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Who will lead them?

October 21, 2015 in Nurturing the Child

Nathan Walking crop

This picture reminds me of the awesome job we have of leading our little ones. We give our young children just enough freedom to explore and discover. And by our example we use reins of love and compassion to gently direct our preschoolers to keep them safe and on the right path. Many times we have to be firm especially at the beginning of the school year or with our own children so they know who is the loving and all knowing boss. Children feel safe when they know who is in charge.

I love these little sponges and their awe of life. It is such a privilege to be able to influence and shape their little lives. Sometimes it is very frustrating when we have that certain child who continually needs correction and disrupts the whole class or as parents, the peace in our homes.  I just wanted to remind you that you are being watched by all the little eyes around you. They see and feel the way you treat each and everyone. We need to fill and refuel our professional and emotional tanks. Encourage and be encouraged by  your fellow teachers, parents, co-workers and ultimately by a loving God this year. It really is more blessed to give than to receive.

Do not harm…words are powerful, choose them wisely and if you mess up, ask for forgiveness from adults and the kids.  Below is the story of how Moses hands off the baton to Joshua to lead the children of Israel. In particular look at verse 15.

Have an awesome year, take care of your little sheep, you are blessed!

Joshua to Succeed Moses

12 Then the Lord said to Moses, “Go up this mountain in the Abarim Range and see the land I have given the Israelites. 13 After you have seen it, you too will be gathered to your people, as your brother Aaron was, 14 for when the community rebelled at the waters in the Desert of Zin, both of you disobeyed my command to honor me as holy before their eyes.” (These were the waters of Meribah Kadesh, in the Desert of Zin.)

15 Moses said to the Lord, 16 “May the Lord, the God who gives breath to all living things, appoint someone over this community 17 to go out and come in before them, one who will lead them out and bring them in, so the Lord’s people will not be like sheep without a shepherd.”

18 So the Lord said to Moses, “Take Joshua son of Nun, a man in whom is the spirit of leadership,[a] and lay your hand on him. 19 Have him stand before Eleazar the priest and the entire assembly and commission him in their presence. 20 Give him some of your authority so the whole Israelite community will obey him. 21 He is to stand before Eleazar the priest, who will obtain decisions for him by inquiring of the Urim before the Lord. At his command he and the entire community of the Israelites will go out, and at his command they will come in.”

22 Moses did as the Lord commanded him. He took Joshua and had him stand before Eleazar the priest and the whole assembly. 23 Then he laid his hands on him and commissioned him, as the Lord instructed through Moses. Numbers 27: 12-23

Other posts that may encourage you: Meeting of the Two Year Old Mind! Also includes “Toddlers Rules on Ownership” Here’s a fun active song about going to school with printable PDF.

Don’t forget to subscribe for free handwashing ebook!

Have an awesome year!

Ms. Dawn 

Advent Giving Tree Tutorial, Creating an Attitude of Giving

December 11, 2014 in God - Faith - Hope - Love, Nurturing the Child

Advent Giving Tree Tutorial

Christmas can get cluttered so easily can’t it? Christmas time sometimes brings my head down, the way it is so commercialized. I have to remind myself that it is an awesome opportunity to share the love of God in Christ.

It seems there are so many distractions from the true meaning of Christmas. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not an old party pooper who wants to squash everybody’s fun. It’s just that sometimes other “things” are replacing remembering the greatest gift God gave us.

This is a tutorial on creating an Advent Giving Tree…

I started doing an advent tree with my children way back when. We tied money to the advent tree. Daily we collected the money from the tree and when we saved enough we purchased canned goods for the local food pantry. Sometimes I would slip a lollipop in as well. Now I will encourage the kids to give to the bell ringing Salvation Army and continue with the purchase of canned goods for their local food pantry.

So below are my old and new advent giving trees, the one on the left is the old one, not too bad eh? And the one on the right is the one I made this week. I am giving it to my older grandchildren. I know this post should have been written and delivered just after Thanksgiving, but what can I say? I just had a new grand baby girl and she is awesome. I was busy :D.

resized new g treeresized

The items you will need: 3/4 inch ribbon, glitter fabric glue, scissors, 1 dinner mat. ribbon or string

glitter cloth paint

I picked up a dinner mat at my local Family Dollar Store for just a buck. I had the ribbon and glitter fabric glue already.

