Showing posts with label teaching health and safety. Show all posts
Showing posts with label teaching health and safety. Show all posts

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Child Proofing Your Home

Child proofing your home
How to Keep Your Baby Safe
 As my oldest child was just starting to crawl, I quickly realized that I didn’t childproof my home so much for my daughter’s safety as for my own sanity. If you are trying to homeschool an older child and watch a toddler, then baby proofing will save you a lot of worry and time. In addition to the fact that you don't want anything to happen to your precious bundle of joy, you need to be able to relax and enjoy their company and spend time with your older children. Proper childproofing will also provide your child with the freedom to roam that they will need to grow and learn properly.

Before You Buy

First things first, before you go to the store and buy every childproofing supply they sell, you need to get down on your hands and knees and crawl around your space. This will give you a look at what your child is looking at. You will see cords and bright colored sharp dangerous objects that you had no clue you needed to secure.   

Once you have accomplished this task you will need to survey your space for escape routes your little one may surprise you with. Where are the bathrooms, kitchen, outside doors and any water sources like a pool or hot tub?  You will need to build layers of protection around these areas as well as securing your electrical outlets and any large pieces of furniture.  Now you are ready to make your list and go shopping for the items below. 

Also, if you are using secondhand products or you have an older child you need to periodically check for product recalls.  You can do this quickly and easily at

Electrical Outlet Covers

Count every outlet in your house and buy a cover for each. My daughter never messed with the outlet covers but my son did, so I recommend the locking covers at least in the nursery or playroom. Babies have little fingers that are usually wet and they are very attracted to outlets. They just love to stick their tinny fingers in those things and it could be deadly. 

The Baby Gate

Perhaps you will need one, or perhaps you will need four, it all depends on the size and set up of your house. You will want a baby gate to secure any stairs where the little one could fall, hallways and bathrooms. I have also found that when possible it is much easier to secure the kitchen with a baby gate then to secure each and every cabinet and appliance. There are some great creative homemade baby gate ideas on Pinterest, so before you spend the money check them out. 

Door Handle Locks

I have also found that it is much easier to secure the bathrooms with a special childproof door handle than any of the other contraptions they make for the bathroom.  I also put these on any doors that lead to the outside of the house.  I don't want my three year old on the news because she was found outside in the middle of the night. If you can find the crocheted door handle covers or make them on your own, I recommend these. The store bought models can be busted by any determined 18 month old.

Window Blinds

There have been numerous children, some of them as old as six, who accidentally hung themselves on window blinds. I actually found my older son trying to use one as a catapult one day, you never know what they might come up with. If you can, try to avoid window blinds with any strings or chains.  If you cannot avoid these types of blinds, there are security kits that you can purchase for them and in the worst case scenario you can cut the strings or hang them up high out of reach. 

Ah, the Armoire

Finally, if you have a lot of electronics, I have found that armoires are terrific. As all large furniture does, they need to be secured to the wall with eyehooks. Eyehooks are also great for interior doors.  We have found that securing these doors with eyehooks avoids unnecessary finger pinching.  Remember that if it can kill or break, secure it somehow and your home will be safe and secure.

You may also want to read Teaching Children About Safety.

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Teaching Children About Safety

Stranger Danger
Would Your Child Know a Stranger?
My husband and a friend recently took six children to a crowded Nascar race. If you are unfamiliar with Nascar, when I say crowded, Nascar spends a week proceeding every race constructing a small city in preparation. As the group filed to their seats my then 9 year old daughter inadvertently took a wrong turn. Once she realized her mistake my husband and everyone else were long gone and there she was alone among millions of strangers. Although this is a terrifying thought, I was surprisingly calm when I heard the story, because I know my daughter and I know how well she has been trained. In fact, she stayed calm and kept walking until she came to the next sheriff's kiosk. She gave the sheriff her information and it wasn't until she actually saw her dad that she began to tear up and show any emotion at all. Of course, God protected her, but He also gave me a mandate along time ago on how to train my children for an emergency. It was no accident that she knew what to do.

