The Survival Mom » Kids http://thesurvivalmom.com Helping moms worry less & enjoy life! Wed, 04 Mar 2015 08:00:15 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.1.1 Bases Covered for Baby Preparedness http://thesurvivalmom.com/bases-covered-baby-preparedness/ http://thesurvivalmom.com/bases-covered-baby-preparedness/#comments Sat, 21 Feb 2015 08:00:45 +0000 http://thesurvivalmom.com/?p=20930 If you are preparedness minded and a new parent, chances are you have already provided your infant with a 72 hour kit, including clothes and extra blankets. In fact, you have most likely stressed over preparing for your little bundle of Read More

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baby

If you are preparedness minded and a new parent, chances are you have already provided your infant with a 72 hour kit, including clothes and extra blankets. In fact, you have most likely stressed over preparing for your little bundle of joy. Here are a few other preps you may not have thought of yet for baby preparedness.

Medical Preparedness

Whether you are snowed in or in the middle of a hurricane evacuation, the last thing you want to do is worry about your baby’s health. The second to last thing you want to do is try to pick up things your child needs during such a time. That’s why medical preparedness is a must when you have a baby.

Immunization

I know, as I write this, the flu shot has only been 23% effective this year, but at the same time, measles has been spiraling out of a well known theme park. While there are some immunizations I would want more information on, there are others that, in my opinion, have proven they are worth getting.

This has become a highly controversial and emotional issue and each family will have to do their own research and make the decision to vaccinate or not.

If you do choose to vaccinate, keep track of which immunizations are given and when. Keep those records, or copies of them, for future reference.

Dosing Information For Infant Medication

You may be stocking up on over the counter medications. You even may have stocked up on infant medications. If you read the back of these bottles or boxes, you may discover that they don’t provide the proper dosage for your young child. For children under two, most OTC medicine simply instruct you to “consult in your pediatrician.” This advice also applies to herbal medicines and remedies.

If your child takes prescription medications (including occasional use items like epi pens and asthma inhalers), check with your insurance to see if they will cover a longer supply than your child normally takes. Some companies cover three months worth of medication at a time.

Analog Medical Equipment

Have at least one non-digital thermometer, in case you run out of batteries. You don’t even have to resort to storing a mercury thermometer anymore. Inexpensive non-mercury oral thermometers and single-use disposable thermometers are widely available.

One note about the single-use (tempa-dot) thermometers based on Amazon comments: Don’t order the single-use mail order when it is hot outside. If they are exposed to temps over 98 degrees in transit, they may essentially be already “used” before you even get them.

You may also want to get a pediatric size blood pressure cuff, a humidifier, and a nasal aspirator, if you don’t already have them. While the humidifier linked here will not create nearly as humid an environment as the regular electric humidifiers you can pick up almost anywhere, it should help keep a smaller area (like the baby’s room) from getting super dry.

Boiling water to create steam is a simple way to quickly create some humidity. Sitting in a bathroom with a steaming hot shower is a fairly standard recommendation when little ones need a very humid environment.

Over the counter medications

Babies need a few over the counter medications on hand that adults don’t. Make sure you have your cream of choice of diaper rash cream, or simply learn to make your own and keep the ingredients on hand. You may also need teething tablets (or, again, make your own) and a remedy for tummy gas, such as probiotics.

Baby Nutrition

Even if you are breastfeeding, you need a contingency plan for your child’s nutrition. You never know if you will be separated from your baby due to weather or travel delays for longer than your pumped supply lasts. You don’t know if your milk production will decrease at a very inconvenient time or if, at some point, you might need to take a medication that isn’t nursing friendly. You need to be prepared.

Baby Vitamins

If you are worried that you little one won’t get all the vitamins they need, you can always store an infant liquid vitamin for them.  Each dosage can be added to a bottle, mixed in with food to mask the taste (when they are a little bigger), or given by itself.

Baby Formula

The wonder of formula is that any caregiver that can make a bottle can feed your child. It’s important that any sitter and older children know where you keep your stash of formula, or stored breast milk, in case you are out when its mealtime. Remember to store extra water for formula reconstitution, not to mention mama’s extra need for hydration.

Baby Food Making Equipment

If your little one is old enough to eat pureed food, you may want to consider storing a manual food processor instead of baby food. You can grind oatmeal into a fine enough ingredient to use for a baby. You can also grind fruit and vegetables suitable for your new eater. And you can use the food processor to make salsa and other tasty treats for the bigger family members!

You could keep a case of commercial baby food in your storage, but if you find your baby food storage runs out sooner than you planned, a food processor and canister of oatmeal is a nice back up. Freeze dried vegetables and fruit are excellent as baby foods when rehydrated and processed until smooth.

Other Equipment

Now that you are prepared both medically and nutritionally for your child’s needs, there are a couple more items that you may be of use to you.

