Summer Safety Tips for Children with Special Needs

TLC for KidsSummertime safety is a big concern for most parents, simply because many children get long breaks from school and are either home all day or with a caregiver. During the school year, it’s comforting to know your child is safe in a classroom with a competent teacher, but during summer months, it can be difficult not to worry. When your child has special needs, that worry is magnified tenfold.

It takes a little planning, but it is possible to have a relatively stress-free summer along with your child. With some preparation, communication, and careful planning, you can figure out a way for your child to be safe and have fun at the same time. Here are some of the best tips.

Summer Nanny

If your child will be with a nanny during the day, it’s important to maintain communication with them at all times and let them know what to expect at the beginning of each day. If they’ll be taking your child outside the home–to a park or playground, for instance–you might consider making a visit there first to check out the equipment and to see what sort of surfaces there are. Playgrounds with mulch are much preferable to those with gravel or concrete.

Keep a contact list for the nanny with detailed instructions on what they need to tell a first responder about your child’s medical needs should an accident occur. This includes any allergies, your child’s official diagnosis, and any medications they are taking.

Make sure to communicate to the nanny that being well-rested is important when they are spending time with your child. The benefits of a good night’s sleep are invaluable, whereas too little sleep could negatively affect their ability to function rationally and quickly.

Outdoor safety

Teaching your child how to be safe outside is imperative for summer months, and this includes water and pedestrian safety. Educating them about crosswalks, how to look both ways for vehicles, holding hands before crossing, and staying away from parked cars will go a long way in giving you peace of mind when they aren’t with you.

For water safety, consider enrolling your child in a swim class. Many children on the autism spectrum love the feel of water, so it’s especially important to teach your child how to stay safe when swimming. Always drain kids’ pools after use and consider installing motion sensors near in-ground or large above-ground pools if you have a child who wanders.

Always have your child use a helmet and knee/elbow pads when they are using any equipment that moves, such as a bike, scooter, or roller skates. Make sure the helmet and pads fit well and are in good shape.

Watch the heat index

Many children with special needs have a decreased tolerance for heat, so it’s important to follow the weather reports and prepare. Dehydration can occur quickly and with little warning, but some signs to look for are headache, nausea, cramps, dry mouth, irritability, fatigue, and few trips to the bathroom. Urine will be dark in color. If your child has any of these symptoms, get them into a cool, shady spot immediately and give them water to drink. A cool washcloth on the back of the neck can help if one is available.

Summer can bring lots of things to think about, but with a little bit of planning and good communication, you can make it a fun time for everyone involved.

TLC for Kids has caregivers who have experience working with children who have special needs.    To learn more about TLC for Kids visit the website at tlcforkids.com

Thank you to our guest writer Sean Morris!

 

Sean Morris is a former social worker turned stay-at-home dad. He knows what it’s like to juggle family and career. He did it for years until deciding to become a stay-at-home dad after the birth of his son. Though he loved his career in social work, he has found this additional time with his kids to be the most rewarding experience of his life. He began writing for LearnFit.org to share his experiences and to help guide anyone struggling to find the best path for their life, career, and/or family.

 

The professionals at TLC Family Care personally assist nannies, babysitters and families in St. Louis, Atlanta, Chicago, Nashville, Memphis, Charlotte, Miami and Orlando to find the right childcare arrangement. Our mission is to provide a safe and personalized  approach for families and caregivers to connect with each other that is not an internet search. TLC has worked with families, nannies, sitters, newborn care providers, and tutors for over 35 years and looks forward to working with you! To find great nanny and babysitting jobs visit us at tlc@tlcforkids.com or Call 314-725-5660.

Give Mom the Gift of Time for Mother’s Day

Give mom something she really wants for Mother’s Day … time! Book a sitter today and give mom a much needed day of pampering, lunch and movie with a friend, or make it just the two of you with a delicious brunch.

Our sitters will take care of the kids while you take care of mom.

Don’t forget that TLC is here to help you with all your in-home child care needs.  If you are interested in hiring  a full time, part time, summer or after school nanny visit our website at tlcforkids.com.

