The rash of poison ivy (we will use this as the prototype) is caused by exposure of the skin to the plant sap urushiol, and the subsequent allergic reaction. Like most allergies, this reaction requires previous exposure to the plant, and upon re-exposure your child will develop an allergic contact dermatitis. This reaction may occur anywhere from hours to days after exposure, but typically occurs one to three days after the sap has come into contact with your childs skin and they may then develop the typical linear rash with vesicles and papules that are itchy, red and swollen. Poison ivy is most common in people ages four to 30. During the spring and summer months I often see children who have a history of playing in the yard, down by a creek, exploring in the woods etc, who then develop a rash. I love the kids playing outside, but the rash of poison ivy may be extremely painful especially if it is on multiple surface areas, as in children who are in shorts and sleeveless clothes at this time of year. The typical fluid filled vesicles (blisters) of poison ivy will rupture (after scratching), ooze and will ultimately crust over and dry up, although this may take days to weeks. The fluid from the vesicles is NOT contagious and you cannot give the poison ivy to others once you have bathed and washed off the sap. You can get poison ivy from contact with your pet, toys, or your clothes etc. that came in contact with the sap, and have not have been washed off. If you know your childhas come into contact with poison ivy try to bath them immediately and wash vigorously with soap and water within 5
Many new parents expect their newborn infants to take regular naps throughout the day (and then to sleep all night) even when they are only 4-10 weeks old. Unfortunately, a newborn's sleep cycle is not ready for 2 hour naps in both the morning and afternoon followed by a 10 -12 hour extended sleep at night. But, by the time your child is 6-9 months of age (and sooner for some great sleepers); they should be on a good schedule with a morning and afternoon nap. Naps are usually anywhere from 45 min 2.5 hours. I think naps serve a dual purpose, as they provide rest and rejuvenation for both child and parent. Nap time, just like bedtime should be scheduled, typically mid morning and mid afternoon and a child should be able to put themselves to sleep after a book or a story. Naptime routines can be bit shorter than the bedtime routine. You will be able to tell when your child is ready for a nap as they may rub their eyes, or get fussy, or some may just lay their heads down or point to bed as they know they are tired. By the time a toddler is somewhere between 12months to 2 years of age they will usually drop a morning nap and continue to have their midafternoon nap. This is usually right after lunch. Transitioning from 2 naps to 1 nap a day is a little dicey at first, as your child may get quite cranky in the morning as you drop that nap, while at the same time their afternoon nap may become longer. This adjustment period usually only lasts several days to a week and then you will find that they are back on a good nap/nighttime schedule. I get asked about stopping a child's nap. I think naps are important (and as we adults know a privilege) for children until they are in elementary school. Most kindergartens continue to have rest time after lunch and many children will fall asleep for 20-30 min while the teacher reads them a book or music is played and the children lay on their mats. Even if your 4 or 5 year old child doesn't want to nap in the afternoon, the
We are getting ready to go on a vacation and I am getting excited. At the same time, I am missing those family trips that we used to take every summer. You see, the difference is that this is a vacation......no kids.
As young parents we used to plan summer vacations with all of the children, and this usually involved us packing up the car (with way too much stuff) and driving to the beach, the mountains or to see the grandparents. We had stuff piled in the back of the minivan, strapped on top with a carrier and all of our boys safely secured in their appropriate car seats/seat belts. This was pre DVD in the cars as well, so as the kids got older we some how rigged a portable video player so the kids could watch a movie in the car.
As the boys got older they somehow figured out how to add their Nintendo to the mix and there seemed to be wires throughout the car. I am not sure that all of this was especially safe, but the kids assured us that they knew what they were doing.
Much of our vacations involved loading and unloading the car and keeping the peace between the three boys during the time we were traveling. In between, during the vacation we were always busy planning the days activities, swimming, mountain biking, hiking, surfing, golfing......the list was endless but exhausting. But you know what? It was all fabulous!!!! What wonderful memories those family trips were, but I am not sure they were a vacation. My patients would ask if I was taking a vacation during the summer and I learned to reply, we are taking a trip.
I am now going on vacation and we will have a lot of time to ourselves, and don't have an action packed agenda everyday. Makes me nostalgic for the chaos and the family trips. It is funny that you begin to forget how you longed for a vacation when you were a young family and now I wish that the kids could all c
Summer is upon us and that means travel and family vacations. I think the hardest time to travel with your child is when they are a toddler. While a 1-2 year old child is adorable, they are also like a teenager. What do I mean by that? A toddler is moody and temperamental, just like a teen. One minute they love you the next minute, not so much. They are prone to tantrums, meltdowns, and going to the dark side as we called it.
