Monday, February 8, 2016

Protect Yourself Against Carbon Monoxide

Carbon monoxide is a year-round concern, but during the winter months when windows and doors are shut tight, awareness is heightened. We hear many more news stories with related carbon monoxide-induced accidents. Carbon monoxide is known as a silent killer found in the fumes created when fuel is burning. These fumes can come from cars, stoves, grills, fireplaces, and water heaters. Unfortunately, carbon monoxide cannot be seen or smelled but the effects are dangerous, sometimes fatal.
            The most common symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning include headache, dizziness, weakness, upset stomach, vomiting, chest pain, and deliriousness. Some of these symptoms can mirror the flu, so be cautious if a charge presents these ailments. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) suggests taking the following steps to help prevent carbon monoxide poisoning:
  • Have the mechanic inspect your car’s exhaust system annually.
  • Never let a car sit idle inside the garage, even if the garage door is open.
  • In the event of inclement weather, make sure your tailpipe is not blocked with snow, ice, leaves, or other debris.
  • Keep children away from the exhaust pipe of a running vehicle.
  • Install carbon monoxide detectors on each level of your home. There are many brands that make a smoke/carbon monoxide detector combined. Check the battery regularly.
  • Clean chimneys regularly to avoid build up that could cause a carbon monoxide build up.
  • If there is a generator in the home, make sure that it is less than 20 feet from the window or door.

We hope these tips will help you have a safe and cozy winter!

Thursday, January 21, 2016

Volunteer With PNN!

According to the US Census Bureau, Philadelphia has the highest poverty rate among the nation’s ten largest cities. That means 1 in 4 Philadelphians live in poverty with over 100,000 of those being kids. Volunteering and donating in your neighborhood can help change those statistics. Over the years, PNN has encouraged nannies to bring clothing, toys, and everyday supplies to our get togethers so they could be donated to Cradles to Crayons, an organization with the mission of providing children ages 0 to 12 some of the most important basics of life—free of charge. This year, we have taken it one step further and made it our mission to not only donate goods, but to volunteer. With the generous help of PNN’s Volunteer Liaison, Ellen Owen, we geared up for the challenge. On January 9th, Ellen, along with PNN staff and nannies, volunteered at our local Cradles to Crayons in Conshohocken to help clean toys and other supplies for children in need. On February 13th, Ellen is organizing a second volunteer event. Now is the time to help provide children newborns through 12 years living in low-income situations thrive at home and in school. Working at a volunteer station such as Clothing Sort, Outfits, School Supplies, Shoes, Toys, or Shopping, for two hours, gives a valuable gift to those in need.

Join us! Click to register for Team PNN’s February 13th event from 10a-12p. Register

Thursday, January 14, 2016

New Year's Resolutions Can Be for Kids Too!

Every January, adults around the world set goals for the new year. The American Academy of Pediatrics suggests that children can also take part in this global trend by working on resolutions relevant to their age group. Potential resolutions for your charge include:

Ages 3-5
  • Wash hands repeatedly throughout the day.
  • Put toys back where they belong when playtime is over.
  • Be nice to other children on the playground and in school.
  • Learn two new things each week.
Ages 6-12
  • Limit the amount of daily sugary drinks.
  • Learn a new sport or activity.
  • Find a balance between technology and outdoor play.
  • Make new friends.
  • Follow all home and school safety rules.
Ages 13-18
  • Eat the recommended daily serving of fruits and vegetables.
  • Find a healthy balance between online and face-to-face interaction.
  • Resist peer pressure.
  • Ask for help from adults when needed.
  • Treat people with respect.
  • If applicable, do not text and drive.
Now that you and your charge have your 2016 resolutions set, have fun motivating one another!
Happy New Year from PNN!

Thursday, December 24, 2015

Play Safe with Holiday Gifts!

