Stay Well This Winter: How to Keep Your Kids Sniffle Free

Winter is coming! And with the winter weather comes the annual outbreaks of coughs and colds we’re all far too used to. Whilst for the most part, not serious illnesses which we will recover from quickly and completely, it’s never nice to see our little ones sniffling and sneezing. To help you prevent this as much as possible, this guide will give some top tips to help your little ones stay well this winter.

Keep Warm and Dry

Changes in the winter climate mean that the world outside gets wetter, windier and colder. Whilst there is very little truth in the old wives tales of this causing pneumonia and viral infections, there is definitely sense in wrapping up and staying dry. The best way to do this is by wearing thin layers of natural fabrics like cotton, wool, and fleece rather than a single bulky layer, topped with a waterproof layer if it’s raining. This helps to control your children’s temperature by adding and removing layers as needed. Hats, loosely fitting scarves, and gloves also keep their extremities warm.

A table full of colourful hats and gloves

Wrapping up is particularly important for newborns and children with asthma as the frigid temperatures can exacerbate asthma attacks. If you know your child has asthma, make sure they take their prescribed medications and carry their inhaler and spacer with them throughout the season.

TOP TIP: If dressed appropriately, it is actually very healthy for children to be outside during the Winter months so don’t hibernate away for 3 months! Exercise is a great way to keep warm and the fresh air and sun are important for both psychical and psychological well-being during the long nights. So get out for walks in the crispy leaves, play in the frosty air and definitely go and build a snowman!

A snowman next to a small tree

Optimise Your Home

The importance of the environment doesn’t stop at the front door. There are some very simple things you can do to keep your home as health-friendly as possible during winter. Keeping your home at above 18ºC can ensure you are comfortable and ventilating your home with trickle vents and extractor fans when cooking or bathing prevents damp. Drawing curtains and using draft excluders can also prevent drafts which would add to the chill factor.

All of this can help to keep you and your children well as cold and damp can exacerbate asthma and risks of complications from heart and lung problems. Whilst too cold is a problem, for babies make sure to not overheat them either – between 16-20ºC is ideal.

A window with a winter scene outside

Hand Hygiene is Key

The vast majority of winter illnesses are viral and are not treatable. Your body simply fights them but it can take a few days to weeks to get rid of them. Therefore the best way to get well is to prevent them in the first place! The most effective way of doing this is practicing good hand hygiene and teaching your children to too. Whenever you cough or sneeze, do so into a tissue or your hands if one is not available, then throw the tissue in a bin and wash your hands in soapy water. Alcohol gel is suitable for unsoiled hands but can be more irritating than gentle soap for children so get sudsy instead where possible. Other techniques such as not sharing cups and cutlery can also prevent the spread of infections.

Soapy hands

Healthy Eating and Supplements

Eating a healthy, balanced diet with a good mix of fruit and vegetables, carbohydrates, proteins and some fats is essential to a growing child, especially so when they are using resources fighting bugs and keeping warm. Dairy and fruits and vegetables provide an essential mix of immune system boosting vitamins and minerals and meat, fish and pulses are packed full of protein for growth and repair. Keeping well-hydrated with plenty of water is also important as we lose water into the cold air when we breathe out and when we sweat in our warm clothing.

TOP TIP: if you feed your child a vegetarian or vegan diet or if they suffer from digestive conditions such as lactose intolerance, Crohn’s disease or coeliacs disease, they may benefit from taking multivitamins to supplement their regular intake and prevent illnesses.

A chopping board full of fruit and vegetables

Vaccinations

Vaccinations are the most effective method of preventing illnesses; they trick your body into thinking it has seen the infection before so when you next see the infection, your body is ready to fight it rather than scrambling its defences against the new bug. A lot of infections we target with vaccinations can occur at any point in the year such as mumps, tetanus, and polio. However, the flu is a classic winter infection whose incidence skyrockets in the winter months.

Flu is a viral infection which leads to a headache, nasal congestion, fevers, and aches. It is mostly just very unpleasant but in some case can be serious with more under 5’s admitted for flu than any other age group. The flu vaccine is offered as a nasal spray to children aged 2-8 or any child with a serious health condition like asthma, kidney or heart disease, diabetes, cancer, and splenectomy. It is needle-free, incredibly safe and very effective at protecting your child.

Important things to note: The flu vaccination is not suitable for severely immunocompromised children and those with egg allergies. If your child is unwell, their vaccination may be postponed until they have recovered. Your child may get a slight runny nose after the vaccination and this is normal.

