The Husband Stitch


The scary truth behind the husband stitch and what this represents.

Preventing tearing, or repairing tears or episiotomies from birth is a key part of helping a woman recover post childbirth. At a time when post-natal care and the mother's health is paramount, an antiquated procedure known as the 'husband stitch' is still being performed on women after childbirth.

What is the 'husband stitch?'

Referred to as the 'daddy stitch' or 'husband stitch,' it's an extra stitch given to women in the repair process after a vaginal birth. The idea behind this is to tighten the vaginal opening for the purpose of the increased sexual pleasure of a male partner. Administered immediately after childbirth when a new mother is too emotionally and physically exhausted to make an informed decision, the 'husband stitch' often has painful consequences for women well after childbirth.

In today's day and age, it can be hard to fathom that this kind of practice still takes place - a practice that shifts the focus of medical care from the patient for the benefit of a third party. Some have wondered if it's an urban myth but, unfortunately for some women, the 'husband stitch' has been administered in recent years raising questions about how far we have actually come in progressing a woman's right to choose what she does with her own body.

Adjusting to motherhood

Adjusting to motherhood is a monumental change. Not only has your body changed but the time after childbirth brings up a flood of emotion, and learning as you adjust to motherhood and let your body recover. At a time when looking after yourself is just as important as looking after your new baby, some women don't even realise or know that they may have had the 'husband stitch' until painful experiences long after childbirth.

While there haven’t been scientific studies to determine exactly how many women have been affected by the 'husband stitch', the growing number of anecdotes from women act as a word of warning to be diligent and careful about the medical professionals who look after you post childbirth.

As outlined in a recent article on Healthline.com, Tamara Williams, a 27-year old mother from La Marque, Texas recalls how she felt before, during, and after realising she had been given an extra stitch. Williams found out she had been given an extra stitch following her 2015 birth when her boyfriend mentioned it. Her boyfriend mentioned he thought Williams had heard the midwife saying she would 'throw in an extra stitch for him.'

Williams had been on such a 'baby high' after the birth that she had no memory of the midwife making that statement. Now, knowing that she was given the 'husband stitch' Williams wrestled with emotional pain while dealing with continued pain during sex even after the birth of her second child.

What actually happens to a women's body in childbirth?

Going through pregnancy and a vaginal childbirth can put a strain on your pelvic floor. The pelvic floor is a collection of muscles, ligaments and tissues that stretch across the pelvic bones. The pelvic floor supports your pelvic organs including the womb (uterus), vagina, bladder, and bowels.

As the muscles in your pelvic floor become stretched during pregnancy and childbirth, they may weaken. This makes strengthening your pelvic floor muscles fundamental for healing your body post-childbirth. Strengthening this area of your body helps you to maintain bladder and bowel control while enhancing the feeling and senses in your vagina after childbirth. Focusing on strengthening this area with your own health as the priority will contribute to helping you heal after childbirth and enjoy a healthy sex life as you choose.

What the 'husband stitch' represents

With the emotional adjustments that come with being a new mother, and the physical changes to a women's body that occur in childbirth, another misguided part of the 'husband stitch' is the lack of understanding and knowledge of a woman's body that this procedure represents. The idea of the 'husband stitch' demonstrates the belief that some medical professionals think the strength of a woman's reproductive region, for the purpose of pleasing a sexual partner, is only conducive to a single stitch in an area that fundamentally has nothing to do with the health of a woman's pelvic floor. Further, it shows a lack of understanding of a woman's body and goes against the principles of providing medical care focused solely on a birthing mother herself.

The strength of the pelvic floor is what helps women maintain bladder and bowel control, particularly after childbirth. This is what helps a woman recover and enjoy a healthy sex life after childbirth, not surface level procedures such as the 'husband stitch' that aren't focused on the health and recovery of a new mother.

While this procedure is concerning, it serves as a reminder to be diligent when you are in the process of deciding on which medical professionals will help you through your pregnancy, childbirth, and post-natal care. From the anecdotal evidence recounting the painful experiences of the 'husband stitch,' ensuring medical professionals are just as invested in your health as you are will have a positive impact on your health years after childbirth.

Going against the surgical principles of healing for a new mother, the practice of the 'husband stitch' represents the dark undercurrent of misogyny that is perhaps still alive in the medical profession today - an undercurrent that, as we become more educated about these issues, will hopefully begin to fade.


With a keen interest in holistic health and wellness, Nicola Smith works with clients in the health and wellness industry providing copy that engages audiences and helps businesses grow. Her goal is to help people have a holistic approach to their health, and inspire others to simplify their lives, pack a suitcase, and book a ticket to somewhere they've always wanted to visit or live. You can also follow her adventures on Instagram @luggagelifestyle.

5 Dietary Additions to Amplify Progress Toward Your Health Goals

When you're motivated to make lifestyle changes, you want fast results. You may see room for improvement when you look in the mirror. Perhaps the lab results from your last physical concern you and your doctor. Now that you're committed to your health goals, you'll need to consider how your diet affects your body. After all, choosing the right foods will help you reach your health goals that much faster.

Use Whole Eggs to Build Muscle

Have you seen the movie "Rocky?" In the opening scene, the hero starts his day by chugging a glass of raw eggs. It turns out Rocky was on to something. A recent study indicated that whole eggs are better than egg whites for promoting muscle growth. Eggs, especially the yolks, are packed with muscle-building protein.

The yolk is also rich in vitamin B12, which helps the body break down fat and supports muscle contraction when you work out. Eating raw eggs preserves nutrients. However, cooked eggs are safer to eat and still provide valuable vitamins and protein.


Add Coconut Oil to Super-Charge Weight Loss

Dieters often focus on low-carb, high-fat diets to lose weight. Meals that severely limit carbs cause the body to enter ketosis. When you're in a ketogenic state, your body burns fat instead of carbohydrates to produce energy.

Coconut oil contains medium-chain fatty acids (MCTs) which support ketosis. Coconut oil can also help you feel satiated and eat less food. Lifesum explores coconut oil's effect on low-carb diets in detail.

Support Heart Health With Salmon

If you're reading up on heart health, you'll learn about the benefits of eating omega-3 unsaturated fatty acids. Omega-3's support cardiovascular health by reducing inflammation. This is important because inflammation can damage blood vessels, increasing the risk of heart disease.

You may lower your blood pressure and of the risk of stroke by adding omega-3s to meals. Fatty fish, including salmon, is a healthy source of omega-3s. A 3-ounce serving of salmon has 1,500 milligrams of omega-3s.

Boost Your Memory with Cherries

Do you lose your keys or forget why you walked into a room? If you suffer from random bouts of brain fog, you're not alone. Try snacking on a bowl of cherries or a glass of cherry juice to boost your memory.

Cherries and dark berries are rich in anthocyanins and other flavonoids that support cognitive health. A European Journal of Nutrition study concluded that drinking cherry juice improved long-term and short-term memory.

