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Educational Play with Schleich I'm a big fan of learning through play. Unforced educational play. I'm not a teacher and I don't want to be. I want my children to naturally learn whilst they are having fun. When I was contacted recently...

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Say Eh-Oh to the new Teletubbies toys! There back!! Teletubbies made a joyous return to CBeebies last year, and this year marks the launch of the new range of toys. As you know I was sent a box just before Christmas, and today I can finally...

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Travel: Ox Pasture Hall Hotel, Scarborough Last weekend Nana and I took a rather lengthy journey north for a night away at the Ox Pasture Hall Hotel in Scarborough, with Little Dude in tow. The Ox Pasture Hall Hotel is a luxurious country hotel...

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A Place To Enjoy My Garden I love my garden. I love the fact that I have a garden, especially with the recent gorgeous weather we've been having. Whilst I have a pretty compact garden, there's a lot going on out there. Plants, fruit...

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Cuddles With Ben Cohen Some days I have a really difficult job. Days like this for example. *Ahem* That rather nice young man is former rugby player Ben Cohen. Ben is a bit of an expert when it comes to cuddles. He has...

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Mummy Worries: Asbestos In Schools

Posted by SussexMummy | Posted in Guest Post, Information | Posted on 16-01-2013

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In recent years, the dangers of asbestos exposure have come to the attention of the public. In particular, the presence of asbestos in UK public schools may leave you feeling worried about your children and the serious conditions they may be exposed to everyday in their classrooms. Read this article to learn more about asbestos in schools—and whether or not your child is at risk.

Asbestos: What It Is and Where It’s Found

The reason why asbestos exposure is such a major concern in the UK is that it was heavily used as a building material in UK properties from the 1950s through the 1990s. Asbestos was highly favoured in construction projects because it is a good insulator and not easily flammable. The material can be found in many forms in buildings constructed prior to the year 2000—loose asbestos is present in wall and floor cavities, asbestos reinforced composite materials can be found in toilet cisterns, and asbestos coatings may be found in roofing, shingles, siding, ceilings, and door gaskets.

Presence in Public Schools

The Department of Education (DfE) estimates that asbestos-related materials may be present in up to 75 per cent of UK schools. This issue has been highlighted by various news stories in recent years, in which students and faculty have been evacuated from UK public schools as the result of potentially dangerous asbestos exposure levels. Last year alone, evacuations at Cwmcarn High School in South East Wales and Catherine Junior School in Leicester made headlines in the media, causing many to wonder just what the government is doing to help protect the nation’s children from this serious health threat.

Should You Be Worried?

The asbestos epidemic has caused a great deal of alarm to the public over the past few years. The potentially fatal consequences of being exposed to asbestos materials over a long period of time include diseases like lung cancer, asbestosis, and mesothelioma. There has consequently been a rise in people looking to make a mesothelioma claim, especially amongst construction workers who spent their lifetimes working with the material, as well as those who have been exposed to its deadly fibres. It has also been discovered that children are particularly vulnerable to asbestos exposure, as symptoms can take decades to develop and manifest themselves in the human body.

The good news is that as long as asbestos remains undisturbed, it is generally considered safe to leave it in its current place. Circumstances that may disturb asbestos materials include construction work and fires, so if you have concerns about asbestos in your child’s public school, ask to see a report on what measures the local school district is taking to monitor it. As long as the asbestos is being monitored closely, you can sleep soundly knowing that your little one is not at risk.

Guest Post: Keeping Your Children Safe Around Heaters

Posted by SussexMummy | Posted in Guest Post, Information | Posted on 13-11-2012

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As the cold weather draws in and the nights get longer, many families will be investing in new heaters for their home. This is an excellent way to ensure that your children remain happy and warm over the winter season, but comes with its own risks which must be understood and dealt with.

Educate about dangers

If you have installed a new kind of heating into your home, it is vital that you educate your children about the dangers it might pose. The best way of doing this is to educate positively. Make sure your children are fully aware of how the heater works, including how it can be switched on and off, and which elements might be dangerous. Often, parents will simply issue a blanket ban on approaching an electric heater. As anyone with small children will eventually realise, this actually acts as an invitation to some curious young people! Children naturally explore what they do not understand, particularly if it has been entirely forbidden. A much more sensible approach is to educate them fully on the heater and why it can be dangerous if not treated with appropriate respect.

