Wednesday, July 15, 2009

School Days - Back-to-School Safety Reminders Can Help Prevent Accidents and Injuries

Concern about safety is easy to take backseat amid the rush to stock up on fresh school supplies and fall's hottest elementary-school fashions. But most parents are surprised to find school related accidents account for about 2.2 million injuries each year in children under the age of 14. Fortunately, many of them are easily preventable.

Here's a look at where and how school-related injuries occur, and some simple precautions parents can take to keep children safe.

Playgrounds account for the majority of school-related injuries in falls from equipment making up more than half of them. Adequate playground surfacing - at least 12 inches of wood chips, mulch or other loose-fill safety surface - who maintained throughout the years has proven to prevent injuries from falls. Kids are kids in the playground, and scrapes and bumps are just part of it, but enough to cover your child's school can help reduce risks.

Back-to-school time also increases kids' risk of injury due to traffic, bicycles and school buses. Review ALL of the basic rules of traffic safety in your walkers, car and bicycle Riders Riders to ensure the safe and from the practices of schools. Bicycle Riders should always wear a helmet (buy a "cool" if you need one ... it is cheaper than brain surgery!) At certain bike Riders learn and follow bicycle rules of the road. Bus Riders should arrive at the bus stop early, and follow the driver safety policies, walk a few steps away from exiting the bus, and wait for the bus left before crossing the street.

Perhaps the most effective preventative against measure traffic injuries are organized and on time. Although easier said than done, it is true when children and parents rush to get to the last minute, safety rules and precautions may be forgotten. Kids dash across the street and parents through the roll stop signs - that just how the accident happened. This is a challenge, but adding 15 minutes to your morning routine can dramatically reduce the risks to your family and others.

Clothing such as drawstring hoods and accessories such as backpacks also account for many injuries each year - and even some deaths in the past. Drawstrings and backpack straps can be caught in the bus or car doors, a very real and dangerous hazard. Remove or shorten drawstrings on younger kids' clothes and, once adjusted to size, cut loose or dangling backpack straps to prevent the injury.

Organized sports is another contributor to the tally of schools relating to damage, but these will not become "just part of the game." Parents should be fully aware of all the risks and make sure kids are properly conditioned, prepared for the physical demands of sport, and that the proper safety equipment is always used. Also ensure that the school sports program is prepared to treat emergencies during both training and competition.

Kids will always be kids. Accidental scrapes, bumps, falls, and even a break or two is a few things in that we signed on as for parents. But a little extra effort on the part of keeping the busy school year gets underway can mean the difference between a simple band-aid fix or 32 stitches - or worse!

The following websites offer additional information on school-related injuries and preventative steps: -

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Kids Count - Add an Interactive Feature and Enjoy the Results

Recently, the newspaper La Costera Family (Savannah, GA) held a "Cute Kids" contest. At the time it was a web designer and Internet service provider (from the past in the house), who participated in the reception and transmission of the 100s of votes to the e-mail: Editor of the newspaper. Both of us were overwhelmed with the response to this contest not only e-mail to vote but for Internet users. We have received the votes of all United States and even a vote of Australia. Thanks Aussie!

There are several lessons learned and key points that we drew from the promotion of this contest online. The first was that should have created an interactive database to record all the votes. We could have done this, but we forget one of the basic rules of the Internet publication "Be prepared for the unlikely." Secondly, we have learned that people interested in joining in the fun and especially when a website visitor sees something of value. I asked the publishers of the Costa family, "Now what do we do to keep people who visited the website to return to have more fun?" I am sure that will come something really great.

As I think of the children and the Internet, I agree that my granddaughter and 3 grandsons who are able to surf the Internet with a little help from their parents. They like entertainment and fun. Because their reading skills are still maturing, brought to the sites that offer large numbers of images and easy to navigate buttons. My grandson, that I can often recognize one of their favorite games from Disney by a simple image of "Goofy." While he can not fully understand the words you see in the photographs and pop-up ads. Like all children, their comment is "I want". Not surprisingly, spending so much money for birthday and Christmas gifts. Education our children will know exactly what they want.

For those of us in the Internet business and for those of you who are on the network or to think about it, there is a message ... sell to children and parents buy. When I was teaching at university level 1 teaches a class called "36 ways to close a sale." One of my favorites was the closing of sales "the puppy dog close." Parents and children go to the pet store to buy a gold fish and the person who greets sales is leading to an adorable puppy dog and hands one of the smallest. Immediately proclaims that the child must take the puppy home, and often is. Both for the fish!

As more computers are purchased for home use, the number of children for use in home entertainment will grow proportionately. The Internet is part of your daily routine and not just send email to your friend in two peaks, Arizona or join a defeat, but children who are looking for things to buy ... Buy! A recent study by the National Academic Press show that more than 76 percent of children said they had used the Internet in the week before being interviewed, with an average utilization rate of three to four times a week. The time spent in line was an hour or less 61 per cent of the children interviewed, with another 26 percent spending one to two hours online on a typical day.

While Internet security is an important issue for parents and the whole world "professional" online, there is still enough evidence to show that kids are buying on the Internet with (hopefully) parental supervision. The numbers are impressive, and again the internet offers an opportunity to increase sales.

Let's use a local business as an example of''the children of marketing. "We have designed and host a website Savannah inn. When talking about the general design and content with the Director General of the inn, talking about" what to do with children after 5 pm . It was suggested that adding a "Places of Interest" to your website. Attractions include fun things to do and places to take kids. Since I added that "things for children" is an average of the payment of more than 50 people a month visiting its Web site. However, the inn is a great place to stay, but it provides a reason to stay in the provision of information that parents can use to entertain their children. All these activities are available to potential customers before making a reservation.

Most of you who sell services or products should strongly consider "marketing the child" when the strategy of designing or updating your website. Think about it and you will realize how easy it is to add to your web marketing plan. Here are some examples:

Tour companies: Beautiful and Historic Sites and Kid stuff (parks, beaches, playgrounds, and babysitting services).

Restaurants: Great food and a children's menu.

Rooms: Great value and Kid Stuff: swimming pool, close to putt-putt, children's playground.

Travel: Cruises boy and offering babysitting services.

Real Estate Agents: Houses that are located near schools, parks and other family activities.

A brief note of caution before you jump on the construction of any kind of interaction could include information about young visitors because of the provisions contained in "The Children's Online Privacy Protection Act." There are specific legal requirements involved and should be considered in developing a website for children. " However, the addition of high content aimed at children as "attractions" and other information is a valuable addition to any website.

Chuck St. Arnaud is the Chairman and CEO of the oldest and largest ISP in the coastal areas of Georgia. A frequent writer and speaker on the Internet, you are considered an asset when it comes to understanding the potential of using the Internet. Chuck is also an adjunct professor of marketing at a local university.

Visit his blog at

Article Source:

Monday, July 13, 2009

School Playground Equipment

The school playground is the most accessible for most children. The equipment should ideally suitable for different age groups and it must also be secure, safe, durable, strong, as well as modern and appealing.

Playground equipment in schools was not only comprises of swings and see-saws slides. With a wide range of rides and equipment available. These can also be custom designed to suit different needs and requirements.

Before the purchase of equipment to the school playground measure space and determine the size. the number of children will access the equipment at a given time, the age-range if there are any special needs are considered as children with disabilities. Then consider the budget, the type of activities that include equipment and the provision of side amenities such as benches, tables, bike racks or litter bins above and below the equipment.

