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crip

Well, I woke up this morning
And I set off to the shops
But, Lord, though it’s just November
They’ve put out all their Christmas stock.

I got the Christmas blues
A’heavy on my mind
I get the Christmas blues
Most every Christmas-time.

And as i walked along the aisles
What d’ya think i heard?
Lots of carols and ‘White Christmas’
And i was lost for words.

I got the Christmas blues
Right now it’s Christmas-time
Lord, it’s all got so commercial
Pass me another wine.

I got the Christmas blues
A’heavy on my mind
I get the Christmas blues
Most every Christmas-time.

Hic……….

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yellb












We stopped for gas; the mini-mart
Was advertising wares.
I wasn’t hungry, had no thirst
And so I thought, who cares?

But then a sign jumped out at me;
I wondered – is it true?
Just buy this brand of water
And we’ve got a gift for you – 

A free banana! I said, Huh?
This seems a bit surreal.
But hey, I guess, to some at least,
There must be some appeal
by ilene bauer

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Young children love water and it can be fun for everybody, as well as great exercise. But it’s vital that you or another grown-up always watches your child when in, on or around any water, because drowning can happen quickly and quietly.

Toddler playing in pool with her mother

 

did you knowQuestion mark symbol

About 7% of child drownings happen in the bath. Stay with your child, even if she’s only splashing in a couple of centimetres of water in an inflatable pool or in the bathtub.

 

Drowning: what you need to know

Drowning is the number one cause of death for children under five.

Babies and toddlers are top-heavy, which makes them susceptible to drowning. If a baby falls into even shallow water, she cannot always lift herself out. Drowning can occur quickly and quietly, without any warning noises.

In Australia, children under five drown in:

  • swimming pools (16 children drowned in pools in 2009-10)
  • baths (five children drowned in the bath in 2009-10)
  • rivers, creeks and oceans (nine children drowned in a river or in the ocean in 2009-10)
  • dams and lakes (four children drowned in dams in 2009-10).

Children also drown in less obvious locations, such as nappy buckets, water tanks, water features and fish ponds – even pets’ water bowls. Four children drowned in these locations during 2009-10.

For every drowning, approximately three other children are hospitalised from a near-drowning incident, some of which result in severe brain damage.

Prevention and 100% supervision are the keys to keeping your child safe around water.

Water safety basics

It’s important to always stay with your child and watch him whenever he is near water – even when he can swim.

Supervision means constant visual contact with your child and keeping her within arm’s reach at all times. You should be in a position to respond quickly, whether you’re at the beach or the swimming pool, near dams, rivers and lakes, or at home when the bath or spa is full. Hold your child’s hand when you are near waves or paddling in rivers.

Supervision is not an occasional glance while you nap, read or do household chores. It is not watching your kids playing outside while you’re inside. It is always best for an adult, not an older child, to supervise.

You can also teach your child about water safety and how to swim. Many children can learn to swim by the time they are four or five.

First aid is an essential skill for the entire family to learn. Learning CPR and what to do in an emergency could save your child’s life.

Other practical tips for water safety

Around the house

The majority of drowning deaths in Australia result from a child falling or wandering into the water, particularly into a backyard pool. But a young child can drown in as little as 5 cm of water. Here are some tips to improve water safety around your house:

  • Remove any containers with water in them from around the house and make sure your child can’t get to any bodies of water, including the bath, on her own.
  • Use a nappy bucket with a tight-fitting lid and keep the bucket closed, off the floor and out of your child’s reach.
  • Always empty the baby bath as soon as you’re finished with it so older siblings can’t climb in.
  • Drain sinks, tubs, buckets, baths and paddling pools when you’re finished with them.
  • Secure covers to ponds and birdbaths and other water features with wire mesh or empty them until your child is at least five years of age.
  • Keep aquariums and fishbowls out of reach of small children. If you have an inflatable pool that is more than 300 mm in height, pool fencing laws apply. Outdoor spas also have to be fenced.

Outside the house – dams, ponds and tanks 

Children don’t always understand, apply or remember rules, especially when they’re distracted by play. So a securely fenced, safe play area can be an effective barrier between small children and water hazards.

A secure play area  can prevent your child from wandering near dams, creeks or other bodies of water, and gaining access to hazards such as farm machinery, horses and farm vehicles. FarmSafe Australia recommends a ‘safe play’ area, supported by family rules and supervison, as the most effective way to prevent serious injury and death to small children on rural properties.

  • Fence off the area between the house and any bodies of water.
  • Teach your child not to go near the dam, creek or water tank without you.
  • Secure a toddler-proof lid over any water tanks.
  • Fence off, drain or seal ponds while your child or visiting children are less than five years of age.
  • Make sure there are no trellises, ladders, windows or trees that your child could climb to gain access to the water tank.

Beaches, lakes and rivers 

  • Always stay with your child when he is playing in or near the sea, lakes or rivers. Hold your toddler’s hand near waves and when paddling in rivers.
  • Take your child only to patrolled beaches where surf lifesavers are present, and swim only between the flags.
  • Teach your school-age child what to do if she needs help: stay calm, float and raise an arm to signal to a lifeguard or lifesaver.

