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Posts Tagged ‘climate’

recycling

This recycling poem for kids is meant to inspire children to recycle and keep their environment clean.

 

Let’s Recycle

Look around,
there’s so much plastic,
Let’s recycle,
it’s fantastic.

Don’t forget,
about paper and glass,
Recycle together,
with your entire class.

We’ll make sure,
we never litter,
Let’s recycle,
we’re not quitters.

When we place our garbage,
in the right bin,
Both us and nature,
will clearly win.

Thanks for keeping the environment
healthy and clean,
Recycling is fun,
and also quite green.

by anitapoems.com

 

I think children are excellent ambassadors for recycling. When kids become informed about the need to recycle, they often get involved with lots of conviction. It really shows that they care about the environment and all the living things that use it as their home.

I think sometimes kids understand the importance of recycling and preserving our environment more than us adults. Adults often have conflicting views because many of our decisions are driven by money. Children don’t suffer with this dilemma.

Today, I decided to write an extra poem about the environment for all you wonderful kids out there.

 

Waste and Pollution

We all need to
reduce our waste,
Let’s do it now,
with plenty of haste.

It’s also important,
for us to reuse,
If we’re really lucky,
We’ll be on the news.

Our future,
must be sustainable,
We can do it,
it’s all attainable.

About our environment,
we need to care,
It’s the only one we have,
and we have to share.

Global warming,
and greenhouse gases,
To see the harm,
you don’t need glasses.

As a team,
we’ll reduce pollution,
Caring is
the first solution.

by anitapoems.com

 

This poem may be for kids, but the message is universal. Kids really do care about the environment. The rest of us just need to catch up and begin caring as well.

Have fun recycling and reducing your environmental impact with your kids.

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Recycling Conserves ResourcesRecycle cycle

When we recycle, used materials are converted into new products, reducing the need to consume natural resources. Recycling helps conserve important raw materials and protects natural habitats for the future.

Recycling saves energy

Using recycled materials in the manufacturing process uses considerably less energy than that required for producing new products from raw materials.  More energy is required to extract, refine, transport and process raw materials ready for industry compared with providing industry-ready materials.

Recycling helps protect the environmentRecycle tree

Recycling reduces the need for extracting, refining and processing raw materials all of which create
substantial air and water pollution. As recycling saves energy it also reduces greenhouse gas emissions, which helps to tackle climate change.

Recycling reduces landfill

When we recycle the amount of rubbish sent to landfill sites reduces. There are over 1,500 landfill sites in the UK, and in 2001, these sites produced a quarter of the UK’s emissions of methane, a powerful greenhouse gas.

 

What a lot of rubbish

Most of the rubbish in Britain is sent for landfill or incineration. Because more and more waste is being produced, landfill space is running out. Both landfill and incineration causes environmental damage (although modern incinerators are much improved on those of the past).

The amount of rubbish we throw away is increasing for a number of reasons:

  • new packaging materials and technology are being developed
  • lifestyle changes, for example a greater reliance on convenience/fast food
  • increasing affluence, leading to greater consumption of goods 
  • increasing population

Today’s waste compared to pre-1960s waste contains more products that don’t break down when they’re put in the ground. Packaging waste makes up about a quarter of all the waste you put in your bin; most of this could be recycled.

Here at Imperial College London we are improving our facilities to make it easier to recycle domestic items. We are also streamlining and expanding our other recycling arrangements to incorporate further waste streams.

The 3 Rs: Reduce – Re-use – Recycle

The Three R’s represents the ‘Waste Hierarchy’, which lists the best ways of managing waste from the most to the least desirable. It is a central theme of the European Union waste policy.

Reduce

Not producing waste in the first place is the obvious solution and we can all play a part by thinking about how and why we produce waste. There are many examples of how you can reduce waste:

  • When shopping, choose products that have little or no packaging
  • Avoid throwaway items such as disposable cups, cutlery, cameras and batteries etc
  • Mend broken appliances instead of replacing them

Reuse

Many of the things we currently throw away could be reused again and again with just a little thought and imagination. Examples are:

  • Pass on magazines and books to friends, hospitals and others
  • Give unwanted clothing, furniture and household goods to charitable organisations
  • Buy a battery charger and re-charge and re-use batteries

Recycle

Turns materials that would otherwise become waste into valuable resources and generates a host of environmental, financial and social benefits. After collection, materials such as glass, metal, plastics and paper are separated and reprocessed into the raw materials they came from.

