Travel Smart, Travel Safe: Important Tactics to Protect Your Family No Matter Where You Go

As the adult in the family, it’s up to you to ensure the safety of your children. Protecting kids comes naturally to most parents, but some could use a bit of a refresher course in child safety. To that end, here are some super helpful tactics that you can utilise to protect your family no matter where you go or when.

Keeping your kids safe at home 

Safe Kids Worldwide reports that in excess of 3 million children are injured in at-home accidents every year. That’s a staggering number to be sure, especially when you understand the fact that many of those tragic and injurious accidents could have easily been prevented.

Setting the household water heater to 120 degrees Fahrenheit / 48.8 degrees Celsius can significantly reduce the risk of your child being scalded in the bathtub. Window guards or stops that prevent windows from being opened more than a couple of inches go a long way toward precluding falling accidents. Wall-mounted safety gates installed at either end of a staircase contribute mightily to at-home childhood safety, says Parents magazine.

Keep your family safe whilst traveling 

Families travel by car more than any other mode of transportation. For this reason, it is imperative that all parents and kids understand the following automotive safety concepts:

1. Always wear a seatbelt. Each occupant of your Jeep Cherokee or other vehicle should use both lap and shoulder belts whenever possible.  Get into the good habit of waiting to start the engine until after everyone’s secured in place with a well-fitting restraint.

2. Kids ride in the backseat. Children under the age of 12 should always ride in back. Why? Because typical front seat air bags are designed for adults and can cause serious injury to a small body.

3. Keep it cool. Children (and adults, too) can feel very excited when embarking on a road trip. Nonetheless, it’s important that passengers remain calm, so the driver can pay attention to traffic and road conditions.

4. Remember the rules in every car. Before your kids get into someone else’s vehicle, make sure they understand that the above safety concepts apply even when their own parent is not behind the wheel.

Protecting your kids in the modern world

The 21st century comes with a range of dangers that did not even exist a few short decades ago. The internet is a great ‘place’ to do research and learn things, but it can be emotionally perilous to young kids and adolescents. Allow your child access to the internet only from a home computer that has parental filters in place. If your kid uses a smart phone, install an app that allows you to monitor calls and chats, and be sure your child knows that it is installed. This is generally enough to keep a good kid away from unsavory conversations. Safewise says that wearable GPS locators can help you to keep track of your child’s whereabouts in a fun way.

Your kids trust you to watch out for them, even when they are too young to understand that certain things that may not be in their best interest. Teach good safety habits now, and your kids are sure to grow up into safety conscious adults.

Olivia Sharp has two daughters ages 7 and 10. The family have an RV and love getting away for the weekend, as well as longer vacations. Olivia writes about parenting, travel and other topics which appear online at numerous sites.

Tricks and Tips for Your School Banner

When school is in session, it’s time to start planning your days to ensure you have enough time around projects to deserve that Saturday night fun. How can a daily planner magically incorporate hang out and homework time? Start with these 5 tips.

1. Find the Perfect Planner

Take your time and introduce yourself. Find the planner set up that you like best and make sure it has plenty of room for your daily assignments and schedule. If you need, look for daily planners that have monthly calendars to help you track your month at a glance.

2. Your Planner Is Now Your Life

You should probably give you planner a name because it’s your new best friend. As long as you keep it in your bag, it will never betray you. Write down every assignment and due date with previously unmatched diligence and even get your planner a protective cover.

3. Give Yourself Reminders 

As you write in your due dates, give yourself reminders a few days in advance. For example, if you are assigned a paper a month in advance, give yourself a reminder a week before it’s due. This way important dates and tasks won’t surprise you.

4. Color Code Everything

Find a color-coding system that makes you happy and stick with it. For example, highlight appointments, homework, projects, bills and parties in different colors. At a glance, you’ll know what’s coming up despite a wall of text.

5. Keep Your Old Pages

You never know when you’ll need to reference a previous project schedule or ensure you kept an appointment. Don’t rip out your planner pages immediately and keep an ongoing record of your completed tasks.

When your grades are on the line, keeping a daily planner is a fantastic idea. Keep up a strong study schedule and see an improvement in your productivity for this semester.


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Education and Your Child: Pointers for Parents Who Want to Help Their Kids Test Better

Tests are a part of life. Throughout the years of education, tests will determine what a child does next. For anyone who enters a professional career, tests will decide the level they reach and the particular direction they will choose. In a wider sense, we are constantly being tested, by our employers, our peers, even our families. How can parents prepare children for a lifetime of being tested?


Beat the Stress

Tests are stressful. A measure of stress is an advantage—when the adrenalin flows, our brains function faster and stamina keeps us going for longer. But too much stress can be counter-productive, if it means that we are paralyzed by fear, or if we get so little sleep that we arrive at the test completely exhausted. So parents can help their children perform better by enabling them to get the stress levels right.

It is easier said than done, but don’t make too big a deal of the tests. Emphasize that ‘yes,’ they are important and need to be worked for, but ‘no,’ this particular school test is not a matter of life and death.

When talking about tests, keep your references light and try to make the whole thing seem like fun. Play games around the table to explore questions of the sort that are to be expected. If facts need to be remembered, try to associate them with fun experiences or made up stories.

