Calling All Cheerleaders

cheerLittle girls love cheerleaders. Everything about being a cheerleader. The outfit, the ponytails, the makeup, the pom-poms, the cheers, the gymnastics, the jumps. And there is no better place to learn how to become a great cheerleader, then at Paris’s own Texas Tumbling & Trampoline.

Next Saturday, April 26th there is a Texas Legend All-Star Cheer Skills Evaluation at Texas Tumbling & Trampoline from 9am-noon.  The Skills Evaluation session is for children ages four and up.

All-Start Cheer will refine your child’s cheerleading skills so they can be competitive for both high school and college cheerleading. Under the instruction of Cheer Director Megan Chapman, they will receive positive coaching, develop teamwork skills and build self-esteem.

Cheer Director and Coach, Megan Chapman was a PJC Cheerleader from 1998-2002; UCA Collegiate All-American 1998-2002; NCA Staff member from 1998-2003; Pro-Spirit All Star Cheer Team for 5 years and an NCA All-American cheerleader from 1994-1998. She has a BS Degree in Health and Kinesiology.

Ms. Chapman will be assisted by coach Lane Newsom, a Level 6 gymnast in USA Gymnastics and a PJC Cheerleader for 2 years and Macey Champan a current Paris High Cheerleader who participated in Academy Cheer and Excite Cheer.

The Skills Evaluation is $65 for new members and $30 for returning members. Call 903-739-9140 for more information.

Texas Tumbling and Trampoline is also hosting a five summer camps this summer for kids ages four and up. The first is the JPK Summer Day camp which runs every day from 7:30am -5:30pm for kids age 4-12 and includes activities like swimming, bowling, rock climbing, water park, laser tag, field trips and of course trampoline and tumbling time. Enrollment for JPK has begun and those who enroll by May 1st will receive a significant discount.

Other weekly camps this summer include “Pin It, Craft It, Create It” for kids who love arts and crafts; in the ”Glitz and Glamour Camp” campers will set up their own design studio; “Trampoline, Tumbling and Fitness Camp” is a week full of developing skills in trampoline, tumbling and fitness; and finally the “Jump, Stunt and Tumble Camp” is a fun filled, high energy week that will boost cheerleading skills from the beginner to the most advanced.

For information on all Texas Tumbling and Trampoline camps and classes call 903-739-9140.

Buckle Up! Texas State Law on Child Passenger Safety

car seatDid you know that Safety Seat Belt violations are a primary offense in Texas? That means that an officer doesn’t need to have another reason to pull you over. Officers may then arrest or issue a citation/notice to appear before a judge for a violation.

I wonder if all moms (and dads) know what the Texas laws are regarding children when they are riding in the car? That they could even be arrested if they or their child are not in a seat belt. Here’s a look at the current laws in Texas regarding child passenger safety.

First, let me remind you that everyone, regardless of age, is required to be wearing a seat belt.

All children younger than 8 years old, unless taller than 4’9”, are required to be in the appropriate child safety seat system wherever they ride in a passenger vehicle. In other words, once the child is 8 years old, regardless of their height or weight, it is legal for them to just have the adult safety belt on. However, it is recommended that it is safest for any child under 4’9” to be in a booster seat.

Notice the law says “passenger vehicle” – what does that include? A “passenger vehicle” is a passenger car, sport utility vehicle, truck, light truck, truck tractor or a passenger van designed to transport 15 or fewer occupants, including the driver. (Buses are not included in this definition)

An infant or child passenger restraint system that meets the federal standards for crash-tested restraint systems as set by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Examples: rear-facing only safety seat, convertible safety seat, forward-facing only safety seat, high-back booster seat, backless booster seat, safety vest/harness.

Most hospitals in Texas will not let you leave with your newborn without a proper car seat.  You want to keep your baby in a rear-facing seatas long as possible – to the upper weight limits of the harness. But you should never place an infant forward-facing before their first birthday and 20-22 pounds.

Next is the Forward-Facing Seat: Toddlers go forward-facing in a five-point harness until the upper limits of the harness, usually 40-65 pounds.  

Again, Texas Law requires all children under 8, unless taller than 4’9” to be in an appropriate Booster Seat. Not sure if it safe for your child to dump the booster seat? There is a simple 5-step test for determining proper fit of the adult safety belt. Buckle your child into a lap/shoulder belt and look for these things:

1. Does he/she sit all the way back against the seat?

2. Do his/her knees bend easily at the edge of the seat?

3. Does the shoulder belt cross over the center of the shoulder and chest?

4. Is the lap belt low, across the tops of the thighs?

5. Can he/she stay seated like this for the entire trip?

If you answered “no” to any of these, your child may still need a booster seat.  And you should want to do that, even if it’s a hassle. Why? Because studies have shown that in crashes where children are restrained by only an adult seat belt, they are more likely to suffer severe head, spinal cord and internal injuries.