Warn about other dangerous objects nearby

The education provided to children should not only include the obvious guidance that the new heater will be dangerous to touch when it is switched on. You should also explain the other dangers which can ensue from an activated heater such as the effect the heat can have on other objects placed nearby. Many children (particularly older ones), will easily understand that heat is dangerous for them. Touching the heater and burning themselves is unlikely to be the major issue. Instead, they may not properly understand that objects left on or around the heater can become very hot in a short amount of time, and may melt or catch fire. As a parent, you will need to explain that it is not only contact with the heater that can cause problems, but also the potential for secondary fires which may ensue if care is not taken at all times.

Consider safety when making your purchase

Of course, education is not always enough. Even the most conscientious child will make mistakes, and it is for this reason that you should always ensure that your heaters have the latest safety features. Many radiators now come packaged with the option of a radiator guard which makes it much more difficult for children to burn themselves or get close enough to the heater to cause any other issues. The designs of such guards are now also frequently decorative so you won’t be stuck with an ugly wire meshing surrounding your living room. If you have purchased a moveable electric heater rather than a fixed radiator, you should also check to see whether the model you have bought has all the necessary safety features integrated within it. The most important is the presence of a shut-off switch which activates when the heater is knocked over and immediately cuts the power to the heating element. This feature alone can prevent many accidents, particularly those caused by clumsy or overly enthusiastic young children.

As long as you educate your children, and ensure that you have invested in appropriate safety features, you should be well positioned to have a safe warm house with a safe heater.

BIO: This is a guest post on behalf of Economy Radiators who offer a range of heating products including storage heaters, central heating radiators, electric heaters, storage heaters and more!

Safe Outdoor Play

Posted by SussexMummy | Posted in Information | Posted on 10-10-2012

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Product Review: Happy Hands

Posted by SussexMummy | Posted in Product Reviews | Posted on 12-09-2012

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Little fingers find their ways into lots of things they shouldn’t, but one of the biggest dangers for me is getting them trapped in doors. Once your child becomes mobile they are away before you can blink, and if your little one is anything like mine, they are fascinated with doors. Doors open. Doors close. Doors are AMAZING if you are a small child. One way to help protect little fingers is to invest in some Happy Hands.

Happy Hands are an ingenious, and rather cute, invention which fastens to the top of the door. Once adjusted it prevents the door from closing on little fingers, resulting in happy hands!

As you can see the cute hand is fitted with a sticky pad to the top of the door. Once pivoted 90 degrees it prevent the door from shutting my wedging its own fingers in the way, and not your little ones.

We have this on Little Man’s bedroom door. He merrily runs in and out of there whenever we’re upstairs, and once we remove the sides from his cot bed and he’s free to roam, I expect it will be well used, so for us its important to have the Happy Hand there.

Happy Hands can be bought online at the Fingershield website.

Do We Do Too Much?

Posted by SussexMummy | Posted in Information | Posted on 06-09-2012

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We’re all busy aren’t we? Whether you’re a Stay At Home Parent or a Working Mum or Dad, you are busy. You have a child, and that is the most time consuming and demanding job in the world, and if you’re juggling full or part time work alongside that, you probably don’t sleep! Modern lifestyles are so much busier than every before, and research from Lindam has found that our children’s safety might be suffering as a result of that.