Choose Oatmeal to Lower Cholesterol Levels

Routine blood work often includes testing your cholesterol levels. Low-density lipoprotein (LDL) is the bad cholesterol which leads to blocked arteries, heart attack, and stroke. Eating oatmeal and other high-fiber goods can lower your LDL levels.

Oatmeal contains soluble fiber, which helps stop the absorption of cholesterol in the body. As a bonus, eating oatmeal does not lower your high-density lipoprotein (HDL) good cholesterol.

What motivates you to reach your health goals? You may want to build a leaner or stronger body, improve your memory, or ace your next physical. Try these power foods to start making positive changes today.


Family's Professional Photos Delivered with a Hilarious Twist



We've all invested in something that didn't pan out to be as great as we thought it would be... big or small, there's something most parents have looked back on and wished they could have a do-over. For Pam and Dave Zaring of Missouri, it may be their most recent family photos. After Pam says she went many months upset because their "professional" photographs were not being given to them, the portraits finally arrived in the mail. And what she found is worth a whole lot of good hearted belly laughs -- at least $250.00 worth.

"This is NOT a joke," Pam shared with her Facebook friends in a public post. "She said the shadows were really bad [...] and that her professor never taught her to retouch photos."

The internet is ablaze with laughter over the finished product, that the photographer added her copyright watermark to, saying she "stands by her work" and the funds will not be returned.

As of this writing, the family has yet to receive their original photographs.




How to Support Your Creative Child


Children tend to have powerful imaginations and strong innovation skills from a very young age. Creativity helps kids become more confident, develop their social skills, and encourages learning in every subject. In fact, studies have shown that creativity offers a wealth of emotional, intellectual, and even health benefits. As children, most of us were more in touch with our creative sides than we are as adults – school, exams, college, and working in the corporate world aren’t always conducive to creativity. As a parent, there are several things that you can do to support your child with their imagination and creativity.

#1. Design a Creative Space for Them:

Chances are, your child has a few creative hobbies that they enjoy taking part in. For example, if they enjoy drawing and painting, you might want to consider setting up a small art studio at your home for them. If they’re obsessed with movies and want to start making their own, a desk where they can learn how to put clips together with a simple-to-use movie editor, decorated with their favorite movie posters, could inspire them to pursue a career in the entertainment industry as an adult. The space doesn’t have to be elaborate – a playroom or corner with some gadgets and hands-on toys such as LEGO is a great idea.

#2. Allow for Free Time:

It’s just as important to give your child some free time for themselves. After they’ve completed their homework, for example, allowing them an hour or two to please themselves with creative play is a great way to keep their imagination stimulated. If you can, let your child decide what they’d like to do with their free time – this could be anything from going to the beach to collect pebbles to paint, to building models of their favorite planes and cars.

#3. Discuss Creativity:

Talking to your child about their ideas and encouraging them to pursue their creative dreams is a great way to keep their flow going. Ask your kids when they come up with their best ideas – maybe it’s when they’re in the car for a long journey, or when walking to school. Give them a notepad for these moments, so that if they’re unable to act on their creative ideas straight away, they can write it down to save it for later.

#4. Encourage Your Own Creativity:

Since many kids learn by following their parents’ lead, seeing you getting creative will certainly encourage them to stay in touch with their own creative juices. Take the time to discuss your own creative ideas with your child and ask them for their opinion. When your child is coloring, building or creating, join them and offer your help and ideas. Even if you don’t class yourself as a very creative person, getting involved with your child’s ideas can be hugely encouraging to them.

Creative kids tend to develop better both emotionally and intellectually and getting creative can have a huge positive impact on their physical and social skills.


Camping Time: 7 bedding options for your kids this summer


Ah! The annual family camping trip is often a blissful time where even if those little devils smuggled it on the trip, technology never works! With the ebb and flow of the river and the sweet sounds of nature, it is sure to be a trip to remember. But you don't want the trip to be memorable because no one slept well. Our little ones can be fussy about where they sleep and there are not many easy sleeping options so without further ado, here are some bedding options for your kids this summer!

Camping cots

Camping cots are a good option because they are narrow so you can fit more of them in the tent and they are close to the ground so your kids won't hurt themselves if they fall from it. The con is that it is quite low to the ground so it could pose mobility issues getting in and out of it.

Sleeping bags

Sleeping bags make great space savers as you can pack them in your child's bag. They are good as they require little setup and allow your children to have a cozy sleep. A con of sleeping bags is that sleeping on the ground could cause neck or back discomfort and the child may not be able to regulate their temperature while in the sleeping bag.

Folding mattress

Folding mattresses are good for the more fussier child as they mimic their bed at home and allow them that little bit of familiar comfort in what can sometimes be a scary environment. Folding mattresses are a great way to bring creature comforts with you but they don't always come assembled, lack instructions and can sometimes collapse.

Air mattress

If you don't want to lug a folding mattress on your next camping trip, then why not take an air bed, they are compact, lightweight and offer your child a fun nights sleep wriggling around on them and keeping the whole tent up! Just make sure you don't forget the pump! The obvious cons of any air mattress are their ability to deflate during the night and they could be punctured easily.

Self-inflating mattresses

Self-inflation mattresses are a good idea as you require no tools or pump to assemble and it allows your children some responsibility for themselves on the journey. As above remember these things can deflate easily and sometimes have a maximum weight level to them. So they may not work for sleeping more than one child.

All in one bed

This is self-explanatory basically the bed looks like a sleeping back attached to a bed. While they can be bulky again if it keeps your kid happy and quiet then what else matters. On a plus side, you don't have to lug blankets with you on the trip. The con to these is obviously how bulky they are and also the fact that your child could overheat as the blankets are stitched on. Moreover, if they had an accident it may be difficult to clean them.

Carp Fishing Beds

These little babies are amazing because they have adjustable legs to allow for a restful and safe sleep on an uneven surface. So if your child wants to sleep by the river bed then no harm no foul! As a con, the mattresses on these beds are very thick and they are very expensive. You could make the same kind of bed for less using a stretcher.

There are many options out there for your next camping trip so just do your research and even let your child help you pick the right bed for them to ensure a happy and safe camping trip this summer!


How to Fight Addiction


Fighting addiction is not easy. Therefore, trying to get clean becomes a tug-of-war conflict that is compared to the infamous biblical battle of David and Goliath. Addiction is a grotesque monster incarnated in many forms that will take over your mind if you allow it to guide you into an unwanted direction. Most importantly, you will not even consciously recognize that there is a problem until it is too late. This article will give you a few tips about how to fight addiction and end this internal fight once and for all.

Recognize That There Is A Problem

Most people will not admit their own faults. They put on a front like everything is all good in life when nothing could be further from the truth. Sometimes you need to get out of your own way for success to take place. People tend to get disillusioned when they are addicted to substances and/or behaviors because they perceive their indulgence as a "good feeling”. Once you make a conscience effort to say there is a problem, your mind will automatically look for the solutions. At that point, you can only rise up.

