Sunday, 18 December 2011

How to Make Homework Less Work?

Create a Homework Plan
Luckily, you can do a few things to make homework less work.

First, be sure you understand the assignment. Write it down in your notebook or day planner if you need to, and don't be afraid to ask questions about what's expected. It's much easier to take a minute to ask the teacher during or after class than to struggle to remember later that night! If you want, you can also ask how long the particular homework assignment should take to complete so you can budget your time.

Second, use any extra time you have in school to work on your homework. Many schools have study halls that are specifically designed to allow students to study or get homework done. It's tempting to hang out with friends during study periods or unstructured time, but the more work you can get done in school, the less you'll have to do that night.

Third, pace yourself. If you don't finish your homework during school, think about how much you have left and what else is going on that day, and then budget your time. Most high-school students have between 1 and 3 hours of homework a night. If it's a heavy homework day and it seems like you've got an assignment in every subject but gym and lunch, you'll need to devote more time to homework. It's a good idea to come up with some kind of homework schedule, especially if you are involved in sports or activities or have an after-school job.

Watch Where You Work

When you settle down to do homework or to study, where do you do it? Parked in front of the TV? In the kitchen, with the sound of dishes being cleared and your brothers and sisters fighting?

These places may have worked when you were younger and your assignments didn't require as much skill and concentration. But now that you're older, a bedroom, study, or any other room where you can get away from noise and distractions is the best place to get homework done. But don't study on your comfy bed — opt for a desk or table that you can set your computer on and is comfortable to work at. It doesn't need to be large, just big enough to spread out your stuff.

Get to Work
When you start your homework, tackle the hardest assignments first. It's tempting to start with the easy stuff to get it out of the way, but you'll have the most energy and focus when you begin, so it's best to use this mental power on the subjects that are most challenging. Later, when you're more tired, you can focus on the simpler things.

If you get stuck on a problem, try to figure it out as best you can — but don't obsess and spend too much time on it because this can mess up your homework schedule for the rest of the night. If you need to, ask an adult or older sibling for help or call or email a classmate for advice. But don't pick someone you'll be up all night chatting with or you'll never get it done!

Take a Break

Most people's attention spans aren't very long, so take some breaks while doing your homework. Sitting for too long without stretching or relaxing will make you less productive than if you stop every so often. Taking a 15-minute break every hour is a good idea for most people. (But if you're really concentrating, wait until it's a good time to stop.)

Once your homework is done, you can check over it if you have extra time. Be sure to put it safely away in your backpack — there's nothing worse than having a completed assignment that you can't find the next morning or that gets ruined by a careless brother or sister. (And no teacher still believes that "chewed by the dog" line — even when it's true!) Now you're free to hang out.

Get Help When You Need It

Sometimes even though you're paying attention in class, studying for tests, and doing your homework, certain classes seem too hard. Although you may hope that things will get easier or that the explanation to the geometry theorems will magically appear in your dreams, most of the time this doesn't happen.

What does happen for many people is that they work harder and harder as they fall further and further behind. Naturally, this makes them hate a class and everything to do with it. If you need extra help, the most important thing to know is that there's nothing weird or embarrassing about it. No one is expected to understand everything, and people have very different learning styles.

The first place to turn for help is your teacher. He or she may be able to work with you before or after school and explain things more clearly. But what if you don't feel comfortable with your teacher? If you're in a big enough school, there may be other teachers who teach the same subject. Speak to a guidance counselor or to the other teacher directly and you may be in luck. Sometimes it just helps to have someone new explain something in a different way.

You might also be able to get some help from another student. If there's someone you like who's a good student, think about asking that person if you can study together. This might help because you'll be hearing the information from the perspective of one of your peers. However, keep in mind that this might not get you the results you need. Lots of people understand something perfectly without being able to explain it.

Another option for extra help is a tutor, either after school, on weekends, or in the evening. You'll need to talk to an adult about this because it costs money to hire a tutor. Tutors sometimes come to your home, but there are also tutoring centers across the country. A tutor may have broad knowledge of many things or may be trained in just one subject. Tutors work with you one on one, helping review and further explain things taught in the classroom. The advantage of having a tutor is that it gives you the opportunity to ask questions directly and work at your own pace.

If you're interested in a tutor, check the internet or the yellow pages of your phone book, or get a referral from a teacher, a friend, or classmate who has a tutor. And if you live in or near a town with a college or university, you may find tutors there. Often college students will tutor high school students in their areas of study to help cover the costs of school.

Reference : http://teenshealth.org

Is vegetarian good for health or non-vegetarian?

Is vegetarian good for health or non-vegetarian? which is better for health? In what way these items differ.

Vegetarianism is considered a healthy, viable diet. The American Dietetic Association and the Dietitians of Canada have found a properly planned vegetarian diet to satisfy the nutritional needs for all stages of life, and large-scale studies have shown that "Mortality from ischemic heart disease was 24% lower in vegetarians than in nonvegetarians". Necessary nutrients, proteins, and amino acids for the body's sustenance can be found in vegetables, grains, nuts, soymilk, eggs and dairy.

Vegetarian diets can aid in keeping body weight under control and substantially reduce risks of heart disease and osteoporosis. Non-lean red meat, in particular, has been found to be directly associated with dramatically increased risk of cancers of the esophagus, liver, colon, and the lungs. Other studies, in contrast, have shown no significant differences between vegetarians and nonvegetarians in mortality from cerebrovascular disease, stomach cancer, colorectal cancer, breast cancer, or prostate cancer, although the sample of vegetarians was small and included ex-smokers who had switched their diet within the last five years.

 The American Dietetic Association and Dietitians of Canada have stated: "Vegetarian diets offer a number of nutritional benefits, including lower levels of saturated fat, cholesterol, and animal protein as well as higher levels of carbohydrates, fibre, magnesium, potassium, folate, and antioxidants such as vitamins C and E and phytochemicals."Vegetarians tend to have lower body mass index, lower levels of cholesterol, lower blood pressure, and less incidence of heart disease, hypertension, type 2 diabetes, renal disease, osteoporosis, dementias such as Alzheimer’s Disease and other disorders.

