The Survival Mom » Kids http://thesurvivalmom.com Helping moms worry less & enjoy life! Mon, 13 Oct 2014 21:46:21 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.0 4 Children’s Organizations that Introduce Survival Basics http://thesurvivalmom.com/4-childrens-organizations-introduce-survival-basics/ http://thesurvivalmom.com/4-childrens-organizations-introduce-survival-basics/#comments Mon, 29 Sep 2014 14:45:34 +0000 http://thesurvivalmom.com/?p=17763 Along with the back to school season comes the gamut of fall sports, organized youth activities and club sign-ups. Summer vacations, lazy days at the pool and barbecues are replaced with Crockpot meals, homework, and the frantic race to the Read More

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Children's Organization the Introduce Survival BasicsAlong with the back to school season comes the gamut of fall sports, organized youth activities and club sign-ups. Summer vacations, lazy days at the pool and barbecues are replaced with Crockpot meals, homework, and the frantic race to the next football practice or cross country meet.

Some opportunities presented to your child could be more involved than teaching team work and how to win/lose gracefully. Many youth organizations are excellent introductions to basic survival and homesteading techniques.

Below are brief summaries of four (4) children’s organizations that can teach your child important skills while having fun, making friends and developing a sense of accomplishment.

Scouting

Whether it be Cub Scouts, Boy Scouts or Girl Scouts, organized Scouting programs teach many survivalist skills.

Through a reward system of badges, pins, and patches that show others his or her accomplishments, Scouting can teach your child:

  • Camping
  • Personal fitness
  • Fishing
  • First Aid
  • Swimming
  • Archery / Rifle Shooting
  • Cooking
  • Wilderness Survival
  • Environmental Science
  • Pioneering
  • Gardening
  • Trailblazing/Hiking
  • Textiles / Sewing

Scouting organizations generally start accepting members as young as going into kindergarten (Girl Scouts) or finishing kindergarten (Cub Scouts) and continue on through adulthood. The typical Scouting program follows the fall through spring school year with additional outdoor and camping programs over the summer.

Sources: (Boy Scouts of America, 2014), (Girl Scouts of the United States of America, 2014)

4-H

4-H (Head, Heart, Hands, Health) is a youth organization which encourages children to develop skills through taking specialized projects over the course of the 4-H year. Typically, projects are showcased at local fairs in recognition of the child’s hard work and accomplishment. Animal projects are rewarded with the sale of raised livestock by local supporting businesses and individuals.

Some examples of projects that teach several homesteading skills include:

  • Fishing
  • Canning & Freezing
  • Exploring the Outdoors
  • Archery/Guns
  • Gardening
  • Numerous Baking & Cooking projects
  • Tractor Operations
  • Sewing
  • First Aid
  • Staying Healthy

Detailed projects on breeding and raising livestock include:

  • Cattle
  • Goats
  • Hogs
  • Poultry
  • Rabbits
  • Lambs
  • Horses

Children going into the third grade and above can join 4-H, show their projects, and sell their livestock at local fairs. Younger children can join as a Cloverbud member depending on the group but have limitations on what they can present during fair season.

The typical 4-H year follows the calendar year beginning in January or February depending on the area and generally ends after their county fair the end of summer or early fall. Other summer programs and camps are generally offered.

Source: (4-H, 2014)

Boys & Girls Club

The Boys & Girls Club originally began to provide a safe and positive environment to get boys off the streets. Today, the club still provides a place for both boys and girls to be safe and supervised away from home. Although the program may not go as far as to teach in-depth survivalist skills, the club does offer many activities to encourage a healthy and active lifestyle.

Participating in a program that is open to all personalities, ethnicities, and backgrounds requires adaptation on all those involved.  The club is generally open to school-age children but some locations may offer programs for younger children as well. Most facilities are open year-round and hours of operation may vary.

Source: (Boys & Girls Club, 2014)

National FFA Organization

Future Farmers of America or FFA is an agricultural education program typically available to high school students either during school or as an after school program. Many children even in small-town and rural areas are unaware of the skills needed and traditional methods of successful farming. FFA goes above and beyond teaching kids how to grow their own food.

The program teaches students the science beyond farming, the importance and value of agriculture, and its role in feeding the world. The program provides a foundation for many types of careers including biologists, chemists, veterinarians, engineers, and more. There are many conferences, camps, and other events for furthering agricultural education. Many different awards and incentives are in place for achieving goals, including scholarships.

Source: (National FFA Organization, 2014)

Introducing Survival Basics

Not all children’s activities will result in a room full of trophies and shiny medals. The skills learned in the programs above provide a foundation of both basic and detailed survivalist intelligence. Many other programs exist that can assist in furthering your child’s homesteading dexterity. Some organizations may be localized so be sure to check with area schools, daycares, and other well-known children facilities for programs that introduce survival basics in your area.

Babbling bonus: Parents learn a lot as well when helping their children with projects, badges, etc. Scouts honor!


