Free Resources for a Safe and Healthy Summer

pexels-photo-largeSummertime bring lots of outdoor activities like cookouts and swimming. The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have bundled a collection of free resources for summer that will help plan safe cookouts, prevent mosquito bites, and protect children and guests in the home and at the pool. Additional information on managing medicines and other health issues are included as well. These resources can be ordered online and mailed to you or downloaded directly. They are available both in English and in Spanish. Included in the free packet are:

  • Eating Outdoors
  • Mosquito Bite Prevention
  • Pool Safety: Simple Steps Save Lives
  • Anchor It!
  • Use Medicines Wisely
  • My Medicines
  • Dietary Supplements
  • Health Scams
  • Women in Clinical Trials
  • Tattoos and Permanent Make-Up

New Website Helps Families Turn Teens into Safe Drivers

490x150-teensMost high school students would much rather sleep late, play video games, and perhaps work at a summer job than go to summer school, but the one class that changes that decision for many teens is driver education. Handing the car keys to your child is a big turning point for both parents and teens, and a new website from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration called Safe at the Wheel helps families prepare for that big moment.

The site is accessible in both English and Spanish. Among the information provided is:

While accident rates and traffic fatalities for teen drivers have decreased, they are still more likely to be involved in accidents than the average driver. These accidents are not due to teen drivers not knowing the basic rules of the road or safe driving practices but because of inexperience, risk-taking, and peer pressure. Teen drivers are 2.5 times more likely to engage in risky driving behavior with a teenage passenger with them compared to driving alone, and when more than one teenage passenger is with them, they are 3 times more likely to take risks on the road.

Driver education courses may teach your teen how to drive, but families play an important role in helping teen drivers gain experience and avoiding risky behavior. Talking to your teen about driving responsibly is important, but even more significant is setting a good example. By modeling safe driving habits, you help to teach your child how a vehicle should be operated, even long before they are big enough to see over the dashboard or have their feet reach the pedals.

New Readiness Roadmap Helps You Pave Your Child’s Path Forward

photoA new Readiness Roadmap from Be a Learning Hero in partnership with National PTA, Univision, Great Schools, Scholastic, Common Sense Media, and other organizations helps parents navigate the sometimes confusing path from childhood to adulthood. The roadmap is based on the Parents 2016 survey that identified the key things that families want and need to help raise their children. The mobile-friendly roadmap provides resources on academic expectations, having a successful parent-teacher conference, social and emotional needs, bullying, surviving middle school, paying for college, and more in English and in Spanish.

Several other tools are available, including:

The Readiness Roadmap is a great new one-stop resource for a variety of parenting needs, so be sure to check it out.

News from the Illinois PTA Convention—Resolutions

conv logo 2Resolutions are how PTAs can make a difference for every child in Illinois. Many current policies and laws that have made a difference in the lives of children, youth, and families began as a resolution, often from a local PTA unit: establishing a Juvenile Justice System, ensuring complete vision exams for children before starting school, limitations on the use of cell phones while driving, and the Parents’ Guide to the Illinois Graduated Driver’s License System are just a few of the many ways PTAs have made a difference.

At the 114th Convention of the Illinois PTA delegates passed the Resolution on Young Adults Involved in the Justice System. This resolution, noting that scientific research on brain development shows that a young adult’s brain is not fully developed until approximately age 25, creates a committee to study whether Illinois should treat those ages 18 to 21 differently from adults in the justice system. The committee will consider whether separate diversion and sentencing options for those ages 18 to 21 or raising the age of the juvenile justice system to 21 are appropriate. The committee will present its recommendations at the 2017 Illinois PTA Convention.

Other action on resolutions at the 114th Illinois PTA Convention was to designate the 2013 resolutions on Prevention of Asphyxiation Games (Choking Game) and Energy Drinks  as continuing positions. A resolutions implementation report was also provided to convention delegates detailing actions the Illinois PTA has taken on previously adopted resolutions.