teddy bear Parenting & Family See also:
Kid Stuff;
Teen Zone;
BOOKS: Children's Books;
HEALTH & FITNESS: Women & Children;
COMPUTERS & TECHNOLOGY: Protecting Yourself and Your Family;

COVID-19 Advice for Parents (American Academy of Pediatrics)
All COVID-19 resources

General Parenting & Family Information

South Plainfield seal South Plainfield Outreach and Referral Resources - Phone numbers for local, county & state resources covering a variety of needs such as emergency shelters, crisis hotlines, counseling, employment/unemployment, alcoholism/drug abuse, domestic violence, and more. (Borough of South Plainfield)

Middlesex County sealMiddlesex County Board of Social Services - Administers Federal and State public assistance programs, including adult protective services, homeless services, child support, cash assistance, food stamps, medical assistance programs, refugee resettlement, and more. See also Community & Social Services Information.

compass Community & Social Services - Brochures from a wide range of community & social services, mostly from Middlesex County, for seniors, people with disabilities, veterans, families, and others. Includes information on mental health services, transit, energy, food assistance, recycling, wills & estates, and more, plus links to related agencies and information.

MOMS Club® Logo MOMS Club® of South Plainfield (Facebook page) - Support group for at-home mothers serving South Plainfield, Piscataway, and Dunellen. Offers playgroups, MOMS' Night Out, Movie Time, Picnics, Park & Day Trips, and many other activities for you and your children.
Mothers' Center of Central N.J. is another area group (not affiliated with MOMS Club®) offering 'support and discussion groups, evening parent education workshops, social activities, playgroups, library resources... and friendship!' Located in Cranford, with programs also at playgrounds and restaurants around Union County. Rutgers UMDNJ's Mom 2 Mom program, below, provides support for mothers of children with special needs.

National Parent Helpline 1-855 4A PARENT or 1-855-427-2736National Parent Helpline: 1-855 4A PARENT or 1-855-427-2736 - Call the National Parent Helpline® to get emotional support from a trained Advocate and become empowered and a stronger parent; available Monday through Friday 10:00 AM PST to 7:00 PM PST. See also Parents Anonymous® UPDATED LINK!, Parents Anonymous of New Jersey, Childhelp National Child Abuse Hotline, and New Jersey Safe Haven Infant Protection Act, below.

Need help? Start here: call 211 Call 2-1-1 when you need to find state or local resources to address urgent needs or everyday concerns, including health & mental health services, food banks, shelter, rental or utility assistance, adult day care, Meals on Wheels, transportation, childcare, crisis intervention services, job training, education, and more. 2-1-1 is free, confidential, multi-lingual, confidential, TTY accessible, and available 24/7 2-1-1 resource specialists will guide callers to the most helpful available resources. Visit the website for more information. You can also reach 2-1-1 by dialing 877-652-1148. (United Way, in partnership with the State of New Jersey) [NOTE: 2-1-1 calls are generally toll-free; however, if you are calling 2-1-1 from your cell phone, please check with your cell phone service provider first to find out whether you will be charged for the call.]

Universal ClassUNIVERSAL CLASS offers free online non-credit courses in Parenting, Relationship and Social Skills, plus pre-natal care and many other subjects. Courses are accessible 24/7 via the Internet. You will have up to 6 months to finish each course, and each course has a real instructor you can communicate with by email! NOTE: To sign up for free classes, you must first register with Universal Class; you'll need your library card barcode number to register. Once you have registered on the site, you can go directly to the Login page.

Fun Things to Do with Kids

10 No-Cost, Screen-Free Activities to Play with Your Preschooler includes links to information about healthy play for young children (2023, American Academy of Pediatrics). Child Development Institute has a collection of indoor & outdoor activities for kids of all ages (Parenting Today, LLC). Family TLC features age-appropriate (babies through teens) family activities - games, sports, crafts, music, cooking, nature, and more - plus a collection of brief articles on parenting (FirstTeacherTLC.com). Highlights: Your Child & You for pre-K through grade 6 (©Highlights Magazines for Children), and A Place of Our Own for pre-school age kids (Community Television of Southern California), offer an assortment of activities for parents & kids to do together. The PBS Parents Crafts & Activities offers fun ideas for kids including travel, science, reading/literacy, math, and music/art activities. Playworks Games Library is a searchable collection of 'hundreds of games that will get kids off the sidelines and into the game.' Suitable for small or large groups, indoors or outdoors, ages pre-K through grade 6 and above (non-profit organization). Points of Light: Youth and Families (formerly Generation On) provides project ideas, resources, and stories to help volunteers of all ages take action that improves the world (Points of Light; non-profit organization). Summer Learning for Families suggests ways to help your child keep learning during the summer with nature explorations, at home learning, and more (National Association for the Education of Young Children). Tinkergarten offers a great collection of (mostly) outdoor activities for ages 0 - 8 and up, designed to help you raise healthy, confident, and capable kids. The National Institutes of Health: Activities for Kids AUDIO VIDEO includes science activities, coloring pages, stories and more. The Asia Society's Family Activities on Asian Culture explore the holidays, food, and other traditions of different Asian countries; there is a related page, Cooking with S.T.E.A.M., offering educational Asian cooking activities through the lens of Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics. San Diego Public Library's How-To Festival Video archive VIDEO offers how-tos on arts & crafts, cooking, gardening, and more; for all ages (videos hosted on YouTube). See also Boredom Busters for Kids, Family Fitness, Nature & Kids, Reduce Screen Time, Talk, Read, and Sing Together, Media & Entertainment (Books, TV, Movies, Internet, etc.), and Toys, Games, Parties, and Musical Instruments sections, below, as well as Kid Stuff: Fun Stuff, and our annual 'Staycation' Guide and Virtual Travel experiences.

General Parenting Sites

CDC Parent Information offers a wealth of information on child development, health, & safety from pregnancy through teen years (U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention). Keep Connected VIDEO has facts & tips for parents on everyday parenting issues, discipline & values, time together, technology & media, and high-risk behavior. Also offers advice on parenting children at different ages, and additional resources (Search Institute®; nonprofit organization). Facts for Families are short fact sheets on a variety of behavioral and other issues that affect children, teenagers, and their families (American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry). Child Welfare Tip Sheets are brief, easy-to-read PDFs focussing on concrete steps that parents can take to strengthen their family, on a wide range of issues such as Finding Housing Help for Your Family, Helping Your Child Heal From Trauma, Bonding With Your Baby, Dealing With Temper Tantrums, Raising Your Kin, Parenting Your Child With Developmental Delays & Disabilities, and more (Children's Bureau of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services). See also Your Child Parenting Guides & Resources (C.S. Mott Children's Hospital, University of Michigan), and PTA Family Resources (Parent Teacher Association). Child Care & Development PDFs are written for child care professionals but much of the information will be useful to parents as well (Iowa State University Extension). See also South Plainfield Library's Parenting & Family posts on Wordpress, Talking With Kids®, Greater Good, and Child Abuse links, below.

local resource Afterschool Programs UPDATED LINK! - 'There are many different types of afterschool programs. Some are small programs that focus on a special set of activities, like sports, drama or tutoring. Others are larger with a wide range of activities. Some are in your child's school. Others are in out of school locations like, Boys and Girls Clubs, YWCAs or community centers. How do you select the best program for your child and your family?' This site offers basic advice for parents on how to choose an afterschool program. (2022, New Jersey School-Age Care Coalition)

Back-to-School - See Parent School Involvement links.

Caregiving - See Families with Special Needs: Caregiving Tips, below, and Sites for Seniors: Caregiving links.

Child Abuse: Childhelp National Child Abuse Hotline - A toll-free hotline, 1-800-4-A-CHILD / 1-800-422-4453, with texting and online chat options, plus helpful resources for parents and teens (non-profit organization). For additional information, see Medline's Child Abuse Resources page (U.S. National Library of Medicine), Prevent Child Abuse America: Parenting Tips, New Jersey Children's Alliance (NJ Hotline: 877-652-2873), and ChildWelfare.gov. See also National Parent Helpline, above, Child Traumatic Stress, below, and Violence Against Women & Children links.

Children and Families Abroad: Family Law & Child Protection Issues - Information about births, deaths, marriages and divorces abroad, as well as intercountry adoption, international parental child abduction, and international child support enforcement. (U.S. State Department)

Child Trends Databank - See Kids Count NJ and related links, below.