Two teddy bears acting as a doctor and patient

If Your Child Gets Unwell

If your child gets unwell, don’t panic. Cold and flu, sore throats and winter vomiting are mostly simple and uneventful and your child will recover completely in a few days. If you are worried, speak to your pharmacist, see your GP or call 111 for professional advice. A healthy diet and good hydration will aid recovery and simple medication like paracetamol (Calpol®) and ibuprofen (Nurofen®) will help to relieve aches and fevers. Avoid using products with caffeine in and avoid aspirin products in under 16’s.

 

At Schoolhouse Daycare, we enjoy learning, encouraging confidence and we love life! If you think your child would enjoy life at Schoolhouse, then please do not hesitate to arrange a visit.

5 Spooky Halloween Activities to Enjoy as a Family

Halloween can be a really exciting time of year. With less pressure than Christmas but more festivity than other occasions, it is a perfect opportunity to get your children involved in fun, simple activities which can be enjoyed as a family and with friends. Unsure of what spooky activities you could get involved in? Check out this list of easy suggestions to bring some spine-tingling enjoyment to your October! 

1) Pumpkin Carving

A great activity for the family, carving a pumpkin into your favourite supernatural friends or scary faces can be a great way to pass an afternoon. Scooping out a pumpkin is the perfect mix of cool and gross to get that Halloween-y feeling. A simple search online will reveal hundreds of templates which can be printed out and used to guide your vegetable art. Alternatively, freehand it and let your creative juices flow! Kids can draw onto the skin with a pencil before you use the knives to carve or child-safe carving kits can be found at local craft shops or supermarkets. Then, once it’s done, watch the dancing candlelight illuminate your creation for a great accompaniment to a cosy autumn night in front of a family Halloween film!

A pumpkin with a smaller pumpkin in its mouth

 2) Spooky Baking

To get the kids really excited, why not get your hands dirty in the kitchen with some spine-chilling baked goods! Chocolate, orange extract for some colour or strawberry sauce for a bloody touch can really spook up your cakes. Use raisins or chocolate chips to make fly cookies and rice paper designs to decorate your ghoul cakes (‘cause fairy cakes aren’t scary enough) and watch the enjoyment fill your children’s faces. This is easy, innocent fun which can be used to cater a Halloween get-together or supply an autumnal cake sale for charity.

Halloween cakes and toy spiders

  3) Halloween Party 

For something a little extra, why not use your pumpkins to convert your home into a haunted house for the night? Getting family, friends, and neighbours around for a night of Halloween festivities can be a great laugh for both adults and kids, plus it can provide opportunities to raise money for a local cause. Simple decorations like black and orange paper chains, spray-can spider webs and hanging skeletons with some of your spooky baking can set the scene for a true spooktacular. Add in broomstick racing, bobbing for apples, fancy dress competitions, and other party games to make a memorable night for the children and provide a well-deserved laugh for the parents!

A pumpkin with welcome carved into it

 4) Local Events and Shows

If you aren’t the hosting type, don’t feel left out. Many local adventure and activity centres will be throwing magical nights filled with eerie mystery and wonder to get involved in. Check out websites of zoos, country parks, and theme parks to see what’s going on near you. There are many light shows, Halloween performances, and late openings to keep your little devils entertained into the spooking hours. Alternatively, if nothing local takes your fancy, use the weekend for a trip somewhere further afield for a ghoulish getaway. Events at Thorpe Park near London, Blackgang Chine on the Isle of Wight and the Samhuinn Fire Festival in Edinburgh are perfect examples.

A sign saying happy Halloween and a pumpkin

 5) Trick or Treating

Often misunderstood as being menacing or simply too North American, the tradition of going door to door in ghostly costume goes back to the 1700s in Britain. Whilst now significantly more commercial, a simple tour of the neighbourhood in the dark, fiendishly dressed and hunting confectionary is really exciting for your little ghouls. It can be a good way for them to get to know their neighbours and their neighbourhood and if you escort them, you can teach them good habits that will deter trouble in their teenage years when the temptation to ‘trick’ could land them in trouble. Some innocent fun with game neighbours can be one of the simplest ways to get involved in Halloween and with any luck, will tire your little ones out for a good All Saints night sleep.

Three dogs in halloween costumes

 

At Schoolhouse Daycare, we enjoy learning, encouraging confidence and we love life! If you think your child would enjoy life at Schoolhouse, then please do not hesitate to arrange a visit.

