What does baby powder do for babies?

powder baby

In fact, the baby powder is a must have option in the new born baby’s set of beauty products. Over the years, the mind-set overdue the spiritual usage of this talcum powder is gradually fluctuating. So, the new moms are becoming attentive of the detail that there is a casual side to apply this talcum powder. Nowadays, the paediatricians depress the use of talcum or baby powder; because the babies are unavoidable to inhale the tiny baby powder particles that in turn lead to breathing illnesses such as asthma. There is another ugly finding the use of talcum powder, which could also lead to the improved danger of cancer. So, it is much essential to select the best baby powders and also consider the ingredients and quality used.

Usually, the babies have delicate and sensitive skin, so it is more crucial to consider which products you select for them. It is also more important to keep in your mind that any baby powder, lotion or moisturizer might be swallowed by your small infants and therefore it is advisable that the entire baby care products are as natural and healthy as possible. Before using any kind of baby powder for your babies, you must always read the labels and also look for the natural and effective products for your baby, which are completely free from the petroleum, mineral oils, synthetic colours and fragrances. Hence, choose the right baby products that consist of organic components that would help you as well as your baby to live a healthy and a happy life.

Choosing the best baby powder for babies

  • First of all, you must know how to select the best baby powder for your babies. The foremost thing to do is to obtain a sample and put a small portion of it on your wrist. You can also put it in the neck or other areas between the ears.
  • There are some areas in your body that is able to keep the scent for a long time. So, it is good to put it in that area.
  • If you ever have allergic reactions to the powder, there will not be more damage. Also, you remember that not all powders may fit for your baby. So, it is good to attempt different varieties, before deciding on what to wear.
  • As a parent, you must be aware of the natural baby powder that is made of specific ingredients like flower extract, leaf cell extract, corn starch and bark powder.
  • When you are using this baby powder, as a parent while sleeping at night you should know your child is safe from any dangerous ingredients.
  • You can also make sure that the ideal baby powder you select is completely safe and also non-irritating your baby’s skin.
  • The baby powder is always perfect for the parents who do not even need to use a powder that consists of talc.
  • Before using any type of baby powder, it is essential to shake the bottle thoroughly to prevent the oily residue.

powder baby

Advantages of using baby powder

  • The major benefits of using baby powder for toddlers are:
  • Helps to avoid nappy rashes
  • It stops the too much sweating in babies
  • Helps to captivate the additional moisture after bath
  • Minimizes the chances of growing rashes in the sensitive areas such as neck, thighs, genitals and armpits

A review of best baby powders

If you have a newborn baby, first you must know the rashes that occur. Actually, these rashes are unhappy and can cause your valuable babies itchiness, discomfort and also pain. This problem comes in, when you understand that not entire products are made from the same ingredients. Right now, there are thousands of various choices available to select from, so it can be quite difficult to find the best ones that are really the best and also know which ones are not good at all. Also, you need to be specifically careful while selecting the best baby powders for your toddlers; because some of the powder consists of potentially harmful substances. Therefore, making a decision is little bit simpler for you by narrowing down your options available on the market now, which are all both effective and safe as well.