Child Traumatic Stress - See Child Traumatic Stress links in the Child Safety & Health section, below.

Commercialism and Kids: Ten Things You Can Do [Link opens a PDF] - Brief tips to help you reclaim childhood from corporate marketers. There is a related page of Tips for Commercial-Free, Fun-Filled Holidays (from Fairplay; formerly Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood). See also Media Smarts Resources: Marketing & Consumerism UPDATED LINK! (Media Smarts; Canadian non-profit organization), and Screen-Free Play Plans, below.

Coping Support for Brothers and Sisters of Very Sick Children - See Brothers and Sisters of Sick Children, below.

Disasters Webfinder - Selected links to advice on dealing with disasters and emergencies. For resources to help children cope with disasters and other traumas, see Child Traumatic Stress links, below.

Education - See EDUCATION: Teachers, Parents & Homeschoolers - Resources and Parent Involvement links.

Etiquette - See Good Manners, below.

Facts for Families - See General Parenting Sites, above.

Family Fitness: Encourage Physical Activity - Suggestions to help your family keep fit while spending time together (National PTA). We Can!™: Ways to Enhance Children's Activity & Nutrition is a national program designed for families and communities to help children maintain a healthy weight. The program focuses on improved food choices, increased physical activity and reduced screen time (U.S. Department of Health & Human Services). See also 5 Healthy Goals (Nemours Foundation). Many related resources are available on the Fitness, Sport, & Physical Therapy and Dieting, Nutrition, & Food Safety sections of our HEALTH & FITNESS links page. See also Fun Things to Do with Kids, above. For resources on kids' sports and coaching, see our Kids' Sports and Coaching Webfinder.

Family Dinner - Brief tips on making family meals work (Fathers.com). The Family Dinner Project offers lots of practical suggestions for food, fun activities, and conversation topics at mealtime (non-profit organization based at Massachusetts General Hospital's Psychiatry Academy). See also What Kids Learn During Dinner (University of California). For more information on kids and food, see Children's Nutrition links.

Fathers.com AUDIO VIDEO - A resource center for men seeking to strengthen their fathering skills, covering different fathering stages, situations, and issues. Includes a YouTube channel (National Center for Fathering). See also Good Men Project: Dads & Families.

Good Manners - Advice to help you teach your kids good manners (Emily Post Institute). See also Teaching Your Children Good Manners (Parents.com, part of DotDash.com). For more general information on etiquette, see Etiquette Advice.

Greater Good VIDEO - Advice for parents on how to raise happy, successful, emotionally literate kids (University of California). WINGS for Kids: DIY Social Emotional Learning Activity Kit [Free registration required] offers tools to help you incorporate social & emotional development activities, lessons and plans into kids' daily lives (WINGS for Kids, Inc.; non-profit organization). The Let's Share Kindness Toolkit offers resources such as social media graphics and an activity calendar 'filled with ideas on ways families can share kindness during everyday moments' (Too Small to Fail & Born This Way Foundation). 9 Ways to Boost Your Child's Self-Esteem NEW! offers practical tips on helping children feel good about themselves (2023, Nemours Foundation).

Grief Support - Links to selected resources that focus on grief, loss or end-of-life issues, including pregnancy & newborn loss, and children's grief.

Homeschooling - See EDUCATION: Teachers, Parents & Homeschoolers - Resources.

Identity Theft: How To Protect Your Child From Identity Theft - This page outlines what child identity theft is, how to detect it, how to protect your child's personal information, and what to do if someone steals your child's identity (2021, Federal Trade Commission). For related resources, see CONSUMER INFORMATION: Identity Theft and COMPUTERS & TECHNOLOGY: Protecting Yourself and Your Family.

local resource Kids Count N.J. - Comprehensive data about child well-being in New Jersey; includes profiles & rankings by county (Advocates for Children of New Jersey, funded by the Annie E. Casey Foundation). Kids Count provides an annual databook (PDF) and searchable Kids Count Data Center providing national and state-by-state statistical profiles of child well-being in the U.S. (Annie E. Casey Foundation). See also Child Trends Databank (nonprofit, nonpartisan research organization).

local resource Law: Family & Relationships UPDATED LINK! - Learn about New Jersey laws that affect your relationships, including child support, custody, name changes, adoptions, and more. (Legal Services of N.J.). KidLaw (N.J.) offers news, documents, and discussion on laws affecting minors (Advocates for Children of New Jersey).

Learning Disabilities Webfinder - Links to selected resources for parents of kids with learning disabilities. (South Plainfield Public Library)

Moving: Helping Children Cope - Some general advice on helping children cope with moving to a new community (2017, American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry). See also An Age-by-Age Guide to Moving With Kids (2019, Parents.com; part of the Dotdash Meredith publishing family), Moving with a Baby or Toddler (2018, Moving.com), and Military Families: Moving.

local resource N.J. Department of Children & Families - State child welfare agency focused on strengthening families and achieving safety, well-being and permanency for all New Jersey's children. Offers resources on child abuse & neglect, child health & safety, and a variety of financial and support services for families, including a list of toll-free hotlines & helplines for families needing assistance in N.J. See also N.J. Department of Human Services: Family Programs, South Plainfield Outreach and Referral Resources, Middlesex County Board of Social Services, Community and Social Services brochures & info, and Call 2-1-1, above. See USDA Food and Nutrition Service and related links for food assistance programs such as SNAP (food stamps) and WIC, and local food pantries, including where to Find meals for kids when school is closed during the summer NEW!.

School - See EDUCATION: Teachers, Parents & Homeschoolers - Resources and Parent Involvement links.

Summer Camp Guide: Find a Camp - A large searchable directory of summer camps in the US for kids, teens & families, and some camps outside the US, plus related articles (American Camp Association). See also My Summer Camps, which includes online camps and camps and educational programs outside the US (part of Internet Brands), Summer Camp Guide for Parents (2019, Child Development Institute, Parenting Today, LLC), Choosing a Summer Camp and Preparing Your Child (2019, American Academy of Pediatrics), and Choosing a Great Summer Program: Advice for Parents (2017, Peterson's.com). For general tips on helping a homesick child at camp, see Homesickness at Summer Camp (2023, American Psychological Association).

Talking With Kids® - Advice on talking to your kids about sex, violence, HIV/AIDS, terrorism, drugs & alcohol, and other difficult topics (Children Now; non-profit organization). The Drugfree.org Prevention Resources include tips on talking with your kids, from pre-school through young adult about the risks of drugs and alcohol (The Partnership for Drug-Free Kids; non-profit organization). See also Talk to Your Child About Alcohol (2021, National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism). See more at Communicating With Your Teen, DrugFree.org, Child Traumatic Stress, and Sex Education Tools for Parents, below.

Babies, Toddlers, Pre-schoolers, and Grade-Schoolers

Parents! Check out our KIDSTUFF page for
program information and great links for younger kids!

See also:
Children's & Teens' Books and Reading
Media & Entertainment
HEALTH & FITNESS: Women, Men, Maternity & Reproductive Health

ACT Raising Safe Kids - Fact sheets & handouts on positive parenting skills for parents & caregivers of children from birth to age 10. Child Development Fact Sheets list basic cognitive and social/emotional skills expected at children different ages and stages of development. Challenging Behaviors Fact Sheets use 4 scenarios of children in typical situations (crying baby, grocery store tantrum, fighting for a toy, bullying in school) to explain why the behaviors occur, and how parents can deal with them effectively. ACT Handouts offer brief information and advice on violence, anger, media, discipline, and more (2017, American Psychological Association). See also Baby Products and Sleep, below.

Age-by-Age Parent Guides [NOTE: Promotion of Scholastic products is included in articles] - Collections of articles for parents of kids ages 0-2, ages 3-5, ages 6-7, ages 8-10, and ages 11-13, outlining development and learning for that age group, with related topics. (Scholastic, Inc.)

Baby Products (Consumer Reports) [NOTE: Product links to Amazon and other online stores provide revenue for this website] [NOTE: Only paid subscribers have online access to ratings for specific products, but you can access them through our EBSCOHost Masterfile Elite database. You can also read them in person at the library!] - 'Find top-rated baby products, get buying guides for must-have gear, and read the latest in child-safety news.' Covers car seats, strollers, cribs, baby monitors, and more (Consumer Reports). See also Children's Products and Related Hazards (Kids In Danger; non-profit organization) and Recall List [Choose the category 'Babies and Kids' or search for specific items] (U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission), as well as HealthyStuff.org, Garage Sales: What Not to Buy, Strollers, Shopping Cart Safety, and Tips on Toys links, below. For more information on car seats, see Child Transportation Safety. See also Childproofing links, below.