In addition to the above, the following are the other benefits of a vegetarian diet -

1) Longevity - Several studies have concluded that vegetarians or non-vegetarians, who eat less amount of meat have lower mortality ratio than regular meat eaters...the bottom line is that vegetarians live longer...

2) Nutrition - Vegetarian foods completely cater to the nutritional requirements of an individual with the added advantage of not having to kill any animal.

3) Food Safety - Vegetarianism prevents fatal diseases like E-coli infection, salmonella, bird flu, bovine immunodeficiency virus, etc which occur in animals & birds and could be transmitted to humans when they are eaten...

4) Physiology - Humans are more anatomically similar to herbivores, with long intestinal tracts and blunt teeth, unlike omnivores and carnivores.

5) Environmental concerns - Environmental vegetarianism is based on the concern that the production of meat and animal products for mass consumption, especially through factory farming, is environmentally unsustainable.
According to a 2006 United Nations initiative, the livestock industry is one of the largest contributors to environmental degradation worldwide, and modern practices of raising animals for food contributes on a "massive scale" to air and water pollution, land degradation, climate change, and loss of biodiversity.
In addition, animal agriculture is a large source of greenhouse gases and is responsible for 18 percent of the world's greenhouse gas.
According to the theory of trophic dynamics, it requires 10 times as many crops to feed animals being bred for meat production as it would to feed the same number of people on a vegetarian diet. Currently, 70 percent of all the wheat, corn, and other grain produced is fed to farmed animals.[170] This has led many proponents of vegetarianism to believe that it is ecologically irresponsible to consume meat.

6) Psychological - The "Appeal to nature" logical fallacy invites one to believe that something is good or right because it is natural.
A metaphor has been presented by Douglas Dunn: that if one gives a young child an apple and a live chicken, the child would instinctively play with the chicken and eat the apple, whereas if a cat were presented with the same choices, its natural impulse would be the opposite.

In addition to the above points, you need to understand that when you eat an animal, you are in reality eating the "fear" of the animal...A cow or a goat which is being led to the slaughter realises that it will be killed shortly and the sheer terror of the experience leads to the generation of certain toxins & hormones, which are ingested by humans along with the meat...

This results in various ailments in people who frequently consume meat such as hormone disorders, heart diseases etc...

So now it is for you to decide whether vegetarianism is more beneficial for health...

Thursday, 8 December 2011

Preschool teacher

Preschool teacher | Teachers | Teachers in Preschool

A preschool teacher is a type of early childhood educator who instructs children from infancy to age 5, which stands as the youngest stretch of early childhood education. Early Childhood Education teachers need to span the continuum of children from birth to age 8.

Preschool teachers are encouraged to hold credentials in Early Childhood Education in the form of a Child Development Accreditation (CDA) or formal college education in Early Childhood or a related subject.

The term "preschool" refers to instruction in non-public arenas such as licensed preschools, childcare centers, family day care centers, home day care centers, center-based programs, federal programs like Head Start, and full or part-day private child centers or day care centers sponsored by religious bodies. The term "pre-kindergarten" refers to those lead teachers who offer instruction in a program for four-year olds funded as part of the state public school system.

Preschool teachers must be able to work well and interact with young children, sometimes as young as 2 years 9 months. Preschool children have a short attention span and their worries are usually fairly simple. Most preschoolers are loving, affectionate, and playful, and like to play games, be read to, or play with toys.

Preschool education

Preschool education

 Preschool education (or infant education) is the provision of learning to children before the commencement of statutory and obligatory education, usually between the ages of zero and three or five, depending on the jurisdiction.

 In the United Kingdom nursery school (or 'playgroup') is the form of preschool education. In the United States the terms 'preschool' and 'Pre-K' are used, while "nursery school" is an older term.

Preschool work is organized within a framework that professional educators create. The framework includes structural (administration, class size, student–teacher ratio, services, etc.), process (quality of classroom environments, teacher-child interactions, etc.), and alignment (standards, curriculum, assessments) components that are associated with each individual unique child that has both social and academic outcomes. At each age band, an appropriate curriculum should be followed. For example, it would be normal to teach a child how to count to 10 after the age of four. Arguably the first pre-school institution was opened in 1816 by Robert Owen in New Lanark, Scotland. The Hungarian countess Theresa Brunszvik followed in 1828. In 1837, Friedrich Fröbel opened one in Germany, coining the term "kindergarten".

 Developmental areas

The areas of development which preschool education covers varies from country to country. However, the following main themes are represented in the majority of systems.
  •   Personal, social, economical, and emotional development
  •  Communication, including sign language, talking and listening
  •  Knowledge and understanding of the world
  •  Creative and aesthetic development
  •  Educational software
  •  Mathematical awareness and development
  •  Physical development
  •  Physical health
  •  Playing
  •  Teamwork
  •  Self-help skills
  •  Social skills
  •  Scientific thinking
  •  Creative arts
  •  Literacy
  •  peaking ability is started too
 Age and importance

It is well established that the most important years of learning are begun at birth. A child's brain at this age is making connections that will last the rest of their life.[citation needed] During these early years, a human being is capable of absorbing more information at a time than they will ever be able to again. The environment of the young child influences the development of cognitive skills and emotional skills due to the rapid brain growth that occurs in the early years. Studies have shown that high quality/ or any high rated preschools have a long term effect in improving the outcomes of a child, especially a disadvantaged child.

However, some more recent studies dispute the accuracy of the earlier results which cited benefits to preschool education, and actually point at preschool being detrimental to a child's cognitive and social development.A study by UC Berkeley and Stanford University on 14,000 Kindergarteners revealed that while there is a temporary cognitive boost in pre-reading and math, preschool holds detrimental effects on social development and cooperation.

