Archive for March, 2012

20 Tips About Babysitters Giving Medication to Kids

March 30th, 2012 by admin

Medicines Babysitters Should Not Give to Kids

There are times when it is necessary for kids to receive medication from their babysitter. When these times come up, it is imperative for parents to check the medication, make sure it is not expired and insure that the babysitter has all the instructions she needs to administer the medication safely. There are certain medications that children, especially babies, should not be given.

  1. Aspirin – This is one medication that should never be given to children. Reye’s syndrome has been known to manifest in children who have been given aspirin for flu or other virus symptoms. This rare disease has sometimes proven fatal.
  2. Ibuprofen – While an acceptable medication for older children, babies under six months old should not be given ibuprofen. Allergic reactions could occur, or it could cause tummy problems.
  3. Over the counter cold medications – In the past, many toddlers were hospitalized due to complications with OTC cold and cough medications, so the FDA looked into the problem. As a result of their findings, doctors quit recommending such medications for children since the efficacy of the drugs did not seem to warrant their use. Most colds and viruses will run their course without complications and will last only a few days or so.
  4. Anti-nausea medications – There are risks involved with children using such medications as Alka-Seltzer and Pepto-Bismol. Both contain aspirin and complications can arise. For most children, bouts of vomiting are short lived.
  5. Adult medications – Never give a baby a smaller dose of a medication meant for an adult. This includes such things as sleeping pills. Medications are made to take as directed and guessing about how much of an adult dosage to give to a child could prove fatal.
  6. Medications prescribed for someone else or another condition – Different medications prescribed for the same condition can contain different drugs, so it is particularly important not to give medication prescribed for one person to another. Complications can crop up.
  7. Expired medicine – When medicine is past the expiration date the chemicals may begin to break down and the medicine becomes ineffective. In some cases expired medicine can become harmful so it is essential always to check the date. If the medicine is discolored or crumbly or doesn’t look right, do not use it.
  8. Extra acetaminophen – It is necessary to read the ingredients on all medications. If the child is getting acetaminophen as a pain reliever or fever reducer you don’t want to add more to that dosage by giving another medication that has it included. Too much of this over the counter drug can be harmful to the liver and even toxic.
  9. Chewable medications – While this is fine for older children, babies should not be given chewable meds. Chewable medications are a choking hazard for the very young.
  10. Syrup of ipecac – This was once recommended in the event that a child ingested something that could be considered poisonous. Doctors are no longer recommending this since it hasn’t been shown that ipecac helps. In truth, it could actually prove more harmful than helpful if the child continues to vomit when something with proven effectiveness like activated charcoal is administered.

Medicines Babysitters Can Give to Kids

There will be times when the babysitter can and should give medicine to the kids in his or her care. Knowing what medicines babysitters should be able to administer without any difficulty will give parents peace of mind.  Here are some medications that most sitters should be able to manage:

  1. Acetaminophen – This popular drug is often administered to reduce fever and to alleviate pain. Make sure the sitter knows the proper dosage to give your child as the dosage is not the same for everyone. If the child has already had one dose, be sure to let the sitter know at what time it is safe to provide the next dose.
  2. Medicines prescribed for the child – If you are comfortable giving the sitter permission to give your child prescribed medication in your absence, make sure that you tell her everything she needs to know about it and provide her with written instructions to follow, as well.
  3. Asthma medicines – It is vital for the sitter to know when to administer asthma medication to your child since it may not be at a specific time, but rather when symptoms occur. Knowing when to use an inhaler or nebulizer is critical to the health of your child. Make sure your sitter is comfortable in giving these medications.
  4. Ibuprofen – For children older than 6 months, this medicine is another common fever reducer and also helps with pain. Let the sitter know the proper dosage for the child and at what time the dosage should be given.
  5. Epinephrine injection – If your child has a condition or allergy that makes it necessary to give an epinephrine injection in an emergency, your sitter will need to know. Teach the sitter how to give the injection and impress upon her the importance of giving it when the symptoms warrant its use.
  6. Topical antiseptics – For scrapes and minor cuts, the sitter should be able to use topical antiseptic to keep infections at bay. Hopefully your sitter has had first aid training and knows how to clean and dress wounds. Make sure she knows where the first aid kit is in the case of an emergency.
  7. Eye drops – If your child needs eye drops, inform the sitter of the necessity of keeping the dropper clean and making sure that nothing touches the dropper nozzle. You may need to show her how to work with your child to effectively get the drops into the eye.
  8. Ear drops – Sometimes a child needs ear drops administered. Make sure the sitter is aware of how to properly put in the drops without shoving the dropper in the ear.
  9. Vitamins – Since many kids’ vitamins are tasty, it is important to remind the sitter to put the vitamins out of reach of the kids after using.
  10. Saline spray for the nose – Some families use saline spray for congestion and runny noses. This is another medicine that you will want to teach your sitter how to use properly so that the dropper nozzle does not get placed too far up your child’s nose.

