Monthly Archives: April 2014

Everything is Bigger in Texas Even the Number of Child Deaths!

Hi this is Terri Borman, childcare provider and author of “Shapes Go to School.”  This week’s blog is about teaching young children the importance of water safety.  Did you know that water safety month in Texas is in April, but for the rest of the country it’s in May?  This peaked my curiosity.  Why would Texas have water safety month in April?   Most pools don’t even open until the end of May on Memorial Day weekend making the month of May a much more reasonable choice for water safety month.

When you read this next sentence, you will understand why.  The State of Texas leads the nation in the number of children who die from drowning.  Children drowning in inadequately fenced swimming pools or unsupervised children swimming in pools is the number one cause of death among children under the age of five.  Harris County had the most deaths of children ages 0 to 18 attributed to drowning out of all the counties.  State Senator Joan Huffman from Houston says, “we designated April as water safety month in Texas for the next ten years.  We will all be working together to highlight the importance of drowning prevention programs and resources in our great state.”

Per the Texas Child Fatality Review Team report for 2013 there were 61 Drowning deaths. “Pools are the most common site for drowning deaths. Children 1-4 years of age accounted for 61 drowning fatalities in pools. Of those deaths that occurred in a private pool, 88 percent had no barrier to limit access to the pool.  Poor or absent supervision was cited as a contributing factor in 59 percent of the deaths of children younger than 5 years old. (pages 34-35)”

Child deaths due to drowning is not just happening in the State of Texas.  According to the National Center for Injury Prevention and Control, “drowning is the country’s number one cause of death in children 1 to 4 years of age and the second biggest cause in children 5 to 14 years of age.”  Here are some things you can do to help prevent a child from drowning:

1.)  Enroll young children in preschool aquatics (a swimming course for young children).

2.)  Enroll older children into age appropriate swimming lessons.

3.)  Teach your children to swim in designated areas supervised by lifeguards.

4.)  Teach your children to swim with a buddy.

5.)  Never leave a young child unattended near water.

6.)  Have young children wear U.S. Coast Guard approved life jackets, especially around lakes or while boating.

7.)  Establish water safety rules for your family and enforce them.

8.)  Avoid the use of alcohol. It impairs your judgment, balance and coordination.   It affects swimming and diving skills and reduces your own body’s ability to stay warm.

9.)  Install and use proper fencing around your home swimming pool or hot tub.  Safety covers and pool alarms should be added as for extra protection.  Ensure that the fence around the pool encloses the entire pool area.  The fencing needs to be at least 4 feet high with gates that are self-closing, self-latching and open outward away from the pool.  The latch on the gates should be high enough to be out of a small child’s reach.

10.)  If you have an above ground or inflatable pool, remove the access ladders and secure the safety cover whenever the pool is not in use.

11.)  Remove any large objects such as outdoor furniture, climbable trees, decorative walls, and playground equipment that could provide access to the pool.

12.)  Keep toys that are not in use away from the pool and out of sight.  Toys can attract young children to the pool.

13.)  MAINTAIN CONSTANT SUPERVISION, always stay an arm’s reach from young children and avoid distractions when supervising children around water.

water safety 4

Finally, know what to do in an emergency.  If a child is missing, always check the water first because every second counts in preventing death.  If you own a swimming pool or hot tub, have appropriate equipment to reach or throw to a victim, have a cell phone to call 911, have life jackets and a first aid kit.  Enroll in water safety, first aid and CPR courses to learn how to prevent and respond to emergencies.


“Shapes Go to School” is a beautifully illustrated children’s book that teaches shapes, colors and diversity by helping children to understand that everyone is different.  It’s the very first day of Kindergarten for the shape children and some are excited to be there while others are apprehensive. To order your copy of “Shapes Go to School” click on the picture of the book.


Does Your Child Have The Four Crucial C’s?

Hi this is Terri Borman, childcare provider and author of “Shapes Go to School.”   This book teaches children about shapes, colors and diversity.  It helps children to understand that everyone is different.  This week’s blog is about teaching young children the four crucial C’s.  By around age five the personality of a child is set so it is crucial the child understands the four C’s in the early years.  Children who have all the four C’s are caring, cooperative, considerate and creative.  Does your child have the four crucial C’s?


“I need to believe I have a place I belong.”

Children need to feel like they are connected and have value or else insecurity will set in.  Here are some things we can do to help children feel connected.

1.)   Show interest in each child and find out about their hobbies.

2.)   Give positive attention to each child.

3.)   Find and recognize strengths and talents of each child.

4.)   Show acceptance of each child.