Bibliography

4-H. (2014). Retrieved August 25, 2014, from 4-H: http://www.4-h.org/

Boy Scouts of America. (2014). Retrieved August 25, 2014, from Boy Scouts of America: http://www.scouting.org/

Boys & Girls Club. (2014). Retrieved August 25, 2014, from Boys & Girls Club: http://www.bgca.org/Pages/index.aspx

Girl Scouts. (2014). Retrieved August 25, 2014, from Girl Scouts: https://www.girlscouts.org/

National FFA Organization. (2014). Retrieved August 25, 2014, from National FFA Organization: https://www.ffa.org/Pages/default.aspx

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A Life Skills Test For Kids: Does Your Child Pass? http://thesurvivalmom.com/life-skills-test-kids-child-pass/ http://thesurvivalmom.com/life-skills-test-kids-child-pass/#comments Sat, 27 Sep 2014 06:00:39 +0000 http://thesurvivalmom.com/?p=16906 With kids back in school their focus is often on passing their math final, or English test – but what about a test for everyday life skills? In the past, Home Economic classes where the norm, but the quality and existence Read More

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life skills test for kids

With kids back in school their focus is often on passing their math final, or English test – but what about a test for everyday life skills?

In the past, Home Economic classes where the norm, but the quality and existence of them are dwindling with time. These classes taught many of the skills needed to live a self-sustaining lifestyle.

Over the past few decades many of us have lost touch with those basic skills and principles that were once taught in high school home economics programs around the country, says Karen Leonas

Leonas has seen students who don’t know the essentials—like balancing a check book or sewing on a button. Recovering home economics skills may be valuable in surviving the current economic situation, says Leonas. (Whatever Happened to Home Economics?)

The Importance of Life Skills

So is it important to teach home economics (or life skills) to students, or is it a thing of the past?

I know many of my friends are choosing the homeschooling route, primarily because they believe teaching their children practical life skills is a critical part of education. They are not alone in this thinking either; other countries are recognizing the importance of such classes…

The Japanese—along with other countries such as Finland and South Korea where children are excelling in math, science and language arts—understand that in addition to teaching children math, reading and science, they also need to teach home economics and other practical life skills. (Who Says Home-ec Isn’t a Core Subject?)

Children are absolutely brilliant these days, and can do things far beyond what I did at their age, but are we doing them a favor by skipping teaching them the fundamental basics of everyday living? They may be a master at arithmetic and art, but can they change a tire, or sew on a button?

Can we really consider ourselves prepared for life beyond Hockaday when many of us cannot even cook an adequate meal for ourselves?

But a “Life Skills” or “Independent Living” course would in no way perpetuate this stereotype; it would fill in a major gap in the Hockaday education; it would go beyond cooking and cleaning to paying taxes, balancing checkbooks, basic car maintenance, skills that every woman—as well as every man—requires to live a self-sufficient lifestyle.  (Home Economics vs Feminis – An Uneasy Union)

I think it’s extremely important to teach our children life skills – not only does it give them confidence to eventually be on their own, but it teaches them to be more self-reliant.

Think about it. If you don’t teach these skills to your kids, or find someone else to do the teaching, then who will?

A Life Skills Test for Kids

Here’s a basic life skills test to see how much your kids know about everyday living. In no way is this a complete list of all the things they need to know or should know, that is up to you – the parent!

See which of the following your child can do…

Cooking Skills

  • create a shopping list
  • select groceries
  • find the best deals
  • use a microwave
  • read nutrition labels and know what’s good and what’s not
  • prepare, serve and store food to avoid spoilage
  • cook a well-balanced meal
  • know which kitchen tools and equipment to use for which tasks

Money Skills

  • make a weekly or monthly budget and stick to it
  • use an ATM
  • open, use and balance a checking account
  • apply for a credit card and use it responsibly
  • save up to buy a desired item
  • set aside money for charity
  • keep track of important papers
  • how to use a debit card
  • track purchases
  • pay monthly bills, including utilities

Clothing Skills

  • complete simple repairs when needed
  • sew on a button
  • mend a seam
  • iron garments
  • fold and put away clothing
  • follow fabric-care labels
  • do laundry, including treating simple stains
  • wash and dry items by hand
  • fold clothes
  • pack a suitcase

At-Home Skills

  • able to clean the house
  • clean toilets
  • find the circuit breaker and use it
  • locate and use water and furnace shutoffs
  • use a fire extinguisher
  • perform basic first aid
  • fix a running toilet
  • do laundry, including treating simple stains
  • use all household appliances, like loading the dishwasher the right way

Car Skills

  • basic auto maintenance
  • check tire pressure
  • pump gas
  • check oil level and add oil if needed
  • check washer fluid and add more if necessary
  • arrange routine maintenance
  • jump-start car
  • change tire
  • add air to tires
  • produce documents if stopped by police
  • know what to look for in buying their first car

Other Life Skills

  • change a mailing address
  • register to vote
  • how to vote
  • who to call and what to do in emergency situations
  • basic first aid or CPR
  • how to apply for a job
  • interview skills
  • how to select proper clothing for an interview
  • what to look for in a first apartment
  • who to contact to turn on utilities
  • where to have a document notarized
  • how to use public transportation

And the most important Life Skill of all (at least if you don’t want your kids still living at home when they are 30) is…

  • Can they handle their own problems when they arise and work things out on their own?

How did your child do?

Here is a great resource with numerous ways you can teach your kids the life skills they probably are not learning at school – Teach Your Kids About… Home Ec

What are some of the life skills that you consider essential for your children to know before they leave home?