Giving medicine to children is an enormous responsibility. Any babysitter entrusted with this duty must be trusted and trained to give the correct dose. It is the parent’s responsibility to make sure the medicine is safe, not expired and that the babysitter knows exactly how to administer it to the child.

10 Things Kids Share Most Easily with Each Other

March 24th, 2012 by admin

It’s funny how generous kids can be at times, but other times they are very selfish.  It seems to depend on the age of the child and often how they were raised.  Kids learn by watching and if their parents are very generous then they will be as well.  However, if you just look at kids in general there are some things they have in common.  Check out 10 things kids share most easily with each other.

  1. Germs: Kids think nothing of wiping their nose with their hands and then playing with other kids holding their hand and passing their germs along.  When I was growing up that is what made us resistant to a lot of things, but these days kids use hand sanitizer all the time so now they aren’t sharing as many as they once did.
  2. Food: Kids are usually pretty generous when it comes to their food.  If they have candy they will share it with their friends or I see kids sharing French fries without any qualms at all.  Many times my kids would split a burger before my son got old enough that he now eats more than I do.
  3. Art supplies: Doing art projects is something that kids love to do from a very young age and they will usually share their supplies like paint and water bowls and such.  There may be times when there aren’t enough brushes that kids don’t share as well, but if you are painting we’ll hope that each child has a brush at least and then they share the paint.
  4. Friends: Children are always quick to make friends with everyone and they don’t mind having many friends.  As they get older girls tend to not like sharing their best friend, but otherwise they are okay doing things as a big group.  Boys are always pretty good about playing in a big group.  The more boys you have the bigger the teams can be when you’re playing a sport.
  5. Spoons: No matter what happens to a spoon kids don’t seem to care.  If they share an ice cream sundae with a friend it’s no big deal to use the same spoon.  Heck, they wouldn’t care if the spoon fell on the floor.  They have no fear.  I guess the gross out factor comes somewhat later.
  6. Straws: It’s very common to see kids drinking after each other with the same straw.  They may have to pool their money to buy a drink and then they both drink out of the same straw.  They do really well sharing drinks of any kind, with a straw or not. 
  7. Make-up: Obviously this is most likely girls, but you will see girls up to adulthood sharing their cosmetics.  Girls in college used to use each other’s eye shadow, mascara and lip stick all the time.  It made it easier to have a bigger collection if you didn’t have to buy it all yourself.
  8. Gum: Every kid seems to be good about sharing gum.  If they have a big pack of gum they will run around and ask all of their friends if they want some gum.  Even if they only have one stick they will often tear it in half to share with a friend.  Unfortunately, I have even seen kids sharing the same piece of gum.  I know, gross!
  9. Feelings: Maybe it’s the age, but kids don’t hesitate to tell all of their friends how they are feeling.  Many times they tell too many people too much of how they are feeling, but at least they aren’t bottling it all up.
  10. A room: When kids are young they don’t hesitate to share a bed or a bedroom with a sibling or a friend that is coming over to spend the night.  It’s more fun to hide under the covers with a flashlight and play with dolls or race cars.  Even bigger groups of kids don’t mind being crammed into a big room in sleeping bags on the floor for a slumber party.  It’s just the novelty of being able to spend the whole night with a bunch of friends that makes everyone not care that they have to sleep on the floor.  Just wait about twenty years and they won’t be able to get up off the floor once they’ve slept on it.  Oh what a treat it is to be young.