In a recent poll of 2000 parents a staggering 70% said they regularly left their child playing unsupervised whilst they carried out domestic chores, and 40% of parents admitted that their child had been injured as a result of this. The Top 10 most common accidents for a child to suffer whilst in their home are:

  1. Tripping in garden
  2. Falling from sofa
  3. Falling from bed
  4. Slipping on the floor
  5. Banging head on a sharp corner
  6. Shutting fingers in a door
  7. Being hurt fighting with a sibling
  8. Falling down the stairs
  9. Hurting themselves on broken glass
  10. Suffering a burn from the cooker
The research discovered that the most common time for these injuries to be sustained is whilst the parent is in the kitchen cooking the evening meal. The lounge, garden and bedroom were the most likely places for injuries to happen during this time. Parents have a lot on their plate whilst looking after their child and running the home. There is so much other stuff that needs doing that often distracts attention away from a child. The most common distractions for Mum’s in the home are:
  1. Cooking
  2. Being on the phone
  3. Another child requiring their attention
  4. Working from home
  5. Cleaning the house
  6. Doing the hoovering
  7. Doing the ironing
  8. Being in the shower
  9. Hanging out the washing
  10. Getting dressed
Parents are often looking for ways to distract their child whilst they get on with these tasks, and 80% of parents admitted to using the TV for this purpose regularly.
Claire Rayner, a spokeswoman for Lindam, says “Many accidents experienced by young children in the home come about because mum is understandably not able to keep a constant watch. She can’t be in several places at once and the results show that, it only take a minute for an accident to happen. It’s therefore about using safety products to make the home as accident-proof as possible and allow Mums at least some peace of mind. It’s so easy and quick to put in place some very simple safety equipment such as stair gates, corner cushions and cupboard locks to ensure that parents can rest a little easier knowing that their children are protected.

We have launched our first Safety Day as we are committed to reducing childhood accidents in the home and we feel it’s these small but important steps that can go a long way to reducing the amount of childhood accidents in the home.”

To learn more about Lindam’s Safety Day, and find ways to ensure your home is as safe as possible for you child visit the Lindam website.

 

Product Review: Lindam Safety

Posted by SussexMummy | Posted in Product Reviews | Posted on 05-09-2012

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Keeping our children safe is the ultimate priority for any parent. When they reach the toddler years keeping them safe can prove a little tricky to say the least, especially when they start exploring the world around them. Our house is equipped with gates at the top and bottom of our stairs as well as one in the kitchen doorway to stop Little Man wandering in, but there are other hazards around the house and when we’re out in the car. Lindam sent us a selection of safety products to make our home and car that little bit safer to help celebrate the Lindam Safety Day on September 6th.

Firstly, and most importantly for me, was the Multi-Purpose Latch which I fitted to the cupboard in the kitchen where we keep our cleaning products. We are giving Little Man slightly more freedom as he gets older and the gate on the kitchen door isn’t permanently closed as it used to be. Plus he follows us in when we’re in their cooking or doing other jobs. He is drawn to this cupboard like all children seem to seek out the most dangerous places. This latch means that the door won’t open unless you undo it, and Little Man can’t do that. This is a brilliant product which has made my kitchen infinitely safer.

When we’re out in the car keeping the sun off Little Man is very important. I don’t want him overheating, especially when he’s asleep in his seat. Lindam sent us their new White Hot Safety Sunblock Shade to try. It fastens to the window with two suckers and then the blind itself rollers down. A simple release button retracts the blind when its not needed. What makes this blind special is the White Hot sensor on the base of the blind which turns white when the temperature in the car is too hot. My only fault with this blind is that it could do to be slightly wider, but that might just be because my back windows are fairly large.

The danger of plug sockets seems something that’s still up for debate. Due to the design of UK sockets it would take a very creative child to push something into all three pin holes at the same time sufficiently to electrocute themselves, but who wants to take that risk? I use Plug Socket Covers to prevent anything untoward being pushed in them – crayons, food, paper, etc – as well as ensuring there is absolutely no chance of my Little Man getting seriously hurt. These covers from Lindam are neat and easy to fit, but tricky to remove which is ideal when there are little fingers poking them all the time.

Finally I made use of the Door Stopper. Doors closing on little fingers isn’t fun, neither is a door swinging closed leaving your little one trapped in a room that perhaps they shouldn’t be in anyway! This stopper fits quickly and easily to any door. We currently have it on the kitchen door, but I can see it moving to the main bathroom door upstairs once Little Man is in his big boy bed and can wander around more freely. I’d rather not be woken at 2am by a toddler stuck in the bathroom!!

Lindam’s Safety Day in September 6th 2012. You can read Lindam’s advice for keeping your children safe here.