Category Archives: Babies & Kids

Safe Halloween Trick or Treating Tips for Adults & Children

Safe Halloween Trick or Treating Tips for Adults & Children

October 31st is a fun time for many kids, running around in costumes and getting free candy. It’s also a potentially dangerous time and adults and children should be mindful of these safety tips to ensure a safe and happy Halloween!

Safety Tips for Children and Their Costumes

Halloween candy safetyFollowing these safety tips for picking out costumes can make trick or treating safer for your children and for motorists on the road.

Vision – make sure your costume does not impair vision. Many costumes include masks but those masks don’t always fit well. A mask that doesn’t fit well can block the child’s vision and cause accidents such as tripping down stairs or not seeing traffic when crossing the road.

Reflective – Costumes should also be easy to see in the dark. If the costume is dark in nature, consider adding reflective materials such as tape strips or even glow in the dark light wands. This will make seeing your child in the dark a bit easier and will also help motorists see children more easily as well.

Fire & Tripping Hazards – be mindful of the materials used on your child’s costume and limit how much material flows freely and drags on the ground. Many pumpkins still use candles to light up and you want to make sure whatever costume you choose will not have dangling materials that can catch fire. You also want to make sure that the costume allows the child to run without tripping on their costume or getting tangled  up.

Safe Trick or Treating and Candy Inspections

Like most children, yours may wish to dip into their bag and grab a few sweet treats while doing all the hard work of trick or treating! It’s important to communicate why an adult must first inspect the candy before a child eats it. There have been reports of candies being tampered with and even poisoned or containing foreign objects.

Some safety tips for inspecting Halloween candy are:

  • Home-made treats: Only allow your child to eat home-made treats if you know the person who gave out that candy treat. Even home-made treats with someone’s address and phone number should be avoided. If you don’t know and trust the person who made the treat, don’t eat it.
  • Inspect packaging to ensure it’s intact. Items like chips will be filled with air. If there is no air in the package it may have been tampered with so discard it.
  • Unwrapped candies: Certainly not too common anymore as many people realize they are not safe to eat. If your child receives any unwrapped items like chocolates, toffees etc, discard them. Even if they weren’t tampered with, they are not very clean without protective wrapping.

The best way to inspect candy is to lay out a sheet in the living room after trick or treating is done and sort the candy with your child if he/she is old enough to understand. Explain what items are not acceptable and why (because they can make you sick etc.) and throw out any questionable items. If in doubt – throw it out.

Motorist Safety at Halloween

As a teen-ager or adult you may be busy running around, going to your evening job or heading out to your own Halloween party. You are driving in the dark and likely expect kids to be up and down the streets but be sure to drive extra carefully and watch for surprises.

Not all kids have reflective clothing and the excitement of the night may have some kids running right across the road without looking. It may be their fault for not looking or their parents for not watching them but if you are not careful, you will be the one to hit them and live with the guilt. Slow down on Halloween night and pay extra attention!

Going to Strangers’ Houses on Halloween

Perhaps not the best message for our little kids: Go knock on a stranger’s door, say hi and accept candy! This contradicts everything we try and teach our children about strangers! Explain Halloween and why it’s special and why this type of behavior is acceptable ONLY on Halloween. Explain the holiday and that it’s safe to do when the child is with mommy or daddy, but not when alone.

Regardless of age, make sure your child(ren) know to never, EVER, go inside a stranger’s house! Even if they look nice or if they are friends of the family.

Sometimes, home owners will say “Oh, look at your costumes, how cute, come in while I grab the candy bowl.

It’s polite and acceptable for children to say “No thanks, I’ll just wait here (outside.)

It is more common than you may think, for adults to do questionable things on Halloween night! Personally, as a child I remember many home-owners asking us to come inside out of the cold while they grabbed the Halloween candy bowl. I’ve had houses where some people tried taking photos of the kids and even one house that had a tripod and video recorder set up to tape all the kids coming to his door (creepy).

As an older child going out with my friends I also recall trick or treating homes that had parties underway and being offered cigarettes and alcohol and even being invited inside to party. I came from what most would consider a small-town, so be aware of these potential dangers and make sure your children know what to do in these scenarios.  They can happen anytime, anywhere to anyone. If your child things someone has behaved inappropriately encourage them to make note of the address and phone you (or come home and tell you).

