Split ends are your hairs way of telling you that it’s not doing so good. And its irreversible damage. Once the hair strand splits, the only way to get rid of it, is to cut. it. off. It’s THE tell-tale sign that your hair is dry, damaged and in need of some TLC.
Sometimes, a split hair, here or there, isn’t a big deal. It may be that your hair has got caught in your brush or hair band and split in the process. It happens. But if you’re noticing a lot, you need to make a few changes to get your hair into better shape. Following a cut (hopefully just a trim) to get rid of the worst, give our tips a try for healthier and happier hair:
Wash your hair in colder temperatures
Hot showers can cause damage to your scalp which in turn affects the hair follicles. Additionally, like your skin, the follicles open up with the heat and although this is good for giving skin a deeper clean, for your hair, it ‘ll just damage it or certainly start the process by making your hair more brittle.
You can actually see the fragility in the hair when its wet
What’s more (yep, there are many reasons not to wash your hair in hot water), it’ll strip your hair of its natural oils which helps to protect your hair. It’s also the most important reason to not wash your hair daily, so if you are, this too is only going to lead to damage.
Switch your shampoo and conditioner until your hair is healthy again
If you have severe damage, then it’s best to work with a specialist shampoo, conditioner and treatment until your hair is much healthier.
We’ve tried and tested the Kérastase Resistance range which will help to protect your hair as your washing it and go someway to repairing some of the damage caused. It helps to smooth out your hair’s follicles and strands, protecting those at risk of breakage and will help to strengthen your hair as it re-grows. Not only do they have a shampoo and conditioner to tackle mild to severe damage but they also have serums and treatments to help protect your hair when styling.
Take care when towel drying your hair
NEVER rub your hair as you get out the shower.
It can be tempting, particularly if you’re in a rush, to help speed up the drying process by rubbing your hair with a towel. But this is a sure and fast way to cause split ends.
When you’ve washed your hair, it’s in a very fragile state so you need to take super care of it. Not only should you not rub your hair with a towel but you shouldn’t wring it either. Instead, pat it dry with a towel or use a microfibre towel which will absorb, pretty quickly, a lot of excess moisture.
Take care when brushing your hair
Because of its fragility when wet, you need to be mindful of the brush that you use too.
Steer clear of round, bristly brushes until your hair is 80% dry. Instead, use a wide-tooth comb first to de-tangle your hair. A Tangle Teezer is a very effective tool to have, not just for wet hair but dry hair too. In fact, we’d suggest buying a second to keep in your hand/gym bag too; they’re compact and really do make a big difference to hair health!
ALWAYS use a heat protector
Heat is a leading cause of split end. So, if you need to use a hairdryer, straighteners or curler, always use a heat protector first.
There are many products out there that are specifically made to protect your hair when styling. But as long as you use a serum or cream that’ll give your hair some added moisture, this will go someway to protecting your hair. Not only will you get that protection, but your hair will look smooth and great for it too.
Don’t over style your hair
If you can, be sure to give your hair a little respite. Don’t wash it daily, avoid using heated tools where possible and even wearing it down a little more can be a saving grace. When we’re pulling, tugging and re-styling constantly, we can lose or damage strands in hairbands and brushes. All of which contribute to split ends.
If you’re trying to grow your hair, it can be devastating to need to have inches taken off your length. But this is what it’ll need if its left to its own devices. The only way to really get rid of split ends is to cut them out. But by having a regular cut and following these tips, we guarantee you can say goodbye to split ends for good.
Some of the links within this post will direct you to an affiliate partner. We may make a very small commission on any purchases you make through them. This is one of the ways that helps to fund the publication and allow us to have free articles.
If you think gadgets are a geeky waste of money, then here are seven gadgets which will change your mind and make you next holiday 100 times easier (or at least seven times easier).
Between the planning and packing and travelling it get a little stressful, so it is worth investing in the little things which will make it easier on you. A vacation is about relaxing after all.
Gadgets for the home
First of all you need to get your house ready. That means making sure your plants are getting watered. Short of asking a friendly neighbour to pop in, there are few options. But there are self-watering pots which are great. If you can, you want to put as many plants as possible outside as they tend to take care of themselves. But your kitchen herbs for example would really benefit from a self-watering pot.
If you are not taking your pets with you, then you need provisions for them too. Not everything can be done with a gadget here, but it certainly helps. A gravity food dispenser will hold dry food for your pet for a few days or up to a week. Obviously this doesn’t make up for walks or cuddles. But it means you can go away for a weekend without worrying. Or even have someone come and check in every few days while you are away.