Number of equipment for itself, check whether it is suitable for accommodating more children during and durable against gritty time. Be sure to check for any unsafe conditions such as extensions or protrusions that might poke or wall that can cause retardation or cause children to trip or fall. Ask yourself if the equipment is easy to maintain and environmentally friendly? Manufacturers do design environmentally friendly equipment as durable as ecologically safe.

Other things that shipping details, assembly instructions and post-sales service. Note that the price also includes the cost of shipment, the installation costs and cover the cost with the equipment costs.

The Internet is a great source for finding comprehensive information about playground equipment. There are several manufacturers of sites that help you find the best equipment and to compare prices.

Playground Equipment provides detailed information on playground equipment, commercial playground equipment, school playground equipment, residential playground equipment and more. Playground Equipment is the sister site by boat Ladders.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Building a Safe Home Playground

The squeals and shouts of our rambunctious, healthy kids enjoying their fun in the outer yard is reassuring and comforting for parents to hear - as the shouts not be screams of pain or an accident. The backyard will be a happy place for external play and exercise, not a danger zone. Children need the physical benefits of exercise, motor skills development, and the fresh air, not to mention a place to remove their boundless energy.

Unfortunately, each year the family about 200,000 children attend to injuries related to unsafe areas and playground equipment, according to the Consumer Product Safety Commission. An estimated 51,000 involve home playground equipment, the rest occur in public playgrounds. Most of the injuries were the result of falls. Tragically, about 15 children die each year, most due to strangulation.

You Can Keep Your Kids Safe

Fortunately, these are preventable tragedies. Combined with careful adult supervision, proper playground construction and maintenance can greatly reduce the risk of injury to children.

Practice at Home playground safety, school, and Park

The quick-course is written to help alert you to the danger signs in play areas. You can take control at home by taking precautions in your own play area. And you can take a new look and other playgrounds for both hazards. These include lack of proper cover to cushion falls, lack of guardrails to prevent falls, head entrapment hazards, and other injury-causing hazards.

Cushion Falls In Protective cover

Since almost 60% of all the injuries caused by falls to the earth, under the protective cover and around all the playground equipment is critical to reduce the risk of serious head injury. And for head impact injuries from a fall can be life threatening, the more shock absorbing a surface can be made, the less likelihood of any injury is severe.

Of course, all the damage due to falls can not be prevented no matter what playground surfacing material is used.

What Avoid

Do not use concrete or Asphalt. Falls on asphalt and concrete can result in serious injury and death's head. Do not place playground equipment on top.

Avoid Grass and dirt. Grass and turf also lose their ability to absorb shock through wear and environmental conditions. Avoid earth surfaces such as soils and hard packed dirt. Always use protective surfacing.

What Should You Use?

Especially-fill surfacing materials. These include double shredded bark mulch, shredded tires, wood chips, fine sand or fine gravel. The greater the depth, the greater the shock-absorption. Particularly in-fill materials should not be installed on hard surfaces such as asphalt or concrete.

Manufactured synthetic surface. These include rubber or rubber over foam Mats or tiles, poured-in-place urethane and rubber compositions. The first, but higher costs are less maintenance is required. Make sure to ask the manufacturers of test data for the shock absorption. Some materials require installation over a hard surface while others are not.

What Should You Use?

When using loose-fill material at home, maintain a constant depth of at least 6 inches of material. 9 or 12 inches is recommended. The cushioning benefits of grit and gravel increase to 12 inches, according to CPSC.

What Buffer Zone?

Create a buffer zone, covered with a protective surfacing material, under all the equipment and around which a child may fall. The protective cover material should extend a minimum of 6 feet in all directions from around the equipment. To prevent further injury from a fall, this area should be no other equipment and obstacles that can strike a child.

Dig a hole

Especially-Fill (sand, fine gravel, mulch, wood chips, etc.) requires a material way as a containment barrier or retaining excavated pit. It also requires good drainage under the material, periodic renewal or replacement, and ongoing maintenance (eg, leveling, grading, sifting, raking) to maintain its depth and to remove foreign matter.

Change-especially Fill Regular

Wet weather, cold temperatures, use normal over time, and contamination will decompose, powder and compact material. Sure to renew or replace it before it becomes hard.

The nitty gritty on Sand and gravel

Even cheap, sand is the least desirable option. Sand can easily scatter outside of your containment area. It also hardens quickly when wet, is abrasive to floor surfaces when tracked indoors, and attracts animals as a litter box. Metal is more difficult to walk and can present a tripping hazard if sparse.

Dandle Safety zones

Swing set must be anchored securely. Swings also should have a buffer zone with a protective cover extending a minimum of 6 feet from the edge of the support structure on each side. The use zone in front and behind the swing should be even larger, and extend a minimum distance of twice the height of the swing as from equal ground with swing hangers on support structure.

Law swing Space

To avoid injury from the impact of moving swings, swings should not be too close together or too close to support structures. Swing spacing should be at least 8 inches between suspended swings and 8 inches from the support frame. The minimum clearance between the ground and underside of swing seat should be 8 inches.

How to make best buffer zone between your child and potential injury. Now, read the safety equipment for more guidelines.

Consider a contractor if you are not ready. Unhandsome playgrounds installed can be an added hazard.

Playgrounds should be inspected on a regular basis. Investigate protective cover, particularly loose-fill, and maintain the proper depth. The following conditions must be removed, corrected or repaired immediately to avoid injury:

Exposed equipment footings.

Scattered debris, litter, rocks or tree roots.

Rust and chipped paint on metal components.

Splinters, large cracks, and decayed wood components.

Deterioration and corrosion to structural elements connect the earth.

Missing or damaged equipment elements, such as handholds, guardrails, swing seats. 1. Install Guard rails - Platforms more than 30 "above the ground should have guardrails to prevent falls.

2. Avoid unsafe openings - In general, openings that are closed to all parties, must be less than 3 1 / 2 "or greater than 9". Openings to between 3'1 / 2 "and 9" present a head entrapment hazard and strangling.

3. Remove pinch or Crush Points - There should be no exposed moving parts that may present a pinching or crushing hazard.

4. Do not Wear Bicycle Helmets on the playground - bike helmets will get stuck in openings on playground equipment, resulting in strangulation or hanging.

5. Avoid dressing especially for children or the chord Clothing playground. Clothing strings, loose clothing, and stringed items placed around the neck can catch on playground equipment and strangle children.

Remember to supervise and teach your child to play safely. Teach your child not to walk or play near a moving swing, and never to tie on playground equipment.

It is not difficult to make your playground safe, if you work from the ground up.

Install protective caps on the ground, use safe equipment, and keep your play area.

In this game plan, called "safe at home!"

American Homeowners Association (Aha) ®

Richard Roll, Founder and President of the American Homeowners Association (Aha) has more than 1 million Homeowners in all 50 states save money by buying and maintaining their homes. For more tools, resources and information to help you keep your home and instantaneously save money go to for a special offer from Aha.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Finding the Perfect School Bag

So, you buy a new pencil case, sharpening your pencils and your shoes polished to have only one thing left to get to start your new term at school; a brand new school bag. After a year of more of the school bag being thrown around the playground, used as goal posts and carrying heavy books around is not surprising that the school rucksack was looking a little tired and gaunt in the end. The padding on the back and shoulder straps can also begin to lose their padding, which means that it can begin to hurt when carrying anything heavy.

