Health & Nutrition, Parent Support & Resources

Summer Safety Tips for Kids

Summer is finally here! It’s time for pool parties, BBQ’s, endless outdoor activities and just plain fun in the sun. With all this fun comes safety. Here are some important tips to keep kids safe and healthy this summer.


Swimming and other water activities are excellent ways to get physical activity and have fun during the hot weather months. However, according to the American Red Cross, sadly, drowning is a leading cause of death for children. Here are some key tips to stay safe.

Why Is Water Safety So Important

It only takes a moment. A child or weak swimmer can drown in the time it takes to reply to a text, check a fishing line or apply sunscreen. Death and injury from drownings happen every day in home pools and hot tubs, at the beach or in oceanslakes, rivers and streams, bathtubs, and even buckets. 

How to Make Water Safety a Priority

  • Even if lifeguards are present, you (or another responsible adult) should stay with children. When kids are in or near water, closely supervise them at all times.
  • Teach children to always ask permission to go near water.
  • Children, inexperienced swimmers, and all boaters should wear U.S. Coast Guard-approved life jackets. 
  • Create a safer home pool or hot tub by securing your pool when not in use.
  • Fence pools and spas with adequate barriers, including four-sided fencing that separates the water from the house with a self-closing and self-latching gate that is out of the reach of a child. This reduces a child’s risk of drowning 83% compared to three-sided property-line fencing.
  • For above-ground pools, secure, lock or remove steps, ladders and anything that can be used for access (such as outdoor furniture and toys) whenever the pool is not being actively supervised by an adult.
  • Install a secondary barrier, such as: door alarms and locks that are out of the reach of a child on all doors and windows with direct access to the pool or spa area and install lockable covers. For further details, consult the pool barrier guidelines issued by The United States Consumer Product Safety Commission.
  • Take specific precautions for the water environment you are in for example, at the beach, always swim in a lifeguarded area.
  • Establish and enforce rules and safe behavior:
  • Do not enter headfirst unless in a pool that has a safe diving area.
  • Stay away from drains and other openings that cause suction.
  • Swim with a buddy.
  • Only swim when supervised.
  • Know what to do in a water emergency – including how to help someone in trouble in the water safely, call for emergency help and CPR.

STAYING SAFE DURING THE HEAT  Outdoor play and exercise boosts a child’s physical and mental health in many ways. But did you know that a heat index at or above 90°F, as identified by the National Weather Service, poses a significant health risk? High temperatures and extreme heat can cause children to become sick very quickly in several ways. It can cause dehydration, heat exhaustion, heat cramps and heat stroke, which is a medical emergency. Here are some tips for keeping kids safe when the temperatures soar.

Parent Support & Resources

Coping With Postpartum Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder as a New Parent

According to the National Center for PTSD, (Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder) is a mental health condition that some people develop after experiencing or witnessing a life-threatening event. When most people think of trauma, they think about large-scale and uncontrollable events like war, natural disasters, rape, car or plane crashes, etc. Yet, unfortunately, due to the narrow scope with how we generally tend to conceptualize trauma, it’s easy for a person to overlook their own experience as traumatic. This often means suffering in silence without seeking the necessary help to heal. 

Many new moms experience PTSD which may be triggered by a previous history of trauma, any of the events leading up to childbirth, a difficult labor, medical interventions, a stressful childbirth environment, and time spent in the NICU. Even moms with a perfectly typical, happy and healthy labor and delivery may still experience PTSD.   

According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America (, PTSD is typically diagnosed about a month following a traumatic event. However, in some cases the symptoms may not appear until several months or even years later.

After experiencing a traumatic childbirth, new moms may experience symptoms of a post-trauma response. These can include:

  • Intrusive ( unwanted and repeated) memories or dreams/nightmares of the bothersome/stressful events, and attempts to distract yourself or avoid thinking about it. 
  • Avoiding people, places, conversations, activities, objects, or situations that remind one of the events — this could include driving by the hospital where you gave birth, looking at photos from the hospital, etc.
  • Physiological response when reminded of the events (heart racing, sweating, difficulty breathing).
  • Difficulty remembering parts of the experience.
  • Overly negative beliefs about yourself, others, and the world.
  • Blaming yourself or someone else for what happened.
  • Feeling hypervigilant (constantly alert and jumpy). You may worry that something terrible could happen to your baby.

