PikMyKid Connection

4 Tips for Keeping Your Children Safe this Summer

 

Summer is full of activities that your child should enjoy to the fullest. But, with a lot of fun it also comes a lot of responsibility. We have created a list of four key tips every parent should take into account this summer.

  1. Public pools, backyard pools, the beach and lakes are all great places for swimming, but have different safety challenges — be familiar with them. Also, only swim when there is a lifeguard or an adult is present.
  2. Avoid having your children exposed during the strongest rays of the day between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. Seek shade for your children. Use sunscreen consistently. Make sure the label says it contains both UVA and UVB protection.
  3. Keep small children away from the barbeque; it’s easy for them to get burned. Never leave the grill unattended. Keep matches and lighters away from children.
  4. When riding a bike, everyone in your family should wear a helmet; in many states, it’s required.

Enjoy your summer!

 

All credits to: The Huffington Post. THE BLOG – Parent Alert: Tips for Keeping Your Children Safe this Summer.

 

 

Laurie is a recent graduate from the University of South Florida; she earned a Bachelor’s Degree in International Studies. Before moving to the US, she lived in South Korea and Honduras. Laurie is experienced in Human Resources and Customer Service. She loves to volunteer for non-profits, travel the world and try new foods.

 

13 Reasons Why Not

On March 31, 2017 Netflix released a fictional series entitled “13 Reasons Why” also known as 13RW. 13RW is based on a book of the same name. 13RW chronicles the life and ultimate suicide of seventeen-year-old Hannah Baker. The series graphically portrays Hannah’s sexual assault, insensitive counselors and suicide. Various media outlets have observed that 13RW glamorizes suicide and the dark content is unsuitable for children under age eighteen without parental supervision. Artistic expression is essential in our society but also must be balanced with insightful social responsibility. The “13” references 13 audio cassettes Hannah created for the 13 people who she believed contributed to her suicide. The National Association of School Psychologists have commented “the series, which many teenagers are binge watching without adult guidance and support is raising concerns from suicide prevention experts about the potential risks posed by the sensationalized treatment of youth suicide”. The Guardian reports that New Zealand has created a special ratings category as a result of this series. In essence, New Zealand bans under 18-year-olds from watching a suicide drama without the presence of an adult. School districts across the U.S. in states such as Ohio, Minnesota, New Jersey and Florida have sent letters to parents alerting them to the existence of the series and to raise awareness about how the series may impact the emotional safety of their children.  These letters encourage dialogue about this complex topic.
Talking Points for Families
  • In 2013, the Canadian Medical Association Journal reported that exposure to a classmate’s suicide was associated with being 5 times more likely to have suicidal thoughts. “Suicide Contagion” is a described medical phenomena.
  • Talking openly about suicide with a parent, teacher, friend or coach is ok. When someone you know who is expressing suicidal thoughts, please do not keep this a secret.
  • Suicide or suicidal thoughts are not normal, common responses to stress.
  • If you or someone you know is feeling suicidal — get them help and also tell an adult.
  • Parental supervision of the content that children view on media is essential to keeping them healthy and happy.
  • People often identify with characters they see on media. Ask for help when you may be dealing with drug abuse, bullying, rape, depression or anxiety. The sooner you ask for help the better.
  • It may take a couple of tries to find the best help – do not give up!
  • Suicide rates are increasing among children, adolescents and young adults.
  • Hannah is not a hero for having completed suicide. In fact, her suicide is a tragic event that evokes only pain for the survivors.
  • Talking to someone who is having suicidal thoughts can be frightening.  First, stay calm.  Second, make sure you help the person get assistance. Third, it is ok to tell an adult.  This is a serious thing and should not be ignored but treated with kindness.
  • Emotional states of children are easily influenced by what they see, hear, observe and experience.  Because of immature brain development, children are prone to act impulsively.
  • Mixing alcohol, drugs and prescribed medication can worsen suicidal behavior.
  • Suicide is a final act with no associated reversal or glory. Celebrating suicidal behavior is dangerous and unacceptable.
If you or someone you know needs immediate help with suicidal thoughts-call 800.273.TALK (8255) or text “start” 741741.

 

 

About the author: Rahul Mehra

Rahul is a guest blogger for PikMyKid. Rahul N. Mehra, M.D. is the CEO and Chief Medical Officer of MehraVista Health, LLC, an organization focused on improving student success academically and prioritizing student/school safety by early identification of disruptive behaviors. Dr. Mehra is board certified by the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology in Child, Adolescent and Adult Psychiatry.

