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5 Ways to Help Your Children Cope with the Death of a Family Pet

Anna Smith

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We all love our cats, dogs, lizards, snakes, hamsters, and other family pets, so when one dies, the entire family might go into mourning. If you have children, your burdens are even higher because the loss of a pet is often one of the first experiences that children have with death. If you’re a parent that wants to help your child ease through some of the difficulties of accepting the death of a pet, you can take a look at these five ways to help your children cope with losing a pet.

Get a New Pet

If you’ve recently lost a dog, you can get a new puppy or a rescue dog to help children ease through some of the pain of losing a loved animal. Timing is crucial, though. PetFinder recommends letting your child have their feelings rather than rushing them through or trying to cover up the loss of the pet. Replacing the pet too quickly can send the message that animals are disposable. The new animal should help your child understand that most pets die before their owners and that there’s the opportunity for new love. If you have a pet that’s getting older or is sick, you can also introduce a new animal before the old or sick one dies so that children have the opportunity to bond with the new animal.

Create a Memorial

While you don’t want your child to become depressed or brood on the loss of a pet for months, it’s perfectly natural for children to need some kind of process that lets them show that they loved their pet. Let your child participate in a pet memorial. For instance, Pet Pod points out that you can get your pet’s remains integrated into a soil that will feed a fully rooted and growing outdoor or indoor seedlings. Make sure that the memorial has a positive tone so that your child knows that, although they loved their pet, it’s okay to move forward and be happy even though the pet is gone.

Talk to Your Child

Child Development Institute explains that depending on the age of your children, you might have one who has no concept of death. If you have a young child who has never had this experience before, this is a good time to explain to them that this is a perfectly normal part of living. You can even approach the topic of human death so that they understand that this, too, is normal. Although your child can be sad, it’s also important to maintain an open line of communication so that your child feels safe and can go to you if they have questions.

Share Memories of Your Pet

One way to ease the loss of a pet is to have your entire family share with each other about the good times that you had with your pet or have some other way to memorialize them. Funeral Wise suggests that, similar to grieving over the loss of a family member or friend, sharing stories about your pet with each other can help you memorialize them. You can also write down memories and put them in a place where everyone can reach the slips of paper and read a story about your dog. If you have particularly young children who can’t yet read and write, they can simply draw a picture so that they can be involved in the process of creating the memories.

Keep a Picture Up

Similar to sharing memories together, putting up a picture or displaying one of your pet’s favorite toys is a way that your children can remember your dog or cat. Put it in the living room or another communal room so that children all feel like they have equal access to the memory.

When you’re helping your children grieve, it might be tempting to try to cover up the loss by telling them that your pet ran away or went to Grandma’s house. But children are smarter than you think, and they’ll figure out your ruse quickly. Then, they won’t feel like they can turn to you about their grief. Instead, invest in a few activities to help your child respect and acknowledge their love for their pet.

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Family Health

A Parent’s Guide For Breaking Out The Pool Toys

Anna Smith

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white swan floater on pool

A pool is one of the greatest places to go in the summer. As a parent, you can relax in the sun, or jump in and play with the kids. Kids can find endless entertainment if you have the right toys. As fun as the pool can be, it is important to remember that pools can be dangerous. It’s your responsibility as a parent to keep an eye on your kids and make sure they stay safe.

Keep Them Clean and in Good Condition

Not only can dirty toys get the pool dirty, no one wants to play with them. If the toys are in bad condition, they can even be dangerous. Poolside basketball hoops need to be safely secured. A loose hoop could tip over and hit someone’s head. Floats should be checked for leaks. If a float pops and begins to sink a child can get tangled and dragged to the bottom of the pool. None of this should be a problem if you check the toys before tossing them in the pool.

Floating Toys vs Life Jackets

For some children, wearing a life jacket can be embarrassing. They see their friends without them and want to do the same. If your child is an adequate swimmer, this may be okay. If they are a beginner, you should not allow them into the pool without a lifejacket. They may ask if they can use a floating toy instead, don’t allow this.

Floating toys can be dangerous and should not be thought of as adequate substitutes for life jackets. Floating toys can be slippery. A tired and panicked child will have a difficult time holding on to one when they are struggling to stay above the water. A poor swimmer can also get stuck underneath floating toys, unable to come up for air.

Before letting your children swim without a jacket, you should make them demonstrate that they can swim the length of the pool under supervision. This should show you if they are strong enough swimmers to be safe.

Play Safe Games

Make sure the games that your children play are safe. Don’t let poor swimmers dive for toys in the deep end of the pool. Don’t let them run on the edges of the pool. Don’t let them jump onto each other, or onto floating toys. This can quickly lead to injury and an end to your pool trip.

