5 Concussion Precautions Parents Should Consider

Spring is finally here and that means warmer weather, flowers blooming and of course, kid’s sports are in full swing. We all want to keep our kids safe and healthy. The word concussion is something that instills fear in any parent because they know concussions are closely associated with many youth contact sports. However, there are a few preventative measures every parent can take to help keep their children in the game and out of the doctor’s office.
Erin and Lee Hanson, created the Guardian Caps more than 17 years ago to help reduce the impact of hits with their own son when he began playing contact football. The Hanson’s are well versed in the concussion world and shared some of helpful tips to avoid enduring a devastating concussion injury.
1. Know the Symptoms of Concussions
Concussions are often misdiagnosed and inappropriately treated, but having the knowledge concussion symptoms can help detect when they occur to avoid a more serious injury. Some of the most common symptoms include: loss of consciousness, amnesia, confusion, headache, dizziness, nausea, fatigue, ringing in the ear and sensitivity to light or noise.
2. Properly Fitted Helmets
Having a properly fitted helmet ensures that they will work to the best of their ability to help athletes protect themselves. Certified athletic trainers are trained in helmet fitting and can guarantee that the helmet fits properly as the first line of defense in injury prevention.
3. Wearing the Proper Mouth Guard
Many parents don’t realize the importance of a mouth guard, but it can often times absorb the majority of the impact if the player is hit near the chin or jaw. In return, the shock absorbed by the mouth guard will help the player remain conscious to avoid a concussion.
4. Enforce Proper Hitting Techniques
Teaching your athlete the importance of proper hitting and tackling techniques can help keep everyone safe on the field. Leading with the body instead of the head and eliminating face-to-face tackling can help reduce the amount of concussions that are often associated with them.
5. Knowing About Additional Protective Gear
Staying up-to-date on different products that can help reduce hitting impact, such as the Guardian Caps developed by the Hanson Group. The Guardian Cap is a soft-shell helmet covering created to reduce the impact from blows to the head. Although they cannot reduce or prevent concussions, they can help reduce the impact of every hit by up to 33%.


With Mother’s Day right around the corner, we just found out about a cool list from Rdio – that pays tribute to moms everywhere. From Christina Aguilera to Alicia Keys, some of the music from today’s hottest moms is included in the playlist which is appropriately titled: Dear Mama – A Musical Tribute as well as song dedications from 2Pac, Ozzy Osbourne and BB. King.
Check out the Dear Mama playlist, or visit www.rdio.com to create one of your own. I just turned on the 15 hours of 80s music playlist and I’m pretty much set for the rest of the day!

Help Protect Children with Allergies

Summer camp is a place for your kids to swim, play sports, run around and have fun! If your child has a food allergy, summer camp can seem scary. It’s not uncommon to find peanut butter and jelly sandwiches or products consisting of eggs and wheat in the camp cafeteria, but for many children who suffer with food allergies, these products can raise high concerns. According to The Food Allergy & Anaphylaxis Network (FAAN), 8% of U.S. kids have been diagnosed with food allergies and every 3 minutes, a food allergy reaction occurs. With food allergies on the rise, it’s extremely important for parents to inform teachers and staff of their child’s allergies, as well as take precaution into their own hands.
Hope Paige, has created new, fashionable, and affordable medical bracelets for children to remain safe when suffering with food allergies when away at summer camp, in the classroom, on a field trip or a play date at a friend’s house. These ID bracelets are stylish and easily blend in with everyday pieces, but during a time of need, will stand out to medical professionals. With fun colors, styles and a personalization option, these bracelets will allow any child to show off their personal style with a one-of-a-kind bracelet while staying safe.
You can even give back by purchasing a bracelet created by a celebrity and a portion of the proceeds will go to their favorite charity. For example, Melissa Joan Hart supporting ST. JUDE Children’s Hospital, Misty May-Treanor supporting BreastCancer.Org, Kimora Lee Simmons supporting JDRF and more.
In addition to the bracelets, Hope Paige has created an infographic illustrating the amount of children suffering from allergies who will be attending summer camp this year. We all work so hard to keep our kids safe, why not ensure that they are protected by wearing a stylish bracelet to let everyone know about their allergy.
Click here to check out their newest arrivals. Young kids through teens will love all the different choices and actually want to wear the bracelets, so you can enjoy your summer too with a little less worry.