The Ultimate Recycling List

A complete list of what can and cannot be recycled on campus.

 

Paper and Books

YES:

  • all office paper
  • white paper
  • colored paper
  • newspaper (bags and strings removed)
  • magazines (all types)
  • catalogs (all types)
  • phonebooks (all types)
  • junk mail
  • paperboard
  • tissue boxes
  • heavy weight folders
  • paper towel and toilet paper rolls
  • food packaging (unwaxed only please)
  • shredded paper (in plastic bag to minimize blow-away potential)
  • paper milk, juice and soy milk cartons (should be empty)
  • books: all soft cover, hard covers should be ripped off
  • empty paper coffee cups (plastic lids removed)

NO:

  • napkins
  • tissue paper
  • paper towels
  • wax paper
  • wrapping paper
  • any paper product which has the potential to be contaminated with bodily fluids

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Setting healthy expectations for children can set them up for success.

Setting healthy expectations for children can set them up for success.

Parental expectations can have a strong effect on kids’ motivation and self- expectations. While healthy and realistic expectations can encourage kids’ success, unrealistically high expectations can set children up for failure. Such unrealistic expectations can also lead to anxiety and discouragement when a child cannot live up to her parents’ goals. Likewise, low expectations can make it difficult for kids to see and achieve their full potential.

Perpetuating Family Patterns

Unrealistic parental expectations often stem from parents’ own upbringings. Mimi Hudson, M.A., R.C.C. of North Shore Family Services, explains that parents often try to compensate for their own unmet childhood needs by setting expectations for their children, based on their own experiences rather than on their child’s needs. For example, parents who were disappointed with their own academic performance might emphasize high academic achievement in their own children. Overall, parents must be aware of their children’s unique needs and strengths, as well as to exercise self-awareness when establishing expectations.

Self-Concept

Parents’ expectations for their children can affect the way that kids perceive their own abilities and potential. For instance, if parents have different expectations for how girls and boys behave, children will often internalize these behavioral expectations. While these parental beliefs can be positive in some cases, they also have the potential to negatively influence a child’s perception of herself, particularly if the parents’ wishes are not congruent with the child’s.

Self-Discipline

Parental expectations are a cornerstone of discipline in kids. When paired with loving, supportive attitudes, setting clear behavioral and academic expectations for children can help them learn manners, social skills, study skills and other tools they will need to succeed in school and in society. However, for expectations to lead to positive behaviors, parental rules and ideas about proper behavior must be age-appropriate and consider the child’s maturity level and skills. If rules are expectations far exceed a child’s abilities, this may create anxiety or insubordinate behaviors. Thus, parents should consider each child’s unique skills and limitations when establishing expectations.

Academic Success

Parental expectations can have a strong, positive effect on children’s academic success. In a study conducted published by the Harvard Family Research project, Professor William H. Jeynes of California State University at Long Beach found that parental expectations affected children’s academic outcomes more than other types of parental involvement, including attendance of school events and clear rules. Thus, establishing healthy academic expectations and communicating these expectations to kids can be an important key to fostering success in school.

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Summer is here and as the temperature rises it brings it with some fun, more time spent outdoors, time off work and six weeks of glorious school holidays for many.

Dogs, like people can suffer in the hot weather; following a few simple rules can help keep your dog a lot happier as the temperatures soar.

Understanding how your dog cools down and planning ahead can help stop dangerous situations from escalating and avoid potential disasters.

Every year dogs tragically die in hot vehicles or end up in the vets with sunburn or heatstroke. Enjoy the hot weather and have a great time but please don’t let your dog down this summer.

How Dogs Regulate Their Body Temperature:

Dogs are endothermic; regardless of changes in environmental temperatures, they need to maintain and regulate their own body temperature within a set and safe range. The average healthy dog’s body temperature is 101.5 ºF / 38.6 ºC.

When your dog’s body temperature increases, heat is lost from increased blood flowing at the skin surface. As a dog breathes in, air travels through the nasal passage and is cooled before it reaches the lungs (less so in short nosed dogs).

