Links We Love, And One We Don't

Filed under: New In Pop Culture, Health & Safety: Babies, Funny Stuff, Health & Safety: Toddlers & Preschoolers, Health & Safety: Big Kids, Health & Safety: Teens, Health & Safety: Tweens, Activities: Teens, Activities: Tweens, Activities: Big Kids, Activities: Toddlers & Preschoolers, Activities: Babies

kids playing

School's in, but your kids still need playtime. Credit: Jupiterimages

Virtual Valium. The playground can be a very very scary place. Poor Maggie Simpson is having a terrible time socializing with the other tots but her oblivious dad, Homer, of course misinterprets the situation. This scene from last season's "The Simpsons" captures a moment we're all probably guilty of from the perspective of the little ones.

Crib Sheet. Nurse Practitioner Schools compiled the 100 Pediatric Health Blogs Every Mom Should Read. No more fruitless Google searches that turn up iffy sources. The recommendations include descriptions of each blog's content and links. Dr. Jim Sears, of TV's "The Doctors" appears on the list, along with not-so-famous doctors from around the country who offer their opinions on health care and raising kids. Our only note? Let's include "Dad" in the title.

Trends. Just because school is back in session and the freedom of summer is over, kids shouldn't be deprived of unstructured play, says Stuart Brown in a Happy Days blog for The New York Times. Brown is the founder and president of the National Institute for Play and wrote, "Play, How it Shapes the Brain, Opens the Imagination, and Invigorates the Soul." He reminds parents that letting kids play outside for just one hour a day helps them build the emotional and physical skills they need to succeed in life.

Contest. Sonic has partnered with DonorsChoose.org to fund teachers' classroom projects. You can help by ordering any drink at Sonic through the end of the month and using the drink's special code to vote at DonorsChoose.org for your favorite teacher's project. Sonic will donate more than $500,000 to the winning projects. Voting ends Oct. 1.

Thumbs Down. You spot a pair of tiny feet bouncing along in a stroller and can't resist taking a peek. What cheeks! What big, brown eyes! What an adorable sign hanging precariously above the baby's head warding me off lest I whip out the hand sanitizer! We're not joking. The signs read, "Please wash your hands before touching mine" and come in red, blue and pink silicone rubber. They cost $7.95 and can hang almost anywhere. A well-intentioned mother who gave birth to a premature baby created the jarring baby accessory, so we understand why germs were an issue for the mom. But isn't it a parent's job to model good social skills for their children by graciously addressing strangers who like to innocently touch babies instead of relying on signs to get the message across?

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Start by teaching him that it is safe to do so.