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Guest Post: Children are curious little critters. But too much curiosity around the average home can pose a risk to our vulnerable little people. Thankfully, there are easy ways to make sure your home is a safe and fun environment for your children as they explore and grow. Here are five common health hazards for children in the home and some simple ways to safeguard against them.  

  1. Drowning

The risk of drowning in the home goes beyond the swimming pool. Any type of standing water, even just a few inches deep, can pose a drowning risk for your child. This can include the bath, toilet, water buckets and even a melted ice box in those hot summer months. Luckily, there are easy ways to child proof your home to protect against a drowning risk

  • Introduce a closed-door policy when the bathroom is not in use.
  • Always put the toilet lid down and consider a toilet-lid lock to stop those curious little fingers.  
  • Empty the bath as soon as bath time is finished.
  • If you have a pool, ensure that your pool fence is childproof and your children know how to swim.

Resuscitation saves millions of lives every year worldwide, so consider getting a CPR card in the home in case of catastrophe.

  1. Mould

Older homes can be prone to mould damage as moisture gets trapped in enclosed areas like cupboards, showers, basements and even inside old carpets. Children who live in mouldy environments face a higher risk of developing allergies and asthma later in life. There are some easy ways to reduce the risk of mould growing in the home.

  • Make sure your shower recess is given a deep clean to control mould growth.
  • Keep track of the age of mattresses to ensure your kids aren’t laying their head to rest on a secret mould infestation.
  • Always make use of exhaust fans in the kitchen and bathroom to keep the air dry.
  • Consider investing in a portable dehumidifier for mould-prone rooms like basements.  

And remember to keep your home well-ventilated with nature’s air-conditioner – the open window.

tookapic / Pixabay

  1. Poisoning

There’s a rainbow of products of all colours and designs on our shelves these days, from beauty products and toiletries to cleaning products. Unfortunately, to little eyes, these products can look more like lollies and sweets than toxic substances. Here are some simple ways to protect against a poison risk in the home.

  • Make sure household products like perfume, hair products, nail polish and nail polish remover are stored in a high bathroom cabinet.
  • Make sure detergent and bleach are stored well out of reach, rather than on top of your laundry bench or on the washing machine.
  • Ensure all medication is stored in childproof containers and stored well out of sight, like on top of your fridge.

Your first aid kit is essential in a catastrophe. Make sure your home has an up-to-date first aid kit and make sure you are familiar with the contents.

congerdesign / Pixabay

  1. Choking

Meal times can be messy business, but things can get really serious when it comes to choking, whether it be on edible substances or not. Small toys, jewellery and buttons as well as undigested food can all pose a serious choking risk for your child.

  • Make sure all jewellery and any other sort of smaller item like rubbers, buttons or decorative soaps are stored away out of reach.
  • Make sure kids are seated and still when eating, rather than playing, running around or lying down.
  • Pay close attention when children are eating small food that can block their airway, like grapes, nuts and chips.
  • Make sure meal times are accompanied by plenty of water to help aid digestion.

In times of catastrophe, abdominal thrusts (also known as the Heimlich Maneuver) can save a child’s life. Take a couple of minutes to familiarise yourself with the technique.

AUTHOR BIO

Sara is the marketing strategist of Survival Emergency Solutions, Australia’s leading provider of first aid products for the home, workplace, vehicle and outdoors. Their Emergency First Aid Handbook is the only book to win the Australian Design Award and has sold over 2 million copies.

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Childcare provides children with the chance to further their personal development. It is important children receive quality childcare. Childcare stimulates their creativity and equips them with many of the skills kids need for a happy childhood.
A good childcare centre should provide excellent services in five key areas of development.
These include:

  • Exercise
  • Stimulation
  • Education
  • Socialisation
  • Happiness

Read this guide for an in-depth look at the areas of development.
Tip: Read on to discover quality childcare in Perth city.

Stimulation and Education

Childcare keeps children stimulated so their brains develop and they learn new stuff. For example, playing with different shapes and colours helps kids to become more creative. The childcare environment also prepares children for school life. This is also an ideal place to introduce children to basic concepts such as counting.
A stimulated child will be more likely to enjoy their day at a childcare centre. Boredom at home can cause children to misbehave. Staff at childcare centres are experts at thinking up new ways to engage children.
Live in Perth? Stimulating activities are developing young minds at Little Peoples Place. Children grow up as intelligent and engaged young people.

hpgruesen / Pixabay

Exercise

One of the most important aspects of childcare is the amount of exercise children get through playtime. Children should exert as much physical activity as possible. This keeps them healthy, fit and in good
There are dozens of activities to keep children on their toes and energised. Whether they run around in a playground or pass a ball to one another in a circle.
Children should balance exercise with regular rest periods. This way children won’t exhaust themselves or become ill.
At childcare children are safe and supervised. This reduces risk of injury or accidents while playing.

