Summertime is everyone’s favorite time of year! The sun is shining, the flowers are blooming, the swimming pools are open and BBQ’s are going on in every neighborhood. Yet, with so much free time from school, what parents haven’t heard the dreaded words, I AM BORED!
Bust summer boredom with these awesome, fun and easy ideas. Any time kids start to complain, an activity will be ready to help them get creative and pass the time!
Summer Boredom Busters:
#1- Creative Kids in Action
For this fun activity, kids will draw out of three envelopes. Each envelope gives them a different direction to create a fun, artistic afternoon. Don’t let them redraw! Once they have picked out of the envelope, they have to keep it. Here’s how it works:
-You will need three envelopes. In the first envelope write on five strips of paper each phrase – Write a story, Make a movie, Create a dance, Draw a picture, or Write a play.
-Next, take your second envelope and write phrases such as – About a pioneer that rides in a wagon, About an ogre that loves flowers, About an evil witch that eats candy, About a famous race car driver that is only 12, About an old lady that lives in a treehouse…or whatever you choose!
-Lastly, take your third envelope and write action phrases such as- Who gets to meet the President, Who travels across the world, Who is being chased by evil dragons, Who can never remember their name, Who sleeps all day and is awake at night…you get the idea!
This concept can be adjusted however you like and create hours of fun entertainment for any child.
#2 – Create a Summer Game Basket
Games are a great way to spend the day! Find an empty basket and place dollar store card games such as Old Maid, Go Fish or Crazy Eight inside of it. Buy a few decks of regular cards as well, some dice, maybe a chess board and some checkers. Any games you like! Check out this website for Kid Classic Card Games. Print out some rules for classic card games or dice games and your kids will have hours of fun prepared.
#2 – Boredom Jar
Take an empty Mason Jar and have your kids decorate it for summertime. Make a list of fun, easy summer activities that can be outdoor, indoor or around the neighborhood. Once kids start to complain of boredom, have them draw an activity and fulfill it!
While life is rushing by us sometimes the last thing we are thinking about is preventing bad things from happening. We might just be trying to survive today! However, did you know that parents who are informed about head lice and take steps to proactively protect their families are better off than those who do not? Of course, anyone can still bring home a case of head lice. But, parents who know are prepared to handle the situation calmly and effectively. Ultimately, they may even prevent it after all! Take a quick head lice pop quiz to see how prepared you are as a parent against head lice. Have fun, learn some lice facts, and see how you favor against others!
Head Lice Pop Quiz for Parents
Question #1 – Why do head lice need a human host?
They don’t. Head lice can live on any number of animals, pets or even birds.
Head lice are exclusively a human parasite that lives off human blood and warmth to survive.
Head lice eat human hair and can survive without a human host as long as they have a food source, such as a hairbrush.
Question #2 – What time of the year do head lice outbreaks occur?
Head lice are active all times of the year, with more occurrences seen during spring break, summer breaks and back to school time.
Head lice are only active during the summer months when it is warmest.
Head lice are dormant all winter and come out for spring, summer, and fall.
Question #3 – What are super lice?
Head lice that have developed the ability to fly, making it much easier for them to infect many people.
Head lice that are able to hold their breath for up to 10 hours. This allows them to be unaffected by shampoos or water.
Head lice that have build up immunities to the active ingredient in over the counter shampoos.
Question #4 – What should you do to clean your home if someone has head lice?
Only worry about washing pillows that touch the head. Everything else is unaffected and not a threat.
Wash all bedding, sheets, towels, and stuffed animals. Deep clean carpets, furniture, and clothing. Place items that can’t be washed in the warm dryer for 20 minutes.
Take everything out of the child’s bedroom and sanitize it. Throw away bedding and clothing and replace with new.
Question #5 – Who is most likely to contract head lice?
Children between the ages of 3-11 are the most likely.
Adults who take the bus and/or fly frequently.
Elderly people are most likely to contract head lice because they don’t wash their hair very often.
