College Bound, Parenting

What to do When Your Kid is in a Car Accident

It’s every parents’ nightmare – your phone rings and it’s your child telling you they’ve been in a car accident. Your mind of course automatically assumes the worse, even though the fact that they’re calling you means that they are at least in good enough shape to do that. If you ever get this phone call from one of your kids, it’s important that you don’t panic. They are likely worried and a little scared, and you panicking will only heighten those feelings for them. Instead, remain calm, and walk them through what they need to do.

Photo Source: Pixabay

The Steps of a Car Accident

The first thing you should have your kid do is make sure they are in a safe location. Have them pull off onto the side of the road or get out of the car if the car is smoking. If they are on a busy road, make sure they take extra care when exiting the vehicle, and have them stay inside the car if they can’t safely get out.

Once you know your child is safe, now you can begin walking them through the steps they need to take. This includes checking on any other drivers involved, calling for emergency assistance if needed, swapping information with the other driver, and taking pictures. If the accident happened close to where you live, you may be better off driving to location in order to better help your kid. If you can’t do this, then stay on the phone with them while they get everything done. Most importantly, if your kid or anyone else involved was injured during the accident, no matter how minor the injury, have it checked out at a hospital. It’s better to be safe than sorry in these sorts of situations.

Help Them with Transportation

Depending on the damage done to the car, your child may need some help with transportation. This could mean a ride home from the accident, a ride to the doctor, or someone to pick them up from the auto shop. Or, if their car is going to be in the shop for a few days, they may need some help getting around until they get their car back. Do what you can to help your kid out during this time. Let them borrow your car, or maybe carpool with them on the way to work/school. If you’re lucky this will only last for a few days, and your kid will go back to being independent with their own car before long.

Help Them Find a New Ride

In some cases the accident is so bad that the car is no longer useable. The car is beyond repair, and now your kid needs to find a new one. Since they are still pretty young, they likely don’t have much experience with purchasing a new car, or the credit history needed to get one on their own. Find some time during an upcoming weekend to go car shopping with your kid, and help them to find something they can afford. To make sure your kid gets a good deal, here are some car buying tips that you can share with them.

Make Sure They Follow Up

Unfortunately, even after you leave the scene of the accident, there are still things that your kid will need to do. This could be getting additional medical exams, following up with their insurance company, or working with the local police department. As a parent, it’s your job to ensure that your child stays on top of all of this and that they follow up when necessary. You don’t want to let your kid forget about anything, as this will only cause more problems down the line.

Help Them Avoid Future Accidents

Finally, after the dust has settled from the accident, it’s a good idea to go over it with your kid. According to this Los Angeles car crash attorney, “There are a number of reasons why car accidents occur, including the carelessness of distracted drivers, reckless or erratic driving, alcohol and drugs, and many other factors.” Take some time to talk about the accident with your kid and see if there was anything they could have done differently to avoid the accident. We all want to keep our kids safe, and teaching them to drive safely is a key part of this.

Make Accidents Less Scary

Getting into a car accident is scary no matter what age you are. When you’re a kid, the situation becomes a lot easier to handle if you have a parent helping you along the way. If you should ever get that dreaded phone car from your kid, remember to keep calm, and help them out using the methods mentioned above.

Healthy Living, Parenting, Summer

Stay Safe This Summer with These Water and Sun Safety Tips

Stay Safe This Summer with These Water and Sun Safety Tips

Summer is coming and we start to hear the horror stories that come with hot days – leaving children in hot cars, accidental drownings. It can happen to anyone, but seldom happens to those that are proactive, follow safety recommendations and stay alert at all times. With a young family member of mine injured in an accidental drowning near death accident several years ago, I can say there is no such thing as helicoptering too much around your children and water.

