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Conflict Resolution
Conflict Resolution

2 girls fightingResolving conflict, effectively, is a talent, and if mastered at a young age will carry through into adulthood.  By aiding children in learning how to manage conflict, we will help them to experience a joyful social life filled with genuine friendships. By equipping children of all ages with conflict resolution strategies, we will help them in being a good friend.  Outlined below are several strategies that are proven to be effective in resolving conflicts in most situations.

Relax

Frustration, anger, and other strong emotions may run high during a conflict; therefore, all parties need to step away and calm down.  Attempting to resolve an issue, while children are upset will never work.

Listen, Speak, and Understand

Once everyone is calm, each child should have the opportunity to state their view of the problem.  Placing blame and focusing on the cause of the conflict is rendered ineffective, and a workable solution will never be reached.  Instead use “I” statements, such as, “I feel hurt when…”

While one party is speaking calming, the other party should be listening.  Listening is something that can be difficult, and if this is not mastered as children, it will never be part of their adult lives.  Active listening requires one person to actually see the situation from the other person’s view – even if they don’t agree.  In addition, active listening means that you are looking (not staring) at the other person, to indicate that they have your full attention.  Also, do not interrupt when the other person is speaking, but add some “listening noises”, to confirm that you are hearing and understanding what the other person is saying.  Finally, when the other person is finished speaking, repeat what they have said, so that you understand, and the other person feels confident that they have relayed their feelings in a way they feel valued.

Apologize

kids making up after a fightAn apology is the first step to repairing damaged relationships, and makes improvements from this moment forward.

When an apology is good and sincere, the other person should be hearing regret, responsibility, and a willingness to remedy the situation.  Using the words “I’m sorry” is not enough, as you also need to acknowledge how the other person was hurt by your actions and/or words.  Also, offer suggestions as to how you will fix the current situation and avoid it in the future.

In addition to apologizing, ask for forgiveness for your part in the conflict.

On the other hand, an insincere or “bad” apology falls short, if the victim is blamed or criticized, behavior is justified, or excuses are made, and consequences are minimized.  An example of a bad apology would be, “it was just a joke”.

Find a Solution

Children should be empowered to brainstorm a solution on their own, with the aim being to find a solution that makes everyone satisfied with the results.  Children should be reminded that every opinion should be heard, and that no idea should be criticized or deemed “silly”.  Writing down any and all ideas is a great way to view a feasible solution, and to resolve a conflict.

Summary

 

Calm Down

Reflect on the conflict

Relay your feelings

Listen to the other person

Find a solution

Discuss how each person will behave differently in the future

Speak calmly again, if current solution is not working for both parties

 

Brought to you by Kidds Place

The Tooth Fairy: Employing “Her” to Teach Your Kids About Money

An age old practice involving your child’s lost teeth which many people like to have fun with is that of the Tooth Fairy Tale. There are many folklore tales and pre-cursing traditions that have been practiced around disposal of children’s baby teeth. Some of these stories are rather dark and treacherous while others use more child-friendly, fantastical imagination. No matter where it came from, The Tooth Fairy remains alive and well in many American homes today.

Whether you participate in the traditions or not, we have construed some creative means to use the imaginary tale for the benefit of your children in their real-life learning about the resource we all need and use; money! Teaching children at a young age the purpose and means of finances will enable them to become fiscally responsible adults. Potentially, yielding less of the learnt-the-hard-way experiences. Partnering with the Tooth Fairy is just one of the ways to start teaching children about money along with other means such as chores, monetary birthday gifts, and sidewalk cash (finders keepers!). It offers a great starting point for younger kids and a fun incentive for them as they grow that can also encourage them in the natural process of losing their baby teeth.

 

Discovering the tangible currency of coins and paper bills

Our modern world is shifting rapidly to use of plastic currency numbers and online banking, but the value of tangible money is irreplaceable. Children need visuals and sense of touch to stimulate and ingrain what they learn. The best way to teach the value of a dollar, give them a dollar they can see and touch! Similarly, showing them the same value in coins also shows them how finite money is. While swiping a card may feel fun, cash is real. There are studies repeatedly showing that people really do spend more with plastic than with cash. Give your kids a healthy start in their perspective with money by using cash to stash under that pillow. Teach them the value of each coin and how many of those coins amount to equal values of larger coins and bills. Before saving and spending can begin, they first need to understand and know the value of money.