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It’s Summertime! That means that parents have extra time to spend with their children and what better way to engage in classic fun with family and friends than to visit an amusement park. We asked Travel Channel fans to tell us their favorite water, amusement and theme park picks. Take a look at your these fun picks — perfect summer trip ideas to fit every budget.
1
Cedar Point

 

Cedar Point

Sandusky, Ohio

Touting itself as the roller coaster capital of the world, Cedar Point’s 17 coasters will ensure you’re riding all day. Enthusiastic reader Alicia Goettemoeller describes the park as an “adrenaline junkie’s paradise,” while reader Nick Schuyler says it is “built for grown-up kids.”

2
Knoebels

 

Knoebels

Elysburg, Pennsylvania

This old-fashioned amusement park is a must for nostalgic types as well as the budget conscious – admittance and parking are free of charge. Reader Tracy Ginsburg Maier says “a family of 4 can eat, swim and ride all day for $100” at Knoebels.

Walt Disney World Magic Kingdom

Walt Disney World’s Magic Kingdom

Lake Buena Vista, Florida

No list of amusement parks would be complete without the happiest place on earth, Disney’s Magic Kingdom. Transport yourself back to your childhood with a trip to Space Mountain, or say hello to one of your favorite Disney characters.

4
Schlitterbahn Water Park

 

Schlitterbahn Water Park

New Braunfels, Texas

Spread across 65 acres, Schlitterbahn has held theAmusement Today title for best water park for the past 13 years. It features an uphill water coaster ride, beaches, surfing, and more.

5
Universal's Island of Adventure

 

Universal’s Islands of Adventure

Orlando, Florida

Although most people associate Universal’s Islands of Adventure with the Wizarding World of Harry Potter, the park also has a number of roller coasters, 3-D rides and nearby restaurants and nightlife. Don’t forget to try the wizarding non-alcoholic beverage, butterbeer!

6
Six Flags Magic Mountain

 

Six Flags Magic Mountain

Valencia, California

This park kicked Cedar Point out of its top spot ranking as the amusement park with the most roller coasters. Six Flags Magic Mountain has 18 coasters, including the Green Lantern. Located near Los Angeles, the park also has plenty of Hollywood flair for those who prefer to stay on the ground.

7
King's Island

 

King’s Island

Mason, Ohio

King’s Island is one of the most visited theme parks in the US, with more than 3 million visitors per year. The park is especially known for its family-friendly attractions, such as Snoopy Island. Tickets to the main park also include admission to the nearby water park, Boomerang Bay.

8
Wisconsin Dells

 

Dells Water Parks

Wisconsin Dells, Wisconsin

Wisconsin Dells is a water park aficionado’s dream, with dozens of indoor and outdoor water parks to splash around in. One of them, Noah’s Ark, is the largest outdoor water park in the US. Many are open year-round.

9
Hersheypark

 

Hersheypark

Hershey, Pennsylvania

Originally created as a recreation area for employees of the Hershey Chocolate factory, today Hershey Park boasts plenty of chocolate paraphernalia, as well as roller coasters and a water park. Tickets include admission to the nearby ZOOAMERICA.

10
Knott's Berry Farm

 

Knott’s Berry Farm

Buena Park, California

Originally owned by the Knott’s jam producers, Knott’s Berry Farm amusement park is one of the older parks in the US, Knott’s Berry Farm is a classic for those looking for thrill rides, water rides and family fun.

The Top 10 Theme Parks in the UK

 
Blackpool Pleasure Beach remains the best-attended amusement park in the UK.

Theme Park Tourist’s guide to the top 10 theme parks in the UK – which should be top of your list to visit?

After last week’s article, in which I compared Alton Towers and Thorpe Park, two of my personal favourite UK theme parks, this week I’m running the rule over the whole of the top 10.

Unlike the previous duel, this list will be primarily based on attendance – the most popular amongst the general public. However, these figures are often a little shaky; some parks elect not to publish full attendance figures, and many parks are free to enter, but operate a pay-per-ride scheme – so I’ll factor some common sense in too.

10. Lightwater Valley

The Ultimate is Lightwater Valley’s leading attraction.
Image © Lightwater Valley

This last spot on the list was hard to pick; there are a number of theme parks in the UK which host some very good rides and attractions, such as Fantasy Island in Skegness, but I felt the Yorkshire’s Lightwater Valley deserved it most. The park has struggled just to remain open in the past decade but it must be credited for its resilience and determination to continue to add new rides. The most famous, of course, is The Ultimate, a bizarre steel hybrid coaster that stretches across the park on a 7 minute, 7,442-feet-long trip (it is the second longest coaster on the planet) through forests and over hills. More recently the park has focused on some stunning theming; the aging Rat Ride was rethemed to Raptor Attack in 2010, and has been met with rave reviews, and a new pirate area was installed in 2011.