If you are heading for a plane trip with a toddler, you just never know what to expect. A lengthy plane ride is somewhat challenging for sure. While driving to the airport all I can think about is security lines with a toddler. The lines are longer in the summer and trying to keep your child entertained while standing in a long line is akin to climbing Mt. Everest. It is even worse than sitting in the pediatrician's office, at least we have toys!
So, once you get through security you still have to wait to board, get settled into your seats (holding a lap child is not easy) and then pray that your flight is not delayed on the tarmac. I was fortunate as when my boys were little you could still get up and walk up and down the aisles with a child to entertain them. Even then it was difficult to keep your toddler's hands to themselves. You cannot walk those precious toddlers up and down the aisles anymore, and sitting in that seat for hours is just not what a toddler wants to do. They want to MOVE!
One of my patients is getting ready for a move to Australia. This couple has a adorable 16 month old and they are getting ready for a 17 hour trip and asked my advice. I wish you could Fed Ex your child ahead.
This cute little boy has a lot of words and during his check up in my office he kept pointing to the door and saying OUT. Stuck inside a plane is not going to be his idea of fun...he would rather be at the park.
Seems that I spend several times a day discussing food battles with my patients and their families. I guess the longer I practice the more I don't think we should even have to discuss how often parents battle with their kids about eating.
From the early days of parenting when a baby is first offered either breast or formula, they are not asked do you like this?. It is taken for granted that an infant will eat and grow and there you have it. The easiest days of parenting, correct? (except for a few months of sleep deprivation). But once that baby begins to eat the discussions start about he makes a face when he eats spinach or she will only eat chicken tenders from Chik-fil-a, or he only likes pasta and won't eat meat, or even make 3 diferent meals for my 3 kids. If you have a child older than 9 months you understand what I am talking about.
Food is necessary to nutrition, growth and health. But, with that being said, parents have to trust that a child WILL EAT when they are hungry. Really, hunger drives us all to eat, eventually. That bowl or cereal, or the steamed vegetables or even the dreaded chicken breast will get eaten if your child gets hungry enough. I remember reading somewhere that , a parent's job is to provide food for their children at appropriate meal times, and child's job is to decide if they will eat it. In other words, make the meal whether for your toddler or teen and forget about it. Meal time needn't be a battle but more a gathering to enjoy being together eating is just a bonus.
As an adult, when you go to a dinner party, you don't ask what they are serving before you accept, nor do you tell the host/hostess, I hate lamb!!
If you're the parent of a teen, this does not surprise you at all: teens do not get enough sleep!
An online study released by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention says, 70 percent of high school students are not getting the recommended hours of sleep on school nights. I could have done that study in my office on any given day of the week!
Having raised 3 teenagers as well as thousands of teens in my practice, I know this to be true, first hand. The problem is this age group is least likely to believe or convince that lack of sleep causes a plethora of physical as well as psychological problems.
According to the CDC study, which was just published online in Preventive Medicine, insufficient sleep is associated with numerous risky behaviors including drinking alcohol, smoking cigarettes, fighting, lack of physical activity and being sexually active. The data on sleep was accumulated from the 2007 National Youth Risk Behavior Survey where students were asked, on an average school night, how many hours of sleep do you get?Insufficient sleep was defined as less than 8 hours, while sufficient sleep was 8 or more hours per night. On an average school night, almost 70% of responders reported insufficient sleep.
In my practice I ask every child/adolescent about their sleep habits and routinely find teens are averaging between 5 to 7 hours of sleep per night. They also come in everyday with a chief complaint of FATIGUE!
I used to tell my own sons throughout their high school years that they needed to be in bed at 10:30p.m. They could not understand why I was up pr
Because of all the publicity, you might naturally think that most underage drinking deaths are related to driving while intoxicated. Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) wants parents to know that the dangers of underage drinking are even greater off the roadways.
MADD analyzed 2010 data from the FBI, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on deaths related to underage alcohol use.
What they found may surprise you. The study showed that only 32 percent of underage drinkers died from traffic related deaths. 68 percent were from other causes. Researchers found that 30 percent died from homicides, 14 percent from suicide, 9 percent from alcohol poisoning and 15 percent from other causes.
"As parents, we are definitely aware of the dangers of drinking and driving," says MADD national President Jan Withers. "I think we're not as educated about all the dangers that drinking before age 21 can be related to. And they're very, very real."
Child health experts agree that talking with your child about alcohol use should begin before they are at the age where temptation and availability are present. That can range anywhere from pre-teen to college age. Its never too late to have that discussion.
