Fun in the Sun with Your Little One

Fun in the Sun with Your Little One

 

Summer holidays are almost upon us. Kids will be home all day. Now what?! How to keep your bubbly little children occupied, so you don’t hear “Mom, I’m bored!” – Words that every mother has dreaded since times unknown.

Read on to find out 6 summer time activities that you can plan with your kids even in the Indian summer. Yes, this list is totally meant for the harsh summers that we face every year.

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Your Fussy Eater and His Nutrition; A Unique Way Ahead…

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When there’s too much attention on what and how much your child is eating, you are invariably giving “the power of not eating” to your child. While we agree that having a fussy eater on hand is not an easy task by any measure, sometimes all we have to do is take attention away from fuss. Yes! That’s it.

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Your Child is Vulnerable: Protect Him / Her from Abuse

PE blog imageThe January issue of ParentEdge focuses on Child Abuse. Researching this story and talking to people about this issue was deeply disturbing for me. As a writer I should be able to distance myself from what I write about, but as a mother, how can I?

I spoke to people who work with abused children, helping them overcome their trauma and distress, and their stories are chilling and sickening. And the scariest part is that most child abuse begins at home—in places where a child is supposed to be safe and protected, and by people who are in positions of trust and responsibility—caregivers, family members and close friends. If the horror begins at home, to whom does the child turn? [Read more…]

Exam Anxiety Getting You and Your Child Down? Be Prepared With These Tips

Exam Anxiety

With exam time around the corner, it is time to knuckle down and concentrate for children. And yet, we find that many of them are not able to put their best foot forward when it is actually their time to shine. Studies conducted on 100 school children by Indiaparenting suggest that 76% of them actually under-performed during exam time. Whereas their actual potential ranked much higher than their grades in exams. [Read more…]

Bringing your new born home; what to expect the first week

baby home

Fresh out of labor or a C Section can leave you a complex mix of social, psychological and physical changes. Your hormones are all over the place, and you might not be feeling or living the same life you imagined when the baby was unborn.

However, it helps when you know what to expect those few days when you arrive home with your bundle of joy that will make your life memorable, no matter what you feel now. [Read more…]

Hidden Toxins Inside Children’s School Supplies

PE blogMany parents are aware of the dangers of phthalates in cosmetic products. However, phthalates are used in children’s products as well. Did you know that children are exposed to dangerous chemicals found in their backpacks and other school items?

Phthalates are a class of chemicals, such as DEHP, DINP, DBP and DEP. They are used as softeners in PVC, vinyl products to make them soft and more flexible. You will find these chemicals in flexible toys, food packagings, shower curtains, building materials (pipes), and medical devices. Phthalates are dangerous even at low levels of exposure. They are hormone disruptors and are linked to cancer and asthma, AD(H)D, early puberty and birth defects. While phthalates have been restricted or banned in toys in many countries, protection from these dangerous chemicals does not exist for children’s school supplies. I’m deeply concerned that our children are still exposed to these chemicals!

Children are more vulnerable to toxic chemicals than adults. In their developing little bodies a small exposure to toxins translates into a big dose. They put things in their mouths and ingest chemicals from toys, plastic containers, and even dirt and dust on a daily basis.

In 2012, an American study investigated the presence of phthalates in children’s school supplies, such as backpacks, lunch boxes, ring binders and rain wear. They found that the items tested contained levels of phthalates that would be in violation of the ban for toys, if these products were considered toys. They also found that the school supplies contained more than one phthalate, clearly indicating that our children are exposed to multiple phthalates in their school supplies. Additionally, the study found that apart from phthalates, children’s PVC school supplies also contained heavy metals, such as lead, mercury, cadmium and chromium.

Many PVC backpacks and lunchboxes contain levels of phthalates that are 40-50 times higher than the limit set for toys. As school supplies are not classed as toys, companies are able to get away with adding these hazardous, toxic chemicals to their products.

PVC backpacks, ring binders, lunch boxes, raincoats, umbrellas and wellies contain excessively high levels of phthalates and our children are exposed to elevated levels of these toxic substances by using these school supplies.