3 Ways to Have Fun with Your Kids This Weekend!

What to do on the weekend? Go to the mall? No, we all want to save money. Go to the movies? No, we do this every weekend. We have compiled a list of three fun and cheap activities you can do this weekend with your children.

 

Fly kites

This activity is perfect for the weekend because it encompasses two different things: one, you’ll entertain your children with the creation of kites and/or the coloring of them and, two, you all will have fun while flying them.

The best way to start is by explaining this activity to the children. Try to figure out what they get the most excited about: the kite creation/painting or the actual flying of them. Try to spend the most time in whatever they seem to be happier about. This activity can take place in your own garden, a park, on the streets, etc.

Tip: Remember to check the weather forecast before deciding to do this with your children!

 

Have a sunset picnic at a park or beach

Summer is right around the corner; the weather is perfect for going to the beach and enjoying the breeze and the sun. Grab your picnic mat, a cooler with lots of drinks and water inside and some delicious snacks. Usually small sandwiches in sealable plastic bags are a good choice because these bags will prevent sand from getting inside them. Also, don’t forget to bring cups of fruits for the appetizer and some chocolates for the dessert.

You can do this in the park too. Try to find the perfect shade under a big tree and you’re all set.

Tip: Bring your small speaker so you can listen to music, sing, talk and eat at the same time. Enjoy!

 

Go to a State Fair or Amusement Park

Older kids will absolutely love this. They love the thrilling experience of riding the roller coasters and screaming at the top of their lungs. Also, another benefit of this activity, if you decide to go to a State Fair, you’ll be supporting local businesses.

This activity is perfect if you want to walk around and see some entertainment while your children safely have fun with their friends or siblings. You all can decide to meet at a specific place and at a specific time to have dinner. It’s better to have schedules when going to busy places like this because you can make reservations.

Tip: Make sure you provide your children with phones and maps; we don’t want them to get lost!

 

 

 

Laurie is a recent graduate from the University of South Florida; she earned a Bachelor’s Degree in International Studies. Before moving to the US, she lived in South Korea and Honduras. Laurie is experienced in Human Resources and Customer Service. She loves to volunteer for non-profits, travel the world and try new foods.

 

 

5 Fun Backyard Games for Children

Bowling with Recycled Bottles

Grab 10 empty plastic bottles of soda; make sure you clean them. Put them in the right order and draw a line (with tape or chalk) where the children will stand. If possible, play this game in the pavement in order to avoid the ball from moving a lot from side to side, if not, it’s totally fine to play it in the grass! Ask the children to make a line and you decide the number of games they’ll do. For the ball, you can use a small plastic ball, small fake baseball ball, nothing fancy. Whoever accumulates more points, wins!

Tip: for even more fun, you can ask your children to decorate the bottles! They can either color them using their favorite colors or paint them with real bowling colors.

 

DIY Tic-Tac-Toe

For this one you’ll need two different colors of spray painting and rocks. Paint a big pound sign on the grass and paint X’s and O’s on the rocks. After explaining the rules, your children can begin to play. You can make the rules on who starts: girls first, youngest to oldest, etc. Have fun!

 

Water Balloons

Summer is finally here and what a better way to refresh than with water? This one will be your children’s favorite!

We’ve all played a water balloons war so I bet you know how this works. In case you forgot, remember that you can play it using teams or individually. Give each person/team a bucket full of the same amount of balloons. Then whistle to start the friendly fight! When someone is hit, the other team scores a point. Whoever individual/team has more points in the end, wins!

 

Twister

For this activity, you’ll also need spray painting (green, yellow, blue and red). Paint 5 full circles (where the children’s feet can fit) of each color in a straight line. No two people can have a hand or foot on the same circle. This game allows up to 5 players. Remember that the options are: right foot, right hand, left foot and left hand. You can turn around and start shouting the options (e.g. red – left foot). Whoever falls first, loses, and has to leave the game; whoever is the last person, wins!

 

Water Balloon Baseball

Fill some balloons with water, put them in a bucket and start throwing them at your children, whoever explodes more balloons with the plastic baseball bats, wins! Enjoy this precious time with your children!

 

 

Laurie is a recent graduate from the University of South Florida; she earned a Bachelor’s Degree in International Studies. Before moving to the US, she lived in South Korea and Honduras. Laurie is experienced in Human Resources and Customer Service. She loves to volunteer for non-profits, travel the world and try new foods.

