Tick Removal Done Right

Tick Removal Done Right

Tick Removal Done Right - PreparaMom

Although summer is coming to an end, let’s face it, our kids are going to be as active as possible during the fall and winter months. 

A lot of people seem to be of the opinion that spring and summer are the only times you have to worry about ticks. The reality is that many species of ticks stay alive and somewhat active even into the fall and winter (as long as the temperatures manage to stay above freezing). 

Because of this, it’s important to keep an eye on your kids (and pets) to make sure they stay tick-free. If you do find one of the little bugs on you or a loved one, there’s a proper way to remove it quickly. You don’t want to develop Lyme Disease or end up with an infection.

 

Tick Check

The first thing you need to do when you come in from walking or playing outside is to do a quick tick check. Ticks What to Look For - PreparaMom

Inspect your legs, arms, and have someone else check the areas you can’t see yourself, specifically your scalp, neck, ears, your eyebrows and underarms. (Yes, they can and do dig in and hide themselves in the hair. Since most ticks are smaller than a centimeter, it’s easy for them to hide.) 

If you’re going into a wooded area or an open area with really tall grass (higher than your shoes), be sure to wear knee-length socks, long-sleeved shirts, and long pants. You can also consider tucking your pants into your socks for extra protection. (It may look weird, but it’s a lot better than Lyme Disease.) Take a shower to wash off any loose ticks and immediately throw your clothes into the dryer for ten minutes to kill any ticks with heat before you wash them.

 

Tick Removal

If you find a tick on yourself, child, or a pet, there’s a method to removing it. When a tick bites you, it drives its head under the skin. If you just yank the tick off or scratch it off, you may leave the bug’s head inside you. 

This alone won’t cause Lyme Disease, but it will often lead to a really nasty infection. Instead, use tweezers (or a specially designed tick removal tool) to grab the tick firmly as close to the skin as possible. Pull the tick straight up and out. Don’t twist it or move it back and forth. Just pull straight until the tick lets go. 

Tick Removal - PreparaMom

Aftercare for Tick Removal

After you do this, be sure to wash the bite (and your hands) with anti-bacterial soap. You can also use a medicinal ointment like Neosporin. If the bite area develops a red ring, red bumps or if the person develops aches and a fever, consult your doctor as soon as possible.

 

Take Time to Check  

The great outdoors can be a fun place to walk, play, and explore. However, you need to respect these areas by paying attention to the hidden dangers lurking out there such as ticks. Even though they can be some of the tiniest bugs in the wilderness, they can cause really severe problems if you don’t handle them properly.

 

Be Prepared for the Great Outdoors!

Enjoy knowing that no matter what happens at the park or playing ball – you know EXACTLY where your first aid kit supplies are. Designed exclusively with you and your kids in mind.  Check out PreparaKit.com for kits and tools created for busy parents who want to be ready for the unexpected.

Top 3 Meds Every Parent Should Have on Hand

Top 3 Meds Every Parent Should Have on Hand

Top 3 Meds Every Parent Should Have on Hand - PreparaMom

There’s something about seeing our kids looking so small and helpless when they’re ill that kicks in the “mom” instinct making us want to kiss it and make it all better. 

But if mom’s kisses don’t cure the problem, then you’re going to have to turn to the first aid kit or the medicine cabinet. When that happens, there are a few medicines you absolutely MUST have on hand for just such an emergency. If you don’t, Murphy’s Law dictates you’ll need the item at the least convenient time (such as in the middle of the night or when your spouse isn’t home and you’ll have to load all the kids into the car for a trip to the drugstore). 

 

Here are three meds you need to have on hand in your medicine cabinet:

Top 3 Meds Every Parent Should Have on Hand - PreparaMom

Motrin

 

This is a nice one to have on hand as a painkiller and fever-reducer. The generic form of Motrin is ibuprofen and you can get this in pill form for your older kids or as a liquid suspension for the little ones. 

It’s an NSAID (Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drug) that works by blocking inflammation to reduce pain. Because of its anti-inflammatory nature, it makes Motrin an ideal choice if your child gets banged up a bit playing sports. 

As a fever-reducer, it can really help. 

 

Tylenol

 

When you’re using Motrin for a fever reducer, it may not work right away to bring the fever down but the problem is that you can’t give too many doses in a short period of time. 