“I need to believe I can do it.”

Children need to believe in themselves or else inadequacy will set in and the power struggle will begin.  They need to be encouraged to be self-reliant at every opportunity.  Here are some things we can do to help children feel capable.

1.)  Once a child has learned a new skill, allow them to keep doing it for themselves.

2.)  Make a child’s mistake become a learning experience by demonstrating the correct way.

3.)  Build a child’s confidence by believing in them and focusing on the improvement not the imperfection.

counting 2Counting:

“I need to believe I can make a difference.”

Children need to believe they contribute and have value or else they may see themselves as being insignificant and feel the need for revenge.  Here are some things we can do to make children feel like they count.

1.)  Promote contribution by allowing the children to do a job every day that aides in the day to day activities and let them have an input in the scheduling and the activities for the day.

2.)  Provide recognition by sending them a note about what you noticed and appreciated about them that day.

3.)  Hold a meeting and let each child have a say about their likes and dislikes.

courage 2Courage

“I need to believe I can handle what comes.”

Children need to believe they can handle whatever situation arises or else they can feel a sense of hopelessness and give up.  Children with courage will learn more quickly because they will persevere and not give up.  Here are some things we can do to nurture courage in children.

1.)  Become expertly trained in the skill of encouragement, meaning always encourage every child every day.

2.)  Always focus on the effort and the improvement.

3.)  Replace the traditional competitive style approaches with cooperative ones.  It’s not always a race to the finish.

The Crucial Cs and Rudolf Dreikurs’ Short-Range Goals of Misbehavior

Amy Lew and Betty Lou Bettner

 Child’s belief  Child feels Child’s negative goal  Adult feels  Adult’s impulse Child’s response to correction
I only count when I’m being noticed insecurealienated ATTENTION irritated annoyed REMINDWhat, again? “temporarily” stops
My strength is in showing you that you can’t make me and you can’t stop me. inadequate,dependent others arein control POWER angrychallenged FIGHTI insist that you do as I say. misbehavior intensifies
I knew you were against me. No one really likes me. I’ll show you how it feels. insignificant REVENGEget backget even hurt or wants to punish PUNISHHow could you do this to me? us? them?
I’ll teach you a lesson.
wants to get even,makes self disliked
I can’t do anything right so I won’t try. If I don’t try, my failures won’t be so obvious. inferioruselesshopeless AVOIDANCE display of inadequacy despairI give up.hopeless GIVE UP It’s no use. passive,no change,more hopeless,displaysinadequacy

Remember: Misbehavior is a symptom of the child’s discouragement at not having the Crucial Cs. Use encouragement and training through natural and logical consequences. Consider and agree on choices together.

Crucial Cs Constructive Alternatives Child’s belief Child feels Child’s positive goal
CONNECT Replace negative attention with positive attention.   Plan activities together. Don’t ignore the child; ignore the misbehavior.   Teach self-sufficiency. I belong. secure  COOPERATION
 CAPABLE Don’t try to win. Give opportunity and choices so child can display power constructively.Maintain friendly attitude. I can do it. competentself-control SELF-RELIANCE
 COUNT Avoid anger and hurt feelings. Maintain, appreciation in relationship. Offer chances to help. Seek support and help in identifying positives.(Don’t give up.) I matter. I can make a difference. significant valuable CONTRIBUTION
 COURAGE Notice only strengths and ignore the negative. Set up steady exposure to manageable tasks that have a guarantee of success.No criticism. I can handle what comes. hopefulwilling to try RESILIENCY

Copyright © 1995 Amy Lew and Betty Lou Bettner. The authors grant permission to copy this chart for educational purposes only, provided that the authors are cited.



I attended a child care training provided by the Tarrant County Professional Home Child Care Association April 9, 2014.  The trainer, Tiffany Tepper, LCSW, spoke to us about guiding children’s behaviors and the four crucial C’s.  She listed her resource as “A Parent’s Guide to Understanding and Motivating Children.” 

After further research, I found that the crucial C’s may have evolved from Alfred Adler’s theories.  Alford Adler founded the Society of Individual Psychology in 1912 and his theories have played an essential role in a number of areas including child development.

9781481758161_COVER_V3.indd For a copy of “Shapes Go to School” click on the link below.


Kids With Diabetes Can Still Be Kids

diabetes2Hi this is Terri Borman, childcare provider and author of “Shapes Go to School.”  A book that teaches children about shapes, colors, and diversity.  It helps children to understand that everyone is different.  This week’s blog is about kids with diabetes still being active kids.