Use Will Power & Motivation to Move Forward

Sometimes you need a push in the right direction. This prodding could come from anywhere. Motivating yourself to move above and beyond the mundane grip of addiction means discovering a deeper reason to get clean. Maybe you have hit the proverbial “rock bottom” and have no choice but to go up. Maybe you want to avoid getting locked up and dealing with violent inmates who do not care about your withdrawal symptoms, which puts your life in jeopardy, and corrupt guards who will let anything happen to you. The scars derived from enduring these events are devastating.

Educate Yourself by Reading More Recovery Literature

The answer is out there. Someone who has been down the same road wrote about it in a publication. You just need to search for it. Read more recovery literature about the brain chemistry and the steps you can take to overcome this mental grip. Once you understand how substance abuse changes your mood, perception of life, and even memory, you now have a solid reason to quit. The long-term effects could be completely irresistible when the brain is damaged by long-term substance abuse. Do you want to live your life with a constant loss of appetite, hallucinations, insomnia, and permanent brain damage? These prolonged effects are drastic.

Getting Help at a Rehab Facility

The professionals know how to handle the substance abuse problems in individuals properly. They have consulted many people in the same predicament as you, therefore they know exactly the right treatments that will work. Once you have realized that help is needed, it is time to move into the right direction! Getting into a Clearwater rehab facility is a great choice in the quest to overcome your addiction issues. Clinics like these have an on-site staff ready for unexpected detox events. They will provide the proper care with the right expertise. Moreover, detoxing in a warm state like Florida is comforting and encouraging.

7 ways you need to transform your home, when you have a baby


Congratulations! Every day the due date is coming closer and closer. Are you excited? We bet you are. This is the happiest moment in the life of a couple. And it is way happier when you know that all the arrangements are made and your home is a safe and well-prepared place for a new member of your family. In order to help you keep everything in mind, we have gathered several of the most essential changes in your home that can make life easier for you.

Tip 1: Prepare your meals in advance.

Trust us, you will likely have time to plan and cook your meals, at least for the first months after your baby is born. Freezer meals are lifesavers for many young parents today. Because, they can make and preserve as many portions as their freezer can hold, and have a new meal every day.

If your fridge is not very capacious, you can either use food zipper bags to save useful space or opt for a larger fridge. By the way, when they compare side-by-side refrigerators with conventional models, many young parents select the former type due to its capacious and child-friendly design.

In case you have no idea what to cook to guarantee you and your significant other adequate nutrition, there are a lot of healthy recipes on the Internet to help you out.

Tip 2: Safety exam

Secure furniture corners, sockets, and other potentially dangerous areas for your baby. It might seem there is enough time for this, but time slips past rapidly. One minute you help your baby hold her head and the other she makes her first attempts on walking. It might seem a bit childish, but if you are not sure how baby-friendly your house is, try to crawl and walk it far and wide. This can help you neutralize many dangerous zones that your baby might find.

Tip 3: Organize your bedroom

Because the American Academy of Pediatrics and other health organizations recommend sleeping safely within an arm's reach of your new baby, many young parents place a baby crib right next to their bed, or even turn it into a side-car, so that they are always nearby throughout the night.

Dark curtains or window shade are another useful thing in a nursery. They help you mimic nighttime during daytime naps. Because darkness means bedtime, your little one will more likely fall asleep faster.

Tip 4: Arrange nursing and diaper change zones wisely

There will be a lot of baby gear all around your house soon. And the best thing you can do is to organize it wisely to have everything at hand any time you need it. You could hang a shelf for diapering stuff (creams, wipes, baby powder, etc.) over the changing table or get a baby dresser that will hold it for you.

There are tons of baby gear in stores today, but try not to overbuy, even if it seems like the cutest thing you have ever seen. Follow the list of essentials instead, it includes most of the really needed stuff. Plus, you can always buy online postpartum if the need be.

Tip 5: Make sure you know how to fasten a car seat properly

Your car can rightly be called the extension of a house, so it should also be safe for a newborn. In this regard, a good car seat is must-have equipment. It is better to get it in advance and practice in fastening it so that when the time comes you will do it right.

Tip 6: Clean your house far and wide

Let’s be honest, it is almost impossible to keep a house germ-free. And you don’t have to disinfect it far and wide every day. Instead, make a deep clean before your baby is born. Your target is breeding grounds for bacteria such as a kitchen sink, toothbrush holders, countertops, etc. The same is with dust bunnies (lamp shades, ceiling fans, under beds). Because mold, bacteria, and toxic dust are hazardous for every member of your family, the sooner you get rid of them the better.

Tip 7: Control your environment

The proper temperature ( 68 - 72 degrees F) and humidity levels (35 - 65%) in your home are essential for you and a newborn. Too dry or too moist air is the reason of bacteria growth, which in turn, may cause health issues for you and your baby. In order to avoid this, many parents place humidifiers in their house.

Medical Tests and Screenings Women Need in Their Lifetime


Aside from maintaining a healthy lifestyle, going to doctor’s appointments and taking health screenings are more ways to keep our health in tiptop condition.

While men and women are both expected to undergo certain medical tests sometime in our lives, women may have to take additional tests to ensure the best possible health. Your eligibility for such tests may even be higher if you are at high risk for any health condition.

Be on top of your health by having yourself checked regularly. Educate yourself with these medical tests and screenings that are recommended for women to undergo in their lifetime.

Pap Tests

Also known as a Pap smear, a Pap test is a medical procedure to test for cervical cancer. This routine screening test can be taken by women regularly starting at the age of 21, but may be more frequently in women who are HIV-positive or who have a weakened immune system due to chemotherapy or a surgery, such as an organ transplant. It is important to note that women who are in a monogamous relationship are still encouraged to get regular Pap smears, as HPV virus can suddenly become active after being dormant for many years.

A Pap smear is a simple and quick procedure, yet some women may find it uncomfortable. During the test, your doctor will ask you to lie down while she inserts a speculum into your vagina to better access the cervix. Using a clinical spatula, your healthcare provider will then scrape a small sample of cells from the cervix, which will be sent to the lab for testing of any cancerous cells.

Mammograms and Breast Exams

While you can self-check your breasts anytime, a clinical breast exam and a mammogram can better detect breast cancer and prevent it from worsening. A mammogram is done by compressing the breast in between plates to better capture an image through X-ray.

According to the American Cancer Society, women should begin getting mammograms starting at the age of 45 yearly and every other year beginning at age 55. However, women may start breast screenings as early as 40, if they prefer. Meanwhile, your doctor should manually assess and examine your breasts during regular checkups if you are 20 and above.

Bone Density Screening

According to the National Osteoporosis Foundation, about 54 million Americans have low bone mass, putting them at high risk for osteoporosis. What’s more is that an estimate of one in two women is likely to have a bone injury due to osteoporosis. Women are known to lose 30 percent of their bone mass five to seven years after menopause.

