Monday, May 19, 2014

5 Steps to a Positive Bedtime Routine

The impact of poor sleep routines on children is a common topic of conversation.  

One of the most important tings a parent can do to help a child is to create a good bedtime routine - sleep is so important to the whole family . Without the adequate amount of sleep it has been shown that it affects a child's behavior, learning and concentration.It is therefore important, if you haven't already establish a bedtime routine for your toddler. When you follow a set routine every night, your child will quickly come to appreciate the consistency and predictability.

A typical bedtime routine will be something like this:
  1. Change into pajamas
  2. Bedtime drink
  3. Using the bathroom and brushing  teeth
  4. Bedtime story
  5. Getting into bed
This is every night, no matter where you are - consistency is key.

If your child has difficulty in settling at night then it is a great idea to use a reward chart - we have our Good Night, Sleep Tight Reward Chart which enable children to receive stickers at night and in the morning when they have stayed in bed  all night. In 2013 our sleep chart was a National Parenting Publications Award (NAPPA)  Honors winner, recognized for its support to parents wanting to create a bedtime routine.

The chart is fun, simple to use and brings great results for both parent and child. It is designed as a simple reward chart system using fun colored stickers to acknowledge successfully completed steps. A free printable Good Night, Sleep Tight certificate complements the chart and is available to download from The Victoria Chart Company's Facebook page.

The Victoria Chart Company's President and Founder Victoria Ballard says "We are at the forefront of knowing what parents struggle with, the pressures of modern day life can be very disruptive to the simplest of routines. Our Good Night, Sleep Tight chart with its supportive information sheet provides families with the necessary tool to create the all-important, regular bedtime routine for their child". To save 15% use coupon code VCHART15 at checkout at or for purchases in the USA and UK.

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Keep Kids Safe Around Water This Summer

This weekends' events in my hometown of Tampa have prompted me to write this post. Safety during the summer months, particularly keeping kids safe around swimming pools.  Drowning ranks fifth among the leading causes of unintentional injury death in the United States. This Mother's Day weekend 3 children have drowned and another child is in critical care. It brings a lump to my throat just thinking about how these families are coping with such traumatic events occurring in their lives.

We want to bring to your attention some basic safety tips that have been released by the American Red Cross that we felt would be useful to share.

Make Water Safety Your Priority

  • Swim in designated areas supervised by lifeguards.
  • Always swim with a buddy; do not allow anyone to swim alone. Even at a public pool or a lifeguarded beach, use the buddy system!
  • Ensure that everyone in the family learns to swim well. Enroll in age-appropriate Red Cross water orientation and Learn-to-Swim courses.
  • Never leave a young child unattended near water and do not trust a child’s life to another child; teach children to always ask permission to go near water.
  • Have young children or inexperienced swimmers wear U.S. Coast Guard-approved life jackets around water, but do not rely on life jackets alone.
  • Establish rules for your family and enforce them without fail. For example, set limits based on each person’s ability, do not let anyone play around drains and suction fittings, and do not allow swimmers to hyperventilate before swimming under water or have breath-holding contests.
  • Even if you do not plan on swimming, be cautious around natural bodies of water including ocean shoreline, rivers and lakes. Cold temperatures, currents and underwater hazards can make a fall into these bodies of water dangerous.
  • If you go boating, wear a life jacket! Most boating fatalities occur from drowning.
  • Avoid alcohol use. Alcohol impairs judgment, balance and coordination; affects swimming and diving skills; and reduces the body’s ability to stay warm.
Prevent Unsupervised Access to the Water

  • Install and use barriers around your home pool or hot tub. Safety covers and pool alarms should be added as additional layers of protection.
  • Ensure that pool barriers enclose the entire pool area, are at least 4-feet high with gates that are self-closing, self-latching and open outward, and away from the pool. The latch should be high enough to be out of a small child’s reach.
To read more click

There are some really useful tips and downloads available from the Red Cross. Be sure to supervise children when playing around water.