10 Quick Ways to Make Your Child Furious

March 19th, 2012 by admin

Let me preface this article with the statement that all children are different!  You may have a hothead that will fly off the handle at the slightest thing, or you may have the calmest, most laidback child ever that rarely loses their temper. And you may have a child that falls squarely in the middle of these two extremes. I’m going to shoot for those that fall somewhere in the middle.  Disciplining your child usually has the immediate effect of making them pretty angry, even when the discipline is well-deserved. So if you’re looking for a way to punish your child, which will inevitably result in them being mad at you, then check out these ten quick ways to make your child furious:

  1. Take away their favorite privilege: One effective way to discipline a child is to take away something they love.  If they come in every day after school and plop down in front of the TV, then maybe you need to take away television privileges. If it’s spending the afternoon playing on the computer then revoke their computer time. Whatever it is that they love to do is what you take away in order to get them to behave themselves.  Beware though; this will make most children furious.
  2. Ground them: Usually this comes as a result of being late from being out with their friends or deliberately disobeying orders from you.  Whether it’s your ten year old that was supposed to be home for dinner at 6:00pm or your teenager who missed curfew because he was out with his girlfriend, this is a good way to punish them and to make them mad as a hornet.
  3. Tell them they can’t go with their friends: Everyone is going to the movie tonight, but you had other plans made already.  You won’t let them go with their friends and they get mad.  While they think you are punishing them, you’re really just continuing on with the plans you already had in place for the family.  Once they blow up and then cool off hopefully they will understand that you were not trying to make them mad.
  4. Take away their phone: Kids today are addicted to their phone. Actually people in general are addicted to their phones these days. Look around at any given moment and you’ll likely see people typing or chatting on their phones. It’s this dependency on having a cell phone available that makes taking it away such an effective punishment. Kids call or text their friends all the time, and if they lose their phone privileges then they will miss out on what everyone else is saying.  This is liable to make them really mad.
  5. Criticize them: This one will really depend on the child and it’s important that you don’t go too far out of line with this one.  If your child thinks they are really good at something, like a sport, and you criticize them on their skills, then they may blow their top; however if your child is wearing clothes that don’t match and you criticize their choice in attire they may not really take it to heart and just go change.
  6. Complain about their boyfriend/girlfriend:  Just like a parent would not take kindly to someone complaining about their child, who is someone they love, kids are the same with their boyfriends and girlfriends.  If you complain about someone they love then they will probably take that personally and they will get angry and defend that person, even if they have said similar things in the past.
  7. Give their favorite toy to charity: I’m sure no one would do this on purpose, but when we get in clean out mode and start going through stuff that we think our children don’t need or play with anymore it can be dangerous.  Some kids that want to keep everything and are more attached to the idea of having a lot of things; in these situations a parent can be forced to give their toys away while they are not around in order to get anything out the door, and the kid will be none the wiser.  However, if your child is not like that it might be a good idea to run by them what you want to give away to make sure it’s not a treasured friend. 
  8. Send them to their room: I suppose if your teenager loves spending time in their room they might not care about this, but if your child loves to be involved in what is going on in the rest of the house then sending them to their room is the worst and meanest thing you could do to them and they will tell you about it.
  9. Gloat about beating them badly at a game: Some people are better losers than others, but even so no one really likes to lose at a game.  If someone takes losing well then it’s usually because they don’t really care about the game or they feel like they didn’t try to win, and they can make those excuses to themselves about why it doesn’t matter that they lost.  However, no one likes it when someone gloats about beating you.  This is a good way to make your child mad in a hurry.
  10. Take away their allowance:  The all mighty dollar means a lot to some kids.  Now if you have a young child who has yet to figure out the value of a dollar then they won’t care if you take it away.  However, if you have a child who is a little older and they are saving up for something then they are liable to get really angry when you take away their allowance.


10 Popular Cartoons Kids Shouldn’t Watch

March 17th, 2012 by admin

When I was a kid, cartoons on television were primarily watched by kids. There was no such thing as an adult cartoon, because grown-ups didn’t spend their time watching animated shows unless they watched them with their kids. Now there are a number of adult cartoon shows on television and I wonder what that says about our current culture. The days of “cartoons are for kids” are long gone and parents need to be careful about what their kids are watching. Even some cartoons targeted towards children can be harmful. I’ve compiled a list of 10 popular cartoons that kids probably shouldn’t be allowed to watch.

