Life saving first aid tips

I thought I would post an article that I read this morning from CNN Health. Having three boys and having been through some of these scares already, I found this article really helpful. I am a squeamish person to say the least and can never get it all together when an injury is involved. Luckily, I have a husband who is opposite of me in this regard and takes care of injuries pretty swiftly.

Check out these 5 simple but life saving tips:

ATLANTA, Georgia (CNN) — Quick: What would you do if you impaled yourself with a large, sharp, piece of wood? If your tooth fell out? If you fell from a high ladder? If your friend had a severe allergic reaction?

Five simple ways to save a life

Even if you don’t have first aid training, there are simple things everyone can learn to do in emergency situations. “You really could save somebody’s life,” says Dr. Assaad Sayah, chief of emergency medicine at the Cambridge Health Alliance in Massachusetts.

Think of it as “first aid for idiots” — five things to remember if you otherwise know nothing about first aid.

1. Don’t remove a foreign object.

It happens more often than you might think: a child impaled by a pencil or someone stepping on a nail or even someone being stabbed. Particularly after storms, debris is also an impalement hazard. Among injuries that cause ER visits, punctures rank fourth behind falls, car accidents and being struck by an object, according to the CDC.

The doctor’s advice: Leave it in and call 911 (unless it’s something small, like a splinter).

“It may be plugging a hole in an artery or vein, and as soon as you take it out, you could bleed to death,” says Dr. David Beiser, an emergency medicine physician at the University of Chicago Medical Center.

2. Don’t apply a tourniquet to stop bleeding.

Apply pressure and don’t put on a tourniquet unless you’ve been trained to do so.

“If you don’t know what you’re doing, you could destroy that limb,” Sayah says.

3. Do ask around for an epi pen in case of allergic reaction.

If someone has an allergic reaction, ask if he or she has an epinephrine pen. They may have one but forgotten. “People get very panicked when they can’t breathe,” Sayah says. “If they don’t have one, ask other people who might be nearby.”

Sayah says epi pens are easy to use even without training. “It’s like a ballpoint pen that clicks,” he says. And of course, call 911.

4. Don’t clean a tooth that’s fallen out.

“You’re cleaning off important structures like nerves and ligaments,” Beiser says.

Put the tooth in milk and head to the emergency room, says Dr. Richard Bradley, a member of the American Red Cross advisory council on first aid, aquatics, safety and preparedness.

Health Library

As an alternative, you can try to hold it in the socket where it fell out, he says, adding that if a child loses a baby tooth, doctors will not try to put it back in — it’s gone for good.

5. Don’t move someone who’s fallen from a high place.

Anyone who’s fallen from an elevation is at risk of sprains, fractures and worse, internal injuries.

“If they’re in back or neck pain, leave them in the position they’re in,” Bradley says. “If you need to move them, do a log roll so you’re moving their head, body, and legs all as one unit.”

For more first aid basics, go to the guides from the Mayo Clinic and the Harvard Medical School Family Health Guide. To get trained in first aid, visit your local chapter of the American Red Cross.

Original link can be found here:


Healthy Snacks for Kids

Our family recently got to be a guest of the Children’s Museum for a taste testing of healthy snacks.  They picked from families with children aged from 4-8.  I guess since all of our kids are in that range we were selected.  We went to the museum after hours (which the kids thought was totally cool) and headed to one of the conference rooms where we were given instructions and rating sheets.  One of the rules was to try and not show any emotions that might influence the children tasting the foods.  Well, trying to get a 4 year old not to show his emotions after tasting something new is not that easy!  The museum is adding some healthy snack recipes that will be available for printing by visitors at the exhibit and this tasting panel was to choose which recipes made the cut.  I thought I would share what we tasted as well as give hints about trying to provide healthy and easy snack options for kids.

First up were two different smoothies.  The first was a berry smoothie which tasted good but had a lot of seeds in it.  If it weren’t for the seeds, the smoothie would have been a hit.  If it had been strained, it would have been great.  The recipe called for: 1/2 cup mixed berries, 1/2 cup low fat vanilla yogurt, 1/2 cup skim milk, 1/4 cup orange juice, and 1/2 cup crushed ice.  Put all in the blender and blend away.  This is very similar to a diet smoothie I used to make when I was losing baby weight.  Except in mine, I added flax oil and wheat germ and used plain yogurt.  The second smoothie we tasted was delicious!  It was a banana based mixture with a hint of citrus.  The ingredients are: 1/2 of a banana, 1/2 cup low fat vanilla yogurt, 1/2 cup skim milk, 1/4 cup orange juice and 1/2 cup crushed ice.  This one was very smooth and all the kids liked it.  I make a similar banana smoothie, except I don’t usually use juice.  I also freeze nearly dead bananas and use them in the smoothie, so no ice is usually necessary.  Apparently, either one of these great smoothies fit the bill from the nutritionists as well balanced healthy snacks.