New moms tend to neglect their emotional experiences. Avoidance of traumatic experiences only intensifies one’s trauma, or PTSD, symptoms and is likely to lead to longer-term psychological difficulties. There is much healing to be done after a traumatic childbirth occurs; simply brushing the situation and related thoughts and emotions under the rug does not rid oneself of what has happened. Trauma specialists say that avoidance is the number one factor in the development and maintenance of PTSD.

The psychology behind developing PTSD is complicated, but it frequently has a lot to do with expectations. Mothers often don’t anticipate having a problematic birth, so when it happens, it can leave lasting psychological scars. Denying that your childbirth experience was traumatic will not erase the cognitive or body memory. In fact, it is likely the opposite will occur and down the road, the woman who has experienced birth trauma but does not acknowledge the experience is more likely to have an exacerbation of symptoms. 

Another factor unique to this type of trauma is the need to refocus one’s attention away from the childbirth experience and on to caring for their new child. New moms become preoccupied with caring for their babies.

Unfortunately, mothers have kept their symptoms to themselves, and so the condition has remained largely invisible. It’s important to remember that you are not alone. PTSD is generally treated with therapy, peer support groups, medication and there are many available resources. Here are some resources to help you:

Post-Partum Support International (

Post-Partum Progress (

Post-Partum Stress Center (

Online support groups for moms (

Better Help Online Counseling (

TalkSpace Online Counseling (

Connect ANYTIME with a counselor for confidential conversations — no diagnosis needed: Call or text 1-833-9-HELP4MOMS (1-833-943-5746) in English and Spanish.

Parent Support & Resources

It’s Women’s History Month!

Here are some fun and meaningful ideas to help you celebrate this year’s women’s history month with the kids regardless of whether you’re a teacher or a parent, you can easily incorporate these activities in the classroom or the comfort of your home.

  • Explore the National Women’s History Museum online exhibits which are free of charge. These online exhibits both show and tell phenomenal stories and captivating images from the past.
  • Discuss history, its implications and today’s advancements with your child. This is an important and valuable perspective that all kids should be aware of. Propose a few thought-provoking questions that are relevant in their everyday life and see how children think of their gender roles, who they perceive as themselves, and what things affect their self-image.
  • Study the Suffragette Movement. One of the most traditional and classical ways of celebrating the women’s history month for kids is to teach them about the suffragette movement. What was the suffragette movement, what led to it, why it happened, and what was the result of this movement?
  • Watch documentaries, read books, and learn through worksheets. We’re lucky because today there is so much information about women’s history available online. Most of it is free of charge or really affordable, which gives teachers and parents endless opportunities when it comes to teaching kids about the amazing women throughout history and their role in major historical events and discoveries. Some kids are visual learners, others love to read and others learn best through interactive activities. No matter what learning style, there’s plenty of resources out there.

Remember, if you’re a bit overwhelmed with all of the resources, don’t worry! You’re not expected to teach kids all of this in one month. The best approach might be to choose the resources that you think will work best for your students or kids, depending on their grade-level and learning style, and go with that. In case you can’t choose, think about your child’s interests and start from there. Have children learn about women from many different fields and professions and you can personalize the lesson and bring it closer to your child’s or student’s interest.


Women’s History Month is a celebration of women’s contributions to history, culture and society and has been observed annually in the month of March in the United States since 1987.

Why Do We Celebrate Women’s History Month?

Women’s History Month is a dedicated month to reflect on the often-overlooked contributions of women to United States history. From Abigail Adams to Susan B. Anthony, Sojourner Truth to Rosa Parks, the timeline of women’s history milestones stretches back to the founding of the United States.

How Did Women’s History Month Start?

The actual celebration of Women’s History Month grew out of a weeklong celebration of women’s contributions to culture, history and society organized by the school district of Sonoma, California, in 1978. Presentations were given at dozens of schools, hundreds of students participated in a “Real Woman” essay contest and a parade was held in downtown Santa Rosa.