Baby-Proofing Your Home - See Childproofing links, below.

Books & Babies - This site suggest activities to help you share the joy of books and reading with your child during the early stages of growing, newborn through toddler (1998, Mid-Hudson Library System). The Reading 101 guide for parents of pre-K - 2nd graders explains how you can help your children grow as readers, writers, and learners (2020, National Education Association). Reading Is Fundamental: Literacy Central for Parents includes reading activities and related resources. There's a Literacy Tracker Tool [NOTE: Registration required to use Literacy Tracker] to track your child's progress in reading development (non-profit organization). Starfall: Learn to Read [Paid membership required for full access] AUDIO INTERACTIVE offers free animated lessons designed to inspire a love of reading and writing. Useful for Pre-Kindergarten through second grade; suitable for home-schooling. Best viewed with a broadband (cable or DSL) internet connection (Starfall.com, publisher of curriculum products, books, and related materials). See also Shining Stars: How Parents Can Help Their Children Learn to Read (Pre-school through Grade 3; National Institute for Literacy), and Children's & Teens' Books and Reading. And of course, you & your children can enjoy Baby Time (up to 2 years), Toddler Time (ages 2 - 3 years), or bilingual story times at the South Plainfield Library!

Breastfeeding - See Breastfeeding links.

Car Safety Seats, see Child Transportation Safety links, below.

Childproofing Your Home - Describes steps you can take to protect your child from injuries at home (2023, American Academy of Family Physicians). Keeping Your Home Safe for Your Baby outlines steps you can take to make a safer home for your baby (2021, American Academy of Family Physicians). See also Childproofing Your Home - 12 Safety Devices To Protect Your Children (U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission), Childproofing Your Home (NSC) (National Safety Council), Baby Products links, above, and Safe Sleep for Baby links, Child Safety & Child Safety & Health links, below.

Crying Baby: How to Cope - 'It's normal for babies to cry, even when you are trying to comfort them. Some babies cry more than others or for longer periods of time. This is normal too. It is also normal for a caregiver to become frustrated. No matter how stressed, tired, angry or frustrated you feel, you must never, ever shake a baby. Shaking a baby can kill or cause serious injuries.' This website offers advice on safely coping with a crying baby, and information about where to get help if you need it (N.J. Department of Children & Families). See also Challenging Situation: A Crying Baby (American Psychological Association), or call the National Parent Helpline: 1-855 4A PARENT (1-855-427-2736) to get emotional support from a trained Advocate and become empowered and a stronger parent; available Monday through Friday 10:00 AM PST to 7:00 PM PST. See also New Jersey Safe Haven Infant Protection Act, below.

Early Childhood Education: What to Look for in a Program - Advice that can help you make the right choice when you look for a child care center, preschool, kindergarten, or elementary school for your child. The website also offers helpful Advice for Families [NOTE: Some content is available only to paid members] with young children, with articles on Behavior & Development, Creative Arts & Music, Digital Media, Literacy, Math, Nature & Outdoor Learning, Play, School Readiness, and Science, Nutrition, & Safety (National Association for the Education of Young Children; non-profit organization)

Education - See Pre-Schoolers: Helping Your Pre-school Child Prepare for School and Back-to-School links.

Essentials for Parenting Toddlers & Preschoolers VIDEO INTERACTIVE - 'Parenting is hard work! But it can also be fun and rewarding. There are many things you can do to help build a safe, stable, and nurturing relationship with your child. This website will help you handle some common parenting challenges, so you can be a more confident parent and enjoy helping your child grow.' (U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention).

Fatherhood - See Pregnancy Center & Newborn Center and related links, below.

Helping Your Child Learn - See PTA Parent Guides and related links.

Just in Time Parenting - A free email newsletter, giving parenting information specific to a child's needs and age (pre-natal through age 5). Each issue includes tips on raising a healthy, happy child, tools for solving common parenting problems, and strategies for coping with the challenges of raising children. You can browse the newsletters by age of child. (An educational partnership of 74 universities in the United States)

Kindergarten / Pre-school - See EDUCATION: Pre-schoolers links.

Menstruation - See Menstruation: Talking to Your Child About Menstruation, below.

Milestone Tracker App - From birth to age 5, your child should reach milestones in how he or she plays, learns, speaks, acts, and moves. Photos and videos in this app illustrate each milestone and make tracking them for your child easy and fun! Also offers tips for encouraging your child's development, and what to do if you are ever concerned about how your child is developing. Available for iOS and Android devices (U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention).

Money As You Grow - Useful resources for parents and caregivers to help children build money skills, habits, and attitudes that can serve them well as adults (Consumer Financial Protection Bureau). See also Smart Money, Smart Kids: Tips for teaching financial literacy and privacy protection to kids of all ages NEW! (2023, U.S. PIRG Education Fund) Practical Money Skills for Young Children (pre-school through grade 2) UPDATED LINK!, and grades 3 to 6 UPDATED LINK! (Visa Inc.).

local resource N.J. Parent Link - Links to a wealth of information for parents of young children about Health & Wellness before, during & after pregnancy; Developmental & Behavioral Health; Parenting & Early Learning; Career & Family Transitions; Child Care & Family Leave; and Family Support Services. Information comes from state services and resources, as well as federal, nationally-respected and community partner resources. (N.J. Department of Health & Senior Services et al.)

local resource N.J. Safe Haven Infant Protection Act - This state law allows an individual to give up an unwanted infant safely, legally and anonymously. The parents - or someone acting on their behalf - can bring a baby less than 30 days old to any hospital emergency room or police station; as long as the baby has not been abused, the person may do so without fear of arrest or prosecution. This website answers common questions about the program; you can also call the Safe Haven Hotline at 1-877-839-2339 for more information (N.J. Department of Children & Families). See also National Parent Helpline and related links, above.

New Moms & Dads - See Pregnancy Center & Newborn Center and related links, below.

PBS Parents INTERACTIVE - Online guides offering advice on child development, media, creativity, school, and more, from birth through early school years, plus 'fun & games' and other resources for parents (PBS). A related site, A Place of Our Own [Archived page], offers additional advice and activities for parents and others who care for young children (Community Television of Southern California). Sesame Street's Little Children, Big Challenges AUDIO VIDEO provides tips and strategies on helping children deal with divorce, incarceration, and more (Committee for Children and Sesame Workshop).

Pets & Babies - See Pet Meets Baby, below.

Pregnancy Center & Newborn Center VIDEO - Advice on having a healthy pregnancy and a healthy baby, with information on coping with pregnancy, childbirth, and caring for a newborn (Nemours Foundation). Cleanliness Guide for New Parents NEW! VIDEO has advice on how to prepare a clean, safe and healthy environment for infants, including bathing baby, doing laundry, changing diapers, cleaning baby bottles, safe storage and more (2023, American Cleaning Institute and familydoctor.org). See also Postpartum Support links, Field Guide for New Moms NEW! (DadsAdventure.com), Dad-to-Be Guide: Preparing for Fatherhood NEW! (2023; Cleveland Clinic, an academic medical center), Preparing for Fatherhood NEW! (2020, Healthline Media LLC), March of Dimes 'News Moms Need' blog, NJ Parent Link: Before, During & After Pregnancy, Zero-To-Three, below, and HEALTH & FITNESS - Women, Men, Maternity & Reproductive Health.

Pregnancy and Newborn Miscarriage, Loss and Grief - Basic advice and resources for grieving parents and their friends & family members dealing with pregnancy loss or newborn death, as well as complications, birth defects, and other issues (March of Dimes). See also Grief Support resources.

Pre-school / Kindergarten - See EDUCATION: Pre-schoolers links.

Puberty - See Menstruation: Talking to Your Child About Menstruation, below.

School - See Pre-Schoolers: Helping Your Pre-school Child Prepare for School and Back-to-School links.