Thankfully there are a wide variety of children's rucksacks in various styles and colors to choose from wow other children at school. This is only a couple of styles and top brand names should beware for when purchasing a new school rucksack.

Classic School backpack:

For many people, the classic school backpack comprises a large room for the main book and lunchbox and a smaller compartment in front for pence and perhaps your dinner money. The straps are also padded normal as well as behind the bag for extra convenience. The bag has two straps to evenly distribute the weight of the bag on your shoulders, which helps getting over any problems behind. The school backpacks are a classic style of Animal, Roxy and mercury are well made some style for.

Messenger bags:

The messenger bag is usually made with some type of cloth or leather to make it more hard wearing. The bag is worn on a shoulder by a strap that winds around the chest resting the bag on the lower back. The messenger bags are Increasingly becoming an urban fashion icon as they are usually relatively clear and look great. The leather messenger bags especially have a retro style, where brands such as Dunlop have embraced their design.

Shoulder bags:

Shoulder bags and messenger bags are often called the same thing but traditionally a shoulder bag is placed in a shoulder and is suitable for mainly carrying books. Smaller shoulder bags have recently arrived in fashion for both men and women for carrying a few valuables. Top brands such as Quiksilver, Roxy and Bench create stylish shoulder bags to suit both men and women.

Laptop Bag:

Not surprisingly, laptop bags are traditionally used for carrying and protecting your laptop computer with any other documents that may need. The laptop bag is generally similar in style and behavior as a messenger bag is worn on a shoulder and a strap that goes across the chest. Leading computer manufacturers do develop laptop bags but they rarely pay much attention to style. In this case, brands such as Animal and Dunlop made modern alternatives that look great and protect your laptop.

To find a wide range of stylish and practical school bags ready for the term ahead, please contact hiccup Gifts for more information.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Playground Equipment Accessible to All Children

The 1990 Americans with Disabilities Act prompted the Architectural and Transportation Compliance Board suppressing Accessibility to establish guidelines for public places to play. These guidelines include, but are not limited to the following things that should make public playgrounds:

1. Provide opportunities for the use of i play areas by children with different abilities
2. Support of social interaction with children in play areas
3. Create play area challenges, but the barriers
4. Maintain ASTM (American Society for Testing and Materials) safety standards of
5. Allow free use of greater number of possible
6. Provide access to elevated structures for disabled kids
7. Help designers and Architects include improved access to new design.

Playground surfacing will take into account wheelchair access and maneuverability. ASTM standards require a surface that "firm, steadfast, and slip resistant." Soft rubber tiles are examples of cover materials that provide safety and Accessibility. Tire chips and wood chips are better than the surface of sand or pea gravel, but they are not easy for those in wheelchairs to navigate as a pour-in-place rubber surface or soft rubber tiles.

Perhaps the most important steps in creating an accessible play area will provide an accessible route to and through the playing area. Many outdoor recreation facilities use a combination of loose fill and only to cover accommodate all children enough. Wheelchairs to avoid dropping off access from the paths' end and tipping over, it is best to install a gradually sloping transition edge 30 degrees or less. Access paths should be at least 5 feet wide, or wide enough for two wheelchairs. There should also turnaround / parking space at least five feet in diameter installed beside the playground of any equipment requiring a child to transfer from a wheelchair onto the structure.

Transfer points are places where children with disabilities move from their wheelchair onto the play structure itself. Physical therapists report that 40-60% of wheelchair users can move out of their chairs to a play structure. Children need a transfer point from 11 to 18 inches high so that they can make transfers by themselves. Transfer points should also feature grab bars or other assistance device.

Ramps also provides access for children with disabilities and elevated decks above. The ramps must be at least 36 inches wide, with a slope of no more than 1:12 (a rise of a foot in height for every 12 horizontal feet), and they should have handrails and curbs. The Americans with Disabilities Act requires access to at least half of the elevated play components by ramp. However, if there are fewer than 20 elevated play component, access through the transfer of points is acceptable. If more than 20 elevated play structures, at least four of them should have ramp access.

But wheelchair access is only for purposes of making playgrounds accessible for children with disabilities. The needs of sight or hearing impaired children and children with disabilities or development of other physical and mental challenges should not be ignored.

Also keep in mind that the steps taken to increase Accessibility of children with disabilities will benefit all children. Roomier decks, shorter ladder Heights, and ramps are user-friendly to everyone, and grab bars and handrails are safety features that all children can benefit from.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

The Benefits of Outdoor Playgrounds

A playground of outdoor space for children to play freely. Modern playground equipment is a combination of different pieces of equipment such as slide, climber, walking bridge, and overhead hanging.

The game is very important in the growth of children. In the modern world, children always spend their free time on video games, using computers and watching television. In addition, they like to take the junk food, sugary drinks and high cholesterol food. Sedentary activities, lack of exercise is hazardous to their health. Nursery supplies can help children to remove their dependence on unhealthy activities, and it is safe from accidents.

The promotion of outdoor play spiritual, moral and character development of children. Playing games may develop in health, initiative, cooperation and self-confidence while reducing idleness, selfishness and rowdy behavior.

Outdoor play is also a complex social network for kids to learn relationship building skills. Group develops and tests children's playground relations. They learn self-control, compromise and negotiation. They also learn tolerance by example, encourage children to learn slides to take turns.

Playing plays an important role in the process of maturation of the child. It is a platform on the development of social skills in their future. Children develop language and reasoning skills, in addition, it encourages independent thinking and problem solving, and helps them improve their ability to concentrate and control their behavior.

Give an example of a healthy, active lifestyle is the first step towards keeping youth on the path of good physical and mental health. visit to learn about the outside playground, kindergarten and supplies.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

How Safe Is Your Backyard Playground?

One of the most effective means by which children can obtain a relaxation through the use of the playground. Parents are now aware that it is preferable for them to create their own playgrounds in their own backyard or in their neighborhood.

In fact, the community's efforts to build these playgrounds have become something that the parents of the need for their children's safety. It is easier to establish a set of equipment as a result of the overall contribution of a large number of people in a community or neighborhood.

If you are a parent or an owner or part of a community where there are games for children, you need to know how is the playground safe. Therefore, this article aims to determine the security level of your play area is for both your children and - if a community effort - your neighbors' children.

So what are the things you need to take to see if the game is safe?

1. The available space for installation and construction of equipment.

This is very important because you do not want children badly each other as a result of constantly hitting each other. This is particularly common when not enough space for games. For example, if the space between the fort and the swing is not much, there is the trend that young people with the swing and go to the fort could fall on children from the fort. This is likely to cause more injuries.

2. The floor of the playground should be constructed of materials that are both robust and lasting, without causing too much damage to children who could play their deterioration of equipment. Thus, the construction of the floor with hard materials such as asphalt will increase the severity of accidents which might occur. Instead of trying to research on materials such as rubber mulch.

3. The difference in the play equipment should be considered especially when the age of the children who use playground different. This is usually not evident for the first time. But for the experience, they know that this is a must have. This is because the equipment you need toddlers will not necessarily be suitable for school age children. Thus, a one-size-fits-all playground equipment is not recommended for playgrounds.

4. The safety of a playground is also dependent on the proximity of a parent or guardian a person who can provide security in the playground. That is why it is necessary to have adults around when the children play in the playground.

