Complete clauses 1 - 2 and any four other clauses which provide a personal challenge to you.

Clause 1 Have attended a Guide Association Safe From Harm training within the last 3 years, and be aware of the laws that protect children. Know how the role of a Guider differs from that of a parent, teacher, child minder or babysitter. Hold a current First Aid certificate, and know infant or child CPR and resuscitation. I am aware of the issues raised in the safe from harm.

I have attended a training though I can't remember when. A Guider is neither a parent, teacher, childminder nor baby sitter (though I do wonder sometimes) Guiding to any of the girls in her unit. A Guider may have one or more of these roles outside of. As a Guider the girls see you as a role model. Meetings should have a relaxed atmosphere but also retain a modicum of discipline to ensure that the girls can complete an activity safely. A Guider has the responsibility to ensure that every aspect of weekly meetings; outings camps and holidays are a safe environment. A Guider should respect everyone as and individual and their right to privacy, listen, show sensitivity if dealing with sensitive issues and if necessary refer for more appropriate help. Never be afraid to ask for help from the appropriate source if required I Hold a First Aid at work certificate dated 21st March 2003, which is updated every three years. I have held a First Aid at work certificate since 1980 something. I know both infant and child CPR and resuscitation using two fingers and one hand respectively.

Clause 2 Be aware of safety precautions in your own home. If you have children at home, consider what safety precautions you had to take for a recently mobile baby, and how these have/will change as the child grows older. If you do not have children at home, consider the areas where a visitor with a recently mobile baby or small child may go. What dangers are there for a child? What could you do to minimise the dangers? How may you have to adapt your home as the visiting children get older?

I have a recently mobile baby. The precautions we have taken are:- Stair gates at both top and bottom of the stairs, Keep the kitchen and bathroom doors closed (unless we are in there together) Sharp knives, point kitchen tools and the stake mallet have been moved to a high cupboard. The washing machine is only switched on when used. Cupboard catches on all cupboards with medicines and house hold chemicals in Plug Covers Move all breakables up out of reach Keep the cats plates out of the reach of little fingers Front and back doors are closed and locked, all windows have double locks Video cover Vacuum carpets where Alex plays regularly to ensure that there are no bits he can put in his mouth I am however a believer in letting children play with anything providing its safe, therefore not everything has moved up a level and not every cupboard has a lock, hopefully this will teach him some respect of other peoples belongings and the meaning of the word no. So far we have encountered no problems with this

Clause 3 Change a nappy and know how to prevent nappy rash. Evaluate the advantages and disadvantages of using cloth vs disposable nappies, and make a reasoned judgement as to which to use.

I have now progressed from a novice nappy changer to a more experienced one having changed Alex's nappy many times. The best prevention of nappy rash is to change a nappy frequently and allow the 'nappy area' to air when possible. Vaseline acts as a barrier cream as does creams such as sudocream which contains an antiseptic, this however I found to strong to use on my new born so I use Vaseline most of the time. I also found that wipe (even hypoallergenic ones) to cause problems when areas of the nappy area were sore. We use cotton wool and water on Alex except when we are out and always ensure that he is dry before putting a clean nappy on. Cloth nappies work out cheaper to use even when taking into account the sterilisation required and are more environmentally friendly. On the downside they are more fiddly to deal with especially I imagine when trying to put a safety pin on a wriggle baby, do not take moisture away from the skin and are not so convenient to deal with when out and about. Plastic pants can make nappy rash worse. Apparently it is easier to potty train children in cloth nappies as there are more aware of being uncomfortable when wet and dirty. Alex attend a nursery three days a week and they don't accept cloth nappies Disposables on the other hand are easier to use, convenient when out and about, keep moisture away from the skin helping to prevent nappy rash. Disposables are accepted at nursery. They are more expensive to use than cloth nappies but above all they are not environmentally friendly as apparently a disposable takes 250 years to biodegrade. I have heard that it is harder to potty train children who use disposable nappies as the wetness is drawn away from the skin and they therefore do not feel uncomfortable. I have yet to find this out!