Cut Ribbon into 8, 4 and 2 inch strips

2-8 inch ribbon strips

8-4 inch ribbon strips

9-2 inch ribbon strips

Lay all the pieces on your dinner mat first to make sure all of them will fit. My largest pieces were a little less than 8 inches. You may need to adjust the size of your pieces if  your mat is larger or smaller. So the top long pieces going down are the 8 inch pieces, then use the 2 inch to jut in. Go back out with the 4 inch, and 2 inches jut back in again and repeat 2 more times. Square off the bottom with 4 inch strips and create the trunk with 3-2 inches strips. Glue all your pieces to the mat with the glitter fabric glue.

Use any piece of cloth to create a star, cut it out, glue it and outline the edges with glitter fabric glue.

resize ribbon tree

 

glue along treeOutline the outside edge of your tree with a thin line of glitter fabric glue.

Cut 25 piece of string 10 inches long, tie a knot in the middle of each string/thin ribbon. Lay the 25 knotted strings on your tree to see how they will fit. I used this combo going across 1, 2, 3, 3, 4, 3, 4, 2, 3. Next you glue the knotted string or ribbon to the tree.press knot with pen cap

Put a dot of glue and carefully place the knot of the string in the middle of the glue dot. I used a pen cap to gently press it in place. Add a little glue across the knot on top, it make it lood like a button. As you can see I used 2 different strings, if I were to do it over I would only use one. If you really want to use 2 different strings just make sure they are of the same material, yarn and ribbon are not a good match because the yarn stretches. 

This  process takes a few different sessions as you don’t want things to get moved and stuck to each other. It could get messy and ruin your project if you don’t take your time here. The glued knots need to dry in between before adding more. You can apply about 2 rows at a time by moving the string tails in positions that allow a 2nd row. Very carefully…This is not a project for young children.

 

resize add ties

When all 9 of your rows are added and dry, you can now add your scriptures.

I printed my words in a dark wine color and used a heavier stock of paper. When you glue the paper to the dinner mat put your glue on the outer edges. I applied mine in the center and it smudged the letters a bit because of the glues moisture. 

Put a line of glitter fabric glue to overlap on the dinner mat and paper. weigh it down with coins so it will not move.

resize scripture  coins to weigh down  

Scriptures I used are…

” …Walk in the way of love,

just as Christ loved us and

gave himself up for us…”

Matthew 5:1 NIV

 

” Jesus himself said:

‘It is more blessed to give

 than to receive.’ 

Acts 20:35 NIV

g tree cellTie your dollars to the tree.

Some awesome family advent resources:

Preparing to Celebrate Christ’s Birth“Arrival” by Billy Graham 

Our Daily Bread App info.

I will redeem my tardiness and make this a project one that you can use in the near future. Create the same idea but use the shape of a heart for Valentines Day. Talk about how loving is an act of giving. 

Have a Wonderful Christmas Season!

Ms. Dawn

Now be a sweetie and please share this post. Please make a comment to let me know if you enjoy this sort of post. 

 

Mother Noah according to Madeleine L’Engle

May 13, 2013 in God - Faith - Hope - Love, Nurturing the Child

Mother Noah must have been amazing!  Author Madeleine L’Engle thinks so. Yes, the same Madeleine L’Engle who wrote “A Wrinkle in Time”, a must read for kids and adults.

Mother Noah must have been a busy woman which I am sure all women can relate to. Whether you are at the beginning, middle or end of mothering, I think you will enjoy Ms. L’Engle’s take on Mother Noah.  She uses her awesome creativity to help us imaging what might have taken place on the ark, make sure and read to the end for the “grand motherhood” punch line.  

