Kids

Toddler-Tween-Teen

[ACCIDENTAL POISONING] [ADHD/ADD] [ANOREXIA/BOLIMIA] [ATHLETES FOOT] [AUTISM] [BACKPACKS] [BIKE SAFETY]

[BRAIN STRATEGIES] [COMPLEXION] [DIABETES] [DRUGS & ALCOHOL] [DYSLEXIA] [ECZEMA] [EDUCATION STUDY SHEET]

[EXERCISE] [HEALTHY DIET] [HERPES] [HIV / AIDS] [HOUSEHOLD CHORES] [HYGIENE] [ICE] [KINDERGARTEN] [INFANTS]

[LEAD POISONING] [MANNERS] [MONO NUCLEOSIS] [OVERWEIGHT CONCERNS] [PEER PRESSURE] [PUBERTY] [RECALLS]

[SIBLING RIVALRY] [SLEEPWALKING] [SMOKING] [SOCIALSKILLS] [SPORTS READINESS] [SPORTS SAFETY] [STRESS]

[SWIMMING SAFELY] [TEENS] [TEETH CARE] [TODDLERS] [TWEENS] [WHICH UNITS TO USE IN MEASUREMENT]

[WRITING SKILLS]

 

                                                                             FOOD-SLEEP-ACTIVITY = A HEALTHY KID

 

ACCIDENTAL POISONING

1-800-222-1222

Copy this and
Post this Poison Control phone number on or near every home telephone


Store Medicines, household products, and personal care items in locked cabinets.
Identify poisonous plants in and around your home and places them out of reach.
Be aware of medications that visitors bring into your home.
Place carbon monoxide monitors near the bedrooms in your home.
Have all fuel burning appliances professionally installed, serviced, and maintained.

 

ADHD/ADD

Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder

Approximately 3-5 percent of children have the principal characteristics of ADHD are "inattention, hyperactivity, and impulsivity". These symptoms appear early in a child’s life. Because many normal children may have these symptoms, but at a low level, or the symptoms may be caused by another disorder, it is important that the child receive a thorough examination and appropriate diagnosis by a well-qualified professional.

Symptoms of ADHD will appear over the course of many months, often with the symptoms of impulsiveness and hyperactivity preceding those of inattention, which may not emerge for a year or more. Different symptoms may appear in different settings, depending on the demands the situation may pose for the child’s self-control. A child who “can’t sit still” or is otherwise disruptive will be noticeable in school, but the inattentive daydreamer may be overlooked. The impulsive child who acts before thinking may be considered just a “discipline problem,” while the child who is passive or sluggish may be viewed as merely unmotivated. Yet both may have different types of ADHD. All children are sometimes restless, sometimes act without thinking, and sometimes daydream the time away. When the child’s hyperactivity, distractibility, poor concentration, or impulsivity begin to affect performance in school, social relationships with other children, or behavior at home, ADHD may be suspected. But because the symptoms vary so much across settings, ADHD is not easy to diagnose. This is especially true when inattentiveness is the primary symptom.

According to the most recent version of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders2 (DSM-IV-TR), there are three patterns of behavior that indicate ADHD. People with ADHD may show several signs of being consistently inattentive. They may have a pattern of being hyperactive and impulsive far more than others of their age. Or they may show all three types of behavior. This means that there are three subtypes of ADHD recognized by professionals. These are the predominantly hyperactive-impulsive type (that does not show significant inattention); the predominantly inattentive type (that does not show significant hyperactive-impulsive behavior) sometimes called ADD—an outdated term for this entire disorder; and the combined type (that displays both inattentive and hyperactive-impulsive symptoms).

Hyperactivity-Impulsivity

Hyperactive children always seem to be “on the go” or constantly in motion. They dash around touching or playing with whatever is in sight, or talk incessantly. Sitting still at dinner or during a school lesson or story can be a difficult task. They squirm and fidget in their seats or roam around the room. Or they may wiggle their feet, touch everything, or noisily tap their pencil. Hyperactive teenagers or adults may feel internally restless. They often report needing to stay busy and may try to do several things at once.

Impulsive children seem unable to curb their immediate reactions or think before they act. They will often blurt out inappropriate comments, display their emotions without restraint, and act without regard for the later consequences of their conduct. Their impulsivity may make it hard for them to wait for things they want or to take their turn in games. They may grab a toy from another child or hit when they’re upset. Even as teenagers or adults, they may impulsively choose to do things that have an immediate but small payoff rather than engage in activities that may take more effort yet provide much greater but delayed rewards.

Some signs of hyperactivity-impulsivity are:

  • Feeling restless, often fidgeting with hands or feet, or squirming while seated
  • Running, climbing, or leaving a seat in situations where sitting or quiet behavior is expected
  • Blurting out answers before hearing the whole question
  • Having difficulty waiting in line or taking turns.

Inattention

Children who are inattentive have a hard time keeping their minds on any one thing and may get bored with a task after only a few minutes. If they are doing something they really enjoy, they have no trouble paying attention. But focusing deliberate, conscious attention to organizing and completing a task or learning something new is difficult.