For more information, visit All About Games | rear playgrounds You can also request more information about how to build a trunk playgrounds for your children at playgrounds

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Webkinz Takes the World by Storm - A Webkinz Virtual Playground for Your Kids

Webkinz is the latest online craze for kids. As a father of two young children, I know my way around this fascinating new virtual world, and it is very impressive. In fact, I am also the proud owner of a virtual Webkinz gorilla named, although unoriginally, Kong.

The world of Webkinz has been designed for users aged 6-13 + (or, finally, almost 40) and includes content for all ages and levels of computer skill within that range. The general idea is to adopt a pet, which has a real world companion stuffed animal, and to submit to the Webkinz online. You start with a simple piece, a couple of toys and some Webkinz dollars. Second, and often you will find exciting new ways to collect, earn, or earn more money to upgrade your Webkinz.

You can expand your Webkinz world with new rooms, yards, furniture, clothing, food and toys. You can arrange the rooms the way you want, furniture, and make changes to the environment of your Webkinz lives in. Kong has a pirate ship room, but I prefer not to admit how much fun it is the collection of all the pirate themed pieces. My kids have fantastic Webkinz environments with ice rooms and fully stalked kitchens, backyard pools with slides and animals can play, and a host of funky clothing and accessories. They have security and they love games, even those who May be subtle to teach them something.

The Webkinz world was clearly designed to reach the widest possible audience, proposed in the context of his age. Although some of the Webkinz games and jobs (yes, your Webkinz can have a job to earn Webkinz dollars) May be difficult for young people, there are many opportunities and games for younger audiences to enjoy this site in their orwith own support for an adult. Young people can also benefit users of all non-game Webkinz terms of dollars, including the Wheel of WOW, Wishing Well and the cost of care. There is even a matter of 5-6 years in the Quizzy's Question Corner, which includes over 1000 age-appropriate, programs based on issues that make Webkinz dollars faster than any game.

Webkinz world is safe? Yes. The Internet can be a dangerous place, and that is why as a parent, I really appreciate the efforts, like Webkinz. The Webkinz world includes what is in my opinion, the safest possible chat system available for children. Webkinz chat is built so that users can not grasp what they want. Nothing inappropriate can be said, and there is no way to exchange personal information. Only people you know will be your username, which is necessary to add someone to your friends list. Finally, you can always drop in another offer to join his friends list, or delete them at any time.

In my personal experience, Webkinz World is a great place to learn and play. Children can learn fun facts Quizzy's. The Quizzy questions are age-appropriate, education and most are based. There are also several arcade games that promote learning, such as: Booger Gets A that promotes addition skills, Lunch Letters that helps children learn to type and spell, Quizzy Word Challenge that aids in spelling, and Operation Gumball that encourages children to think logically. Also, Webkinz Newz and the W Tales promote reading and encourage numerous creative writing, creativity and problem-solving. What else? My kids are learning money in Webkinz World, earning KinzCash, they learn how to save and spend money. My oldest child recently recorded a new pool, which adds it to a place in their virtual garden. Today, her Webkinz can virtually swim. Webkinz World also helps to teach children about responsibility, caring for a pet, and agree with the others. Best of all, no Webkinz pets can die. Webkinz pets can get sick, but they can not die. Have fun.

The author, Andrew Wills, is a website for the search of gold prospector and its original site. This article is provided by the, where you will find parenting information, advice, parental responsibilities, and new parents who give you the tools to make informed decisions. For more parenting articles please go to today.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Playgrounds Are More Than Just Play!

Playgrounds are one of the favorite places of children. This is where they are free to run and play with other children. But alongside them fun, playgrounds offer a great opportunity for children to learn important social skills that they can apply later in life. It is not only to promote fitness for children, but also their team communication and social skills. There are many ways on how a play can help a child social skills.

The playground is a place for young children to have friends. This is where they begin to learn to interact with other children. It gives them the idea that they are not the only one who uses the playground. Thus, they need to cooperate with other children. They first take place with the equipment. And finally, they overcome their shyness and ask for the names of other children. Before the day ends, they have won new friends who share games that are packed with their imagination.

Playgrounds help children learn the value of sharing. They learn to share equipment such as see-saw, slides, swings etc. Since the playground is more or less of each type of equipment, they have to take turns and share the ability to use the playground . He also teaches children to be patient. They line up and wait their turn.

Children strengthen their communication and social skills in the playground. It is also where they interact with people they do not know personally. They learn to approach another child who is a stranger to them. They use their communication skills to interact with other children and, finally, get to know them. They learn to seek help and to help someone who is needed. He also know the value of compassion. They also learn to negotiate when it comes to share games with others. Playing games with a group of children also teach them what teamwork. Whenever they lose, they learn to be a good sport.

Playground is also the means for a child of the creative thinking skills. They generally use their imagination in role play with other children. They transform the playground into a space shuttle, a jungle, a ship, and much more. Using the imagination is a healthy exercise for the mind, because it brings the creativity of children.

Nurseries should invest in playgrounds because he does not only give pleasure and enjoyment to children. Playground facilities are also much in the development of social skills and communication as well as the values that are fundamental to a child of growth. It teaches them the value of sharing, patience, teamwork, be good sports, compassion, friendship and much more. These skills and values are key to the success of your children as they grow to be a better person.

Playgrounds Are More Than Just Play!

Playgrounds are one of the favorite places of children. This is where they are free to run and play with other children. But alongside them fun, playgrounds offer a great opportunity for children to learn important social skills that they can apply later in life. It is not only to promote fitness for children, but also their team communication and social skills. There are many ways on how a play can help a child social skills.

The playground is a place for young children to have friends. This is where they begin to learn to interact with other children. It gives them the idea that they are not the only one who uses the playground. Thus, they need to cooperate with other children. They first take place with the equipment. And finally, they overcome their shyness and ask for the names of other children. Before the day ends, they have won new friends who share games that are packed with their imagination.

Playgrounds help children learn the value of sharing. They learn to share equipment such as see-saw, slides, swings etc. Since the playground is more or less of each type of equipment, they have to take turns and share the ability to use the playground . He also teaches children to be patient. They line up and wait their turn.

Children strengthen their communication and social skills in the playground. It is also where they interact with people they do not know personally. They learn to approach another child who is a stranger to them. They use their communication skills to interact with other children and, finally, get to know them. They learn to seek help and to help someone who is needed. He also know the value of compassion. They also learn to negotiate when it comes to share games with others. Playing games with a group of children also teach them what teamwork. Whenever they lose, they learn to be a good sport.

Playground is also the means for a child of the creative thinking skills. They generally use their imagination in role play with other children. They transform the playground into a space shuttle, a jungle, a ship, and much more. Using the imagination is a healthy exercise for the mind, because it brings the creativity of children.

Nurseries should invest in playgrounds because he does not only give pleasure and enjoyment to children. Playground facilities are also much in the development of social skills and communication as well as the values that are fundamental to a child of growth. It teaches them the value of sharing, patience, teamwork, be good sports, compassion, friendship and much more. These skills and values are key to the success of your children as they grow to be a better person.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Backyard Adventure Vs Regular Playgrounds

These days, it is one thing to find parents who want to build a playground at the rear of their houses only to ensure that their children take full control needed during recess. The reason is that most parents fear their children until the end of May reached the playground if they are not properly monitored.