Clause 4 Bath a baby.

Not my favourite task, Alex does not enjoy his bath. Whilst using the baby bath we just used baby bath to bathe him in so as not to dry his skin too much and we did not use baby shampoo as he had no hair. We were always very careful to check the temperature of the water first and made bath time as quick as possible to ensure that he does not get too cold Now that he is older he goes in the big bath with either his dad or myself and we always use a bath mat to ensure that he does not slip. We have also started to use baby soap and shampoo.

Clause 5 Mix up baby formula according to the directions on the can. Heat a bottle to the correct temperature and know how to test it. Feed a baby the prepared bottle.

Initially Alex was going to be breast-fed but as he did not regain his birth weight for over five weeks we were advised to offer him a bottle. We initially started with Cow & Gate standard feeds and then move on to the Omneo comfort as this was supposed to be better for colicky babies though cost around £2 a box more though I am not so sure it was. All bottles, teats and breast pump were all sterilised using a microwave steriliser which only took seven minutes in our microwave. We did have to boil some bottles at my parents as they do not have a microwave. With the standard Cow & Gate the appropriate amount of boiled water was put in the bottle and left to cool. Once cool the formula was added, one level scoop to each fluid ounce of water, the bottles were then shaken to ensure that they were mixed. These were then refrigerated. The Omneo comfort was made in the same way expect the water was only allowed to cool to around 60 degrees before the powder was added then completely allowed to cool before refrigeration. I have fed Alex many bottles, initially they were warmed in a bowl of hot water or a bottle warmer. As he has got older I have used a microwave for convenience. I always ensure I shake the bottle to ensure that there are not hot spots and always test for temperature on my wrist.

Clause 6 Pack a "changing bag" or similar, when taking a child out for a full day. Evaluate the contents - is there anything unusual you have added? Is there anything you have deliberately omitted?

I quite often pack a 'changing bag' as we often spend the day at my parents. A normal changing bag consists of:- Nappies/wipes, travel changing mat and nappy bags Vaseline, cottonwool and very small bowl for water Change of clothes and nightware Milk, solid feeds and bibs Spare formula powder in case Small toys (though my Mum does keep a supply in her cupboard) A couple of sachets of Calpol. We nearly always use everything on the list bar the Calpol, this was added after Alex developed a temperature one day and we ended up rushing to the Chemist for some medicine. We very rarely use the formula and for shorter outings I don't normally take it. The spare clothes are used about 20% of the time, more often than not it is a vest and sleepsuit. We always take Alex's nightware so that when we get home we can transfer him straight to bed. We have never found that we need anything else.

Clause 8 Prepare a meal for a toddler, and help to feed it. Know the importance of finger food, textures and tastes.

We are very lucky in that so far Alex has eaten everything he has been given. He started on the baby rice at four months and soon progressed on to pureed fruit and vegetables, usually having the vegetables for lunch and fruit for tea. Alex is now eating mashed food and has meat, fish and cheese in his diet. Alex has two small snacks a day which are usually breadsticks, rice cake or rich tea fingers, he is also offered a toasted finger at breakfast. I try and keep to giving Alex his food at the same time as he would have it at nursery wherever possible. A typical days menu for solid foods looks something like this:- Breakfast (08:30) Cereal (such as rusk), toasted finger Snack (10:15) Rice cake and water Lunch (12:00) Pureed chicken, mashed potato and mashed carrots and peas followed by fromage frais Snack (14:00) Biscuit and water Tea (16:00) Mashed root vegetables with cheese followed by mashed fruit and fromage frais I normally have food prepared and frozen into ice cubes in the freezer. These are defrosted and microwaved or cooked on the hob until boiling and then allowed to cool. I test the temperature having stirred the meal thoroughly by test a small amount on my lips. Alex is normally fed on the kitchen floor in his Bumbo.