As the environment becomes warmer and/or more humid a dog will regulate body temperate and cool down using the respiratory system – mainly by panting, unlike us humans who sweat when we’re hot, dogs do not use sweating through their skin as their cooling mechanism.

A Panting Dog Is A Hot Dog: When your dog becomes hot the brain will send signals to different parts of the dog’s body. Your dog’s heart and lungs will work harder as your dog breathes in and out quicker and pants to reduce body temperature via the process of evaporation.

As a dog is panting, the mouth is open and the tongue is hanging out – breathing air in through the nose and out through the mouth, air passes over the tongue, saliva and moisture on the tongue evaporates, the blood in the tongue is cooled and circulated around the body.

Owners of Brachycephalic Dogs:

Short nosed/push in face/flat face/snub nose dogs are technically known as ‘Brachycephalic’ dogs and include breeds such as the British Bulldog, Boxer, French Bulldog, Pekingese, Pug as well as crossbreeds. These dogs need special care in hot weather as they can overheat quickly and this can be fatal.

Brachycephalic dogs have short noses so air being breathed in doesn’t cool so well before it reaches the lungs. They also rely on panting but have to work a lot harder at it as they are not, by design, very efficient. Less air is passing in due to shorter muzzle length and out due to the flat shape of their heads and these types of dogs can quickly become over heated and in trouble.

When a brachycephalic dog is too hot and panting, a foamy phlegm can be produced in the throat making it harder to breath, airways can become inflamed and swollen leading to further difficulties breathing and distress.

If you are the owner of a brachycephalic dog you will need to be extra careful in hot and humid weather and work to help prevent your dog from overheating.

Dogs DIE In Hot Vehicles:

Cars and other vehicles quickly become ovens in warm weather and kill dogs, end of story.

Some people leave their dog in a car whilst they just ‘pop into a shop’ or think it’s alright as it’s cloudy out – this is a big mistake to make and one which could result in the death of your dog.

Leaving water down in a vehicle or the window open is not going to stop your dog from overheating as dogs regulate their body temperature in a different way to us.

Many dogs still tragically suffer heatstroke or DIE in hot cars every year.

Please never leave a dog in a vehicle on a warm day

or risk killing your dog in a most horrendous way.

Travelling:

If you’re going to be making a road journey, first of all – do you really need to take your dog along?

If so, do you have a good working air conditioning system inside your vehicle? If not, or if your air con broke down, how are you going to keep your dog cool during the journey?

If it’s possible, travelling during the cooler parts of the day is sensible and a lot safer. Much better to travel early morning or later in the evening when it’s cooler. It’s horrible to be stuck in a traffic jam with a dog on a hot day, e.g. a motorway hold up could last for several hours, so if you’re caught in it, with no air con, how are you going to stop your dog from over heating? Much better to plan ahead and avoid these stressful situations in the first place.

If you have air con – cool the vehicle down before you get in it. Always take plenty of water and a bowl, take frequent breaks and park in the shade, during the breaks leave open windows and doors to help reduce the humidity inside the vehicle and keep your dog out of the sun.

Think ahead and organise some appropriate shade for the windows to help screen out some of the sunlight during the journey – a dog sat in the back of a car with the full sun coming in through the windows can quickly overheat whilst you are driving, this can be a very dangerous position for a dog to be in.

Be careful that your dog can’t jump out of an open vehicle window and don’t let him stick his head out as you’re driving – this is very dangerous, for example a small stone could take his eye out, the side mirror of a passing car could hit his head.

Plan ahead to where you are going with your dog – for example if you have planned a family day out during the summer, is your dog allowed access to where you are going? If you are going out, will there be enough shade and water for your dog at all times when you get there?

Shade & Ventilation:

We all spend more time in our gardens and outside during the summer months and it’s easy for your dog to overheat in no time at all. Your dog will need plenty of shade if outside on a warm day.

Remember that the sun moves round throughout the day, so an area can be shaded and then exposed, check out that your dog has constant access to a well shaded area at all times of the day. Shaded areas also need to be well ventilated – with a good circulation of fresh air.

Some dogs will lie out in the sun, if your dog is a sunbather, you will need to prevent this as dogs quickly overheat and can also be burnt by the sun.

Dogs are far better suited to staying indoors when it’s very hot out, in a ventilated cool area.

Drawn blinds/curtains etc can help keep a room cooler by blocking out the powerful sun’s rays.

