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Choosing the Right Water Flotation Device for Your Child this Summer

Flotation devices for kids

As a professional lifeguard, one of the most common questions I get from parents is, “what’s a safe flotation device we can use at the beach or pool this summer?” There is a lot of confusion around this topic and most parents don’t realize that the right or wrong flotation device can mean the difference between life and death. Any person (including children) who cannot swim, is a weak swimmer, or is fearful around water should wear an appropriate flotation device.

Buying a flotation device for your child is a daunting task, you walk into a store and are presented with seemingly infinite choices which can range from blow-up inner tubes with the latest and greatest cartoon character, to water wings, noodles, and life jackets.

A number of parents opt for the ever-popular water wings, which many of us grew up wearing.  While these may appear as a good option because of their popularity, they’re really more of a toy than a safety device.  Water wings are not an approved flotation device and can easily slip off, restrict the movement of a child’s arms, unexpectedly leak air, and can actually hinder a child’s attempts to swim. Another popular product is bathing suits that have flotation built into them, but like water wings, the floaties can ride up or slide out.

So the question remains, which one do you choose?

The answer comes down to one simple question that parents need to ask: is the flotation device both tested and approved by the United States Coast Guard (USCG)?  When I ask parents this I usually get a strange look.  “What does that even mean?”  When you are looking for a safety flotation device for your child, you need to look for the USCG stamp of approval (see pink image below).

Yes, that usually means I recommend life jackets – and no, they are not just for boating.

Before moving forward, it is important to mention that regardless of the device you choose, it should never be a substitute for constant supervision of your child around any type of water.

When making their selection, parents need to determine the intended purpose of the device; if it is solely for fun and recreation in a controlled environment with constant supervision, then the toy devices mentioned above may be acceptable to use as toys. However, if the purpose is to add an additional layer of safety to ensure that a child remains safer in the water, look for that USCG stamp that assures it is a safety enhancement. When properly selected and used, life jackets will provide a secure tight fit, good buoyant flotation which supports the user, and not greatly reduce arm movement.

When shopping for these types of devices, parents need to be cognizant of a few factors:

USCG -approved devices have a designated weight range assigned to them. Parents should choose one that fits their child’s current weight. This is important to ensure a secure fit and the proper amount of flotation.

USCG Approval Label on Flotation Device

There are five types of USCG approved flotation devices. Each type has different advantages and disadvantages which you can read about here. Parents should choose a device based on the planned activity and the design of the device being used. Types 1-3, and some type 5 are vest-style devices and can be suitable for children depending on their weight class, but type four devices are not suitable for weak swimmers or children, as they are designed as throwable devices, like life preserver rings.

Make sure the device being used is in good working order. Ensure that the device is not missing any buckles, discolored, or ripped/torn anywhere.

Parents often ask if life jackets restrict the child’s ability to learn to swim or inhibits a child’s “natural swimming instincts.” The answer to that question depends on what the true purpose of the child being in the water is. A child needs time and proper instruction to learn the coordination skills involved in swimming efficiently. So long as your child is in the water with a qualified swim instructor in a controlled environment they shouldn’t require a life jacket.  But let’s say you take the same child to the beach or to grandma and grandpa’s pool just for fun.  That environment is less controlled and much can happen in the blink of an eye.  For fun around the water, an approved flotation device is the way to go, especially if you want to safeguard for if your child accidentally falls in or suddenly can’t touch the bottom.

