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Jennie Garth Promotes Healthy Habits for Back to School

Monday, September 10th, 2012

I recently met up with former Beverly Hills, 90210 star Jennie Garth for the launch of Crest and Oral-B’s new line, For Me. The new line features a complete list of oral care products for tweens, while Oral-B Stages, for children from four months to seven years of age, has added the Disney characters Jake and the Neverland Pirates to their line-up.

Garth, who now has her own reality show, A Little Bit Country, says back to school is the perfect time to revamp kids’ habits. The mom of three admits that between the hustle and bustle of her family’s “crazy schedules,” it’s hard to keep up with the things they should.

To help encourage healthy habits, Garth starts early by telling her daughters it’s their job to take care of themselves.”I think that’s an important message to give them for all things in their life,” she explains. “They’re their own best advocate in any situation, so I start right away and model what they need to do.”

When I asked her what she liked most about being a mom, she smiled and said, “snuggle time,” without missing a beat. “Just a little of that compassion and empathy,” she explains. “I nurture that into my children, instill that into them, and then they can give it.”

Read more on Parents.com:

First Image: Jessica Scheetz with Jennie Garth

Second Image: Jennie Garth with daughter Lola Facinelli making toothbrush holders by Diane Bondareff/Invision for Crest and Oral-B/AP Images

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Lengthened School Years Increase Scores (and Germs!)

Friday, August 10th, 2012

You’ve heard it before: Schools across the U.S. just aren’t at the same academic level as other global leaders, including China, South Korea, and Finland. Although some state-led initiatives have made their way into the mix, some schools are deciding to put the students’ — and our future leaders — fate into their own hands.

Cities such as Chicago, Boston, and Phoenix are lengthening their school days and school years in efforts to increase the amount of time students spend in the classroom. Lengthening the academic year by 10 days or more, schools hope shorter summer vacations will help kids better remember what they learned during the school year.

And according to a report from the National Center on Time and Learning, it’s starting to pay off. Schools with longer academic years report higher graduation rates and higher test scores than those still abiding by the 180-day year.

With all that extra time in the classroom, your child is bound to bring home an endless list of yucky germs. Take a look at our tips to keep him healthy here so he can spend more time at school and less time on the couch (and we know you like that idea!).

Image: Children at school classroom via Shuttershock

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Buckle Up!

Thursday, August 9th, 2012

It’s 6:00 p.m., and your daughter has soccer practice on the other side of town. As you gather her gear and frantically load the car, take a few extra minutes to be sure she is safely secured.

While it might seem obvious, a new study released in the American Journal of Preventative Medicine earlier this week found that only 3 percent of 1- to 3-year-olds and 10 percent of 8- to 10-year-olds were properly restrained in a car. Although car crashes are the leading cause of death for children over age 3, researchers say parents just aren’t used to adhering to the new regulations set in recent years.

So what’s the best way to keep your child safe in a vehicle?

The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that children should sit in rear-facing seats until age 2, while toddlers should sit in front-facing seats with harnesses until they exceed the seat’s weight and height. And as your child continues to grow, the APA recommends using a booster seat until your bid kid is at least 57 inches tall.

Think you’ve got it figured out? Try taking our latest quiz on child car seat regulations here so you can make sure you’re ready for the road ahead.

Image: Woman helping a girl to fasten her seat belt in a car via Shuttershock

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For the Love of the Game

Tuesday, June 12th, 2012

In our June 2011 issue, we introduced you to Rick Marin, a sports-challenged father struggling between maintaining his hipster identity (as he calls it) and adapting to his 5-year-old son’s newfound love of “The Game.” Now, Marin has released the short story as a Kindle single called Keep Swinging. Fathers and sports lovers alike will resonate with Marin on his journey from believing the “Final Four” was a quartet of apocalyptic superheroes to discovering he had something in common with a Neanderthal Steelers fan. Click here for your own copy of Marin’s Kindle single—just in time for Father’s Day!

 

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Summer on the Slopes!

Friday, June 8th, 2012

Photo courtesy of Smugglers' Notch Resort

Looking for something fun to do now that summer’s here? Hit the slopes! We’re not kidding. Winter resorts like Smugglers’ Notch near Jeffersonville, Vermont, are just as fun when the sun is shining and no one is skiing. Smuggs (as the locals call it) offers summer camps for kids ages 9-17 such as H2Awesome! Water Camp for your little fishies (turns out there are a lot of watering holes and beaches in the area) and Survival Camp, a four-day adventure for camping lovers to learn wilderness survival skills. Each day focuses on a new topic – including shelter, water, food, and fire. Smuggs also offers special activities and trips such as visits to ECHO Lake Aquarium and Science Center, where kids can discover 70 live species and participate in more than 100 interactive experiences. For families with special needs kids, Smuggs even offers their Adaptive Program.  For more information about these and other programs at Smugglers’ Notch, go to smuggs.com.

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