Archive | January 2015

Do Your Kids Live Out of State? Send Them A Gift To Show You Are Thinking of Them

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When your kids go off to college, move out of state, or even if you retire and leave the state where they live, it can be very difficult for a parent. You miss your children and you want to show them just how you think about them always and hope that they have everything that they need from proper clean clothes to basic necessities. In the modern age, it is very easy for parents to ensure that their children have everything that they need for their house, home or tiny apartment (as is often the case with kids living on a college campus).

At Successful Parenting Today, we have found the best gift that you can send to your kids if you are a parent that is living out of state, and it comes in the form of a gift card.452257073

A Gift Card?

Yes, but it is not as cheesy a gift as you might be thinking; we are talking about Amazon Gift Cards for the website Amazon.com, where you can purchase anything you ever dreamed of, from books to kitchen gadgets to televisions to even toilet paper and bulk paper towels! This is perfect for college students, as it allows your college student children to order everything they need from school supplies to necessities for their dorm or apartment. The best part of ordering items from Amazon is that it is shipped directly to the home, so parents can even order items directly from the website and the kids can come home to a great surprise on their doorstep. If you want to let your children pick what they want to order, the gift card option is the best!

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Millions of Items That Can Be Bought Shipped and Delivered Within Hours

Not only can the gift card be used for purchasing necessities and items for house and home, but there is a myriad of items on Amazon that can be ordered overnight in emergency situations. Did the area where your son or daughter is living just have a massive blizzard? Snow chains, ice scrapers and even car emergency kits can be ordered and shipped in as little as a few hours. Does your son or daughter need a book for school or for personal use? Those can be ordered and shipped rapidly and sent directly to their smart phone or tablet instantly! Does your child need a new smartphone or tablet? Yep, Amazon has every smartphone and tablet currently on the market.

As you can see, Amazon is not only one of the largest online stores in the world with anything you can imagine, it is also very practical and can bring parents and their children just as close as a video phone call or skype message. Consider this great gift for your son or daughter, whether they are half way across the country, or just miles away.

Get An Amazon Card Sent To You or Your Children Right Now:

Why You Should Install Low Flow Fixtures in Kids’ Bathrooms

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If your kids have their own bathroom all to themselves, we highly recommend installing low-flow fixtures for the plumbing. There are several reasons that this can be beneficial to you and your family but one of the main benefits is safety — especially if your children are under the age of 6. Child drownings occur every year in a number of different ways; these drownings don’t always occur in large amounts of water, but can occur in as little as an inch of standing water.

161936490Children can be mesmerized and attracted to faucets and sinks, and there have been several cases where a child has drowned after climbing up a bathroom sink and falling into a quickly-filling sink. In several of these incidents, it took less than a minute for the drowning to occur. While low-flow faucets cannot completely prevent a situation like this, the slower water release from a low-flow faucet could have given valuable seconds between when the child fell in, and when the parents discovered the child.

Aside from the danger of drowning, a child playing with the water faucet — as children often do — can quickly fill a sink, bathtub or other fixtures with water, leading to overflow and flooding. The damage to your bathroom could be quite extensive if a flood occurs. Again, while a low-flow fixture cannot completely prevent these accidents, they can give parents more time to discover that the child is playing with the water faucet, and more time to shut it off before accidents happen.

86542883Water cost is another reason to keep the kids’ bathroom with low-flow faucets. It is not only playing around with the faucet that can waste water, but even while brushing teeth or washing, children can leave the faucet running full blast for long amounts of time. Not only will this be wasteful, but will end up costing parents more when they go to pay the water bill every month.

Tax Savings for Installing Low-Flow Faucets

Many states around the United States offer tax incentives and savings for households that actively conserve both energy and water. Depending on the state, low flow fixtures may be included in these tax breaks. It is recommended that homeowners check their local tax and energy savings programs to see if these are included and get a little relief from your annual tax burden.

Parents Can Benefit As Well

The kids’ bathrooms aren’t the only rooms where low-flow fixtures can be installed, parents’ bathrooms, guest bathrooms and other rooms can be outfitted with low-flow faucets and fixtures for extra water savings. While it may take a few days to get used to the lowered water pressure, you will immediately see just how much water you have wasted in the past, and you will quickly adjust your water usage habits.

The only room where we do not recommend parents to install low-flow fixtures is the family kitchen. When you have kids, there are sure to be a lot of messes to be cleaned; for the variety of messes a child can create, we recommend having a source of high-pressured water to cut through even the biggest messes.

Get a 6-Pack of Low-Flow Faucet Aerators For a Low Price to Test This Out For Yourself:

Basic Home Childproofing Ideas

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Most often parents-to-be have already run through the list of items in the home that need to be childproofed long before the baby is set to arrive, but there are many aunts, uncles, grandparents and friends who may have never thought to go through the home, look for dangers to a child, and completely child-proof the home. In this article, we are giving all those babysitters a basic guide to quick-childproofing a home in preparation for watching the little ones in your home.

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Kitchen

Quite possibly the most dangerous room in the home for a wandering child, the potential dangers can be way too many to count. Without going into complete anal-retentive details, here are a few things to watch out for in the kitchen.