How do you think you did? Here are the answers in case you are unsure:
Answer #1 – Head lice are exclusively a human parasite that lives off of human blood and warmth to survive. Pets play no role in head lice or the transfer of head lice.
Answer #2 – Head lice are active all times of the year, with more occurrences seen during spring break, summer breaks and back to school time. The cold winter months do not kill them.
Answer #3 – Super lice are head lice that have build up immunities to the active ingredients in over the counter shampoos, pyrethrins, and pyrethroids. This is found in common products that have been overused since the 1990s.
Answer #4 – Wash all bedding, sheets, towels, and stuffed animals. Deep clean carpets, furniture, and clothing. Place items that can’t be washed in the warm dryer for 20 minutes.
Answer #5 – The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention tell us that children between the ages of 3-11 are most likely to contract head lice.
Surprised at how little you know about this common, childhood problem? Contact Lice Clinics of America today with any questions or concerns you may have about head lice or the treatments we offer.
A big part of what we do at Lice Clinics of America is to help families through the headache of a head lice outbreak. We understand that this is not just a physical problem but can create quite a bit of stress and anxiety for everyone involved. With that in mind, we decided to take some time to talk with a few kids who have dealt with a case of head lice. We wanted to know how it made them feel, what they understood and what we could do to make the process easier for them.
Hunter age 12, Olivia age 8, and Ethan age 7 were happy to answer our questions. Here’s what they had to tell us:
Question #1 – “What are Head Lice?”
Ethan remarked, “Head lice is really little bugs that have sticky stuff that sticks them to your hair. I think you can get them from outside.”
Olivia answered, “Head lice is where you have little bugs in your hair. You have lice bugs. Head lice they eat your hair. I am just guessing because they like to go on our head.”
Hunter told us, “Head lice are like really tiny bugs. They are only like a tiny speck so you can’t see them. I think they eat bacteria.”
Obviously, when it comes to the facts about head lice, these kids were a little unsure. It may not be very important that they know the correct details about what head lice eat, especially the fact that an average case of head lice results in 50-60 bites per day. However, knowing how head lice are transferred and where they are most likely to catch head lice can be a very important fact for kids. Teach them that head lice are most often a result of direct head to head contact with friends. Remind them not to share hair accessories, brushes, hoodies, hats, pillows or other things that come into contact with hair.
Question #2 – “How Did You Know You had Head Lice? How Did You feel?”
Olivia told us, “I was just taking a shower and then my mom sits on the couch, and I sit on the floor and then she combs my hair. With the bottom of the comb she was combing my hair and she found them. She tried to get all the bugs out with it. I felt so scared. I HATE bugs and I only wanted to sleep on the floor because I was scared the bugs were on my bed!”
Hunter said, “I felt like there were little bugs in my hair. I wanted to wash my hair like super, heavy duty, for like a really long time all day and all night. I wanted to get them out as soon as possible because it was gross.”
Ethan replied, “I think it felt kinda ticklish and like painful in my hair. I felt super scared and worried that I could get creeped out. I was worried I could get hurt.”
These feeling of worry, stress, anxiety, and fear can take over when your child has contracted head lice. It is important for parents to ensure children that head lice are not life-threatening, it is not something that makes them a dirty or bad person. Children can feel more strain and grief from these scenarios than we might realize. Information is power and can do a lot to help prevent children from catching head lice and feeling reassured if they do. Take the time to talk to your kids about prevention. Teach them the signs and symptoms as well so they know what to look for in the future.
Question #3 – “How Did You Feel After Your Treatment and Your Head Lice was gone?”
Olivia told us, “I felt so happy and relieved! I would not share brushes with any more second graders!”
Ethan remarked, “I was so happy I wanted to throw a party!”
Hunter said, “I felt like I was clean and felt a lot better. I felt like I could be around people again.”