There are two types of diabetes, Type 1 and Type 2.  Both types of diabetes involve problems with insulin, a hormone released from the pancreas that allows glucose (blood sugar) to be converted into fuel or energy.  Kids with Type 1 diabetes produce little or no insulin and kids with Type 2 diabetes produce insulin, but lifestyle factors such as being overweight, little to no exercise, and poor diet causes the body’s fat and muscle cells to block the insulin from entering.  Type 1 diabetes is not curable and can only be treated with insulin injections.  Type 2 diabetes is curable with lifestyle changes such as an improved diet and an increase in physical exercise.

Kids with diabetes need to be diligent in keeping their blood sugars from getting too high or too low.  They do this by testing their blood sugars regularly and balancing when and what they eat and when they exercise with when they take their medicines.  These medicines help take the sugar out of the blood causing the level of sugar in the blood to go down.  Unfortunately, it’s not as easy as it sounds.  There’s no magic pill that kids with diabetes take once a day and they’re good to go.  They have to take insulin injections or use an insulin pump all throughout the day and it’s a tricky balancing act.  Sometimes blood sugar levels can swing high or low.

DiabetesHigh blood sugar, otherwise known as hyperglycemia, happens when the body cannot make insulin like with Type 1 diabetes or it cannot use the insulin properly like with Type 2 diabetes and the blood sugar level rises in the body.  Some symptoms of hyperglycemia are thirstiness, headaches, not able to concentrate, blurry vision, weight loss, and frequent urination.  Long term hyperglycemia can damage the vessels that supply blood to vital organs increasing the risk of heart and kidney disease, strokes, and vision and nerve problems.  Some causes of hyperglycemia may be from skipping or forgetting to take your medicine, eating too much food for the amount of medicine taken, infection, illness, increased stress, decreased physical activity, or strenuous physical activity.

diabetes3Low blood sugar, otherwise known as hypoglycemia, can cause severe symptoms that need to be treated right away.  Symptoms include headaches, shaking, sweating, fatigue, weakness, hunger, and in extreme cases, coma and death.  Long term complications can include heart and kidney disease, glaucoma or blindness, blockages of the arteries in the legs, nerve damage, and foot and skin problems. Some causes of hypoglycemia are from skipping meals or snacks, not eating enough food at a mealtime, exercising longer or harder than usual, too much medicine, or not timing the medicine properly with meals, snacks, and exercise.  Also there are some factors that may increase how quickly the medicine gets absorbed into the bloodstream.  For example, taking a hot shower or bath right after taking your medicine increases the blood flow which can cause the medicine to be absorbed quicker than normal.

That’s some scary stuff!  Diabetes is something to not be taken lightly.  However, kids with diabetes can still be kids. They can excel at sports or beat you at backgammon.  Let’s hear from actual kids who have been diagnosed with diabetes.

Meet Eva, a 14 year old who loves dancing and running Cross Country and recently she was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes.

2012-10-16_15-52-21_310I will never forget the 21st of February 2014. The best and worst day of my life. It was amazing because I finally figured out why I was so sick all the time.. (I had every symptom very severely) but it was also a very hard diagnosis to wrap my head around. When they took me to the hospital by ambulance, they hooked me up to all these I.V.’s and crazy things. I just remember my mom crying and my dad busy being very hard to get a hold of.. literally.. he seriously ignored every one of her calls. (I don’t blame him.. she’s a little nuts ha-ha).  I texted my sister through everything.  She originally told me to go to a doctor because for the previous weeks I had told her all my symptoms but it never crossed any of our minds.

In the hospital, they made me pee in trays, carry around a stupid monitor, and even made me fast for 24 hours to determine if I was type 1 or type 2. The worst part? Their nurses smelled like bacon. No seriously, I really just wanted a cheeseburger. I was pretty calm for the most part, until they showed me insulin shots. I grew up watching my dad constantly take insulin shots but never (honestly) really cared.  It took about 2 shots before I ripped my insulin pen away from my nurses and did it myself.. I’m better than them anyway.  I kept asking when I could get out and eat food and even shop.  They just gave me looks like I needed mental help.

I stayed in the hospital for a few days and in one word it was: AWKWARD. Everyone just kinda sat there looking at me all day while I whined about not getting water.  Not to mention at one point, my dad, my mom, my sister, her boyfriend, my step-dad, my stepsister, my grandparents, and my step grandparents were all in one room at the same time… yeah the entire experience really showed me who really cared about me.  This girl I stuck up for once in school visited me with flowers and candy.  I never even really talked to her.  It was incredible.  The day I got out I skipped to the car and begged to go shopping.  This lasted for a couple of days.  Finally my mom budged and took me shopping.

