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NEW CHILDREN'S PRODUCT HELPS SENIORS BUILD BOND WITH GRANDCHILDREN

 NEW CHILDREN'S PRODUCT HELPS SENIORS BUILD BOND WITH GRANDCHILDREN
 SAN DIEGO, April 28 /PRNewswire/ -- Most grandparents carry pictures of grandchildren in their wallets or display their photographs at home. But how many children carry reminders of their grandparents?
 A new product called Close At Hand Wristband and Storybook strengthens the bond between grandparent and grandchild, and serves as a useful and educational gift that children enjoy.
 Close At Hand Wristband, designed by k.t. kids company for children ages 3 to 8, helps ease children's anxieties when they are temporarily separated from their parents or loved ones.
 The one-piece locket-on-a-wristband lets youngsters take a little bit of home with them wherever they go. It can hold a small photograph and "things," such as a note from mom or grandmother, lunch money, video tokens, a telephone number or other small treasures. The soft plastic wristband fastens easily with strips of velcro and comes in bubble gum pink and royal blue.
 The four-color picture book that comes with the wristband tells a story about Jake, a boy who overcomes common childhood fears about starting school by finding security with his wristband. However, Close At Hand Wristband is ideal for any situation when children must undergo temporary change in their lives, including hospital stays, overnight visits with friends or relatives and parent business trips.
 The product is especially helpful in families with both parents working, in single-parent households and for grandparents who want to give a valued gift.
 Accessory packages of removable "Learning Lids" add an educational dimension to the wristband. The lids, which snap onto the container top, come in theme packages of seven lids, depicting animals, days of the week, holidays and modes of transportation (car, plane, etc.). A set of plain lids is available and popular with older children because they can personalize them with decals of favorite cartoon figures.
 "We're amazed at the number of grandparents who have seen Close At Hand Wristband and ordered them on the spot for each of their grandchildren," said Kim Gregory, who created the product with partner Theresa Marks. "Half of our sales have been to senior citizens -- grandparents, aunts and uncles, and family friends. They like the fact that it's family oriented, fun for kids and particularly that it's a non-violent children's product."
 Gregory and Marks, who each have children ranging in age from 2 to 7, created Close At Hand Wristband and Storybook as a result of their experience as working mothers.
 "We had our share of teary good-byes, so we searched for a way to put the 'good' back into them," said Gregory. The result is a product that assists parents, grandparents and other caring adults in helping young children cope with major changes.
 "After reading the Close At Hand book together, it's easier for adults and children to talk about the feelings and fears they have about the new experience, whether it's day care, school, a hospital stay, or camp," said Marks, who illustrated the book.
 "Going alone into new situations can be frightening for youngsters -- especially pre-schoolers," said Gregory. "The wristband gives children a measure of comfort once they leave home, and it's subtle -- it's more socially acceptable than carrying a security blanket or teddy bear. Boys and girls love wearing it. All the other kids want a wristband after seeing one."
 A number of teachers, child psychologists and day-care professionals have praised Close At Hand Wristband for addressing an unmet need.
 Marks noted that senior citizens have found their own use for the wristband. "One women ordered a wristband for her husband who jogs a lot, but needs to carry pills wherever he goes." The wristband is also useful for Alzheimer's patients to carry identification information unobtrusively.
 Close At Hand Wristband and Storybook retails for $10.98. The accessory Learning Lids are $3.98 for a package of seven. The products will soon be available in book, gift, department and educational supply stores throughout the country. Or, they may be purchased directly from the manufacturer by calling toll free 800-475-1108.
 -0- 4/28/92
 /NOTE TO EDITORS: Color slides and black-and-white photos are available. San Diego residents Kim Gregory and Theresa Marks are available for interviews. For art or to arrange interviews, contact Nancy Griffin, 619-433-3150./
 /CONTACT: Kim Gregory, 619-435-3749, Theresa Marks, 619-435-2508, both of k.t. kids company; or Nancy Griffin, 619-433-3150, for k.t. kids company/ CO: k.t. kids company ST: California IN: SU: PDT


SM -- NYSFNS6 -- 3495 04/28/92 07:16 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Apr 28, 1992
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