Common Illnesses and Symptoms

We are exposed to numerous viruses and bacterium every day. Many of the diseases caused by these viruses and bacterium can be prevented through vaccination. In this section we discuss both vaccine preventable and non-preventable diseases.
It is important that we immunize our children against the diseases for which we have vaccines.
Chicken Pox
» An acute and highly contagious viral illness usually occurring in childhood
» Symptoms include a rash and blisters filled with fluid, mild fever, sore throat, and headache
» 
Chickenpox is transmitted through the air when an infected person sneezes or coughs.
» 
Contagious period is from 2 days before onset of the rash until all lesions have crusted
» 
Immunization will help prevent catching chickenpox in 70% to 90% of the cases
» Anyone having chickenpox as a child is at risk to develop shingles as an adult
Diphtheria
» 
A very contagious and potentially life-threatening bacterial disease
» Spread by sneezing, coughing, or discharges from an infected person’s nose, mouth, throat, or skin
» Symptoms include a sore throat, mild fever, and enlarged lymph glands on the neck
» Complications can include damage to heart muscles, paralysis of breathing muscles, blocked airway, or death
» Prevention can be attained by immunization which is normally given to children in combination with the tetanus and pertussis vaccines (DPT). Four shots are given before the age of 18 months, then a booster shot between the ages of four and six years
Haemophilus influenzae type b (Hib)
» A bacterial illness that can cause a possible fatal brain infection
» 
Spread by sneezing or coughing of droplets from an infected person
» 
Symptoms include developing meningitis (fever, weakness, vomiting and a stiff neck)
» 
Complications include meningitis, infections to the lungs,
blood, bones, throat, and heart resulting in brain damage or death
» Prevention can be attained by immunization to children beginning at age 2 months
Hepatitis A
» 
A viral infection which affects the liver
» Spread by poor hygiene and ingestion of feces
» Symptoms may include fatigue, loss of appetite, nausea, diarrhea, fever and jaundice
» Complications include liver disease
» Prevention can be attained by immunization
Hepatitis B
» A viral infection which affects the liver
» Spred through sexual contact, exposure to infected blood, or from an infected mother to her baby at the time of birth
» 
Symptoms may include fatigue, loss of appetite, nausea, diarrhea, fever and jaundice
» 
Complications include cirrhosis (severe scarring) of the liver or liver cancer
» 
Prevention can be attained by immunization
Measles
» A highly contagious viral respiratory infection
» 
Spread through sneeze or cough droplets from an infected person
» 
Symptoms include a body rash, cough, runny nose, high fever and watery red eyes
» 
Complications may include bronchitis, pneumonia, conjunctivitis, encephalitis, or ear infections
» 
Prevention can be attained through immunization which is given to children in combination with a mumps and rubella vaccine (MMR) between 12 and 15 months of age and a booster between 4 and 6 years of age

Mumps
» A contagious viral disease
» 
Spread through sneezing or coughing droplets, or drinking after an infected person
» 
Symptoms may include fever, headache, loss of appetite, and swelling and pain of the parotid glands in the neck
» 
Complications are not common, but rare complications include encephalitis and meningitis
» 
Prevention can be attained through immunization which is given to children in combination with a measles and rubella vaccine (MMR) between 12 and 15 months of age and a booster between 4 and 6 years of age
Pertussis (Whooping Cough)
» 
A bacterial infection of the respiratory system
» 
Spread through sneezing or coughing droplets from an infected person
» 
Symptoms include runny nose, sneezing, fever, and coughing spells in which the child’s face may turn red or purple and may make a whooping sound
» 
Complications may include pneumonia, ear infection, seizures or dehydration and may be life-threatening for children under 6 months of age
» Prevention can be attained with the pertussis vaccine which is given in conjunction with the diphtheria and tetanus vaccine. Four shots are given before the age of 18 months, then a booster shot between the ages of four and six years
Pneumococcal disease
» 
An acute bacterial infection
» 
Spread through person-to-person contact via respiratory droplets
» 
Symptoms may include fever, cough, chest pain, chills, dyspnea (shortness of breath), tachypnea (rapid breathing), or hypoxia (poor oxygenation
» 
Complications my include pneumococcal pneumonia, pneumococcal bacteremia, or bacterial meningitis
» 
Prevention can be attained with a vaccination for children under two years of age – three doses at 2, 4, and 6 months of age and a fourth at 12-15 months of age
Polio
» 
A highly contagious viral disease that can damage the central nervous system and result in abortive polio (mild form), nonparalytic form or the most serious paralytic polio
» 
Spread through the mouth from hands contaminated with the stool of an infected person or contaminated objects such as eating utensils
» 
Symptoms may include headache, tiredness, fever, stiff neck and back, and muscle pain for abortive and nonparalytic polio. Symptoms for paralytic polio include muscle weakness, fever, stiffness, tremor, muscle pain and spasms, and difficulty swallowing
» 
Complications include paralysis of the legs, breathing muscles, and swallowing muscles. Can be fatal when involving the breathing and swallowing muscles
» Prevention is attained by injecting children with inactivated polio vaccine (IPV) at ages 2 and 4 months, then two doses of oral polio vaccine (OPV) at 12-18 months and 4-6 years
Respiratory Syncytial Virus
» The most common cause of bronchiolitis and pneumonia among infants and children under 1 year of age
Symptoms include fever, runny nose, cough, and sometimes wheezing
» Spread through contact with infected persons or contaminated surfaces from sneezing or coughing
» There is no vaccine available yet
Rheumatic Fever
» An inflammatory disease which may develop after an infection with streptococcus bacteria, such as strep throat
» 
Common symptoms include fever, joint pain, joint swelling, abdominal pain, skin rash, shortness of breath, sore throat, headache, and muscle aches
» 
Treatment includes the use of anti-inflammatory medications and antibiotics.
» 
Complications may include heart valve damage, endocarditis, heart failure, arrhythmias, or pericarditis