An electric fan safely positioned can also help circulate air around; place a bowl of cold water with some ice cubes in it below the fan, this will circulate cooler air around the room.

Lying on a tiled or lino floor covering can also be cooler for your dog.

Conservatories or rooms with a lot of glass can heat up very quickly as the sun moves around during the day, so keep this in mind.

If you are leaving windows/doors open to allow air to circulate more freely do consider that it is safe to do so, for example, that your dog cannot escape through a door, jump or fall out of an open window.

Water – the Life Saver:

Dogs need a constant supply of fresh, cool (not baked in the sun hot) drinking water.

Bowls can get knocked over or played with and spilt. Before you know it your dog is dehydrating and in distress, so make sure there is plenty of water down at all times, both indoors and outside. Don’t force your dog to drink; it will drink when it wants to.

Paddling/shallow pools can help a dog to cool down and many dogs enjoy access to one. Don’t leave a dog with access to a pool unsupervised and make sure the dog can get out of the pool easily.

Rivers, canals and ponds etc can be very attractive to some, but not all, dogs who love to swim, they can also cause drowning and disease so do be careful and supervise your dog at all times when out.

Exercising – Mad dogs and Englishmen – Go out in the midday sun:

Many dogs will still run and play in the sun if allowed to – many just don’t know when to stop, but that’s your job. A dog can suffer from heatstroke due to physical activity on a warm, hot or humid day-this doesn’t always have to be in the mid summer season.

Puppies get can get very excited and play regardless of the heat, some dogs, say a Staffordshire Bull Terrier having a great time with a ball, will keep enthusiastically playing until they become exhausted. As a dog owner it is up to you to supervise and limit physical activity in hot and humid conditions – your dog will thank you for it.

It makes sense to avoid the hottest parts of the day (10am-4pm) and exercise your dog early mornings and later in the evenings when it’s naturally cooler. Dogs don’t need to go walks in the midday sun, this really is madness and every year leaves a lot of dogs gasping to breathe and in some cases down at the vets.

Many people want to get and about during the summer, enjoying long walks, cycling, jogging, time off work, it’s nice for us, but often you will see someone walking down the road in the heat of the day with a dog alongside panting away and struggling to keep up. You see, we might find it enjoyable (some of us) but your dog really shouldn’t be out as Noel Coward said; “Mad dogs and Englishmen…”. This is very true and experienced dog owners know to protect their dogs during the hottest parts of the day.

If you do need to take your dog out during the warmer parts of the day, for example you have no garden and your dog must get out to toilet, try to walk in shaded areas avoiding open spaces and hot pavements as much as possible and take water with you.

Coat types and condition:

Black dogs will absorb more heat from the sun. Long haired dogs and dogs with double coats need to be kept well groomed to maintain the coat free of tangles and remove any dead undercoat; this helps the air to circulate which allows the skin to breathe and helps your dog keep cooler.

Some owners like to shave their heavy coated dog’s abdomen and groin as this helps air to flow and disperses heat, dogs enjoy stretching out flat on a cool surface too. 

Long coated dogs, e.g. Shih Tzu’s can be trimmed back to help make them more comfortable-speak to a professional groomer about this.

Dogs don’t need to have their hair completely shaved off during the warmer weather as this will expose the skin underneath to the sun and some coat covering helps to provide protection.

The area around your dog’s bottom needs to be kept especially clean during the summer as flies can be attracted here if faeces has been lodged in the coat.

Older Dogs & Overweight Dogs:

Older dogs and dogs which are overweight need extra care in the hot weather as they can overheat a lot quicker and may be less tolerant to the heat and less able to regulate their body temperature.

Be extra vigilant and provide a shady, quiet resting space which is well ventilated with access to fresh cool water.

Dogs with weakened heart and lung function will also need extra help to stay cool in hot weather. If you’re at all concerned have a chat with your vet.

Muzzled Dogs:

Some dogs wear a muzzle when they go out as their owner has decided this is a responsible option for different reasons. Some dogs have to wear a muzzle at all times in a public place due the requirements of a control order or due to legislation.

It may be the case that you as the person responsible for a dog, cannot remove a muzzle to enable a dog to drink or pant easier without committing a criminal offence, if this is the situation, you will need to take extra precautions particularly in hot weather to safeguard the welfare of your dog.