Homework is particularly hard for these children. They will forget to write down an assignment, or leave it at school. They will forget to bring a book home, or bring the wrong one. The homework, if finally finished, is full of errors and erasures. Homework is often accompanied by frustration for both parent and child.

The DSM-IV-TR gives these signs of inattention:

  • Often becoming easily distracted by irrelevant sights and sounds
  • Often failing to pay attention to details and making careless mistakes
  • Rarely following instructions carefully and completely losing or forgetting things like toys, or pencils, books, and tools needed for a task
  • Often skipping from one uncompleted activity to another.

Children diagnosed with the Predominantly Inattentive Type of ADHD are seldom impulsive or hyperactive, yet they have significant problems paying attention. They appear to be daydreaming, “spacey,” easily confused, slow moving, and lethargic. They may have difficulty processing information as quickly and accurately as other children. When the teacher gives oral or even written instructions, this child has a hard time understanding what he or she is supposed to do and makes frequent mistakes. Yet the child may sit quietly, unobtrusively, and even appear to be working but not fully attending to or understanding the task and the instructions.

These children don’t show significant problems with impulsivity and over activity in the classroom, on the school ground, or at home. They may get along better with other children than the more impulsive and hyperactive types of ADHD, and they may not have the same sorts of social problems so common with the combined type of ADHD. So often their problems with inattention are overlooked. But they need help just as much as children with other types of ADHD, who cause more obvious problems in the classroom.

ADHD?

Not everyone who is overly hyperactive, inattentive, or impulsive has ADHD. Since most people sometimes blurt out things they didn’t mean to say, or jump from one task to another, or become disorganized and forgetful, how can specialists tell if the problem is ADHD?

Because everyone shows some of these behaviors at times, the diagnosis requires that such behavior be demonstrated to a degree that is inappropriate for the person’s age. The diagnostic guidelines also contain specific requirements for determining when the symptoms indicate ADHD. The behaviors must appear early in life, before age 7, and continue for at least 6 months. Above all, the behaviors must create a real handicap in at least two areas of a person’s life such as in the schoolroom, on the playground, at home, in the community, or in social settings. So someone who shows some symptoms but whose schoolwork or friendships are not impaired by these behaviors would not be diagnosed with ADHD. Nor would a child who seems overly active on the playground but functions well elsewhere receive an ADHD diagnosis.

To assess whether a child has ADHD, specialists consider several critical questions: Are these behaviors excessive, long-term, and pervasive? That is, do they occur more often than in other children the same age? Are they a continuous problem, not just a response to a temporary situation? Do the behaviors occur in several settings or only in one specific place like the playground or in the schoolroom? The person’s pattern of behavior is compared against a set of criteria and characteristics of the disorder

Treatment of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder in Preschool-Age Children (PATS)

Because many children in the preschool years are diagnosed with ADHD and are given medication, it is important to know the safety and efficacy of such treatment. The NIMH is sponsoring an ongoing multi-site study, “Preschool ADHD Treatment Study” (PATS). It is the first major effort to examine the safety and efficacy of a stimulant, methylphenidate, for ADHD in this age group. The PATS study uses a randomized, placebo-controlled, double-blind design. Children ages 3 to 5 who have severe and persistent symptoms of ADHD that impair their functioning are eligible for this study. To avoid using medications at such an early age, all children who enter the study are first treated with behavioral therapy. Only children who do not show sufficient improvement with behavior therapy are considered for the medication part of the study. The study is being conducted at New York State Psychiatric Institute, Duke University, Johns Hopkins University, New York University, the University of California at Los Angeles, and the University of California at Irvine. Enrollment in the study will total 165 children.

Which Treatment Should My Child Have?

For children with ADHD, no single treatment is the answer for every child. A child may sometimes have undesirable side effects to a medication that would make that particular treatment unacceptable. And if a child with ADHD also has anxiety or depression, a treatment combining medication and behavioral therapy might be best. Each child’s needs and personal history must be carefully considered.

Medications

For decades, medications have been used to treat the symptoms of ADHD.

The medications that seem to be the most effective are a class of drugs known as stimulants. Following is a list of the stimulants, their trade (or brand) names, and their generic names. “Approved age” means that the drug has been tested and found safe and effective in children of that age.

Trade Name

Generic Name

Approved Age

Adderall

amphetamine

3 and older

Concerta

methylphenidate
(long acting)

6 and older

Cylert*

pemoline

6 and older

Dexedrine

dextroamphetamine

3 and older

Dextrostat

dextroamphetamine

3 and older

Focalin

dexmethylphenidate

6 and older

Metadate ER

methylphenidate
(extended release)

6 and older

Metadate CD

methylphenidate
(extended release)

6 and older

Ritalin

methylphenidate

6 and older

Ritalin SR

methylphenidate
(extended release)

6 and older

Ritalin LA

methylphenidate
(long acting)

6 and older

*Because of its potential for serious side effects affecting the liver, Cylert should not ordinarily be considered as first-line drug therapy for ADHD.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recently approved a medication for ADHD that is not a stimulant. The medication, Strattera®, or atomoxetine, works on the neurotransmitter norepinephrine, whereas the stimulants primarily work on dopamine. Both of these neurotransmitters are believed to play a role in ADHD. More studies will need to be done to contrast Strattera with the medications already available, but the evidence to date indicates that over 70 percent of children with ADHD given Strattera manifest significant improvement in their symptoms.

