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Coping with Kids: FirstBIKE, school safety

| Monday, Aug. 26, 2013, 6:43 p.m.
The Shade
The Shade

Bike helps develop balance, motor skills

To teach kids bike-riding skills, the balance bike FirstBIKE, popular in Europe, is now available in the United States. FirstBIKE is promoted as a training bike that develops a child's sense of balance, motor skills and self-confidence and is designed to make learning and exercise safe and fun. Cost of the bikes range from $129 to $199.

They are available at

Sun shade attaches to stroller, car seat

The Shade protects babies from the sun, rain, bugs and other outside annoyances. Made from a moisture-wicking, breathable fabric, The Shade is a universal sun shade that stores in your bag and attaches to a an infant seat or stroller for times when parents have to keep their baby cool and comfortable. The fabric of the car-seat canopy has a rating of 50+ UPF.

It is available from and sells for about $35 at stores nationwide.

Bullied schoolchildren may have adult problems

Bullying doesn't end in the school yard, but casts a shadow across adulthood, when victims are far more likely to have emotional, behavioral, financial and health problems, a new study suggests.

Those who were both victim and perpetrator as schoolchildren fared the worst as adults: They were more than six times more likely to be diagnosed with a serious illness or psychiatric disorder, and to smoke regularly, according to the study published in the journal Psychological Science.

Teach kids safety for school return

As children head back to the classroom, school safety is a top concern for parents. In light of tragic events such as the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting last December, acts of school violence are always a possibility, so it's important for parents to take the time to educate their children on ways to stay aware and safe.

James Stewart, adjunct professor for Kaplan University's School of Public Service, recommends parents follow these steps with their children to keep them safe and prepared:

Talk about the possibility of school violence: Just as you would discuss the importance of being prepared for a fire, storm or tornado at school, you should have an honest talk with your child about the possibility of an act of school violence. The result can decrease the level of chaos, and smarter and safer reactions, should your child be caught in an act of school violence.

Know your school's emergency-response plan. Both you and your child should be knowledgeable of the school's plan for responding to and dealing with an emergency situation.

Keep the lines of communication open. Get into a routine of setting aside a few minutes every day after school to discuss with your child how her day went. It's an opportunity for your child to share anything curious she may have seen or heard that day, and for you to ask the necessary safety questions.

Be observant. It's crucial to teach your child to remain vigilant about keeping an eye out for someone or something that looks out of place.

Don't be afraid to speak up. Your child should be encouraged to always speak up when he senses or knows something is wrong. He should feel comfortable approaching a teacher, school faculty member or you as soon as he sees or hears something out of the ordinary.

Great Nature Project wants photos of animals

Families, kids and schools are invited to get out their cameras and join the National Geographic's Great Nature Project by taking pictures of animals in nature to share with kids all over the world.

At the same time, you can help the National Geographic Kids set a Guinness World Records Title. They need 100,000 photos to reach their goal.

Take a picture of a butterfly resting on a bush, a deer standing in the yard, your pet at play. Everything counts, as long as it is outside and a major part of the photo. It must be at least 300 by 300 pixels.

Kids can have an adult help them upload the photos to NG Kids My Shot. Hashtag it #GreatNature and #animal. You can upload as many as you want, as long as they are all different.

Visit the website to check out the animal photos.

— 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

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