A Body Carrier

I have to be honest: I don’t like lugging around a baby car seat carrier when there isn’t an emergency. I don’t want to think how much less fun it would be in the middle of one!

The are bulky, heavy and their handle are only ideal for twisting my wrists into unnatural shapes. A baby carrier – a wrap, or a more “modern” style – works much better for me. I can carry my child hands free! I don’t need to worry about where to place the car seat or keeping a hold of my older child, and it is so much lighter and easier to clean than the car seat carrier.

Baby Diapers

Disposable diapers take up a great deal of storage space. Instead, you could invest in cloth diapers and a hand cranked washing machine or Scrubba. Keep a bucket around to soak soiled diapers. When you wash them, pour the soaking water in the toilet.

Cloth diapers are also good for new parents with tight budgets. You may decide to use disposable diapers instead – no judgment here! But I find it comforting to know that if our budget just can’t support disposables one month, or we can’t get out to buy more for some reason, we still have our child covered…literally.

Finally….

Keep copies of all your immunization, allergy, and prescription records (in short, your basic medical file) together, in one easily accessible spot. In an emergency/disaster, you don’t want to find yourselves or your baby getting extra shots because you don’t have proof you are up to date and you have ended up in an emergency shelter that requires it. You also don’t want to end up either in trouble for having prescription medication someone doesn’t believe you need (or believes that you stole from someone else) or being unable to get something you do need because you don’t have proof you need it.

If your baby (or any other family member) has any truly serious health problems, make sure you have all the medical files – including films, labs, etc. – to ensure docs who have never seen you and who can’t access your regular files can help you. Keeping digital files on a thumb drive isn’t a bad idea, especially if you have a lot of files.

Resources mentioned in this article:

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10 4-H Projects That Will Teach Your Kids Vital, Practical Skills http://thesurvivalmom.com/4-h-for-kids/ http://thesurvivalmom.com/4-h-for-kids/#comments Wed, 11 Feb 2015 08:10:58 +0000 http://thesurvivalmom.com/?p=21262 Have you ever considered getting your kids involved with 4-H? You don’t have to live on a farm in order to do that, you know! As you’ll see, 4-H goes hand in hand with preparedness, survival skills, and family fun. Read More

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The 4-H Club teaches kids important skils. Here are a few. | via www.TheSurvivalMom.comHave you ever considered getting your kids involved with 4-H? You don’t have to live on a farm in order to do that, you know! As you’ll see, 4-H goes hand in hand with preparedness, survival skills, and family fun. 4-H for kids is a great replacement for too much screen time, e.g. video games, computer, TV.

What seems interesting to us or important in a survivalist mode may seem a lot like hard work or cruel chores for our children. We may be fascinated with learning the skills of growing and storing our own food, raising our own livestock or reviving the lost art of sewing but everyone’s interests vary. Our kids may not be thrilled at all with those projects!

Even though the skills that are learned during homesteading and prepping activities are no doubt important, children may find it hard to focus on such things when today’s culture has taught them that all their needs can be met by shopping at any of the overwhelming amount of retail stores that pepper our nation.

TIP: How do your kids measure up on our list of urban and mental survival skills for kids?

My 9-year old son was a true patron of this technological era. He would spend all his time bouncing from one video game to the next. I had difficulty getting him outside and active. Luckily, his big sister, who is a farm girl at heart, got the family involved with a local 4-H club and introduced all of us to many new adventures. Thanks to 4-H, my son was eager to take early morning fishing trips to complete his project. Watching all that well-practiced hand-eye coordination come to life in the form of stringing a hook and baiting his line instead of the constant thumb action of a game controller was a rewarding moment as a mother. I treasure the moments that I’ve watched my children raising their chickens and rabbits, catching fish or learning to cook from scratch because I know the hard work and down to earth skills they are learning is a valuable art that they would not have accomplished without the assistance, guidance and support of the 4-H community.

4-H For Kids

One way to make learning significant survival skills fun and achievable is to enroll your kids in organized activities that encourage, instruct and reward accomplishments. There are several of these groups already established. 4-H is an organization with a general focus on working together for positive changes. The 4-H program is designed to teach skills of all kinds through yearly projects, workshops, camps, community service opportunities, and much more.

Numerous projects designed for children to complete on their own (with little parental assistance) are offered. Each project book helps children move forward in their skills by outlining tasks and procedures to complete, providing record keeping, and encourages children to seek designated professionals and other resources to learn more.

To hold children accountable and nudge them to do their best on these projects, there is a time of judging generally either before or during their local county fair. Children who score exceptionally well get to move on to the state fair for a higher level of competition and recognition. Often times, children are also given small monetary tokens for completing their projects and displaying them at the fair. Those with livestock projects can sell their animals if all guidelines are met. Buyers typically pay well beyond market price for these animals as a way to encourage children and promote the program.

