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Wellness Library- Parenting
10 Ways to Keep Your Family Safe
10 Ways to Keep Your Family Safe Recent world events may have you feeling especially concerned about your family's safety. The biggest threats to safety, though, are very close to home. According to the National Safety Council (NSC), motor vehicle accidents, falls, accidental poisoning, drowning, and choking are the leading causes of unintentional death in the United States. Don't overlook some of the easiest ways to keep your family safe. These 10 tips can help. 1. Buckle up . In the event of a car acc...
11 Ways to Raise a Healthy Child
11 Ways to Raise a Healthy Child As a parent, you are an important teacher of health care and health information for your child. Here are 11 recommendations to help you succeed at this important job. 1. Choose breast over bottle. Breast-feed and you will give your baby a health advantage from day one. Breast milk provides all the nutrients a newborn needs. It also has important antibodies that help babies fight infections. Research shows that breast-fed babies have fewer ear infections and allergies and...
2-Year-Olds: Terrible or Terrific?
The "Terrible Twos" You have to take your child to daycare and then get to work—and you're late. Your 2-year-old suddenly decides she doesn't want to go. The more you try to put her into her car seat, the more she fights and screams. In a few moments she’s crying and you’re frustrated. These tantrums, as well as other unwanted behaviors, seem to be happening a lot lately. Uh-oh—has she hit the "terrible twos?" Remember that this phase of a child's life also can be the "terrific twos." Watching your chil...
5 Key Mistakes Parents Make With Car Seats
5 Key Mistakes Parents Make with Car Seats You wouldn't think of not having a car safety seat for your infant or toddler, but are you using it the right way? Safe Kids Worldwide estimates that three out of four children are too small for seatbelts are incorrectly restrained in car seats or booster seats. Don't join the crowd; avoid these mistakes: Using a defective car seat. Don't buy a used seat; you don't know its history. Avoid old ones (more than 10 years old), especially with missing parts or crack...
A Checklist to Help You Spot Hearing Loss
A Checklist to Help You Spot Hearing Loss Although most states now have mandatory requirements for hearing tests while a newborn is still in the hospital, some hearing-impaired children slip by the safeguards and aren't diagnosed by age 3, says the National Association of the Deaf. The reason: A lot of parents don't know the signs of hearing loss. Hearing loss also can accompany other disabilities and could be overlooked. Hearing impairment can occur in the frequencies detected and in loudness of sound ...
A Child's First Dental Visit Fact Sheet
A Child's First Dental Visit Fact Sheet When should your child first see a dentist? Experts at the Academy of General Dentistry (AGD) say the ideal time is six months after the first tooth erupts. At this time, the dentist can provide or recommend information on baby bottle tooth decay, infant feeding practices, mouth cleaning, teething, pacifier habits, and finger-sucking habits. Prepare your child If possible, schedule morning appointments, when young children are alert and fresh. Prepare a preschoole...
A Chubby Baby Is Not a Sign of Obesity
A Chubby Baby Is Not a Sign of Obesity With childhood obesity on the rise, should parents worry about the weight of their babies? Experts at the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) say parents should ask their pediatricians to keep tabs on children's weight from birth on up. But they shouldn't obsess about the weight of a child younger than 2 years. Members of the AAP Nutrition Committee say there are no data to support the belief that children in this age group who are overweight are more prone to be ...
A Few Tricks for Halloween Treats
A Few Tricks for Halloween Treats Think back to the Halloweens of your childhood. What do you remember most? Sure, there were costumes and parties, but the most exciting part was peering into your bag to see what types of goodies you had accumulated. When you got home, you sorted them by category: Chocolate-peanut butter cups were the favorite, perhaps, followed by lollipops with the gumball middles, and last, black licorice. You were absolutely mortified to learn that your mother had handed out those c...
A Guide to Jogging Strollers
A Guide to Jogging Strollers Since jogging strollers were developed in 1983, their popularity among parents has increased dramatically. Today, jogging strollers come in a variety of shapes and sizes to match almost anyone's needs, including parents with twins or children with physical disabilities. The American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) emphasizes the importance of using a jogging stroller safely. Parents should remember these safety tips: Use the parking brake when helping a child into and out ...
A Holiday Help Guide for Stepfamilies
A Holiday Help Guide for Stepfamilies Around the holidays, stepfamily life can become particularly stressful, especially for children who'll spend time at more than one household. Circumstances vary depending on each situation. In general, households separated by a short distance in which both sides of the family see the child/children frequently have different issues than those separated by long distances where the non-custodial parent may only see the child once or twice a year. Children deal with the...
A Kids' Asthma Journal
A Kids' Asthma Journal Do you want to gain better control over your asthma? Put it in writing! By following the examples below, you can use a journal to track day-to-day changes in your asthma. This may be something you can do with a parent's or guardian's help. If your parent or guardian has asthma, he or she can also use a journal to track his or her own symptoms, too. Make copies of this page before you write on it so you can use it again! Starting date: ____________________ Symptoms Check the boxes ...
A Parent’s Guide to Choosing Child Care
A Parent’s Guide to Choosing Child Care As a parent of a young child, one of the most important decisions you'll make is choosing who will care for your child while you’re at work. Here’s how to get started. Location Do you want your child to be cared for at home? Or, does it make more sense to bring your child to the caregiver? Once you’ve made this decision, the National Association of Child Care Resource & Referral Agencies says, you should investigate common types of settings: In-home care. Havi...
A Primer for Preschooler Safety
A Primer for Preschooler Safety Your little ones can learn a lot about safety if you take some time to teach them. Keep your lessons simple, say the experts, and even very young children can learn how to stay clear of danger. Here's an ABC rule that you and your children can recite together. 'A': Always ride in a car safety seat Automobile accidents are the number one cause of death for preschoolers, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Teach your child to get into his or her saf...
A Safety Checklist for Parents
A Safety Checklist for Parents You can help keep your children safe by following these precautions and using common sense. General steps Encourage your children to wash their hands frequently throughout the day, particularly after using the bathroom -- and always before eating. Keep their immunizations up to date. Be sure you know where they are, who they're with, and what they're doing when out of your presence. Check the references of baby sitters or care givers carefully. In the home Thousands of chi...
After Delivery, Taking Care of Yourself
After Delivery, Taking Care of Yourself Having a baby is a life-changing experience, and there's no way to know just how exhilarating and challenging the first few months can be. From the wealth of new emotions you'll be feeling, to the physical recovery you face after giving birth, these first few weeks will be some of the most intense you'll ever face. To help you know what to expect, we've talked to some experts to help you prepare for the exciting ride ahead. After pains After pains are real. During...
Air Bags and Kids
Air Bags: Not for Children A car with an air bag is considered safer than a car without one. But for children under 13 years old, air bags can be dangerous. In fact, no child younger than 13 or under 65 pounds should sit in the front seat of a car equipped with passenger-side air bags, according to both the Department of Transportation (DOT) and the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB). The safest place for children is in the center of the back seat, using a lap-and-shoulder seat belt or a child'...
Alcohol Use Among Teens Is Epidemic
Alcohol Use Among Teens Is Epidemic The leading substance-abuse threat to children may be as close as your refrigerator. Millions of adolescents drink alcohol. Many binge drink, having five or more drinks at a time. Flavored alcoholic beverages are popular among underage drinkers, says the National Institute on Drug Abuse. Surveys show boys usually take their first drink at age 11 and girls at age 13. Alcohol affects a teen's brain differently than it does an adult's. Teens' brains are still growing and...
All About Child Passenger Safety
All About Child Passenger Safety Installing your child's car seat properly and using it every time your son or daughter rides in the car is one of the best ways to help keep him/her safe in case of an accident. As your baby gets bigger, you may wonder when it's time for a larger seat. Or, maybe you're unsure about when it's safe to face the seat forward. Below are some answers to frequently asked questions about child passenger safety. When is it OK to switch a child to a front-facing car seat? Babies s...
All Family Time Is Quality Time
All Family Time Is Quality Time Don't feel guilty about the amount of "quality time" you spend with your family. Some experts are beginning to shun the quality time movement for something much more basic. Here are some suggestions: Children want your undivided attention. When they talk, look at them, engage them in further conversation; show your interest. Listen to their music. Who knows, you might begin liking it. Ask them what they want to do. Is baseball their love? Play catch in your backyard, or p...
Answers to Questions About Your Child's Mental Health
Answers to Questions About Your Child's Mental Health Children can have mental health disorders that interfere with the way they think, feel, and act. Although some behavior problems can be attributed to normal child development, some require professional help. Children's mental health is as important as their physical health. Great care should be taken to help a child who has a mental health problem because mental, behavioral, or emotional disorders can affect the child's future. The following answers ...
Appendicitis: Children and Teens
Appendicitis: Children and Teens Appendicitis is an inflammation that can lead to infection of the appendix. It affects 7 percent of Americans and is the most common reason for a child to need emergency abdominal surgery, according to the American Academy of Family Physicians. Young people between ages 11 and 20 are most often affected. A child, especially a boy, may have a greater risk for appendicitis if someone else in the family had it. The appendix is a small, fingerlike structure attached to the l...
Asthma: First Doctor Visit for Your Child
Asthma: First Doctor Visit for Your Child Your child has been coughing or wheezing, and you’re wondering whether it might be asthma. The first step toward finding out is scheduling a visit to your child’s health care provider. As you prepare for this visit, you may be wondering what questions the provider will ask or what tests and exams your child will need. Below are some brief descriptions. With this information, you and your child can go to that first visit knowing more about what to expect. Medical...
Avoid Soccer Injuries in Your Kids
Avoid Soccer Injuries in Your Kids The school team. The town team. The travel team. If your young soccer player is on the field for several games or practices a week, it may be too much. Most injuries occur in the 10- to 14-year-old age group. Younger players are more susceptible to injury because they're still growing. And whenever participation in a sport rises, there are bound to be more injuries. According to the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (AAOS), each year more than 477,500 soccer-rel...
Babies and Toddlers Need Iron to Thrive
Babies and Toddlers Need Iron to Thrive Iron-rich foods may not top your list of what to feed your baby or toddler. Yet this mineral is key to your young child's growing body and mind, experts say. Iron moves oxygen around your child's body. Without enough iron, your child may feel tired and listless or have poor motor skills. Your child also needs iron for sharper thinking. According to the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, current research studies have reported a link between maternal iron d...
Babies Need 'Tummy Time'
Babies Need 'Tummy Time' Nearly 15 years ago, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) first recommended that parents put their babies to sleep on their back. That simple piece of advice cut the death rate from sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) by more than half. An unexpected result has occurred, however: flattened heads. The flattening—a result of babies' spending so much time on their back—most often occurs on the back of the infant's head and is usually more pronounced on one side. This flattening...
Baby’s Emotional, Intellectual Development
Aiding Baby’s Emotional, Intellectual Development You gaze lovingly into your newborn's eyes as you feed him. You speak gently to your daughter as you change her diaper. You sing to your child at bedtime. These caring acts help your child build a healthy brain. A baby is born with 100 billion brain cells, called neurons. In childhood, these neurons continue to make connections with other neurons in the systems that control our lives. Your child's brain continues to develop in response to stimulus from l...
Balancing Work and Home
Balancing Work and Home Getting organized in your work, family, and personal lives can help you create balance in each of these important areas. To keep the scales of work and life balanced, you must be organized. This means you must not only organize your stuff, but also your time. “Balancing your life means weighing your priorities. Like the scales of a balance, at times you’ll be heavier on one side than the other. The idea is to change the weights on each side to try to stay even,” says Eileen Roth,...
Basics About Your Newborn’s Body
Basics About Your Newborn’s Body For the past nine months, you’ve been getting ready for your baby’s arrival. But now that you’re bringing home your bundle of joy, you’re a little worried. How will you ever remember everything you learned about what to expect in those first few weeks? Even the best-prepared parents may be surprised by a few things that are quite normal in newborns, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP). Birthmarks These common spots and stains may be present at birth and...
Basketball: Make Safety a Point
Basketball: Make Safety a Point Basketball is an exciting sport, but it can also be tough on your body. College and professional basketball players must train to avoid injury--and so should your youngster. Experts say players can avoid injury by strengthening muscles through a supervised weight-training program before the season. That helps prevent ligament injuries to knees and ankles, the most common court injuries. Players must also warm up and cool down properly. Here are suggestions from the Nation...
Beating an Eating Disorder
Beating an Eating Disorder With eating disorders affecting girls at ever-younger ages, a surprisingly simple tactic might help: Dine as a family. Since society has so much influence on adolescents because of the high prevalence of obesity and the pressure to be skinny, many girls are turning to unhealthy ways of controlling their weight. Prioritizing structured family meals that take place in a positive environment can protect girls from destructive eating habits. It doesn't have to be a home-cooked mea...
Bed-Wetting: Help Your Child Stay Dry at Night
Bed-Wetting: Help Your Child Stay Dry at Night Bed-wetting is a common event in young children. It is normal for a child up to age 6 to wet the bed once in a while. As children get older, they can control night urination better. That's because their bladders are larger and more developed. Do not become angry if your child can't stay dry during the night. Never punish or tease your child for bed-wetting. It will only make things worse. Support and patience are the keys in helping your child. Here's what ...
Being There: Advice for Expectant Dads
Being There: Advice for Expectant Dads Remember scenes from old movies where the husband paces around the waiting room while his wife is in labor? As a father-to-be today, you know that you can participate throughout your partner's pregnancy -- even in the delivery room. Here are some things you can do. Offer emotional support. Pregnancy is stressful. Expectant mothers need help, and studies show that the support they find most helpful comes from the baby's father. This means more than just helping out ...
Beware of Diarrhea Dehydration in Infants, Toddlers
Beware of Diarrhea Dehydration in Infants, Toddlers We all dread diarrhea. But when the patient is your infant or toddler, diarrhea can range from a minor annoyance to a medical emergency. The stools of healthy breast- or formula-fed infants usually have the consistency of oatmeal or cream of wheat, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics. When diarrhea occurs, the stools become more frequent and watery. The cause can include viruses, bacteria, parasites, medications, such as antibiotics or food...
Beware of Supplements for Kids
Beware of Supplements for Kids Dietary supplements and herbal mixtures aimed at your children may be a waste of your money—and a threat to their health. Dietary supplement makers advertise herbs and supplements as remedies for everything from colds and asthma to attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has no control over the quality and reliability of food supplements because they are not labeled as drugs. Many of these products have not been proven to provi...
Binge Drinking Dangers for Young People
Binge Drinking Dangers for Young People For millions of young adults in this country, the weekend will pass in an alcoholic blur. They'll toss down drink after drink as fast as they can, throw up, pass out, revive themselves, then reach for more booze. For one or two of these otherwise healthy kids, the next drinking binge could end in death. Binge drinking is drinking to get drunk—the point at which the drinker is risking health or behavioral problems as a consequence of drinking. For men, that means h...
Blood Pressure Rising Among Children
Blood Pressure Rising Among Children The next time you hear folks talking about their blood pressure, take a look. They may be kids. Yes, children can have high blood pressure, and experts say the number of kids with the problem is on the rise. "We estimate about 10 percent of children between 2 and 18 have high blood pressure," says pediatric heart specialist Reginald Washington, M.D., co-chair of the American Academy of Pediatrics Task Force on Obesity. "A lot of these kids have not even been diagnose...
Breastfeeding Helps Mothers and Children
Breastfeeding Helps Mothers and Children There's nothing like breastfeeding to put kids on the path to good health. Breastfeeding has multiple benefits for babies, including lower risk for ear and respiratory infections, allergic skin disorders, intestinal infections, type 2 diabetes, and sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS). The American Academy of Pediatrics strongly recommends breastfeeding for at least 6 months because of its association with the reduced risk for SIDS. But the benefits of breastfeedi...