Handwashing

Children come into contact with germs such as bacteria and viruses every day. These germs can be spread from a child’s hands to his eyes, nose, or mouth and make the child sick.
In addition to the common cold, more serious illnesses such as meningitis, influenza, hepatitis A, and bronchitis can be passed from one person to another by dirty hands. The best line of defense against these germs is frequent and thorough hand washing.

When to wash your hands
» Before and after eating
» After using the bathroom
» After playing on the playground
» After touching or petting animals
» After handling garbage or trash
» After being around someone who is sick
» After blowing one’s nose, coughing, or sneezing
How to wash your hands

» Wet your hands with warm water
» 
Apply soap and scrub hands vigorously for 15-20 seconds or as long as it takes to sing the ABC song
» 
Pay special attention to fingernails and between the fingers
» 
Rinse well and dry with a paper towel or a clean hand towel
» 
Use colorful soaps or fun-shaped soaps to entice your child to wash his hands more often.
» 
If soap and water are not available, use a hand sanitizer to clean hands after participating in the above activities.

Taking Care of Baby

Bathing Your Baby


Many parents worry about giving their baby her first bath. They may be afraid that they will drop or somehow hurt the baby. The baby may also be apprehensive and cry at first.

But, by applying the following instructions, bath time should turn into a safe and enjoyable experience. Parents will learn to be more confident and the baby will come to understand that it is not something to be afraid of but instead, something that is fun.

NEVER leave your baby alone in the bath!

It only takes a few inches of water for a baby to drown. If the phone rings or someone is at the door, always wrap your baby in a towel and take her with you. Do not leave the baby unattended in the bath.

ALWAYS test the water temperature first

Dip your elbow or wrist in the bath water to make sure it is not hot.

START with sponge baths

Most doctors recommend sponge baths until the baby’s naval has healed.

Place a water-proof cloth or pad on your lap, a bed, or a changing table.

» Start with the baby’s head. Wipe each eye with a ball of cotton. Wipe from the inside corner of the eye toward the outside.
» Use a washcloth to wipe around the face and neck, especially the mouth, nose, and ears.
» Do not poke anything into the baby’s ears or nose.
» To wash the baby’s scalp, reach under the baby’s back and hold the head in your hand so that it tilts backward just a bit. Squeeze a little water onto the scalp. Wipe in a circular motion.

USE soap sparingly

Use a mild or special baby soap once or twice a week. Rinse twice to get all of the soap off. Pat dry with a soft towel.

MOST of the rules are the same for tub baths

Follow the same basic washing procedures and safety rules as for sponge baths. Also,
» Fill the tub with approximately two inches of warm – not hot – water.
» Place a towel on the bottom of the tub to make it less slippery.
» When washing your baby’s back, lean the child forward across your arm. Do not turn your baby over.
» Never let go of your baby.

HOW you hold your baby is important

» Keep the baby’s body and face well above the water level. Pour warm water over the baby’s body frequently to keep her warm.
» Use one hand and reach behind your baby’s neck, gently grasp the top of the opposite shoulder with your thumb and the baby’s armpit and ribs with your fingers.• Let the baby’s head rest against your wrist.
» Hold your baby’s thigh with the other hand when you lift your baby into and out of the tub.

ALLOW for some play time

Give the baby some extra time to splash and play in the water.

Dental and Oral Health


Regular dental care needs to start at an early age in order to provide good oral health for your child. There are ways to help prevent cavities even when the baby is very young. Consult your dentist to determine when you should take your child in for her first appointment.

For Babies

» Do not put the baby to sleep with a bottle. Hold the baby while he drinks his formula or juice, then put him to bed after wiping his teeth and gums with a moist cloth.
» If you breastfeed your baby or there is little fluoride in the drinking water, your baby may need fluoride drops. Discuss this with the baby’s pediatrician.
» When multiple teeth appear, begin brushing your baby’s teeth using a soft toothbrush and a very small amount of toothpaste with fluoride.