Dogs registered on the Index of Exempted Dogs also have to be muzzled and leashed when travelling inside a vehicle. It can quickly become hot and humid inside a vehicle on a warm day, owners will need to take precautions and be extra careful when transporting a registered dog, as legally they are not allowed to remove the muzzle whilst the vehicle is itself in a public place (eg, on the road).

A muzzle which is of a design (e.g. basket type) that does not prevent your dog from opening its mouth to pant and drink is going to be very important. If a dog is unable to open its mouth to drink water and pant it cannot cool itself down – on a warm day, this could quickly lead to a distressed dog, heatstroke and a veterinary emergency.

Advice on safely muzzling your dog here.

Tarmac & Pavements:

Tarmac surfaces and pavements get hot! We don’t notice with our footwear on, but our dogs do and paws can get burnt.

Walking surfaces can also take a while to cool back down again so bear that in mind if you are taking your dog out in the evening.

Sunburn & Dehydration:

Like us, dogs can also suffer from sunburn. White dogs are particularly prone to sunburn due to a lack of pigmentation in their skin. For example white American Bulldogs and Bull Terriers.

The tips of the ears, bridge of the nose, round the eyes and abdomen are areas which can become burnt easily due to the thin skin and not much hair covering in these sensitive areas.

High factor waterproof sunscreen or complete sunblock can be applied, this will provide protection for vulnerable areas, but prevention is a must and keeping in the shade is a priority.

Use a cream which is fragrance free and suitable for a child as your dog may lick the cream off – especially when applied to his nose. If you’re using a spray be careful around the eyes – spray it onto your fingers first and wipe it on gently. You can now buy sunblock cream especially produced for dogs and pets.

Like us, dog can also become dehydrated due to a lack of fluid intake and loss of saliva when panting. Making sure your dog has constant access to plenty of fresh water will help prevent dehydration.

Signs of dehydration in a dog include a dry mouth, gums and nose, reduced skin elasticity, reduced capillary refill and sunken eyes.

If you suspect your dog is dehydrated offer your dog water in small amounts to prevent vomiting and seek veterinary advice immediately. Your vet will be able to advise further as sometimes dogs become dehydrated due to other causes and a severely dehydrated dog will need hydration therapy which will include not only fluids but electrolytes.

Dehydration can come on quickly and cause damage to internal organs so always seek veterinary advice.

Overheating & Heatstroke:

Dogs can quickly become too hot and reach a point of where their body temperature is too high and they are unable to cool themselves down and keep their body temperature within a SAFE margin.

Heatstroke can be caused by overexposure to sunlight (sunstroke) and hot and humid environments.

Your dog will need appropriate first aid to bring the body temperature down and immediate veterinary attention.

Heatstroke is a medical emergency, it can be fatal and it can also cause damage to internal organs.

Signs of Heatstroke in a dog include:

A raised body temperature, heavy and rapid panting, laboured breathing, weakness, wide eyes, red tongue, rapid pulse, disorientation, exhaustion, diarrhoea, vomiting and distress. A dog can also collapse and go into a coma.

A dog with a body temperature between 104 ºF to 106 ºF is suffering from moderate heatstroke; first aid and veterinary advice is needed straight away.

If the dog’s body temperature is 106 ºF or over the dog is said to have severe heatstroke; first aid and immediate veterinary attention is critical.

Heatstroke and sunstroke can damage internal organs and be fatal.

You need to act quickly and seek veterinary help as this is an emergency for your dog.

How to cool a dog down – First Aid:

The average temperature for a healthy dog is 101.5 ºF or 38.6 ºC.

A healthy dog’s temperature can vary from 100.5 °F to 102.5 °F (38 °C – 39.2 °C).

If a dog has/is overheating and it is unable to bring down its own temperature through panting it is going to need your help. A dog’s body temperature must be cooled down safely.