In the next tasting were two different types of veggie dips.  We were presented with a nice display of raw veggies and given two different dips to try.  These were fairly straightforward with some healthy additions.  In the ranch based dip, you just use 1 package of Hidden Valley Ranch powder and mix with 16oz. fat free plain yogurt or fat free sour cream either one will do.  Most of the kids really liked this one, but had trouble with some of the veggies offered.  The other dip was salsa based.   Mix 4 oz. Velveeta cheese, 1/2 cup mild salsa in the microwave for about 45 seconds and stirring every 45 seconds until thoroughly mixed.  Serve up with a variety of veggie slices.   The kids liked this one about the same.  I think the point of these recipes is to show how easy it is to use ingredients you might already have on hand to make up something quick.

If you have peanut allergies in your family, you can stop reading here as the next recipes all contain peanut butter.  I thought it was odd that they highlighted peanut butter so much as a super food, when so many people seem to be popping up with nut allergies.  Luckily, no one in our family has the allergies, so they all enjoyed the following samples.

The first peanut butter sample served was quite simple yet surprising.  Presented to us, was a slice of raw zucchini with a dollop  of peanut butter on top.  I thought it was very unique to see zucchini offered up this way and was amazed how nice the two flavors blended.  The zucchini was thinly sliced and chilled and there was about a teaspoon of peanut butter on top.  To my surprise, the kids loved it and didn’t mind the raw zucchini at all.  My pickiest eater even ate it all.

Next up was a very different take on the ever popular peanut butter ball.  You take about a cup of peanut butter, 1 1/2 packets of vanilla instant breakfast and 1/4 cup of honey.  Mix the peanut butter and honey first then add the powder.  Blend well and roll into 1″ balls.  Put these in the fridge.  You can serve them plain like this, or cover them in chocolate.  To coat them, melt 2/3 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips in a double boiler with 1 tbsp. vegetable oil.  dip balls in chocolate until coated.  Put in the refrigerator until chocolate hardens.

The use of the instant breakfast is what surprised me with these.  The panel told us it was a great way to get added nutrition in a great tasting snack.  The kids loved these.  I am going to try and make some this week.

Lastly was another peanut butter creation similar to the balls but slightly different.  Take a bit of flour and put it on a plate then add a drop of peanut butter to the flour.  Add about a teaspoon of dry skim milk and mix all together on the plate until you form a body for a caterpillar.  Take some chocolate chips and decorate the body using the chips as feet or whatever you like.  Take some shredded coconut and sprinkle all over for a furry look.  Now you have a fun looking edible treat that is a balanced snack.  The kids liked these, but had trouble making them on their own.  These would be great for little parties.   Overall, most of the snacks got good scores from my kids at least.  I’m not sure how the other families scored them.

We also received some papers providing more information on offering healthy snack options.  Some of the tips were:

  • Make half your grains whole.  Choose whole-grain foods, such as whole-wheat bread, oatmeal, brown rice, and lowfat popcorn more often.
  • Vary your veggies.  Go dark green and orange with your vegetables – eat spinach, broccoli, carrots, and sweet potatoes.
  • Focus on Fruits. Eat them at meals, and a snack time, too.  Choose fresh, frozen, canned or dried, and go easy on the fruit juice.
  • Get your calcium-rich foods.  To build strong bones serve lowfat and fat-free milk and other milk products several times a day.
  • Go lean with protein.  Eat lean or lowfat meat, chicken, turkey, and fish.  Also, change your tune with more dry beans and peas.  Add chick peas, nuts, or seeds to a salad; pinto beans to a burrito; or kidney beans to soup.
  • Change your oil.  We all need oil.  Get yours from fish, nuts, and liquid oils such as corn, soybean, canola, and olive oil.
  • Don’t sugarcoat it.  Choose foods and beverages that do not have sugar and caloric sweeteners as one of the first ingredients.  Added sugars contribute calories with few, if any, nutrients.

Lastly, try out this website, for lots of great snack ideas.

