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 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.
MOMS Club® of South Plainfield - 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; see
MOMS Club® of South Plainfield on Facebook for updates.
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!' Rutgers UMDNJ's Mom 2 Mom program, below, provides support for mothers of children with special needs.
Parents Anonymous® - A non-profit organization that offers parenting advice and free peer support groups to parents who are experiencing stress. Call the National Parent Helpline: 1-855 4A PARENT or 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 Parents Anonymous of New Jersey.
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 CLASS offers free online non-credit courses in Parenting Skills, Pregnancy, Birth, Senior 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
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). 10 No-Cost, Screen-Free Activities to Play with Your Preschooler includes links to additional information about healthy play for young children (2016, American Academy of Pediatrics). A Place of Our Own, for pre-school age kids (Community Television of Southern California), and Highlights: Your Child & You for pre-K through grade 6, offer an assortment of activities for parents & kids to do together (©Highlights Magazines for Children). Ranger Rick's Crafts & Activities (formerly National Wildlife Foundation Family Fun) UPDATED LINK! is a collection of fun activities for kids, searchable by age (check Ranger Rick for ages 7 - 12 years; Ranger Rick Jr. for ages 4 - 7 years), season, animal, type (craft, outdoor, recipe, printables). The 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). Generation On provides project ideas, resources, and stories to help your family get involved in your community: 'Volunteering as a family is something special you can all do together to help teach your kids about thinking larger than themselves' (Points of Light; non-profit organization). Afterschool Learning Resources (ReadWriteThink.org) includes activities & projects, games & tools, plus tips & how-tos 'created by experts to be fun, educational, and easy to use outside of school.' Organized by grade level (International Reading Association and National Council of Teachers of English). PBS Parents Activities & Crafts offers fun ideas for kids including travel, science, reading/literacy, math, and music/art activities (site includes advertisements). Art Junction: Art Sparkers offer suggestions for art projects and creative exploration suitable for elementary & middle school kids (Dr. Craig Roland, University of Florida). Kids Off the Couch offers ideas for family activities that 'pair films and outings to teach children about culture, life and values'. Games & Activities for Kids AUDIO VIDEO is a varied collection of songs, jokes, riddles, coloring pages, illusions, activities, games and puzzles for kids of all ages (National Institutes of Health). You can print out Military OneSource's Road Trip Games NEW! and take them with you when you travel. See also Family Fitness, Kids & Nature, Reduce Screen Time, 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.
General Parenting Sites
Family Works - 'Strategies for building stronger families.' Includes advice on respect, anger, stress, values, discipline, responsibility, conflict, and more (University of Illinois Extension). Solutions for Your Life: Children [Archived pages; expect some broken links] offers 'resources and information related to children's health, behavior, time management, and other topics important to families' (University of Florida Extension). 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 (formerly Parent Further) UPDATED LINK! 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). The Parent Toolkit 'will help you navigate your child's academic and personal journey from pre-kindergarten through high school.' Includes growth charts, tips & guides, advice from experts, and links to additional resources on your child's academic, health & wellness, and social & emotional development. (Produced by NBC News, sponsored by Pearson Education). See also Child Care Advice from eXtension.org, Facts for Families, Talking With Kids about Tough Issues, and Greater Good, below.
Afterschool Programs - '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 advice for parents on how to choose an afterschool program. (New Jersey School-Age Care Coalition)
Back-to-School - See Parent School Involvement links.
Child Abuse: ChildHelp USA® - Tips, brief articles, video, links, & other resources on recognizing and preventing child abuse, plus a toll-free hotline, 1-800-4-A-CHILD / 1-800-422-4453 (non-profit organization). For additional information, see Medline's Child Abuse Resources page (U.S. National Library of Medicine), ChildWelfare.gov, Prevent Child Abuse America, and New Jersey Children's Alliance.
Child Care Advice from eXtension.org - Articles and resources for child care providers about high-quality child care for children of all ages. (An educational partnership of 74 universities in the United States)
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 - Brief tips to help you reclaim childhood from corporate marketers (Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood). See also Kids Unbranded [Email address required to download PDF guide] (2014, Center for a New American Dream), Media Smarts: Marketing & Consumerism (Media Smarts; Canadian non-profit organization), and Screen-Free Play Plans, below.
Coping Support for Brothers and Sisters of Very Sick Children - Resources to help children if they have a brother or sister who is very sick or dying (University of Iowa Hospitals & Clinics). See also Grief Support resources.