For some, this fear May be regarded as unnecessary and without merit. However, the reality is that parents are afraid that a real makes them decide to build a garden playground for their children.

Recent statistics have shown that there are over two hundred thousand (200,000) reported incidents of accidents in playgrounds sustained. This number is not negligible and therefore calls for concern.

Despite this, others prefer their children to a playground when they want to play. This is not a bad idea, although it has its own disadvantages too. Construction of a garden playground for your children is a very good investment. There are many things that have prevented your child and for making this dream of adventure back they really want to do. By having your own playground in your garden, your children have a playground that is tailor-made for them. In other words, each child is taken into account when the building is finished. This means that things like hands, floors and equipment are tailored to each child the best possible way.

However, creating a way for a backyard adventure for children can be costly in time and you should take your time to research, construction and consult with experts and friends before they can finally have that happiness back adventure you want.

On the other hand, a playground does not stress all of the research, consultation, planning and costs. All your children have to do is go there and play. It takes no additional space that could be useful for something else, and your children will have a chance to interact with other children, thus strengthening their social skills.

Unfortunately, playgrounds regularly with all its good sides, also have negative aspects and the most important is the frequency of accidents that occur in these games. This is because the equipment is constructed using a one-size-fits-all model. Thus, preschool children who are using equipment built for school children takes place at a risk of injury.

For example, a child of school age may be able to jump four feet on the ground. Imagine that, a baby has to be done. What would happen? So before you make your decisions if you want to enjoy a garden or an adventure game, weigh the pros and cons and to make an informed decision.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

How To Build A Safe Playground?

Children love to play and their rest periods. In fact, most children look forward to their game and are very happy and excited when the recess bell goes off. Most of the time these children spend much of their time in games which is where they often have fun. These periods are generally in the past and the local headquarters of games, school and other games et.c.

Over time, however, things have changed that parents now realize that it is possible to build a playground - though small - on the back of their houses. Although it costs a little more than the average toy rewards in terms of security and surveillance are phenomenal. Even if a safe playground at the rear of your home costs a lot, this does not necessarily mean that the play equipment are safe for children.

Therefore, spending a lot of money on buying expensive play equipment does not guarantee the safety of the child when he or she uses. In fact, statistics show that over two hundred thousand accidents and injuries resulting from injuries sustained in playgrounds are processed each year. This series of more than five hundred that occur on a daily basis. Injuries that can be supported using the playground equipment includes dislocations, fractures, concussions arising out of his head hit the ground and a host of others.

With all that said, what are the things you must do to make sure you cut - at the lowest possible level - the incidence of injury from the use of play equipment? The answer is by fixing the cause.

How? Construction of a playground safe for children to use.

So how do you build a playground safe? What are the factors to consider when building a safe playground?

First, make sure that the flooring on the playing field is to reduce the effects of a fall, rather than worsening it. This can be done by the construction of the floor using wood chips. Avoid using hard surfaces such as grass, sand, and asphalt, as they exacerbate the effects of a fall. There are better surfaces such as rubber mulch.

Second, always consider more space. Therefore, the floor should extend to more than six feet beyond the playground. If the fort is 4ft above, this would be a good idea not to let the guards open. Keep them close together to prevent children from having their heads stuck between them. For children who are of school age, make sure the ramps are more than thirty eight inches (38in) and, finally, ensure that you have enough space that can grow as your child grows.

For more information, visit All About Games | yard. You can also request more information about how to build a trunk playgrounds for your children at playgrounds

Saturday, June 20, 2009

How to Create a Perfect Playground Paradise?

Is there such a thing as a perfect paradise rear playgrounds? How are you going on creating a playground paradise perfect? As parents, we want the best for our children and so we tend to want to give our children the best gifts, education and so on. It is also shared by most parents who want to build a playground for their children to want to create a playground paradise perfect.

Creating the perfect paradise playground is not impossible. The only thing is if you have the ability and capital to build something like a mini Disneyland for children, then you have successfully created a playground paradise perfect.

But this does not mean that the average parent can not create a playground effective and functional in their neighborhoods. So far, the only parents who have managed to build a playground paradise perfect for children who have built themselves. So you can see that this is not something that you, as parents no longer want to fight.

Thus, the construction of a playground safe and supportive environment for children is good enough as long as you have the resources to be able to do so. You should also know that children will appreciate your efforts to build a playground where they can have fun and to the extent that they are concerned, which is perfectly adequate for most of them.

Construction of the "perfect" paradise of games will lead to a number of things such as space and equipment to be used in the construction of the playground.

Therefore, it is better that before leaving for the purchase of equipment involved, you do surveys and previous owners of playgrounds around your neighborhood.

In most cases, these people have learned a lot about the job and can tell you what to do and avoid. This will then enable you to make better choices about things that are necessary for an effective and functional children's playground.

These people would also be able to tell you what mistakes they made which you would be able to learn from everyone. The most important thing is that you really learn from all these people and apply what you learned. So you build a playground, but without the mistakes they made when they were their own. It is a way to create a perfect playground for your children.

You can also search for a great, great playgrounds and adventure manufacturer. They can also help you build a large school playground and help you avoid costly mistakes.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Chicago, a Children's Playground - 4 Chicago Attractions the Kids Will Love

Keeping kids amused on holiday is a concern for every parent, grandparent, or caregiver. The key is to plan research and children walk specific activities of the city has to offer. Chicago is a fantastic place to visit, especially if you have a child. Chicago is one of the finest American museums, cinema, and a long history of standing on the Ferris wheel.

Chicago has many attractions to keep children and Mom and Dad also entertained for hours. The selected groups of Chicago, these attractions to make sure you visit later in the Windy City include the Adler Planetarium & Astronomy Museum, Shedd Aquarium, the Museum of Science and Industry, and Navy Pier.

# 1: Adler Planetarium & Astronomy Museum

The Adler Planetarium & Astronomy Museum has been entertaining children and adults over 75 years. The Adler gives children the opportunity to view the universe and have a load of fun. As well as housing one of the largest collection of antiques, it has two theaters Adler Planetarium, and the Doane observatory. In addition, the Café Galileo was elected one of the attractions of Chicago the best view of the city and Lake Michigan.

The sky definiti Theaters Theater, a mixture of cartoons, entertainment, education and short film is shown. What distinguishes these two distinct theaters regular theaters, the film is projected onto the planetarium dome 360 degree viewing.

# 2: The Shedd Aquarium

The Shedd Aquarium is one of the largest aquatic America with more than 30,000 animals. The aquarium, the Oceanarium and Wild Reef, developed circuits to gain time for children, small or large. Exit Ten Fun Finds for Tots, or ten Fun Finds - Shedd's Best dressed, or ten Fun Finds - Name Make You Hungry.

The aquarium also have a 4-D Special FX Theater, which entertains children explore the world of coral reefs or SpongeBob SquarePants 4-D.

# 3: The Museum of Science and Industry

The grandfather of 75 years in Chicago attractions holds more than 14 acres of adventure and learning. The Museum has several permanent and temporary exhibitions, including the only German submarine in America. The museum also holds live science demonstrations where children can get experience in chemistry and biology.

