Summer-ready RealCare Babies in 5 simple steps

We’re approaching summer again, which means most RealCare Baby® infant simulators are being put away for a well-deserved rest. Before storing your Babies for the summer, follow these 5 simple steps. Doing so will help ensure that your Babies are ready for summer break – and that you can enjoy a smooth start to your RealCare Program this fall.

1. Give your Babies one final full charge.

  • Baby should be charged overnight, then unplugged – don’t leave Baby plugged in all summer. Ideally, your Babies should be charged for a few hours every 3 months. Haven’t used Baby since January or February? Now is the time to charge them overnight.
  • FYI: The batteries will gradually drain out on their own. Do not be surprised if the Babies start to make a popping sound while in storage. This is an indicator that the batteries are giving off their final amount of charge. Don’t worry; this is normal and the popping sound can last for a few days.
  • You can follow along with the “RCB Battery Maintenance” instructions here.

2. Wash the clothing and clean the Baby.

  • For Baby: Disinfectant wipes, Mr. Clean Magic Erasers and acne cream with sunlight are all great ways to get ink and other common stains off of Baby’s vinyl
  • For Baby’s clothing and supplies: Baby’s diapers and clothing can be machine washed in cold, gentle cycle. Tumble dry on low. We recommend line drying to prevent wear and tear.
  • Get more great cleaning tips here.

3. Place your Babies in plastic bags to protect the vinyl.

  • Be sure the bag does not have any print that can bleed onto the vinyl.

4. Store your Babies in a cool, dry place.

  • Baby should be stored indoors, in the plastic bag, for optimum conditions. If this isn’t possible, every attempt should be made to keep Baby dry and clean.
  • If Baby is stored in a very cold or hot environment, allow 24 hours for Baby to adjust to a moderate temperature before use.
  • Dramatic changes in temperature can cause water condensation inside Baby. Allow time for the condensation to evaporate before use.

5. BONUS TIP: Jump-start your fall lesson planning  by downloading our free career exploration curriculum today!

We know how important it is to provide career exploration opportunities to students. That’s why we created the Using the RealCare Program for Career Exploration, which contains 6 lessons that use our RealCare products (Drug-Affected Baby, Fetal Alcohol Syndrome Baby, Pregnancy Profile, RealCare Baby and more) as springboards to career exploration lessons.

(Don’t have all the products? No problem! They’re not required to use the curriculum).

Click here to learn more and download the curriculum yourself.

Learn more by watching our on-demand webinar: How to Prepare RealCare Baby for Summer Break:

Additional Product Support resources like video tutorials, documentation, webinars and FAQs can be found in our online Product Support Center. If you need further support, contact our Product Support Team by calling 800.830-1416, option 2, or emailing productsupport@realityworks.com.

Preventing Shaken Baby Syndrome One Demonstration at a Time

by Kati Stacy

Around 2005, Kathy Lopez-Bushnell, APRN, EdD, MPH, MSN, Director of ClinicalNursing Research at University of New Mexico Hospital (UNMH), was in a meeting when a community member approached her and said they had a terrible problem.

“She said that we’re not taking care of the families of shaken baby victims,” said Lopez-Bushnell. “So she and I and the CEO and other execs met and she told her story.”

This community member, who represented families going through the legal systemregarding Shaken Baby Syndrome (SBS) cases, explained that New Mexico had one of the highest rates of SBS and child abuse death in the country.

“After listening to her story, the execs saw there was a problem and they turned to me and said, go fix it,” Lopez-Bushnell shared.

After researching literature, Lopez-Bushnell found a program in New York state, headed by Mark S. Dias, MD, FAAP. The premise of Dias’ program was that parents who were taught about SBS immediately after their babies were born, when parent-child bonding is very strong, would be less likely to shake their baby. Dias’ program also recognized the effectiveness that these parents could have on disseminating SBS information to others who might be in the position of caring for their child. Dias’ program was so successful that it cut the rates of SBS in the eight-county region of western New York in half.