I returned to school a couple days later and a few people cared but one of my “best friends” just looked at me and asked if I did any work on our science project… Yeah, I left my carb free soda spills on the front page… it really shows how many people will really be there if you fall.  Anyway, I went to school with my new diabetic purse and everyone stared at me.  No, I am not trying to become some weird 20 year old wannabe, I would just rather not carry needles in my bare hands :).  Some people were interested and some weren’t which was not good, but not bad. My teachers didn’t know until the next week. They were very understanding and I will forever respect them all because of that.

Just like any other teenager, I love hanging out with friends. I am still the same person, just cooler. I mean, how many people can say they take shots to live and actually have a legit reason of it? That’s right, only a few million. I love cross country and dancing. I still do them both, just eating snacks in between so I don’t faint or go into a seizure of low blood sugar. I see this diagnosis as a blessing. I am more educated, grateful for food, and more understanding as a person.

What do I do? Type 1 diabetics have an organ (the pancreas) that doesn’t function. The pancreas produces insulin which breaks down sugars in your body. Without it, people die. Pretty simple. When your body stops producing insulin, you have to do it yourself. Type ones take insulin shots. Insulin is a protein that hooks to sugars and maintains your blood sugar. Insulin shots are based on carbs. carbs or carbohydrates are basically sugar in foods or drinks. For me, personally, every 15 carbs I eat, I have to take .5 unit of insulin for .1 unit of insulin is a pea sized drop. That drop makes a world difference. I put the needle on my insulin pen, which really does look like an oversized pen, and inject my insulin in my arms, stomach, or my favorite, my legs. I have to check my blood sugar every three hours or so to prevent hyper or hypoglycemia. To test my blood sugar, I take a strip that has a microchip in it and put it into my Glucometer. I then prick my finger with a tiny needle and draw a drop of blood. I put that blood on that strip and it reads my blood sugar. This determines if I need more carbs, or more insulin.

Questions everyone wants to know:

1)Does it hurt? Nah, the needles are so tiny, you get used to it very quickly!

2)Don’t you need to take a shot for that? I’m the diabetic. I can look at a plate of food and guess the carbs in it. Sometimes I can even feel what my blood sugar is.. Trust me. I am a pro 😉

3)Did you eat too much sugar? Noooo mine is a genetic disease passed on from my father 🙂

4)Is it contagious? Uhm yeah! Haven’t you heard?? It’s spreading like crazy!!

5)Can you have that? Yep. I eat everything and I can eat everything.

6)Why diet? Diet soda has no carbs aka no shots aka my bff.

7)What can’t you do now? The only thing I can’t do now is make my own insulin. And fly. Or turn invisible.. but that’s not the point.

8)Oh.. so that’s why you are sick? I have the weakest stomach known to humans. I don’t get sick more often than I used to, I just have millions of doctor appointments:)

9)Did you just say you’re high? For diabetics, high means my blood sugar is through the roof and I need insulin. I don’t do drugs.

I take that back. Insulin is a healthy drug, but that’s the only one I plan on taking forever.


Now meet Alex, a 16 year old who loves traveling and tap dancing and also has Type 1 diabetes.

AlexTapShoe200605sHello, my name is Alex. I am 16 years old and live in Seattle, Washington. I was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes right before 6th grade. My parents thought that the reason I was losing weight was that I had just gotten braces. At first, I didn’t like all the needles and stuff, but I got used to it. Around 8th grade, I started using glargine and an insulin pen, which was easier than Humalog and NPH insulin by syringe. About a year ago, I got a Deltec Cozmo insulin pump and I like it a lot. It makes traveling a lot easier.

My favorite things to do are tap dancing (which I have been doing for about 10 years) and playing music, mostly jazz with my high school’s jazz band. Tap dancing can be pretty strenuous, and it is one of the most efficient ways to lower my blood sugar. I also like traveling. I have been to Italy, France, England, New York City, and Pennsylvania. I have learned a lot about how to adjust my insulin dose when I travel. This summer, my school’s jazz band is going on a European tour including Rotterdam, Copenhagen, Stockholm, and Helsinki. It is going to be really fun.

To those of you who have been recently diagnosed with diabetes, I have a few words of encouragement. First of all, you should know that despite all of the needles, you can still have lots of fun. Secondly, it’s important to learn how to take care of yourself especially checking your blood sugar. Finally, once you learn how to control your blood sugar, you can do anything!