Items to help you pack
Eventually, it will be time to pack. And no matter how neat your packing and how organised your suitcase is, things do get wrinkled. And yes, there are mini-irons out there, but that is not the gadget we picked, because it is a little niche. Instead, consider a simple shirt case to ensure he has a wrinkle-free shirt on the trip, because whether it is a business trip or whether you want to go for a fancy meal on a holiday, you will always need a good shirt.
Travelling light allows you to be in charge of your luggage and make you more flexible
Gadgets for the flight
When it comes to the flight (or other means of transport), everone has their hacks. Some like to travel casual, others will always look impeccable. But you will need to rest on your journey so you can feel fresh when you arrive. And this is why you need a good travel pillow and one which will not hurt your neck after an hour. There are quite a few out there and it all depends what you are looking for. There is a comfortable one called an Ostrich pillow, but it is not easy to pack away in a handbag. The one we picked folds together and is compact. But has good neck support and will keep you from landing on your neighbour’s shoulder if you have the dreaded middle seat.
Now that you are well-rested, you can go to the beach and enjoy your holiday. Ideally, without getting sand everywhere. So consider getting a sandfree towel. The “rugs” are available in different sizes, though in order to have a large sandfree area for all your belongings, the larger the better. While with children sand may be inevitable, if you are traveling adults-only, it will make your beach holiday a lot more comfortable.
Unless you are going on an unplugged holiday, get a solar powered power bank. First of all, you don’t have to worry about adapters and the number of plugs in your hotel room. But it also means you can charge from anywhere and it is unlikely to get overheated as other electricals may do. It’s a win-win.
And finally, if you are aiming for adventure travel, you may need a pocket knife. A quick word of advice: Depending on where your travelling to, check what the rules are on carrying even a pocket knife with you.
This one is disguised in a credit card, which makes in inconspicuous, but also easy to store away. Don’t worry, the blade is conceiled when stored away.
As any mother knows, your baby achieves milestones by the minute (well, it certainly seems that way). Before we know it, they’re 6 months old and ready to start trying solid foods.
If you’re soon to, or just starting on the weaning phase of your child’s development, this is a competition for you!
We’ve partnered with Organix (@organixbrands), who create organic and delicious foods for little ones, to giveaway 3 copies of their Baby & Toddler cookbook, as well as some of their top selling finger foods, including the Organix Apple Rice Cakes & Organix Carrot Sticks.
Delicious recipes the whole family can enjoy!
Crammed full of 70 recipes, you’ll find recipes to help with the 4 key stages of their food journey. They’re all designed to introduce lots of different textures and tastes to help your little one find a love of food; all of which are perfectly portioned, with plenty of ideas for breakfast, lunch and dinner too.
What’s more, most of the recipes are perfect for the whole family too! Helping to make mealtimes effortless.
In addition to the cookbook, you’ll also receive a selection of finger foods which make for ideal additions to mealtimes and perfect snacks when you’re on the go. Included in the prize will be some of their top selling finger foods such as the Organix Apple Rice Cakes & Organix Carrot Sticks.
For your chance to win this incredible prize, simply complete the below form. Be sure to follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest where we’ll be publishing extra chances and ways for you to enter.
Note: Our redirect is a little rubbish. So, we’ll send you an email to confirm your entry. Please note this may go into your junk folder.
Your Email Address*:
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Most people already know whether they want to get married at home or abroad. But if you’re on the fence, find the idea of eloping appealing or you’re simply overwhelmed by planning your wedding, this is a piece for you.
We look at the reasons why you may consider a destination wedding.
The location when it comes to marrying abroad
There may be a location that is special to you and your partner. Somewhere full of your happiest memories where you want to say your ‘I do’s’. There is also the romantic appeal of marrying somewhere abroad, with scenic backdrops to form the basis for your wedding photos too.
Of course, a larger motivator for wanting to marry abroad is for some guaranteed sunshine. If this is a crucial factor for you in having a destination wedding, be sure to be weary of rainy seasons so you don’t get caught out. Even tropical and seemingly glorious destinations get rain.
The intimacy of getting marrying abroad
Often, marrying abroad allows you to have a more intimate wedding. When you marry abroad this will automatically exclude people that are unable to travel because of health and costs. However, those that want to be there and celebrate with you, will do all they can to be there and there’s something quite comforting in that.