Mrs. Noah Speaking
I suppose under the circumstances
There’s really no point in complaining
but really! Noah and I had just got accustomed
to living alone and having some peace and quiet
and fixing up the house the way we wanted it at last.
I brought up tree boys, wiped their runny noses, changed their messy diapers,
washed, sewed, cooked, saw to it that they had the proper advantages,
We got them safely married
   (thought if I didn’t know it before I know it now:
   their wives leave a great deal to be desired).
We liked having them come to visit us on the proper holidays,
  bring the babies, taking enough food home to feed them for a week,
  and Noah and I could go to bed in peace.
And now look what has happened!
Sometimes I think it would have been simpler to have drowned
  with everybody else—
at least their troubles are over.
And here we are jammed in this Ark—
  why didn’t the Lord give Noah enough time to build a big enough ark
  If he wanted him to build one at all?
The animals take up almost all the room
 and Noah and I are crowded together with Shem, Ham, and Japheth,
  their slovenly wives and noisy children,
and nowhere to go for a moment’s peace.
Noah, of course had hidden several elephant’s skins of wine somewhere,
  and when the rain and noise and confusion get too bad
  he goes down to the dirty hold with the beast and gets drunk,
  sleeps it off on the dirty straw,
  and then comes up to bed smelling of armadillo dung and platypus piss.
Not that I blame him.
It’s my daughters-in-law who get me.
They insist on changing the beds every time I turn around.
They won’t use a towel more than once, and they’re always getting dressed up
  and throwing their dirty linen at me to wash.
The washing is easy enough—we’ve plenty of water—
But how do they expect me to get anything dry in all this rain?
I don’t mind doing the cooking, but they’re always coming out to the
  kitchen to fix little snacks with the excuse that it will help me:
  “You’re so good to us, Mother Noah, we’ll just do this for you,”
  and they never put anything away where it belongs.  They’ve lost
  one of my measuring cups and they never clean the stove and they’ve
  broken half of the best china that came down to us from Grandfather Seth.
When the babies squall in the night, who gets up with them?
Not my daughters-in-law.
“Oh, Mother Noah’ll do it. She loves the babies so.”
  Ham’s wife is always stirring up quarrels, playing people off against
  each other. Shem’s wife, who never does anything for anybody, manages
  to make me feel lazy and mean if I ask her to dry one dish. Japheth’s
  wife is eyeing Shem and Ham; she’ll cause trouble; mark my words.
Today that silly dove Noah is so fond of came back with an olive twig
  on his beak. Maybe there’s hope that we’ll get out of this Ark after all.
We’ve landed! At last!  Now we can get back to normal and have some
  peace and quiet and If I put something where it belongs it will stay there
  and I can clean up this mess and get some sleep at night and—
Noah! Noah! I miss the children.

Funny, huh?  This was a quote from Madeleine L’Engle’s book “The Irrational Season”, which I was reading this morning as I took a hot bath which I do sometimes to ease my achy bones or just taking a little “me” time.

I am sure you all can use a little of that right? Hey dads, watch the kids for an hour, run the tub, light some candles and let mom do a little soak and read time, a great mom gift, good all year round. (mom’s you might just have to ask and don’t tell anyone where you will be, try it.)

Madeleine L’Engle Book-about life, family and Christian community, great read!

Noah’s Ark flip page book- there are so many great Noah’s Ark books available

Kids 1st book about Noah-check your local thrift store/yard sales for lots of affordable books

The 1st picture is from KidKraft Noah’s Ark shape sorter– looks fun, I have never seen this one before.

Other posts you may like: My Mother’s Creative Legacy with more motherly post links @ the bottom

Which part of motherhood gets you plainly pooped out? Which part of motherhood unexpectantly lifts you up? Leave a comment…

We only recommend products from Amazon that we have tried and used or would purchase ourselves. 

We love sharing great resources for you and your children to make life a little more happy and healthy.

Happy Belated Mother’s Day

Ms. Dawn

 

 

 

 

The Singing Nurse on Curiosity, Creativity, and Expression

September 9, 2012 in Children's Health Education, Nurturing the Child

Curiosity, Creativity and Expression

Mike and Micael kiss

—-

Young children love to move about their world to learn, explore, create, make believe and trust, and that is what The Singing Nurse loves about babies, preschooler and older kids too.

Children are special creations, unique in all aspects and have been gifted in their own peculiar and extraordinary way.

 

Healthy Living

Christmas 2008 003Children will take our lead when it comes to life and healthy living. Give a child a choice between apple and orange slice and they will pick a healthy snack each time.

