A Brisbane mother is outraged that staff at an out of school hours care facility lost her five-year-old son, then offered her a $7 discount by way of apology.
The distressed mother, of WORONGARY, south of Brisbane in Queensland Australia, who requested to remain anonymous said her son was missing for at least one hour after wandering off from the after school care group at the Worongary State School between activities earlier this month.
The prep student had crossed nine roads two of which were M1 ramps and was found about 2km from the school on the busy Nielsens Rd in Carrara by a mother who drove past the boy.
The woman thought it was strange that a young boy still in a school uniform was walking alone down a busy street at 5pm on May 3, so she picked the boy up and called the police.
After the boy's mother searched the school grounds and nearby streets with staff and other mothers, she was called by police.
She said Helping Hands staff did not know the boy was missing when she arrived to pick him up.
''My first thought was, 'How do you not know if a kid has gone to the toilet?'
''There was no one in the toilet. She (worker) said, 'I don't understand he was here five minutes ago'.''
She said no one knew exactly when her son went missing.
''I was starting to feel nauseous at the thought of him being out there on his own,'' she said. ''I was crying and vomited a couple of times through the search.
''My younger son was watching his mother in tears, physically ill, not understanding what was happening or where his brother was.''
After police returned her son, Helping Hands' regional manager rang to apologise and said she would not be billed $7 for childcare that afternoon.
The outraged mother made a formal complaint. She was told the carers were issued a written warning.
She said carers were forgetting the importance of head counts.
Helping Hands operations manager Libby Kerr said they had disciplined a number of staff over the incident and conducted a review of procedures and policies.
''The regulatory authority has also conducted its own investigation and Helping Hands is working with them on finalising this,'' she said.
''We understand the very real concern of the parents involved and are working hard to ensure this incident is not repeated.''
A five-year-old boy went missing from Worongary Helping Hands outside school hours care centre. The centre had no idea he was missing until his mother arrived to pick him up.
"The prep student had crossed nine roads two of which were M1 ramps and was found about 2km from the school on the busy Nielsens Rd in Carrara by a mother who drove past the boy"
It's hard enough to make dinner for your family, but if the kids won't eat it, what do you do? Get them involved, of course! From spaghetti-and-meatball bird's nests to Sneaky Snake sandwiches, these are some easy, fun family dinners to make together.
1. Heart-Shaped Pizza
Moms agree that pizza is always a hit with their kids, but one Circle of Moms member, Sharon, says her kids also like to make their own pizzas
. She makes the dough, and then her kids shape and top them as they like.
Mom Denikka G. agrees pizza is a good way to get kids involved with dinner, but she suggests buying the dough can save some hassle.
"Pizza is a good way to get kids involved with dinner, but buy the dough to save some hassle"
2. Sandwiches in Fun Shapes
Sometimes in our house, when everybody has to be in different places or I'm just way too tired to cook a full meal, we have sandwich night. I put out all the ingredients, have the kids wash their hands, and then it's sandwich-making time.
Mom Melanie R. has a way to make this even more appealing. She suggests cutting sandwiches into fun shapes and serving sides of vegetables or fruit.
| |3. Sneaky Snake Sandwiches
Of course, if you're not keen on wasting the crusts as you cut out sandwiches, you can always go with Megan R.'s suggestion of making subs
. She says they're easy, inexpensive, and not all that messy.
Though this snake sandwich from Little Food Junction
looks like it could feed the whole family, if you give each of your children a sub roll and the rest of the ingredients (olives, red peppers, and lettuce), all they need is a little help cutting, and they can come up with individual versions of the snake sub.
This Sunday is Mother's Day, a day celebrated around the world to honour and thank mothers for their hard work in providing for their children and keeping the home a great place to be for their children.
While we know mostly about modern-day Mother's Day that started less than 150 years ago, a celebration of mothers has been going on for millennia in various forms.
Mother's Day isn't held at the same time all over the world. Most countries including Australia and the United States celebrate it on the second Sunday in May. Many others celebrate it in March, including Britain and Ireland and many countries in the Middle East. Whatever the date, the sentiments are all similar -- thanking Mom for all she does.
Australia celebrates Mother's Day in grand style similar to the United States and Britain, with a woman's favorite meal presented to her, along with home-made gifts and cards from children, a gift certificate from Dad and with Mom generally allowed to relax for the day with no cooking, housework involved. Australians also use different coloured carnations to honor their mothers.
In the United States and Western Europe, making Mom breakfast in bed or taking her to brunch is a common practice. Children often make cards in school and present them to their mothers along with some chocolate, flowers or a gift certificate to her favorite place for a nice meal, some new clothes or a trip to the spa.
In Italy, mothers often receive a cake in the shape of a heart, while in Ethiopia, it's a three day celebration where the girls provide the fruit and vegetables and the boys bring the meat.