Bridge the Gap With Teen Grandkids
Bridge the Gap with Teen Grandkids True or false: Grandparents hold a special place in their grandchildren's lives -- until the kids become teenagers. If you said "true," then let the experts on grandparenting set the record straight. "Sometimes we just assume that older people and teenagers don't want to be around each other," says Donna M. Butts, executive director of Generations United, which promotes positive interaction between generations. "It may take patience and acceptance to develop that relat...
Building Bonds with Your Grandchildren
Building Bonds with Your Grandchildren Of the more than 56 million grandparents in the U.S., about half live more than 200 miles from their grandchildren. This distance creates a challenge for families who want to create a strong bond between grandparents and grandchildren. And even families that live close to each other may want to find ways to form better connections between the generations. Grandparents can play an important role in the lives of their grandchildren. In some families, they are the car...
Bullies Go High-Tech
Bullies Go High-Tech You can now add bullying to the list of things made easier by technology. Teens today live much of their lives on the Internet. Online bullying, also called cyberbullying, can involve using the Internet, cell phones, or other devices to send text or images that are intended to embarrass or hurt the other person. Cyberbullying affects almost of all American teens, according to the National Crime Prevention Council. Online bullying has been used for the following purposes: Pretending ...
Bullies: Helping Your Child Cope
Bullies: Helping Your Child Cope Bullying can happen in school, on the playground—and now even on the Internet through social networking sites. Bullying is intentional tormenting that can be physical, social, or psychological. Hitting, shoving, threatening, shunning, and spreading rumors can all be forms of bullying. Kids who experience bullying can become depressed, develop low self-esteem, avoid school, feel physically ill, and even think about killing themselves. What to look for There are few things...
Buying a Bike for Your Child
Buying a Bike for Your Child Is your child ready for her first bicycle? Most youngsters learn the basics of pedaling, steering and braking on a tricycle or "big wheel" cycle, and around age 4 are ready to try a two-wheeler with training wheels. A bicycle with training wheels gives children more practice riding without worrying about balance. Between ages 4 and 8, your child will probably develop enough coordination, agility and a sense of balance to graduate to a bike without training wheels. You are th...
Caring for a Child With Type 1 Diabetes
When Your Child Has Type 1 Diabetes If your child suddenly grows weak, tired, and nauseated, the youngster probably has the flu or some other virus. But the symptoms could also be warning signs of type 1 diabetes. Although there's no cure for type 1 diabetes, the disease can be managed. Don't blame yourself Parents need to know that they have done nothing wrong and that there is nothing they could have done that could have prevented type 1 diabetes from occurring. Genetics are thought to play a role in ...
Caring for Tiny Teeth
Caring for Tiny Teeth Before your infant goes off to sleep at the end of the day, you should do more than kiss the little one good night. Make sure your baby's developing teeth are not at risk from nursing or bottle tooth decay. That happens when juice or milk stays in the mouth while a baby sleeps, especially when sucking on a bottle all night. The sugars in the mouth are metabolized by bacteria, which produce acid that eats away the enamel of the teeth. This results in cavities. Cavities must be repai...
Caring for Your Sick Child
Caring for Your Sick Child Parents know they have choices when their child is sick. They can treat the child at home, make a doctor's appointment, go to the emergency room, or call 911. But at times, knowing which choice to make isn’t always clear. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, many childhood illnesses, such as colds, stomachaches, headaches, and even fevers, can be safely treated at home. But parents need to know they should always call a doctor if they have any doubts or questions a...
Cesarean Doesn't Mean Forever
Cesarean Doesn't Mean Forever Many American women deliver their babies by cesarean birth, which means the baby is born through a surgical incision made in the mother's abdomen and uterus. At one time it was thought that once a woman had a cesarean birth, she would always have a cesarean birth in any subsequent pregnancies. Today, that thinking is changing. Many women who have had cesarean births can attempt to deliver vaginally (referred to as a VBAC or vaginal birth after cesarean) if no risk factors a...
Child Health Emergencies
Child Health Emergencies Having a very sick or severely injured child is a parent’s worst nightmare. If it happened to your child, would you know the best way to go about getting treatment? Knowing when to call an ambulance is important. Symptoms to heed Many emergencies involve sudden injuries caused by bicycle or car crashes, falls, burns, near drownings, electric shocks, or poisoning. If your child has any of the following signs or symptoms, remain calm and call 911: Unconsciousness, fainting, or no ...
Child Safety for All Ages
Child Safety for All Ages Reducing the risk for SIDS Here are recommendations from the American Academy of Pediatrics on how to reduce the risk for sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) and sleep-related deaths from birth to age 1: Get prenatal care. Routine prenatal care is critical for reducing the risk for SIDS. Breastfeed your infant. The AAP recommends breastfeeding for at least six months. Make sure your baby is immunized. An infant who is fully immunized can reduce his or her risk for SIDS by 50 pe...
Childhood Immunizations: Get the Facts
Childhood Immunizations: Get the Facts If you are the parent of a young child, you may be confused about the safety of immunizations. You may have heard that vaccines cause life-threatening side effects or can lead to other diseases. Or you may have read that vaccines are not necessary anymore. According to the CDC, the United States has the most effective and safest vaccines. U.S. law requires that several years of product testing for effectiveness and safety occur before a vaccine can be licensed. Onc...
Children and Cholesterol
Children and Cholesterol If you, your parents, or your parents' siblings had a heart attack before age 55 and you have a child, this advice from the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) might surprise you: Have your child's cholesterol tested. Under certain circumstances, the AAP says, cholesterol-lowering diets, under a pediatrician's supervision, are safe for children. Which children need testing? The AAP recommends that all children be screened for high cholesterol between ages 9 and 11, and again be...
Concussions: Caution Is a No-Brainer
Concussions: Caution Is a No-Brainer It's better to miss a game than a whole season. That's the key message of a campaign by the CDC aimed at an underrated health threat: sports-related concussions. Concussions are a traumatic brain injury caused by a blow or jolt to the head that causes the soft tissue of the brain to knock against the skull's bony surface. Although they range from mild to severe, they're all serious injuries that can harm the way the brain works. For many of these injuries, the athlet...
Cool Tools to Keep Your Kids From Smoking
Cool Tools to Keep Your Kids From Smoking Many teenagers think smoking is cool. This belief is supported in recent Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) tobacco statistics. The CDC states that while the number of teens who smoke continues to drop each year, progress is slowing. This slowing decline in cigarette use among teens suggests that smoking and the health problems related to it will be issues as today's teens become adults. This trend proves there's reason to be diligent as parents. C...
Cough Medicine Abuse by Teens
Cough Medicine Abuse by Teens A common ingredient in many cough and cold remedies has become a popular substance to abuse by teenagers searching for a cheap, easy high. Dextromethorphan (DXM), a cough suppressant, is found in at least 70 over-the-counter (OTC) products, including Alka-Seltzer Plus Cold & Cough Medicine, Coricidin Cough and Cold Tablets, Dimetapp DM, Robitussin cough products, Triaminic cough syrups, Tylenol Cold products, and Vicks NyQuil LiquiCaps. Used as directed on the label, DX...
Could Your Child Have a Drug Problem?
Could Your Child Have a Drug Problem? Many parents blame themselves when faced with the possibility that their child may be using drugs. But most experts recommend that parents worry more about helping the child, rather than trying to figure out the reason for the behavior. Children who use drugs often exhibit certain behaviors: Isolation. They want to hide the effects, the smell and the incriminating paraphernalia. They also want to avoid direct questions about where they've been and what they've done....
Cross-Cultural Adoptions Raise Sensitive Issues
Cross-Cultural Adoptions Raise Sensitive Issues Pimples. Braces. Dating. Finding your way through the teen years can be challenging, to say the least. When you're an adopted child of a different race or culture from your parents, there are many additional issues to consider. For example, like it or not, children adopted from Asia may be viewed by some as Asian, not Asian-American. It is important to help your child feel a sense of pride about his or her culture and race. That, in turn, will become a pos...
Depressed Kids Need Help
Despite Antidepressant Fear, Depressed Kids Need Help A new label on some antidepressants, a so-called black box warning, cautions that they may make kids feel more suicidal. But that warning shouldn't stop parents from considering their use for depressed teens, psychiatrists say. In short, teen depression is a serious illness. The benefits of getting help, including taking medications if needed, far outweigh the potential risks. Keeping watch A specific group of antidepressants called selective seroton...
Diet Drinks, Small Snacks Have Drawbacks
Diet Drinks, Small Snacks Have Drawbacks Diet soft drinks and packaged minisnacks seem like painless ways to provide treats as you trim calories from your child’s diet. Sugar-free soft drinks may be especially tempting. Children get an increasing share of their total calories from sugar-sweetened sodas, and studies link this to kids’ rising weight. And common sense suggests that smaller snack packages will help keep your child from eating too much. But the experts aren’t giving the go-ahead. There are d...
Do Parents Influence Their Kids’ Health Behaviors?
Do Parents Influence Their Kids’ Health Behaviors? Research shows that how you react to illness has a lot to do with how your parents reacted to illness when you were a child. As with most other activities, children repeat what they learn from their parents. Parents who take their child to the doctor frequently, let their child stay home from school, or pamper them with special attention when they are sick tend to produce kids who, as adults, go to the doctor frequently, stay home from work, and take lo...
Does Your Child Have a Make-Believe Friend?
Does Your Child Have a Make-Believe Friend? You're about to sit on the couch next to your 4-year-old. Suddenly, she yells, "Don't sit there! You'll crush Jennifer!" Oops. You should have known better. Jennifer goes everywhere your daughter goes, but you don't see Jennifer. Is it OK for a child to play with a make-believe friend? Actually, it's a natural part of your child growing up. Don't stifle it. Having a make-believe friend is a normal part of your child's growth and usually happens between ages 3 ...
Don't Sell a Short Kid Short
Don't Sell a Short Kid Short Your child seems short next to other children of the same age. Should you worry? The short answer is, maybe. Some children grow more slowly than others. Height in the low normal range is still normal, doctors say. If you and your spouse are short, your child will likely join you. Ask the doctor Although being short is common, serious growth disorders are not. But don't ignore your concerns—talk with your child's doctor. If you follow guidelines for routine well-baby and well...
Do's and Don'ts for Grandparents
Do's and Don'ts for Grandparents Some tips for a successful relationship with your grandchildren: DO talk with your grandchild's parents before trying to start a relationship with the child. Talk about the type of relationship you'd like to establish, and how you can work to achieve it. DO respect Mom's and Dad's wishes. Parents' rules should take precedence over yours. If the grandkids try to get around you, try saying something like "I have a lot of confidence in your Mom and Dad and I believe they ha...
Earlier Is Better to Catch Hearing Loss
Earlier Is Better to Catch Hearing Loss When should your child's hearing be tested? Sooner than you think. Many experts urge hearing tests before newborns leave the hospital. Every year, about 1.5 to 3 per 1,000 babies with hearing problems are born in the U.S. That translates to as many as 33 babies with hearing impairments born every day. Many states have passed laws requiring hospitals to do hearing tests on all newborn infants before they leave the hospital. For years, routine hearing tests took pla...
Easing a Child’s Fears and Anxieties About Medical Procedures
Easing a Child’s Fears and Anxieties About Medical Procedures As a parent, you are central to the decisions made about your children's health care. You are an important member of the health care team. Therefore, before your child undergoes any treatment, it is critical for you to have a full understanding of the diagnosis, procedure and options available. The suggestions below can guide how you manage fears and anxieties your child may feel as a result of a medical procedure. The specific ways you apply...
Eat Well, for Your Children's Sake
Eat Well, for Your Children's Sake You can tell your children how to eat well, but experts say it's better to show them. Children learn by watching their parents. If your favorite restaurant is the "All You Can Eat Buffet" and your number one vegetable is the french fry, you're sending the wrong message. Good role models have never been more important. About one in five kids in America is seriously overweight. High cholesterol and type 2 diabetes are rising steadily among the young. Children must learn ...
Eczema in Kids: Annoying, but Treatable
Eczema in Kids: Annoying, but Treatable A scaly, red, itchy, dry rash can show up in the first weeks of life. It signals a vexing but treatable skin problem called atopic dermatitis (AD), often known as eczema. The main symptom of AD is itching. When the child chronically scratches or rubs the area, this can lead to inflamed, rough, thickened skin. Skin areas affected by AD can become red and oozing. In younger children, the rash usually occurs on the face, scalp and on the outer areas of the arms and l...
Exercise Your Duty to Keep Kids Fit
Exercise Your Duty To Keep Kids Fit Do you know how much exercise your kids get? If you take their word for it, you may not have the full story. Children overestimate their activity levels, according to the Harvard School of Public Health. In one study, 45 students ages 11 to 13 wore monitors for two four-day trials. Then researchers checked that data against kids' verbal reports. The result? Students said they did more moderate and vigorous activity than they really did. Don't overestimate fitness "Man...
Eye Protection Keeps Kids in the Game
Eye Protection Keeps Kids in the Game Protective eyewear can help prevent many of the 40,000 sports-related eye injuries that occur to children each year. The sports that cause most of these injuries are basketball, baseball, pool sports and racket sports. But any sport that involves a projectile is considered hazardous to the eyes, according to the American Optometric Association (AOA). To help prevent sports eye injuries, children should use protective athletic eyewear, even if they wear eyeglasses. P...
Family Meals: More Than Good Nutrition
Family Meals: More Than Good Nutrition If you don't have a family meal each day, it's time to get out the plates. Table time yields benefits that go far beyond food. Research shows that the more often children eat dinner with their parents, the less likely they are to smoke, drink, or use illicit drugs, the National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse (CASA) at Columbia University says. The center compared teens who dined with families five or seven times a week with those who did so twice or less. ...
Female Teen Athletes: At Risk for Injury?
Female Teen Athletes: At Risk for Injury? Teen girls who are athletes face unique obstacles when it comes to their bodies and how well they perform. Teen girls have their teen growth spurt at an earlier age than boys, and thus reach their adult height earlier. Teen girls have more body fat than teen boys, because of higher estrogen levels. Teen boys have more lean body mass because of higher androgen levels. Teen girls, even after weight training, have less upper body strength than teen boys. Estrogen's...
Find Nutrients for Children in Food, Not Pills
Find Nutrients for Children in Food, Not Pills You want to make sure your child gets the right vitamins and minerals. Although that may seem as simple as choosing a multivitamin off the shelf, it's not always true. The fact that it's easy to find over-the-counter vitamins doesn't mean you should use them. It's best for kids to get all the nutrients they need from food. But there are some children who may need a supplement. Ask your doctor if your child is one of them. Children who may need supplements i...
Find Safe, Fun Ways to Keep Young Kids Active
Find Safe, Fun Ways to Keep Young Kids Active In a world that hypes baby yoga and baby swimming classes, can baby football be far behind? Physical activity for the very young is vital, but avoid such extremes, experts say. "The norm now is for kids to be inactive, and your child is never too young to begin movement," says Eric Small, M.D., who chairs the American Academy of Pediatrics committee on sports medicine and fitness. "But on the other end of the spectrum we have parents enrolling kids 1, 2 and ...
Finding the Best Day Care for Your Child
Finding the Best Day Care for Your Child Day care for your children is a fact of life if both parents work. But not all day-care options are good for your child. If you're just starting to look, first, decide which type of child care best suits your situation. Hiring a baby sitter in your home or taking your child to the home of someone who watches a few children may be convenient or more economical, but your best bet may be a group or center setting. Things to think about Before you make a decision on ...
Finding the Right Rehab Program for Substance Abuse
Finding the Right Rehab Program for Substance Abuse The biggest myth about drug and alcohol rehabilitation is that treatment doesn’t work. And believing that myth may be one reason that finding the right rehabilitation program seems so hard. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, of the 23.2 million people who need alcohol or drug treatment, only 3.9 million make it into a rehab facility. Another myth that persists despite overwhelming evidence is that substance abuse is just a matter of cho...
Five Mealtime Survival Tips for Harried Parents
Five Mealtime Survival Tips for Harried Parents You know that you and your kids need to eat right. But with your busy schedule, sometimes it may seem tough to make sure everyone has nutritious meals and snacks. Fast-food is tempting, but the key is to incorporate healthy eating into your lifestyle. Here are some time-saving tips for preparing nutritious meals for the whole family. 1. Plan ahead Create a weekly meal plan and post it on the refrigerator. This will help you plan trips to the grocery store ...