A few years later, the idea caught on within communities, school districts and organizations across the country. In 1980, President Jimmy Carter issued the first presidential proclamation declaring the week of March 8 as National Women’s History Week. The U.S. Congress followed suit the next year, passing a resolution establishing a national celebration. Six years later, the National Women’s History Project successfully petitioned Congress to expand the event to the entire month of March. Women’s History Month has been celebrated in the United States every March since.

Who’s Honored?

Some of many notable figures often spotlighted during Women’s History Month are:

  • Sacagawea, a Native American woman who helped make Lewis and Clark’s expedition to map parts of the West in the early 19th century a success.
  • Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony, who fought for equality for women in the mid-19th century, more than 70 years before the 19th Amendment gave women the right to vote in the United States in 1920.
  • Harriet Tubman, a spy who led slaves to freedom during the Civil War
  • Amelia Earhart, one of the world’s first female pilots (she mysteriously disappeared over the Pacific Ocean in 1937)
  • Madeleine Albright, who became the first female Secretary of State in 1996
  • Misty Copeland, the first African-American woman to be named a principal dancer—the highest level—in the 75-year history of the American Ballet Theatre in 2015.

Did You Know There’s A Different Theme Every Year?

The National Women’s History Alliance designates a yearly theme for Women’s History Month. The 2023 theme is “Celebrating Women Who Tell Our Stories.” This theme recognizes women, past and present, who have been active in all forms of media and storytelling including print, radio, TV, stage, screen, blogs, podcasts, news, and social media.

Beyond the theme of the year, Women’s History Month heartens the study of achievements by women year-round.

*Sources: National Geographic Kids, History Channel

Parent Support & Resources

Teaching Young Children About Black History

February is truly the month of love! Valentine’s Day might be the obvious occasion one thinks about during this time of month but it’s also Black History Month- celebrating the achievements and history of African Americans.

Why is February Black History Month?

February was chosen because it includes the birthdays of both Frederick Douglass, an abolitionist (someone who wanted to end the practice of enslaving people), and former U.S. President Abraham Lincoln. President Lincoln led the United States during the Civil War, which was primarily fought over the enslavement of Black people in the country.

Black History Month was created to focus attention on the contributions of African Americans in the United States. It honors all Black people from all periods of U.S. history, from the enslaved people first brought over from Africa in the early 17th century to African Americans living in the United States today.

Among the notable figures often spotlighted during Black History Month are, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr, who fought for equal rights for Blacks during the 1950s and ’60s; Thurgood Marshall, the first African American justice appointed to the United States Supreme Court in 1967, and former U.S. President Barack Obama, who was elected the first-ever African American president of the United States in 2008.

Why is it important to talk about Black History with children?

Black History is such an important part of the history of America. Children should know and understand the struggles that African Americans faced in this country and also the rich contributions they have made to its progress. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, babies as young as 6 months can see differences based on race. Toddlers can recognize biases related to race by age 3 and kids can be pretty set in their racial beliefs by age 12. Talking about Black history early on may help future generations to grow up in an anti-racist world.

How can you teach kids about Black History?

You may not always think about Black History in your everyday life, but there are so many ways to spark children’s interest in it. Here are a few simple ways to teach kids about Black History:

  1. Think of the long list of African American scientists, inventors, professors, politicians, musicians, and athletes who have made significant contributions to our country. Then find ways to squeeze them into your discussions with children.
  2. Highlight current events in the news that impact Black History. Events like the inauguration of the first Black President and first female Black/Asian-American Vice-President are noteworthy and worth watching with children.
  3. Teach children about racism and how to live a life of inclusion. The best way to do this is to be a positive example yourself and demonstrate inclusion for children. Other events that have been in the news over the past few years may not be the types of things we want to talk about with children. But it is important that children of all races know and understand the plight of Black people in America. This will help children understand that racism exists, and they can play an active role in minimizing it.
  4. Explore African American culture. If children are interested in a particular subject, encourage them to explore parts of African American culture within that subject. This can include dance, art, literature, music, and sports. Encourage your child to learn more about the impact African Americans have made on their chosen field. Visit a museum near you during Black History month to find an exhibit that teaches about Black culture. There are many aspects of Black culture to explore.
  5. Beyond the internet, don’t forget the public library! During, themed months (like Women’s History Month or Asian American Heritage Month), most local libraries display related picture books. They may also schedule book readings about different cultures and offer activities and lectures for adults and children. There are many wonderful authors and poets, and libraries have their own list of books especially during Black History Month.