Examples of a USCG approved device, the Puddle Jumper When looking at water safety and safer swimming in a broader context, having a proper flotation device is only one step in ensuring a safe water experience. No matter where you choose to swim, nothing is more effective than having your eyes on your child at all times. Even if you are swimming at a location where lifeguards are present, keeping constant watch over your child is the best way to keep them safe. Last year I was lifeguarding for a pool party and a parent came up to me at the end of the party. He said that he always felt like his kids were in good hands and he didn’t need to always keep an eye on them. Though I appreciated the confidence in our skills, I explained to him that lifeguards are responsible for watching everyone and we are human so errors can happen. Always watching your children in any situation is the best solution. If lifeguards are not present, a designated “water watcher” should be used. This person’s job is to keep an eye on everyone in the water and make sure everyone stays safe.I often hear from parents that their child will not wear a life jacket and this is a valid argument. If you can’t get your child to wear the life jacket, then obviously it can’t help them. In cases like this encourage parents to think creatively when it comes to this issue. When teaching a water exploration lesson to toddlers last week, I noticed that a parent brought in a flotation item that had a cartoon character on it and the child was excited to wear it in the water. My initial thought was that this was going to be another unapproved toy. To my surprise, the USCG stamp of approval was on the device. As an example, these images of a Puddle Jumper alongside this article show something both “fun” and USCG approved – and sometimes something as simple as the right color or fun cartoon character can make a child interested in wearing the life jacket. I encourage parents to put the time and effort into finding a device that is both approved by the USCG and that your child will want to wear, because they do exist.

The National Drowning Prevention Alliance released a position paper in 2009 on the concept of layers of protection. Do not just rely on one safety step, such as flotation devices or supervision alone, the more safety steps are taken will limit the risk of a tragedy. Other important factors include choosing a safe location to swim, teaching children and adults swimming and water safety, knowing what to do in an emergency, and preventing unapproved access to the water. Every safety step counts for a safer summer of swimming!

Update 7.13.16 | Thanks to reader Ashley who pointed out that puddle jumpers are not approved personal flotation devices for use by children in Canada. Transport Canada advises when parents are choosing a water flotation device for their children they should look at the label to ensure it has been approved by Transport Canada, the Canadian Coast Guard or Fisheries and Oceans Canada.


Alga, A. & Collins, M. (2014) Best life jackets for infants, toddlers, and preschoolers. Lucie’s List, Retrieved from

American Red Cross (n.d.) Home pool safety: Maintaining a safe environment around your home swimming pool. Retrieved from:

Balint, V. L. (2014). Do water wings prevent drowning? Raising Arizona Kids. Retrieved from:

Boyse, K. (2010). Water and pool safety. University of Michigan Health System. Retrieved from:

National Drowning Prevention Alliance (2009). Layers of protection around aquatic environments to prevent child drowning. Retrieved from:

REI (n.d.). PFDs for kids: How to choose. Retrieved from:

United States Coast Guard (2014). PFD selection, use, wear, and care. Retrieved from:


Adam B. Katchmarchi

Adam B. Katchmarchi is a doctoral student at West Virginia University in the Coaching and Teaching Studies Department. His research focuses on drowning prevention education and best practices of managing risk around water. He has worked with hundreds of parents over the years teaching water safety and swimming to children and adults. He is an American Red Cross Instructor Trainer in Swimming and Water Safety Instruction and Lifeguarding Instruction. Adam is currently on the Board of Directors for the National Drowning Prevention Alliance and will begin his term as Vice President of the organization this summer. He is an active advocate for enhancing safety around all bodies of water.

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What Are The Best Colors For Family Pictures Outside?

best colors for family pictures outside

Picture this: It’s a bright summer day, you’re wearing your best clothes, and your family has gathered together outside for some pictures.  Now, what color is best to wear?

This post is meant to give you an idea of the best colors for family pictures outside.  It can be tricky trying to figure out what colors will best show the best family pictures outside. Because there are so many different colors, it can be difficult to find out what will best show off your best features.

This is a hard question because every person has his or her best color for photos, which means that everyone should come up with their best colors for pictures outside.

Best colors for outside family pictures.

Navy, cream, and tan

A color scheme for family photos that works in any season is navy, cream, and tan, which are timeless and work well in any weather. The cream and navy colors go well with the spring pastels and bright greens. They also look good with the green grass and trees in a park.

