Did You Know?…

Believe it or Not, An Unmade Bed Discourages Dust Mites; Growing Pains are Fairly Common in Healthy Kids; You Can Make that Lunch Bag Less Stinky; and Spring is the Time to Buy Youngsters New Shoes… 

Looking for ways to save time in the morning — and possibly improve your family’s health while you are at it? Don’t bother nagging the kids to make their bed. A study by London’s Kingston University found that an unmade bed discourages dust mites, which contribute to allergies and asthma. (It is estimated that the average bed could host up to 1.5 million dust mites that feed on scales of human skin while producing allergens that are inhaled by humans during sleep.) Dust mites like their homes warm and moist — so beds that are quickly made in the morning or feature a bundle full of twisted sheets are the perfect breeding grounds for them. But a bed with the covers pulled back to air out is too cool and dry for these nasty house guests. Just remind your kids that not making their beds does not mean leaving a wad of sheets and covers in a pile. Instead, fold back the bedcovers neatly to expose the mattress sheet and the underside of the cover sheet.

It’s shoe-time
Spring is the time of year we put away clunky winter boots and pull out — nope, they are too small now — make that go out and buy our little ones new shoes. There are a couple of things to keep in mind when you are shoe shopping for children:
• Visit stores where you can get experienced help measuring your child’s feet.
• Look for soft, breathable shoes with firm but flexible soles and good support.
• Find shoes that you or your child can put on their feet easily and quickly to minimize everyone’s frustration.
• Keep checking on your child’s foot development. A preschooler can go up two shoe sizes in just one year and a toddler even more.
• Keep these tips in mind for babies when you need to purchase shoes to protect their little tootsies from the outdoor elements. But, according to most  paediatricians, you should keep your kiddies barefoot when they are inside as it is the best way for them to work on their walking skills.
Growing pains
Wondering if growing pains are anything to worry about? Growing pains are fairly common in healthy children and are thought to be related to muscles and tendons. While growing pains can wake a child up from their sleep, they are not considered serious. If growing pains are the reason for late night discomfort, ibuprofen and massage will help to relieve the pain. Still, it is important to mention them to your family physician so they can run some tests to rule out any serious conditions. If the pain gets worse, if there is swelling and redness, or if you child is experiencing fever, weight loss or any other unusual symptom, call your doctor.
Make lunchtime a little sweeter (smelling)
Does you child’s soft-sided lunch bag get stinky? There are a couple of tricks for dealing with snack time smells:
• Wipe out the lunch bag every night with a clean soapy cloth, anti-bacterial wipes or a diluted water-and-bleach mixture and leave it open to air and dry out.
• Remind your child of the need to completely empty their liquid items or at least tighten the lids of all drink and food containers before putting them back inside their bags. A label on the container with your reminder written on it may help them to remember.
• Sprinkle baking soda inside the case, being careful to get in all those crevices, and let it sit in the bag for the weekend before emptying it out.
• Many soft-sided lunch bags can be run through your regular wash and hung to dry on a regular basis.
Kitted out for an emergency
In case of a major event you will need some basic supplies set aside, notes the Government of Canada’s Get Prepared website. By doing so you will always be prepared to be selfsufficient for at least 72 hours while emergency workers focus on people in urgent need. Many of the items required in an emergency kit are found in most people’s homes — it’s just a question of taking some time and putting them together as your emergency kit. Find out what goes into a basic emergency kit and supplement it with additional emergency supplies. Or you can find out where to buy a ready-to-go emergency kit. Visit www.getprepared.gc.ca.

Compiled by Heather Cameron.

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