You can always have a party on your return to celebrate with those that couldn’t be there and that mean something to you. It gives you that control that you may otherwise not have with a home wedding.
The cost of getting married abroad
If you’ve always wanted to go to the Caribbean, plan your wedding there! Its cheaper than a wedding in the UK and you can take that trip you’ve always dreamed of.
With such a significant difference in price you could upgrade your rooms, flights and experiences and real spoil yourselves with the things that matter most to you.
The service you get when planning a wedding abroad
When picking your destination, look for venues or resorts that specifically talk about hosting a wedding. This will give you some confidence that they have some experience in planning destination weddings. Additionally, you’ll likely be allocated a wedding coordinator, often at no extra cost, and it means that they are equipped with the resources on site, knowledge of legalities and are best placed to make recommendations when it comes to sourcing suppliers. Helping to alleviate a lot of the stresses when planning a wedding.
As you need to rely on wedding coordinators in a separate country, they’ll often go above and beyond to ensure that your day goes without a hitch. They’ll source beauticians, hairdressers, flowers, photographers and more for you. Whatever you want or need, they’ll often do all they can to source the aspects that are important to you.
If you book your flights, accommodations and transfers through a travel agent, this will give you two points of contact.
Looking for more wedding inspiration? Take a look at some of our wedding planning features below. From budgeting to honeymoon planning, we’ve lots of inspiration on site! Any further questions about marrying abroad? Send them over and we’ll look into it for you. You can leave us a comment below or email us: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Our babies grow so quickly that in a blink of an eye, it’s time to start weaning them onto solid foods. Whether you’re wondering when the best time is, or how to introduce new foods, this is a guide for you.
When should you start weaning your baby?
Milk should provide enough energy and nutrients for growing and developing, until little ones reach six months.
At around six months of age, your baby will start to need nutrients not available in adequate amounts in their milk alone. So at this time it’s important they’re introduced to solid food that starts to meet their additional nutritional needs in addition to breastfeeding or formula milk for up to two years of age.
Signs your baby is ready
There are 3 signs that tend to appear together at around 6 months. The important thing to remember is that if your baby is ready for solid food all 3 signs will be there. Your baby is ready if they can:
Co-ordinate their eyes, hands and mouth, can look at food, grab it and put it in their mouth all by themselves.
Stay in a sitting position and can hold their head steady.
Swallow their food: Small babies instinctively use their tongues to push foreign objects out of their mouths, and until this reflex fades, they are likely to do the same thing to a spoon or a piece of banana.
Tasty tips for first food adventures
It can take 10 tries or more before your baby will accept a new food or texture, so it is a good idea to keep offering a scrummy variety of foods even if they weren’t keen the first-time round. As mums and dads, we know it isn’t always going to be easy, but it is always going to be worth it.
As you and your baby grow more confident with introducing first foods, you can have lots of fun trying all sorts of different shapes, textures and tastes. Exploring, playing and getting hands on helps fuel your little one’s sense of wonder and encourages a love of good food for life.
10 tips to weaning:
Relax! Try not to get too stressed, it’s just food. The wonderful challenge of being a mum or dad means you get to experience the giggles, gurgles and a fair share of tears and tantrums, too!
Timing: Try your baby with their first taste of food when you know they’re at their best. Are they a smiley morning or a giggly evening baby?
Plan for mess! It will be a gooey, messy extravaganza, putting a piece of fabric under the high chair which you can pop into the washing machine after each meal can make it easier.
Full up: Your baby’s tummy is teeny weeny, so don’t worry if they start to turn their head after a few mouthfuls, they’ve just had enough for now.
Veg first: Weaning vegetables first helps to set up healthy food choices for life for your little one.
Small batches: If you’re trying out puree, make small portions of new recipes to start with – you don’t want 50 ice cubes of lamb tagine if you find your baby is more of a bolognese connoisseur!
Basic kit: You don’t need lots of fancy equipment, just a few weaning spoons, little bowls, some bibs, a highchair, and a stick blender.
Try again: Don’t despair if your baby is slow to like a new food, try it again another day.
Eat together: Babies love being social. Sitting and eating with others embeds good habits and can be a fun filled experience.
Play with food: Finger foods like scrummy Organix sweetcorn rings at meal times can help them try new tastes and encourage them to feed themselves.