Sometimes parents mistakenly believe that if a child is introduced to alcohol drinking in the home that its much safer for them. They believe that their kids are in a controlled environment and not on the road afterwards. But as the analysis shows, being on the road isnt the only concern parents should be thinking and talking about.
The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration's 2011 National Survey on Drug Use and Health found that one-quarter of people ages 12-20 (9.7 million children) reported drinking within the previous month. Among those who did not illegally buy booze themselves, 21.4 percent were supplied alcohol from parents, guardians or other adult
Has your child ever screamed out in the middle of the night but doesnt really seem to be awake? If so they are probably having a night terror, which typically occur in children during the toddler, pre-school and early elementary years.
Night terrors occur during the first few hours after a child falls asleep, when non-REM sleep is the deepest. During a night terror your child may cry out, with their eyes wide open and their pupils dilated. They often are breathing fast and heavy and may seem to be agitated and sweaty.
While they may appear to be awake, in reality they are only partially aroused. A child having a night terror will not recognize you and may not allow you to comfort them, becoming even more agitated if you try to hold them or calm them down.
Night terrors often terrify parents as well. Many a parent, including me, tried to figure out what in the world would cause a child such distress while they were sleeping?
Night terrors are similar to sleep walking episodes in older children. Children who are old enough to communicate will have no idea that they had been awake during the night and when asked have no memory of the event.
Night terrors seem to be more frequent in children who have not had a good nights sleep, so try to have a regular bedtime routine and always limit television and video exposure prior to bedtime.
New research from the Harvard School of Public Health says that one in 10 Americans die from eating too much salt. . Excessive salt consumption is linked to cardiovascular disease and has traditionally been associated with older adults. However researchers noted that younger people are now showing the same health problems from too much salt such as high blood pressure, stroke and heart attack.
The problem is that salt is used in just about all packaged and processed foods. Over the years producers have added more and more salt for flavoring,
And now a new study now shows that meals and snacks marketed to toddlers have more than the recommended amount of sodium, meaning that children as young as one are most likely eating far too much salt early in life.
There is scientific evidence that a childs salt intake is related to whether he or she will develop high blood pressure (hypertension) as an adult. Hypertension is a major risk factor of heart disease " the number one killer of men and women in the United States.
"The good news is that commercial foods for babies, when they start complimentary feeding from 4 to 12 months ... are relatively low in sodium," explains Joyce Maalouf, the study's lead author and a fellow at the National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
"But the products marketed to toddlers were significantly higher in sodium: more than 75% of the toddler meals and snacks had high sodium content."
The research team reviewed more than 1,100 products marketed to babies and toddlers and sold in grocery stores. If a product had more than 210 milligrams of sodium preserving it was defined as high in sodium. The rating is based on guidelines by the Institute of Medicine and MyPlate.gov.
Some meals tested as high as 630 milligrams of sodium per serving. Cereals and savory snacks tested highest in sodium compared to cereal bars and frui
I really enjoy talking to my young parents about feeding their baby and toddler new foods. But what about food allergies they say? I believe that healthy nutrition and good eating habits begin early on, actually just as a child starts to eat solid foods. The more foods a child is exposed to initially, the better chance a parent has of having a child who eats a variety of foods when they are older. This means no making yucky faces if you (parent) don't like spinach - fake it!
But, with that being said, so many new parents are still under the impression that there is a list of forbidden foods. As I talk to them about finger foods and letting their baby explore new foods and textures they are amazed when I say things like, let them try scrambled eggs or what about trying almond butter or peanut butter? try ripping up pancake pieces.
I also like to let a 9-15 month old try all sorts of different fruit, veggies and proteins. In fact there are really no forbidden fruits as long as the food you offer is mushy (we adults might say a bit over cooked at times) and broken/or cut into very small pieces. I am most concerned about the size and texture of the piece and protecting the airway than I am about the food itself.
Over the last 5-10 years studies have shown that restricting foods and delaying introduction of certain food groups did not prevent the development of food allergies. So, the idea that delaying the introduction of peanut butter until after a child is 2 yrs old, or waiting to give a child fish until they are older, or not letting your 9 month old child taste scrambled eggs, did not prevent food allergies. Some researchers would say it may actually be the converse, earlier introduction may be preventative.
