Sun Safety

We are hopefully due for some lovely weather over the next few weeks and summer holiday. We all need the sun for Vitamin D production but we also have to balance this with thinking about sun safety.

The following information for parents and carers about how to keep children and babies safe in the sun, is taken from the NHS website.

  • Exposing babies and children to too much sun may increase their risk of skin cancer later in life.
  • Sunburn can also cause considerable pain and discomfort in the short term.
  • Babies under the age of 6 months should be kept out of direct strong sunlight.
  • All other children should have their skin protected from March to October in the UK.

Tips to keep you child safe in the sun
•Encourage your child to play in the shade (for example, under trees), especially between 11am and 3pm, when the sun is at its strongest.
•Cover exposed parts of your child’s skin with sunscreen, even on cloudy or overcast days. Use one that has a sun protection factor (SPF) of 15 or higher and protects against UVA and UVB. Apply sunscreen to areas not protected by clothing, such as the face, ears, feet and backs of hands.
•Be especially careful to protect your child’s shoulders and the back of their neck when they’re playing, as these are the most common areas for sunburn.
•Cover your child up in loose cotton clothes, such as an oversized T-shirt with sleeves.
•Get your child to wear a floppy hat with a wide brim that shades their face, ears and neck.
•Protect your child’s eyes with sunglasses that meet the British Standard (BSEN 1836:2005) and carry the CE mark – check the label.
•If your child is swimming, use a water-resistant sunscreen of factor 15 or above. Sunscreen should be reapplied straight after you have been in water (even if it’s ‘water resistant’) and after towel drying, sweating or when it may have rubbed off.

Sunlight and Vitamin D

The best source of vitamin D is summer sunlight on our skin. Because it’s important to keep your child’s skin safe in the sun, it’s recommended all babies and young children aged under 4 years should take a daily supplement containing vitamin D, in the form of vitamin drops.

Everyone over the age of 5 should consider taking a daily vitamin D supplement from October to March.

Please look at the following for videos and further information;

Keep safe and have fun!

Ten Great Ways to Help Children Relax

Some children can cope with lots of stress whilst others need a little bit of help. The following are some ways that author Kelly Roper suggests can help children to cope and become more resilient:

1. Deep Breathing
This simple technique can be done by anyone to slow down the body’s natural response to stress and help you feel more in control;
1. Simply breathe in deeply.
2. Hold the breath for a moment.
3. Release it slowly.
Repeat the deep breathing until you feel relaxed.

2. Muscle Relaxation
Tensing and then relaxing different muscle groups in your body helps you to relax.
•Face – scrunch up nose and forehead and then relax face. Repeat three times.
•Arms and shoulders – stretch arms out in front and then raise above head and stretch as high as able, then drop arms and let them hang loose. Repeat three times.
•Hands and arms – imagine squeezing an orange as hard as possible with one hand, and then dropping that orange on the floor and letting the arm and hand go limp. Repeat three times, and then switch to the other arm.
•Legs and feet – stand and press toes against the floor as though digging them into sand at the beach and then relax. Repeat three times.

3. Exercise
Exercise is a great form of relaxation; walking, running, dancing, swimming and playing all provide the kind of exercise that children enjoy.

4. Visualisation
Visualisation is also known as visual guided imagery. This technique uses the imagination to slow down the chatter of the mind and help release negative thoughts and worries. This technique can be especially useful following progressive muscle relaxation, which first relaxes the muscles and then calms the mind.
Imagining a beautiful, peaceful place is one type of visualisation that’s easy for nearly any child to use as a stress reducer. Colour visualisation can also be helpful and is a very simple technique to teach a child.
1. Ask your child to imagine a favourite colour that makes them feel peaceful and safe.
2. Have them imagine taking in that colour with each breath and sending it throughout their entire body as they exhale.
3. Have them continue until they visualise being filled with her special, relaxing colour.

A soothing sound, a special aroma, or the feeling of warmth or light can be used in place of the colour.

5. Laugh
Laughter is a wonderful stress reliever that soothes tension and helps the body relax. Encourage lots of laughter with games, tickles, telling jokes, making silly faces and watching funny cartoons.

6. Stretch

Stretching relaxes built up tension in the muscles. Teach your child how to gently stretch and feel the muscles relax.

7. Listen to Music
Listening to calming music can help a child regain focus. Even very young children may enjoy listening to relaxing classical music. Drawing to music is also very relaxing.

8. Meditate
Yoga can relax the mind and body. Here is a simple meditation your child can use at home, but it works well in the classroom too;
1. While your child sits on a bed at home, or at a desk at school, they should place their hands in their lap and close their eyes.
2. The next step is to breathe in and out slowly and evenly.
3. Each breathe in and each breathe out counts as a single count. Try for at least 30 in the classroom.
4. As they settle into the meditation, they should focus on listening to their breathing. As they do, they’ll begin to feel more calm and focused.
5. When they finish the count of 30, take a very deep breathe, let it out slowly, and then open eyes.

9. Cuddle
Encourage your child to cuddle with a pet, cuddly toy or loved one. Research has shown that physical, safe touch is very important and cuddles can lower blood pressure and decrease stress hormones.