The Universal Preschool movement is an international effort to make access to preschool available to families in a similar way to compulsory primary education. Various jurisdictions and advocates have differing priorities for access, availability and funding sources. See kindergarten for details of pre-school education in various countries. There has been a shift from preschools that operated primarily as controlled play groups to educational settings in which children learn specific, if basic, skills. It examines several different perspectives on teaching in kindergarten, including those of the developmentally appropriate practice, the academic approach, the child-centered approach, and the Montessori approach to the curriculum.

Preschool Curriculum

Preschool Curriculum | Project Based Approach

 According to UNESCO a preschool curriculum is one that delivers educational content through daily activities, tuition and furthers a child's physical, cognitive and social development. Generally, preschool curricula are only recognized by governments if it is based on academic research and reviewed by peers

 Curricula that follow the Project Based approach work through a curriculum of themes set by the teacher or proposed by the children. The model encourages children to query topics and seeks to generate an investigative approach toward learning. [2]
[edit] International Preschool Curricula

International models such as the International Preschool Curriculum (IPC), International Baccalaureate and the International Primary Curriculum Early Years Program focus on themes that promote cultural diversity while preparing children for elementary education in their home or host country.

Early childhood education

Early childhood education | Childhood Education

 A child's needs during early childhood are different from those of older schoolchildren, because early childhood sees the greatest growth and development, when the brain develops most rapidly, almost at its fullest. It is a period when walking, talking, self-esteem, vision of the world and moral foundations are established.[citation needed] The early years of life are critical to the development of intelligence, personality and social behaviour. Research on brain development attests to the importance of key mental, physical and social capabilities. If these fundamental capabilities are not well established from the start, and especially if neurological damage occurs, a child's learning potential could be adversely be affected.[citation needed] As such, education in early childhood must have its own specific practices and issues.

For programming purposes, it has been decided to extend the concept of early childhood to about 8 years of age. This age range provides the opportunity to reinforce the view of the development as a continuum. It will facilitate the interaction between the pre and initial school years. The concept of basic education calls for the inclusion of early childhood and the key "survival" grades, that is, the first two or three grades of primary education.

Early childhood education often focuses on children learning through play, based on the research and beliefs of Jean Piaget. This belief is centered on the "power of play". It is thought that children learn more efficiently and more knowledge when given the opportunity for play based activities such as: dramatic play, art and social games. This theory plays off of children's natural curiosity and tendencies to "make believe", mixing in educational lessons

According to UNESCO ECCE (Early Childhood Care and Education) Unit, Early childhood is defined as the period from birth to 8 years old. A time of remarkable brain development, these years lay the foundation for subsequent learning.

The terms preschool education and kindergarten emphasize education around the ages of 3–6 years. The terms "early childhood learning," "early care," and "early education" are comparable with early childhood education. The terms day care and child care do not embrace the educational aspects. Many childcare centers are now using more educational approaches. They are creating curricula and incorporating it into their daily routines to foster greater educational learning.[citation needed] The distinction between childcare centers being for care and kindergartens being for education, for example, has all but disappeared in countries that require staff in different early childhood facilities to have a teaching qualification. The ChildForum early childhood education national organisation highlights that while this can uplift the overall quality of children's learning a primary purpose of all early childhood programmes is nevertheless to provide a high standard of care and nurturance due to the young age and emotional and physical needs of children. However, it is necessary to distinguish between nurturance and locomotive learning. One implies the development of vestigial implements of characterized babies, the other refers to hand-eye co-ordination.

Researchers in the field and early childhood educators both view the parents as an integral part of the early childhood education process.[3] Often educators refer to parents as the child's first and best teacher. Early childhood education takes many forms depending on the beliefs of the educator or parent.

Much of the first two years of life are spent in the creation of a child's first "sense of self" or the building of a first identity.[citation needed] This is a crucial part of children's makeup—how they first see themselves, how they think they should function, how they expect others to function in relation to them.[citation needed] For this reason, early care must ensure that in addition to employing carefully selected and trained caretakers, program policy must emphasize links with family, home culture, and home language, meaning caregivers must uniquely care for each child using Developmentally Appropriate Practice, Individually Appropriate Practice and Culturally Appropriate Practice. Care should support families rather than be a substitute for them (see a review of research on the role of parents and families in early education)

If a young child doesn't receive sufficient nurturing, nutrition, parental/caregiver interaction, and stimulus during this crucial period, the child may be left with a developmental deficit that hampers his or her success in preschool, kindergarten, and beyond.

Worst-case scenarios such as those found in Russian and Romanian orphanages demonstrate how the lack of proper social interaction and development of attachment affect the developing child.[4] Children must receive attention and affection to develop in a healthy manner. While in developed nations today such scenarios are fortunately rare there is a danger of a false belief that more hours of formal education for the very young child = greater benefits for the young child than a balance between formal education and time spent with family. A systematic review of the international evidence suggests that the benefits of early childhood education come from the experience itself of participation and that more than 2.5 hours a day does not greatly add to child development outcomes especially if this means the young child is missing out on other experiences and family contact

Child Safety: Keeping Your Home Safe for Your Baby

Child Safety: Keeping Your Home Safe for Your Baby

Your home should be the safest place for your child. Make sure you know the ins and outs of babyproofing your home before your baby becomes mobile. And remember that home safety continues as your child grows. Lock up guns and medicines, and be sure you know if there are any sources of lead paint in your home. Home safety should not be taken for granted.

How can I make my baby's crib safe?
  • Choose a crib with bars no more than 2 3/8 inches apart. If the space between the bars is too wide, your baby could slip through and strangle between the bars.
  • Use a ruler to check the width of the space between the bars. Weave a cloth between the bars if they are too far apart.
  • The crib should not have corner posts that stick up. Corner posts can be catchpoints for items placed around a child's neck or clothing worn by the child. Unscrew the corner posts or saw them off.
  • The mattress should fit snugly against the sides of the crib. An infant can suffocate if its head or body becomes wedged between the mattress and the sides of the crib. No more than 2 fingers should fit between the mattress and the side of the crib. Place rolled towels between the mattress and the crib if the mattress is too small.
  • When your baby can push up, you should remove bumpers, pillows and toys from the crib including toys that are strung across the crib or a playpen. Your baby can step on these things or use them to climb out of the crib and fall.
 What else can I do to keep the bedroom safe?