Making their first purchases

Chore allowance or tooth fairy money is typically your child’s first source of income. As they learn about the value of the money they earn, start practicing spending and saving using the toys or household items. This can turn into a fun game too for them by playing “shop” using they money they have. Setting dollar or coin amounts on toys they can afford and can’t can give way to discussion about saving money as well as prioritizing wants and needs. Same goes for the real out-and-about shopping. When they see a toy or food item they would like to have, show them how much money it costs using their coins and dollars, and how much they will have left; or, how much they may yet need. It would be advisable, however, to refrain from letting your child “borrow” from you! Once they have the money and a decision to purchase something, let them do the deal!

Learning to earn

While loosing teeth may not be the true way of “earning” a wage, it does demonstrate a good given for a value amount. Money isn’t given as often as it is earned. Whether you chose to keep the tooth fairy a secret tale, or your children know its you, aloting a small share for their little teeth can be a gateway into learning about the exchange or transaction that happens with money. Get creative and allow them to put more of an earned effort into it by increasing the value of well brushed and flossed teeth. This can give them incentive to work more diligently on their oral health along with working toward something they would like to purchase. In the real world, we work both for incentive and also responsibility!

Budgeting

Budgeting simply means you are telling your money precisely where it will go. As kids start learning from their shed teeth, chores, or monetary gifts, talk to them about allocating funds. Set up a visual system to help them see and keep track of their categories. Savings for bigger purchases, gift giving, and spending are three basic categories to start with. Of course, customize it to your family values. Envelopes, jars, a collection of piggy banks are some options to allow visualization of these funds. Budgeting like this is also a stepping stone into real-deal banking when your child is older with enough earnings for an account and can start learning to use debit cards.

Turning the Piggy Bank to the Real Bank

When is a good time to open a savings account for your kiddo? A full piggy bank (or two!) can be a good indicator. When your child is ready for this step, take them with you to the bank and let them sit in on the action of starting an account. This could also be a great time to ask for a bank tour to give yet another visual aspect of how banking and money works in the adult world they will soon be a part of. Start simple with savings, start small, and teach them the importance of maintaining their account and tracking funds.

 

The Tooth Fairy may be just a fun tale for some, but she can also become the entryway for your child into learning about money and the management thereof. Perhaps it is time to think about employing her to get a start on introducing your child to the world of currency, offering valuable lessons that will serve them well throughout their life!

 

Keeping Children Busy While Shopping
Keeping Children Busy While Shopping

Summer months bring sunshine, days at the beach, BBQs, and kid’s home from school.  The grocery shopping, that is usually done when children are not around, now becomes a challenge, if children need to accompany you on this errand.  Sometimes this necessary chore is boring to adults, so it only seems natural, that small children would get bored very quickly and only find entertainment in knocking things off the shelves.  Below are some fun and educational ideas that may keep your child entertained while shopping for groceries.

Make the Rules

As previously mentioned, children are curious, and love to touch and grab items.  Instead of an absolute “NO”, instill in your child, the “one finger rule”.  Have a child choose one finger only, and if they feel the need to touch something gently, it can only be with the one finger they chose at the beginning of the game.

Captain Of The Shopping Cart

Many children want to push the cart, because they may not know that they can be the “Captain of the Cart”.  By keeping your child safe “in the cart”, they will feel in control, and you can use this opportunity to teach them right from left, colors, and shapes.  You can even play a mini-game of “red light – green light”, as the cart stops and moves from each location.

BINGO

Bingo has been around for generations, but “grocery store Bingo” is a new twist on a long-loved game.  There are free pre-printed cards available online or you can create a board of your own to keep children busy.

I SPY

“I Spy” is another great classic game, and a grocery store is the perfect place to play, because it is filled with colors and different shaped items in every aisle.  For instance, ask children to “spy” something red and round; such as an apple, or ask them to point out something that starts with the letter “R” such as rice.