Five Tips for Handling a Bad Report Card
Five Tips for Handling a Bad Report Card By third grade, your child's warm and fuzzy progress report will likely give way to the cold, hard letter-grade report card. A disappointing grade can become an emotional tripwire for parent and child alike. The best advice? Don't react with disappointment. A poor grade is often a red flag for a potential problem area, not a measure of your child's worth or your parenting skills. Collect your thoughts and respond in a calm, clear way: 1. Praise, praise, praise! A...
Focusing on Safety at School
Focusing on Safety at School School should be a safe place for children, where neither parents nor children should have to worry about violence. Unfortunately, that's not always the case in today's world. Violence exists in schools, and it can make both children and parents fearful. Violence can range from bullying to fighting to the use of weapons on or near school property. Violence can occur during school hours or at after-hours activities such as dances or sporting events. But schools, parents, and ...
For Kids, Games Can Build Strong Minds
For Kids, Games Can Build Strong Minds Here's a new reason to zap video games: Those electronic playthings keep kids from games that stimulate their minds in important ways. Citing the latest research on the brain, experts say chess, Scrabble®, Monopoly®—even jigsaw puzzles or tic-tac-toe—do more to help children build analytical, organizational, and creative skills. As adults, your kids will need those abilities, which may keep their minds sharp as they reach old age. Start early Play time is essential...
For More Babies, Birth Comes Too Soon
For More Babies, Birth Comes Too Soon Full-term babies are born between 37 and 42 completed weeks of pregnancy. Babies born prior to 37 weeks gestation are considered premature. More than half a million babies are born before they have reached 37 weeks of maturity. Premature babies have an increased risk for complications, such as respiratory distress syndrome and infections. Most preterm babies spend weeks or months in a hospital's Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU). A NICU has a specialized team of n...
For Obese Teens, Surgery Is the Last Resort
For Obese Teens, Surgery Is the Last Resort Extreme obesity plagues more than 5 million teens and young adults, experts estimate. These youths tend to be at least 100 pounds or 100 percent above their ideal body weight. Teens who have a body mass index (BMI) of 40 or greater are considered extremely obese. BMI is a way of calculating whether a teen or adult is overweight or obese. It is based on a measure of weight and height. A teen is overweight if his or her BMI is 25 to 29.9. Moderate obesity is 30 ...
For Parents: Treat at Home or Call the Doctor?
For Parents: Treat at Home or Call the Doctor? When a child complains of a sore throat, stomachache, or a headache, a parent naturally worries. You want to do whatever you can to help your child feel better quickly. Sometimes, the illness seems severe enough to call your pediatrician or even take your child in for a checkup—just in case. For parents of a newborn, first-time parents, or any anxious mom or dad, it may be hard to tell a true health threat that needs a doctor's attention from a frightening,...
For Seniors: Pass On Your Love of Music
For Seniors: Pass On Your Love of Music If you love listening to music, why not share your passion with your grandchildren? “Music is a wonderful way to connect with grandchildren because it provides an avenue that you can both travel,” says Lillian Carson, a doctor of social welfare and author of The Essential Grandparent . Through the ages, music has brought people together at special occasions and momentous events such as weddings. “In most people’s lives, music is a powerful mechanism that motivates...
Get Serious About Playtime
Get Serious About Playtime For kids, free time used to mean playtime. They'd come home from school, grab a snack and bolt out the door to run around with friends. In the summer, they'd play all day. But now, a lot of kids stay home and watch TV, play video games, go online, or talk on cell phones. All the while, they stuff themselves with goodies they don't burn off in "free play." Since the late 1970s, children's playtime has fallen 25 percent and their outdoor activities have dropped 50 percent, says ...
Get Your Kids to Log Off
Get Your Kids to Log Off TV and video games have robbed children of outside play for years. Most U.S. homes now have a personal computer, too. About a third of kids ages 8 to 18 have a computer in their room. That has health experts casting a wary eye on PCs, as well. This extra media time can be a problem for youngsters. Kids who go online may meet predators, or they may waste hours in chat rooms. Beyond that, this growing amount of "screen time" can cost kids the exercise they need to keep fit. The am...
Getting a Start on Solid Foods
Getting a Start on Solid Foods It's every first-time mother's worry as her infant approaches 4 to 6 months of age: When to start solid foods? Experts recommend going slowly and steadily as you help your baby make the transition from breast milk or formula to pureed foods to solids. A baby's introduction to solids should begin after 4 to 6 months and be gradual. One or two tablespoons of rice cereal mixed with breast milk or formula, given twice a day, is easiest on the stomach and less likely to cause a...
Give Eating Right a Green Light
Give Eating Right a Green Light The government's Dietary Guidelines for Americans says everyone age 2 and older should eat a variety from five basic food groups each day: fruits, vegetables, grains, dairy products, and protein foods. You should focus on nutrient-rich foods and avoid empty calories. But the advice raises an old question: How do you get kids to eat right? Well, monkey see, monkey do! If kids see their parents eating healthy foods, then they're much more likely to indulge in fruits and veg...
Give Young Athletes Plenty of Fluids
Give Young Athletes Plenty of Fluids Odds are you wouldn't let your daughter play catcher in a baseball game without a facemask. You wouldn't send your son onto a football field without a helmet, either. But here's a sports precaution you may overlook -- getting kids to drink water and other healthy fluids. Our bodies are about 60 percent water. During hot weather, if young athletes don't get enough water to replace what is lost through perspiration, they face the risk of dehydration. Dehydration means ...
Giving Your Baby the Best Nutrition
Giving Your Baby the Best Nutrition As a new parent, you want the best for your child. And that includes the best nutrition. But the proper nutrition for kids can seem baffling, given the latest health headlines. Americans are more overweight than ever, and the trend is spreading to youngsters. In fact, it is so prevalent that infant car-seat manufacturers are producing a line of oversized seats to accommodate the larger-than-average infants and toddlers. Nutrition experts are seeing more and more child...
Glasses Can Help Even Young Children
Glasses Can Help Even Young Children When should a child get his or her first pair of glasses? When he or she needs them -- and that may be as young as a few months of age. Doctors who specialize in children's eye care say kids usually become near- or farsighted between ages 6 and 12. But even infants can wear glasses if they need help to see well. Experts agree that all children should have an eye screening before they enter school. The American Academy of Ophthalmology (AAO) and the American Optometri...
Grandparents Can Provide a Critical Need: Attention
Grandparents Can Provide a Critical Need: Attention WANTED: Cheerleader extraordinaire. Applicant need not be nimble or boisterous. Ability to boost morale and offer unconditional support a must. Generous intangible benefits. Grandparents encouraged to apply. Times may have changed since you raised your children. If your grandchildren are like many kids today, they're busy with after-school programs, sports, music lessons, dance classes and a host of other activities. The good news is that these activit...
Grandparents, Keep Kids Safe in Toyland
Grandparents, Keep Kids Safe in Toyland Buying toys for your grandchildren is one of the joys of grandparenting. Before you hit the stores this holiday season, though, remember that the best toys are not just fun but also safe. By choosing the right gifts for your grandchild's age group, you'll delight your little one while avoiding a toy-related accident. "The leading cause of toy-related deaths and injuries is choking from small toys or parts," says Nychelle Fleming, a spokeswoman for the Consumer Pro...
Growing Up Short or Heavy Can Be Difficult
Growing Up Short or Heavy Can Be Difficult Each of us is unique; we come in different shapes and sizes. But that's an adult's view of the world. If a child thinks they're different from the other kids in his or her class, they can feel bad about it. A child who is shorter or heavier than others may be teased about that difference. Many times, the parents' reaction to the situation determines how well the child accepts their height or weight. Listen and understand when your child is describing how they f...
Guard Your Baby from Rotavirus
Guard Your Baby from Rotavirus A vaccine can protect babies from rotavirus, the most common cause of severe diarrhea in infants. Before the rotavirus vaccine, rotavirus accounted for up to 272,000 emergency room trips (one out of 17 sick children) and up to 70,000 hospital stays a year (one out of 70 children end up in the hospital), according to the CDC. Twenty to 60 children died of the disease each year before the introduction of the vaccine. Very contagious The highly contagious virus can live a lon...
Guidelines for Raising Smoke-Free Kids
Guidelines for Raising Smoke-Free Kids Every day more than 4,000 U.S. teenagers try smoking, and 28 percent of them will become regular smokers. Parents can take practical steps to keep their children smoke-free. Initially, young people begin smoking to look cool without understanding the addictive nature of tobacco. Consequently, quitting smoking later in life becomes a difficult task to overcome. What you can do Here are specific steps you can take to keep your children from smoking: If you smoke, qui...
Help for a Child with a Cold
Help for a Child with a Cold It starts with a sneeze and a runny nose. From your child's symptoms, you suspect you're dealing with a cold. You want to help your child feel better, but choosing among countless over-the-counter (OTC) cold and cough medicines can be daunting, especially since The American Academy of Pediatrics strongly recommends against using them for children younger than 2 years. Several studies show that cold and cough products don't work in children younger than 6 years and can have p...
Help Girls Stay Active as Teens
Help Girls Stay Active as Teens The teen years often bring a sharp drop in physical activity, especially for girls. But girls who trade tennis for television or volleyball for video games could face a future of obesity, osteoporosis and poor health, experts say. Research shows physical play plummets after age 9. Although 72 percent of adolescent boys played hoops, hockey or some other activity for 60 minutes a day, a recent survey found just 57 percent of girls were that active. The U.S. Department of A...
Help Your Babysitter Prepare for Anything
Help Your Babysitter Prepare for Anything Everyday activities keep many parents so busy that they can't take their children with them everywhere. That makes it crucial to find the right babysitter and make sure that the sitter can be entrusted with your child. When you're looking for a babysitter, give yourself enough time to be selective. You should: Look for a sitter within your circle of friends, church, or community. Look for someone who already works with children. Always check references. Safe Sit...
Help Your Child Find the Meaning of Sports
Help Your Child Find the Meaning of Sports Four seconds remain on the clock. Twelve-year-old Melissa steps up to the foul line and fires off a shot that could win the championship game. The ball arcs toward the basket, hits the backboard, and teeters on the rim. Will Melissa's shot be the game-winner? It's called the thrill of victory and the agony of defeat. But win or lose, experts say, it's far more important for Melissa and her teammates to take away from sports some lessons about self-esteem, motiv...
Help Your Children Breathe Easier
Help Your Children Breathe Easier Here's something that can take your children's breath away: the air they breathe. Air pollution hurts infants and children more than adults, studies show. Kids' lungs are still developing, they breathe faster and they spend more time outdoors. Problems crop up at pollution levels once thought safe, says the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP). Trouble can start at birth or even in the womb. Bad air can worsen asthma and cause more asthma-related hospital stays. Studies...
Help Your Children Chill Out
Help Your Children Chill Out Overscheduling. Rushed families. High parental expectations. Goading from peers. Getting into the best college. Whew! Today's kids face enormous stress. Kids must cope with all the issues, such as violence or global warming, that stress out adults. They must also handle additional stresses added by their parents and the media. The normal stresses of childhood are compounded by the pressure to succeed, whether it is at play or in academics. Media and advertisements reinforce ...
Help Your Kids Quit Smoking
Help Your Kids Quit Smoking Every day, about 4,000 U.S. teenagers start smoking, then around 1000 become regular smokers. If you're a parent of a young smoker, you can take steps to help the child quit. But first, it helps to understand why teens light up. Why kids smoke Much of cigarette advertising focuses on getting teens to smoke. If asked, most teens say tobacco ads don't influence them, yet one study showed they generally smoke the three most advertised brands: Camel, Marlboro and Newport. Studies...
Helping Children Conquer Fear
Helping Children Conquer Fear Who's afraid of the big, bad wolf? When you were 4 or 5 years old, you probably were. If you have children this age, you can count on their exhibiting fears of wild animals, monsters and the dark, whether you come from Cleveland or Hong Kong, London or L.A. But have no fear. It's a normal part of their development, experts say. You need the experience of mastering fear as a child in order to be competent as an adult. If you think of sports success as being the result of pra...
Helping Kids Cope with a Divorce
Helping Kids Cope with a Divorce Many American children are affected by divorce each year. Those youngsters often feel trapped in the middle as the family splits up. If mommy and daddy don't love each other, they wonder, do they love me? Anger, fear, separation anxiety, a sense of abandonment, self-blame, sadness and embarrassment are common reactions for most children, During the first couple of years after a divorce, your stress may get in the way of your ability to parent effectively. You can help en...
Helping Kids to Avoid Cigarettes
Helping Kids to Avoid Cigarettes Every day, nearly 6,000 teens and pre-teens try cigarettes for the first time, according to the American Lung Association (ALA). A third of these first-timers will end up becoming smokers. Most parents don't expect their children to smoke. But children and teens are inundated with images in popular culture that glamorize tobacco. Tobacco advertisements promote the idea of independence and sexual attraction, themes that resonate among youth. Although many adults have quit...
Helping Picky Eaters Expand Their Palates
Helping Picky Eaters Expand Their Palates So you think you have a picky eater? Consider the child who would eat just one food: a certain fast-food brand of fried chicken nuggets, only in the original box. When the restaurant changed packages, Mom raced to buy all the old boxes she could find. When it's a problem Although a lot of young children are finicky about food, they need help when they won’t eat the amount or variety required to keep up their nutritional status. A child living on one junk food ma...
Helping Teens Embrace Self-Care
Helping Teens Embrace Self-Care Before teens leave home, parents need to teach them to make their own health care decisions. One way is to provide information and involve them in their own self-care from an early age. As you develop, it is important to learn how to take care of your own body. Yes, it's difficult for parents to give up control out of concern for their children's safety. But, it is important to remember that an adolescents' ability to cope with increasing responsibility is often enhanced ...
Helping Your Children Cope With Death
Helping Your Children Cope With Death The death of a loved one is difficult for anyone. But for children, such a loss can be devastating. Many parents wait until a death occurs to work with their children on dealing with the idea of death. But that can be especially difficult if the parents are dealing with grief themselves. Taking time to reflect on your beliefs about death and your experiences with it, and then sharing those with your children helps them prepare for loss when it eventually happens. Ch...
How Is Your Child's Backpack?
How Is Your Child's Backpack? Of all the physical burdens schoolchildren must shoulder, their backpacks are probably the heaviest. Crammed with everything from lunches to laptops, bags can cause stiff necks, sore shoulders and aching backs. The Consumer Product Safety Commission found that in one year, more than 21,000 children ages 5 to 14 see doctors with backpack-related complaints. "The extra stress placed on the spine and shoulder from the heavy loads is causing some unnecessary medical problems," ...
How Old Is 'Old Enough' for Contacts?
How Old Is 'Old Enough' for Contacts? Is your child ready for contact lens wear? How old is "old enough"? These are among the most frequently asked questions when it comes to contact lenses, says the Contact Lens Council (CLC), a non-profit organization. So much depends on the responsibility level of the child, as there are no hard and fast rules with children and lenses. Children as young as 8 may do well with contact lenses, but there are some older teens who may be too immature to handle the responsi...
How Safe Is the School Bus?
How Safe Is the School Bus? When you get in your car, you buckle up for safety, and if you're a parent, you make sure your children are buckled up, as well. But if you're a parent, do you wonder about your children as they board the big yellow school bus in the morning? How safe are they aboard that big bus, particularly if the bus—like most—has no seat belts for its passengers? During the school year, 23.5 million elementary and secondary school children ride a bus to and from school each day, accordin...
How to Bathe Your Baby
How to Bathe Your Baby You've learned how to hold your beautiful baby, you've learned how to feed her, but now you're facing a new challenge: Baby needs a bath. Some new parents find tub time a bit scary. You can overcome your initial lack of confidence, but before you do, here are some "don'ts." Wait awhile Don't put your baby in the tub for a few weeks after he or she is born: It's best to sponge-bathe your infant until the umbilical cord heals and falls off. After that, a couple of baths a week is us...