Practice, Practice

To mentally prepare for tests, nothing beats practice. Keep practice sessions brief and be prepared to cut them short. If you live in one of the states that use the PARCC test, practice papers are available which can get your children into the right frame of mind to sit the real tests. Knowing what to expect is a huge advantage.

As you work with your child, you should be able to spot the areas that are found to be particularly difficult. You may also get advice from teachers about this. Take a step back and build confidence by repeating what is easy before building up again to the tricky bits. Take any opportunity to repeat the basics of taking tests, like ‘Read the instructions first.’

Mind or Body

Don’t neglect the physical aspects of being on good form. Mark the date in your diary and avoid anything which is going to interfere with routine in the days leading up to it. See that your child gets a succession of good nights’ sleep, not just the one immediately before the test.

Have a good breakfast prepared—something that will go on providing energy throughout the day—not just sugary cereal, but balanced protein, fats and carbs.


On the day of the test, send your children off with the assurance that they have done everything they can and you know they will do their best, which is all that matters. Afterwards, ask about the test and re-assure them that, whatever the result, you are proud of them and looking forward to whatever the next stage will be.

Bernie Starns is a teacher who has worked mostly with kids ages 11-13. Keen to help the kids achieve more, and to have parents help their kids too, he writes education based articles.

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Can Helmets Prevent Sports-Related Brain Injuries?

ID-100316145In America, playing sports is more than an adolescent dream, it’s a rite of passage. Statistics are clear on this subject: 36,000,000 kids between kindergarten and their senior year in high school play organized sports annually; 60% play outside of school; 66% of boys and 52% of girls are on teams, and 85% of dads coach their own kids’ teams. With the popularity of helicopter parents in this country, it’s all too easy to forget the reasons for encouraging sports play in the first place. Statistics don’t lie, modern stats show that 9 out of 10 parents worry about the safety of their kids on the playing field enough to bully them into quitting sports altogether. What’s the big scare today? Concussions. But why is that such an issue, what can be done about it, and how does a traumatic brain injury lawyer fit into all of this?

So What Is This Big Danger Lurking on the Playing Field?

For adults who played sports, seeing kids repeat the process brings back memories of their glory days. But even those who haven’t experienced the rush firsthand can’t deny the effects of watching their own kids on the field. Of course, with that rush of pride and excitement come fear and panic when accidents happen. Visual accidents are simple enough to treat. A scrape, cut, or even a broken bone can be handled instantly. That’s not the case when the injury is internal.

Many sports – including football, baseball, basketball, soccer, hockey, tennis, volleyball, golf, and gymnastics – can lead to traumatic brain injuries (TBI). While no brain injury can be considered minor, they do range from relatively mild to severe. A concussion is the most common and generally mildest form of TBI in which the injury causes the brain to shake or bounce around inside the skull. This can lead to anything from slight bruising and disorientation to coma and death. Over 3,500,000 kids under the age of 14 end up in the hospital annually for sports-related injuries, and approximately 2,000,000 of those are concussions. But, according to the CDC, at least half of those sports injuries can easily be avoided.

Do Helmets Really Prevent Concussions?

Parents have the final say in regardless of whether a child participates in their beloved choice of sport, but 87% of parents have serious concerns about the safety of their kids on the playing field. There’s good reason for this since 47% of all concussions occur in high school football, and 33% of those cases happen during practice. Adults are quick to point the blame here: The coaches aren’t trained well enough, the teammates are bullies, and helmets are a hindrance. But is the latter issue relevant or simply misguided and dangerous gossip?

It is true that helmets can’t prevent concussions alone. Parents want that fix… that promise that their kids will be safe on the field. Short of wrapping your kids in bubble wrap and duct taping them to their bedroom wall (and we’ve all considered that at least once), there are no guarantees there. However, according to the results of a recent American Academy of Neurology study, helmet usage reduces the risk of skull fracture by 60 to 70% and helmets reduce the risk of brain tissue bruising by 70 to 80%.

Does that guarantee your kid won’t be hurt or suffer a brain injury while playing sports? Unfortunately, the answer to that is no. But helmets are essential safety gear that significantly reduce that risk. Look, becoming a pro athlete is not equivalent to winning the lottery. Kids have a 1 in 4,000 to 1 in 10,000 chance of playing pro in this country if they continue to play the game and do it safely. Those are pretty good odds. Good parents encourage safety and perseverance. And you can rest assured knowing a competent brain injury attorney has your family’s back in the event that net is needed. So go on… play ball!

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Advantages of Learning Musical Instruments

music_notes_stock_by_bassgeisha-d3h9mpvExposure to music is highly recommended to children. Being able to play a musical instrument has lots of advantages. Here are some of the advantages:

  1. It improves memory. Listening and playing musical instruments can help improve memory by stimulating brain development.
  2. It builds confidence. It teaches the children that they can develop themselves and be better by practicing and doing their best.
  3. It teaches perseverance. If they don’t get it the first time, they can practice again and again. They not only develop their skill, but they also practice perseverance in doing so.

There are many instruments the children can try including the tama snare drum, the guitar, the ukulele and the keyboard. Let your child try one and see if it fits him! Encourage them to try and learn while they are young.