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.
Facts for Families UPDATED LINK! - Short fact sheets on a variety of behavioral and other issues that affect children, teenagers, and their families. Available in English, Arabic, Chinese, Hebrew, Icelandic, Malaysian, Polish, Spanish, Urdu, and Vietnamese (American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry). Child Welfare Tip Sheets NEW! 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 (2018, Children's Bureau of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services). See also Child Care & Development PDFs NEW! (Iowa State University Extension), PTA Family Resources (Parent Teacher Association), Articles for Parents (American School Counselor Association), and Parenting Tips (Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC).
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 Style Dining - Explains why it is important for families to eat together regularly, with related information on kids and food; use the menu to choose related topics such as Eating at Home/Eating Out, Food Challenges, Infant Feeding, and more (KERA, North Texas Public Broadcasting). See also What Kids Learn During Dinner (University of California) and Making Family Meals Happen (KidsHealth, Nemours Foundation). 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)
Good Manners - Advice to help you teach your kids good manners (Emily Post Institute; site includes advertisements).
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 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).
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.
Kids Count N.J. - Comprehensive data about child well-being in New Jersey; includes profiles & rankings by county (2017, Advocates for Children of New Jersey, funded by the Annie E. Casey Foundation). Kids Count UPDATED LINK! 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. (2018, Annie E. Casey Foundation). Highlights for Children annually surveys thousands of its young readers to produce the State of the Kid report, a survey that explores 'what it's like being a kid' today. See also Child Trends Databank (nonprofit, nonpartisan research organization).
Law: Family & Relationships - 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: Military Families - Advice for military families to help children deal with the difficult time of moving, saying goodbye, and starting over in a new place. A lot of the material on this page will be useful for any families who are getting ready to move. (U.S. Department of Defense)
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 for families needing assistance in N.J. See also N.J. Department of Human Services: Family Programs, Call 2-1-1 and South Plainfield Outreach and Referral Resources, 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.
School - See Parent School Involvement links.
Summer Camp Guide - 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 Allen's Guide, which includes camps and educational programs in Europe & Israel (site includes advertisements), and Peterson's Pre-College Summer Programs (site includes advertisements).
Talking With Kids about Tough Issues - Advice on talking to your kids about sex, violence, HIV/AIDS, terrorism, and drugs & alcohol. (Children Now and the Kaiser Family Foundation). 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 more at DrugFree.org, and Child Traumatic Stress, below.
Parents! Check out our KIDSTUFF page for
program information and great links for younger kids!
ACT Raising Safe Kids - Fact sheets & handouts on positive parenting skills for parents & caregivers of children from birth to age 8. 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. (American Psychological Association)
Age-by-Age Parent Guides UPDATED LINKS! - 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. See also School Success. (Scholastic, Inc.; site includes advertisements)
Baby Products (Consumer Reports) - '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: Babies & Kids NEW! (U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission), as well as HealthyStuff.org, Garage Sales: Deal or Danger?, Flame Retardants, Strollers, Shopping Cart Safety, and Tips on Toys links, below. For more information on car seats, see Child Transportation Safety.
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 (Mid-Hudson Library System). Get Ready to Read VIDEO offers free online materials for parents and educators to help pre-schoolers get ready to learn to read. Includes a screening tool, activities, checklists, video, advocacy guides, and related resources (National Center for Learning Disabilities et al.). Reading Is Fundamental: Literacy Central for Parents includes reading activities and related resources. There's a Literacy Tracker Tool UPDATED LINK! [NOTE: Registration required to use Literacy Tracker] to track your child's progress in reading development (non-profit organization). 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 Early Literacy (San Francisco Public Library), and Reading Tips for Parents (U.S. Department of Education), Shining Stars: How Parents Can Help Their Children Learn to Read (Pre-school through Grade 3; National Institute for Literacy). And of course, you can bring your child to the library for Baby Time (up to 2 years) or Toddler Time (ages 2 - 3 years)!
Breastfeeding - See Breastfeeding links.
Car Safety Seats, see Child Transportation Safety links, below.
