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Featured Articles

When your child has a cold and isn’t feeling well, we understand that you want to do everything you can to help them feel better.  However, parents should refrain from giving over-the-counter cold and cough medications. 

 

 

Why you ask?

 

Studies not only show that these medications aren’t effective,
they can also be dangerous for children under the age of 12
years.  These medications can lead to a decrease in
respiratory rate and an increase in heart rate. Besides,
coughs are a normal symptom of a cold and serve a
purpose - coughs help the body clear the mucus out of
the airway and protect the lungs.

 

 

So what can I do instead to help my child?

 

Colds are self-limiting and typically last 7-10 days without
the need of medications.  To help ease your child’s symptoms,
we recommend:

  • A teaspoon of honey to soothe a cough (not to be given to children less than 1 year of age)
  • Steam showers or humidifiers to help clear congestion
  • Rest and fluids
  • Tylenol or Ibuprofen (only for children 6 months of age
    or older) can help ease headaches and body aches. 

 

When to Call Your Pediatrician’s Office

  1. A 100.4 degree temperature for children under 3 months of age
  2. A temperature of 101 (in a child over 3 months of age) that persists for greater than 3 days
  3. Signs of labored breathing
  4. Blue lips
  5. Not eating or drinking with signs of dehydration
  6. Ear pain
  7. Excessive crankiness or sleepiness
  8. If the cough lasts more than 3 weeks
  9. If your child is worsening

 

Click here to watch a great AAP Webinar on giving medications to children!

 

 

Did you know that according to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commision (USPSC), emergency departments treat more than 200,000 pediatric playground-related injuries each year!!

As many of our families find themselves outside playing and trying to soak up the nice weather, we thought it'd be a good time to review some playground safety tips provided by HealthyChildren.org!  Remember though, that even with safe, age-appropriate playgrounds, adult guidance and supervision is the best way to prevent injuries.  Actually, research shows that nearly half of all playground-related injuries are linked with a lack of supervision!

Size It Up

  • Make sure the playground equipment is suitable for your child's age, abilities, developmental level and size.  

What's Underneath?

  • Make sure that the surface underneath the playground can help absorb and soften the impact when children land on it.
  • Steer clear of hard surface like concrete or asphalt
  • Although grass looks soft, it is not a shock absorbing surface
  • The USPSC recommends a thick layer of one of the following materials, extending at least 6 feet in all directions, underneath the play equipment:
    • Wood chips, mulch, sand, or pea gravel (12 or more inches deep)
    • Mats made of safety-tested rubber or rubber-like material

Climbing Structures

  • We all know how much kids love to climb.  Climbing helps to build strength, coordination, and depth perception while letting your child see their surroundings on a different level.  However, there are certain precautions you should take to help prevent falls or getting caught on climbing equipment:
    • Platforms higher than 30 inches above the ground intended for school-aged children should have guardrails or barriers to prevent falls.
    • Vertical and horizontal spaces, like those between the ropes of cargo nets, should be less than 3½ inches wide or more than 9 inches wide. This is to keep a small child's head from getting trapped while preventing them from falling through easily. 
    • Stairs, steps and rungs, the horizontal supports used to climb a ladder, should be evenly spaced. Round rungs to be gripped by young hands should be about 1 to 1½ inches in diameter. 
    • Check for sharp points or edges. For wooden structures, check for nails or screws sticking out. Metal structures should not have rust or peeling paint, which could contain lead. 
    • Don't let your child wear or play with anything that could get caught on equipment and become a strangulation hazard. Avoid sweatshirts with drawstrings or necklaces, for example, and keep jump ropes and pet leashes away from equipment. If your child rides a bike or scooter to the playground, he should take off his helmet while playing.