# 4: Navy Pier

Chicago Navy Pier is one of the attractions of history. In 1893, the first wheel was built in Chicago as a rival to the Eiffel Tower. Destroyed in 1906, bringing the wheel tradition Navy Pier in Chicago. The Navy Pier wheel is 150 feet and is also highly appreciated by a passenger. Navy Pier also 50 hectares of park is the Chicago Children's Museum, free music and theater, and the Chicago Shakespeare Theater. During the summer, fireworks illuminate the night sky, each Wednesday and Saturday.

Teaching Playground Safety to Kids

Kids' toys the children can hold attention for a number of times, but the amount of toys to children around the world will not prevent them from playing in a playground. Children should have time to play outside if only to give them fresh air and exercise. Target also playgrounds to give them the opportunity to develop social skills.

Playgrounds, however, is not exactly the safest place to leave an unattended child. Adult supervision is required to ensure that children around the game behavior will not harm them or other children. Adult must also ensure that the court itself is safe for use.

Parents and guardians are responsible for teaching children how to be safe while at play. These are general rules that children should learn about playground safety:

1. No pressure

Focusing on youth, especially young men, the dangers of pushing and roughhousing as jungle gyms, slides, swings, swings and other equipment. Tell them that the possible results if they do - or they can be physically hurt or injure their comrades.

2. Use equipment correctly

Before letting them play, it is important to teach them the proper way to use games. Children are more likely to use the playground equipment in accordance with their own imagination. Thus, it should be taught that they must move their feet when first reading the slides, and they should not climb outside guardrails. They must also remember not to jump the swings and do not put hands near moving parts.

3. Go with caution

In memory of a child not to skip while playing is an exercise in futility. It is more productive to teach them that when they jump, they should first verify that no other children in their own way, and they have both feet on the ground with your knees slightly bent.

4. Let your business in one place

Teach them to determine any possible risk of collapse, such as The Roots of trees and rocks. Let them understand why it is important to keep the bags, backpacks, bicycles and other toys to children outside where they play.

5. Do not play when the material is wet or hot

Children should be taught the dangers of using a wet game. Parents should remember that the cause of moisture to the surface slippery and can lead to accidents.

During the summer, children should also be reminded not to play with hot equipment, especially those made of metal.

6. Let the children toys

Children, especially younger life, should be discouraged from making toys for children, while Thursday so they can maintain good playground equipment

7. Do not wear something with a string

Emphasize the danger to children who wear clothing with strings in a playground. Little girls should be aware that the straps of their bags or Necklaces can be made on equipment and accidentally strangle.

8. Choose wisely play structures

Children should understand the dangers of playing on structures that are too large or too small for them. Play can dangerous if the equipment is not designed for their age group.

9. Wear sunscreen

Encourage children to use sunscreen to avoid sunburn.

Adult must supervise children at play, but their greatest responsibility is to teach children how to behave responsibly in a playground.

For more information about tips and toys for children, see

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Playground Mulch - A Friend of Kids

The inventor of the much larger tire appropriate respect for all of us, because we learned about other uses of old rubber tires, which have accumulated otherwise unmanageable number and the destruction of our environment in the long term .

Rubber mulch is used in various fields today. Farmers to place around their prized plants and herbs to prevent pests such as slugs and insects to destroy them. Loss of surface water and soil are avoided by the use of rubber mulch. Over time he also obtained a different look, such as colored mulch for gardens and playgrounds for pellets and large horse racing Arena and playgrounds.

Landscape mulch determine the contours of your garden and the proper placement of mulch increases its visual effect. It finds that more and more gardeners and landscapers are waking up to the benefits of rubber. The conventional mulch made from organic matter is now obsolete for various reasons. The main reason is the availability of rubber mulch. It is available in all states and some states like California the use of rubber mulch more than others.

Playground mulch acts as cushions for the children. Playground accidents are more common than you think. However, it was found that the accident had almost nothing in the playground using rubber mulch.

Rubber mulch is able to survive with minimal maintenance. This is not mold, rot, or rice, as in the case of other mulch. Mulch color is CYNOSURE of all eyes in the area where they are used.

Monday, June 15, 2009

5 Things to Consider Before Building Your Backyard Playground

Building a playground for children to meet parents who work are many benefits. This is because the more you can watch the children play in the backyard and watch them. Another benefit of this is that you can build a backyard playground information.

That's why you need not worry about things like the size of the space between the rails and so forth.

Recent events have shown that parents have begun building their own backyard playground, because they are finding that a lot of interest in it. Before building a backyard playground for your child, there are some important things you should consider before building your backyard playground:

1. The age and size of children. The playground equipment for children is different than a school child. This is because their growth, and size will vary, not to mention the fact that they are also different kinds of abilities and age. For example, construction of defense for a school aged child, the railroad guard must not too close to each director of the son will not agree to them. But imagine what will happen if the child put his head on railroad guard. Is it a walk, that his head will slip between the rails and his neck trapped? You bet. This is due to the fact that full head of children of different ages, different.

2. The space available. Amount of space is also an important factor to consider. This is because children are probably so excited that they were bumping each other in the playground, where the space is too tight. Thus defeating the goal is a playground, which is to create a happy environment, instead of querulous environment.

3. Proximity of the house. It is vitally important as a piece of all efforts to secure a playground, it is still possible, that accidents may occur. If that ever happens, you want to dash out of the house and reach all the injured children 10-30 seconds.

4. The floor is a playground is an important aspect into account. This is due to the fact that children are always falling down. But you need something to help break the slower decrease at the same time minimizing their damage. Floors such as concrete and asphalt could do more damage to any boy that is - roll out of the wood-chip floor is.

5. Fencing is a playground to keep children in road management, which is a good reason is taken into account in making your backyard playgrounds. Wood fencing and planting shrubs can do the trick, too.

Children's Outdoor Playgrounds

Playgrounds are for children everywhere. Although the burden of swings and play areas that can really put pressure on school budgets and cities, these are installed, regardless of cost. Big swings and playgrounds will shape any shape and size. Wood and plastic together in metal, they are a place where families can meet. If used for birthday parties, children in daycare events, picnics, or simply respectful neighborly gatherings, activities can be easily provided and the children have space to run as fast and strong they can.

When children meet the parents a place to socialize. Picnic tables and seats are usually fairly close to the series of external games to watch every move and parents will enjoy the fresh air and sunlight. Currently children in playing video games, heat and sunlight vital eligible children. Vitamin D is essential and often neglected.

These playgrounds are usually coated with rubber mulch, wood mulch or other similar materials. Fell above these are not serious as hitting a hard Blacktop. Blacktop surfaces are not as common as they are. Many years ago, it is not uncommon for a play area for this type of surface. With new large playground and children's ability to reach new Heights, it only makes sense to put a soft surface plyable below.

Ownership of a playground is much more than what the experience of children. It is a mixture of emotions that bring us to places where freedom. In adulthood, it is easy to get bogged down in what we think, to stay, and to see a child play, laugh and experience of freedom will help us reach our free minds of young people. If only for a moment can get lost in the free nature of youth and live in their time of joy, the day we experience stress may melt momentarily.

Friday, March 6, 2009

Why Don't More Kids Play Badminton?

from ezine articles

I suppose it shows my age when I say things like that. I recall having several badminton sets as a kid. They were lots of fun then and I'll bet if more kids were exposed to them - they'd find it true today as well. I suppose it's not unlike so many other sports niches - a small but rabid following whose expertise scares away crowds of novice players. Have you ever seen a 'professional' badminton match?

