When the temperature heats up, we seek a cooling tonic and that often comes in the form of a swim.

There is the sea to cool off in and the cooler temperatures of open swimming in lakes to enjoy too. Increasingly, we are buying swimming pools to enjoy in the garden too.

Unfortunately, we aren’t always prepared for the cold water shock that comes with plunging into a deep swimming pool, lake or the sea.

Even strong swimmers can get into trouble quickly in cold water so it pays to be safe around water, whether that is a pool in the back garden or a dip in the lake.

Being Pool Safe

From small paddling pools to larger, deeper family swimming pools, the range of temporary and semi-permanent swimming pools has grown in recent years.

But being safe around water is something we should all be vigilant about but do you really know how to stay safe around water?

This clever infographic Staying Safe by the Pool is a family-friendly guide to pool safety and why we need to take more notice of how we use the pool.

It gives clever hints on what to look for around the pool area, as well as what you should be looking out for when your family and friends over enjoying the sunshine and the pool in your backyard.

Staying safe

Staying safe is not difficult when you know what to look out for. It also helps us to understand why our behaviour changes so much for other times – in the summer, when the sun is shining, we want everyone to relax and enjoy the pool.

But sometimes that means we relax too much leading to some dangerous stuff happening before our very eyes! But with these hints and tips, you will enjoy the summer in the swimming pool, or at the lake or a swim in the sea – just make sure you are really safe!

Safety In The Pool

Winnettes

We all dream of the perfect family holiday. We have scrimped and saved all year to allow ourselves time out somewhere lovely for some quality time as a family. If you are like myself, you will have cherished memories of your own childhood holidays and want to ensure your children have amazing times when travelling  too. I find holiday cottages give us the best time as they give a feeling of space and relaxation like back home.

Planning

Of course it is easy these days to find holidays at the last minute. However, I have taken my Dad’s example and like to do some good planning in advance. This means talking with every family member about their dreams for their time away and looking at pictures online. If you read reviews you can also find out if the accommodation is really family-friendly or is just using that as a marketing tool. As part of my planning I also like to ensure I have looked into options for days out whatever the weather. Perhaps sadly but inevitably, I also check whether Wifi is available so the children can access their beloved screens and I can do a bit of work if necessary. Finally if you want some adult only time you can research kids clubs and so on. They  are not my cup of tea but each to their own. Talking of cups of tea, I also like to ensure a supermarket can deliver shopping ordered online in time for our arrival.

Packing

I always smile when I think of packing as my Dad wouldn’t let me or my Mum get involved in it due to our slightly chaotic approach.  Moving on, there are lots of things you should pack to save a whole load of hassle. These include things like sticking plasters, Calpol, sun protection, antibacterial handwash and any medication your family require. Always have plenty of baby wipes which every parent can tell you are worth their weight in gold for cleaning surfaces from restaurant tables to toilet seats. You will have your own ideas of what makes the perfect holiday wardrobe. I like to include some older clothes that I won’t worry about if they get covered with sand, sun tan lotion and food spillages. Always ensure you have a jumper or cardigan for everyone and a coat for rainier days.

Coping with long journeys

Children get bored easily and all the more so if they know they are going somewhere really exciting.  Firstly make sure you have regular stops for snacks and drinks and bring them from home as buying en route can be really pricey. Make a goodie bag up for each  child with books, games, activities, pens and treats. Again think about health and ensure you have travel sickness products to hand too.

Memory-making and the perfect family holiday

Since losing my parents, I have worked out that the only really important thing in life is making great memories. They are fun whilst they are happening and they sustain us in challenging times. So ensure you have some equipment to capture those memories whether that is a journal, scrapbook or camera.

Do you have any great tips for planning the perfect family holiday?

How To Plan The Perfect Family Holiday

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mum Muddling Through

If you know a boy aged 10 to 21, then there’s a good chance you’ve witnessed them sink whole days into playing video games. You might even have accused them of being “addicted” to video games. As it turns out, you might have been right. Under new guidelines established by the World Health Organisation, “gaming disorder” will be recognised as a medical condition for the first time.

Gaming

What is gaming addiction?

Gaming addiction will be listed as “gaming disorder” in the 11th edition of the World Health Organisation’s International Classification of Diseases (ICD). In the ICD, gaming disorder is described as a “severe pattern” of gaming behaviour in which the participant’s gaming “takes precedence over other life interests”.

