Summer SafetyA few precautions can help your children enjoy warm weather fun in safety and good health. Known as “trauma season” among public health and medical professionals, summer is a time when serious injuries and unintentional deaths increase dramatically among children. Statistics show that 40 percent of all injury-related emergency room visits happen between the months of May and August. Fortunately, many of these injuries can be prevented with a few simple precautions.

“Sustaining a serious injury can be a life-altering event for a child,” said Dale Stauss, chairman of the Board of Directors for Shriners Hospitals for Children®. “We see patients every day with injuries caused by accidents, and we are committed to raising awareness about how to stay safe this summer.”

As experts in the treatment of pediatric orthopaedic conditions, spinal cord injuries and burns, Shriners Hospitals for Children provides critical, surgical and rehabilitative care to children, regardless of the families’ ability to pay.

Shriners Hospitals encourages families to take these simple precautions to enjoy a safe, injury-free summer.

Playground 101

• Choose playgrounds that are appropriate for their age and offer shock-absorbing surfaces.

• Teach children that pushing and shoving can result in accidents and injuries.

• Remind kids to use the slide one at a time and to wait until it’s completely clear before taking their turn. Teach them to always face forward with their legs straight in front of them and to never slide down headfirst.

• Remind children to swing sitting down. Encourage them to wait until the swing stops before getting off and to be careful when walking in front of moving swings.

Make A Safe Splash

• Teach children to never swim alone or go near water without an adult present.

• Give children your undivided attention when they are swimming or are near any body of water.

• Always jump in feet first to check the depth before diving into any body of water.

• Never dive in the shallow end of the pool or into above-ground pools.

Fun On The Water

• Always have children wear a U.S. Coast Guard-approved, properly fitted life jacket while on a boat, around an open body of water or when participating in water sports.

• Educate yourself. According to the Coast Guard, 86 percent of boating accident deaths involve boaters who have not completed a safety course.

• Always check water conditions and forecasts before going out on the water.

Mowing Matters

• Teach children to never play on or around a lawn mower, even when it is not in use. They should never be permitted to walk beside, in front of or behind a moving mower.

• Children under 6 years of age should be kept inside the home while you are mowing.

• Children should be at least 12 years of age before operating a push lawn mower and at least 16 years of age before operating a riding lawn mower.

Fire Safety Simplified

• Teach kids to never play with matches, gasoline, lighter fluid or lighters. Make a habit of placing these items up and away from young children.

• Do not leave children unattended near grills, campfires, fire pits or bonfires. Always have a bucket of water or fire extinguisher nearby.

• Take your child to a doctor or hospital immediately if he or she is injured in a fire or by fireworks.

Should an injury occur, the physicians and staff of Shriners Hospitals can help. To find out more about the treatments available, visit www.ShrinersHospitalsforChildren.org.

Visit www.ShrinersHospitalsforChildren.org/SafeSummer to find more tips for preventing injuries this season.

*Article and image courtesy of NAPS.*

Outdoor Space ArticleHere’s the buzz when it comes to backyard fun: Before you plan those barbecues, pool parties and bonfires, you need to transform your outdoors into a great entertaining environment and stop insects from making themselves at home.
To keep your backyard looking its best this season, try these six tips:

1. Good gardening: Choose a lively combination of colorful plants and flowers to brighten your outdoor spaces during the day and light them at night to add drama. Try citronella plants and marigolds to naturally repel mosquito populations and be sure to eliminate standing water as it attracts mosquitoes.

2. Check your equipment: Make sure the lawn mower, weed-whacker and the like are primed and ready, blades sharpened, tank refilled and so on.

3. Rake it in. Get rid of last year’s dead leaves and twigs that can keep your lawn from soaking up the sun. Consider composting the debris.

4. Beating the pests: Fortunately, protecting your yard against insect-borne diseases such as chikungunya, West Nile virus and Eastern equine encephalitis (EEE) does not have to be a challenge, nor does it have to involve chemical sprays. Instead, you can use environmentally friendly solutions to keep bugs at bay while enjoying the outdoors.
For example, Dynatrap insect traps can provide relief from mosquitoes, biting flies and other flying bugs without pesticides. Since they come in a variety of styles and finishes, you can even find one to match your deck decor.