Remove any cords that could get around the baby's neck. Keep the crib away from electric cords, drapes and curtain cords, or tie up the cords so they are less than 6 inches long and out of your child's reach. Mobiles and hanging crib toys should also be kept out of your baby's reach. Remove strings on crib toys and pacifiers.

 How can I make the kitchen safe?
 Turn pot handles toward the back of the stove. Use the back burners on the stove for cooking.

Keep hot foods and drinks out of reach – away from the edge of a counter or table. Keep knives and other sharp objects out of reach or in locked or "childproof" drawers or cabinets. Wind up appliance cords and keep them out of reach.

How can I keep medicines and poisons out of reach?

Keep medicines, vitamins, cleaning supplies and other poisons in locked cabinets. Children can't tell the difference between medicine and candy.

If your child swallows something he or she shouldn't, call a poison control center right away. Keep the telephone number by your phone.

How can I make bath time safe?

Because children can drown in very little water, you should always stay with your child when he or she is in the bathtub. NEVER leave your child alone or with an older child in the bathroom or tub – not even for a minute. If you have to answer the phone or doorbell, take your child with you.

Always test the water before putting your child in the tub. Young children have tender skin and are easily burned if the water in the sink or bathtub is too hot.

Set your water heater to 120 F or less. To check the temperature of the hot water from the faucet, run the water over a meat or candy thermometer for 3 minutes.

Keep electrical items such as hair dryers away from the water. Unplug them when you aren't using them. They can cause an electric shock if they fall into the sink or bathtub while they're plugged in.

 How can I be sure toys are safe?
  • Choose carefully when shopping for toys. Look for toys that are well made and appropriate for your child’s age.
  •   Watch out for toys that have sharp edges, small parts or sharp points.
  •   Young children pull, prod and twist toys. Look for toys with tightly secured parts.
  •   Look for safety information on the toy or label such as "Not recommended for children under 3 years of age," or "non-toxic" on toys likely to end up in little mouths. Look for "washable/hygienic materials" on stuffed toys and dolls.
  •   Avoid marbles, balls, games with balls and other toys that have parts smaller than 1 3/4 inches in diameter or smaller than 2 inches long. These products can choke young children if swallowed.
  •   Keep toys meant for older children away from babies and toddlers.
What about houseplants?

 Plants should be placed out of your child's reach. Some houseplants are poisonous. Call your local poison control center to find out if your plants are poisonous.

How can I make stairs safe?

Use toddler gates at the top and bottom of stairs. Do not use gates with big spaces between the slats – children can get trapped in the openings.

How can I make windows safe?

Keep children away from windows to prevent falls. Screens are made to keep bugs out – not to keep children in. Use window guards to keep children from falling. Keep chairs and other furniture away from windows so children can't climb up. If possible, open windows from the top, not the bottom.

Wednesday, 7 December 2011

What Parents Can Do to Change Their Child's Behavior?

Behavior & Emotions

 Dealing with child behavioral and emotional problems can be one of the most difficult parts of parenting. But you can change your child’s behavior. Begin by learning a little bit about child development, your child’s emotions, and the types of therapy that may be beneficial. You can help your child, one step at a time.

What is normal behavior for a child?

Normal behavior in children depends on the child's age, personality, and physical and emotional development. A child's behavior may be a problem if it doesn't match the expectations of the family or if it is disruptive. Normal or "good" behavior is usually determined by whether it's socially, culturally and developmentally appropriate. Knowing what to expect from your child at each age will help you decide whether his or her behavior is normal.

What can I do to change my child's behavior?

Children tend to continue a behavior when it is rewarded and stop a behavior when it is ignored. Consistency in your reaction to a behavior is important because rewarding and punishing the same behavior at different times confuses your child. When you think your child's behavior might be a problem, you have 3 choices:
  •   Decide that the behavior is not a problem because it's appropriate to the child's age and stage of development.
  •  Attempt to stop the behavior, either by ignoring it or by punishing it.
  •   Introduce a new behavior that you prefer and reinforce it by rewarding your child.
 How do I stop misbehavior? 

The best way to stop unwanted behavior is to ignore it. This way works best over a period of time. When you want the behavior to stop immediately, you can use the time-out method.

How do I use the time-out method?

Decide ahead of time the behaviors that will result in a time-out (usually tantrums, or aggressive or dangerous behavior). Choose a time-out place that is uninteresting for the child and not frightening, such as a chair, corner or playpen. When you're away from home, consider using a car or a nearby seating area as a time-out place.

When the unacceptable behavior occurs, tell the child the behavior is unacceptable and give a warning that you will put him or her in time-out if the behavior doesn't stop. Remain calm and don't look angry. If your child goes on misbehaving, calmly take him or her to the time-out area.

If possible, keep track of how long your child's been in time-out. Set a timer so your child will know when time-out is over. Time-out should be brief (generally 1 minute for each year of age), and should begin immediately after reaching the time-out place or after the child calms down. You should stay within sight or earshot of the child, but don't talk to him or her. If the child leaves the time-out area, gently return him or her to the area and consider resetting the timer. When the time-out is over, let the child leave the time-out place. Don't discuss the bad behavior, but look for ways to reward and reinforce good behavior later on.

 How do I encourage a new, desired behavior?

One way to encourage good behavior is to use a reward system. Children who learn that bad behavior is not tolerated and that good behavior is rewarded are learning skills that will last them a lifetime. This works best in children older than 2 years of age. It can take up to 2 months to work. Being patient and keeping a diary of behavior can be helpful to parents.