How to Keep Your Children Safe in the Sun

Did you know that around 80% of our lifetime sun exposure occurs during our childhood? It’s true. The Skin Cancer Foundation has done numerous studies and has also found that just one blistering sunburn could double our risks of getting melanoma in later life.

So, with the effects of sun burn becoming more known and the fact that we have been getting some really hot days this summer, there has never been a more important time to make sure that sun protection is a top priority for us and our children.

To help you keep your children safe in the sun, here is our top advice.

 

Apply Suncream Properly

The first port of call when keeping your children safe in the sun is ensuring that they have sun cream on and that it is applied properly. Make sure to choose a sun cream with SPF (Sun Protection Factor) 20 or higher, apply it generously at least 30 minutes before your child goes out in the sun and to all areas that will be exposed to the sun (including ears, hands, feet, behind the neck and lips etc). It’s also important to remember to reapply certain sun creams every 2-3 hours, especially after swimming or activity.

Cover Up

As well as sufficient sun cream, you also need to make sure that your child has physical protection from UV damage. Try to dress your children in dark-coloured clothing where possible, with long sleeves and trousers if not too hot. Sunglasses, hats, and umbrellas for outside play are also essential.

 

Keep them Hydrated

Many young children get ill during hot weather due to dehydration, so it is really important that you keep lots of fresh and cool water available and keep prompting your children to drink throughout the day. When going out for longer days, remember to take a cooler bag to keep your drinks cold and don’t leave them out in the sun.

Girl wearing sunglasses and a hat

Keep them Cool

One of the most important ways to keep your children safe in the sun is to keep them as cool as possible. On hot days, heat exhaustion and heat stroke are a serious risk, especially for young children, so make sure that you take certain measures when making the most of the outside. Hot weather can also exacerbate existing conditions such as asthma, so keeping cool is vital. The best ways to keep your children cool and to avoid any unnecessary heat exposure are:

  • Limit outdoor play between 11:00 AM and 3:00 PM (when the sun rays are at their strongest)
  • Limit outdoor time to shorter periods
  • Reduce the level of activity on hot days
  • Seek shade as much as possible
  • Ensure your children are sufficiently covered in clothing and sun cream
  • Always test the floor temperature with the back of your hand (hold it there for at least 5 seconds)
  • Always keep pushchairs in the shade and out of direct sunlight

Trees in a green park

Enforce Sun Protection Behaviours

Our children learn from us, so it is really important to exhibit sun protection behaviours ourselves to set a good example. Make sure to drink plenty of fluids and apply your own sun cream in front of your children to reinforce this positive behaviour. Only then can we teach them the importance of sun protection and keeping hydrated.

 

Young children are very susceptible to the sun and are at a higher risk of dehydration, heat exhaustion or heat stroke, and sun burn, therefore it is essential for parents to make sure that they are kept safe in the sun with the measures above.

Only then are you ready to venture out into the sun safely with the peace of mind that your children are happy and healthy!

10 Things to Do with Your Children Over the Summer Holidays

Keeping the kids occupied over the summer is always a feat, with so many weeks stretching ahead of you and the time, exercise and expense of it all. Even the most adventurous parents can struggle with keeping them occupied.

While the summer as a whole is a bundle of fun, the prospect of school starting again is a welcome respite for us all. So, with school starting again soon, we have put together a list of fun and inexpensive things to do with your children over the summer holidays to keep the whole family entertained! You can make it till the end, trust us!

Summer Holidays; 10 Fun Things to Do

1. Spend the Day at the Park

On a sunny day, a visit to a nearby park is great fun. Most have attractions such as nature trails or cycle paths, plus they are free, so grab your bikes and head out for a great day full of family activities!

Handy Resources: See Green Flag awards to find your nearest park or National Trust for a summer garden near you.

Trees in an open green park

2. Hit the Beach

We all love the beach, so a day out with sun, sand and sea will definitely satisfy all family members! You can head out with a picnic to your local spot or discover new ones where you can swim, fish in the rock pools or even find a beach side fun fair to amuse yourselves.

 

3. Visit a Farm

Whether it’s a local farm or a well-known attraction, taking the children to spend some time with farm animals is magical. They will love stroking the rabbits or feeding the lambs, and many farms offer other activities such as tractor riding, strawberry picking or maize mazes; a perfect day out for the summer holidays or on the weekend!

Handy Resources: See Pick your own farms to find your nearest farm.

A white lamb in a person's arms

4. Watch a Film at the Cinema

Normally a visit to the cinema can leave you reeling from the cost, but during the summer holidays, many cinemas offer special screenings especially for children where tickets can cost £2.50 or less! This means that taking your children to see a movie with some popcorn will be a real treat (and affordable)!