With the holidays, children are gifted with new toys and trinkets from well-meaning loved ones. While everyone enjoys a child’s face when they open a new gift, be sure to follow all safety precautions when introducing a new item. The goal is for playtime to be hazard-free. Here are some tips for safe gifting:
  •  Choose age appropriate toys. Toy packaging notes the proper age group for a specific toy. Choose gifts that are suitable for the child’s skills, abilities, and will spark their interest.
  •  Follow directions. Before handing a new toy to a child, be sure to read the instructions. This is best to do before buying the item to ensure that there are no serious dangers.
  •  Buy safety accessories. If purchasing items such as a bike, skateboard, scooter, skates, or the new hot ticket hover board, buy the necessary safety gear. Items such as arm/knee pads and helmets should be added as part of the gift.
  •   Properly dispose of packaging. Tags, zip ties, plastic bags, and staples are just some of the harmful debris that comes with new packaging. It is best for the parent or caregiver to open the new item prior to playtime, or be vigilant about the cleanup of a torn open package.
  •  Pay attention. Monitor children when they are playing with a new toy. Be sure that the child is capable of managing the toy and no safety concerns arise.
  •  Store toys after playtime. Put toys away when they are not in use. Tripping, stepping, or falling on a toy left lying around can cause an avoidable accident!
Remember, play safe and play smart!

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Talking To Kids About Tragedy

In light of the recent Paris attacks and continued fight against terrorism, parents and caregivers around the world are a little more vigilant and keeping a closer eye on their environment during their daily activities. When tragedies occur, how do parents and caregivers explain abstruse situations to innocent children?
Begin by finding out what they already know. Never assume children know all details. They may have walked by a room when adults were talking or listened to snippets of the news. Launching into unnecessary detail may cause information to be shared or exaggerated or cause undue fear.
With children, the more lucid the explanation, the easier it is for everyone. Analogies are a great form of communication for young children. Relate the occurring tragedy to situations they encounter every day. Children should be informed about their surroundings, never fear them. Acknowledge which emotion they could be harboring and reassure them that they are secure with you. Children need to know that they have safe places where no harm can come their way. Allow children to ask questions before providing them with excess details. Too much information can sometime cause more fear than security.
Prepare children. In case of emergency, they need to know who to contact, where to go, and that someone is there to protect them. Watching the news (age appropriate) with children gives allowance for age appropriate dialog. The older they become, the more detailed the conversation will be. In today’s world, the most important thing a parent, or caregiver, can do is to monitor their surroundings and take all necessary precautions for safety. Talking to Kids About Tragedy

Monday, November 30, 2015

Introducing Sesame Street’s Julia

There is a new neighbor on Sesame Street! The newest muppet created by Sesame Workshop is Julia, a preschool girl with autism. Julia is described as a girl who “does things a little differently.” The character invention comes one year after Sesame Workshop partnered with Autism Speaks to raise awareness and to help educate families. Not only can you see Julia on the Sesame Street television program, but parents and caregivers can also go online, or download the app, to receive helpful tools and advice caring for children with autism.
Just as a young child is beginning to walk and function by themselves, one of the most trying experiences for a parent is to be told that their child may be on the autism spectrum.  Unfortunately, there is a rise in the number of parents that are faced with this issue.  One in every 68 children in the US is diagnosed as being on the spectrum for autism. What does being on the spectrum mean? Autism Speaks defines it as, “having exceptional abilities in visual skills, music and academic skills.” About 40 percent have intellectual disability (IQ less than 70), and many have normal to above average intelligence. Indeed, many individuals on the spectrum take pride in their distinctive abilities and “atypical” ways of viewing the world. Others with autism have significant disability and are unable to live independently. About 25 percent of individuals with ASD (Autism Spectrum Disorder) are nonverbal but can learn to communicate using other means.
             Julia is not only a character. She is a learning tool. Julia inspires feelings of understanding, compassion, acceptance, and determination. Sesame Street believes that this new character will “reduce stigma, and demonstrate the commonalities that children with Autism share with all children.”

Monday, November 2, 2015

CDC Helping Fight the Flu

The 2015-2016 flu season has arrived. The flu virus is constantly changing so it is not uncommon for a new virus strand to appear each year. The CDC recommends that everyone 6 months of age and older receive a flu vaccine. It is best to be vaccinated before flu season, or as early as possible into the season, to ensure that as many people as possible are protected against the virus before flu season goes into full affect. While vaccination is the first step in prevention, the CDC has a few other helpful tips for fighting the flu this season:
  • Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water.
  • Clean and disinfect surfaces and objects that may be contaminated with germs such as the flu.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth. Germs spread this way.
Flu symptoms can include fever, cough, sore throat, nasal congestion, body aches, headaches, chills, and fatigue. In some cases, someone could also experience vomiting and diarrhea. If these symptoms occur, contact a medical professional. And if feeling flu-like symptoms, please be aware of spreading germs in the workplace.