  • Move the dog into the shade if out in the sun, move into a well ventilated (fresh air flow) area where it is cool.
  • Offer cool water but don’t force the dog to drink
  • Soak the dog in cool water. Freezing water will cause blood vessels to constrict so use cool water not freezing cold water and wet down your dog’s body all over making sure the water isn’t just running off the coat but is soaking right through to the skin. Turning a hose on a dog may frighten him, so try to quickly soak him instead.
  • Standing a dog in a paddling pool or shallow bath of cool water will cool him down, wet him all over, soaking the back of his neck will help cool down the blood going to his brain, but if he can’t stand let him lie and soak him through whilst he lays down.
  • If you are out and limited on water, soak cold water on your dog’s belly, in his groin and round his neck, this will help cool the hot blood running through larger blood vessels. Get him out the sun and in the shade. Offer water to drink.
  • Short muzzled dogs may have a build up of foamy type phlegm in their throat-a short squirt of Jiff Lemon to the back of the throat mayl help cut through this, not nice, but if the dog can’t breathe this is an emergency.
  • If possible point an electric fan his way to aid cooling.
  • Stay calm and talk to your dog.
  • If you have access to the phone ring through to the vet immediately and seek advice on what to do next or send an adult for help.
  • Keep the dog soaked in cool water, in the shade with plenty of fresh air and check his rectal temperature every ten minutes if you can, write it down with the time taken and tell your vet.
  • Remember not to over cool your dog, you’re trying to bring his rectal temperature back down-stop cooling at 103°F (39.4°C) Check the temperature – you don’t want his body temperature dropping too low-hypothermia.
  • When travelling to the vets with a overheated dog, soak towels in cold water and lay or sit your dog on a cold towel. Cool the vehicle down first before you get in it. Allow plenty of air to circulate inside the vehicle on the way to the vets – this aids evaporation. Take cold water with you for your dog to drink.
  • If you have managed to cool down your dog, still contact your veterinary clinic for advice.

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EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE

Come along, come with me,
Take a dive in the deep blue sea.

Put on your gear, let’s explore
All the way to the ocean floor!

See that snail wrapped in curls?
Look! An oyster wearing pearls!
Watch the octopus oh so dark,
But don’t you dare to pet the shark!

Dive on down, seaward bound,
Motion in the ocean is all around!
Dive on down, seaward bound,
Motion in the ocean is all around!

Now we’re very far below,
The lantern fish are all aglow.
Is that a tiny shock you feel?
You just met an electric eel!

Giant blue whales start to stir,
Bigger than dinosaurs ever were!
Wave good-bye to the squid and sponge,
This is the end of our deep-sea plunge!

Dive on down, seaward bound,
Motion in the ocean is all around!
Dive on down, seaward bound,
Motion in the ocean is all around!

by Meish Goldish

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110751

 

The sun is couched, the sea-fowl gone to rest, 
And the wild storm hath somewhere found a nest; 
Air slumbers–wave with wave no longer strives, 
Only a heaving of the deep survives, 
A tell-tale motion! soon will it be laid, 
And by the tide alone the water swayed. 
Stealthy withdrawings, interminglings mild 
Of light with shade in beauty reconciled– 
Such is the prospect far as sight can range, 
The soothing recompence, the welcome change. 
Where, now, the ships that drove before the blast, 
Threatened by angry breakers as they passed; 
And by a train of flying clouds bemocked; 
Or, in the hollow surge, at anchor rocked 
As on a bed of death? Some lodge in peace, 
Saved by His care who bade the tempest cease; 
And some, too heedless of past danger, court 
Fresh gales to waft them to the far-off port 
But near, or hanging sea and sky between, 
Not one of all those winged powers is seen, 
Seen in her course, nor ‘mid this quiet heard; 
Yet oh! how gladly would the air be stirred 
By some acknowledgment of thanks and praise, 
Soft in its temper as those vesper lays 
Sung to the Virgin while accordant oars 
Urge the slow bark along Calabrian shores; 
A sea-born service through the mountains felt 
Till into one loved vision all things melt: 
Or like those hymns that soothe with graver sound 
The gulfy coast of Norway iron-bound; 
And, from the wide and open Baltic, rise 
With punctual care, Lutherian harmonies. 
Hush, not a voice is here! but why repine, 
Now when the star of eve comes forth to shine 
On British waters with that look benign? 
Ye mariners, that plough your onward way, 
Or in the haven rest, or sheltering bay, 
May silent thanks at least to God be given 
With a full heart; “our thoughts are ‘heard’ in heaven.” 

William Wordsworth

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sunshine

A hint of sunshine and the kids are off like a shot, but catch them with the sun-cream to keep that sensitive skin safe from UV damage.

