Emotional safe spaces help children express their big feelings
(Family Features) Many internet memes have been made about toddlers and their temper tantrums. While the outpouring of oversized emotions can be amusing when viewed from afar, most parents and caregivers simply want to know what they can do to help children express their feelings in less dramatic ways.
According to child development experts, one of the keys to helping children learn to regulate their emotions is to develop emotional literacy; the ability to identify feelings. This can help children learn to recognize those feelings and apply coping strategies to (hopefully) calm down before their feelings overwhelm them. One way to help children work on their emotional literacy is to talk about emotions other people feel.
“Sometimes it’s difficult to process our own emotions because that puts you in a vulnerable position,” said Taunya Banta from KinderCare’s Inclusion Services team. “When we’re able to find some detachment from the immediate emotion, like talking about characters in a story – ‘How do you think they feel?’ or ‘Why do you think they feel that way?’ – it opens an opportunity for kids to safely process their own emotions because they’re not in the spotlight.”
Another way to help children work through their emotions before becoming overwhelmed is doing what many early childhood teachers do and create a space filled with things that allow children to find emotional release in a safe way. If space allows, Banta recommends creating both a quiet area and an active area.
Quiet areas allow children to work through their emotions using fine motor or listening skills. Items in this space could include blankets or pillows to cuddle up in or headphones to listen to relaxing music or audiobooks. Some children may find comfort in expressing their feelings through art, so consider including some drawing materials or a journal. For young children, a set of pictures or cards showing faces expressing different emotions can help them as they learn to identify their own feelings.
Active areas provide children opportunities to use their gross motor skills to work through emotions. If outdoor space is easily accessible, encourage your children to go outside and jump, stomp or run when they start to feel the urge to “let it all out.” An indoor active space could include pillows to scream into or hit and plastic bottles or bubble wrap to stomp on or squeeze. The action and noise can help get out the desire to hit or punch. Watch how your children show their emotions and give them safe alternatives. For example, if they tend to yell and hit when they’re upset, give them pillows to scream into or hit. You can also help them designate a box or a specific spot on the wall or floor that they can throw beanbags, wadded up socks or any soft object at.
Acknowledge the emotions your children are experiencing and reassure them that while it’s fine to feel that way, it’s just as important they find a safe outlet for their emotions.
For more tips to help children identify and regulate their emotions, visit KinderCare.com.
Steps to save a life: The importance of hands-only CPR
(Family Features) More than 350,000 sudden cardiac arrests occur annually outside hospital settings. However, a hands-on emergency intervention like cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR), especially if performed immediately, can double or triple a cardiac arrest victim’s chance of survival.
According to the American Heart Association, 70% of cardiac arrests – electrical malfunctions in the heart that cause an irregular heartbeat (arrhythmia) and disrupt the flow of blood to the brain, lungs and other organs – occur at home, but often family and friends who witness a child, spouse, parent or friend going into cardiac arrest hesitate to perform potentially lifesaving CPR for fear of making the situation worse.
“By equipping people with Hands-Only CPR training, we are empowering them to spring into action if a loved one needs help, as the majority of cardiac arrests occur at home,” said Dr. Anezi Uzendu, M.D., interventional cardiologist and American Heart Association volunteer.
As part of its Hands-Only CPR campaign, nationally supported by the Elevance Health Foundation, the American Heart Association aims to increase awareness about the importance of bystander CPR and offers these two simple steps:
- Call 911.
- Push hard and fast in the center of the chest of the individual experiencing cardiac arrest.
Using the beat of a familiar song with 100-120 beats per minute, such as “Stayin’ Alive” by the Bee Gees, can help you stay on pace with the necessary compressions.
“Being able to efficiently perform Hands-Only CPR in the moment can mean the difference between life and death, and by following these two simple steps we can increase someone’s chance of survival from cardiac arrest,” said Shantanu Agrawal, M.D., board certified emergency medicine doctor and chief health officer at Elevance Health. “As a longstanding supporter of the American Heart Association, we remain focused on working together to improve health inequities in our communities by expanding access to training and increasing the number of people who learn and feel confident performing Hands-Only CPR to save lives.”
To find more information, watch a livestream video demonstration of Hands-Only CPR or download a first aid smartphone app, visit heart.org/CPR.
Photo courtesy of Getty Images
American Heart Association
Make the most of snacking for healthy kids
(Family Features) Kids, no matter their age, love snacks, and often come home from school hungry and looking for something to eat. However, it can be a struggle to find snacks that kids enjoy and parents approve.
The snack experts at Kemps along with registered dietitian and nutrition expert Frances Largeman-Roth know the importance of finding fun and tasty ways to give hungry, growing kids the nutrient-rich foods they need. These tips can help you make the most of snack time (or any time) to keep kids healthy.