Best granola cereal. (Aside)

If you were like me and futilely searching for Jordans Morning Crisp Dark Chocolate Chip cereal, well it’s your lucky day. Target’s house brand, Archer Farms, has just come out with a cereal that is as close as it gets to the delightful Jordans that I so dearly miss. In case you have no idea what I am talking about, Jordan’s organic cereal is a British company that makes heavenly cereals. Delicious granola clusters with either mixed berries, dried strawberries or dark chocolate nibs make these cereals simply divine. I enjoyed my Morning Crisp cereals the five years I lived outside the US. When I got back here, and went to the grocery and couldn’t find my Jordans cereals, panic ensued. I searched the internet far and wide and did find an outlet that sold them that would ship to the US but the price would have been about $10 a box with shipping. I, of course, didn’t go that far. I emailed Jordans in the UK and they claimed there were too many shipping problems to distribute to the US. I ended my search, and sadly mourned the loss of my favorite cereal. Imagine my surprise when out of the blue while talking with my mom on the phone tonight, she mentioned in passing, “Oh, I got a new cereal at Target that tastes just like that chocolate cereal you used to send me.” ( I often would bring back several boxes of the Morning Crisp for my mom to enjoy whenever I visited home.) I couldn’t believe it, I was shocked. “What????” I exclaimed. I questioned her thoroughly about whether or not she was sure and she said yes. I told her I had to go to Target and promptly shouted my discovery to my husband as I left the house! Luckily, there is a Target less than five minutes from my house. I promptly drove down there, got my cart and nearly raced to the cereal aisle. There I found a new section of Archer Farms cereals in these nifty canisters. My eyes scanned nervously, I didn’t see it. Then, there it was. On the bottom shelf, I saw the Chocolate Chunk Hazelnut Biscotti Granola. I picked it up and searched it with my eyes. The only main difference I noted was more hazelnuts that I remember. Who cares! I grabbed 2 of the 3 boxes on the shelf and home I went to test it out. I opened the nifty resealable top and pulled back the safety wrapper. Ahhh. The scent was so familiar. I immediately grabbed a handful and tasted it. To my surprise, it was very much like the familiar Morning Crisp I had enjoyed. I yelled to my husband and he came in to try it. His thoughts were similar and he claimed that he ate way more of the Jordan’s than I ever did and should be the resident expert. He thought that the Archer Farms was a little fluffier and the chocolate was slightly different, but overall, it was very close. Close enough I said.

I did a little searching this evening and found the nutrition information for each cereal and found that they were very similar. On (which has any food you can think of in its database), I found the calories, carbs, fat and protein to be almost the same.

What a wonderful surprise! If you haven’t tried this cereal beware. It’s highly addictive and somewhat pricey. I usually enjoy mine with vanilla soy milk. My mom likes hers with yogurt and my husband just uses regular milk in his.

You can see it here at Target:

Archer Farms Chocolate Chunk Hazelnut Biscotti Granola

Archer Farms Chocolate Chunk Hazelnut Biscotti Granola

School Rebellion Already

I thought things were going well for my middle son who started all day kindergarten last week. He was coming home last week talking about how school was the best place ever and how much he liked his teacher. This week, however, has proved to be the complete opposite. If I had to bet, I would say that tiredness is the main culprit. Last week, he was going to bed earlier and getting up on time. This week, he has been bucking at bedtime and waking up later. For the past two mornings, my husband has had to force him in the car then drag him out at the school. Not a pretty site. My son claims he is missing out on all the fun stuff that mommy and his brother are doing at home. Granted, I did take his brother to the zoo last week, but that was only one day. Usually there is not much going on at home besides cleaning, laundry and errands. My middle son is convinced that home is play nonstop while he is gone though and he is just plain mad that he may be missing out on something. My older son had similar issues when he started school, but never to this degree. He would just ask me every day (and still does) what I did while he was gone. I don’t know if I should go down and visit my middle son at lunch today or hold off and try to let him get through it. I know he is more tired, so maybe I just really need to make a bigger effort to get him to go to bed earlier and stay in bed. What to do?