Peanut Safety at Halloween

Many children are allergic to peanuts but Halloween can still be a fun time for them. The company, Nestle, for example is all peanut-free. Nestle makes a variety of chocolate bars like Coffee Crisp and Kit Kat and ice creams. Go through your child’s candy to remove anything that may contain peanuts in them.

When choosing your own Halloween candy to give out, keep the nut allergy in mind and try and stick with items that are peanut-free. If you wish to have various brands of candy, consider keeping a nut-free bowl of candy for those special requests!

As for your child with nut-allergies, encourage him to ask for nut-free brands (such as Nestle) if she/he sees that some are available. If the nut allergy is severe, which often it is, be sure your child has their Epi-Pen with them and that someone they are with knows how to use it and who to call in case of emergency.

Leave a comment

Posted by on October 29, 2012 in Babies & Kids, Warnings


Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Lead in Children’s Toys and New Safety Guidelines

Lead in Children's Toys and New Safety Guidelines

The Canadian Government has issued new regulations to limit the use of lead in children’s toys and products and for products that will have mouth contact.

Amendments have been made to the Hazardous Products Act to further restrict the amount of lead in many consumer products, including children’s toys.

Read full article: Lead in Children’s Toys and New Safety Guidelines.

Leave a comment

Posted by on October 26, 2012 in Babies & Kids, Chemicals, Warnings


Tags: , , , , , , ,

Native Remedies in Canada Helps ADHD Kids Focus

Native Remedies in Canada Helps ADHD Kids Focus

September 27, 2011 – It’s back to school time and many parents are noticing their kids are having problems focusing in school. Getting back into the routine can be difficult but even more so if your child has ADHD/ADD, otherwise known as attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. Native Remedies is available in Canada and can help your child focus and concentrate.

Helping ADHD/ADD Focus in School

Focus Formula in Canada for adults and kids

It is hard for children with ADHD/ADD to sit quietly in class and focus on their schoolwork. Sometimes they have extra energy that gets in the way of their concentration. Other times they just have too much going on in their heads and they just can’t concentrate.

Native Remedies is a herbal supplement that is designed to help children with ADHD/ADD to focus and pay attention in school. The formulas are safe and non-addictive with no side effects, how’s that for alternatives to pharmaceutical medications?

Focus Formula in Canada

Focus formula is very popular and designed for both kids and adults (Focus Addult for adults). Simply add the instructed amount to water or juice and drink 2-3 times a day. It is designed to help sharpen focus and attention.

Native Remedies Focus Formula can be used in combination with Brightspark and Mindsoothe products.

Brightspark in Canada

Brightspark herbal supplements for ADHD ADD

Designed to take away some of the extra energy that causes disruption and impulsive behavior,

Brightspark comes in the form of small white tablets that dissolve under the tongue. FDA approved and non-addictive, these tasteless pills are taken 3 times a day.

Native Remedies’ Brightspark can be used in combination with Focus and Mindsoothe products.

Mindsoothe Jr and Regular in Canada

Native Remedies also makes another popular herbal supplement for ADHD/ADD children. Mindsoothe Jr are drops that are added to water or juice (like the Focus Formula) and the Mindsoothe caplets are for ages 12 and up.

Mindsoothe is designed to help balance the mood and prevent outbursts and feelings of frustration. It can not be used if your child or the individual is taking anti-depressants. Mindsoothe Jr contains St. John Wort which is a natural herb designed to combat depression.

Where to Buy Native Remedies Focus, Brightspark and Mindsoothe in Canada


Customers can order products online from Natural e GREEN. Natural e GREEN is located in Alberta, Canada and has quick shipping times. Customers can contact Natural e GREEN with any questions they have and are still encouraged to speak with their doctor or pharmacist if their children are currently taking other drugs.


Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

Breast Cancer: Methylparaben and BPA Increase Risk

Breast Cancer: Methylparaben and BPA Increase Risk

Bottles like these are BPA Free

A new study shows methlyparaben and BPA, chemicals used in many consumer products, may reduce the effectiveness of cancer-fighting drugs like Tamoxifen.

September 13, 2011 – Researchers at the California Pacific Medical Center in San Francisco have just discovered that two common chemicals used in consumer products, methylparaben and Bisphenol A (BPA) are having a negative effect on cancer drug effectiveness. When both chemicals were combined and added to breast tissue cells, they rendered Tamoxifen ineffective. Tamoxifen is designed to kill both cancerous and normal cells.

