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Finding the Right Cleats for Young Children

Finding the Right Cleats for Young Children

Everyone knows that kids grow quickly and having the right shoes is instrumental in not only protecting their feet, but in allowing them the ability to play their sport of choice to the best of their ability.  Here are a few tips for keeping them safe and finding the right equipment.

Tennis Shoes

Many kids choose a sport and lose interest after a few short games. This makes many parents skeptical because they don’t want to invest a lot of money into something the child may not enjoy doing. Luckily, kids can play the sport in tennis shoes until you decide that they are dedicated enough to invest a bit of money into the sport. You should purchase a pair of tennis shoes for them to use specifically for soccer, though. These shoes will get grass stains and dirty, so they shouldn’t use their good pair of tennis shoes for it. soccer

Turf Cleats

Soccer is a popular game throughout the world. In the past decade, the sport has gained much popularity within the states, and many young people are choosing this as the sport of choice over others. Soccer turf cleats are a bit of a hybrid between traditional cleats and tennis shoes. There are no prongs on the bottom, which brings a disadvantage when playing outside but for young children, this is often the only type of cleats they are allowed to use.

These cleats are specifically designed for playing indoor soccer on turf. Classic cleats are not allowed in this type of environment, so players must use turf cleats. They are more sturdy and not as bulky as tennis shoes, which means they’ll hold up longer. Plus, the lack of prongs on the bottom make them safer for younger children to play in.

Classic Cleats

These cleats are used by the majority of soccer players around the world. They are cleats in every sense of the word. You will find prongs on the bottom of these shoes that help you get traction when running across the field. These classic soccer cleats make it easy to change directions quickly because the prongs dig into the ground.

It also makes playing in wet conditions a whole lot easier. If you were running around in turf cleats or tennis shoes, the lack of prongs on the bottom would leave you slipping and sliding all over the place.

If you’re worried that you child may not enjoy the sport, regardless of your encouragement, it’s wise to let them play a few seasons using tennis shoes. As young kids, you may find it safer for them to play in turf cleats until they really learn the game to avoid injury from the prongs on the bottom of the classic cleats.

The Importance of Health Checks for Our Kids

by Tina on December 4, 2012
category: Children’s Health

Putting off annual exams and blood work puts your health and your children’s health at risk. Visits and checkups can prevent chronic and risky disease from spreading or worsening, and let unchecked, these types if illnesses can negatively affect the health of children, especially. You can become informed of any problems before they advance. Getting a simple checkup once a year for yourself and the kids is the easiest way to ensure that you stay healthy.

Getting Blood Work

Blood work can detect high cholesterol, mineral and vitamin deficiencies, infections and even heart-related conditions. A blood panel can also determine whether you may have diabetes. Getting yearly blood work is the only way to ensure that all of your numbers are where they should be. You can find discount blood work online to save money on this costly necessity for your health. Think back to your family and relatives – has there been any blood or immune-related illnesses that might be present in you or your kids? A simple checkup can reveal some answers.

Physical Exam

A physical exam is a good idea for patients of all ages, especially for kids thinking about joining sports. Making sure your body is in tip-top shape will allow you to avoid unwanted illness or injury. An exam usually tests your bones, vision and addresses other concerns you may have for your health. Dealing with kids around the clock certainly takes an emotional and mental toll on even the most fit and active mothers, but physical fatigue is just as common, and typically pushed to the back burner.

Preventative Shots

Vaccinations can make a world of difference in preventing health problems, and can prevent any number of sicknesses or illnesses with you or your kids. Most adults don’t need to worry about getting shots, but there are some that certain groups should always get, like young children, those working around young children, the elderly, and those with weak immune systems, to name a few groups. A flu vaccine is especially useful during flu season for the elderly and children.

Understanding Your Health

If you never go in to see the doctor, then you won’t know if any health problems crop up. A majority of serious health complications have no symptoms. This includes heart disease, high cholesterol and even STDs. A simple checkup can make a huge difference in your quality of life, and for the life of your kids. Oftentimes, children do not know or do not care if they are not feeling well, and could be potentially damaging their tired bodies and immune systems even more. The cost of preventative care is much lower than the cost to treat severe conditions that have been able to progress.