Looking for some great ideas to make something special for mom? Check out our Pinterest full of ideas for all ages.

 

The professionals at TLC Family Care personally assist nannies, babysitters and families in St. Louis, Atlanta, Chicago, Nashville, Memphis, Charlotte, Miami and Orlando to find the right childcare arrangement. Our mission is to provide a safe and personalized  approach for families and caregivers to connect with each other that is not an internet search. TLC has worked with families, nannies, sitters, newborn care providers, and tutors for over 35 years and looks forward to working with you! To find great nanny and babysitting jobs visit us at tlc@tlcforkids.com or Call 314-725-5660.

What is a Nanny?

Nanny AgencyA nanny is a caregiver who comes to your home and cares for your children. When you hire a nanny, your children will receive one-on-one attention from an experienced caregiver in their own home environment.
We’ve listed below the different types of nannies and the placements that TLC for Kids offers.

Live-Out
The live-out caregiver typically comes to your home for a 9-10-hour day, 8 a.m. to 5 or 6 p.m., five days a week. You and your live-out caregiver will arrange a set weekly schedule, with weekend care arranged separately. It is the responsibility of the nanny to provide her own transportation to and from your home. The beauty of this arrangement is that your nanny will have a life of her own when she leaves her job. This allows her to relax and rejuvenate before her morning return. The live-out nanny may cost a little more, but she is generally more independent and fulfilled with her personal life outside of the job. Live-out nannies consist of full-time, part-time, after-school and summer nannies!

Live-In
Live-in caregivers are generally on duty 10-12 hours, day five days a week, and an occasional evening. They eat meals with the family and share in the cooking and cleaning up duties. Be assured that nannies will expect most nights and weekends off unless previously arranged. Most live in nannies require a private living space, use of the family’s car, and specific hours on and off duty. You will also need to discuss visitors for the nanny and any quiet times or a curfew. Both you and your nanny may have to make concessions. It is your house and you have the right to set reasonable rules. Live in nannies can help out with emergency babysitting and depending on your personal preference can become a big part of the family. Keep in mind that your nanny does have a life beyond your job and she is not at your beck and call. While it may seem convenient and less expensive to hire a live in nanny it is harder to keep the relationship professional. It may be difficult to spending so much time together under one roof.

Shared Care
A less talked-about yet more economical alternative is shared care. This situation involves one nanny and two neighboring families. The nanny works in one home and might spend part of the day at the other home. The nanny cares for both families’ children in one home. Before you and your friend or neighbor decide to share a nanny, discuss and agree upon a philosophy for child care. You need to discuss exactly what each of you will want the caregiver to do on a day-to-day basis. And realize when hiring this nanny that she must be able to handle all types of personalities in order to please two families at once.

Family Assistant
A growing area of care is the nanny manager / family assistant. These are nannies caring typically for older children who still require care, but are in school full-time. Family assistants take on tasks helping around the house, errands, meeting with vendors, scheduling appointments, meal prep and more. They do not provide cleaning other than maintaining work areas, or in between regular visits of a cleaning person.

The professionals at TLC Family Care personally assist nannies, babysitters and families in St. Louis, Atlanta, Chicago, Nashville, Memphis, Charlotte, Miami and Orlando to find the right childcare arrangement. Our mission is to provide a safe and personalized  approach for families and caregivers to connect with each other that is not an internet search. TLC has worked with families, nannies, sitters, newborn care providers, and tutors for over 35 years and looks forward to working with you! To find great nanny and babysitting jobs visit us at tlc@tlcforkids.com or Call 314-725-5660.

Summer Nannies Are Here

When Spring Break hits parents start thinking about summer and summer childcare.

TLC for Kids can help you with your summer childcare needs.  We have wonderful nannies that are interested in securing work for the summer.  Hiring a nanny is the best option for Atlanta, Nashville, Memphis, Chicago, Charlotte, Florida and St. Louis families’, whether you are looking for full-time or part-time childcare.