Choose 1 to 2 behaviors you would like to change (for example, bedtime habits, tooth brushing or picking up toys). Choose a reward your child would enjoy. Examples of good rewards are an extra bedtime story, delaying bedtime by half an hour, a preferred snack or, for older children, earning points toward a special toy, a privilege or a small amount of money.

Explain the desired behavior and the reward to the child. For example, "If you get into your pajamas and brush your teeth before this TV show is over, you can stay up a half hour later." Request the behavior only one time. If the child does what you ask, give the reward. You can help the child if necessary but don't get too involved. Because any attention from parents, even negative attention, is so rewarding to children, they may prefer to have parental attention instead of a reward at first. Transition statements, such as, "In 5 minutes, play time will be over," are helpful when you are teaching your child new behaviors.

This system helps you avoid power struggles with your child.

Why shouldn't I use physical punishment?

Parents may choose to use physical punishment (such as spanking) to stop undesirable behavior. The biggest drawback to this method is that although the punishment stops the bad behavior for a while, it doesn't teach your child to change his or her behavior. Disciplining your child is really just teaching him or her to choose good behaviors. If your child doesn't know a good behavior, he or she is likely to return to the bad behavior. Physical punishment becomes less effective with time and can cause the child to behave aggressively. It can also be carried too far -- into child abuse. Other methods of punishment are preferred and should be used whenever possible.

Monday, 5 December 2011

Choosing Safe Toys for Children Aged Birth to 12 Years

The biggest threat to the health of children over age one is not some dread disease. It is accidental injury. More children are seriously hurt or killed by accidental injuries than by anything else. And many childhood injuries can be prevented by parents who know how. You already care enough to do everything possible to protect your children. Protecting them from injuries is a very important way you can safeguard their health. This publication is one of a series that helps parents prevent childhood injuries.

Toys cause many preventable injuries. Tips on Toys will help you decide just which toys are safe for your children as they grow. Take a few minutes to look over the toys you already have, and keep these guidelines in mind when you buy new ones.

The suggestions made in this publication are based on national information about the kinds of toys most often involved in accidents. Most of this information was gathered by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, and the checklist was developed under funding from U.S. Centers for Disease Control.

Up to 1 year

Age Group
  • Awareness of sound, motion, touch & color
  • Hand to mouth curiosity
  • (teach the early walker not to walk or run with toys in his mouth)
  • Need constant supervision during play
Safe Toys
  • Unbreakable large-end rattles
  • Squeak toys with molded in noise-maker.
  • Washable dolls and stuffed animals with bright embroidered features
  • Brightly colored objects hanging in view (mobile, etc.) out of reach and with cords less than 12" long
  • Brightly colored cloth or rubber balls with textured surface to grasp
  • Unbreakable cups and smooth objects that can be chewed
  • Brightly colored beads on a strong cord less than 10" long
Dangerous Toys
  • Rattles with ends smaller than 13/8" in diameter
  • Those with small enough to swallow or with removable parts that are sharp or could be swallowed
  • Those with poisonous paint, or cords over 1 2" long
  • Stuffed animals with glass or button eyes

1 to 2 years

Age Group
  • Time of reckless mobility
  • Hand to mouth testing
  • Very curious
  • Needs extremely close supervision during play
Safe Toys
  • Blocks with rounded corners
  • Push-pull toys
  • Books with cloth or stiff pasteboard pages
  • Non-glass mirrors
  • Take apart toys with large pieces
Dangerous Toys
  • Same as above PLUS toys of older children that mobility puts within the toddler's reach
  • Toys with strings over 12" long

2 to 3 years

Age Group
  • Development of language and more curiosity
  • Beginning age of most toy related injuries at age 2
Safe Toys
  • Peg boards with large pieces
  • Wooden animals
  • Large crayons
  • Low rocking horse
  • Dustless chalk and chalkboard
  • Simple musical instruments
  • Simple jigsaw puzzles with large pieces
  • Blocks with numbers and letters
  • Toys that aid color, size and shape identification
  • Sturdy cars and riding toys ( wagons, riding toys, tricycle for 2 1/2 year olds at earliest)
Dangerous Toys
  • Those with sharp edges or easily breakable material
  • Toys with small removable parts or poisonous paints
  • Marbles, beads and coins
  • Electrical toys
  • Metal toys with unfinished slots, holes or edges that can cut
  • Lead soldiers
  • Tricycles with seats over 12" high (not for children under 2 1/2 years)
  • Riding toys used in hilly areas or inclined driveways

3 to 4 years

Age Group
  • Imagination and imitation combined with vigorous physical activity
  • Ending age of most toy related injuries at 4 years
Safe Toys
  • Those in 2-3 year category plus
  • Toy telephones
  • Metal tea set
  • Dolls with wrap-around clothing
  • Construction sets with easily connecting large pieces
  • Rugged key-wound or friction-operated toys
  • Blunt scissors
  • Lacing cards
  • Simple card and board games
  • Non-electrical trains
  • Selected toys with small parts
  • Tricycles with low-slung seats, used off roadways
Dangerous Toys
  • Highly flammable costumes
  • Electrical toys
  • Shooting toys that endanger eyes
  • Poorly balanced tricycles or riding toys
  • Lead soldiers
  • Riding toys in hilly areas or inclined driveways
  • Tricycles that take child too far from supervision
  • Broken toys

4 to 6 years

Age Group
  • Will develop cooperative social play. Improve physical coordination
  • Begins era of bicycle related injuries
Safe Toys
  • Pail and shovel
  • Building blocks
  • More advanced construction sets
  • Cut-out paper dolls, hand and finger puppets Modeling clay
  • Paints and paint books
  • Non-electrical trains, battery operated toys
  • Kites
  • Stencils, activity books and picture books
  • More demanding board and card games
  • Simple musical instruments
  • Small sports equipment
  • Selected toys with small parts
  • Bicycle with 20" wheel and training wheels, for 4-7 year olds
Dangerous Toys
  • Poisonous or oil-based paint sets
  • Flammable costumes or ones with material to the floor
  • Kites made of electrically conductible aluminized polyester film
  • Electrical toys, unless battery operated
  • Shooting toys and darts with pointed tips
  • Poorly-balanced tricycles or wagons
  • Bicycle poorly maintained
  • Bicycle used on roadways
  • Bicycle too large for child
  • Fireworks of any kind
  • Lawn darts

