Head Lice

Prevention and Elimination of Head Lice

Head Lice

Back to school means a lot of things to parents and kids. For kids, it can mean a chance to have some time away from home and to enjoy learning while spending time with friends. For parents, it is wonderful to know the kids are in a safe place and that teachers and others are taking the time to help children learn and develop skills.

But on the other side of things there can also be some negative issues to deal with. For instance, because the kids are exposed to more opportunities to get sick, they are more likely to come down with colds and other ailments. In fact, for many, head lice can be a concern.

What Is Head Lice?

Head lice live on human hairs. Lice can spread from one child to another and in some cases, they can be difficult to eliminate.

Lice live on the hair and feed on tiny increments of blood from the scalp. Not surprisingly, they can cause annoying and irritating itching. However, because lice do not spread disease they are not considered dangerous. Even so, the itching results in scratching that can potentially lead to an infection. Obviously, at the first signs of lice you should begin treatments.

What to Look for

The first sign of lice is usually noticed when a child begins scratching – but this may be quite a while after the initial contact with lice.

Lice are small but they can be seen with the naked eye. Lice eggs are called nits. Nits are laid on hair shafts near the scalp. Nits are a yellow to yellow-tan color and look similar to small dandruff flakes – but nits do not brush off.

The eggs hatch in about a week or a little longer and the shell is left behind. In about 2 weeks the baby lice become adults.

Head Lice

What to Do

If you think your child is infested with head lice you should consult with your doctor. He/she may want to provide antibiotics or other treatments. Otherwise, you can use head lice treatments that are available over-the-counter at most drugstores and discount department stores.

Let your child’s school know what is going on. In most cases the child will be allowed to return to school after a single treatment.

To prevent a re-infestation you should wash the bed linens and clothes that have been used/worn by the child. Stuffed animals should also be washed or at least placed in an air-tight bag for a few days. Rugs should be washed, shampooed or at least vacuumed and the vacuum cleaner bag should be discarded.

Combs, brushes, and hair accessories should be thoroughly cleaned with alcohol.

Preventing Head Lice

Although there may not be a way to guarantee against head lice, there are some steps you and your child can take to minimize the risks. Start with the obvious, teach your child not to have head-to-head contact with other kids.

Stress the importance of not sharing hair brushes, combs, hats, caps, or hair accessories with others. If possible, tell your child not to hang his/her coat/jacket or scarf next another child’s.

Another very important point to note is that head lice can happen to anyone – it does not matter how often they bathe or shampoo their hair or how rich or poor they are. And although having head lice is frustrating, it will not last long. In fact, if the problem persists for more than a week or if the scalp is red or irritated, it is best to seek professional help from your doctor.

This Package From Santa blog offers tips and advice about topics that range from kids’ health to family finances, holiday decorations, and recipes. Visit often to stay up-to-date on the information!

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About Charity

Teaching Your Kids About Charity

About Charity

Teaching your kids about charity may sound like a difficult topic, but in reality, it’s all about making ‘giving’ a part of family lifestyle. In fact, you are probably already ‘giving’ on a regular basis. Your kids will naturally learn about charity as you model a giving spirit.

However, there are some ways that children – even young children, can get involved in charity – and the more they ‘give’ the more likely is it that charity will become a way of life.

Keep reading for some ideas about ways to get your kids involved in the spirit of giving.

Donations of Clothing, Toys and other Items

Clothing needs to be sorted and organized at the change of every season. For one reason or another, there will always be some garments that no longer fit our bodies or our tastes. Every parent can attest to how fast children out-grow their clothes.

Toys are also problematic. As kids grow and learn their interests change. Other things like small kitchen appliances and home décor can lose their appeal over time.

However, this does not mean the clothing, toys, or other items are useless. There is sure to be someone that would appreciate having them.

So get the kids involved in the process. Let them help sort and organize and make some decisions about items they would like to donate

Helping Others

There is always a way to help others. Whether you pitch-in to help a neighbor with yard work, you do clean-up work at a church or school, or you participate in a community service-oriented project, this kind of helping is a wonderful form of charity.