The entry demonstrates that the WHO understands the potential harm of uncontrolled video game use. It’s a recognition that people can experience video game addiction in the same way that they can experience gambling addiction or addiction to other kinds of harmful behaviours.

There are often real-world consequences to gaming addiction. Patients with gaming disorder often want to cut down on their gaming, but can’t. They often fail to fulfil social obligations and miss activities or events organised by friends. Sometimes there are serious consequences, such as when doctor’s appointments or professional appointments are missed due to gaming.

What are the signs of video game addiction?

Under the WHO guidelines, doctors will need to see evidence of at least 12 months of abnormal gaming behaviour to make a diagnosis. In extreme circumstances, a diagnosis can be made in a shorter period of time if the gaming is more intense.

The symptoms of gaming disorder are as follows:

  • Impaired control over gaming (frequency, intensity and duration)
  • Increased priority being given to gaming
  • Continuation or escalation of gaming, despite negative consequences

If you’re worried that a loved one might be affected by gaming disorder, there are signs to watch out for. Are they tired as a result of staying up late and playing video games? Are they withdrawing from their social circle and real-world responsibilities in favour of video games? Do they talk or think about video games even when they are supposed to be doing something else?

It’s important to be rational when looking for warning signs. Many teenagers (and adults) will stay up all night playing video games with their friends and spend the whole of the next day talking about it. It’s not gaming disorder if this happens rarely or happens in a controlled way. Distinguishing between a normal enjoyment of video games and a disorder is crucial.

When do video games become harmful?

The physical warning signs of gaming disorder are the signs associated with excessive computer use. These are as follows:

  • Backache
  • Headaches
  • Weight gain or loss
  • Disturbances in sleep
  • Carpal tunnel syndrome
  • Blurred or strained vision

There are also consequences to the gamer’s mental health. Excessive gaming has been linked to depression and anxiety. Excessive gaming can also cause insomnia and people who spend a lot of time in front of screens can find it difficult to interact with people face-to-face.

 

Think you might have gaming disorder? It can be treated

The framework for treating gaming disorder is similar to the treatment for other addictive behaviours, such as gambling. Treatment will involve therapy of some kind. The therapy can take place at an outpatient centre, but in extreme cases, the patient might prefer intensive treatment in an inpatient centre.

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) is an approach to treating addictive behaviours which has been recognised by the NHS. Through CBT, a patient and a counsellor will examine the patient’s thought processes and identify triggers for negative or addictive behaviours. Together, negative thought processes will be challenged and replaced with healthy ones.

Alongside one-to-one sessions, the patient will also often be invited to group sessions. If gaming disorder has damaged familial or marital relations, then patients might benefit from exploring family therapy and couples therapy. The patient could also attend group therapy sessions in a supportive environment.

Author Bio: Obi Unaka is the Treatment Director at Charterhouse Clinic. He has 16 years of experience in a clinical setting. Obi has developed successful addiction treatment services in a variety of settings.

3 Little Buttons

When you think of a classroom, what springs to mind? Most likely it is a room, indoors, with desks and chairs facing a whiteboard on the wall. It’s important to remember, however, that this isn’t the only environment that a child can learn in and, as research has shown, it may not be the most effective.

Many children are going home after school and spending time on their tablets and devices instead of playing outdoors like previous generations. Introducing outdoor play at school provides them with an opportunity to enjoy the outdoors and engage with nature.

Together with Infinite Playgrounds, creators of Adventure playgrounds, we look at the benefits of learning outdoors and how to adapt lessons to teach outside.

What are the benefits of learning outdoors?

In addition to encouraging children to appreciate the outdoors, there are many benefits of learning outside of the traditional classroom.

One benefit is the opportunity for children to exhibit some physical activity that wouldn’t be possible indoors. In the school yard or in a sensory playground, there is lots of space for the children to run around and play — raising their heart rate and keeping them active.

Another benefit is the encouraged use of imagination. There is plenty for children to discover outdoors; from plants they may not have seen before to minibeasts that catch their eye. Before the children learn what these are, they might use their imagination with their peers to guess what a certain animal is or what one of the plants is called. This stretch of imagination will become useful when they begin to write creatively or during drama exercises.