Saving Money

You can save money when you participate in simple checkups each year, and many families with health care don’t even have to pay more than a small deductible. There are specific tests needed for certain groups of people at different intervals. Most adults need a cholesterol screening every five years. Overweight or at-risk individuals may need them more often. Mammograms are recommended for women over 40 every two years. These simple check ups can save tons of money, time and stress if they are taken seriously.

Don’t put off your health checkups. Doing so can result in sickness that may be debilitating or costly to treat, and lifelong sicknesses for children left untreated. If you want to prevent disease and illness, then go to that one or two hour appointment once per year. Don’t risk your health – be active in staying healthy.


images Have you ever dealt with a child who wets the bed?  We are dealing with the issue of bedwetting right now, and I gotta tell you it is stressful.  Our oldest child has trouble staying dry all night.  We had him in pull ups at night until this summer when we decided to give it a go and take off the pull ups.  We would take him pee at night right before we went to bed and he would stay dry the rest of the night.  He was waking up very early because he had to wake up and pee and then couldn’t go back to sleep–but we thought it was great that he was waking up to go.

Then we moved to England.  Once we arrived in Enlgand everything started off fine.  Until school started.  Our oldest is in public school and the adjustment of going to school for 6 hours a day and being very tired by the end of the day made bedwetting a bigger issue.  He was wetting the bed two times a night most nights.  We armed oursevled with washable  puddle pads that we put over his flat sheet so that if he did have an accident we could take that off and replace it with a fresh one.  That way we weren’t having to change sheets in the middle of the night.

Here is his nightly routine:

  • Books before bed.
  • Last pee of the night
  • Lights out and songs.
  • Sleep.
  • We take him pee before we go to bed sometime between 10 and 12.  We usually try to aim for 10:30 because the chances of him having an accident after 10:30 increase by the minute.
  • If we are too late then we change jammies, change the puddle pad and have him empty his bladder.  Occasionally, depending on how he is sleeping the accident may get on his comforter, sheets, or blankie.  Throw those into the kitchen where the washer is so they can be washed the next morning.
  • Sometime between 2am and 4:30, whichever parent wakes up first, will take him pee again.  Occasionally we are too late and we have to repeat the above step.
  • Rejoice in the morning if he stayed dry all night (and I have no more laundry to do).

Now, this may not be the BEST way to handle bedwetting at night but it works for us for now.  I don’t enjoy having interrupted sleep in the middle of the night and dealing with taking him to the toilet but I dislike even more dealing with wet jammies and extra loads of laundry.

A few weeks ago I was getting concerned that maybe there was something else going on with him–a medical problem.  I started doing some research (talking to other parents and reading on the web) about bedwetting in school age children.

Here is what I learned:

  • It is common for boys especially to struggle with bedwetting.
  • Some children don’t produce the hormone that supresses the body from making urine at night until they are older.  In some cases, not until puberty.
  • It isn’t their fault.  They aren’t doing it on purpose.  They can’t help it.  They aren’t lazy.
  • Using things like sticker charts won’t really be helpful because bedwetting is not something that children can control.  It isn’t the same thing as using a sticker chart for thumb sucking or doing chores.
  • Use empathy and love when your children have an accident.  Use all your might to not show any anger toward your child if they have an accident.
  • Stress makes bedwetting worse.  (In our case starting school was making it worse for our child.  Showing anger and frustration about bedwetting can also make it worse.)
  • If you suspect a medical problem, take the child in for a check up and talk to the pediatrician.
  • Some websites said that taking them to the toilet at night doesn’t really teach the child anything–it more trains the parent than anything else.
  • If your child is old enough for sleepovers you can ask your doctor about a prescription the child can take to not wet the bed.  Or teach your child how to discreetly use pull ups to avoid being embarrassed about needing them at night.
  • Encourage your child when he has an accident and tell him he will grow out of it.  (It doesn’t bother our child that he has accidents at night.  He isn’t embarrassed about it for the time being but I suspect that he will get there if this issue doesn’t resolve itself in the next year.)
  • Take heart, you aren’t the only parent out there dealing with extra laundry due to bedwetting!

How have you dealt with bedwetting?  What has worked for you?

Staying Healthy During The Flu Season

flu lollipops Recently, I have found myself becoming a “paranoid parent” with regard to my children’s health.  All the constant flooding of the news about the Swine Flu or H1N1 Flu has really got me worried.  It is especially worrisome to me because our son, who has Type 1 Diabetes, is at a greater risk of complications should he contract one of these viruses. 

