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Making field trips possible despite budget cuts Despite schools’ limited resources, parents can suggest low-budget, highimpact field trip options that can engage students and add memorable experiences to their curriculum. Here are a few ideas: • Colleges or Universities: Many local colleges and universities offer a rich array of field trip opportunities through performances, classroom visits and general college tours—often at a minimal cost. Not only do students get a unique learning experience, they’re also exposed to what college has to offer. These visits can be especially beneficial for students who might not have previously considered attending college. • Local Historical Societies and Sites: State and local historical societies allow students to experience history through hands-on, interactive activities. Whether it’s seeing how their ancestors lived or discovering local connections to national events, these field trips take history out of the textbook and make it real. You can find information on your local historical society at • Museums: Bring art, science, pop culture or history to life with a trip to a local museum. Guided tours and special student programs help kids engage with the past and imagine the future. Find one near you at • Local Businesses: Many local business owners are glad to give students a peek at what goes on behind the scenes. Local businesses can provide a unique learning experience for students with tours and hands-on experiences at a low cost. Whether it’s watching how a product is made or seeing how a play gets produced, students will enjoy getting a behind the scenes look into local businesses.


Help keep tweens, teens healthy with up-to-date vaccinations Vaccinations are not just for younger children. Even though kids may have received their recommended vaccinations when they were younger, they still may need additional vaccines as adolescents. To help protect preteens and teens from serious diseases and keep them healthy for school, talk with their health care provider and make sure their vaccinations are up to date. In addition, their school nurse is a great resource for general health and immunization information. In a recent conversation about immunizations, Sandi Delack from the National Association of School Nurses provided answers to some important questions: 1. What vaccines are recommended for preteens and teens? The Centers of Disease Control and Prevention recommends: • Tetanus, Diphtheria, and Pertussis (Whooping cough): Tdap (tetanus toxoid, reduced diphtheria toxoid and acellular pertussis vaccines) is a single booster vaccine that helps to protect against all three diseases. Experts recommend that adolescents receive a single dose of this vaccine at 11 to 12 years if they have completed the childhood diphtheria and tetanus toxoids and whole cell pertussis/ diphtheria and tetanus toxoids and acellular pertussis vaccination series and have not received a tetanus and diphtheria toxoid . Persons aged 13 through 18 years who have not received Tdap should receive a dose. • Human papillomavirus: HPV vaccine helps protect against certain types of the human papillomavirus, which can cause cervical cancer and genital warts. Experts recommend that girls get this set of three


vaccines at age 11 or 12 years. Catch-up vaccination is also recommended in girls 13-18 years. Boys between ages 9 through 18 years may choose to get this set of three vaccines to prevent genital warts. • Meningococcal: MCV4 helps protect against meningococcal disease (meningitis). Experts recommend that adolescents get a single dose of this vaccine at age 11 or 12 years. • Influenza and H1N1 Influenza (Swine Flu): The influenza vaccine for the 2010-2011 influenza season helps to protect against influenza (also known as the “flu”), including the H1N1 strain of influenza that caused the recent pandemic. The CDC recommends that preteens/teens get the flu vaccine yearly. If not required for school attendance in your state, additional vaccines to be discussed with your health care provider or school nurse include those for chicken pox; measles, mumps, rubella; pneumococcal disease; polio; Hepatitis A and Hepatitis B. 2. What happens if my preteen or teen misses his or her vaccines? There are many reasons why preteens and teens may miss getting the recommended vaccinations on time, including moving to a new state, switching health

care providers or the vaccine may have been unavailable when they were younger. Whatever the reason, it is not too late for your preteen or teen to catch up on missed vaccines. Talk to your health care provider or school nurse to ensure your preteen or teen is up-to-date on recommended vaccines for their age group and caught up on any missed vaccines. 3. Does my preteen or teen need to get vaccinated again if he or she was vaccinated as a child? There are many times throughout your child’s life where it is recommended he or she receives additional vaccinations to help protect them from contagious diseases. Even though preteens and teens may have received the recommended immunizations when they were younger, protection from some vaccines may decline, leaving them at risk for infection from certain diseases. For example, the whooping cough vaccination wears off five to 10 years after the completion of childhood vaccination, so a booster vaccine is recommended. 4. Where can I find more information about preteen/teen immunization? The CDC recommended vaccination schedule can be found at In addition to your health care provider, your child’s school nurse is a great resource to learn more about recommended immunizations. The school nurse has access to the most up-to-date information on immunization recommendations and school immunization requirements. They can also discuss other questions or concerns regarding your preteen’s or teen’s health.