Hiring a summer nanny from TLC is like having your very own camp counselor!  Summer nannies will schedule fun parent approved outings for the kids like going to the amusement park, swimming, museum, bowling, play groups, the zoo and more.  TLC summer nannies will also do tutoring over the summer so that your kids are on track for their upcoming school year.

Since we have so many nannies available, we are able to offer our registered clients substantial savings on a summer placement. Give me a call to discuss discounts for full-time, part-time, and long term temp (up to two months) placements.

Click on our summer nanny parent application to start your search. If you have any questions please give us a call.

And don’t forget we have great babysitters available for weekends, days, and evenings too.

Already have a summer nanny? For each referral you send us you will earn credits toward upcoming TLC services.

Happy Spring!

 

The professionals at TLC Family Care personally assist nannies, babysitters and families in St. Louis, Atlanta, Chicago, Nashville, Memphis, Charlotte, Miami and Orlando to find the right childcare arrangement. Our mission is to provide a safe and personalized  approach for families and caregivers to connect with each other that is not an internet search. TLC has worked with families, nannies, sitters, newborn care providers, and tutors for over 35 years and looks forward to working with you! To find great nanny and babysitting jobs visit us at tlc@tlcforkids.com or Call 314-725-5660.

The Nap-Resister: When Your Child Needs a Nap but Won’t Take One

The Nap-Resister: When Your Child Needs a Nap but Won’t Take One

By Elizabeth Pantley, Author of The No-Cry Nap Solution 

Daytime naps might last just a few short hours, but they can affect all twenty-four hours of a child’s day. Naps can improve a child’s mood and reduce fussiness, crying, whining, and tantrums. Studies show that children who nap daily get sick less often, grow taller, and are less likely to be obese when they grow up. Naps enhance attention span and brain development. Naps can also help make up for any shortage in nighttime sleep. Even a one hour shortage in overall sleep hours can have a negative effect on a child – compromising alertness and brain function, and increasing fussiness and fatigue.

There are many ideas for helping a child to take a nap, but the best idea in the world may not work for you if the solution doesn’t address the reason that your child won’t nap. There is not just one reason that babies and young children refuse to nap – there are hundreds of different reasons. Before you decide on a solution you need to understand your child’s motivation. Once you figure out the cause of your child’s “nonnappingness” you can put together a plan to overcome her resistance. Here are a few typical reasons kids won’t nap – and suggestions to solve each problem:

Problem: Has outgrown the current nap schedule

Solutions: Think about any changes in your child’s life, growth or development. Has he learned to crawl, begun to eat solid food or started daycare? Any change can also affect sleep patterns. Watch your child for signs of tiredness between naps and adjust your schedule to meet his new needs.

Problem: Nap schedule doesn’t match your child’s biological clock

Solutions: Naptime, bedtime, mealtime, exposure to light and darkness, and activity all can affect your child’s biological clock. Look at your child’s schedule to be sure these things occur at reasonable times every day. The improper order of things (such as active, brightly lit playtime just before bed) can affect your child’s rhythm. 

Problem: Nap schedule isn’t consistent from day to day

Solutions: If on weekdays nap times, bedtime and wakeup time are specific, but on weekends they’re hit and miss, then your child will be functioning with a constant bout of jetlag. Other inconsistencies can also affect this, such as when your child naps at a certain time at daycare, but a different time at home, or if he takes a nice long nap on days when you are at home but takes a short one in the car (or skips a nap entirely) when you are on the go. Set up a possible nap schedule for your child and do your best to stay within a half hour of the nap times that you have set up. 

Problem: Child is overtired and over-wired by nap time

Solutions: If you miss your child’s signs of fatigue he can quickly move past his tired spell, past overtired, and into a second wind – that state of artificial energy which often brings with it more crying, fussing, whining and tantrums. When you miss your child’s tired signs it also means he won’t be able to fall asleep when you do finally put him in bed.

To learn your child’s sleepy signs it can help to watch him in the hour after he first wakes up in the morning, when he is well rested. Compare this to his behavior during the time from dinner to bedtime, when most children show signs of fatigue. As his usual bedtime draws near, make note of how his behavior and body language differs from when he is alert and refreshed. Aim to put your child for a nap as soon as he shows signs of fatigue. A tired child will fall asleep easily and sleep longer and better.

