Make Pool Time a Safe Time

With warm weather just around
the corner, many families will
be dusting off the pool cover...

read more

Raising a Reader

It's a challenge for many parents -
how to get our children to not only
read more but to really love reading...

read more

Color Vision: The Color
Spectrum of the Season

This spring, Sephora offers
everyone a variety of ways to feel,
learn about, wear and love color...

read more

Make Pool Time a Safe Time

By Khuram Arif, MD

With warm weather just around the corner, many families will be dusting off the pool cover in the coming weeks and getting ready for the first swim of the season. Whether you have a pool of your own or will be swimming at friends' homes or a club or community pool, there are certain water safety rules we should always keep in mind.

  • Never leave children alone in or near the pool, even for a moment.

  • Make sure adults watching young children in the pool know CPR and can rescue a child if necessary.

  • Surround your pool - on all four sides - with a sturdy five-foot fence.

  • Make sure the gates self-close and self-latch at a height children can't reach.

  • Keep rescue equipment (a shepherd's hook - a long pole with a hook on the end - and life preserver) and a telephone near the pool.

  • Avoid inflatable swimming aids such as "floaties". They are not a substitute for approved life vests and can give children a false sense of security.

  • Children are not developmentally ready for swim lessons until after their fourth birthday. Swim programs for children under the age of 4 should not be seen as a way to decrease the risk of drowning.

  • Whenever infants or toddlers are in or around water, an adult should be within arm's length, providing "touch supervision."

  • Don't swim when you have had diarrhea. This is especially important for children and infants in diapers. You can spread germs into the water and make other people sick.

  • Don't swallow pool water. In fact, try to avoid getting any pool water in your mouth.

  • Wash your hands with soap and water after using the toilet or changing diapers. You can protect others by being aware that germs on your body end up in the water.

Dr. Khuram Arif is a pediatrician with Mercy Medical Group and the Pediatrics Department Chair. To find a pediatrician for your family, visit the Dignity Health physician finder.

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Raising a Reader

It's a challenge for many parents - how to get our children to not only read more, but to really love reading. This month is National Library Month - a great time to encourage reading in your youngster by paying a visit (or two!) to your local public library. Here are some tips to help you raise a reader.

  1. Storytime: The most important thing you can do to encourage literacy in your child is to begin reading to him at a young age. Curl up on the couch together and share a book. When they are young, read a story or two every night. When they are older, share a chapter book together. You can take turns reading pages or reading chapters - just do it together and make the time special.

  2. Variety: As your child begins to read on her own, look for opportunities to read in a variety of settings, not just books. Video games, magazines, comic books - even road signs are all chances for your burgeoning reader to put her skills to the test! Ask her to help you read labels at the grocery store. Show her how her new skill can be put to use in a variety of ways.

  3. Keep it Fun: ry to keep reading time fun and entertaining. Carry on a conversation about the books you read - ask questions and point out things you thought were interesting or humorous. Use stories to create games or fun sessions of make-believe. Offer reading material that is pertinent to what your child is doing or interested in - a book about the beach when you go on vacation or a story about soccer during soccer season.

  4. Celebrate Success: If you have a reluctant reader, a visible record of reading success can help with motivation. Try a chart of graph that marks the number of books a child has read. You can also use a similar system to recognize when your child reads across a variety of genres - say, one biography, one mystery, one fact or reference book, etc? Sometimes a little nudge in the right direction is all that is needed to get your child hooked on books.

  5. Give Choices: Like anything in life, choices make everything a little easier. Offer your child a variety of reading materials, including books, magazines, comic books, etc. Let your child's interests guide his reading choices. And keep an eye on the level of books you are making available to your child. You want them to stretch to the best of their ability, but if a book is too difficult, he will just be discouraged.

  6. Make Time: Finally, you can not expect your child to read if their daily schedule does not allow time for it. Make reading time a priority. Schedule time for them to curl up with a book without being rushed - and better yet, plan to use that time for a little reading yourself. Lead by example and put reading time on the schedule for the whole family.

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Color Vision: The Color Spectrum of the Season

Sponsored by Sephora

This spring, Sephora offers everyone a variety of ways to feel, learn about, wear and love color, encouraging you to ignite your own color vision. This season, shades like bright red, lilac and bright blue are hot. Inspired by both the past and the future, these multi-dimensional tones bring color to a whole new wavelength.


Create saturated lips with radiant pink undertones. This classic red lip provides a big statement. The red lip works especially well with some of the more muted clothing tones that are in style this season. For red to work best on your lips, use an exfoliating scrub on your lips first to smooth skin, then a hydrating lip balm, followed by color.


Shimmery lilac is a hot color for eyes this spring. If you find the right shade, it can actually work as a neutral color for every day. It works best with black eyeliner, which provides a subtle contrast. Use a softer shade through the middle of the eye, with darker shades on the inner and outer corner of the eye. Finish with two coats of black mascara and your eyes will be ready for spring!


Vivid smoky eyes created by spring's cobalt shadows deliver a fresh take on dimension with an intense finish. Use a softer shade over eyelid, reserving the strongest blue for the lash line, widening the line as you move toward the outer corners of the eye. Try a deep blue mascara to finish this dramatic effect.

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