Coral and navy

When it comes to color schemes, most of them have one or two bright colors mixed with one or two “neutral” colors. The outfit’s main color is coral. Navy, gray, white, and other neutral colors help to ground and balance the bright coral in this outfit. They also help to make the coral look less bright.

Wine, cream, and gold

If you want to take a holiday family picture, this color scheme will work well. When we think about holiday family photos, the colors red and green are often the first things that come to mind. For pictures of Christmas, go to the site. However, if you do plan to use them, a wine, cream, and gold color scheme will put you right in the Christmas spirit.

Pink, tan, and cream

The colors that people like the most are pink, cream, and tan. Photos of the family on the beach are good for. Here’s what you should wear on a trip with your family: for It is very simple and monochromatic. The soft, pale pink color of this family set is almost like a neutral. There are a lot of shades of tan and cream.

Peach, blue, and denim

It’s a good idea to use peach, blue, and denim in your family photos in the springtime. Peach goes well with the pastel-colored flowers that bloom in Northeast Ohio in the spring. As a neutral, jeans keep the outfit from becoming too bright with the new spring colors.

Red, white and blue

This blue, white, red, and blue color scheme feels right for a Fourth of July family picture. Because red is so attention-grabbing, it can be hard to work within photos because of this. I think it’s great for making eye-catching family portraits. If you want to use red in your color scheme, think about where your meeting will be. It would be best if the backdrop was neutral-colored, like at the beach or in city downtown. This color scheme is why even though there is a lot of greenery, your picture might have a Christmas feel.

Things to consider when picking the best color of clothes for family photos

The location:

As soon as you figure out which colors are best for the season, narrow them down to just a few based on where the shoot is taking place.

When it comes to urban themes, bright colors work well, but they don’t look good in a field or with trees and grass around them.

In the same way, don’t use pale pastels when you’re in front of a light background, such as the wall of a building or structure. This goes for dark backgrounds, too.

The colors of your home:

Look at the colors in the place where the photos will be shown. If all you see are muted and soft colors, there’s no need to be bold with your clothes. There is no doubt that the opposite is true, too.

The skin tone:

They look best with warm colors like brown and yellow and warm shades of red and orange and brown and yellow and orange and reddish-purple and reddish-purple and cream.

If you want to look good, don’t wear jewel tones or icy shades. Make sure you don’t wear orange and red near your skin.

Top tips to get the colors right for family pictures!

A color that doesn’t match one of your family members’ skin tones but you still want to stay in your chosen palette? Choose a top and pair it with a bottom from your chosen palette.

Consider looking at store displays for ideas. Typically, the windows show off the season’s most fashionable clothes, as well as the best colors in the clothes.

In order to add a little color to your neutral palette, have one member of the family wear a brighter shade, or even a different shade.

It’s important not to go overboard with your desire to add color.

With different textures and accessories, like belts and scarves, you can make the look even more interesting.

Instead of matching, try to add something to each other. This isn’t just true for colors, but also for different styles of clothes. So, if most of you are wearing jeans, add a dress or two to make things even.

As parents, it is important to choose clothes that are not only in the right colors but also the most comfortable. So you won’t have to deal with kids who are fidgety and angry when they want to undress.

Final thoughts

best colors for family pictures outside

When you are choosing the best colors for family pictures outside, it is best to look at what other people are wearing in the photographs. You do not want your group to look bland or have an entirely different color scheme from everyone else in the photos. This could cause confusion over who belongs with whom.

If you have a hard time picking the best colors for family pictures outside, maybe even the best colors for family photos in general take a look at the best color combinations for group photos.

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10 Best Dandruff Shampoo For Kids For A Dandruff-Free Scalp

best dandruff shampoo-image from pixabay by jackmac347
Do you have an itchy, flaky scalp? Due to their delicate scalps, young individuals are especially prone to dandruff. Even newborns occasionally develop dandruff.
Dandruff is not a major issue, but it can be embarrassing for both youngsters and adults. It’s best to address the problem while it’s still minor. An itchy, flaky scalp will certainly ruin your disposition, and you’ll want to avoid socializing as well! Here are some treatments that might help you deal with this condition.