How to Control Your Temper
How to Control Your Temper We’ve all been angry at times. Whether it’s a fight with a friend, an annoyance at work, or something else altogether, it’s never a pleasant experience. But it’s comforting to know that—however unpleasant—anger is part of being human. At least some anger is necessary for survival. When we feel threatened, we develop aggressive feelings and behaviors, allowing us to fight and defend ourselves. Frequent or intense episodes of anger, however, aren’t good for you or the people aro...
How to Find Good Child Care
How to Find Good Child Care A lot of firsts in your child's life will make you smile: first laugh, first step, first word. One first that isn't as appealing is the first day you have to leave your child with someone else. Preparing yourself by learning the options and choosing the best care can make that day less stressful. There are three main kinds of child care: In-home care lets your child get one-on-one attention from a caregiver who comes into your home. That gives you a flexible schedule, but you...
How to Help an Overweight or Obese Child
How to Help an Overweight or Obese Child Ask a parent to name the greatest health threat to children and you'll hear about drinking or drugs. Rarely will anyone cite obesity, even though it can lead to heart disease, high blood pressure, or diabetes. And it's rampant. Almost one child in five is overweight, according to the CDC. One out of four obese children will likely be obese as adults. And as many as 80 percent of obese preteens and teens will be obese as adults. Researchers place much of the blame...
How to Help Teenagers With Addicted Parents
How to Help Teenagers with Addicted Parents Growing up can be a tough challenge for most adolescents, but when their parents are abusing alcohol or drugs, the obstacles can seem overwhelming. Nearly 8 million children under age 18 live with a parent who is abusing or addicted to alcohol or drugs. That is over 1 out of every 10 children in the U.S.! So what's the best way to help a teen who's grappling with the problem of parental addiction? These kids need our help, and perhaps the first step in helping...
How to Keep Your Baby or Toddler Safe
How to Keep Your Baby or Toddler Safe Keeping your baby safe isn't difficult, but you do have to pay careful attention at all times. The following tips from the Consumer Product Safety Commission review the basics. Motor vehicle Strap your baby into a child safety seat in the car's back seat. Be sure the child safety seat is properly secured with the vehicle's seat belt. Follow the manufacturer's directions and check your car owner's manual to be sure you are installing the car seat properly. Never put ...
How to Let Go of Growing Kids
How to Let Go of Growing Kids Making a healthy transition from adolescence to adulthood is essential for your kids--and for you. As you let go of maturing children, you must forge a new, adult relationship with them as a friend and adviser. The keys include communication and flexibility. It's part of a process that accelerates as children move through adolescence. Teens want to be independent, but deep down they also need to be connected. Parents should balance increasing freedom with some guidelines--m...
How to Make the Move from Crib to Bed
How to Make the Move from Crib to Bed Moving your child from the crib to a first bed is a milestone event. But more than the bittersweet emotional concerns, your priorities will be safety and a healthy sleep routine. When to stop using the crib Sooner or later your child will simply be too big for his crib. Most children will move to a bed by age 2. Here are some signs that your child is ready to leave the crib: You have the mattress at its lowest setting and the height of the top rail is less than thre...
How to Prevent Childhood Obesity
How to Prevent Childhood Obesity Baby fat is something children are supposed to outgrow, not grow in to. According to the National Center for Health Statistics 2009-2010, the percentage of young people who are overweight has more than tripled since 1980. Among children and teens ages 2 to 19 years, almost 17 percent are considered obese. Extra pounds and too-big waistlines have serious consequences for children, including self-esteem, social problems, and increased risk for chronic diseases. Why are so ...
How to Raise Healthy Eaters
How to Raise Healthy Eaters Parents of overweight and obese children often put their youngsters on diets. But according to health and nutrition experts, doing so rarely works and may even be harmful. Healthy diets are important, but kids need more family time and exercise, and less TV and video-gaming. They also need rest and healthy food served at home. The following suggestions can help you help your children attain and maintain a healthy weight. Eat together Interaction with family around the table i...
How to Reduce the Risk for SIDS
How to Reduce the Risk for SIDS For more than a decade, pediatricians have urged parents to put babies to sleep on their back. The goal: Reducing sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS). That strategy seems to be working--but millions of parents still haven't gotten the message, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP). The AAP first recommended that infants sleep on their back in 1992. That year, seven out of 10 parents were letting babies sleep on their stomach, according to the National Inst...
How to Say No to Preteens
How to Say No to Preteens When kids are young, it's easy to set limits on conduct that may put their health or safety at risk. If the seat belt is unbuckled, the car doesn't start. If the helmet isn't worn, the bike stays in the garage. That can even work with behavior that may lead to obesity, such as eating too much and exercising too little. For example, get the junk food out of the kitchen. Keep TVs out of kids' rooms. Parents have to say no a lot less if you make it a safe environment. But as child...
How to Spot Drug Use in Kids
How to Spot Drug Use in Kids Most adolescents who use drugs do not become drug abusers or drug addicts in adulthood. But drug use in adolescence can put their mental, emotional, and physical health at risk. And it can put a few vulnerable kids at risk for ongoing drug abuse and addiction problems into their future. Drug abuse means that someone uses a drug for pleasure or to get high. Drug addiction means that a person has become dependent on the drug and has no control over whether, how, or when to use...
How to Stop a Crying Baby
How to Stop a Crying Baby You've fed, burped, changed, and rocked your baby, but he or she is still crying. And crying. Your nerves are frayed, your sleep is wrecked, and you're losing confidence as a new parent. Now what? According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, it's common for infants to have "fussy" periods, especially between the hours of 6 p.m. and midnight. Some babies between 3 and 12 weeks of age cry for long stretches. At this period, there are steps in development when their sleep is l...
How to Talk About Drugs With Your Kids
How to Talk About Drugs With Your Kids It's frightening how susceptible young children are to the world of substance abuse. From the time they enter school, children risk exposure to the temptations of substance abuse, whether the substance is alcohol, narcotics, prescription drugs, or any other mind-altering chemicals. Talking and listening to your children are two strategies that can help prevent substance abuse. If a child wants to talk, it's best for you to listen right then. When it's not possible ...
How to Tell if Your Child Needs Braces
How to Tell if Your Child Needs Braces Q: So many children have braces. How can I tell if my child is heading toward needing braces? A: Children should have a checkup with an orthodontist no later than age 7. Your regular dentist is an excellent resource who can tell you whether your child, regardless of age, would benefit from seeing an orthodontist. Here are some things to look for, indicating that a child is likely to benefit from seeing an orthodontist: Early, late, or irregular loss of baby teeth D...
How to Use a Pacifier
How to Use a Pacifier Pacifiers help parents and infants get through periods of crying when the infant is either not hungry or too full to eat but still needs the comfort that sucking provides. Pros and cons Pacifiers, which have been used by parents for more than 1,000 years, have proponents and opponents. Possible benefits of a pacifier: Pacifies and comforts the infant Helps a parent's frayed nerves Produces an actual pain-relieving effect if the infant is hurt or uncomfortable Is associated with sho...
How Your Child Can Live Well with Asthma
How Your Child Can Live Well with Asthma If you have a child with asthma, you know how frightening wheezing, coughing, and other asthma symptoms can be. Some children eventually outgrow asthma, but it’s usually a long-term disease that requires a long-term treatment plan. With the right asthma action plan, most children with asthma can live full and active lives. Asthma action plan An asthma action plan is a strategy for treating and living with asthma that you and your child's health care provider crea...
Hypertension: Children Can Have It, Too
Hypertension: Children Can Have It, Too Hypertension, or high blood pressure, affects almost one in three adults in the United States. But this serious health condition isn't limited to those ages 18 and older. The number of children and adolescents with high blood pressure is increasing after a long period of declining numbers. And that rise can be at least partly blamed on the increasing number of overweight and obese children. High blood pressure is a major risk factor for heart disease and is the pr...
If Your Child Needs Treatment for Weight Issues
If Your Child Needs Treatment for Weight Issues For overweight children, the most successful treatment combines healthy lifestyle changes—improved diet and exercise—with a focus on changing such behaviors as eating while watching TV. Overweight children also need psychological support to deal with the lack of self-esteem and isolation they often face. What about drugs or surgery? Most doctors consider them last resorts for severely overweight adolescents with other serious risk factors. If you're worrie...
In Child Discipline, Spanking Is No Hit
In Child Discipline, Spanking Is No Hit How long has it been since Mom or Dad swatted your bottom for getting into trouble? Probably decades, back when setting kids straight often involved spanking. These days, child-rearing experts urge better and safer ways of discipline. Corporal punishment can do harm. Very young children are easily injured, especially by parents with poor self-control or who don’t understand limits. Following physical discipline, older kids can become more aggressive toward peers. ...
In Children: Corticosteroids for Asthma
In Children: Corticosteroids for Asthma Daily inhaled corticosteroids are a key part of the treatment for children with mild, moderate, or severe persistent asthma, the National Asthma Education and Prevention Program says. A fourth class of asthma, called mild intermittent asthma, in which symptoms occur no more than two days a week or no more than two nights a month, does not require daily inhaled steroids. This is the mildest form of asthma. Asthma affects more than 6 million U.S. children, making it...
In Language, Two Is Better Than One
In Language, Two Is Better Than One Your baby's first words are exciting -- but did you know your child could learn and use those words in more than one language? Studies show children from birth to age 3 have a tremendous capacity to learn languages. "You can start your child at any age learning more than one language, but preschool age is really an important time to learn," says Sylvia Martinez, Ed.D., director of multicultural practices and education at the American Speech-Language-Hearing Associatio...
Independence Day: Granting Freedom to Kids
Independence Day: Granting Freedom to Kids Letting go is something all parents try to prepare for—letting go when your child goes off to college, gets married, or joins the Army. About the only way you can prepare for those big "Letting Go" events is to practice on the small ones. And those small ones, unfortunately, are often the hardest. Parenting books can offer advice, but you know your own children and you're the one who has to make the judgment call on questions like: When is your little girl old ...
Influenza Shots Urged for Young Children
Influenza Shots Urged for Young Children Each fall, you hear that influenza threatens older adults and folks with chronic ailments. Most years, it's true that the death rate from the flu peaks in those older than 65, and that the rate of hospital stays is highest in people ages 85 and older. But children younger than 2 years have more severe complications from seasonal influenza and may require hospitalization. According to the CDC, about 20,000 children younger than 5 are hospitalized each year because...
International Adoptions and Medical Needs
International Adoptions and Medical Needs In recent years, more and more people are extending their families through international adoption. Understanding the medical, social and developmental issues unique to international adoption can help parents prepare for the special challenges and special needs of these children. Children who come to the United States from other countries may not be properly immunized and may be at increased risk for infections such as measles and hepatitis A (usually due to livi...
Is It Time for Toilet Training?
Is It Time for Toilet Training? When is the best time to teach your child to use the toilet? There is no right time to start toilet training. Guidelines recommend that parents assess readiness by looking for signs that suggest interest in toilet training. When the child is ready, make a potty available, show your toddler how it works, then offer gentle encouragement. Pressuring your child or lavishing excessive praise on him will seem like coercion. That may set up a battle for control. The worst thing ...
Is Your Child a Night Owl?
Is Your Child a Night Owl? It's 11 p.m. on a school night. You're standing in the doorway of your 8-year-old's bedroom delivering a warning. "If you don't get to sleep right now, I'm going to..." What? Let's face it: Parents cannot make children fall asleep on command. If you're the parent of a night owl child whose inner clock tends to keep him or her up an hour or two later than other children, there's no sense insisting on the child falling asleep at an unrealistic bedtime. Parents can spare themselv...
Is Your Child at Risk for Hepatitis B?
Is Your Child at Risk for Hepatitis B? The preteen years are a time when young people experiment with new things and begin to exert their independence. For these reasons, it is very important for your child to be vaccinated against hepatitis B. The hepatitis B virus (HBV) is spread through having sex with an infected person without using a condom and by sharing contaminated needles. It also is spread through accidental needle sticks, affecting health care workers, or from an infected mother to her baby ...
Is Your Child Too Sick for Day Care or School?
Is Your Child Too Sick for Day Care or School? Your 3-year-old is playing listlessly with her oatmeal. "My tummy hurts, Mommy," she says. There's no fever, no vomiting and no diarrhea, but she's not her normal bundle of energy. Now comes the tough part. Do you send her to day care, or keep her home? The American Academy of Pediatrics and the American Public Health Association have guidelines that can help you make up your mind. Drawn up in 1992 and revised in 2002, they cover kids in group care and scho...
Is Your Teen Abusing Drugs or Alcohol?
Is Your Teen Abusing Drugs or Alcohol? Suddenly, your teenager is having trouble in school. Relationships with teachers, friends, siblings—and you—are falling apart. Your child has a new set of friends and no longer seems interested in favorite activities. A frightening question weighs on your mind: "Is my child experimenting with drugs?" If the answer is yes, you need to act quickly to help your child. But first you need to know for sure. Besides having trouble with school and relationships, teenagers ...
Keep an Eye on Your Child's Vision
Keep an Eye on Your Child's Vision When it comes to vision, you are your child's first line of defense. You notice something, watch it for a while, and call the pediatrician or eye doctor (optometrist or ophthalmologist) to find out if what you're seeing is a problem. That's how it should be, experts say. But many of America's kids do not even have a pediatrician. About 20 percent of children have some type of visual problem. They can be far-sighted or near-sighted. They can have astigmatism, in which a...
Keep Kids Safe During Yard Work
Keep Kids Safe During Yard Work Power tools make yard work easier, from mowing the lawn to trimming the bushes. These tools, however, also pose a threat to children if precautions aren't taken. Accidents involving lawnmowers send thousands of children age 18 or younger to emergency rooms each year. And several thousand more are hurt by other outdoor power tools. Adults aren't immune from lawn mowers injuries either. In the U.S., about 68,000 adults and children are hurt by lawnmowers each year, accordin...
Keep Kids Safe from Bugs
Keep Kids Safe from Bugs Lyme disease. Rocky Mountain spotted fever. West Nile virus. Flying fiends and crawling critters can spread such diseases with a bite. Few cases put kids' lives at risk, say experts from the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP). Still, some insects can threaten children's health, and you'd be wise to take precautions. Many products seek to prevent bug bites, but one that can be applied to skin is very effective: DEET (usually listed on labels as N,N-diethyl-m-toluamide). The AAP...
Keep Kids Safe in the Car
Keep Kids Safe in the Car All 50 states have a combination of laws that require drivers to restrain children in car seats, booster seats, and seats belts. Specifics vary by state, based on the child's age and size. In 2005, Safe Kids USA reported that more than 1,400 child occupants died in motor vehicle crashes and nearly half were unrestrained. In addition, young children restrained in child safety seats have an 80 percent lower risk of fatal injury than those who are unrestrained. Another potential p...
Keeping Kids Safe at Home
Keeping Kids Safe at Home Children have fun exploring, and you can keep them safe by controlling the household terrain. Fire Practice two escape routes from your home. Install smoke detectors, and test them once a month. Replace the batteries at least once a year. Drowning When a young child is in the tub, stay in the room. If the phone rings, take the child with you. When you are mopping, empty the bucket as soon as you are finished. Poisoning Store poisonous cleaners and medicine out of children's rea...
Keeping Little Shoppers Safe
Keeping Little Shoppers Safe A supermarket is a tempting arena for children. And a frustrating one. All those bright packages--cookies, candy, toys--out of their reach because they're stuck riding in the seat of your shopping cart. Turn your back for an instant, and your curious child probably won't hesitate to stand up and try to reach those goodies. With the hard floor below, it's an accident waiting to happen. So, the number one rule when shopping with your children is to remember you're shopping wit...
