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Archive for October, 2011

Tips For A Safe and Happy Halloween!

Tips For A Safe and Happy Halloween!

Fall - Infant

Going trick-or-treating?  Here are some safety tips to keep in mind while you enjoy a spooky fun night with your children.

S– Swords, knives, and similar costume accessories should be short, soft and flexible.

A– Avoid trick-or-treating alone. Walk in groups or with a trusted adult.

F– Fasten reflective tape to costumes and bags to help drivers see you.

E– Examine all treats for choking hazards and tampering before eating them.  Limit the amount of treats you eat.


H– Hold a flashlight while trick-or-treating to help you see and others see you.  Always WALK and don’t run from house to

A–  Always test make-up in a small area first.  Remove it before bedtime to prevent possible skin and eye irritation.

L– Look both ways before crossing the street. Use established crosswalks wherever possible.

L– Lower your risk of serious eye injury by not wearing decorative contact lenses.

O– Only walk on sidewalks whenever possible, or on the far edge of the road facing traffic to stay safe.

W– Wear well-fitting masks, costumes, and shoes to avoid blocked vision, trips, and falls.

E– Eat only factory-wrapped treats.  Avoid eating homemade treats made by strangers.

E– Enter homes only if you’re with a trusted adult.

N– Never walk near lit candles or luminaries.  Be sure to wear flame- resistant costumes.


Have fun on Halloween but keep it safe!


Written by: The Department of Health and Human Services


Bullying and Teasing: No Laughing Matter

Bullying and Teasing: No Laughing Matter

            Now that your child has started school they will be experiencing a lot of things in life that are both positive and negative.  One of the most negative experiences that a child goes through is learning how to deal with bullying and teasing.  Unfortunately, teasing is often part of growing up.  Almost every child experiences it either as the perpetrator or victim.  Children need to understand that words can cause pain.  Teasing becomes bullying when it is repetitive or when there is a conscious intent to hurt another child.  There are three kinds of bullying to have your child be aware of.  There is verbal bullying (making threats, name-calling), psychological bullying (excluding children, spreading rumors), or physical bullying (hitting, pushing, or taking a child’s possessions).

            Children bully for a variety of reasons.  Sometimes they pick on kids who are emotionally or physically weaker, or just to feel more important, popular, or in control.  There are also those children who may not even know they are doing it because that’s how they are treated at home or in other environments.  There are some warning signs that you can look for if you think your child is being bullied.  They may show increased passivity or withdrawal, frequent crying, coming up with excuses to not go to school (stomachache or headaches), unexplained bruises, sudden drop in grades or other learning problems, significant changes in social life, and simply just not acting like themselves on a daily basis. 

            It is important to keep open communication with your child.  If your child tells you about a bully or witnessing bullying, focus on offering comfort and support, no matter how upset you are.  It is a big step if they come to you first.  Kids are often reluctant to tell adults in fear of feeling embarrassed, ashamed or not taken seriously.   Make sure you praise your child for being brave enough to talk about it.  Remind your child that he or she isn’t alone and that a lot of people get bullied at some point.  Emphasize that it’s the bully who is behaving badly and not your child.  Reassure your child that you will figure out what to do together and that they are not alone.  You should also be in contact with the teacher and let them be aware of the situation or ask them if they see anything significant going on.  That way your child gets the support at school and at home.   If your child seems hesitant to open up to you, stress the importance of talking to anyone including a friend, teacher, sibling or other family member. 

            There are certain strategies that you can share with your child that may lessen the teasing or stop it all together.  They should always have a buddy.  Tell your child to pick a friend to walk with, play with, eat lunch with or to sit with on the bus.  Bullies are more reluctant to approach someone when they are with other people.   The old rule usually works in this situation (if you ignore it, it will go away).  Tell your child to walk away or start talking to someone else.  The bully will most likely get bored of not getting a reaction and will stop trying to bother him or her.  Instead you can encourage them to play with children that help build their confidence and join a sports program or activity to make new friends. This will help them feel confident and strong about themselves.

            School is a big adjustment for children without adding stressful situations on top of it.  Hopefully this helps you and your child to get through tough experiences while still teaching the importance of school and believing in yourself.


Written By: D’Arcy Lyness, PhD

Adapted By: Kim Hensinger