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Common-Sense Strategies for Teaching Gun Safety: A Gun is No Big Deal http://thesurvivalmom.com/teaching-gun-safety-part-1/ http://thesurvivalmom.com/teaching-gun-safety-part-1/#comments Thu, 25 Sep 2014 18:00:51 +0000 http://thesurvivalmom.com/?p=18373 I don’t know if the anti-gun trend is still fashionable or not, but when I was raising my young children, it certainly was. I decided that my two year-old son would not be playing with a Buzz Lightyear Astro Blaster Read More

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I don’t know if the anti-gun trend is still fashionable or not, but when I was raising my young children, it certainly was. I decided that my two year-old son would not be playing with a Buzz Lightyear Astro Blaster or, for that matter, any gun. I have to admit it made me feel a little superior to take that stand, but one day my son turned a pizza crust into a small handgun, started shooting at the waitress, and I knew this was not a hill I cared to die on. I bought the Astro Blaster the next day.

Over the years, my son’s collection of toy guns accumulated and, as a family, we began making frequent trips to the shooting range when he was seven years old. Incorporating shooting sports in our everyday, ordinary lives has become, well, ordinary.

Our approach from the beginning is matter-of-fact, focused on the fundamentals of gun safety and skills, and age appropriate. I have 7 common-sense strategies for teaching gun safety that I’m going to pass along to you over the next 7 weeks.

#1   A gun is no big deal.

(Remember, this is the first of seven tips.)

One of the first lessons I wanted my kids to learn is that a gun is no big deal. It’s a tool, much like a hammer. I didn’t want them to become so attracted to the gun as a forbidden fruit that they would someday give in to temptation and endanger themselves and others.

Remember the scene in The Sixth Sense when a young teen boy says to the main character, Cole, “Wanna see my dad’s gun?”  He turns toward the bedroom and we see a huge gunshot wound in the side of his head. I never wanted that scene played out in our home, with one of our children, eager to impress a friend, shows off by handling a loaded firearm.

In fact, what we wanted was the exact opposite. We don’t want guns to be so fascinating that safety rules are quickly forgotten. After all, what is more alluring to a child? Something they’re not allowed to see and touch or something so ordinary that it’s no big deal? So, both kids have gone to shooting ranges many, many times. They have both participated in an Appleseed weekend and a summer camp held at an indoor range.

I am not precluding the possibility of either of our children doing something stupid someday while around a firearm, but if they do, it certainly won’t be because they view a gun as something exciting and glamorous. The last thing I want my kids to do is wait until we are gone from home and then seek out a hidden gun to “play with.”

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Where are my children? 3 questions to ask about your school’s safety plan http://thesurvivalmom.com/school-safety-plan/ http://thesurvivalmom.com/school-safety-plan/#comments Tue, 09 Sep 2014 07:09:06 +0000 http://thesurvivalmom.com/?p=17704 Disasters can happen anytime, including when your children are at school. Do you know exactly where they will be if it strikes? 1. Where is my child in the building? Ask your children or their teachers where the students will Read More

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School Safety

Disasters can happen anytime, including when your children are at school. Do you know exactly where they will be if it strikes?

1. Where is my child in the building?

Ask your children or their teachers where the students will be during any type of drill – fire, tornado, earthquake and lockdown drills. Think through where the children would be when they are in different parts of the building, too, such as lunchtime and specials. Keep a copy of your children’s daily schedule on hand. I often keep a copy on the refrigerator and take a picture to keep in my phone.

Speaking of lockdown drills, make sure to take the time to talk to your children about what they would do if one happened when they were in various locations in the school. One of my children once asked what she should do if she was in the bathroom when they called for a lockdown – that made for an interesting discussion.

2. What is the evacuation plan?

If the school is damaged, find out where the school will take the children. Sometimes there is a church or community center nearby that the school plans to use. Some school may plan to use a nearby field or parking lot if there is not a big enough building nearby. If your children are the kind that like reassurance (mine do), let them know that you know where they will be taken to during an evacuation and that you will come get them.

3. What hospital does the school use in its’ school safety plan?

Sometimes a disaster is a more personal one where children get hurt or collapse at school. If they have to transport your child to a hospital, do you know which one they would use? Knowing that could save you time by knowing ahead of time exactly how to get there. It is good to know what emergency services your school would call as well. Do you have specific people lined up who can get your children in emergencies if you are not available? Make sure to let your children know who is and is not allowed to pick them up. One good idea is to establish a family code word that a person who picks them up should know.

Now you know

Ask these questions and you can be prepared in case a disaster happens while your children are in school. You can also apply these questions to any event that you leave your children at – scouts, church, sports, and friends’ houses. Knowing where they are means you will be able to get to them quicker in case of an emergency.

What other questions would you ask about your school’s emergency plan?

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You CAN Make a School-Friendly First Aid Kit http://thesurvivalmom.com/first-aid-kit-public-school-tsa-will-allow/ http://thesurvivalmom.com/first-aid-kit-public-school-tsa-will-allow/#comments Fri, 05 Sep 2014 06:00:30 +0000 http://thesurvivalmom.com/?p=14108 We’ve all seen the First Aid kits you can buy at the store. Many of us have made our own. But does your child have one they can take to school without getting in trouble? My kids go to public Read More

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first aid kitWe’ve all seen the First Aid kits you can buy at the store. Many of us have made our own. But does your child have one they can take to school without getting in trouble?

My kids go to public school. I like their schools, but there is no denying that public schools have a lot of crazy rules when eating a poptart into the wrong shape (a gun, in someone else’s opinion) can get a second grader suspended, even if that wasn’t the kids intention.

Signed forms are required for kids to get simple over the counter allergy medicine, and the school nurse has to dispense it. A “medicated” cough drop is considered medicine and kids are not allowed to have them at school or on a school bus.