Whether planning a family vacation this spring / summer to the beach, lake or Great Wolf Lodge Grand MoundAquatics Director, Michael Mastroni can help prepare for fun-filled time in the splash zone with these top tips:
  • Never swim alone.  Always use the buddy system and be sure the area is well supervised by lifeguards before you or other family members enter the water.
  • Encourage your child to wear a life jacket. Many public pools and water parks provide life jackets for your use free of charge and it’s better to be on the safe side if your child is not a confident swimmer.
  • Never assume someone else is watching your child. Even with lifeguards nearby, you have the responsibility for your child. The best way to keep your child safe is to play right alongsidethem.
  • Stay hydrated.  Swimming and playing takes a lot of energy, especially during the hot summer months. Drink plenty of water or sports drinks and rest in a cool location.
  • Forget the Bling.  Before heading to the beach, pool or water park, avoid swimsuits that have ties, grommets or decorations that could get caught on something during water activities.
  • Skip the flip-flops. Look for sandals with a heel strap or a full-coverage slip-on water shoe that will stay in place both in and out of the water.
  • Too much sun is no fun.  Be sure to limit your exposure during peak hours of 12pm-3pm and reapply waterproof/sweat proof sunscreen every 80 minutes.
  • Take a CPR course. Knowing these skills can be important in any environment. This is a skill we all can benefit from – on land and around water.
  • Read all of the signs before going on a waterslide, pool or attraction. Make sure your child meets the posted requirements.  If you have questions about an attraction, ask an employee at the facility.
  • Plan ahead. As a family, decide on a meeting place to go to if anyone gets separated.  Kids can take off in instant and crowded parks and beaches can make it difficult for little ones to find you.  Choose an easy-to-spot location that can be easily found by all family members.
  • If you see someone struggling in the water, call for help. Remember “Reach or Throw, Don’t Go!” Even professionally trained lifeguards don’t enter the water without having the proper flotation devices to keep themselves safe.
Education, Healthy Living, Parenting

6 Things to Do Early With Your Kids (That You May Think Are Crazy)

Many people are often saying that today’s children are growing up too fast, and while we certainly want them to keep their innocence for as long as possible, it’s still very important to do certain things early with your children. This doesn’t mean they’ll be forced to grow up sooner, but it will help you from experiencing some meltdowns or other issues as your child gets older. Here are six things to do early with your kids that you may think are crazy but will actually help keep you sane.

6 Things to Do Early With Your Kids (That You May Think Are Crazy)
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1. Visit the dentist.

Ever since your child was born you take him or her to the doctor, but most parents think they can put off the dentist until your child is on his or her way to kindergarten. Unfortunately, this is not the case. According to professionals like Stanton Smiles in Florida, “Seeing a dentist early can not only accustom your child to a dental professional, but it can often help us resolve issues before they turn into more expensive fixes like root canals or pulled teeth.” According ot the American Dental Association, you should bring your child for his or her first dental visit around the age of one.

2. Eat healthy.

Sure, popping some chicken nuggets in the microwave or heating up a nice grilled cheese sandwich is the easy way out, but it’s meals like this that will get your kids to deny what’s good for them. From the moment you can feed your child something other than formula or breast milk, be sure to include healthy foods, such as vegetables, into his or her diet. Teaching them to be open about food and recognize what’s good for them can help you have a less picky eater as your child grows.

3. Talk about money.

Talking about important issues like money may seem crazy, but teaching your child about the importance of money at an early age will only benefit your child in the long run. For instance, be sure your child understands how to save money and the value of things like an allowance. You can even teach your child about how money comes in and goes out by “charging them” for things like rent, electricity, food, etc. Obviously, this can be done at a very small scale, but by doing so, you’ll have a child who understands the value of a dollar and can create a lifestyle that doesn’t involve too much debt.

4. Talk about sex.

If you think talking about money was hard, you know the sex talk may be a bit harder. However, when you can talk with your children early about sex, it will help them have a better understanding of their own bodies and how to protect it from harm. Let your child know what parts of their body are private and what to do if they ever feel uncomfortable with someone’s touch. Raising this awareness early can keep your child from situations that put them in danger.

5. Teach proper hygiene.

Kids are notorious for never wanting to bathe, but if you can make bath time fun and get your kids used to washing hands and brushing teeth regularly, you’ll have a child with better hygiene than most. It’s also a good idea to pay attention to your child’s body. Boys as young as first grade can start to produce a stink when they sweat, and this may mean you’re buying your son deodorant at that age. However, by teaching these things early, you’ll have an easier time with your child when they start to go through puberty.