9. Paultons Park

Cobra was the first step in a series of investments at Paultons Park.
Image © Michael Miller

Paultons Park is punching well above its historic weight in this list, but there is no doubt it deserves a place based on recent performance. Until 2006 the park was unheard of apart from those living nearby, but Paultons took the brave decision to invest in a major ride as it constructed Cobra, the UK’s first Gerstlauer Bobsled roller coaster. Rides of this type have been received very well over the world – they are not thrill rides by any means, but pack some pretty impressive speeds and forces into their small layouts. Cobra is no different and set a marker for the park.

The next step came when Peppa Pig World was installed in 2011, featuring seven small rides and a number of other attractions based on the children’s television show. Attendance has sky-rocketed during the past year and has let Paultons Park establish itself on a national basis.

8. Oakwood Theme Park

Oakwood’s natural beauty is only just eclipsed by the quality of its rides.
Image © MGBS4

Many people won’t have heard of Oakwood simply because of its location: it’s hidden away in the south west corner of Wales. This, unfortunatelym means that it garners only a fraction of the customers it should, and as a result the park has struggled at times. All the more the reason to visit!

The incredible wooden roller coaster Megafobia is the fundamental key to the park’s success, being by far the most “airtime”-laden ride in the UK. Nearby, the huge Gerstlauer Eurofighter roller coaster Speed is one the biggest rides of its type in the world. Similarly, Drenched (formerly Hydro) stands out amongst all water rides considering its colossal 120 feet, near-vertical drop. Unlike many other parks in this list, Oakwood is a very pleasant place to be; the Welsh countryside is beautiful and the lack of marauding youths is always a plus.

7. Drayton Manor

Apocalypse is one of the best drop towers in the world. Image © Matthew Wells

Drayton Manor has the misfortune of being in the shadow of the nearby Alton Towers, athough this possibly helps rather than hinders its visitor numbers. In terms of roller coasters it should have a big advantage over Alton Towers in that there is no height limit imposed on it. However Shockwave, the stand up coaster, is rough and short, and G-Force, the high tech X-Car, is possibly the worst ride I have ever been on. But the bad points end there!

Drayton Manor uses the height advantage fantastically with Apocalypse, the 180-feet-tall drop tower, which is no doubt one of the finest in the world. Maelstrom, a Frisbee style ride is also full of thrills, as is Storm Force 10, an incredibly well themed water ride with three powerful drops. However, the recent rise in popularity has not been down to the addition thrill rides, but as with Paultons Park, due to the addition of major children’s attractions. Thomas Land (Thomas the Tank Engine, that is) was received very well in 2008 and last year Ben 10: Ultimate Mission was added too. It’s one area in which it can realistically surpass Alton Towers, and so far it’s doing it very well indeed.

6. Chessington World of Adventures

The Vampire roller coaster interacts with impressive theming.
Image © Kevin Geraghty-Shewen

Chessington World of Adventures was once one of the biggest and most up-to-date theme parks in the country, but has since been eclipsed by the expansions of its sister parks, Thorpe Park and Alton Towers. However it remains a top quality theme park and recent additions show that it is really pushing to become a well-rounded attraction.

The park aims to please families and younger children, and therefore doesn’t have a great number of big thrill rides, but this is perfectly justified. Dragon’s Fury, a fantastic Maurer spinner and Vampire, a classic Arrow suspended coaster still provide surprising thrills for their small statures. Chessington puts a big accent on nature; there is a fantastic zoo, the recently opened Wild Asia area of the park also holds a bird sanctuary, and plans have been revealed for a Rhino Rally style safari ride for 2013.

5. Flamingo Land

The beautiful namesake animals make up a part of the stunning Flamingoland Zoo. Image © Nick Fletcher

Like certain other parks on this list, Flamingo Land is a late bloomer. In the nineties it was more of a large funfair, akin to Margate’s Dreamland or Blackpool Pleasure Beach, but of course without the coastal element. The rides were decent, but many of them only temporary. In 2002 a massive expansion began with the construction of Cliffhanger, the S&S combo drop tower. Since then five roller coasters have been added, including a pair of Vekomas ; Velocity, a booster bike, and Kumali, a suspended looping coaster, and Mumbo Jumbo, an S&S El Loco which briefly held the world record of steepest drop at an impressive 112 degrees. If recent rumours of a wooden roller coaster prove to be true we could certainly see an even greater rise for this Yorkshire park.

4. Thorpe Park

The monstrous Swarm makes its debut this March at Thorpe Park.
Image © Neil Zone

Thorpe Park is on the rise. The level of commitment to investment from owner Merlin, has been unbelievable and unprecedented in the UK. It is now firmly established as one of the top 5 UK theme parks and has the potential to be even further up the list. With LEGOLAND Windsor and Chessington nearby, Merlin have focused the park solely on the teen and young adult market. This means the large-scale additions always hit the news and create a lot of interest. The latest installation, The Swarm, is set to open next month, and will become the UK’s first Bolliger & Mabillard Wing Rider coaster. The Surrey theme park has regularly been condemned for its lack of attention to detail when it comes to theming, but if the plans and construction are anything to go by then The Swarm will certainly right this.