Best Dandruff Shampoo For Kids

Tea tree oil has anti-dandruff effects that aid in the treatment of Scalp Psoriasis, Seborrheic Dermatitis, Eczema, and Psoriasis. It also has a pleasant scent and helps to remove dry scales from dandruff. These factors make it one of the best dandruff shampoo for kids.
Jojoba oil is excellent for people with sensitive scalps because of its non-irritating qualities. This mild, hypoallergenic shampoo incorporates jojoba extracts to moisturize your scalp all day long, preventing the development of fungus that causes dandruff. Its lovely scent may lift your spirits in no time.
Coconut milk is beneficial for your hair since it contains nutritious components, such as oat extracts and vitamin E. They help to keep the scalp hydrated. The shampoo lathers effectively and aids in the cleaning of dirty hair. It removes dirt, dust, perspiration, and other debris from your hair. Coconut milk also works well in combating dandruff as a result of its mild cleansing chemicals.
This combination includes natural extracts like oatmeal that aid in the treatment of dandruff or psoriasis-induced dryness, scaliness, and irritation. Its light scent will make your baby smile after his bath.
best dandruff shampoo for kids-image from pixabay by SocialButterflyMMG

best dandruff shampoo for kids-image from pixabay by SocialButterflyMMG

It’s great for babies with cradle caps since it may be applied every day to infants aged three months and older. It treats seborrheic dermatitis, skin rashes, and flaky scalp by restoring the skin’s pH balance.
This shampoo is ideal for you if your hair gets greasy quickly after a wash, or if you have dandruff and psoriasis. This includes antifungal and antiseptic chemicals found in neem and tea tree oil, which help to remove extra grime and oil from your scalp.
Ketoconazole is an anti-yeast ingredient in Nizoral, which combats dandruff on the scalp by preventing yeast from accumulating on the surface. It has a nice scent and can be used daily on children older than six months. Such properties make it the best dandruff shampoo for kids.
The natural components of this mild shampoo are especially beneficial for infants with mild to moderate dandruff issues. Because of the non-staining formulation, the blue-bottled bottle is ideal for babies.
The best thing about this combination is that you only pay for one bottle. This herbal anti-dandruff shampoo has a conditioner to keep the scalp healthy, flake-free, and free of dandruff.
ZPT-Gel is ideal for itchy, flaky scalps since its inclusion of a well-researched component called Coal Tar. This component slows down the rate of skin cell development in order to combat itching, inflammation, and scaling caused by dandruff or seborrheic dermatitis. It also has a refreshing scent that helps you unwind after a stressful day.
best shampoo-image from pixabay by Igorrovyannykov

best shampoo-image from pixabay by Igorrovyannykov

Factors to consider while choosing the best dandruff shampoo for kids


You may have a tight budget, or you might wish to invest in something that is best for your wallet. You can select from the finest dandruff shampoos for infants listed above depending on your needs and price range.


Children adore fragrant shampoos, but if they’re too powerful, they’ll get irritated after washing! Before purchasing it, be sure to smell it. If you have a baby at home who becomes irritated easily, choose mild fragrances that are more soothing on sensitive skin. Other possibilities include lavender or rosemary-scented shampoos, which combat dandruff. It also provides a relaxing environment for your child.


Instead of glass bottles, which are somewhat hefty and breakable, select a tube or pump bottle for your infant’s dandruff shampoos. The nicest thing about these bottles is that you may precisely dispense the necessary quantity for one use, saving product.

Natural ingredients

The most popular dandruff shampoos include ketoconazole, an antifungal agent, and tea tree oil extracts. This aids in the treatment of scalp infections, dryness, and flakiness. Al vera, almond extract, and other moisturizing substances are combined with therapeutic compounds such as ketoconazole to make the best-rated products.
If your kid has a cradle cap, for example, you’ll want to get the best anti-dandruff shampoo with conditioner. Such shampoos include ingredients like oatmeal extracts that moisturize and help eliminate cradle caps in a week.