Finger foods to try
As you and your baby grow more confident with weaning, you can have fun with all sorts of lip-smacking tasty foods. Your little one might take it very seriously, or squeal with delight as they squish and squash foods between their fingers. As they do so, they are boosting their hand-eye co-ordination and you’ll experience the wonder of watching your little ones first tastes.
Just as taste is a whole new, wonderous world to your baby, so is shape. A cube of cheese, a tube of pasta or a segment of orange are all exciting new shapes, and your little one will want to reach out to grip and grab these enticing-looking finger foods.
Finger foods are also a great tool for busy mums and dads when out and about. Have a packet of melty Organix Pea Puffs to hand for long journeys or hungry café moments. The Organix No Junk Promise means we only use the tastiest, best organic ingredients and never add salt, artificial colours or flavours to our foods. It’s our way of giving mums and dads the added reassurance of finger foods they can trust for their little one.
Research shows that babies who are offered a wide variety of tastes and textures are more likely to eat a wide range of foods later in childhood.
Try these finger foods:
Soft cooked carrot batons or potato wedges.
New textures and tastes like a juicy piece of mango.
Chunky circles of fruity Organix apple rice cakes are a great way to offer different shapes for little ones to play with.
Introduce citrus flavours – a segment of orange
Delicious melt in the mouth Organix carrot sticks are a good way to explore new textures.
Broccoli florets are a fun texture to grip and grab.
Early weaning recipes from Organix
You’ll find lots of tasty weaning recipes in the new Organix Baby & Toddler Cookbook – it’s crammed with 70 tasty recipes for all the family, with deliciously feel-good food for the key stages of your little one’s development. There are delicious recipes for breakfast, lunch and dinner, all perfectly portioned, to help busy parents fuel their little ones’ wonder with tasty, nutritious food – all tried and tested by Organix own teeny-tiny food critics who’ve given them the thumbs up!
For ease, the recipes are organised into four age groups to suit your child’s developmental age: 6+ months, 7+ months, 10+ months and 12+ months. They are all designed to have lots of different textures and tastes, to help budding foodies fall in love with yummy fruit and veg. What’s more, most of the recipes are suitable for the whole family too!
Thank you to Organix for sharing their top tips to weaning. We sure found this really helpful! You’ll find lots more advice, tips and recipe ideas for baby’s first foods at www.organix.com and searching social for #FuelTheirWonder. We’ve also got 3 copies of The Organix Baby and Toddler cookbook to giveaway. Head to our competitions page to find out more and enter.
Get in touch!
We’d love to hear from you! How old is your little one? Are they showing an interest in food? Have you already started weaning? Are you and your baby enjoying the process? Are you facing any challenges? Share with us your journey in the comments below.
We’ve shacked up with British Condoms in our latest competition to giveaway a £40 voucher to spend on their site!
Whether you’re looking to play it safe with industry leading condoms, spice things up with a little sensual massage or intensify pleasure with a little lubrication (seriously, it can transform your sex life- read all about it in the Independent), British Condoms can give you that satisfaction.
So, if your looking to stock up, get experimental and quite simply have your world rocked, all you need to do is complete the below form to get your entry in.
Be sure to follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest where we’ll be publishing extra chances and ways for you to enter.
Your Email Address*:
Your Phone Number*:
We would love to send you our weekly newsletter, we promise not to spam, if you would like to receive your personal invitation, please tick the box
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Looking for other ways to spice up your relationship? Below we’ve shared our guide to fragrance- how you can use this to drive your partner wild and things you can do to reinvigorate your love life!
Whether you are going away for a weekend or for a holiday, the place you stay can make all the difference to your trip.
Long gone are the days when you just booked a room in a chain hotel located in a high rise in the city centre. It is not just about having a place to sleep anymore, but rather about having a home away from home, a cosy place to retreat after a day out.
This is why boutique hotels are popular around the country. They are smaller and more intimate. No two boutique hotels are the same. They each have character and an identity you will never find in a chain. If you want to see the country, this is the way to travel.
Here are our favourite boutique hotels in England – by region. All you need to do is decide which corner of the country you want to explore.
North West England Hotels
The Lake District is one of the best places to while away some time, get out into nature and relax in the evening. Spend a few days enjoying the peace and quiet of this environment.
There are two fantastic boutique hotels you can try next time you head up there.
Applegarth Villa in Windmere has a wide range of suites available, from dog friendly ones to the luxury suites with a private hot tub and terrace.