Soledadsnp / Pixabay

Socialisation

A child’s development depends on the amount of positive daily interaction. Childcare centres allow children to join in on a wide range of social activities. They can practice their speaking skills, make friends and learn to cooperate.
Good centres also balance group activities with individual tasks. Kids receive the freedom to develop at their own pace.

Greyerbaby / Pixabay

Happiness

The four benefits above are all designed to make children as happy as possible. General happiness is a key factor in a child’s development. Quality childcare allows children to form a positive outlook on life. This is subconscious and influences their behaviour as older children and into adulthood.

dagon_ / Pixabay


Childcare is a positive experience for most children.

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By Ryan Spencer, Dymocks Literacy Expert and State Director of the Australian Literacy Educator’s Association
As a parent, one of the most important things you can teach your child is a love of books. Starting early and fostering an appreciation of the written word is perhaps the best way to ensure they will become avid readers.
But for most parents, really getting kids excited about reading can be quite the uphill battle. Parents often have to overcome their own doubts about their ability to inspire reading, not to mention the many devises and apps vying for their attention. So is there a foolproof way to help your little learner fall in love with books?
Read on for some top tips that’ll transform your children into better readers.
Read different types of books
They say variety is the spice of life and that is never more apparent than when trying to spark an interest in reading. Once your child is old enough to display likes and dislikes, it’s essential you take their feedback on board and react accordingly – otherwise their engagement in reading will drop and so too will their attitude. It pays to get kids to try different styles of books at a young age. A top tip is to theme particular nights of the week – “Oh look, it’s Mem Fox Monday!” – helping the kids get excited while also setting a reading routine.

jill111 / Pixabay


Don’t become the book police
As parents it can be very tempting to try and push your kids in a certain direction when it comes to choosing books – with the best intentions of course! When it comes to education, this temptation can be hard to ignore, with parents wanting their child to be reading the ‘right’ books at the ‘right’ age. However, by becoming the ‘book police’ you are in fact pushing your child in the wrong direction. Instead of force feeding the ‘correct’ books, allow your child the freedom of choice. You’re guaranteed to get better reading results if your child feels connected to the book.

White77 / Pixabay


Have fun and relax
When it comes to reading, fun should come first. In fact, it’s proven to be the best way to improve your child’s reading! Recent research from the Scholastic Kids & Family Reading Report found that above all, children aged 6–17 want books that make them laugh, and what parents want in books for children is often the same as what kids want for themselves. On top of that, the same study found more than half of children believe reading books for fun is very important. So, like celebrated author Mex Fox says, “Don’t teach the book, enjoy it!”

semslibrarylady / Pixabay


Read Aloud to Kids
Perhaps one of the most important ways you can help your child is by reading books aloud to them from a young age. In doing this you’re displaying how much fun and intrigue is to be found in books and there’s no denying it has an important flow on. The Scholastic Kids & Family Reading Report showed that 86% of Australian kids (between the ages of 6-17) enjoy being read aloud to. So get your funny voices ready, because reading just got a whole lot more interactive!
Ready to start reading with your little ones? Let them choose from a wide selection of children’s books online from Dymocks.
 

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Some families don’t let expense dictate their choice of holiday; they just choose their holiday movements wisely. Indeed, making careful decisions about what you pay for on holidays means your money can take you twice as far. Try these tips next time you want to travel beyond your family’s budget; whether it be booking Gold Coast accommodation, taking a tour in China or planning a weekend stay in a city.

1. Travel in the off-peak season

Most destinations have peak seasons – often based on seasonal weather – with the region’s school holidays having an added effect. Shoulder seasons can provide windows with much cheaper airfares and hotel prices. Another benefit of off-peak travel is that crowds are smaller.

travelling with kids

tookapic / Pixabay

2. Avoid touristy areas

Travel somewhere where the tourists are less in number and the hotels cost less in price. Instead of staying in a large city, pop into the city for a day trip, and book a stint of accommodation in a not-too-distant regional town with an interesting history. As long as you are enjoying it with your family, it’s the experience, not the destination that counts.