6 to 8 years

Age Group
  • Further cooperative and social play
  • Physical and intellectual interests. May have renewed interest in playing alone
Safe Toys
  • Kites
  • Battery-powered electrical toys with Underwriters Laboratory (UL) approval
  • Puppets and puppet theatre
  • Complicated jigsaw puzzles
  • Games requiring some reading
  • Well constructed, lightweight tool sets
  • Dolls and doll equipment
  • Flower press
  • Set demonstrating simple principles of science. (Magnets & magnifiers, etc.)
  • Equipment for playing bank, store, filling station, etc.
  • Bicycle with 24" wheel for 7-10 year olds
Dangerous Toys
  • Kites made of electrically conductible aluminized polyester film
  • Poorly made sports equipment
  • Shooting toys and toys with loud noises (cap guns, etc.)
  • Fireworks of any kind
  • Electrical toys run on household current
  • Lawn darts
  • Broken toys

8 to 12 years

Age Group
  • Art, Craft, Building and Science interests
Safe Toys
  • Electrical toys with UL approval used on household current only after you have explained how to use toy and electrical plug and outlets
  • Bicycle with 26" wheel for kids over 10
  • Other sidewalk vehicles, skates, skateboards, etc.
  • Well-constructed sports equipment
  • Put together models
  • Chemistry and other science kits
  • Hobby and Arts and Crafts kits and materials
  • Some projectile toys (dart guns, etc.)
Dangerous Toys
  • Lawn darts
  • Fireworks of any kind
  • Sharp-edged tools
  • Poorly constructed sports equipment
  • B-B Guns/Air Rifles, until child understands gun safety

Sunday, 4 December 2011

What can I do to feel better when pregnent?

What can I do to feel better?

Here are the most common discomforts of pregnancy and some tips for handling them:

Morning sickness. Nausea or vomiting may strike anytime during the day (or night). Try eating frequent, small meals and avoid greasy foods. Keep crackers by your bed to eat before getting up.
Talk to your doctor if morning sickness lasts past the first 3 months of pregnancy or causes you to lose weight.

Tiredness. Sometimes tiredness in pregnancy is caused by anemia, so tell your doctor. Get enough rest. Take a daytime nap if possible.

Leg cramps. Gently stretch the calf of your leg by curling your toes upward, toward your knee.

Constipation. Drink plenty of fluids. Eat foods with lots of fiber, such as fruits, vegetables and bran cereal. Don't take laxatives without talking to your doctor first. Stool softeners may be safer than laxatives.

Hemorrhoids. Don't strain during bowel movements. Try to avoid becoming constipated. Clean yourself well after a bowel movement (wet wipes may be less irritating than toilet paper). Take several warm soaks (sitz baths) a day if necessary.

Urinating more often. You may need to urinate more often as your baby grows because he or she will put pressure on your bladder. This can't be helped.

Varicose veins. Avoid clothing that fits tightly around your legs or waist. Rest and put your feet up as much as you can. Move around if you must stand for long periods. Ask your doctor about support or compression hose, which may help ease or prevent varicose veins.

Moodiness. Your hormones are on a roller coaster ride during pregnancy. Plus, your life is undergoing a big change. Don't be too hard on yourself. If you feel very sad or think about suicide, talk to your doctor.

Heartburn. Eat frequent, small meals. Avoid spicy or greasy foods. Don't lie down right after eating. Ask your doctor about taking antacids.

Yeast infections. The amount of discharge from the vagina increases during pregnancy. Yeast infections, which can also cause discharge, are more common during pregnancy. It's a good idea to talk with your doctor about any unusual discharge.

Bleeding gums. Brush and floss regularly, and see your dentist for cleanings. Don't put off dental visits because you're pregnant, but be sure to tell your dentist you're pregnant.

Stuffy nose. This is related to changes in the levels of the female hormone estrogen. You may also have nosebleeds.
Edema (retaining fluid). Rest with your legs up. Lie on your left side while sleeping so blood flows from your legs back to your heart better. Don't use diuretics (water pills). If you're thinking about cutting down on salt to reduce swelling, talk with your doctor first. Your body needs enough salt to maintain the balance of fluid and cutting back on salt may not be the best way to manage your swelling.

Skin changes. Stretch marks appear as red marks on your skin. Lotion with shea butter can help keep your skin moist and may help reduce the itchiness of dry skin. Stretch marks often can't be prevented, but they often fade after pregnancy.

Other skin changes may include darkening of the skin on your face and around your nipples, and a dark line below your belly button. Staying out of the sun or using a sunscreen may help lessen these marks. Most marks will probably fade after pregnancy.


caring when pregnant

Caring When Pregnant

Is prenatal care important?

Prenatal care is very important. To help make sure that you and your baby will be as healthy as possible, follow some simple guidelines and check in regularly with your doctor.

What will happen during prenatal visits?

After you find out you are pregnant, you should make an appointment with your doctor. Your first prenatal visit will likely be when you are 6 to 8 weeks pregnant. Your doctor will probably start by talking to you about your medical history and how you've been feeling. You'll be weighed and have your blood pressure taken. These measurements will most likely be taken during each doctor's visit.

On your first visit, you'll also have a pelvic exam to check the size and shape of your uterus (womb) and a Pap smear to check for abnormalities of the cervix (the opening of the uterus).