When children are learning about how plants grow, for example, it will make the lesson much more memorable for them when they can touch the plants and the soil. 92% of teachers surveyed said that their pupils were more engaged with learning when they were outdoors.

 85% of teachers reported that they saw a positive impact on their pupils’ behaviour when they were being taught outside. This could be down to the children finding more enjoyment in outdoor classrooms — 92% of pupils said that they preferred their lessons outdoors.

 It is possible that the introduction of outdoor classrooms could improve school attendance rates, too. If children are enjoying their lessons more, it is likely that they will have more motivation to come to school.

 How can you adapt classroom teaching to the outdoors?

Teaching outdoors does not have to massively disrupt your curriculum, there are many ways that you can alter your lesson plans so that you can take them outside. The main thing about outdoor teaching is that it shouldn’t be overly teacher-controlled — it is important for children to be aware of the safety hazards outdoors. But apart from this, they should be encouraged to step outside of their comfort zones.

There are many new resources that become available when a lesson is taught outside, as well as all of the extra space. Teaching outside can be beneficial for the teacher as well as the children, 90% of staff found that outdoor teaching was useful for curriculum delivery.

Maths

Depending on the age group of your class, there are many ways that you can teach maths outdoors. For the younger children, consider bringing shapes and counting outdoors and asking some of the following questions: How many petals does this flower have? How many circles can you spot? How many legs does the picnic table have? You could take pictures of the shapes to have a look at when you get back into the classroom.

For an older age group, encourage them to measure each other doing the long jump or provide stop watches and let them time each other running a certain distance. When you get back to the classroom, teach the children how to plot these numbers on a graph.

English

For English, consider allowing the children to explore the area around them and draw some minibeasts that they can see. When you get back to the classroom encourage the children to write down a short story involving their pictures. For younger children, they could colour in the pictures when they get back and talk about a made-up story.

Science

There is lots to do with science outdoors. You can teach children how plants grow and even allow them to plant their own seeds, visiting them regularly and explaining the scientific processes behind the plant’s development. Children can also learn about heart rate through exercising outdoors.

It appears that most lessons can be taken outdoors and the benefits are hard to ignore, the next time you are planning your week ahead consider taking the class outdoors and allow your pupils to push their boundaries.

Sources

https://www.gov.uk/government/news/englands-largest-outdoor-learning-project-reveals-children-more-motivated-to-learn-when-outside

 

Cuddle Fairy

There are some very powerful reasons for mums to become self-employed, and perhaps with help from someone like Boost Capital, who offer several funding options such as a merchant cash advance, mums can do just that

Many of us have the experience of not really wanting to go back to work away from our babies and toddlers. It can be heart-wrenching when grandparents or childcare providers are the ones who see their special milestones and report them to us. We feel we have missed out. I remember almost bursting into tears when my babysitter gave me my son’s first drawing. When you are self-employed, you can work the hours you see fit often with shorter and more intensive bursts of work.

Even if we are happy to go back to work, childcare can be a really expensive item of expenditure. I was fortunate that my parents moved house to be able to offer me help with my first son allowing me to return to work. Not everyone has that support network to hand. Of course, things change and when my parents had to care for a sick relative, my childcare arrangements had to change very quickly.

So many jobs don’t seem to offer the flexibility mums need with hours that take no consideration of the school or nursery hours. Home-based working is still not offered much even though so many roles could be done from home. Part-time hours that suit us can be hard to find.

There is immense pressure on mums when their child is ill or when their presence at sports day or the Christmas Play is so much wanted. Such emotional pressure does nothing for a worker’s morale.

Many mums are also facing long, expensive and exhausting commutes to their place of work.

There is another way via self-employment and there are millions of mums in the UK taking up this option. Although this option can be seen as ambitious and risky, it is also exciting and puts you in charge of your own destiny.

The Internet is your friend as you can communicate with customers via email, Skype, smartphones and social media

Self-employment offers the option of doing something you love and have always dreamed about doing. For example, so many bloggers who started blogging as an outlet during the early days of parenting now are making money as freelance writers or virtual assistants.

Self-employment offers mums freedom, flexibility and a chance to express who they really are making the most of their individual skills and qualities.

Are you self-employed? What do you enjoy most about that status?

Good Reasons For Mums To  Become Self-Employed

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