3. LEGOLAND Windsor

A wonderful scene of London in LEGOLAND Windsor’s Miniland. Image © Ashworth_Rich

LEGOLAND is an often-overlooked park, mainly because it doesn’t attempt to cater to the adrenaline-junkies amongst us. Despite its very specific target market, the pre-teens, it still boasts visitor numbers heading towards 2 million. The LEGO brand continues to be a major draw, and rightly so. One of the most incredible parts of the park is the famous Miniland, a recreation of the most famous sights around the world made from nearly 40 million bricks. LEGOLAND Windsor also doesn’t shy away from investment; you may not often hear of the additions it installs, but almost every year there will be a new attraction of some sort. The sheer number of shows, rides and attractions, as well as the recently built hotel, make LEGOLAND Windsor stand out.

2. Alton Towers

There’s no doubt that the coasters are the biggest draw at Alton Towers. Image © Phonnita Nakasint

Alton Towers is a one-of-a-kind sort of place, and many would claim it deserves an even loftier finish on this list. The stats don’t lie, however, but still the Staffordshire resort pulls in a hefty 2.5 million visitors a year. The main reason for its continuing popularity is simply the fact that it caters to everyone. It boasts the best collection of thrill coasters in the UK, as well as a variety of fun family rides and a plethora of smaller shows and attractions for the little ones.

The primary reasons that Alton Towers doesn’t quite top this list are its out-of-the-way location and relatively high entry price. Personally, I believe the range of attractions justifies this, but you can see why many people would go elsewhere when you have to dish out up to £42 per person just to get in through the gates (unless you’re usingTheme Park Tourist’s Special Offer Watch, of course).

1. Blackpool Pleasure Beach

Classic coasters such as Grand National add to the Pleasure Beach’s nostalgia. Image © Matthew Wells

Surprised? This historic amusement park has really dropped off the radar in recent years (or decades?) and been overshadowed by its Merlin-owned rivals. However, clearly it remains hugely popular with the British public due to its long history and being part of the entertainment and holiday district that is the Blackpool coast (charging only £5 for entry doesn’t hurt, either). It certainly needs a lick of paint here and there, and aside from the relocated Infusion, a Vekoma suspended looping coaster, there have been few additions of note in the past 12 years.

However, Blackpool Pleasure Beach still has one of the largest collections of coasters in the world, including a record 5 wooden coasters, and many cannot resist that nostalgic funfair, seaside atmosphere. The centrepiece attraction is The Big One, a colossal 213-feet-tall Arrow hypercoaster, which remains the UK’s tallest ride 18 years after its debut. Many criticise the Pleasure Beach, and even more hope for a serious revival, but there’s no doubt it’ll be at near the top of the pile for years to come.

Which is your favourite  theme park? Let us know in the comments 

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Cable tidy examples

I created this tutorial for the Buzz Feed website. I loved creating it as it was a bit of a challenge to do something I wouldn’t usually do and be given a little brief for a craft make – it got the cogs whirring!

You can see the tutorial on the Buzz Feed website, but all the instructions are below too!

You will need: two wooden clothes pegs, all purpose glue, washi tape in colours or patterns of your choice, and your headphones.

Step 1

Get your pegs right: First you need to check the pegs are the right size for your headphones. Open one of the pegs and clamp around the wire just below the jack plug of your headphones. If the jack plug doesn’t fall through the end, you’re onto a winner. If it does, you’ll need to get some slightly smaller pegs.

Step 2

Get taping: Bare wooden pegs are OK but you’ll want to add a bit of colour and fun to your cable tidy. To do this add some washi tape down one side of each of the pegs. Pick your favourite colours or patterns, I went for some black and white dots, but you could try neons, or pastels which would look great against the light wood.

Step 3

Glue it together: Once you’re all washi taped up, use the all purpose glue to sandwich the non-decorated sides together. The pegs will need to top-and-tail each other as shown, so you can wind your headphones round it properly.

step 4

It’s a wrap: Woo hoo! You’re pretty much there, you just need to add your headphones – et voila! Start by putting the jack plug into the end of one of the pegs, then wrapping the cable round and round your new creation. Once you run out of cable, open the other peg and secure around the wire under the earbuds.

Step 5

Ready to go: So there you have your super-simple cute cable tidy.

Finished cable tidy

I made a few more and played with some colour combos, for one of them I also decided to offset my pegs slightly to add a little something extra to the design.

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new-year-image1MMMMM

I always love a new year as it signifies a fresh start, a change in habits and a time for new stretch goals.

It also means a time for reflection on all that I’ve learned in the previous year, what I want to take through into 2014 and what I need to leave behind.

If you haven’t already, I suggest you take time out for yourself to write down what you want your 2014 to look like.

As the experts say, if you don’t know where you’re going how will you know how to get there. The same is true for what you envisage for yourself, if you don’t have a clear mental picture of how you’d like your life to look next year, then how will you know what it should look like?