Another question I hear a lot (mainly from eager children) is it legal for a child to ride in the front seat. I always told the kids the law said they had to be twelve, but actually there is no such law in Texas.  However, the law does require that all child safety seat systems must be used according to the owner’s manuals and installed according to manufacturer instructions.

ALL rear-facing seats are prohibited from being used on the front seat of the vehicle if there is a passenger air bag. The only way the rear-facing safety seat can be legally and properly installed on the front seat of a single-cab vehicle is to manually turn the air bag to the “off” position. Air bags can be extremely dangerous to small children.

I think its important that parents know the laws affecting their children’s safety. So buckle up!

From one Mom to another,

Jenny Wilson

Weekend Movies

popcornWhat’s playing at the local movie theatre this weekend? Saturday is suppose to be a beautiful, warm day so you might want to be outside. However, the Sunday forecast has dropping temperatures and rain – a perfect day for the movies!

First, the widely popular “LEGO” Movie is still playing in Digital Cinema and in 3D. My boys both give it a thumbs up! Its rated PG and is 94 minutes long.

Next  is the Air Marshall movie starring Liam Neeson, “Non-Stop.”  This is an action movie about a flight bound for London, where the onboard Air Marshall is receiving text messages during the flight that if  $150 million is not transferred to an off-shore account, a passenger will die every 20 minutes.  It is rated PG-13 for IntenseViolence/Action, Drug References, Sensuality and Some Language. It runs 107 minutes.

Also playing is a movie I’m most interested in seeing called “Son of God.”  This is a large scale, epic telling of the New Testament and the life of Jesus Christ.  The first movie to do so since “The Passion of the Christ” was released ten years ago. Portuguese actor Diogo Morgado portrays Jesus as the film spans from the birth through his teachings, the Crucifixion and the Resurrection.  Son of God is rated PG-13 for intense and bloody scenes of the Crucifixion and for violence. It is 138 minutes.

Another PG-13 movie is “3 Days to Kill.”  Running 117 minutes and starring Kevin Costner, this action life tells the story of spy Ethan Renner (Costner) who decides to give up his life of espionage and try to repair his relationship with his estranged wife and daughter. But of course its not that easy.  Rated PG-13 for Language, Violence, Intense Action and Sensuality.

A historical, epic movie is “Pompeii.”  This movie tells the story of the legendary eruption of Mount Vesuvius that rains lava and ash down on the city of Pompeii in 79 A.D. completely burying the city.  It is rated PG-13 for Disaster-Related Action, Brief Sexual Content and Intense Battle Sequences. 105 minutes.

The last movie showing this weekend here in Paris is “Robo-Cop.” No surprise here. Critically injured cop is  transformed into a cyborg by evil, corporation.  Inside the robot is the heart of a man. Rated PG-13 for Frenetic Gun Violence, Brief Strong Language, Intense Sequence of Action, Sensuality and Some Drug Material. 117 minutes.

See you at the movies!  For movie times, visist cinemark.com.

From One Mom to Another,

Jenny Wilson

 

Danger of Prescription Drug Mix-Ups

doctorSaturday morning I was in one of our local pharmacies and overheard a conversation between the store manager and a very angry woman with an elderly man.  Essentially, the pharmacist had put the wrong medication in the pill bottle.  For three days this man had been taking pills for a urinary tract infection (UTI) instead of his appropriate prescription (my eavesdropping skills are not very keen so I was unable to hear what his ailment was or what medication he was suppose to receive). But the bottom line was he was given the wrong pills and the lady was “willing to bet a dollar” someone out there was not taking the right pills for a UTI and was instead taking his.

As a mom, this really got me wondering, and worrying, how often this happens?  And what if the mix up was with a child, with a powerful drug?  Just recently a friend of mine’s teenage daughter asked a group of girls if they had an Advil since she had a headache. A girl she knew gave her two blue pills and told her they were Advil – they were not – it was Xanax.  Luckily my friend’s daughter called her mom telling her what happened and that she felt “weird.”  This is just another example of how easy it is for our kids to come in contact with dangerous drugs.

I remember telling my kids when they were in just 1st and 2nd grade and started going on play-dates without me to never, ever take any kind of pills at a friend’s house.  Most homes have some type of prescription drugs in the medicine cabinet.  It seems logical to me that kids today would have much easier access to prescription drugs than street drugs… and that is in fact the case.

Last April a study was released by The Partnership at Drugfree.org and the MetLife Foundation that confirmed one in four teens has misused or abused a prescription drug at least once – a 33% increase over the past five years.  One in eight teens (13%) confirms they have taken stimulants Ritalin or Adderall when it was not prescribed to them. This doesn’t count all the teens (and adults) abusing these two drugs when it is prescribed.  Even more concerning is that 23% of teens say their parents don’t care as much about misusing prescription drugs compared to illegal drugs and that of those kids who say they have abused Rx medications, one in five (20%) did so before the age of 14! And it’s not surprising then that a quarter of teens in the survey found that misusing and abusing prescription drugs are safer than using street drugs.