3. Do it locally

Accommodation, tours, transport: book it locally and it can be much cheaper. Take public transport around the city, that little bit of an extra headache could equate to the cost of dinner one night. Besides, this is how you learn how a city operates, by working it out for yourself.

4. Alternative accommodation

Hotels aren’t all they’re cracked to be. Try hostels or HomeExchange.com, which has tens of thousands of members in a large range of countries who are seeking to exchange homes with other members for holidays. You can then learn about another culture from a truly local perspective.

5. DIY Tours

There is no need to take expensive tours to get to know a new place; but this means spending time doing research beforehand. Learn the facts about a city, art gallery or church, then go and see it. It can be far less stressful than trying to keep children amused and engaged during an hour-long tour.

6. Eating in

Try booking accommodation with a kitchenette. A quick dinner can be whipped up for four people for the same price that one meal may cost in a restaurant. No need to do this every night, but definitely have breakfast cereal and milk on hand, which eradicates the need to plonk the whole family down in a café each morning.

travelling with kids

innitech / Pixabay

7. Eating out

When you do want to eat out, get advice on which restaurants provide value for money. Ask fellow travelers, hotel staff or check out TripAdvisor. Research eateries on the internet which have play areas for children. Often there is a local gem, sometimes a club, which has great food at reasonable prices and fabulous climbing equipment.
Travelling with children on a budget is not as hard as it sound. Just know where you will be cutting corners, and brief the kids accordingly. Make sure you take plenty of child-appropriate entertainment for those travel lulls; because you certainly don’t want to be nagged into spending anything extra unexpectedly. Most importantly: enjoy!

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I’ve always worried about my kids on trampolines. I’ve heard some pretty nasty horror stories about these bouncing springs of fun, so I’ve always been ‘the paranoid mum’ standing by the thing anticipating an accident.
In fact, in the summer of 2014 we had an even stranger event occur. After a day at work, hubby and I were staring out the backyard wondering what was missing. After a little reflection we realised our entire trampoline (it was a big one) was gone! At first we though it had been stolen – but then thought, surely not? What thief would have the energy, guts, stamina or team to walk off with something that big? Eventually we checked the park next door only to find it in pieces. It turned out (on this particularly windy day )our entire trampoline had blown over the fence. Luckily, we were very thankful no passersby were injured.

So here’s my big bouncy trampoline tip:

Definitely tie your trampoline down. These things have wings in the wind!

Great. Now that we’ve kept your neighbours safe, read on to discover how to keep the kids totally safe on a trampoline.

Trampolines have been creating endless fun and excitement for Australian children for generations. It’s easy to see why. Not only do they give kids an opportunity to burn off excess energy, but kids also develop athletic and acrobatic skills. An active childhood spent on a trampoline leads to an active adolescence. Choosing the proper trampoline for your family is essential and you want to ensure that it’s safe and reliable. When looking for a trampoline, you should do put the time in and do you research.

The not so great news

Unfortunately the trampoline industry has refused to update its standards despite an influx of reports from Australian health organisations. Reports say that most trampoline designs are unsafe and require a complete overhaul. Current designs that use springs and a metal frame on a horizontal plane flush with the bouncing surface cause unnecessary injuries.

The good news

One New Zealand father and mechanical engineer, Dr. Keith Alexander, redesigned the way trampolines are manufactured from the ground up, and Springfree Trampoline was born.

Eliminating injuries by up to 90%

No other company has been bold enough to bypass the industry standards in trampoline design and develop a model that eliminates 90% of product related injuries.
Here’s what Springfree Trampoline can do:

  • Flexible composite rods in the place of traditional spring coils
  • The rods and frame are under the jumping surface out of the way of bouncing kids
  • The composite rods are three times stronger than steel
  • Are tested to endure millions of bounce cycles
  • Prevents injuries and stops children from being pinched when jumping

Look for trampolines that have been fully tested

If you want a trampoline you can trust, look for one that manufactures all parts in one facility. Make sure the manufacturer tests their trampoline models rigorously for safety and quality assurance. The best manufacturers also are represented by industry awards such as the Parent Tested Parent Approved Award and the International Design Award.

