National Hand Washing Awareness Week is December 7th-13th

Wash Your hands cover[1]

The Power is in Your Hands

In the midst of the cold and flu season, you can take control of your own well-being and help protect those who live and work around you. By practicing a few, simple handwashing behaviors, you can decrease the risk of contracting and spreading respiratory and gastrointestinal illnesses – like H1N1 and the seasonal flu.

Keep Germs Out

Germs enter your body through direct contamination of the eyes, nose and mouth… at the hands of your own hands! Frequent handwashing is one sure way to safeguard against illness. Another way to battle germs is through flu vaccinations which help lower your reaction to viruses. Talk to your Healthcare professional about a plan to keep you and your family healthy this winter.

Four Simple Steps to Stop Germs from Spreading:

• Wash your hands frequently: before you eat and when they’re dirty
• Do NOT cough into your hands
• Do NOT sneeze into your hands
• Do NOT touch your nose, eyes, or mouth with your hands – instead, use a clean tissue when touching these areas of your face

Ask today about ways you can lower your risks for getting a cold or the flu. Also, sign up to win a free book with the Nurse Nicole holiday giveaway!!

Do you need information to explain hand washing to your children?
For books and DVDs on how to decrease germs, check out

Happy Hand Washing Week!!


Nurse Nicole Holiday Book Giveaway

Nurse Nicole Holiday Book Giveaway

Nurse Nicole Holiday Book Giveaway

Visit to enter to win a free autographed copy from The Adventures of Nurse Nicole – N is for Nurse!! No purchase required!! Please share with your friends – you get an extra entry into the contest if you do!!

How to Teach Young Children About Nursing

Nurse products for kids

Nurse Nicole visits Stuffy Bear Factory at Chesterfield Town Center, VA.

Explore fun and creative methods to teach young children about the profession of nursing.

1. Develop products to introduce nursing as a future career choice to young children.
2. Display products to introduce nursing as a future career option for young children.

Nurse product line:

The nursing shortage has drawn attention to the need to encourage young children to choose nursing as a future career goal. The Adventures of Nurse Nicole is designed to help young children become aware of nursing. Helps children develop skills that are needed to become a nurse. The products will focus on the current realities related to what nurses do in the nursing profession. The tools developed are age-specific such as books titled, “N is for Nurse & Wash Your Hands.” In addition, another tool is an age-specific animated DVD titled, “Battle of the Germs.” Other items available are bears and t-shirts for children. The information reviewed in the books and DVD was used by a nurse to create teaching materials for children.

Free nursing gifts are available on site when Nurse Nicole visits Stuffy Bear factory at Chesterfield Town Center, VA or visit the website

Happy Holiday Season,

Nicole M. Brown, RN aka Nurse Nicole

Helping Your Child Transition into September

Transitions happen every day in your child’s world and September, like no other month, is a time of transitions for your child. Starting a new grade. Getting a new teacher. Learning new classroom rules. Adding more homework. No matter what the transition, you can expect an added level of stress as your child adapts to the change.

When making the transition to a new grade, your child will be challenged by more rigorous academic challenges, more social demands and more responsibility. Your child will have to follow the rules, take turns, make new friends, learn harder material and try to meet the requirements of a new teacher(s).

It takes a lot of energy, focus and control to keep it together all day long at school, so most kids will be tired and you’ll see an increase in temper tantrums, whining and defiance at home. Don’t take it personally! Recognize the stress that your child is under!

The best response to stress is to provide empathy and support, help the child gain a sense of control, create rituals that provide predictability and teach your child ways to de-stress.

Way to Show Empathy:

A.) Listen – Become an “empathic listener” by listening for feelings.

o Listen for the unspoken feelings that are behind the words that are said.
o Look at your child’s body language and try to gain helpful information.
o Listen with your heart.
o Don’t be critical.
o Give your child your full attention by sitting down, looking him/her in the eye.
o Try to reflect back the feeling that you believe your child is conveying.

B.) Ask open-ended questions. i.e. What will you miss about preschool? What do you like about your new teacher? What’s the hardest part of your day?

C.) Share a story from your childhood. The point here is to share a struggle that you had and the different feelings that you experienced. If you found a process that helped you overcome the struggle, share that, too.