Urine and blood tests samples will be taken on the first visit and again at later visits. Other tests are performed, such as urine tests to check for bacteria in your urine, high sugar levels (which can be a sign of diabetes) and high protein levels (which can put you at risk for preeclampsia, a type of high blood pressure during pregnancy). Blood tests to check for low iron levels (anemia), blood cell count, infectious diseases (such as syphilis and hepatitis) and blood type are also performed.

Sometimes, an ultrasound may be done to help figure out when your baby is due or to check on your baby's growth and position in your uterus. An ultrasound uses sound waves to create an image of your baby on a video screen.

Other tests may be needed if you or your baby are at risk for any problems.

What should I eat?


Eating a balanced diet is one of the most important things you can do for yourself and your baby. There are a few foods that you should be more careful about eating while you are pregnant. Meat, eggs and fish that are not fully cooked could put you at risk for an infection. Do not eat more than 2 or 3 servings of fish per week (including canned fish). Do not eat shark, swordfish, king mackerel or tilefish. These fish sometimes have high levels of mercury, which could hurt your baby. If you eat tuna, make sure it is light tuna and eat no more than 6 ounces per week of albacore tuna and tuna steaks. It is safe to have 12 ounces per week of canned light tuna.

Wash all fruit and vegetables. Keep cutting boards and dishes clean. Eat 4 or more servings of dairy foods each day. This will give you enough calcium for you and your baby. Do not drink unpasteurized milk or eat unpasteurized milk products. Soft cheeses such as Brie, feta, Camembert, blue cheese and Mexican-style cheeses such as queso fresco may have bacteria that can cause infections.

If you drink coffee or other drinks with caffeine, do not have more than 1 or 2 cups each day.

It is okay to use artificial sweeteners such as aspartame (some brand names: Equal, NutraSweet) and sucralose (brand name: Splenda) while you are pregnant, but you should use them in moderation. If you have a genetic disease called phenylketonuria, or PKU, you shouldn't use aspartame at all.

Should I take vitamins?


You should take 1,000 mcg (1 mg) of folic acid every day during your pregnancy. Folic acid can help prevent problems with your baby's brain and spinal cord. It is best to start taking folic acid before you get pregnant.

Your doctor might want you to take a prenatal vitamin. If you do take a prenatal supplement, make sure you're not taking any other vitamin or mineral supplement along with it unless your doctor recommends it.

Is it okay to take medicine?

Check with your doctor before taking any medicine, including pain relievers or other over-the-counter medicines. Even medicine you can buy without a prescription may cause birth defects, especially if it's taken during the first 3 months of pregnancy.

How long can I keep working?

This depends on whether you have any problems with your pregnancy, what kind of work you do and if you're exposed to anything at work that could harm your baby. For instance, lifting heavy objects or standing for long periods can be hard on your body. Radiation, lead and other heavy metals, such as copper and mercury, could be damaging to the baby. However, working in front of a computer screen is not thought to cause harm to an unborn baby. Talk with your doctor about your work environment.

What about exercise?

Unless you have problems in your pregnancy, you can probably do whatever exercise you did before you got pregnant. Exercise can help ease discomfort during pregnancy. Try to get at least 30 minutes of exercise each day. Talk to your doctor about any special conditions that you may have.

Is it okay to have sex?

Yes, unless your doctor believes you're at risk for problems. Don't be surprised if you're less or more interested in sex while you are pregnant. As you get larger, you may find you need to try different positions, such as lying on your side or being on top. If you have oral sex, tell your partner not to blow air into your vagina. This could force air inside you, which could cause an air embolism. Air embolisms can cause permanent brain damage and even death to a pregnant woman and her baby.

Why too much care for your child can harm society?

Why too much care for your child can harm society?

Families are mini-civilisations; experience and research show they are the best means of rearing our young into fulfilled adulthood. But families are the prisons that can deform individuals for life and whose private arrangements generate fantastic inequality for society beyond.

Parenting offers endless dilemmas - navigating your way between throwing a protective mantle around your children, and knowing that it is only by withdrawing the mantle that they can achieve the independence necessary to you and them. There are also pernicious social consequences from your family choices. Should you care? In conservative times, we hear much about the benefits of family, too little about the degree family can be bad both for children and for our wider society.

  • Leaving a distressed baby to cry on a regular basis could be damaging to the developing brain, according to parenting guru Penelope Leach, whose new book will be seen as a head-on confrontation with the tough-love approach of baby experts such as Gina Ford, who say parents should "train" their infants by allowing them to cry themselves to sleep.
  • In the latest salvo in the baby wars, Leach brings science to her aid, which she says has progressed remarkably in recent years. Using saliva swab tests, scientists have been able to measure high levels of the stress hormone cortisol in distraught babies whose cries elicit no response from parent or carer. Neurobiologists say, according to Leach, that high cortisol levels are "toxic" to the developing brain.
One of the consequences of Tory MP Derek Conway losing his job for giving his sons our money for doing nothing is that a spotlight has been shone on the dubious practice of MPs employing family members and the culture that justifies it. In conservative lore, nothing should prevent - certainly no obligation to society - parents being able to give everything to the children they love, the tearjerker argument that shadow Chancellor George Osborne used to justify his proposed lifting of the threshold for inheritance tax to a £1m.

Conway, the bone-headed Tory, was merely stretching that philosophy to the limits, but has found that there are obligations, such as accountability and propriety, that get in the way. It was public money he had been spending. The case was open and shut. But parallel arguments extend to the private sphere, as Nigella Lawson showed in a widely publicised interview in My Weekly. She differed from her husband, Charles Saatchi, she said, about how much of their estimated £110m fortune they should leave their children. Echoing American billionaires Warren Buffett and Bill Gates, she believed that too much inherited money corrupts children; they need to work. Her husband took the premodern, dynastic and conservative view that every penny should be passed on with the DNA.

On her website, Ms Lawson subsequently revealed that this shouldn't be understood as a desire to leave her children destitute. It is about choosing between leaving nothing and everything, a debate about degree that extends well beyond the Lawson/Saatchi family. In an era of sky-high house prices, how much of the equity in your home should you give to your children to buy theirs? How much inheritance should you leave them? How much should you be the 'helicopter parent' hovering obsessively over your offspring and fighting for the best across the board?