Handy Resources: See kids screenings in the summer holidays with Vue, Odeon or Cineworld.

 

5. Explore the Community

Is there anything going on in your local community? Sometimes there can be a local festival, county fair or free event going on around your area without you even knowing, so it is always worth a check. Remember to pick up tourist brochures or check social media for things that are going on.

 

6. Get Creative at Home

You don’t have to go out to have fun, just make your own at home! Why not teach your children your favourite baking recipes, make your own garden den or create a treasure hunt? You could even camp outside just for fun. The only limit is your imagination!

A heart shape in a cookie

7. Participate in Free Outdoor Sports

The summer is full of free activities and classes that children can take, you just have to know where to look. It’s true, you can treat your children to football coaching, tennis coaching, swimming session, park runs and much more, and it’s all free for you!

Handy Resources: Get involved and see Swim Safe, Tennis for Free, ParkRun and FA Skills for more information.

 

8. Discover History with Free Museums

Perfect for those rainy days are free museums! Mix up the summer holidays with a visit to the national history or science museum and explore the exhibitions with your children. Not only will they find a lot of fun activities for children, but they will also learn something new too!

 

9. 2for1 Attractions

Do you remember those vouchers on the Kellogg’s cereal boxes? If you cut them out and collect them, now is the time to use them! These vouchers allow you one ‘free’ adult entry per voucher for a whole range of attractions and Merlin theme parks, once you purchase one ticket to the attraction. Think how many you can get free for Sea Life, Madame Tussauds or Alton Towers? You could take the whole family!

Handy Resources: See GrownUpsGoFree for the full list of attractions!

A teacup at the funfair

 

10. Take Part in Store Activities

During the summer holidays, many stores offer free activities at certain times of the day for children. How cool is that? Can you imagine how excited your child would be to head to the Disney Store to make their own Frozen bookmark or to race Disney Pixar Cars on a real race track? Even the Lego store, Pets at Home and Hobby Craft offer fun workshops for children.

Handy Resources: Find a free activity near you at Pets at Home, The National Gallery, Dobbies, The Disney Store and Hobby Craft.

 

So, what are you waiting for? These are incredibly fun and mostly free activities for you to do with your children for the remainder of the summer holidays! Enjoy!

 

WIN an Outdoor Play hamper this May!

We’re giving away this lovely Outdoor Play hamper to one lucky family over on our Facebook page!  For your chance to win, just comment on the post on our page with the activities that you’ll be doing outdoors this Bank Holiday weekend and over the May school holidays with the children!

It can be arts and crafts, gardening, a visit to the park, an ice cream at the beach or just a visit to see Nanna & Grandpa! We’d love to hear what you’re doing this Easter.

Closing Date:  Monday 5th June 2017

Don’t forget to like our page too as we’ll be announcing the winner on Wednesday 7th June 2017

Terms and conditions:

  • This competition is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with, Facebook and is entirely run by Schoolhouse Daycare Ltd
  • Entries for the competition must be submitted by the Monday 5th June 2017 via the Schoolhouse Daycare Ltd Facebook page
  • Only 1 entry for each person will be counted.  Multiple comments or replies from the same person will only count as 1 entry
  • Schoolhouse Daycare Ltd reserve the right to exclude entries if deemed inappropriate
  • A winner will be chosen from all entries by a random
  • The prize is an Outdoor Play Hamper
  • Prize will need to be collected from one of our sites in South Wales
  • Our team will liaise with the winner to select a day/times to redeem the prize
  • Winners must be willing to have their photo taken when collecting the prize
  • Prize has no cash value and is non-transferable
  • By entering this competition you acknowledge the above terms and conditions
  • Management have the right to withdraw the competition at any time without notice

FREE Registration April 2017

Come and join us during our Open Month at Schoolhouse Daycare where you will be able to have a no obligation viewing at one of our nurseries across the South Wales region and benefit from FREE registration (saving £40)

During your viewing you will have the opportunity to have a guided tour around our nurseries, giving you the chance to ask as many questions as you wish ready for your child to join us.

***OFFER*** If you register your child within the month of April, we will waiver the £40 registration fee.

You’ll see plentiful play opportunities, experience a bright and safe environment, chat to dedicated and enthusiastic staff and more importantly meet lots of confident, independent, happy little people.

Appointments are available between 9am and 5pm whilst the nurseries are open, however if you would like to arrange a visit outside of these hours due to working commitments, we can discuss this as we understand that you may wish to come with your partner or a relative.