You can enjoy the stunning view of the lake or get pampered: from massages in your room to little treats to celebrate your honeymoon or Valentine’s Day to the restaurant with some of the best dining in the area, including vegetarian, gluten free and dairy free options.
The alternative is Linthwaite House, a luxury accommodation for foodies. With all-day dining, cheese boards, afternoon tea and cocktails, you could spend the day tasting the fantastic creations whilst enjoying the views of Windmere.
Pop your head outside to find games and activities. It seems you don’t even have to leave your hotel… but if you do, there are walking trails, cycle paths and even row boats around.
North East England Hotels
For a meal, a holiday, or for a special event – Jesmond Dene’s House in Newcastle upon Tyne is the place to go.
It’s a beautiful 19th century hotel which looks like it’s straight out of the National Trust catalogue. With a choice of 40 rooms, it is one of the larger boutique hotels, and also one of the very few with family rooms (or indeed where children are allowed). You can take your pick between the rooms and suites or opt for the apartment suite.
The Arts and Crafts hotel includes a restaurant with an AA Rosette and the Great Hall is ideal for your next big event. It will be a venue you will never forget.
Imagine decorating it and making it into the setting for your dream wedding.
If you are looking for a country holiday and are headed to Devon, the The Pig at Combe is the ultimate country boutique hotel. You may not have your own country home, but this is as close as you are going to get.
While it is a chain of hotels, this manor has a unique feel. You can sit at the rustic wooden table, eating your food sourced from the walled garden whilst looking out onto the estate.
Later you can retreat to your room in the Tudor Manor and relax in front of an open fire.
A post shared by House & Garden (@houseandgardenuk) on Nov 7, 2017 at 7:06am PST
Eight is the name and the theme of this rather new but already very popular hotel in Bath. Eight rooms, eight dishes for each course.
If you are a bit of a foodie, this will be your heaven. The dishes have been carefully thought out by chef Fred Lavault and change according to the seasons. Plates are sized to work as a first course or main depending on your preference, and you can choose two to three dishes to make your perfect meal and there will be a choice of wines to complement your evening.
A post shared by Solent Forts (@solent.forts) on Jun 30, 2019 at 8:41am PDT
Your one or two-day Fort Experience can be as adventurous or as relaxing as you want. Spend a weekend getting pampered at the spa, sitting around a fire pit, drinking champagne and doing wine (or rum!) tastings or go on a treasure hunts, go fishing or get stuck in a Fort War Lazer Battle with friends.
South East England Hotels
Looking for a foodie break? Head to Amano. You can stay in one of their four rooms and eat your way through the different menus – from weekday to weekends, dessert and brunch.
As the name suggests, Amano is the place to go for Italian food. From baked aubergines to a roasted leg of lamb, home made pasta and pizza – you can create a two or three course meal or order from the menu.
If you are going for brunch, make sure to browse the brunch drinks menu with a number of prosecco creations.
Eastern England Hotels
In summer or winter, Norfolk is a lovely place to escape for a few days.
If you want a peaceful and quiet setting, The Boathouse is for you. In most of the six rooms you can wake up to a view of the Broads – what better way to start the day?
Even better, you can end the day watching the sun set over the water. If that isn’t a relaxing getaway, then we don’t know what is.
There is an entirely separate wedding venue so if you like the location, think of having your event there.
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West Midlands Hotels
The Edgbaston Hotel in Birmingham, not far from the city centre, now has 20 rooms and is just a 10-minute walk from the centre. You can explore the city during the day and come back to your room in the evening to enjoy a bit of Victorian-style luxury: king sized beds, high ceilings and a freestanding bath.
In the evening, no need to go back into the city, just head to the Art Deco cocktail lounge before having dinner at your hotel.
Full disclosure: This boutique hotel is in Wales but if you are in the Chester area, Gladstone’s Library is so unique, it is worth popping just a few miles across the border.
The residential library is the perfect place to read, relax, or write. What better place to finally get those words on the page than sat among 150,000 books?
The library is open all day and even the rooms are designed for booklovers, with each room being tastefully decorated in the book theme and each housing a mini library of its own. The rooms look like they could be taken straight from your Pinterest board of dream rooms.
East Midlands Hotels
For a summer holiday, there’s nothing better than a place where everyone will find something they enjoy. Stapleford Park Hotel in Leicestershire is exactly that. The luxury golf spa hotel is a perfect family holiday as it is a place for you and your girlfriends to get pampered, for a holiday away with your pooch or for a golfing holiday for the men.