5. Grilling idea: Clean the grill after each use to save yourself time and trouble when you want to fire it up for your next get-together. That will also help keep bugs from hovering on the deck.

6. Deck design: Your outdoor space can make or break your backyard, so be sure it reflects your style and makes a statement. Keep in mind the primary use of your outdoor space and remember to think about mosquito control as it relates to the size of your yard. Position the insect trap where it will draw bugs away from where you spend most of your time.

For further facts, visit www.dynatrap.com, Frontgate and other retailers, or on Facebook, [email protected] or Pinterest.

*Article and image courtesy of NAPS.*

Soothe Baby Naturally PicIt’s not something any new parent wants to anticipate, but the reality is, infants and toddlers sometimes don’t feel well. Upset stomachs from gas and runny noses are common among youngsters and can happen at any time of the year. When children are not at their best, there are several easy, tried-and-true remedies that are safe for parents to learn to help kids start feeling better quickly.

Upset Tummies

Burping is best: Gently burping your infant or toddler is the easiest way to relieve discomfort from gas during and after feedings and meals. If your little one does not burp immediately, this is normal—just lay him or her down on his or her back for a few minutes before trying again.

Keep on moving: An active infant or toddler is a less gassy one! Supervised tummy time and keeping your little one’s legs and arms moving is another simple technique to keep the flow of oxygen steady to prevent discomfort from gas.

Experiment with food: Certain foods your infant or toddler enjoys eating, such as broccoli, beans and cauliflower, may cause extra gas. Because of this, products such as Little Remedies® Gas Relief Drops and Little Remedies® Gripe Water are ideal for liberating pains from excess gas. Little Remedies® believes “less is more” and strives to make sure that each of its products contains just what is needed for fast, safe relief—nothing more. With no artificial colors, flavors, alcohol, saccharin or preservatives, these remedies provide a comforting relief to upset stomachs due to gas.

Stuffy Noses

Fluids, fluids and more fluids: Plenty of fluids, especially water, are a little one’s best friend when it comes to stuffy nose symptoms. For older children, warm broths, soups and other drinks can also work wonders.

Just add moisture: A little moisture goes a long way! Room humidifiers and saline nose drops such as Little Remedies® Saline Spray/Drops moisten the nasal passage and flush out unwanted mucus from little noses. This non-medicated product can be used as often as needed without the worry of any harmful side effects or drug interactions. Its specially buffered formula is alcohol free, will not sting or burn delicate nasal membranes, and has a baby-size applicator tip.

For more information on Little Remedies® and the full line of products, visit www.LittleRemedies.com, or join them on Facebook at www.Facebook.com/LittleRemedies and @LittleRemedies on Twitter for updates.

*Image and article courtesy of NAPS.*

Berry healthy articleMay is National Strawberry Month, and this little heart-shaped fruit can be a big help to your heart. According to research, strawberries may play an important role in helping to reduce the risk of heart disease.

“Strawberries are at the top of the list of foods I recommend for packing the most nutrition into everyday meals, especially when considering cardiovascular health,” said Sylvia Klinger, MS, RD, LDN. “It’s an easy sell with their versatility and naturally sweet taste.”

Here are 12 more reasons to enjoy California strawberries:

1. High in vitamin C (more per serving than an orange) and may boost immunity.

2. Considered a superfruit with loads of antioxidants and anthocyanins.

3. Versatile and can be added to both savory and sweet dishes.

4. Low in sugar, naturally sweet with only 45 calories per cup.

5. A source of potassium to support healthy blood pressure.

6. A good source of dietary fiber.

7. Available year-round and easy to freeze.

8. Grown by caring strawberry farmers who use sustainable farming practices.

9. Loved by kids and ideal for snacks and lunches.

10. Ideal for adding appeal to summertime dishes and special occasions.

11. Grown to perfection in ideal growing conditions along California’s coast.

12. Globally loved and voted America’s favorite fruit.

 

Try this recipe for a tasty way to enjoy strawberries:

Grilled Salmon with Strawberry Ginger Salsa
Serves: 6

Ingredients

Salsa:

Prepare at least one hour ahead.