A school nurse has to dispense cough drops. Seriously.

My son is very excited about emergency preparedness and wants to carry a First Aid kit wherever he goes, including school. Even in second grade, though, he knew he couldn’t have any medicine or sharp objects in school, so we set about making him a First Aid kit he could have at school.

All those crazy school rules make it harder to build a good First Aid kit. But it isn’t impossible to make school-friendly First Aid kit! It just requires thinking outside the box a bit.

Non-Medicine

Herbal remedies only require a few drops at a time, and aren’t considered medicine by the average school district. That helps a lot in creating a school acceptable First Aid kit.

A contact lens case is a great place to store liquids and gels! You can buy plastic bags in any size online. Another good option is a simple drinking straw, which you can get for free at restaurants. Melt the end closed, add the liquid or gel, cut the tube short, then seal the other end. Single use size! You can even buy straws in different colors so they are color-coded.

A homemade rehydration solution is 1/4 tsp of salt plus 3 teaspoons of sugar added to a half liter of water. If you read the previous link, you may notice that the amounts I listed are half of what they list. That is because half liter bottles of water are extremely common and it’s easier to carry two packets than try and guess how much is half if you make the full amount.

Also, little kids are, well, little. They really may just need a half liter.

Aloe gel is great for burns, including sun burns, but be aware that it can get sticky as it dries.

I would love to include essential oils, but really haven’t figured out a great, stable way to store them yet. I am uncomfortable with storing them in plastic, such as a straw, because they could easily interact with the plastic, altering their chemical composition or simply evaporating quickly.

If you have a great way to store and transport tiny amounts of essential oils, please share!

Non-Medicine to include:

  • Aloe: for burns, including sunburn
  • Honey: disinfect cuts (instead of Neosporin) – just make sure it’s raw, preferably local, honey
  • Cayenne pepper: add 1 tsp to 1 cup warm water and drink to stop a heart attack; help wounds coagulate (stop bleeding)
  • Rehydration solution: You can make your own with sugar and salt, or buy Pedialyte(TM) Powder if you think the school will be OK with it
  • Essential oils: there are many articles on this, choose the ones to suit your child’s needs. Companies like Young Living sell individual packets that could be very easily packed in a first aid kit.
  • Glucose tablets
  • Hand sanitizer: can also be used to sanitize objects because of the high alcohol content, and definitely school accepted
  • Salt for heat stroke

Bandages and More

There are some items that even schools allow. Bandages, for example. And tape.

  • Bandages (the link goes to novelty bandages with mustaches, bacon, and more printed on them)
  • Gauze pads
  • Paper tape
  • Moleskin
  • Plastic card, like a hotel room key, to remove stingers from bug bites
  • CPR face shield: A very small child probably can’t use this, but it can be used on them and older children and teens can learn CPR.
  • Non-latex gloves: Size small and large; small is for them to use; large is to be used ON THEM
  • Finger splint: A popsicle stick and tape
  • Vet wrap, in place of Ace bandages which have those terribly dangerous sharp, pointy closures (Hey, if a cough drop is dangerous, those must nearly be lethal weapons!) – Bonus: you can choose a fun color!
  • Super Glue for closing wounds
  • Small children’s safety scissors: They provide those in classrooms, after all, so they can’t be a danger.
  • Toothbrush: Use this to debride a wound
  • Syringe: irrigate a wound (I use free ones that come with medication.)
  • Face mask
  • Tick key
  • Lanyard: part of a sling
  • Electrical tape: It sticks to itself but not skin, making it great to hold gauze pads, splints, etc. in place for relatively short times

Non-Medical Emergency Items

first aid kit labeled1Some items are just good to have in an emergency. These have many uses, including potentially being cut up.

  • LED flashlight, preferably of the winding variety
  • Neckerchief/handkerchief
  • Silver emergency blanket
  • Rain poncho
  • Duct tape
  • Lotion or oil – generally of the cooking oil variety, to help if a finger gets stuck somewhere it shouldn’t be
  • Signal mirror
  • Ear plugs: this is mostly because one of mine is very sensitive to loud noise
  • Whistle: In an emergency like a tornado where a child could be trapped, this is useful for alerting emergency workers.

Stretch Items

There’s a good chance your school won’t allow these, but some may. It’s worth checking.

  • EMT Shears – scissors that, realistically, are less likely to hurt someone than even kindergarten scissors
  • Safety pins – small ones, not big horse blanket sized (although those are a great addition to a regular emergency kit or a car kit), although it’s possible schools will have an issue with this
  • Tweezers

Finishing Touches

I bought 500 small plastic bags on Amazon. In addition to Lego, they have a ton of items in our First Aid Kits. I use a sharpie to label them, but it does sometimes wear off if it gets damp. For medicine, especially herbal remedies others may not know, I write instructions on the bags as well.

Now, put them all together in a bag. Personally, I currently favor something similar to a lunch box because, unlike a bright red First Aid kit, no one will ever even notice it, and my son loves eating school lunches. If your child is a regular lunch packer, you could simply use either an old lunch box or one they don’t like to help keep them from grabbing it by accident. Another option is a pencil box.

If you prefer, you can use one of little red First Aid bags you can pick up in any pharmacy section.

Voila! A first aid kit for your child, or for your travels. Happy trails!