To ensure your 2010 is truly exceptional, here are the top 10 things you can start doing now:

1. Expect the best for yourself.
There’s nothing selfish in wanting to live the best possible life. Set your sights high, push yourself and always keep the big picture in mind. You’re going to need a fair amount of discipline to stay focused and achieve a life that you love, that you’re passionate about and that makes you happy. You know it’ll be worth it!

2. Love your gorgeous self.
The above can’t be achieved if you don’t appreciate yourself, warts and all. I’m my own toughest critic, but when I let up on myself once and while and pat myself on the back for my achievements I feel pretty damn proud. So congratulate yourself during the year when you’re making great progress. Take time out to treat yourself each time you reach a milestone.

3. Have a grand vision for your business.
Let’s face it 2013 was a tough year for anyone in business. 2014 can only get better so it’s time to envision the success your business will have in the New Year, the growth it will experience and the traction you’ll make through consistent and concerted effort in the right places. Keep that picture in your mind and solidify it on a daily basis through whatever works for you – vision boards, written statements, weekly progress sheets or constructive team meetings.

4. Surround yourself with positivity.
No matter what, stay positive.  Just stick to your company’s vision and think positive. Remember that problems don’t last long and having an optimistic outlook will get you through the toughest times. If you can’t muster it yourself, then turn to your support network of your best friends, mentors and advisors. Learn to let other people help you.

5. Plan ahead.
It is always best to have a clear plan in anything you do in life, especially in business. Better yet you should aim to have a plan A and a plan B for those times when things just aren’t working out. Flexibility and acting decisively on changes in your business landscape are key to success.

6. Bridge the gap.
A new year is also a year to re-connect with contacts and to start afresh with previous business relationships that may have gone sour. Learn to forgive. If you had a client or customer interaction that ended on a bad note then get in touch and ask how they are doing. Conduct business with an open heart and mind. It’s the best way forward for everyone.

7. Socialize more.
Get out and experience the world outside of your comfort zone, known as your office. Meet new people and exchange business cards with them. Who knows, that new acquaintance might be your next loyal client or future business collaboration. It invigorates your soul to meet with like-minded people and to learn from them.

8. Become trendy.
Study the market and visualize what your target market may need or be interested in for the coming year. Read up on daily basis about emerging trends in your business space so you can stay ahead of the game, and prepare for your next move towards making your business more profitable.

9. Share your fortunes.
Become a shining example of corporate social responsibility. Plan an activity where your company can contribute and help the less fortunate members of the community. It doesn’t have to be a grand party that needs to be publicized. A simple act of donating to an organization that’s making a difference is enough to show you care.

10. Relax and enjoy life.
It’s easy to say this when you’re on holiday but it really won’t hurt if let yourself enjoy yourself with mini breaks throughout the year. Yes, as entrepreneurs we tend to love our business and become addicted to it, but taking a break to recharge will do you and your business wonders.

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OfficialChristening1

By George, he’s gorgeous! Not a tear, not a peep from our future king as prince is christened at St James’s Palace

  • The world able to see Prince George in public for the first time in three months as he arrived to be christened
  • Royal fans braved the wind and rain and slept on street in London to be outside St James’s Palace yesterday
  • George was baptised by the Archbishop of Canterbury in the historic Chapel Royal yesterday afternoon
  • Guest list secret until yesterday morning and in break from tradition most uncles, aunts and cousins not invited
  • The Queen and Duke of Edinburgh celebrated with the Prince of Wales, the Duchess of Cornwall and Prince Harry
  • Kate’s family also there along with Her Majesty and three future monarchs – Charles, William and George
  • George was baptised using water from the River Jordan in a replica of royal christening robe first made in 1841
  • Christening followed by tea at Clarence House served with slices of Kate and William’s wedding cake from 2011


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Stay-Warm-in-Cold-Weather-Step-1

Cold weather can be great. It can strike at any time of year, however, and turn a pleasant warm period into a shock of cold and a need to find ways to keep warm. Indeed, cold weather can be nasty, whether you’re camping in the mountains or hanging around in the garden. If you’re trying to stay warm, check out this article for help.

  1. Check the weather beforehand. So you know it’s going to be cold. But how cold? Is it going to rain or snow? What’s the wind condition? All of these details can help you figure out how to dress and what kind of activities to plan. Check the weather on the Internet or simply flick on the television for useful information. The weather forecast is usually for the whole week, so you can be prepared for the cold days in advance.

    • If you don’t have a TV, computer, or radio, ask other people. Other people should know what the weather will be two or three days from now.
  2. Think about the activities you’re doing. If it’s going to rain and you were planning to go to the beach, then don’t try to go through with it. Sometimes it’s annoying to have to cancel plans, but to avoid freezing and having a lousy time, you need to choose your activities sensibly. Try to do things that won’t be affected by the weather. For example, anything indoors is fine. You could also do things that involve the cold weather, such as skiing or just playing in the snow.

