May 23, 2013 in Quotes
From the blog, Revisiting a child’s lifestyle by Natan Gendelman
As Summer quickly approaches and school comes to a close, the reality of travelling with your child for Summer vacation is becoming more and more likely. Most children find it difficult to remain still for extended periods of time, and travelling with children who have special needs requires additional considerations. Whether you’re planning a short [...]
The entire month of May is Asthma Awareness Month, aimed at controlling the chronic illness through effective management and the development of Asthma Action Plans. Asthma and other respiratory disorders are common problems among children and a potential obstacle to the sometimes-strenuous nature of physical activity. May is an ideal time to begin thinking about [...]
For those not familiar, family day care is quality, home based care and education services that are usually operated by a single individual out of their home. Catering for babies through to pre-teen age children, family day care creates a home-away-from-home experience in a warm, safe and stimulating atmosphere. The differences between traditional day care [...]
As parents of children with special needs, it’s hard to find the balance between what’s right for our child and advocacy. There are many elements to consider at any given time. School districts are balancing budgets, personnel, and the needs of many children. They will always recommend an appropriate solution that fits into their schemas. [...]
As Summer quickly approaches and school comes to a close, the reality of travelling with your child for Summer vacation is becoming more and more likely. Most children find it difficult to remain still for extended periods of time, and travelling with children who have special needs requires additional considerations. Whether you’re planning a short trip up North to go camping, or an eighteen-hour flight halfway across the world, preparedness is key to addressing the boredom your child will undoubtedly experience during those long stretches of time.
In the vein of being as prepared as possible and avoiding any unnecessary stress as you travel with your child this Summer, I have come up with several tips when packing in order to make your Summer vacation feel like more of a vacation, and less like a stressful first day of school.
Although most airports maintain strict rules when it comes to bringing liquids past security checkpoints, some people aren’t aware that you are in fact allowed to bring food on a plane. Food and snacks are absolute necessities when travelling with your child, especially because some children are picky eaters and may not want to eat the food provided by the airline. Ensure that the amount of food you bring takes into account the amount of time you will be travelling, your child’s appetite and eating habits. As well, be sure to check with your airline and also the International Customs Guidelines, which often prevent food items from crossing the border (leftovers will likely have to be thrown away at customs). Fresh fruit and vegetables are great snacking options when travelling.
Discomfort is an unfortunate reality when travelling, whether by plane, train or automobile. Remaining in a confined space for long intervals of time can lead to restlessness and consequently cause your child to act out. Making sure that your child is as comfortable as possible during your trip is one of the best approaches to a journey free from unnecessary complications. Think of the space that your child is confined to during your trip as their home away from home. Be sure to pack their favourite pillow, blanket, or even a set of pyjamas for those especially long trips. If you’re lucky, your child might just sleep through the whole thing!
To make your child feel even more at home when travelling, be sure to pack their favourite toy or stuffed animal. Bringing along an important reminder of home is a great way to ensure that your child is comfortable during your trip.
In an age of high technology, you have the entire world at your fingertips. A laptop, smartphone, or portable DVD player stocked with your child’s favourite videos and games is sure to keep them occupied and entertained for hours on end. If your child’s entertainment requires an Internet connection, don’t forget to download or stream their favourite shows, movies, or games well in advance. Since, mobile Internet connections can be notoriously unreliable, parents should also make sure to bring some tried and true options such as colouring books, construction paper, finger puppets, and stress balls.
Travelling with your special needs child is really no different than travelling with any other child because they are all bound to get bored eventually. The largest difference is the added concern with respect to health and safety. Writing up a pre-departure checklist to ensure you have brought any medication or any other items related to the nature of your child’s special needs is crucial to avoiding that last minute scramble on the day of your trip. As a pre-emptive measure, equipping your child with an id card specifying their name, the name of their guardian, their special needs, a contact number, and further instructions will prove to be especially helpful in the event of an emergency.
Have you learned any helpful tips from past trips with your special needs child? Share them by replying in the comments section below!
The entire month of May is Asthma Awareness Month, aimed at controlling the chronic illness through effective management and the development of Asthma Action Plans. Asthma and other respiratory disorders are common problems among children and a potential obstacle to the sometimes-strenuous nature of physical activity.
May is an ideal time to begin thinking about your child’s physical activity as the weather begins to warm up, allowing for more outdoor sports and recreational fun. Kids will be kids regardless of their respective physical abilities and one thing every single child thoroughly enjoys is engaging in play.
So, in honour of Asthma Awareness Month, we’ve come up with some asthma-friendly outdoor activities and helpful tips that you should try out with your child and their friends at their next play date. Keep in mind that these activities are suggestions that can be tailored to your child’s individual likes and dislikes. If a particular game doesn’t seem to be working, find out the reason why by communicating with your child and giving them primary control over their own fun.
Aquatic activities are great for children with asthma because they usually don’t require continuous exertion, allowing your child to take a break and drink fluids when they’re feeling tired. From water polo to marco polo, and everything in between, one of the most appealing attributes of swimming is the wide range of activities for your child to choose from. An additional bonus of swimming with your child in a supervised or public pool is the added security of having a trained lifeguard ensuring that you have a fun (and most importantly safe) experience.