Another important point to understand is that transitions involve a sense of loss:

A loss of fun. “I want to play with a friend now. I don’t want to do homework!”

A loss of spontaneity. “I’m tired and I’d rather have a jammy day than get dressed and go to school.”

Or a loss of my classroom as I know it. “This teacher is different. I liked my other teacher!”

Generally, when a child feels a sense of loss s/he feels a loss of control and a beneficial strategy is to help the child gain a sense of control. So how do you do that?
A.) Involve your child in the decision. Ask your child, “What might help you feel more comfortable?”

B.) Walk your child through the process, explaining how it will go. Knowledge is power.

C.) Show visual aids such as reading books on the subject.

D.) Explain the benefits so the child can learn the positives.

E.) Slow down the pace. Give your child a chance to wind down or to say goodbye.

F.) Learn to read your child’s cues and help him/her learn to identify them, too.
Another helpful strategy for reducing the stress of changes is to create a ritual. Family rituals help your child adjust to change. A ritual can be simple or elaborate, used daily, weekly, or once a year. The reason that rituals are important is that rituals help make the world predictable and the repetition helps kids feel more secure when transitions are occurring.

Rituals that Can Help with Transitions:
A.) Develop a goodbye ritual. Develop a secret handshake with your child that’s used only when s/he leaves for school.

B.) Develop an after-school ritual. Let your child have a snack and play outside for 30 minutes before starting homework.

C.) Develop a “chit-chat” time at bedtime. Ask your child about the happy, sad, scary and frustrating parts to his/her day.

D.) Develop an end-of-the-week ritual. Have a family night every Friday night to reconnect and unwind after a busy week.

Change also increases a child’s anxiety level because there is a loss of the familiar and the uncertainty of the future so finding safe, healthy outlets for a child’s anxiety is important, as well. Teaching your child how to soothe him/herself and providing calming activities will be a great help.

A.) Increase Physical Touch – Make a conscious effort to hug and kiss more often, snuggle more or provide massage to your child.

B.) Teach a Deep Breathing Method. (Pretend that there’s a balloon in his/her tummy that s/he has to blow up. Actually use a balloon to illustrate. The technique you want to have the child use is to breathe in through the nose and breathe out through the mouth, actually moving the diaphragm while pretending to blow up the balloon with big, deep breaths.)

C.) Consider Dramatics – Let your child use his/her imagination. “Let’s pretend that you’re the fairy godmother.” Get a wand. Let’s see what the fairy godmother would do to solve this problem. Create a movie, play or story about this problem. Play “School” to see what issues your child may be facing.

D.) Spend Time Alone with the Child – Let the child pick what the activity will be and focus on your child’s needs.

E.) Laugh – Find your own ways to be silly, have a kids’ joke book on hand, do something unexpected, watch your favorite family movie.

F.) Give Your Child a Journal – Writing about a problem can release pent-up feelings in a healthy way.

In summary, there are many useful strategies that you can use when your child is faced with a transition, large or small:

o Respond with empathy recognizing that your child may feel a sense of loss.
o Help your child gain a sense of control by involving him/her in decision-making.
o Develop a ritual to create predictability.
o Offer soothing and calming activities.

Summer Fun for Kids

summer-funSummer can be an enjoyable time for parents and children while adhering to the family budget. By using a little creativity and some local community resources, summer can truly be an enriching and memorable time of the year. The local library is a great resource. Take a trip and chat with the librarian about upcoming age appropriate programs for children, many libraries offer play groups, story time, as well as provide entertainment, all for free!

Find out about special events provided through your community church for children. Many county park systems also have free events and programs during the summer months. Taking local nature walks provides a bonding time for parents and children. Spending time in nature is both therapeutic and fun! Keeping children active and fit is very important. Try taking bike rides, going swimming or for a light jog with your kids.

Come up with creative projects indoors on those steamy summer days. Assist your child in writing and illustrating their own book about their favorite summer activities. Invite friends over and help the children to organize skits and plays. For example, you can take a few cereal boxes, cans and personal care products and help the kids create their own commercials. They can make signs, and even a stage out of cardboard. Create puppets out of socks and allow the kids have a show with friends, what fun! Turn on some music and play games such as freeze dance, musical chairs or have a dance contest.