Slides

  • Slides can provide kids with a gentle, confidence-building thrill but please keep in mind:
    • Metal slides can get very hot from the sun and seriously burn a child's hands and legs. Plastic slides can get very hot, too. On hot, sunny days, look for playgrounds where slides are shaded.
    • Slides should have a platform with rails at the top for children to hold. There should be a guardrail, hood, or other structure at the top so that the child must sit before going down the slide. Open slides should have sides at least 4 inches high. 
    • Make sure there are no rocks, glass, sticks, toys, debris, or other children at the base of a slide. These could get in the way of a child landing safely. The cleared area in front of the slide should extend a distance equal to the height of the slide platform.
    • Teach your child to go down the slide feet first to avoid head injuries, and to make sure anyone in front of them is all the way down before they go.
    • Don't go down the slide with children on your lap. While it might seem safe if you are holding them, research shows children's legs often get caught and injured on the way down.

Swings

  • While swings are shown to calm kids, build sensory skills, and even help them better cooperate with other children, to help avoid injuries, make sure:
    • The cleared distance in front of and behind a swing, and the shock-absorbing surface beneath it, is twice the height of the suspending bar.
    • Walls, fences or other objects should be at least 6 feet away from either side of a swing. 
    • Swing seats should be made of soft materials such as rubber, plastic, or canvas. 
    • Make sure open or "S" hooks on swing chains are closed to form a figure 8. 
    • Swing sets should be securely and deeply anchored to prevent tipping. 
    • Swings should not be too close together. There should be at least 24 inches between swings and no more than 2 seat swings (or 1 tire swing) in the same section of the structure. 
    • Discourage kids from swinging on their tummies or jumping off. Teach them not to run in front of swings while other children are using them.

So as you spend this weekend outdoors and your child climbs, slides, swings and glides, remember to keep an eye on them and be ready to jump to action if they are using the equipment inappropriately!

With school back in session, it’s important to start your child’s year off on the right foot!  This not only includes helping your child get a good night’s sleep, but also making sure their body is fueled with healthy food. Including protein in your child’s breakfast is an important part of helping to prepare them for the first half of their school day.  

We know that you can’t also be with your child making sure they are eating well, but packing a healthy and wholesome lunch can go a long way in making sure your child is ready to learn.  

Follow these easy steps in making your kid’s lunch healthy and nutritious:

1.  Get your Kid Involved

  • Give your kids healthy food options from each food group and let them make the final decisions on what goes in their lunch.
  • Help your child make a list of favorite healthy lunch items to post on the refrigerator.
  • Take your child to the grocery store and let them help to choose what goes in the cart (to a certain extent).  This will help to promote feelings of responsibility and empowerment.
  • Designate a part of your kitchen as the “lunch packing station” and spend time with your kids the night before helping to get their lunch ready for the next day.

2.  Pack Healthy Foods and Keep it Fun

  • Turn healthy foods into fun foods by using cooking cutters to make shapes out of bread, deli meat, cheese, or a melon-baller for fruit.
  • Create a theme for the day and have all the food in their lunch relate to a theme.  For creative lunch theme ideas, visit ParentMap.
  • Steer clear of proceeds food that tend to have nutrients stripped out and extra sugar added. Instead include: whole wheat bread or tortillas, lean proteins like turkey and chicken, low-fat dairy such as yogurt and cheese sticks, fresh fruits and vegetables, and dips that contain healthy fats such as hummus, guacamole and nut butters.

3.  Make Sure to Incorporate All the Food Groups

  • Use MyPlate as a visual to help you structure what should go into your child’s lunch.  

4.  Encourage Hydration

  • Skip sweetened beverages.  Did you know a 12 ounces can of soda can contain up to 10 teaspoons of sugar and many fruit juices may have much more than that!  Instead, pack low-fat milk or water.
  • It’s recommended that school-age children drink between 6-8 cups of water per day (even more in hot weather or if their activity level is high!).
  • Let your child pick out their favorite water bottle and encourage them to drink the whole thing at least twice at school.
  • If the “flavor” of water is too boring for them, throw in a few pieces of frozen fruit to sweeten it up – and keep it cooler.

With these tips in mind, you and your child are ready to start the school year off on the right foot. Good luck and happy packing!!


The digital media today's children are immersed in can have both positive and negative effects on their development.  The AAP (American Academy of Pediatrics) set new recommendations and provided families with a great new resource to help families balance screen time from birth to adulthood.  

This Interactive Family Media Plan helps families develop healthy habits regarding screen time to meet the needs of each child in terms of health, education and entertainment needs, as well as the family as a whole.  

