What does your day care know about swine flu (H1N1 flu) and what measures are they urged to follow? The Centers for Disease Control have recently issued updated guidelines to day cares on how to combat the spread of this virus.
Here’s what your day care should have been told:
1. Encourage all staff to get vaccinated.
2. Make sure children’s and staff’s hands are washed often with soap and water, and especially after children cough or sneeze. Keep alcohol-based hand cleaner nearby if a sink isn’t readily available.
3. Remind children and staff not to touch their eyes, nose or mouth as germs are often spread this way.
4. Clean the environment regularly. Dirty areas and items should be cleaned immediately, especially play areas and toys.
5. Day care staffers deemed to be high risk for flu complications and parents of children younger than age 5 who become ill with flu-like symptoms should call their doctor immediately to see if they are in need of antiviral treatment.
6. If a swine flu outbreak is severe, staff should consider closing the day care center to decrease the spread of infection. A decision to close should be made in conjunction with local public health officials.
7. Remind staff to stay home and parents to keep a sick child at home when they have flu-like symptoms. Send sick staff home immediately. If a child become ill at the day care, move them to a separate, but supervised, area until a parent can pick them up.
If an outbreak becomes more severe or symptoms more dangerous as the fall and winter season approach, the following guidelines should also be considered:
1. Let high-risk staffers stay at home.
2. Increase the distance between children; separate children into small groups of six or less.
3. Have children stay home if there are others in the child’s household who have the swine flu.
4. Inform parents of sick children and sick staff members that they should say home for at least 7 days.
5. Close the day care center either as a reaction to the outbreak or even as a preventative measure.
For more information about swine flu, go to http://www.cdc.gov/h1n1flu/.
Here’s to hoping we and our children stay healthy this flu season.
I had the great opportunity last week to go to a class sponsored by the Oklahoma City-County Health Department at the Edmond Library, called ”Common Challenges with Toddlers.”
As a parent of a toddler, I knew I couldn’t possibly be the only one who experiences the store -induced temper tantrums, the difficulties with getting him to eat, and dealing with this little person who is constantly asserting his independence.
I was greatly assured that yes, thankfully, my child is completely normal and not a pint-sized T-Rex.
Here are seven great tips I learned:
1. Don’t ask questions that require simply a yes or no answer. Instead, give your toddler some choices. But be sure you can live with any of the choices.
2. Avoid power struggles. It takes two to argue, so take yourself out of the equation. Consider allowing him to be his own boss, unless he poses harm to himself or others.
3. Children won’t do what doesn’t work. Ignore temper tantrums. Easier said than done, but if you want the tantrums to stop, you’ll have to stop reacting to them.
4. Make a statement. When talking to him about his day, don’t ask questions, but instead make statements. I tried this and it works! Instead of “Did you play outside today?” try “So you played outside today!” You’ll get lots more response from your little person.
5. Use descriptive commentary. Like a sports announcer, talk about what they’re doing as they’re doing it. It promotes conversation, builds vocabulary and makes them feel important.
6. Focus on behaviors you want, not the ones you don’t want. Instead of “stop running” say “I like it when you walk next to Mommy.” And always be specific in your praise. Just saying “Good girl” won’t let them know what exactly they’re being good about.
7. Use humor, and keep your sense of humor. Your toddler is learning to be an independent person and it can be a fun time if you just let it happen.
The health department has a great lineup of workshops and parent talks. I highly recommend attending. Their staff is knowledgeable and they give great advice. Go to www.occhd.org and click on the Parent Express Newsletter or call 425-4412 to find out what’s coming to a location near you.
Oklahoma City-County Health Department’s Child Guidance program is offering FREE parenting sessions at the Edmond Library on Sept. 9. These are individual sessions lasting 30-45 minutes and will be conducted with a speech pathologist and child development specialist.
Discussions will allow for parenting questions in areas of speech, language, development and behavior. Children don’t need to be present but may attend.
Sessions are by appointment only. To schedule an appointment, call 425-4412. For more information about this program or others, call 427-8651 or go to www.cchdoc.com.
If so, a class at the Edmond Library Wednesday may be just the thing to help you.
Sponsored by the Oklahoma City-County Health Department, “Common Challenges with Toddlers” is a free program focusing on common issues of this age group, including temper tantrums, biting and trouble sharing. Parents will learn how to minimize their frustrations with these behaviors and learn solutions to help put an end to them.
The program is from 3:30 to 5 p.m. at the library, 10 S. Boulevard.
If you want to enroll, call 425-4412. If you can’t go, no worries. I’ll be there taking very detailed notes and I’ll be sharing what I learn and posting it here.
My son is 3, which means he’s suddenly eligible for all sorts of extracurricular activities (otherwise known as energy-burning-so-he-doesn’t-run-circles-around-the-house activities).
So there he is … signed up for everything I could get my hands on. Gymnastics: One night a week. Swim lessons: Two nights a week. Soccer: Practice one night, and games on the weekends. Yes, he’s only 3.
There may be a misconception here that I’m sort of a stage mom. A “boys-need-sports” stage mom. But really, I just want my toddler to be active from an early age and to experience various sports so that he’ll be open to more than just one activity. I don’t want him to get into couch-potato mode.
