IF YOU LIVE in a cold climate, you should keep a complete emergency kit in your car. The National Weather Service suggests including: A mobile phone, charger and batteries. Blankets. A flashlight with extra batteries. A first-aid kit. A knife. High-calorie, non-perishable foods. Extra clothing to keep dry. A large empty can to use as emergency toilet, tissues and paper towels. A small can and waterproof matches to melt snow for drinking water. A container of sand or cat litter for traction. A shovel. A windshield scraper/brush. A tool kit. Battery booster cables. A container of water. Candles and matches. Compass and road maps.
If You’re Stuck Inside During a Winter Storm Winter storms are a fact of life in many cold climates. And if conditions are bad enough, the safest place is probably your home. The National Weather Service suggests what to do if you're stuck inside: If using a fireplace or wood stove, make sure these devices are properly vented. If you have a gas furnace, make sure its exhaust pipe isn't blocked by a snowdrift, as soon as it's safe to go out. If you have an upstairs gas furnace that vents out the roof, you may need to turn off the upstairs unit until the snow melts off your roof.
PLAYING AT THE playground is a rite of passage, but it doesn't come without risks. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported hospital emergency departments see more than 20,000 children aged 14 and younger for playground-related traumatic brain injuries each year. The National Safety Council offers these suggestions for evaluating a playground: Check out ground surfaces, which should be at least 12 inches deep and made of wood chips, mulch, wood fiber, sand, pea gravel or rubber mats. The area under and near equipment where a child might fall should be a minimum of 6 feet in all directions. Beware of hardware that could injure a child. Examples include bolts, hooks and rungs. Also watch for things that could catch on clothing. Children should never wear drawstring hoodies at the playground. To avoid trapping your child's head, there should be no openings that measure between 3 1/2 and 9 inches. Swings should be set far enough away from other equipment that kids won't be hit by a moving swing. Children under age 4 shouldn't play on climbing equipment or horizontal ladders. Spring-loaded seesaws are best for young kids. Avoid adjustable seesaws with chains because kids can crush their hands under the chains. Avoid metal or wooden swing seats in favor of softer materials. Watch for sharp edges on equipment.
Ski and Snowboard Safely With Your Kids Skiing and snowboarding are great ways to keep your family active during the cold winter months, and for most, people tend to ski during the Spring Break holidays in March. To make sure you’re keeping up with as much time on the slopes, it’s also important to schedule breaks to go inside and warm up. The American Academy of Pediatrics offers these suggestions for skiing or snowboarding with your children: Children should be taught to ski or snowboard by a qualified instructor in a program designed for children. Never ski or snowboard alone. Young children should always be supervised by an adult. Older children's need for adult supervision depends on their maturity and skill. If older children are not with an adult, they should always be accompanied by a friend. All skiers and snowboarders should wear helmets. Equipment should fit the child and be tuned every year. Snowboarders should wear gloves with built-in wrist guards. Eye protection or goggles also should be used. Slopes should be appropriately matched with the ability and experience of the skier or snowboarder. Avoid skiing or snowboarding in areas with trees or other obstacles.
DIETING MIGHT BE one of the most grueling tasks we ask for each year, and most struggle with some form of dietary ailment. The U.S. Department of Agriculture reported that a key to successful dieting is to enjoy your food more, while eating less. Sounds like that alone could be a challenge. But the department continues to suggest that your meals should include all food groups yet limit sugar, salt and saturated fat. The USDA also offers these additional suggestions: Learn the ingredients in all foods and beverages you consume, which will help you make healthier choices. Eat slowly, enjoy the taste and texture of your food and pay attention to how you feel. Use a smaller plate. Chose healthier options if you eat out. Feed your sweet tooth with fruit, instead of choices with added sugar. Eat more vegetables, fruit and whole grains. Opt for calorie-free beverages, such as water, unsweetened tea or sparkling water, over soda and alcoholic drinks. Make sweets a once-in-a-while treat. It's OK to indulge occasionally, not daily.
Eat Healthier at Work Overeating on a regular basis can lead to weight gain. About 25 percent of adults eat 1,300 calories weekly from food they buy or get free at work, the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics says. The academy recommends limiting these workplace snacks:
- French fries.
- Cookies and brownies.
- Soft drinks.
- Potato chips.
Nutritional Needs for Your Teen Teens typically have a significant increase in appetite around the age of 10 in girls and 12 in boys, the American Academy of Pediatrics said. During adolescence, boys require an average of 2,800 calories per day and girls an average of 2,200 calories per day. Hunger typically starts to subside once teens stop growing, the academy adds. But taller teens and those who play sports may require more calories into late adolescence, according to reports.
THERE COMES A time during the day when eyes begin to droop, and behavior shifts from uplifting to downright tantrums. Children and adults vary on how much sleep is needed to function. For example, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics, the amount of sleep a child needs varies at different ages. While different kids of the same age may require different amounts, there are science-based guidelines of suggested sleep amounts for each age, the academy reported. Here are the guidelines:
- Infants: (4 to 12 months): 12 to 16 hours per day/night.
- Toddlers: (1 to 2 years) 11 to 14 hours.
- Preschoolers: (3 to 5 years) 10 to 13 hours.
- Grade schoolers: (6 to 12 years): 9 to 12 hours.
- Teens: (13 to 18 years): 8 to 12 hours.
Recognize Signs of Sleep Deficiency You probably have sleep deficiency if you don't get enough sleep in general, you sleep at the wrong time of day or you don't fall asleep normally or stay asleep, the U.S. National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute reported. The agency says you may be sleep deficient if you often doze off while:
- Reading or watching TV.
- Sitting in a public place, such as a movie theater, meeting or classroom.
- Riding in a car.
- Talking to someone.
- Sitting quietly after eating.
INJURY TO THE brain can occur from a significant blow to the head or by rapid movements of the head that force the brain the bounce around in the skull. Every nine seconds, someone in the United States sustains a brain injury. From 2018 through this year, the #ChangeYourMind campaign through the Brain Injury Association of America launched to provide a platform for educating the general public about the incidence of brain injury and the needs of people with brain injuries and their families. More than 3.5 million children and adults sustain an acquired brain injury each year. Significant swelling or bleeding inside the skull can result in increased pressure that damages brain tissue. There are a variety of head and brain injuries, including concussions, sports injuries and combat related TBI, or Traumatic Brain Injury. Sports injuries are common with contact sports. Combat-related TBI are with individuals who have post-concussive syndrome or symptoms that occur after traumatic brain injuries often have problems with functions such as attention, judgement, memory, ability to coordinate activities and effective cooperation. Through #ChangeYourMind campaign, the association seeks to de-stigmatize brain injury through outreach within the brain injury community, empower survivors and their caregivers and promote support available to those with injuries.
Concussion Recovery for Children A concussion is a brain injury that results from an impact to the head. While it usually isn't life-threatening, a concussion can cause short-term and long-term problems. the New York State Department of Health reported parents and caregivers of concussed children should take an active role in their recovery. The agency suggests: Make sure the child is well rested. Make sure the child avoids high-risk and high-speed activities. Do not give medicine the pediatrician hasn't approved.