A post shared by Stapleford Park (@staplefordpark) on Jun 27, 2019 at 5:08am PDT
The venue has a number of packages on offer to suit your specific needs, all based at the country house with it’s 500 acre park with lakes.
There are even a few cottages to rent if you are holidaying with a larger group.
Get away from your every day life and stress and take a few days to enjoy the Dales National Park. To be at the heart of the Yorkshire Dales, head to Brownber Hall – it will be like having your own little (or rather grand) country home.
Enjoy the view over the Hogwill Fells from your room and be inspired. The activities around this little boutique hotel vary from walking and cycling to wild swimming, bird watching and swimming. The owners will even help you to arrange a tour on horseback if you want to give it a try!
The hotel also has single rooms should you want a little trip on your own.
We all enjoy a little trip to London – be it for shopping or sightseeing or for a night before flying from Heathrow. But there is nothing worse than ending up in a tower block, with city centre noise and no chance to relax.
So instead, head to the The Levin in Knightsbridge. You have a choice of 12 hotel rooms and 9 apartments next door, depending on the length of your stay. Enjoy the elegantly decorated rooms and dining at the restaurant next door (which can be charged to your room) and then head out. You are so close to Harrods and all the shops you could wish for on your London trip.
We hope this guide has provided you with some travel inspiration. Equally, if you’ve found a hidden gem you love, tell us about it in the comments below!
Courses to give you confidence and a guide to an essentials first aid kit for the home
A primal instinct for any mother is to protect and keep their children safe. You’ve probably done a little reading around first aid and have more than likely seen the adverts and videos with a step-by-step guide on how to perform CPR on your infant or assist them if/when they’re choking. But you’ve unlikely put these techniques in to practice and you hope to god that you never have to.
It’s one thing to be aware of how to perform first aid, but quite another to actually do it. You want to ensure that you know exactly what to do, with which techniques to use in a high-pressure situation to give your child the best chance of survival. We don’t want to scaremonger, we just want to prepare you.
The best way to know what to do in an emergency situation, is to practice it. However, it’s not something you can or should do on a well person. So, participating in a course, and doing so every few years or as and when your circumstances change for a refresher, is the best thing to do.
Participating in a first aid course will help you to feel more comfortable and confident that when faced with an emergency situation, you’ll have the tools necessary to help your children until help arrives.
Baby first aid courses- first aid for newborns and infants
By participating in a baby first aid course, you’ll learn how to determine if your baby is unresponsive, the correct recovery position and essentially, how to perform CPR on your baby.
You’ll also be given advise around fevers, rashes and suspected meningitis, choking, croup and what to do if your child bumps their head and/or is bleeding.
This is a thorough class that’ll give you lots of tools in first aid for up to the first 12 months of your baby’s life.
There are lots of free resources on the St John Ambulance website, with tutorial videos and step-by-step guides but nothing beats some first-hand experience like a course. We’ve included some of the key instructional videos for you to watch below:
How to perform CPR on your baby
How to Give Baby CPR - First Aid Training - St John Ambulance - YouTube
What to do if your baby is choking
What to do if Your Baby is Choking - First Aid Training - St John Ambulance - YouTube
How to put your baby into the recovery position
How to Put Your Baby in the Recovery Position - First Aid Training - St John Ambulance - YouTube
What to do if your baby has a fever
What to do if Your Baby has Fever - First Aid Training - St John Ambulance - YouTube
The at-home essentials first aid kit
It’s a great idea to put together an essentials first aid kit in the home so that you have the resources to hand for any accident or illness. We spoke to the team at St John Ambulance to find out what you need to keep in stock at home in case of emergency.
Thermometer suitable for babies to allow you to check their temperature
Painkillers for the family and some specific for your baby and infants
Plasters- to protect open wounds, it’s best to prepare with an array of sizes
Sterile wound dressing- larger cloth with a bandage for large cuts and wounds to help apply pressure and to help stop bleeding
Roller bandages- to support join injuries, hold dressings and to apply pressure to wounds to help stop the bleeding
Disposable gloves- to reduce the risk of infection
Cleansing wipes- to help clean wounds before dressing them
Gauze pads- which can be used for dressing or cleaning wounds
Sticky tape- to hold dressings in place
Pins/clips- to fasten loose bandages
Scissors, shears and/or tweezers- to cut pads, bandages and/or tape to length.
