By Nicole Chiello
Swimming is an activity that is loved by children of all ages. As summer approaches, it’s important to think about being safe in the water and at the beach. If you are a parent or guardian, being at the water with your children can be a fun, but stressful time. There are definitely some things you need to think about before you venture to the pool (or beach!)
What are some general things I should remember when I am at the water with my children?
· Please remember that are large misconceptions when it comes to drowning. It can happen in an instant, and people who are drowning can’t call for help in most cases, as they are trying to breathe. Not all people who are drowning will yell, or wave their hands, or bob up and down in the water.
· Supervision is the #1 priority when water is involved! Children need to be supervised at all times when they are around water of any kind. A good rule of thumb is to remember that children under 5 should be only an arm’s length away from an adult. If you need to leave for whatever reason, make sure your child is with
you – do not leave them even for a minute – because less then a minute is all it takes for a dangerous situation to occur.
· Set rules from the start – and stick to them! If you are at the beach, and you tell them not to go past their knees, have a consequence ready when they do. They are going to test you and if you cave, they are going to continue to test! Set the rules from the get go, and talk about them before you even get there.
· The American Red Cross advocates for the buddy system – even if you are supervising your children, make sure they are always with someone else in the water.
· A flotation device does not replace proper supervision. Just because your child has a life vest on, or tube, doesn’t mean you shouldn’t have to supervise them. Nothing replaces the proper supervision of an adult.
· If you own a pool, please abide by all rules and laws about owning one, including fencing, securing, and covering. Please make sure the cover is secure whenever it is not in use. Also, make sure toys are not floating in the pool when there is no one around – colorful toys are often hard to resist for small children and they might unknowingly try to grab them and fall.
How can I educate myself on proper beach and water safety?
- All caregivers and families should take a basic CPR class so they will be prepared in an emergency situation. This is a very simple way for all caregivers to protect their families and know what to do when an emergency situation arises.
- Enroll yourself and your child in a swim class. Classes are great because a child is there, learning how to swim and getting excited about the water – and at the same time, you and your child are learning about water safety and about how to be safe at all times. It’s a great tool to teach your kids about water safety without them even knowing it. :)
What do I do in an emergency situation?
- Check the water first if you own a pool. If you notice your child is missing, check there quickly first, as time is precious if something has happened to your child in the water.
- Call 911. Always have a phone handy when you are near the water.
- If you own a pool, make sure you have all of the emergency equipment on hand and ready. You shouldn’t have to look, or go far, for anything you might need quickly.
Nicole Chiello is an Education Specialist at The Children’s Workshop. She received a BA in Elementary Education and Psychology from URI. Nicole has been with the team for four years. Before being a director, she was a school-age coordinator, as well as a substitute for the Public Schools. Her favorite thing about working with children is the guarantee
By Heather Fiscus
It is the fateful “Achoo!” that allows for the preschool saying, “If you sneeze, cover please!” Whether it is Spring time allergies or the dreadful flu season, the preschool children at The Children’s Workshop in South Dennis are very prepared to handle an onset of germs.
We began in early October teaching about how germs can spread from one child to another. During circle time, we sat in a large circle. I had sprinkled a large amount of glitter on a pan and placed my hands in it. When I removed my hands, they were completely covered with, what we call, the preschool plague. I proceeded to tell my class that glitter, just like germs, can be passed from one friend to another until everyone has the germs on their hands. I then shook hands with the child to the right of me and he shook hands with the child next to him. This cycle continued until all the way around our circle until the child on the left of me had glitter on her hands too. The children all looked at their hands as I continued talking, “Now we all have the germs on our hands! The only way to get rid of these germs is to
wash our hands with soap and water, and then dry our hands with a paper towel.” The children all took turns washings and drying their hands. When everyone had returned to the circle, we compared our hands. The over whelming verdict was that the germs were all gone!
Ever since performing this experiment, we continue to wash our hands frequently to rid ourselves of the germs that constantly linger in a preschool classroom. We wash our hands before and after we eat, after blowing or wiping our noses, after using the bathroom, and after we come in from outside. The children have become adept at catching a friend when he or she needs to go wash their hands. I often catch my students repeating the phrase, “We are Safe! We Wash Our Hands!”
This has helped my students to become more aware of their bodies, what it means to be sick, and what it may take to help a friend or family member feel better. I frequently see my students run over and give a hug or a pat on the back if they notice a friend is not feeling well. By doing this, they are demonstrating a growing empathy that we love to encourage here at The Children’s Workshop.
