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Helldorado Days and Rodeo May 14-18 In Symphony Park

Enjoy the 2014 Las Vegas Helldorado Days celebration and rodeo, downtown May 14-18 in Symphony Park. Helldorado rodeo and carnival grounds will be at 100 S. Grand Central Parkway, near The Smith Center for the Performing Arts. The annual downtown Helldorado Parade will begin at 5 p.m. Saturday, May 17, and will last approximately 2.5 hours. The Helldorado Days celebration is an official event of the Nevada Sesquicentennial, the 150-year anniversary of Nevada’s entry to the Union.

Helldorado Days, an annual cowboy-themed outdoor festival celebrating Las Vegas’ tribute to the Wild West, has increased from four to five days this year, offering a nightly rodeo and carnival, exhibits and food; as well as a parade, Whiskerino contest, and other activities. Created in 1934 and produced by the Benevolent and Protective Order of the Elks Lodge No. 1468, the 80-year civic event has raised more than $4 million during its history to assist local children’s and veterans’ charities. Profits from this year’s Helldorado festivities will be donated to local organizations benefitting abused women and children, cancer research, and veterans.

Helldorado rodeo tickets can be purchased, and all event information can be found, at

Drowning Prevention

Tips for Pool Owners

  • Never leave a child unattended in the water or pool area for any reason. Don’t be distracted by doorbells, phone calls, chores or conversations. If you must leave the pool area, take the child with you, making sure the pool gate latches securely when it closes.
  • Always keep your eyes on the child or children. Designate a child watcher, whether you or someone else, when you attend a party or have friends or family over.
  • Talk with baby-sitters about pool safety, supervision and drowning prevention.
  • Post rules such as “No running,” “No pushing,” “No dunking” and “Never swim alone.” Enforce the rules.
  • Don’t rely on swimming lessons or “floaties” to protect your children in the water.
  • Don’t assume that drowning or a drowning incident couldn’t happen to you or your family.
  • Don’t have a false sense of security just because you think your pool area and home are secure. Always watch your children, whether in the house or outside.
  • Attend a CPR class. Make sure your baby-sitter knows CPR.
  • For the nearest cardiopulmonary resuscitation class, contact your fire department, Red Cross or hospital.
  • Encourage your neighbors to follow pool safety guidelines, including keeping their back gates and doors locked, and their pool gates securely closed and latched.

Tips For Parents to Help Their Children Stay Safe

What You Can Do to Help Your Child

Safety at Home

Children should know their full name, home phone number and how to use the telephone. Post your contact information where your children will see it: office phone number, cell phone, pager, etc.

Children should have a trusted adult to call if they’re scared or have an emergency.

Choose babysitters with care. Obtain references from family, friends, and neighbors. Once you have chosen the caregiver, drop in unexpectedly to see how your children are doing. Ask your children how the experience with the caregiver was, and listen carefully to their responses.

Safety in the Neighborhood

Make a list with your children of their neighborhood boundaries, choosing significant landmarks.

Interact regularly with your neighbors. Tell your children whose homes they are allowed to visit. Don’t drop your children off alone at malls, movie theatres, video arcades, or parks.

Teach your children that adults should not approach children for help or directions. Tell your children that if they are approached by an adult, they should stay alert because this may be a “trick.”

Never leave children unattended in an automobile. Children should never hitchhike or approach a car when they don’t know and trust the driver. Children should never go anywhere with anyone without getting your permission first.

Safety at School

Be careful when you put your child’s name on clothing, backpacks, lunch boxes or bicycle license plates. If a child’s name is visible, it may put them on a “first name” basis with an abductor.

Walk the route to and from school with your children, pointing out landmarks and safe places to go if they’re being followed or need help. Make a map with your children showing acceptable routes to school, using main roads and avoiding shortcuts or isolated areas. If your children take a bus, visit the bus stop with them and make sure they know which bus to take.