For Older Children

» Brush after every meal and before bedtime.
» Dental sealants can help prevent cavities. Discuss this option with your dentist.
» Using dental floss can help prevent cavities and gum disease.
» If a permanent tooth is knocked out, rinse it gently and put it back in the socket or in a glass of cold milk or water. See a dentist immediately.

Pacifiers and Thum-Sucking


Some babies suck their thumbs or fingers before they are born.  Should they be allowed to continue sucking their thumbs/fingers or be given a pacifier?
Regardless of the method, it is best that children quit sucking on their fingers, thumb, or pacifier by the time they are 4 years of age. 
Pacifier pros and cons

Pros

  • May help reduce Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS).
  • Offers a brief distraction while you are preparing her bottle or to nurse
  • May have a calming effect on a fussy baby
  • Easier to break the habit than thumb or finger sucking because the pacifier can be taken away

Cons

  • May interfere with breast-feeding if given before breast-feeding is well established
  • May increase middle ear infections
  • The baby may become dependent on it to fall asleep, waking when the pacifier falls out of his mouth

Tips for using a pacifier

  • See if your baby is hungry or needs changing before giving him a pacifier
  • Use a one piece pacifier that is dish washer safe. Until the baby is 6 months old, clean in the dishwasher. After that, wash in soap and water.
  • Never tie a pacifier around the baby’s neck or to the crib with a long ribbon or string. Instead, use special made pacifier clips with short ribbons.
  • Never dip the pacifier in sugar or honey. Honey can cause botulism and the sugar can damage the baby’s teeth.
  • Keep more than one pacifier of the same brand and type that your baby uses – many babies will refuse a different kind.

Stopping the use of a pacifier

  • Do not use past 12 months old
  • Limit the amount of time your child uses the pacifier
  • Give praises for not using the pacifier
  • Once it has been taken away for good, do not give in to the child’s requests or tantrums wanting it back again

Stopping thumb-sucking

    • If a child is still sucking his thumb after age 5, steps need to be taken to help him quit
    • Give praises for not sucking his thumb, do not nag or discipline for the behavior
    • Involve the child in deciding how to stop
    • A commercial product, that does not taste good, can be applied to the thumbnail
    • Be patient – some children may revert back to thumb-sucking after quitting if they are extremely tired, scared, or worried.  Support him in his efforts to quit again – do not ridicule or be upset about his setback.

Teething


Teething is the process of new teeth emerging from the gums. It can be a frustrating time for both the baby and the parents. Teething usually causes the baby to be fussy, have excessive drooling, and want to chew on everything. Teething may also cause a drool rash, diarrhea, cough, or fever.
Babies usually get their first tooth between 3 and 6 months.
Signs of teething:
Swollen gums, excessive drooling, acting fussy, tendency to chew on everything, low-grade fever, and sometimes diarrhea.

    • What to do:
      Swollen gums
      » allow the baby to chew on a cool, damp washcloth
      » use a topical anesthetic such as Ora-Gel, etc. on the gums
      » gently massage the baby’s gums with your finger
      Excessive drooling
      » use a petroleum-based ointment on chin
      Fussiness
      » occasionally give non-aspirin pain reliever
      Chewing
      » give the baby a teething ring or soft wash cloth
      Fever & Diarrhea
      » give a non-aspirin pain reliever for the fever
      » the diarrhea does not require treatment as long as it is only once or twice a day and does not occur every day
      Call the doctor:
      If the baby’s temperature is continually higher than 100º or if the diarrhea is more frequent than twice a day and/or occurs every day.

Infant Massage

Infant massage has many benefits for the baby and the parents.  Through touch, the baby learns the comfort and security of being loved.  It also promotes bonding between the parent and child.  Expectant parents should take an infant massage instruction course before the birth of their child so they will be prepared to start immediately.
Benefits for the Baby

  • Pain relief from the discomforts of teething, colic, gas, etc
  • Relaxation
  • Improves digestion
  • Improves sensory awareness
  • Helps induce sleep
  • Enhances the bonding process between parent and child
  • Boosts the immune system

Benefits for Parents

  • Helps increase the parent’s confidence
  • Provides quality time with the child
  • Promotes bonding between parent and child
  • Relaxing for the parent also

Babies learn security and love through touch.  Infant massage should not be performed immediately before or after the baby eats.  The best time to massage your baby is before naptime or bedtime.