Childproofing Your Home (CPSC) - Describes a dozen different types of child safety devices, such as safety latches and safety gates, that can help reduce injuries to young children; there is a related Baby Safety Checklist [Link opens a PDF] (U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission). Child Safety: Keeping Your Home Safe for Your Baby outlines various steps you can take to make a safer home for your baby. There is a related page on Childproofing Your Home (2016 & 2017, American Academy of Family Physicians). See also Childproofing Your Home (NSC) (2016, National Safety Council), Safe Sleep for Baby links, and 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 Parents Anonymous, above, 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.
Dads Adventure - Useful advice for first-time fathers (formerly New Dads' Boot Camp).
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, or kindergarten for your child. The website also offers helpful Advice for Families with young children, including articles on child development, reading & writing, and 'music, math & more!' (National Association for the Education of Young Children; non-profit organization)
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).
Going to School - Information for parents of kids in Pre-K through grade 5. Explains what and how kids learn, grade-by-grade. Offers advice on choosing a school, helping your child adjust to a new grade or a new school, helping with homework, making friends, and more (PBS; site includes advertisements). For advice on preparing young children for school and deciding whether your child is ready to start kindergarten, see Pre-Schoolers: Helping Your Pre-school Child Prepare for School and related links. See also Back-to-School links.
Helping Your Child Learn - This series features practical lessons and hands-on activities parents can use to help young children (preschool through grade 5) learn reading, math, science, & history; understand the value of homework; and develop the skills & values necessary to succeed in school and in life. (U.S. Department of Education)
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 (An educational partnership of 74 universities in the United States).
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). For related materials, see Early Learning Resources for Families and Early Learning Resources (U.S. Department of Education).
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 Should You Give Your Kid an Allowance? (2016, Credit Union National Association Inc.), Practical Money Skills for Young Children (pre-school through grade 2), and grades 3 to 6 (Visa Inc.).
Moving and Learning - Articles on topics in education, including physical activity to promote social, emotional and cognitive development in kids. (By Rae Pica, children's physical activity specialist)
Mr. Rogers' Parenting Topics VIDEO - The late Fred Rogers ('Mr. Rogers') offers advice to parents on helping young children deal with topics such as bedtime, fears, using the toilet, making friends, setting limits, going to doctors & dentists, special challenges (death, divorce, etc.) and more (Family Communications, Inc.). Sesame Street's Little Children, Big Challenges AUDIO VIDEO provides tips and strategies on helping children deal with divorce and incarceration (Committee for Children and Sesame Workshop).
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.)
New Jersey 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 Parents Anonymous, above.
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, offers additional advice, activities, and other resources for parents and others who care for young children (Community Television of Southern California).
Pets & Babies - See Pet Meets Baby, below.
Pregnancy & Baby Health AUDIO VIDEO INTERACTIVE - Learn what you need to know to have a healthy pregnancy and a healthy baby (March of Dimes). See also Pregnancy & Newborn Center (Nemours Foundation).
Pregnancy and Newborn Complications & Loss - 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 Resources.
Ready For Life VIDEO - Videos and other materials offering advice to help parents and caregivers raise children who are socially & emotionally healthy, and ready to succeed in school and life. (KERA, North Texas Public Broadcasting) [NOTE: Click on a topic listed BELOW the 'For Parents' heading. If you click on 'For Parents' it will just take you to the list of KERA kids TV programs.]
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: Preschoolers is a 2-page handout for parents and caregivers of pre-schoolers provides 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 include Who Needs Screens: 70 Ideas for Family Fun, 101 Screen Free Activities [Link opens a PDF], & Helping Babies Entertain Themselves Screen-Free [Link opens a PDF] (2013 - 2016, Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood) and Avoid TV for Infants & Toddlers (2016, American Academy of Pediatrics). See also 10 No-Cost, Screen-Free Activities to Play with Your Preschooler (2016, 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). Shopping Cart Safety [Link opens a PDF] offers practical tips to help keep your child safe while shopping and/or using a shopping cart (2006, American Academy of Pediatrics). See also Safe Shopping with Children (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 (American Academy of Pediatrics). See also FAQs About Safe Infant Sleep & Safe Sleep for your Baby (2017, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services) and Safe Sleep: Crib Information (2013, U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission). 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 (2013 - 2018, American Academy of Pediatrics).
Talk, Read, Play - Information about development in young children by age group (0-15 Months, 15-36 Months, 3-4 Years, Kindergarten), along with suggested activities that will help your child thrive in school and in life (Boston MA Public Schools). Talk, Read, and Sing Together Every Day! provides research-based tips for talking, reading, and singing with young children every day to help enrich their early language experiences; available in English & Spanish. See also Make the Most of Playtime [Link opens a PDF] (Vanderbilt University). For more information on early learning, see Milestone Tracker, above.
