Friday, April 20, 2018

DeKalb County Bus Driver Should be Fired for Putting Children in Mortal Danger!

As a parent coach, early childhood educator, and a former school teacher I am completely appalled and discouraged by the way the bus drivers where the Fekalb County Georgia left children in the cold on a cool morning when they didn't show up for them. I chose not to write this blog until this evening because I wanted to find out how they handled the issue on Friday before I put my two cents on the net.

So, now that I know they did not go back to work on Friday I am going to share with you my thoughts. I think it was severely irresponsible, selfish, and very dangerous for the bus drivers to just simply not show up. We have not yet heard the stories of what happened to children who ended up waiting for however long before they were either picked up by their parents or went back home. What really concerns me is that they can just leave high schoolers and middle schoolers out on their own but elementary school children as young as 5 years old. Apparently this was something that with decided to be done and they could have chosen to say we're not showing up for work tomorrow. They could have released it to the media WSB in particular so that parents would be warned that their children would be stranded out in the cold on a public street, or at home alone. In my opinion every bus driver who did not show up for work that day should lose their job. Not because they went on strike it is completely their right to go on strike. But, because and this day in age when children are followed to school by predators,  are abducted while waiting for the school bus. And while parents trust that their children will be picked up in a timely manner to ensure their safety these bus drivers broke contract not with the school district but with the parents  and the children. These people can no longer be trusted to put the safety of our children first.

I seriously doubt that they will fire all four hundred of these people because they're skills are unique and driving a school bus full of children is not a job many people can step into.

 However if I was a parent of a DeKalb County child who was left out in danger while the bus drivers went on strike, I would be demanding some serious repercussions for these bus drivers. Not only would I insist that the school district did not give them raises I would insist that the school district fine the bus drivers 5% of their pay until they paid back the county the amount of tax dollars lost by them not showing up for work. Then make  automatic that all four hundred of those drivers not be rehired for the 2018-2019 school year.

Atlanta is one of the cities that fight off sex trafficking of children every day these drivers by not showing up for work and not picking the kids up put them in the kind of danger that is completly unacceptable for any person who has responsibility of caring for and respecting our children. They could have come up with a way to do this where the children would have remained safe but instead they wanted the shock value of children being left out in the cold. I'm very angry and I don't even live in DeKalb County know how these parents feel but I would be extremely angry at what these bus drivers did to the children who live in my city.

Thursday, April 5, 2018

FIRE Safety for the Family

Just last week a father here in Atlanta had to throw his two young children from a second story window to protect them from the fire raging through their apartment building. Thank goodness neither of them was seriously hurt.  However, with just a little planning we here at PT&A hope that you can avoid ever having to make such a choice. Fire safety at home is all about planning and practice.  There are some important things you need to think about in preparing for a fire.

1.    Do your children know what to do?

Many fire fighters have found children under beds, in closets, and a myriad of other places in a house fire.  Just because your child goes to school and participates in fire drills, does not necessarily mean they will understand what to do at home.  You need to prepare your children for what to do if fire strikes at home.

2.    Are you prepared for a fire?

So, many times we think we are prepared for an emergency here is a small list of questions for you to consider to see if you are ready for a fire.  Where is the fire extinguisher in your house? Do you know how to use it? When was the last time you took it to the Fire Station to have it checked? Are your fire alarms working? Do you check the batteries every six months(Daylight Savings time is a good time to check)? Do you have a Carbon Monoxide detector? Is there a working battery in it in case the electricity goes out? What substances do you use to put out a kitchen fire/grease fire?  Where are your important papers kept? When at home where do you keep your purse, cell phone and keys? Do you have an emergency fire kit?  If your home is damaged by fire and you can not stay there where will you go? Do you have an emergency financial plan if you need to board your pets or stay at a hotel?
If you could not answer any of these questions then you are not ready for a fire       to strike.

3.    Do you have an escape route planned?
In order to have an escape route you need to be aware of where all of the doors and windows are in your house and which one is most likely your best escape if you cannot exit via the front door.  This is especially important if you live on the second floor.  Do you own a collapsible ladder to use to escape from the second floor?

4.    What do you need for an emergency kit?

Here is a list of things you should have ready in a bag that is near your escape exit in case of fire: A jump drive with copies of your important papers (include a driver’s license, insurance papers, birth certificates, social security cards, include copies of anything important which may be on your home computer.  Medicines that you or your children need to take to ensure your health. You can ask your doctor or pediatrician for samples to keep in your emergency kit. Also you should include an extra set of keys, a check book, an emergency credit/prepaid debit card, and a list of emergency numbers. You will need clothing at least three set for each person including underwear and socks and travel size toiletrtes for each family member (diapers and wet wipes if there is an infant or small child), at least one blanket, one bottle of water for each person, and non-perishable snacks. Include a small first aid kit. I suggest this fire safety kit be kept in a sturdy duffle type bag with a variety of compartments that will allow for toilettes to leak or break if the bag needs to be thrown. I also suggest a baby sling or body attachment carrier is included especially in the case of a second floor escape plan.  Place this kit These five steps will hopefully prepare you and your family in case the unthinkable happens. We hear at PT&A hope it never does, but it is better to be  prepared than to ever have to face the choice of throwing your child from a second story window to save their fife.  Be safe!!