It is an awesome privilege to guide these little ones through the maze of  the “good and bad” things for us.  Kids are so very impressionable and eager to copy our actions.

Guiding children through good health habits like; hand washing, coughing or sneezing in our shoulder, not spreading our germs around, brushing our teeth, going to the dentist regularly, resting our bodies and the overall monitoring and care of our amazing bodies is a distinctive task of parenting. It is draining and demanding as well as an unexpected joy to be part of.

Music/Movement

Christmas 2008 004Young children blossom and thrive in the presence of melody, rhythms,  instruments and voice. Kids are just free to express what ever is in their being.

Who among us has not observed a small child bee bopping to the beat, and you yourself being ignited by this show of innocence and freedom. Here we can follow the children’s lead.

It plainly puts a smile on your face. “A merry heart does good like a medicine”.

Provide a child with simple percussion instruments, simple wind instruments and they will derive great pleasure in the music they make. Encourage this!

Art

ToothbrushGive a child paper and writing utensils from a colorful palette and they will express themselves with utter abandon.

Give them watercolors and they will paint to your amazement for long periods of time.

Give them clay and they will relish the opportunity to manipulate it by smooshing it, squeezing it and pounding it with delight to their own identifiable creation. You’ll say,”Tell me about what you have made”, and they will know and tell you exactly what it is.

We as the adults in our children’s world must provide the basic raw materials and tools to foster creativity, curiosity and expression. They will take our lead, what a privilege.

Posts you may like:   Sample of Posts  Germ posts  Hand washing lessons

 

 

Dads and Little Girls

June 15, 2012 in God - Faith - Hope - Love, Nurturing the Child

Dads and Little Girls

Dads play such an important part in a little girl’s life. How a dad handles and speaks to his fragile little daughter and his overall attitude can influence this blooming little woman for a lifetime.

Have a Wonderful Father’s Day!

I’d like to introduce you to some great writers that have influenced my husband and I over the years. Their books and radio programs have been like life rafts to us and I would recommend adding them to your library of parenting book.

1. Dr. James Dobson books-“Parenting Isn’t for Cowards”, “Dare to Discipline”, “Strong Willed Child” “Raising Girls”,” Raising Boys”

Below is a quote on Fathers and Daughters from Dr. James Dobson family talk website.

Fathers have an incalculable impact on their daughters. Most psychologists believe, and I am one of them, that all future romantic relationships are influenced positively or negatively by the way a girl interacts with her dad in the childhood years. If that is true, then fathers should give careful thought to this responsibility and seek to be what their daughters need of them. There are, I believe, at least seven components to that assignment:

1. leadership at the home

2. he is being watched closely

3. begin “dating” a daughter

4. build self-confidence

5. communication  

6. providers and protectors

7. spiritual leader of the family

To read the whole post click here 

To see all the great books by James Dobson click here

2.  Zig Ziglar- “Raising Positive Kids in a Negative World”-Below are some great quote from the book:  

*The only way to raise positive kids is to start to be a positive parent.

*You are what you are and where you are because of what has gone into your mind.

*Honesty is a marketable commodity.

*When we do more than we are paid to do, eventually we will be paid more for what we do.

*It is never too late to do the right thing.

*You never know when a moment and a few sincere words can have an impact on a life.

*Faith is your response to God’s ability.

*Hope is the power that gives a person confidence to step out and try.

*The saddest words in the English language are if only.

*No human being can be all things to all people.

*Making the family a top priority will invariably bring success.

*A strong, unified parental team has the best shot at positively influencing children for good.

*The key ingredient in family communication is listening, really listening.

*You need to forgive…regardless of the offense.

*The child who has not been disciplined with love by his little world will be disciplined, generally without love, by the big world.

*Real love demands you do what is best for your children and not always what is the easiest for you.

*Love can do what nothing else can.  

I especially enjoyed the section on creativity in his book and how to encourage it in our children.  “Raising Positive Kids in a Negative World” is a great book to study with a group of friend who want to be better parents.

Pick up your copy here. 

Charles Swindoll-“You and Your Child”

This is a great book to help with the basic steps to a successful relationship between parent and child.