This condition is often dubbed as a silent disease, as someone who has it can’t feel their bones weakening. This should encourage women to undergo a bone density test when they reach the age of 65 and every five years thereafter. An osteoporosis screening is performed through a dual-energy X-ray (DXA) test, which is the most accurate bone-density procedure. This test should be safe and non-invasive, as the X-ray machine takes a scan of your spine, wrists, and hips.

Blood Pressure Test

Heart disease is commonly the cause of death for both men and women in the U.S., yet symptoms of this condition may be different in both genders. For instance, women may be experiencing a heart attack without any chest pain, unlike what many men experience. One important way to prevent such condition altogether is getting screened for high blood pressure or hypertension. Once you are diagnosed with hypertension, your healthcare provider may then be able to prescribe proper medications to keep your blood pressure well controlled.

Blood pressure monitoring is one of the routine procedures done during your doctor’s appointment, together with body temperature reading, which can be done through the use of temperature probes, if the situation calls for it. Keeping your vital signs in check significantly detects any health problems before they occur.

Depression Screening

About 15 million people in the U.S. experience depression every year, and majority of them turn out to be women. It is essential for all adults to keep tabs on their mental health, especially women, who can fall easily into postpartum depression once they’ve given birth. A depression screening simply is a conversation with a medical professional about your mental health. While depression is often viewed as a subjective condition, it tops the list of the leading causes of disability around the globe. This is one of the many reasons why it is important to make depression screening a part of regular health care for women.

A good overall health is what women need in order to face the daily challenges that life throws at them. These preventive screening tests greatly help in keeping track of their health and keeping diseases at bay, giving them more chances of enjoying life to their fullest potential.

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Things you should know about postpartum depression

The thought that you cannot care for your baby efficiently can be disturbing. After waiting to hold your baby for nine long months, the last thing you want is to have postpartum depression. This state is powerful and can last for some time. Mothers who suffer from this illness find it hard to care for their babies. This is due to the feelings that accompany this illness. There are one or two things that you don’t know about this postpartum depression. Read on to find out more.


It can start during pregnancy or after birth

While everyone expects the condition to kick off soon after birth, postpartum depression can begin during pregnancy. The symptoms can also begin in during the three months of birth.

Women are at risk

According to studies, women who have a family record of anxiety or mood or depression are at a higher risk of developing PPD. Also, those who suffer significant mood-related changes associated with menstrual cycles are at risk. Those who have experienced postpartum depression in their previous pregnancy have a significant chance of having it again. This means, if you have had PPD before, you need to take precautions early. Women and teenagers who are financially unstable, also have a significant risk of developing PPD.

It is difficult to discuss

The feeling to express happiness is overwhelming and thus making it hard to address the condition. Most women find it hard to express themselves or experience the joy they anticipated to have with the little ones. You will not enjoy the birth of the baby.

It is treatable

While some women don’t get treated for this condition, you can get treatment if you identify that you need help. A mixture of psycho-treatment and anti-depressant can healing can be a slow process, but you will eventually get better in three or four months. You can get help from people who are qualified in treating postpartum depression. Alternatively, you may seek help from a postpartum depression foundation. Many PPD foundations offer support to the sufferers.

You can be a good mother

Even with the condition, you can be a good mother and wife. This can be achieved by having supportive people around you. People who have partners with PPD should learn how to assist and support their partners. This can help PPD patients to feel they belong to the family and they are no less than other women without the condition.

Conclusion

If you are suffering from PPD, just know you are not alone. There are several women out there who are suffering like you. But the good news is that you can get help from the experts. You should also know that even symptoms are not the same for all women. One of the common sign of this condition is that you will feel disconnected from your little one. Other women also experience disorientation, fogginess, and Barnes. Others also have their sleeping pattern altered. In case you feel these symptoms, seek medical help right away.


Fun and Simple Activities for Introducing Kids to Their Environment


Children become more active as they reach a certain age. Depending on when your children learn to walk, their exploration instincts kick in at a certain age and they become more curious about their surroundings. Teaching kids how to interact with their environment is an essential process to complete at this stage.

You don’t have to resort to boring lessons to help kids become more familiar with their environment. Certain activities, games, and even adventures will help them pick up the knowledge and skills they need while having a lot of fun along the way.

Trampoline-Jumping

Trampolining, or jumping on a trampoline, is one of the most fun things to do. Even as adults, we often imagine what it would be like to have a giant trampoline and some time to just let loose and have fun. Your kids will find the activity extremely exciting, plus they will be exposed to the elements while they have a lot of fun.

First, you need a good trampoline. Fortunately, you are not alone when it comes to choosing a trampoline. There are reviews and other resources on Trampolinefirst.com that will help you find the perfect one to pick up in no time. You also have user reviews and testimonials to go through.

Make sure the trampoline is installed properly for maximum safety. You want the kids to have fun early in the morning or late in the afternoon when the sun is not too hot. This way, you don’t have to worry about excessive heat and exposure to UV rays.


Hiking Adventures

We normally think of a long trip to the mountains when talking about hiking. In reality, hiking doesn’t have to be all that complicated. A simple walk through a trail that you create yourself in the park can be rewarding enough. Share the experience with the kids and you have a winner.

A short hiking trip will arouse a child’s curiosity. They will start admiring birds, tree branches, and other details around them. Don’t rush through the experience. Answer every question patiently and let the children take in the experience to the fullest.

If you have older children, sharing a hiking trip is also worth considering. The extra challenges and more exposure to the elements are good for them and their learning experience.

Backyard Camping

Yes, spending some time outside during the evening is also highly recommended. Schedule a camping night and have a lot of fun sharing a barbeque, exchanging stories, playing camping games, and doing other things.

Since it is camping in the backyard, there is no need to worry about preparing things. A tent and some basic camping equipment are all you need; besides, you can always come into the house once you are done for the evening. You’ll be surprised by how excited the children will be when learning about the stars.

Pick any of these activities and help your children get to know their surroundings better. It is an exercise you will certainly enjoy.


KEEPING OUR AIR CLEAN FOR OUR CHILDREN


The world is not a gift from our ancestors but is instead a loan from our children. This is why it is vital to ensure that our children get to breathe in air that is clean and healthy. Today, the environment is quite polluted. Contaminants in the air are more common than ever. This is detrimental to everyone’s health; however for children with their weaker immune systems, it is an even bigger cause for concern.

Parents may try to shield their kids from all sorts of danger, including the health hazards that can be caused by breathing in unclean air, however, they can’t control everything. Fortunately, now with products like air purifiers, parents can at least ensure that the air inside their home is clean and safe.

Some statistics show that indoor air might actually contain more contaminants and pollutants than outdoor air. This is because nature has a natural way of purifying the air through plants and vegetation. However, inside the homes, this is not the case. Which is why a lot of care needs to be taken in ensuring that the air that you and your children breath inside your home is suitable for healthy living.