Keeping Your Cool When Parenting Teens
Keeping Your Cool When Parenting Teens Adolescence is a difficult time for young people. During those years, they face physical changes; peer pressure; exposure to drugs, alcohol and sexual relationships; and increased expectations and scrutiny from parents and teachers. But, as difficult as it is being a teenager, being a parent of one may be even harder. After years of being the primary influence on their children, parents of teens suddenly find their kids are more interested in what their friends thi...
Kids and ID Theft: Helping Your Child Stay Safe on the Computer
Kids and ID Theft: Helping Your Child Stay Safe on the Computer With its range of educational sites and informative encyclopedias, the Internet can be a useful learning tool for kids of all ages. But it can also pose a serious risk: identity theft. Identity theft is a crime that occurs when another person uses a Social Security number, name, or other personal identifying information belonging to someone else to commit a fraud. Identity theft happens to a significant number of children each year. Accordi...
Kids' Headaches: The Diagnosis Is Difficult
Kids' Headaches: The Diagnosis Is Difficult Headaches aren't only for adults. Kids get them, too. By the time children reach high school age, most have experienced at least one headache, according to the National Headache Foundation. There are two basic types of headaches: primary headaches, in which the headache is the only symptom and, when treated, will stop; and secondary headaches, which are caused by another condition and don’t usually go away until the condition is treated. Primary headaches incl...
Kids' Health Concerns Ease with Age
Kids' Health Concerns Ease with Age Your child is coughing and has a fever—again. You begin to worry: Didn't they just get over a cold? When children are young, it's normal for them to have a variety of childhood illnesses and problems. Most go away as the child gets older. Here are some common health hurdles and when you can expect improvement. Frequent colds Preschoolers tend to get six to 12 colds a year. That number drops to two or three a year by school age. The reason: Kids come into the world wit...
Kids' Healthy Eating Not Just About Food
Kids' Healthy Eating Not Just About Food Healthy eating habits are especially important during childhood. Children learning and growing at a rapid rate use up lots of energy, and their bodies need healthy foods to provide that energy. Most parents are concerned about how they can get their children to eat nutritious foods. Mealtime can become stressful for the whole family when children won't eat what parents think they should. Children learn food preferences from parents, siblings, family members, and ...
Kids in the Kitchen: Let Them in on the Fun
Kids in the Kitchen: Let Them in on the Fun Kids in the kitchen: If you're trying to watch them at the same time as you cook, they can be a real pain in the neck. But if you let them in on the fun, they can be a joy to behold. They don't have to know from the beginning that you're giving them recipes for treats that are good for them—all that counts for now is that it's fun to do and tastes good. Start with the Boy Scout motto: Be prepared. Gather your ingredients and utensils before you begin and you'l...
Kids Need Safety Gear for In-line Skating
Kids Need Safety Gear for In-line Skating In-line skating is a zippy way to get exercise, but sometimes it's also a quick way to end up at the hospital. Each year, about 100,000 people are treated in emergency departments for injuries related to in-line skating, according to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission. Experts say having your child wear the appropriate safety gear, read the safety instructions, and use common sense when skating can help reduce the risk of injury. No protection Nearly ha...
Kids Need Their Nutrients
Kids Need Their Nutrients Most parents know that children need vitamins and minerals to stay healthy. But knowing exactly what nutrients and how much they need of each is not always easy. Learning a bit more about vitamins and minerals can help ensure your kids are on the right nutritional track. Despite parents’ best efforts, kids may not always get all the vitamins and minerals they need. To make sure your kids are getting the full range of nutrients that they need, be sure to offer your children a va...
Knock Down the Hurdles to Breastfeeding
Knock Down the Hurdles to Breastfeeding Breastfeeding is one of the greatest health advantages you can give your infant. A breastfed baby may be less prone to ear infections and diarrhea. The child may also face less risk of developing diabetes, obesity, and asthma, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) says. The AAP also recommends breastfeeding because of to its association with the reduced risk for sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS). Ideally, you should breastfeed exclusively for the first six mo...
Know How Your Preemie Will Grow
Know How Your Preemie Will Grow An infant is considered premature if born before 37 weeks. What should you expect during your child's development? Premature babies may grow at a slower rate than full-term babies, but often catch up in height and weight by two years of age. But premature babies are more likely to have trouble with speech, motor skills, hearing or vision. Here are some suggestions: See your child's doctor regularly. Premature babies may not feed as well, so the pediatrician will check the...
Leave No Children on Their Behinds
Leave No Children on Their Behinds It's ironic. As concern grows over children's harmful weight, physical education gets less and less emphasis in many schools. In response, there's more and more interest in fitness programs for kids outside of schools. An International Health, Racquet and Sportsclub Association survey shows that 4.5 million U.S. kids under age 18 belong to health clubs -- up 25 percent in five years. Call it "No Child Left on Their Behind," says exercise physiologist Jan Schroeder, Ph....
Let Your Children Raise Their Kids
Let Your Children Raise Their Kids When Sophie, a loving grandmother of two, complained to her adult son in front of the children that he was being too lenient with the boys, she was told to stop interfering. On a weekend sleepover at his grandparents' house, 8-year-old Zack refused to go to bed. He insisted he be allowed to stay up past 10 p.m., because that was his bedtime at home. Whether you're caring for your children's children after school, on weekends or during holidays, being a grandparent can ...
Letting Kids Grow Up…At Their Own Pace
Letting Kids Grow Up…At Their Own Pace As much as parents might want to hurry their little ones to the next stage of development, most children follow the same general growth and development pattern that can't be changed much. Child development experts say it's not possible to get a child to progress to a new stage of development before he or she is ready. And progress can differ by weeks or even months among children of the same age. As long as the child progresses and develops new skills as time goes ...
Make a Scrapbook for Your Grandkids
Make a Scrapbook for Your Grandkids Gifts from the heart matter the most, especially when they come from Grandma or Grandpa. If a grandchild is special to you, put your heart into showing it by creating a scrapbook. With just a small blank book, photos and other mementos, you can make a mini-album that records and celebrates your love for your grandchild. Ties that bind Creating this one-of-a-kind keepsake is sure to make your grandchild feel special. But beyond this, "you are making a family treasure t...
Make Exercise a Family Affair
Make Exercise a Family Affair An estimated one in five American children is overweight, according to the National Institutes of Health. Serving them healthier meals and exercising as a family can improve their short- and long-term health. Being obese increases a child's risk for several serious childhood medical problems, including diabetes, heart disease, sleep apnea, and psychological disorders. And, in addition to childhood health risks, studies have found overweight kids are at greater risk of becom...
Make Healthy Eating a Habit
Make Healthy Eating a Habit The earlier you teach children sound eating habits, the more likely they are to maintain a healthy weight. But helping a child learn the right skills takes patience and repetition. Well-meaning parents often fear their children are eating too little rather than too much. Overfeeding starts as early as the toddler years. For toddlers, serve a tablespoon of vegetables per meal for each year of age. This may help head off future struggles over getting your child to eat vegetable...
Make Sure Bunk Beds Meet Safety Rules
Make Sure Bunk Beds Meet Safety Rules Do you breathe a sigh of relief after you tuck your child into bed at night? If your child sleeps in a bunk bed, your sense of security could be a false one. Each year, thousands of children visit emergency rooms for injuries linked to bunk beds. Most are minor, caused by horseplay, but some children have died after being trapped in bunk beds, says the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC). Experts blame the potentially dangerous injuries on the beds' struc...
Make Variety a Goal in Kids' Sports
Make Variety a Goal in Sports Venus Williams was practicing her backhand before she started kindergarten. Tiger Woods showed off his putting skills on the evening news at age 2. But for every prodigy who grows into a successful athlete, thousands of youths suffer physically or psychologically from being pushed to compete at a young age. For that reason, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends children avoid specializing in a sport until they reach adolescence. The repetitive motions often de...
Making Rules for Children Reinforces Love
Making Rules for Children Reinforces Love Making and enforcing rules is a fundamental—and difficult—part of every parent's role. Experts, though, point to the following several specific areas where a parent can use limits to show respect for a child's feelings and at the same time enhance the child's health. Sleep Every child needs rest, but exactly how much depends on your individual child and the child’s age. According to the National Sleep Foundation, newborns sleep 11 to 18 hours a day in total, bro...
Making the Grade on School Tests
Making the Grade on School Tests As schools pass out more standardized tests and push pupils to do well on them, children and parents can wind up with a case of exam-day jitters. But parents can do a lot to ease test anxiety, both in their children and themselves. Start by focusing on the learning and not the scoring. To ease tension, experts say you can: Make sure your child knows the material and has adequately prepared for the test. Teach your child deep-breathing techniques. Make sure he or she gets...
Making the Most of Family Moments
Making the Most of Family Moments The time you spend with your children each day doesn't have to be scripted or scheduled. In fact, if you set aside only specific times as "family time," it may put pressure on both you and your kids. Instead, family time can take place spontaneously in many different ways during ordinary interactions between parents and children, whether it's rocking a baby to sleep or driving a teenager to the mall. You can take steps to make the most of these moments. One place to sta...
Making This School Year Your Child's Best Ever
Making This School Year Your Child's Best Ever When the school year starts, your child will probably return fearing math class, the lunchroom "mystery meat", and being labeled a geek for wearing clothes that went out of fashion last week. A child starting kindergarten or first grade will also fear isolation, not making friends, and being unable to find the restroom. Whatever age your child is, you can help alleviate first-day jitters by helping the student plan for a new school year. By planning ahead, ...
Many Youngsters Suck Their Thumbs
Many Youngsters Suck Their Thumbs Young children often suck on their thumbs. It's perfectly normal, even though some parents fret about it. "This is usually very reassuring news to parents: Thumb- and finger-sucking habits are common and typically harmless behaviors of infancy and childhood," says Douglas S. Ramsay, M.D., professor of orthodontics and pediatric dentistry at the University of Washington School of Dentistry. Roughly one out of every three children ages 1 to 4 will suck his or her thumb at...
Medications to Treat ADHD in Children
Medications to Treat ADHD in Children Children who have ADHD are often given medication as part of their treatment plan. The type of medication most often chosen is a psychostimulant, such as methylphenidate (Ritalin, Metadate and Concerta). Psychostimulant drugs help balance chemicals in the child's brain that help to control behavior and focus attention. Other psychostimulants prescribed for ADHD in children include dextroamphetamine (Dexedrine), a mixture of amphetamine salts (Adderall), and atomoxet...
Movie Watching: Something to Share
Movie Watching: Something to Share with the Grandkids You're on the couch, a bowl of popcorn in hand. The lights are dimmed, and you're settling in to watch a favorite movie. What's missing? Your grandkids. Movie watching rates two thumbs up as an occasional activity that is easy, affordable, and fun for every generation. Whether you're introducing your grandchildren to cinematic classics or discovering some of their favorites, watching films together is time well spent. Movies can be used for learning ...
New Parents...Sore Backs
Baby and Your Back: Safe Lifting Babies can be hazardous to your health—your back health. When it comes to parenting, back injury is an occupational hazard. New mothers, whose backs have just endured the stresses of pregnancy and birth, are particularly vulnerable. So are taller fathers and mothers who must bend farther than others to scoop up tots from playpens. And think about this: When you place a baby in a car seat, you often break every rule of back health by holding the child at arm's length whil...
Night Terrors Usually No Cause for Concern
Night Terrors Usually No Cause for Concern Night terrors, also known as sleep terrors, are not the same as nightmares. Nightmares are quite vivid and memorable, and may cause a significant disruption of sleep. Night terrors are sudden arousals from sleep often marked by a shriek, cry, or some other sound just before awakening. After a night terror, children usually fall quickly back to sleep, although they may seem a bit confused or befuddled immediately after the event. In the morning, the child usuall...
Nuts: Snack Causes Problems for Some Kids
Nuts: Snack Causes Problems for Some Kids If your child is allergic to peanuts or tree nuts, such as walnuts or pecans, it's important that you teach him or her to ask about any treats offered at school or day care before eating it. Allergic reactions to eating peanuts or nuts include vomiting, diarrhea, hives, eczema, difficulty breathing and anaphylactic shock. Most experts recommend those with peanut allergy also avoid tree nuts, and vice versa, because of manufacturing cross-contamination. If your c...
Obese Parents Influence Children's Weight
Obese Parents Influence Children's Weight Obesity is the most common health problem facing children, child health experts say. Twenty-two percent of children and teens are overweight, and over 15 percent are obese. Children whose parents are overweight or obese are at higher risk for becoming obese themselves, studies have shown. A study in the Journal of Pediatrics , for instance, found five independent risk factors for childhood overweight. The main risk factor was parental weight. Nearly 80 percent o...
Oppositional Defiant Disorder
Oppositional Defiant Disorder As most parents know, children can be emotional or strong-willed. But a child who has frequent temper tantrums and consistently refuses to follow requests may have a deeper problem. Defiance and aggressiveness that continue could be a sign of oppositional defiant disorder (ODD). Range of poor behavior Children with ODD may refuse to follow commands or requests made by parents, teachers, or other adults. They may also overreact to life events. They may fail to take responsib...
Over-The-Counter Medicines for Infants and Children
Over-The-Counter Medicines for Infants and Children Over-the-counter (OTC) drugs are medications you can buy for your children without a doctor's prescription. They usually come as pills, capsules or liquids, and are sold in drugstores or supermarkets. OTC drugs have information on the bottle or box. Always read this information before using the medicine. This information tells you: How much to give How often to give it What the drug contains Warnings about using the drug If the drug is safe for childre...
Paging Dr. Mom
Paging Dr. Mom One of the many hats that parents wear is that of a first responder . When their child is sick, they are the first to assess the symptoms and treat the illness. It’s a role that parents should become comfortable with, considering that most children develop the flu or an ear infection at least once in their first years of life and catch eight to 10 colds before age 2. Resist antibiotics When your child is sniffling and feeling miserable, you may think that a prescription medication will br...
Parents: Check Toys for Lead
Parents: Check Toys for Lead You’ve heard lots of reports about lead paint causing recalls of children’s toys. While federal officials and health experts work to fix the problem, what can you do to keep your kids safe? First, you can check you child's toys against those listed as being recalled due to lead issues. You can find the list—back to 1973—at the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) website. You can even sign up for email updates. If you have toys that have been recalled, don’t throw them ...
Parents-to-Be Must Communicate
Parents-to-Be Must Communicate It's the rare expectant couple that doesn't go through classes to prepare for labor and delivery—events that, while momentous, are over in a matter of hours. But few mothers- and fathers-to-be receive training for the much more challenging and long-term tasks: becoming good parents and remaining close and loving partners in the face of new stresses and strains as their family grows. Experts say being a parent is the most important job you ever have, and it's the one for wh...
Peanut Allergies Require Planning, Communication
Peanut Allergies Require Planning, Communication The little nut is a big culprit when kids have bad reactions If your child is allergic to peanuts, this common food can fill you with dread. Peanuts are the top cause of severe allergic reactions to food, says the Food Allergy Initiative. Up to 3 million Americans suffer from peanut or tree-nut allergies. Reactions range from hives and vomiting to life-threatening throat swelling that blocks breathing. The first reaction may be mild, but reactions tend to...
Peanut Butter Is Still a Healthy Choice for Kids
Peanut Butter Is Still a Healthy Choice for Kids It's easy to keep, easy to eat, and most kids love it. But is peanut butter good for them? Yes, nutrition experts say. Your children are much better off with a peanut butter sandwich than if they ate the same number of calories in candy bars and potato chips, or by drinking soda. Those snack foods have little nutritional value. The typical supermarket brand of peanut butter, while high in overall fat content, is low in saturated fat—and high in protein an...
Persuading Kids to Eat Nutritious Meals
Persuading Kids to Eat Nutritious Meals It's a familiar family scene: Mom and Dad cajoling their youngsters at the dinner table: "Eat your vegetables." The National Cancer Institute says that only one child out of five eats enough fruits or vegetables to satisfy the U.S. Department of Agriculture, which recommends five or more servings per day. And nearly one-fourth of the vegetables eaten by children are french fries. What can you do? Kids won't eat vegetables just because they're good for them. And th...