For example, when I give my kids motrin, I usually can’t give the next dose for another 6 hours. But if their fever is still up, I can’t wait six hours. I need to get that fever down. So in this case, I would give them some Tylenol at the mid way point, which is at the 3 hour mark. Then in another 3 hours, if they still have the fever, I can give them the next dose of Motrin because it has been 6 hours since the last time they got it. Same concept with the Tylenol. I would alternate with these 2 meds until the fever came down.

The generic name for Tylenol is acetaminophen, so be sure you look for this if you aren’t getting the name brand. Also, as with any medicine, check the weight chart for the right dosage so you know you’re giving your little one the correct amount.

 

Benadryl

 

The third med you really need to keep on hand is Benadryl. This is an antihistamine, so it can help with allergy relief symptoms like a runny nose or sneezing. It’s also been linked to alleviating nausea from car sickness. But what you really want this medicine for is if your child has an allergic reaction to something. 

If your child starts breaking out in hives or a mild rash, you want a quick response. If your child is showing signs of swelling particularly around the tongue and mouth or is wheezing, whatever caused the reaction could lead to anaphylactic shock and time is of the essence.  A dose of Benadryl will help alleviate the symptoms. It’s important you follow up with getting your child help at an emergency room as Benadryl is only intended to be a temporary measure to give you more time to get help. 

 

How Medicines Have Changed Since We Were Kids!

Mary Poppins famously sang that a “spoonful of sugar helps the medicine go down.” Thankfully, a lot of these new medicines come in flavors that aren’t as awful tasting as when we were kids. But for the everyday aches, pains, and ailments your kid is most likely to develop, these are the three over-the-counter medicines you need to always have on tap at home. 

 

Be Prepared for Illness!

Knowing no matter what happens at home, the park or playing ball, you know EXACTLY where your first aid kit supplies are – PRICELESS! Designed exclusively with you and your kids in mind.  Check out PreparaKit.com for kits and tools created for busy parents who want to be ready for the unexpected.

 

Burn Safety: Quick Tips for Kids

Burn Safety: Quick Tips for Kids

Burn Safety: Quick Tips for Kids - PreparaMom

 

You’ve probably heard a lot of “home remedies” for different ailments like burns and a lot of these have left me shaking my head. 

When I was a kid, do you know what my mom used to put on burns? Toothpaste! And then there are those folks who swear by putting butter on burns. Hopefully, no one is doing that anymore.

 

Kids Will Be Kids

I think we all know many of the burns that kids experience are preventable. And, of course, kids will be kids. 

Even though we try our best, it’s literally impossible to keep our eyes on our kiddos 100% of the time and keep them from getting into things that can burn them. Kids want to have fun and don’t always think about the consequences. 

 

Study Reports Burns Are Fifth Most Common Cause of Accidental Death

According to Johns Hopkins Medical School, burns and fires are the fifth most common cause of accidental death in children and adults. That means approximately 3,500 deaths per year

The age group most affected are toddlers and young children (ages 4 and under). In fact, children 4 years old and younger who are hospitalized for burns are 65% likely to be the victims of scald burns with only 20% being from contact burns. 

 

Watch Kids Around Water

Many of these scald burns come from hot tap water burns. Thankfully, regulations and the lack of open fires in homes have decreased burn injuries in the past thirty years. But they do still occur, no matter how much you try to stop them.

When dealing with burns, it can be difficult as there are so many different types and severity: thermal, electrical, and chemical burns and first-, second-, or third-degree burns. Even I have a hard time keeping track. 

Burn tips for kids - PreparaMom

Determine If the Burn Is a

First-Degree Burn

Hopefully, you’ll never have to experience any of these as a parent, but if you do, it’s important to keep calm and follow the steps. 

If the burn is minor, a first-degree burn such as a sunburn where the skin is just reddened but still intact:

  • Cool the burn with cold compresses or cool water (NO ice!)
  • Cover the burn with a clean bandage
  • If you need to ease the pain of the burn, use over the counter pain meds. Also, aloe vera or burn gel can be applied for extra relief.
  • If the skin blisters, do not pop them. This may increase the chance of infection. Instead, just cover them and keep them clean.

 

See a Doctor for Any Other Type of Burn

In a child especially, the severity of the burn depends on the size and location of the burn. There’s actually a whole formula used to determine it, but I say keep it simple. If you have any doubt that it’s anything more than a minor first-degree burn, seek professional medical help ASAP. It’s better to be too careful than not careful enough!

 

Discuss Safety with Your Kids

With the Fourth of July festivities coming up, it’s a good idea to discuss safety around the grill, fireworks and other activities that may have a flammable element with your kids.