Heather Fiscus is the lead teacher of the Preschool Once classroom at The Children’s Workshop in South Dennis. She
By Judy Langelier
Make sure you know what you are giving your child. As parents we try so hard to keep our children safe and healthy. We ask the advice of our elders and professionals, and hope we are doing the best we can. Then you find an article that says something you have been giving your child for months, maybe even years
could be harmful to them and could even do permanent damage.
This is what happened to a number of parents at our center with an article about MiraLAX. MiraLAX is a gentle laxative typically prescribed to adults for use up to a week. MiraLAX contains Polyethylene Glycol 3350, which works to replenish water in the digestive system to relieve constipation. But MiraLAX was never meant to be prescribed for children, and now has become a household staple for infant parents. So as parents, what do we do? Do we believe it? Do we stop giving it? What do you think?
Here are some more discussions on the use of MiraLAX for infants:
NY Times Article on MiraLAX May, 2012
TheBump.com community forum on MiraLAX
Judy Langelieris the Lead InfantTeacher at The Children’s Workshop in South Dennis, MA. A loving Mother and Grandmother, Judy has over 20 years of experience in the early education and child care industry. Judy has been with The Children’s Workshop since the South Dennis location opened in 2008. Every day she shares her knowledge, wisdom and nurturing experience with the teachers, students and families that frequent her center. For this reason, she was granted the 2012 Star Educator Award, which recognizes the top educator out of The Children’s Workshop’s 19 early learning centers.
By Robin Friedlaender
As a teacher we have always had “classroom rules.” However, last year I tried something new...I presented “classroom expectations”the first day of school and what a difference I’ve noticed.
The majority of my students have been in our center for a
few years, so they know our “rules” which are your basic: use gentle hands and feet, indoor voices, being a good friend, raising your hand, using your manners, etc. Well, the first day of kindergarten during our morning meeting I sit my new friends down and we talk about rules...I then tell them that there aren’t any rules in kindergarten. The looks I get are priceless! I see some very excited faces...until...I tell them I have “classroom expectations” instead of rules. Now I have a lot of blank faces. I go on to tell them that I “expect” they already know how to behave while at school and I have some new expectations” I want them to follow:
• We Are A Team
• We Try Our Best
• We Create
• We Respect Each Other
• We Celebrate Other’s Successes
• We Learn From Our Mistakes
These expectations are an extension of The Workshop Ways, which were developed by The Children’s Workshop. The Workshop Ways are a set of Positive Behavior Institutions and Support that we call PBIS.
The new expectations were met with enthusiasm, and the class goes over them every morning. I also add “how” we are going to meet these expectations. As they meet an expectation I remind them what expectation they met and how it was met. After a few weeks, I hear the kids telling one another when they realize an expectation has been met. As a parent I want my own children to realize that we all have “rules” in life, but we should also set “expectations” for ourselves in life. I started to look at what I was doing in my classroom and how it can be applied in my own home with my children. Basically, I started rethinking how I set home “rules” and turned them into“expectations.”
I want my students and my children to be independent thinkers and feel confident in themselves. I want them to be the best they can be. My children like this way of thinking because they are able to take ownership in our household and how it is run. I find myself looking for the positive rather than the negative in both my students and my children. I find myself more relaxed and not constantly harping on what they aren’t doing right.
I celebrate more in their accomplishments, because I see more effort going into tasks. I will continue to encourage them and remind them that respecting others is something they should always do. I will celebrate their successes and help them learn from their mistakes...it’s a part of life.
Robin Friedlaender is a KindergartenTeacher and Lead Administrator at TheChildren’s Workshop in Bourne, MA. She joined The Children’s Workshop family in 2008. She holds a BS in Early childhood Education from Kennesaw State University in Georgia. Before joining The Children’s Workshop, she taught 5th grade inclusion, 2nd grade, and Pre Kindergarten at Jefferson Parish Public School System in Louisiana. Robin is a working mom of three amazing children ages 8, 11, and 14. She enjoys reading, scrapbooking, traveling, journaling, shopping, going to the beach, and spending time with family and friends.
The Children's Workshop is a family owned, quality child care provider that was founded in Lincoln, RI in 1990 by working father of three, Dave MacDonald. 22 years later, the company is still owned by the MacDonald family and has grown to include 19 different locations in RI and MA. The Children’s Workshop uses the Children’s Workshop Curriculum, a research based framework developed by the company’s top teachers that is aligned with the RI Early Learning Standards and focuses on learning through play. The Children's Workshop provides early education programs for children ages 6 weeks to 12 years. To learn more about The Children's Workshop family, go to www.childrensworkshop.com.
Cape Cod Moms