Some people get better results from one medication, some from another. It is important to work with the prescribing physician to find the right medication and the right dosage. For many people, the stimulants dramatically reduce their hyperactivity and impulsivity and improve their ability to focus, work, and learn. The medications may also improve physical coordination, such as that needed in handwriting and in sports.

The stimulant drugs, when used with medical supervision, are usually considered quite safe. Stimulants do not make the child feel “high,” although some children say they feel different or funny. Such changes are usually very minor. Although some parents worry that their child may become addicted to the medication, to date there is no convincing evidence that stimulant medications, when used for treatment of ADHD, cause drug abuse or dependence. A review of all long-term studies on stimulant medication and substance abuse, conducted by researchers at Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School, found that teenagers with ADHD who remained on their medication during the teen years had a lower likelihood of substance use or abuse than did ADHD adolescents who were not taking medications.13

The stimulant drugs come in long- and short-term forms. The newer sustained-release stimulants can be taken before school and are long-lasting so that the child does not need to go to the school nurse every day for a pill. The doctor can discuss with the parents the child’s needs and decide which preparation to use and whether the child needs to take the medicine during school hours only or in the evening and on weekends too.

If the child does not show symptom improvement after taking a medication for a week, the doctor may try adjusting the dosage. If there is still no improvement, the child may be switched to another medication. About one out of ten children is not helped by a stimulant medication. Other types of medication may be used if stimulants don’t work or if the ADHD occurs with another disorder. Antidepressants and other medications can help control accompanying depression or anxiety.

Sometimes the doctor may prescribe for a young child a medication that has been approved by the FDA for use in adults or older children. This use of the medication is called “off label.” Many of the newer medications that are proving helpful for child mental disorders are prescribed off label because only a few of them have been systematically studied for safety and efficacy in children. Medications that have not undergone such testing are dispensed with the statement that “safety and efficacy have not been established in pediatric patients.”

Side Effects of the Medications

Most side effects of the stimulant medications are minor and are usually related to the dosage of the medication being taken. Higher doses produce more side effects. The most common side effects are decreased appetite, insomnia, increased anxiety, and/or irritability. Some children report mild stomach aches or headaches.

Appetite seems to fluctuate, usually being low during the middle of the day and more normal by suppertime. Adequate amounts of food that is nutritional should be available for the child, especially at peak appetite times.

If the child has difficulty falling asleep, several options may be tried—a lower dosage of the stimulant, giving the stimulant earlier in the day, discontinuing the afternoon or evening dosage, or giving an adjunct medication such as a low-dosage antidepressant or clonidine. A few children develop tics during treatment. These can often be lessened by changing the medication dosage. A very few children cannot tolerate any stimulant, no matter how low the dosage. In such cases, the child is often given an antidepressant instead of the stimulant.

When a child’s schoolwork and behavior improve soon after starting medication, the child, parents, and teachers tend to applaud the drug for causing the sudden changes. Unfortunately, when people see such immediate improvement, they often think medication is all that’s needed. But medications don’t cure ADHD; they only control the symptoms on the day they are taken. Although the medications help the child pay better attention and complete school work, they can’t increase knowledge or improve academic skills. The medications help the child to use those skills he or she already possesses.

Behavioral therapy, emotional counseling, and practical support will help ADHD children cope with everyday problems and feel better about themselves.

Facts to Remember About Medication for ADHD

  • Medications for ADHD help many children focus and be more successful at school, home, and play. Avoiding negative experiences now may actually help prevent addictions and other emotional problems later.
  • About 80 percent of children who need medication for ADHD still need it as teenagers. Over 50 percent need medication as adults.

Source: NIH

 

QT: Brain-building Strategies Help Kids Grow Smarter

 

(ARA) – For sheer learning potential, the brain of a child surpasses any man made super computer. Researchers and child development experts agree. there are a number of ways parents can help children make the most of their natural brainpower.

Mental and physical exercises, as well as brain-enhancing nutrition, can aid parents in nurturing their children’s natural abilities. Parents should keep some important things in mind when choosing activities and foods that will help cultivate children’s mental acuity. First, reading is a powerful, brain-boosting tool for children of all ages. Studies show that individuals who build strong reading skills in childhood continue to reap the benefits throughout their lives. Second, by providing age-appropriate play throughout each stage of childhood, parents can promote physical health and foster interpersonal skills. Finally, nutrition is directly linked to physical and mental health, and research illustrates how children with poor nutritional habits do not perform as well in school as their better-nourished peers.


Courtesy Stanford University Medical Center
and World Science staff

Playing with your young children is the best way to make them into smart adults, researchers say—beating trendy toys, classes or music as a brain-building strategy for preschoolers.

Children’s foremost need is a secure relationship with an adult who loves them, said Eric Knudsen of the Stanford University School of Medicine in Stanford, Calif. “It’s all about playing with your child,” he added.

