feel empowered because they are learning to express themselves. Arts and crafts promote creativity and imagination. These activities may foster artistic abilities in your child’s adult life.

Takeaway

Doing arts and crafts is a great way for your child to learn important skills they will need in the future. Do them together as a bonding experience! But they can be done alone as well. They do not have to be elaborate and expensive either. Start with some paper and crayons, and see where it takes your child!

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Tips for Newborn Parents

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Having a baby is a life-changing experience. Not only will having a baby completely change your world, but they are also expensive. The constant diaper changes, cleaning products, food and clothing from each stage of your baby’s growth will go into the thousands of dollars.

Here are a few tips for raising a healthy newborn baby, while also saving you some money.

Healthy Food Choices for a Newborn Baby

Obviously, babies need milk and food to grow. Manufacturers have seemingly made it easy for parents in today’s society, as they promise that all of the nutrition a newborn baby needs is available in a jar of food, or from a powdered milk source. However, according to many experts, breast milk is the best source of nutrition for a newborn baby. It is the richest source of gamma-linolenic acid (GLA), which supports the brain development in a baby.

Some experts recommend that breast milk exclusively be fed for the first six months, then alternate between breastfeeding and food until the age of two; however, some mothers continue to breastfeed their baby for longer. Breast milk is the perfect temperature for a baby, plus it saves a mother time, energy and money. After all, it’s free!

As your baby gets a bit older and you want to ensure they receive the highest levels of nutrition possible, then fresh food is best. Cook meals from scratch. Blend chicken, potatoes, carrots, and gravy for a tasty meal that your baby will grow to love. Pureed fruit, including apples and mixed berries, is a healthy dessert choice to feed your baby. Another good choice is rice pudding. Remember that meals cooked from scratch do not contain preservatives, and are much less expensive than manufactured foods.

Safe Products to Use on a Newborn Baby

It is very important that a baby receives healthy fats during their growth. Gamma linolenic acid (GLA) is abundant in breast milk. A rich source of monolaurin (immune boosting properties) is coconut oil. Rubbing this nourishing oil into your baby’s skin will heal rashes and skin irritations. It is important that you remember the skin is the largest organ in the human body and the skin of a baby is precious.

Baby oil contains mineral oil, plus synthetic fragrance. When applied to the skin, mineral oil blocks the pores and does not allow the skin to breathe. The skin must release toxins through perspiration and if a baby is unable to release toxins, they may be more prone to illness and infection. Healthier oils to use on a baby include coconut oil, shea butter, and Vitamin E oil. Stick to gentle products that are paraben and fragrance-free, made with nourishing oils, including sunflower seed, wheat germ, grape seed, and canola oil.

Using a jogging stroller could be great for you and your baby. It maintains your active lifestyle and will get you out of the house at a time in your life when you may be overwhelmed through responsibility.

To help your newborn baby getting better sleep, use the Baby Shusher. It works like magic and will save you hours of frustration trying to get your newborn baby to sleep. Swaddling can also help your baby sleep better and longer. Your baby may jerk in their sleep. This is normal and is their startle reflex. Swaddling can help prevent your baby from waking themselves up when they jerk.

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