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Parents Doubt U.S. Is Ready to Protect Kids from Disaster, Yet Are Doing Little to Prepare, Poll Shows http://thesurvivalmom.com/parents-doubt-u-s-ready-protect-kids-disaster-yet-little-prepare-poll-shows/ http://thesurvivalmom.com/parents-doubt-u-s-ready-protect-kids-disaster-yet-little-prepare-poll-shows/#comments Thu, 04 Sep 2014 13:20:21 +0000 http://thesurvivalmom.com/?p=17948 NOTE: I received this press release and thought the information was timely and a little alarming. It takes so little effort to put emergency plans in place. I hope you’ll set aside some time this week to put together a Read More

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NOTE: I received this press release and thought the information was timely and a little alarming. It takes so little effort to put emergency plans in place. I hope you’ll set aside some time this week to put together a vehicle emergency kit, emergency kits for yourself and your children, and basic supplies for your home.

katrinaNine years after Hurricane Katrina, 74 percent of parents with children in school or child care believe the federal government is not very prepared to protect their children from disaster. Yet the average parent spent only one hour on family emergency planning over the past year—and many spent no time at all, Save the Children reported today in its 2014 Disaster Report Card, What Are You Waiting For?

In contrast, the average parent spent five hours organizing back-to-school supplies this summer, according to a Harris Poll online survey commissioned by Save the Children for the report, released as National Preparedness Month began. The nationally representative poll surveyed 1,012 parents of children under 18 who are enrolled in child care or school.

Nearly half (49 percent) of such parents don’t feel very prepared to protect their kids from disaster.  A new infographic pulls out other key results.

“This report is a wake-up call,” said Kathy Spangler, Save the Children’s vice president of U.S. programs. “American parents say they’re concerned about risks their children face from school shootings and natural disaster. Yet, our poll also shows most parents know little about emergency plans at their child’s school or child care, and that they are failing to take basic actions to protect kids at home.”

In the past year alone, the nation has experienced at least 20 school shootings and 50 major natural disasters, Save the Children’s new report says.  As the nation’s leading child-focused emergency response agency, Save the Children has served more than 800,000 children affected by disaster in the United States since Hurricane Katrina struck.

“The results are disturbing, because we know children are always the most vulnerable when disaster strikes,” she added.  “Their safety, emotional well-being and development are at risk.”

Disaster can strike anywhere—a point reinforced by the poll. More than half of American families with children in child care or school (54 percent) have already been affected by hurricanes, tornadoes, floods, earthquakes, school shootings, wildfires or other types of disaster, the poll shows.

Two thirds of U.S. parents with children in child care or school are at least somewhat concerned about the risk their children face from natural disaster (66 percent) and school shootings (70 percent).  More than a third of such parents (35 percent) are very or extremely concerned about school shooting risks, and 35 percent believe those risks are rising.

Back to School Concerns

The poll findings come on top of Save the Children’s annual research that shows 21 states and the District of Columbia still lack basic emergency plan requirements for schools and child care centers.  (See pages10-11 of the full report for detailed results and methodology.)

As the summer season ends and 69 million children are again separated from their parents daily, the new poll exposes alarming gaps in parent-school communication:

  • Despite their disaster risk concerns, the majority of parents (63 percent) are not very familiar with emergency plans at their child’s school or child care.
  • Two thirds (67 percent) don’t know if emergency drills are held frequently, or at all.
  • Two in five (42 percent) wouldn’t know where to reunite with children if evacuated from school or child care.

Save the Children’s new video, “Where Are You?” illustrates the importance of reunification planning.

Reunification became a national concern after Hurricane Katrina separated thousands of children from their families.  It took seven months to reunite the last child with her parents.

Yet today, nearly one in five parents of children in school or child care (18 percent) hasn’t even provided caregivers with their emergency contact information.  Nearly half of parents (46 percent) haven’t given schools or child care providers an out-of-town emergency contact, essential should disaster disrupt local communications.

Gaps at Home

While three in five parents of children in school or child care (60 percent) reported having some sort of family emergency plan, they often fall short on precautions recommended by Save the Children.  For instance, of those parents with plans:

  • 59 percent don’t know where to take shelter locally
  • More than half (53 percent) fail to have an agreed upon out-of-town contact
  • Nearly a third (31 percent) don’t have a family meeting place.

Among the two-fifths of parents with children in school or child care who have no plan at all:

  • 56 percent say they never thought of it
  • 29 percent say they procrastinated or forgot
  • 15 percent say they don’t know how to create one.

Many of these parents haven’t set aside key disaster supplies, such as the recommended five-day supply of food and water.  Even among parents who have a plan, more than a third (35 percent) don’t have a two days’ supply.  Most (55 percent) also haven’t set aside a comfort item for children.

Save the Children offers disaster planning checklists through its Get Ready Get Safe initiative, and recommends creating a “go kit” for each family member.  The kit should include essential toiletries, medical and contact information—and a favorite activity and comfort item for children.

“This year we’ve cared for children uprooted by fire, floods and tornadoes,” Spangler said.  “Even small things can go far in helping a child in turmoil reestablish a sense of normalcy. With the right support, we know children can bounce back. We urge all parents to take steps now that could safeguard their child’s wellbeing later.”

Save the Children is calling on all Americans to pledge to better protect children from disaster.

