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It's like riding a bike

Milestones such as learning to walk and talk are fundamental. If your child could not perform these tasks you would address it. (For a more detailed list of developmental stages visit this link)

In addition to these basic milestones, activities like learning to ride a bike are also extremely important to your child's development.

This will probably be the one of the first activities that your child will need to consciously work at over a period of time.
Learning to ride may not come easy, they will need to overcome an element of fear. They may get hurt. They may get discouraged. Overcoming these obstacles and learning how to ride their bike will give your child a great sense of accomplishment and pride. It will also set the foundation for how they deal with obstacles and difficulties later in life.

A learning Opportunity for you

So what is your role in all this? As a parent your job is to recognize risks and mitigate them, Provide support and encouragment, Guide without dictating (probably the hardest element)

So how do you do this? Create a safe environment - Make sure your child has proper safety equipment. At a minimum a helmet, Gloves and pads can also help to prevent unnecessary cuts and scrapes and provide some extra confidence.
Find a generally flat, traffic free area to practice.

Make sure the bike is the right fit for your child - If you are unsure check with your local bike shop but here are some basic pointers
Bikes for children are sized by their wheels: 12”, 16”, 20” and 24”.
Your Child should be able to dismount and comfortably straddle the bike flat footedly.
With a slight lean of the bike, get their bottom back onto the seat, put their foot on the pedal and, when the skill is there, ride away. When the foot is on the pedals there should be a slight bend in the leg that is fully extended. There should be a slight bend at the waist and your child should not have to stretch to reach the handlebars

Be positive and have realistic expectations: Your Child will make mistakes and may not follow your guidance let them find their own way, encourage and congratulate their success's no matter how small.

Know when to call it a day: or Don't beat a dead horse. This is a corollary to the previous paragraph you want to ensure that the experience is positive don't let frustration set in. Try to end on a positive note.

Here are some Links to stories about bike riding that you can read to your child

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Swine Influenza FAQ

The World Health Organization (WHO) has raised it’s pandemic alert to level 5.
This means that the Swine Flu (Influenza Type A H1/N1) is now spreading rapidly in many countries.

According to the WHO’s Director General "This change to a higher phase of alert is a signal to governments, to ministries of health and other ministries, to the pharmaceutical industry and the business community that certain actions should now be undertaken with increased urgency, and at an accelerated pace"

What is swine flu?
Swine Influenza (swine flu) is a respiratory disease of pigs caused by type A influenza
viruses. People do not normally get swine flu, but human infections can and do happen. Swine
flu viruses have been reported to spread from person-to-person, but in the past, this
transmission was limited and not sustained beyond three people.

What are the signs and symptoms of swine flu in people?
Swine FluThe symptoms of swine flu in people are similar to the symptoms of regular human flu and
include fever, cough, sore throat, body aches, headache, chills and fatigue. Some people
have reported diarrhea and vomiting associated with swine flu.
In the past, severe illness (pneumonia and respiratory failure) and deaths have been reported with swine flu infection
in people.
Like seasonal flu, swine flu may cause a worsening of underlying chronic medical conditions.

How does swine flu spread?
Spread of this swine influenza A (H1N1) virus is thought to be happening in the same way
that seasonal flu spreads. Flu viruses are spread mainly from person to person through
coughing or sneezing of people with influenza. Sometimes people may become infected by
touching something with flu viruses on it and then touching their mouth or nose.

What should I do to keep from getting the flu?
First and most important: wash your hands. Try to stay in good general health. Get plenty of
sleep, be physically active, manage your stress, drink plenty of fluids, and eat nutritious
food. Try not touch surfaces that may be contaminated with the flu virus. Avoid close
contact with people who are sick.

What surfaces are most likely to be sources of contamination?
Germs can be spread when a person touches something that is contaminated with germs and
then touches his or her eyes, nose, or mouth. Droplets from a cough or sneeze of an
infected person move through the air. Germs can be spread when a person touches
respiratory droplets from another person on a surface like a desk and then touches their
own eyes, mouth or nose before washing their hands.

What can I do to protect myself from getting sick?
There is no vaccine available right now to protect against swine flu. There are everyday
actions that can help prevent the spread of germs that cause respiratory illnesses like
influenza. Take these everyday steps to protect your health:
 Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. Throw the tissue
in the trash after you use it.
 Wash your hands often with soap and water, especially after you cough or sneeze.
Alcohol-based hand cleaners are also effective.
 Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth. Germs spread this way.
 Try to avoid close contact with sick people.
 If you get sick with influenza, CDC recommends that you stay home from work or
school and limit contact with others to keep from infecting them.

What is the best way to keep from spreading the virus through coughing or sneezing?
If you are sick, limit your contact with other people as much as possible. Do not go to work
or school if ill. Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when coughing or sneezing. It may
prevent those around you from getting sick. Put your used tissue in the waste basket. Cover
your cough or sneeze if you do not have a tissue. Then, clean your hands, and do so every
time you cough or sneeze.

What is the best technique for washing my hands to avoid getting the flu?
Washing your hands often will help protect you from germs. Wash with soap and water. or
clean with alcohol-based hand cleaner. we recommend that when you wash your hands -- with
soap and warm water -- that you wash for 15 to 20 seconds. When soap and water are not
available, alcohol-based disposable hand wipes or gel sanitizers may be used. You can find
them in most supermarkets and drugstores. If using gel, rub your hands until the gel is dry.
The gel doesn't need water to work; the alcohol in it kills the germs on your hands.

Does the Flu shot protect me from Swine Flu?
It is not believed that the current seasonal flu shot offers any protection against swine flu,
though it may help to reduce the severity of any infection.

What should I do if I get sick?
If you live in areas where swine influenza cases have been identified and become ill with
influenza-like symptoms, including fever, body aches, runny nose, sore throat, nausea, or
vomiting or diarrhea, you may want to contact their health care provider, particularly if you
are worried about your symptoms. Your health care provider will determine whether
influenza testing or treatment is needed.
If you are sick, you should stay home and avoid contact with other people as much as
possible to keep from spreading your illness to others.
 Wash hands often when you are sick.
 Cover your mouth and nose with tissue every time you sneeze, blow your nose, or
cough. Do not use handkerchiefs. Put used tissues into the nearest trash can.
 If you do not have a tissue, use your sleeve to cover your mouth and nose. Do not use
your bare hands.
 Always wash your hands after sneezing, blowing your nose, or coughing, or after
touching used tissues.
 When visiting your doctor or clinic, notify the receptionist if you have a fever with
cough or rash. They may ask you to wear a mask or wait in a separate area.
 Stay home if you have a cough and fever. Keep away from family members that are
very young, very old, or have a serious disease or weak immune system.
 Because cold viruses can survive for hours outside the body, cleaning surfaces with a
virus-killing disinfectant (such as a 1 part household bleach to nine parts water
solution) might help prevent spread of infection.
If you become ill and experience any of the following warning signs, seek emergency medical

In children emergency warning signs that need urgent medical attention include:
 Fast breathing or trouble breathing
 Bluish skin color
 Not drinking enough fluids
 Not waking up or not interacting
 Being so irritable that the child does not want to be held
 Flu-like symptoms improve but then return with fever and worse cough
 Fever with a rash

In adults, emergency warning signs that need urgent medical attention include:
 Difficulty breathing or shortness of breath
 Pain or pressure in the chest or abdomen
 Sudden dizziness
 Confusion
 Severe or persistent vomiting

Can I get swine influenza from eating or preparing pork?
No. Swine influenza viruses are not spread by food. You cannot get swine influenza from
eating pork or pork products. Eating properly handled and cooked pork products is safe.