Screen-Free Play Plans - A collection of simple, fun seasonal activities developed to inspire families with young children to play together. The activities promote healthy play and non-violent behavior at home and school (TRUCE, Teachers Resisting Unhealthy Children's Entertainment). Healthy Kids in a Digital World is a 2-page handout [Link opens a PDF] for parents and caregivers of pre-schoolers, with tips, facts, and activities to help you unplug your child from the digital world. 'Smart phones, tablets, e-books, TV, apps, digital games, videos... screen-free time is more important than ever.' Related pages from Fairplay include 7 Parent-Tested Tips to Unplug and Play and Helping Babies Entertain Themselves Screen-Free [Link opens a PDF] (Fairplay, formerly Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood). See also 10 No-Cost, Screen-Free Activities to Play with Your Preschooler (2023, American Academy of Pediatrics), Reduce Screen Time, below, and Fun Things to Do with Kids & Commercialism and Kids, above.

Shopping with Children - 'Anyone who has gone shopping with children, especially young children, at a grocery store or mall knows that the experience can be trying, and sometimes, stressful!' This page has tips that may help (Prevent Child Abuse America). See also Tantrum in the Grocery Store (American Psychological Association). Safe Shopping with Children offers practical tips to help keep your child safe while shopping and/or using a shopping cart (2015, American Academy of Pediatrics).

Sleep: A Parent's Guide to Safe Sleep for Babies AUDIO VIDEO - Information and advice to help you get your baby to sleep safely through the night, and How to Choose a Crib AUDIO (American Academy of Pediatrics). See also FAQs About SIDS and Safe Infant Sleep & Safe Sleep for your Baby UPDATED LINK! (U.S. Department of Health and Human Services). For other ages, see Bedtime Routines for School-Aged Children AUDIO, Toddler Bedtime Trouble: Tips for Parents AUDIO, and Nightmares and Night Terrors in Preschoolers AUDIO (American Academy of Pediatrics). See also Baby Products, above.

Strollers AUDIO - Advice on how to choose a safe baby stroller (2022, American Academy of Pediatrics). See also Baby Products, above.

Talk, Read, and Sing Together Every Day! [Link opens a PDF] - Research-based tips for talking, reading, and singing with young children every day to help enrich their early language experiences; available in English & Spanish [Link opens a PDF], with related pages, Tips for Using Your Native Language at Home and in the Community [Link opens a PDF] & Tips for Infant & Toddler Teachers & Caregivers [Link opens a PDF] (U.S. Department of Education). See also Make the Most of Playtime [Link opens a PDF] (Vanderbilt University). For more information on early learning, see Milestone Tracker, above. For more activities, see Fun Things to Do with Kids, above.

Tips on Toys - Advice on choosing safe toys for children from one month to twelve years (2019, Virginia Cooperative Extension). See Consumer Product Safety Commission Toy Recalls [Choose the category 'Toys' or search for specific items] for a list of unsafe/recalled toys. For more on toys, see the Toys, Games, Parties, and Musical Instruments section of this page. See also Baby Products, above.

Unwanted Infants - See New Jersey Safe Haven Infant Protection Act, above.

Zero-To-Three - Tips on early development & well-being, covering a wide range of topics, including ages & stages, challenging behaviors, health, social & emotional development, and more (National Center for Infants, Toddlers and Families). See also Pregnancy Center & Newborn Center and related links, above.

Pre-teens and Teens

See also:
Media & Entertainment

Parents! Check out our TEEN ZONE page to find programs and great websites for pre-teens & teens!

Body Image (Children and Teens) - Outlines steps parents can take to help children develop a positive body image & self-esteem, and how to recognize signs that your child may have depression or an eating disorder (2023, American Academy of Family Physicians). See also 5 Ways to Promote a Positive Body Image for Kids (2021, Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics), Digital Wellness Lab (formerly Center on Media and Child Health): Body Image (Children's Hospital Boston), and Greater Good & related links, above.

Communicating With Your Teen - 'You probably have a teenager in your house if there is talk about dating, driving, telephone use, curfew, drugs, sex, music, and friends. These are common teenage topics that are a lot easier to manage when parents and teens communicate effectively with each other.' This page suggests ways you can communicate more effectively with your teen. There are related pages on Trust and Negotiation (2019 - 2021, Alabama Cooperative Extension System). See also Tips for Parents with Teenagers [Link opens a PDF] (2015, National Runaway Safeline). Parent-Teen Connect VIDEO gives teens and their parents the opportunity to hear from other teens and parents, get expert advice on tough issues, and access practical tools to help them connect and communicate better at home, and help make adolescence less of a struggle and a lot more fun (Committee for Children; non-profit organization). See also Talking With Kids®, above, DrugFree.org, and Sex Education Tools for Parents, below.

Driving: N.J. Graduated Driver License VIDEO - Explains New Jersey's Graduated Driver License (GDL) requirements for drivers under 21. Also provides related info and related links (N.J. Motor Vehicle Commission). 'Experts believe parents play a key role in preventing teen car crashes and deaths.' CDC: Teen Driving offers advice and resources for parents to help teens drive safely (U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention). See also Jersey Drives: Teen Driving (Brain Injury Alliance of New Jersey), AAA: Teen Driver Safety, National Safety Council's DriveitHOME™ VIDEO website, NHTSA Teen Drivers VIDEO (U.S. Department of Transportation), and Best Used Cars for Teens [You can access Consumer Reports online using our EBSCOHost Masterfile Elite database] (2023, Consumer Reports).

DrugFree.org - A wealth of information and advice to help you keep your kids away from drugs; in English and en Español. Includes a Guide to the Teen Brain, which explores teenage brain development, how it shapes normal teenage attitudes & behavior, and the effects of substance use on the developing brain, plus links to related info & advice. Need more help? Text a message to 55753 to get suggestions for effective action to take if your children are abusing drugs or alcohol, or use the online form to schedule a call with a helpline specialist; help by email is also available. You will receive a response to text or email within 24 hours (National Youth Anti-Drug Media Campaign). Growing up Drug-Free: A Parent's Guide to Prevention UPDATED LINK! [Link opens a PDF] is a printable booklet with information to help parents and other caregivers raise drug-free children (2017, U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration [DEA] and Department of Education). Operation Prevention: Parent Toolkit and Get Smart About Drugs VIDEO are related sites from the DEA. See also Talking With Kids® and Communicating With Your Teen, above.

ElderCare Online Teen Resource Center UPDATED LINK! [Archived page] - Advice & support for teens who are coping with and/or caring for an older relative (2001, ElderCare Online and Long Island Alzheimer's Foundation). See also Helping teens understand dementia NEW! and Helping children understand dementia NEW! (Alzheimer Society of Canada).

Menstruation: Talking to Your Child About Menstruation AUDIO - Information and advice to help you discuss menstruation and offer education, as well as guidance and support, before your child gets her first period. Includes answers to common questions that kids - both girls and boys - have about menstruation. There are related pages for kids and for teens, plus additonal info for kids on Puberty and Growing Up, which includes info on Boys and Puberty (Nemours Foundation). See also Sex Education Tools, below.

Money As You Grow - Resources for parents and caregivers to help children build money skills, habits, and attitudes that can serve them well as adults (Consumer Financial Protection Bureau). See also Money Management Strategies for Military Children (2022, U.S. Department of Defense), What to teach teens and young adults about money, bank accounts, credit cards and more NEW! (2023, U.S. PIRG Education Fund), and Practical Money Skills for Teens UPDATED LINKS!, Grades 7-8 & College Students (Visa Inc.).

Period - See Menstruation links, above.

Prom - See Prom links, below.

Puberty - See Menstruation links, above, and Sex Education Tools, below.

Sex Education Tools for Parents - Explains how you can have open, non-judgmental conversations with your children about sex, puberty, bodies, and relationships that will help them stay safe and healthy as they grow up, from pre-K to college (Planned Parenthood). Information for Parents offers advice on how to answer young people's questions about their sexuality and related issues. Also explains children's growth and development at different ages from toddler to young adult. Includes Are You an Askable Parent? (Advocates for Youth; non-profit organization). See also Menstruation, Talking With Kids®, and Communicating With Your Teen, above.

Sleep Problems for Teens - Information about common sleep problems of teens, and advice on how to get a better night's sleep, plus links to related articles on nightmares, stress, sleep schedules, and more (2020, Nemours Foundation). See also Why is Your Teen So Tired? (2015, Mayo Clinic).

Talking with your Teen - See Communicating With Your Teen, above.