1 English or seedless cucumber, finely chopped

1 green onion, thinly sliced

1 Tbsp. cilantro, cut into strips

1 tsp. fresh ginger, freshly grated

1 yellow pepper, diced small

3-4 Tbsp. seasoned rice wine vinegar

2 cups fresh California strawberries, hulled and diced small

Sauce:

1 stick unsalted butter

1 clove garlic

1 Tbsp. honey

2 Tbsp. soy sauce

1 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice

6 salmon fillets (or fish of choice), skinless

Preparation

Mix cucumbers, green onion, cilantro, ginger, yellow pepper and vinegar. Cover and chill at least one hour. Just before serving, add strawberries. In a small saucepan, melt butter with garlic over low heat. Stir in honey, soy sauce and lemon juice and cook 2 minutes; set aside. Prepare a charcoal grill; when ready, brush sauce on salmon pieces and place on a well-oiled fish-grilling rack. Place rack over coals about 4 inches from fire and grill approximately 4 to 5 minutes on each side. Brush with the sauce again after turning and again when done. Transfer to warm platter and top with salsa.

For more information and healthful recipes, follow @castrawberries on Facebook, or visit www.californiastrawberries.com.

*Article and image courtesy of NAPS.net.*

It may not be the first thing most people think about when it comes to looking fit and living healthfully, but dietary fiber can be good for just about every, well, fiber of your being. These facts may provide you with some food for thought on adding more fiber to your diet.

How To Add Fiber To Your Diet

It’s wise to get fiber from the food you eat. To do so, pick foods that are naturally high in fiber such as fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and products that have been fortified with added fiber. Read the labels of the foods you buy and try to find those that provide 10 percent or more of the Daily Value for fiber. Eat a variety of different types of dietary fibers to get all of the benefits dietary fibers have to offer.

Fortunately, it’s easier than ever to find foods that are high in fiber. Lately, the food industry has begun adding dietary fibers to a myriad of foods and beverages that people enjoy every day. Added dietary fibers can now be found in yogurt, cereals, breads, fruit juices, milk, tortillas, baked goods, and nutrition supplement bars and beverages.

However, it’s important to remember that people should try to eat a variety of different types of dietary fibers to get all the benefits that dietary fibers have to offer.

Why To Add Fiber To Your Diet

The health benefits of dietary fiber include:

• Weight management: Scientific studies consistently show that the more fiber in your diet, the lower your risk of obesity.

• Improved digestion: Some dietary fibers can help regulate your digestion and help your intestines defend you from germs.

• Lower cholesterol: Certain dietary fibers reduce the risk of heart disease by helping to lower blood cholesterol.

• Reduced glycemic response: Some dietary fibers can slow down the absorption of glucose and lower the glycemic effect of food.

• Healthy microflora: Some dietary fibers can give a boost to the beneficial bacteria in the intestine (and defeat the bad ones) to help them fight inflammation and possibly even cancer.

• Increased mineral absorption: Certain dietary fibers help the body to better absorb minerals, especially calcium.

• Increased insulin sensitivity: Some dietary fibers have been shown to improve insulin sensitivity.

• Increased satiety: Research suggests that some fibers can encourage the body to produce hormones that leave you feeling fuller, longer.

No single fiber or food provides all of these necessary health benefits. So you need to eat a wide variety of fiber-containing foods to improve your well-being.

Where To Learn More

For further information on fiber, visit www.fiberfacts.org.

*Article courtesy of NAPS. Image provided by FreeDigitalPhotos.*

Americans’ snacking is on the rise, with snacks making up about half of all eating occasions, according to a recent report from the Hartman Group. The good news is that snacking can be part of a healthy eating plan, as snacks can provide energy between meals and supply essential nutrients.

