Everyone is Talking
About the Zika virus infecting 157 pregnant women in the United States.
Why do I care?
With the summer months rolling in and the fall months that follow, mosquitos become a real deal issue. The unfortunate part is that they now carry a potentially debilitating disease with them, one that affects your unborn children if infected.
Tell me more.
If you haven’t heard rumblings of this disease yet, you will. It’s gradually spreading across the world and it’s already affecting unborn children in many countries. As of now, mothers-to-be who traveled abroad and contracted the disease are the only cases reported in the U.S. Something else to note, is there is evidence that suggests the disease can be spread sexually – so it’s important to know that this is not simply a mosquito bite transmitted disease. It has been recommended that if a male partner has recently traveled to a known Zika location, that precautions are taken or abstinence is practiced.
What else is there to know?
Once a mother is infected, her unborn child can be born with microcephaly – a condition that causes the baby to develop “unusually small brains and heads, and brings lifelong cognitive impairments.” There are also reported cases of Guillain-Barre syndrome, a condition that can strike people of any age causing temporary paralysis.
Scientists anticipate the overall Zika impact this summer in the U.S. to be relatively low. Prevention is key since there are no vaccinations to prevent or cure the disease, so be diligent with wearing repellent, even if you are not in a high-risk area. Make sure the repellent has following active ingredients: DEET, picaridin, IR3535, oil of lemon eucalyptus, or para-menthane-diol.
Some additional precautions to take:
- Wear long sleeves and pants.
- Stay inside during peek mosquito hours.
- Cover strollers when outside with mosquito netting.
- Don’t leave standing water around your home to avoid mosquitoes laying eggs. This includes indoors as well as outdoors.
For additional tips and a visual guide on Zika virus prevention – download this flyer from the CDC.
That’s What She Said
Raise your hand if sending your kid to sleep away camp gives your heart palpitations? Ok, cool, us too.
That being said, we are not adverse to the idea of sending them off, and apparently one mom firmly believes that if your kid attends regular summer sleep away camp, it may offer them a competitive advantage in life over the long term.
In a recently published Washington Post piece, Laura Clydesdale shared her perspective on sleep away camp and why she sends her kids off for most of the summer. She writes, that while her kid’s friends and peers are taking abbreviated summers to pursue extra tutoring, beef up their extracurricular resumes for college, or taking classes or SAT/ACT prep, she’s sending her kids off to camp instead:
“We are consciously opting out of the things-to-put-on-the-college-application arms race, and instead betting on three huge benefits of summer camp, which we believe will give them a true competitive advantage — in life:
1. Building creativity.
2. Developing broadly as a human being.
3. Not-living-in-my-basement-as-an-adult independence.”
We may be on board with her thinking – if playing all summer independently from us means they’ll leave the nest and function on their own without fear then, we’re down.
Throughout the piece, Laura cites innovators, creators and experts on the topics like creativity, innovation and independence to support her thinking. In short, she is banking on raising original thinkers who will ultimately contribute to society in a big way. She begins to wrap up her point
“Most importantly, my kids have such intensely packed schedules full of sports, music, art classes, community service and technological stimulation throughout the school year that it makes finding these all-important quiet mental spaces more difficult.”
Your Digital Kid
Snapchat – all the kids (and many of their parents) are doing it. If you’re not familiar, Snapchat is a social media app that allows you to send and receive ‘snaps’ of your life, snaps that disappear after 30 seconds to never be seen again, unless someone takes a screenshot of your snap. And, that’s where it can get tricky for kids, and why parents should monitor their child’s use on this app and all social media.
If you’re as baffled by how to get started as we have been, then check out Greeblehaus’ guide to snapchat. They break it down visually and with instructions. Perfect for the newbie looking to get snappy with their kids and friends. Now go throw up rainbows with your kids. Yes, that’s a thing, and yes, your kids love it.
Summer sandboxes are all the rage with the littles, so why not step it up a notch with Sticky Sand? By modifying your sand with a few simple ingredients, you can have ‘wet’ sand all the time, which will mold and shape easily for your kids as they play. Apparently, this sand sticks together, but it won’t stick to your kids and cleans up pretty easily. That’s a win in our book.
“Many people worry so much about managing their careers, but rarely spend half that much energy managing their LIVES. I want to make my life, not just my job, the best it can be. The rest will work itself out.” – Reese Witherspoon
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