“I called him and told him we’d like to replicate his study,” said Lopez-Bushnell. “He couldn’t have been more helpful. He sent us volumes of information and we recreated his study here.”

In 2010, UNMH began a program modeled on this study. In 2012, they began using the RealCare™ Shaken Baby simulator by Realityworks®, Inc., with the educational program that was already in place.

UNMH Shaken Baby Syndrome Prevention and Awareness Program

UNMH’s Shaken Baby Syndrome Prevention and Awareness Program (SBSPAP) has four main goals:

  1. to provide educational materials about SBS to the parents of newborn infants
  2. to assess parents’ comprehension of the dangers of violent infant shaking
  3. to track penetration of the program through the collection of returned commitment statements (CS); and
  4. to evaluate the program’s effect on the incidence of SBS.

They work to accomplish this by teaching families of newborns as well as families with infants who come into the ICU for various reasons.

“We’re a Level II unit in ICU, so we take babies who are usually sick,” said Erika Cole, RN, BSN, RNC-LRN, ICN Unit Director at UNMH. “Upon admission to the unit, we start discharge teaching right away. One of the key pieces that we touch with every parent is the prevention of SBS using the Shaken Baby simulator.”

The program incorporates several tools during this education process. A handout gives tips about how to cope with infant crying and stats about what SBS is, etc. Nurses are given training on how to speak with parents and caregivers about how babies cry, that it’s okay if they cry and giving parents the okay to put them down and walk away if the need to. When Babies Cry, a video which comes with the Shaken Baby simulator, is shown. Finally, there is a demonstration with the Shaken Baby simulator to dramatically depict how easy it is to cause damage to an infant and what harm can potentially occur. From January 2016 to August 2016, 786 parents have participated in UNMH’s program.

The Shaken Baby simulator looks, feels and sounds like a real infant, with the exception of its clear head, which is equipped with LED lights. When shaken, the lights illuminate areas of the brain that have been damaged by the shaking event. “It’s a hard topic to discuss, and many parents might think, ‘Who doesn’t know not to shake a baby,’” said Cole. “But surprisingly 1 out of 6 parents we’ve talked with say that this was the first time they heard that [shaking a baby] was dangerous.”

Seven months later the families are called and asked what they remember of this education. According to Deisree Torrez, mathematician and research volunteer with the program, most parents remember working with the simulator.

One story that sticks out the most is a conversation she had with a Dad who called back.

“He said, ‘I remember the doll the most,’” Desiree Torrez recounted. “He continued, stating ‘whenever my baby cries and I start to get frustrated, I just remember you guys making me shake that doll and I know it’s time to put my kid down. I just don’t want to do that to my child.’”

The program has recently expanded its efforts to prevent child abuse by incorporating 30 additional Shaken Baby simulators into their program. Created by Realityworks, Inc., these electronic simulators have helped the hospital significantly reduce rates of Shaken Baby Syndrome since they were first implemented in 2012.

“There is a substantial amount of child abuse in NM, and a need for education as a potential preventative measure, given the significant morbidity and mortality in our state,” said Christopher Torrez, MD, Pediatric Resident Physician, PGY 3 at UNMH . “The doll leaves a lasting impression on our parents. Often, when we complete the 7-month follow-up, one of the things they remember the most is interacting with the doll.”

Editor’s Note: This is an excerpt of a larger testimonial about the UNMH Shaken Baby Syndrome Prevention and Awareness Program. Click here to read the testimonial in its entirety.

Calling All FACS Educators: Help NASAFACS Review National Family & Consumer Science Standards

By Diane Ross, M.Ed., Realityworks Senior Field Account Manager for NC, SC, VA, WV and National Family and Consumer Education Standards Review Member

Do you teach Family & Consumer Sciences at the high school or college level? Are you an industry representative or business leader with an interest in Family and Consumer Sciences programs in your community? The National Association of State of Administrators of Family and Consumer Sciences (NASAFACS) needs your help!