  1. Family Guy – Featuring the dysfunctional Griffin family, the Family Guy cartoon is not something young children should be allowed to watch. This show is filled with sick, twisted and politically incorrect content that is passed off as humor. It’s obviously intended for mature audiences and not something kids should be exposed to.
  2. South Park – I know there are people who think the popular program South Park is funny, but I’ve never seen an episode that made me laugh. I somehow failed to see the humor in “Christmas Poo” or Kenny being killed over and over. The adult content in South Park is not intended for children and I doubt they would find any humor in it either.
  3. Beavis and Butthead – The adolescent boys depicted in Beavis and Butthead are just plain creepy. They have no morals and somehow everything they see or hear is turned into a dirty joke that only they get. Skipping school, watching TV, causing trouble and being stupid are not very good role models for young boys. The only time you should let your kids watch this program is to show them what not to be like.
  4. Jimmy Two-Shoes – This Canadian/American television series was so bad it was cancelled after 2 seasons. Jimmy Two-Shoes lives in a horrible town called Miseryville filled with monsters and demonic creatures. Even though this show was intended for young viewers, I wouldn’t recommend it.
  5. American Dad – The dysfunctional family in American Dad is depicted as politically charged stereotypes that really aren’t appropriate to expose children to. Unless you want your kids to acquire an intolerant view of people and learn to distrust their government, I would find something better for them to watch.
  6. Robot Chicken – Any show featured on Adult Swim should be your first clue that it’s not a show for children. Robot Chicken is a popular animated series that focuses on mocking pop culture and the mature content would be inappropriate for young viewers. Any show that ends with the host committing suicide is not something kids should watch.
  7. SpongeBob SquarePants – This popular cartoon may be alright for older kids, but the fast pace of SpongeBob SquarePants is thought to cause short-term attention and learning problems in children 4 or less. With episodes ending in the whole town of Bikini Bottom destroyed, this cartoon also seems a little dark for young children.
  8. The Simpsons – Many people enjoy watching The Simpsons, but you may hesitate to let your kids watch a show that usually portrays authority figures in an unflattering or negative light. Do you want your children to think that government is always corrupt and police are just plain stupid?
  9. Ren and Stimpy – The off-color, toilet humor, sexual innuendo and violence in The Ren and Stimpy Show is definitely not something kids should watch. The raunchy content of this cartoon has created controversy and censorship with whole episodes being banned.
  10. Rocko’s Modern Life – The predecessor to SpongeBob, Rocko’s Modern Life aired for 4 seasons and ended in 1996. That’s just as well since the adult humor, innuendos and double entendres really weren’t appropriate for young viewers. Rocko and his weird friends should just go back to Australia.

I sure miss the good old cartoons that were actually just supposed to be funny and not educational or for learning life lessons. I guess people now can find fault with Bugs Bunny or Wile E. Coyote, but that age of innocence is long gone. There’s nothing I hate worse than watching a show that is supposed to be funny and never finding the humor. I certainly don’t want to expose children to adult content or political stereotypes in an animated format. So make sure you screen these cartoons before allowing your kids to watch them. They may be learning more than you would like them to.

10 Most Annoying Habits of Some Babysitters

March 10th, 2012 by admin

Though most people that we encounter throughout the day have the potential to irritate us with their methods and habits, few have the ability to aggravate parents like a babysitter. Bringing someone, especially someone young and relatively inexperienced, into your home while you’re away can open the door for lots of possible annoyances; here are ten of the most common you’re likely to encounter.

