Fall Family Craft Ideas That Everyone Will Love

With the crisp fall weather approaching, there are guaranteed to be some days with less than ideal weather. If you find yourself at home with the kiddos on a cold, rainy fall day, there are plenty of fun fall craft ideas that are easy to make and perfect as decorations around the house!

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Fun Fall Activities in Minnesota for the Whole Family!

Apples floating in water

The seasons are a’changing! While many people mourn the warmer summer days, plenty are wrapping up in their cozy scarves and hiking boots to start fall off right. From football games to apple picking, pumpkin patches and the beautiful fall colors, there are plenty of fall activities in Minnesota for the whole family to enjoy!

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Healthy Fall Treats: Apple Cider Health Benefits


Fall is on its way! In addition to the beautiful leaves, pumpkin patches and trick or treating, the fall season brings about a cornucopia of yummy snacks. Nothing could be more enjoyable than snuggling up in a warm blanket with a hot mug of apple cider on a crisp fall day. However, with the more health conscious trends happening in food and drink production one may ask, is apple cider healthy?

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What to Know about OTC Medicine for Kids


When you’re searching for a medication for your child, you might wonder how to choose from the many over-the-counter options. The drug aisle can feel overwhelming, with shelf after shelf filled with brightly colored packaging claiming to work wonders. It is important that parents understand the drugs they give their children so that they can recover from an illness as quickly, painlessly and safely as possible. When it comes to medicine you can buy without a visit to a provider, here are some things to look out for:
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Twin Cities Mini Golf

Enjoy the outdoors this spring and summer with an afternoon playing mini golf with your loved ones and little ones! Mini golf is a great way to exercise as a family, and helps children with their hand-eye coordination. If you need a rainy day activity, several courses are available indoors as well.

To find a course near you, just move your curser over the map!

Keeping Your Children Safe with Poison Safety Tips for Kids

Did you know that children under the age of six make up almost half (48%) of the poison exposures each year? It is essential that you as a parent have access to the information and strategies you need to keep your child safe, so we wanted to give you some simple tips to prevent your child from getting their hands on something that could be hazardous to their health.

Around the House
Whether you have children, or are expecting, there are a number of things that you can do around the house to keep your children safe, and it all starts with baby proofing. Of course, softening sharp corners and edges around the house is one thing, but when it comes to poison prevention, your number one objective is to keep medicines, household cleaning products, and other potentially poisonous household goods out of sight and out of reach. How?

  • Install safety latches on any cabinets containing poisonous materials.
  • Store hazardous household products up high.
  • Purchase products that come in child-resistant packaging* as an extra line of defense.

*It is extremely important to note that child-resistant packaging is NOT childproof. This type of packaging is designed to make it difficult for a child to open the product, giving you more time to notice and remove it.

Children get sick, it’s a fact of life, and naturally we reach for a variety of medicines to cure their ailments. But, with that being said, improper use of medicine, be it the wrong dosage or use of the wrong medicine, can have devastating effects on your child. To avoid any mishaps, use the following poison safety tips concerning your over the counter and prescription medicines:

  • Always turn on the light when searching for and administering medicine to avoid grabbing the wrong bottle
  • Read the label and any directions listed on the packaging thoroughly
  • Double-check the dosage before administering
  • Never leave a medicine bottle out (on a counter, at your child’s bedside)
  • Never refer to medicine as “candy” or a “treat” to entice your child to take it
  • Avoid taking medicine in front of children whenever possible


Household Chemical Products
Household cleaning products, especially things like bright colored laundry detergent pods, and other sweet smelling cleaners, are dangerous for young children who learn with their mouths. The same goes for things like paint, rodent/insect poison, and more. To protect your child…

  • NEVER, under any circumstance, use a food container, cup, or bottle to store chemical products
  • Always remove any toys (child or pet) from your yard before applying pesticides of any kind
  • Rinse and re-cap empty cleaner/product bottles before recycling or disposal
  • Keep products in their original containers whenever possible


In General
There are other potentially dangerous products and items that can be found around your house. For instance, you need to know about the plants in and around your home, removing any that are poisonous, regardless of how beautiful they may be. From washing all clothing worn when using pesticides and other aerosol paints to keeping purses containing medicine up high and out of your child’s reach, there are many ways to create a safe environment for your children. Two of the most important tips are the following:

  • Always close containers if you are interrupted during use, this way, your child never has access to an open hazardous product/medicine/etc. while you are distracted.
  • Teach your child to always ask an adult before eating or drinking anything.