Troubled Teens: Private Residential Treatment Q & A [Archived page] - 'If you are a parent or guardian and think you have exhausted intervention alternatives for a troubled teen, you may be considering a private residential treatment program... Here are some questions to ask representatives of any program you may be considering.' (2008, Federal Trade Commission). See also ASTART for Teens (Alliance for the Safe, Therapeutic and Appropriate Use of Residential Treatment).

Families with Special Needs

See also:
EDUCATION: Gifted & Talented
Webfinder: Learning Disabilities

South Plainfield Police Department PatchSOUTH PLAINFIELD POLICE DEPARTMENT Special Needs Registry - The Special Needs Registry is designed to ensure that police & other first responders have all the vital information they will need in the event of an emergency. The form can be completed on-line. Applications may also be mailed to or dropped off at South Plainfield Police Headquarters. All forms will be sent to the South Plainfield Police Department and kept on file. Participation is voluntary, and you may opt out at any time.

About Disabilities - A collection of information about disabilities, including facts about specific disabilities, living with disability, talking to children about disability, disability etiquette, the Americans with Disabilities Act, and disability & relationships. (Easter Seals)

Adolescent Health Transition Project - This resource for teens & young adults with special health care needs, chronic illness, physical or developmental disabilities can help them and their families prepare for a gradual change from parents or caregivers being responsible, to the young person becoming more comfortable making decisions and taking action for him- or herself. Site has not been updated, so expect some broken links (2012; Center on Human Development and Disability, University of Washington). After High School offers advice for teens and their families on life after high school, including going to college (Understood.org). See also National Parent Center on Transition and Employment (PACER Center), Resources for Youth with Disabilities (Office of Disability Employment Policy, U.S. Department of Labor), and Career Resources for Students with Disabilities.

Autism: Hot Topics - Information on many important topics, such as education rights, school-age concerns, family & community, and much more (Autism New Jersey, Inc.; non-profit organization). See also POAC Autism Resources, Autism Resources by Topic (Autism Society of America), and Children's Books on Autism.

Books, Reading & Libraries: Special Needs - Links to selected resources on books and assistive media for families with special needs. See also Disabilities in Children's Books. (South Plainfield Public Library)

Brothers and Sisters of Sick Children [Link opens a PDF] - Advice for parents on how to help siblings of a sick child (Phoenix Children's Hospital). See also Grief Support resources.

Children with Disabilities - Fact sheets on a variety of specific disabilities, each with a brief description of the disability and tips for parents and teachers. Additional resources are available from the Parent Center Resource Library on topics such as behavior, mental health, parental rights, technology, K-12 issues, early intervention, and more (Center for Parent Information and Resources; funded by the U.S. Department of Education).

Chronic Conditions - Information for parents who have a child or adolescent with a chronic illness or disability. Includes articles on some specific conditions, as well as general coping advice. See also Developmental Disabilities (below), Learning Disabilities Webfinder, and Emotional Problems (below).

Deafness Information for Families VIDEO - Resources tailored to parents and caregivers of children who are deaf or hard of hearing. (Gallaudet University)

Developmental Disabilities - Information about a range of developmental disabilities, such as Autism Spectrum Disorders, cerebral palsy, hearing loss, vision impairment, intellectual disability, and developmental milestones (U.S. Centers for Disease Control & Prevention). See also HealthyChildren.org: Developmental Disabilities articles AUDIO (American Academy of Pediatrics).

Early Childhood Connection - See PACER Learning Center, below.

Emergency Information Forms for Children with Special Health Care Needs - Sample and blank forms to 'ensure that a child's complicated medical history is concisely summarized and available when it is needed most - when the child presents with an acute health problem at a time when neither parent nor pediatrician is immediately available.' (American College of Emergency Physicians). See also My child has a chronic health condition. What do I need to tell the school? (American Academy of Pediatrics).

Emotional Problems AUDIO - A collection of articles to help parents recognize and deal with a variety of emotional issues that can affect children & teens. (American Academy of Pediatrics)

Families with Special Needs: Caregiving Tips - 'Whether your family member with special needs is a child or an adult, combining personal, caregiving, and everyday needs can be challenging.' This page offers 'general caregiving tips and links to information on specific health topics to help you and those you care for stay safe and healthy.' (U.S. Centers for Disease Control & Prevention). See also N.J. Statewide Parent Advocacy Network and related links, below, and Sites for Seniors: Caregiving.

Gifted & Talented links - Information for parents & teachers of gifted, advanced, and special needs students. (South Plainfield Public Library)

Learning Disabilities Webfinder - Selected links to websites offering information, support, and resources for parents of children with learning disabilities. (South Plainfield Public Library)

Library Service for Blind & Physically Handicapped - See Books, Reading & Libraries: Special Needs.

Military families - See Military Families with Special Needs links.

local resource Mom 2 Mom - 'The Mom 2 Mom program is designed to provide a compassionate and encouraging environment for mothers of children with special needs to come together and share support.' The Mom2Mom helpline, 1-877-914-6662 (1-877-914-MOM2), features peer support, telephone assessments, and a network of referral services & support groups. The helpline and related services are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, to parents of children with special needs throughout New Jersey. (Rutgers UMDNJ)

Money Skills for Special Needs UPDATED LINK! - Materials to help teach students with special needs how to handle money responsibly. (Visa Inc.)

local resource N.J. Statewide Parent Advocacy Network (SPAN) - Provides support, assistance, and information for New Jersey parents of children with developmental delays, disabilities, and special health needs. The calendar of upcoming events is on the left-hand side of the page; other sections of the site may have not been updated for several years (Non-profit organization). NJ Division of Developmental Disabilities offers access to a wide array of services including assistive technology, behavioral supports, day programming, a variety of employment options, various therapies, transportation and more. Their hotline at 1-888-393-3007 provides crisis response & stabilization services for adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Additionally, the Division operates five Intermediate Care Facilities that give 24/7 care to individuals who may require specialized supports for complex medical and behavioral needs. See also Families with Special Needs: Caregiving Tips, above.

PACER Learning Center - Information and resources for children and young adults with all disabilities, their parents and families. For additional info on a variety of topics, see PACER Publications (PACER Center & U.S. Department of Education)

People with Disabilities Webfinder - Selected links to websites offering resources for people with disabilities, and for their families. (South Plainfield Public Library)

Reading - See Books, Reading & Libraries: Special Needs.

Special Education Toolkit - 'This toolkit helps make sense of an often confusing system and educates families of newly diagnosed children with special needs on how to get the best special education, services and resources available to them.' (National PTA)

Stuttering - Advice and other resources on stuttering, for parents, kids, teens, teachers, adult stutterers, and others. (Stuttering Foundation of America)

Summer Camp for Children with Special Needs - Lists both online and print resources to help you choose a suitable summer camp for your special child. (National Center on Physical Activity and Disability)

Toys for Children with Special Needs - Tips on choosing the right toys for children with a variety of disabilities (American Physical Therapy Association). See also Toys & Gift Ideas for Parents of Children Who Are Blind or Visually Impaired UPDATED LINK! (FamilyConnect, American Foundation for the Blind), and general Toys links, below.

Understood.org - A wealth of practical information and advice for parents whose children, ages 3 - 20, learn and think differently. (A collaborative project of 15 nonprofit organizations)

Visual Impairments: FamilyConnect™ UPDATED LINK! - Advice and resources for parents of children with visual impairments. (American Foundation for the Blind and National Association for Parents of Children with Visual Impairments)

Media & Entertainment
(Books, TV, Movies, Internet, Video Games, etc.)

See also:
BOOKS & READING: Children and Teens
KIDSTUFF: Keep your Child Safe Online
COMPUTERS & TECHNOLOGY: Protecting Yourself and Your Family

COMPUTERS & TECHNOLOGY: Protecting Yourself and Your Family - Selected links to the best websites on computer safety, privacy, scams, and more. (South Plainfield Public Library)

Find new books based on books you like! NOVELIST K-8 PLUS is a great online resource for helping parents and kids find that next great fiction read. NoveList K-8 Plus also provides access to thousands of nonfiction titles designed to support the curriculum and kids' pleasure reading. Created especially for kids, it has a colorful, graphic-rich homepage and is very easy to use. Hundreds of hand-crafted Recommended Reads reading lists created for teens and kids will excite even the most reluctant of readers. NOTE: If you're using NoveList at home, you'll need to enter your name, library card barcode number, and PIN to start.