Breast Cancer Drugs Blocked by Methylparaben and BPA

Reported in the San Francisco Chronicale, the latest study took noncancerous breast tissue cells and exposed them to Bisphenol A (BPA) and Methylparaben. When Tamoxifen was then introduced to stop and kill the cells, it was unable to do so. The results indicated to researchers that introduction of these chemicals made the cells take on cancer behaviors.

Most breast cancer drugs focus on minimizing estrogen, since most breast cancers are driven by estrogen. Both methylaparaben and BPA are known to disrupt hormone function. The Food and Drug Adminstration (FDA) confirms that Parabens are known to mimic estrogen and have been found in breast cancer tissue. Continue reading: Parabens in Cosmetics and BPA May Aid Breast Cancer Development |


Tags: , , , , ,

Amber Alert – Missing Child Kienan Hebert Sparwood BC

Amber Alert – Missing Child Kienan Hebert Sparwood BC

Sept. 12, 2011 – UPDATE! Kienan Hebert was returned to him home, safe and sound, 3am on Sunday morning, Sept. 11th. The suspect broke into the parents’ home and placed Kienan, unharmed on the sofa and then called 9-1-1 to inform them the boy was at home. Police are still looking for Randall Hopley to answer questions but the main thing is: Kienan is home safe and sound with his family and public awareness most certainly helped ensure Kienan’s safe return.

Sept 7, 2011 – An Amber Alert was issued for 3 year old Kienan Hebert, who was reported missing from his home in the morning. Police are looking for a suspect, Randall Peter Hopley, and his vehicle. The Amber Alert was not issued in Alberta, for reasons unknown as of yet, but with social media, the alert is being spread across the nation in hopes of bringing young Kienan home.

Kienan Hebert – Missing Child in Amber Alert

Kienan is described by B.C Police as:

  • Age – 3 years old
  • Hair – Red
  • Race – Caucasian
  • Descriptions – Last seen wearing “Scooby-Doo” boxer shorts

Randall Peter Hopley – Suspect in Kienan’s Amber Alert Disappearance

Randall Hopley is described by B.C. Police as:

  • Age: 46
  • Hair: Brown
  • Eyes: Hazel
  • Race: Caucasian
  • Descriptions: Has birthmark along his hairline

Police are also looking for Randall’s car, which is:

  • Color – Brown
  • Make – Toyota Camry
  • Year – 1987
  • BC License Plate – 098 RAL

Spotting Kienan or Randall in Amber Alert Missing Child Case

If you see Kienan or Randall or the vehicle described above, phone 9-1-1 immediately.

Leave a comment

Posted by on September 9, 2011 in Amber Alerts, Babies & Kids


Tags: , , , , , ,

New Study Finds ADHD Genes Linked to Autism and Neuropathic Disorders

August 13, 2011 – Medical News Today reported that a new study, led by The Hospital For Sick Children and the University of Toronto have made a very interesting discovery in the neurological field. The study has uncovered more genes in ADHD and an overlap in some of those genes. The study, published in the online edition of Science Translational Medicine, also links susceptibility of Autism and other neurological disorders.

Genes Identified in Neurological Disorders: ADHD and Autism

Led by Dr. Russell Schachar and Dr. Stephen Scherer, the study examined the DNA patients who have ADHD. The study looked for copy number variants (CNVs) which are insertions or deletions that affect the genes. In three cases, CNVs were found in the child’s genes but not in their parent’s genes, showing the mutation to be specific to the child only. ADHD is believed to be a hereditary condition.

In previous studies, certain genes had been identified in other neuropsychiatric conditions including autism spectrum disorder or ASD. Of 349 children, nine tested positive for ASD and also carried CNVs related to ADHD and related disorders.

Gene Identification Helps to Diagnose ADHD, Autsim

While concrete testing for neurological disorders such as ADHD are still not 100% proven, the gene identification gets scientists one step closer to being able to understand ADHD and other mental disorders.

Dr. Schachar reports that people react in different ways and each case is quite unique. Many people who have ADHD also display other conditions such as, but not limited to, anxiety, mood, language or conduct disorders. It’s also noted that 75 percent of individuals who have ASD also have deficits in their attention and/or display hyperactivity.