*Know Your Child    

*Loving Your Child    

*Training Your Child

*Disciplining Your Child  

*Releasing Your Child

You can purchase on amazon here

You and Your Child-Study Guide link here. 

I’ve enjoyed Swindoll’s radio broadcast over the years, click here.

 Hope you have a great Father’s Day and appreciate the awesome privilege you have to love and influence the lives of your precious children.

For Healthy Kids, Body, Mind and Spirit,

Ms. Dawn

What positive mark has your dad left on your life?

Other Post you may like:

 

 Dad I’m A Lot Like You  Nurturing the Child  TSN Blog   Contact us

 

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Dad, I’m a lot Like You

June 15, 2011 in Chronic Illness - Disabilities, God - Faith - Hope - Love, Nurturing the Child, TSN Therapeutic Projects, Uncategorized

All the Things You Like do, Yes Dad, I’m a Lot Like You

Go outside feel the sun on my face, I like feeling the wind blow my hair

Sit on the deck watch the birds fly by, squirrels in trees, they catch my eye

All the things you like to do, yes Dad, I’m a lot like you

Can’t go in a boat on a lake like you, but I love when you bring me a fish or two

I can’t skip stones or throw a stick, but I love the site of our dog chasing it

All the things you like to do, yes Dad, I’m a lot like you

I can’t walk but you carry me, to the tub or to the deck, Dad, I love your kisses on my neck

I know dad that you have deep thoughts, of things that could be, but now are not

All the things you like to do, yes Dad, I’m a lot like you

One fine day we’ll sit down and discuss, all the cares here and all the fuss

I’ll hug your neck, I’ll kiss you back, yes dad, we’ll look forward to that

All the things you like to do, yes Dad, I’m a lot like you

Love you Dad, Happy Father’s Day,

Kian

D.G. 6-7-11

Making Greeting Cards

June 15, 2011 in Chronic Illness - Disabilities, Creative Adventures, Nurturing the Child, Uncategorized

Items you will need: pipe cleaners, paint, construction paper, scissors, glue, thick white paper, a picture of your child.

1. Bend the pipe cleaners to make different shapes, create a handle to hold on to.

2. Dip different shapes in to different colors and press on to the construction paper.

3. Do hand over hand for children who do not have use of their hands, they will enjoy the craft as well.

4. We trimmed our creation and glued thicker white paper inside for writing on.

5. We also glued our picture on the outside of the card.

Have fun with it, all children will enjoy creating a card for someone special in their lives.

Happy Mother’s Day

May 7, 2011 in God - Faith - Hope - Love, Nurturing the Child, Uncategorized

 

Little Boy Learns to Walk in Daddy's Shoes.

An appropriate time to give appreciation and share some motherly thoughts with you. Mom’s are wonderful, they rock the cradle and have the awesome privilege of sharing lifes treasures with their children. Happy Mother’s Day!

Here are the lyrics to the most recent song I wrote. I really like it, it has a lot of heart and comes right from the depths of mine. It is about the changes that go along with life, raising kids, loving and losing people in your lives whether they grow and move on or pass on. “Doing what they do”,  it’s part of life. Hope you enjoy….Appreciate you stopping by. Dawn

 

 

 

Doing What They Do- D. Ginese 4/3/10

1.     Birds are flying, flowers blooming, doing what they do

Skies are changing, winds rearranging, doing what they do

1st Break: Sometimes they’re grey, sometimes they’re blue

Whatever they will be, He’s there for me and you

2.     Children come, children grow, doing what they do

Learn to walk, trip and fall, doing what they do

1st break: Surely we all know, some will come and go

It’s beautiful but sad; love this life we’ve had

3.     Dreams are growing, kids are going, doing what they do

Want adventure, their own journey, doing what they do

2nd Break: Dreams, dreams, we’ve had ours too,

So glad this time, will never have a final ending

But while we, live in space and time

With these fragile hearts and minds

4.     Sun is shining, moonlight dining, doing what we do

Precious memories, love filled thoughts, doing what they do

1st break: Surely we all know, some will come and go

It’s beautiful but sad; love this life we’ve had

For moms, dads and those who care for children.