It doesn’t have to be all fun and games; in fact, grocery shopping is a great way to re-inforce math skills, and to begin teaching financial budgeting.  For instance, there are usually scales in the produce section, and you can ask children to guess how much a certain item will weigh.  This will get their minds thinking about the size and weight of items, as well as the cost.

As each item is placed in the basket, have children add the price on a calculator.  If something goes over budget, think it through together, and decide what items need to be put back on the shelf.

Now that we see that grocery shopping with your kids can be fun and educational, go ahead and head out to the local market with the up and coming generation.

Teeth and Genetics
Teeth and Genetics

Genetics is the scientific study of heredity, which basically, refers to how traits are passed on from parents to their children. For example, your eye color is a genetic trait passed on from your parents.  Keeping this in mind, Mary Marazita, the director of the Center for Craniofacial and Dental Genetics states that approximately 60% of the risk of tooth decay is due to genetics.

Oral Hygiene

child brushing teethWe are not saying to forsake daily and proper oral hygiene, but we are saying that genes play a role in how healthy your gums will be and how resistant your teeth may be to tooth decay.  A human gene, referred to as, “DEFB1” may be influential in the rate at which a person may be susceptible to cavities.  Additionally, extensive research has found that higher than normal levels of the gene known as, “FAM5C” may increase your odds of developing gingivitis (gum disease).

Due to the variation in genes from person to person, some people may naturally have softer tooth enamel than other people.  It is a known fact, that the softer the enamel on the tooth, the easier it is for bacteria to get in, which ultimately leads to cavities.  Toothpaste with fluoride, in conjunction with daily flossing, can help teeth remain as clean as possible and avoid cavities.  In addition, it is suggested that you speak to your dental professional, as to how to make tooth enamel more resistant to decay.

Taste preference can also be associated with genes.  For instance, if you have a fondness for sweets; your risk for tooth decay will increase.

A quick family history of oral issues can determine if you are pre-dispositioned for certain conditions, such as cleft lip, tooth decay, misaligned teeth, gum disease, or possibly oral cancer.

Fear not! Because even you see a pattern of oral health issues associated with genetics, you are not helpless.  The overall health of your gums and mouth are the result of a combination of oral care and genetics.  Therefore, if just more than 50% is due to genetics, the other percentage is due to a combination of dietary habits, smoking habits, access to dental care (at least every six months), flossing, and brushing after every meal.

Genetics will play a slight role in how healthy your gums and teeth will be today and throughout your life.  However, no matter what your genes may say, with a proper dental plan, including regular checkups and professional cleanings, you can have healthy teeth and gums.  Remember, even if you have bad genes, you are in ultimate control of your oral care destiny.

Genetics is the scientific study of heredity, which basically, refers to how traits are passed on from parents to their children. For example, your eye color is a genetic trait passed on from your parents.  Keeping this in mind, Mary Marazita, the director of the Center for Craniofacial and Dental Genetics states that approximately 60% of the risk of tooth decay is due to genetics.

Dental Hygiene

We are not saying to forsake daily and proper oral hygiene, but we are saying that genes play a role in how healthy your gums will be and how resistant your teeth may be to tooth decay.  A human gene, referred to as, “DEFB1” may be influential in the rate at which a person may be susceptible to cavities.  Additionally, extensive research has found that higher than normal levels of the gene known as, “FAM5C” may increase your odds of developing gingivitis (gum disease).

Due to the variation in genes from person to person, some people may naturally have softer tooth enamel than other people.  It is a known fact, that the softer the enamel on the tooth, the easier it is for bacteria to get in, which ultimately leads to cavities.  Toothpaste with fluoride, in conjunction with daily flossing, can help teeth remain as clean as possible and avoid cavities.  In addition, it is suggested that you speak to your dental professional, as to how to make tooth enamel more resistant to decay.

Taste preference can also be associated with genes.  For instance, if you have a fondness for sweets; your risk for tooth decay will increase.

A quick family history of oral issues can determine if you are pre-dispositioned for certain conditions, such as cleft lip, tooth decay, misaligned teeth, gum disease, or possibly oral cancer.