About Charity

 

Create Times to Give

Holidays and birthdays can be perfect times to remember and give to others. During the holiday season you can create food baskets and donate them to a church, or local charity. You can visit a nursing home to donate some time in a positive way. When family members celebrate their birthdays you can make a charitable donation in their name.

Donate to Charities & Causes That Matter to You

If you are an animal lover you may want to donate time or items like pet food, toys, blankets or other pet items to a local shelter. There are plenty of organizations that can use support and help. Consider shelters for the homeless, food kitchens and other agencies that are meaningful. In fact, your family may want to decide together on a worthwhile charitable organization that all can contribute to on a monthly or annual basis. This can be accomplished by creating a fund that all contribute to. For instance, kids might add a small portion of their allowance each week. After a pre-determined amount of money is collected it can be contributed toward the cause.

Teaching children about charity is really all about demonstrating and involving them in giving. Keep reading this Package From Santa blog for more ideas about issues that matter to families.

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End of Summer Break

Make End of Summer Break Fun

End of Summer Break

Summer break will be ending soon so it’s not surprising that many families are struggling to make the most of the time left. The good news is, you don’t have to take a luxury vacation or spend a small fortune to have some great fun. In fact, you don’t even have to leave your own back yard.

Simple Pleasures That Everyone Enjoys

Put the focus on easy ways to have fun. Spending time together as a family is an excellent way to strengthen bonds. The more time you spend together the better you come to know each other. Put a focus on simple pleasures that can be enjoyed by each family member.

End of Summer Break

Summer and Water Go Together

The hot days of July and August are ideal for cooling off with water activities. Don’t have a pool? No worries! Just pull out the water hose and attach a sprinkler or spray nozzle. Then sit back and watch as the fun begins!

You Gotta Eat!

Who doesn’t love a great picnic? The truth is, eating outdoors just seems to make food more fun. Whether you opt to indulge in a barbeque cookout, a simple picnic in your backyard, or you just have dessert or a delicious treat in the open air, eating outdoors is more memorable the usual mealtime routines.

End of Summer Break

Fun After Dark

Just because the sun goes down does not have to mean your fun is over. There are lots of options for continuing the fun. You could throw down some blankets and spend time star-gazing. See how many of the constellations you can find and name.

Put up a tent and camp out in your backyard. That provides the fun of camping out along with the luxuries of home!

Build a fire and roast some marshmallows. This provides a fabulous opportunity to tell stories or even to have sing-a-longs.

The reality is, there are countless fun ways to end the summer break. Why not try a few of the ideas mentioned and some of your own? You’re sure to enjoy the time and you will be creating memories that your children will cherish!

Keep visiting this Package From Santa blog for more great tips and ideas about a variety of topics.

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Make Back to School Time Less Stressful

Tips That Make Back to School Time Less Stressful

Back to School

Back to school time is just around the corner. So it’s not surprising that families are beginning to make preparations. This may include everything from shopping for new clothes to buying school supplies or a new laptop.

But even when you have all the things you need, this time of year can be stressful. After all, kids have gotten into the habit of sleeping later and may prefer playing video games or spending time outdoors to reading, writing and arithmetic.

Nights and Mornings

Obviously, kids will need to readjust their schedules. Rather than waiting until school starts, it is best to begin the change sooner. For instance, if your kids have been staying up until 10:30 pm through the summer and you want them to have a 9 pm bedtime when school starts, you should begin by enforcing a 10 pm bedtime. After a week or so you can move that time up to 9:30 pm. And again, wait about a week or two and move the time to 9 pm.   

Staggering the change in this gradual approach assures that your kids have time to adjust to the new bedtimes.

Similarly, you can use this approach in morning routines. By making adjustments in 30 minute increments, there is little concern that your kids will be upset about the change.