Get new age appropriate books bi-weekly on several topics of interest at the library. Books on tape and educational videos are great as well! Reading and summer crafts stimulate the mind. Get creative when it comes to summer arts and crafts projects. Kids can create various animals out of paper plates and yarn. They can turn the plates into masks and come up with more skits while sharing the masks with their friends. Craft supplies can be purchased at many local dollar stores. If your child is over 5, working with beads is a great project for developing fine motor skills. Also, during a nature walk, collect items in a brown bag to make a collage at home. You can label the natural items collected and have a discussion about it, as well as get a book on nature in the summertime. Puzzles, blocks and games are great for indoors too so stock up!

Volunteering in the community is a wonderful use of children’s time in the summer. Many nursing home activity directors would love to have children come to their facility to brighten the lives of residents. Children can do simple crafts with seniors, draw pictures and read stories to them. The companionship children can provide for seniors is a true gift. Other volunteer opportunities may be available at area hospitals. Many times recreational therapists need assistance in craft projects designed to keep ill patients engaged. Most hospitals have volunteer coordinators to contact for opportunities for children and families.

Summer is a time for fun, creativity and community involvement. Use as many local resources as possible to ensure that this summer is one where your child stays active, happy and involved in a wealth of enriching activities.
By Kim Quigley (Guess Blogger)

Books: Teaching Our Children about Careers

998319_242750545891154_1923223330_nWhat did you want to be when you were four years old? How about when you were 10 years old? If you are like most adults, as children the career you said you wanted to do was guided by what you’d seen in books or on television. Maybe someone in the family or the neighborhood did something that fascinated you enough to say, “When I grow up I want to be a —!”

It is never too early to expose children to careers, especially those careers that make our lives better like nursing, law or something like construction. has a great catalog of books for both parents and children. Here are some I found that could help you begin a reading program that engages and inspires questions about career choices in young ones.

For parents I found Achieving Your Dreams: Starting Early to Help African American Children Develop a Vision of Their Dream Careers by Cajetan Ngozika Ihewulezi (Tate Publishing, 2009). There is also a similar book for Latino American children.

Want to read to your small one? Lyle at the Office is a book by Bernard Waber that follows the work adventures of the Lyle the crocodile as he takes a job at an advertising agency.

Do you have a tween? Anastasia’s Chosen Career by Lois Lowry seems like a winner. This fiction book is about a 7th grader who has to do an assignment requiring research into careers.

Here are a few more books I found interesting from other sources.

Career Day by Anne Rockwell

The Berenstain Bears: Jobs Around Town

Richard Scarry’s What Do People Do All Day?

It isn’t too early to begin planting good seeds and stimulating curiosity. Hopefully, these book selections will be helpful.

New Year’s Eve Activities for Children

Happy New YearWe have all sorts of grown-up traditions and activities to bring in the New Year, why not give your children something special to do to celebrate? Here are a few activities found all over the web.

From Disney’s


From me

  • During the day of New Year’s Eve or on New Year’s Day, involve your children in a family discussion about things to do better in 2014. To extend this, ask them what they want to accomplish in the New Year, like take a trip.
  • Pray with them and over them for the New Year.

Happy New Year to you and yours from me and mine!

December is Safe Toys and Gifts Month

890ba36f0b9adafef5fb4ad2f981a6eaThe mother of small children generally cringes whenever some well-meaning relative or family friend gives their child or children toys with sharp edges and what looks like a million small pieces for Christmas. I would cringe. Those small pieces and sharp edges could easily end up lodged in a foot, an eye or some other body part that leads to infection and/or a trip to the emergency room.

Prevent Blindness America has declared December as Safe Toys and Gifts Month. This is scary:

“According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, hospital emergency rooms treated an estimated 251,700 toy-related injuries in 2010 throughout the United States.  72% were to people less than 15 years of age. Additionally, in 2007 alone, toymakers recalled over 19 million toys worldwide because of safety concerns such as lead paint and small magnets.” [Read the rest here.]

Here are some tips to assist you in shopping for children, yours or someone else’s.