Fear not! Because even you see a pattern of oral health issues associated with genetics, you are not helpless.  The overall health of your gums and mouth are the result of a combination of oral care and genetics.  Therefore, if just more than 50% is due to genetics, the other percentage is due to a combination of dietary habits, smoking habits, access to dental care (at least every six months), flossing, and brushing after every meal.

Genetics will play a slight role in how healthy your gums and teeth will be today and throughout your life.  However, no matter what your genes may say, with a proper dental plan, including regular checkups and professional cleanings, you can have healthy teeth and gums.  Remember, even if you have bad genes, you are in ultimate control of your oral care destiny.

Independence Day Family Celebration Ideas
Independence Day Family Celebration Ideas

“Every heart beats true for the red, white, and blue”… may be some of the musical lyrics you hear this 4th of July celebration! Parades, park adventures with the family, camping, picnics, and fireworkds are all part of the celebrations today as we commemorate the 242nd birthday of the United States of America! Join us for some tasty, festive snacks and fun activities for the kids!

Red, White, and Blue “Firework” Pom Poms

Hosting a party or BBQ? These little pom poms are fun, fairly quick, and festive decorations for your porch or dinning area. Here is what you will need!

Tissue paper: red, white and blue of course! Chose white with colored sparkles to create firework-style pom poms

Ribbon or fine string

Scissors

Stapler

How to:

  1. Fold tissue paper in half 3 times until you have a rectangle approximately 7 x 10 inches. Cut along the folds until you have 8 pieces. If using a different size tissue paper, simply cut into 7″ x 10″ rectangles. Repeat for each set of tissue paper.
  2. Take two cut sheets of each colour and layer on top of each other: red, white, blue, red, white, blue or sparkly color tissue paper.
  3. Folding horizontally along the short end of the rectangle, create an alternating accordion fold about 1 inch think along the tissue paper sheets. You should be flipping the tissue paper over with each fold to create the accordion fold.
  4. Pinching the folded tissue paper together in the middle, staple once in the center to secure all of the layers in place.
  5. Flip the accordioned tissue paper over, and center the ribbon over the backside of the staple. Staple again to secure the twine or ribbon to your folded tissue paper layers.
  6. Trim each end of your folded pom into an arrow point.
  7. Gently fan out one half of the folded pom, and gently pull each layer of tissue paper away from the centre to fluff. Repeat for all layers of tissue paper on both the top and bottom half of each pom. You should have a cute, round pom once you’re done!
  8. Repeat Steps 1-4 to create the next accordion pom. To make one continuous garland, simply measure the amount of space you would like between poms before directly stapling the folded pom to your twine or ribbon. Repeat Step 6 & 7 to finish each pom. Keep going until your pom pom garland is to your liking!

 

Hand print Keepsake Fireworks

Hand print artwork is a classic keepsake to look back on as your kids grow up; this little activity is perfect for those parents who enjoy these memorable pieces and ideal for kids who love to get messy with the paint! (water washable paint is the best!)

Supplies:

Red, blue, gold, silver, cardstock/construction paper

White cardstock (2) smaller than color cardstock/paper

Acrylic paint of choice or washable paint

Glitter glue – gold, silver, or multi color

Paint palette (paper plates work well!)

Paint brushes (foam brush and regular paint brush)

Paper cutter or scissors

Glue stick

tape

Wipes for cleaning up!

Festive stickers (optional)

How to:

  1. Gently tape white cardstock (matte side up, shiny side down!) to the table for secure hand printing painting
  2. Apply desired paint color for handprint to a paper plate or paint palette and use the foam brush to apply to your child’s hand, apply a thin coat to prevent globs and reduce smearing.
  3. Gently press their hand down on the card stock. Encourage them to hold still by gently tickling their palm before pressing down to stimulate a spread reflex (works well for young babies and toddlers). As they press down, run your fingers across the tops of their fingers to encourage the same reflex.
  4. Pull their hand straight up and either wash at the sink or wipe away the paint
  5. Next, on seperate piece of cardstock, add detail of fireworks with regular paint brush or help guide your child’s little fingers to make strokes of paint. Use multiple colors of choice and start with an “X” shape, adding strokes all around between.Use glitter glue to add some sparkle streaks for a firework resemblance.
  6. When the handprint dries, cut out along the edges and glue to the middle of the cardstock with the firework detail. Or, attach handprint to still wet glue of firework detail.
  7. Cut cardstock to fit inside color paper, using the color paper as a frame.
  8. Don’t forget to write the name and date at the bottom!
  9. Add festive stickers or glitter glue to the border of your frame if desired.