A paper online issue of the research journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences details the findings, by Knudsen and three other members of the U.S. National Scientific Council on the Developing Child.

The council, based at Brandeis University in Waltham, Mass., is a group of 12 scientists from across the United States in the field of early childhood development. 

The paper draws on past research in economics, neurobiology, developmental psychology and public policy. The authors said that working independently; they concluded that the earliest years of life forever shape an adult’s ability to learn. 

The capacity for change in the foundations of skill development and brain circuitry “is highest earlier in life and decreases over time,” the authors wrote. A child’s eventual ability to learn calculus or a second language, Knudsen said, starts with brain cells shaped by positive interactions with nurturing adults, well before school begins.

Jack P. Shonkoff of Brandeis, chairman of the council and a co-author of the paper, said lawmakers should take heed, as skilled jobs are moving from the United States overseas and a growing percentage of its workforce is raised in disadvantaged environments. 

“With all the attention currently focused on K-12 education reform and job training for adults with limited skills, this paper said that the biggest bang for the buck will come from investing in the earliest years of life,” he said. “It’s not about the toys, it’s about the human connection.”


Nutrition

Nutrition is directly linked to physical health and mental performance. Studies have shown that children with poor nutritional habits do not perform as well in school as their better-nourished peers. To promote good nutrition, parents should:
- Lead by example. The best way to teach children good nutritional habits is to follow them yourself in your home.

-Make sure children get the recommended daily allowance of brain-building “good fats” – like Omega 3 and DHA. Both are essential for proper brain development, especially in toddlers and preschoolers.

- Follow the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Recommended Dietary Allowance guidelines as much as possible.

- Kids can be picky eaters so vitamin supplements can help parents ensure kids are consuming the nutrients they need. Products like L’il Critters Gummy Vites and L’il Critters Omega-3 Gummy Fish can help children get the brain-building nutrients they need by making nutrition flavorful and fun for even the most finicky eaters.

For more information about L’il Critters and for helpful nutritional suggestions, visit www.gummybearvitamins.com
.

 

ANOREXIA & BULIMIA
Parents must be very diligent; these conditions could take your child's life

Anorexia nervosa

People with anorexia nervosa are often depressed. They choose not to eat despite their hunger and their very thin appearance. They often ‘feel fat’ even though they may actually be underweight. They may be thinking of food most of the time but they will not eat because for them eating normally would lead to terrifying weight gain.

The fear of becoming fat can override any sense of hunger so they don’t know when they are hungry, or they deny their hunger pain. They limit their food intake, are very choosy and may not eat many foods. Many also over exercise to lose weight, or work towards keeping a very low body weight. Not all those with anorexia nervosa are thin all the time. Their weight may vary but the anorexic thinking pattern may stay the same.

Sometimes anorexia nervosa begins with a weight loss after a physical illness or from dieting.

Bulimia nervosa

People with bulimia nervosa often have normal body weight or may be slightly overweight. This is another serious eating disorder where the sufferer has a similar fear of being overweight. The person gets caught up in a binge, purge, fast cycle.

  • Binge eating is uncontrolled eating of vast amounts of food, usually in a short space of time and is usually done in secret.
  • Purging is a way of getting rid of the food eaten in a binge. The most common way to purge is to make yourself vomit. Other ways of purging include laxatives, diet pills, over exercising and going without food.

The binge, purge, fast cycle is a hard pattern to break. People often binge to get rid of feelings they cannot manage, but this usually leads to more difficult feelings of guilt and gaining weight. They may then purge to get rid of these feelings at first and they may experience some relief from purging, but the guilt and self-hatred returns along with a feeling of being out of control. In an attempt to gain control and to feel better, they fast or don’t eat much but then the hunger leaves them more likely to start the cycle over again.

This can happen many times a day leaving people feeling depressed, sometimes suicidal, disgusted at themselves, withdrawn and having a belief that they are not able to control their behavior. They often feel responsible or to blame for this and may feel extremely embarrassed or ashamed.

It is important to realize that both anorexia and bulimia are serious problems and deserve specialized and sensitive care.

What causes an eating disorder?

There is not one single cause for an eating disorder. There is usually a combination of several or many different factors.

Some possible triggers for the disorder to begin may be chemical or hormone changes in the body at adolescence, worries or stress, or pressure from other people who say that to be attractive you have to be thin.

Some of the stresses or pressures that may contribute to eating disorders include:

  • feeling worried about all the new responsibilities that ‘growing up’ brings, for example, not liking the changes in their body (periods, body development) or not wanting to face issues like relating to the opposite sex
  • believing that doing really well is important to being loved and successful
  • being a ‘perfectionist’ and setting standards so high that they can never do as well as they want to, and then feeling they have failed
  • communication problems between family members (this is common in adolescence as young people test limits and move towards independence)
  • rules at home and/or poor communication which can prevent young people from feeling they have some control over their lives
  • stressful times (a major change or stressful situation such as breakdown of a relationship, birth of a child or the death of a loved one). These can make people feel overwhelmed and unable to cope, and they may focus on dieting and body image as a way of getting some control back into their lives
  • ongoing teasing or bullying, especially about appearance
  • early childhood experiences such as sexual abuse memories that may be triggered as they and their friends begin to develop sexually
  • sexual contact or violence such as rape or sexual assault
  • messages from the media, television, films and magazines constantly presenting the ‘ideal’ shape as slim and fit. Many women feel their value is judged by what they look like. With a great emphasis placed on being thin, many people believe that they need to be thin to be successful and attractive. There is also a tendency to see fat people (or even people of normal healthy weight) in a negative way.