Look for Real Fruit Ingredients
While quick and easy, many packaged snacks use sugar instead of real fruit. Make sure to read labels carefully to understand what is in kids’ snacks. Look for real fruit, not just fruit juice, and key vitamins and nutrients like calcium while skipping out on artificial flavors, preservatives, colors and high-fructose corn syrup.
Stock Up on Kid-Friendly Options
One way to help make the most of snack time is choosing an option like Kemps Smooth Cottage Cheese. This first-of-its-kind whole milk cottage cheese is blended with real fruit to create a creamytaste and texture without curds that kids are sure to love. A quick and easy solution, it also allows kids to be independent with what they eat to make snack time more rewarding – just grab a spoon with no unnecessary cutting or preparation needed.
Start the Day Off Right
It’s not always easy to squeeze a nutritious breakfast into busy mornings, but it’s an important way to start each day. Multiple studies show kids who eat a nutritious breakfast perform better academically and focus better throughout the day. Plus, starting the day off right helps kick unhealthy cravings while keeping kids full and energized. Once snack time rolls around, they’ll be ready for something healthy and delicious instead of reaching for something sugary.
Pack In the Protein
To make sure your kids are staying full between meals and getting the nutrients they need, stock up on snacks that are high in protein. According to Largeman-Roth, dairy is a great way to accomplish this while also giving kids a tasty snack. Snacks like Kemps Smooth Cottage Cheese pack a protein punch with almost twice as much protein per ounce as most yogurts made for kids, plus it contains probiotics, another key ingredient to support gut health.
Model Healthy Habits
Kids learn by example in countless ways, and the way you take care of your own health and well-being is no exception. When kids see grownups they admire making smart choices about nutrition, they’re more likely to adopt those behaviors themselves. Join in the fun at snack time and create meaningful family moments by preparing or enjoying a nutritious snack together.
Make Snack Time Fun
There’s few things kids love more than fun flavors or seeing characters they cherish on their favorite foods. To make snack time extra exciting, get snacks featuring characters they love or with favorite flavors, like strawberry or mixed berry, which are popular among kids.
To learn more and find fun recipes, visit kemps.com.
Photo courtesy of Getty Images
Spring checklist for pets
6 ways to keep your pets happy and healthy
(Family Features) Warmer weather means it’s time to spring clean, get grooming and prepare your pets’ diets to support them through the season.
Keep your furry friends happy and healthy this spring with these six tips from the experts at Zesty Paws, an award-winning pet supplement brand:
Give Skin and Coats a Little TLC: Many pets form winter coats during the colder months to help them stay warm and comfortable then shed the coats in the spring to prepare for warmer temperatures. Some pets may need extra help maintaining their shiny, healthy coats, especially if mats have formed in their fur or if they are breeds that develop a thick undercoat. Professional grooming, at-home brushing and regular bathing can all be helpful ways to speed up the process to remove some of the extra fur and decrease the prevalence of dander, dust and pollen that can attach to fur and skin through the season.
Add Seasonal Allergy Support with Supplements: Just like humans, furry friends can develop and experience seasonal allergies, too. Giving your pets’ immune systems some extra support can help ease some common allergy symptoms. Supplements like Zesty Paws Aller-Immune Bites for Cats and Aller-Immune Bites for Dogs are chewables that provide seasonal allergy support by aiding normal immune functions, skin health and gut flora, and may also help maintain normal histamine levels.
Ease Back into Exercise: The change in weather means more time for outdoor adventures with your pets, but don’t forget to cool down and warm up as you and your pets ease back into the season. Planning for short, leashed walks and timed play sessions can help your pets gradually prepare their hips and joints for fun, warm weather activities.
Watch Out for Pet Pests: Once temperatures start to rise, the tiny, creepy critters start crawling. Fleas, ticks and other pests can cause serious health concerns for pets. This spring, make sure your pest control programs are primed and ready for added protection. Talk to your veterinarian about the best routine and products for your pets.
Freshen Up Bedding and Bowls: It’s important to keep a clean environment by scrubbing, sweeping and vacuuming regularly to decrease allergens in the home. When you’re tackling this year’s spring cleaning, remember to put your pets’ bedding and bowls on the list, too. Updating or disinfecting your pets’ blankets, litter boxes, toys and other supplies is a good way to keep them feeling safe and comfortable in the home.
Schedule an Annual Vet Visit: Spring is a good time to schedule your pets’ annual vet visits. Make sure they’re up to date on all vaccinations, get their dental health checkups and re-evaluate nutrition plans.
Find more advice for keeping your pet healthy and happy at zestypaws.com.
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