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Summer Fun and Safety Tips from Holistic Pediatric Nurse Karen Overgaard

Summer Fun and Safety Tips from Holistic Pediatric Nurse Karen Overgaard  

 
The tips below will help ensure the children in your life stay healthy in mind, body and spirit all summer long:   
 
•If any of your family members contract poison ivy during summer activities, try an application of essential oils Joykids_park_shutterstock_197363645_cropped and Harmony to relieve the itching.  For relief of sunburn, apply a layer of lavender essential oil followed by a layer of peppermint essential oil.
   
•Remember to keep your dog healthy and flea free year-round. For a non-toxic flea repellant, mix eucalyptus, rosemary, lavender, fennel, yellowdock, and penny royal. Combine as many of these powdered herbs as you can (it’s not essential to have them all). Mix equal parts in a shaker jar. Brush dog’s hair backward and sprinkle powder sparingly, to the base of the hair. Put dog outside for a short time after application so that the pests escape outside and not indoors, especially into carpet. Another flea repellant is a daily dose of garlic into your dog’s food.  Click here for more resources related to pets and animals.
   
•Keep some infused water in your refrigerator to keep your family hydrated and refreshed.  For a citrus refresher, use 1 thinly sliced lemon, lime and orange with 6 cups of filtered water.  Put all ingredients into a large pitcher. Chill overnight and stir prior to serving. 
 
 
For a summer activity with younger children, try this:  Take a walk outdoors with your child and play the “Sniff and Smell” game. In order to play the game you will need: 
 
  • 1 box or bag for collecting 
  • 1 tray or a flat surface 
  • 8 labels (or more depending on the # of players) reading: “Spicy, Green, Woody, Earthy, Sweet, Fruity, Metallic, Yuck” 
  
Take a walk through your neighborhood and let your sense of smell be your guide. You might start with some flowers, grass, dirt, pine needles, or wet leaves. 
Place labels around your tray and try to categorize each of your finds. If an item isn’t found for one of the labels, think of something that would come under that category. Ask the children: What smell was your favorite and why? Do any of the smells or fragrances remind you of anything?   
  
Resources: 
1.Karmel, Annabel.  First Meals and More: Your Questions Answered.  2009. 
2.Higley, Connie & Allen. Reference Guide For Essential Oils. 
3.Goodman, Susan. Your Big Backyard Magazine.  May 2009 –“Green Hour” 
4.Kiwi magazine May/June 2009
  
Note:  Joy and Harmony essential oils are available from Young Living Essential Oils.  For more information, email: Karen@wholechildcenter.org.  
                              
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june-2008-karen-overgaardKaren Overgaard is a recognized expert in the field of holistic nursing, a member of the American Holistic Nurses Association, and serves on the Advisory Board for Integrative Touch for Kids. She has over 20 years in clinical nursing experience. In addition to her position as a primary care nurse working at the Whole Child Care Center in Oradell with Dr. Lawrence Rosen, Karen is certified as an instructor in infant massage, yoga, fitness and dance; and is a Reiki Master. Most recently, Karen coordinated the Kids’ Weigh to Health program at Pascack Valley Hospital for children with weight and nutrition issues. She is currently a student at the Institute of Integrative Nutrition in N.Y.C.
 
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