Category Archives for "Featured"

Child’s First Pet: Which Should You Go For?

There comes a time in every parent’s life when their child makes that one request we all dread: can I get a pet? The question comes right from the heart, so really, we should be glad. But it’s also one of the most difficult questions to answer because nobody knows quite how well it is going to go. Will they take to the pet? Or will it fall by the wayside like every other thing they shown an interest in. Well, there’s a few good gateway pets to take a look at to test the waters of your little one’s pet-loving ability. Take a look at our conclusive list of starter pets for parents to consider.

Fish

A fish is always the easiest to start off with because – and no offence to said fish – that’s where the least collateral damage lies within the animal kingdom. If your child doesn’t take to a fish, they’re never going to take to anything bigger, never mind a dog or a pony. If you get all of the right equipment you can even sell it on if you child becomes bored. A tank, some decorations and a filter, and you’re ready to start this experiment! If you’re concerned about buying the right products, we recommend a canister filter over power filters and so does Tankarium.

Guinea Pig

A little bigger than a fish but also a little more playful. If your child decides they like this then that opens up all sorts of possibilities. These animals are best for children a little older as they can often scurry off out of control. The kid being old enough to tell you where it went would be a great bonus. There’s very little needed to a guinea pig too. A cage, some wood-chips and a toy ball and you’re golden to go. Watch your child’s eyes light up at the sight of these little guys!

A Budgie

This is pretty much the same with any small bird, but these make great first pets. Apart from the fact that you don’t do too much, they’re the perfect amount of effort for a kid. They can get the bird out and play with it if they want, but failing that they’re also happy to sit on their branch and keep themselves entertained. Something which we often wish our children would do. They’re widely available from local pet stores, too, and at a relatively low cost, they’re ideal candidates for the first pet lottery.

Dog

OK so this would be going in straight to the deep end, but honestly speaking, the pets further back in the list don’t exactly command the same level of excitement and kinship towards you and your child like a dog does. The bigger, more active animal might be the best way to introduce your child to a world where animals need a decent level of attention. It might also be a good pet for you too, and a chance for you and your kid to bond over something with a joint level of love.

May 5, 2017

Are Heated Mattress Pads Safe During Pregnancy?

Sleeping Pregnant Woman

You’ve probably imagined for many years what it would be like when you were pregnant. This is a short period you’ll always remember, and you only have nine months to give your child the best possible start in their life. The everyday decisions you make no longer only have consequences for you, but also for your unborn child. Just a few things that are completely in your control that can have long-term effects on your child include:

  • The foods you eat
  • The timing of your pregnancy
  • The medications you take
  • The places you go
  • The cleaning chemicals you choose to use in your home

It’s clear to that a  pregnant woman must be selfless in order to give her unborn baby a good start in life. However, when it comes to getting a good night’s rest, do heated mattress pads pose any potential risks? This is a wise question to ask, and there are a few facts you should understand that will make the decision of whether or not to use these comfortable devices during your pregnancy.

Reduction in Dust Mites and Allergens

Dust Mites

Our mattresses are well-known to provide perfect breeding ground for dust mites and allergens. This is because it’s here where we sweat and leave behind skin cells that dust mites feed on. While these pests don’t bite or sting, it’s actually their fecal matter that causes us irritation such as:

  • Itchy, watery eyes
  • Sneezing
  • Stuffy nose
  • Coughing
  • Postnasal drip

It’s clear to see that these are certainly not symptoms you want your immune system focused on while you’re trying to develop a healthy baby. The good news is that using a heated mattress pad can reduce the presence of these nasty critters. This is largely because these pads reduce the amount of humidity on your mattress, a feature that dust mites flock to. In fact, studies have shown that, by using a heated mattress pad for just one month, you can reduce the number of dust mites by as high as 50 percent.

Improves Circulation

Blood CirculationDuring pregnancy, proper circulation is crucial. It should come as no surprise that, due to your changing body, your internal organs are somewhat displaced, and this puts obvious strain on your circulatory system. Just a few of the complications that can directly result include:

  • Excess fluid in the tissues known as edema
  • Dizziness
  • Exhaustion
  • Hypertension
  • Blood clots
  • Preeclampsia

The great news is that, through the use of a heated mattress pad, you can actually encourage better circulation and reduce the risk of experiencing these negative side effects.