SelectReadsSelect Reads newsletters deliver reading recommendations based on your unique personal interests straight to your computer or mobile device. Sign up for a newsletter on one of the popular topics listed under MONTHLY NEWSLETTERS, or click on the MY SELECT READS tab to create personalized alerts based on any topic you choose! Select Reads includes Book Recommendations Newsletters for Babies & Toddlers, Children's Books, Ages 4-8, Ages 9-12, Teens, and lots more.

Children's and Teens' Books & Reading - South Plainfield Public Library's selected links to great kids' book websites. For information on helping your child learn to read, see Books & Babies and related links, above.

Common Sense Media - An easy-to-use website for parents, offering capsule evaluations of movies, TV shows, music, games, websites, and books, with ratings for message, violence, language, and sex; you can filter results by age group. Also offers helpful age-targeted Q & A for parents on media issues (social media, phones & devices, screen time, cyberbullying, celebrities & influencers, advertising, violence, online safety, special needs and more) as well as blogs, videos, tools for educators and other resources (Nonprofit organization). See also Digital Wellness Lab and related links, below.

Computer & Texting Slang - See Texting and Chat Abbreviations and related links.

COMPUTERS & TECHNOLOGY: Protecting Yourself and Your Family - Selected links to the best websites on computer safety, privacy, scams, and more. (South Plainfield Public Library)

Digital Wellness Lab (formerly Center on Media and Child Health - The latest science-based resources to help you care for children, ages 0 - 25. Quickly find what you need to know about a child's developmental stage, a specific type of technology, or how media can affect health and well being. Also includes helpful Guides on everything from overall family digital wellness, to the importance of play, to preparing for school, plus articles about living in our connected world, and more (Boston Children's Hospital). Media Guidelines for Parents AUDIO VIDEO provides more advice for parents on monitoring their children's use of media, including internet, cell phones, TV, social networking, and more (American Academy of Pediatrics). Screentime Action Network Live! VIDEO is an archive of webinars on families, children, and tech, covering topics such as brain development, persuasive design, interfaith screen time perspectives, teen anxiety, and more (from Fairplay; non-profit organization). Media Smarts for Parents [Some information is specific to Canada] has information and advice to help you keep up with kids' online activities and ensure that your children make safe and wise online decisions (Canadian non-profit organization). See also Common Sense Media, above, How to block graphic social media posts on your kids' phones, Phones: Your Kid's First Phone, Reduce Screen Time, and Fake News, below.

ESRB Guide to Interactive Entertainment - Ratings and content information for Video Games. Ratings have 3 parts: Rating Categories, Content Descriptors, and Interactive Elements. (Entertainment Software Association)

Fake News: Parent's & Educator's Guide to Media Literacy and False Information - Advice on how to recognize fake news and help kids become more savvy consumers of information (Connect Safely). See also Limit 'Sharenting': Protect your kids from deepfakes NEW! (KOLD-TV News, Tucson AZ), Fact Check and Fake News links.

Kid-Safe Browsers and Search Sites - Lists safe search sites for kids so they can investigate topics they're interested in while protecting them from the stuff they're not ready to see. You can find sites suitable for Preschoolers (2-4), Little Kids (5-7), Big Kids (8-9), Tweens (10-12), and Teens (13+). The site also evaluates apps, games, and more. (Common Sense Media)

Kids' Privacy Online - See Kids' Online Safety & Privacy links.

Nature & Kids - An interview with journalist & author Richard Louv about the need to get kids away from the TV and computer, and get them outdoors to experience the natural world (2006, Grist Magazine). See also Children and Nature Network (non-profit organization). Outdoor Activities & Resource Guide [Link opens a PDF] offers easy, inexpensive activities that can connect children with nature, plus lists of field trips, nature fun facts, and quick nature experiments (NJSACC: The Network for New Jersey's Afterschool Communities ). Nature Quests for Families is a collection of indoor and outdoor nature-related activities for all ages (Cornell University). The NWF Green Hour™ posts weekly family nature activities that can be completed in 15 or 30 minutes segments, 'but it is best to spend a Green Hour™ on each to master outdoor skills and discover the wonders of wildlife' (National Wildlife Foundation). Nature Detectives provides online activity ideas for families and schools (Woodland Trust, UK). Tinkergarten for Grownups offers advice for parents on outdoor play and learning activities, including How to stay safe from ticks when you play outdoors VIDEO. The National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) has a library of Articles for Families on Nature and the Outdoors (professional membership organization). The iNaturalist APP app helps you identify the plants and animals around you, and record & share your observations (California Academy of Sciences and the National Geographic Society). See also Garden-Based Learning links, Fun Things to Do with Kids, above, Reduce Screen Time, below, and Digital Wellness Lab, above.

Phones: Your Kid's First Phone - Brief advice on choosing a cell phone for your child, with links to related information (2019, Federal Communications Commission). See also COMPUTERS & TECHNOLOGY: Kids and Mobile Phones links, and Digital Wellness Lab links, above.

Pre-Schoolers: Be Techwise NEW! - This 2-page printable handout outlines ways that parents and caregivers can encourage their child's budding communication, social-emotional, and learning skills - as well as tips for achieving healthy screen time habits - at a unique and critical point in child development. For families with children ages 3 to 5 years (2023, American Speech-Language-Hearing Association [ASHA] and the Screen Time Action Network at Fairplay). See also Kids & Tech links.

Screen-Free Activities - A list of 100 non-electronic activities for families to enjoy together (Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood). For more fun family activities, see Screen-Free Play Plans, Nature & Kids, and Fun Things to Do With Kids, above. See also How Much Screen Time is OK for My Kids? and related info (Common Sense Media, non-profit organization), Media Use Guidelines (Nemours Foundation), Are My Kids Watching Too Much TV?, below, and Digital Wellness Lab links, above.

Technology & Children - See Kids Tech: Tips for Parents in the Digital Age and related links.

TV: Setting Limits on Electronic Device Use - Guidelines for screen time limits at different ages. Includes links to related material (2022, Nemours Foundation). Movie & TV Ratings: A Guide for Parents outlines the TV Parental Guidelines rating system, created to help parents choose programs that are suitable for children (2023, HealthyChildren.org; American Academy of Pediatrics). See also Common Sense Media, above, and Why to Avoid TV for Infants & Toddlers (2016, HealthyChildren.org; American Academy of Pediatrics). V-Chip: Options to Restrict What Your Children Watch on TV explains how you can block programming on TV that you don't want your children to watch (2019, FCC.gov). See also TV Parental Controls (NCTA, The Internet and Television Association).

Toys, Games, Parties, and Musical Instruments

For video games, see Media & Entertainment.

For resources on kids' sports, see our Kids' Sports and Coaching Webfinder.

See also Fun Things to Do With Kids links, above.

Kennedy Center Arts Education Resources (formerly ArtsEdge) - Digital learning resources for home and classroom. Includes practical advice & resources for parents who want to encourage and support their kids' creativity & knowledge of the arts. (Kennedy Center for the Arts)

Let's Party UPDATED LINK! [Archived page] - A guide to drug-free parties for 5th - 8th graders. Offers recommendations for parents on what to do when your child hosts a party or attends one, plus ideas for party food and games (University of Illinois Extension). Party Game Ideas describes a wide assortment of simple, fun games for both adults and children's parties, including suggestions for birthdays, showers, and holidays.

Make Music Matter in Your Home: Seven Things You Need to Know about Music Lessons - 'Whether it's your one-year-old's talent for pots and pans percussion or your older kid's giddiness for the guitar that makes you decide to look into music lessons, it's likely you're going to have some questions. These tips will ensure that your child starts off her musical career on the right note.' Related resources are listed below the article (Kennedy Center for the Arts). See also What's the best way for my child to learn music? (Introducing your child to music at an early age) [Link opens a PDF] & related info (Youth Music, UK; non-profit organization; some information is specific to the UK). For more resources on musical instruments, see our Homework Links: ARTS & MUSIC page.

Prom - Information and advice on your teenager's prom. Covers prom night safety, after-prom parties, prom night drinking, and more (Family Education / Sandbox Networks, Inc.). See also Prom Safe Driving Tips (Safety Insurance).

Toys: Tips on Toys - Advice on choosing safe toys for children from one month to twelve years. (2019, Virginia Cooperative Extension). See also 7 toy tips to keep your children safer & Smart Decisions about Smart Toys (2022, US PIRG [Public Interest Research Group], a non-profit consumer research & advocacy group), and Toys for Children with Special Needs, above. Trouble in Toyland is an extensive annual survey of toy safety and toy safety resources (2022, US PIRG [Public Interest Research Group], a non-profit consumer research & advocacy group). See also Healthy Stuff Lab.