Clause 9 Know how to care for a sick child. What medicines are appropriate, and which are unsuitable for a child? Show that you can keep an ill child amused.

Alex has been permanently ill recently, its been one cold on top of another which has affected his breathing and he actually spent a couple of nights in hospital. At the moment Alex sleeps most of the time when he is unwell but when he is awake he needs lots of comforting we also try to ensure that he gets plenty of liquids in the form of milk feeds and water. Most medicines are unsuitable for children under 12 unless they state infant/child on them. Always read the label as different dosages are suitable for different ages. These are some of the medications that we have looked at for Alex Calpol Infant Suspension - Suitable for children from three months to five years for pain and fever relief Infant Nurofen - Suitable for children between the ages 6 months to 12 years for pain and fever relief and teething pain Tixylix Baby Syrup - Suitable from three Months to five years for dry coughs Infacol - Suitable from birth for colic relief Gripe Water - Suitable from three months for colic relief

Clause 10 Know why a daily routine is important for children. Know how the routine will change as the child gets older. Create a daily routine for a child in one of the following age groups: Birth to one year

Routine is very important for babies and young children as it gives them a sense of security and they will begin to recognise what to expect next. As a baby gets older and becomes a toddler his routine will change as he will require less sleeps, become more active and will rely less on milk feeds and settling into the family routine of three solid meals a day. Routine is also important for parents to ensure they get some time to themselves. Once Alex reaches his first birthday I would expect his routine to follow the following pattern:- 07:00 Rise and milk (possibly a snack as nursery don't provide breakfast until 08:30 so we try and stick to this where possible). 07:30 Nappy change and get dressed. 08:00 Leave for nursery or play with toys 08:30 Breakfast (such as cereals/toast and milk) 09:00 Play with some different toys. 09:30 Go for walk round town, visit library go to toddler group etc. 10:15 Snack (probably a biscuit) and milk (whilst out if necessary) 11:00 Return home and nap 12:00 Lunch (Cooked meal with protein and vegetables followed by dessert) 12:30 Look at books 12:45 Sing some nursery rhymes 13:00 Play with toys 13:30 Visit park weather permitting and afternoon walk(or if its Friday softplay) 14:15 Snack (fruit) and water 15:00 Return from walk or softplay and afternoon nap 15:45 Play with toys 16:00 Tea (sandwiches/something on toast and yoghurt) 16:30 Quiet play such as puzzles or drawing! 17:30 Collect from nursery if appropriate and more quiet play and chat possibly watch television. 18:00 Snack (savoury such as cheese biscuits/marmite on toast) and water 18:30 Bath and get ready for bed 19:00 Warm milk and storytime (with dad if he is home) 19:30 Bed and a sing a couple of nursery rhymes quietly

Clause 11 Put a child to bed. Know the importance of a bedtime routine, baths, stories etc.

This really ties in with Clause 10. Once Alex has had his tea we try to ensure all activities are quiet and have a calming effect. Once bathed and changed for bed we always look at books and either talk about the pictures or tell a story. Once he is in bed we always sing a couple of nursery rhymes quietly to him before finally saying good night.

Clause 13 Where in your area can children play? Locate the playgrounds and other recreational areas in the area. Find out what ages can use them, and when they are open. Are they safe? What equipment do they provide?

We have three outdoor parks with childrens swings all have safety matting and two are enclosed with no dogs allowed. One of these play areas is tucked out of the way behind the football pitch and very few people know about it and it's a flat walk from our house. On the down side it is small and would be easily overcrowded. We have another park down by the castle, this is much larger and has a wider range of activities but is a mile down a very steep hill. The play area is enclosed and has a grass area nearby for where ball games can be played, however dogs are walked in this area and often off lead. The third area is in a housing estate. The play area is not enclosed but is in a large grass area where people walk their dogs. All three areas are away from the road. In our estate we have a couple of grass areas suitable for wide and ball games. These are not enclosed and are used by the local cats and dogs they are also near the road, having said that we are in a cul de sac and traffic is not heavy

Clause 14 Find out about groups available to children aged under 5 in your area, such as Mother & Toddler, Tumble tots etc. How do the groups meet the needs of the child they are attracting?