 

Fruit Kabobs

Fruit is in season and often on sale this time of year. It is well-known as nature’s candy and kids are commonly fans, so pick out their favorites and make some tasty snacks…think red, white, and blue!

Yummy options:

Strawberries

Rasberries

Blueberries

Blackberries

Bananans

Red grapes

Watermelon

Rice krispie treats

Angle food cake cut into squares or rounds (cookie cuters!)

Marshmallows

Kabob sticks/skewers

How to:

  1. Fairly simple, prepare your fruits and foods of choice. Wash berries and cut Strawberry tops, slice bananas, cube watermelon and Krispy treats and cake bits to desired bite size.
  2. Place your choices on a plate or in cups and let the kids pick and stick!

We hope you all enjoy a memorable and safe Independence Day this year with family and friend! Make some of these fun craft and snack ideas part of your celebrations and keep those smiles bright!

 

These fun tips were brought to you by Kidds Place

Exploring the Backyard
Exploring the Backyard

A child’s mind is always active, and they are constantly seeking new wonders and adventures.  Children are natural explorers, and there is so much to do and see in your own backyard.  Keep in mind that extravagant vacations to exotic places are not necessary, in order to fulfill a child’s never-ending need to see all that the world has to offer.

Fun in the Garden

Your own backyard is a great place for your children and their friends to be occupied for hours.  Some great ideas include:

  1. Have the children go on a spider web hunt.
  2. Make a crown made from leaves, or even have them design their own place setting made of leaves, that they can use for the evening meal.
  3. Rock painting is becoming a fast enjoying trend.  Rocks can be found in your own backyard, and once painted; they could be hidden in secret places around the community to be found by others.  This is a great way to keep children occupied, and bring a smile to the face of strangers.
  4. Growing vegetables is a great way to teach children about food and nature.  Growing a sweet potato is something that could be done above ground, so children can experience the wonders of all stages of growth.
  5. Attempting to catch butterflies with a home-made butterfly net is a great way to get children to create something of their own, and also to appreciate nature.
  6. To tap into their imaginary side, encourage children to make a fairy garden, or build a tiny house for fairies.  Also, they can whip up a batch of fairy potion with a few household items, such as a jar, water, flower petals (or other items from the backyard), food coloring, and of course a magic stick to stir the potion.
  7. Camping and stargazing in the backyard has been something that children have been doing for years, and this is a tried and true activity that children love.

Your backyard is going to the place to be, where you share your homemade large games with the neighborhood.  Remember, building the game is half the fun.

Yard Twister

You will need some string to make sure your lines are straight, but more importantly, you will need spray paint cans of blue, yellow, green and red.  A 5 gallon bucket with the bottom (about a 10 inch circumference) cut out is recommended for the pattern template.  It is strongly advised, to allow the paint to dry before playing, to keep children from ruining clothes and shoes (or tracking wet paint into your house).   Use the spinner from the original game, if you don’t have one, just call out random combinations and watch the fun unfold.

DIY a Lawn Tic-Tac-Toe set

For the board, you can use spray paint, pool noodles, chalk, or use rope or yarn for the lines on the board.  Then you will need the “X” and “O” (5 of each) – these can be anything, like painted rocks, bean bags, or large handmade cutouts.

DIY Giant Backyard Bowling 

PVC pipes can be used to create this great, larger than life backyard game, but you can also use some common household products, such a large plastic soda bottles (filled with water with food coloring added), empty cereal boxes, or empty paper towel tubes filled with rocks (tape both ends of the filled tubes).

Giant Jenga

To create this fun game, you will just need a few 2’ by 4’ boards.  Most home improvement stores and lumber yards will cut the wood to your specific lengths, so you don’t even need a saw!