Taking the Time to Find the Right Heated Mattress Pad

Sunbeam Therapeutic Heated Mattress Pad

While there are benefits to heated mattress pad use during pregnancy, it’s important to understand that there are a variety of products on the market, and this can make it difficult to decide which one will offer you the specific features you need. Every pregnancy is different, even if it involves the same person, and only you know what will work best. Take a look at some heated mattress pad reviews to show you what real customers had to say about the very products you may be considering before you make an investment.

Using Within Reason

It’s clear to see that heated mattress pads can offer both you and your baby a number of benefits. However, it’s important to keep in mind that you don’t want to overheat your body. Hyperthermia in pregnancy is considered to be a temperature above 39.5 centigrade, and rising above this body temperature can be harmful to your baby. Therefore, it’s important to use common sense when using heated mattress pads. Just a few symptoms that indicate you need to turn down the temperature setting include:

  • Dizziness
  • Feeling of dehydration
  • Weak and tiredness
  • Nausea

If you notice any of these symptoms while using a heated mattress pad, it’s a good idea to cease use. If symptoms persist, you should see a doctor immediately. However, when used correctly, a heated mattress pad can actually increase your comfort level and help you have a more productive pregnancy for both you and your baby.

How to Manage Gun Ownership Responsibly as a Parent

Gun Owner

There are a number of valid reasons to own a gun. From target practice and hunting to protection and more, you could easily find that owning one can provide the combination of joy and peace-of-mind that increases your overall quality of life. Whether you have long owned a gun or are considering purchasing your first, you’ve likely taken the time to consider the fact that firearms in a home with children does pose certain risks that must be taken into consideration.

Kids are curious, and it’s not uncommon for them to explore firearms simply because they are shrouded in so much mystery. There are a few things you should be doing to ensure yout right to bear arms and duties as a parent don’t clash.

Talk to Your Kids

The most important thing you can do to employ proper gun ownership as a parent is to talk to your kids. We often fail to give them credit for their ability to take responsibility. Rather than just telling them to leave your guns alone and increasing their curiosity, let them know exactly what can happen when they’re played with. In fact, it can even prove beneficial when you take them out for supervised target shooting if you feel they’re mature enough to do so. You should also prepare them on  what to do if they ever encounter a gun without adult supervision such as:

  • Keep their hands off the gun
  • Flee from the area.
  • Make an adult aware of the situation.

While it can be valuable to teach older children more about firearms, if you have younger children, it’s important that you keep your guns out of reach. Use your own common sense to gauge your child’s ability to fully absorb the realities of the dangers guns pose before you allow them to engage in use.

Purchase a High-Quality Gun Safe

Stack On Gun SafeMost of the time your gun won’t be in use. That’s what makes it so important that you take time in figuring out the best way to store gun. People have long used a number of methods such as hanging them on the wall or placing them in a closet. While this makes it more difficult to get into the wrong hands, it’s still highly possible.

When you invest in a high-quality gun safe, however, you get the peace-of-mind of knowing that your gun is safely tucked away. Thanks to technological advancements, you can now take advantage of special features such as electronic locks that are much easier to use. Best of all, you don’t have to spend a fortune to get a quality product. When you take time to read reviews from real customers, you can locate a quality safe that both meets your expectations and offers the specific features that work best for you.

Educate Yourself

Educate YourselfIn order to be a good teacher, you, yourself, must be educated. When it comes to gun responsibilities, you must ensure you know your gun like the back of your hand. Just a few things you should do to ensure you fully understand each firearm you own include:

  • Carefully read the instruction manual
  • Be aware of how to safely open and close the gun action
  • Know how to properly remove ammunition

In order to pass knowledge onto your kids, you must first possess it yourself. By taking the time to enlighten yourself, you can better ensure you know how to talk to your kids about gun use and safety.

You Can Own a Gun With Children in the Home

Guns have a bad reputation, especially in this day and age. With the ability to quickly share information no matter where you are in the world, we see some of the most horrible scenes play out before our eyes. However, it’s easy to overlook the fact that these types of situations aren’t the norm. In fact, gun owners very rarely have to use their gun as they can inflict the fear necessary to avert problems such as burglaries and attacks simply by brandishing one. Just a few other interesting facts you probably didn’t know include:

  • There are around 270,000 civilian firearms in the United States.
  • Nearly a quarter million sexual assaults are avoided using guns.
  • Three in five felons polled reported they’d they’d leave armed victims alone

It’s clear to see that owning a gun can put the power in your hands when it comes to the safety and well-being of your family. While the risk of accidents will exist, you can significantly minimize your chance of experiencing these kinds of problems when you employ these helpful tips. You can own a gun with children in the home. It just takes a little action on your part to ensure you’re a responsible gun owner and parent.