4 Innovative Methods to Stimulate Your Child

Every parent wants their children to be smart and knowledgeable, but sometimes they struggle with choosing the right method to stimulate their kids. We have compiled a list of successful methods on how to “force” children to study, without becoming their enemy.

 

Method 1. The remuneration of the child

This method is an innovative one; and parents can use it to stimulate their children to do homework and other tasks. So basically, you promise your child that you’re going to give them sweets/toys/trips to Disney Land if they get their homework done or get good grades. You have to be aware that the remuneration has to be chosen commensurate with the task that you give to your child.

 

Method 2. Do not scold your child for failures

You cannot give a present for failure, but you don’t need to get mad at your child. You need to help your child to understand that it happens to everyone and that they have to move on. You need to explain that they have to make a better effort next time and try harder to avoid this situation from happening again.

 

Method 3. Do not try to make your child a child prodigy

Don’t force your child to study because it can have the opposite effect and your child will lose motivation to study. Your child will start associating studying with something boring and exhausting.

 

Method 4. Do not play the role of overseer.

If you see that your child struggles with some tasks, you can help. Explain how to do it. It will build you relationship with them; they will be working to meet your expectations because they will know that you believe in them.

 

One more suggestion: Don’t say to your child that they cannot do something! With these words you show your child that you don’t believe in them. So they will even stop trying to do something new because, even before starting, they will already “know” that they won’t succeed.

 

Trust in your children, believe in them and support them no matter what because parents’ love is unconditional and all forgiving.

 

 

Kateryna Vashkevych, <br /> Customer Success InternKateryna is originally from Ukraine. She is a Masters student at the University of South Florida studying Entrepreneurship. She received her Bachelor’s in Finance in Ukraine. When she is not studying, Kateryna likes to collect coins and travel. She also has a love for dogs.

Vitamins: How to Make Sure You’re Eating the Right Foods!

Vitamins! How to get enough of them? Which ones to choose? We face these questions all the time. Here you can read how to get the most needed vitamins from fruits and vegetables.

Vitamin A we need to improve our vision, support our hair and skin health, and improve the growth of bones and teeth. We can get this vitamin from: mangoes, grapes, pumpkins, carrots, potatoes, tomatoes, parsley, broccolis, green salads, spinach, melons, watermelons, apricots, peaches, apples.

Vitamin B we need to get this one because it helps to slow down the aging of our skin, protects cells from damage, helps with the formation of red blood cells, and helps assimilate vitamin A. In order to get it we need to consume: avocado, asparagus, broccoli, spinach, green salad, tomato, sea kale.

Vitamin K this is very important because it participates in the assimilation of calcium and in the interaction of calcium and vitamin D, also it helps to keep kidneys healthy. We can get vitamin K from cabbage, spinach, green lettuce leaves, potatoes, grapes, asparagus, garlic.

Vitamin C this vitamin protects the body from developing cancer and diseases in the cardiovascular system, helps in the production of collagen (healthy skin and bones), and improves the digestion of iron. People can get this vitamin from: black currant, apples, grapes, strawberries, broccoli, green salad, dill and parsley, citrus fruits, potatoes, carrot, watermelon.

Vitamin B1 we need this one to have a healthy a heart, a functioning nervous and digestive systems, also, it helps to regulate the metabolism. We can get it from: apples, grapes, green salad, broccoli, white cabbage, sea kale, potatoes, carrot, beet, and watermelon.

Vitamin B2 regulates the metabolism of proteins, fats and carbohydrates, reduces eye fatigue, we also need it for cell growth and respiration. It also minimizes the negative effects of various toxins on the respiratory tract. We can get vitamin B2 form verity of fruits and vegetables, such as white cabbage, green salad, potatoes, apples, grapes, watermelon, sea kale.

Keep your child healthy and get all the nutrition you all need!

 

 

 

Kateryna Vashkevych, <br /> Customer Success InternKateryna is originally from Ukraine. She is a Masters student at the University of South Florida studying Entrepreneurship. She received her Bachelor’s in Finance in Ukraine. When she is not studying, Kateryna likes to collect coins and travel. She also has a love for dogs.

How to Color Easter Eggs Using Natural Ingredients

It’s Easter time!

 

You’re wondering how to make your Easter Egg Hunt awesome? How to surprise your children with cool colors for their Easter Eggs? But you want natural ingredients. We got you!