*Resources: National Geographic, PBS Kids

Learning about different cultures around us, sparks creativity and passion. You never know where children’s inspiration may lead, and one day they may create something beautiful based on the guidance and teaching you help to provide.

Here’s a beautiful poem written and published in the Pleasanton Patch Newspaper, by a young student, Jamison Cloyd, in honor of Black History Month…

Parent Support & Resources

How To Deal With Bullying

Bullying can exist in many forms. Here’s how families can deal with bullying in schools.

What is passive bullying?

Passive bullying occurs when someone intentionally or unintentionally excludes an individual. For example, excluding Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer from the “reindeer games” was one form of intentional passive bullying. During Valentine’s Day, people experience passive bullying when their peers receive Valentine’s cards, gifts or flowers but they do not, as they are left out of the Valentine’s celebration. Passive bullying occurs because the people involved are not considering the way that those around them feel.

Kids often don’t tell adults about bullying because they feel embarrassed, ashamed, or confused. However, they might be more expressive during this time and hint towards being bullied by another. Based on this, they may not want to give a Valentine to a particular classmate. Or they might worry that classmates won’t include them.

What to do if a child talks about being bullied?

Having a child turn to you about being bullied is a very emotional and tough position to handle. It’s important to practice effective listening and avoid asking questions like “what did you do to cause it?” You also don’t want to interrupt, criticize, or minimize what your child has experienced. Instead, focus on what is being said. It also helps to make these six encouraging statements to your child:

“It Took Courage to Tell Me”

Sometimes, kids keep silent because they are worried that reporting bullying will cause it to get worse. Other kids are worried about an adult’s response. For instance, they question whether adults will do anything about the bullying. And they worry that they will be encouraged to fight back when they are too scared to do anything. As a result, it’s important to praise your child for speaking up about the bullying. Acknowledge how difficult it is to talk about it. Reporting bullying is not only brave but also the best way to overcome bullying.

“This Is Not Your Fault”

Sometimes kids feel like they did something to cause the bullying. Telling an adult just deepens their embarrassment and shame. Remind your child that bullying is a choice the bully makes and that the responsibility for the bullying lies with the bullies. Also, be sure your child knows that bullying happens to a lot of people, but together you are going to figure out what to do.

“How Do You Want to Handle It?”

Asking your child how to handle the bullying demonstrates that you trust your child’s decisions. It also empowers your child to move out of a victim mentality and develop a feeling of competency again.

“I Will Help You”

While teaching your child problem-solving skills is important, do not delay contacting school officials, especially if your child has been threatened or physically harmed, or the bullying is escalating. It’s also important to bring school personnel into the loop even when it is relational aggression. All types of bullying have consequences and any delay in getting outside help could make things worse for your child.

“Let’s Keep This From Happening Again”

Getting your child to move beyond bullying incidents and think about the future is key. Aside from practical advice like walking to class with a friend or eating lunch with a buddy, have your child identify where the bullying hot spots are in the school. If possible, your child should avoid these areas. Additionally, get your child involved in outside activities and find things that will build self-esteem. Also, listen to your child about what might work. Then, do your best to help put those ideas into action.

“Who Has Your Back?”

This may sound like a silly question, but when it comes to bullying, your child’s peers can do a lot to help prevent future bullying incidents. Research has shown that friendships help prevent bullying. Get your children to think about the kids they can count on at school. Remember, the compassion you show towards children being bullied will help them cope with the situation and feel loved.

Parent Support & Resources

4 Reasons to Vaccinate Your Child

  1. Children can get very sick from COVID. The vaccine is the best prevention.
  2. Children who get COVID can get other illnesses later. They may have a higher risk of getting chronic diseases like diabetes in the future.
  3. Vaccinated children can participate in more events and activities. The COVID vaccine is expected to be added to the list of vaccines required for school.
  4. The vaccine is safe and effective. Studies show it protects children from severe illness.