10. Toe Tensing
Toe tensing draws tension down from the rest of the body. This simple exercise should be repeated ten times each session.
1. Lie on your back and allow yourself to sense your toes.
2. Use your toe muscles to pull all ten toes back in the direction of the face and hold to the count of ten.
3. Relax the toes and hold to the count of ten.

Supporting Children Through Exams/Tests

The excellent Young Minds Charity has some very helpful guidance for all those parents trying to support children through stressful tests and exams. Many parents and carers will also have older children in secondary school sitting exams this season. This can be a stressful time in homes and this tension can have an impact on younger siblings.
Please follow (or copy and paste) the following link for a useful guide on how to keep things calm at home and how best to support your children through this important time.

NHS Guidelines

Please use the following link (or copy and paste to a search engine) to seek guidance on how to manage illness and whether to send your child in to school.

Please look at our Attendance Policy for further information on the school website. This can be found under Key Information, Policies. If you would like paper copies of the NHS document, or policy, please contact me at school and I will be happy to provide one for you.
Tricia Pelling
Child and Family Support Worker

Stress At Christmas

There is a lot of pressure for us all to enjoy Christmas but for some it can be a very stressful time of the year for many different reasons.

The following is taken from ‘Care for the Family’ website;

The thought of Christmas can be enough to send stress levels soaring through the roof. But it doesn’t have to be that way. With a little thought and careful planning we can reduce our stress leading up to the holiday;

1. Keep hold of your finances – it’s tempting to blow your budget on all the trimmings and expensive presents. Expensive presents will soon be forgotten, but spending the day playing and focusing on your child will be a memory that will stay in their mind for years. Remember it’s not the presents but the presence that will be remembered.

2. Shop early – you can get great bargains in the after Christmas and mid-season sales; also, buying throughout the year helps spread the cost.

3. Set up a support system – someone you can talk to if you feel overwhelmed and find the day difficult. (See ‘Help at Christmas’ below.)

4. Keep your menus simple – less preparation and cooking means more time for you to relax and enjoy the festivities.

5. Stick to your usual routine – even though it’s Christmas, children still need structure in their days, and regular bedtimes. Some late nights are fine but it can be stressful if your children are overtired and grumpy, especially when you’re tired too.

Don’t feel guilty…for your own sense of well-being, focus on the things you do accomplish and the things you do provide.

6. Make time for your children – it’s easy to rush around with all the preparations and lose sight of what is important. Spend time playing, going for a walk, or maybe listening to some music together. Enjoy your children – they grow up so quickly. Allow each child to choose what activity the family should do one day during the holidays.

7. Don’t feel guilty – it’s always easy for single parents to feel guilty about the time they don’t have or the things they can’t give their children. For you own sense of well-being, focus on the things you do accomplish and the things you do provide. Don’t forget about all the love, attention and comfort you give throughout the year!

8. Decorate together – while it’s tempting to do it all when the children are asleep, putting up the decorations together gives you time to talk, time to listen and, most of all, to be together. Perhaps it could be the start of a new family tradition; you could even make your own decorations.

9. Be consistent with discipline – it may be the holidays, but children need to know that “no” still means “no”. Holidays are a time when children push the boundaries.

10. Establish in advance who the children will spend Christmas day with, so both they and you know what is happening. If you are going to be without the children, plan in advance what you will do; ask friends to help. Don’t just sit at home alone; do something, even if it’s helping at a shelter for the homeless.

11. Make time for yourself – the build-up to Christmas can be exhausting. Make time even if it’s just reading a book, watching a favourite DVD, or taking a warm bath. Setting aside some personal time will give you a chance to refuel. I always buy myself a new book and a big bar of chocolate. Then when the children are at their mother’s, I have something to look forward to.

12. Stay positive – it’s easy to become overwhelmed by all the responsibilities and demands of parenting alone. Try to maintain a positive attitude. The best way to deal with stress is to exercise, eat properly (not too many chocolates!) and get enough sleep.

Help at Christmas-

Christmas can be a very difficult time for those who are grieving the death of a loved one or the breakdown of a relationship. The sense of isolation can be greater when it feels like everything has shut down for the holidays. Don’t forget the Samaritans are available 24 hours a day to listen to anyone in distress or despair and to give emotional support.

Tel: 08457 909090

NHS & Family Support

The NHS has linked up with You Tube and have created lots of helpful videos for families ranging from subjects like First Aid, embarrassing conditions, sleep problems, mental health, exercise, dental health, disabilities, child health and many more.
Type the following link in to a search engine:
or simple search for NHS Choices videos on You Tube, to find the help you need.

Christmas Day Lunch

Would you like some company on Christmas Day?

Park Community School’s MUNCH team

kindly invite you to join them for

a traditional Christmas lunch

Park Community School.
25th December 2018
11am – 4pm
Middle Park Way, Leigh Park, Havant, PO9 4BU

Booking in advance is essential because the elves need to prepare a sumptuous feast and let Father Christmas know where everyone is.

For more information please contact:
Lorraine Daughtrey
Telephone: 02392489807
Park Community School,
Middle Park Way, Havant, PO9 4BU

Half-Term Activities

Here are a few suggestions for things to enjoy together over half-term; for ideas.

