Are Over-the-Counter Bug Bite Treatments Useless?
The Drug and Therapeutics Bulletin (DTB) released a report on Wednesday finding that after reviewing the evidence, there was little support for the use of over-the-counter remedies for bug bites.
Editor’s Note: Ellen Seidman, from the Parents.com blog To the Max, sent this to us from her friend Jill at Scary Mommy.
This guest post is by the awesome Jill Smokler of Scary Mommy, one of the most popular mom blogs out there. That’s because Jill is extremely funny, extremely wise, extremely real and all about extreme honesty. Jill’s mom to Lily, 8; Ben, 6; and Evan, 4. Somehow she’s managed to write a book, Confessions Of A Scary Mommy. It’s out this week, and it’s every bit as relatable and delicious as her blog. I asked how she squeezed that in—who has time to write a book?! “I wrote a lot of it at 3:00 a.m.,” she explained. Ah. And now, her top 5 mom moments that drive ya nuts.
There is absolutely nothing in the world that compares to the love that I have for my children. It is consuming and overwhelming and simply the most powerful emotion I have ever felt in my life. It’s perfect.
So, how is it that these children whom I love more than anything in the world have a way of getting to me like nobody else ever has? The intensity of the annoyance and frustration I can feel for creatures I love so much never ceases to amaze me. Maybe it’s the balance of loving people so much — that the other emotions have to be equally as intense. I’m not sure what it is, exactly, but it’s a good thing that I do love them so much, or I’d have a pretty tough time liking them. Especially at times like these…
1. When they fuss over bedtime. I just don’t get it — if someone were to give me a bath, put me in clean pajamas, read me a story and rub my back until I fell asleep, I would think I’d died and gone to heaven. Instead, my children insist on bargaining on the timing, refusing to brush their teeth and fighting over bedtime stories. It always ends up being the least pleasant way to end a long day.
2. When they act up during a work call. It’s hard being a work at home parent — hard for the mom to maintain a level of professionalism when she’s chewing leftover grilled cheese crusts for lunch and changing diapers in between assignments, and tough for the kids to understand that they need to respect a role other than mother. The toughest part by far is the work phone call. If I have an important call, I will set my children up with TV show or a computer game, a snack, and instructions not to interrupt me unless there is massive blood, broken bones or an intruder in the house. When the door bursts open because someone changed the channel or they ran out of popcorn, visions of throwing the TV on the floor and bolting off to an off-site office dance in my head.
3. When they whine. When my daughter was a newborn, she cried a lot. Like, constantly. I was convinced that the worst sound in the world to a mother was her darling offspring’s inconsolable cry. What on earth could compare to that? And, then she hit the whining phase and those tears suddenly became melodic.
4. When they wet the bed. I know, I know, it’s not their fault that their bodies aren’t yet wired to wake up in the middle of the night, but still, little pisses me off more than seeing a figure next to my bed at 3AM whimpering that he is soaking wet. The most infuriating part? It always, always, seems to happen on the very night when I have finally washed the sheets and freshly made the bed.
5. When they trash a clean playroom. It’s a rare occurrence when I actually get around to deep cleaning and organizing the playroom. Hours and hours of Lego sorting and Barbie organizing and putting every last toy in the proper box pays off, though, when I can step back and admire the beauty of everything being where it belongs. Sadly, it never lasts more than five minutes before one of my children will inevitably look for some minuscule item and dump out every last box in the process.
Like I said, it’s a good thing I love them so much. Remind me why I do, again?
Before March ends, make sure to encourage bring your little bookworm to the library since March is National Reading Month.
To help promote a love for reading, Cheerios is celebrating the 10-year anniversary of its Spoonfuls of Stories program, which places one free book written by award-winning authors inside specially-marked cereal boxes. This year, six different books (with English and Spanish versions) will be distributed together:
Peeny Butter Fudge, by Toni and Slade Morrison and illustrated by Joe Cepeda
Mostly Monsterly, by Tammi Sauer and illustrated by Scott Magoon
Noodle & Lou, by Elizabeth Garton Scanlon and illustrated by Arthur Howard
If I Were a Jungle Animal, by Amanda Ellery and illustrated by Tom Ellery
Hello Baby, by Mem Fox and illustrated by Steve Jenkins
Can I Just Take a Nap?, by Ron Rauss and illustrated by Rob Shepperson
Since 2002, Cheerios has distributed 60 million books in boxes and donated $3.8 million to First Book, a non-profit dedicated to improving literacy for low-include families by providing them their first new books. This year, Cheerios will be giving 50,000 children’s books and $300,000 to First Book.
You can also donate to First Book through your mobile phones by using short code 20222 and texting Books2Kids. By doing so, a $5 donation will be made that will provide two new books to a child in need. Standard messaging rates apply, and the donation amount will appear on your cell phone bill. Parents can also find other book-related events sponsored by Cheerios near you.