What is ADHD and ASD

ADHD is the abbreviation for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and affects four percent of school-age children worldwide. Symptoms of ADHD are hyperactivity, impulsiveness and lack of attention. It often leads to learning difficulties, problems with social skills and mood disorders.

ASD, also known as autism spectrum disorder, affects approximately one in 100 children across North America and causes problems with communication, behavior and social concepts.

As with many disorders of the brain, there are currently no concrete tests to diagnosis conditions like ADHD and physicians rely on perception of behavior in various settings. Many factors must be ruled out first such as eye or ear problems and all results may not be completely un-biased.

Todd Elder, of Michigan State University, published a study in 2010, linking rates of ADHD diagnosis with children who were the youngest in their classroom. He noted that up to 60 percent of children who were the youngest in their grade level, were more likely to be diagnosed as ADHD, simply because they were younger then their peers. This equates to the possibility of nearly 1 million US children being misdiagnosed with ADHD and between $320 million to $500 million being spent on unnecessary use of medications to treat the disorder.

Since current diagnosis of the disorder relies on teachers and caregivers evaluating the patient based on observation, it is very likely that a five year old will be perceived to be more hyperactive and immature than their six year old peers. Elder’s study has led many parents and educators to only allowing a child to enter kindergarten if he or she has reached the age of five on the actual start date of school and if they have not yet turned five, they are recommended now to wait another year before entering the school system.

This new study will increase the chances of properly diagnosing conditions such as ADHD and stop unnecessarily medicating children who do not need powerful stimulant medications.


Tags: , , , , , , ,

Help Pratt Brothers Win Contest to Get Needed Surgery

June 18, 2011 – There are only two more days left until the Ashka spa contest closes and the winner of that contest will get the money raised from their fundraiser. There are many charities you can vote for but in the lead are the Pratt Brothers and First Step. My vote has been with the Pratt Brothers for that last couple of weeks. These two angels both need a surgery and this contest could help them get what they need for a normal life.  You can vote once every 24 hours and every vote counts so please vote and ask your friends to vote for them too!

Spencer and Bryton Pratt Brothers

Pratt Brothers

Spencer and Bryton from Texas need your help. They don’t deserve to share in the pains of surgeries and hospital stays. Help them get the care they need and cover their personal medical expenses involving specialist and treatment.

Spencer and Bryton Pratt are brothers that were born with a similar birth defect — one that has a severe detrimental impact on both their health and their quality of living on a daily basis. The truly sad part is that they do not have to suffer this way – they just need medical help from a specialist. Help that is currently unavailable in our home state.

Spencer is a 6 year old boy who was born with an H-type tracheoesophageal fistula (TEF). A TEF is essentially, a point of fusion or connection between the trachea (windpipe) and esophagus (the tube that carries food from the mouth to the stomach). TEFs often lead to severe and/or life-threatening pulmonary complications, as food particles can enter the lungs and/or air can enter the stomach and intestines. Either event can be fatal to a child. Three out of the nine surgeries Spencer has had to date have been unsuccessful attempts to fix this misconnection. The upshot is that now Spencer has TWO misconnections that need to be repaired in order to keep food and other fluids from destroying his lungs. He will also need to have a feeding tube placed in, until his esophagus heals from the surgery. There are no doctors in Texas that are qualified to do the complicated repair surgery that Spencer is now facing.

Bryton is Spencer’s 21 month old little brother. Like his older sibling, Bryton was born with a TEF, but with an additional twist. Along with TEF, Bryton was also born with esophageal atresia (EA) – a condition that occurs when the esophagus is disconnected in the middle, and the top part ends in a blind pouch (like a sock), while the bottom part of the esophagus is misconnected to the windpipe. The combination of EA/TEF that Bryton was born with occurs in about 1 out of 4,000 births – though most people remain unaware that this particular defect even exists until they are confronted with it.

Voting for Spencer and Bryton on Ashka’s Website

You can vote for the Pratt brothers by clicking here. Read their story and at the bottom of the page click on Pratt Brothers. You can then see the details of the poll and whether or not they are still in the lead. Yesterday they kept losing the lead so every vote counts and the bigger the gap they better their chances for winning!

The contest is held here:

1 Comment

Posted by on June 18, 2011 in Babies & Kids