Chemicals and Cabinets with Hazards — It may not be best for you to go all out and install child locks on all of your cupboards just for a few days worth of babysitting, though going through the lower cabinets in your kitchen is a quick chore to do, and can greatly add to the safety of the child. If you have chemicals and cleaners below your sink, it may be best to move them out to a garage or well ventilated storage space while the child is in the home; if the child does happen to get into the cabinet, at least you can rest assured that there are no hazardous chemicals they can ingest. Purchase a large amount of strong rubber bands that will make temporary locks for the cupboards…. they will not keep out burglars, but will be enough of a deterrent to keep children out of cupboards for the moment.

Heavy Kitchen Gadgets and Cords — I learned this one the hard way, pulling a can opener onto my own head when I was just a toddler. Singles and those without children often forget how heavy and dangerous home kitchen gadgets can be, and leaving the cord hanging down to the floor is an invitation for a child to start pulling devices off of the countertop. It is best to simply unplug these devices when not in use and storing them in a cupboard away from the floor for the meantime.

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Bathroom

The bathroom can be a little more difficult to childproof, but simply cleaning up the bathroom and removing clutter is the best and quickest way to childproof. First and foremost, remember to remove choking hazards from the bathroom and the floor. Little items such as toothpicks, bobby pins, and other personal care items can all be choking hazards and should be removed and placed high in cabinets where a small child cannot reach them. Again, items with hanging cords such as hair dryers or flat irons should be wound up and removed from countertops. To prevent accidental drownings one should remove the plug from bathtubs to make sure that water will drain careful in the event that the child makes it to the bathroom and turns on the water. While there is no way to remove all of the hazards in the bathroom, this little preparation — along with watching a child closely — should ensure that a few of the obvious dangers have been removed.

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Garage

The best advice for the garage? Keep the kids away from the garage. Apart from taking a weekend to clean up and remove the many hidden dangers that are often in garages, simply locking the door to the garage, adding an extra chain high up on the door will make sure that kids can’t get to the garage by themselves. Adding an extra lock higher up is a simple and cheap fix and will give you added security for years to come.

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Living Room

A relatively safe room, the greatest cause for concern is usually the television. While today’s TVs are not anywhere near as heavy as those years ago, today’s TVs are not nearly as sturdy, often relying on only a flimsy plastic stand to support it. Hanging televisions may have more support on the wall, but remember to make sure that the cords are not hanging down or offering something for children to pull on. Make sure that the floor is clean and be sure to clean underneath the couches… you never know what debris may have collected underneath the couch in recent weeks, and there may be small items like bottle caps or other small items that could create a choking hazard.

In conclusion, it is very difficult to completely child-proof a home, but simply being mindful of what is happening in your home and focusing on the obvious dangers will give you a leg-up on making the home safer. Your best bet is to watch the child very carefully as they explore the house; watching where they go and what they want to get their little hands on will unveil many other dangers that you as an adult did not think of. Watch children closely, but have fun and enjoy your time.

Using Your Steam Cleaner for Home Cleaning

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Steam cleaners are an excellent way to clean your home, especially when you have family members or pets that have allergies or bad reactions to chemical cleaners. When steam reaches temperatures, up to 180° to 212° the cleaning is the most effective.  These temperatures can often be achieved after the cleaner has been on for 10-20 seconds — depending on your make/model.

Steam cleaning is a natural way to clean without the use of chemicals.  It disinfects, killing bacteria like listeria, e-coli and salmonella.  No toxic residues are left behind, making it environmentally friendly. And, most importantly, it can be used on a multitude of surfaces including floors, appliances, countertops, draperies, mattresses, carpets and pillows.

Like all easy home cleaning processes, rules do apply to get the best results consistently.  Homeowners with hard water should only use distilled water to refill their steam cleaners. This will prevent the steamer from becoming clogged with the residue from the hard water. Always unplug the device before refilling it or changing the pads.  Use the steam cleaner by starting with the cleaner surfaces first and then moving to the dirtier surfaces. Change the pads as often as necessary to keep from using a dirty pad to clean a surface.

In the Kitchen

Steam cleaners can be used to clean cooked on fat and grease off grills, ovens and stove tops. They can be used to defrost freezers.  They can remove dirt and grime off tile grout very efficiently. Steam is also an excellent disinfectant for kitchen surfaces where raw meat is prepared frequently.

In the Living Room or Bedroom

123350529Steam can be used to clean fabric, leather, vinyl or plastic seating. It cleans tile, hardwood, vinyl and carpeted floors very well, leaving owners with a sense of comfort knowing that bed bugs and dust mites were killed in the cleaning process. Steam can clean fire place surrounds and hearths as well as curtains, drapes, upholstery and mattresses.  To clean a mattress, first vacuum the surface to remove any dust and hairs.  Then steam directly into the mattress covering the whole mattress.  Allow up to four hours for the mattress to dry after steam cleaning.

Your steam cleaner is practically the only cleaner you’ll need if you learn how to use it.  There will only be a few delicate wood or painted surfaces you will never touch. Otherwise, you can steam clean with impunity.

Remember to check back for more helpful hints and tips for the home.