Some of the wonderful 4-H projects that help build survivalist skills while having fun includes the following*.

Livestock Projects

Dairy Animals – Learn how to raise, care for, manage and keep records for dairy heifers and goats.

Poultry – Learn the proper care for raising pullets and broilers.

Market Beef, Swine, Rabbits, Sheep & Goats – Learn how to raise, care for, manage and keep records for market.

Non-Animal Projects

Clothing & Textile Science – Learn basic sewing skills, personalize clothing, make clothing from patterns and more. Projects range from first-time beginners to advanced clothing design and construction masters.

Cooking Projects – Beginner to Advanced levels. Learn about cooking, nutrition, food safety information and get creative with recipes of all kinds, including baking breads, meal planning and grilling.

Gardening & Plant Science – Learn how to grow your own vegetables and preserve your own food through canning and freezing methods.

The Natural World – Learn how to explore the outdoors by learning about plants, trees and insects that live in the woods, streams and fields. Learn trapping, fishing and beekeeping.

Shooting Sports – Learn safe use of guns and basic archery.

Mechanics – Learn about small engines, tractors and machinery operations.

Woodworking – Learn how to use various woodworking tools along with basic tools to build wood projects.

To learn more about the 4-H program and to find a club near you visit the official 4-H website.

 

Source:

About 4-H  (2015, January 18)

*Paraphrased descriptions were obtained from the Ohio State University Extension 2014 4-H Family Guide.

 

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A New Family Hobby: The air rifle http://thesurvivalmom.com/instant-survival-tip-a-new-family-hobby-the-air-rifle/ http://thesurvivalmom.com/instant-survival-tip-a-new-family-hobby-the-air-rifle/#comments Mon, 26 Jan 2015 08:00:18 +0000 http://thesurvivalmom.com/?p=476 If your kids get bored easily and you’d love to get them involved in a fun activity that will teach them practical, lifelong skills, consider the air rifle.  Also called air guns, this inexpensive hobby teaches both adults and kids (boys Read More

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The air rifle can provide a fun family hobby and help kids develop shooting skills.  www.TheSurvivalMom.comIf your kids get bored easily and you’d love to get them involved in a fun activity that will teach them practical, lifelong skills, consider the air rifle.  Also called air guns, this inexpensive hobby teaches both adults and kids (boys and girls!) valuable target shooting skills.

The NRA has an excellent summary of the sport here.  Not only will this sport be fun for the whole family, but target shooting is an Olympic sport with many organizations offering college scholarships to sharpshooters!

By the way, mom, if you’ve never fired a gun in your life, an air rifle is a good place to start.  If you have a daughter, it’s even more important for her to see that shooting isn’t just a guy thing.  Every woman should know the basics of firearm safety and shooting.  Still need a little convincing?  Check out my favorite blog for women who love to shoot, Cornered Cat.

To learn more about air rifle clubs and activities in your area, contact your local shooting range.  Your state’s Game & Fish Department may also have details.

This post has been updated from the original version posted June 24, 2009.

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5 things I learned from lice http://thesurvivalmom.com/5-things-about-lice/ http://thesurvivalmom.com/5-things-about-lice/#comments Tue, 30 Dec 2014 17:30:11 +0000 http://thesurvivalmom.com/?p=20205 Lice – they’re something every parent hopes they never have to deal with. To have bugs crawling around and laying eggs in your hair or your child’s hair can send shivers up anyone’s spine and fill you with dread. But, Read More

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5 things I learned about lice. It's better to be prepared for these critters! | via www.TheSurvivalMom.com

Lice – they’re something every parent hopes they never have to deal with. To have bugs crawling around and laying eggs in your hair or your child’s hair can send shivers up anyone’s spine and fill you with dread. But, it can happen to anyone and it might be a little easier to handle if you’re prepared.

It happened to our family, and I wasn’t prepared at all!

I learned 5 things about lice, and quick!

One of my daughters had an itchy scalp and we checked her two days in a row and only found dandruff. We had gone to children’s museums and dance class that week. She goes to public school, but we hadn’t had a lice notice for quite a while. Then, on the third day, we checked her head and there they were – lice. I parted her hair and could see the bugs moving around.

I feel prepared for tornadoes, power outages and being stuck in my car, but I was not prepared for this. I inwardly panicked. I had not done any research and felt like I needed to know everything right away and get rid of these things fast. My husband and I checked the Internet, consulted some friends with experience and ran to the store. We quickly got a game plan together and started working.

Let me tell you this up fron. Lice are a lot of work. You will find yourself doing many things “just in case,” because the last thing you want is for the bugs to spread to the other children (or you) – or come back and re-infest.

(Stop scratching your head – I know you are.)