Problem: Reliance on a specific sleep aid

Solutions: A child who is accustomed to falling asleep in one very specific way can easily become so used to this one method that if you try to have him nap under any other condition he would be physically unable to do so. The best way to understand a child’s association needs are to examine them from your own viewpoint. It’s possible that you sleep well in your own bed but struggle to sleep at a hotel or someone else’s home. Some children’s sleep associations are so strong it can only be compared to asking you to sleep on a roller coaster!

The most common nap-preventing associations are breastfeeding or bottlefeeding to sleep, being held by loving arms, or sleeping in a swing, bouncer or car seat. These are wonderfully comforting places for a child to nap – but when they become necessary for sleep then it’s likely to cause a problem for the parent who must provide naptime services. These associations are usually so necessary to your child’s sleep that they override every other reason or solution. Because these are complicated issues each of these associations has its own chapter of information and solutions in other parts of this book.

Problem: Sneaky micro-naps

Solutions: The very first stage of sleep can last as little as five minutes and can reduce feelings of sleepiness– it lifts the lid and let’s the steam out just enough. If your child hits a tired zone and is lying on the sofa, sitting in a swing, or going for a ride in the car, he may nod off for five or ten minutes. This micro-nap doesn’t give your child the full benefit of a real nap, but can be just enough to rejuvenate him and prevent him from being able to sleep when you put him in bed later for a nap.

To circumvent this problem, avoid putting your child in a nap-inducing environment, like a ride in the car, or time in his swing, at a time when he’s likely to need a nap, unless you can leave him for a full long nap.

Problem: Health troubles

Solutions: If any health issue is bothering your child it can definitely affect his sleep. Allergies and asthma are two of the most common childhood diseases. Both of these conditions can make it difficult for your child to breathe comfortably when lying down. Colic, reflux, ear infections and difficult bouts of teething are other conditions that can prevent a child from napping well.

If your child suffers from any medical issues good naps are especially important for his health. If this is the case with your child it will be helpful if you are very flexible and open to finding any solution that helps him sleep. Put aside any notion that your child must sleep in a certain place or a certain way, and open yourself to the concept that any nap is better than no nap at all.

At the same time, talk with various medical experts about your child’s health matters and look to find the best solutions for your child.

Tips for encouraging naptime

No matter why your child won’t nap, there are a few specifics that can be helpful as you encourage any child to take regular naps. Keep these basic principles in mind: 