Hopefully, this helps to inform you a bit more if you are ever to have to deal with a burn to one of your children. Just remember, please, NO toothpaste!

 

Be Prepared to Provide First Aid!

At the Fourth of July celebration, the park or playing ball – be prepared for the sun AND accidents with a first aid kit designed exclusively with you and your kids in mind.  Check out PreparaKit.com for kits and tools created for busy parents who want to be ready for the unexpected.

 

Protecting Your Kids from the Sun

Protecting Your Kids from the Sun

Protecting Your Child from the Sun - PreparaMom

Spring’s here and that means summer is right around the corner.

And, if you’ve been cooped up in the house during this long winter, then I’m sure you can’t wait to get out into the sun and snap out of your cabin fever.

If you’re planning some fun in the sun, you’re going to want to do everything you can to protect your kids from sunburns. A few bad sunburns as a child may seem like a temporary inconvenience, but they can increase your child’s chances of getting skin cancer when they’re older.

Let’s look at easy ways to protect your kids to stay safe in the sun:

 

Sunscreen

 

The general rule of thumb is that you need to apply (and reapply) sunscreen about every two hours you’re outside in direct sunlight.

 

Protecting Your Kids from the Sun - PreparaMom

 

So if you spend an 8 hour day out at the beach or by the pool, you’re going to want to reapply sunscreen four times during that period.  You should do the first application about 30 minutes before you go outside, and the CDC is now recommending a minimum of 15 SPF, although higher levels wouldn’t hurt.

 

Additionally, make sure that you’re using sun protection designated for UVA and UVB (broad spectrum) rays. Don’t forget to apply sunscreen to areas like the neck, ears, and face. Use sunscreen that’s waterproof (even sweat can wash off sunscreen) and reapply if you go into the water.

 

Clothes

 

An easy way to protect your child from the sun is by covering them up as much as possible. Now, I’m not saying put the poor kid in a hazmat suit that covers them from head to toe. But, if weather allows, have them wear long sleeves and pants when going outside to protect their arms and legs.

 

If you’re at the beach or the pool, invest in a swim shirt that has built-in UVA protection. You can protect your child’s face with a big floppy hat (or a baseball cap).

 

Although it may seem counter-intuitive, darker clothes have been found to provide more protection than lighter colored clothes. (Many people shy away from these because they think the darker colors attract the sun more.)

 

Finally, don’t forget to protect your child’s eyes with a good pair of sunglasses that offers UVA protection.

 

Shade

 

Use shade as much as possible! If you’re going to the beach, bring an umbrella or portable “beach tent” so you can get into the shade when the sun gets too hot.

 

Check with your child’s school to make sure they have a shaded area outside on the playground or the PE practice fields. The sun is at its worst during mid-day (specifically from about noon to 3 or 4 PM). If you can, get outdoors during the early morning or late afternoon and schedule indoor activities during this extreme time.

 

With a little planning and prep, the whole family can enjoy time in the sun!

 

No need to be afraid of the sun, especially for your children. Protecting them now, protects them later. It’ll give them lifelong habits that will help them take care of their skin and hopefully stave off skin cancer well into their adult life.

 

Be Prepared for Sunburns!

 

At the beach, the park or playing ball – be prepared for the sun AND accidents with a first aid kit designed exclusively with you and your kids in mind.  Check out PreparaKit.com for kits and tools created for busy parents who want to be ready for the unexpected.

 

Common Foods Kids Choke On

Common Foods Kids Choke On

Common Foods Kids Choke On - PreparaMom

Babies and toddlers are notorious for sticking everything into their mouths. Unfortunately, choking has been one of the leading causes of injury and death in children under four-years-old for decades now.

One of the biggest choking hazards, isn’t toys or other knick-knacks that a child might pick up. It’s actually food they swallow whole rather than chewing up. Let’s talk about the foods that need to be avoided (or at least that you need to be careful with) and what to do in the event of a choking incident.

Foods that need to be carefully supervised for children under 4

The main problem with children choking is they don’t fully chew their food, leaving larger pieces they then try to swallow whole. If a food item is round and hard, it can slip down into the windpipe and completely block the airway.

Additionally, food that is sticky and gooey (such as candy or marshmallows) can be difficult to chew which can lead to a choking hazard. If you have a young child (under 4), you need to either avoid these foods, or cut them up into extra small pieces no bigger than half an inch:

  • Hot dogs
  • Grapes
  • Nuts and seeds
  • Peanut butter
  • Popcorn

Supervision is key for young children and certain foods

When you’re feeding a small child, it’s important to supervise them. Don’t allow your toddler to walk around and eat. They should be seated and paying attention to what they’re doing. (A little kid can’t multi-task, so walking and eating at the same time can be dangerous – and messy!)