Living in a small town there is not the large number of groups that city dweller would expect but there are a lot of nearby villages that have toddler groups on different days. In our actual town we have:- Monday There was a mother and toddler French group on a Monday morning (birth to pre-school) but this has closed due to lack of interest - could this possibly be because it started at 09:30. I know that it is possible to make it but in practise I never did, shame because I think it would have been good. Music Group. Held is the church call every Monday during term time (from one year - pre-school). There is a different theme each week. Children have the opportunity to sing, play instruments, mime and dance to music. Tuesday Toddler Group. From birth to pre-school. Lots of different play areas and a craft corner. Children are encouraged to play with soft toys, building bricks, cars and trains, dolls houses, look at books and do jigsaws. Each week there are two craft activities which include painting, chalks, crayons, playdoh and sticking. The play session lasts about 45 minutes which is followed by tidy up, where the children help clear away, snacks and juice. Toddlers finishes with song time with songs suggested by the toddlers and carers. Tea, coffee and biscuits are available for the parents/carers. Its also a good opportunity to mix with other carers. Usually closed during half terms but was open in the summer holidays. Thursday Baby clinic. The weekly session with the health visitor for weigh-ins, medicals and immunisations. The health visitors will also discuss and give advise on any topic required, they will also visit you at home if you would prefer. Friday Toddler Group. Run by the same people as the Tuesday group offering the same activities Story time for the under fives, held in the library for half an hour every Friday morning however this does clash with toddlers. Softplay held in the sports centre on a Friday afternoon for the under fives, held in term time only. Large bouncy castle and huge soft animals to climb on with plenty of mats. Lots of opportunities for running/jumping off energy. This is not well advertised and attendance is poor to non existent when the weather is better which is very waring on the parents/carers. Have been there on my own several times.

Clause 16 Compare two types of toys that a child might typically use today with similar toys available 20 and 50 years ago. Evaluate both toys. Have the toys changed because of technological advances?

The good old building brick, the wooden variety have probably been played with for centuries by children and are still available. The modern bricks colouring is probably more friendly than the variety made fifty years ago. With the development in plastics new brightly coloured and possibly more appealing bricks have been made. Although plastic bricks are undoubtedly better for chewing in my opinion nothing beats the wooden variety. I have never been successful in building a tower of more than three bricks using the plastic variety, how frustrating is that for a toddler. Both the traditional and the modern bricks are good for developing coordination and imagination The push a long toy again this has been around for a while, initially as a trolley for the wooden brick and would have been made of a wooden tray with a metal handle and wheels and probably rubber tyres. Again with the developments in plastics brightly coloured push alongs are now available in a variety of traditional shapes (such as prams) to those in the shape of favourite TV characters. Both the traditional and modern push along is good for developing locomotion, balance, coordination and imagination.

Clause 17 Visit a toy shop or other place where toys and games are sold. Select three or four items which you would recommend for a child in one of the following age groups: Birth to two years Observe a child of your selected age group at play. Do you still agree with the choices you made? If not, why not?

Baby gym - double arch with a variety of toys including a mirror and different fabric and rattle/musical sounds. Helps to develop awareness of surroundings and motor skills. Good toy Alex has moved from observing the toys to batting and pulling them has not managed to remove any. Glove puppet - large glove puppet with five different animal heads and story book. Each animal makes a different sound when his head is moved. My husband found that this was a good toy for a short while the different faces kept him amused but became bored with it by about six months. Comes in one size only - suitable for large hand and therefore I was not able to use it. Bath toys - eight different sea creatures that hold water and squirt. Alex has not yet developed the skills to squirt but he tries. Good for developing motor skills but at the moment Alex is enjoying them visually. Excellent concept will last for a long time but I can't seem to get the mildew out of them, will have to replace them at some point in the future

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