  3. Dress appropriately. Now that you’ve checked the weather, it should be easy to dress well. If you’re going to be out in the extreme cold, wear as much warm clothing as possible. If it’s mid cold, try to dress in layers so that you can add or remove clothes throughout the day. If it’s not too cold, try to dress in just a few layers and pack an extra coat or jumper. Some good items of clothing for the cold weather might include:

    • Thermals. You can buy thermal underwear in clothing and underwear shops and simply wear them under your clothes. Thermals are great for layers and extreme cold.
    • Fleece Lined Jeans such as Winter Blues Jeans which are warm but still stylish and prevent overheating indoors.
    • Long socks or leg warmers. These will keep your legs warm more closely, rather than just wearing pants and ordinary socks. Plus, nobody will see them when you wear pants.
    • Jackets. A good, thick zip up jacket is perfect for cold weather. It’s warm, but also easy to put on and off. Get rid of those cotton jackets, buy a leather or a good polyester jacket instead! Don’t wear hoodies in extremely cold weather as this allows the wind to go through the fibers. without the wind chill, you will be a lot warmer, so make sure you have a windproof jacket. Try synthetics like Gortex that let your sweat escape if you are doing vigorous activities like skiing.
    • Other accessories such as gloves, scarves and beanies. All of these items can add flair to your outfit while also keeping you toasty.
  4. Pack warm food. Sometimes all you need in chilly conditions is hot food or drink. Good ideas are soup or noodles. Keep these in a flask and carry them around in a bag with you for lunch, rather than stale, cold sandwiches. Warm food and drink will warm you inside and keep your strengths up.

  5. Be prepared for all conditions. If you’re walking back home from work or school and it suddenly starts bucketing down rain, you’re going to be in a tight spot. Try to be prepared for all cold rain conditions, like rain or snow. Keep an umbrella and thick coat with you. Always have alternative transport you can get to if you’re walking, like a friend to pick you up or just the bus.

  6. If you are outside remember to wear shoes with excellent grip for icy and slippery conditions.

  7. Wear mittens and long thick socks. These protect your hands and feet from the cold, which are the hardest places to keep warm blood flowing to.

  8. If you’re dressed for work, going to the gym, to play tennis, or have to wait for outside for transportation in a dress then a pair of full length polar fleece leg warmers that zip on work great. They zip on and off quickly and you don’t have to remove your footwear.

 
  • If you go to school and your feet are cold: wear tights, or boys two pairs of socks.
  • Boots are indispensable in the Winter. Try to get at least two pairs: a pair of waterproof snow boots for the wet days, and a pair of warm, stylish boots for the dry, yet cold, days.
  • If you are going to be outside for a long time, use hand warmers inside your gloves or mittens (they work best with mittens, since you can wrap your entire hand around them.) They are very inexpensive, and they sell them at any sporting good store, or department store that has a sporting goods department.
  • It is important to dress warm. You should wear layers on your upper half, like a t-shirt, sweater, jacket and scarf. A pair of fleece lined jeans are really nice for the lower half you don’t have to wear long underwear. There are only a few companies making them. The most stylish ones are called Winter Blues Jeans. Also make sure you wear hat since a lot of heat loss occurs from the top of the head.
  • If you get too cold, get inside immediately.
  • Always have an indoor, heated place that you can get to. You don’t want to be stuck outside if the weather becomes extreme.
  • If it is snowing or raining, be certain that your shoes are water resistant. If your feet are cold and wet, it won’t matter how well the rest of you is bundle up … you will still be miserable!
  • For extra protection try wearing thinner gloves underneath mittens, so when you need to do something precise with your fingers, they don’t freeze.
  • Your breath is your own little heater. Zip or button your coat up all the way and breathe in and out. It gives off some warmth. Be aware though that your breath is also moist and may soak fabrics. In extreme cold try a balaclava that allows moisture to escape but keeps the wind off your face.
  • To keep from slipping on ice you can buy rubber cleats to put over your shoes that are easy to take on and off and lightweight to fit in your bag.

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greencross

Children need to learn how to cross the road safely. In 2010, around 19 child pedestrians (aged 0-11) were killed or seriously injured every week in Britain. The Green Cross Code is taught in schools but needs to be reinforced from home – and not just by memorising the words, but by parents practicing and explaining the code to their children. Do you know it? Do you follow it? The code is for everyone.

The Green Cross Code
1. First find the safest place to cross

If possible, cross the road at: subways, footbridges, islands, zebra, puffin, pelican or toucan crossings, or where there is a crossing point controlled by a police officer, a school crossing patrol or a traffic warden.
Otherwise, choose a place where you can see clearly in all directions, and where drivers can see you.
Try to avoid crossing between parked cars and on sharp bends or close to the top of a hill. Move to a space where drivers and riders can see you clearly.
There should be space to reach the pavement on the other side.
2. Stop just before you get to the kerb

Do not get too close to the traffic. If there is no pavement, keep back from the edge of the road but make sure you can still see approaching traffic.
Give yourself lots of time to have a good look all around.
3. Look all around for traffic and listen

Look all around for traffic and listen.
Look in every direction.
Listen carefully because you can sometimes hear traffic before you can see it.
4. If traffic is coming, let it pass