What’s good about a Springfree Trampoline

  • A Springfree trampoline has been rigorously tested for quality assurance and safety.
  • They utilise the highest quality components available on the market.
  • FlexiNet™ technology delivers a net that absorbs much of the jumper’s shock and has a longer lifespan than traditional netting.
  • The mat (with soft edges) redistributes energy evenly, making it 30 times more shock absorbent than traditional trampoline pads.
  • The frame, springs, and netting of a Springfree trampoline can be left outside year round, resilient to the effects of the elements. Note: Once you take a traditional trampoline home, the parts begin to degrade almost right away.
  • Over the last decade, engineers and product development teams at Springfree Trampoline have perfected a design that removes most of the hazards associated with traditional trampolines.
  • They offer the safest and most innovative trampoline technology which offers millions of hours of safe bouncing fun and peace of mind to families across Australia.

I now hope you, your family, neighbours and kids will enjoy an injury free trampoline experience.
Happy bouncing!

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I’ve always worried about my kids on trampolines. I’ve heard some pretty nasty horror stories about these bouncing springs of fun, so I’ve always been ‘the paranoid mum’ standing by the thing anticipating an accident.
In fact, in the summer of 2014 we had an even stranger event occur. After a day at work, hubby and I were staring out the backyard wondering what was missing. After a little reflection we realised our entire trampoline (it was a big one) was gone! At first we though it had been stolen – but then thought, surely not? What thief would have the energy, guts, stamina or team to walk off with something that big? Eventually we checked the park next door only to find it in pieces. It turned out (on this particularly windy day )our entire trampoline had blown over the fence. Luckily, we were very thankful no passersby were injured.

So here’s my big bouncy trampoline tip:

Definitely tie your trampoline down. These things have wings in the wind!

Great. Now that we’ve kept your neighbours safe, read on to discover how to keep the kids totally safe on a trampoline.

Trampolines have been creating endless fun and excitement for Australian children for generations. It’s easy to see why. Not only do they give kids an opportunity to burn off excess energy, but kids also develop athletic and acrobatic skills. An active childhood spent on a trampoline leads to an active adolescence. Choosing the proper trampoline for your family is essential and you want to ensure that it’s safe and reliable. When looking for a trampoline, you should do put the time in and do you research.

The not so great news

Unfortunately the trampoline industry has refused to update its standards despite an influx of reports from Australian health organisations. Reports say that most trampoline designs are unsafe and require a complete overhaul. Current designs that use springs and a metal frame on a horizontal plane flush with the bouncing surface cause unnecessary injuries.

The good news

One New Zealand father and mechanical engineer, Dr. Keith Alexander, redesigned the way trampolines are manufactured from the ground up, and Springfree Trampoline was born.

Eliminating injuries by up to 90%

No other company has been bold enough to bypass the industry standards in trampoline design and develop a model that eliminates 90% of product related injuries.
Here’s what Springfree Trampoline can do:

  • Flexible composite rods in the place of traditional spring coils
  • The rods and frame are under the jumping surface out of the way of bouncing kids
  • The composite rods are three times stronger than steel
  • Are tested to endure millions of bounce cycles
  • Prevents injuries and stops children from being pinched when jumping

Look for trampolines that have been fully tested

If you want a trampoline you can trust, look for one that manufactures all parts in one facility. Make sure the manufacturer tests their trampoline models rigorously for safety and quality assurance. The best manufacturers also are represented by industry awards such as the Parent Tested Parent Approved Award and the International Design Award.

What’s good about a Springfree Trampoline

  • A Springfree trampoline has been rigorously tested for quality assurance and safety.
  • They utilise the highest quality components available on the market.
  • FlexiNet™ technology delivers a net that absorbs much of the jumper’s shock and has a longer lifespan than traditional netting.
  • The mat (with soft edges) redistributes energy evenly, making it 30 times more shock absorbent than traditional trampoline pads.
  • The frame, springs, and netting of a Springfree trampoline can be left outside year round, resilient to the effects of the elements. Note: Once you take a traditional trampoline home, the parts begin to degrade almost right away.
  • Over the last decade, engineers and product development teams at Springfree Trampoline have perfected a design that removes most of the hazards associated with traditional trampolines.
  • They offer the safest and most innovative trampoline technology which offers millions of hours of safe bouncing fun and peace of mind to families across Australia.

I now hope you, your family, neighbours and kids will enjoy an injury free trampoline experience.
Happy bouncing!

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