When I first began researching for the badminton page on Backyard Steward site I was mesmerized by the incredible depth of product variability - the technology and materials used in the racquets are very modern and highly sophisticated. We've come to the point now that we're looking for ways to reduce wind drag on badminton racquets. Some are reminiscent of fine Chevy engines - completely blueprinted and balanced. Can you believe that?

All that high tech stuff aside for a moment - badminton is an excellent backyard game you should consider for your kids - if you haven't already. It's a low impact and deliberately easy game to play for beginners. The slowed movement inherent of the shuttlecock (we called it the birdie when I was a kid) makes it a game that old and young can play together easily. Very few people can't pick up a badminton racquet and whack the shuttlecock across the net a time or two. One might even consider it a primer for a much more demanding sport such as tennis. Tennis, while generally similar, is much harder on just about all your body parts by comparison. Knees, wrists, and ankles are much better off for badminton players - trust me on that.

Another great characteristic of badminton is the ease and speed in which you can set up the net. Most backyard sets have aluminum poles that can easily be planted with little effort. For kids this is good for another reason - changing the height of the net. Once kids start batting the shuttlecock around a bit they typically forget about keeping score - because they're having too much fun. Does outdoor exercise get any better than that? You don't have to strictly adhere to the court dimensions either - which makes it fit in any size backyard.

Personally I think badminton is a developmental thing that all kids ought to be exposed to at least once in their lives. Coordination, timing, and balance are all synergized and in the guise of good natured entertainment. For the older kids you'd probably want to chalk the yard for all those 'line' shots - just to prepare them for their tennis-like McEnroe impersonations.

All kidding aside, badminton with or without strict interpretation of badminton rules is one of those classic family fun games yours is virtually guaranteed to enjoy.

Badminton Sets

Greg King is the owner and operator of the Backyard Steward website which is focused on power tools, outdoor furniture and decoration, as well as family-friendly entertainment ideas.

Article Source:

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Gluten-Free Child’s Play

Like so much about college, it started with beer. Not drinking it; making it. A professor at Purdue University mentioned that she couldn’t drink beer because of intolerance to wheat gluten. So Sawyer Sparks and two other students in the agricultural economics program there started experimenting in their off-hours to see if they could make a gluten-free beer. They borrowed beer-making supplies from a neighbor who had made it something of a hobby, and mixed soy flour, gluten-free yeast and water on Mr. Sparks’s stove.

The result didn’t look anything like beer. “It looks like Play-Doh!” one of them said. But Play-Doh, that squishy staple of preschool years, can be a problem for children who are intolerant to wheat. (Hasbro, Play-Doh’s manufacturer, won’t say exactly what is in it but does say that it contains wheat and can cause a reaction in allergic children.)

Mr. Sparks, 21 and a junior, had already started a small company that markets alternative fuels and animal feed made from sunflowers around southern Indiana. He saw another business opportunity in the stove-top creation. Some estimates put the number of people intolerant to wheat at one in six. “It’s a big thing for parents,” he says.

Mr. Sparks decided to sell his mixture as a wheat-free alternative to Play-Doh, calling it Soy-Doh. He created a dozen colors, and scented each to smell like fruit or foods — one is root beer. It is nontoxic and nonallergenic. Mr. Sparks says you can eat it (and he has). He says he has sold hundreds of containers to schools, at $2 a pop.

It is essentially the same mixture he discovered in his beer-making venture (since abandoned), only now, for economy, it includes some rice flour as well as soy. But he is still producing it from his house.

Born to Run? Little Ones Get Test for Sports Gene

BOULDER, Colo. — When Donna Campiglia learned recently that a genetic test might be able to determine which sports suit the talents of her 2 ½-year-old son, Noah, she instantly said, Where can I get it and how much does it cost?

“I could see how some people might think the test would pigeonhole your child into doing fewer sports or being exposed to fewer things, but I still think it’s good to match them with the right activity,” Ms. Campiglia, 36, said as she watched a toddler class at Boulder Indoor Soccer in which Noah struggled to take direction from the coach between juice and potty breaks.

“I think it would prevent a lot of parental frustration,” she said.

In health-conscious, sports-oriented Boulder, Atlas Sports Genetics is playing into the obsessions of parents by offering a $149 test that aims to predict a child’s natural athletic strengths. The process is simple. Swab inside the child’s cheek and along the gums to collect DNA and return it to a lab for analysis of ACTN3, one gene among more than 20,000 in the human genome.

The test’s goal is to determine whether a person would be best at speed and power sports like sprinting or football, or endurance sports like distance running, or a combination of the two. A 2003 study discovered the link between ACTN3 and those athletic abilities.

In this era of genetic testing, DNA is being analyzed to determine predispositions to disease, but experts raise serious questions about marketing it as a first step in finding a child’s sports niche, which some parents consider the road to a college scholarship or a career as a professional athlete.

Atlas executives acknowledge that their test has limitations but say that it could provide guidelines for placing youngsters in sports. The company is focused on testing children from infancy to about 8 years old because physical tests to gauge future sports performance at that age are, at best, unreliable.

Some experts say ACTN3 testing is in its infancy and virtually useless. Dr. Theodore Friedmann, the director of the University of California-San Diego Medical Center’s interdepartmental gene therapy program, called it “an opportunity to sell new versions of snake oil.”

“This may or may not be quite that venal, but I would like to see a lot more research done before it is offered to the general public,” he said. “I don’t deny that these genes have a role in athletic success, but it’s not that black and white.”

Dr. Stephen M. Roth, director of the functional genomics laboratory at the University of Maryland’s School of Public Health who has studied ACTN3, said he thought the test would become popular. But he had reservations.

“The idea that it will be one or two genes that are contributing to the Michael Phelpses or the Usain Bolts of the world I think is shortsighted because it’s much more complex than that,” he said, adding that athletic performance has been found to be affected by at least 200 genes.

Dr. Roth called ACTN3 “one of the most exciting and eyebrow-raising genes out there in the sports-performance arena,” but he said that any test for the gene would be best used only on top athletes looking to tailor workouts to their body types.

“It seems to be important at very elite levels of competition,” Dr. Roth said. “But is it going to affect little Johnny when he participates in soccer, or Suzy’s ability to perform sixth grade track and field? There’s very little evidence to suggest that.”

The study that identified the connection between ACTN3 and elite athletic performance was published in 2003 by researchers primarily based in Australia.

Those scientists looked at the gene’s combinations, one copy provided by each parent. The R variant of ACTN3 instructs the body to produce a protein, alpha-actinin-3, found specifically in fast-twitch muscles. Those muscles are capable of the forceful, quick contractions necessary in speed and power sports. The X variant prevents production of the protein.

The ACTN3 study looked at 429 elite white athletes, including 50 Olympians, and found that 50 percent of the 107 sprint athletes had two copies of the R variant. Even more telling, no female elite sprinter had two copies of the X variant. All male Olympians in power sports had at least one copy of the R variant.

Conversely, nearly 25 percent of the elite endurance athletes had two copies of the X variant — only slightly higher than the control group at 18 percent. That means people with two X copies are more likely to be suited for endurance sports.

Still, some athletes prove science, and seemingly their genetics, wrong. Research on an Olympic long jumper from Spain showed that he had no copies of the R variant, indicating that athletic success is probably affected by a combination of genes as well as factors like environment, training, nutrition and luck.