 

 

Kidds Place is a place for children of all ages. Learn more about our dental services here.

History of Father’s Day
History of Father’s Day

Spokane is the birthplace of “Father’s Day”, even though the first attempted observance of a day honoring dads occurred in Fairmont, West Virginia, on July 5, 1908.  Several other failed attempts occurred, in Chicago, IL in 1911 and Vancouver, WA in 1912.  In 1915, Harry C. Meek claimed to be the originator of “Father’s Day”, and that the third Sunday in June was the chosen day of celebration, because it was Mr. Meek’s birthday.  He strove to promote this day to honor dads.

The truth is that on June 19, 1910, Sonora Smart Dodd held the first Father’s Day celebration at the local YMCA, in Spokane, WA.  She suggested the idea to her pastor, and it was accepted throughout the city.  However, in 1920, Dodd began her studies at the Art Institute of Chicago and ceased promoting the celebration.  A bill was introduced into Congress in 1913, to give Father’s Day national recognition. However, it wasn’t until 1916, that President Woodrow Wilson, while attending a speaking engagement in Spokane during a Father’s Day celebration, decided to make the day an official holiday.  Congress resisted the idea, stating that the day may become too commercialized.

In 1924, President Calvin Coolidge recommended that Father’s Day be observed nationally, but he didn’t follow through with the needed proclamation.   Margaret Chase Smith, a Senator from Maine, wrote a proposal in 1957 accusing Congress of ignoring fathers, while honoring mothers.  President Lyndon B. Johnson issued the first presidential proclamation in 1966 honoring fathers, and set aside the third Sunday in June for this celebration.  In 1972, the day finally became a national holiday, when President Richard M. Nixon signed it into law.

Fun activity ideas, in and around the Spokane area, to celebrate Dad’s Day

Silverwood Theme Park & Boulder Beach Water Park

On Father’s Day weekend, Dad’s get into this adventure park for FREE, while other family members need to purchase a ticket at the entrance or on line.  This is a fun-filled day for the entire family to enjoy.

Spokane Craft Brewery Tours

A tour is a great way to try some of the local beers around the city.  There is the “No-Li Brew House” or the “Inland Northwest Ale Trail” offering a few different brewery stops.

Taste World-Class Wines at Maryhill Winery

If a sip of wine is more your taste, this is the place to be.  The special for June is the “Grilling and Chilling” event.  Reservations are required.  Also, there is live entertainment to be enjoyed most weekends, from May until October.

Get Outdoors with Dad

Many men love the great outdoors, and Spokane has a lot to offer, such as hiking the Centennial Trails, or taking a scenic bike ride near the Schweitzer Mountain Resort.  Also, take your dad to the Coeur d’Alene River, to see how the fish are biting.

Live entertainment

Also, there are plenty of live entertainment options, in and around the Spokane area, such as live music or stand-up comedy that your dad may love.

Learning to Brush and Floss With These Fun Activities

If you are a parent, then you know that training children to brush and floss their teeth can present all sorts of challenges! It is no easy task to master for little hands and fingers still fine-tuning motor skills and anxious to move onto the next activity within 30 seconds of starting one. Regardless, it is important for them to begin development of healthy habits that will serve them well throughout their lives. That doesn’t mean it can’t be fun with a few little tweaks to the game!

Children tend to learn visually and audibly as they get to know the world and objects around them. Using an activity to demonstrate how a task is done not only gives them something enjoyable to do, but it can also help them translate the action into personal life skills. Try a fun approach with these little activities which will give kids a visual, hands on skill-building experience.

Scrubbing Activity using… Toys

Materials you will need:

  • Dinosaur figurine (or other animal with grooves and crevices)
  • Spare toothbrush
  • toothpaste
  • small bowl of water
  • Towel
  • Clean surface or tray (place mats work too!)
  • Baking soda or play dough

Those tiny little hard-plastic figurines you often find yourself stepping on can prove useful for this activity! By using toothpaste rather than soap, you can keep this activity closely relateable for your kids in regards to their own teeth. Encourage them also to work within a defined space such as on a plate, tray, or place mat which will help refine motor skills.