While some communist and socialist countries prefer to celebrate International Woman's Day instead, Mother's Day is gaining popularity in China. Red carnations are a common gift there. In fact, red carnations are a common gift for Mom on her day.
Coloured (especially red) carnations are usually worn if Mom is alive and white carnations are used to memorialize a mother who is no longer living. Mother's Day is also a relatively new celebration in India, with similar customs to those living in the United States and Western Europe.
"Whatever the date, the sentiments are all similar -- thanking Mom for all she does"
| |Do you ever tuck a note into your child's lunch? David Laferriere may not be the first parent to do so, but he's certainly one of the most committed — and now one of the most famous!
To his two children's delight, the Boston-based graphic designer has been creating a fun illustration each day for five years on each of their sandwich bags
. The sheer number and variety of the "sandwich art" images, which he's been posting on Flickr and which include monsters, rocket ships, and sneaker laces, has garnered him over a million views. Have a peak below; they'll amaze you!
Did you sing lullabies to soothe your newborn? For moms of preemies, crooning those tunes is proving more important that previously realised.
As reported in The New York Times, new research on music and premature babies has revealed that exposure to live music, whether sung or played, can provide significant health benefits for preemies. The Beth Israel Medical Center in New York conducted the study and found that music can calm infants’ breathing, slow heartbeats, aid sleep, improve sucking ability, and more — all of which help the babies spend more of their energy on growing and developing.
The researchers concluded that live music, played or sung, helped to slow infants’ heartbeats, calm their breathing, improve sucking behaviours important for feeding, aid sleep and promote states of quiet alertness. Doctors and researchers say that by reducing stress and stabilising vital signs, music can allow infants to devote more energy to normal development.
And while the effects may be subtle, small improvements can be significant. Premature births have increased since 1990, to nearly 500,000 a year, one of every nine children born in the United States.
The study, published this month in the journal Pediatrics, adds to growing research on music and preterm babies. Some hospitals find music as effective as, and safer than, sedating infants before procedures like heart sonograms and brain monitoring. Some neonatologists say babies receiving music therapy leave hospitals sooner, which can aid development and family bonding and save money.
“Sound can be damaging. But meaningful noise is important for a baby’s brain development,” said Helen Shoemark, a music researcher at Murdoch Childrens Research Institute in Melbourne.
Scientists are far from done determining music’s impact, and there are certainly those who are sceptical about its medical value.
Dr. Manoj Kumar, a neonatologist at Stollery Children’s Hospital in Edmonton, Alberta, said that while “studies have shown a benefit in heart rate and respiratory rate,” it is unclear whether that prompts clinical improvements, like removing oxygen or feeding tubes sooner, questions that the Pediatrics study did not tackle.
The two-year study, larger and more systematic than many efforts to scientifically evaluate art’s impact, separated musical elements — rhythm, melody, timbre — to see effects on heartbeat, breathing, sucking, alertness and sleep.
Over two weeks, 272 premature babies underwent several sessions of two instruments, singing and no music at all. The instruments and lullaby singing style were intended to approximate womb sounds, said Joanne Loewy, the study’s leader and the director of Beth Israel’s Louis Armstrong Center for Music and Medicine.
Two-tone heartbeat rhythms were played on a “gato box,” a rectangular wooden drum. Whooshing sounds came from an “ocean disc,” a cylinder containing shifting metal beads. For melody, parents were asked for a favorite song. If it wasn’t a lullaby (someone chose “I Heard It Through the Grapevine”; another, “Pick Up the Pieces,” by Average White Band), therapists slowed it, changed meters to lilting waltzes and adjusted lyrics.
“Lots of times you see parents bopping the baby up and down on their lap, and there’s no purpose to it,” Dr. Loewy said. “You don’t feel the music intention as much as if you have a song that a parent has chosen.”
If parents did not specify, researchers used”Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star.”Tempos were coordinated with babies’ vital signs, indicated not only by monitors but also by eye movements and a chest’s rise and fall.
Researchers found that the gato box, the ocean disc and singing all slowed a baby’s heart rate, though singing seemed to be most effective. Singing also increased the time babies stayed quietly alert. Sucking behavior improved most with the gato box. The breathing rate slowed the most and sleeping was the best with the ocean disc.
“Sound can be damaging. But meaningful noise is important for a baby’s brain development,” said Helen Shoemark, a music researcher at Murdoch Childrens Research Institute in Melbourne.
It's less than a month away, so time to think of how to pamper mom on her special day. If you don't have much saved up in the piggy bank, contributor Threesia Goff offers a few options which will help make her day extra special:
"Every year I struggle to find the perfect Mother's Day gifts for my mother and mother in-law. These two ladies are easy to please, but I never feel like the gifts are good enough for them. In 2012, I decided to go with do-it-yourself gifts and spent $130 total on our celebrations. I decided to try DIY again in 2013, but this year I only had a $100 budget.
