Showing posts from November, 2009

Shopping safely with children during the holiday season

Like most parents I fear losing my children in a crowded store when we're out shopping. That coupled with my less than stellar patience with crowded environments means that you won't find me in any stores on Black Friday! But with a little advanced planning your shopping trip can go smoothly.

Don’t take younger children shopping when it is close to nap times or during a time of day that they usually have a lot of energy. Those times of day can mean cranky, energetic or less-than-politely behaved children. If your child typically likes to run or hide from you, realize that they are going to do that in a crowded store as well and look around at areas that you think they’re like to hide in.

Do you need to shop at a busy time of day? Do you need to take your children to the early morning Black Friday price-slashing sale? Can you shop at a different time?

Talk to your child beforehand. Explain to them that the store may be crowded, there may be a lot of fun things to look at, but th…

Help out your local Food Pantry this winter

A few years ago my daughter's Girl Scout Troop was working on a food and nutrition badge. As we discussed some of the badge requirements in the Troop meeting we got to discussing who does not have access to good, healthy foods. Not surprisingly the girls first started listing off several impoverished nations. So they were surprised to find out that many people locally do not have access to fresh healthy food because it is usually more expensive. This led to a great service project that year with a local food pantry.

This year our Troop is again doing a Food Drive. Our last collection day is Wednesday 11/18 as we're delivering our donations the following day. If you're in Newington, NH feel free to drop any non-expired food or household item (detergent, soap, personal care items) off at the Newington Town Hall. We will be visiting the Seacoast Family Food Pantry with our donations.

The need for food is greater this year than ever. So many families are struggling to mak…

A new way to teach relief of choking

In most of my CPR courses I'm asked how effective the Heimlich maneuver is. We can practice where to place our hands, but this is not a skill that can be practiced on someone who is not choking and is not easy to practice on a CPR mannequin.

But today I found this really neat product and video.

This would be an easy and effective way to teach proper hand positioning and technique. Unfortunately for me it is a bit cost prohibitive. But I wanted to share the video as it is a good training aid just to see how effective proper hand placement and technique are to successfully relieve choking.

You can read more about this product at

Germs, germs go away....

After my last post on hand washing vs. hand sanitizer I received a great question about other ways to prevent the spread of germs in public places.

It would be impossible to prevent all germs from being spread around. But there are a few precautions we can take to limit germ sharing.

When my two school aged daughters were younger their classroom teachers did a fun project with them every year. The kids got to grow germs. They went around the school like little scientists and swabbed different things and parts of the building. Where do you think they grew the most germs from? Not the restroom.... from door handles, light switches, telephone handsets and computer keyboards. Places we don't often thinking of cleaning.

Most commercially available disinfectant sprays and wipes can take care of limiting germs on these surfaces. A quick spray or wipe can help kill germs and bacteria and prevent their further spread. If you work in a public place or large office and/or share workstati…

Hand soap vs. hand sanitizer

Last week in two of my classes we had a big discussion on hand washing vs. using hand sanitizer. There was a story on Good Morning America about this which I went searching for this weekend. Both classes the participants insisted hand sanitizer was the best way to go, but some parents are concerned about accidental (or otherwise) ingestion of hand sanitizer by their kids. So what method is the best way to prevent the spread of germs? The study recommended good hand washing.

Good hand washing techniques wash germs away. It doesn't kill germs, just washes them down the drain. It really doesn't matter if you use regular soap or antibacterial soap. The study done at the University of Maryland demonstrated that use of antibacterial soap did not do a significantly better job than just hand soap. What made the difference with hand washing was the technique used. Wash for at least 20 seconds or more. Statistically they found that most people just do a quick rinse. It is the …