NASAFACS is seeking FACS educators and stakeholders from secondary education, post-secondary education, and business and industry to help review the final draft of the Family and Consumer Sciences National Standards 3.0.

The Family and Consumer Sciences Education National Standards form a comprehensive structure designed to accommodate varying state philosophies and issues related to standards and delivery systems. FACS, like other disciplines, is concerned with the integration of academic knowledge and achievement in a contextual approach. Your efforts will help ensure that these standards meet current and projected industry needs.

Want to help? Take 10-15 minutes to review the final draft of the standards by clicking here. Remember to consider the area of study, industry needs for this area, and pedagogy.

The more people who complete the survey, the better the results will be. Feel free to share this message and survey link with colleagues who are qualified to review them as well.

Diane holds a Master’s Degree in Secondary Education from Marshall University in Huntington, WV. She has been with Realityworks for more than 3 years and has been instrumental in assisting educators with implementing educational solutions that make a difference in students’ lives. She was selected to join nine other reviewers from across the country to participate in the Family and Consumer Sciences National Standards 3.0 project.

6 Reasons to Meet Realityworks at the Association for Career & Technical Education’s CareerTech VISION Conference

Every year, the Realityworks team journeys to the largest annual gathering of Career & Technical Education (CTE) professionals in a single location: The Association for Career & Technical Education (ACTE)’s CareerTech VISION Conference. We typically plan for this conference a good year in advance, and this year is no exception. Held in the Las Vegas Convention Center from November 30 – December 2, this year’s conference will be attended by thousands of technology education professionals, educators and industry representatives. From product exhibits and presentations to interactive demonstrations and more, there are countless reasons to meet Realityworks at ACTE’s CareerTech VISION 2016 Conference at Booth #529. Here are our top 6!

  1. Preview interactive products and simulators for nursing skills training, including injection training, elderly nursing care and catheterization
  2. Explore the new RealCareer™ Geriatric Sensory Impairment Kit, a set of wearable simulators that mimic hearing impairment, arthritis and hand tremors
  3. See the new Birth Process Kit, which includes six large, lifelike models that depict each stage of the birthing process
  4. Get a SNEAK PEEK at our one-of-a-kind animal science and plant science models, including detailed animal and stomach models and a plant science kit (available in 2017)
  5. Try virtual reality welding with the guideWELD® VR welding simulator
  6. Conduct live welding with the guideWELD® LIVE real welding guidance system

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Additional ways you can interact with Realityworks at VISION 2016 include:

  • Attend the “Baby Basics and Best Practices” pre-conference workshop we are co-hosting with the National Association of Teachers of Family and Consumer Sciences on November 30
  • Join us at the NATFACS Awards Reception, ACTEBabywhere
    we’ll be raffling off a new
    RealCare Baby 3 infant simulator
  • Attend the “Create Student Engagement Through Experiential Learning Tools” pre-conference workshop we are is co-hosting with the National Association of Agriculture Educators on November 30, where we’ll be raffling off one of our NEW animal science models
  • Attend the Health Occupations Student Association (HOSA) Luncheon we are co-hosting with HOSA on December 1, where we’ll be raffling off a RealCare™ Geriatric Simulator and sharing more details on our new experiential learning tools for health sciences
  • Share your selfie for a chance to win! tweet a selfie with your favorite Realityworks product in our booth and tag us @Realityworksinc and the show #VISION16 for your chance to win a Realityworks mug!

You can still register for ACTE’s CareerTech VISION 2016 Conference online by clicking here. We hope to see you there!

Making a Difference through Family & Consumer Sciences: A RealCare Baby® User Spotlight

by Denise Bodart, Realityworks RealCare Product Manager

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Finance. Housing and interior design. Food science. Nutrition. Personal wellness. Human development. The life and career skills that Family and Consuner Sciences (FCS) educators equip students with can have a significant impact on their lives. In the two decades since RealCare Baby® first made its debut, we’ve had the pleasure of working with many dedicated FCS professionals who were using RealCare Baby to help prepare young people for their future. One such person is Amanda McGovern, FCS teacher at Battle High School in Columbia, MO.