Many children feel embarrassed or want to withdraw from friends for fear of being labeled as a dirty kid. This is why we offer the latest, most effective, fast and painless treatment available for head lice removal. Lice Clinics of America uses the AirAllé® (pronounced air-a-lay) FDA-cleared medical device to eliminate head lice in one quick hour-long treatment. This product offers you peace of mind and helps your child to be free of this irritating event quickly and for good.
Did You Know?
Head lice is a huge problem, worldwide. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that in the United States alone 6-12 million children between the ages of 3 to 11 will contract head lice each year. This number is only growing with new “super lice” that show strong immunities to over-the-counter head lice shampoos and treatments. Also be aware, adults living in the same household with small children are much more likely to contract head lice themselves.
Why are Children More Often Prone to Head Lice?
Children play in large groups, ignore personal space boundaries, don’t discriminate or feel afraid to get up close and personal. While they are attending daycares, schools, playgroups or just playing in the backyard, they spend much more time closely-knit together. Because head lice are passed most often through direct head to head contact, they are more likely to pass it to one another.
Most parents love to watch their children participate in sports. As your child is running down the field giving it their best, you can’t help but be filled with a sense of pride. Other parents may wonder if it’s even worth the time and effort for their kids. Actually, there are many benefits to why children should play sports. Here are just a few to consider.
Benefit #1 – Sports Help Children to Feel Self-confidence
As they develop a new skill and talent kids self-esteem can be greatly increased. Through practicing and hard work children learn that they can accomplish much more than they ever realized. This is also a great opportunity for parents or older siblings to work with younger kids and spend time with them honing their skills. What is more fun for a mom or dad than to spend the afternoon throwing a ball with their kids or shooting baskets after school? It’s also a great way to have some family time! As your child develops an interest in a certain sport watch the professional teams as a family, pick a favorite team and root for them together. Children who spend time with a loving family do better in school, have much more self-confidence and will be better parents themselves in the future.
Benefit #2 – Sports Help Children Develop Leadership and Teamwork Skills
One of the most important lessons in life for any child is to learn to follow instructions and to work with others. Sometimes, we all encounter certain adults who struggle with this. It is vital as a child to learn to listen to instructions and follow them. With a coach to guide them, sports will give children this opportunity. It is equally as important for children to learn to put the needs of the overall team above their own wants and desires. Team sports for children can also help them to develop leadership skills as they notice a teammate who needs help and they take action. Leadership skills will emerge as they notice areas the team can improve and work hard with their teammates by offering encouragement and acceptance.
Benefit #3 – Active Kids are Healthy Kids
In the United States, one out of every six children is considered obese according to the American Heart Association. This is not only an alarming statistic but also dangerous to their health as they grow into adulthood. Young children are starting to show signs of diseases that were previously only affecting adults such as type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol. As children participate in sports they learn to love to be active. This love of healthy exercise can help them greatly as they grow into adults and continue this lifestyle.
Benefit #4 – Children Who Play Sports Workout Their Stress
Kids can become very anxious with demands of school work, household chores, finding friends and many other things that sometimes adults don’t think about. Sports gives them an opportunity to have an outlet for these frustrations. As they exercise, run and play hard they’re able to deal with the stress in a healthy way and vent some of their frustrations.
Benefit #5 – Playing Sports Build Lasting Friendships
Kids need friends so much in elementary and junior high school age. Friends give them a support system that parents simply cannot provide. They create many fun, happy memories together all the while building relationships that could last them a lifetime. Let the kids play and have fun together!
Teach children not to share sports equipment that could be harboring head lice or nits. Items such as helmets, hats, jackets, towels, or any other equipment that could transfer lice.
Make sure your child is not sharing a locker or gym bag with another player.
Inevitably, all the children will show up at practice and throw their belongings in a large heaping pile next to the sideline. Teach your child to keep their belongings separate and away from the group pile where other children’s things could be infected with head lice.
Direct head-to-head contact is the most common way to catch head lice. Talk to your children about avoiding direct head-to-head contact wherever possible.
Teach proper hygiene by having your child shower and wash their hair after every practice and game.