Unplugging has Helped My Family Re-connect

Over the last year, I made an important decision after leaving a full time job where I used to get home close to 8 pm, shovel some food into my mouth – talk to my kids and husband for a few minutes, and then zip back online to write, catch up on emails and surf Facebook. I quit that job back in August and since that time, while I spend a good part of my day online, I’ve found more time for my family and it’s actually made everyone a whole lot happier.
In fact, yesterday, as I accompanied my daughter into Manhattan for a workshop she’s taking at FIT, she revealed that she used to hate that I got home from work so late and was online all the time. Sure, she’s glued to her iPhone for several hours a day, but in that moment, she and I had a very real conversation. My 14 year old and me and she told me how happy she was that I am now a work at home mom.
In addition to not having to commute into the city several times a week, I also have opted out of attending dozens of conferences throughout the year. Sure, if I were more visible I could potentially sign more clients, but at what cost? Is it worth it to me to get to speak on a panel and then miss my son pitch a flawless baseball game? I think not. Granted – I did miss him pitching today because I had to attend a Weight Watchers meeting, but I did make it to his second game and saw him hit a triple, so all was forgiven.
They say it’s tough being a new mom and having to juggle work and family. But what they don’t tell you is that the guilt part gets harder as they get older. I am now at a stage in my life where I am watching my daughter discover her true passion and I have to tell you, I am so proud. I’m also thrilled to know that if she wants to become a fashion designer, that I can help connect her to door opening opportunities that could put her on the road to success. Am I a stage mom? Absolutely not. But I know that despite the fact that I have my own personal and professional goals, my husband and kids comes first and there’s nowhere else I’d rather be than hanging on the couch with them.
So while my peers hop on planes, trains and automobiles to attend conferences, business trips and getaways, I’ll be staying put for now. Sure, I’d gladly go on a business trip when it’s for an important client or a great professional opportunity but otherwise, I’d rather spend the night in my own bed sleeping next to my spouse and two cats.
Does that mean I am not driven or passionate enough to achieve my own career goals? Not at all. Success comes along when you least expect it and sometimes, it’s all about timing. And right now, it’s time for my kids to be in the spotlight.
So if you don’t see me getting involved in online conversations as often as I used to – it’s because my family and I are watching another episode of “Long Island Medium” or “Say Yes to the Dress.” It might not be Oscar worthy entertainment fare but I don’t care. I’m hanging out with my kids and that suits me just fine.

Take Back the Kitchen: Alma’s Corn Dog Muffins

Hi everyone! I know what you’re thinking: Corn dogs are terrible for you! Hey, well guess what? Not these! Sure, it’s not the most nutritious dinner but if your kids are jonesing for corn dogs filled with garbage additives, this is a great alternative if paired with a nice helping of vegetables. And who doesn’t like a cupcake shape?
My pickiest kid LOVED this so I will be making it again. I used my own cornbread recipe, added a bit of honey to it and used no nitrate hot dogs so my kids wouldn’t get sick!
Corn Dog Muffins:

4 beef, turkey, chicken or tofu hot dogs chopped up
Corn Muffins:
Dry ingredients:
1 cup stoneground cornmeal
1 cup unbleached flour
1/3 cup sugar
2 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
Wet ingredients:
1 cup skim milk
6 TBS melted butter (plus two more tsp for greasing tins-keep separate)
1/3 cup honey
Preheat oven to 350 degrees
Combine all dry ingredients in one bowl
Combine all wet ingredients in another bowl
Mix the two and stir until fully combined
Grease a 12 cup muffin tin with the two tsp melted butter (use a bush or wet a napkin with the melted butter and rub into tins)
Divide the batter evenly in the 12 tins and then equally divide the cut up hot dogs and push them under the surface of the batter
Bake at 350 for 20 minutes until a toothpick comes out clean from center of muffin. Serve hot!

Celebrate Cinco De Mayo, Family Style!

Written by Role Mommy Contributor, Danielle Feigenbaum

happycincodemayo.jpeg Back in the day BK (before kids), Cinco De Mayo meant a really fun night out with lots of margaritas. The weather was just starting to get nice and my friends and I would go to Happy Hour outside in New York City. Those days may be behind me, but now I get to have a different kind of fun on Sunday, May 5th! Here are some ideas on how to celebrate family style, with celebrity chef, Ingrid Hoffmann @SimplyIngrid #CokeFiesta.
Art projects are always a big hit in my house. Since we all love tacos, why not make our own taco holders to use as part of our Cinco De Mayo dinner? You do not need to be crafty, it’s simple to make. All you need to do is print, cut and let the kids decorate. (To print click here)
Thumbnail image for Taco Holder Final.jpg
I am all about fun and simple recipes since I am not the best cook. It’s not always easy for me to get my kids involved in the kitchen, but this is definitely something I will make with my nine and six year old as part of our Cinco De Mayo celebration! I think they can handle adding ingredients and mixing. Here is a recipe for a delicious twist on traditional guacamole from Food Network Chef, Ingrid Hoffmann of Simply Delicioso!
Mango-tomatillo Guacamole