We may have gone overboard, but we treated everyone’s head in the family, looked through everyone’s hair, washed all the bedding and clothing, vacuumed everything, and put any toys with fabric or throw pillows in bags and tucked them away for the duration – two weeks – to avoid re-infestation.

And, that was just day one. Every day for two weeks involved checking and coming through hair, vacuuming and washing bedding and clothing. It took 2 hours each day to comb through our daughter’s hair.

We learned that lice die after 48 hours if they are not on a person’s head. They can’t jump or fly. The eggs need to be close to the scalp for heat to incubate. They are mostly spread by head-to-head contact, and rarely by sharing clothing and hairbrushes. They do no discriminate based on personal hygiene or home cleanliness. And, thank goodness, pets cannot spread lice.

We celebrated when it was all over. So, here’s what I learned:

  1. Have the treatment and comb on hand

Spend some time now and research about lice and treatments. Know beforehand if you are going to use the medicated shampoo, essential oils or another option and have it on hand, along with a metal fine-tooth comb for lice removal. It will let you avoid taking someone with lice to the store for those items and you can start treatment sooner.

  1. Children take their cue from their parents

Our children stayed calm during the whole craziness of the discovery and first day because we did (at least on the surface). We did stress to them the importance of following our directions so it didn’tspread. They saw how much work it was and were expected to help out a little extra. Since we took the time to explain it to them, there wasn’t much complaining.

  1. Have trash bags and extra bedding

We had a supply of trash bags on hand that we could put things in and it came in handy – not just for the toys, but also for bedding that we washed but didn’t want to use again until it was all over. We also had extra bedding on hand for the days where the wash wasn’t quite done by the children’s bedtime.

  1. Make sure to have a good heat source (washer/dryer/water)

Heat kills lice. You need to have a way to have hot water and air to kill them.

  1. Be prepared to spend a lot of time

It took two hours alone to comb through hair and every day there was a new list of chores to do – change bedding, vacuum carpet, furniture and mattresses – on top of the normal daily chores for a family of six. When it was all over, it took a day or two to put everything back in its place, too.

We are fortunate that we caught it in the early stages and it only affected one member of our family. We were done with the ordeal in 13 days. We still check all their hair every once in a while … just in case.

For more details on lice, visit the CDC Web site. Photos are courtesy of the CDC.

Have you thought about lice so you’re prepared if it should happen? Have you experienced lice and have any tips to share?

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Wilderness Survival Series: Practicing Survival Skills As A Family http://thesurvivalmom.com/wilderness-survival-series-practicing-survival-skills-family-everydaycarry/ http://thesurvivalmom.com/wilderness-survival-series-practicing-survival-skills-family-everydaycarry/#comments Mon, 15 Dec 2014 08:00:28 +0000 http://thesurvivalmom.com/?p=19555 We are surrounded by wilderness here on our Idaho homestead.  We spend as much of our free time as possible outside and adventuring. What do our adventures consist of? We live a very traditional life out here so a lot of our Read More

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Wilderness Survival Skills are important for everyone, not just survivalists and mountain men! | via www.TheSurvivalMom.comWe are surrounded by wilderness here on our Idaho homestead.  We spend as much of our free time as possible outside and adventuring.

What do our adventures consist of?

We live a very traditional life out here so a lot of our time in the wild actually has a purpose. We may be scouting for a good hunting spot, harvesting our meat or firewood for the year, taking a 20 mile hike for some casual exercise, or even panning for some gold (really!). We really put our wilderness survival skills to the test!

Any time we leave our property, whether on foot or in a vehicle, you can be sure that we have our gear and are prepared for anything. Not only do we have our gear, but we always have additional clothing and we each have a firearm.

We live in a very vast location and you never know what may be around the next corner, when your truck may break down miles and miles from home, when the weather may turn, or when even an unexpected injury will happen.

Our predators are typically the 4 legged kind, but you never know when you may run into the 2 legged kind as well. Our safety is a top priority and I feel that survival moms should know how to protect themselves and their children. I feel very strongly that women should not only carry a firearm, but be very knowledgeable on the gun they carry, know gun safety and know how to very accurately use their gun. This is a subject you will find in one of my upcoming posts, but I thought I would give you a little food for thought for those of you that do not carry.

Before I met my husband (aka Mountain Man), I was already busy running wild in the mountains and enjoying the outdoors. I grew up on a farm and my Dad wanted boys and ended up with two girls! As a result, my sister and I were the epitome of tomboys. I knew the outdoors and I LOVED it! I am thankful for the chivalrous nature of my Mountain Man, BUT when it comes to being in the outdoors, he knows I can hold my own and he expects me to know how to handle and take care of myself.

After having children, it only seemed natural to teach my children what I knew. Many are not used to the outdoors the way my Mountain Man and I are, which is why I want to take you through the steps for getting and keeping your family educated, trained and ready. Embracing things as a family is a great opportunity to grow as a family and also empower and nurture your children. When they see Mom and Dad do it, the kids are more likely to jump in and be enthusiastic.