 

If you want to get red-brown colored eggs:

  • You need to collect 15 onion shells and boil them in water for 30 minutes
  • Then let them cool down
  • Add 1 tbsp. of salt and boil for 10 minutes

 

In order to get yellow colored eggs:

  • Boil 2-3 tbsp. of turmeric with 1 liter of water and let it to cool down
  • Boil the eggs for 15 minutes in this mix

 

For green colored eggs:

  • Boil crushed leaves of spinach for at least an hour (low fire)
  • Let it to cool down
  • Add 1 tsp. of vinegar
  • Put the eggs in the mix and boil for 15 minutes

 

For pink colored eggs:

  • Boil grated beets for 30 minutes
  • Let them cool down
  • Add 1 tbsp. of vinegar
  • Put the eggs in the mix and boil for 15 minutes

 

For blue colored eggs:

  • Boil leaves of red cabbage for 30-40 minutes
  • Let them cool down
  • Add 1 tbsp. of vinegar
  • Put the eggs in the mix and boil for 15 minutes

 

After coloring them, you can make your Easter eggs look shiny! In order to do that, you can wipe them with oil using a cotton pad.

 

Happy Easter!

 

Kateryna is Kateryna Vashkevych, <br /> Customer Success Internoriginally from Ukraine. She is a Masters student at the University of South Florida studying Entrepreneurship. She received her Bachelor’s in Finance in Ukraine. When she is not studying, Kateryna likes to collect coins and travel. She also has a love for dogs.

Baking 101: 3 Easy Things to Bake with Kids

Rocky Road

Ingredients

  • 100g butter, roughly chopped
  • 300g dark chocolate, broken into squares
  • 3 tbsp golden syrup
  • 140g rich tea biscuits, roughly crushed
  • 12 pink marshmallows, quartered using scissors
  • 2 x 55g of Maltesers (my favourite), Milky Way or Crunchie

Instructions

  1. Melt the butter, chocolate and syrup in a large pan over a low heat, stirring frequently until smooth, then cool for about 15 mins.
  2. Stir the crushed biscuits and sweets into the pan until well mixed, pour into a 17cm/6 ½ inch square tin lined with non-stick baking paper and spread the mixture to roughly level it.
  3. Chill until hard and then take out of tin and remove paper. Cut into fingers. Store in an air-tight container.

 

 

Microwave Flapjacks

Ingredients

  • 110g unsalted butter
  • 3 tbsp Golden Syrup
  • 110g Light Soft Brown Cane Sugar
  • 225g Mornflake organic oats
  • 1 rounded tsp baking powder
  • 1 large egg, beaten
  • Pinch salt
  • Tate & Lyle® Fairtrade Icing Sugar, to dust
  • Ground cinnamon, to dust
  • You will also need a 20cm (8”) shallow square silicone mould lightly greased.

Instructions

  1. Combine the butter, Golden Syrup and the Light Soft Brown Sugar in a microwaveable bowl and microwave for 1-2 minutes until melted.
  2. Remove, stir and cool for 5 minutes then mix in the oats, baking powder, egg and salt.
  3. Tip into the silicone mould, level and press with a palette knife to smooth.
  4. Microwave on high for 4-5 minutes or until no liquid remains and the mixture has dried out.
  5. Remove, leave to cool for about 15 minutes and then mark into pieces.
  6. Cool completely in the mould then turn out and cut into squares with a sharp knife. Lightly dust with the sugar and cinnamon and serve.

 

 

Iced Easter Biscuits

Ingredients

  • 150g butter
  • 150g brown sugar
  • 175g Condensed Milk
  • 1 egg
  • 175g plain flour
  • 115g self raising flour
  • 1 tsp mixed spice
  • Zest of 1 lemon (optional)

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C, 350°F, Gas Mark 4. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment.
  2. Beat the butter, sugar and condensed milk together until creamy. Add the egg (don’t worry if it looks like its curdling), beat well and then add the flours.
  3. Mix to a firm dough. Cover in clingfilm and refridgerate for 30 minutes.
  4. Roll the dough out on a floured surface to the thickness of a pound coin. Cut shapes out.
  5. Transfer the biscuit shapes to the trays and bake for 10 minutes until light golden. Cool completely on a wire rack.
  6. Ice and decorate the biscuits.

 

All credits to: foodnetwork.co.uk. Recipes courtesy of Carnation, Celebrity Bake Book and Lyle’s Golden Syrup.