We are happy to announce the grand-prize winner of the contest:St. Aloysius on-the-Ohio Elementary School in Cincinnati, Ohio! For its outstanding achievement in getting students involved in reading, St. Aloysius will receive $5,000 to be used toward their school library.
St. Aloysius on-the-Ohio Elementary School is a small school situated along the scenic Ohio River valley in the historic Sayler Park Area of Cincinnati. The students enjoy a safe, nurturing environment that encourages mutual respect and self-discipline.
Both students and teachers enjoyed participating in the program. Third-grader Connor shared, “I read all the time and the contest made it even more fun,” while eighth-grader Savannah said, “Reading makes kids smarter and gives them time to be with their parents. Without the library, I don’t know what I would do.”
The school also has a proven track record of academic excellence for the past 137 years, and strong family values and family involvement is a key ingredient for its successes. “Our librarian encourages the students to develop a love of reading all types of books. The students love to compete against others and themselves. It is amazing to see what a small group of avid readers is able to achieve. The students love to say, ‘We are small but we are mighty.’ Winning is proof of that,” says Regina Hornback, a teacher at St. Aloysius.
Congratulations to the students and teachers at St. Aloysius on-the-Ohio Elementary School!
To celebrate the launch of his new book, The Modern Parent’s Guide to Kids and Video Games, we asked tech expert and dad Scott Steinberg to share his top tips for making technology fun—and safe—for the whole family.
1. Be a Proactive User
“You can’t teach the rules of the game if you don’t comprehend them yourself,” says Scott. He recommends keeping tabs on new products, and taking them for a spin to see if they’re suitable for your kid.
2. Corral Devices in Common Rooms
Scott suggests keeping game consoles, computers, and other devices out of kids’ rooms. Keeping screens in sight allows parents to monitor kids’ play patterns and time investment, and see who they’re interacting with online.
3. Guard Your Privacy
Though social networks might feel intimate, they’re anything but private. Customize privacy settings to limit access to photos, status updates, or videos of yourself only to pre-approved viewers. Remind kids to keep mum about information such as names, addresses, birthdays, and telephone numbers.
4. Utilize Parental Controls
Take advantage of the built-in parental controls that come standard on many devices. Even clueless grown-ups can configure these user-friendly settings to limit and filter questionable content. Think about what works for your family, whether it’s blocking racy R-rated films or confining chats to pre-approved friends lists.
5. Create and Enforce House Rules
Set limits on screen time, and discuss when kids may use high-tech devices and which sites they can surf. “Kids should feel comfortable approaching you with questions about rules and content—open, honest discussion is paramount,” says Scott.
Make sure to read our Tech Savvy Parents blog by Leticia Barr — she has some family- and budget-friendly ideas for celebrating Dr. Seuss’s birthday with fun online activities. March is also National Reading Month, so get your kids hooked on books with classic Seuss favorites such as The Cat in the Hat, Green Eggs and Ham, and Horton Hears a Who! Or plan a trip to the colorful Seuss Landing at Islands of Adventure in Universal Orlando — where favorite characters, scenes, and places from the books come to life.
Update: Play a matching game online, The Many Languages of Dr. Seuss, to see if you can match the English versions of his book titles with the translations in other languages. You may need to print the image out and use a pen or pencil to draw lines between the titles. After you’re done, find the answers at www.smartling.com/seuss.
What are your favorite Dr. Seuss books? Which ones do your kids love?
Over the weekend, I popped into a bookstore and spotted the familiar-looking “Goodnight, Moon” cover with its classic blue, green, and orange, colors…but on close inspection, I realized that it was a parody called, “Goodnight, iPad.”
Written by Ann Droyd, the book mimics the rhyming style of Margaret Wise’s book but focuses on a a family of floppy rabbits being driven a little crazy by modern technology. The hilarious book is a reminder to say goodnight to all our mobile devices and gadgets in the evening. (“In a bright buzzing room, in the glow of the moon–and iPhones and Androids and Blackberries too–it is time to say goodnight…”)
Along with her husband, Stan, who passed away in 2005, the husband-and-wife team collaborated on writing and illustrating simple and sweet stories, with good family values and strong morals, for preschoolers. Each book focused on a specific lesson, as experienced by human-like Papa Bear, Mama Bear, Brother Bear, and Sister Bear. Their first book, “The Big Honey Hunt,” was published in 1962 by Random House under the guidance of children’s book editor Theodor Geisel (better known as Dr. Seuss), who encouraged them to rhyme each story’s text.
There are now over 300 titles in the Berenstain Bears series, published by HarperCollins, that have sold more than 260 million copies worldwide, in 23 different languages. In addition to books, the Berenstain Bears have been featured on TV cartoons and movies, toys, clothes, video games, and mobile apps. There is even a show touring around the country, The Berenstain Bears Live! in Family Matters the Musical.