Why are eating disorders serious?

If left untreated severe anorexia and bulimia can cause long term problems with physical and mental health. Some people will recover completely, others may not, and with some it can be fatal.

Physical effects

While the physical effects can be serious, they are generally reversible if treated in the early stages.

Most of the effects of severe anorexia are related to not getting adequate nutrition.

The physical effects can include:

  • strain on, and sometimes damage to most of the body and internal organs
  • indigestion
  • constipation
  • diarrhea
  • severe sensitivity to the cold
  • down-like hair all over the body
  • inability to think rationally or concentrate
  • and in girls, the loss of, or irregular periods.

Stress on the body from fasting, overeating and then vomiting can affect the body’s hormonal system and lead to massive changes in mood.

Severe bulimia is likely to cause erosion of the enamel on teeth from vomiting, swollen salivary glands, chronic sore throat and gullet, and the possibility of damage to the throat and stomach.

Other Issues  that are also likely include:

  • difficulties with activities which involve food, for example, not wanting to eat with others
  • loneliness and withdrawal from friends
  • deceptive behaviors relating to food
  • fear of disapproval of others should the illness become known, mixed with the hope that family and friends might step in and give help
  • mood swings, changes in personality, emotional outbursts or depression
  • inability to work, study or attend school due to depression, lack of stamina and inability to concentrate.

Signs of eating disorders

Some people might have unusual eating habits but they are not really extreme. Others can have eating disorder symptoms that don’t fit into either anorexia nervosa or bulimia nervosa. For example, some people with anorexia do know how thin they really are but still want to be thinner. Some people make themselves vomit but they don’t binge first. Some may not stop eating, but may restrict the amount they eat or have special rituals or very unusual behaviors around food.

Eating disorders can show up in what people do, but the underlying emotional stresses are not always easy to see.

These signs can have other causes besides an eating disorder but be aware of:

  • weight loss, failure to gain weight when growing, or fluctuating weight
  • tiredness, lack of energy and strength
  • depression or low self-worth
  • obsession with, and/or playing with food
  • being very selective about what to eat
  • obsession with body weight or shape
  • a preoccupation with the preparation of food for others to eat
  • thinking or talking about food all the time
  • over-exercising and being worried if they are not able to exercise
  • avoiding eating with other people
  • secrecy around food
  • regularly going to the toilet after eating or during meals
  • hoarding food
  • fear of losing control of eating
  • irritability and mood swings
  • avoiding friends and family
  • appearing anxious or stressed at meal times about food and amounts of food
  • menstruation (periods) stopping or not starting
  • lack of balance in a young person’s life, for example, not stopping exercise (despite injuries).

What parents can do

  • If you pick up a number of signs and are worried, seek help early, even if your child resists—they rarely seek help themselves.
  • Gently speak with your child, using open-ended questions, for example, ‘You seem to be really finding things hard, what’s happening for you?’ rather than ‘Why aren’t you eating?’
  • Choose a good time to ask your child how she’s going and what is happening in her life.
  • Try not to focus too much on food and weight. Although the person who has an eating disorder is totally focused on eating and weight, it is important to realize that this is not the main problem. The obsession with food takes up all their thinking and helps them block out other things, such as how bad they feel about themselves and their lives. Not eating then causes other problems that then become the major worry.
  • Give praise and encouragement for small achievements as well as large ones.
  • Do what you can to build your child’s self-esteem.
  • Don’t let the eating disorder dominate your relationship with your child. Make sure you see all the good things about her as well.
  • Tell your child honestly that you love and care for her.
  • Seek advice from specialists who understand this illness and can make an assessment and help advise the best things to do.
  • Consider making contact with your child’s school once diagnosed so they can help support your child.
  • Be careful to avoid commenting on other people’s appearances (young people are particularly sensitive to comments from others).
  • Find support for yourself.
  • If your child is uncooperative, still seek advice and support.
  • Be patient—it can be difficult for your child who may not understand the problem herself.

What help is available?

Noticing and responding to early warning signs and consulting a doctor is the most important thing to do first. No one wants to believe their child has a serious problem like an eating disorder but getting help early is the beginning of possibly breaking the cycle.

Once the illness has been diagnosed a range of health professionals may play a role in helping your child to recover. They may be doctors, nurses, psychiatrists, psychologists, dietitians, social workers, occupational therapists and dentists.

Sometimes it may be necessary for a young person who is severely malnourished because of anorexia to spend some time in hospital. Outpatient treatment is generally preferred for those with bulimia.

Treatment may include counseling, and sometimes medication to help severe depression or to correct hormonal and chemical imbalances.