Tips on Toys - Advice on choosing safe toys for children from one month to twelve years (2009, Virginia Cooperative Extension). See Consumer Product Safety Commission Toy Recalls UPDATED LINK! for a list of unsafe/recalled toys. For more on toys, see the Toys, Games, Parties, and Musical Instruments section of this page.
Toddlers - Advice on dealing with toddlers. Covers safe exploring, toilet training, encouraging good eating habits, helping your child deal with being separated from you, and what to do 'When All You Hear Is No!' (University of Illinois Extension)
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. In the podcast series Little Kids, Big Questions AUDIO experts explain how to apply child development research to your daily interactions with your baby or toddler. (National Center for Infants, Toddlers and Families)
Media & Entertainment
Parents! Check out our TEEN ZONE page to find great sites for pre-teens and teens!
Body Image and Your Kids - Advice to help you be a good role model, and lessen the risk of your child developing an unhealthy body image, unhealthy eating habits, or eating disorders (National Women's Health Information Center). See also Media Smarts: Body Image (from Canada's Media Smarts) and Center on Media and Child Health: Body Image (Children's Hospital Boston).
Communicating With Your Teen [Link opens a PDF] - Teens often spend less time with their parents than they spend with other teens. This publication offers suggestions for making the most of time parents and teens do spend together (2013, 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).
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.' 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), Keys 2 Drive (AAA Guide to Teen Driver Safety), National Safety Council's DriveitHOME™ VIDEO website, and NHTSA Teen Drivers VIDEO (U.S. Department of Transportation).
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 VIDEO, which explores teenage brain development and how it shapes normal teenage attitudes & behavior, plus tools and tips to help you connect with your teen. Need immediate help? Call 1-855-DRUGFREE (1-855-378-4373) or text a message to 55753 to get suggestions for effective action to take if your children are abusing drugs or alcohol. Help by email is also available (National Youth Anti-Drug Media Campaign). Growing up Drug-Free: A Parent's Guide to Prevention NEW! is a printable booklet with information to help parents and other caregivers raise drug-free children (2017, U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration and Department of Education). See also Talking With Kids about Tough Issues, above.
ElderCare Online Teen Resource Center - Information and support for teens who are coping with or caring for an older relative. (2001, ElderCare Online and Long Island Alzheimer's Foundation)
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 Girls and Puberty and Boys and Puberty (Nemours Foundation). See also Parents' Sex Ed Center, 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 7 Tips for Teaching Teens Money Management (2018, U.S. Department of Defense), Should You Give Your Kid an Allowance? (2016, Credit Union National Association Inc.), Practical Money Skills for Teens, Grades 7-8, and College Students (Visa Inc.).
Parents' Sex Ed Center - Advice on how to establish positive communication with your children to help them make informed and responsible decisions about their reproductive and sexual health. Also explains children's growth and development at different ages from toddler to young adult (Nonprofit site: Advocates for Youth). See also Planned Parenthood's Tools for Parents and Menstruation links, 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 (Nemours Foundation). See also Why is Your Teen So Tired? UPDATED LINK! (Mayo Clinic).
Troubled Teens: Private Residential Treatment Q & A - '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.' (Federal Trade Commission). See also ASTART for Teens (Alliance for the Safe, Therapeutic and Appropriate Use of Residential Treatment).
SOUTH 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.
Adolescent Health Transition Project NEW! - 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)
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 Living with Autism (Autism Society of America).
Books, Reading & Libraries: Special Needs - Links to selected resources on books and assistive media for families with special needs. (South Plainfield Public Library)
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 AUDIO. (American Academy of Pediatrics)
Deafness Information - Information & resources related to deaf and hard of hearing children from birth through age 21. Covers topics such as ASL, assistive technology, deaf culture, deaf education, early intervention, interpreting, literacy, multicultural considerations, transition beyond secondary education, and more. (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 - Twice-yearly online newsletter offering information and resources for parents of young children with disabilities. For additional info on a variety of topics, see PACER Publications (PACER Center & U.S. Department of Education)
Emergency Information Forms for Children with Special Health Care Needs UPDATED LINK! - 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 Organize your Family's Medical Information, which also includes important forms (American College of Emergency Physicians), and My child has a chronic health condition. What do I need to tell the school? (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 Caregivers of New Jersey, below, and Sites for Seniors: Caregiving.