Raising Eager Readers Exposure to books in the early childhood stages plays a key role in a child’s reading development, and while most parents and caregivers know that children benefit from reading time, many struggle to fit it into their children’s hectic schedules. A survey conducted on behalf of VTech, an electronic learning products provider, found that more than 40 percent of moms with children ages 3 to 7 years old said that not having enough time to spend reading with their children is the biggest challenge they face in trying to make reading a daily activity. And nearly half wished there were ways to include reading in their child’s on-the-go schedule. Fortunately, there are plenty of fun and practical ways to make reading a part of everyday family life. Making Reading Fun You can help a child develop reading skills even when you’re running errands or doing activi-

ties together. By going places and doing things with children, you help build their background knowledge and vocabulary, giving them a basis for understanding what they read. Telling stories and interacting with each other while on the go helps them develop their listening and thinking skills. And now there are technologies that let you take interesting reading material wherever you go. The new V.Reader, the first interactive, animated e-book system for children, creates an engaging reading experience for early readers, ages 3 to 7, so they love to learn to read. The touch-and-read e-book brings stories to life with narration, characters, animation, graphics, sounds and music. Kids interact as they listen and follow along with a story, or touch the screen and play games to learn each word and sentence. To find out more about the V.Reader and to download titles, visit

Create a Reading-Friendly Environment Research shows that lack of access to books and educational materials is the single greatest barrier to literacy development in the US and beyond. Books, magazines, newspapers and other reading tools should be within easy reach of the whole family. Try designating a bookcase or shelf where children can keep a personal library. According to First Book, a nonprofit organization that provides new books to children in need, a steady stream of new, age-appropriate books has been shown to nearly triple interest in reading within months. By visiting, families, teachers and reading programs can help children from lowincome communities build their own home libraries and start the journey to becoming lifelong readers. Some other tips for helping young readers develop include: • Read with your child every

day, even if it’s just for a few minutes. • Ask open-ended questions, such as “What do you think is going to happen next?” or “Why do you think he did that?” • Read your child’s favorite book over and over. • Find out what interests your child and get reading materials to feed that interest.

• Let children see you read and invite them to read with you. The US Department of Education also recommends that when reading a book aloud to young children, point to each word as you read. This helps the child make a visual connection – that the word said is the word seen.


Technology tips for traveling with tots Traveling with children can sometimes seem like a challenge, even for the most patient parents. Long stretches in car or airplane seats can easily leave kids bored and hungry. Packing plenty of snacks can fill the hunger need, but what’s a parent to do when the Goldfish are all gone? Of course, there are songs to sing and classic traveling games to share from your own childhoodspotting license plates from every state, building stories using every letter of the alphabet, scouting out clouds that look like objects or having a sing-along to your kids’ favorite tunes. But if you’re in a less visually stimulating environment or just need some quiet time, you might consider more high-tech diversions. Technology is a great tool to keep kids entertained while traveling. Today’s kids watch their parents interact with technology daily, making it a natural way to fill time-even for younger children. Here are four preschool-friendly devices that can help occupy even the youngest traveler while on-the-go: • Your iPhone – What’s that you say? You never let your little one play with your iPhone? You might want to rethink that strategy - especially when you can download applications made specifically for preschoolers. Fisher-Price, the same company that helped you learn letters, numbers, animal sounds and music when you were a kid, has turned three of its most popular toys into iPhone apps for 2- to 5-year-olds, including the Chatter Telephone App, See ‘n’ Say App and Little People Farm App. • A portable DVD player