There seems to be a lot of articles on how to find true happiness these days. Just about everywhere I look I see how to be happy headlines, often followed by an exclamation point. Each one basically says the same thing as the others- just addressed to a different audience. I don't know about you, but frankly I haven't gained any new insights from these types of articles in a very long time. That's why when I saw The (Unconventional) Secrets of Happy Families in an online article by Time magazine writer, Bonnie Rochman, I was skeptical to say the least. But guess what? It actually did offer some unconventional and interesting ideas for a happier family life. In her article, Rochman interviews Bruce Feiler, a family columnist for The New York Times and the best-selling author of The Secrets of Happy Families. Feiler is also the father of 7 year-old twin girls. In looking for a way to balance parenting, working at a demanding job, caring for his aging parents and being a good husband with the elusive goal of having a happy family. Feiler turned to some of this country's most creative minds, outside the typical sources of family psychologists and child development experts, for new perspectives and insights. He communicated with Warren Buffet's advisors about the connection between allowances and chores. He spoke to Green Berets on building a tight-knit family unit and to members of the Harvard Negotiation Project to help learn the best approach to resolving family conflicts. By the end of his three-year research he had a list of approaches that he says help create a happier family life. During the interview, Rochman asks Feiler what prompted him to want to write this book. His answer was straightforward and simple- he was a frustrated parent looking for a happier family life. I was incredibly frustrated as a parent. Our life was chaotic but I was especially frustrated that so much of this space
There seems to be a lot of articles on how to find true happiness these days. Just about everywhere I look I see how to be happy headlines, often followed by an exclamation point.
Each one basically says the same thing as the others- just addressed to a different audience. I don't know about you, but frankly I haven't gained any new insights from these types of articles in a very long time.
That's why when I saw The (Unconventional) Secrets of Happy Families in an online article by Time magazine writer, Bonnie Rochman, I was skeptical to say the least.
But guess what? It actually did offer some unconventional and interesting ideas for a happier family life.
In her article, Rochman interviews Bruce Feiler, a family columnist for The New York Times and the best-selling author of The Secrets of Happy Families. Feiler is also the father of 7 year-old twin girls. In looking for a way to balance parenting, working at a demanding job, caring for his aging parents and being a good husband with the elusive goal of having a happy family. Feiler turned to some of this country's most creative minds, outside the typical sources of family psychologists and child development experts, for new perspectives and insights.
He communicated with Warren Buffet's advisors about the connection between allowances and chores. He spoke to Green Berets on building a tight-knit family unit and to members of the Harvard Negotiation Project to help learn the best approach to resolving family conflicts. By the end of his three-year research he had a list of approaches that he says help create a happier family life.
During the interview, Rochman asks Feiler what prompted him to want to write this book. His answer was straightforward and simple- he was a frustrated parent looking for a happier family life. I was incredibly frustrated as a parent. Our life was chaotic but I was especially frustrated that so much of this space
Most of us can remember how painfully sad we felt after our first breakup. Sometimes we were told that we were too young to know what real love was, or that it was just puppy love and wed get over it, or you might have heard the ever popular theres more than one fish in the sea.
I remember my first heartbreak. I was about 14 and the love of my life moved to Alaska. Alaska!!!
I cried for days and felt like the pain would never end. Eventually my heartbreak subsided and I moved on. My mother was very understanding " she liked my boyfriend too. She didnt tell me to get over it or to try and forget about him. She just listened, held me in her arms and let me know that yes, this was going to be hard but I was going to get through it.
I don't t think things have changed that much since my first breakup. It still hurts and is difficult to get over. When you're a pre-teen, teenager or young adult you just don't have the life experience to know that these things happen to everyone and you can and will get through it.
What can parents do to help their child deal with a breakup? Experts say the number one action parents can take is to listen. Sometimes things happen that a teen doesn't have any control over like the family is transferred and has to move away. Most times I suspect the two personalities just didn't work well together.
While it may be tempting, bringing up all the bad traits of the one who is gone won't help. It's not your break-up; it's your child's. You may be thrilled that the boyfriend or girlfriend is out of the picture, but it doesn't matter. There is always the possibility that they may get back together so don't say anything that you can't take back.