The Safe Side for Kids

God spoke to me before my first child was born on the topic of stranger danger. When my babies were young I made it my priority to find ways to teach them about stranger danger. We started showing our kids the Safe Side video when they were very young. It is a catchy video that explains stranger danger in a very non-threatening way. There is also a Safe Side Internet video that I highly recommend. The best part about the Safe Side is that it teaches them who a stranger is and how to talk to a stranger. Kids need to know where to go, what to say and they need to be coached to stay calm. A child standing alone in a mall crying is easy prey for a bad stranger, it is important to role play so that they will know how to stay calm.

Role Play

We have never stopped with just showing our kids this video. We talk about the video and watch it over and over again, especially when we are getting ready to go to an event like Nascar or an amusement park. We also role play what we learn in the video. I remember one year my daughter was going out to a festival with some friends. We did some role playing just before she left. I asked her where she would go if she got separated and had her tell me what she would say. She didn't need this role play that evening however the next evening we went to a block party as a family and low and behold she got separated from us.

She knew exactly what to do; this is probably why the Nascar story didn't freak me out. She has been tested. We also had an occasion in a neighborhood where a man was going door to door asking kids if they had seen his lost dog. My children did not even get close to him, they immediately ran to my husband and told him about the man. Although we do try to avoid situations where our kids safety could be compromised the reality is that we live in a big city in a fallen world. It might be safer to stay home all the time, but Jesus calls us to be a light unto the world. So we have chosen to train our children to be safe and go be a light unto the world.

Have a Plan

Not every situation is going to call for the same level of safety and not every situation is going to be set up the same. While we have routine safety in plan at home and places we visit regularly like the public library, there are other places that might be new or unfamiliar. When we go somewhere like this we have a safety talk. Our children know that if we are going to the public library they are to stay within my view and they are not permitted to just run off to the restroom or another area. If we go somewhere new, we may need to talk about the layout of an amusement park, what the workers are wearing and where to find the security officers. We have this talk first thing, before we get distracted having fun. This is exactly what happened at Nascar that day; the minute my hubby and his friend stepped through the gate they had a talk with the kids about safety and the layout of the stadium. That is in fact how my daughter knew how to find the sheriff. You can order the Safe Side video online or find it at your local library. Make a plan with your children today to ensure their safety tomorrow.

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Teaching Children Through Grief

Helping Children with Grief
Teaching Children Through Grief
Grief is a reality, a part of life. We are coming out of grief mode right now in fact. I am not quite ready to write about it in detail, but for the past six months we served as a foster family to which we recently transitioned our little girl back to her birth family. There are lots of mixed emotions but for a while we were five and now we are four again and with that comes grief. It cannot be reasoned with nor can it be controlled it just is...grief. It must be faced, it cannot be avoided, it must be tolerated because we cannot let it take over, and the children grieve too, but they must learn how and be taught how to grieve.

There are stages to grief and you cannot rush them. Sometimes these stages will cycle back around and surprise you too. They can pack quite a punch and you need to be aware and be emotionally flexible to them. Stages one through five: Denial, Anger, Bargaining, Depression and Acceptance. You cannot rush these stages and everyone reacts differently in every stage. One child might be angry during depression while another might be angry during the angry stage. Age and development play into these stages as well.

So, there are no perfect ways to grieve. Grief is often ugly and it appears when you least expect it. We have different personalities and different time tables to our grief. Grieving with children takes patience and prayer. This isn't the first time we have grieved, we have lost loved ones and pets, we have grieved homes and places and even sometimes things. So we kind of have some grieving activities and that is what I am going to share today. They are simple but I hope they help.

Familiar Things

While sometimes a child may want to put a few things away when the grief is really fresh, we found when grandpa and great grandma passed away, familiar things were quite a comfort and still are. When we went through this time of grief, we put some of our relatives clothes in the dress up box for playtime. This not only served as a source of comfort but it also gave her a creative outlet for her grief. Now that she is older she likes to wear grandpas t-shirts sometimes as well as my grandma's jewelry.