Where can I vaccinate my child when they are eligible?

Check with your child’s regular doctor. Your child’s doctor can vaccinate them for COVID and keep them up to date on other vaccinations.

Search for appointments at or call (408) 970-2000. Evening and weekend appointments are available. Call 7-1-1 for Hearing and Speech Relay Service.

Health & Nutrition, Parent Support & Resources

Getting Ready for COVID-19 Vaccines

Ask Your Child’s Doctor if They Will Offer the COVID Vaccine for Children Ages 6 Months to 4 Years

Ask your child’s regular doctor TODAY if they will offer COVID vaccine, when available.

Regular visits to the doctor help keep your child healthy and identify any health issues early on.
Your child’s doctor can vaccinate them for COVID and make sure they are up to date on other vaccinations.

If your child does not have a regular doctor, call (866) 967-4677 for assistance enrolling in government programs or health coverage, or visit:

770 South Bascom Ave
San Jose, CA 95128
Monday to Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Visit for more information.
Call 711 for Hearing and Speech Relay Service.

Parent Support & Resources

More Formula Brands Now Available for WIC Participants

As national infant formula shortage continues, California further expands list or brands eligible for purchase with WIC benefits

California WIC participants can now choose from more than 130 different formula brands

SACRAMENTO – As the nation continues to deal with supply shortages of infant formula, the California Department of Public Health’s Women, Infants and Children (WIC) program is continuing to help WIC families by greatly expanding the list of formula brands eligible for purchase with WIC benefits. Before current supply issues, WIC families could choose to purchase five eligible brands, many of which were becoming increasingly difficult to find. California WIC participants can now choose from more than 130 different formula brands. The state plans to continue to expand the list of eligible formula brands. WIC serves pregnant and post-partum women, infants and children with a gross income of no more than 185 percent of the federal poverty level.

“We’re taking immediate action to support California families, making sure WIC beneficiaries have access to more formulas – expanding the eligibility from 5 formulas to more than 130,” said Governor Gavin Newsom. “We’ll continue working closely with public and private partners to support low-income and all families throughout the state.”

WIC families can find the latest updates at or the California WIC App and should contact their local WIC office with questions on how these options work for infants. General information on the infant formula shortage is available on the CDPH Infant Formula web page and additional resources for all families are regularly added.

In California, 50% percent of all infants rely on the WIC nutrition program, and of these, about 80% use formula in whole or in part to meet their nutritional needs. Babies usually tolerate alternative formulas except in the case of special therapeutic formula.

The state’s action temporarily expands the existing WIC authorized product list to include additional infant formula options. These newer options will be removed once infant formulas are widely available again.

Tips for finding infant formula

  • Shop at different times of the day. Stores get shipments at different times of the day, so the shelves may be empty in the morning and stocked in the evening.
  • Non-WIC parents and caregivers who face a shortage should call their health care providers first to help them navigate infant formula options when supplies are scarce.
  • Call your local food bank as donations of formula are welcomed there.
  • Call 2-1-1 to see what local resources they provide or visit
  • Consider using human milk from one of the following certified human milk banks: or
  • Parents and caregivers are advised to NOT dilute formula or use homemade recipes for substitution as this can seriously harm a baby’s health. Call your healthcare provider for additional guidance as to a safe substitution if no formula from safe sources can be found near you.

Visit the CDPH Infant Formula web page for more information.

Parent Support & Resources

A Call for Change

FIRST 5 Santa Clara County is deeply saddened as we grieve with the families in Uvalde, who are experiencing pain no one should have to bear. School should be a place of safety, not a place where parents worry about what might happen after they drop off their children every morning.

Shootings in schools have occurred in increasing frequency—already 27 to date this year in the United States. Yet no significant changes have been made to address mass gun violence in America. Neutrality cannot exist when children and their families are denied their rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness as the result of perversion of the 2nd Amendment.

We urge those with the opportunity to take a stand against gun violence in our communities as we all cope with this devastating tragedy. 