Your child is dealing with emotions that they may not be familiar with. What they need now is unconditional love and someone to talk to who will listen and respect how they feel. If youre not available they will put their heart in the hands of friends, and
A recent study confirms what many parents know: kids (as young as 2 year old), are tech savvy! The company solicited 2,200 mothers to answer a survey looking at skills their children have; such as riding a bike or tying a shoe as well as those very important early childhood skills such as how to use an iPad or Smartphone. 21% of four-five year olds knew how to use a Smartphone or iPad application, only 14% of those same kids could tie their shoes. For children two to"five years old, 69% could operate a computer mouse, 58% could play a computer game but only 52% knew how to ride a bike. Seems incredible to me that more kids have computers than bicycles? 25% of two-five year olds could open a Web browser, only 20% knew how to swim. Technology is definitely changing the world, but is it all beneficial? The company's CEO commissioned the survey to show how young children are interacting with technology. He emphasized that parents need to be educating their young children about their online world and need to be promoting internet/online safety at very young ages. It used to be when do I have the sex talk now it is being replaced with how soon do I need to talk about online safety and technology? The most disturbing aspect of this study is that it suggests that our children are way too wired and may be missing out on simple, yet important life skills. I myself have seen many a two year old open their parent's iPad and turn on a movie while in the exam room. They can recognize different icons and switch between applications but are not yet capable of talking in complete sentences. Some of these children are the same ones who at two years, are not yet putting themselves to sleep at night, cannot sleep through the night and still have a bottle or pacifier! Some parents are convinced that their child may not be capable of mastering these normal developmental milestones, while at the same time are thrilled about their child's computer skills. This seem
The holidays are filled with joy, family, friends and presents. A popular present many families give themselves is a new TV. The old TV is sometimes regulated to the bedroom or guest room. While many of the newer models are lighter than the older ones, they can still crush a young child. Too often these TVs are not anchored well and sit on an eye-level stand.
A new report issued by The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) notes that 43,000 people have been injured by falling TV sets, with 59% of injuries being children.
CPSC urges parents of young children, to anchor their TV sets properly to help prevent these injuries. "We know that low-cost anchoring devices are effective in preventing tip-over incidents. I urge parents to anchor their TVs, furniture and appliances and protect their children. It takes just a few minutes to do and it can save lives," said CPSC Chairman Inez Tenenbaum.
Between 2000 and 2011, 349 people were killed due to TVs or furniture falling on them. Sadly 84 % of those deaths were children younger than 9 years old. Many of the injuries were caused when the television set fell directly on the childs head.
Public education had helped lower these statistics over the years, but the numbers in 2011 showed a sharp increase. In 2009 there were 27 deaths reported, in 2010 the number was slighter higher at 31 deaths and in 2011 the numbers jumped to 41. The size of televisions are also increasing, its not uncommon for sets to be 60 to 80 inches wide.
Reports show that many television related fatalities occur in bedrooms rather than living rooms. Many of the older and heavier sets are put in the bedroom and not secured.
A related study published in 2002 had found that the majority of television-tipping related accidents occur when toddlers are left unsupervised around the television sets.
New furniture and televisions are exciting and we can get in a hurry setting them up " be sure to secure
I cannot stop thinking about the horrific tragedy in Newtown Connecticut. As a parent, my heart is broken for the families in Newtown whose children, brothers, sisters and mothers were killed. There really are no words to express the emotions we all have.
At the same time, I worry about the many children who have seen or continue to see the images of this massacre. Unfortunately, there continue to be mass shootings and tragedies that monopolize the news on air, online and in print making it hard to shield young children. The news never stops and these events are all too common.
But a parent's job continues to be to try and make sure that children feel safe and secure. Although it seems to be harder and harder to do these days, parents must continue to protect their children both physically and emotionally. This means telling your child to wear their seat belt, lock the door when you leave the house, wear your bike helmet, and to never play with matches...the list goes on and on.
It also means having age appropriate discussions with your children about stranger danger, weather related disasters and now school lockdowns. The discussions surrounding this latest national tragedy should be tailored to the age of the child, but regardless of their age, I think the discussion should always end with, mommies and daddies are here to love and protect you and that will never change.
There is no way to process this tragedy nor is there a guide as to how to go forward. Despite all of the news stories there are no answers, but only questions as to why?
Hug your children, maybe grab an extra kiss and be thankful for your family. Let us also say a prayer for the community of Newtown, both those who were lost and for the living, for their grief is unimaginable.