We hope this has been a helpful introductory guide to first aid for your children. If it’s of interest, St John Ambulance also offer first aid courses for all which will not only equip you with some of the essential tools to help your infants but will give you further tools and techniques to help anyone of any age.
We’d like to thank St John Ambulance for sharing their resources with us.
Grief is the natural response we get when we lose a loved one, someone we cared for and someone who meant something to us. At some point in our lives all of us will know what it is like to grieve, to have that emotional feeling which is so intense it can almost feel like a physical pain within us. There is no wrong or right way for anyone to grieve, it is something very personal and unique to each individual. This article highlights some of the stages of grief which we could experience and ways in which we can help ourselves through that grief.
The shock of losing someone we love
When we lose someone close to us it is often the shock which hits us first which can be so overwhelming it can leave us totally floored, not being able to function or even comprehend what has happened. Some people feel totally numb and in denial about what has happened and expecting their loved one to walk through the door at any time. However, shock can affect people in different ways and some will continue going through the motions and keeping busy. It may only be some time later, perhaps after the funeral and all the arrangements have been taken care of, that the shock can set in.
Feeling of anger when someone passes away
Anger is a very common emotion that could be directed at the person who has died as we feel angry they have left us on our own. We could also experience a lot of anger towards doctors and hospitals, especially if we were not happy with how our loved one was treated.
We often feel guilty when we lose someone we love
Guilt is a very powerful emotion that is often experienced when we lose someone we love. We may feel guilty they died and not us, which may be particularly relevant in the case of when a child dies and a parent may find it difficult to accept they continue living while their child has died. This can also happen in traumatic events and disasters when people can experience guilt they are alive when others have lost their lives. Some may feel relieved when a loved one has died and this is particularly relevant in the case where a loved one has been suffering in immense pain for some time and the relief is that their suffering has come to an end and they are now at peace. However, it can bring feelings of guilt for feeling that way.
In cases where a loved one has sadly taken their own life there can be enormous feelings of guilt and constant churning thoughts as to whether something could have been done or said which may have prevented the suicide.
Grief can bring about depression, anxiety about the future, worries about how one can cope without their loved one in their life. People can become socially isolated, lose their confidence, they may feel they have no sense of purpose or role, very relevant in cases where someone has been a carer for their loved one, and all these feelings can add to depression and feeling very lost and alone in the world. Some may feel they lose interest in their normal day to day activities, experience mood swings, they may feel they hear the voice of their loved one, see their loved one or feel their presence around them and all these feelings and emotions are perfectly normal to have.
Feelings of isolation is common
Feelings of isolation can be added by the fact that others often do not know what to say to someone who has been bereaved and therefore will avoid them, not because they do not care but because they feel they may say the wrong thing, they don’t know whether to mention the person who has died in case it causes upset, and so often they may keep away. People who have been bereaved often say that immediately after a death and making arrangements for the funeral they feel there are people around, but after the funeral is when feelings of isolation often set in and that is the time they need their friends around them the most.
There does come a time where we find acceptance of our loved one’s death. Where we can accept we will no longer see them, and that our life will be different. When we move forward with our lives that does not mean forgetting the loved one but accepting that our life continues without them and that is what our loved one would want for us. We learn to adjust, we accept that our life will be different, there will be changes and we will always have that loss, but that does not mean we cannot find life meaningful or find happiness again.
Taking care of ourselves when we’re grieving is important
So how can we help ourselves through the grieving process? One of the most important things we can do is to express our feelings and emotions rather than bottle them up inside. That could be speaking to a friend or a relative or even writing down how you feel, anything to get the feelings out. Some people feel they have to keep a stiff upper lip and maybe not wishing to cry in front of others, but crying is a perfectly natural reaction to have and a good way to prevent emotions building up inside. When emotions are not allowed to come out, it can make the grieving process more difficult.
When a death is unexpected or sudden, we may feel there were things we would have wanted to say but didn’t. A good way of addressing this is to write a letter as if we were writing to our loved one and to read the letter as many times as we need to before we feel we can let the letter go. As a symbol of letting go, destroy the letter knowing we are now at peace that we have said all that we wanted to say.
Grief can also be very draining physically and can leave us feeling very fatigued. It can be an effort to look after ourselves, but it is so important physically to be as strong and healthy as we can. This will make it easier to cope with so many fluctuating emotions and feelings going on inside. Try and eat healthily and not skip meals, get plenty of sleep, fresh air, exercise and rest.
