1-800-897-0007
help@dunebrook.org

Megan Swartz

The Buggy Halloween

The Buggy Halloween

By Pam Henderson

As a child, I always preferred to go trick-or-treating on a full stomach. That is, a full stomach of Reese’s Peanut butter Cups, Sweetarts and Milk Duds.

While parents and researchers may be at odds over whether candy makes a child hyper, sugar bugs are not the only monsters invading our children during the  Halloween season. There is another bug that is just as creepy, just as set on raising havoc. You know it – head lice.

Read more

Expiring Car Seats

Expiring Car Seats

By Pam Henderson

It may seem that car seats naturally expire. After a car seat’s first resident baby has a few spit-ups and super soggy diapers during drive time, or expresses the lunchtime green peas, the car seat starts to look and smell like something from a musty, abandoned basement. It’s hard to believe that someone so little could create such a mess. So, it seems only natural that parents would want to pitch the car seat when Baby #2 comes along.

Well-intentioned parents may be able to sanitize that old car seat until it once again looks sparkling new – and who wouldn’t want to salvage it? A car seat can be a pretty hefty investment. First-time parents are oftentimes meticulous about having the newest, latest and greatest gadgets and gizmos for their baby. Then, after parenting for a little while, they may start to think that a few germs will do a body good (aka boost the immunities).

Read more

Goodbyes

Goodbyes

By Pam Henderson

“We said goodbye to a dear old friend. And we packed our bags and left. It’s the only way.”

Those decades-old lyrics from the iconic performer Phil Collins played through my head as my family and I said goodbye to a dear old friend recently. No worries – it wasn’t a goodbye to a person. Still, I hesitate to say that it wasn’t a loved one, because it was loved. All 210,000 miles of it were well-loved. It was a goodbye to our 1997 Toyota Camry.

Before you laugh and think we’re completely nuts – because a car doesn’t have emotions and its only true purpose is to get us from Point A to Point B – you may be able to reflect back on emotions that have surfaced when you have had to say goodbye to an object. Maybe you felt emotions swell up when you said goodbye to bachelorhood before your wedding, or when you traded in the sporty car for a minivan, or when your child advanced from a tricycle to training wheels. All of these moments are “rites of passage” that carry us from one chapter of our lives to the next.

Read more

Children and Identity Theft

Children and Identity Theft

By Pam Henderson

With the recent security breach of a major credit bureau, it’s a good time to revisit the topic of identity theft, and how our children may be vulnerable to this insidious cyber crime. The recent hack has been said to affect as many as 1 out of every 2 people with a credit history. So, if you applied for a credit card, a mortgage or person loan, you could be at risk.

Unfortunately, because credit may be checked without one’s knowledge by creditors, landlords or prospective lenders for promotional rates, not every person will know definitively whether or not his or her personal information (including social security numbers, birth dates and drivers’ license numbers) has been compromised by the recent breach. Some financial experts have suggested that anyone with a credit history should assume that he or she has been affected, and to be proactive in checking and protecting one’s credit. While a credit freeze requires the freeze to be lifted every time you apply for a loan or credit card, it minimizes the risk of fraudulent use of yours or your child’s credit.

Read more

It’s Tough Being a Teenager Today

It’s Tough Being a Teenager Today

By Pam Henderson

I have to laugh when I ask my daughter to pick up her shoes, and she says, “I’m exhausted. You don’t know what it’s like to sit in school for seven hours a day.”

Actually, I do know what that’s like. It’s been a few decades, but I still remember school.

In fact, sometimes I still have nightmares about it.

In one scenario, I can’t remember my locker combination. Anyone who recalls those 2 minute passing periods knows that every second of fiddling with the lock takes away precious time from hooking up with friends during a passing period.

Read more