Makes 2 cups
2 ripe Hass avocados, halved, seeded, and peeled
2 tomatillos, husked and finely chopped
1 ripe mango, peeled, seeded, and cubed
½ small red onion, finely chopped
1 serrano chile, finely chopped (remove seeds before chopping for less heat)
2 tablespoons fresh cilantro, chopped
1 tablespoon fresh mint leaves, chopped
1½ tablespoons fresh lemon juice
kosher salt
baked tortilla or pita chips, for serving
1. Mash the avocados in a medium bowl with a fork, leaving them still a bit chunky. Fold in the tomatillos, mango, onion, chile, cilantro, and mint. Add the lemon juice, and gently mix to evenly distribute the ingredients. Season with salt.
2. Lay a piece of plastic wrap directly on the surface of the guacamole to discourage discoloring, and refrigerate until chilled, at least 1 hour. Serve with the chips for dipping.
Thumbnail image for Ingrid 2.jpg
Click on this link for more fun ideas on how to celebrate Cinco De Mayo at home with your family.

Enjoy an Excerpt from Lost in Suburbia: A Momoir

Now that the weather is finally getting warmer, we are shedding our winter coats and heavy sweaters and some of us are trying to shed a few pounds. I am always doing whatever I can to lose some weight and I love to hear that I’m not alone. The following is an excerpt from Tracy Beckerman’s new book, Lost in Suburbia: A Memoir, and as you will see, she has also tried her share of diets. Go ahead and laugh, it burns calories, right?
LostInSuburbia_final.jpeg Lost in Suburbia: A Momoir
Having been down this diet road a couple hundred times before, I was familiar with just about every weight-loss gimmick out there. Although my sensible husband suggested I make changes that I could stick with for life, I instead preferred to try one of the Hollywood diets that the celebs do after they have a baby so they can drop the baby weight a week after giving birth. While it occurred to me that living on a concoction of maple syrup and lemon juice for two weeks might not be the healthiest way to lose a few pounds, I was pretty much willing to do anything that would allow me to get thin quick in the hope that I would lose too much weight and be able to eat my way back up. Unfortunately this diet worked about as well for me as the condom my husband wore when I got pregnant. I would only be on the diet for a day or two before I got massive cravings from the smell of the maple syrup and gorged myself on pancakes and waffles.
After failing the maple syrup diet, I decided to give one of the high-protein diets a try. A lot of my friends had done these and the weight seemed to melt right off. Having existed on large quantities of sloppy joes and cheeseburgers when I was pregnant and in the throes of massive meat cravings, I thought this might be the perfect diet for me. I did actually manage to lose six pounds the first month and was prepared to ride the bacon wave all the way to the skinny beach until I checked back in with my doctor and found out that my cholesterol had skyrocketed one hundred points in four weeks.
“You need to do a different diet,” he told me over the phone when the results came back.
“But this one is working for me,” I protested. “I just bought new skinny jeans!”
“That’s great,” he responded. “But no one will see you in them if you have a stroke.”
“I could wear them in rehab,” I murmured. “Go do Weight Watchers,” he suggested. “Ugh. I hate that,” I said. “It’s like AA for fat people. Everyone sits around and talks about their dysfunctional food relationships. Then they all join hands, sing ‘Kumbaya,’ and count how many points they have left to eat that day. No, thanks. I’d rather have a stroke.”
“I think you need some support.” “That’s why I wear Spanx,” I commented. “No, I mean people support. Like a group or a friend.” Although his plan was good in theory, I was pretty sure I wouldn’t be welcomed to any group. The one time I did do a group diet class and they asked us to picture ourselves thin, I nearly started a riot when I said that the only thing I could picture right then was digging into a warm chocolate lava cake.
“I don’t really need the support. What I need is someone just to tell me what to eat so I don’t have to think about it,” I said to my doctor. “Left to my own devices, I will eat a pepperoni pizza and justify it by saying it was a healthy choice because it featured the four major food groups.”
“It is a good choice . . . if you eat one slice,” he responded. “Not if you eat the whole pie.”
Having been my physician since we got to the burbs, my doctor knew my MO. He had seen me at my thinnest and my heaviest, from mom jeans to skinny jeans and back again. He didn’t care if I looked cool or frumpy, as long as I was healthy. And twenty-five pounds overweight with a cholesterol level of 315 was definitely not healthy.
“Okay, fine,” I conceded. “I’ll call Jenny Craig.”
“Good. Give her my regards.”
Tracy began writing after she moved with two young children from New York City to the New Jersey suburbs as a way to find herself and share a few laughs about the endless sea of “mom bob” haircuts, minivans, and coordinated tennis outfits. What started out as a single column for a local NJ paper a few years ago turned into a hit and is now nationally syndicated to over 400 newspapers, 250 websites and reaches nearly 10 million readers in 25 states. Check out more here.