Since September 2013, McGovern has used Baby to provide her Child Development 1 & 2 students with authentic, hands-on learning experiences as they discuss human development. As a result, McGovern’s 14- to 18-year-old students leave the classroom more prepared for children in the future and for careers related to child care.

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“The Babies have become so much more than just a project for these students,” said McGovern, who has 11 RealCare Baby 3 infant simulators and one RealCare® Pregnancy Profile® Simulator. “They have really become a great discussion piece for choosing to parent or building their resumes for jobs.”

Now, McGovern incorporates these experiential learning tools and the accompanying curricula regularly, sending Babies home with students for the weekend and also using them during in-class “Baby Bootcamp” sessions. During these sessions, McGovern turns all 11 Babies to demonstration mode and students practice changing their clothes and getting them in and out of car seats while addressing their frequent needs.

“I love the authentic learning, and the reports are incredible,” said McGovern. “I use the provided curriculum frequently to engage students and provide multiple means of learning. It’s easily integrated into classes and provides a great variety of activities. Students are challenged to do this project and take of this Baby for longer than most have ever cared for a real child. The experience takes them out of their comfort zone, and the learning is authentic. It really makes an impact on students now and in the future.”

The American Association of Family and Consumer Sciences has declared July 14-21 “Making a Difference with Family and Consumer Sciences” week as part of their efforts to advocate for FCS programs. To learn about more inspiring FCS professionals and what you can do to advocate for FCS, visit the AAFCS website here

Realityworks Announces Participation in the Family and Consumer Sciences Alliance

EAU CLAIRE, Wis., March 15, 2016 – Realityworks®, Inc has partnered with the American Association of Family and Consumer Sciences (AAFCS) by joining the Family and Consumer Sciences (FCS) Alliance. The company will bring more than 20 years of knowledge working within the FCS area of education and intends to help create awareness and show advocacy for FCS programs and careers.

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The FCS Alliance is comprised of companies, associations, honor societies and other FCS-related groups across the United States, all of whom are working together to advance FCS through advocacy. The FCS Alliance has been raising awareness for FCS since 2006.

Realityworks supports the FCS field with educational programs and curriculum like the flagship RealCare Baby® infant simulator (formally known as Baby Think is Over®), which is used to teach students parenting skills, early childhood and health occupation career skills, child abuse prevention and teen pregnancy prevention. The company has also offered scholarships, support and assisted in connecting educators through Baby User Groups and conference attendance.

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“Family and Consumer Science educators have been important contributors to the work we do here at Realityworks. We are dedicated to helping educate our future workforce through comprehensive curricula and hands-on technology and can accomplish this through partnerships like the one with AAFCS,” said Timm Boettcher, president and CEO of Realityworks. “FCS education, early childhood care and culinary arts career paths currently having an above-average employment growth rate and we are excited to help raise awareness and fill this skills gap by becoming a FCS Alliance partner.”

Realityworks’ partnership with the FCS Alliance will include participation in awareness-generating campaigns like the “Say Yes to FCS” initiative, a national campaign with a goal of helping fill the growing shortage of FCS educators.

For more information on Realityworks visit us at www.realityworks.com or call 800-262-3806. For more information on the FCS Alliance visit www.aafcs.org/AboutUs/FCSAlliance.asp  

About Realityworks, Inc.
Established over 20 years ago to better address parenting skills, teen pregnancy prevention and child abuse and neglect through educational products, Realityworks is dedicated to creating experiential learning tools that engage students while improving the human condition. Most famous for their RealCare Baby infant simulator (formerly known as Baby Think it Over®), Realityworks has developed several other programs over the last decade to support career and technology education and career preparation in the areas of career exploration, business, health and welding. Their RealCareer™ Welding Solutions line was developed to engage users through simulation, replication and evaluation of welds. With products in 62 percent of U.S. school districts and programs in more than 90 countries around the world, Realityworks has made a worldwide impact. For more information, visit www.realityworks.com, or call toll-free 800-830-1416.