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Simple Tips to Help Kids Stay Cool in Back-to-School Weather http://thesurvivalmom.com/tips-to-help-kids-stay-cool-in-hot-weather/ http://thesurvivalmom.com/tips-to-help-kids-stay-cool-in-hot-weather/#comments Tue, 02 Sep 2014 15:00:42 +0000 http://thesurvivalmom.com/?p=17917 You’ll want to pin this one! Click here or on the image to pin it to your Pinterest boards! It’s hot out there and kids from coast to coast are going back to school. As a former classroom teacher in Read More

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Stay Cool

You’ll want to pin this one! Click here or on the image to pin it to your Pinterest boards!

It’s hot out there and kids from coast to coast are going back to school. As a former classroom teacher in Phoenix, I well remember the sight of 25 sweaty, red faces coming in to class after lunchtime recess!

If your kids are going back to school and you’re concerned about the heat, here are a few tips that I shared this morning on The Weather Channel. They’re simple ways to help kids stay cool.

1.  Teach kids to be self-aware when it comes to overheating. When kids are outside, playing like crazy, they may very well go past the age of just sweating to full-on heat exhaustion. The next time you see them with sweaty, red faces, point out, “It looks like your body is overheating.” They have probably seen electronics overheat and then shut down. Teach them that their body is very similar. When it overheats, they need to take some time out to allow their body to cool down.

A few symptoms to know and to teach:

  • Nausea — All kids know what it’s like to feel sick to their stomachs. They’ll get the same feeling when their body becomes overheated, to the point of heat exhaustion.
  • Vomiting — An overheated kid may very well start throwing up. At that point they’re not only overheated but losing fluids as well.
  • Cramps — Sharp muscle and stomach cramps are another symptom. The next time your child experiences a cramp, be sure to give it a name, “cramp”, and let them know it’s a muscle saying, “Something is wrong!”
  • Super-thirst — When a body reaches the level of heat exhaustion, it cries out for water and more water. When a few gulps of water isn’t enough, it’s time for your child to know they need to rest and get out of the heat.
  • Dizziness — An over-heated body begins to feel light-headed and dizzy. This is another symptom that many children are familiar with.
  • Weakness — When a child feels too weak to play any longer, it’s a big warning sign that their core temperature is above normal.

As kids learn these symptoms, be sure to give them explicit permission to let their teacher, coach, or another adult know their body is over-heating. In sports, especially, kids are encouraged to, “give it your all,” but not to the point of a heat stroke! Kids need to know that they will not be in trouble for listening to their bodies’ warning signs.

2.  Shade, water, and air flow combine to create the perfect weapon against heat exhaustion. Fortunately, it’s super easy to put these pieces into play. Teach your kids to memorize these and find ways to

  • Shade
    • A simple cotton hat with a brim is ideal for providing shade that goes wherever the child goes. It can be rolled up and stored in a locker or backpack, and, if you have a Food Saver vacuum sealer, you can seal the hat into a vacuum packed bag so it takes even less room! Bonus: Wet the hat down before wearing to combine shade and water!
    • Teach kids to look for a shady spot to rest when they’re feeling overheated.
    • Bring along a large beach umbrella or a shade canopy to sporting events.
  • Water
    • A bandana or similar-sized piece of cloth can be tucked into a pocket or backpack. Teach your child to wet the bandana and wear it around his or her neck for an instant cooling effect. A couple of ice cubes rolled into the fabric is even nicer on a hot day.
    • Schools will likely not allow kids to bring a spritzer bottle full of water, but do carry one to outdoor school and sports events for instant cool. Check out the Misty Mate, a portable mist system. I used to bring these to my kids’ swim meets, and in the middle of a hot Phoenix summer, they worked great.
    • Add a drop or two of a citrus essential oil to your water spritzer.
    • Kids should drink plenty of tepid-to-cool water. Ice water can cause stomach cramps when a child is overheated. Add a few slices of strawberries, apples, and other fruit for an instant hydrating treat.
  • Air Flow
    • It’s probably been a while since you saw an old-fashioned collapsible hand fan, but these do a great job for helping a body stay cool. They can be found at import stores and online. Bonus: They make a great low-tech addition to any emergency kit!
    • Small battery-powered fans don’t take up much room but when combined with shade and water, can go a long way toward avoiding heat exhaustion.
    • Teach kids to watch for signs of breezes in trees and other greenery. Sometimes nature provides the ultimate in low-tech air flow!

3.  Be aware of how much time is needed for a body to cool down. If your child is just sweaty and red-faced, they may need just a few minutes in the shade and some water before they’re ready to continue. However, a child who is exhibiting the more advanced stages of heat exhaustion will need far more time for their core body temperature to normalize.

If your child reaches that point, immerse them in a tub of tepid water for at least 20-30 minutes. Be sure their head is also immersed in the water. If they show signs of losing consciousness or begin convulsing, call 911 immediately.

4.  The proper clothing for hot weather isn’t what you’d think. Most kids will want to wear shorts and tank tops on hot days, but in fact, exposed skin will overheat far more quickly than skin that is covered in light colored, thin cotton fabric. It also helps protect against sunburn and dehydration.

Kids can easily learn these signs of overheating and simple strategies to stay cool.

 

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End of Summer and Back to School Essential Oils Tips for Kids and Moms http://thesurvivalmom.com/end-summer-back-school-essential-oils-tips-kids-moms/ http://thesurvivalmom.com/end-summer-back-school-essential-oils-tips-kids-moms/#comments Tue, 02 Sep 2014 06:00:14 +0000 http://thesurvivalmom.com/?p=17090 Disclaimer: Before we get started, I need to provide you with a legal disclaimer on these essential oil tips: Please do not discontinue prescriptions or a medical professionals advice who is treating you without consulting with them first. I am Read More

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doTERRA Playdough The Survival MOM Essential Oil Tips

Disclaimer:

Before we get started, I need to provide you with a legal disclaimer on these essential oil tips: Please do not discontinue prescriptions or a medical professionals advice who is treating you without consulting with them first. I am not a medical professional, nutritionists, food scientists, or expert in anything other than living the “Simple Life” the way we chose to live it.