Follow these easy steps to reduce your children’s exposure to phthalates:

  1. Avoid school supplies made with “vinyl” or “PVC”! Unfortunately some products are not properly labeled, making it difficult to determine whether they contain vinyl. Phthalates are used to soften PVC. Try to buy PVC free school supply. To identify vinyl packaging, first look for the universal recycling symbol. If it has the number “3” inside it, or the letters “V” or “PVC” underneath it, you know the product is made out of PVC and is likely to contain these chemicals.
  2. Do a “Sniff Test.” That “plastic” smell from plastic toys, backpacks, ring binders, raincoats, umbrellas and other plastic products usually comes from phthalates.
  3. Try canvas backpacks, stainless steel lunch boxes, cloth covered binders and PVC-free rain coats and boots.
  4. Ditch the PVC altogether if you can!

To download more information on the lab report, visit: http://chej.org/wp-content/uploads/HiddenHazardsReportFINAL.pdf

Re-published with permission from the blog of ParentEdge, a bi-monthly parenting magazine that aims to expose parents to global trends in learning and partner with them in the intellectual enrichment of their children. This blog was written by Aniko Sziraczki is a Kinesiologist with a background in Psychology, and the founder of Raising Toxin Free Children.

Playing without rules: If kids are left to their own devices

take it outside

Last week, I decided to conduct a small experiment with my 7 year old son. Little did I know at that time, how it would all pan out for both of us. I was continually stressed with not being able to manage my time more effectively due to increasing work pressure and my son was getting too much screen time thanks to that. So, last Friday, I asked him to go out and play and not return until dinner time. Mentally I made a note to check on him after an hour or so, that is if he didn’t show up before that. [Read more…]

Child Safety and Indoor health hazards that is easy to overlook

Health hazardsIf your child has frequent bouts of allergies and colds, the culprit could be hiding right at home under the guise of mold, animal dander, dust mites and chemicals found in everyday products.

Here are 5 easy ways to reduce indoor pollution and lead a safe life.

Ventilate often: Ventilation is very important on today’s day and age where smog, airborne chemicals from perfumes and room fresheners can linger on irritating asthmatics. Closed doors and windows are also a free passage for mold and fungus to develop. Ventilation drives away humidity, in which molds and fungus thrive. Contrary to popular belief, cold air outside will actually do you good rather than staying in a stuffy room that doesn’t allow allergens and harmful chemicals to escape. If the day is hot, using an air conditioner is a wise idea.

Dust mite free life: Unfortunately, it is impossible to lead a dust mite free life unless you are living in a sterile environment. Dust mites are usually found in mattresses and pillows. To prevent them from making your bed their home, cover your mattress with a non permeable sheet. Usually, dusting is enough to get rid of 80% of dust mites, but it is not every day that we dust our mattresses. So an opaque cover on the mattresses works the best.

Keep humidity at bay: Humidity causes mold, fungus and attracts microorganisms to breed. Not only do these cause allergies but also serious infections that can go undetected and are difficult to diagnose once contracted. So make sure there is no mildew accumulating on your walls, bathrooms and cupboards. Ideally humidity should be maintained below 50%.

Pet dander peeves: Pet dander is omnipresent in a house with pets. But if your child is allergic to it, it is time to reconsider having a pet at all. If that isn’t an option, vacuum rugs, sofas, carpets and curtains regularly. Consider having a pet free room in the house where your child can have reprieve.

Gas stoves and asthma: Gas stoves or ovens emit NO2, Nitrogen Oxide that is dangerous to kids who already have asthma. Make sure your child isn’t spending too much time inside a kitchen, especially when there is little or no ventilation.

Household’s products and how they pollute

Household products come packed with disinfectants but do not guarantee against allergies.  Perfumes and chemicals present in them can also trigger allergies. Choose fragrance free products that are hypoallergenic.

Indoor plants
Avoid indoor plants like water bamboo that accumulate stagnant water. It attracts mosquitoes and flies that cause dengue and malaria. Some indoor plants are known to reduce indoor pollution too. If you must have indoor plants, choose the ones are known to help clear air pollutants.