By following these tips, you can help to protect your children from a potentially life-threatening encounter with poison. If you ever suspect that your child, or anyone that you know has been poisoned, do not hesitate to call the Poison Help Line at 1-800-222-1222.

How to Protect Your Baby From Whooping Cough

Whooping cough, or Pertussis, is a potentially deadly respiratory tract infection. Though there is a vaccine to protect against this infection, it is only fully effective when three shots have been administered, one a two months, one at four months, and one at six months. This means that infants under six months are most likely to contract the disease – though young adults who miss their booster shots are also at a higher risk.

How To Protect Your Child

During the third trimester of pregnancy, it is extremely important that mothers receive a dose of the vaccine. By doing so, you not only give your infant some short-term protection, but it also ensures that the mother will not pass Pertussis to her child after birth. Because Pertussis is spread by the cough or sneeze of an infected person, this is also true for anyone who will be in close contact with the baby – the father, grandparents, other relatives, siblings, etc. – anyone who will be around the child need to ensure that they are up to date on their vaccines. If they are not, they need to wait two weeks after getting an updated vaccine for it to take full effect.

As an infant and young child, it is recommended that your baby receives a total of five Pertussis vaccines at the following times:

  • 2 months
  • 4 months
  • 6 months
  • 15-18 months
  • 4-6 years

This is due to the fact that the vaccine decreases in strength overtime. It is also recommended that your child receive booster shots when they are between 11 and 18 years of age, as well as one when they are 19 or older.*

When To Head To The Doctor

Whooping cough mimics the symptoms of the common cold at first, but will continue for weeks. If your child has experienced sneezing, a running or stuffy nose, and a mild fever with coughing that has increased after a week or two, it’s time to consider a visit to your provider.

This disease differs from the common cold in that after the first few weeks, it can develop into severe coughing fits that are violent and rapid, causing the loud “whooping” sound as one inhales quickly. With that said, it is extremely important to note that in many cases of whooping cough, infants do not cough at all. Instead, the disease causes them to have difficulty, or stop breathing all together.

If you are concerned that your child may have whooping cough, don’t hesitate to visit your provider right away.

* http://www.cdc.gov/features/pertussis/

My Child Has An Earache – What Should I Do?

One of the most common reasons children are brought in for medical appointments is to deal with an ear infection. The most common form of ear infection is “acute otitis media,” a bacterial or viral infection that affects the middle ear. The discomfort your child might feel from a middle ear infection is the result of fluid build up behind the eardrum.


How Did My Child Get an Ear Infection?

Children are more likely to get an ear infection than adults for a variety of reasons. The most common cause is because children’s middle ears are a different size and shape than adults. In fact, the National Institute of Health states that five out of six children will have at least one ear infection before they turn three years old. Ear infections don’t always manifest by themselves, either. They often appear with the common cold, the flu, strep throat, and sinus infections.

What Kinds of Symptoms Should I Look For?

If your child is old enough, he or she will probably let you know his or her ear hurts. If your child doesn’t tell you his or her symptoms, or isn’t able to communicate that information yet, you may notice a fever or drainage of fluid from the ear. You might also see the child tugging at his or her ears or notice that your child is more irritable, sleeping less easily, acting less balanced, or crying more than usual. You can help your child feel a bit better in the mean time by placing a warm, moist washcloth over the ear – or ears – that hurt.

When Should I See A Provider?

