What day is it? How long have we been inside? As the days and weeks roll along with many families self-isolating, I give you boredom busters: round three. Thankfully, more and more institutions and artists are putting out insanely good content and educational opportunities. There’s never been a better time to grow! Who knows what might spark a new idea, a new tradition for the family, or a passion for something the kids didn’t know about before. My heartfelt thanks goes out to the educators and friends who keep sharing ideas for me to pass along!
I grew up in Nova Scotia, and even though my parents were early baby boomers, born in 1945, they lived like it was 1930. My grandparents and great aunt had suffered and found no reason to change their frugal behaviour once the economy had turned around. As a little girl, I was baffled that my grandmother used each tea bag twice, and now I am so very glad for all of the lessons I was given. Frugality is also the same type of behaviour that reduces greenhouse gasses – reducing, reusing and recycling – so I have been doing a few of these things for years. Now, not knowing if the sugar supply could dry up or toilet paper is a past luxury, I’m wracking my brain to remember how my grandmother lived. Every day was about saving and making a little go a long way.
Every day, the news seems worse and worse. I know it will soon get better, though, and hopefully we can all thrive from lessons learned during the Covid-19 pandemic. “Caremongering” is a new term that is now being thrown around and it makes my heart soar. Above all, working as a community and helping others could be the silver lining. Here are 17 things you can do to help others through the Covid-19 pandemic. (Washing hands and staying at home is assumed).
It’s hard to write about or think of anything else besides Covid-19 right now. News flows in hourly, and at the moment, my family will have to self-quarantine for 14 days on return from Miami. The thought of this actually makes my heart soar. Time is a gift. Togetherness is an even bigger one. But avoiding the pitfalls of endless gaming in a dark basement will be imperative. Here is my plan to come out of Coronavirus avoidance with deeper connections and enhanced knowledge. This is my two cents on how to guide your family through self-quarantine.
Recent recalls of toys containing excessive amounts of lead have resulted in an increase in the promotion and use of home lead testing kits. Health Canada’s Product Safety Laboratory has evaluated a number of home lead test kits available on the Canadian marketplace and found that the results they give are not fully reliable. Test results vary considerably from one brand of test kit to another and are also affected by the type of product or material being tested.
Unreliable Lead Testing Kits
Lead is a soft, heavy metal which is poisonous when absorbed into the body. It is a naturally occurring element that is found in trace amounts everywhere in the human environment. Lead is especially toxic to young children, and can cause serious learning and behavioural problems even at very low exposure levels. Regulations under Health Canada’s Hazardous Products Act restrict the amount of lead which can be used in children’s products, such as toys and children’s jewellery.
Since the test kits indicate the presence of lead by a colour change, the results may be affected by pigments present in the tested product. Also, the test kit may not detect lead in a product which has a protective or decorative coating. The test results are hard to interpret since a positive reading does not necessarily mean that there is enough lead in the product to create an exposure risk. The kits have a limited shelf life, and performance can be affected by the age of the kits.
Because of these concerns, Health Canada does not recommend the use of home lead test kits by consumers.
What You Can Do to Protect Children From Lead
If you suspect a toy, children’s jewellery item, or other product may contain lead, immediately remove it from the reach of children.
- If the product is low cost, it can be thrown away in normal household waste.
- If the product is not a low-cost item, contact the manufacturer or retailer regarding your lead content concerns.
- Remove from children’s reach any product which has paint peeling off any of its surfaces. Children may eat peeling paint containing lead.
- If you believe your child has swallowed an object containing lead, seek immediate medical attention. There is a serious risk of severe or fatal lead poisoning if an object containing high amounts of lead remains in the body.
- If your child has sucked or chewed regularly on a product which you think may contain lead, ask your doctor to test your child’s blood for lead.
- Check Health Canada’s website regularly for up-to-date product recall information. You can also check company Web sites for information on products they have recalled.
The Canadian Optometric Association recommends that all babies have their first eye examination by 6 months of age. Babies don’t need to speak to be examined. Eye doctors are trained observers and have many ways to get the information needed to ensure your baby has healthy eyes and proper vision development.
When you step into the great wide world with your beautiful babes in a side by side stroller it’s hard to avoid the sometimes painful, and quite frankly, nosy, questions from well-meaning strangers. Going out to get groceries shouldn’t feel like a circus sideshow, but sometimes that’s the reality. Having twins is exciting, special and novel and not everyone has seen baby twins. That excitement can spill over into sometimes not the most appropriate questions you can expect as the mother of twins.
Cradle cap is a very common condition – roughly 50% of babies experience it and there is no cause for concern. The appearance of cradle cap is not linked to hygiene or allergies. It is harmless and, unless severe, does not cause discomfort for the baby. That’s the good news – don’t worry, mama!
New parents of twins are often taken by surprise… maybe you got pregnant earlier than planned and had to find accommodation to fit your growing family, particularly when you found out you were carrying twins! Maybe you had a difficult pregnancy, were on bedrest and/or had a challenging delivery and recovery. Perhaps you have financial issues as a result of the twin pregnancy and that is an additional burden for you and your partner. Perhaps one of you is still in school? All of these responsibilities and concerns can have a major effect on your relationship. How do you cope with night wakings and divide the load of household chores so that neither partner (you!) gets resentful? Luckily, there are lots of ways new dads can help.
A new baby brings joy, love and lots of other goodies, including a whole new category of things to buy. Things start to accumulate when you consider furniture, toys and baby-related equipment. In truth, your baby has few needs besides their crib, bedding, diapers, baby food and clothing. There are lots of options in the marketplace that are not only sustainable and socially responsible choices, but probably better for your baby as well.