“Families should proactively think about their children’s media use and talk with children about it, because too much media use can mean that children don’t have enough time during the day to play, study, talk, or sleep,” said Jenny Radesky, MD, FAAP, lead author of the policy statement, “Media and Young Minds,” which focuses on infants, toddlers and pre-school children. “What’s most important is that parents be their child’s ‘media mentor.’ That means teaching them how to use it as a tool to create, connect and learn.”  A second policy statement, “Media Use in School-Aged Children and Adolescents,” offers recommendations for children ages 5 to 18, and a technical report, “Children, Adolescents and Digital Media,” provides a review of the scientific literature to support both policies. All three documents were published in the November 2016 Pediatrics (online October 21). 

As parents, we need to emphasize creative, screen free, playtime for infants and toddlers.  While the AAP recognizes that some media can provide an educational value for children starting around 18 months of age, it is extremely important that this be high-quality programming such as the content offered by Sesame Workshop and PBS.  Another important aspect is that parents of young children watch these programs with their children so they can help to explain to their child what they are seeing.  

So what can we do for our school-age children and adolescents to help them build healthy screen time habits? The key lies in balancing media use with other healthy behaviors.  Screen time becomes problematic when it replaces physical activity, hands-on exploration and face-to-face interactions in the real world.  Too much screen time can also be detrimental to the quantity and quality of sleep our children receive.  

Among the AAP recommendations:

  • For children younger than 18 months, avoid use of screen media other than video-chatting. Parents of children 18 to 24 months of age who want to introduce digital media should choose high-quality programming, and watch it with their children to help them understand what they're seeing. 
  • For children ages 2 to 5 years, limit screen use to 1 hour per day of high-quality programs. Parents should co-view media with children to help them understand what they are seeing and apply it to the world around them.
  • For children ages 6 and older, place consistent limits on the time spent using media, and the types of media, and make sure media does not take the place of adequate sleep, physical activity and other behaviors essential to health.  
  • Designate media-free times together, such as dinner or driving, as well as media-free locations at home, such as bedrooms. 
  • Have ongoing communication about online citizenship and safety, including treating others with respect online and offline.

To see the entire article published by the AAP, click on the following link: American Academy of Pediatrics Announces New Recommendations for Children's Media Use

 

August 17, 2018
Category: Featured Articles
Tags: safe sleep   sleep   infant   CDC  

Did you know??

There are about 3,5000 sleep-related deaths among US babies each year!!

While the exact cause of suddent infant death syndrome (SIDS) is unknown, parents and caregivers can help reduce the risk of SIDS and other sleep-related infant deaths by making sure to practice safe sleep habits. 

Safe sleep habits include:

  • Placing your baby on his or her back for all sleep times—naps and at night.
  • Using a firm, flat sleep surface, such as a mattress in a safety-approved crib, covered by a fitted sheet.
  • Keeping your baby’s sleep area (for example, a crib, pack 'n play, or bassinet) in the same room where you sleep until your baby is at least 6 months old, or ideally, until your baby is one year old.
  • Keeping soft bedding such as blankets, pillows, bumper pads, and soft toys out of your baby’s sleep area.
  • Do not cover your baby’s head or allow your baby to get too hot. Signs your baby may be getting too hot include sweating or his or her chest feels hot.
  • Your baby should always sleep alone, without siblings or other people
  • Having a smoke free environment

Need help remembering what safe sleep means?

Think of the ABCs!

A - Alone

B - On the back

C - In a crib

More tips to provide your baby with a safe sleep environment:

  • Room temperature should be comfortable to a lightly clothed adult
  • Use a one-piece sleeper or other warm clothes instead of blankets
  • Offer a pacifier at nap time and bedtime. It should be used when placing an infant down for sleep and should not be reinserted once the infant falls asleep. It should not be coated with a sweet solution. It should be cleaned often and replaced regularly. 
  • Check and double-check assembled cribs to assure all parts are present and installed correctly
  • When awake, encourage "tummy time" by placing babies on their tummies for periods of time. Do not leave babies alone.
  • Avoid having babies spend long periods of time in a car seat carrier or "bouncer”




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