Dieticians who are trained in helping young people with eating disorders can help guide new healthy eating habits.

Reminders

  • An eating disorder is a serious problem which can lead to death if untreated.
  • Responding to early warning signs and getting early treatment is one of the most important things you can do.
  • Changes in eating behavior can be caused by a number of illnesses so a physical assessment first is a good idea.
  • There is specialized help around. Help is aimed at recovery and not blaming anyone.
  • Remember you can seek advice even if your child is not ready to speak to someone.
  • Try not to panic—if people receive good assistance, recovery rates are high.
  • It will require much commitment, motivation and hard work.
  • Be patient … change does not happen quickly.

 

ATHLETES FOOT

Tinea pedis, is a widely known skin disorder which is caused by a kind of fungus. There is still research going on for actual cause detection of Athlete's foot but it is mainly caused by a fungus, usually occurring between the toes.

Toenail fungus

Toenail fungus is actually athlete's foot (often picked up from shared showers or borrowed shoes) that has spread into your toenails.

The most effective treatment is a prescription antifungal pill like Lamisil or Sporanox, unfortunately these treatments are only 75 percent effective at best, and even when they work it takes nearly a year and a half for the toenail to fully grow out. A good way for preventing a recurrence is by wearing shower slippers every time you rinse off at the gym.

 

The fungus causing tinea pedis as their general behavior suggests, prefers moist, warm skin - the reason for which tinea pedis favors the folds between the toes and is often worse in hot weather. This disease is contagious. The fungus can be spread from person to person by contact with these objects.

The Athlete's Foot we understand that the most important thing about 'shoes' is that they must fit and that means being properly fitted for better comfort and performance. In some people tinea pedis can get so bad that blisters form. Not all foot rashes are tinea pedis, only those caused by fungus growing on the skin.

The signs and symptoms of Athletes Foot includes

  1. Dry skin
  2. Itching
  3. Scaling
  4. Inflammation
  5. Blisters
  6. The skin frequently peels and in particularly severe cases, there may be some cracking, pain and bleeding as well.
  7. Athlete's foot may spread to the soles of the feet and to the toenails. This is especially likely to occur in the elderly, individuals with diabetes, chronic leg swelling, or who have had veins removed, and patients with impaired immune systems.
  8. Most commonly, people experience the typical symptoms of athlete's foot viz. itching, most notably in the creases between your toes, redness and scaling of the skin in affected areas and cracked or blistered skin.

According to the specialists, Athletes Foot is of four types.

  • Common symptoms include persistent itching of the skin on the sole of the foot or between the toes (often the fourth and fifth toes, the skin grows soft and the center of the infection becomes inflamed and sensitive to the touch.
  • Secondary bacterial infections - The infection can be transmitted to other parts of the body by scratching, or contamination of clothing or bedding.
  • The third type of tinea pedis is often called moccasin foot.
  • The fourth form of tinea pedis is inflammatory or vesicular.

There are mainly four dermatophytes that can cause athlete's foot. The most common among them is trichophyton rubrum. The causes of Athletes Foot are listed below:

Tinea pedis is caused by a fungus that is only mildly contagious. Everyone is exposed to the fungus which causes tinea pedis; why only some people get it is unknown. Tinea pedis may stay in the skin indefinitely. Even if the rash seems to have been cured, microscopic examination may reveal the fungus to be present. While medicines will clear up the rash, the fungus may merely be "lying low" and may cause the same rash again. Athlete foot causes foot itching, burning, pain, and scaling. Athlete foot is caused by a fungus and is treated with antifungal medications, many of which are available over-the- counter. Keeping the feet dry by using cotton socks and breathable shoes can help prevent athletes’ foot

The treatment of Athlete foot includes the following - Tinea pedis is usually well controlled by application of antifungal liquids, creams, or ointments. Lotrimin cream is an antifungal agent that can be bought without a prescription at your local drugstore. Severe cases of tinea pedis may benefit from Paravex , a potent natural solution or require griseofulvin, an antifungal medication taken by mouth. Sometimes infection with bacteria complicates tinea pedis and antibiotics are needed to kill the germs. If you have a tendency to develop tinea pedis, you should wear socks which are at least 60% cotton. You should change your shoes every day. Alternate 2-3 pairs of shoes, so the shoes will dry out completely before you use them again. In mild cases of the infection it is important to keep the feet dry by dusting foot powder in shoes and hose. The feet should be bathed frequently and all areas around the toes dried thoroughly. Tinea infections may disappear spontaneously and can persist for year.

Wear light and airy shoes. Wear socks that keep your feet dry, and change them frequently if you perspire heavily. Avoid walking barefoot; use shower shoes. Reduce perspiration by using talcum powder. Wear light and airy shoes. Wear socks that keep your feet dry, and change them frequently if you perspire heavily.

 

BACKPACKS

Backpacks come in all sizes, colors, fabrics, and shapes and aid children of all ages express their own sense of style. Used properly, they can be a useful tool. Many packs come with multiple compartments that help students stay organized while they tote their books and papers from home to school and back again. Compared to shoulder bags, messenger bags, or purses, backpacks are better because the strongest muscles in the body - the back and the abdominal muscles - support the weight of the packs. When worn correctly, the weight is evenly distributed across the child's body, and shoulder and neck injuries are less common than if the child carried a briefcase or purse.