  • Maintain a consistent daily schedule that works with your child’s natural body clock. Create a predictable pattern to the day – with meals and naptime happening at reliable times.
  • Modify your schedule according to your child’s sleepy signs. No matter what the clock says, it’s nap time when your child becomes quieter, loses interest in toys or playtime, fusses, stares off into the distance, rubs his eyes or ears, and of course: if he begins to yawn.
  • Have a relaxing pre-nap routine to cue your child that naptime is here and help him wind down and relax.
  • Set up a sleeping place that is cozy and that sets the stage for sleep. Dress your child comfortably for sleep.
  • Keep mornings bright and active, and the half hour before each nap session quiet, dimly lit, and calm.
  • Keep in mind that you cannot force a child to sleep, but you can follow the basic rules of biology, gauge your child’s sleepy signals, and create a setting that is inductive to sleep and relaxation.

~~~~~~

From The No-Cry Nap Solution: Guaranteed Gentle Ways to Solve All Your Naptime Problems by Elizabeth Pantley (McGraw-Hill, January 2009). Here is the link for information and more excerpts:  http://www.pantley.com/elizabeth/

The professionals at TLC Family Care personally assist nannies, babysitters and families in St. Louis, Atlanta, Chicago, Nashville, Memphis, Charlotte, Miami and Orlando to find the right childcare arrangement. Our mission is to provide a safe and personalized  approach for families and caregivers to connect with each other that is not an internet search. TLC has worked with families, nannies, sitters, newborn care providers, and tutors for over 35 years and looks forward to working with you! To find great nanny and babysitting jobs visit us at tlc@tlcforkids.com or Call 314-725-5660.

Best Practices to Establish the Perfect Nanny Relationship

Our guest post today comes from International Nanny Association

 

You’ve finished your search and have finally hired the best-fit nanny for your family, but where do you go from here to ensure that you develop the best possible nanny relationship ongoing?

Honeymoon Period

In every new job, both the employer and employee will be trying to make the best possible impression. Venturing into new territory will mean that the nanny may try different approaches and end up keeping some, while changing others. Adjusting to the expectations of the job and forming a bond with the children and family will take time. Rome, the perfect romance, and a long-lasting nanny relationship aren’t built overnight (or in two weeks); be patient and realistic.

Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff

You hired this professional for a reason. That being said, she’s human. She may do things differently than you do, or would do. That doesn’t make them wrong. People have diverse ways of handling children. It’s easy to pick up on these variances, especially in the beginning, but try to be respectful and give your new nanny the space she needs to blossom in your household. Carefully weigh what really matters. Certainly, something involving a safety concern or a personal boundary you’d communicate about, but if she gets your child dressed in another order than you do or has a varied teeth brushing routine, it may not be worth worrying about. In fact, many parents comment on how much they’ve gained from having another adult around, with years of childcare experience, who second handedly taught them a great deal, if they were open-minded and willing to see other methods through this lens. At the end of the day, if your children are well cared for and you trust her, then that speaks volumes.

 

Read more for a successful nanny / family relationship. 

Tips on how to enjoy Art Basel when traveling with children.

So you want to bask in all of the Miami essence that comes with visiting for Art Basel. Special exhibits, pre-parties, after-parties, concerts, fabulous restaurants, and more. But there’s just one obstacle: Traveling with young children. Sure, we love to have them tag along and hate to leave them back home with the grandparents, but the multi-day party that is Art Basel creates an environment that is not entirely compatible with the young ones.

With a little bit of advanced planning, you can be sure to enjoy the best of both worlds so that the kids have a great time and you do too!

As so many Art Basel events occur in the evening, one strategy is to take advantage of Miami’s excellent kid-friendly attractions during the early part of the day. Attractions such as the Miami Children’s Museum,  Jungle Island,  Crandon Park Amusement Center, or an amphibious adventure with Duck Tours on South Beach will provide much needed entertainment for the kids that parents can share and enjoy with them!

Ok, so now the kiddos are entertained and worn out and its time for the parents (who have presumably conserved some energy) to go enjoy the Art Basel action. What now? Yes, we want to expose our children to wonderful art, but the massiveness of exhibitions such as Red Dot, Aqua, Context, Art Miami, and many others is capable of testing the endurance of the hardiest adults, let alone children.

That’s where TLC Family Care can help. Perhaps you’d like to take an early evening stroll through an exhibition hall with your children and have an extra set of eyes, ears, and hands to ensure the kids don’t touch the art (with the big “do not touch” sign on it), break anything, or run around and get lost in the massive halls while you attempt to take a serious and thoughtful look at the abundant and diverse art. One of TLC’s fully vetted and loving caregivers will be glad to join you and look after the kids to allow you to focus a bit more on the artistic treasures. Alternatively (or immediately after) TLC will send a sitter to your hotel room so that you can go out and enjoy the exhibitions, fine restaurants, and nightlife. You’ll be assured that your children are having a great time at your hotel playing, reading, and doing other activities before they get safely tucked in for a good night’s rest.