Please contact our nurseries directly on the following numbers:
Tycroes Nursery – 01269 596255
Swansea City Day Nursery – 01792 460909
Swansea Singleton Nursery – 01792 202900
Swansea DVLA Nursery – 01792 782433
Neath Port Talbot Nursery- 01639 822123
Bridgend Nursery – 01656 753957
Carmarthen Glangwili Nursery – 01267 227598

Read more about our nurseries over on the website: http://schoolhouse-daycare.co.uk/our-nurseries/

WIN an Easter Hamper on Facebook

We’re giving away this lovely Easter hamper to one lucky family over on our Facebook page!  For your chance to win, just comment on the post on our page with the activities that you’ll be doing this Easter holidays with the children!  (Click here to DOWNLOAD a printable Easter Egg Hunt)

It can be arts and crafts, places you’ve been or plan to go, or just tag a friend or family member that you’ll be spending some quality time with! We’d love to hear what you’re doing this Easter.

Closing Date:  Monday 17th April 2017

Don’t forget to like our page too as we’ll be announcing the winner on Wednesday 19th April 2017

Terms and conditions:

  • This competition is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with, Facebook and is entirely run by Schoolhouse Daycare Ltd
  • Entries for the competition must be submitted by the Monday 17th April 2017 via the Schoolhouse Daycare Ltd Facebook page
  • Only 1 entry for each person will be counted.  Multiple comments or replies from the same person will only count as 1 entry
  • Schoolhouse Daycare Ltd reserve the right to exclude entries if deemed inappropriate
  • A winner will be chosen from all entries by a random
  • The prize is an Easter hamper
  • Prize will need to be collected from one of our sites in South Wales
  • Our team will liaise with the winner to select a day/times to redeem the prize
  • Winners must be willing to have their photo taken when collecting the prize
  • Prize has no cash value and is non-transferable
  • By entering this competition you acknowledge the above terms and conditions
  • Management have the right to withdraw the competition at any time without notice

 

Awarded Top 10 Recommended Nursery in the UK

We are very honoured to announce that Schoolhouse Daycare Ltd have been awarded the title of Top 10 Recommended Mid-size Nursery Groups 2017 in the UK.  This award means a lot to us here as this is based on reviews that have been submitted by our parents.

In addition to this very prestigious title, we have also been awarded the title of  Top 10 Recommended Nurseries Wales 2017 for both our DVLA and Little Schoolhouse Daycare nurseries too.

We would like to thank our parents who have taken the time to review all of our nurseries and also to the staff who work hard day in and day out to make Schoolhouse Daycare the success it is.

To read more about these Top 10 Nursery Awards, please visit the daynurseries.co.uk website

Vacancies

We are currently recruiting for 2 Nursery Nurses to join our team at our Singleton nursery in Swansea.  Applicants would ideally have a minimum of Level 2 Child Care qualification however work based training can be provided.

16.5 hours per week

Please contact Sian Davies at Singleton Day Nursery for further information or apply via email for an application form

01792 202900

sing@schoolhouse-daycare.co.uk 

Closing date for applications is Monday 20th March 2017


Our Swansea City Nursery are currently recruiting for 2 x Nursery Nurses (8 hours flexi per week)

Closing date for applications is Tuesday 21st March 2017

Please contact Stephanie Lewis on 01792 460909 or via email on city@schoolhouse-daycare.co.uk for an application form


Our Swansea City Nursery are currently recruiting for a Cook/School Runner

8.30am to 4.30pm Monday to Friday

No childcare qualifications are required but history with children is preferred

Closing date for applications is Tuesday 21st March 2017

Please contact Stephanie Lewis on 01792 460909 or via email on city@schoolhouse-daycare.co.uk for an application form

Little Schoolhouse – Tycroes

Little Schoolhouse Day Nursery – Tycroes, Ammanford

A warm welcome awaits you at our Little Schoolhouse Day Nursery. Please call Susan on tel: 01269 596 255 or email: little@schoolhouse-daycare.co.uk for more information.

Situated within the small village of Tycroes, Ammanford we have specially designed and dedicated rooms to stimulate, develop and inspire your children. As the name suggests, we are a small nursery providing care for only  18 children per day which means we really are a ‘home from home’ environment. Our outdoor area is spacious offering all ages the chance to explore, plant, build and play.

  • Childcare available Monday to Friday 7.30am to 6.00pm
  • All food freshly prepared on site with a menu designed to include the recommended ‘five a day’.
  • School run service available to local schools
  • Fully bilingual staff