6. Talk about other big things.

Talking openly and honestly with your child will be very advantageous for them, so don’t hold back on having big conversations. For instance, if you’re a religious person, then you may want to talk with your child about religion when they’re young. If you want to teach them about the dangers in the world, don’t hesitate to talk about things like “stranger danger” or even bullying in school or online. These conversations will not only help your child learn, but they’ll also encourage your child to come talk to you when they’re in need or troubled.

Being a parent is a tough job, but if you can start on these things early, you’ll find that your child has an advantage growing up. Plus, you’ll just be happy to know you were helping to shape them into good people from the start.

Parenting

Should Your Teen Get a Summer Job?

Have you been toying with the idea of your teen taking on a summer job this year? On the one hand, you want them to help pitch in with various expenses, but on the other hand, are there risks you should know of? And do the pros outweigh the cons?

Should Your Teen Get a Summer Job?
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Here are the benefits, risks, and things you should know before parents and teens make this decision.

Pro: Your teen gains professional experience.

Want your teen to learn how to write a resume? Or how to present themselves during a job interview? Nothing beats real-life experience like real-life experience. Your teen’s summer job will give them a chance to use skills they will need when they are job hunting after college.

But gaining professional experience is not only limited to how to get a job. Today’s recruiters are looking for those who can communicate well, are able to collaborate, and who are adaptable. Teens with summer jobs will learn how to get along with coworkers, an ornery boss, and demanding clients. These are soft skills that attending school cannot teach.

Con: Less time for traditional summer activities.

Last year, the Atlantic reported that high school students are skipping summer jobs in favor of summer classes. Why? High school requirements have become more demanding than in years past. Combined with an increased pressure to go college, students are now using their summer days to study. If your teen gets a summer job, this will curtail their time spent studying, or engaging in other school-related activities.

Of course, a summer job or an internship can be an educational experience on its own. So you will want to weigh up the educational ramifications of where your teen can best use their time.

Pro: Real-life money lessons.

Does your teen fly through their weekly allowance? Is it hard to get them to think through purchases? Want a fast way to foster an appreciation of the value of money in your teens? Let them take a job.

In a Charles Schwab survey, the poll showed that 4 out of 10 teens do not understand how to budget. Learning how to be financially responsible is a hallmark of adulthood. The surest way to teach this lesson in a way that stays with your teen? Allow them to earn and then spend on their own to get a taste of financial consequences on a small scale.

Not only will they learn about how to save for larger expenses, but they might end up appreciating you—the parents—more when you give them some extra cash.

Pro: Gain experience related to interests.

If your teen is a serious thinker, they might be already pondering job choices and career options. A job can help them explore their interests and give them a taste of what a career in that profession might be like. Occasionally, romantic notions can put a rosy glow on a career choice. And real-life experience can provide a close look at what professionals in a certain industry face daily. This can help your teen cull out the duds and figure out what they are not interested in.

If your teen becomes sold on that career, then that summer job will pay off in other ways, too. Recruiters and companies look for individuals who have a long-standing passion in that field. The right summer jobs can provide experience for your teen’s resume that will impress future recruiters and companies.

Con: High-paying summer jobs could hurt financial aid chances.

Are you counting on government aid to help pay for college? If so, just make sure your teen does not earn above the formula for getting an EFC grant. If your teen earns too much, it could nullify their request for financial aid. Petty cash that is not calculated amounts to about $6500 a year.

Pro: Develop time management skills.

Learning how to manage their own time is a trait that many teens could use a full-fledged course in. Having a job will require them to show up at a certain time each day. They will learn to be accountable for the hours they spend at their place of employment.

Teens with summer jobs will need to learn how to juggle multiple responsibilities. Summer homework assignments will not magically disappear just because your teen is now employed. Nor will household chores.

But all of this is a good thing for teens to learn before they head off to college, where they won’t have you as their personal to-do list reminder.