Trampolines - Injury facts and safety tips. (Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh)

Child Safety & Health

Coronavirus info

See also:
Families with Special Needs
HEALTH & FITNESS - Women, Men, Maternity & Reproductive Health
Media, Entertainment, Toys, Books & Internet

Facts on File: Health Reference CenterFacts on File: Health Reference Center - Comprehensive, in-depth coverage of body systems, current health issues, major diseases and conditions, treatments, and procedures, as well as health and nutrition information specific to men, women, children, teens, and seniors. Thirty-five Topic Centers highlight specially selected content to help users find a starting point for their studies, and numerous videos and collections of illustrations make it easy to find relevant visual media on the most frequently researched topics. If you're logging in from your home, school, or office computer, you'll need to enter your name, library card barcode, and PIN to begin.

Antibiotic Prescriptions for Children - Answers to common questions about the use of antibiotics. (2022, American Academy of Pediatrics). See also Antibiotics.

local resource Amber Alert N.J. - Part of the national Amber Alert System which issues an emergency alert to the public when a child has been abducted and it is believed that the child's life is in grave danger. National Center for Missing & Exploited Children outlines what actions you should take If Your Child is Missing. For additional resources, see Missing & Exploited Children (U.S. Department of Justice). If you believe your child may be a runaway, see Runaway Safeline, below.

Baby Safety - See Baby Products and Childproofing Your Home, above.

Bullying Resource Center - Basic advice to help parents understand the effects of bullying, help a child who is being bullied, prevent your child from bullying others, and more (2018, American Academy of Child Adolescent Psychiatry). StopBullying.gov provides information on what bullying is, what cyberbullying is, who is at risk, and how you can prevent and respond to bullying (U.S. Department of Health & Human Services). For resources to share with your kids, see our Homework: Bullying links and TeenZone: Bullying links.

Car Safety Seats - See Child Transportation Safety links, below.

Child Abuse - See Child Abuse: ChildHelp USA® and related links, above.

Child Health - See Kids' Health and related links, below.

Child Safety: Make Your Home Safe - Safety guidelines designed to help keep your infant, toddler and preschooler safe from common accidents and hidden hazards, plus related indoor & outdoor Injury Prevention & Safety Topics for kids of all ages (Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh [CHP]). Child Health & Safety Tips provides seasonal advice on a variety of topics such as holidays, toys, outdoor safety, and more (American Academy of Pediatrics). Anchor It provides simple and inexpensive steps you can take to help prevent furniture, TVs, and appliances from tipping over (Consumer Product Safety Commission). Safe Kids Worldwide Safety Tips VIDEO offers tips, guides, infographics, checklists, and other resources on a wide range of topics, including medication safety, batteries, guns, holidays, laundry packets, toys, sports, and much more; use the menu to choose a topic or age group (non-profit organization). Emergency Room Tips for Parents lists 10 things you need to know to prepare for taking a child to the emergency department, plus Know When to Go UPDATED LINK!, which outlines what to do in different types of adult & childhood emergencies; part of American College of Emergency Physicians health & safety tips. More resources are available from Medline Child Safety links. The FBI has advice and information to help protect your children from dangers online & offline, including child abductions, sexual exploitation, addiction, human trafficking, and gangs. See also Childproofing Your Home, Baby Products Guide, and Tips on Toys, above, Kids' Health, Child Traumatic Stress, Child Transportation Safety, Holiday & Seasonal Safety links, below, and our First Aid & Safety links.

Child Transportation Safety: Parents and Caregivers - Safety tips and other useful information on car seats & booster seats, as well as other safety issues in and around your vehicle, bicycling, walking, and school bus safety (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration). Car Seats: Information for Families offers advice on choosing and using car seats with helpful charts and illustrations, plus related resources AUDIO VIDEO (American Academy of Pediatrics). Toxic Inequities: How an Outdated Standard Leads to Toxics in Low-Cost Children's Car Seats shows that more than half of U.S. children's car seats still contain hazardous chemicals; use the menu to see car seat rankings and recommendations (2022, Ecology Center). Hot Car Warning explains why it is never safe to leave a child alone in a vehicle, even for a few minutes, and even if a window is left slightly open (Canada Safety Council). Jersey Drives: Keeping Your Children Safe offers advice and resources on car seats, bikes, scooters & skateboards, school bus safety, and teen driving (Brain Injury Alliance of New Jersey). See also School Bus Safety (Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh), and Teen Driving, above.

Child Traumatic Stress - Information for parents and other caregivers on understanding and coping with a variety of childhood traumas (National Child Traumatic Stress Network; UCLA and Duke University). See also Helping Children and Adolescents Cope With Traumatic Events (2022, National Institute of Mental Health), Children, School, and Violence: What Parents Can Do (Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh, University of Pittsburgh), School Safety and Crisis Resources for parents, educators, and school administrators (National Association of School Psychologists), Bullying links, Mental Health & Children Talking With Kids® and Child Abuse links, above. To protect your kids from disturbing images of violence, see How to block graphic social media posts on your kids' phones NEW! (2023, CNN). For help after a disaster, see the Emotional Recovery from Disaster links on our Disasters Webfinder.

Children's Environmental Health - Information about children's health, the environment, and what you can do (U.S. Environmental Protection Agency). See also Environmental Health links.

Children's Health - See Kids' Health and related links, below.

Children's Nutrition - See Children's Nutrition links.

CyberBullying - See Bullying Resource Center and related links, above. See also COMPUTERS & TECHNOLOGY: Protecting Yourself and Your Family.

Domestic Violence - See Violence Against Women & Children.

Family Violence - See Violence Against Women & Children and related links.

First Aid & Safety - Selected links to first aid information and resources (South Plainfield Public Library).

Flame Retardants - See HealthyStuff.org, below

Garage Sales: 21 Things You Should Never Buy - 'Bargains are great, but cross these gross, broken, and unsafe items off your list when you head out to garage sales' (2023, Reader's Digest). If you're planning on holding a yard sale to clear out clutter, you should know it's against the law to sell recalled or unsafe products - even at a yard sale. For more information, see Resale Information Center (Consumer Product Safety Commission). See also Baby Products, above.

HealthyStuff.org [NOTE: Products are tested only for hazardous chemical content, not for other possible hazards] - Information on toxic chemicals in children's products such as car seats and dollar store products (Ecology Center). See also Baby Products, and Tips on Toys, above.

Holiday & Seasonal Safety - A wide range of tips for keeping children safe from injuries related to fireworks, Halloween, hunting, sledding, winter holidays, winter sports, water & sun, and more (Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh, University of Pittsburgh). See also Winter Safety Tips for Parents and Children (2023, Canadian Paediatric Society), Cold, Ice, and Snow Safety & Summer Safety (Kids' Health, Nemours Foundation), and additional Child Safety links.

Insure Kids Now! - Information on free or low-cost health insurance programs available for children whose parents cannot afford to buy insurance for them. You can also call 1-877-543-7669 (toll-free) for more information (U.S. Department of Health & Human Services). In New Jersey, see NJ Family Care. Individuals ineligible for NJ FamilyCare can find information on other insurance affordability programs at Healthcare.gov.

Kids' Health - Doctor-approved information for parents, covering general health, infections, emotions & behavior, growth & development, nutrition & fitness, pregnancy & newborns, medical problems, positive parenting, first aid & safety, medications, and more, plus age-appropriate content for kids and teens (Nemours Foundation). Child Health Advice offers guidelines 'to help you determine how sick your child is and if you need to call your child's doctor... [and] to help you treat your child at home when it is safe to do so.' (Children's Hospital and Regional Medical Center of Seattle). Healthy Children AUDIO VIDEO offers a large collection of information for parents to help you keep your child healthy and safe, through all stages from prenatal to young adult (American Academy of Pediatrics). Children's Hospital: Health Education Library is a collection of educational PDFs on wide range of health concerns, arranged A to Z (Boston Children's Hospital; teaching hospital of Harvard Medical School). Does your child need to be hospitalized? See Going to the Hospital (for kids), What's It Like to Stay in the Hospital? (for teens), and books to help children prepare for medical care (doctors office and hospital). See also Child Safety & Injury Prevention links, above.