Monday, April 2, 2018

How Parents Can BuildiSocial/Emotiomal Development in NICU Babies

While attending a recent conference on the effect of prematurity om babies who are born medically fragile a major concern was based on attachment and social/emotional development. As an early educational professional I know there are many things parents can do to help their children even while they are in the NICU.As a former baby of the NICU I know attachment can be formed between an ill child and her parents. It just takes time and dedication on the part of parents.

Here is a list of things parents can do to help their children:
  1. Read and tape your voice reading stories, which can be played for your child while you are not there. The first sense which develops en utero is hearing. The baby has spent months listening to your voice. That is one thing missing from their world. By taping the reading of stories you are giving your child two things. First a sense of security because he/she can hear you. Two language is really important for children who provide an article of clothes my whicare premature they need to hear at least 30 million words before going to school. This reading of stories will help them with their language development.
  2. Breast feed, pump, or find donated human milk  for your child. Breast milk provides antibodies, and other nutrients which support both brain and  eye development both of which are extremely important for a preemie.
  3. Touch your baby as much as possible. Studies show children who a e not touched have a harder time both thriving and development my strong emotional attachment. Touching and holing your baby as much as possible helps. Which is another benefit of breast feeding.
  4. Provide a cloth or article of clothing which smells like Mom. Smell is another sens children use to identify Mom. This can also help provide a sense of connection to Mom.
  5. Talk with the nurse about your needs, concerns, and a he best way to support them as hey support you. Having your child in the NICU is extremely different cult, but you are not alone you are surrounded by a team of professionals who a e on your side and want to see your child healthy enough to go home with you where he/she belongs. Opening up know what you n Ed. Share my post Support them can help them help you. Do not be afraid to ask. But, know they may not always have the title me or already answer when you ask. Let them know you are willing to wait for the answer, trust them to get back to you.
  6. Ask for help and support from your family and friends. This is not the time for a " stiff upper lip" or to" be the strong one" yes your child needs you to be strong for them. But, Durham nag this to me you need someone else to be strong for you. Let your friends and family know what you need, they love and want to help, let them know how. Share our post Supporting Parents of Children in NICU. It will give them a place to start and also help you think of other ways you could use some support. 
  7. Take care of yourself and your own emotional health. Too many times parent try to give children what they do not have themselves. The truth is you cannot give what you do not own. Social/Mental/Emotional health are a linked in order to take care of all of them you need to be willing and open to receive the help you need. First, having a baby is the most joyous and stressful experience in life. Having a child in the NICU can short circuit the best of us. Join a support group of parents who have been and are in your situation. You are not the only parent who has had a child in this situation and you will not be the last. Get around people who have been there they are your greatest mentors! Talk about it! We all have at least one friend we tell all of our down and dirty secrets to; get in a private place and pour out your heart, thoughts, and fears. Get this person to help you look at them logically and make a plan. If you are one of those rate people without such a person in your life; this is what therapy is for. Ask in the NIDU for a list of therapist who work with parents in your position. Do things which recharge your batteries and brings some emotional relief as you go through this experience. Take care of yourself. Your child will eventually come home. When that happens you will need to be as healthy as you can in all ways. They will need you to not be overly tired and stressed. But, at your very best. This means you need to have to leave the hospital at some point and just allow yourself to be. Lean on your spouse. This is something my Mom and Dad had to do when I was sick. It made their connection stronger. They talked about their hopes and fears. They shared their thoughts and weakness when it came to caring for me. The chose to see each other s allies not blaming each other but supporting and loving each other through the situation. They were married for 35 years before my father died. Marriage can survive prematurity buy, you have to build each other up through this time to make it. You can do it. It takes determination and grit, uy you can do it. Your child will need a safe and loving home to overcome the issues still to come from being premature everything you can do to build yourself , your spouse, and your marriage will help. If you are not married surround yourself with friends who will love and support you. Use your support group of parents to help. Ask for help!
  8. Pray and belief above all else that God cares about all of you. He is not far off but holding you and carrying you through this. He is close and he isther to help. Again ask for the help!
God had Aaron pray a prayer over the children of iserael and he used this prayer to put His name and blessing on the children of Israel. I encourage you to pray it over your baby at every opportunity. It is found in Numbers 6:24-27.

The Lord bless you, and keep you;
25 The Lord make His face shine on you,
And be gracious to you;
26 The Lord lift up His countenance on you,
And give you peace.’
Believe in Parenting