Guidelines On Technology Usage For Our Children

~ Posted on Friday, December 18, 2015 at 6:33 AM ~

I had previously written about how we make use of modern technologies to parent our children and at the same time, educate and learn as we journey into the world of parenthood.

As parents, I absolutely believe there is no way we can avoid and shun our lives from technology and modern devices. It intertwined with almost every aspect of our lives and I feel that the best way is to embrace these technologies but still keep them to a moderate level and of course, being there with our kiddos as we grow along together.

With an Intel® Core™ M processor in our Acer Switch 12 device, it means we get the best of both worlds - a laptop and an ultra-fast tablet useful for our family. I'm very blessed with the magic it does in our everyday lives but as our kiddos grow older and smarter, as parents, we do have to continue to take control and monitor what they do and watch and make sure they don't get too addicted or overly dependent on these modern devices.

So for today's post, I will share with you on our family guidelines on the technology usage for our children.

For our Windows computer, I have added in a Child account since I do let our kiddos use my computer for web browsing and watching educational YouTube videos. Some of the awesome features for this allows me:

- To block certain websites when my child is using the Windows device for browsing

- To enforce control on apps, games and media whether they can download any apps based on the age settings I put in

- To put in control on the screen time whether they can only use my Windows device on certain days (Monday to Sunday) or time range (from what time to what time) and limit of hours' usage on the device

All these awesome measures help us to better monitor our kiddos and yet allowing them to still use our Windows device sensibly.

We also check from time to time certain games that our kiddo loves playing such as Minecraft. My hubby sometimes plays together with our eldest kiddo, going on adventures or free-play mode as we work together to explore and build cool stuff in the game.

I'm amazed with the things that our boy build and also of the things he learned just by playing games like this (survival skills, basic how-to build and hunt knowledge and assembling weapons for defence and hunting and more) Because of his passion in Minecraft, we also load reliable parent-approved video channels/playlists for our boy to watch. These videos are normally game tutorials on how to play the games and review of the games etc. In addition to that, the Acer Switch that we use has a long battery life allowing me & my kiddo’s learning experience to continue longer compared to our other IT devices.

I also have a tasks reward points system for our older 2 kiddos where they get to earn points for accomplishing daily tasks and if their points reached a certain level, they get to redeem certain rewards such as jelly beans for snacks and the ultimate reward which is an hour usage of our tablet or computer.

With all these controls in place, I hope that we will continue to be able to parent our kiddos while we reap the positive impact from using these modern technologies in our daily lives.

In the coming posts, I will share with you some recommended apps and games that we have on our computers and tablets that I personally enjoy using with our kiddos. In the meantime, you can learn more at the Make Magic website

Make magic. Every day.



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Sharing - "Stop Using Crib Bumpers" Doctors Say

~ Posted on Thursday, December 17, 2015 at 12:09 AM ~

I came across this article which I must definitely share with you guys as I'm very interested to know your thoughts on this. Do note that sharing this does not mean I agree or disagree with it. For your convenience, I have copied the excerpts from the article here:

Worried about a significant uptick in infant deaths, doctors want parents to stop using crib bumpers.

Crib Bumpers

The number of babies who have died because of this common crib bedding has tripled in the last seven years of data available. That's according to authors of a study that looked at infant deaths since 1985. Between 1985 and 2012, bumpers possibly were involved in 77 deaths, according to a study running in the latest edition of the Journal of Pediatrics. Of deaths that were suffocations, 67% were by a bumper alone (not clutter in the crib) and 33% happened when a baby got wedged between the bumper and another object. The authors analyzed records from the U.S. Consumer Product Safety databases and the National Center for the Review and Prevention of Child Deaths. The uptick in reports may be due to better awareness among doctors, but overall the authors believe these numbers are still "dramatically" undercounted.