  1. Not Cleaning Up After Themselves – Coming home to a disaster area of your childrens’ making is irritating enough; realizing that a significant amount of the mess was created by the babysitter can be infuriating.
  2. Eating Everything in Sight – Most parents expect the babysitter to eat a meal in their home; they may even offer to order pizza or other takeout to make sure that everyone, including the babysitter, is fed. However, coming home to find that the babysitter has eaten everything in the cupboard because of a bottomless teenage appetite can be a huge annoyance.
  3. Being Glued to Their Phone – Today’s teens and young adults regard their mobile phones as an extension of their arm; they can’t even bear the thought of being parted from it. When texting and talking to friends takes precedence over keeping your home under control, those phones quickly become an irritant.
  4. Sneaking Friends (or Boyfriends) Into the House – Though it’s an age-old tradition, most parents forget their own days of sneaking a friend or significant other into the house after the kids are in bed. Finding out that the babysitter had guests can be infuriating, even if we have to admit to doing it too.
  5. Telling Scary Stories – Babysitters are a notorious source of bad dreams; whether scary tales are told with the intention of providing spooky-but-well-meaning fun or are designed deliberately to frighten, parents who lose sleep due to these stories aren’t likely to call the babysitter responsible for those sleepless nights back again.
  6. Exposing Kids to Questionable Language – Every household has their own guidelines regarding acceptable language. Many teenage babysitters assume that simply not using curse words is enough to stay within the parameters of acceptable speech; if words and phrases like “stupid” and “shut up” are not allowed in your home, finding out the babysitter taught them to your kids can be a deal-breaker.
  7. Letting Kids Stay Up Too Late – Whether the babysitter lets the kids stay up due to a soft heart or inattentiveness to the clock, when kids are cranky the next morning due to a lack of sleep, it’s easy to be peeved.
  8. All-Around Inattentiveness – Even the best teenage babysitters can be inattentive on occasion; whether they’re distracted by other children in the family or something less worthy, being distracted while they’re entrusted with the care of your children can be a problem.
  9. Allowing Kids to Watch Forbidden Television Shows – Similar to questionable language, every family has their definition of acceptable television programming. When a babysitter allows your children to watch something that they know isn’t allowed in your home, it’s likely to leave a bad taste in your mouth.
  10. Breaking House Rules – Teenagers, even those with mostly good intentions that are largely well-behaved, can have a rebellious streak. When that natural rebellious instinct kicks in and causes them to deliberately break your rules, it’s one of the most infuriating things they can do.

When hiring teenagers to babysit, it is important to remember the typical issues related to that age group. You may find yourself reinforcing some concepts and rules that you didn’t expect to. However, if the habits aren’t curbed with a stern warning, it may be time to look for a new babysitter.

10 Tips for Dealing with a Sitter Throwing a Party

March 3rd, 2012 by admin

Though it’s often a great plot device for the ever-popular teen comedy, coming home to find that your babysitter has hosted a soiree in your home can be both infuriating and potentially troublesome. If you’ve found yourself unexpectedly crashing a party in your own living room, here are a few tips for cleaning up the mess, literally and figuratively speaking.

  1. Evaluate The Property Damage – After the smoke clears, check your home carefully for damages. Withholding your sitters’ pay may be enough to cover them if they’re minor; extensive damages are enough to warrant a discussion about restitution of some sort.
  2. Find Out if Anyone Was Injured – If a young party-goer was injured on your property, it could potentially open up the possibility of an injury lawsuit in which you, as the homeowner, would be liable. In the event that someone was hurt, the best possible course of action is to immediately file a police report to absolve yourself of as much responsibility as possible.
  3. Report Any Underage Drinking – Similarly to injuries sustained on your property, any accidents that result from underage drinking in your home could leave you liable for damages in the event of a lawsuit. Finding even a slight indication that your sitter and their friends were drinking alcohol is another situation that would require the immediate notification of local police.
  4. Determine How Much Your Children Know – If the party was a smaller, more intimate gathering, your children could very easily have slept through it. If this is the case, the less they’re told, the better. For those who did wake up or did know that the party was happening, how much they saw and what they might have heard will determine how much damage control is necessary on your part.
  5. Only Explain What’s Absolutely Necessary to the Kids – Explaining this particular situation to youngsters can be a bit tricky; the key is to keep things as simple as possible. Answer any questions they may have, but volunteer as little new information as possible.
  6. Have a Firm Talk With The Sitter – Discussing the situation with your sitter might be best left for a time when you’ve calmed down, if you’re prone to temper-control problems. It’s important to present a firm but calm face to your sitter when you do confront them; if you’re not able to behave in such a manner immediately, it’s okay to put the talk off until you can.
  7. Inform the Sitter’s Parents or Guardians – For a small gathering with no drinking or other illegal activity, that didn’t cause any damage to your home or upset your children, a stern talking-to might be punishment enough. However, if there was any drinking, drug use or if your home was damaged and your children frightened, it’s absolutely necessary to inform your sitter’s parents of their behavior.
  8. Talk to the Parents or Guardians of Attendees – Party-goers who were drinking or otherwise disrespecting your home by damaging it or causing your children to feel even slightly uncomfortable should be held just as responsible as your sitter. Speaking to their parents or guardians to insure that there are repercussions for their actions is one of the best ways to ensure that this sort of behavior is never repeated in your home.
  9. Decide Whether or Not to Warn Other Neighborhood Parents – The degree of raucousness and your own determination of severity should be taken into account before warning the other parents in the neighborhood. Sometimes, being caught and reprimanded is enough to keep teens from repeating risky behavior, especially if it’s not in their nature to begin with. Destroying a basically-good kid’s reputation as a sitter for one misstep, especially if it was a harmless one, might be going a bit overboard.
  10. Stick to Your Guns – If you’ve decided that you’re never going to hire this particular sitter again and have told them so, delete them from your phone book or sitter list immediately. It’s not okay to call them, even in a desperate pinch, if you’ve decided that part of your punishment for disrespecting your home is not to give them work in the future.