How to Treat a Black Eye

Sometimes as a parent, you never know what’s going to happen when you have kids around and things are flying everywhere. That happened yesterday when we visited a friend’s house and about 10 kids of all ages were outside playing. There were basketballs, footballs, frisbees, big wheels, you name it, there were objects flying through the air and speeding on the ground in every direction.
While it was a pretty uneventful and fun afternoon, five minutes before we left, that changed when one of my kids was hit in the eye with a frisbee. Before we knew it, the eye swelled up and they were miserable — honestly — who wouldn’t be? Sadly, there’s not much that we can do other than apply cold compresses and then add heat in a few days.
If you’re a parent whose child winds up with a black eye, have no fear, just check out this informative video from The Doctors. They tell you everything you need to know about how to treat it and if your child is in pain and it doesn’t subside, you should see a doctor.

In the Spotlight: Kinky Boots on Broadway

Kinky_Boots_Broadway_71_email_1.jpgThere is one thing I absolutely love about living in New York — the chance to see amazing musicals on Broadway. Recently, my husband and I had a fun filled date night when we got to experience a brand new show from Grammy® Award-winning pop icon Cyndi Lauper and four-time Tony Award® winner Harvey Fierstein, which was directed and choreographed by Tony Award winner Jerry Mitchell. In a word, “Kinky Boots” is “fantabulous!” (If that’s even a word!)
Based on the motion picture, the show shares the story of Charlie Price (Stark Sands), an ambitious young son of a shoemaker who attempts to escape his life for the big city, only to find himself back in his father’s factory after he suddenly passes away. Unfortunately, much to Charlie’s dismay, he finds out his dad’s business is in dire straits and unless he comes up with an ingenius way to save it, he’s going to have to fire his loyal employees.
While his materialistic fiance tries to lure him back to London so they can start their lives together, Charlie meets Lola (played by the incredible Billy Porter), a larger than life cross dresser who laments her troubles finding comfortable and sexy shoes fit for a man. And that’s where the lightbulb in Charlie’s head goes off. Develop a shoe for cross dressers and the factory will be saved!
From the moment the curtain opens, you can feel the electricity ignite on stage. Featuring a sensational new score, dazzling dance numbers and an incredibly inspiring and uplifting story, “Kinky Boots” is a must-see new musical that proves that sometimes, the best way to fit in is to stand out!
Take a look…

In addition to Billy Porter and Stark Sands incredible performances throughout the show, I instantly fell in love with Annaleigh Ashford, who portrays Lauren, the adorable factory worker who harbors a secret crush on Charlie and is the first person who inspires him to devise a creative plan to save the business. Ashford’s voice is magical and the moment she starts singing “The History of Wrong Guys,” you will instantly have a smile plastered on your face!
Kinky_Boots_Broadway_Annaleigh_Ashford_23 (1).jpg
If you are planning a trip to New York City and are on the lookout for an incredible new musical, then look no further than “Kinky Boots.” From the show stopping chorus and dance numbers, to the powerful ballads, memorable duets and let’s not forget those incredible costumes and boots, “Kinky Boots” will instantly put you in the best mood.
For more information about the show and to order tickets, visit the Kinky Boots website.

Take Back the Kitchen: Alma’s Saffron Rice

Hi everyone! One of the best incentives to learn how to cook is to be able to remember places you have been or where you have eaten through your own culinary creations.
I was eyeing my gift of Saffron from my friend Gonzalo Fernandez, former owner of my favorite restaurant Xunta in the East Village, when I thought to make a Spanish rice dish. As many of you know, I lived in Spain off and on for years and miss that Saffron smell wafting through those hot streets of Sevilla. Sigh……
Saffron Rice with Garlic and Almonds:

Serves 3-4 as a side dish
2 cups cooked leftover white rice
3 pinches saffron immersed in a TBS water for 10-15 minutes
1 tsp minced or pureed garlic
1/4 cup chopped almonds
2 tsp olive oil
In a medium sized frying pan, heat up the olive oil.
Add in garlic and stir for a minute
Add in white rice and coat with the garlicky oil
Add in the saffron with the water and stir
When all is heated through, top with chopped almonds and serve
Alma Schneider