Keeping Firearms In A Gun Safe And Out Of The Reach Of Children

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Our children are the most important things in our lives. Every day, they are exposed to germs, bullies, car accidents, viruses, and honestly the list is endless. Keeping them safe and out of harm’s way is one very important job that we have when it comes to raising our children. We obviously can’t keep them safe from every tiny thing, but we can try our hardest to keep them away from what can hurt them the most.

Vaccinations

Child Vaccination

Vaccinations are a hot topic these days. There are a certain amount of parents around the world that are against vaccinating their child because they don’t think it’s necessary and that it just causes more harm than good. Personally, I’m pro vaccination and here’s why.

All vaccines are carefully reviewed by doctors and the federal government to ensure they are safe. They are meant to protect children from illnesses and complications of diseases that could have easily been prevented by a vaccine. These diseases can result in:

  • Amputation of an arm or leg
  • Limb paralysis
  • Loss of hearing
  • Convulsions
  • Damage to the brain
  • Death

Everyone has their own beliefs, which is fine, but vaccines can protect your child better than no vaccines from measles, mumps, whooping cough, and other diseases that may be brought over from foreign countries.

Guns

This is another hot topic. Guns are becoming an increasing problem here in the United States. At the end of 2015, 265 children had gotten ahold of a gun and shot themselves or someone else by accident. This is an alarming statistic, but a preventable one.

If you have guns in the home that are unprotected, now is the time to find the top gun safes you could possibly have. These are storage units for all of your firearms that can either be mechanically or electronically locked, leaving the guns out of reach of little hands.

Television Violence

Boy Watching Tv

It’s hard to stop it, but violence on the television is a growing concern. No matter what your child is watching, there’s some kind of violence going on at some point in the show. When children watch it, they have a tough time processing what’s real and fake, especially if they’re under the age of 8. It has become such a problem in Canada that the American Academy of Pediatrics want primary-care providers to be in a position to counsel children on media violence.

If you think that your child is being exposed to too much television violence, there are some precautions that you can take to ensure that they aren’t becoming anxious, stressed, or worried:

  • Choose age-appropriate content.
  • Restrict screen times
  • If violence is viewed or discussed in school, talk with your child about it after school hours and reassure them about systems and laws put into place to protect against that violence.
  • Have open communication with caregivers and teachers of your child. Make sure they let you know if they notice a change in behaviour with your child.
  • Check for emotional reactions during violent media coverage if they are watching it.
  • Encourage positive TV viewing such as inspiring, encouraging, and teaching shows.
  • Address any changes in behaviour with your child’s primary care physician.

This past year has been one of the worst in many years for news coverage. It’s  not surprising that children who watch the news with their families are having negative reactions afterwards. If this is happening, limit their viewing time or don’t let them watch it at all.

Conclusion

As said earlier, we can’t protect our children from everything, but we can try our best to keep them safe from what’s in our control. Guns, violence, and germs are all things that we can control in our homes. We all parent in different ways, but we all strive to protect our kids whether we agree with laws and systems or not.

November 10, 2016

Avoiding Chaos and Organizing Your Day With 5 Quick Tips

Ask anyone, and they will tell you that they don’t have enough hours in the day. As a mother of three small children, a full-time career, and a needy husband, here are somethings that have helped me.

There is never enough time to get everything done. Part of this is because today’s working person has more piled on them than what they are capable of handling. This is a combination of career, household chores, and family obligations. However, many people suffer from a lack of organization. Being highly organized is the key to getting more done. Here are some other tips I use to make my day more productive and less chaotic.

Follow A Strict Routine

Most people who operate on a routine seem to do better than those who don’t. The body becomes accustomed to a routine. Whether you have 10 or 30 things that you must accomplish in your day, sticking to a strict schedule can help make it happen. Even my kids appreciate a strict routine.