 

 

Laurie is a recent graduate from the University of South Florida; she earned a Bachelor’s Degree in International Studies. Before moving to the US, she lived in South Korea and Honduras. Laurie is experienced in Human Resources and Customer Service. She loves to volunteer for non-profits, travel the world and try new foods.

 

 

5 Things to do in the Line to Pick Up Your Kids

1. Hack the matrix to see if you can make the car in front of you go any faster.

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2. Raise Billy Mays from the dead to teach you the ways of the perfect infomercial

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3. Look out of the car window and realize that it is now the year 4078. Humanity has been trapped in an endless loop of carline pickup since that fateful day in 2017. Elmo is now dictator. Road rage zombies prowl the streets. The end of humanity is approaching.

4. Fall into a numb state of contemplation. Who are we? Where are we from? Is life real? Is the Royal family from Mars? If Brangelina is dead, is love real? Is Larry the Cable guy part of the Illuminati?

5. Ponder the existence of cryptids. Get lost in two hours of supposedly confirmed Loch Ness monster footage on the Deep Web and live to tell the tale. Book a plane ticket to that island in Colombia that’s supposed to have dinosaurs. Order a set of security cameras online to see if that rustling you hear at night is a raccoon or is actually Bigfoot. Actually go on an expedition to Skull Island to find King Kong. You’re in the dismissal line, anyways- you have more than enough time.

 

 

About the author: Shrisha Saravana
Shrisha is a junior contributor to the PikMyKid blog, and at 13 years old, she’s not that bad at it. She lives in Florida and is attending Berkeley Preparatory School in Tampa, one of the first schools to adopt PikMyKid.

PikMyKid Founder Speaks at St. Pete Entrepreneurship Forum

Today, our founder, Pat Bhava, spoke at the St. Pete One Million Cups Forum; a  forum of startup and small business owners collaborating to share ideas, tips, and to support each other through the company-building process.   

      The forum is held every week at the St. Pete Greenhouse, where two business CEO’s in various stages of starting or running their business present and then take a panel of questions and suggestions from the crowd. PikMykid is actually a veteran presenter, and has presented at this forum since the early days of the company. In fact, many faces in the crowd were familiar, and were amazed at how far our once tiny company has come! 

       Pat had a blast answering crowd questions, and the crowd certainly asked some good ones. One gentleman had a pressing question especially relevant to our product. He asked, “In today’s era, there are a lot of concerns relating to cyber security and losing private information. If a child loses their phone, how does PikMykid account for that?” Pat had an answer for him. “Absolutely, cyber security is a huge concern,” he said. “To mitigate that , we actually have zero dependency on any sort of tracking devices for each child – we don’t even use the term “tracking” – in our product. Instead, each teacher digitally checks that the student has gotten on a bus or to their designated pickup spot. The responsibility lies on the adults, not children. Parents are recognized via the app as soon as they step onto campus, to ensure the teacher gets the kid to the parent as soon as possible. But no, we don’t have any hardware that the child should be responsible for.”  

             Another woman asked about the hardware and people required for the implementation of the product in schools. “Well, actually we have almost no hardware”, said Pat. “All of our product is digital and can be set up at long distance. In fact, all we send to schools is a stop sign that reminds parents to announce via the app when they enter the carline. Since all of our data is on the cloud, we don’t have physical records, either.” 

            A gentleman also had another important question- what’s in it for the schools? Why do they want to pay 3,000 dollars for the product? “Actually this is an easy question,” said Pat, grinning. “Every day, schools pay teachers almost an hour of overtime, waste paper, and annoy parents with a time intensive, unnecessarily long process. In fact, the University of South Florida researched it, and they estimated that schools actually save over $45,000 with the PikMyKid app. For that, $3000 is a small price to pay.”

   Pat also had some exciting news to share. “We are actually now officially collaborating with the Florida Department of Transportation! Since we help take cars off the road to decongest areas near schools, they are working with us to help us expand and improve our product even further to give schools the best possible experience.”

    After a great presentation and panel, there was a meet-and-greet session with the crowd. Pat got the opportunity to help out many small business CEO’s and share tidbits of knowledge he picked up in the field. He even had the opportunity to have a cup of Kahwa coffee and a talk with fellow entrepreneurs in different fields. 

About the author: Shrisha Saravana
Shrisha is a junior contributor to the PikMyKid blog, and at 13 years old, she’s not that bad at it. She lives in Florida and is attending Berkeley Preparatory School in Tampa, one of the first schools to adopt PikMyKid.

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