The study was conducted by researchers at Columbia University and appears in the journal Sleep. It shows that adolescents and teens with strict bedtimes of 10 p.m. or earlier were less likely to be depressed and to have suicidal thoughts than their classmates whose parents allowed them to stay up till midnight or even later. Another study published in the Journal of Adolescent Health examined the sleep habits of more than 12,000 high school students and found that a mere eight percent are getting at least the recommended nine hours of sleep per night. The Columbia researchers found that bedtimes set by parents were almost as important as the total number of hours slept. Kids who were sent to bed at midnight or later were 24 percent more likely to be depressed and 20 percent more likely to have thoughts about suicide compared to teens whose lights had to be off by 10 p.m. The researchers surveyed 15,000 children in grades seven through 12 and their parents and found that more than two-thirds of the adolescents said they went to bed when they were supposed to. For 54 percent of kids, that's 10 p.m. or earlier on school nights. Another 21 percent must go to bed by 11 p.m, and 25 percent go to bed at midnight or later. The teens were also asked to fill out depression questionnaires and were asked whether they had seriously thought about suicide over the past year. Scientists have long known that there was a link between depression and poor sleep. But there has always been a question as to whether the depression caused insomnia or whether poor sleep led to depression. The fact that parent-enforced bedtimes play such a significant role suggests lack of sleep may actually be a cause, not just an effect of depression. As you know, I believe it's critical for all teens to have a firm bedtime. Begin winding down their night by turning off all electronics 1/2 hour before they head to bed. No TV on in the background and their cell phone should be
I am so fortunate that I still get to take care of a lot of newborns, many of whom are friends of mine who are having their first grandchildren! I consider this a perk to be the pediatrician.
Twenty-Seven minutes of extra sleep doesn't sound like it would make much of a difference in a child's behavior, but according to a new study it could help a child be more productive and brighter.
Researchers discovered that kids who slept that extra amount each night were less impulsive, less easily distracted, and less likely to have temper tantrums or cry often and easily. By contrast, losing just shy of an hour's worth of sleep had the opposite effects on behavior and mood.
Small changes in bedtime and daily routine could go a long way says researcher Reut Gruber, PhD. She is an assistant professor of psychology at McGill University in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. Conversely, one more video game and staying a little longer in a friend's house ... could add up and have a negative impact on the daytime functioning of healthy children.
The small study included 34 children aged seven to eleven who had no sleep, medical, behavior or academic problems. The children were divided into two groups. One group went to bed an hour earlier than their normal bedtime and the other group, an hour later for one week. To monitor their activity and sleep, the children wore a wristwatch-like device.
According to the study, kids who got 27.36 minutes more sleep per night showed improvements, while those who got less than that did not.
Besides being a very exact number, does 27.36 minutes really make a difference?
In daily life, if you think of the impact of short power naps, usually about 15 to 20 minutes during the day, you can see that this amount of sleep can have a significant positive impact on mood, attention, and well-being, says Gruber.
The children who were allowed to sleep more were found to be more alert, better behaved and more empathetic. Those with less sleep were determined to be less alert.
The children's teachers were asked to fill out behavioral assessments. The teachers had no idea there was an expe
Parents of teenage drivers take note: you must establish and enforce the rules of the road to keep your teen safe. I know when my kids first started to drive, I was a nervous wreck! The best way to keep your nerves in check? Establish and enforce the rules of the road. Studies have shown that parents who initially limit their teens driving privileges have fewer traffic tickets and accidents than teens whose parents do not apply restrictions.
As you know from previous posts, I am a huge advocate of graduated drivers licenses and driving contracts between parents and their new teen drivers. Motor vehicle injuries continue to be the leading cause of death in teens with approximately 4,200 deaths per year. Teenage accidents and injuries also resulted in over 380,000 emergency room visits in 2007.
To reduce the risk of injury and death, studies have shown the importance of graduated drivers licenses (GDL), which are now in effect in 49 states and the District of Columbia. But in order for GDL to work parents must be aware of the laws in their states and then must enforce these laws with their teens. I have seen too many parents of teens in my practice who are either not familiar with the concept of GDL or who do not feel that these rules need to be enforced. What are they thinking? Anything that may prevent teenage car accidents and injury is something we should all be aware of as there is really nothing more frightening to me than putting your child behind the wheel of a car!
To help increase awareness, the CDC developed a campaign targeting the parents of teen drivers. This program is called Parents are the Key and is being tested in several states. This campaign will help parents manage their teens driving behaviors while simultaneously educating teens about high-risk activities that may lead to car accidents. Things like drinking and driving, number of passengers in their car, banning cell phone use and texting while driving, an
Does your child snore? If so, have your discussed their snoring with your pediatrician. A new study published in Pediatrics supported the routine screening and tracking of snoring among preschoolers. Pediatricians should routinely be inquiring about your child's sleep habits, as well as any snoring that occurs on a regular basis, during your child's routine visits.
Snoring may be a sign of obstructive sleep apnea and/or sleep disordered breathing (SDB), and habitual snoring has been associated with both learning and behavioral problems in older children. But this study was the first to look at preschool children between the ages of 2-3 years.
The study looked at 249 children from birth until 3 years of age, and parents were asked report how often their child snored on a weekly basis at both 2 and 3 years of age. Persistent snorers were defined as those children who snored more than 2x/week at both ages 2 and 3. Persistent loud snoring occurred in 9% of the children who were studied.