Choose a room that is warm and use a natural vegetable, nut, or fruit oil to prevent friction.

Massage Positions

  • Place the baby on your lap, knees bent and baby supported on your stomach and thighs
  • Sit on the floor with both legs straight out or one leg bent at the knee and your foot tucked into your groin with the baby on the floor in front of you
  • Kneel on a cushion and sit back on your heels with baby on the floor in front of youInfant Massage
    Infant massage has many benefits for the baby and the parents.  Through touch, the baby learns the comfort and security of being loved.  It also promotes bonding between the parent and child.  Expectant parents should take an infant massage instruction course before the birth of their child so they will be prepared to start immediately.

    Benefits for the Baby

    • Pain relief from the discomforts of teething, colic, gas, etc
    • Relaxation
    • Improves digestion
    • Improves sensory awareness
    • Helps induce sleep
    • Enhances the bonding process between parent and child
    • Boosts the immune system

    Benefits for Parents

    • Helps increase the parent’s confidence
    • Provides quality time with the child
    • Promotes bonding between parent and child
    • Relaxing for the parent also

    Babies learn security and love through touch.  Infant massage should not be performed immediately before or after the baby eats.  The best time to massage your baby is before naptime or bedtime.

    Choose a room that is warm and use a natural vegetable, nut, or fruit oil to prevent friction.

    Massage Positions

    • Place the baby on your lap, knees bent and baby supported on your stomach and thighs
    • Sit on the floor with both legs straight out or one leg bent at the knee and your foot tucked into your groin with the baby on the floor in front of you
    • Kneel on a cushion and sit back on your heels with baby on the floor in front of you
    • Massage Strokes
      • Legs and Feet

      Starting with one leg, gently grasp the baby’s ankle with your left hand.  With the right hand, grasp the inside of the thigh and stroke (or milk) down to the foot.  Now grasp the baby’s ankle with the right hand and stroke with the left.  Repeat several times on each leg.

      Using both hands, gently squeeze and twist all the way down the leg.  Repeat several times on each leg.

      Stroke your thumbs from the heel to the toes several times on each foot.

      • Stomach and Chest

      Massage the stomach using a circular motion with one hand and then the other.

      Place both hands together at the center of the chest and then sweep out to each side following the ribcage.

      With both hands, sweep down from the chest to the stomach.

      • Arms and Hands

      Gently stroke the armpits several times

      Form a circle around the top of the baby’s arm with your fingers and thumb.  Stoke down the arm towards the wrist.

      Roll the arm between your hands beginning at the shoulder and moving down to the wrist.

      Stroke the top of the hand moving from the wrist to the fingers.

      Gently rotate each of the baby’s fingers between your index finger and your thumb

      • Back

      Sit the baby up on your lap or lay them on their tummy on your lap with your legs extended

      Gently stroke down from the shoulders to the lower back.  Mold your entire hand to their back.

      Make little circles all over their back with your fingertips.

      • Face

      With both thumbs, softly stoke from the middle of their forehead out towards the temples.

      From the side of their nose, stroke diagonally down across the cheeks.

      Starting at the top of the forehead, use your fingertips to stroke down over the ears, behind the ears, and under the chin.

Make Time for Your Children

Making time to spend with your child reaps many rewards for both you and your child.
Even if you are busy with work and home activities, set aside time each day to spend with your child.  Below is a list of suggestions on how to fit time with your child into your busy schedule.
» Commit to a family mealtime each day.
» Write your child’s activities in your appointment book – in ink!
»
 
Identify one thing/activity on your weekly schedule that you can do without and replace it with kid-time.

» Take your child along with you when you run errands.
»
 Volunteer to participate in a regularly scheduled child activity, such as coaching a softball team or helping with a school activity.
» 
Identify one children’s show on TV that you secretly like to watch and make a point of watching it with your child.
»
 
Develop an interest in a hobby that you and your child can enjoy together.
»
 
If your work requires you to travel, take your child along with you when your business trip can be extended into a long weekend.
»
 
If your work schedule is flexible, start your work day earlier so you can spend more time with your family in the afternoon.
»
 
Leave your work, cell phone and/or pager at home when you go on family vacations and outings.