Here are some resources to help support important conversations with children during times of school tragedies: 

Talking to Children About Tragedies (American Academy of Pediatrics) 

Helping Kids After a Shooting (American School Counselor Association) 

How to Talk to Kids About School Shootings (Common Sense Media) 

Helping Children Cope with Frightening News (Child Mind Institute) 

Helping Children Cope with Terrorism – Tips for Families and Educators (National Association of School Psychologists) 

Talking to Children about the Shooting National Child Traumatic Stress Network

Health Care Toolbox website for pediatric health providers working with injured children

Supporting Families: Young Children and Gun Violence – Zero to Three

Health & Nutrition, Parent Support & Resources

FDA to Approve COVID-19 Vaccines for Kids Under 6

Moderna is seeking to be the first to offer COVID-19 vaccine for the youngest American children, as it asked the Food and Drug Administration Thursday to clear low-dose shots for babies, toddlers and preschoolers.

Frustrated families are waiting impatiently for a chance to protect the nation’s littlest kids as all around them people shed masks and other public health precautions — even though highly contagious coronavirus mutants continue to spread. Already about three-quarters of children of all ages show signs they’ve been infected at some point during the pandemic.

Moderna submitted data to the Food and Drug Administration that it hopes will prove two low-dose shots can protect children younger than 6 — although the effectiveness wasn’t nearly as high in kids tested during the omicron surge as earlier in the pandemic.

“There is an important unmet medical need here with these youngest kids,” Dr. Paul Burton, Moderna’s chief medical officer, told The Associated Press. Two kid-size shots “will safely protect them. I think it is likely that over time they will need additional doses. But we’re working on that.”

Moderna submitted data to the Food and Drug Administration that it hopes will prove two low-dose shots can protect children younger than 6 — although the effectiveness wasn’t nearly as high in kids tested during the omicron surge as earlier in the pandemic.
“There is an important unmet medical need here with these youngest kids,” Dr. Paul Burton, Moderna’s chief medical officer, told The Associated Press. Two kid-size shots “will safely protect them. I think it is likely that over time they will need additional doses. But we’re working on that.”

Moderna’s vaccine isn’t the only one in the race. Pfizer is soon expected to announce if three of its even smaller-dose shots work for the littlest kids, months after the disappointing discovery that two doses weren’t quite strong enough.

Whether it’s one company’s shots or both, FDA vaccine chief Dr. Peter Marks said the agency will “move quickly without sacrificing our standards” in deciding if tot-sized doses are safe and effective.

While questions are swirling about what’s taking so long, Marks pointedly told lawmakers earlier this week that the FDA can’t evaluate a product until a manufacturer completes its application. In a statement Thursday, the FDA said it will schedule a meeting to publicly debate Moderna’s evidence with its independent scientific advisers but that the company still must submit some additional data. Moderna expects to do so next week.

“It’s critically important that we have the proper evaluation so that parents will have trust in any vaccines that we authorize,” Marks told a Senate committee.

If FDA clears vaccinations for the littlest, next the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention would have to recommend who needs them — all tots or just those at higher risk from COVID-19.

“It’s very important to get the youngest children vaccinated” but “moving quickly doesn’t mean moving sloppily,” said Dr. Philip Landrigan, a pediatrician and public health expert at Boston College. FDA must “see if it’s safe. They need to see if it’s effective. And they need to do so swiftly. But they won’t cut corners.”

Many parents are desperate for whichever vaccine gets to the scientific finish line first.

“We’ve been kind of left behind as everybody else moves on,” said Meagan Dunphy-Daly, a Duke University marine biologist whose 6-year-old daughter is vaccinated — but whose 3-year-old and 18-month-old sons are part of Pfizer’s trial.

RELATED: Dr. Fauci says the ‘US is out of the pandemic phase’

The family continues to mask and take other precautions until it’s clear if the boys got real vaccine or dummy shots. If it turns out they weren’t protected in the Pfizer study and Moderna’s shots are cleared first, Dunphy-Daly said she’d seek them for her sons.

“I will feel such a sense of relief when I know my boys are vaccinated and that the risk of them getting a serious infection is so low,” she said.

Read more at KTVU