A great way to develop strength and increase muscle flexibility, cycling is one of those quintessential warm weather sports. Biking is a great way of keeping your child active, safe, and independent. While your child is able to independently determine their own pace and cycling route in relation to their asthma, as a parent, you are able to maximize their safety through training wheels, helmets, and other safety equipment.
While having fun and keeping active should be the main goals of outdoor play, parents of children prone to asthma attacks should be especially aware of the sweet and cold triggers which usually accompany summertime fun.
A notable rise in body temperature is a natural result of physical activity. When your asthma-prone child has a frozen treat after an extended period of physical exertion, the sudden intake of a cold food product can increase the potential for constriction in their airways. Dairy products are believed by many to worsen asthma symptoms by promoting mucous formation, consequently restricting the flow of oxygen through the airways and making it more difficult to breathe. Non-dairy alternatives such as fruit-based smoothies or dried fruit snacks, combined with simple moderation and portion control are great first steps to ensuring that your day of fun outside does not inadvertently turn into an asthma episode.
Although warmer temperatures are great for promoting a more active outdoor lifestyle, parents and children must remain aware of the dangers of increased humidity which often accompany Spring and Summer weather. When it is both hot and humid outside, in combination with an increase in physical exertion, oxygen intake levels are significantly reduced. For children dealing with asthma, this reduction in oxygen intake can lead to breathing problems and trigger an asthma attack.
In order to keep this threat to an absolute minimum, ensure that your child is appropriately hydrated and that they rest to avoid exhaustion. Playing in shadier areas outside and taking advantage of protective clothing such as hats will also aid in preventing unmanageable increases in body temperature. When your child is having fun outside, they are more willing to incorporate physical activity into their lifestyle.
So if these tips and suggestions for incorporating outdoor activity into your child’s life sound like they might work for you and your child, give them a try and let us know how it all works out by leaving a reply in the comments section below.
Public Health Agency of Canada – Asthma Management
Asthma Society of Canada
The National Lung Health Framework
April 26, 2013 in Quotes
From the blog, Including your child in your daily life by Natan Gendelman
For those not familiar, family day care is quality, home based care and education services that are usually operated by a single individual out of their home. Catering for babies through to pre-teen age children, family day care creates a home-away-from-home experience in a warm, safe and stimulating atmosphere. The differences between traditional day care centres and family day care, outlined below, and worth considering in context of your own family’s needs before making a decision about which service is best for you and your children.
The five main differences or areas to consider when comparing traditional and family day care are affordability, flexibility, values and special needs, carers (consistency, training and education), and service availability and locations.
Family day care is possibly one of the most affordable childcare options, with an average daily cost of 75% of the cost of long day care in a traditional day care centre. Family day care is often charged on an hourly basis at a fee set by the at-home carer. Depending on the specific service provider, both traditional and family day care options can be eligible for government childcare benefits or rebates for increased affordability. Children with special needs, may be able to apply for funding through a centre or family day care – often may easier with a Director’s support in a traditional child care environment.
Family day care is often the only 24/7 child care service available. This means it is a truly flexible and versatile option, providing full-time, part-time or casual care depending on the requirements of the parents. Carers are normally available on week days, but family day also supports parents with unusual circumstances for example shift workers, those who requite respite during illness or people with jobs that require travel. Family day care’s core business is caring for young children but it also provides care for school age children up to the age of 12 offering families the flexibility of having all their children cared for in one home. Care is offered during standard hours, before and after school, during school holidays, overnight and weekends.
A lot of the time deciding between family day care and traditional centres can depend on your personal values and parenting philosophy or preferences. Family day care pride themselves on offering a personalised, warm, nurturing environment with strong family values and stronger carer/child bonds, while many traditional centres while also secure and nurturing point out that diversity and increased staff and training contributes to child minding in a different but arguably equally important way. Family day care is generally ideally suited to the unique needs of children with disabilities with some 30% of family day care educators armed with experience in caring for children with some kind of disability.
Traditional centres can’t always offer the same dependable consistency of carer, but may have other perceived benefits such as increased interaction and education opportunities as opposed to a home based one-on-one experience with the same person. Traditional day care staff members also typically have had additional professional training and qualifications to assist in the structured education related to early childhood. You also need to consider annual leave and illness, family day care educators aim to provide parents/guardians with two weeks notice of any planned holiday leave. Families requiring alternative care during their educator’s absence can discuss relief options with the local council or relevant department’s co-ordination unit for options. Fees are not usually charged while an educator is on holiday or sick leave.
It is quite common for family day care to be provided in regional, rural and remote areas, it’s often the preferred choice for families in these locations. For suburban and CBD based families however, traditional day care centres are more numerous and readily available, and although waiting lists might be commonplace, availability might still be better than an urban based family day care provider. Children with special needs may come across access issues in a family day care which is often not the case with a traditional childcare facility – particularly newer ones that are purpose built.
It is important to always consider all the factors between traditional and family day care for the best outcome for your own personal circumstances and your child’s needs. All parents want the best attention and care for their children when being minded beyond the home, so some research and visits to check out various centres or family care homes is highly recommended. Remember to trust your instincts as to what may represent the best fit and atmosphere for your child to flourish and thrive.
By Anthony Smith. For more information, visit http://www.guardianchildcare.net.au/
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