If the symptoms and discomfort continue for more than 24-hours, you should bring your child in for an exam. Your pediatrician may prescribe antibiotics or recommend OTC medicines like acetaminophen or eardrops – but these treatments vary with the age of your child.

The best action to take when you suspect your child has an ear infection is by keeping an eye on his or her symptoms and to make an appointment with your provider if the discomfort persists.



A Quick Guide to Keeping Holiday Allergies in Check

The holidays are a time for fun festive gatherings and spending time with those you love most. But unfortunately, it’s also the season for heightened allergies. Instead of suffering – or watching your child suffer – from these seasonal allergies, there are several things you can do to avoid or reduce the impact of allergy symptoms.

holiday allergies

Causes of Holiday Allergies

Holiday Food – During the holidays, we’re surrounding by food, and in many cases, food that we did not prepare ourselves. This can lead to accidently ingesting ingredients that we are allergic to. This is especially true for children, so it is important that you pay attention to what your child eats.

Decorations – Wreaths, trees, and other holiday greenery is beautiful, festive, and a breeding ground for mold spores.

Pets – Your furry friend is part of the family too, and during this time of the year pets are often indoors more, which means more prevalent pet dander.

These factors, combined with the fact that there is less ventilation and increased furnace use can make for an uncomfortable environment for allergy sufferers.


How to Avoid/Control Symptoms

Food – Because food allergies can be extremely dangerous, it is important to know what you or your child is eating. Ask friends and family for a rundown of ingredients for dishes you are unfamiliar with, and always carry an Epi-pen if anyone in your family has a severe food allergy.

Decorations – Want to avoid the mold and mildew associated with live greenery? Artificial trees and other decorations provide an attractive and simple alternative.

Pets – To help reduce pet dander you should wash your pet before guests arrive, but the most effective way to ensure that you and your family aren’t suffering due to Fido? Wash your hands and face frequently, and have your children do the same.


When to See a Doctor

If you’ve followed the tips above, and aren’t really sure what’s causing you or your child’s symptoms; it may be time to see an allergist. By doing so you can get specific information about ways to manage these allergies or avoid them all together.

Fall Family Fun: Outdoor Activities to Enjoy Together

Fall Fun | Family-friendly Outdoor Activities for fall

One of the greatest benefits of fall is the beautiful weather it provides for healthy family-friendly outdoor activities. Whether you have young children or teens, there are tons of fun outdoor activities that promote health and well-being while providing you with quality time together. You can use this bonding time to build new skills or expand your family’s horizons by exploring new parts of your city or state. Here are a few of our favorite fun activities for fall:


Who says yard work has to be work? Turn raking from a chore into a fun family activity that gets everyone outside and moving! Make a game out of raking by seeing who can rake the biggest pile in a set amount of time or, if your kids are younger, have a leaf-pile jumping competition. Check out some more family-friendly raking games here. Your yard will be looking great in no time and, better yet, you’ll enjoy the process!

Walking or Hiking

Walking and hiking are both fun outdoor activities for fall that allow you to enjoy the vibrant foliage and get some exercise at the same time. It’s never too early to get your little one outside with you! Check out family-friendly resources like Hike it Baby to help you plan your adventure, or consider joining them on one of their new parent walks. You can also keep young children engaged with a fall-themed scavenger hunt. This is a creative way to keep kids’ energy focused and to encourage them to interact with nature. Consider bringing along a magnifying glass to look at their finds and a small bag to keep treasures in! Start your adventure by looking at planning resources like maps and trail reviews through Explore Minnesota or trails.com.


Get your family moving and grooving this fall by hopping on your bikes and checking out some local trails. Whether everyone is old enough to ride or you’re toting a youngster behind you, biking is a fun way to enjoy the crisp air in a way that promotes health and wellness. You can even consider planning a day trip with scenic stops along the way that you can all enjoy together. Before you go, explore the state’s best kid-friendly trails and don’t forget to pack some healthy snacks!

No matter what outdoor activity you choose to enjoy this fall, you’re sure to form lasting memories with your family while promoting health and wellness in a fun way.