‘No Child Left Behind’: What it Means for Parents

No Child Left Behind
No Child Left Behind

The No Child Left Behind Act is a landmark education reform law that is already improving academic performance across the land. One of its chief aims is to close the troubling achievement gap that separates many disadvantaged, disabled and minority students from their peers.

To do this, it measures student performance and focuses extra resources and attention on those most in danger of falling behind. But what about the schools themselves?

Under No Child Left Behind, schools that receive federal funds to help teach and prepare educationally disadvantaged children must make what is called “Adequate Yearly Progress” in reading, language arts and mathematics. These clearly defined benchmark goals, which will be raised over time, have been put in place by each of the 50 states based upon what is appropriate for their local school districts.

If a school does not reach its annual goals, it is given extra assistance and another chance. If it again does not succeed the following year, the school is deemed “in need of improvement.” Extra resources are provided to the school, and new options and choices are provided to its students and parents.

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10 Natural Ways To Care For Baby’s Skin

To Care For Baby's Skin
To Care For Baby’s Skin

The skin on your baby is very fragile, delicate and thin. This means the skin is very sensitive and can react easily to weather temperatures and also irritants. Irritants can come from a variety of substances but mainly through the chemicals contained in the products you use on baby. Avoiding these chemicals can be as easy as purchasing organic products but here are 10 other alternatives for you to try.

1. Unbleached disposable nappies.

The Choice website states: As far as dioxins are concerned, they’re a family of organochlorins that includes one of the most toxic chemicals yet made. In the past, dioxin traces were found in chlorine-bleached white paper and pulp products, including disposable nappies. However, nowadays nappies are usually oxygen-bleached (using hydrogen peroxide), which forms no dioxin.
However do we know what consequences hydrogen peroxide will bring? There are totally unbleached disposable nappies on the market that ensures your baby does not come into contact with any bleach.

2. Never use talc on baby.

Why? Contamination of wounds or body cavities with talc is liable to cause granulomas. Inhalation of talc can cause respiratory irritation. Prolonged exposure to talc may produce pneumocomosis. Talc is liable to be heavily contaminated with bacteria including Clostridium tetani, CL welchii and Bacillus anthracis, hence it must be sterilized. Mardindale 31 P1096, 1745, 1407 Organic talcs are usually made with corn flour, arrowroot and white clay and are wonderfully safe and very effective for keeping baby’s skin dry.

3. Massage oils after bathing.

Avoid mineral based oils as they contribute to the drying of the skin when absorbed. Instead use natural and organic oils that continue to soothe and moisturize baby’s skin. Try products that contain sweet almond oil, coconut oil, sunflower oil and chamomile, rose, lavender and mandarin essential oils. But remember to always do a test patch first and watch for any redness or irritation. Do not use if this occurs! You only need the tiniest amount of oil to massage into your baby’s skin, less than a teaspoon.

4. Natural bottom wipes.

Homemade bottom wipes can be made easily. Cut a roll of strong paper towel (Viva are great) in half. Take out the cardboard inner roll. Mix two cups of water with ½ cup sweet almond oil and ½ cup of organic baby wash. Place one half of the roll into a container and pour over ½ of the solution. Store in container. Or for just a wiping solution try a cup of cool chamomile tea and a teaspoon of honey mixed well. Honey is a natural antiseptic so it is great for keeping baby’s bottom germ free and will help treat existing nappy rash.

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Common Childhood Illnesses… What To Look For

Common Childhood Illnesses
Common Childhood Illnesses

Children are very susceptible to illnesses, in part because their immune systems are not fully mature.

Breastfeeding of course provides some immunity to common illnesses, but nowadays most children are weaned by the time they are 1 year old.

Children also have a habit of exploring the world around them with their mouths and their hands. Anything that comes into contact with their mouth and hands can potentially cause an illness.

The good news is that the more your child is exposed the stronger their immune systems will become, and their ability to fight off infection in the future.

Some of the most common childhood illnesses and symptoms to be on the look out are listed below:

Colds/Cough – Cold and coughs are usually caused by viral infections, thus must be spread by person to person contact, not through the weather alone. Common symptoms of a cold include a stuffy nose, cough, possible sore throat and occasionally a temperature. Colds can become more severe and result in bronchitis, pneumonia and ear infections. Signs that a cold is becoming worse and may need medical treatment include green or yellow nasal discharge, fever lasting more than one day or a persistent and wheezy cough.

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