But back to the situation at the pharmacy with the lady and the elderly man who received the wrong pills.  Let’s assume our children are not sneaking into parents medicine cabinets and stealing pills (they are) what are the chances of our kids receiving a harmful drug by mistake at the pharmacy. How does this happen?

Sometimes it’s due to a doctor’s messy handwriting, sometimes the wrong pills are put in the wrong bottle…. It’s all human error. It’s important to really look at your prescription and what is written on the Rx bottle you pick up. Unfortunately many drugs have similar-sounding prescription names or look-alike drug product packaging.  For example, Adderall and Inderal - Adderall is a stimulant used to treat Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder; Inderal is used to treat high blood pressure.  Or Amaryl and Reminyl - Amaryl is an anti-diabetic treatment; Reminyl is an Alzheimer’s medication Celexa and Celebrex – Celexa is an antidepressant; Celebrex is a painkiller. Lodine and Codeine – Lodine is used to treat mild pain and decrease swelling; Codeine is used to treat moderate to severe pain. Flonase and Flomax – Flonase is a nasal spray; Flomax is a prostate drug.  The list goes on and on…. And as a mom it makes me very nervous.

So what can we do to make sure a prescription drug mix up doesn’t happen to our kids or other family members?

According to the Mayo Clinic communication is the key.  If you don’t understand something your doctor says, ask for an explanation. Whenever you start a new medication, make sure you know the answers to the following:

  • What is the brand or generic name of the medication?
  • What is it supposed to do? How long will it be until I see results?
  • What is the dose? How long should I take it?
  • Are there any foods, drinks, other medications or activities I should avoid while taking this medicine?
  • What are the possible side effects? What should I do if they occur?
  • What should I do if I miss a dose?
  • What should I do if I accidentally take more than the recommended dose?
  • Will this new medication interfere with my other medication(s) and how?

When you pick up the prescription from the pharmacists ask some of these same questions and make sure the answers match. If they don’t – speak up. Have the pharmacist double check the prescription or even call the doctor.

The Mayo Clinic also has these tips for  playing it safe with medication:

  • Keep an up-to-date list of all your medications, including nonprescription and herbal products.
  • Store medications in their original labeled containers.
  • Save the information sheets that come with your medications.
  • Use the same pharmacy, if possible, for all of your prescriptions.
  • When you pick up a prescription, check that it’s the one your doctor ordered.
  • Don’t give your prescription medication to someone else and don’t take someone else’s.

The Mayo Clinic also warns: “Don’t ask, don’t tell” is never a smart policy when it comes to medications and your health. Don’t hesitate to ask questions or to tell your health care providers if anything seems amiss. Remember, you’re the final line of defense against medication errors.

If despite your efforts you have problems with a medication, talk with your doctor or pharmacist about whether to report it to MedWatch — the Food and Drug Administration safety and adverse event reporting program. Reporting to MedWatch is easy, confidential and secure — and it can help save others from being harmed by medication errors.

It’s up to us moms (and dads) to be advocates for our children when it comes to their health. So often we don’t want to seem rude and so we don’t ask the questions we should. It is better to offend someone if you think they have made an error, than to risk giving your child the wrong medication.

Likewise, it is up to us to talk to our kids, at a very young age, what pills are. And to tell them to never, ever take pills from anyone or at anyone’s house. The only person that a child should take any pill from is their parents or guardian or school nurse.  Just like with everything these days, it’s sad that you can’t trust everyone. But the bottom line is… you can’t.

From one mom to another,

Jenny Wilson

 

Take Me Out to the Ball Game!

woodallThis Saturday, February 1st is registration day for both the Paris Optimist Baseball as well as Dixie Softball and t-ball run by the City of Paris Parks and Recreation Department.

First, Paris Optimist Baseball will have sign ups on Saturday from 10am-2pm at the Lamar Avenue Church of Christ.  To maintain the sports complex at Woodall Field where all games are played and the baseball program itself, a registration fee increase was necessary this year. However, the players will not be responsible to sell raffle tickets or to collect concession fees.  The new registration fees are as follows: Buddy Ball ($15); Ages 3-4 ($45); ages 5-6 and 7-8 ($80); ages 9-10 and 11-12 ($85.00); ages 13-14 ($95).  The fees include a game shirt and team drinks. The league age is May 1st and new player’s must bring a birth certificate to registration.

The City of Paris Dixie Softball and t-ball for ages 3-4 is also on Saturday from 10am-2pm at the Lamar Avenue Church of Christ and on Thursday, Feb. 6th at the Sports Complex next to the Love Civic Center from 5pm-7pm. The fee for either is $55 and new players must bring a non-returnable copy of their birth certificate. T-ball is for boys and girls ages 3-4 and Dixie Softball is for girls ages 4-18.  Coaches and umpires are need, call 903-784-9299 for more information.