How to scrub:

The goal here is to follow the same steps with the toy as you would to instruct your kids to brush their teeth.

  • Lightly coat the toy with playdough or baking soda paste (if using baking soda, let dry)
  • Dip the toothbrush into the water and assist, as needed, with toothpaste application (remember, pea-size dollop!)
  • Let the kids scrub away!
  • When finished dip the dinosaur into the water to rinse

While they are brushing, discuss why they are cleaning their toys and point out any stubborn bits that need a little extra scrubbing. Encourage them to check that all little crevices are clear before rinsing and drying. Create a positive experience to draw from by even referring to their teeth as little “dinosaurs” (or whatever it is you used for this activity) and ask if they thoroughly scrubbed them clean!

Flossing activity with Play dough

Materials you will need:

  • Playdough
  • Dental floss
  • Megablock or large toddler “Lego” block (Use a regular Lego for older kids)

How to Floss the Dough

  • Help or allow your child to put the dough between the bock pegs.
  • Show them how to extract and cut the floss. Use the same amount needed for flossing their own teeth
  • Demonstrate the proper flossing technique and leave them to it!

As with the brushing activity, discuss the importance of flossing and what happens when plaque (or playdough) is left between the teeth. You can even leave the block out to dry overnight to similarly show your child what happens when plaque remains between the teeth. Not such an easy mess to remove then! Having your child scoop out the play dough from between the pegs is also a great motor skill development activity. This particular activity emphasizes the importance of shaping the floss around the tooth to ensure no little bits of “plaque” are left behind.

 

Happy brushing!

How to Manage Childhood Seasonal Allergies
How to Manage Childhood Seasonal Allergies

childrens seasonal allergies

Seasonal allergies are no fun, whether you are child or an adult, but an adult’s pain is doubled, as they watch their children suffer.  Seasonal allergies, such as tree pollen, affect almost 40% of children living in the United States. Symptoms of seasonal allergies range from mild to severe, and can include, but not be limited to sneezing, coughing, and itchy eyes. Mild symptoms are annoying, but severe symptoms can have an impact on a child’s schoolwork and social activities.

Depending on the season, children who suffer with allergies understand that even the simplest pleasures, such as playing outside with friends can be torture.  For instance, children who are allergic to grass, suffer the most during the summer months.  Anyone allergic to ragweed feel the worst during the autumn months, and children allergic to pollen find that symptoms increase during the spring months.

To reduce symptoms and limit stress, below are some helpful tips:

  1. Plan the family vacation around allergy seasons.  Enjoy a winter ski trip, if summer allergies hit your child the hardest.
  2. Children love camps, but if traditional summer camps that are outside are impossible, explore other options, such as computer camps and/or art camps that are inside, but still stimulate their minds. These camps will allow them to engage socially and tap into their creativity.
  3. Being part of a sports team, such as soccer can trigger allergies, but it is no reason to limit a child’s desire to play on a team.  Swimming, dance, and even martial arts may be good sport team alternatives.
  4. Mornings are when pollen count is the highest, so encourage outdoor play late in the afternoon.
  5. It is highly recommend that children wash up/shower each evening, to wipe off any microscopic particles of grass or lingering pollen.
  6. Since pet dander is a common allergen among many children, encourage children to have their friends over to your home for a visit and even a sleepover.
  7. A day at the park maybe relaxing for some people, but for those children with allergies, this could be a nightmare.  Instead, head to the ocean when allergy sufferers usually find some relief.
  8. When pollen count is high, indoor activities are fun, such as visiting a museum and story time at the local library.
  9. Keep windows and doors closed when allergy symptoms are high.  Use the air conditioner to keep the home and car cool.
  10. Vacuum often and invest in a high-efficiency air filer, to reduce symptoms of allergies.

Prescription medication may become necessary; so speak to your pediatrician, to seek the best treatment to have your child feeling the best they can be.