As a parent be alert and watch for signs and symptoms of head lice. Catching the problem early on is a much easier fix than even a few weeks later.
Sometimes when we think of head lice we automatically think of poor hygiene. Are there really any connections between personal hygiene habits and the possibility of catching head lice? The truth just might surprise you.
Dirty Hair vs. Clean Hair
Kids at school have been known to laugh and tease someone who is caught with head lice. They might even call them dirty or gross. Science Daily recently released an article showing this false assumption is way off base. In reality, head lice are actually more predisposed to prefer shiny, clean hair when looking for a new human host. Anyone, including those who are adamant about hygiene, is at risk for catching lice. Lice do not fly, hop or jump and are transferred most often by direct head to head contact. Therefore, it is much more about who you come into close contact with than how often you wash your hair.
Proper Hygiene is Crucial in Eliminating Head Lice
With that being said, once someone is actually infected with head lice cleanliness becomes concern number one. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention related to parents that head lice are not a result of poor hygiene, yet proper hygiene plays an important role in stopping the spreading of it. For example, if someone has caught head lice and is not quickly treated, the problem can escalate quickly. The more head lice they are carrying, the more likely it is to spread to those around them. Shampooing alone is not an adequate means for eliminating head lice. Nits and live lice must be killed and removed from the scalp.
Cleanliness in the Home is Just as Important
Those who live in the same household as others infected with head lice are the most at risk. Children between the ages of 3-11 pose the greatest risk for bringing head lice home. As parents interact with their children they are also at risk. This is definitely the most common way adults catch head lice, from their young children. Not only proper cleaning of the body but also of the home is important to stop head lice from spreading. Take care to thoroughly wash all bedding, towels, clothing, stuffed animals or school gear that your child has been in contact with. Place items in a hot dryer for 20 minutes if you are unable to wash them. Thoroughly vacuum all rooms and clean all couches and linens to eliminate lice and nits.
Teach Good Hygiene Habits to Kids
As often as we tell our kids to do something, it is far more advantageous to teach them through example. If hygiene is important to you, they are more likely to follow suit. With that said, it is not always that easy to know what you should do. The American Academy of Dermatology offers some guidelines and tips about hygiene for kids:
Children aged 6 – 11
Twice a week at least to wash the hair and body, is recommended.
Daily baths are not necessary, but ok if they would like to.
Shower or bath after swimming, or in lake or ocean water.
If they are outside and their skin is dirty or sweaty, as needed.
Use fun bath time toys or water coloring changing tablets to make it more enjoyable.
Get their favorite character soap bubbles or shampoos. Or buy them a fun, hooded towel they will enjoy using.
Children aged 12+
At this age children can get pretty stinky. Showering or bathing daily is recommended.
Usually, by sixth-grade kids start to feel self-conscious about being unclean and it gets a little easier to rely on them to shower daily. Except maybe for 11-12-year-old boys. They often require a little more persuasion.
Buy them their own body washes and sweet smelling shampoos. Make sure they are using a good deodorant.
Wash their faces daily to help fight acne.
Always rinse off in the shower after participating in sporting events.
All over the country people are talking about head lice. Parents can seem worried or even distressed about the “super lice” rumors. What is the truth about this nasty problem? Is it more common now? Yes, head lice are proving to pop up more quickly and in more areas than in years past. A recent news report from NBC Nightly News indicated that this common problem is becoming even more prevalent than before. Here are a few reasons it is a growing concern.
Reason #1 – Head Lice Are Indeed Harder to Kill
The active ingredient in over the counter lice shampoos and treatments, pyrethrin is simply not killing head lice anymore. Over the last thirty years that these products have been on the store shelves, they have been the go-to solution for parents whose kids contract head lice. Overuse has led to immunities being built up by head lice much in the way vaccinations help humans develop immunities to disease. Evolution at work has created a bigger problem for getting rid of head lice. Without realizing “super lice” are immune, parents are still relying on over the counter treatments and not getting rid of the problem. This is causing a more rapid spreading of head lice in communities around the country.