Nutrient-dense California avocados, which are only in season from spring to fall, are delicious, good for you and can be an excellent ingredient in just about any snack. The fruit is a naturally nutritious super-food, and contributes nearly 20 vitamins and minerals, along with “good” monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats, to one’s diet. Additionally, avocados add a creamy and delicious flavor to snacks or mini-meals without adding sodium or cholesterol.

Registered Dietitian Katie Ferraro, MPH, RD, CDE, loves incorporating California avocados into meals and snacks for their nutritional benefits. She has partnered with the California Avocado Commission to create some easy snack recipes featuring the fruit.

“Every year, I look forward to California avocado season, because they lend themselves to so many different preparations—especially when it comes to snacks,” says Ferraro.

She’s come up with some easy snack recipes featuring the fruit. Each recipe has less than 100 calories per serving and can be great for on-the-go snacking.

For other recipes that feature fresh California avocados, including additional snacking recipes developed by Katie Ferraro, visit the California Avocado Commission website at CaliforniaAvocado.com.

 

California Avocado Cucumber Cups

Ingredients

1 English cucumber
½ ripe, fresh California avocado, halved, seeded, peeled and diced
¼ cup diced red bell pepper
1 Tbsp. lime juice
1 Tbsp. diced cilantro
½ tsp. cumin
¼ tsp. salt

Preparation

1. Chop off ends of cucumber and discard. Cut cucumber into 12 equal-sized round slices (approximately 1” width slices). Using a melon baller, scoop out center of cucumber slices, leaving enough cucumber on the bottom for the base. Set aside.

2. In a mixing bowl, mash avocado and add bell pepper, lime juice, cilantro, cumin and salt. Stir to combine.

3. Place avocado mixture in a small, sandwich-sized plastic bag. Snip off one bottom corner of bag and squeeze avocado mixture into hollowed-out cucumber slices.

Serves 2.

 

 

Power Hour Pick-Me-Up Smoothie

Ingredients

¼ ripe, fresh California avocado, seeded, peeled and diced
1 Tbsp. minced ginger
½ cup frozen mango cubes
⅓ cup plain, nonfat yogurt
1 Tbsp. lemon juice
Cayenne pepper, to taste
1 cup water
1 cup ice cubes

Prepaartion

1. Combine all ingredients in blender and puree until smooth.

2. Serve immediately.

*Article and images courtesy of NAPS.*

Serves 2.

ID-10075961“Volunteering is a great way for families to spend time together. It can benefit a child’s psychological, social and intellectual development and instill a lifetime of generosity,” says Richard Peterson, vice president of education for Kiddie Academy® Child Care Learning Centers. “Children learn from and even mimic their parents’ actions; therefore, a family volunteering project can help to reinforce positive life lessons.”

Five Tips to Encourage Family Volunteering

Kiddie Academy (www.KiddieAcademy.com) offers the following tips for nurturing your child’s generous spirit during the holidays and throughout the year:

1. Remind your children that generosity isn’t only about donating money – volunteering your time and talents are a great way to share. Make hats for local hospitals, visit nursing home residents, or offer to host a reading event at a local library.

2. Demonstrate that volunteering can be an year round activity. Along with your child, plan an ongoing volunteering project that benefits a cause that’s close to your hearts. For example, a monthly visit to an animal rescue center to assist the staff with walking and feeding the pets.

3. Involve your child in donating outgrown clothes, toys and books to a local charity. Set up a designated “donate” box in your home, and encourage your child to participate in adding items to the box, and delivering them to the chosen charity each month.

4. Read books together that highlight the importance of kindness. The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein, Rainbow Fish by Marcus Pfister and The Lion and the Mouse by Aesop all feature acts of generosity. Consider adding them to your home library.

5. To find a family volunteer opportunity in your community, visit the All for Good website ( http://www.allforgood.org/)

For more tips on finding “teachable moments” to help children learn about the rewards of generosity for themselves and for others, parents can visit the Kiddie Academy Family blog at: http://www.kafamilyessentials.com/.