Why YOU Need Outdoor Skills, too

Ladies, if you have a very chivalrous man and maybe even a proud man that wants to show you he is fully capable of taking care of yourself and your family, that is a very genuine man. However, he is not doing you any favors if he does it all for you. If you, yourself, are not interested in learning and allow your husband to do everything while you are camping or in the outdoors, you are not doing yourself any favors either.  Let me explain…

Let’s say that your husband falls and breaks his ankle during your next excursion.  What will you do?

Let’s say you are all out camping, and one of your children wonders off and gets lost.  You split up in an effort to find your child. It is getting dark and you have been unsuccessful in finding them.  Does your child know enough to survive, lost, for a night without you?

This is critical!!!  This is why, even though our family is very well versed in survival, we still go out as a family and practice our skills every chance we get. The old adage “Practice Makes Perfect” is just as important as “Knowledge Is Power”!

The entire family should know what gear to carry, what to carry on their person, how to light a fire, how to build a shelter, how to get safe drinking water and how to sustain themselves in any situation. You never know what may happen when you are out on even a simple hike.

Every day, I wear a paracord survival bracelet that my son made me. I have 9′ of paracord at my disposal ALL the time. I carry a lighter in my pocket, a pocket knife on my jeans, and my Keltek .380 P-3AT is holstered on my belt. My son is equipped with the same things and then some. Having those simple things on our person can save our lives. (This is referred to as your EDC, or Every Day Carry.)

This spring. our family practiced the whole 9 yards, including staying out for the night. Here is a little video of our excursion. As part of this new series here on The Survival Mom blog, I will walk you through what we carry in our packs, the varying ways we start fires, build shelters, hunt for food, etc.

This is just one part of a series of posts where I will provide how-to information and videos that you can watch with your children or as a family. I look forward to sharing my knowledge with you and hope to encourage you to embrace these tasks as a family.

 

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Survival Lessons for Students from Sesame Street http://thesurvivalmom.com/survival-lessons-for-students-from-sesame-street/ http://thesurvivalmom.com/survival-lessons-for-students-from-sesame-street/#comments Sat, 13 Dec 2014 08:01:32 +0000 http://thesurvivalmom.com/?p=19661 Prepare even the youngest kiddos for common emergencies with online tools and resources! Rather than mom-to-mom wisdom, I’m sharing a compiled list of online tools and resources you can use to help you prepare your little ones mentally and physically Read More

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sesame streetPrepare even the youngest kiddos for common emergencies with online tools and resources!

Rather than mom-to-mom wisdom, I’m sharing a compiled list of online tools and resources you can use to help you prepare your little ones mentally and physically for emergencies they may encounter—even if you aren’t there to help. One great resources for a wide variety of ages is the Red Cross’ “Masters of Disaster” program for grades K-8. Some of these are even great for homeschooling!

So choose an age group and get started on your survival lessons for students!

Ages 2-6

Sesame Street has a great episode including several quick videos about being prepared for emergencies. The videos are in the context of “Fairy Tale Emergencies” and can spark conversations without scaring little ones.

The tool kit contains even more videos explaining what “being prepared” means, what constitutes an emergency, and basic information for this age group.

Fire Safety activities, printables, and planning ideas from Sparky the Fire Dog are perfect!

Ages 7-10

New York City officials have put together some interesting “Choose your Own” stories for emergencies like power outages, heavy snow, hurricanes, and heat waves that are interactive and informative.  One word of caution: because it’s a New York City, government-produced resource, it advises kids to do things like go to the designated shelter or cooling center. Discuss whether this is something you really want your kids to before they visit the site, and discuss your preferred alternatives, as well as whether designated centers are even an option. These PDF files are printable.

Ready.gov has created some activities by school-age groups, as well.  There’s a lot of educational jargon and waaaay more political justification than you need to actually implement the activities, but you can access those lesson plans here.

Go Bag for Kids has some cute animated videos about surviving earthquakes and tsunamis.  Scroll all the way down to find the embedded videos.

Florida’s Division of Emergency has some great online games—including building a virtual emergency kit that you can later print out—at Kids Get a Plan.

I also liked the printable checklists your kids can print and either compare against their own kits and go-bags or build themselves from the CDC website.

A printable, interactive Disney workbook includes activities and ideas for kids. It was developed with the Red Cross for Disaster Preparedness Month and addresses major and minor weather events.

Ages 11-14

Have kids check out the map from Ready.gov to learn more about recent large-scale events or disasters in each state, and which ones are most likely to happen. Your older kids can click on their state and get recent emergency-related headlines with real pictures, explore the most common weather events in your state, and get tips for what to do before, during, and after these types of emergencies.  If your kids stay the night with friends or spend time away from home, this is a great way to empower them to be more self-reliant.