There are no federal regulations restricting the use of crib bumpers. There are industry standards that companies can follow voluntarily. For instance, companies no longer sell plastic bumpers and the fabric bumpers are thinner than they once were. But bumpers have been considered such a problem that Chicago and the state of Maryland ban bumper sales in stores. The American Academy of Pediatrics has advised parents not to use them, including the newer breathable mesh bumpers, and pediatricians regularly warn parents about them. In 2012, Consumer Reports put bumpers on the "13 dangerous baby products to avoid" list. However, the industry still considers them safe and you can buy them in nearly any baby store. For that reason, study co-author Dr. Brad Thach, a pediatrician and professor at Washington University in St. Louis, argues more needs to be done.

"You go into any store and you see all these cribs with bumpers and you see where people would assume if they weren't safe, stores wouldn't be selling them," Thach said. "People think they are buying a product that's protecting their infant from hurting themselves, but bottom line is they serve no real purpose." 

While babies may be able to bump their heads on the sides of a bumperless crib, infants don't have enough force to cause significant injury. The injury would be a bump or a bruise, Thach said. When death certificates or investigation documents specifically list the crib bumper as the cause of death, children typically were smothered between the bumper and a part of the crib, they choked on the bumper ties, or an older child used the bumper to climb out of the crib and fell on his or her head.

This is not the first time Thach and his co-authors have tried to raise awareness of this problem. A study he did in 2007 found 27 accidental deaths attributed to bumper pads. At the time, the authors called on the Consumer Product Safety Commission to restrict use. The department took no action. The industry did voluntarily make the bumpers thinner. But the latest study says there have been deaths since that time and Thach argues making bumpers thinner is not enough. "Any death is significant and these are preventable deaths," Thach said. Asked about the study, the Juvenile Products Manufacturers Association, which represents the industry, sent a statement. "JPMA affirms that when used according to manufacturer's instructions, traditional crib bumpers that meet the ASTM Infant Bedding Standard assist parents in addressing their very real concerns about crib injuries including limb entrapment, head injury, contusions and abrasions."

The association mentions an earlier independent research report from 2013 that evaluated all available information at the time, including incident reports and allegations, and says it "found that at no time has the crib bumper been cited as the sole cause of an infant's death." A cursory look by CNN at CPSC data shows several records available online that do mention bumper pads.

Lorena Kaplan, the Safe to Sleep Campaign lead at the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, said there is some variation on data collection in general, but her organization suggests parents follow the American Association of Pediatrics guidelines.

"I think based on the best data we have now, we are saying no to any kind of soft bedding, including bumpers, should be included in the crib," Kaplan said. Even if bumpers are still easy to buy that doesn't make them a good option, she said. "You can walk into a store and buy cigarettes, too, but that doesn't necessarily mean they are good for you."

If you are concerned about a baby getting limbs stuck between the slats, there is no formal recommendation from any of these groups on how to prevent that. Study co-author Thach is a grandfather and he does have some empathy for concerned parents. When his grandchild got an arm or leg stuck outside the crib, "there was yelling." But the danger is so clear, he said, "There are still no bumpers allowed in the greater Thach family."

What do you think?

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Let's Learn Bahasa & Cantonese - Merry Christmas

~ Posted on Wednesday, December 16, 2015 at 5:24 AM ~

Ever since I started kindergarten at 6 years old, I have been attending public schools (main language is Bahasa Malaysia) and during my earlier years, I mixed around with a lot of Malay friends and even spoke Bahasa with my elder brother at home (he also attends public schools), even to this day. So Bahasa Malaysia used to be my main language other than Cantonese and later on English (brushed up more when I met my hubby then boyfriend through snail mails, I had to practise and brush up my English as he doesn't speak Cantonese) Anyway, I think it is fun to be able to practise back and sharing what I know with those of you who are interested.

And so, here goes our next lesson: Merry Christmas

Let's Learn Bahasa & Cantonese

For those of you who are more often on Facebook, you can also find the tutorials on my Facebook fan page. I have created a "Let's Learn Bahasa & Cantonese!" album to store the phrases. Enjoy learning!

 ** Note: I have disabled the commenting feature on my blog engine thanks to all the spammers who happily spam my blog every day. If you wish to ask me any questions, you can find me at my Facebook page (I'm there almost everyday) or just drop me an email if you wish to maintain some anonymity.