I just know that all the running around can leave me a bit running-ragged. My son seems to enjoy it but ends up pretty cranky by the time it’s time to go home or leave the activity. Carrying him kicking and screaming through the gymnastics facility’s parking lot makes me wonder if it’s really worth it.
Any thoughts? Do you have your young children in sports? How do you make sure you have enough down time in your child’s day? Comment here or email me at email@example.com
School starts back next Tuesday for my kids.
Anyone else ready for their children to get back into school?
I wouldn’t have expected to be so happy about this. But our house has seemed even more chaotic than usual. I’m not sure that it’s actually that the kids are out of school. I think the strain is partially caused by the stress of preparing to go to school.
Beyond the usual requirements of getting school supplies and some added clothing items to round out their wardrobes, we also are dealing with three information day sessions we need to attend, band meetings, band camp, doctors’ appointments, daycare enrollment, transportation issues with busing my young son to and from daycare, freshman orientation, both daughters’ worries that they won’t have friends in their classes, orthodontist and dentist appointments, approaching birthday party planning, passports for an overseas band trip …
And did I mention the frenzy of cash flowing out of our pockets to pay for many *incidental* things?
Last night, as my daughter asked me a question repeatedly after I had answered twice, I started to count to 50 … not 10, but 50.
At first, I thought, “What is happening to our family?” For several days we had all been snapping at each other, voices were being raised. Everyone, except maybe for the youngest member of our family, was ready to get away from each other.
Then, it occurred to me that maybe the stresses, anticipation, extra this and that were taking their toll.
So, yes, I think we’re ready to start school.
Then, we can deal with sleep issues, homework, ballgames, teacher conferences, lunches, juggling schedules and mealtimes …..
– Linda Lynn
My son is in the midst of a transition right now. He is getting ready to start a new day care and after talking to another provider, I learned that there is much information available about the place my son will be cared for.
I started my search for information at www.okdhs.org. From there, you can click on the ‘child care locator/summary of facility monitoring’ link and type in the name of the day care you want to know more about. But you’ll only see general information. It doesn’t cite specific complaints or violations.
So I called the local DHS office and found out that anyone can go take a look at a daycare’s complete file. Just call the DHS licensing division at 767-2650 at least 24 hours in advance so they can prepare the file for you, and you’ll be in the know.
Most of the information should also be available at the daycare itself. You can ask any provider to see their compliance folder and they are obligated to let you look through it. If they won’t let you or if they say they don’t have one, contact DHS and let them know.
You can never be too careful or thorough when it comes to your child’s daycare.
The milestones seem to come and go so quickly. There’s the weaning off of bottles. The “disappearance” of the pacifier. Getting rid of dirty diapers … for good! And then there is …
THE TODDLER BED.
For two hours last weekend, I converted my son’s crib, Transformer-style, into a toddler bed. My son was ecstatic. I was relieved. “A big boy bed!”
I dutifully padded the floor around it, just in case of an accidental roll-out. I tucked him in for a nap and he did great. No major injuries, no crying fits. Then came the real test … sleeping through the night. I put him to bed, woke up the next morning and my first thought was “Wow! That worked! How easy is this!”
Not so fast.
There they were. Two little feet nestled next to my head. My son sound asleep next to me. A middle-of-the-night escape.
OK, I thought … so maybe it would take a night or two for him to get used to his bed. Maybe he got scared. Maybe there’s dinosaurs in his closet. But now it’s Friday. And I’m still waking up every morning to a visitor in my bed.
Now, I’ve seen all the nanny shows on TV. I’ve seen parents repeatedly put their kids back into their own beds, where they belong. But what do you do when they sneak out of their bed every night and you don’t know until you have a knee in your rib or an arm draped over your head the next morning?
If you have any ideas, short of deadbolting his door shut, please let me know!
-Erica Smith, Copy Editor
The Oklahoma City-County Health Department has scheduled free parenting sessions at the Edmond Library on Wednesday, July 8. The sessions are for parents and caregivers.
These individual sessions will last about 30 to 45 minutes and will be with a speech/language pathologist and child development specialist. They will go over what’s normal in early development and discuss any questions and concerns parents or caregivers may have about speech, language development and behavior. Children do not need to be present (although they may attend) and sessions are by appointment only.
Call the child guidance program at 425-4412 to schedule an appointment. For more information, call 427-8651 or go to www.cchdoc.com.
A couple of weeks ago, I described instances where my son can be a little more outgoing than I would like or feel comfortable with.
He has tried to tone it down for me a bit since then … even reminding me, “Mommy, remember don’t say hi.”
But Shari, a Hiccups reader, offered me some perspective on it. Her daughter, Penelope, was also a chatty one growing up. She tried methods I’m pretty familiar with … no eye contact, directing my responses only my child, trying to hurry in stores. Not only because she didn’t feel like talking (much like me) but also for her daughter’s safety.
Growing up, Penelope continued to be social, meeting interesting people and being able to share interesting stories.
Her advice: Watch my son closely, but allow him the joy of being friendly. She said he’ll go far in life with an outgoing personality.
Thank you, Shari. I sincerely hope I’m not stifling my little boy. Maybe I just need to relax a little and be more willing to sacrifice my own quiet time to let him be himself.
-Erica Smith, Copy Editor