Kids who wear their backpacks over just one shoulder - as many kids do, because they think it looks better- may end up leaning to one side to offset the extra weight. They might develop lower and upper back pain and strain their shoulders and neck. Improper backpack use can also lead to poor posture. Girls and younger children may be especially at risk for backpack-related injuries because they're smaller and may carry loads that are heavier in proportion to their body weight, also backpacks with tight, narrow straps that dig into the shoulders can interfere with a child's circulation and nerves. These types of straps can contribute to tingling, numbness, and weakness in the child's arms and hands.

And bulky or heavy backpacks don't just cause back injuries. Here are some other safety issues to consider:

  • People who carry large packs often aren't aware of how much space the packs take up and can hit others with their packs when turning around or moving through tight spaces, such as the aisles of the school bus.
  • Students are often injured when they trip over large packs or the packs fall on them.
  • Carrying a heavy pack changes the way a person walks and increases the risk of falling, particularly on stairs or other places where the backpack puts the student off balance.

Despite their potential problems, backpacks are an excellent tool for children when used properly. But before you buy that trendy new backpack your kid or teen has been begging you for, consider the backpack's construction.

The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends that parents look for the following when choosing the right backpack:

  • a lightweight pack that doesn't add a lot of weight to your child's load (for example, even though leather packs look cool, they weigh more than traditional canvas backpacks)
  • two wide, padded shoulder straps - straps that are too narrow can dig into shoulders
  • a padded back, which not only provides increased comfort, but also protects your child from being poked by sharp edges on objects (pencils, rulers, notebooks, etc.) inside the pack
  • a waist belt, which helps to distribute the weight more evenly across the body
  • multiple compartments, which can also help distribute the weight more evenly

Although packs on wheels (which look like small, overhead luggage bags) may be good options for students who have to lug around really heavy loads, they may be less practical than traditional backpacks because they're extremely difficult to pull up stairs and to roll through snow. Check with your child's school before buying your child a rolling pack; many schools don't allow them because they can pose a tripping hazard in the hallways.

Some easy steps your child can take to prevent injury when using a backpack:

Back specialist, increasingly concerned about the issue of children’s health and safety with their backpacks recommend that your child carry no more than 10-15% of their body weight in their loaded backpack, so pack only what is needed. Add up all of the items your child is carrying in their backpack, and it could be as much as 25% of their body weight. Purchasing a properly fitted pack enhances your child’s natural ability to carry weight properly and balanced, reducing stress on their body. The wise move on your part is to purchase sophisticated suspension systems that fits the body snugly and moves with the torso during activity. These systems also distribute the pack's weight evenly to prevent neck and shoulder strain.

A few backpack statistics:

  • 89 percent of chiropractors surveyed responded that they have seen patients (ages 5-18) reporting back, neck or shoulder pain caused by heavy backpacks.
  • 71 percent of chiropractors presently seeing such patients responded that they are currently seeing one to four patients (ages 5-18) reporting back, neck or shoulder pain caused by heavy backpacks.

                                                                 (http://www.chiro.org/LINKS/backpacks.shtml / http://www.chiro.org/ )
In conclusion:

Use of one strap shifts the weight to one side, causing muscle spasms and low back pain. This is true even with one-strap backpacks that cross the body. By wearing two shoulder straps, the weight of the backpack is better distributed, and a well-aligned symmetrical posture is promoted.

The size of the backpack should match the size of the child. It is also important to pay close attention to the way the backpack is positioned on the back. The backpack should rest evenly in the middle of the back. Shoulder straps should be adjusted to allow the child to put on and take off the backpack without difficulty and permit free movement of the arms. Make sure that the straps are not too loose and that the backpack does not extend below the low back.

  • Choose ergonomically designed features that enhance safety and comfort
  • A padded back to reduce pressure on the back, shoulders and under arm regions, and enhance comfort
  • Hip and chest belts to transfer some of the backpack weight from the back and shoulders to the hips and torso
  • Multiple compartments to better distribute the weight in the backpack, keep items secure, and ease access to the contents
  • Compression straps on the sides or bottom of the backpack to stabilize the articles and compress the contents so that the items are as close to the back as possible

 

KIDS BIKE SAFETY

Practice safety and you will have a wonderful time, ignore common safety and you might be on your back with something broken.


Bike riding is a lot of fun, but accidents happen. Every year, about 300,000 kids go to the emergency department because of bike injuries. Some of these injuries are so serious that children die, usually from head injuries.

A head injury can mean brain injury. That's why it's so important to wear your bike helmet. Wearing one doesn't mean you can be reckless, but a helmet will provide some protection for your head and brain in case you fall down.

Bike helmets are so important that the U.S. government has created safety standards for them. Your helmet should have a sticker that says it meets standards set by the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC). If your helmet doesn't have a CPSC sticker, ask your mom or dad to get you one that does. Always wear a bike helmet, even if you are going for a short ride.