When you go to the pool, make sure your children understand the safety rules. Take the time to explain the reasons behind these rules. This will help your children understand why they need to obey them.

Read this next: How to Get the Most Out of Your Pool for You and Your Family

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Family Health

How to Develop a Healthy Routine to Prevent Tooth Decay

Anna Smith

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person with red lipstick and white pearl earrings

Maintaining a strong set of teeth will be easier if you follow the rules necessary to keep a healthy body. Eat a diet rich in calcium and fresh produce. Take care to keep your teeth clean and free of bacteria. Finally, drink plenty of water. Read on to find out how these steps affect your oral health.

Follow Standard Dental Hygiene

With daily brushing after meals and flossing before bed, you can protect yourself from a lot of dental damage. Never go to bed without flossing and brushing your teeth first. Make regular visits to your dentist to clean and protect your teeth. With regular dental care, any cavities that do form will be caught and addressed early. Minor cavities, such as those that are very shallow, can be treated without anesthetics. If you catch them soon enough, this will save you a lot of money.

Pay Attention to Your Diet

Processed sugars offer little in the way of nutritional value and may cling to your teeth and promote decay. You can grow strong teeth with a focus on dietary calcium. Quench your craving for processed sugars by snacking on fresh fruit instead of candy. Drink water instead of soda. Be aware that acidic foods and beverages, such as citrus fruits and coffee, can be hard on your tooth enamel. Brush after consuming these foods if you can. If you can’t brush, rinse out your mouth. Try to limit your food intake to three meals and one or two snacks each day. Brush or rinse each time you eat.

Avoid Tobacco Products

Tobacco products attack your dental health in several ways. Tobacco will discolor your teeth and cause heavy plaque build-up. The use of tobacco on a regular basis will damage the ability of your body to heal itself. Gum tissue will not stay healthy and protect the roots of your teeth. Any tears or cuts to gum tissue will not heal efficiently if your circulation is being threatened by tobacco products, providing space for destructive bacteria to live and damage your tooth enamel. There are many tools and products that will make quitting smoking easier to manage. Every aspect of your health can be improved by breaking a tobacco habit.

Caring for your teeth is a habit that will serve you well for years into the future. The habit of brushing and flossing before bed will become so ingrained that you may struggle to fall asleep if forced to skip brushing and flossing. Keeping your teeth strong and healthy can be managed with regular cleaning habits at home and consistent visits to your dentist for check-ups.

Have a hard time getting your family to eat healthy? Click here for meals that will suit even the pickiest eaters!

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Allergy

How to Reduce Allergens in Your Home

Anna Smith

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If you suffer from allergies your life can be limited in ways that people who don’t have allergies will never understand. Some triggers can bring about debilitating symptoms that can be legitimately categorized as a disability under the Americans with Disabilities Act.

Keep It Clean

The first barrier to attack is cleanliness. Vacuum, mop, wipe down and anything that will keep dust and pollen at bay. Inasmuch as rugs can hold allergens, it is better to have uncarpeted floors with rugs throughout your home than to have wall to wall carpet. Rugs can trap dust and other allergens in your home so they aren’t floating around the air. Wear a mask when vacuuming and cleaning the house. Use a vacuum with a bag to cut down on dust flying when you empty your vacuum.

Wash all bedding frequently, and replace your pillows often or use pillowcases that are antiallergen. You might change your pillowcases more often than your sheets since your face is directly on them, and you are breathing in whatever is being held in their fibers. Taking a shower or at least washing your hair at night will cut down on pollution that has taken up residence in your hair during the day so that it will not be transferred to your pillowcase when you sleep.

Keep Windows Closed

Fresh air is not always a good thing. Keep those windows shut, especially when pollen count is high. For some people, air flowing through open windows can wreak havoc regardless of the level of pollen and any poses a threat. A HEPA air purifier may help cut down on allergens inside your house.

No Furry Friends Allowed

Pet dander is one of the biggest causes of allergy exacerbation. It can be heartbreaking to have to get rid of a much-loved pet, but sometimes it is the only way for you to stay healthy. If you absolutely must have a pooch in residence, keep him brushed and shampooed frequently. If your beloved is a feline, she can be brushed as well. If you do it yourself, wear a mask, do the pet grooming outside, put your clothes in the washer immediately afterward and preferably take a shower. Even low dander animals have some.

Whether yours only crop up once or twice a year, or you need allergy shots on a regular basis, there are ways to get relief, though not always as quickly as you would like. Discuss new options with your doctor and be open to new ways to alleviate your symptoms.

Increase your health by getting to know your body! Click here for some essential lifestyle tips.

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