A fun, interactive game from PBS kids gives scenarios of things that might happen when parents aren’t home.  They score points by making responsible decisions and following mom’s written instructions. My kids loved this one.

Ages 15+

If your teens are not in Scouting, consider having them take a CPR training course at your local YMCA or Red Cross. I liked this video of teenagers practicing their CPR/lifeguard training.

Additionally, the CDC has put together a story about a pandemic that is in comic book or “graphic novel” form. Curiously, the virus makes people zombies, so it’s geared toward older kids. They have to hunker down until their food runs out, then they worry about how much gas is in the car to get help.

Florida’s Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) has its full teen workbook online for PDF download and can be useful for disasters in many regions.

Survival Lessons for Kids – Remember to Follow Up

As with any lesson, talk with you kiddos about the activities and use them as a springboard for conversation and/or modifying your own emergency preparedness plans.  Feel free to add your favorite ideas and links in the comments below. And for a complete scope and sequence of kids’ preparedness, click this link. Happing prepping!

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The Well-Trained Babysitter http://thesurvivalmom.com/babysitter-training/ http://thesurvivalmom.com/babysitter-training/#comments Wed, 10 Dec 2014 16:00:00 +0000 http://thesurvivalmom.com/?p=19432 This may surprise you, but I was a lousy babysitter. I wasn’t interested in playing with my young charges, had to work hard to gin up any enthusiasm for their knock-knock jokes, and was always relieved when the parents got home. Read More

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Equip your kid to babysit with this excellent Red Cross babysitter training course. It's online, entertaining, super-helpful. | via www.TheSurvivalMom.com

Babysitter training

This may surprise you, but I was a lousy babysitter. I wasn’t interested in playing with my young charges, had to work hard to gin up any enthusiasm for their knock-knock jokes, and was always relieved when the parents got home.

I just wasn’t a kid-person.

Now that I have my own kids and a daughter of babysitting age, my tune has changed. My daughter is a kid-person and can hardly wait until she’s old enough to work in the baby nursery at church. She truly enjoys being around kids, and so, makes a great babysitter.

Even with those natural talents, though, I want her to have additional babysitter training. This began 2 years ago with a first aid and CPR class. As the daughter of Survival Mom, she naturally has her own emergency backpack, which she packed herself, and is more in tune with situational awareness than the average kid.

The Red Cross Online Babysitting Course

When I was asked by the American Red Cross to review their online babysitter training course, it was a no-brainer. My daughter was happy for the additional training, and I was glad she would be learning more about working with kids, handling problems, and running her babysitting business as a real business.

Here is what she had to say about the course:

I love kids! I always have and always will. I’ve been through several babysitting and mommy’s helper jobs and have loved every moment. However, I have always had some doubt as to certain abilities of mine, particularly conflict resolution and what to do if a child should harm themselves. But those concerns are no more, now that I have taken Red Cross’s Babysitting Basics online course. They go over every possible aspect of babysitting, from how to create a resume to playtime, mild scrapes to full-on injuries.

The course, all together, lasts about four hours, and is divided into six individual lessons, complete with quizzes and a final exam. There are many helpful downloadable templates for various things, such as resumes, interview sheets, parent reports, business cards, and much more, which are very helpful for someone who is just starting out and wants to be professional. The videos use simple language, have More Info tabs if you are confused, and a transcript for each video, which is handy for deaf or hard of hearing students.

The course itself is one of the best I have ever come across (okay, I’ve only done one or two small courses, one of which was a book by American Girl, but you get what I mean). Professionalism, safety, and keeping a level head are highly encouraged, as well as clear communication with your parents and the parents of the child you will be taking care of. I especially appreciated a method they suggested for resolving conflicts, as well as their emphasis on keeping both yourself and the children in your care safe from harm and what to do if harm should come to you.

The only things I and my mother (the Survival Mom) had difficulty with were the initial registration and launching of the course, and one or two of the quiz questions were confusingly worded. Overall, however, once everything is up and running, this course is definitely worth your time and money if you are looking to get started in your babysitting career.

UPDATE: 

Last week, soon after I’d gone through the babysitting course, I was offered a job of watching three young girls, whom I’d babysat before, for about four hours. Thankfully, I did not have to use my new knowledge of what to do in an emergency, but the part of the course dealing with discipline helped.

There were more than a few arguments (most of which were small, sibling rivalry issues that I let them sort out), but there were several more serious spats and disobedient behaviors. I remembered not to raise my voice, and tried to use the acronym, F.I.N.D. to conclude the arguments. I also remembered to lock the doors and to give heads-up warnings before it was time to get ready for bed. Overall, it went pretty smoothly, and I’m quite pleased.

