August 18, 2008

Safe Kids — Make sure your kids get to school safely

Whether you’re a parent jumping enthusiastically for joy, or a kid moaning and groaning, there’s no getting around the fact that school is just around the corner. And as schools across the country kick into full swing, children will be filling the streets, sidewalks and parking lots as they get themselves to and from school.

When I was a kid, I had to walk … uphill … both ways, for most of my youth. And it snowed most days, too! Whether your student will be traveling by bus, car, bike or under foot power, there are numerous things to keep in mind to make sure each trip is a safe one.

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July 10, 2007

Back to School Means New Environment, New Odors


(ARA) – If you have kids, from the time they’re in the cradle to when they move into a college dorm and everywhere in between, they need help keeping their stuff clean. And when back to school season arrives, the backpack, sports duffle, locker and dorm room all take on smells of their own.

The forgotten banana in the backpack, sweaty hockey gear left in the duffle or last week’s turkey sandwich in the locker all create tough odors. You may be able to stick the backpack in the washer but smells often linger even after being washed. And you can’t wash out their locker at school.

An easy solution for both problems is to drop a Fresh Wave Pearl Sachet into the pocket of their backpack. The kids hang the pack in their locker where it further attracts and rids the locker of bad odors. The packet attracts the odorous molecules from the locker as well as the backpack to keep both smelling fresh.

Fresh Wave, a unique odor neutralizing product comprised of a proprietary blend of Soya, natural extracts of Lime, Pine Needle, Aniseed, Clove and Cedarwood, comes in a variety of forms. Independent laboratories’ research and data prove that Fresh Wave products are effective for eliminating all kinds of odors.

How does it work? When the mixture of natural elements is activated by airflow, it attracts captures and neutralizes odor molecules. All that remains is a clean, natural-smelling environment, with no masking fragrances and no harsh chemicals.

When the kids go off to college for the first time, many will stay in the dormitories. Dorm rooms have smells of their own from last year’s occupants and probably the previous ones. Not only is this smell not welcoming, but can be intolerable. Not to mention the odors that come from some roommates who aren’t especially tidy.

You can’t follow your kids there to help, but you can send along something to help them keep their space smelling more like home. Make a college survival kit, including things like a set of utensils and dishes, homemade cookies, a picture of the family dog and something to help keep their space smelling fresh and clean.

If you think your kids would never use it, think again. The Fresh Wave Gel is so simple. They just open the jar and set it in an inconspicuous spot for continuous, safe odor removal. Air currents in the room waft over the open jar allowing the gel to soak up odorous molecules. You can send a new jar with them every semester for a fresh, clean-smelling living environment — so much better for studying!

And for the conscientious student, drop a small bottle of the Fresh Wave spray into their packs for those times when they pull an all-nighter and don’t have time for a change of clothes before class. The spray eliminates all kinds of odors, even cigarette smoke, for a fresh, clean smell without masking perfumes.

For more information and locations that carry Fresh Wave products, visit www.fresh-wave.com.

Courtesy of ARAcontent

June 27, 2007

Rediscovering the Outdoors with Your Kids Starts in Your Own Backyard



(ARA) – With school almost out, summer is the perfect time to rediscover the outdoors. Experiencing nature’s wonders firsthand — admiring a garter snake slithering in the grass, planting flowers in the yard or devouring strawberries picked fresh from the garden — can prove as captivating as anything on the TV or video-game screen. So begin today to get your kids to celebrate and capture summer outside with our living planet.

Parents searching for inspiration don’t have to look far to identify great outdoor activities that are nearby, easy and fun. And the benefits are enormous, studies reveal. More-active kids do better academically. They score higher on tests of concentration and self-discipline. They show better coordination, balance and agility, and they’re sick less often. They are less likely to bully, be violent and to vandalize. And they are more likely to develop their imagination and the sense of wonder.

“Unlike television, nature does not steal time; it amplifies it,” contends award-winning journalist and child advocate Richard Louv, whose book Last Child in the Woods coined the term “nature-deficit disorder” and also triggered a nationwide “No Child Left Indoors” movement. “In nature, a child finds freedom, fantasy and privacy: a place distant from the adult world, a separate peace.”

Not as many children today are discovering the outdoors. In a typical week, only six percent of children ages 9 to 13 play outside on their own, while a typical child in the U.S. watches more than three hours of television daily. The decline in outdoor adventuring is cited as one reason why the obesity rate has more than tripled the past three decades, to 17 percent from 5 percent, for children ages 12 to 19.

But getting your kids off the couch and out into the neighborhood for memorable adventures is easy and enjoyable. “We realize it can be a challenge for parents to identify outdoor activities that kids will consider fun,” says Jennifer Hanley, outdoor living and gardening expert at The Scotts Miracle-Gro Company. That very premise inspired the National Gardening Association — in conjunction with ScottsMiracle-Gro – to feature guides to creative, outdoor activities on www.kidsgardening.org. The site offers a wealth of ideas on how to get kids outside and in tune with their natural surroundings this summer.

Hanley’s nature and garden-related suggestions include a stroll around the yard or the neighborhood park to introduce children to the six basic parts of plants and their functions;  planting perennials that live and bloom year after year; and designating a day for immersing children in nature — without TV, computers and video games.

Whenever a child laments, “I’m bored, there’s nothing to do,” recommend any of these options and add enthusiastically that you will be glad to join in the adventure:

* Starting a learning garden in the backyard or neighborhood plot. This helps kids learn about taking care of plants (and the animals drawn to the plants) and respecting the environment and nearby nature. Your kids can take photos of the garden as it grows and produces whatever they’ve planted.
* Bird watching and identifying trees and plants that appear in the yard. These activities often entice older kids, especially if they understand that a periodic bird or plant census helps detect any significant shifts in their populations.
* Recording sight, hearing, smell and touch observations on walks in your neighborhood, which helps kids hone their sensory-observation skills. They can log the information they gather using a scientific approach and even make drawings to chronicle their observations.

Janet Fouts, a West Virginia environmentalist, invented nature games with her daughter, Julia.  In one game called “The Sound of a Creature Not Stirring,” they would listen for sounds they couldn’t hear — an apple ripening, dew on the grass, an earthworm moving through the soil, and a spider weaving its web, among others. Fouts maintains that this attention to nature’s details helped in her daughter’s speech development, writing, artwork and keen attention to detail.

By making outdoor activity fun, parents play an integral role in helping children appreciate the beauty of nature in their surrounding areas and understand the importance of being environmental stewards, starting in their own backyard.  

Courtesy of ARAcontent