*Image courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.*

ID-100117214The holiday season is filled with opportunities for children to be caring and compassionate. And for parents, it starts with showing your kids how it’s done! Let your children see you helping elderly neighbors rake their leaves, being kind to those around you in crowded stores, collecting canned goods for the hungry.

Here are five easy ways to teach your kids values – and do some good for others – throughout the year.

Five Easy Ways to Teach Your Kids Values

By Kathy Saulitis

1. Talk to your children about issues affecting your neighborhood, your community and the world. When my oldest son was in elementary school and was involved in a holiday food drive, he didn’t immediately see why people needed help at all. His initial reaction was, “They just need to go get a job!” In simple language, I explained about income versus expenses and how the very people we were helping to feed may be working several jobs but still are short for food. As a young problem-solver, he thought for a while and then suggested ideas for how our country might deal with hunger in new ways. He got it!

2. Use the dinner hour to talk about reaching out to others. Do you have a neighbor that may be sick or lonely? Are there struggling families in your community? Do you know someone in the service who is deployed? Talk to your children about how they feel about these situations and get their input on ways your family can help.

3. Appeal to your children’s interests. Does your family love the outdoors? Do your kids like to get their hands dirty? Try volunteering for a park or beach clean-up or help plant a community garden. The more you draw on your children’s interests, the more motivated they become.

4. Find a hands-on, family-friendly volunteer project. You can find family-friendly project ideas and resources at www.generationOn.org or check out your local HandsOn Network affiliate.

5. Start a family tradition of volunteer service during the holidays. The holidays are times of excitement, tradition and family togetherness. When our children were younger, we would make Holiday Hope Chests to donate to area homeless shelters. It was fun to watch the kids choose with care their special gifts for children they imagined opening the boxes on Christmas morning.

When the holidays end and the new year begins, remember every day is an opportunity to teach your kids to care and share, be compassionate and have an attitude of gratitude for even the smallest things in life.

About the Author

Kathy Saulitis is senior vice president of programs for generationOn, an enterprise of Points of Light that helps young people change the world through volunteer service.

*Image courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.*

ID-10020857Have Yourself a Healthy Thanksgiving with Tips from THE DOCTORS

It’s that time of year again! The holiday season is fast approaching and days are becoming filled with holiday planning, shopping and preparation. This time of year gives you the opportunity to gather with friends and family, cook festive meals and give thanks for your many blessings. But this jolly time of year can also have extreme implications on your health. THE DOCTORS share the following tips to ensure a happy and healthy holiday season:

Three Quick Tips to Avoid Overeating on Thanksgiving

· Eat Walnuts: Eat a handful before your meal. They will help fill you up, and the antioxidants can improve your artery function and reduce inflammation.

· Limit yourself to two alcoholic drinks: Alcohol removes your inhibitions, so if you drink before you eat, you’re going to overeat.

· Sit down and chew your food: You will enjoy your food more if you chew it slowly.

Healthy Holiday Snacking Tips

• Beware of foods loaded with butter and cheese: Steamed broccoli is healthy and low in fat, but when smothered in cheese and butter, it can pack an additional 215 calories and 16 grams of fat in just one cup!

• Watch out for salads: Leafy greens and salads seem like a healthy choice, but when loaded with high-fat, high-cholesterol cheeses and dressing, such as a Cobb salad, these verdant concoctions contain more than 1,000 calories and 71 grams of fat!

• Avoid saturated fats and fried foods: These are guaranteed to heavily increase the calorie count. Opt for baked options, rather than fried and reach for lean meats such as white turkey.

Beat-the-Bloat Tricks for Feeling Less Full

· Wear a watch: Keeping track of time and eating slower will help you notice when you’re getting full. Wait a couple minutes before returning for seconds – this will give your body the chance to digest food intake.

· Drink Water: This may seem like a no-brainer, but drinking a glass of water before a meal can help you eat 20% few calories. If you feel bloated, have a glass of peppermint tea instead, which helps prevent the feeling of being extremely full.

