Postings for June, 2013

ArboretumLet’s treat ’em to the Arboretum

Washington Park Arboretum is a living museum — with a catalog of botanical specimens and a wealth of academic learning. It is also one of the best places in our region for city tots to learn to hike, play and explore nature.

On Saturday, June 8, from 9 to 11 a.m., the University of Washington Botanic Gardens (UWBC) will offer “Sharing Nature with Your Children,” a parent-child class at the Arboretum. Email for more information.

Dodd is Dad’s Day founder
Sonora Louise Smart Dodd of Spokane, Wash., is the mother of all Father’s Days.

In 1910, Dodd, who was a mother, artist and poet, wrote the original petition to recognize fathers, and she became something of a media sensation with her elaborate plans for the first Father’s Day, celebrated in Spokane. According to, momentum built over the next decade as other cities began celebrating Father’s Day. In 1966, President Lyndon B. Johnson signed a proclamation declaring the third Sunday in June to be Father’s Day.

Read more about Dodd’s 62-year campaign to get Father’s Day permanently recognized as a national holiday by visiting the free online encyclopedia of Washington state history at

How to prepare for an emergency
Local agencies across the Puget Sound region are teaming up to educate and encourage citizens to prepare for catastrophic events with a regional campaign called “What to Do to Make It Through” ( The program hopes to educate the public about surviving catastrophes such as earthquakes.

JoAnn Jordan, public education coordinator at the Seattle Office of Emergency Management, suggests families keep a kit around the house that includes the following items:

  • Storage container: a plastic bin, or an old suitcase or backpacks
  • Water: 1 gallon of water per person per day
  • Food: seven to 10 days of nonperishable foods per person
  • Cash: small bills are best
  • Battery-powered radio and extra batteries
  • Flashlight and extra batteries
  • First aid kit
  • Whistle to signal for help
  • Filter mask or cotton T-shirt to help filter the air
  • Towelettes for sanitation
  • Wrench or pliers to turn off utilities
  • Manual can opener
  • Shelter items, such as tents, tarps and rope
  • Garbage bags and plastic ties for sanitation
  • Family needs, including supplies for infants, pets and elderly; prescriptions; important documents


The Moyer Foundation

The Moyer Foundation supports programs that serve the needs of children in severe distress. Join us by supporting these programs, which include Camp Erin, a network of free bereavement camps for kids who are grieving; and Camp Mariposa, for children affected by addiction in their families. The foundation also partners with other community organizations to help improve the safety and well-being of children.


Projects will target underage drinking

A study of the recent statewide Healthy Youth Survey shows that one out of four 10th-graders drinks alcohol and one in five has used marijuana or hashish.

In response, the King County Department of Community and Human Services will fund two drug prevention coalitions in Seattle to create healthier communities. The projects will focus on reducing underage drinking among eighth-, ninth- and 10th-graders.

The grant recipients include the Central Seattle Drug Free Communities Coalition, which focuses on prevention strategies in neighborhoods that include Garfield High School and Washington Middle School; and SE Seattle PEACE (Prevention Education and Action for Community Empowerment) Coalition, which includes Aki Kurose Middle School and high schools in southeast Seattle.

King County has allocated $146,874 annually to each coalition for as long as five years. For information, contact Randy Beaulieu at

Top teacher!

President Obama recently recognized Yakima Valley high school science teacher Jeffrey Charbonneau as the 2013 National Teacher of the Year. The Zillah High School chemistry, physics and engineering instructor, who teaches grades 9–12, bested 54 finalists across the country to take the top honors.

Charbonneau excels at creating interactive learning experiences such as his “robotic challenge,” open to students from across the state; independent study opportunities; a hiking club that completes community service projects; and more. He also helped create a series of STEM offerings in his small, rural high school, according to Washington state’s Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction. See for more details.

High-ranking instructors

With more than 5,000 teachers certified and many more enrolled in the process, Washington has the fourth-highest number of National Board certified teachers in the country, according to stats collected by Washington state’s Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction.

To enroll in the National Board certification process, teachers must hold a bachelor’s degree and a valid state teaching license, and must have completed three full years of K–12 teaching or counseling.

Certified teachers receive higher salaries, adopt stronger teaching practices and offer students cutting-edge tools to succeed. In Washington state, teachers who complete the certification process also receive a $5,000 bonus.


Keep those meds away

Despite label warnings, many adult caregivers give tots over-the-counter cough and cold medications. According to the latest National Poll on Children’s Health by University of Michigan’s C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital, 40 percent of parents report giving cough or cold medication to kids younger than 4 years of age.

The Federal Drug Administration (FDA) says over-the-counter (OTC) cough and cold products shouldn’t be used for infants and children younger than 2 years of age.

Here’s what the FDA recommends:

  • Check the “active ingredients” section of the drug facts label.
  • Be very careful if you are giving more than one OTC cough and cold medicine to a child. If you use two medicines that have the same or similar “active ingredients,” a child could get too much of an ingredient, which may hurt your child.
  • Carefully follow the directions on the drug facts label.
  • Only use the measuring spoons or cups that come with the medicine or those made specifically for measuring drugs.
  • Choose OTC cough and cold medicines with childproof safety caps, and store the medicines out of the reach of children.
  • Understand that OTC cough and cold medicines do not cure or shorten the duration of the common cold.
  • Do not use these products to sedate your child or make children sleepy.
  • Call a physician or other health care professional if you have questions about using cough or cold medicines in children 2 years of age and older.

Paternal blues

Is daddy irritable, detached, emotionally withdrawn?

Dads can get postpartum depression, too. According to recent study published by the Journal of the American Medical Association, 10 percent of fathers suffer from depression after the birth of a child. Paternal depression also seems be higher during the three- to six- month period following the birth of a child.

Unlike their female counterparts, fathers suffering from postpartum depression have their own set of symptoms, which include irritability, difficulty concentrating and feelings of intense guilt.
New treatment for epilepsy

Surgery offers hope for the 35 percent of epilepsy patients whose seizures cannot be controlled by diet or medication. Seattle Children’s Hospital is one of the few medical centers in the country offering a minimally invasive, MRI-guided laser ablation procedure, which is considered safer than conventional neurosurgery.

According to Seattle Children’s, kids may benefit from surgery if they have:

  • Ongoing seizures even though they take or have taken antiseizure medicine
  • A specific area in their brain that doctors can find that is causing seizures
  • Affected tissue in the focus area that can be removed safely (surgery is designed to avoid damage to speech and movement)
  • Intolerable side effects from medicine


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