 

Healthy Living, Kids, Parenting

Ways to Keep Children Healthy, Safe and Comfortable While Playing Sports

In a day where video games and cellular use is on the rise, it’s important to keep your children active. One of the easiest ways to do this is to sign your children up for sports. Sports teach discipline and promote teamwork. With after-school practice sessions, several days each week and games on the weekend sports also offer a great way to keep your child physically fit. Before sending them onto the field it’s important to make sure they are safe, healthy and comfortable. Luckily, there are several ways to achieve this.

Ways to Keep Children Healthy, Safe and Comfortable While Playing Sports
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Equipment

Just as the pros protect themselves on the field, you, as the parent, must make sure that your children have the proper equipment to offer them the ultimate in protection against injuries. Things like a helmet, arm, knee and elbow pads, where required, are also essential. No matter what sports you select for your child, the shoes and undergarments are just as important for long-lasting traction and sustained comfort. For instance, there are socks for baseball and football that have a built-in stirrup. Worn over the socks they insulate to prevent foot injuries, offer support, while also preventing the undersocks from falling down.

Proper Nutrition and Hydration

Maintaining a healthy weight is key to success in any sport. Proper nutrition created with a healthy diet rich in carbs, protein, vitamins, and minerals and low in fat helps to fuel and thus energize the body. Luckily, this is easy to achieve. Eating foods such as lean meats, fish, green vegetables, whole grains, fruits, and nuts will keep your child at a healthy weight and build and repair muscles. It’s also essential that your child remain hydrated. While water is the beverage of choice before and during practice sessions and games, afterward, a sports drink will help to replenish lost carbs and electrolytes.

CPR

While it’s not likely that young children will have a heart attack while training or playing the game on the field, it can happen. Sudden Cardiac Death, SCD, rarely happens. However, the fact that it can happen is quite scary for any parent, especially a parent without the skills to possibly save their child. CPR training is important not just for parents with kids involved in sports, but for all parents. Anything can happen, like a toddler getting a small toy logged in their throat or a player on the field losing consciousness with a small window of survival in front of you. The good news is that a CPR course takes just a few hours to complete, giving you peace of mind.

Getting Enough Rest

All children need a lot of sleep. However, for a child involved in sports, getting enough sleep helps to improve their mental focus, maintain a positive attitude and keeps their body healthy against sickness. Luckily, in most cases, children who partake in sports fall asleep pretty easily. They have a hectic schedule that consists of attending school, doing homework and practice and games.

Sports provide a wonderful way for children to stay physically active, make long-lasting friendships, and learn discipline and teamwork. These are the fundamentals of life that your child can take away from the game and use for the rest of their lives. Just make sure that your child continues to enjoy the sport, train hard and has fun. Sometimes parents lose sight of the small details like what’s in the best interest of their kid. Even if your child possesses natural athletic abilities, if they don’t enjoy it, they will resent doing it later on.

Gift Guides, Kids, Parenting

mifold Grab-and-Go Car Booster Seat Is Making Carpooling Easier

I have partnered with Brilliant PR for this mifold feature

mifold Grab-and-Go Car Booster Seat Is Making Carpooling Easier

mifold Grab-and-Go Car Booster Seat Is Making Carpooling Easier. How? It is very portable. It adjusts for child’s size in seconds and fits most seats and belt systems to safely hold onto your child as you drive! Let’s explore more…

Anthony is almost 10 and not in a car booster seat anymore but as you can see him holding it the size is very convenient. Despite how small it is you get an approved seat by the standards. For ages 4 and older and 40-100 pounds you can fit this booster in a bag. Just see my video below….

The long strap clips onto the should belt at your child’s shoulder height for proper restraint. It is so easy and works with your cars lap belt. It comes in many fun colors too. Now you can just unbuckle your child, fold and hand off to the grandparents or daycare for carpooling needs when in their care. Even airplane and rental car travel becomes easier. It makes our travel lives so much easier without sacrificing safety!

As your child grows you simply adjust the width. The padding is comfortable and it is just enough lift to give them that window view for their entertainment. You can find these on Amazon and at Target stores nationwide! Learn more at mifold.com Available at Target!