The oiliness of the scalp:

It is best to use the finest anti-dandruff baby shampoo that includes substances like tea tree oil and salicylic acid. They have antimicrobial properties, which assist remove excessive oil from the skin. It doesn’t remove natural oils. Best antidandruff shampoo for dry scalps should include moisturizing and hydrating components.

Skin type

If your kid has dry skin, the best anti-dandruff baby shampoo should contain moisturizing components such as glycerin. If your kid’s hair is greasy, the best anti-dandruff shampoo for kids with tea tree oil or salicylic acid should be used. It’s important to buy a dandruff treatment that contains mild ingredients that are non-irritating. All of these finest anti-dandruff shampoos have been tested, so you can rest assured that they will not harm your child’s scalp or hair.
These shampoos, as the name suggests, contain therapeutic components such as tea tree oil, jojoba oil, oatmeal extracts, and more. Some of them even come with conditioners. If you’re not a fan of the conditioner, consider investing in a separate anti-dandruff treatment.
Do not use these shampoos on your baby’s scalp straight away because they might burn the skin and make it worse. Always dilute it with water before applying. Cleaning your child’s hair may be accomplished using mild baby shampoo. So, which dandruff shampoo for babies will you try? Please leave a comment below.
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5 Best Probiotics For Kids – Buying And Health Guide

Probiotic -image from pixabay by Alicia_Haper

Probiotics are live microorganisms (bacteria and yeast) that benefit your digestive system. Researchers aren’t sure how they function, but research suggests that they may aid in a variety of health issues, including stomach problems, skin conditions, allergies, oral health difficulties, immune support, and more. Truvani, Klaire Labs, and Mary Ruth’s Liquid Probiotic are among the best probiotics.

Are probiotics okay to use?

Probiotic supplements are generally considered safe. The FDA has certain rules for some, while a third-party organization performs quality testing on others. The majority of people will not experience any adverse effects from consuming a probiotic, however, if your youngster does, they are usually minor and transient, such as bloating or mild digestive discomfort.

Adding a probiotic to your diet is one of the most natural, efficient, and safest methods to improve your family’s digestive health and immunity. And what’s better, probiotics are manufactured specifically for children! But how do you decide which one is best for your little ones?

The 5 best probiotic supplements for kids

1. Children’s Probiotic and Pre & Probiotic from Llama Naturals

This is the only probiotic on my list that includes prebiotics! It’s also 100 percent organic and contains real fruit. There are no added sugars, sweeteners, waxes, acids, food coloring, or gelatin in it. They’re plant-based with 4 billion colony-forming units and vegan. The size is perfect for kids 5 years and older, and the 2 oz. size is great for those over 5 years of age.

2. Garden of Life Raw Probiotics

It is a supplement made from fermented bacteria .Preschool ABCs Organic, vegan form is a powder that may be used to make smoothies more nutritious. This variation has a subtle banana flavor and is available in powder form, making it easy to incorporate into a breakfast smoothie. It’s also gluten-free, certified organic, and contains no sugar.

It’s gluten-free, lactose-free, and vegan friendly. This product comes in the form of a powder that may be mixed with water, milk, juice, or even food. It’s recommended to keep it refrigerated if possible.

3. Klaire Labs

Lactobacillus reuteri NCHH-3112, also known as Reuterin, is a unique probiotic that’s been shown to help prevent cavities. It’s available as a liquid and powder and can be added directly to milk or baby food. It’s hypoallergenic, low in calories, gluten-free, and non-GMO.

A 2012 study published in the “Journal of Clinical Nursing” found that, when schoolchildren took a L-reuteri preparation for eight weeks, their dental health improved dramatically. A 2014 study published in “The Scientific World Journal” confirmed the findings. Researchers concluded that taking L. reuteri.

