AJC Parenting Blog 

A blog for busy moms in Atlanta

Guess how much Georgia kids raise with UNICEF boxes

  • 12:27 pm Monday, October 20th, 2014 by Helena Oliviero

Last year, about $47,000 was raised in Georgia from UNICEF Trick-or-Treat boxes, and $2.7 million nationally.

Here’s one story about how money was raised:

Growing up in southwest Georgia, Audrey Hughes always went trick-or-treating with a jack-o’-lantern for candy and an orange UNICEF cardboard box for spare change.

Her children, now teenagers, kept the tradition going over the years.

But Hughes’ efforts for UNICEF reach beyond her family and have been recognized by the organization, which helps children in other countries.

Last year, Hughes, a science teacher at Hilsman Middle School in Athens, developed an innovative way to raise money for UNICEF not only at [More]

When your kids ask (beg) for a pet . . .

  • 3:38 pm Friday, October 17th, 2014 by Helena Oliviero

Please, please — “can we get a pet?”  It’s a question many of us get from our kids.

Adding a pet to the home is an exciting experience that can be especially rewarding. But for many potential pet owners, the process of finding the right pet can seem a little overwhelming.

(Astro the dog is available for adoption at DeKalb County Animal Services and Tilton the cat is at Fulton County Animal Services)

Rebecca Guinn, CEO and founder of LifeLine Animal Project, a leading metro Atlanta animal nonprofit promoting lifesaving animal welfare solutions through its programs and management of Fulton County Animal Services [More]

Do you really need to vaccinate your kids?

  • 12:19 pm Thursday, October 16th, 2014 by Gracie Bonds Staples

I found this really interesting. Maybe you will, too.
According to a recent Reason-Rupe national telephone poll, six in 10 Americans believe children should be required to get vaccinations for childhood diseases like measles, mumps, and whooping cough. Thirty-seven percent think parents should be able to decide whether or not to vaccinate their kids.
A small majority of Americans, 52 percent, says unvaccinated children should be banned from attending public schools while 44 percent think kids who haven’t been immunized should be permitted to attend public schools.
Seventy percent of African-Americans think childhood vaccines should be required, compared to six in 10 Whites, [More]

Celebrate the day by washing your hands!

  • 3:14 pm Wednesday, October 15th, 2014 by Helena Oliviero

Today is Global Handwashing Day. The simple act of washing our hands is something most of us do every day without much thought.

And while washing our hands may seem like a given, it’s often not done properly. Washing our hands is one of the most effective ways to avoid getting sick and spreading germs. And while a lot is at stake (everything from influenza to E. coli can be spread through germs on hands), several studies show Americans are lax about lathering up.

Mothers everywhere would be horrified by a 2010 study for the American Society for Microbiology and the American [More]

Trick-or-treating can put children with food allegies at risk

  • 12:24 pm Tuesday, October 14th, 2014 by Gracie Bonds Staples

Careful. The onslaught of school parties, trick-or-treating, and other food-centric celebrations around Halloween puts children with food allergies at a higher risk of exposure to allergens than usual. Here are a few tips from the local food allergy experts at Atlanta Allergy & Asthma:
– Get a proper diagnosis. If you suspect your child has a food allergy, visit a board-certified allergist for a proper diagnosis and plan of action before the Halloween season starts.
– Avoid any special “fun-sized” Halloween candies. These can contain different ingredients than their regular sized counterparts, and are often made in separate factories as well.
– Look [More]

Easy Kids Can Cook Recipes

  • 4:13 pm Friday, October 10th, 2014 by Helena Oliviero

Now that it’s officially fall, families will be taking advantage of some of the season’s best produce.  FamilyFun magazine has shared with us great ‘roll up your sleeves’ activities from their October issue.

Cooking can be a delicious learning experience for kids and their parents.  It gives kids the change to explore new foods, learn about nutrition and even develop math and reading skills as they measure and read directions.

Cooking with Kids – Growing Trend: Getting kids involved in the kitchen is definitely on the upswing. In fact, FamilyFun found that 96% of moms agree that it’s important to make meals [More]

7 Tricks for Halloween Savings

  • 12:57 pm Thursday, October 9th, 2014 by Gracie Bonds Staples

We all know that Halloween expenses for decorations, parties and costumes can quickly add up to a frightening sum. With that in mind, I asked the experts at PromotionalCodes.com for some budget-friendly tips to slash your spending this year. Here’s what they had to offer:
Creativity Trumps Cost: Instead of spending anywhere from $20-$100 on a store costume, make your own. Pick anything from your favorite movie character to your favorite decade and build your costume from items that you have around the house or at your local thrift store.
Host a Mom Swap: If you aren’t the creative type, check around [More]

Big dreams for NICU babies

  • 9:35 am Wednesday, October 8th, 2014 by Helena Oliviero

Every day, Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta cares for almost 100 babies in their NICU who are fighting for their lives. As they sleep, staff (and parents) wonder what they’re dreaming about with each sleepy wiggle or smile. To launch Children’s safe sleep guidelines, the hospital created an imaginative photo series – From NICU to the moon that dreams about what the sleeping NICU babies might become someday- an astronaut? A ballerina? A Top Chef? A doctor? Maybe even an Olympian? If the size of the fight in their tiny bodies is any indication, these babies have big things in store [More]

6 Tips to Keep your Child Safe

  • 11:11 am Tuesday, October 7th, 2014 by Gracie Bonds Staples

OK, in case you missed it. Yesterday was Child Health Day, which focuses on creating an awareness of ways to minimize or alleviate health problems that children may face, including asthma, diabetes and obesity.
It’s also the perfect opportunity to sit down with your young child and share some Play-It-Safe rules, so says
Abbie Schiller,CEO of The Mother Company, which provides tools to teach young children about safety.
Schiller, author of “Miles is the Boss of His Body,” about a 6-year-old who is uncomfortable with people patting, pinching and hugging him, recently shared with us six rules grownups should teach kids to Play-It-Safe. [More]

In case you haven’t heard about enterovirus68

  • 1:38 pm Thursday, October 2nd, 2014 by Gracie Bonds Staples

I was stunned when a mother told me this morning that she hadn’t heard about enterovirus68. I’ve written about it and its been all over television news in the last few days. Not only has it sickened hundreds of children across the country since last month, doctors say, according to more recent news reports, that some children are experiencing polio-like symptoms such as muscle weakness and paralysis. Some have even died.
Although there are no vaccines for preventing EV-68 infections, I thought this might be a good time remind parents that there are some things they can do to help prevent [More]