Look all around again and listen.
Do not cross until there is a safe gap in the traffic and you are certain that there is plenty of time.
Remember, even if traffic is a long way off, it may be approaching very quickly.
5. When it is safe, go straight across the road – do not run

Keep looking and listening for traffic while you cross, in case there is any traffic you did not see, or in case other traffic appears suddenly.
Look out for cyclists and motorcyclists traveling between lanes of traffic.
Do not cross diagonally.
How you can help your child and other children

Set a good example. Use the Green Cross Code yourself.
Show your child how to use the Code to cross the road when you’re out and about.
Let your child show you that they know how to cross the road safely – start practising on quiet roads first.
Point out dangerous places to cross on local roads. Point out safer places as well. Some places may be safer at some times of the day than at others.
Use pedestrian crossings even if it involves a small detour.
Talk about the importance of not using a mobile phone or texting while crossing the road.
Remind your child that they cannot hear traffic if listening to music through earphones or see it properly if wearing a large hood.
But let’s get one thing clear: it’s still important for children to be outside.
Walking is good for children’s health and fitness and we support parents who encourage their children to walk as much as possible. Taking your child in the car for short journeys puts more traffic on the road and adds to the problem.
Children can be safer on the streets if we show them how.

Crossing between parked cars

Try not to cross between parked vehicles, but if there is nowhere else to cross:

Choose a place where there is a space between two cars and make sure that it is easy to get to the pavement on the other side of the road.
Make sure neither car is about to move off – look for drivers in the cars, lights and listen for engines.
Don’t cross near large vehicles. You could be standing in a blind spot, where the driver cannot see you.
Walk to the outside edge of the cars and stop. Here you can be seen by drivers and you can look all around for traffic.
Use the Green Cross Code. When the road is clear, cross, still looking and listening as you go.

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forms_of_bullying_mind_map

8 Kidpower Skills We Can Use Right Away

Written by Irene van der Zande, Kidpower Founder and Executive Director


 

Most harm caused by bullying is preventable! This article is from Bullying – What Adults Need to Know and Do to Keep Kids Safe, our bullying solutions book used by many families, schools, and youth organizations to protect and empower their kids.

Unfortunately, bullying is a major problem in many schools and communities. Bullying prevention skills can protect kids from most bullying, increase their confidence, and help them to develop positive peer relationships. Here are some practices you can work on with the young people in your life now.

1. Walking with Awareness, Calm, Respect, and Confidence

People are less likely to be picked on if they walk and sit with awareness, calm, respect, and confidence. Projecting a positive, assertive attitude means keeping one’s head up, back straight, walking briskly, looking around, having a peaceful face and body, and moving away from people who might cause trouble.

Show your child the difference between being passive, aggressive, and assertive in body language, tone of voice and choice of words. Have your child walk across the floor, coaching her or him to be successful, by saying for example; “That’s great!” “Now take bigger steps”, “Look around you” “Straighten your back.” etc.

2. Leaving in a Powerful, Positive Way

The best self-defense tactic is called “target denial,” which means “don’t be there.” Act out a scenario where maybe your child is walking in the school corridor (or any other place where he or she might bullied). You can pretend to be a bully standing by the wall saying mean things. Ask your child what these mean things might be because what is considered insulting or upsetting is different for different people, times, and places.

Coach your child to veer around the bully in order to move out of reach. Remind your child to leave with awareness, calm and confidence, glancing back to see where the bully is. Let your child practicing saying something neutral in a normal tone of voice like “See you later!” or “Have a nice day!” while calmly and confidently moving away. Point out that stepping out of line or changing seats is often the safest choice.

3. Setting a Boundary

If a bully is following or threatening your child in a situation where she or he cannot just leave, your child needs to be able to set a clear boundary.

Pretend to poke your child in the back (do this very gently; the idea is not to be hurtful). Coach your child to turn, stand up tall, put his or her hands up in front of the body like a fence, palms out and open, and say “Stop!”.

Coach your child to have a calm but clear voice and polite firm words- not whiney and not aggressive. Show how to do it and praise your child for trying -even though she or he does not get it right to begin with. Realize that this might be very hard and triggering for your child (and maybe for you too).

Children need support to learn these skills. The idea is that your child takes charge of his or her space by moving away and, if need be, setting boundaries as soon as a problem is about to start – so that your child doesn’t wait until the bullying is already happening.

4. Using Your Voice

If your child does get into a situation where somebody is trying to push or hit or knuckle her or his head, you could practice by holding your child gently and acting as if you are going to do the action gently. Coach your child to pull away and yell NO! really loudly. Coach him or her to say “STOP! I don’t like that!” Coach your child to look the bully in the eyes and speak in a firm voice with both hands up and in front like a fence. Teach your child to leave and go to an adult for help.

5. Protecting Your Feelings From Name-Calling

Schools, youth groups, and families should create harassment-free zones just as workplaces should. However, you can teach children how to protect themselves from insults. Tell your child that saying something mean back makes the problem bigger, not better.