· Incorporate papaya and pineapple: These super foods have digestive enzymes that assist with digestion and help you feel less full after a large meal.

About THE DOCTORS

Featuring real doctors discussing topical health and wellness issues in an entertaining and engaging fashion, season six of THE DOCTORS launched September 9, 2013. The Emmy® Award-winning one-hour, daytime syndicated talk show continues to be hosted by physicians who are among the best in their respective field, including ER physician Dr. Travis Stork, plastic surgeon and reconstructive surgery expert Dr. Andrew Ordon and pediatrician Dr. James Sears; and recurring co-hosts, OB/GYN Dr. Jennifer Ashton, urologist Dr. Jennifer Berman, family doctor and sexologist Dr. Rachael Ross and physical medicine and rehabilitation specialist Dr. Ian Smith.

THE DOCTORS sets itself apart from the competition through its wealth of experts – each of the co-hosts brings a specialized and unique background to the show including decades of experience, in order to provide viewers with well-rounded and easily understood prescriptions for health and wellness.

*Image courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.*

Green-NurseryEssential Decor for An Eco-Friendly Children’s Room in Your Home

As a parent, you may be more concerned than ever about the future of our planet. While your time on Earth is finite, and you likely won’t live to see the worst of global warming, deforestation, and holes in the ozone layer, your children, grandchildren, and generations of your family yet to come will have to live with the consequences of your actions where the environment is concerned. For this reason you may have embraced a sense of environmental responsibility and started to make lifestyle choices that are more sustainable and produce far less waste and pollution. And your efforts could range from conserving energy and water at home to driving an electric car to purchasing organic food. Of course, you’ll also want to do your part when it comes to designing bedrooms for your little bundles of joy, so here are just a few essential areas to consider when it comes to decorating your children’s bedrooms in an eco-friendly manner.

Non-VOC paint. In case you didn’t know, volatile organic compounds (VOCs) are often found in paint, stain, lacquer, and a number of other products related to home decor. And the reason you should be aware of this is that these harmful toxins can linger long after the odor has dissipated, polluting your interior air for years and causing all kinds of health issues, including respiratory disorders, headache, and nausea. VOCs have even been linked to some cancers and neurological disorders. The point is that nobody in your family should be exposed to them. And you can avoid them by seeking out products that eschew these potentially harmful compounds.

Reclaimed materials. Whether you’re installing wooden flooring, cabinets, shelving, or furniture, you should know that there are reclaimed options out there to meet almost every decorating need. These items are not only recycled, but they have often been refurbished. This means that they appear like new, they’ll cost you a fraction of what retail products might, and they won’t require you to participate in further deforestation in order to have the warm look of wood in your children’s bedrooms.

Organic linens. You might be surprised by the vast number of ways in which organic textiles are utilized. You’re probably aware that you can buy organic clothing for kids in order to avoid the chemicals that penetrate most plant fibers. But you can also find options for carpeting, drapes, bedding, and even mattresses. If you want to protect your sensitive and vulnerable tots from potential skin and respiratory allergies, going all organic with linens is a step in the right direction.

Second-hand furniture. If you’re not keen to pay top dollar for eco-friendly furniture, consider that used pieces can not only save you some money, but they also give you the opportunity to do some good for the environment. You’ll stop the linear production cycle that sends products from manufacturer to consumer to landfill by giving these furnishings a second life. And you won’t support further manufacturing and all the pollution and waste it entails.

Yard sale finds. Once you’ve got the basics of decor down, it’s time to fill your children’s bedrooms with items that will add some personality, and you can really go the extra mile with yard sale finds. A crib or play yard purchased at a yard sale can be updated with new padding and linens and a cool and kitschy lamp can be outfitted with an energy-saving CFL bulb. You can also find neat, old books and toys. Although some pieces may need a little TLC, simply keeping items out of the landfill is a great way to decorate children’s rooms in an eco-friendly fashion.