Reason #2 – Home Remedies Are Not Eliminating the Problem
On the flip side, a lot of parents are choosing to scour the internet for a list of helpful home remedies when they realize their child has a head lice outbreak. Pinterest, Instagram, and various other sites have loads of blogs or videos with tips and tricks. They will try mayonnaise, vaseline, olive oil, or even go as far as Vodka or kerosene. Certainly these cures could do a bit of damage, but in the end, they simply will not suffocate all of the adult lice or even begin to kill any nits, or lice eggs present on the infected person’s head. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention stress that these home remedies are not proven, effective methods for eliminating head lice. In fact, use of these products could be wasting valuable time. The longer your child is carrying head lice, the more likely others in your home will become affected and ultimately make the problem much worse. Do not rely on these old wives tales as many parents are. It is not doing much to solve the dilemma.
Reason #3 – Tech Savvy Teens and Young Kids are Contracting Lice
This generation of young people is practically physically attached to handheld devices. Whether it is an iPad, smartphone, tablet or an iPod, young kids and teens are usually seen together, closely watching their small screens and laughing about who posted what. This close proximity to one another is again another reason head lice are spreading more commonly through junior high and high schools. Usually, teens have developed a personal space zone, leaving them less vulnerable for head to head contact. Nowadays that is not always the case when it comes to electronics. Screen time can lead to direct head to head contact and therefore more and more teens are catching the head lice bug.
Whether someone in your household has contracted lice or you just have questions about prevention, Lice Clinics of America is an excellent source. Our expert staff is here to help you with your head lice concerns and we offer the most effective, up to date and affordable options for preventing and eliminating head lice. Call our staff today to speak with a professional about treatments that do work!
February fills the air with love. Valentine’s Day is a fun opportunity to give those we love that extra special attention to fill their hearts! As parents, it is our job to protect those loved ones from lice and other common sicknesses that are around this time of year. We thought of a few quick tips to help you spread the love this Valentine’s Day and prevent head lice while you’re at it!
Spreading the Love to Your Family
Make Personalized Valentine’s – Take a piece of cardstock or construction paper and artistically print or draw each person in your family’s name on their own paper. Now using color markers or pens have each member of the family write a loving note to one another. List their good qualities or things you appreciate about them. Now roll up the paper, attach their favorite candy with a ribbon and tie it off with a bow.
Fill Their Buckets – “Filling a Bucket” for someone is an analogy often used to demonstrate how they feel about themselves. If someone’s feeling unhelpful, unimportant or like they have little to offer to others it is as if their bucket is empty. They don’t feel needed and loved. Parents and family members can do a lot in “filling the buckets” of those in their family. Notice the good your family members do and then acknowledge it! Don’t miss an opportunity to give a compliment, praise a good deed or point out moments that make you feel proud of them. Go the extra mile and only focus on the positive. In other words, try not to “empty their bucket” with negativity. Leaving kind notes, text messages or just bite your tongue when you feel like placing blame or pointing out a flaw.
Family Time is Worth It – Schedule a day and time each week that is sacred family time. Treat this like an important appointment that cannot be missed or rescheduled. With this time create a pattern to go over weekly schedules, play games, watch family movies, address important topics and create fun, happy memories as a family.
Nix Screen Time at Meals – When it comes time for family dinner, unplug your devices and focus on what really matters. Talk to each other about the day. Listen to the highs and lows everyone experienced. Mealtime is a great time to interact as a family and be involved in each other’s lives.
Preventing Head Lice on Your Loved Ones
Spread Awareness – Make sure your children understand that head lice is a common problem in public schools, daycares, or any type of facilities and activities where children are together in a group. Talk to them about making sure to avoid head to head contact or sharing headwear and clothing as much as possible. If they are going somewhere overnight provide them with their own clean pillow, blankets, and towels. Throw their winter gear and backpacks into the dryer once a week for 20 minutes to kill any possible nits or lurking lice.