Dedicated to the Memory of Anthony Ginese Sr. Dec. 13, 2010

 


Meeting of the Two Year Old Mind

July 10, 2010 in God - Faith - Hope - Love, Nurturing the Child, Uncategorized

two year old mind

Meeting of the minds with a two year old can be challenging. They can be so very loving at one moment and in a total melt down the next. One thing for sure, they are so very alive and totally free to express all that comes with the package.

Below are amusing comments from Toddler’s Rules on Ownership that I like, and below it are some quotes from the great Biblical expositor, G. Campbell Morgan, from his booklet “The Music of Life”, worth finding and reading. My husband and I cried when we read it together, Morgan shares about the stages of life in musical terms, a beautiful parallel.

1. If I like it, it’s mine.
2. If it’s in my hand, it’s mine.
3. If I can take it from you, it’s mine.
4. If I had it a little while ago, it’s mine.
5. If it’s mine, it must never appear to be yours in any way.
6. If I’m doing or building something, all the pieces are mine.
7. If it looks just like mine, it is mine.
8. If I saw it first, it’s mine.
9. If you are playing with something and you put it down, it automatically becomes mine.
10. If it’s broken, it’s yours.
11. If it’s broken, but you are having fun playing with the pieces, it’s mine again.

12. If there is ANY doubt, it’s mine.

Dolce-softly and sweetly

“…I am dealing with ideal humanity; and I affirm in every child born–properly or improperly it matters nothing–between that little baby and Jesus there is perfect harmony…that tremendous phrase of His–“Of such is the Kingdom of God.”  “

…from the pen of Ian Maclaren…on King Baby;..in a magazine in England…If you are in a omnibus or a trolley car, and baby comes in in a woman’s arms, his in king.

“The baby is always making music. What are the notes? Four–Mystery, Innocence, Dependence and Promise…in the presence of the baby you know, you are in the presence of mystery…you know the lines.

“where did you come from, baby dear?

Out of the everywhere into the here.”

“Mystery! You stand in the presence of mystery; and that is the first and fundamental note in the music of infant life.”

“Then at once, Innocence.  No sin–I am talking of volitional wrong-doing–no sin, no sorrow, no shame.”

Mystery, and then the charm of its innocence.

What then?  Dependence. What a music that makes, that this little life is absolutely dependent upon you.  Neglect it, and it fades, passes out; it dies.  Oh, the tragedy that there are children who fade because neglected, because not wanted, all over our lands. That this little life is dependent, is making music in the heart of mother all the time.

What else? The last note is that of promise. Again, to quote Mark Twain. When General Grant was Commander-in-Chief of the army of the Tennessee, a dinner was given in his honour at which Mark Twain was present and spoke in his own inimitable way. He said things sparkling with humour and profound in philosophy. He said among other things this, “In the land to-day there are perhaps twenty-thousand cradles rocking; and among them such, did we but know which they are, we would preserve and hold sacred for all the coming years.”  He said, “In one of those cradles the future astronomer is blinking at the Milky Way, wondering what has become of that other milky way! In yet another of those cradles a future historian is lying, which he will probably continue to do to the end of his life. In yet another the future commader-in-chief of the army of the Tennessee is engaged in no greater piece of strategy than that of attempting to get his great toe into his mouth; and if the boy be father to the man, when General Grant attempted, he was pre-eminently successful! And then, said he, “The babies in the cradles will soon be on board the ship of state. Let them be carefully trained, for the future depends upon them.”

Can you see a little child without dreaming dreams and seeing visions? Many a man has been rescued by looking into the face of his newborn child. …It is arresting to me in that remarkable fifth chapter of Genesis, I read that it was after Enoch begat Methuselah, after the first baby came, that “he walked with God.” …So the babies come into the world, and the notes merge of mystery, of innocence, of dependence, and promise; and there is music everywhere, where the babies are.

Hope you enjoyed the quotes, we have such an awesome priveledge to mold and model to our kids, instead of calling our little dependent ones terrible, someone has reclaimed the truth by calling them terrific…

For Healthy Kids and Families

Ms. Dawn, The Singing Nurse

Rhinovirus, how to prevent it…#2

June 4, 2010 in Children's Health Education, Nurturing the Child, The Singing Nurse Music, Uncategorized

Handwashing, good health habits

Rhinovirus, another reason to wash hands, #2

I have gleaned some interesting tidbits about the rhinovirus from the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), WebMD, KidsHealth and the nanobugs website. The common cold also known as the Rhinovirus is probably the number one reason for frequent hand washing.  I hope you will be encouraged, educated and awed as I was by the more recent discoveries of the Rhinovirus (rhino means “nose”). Please share this information with your families, friends and classroom.