Pictures and Scrapbooks

We have also found that looking at pictures and making scrapbooks was helpful but not usually right away. This is something that may need to be reserved for a few months or even a year down the road when the grief is not so fresh.

Balloon Therapy

Balloon therapy is something my son initiated on his own, he is 6 and just beginning to understand the permanency of life. While balloon therapy is something that many child psychologists practice it isn't something that I even thought of on my own. One day, in the midst of his grief, when he was really still in shock and denial he asked for a pack of balloons. Balloons are not something that we normally allow in our house because they can be quite dangerous however he was so broken that I just decided to comply and I am so glad I did. What transpired was amazing! I took him to Party City where you can buy your balloons individually for $.15 each. He chose a variety of 15 balloons that we took home and blew up. He then proceeded to draw faces of varying emotions on the balloons and give them names. I suggested none of this by the way. As the week progressed he cared for his balloons until each of them "passed away." It was his way of dealing with the grief and putting it somewhere.


After this experience we began to allow water balloon play as well. This also turned out to be quite therapeutic. He was able to release some anger in a fun and constructive way and again he cared for his favorite balloons. We have found that we need to be sensitive to these 'special friends'. It is important to him that we 'respect a perimeter' around the balloons. This is normal too, this is his way of protecting his emotional triggers. While there is some controversy over emotional triggers, in general you will want to identify what really upsets your child and tread lightly in that area while the grief is fresh. For some kids it may be driving by a certain landmark and for others it might be seeing others laugh. If happiness is a trigger, by the way, it could be that they are in the depression stage of grief.

Walking and Talking

In my opinion, you cannot avoid triggers forever, you must face them slowly and gently but you must eventually face these triggers for complete healing to take place. Sometimes the triggers must be given directly to God for Divine healing. Whatever the case may be, you must keep breathing and moving, walking and talking. You cannot bottle it all up inside. Continue to talk about your loss and share your feelings and your child will eventually feel safe to do the same.

Something Old and Something New

Finally, while we are continuing to go about some normal daily activities and face our grief we also add some new things as well. We make new memories and happy places. We see a new movie, we go to a restaurant we have never been to before and maybe try a new food. We choose to embrace life. Choose life!

"Behold I am doing a new thing, can you perceive it? I will make a way in the wilderness and rivers in the dessert." Isaiah 43:19

You may also want to read:
Building a Home Team or
Teaching Children About Failure

How I became Considering frugal

Fueled by the growing list of pollution related allergies my family suffered from each day, and inspired by my 97 year old grandmother who could recycle ANYTHING before recycling was cool, back in 2011, I decided (in the spirit of the Julie/Julia Project...) to embark on a journey to see just how much one family could do to change our planet. I didn't consult any other parties before I launched this idea. Thankfully my husband, daughter and son are usually my biggest supporters. Here is the catch; as I'm normally very thrifty (you can note from early blog posts), I was looking for ways that I could reduce our carbon footprint and make socially responsible purchases without increasing our spending. Mmmmmm. We succeed in changing some of our habits a bit and finding ways to reduce our footprint. There were lots of fun epic fails alone the way too! But the biggest change we have made over the course of the last six years, was to move from the mega city of Phoenix to Wyoming. You can read my full bio on my About Me page.

Legal Disclaimer

While it is true that I am working on a PHD in Psychology and very smart and frugal, I am not a medical doctor, criminal, personal or accident lawyer. I do not sell insurance nor am I an accountant or mortgage advisor. While some of my posts may offer good ideas on home, health and business solutions, I am not personally responsible nor is Considering frugal for any advice, ideas, recipes or menu plans that you decide to use. This blog is intended to be helpful and fun. Any products you purchase from my Amazon store or any other retailer advertised on my blog must be returned to them. I may sometimes endorse a product that I love. This is simply my opinion, you must try all products at your own risk. While I personally do not use tracking cookies or share information, my affiliates are third parties and they may do so. Please click, travel and purchase at your own risk.

frugal advice

"...for your Father knows what you need before you ask." Matthew 6:8