Phys Ed: What's Up at Your Child's School?
Phys Ed: What's Up at Your Child's School? At the New Hope-Solebury Lower and Upper Elementary School north of Philadelphia, students get their "Feelin' Good Mileage Club" card punched for each lap of the track they walk at recess. After 5 miles, they earn the school status symbol, a foot-shaped token. Pre-teens at Campbell Middle School near Kansas City, Mo., pump iron, ride exercise bikes and climb a rock wall. Seattle's Roosevelt High offers archery, in-line skating, yoga and even unicycling. It's a ...
Picking Snacks for Picky Eaters
Picking Snacks for Picky Eaters Snacking isn't bad for kids. Nutrition experts agree that a wide assortment of healthy snacks, served in moderation, can be an essential part of a child's diet. Children need calories from food for energy, and vitamins and minerals to foster healthy growth and development. Snacks can provide kids with up to 20 percent of their daily energy and nutrient needs. It's all in the balance Is your child a picky eater? As you may know, kids are notoriously finicky. One minute the...
Plastic Surgery Is Up Among Youths
Plastic Surgery Is Up Among Youths In 2010, doctors performed nearly 219,000 cosmetic surgeries on those between the ages of 13-19, according to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS). Those elective surgeries included: Rhinoplasty (nose reshaping) for more than 35,000 Otoplasty (ear surgery) for more than 8,700 Breast augmentations for nearly 8,500 patients aged 18-19 Breast reduction for more than 4,600 patients aged 13-19 Teens tend to have plastic surgery to fit in with peers while adults t...
Preparing Your Child for Sleep-Away Camp
Preparing Your Child for Sleep-Away Camp When summer rolls around, many parents prepare to send their children to sleep-away camp. Before making a decision on a camp, though, you should consider what kind of camping experience will benefit both your child and family. Ask plenty of questions: How does my child feel about going away? Has he or she handled previous sleep-away experiences well? What do other people who know my child outside the home—teachers, mentors, or coaches—think about the idea? Unders...
Prevent Shaken Baby Syndrome
Prevent Shaken Baby Syndrome Shaken Baby Syndrome is a form of child abuse and is the most common cause for inflicted brain injury in the first two years of life. But many of these injuries can be avoided when parents and caregivers understand how to respond appropriately to a crying baby. Shaking infants and toddlers can have dangerous consequences because of their large heads and immature brains. A baby's neck muscles can't support the stress of vigorous shaking; when the baby is shaken, its head move...
Prevention of Heart Disease Starts in Childhood
Prevention of Heart Disease Starts in Childhood You may think of heart disease as a problem for adults, not your young children. But diet and exercise habits started in childhood can begin a lifetime of heart health . . . or a lifetime of heart damage. Some of the preventable causes of adult heart disease that begin in childhood are: Obesity Buildup of plaque (or fat deposits) in the arteries Unhealthy changes in cholesterol levels Although it’s true that heart disease risk can run in families, a health...
Primer: A Parent's Guide to Inhalant Abuse
Primer: A Parent's Guide to Inhalant Abuse Inhalants are breathable chemical vapors that produce mind-altering effects. These extremely toxic chemicals can cause death by suffocation, or they can irreversibly damage the brain, liver and kidneys and cause hearing loss. Knowing the following facts about inhalants can help you protect your children. Most users start abusing the substances before age 13. One national survey indicates that about 6 percent of U.S. children have tried inhalants by the time the...
Primer: GHB, the Club Drug
Primer: GHB, the Club Drug GHB (gamma-hydroxybutyrate) is a fast-acting, central nervous system depressant once sold as a food supplement. It is now generally called a club drug because of its popularity among teens attending all-night dance parties (raves). GHB was developed as an anesthetic in the 1960s, and subsequently sold in health food stores as a performance enhancer for bodybuilders. The FDA banned GHB in 1990; it is now a Schedule I Controlled Substance. On the street, GHB is used for its abil...
Protect Kids From Lead Poisoning
Protect Kids From Lead Poisoning Think your children are protected from lead poisoning because you live in a newer home? Think again. Although lead poisoning is often associated with the paint of older homes, children may be exposed to lead from water pipes or the soldering on pipes, and from leaching from brass and chrome-plated brass faucets, especially when hot water is used. In fact, lead may be found in many parts of a home, including soil, food, or even the air. So how can you protect your childre...
Protect Your Child from Medical Errors
Protect Your Child from Medical Errors Medical errors are one of the leading causes of death and injury for American adults, according to a study by the Institute of Medicine. A medical error can occur when something that was planned for medical care doesn't work, or when the wrong plan was used in the first place, according to the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality. While hospitals, doctors, and government agencies are working to decrease errors, there is much parents can do to protect their ch...
Protect Your Kids From Internet Crime
Protect Your Kids From Internet Crime Computers and the Internet have become an important part of our lives and our children's lives. An estimated 77 million American children and teens are now online, according to the U.S. Justice Department. Youngsters spend time online messaging, chatting, searching, and surfing. Although most of these Internet experiences are likely positive, parents need to be aware of the dangers to better protect their children. Children and teens can become victims through onlin...
Put Off-Road Vehicles Off-Limits for Kids
Put Off-Road Vehicles Off-Limits for Kids If your young child begs for an all-terrain vehicle (ATV), doctors say you should resist. In the past two decades, more than 1,400 children under age 16 have died in ATV accidents, according to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission. Emergency rooms treat about 33,000 children in that age group for ATV-related injuries each year. What's more, injuries rose 63 percent in the past five years. "The safest thing is for kids under 16 not to operate these things,...
Put Peer Pressure in Its Place
Put Peer Pressure in Its Place In the whirl of adolescence, peer pressure can get the best of children and push them to do things that they don't really want to do. Whether this pressure comes from friends or other kids at school, parents can counter it, if they're ready to help. It's natural that children get some guidance from outside sources, including their peers. But uninformed or bad guidance may send children down the wrong path. Pushed toward behavior Adolescents can feel pressure to drive reckl...
Reading to Kids Helps Their Development
Reading to Kids Helps Their Development Research shows that reading regularly to young children is central to their overall growth and development. Reading provides time for special attention between parent and child, encourages the child's later reading success, and fosters language and speech development. The following are tips for reading to your children. Pick what you both enjoy Look for books you both love: Ask friends, teachers or librarians; look for award-winning books; check book reviews; or h...
Road Rules: Teaching Your Teen to Be a Good Driver
Teaching Your Teen to Be a Good Driver Teen drivers have the highest accident and fatality rates of any age group. If you're the parent of a young driver, you can help protect your child by learning about the problem and taking steps to decrease your child's risk of dying in a car crash. Increased risk Teens face an increased risk of car accidents for many reasons: Lack of experience and judgment; According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 16-year-old drivers are five times more li...
Safe Summer Play
Safe Summer Play May through August can be a dangerous time of year for children, according to Safe Kids Worldwide. The following recommendations can help keep your kids safe and sound. Water rules Every year, thousands of Americans drown, with young children having the highest death rate. Here's how to keep your children safe around water: Never leave them alone near water. That means at the pool or beach, or near a river, deep bucket, or bathtub. Teach older children to always swim with a buddy, and n...
Safety Checklist: How Does Your Family Rate?
Safety Checklist: How Does Your Family Rate? Keeping your family safe and sound can be as easy as following simple safety rules consistently. The following checklist from the National Safety Council can help you assess your family's adherence to essential safety precautions. If you say "false" after any of these statements, correct the safety issues they address. General safety No one in your family drives after drinking alcohol. All of your family members buckle their seat belts every time they ride in...
Safety Precautions for Kids in Cars
Safety Precautions for Kids in Cars Motor-vehicle crashes are the leading cause of childhood death in the United States. In 2008, 968 children ages 14 years and younger died as occupants in motor vehicle crashes, and approximately 168,000 were injured, according to the CDC. That’s an average of 4 deaths and 529 injuries each day. When properly installed and used, child safety seats reduce the risk of death by 70 percent for infants and 55 percent for toddlers. Adults can protect children by wearing seat...
Save Your Child From Injuries
Save Your Child From Injuries Every day, injuries send 25,000 children to emergency rooms. Simple precautions could head off most of those trips. "The biggest thing is prevention," says Rick Blum, M.D., president of the American College of Emergency Physicians. "You can't prevent most medical emergencies, but you can prevent many injuries." At routine visits, your pediatrician can offer safety tips that fit your child's age. Here's some general advice: Use safety seats or seatbelts in the car. Make sure...
School Lunches: Going Beyond Peanut Butter
School Lunches: Going Beyond Peanut Butter Still sticking to peanut butter sandwiches for school lunches? They're a brown bagger's favorite, but today's markets offer lots of new options. Some children will refuse any changes to their lunch routine and that's OK as long as what you've been sending with them is nourishing. Every week or so, parents should try to slip in something different. A variety of foods gives children a variety of nutrients and expands their palates. Lunches should include protein,...
Set Limits to Keep Your Teen Driver Safe
Set Limits to Keep Your Teen Driver Safe Handing the car keys to your newly licensed son or daughter is a milestone. But while your teen celebrates new independence, you face new worries. Motor vehicle accidents are the leading cause of death for 16- to 20-year-olds, claiming about 5,500 lives a year. Younger teens who have been licensed for less than a year face the highest risk for a road crash. Nonetheless, parents can take steps to keep teen drivers safe, says the National Highway Traffic Safety Adm...
Sleep and Your Child
Sleep and Your Child A good night's sleep is as important to your child as a hearty breakfast. Without enough shut-eye, children are more likely to struggle with their school studies, do poorly on the playing field, and suffer depression, studies show. According to the National Sleep Foundation (NSF), children are getting less than the recommended amount of sleep over a 24-hour period. This can make it tough for your child to solve problems and memorize lessons, which can lower grades and self-esteem. S...
Solving Battles at Mealtime
Solving Battles at Mealtime Mealtimes with young, finicky eaters can be difficult. Pediatricians and children’s diet experts say there are easy and effective ways to get your kids to eat well other than playing the food enforcer at every meal. Your attitudes about food and your child’s food choices can guide your child toward good eating habits. Try to avoid the bickering and control games that can make meals tense and unappetizing for everyone. So what are control games? A child's obstinate refusal to ...
Sound Advice for MP3 Users
Sound Advice for MP3 Users As teens and preteens plug in their earphones and crank up the volume, "Can you hear me now?" threatens to become more than an ad catch phrase. Experts say today's small music players pose a big risk of hearing loss. One reason: The "earbuds" used with iPods and other MP3 players fit into the ears, not over them. That makes the sound more intense than old models. Their digital songs are distortion-free, too. That invites kids to dial up the loudness with no loss of clarity. Mo...
Spare Your Baby From Diaper Rash
Spare Your Baby From Diaper Rash Diaper rash may be more common than you think. More than half of babies 4 to 15 months old get diaper rash at least once in a two-month span, say experts at the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP). The top cause of diaper rash is moisture, made worse by chafing or rubbing. Moisture often stems from long contact with urine or feces. It is best to check your baby's diaper frequently and change often when they have diaper rash. Disposable diapers are better than cloth diap...
Sports and Music: Both Good for Kids
Sports and Music: Both Good for Kids Organized sports for children offer obvious benefits such as physical fitness and sportsmanship, but did you know that a musical education program has many of the same benefits? Music education and participation in sports are both great ways to prepare your child for future success. The benefits of sports Participating in some type of sports program gets your child off the couch and out of the house. The physical demands of a sports program can help reduce your child...
Sports Eye Safety Is No Game
Eye Protection Critical in Sports Your budding baseball star steps to the plate hoping to whack the ball—but sometimes the ball whacks back. Each year, thousands of children suffer sports-related eye injuries, says the American Academy of Ophthalmology (AAO) and the American Optometric Association (AOA). Sports is the leading cause of school-age children's eye injuries, but most of those injuries are preventable. The AAO, the AOA, and the American Academy of Pediatrics say all kids in organized sports s...
Stop Dating Abuse Before It Starts
Stop Dating Abuse Before It Starts Seeing your teen off on a date can give you the jitters. Unfortunately, parents also must consider a particularly unnerving topic--teen dating violence. It's worrisome, but it's not inevitable. You and your teen can avoid potentially perilous situations and reduce the risk for problems. Abuse is defined by the National Domestic Violence Hotline as a pattern of coercive control that one person uses over another. Battering is behavior that physically harms, causes fear, ...
Street Hockey: Good Surface, Gear Are Critical
Street Hockey: Good Surface, Gear Are Critical In an era when many children play little but video games, experts are glad to see street hockey is on a roll. Boys and girls across the country ages 6 and up get regular workouts on organized teams, while others join informal matches on driveways and playgrounds from Boston to Big Sur. What attracts a lot of youngsters is that it's less expensive than regular hockey, and that kids can play it anywhere they can find the space. In-line hockey is usually safer...
Survive Your Little One's First Flight
Survive Your Little One's First Flight The plane is done climbing into the sky and you're just starting to relax when, with no warning, it begins. "Waaaa," wails your infant. "Mama, off, mama, off!" shrieks your toddler. What's the best way to survive that first flight with your little one without going crazy? Experts say it's best to go into the trip knowing that there are some things that are just out of your control, including how often your child cries and how other passengers are going to react. Pa...
Take a 'Back in the Day' Tour
Take a 'Back in the Day' Tour Have your grandchildren ever seen your old neighborhood, or the spot where you were married, or the building where you worked your first job? If you want a special outing with your grandkids, consider a "This is My Life" tour. Revisiting your childhood community together is a great way to pass on family history while bringing you and your grandkids closer. "It's one thing to tell your grandchildren stories about your childhood. It's another thing to help them experience the...
Take a Hard Line Against Soft Drinks
Take a Hard Line Against Soft Drinks Children often switch from drinking milk to drinking soda when they become preteens or teens. These kids tend to eat fewer fruits and vegetables, and get less calcium, protein, and vitamins A and D, because they are drinking less milk. They also take in more calories. Because one in seven U.S. youths weighs too much, health professionals are sounding the alarm. Soft drinks can't take all the blame for the weight crisis. But kids can reduce their calorie intake by dri...
Taking Baby's Temperature
Taking Baby's Temperature Thermometers have changed a lot in the last few decades. Mercury thermometers are no longer used, because mercury is a toxic metal, and digital thermometers have replaced them. Contact your local health department, waste disposal authority, or fire department for information on how to properly dispose of mercury thermometers. For a parent who needs to take an infant's or child's temperature, there are now four digital options: Rectal temperature. Various digital rectal thermome...
Talk With Your Kids About These Issues
Talk With Your Kids About These Issues Talking with your child about drugs, alcohol, and tobacco is tough. But you can't afford to ignore these topics. Children learn about these substances and feel pressure to use them at a very young age. If you have children, it's hard not to worry. But don't panic – and don't ignore the subject. Instead, if your child is older than 5 or anytime your child starts asking, start talking with him or her about drugs, alcohol, and tobacco. Here are some guidelines on how ...
Talking Sex with Your Teen
Talking Sex with Your Teen With studies showing that almost half of America's teenagers have experienced sexual intercourse by the age of 18, educating kids about sex is something all parents need to do. Parents must be prepared to help their teens with emerging sexual issues. Otherwise their teens could be risking early pregnancy, sexually transmitted diseases, and emotional turmoil. The most important thing for parents to remember is that your discussions with your teenager won't happen in a vacuum. T...
Teach the Joy of Gift Giving
Teach the Joy of Gift Giving It doesn't take much teaching for children to understand the "getting" part of giving and receiving. But it's never too early to begin setting a good example for your children by teaching them the joy of giving gifts. Start early Preschool age is a good time to start helping young children understand the idea of giving to others. You have lots of opportunities to help teach the concept of giving during the holidays. For example, children can pass on toys to youngsters who wi...