(The following ideas have a cost involved)
Halloween Family Trail at Sir Harold Hillier Gardens, Romsey.
Join Sir Harold Hillier Gardens for creepy fun in the Gardens on a spooky self-guided trail. Survive the tricks and receive a small chocolate treat!
Visit the following site for further information; or ring 01794 369318. Tickets £2.50

Also, a Halloween session of fun, spooky songs and storytelling around the campfire. Join Sir Harold Hillier Gardens in the woods where they will help you to make your own witch’s broom to take home. You can toast your own marshmallow and enjoy some popcorn that is cooked over the fire too! Suitable for 4-12 years. See their website for more details.

Beaulieu, National Motor Museum. New Forest.
01590 612345
Discover the fantasy and folklore of Halloween at Beaulieu this October half-term – plus visit the brand new exhibition celebrating 50 years of Chitty Chitty Bang Bang! Visit between 20 – 28 October to see harvest festival-themed decorations in Palace House. (Cost involved)

Watts Gallery, Compton, Surrey
23 – 28 October | 10am – 4pm: Inspired by the exhibition, James Henry Pullen: Inmate – Inventor – Genius, discover a world of inventiveness from giant puppets to model ships and use an array of materials to create your own at Watts Gallery – Artists’ Village. for more information.

Bluebird the Storyteller presents …
TISTOU – THE BOY WITH GREEN THUMBS at Waterlooville Library.
Local storyteller Bluebird tells her version of Tistou the Boy with Green Thumbs based on the 1965 book by Maurice Duron. This is a delightful story suitable for children 7+ and adults alike. Tuesday 23 October 2018, 10.30am. Tickets £4 per child with one accompanying adult free. Buy one and get one free! Available from the library on 02392 252608, or online at

Here are some suggestions from the National Trust from their ’50 things to do’ list;
-Go for an ‘adventure walk’ with your child at night with a torch and try some star gazing.
-Build a den together with an old sheet and pegs (great for indoors when it’s pouring with rain).
-Grab some binoculars and go bird watching with your child. Take a bird book with you from the library and see how many you can spot.
-Fly a kite
-Skim stones at the beach

CHILDREN GO FREE at British Airways i360 between 22nd and 26th October! Book online to avoid missing out. (Beware-still a cost for adults!)

Please don’t forget to read with your child every day if possible (even if it’s only 10 mins) and also let them have a good rest before returning to school.
Have fun!

The Importance of Nature to Children

You might be interested to read The National Trust’s publication considering the importance of nature to children today. This is not a new document (2012) but makes very interesting reading. Copy and paste the link below, or put ‘National Trust natural childhood document’ in to a search engine to find it.

Head Lice and Nits

The following is taken from the NHS website. Please refer to this for further information.

Head lice and nits are very common in young children. They don’t have anything to do with dirty hair and are usually picked up from head-to-head contact.

Head lice are small insects, up to 3mm long, and can be difficult to spot.

Head lice eggs (nits) are yellow, brown or white (empty shells) and attached to the hair.

Head lice sometimes can make your head feel:
•like something is moving in your hair

The only way to be sure someone has head lice is by finding live lice or eggs.

You can do this by combing their hair with a special fine-toothed comb (detection comb). You can buy these online or at pharmacies.

How to get rid of head lice

You can treat head lice without seeing a GP.
Treat head lice as soon as you spot them. You should check everyone in the house and treat them on the same day if they have head lice.

There’s no need to keep your child off school if they have head lice.

Wet combing

Lice and nits can be removed by wet combing. This method should be tried first.

You can buy a special fine-toothed comb (detection comb) online or from pharmacies to remove head lice and nits.

There will be instructions on the pack to follow, but typically you:
•use the comb on wet or dry hair – although it usually works best on wet hair with conditioner
•comb the whole head of hair, from the roots to the ends
•repeat every few days for 2 weeks

It usually takes about 10 minutes to comb short hair, and 20 to 30 minutes for long, frizzy or curly hair.

Medicated lotions and sprays

Ask your pharmacist for advice if you have tried wet combing for 2 weeks, but your child still has head lice or nits.

They may recommend using medicated lotions and sprays. These kill head lice in all types of hair, and you can buy them from pharmacies, supermarkets or online.

Head lice should die within a day. Lotions and sprays come with a comb to remove dead lice and eggs.

Some treatments need to be repeated after a week to kill any newly hatched lice.

Check the pack to see if they’re OK for you or your child and how to use them.

If lotions or sprays don’t work, speak to your pharmacist about other treatments.

Some treatments aren’t recommended because they’re unlikely to work.

For example:
•products containing permethrin
•head lice “repellents”
•electric combs for head lice
•tree and plant oil treatments, such as tea tree oil, eucalyptus oil and lavender oil herbal remedies

You can’t prevent head lice

There’s nothing you can do to prevent head lice. You can reduce the risk of lice spreading by avoiding head-to-head contact.

Don’t use medicated lotions and sprays to prevent head lice. This can irritate the scalp.

There’s no need for children to stay off school, or to wash laundry on a hot wash.