3 Unexpected Reasons Why You Should Change Out Your Toothbrush Every Three Months

It may or may not be common knowledge that there are nearly 100 to 200 species of bacteria, at any given time, lurking in your mouth. This is bacteria that also take up residence on your toothbrush as well! Now you know. How you store toothbrushes can also contribute far more greatly to the issue if you aren’t careful. After all, the point of brushing our teeth is to remove bacteria, so inevitably, there will be much present on your toothbrush. It may not be a pleasant subject to read about or discuss, however; teaching consistent habits early on will help construct healthy choices for your little one’s health and overall well-being.

So why should you care about where the toothbrush is placed between uses and why should you change it out? Does it really matter? Read on to find out the how and why you may not be aware of!

Germs thrive in warm, moist environments

Making toothbrushes prime estate for germs to live and grow. Bathrooms are often warm and damp from the steam of bathing, which creates an environment where your toothbrush may remain damp between uses. The ideal way to store toothbrushes is upright such as in a toothbrush clip/holder in a place where it can dry between uses, such as in a tight-closing mirror cabinet or even in the cupboard under the sink if you have a cabinet counter.

Avoid air tight travel cases too as they don’t allow air flow to dry and create an ideal environment for visible mold, which starts to grow well before you see it! Air drying kills anaerobic bacteria that can cause gum disease and cavities. Use the bathroom fan to circulate air and prevent steam from building up in excess. If you have a bathroom window, open it slightly to allow steam an escape.

Airborne and splash bacteria

Have many sources in the bathroom alone. Droplets of wastewater from flushing the toilet, hand washing, and even shower steam introduce an array of other bacteria to your toothbrush… all day long. Wherever you do find best for storage in your space, DON’T store toothbrushes off the side of the sink or on the counter top, no matter how rushed you may be! Close the toilet lid before flushing and instruct children to do the same. Teaching this during potty training days too can help ingrain this habit to help reduce contamination of the rest of your bathroom.

The common cold and flu

Viruses are active days and weeks before visible symptoms are present. They can also linger a while, though usually not for long. Still, you should change your toothbrush if you have been sick and be careful not to store toothbrushes of family members together to avoid cross infection. When you buy toothbrushes or visit your dentist, ask for one or two extra to keep on hand, unopened, for a fresh replacement after illness.

Normal wear and tear

Changes your toothbrush effectiveness more than you may think. Bristles can break down and splay causing them to become dull and unable to reach into the cracks and crevices of the teeth. Three months is the general guideline and if you or your kids tend to be heavy handed on toothbrush use, you may find replacement required more often. Use common sense to figure out when you and the family are due for new brush. Keep in mind too that maintenance between uses will greatly help and even prevent unwanted nasties.

Here are a few things you can do between uses:

Rinse in hot water

For about 30 seconds before and after brushing to remove all traces of toothpaste and kill off a majority of microbes, many of which can’t survive beyond about 105 degrees Fahrenheit. Rinse the brush at a head-downward angle and tap out excess water with the bristles facing down prior to storing upright. Once a week, you can boil water a few minutes and submerge the brush head for about 20-30 minutes in a glass container.

Soak brush heads in mouthwash

In an antibacterial mouthwash for 20-30 minutes after rinsing with hot water. A gum disease-fighting mouthwash or one with alcohol or cetylpyridinium chloride will do the trick. White vinegar is also a good option aside from mouthwash. This is also ideal for toothbrushes fresh out of the package as they are not perfectly clean either.

Hydrogen Peroxide rinse

Isn’t just for owies! This is especially helpful after each brushing if you are sick. Soak for 5 minutes once a week for regular maintenance. Just don’t reuse the same hydrogen peroxide, particularly because it will break down and lose effectiveness when exposed to light.

Don’t forget the toothbrush holder!

This study by NSF International revealed that the toothbrush holder takes the title for germiest place in the bathroom! Whether you use a clip holder, cup, or other upright-holding way of toothbrush storage, clean it in hot, soapy water at least once a week or when you clean your bathroom. You can also rinse or soak with vinegar rinse under hot water. Air dry on a clean towel or paper towel.

Germs are everywhere, it’s a fact of life, and why we have immune systems to help protect us on the daily basis from common household bacteria. Don’t push your luck though and now that you know just how bacteria ridden the toothbrushes in your household really can be, take a few moments to maintain them between replacements every three months. Happy brushing!

 

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