Teach Your Children Safety, Awareness
Teach Your Children Safety, Awareness You always have an eye on your children. And when they're not with you, your thoughts are with them. When your kids visit the mall, walk home from school or hang out with friends, you worry about strangers. You want to keep your children safe, yet not make them virtual prisoners in their own home. Despite screaming headlines about child abductions, chances are great that no one will ever try to kidnap your child. Most child abductions are by family members who have ...
Teaching Children Good Sportsmanship
Teaching Children Good Sportsmanship Parents and kids alike love sports, and it's easy to get caught up in a game and become focused on winning. Yet there is much more to be gained from the sports experience than a winning record. When children and teens are involved in sports, they are able to learn and put into practice values that will stay with them for the rest of their lives. Good sportsmanship is one of the life lessons that children can learn from sports. You can help your children understand an...
Teaching Kids to Wash Their Hands
Teaching Kids to Wash Their Hands It's hard enough to get grownups to wash up. Only two-thirds of adults wash their hands after they use the restroom, studies show. How do we get our kids into the hand-washing habit, then? The obvious first step is to practice what you preach: Wash your hands before eating or cooking a meal, after using the bathroom, and after working or playing with your hands. More than half of food-related illness outbreaks are caused by unwashed or poorly-washed hands, says the Amer...
Teaching Your Child to Ride a Bike
Teaching Your Child to Ride a Bike You may have learned to ride a bike with your mom or dad running alongside to keep you from falling. That method still works, but there's an alternative offered by bike experts, such as the nonprofit group International Bicycle Fund (IBF). It's a method that separates learning to balance from the other skills needed to ride. If you want to stick with the more traditional method for your kids, you can try a tool called an EZ-Bar. This device attaches to the back of the ...
Techniques for Taming Tantrums
Techniques for Taming Tantrums Your little one is having a kicking, screaming mega-meltdown in the frozen-food aisle. And you're sure everyone in the market is thinking, "Why is that child carrying on, and how come the parent isn't doing something to stop it?" Toddlers that age are learning to verbalize their feelings. Young children whose "wants" are being blocked are apt to lose control, especially when hungry, tired or over-stimulated. Parents in a chaotic public setting, focusing on the task at hand...
Teen Suicide: Learning to Recognize the Warning Signs
Teen Suicide: Learning to Recognize the Warning Signs Many teen suicides can be prevented if warning signs are detected and appropriate intervention is conducted. The reasons No two teenagers are alike, but there are some common reasons they consider suicide. Many teens who attempt suicide do so during an acute crisis in reaction to some conflict with peers or parents. Such conflicts are common among teens, but those who attempt suicide are particularly reactive to them because they: Have a long-standin...
Teenagers and After-School Jobs
Teenagers and After-School Jobs The teen years are a constant quest for freedom and independence from the watchful eyes of parents. It’s also a time to learn responsibility and how to manage money. An after-school job can provide all these experiences for a teenager. Finding work Savvy teens who want to earn money with a part-time job after school hours may have a variety of options, even within their own neighborhoods. Neighbors with younger children are often happy to hire a responsible, experienced t...
Teenagers and Summer Jobs
Teenagers and Summer Jobs Your teen is itching to get a summer job and the spending money that goes along with it, but you’re not sure whether that's a good idea. Here’s good news for both of you: When asked in a recent survey, about 70 percent of parents said they are actively involved in helping their teens find jobs, apply for jobs, and figure out how to solve on-the-job problems. So your “job” as a parent doesn’t end just because your child now has, or wants to have, a boss. “Is my child ready?” Par...
Teens and Prescription Drugs
Teens and Prescription Drugs When taken as directed, prescription drugs can prevent and cure diseases. When used without a prescription, or beyond what a doctor recommends, they can cause serious physical and mental health problems. A growing number of American teens are using prescription drugs to get high. Many researchers consider prescription drug abuse an epidemic in its proportions. According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, new substance abusers ages 12 and older ...
Teens and Talk: What's a Parent to Do?
Teens and Talk: What's a Parent to Do? Even if you think you have a wonderful relationship with your child, when he or she becomes a teenager, communication may become a problem. A simple parent-child conversation often isn't simple anymore when the child turns into an adolescent. When kids get to be teenagers, they think differently than children. There's a shift from concrete to abstract reasoning. As kids move into adolescence, they no longer accept things just on face value. All of a sudden they hav...
Teens and the Self-Esteem Shield
Teens and the Self-Esteem Shield It's a powerful weapon in the war against teenage drug and alcohol abuse and it doesn't cost parents a penny. It's called the "self-esteem shield." It's simple. Research shows that adolescents who grow up with high self-esteem are far less likely to abuse drugs or drink, compared with children who grow up without much sense of self-worth, according to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. Here are several steps parents can take to help their chil...
The Dangers of Binge Drinking
The Dangers of Binge Drinking Too many young people are participating in a dangerous practice called binge drinking. It means drinking alcohol to the point of intoxication. It's defined as having five or more drinks in a row for men. For women, it's four or more drinks in a row. This amount of drinking will produce blood alcohol levels far above the legal limit of 0.08 percent. According to The National Institute on Alcoholism and Alcohol Abuse, 40 percent of U.S. college students engaged in binge drink...
The Do's and Don’ts for Children's Meds
The Do's and Don’ts for Children's Meds Johnnie or Janie wakes complaining of a headache. You don't want to call your pediatrician at 3 a.m. What do you do? There are some simple rules for using over-the-counter (OTC) medicines for children. The first and most important: NEVER give any OTC medicine to children 2 years and under without consulting a health care provider, says the FDA. But what about older children, those between 2 and 12? Here is some advice: Aspirin Don't give aspirin to a child under t...
The Facts About Marijuana
The Facts About Marijuana Knowing about marijuana can help you recognize its use in children and others and help a user seek treatment. Marijuana is the most frequently used illegal drug in the United States, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA). It comes from the hemp plant (cannabis sativa). The chemicals in marijuana that causes its effects are cannabinoids, which are found in the leaves and flowering shoots. Of the cannabinoids, THC (delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol) is the most well...
The Metabolic Syndrome Puts Teens at Risk
The Metabolic Syndrome Puts Teens at Risk Your doctor may have told you to lose weight and watch your cholesterol. Now, your teen's doctor may be warning him or her to do the same. The reason? "Syndrome X," or the metabolic syndrome. The metabolic syndrome is a name given to a cluster of risk factors related to the body's metabolism that can lead to health problems down the road, including an increased risk for cardiovascular disease, kidney disease, and type 2 diabetes. The group of risk factors called...
The Moms' Guide to Meal Makeovers
The Moms' Guide to Meal Makeovers After a long day at work, getting dinner on the table for your family can be a challenge. Because of this, more often than not you may end up serving fast-food, takeout meals, or convenience foods. Did you know you can serve healthier foods at a fraction of the cost? Meal makeover plan Taking small steps each week in the right direction in terms of what you buy and cook can improve your family's eating habits. Here are some ideas: Week one. Add one extra serving of frui...
The Road to Table Food
The Road to Table Food Feeding your child during his or her first year of life can be challenging and stressful, especially if you're a first-time parent. But keeping an open mind and an eye on your child are the best ways to make the road to table food an easy path. Breast milk, formula are primary Breast milk is the best source of nutrition for infants during their first year, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP). Formula is the next-best choice, if breastfeeding isn't possible. Solid...
The 'Soft Teeth' Myth
The ‘Soft Teeth’ Myth You Can’t Blame Genes for Tooth Decay in Kids If you think that "soft teeth" are the reason that cavities tend to run in families, you'll be surprised to know the real reason: an infection. The infection is usually transmitted from mothers to babies during the first year of life. "Women of childbearing age who have cavities or have had a lot of fillings are at the greatest risk to infect their newborns with cavity producing bacteria," says Dr. Peter Domoto, chair of the Department ...
The Supermarket as Classroom
The Supermarket as Classroom You can turn a trip to the grocery store into a fun outing that teaches children valuable lessons. Walking the aisles, you can talk about making wholesome food choices, show how ads drive purchases, and expose your child to new fruits and vegetables. With your help, even preschoolers can start to make healthy food decisions The earlier you start, the better. Young adults who shop for and cook meals are more likely to have nutritious diets, says a study in the Journal of the ...
The Trouble with Bullies
The Trouble with Bullies Physical or emotional differences make children targets for bullies. Being a bully or a victim of a bully puts children at risk for engaging in violent behaviors, such as frequent fighting and carrying a weapon, according to the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development. Bullying comes in different forms. It is commonly thought of as an actual or threatened act of physical violence. But name calling, spreading rumors, unrelenting teasing, and deliberately excludin...
Toss Your Baby Walker, Pediatricians Say
Toss Your Baby Walker, Pediatricians Say Safety is your top concern for your child. Just as you put your infant in a car seat, you may think that putting your child in a baby walker is safe, too. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) calls baby walkers dangerous and says you should throw them out. According to the AAP, one of the reasons why a baby walker is not safe is because a child is able to move more than three feet in one second. In children younger than age 15 months, the U.S. Consumer Produc...
Trampoline Troubles Backyard trampolines are popular, but beware, medical experts say. Not surprisingly, along with the increasing popularity of these backyard "toys," trampoline injuries have also been on the rise. And the injuries are serious, including fractures, concussions, and head injuries. Even more sobering are the serious spinal cord injuries and deaths that can occur with trampoline use. This rate is so alarming that the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) has taken a firm position: "The tra...
Treasure Playtime with the Grandkids
Treasure Playtime with the Grandkids The grandkids are coming—and you're feeling unprepared. How will you entertain them while staying within your budget? Making your home a fun place for grandkids is easier and more affordable than you may think. Provide a "treasure chest" of inexpensive, kid-friendly items. And, add a healthy dose of your undivided attention. Just making yourself available to your grandchildren builds strong bonds that are long remembered. You're never too old to play In a fast-paced ...
Treat Kids' Headaches Seriously
Treat Kids' Headaches Seriously "My head hurts." Hearing those words from your child can be alarming, especially if your child has many headaches. But don't assume the worst. You still should take headaches seriously, especially if the pain is intense and migraines run in your family. Migraines can cause throbbing pain, dizziness, nausea, and sensitivity to light and sound. Over-the-counter ibuprofen or acetaminophen can ease pain. And tell your health care provider about suspected migraines. Some kids ...
Treating Minor Childhood Injuries
Treating Minor Childhood Injuries Sports and other physical activities can help kids stay healthy and physically fit, but they can also occasionally result in injuries. Scrapes and sprains are a fact of life for most children, so it’s good to know what to do when they come home with a minor injury. Scrapes and cuts When a child gets a scrape or cut, the flow of blood can make even a minor cut look like an emergency. Minor injuries should stop bleeding after a few minutes. The American Academy of Pediatr...
Treating Teen Acne
Treating Teen Acne It's a fact of teenage life: When puberty hits, acne often does, too. Just about every teen will find at least one blackhead or whitehead on his or her skin by age 17, and some teens will develop more severe acne, which can leave scarring. The prime culprits of acne, experts say, are heredity and hormones. At puberty, the sebaceous or oil glands around the hair follicles on the skin enlarge. Oil production also increases. Then, the ducts surrounding the follicles become clogged, and a...
TV vs. Activity: Key Choice for Kids
TV vs. Activity: Key Choice for Kids Red Rover, Red Rover, send Lucy right over. Ready or not, here I come! Simon says, pat your head. Not so long ago, when school was out and the weather was nice, kids were always outside, climbing trees, swinging or playing games. These days, you're more apt to find kids inside, in front of the TV or the home computer. The average child watches three to four hours of TV every day—leaving much less time for a game of tag or hide-and-seek. Health experts are troubled by...
Twins and Premature Birth
Twins and Premature Birth Most births of single babies occur at 39 weeks. But, the average length of a twin pregnancy is 35 weeks. Babies that are low birth weight tend to weigh less than 5 pounds or 2,500 grams, according to the March of Dimes. This increases their risk for many significant health problems. Some problems may be temporary, such as jaundice, anemia, and difficulty breathing. Others have lasting effects, such as persistent respiratory problems, mental retardation, cerebral palsy, and visi...
Understanding Autism Spectrum Disorders
Understanding Autism Spectrum Disorders Autism spectrum disorders (ASDs) are a group of complex developmental disabilities that affect behavior, communication, and social interactions. The most common ASDs are autistic disorder, Asperger's syndrome, and pervasive developmental disorder not otherwise specified (also known as atypical autism). Children with ASDs also are prone to developing separate, co-occurring behavioral or psychiatric problems–epilepsy, Fragile X syndrome, attention deficit disorder, ...
Understanding Teenage Depression
Understanding Teenage Depression The medical community once thought depression affected only adults. The risk for the condition can begin in childhood or the early teens, however, and increases steadily through the mid-20s. As many as one in 10 young people will have experienced an episode of depression by the end of his or her teenage years. Depression in children, teens, and young adults is much more than a phase. It's a real condition that can interfere with daily life, lead to suicidal thoughts and ...
Understanding the Teen Brain
Understanding the Teen Brain It doesn’t matter how smart your teen is or how well he or she scored on the SAT or ACT. Good judgment isn’t something he or she can excel in, at least not yet. The rational part of a teen’s brain isn’t fully developed and won’t be until he or she is 25 years old or so. In fact, recent research has found adult and teen brains work differently. Adults think with the prefrontal cortex, the brain’s rational part, but teens process information with the amygdala, the emotional pa...
Unwrap the Gift of Toy Safety
Unwrap the Gift of Toy Safety The biggest threat to the health of children older than 1 is not a dread disease. It's accidental injury. According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, each year nearly 230,000 children suffer injuries from toys severe enough to be treated in a hospital emergency room. Nearly 40 percent of those injured are younger than 5. Your challenge is to find toys that your children will enjoy and that you know are safe. These simple guidelines can help keep the holiday se...
Vaccine Offers Hope for Children’s Earaches
Vaccine Offers Hope for Children's Earaches Earaches are common during childhood, but a vaccine can ease the pain for thousands of kids. Pneumococcal conjugate vaccine, marketed under the brand name Prevnar, was approved by the FDA in 2000. An improved form of the vaccine, Prevnar 13, was approved in 2010. Prevnar 13 targets the most common strains of pneumococcus, one of the bacteria that causes ear infections, but that also cause many cases of serious illness in infants, such as pneumonia, bacterem...
Vegetarian Kids Some vegetarian children are that way because that's how their family eats. Other youngsters, almost all usually in their teens and predominantly female, have made their own decision to ban meat from their diet. Most nutrition experts and dietitians say that children of any age—even infants—can safely follow a vegetarian diet, but planning and daily close attention to the diet are involved to be sure that children receive the proper nutrients, especially if their diet does not include eg...
Video Games: More Losers than Winners
Video Games: More Losers than Winners Video games are fun. Just ask the millions of kids who play them. They also have some positive benefits. Educational games help kids learn, and newer gaming systems make kids stand up and move. But before you grant your kids unlimited access to their favorite video heroes and villains, weigh the downside many doctors cite. Video games can take up too much of your kids' time. They may keep your kids from schoolwork and isolate them from family and friends. They can f...
Want to Get Pregnant? Follow the 90-Day Guide
Want to Get Pregnant? Follow the 90-Day Guide As with so many things in life, it pays to be prepared—and conception is no exception. At least 90 days before starting to try to conceive, both men and women should take steps to improve their diet and exercise routines, as well as fine-tune any medications they may be taking to make sure they are friendly to the developing fetus. "If you optimize all those things, you'll improve your fertility, reduce the risk of miscarriage and enhance the outcome of preg...
Watch that Backpack Load
Watch that Backpack Load When your child acts as if she’s carrying the weight of the world on her shoulders, maybe you should check her backpack. Overloaded or poor-fitting backpacks can hurt girls and boys. Children can hurt themselves by using poor postures—arching the back, bending forward, twisting, or leaning to one side—while hefting a heavy backpack. Such postures can skew the spine’s alignment so its disks can’t absorb shocks as they should. Overloaded backpacks also place stress on muscles and ...