The real danger is that it only takes four minutes for a child to die from choking and even less time for permanent brain damage to set in. Be really cautious during these first years even while you are in the front seat driving, your child could be choking in the back seat.

What should I do if my child begins choking?

As hard as this may sound, stay calm. Freaking out takes away precious time and can keep you from focusing on the necessary steps to take.

Call 911 immediately and tell them that you have a choking child. Even if you dislodge the food, they can still come take a look at your child to make sure they are OK.

Be prepared by taking a CPR class with your local Red Cross or health organization. This will teach you the proper way to do the Heimlich maneuver on an infant or young child.

Choking is not something to play around with. Pay special attention to the types of foods your child eats and if you have any concerns, skip it and feed them something else. You can also be sure to help them with their digestion by cutting food into very small pieces for easy chewing.

Be Prepared for life’s curveballs!

Bumps, bruises and owies – oh my! Parenthood is never boring. Be prepared with a first aid kit designed exclusively with you and your kids in mind.  Check out PreparaKit.com for kits and tools created for busy parents who want to be ready for the unexpected.

Have You R.I.C.E’d a Twisted Ankle?

Have You R.I.C.E’d a Twisted Ankle?

Ankle Sprain - R.I.C.E - PreparaMom

When it comes to kids, accidents can always happen. This is especially true if you’ve got rambunctious little ones who like to tear around the house or the athletic field.

Since we can’t put them in head-to-toe bubble-wrap, we have to know what to do when an accident occurs. One of the most common types of injuries is a twisted ankle.

 

Is it a sprained ankle or broken ankle?

 

Sprains can hurt really badly and the first time a child experiences this pain, they may think they’ve broken their ankle. More than likely, you will find out it’s a sprain.

A sprained ankle is caused when the ligaments in your foot are pulled too much. Ligaments naturally have some “give” to them, but a sprain occurs when they are pulled too much sometimes causing them to tear.

 

There are actually 3 grades for sprains:

 

  • Grade 1—The least serious type, a grade 1 sprain is usually sore with some mild to moderate swelling.

 

  • Grade 2—In this type, the ligaments will tear partially, but not all the way. Putting weight on your foot is painful and the joint may not feel solid enough to support your body.

 

  • Grade 3—This one is really painful because the ligaments in your ankle are torn completely through. With a grade 3, you are looking at a longer recovery and you will not be able to support your weight on the foot for a while.

 

  • Broken ankle—This is entirely different as your bone actually cracks or snaps. With this, you won’t be able to stand at all and you will need a cast until the bones mend.

 

How do you treat a twisted ankle?

Have You R.I.C.E'd a Twisted Ankle? - PreparaMom

 

If you have twisted or sprained your ankle, you should try the R.I.C.E. method for treating it.

 

This stands for:

 

  • REST—Get off your feet immediately and take it easy. If you try to go back to playing or participating in a sport too quickly, you will likely re-injure it and make it worse. The first thing you need to do is just stop and rest.

 

  • ICE—You may have heard that you should put a heating pad on a sprain, but don’t. The best thing to do is put an ice pack on as soon as possible. Keep it on for at least 15 minutes at first. After that, you should do 15 minutes on, 15 off ice therapy for the first 24 hours at least, while they are awake of course. For the little kids, this is a long time so realistically, we like to say leave it on for as long as they can tolerate it.

 

  • COMPRESS—Apply an elastic bandage or support to your ankle to keep the swelling down. Be careful with this though. If you compress it too tightly, you may cut off circulation to your foot. Be sure you can slip a finger under the bandage.

 

  • ELEVATE—When you lay down, keep your foot elevated so that it is higher than your heart. This will help the swelling go down as fluid is drained off. This is especially useful to do at night while you are in bed.

 

Follow the R.I.C.E. method to help treat your child’s twisted ankles. But remember, if it is severe or if the pain and swelling persists, you should always follow up with a doctor.

Be Prepared for Sprains, Breaks and Twisted Ankles!

Bumps, bruises and owies – oh my! Parenthood is never boring. Be prepared with a first aid kit designed exclusively with you and your kids in mind.  Check out PreparaKit.com for kits and tools created for busy parents who want to be ready for the unexpected.