4 Year Old at the Dentist

Today I took my youngest, who is 4, to the dentist to have one of his teeth filled. He went from no cavities to 3 cavities in less than a year. He had his tonsils out in May and that triggered majored anxiety at the dentist office today. I endured about 10 minutes of listening to him scream in the back until I went back there to see what was going on. He didn’t like the taste of the numbing gel and was throwing a fit. Screaming, kicking all of it. The dentist finally came out and asked if I would like to try and calm him down and try to keep him from kicking for the rest of the time. I went in there and immediately melted as I saw the despair in my son’s eyes. I took him up and held him for a bit, then the dentist tried to proceed with the procedure. The dentist started inserting this rather large place holder to keep his jaws open, then applied some kind of metal rack with a rubber guard around the tooth to isolate it from the rest of his mouth. Try to picture this, a large black rubbery thing on one side about 3″ x 2″ holding his mouth open, then this rather clumsy metal rack that was about 4″x4″ with pointed ends draping a rubber sheet with a hole cut out for his tooth in the front of his mouth. Any time he tried to move the pointy ends would start digging into his neck and chest. I kept calling this to the dentist’s attention and she put that thin dentist bib under it as if it was enough. The dentist kept assuring me that since his mouth was numb it would only take a little bit to finish up. About 30 minutes later of more shots, digging out pulp and holding my sons legs down we were finally done. Apparently, the damage had already gone to the nerve so the dentist had to do a children’s root canal, which is different from an adults. They scrape out all the pulp near the nerve, fill it then slap a crown on top. I convinced my son that this was a castle for his teeth that would protect it from the sugar eating monsters now. My son has his next appointment in a week, and I am just sitting here thinking. There is no way he will go in that office next week once he sees the door. After today, there is no way.

I am pretty sure that his enlarged tonsils exasperated the bacteria situation in his mouth this past year and that is why he developed so many cavities. His tonsils were huge, touching each other in the middle and harboring lots of bacteria. His breath was horrid before they came out. I am hoping that getting them out has really lessened the amount of bacteria living in there and normal brushing will keep the cavities down now. My other two sons did’nt have cavities like these, and I think the tonsils must have been the culprit. Time will tell though.

Being the spoiling mother that I am, I immediately took him to Target and let him get a Pokemon toy. I know, I know, it is spoiling, but after that ordeal, how could I not. 🙂

Alone time with youngest child

In keeping my promise to my youngest that we would have lots of fun while his brothers are at school and before his pre-kindergarten starts, we went to the zoo. The day was perfect, light breeze, no humidity and temps in the 70s. The August weather here in Indy has so far been amazing. The zoo was packed and we actually had to wait in line just to get in the parking lot, which rarely happens on a weekday. My son had a list of animals to see in a certain order, so off we went. Elephants first, then zebras, then giraffes, then the snakes. The snakes exhibit at the Indianapolis Zoo is just plain creepy. They make a secluded dark hallway filled with barely lit cages. It totally creeps me out. Everytime I can’t see the snake in the cage, I am convinced it is lurking about. They just keep the room so dark it is uncomfortable. The kids, of course, love every bit of it, so I am always doomed to the terror walk through the snake hall!!

As a special treat, I bought tickets for the train, carousel and roller coaster. Talk about happy, my 4 year old was beaming! We had never done the coaster before and it was amazingly fun. It’s just a small coaster but it sure does have a kick.

It was a special treat to spend a day alone with my youngest. He hasn’t gotten much alone time. Last year it was just half a day alone time, which is not a lot when you combine that with my usual errands. This year will be really good for him to get that extra attention all children need. This week we plan on going to the art museum where they are featuring a new Egyptian exhibit. My youngest loves mummies, so I am sure he will love this.

WiiFit – Totally worth it!

We made the plunge and stood in line this morning to get our hands on a WiiFit at Best Buy. They were on sale for $89. We arrived around 10:45am for the 11:00am opening and there were already a handful of people there waiting. As soon as the doors opened, everybody headed for the same place. I looked down at my 8 year old son and said, “Go ahead and run to the man in the blue shirt and ask for the WiiFit.” Duly following my instructions, and surprised to have received permission to run, he made it and was first to get a box. The look on his face was priceless! Turns out it didn’t really matter that he ran, but it was fun anyway. Best Buy had about 15 or so in stock, and I think everybody in line got one.

We went home straight away and set the unit up. Amazing! Nintendo has definitely succeeded in putting “fun” into exercise. I completed almost all that I could and really felt like I had just worked out at the gym. Well, better than Curves anyway. The board actually computes your weight and BMI and allows you to set goals. I actually can’t wait to get on it in the morning and see how I faired just after a day of training. The only downside we have seen so far is that the game can’t handle more than one board. We thought it would be cool to be able to do group exercises and games, but the only 2 player mode is in running that we have found so far. I am going to search the net in a bit and see if there are any more 2 player modes. In the 2 player running mode, you put the wiimote in your pocket and you don’t use the board. My 5 year old creamed me though, because his legs are so short the wiimote recorded much faster reps. All the kids had a blast watching it though. They were laughing up a storm watching mommy get beat!!

All in all, a great product. Way to go Nintendo!!