The study then looked at behavior and as had been expected persistent snorers had significantly worse overall behavioral scores. This was noted as hyperactivity, depression and attentional difficulties. Motor development did not seem to be impacted by snoring.
So, intermittent snoring is common in the 2 to 3 year old set and does not seem to be associated with any long term behavioral issues. It is quite common for a young child to snore during an upper respiratory illness as well . But persistent snoring needs to be evaluated and may need to be treated with the removal of a child's adenoids and tonsils.
If you are worried about snoring, talk to your doctor. More studies are being done on this subject as well, so stay tuned.
Newborns are routinely screened at birth for a variety of diseases, but tests results can sometimes take up to two weeks. For some conditions that are quickly treatable time isn't as critical, but 10 to 14 days for other test results might mean the difference between life and death.
And there are thousand of genetic diseases that newborns are not tested for, that if known about early, could help doctors provide quicker and better care.
Something amazing is happening in genetic DNA mapping that could change newborn testing forever.
Scientists have found a way to decode babies' DNA in just days instead of weeks.
In a small but significant study, researchers at Children's Mercy Hospital in Kansas City, Missouri mapped the DNA of five children. While the study couldn't be completed in time to save the children, the results were very promising.
By year's end the hospital plans to begin routine gene mapping in its neonatal intensive care unit. It may also offer testing for babies elsewhere, while further studies continue, said Dr. Stephen Kingsmore, director of the pediatric genome center at Children's Mercy.
"For the first time, we can actually deliver genome information in time to make a difference," predicted Kingsmore, whose team reported the method in the journal Science Translational Medicine.
Even if the diagnosis is a lethal disease, "the family will at least have an answer. They won't have false hope," he added.
The idea is to combine faster gene-analyzing machinery with new computer software that, at the push of a few buttons, uses a baby's symptoms to zero in on the most suspicious mutations. The hope would be to start treatment earlier, or avoid futile care for lethal illnesses.
More than 20 percent of infant deaths are due to a birth defect or genetic diseases, the kind caused by a problem with a single gene. There are thousands of these diseases, and most hospitals don't have the means
I received an email from a mom very worried that her of a 13 month old son does not like milk! Her two older children stopped bottles/formula cold turkey, but not her baby, he still loves his formula. She asked what should I do?
I think you have answered your own question as you said that you stopped formula and the bottle with your other two children cold turkey. You are providing him with healthy meals and if you stop the bottle and formula and ONLY give him milk in his cup he will eventually drink his milk.
Not only does he have good role models in his older siblings, if you don't cave and give him his formula or even juice or water he will drink his milk when he is thirsty. Not only does he no longer need formula after he is 1 year of age, he needs to get the majority of his calories from food rather than from formula. You also know that this is the easiest time to get rid of the bottle before he becomes attached to it.
He may be your strong willed third child (all children seem to have this title at some time) on this issue. I also agree with you that he needs to be a milk drinker and this is the time to establish get this set in stone. I have found that if you don't get children to start drinking milk at this age, then for the majority of children, they will not drink milk later on in their childhood and adolescent years. Although you can give him other dairy products to help him meet his calcium and vitamin D needs, it is hard to meet those daily requirements without drinking some milk.
So, I would just go with your previous habit and stop the formula and give it some time. He will drink his milk, he just has to get thirsty enough. This means that his siblings cannot give him other fluids either!
There are many reports of injuries from toddlers crawling out of their crib, although most of the time the child who falls out of their crib is not injured. But, there are reports of injuries such as fractures of the forearm, or the clavicle or even of the humerus from children who climb out of their cribs.
Of course toddlers and 2 year olds think they are invincible and that they can fly just like a super hero. Many children are more than content to stay in a crib and never venture out until parents just decide that it is ultimately time to get their child out of the crib. Sometimes it may be out of necessity, as a new baby is due. I am not a big believer of buying more than one crib unless you are having twins etc. (My frugal side I guess). Although it is nice to have your child behind bars in their cribs, many a child can easily be moved to a big bed and never dream of getting out of that bed either.
That was the case with one of my boys, when we moved him to the big boy bed we were convinced he was the type of child who would get up and come walking down the hall for a visit. Quite to the contrary, he would awaken in the morning and call out to us, Mommy, I am up, come get me! I swear, it was as if he had a moat with sharks circling his bed, he just never realized that he could just put his cute little 2 year old feet on the floor and head out!! He was inquisitive about everything else, so go figure.
Children will always surprise you. I like to move a child out of their crib several months before a new baby is due so that the transition is easy and complete before the new sibling arrives. That way the big brother or sister does not feel as if their new baby sibling has displaced them and they are proud of being the big kid in their own big bed.
The bedtime routine should not change as you move a child from crib to bed either. When I moved our sons to a big bed I just pushed the bed up ag
Many parents of pre-schoolers report that their children have some sleep problems, whether it is delaying going to bed, having a hard time falling asleep, or awakening during the night with nightmares and bad dreams. All of these behaviors lead to sleeplessness for both child and parent.
A recent study from the Seattle Children's Research Institute published in Pediatrics looked at 565 children between the ages of 3-5 years. The parents of these children were asked to replace violent or age inappropriate media content with quality educational and pro-social content. In other words, less super heroes and more Sesame Street and Dora. (I still long for the serenity of Mr. Rogers). The researchers then monitored these 565 children's sleep patterns for 18 months.
The study found that the children in the group advised about healthy media were 29% less likely to have sleep problems than the children in the control group.
Once again there is data to support what one would intuitively assume, children who watch violent and age inappropriate TV and videos have more problems with sleep. I have known that since I watched The Wizard of Oz as a child, I dreamed about those flying monkeys for at least the next 10 years. Still don't like them! That goes for The Birds' too, another scary movie for sure!
With easy access to so many cable channels and constant internet options, parents need to be extra vigilant about what their pre-schoolers are exposed too. When parents were coached on making healthy media choices for their child in this randomized trial, there was a sustained reduction in sleep problems, so it lasted!
I think a trip to the library and books at bedtime are also a great idea and better than watching TV or videos. Curious George, Dr. Seuss, and Richard Scary books all seem to stand the test of time and will probably not keep your pre-schooler up at night. More sleep fo
The best way to attack the problem of bedwetting begins when you and your child have had a discussion about their feelings related to bedwetting. This often happens as they get older and continue to have problems with bedwetting and they are anxious or embarrassed. If you bring up the subject and they would rather just wear a pull up at night, and go back to playing outside rather than discuss strategies for staying dry, it is not time to tackle the issue. Timing is everything! As you start to discuss strategies to stop bedwetting, begin with having your child keep a calendar of their dry nights. This gets them involved and gives you an idea of their level of commitment. Then start setting their alarm clock to awake them in the morning and see if they can get up on their own. If the alarm doesn't wake them up for school it is probably not going to awaken them in the middle of the night. Remind them to recognize their need to go to the bathroom during the day too, and have them go every several hours to feel the sensation of their bladder filling throughout the day. Many of these kids are infrequent voiders during the day and have actually stretched their bladder wall and hypertrophied the bladder muscle. Lastly, make sure that they are not constipated and put them on something like Miralax to ensure that they do not have stool that also compresses the bladder (the colon sits right above the bladder and can push on the bladder). Talk about a reward system that they would like to use while working on the problem. It doesn't have to be a major reward, small things work equally well. I think the rewards should be given by the week, rather than the day. I also give rewards for effort, not just for dry nights. Trying is the whole idea. Sometimes the brain and bladder are just not ready and you do not want your child to feel defeated even though they have tried their hardest. If all of this is successful it is then time to set up a bedwetting alarm sy
With everyone back in school after a nice summer break, what better time to discuss school lunches, especially as they relate to healthy choices. The USDA (Department of Agriculture) has just issued new national guidelines for school lunches which will begin this school year. The new guidelines include calorie and sodium limits for foods served on the school lunch line and are age dependent.
The new guidelines also include the recommendation for more whole grains, and dark green, orange or red vegetables (color on the plate). Students buying school lunches must choose at least one fruit or vegetable at every meal. Portion sizes may also be smaller as well.
These changes are all geared at helping students understand the importance of healthy eating and making good nutritious food choices. It is hoped that as students get used to seeing and eating healthier school lunches, the choices that they make at home may become better as well.
Students will also be able to choose from fat-free, low-fat and lactose-free milk and will be required to have 1 serving a day. Flavored milk will be required to be fat free.
Lastly, half of the grains served in a school lunch must be whole grain and by 2014 school year all grains must be whole grain rich.
So, if you are planning on packing your child's lunch this year, remember these guidelines as well. I think that a combo of packing healthy lunches on some days, while letting your child buy a school lunch on other days seems to be the perfect balance. Let your children help pick out healthy food choices to put in their packed lunch and they might even pick up a few ideas from the new school lunches this year too.
You can find the new guidelines at http://1.usa.gov/Qzd5Z7