Take Time to Check for Lice – Routine head checks on your children are an important step in catching head lice at the early stages. Take a small comb and sift through their hair for traces of bites, rashes, irritations or nits at the base of the scalp. As you do this regularly you will begin to notice what is normal and become aware of any warning signs as they may arise. This is a great way to catch the problem early and eliminate it quickly before spreading to your whole household.
Texas is among several states who have updated their views on “no nit” policies in public school districts. For decades this policy has put children in embarrassing positions in front of their peers, removed them from the classroom for sometimes weeks at a time, and can be quite tricky to diagnose as nits, lice eggs, are often incredibly difficult to recognize.
Recently the media brought this to light as a fifth grade Florida student was kicked out of school on November 9, 2017 for a case of head lice. Thomas Jefferson Elementary School in Duvall County Florida dismissed Maddie Hunter and then continued to refuse her to re-enter the classroom for over three weeks. Every morning her mother would drop her off at school, have her scalp rechecked for nits, and she would be turned away as one or two nits were discovered.
“I really need help with reading,” Maddie told Fox 30 News. “I’ve been struggling in reading and I can’t do that because of missing so much school.” Her situation not only took her out of the classroom for three weeks but she missed out on drama and choir rehearsals as well.
Maddie’s head had been treated multiple times by several over the counter shampoos, and no live lice were present. “They just said it’s a school board policy,” Maddie’s mother recounted to Fox 30 News. “Their hands are tied, they can’t do anything.”
Which bids the question? Is this indeed the best way to handle a case of head lice? If you ask the Texas Department of State Health Services it is not. Their website states, “According to Texas law your child will be sent home from school if live lice are found in their hair. However, they won’t be sent home, if only nits are found. The law also states that your child is allowed to return to school after one medicated shampoo or lotion treatment has been given. When your child returns to school, a head check is not required by law and there is no requirement to report head lice cases to officials.”
However, individual Texas school districts still have the ultimate power to decide. State officials make it clear, “Each school district can make their rules tougher if they choose. And many do. Talk to the school nurse or someone else in charge, to find out what your child’s school rules are.”
As Texas districts exam the facts it would be helpful to note that both the American Academy of Pediatrics and the National Association of School Nurses advocate that “no-nit” policies should be reevaluated and changed. They agree head lice is a social issue not a health threat. “No nit” policies place an unequal amount of emphasis on head lice management than on real health concerns which should be higher priority. Research shows that the cost of sending nurses through entire school systems to do individual head lice checks is not an effective tool in fighting off infection. Students who miss too much school due to nits are also missing out on valuable learning time when the nits in their hair, which may already be hatched and are really empty shells, pose little or no risk to other students.
Head lice checks are offered through Lice Clinics of America. Diagnosis is often the most difficult part of catching the problem early on. Experts at our clinics can help you understand the warning signs and symptoms of head lice.
Every little girl dreams of beautiful braids, precious pigtails and gorgeous curls. But did you realize that when you style your little ones hair up into a cute hairdo you are actually helping to protect her against head lice? It makes sense if you think about it. If hair is up and out of the way it is much less likely to brush up against someone else with lice, or have a nit or louse attach to it. Here are some of our favorite quick, fun styles that will make your little beauty the talk of the town.
Favorite #1 – Fishtail Braid
Step 1 – Pull hair back into a low ponytail with a plastic elastic.
Step 2 – Divide ponytail into two even sections.
Step 3 – Separate a half inch section of hair from the left side of the ponytail.
Step 4 – Pull this piece of hair across the top of the left side ponytail and into the right side of the ponytail. Make sure not to twist the hair but pull it smoothly over.
Step 5 – Now separate a half inch section of hair from the right side of the ponytail.
Step 6 – Pull this piece of hair across the top of the right side ponytail and into the left side of the ponytail.
Step 7 – Continue to repeat steps 3-6 until you get to the end of length of hair.
Step 8 – Secure end with a band. Using your fingers, loosen up braid and pull on pieces of it to make it loose and even.