Mental Health: Spotting Anxiety and Depression in Children NEW! - What to look for to recognize anxiety and depression in childhood (2022, Healthline Media LLC). See also Child Traumatic Stress, Greater Good, and Mental Health Resources.

Noisy Planet: Noise & Hearing Loss - 'Learn about the causes and prevention of noise-induced hearing loss so that your tween - and you - can have healthy hearing for life' (National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders). See also Hearing, Ear Infections, and Deafness.

Runaway Safeline - Advice and resources for parents of runaways. The NRS crisis hotline is 1-800-RUNAWAY; Text 66008 (Funded by U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and private funders). If you think your child may have been abducted, see Amber Alert N.J. and related links, above.

Seasonal Safety - See Holiday & Seasonal Safety, above.

Sleep - See Sleep: Babies & Children and Sleep Problems for Teens, above.

Teen Driving - See Teen Driving links, above.

Trampoline Safety - See Trampolines, above.

We Can!™: Ways to Enhance Children's Activity & Nutrition - See Family Fitness, above.

Yard Sales - See Garage Sales, above.

Stepfamilies, Adoption & Guardianship, LGBTQ families, etc.

See also:
Families with Special Needs

Adoption Resources - Links to information on all aspects of adoption (U.S. Department of Health and Human Services). See N.J. Foster and Adoption Services for information on adopting or becoming a foster parent for a child or children from New Jersey. Intercountry Adoption provides information on adopting a child from another country; use the menu bar across the top to navigate. Click on the Country Information tab to find detailed adoption information for specific countries. Formerly International Adoption (U.S. State Department). See also Legal Topics: Adoption, Guardianship & Parenting Resources (Nolo Press).

local resource Financial Assistance for Legal Guardianship - Explains the New Jersey Kinship Care Subsidy Program, which provides financial help to people caring for their grandchildren, nieces, nephews, or other children (2017, Legal Services of N.J.). To connect with the agencies which provide assistance, call NJ 2-1-1 or see New Jersey Kinship Navigator Program (N.J. Department of Children and Families). Guardianship Resources is a collection of articles explaining what legal guardianship is, how to choose a guardian for your child, and how to establish and maintain a guardianship (Nolo Press). NJCourts.gov: Adult Guardianship provides instructions and resources for people who want to seek guardianship for an incapacitated person.

Grandparents & Grandchildren - See SITES FOR SENIORS: Grandparents Raising Grandchildren and related links.

LGBTQ Families - A collection of parenting tips, surrogacy & adoption info, and other resources for LGBTQ Families (The Human Rights Campaign). Parents & caregivers can visit Family Acceptance Project®'s new multicultural resource website NEW! to find support in your community and help reduce risk and increase well-being for LGBTQ youth (San Francisco State University). See also LGBT Youth Resources (CDC.gov).

Single Parents: Reducing Stress - Brief suggestions that may help reduce family stress when raising a child alone (2023, American Academy of Pediatrics). Log in to Universal Class with your South Plainfield library card number to take a free online course on Single Parenting 101. See Divorced Spouse Resources NEW! for info on government benefits for divorced spouse and divorce tax relief (Benefits.gov).

Stepfamilies: National Stepfamily Resource Center - Info on a variety of issues affecting stepfamilies. Formerly Stepfamily Association of America. (Auburn University et al.)

Types of Families - Advice for different types of families, including stepfamilies; single-parent families, gay & lesbian families, adoptive & foster families and more. (American Academy of Pediatrics)


See also:
Travel with Pets (Archived page)

dog and cat ASPCA Pet Care - Information on how to care for dogs, cats, horses, and small pets. Includes advice on dealing with common behavior problems. See also AVMA Pet Care (American Veterinary Medical Association), and Medline Pet Health resources (U.S. National Library of Medicine). The free online Merck Manual for Pet Health AUDIO VIDEO includes sections on cats, dogs, birds, horses, & other pets, plus special subjects such as emergencies, diagnostic tests, drugs/vaccines, travel, and more (Merck & Co., Inc., pharmaceutical company). BestFriends.org Pet Care Information is a library of pet care tips for pet owners and animal rescuers, covering dogs, cats, and other animals (birds, horses, rabbits, pigs, and wildlife) (Best Friends Animal Society).

Adopting a Pet - See Selecting a Pet and related links, below.

Animal Cruelty: Understanding The Link Between Animal Abuse and Family Violence - Explains links between animal abuse and juvenile & adult violence (2022, American Humane Association and National Coalition Against Domestic Violence). See also Children Who Are Cruel to Animals: When to Worry (2011, Psychology Today).

De-Skunking Your Dog - An effective home recipe you can use if your dog gets sprayed by a skunk (Humane Society of the United States).

Disaster Planning for Pets & Family - See Webfinder: Disasters.

Finding a New Home for Your Pet - See Sites for Seniors: Finding a New Home for Your Pet and related links.

First Aid Tips for Pet Owners - What would you do if ...your dog ate the bag of semi-sweet chocolate chips that was left out on the kitchen counter? ...your cat had a seizure right in front of you? ...your dog fell down the stairs and started limping? ...your cat was overheating on a hot summer day? This website summarizes the basics you need for giving first aid care to your pet (American Veterinary Medical Association). The Red Cross offers a Pet First Aid mobile app for Apple or Android devices. See also Pet Protection links, below.

Healthy Pets, Healthy People - 'Information about the health-related risks of owning and caring for animals, [with] tips on how to keep yourself, your family, and your pets healthy.' (National Center for Infectious Diseases)

Medication Errors Happen to Pets, Too - Tips on how to avoid medication errors with animal drugs. (2021, U.S. Food and Drug Administration)

Money tips for caring pet owners - Advice on how to protect your pets' health and save money at the same time (American Veterinary Medical Association). See also How Much Do Pets Cost? VIDEO (PAWS.org, non-profit organization).

Pet Euthanasia: How Do I Know It's Time? [Link opens a PDF] - Advice on how to decide when is the right time to have your veterinarian humanely end the life of an elderly or sick pet. See also When Your Animal Dies [Link opens a PDF] (American Veterinary Medical Association). For additional resources for children and adults on coping with the death of a pet, see Coping with Losing a Pet (Helpguide.org). See also grief support links.

Pet Law [Link opens a PDF] - In August 2017, New Jersey enacted a law establishing requirements for the proper sheltering of dogs and other companion animals, as well as laws regarding the tethering of dogs. This pamphlet outlines the provision of this law (2018, New Jersey State Bar Foundation).

Pet Meets Baby - 'Prepare to bring a new baby or child home to your family and your family pets, ensuring the safety of all.' Free printable (PDF) booklet. (2014, American Humane Association)

Pet Protection: Summer Hazards & Protecting Our Pets - Tips on protecting your pet from toxic chemicals in pet products, and around the home & yard (HealthyStuff.org; Ecology Center). See also Nontoxic Ways to Protect Your Pet (2016, Natural Resources Defense Council). Potentially Dangerous Items for your Pet lists common edible and non-edible dangers for your pet that may exist within or around your home (2023, U.S. Food & Drug Administration). Animal Poison Control helps you your pet from potential hazards - foods, plants, household products, etc. - in your home and garden. ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center Phone Number: (888) 426-4435 (ASPCA). See also First Aid Tips for Pet Owners, above.

Renting with Pets - Advice on how to resolve landlord issues and find rental housing for you and your pet (Humane Society of the United States).

Selecting a Pet - Questions and advice to help you determine whether you (and your family) are ready to take on the responsibility of caring for a pet, and advice on selecting a suitable pet for your situation (American Veterinary Medical Association). See also Adopting from an Animal Shelter or Rescue Group (Humane Society of the United States). To avoid pet adoption scams, see Get the dog or cat instead of the scam (2021, Federal Trade Commission). The Better Business Bureau's Pet HQ offers advice on avoiding pet scams, calculating the cost of owning a pet, what to know before you buy pet insurance, and more. See also How Much Do Pets Cost?, above. If you're considering a purebred dog, Find the Right Dog offers advice on finding the right dog breed to fit your lifestyle; use the interactive Dog Breed Selector INTERACTIVE to find out what breeds may suit you, and use the Breed Finder to find information on specific breeds (Westminster Kennel Club). See also Dog Breeds, AKC Expert Advice, and Tips for Finding a Responsible Dog Breeder (American Kennel Club).

Service Animals and the ADA - Answers to common questions about how the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) applies to service animals (2020, U.S. Department of Justice).

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