Choosing the Right Swim Program for Your Child

As the water parks open and the swim-party invitations start coming out this month, most parents begin to think about water safety and swim lessons at this time of year. The month of May is “National Water Safety Awareness” month. Every year, in the Las Vegas valley, many children drown in backyard pools. Worldwide, drowning is the second leading cause of accidental death for children under 14 years of age. To prevent these drownings, it is important to make sure that all swimmers are supervised; and that lifejackets are being used for non-swimmers; but most importantly, every child needs to know how to swim. When looking for the right swim program for your family, there are several things to consider.

The first factor that parents should look at is the curriculum of the swim program. Are there designated goals for each level? Is proper technique emphasized in each class? Does the program teach the child to self-rescue, in case they were to fall into a pool?

The second factor that parents should look at is the class size. Remember that the more students that are in the class, the less practice that your child will get at each lesson. Small class sizes allow the teacher to ensure that each child gets adequate attention. Private lessons, however, are usually not the best way to go, unless the child has a special need or learning disability that will prevent them from being in a group lessons. A little bit of positive peer pressure can go a long way in helping a child succeed in swim lessons. For this reason, it is usually best to have your child in small-group class.

Parents also need to consider the instructors. When inquiring about a swim program, one should ask what kind of training the staff goes through before they start teaching; what certifications are required for each instructor; and what type of aquatic background/child-development background do the teachers have. It is always a good idea to watch some lessons first before signing up. Are the teachers using positive reinforcement? Are they critiquing the swimmers? Are they encouraging the students to have fun and enjoy the lesson? Remember, children learn best when the classes are fun. For long-term success, it is best to look for a gentle-touch program, in which your child will not only learn water-safety skills, but also develop a life-long, positive relationship with the water. Aggressive programs that use force to teach a child often result in water trauma and mental disturbance that can carry forward for years. As many water-safety experts say, if your baby or toddler could talk, they would probably tell you, “Teach me; don’t hurt me.” Gentle ways are best.

In addition to the above, factors, consider the learning environment. Think about water temperature, water quality, and cleanliness of the facility. Also watch how the staff interacts with the children in the program. Look for teachers who smile, give high fives, and encourage the student to do their best. The learning environment should have a positive energy to it.

Choosing the right swim program is very similar to choosing the right pre-school/elementary school for your child. It is not a decision that should be taken lightly. You are investing in a skill that will not only stay with your child for life, but could also save their life. Remember, this is one investment of both time and finances that could prove to be, priceless.

Katrina Brandhagen is the Owner/Director of All Star Swim Academy in Henderson. For more information on swim lessons for students of all ages and abilities call 702-565-3824 or visit

Come Learn and Play at the Discovery Museum this Summer

DISCOVERY Children’s Museum Presents Summer Camps

Registration is open for Summer Camps at DISCOVERY Children’s Museum, named “Best Museum” in the Las Vegas Review Journal’s Reader Poll. Sign up by June 8, 2015 to receive a registration discount of 15 percent* off camps.

The museum’s interactive educational mission continues with its dynamic Summer Camp programs presented by Museum Educators.. Camp programming focuses on Arts and STEM (appropriate activities in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) where creative expression, scientific pursuits or the art of solving a mystery are options for summer-time learning and exploration. Campers will investigate, invent, experiment, interpret, strategize, discover and share what they’ve learned, but most importantly, they’ll have fun using their minds and engaging with others igniting their imaginations.

“they’ll have fun using their minds and engaging with others”

Weekly camps sessions begin July 6 and run through July 31. Morning and afternoon sessions are available, from 8 a.m. to 12 p.m. or 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. for children ages 6-9 and 10-12. A wide variety of camp themes are available, including Physics Fun, Grossology, Exploring Creativity and Art, Rockin’ Rockets and many more.

Camp prices are $180 per weekly camp session (1/2 day). Lunch care also is available. For complete Summer Camp schedules, descriptions and registration information visit Parents can register for DISCOVERY Children’s Museum Summer Camps by calling (702) 382-KIDS (5437).

*Museum Members – 15% discount; general public 5% discount through June 8, 2015

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