Here are the gifts I'm planning to make for Mother's Day 2013, and how much they are going to cost me.
For as long as I've known my mother-in-law she has cuddled up on the sofa with a throw or blanket to watch TV in the evenings. In fact, at any given time you will find at least two different throws in her den. I took my gift cue from that knowledge, and decided to crochet her a special throw in her favorite colors.
For this project needed six skeins of yarn, which cost me $3 each, for a total cost of $18.
I began crocheting in December in 2012, and launched my craft Etsy shop in February 2013. Shortly after my mother saw my first crocheted blanket, she asked me if I could make tablecloths the same way. I told her I could and she asked me to make her one. I knew right then that when I made her one it would be for Mother's Day.
This is a rather large, and very involved project that will take me some time to finish. I'll be using four skeins of designer yarn that is a bit pricey at $8 a skein. I will also be adding some beading to the edges of the tablecloth, which will cost me another $10. In all, this project will cost me around $42.
On top of the actual gifts I'm making, I'm also planning to host a Mother's Day dinner for our parents. This year will be slightly different because my husband and I are on a diet, so we have to plan a healthy menu. We are cooking lean turkey burgers, baked sweet potato "fries," romaine heart salad with zesty Italian dressing. The complete meal will cost us around $30.
All told, Mother's Day 2013 will cost me around $90. Once everything is said and done, I will have come in $10 under budget, and I truly hope this year's gifts are as well-received as last year's.
"All told, Mother's Day 2013 will cost me around $90. Once everything is said and done, I will have come in $10 under budget, and I truly hope this year's gifts are as well-received as last year's"
Mum will always appreciated a home made gift ...
Feel like you’ve answered a hundred questions today from your curious little one? In actuality, you’re probably fielding closer to 300!
A Littlewoods retailer survey has revealed that moms field an average of 288 questions a day from their young children, with the number of questions asked varying by age of child. The most inquiries per day come from four-year-old girls — the survey found that the daily number of questions they put to their moms is an incredible 390!
IF you feel like you’re near the major prize in the Hot Seat chair on Channel 9 after a day with your young child, there’s good reason.
Mothers get asked an astonishing 288 questions every day by their little ones, a study by online retailer Littlewoods reveals.
Mother’s life going to waste
Girls aged four are the most curious, asking 390 questions per day - averaging a question every one minute 56 seconds of their waking day, Daily Mail reported.
The report, which surveyed 1,000 mothers with children aged between two and ten, looked at a typical day at home with the children for a mother and when they have to field the most queries.
From breakfast at 7.19am to tea time at 7.59pm, the average mother faces a testing 12.5 hour day of questioning - working out at one question every two minutes 36 seconds.
It is during meal times when most questions are asked, with young children rattling off 11. This is closely followed by a routine trip to the shops, prompting 10.
Some 82 per cent of infants apparently go to their mother first rather than their father if they have a query. A quarter of children, 24 per cent, said they do this because their father will just say ‘ask your mum’.
In all, a mother’s knowledge is in such demand the study found they are asked around 105,120 questions a year by their children.
The research found the number of questions asked by children differs with age and gender, with four-year-old girls being the most inquisitive. At the other end of the spectrum, nine-year-old boys are more content with their knowledge, asking a mere 144 questions per day.
Although the number of questions children ask falls with age, they increase in difficulty -so much so that 82 per cent of mothers admit they can’t answer them.
Mothers get asked an astonishing 288 questions every day by their little ones, a study by online retailer Littlewoods reveals
| |By Kasey EdwardsIt's been a bad week for picking on kids - especially overweight ones.
First came a repulsive fat-shaming video on 'Slate'
called Dear Prudence: A girl with an endless appetite
. In response to a letter from a "concerned" mother about the eating habits of her daughter's friend, agony aunt Prudie thought it would be helpful - funny even - to portray the little girl in question as a pig and her parents as tubs of lard.
Next came news out of the US of children being given homework assignments in which they were to circle the fat people in a picture. Another school weighs its students and has them taking letters home to parents with their BMI score.
The crowning glory of kiddy fat shaming, though, was Australia 'Biggest Loser's' paid advertorial on 'Mamamia
', where Jo Abi advocates putting kids on diets, and where the show promises to focus on children more in this year's show.
And let's not have any guff about 'The Biggest Loser' being "inspirational" or about health. It exists for one thing, and one thing only: to increase network ratings, often at the expense of the contestants' health
The show has been slammed by health professionals and contestants alike, with the 'Sydney Morning Herald' reporting
horror stories of trainers suggesting contestants stop drinking for up to 36 hours before being weighed, and celebrating dangerous and unrealistic weight-loss goals of up to 17 kilograms in one week.
