June 18′ Newsletter

Every month Healthy Bodies, Healthy Minds & Director Susan Orban likes to connect you with current articles, events, and resources to help you keep your family healthy and informed!

Dip your child’s toe in the water? Nope: all of him/her. But…

Keep your infant, toddler, preschooler and older safe with 6 rules

Not much says “summer” better than corn, cookouts, watermelon, bike rides, camp, fireflies… well, okay, there’s a lot to love about summer.

High on the list for many is water play, whether in a blow-up inner tube, a town pool, a lake or river, or an ocean beach.

But everyone of those locations can be dangerous for your young one, too. We hate to say it, but drownings are a leading cause of juvenile deaths.

We like Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta, which offers six basic but easy-to follow rules for water play.

They include:

1. You need to be nearby and alert; no snoozing, texting, or so caught up in conversation that you aren’t paying attention. That’s the cause for 9 of 10 drownings.
2. Take a CPR course. Those are important for everyday parenting, not just about water safety.
3. Swimming lessons for your child should begin by age 4.
4. Reinforce the swimming pool rules: no running, no diving in shallow water, no eating in the pool, etc.
5. No infants and toddlers alone in even 2″ of water, propped up or not. You hold them!
6. Always use life jackets and have warm clothing on a boat.

Read the entire Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta article via our site. 

Kids Quest 5210: a card game for living a healthy lifestyle

Developed locally to make good eating and activity easy and fun

How about arranging your fruits and vegetables in the shape of a monster’s face?

 Being a “Nature Emcee”, where you lead family or friends through the woods announcing, “Ladies and Gents, this is the famous ‘jumping berry bush'”, and so on?

Those are just two examples of the 24-card deck of activities you can download on the South County Healthy Bodies, Healthy Minds website.

Healthy Bodies, Healthy Minds and Worldways Social Marketing partnered to develop Kids Quest 5210, a fun way to introduce the concepts of 5-2-1-0: plenty of exercise, limited screen time, good food, no sugared drinks (see link below).

Kids Quest 5210 is simple for parents, teachers, or kids (of a certain age) themselves to manage.

Visit our website to read all about Kids Quest 5210 and download free decks of cards.

Want to know more about 5210. It’s all right here

Into the woods and away from the screens 

13 “why didn’t I think of that?” alternatives

Your kids might not believe it at first, but nature is sort of fun. Hand them a butterfly net, lead them to old farmhouses, trip over snakes (!), maybe sit around a campfire and drink from a pristine stream.

Child Mind Institute offers 13 “why didn’t I think of that?” remarkably easy activities.

For instance:

* Short, simple treasure hunts. A “spiny leaf” (not poison ivy, thanks), something red.
* Gifts of exploring tools: a magnifying glass, a bug box.
* An outdoor performance to attend. A ranger show or an outdoor play.
* Fruit or vegetable picking (blueberries, blueberries, blueberries!).
* Take a hike, and set an example for enjoyment.

Find Ideas for Getting Your Kids Into Nature on the Bodies, Minds website.

Finding harmony when it seems far away

Mindfulness can help the 3 out of 4 parents
who say parenting is their biggest challenge

Parenting is stressful. Are we telling you something you don’t know? Balancing diapers, feeding, schedules, and bankbooks alone is just the beginning.

And according to a survey by ZERO TO THREE, fewer than half of parents feel they are getting the support they need.

ZERO TO THREE recommends “mindfulness”, which the organization describes as “paying attention to what’s happening in the moment and accepting those experiences and feelings without judgment.

What does that look like in the everyday life of a parent? Five components:

1. Listen to your child with your full attention. You may think you do, but you’re actually often distracted. Let things go.
2. Accept your 0-3 year-old child without judgment (and do the same for yourself). Accept the negative feelings, but don’t let them own you.
3. Imagine your child’s feelings, and match your response. Wouldn’t you be upset if your favorite stuffed animal was lost?
4. Manage your own feelings and reactions. Mindfulness doesn’t mean you don’t get frustrated or angry. It means you take a breath first; you will feel better and you’ll be the best model for your child.
5. Show compassion for both of you. You’re learning almost as much as your child is.

Best of all, ZERO TO THREE offers visual, breathing, and other exercises to put the above components into practice.

Read the full ZERO TO THREE article. The group has other related stories you might want to visit, too.

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