Back to School

Get Into the Routine Again

Just as kids will need to have a regular bedtime and a time to get up, they will also need to get back into the habit of having homework completed, clothes ready for school, quick and easy personal hygiene routines, access to a fast and nutritious breakfast, and the list goes on. It just makes sense to work at getting back into these routines before school actually starts.

As a parent, you can help by enforcing some rules now. For instance, you could require your kids to read or spend some time writing or working on math for a few minutes each day. This will not only get them in the habit of working on school-related activities, it will also help freshen their skills, which of course, will be helpful now and later.

You can also get your kids in the habit of a regular time for their baths or showers and other personal hygiene activities. In addition, kids can lay out their clothes the night before – even if it is play clothes.

Back to School

Great Breakfast Ideas

Cereal and fruit is a good breakfast idea – it’s quick and easy and it’s nutritious. Other options include oatmeal, waffles with peanut butter instead of syrup, or a ham and egg sandwich.

No matter what, it is important that your kids start their day off with a healthy breakfast.

Taking the time to help prepare your kids early for the changes they face will help make the transition from summer into school time less stressful for everyone.

This Package From Santa blog provides tips and advice about everything from writing letters to Santa to topics about kids’ health and home décor. 

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Water Safety Tips

Water Safety Tips: Staying Safe Around Water

Water Safety Tips

Summer is heating up and with that more and more people are heading for the lake, swimming pools, and other sources of water. Whether you are swimming or just spending time around water, there are some essential safety tips you should keep in mind.

Ideally, you and your family members will know how to swim. The Red Cross offers swimming lessons for different age-groups. You can find out more by calling 1-800-RED-CROSS.

In addition to knowing how to swim, these water safety tips will help ensure your water-related activities create memories you will cherish.

Swimming Safety

1)      Only swim in designated areas.

2)      Never swim alone.

3)      Never leave a child unattended when in or near water.

4)      Invest in and use life jackets as appropriate.

5)      Set and enforce rules for safety.

6)      Do not consume alcohol when you will be in water.

Backyard Pool and Hot Tub Safety

In addition to swimming safety tips, it is important to prevent unauthorized/unsupervised access to your pool or hot tub.

1)     Enclose the pool or tub with a barrier that includes self-closing/self-latching gates.

2)     Use pool alarms and safety covers.

3)     Remove any access ladders and other objects that provide pool access, when the pool is not in use.

4)     Maintain constant supervision of young children.

Water Safety Tips

Emergency Safety Tips

1)      Keep appropriate equipment on hand – in addition to life jackets, a first aid kit and a cell phone, this includes items that can be used to ‘reach out’ to someone and those that can be thrown.

2)      Seconds count – if someone goes missing always check the water area immediately.

3)      Call 9-1-1 when necessary.

Spending time in and near the water is a great way to cool off and relax. It offers something for everyone. And with these water safety tips your time waterful time will be wonderful time!

This Package From Santa blog offers tips on everything from ways to stay safe and healthy to information about saving money, decorating ideas, and much more. Keep reading to stay informed!

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Quality Pastimes for Your Kids

Encourage Quality Pastimes for Your Kids

Quality Pastimes for Your Kids

How many times have you wished your kids would spend time doing something worthwhile? For instance, you might think they waste too much time playing video games or watching TV. While arguments can be made that both of these activities can provide value and benefits, there are also arguments that say this sort of activity should be limited. In fact, most parents prefer to see their kids engaged in activities that are more productive or constructive.

Why not encourage quality pastimes for your kids? There are countless pastimes and hobbies that you can introduce your kids to. Many of which can lead to a lifelong hobby or perhaps even to a career. Read over the ideas below to see if you agree.

A Love for Photos

Taking pictures is fun for everyone – including kids. And if you let them begin early they are sure to learn from experience some of the ways to get great images. You can provide tips and helpful suggestions about ideal things to photograph and about lighting and other basic related issues. Who knows, your child may make a career out of photography!