How to sign up for the class

Perhaps the reason I didn’t enjoy babysitting is that I didn’t have any type of training. For me, the job consisted of showing up at someone’s house at an appointed time, hanging around and making sure the kids didn’t kill each other. As with any skill, the more you know, the more you enjoy the task.

The Red Cross Babysitting Basics course is well worth its $25 fee, and the Red Cross has found that 80% of parents are more likely to hire a babysitter who has taken their class. Putting the information together was no easy task, and experts in all areas were called in to contribute.

The final result is professional, easy to follow, and entertaining. It’s designed for kids ages 11 through 15. A much more advanced, hands-on class is offered for older teenagers, Advanced Child Care Training with pediatric first aid and CPR.

Both classes are ideal for anyone who might be involved with taking care of kids, either in a babysitting scenario, Sunday School classes, summer camp, or working as a nanny.

The Babysitting Basics course is the perfect gift for any kid who wants to start babysitting but needs information and training.

This article sponsored by the American Red Cross. All opinions are my own.

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Skill-Based Gift Ideas to Suit Every Survival Kid http://thesurvivalmom.com/survival-gifts-kids/ http://thesurvivalmom.com/survival-gifts-kids/#comments Tue, 02 Dec 2014 04:47:16 +0000 http://thesurvivalmom.com/?p=19715 Browsing through the lists of skills kids should know and have, it occurred to me that those lists are excellent resources for gift ideas! Here are just a few gift suggestions from each list. What’s extra tricky about these lists and Read More

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Kids Gift Ideas SquareBrowsing through the lists of skills kids should know and have, it occurred to me that those lists are excellent resources for gift ideas! Here are just a few gift suggestions from each list.

What’s extra tricky about these lists and gift suggestions is that they make learning a new survival skill fun and will most likely involve everyone in the family. It’s hard to beat that combination.

From our original, classic list, “32 Survival Skills Your Child Should Know and Be Able to Do ASAP!”

SKILL: Grow vegetables from seeds.

GIFT: A Grow Bottle from SeedsNow.com. I love the idea of giving a gift that is an all-in-one kit for growing a practical and edible plant. Just for fun, check out these holiday ornaments that contain seeds for plants like Dog Grass, Catnip, and Wintergreen.

SKILL: Know basic first aid.

GIFT:very kid-friendly first aid kit, the medibag.

SKILL: How to read a map and use a compass.

GIFT: A copy of Survivor Kid and a good quality compass.

To see the complete list of these skills and, hopefully, generate some gift ideas for the young ones in your life, click here.

From our list, “32 Basic Survival Skills Kids”

SKILL: Pack your own survival pack.

GIFT: One of the very nice, quality packs from Flying Circle Bags. Include some basic supplies, like a LED flashlight or UV Paqlite, some high calorie “survival bars”, a roll of duct tape, and some paracord.

SKILL: Follow a recipe.

GIFT: A fun kids recipe book, measuring spoons, and other basic kitchen supplies.

SKILL: Make a meal without power.

GIFT: Materials to make a solar cooker, instructions, and the promise to work on this project together. The Solar Cooking Science Kit is a good place to start. I’d suggest the Sun Oven, but that’s a little pricey for a kid’s gift!

SKILL: Know and use home and natural remedies.

GIFT: A basket of mild essential oils (lavender and lemon, for example), seeds for an herb garden, and a copy of A Kid’s Herb Book. Buy the book ahead of time to get more ideas of what to include in that basket! We reviewed the book here.

Read the entire list of skills here.

Suburban and urban kids need plenty of skills, too! Here are gift ideas from “32 Mental and Urban Survival Skills for Kids”

SKILL: Know how to manage money and set a budget.

GIFT: Financial Peace Junior and a small stash of Christmas gift cash to get the budget/savings process started.

SKILL: Self-defense.

GIFT: A series of lessons at a good, local martial arts school.

SKILL: Shoot a gun, including the use of eye and ear protection.

GIFT: An air-soft rifle, BB gun or .22 rifle. Include goggles and good quality ear protection.

To review the entire list of mental and urban survival skills, click here.

Finally, wilderness survival skills from our list, “32 Wilderness Survival Skills for Kids”

SKILL: Tie different types of knots.

GIFT: A roll of paracord and knot-tying instructions. This game, Knot So Fast, combines knot tying with some fun competition.

SKILL: Dutch oven cooking.

GIFT: Their own Dutch oven, a Dutch oven cookbook, heat safe mitts, and a chimney charcoal starter. Boys and girls alike will love learning this skill!

SKILL: Identify and understand animal tracks and scat.

GIFT: The Who Pooped…? series of books features animal scat information for different parts of the country, including the Black Hills and a few other National Parks. A book my kids thoroughly enjoyed is Tracks, Scats and Signs.

Our entire list of wilderness skills can be found here.

 

Enjoy these gift suggestions now in the holiday season and for every special occasion throughout the year!