Why sunscreen matters

One hint of sunshine and we’ll bet your kids are stripped off and gone, leaving you waving a sun-cream bottle and bleating for them to ‘come back right now!’. Sound familiar? It’s enough to make you wonder whether it’s worth the effort. It is. A child’s skin is thinner and more sensitive than an adult’s, so they are at greater risk of suffering damage from exposure to UV radiation, says Melanie Anglesey.

The four hours either side of midday are the times at which you should take the greatest care in the sun. Avoid long periods of exposure to your skin between 10am and 3pm. Children should wear protective clothing, preferably with a high ultraviolet protection factor – UPF factor. The areas to keep covered are the neck, legs and arms. Opt for a wide brimmed or legionnaires hat (with UPF) and sunglasses (with an environmental protection factor – EPF) to protect the eyes.

Children’s skin needs high protection. Use sunscreen with a high SPF factor to protect exposed areas and choose hypoallergenic sun creams or those for children’s sensitive skin, as the chemicals in some sun creams can irritate children’s skin.

Remember that skin can burn even on cloudy days and prolonged exposure to the heat can lead to heat stroke, so take regular breaks in the shade and offer children plenty of water to drink.

Sun safety tips

  • Babies and infants should be kept out of the sun at all times.
  • Always put a broad-brimmed hat on children – a flap down the back gives added protection.
  • Invest in some sun-protection clothing or, at a pinch, dress them in cool, light-coloured clothes
  • Apply sunscreen half an hour before going outside to allow absorption, then reapply regularly, especially after swimming or towel-drying.
  • Apply sunscreen generously and use a minimum SPF15 on kids (lighter skins burn more easily so higher ratings required). Make sure sunscreen offers UVB and UVA protection.
  • Use a waterproof sunscreen (SPF15) for children when swimming or playing outdoors with water, and reapply regularly.
  • Use 100 per cent UV-blocking sunglasses with wrap-around protection.
  • Plan trips and garden play that avoids 11am to 3pm peak intensity.
  • Encourage children to play in the shade.

Find out more

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Hay fever doesn’t usually affect children until they’re about seven, and older children and teenagers are more susceptible to the allergy than adults.

According to Pierre Dugué, consultant allergist at Guy’s Hospital in London, if you think your child may have hay fever, make an appointment with your GP to get a diagnosis.

“It’s important to know if it’s hay fever, as it could be a non-pollen allergy such as dust mite or pet fur,” says Dugué.

Dugué says hay fever has clear seasonal symptoms, which occur every year at the same time. “The strict diagnosis of hay fever is allergy to grass pollen. But your child could also be allergic to tree pollen, which usually comes at the end of spring, before grass pollen is produced.

“Allergy to tree pollen usually means allergy to birch, hazel or elder trees, which are in the same family.”

Signs of hay fever in children

Look out for symptoms from March to October.

Sometimes hay fever can be confused with a virus. The way to tell the difference is by how long the symptoms last. If it’s a virus, they should only last for a week or two. Viruses rarely last for weeks and weeks. If your child has a constant runny nose and is sneezing every day for part of the year but not in the winter, it’s a sign that they may be allergic to something. 

Diagnosing hay fever

It’s important that hay fever is diagnosed so it can be treated and your child can take steps to avoid it. If your child only has symptoms in July and August on a very sunny day, it’s almost certainly hay fever.

In this case, you don’t really need a formal diagnosis. But if your child has symptoms all year round and you’re not sure if it’s hay fever, go to your GP for a diagnosis.

Treating hay fever symptoms

If your child doesn’t like taking tablets, antihistamines are also available as a liquid. Other treatments include steroid nasal sprays.

John Collard from Allergy UK says that antihistamines generally have a good safety record. “That’s why they’re available over the counter. People with hay fever should take them regularly, not just on the days when they feel bad. If you take them throughout the hay fever season, they work much better.”