One way to take the power out of hurting words by is saying them out loud and imagining throwing them away. Doing this physically and out loud at home will help a child to do this in his or her imagination at school.

Help your child practice throwing the mean things that other people are saying into a trash can. Have your child then say something positive out loud to himself or herself to take in. For example, if someone says, “I don’t like you, ” you can throw those words away and say, “I like myself.” If someone says, “You are stupid” you can throw those words away and say, “I’m smart.” If someone says, “I don’t want to play with you” then you can throw those words away and say, “I will find another friend.”

6. Speaking Up for Inclusion

Being left out is a major form of bullying. Exclusion should be clearly against the rules at school. A child can practice persisting in asking to join a game.

Pretend to be a bully who wants to exclude.

Have your child walk up and say, “I want to play.” Coach your child to sound and look positive and friendly, not whiny or aggressive.

Ask your child the reasons that kids give for excluding him or her. Use those reasons so your child can practice persisting. For example, if the reason is, “You’re not good enough,” your child can practice saying “I’ll get better if I practice!” If the reason is, “There are too many already,” your child might practice saying, “There’s always room for one more.” If the reason is, “You cheated last time,” your child might practice saying, “I did not understand the rules. Let’s make sure we agree on the rules this time.”

7. Being Persistent in Getting Help

Children who are being bullied need to be able to tell teachers, parents, and other adults in charge what is happening in the moment clearly and calmly and persistently even if these adults are very distracted or rude – and even if asking for help has not worked before. Learning how to have polite firm words, body language and tone of voice even under pressure and to not give up when asking for help is a life-long skill.

We have found that practice is helpful for both children and adults in learning how to persist and get help when you need it. Here is one you can do with your child.

Pretend to be a teacher or someone else who your child might expect help and support from. Tell your child who you are pretending to be and where you might be at school. Have your child start saying in a clear calm voice, “Excuse me I have a safety problem.”

You pretend to be busy and just ignore your child! Coach him or her to keep going and say: “Excuse me, I really need your help.”

Act irritated and impatient and say, “Yes. what is it now?” and keep being busy.

Coach your child to say something specific like, “The girls over there are calling me names and not letting me play with them. I have told them I don’t like being called names and that I want to play but they won’t listen. ” or “Those boys keep coming up and pushing me. I have tried to stay away from them but they keep coming up to me and won’t leave me alone.” At school, teachers want children to try to solve their problems first. However, adult intervention is needed if this does not work.

You say: “That’s nice!” as if you heard but did not actually listen. This is very common for busy adults.

Coach your child to touch your arm and keep going “Please, to listen to me this is important”. Now you get irritated and say “Can’t you see I’m busy!?”

Tell your child that sometimes adults get angry and don’t understand but not to give up in asking for help and to say the specific problem again: “I do not feel safe here because (state specific problem again) ______________.”

You minimize and say: “What’s the big deal? Just stay away from them.”

Coach your child to persistent and say again, “Having this happen is making me feel bad about going to school. Please, I really need you to listen.”

Now change your demeanor so that your child can see you are listening and understanding and say “Oh! I am sorry I yelled at you and I am glad you are telling me. Tell me more and we will figure out what to do.”

Remind your child that, if the adult still does not listen, it is not his or her fault, but to keep asking until someone does something to fix the problem. Tell your child to please always tell you whenever she or he has a problem with anyone anywhere anytime. Ultimately, it is the responsibility of adults to create safe environments for the children in their lives and to be good role-models for our children by acting as their advocates in powerful respectful ways.

8. Using Physical Self-Defense as a Last Resort

Children need to know when they have the right to hurt someone to stop that person from hurting them. At Kidpower, we teach that fighting is a last resort – when you are about to be harmed and you cannot leave or get help.

However, bullying problems are often not as clear-cut as other personal safety issues. Families have different rules about where they draw the line. Schools will often punish a child who fights back unless parents warn the school in writing ahead of time that, since the school has not protected their children, they will back their children up if they have to fight.

Learning physical self defense helps most children become more confident, even if they never have to use these skills in a real-life situation. Just being more confident helps children to avoid being chosen as a victim most of the time. There are different self defense techniques for bullying than for more dangerous situations — let your child practice a self defense move like kicking someone in the shins, pinching someone’s leg or upper arm, or hitting someone in the chest. You can practice in the air or by holding a sofa cushion. Consider sending your child to a class like Kidpower.

– About the Author

Kidpower Founder Irene van der Zande has been featured as a child safety expert by USA Today, CNN, and The Wall Street Journal. She is the author of The Kidpower Book for Caring Adults: Personal Safety, Self-Protection, Confidence, and Advocacy for Young PeopleBullying: What Adults Need to Know and Do to Keep Kids Safeand the Kidpower Safety Comics series. Kidpower is a non-profit organization established in 1989 that has protected over two million people of all ages and abilities from bullying, abuse, kidnapping, and other violence locally and around the world. Services include in-person workshops in California and other locations, an extensive free on-line Library, affordable publications, and consulting. Please contact safety@kidpower.org for more information.

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