# # #

Media Contact:

Janelle Krause
Realityworks
Public Relations and Event Specialist
Janelle.Krause@realityworks.com
715-858-7121

Incorporate Infant Toy Safety Into Your Family & Consumer Sciences Classroom This Season

By Denise Bodart, Realityworks RealCare Product Manager

In the next few weeks, children around the globe will be gifted with toys of all shapes and sizes. Since December is also Safe Toys & Gifts Awareness Month, a lesson on the importance of selecting safe and age-appropriate toys for infants and children might benefit your parenting, child care career or child development class. Keep reading to learn more about this awareness month and to download two free toy safety handouts.

ToySafety

According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, there were an estimated 251,800 toy-related injuries treated in U.S. hospital emergency departments in 2014. Of those toy-related injuries, an estimated 84,400 (34 percent) happened to children younger than 5 years of age.

Infant and child safety is an important part of the curriculum that accompanies RealCare® Baby. Our Basic Infant Care curriculum includes two lessons that touch on various aspects of toy safety. Lesson 1.2, Infant and Toddler Development, includes a robust activity on identifying age-appropriate and safe toys for infants and toddlers of various stages. Lesson 3.4, Safety, First Aid and Infant Health, includes information specific to Riding Toy Safety. Students are even given a lengthy stack of flashcards with toys on them, which they must identify as safe and appropriate, and unsafe and inappropriate.

  • Click here for your own free Toys & Toy Safety download.
  • Click here for your own Riding Toy Safety download.

Celebrate this special month by integrating these free resources into your child development lessons this month. Together, we can make this season even safer for the infants and young children in our lives now and in the future.

For more information about this organization and tips for purchasing safe toys, visit the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission website.

How are you incorporating infant and child toy safety into your FCS program? Share your thoughts in the comments below!

Customer success story: RealCare® Baby provides MO FACS students with authentic learning experiences

AmandaKlenke-HeadshotSince September 2013, Battle High School Family & Consumer Sciences Teacher Amanda Klenke has used Realityworks’ RealCare® Baby infant simulators to provide her Child Development 1 & 2 students with authentic, hands-on learning experiences as they discuss human development. As a result, Klenke’s 14- to 18-year-old students leave the classroom more prepared for children in the future and  or careers related to child care.

“The Babies have become so much more than just a project for these students,” said Klenke, who has 11 RealCare Baby 3 infant simulators and one RealCare™  Pregnancy Profile Simulator. “They have really become a great discussion piece for choosing to parent or building their resumes for jobs.”

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Battle High School students experience RealCare® Baby infant simulators during weekend simulations and in-class “Baby Bootcamp” sessions.

 

The electronic infant simulators cry for care throughout the day and night and require regular changing, feeding, burping and rocking. They also monitor surrounding
temperatures, track how long they sit unattended in car seats and how often their clothing is changed. All of this data is wirelessly tracked and used to generate caregiver reports. The Pregnancy Profile simulates the final trimester of pregnancy, allowing users  to feel what it is like to be 9 months pregnant. Klenke acquired the Babies, car seats,  accessories and program materials in June 2013, and started getting to know her new additions right away. As Klenke recalls, understanding the best way to use these powerful imulators required time, but was the process was made easier thanks to support provided  by Realityworks.

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Battle High School students are required to complete follow-up writing assignments following their weekend simulation experiences with RealCare® Baby.

 

“I spent lots of time on the Realityworks website and with the help line,” recalls Klenke. “The more I used them, the more comfortable I became with their needs and knowing what to expect.”

Click here to download Klenke’s full testimonial and learn how she uses these experiential learning products to provide her high school students with hands-on child development education.