It’s really the best of both worlds; you can enjoy Miami’s beaches and attractions with your children by day, and also to get in some “adult-time” at night. Art Basel and Children DO go together well when you add a little bit of TLC caregiving to the equation.

It’s easy to book a TLC Miami hotel babysitter. Simply visit TLC Family Care and fill out our short application. A TLC representative will contact you immediately to assign and confirm an experienced and fully qualified sitter who will have fun with your children and set your mind at ease.

Last-minute requests are welcome, but we advise that you book in advance to be certain of getting the coverage you want. This is one of the busiest times of year for our on-call sitters. Use the link above or call TLC at 305.256.5905. We’d be happy to tell you more about our awesome sitters and get you set up with coverage to make your visit run smoothly.

Enjoy the art!

 

Babysitters for Art Basel

Art Basel is an exciting time of year in Miami.  However, visiting exhibits like Art Miami,  Aqua, and Red Dot can be stressful with young kids. It’s hard to enjoy all the beautiful art work when you are worried about your kids touching everything!  

Parents start to wonder what to do with their kids while they are at Art Basel or enjoying the Miami Nightlife.

TLC for Kids Miami has the answer! TLC For Kids has vetted, loving and experienced babysitters who can come to your hotel to entertain and safeguard your children so you can tour Art Basal.

It’s easy to reserve a TLC Miami hotel babysitter. Visit our website to complete the Hotel Reservation form.  A TLC representative will contact you immediately to assign and confirm an experienced sitter.  TLC sitters will make sure your child is having fun while you are away!

 

 

TLC For Kids, Inc. has been St. Louis’ premier nanny and babysitting agency  for over 25 years. We also provide caregivers in Miami, South Florida and Atlanta.  TLC For Kids’ dedicated staff is ready to assist you in finding nannies, tutors, newborn care specialists, sitters and more. Reach us at info@tlcforkids.com or 314-725-5660.

The Benefits of Nanny Care

Our guest blog comes from Sue Downey, Nannypalooza 

Happy National Nanny Recognition Week. It is a week of celebrating in the nanny community. Last year I wrote a blog post about what NNRW means to me. I love celebrating nanny care. It has been a great career for me and the community of nannies means quite a great deal to me.

But NNRW is also a great opportunity for us and I am not sure we are doing enough to capitalize on it. The nanny industry as a whole has changed immensely in the past few years. Big sites like Care.com have increased not only our visibility but also have made having a nanny something that even more families desire. There are more and more nannies across the U.S., and not just in the big East and West coast cities where they have been for decades. It is not uncommon to find families looking for nannies in cities like St. Louis, Cincinnati and Dallas. It is not only for the ultra wealthy families anymore either. Certainly, having a nanny is more expensive than other forms of child care, but more and more upper middle class families see the benefit and decide to make the sacrifice necessary.

Read more benefits of Nanny Care by Sue.

Revving Up Your Child’s Immune System

Children are exposed to a lot of germs. They’re around germs at school, at the playground and at places where they go to engage in after school activities. It’s easy for them to pick up germs when they go to the library and touch books that others have touched, too.

Kids can also pick up germs at the school gym, which is actually a hotbed for germs – and they can pick up germs on the school bus. The reason it’s so easy for children to pick up germs is that they’re constantly in an environment with other kids who don’t practice good hygiene, so it’s easier for germs to spread.

Children aren’t as careful as they need to be when it comes to washing their hands after using the bathroom or playing outside. Kids, both sick and healthy, will cough or sneeze into their hands and then touch shared items or other children.

Kids can also pick up germs from playing outside and digging in the dirt or picking up a frog or sticks or anything else that had contact with the ground. They can also get germs from playing with the dog or cat.

Hand cleanliness can be a first line of defense against germs and children should wash for a good 20-60 seconds and make sure they allow the soap to get beneath the nails. But despite how diligent you are about making sure your child practices good hygiene, there will always be the parent who sends their kid to school sick for whatever reason.

When a sick child comes into a classroom packed with healthy kids and touches a paper that’s passed back or touches the doorknob for the classroom or the doorknob for the bathroom, germs rest there until they’re transferred to the next child.

There is nothing you can do to prevent someone else from not practicing good hygiene or from sending their child to school when they shouldn’t. However, you can take steps to protect your child as much as you can.

You want to make sure that your child eats a healthy diet, gets plenty of fresh air, the right amount of rest – and that he also stays up to date on his immunizations. Having your child stay on schedule for immunizations gives him the antibodies to fight childhood diseases – and many diseases are preventable with immunizations.

Besides having your child immunized, you also want to make sure she gets a yearly flu shot. Having a flu shot can help keep your child from being sidelined with the flu, which can cause high fever that can lead to seizures.