Former contestant John Jeffery quit the show in 2008 because he feared someone would die. He wasn't being over-dramatic either. As it is, several contestants have been hospitalised for dehydration and Dr Jenny O'Dea, Associate Professor of Health and Nutrition Education at the University of Sydney, has warned against some of its practices, such as making morbidly obese people run 10 kilometres in the summer heat.
"Dehydration combined with heat exhaustion will kill you," Dr O'Dea said.
Add to this the psychological damage of being humiliated and bullied in front of an entire nation (why else do contestants have to strip off for weigh-ins, other than for us to be collectively appalled and amused by their bodies?) - and the very real possibility of contestants regaining the weight
, and the associated shame. One contestant even blames 'The Biggest Loser' for triggering an eating disorder
It's bad enough that we fat-shame adults for our entertainment, whilst pretending to be "concerned", but setting our fat-phobic sights on children is indefensible.
'The Biggest Loser's' fat-shaming-kiddies ratings bonanza is being promoted as a way to stop bullying. And hey, I understand that nobody wants their children to suffer. I also get that we live in a society where the parents of fat children are considered to be negligent.
But passing on our own food and body anxieties, and getting in first with the bullying by forcing children into diets and extreme exercise regimes isn't the solution.
Anyone who has ever tried to stick to a diet knows that the deprivation is soul-destroying and the self-restraint is all but impossible to maintain. When adults can't stick to calorie-restriction diets, how on earth do we expect children to?
Actress and comedian Arabella Weir explains in 'Does My Bum Look Big In This?' that denying children food is the fastest way to turn them into compulsive closet eaters with a terrible self-esteem.
"My parents believed they were helping me by pointing out to me that I ought not to waltz through life thinking it was ok to be me. They thought they were warning me of the pitfalls," writes Weir. "As I was, I wasn't good enough. I must learn denial in order to reach a better me, and one more pleasing to my parents. The only trouble was that that's quite a tall, if not unreachable, order for a child."
The idea of a child going hungry is barbaric. It's also totally unnecessary. If we weren't all so caught up on the aesthetics of our children's bodies rather than their health, we would never even consider it, let alone put it on prime-time TV.
Despite what the advertising industry and a whole stream of self-appointed TV "experts" tell us, skinny and healthy are not the same thing. We should not be aspiring to raise "skinny" children; surely our job is to raise "healthy" children.
If we encourage our kids to be active, to play outside and to eat healthy food because it's good for their growing bodies, bones and brains, and not because they need to hit some arbitrary figure on a weight chart, then we have done our job.
More than ever, we need to be teaching our children that the goal should be the process
of living a health life and not the outcome
of meeting a commercially-driven standard of beauty.
Once children internalise that their BMI is a measure of their goodness and self-worth, then we have set them up for a lifetime of failure and self-contempt. We have taught them that they should trust some arbitrary external measure rather than their bodies and their own judgment. And we have taught them that our love is conditional; that we will we be happier, prouder and more loving if they become something other than what they are.
What children need to hear from their parents, more than anything, is that we pick their team, and not team 'Biggest Loser'.- Kasey Edwards is the best-selling author of four books, '30-Something and Over It', '30-Something and The Clock is Ticking', 'OMG! That's Not My Husband', and 'OMG! That's Not My Child'. www.kaseyedwards.com
"Despite what the advertising industry and a whole stream of self-appointed TV "experts" tell us, skinny and healthy are not the same thing. We should not be aspiring to raise "skinny" children; surely our job is to raise "healthy" children"
| |Playing action video games may improve reading in children with dyslexia, Italian researchers have found.
The small study, published online last week in Current Biology, involved two groups of 10 dyslexic children. One group played action video games for nine sessions of 80 minutes each, while the other followed the same routine with non-action games. The researchers bought the games in retail stores and have no financial interest in any video game company.
Age, I.Q., reading speed, error rates and phonological skills were similar in the two groups at the beginning of the study. The researchers measured the attention and reading skills of the children before and after the game sessions and then compared them.
Those trained on the action games scored significantly higher than those who played the nonaction games by various measures
: combined speed and accuracy, recognizing pseudo-words made of random letters, and reaction time. The action game players also scored higher on tests that measured attention by inserting distractions as the children tried to accomplish various visual and auditory tasks.
“The correlation between attention improvement and reading improvement was very high,” said the co-first author of the study, Simone Gori, a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Padua. “The change in attentional abilities translates into better reading ability.”
A small study done in Italy is suggesting video games may help improve the reading skills of kids with dyslexia. What do you think?
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"I make my own cloth nappies inserts and if I make them with microfibre, hemp and bamboo ( 3 layers 1 layer of each) they last a long time as the microfibre and bamboo draws the moisture away fast and the hemp holds the moisture better. ... if I had to choose either bamboo or hemp, I would go for the bamboo as it seems to be more durable"