Preventing hay fever symptoms

Pollen is released in the early morning. As the air warms up, the pollen is carried up above our heads. As evening comes and the air cools, pollen comes back down. So symptoms are usually worse first thing in the morning and early evening, particularly on days that have been warm and sunny. To reduce your child’s exposure to pollens: 

  • Keep windows closed at night so pollen doesn’t enter the house.
  • Buy your child a pair of wraparound sunglasses to stop pollen entering their eyes.
  • Smear petroleum jelly around the inside of your child’s nose to trap pollen and stop it being inhaled.
  • Wash your child’s hair, face and hands when they come back indoors and change their clothes.
  • Don’t let them play in fields or large areas of grassland. 
  • Use air filters to try to reduce pollen that’s floating around the house.
  • Keep the car windows shut when driving.

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:kid’s today They really are growing up fast: 

  • Calls for initiatives to ensure that children’s outdoor play and connection to nature are encouraged
  • All forms of marketing directed at children up to at least age seven ‘should be banned’

 

Children are growing up too quickly because of modern life. Picture posed by modelsChildren are growing up too quickly because of modern life. Picture posed by models

Children are growing up too quickly because of a combination of early testing in school, advertising, bad childcare and a reliance on computer games and television, experts warned today.

A group of 200 teachers, academics, authors, charity leaders and other experts have written a letter calling for a drive to ‘interrupt the erosion of childhood’.

The group includes novelist Philip Pullman, Oxford University neuroscientist Baroness Susan Greenfield, and Lord Layard, emeritus professor of economics at the London School of Economics.

They write: ‘Our children are subjected to increasing commercial pressures, they begin formal education earlier than the European norm, and they spend ever more time indoors with screen-based technology, rather than in outdoor activity.

‘The time has come to move from awareness to action.’

The letter outlines a four-point programme to restore proper values to childhood.

It says: ‘We call on all organisations and individuals concerned about the erosion of childhood to come together to achieve the following: public information campaigns about children’s developmental needs, what constitutes “quality childcare”, and the dangers of a consumerist screen-based life-style; the establishment of a genuinely play-based curriculum in nurseries and primary schools up to the age of six, free from the downward pressure of formal learning, tests and targets.’

It also called for initiatives to ensure that children’s outdoor play and connection to nature are encouraged and the banning of all forms of marketing directed at children up to at least age seven.


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WATER3333

Floodwater areas

Never allow children to play in floodwater areas, and wash floodwater-contaminated toys with hot water or disinfect them before they are used. You should also wash your children’s hands frequently (always before meals).

If your home has flooded

When returning to your home after a flood, be aware that flood water may contain sewage. Protect yourself and your children by following these steps:

  • keep children and pets out of the affected area until clean up has been completed
  • very young children should avoid playing directly on timber floorboards or any damaged tiled floors if possible – be aware of the risk of injury from sharp edges on tiles or raised nails
  • clothing, bedding and other soft/fabric articles (including children’s toys) should be put on a hot wash (60°C or the highest temperature indicated on manufacturer’s instructions)
  • do not let young children play on affected grassed or paved areas until the area has been cleaned down and restored to its normal condition
  • ensure confined areas like garages or cellars are well ventilated and are not accessible to children and animals

Water for infants during flooding

Where the drinking water supply is either interrupted or contaminated, it is important to take precautions for formula-fed infants. Usually, communities affected by floodwater are provided with water bowsers (tankers holding uncontaminated water). In these circumstances there are three options for the use of water to make infant formula milk:

  • use bowser or bottled water, boiled and allowed to cool for no more than 30 minutes in a clean covered container – then follow the manufacturer’s instructions on making up the feed
  • commercially ready-made formula milk may be used as an alternative to powdered feeds made up with bowser water

If neither of these options are possible because there is no energy to allow boiling, then:

  • bottled water (table, spring or mineral water) can be used unboiled to prepare baby feeds – but the prepared feed should then be used immediately
  • unboiled bowser water should not be used

The bottled water supplied to the public by the water company during flooding incident is suitable for making up infant formula. Parents with infants that are unwell with diarrhoea and vomiting should seek medical advice.

If the water company has advised that the domestic supply is unsafe for drinking then avoid using this for bathing infants. In this situation bowser water, or bottled water, are safe alternatives. A safe alternative to bathing is to use baby wipes for hand cleansing and washing infants.

Buying your own bottled water

If you buy your own bottled water, be aware that some natural mineral water may have a high sodium content. Look at the label for sodium or `Na’ and check its level is not higher than 200mg a litre. If it is, then try to use a different water. If no other water is available, then use this water for as short a time as possible. It is important to keep babies hydrated

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