This vitamin might be a wonderful addition to your baby’s formula-fed diet. The choice is vegan, including vitamins B and D as well as iron, making it a supercharged multi-vitamin for your child. This option is in powder form and may be mixed into food or drinks. It’s flavored to taste like orange fruit punch for a slightly sweet flavor, but there are no artificial chemicals, colors, or sugars added to it. 5 billion colonies forming units per serving.

4. Mary Ruth’s Liquid Probiotic

It’s a liquid best probiotic that’s also 100 percent Organic, Raw, Non-GMO, Paleo, Wheat Free, and Corn Free,  Ketogenic, Gluten-Free,. Bariatric and Celiacfriendly It’s shelf-stable and flavorless, so it’ll last for a long time and can be used in almost any recipe. It’s a great option for those who don’t like taking pills. 5 billion colony-forming units per serving.

This supplement is a great choice if you or your child is lactose intolerant or has an allergy to cow’s milk, as this powder contains no dairy

5. Truvani

The capsules are simple to consume. The contents of the capsules may be readily blended into food or beverages for children. With a unique blend of 15 probiotic strains, this little work might pay off big time. This probiotic is GMO-free and does not contain any additional chemicals.

best probiotics-image from facebook

best probiotics-image from facebook


Organic Pre & Probiotic Powder for Kids by Preschool ABCs

This is the only probiotic on my list that also includes prebiotics! It’s also 100 percent organic and made with real fruit. There are no added sugars, sweeteners, waxes, acids, food colorings, or gelatin in it. They’re plant-based and vegan as well as GMO-free.

Rainbow Light Probiolicious Gummies

These delicious cranberry-flavored gummies are free of milk, soy, eggs, fish, wheat, gluten, shellfish, and lactose and contain no artificial flavors or colors. The gel in this supplement is animal-based; therefore it’s not suitable for vegans. 1 gummy contains 500 million CFUs and combines both probiotics and prebiotics.

This supplement was formulated to help those with lactose intolerance, as the digestible carbohydrate in it helps to break down lactose and ease its digestion. Best used daily, this supplement is a great way for adults or kids that have trouble keeping track of pills to get their necessary 5+ strains

Consider giving your child probiotics in addition to his or her regular diet. Similar health advantages for adults — from aiding the development of healthy digestive bacteria to strengthening their immune system — may be gained by giving children probiotics. However, before you start adding this to your child’s diet, talk to their doctor about whether probiotics are right for them. Use the following list of seven probiotics for youngsters as a guide once you’ve gotten the green light to begin supplementation.

Refrigerating Probiotics

Do I need to refrigerate my probiotics?

Probiotics should be stored in an area that is not exposed to direct sunlight. If you have a probiotic pill, it can be stored anywhere because it does not require special storage conditions. Probiotic liquids however will need to be refrigerated if they are kept for any period of time longer than 5 or 6 days.

refrigerate best probiotcs-image from pixabay by Alexas_Fotos

refrigerate best probiotcs-image from pixabay by Alexas_Fotos

How can you tell if probiotics should be kept in the refrigerator?

Typically, they should. The labels on the packaging of all probiotics tell us where we can store them and how long we can expect them to be viable outside that range (the usual shelf life). Usually, this is 5 days to 2 weeks – but keep in mind that “best by” or “expiration date” doesn’t really apply to probiotics. They are more akin to food, not medication. If the product gets old but isn’t bad, it’s still good for you. When in doubt though, give it 5 days and see what happens!

Are there any dangers of refrigerating probiotics?

Probiotics are not sterile products. In fact, they’re filled with living microorganisms! More specifically, there’s a whole colony of bacteria. Another step to examine if you should chill your probiotics is by thinking about how you initially purchased them.

Probiotics that need to be kept cold are generally located in the refrigerator section of the shop or pharmacy, while probiotics that can be stored at room temperature are more likely to be found in the non-refrigerated sections.



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