Here are some of the benefits of clean air in homes and tips on how you can achieve this.

Helps with Asthma and Allergies

The symptoms of asthma and allergies can be aggravated due to airborne irritants. If these irritants are removed from the air, then children and adults alike will find some relief from their allergies or other respiratory conditions. Moreover, even children who do not have any allergies or asthma can benefit from clean air. This is because the dust and impurities in the air can cause irritation and inflammation in the nasal passage and the rest of the respiratory system.

Improved Digestion and Other Bodily Functions

For most of us, breathing is simply a process we do all the time which is why it is rarely given the importance or the attention it deserves. However, the truth of the matter is that without ample supply of oxygen that the body receives through breathing, the body will not be able to perform all the bodily functions optimally. For example, digestion. Clean oxygen in ample supply is required to keep the muscles in the digestive track contracting and relaxing rhythmically. Without it, the food will not be broken down or utilized properly by the body. If the air is impure and unclean, the amount of oxygen that the body receives with each breath decreases. Moreover, clean air and oxygen are vital for the growth and development of children.


Improved Mood, Emotional Intelligence, and Cognitive Abilities

Are your children moody, grumpy or blue a little too often? The air in your home might be the culprit. Clean and fresh air is strongly linked to improved mood, emotional intelligence, and cognitive ability. In fact, some neuroscientists have even linked clean and fresh air with improved brain function. All of these things are extremely important for the growth and development of children.

Long and Healthy Life

Breathing in the impure air for prolonged periods can cause a buildup of contaminants and irritants in the respiratory system. This can lead to several diseases, many of which can even prove to be chronically dangerous for both children and adults alike. These diseases include emphysema and bronchitis. Therefore, by providing our children with clean air, parents can ensure that their children live longer and healthier lives, free of such diseases and conditions.

How to Get Clean Indoor Air?

The benefits of clean air are many, and fortunately, it is quite easy to rake in these benefits. By following just a few simple steps, you can dramatically improve the quality of the air inside your house.

Air purifiers are a simple and effective way to achieve exactly what their name suggests- pure air. The top air purifiers come in a variety of designs and can be installed in different ways, however, one of the most effective ways is to install an air purifier so that it works in tandem with your home’s cooling or heating systems.

Apart from this, getting your house inspected for mold is a good idea, as this can also contaminate the air. Moreover, ensure that you regularly vacuum the house to get rid of the dust particles and allergens, avoid smoking in the house, and invest in some indoor plants. The plants will improve the oxygen levels in the air in your home.


Sources: 

http://www.bobjenson.com/blog/6-benefits-good-indoor-air-quality/

https://greenairenv.com/blog/3-benefits-of-clean-air-on-children/

https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/how-to-fix-indoor-air-pollution_us_59e0cc85e4b03a7be58012b1

The Art of Teaching Kids to Fly Fish


For anglers who understand and agree with the need for conservation, investing the time and patience needed to teach children to fly fish is returned tenfold when children discover, and take to, the beauty, grace, and challenges of the sport by becoming lifelong fly fishermen. So, even though having more fly fishermen in the world is kind of a “catch 22” since more fly fishermen means more fishing pressure, it also means more conservationists and, the more conservationists we have, the more likely we are to be able to keep our local trout streams pristine and accessible to the public. However, teaching children to fly fish is not an easy task even for an experienced fly fishing instructor but, there are certain things that are helpful to both know and practice when teaching children to fly fish that will undoubtedly make your efforts more successful.

10 Helpful Tips for Teaching Kids to Fly Fish 

1. Have the patience of Job 

For those of you who are not familiar with the story, Job was a character in the Christian Bible who endured a seemingly endless series of trials administered by God but, because Job remained loyal through it all, he was handsomely rewarded in the end. So, when teaching kids to fly fish, the first requirement is to have the patience of Job! The reason for this is that kids are either intensely interested in fly fishing or they are not and, if they are, then they will want to learn from you but, if they are not, then nothing you can do will engage their attention.

2. Make it fun for them

This tip is almost as important at the tip mentioned above! Even if the kid or kids you are teaching are interested in learning, you still need to make it fun for them. So, because kids like both games and challenges, one of the best ways to make fly fishing fun for them is to make a game out of it. For instance, a game to see who has the best cast or, who can cast their fly the most accurately or, anything else you can dream up that is both teaches them a particular aspect of fly fishing and is also fun for them. That way, they will have a memorable day even if they don’t catch any fish.

3. Show them as well as tell them 

Some kids learn well by listening to the lectures their teachers give them during their classes and thus, they also learn well by having you explain a particular fly fishing technique to them. However, some kids are visual learners and thus, they learn much better when they see a person demonstrate a particular technique for them. So, it is a wise idea to always carry a rod of your own along when teaching kids to fly fish so that you can show them as well as explain to them what you want to teach them.

4. Don’t hover over their shoulder 

On the other hand, kids hate having an adult hanging over their shoulder scrutinizing and correcting their every move and thus, it is very important to respect not only their personal space but their need to explore as they learn. So, rather than hover behind them like an overprotective parent, approach them to tell them or show them what you need to and then, back off and let them practice a bit while you provide a bit of friendly coaching from the sidelines.


5. Praise their successes and have patience with their mistakes

Children are genetically preprogrammed to seek approval from both their peers and from adults who they either like or admire. Thus, by having patience with them, making fly fishing fun for them and, not hovering over their shoulder, while also praising their successes and pointing out but, not chastising, their mistakes, kids will appreciate you and thus, they will be far more inclined to listen to you and do as you instruct.

6. Remember that you are taller and stronger than they are

This is a big one! Adults tend to forget that they are both taller and stronger than kids are and thus, terrain that is relatively simple for an experienced adult to traverse can sometimes be extra challenging to a kid. So, when teaching kids to fly fish, it is important to remember that they are shorter, weaker, and lighter than you are and thus, it is important that you choose your path along the stream, as well as your stream crossings, with a kid’s smaller stature in mind.

7. Provide them with an outfit appropriate to their stature

Despite the fact that kids most certainly can cast effectively and accurately with a 9 foot fly rod, if you will stop and think about it for a moment, to a kid who is only three and a half or four feet tall, a 9 foot fly rod looks like a 14 foot spey rod does to an average adult! So, it’s really helpful to kids to purchase a rod for them that has both an action and a length that is appropriate to their stature.

8. Have fun yourself or they will know

It might not seem like it at times, but kids are very sensitive to the moods of the adults that they interact with and thus, if you are not having fun teaching them to fly fish, then they will definitely know it. So, even if they are having enough fun on their own to ignore your sour mood, they will still know you are not happy about being there and it will adversely affect their fly fishing experience. So, if you don’t like spending time with, or teaching, kids, then find and hire a dedicated fly fishing instructor who thoroughly enjoys teaching and have them teach your children for you. Then, you can fly fish together once their instructor has taught them how.