Don’t Sit Down All Day

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There have been many studies conducted on the advantages of standing at a desk rather than sitting. Those who sit down all day long risk the chances of gaining weight. Keep in mind, their body’s joints can pay the price. A standing desk provides straight posture, which avoids back and neck issues from sitting. Additionally, when you are standing, you are more likely to bounce around a bit. Sitting makes people tired, especially for long periods of time. Many say that the difference in their energy levels and overall well-being changed dramatically when they switched from a seated to a standing desk. Some say it is easy to do some squats or other exercises while standing at their desk at work. I switched to a standing desk 2 years ago and will never go back.

Make Lists

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I am nothing without my lists. While cartoons depict superheroes, who are invincible, the real world provides a very different perspective. With all that you need to accomplish in a day’s time, it is impossible to remember it all. Make yourself lists to keep yourself organized. If you need milk from the store and go to the bank, a list will help you group things together to save time. Visualizing all that you need to do, and crossing each one off as it is done, will allow you to have a sense of accomplishment. Many people feel overwhelmed because they don’t realize how much they do accomplish in a day’s time.

Take A Power Nap or Meditate

sleeping-2

Some businesses have realized the helpful aspects of napping. Many have gone as far as to include a nap room at their offices. Around 12 or 1 pm, the body feels full, and exhausted, after eating. A quick nap can energize you, and it gives you the boost you need to make it through the day. A power nap can be 10-30 minutes in length. If you are not lucky enough to have an employer that believes in this “down time,” then simply use your car or a break room for relaxation. Meditation is also a great way to get rid of stress. It helps you be on your “A” game and make it through the rest of the day.

Schedule Important Things In The AM

If you are like me, you do your best work in the morning. If you need to meet with clients or have important business to take care of, be sure to do it in the morning hours. The afternoons are usually when you are feeling the crunch of unfinished daily business and exhaustion. To give a matter your full attention, handle it in the am rather than the pm.

By following these five tips, you will be on your way to a less chaotic day. Keep yourself organized, and make sure you have all your goals written down each day. It’s how I make it through my crazy life.

November 10, 2016

Sleep Regression is a Learning Curve

As a new mom, sleep deprivation becomes part of the daily routine, but there is always a glimmer of hope that one day your sweet baby will sleep through the night and you can get back to your own healthy sleep patterns. Around three to four months old, your infant’s sleep will probably regress, but don’t lose hope, this just means your baby’s brain is beginning to mature and develop sleep patterns. Sleep regression is a learning curve for both you and your infant.

Babies seem to have the ability to sleep through anything and then one day they won’t! At around four months old, an infant begins to develop healthy changes in her sleeping patterns and cycles between light and deep sleep. Before this change, she spent almost all of her slumber within the deep sleep phase, which is why you could vacuum or play loud music and not hear a peep from your infant. During the sleep regression stage, she might take shorter naps during the day, wake up more at night, and have difficulty falling back asleep. So, what is a tired mom to do?

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First of all, know that a child will go through many stages in their development and this is just another normal, healthy stage that won’t last forever. Well, actually, the matured sleep will last forever, but the sleep regression phase will pass. Your baby’s sleep patterns are transitioning and starting to mirror the sleep pattern of an adult. Although you are probably utterly exhausted and frustrated, you will need to find a way to survive this stage and encourage your baby’s development.

Everyone has advice about how to help your baby sleep, but you know your baby best. Continue doing your mom thing and help your infant fall asleep however you have been doing it up until this point. Keep a routine. A sleep routine may help your baby to make sense that it is time to go to sleep. The routine can include a bath, story, white noise, swaddle, rocking, or whatever works for your family. There will be time later to wean your baby from being rocked or nursed to sleep, often called sleep associations.

baby-303071_640Your baby will eventually need to learn how to put herself back to sleep once she wakes up. Most parents don’t like to hear their baby cry, but in this case you may want to give your little one some time to fuss and see if she can soothe herself back to sleep. Put your baby down when she is drowsy so she can get the hang of how to slumber without sleep associations. Make sure the room is dark so your baby knows it is not time to wake up until it is light outside. It will take some practice because sleeping through the night is a developmental and learned skill.

Be patient with yourself and your baby as her sleep patterns change and mature. The sleep regression phase won’t last forever, but the sleep tools you are giving your baby will last her entire life.