FamilyConnect™: Visual Impairments - 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)
Get Ready to Read - Online screening tool, activities, checklists, and other resources to help your pre-schooler get ready to learn to read. (National Center for Learning Disabilities)
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.
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 - Materials to help teach students with special needs how to handle money responsibly. (Visa Inc.)
My Child Without Limits - Information, advice, and support for families of young children ages 0-5 with developmental delays or disabilities such as autism, cerebral palsy, down syndromw, epilepsy, hearing or vision loss, muscular dystrophy, and spina bifida. Use the menu bar across the top to choose a topic from the headings 'Understand', 'Plan', 'Act', or 'Community'. (United Cerebral Palsy)
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). Caregivers of New Jersey offers resources for those who are caring for a chronically ill or disabled family member. Support Coordinators work with individuals with developmental disabilities in creating and developing life plans, including individuals living in developmental centers who wish to be transitioned into the community (this website is funded in part through a contract with the New Jersey Division of Developmental Disabilities). See also Families with Special Needs: Caregiving Tips, above.
People with Disabilities Webfinder - Selected links to websites offering resources for people with disabilities, and for their families. (South Plainfield Public Library)
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: AblePlay™ - Evaluations of toys, games, and gadgets for kids with special needs (National Lekotek Center). See also Toys & Gift Ideas for Parents of Children Who Are Blind or Visually Impaired (FamilyConnect, American Foundation for the Blind).
Understood.org NEW! - A wealth of practical information and advice for parents whose children, ages 3 - 20, are struggling with learning and attention issues. (A collaborative project of 15 nonprofit organizations)
COMPUTERS & TECHNOLOGY: Protecting Yourself and Your Family - Selected links to the best websites on computer safety, privacy, scams, and more. (South Plainfield Public Library)
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.
Center on Media and Child Health - Information about the effects of media on the physical, mental, and social health of children, and advice for families on using media in a healthy way. Includes information about different types of media, and how they may influence aggression/violence, body image, alcohol & drug use, sexual behavior, and other issues (Children's Hospital Boston and Harvard University). 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). Kids and Digital Media suggests some ways that parents can use media together with their young children to encourage family connection, learning, and digital literacy skills (2017, University of Michigan Health System). Media Smarts for Parents [NOTE: 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. The Media Issues section covers body image, diversity, gender representation, intellectual property, marketing & consumerism, and media violence. The Digital Issues section covers cyberbullying, cyber security, excessive internet use, gambling, online hate, online marketing, pornography, privacy, and sexual exploitation (Canadian non-profit organization). See also Reduce Screen Time and related links, below.
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 (Facebook, Instagram, & other social media, screen time, cyberbullying, and privacy & internet safety) as well as blogs, videos, tools for educators and other resources. (Nonprofit organization)
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)
ESRB Guide to Interactive Entertainment - Ratings and content information for Video Games. (Entertainment Software Association)
Kids & Nature - 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 Detectives provides free seasonal play booklets you can use to inspire children with outdoor play ideas (Woodland Trust, UK). Get Outside suggests more great ways to connect with nature in your neighbourhood (Earth Day Canada Inc.). See also Garden-Based Learning links, Reduce Screen Time, below, and Center on Media and Child Health, above.
Kids' Privacy Online - See Kids' Online Safety & Privacy links.
Parents' Choice Foundation - 'The nation's oldest not-for-profit evaluator of children's books, videos, toys, audios, computer software, television, and magazines,' provides parents with recommendations on 'fairly priced products that are fun, safe and socially sound.' If you are looking for information about a specific product, click on the 'Product Finder' icon. Includes Parents' Choice Award-Winning Books, quarterly lists of the best kids' books in fiction, non-fiction, 'learning & doing', picture books, and poetry; most with brief reviews; searchable by age group, keywords, product type, and more. Also includes Recommended Children's Magazines, Tips for Teaching Kids to Enjoy Reading, and an email newsletter.
Reduce Screen Time - Explains the whys and hows of reducing the time your kids spend at the computer, watching TV, or even using handheld devices (U.S. Department of Health & Human Services). See also How Much Screen Time is OK for My Kids? (Common Sense Media, non-profit organization). Screen-Free Play & Activities lists numerous non-electronic activities for families to enjoy together (Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood). For more fun family activities, see Screen-Free Play Plans and Fun Things to Do With Kids, above.