Ways for Working Parents to Tame Stress
Ways for Working Parents to Tame Stress As a working parent, do you need some relief from the stress of managing a career and a family? Here are a few tips to help you enjoy the time you spend at home. End the workday When you get home from work, change your clothes at once to signal the end of the workday. "Take deep breaths while changing and then take at least 20 minutes to be alone," says Arlene Brown, M.D., a family practice physician in New Mexico and a member of the American Academy of Family Phy...
We Can Head Off Teen Tragedies
We Can Head Off Teen Tragedies When our schools erupt in violence, we're shocked. Preventing teen turmoil starts at birth. Parents set examples in the way they interact, express anger, and treat substance abuse, experts say. As children grow, communication is critical. When your kids are young, talk about peaceful problem solving, the importance of not hurting others, and avoiding drugs and cigarettes. And as your children get older, define clear limits for acceptable behavior. Other suggestions Here ar...
Weight Room No Longer Off-Limits to Kids
Weight Room No Longer Off-Limits to Kids Strength training is an important part of physical conditioning for adults, along with aerobic exercise and stretching for flexibility. But what can—or should—kids do when it comes to strength training? Although pediatric experts once thought that children should not train with weights, that attitude has changed. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) and the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) now say that strength training is fine for kids, as long as ...
What About Energy Drinks for Kids?
What About Energy Drinks for Kids? As some schools ban colas from vending machines, ads are hyping a source of even more caffeine: energy drinks. The pitch: These drinks can aid both mental and physical performance. In reasonable amounts, caffeine isn't harmful for children, but some experts suggest that kids not go overboard on caffeinated drinks. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) does not restrict caffeine in energy drinks, but it limits caffeine in cola to about 5.4 mg per ounce. Most cola ...
What Do You Know About Birth Defects?
What Do You Know About Birth Defects? According to the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, birth defects are structural or functional abnormalities present at birth that cause physical or mental disability. Some may be fatal. Several thousand different birth defects have been identified. Birth defects are the leading cause of death in the first year of life. 1. What percentage of U.S. infants are born with birth defects annually? a. 1 percent b. 3 percent c. 5 percent d. 10 percent...
What Every Parent Should Know About Vaccinations
What Every Parent Should Know About Immunizations Watching your child get a shot isn't easy. It's even harder if the fearful one is you. Millions of parents immunize their kids each year without concern. Yet some parents have heard rumors that vaccines can cause serious health problems. So, who can parents turn to for the facts about vaccine safety? Your child's doctor is your first resource for reliable information. Health care providers are bound by law to provide you with written information on both ...
What Is Rotavirus?
What Is Rotavirus? Rotavirus is a viral infection that causes severe diarrhea in children, particularly in youngsters under age 2. It causes up to 10 percent of all cases of diarrhea in children under age 5. The infection is dangerous for young children because it causes them to lose body fluids very quickly, says the CDC. Fortunately, a vaccine is now available to help protect children against rotavirus. Infection Rotavirus is very contagious, in part because the virus lasts a long time outside the bod...
What Is Scalp Ringworm?
What Is Scalp Ringworm? Contrary to what the name might suggest, scalp ringworm isn’t caused by a worm. The infection is the result of a fungus, the same class of organisms (germs) that causes athlete’s foot. Ringworm is contagious. It can be passed from one person to another by direct skin contact or by contaminated objects such as unwashed clothing or combs. Dogs and cats can also have the fungus and spread the infection. Ringworm occurs more often during warm-weather months. Young children are most s...
What Kids Drink Is Important, Too
What Kids Drink Is Important, Too If your children fill up on high-calorie fruit drinks and soft drinks, they may skip food containing essential nutrients—and pack on extra pounds. That's what one recent study concluded about kids who drink a lot of juice and turn out shorter or heavier than average. Over the past three decades, children started drinking more carbonated soft drinks and noncitrus food drinks and less water and milk. Here are some disturbing facts about soft drinks: Soft drinks don't sati...
What Tests Does Your Newborn Baby Need?
What Tests Does Your Newborn Baby Need? You may think your child's first test will come in school, but it will actually happen before leaving the hospital's newborn unit. Early screening tests for babies can find problems before symptoms arise, prompting early treatment. Most screenings involve a blood test. The sample often goes to a state laboratory; your baby's doctor gets the results. Newborn screening requirements vary by state. The March of Dimes, which wants to expand screenings in many states, r...
What to Do if Your Child Needs Surgery
What to Do if Your Child Needs Surgery If having surgery makes you nervous, imagine how it can seem for a child. Long hospital corridors, intimidating equipment, and people wearing surgical masks and scrubs all seem strange and frightening, especially to a youngster who's ill or in pain. By helping the youngster anticipate and face those fears, you can ease the trauma and smooth the way for a quicker, easier recovery. Advances in care Many adults are still haunted by their own terrifying childhood encou...
What to Do When the Family Feels Claustrophobic
What to Do When the Family Feels Claustrophobic There comes a time when even the closest families find themselves too close together. Suddenly, the house seems smaller; the kids are whiny, fighting with each other or acting up in other ways. Worse, you are ready to burst and it becomes clear that your usually peaceful, friendly household is full of people who wish they were anyplace but there -- including yourself. It's time to get up and get out, advises Martin Goldberg, M.D., a psychiatrist and direct...
What You Can Do For Baby's Teething
What You Can Do For Baby's Teething Everyone loves babies—except when they're wailing. Teething is one of the reasons they wail. Teething occurs when baby teeth start coming through the child's gums, usually between ages 6 months and 3 years. When this occurs, your child may have sore gums for a few days at a time. And if your baby has sore gums, he or she will let you know it. Babies often get relief from a teething ring, a cool spoon, a cold wet washcloth, or a toothbrush. Your baby actually grew his ...
What You Can Do to Prevent Child Abuse
What You Can Do to Prevent Child Abuse The National Child Abuse and Neglect Data System (NCANDS) estimates that more than 1,700 child fatalities occur each year. NCANDS defines child fatality as the death of a child caused by an injury resulting from abuse or neglect, or where abuse or neglect was a contributing factor. Child abuse can happen in any family and in any neighborhood. Studies have shown that child abuse crosses all boundaries of income, race, ethnic heritage, and religious faith. The incide...
What You Need to Know About Vomiting
What You Need to Know About Vomiting Although nausea and vomiting can make you feel miserable, it's important to remember that these are not diseases, but rather symptoms of many illnesses. Nausea is a feeling of uneasiness in the stomach often tied to an urge to vomit. Nausea doesn't always lead to vomiting, however. Vomiting, which is often also called "throwing up," is the emptying of the contents of the stomach through the mouth. Typical triggers These are some of the more common causes of nausea an...
When a Child’s Tonsils Need to Come Out
When a Child’s Tonsils Need to Come Out It doesn't take long—about 20 to 30 minutes—for an ear, nose and throat specialist like me to remove your child's tonsils. Still, I recommend a tonsillectomy only after careful consideration. Most children I examine have been referred by their pediatrician because their tonsils are very swollen, causing breathing problems, or they're experiencing repeated infections that keep them from school and other activities. When antibiotics and time don't seem to help as mu...
When a Family Grieves
When a Family Grieves After a loss, family members often deal with their grief in different ways. Grief can draw families closer together. Sometimes, it can pull them apart. No one can adequately prepare you to handle your grief, let alone a spouse's or a child's grief. Learning about grief and how it affects your family can help you get through the difficult times together. It may even help your family grow stronger. A world upside down When you're grieving, you tend to be in a state of chaos. Grief th...
When a Reward for Kids Becomes a Bribe
When a Reward for Kids Becomes a Bribe A 5-year-old never puts away her toys without a shouting match with her parents. Mom promises a trip to Disney World if the girl will routinely clean up after herself without an argument. Reward, or bribe? A 12-year-old hates homework and routinely skips it. Dad pledges to spend Saturday morning alone with his son doing whatever the boy wants if he'll complete his homework without a reminder for a week. Reward, or bribe? Bribe on the first count, but a positive rew...
When Children Say 'No' to New Foods
When Children Say 'No' to New Foods When it's time to eat vegetables, does your child do the Brussels sprout pout? Well, don't give up. It can take eight to 10 tries before children accept a new food. Children are born with a natural preference for sweet foods and develop a liking for salty foods at around 4 months. That's combined with an innate suspicion of foods unknown to them. But if a child rejects a food at first, it doesn't mean they'll always dislike it. Conditioning affects food choices. If a ...
When Grandparents Raise Grandkids
When Grandparents Raise Grandkids Many seniors are taking a second turn at parenting. The U.S. Census Bureaus say that grandparents provide childcare for almost a quarter (23 percent) of children under the age of five. In nearly one-third of these households, grandparents are the primary caregivers. Divorce, single-parent families, and financial hardships are just a few of the reasons why we see more grandparents stepping back into the roles of mother or father. This can be overwhelming for many older p...
When Kids Want to Buy, Buy, Buy
When Kids Want to Buy, Buy, Buy If you're the parent of a preteen, you've likely heard this line many times: "I have to have it because everyone else does." The "it" can be anything from designer jeans to a video game. Why do children want to be like everyone else? They're going through a transition from child to adult, says Vivian Seltzer, Ph.D., a University of Pennsylvania psychology professor. "They need external verification that they're part of a group. Material items are visible and help them fee...
When to Call the Doctor for Childhood Illnesses
When to Call the Doctor for Childhood Illnesses Many childhood illnesses, including colds and stomachaches, are mild enough to be treated at home. But what about when the symptoms are more severe? When should you call the doctor? Treat at home In most cases, says the American Academy of Pediatrics, you can treat your children yourself if they have the following conditions: Cold or flu Mild fever Stomachache Vomiting and/or diarrhea Headache Minor cuts and scrapes Poison ivy or oak If you have questions ...
When to Keep Your Child Home From School
When to Keep Your Child Home From School You have plenty of other things to do at 6:30 in the morning than play amateur doctor. Yet that's the situation many parents face when a child awakens with a health complaint and you must determine whether the complaint is serious enough to warrant a sick day. Here are some tips for deciding whether to keep a child at home: Monitor any symptoms of illness before your child goes to sleep at night. Make time to evaluate the symptoms in the morning. Symptoms can get...
When You Think Your Child Is Faking an Illness
When Your Child Refuses to Go to School It's Monday morning, time to get moving, but instead of getting ready for school your child is complaining about a stomachache, a headache, dizziness, or something similar. Is your child sick, or are they afraid to go to school? School avoidance syndrome is one of the most common causes of vague, unverifiable symptoms in school-age children. This syndrome may be triggered by stress. How does a parent distinguish between a real illness and anxiety? Ask yourself the...
When Your Child Has a Chronic Health Condition
When Your Child Has a Chronic Health Condition A chronic, or long-lasting, illness can be difficult for anyone to deal with. But for a young child diagnosed with a chronic health condition, there are challenges for both child and parent. Although you’ll need some time and help coping with the diagnosis, it’s also very important that you be there for your child. A child with a chronic illness will have questions, fears, and frustrations. And he or she will need strength and support from you to help in de...
When Your Child Has Type 1 Diabetes
When Your Child Has Type 1 Diabetes Learning that your child has type 1 diabetes can be a shock. Suddenly, your world may seem to revolve around managing the condition. You may feel overwhelmed and unsure of what you can do to help. With knowledge, practice, and a supportive health care team, however, you can take care of your child without diabetes taking over your lives. The pancreas of a person with type 1 diabetes doesn’t produce insulin. Without this hormone, the body can’t use glucose, or blood su...
When Your Child Says, 'I'm Sick'
When Your Child Says, 'I'm Sick' What happens when your child says, "I'm sick"? Do you keep them home or send him or her to school? Following these steps can help you find out, decide, and care for your child. First, ask yourself these three questions: Does your child have an illness that will make other children sick? Examples of this are a bad cough, cold, or vomiting. Will your child need constant care from a grown-up? Will the illness make it hard for your child to learn or play? If you answered yes...
Whole Grains in the Teen Diet
Whole Grains in the Teen Diet Better health for your teen could be as close as your breadbox. The more whole grains teenagers eat, the leaner they are and the less likely they are to develop diabetes, a recent University of Minnesota study found. With obesity and diabetes rising among children, that's a slice of good news. Why are whole grains healthy? "They provide protein, complex carbohydrates, several vitamins and are good sources of iron and zinc (important to sexual development),” says Connie Diek...
Why Children Get Carsick -- and What to Do
Why Children Get Carsick—and What to Do Motion sickness is common, especially in children, but what causes it is only partially understood, and why some children have it and others do not is unknown. Carsickness isn't really about the car. It's about the brain's ability to interpret a message based on what it senses. Normally, the eyes, ears, and joints all send signals to the brain, and the signals are similar, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics. If you're traveling in a car, most body par...
Why Measles Remains a Threat
Why Measles Remains a Threat Once an almost inevitable childhood illness for an American child, measles (rubeola) has reached an all-time low in this country. Since the late 1990s, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has recorded fewer than 50 cases in each year. But children still need immunization because measles remains a significant threat in other parts of the world. Worldwide, nearly 200,000 people die each year from measles. In the United States, the cases that do occur are becau...
Why the Family Meal Is Important
Why the Family Meal Is Important For many parents, it would be much easier and simpler to forget about family dinners. Jobs, children, after-school activities all contribute to families being constantly on the go, thus feeling the need to eat on the run. But more and more parents are realizing the importance of shared family time at the dinner table. Often, this is the only time when all family members are all together in one place. Although family dinners are viewed by some people as another burdensome...
Women with Asthma Can Have Healthy Babies
Women with Asthma Can Have Healthy Babies Pregnant women with asthma are just as likely to have healthy, normal babies as women without asthma, as long as their disease is kept under control. That means getting regular monitoring and taking medication as needed, according to the American Lung Association. The Asthma and Pregnancy Working Group of the National Asthma Education and Prevention Program concluded that it is riskier to leave a woman's asthma uncontrolled than it is to use asthma medicines dur...
Working Mom? Aim for Less Stress
Working Mom? Aim for Less Stress When Marie gets home from her full-time job as a Seattle nurse administrator, her workday is only half over. Next up is driving her two boys to band practice, soccer, and art lessons, supervising homework, taking them to the mall for supplies—and sitting up with them all night when they're sick. "I didn't want to miss out on any bonding time," she says, "so despite my husband's availability, I took on the heavy lifting of child care." It's a choice that has a price, Mari...
Your Child’s Separation Anxiety
Your Child’s Separation Anxiety As the school year approaches, your child may have a certain amount of anxiety about going to school, whether or not it is the first time. The prospect of new experiences away from their parents or other loved ones can be quite frightening for children. The complaint of an upset stomach, headache, or some other ailment the night before or the morning of the school day is probably the most classic sign of apprehension. These worries are a normal part of development for all...
Your Child's Diabetes Care Team
Your Child's Diabetes Care Team Having a child with diabetes can be overwhelming. Fortunately, a team of experts can guide you now and in the years to come. Diabetes care team Your child may see the following specialists. Doctor. Your child's doctor may be a diabetes specialist, pediatrician or general practitioner who has experience caring for people with diabetes. Make sure both you and your child feel comfortable asking questions and that you understand the explanations given. Diabetes educator. A ce...
Your Child's Imaginary Friend…What It Means
Your Child's Imaginary Friend ... What It Means You're about to sit down on the couch next to your 4-year-old and she yells, "Don't sit there! You'll crush Gertrude!" Oops. You should have known better. "Gertrude" goes everywhere your daughter goes. If your child starts hanging around with an imaginary friend, enjoy the company. It's often part of a child's development, usually happens between ages 3 and 6, and can offer wonderful insights into your child's world. Imaginary friends range from animals to...
Your Child's Social and Emotional Development
Your Child's Social and Emotional Development Your child starts to develop socially and emotionally from birth and should reach social and emotional developmental milestones at certain ages. These milestones are the age at which most children develop abilities such as smiling, playing, and interacting. Although some children are a little faster or slower than others, delayed social and emotional milestones could be an early warning of future problems. About 17 percent of children have a developmental de...
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