Quality Pastimes for Your Kids

Having Fun in the Kitchen

Cooking and baking can be fun for kids. Not only is this a good way to teach kids about everything from measuring ingredients and making sense of food labels, it can also be a fabulous way to teach them about healthy eating. If your child takes an interest in cooking he/she may go on to become a great chef or baker, and those that are interested in healthy eating may decide to make a career as a nutritionist.

Woodworking

Even small kids can help with projects like making a birdhouse, a jewelry box, or a simple dog house. If your child has an interest in this they can develop skills as they tackle increasingly difficult projects. Woodworking requires attention to detail, a certain amount of creativity, and careful measurements.  A love for woodworking could result in your child becoming a carpenter or cabinet maker.

Art for All

Everyone has a creative side. Whether your child is more interested in painting, pottery, or creating sculptures, a love for art should be encouraged. This type of pastime can help your child get in touch with his/her creative side. Being creative can be a helpful trait in various aspects of work and life.

Quality Pastimes for Your Kids

When it comes to quality pastimes for kids, these are just some of the many things you might want to consider. The important thing is to encourage something positive that your child is interested in. Whether this leads to a future career or a short-loved hobby, your child is bound to learn something helpful and you will enjoy peace of mind knowing that your child is engaged in a quality pastime.

Keep reading this Package From Santa blog for tips and ideas about everything from kid’s health to home décor, money management and more. 

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Skateboarding Safety

Skateboarding Safety: Have Fun the Safe Way 

Little boy in protective equipment sits on skateboard and little

Protection for head, knees, elbows, and closed toe shoes – he's ready to go!

Skateboarding looks cool, it's entertaining to watch, and it can be lots of fun. It’s not surprising that kids want to get involved in this activity. But skateboarding can be very dangerous. This is especially true if protective gear is not worn or if you skate in the wrong place.

Simple scrapes and bruises are to be expected, but sprains and even broken bones are not uncommon. That’s why it’s important to know and follow skateboarding safety tips.

Who Needs Safety?

The reality is, skateboarding can be dangerous, it doesn’t matter if you are young or old, and even those with experience may get hurt. Although most injuries are minor, some can send you to the emergency room.

Beginners and kids top the list of injured. But practice will not necessarily mean you will not fall again. Many experienced skateboarders like to try increasingly difficult tricks and maneuvers. Also, skateboarding on uneven or rough surfaces can increase the risk for falls. Even a small rock can cause a skateboarding accident.

Little boy sits on skateboard next to little girl, who drinks wa

These kids are geared for safety.

Safety Equipment

The first piece of skateboarding safety equipment is actually the skateboard itself. Some boards are made for specific types of terrain. Also, before skateboarding it is important to ensure that your skateboard is in good working order. Check for damaged wheels, cracks in the board, or any loose parts.

Skateboarding helmets are a must. Check to see the helmet has a sticker inside saying the helmet meets the ASTM F1492 skateboard helmet standard. In addition, be sure the helmet fits appropriately and that it fastens securely.

Closed-toe shoes are important – a pair of leather or suede sneakers with a thick rubber sole that grips can be ideal. Be sure the shoes fit properly.

Since falls often involve the knees and elbows it is important to protect those areas. Choose knee and elbow pads that have a hard plastic shield but that do not restrict movement.

Other safety gear can include padded jackets and shorts, hip pads, and skateboard gloves. You may even want to use a mouthguard to help protect from broken teeth.

Little girl in protective helmet lies on skateboard looking ahea

Notice anything missing?

Getting Started

The next step to skateboarding safely is choosing a place to skate. In the beginning stages of learning many people choose to practice on their own driveway or a nearby skate park. Always put safety first. Choose a place that will not put you in risk of getting hit by a car. Also, ensure the surface is smooth and dry, and free from rocks or other objects that could cause you to fall.

Skateboarding is a great activity – with proper precautions and safety equipment the risks can be minimized. Go on, give this sport a try!

The team at Package From Santa offers information about health and safety and a variety of other topics throughout the year. Keep visiting this blog to stay on top of helpful posts.

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