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Coping with Kids: Strider balance bikes, Ouchies bandages

| Monday, March 18, 2013, 9:00 p.m.
Strider No-Pedal Balance Bike
Strider No-Pedal Balance Bike
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Strider bikes teach toddlers balance skills

Spring is coming, and kids will be riding bikes outside. Some kids, though, may be too young to ride a bike, and that's what the Strider No-Pedal Balance Bike is for. Toddlers can prepare for regular bikes by learning balance and coordination on the Strider bikes. Designed for ages 18 months to 5 years, the bikes come in several colors and sizes, and cost $89 to $129.

Details: striderbikes.com

Ouchies bandages protect stylishly

Kids can help combat bullying and express themselves through bandages from Ouchies, particularly the specialty Ouchies For Others Anti-Bullyz tins of kids' bandages. The 20-bandage tin sells for $5. The company says 100 percent of profits go to DARE — Drug Abuse Resistance Education. Ouchies bandages offer kids an array of adhesive bandages that allow them to show their style and personality.

Details: www.ouchiesonline.com

Poison-control system has Facebook page

An estimated 71,000 children are taken to emergency rooms every year because of poisoning from medications, according to the California Poison Control System, which provides poison-control services throughout the United States. The system is observing National Poison Prevention Week on March 17 to 23. The California system offers a free, 24-hour hot line for emergencies and questions about poison at 800-222-1222. The system also has a Facebook page with information, and you can sign up for weekly texts with tips.

Details: www.calpoison.org

Defuse anxiety about tests

Threatening your kids with fear-based messages about test performances often causes the opposite result: As a result of anxiety, kids often perform poorly. Educator and author Kumar Sathy offers the following suggestions on how to help your kids boost their test scores.

• Have honest conversations about the test in a calm, supportive environment without criticism.

• Encourage kids to engage in expressive writing, where they write about their fears about the test, then write about the things for which they are grateful. It can help defuse anxiety.

• For teachers, create a classroom environment, and remind students that you appreciate hard work and effort more than correct answers.

Don't forget kids' sun protection

The sunnier months are here, and kids will be having fun, but don't forget to protect them from the sun. Dr. Amy Brodsky, president of the Pediatric Sun Protection Foundation, reminds parents to pack protective sun wear — like swim shirts and sun hats — when headed out for summer and spring-break vacations. And, always use sunscreen and sunglasses: Only 32 percent of parents protect their children's eyes when outside, according to the foundation.

For more information and tips, visit www.pediatricspf.org

— Staff and wire reports

Send parenting news to Coping With Kids in care of Rebecca Killian, Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, D.L. Clark Building, 503 Martindale St., Pittsburgh, PA 15212, or e-mail rkillian@tribweb.com.

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