That’s just about it. Hope to hear from some of you.




  • American Diabetes Association – – Offers information on nutrition and weight loss, diabetes research, treatment and prevention, plus information specifically for parents, kids and schools.
  • Children with Diabetes – – This privately run site, recommended by the ADA, includes forums, chat rooms, news about research and treatment, and the chance to post questions to healthcare professionals.
  • Joslin Diabetes Center – 800-JOSLIN-1, – A worldwide leader in diabetes research and treatment. Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation – – JDRF funds and advocates for type 1 diabetes research worldwide. The Web site includes a newsletter, pen pal connections for kids and information on fund-raising and research.
  • The Search for Diabetes in Youth – – Offers diabetic kids under age 20 the chance to participate in a six-year study seeking to determine how many kids have each diabetes type, and to investigate complications and treatment.
  • The TODAY Study – – TODAY (Treatment Options for type 2 Diabetes in Adolescents and Youth) is a nationwide study seeking the best treatment options for kids with type 2 diabetes. The site offers links to study sites, and an opportunity to participate in the research.

00B0B_dGlSBFfHl9M_600x450Get your copy today!


Asthma, It’s Breathtaking!

boy with asthmaHi this is Terri Borman, childcare provider and author of “Shapes Go to School.”  This book teaches children about shapes, colors and diversity.  It also helps children to understand that everyone is different.  This week’s blog is about children affected by asthma and how we as parents and childcare providers can reduce their risk of an asthma attack by knowing more about this disease.

th (2)Asthma is a disease that causes the airways of the lungs to swell, narrowing the airway.  The swelling/narrowing of the airway causes wheezing, shortness of breath, chest tightness, and coughing.

Per the American Lung Association, asthma affects an estimated 7 million children.  It is the third leading cause of hospitalization among children and it is one of the leading causes of school absenteeism with an estimated 14 million lost school days per year.

An asthma trigger is a thing or activity that makes asthma worse.  When a child with asthma comes into contact with a trigger, it can cause a sudden worsening of symptoms which is called an asthma attack, episode or flare up.

asthma triggers2 asthma triggers

Respiratory infections such as a cold, flu or sinus infection are the most common triggers of asthma symptoms worsening leading to an asthma attack.  Also medical conditions such as Acid Reflux can worsen asthma symptoms.

Food allergies and medicines can trigger an asthma attack.  Common food and medicine allergies are from peanuts, shellfish, aspirin and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs like ibuprofen and naproxen.

All types of smoke can trigger an asthma attack. Cigarette, wood burning fire places, leaf burning, or campfires are examples.

Weather, pollen, and air pollution can worsen asthma symptoms and trigger an asthma attack. Children are more susceptible to an asthma attack when there is a sudden and extreme temperature change.  Air pollution, smog or vehicle exhaust causes poor air quality and changes in the season causes increased pollen in the air.  Always check the AQI (air quality index) and the pollen count and limit your outdoor time during high pollen times or when the AQI is at an unhealthy level.


Animals can trigger an asthma attack. The dander and saliva from animals with fur or feathers can be an allergen for some and can cause the worsening of asthma symptoms.  Birds, cats, dogs, ferrets, hamsters, Guinea pigs, bunnies or mice are examples.

Pests such as dust mites, cockroaches, and rodents in the home, workplace or school can trigger an asthma attack.  Wash bedding regularly, vacuum and dust weekly, and use allergen-proof pillow and mattress covers.

Mold is an allergen that can trigger an asthma attack.  Clean visible mold, throw away moldy items, run a dehumidifier, and use the exhaust fan when taking a shower.

Exercise like walking, climbing stairs, or intense exercise, sports and swimming can trigger an asthma attack.  If prescribed, use your quick relief inhaler 15-30 minutes prior to exercising.

Strong odors from cleaning products, scented candles, incense, hair spray, air fresheners, and personal care products can trigger an asthma attack.  Whenever possible, choose products that are odor and fragrance free.

Strong emotions like laughing or crying too hard, feeling stressed or anxious, anger, fear or yelling can increase rapid breathing and trigger an asthma attack.

For more information visit these websites:

American Academy of Allergy,Asthma & Immunology: (414)272-6071

American Academy of Pediatrics:

American College of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology: (847)427-1200

American Lung Association: (800)-LUNGUSA (800)586-4872

Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America: (800)727-8462

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: (800)CDC-INFO (800)232-4636

National Asthma Education and Prevention Program: NHLBI Health Information Network

National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute:

cropped-9781481758178.jpg For a copy of “Shapes Go to School” click link below: