Summer Water Safety

So nice weather finally seems to be coming, most kids are looking forward to water fun in the sun. While I can’t wait for nice weather I feel that I should write a post about water safety. Believe it or not ladies but I was a lifeguard in college. ūüėõ I know shocking lol. I never really lost my training after I stopped being a lifeguard, last summer I would find my self scanning the water at the beach while my husband played with our daughter in the water. I never really thought about sharing water safety with anyone because of course we love our kids and are watching them while they play in the water, but something happened to us last summer that chilled my blood and made me realize that the average parent is not trained in water safety and knows what drowning looks like. I have decided to share the story and what to look for while at the beach and the pool and do my part to make it a safe summer full of fun for our MCDM families.

Last summer while at a man-made lake at lake Elmo park reserve, the lifeguards called a swimmers break. All the kids left the water and played in the sand while waiting to renter the water. After about 15  mins a man came over the loud speakers informing everyone to wait until the lifeguards got back to the lifeguard stands before re-entering the water. At the sound of the announcement two children ran in to the water a few yards down the beach from me, no doubt thinking that the swimmers break was over. The mom started to scold the kids and told them to come back to the beach. The younger child listened to his mother while the older girl (about 8 years old) ignored her mother and swam a little deeper out.

Now this child was the only person in the water watch by hundreds of people. My husband was playing in the sand with our daughter while I watched this little girl start to bob. Mind you I was yards away from her (just thinking about this brings my heart in to my throat). As a lifeguard I quickly realized that she was struggling to stay up. I took maybe 30 seconds to look around to see if anyone was going to react, no one, everyone just was watching. That’s when I took off running in the water to save her. As soon as I hit the water running I heard a mans voice yell “she is drowning” which started a chain reaction of five or six dads who were closer run in to the water and saved the girl.

I quickly realized to the average person that the little girl probably looked like she was playing. Most people think that when someone is drowning here is a lot of splashing and gasping. Not true. Bobbing is the most common sign that someone is struggling to stay above the water and are usaully not above the water line long enough to take a breath of air. Here is what you need to look for.

Drowning does not look like drowning ‚Äď Dr. Pia, in an article in the Coast Guard‚Äôs On Scene Magazine, described the instinctive drowning response like this:‚ÄĚ

  1. Except in rare circumstances, drowning people are physiologically unable to call out for help. The respiratory system was designed for breathing. Speech is the secondary or overlaid function. Breathing must be fulfilled, before speech occurs.
  2. Drowning people’s mouths alternately sink below and reappear above the surface of the water. The mouths of drowning people are not above the surface of the water long enough for them to exhale, inhale, and call out for help. When the drowning people’s mouths are above the surface, they exhale and inhale quickly as their mouths start to sink below the surface of the water.
  3. Drowning people cannot wave for help. Nature instinctively forces them to extend their arms laterally and press down on the water’s surface. Pressing down on the surface of the water, permits drowning people to leverage their bodies so they can lift their mouths out of the water to breathe.
  4. Throughout the Instinctive Drowning Response, drowning people cannot voluntarily control their arm movements. Physiologically, drowning people who are struggling on the surface of the water cannot stop drowning and perform voluntary movements such as waving for help, moving toward a rescuer, or reaching out for a piece of rescue equipment.
  5. From beginning to end of the Instinctive Drowning Response people’s bodies remain upright in the water, with no evidence of a supporting kick. Unless rescued by a trained lifeguard, these drowning people can only struggle on the surface of the water from 20 to 60 seconds before submersion occurs.

Now you know what to look for what do you do if you save a drowning victim.

Got this great description off of parent website on what to do:

Your first priority is to get a drowning child out of the water as quickly as possible. If she isn’t breathing, place her on her back on a firm surface. Immediately begin rescue breathing, below, and have someone call for help. Don’t assume it’s too late to save a child’s life — even if she’s unresponsive, continue performing CPR and do not stop until medical professionals take over.

1. To open your child’s airway,

gently tilt her head back with one hand, and lift her chin with the other. Put your ear to the child’s mouth and nose, and look, listen, and feel for signs that she is breathing.

2. If your child doesn’t seem to be breathing>

Infants under age 1:¬†Place your mouth over infant’s nose and lips and give two breaths, each lasting about 1? seconds. Look for the chest to rise and fall.¬†Children 1 and older:¬†Pinch child’s nose and seal your lips over her mouth. Give two slow, full breaths (1? to 2 seconds each). Wait for the chest to rise and fall before giving the second breath.

3 If the chest rises,

check for a pulse (see number 4).¬†If the chest doesn’t rise,¬†try again. Retilt the head, lift the child’s chin, and repeat the breaths.

4. Check for a pulse

Put two fingers on your child’s neck to the side of the Adam’s apple (for¬†infants, feel inside the arm between the elbow and shoulder). Wait five seconds. If there is a pulse, give one breath every three seconds. Check for a pulse every minute, and continue rescue breathing until the child is breathing on her own or help arrives.

5. If you can’t find a pulse

Infants under age 1:¬†Imagine a line between the child’s nipples, and place two fingers just below its centerpoint. Apply five half-inch chest compressions in about three seconds. After five compressions, seal your lips over your child’s mouth and nose and give one breath.¬†Children 1 and older:¬†Use the heel of your hand (both hands for a¬†teenager¬†or adult) to apply five quick one-inch chest compressions to the middle of the breastbone (just above where the ribs come together) in about three seconds. After five compressions, pinch your child’s nose, seal your lips over his mouth, and give one full breath.¬†All ages:¬†Continue the cycle of five chest compressions followed by a breath for one minute, then check for a pulse. Repeat cycle until you find a pulse or help arrives and takes over.

Note: These instructions are not a substitute for CPR training, which all parents and caretakers should have.

Now that you know what to look for and what to do, go have fun in the water with your little ones and feel better knowing you know what to do in case of an emergency.

Happy family time ūüôā

Leticia Meyer

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The Best Parent

Anyone else affected by this perpetual state of winter that we seem to be in? Now I love winter, and I love snow- probably even more than the next guy! Blizzard leaves you housebound? Love it. Snow being taller than me? Love it. Skiing, ice skating, snowman building, fort building, general trudging through the snow… I love it all! I am on the snow bandwagon. Until March. I draw the line at March.

I am tired of being stuck in the house. I am tired of only getting out to go to the store (for necessities). I am tired of the wild animals children jumping off the walls, because they too are tired of it.

Maybe I wouldn’t feel so¬†overwhelmed¬†by it all, if it weren’t for the fact that in the beginning of February,¬†I went skydiving and my chute didn’t open and I fractured a bone in my wrist falling in my driveway. So between a temporary cast (fiberglass cast on the inside, ace bandage on the outside), a permanent cast (did you know they make waterproof one now??), and a hard plastic zip-up brace… I’m still fairly¬†immobile. I actually have less mobility in this new brace than I did in the cast, but at least this one is removable. Even though I’m only supposed to remove it once a day for cleaning and “gentle movements.” *Sigh*

I’m never one of those moms where everything is always perfect, but I am one who maybe overdoes things sometimes, because I so desperately want to be one of “those” moms. You know, their home is always perfectly in order, never so much as a toy out of place. Their food is always homemade and delicious, never from a box. Their children, and themselves, always look pristine, like they just walked out of a commercial. And don’t get me started on all the arts, crafts, school activities they have time and patience for.

Ok, so sometimes I am look like that mom. I make my meals from scratch, I have a well-labeled place for every toy. I have lots of¬†supplies¬†for arts and crafts, along with homeschooling material. I also stay up past midnight at least once a week to keep up with the cleaning. I am ridiculously anal about things being in the right place, to the point that my 6 year old has accused me of “only being concerned about cleaning.” And while I love to cook, try out new recipes and know exactly what ingredients are in our food, I spend approximately half my life worrying about what I’m going to make for dinner. The point is, there’s always a behind-the-scenes, no matter what it looks like from the outside.

Enter the never-ending winter, accompanied by being (temporarily) one-handed… let’s just say things have gone down hill for me. My laundry is pretty much on par, but the piles of it on my bed are starting to suffocate my sleeping space. The dishes take me hours to clean, and by the end of the day my house doesn’t really look any different than when the day started, the toys are just scattered across different areas of the house. And don’t even get me started on my appearance… I have three sweatshirts that fit over the cast. That’s right, three shirts for a month. You do the math. The new brace is so uncomfortable that it makes me think of the cast fondly. And it is murder to get off. Like almost not even worth taking it off. And I can’t put it back on by myself. It’s pretty awesome. So let’s just say that if you surprise me by stopping by, you may want to hold your nose, because showers are a pain and not frequent. My normal cooking has gone down the tubes with the (lack of) ability to use my right (dominant!) hand and now consists of chicken nuggets, pizza, waffles, and yogurt. And cereal. My kids think they’ve won the lotto, while I feel like a culinary failure. And homeschooling? (*insert crazy woman laughter here*) Ok, so there are moments of glory, but today I actually threatened to send my son with going to a school where he’d spend the day sitting in a chair with no access to mommy or siblings, if he didn’t sound out a word correctly. (Don’t worry, I promptly apologized and sent myself to time out.) This is clearly not my ideal version of myself.

The truth is, even though I have some viable reasons for the shortcomings of my household as of late, it’s really just left me feeling like a failure.¬†OK, so now you think this is just a post to complain… and you’d be¬†wrong¬†a little bit right. But really, it’s just to make a point of… ¬†life. We’re all in it. We’re all in survival mode a majority of the time. Sure, we have moments of peace and ease, but then life takes over and reality sets in. Reality is life is hard. Parenting is ridiculously hard. And trying to live up to some idea that someone else has set, is never going to make anybody happy, least of all you.

My kids are not going to be upset if I spend a day playing games with them versus getting all the laundry done. And my husband is going to survive as long as he’s fed, no matter what I decide to serve up. (I’m pretty sure he’s just relieved that I’m attempting to do any cooking at all.) My kids, and my family as a whole, will always be happy and be the best versions of themselves when I am the best version of mine. And that’s what’s really important.

Cooking and cleaning can wait til tomorrow

For babies grow up, we’ve learned to our sorrow

So settle down cobwebs, and dust go to sleep

I’m rocking my baby,¬†and babies don’t keep.

That’s my mantra for today. My house may not be perfect, my hair may not be done, and the food may not be worth mentioning, but when my children become adults, I want them to be able to say that I set aside time for them. That I was willing to get on the floor and play barbies even though every word I say is scripted for me. That I was willing to sing a silly song to help keep learning fun. That I was willing to kiss away owies, even when I was in the middle of a phone call with a client. That they know that they are what I was concerned with. Even when it’s hard, even when I simply don’t want to do it, the best version of myself is always the version where I am their mama. And hopefully, I’ll do it better tomorrow. And that’s all it takes to be the best parent for them.

If all else fails, just pour yourself another cup of coffee.

Image

I wanted a “perfect” family photo…and that’s just what I got. (Sidenote to my fellow baby-wearers: No worries, he’s not really falling out of my RS -nor do I wear it that low- it just looks that way in the photo due to the way I’m leaning!)

What are some of your go to tips for surviving a Minnesota winter? Do you have a daily mantra that gets you through when you’re feeling less than ideal? Please, share!

To Eat or Not to Eat that is the Question

Little Pumpkin

Remember the days when your baby would cry and you would know they needed one of the following : diaper change, burping, or the boob. Now that LP is a toddler she is always begging for snacks. Always “food?”, Soon followed by a temper tantrum when the answer is no; But how do you know if your toddler is really hungry or just wants to snack.

For Toddlers ( ages 1-3)

Daily calories needed: 1,200-1,400

With toddlers when they are eating lunch or dinner and they tell you that they are full and they have eaten a good amount of food on the plate trust them they know. It’s natural for a toddlers appetite to change day-to-day. one day they may want to eat everything on the plate the next not so much. Research done at the University of California, San Francisco, Up to 85 percent of parents say don’t listen to their kids when they say they are full and push them to eat more (‘two more bites”) , giving them praise for having a couple more bites. This could lead to your child eating when they aren’t hungry. As a child I remember going to my grand parents house for dinner and we weren’t allowed to leave the table until out plates were clean, making us apart of the exclusive “clean plate club”. As an adult I still struggle listening to my body when I am full and not feel like I have to finish everything on my plate. Talk about your¬†classical conditioning. So when I became a parent I knew from the beginning that clean plate would not be a¬†requirement¬†in my childrens lives. ¬†Don’t get me wrong if my kid takes two bites and says All done I know the last time she at was a snack at 2 and it is now 6pm she is hungry, but if she eats most of whats on her plate yeah I’ll listen and tall her good job. If your full you are full no sweets after dinner (fruit, apple sauce, cookies, ect….). ¬†A study done at the University of Pennsylvania found that many over weight 5 to 12 year olds aren’t receptive to their own hunger cues. Helping your child to stay aware whether they are hungry or full may go a long way to prevent obesity.

At lunch time LP eats in the living room at the coffee table with her Little chair. We don’t do this because she wants to watch tv but because she is a toddler and it’s the middle of the day. she will eat a little see a toy she wants to play with then go back to her food and eat some more. Didn’t you know toddlers have busy¬†schedules mid day lot’s of playing to fit in before that nap. so with a PB&J sandwich and some fruit and carrot sticks that gives LP to eat food that wont get cold and still taste good even though she is grazing. As time has gone by doing this I have noticed that LP will spend more and more time eating at one time and taking fewer and fewer play breaks. While this is happening she is learning to sit at the table and eat so when we go places (friends and familys houses for dinner,¬†Restaurants) I have noticed she isn’t as fussy to stay at the table and eat.

At Dinner I do strap her in to the high chair for a few reasons. At the tail end of cooking dinner the house is filled with yummy smells and this kicks LP hunger in high gear resulting her at my feet begging for food. So I strap her in to the high chair and hive her a coloring book with some crayons. This way she knows that I am not ignoring her request and that food is coming soon. She gets to¬†distract¬†herself from the hunger with an activity , and I know she isn’t going to color on the walls or wood floors so I can¬†concentrate on dinner. Finally the high chair is at the same level as the dinning room table so we can eat as a family and she can feel apart of it.

Kids can’t tell time so sticking to a¬†schedule is¬†important we keep meals and snacks about three hours apart. Breakfast at 6:30am ( know she is a early riser) a Healthy snack at 9:30 Lunch at 12:30 followed by a nap, a sweets snack (cookies, fruit snacks) at 3:30 and dinner a little after 6pm. We never really have problems with LP napping because she knows that after lunch comes a nap. keeping your kids on a schedule not only keeps your kid at a healthy by “normalizing hunger, but it helps them to know whats coming next in the day giving them a sense of security.

I know every parent has¬†tried it but giving food as a bribe is a no no. Example: Lp was upset a toy had been taken from her from one of her little friends. She was mad! so she decided to throw a temper tantrum. Hubbys solution. He offers her food because he know thats the fail safe no matter what LP will be happy if you give her food. She is a eater what can I say. When I heard him offer her a treat. I said A. you are rewarding her for throwing a TT. And B. that could lead to emotional eating. He laughed at me “emotional¬†eating?!”. He thought I was off my rocker. “She is two.” he said. Then My friend and I explained that emotional eating is¬†psychological and if when she is¬†disappointed as a child and you give her food to make her feel better, as an adult she will eat when she is upset. A lot of parents use food as reward and or trying to get their kid to do something they want for food. when you do this you are sending the wrong message about food. While some parents do this from time to time for short periods claim success it’s no good to use it in excess.

Bribing your kids to eat veggies is no good as well. toddlers tastes change a lot. one week LP loves cooked carrots the next she wont touch them. just because they don’t want to eat it doesn’t mean you should try to make them eat it, they will probably eat it next week and hate something else. being mindful of what your kid doesn’t want to eat week to week and just giving a different veggie they will eat will save you from wasting food and from tears (yours and your little one ūüôā )

Well I hope this helps you on this crazy adventure we call parenting. If you have more questions, or any feed back about this post  please feel free to leave a comment we love getting feed back from our readers and members.

~Leticia ūüôā