TV: Are My Kids Watching Too Much TV? - Guidelines for screen time limits at different ages. Includes links to related material (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. See also Why to Avoid TV for Infants & Toddlers (HealthyChildren.org, American Academy of Pediatrics). TV and Parental Controls offers tools & resources to help you navigate TV programming, and keep unwanted content out of your home (FCC.gov).
For video games, see Media & Entertainment.
For resources on kids' sports and coaching, see our Kids' Sports and Coaching Webfinder.
See also Fun Things to Do With Kids links, above.
ArtsEdge: At Home - Practical advice for parents who want to encourage and support their kids' creativity & knowledge of the arts. (Kennedy Center for the Arts)
Let's Party - 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 (site includes advertisements).
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 in the righthand menu (Kennedy Center for the Arts). See also Introducing your child to music at an early age [Link opens a PDF] and related info (Youth Music, UK; non-profit organization; some information is specific to the UK). For 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, and more (Family Education / Sandbox Networks, Inc.; site includes advertisements). See also Prom Safe Driving Tips (Safety Insurance) and It's Your Prom! Make it Safe, Healthy, and Fun (2015, U.S. Centers for Disease Control).
Tips on Toys - Advice on choosing safe toys for children from one month to twelve years. (2009, Virginia Cooperative Extension). See also Toys for Children with Special Needs, above. HealthyStuff.org offers general advice on how to avoid toys and other kids' products that contain toxic chemicals. Use the search box to find information on toxic chemicals in specific products; each product tested has an overall rating for 'level of concern', as well as an individual chemical rating for cadmium, chlorine, lead, arsenic and mercury content (Ecology Center). [NOTE: Products are tested only for hazardous chemical content, not for other possible hazards.] See also US PIRG's Toy Safety Tips and Annual Survey of Toy Safety (November, 2017).
Trampolines - Injury facts and safety tips. (Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh)
Facts on File: Health Reference Center - Clear and comprehensive information on conditions and diseases, health and wellness, mental health, and the human body. Focusing on the high school health curriculum, Health Reference Center includes educational videos, color illustrations, and regularly updated health news articles. 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.
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 Children - Related Links (U.S. Department of Justice). If you believe your child may be a runaway, see Runaway Safeline, below.
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 (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®, above.
Child Health - See Kids' Health and related links, below.
Child Safety & Injury Prevention - Advice on how to prevent all kinds of childhood accidents and injuries (Medical University of South Carolina). The printable Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh (CHP) Home Safety Handbook has safety guidelines designed to help keep your infant, toddler and preschooler safe from common accidents and hidden hazards. CHP also provides information on additional indoor & outdoor Safety Topics for kids of all ages (University of Pittsburgh). The American Academy of Pediatrics Health & Safety Tips has timely advice on a variety of topics such as holidays, allergies, dog bites, toys, poisons, outdoor safety, and more. CPSC Child Safety Guides provide alerts and checklists to help you keep babies & kids safe (Consumer Product Safety Commission). Safe Kids Worldwide Safety Tips VIDEO offers 'tips from top safety experts on everything you need to keep kids of any age safe from preventable injuries' (non-profit organization). Taking a Child to the Emergency Room UPDATED LINK! recommends 10 things you need to know when you take a child to the emergency department (American College of Emergency Physicians). Crime Prevention and Safety Issues for Parents [Archived page] gives advice on child abductions, gangs, guns, internet & media, school safety, and more (National Crime Prevention Council). See also Medline Child Safety links, Childproofing Your Home & Baby Products Guide, above, Tips on Toys, above, Kids' Health and related links, below, Child Traumatic Stress, below, Child Transportation Safety links, below, and First Aid & Safety links.
Child Transportation Safety: Parents Central - Safety tips and other useful information on car seats, as well as other safety issues in and around your vehicle, bicycling, walking, and school bus safety (SaferCar.gov, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration). Jersey Drives: Keeping Your Children Safe also offers advice and resources on car seats, bikes, scooters & skateboards, school bus safety, and teen driving (Brain Injury Alliance of New Jersey), Car Seats: Information for Families offers advice on choosing and using car seats with helpful charts and illustrations, plus 2018 product listings and related resources AUDIO VIDEO (American Academy of Pediatrics). 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; site includes advertisements). See also School Bus Safety (Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh), and Teen Driving, above.