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32 Basic Survival Skills for Kids http://thesurvivalmom.com/32-basic-survival-skills-kids/ http://thesurvivalmom.com/32-basic-survival-skills-kids/#comments Fri, 28 Nov 2014 07:00:00 +0000 http://thesurvivalmom.com/?p=19309 Kids come in all ages. Not all skills are appropriate for younger kids, in particular. Basic Survival 1. Trust your instincts 2. Develop situational awareness 3. Think ahead and always have a plan. 4. Pack own survival pack 5. Be Read More

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basic survivalKids come in all ages. Not all skills are appropriate for younger kids, in particular.

Basic Survival

1. Trust your instincts
2. Develop situational awareness
3. Think ahead and always have a plan.
4. Pack own survival pack
5. Be able to run and walk a good distance; be in generally good shape
6. Dress appropriately for weather conditions

Food and Water

7. Find water and identify if it’s safe to drink
8. Learn uses for water that isn’t safe to drink, such as cleaning
9. Learn to filter and boil water to drink
10. Grow vegetables and herbs from seeds (even in an apartment)
11. Know which foods have the highest nutrients and what a healthy diet consists of, and eat that way.
12. Open canned food with and without can opener (rub can lid ridge on cement and then pry open with knife)
13. Follow a recipe
14. Know multiple ways to prepare food
15. Make a meal without power – for the oven, lights, or anything else
16. Preserve food, preferably more than one way
17. Know how long refrigerated and frozen food stays safe to eat, and how to maximize that time
18. Identify if food is too spoiled to eat

Health and First Aid

19. When to call 911, what to say
20. First aid – start with basic first aid, work up to CPR, wilderness first aid and even EMT for older youth
21. Know and use home and natural remedies
22. Know and administer essential medical equipment (such as oxygen tanks or epipens) used by family
23. Know where to find and how to administer essential medicine (such as insulin or nitroglycerin) for family
24. Know any family allergies, especially life-threatening ones, and where to find the epi-pen, if anyone has one
25. Assist an injured or otherwise handicapped person
26. Survival sanitation
27. Basic hygiene practices – and how it differs from survival sanitation

Survival Skills

28. Find or build a shelter using whatever is available to you
29. Swimming and floating
30. Safely use a knife
31. Keep a blade tool clean and sharp
32. Sew enough to mend clothing and make simple items such as bags or scrap quilts.

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“I’m a Survival Girl” contest! http://thesurvivalmom.com/survival-girls-contest-barbies/ http://thesurvivalmom.com/survival-girls-contest-barbies/#comments Tue, 18 Nov 2014 16:17:00 +0000 http://thesurvivalmom.com/?p=18722 Attention girls, ages 8-12! Show off your Survival Girl skills and knowledge in this fun contest! We’d love to hear all about what you have done to become better prepared for everyday emergencies. Have you learned how to sew or Read More

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Survival Girls 2Attention girls, ages 8-12! Show off your Survival Girl skills and knowledge in this fun contest!

We’d love to hear all about what you have done to become better prepared for everyday emergencies. Have you learned how to sew or grow a garden? Have you packed your own emergency kit or taken a first aid class?

Here’s your chance to show off and win some cool prizes at the same time!

RULES

You must be a girl, ages 8-12, and live in the United States.

Your entry must consist of both photos and a written paragraph documenting what you have done.

Submit at least 4 photos, but no more than 8. They don’t have to be professional quality but should provide a clear image of what you have done. Example:  A photo of the contents of your emergency bag.

The written paragraph should explain and give details about what you have done, what you’ve learned, and why you consider yourself to be a Survival Girl. This isn’t Language Arts class, so don’t worry too much about grammar and spelling, but we can’t judge what we can’t understand! Ask a grown up to double-check what you’ve written, just to be sure it’s clear.

Please email entries to admin@thesurvivalmom.com with the paragraph in the body (message section) of the email and the photos attached. Entries must be received by midnight on Friday, December 5. Winners will be announced on or before Monday, December 15.

HOW ENTRIES WILL BE JUDGED

It’s easy to pick up a few tips and pointers about a lot of different subjects, but it takes a lot of time (sometimes years!) to become an expert. We’re looking for Survival Girls who have gone beyond that first step of just picking up a few bits of information about a lot of areas and have started down the path toward being an expert.

Judging will be based on the entire entry, with photos and the paragraph carrying equal weight, as it demonstrates to our judging panel what you have learned and what you have accomplished as a Survival Girl.

PRIZES

5 winners will be selected.

Each winner will receive an Entrepreneur Barbie to recognize your pioneering and impressive efforts and a certificate of recognition.

In addition, the First and Second place winners will receive a birdhouse and 5 lbs of bird seed from Audubon Park.

First place winner will also receive a beautiful sterling silver Lovely Hearts Bracelet from IsabelleGrace.

 

 

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