My posts are intended as my opinion and my way of doing things. All opinions and advice offered in this post are merely that of a mother, woman, and wife sharing my knowledge drawn from my own experiences and research. Remember to always do your own research when it comes to the safety, health and well-being of your family.

Essential Oil Projects with Kids

There are many disasters and situations that we share knowledge and preparedness for here at The Survival Mom, but survival for some moms could just be surviving the summer or homework at the end of the day. Children can get a little tired by the end of summer. Those long summer days drag on in the heat.

I am going to share some really cool ideas and projects that you can do with your children using essential oils . As an added bonus, they also receive a form of aromatherapy while they are playing!

When people think of essential oils they think natural healing, cleaning the kitchen, and maybe even bug spray. I bet you didn’t think you could help yourself and your children’s health while having fun and being creative!

These projects I am going to share can also be used during the school year to help your child if they are struggling with their school day. You may wish to pass these recipes along to your new teachers this year. These are also great for after school play, just before doing homework.

The first project is for the younger children, but sometimes even us moms allow our inner child to escape.

Essential Oil Play Dough Anyone?

This is an easy recipe and you can use varying essential oils to gain varying effects.

  • 2 cups flour (substitute Better Batter Gluten Free Flour)
  • 2 cups colored water (you can use spices and natural coloring)
  • 1 cup of salt
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 5 drops essential oil

Combine all the ingredients, except for the essential oils, in a large sauce pan and stir until combined. Place the pan over medium heat while stirring with a spatula until the ingredients form a ball.   Be careful not to overcook or you will have dry play dough.

Remove from heat and allow to cool on parchment paper.

Once your dough is cool, add 5 drops of your chosen essential oil and knead until thoroughly combined.

Recommended Essential Oils

NOTE: Be sure to never leave children alone with essential oils.   They are extremely concentrated and could be harmful to them in large doses.

Wild Orange essential oil will wake up those tired students and is great for those unfortunate bad days.

Peppermint essential oil will aid in poor concentration and is invigorating.

Lemon essential oil is a wonderful detoxing oil that awakens your senses.

Lavender essential oil is calming and may be a great choice at nap time.

Balance essential oil blend by doTERRA is one of my favorite oils for my autistic son because it is grounding, but awakening at the same time. This is a great one to choose right after school and just before homework is to begin.

Vetiver essential oil blend by doTERRA is another one of my favorites. This is a great oil for those over active children. It has a unique smell reminding me of “dirt” and it is a very calming and relaxing oil which is great for children with autism, ADHD, ADD, and those that are absentminded.

How About Some Aromatherapy Slime?doTERRA Slime TheSurvivalMom

  • 2 cups of arrowroot powder or cornstarch
  • 1 to 1 ½ cups water
  • 1 tsp dried herbs for color (optional)
  • 3 drops of your favorite essential oil

Combine dry ingredients. You can use spirulina powder for green slime or beet root powder for red slime. Add your essential oil and then slowly add water until it becomes the consistency of slime. You want it to feel hard or solid while in the dish and liquidy when picked up. See above for some of my oil suggestions.

Although you must take caution with the Aromatherapy Slime and wear old clothing, it it is another great opportunity to have fun making something unique with your child and provide them with some memory making moments. By choosing the right essential oil, you can even brighten or calm their day – and your own – as needed.

Something as simple as playing with aromatherapy dough can help your child while doing school work or homework or calm them down when overexcited. It can even help your special needs child in a very non-invasive, fun and therapeutic way!

The other benefit is that Mom can get the same calming or awakening affects at the same time! Win win!

What is your favorite essential oil and why?

 

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Smart Survival Strategies for Kids: Forbidden Items at School http://thesurvivalmom.com/finding-forbidden-item-in-school/ http://thesurvivalmom.com/finding-forbidden-item-in-school/#comments Sun, 24 Aug 2014 20:00:00 +0000 http://thesurvivalmom.com/?p=14349 It may not be every parent’s very worst nightmare, but it certainly ranks up there if your kids are in public school. What if your kid has a forbidden item in school? It could be an accident, or something they Read More

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what to do if your kid forgets and takes a forbidden item in school

If your kid forgot a pocketknife and accidentally took it to school, what would they do?

It may not be every parent’s very worst nightmare, but it certainly ranks up there if your kids are in public school. What if your kid has a forbidden item in school? It could be an accident, or something they found that wasn’t originally theirs, especially for older kids who find something in their car or truck.

What should they do if they reach in a pocket and realize that a shell casing (garbage, to anyone who knows anything about firearms) is still there from their last hunting trip? What if, God forbid, they have a pocket knife in their backpack after a camping trip?

Medical and First Aid Supplies

One of the more popular articles on the blog recently was this one, Backpack First Aid Kit for Kids. The author listed a number of tiny, handy items that could all be contained in a small plastic container. When this was posted on The Survival Mom Facebook page, the results were shocking:

In schools around here, this would get the kid an out of school suspension. Over the counter medication of any kind has to be accompanied by a doctor’s note etc.”