See more tips on taking kids on their first fishing trip…


About author: Bill Bernhardt is a professional fly fishing guide and instructor with over fifteen years of experience. Also, he is a professional editor and outdoor author who has published eight books and written more than 1,500 articles and, he has contributed to both American Outdoor Magazine and Southern Trout e-zine.


The Science Behind Weight Loss that Lasts


Losing weight is not easy. Sometimes it's harder to keep the weight off once you've managed to lose it. Unfortunately, people make it harder than it has to be through fad diets instead of science-backed methods.

Avoid Yo-Yo Dieting

Dieting doesn't work. Perhaps you will lose a few pounds with your diet, but then you will gain it all back. Yo-yo dieting is only effective at screwing up your metabolism. The problem is that people want fast results which leads them to crash dieting or one of the latest fads. Although you can fine-tune your diet to maximize results, you can't keep the weight off by limiting calories to an unsustainable level or by cutting out entire food groups.

Eat a healthy, well-balanced diet, and limit your calories to a reasonable amount. For example, women should never go below 1200 calories per day. Of course, a woman will lose weight quickly if she cuts calories below that target, but the body goes into starvation mode and holds on to fat, which is counterproductive.

Stay Away from Fad Diets

One of the most significant issues with fad diets is that they are rarely sustainable. Look back at history at some of the most prominent fads, and you're not likely to find anyone still completely eliminating carbs like the Atkins diet, or drinking shakes for two of their meals every day. Although components of the diet might be effective, these plans are designed to make the authors, doctors, or creators money, not to provide a lifelong health plan for you.

Time Your Meals

If you want to lose weight, there are a few scientific methods that work and last. Many people find long-lasting results by timing their meals. This is especially beneficial if you exercise to build muscle. Eating a small snack about an hour before you go to the gym can provide energy and offer muscle-building benefits.

Timing your meal too close to your workout often results in a stomachache and lower energy. You can also help build muscle by eating the right nutrients and timing it after your work out. Timing your meals helps you work out smarter, not harder, to achieve and maintain your fitness goals.

Intermittent Fasting

Intermittent fasting is another way to lose weight that is supported by science. Fasting has a long history of scientifically proven health benefits. Intermittent fasting is slightly different from traditional fasts where you may choose a day or couple days to not eat. With intermittent fasting, you typically fast for 16 hours every day, eating all your calories within an eight-hour window. If that's not sustainable for you, consider a 14-hour fast with a 10-hour window for eating.

The fast allows you to reboot, while the smaller eating window helps to limit your calories and reduce the risk of over-indulging. Although you still want to choose nutritious food during your eating period, the point isn't to count calories.

Trust science if you want to lose weight and keep it off. Although fad diets work for a short period, you will likely gain the weight back, and it will probably make it harder to lose weight the next time you try. 



Why Is The Controversial Plant Kratom All Over The News?


Kratom is an herbal medicine derived from the leaves of a tree with the same name and is typically used in Southeast Asia to treat diarrhea and alleviate pain. It has also gained the approval of some medical practitioners for helping in the rehabilitation of patients suffering from opioid addiction.

However, it has recently gained international attention after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), revealed its plans to investigate the connection of the drug to the salmonella outbreak in 20 states in the U.S., including Pennsylvania, California, and North Carolina among others.

Kratom And The Salmonella Outbreak

Based on reports, the natural substance, which is typically found in countries like Papua New Guinea, Thailand, Indonesia, and Malaysia, is being considered as the reason behind 28 cases of Salmonella in February 2018.

Eleven of the salmonella infection patients were rushed to the hospital but no deaths were recorded so far. According to CDC, eight out of 11 patients that were interviewed took kratom in different forms— teas, powder, and pills— before showing signs of the infection. As far as health authorities are concerned, the outbreak began in October 2017 and continued through January 2018.

But before the CDC stepped in, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) had already warned the public about the dangers of using kratom for both medical and recreational purposes.

Based on a November 2017 press release from FDA Commissioner Dr. Scott Gottlieb, a thorough study of the plant showed that it has adverse effects that are almost the same as morphine. Because of this, the FDA warned the public about the risk of abuse, addiction, and dependency. They recommended a stricter regulation of the substance.

Is Kratom Really Deadly?

Besides the reported salmonella outbreak, there were fatalities that have been linked to kratom because of its psychoactive ingredient is known as mitragynine.

The Georgia Bureau of Investigation probed several of these cases in 2016 and claimed that it was mitragynine that caused victims to overdose, ultimately dubbing kratom as a killer drug.

Even so, many are skeptical about these claims as scientists revealed that kratom cannot possibly cause an overdose— at least, not by itself. Also, many experts still support the substance because of the herbal medicine’s advantages, especially its role as an opioid replacement to ease addicts.

Benefits Of Kratom

According to proponents of the botanical drug, kratom can be used as a painkiller, an energy source and immune system booster, also a sexual stimulant. It is also known to be effective in helping patients with anxiety and it is beneficial for diabetics as well.

To ease body pains, kratom leaves can be chewed to achieve its analgesic properties. The alkaloid in the substance works by inciting an increase of the release of the neurotransmitters dopamine and serotonin.

Kratom is also known as a great source of antioxidants that fight free radicals, thereby boosting the body’s immunity. People with chronic fatigue syndrome also benefit from this natural drug as it optimizes metabolic processes that, in turn, gives the patient a burst of energy.

Aside from that, intake of kratom leaves is also advised for people suffering from anxiety, depression, and chronic stress as it acts as an anxiolytic substance that regulates hormonal imbalance that may cause these conditions.

Side-Effects Of Kratom

While it may be lauded for its miraculous effects, kratom is not without flaw. In fact, proponents of the herb acknowledged reported side-effects of this natural drug, such as mental confusion, hallucinations, and delusion. These “psychotic symptoms” are similar to that of morphine. Some kratom users also reported having episodes they likened to a “hangover,” including nausea and headaches.

Follow this site for the latest updates on kratom: KratomNews.org.


Healthy Mind, Healthy Body


We can learn a lot from our ancestors about healthy living. Before the days of processed food and instant gratification, human beings led active lifestyles with natural diets. Over the course of history, there have been many arguments made for the link between psychological well-being and physical health. Increased scientific inquiry into the subject has proven the validity of this mind-body connection.

Diet and exercise are the two biggest determining factors of a healthy body and mind. Yet for some reason, this notion has been frequently neglected. This article will provide you with steps to help you achieve a healthy mind and body and underline the connection between the two. Adopting a healthy diet doesn’t mean starving yourself; it means making positive changes to incorporate natural foods. When embarking on a journey to self-empowerment, introducing a balance of fruit and vegetables is a great starting point to clear the body of toxins. The rewards extend to mind and spirit too, in conjunction with embracing a consistent workout routine to improve your health.