Plainly, you can and must enable your children: to prohibit them from accessing what you have and who you are is impossible and would be counter to our deepest instincts. But at what point does such enablement become destructive for them and for society? A generation ago, there would have been very many more who took Nigella Lawson's view that the bias must be to help children stand on their own two feet. Now the doctrine is that the family must rule.

Today's parents have become obsessive about their children, relentlessly buying them every advantage they can which they cap with the promise of the maximum inheritance. It is not just the growth of tutoring and private schools; it extends to university. Dr Paul Redmond, Liverpool University's head of careers and employability, tells how a growing number of parents challenge exam results, attend career fairs and even negotiate their children's first salaries.

It is parents who are behind the new market in downloadable, prewritten essays. Parents use every tool possible to advance their child's cause and universities are developing a response. Huddersfield University is the first to have a parents' liaison officer; many universities now have 'parent packs'.
As Redmond says, this hyperactivity beyond a certain age actively harms children. Employers want rounded, self-starting adults, not overgrown children used to their parents constantly bailing them out when called upon. The mobile phone is an often disastrous kind of umbilical cord. Too much parental involvement infantilises children, whether driving them a few hundred yards to school when they are teenagers or joining them for interviews with potential employers when they are young adults. Expectations of future inheritance tends to remove a key spur to self-improvement and self-control.

Fewer and fewer of the very rich consider bequesting their assets to charity, a university or a great cause; the volume of giving has remained static over the last decade despite the upsurge in private wealth. They would rather spend it on themselves and leave the rest to their children.

A recent London School of Economics report shows that Britain has the highest number of family firms managed by children of the founder; it is a managerial disaster, a potent explanation of our poor productivity. Few think to challenge the practice or endorse the call for higher inheritance tax to check it.
Part of the explanation is the privatisation of the public sphere. The more the realm of the private grows, the less accountability and fairness can be expected. That old injunction that it's not what you know, it's who you know seems truer than ever. The only network you can rely on is family.

This is reinforced by a mawkish conservatism that celebrates blood, tribe and nation; we are not a society trying to advance together but a network of concentric blood rings radiating out from family, in which case we had better look out for our own.

Jean-Paul Sartre wrote that the existential freedom to make and remake one's life could only be achieved by rounded adults and that adulthood required rupturing the bonds with one's parents to reconstruct them later. Parents setting out to cosset their kids surely have a greater obligation: to help them become adults in the best sense of that term. The paradox is that you make that rite of passage harder by gilding it too much with family advantage. Our private and public choices should reflect that truth.

How to care your lovable Child

How to Care your Child?

Child care (or "childcare" or "babycare" or "daycare") means caring for and supervising child/children usually from 0–13 years of age. In the United States child care is increasingly referred to as early childhood education due to the understanding of the impact of early experiences of the developing child. Child care is a broad topic covering a wide spectrum of contexts, activities, social and cultural conventions, and institutions.

The two main types of child care options for employed parents needing childcare are center-based care (including creches, daycare, and preschools) and home-based care (also known as nanny or family daycare). As well as these licensed options parents may also choose to find their own caregiver or arrange childcare exchanges/swaps with another family.

In-home care typically is provided by nannies, au-pairs, or friends and family. The child is watched inside their or the child carer's home, reducing exposure to outside children and illnesses. Depending on the number of children in the home, the children utilizing in-home care enjoy the greatest amount of interaction with their caregiver, forming a close bond. There are no required licensing or background checks for in-home care, making parental vigilance essential in choosing an appropriate caregiver. Nanny and au-pair services provide certified caregivers and the cost of in-home care is the highest of childcare options per child, though a household with many children may find this the most convenient and affordable option.

At the same time, a nanny or au-pairs are not always the best methods of childcare. It confines the child into a world of their own. It keeps them from interacting with other children a lot of the time. As mentioned the caregivers do not need licenses or background checks so there is no way of telling if a person is really qualified or has a criminal background (unless you live in a country where there is an option of obtaining home-based care through a government licensed and funded agency). These things should be taken in consideration when making a choice.

Family child care is provided from a care giver's personal home, making the atmosphere most similar to a child's home. State licensing requirements vary, so the parent should conduct careful interviews and home inspections, as well as complete a background check on the caregiver's license. Any complaints against the caregiver will be documented and available for public record. Family care (depending upon the relative levels of state subsidy for centre-based care) is generally the most affordable childcare option, and offers often greater flexibility in hours available for care. In addition, family care generally has a small ratio of children in care, allowing for more interaction between child and provider than would be had at a commercial care center.

Commercial care centers are open for set hours, and provide a standardized and regulated system of care for children. Parents may choose from a commercial care center close to their work, and some companies offer care at their facilities. Active children may thrive in the educational activities provided by a quality commercial care center, but according to the National Center for Early Development and Learning, children from low quality centers may be significantly less advanced in terms of vocabulary and reading skills.Classes are usually largest in this type of care, ratios of children to adult caregivers will vary according to state licensing requirements.

Your Child and Family

 Your Child and Family

About 70% of parents place their young children in some type of daily care. Whether you choose in-home or center-based care, a preschool, or someone else's home for your child's daily care setting, you should follow some specific guidelines to ensure receiving quality, professional care.

Most important is to know your own child's temperament, likes and dislikes, health, interests, and behavior. For a baby under 1 year old, give careful attention to your child's need to be nurtured and held, any special health needs, and the type of person you want to care for your child during the first year of life. For an older child, developing play and learning styles, interaction with other kids, intellectual curiosity, and need for individualized attention should be considered.

The family's own values and emotional needs also come into play. Some parents are overly anxious about leaving their very young child with one person, while others prefer this individual care. But by age 3 or 4, it's good for kids to have at least some exposure to other kids and participate in a structured program like preschool or daycare.