May 2011

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live with family When it comes to preventing injuries, the experts at the Kohl’s Safety Center and Store in the American Family Children’s Hospital offer afford- able safety gear and parent-to-parent advice Smarts Safety Hazard: Riding in the family vehicle Safety Center Solution: According to Kohl’s Safety Center Manager Jim Savage, the car seat misuse rate in Madison is close to a whopping 90 percent. Though the most common errors are simple to correct, it often takes a pro to quickly show you just how to get it in just right. Schedule a time to roll on by the Safety Center to ensure your car seat or booster seat is perfect (and perfectly installed) for your child, your vehicle and your peace of mind. Safety Hazard: A freestanding flat screen TV Safety Center Solution: When little hands reach out for balance (or little climbers look for something to scale) avoid injuries from furniture tip-overs by anchoring freestanding items such as bookcases, your television and more to the wall with mounts available at the center. Safety Hazard: Ill-fitting protective gear Safety Center Solution: Bike helmets and life jackets are available everywhere from chain stores to local active stores. While following the labels on helmets, life pre- servers and the like is a great way to start, ensuring the proper fit of any protective gear is key. Trained staff within the Safety Center can properly fit helmets and life jackets to each child, and offer sizes for the whole family. The Kohl’s Safety Center and Store is located inside the American Family Children’s Hospital and open to the public. For more information visit New Online Safety Tools for Parents The Safer Products site, launched in March and overseen by the Consumer Product Safety Commission, contains official prod- uct recall updates, consumer complaints and more. 22 BRAVA Magazine May 2011 YoungStar, a statewide program created by the Department of Children & Families, provides ratings for thousands of licensed child care providers to assist parents in finding quality providers. Ask Doctor Mom For the love of reading By Dr. Kristin Seaborg This Mother’s Day, I’d like to delve into a topic in honor of my mom, a retired teach- er, who instilled a love of reading in me from a very early age. Each year, 35 percent of American chil- dren start school without the language skills necessary to read. It’s no surprise that a child who struggles with reading is at risk of school failure. And because school failure has been shown to lead to depression and anxiety—serious issues at any age—reading can impact your child’s overall health. Well-intentioned parents, however, do not need big-money resources such as flashcards or overpriced “Teach Your In- fant to Read” DVDs to promote a love for reading. Instead, encouraging literacy is as simple as making story time a regular rit- ual at home. Even the smallest infants can benefit from being read to every day and the more words a child is exposed to, the better they will be able to talk. As your baby grows, reading only gets more exciting. Older toddlers love it when they hear animal sounds and different voices as you read their favorite tales. It also helps them learn when you ask your toddler about the pictures they see. Don’t hesitate to re-read books that prove to be favorites. If your child learns all the words in their favorite book, let them finish sen- tences or “read” the book to you to foster confidence and pride. Even when children are old enough to read on their own, try to take 15-20 minutes each day to read with them. You’ll not only encourage a love of reading, you’ll also cre- ate lasting memories. In the eloquent words of Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis: “There are many ways to enlarge your child’s world. Love of books is the best of all.” Kristin Seaborg is a pediatrician with Group Health Cooperative. She has three children, ages 6, 4 and 1. Photos courtesy of Kohl’s Safety Center and Store

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