Often, people around us will not know what to say or how to be so we need to try and let others know what will help us. Some may tell us not to talk about a loved one as we will get upset but let them know it helps to talk about the person you have lost, and you are alright with them talking about the person too. You may feel you want someone there with you for company or just to go out with for a coffee or someone just to be there to listen while you talk. Don’t be afraid to let people know how they can help you.
A great comfort can be looking at photos of a loved one and making a memory box of their belongings which could include clothing, photos, ornaments and possessions which meant something to them. A memory jar is also be something to consider. Memories which are happy, funny, that make you smile, are put on pieces of paper and into a large jar that can be taken out and read any time. Visiting places a loved one used to go is another way of feeling that closeness and bringing some form of comfort for yourself.
Planning in advance what to do on special days, birthdays, anniversaries, Christmas, can be a good idea as you may feel you want company, or to visit a special place or their grave or garden of remembrance. Special occasions are always going to be hard to cope with but it does get easier with time as you learn to cope with the loss.
For those who feel they have no purpose it may be a good opportunity to try new hobbies, learn a language, consider volunteering in the local community. We all need to feel a sense of purpose and have direction in life and setting ourselves new goals and challenges can help us to find that sense of fulfilment and purpose.
Grief can take such a toll on us that we need to be extra caring to ourselves and very patient with ourselves and there should come a time where the intensity of the pain and loss we feel lessens, where we will start to have some better days, where we may feel more like getting back to our activities and hobbies. As this happens, we will find we can focus more on the happier memories and times spent with our loved one. It is important to remember that they were so much more than their death. Try to focus on all the years of their life and not let their loss overshadow all the years spent with them and the memories of good times which are there to cherish forever.
There is support available
While time is a healer and we learn to cope with the loss, if anyone is struggling and finding they are unable to move forward with their lives and feeling like they’re sinking into depression, it is so important to seek help from others. This could be by ringing a Helpline, by seeking counselling, by joining a support group, seeking spiritual help, but never feel alone with that pain. Knowing when to ask for help is a sign of strength, not weakness, and there is support out there for those who need it. SupportLine is a charity providing emotional support and can give details of counselling services and support groups throughout the UK. Email email@example.com or visit www.supportline.org.uk for more information.
Most of us know that we should have savings. So, do our best to do so. Having the effort to save up some money, the last thing you need is for some of the interest you accrue to go to the taxman. Fortunately, there are plenty of tax-efficient ways for you to save.
Individual Savings Accounts (ISAs)
ISAs have been available since 1999. There five main types. Including Wealthify stocks and shares ISA, cash ISAs, Help to Buy ISAs, Lifetime ISAs and innovative finance ISAs. Which is right for you, depends on your circumstances and how you want your funds to be held or invested.
For example, the Help to Buy ISA is only an option for first-time buyers, but the other ISAs are available for anyone aged over 18. Before investing you will need to do a little additional research to work out which ISAs you could use. For the 2019/20 tax year, you are able to save up to £20,000 a year using ISA. The interest or dividend earned is tax-free.
The UK government wants to encourage everyone to save for their retirement. So, they offer tax relief on pension contributions. How you get this tax relief varies. Some people pay a smaller tax bill or the amount that is paid into their scheme is increased.
Importantly, you can benefit from tax-free interest on some pension plans, even if you are a non-taxpayer. If you have not already done so, it is well worth finding out more about this form of tax-free saving.
National Savings and Investments (NS&I)
Periodically, the NS&I offer special bonds. Often, the interest accrued on these is tax-free. So, it is well worth your while keeping an eye out for these. The level of interest paid is usually attractive. Although to be able to fully benefit from these rates you will normally have to tie your funds up for a few years, at least.
Putting some of your spare cash into Premium Bonds is worth considering. However, you do not get paid any interest. Instead, every bond you own is put into a prize draw that takes place, every month. Anything you win is free of UK Income Tax and Capital Gains Tax.
They are not right for all people but are still an option that is worth looking at. You can find out more about how they work and find out if they are suitable for you by clicking here.
Make full use of each person’s personal savings allowance
For the 2019/20 tax year, each person can earn up to £1,000 in interest without having to pay tax. If one member of the family has savings that accrue interest that takes them over that limit, it may be wise for them not to build up any more savings in their name. Instead, the spare cash the household has can be channelled into accounts that are held by other members of the family. This approach to saving may not suit every family, but, it is certainly worth considering doing this.
This feature was created in collaboration with Wealthify for which we received payment.