Friday, May 30, 2014

Life-saver: Liquid Benadryl, stock it for emergencies

Eyes & lips as swelling reduced. 30 min. after dose.
It's the first week of summer vacation here, so no one expects anything very exciting to happen. We're all reveling in the lovely slowness of life without deadlines.

The placid nature of post-school living made it even more surprising when my friend's son came to her this morning complaining that his eye hurt. Minutes later, his lips, tongue, eyes, and hands were swelling beyond easy recognition.

Somehow, between his bed and a breakfast of the same cereal he regularly eats, this kid with no known allergies was exposed to something that triggered a huge immune response.

His mom, a medical professional, grabbed their liquid Benadryl and "practically poured" the recommended dose down the back of his throat. Almost immediately the swelling stopped increasing, so she didn't have to call 911 and he didn't end up with an emergency tracheotomy or worse.

Later in the morning and after consulting with his pediatrician, as the swelling reduced, she took these pictures (which she is allowing me to share here). Her son is a handsome, slim 8 year-old.

Lips, fingertips swollen 30 min. AFTER Benadryl.
Then my friend started calling other parents reminding us to keep liquid Benadryl on hand to abate an allergy emergency. [For those with known allergies, this may not be enough. Please consult medical professionals, which I am not, for advice.]

I don't have any on hand at the moment, but will have some in stock by this evening.

For years, I have carried aspirin in my bag because it can help reduce the damage of a heart attack or stroke (chew it in case of an emergency). Liquid Benadryl may not make my bag (though I plan to talk to my pediatrician about other forms), but I will be sure to have some on the ready at home.

What are your emergency medical supplies?

***Baby Toolkit is the chronicles of some geek parents, their kids, and their communities. We ARE NOT medical professionals, so please consult some real ones. We have no fiscal relationship with Benadryl or its makers. We just want everyone to be healthy and happy. We are Amazon affiliates, though there are no links on this page, so we do make a little bit of profit should someone order through our links (thanks!).  Be well and do good.

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Gen Con meets Indy: No Time Machine Necessary at Conner Prairie

photo: Conner Prairie, all rights reserved
Every Gen Con, Jim and I work on a mental list of Indianapolis opportunities we wish more Gen Con attendees were aware of. Now, we're not so naive to assume that anyone wants to take a gaming break during Gen Con, but if you're coming in early, or staying late, you might want to take a few side trips before you leave the Circle City and the Hoosier State.

It's a mystery to me why no game company (especially Mayfair) has ever capitalized on nearby interactive history park Conner Prairie. I don't know why steampunks aren't booking every Gen Con weekend flight of the 1859 Hot-Air Balloon Voyage for the photo opportunities alone.

Unlike the musty assemblages of ramshackle relics with "a butter churn for the kids," Conner Prairie is a through-the-looking-glass historical experience.

This sprawling park works to reincarnate periods of Indiana history from a Lenape Indian Camp to an 1836 Prairietown to the 1823 Conner homestead to1863 Civil War journey. Despite a wealth of great buildings and interactive exercises, Conner Prairie's biggest selling point is, hands-down, the commitment of the interpreters. Unlike most historical site guides, these hard-core reenactors are immersed in the period they are portraying. They deny any reality beyond their character's "present day."

One of my friend's fathers, a history buff, spends his entire visit trying to get the interpreters to discuss things outside of their period. He asks about presidents yet to be elected, inventions not yet popularized, and politics not yet transpired. To his conjoined delight and frustration, it is like getting a Buckingham Palace guard to smile, not impossible, but remarkably difficult.

This commitment to the period's atmosphere breathes life and magic into the expedition.

Conner Prairie is also, like actual history, a dangerous place. The candle maker works, in part, over an open fire, as do the visitors who assist. At the trading post, there is a hatchet throwing competition open to visitors. Safe practices are mandated by staff, but the elements and approaches are refreshingly real.

Conner Prairie shares the story of westward expansion and nation-building. Some of the interpreters (like the blacksmith and the soldiers) are quite conversant in arms-making and munitions. The attention to historical accuracy in costuming will also impress. For the Catan crowd, Conner Prairie includes sheep, wood, wheat (grain), brick, and ore.

Conner Prairie abounds with photo opportunities for cosplay, but the true gem is the 1859 Balloon Voyage. This replica airship offers tethered trips into the skies of the Circle City (reservations required). I cannot imagine a better steampunk portrait location.

This is the first in a series of posts about Indianapolis sites relating to Gen Con.

***Baby Toolkit is the opinionated discourse of some Midwestern geek, gamer parents. We have no fiscal relationship with Conner Prairie. We also podcast about board games at Great Big Table.

Friday, May 23, 2014

Gaming for Good at Gen Con 2014!

Jim and I are hosting a panel discussion at Gen Con Indy 2014 on Friday, August 15th!

With other charitable gamers, we'll discuss "Gaming for Good: An Insider's Guide to Charity Gaming."
Turn your gaming hobby into a force for good. Veteran charity gaming event organizers share their secrets for joining, organizing, promoting & hosting successful fundraisers. Panelists will include Dan Patriss, organizer of Gamers for Cures, and Jamey Stegmaier, co-founder of Stonemaier Games, and Jim & Adrienne Jones, organizers of an Extra Life weekend for Riley Children's Hospital
There are only 9 tickets left (out of 50!), so be swift.

If you're going to Gen Con and just want to meet up (let me recommend Sunday lunch at Scotty's Brewhouse for wonderful family meal), send us an email.

As you know, we love "The Best Four Days in Gaming" as gamers and parents. Our kids love Gen Con too!

Thank you for all of your support of our ongoing Extra Life efforts! We're busy planning our Extra Life 2014 weekend for October 24-26 in Evansville, Indiana (save the date and join our team?).

***Baby Toolkit is the collected ramblings of some Gen Xers about their lives as parents, midwesterners, gamers, and geeks. Our opinions are our own (who would want them?), and you can get even more Jones goodness at our board game podcast Great Big Table.