Interesting observances

The average child will catch a cold 8-10 times by the age of 2 and more so if they hang around with other kids. Chances just increase by association for children and adults who care for them. Most of us catch 3 to 4 colds a year.

The number one reason for visits to the pediatrician and missing school is the common cold.

Experts say autumn and spring are common times of year to catch colds, while others say winter is the prime time because we are inside and the viruses stay inside as well.

The time it takes to become ill from the time you were exposed (incubation period) to a rhinovirus, is about 2 to 3 days.

The researchers used to believe we had about 100 different rhinoviruses to contend with, but more recently cold expert Owen Hendley, MD, a professor of medicine at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville says “It’s beginning to look as if there may be as many as 200”. This is another reason colds are common.

Research has also shown that along with coughs and sneezes that send the virus droplets into the air, we are more likely to get the virus from things and surfaces. Think: phone, doorknob, remote control, shopping cart, desk and toys.  The virus can live up to 24 hours or more on a surface.

Droplets from coughs and sneezes can spread to a distance of 12 feet.

The entry points for the virus are the nose, eyes and mouth, less so by mouth as once thought, for Dr. Hendley says, “Substances in saliva quickly destroy the virus.”

Washing our hands is still the best practice; alcohol rinses are good for flu viruses but not as effective against the rhinovirus. Good old H20, soap and friction is best for preventing the spread of the cold virus.

Carnegie Mellon University researchers discovered those who were more rested (8 or more hrs of sleep) had less chances of catching a cold, while those with less than 7 hrs sleep were 3 times more likely to become ill from exposure to the rhinovirus.

The same research team discovered people who were happy, lively and calm fought off cold and flu viruses better than those who were anxious, hostile and depressed. I guess the proverb is still true, “a merry heart does good like a medicine”.

Being in a dry environment, being a smoker or being around a smoker increases our chances of catching colds and also resulting in more complications like bronchitis and pneumonia.

Signs and Symptoms in multiple combinations:

Runny nose, cough, sneezing, headache, sore throat, mild fever, fatigue, muscle aches or loss of appetite are the most common signs of a cold.

Things to Remember

Cover your cough or sneeze, do it into your elbow, shoulder or tissue.

If you cough or sneeze into your hands, or blow your nose, wash your hands.

Don’t share items with others: towels, toothbrushes, drinks, fork, spoon etc.

When in doubt as to which medicines or products can be used on children, always consult your pediatrician. Try and get your pediatricians advice about caring for a child with a cold before they get one.

Drink plenty of fluids, do not drink caffeinated drinks as they cause frequent urination and may cause dehydration especially in children.

If you observe any severe symptoms of: coughing, breathing difficulty, turning blue, high fevers, severe pain of any kind, the safest practice is to; “when in doubt, check it out,” with your health care professional of course or call 911.

Be an example by washing hands as mentioned, covering your cough and sneezes to be kind to your neighbor.  And remember, to not put your hands in your nose, eyes or mouth without washing them first.

Have a ongoing matter of fact conversation with your children throughout your day like; “oops, I coughed in my hands, I’m going to go and wash these germs down the drain” or ” wow, so glad I sneezed in my should (right after you have done it) because I don’t want you to get my germs.” Or “I’m going to wash my hands because we just went shopping and we are touching things that lots of people touched, they could be sick and this will help keep us healthy.”

Make hand washing fun, kids love to play in water, make it a teachable moment, make up a song about washing those germs down the drain or sing a song you know about hand washing.

The Singing Nurse uses “Rubba Dub Dub and Don’t Spread Your Germs Around” to teach families about hand washing, not spreading germs and health living.

Other resources: Hand Washing Lesson Plan and Animated Handwashing Song, Music

For Healthy Families,

Ms. Dawn, The Singing Nurse

To contact The Singing Nurse: click contact

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