Sand, Surf, and What?!

25 04 2011

Kids love to dig in the sand and build castles. They’ll work for hours, crafting structures of dizzying heights, sculpting the turrets and drawbridges just so with their hands.

Oh, and getting buried in the sand? Even better.

Turns out, all that digging and getting buried can expose kids to lots of germs.  Researchers found “… evidence of gastrointestinal illnesses, upper respiratory illnesses, rash, eye ailments, earache and infected cuts. Diarrhea and other gastrointestinal illnesses were more common in about 13 percent of people who reported digging in sand, and in about 23 percent of those who reported being buried in sand.”

Just makes your skin crawl, doesn’t it?  Before you give up on the beach, know that there are things we can do to combat the germs.

Tell the kids they can play in the sand, but not to touch their faces with sandy hands, and make sure they clean their hands with soap or sanitizer when they’re done playing.  Also, send them to scrub down in a shower as soon as possible after play.  There’s no guarantee they’ll avoid an infection, but it’ll help.

Kids (and adults) love to swim in pools, lakes, and oceans. We’re usually swimming in urine,  garbage, or who knows what contaminants.  Due to the reality of raw sewage runoff, we could come down with all sorts of infections, including E. coli, after practicing the backstroke.

Blech, but hey, everything carries a risk. There’s no guarantee we’ll get sick or we won’t get sick from swimming.

So go. Swim. Enjoy and shower when you’re done.

Life is too short not to have fun on vaca!

(Photo from dMap Travel Guide)





Teaching 911 Basics

30 10 2009

Teaching our kids to call 911 can be as important to their health and the health of others as teaching them the importance of good nutrition and how to stop-drop-and-roll. And just like stop-drop-and-roll, we must teach them not just the ‘when’, but the ‘how’ of it, until it becomes second nature.

Consider teaching a 911 mini-class to your kids at least once a day for three days, then quizzing every other day, then quizzing about once a week.  By that time, the routine should be stuck in their heads.

Here’s some suggested text for your lesson plan:

If there is an emergency, dial 9-1-1 from a telephone. An emergency is when a person is badly hurt or in danger ‘right now.’ An emergency is if you see a crime happening, like a person hurting another person or someone breaking into someone’s house, or a fire somewhere a fire shouldn’t be. An emergency is if someone is suddenly very sick, having a hard time speaking or breathing.

An emergency isn’t something like forgetting your homework or arguing with a brother or sister.

Go to a safe place to call. If there’s a fire, leave the building first. Get away from the person hurting you or someone else, then call 911.

It’s normal to feel afraid or nervous about it, grownups often feel the same way. Call anyway. The people answering the phone will understand.

It’s OK to make a mistake. If you call 911, stay on the line and tell them why you called. It’s OK to tell them you think it might not be an emergency after all. If you start the call, but hang up before someone has a chance to answer, the 911 operators might think you are still in danger.

*****

Help them prepare. Teach them their address and phone number and explain what to expect when the operator picks up the phone, and that they should stay on the phone until the operator tells them it’s time to hang up.

Role-play the scenario with them so that the first time they call 911 won’t necessarily feel like the first time. The 911 dispatcher will ask these questions:

  • What is the emergency?
  • What happened?
  • Where are you?
  • Who needs help?
  • Are you safe where you are?

When you role-play, give your children a turn both as the caller and the 911 operator. Practicing these skills with your children will help them be more confident, feel safer and be safer.

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Nurse Mary Beth on Pollution

8 01 2008

Nurse Mary Beth talks about the effects of pollution on children.

www.pkids.org

Listen now!

Right-click here to download podcast (5MB, 10min)





Nurse Mary Beth on Lead

28 09 2007

Nurse Mary Beth explains the dangers of lead exposure and what tests need to be done.

www.pkids.org

Listen now!

Right-click here to download podcast (4MB, 9min)





Bike Helmets

20 04 2007

Nurse Mary Beth explains the need for helmets, how to properly fit them and convinces skeptics to use them.

Listen now

[audio:http://www.pkids.org/podcasts/2007/2007-04-20_MB_bikehelmets.mp3%5D

Right-click to download podcast (6 min, 2.7 MB)