So, last night, I sat down and had a long talk with God.  There are only so many things we as parents can do to protect our children, from the flu or anything for that matter, and I really needed to get my thoughts into perspective.  After my prayer time, I felt much more at peace and decided that I would be proactive and do what I could, but also have to trust God for His protection.

Here are some things you can do to help protect your kids from the seasonal flu and H1N1:

Wash Your Hands – We all know the importance of washing our hands to prevent spreading illness.  The Centers for Disease Control emphasize washing with soap and water, especially after you cough or sneeze.  Alcohol based hand-sanitizers are also a great weapon in the flu fight!

Avoid Touching Your Eyes and Mouth – Your eyes and mouth are great germ transmitters, so avoid biting your fingernails or playing with your eyelashes!

Cough or Sneeze Into Tissue – Coughing or sneezing into a tissue and throwing it away is the best way to get rid of your germs.  Make sure to wash your hands afterward.  If a tissue is not readily available, it is suggested that you cough or sneeze into your sleeve and NOT your hand.

Avoid Sick People – This seems like an easy one, right?  But reality is that we are exposed to sick people everyday at the grocery store, post office, or even at church.  Encourage your friends NOT to bring their kids over even if they “just have a runny nose, but no fever”.  Also, if one of your children gets sick, try to keep the others from playing with them until they have been fever free for at least 24 hours.

Sanitize Your Toys – I am guilty of not doing this as often as I should, but it’s great practice to take out the toys and sanitize them often, especially after a child is ill.  This will help prevent the spreading of “old germs” and possibly new ones. 

Get Vaccinated – Everyone in your family should get their annual flu shot.  It’s the best way to prevent contracting the flu.  If you are sensitive to the vaccine or agents in it, talk to your doctor or your child’s doctor about your options.  If your pediatrician’s office isn’t offering the flu vaccine or has run out (like mine did!), CVS and Walgreens walk-in clinics provide flu shots to children 18 months and older.  Contact your local one to see if they have the vaccine in stock before heading out. 

Pray – Let’s face it, we can do all of the things listed above and someone is still bound to get sick, so the best way to keep your sanity during this crazy time is to pray and trust God for His protection and health.  If nothing else, it’s a great way to to find peace!

For more information about the seasonal flu or the H1N1 virus, check out the CDC website or the government’s special flu website

What have you done to safeguard your family during this flu season? 

Photo Courtesy of itsv

Making My Children’s Sleep a Priority

sleepingbaby My husband and I are saying “no” to a lot of invitations lately. A few months after my first daughter was born I read “Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child” by Dr. Weissbluth and the book recommends maintaining a consistent bedtime every night. For the most part we do keep bedtime consistent. She goes to bed within 30 minutes of the same time every night. Then along came baby number two.

I love how newborns sleep through practically anything and sleep anywhere. Of course, I don’t love their short erratic sleep schedule. Eventually newborns establish a bedtime on their own as they get older. Now at 7 months my boy starts giving sleep cues just before 7:00 p.m. and he is done for the day. He is ready to be nursed and laid down.

Maintaining a routine and a consistent bedtime has become even more important for us now that we have two kids. We realized this when we kept them up a little later than usual at a friend’s house. My 2 year old could be entertained while at the house, but once we got home she fought being washed in the bath and cried a lot before she fell asleep. She was a bear the next day and tired at Mother’s Day Out. That same evening I was holding and bouncing my son to keep him content. He kept bobbing his head on my boob to nurse. Then he screamed in the car on the way home. My children were put to bed 1.5 hours after their usual bedtime. My husband and I definitely agreed that the cost of keeping our children up late wasn’t worth the price.

Now in the evenings only one of us will go out at a time. We could hire a babysitter, but that isn’t practical all the time. It is certainly a special treat for both my husband and I to be out together past 7:00 p.m. Many times we have to say no to events that start at 7:00 p.m. It is just the phase of life we are in. I know it won’t be this way forever.

On the other hand, we love the early bed time. We have a great time hanging together around the house and creating date nights at home. I appreciate the break from my children. I also love that my children are well rested and behave better the next day. Our whole family is better for them getting their sleep.

How about you? Do you notice a difference in your child’s behavior if they have a consistent bedtime? Have you had to turn down invitations, because they are past your child’s bedtime?

*P.S. That is my boy in the photo. He fell asleep eating his teething biscuit at dinner! Maybe he wasn’t that well rested that day. LOL.

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