GUN SAFETY AND CHILDREN

Nearly half of all households in the United States have one or more guns.  So even if you do not have a gun in your own household, your child is likely to be exposed to a household that does at some point in time.
It is important to talk to your child about gun safety and what to do if he finds one.
In 1999, 3,385 children between the ages of 0-19 were killed with a gun.  Of these deaths: 73 were children less than 5 years old, 416 were 5-14 years old, and 2,896 were 15-19 years old.

Teach your child the following rules regarding gun safety if he comes in contact with a gun:

  • Stop
  • Don’t touch
  • Remove yourself from the area
  • Tell an adult

If you have a gun in your home:

  • Make sure the gun is unloaded
  • Lock the gun in a storage cabinet that is inaccessible to the children
  • Lock the ammunition in a separate place from the gun
  • Store the keys to the gun and ammunition cabinets out of the reach of the children
  • Store all gun-cleaning supplies, many which are poisonous, in a locked cabinet also
  • Never leave the gun unattended while cleaning or handling it

Gun Safety Away From Home

  • Discuss gun safety with other parents if your child spends time in their homes and they own a gun

BB Guns, Pellet Guns, and Toy Guns

  • BB and pellet guns should only be used under adult supervision, as they can seriously hurt and even kill someone
  • Police officers may mistake a toy gun for a real one
  • Teach your child to never point a BB gun, pellet gun, or toy gun at himself or another person
  • Do not put caps from toy guns in your pocket, they can ignite and cause serious burns

Older children are more at risk for injury or death as a result of horseplay with a gun.  Teenagers use them more for suicide and to commit a crime.

Fire Prevention and Safety

Every year children set over 100,000 fires and 20% of all fire deaths are children.  We need to teach our children fire safety, fire prevention, and steps to take in the event of a fire.  Preparing your child for a fire emergency may save her life.

Fire Prevention

  • Do not over use extension cords.  Make sure they are not frayed or worn and do not run under a rug.
  • Do not overload outlets
  • If you live in an older home with the original wiring, have an electrician check it periodically to ensure its safety
  • Make sure the light bulbs being used are the correct wattage for the lamp
  • Allow plenty of space around TVs, computers, radios, and stereos to prevent overheating
  • Keep lamps away from curtains, bedspreads, etc

Portable heaters contribute to the increase in fires during the winter months.

  • Never place a heater where a child or pet will knock it over
  • Keep the heater at least 3 feet away from anything flammable including the wall
  • Never place a heater near a bed or drapes
  • Never leave a heater on when not in the room
  • Never use an extension cord with a heater

Fireplace

  • Keep the fireplace clean and covered with a screen
  • Do not store newspapers, kindling, or an exposed rug in front of the fireplace
  • Never leave a fireplace burning unattended
  • Have the chimney professionally cleaned once a year
  • Cigarette Smoking
    • Cigarettes are the number one cause of fire deaths in the United States
    • Keep lighters and matches used for smoking inaccessible to children
    • Never smoke in bed
    • Empty ashtrays frequently, but wet the butts and ashes first
  • Cooking
    • Do not leave unsupervised pots of food cooking on the stove or in the oven
    • Do not store items on top of the stove – a power surge or a knob getting turned on accidentally can cause a fire
    • Keep pot handles turned towards the back of the stove
    • Use oven mitts, not a dish towel, to remove items from the oven
    • Always have a fire extinguisher in or near the kitchen
  • Clothes Dryer
    • Never leave the dryer running if you leave the house
    • Clean the lint screen frequently
    • Vent the dryer to the outside instead of into a wall
  • Fire Safety
    • Install smoke detectors on every level of your house
    • Mount a fire extinguisher in your kitchen, garage, and in at least one bedroom at the opposite end of the house from the kitchen
    • Discuss and practice a fire escape plan with your family
    • If the fire is large, get out of the house immediately and call 911
    • STOP, DROP, and ROLL if clothes catch on fire
    • Crawl low to the floor to stay below the smoke
    • Do not open a closed door if it feels hot
    • Have at least one escape ladder if you have a two-story house
  • The best way to protect your family from a fire is to be prepared.  Make sure everyone knows the fire prevention tips and the fire safety tips if a fire should occur.

Bicycle Safety

Although bicycling is fun and teaches children self confidence, they must be taught to cycle safely.