When you’ve entrusted a sitter with the care of your children and your home, seeing that trust violated will understandably give parents hesitation in offering the sitter a second opportunity to come into their home.

10 Items Kids Find Almost Impossible to Share

March 1st, 2012 by admin

One of the lessons that parents do their best to pass along to their children is the importance of sharing. Like anything else when it comes to kids, even the strongest efforts are met with varying degrees of success; some children simply will not share. Others are generous by nature and eager to share with their friends, but there are some things that even they won’t consider sharing. Here are ten of the things that even the most giving children have trouble sharing.

  1. Affection – Even the most standoffish child will suddenly become an ace snuggler when they see an adult that’s important to them being affectionate to another child. These displays often make children irrationally jealous; most kids can’t stand to share the affection of a parent or caregiver.
  2. Comfort Objects – There are certain things in every small child’s life that give them comfort an a sense of security. Whether it’s a teddy bear or a blankie, these things are generally off limits for other kids.
  3. Attention – Some kids are little hams, putting on a show for the entire room. Others might be happier with the attention of just one or two people; either way, the attention of the people they care about it something that almost all kids find it difficult to share.
  4. Bedrooms – Parents with older children that share a room know that it’s an almost-constant battle. Sharing their personal space with anyone, even a sibling, can become so grating that kids explode; temper tantrums from children who share a room are anything but rare.
  5. Favorite Foods – Whether it’s a throwback to a time when obtaining food was more difficult or simply a quirk, almost all kids have trouble sharing when it comes to their favorite food.
  6. Toys – Usually the first experience that toddlers have with sharing is when parents urge them to be generous and take turns with a favorite toy. In the early days of explaining the concept, most little ones will have trouble understanding; for some that trouble never quite goes away.
  7. Bathrooms – Tweens and teens that share a bathroom are likely to spend more time at war than getting along; constant complaints about grooming habits and long showers will, more often than not, spiral into all-out battle.
  8. Television – Once upon a time, there were three channels; kids didn’t argue about what to watch too often, because there weren’t any choices. Fast-forward to the present, and most families have cable packages that include hundreds of channels, not to mention gaming systems and DVD players. With so many different options and kids’ disparate tastes, sharing a television is no easy task.
  9. Clothes – There are few things that will inspire a tantrum like hand-me-down clothing. At a certain age, kids begin to positively loathe the idea of sharing clothes with a sibling. By the teen years, arguments over clothes borrowed without permission begin.
  10. Teachers – Younger siblings learn to dread the moment when a teacher asks if they’re “so-and-so’s” brother or sister. Having behavior, grades and learning style all compared to a sibling can be nerve-wracking, leading to resentment.

A Harvard University study suggests that kids who witness their parents being generous to one another and sharing have an easier time grasping the concept and applying it without the help of an adult. The same study also showed that older children who witnessed stingy behavior between their parents were more likely to exhibit the same reluctance to share themselves; as with many other childhood lessons, sharing is mostly learned by modeling and discussion.