“Just think if that Spanish kid’s parents had done the test and said, ‘No, your genes show that you are going to be a bad long jumper, so we are going to make you a golfer,’ ” said Carl Foster, a co-author of the study, who is the director of the human performance laboratory at the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse. “Now look at him. He’s the springiest guy in Spain. He’s Tigger. We don’t yet understand what combination of genes creates that kind of explosiveness.”

Dr. Foster suggested another way to determine if a child will be good at sprint and power sports. “Just line them up with their classmates for a race and see which ones are the fastest,” he said.

Kevin Reilly, the president of Atlas Sports Genetics and a former weight-lifting coach, expected the test to be controversial. He said some people were concerned that it would cause “a rebirth of eugenics, similar to what Hitler did in trying to create this race of perfect athletes.”

Mr. Reilly said he feared what he called misuse by parents who go overboard with the results and specialize their children too quickly and fervently.

“I’m nervous about people who get back results that don’t match their expectations,” he said. “What will they do if their son would not be good at football? How will they mentally and emotionally deal with that?”

Mr. Reilly insisted that the test is one tool of many that can help children realize their athletic potential. It may even keep an overzealous father from pushing his son to be a quarterback if his genes indicate otherwise, Mr. Reilly said.

If ACTN3 suggests a child may be a great athlete, he said, parents should take a step back and nurture that potential Olympian or N.F.L. star with careful nutrition, coaching and planning. He also said they should hold off on placing a child in a competitive environment until about the age of 8 to avoid burnout.

“Based on the test of a 5-year-old or a newborn, you are not going to see if you have the next Michael Johnson; that’s just not going to happen,” Mr. Reilly said. “But if you wait until high school or college to find out if you have a good athlete on your hands, by then it will be too late. We need to identify these kids from 1 and up, so we can give the parents some guidelines on where to go from there.”

Boyd Epley, a former strength and conditioning coach at the University of Nebraska, said the next step would be a physical test he devised. Atlas plans to direct children to Epic Athletic Performance, a talent identification company that uses Mr. Epley’s index. He founded the company; Mr. Reilly is its president.

China and Russia, Mr. Epley said, identify talent in the very young and whittle the pool of athletes until only the best remain for the national teams.

“This is how we could stay competitive with the rest of the world,” Mr. Epley said of genetic and physical testing. “It could, at the very least, provide you with realistic goals for you and your children.”

The ACTN3 test has been available through the Australian company Genetic Technologies since 2004. The company has marketed the test in Australia, Europe and Japan, but is now entering the United States through Atlas. The testing kit was scheduled to be available starting Monday through the Web site

The analysis takes two to three weeks, and the results arrive in the form of a certificate announcing Your Genetic Advantage, whether it is in sprint, power and strength sports; endurance sports; or activity sports (for those with one copy of each variant, and perhaps a combination of strengths). A packet of educational information suggests sports that are most appropriate and what paths to follow so the child reaches his or her potential.

“I find it worrisome because I don’t think parents will be very clear-minded about this,” said William Morgan, an expert on the philosophy of ethics and sport and author of “Why Sports Morally Matter.” “This just contributes to the madness about sports because there are some parents who will just go nuts over the results.

“The problem here is that the kids are not old enough to make rational autonomous decisions about their own life,” he said.

Some parents will steer clear of the test for that reason.

Dr. Ray Howe, a general practitioner in Denver, said he would rather see his 2-year-old, Joseph, find his own way in life and discover what sports he likes the best. Dr. Howe, a former professional cyclist, likened ACTN3 testing to gene testing for breast cancer or other diseases.

“You might be able to find those things out, but do you really want to know?” he said.

Others, like Lori Lacy, 36, said genetic testing would be inevitable. Ms. Lacy, who lives in Broomfield, Colo., has three children ranging in age from 2 months to 5 years.

“Parents will start to say, ‘I know one mom who’s doing the test on her son, so maybe we should do the test too,’ ” she said.

“Peer pressure and curiosity would send people over the edge. What if my son could be a pro football player and I don’t know it?”

pounds 225m for kids to play

SCHOOLS supremo Ed Balls plans a pounds 225million transformation of 3,500 run-down playgrounds in a drive to keep youngsters out of trouble.

He also wants to build 30 new adventure playgrounds in inner cities for eight to 13-year-olds, to be supervised by trained staff.

The move is part of a 10-year strategy to improve the education and welfare of nation's children.

Ministers hope it will help cut child obesity and steer youngsters away from crime and vandalism by giving them a safe area to let off steam.

A source close to Children, Schools and Families Secretary Mr Balls said: "Playing outside is an incredibly important part of growing up."

Copyright 2008 MGN LTD
Provided by ProQuest Information and Learning Company. All rights Reserved.

Cash to keep kids playing

PLAYTIME just got more fun, thanks to a cash boost of pounds 1.5m across County Durham.

Play Durham has been launched at The Greenhouse in Annfield Plain, Derwentside.

The new group will work to make sure children and young people in the county benefit from access to a wide range of play opportunities.

Together the county's district council's have secured more than pounds 1m of Big Lottery funding to plough into play schemes.

Angela Harrington from Play Durham said: "We realise the importance of play and are keen to work together to provide the best play opportunities."

Michele Deans, regional manager of Play England, said: "It is wonderful to be able to work together to develop play and raise its profile."

COPYRIGHT 2008 Gale, Cengage Learning

Saturday, February 21, 2009

The Importance of Outdoor Play For Children

Within childhood education and development fields, the principal that free play is one of the best methods whereby children learn and develop is widely accepted. Free play occurs most spontaneously in outdoor settings where little adult supervision is required. It is important that children have the opportunity during the day to experience spontaneous play where they can utilize their creative potential and safely explore the world around them. During outdoor play, children have the freedom to yell and run, and they are encouraged be more enthusiastic and energetic. Outdoor play allows children to experience the world in which they live through sounds, textures, smells, and hands-on interaction. Research indicates that playing outdoors can enhance both the psychological and emotional well-being of children.

Children reap many benefits from outdoor play. Not only do they expend energy and exercise their bodies, but they also learn, grow and develop through outdoor play. Outdoor play is essential to motor skill development in children. During outdoor play children practice physical skills such as running and climbing. While adults often have to remind children of the hazards of certain actions, it is often the case that children will have to learn through mistakes. Children learn risk management while participating in various types of outdoor activities. With practice the child can learn to master the skill and experience the satisfaction of overcoming a previously difficult task.

Outdoor play can enhance a child's intellectual and cognitive development. The outdoors provides endless prospects for exploration and discovery. Children are able to discover how things work, and they also have the occasion to learn about plants, animals, insects, and the environment in general. Children may discover how long it takes them to run a certain distance or how much sand a pail will hold. Perhaps they will have the chance to see a bird building a nest or watching a garden grown. The possibilities for learning in an outdoor setting are unlimited. While playing outdoors children exercise both their bodies and their brains.

Social development and interaction are also important aspects of outdoor play. Children learn to differentiate between behaviors that are appropriate outdoors and those that are appropriate indoors. Sharing, negotiating and communication are all important ideas that children learn while playing with other children. Additionally, children can begin to experience independence. They can begin to assess who they are in relation to others and who they are independently. This is important in the development of friendships and this also helps the child to build confidence in their abilities.

Andrea writes for Kids' Garden Activities where you can browse garden play equipment such as paddling pools and sandpits.