Approximately 250 children in the United States die each year from bicycle-related accidents.  Another half a million are injured. The best way to teach a child to cycle safely is by example.

Bike safety begins with teaching your child how to ride a bike safely.

  • Teach them to balance, steer, and pedal the bike in an open area such as a parking lot or driveway – not in the road
  • Next let them ride on sidewalks – show them that there are cracks, rocks, holes, etc. that they will need to maneuver around
  • Teach them to always stop at the corner and look both ways before preceding across the street
  • Next they will begin riding in the street – ALWAYS ride with the traffic, not against the traffic
  • Stop at all stop signs and obey all traffic signals
  • As their skills advance, they should be taught to use hand signals to indicate a turn

Buying the right bike for your child is essential for bike safety.  Most children can balance a bicycle by four to five years of age.  Make sure the bike is the right size for the rider.  The child should be able to sit on the seat with her feet flat on the ground and the handlebars should be no higher than her shoulders.

Bicycle helmets should be worn at all times while riding a bike.  Three out of four bicycle accidents involve a head injury.  Wearing a helmet could prevent brain damage or even death.

A Bicycle Helmet Should:

  • Be a bright color that is easy for car drivers to see
  • Be lightweight
  • Have wide straps that fit snugly beneath the chin
  • Always have the straps fastened while riding
  • Sit level on the child’s head – do not tilt it forward or backward

Basic safety rules

  • No riding on busy streets
  • Keep at least one hand (preferably two) on the handlebars at all times
  • Ride with the traffic
  • Stop at all stop signs and obey all traffic signals
  • Do not ride too close to parked cars – doors may open suddenly
  • Never wear headphones while riding
  • Only one person on the bike at one time
  • ALWAYS wear a helmet

Effective Step-Parenting

Patience is the most important attribute a step-parent can have.
It takes time for everyone involved to gain mutual respect for each other. Make a conscious effort to overlook small differences and avoid criticism or condescension when communicating with your step-children.
» Do not expect an instant “family”. Take time to get to know your step children and for them to get to know you.
» Be prepared for them to react negatively. Respond with positive remarks and actions. Remember, you are the adult and should set the example of treating each other with respect.

» Allow your step child to have alone time with her/his biological parent. This will help to eliminate the child’s feeling of competition for your spouse’s attention and affection.
» Also, spend some one-on-one time with the step child yourself. Taking the time to be interested in her and what she likes or dislikes will help form a bond between the two of you.
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Never say negative comments about the other biological parent in front of the child. This will only damage your relationship with the child. Even if the child knows that the negative comments are true, they may feel a sense of duty to defend their biological parent.
» Move slowly in building a relationship with your step child. Many times they are already feeling jealous or distrustful of you. It takes time to build respect and trust.
» Defer to the biological parent for discipline. If you disagree with your spouse, do not confront him/her in front of the child. Discuss and come to an agreement on methods of discipline with your spouse before there is a need to apply them.

Discipline Vs. Punishment

Discipline and punishment are not the same. Punishment is a penalty or reprimand for doing something wrong or misbehaving in some way.

Discipline, on the other hand, teaches a child right from wrong, how to respect others, how to control his impulses, to feel secure and loved, and to think for themselves.

Discipline Guidelines:

» Be consistent in your methods of discipline – this lets the child know that there are predictable consequences for his/her actions
» Stay calm and avoid losing control
» Do not criticize, but let the child know that you are not happy with his/her behavior
» Offer positive reinforcement rather than focusing only on negative behavior
» Never spank or use physical punishment – spanking teaches a child to be afraid but does not teach him/her to be respectful

Parenting Styles:

Be authoritative not authoritarian. Authoritarian is being overly strict and making children afraid or fearful. Authoritative involves setting rules and limits while also communicating with the child why the rules and limits are necessary.

Effective Discipline Tips:

» Plan ahead as to what the consequences should be for certain behavior
» Do not give in when your child whines or cries about a particular consequence
» Do not continually repeat a command – repeat only once with the resulting consequence if the undesirable behavior continues – then immediately follow through with the consequence
» Ignore minor or unimportant misbehaviors

Setting Limits:

» Begin with just a few rules
» Explain why you are saying “no” – do not say “because I said so”
» Be clear about your expectations so the child knows exactly what the limits are and the resulting consequences
» Have set times for meals and bedtime – structure helps children know what is expected of them