Positive Mindset

Health experts stress the importance of positive thinking. If you’re optimistic about your goals and not easily defeated, you’re more likely to overcome initial difficulties when turning your life around. Whether you are investing in your long-term health, or your improvements are simply aesthetic, staying motivated throughout the process will help keep you on track. Positivity is a key to success, and when you notice positive changes to your body, your mind will follow. There are various wellness trends that you can use to guide your expectations and manage your strategy for staying in shape. To further improve your overall mindset, it’s important to create a safe and secure environment at home. While peace of mind and a sense of security is always important, this is especially necessary in your home. Thankfully, safety assurance can be achieved if you install a visitor management system like Safe Visitor Solutions, which can help to improve your sense of security.

Sleep Well

Quality sleep is undoubtedly a key to good health. Being in a relaxed state helps to reduce blood pressure and keep it under control. The importance of quality sleep is outlined in the Johns Hopkins sleep study, which stresses that the comfort of your sleep environment is critical to good rest. Sleep strengthens your ability to fight infection, as sufficient rest gives a boost to your immune system. Sleep puts you in a better mood, too, elevating your outlook and making you less prone to become grumpy. Insufficient sleep can put you in a negative frame of mind, which can translate to health complications. Additionally, quality sleep helps to maintain weight by regulating hormones that are associated with high calorie food intake.


The Power of Greens

According to Livestrong, green vegetables are especially beneficial for your health, particularly vegetables that are dark and leafy. The more you can eat, the better, because they’re loaded with minerals, fibers, vitamins, enzymes, and antioxidants. What’s great about vegetables is they satisfy appetite with no crash involved, providing long lasting energy in the same way as some modern supplements like Hydroxyelite. Speaking of supplements, they can be helpful in the early days of making your dietary changes, as some help combat cravings. A related trend is juicing, which is a great way to start the day as it provides you with these necessary nutrients all in one sitting. All you’ll need is organic celery, romaine, kale, pear, and a peeled cucumber. This reduces inflammation while providing a useful energy boost.

Stay Hydrated

Drinking water and remaining hydrated helps to transport essential nutrients to where they’re needed in the body. In this way, staying hydrated is useful to the detox process. Water supports digestion while removing waste products in the blood. Focus on drinking at least two liters of water per day, or drink one glass of water every hour. Of course, you can modify your water intake depending on your circumstances.

Choose a Workout Regimen You’ll Enjoy

Devise a workout routine that combines aerobic exercise and strength work. Zumba is a great option because it combines high-energy movement with fun elements like music. When exercising, it’s important to start at your own pace and gradually increase intensity. Don’t do too much too quickly, otherwise you’re more likely to lose motivation. Exercises to start with are Pilates or yoga to increase flexibility and strengthen your muscles. Running is a good cardiovascular exercise. It’s great for fat burning and can be modified according to your ability. If you’re experiencing mild discomfort or soreness when you begin exercising, you can seek out all-natural solutions, like Curamin Extra Strength, that serve as an all-natural alternative to over-the-counter painkillers like ibuprofen and aspirin.

When beginning your journey to improve your overall health, it’s important to be sure that you are taking care of both your body and mind. Making these positive lifestyle changes will have you not only looking better, but feeling better, too.



Teens and Technology


The lives of today’s teens, in their digitally connected and always online world, are much different than what us parents went through at that age. Gone are the days of making weekend plans on Fridays with your friends at school and hoping they showed up; teens are now in constant contact through phones and internet. It’s all about what you posted on Snap Chat, whose Twitter accounts you sub to, and there’s little point in doing anything that you can’t film and post online later.

With such a baffling new teen culture emerging, it’s hard for parents to know the where the line lies between safe and unhealthy use of technology. If you’re in this category, this article is definitely for you, as we look at the benefits and dangers of the constantly plugged-in lifestyles of modern teenagers.

The Benefits

For starters, there is a world of information at their fingertips, and your teen can almost instantly find out about current affairs, history, science or anything else they are interested in. The internet provides a window into all parts of the world, and young people are using it to educate themselves.

Despite what people say about technology making us anti-social, teens are communicating with each other more and more. Whether it’s a quick reminder to make sure they finish their assignment for tomorrow’s class or keeping in touch with a friend in another country, they use instant messaging and social media to develop and maintain strong friendships. For those with niche interests, technology can also allow them to find and participate in communities with like-minded others.

One of the best things about this new technology is that our teens don’t have to just passively experience it; they can create and share content themselves. Whether this is uploading music they’ve recorded, posting photographs or starting their own Youtube channel, technology can help them express themselves, learn skills and pursue artistic endeavours.

The Dangers

Unfortunately, there are dangers to the technology that our teens are plugged into. Cyber-bullying has gotten a lot of media attention recently, whereby children are bullied, intimidated and shamed over the internet and social media. Just like face-to-face bullying, it is very painful and damaging for the victim, and cyber-bullying has been linked to many cases of teen suicide.

Physical health can also be badly affected. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, around 50% of young Americans aged 12 to 21 don’t regularly exercise, with overuse of technology being a big contributing factor.

More insidious is the way marketers take advantage of the internet to bombard people with advertisements and promote a culture of boundless consumerism. Reports have shown that young people are very naïve about the online practices of the advertising world. We should also be concerned about how companies monitor our kids’ online activities and use this data to market products to them.


Moderation, Balance and Conversation

Healthy use of technology comes through moderation. It’s too easy fall into patterns of texting all day or playing hour upon hour of online games. This becomes harmful when it starts cutting into their school time and keeps them from sleep or real contact with people. Parents need to help their child find moderation. Don’t be afraid to set time limits Wi-Fi before you go to bed.

Balance with other aspects of life is also important. Talk to your kids about how much time they spend with their tablets and gadgets, and figure out a system whereby they also get regular exercise, fresh air, and face-to-face contact with their friends. You may even be able to do this without the usual drama; why not gift them a gym membership for their next birthday present? Or let them take the car to go visit their friends?

Above all else, your conversations with your teen will have the most impact on how safe and productive their use of technology is. Although they love to tell us how ‘grown up’ they are, teenagers are still in that strange limbo between childhood and adulthood, and they are still vulnerable. Talk to your children about how they are using technology. Ask them what they are doing and be blunt with them if you think they are spending too much time in front of a screen. Most importantly, let them know that you are aware of how nasty things can get on social media, and assure them that you are always there for them if they need support. And always, always listen to them.

Trust us, we know how difficult teenagers can be, and sometimes getting them to talk to you seems like trying to get blood from a stone. But you’re they’re parents; you’ve brought them into this world, fed them, clothed them and changed their diapers a million times, and we’re sure you can find the right way of getting through to them.