Child Traumatic Stress UPDATED LINK! - 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 Violence and Disasters (2015, National Institute of Mental Health), Children, School, and Violence: What Parents Can Do (Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh, University of Pittsburgh), School Safety & Crisis Resources for parents and educators (National Association of School Psychologists), KidsPeace Resources (a private, non-profit treatment & education service), Talking With Kids about Tough Issues and Child Abuse links, above.
Children's Environmental Health - A selection of internet resources on environmental health topics relating to children; click or tap the Children's Environmental Health heading (2018, National Library of Medicine et al.). 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 911 for Women and related links.
Family Health & Safety - Information for parents, kids, teens, college students, and families with special needs, on staying safe and healthy throughout the year, with special tips for different occasions and seasons, including prom, spring break, Halloween, camping trips, and more. You'll find more health & safety tips for special occasions and seasons at Healthy Occasions (U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention). See also CHP Holiday & Seasonal Safety (Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh, University of Pittsburgh), and Winter Safety Tips for Parents and Children (2002, Canadian Paediatric Society).
Family Violence - See 911 for Women and related links.
First Aid & Safety - Selected links to first aid information and resources (South Plainfield Public Library).
Flame Retardants: Playing with Fire VIDEO - 'Flame retardants are found in a variety of household products despite evidence they put people's health at risk. This Chicago Tribune investigation looks at how industry has used deceptive tactics to convince the public they're needed.' (2012 - 2014, Chicago Tribune newspaper)
Garage Sales: What Not to Buy - 'While there is no end to what you might find at a garage sale, it is important to be aware of some common issues that can affect the safety of the items.' (2015, UW Health, University of Wisconsin). 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).
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 toys, car seats, and backpacks. Each product tested has an overall rating for 'level of concern', as well as an individual chemical rating for cadmium, chlorine, lead, arsenic and mercury content. Use the search box to find data on specific products (Ecology Center). See also Baby Products and Tips on Toys, above.
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 Center for Children's Health Media). The Children's Hospital and Regional Medical Center of Seattle's 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.' 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 (formerly KidsMD): Conditions & Treatments includes information & advice on health conditions, procedures, injuries, parenting, 'ages & stages', media, and wellness topics (Boston Children's Hospital; teaching hospital of Harvard Medical School). Does your child need to be hospitalized? Kids Health Galaxy is an animated site which 'provides interactive, engaging and educational information for children ages 6 to 12 to help them understand and cope with hospitalization' (Children's Hospital of Philadelphia). [NOTE: Some information is specific to the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, but the 'MEDICAL LIBRARY' animations contain mostly general information.] See also Child Safety links, above.
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.
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.
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 NEW! 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).
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).
Grandparents & Grandchildren - See SITES FOR SENIORS: Grandparents Raising Grandchildren and related links.
National Stepfamily Resource Center - A library of articles on a variety of issues affecting stepfamilies, including stepmothering, counseling, finances, co-parenting and co-grandparenting. Formerly Stepfamily Association of America. (Auburn University et al.)
Travel with Pets (Archived page)
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 (ASPCA) (American Humane Association and National Coalition Against Domestic Violence) For help explaining animal cruelty to kids, see PAWS Kids: What is Animal Cruelty? (Progressive Animal Welfare Society; non-profit organization).
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 - Do you feel you can no longer keep your pet due to behavior issues, allergies, rental housing rules or some other problem? This page provides resources to help you deal with these problems, and reviews the options you have if you ultimately decide that you cannot keep your pet. (Humane Society of the United States)
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). 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. (2015, U.S. Food and Drug Administration)
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).
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: HealthyStuff.org - Tips on protecting your pet from toxic chemicals in pet products, and around the home & yard (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 (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). 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 NEW! - 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). Find the Right Dog offers advice on finding the right breed of dog to fit your lifestyle; use the Breed Finder to find information on specific breeds (Westminster Kennel Club; site includes advertisements). See also Dog Breeds, and Tips for Finding a Responsible Dog Breeder (American Kennel Club; site includes advertisements).
Service Animals and the ADA - Answers to common questions about how the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) applies to service animals (2015, U.S. Department of Justice). Companion Animals [Link opens a PDF] outlines the difference between companion animals & service animals, and briefly explains housing rules that relate to them (2016, USDA).