  • Read all warnings and instructions on the box before purchasing or before allowing your children to play with the gift if from someone other than you.
  • If shopping for other people’s children, ask them what is appropriate for the child first. Parents know their children and know the toys better than anyone.
  • Avoid toys that shoot or have parts that can fly off.
  • Make sure the construction of a toy is such that it will not break into tiny shards or sharp pieces if broken.
  • Think long and hard about toys with cords and strings that can choke.

Prevent Blindness America has two great tip sheets you can download for more information and that can assist you in your holiday shopping: Facts About Toy Injuries and Tips for Choosing Safe Toys.

It is best to be safe than sorry.

Do Not Feed the Diabetic: Responding to Holiday Food Offers

Multi Generation Family Celebrating ThanksgivingWe would be grieved to wear a placard or sign that read: I am a diabetic. Do not feed me. Children with Type 1 diabetes would be mortified to wear that sign. Yet, we would be devastated if some “kindly” person with good intentions offered your child something that could harm their health. To be preventative, learn some polite yet firm responses to inevitable food offers.

Scenario 1: Your child’s best friend’s mother wants to give her/him cookies as a snack and you’re not there.

This is simple enough. Once you give permission for the play date, have a private conversation with the other parent and share that your child is Type 1 diabetic and cannot have certain foods. To be polite, share that you don’t want it to be personal, because it is not; it is a matter of your child’s health interests. Offer to send snacks that are acceptable.

Scenario 2: Aunt Louise tries to give your child a sugary snack against your protests.

Thank Aunt Louise in front of your child and tell her that you’ll have to pass this time. Privately, as to embarrass your child or Aunt Louise, tell her that in the future she’s to ask you first and in private. Explain that your child’s health interests are a priority to you, and thank her once again before closing the subject.

Scenario 3: The holiday party at school that has tons of tempting treats.

Begin with a conversation with your child, reminding him or her that eating sugary sweets can make them hospital-stay sick, and you want him/her to be healthy and at home for the holidays. Contact the teacher and remind him/her that your child is diabetic and ask the teacher to closely monitor what your child consumes. Offer to send a couple of treats that are safe for your child to eat.

Scenario 4: Thanksgiving and Christmas dinner with the family.

This would be super easy if you’re the host. You can prepare great desserts and dishes that are good for your child and tasty to your guests. If anyone offers to bring a dessert, politely decline. If you’re having dinner in another home, then leave early and explain to your child that you’re having a special dessert at home. In fact, turn dessert at your home into a new tradition.

Lastly, if your child should receive candy and other treats as a gift, tell them that a condition of letting them have a treat is that you get to help them choose.

Remember, this is about your child’s long-term wellness. They have to maintain healthy habits throughout the holiday season. If you are the parent of a diabetic child, how do you handle any of the above scenarios? Are there other ways to teach your child to refuse food? Please share in the comment section.


Healthy Snacks for Diabetic Kids

Apple SlicesDiabetic Lifestyle has an exhaustive and organized list of healthy snacks for diabetic kids. Below is a list of some of those snacks. There is diversity in the offerings that should keep your child from becoming bored with snacks to the point of cheating.

From the bread group:

  • Air-popped popcorn
  • Graham crackers
  • Pretzels
  • Vanilla wafers

From the dairy foods group:

  • Frozen, low-fat, no sugar added yogurt or ice cream
  • Fruit smoothies (made with non-fat yogurt, fruit, skim milk, and ice cubes)
  • String cheese

From the fruits and vegetables groups:

  • Apple wedges
  • Cherry tomatoes
  • Cucumber slices
  • Celery sticks stuffed with low-fat cream cheese or peanut butter

Whole food snacks are the best for children, but we know that they are not always satisfactory to a child’s taste buds. You can read the extended list HERE and you can visit this really cool Pinterest board filled with snack suggestions and recipes. Do you have some of your own? Please share in the comment section.

Books by Nicole M. Brown

The Adventures of Nurse Nicole: N is for Nurse

The Adventures of Nurse Nicole: N is for Nurse

The Adventures of Nurse Nicole: Wash Hands

The Adventures of Nurse Nicole: Wash Hands

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