Step 9 – Cut out the plastic elastic from step 1 and let hair fall into place.
Fish Tail Braid
Favorite #2 – Messy Bun
Step 1 – Pull hair up into a high ponytail, or two high pigtails.
Step 2 – Take the ponytail and twist it tightly in one direction so it is in a nice, tight twist.
Step 3 – Wrap the twisted ponytail all the way around the base of the ponytail, creating a nice, close bun. Secure it into place with an elastic.
Step 4 – Next, take a comb and tease hair, tighten elastic and even bobby pin strands into place to create desired look. Spray with hairspray to keep in place.
Step 5 – Add a bow(s) to make it extra cute for your little girl.
Favorite #3 – Twisted Ponytail
Step 1 – Pull hair up into a high ponytail.
Step 2 – Dampen ponytail and divide into two even parts. Moisten each part with hair gel or mousse to prevent flyaways.
Step 3 – Take both strands of hair and twist tightly to the right until all the hair is twisted to the ends.
Step 4 – Now take both twisted strands and twist them together to the LEFT…the opposite direction.
Step 5 – Secure with an elastic and hair spray to keep it tight. Tie ends with a cute ribbon if desired.
Parents who have experienced a lice outbreak in their homes know, lice definitely have an impact on your child’s sleep. Lice are considered nocturnal creatures. They live off of human blood. During the evening hours they become active, crawling around the scalp of their victim searching for places to burrow, lay eggs and eat. Their saliva, fecal matter, and biting creates irritation and itching on the scalp. Imagine the sensation of insects crawling on your head, piercing your scalp and making a home on your head. Not the most sleep provoking scenario, to say the least. After your family is treated and lice free, here are some simple suggestions to getting back into a healthy bedtime pattern.
Pick an appropriate bedtime and stick to it. The National Sleep Foundation puts out guidelines for sleep required by age. Infants 0-2 years of age need the most sleep with a full 12 hours every night and at least a 2-hour nap during the day. Children 3-6 years also need a full 12 hours of sleep at night, without the daytime nap. When children reach ages 7-12 it is recommended they get 10-11 hours of sleep per night. Teenagers between the ages of 13-18 are still growing and developing, which means they still need at least 8 hours of sleep every night. Choose a bedtime that will help children get the recommended allotment of sleep for their age. Start your daily bedtime routine with plenty of time before they should be asleep. This helps to avoid feelings of scurrying around creating anxiety to meet the bedtime deadline. Avoid late nights that interrupt the pattern and try to keep the schedule as consistent as possible.
Bathe every night to create a routine. A warm, relaxing bath goes a long way in helping children unwind and start to feel ready for sleep. Bubbles with scented soap or bath oils are a good idea to create a serene environment. Some scents promote feelings of relaxation and sleepiness. These include jasmine, vanilla, lavender and anything else that brings you comfort or makes you feel at home. Continue to prepare for bedtime by keeping an established routine. Brush your child’s teeth, comb their hair or perform any other bedtime preparation in the same order every night.
Let your child have a comforting object for night time use. Every child has a beloved stuffed animal or a favorite blanket that warms their heart and provides them solace. Allow them to snuggle up at bedtime with their object of choice as a reward for keeping up their routine.
Play soft music, sing a soothing song, or read a book together. Even older children enjoy reading with their parents. With so many wonderful books to choose from, make it a habit to read together every night. Once in awhile tell children a story from your childhood or make up fun stories together. Unwinding with a quiet lullaby, a sweet story or some peaceful music can help to put their minds at ease and get them in the mood to sleep soundly.
Spend one on one time, even if for a few moments. Taking a few minutes each night to talk to your child is a powerful tool. Offer an uplifting compliment, pay attention to something that may be worrying them, or tell them something encouraging you noticed they accomplished that day. Children crave positive attention. As parents, it’s your job to give it to them. These moments of loving attention will help children of all ages to feel wanted, needed and loved. They will rest easier knowing they are cared for and have a responsible adult watching over them.