- How did parents survive long trips with small kids in the days before portable DVD players? With models that can do double duty in the car, on planes or even in a hotel room on a rainy day - and longer battery life spans on newer versions — a portable DVD player can be a lifesaver in a number of settings. Pack a DVD case with your child’s favorite animated features or educational DVDs and get the popcorn ready! • A music player just for them - An MP3 player or iPod may not be practical for your 3-year-old, but how about a music player made just for his age group? The Kid-Tough Music Player’s simple controls, built-in speakers and sing-along microphone ensure your little one will stay entertained on a long drive or flight. The player can store more than four hours of your child’s favorite tunes, including AAC files. And who knows — you may just be cultivating the talents of

the next Justin Bieber. • Kid-friendly video camera - Foster your little one’s budding inner Spielberg with a video camera made just for preschoolers. The Kid-Tough Video Camera features simple controls (kids don’t have to be able to read to use it), a 1.5-inch LCD preview screen, built-in memory for storing up to five minutes of video, an SD card slot for more storage, and a USB cable for transferring images to your computer. Encourage your youngster to record the trip from her car seat or create silly videos about her first plane ride to share with her preschool buddies after she gets home. The travel part of your family trip can be fun for everyone along for the ride - from parents to the youngest explorers. For more kid-friendly entertainment options or travel toys for families with young children, visit


Teething Trouble While new parents look forward to milestones in their infants’ lives, teething can sometimes feel more like a millstone. Here are some common questions about teething – and some common sense solutions. Babies vary in their development, so while many children develop teeth around the same time, each child is unique. If you have concerns about your child, consult your pediatrician. How do I know my baby is teething? Signs of teething include drooling and loss of appetite, as well as irritability and sleeplessness. It’s understandable that babies are fussy while teething; their first teeth must push through the gum tissue, which causes tenderness, soreness and

Quick facts about teething • Baby’s first teeth generally arrive between six and eight months. Most children will have all 20 of their primary teeth by the age of three. • Teeth frequently appear in sets of two: the two lower incisors will generally appear first, followed by the top front incisors. Molars and canines follow.

inflamed gums. How do I ease my baby’s teething pain? There are several things you can do to

make teething a little easier. Chill a teething ring in the refrigerator for some cooling relief. The temperature will help to numb baby’s gums and the counter-pressure helps to alleviate soreness. A wet washcloth can also be soothing. To relieve teething pain and discomfort, you might try a topical anesthetic. It works immediately, unlike acetaminophen, which may take up to 30 minutes to relieve pain. Pediatricians often recommend Baby Orajel, which is a safe and effective option. How much teething medicine is the right amount for my baby? Are you one of the 60 percent of moms who is not 100 percent sure how much teething medicine is the

right amount for your baby’s sore gums? You can take the guesswork out of providing the correct amount of pain reliever to your teething baby with

Baby Orajel® SmartDose™ Teething Gel. You simply press the pump once onto a fingertip or cotton swab, and then apply the gel to your baby’s sore gums. The

pump disperses the right amount of gel every time. For coupons and more information about easing teething pain, visit


Tips for first-time moms With experience comes wisdom – ask any secondtime mom. Without that experience available, firsttime moms often make decisions based on what they think they are supposed to do. They end up purchasing the latest and greatest in baby books, baby gadgets and for-baby-only products - many of which they don’t really need. So, how can new moms make sure they aren’t overwhelmed by well-intended advice and inundated with unnecessary items? To help new moms, all(r) Free Clear is teaming up with Kerry Colburn, author of “How to Have Your Second Child First,” and creating a forum at for first-time moms to find tips and seek out advice from other moms who have been there before.

“Second- and third-time moms tend to agree that the baby period gets easier and more fun - each time,” said Colburn. “Calm and confidence are powerful ingredients to help moms determine what’s important and what’s not.” As a mother of two herself, Colburn shares these bits of wisdom for first-time moms: • Moms should try to sleep (or nap) when your baby does; you are recovering from a pretty major experience. • Wash all the family laundry together...Do you think any second-time parent gives a moment’s thought to separating the new baby’s laundry from the rest of the family’s much less buying a separate detergent for that purpose? all(r) Free Clear is the #1 free clear detergent and is

pediatrician, dermatologist and allergist recommended for sensitive skin, so mom never needs to separate baby’s laundry from the rest of the family’s and can still feel good about doing the best for her newborn. • No need to tip-toe around when baby’s sleeping; if they’re used to noise they will sleep right through it. • And most importantly, if you’re feeling advice overload, ignore it all (except that of your pediatrician, of course). To share tips with each other and to hear more of what Colburn has to say, moms can visit There, both first time and experienced moms can help each other save time and money, while still showering their newborn with all that it needs.

Parenting 2010  

Parenting 2010