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Healthy Pediatric Tips

By Jennifer Ehmann, MD

Sunscreen Is Always Important
Remember to use sunscreen during the wintertime, especially with outdoor sports and recreation. Many times you not only getting direct sun exposure, but also reflective exposure from the snow. Also, consider eye protection/ sunglasses to protect your eyes from sun exposure. 

New Dental Care Recommendations
The AAP (American Academy of Pediatrics) recommends brushing infants teeth twice a day with a smear of fluoride-containing toothpaste with the first tooth eruption until 3 years old, and then a pea-sized amount thereafter. Try “Brush, Book, Bed” to help encourage brushing your child's teeth after last their last food/ liquid/ bottle and then reading a book before bed.

Current Flu Recommendations
It's recommended that all children over 6 months of age get this year’s flu vaccine; there are two versions of the vaccine available, inactivated and live intranasal (Flumist). It's good to know all children under the age of 9 will need two vaccines the first year they get any influenza vaccine (separated by at least four weeks). If they have had two vaccines in the past they will only need one vaccine. 
Preventing the Flu: Resources for Parents & Child Care Providers

Holiday Stress
With the busy, upcoming holiday season there are so many things to consider, especially in light of decorations and travel. Holiday decorations can post risk in the form of poisons (mistletoe), choking hazards, trees (securing them appropriately), lights, and toy safety. When visiting other homes/family- remember their home may not be childproofed, observe closely and watch for danger spots. While an exciting time for many, it can be quite stressful as well. Remember to take care of yourself as our children will often feed off our stress. Take time and be mindful, focusing on one thing at a time.  Try to keep routines as consistent as possible and to keep your household “rules” in effect. Talk with your children about expectations and plans. Enjoy!!

Children And Media
Our children are growing up in an environment that is full of media exposures; trying to structure their exposure can feel very daunting at times. Just like we teach them to eat healthy and keep their bodies active, we need to teach them a healthy way to approach the media they are surrounded by. Set limits just like you would any other behavior. Be a good role model, watching your own media use. Encourage not only tech-free zones in your home, like their bedroom, but also times, such as dinner. Encourage media use together so you can monitor, but also engage with your child. Encourage back and forth verbal communication, which is critical to early childhood brain development, more so than looking at a screen.
American Academy of Pediatrics: Children And Media - Tips For Parents
Dr. Jennifer Ehmann is a pediatrician at Barton Pediatrics.
2201 South Ave.
South Lake Tahoe, CA
530.543.5550