References Links



About the Author

Matt Morrisey is a former teacher who has traveled all over the world teaching children English. From China to the U.K., Matt is well known. Matt’s parents are teachers, and his only brother works for a children’s charity in the U.K. Matt currently writes for BuzzParent.com and loves to write about parenting topics ranging from kids’ toys, activities for kids, to parenting hacks and lifestyle. He loves remote-control drones, and cannot wait until he opens his window to allow a drone to enter with an Amazon package - not long now... His work has been read by readers all over the world, and is featured on blogs and websites across the globe. Matt recently decided to go back to the university to complete a PhD and continue his career.

How to Prepare Your Child for Daycare?


How to Prepare Your Child for Daycare?

Daycares can be a blessing in disguise when it comes to preparing your child for the forthcoming years. They are not the only blessing for working parents who look for safe caregiving options for their kids while they are at work, but they are also excellent early learning centers that help in confidence building and personality development of your child in an ancient age.

With all its merits accepted, the single significant aspect that scares parents from sending their toddlers to daycares is the tender age and the thought of leaving them in an environment stranger them. Many kids are stubborn and take a while to settle in the daycare life. Separation anxiety for both parents and kids is a real concern. However, it is not as difficult as it seems. For example following are some points in order to prepare your child for daycare.

Talk About Childcare and Daycare Centers in a Playful Manner

To mentally prepare your child for the daycare, it is essential that you start making him by talking randomly about daycares in a playful, natural manner. Bring in the life at daycare randomly in between your conversations and communicate the positive experiences about daycare. Talk about how painting and sand play at the daycare are so much fun and how beautiful the classrooms are with so many cute toys to play with. Repeatedly talking about daycares will make the child familiar with the idea that there are spaces where children go to play and have fun.

Read Stories about Daycare

Read interesting books and stories, including bedtime stories that revolve around daycares and nurseries. If you are unable to find a relevant book, make up your account. Talk about a baby whose mommy drops him to daycare every day for a surprise and he gets to play with new toys and learn new rhymes every day.

Set up an Expected Routine

No matter how much you talk about going to daycare to a child, if he is not well slept in the morning, he is bound to be cranky and grumpy and will find it more difficult to settle in the system. Get your child into a routine from a few weeks before joining the daycare. Have early bedtimes so that he wakes up fresh and well rested. Introduce a physical activity before bedtime followed by a warm bath so that he gets tired and sleeps comfortably. Make proper meal plans and make sure he eats on time.

Be Confident

Remember that a child picks cues from his parents. If he feels that his parent is anxious, he will show the same level of anxiety. Although separation anxiety is real and natural, you need to make sure that your child does not sense your fear. Be confident in front of him and do not disappear suddenly after leaving him. Say a proper goodbye followed by an assuring hug and let him know you will be back to pick him up at home time.


5 Ways Parents Can Make Sure Baby Toys Are Safe


It can be challenging for parents to know what toys are safe for baby. Playtime is so important for a child’s development. Not to mention that adorable, memorable look on his or her face when a new toy is introduced to playtime. But are those baby toys safe?

Every parent has seen their baby stuff a toy in their mouth. Parents also know the frightening moment baby is chewing on a small toy, or tiny toy piece. Did they swallow anything? Should I call an ambulance?

A U.S. Product Safety Commission report on toy deaths and injuries estimated 240,000 toy-related injuries in 2016. There were also seven toy-related deaths, three of which were riding toy vehicle accident deaths.

Not a happy thought for any parent, but important nonetheless. Keep your baby from being a statistic with the following 5 ways parents can make sure baby toys are safe.

1. Identify Dangerous Toys

There are a number of dangers toys present. As a parent, you are essentially the last quality assurance agent of any toy that ends up in your baby’s little hands. Here are a few dangers to be on the lookout for.


  • Small toys or tiny toy parts that can be put in the mouth.
  • Sharp edged toys that may injury your baby’s eyes, ears, or mouth if eaten. 
  • Small magnets that can be swallowed, or toys with magnet parts.
  • Toys will cords, strings, or straps that could get wrapped around your baby’s neck.
  • Any toy with electrical parts, including batteries.
  • Easy to break toys that can cause harm if in small pieces.
  • Toxic chemicals in toys, like lead, mercury, arsenic, cadmium, etc.


Don’t forget the dangers of those spur-of-the-moment toys children can pick up while enjoying a little playtime in nature. A watchful eye is important.

2. Do Your Toy Due Diligence

Parents should be keeping up on toy trends and dangers online. Do you know how many toy/product recalls there were in the past four months? Shockingly, there were 71 toy recalls since the beginning of 2018.

That is a lot of recalled toys! Knowing what toys are dangerous via online reviews and ratings is important. You very well could have a recalled toy in your baby’s playroom.

Online toy buying could also be risky when it comes to recalled toys. Research from the U.S. Public Interest Research Groups Education Fund found that dozens of recalled toys might still be listed online for sale.

3. Be Hesitant About Hand Me Down Toys

Hand me down toys may be free, fun, and potentially have a bit of sentimental value attached, but they may be dangerous. The wear and tear on old toys makes them more susceptible to damage from baby. This could result in small pieces becoming choking hazards.

An old hand me down toy, or toy bought second hand could be a toy that was recalled many years ago. This could expose your child to toxic chemicals or dangerous parts that have caused baby injuries in the past.

It may be expensive, and not as sentimental, but purchasing new toys could be a safer bet for your little one. “While it's tempting to accept any secondhand item another parent offers, there are some things that probably should not be handed down,” Monica Beyer of Business Insider explained.

4. Pay Attention to Age Limits and Labels

Age recommendations are there for a reason, and parents should pay attention to them. If your baby is too young for a toy based on age limit, it is an automatic hazard for your baby.

Reading labels and instructions of toys is also vital to ensuring a toy is safe for your baby. This includes the list of materials that were used in making the toy. You may even identify potential screws to tighten, like the battery cover screws that always wiggle their way out.

Not following age limits and labels also puts you at risk for not being compensated if that toy is recalled and did cause harm to your baby. “The success of many cases hinges on very specific and sometimes minute details,” personal injury attorney JR Reyna explained.

5. Think Beyond the Toy

Ensuring baby toys are safe can even go beyond the toy itself. A safe toy can become a dangerous one when in a hazardous playtime environment. Before it’s time to crawl down onto to the floor for some baby play, you should ensure the surroundings are safe.

A few playtime safety tips include:


  • Take an inventory of the toy chest. What toys need to be tossed due to dangerous broken pieces? 
  • Make sure toys are stored safely. Remember, lids are bad. 
  • Do a sweep of the playtime floor to ensure no hazards are present. This could range from broken diaper straps to a dime sized cookie shard from days before.
  • Always supervise baby playtime. If you can think of something bad, chances are it can happen.
  • Keep toys separate if you have an older child. The two toys may have different age limits, making them dangerous for baby.


Wrapping Up . . .

Baby toy safety is priority number one. Every parent knows what to do, but as all of us parents know, what we know and what we can accomplish daily with baby underfoot are two different things. Stay current on toy safety and give yourself a reminder every so often. Are your baby’s toys safe for playtime?


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