Can’t do this any more. It would be taken from your child and you would go to jail for pushing drugs. We have become a stupid society.

You might be able to sneak a Band-Aid into the backpack, but nothing else. Our school district here in north Texas wouldn’t allow any of that stuff.

“It’s a great idea but it would be taken from my girls first thing. Our school doesn’t even allow the kids to bring in cough drops.

Harmless items, such as eye drops and Neosporin, may be considered illegal contraband in public schools these days, apparently! So what if your child does have one of these in a pocket, purse, or backpack, innocently and unintentionally? I’ve been known to tuck a couple of ibuprofen in a pocket, just in case.

The news is full of incidents in which kids have been suspended or expelled just for something this simple.

How should they handle this?

So, what would be a smart strategy if this happens with one of your kids?

One high school kid realized that he had left a pocket knife in his pocket after a Scout camping trip. The panicked kid faked sickness and went to the nurse saying he had to go home. His mom picked him up and took him home early and the problem was solved.

In another incident, a high school student grabbed what he thought was a can of soda on his way out the door. When he got to school, he realized it was beer and immediately turned it over to his teacher. The teacher turned him in to the principal, and the boy was suspended for 3 days and had to attend an “alternative” school for 3 months. His mother claimed he was just being honest and was punished in return.

If your child finds himself or herself in a situation like this, what would you advise them to do? Do they know how to handle it?

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7 Summer Children’s Activities for Sowing Survivalist Seeds http://thesurvivalmom.com/childrens-summer-activities-survivalist-seeds/ http://thesurvivalmom.com/childrens-summer-activities-survivalist-seeds/#comments Thu, 14 Aug 2014 06:00:03 +0000 http://thesurvivalmom.com/?p=16733 Summer activities can be a fun and creative way to introduce your children to basic survivalist concepts. Ways to pass the lazy summer days has changed a great deal over the last decade or so. What used to be typical Read More

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7 Summer ActivitiesSummer activities can be a fun and creative way to introduce your children to basic survivalist concepts. Ways to pass the lazy summer days has changed a great deal over the last decade or so. What used to be typical summer past times has now become occasional treats for today’s youth. Help introduce your little ones to general survival skills while reintroducing your summertime to do list favorites!

1 | Building Forts

A childhood favorite both indoors and out is building forts. Whether it be a table and blanket fort inside or a more complex structure in the backyard, allowing children to use their creativity to build these small getaways can help teach them early on about what works and what does not.

Very few of us will ever become an award winning architect or cutting edge engineer, but the trial and error process of building those wobbly but fun hideaways with friends can aid in constructing a more serious shelter later.

2 | Swimming

Swimming or splashing around in cool, refreshing water is a summer favorite on those hot, humid (or arid) days. Learning how to swim and water safety is something every child should experience early on. What seems like water fun can really be a subliminal survivalist skill that could save his or her life later on.

3 | Fishing

As the old saying goes, “Give a man a fish, feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish, feed him for a lifetime.” Spend those lazy summer evenings on a riverbank with your little one and teach them the ins and outs of fishing. Be sure to teach them how to properly set up their pole and bait the hook. Kids typically think of nonstop casting and reeling when it comes time to fish, but teach them the basics and patience so if the occasion ever calls for it, they can catch their own dinner!

4 | Outdoor Sports

In the midst of an electronic age, it is important for children (and the rest of us) to get unplugged and outside. Putting down the PSP, DS, tablet, etc., and getting active outside helps children become more resilient to natural environmental conditions such as prolonged sun exposure and lack of a constant stimulant. In other words, kids are forced to entertain themselves in the summer heat.

This may sound like a no-brainer but when kids spend most of their time inactively indoors playing video games or watching television in climate controlled conditions, making the transition to moving about in the humidity of summer can be tough. Encourage your children to play outside to build stamina so if an occasion occurs where moving about outside is necessary, they will be conditioned and ready.

Some active outdoor summer favorites include baseball/whiffle ball, basketball, flag football, tag, catch, jumping on trampolines, jumping rope, mastering the hula hoop, hopscotch and kickball.

5 | Hiking

Pack a bag, grab a walking stick and hit the trail! Hiking can certainly help condition the body for long hours outside and help teach little ones forest safety. Many state parks have hiking trails for all levels so if you are new to hiking, talk with a park ranger or other official about which trails are best for beginners.

Some state parks and campgrounds may even offer guided hikes which generally include basic lessons on the area’s wildlife, plant life and environment. Be sure your children know what plants are dangerous to touch and eat and how to respond to wild animal encounters. What is a fun day in the woods now can be a ticket for survival later.

6 | Target Shooting

Water guns are a summertime blast. Children giggle and scream as they run barefoot around the yard trying to blast their siblings and friends with that ice cold stream of water. What they generally do not realize is that they are building their hand-eye coordination as they practice zoning in on their targets. Another target shooting favorite is shooting aluminum cans with bb guns.

Try setting cans up in different formations and teach your kids how to use the basic sight feature that is standard on most bb guns. If your child decides to take up hunting for sport or necessity later, he or she will have a comfortable edge hitting their target.

7 | Campfire Fun

Summertime campfires are a must for childhood nostalgia! Roasting hotdogs on a stick, making ooey, gooey s’mores, and sharing ghost stories are childhood campfire traditions for a reason! Teach your children how to make a campfire, introduce them to primitive cooking over the fire, and then how to properly and safely extinguish a fire.

Get unplugged and outdoors!

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