Your bike helmet should fit you properly. You don't want it too small or too big. Never wear a hat under your bike helmet. If you're unsure if your helmet fits you well, ask someone at a bike store.

Once you have the right helmet, you need to wear it the right way so it will protect you. It should be worn level and cover your forehead. Don't tip it back so your forehead is showing. The straps should always be fastened. If the straps are flying, it's likely to fall off your head when you need it most. Make sure the straps are adjusted so they're snug enough that you can't pull or twist the helmet around on your head.

Take care of your bike helmet and don't throw it around. That could damage the helmet and it won't protect you as well when you really need it. If you do fall down and put your helmet to the test, be sure to get a new one. They don't work as well after a major crash.

Many bike helmets today are lightweight and come in cool colors. If you don't love yours as it is, personalize it with some of your favorite stickers. Reflective stickers are a great choice because they look cool and make you more visible to people driving cars.

Riding a bike that is the right size for you also help keeps you safe.

  • When you are on your bicycle, stand straddling the top bar of your bike so that both feet are flat on the ground.
  • There should be 1 to 3 inches of space between you and the top bar.

Do go over this checklist with your parent.

  • Make sure your seat, handlebars, and wheels fit tightly, have your parent help you adjust them. Be proud, you have most likely grown since last year. Time for an up-adjustment.
  • Check and oil your chain regularly. Don't use too much, or it will splatter on your tires and then your brakes will slip.
  • Check your brakes to be sure they work well and aren't sticking, go it slow and test when you’re not speeding.
  • Check your tires to make sure they have enough air and the right amount of tire pressure, too much air and puff, now you need a new one.

Wearing bright clothes and putting reflectors on your bike also can help you stay safe. It helps other people on the road see you. And if they see you, that means they're less likely to run into you.

You'll also want to make sure that nothing will get caught in your bike chain, such as loose pant legs, backpack straps, or shoelaces. Wear the right shoes — sneakers — when you bike. Sandals, flip-flops, shoes with heels, and cleats won't help you grip the pedals. And never go riding barefoot! Riding gloves may help you grip the handlebars — and make you look like a professional!

But avoid wearing headphones because the music can distract you from noises around you, such as a car blowing its horn so you can get out of the way.

You need to check with your parents about where you're allowed to ride your bike. You need to know how far you're allowed to go and whether you should ride on the sidewalk on in the street. Kids younger than 10 years should ride on the sidewalk and avoid the street. No matter where you ride, you need to keep an eye out for cars and trucks. Even if you're just riding on sidewalk, a car may pull out of its driveway into the path of your bike. If you're crossing a busy road, it's best to walk your bike across the street.

A bike path free of cars is a great choice if there's one in your area. Just remember to share the path with the other riders, walkers, and strollers who also might be using it! And if you're going on a long ride, bring some water along with you.

SAFETY FIRST

  • Always ride with your hands on the handlebars.
  • Always stop and check for traffic in both directions when leaving your driveway, an alley, or a curb.
  • Cross at intersections. When you pull out between parked cars, drivers can't see you coming.
  • Walk your bike across busy intersections using the crosswalk and following traffic signals.
  • Ride on the right-hand side of the street, so you travel in the same direction as cars do. Never ride against traffic.
  • Use bike lanes or designated bike routes wherever you can.
  • Don't ride too close to parked cars. Doors can open suddenly.
  • Stop at all stop signs and obey street (red) lights just as cars do.
  • Ride single file on the street with friends.
  • When passing other bikers or people on the street, always pass to their left side, and call out "On your left!" so they know that you are coming.
  • Learn hand signals.

 

COMPLEXION

As teens, both female and male battle skin problem they should also wear a sunscreen when out in the sun, with a sun protection factor (or SPF) of at least 15 that's labeled "noncomedogenic" or "non-acnegenic," which means the product won't clog pores. Discourage the use of tanning beds or booths, even for special occasions such as proms or vacations. Ask your doctor whether a sunless tanning product would be a better alternative.

It's especially important for kids who use prescription acne medications (including oral contraceptives, which are often prescribed to help clear up acne) to stay out of the sun and away from tanning beds. These drugs can make skin extremely sensitive to sunlight and the rays from ultraviolet tanning booths.

Numerous scientific studies have come to the same conclusion: There's no connection between diet and acne. Although it can be tempting to use this myth to encourage kids to eat more fruits and vegetables, blaming zits on junk food is not accurate. Even with this data, this is not an excuse to splurge on these foods, adding more pore clogging material

Hygiene isn't related to the development of acne, either. Washing the face each day gets rid of dead skin cells, excess oil, and surface dirt, but too much cleansing or washing too vigorously can lead to dryness and irritation — which can actually make acne worse.

Dermatologists usually recommend gently washing — not scrubbing or rubbing — the face no more than twice a day with a mild cleanser and patting the skin dry. Kids should steer clear of harsh exfoliates or scrubs, which can actually irritate blemishes. In addition, toners containing high concentrations of alcohol can dry out the skin and should be avoided.

Teens really should only use a water-based moisture lotion labeled 'non-comedogenic,' which means it doesn't clog pores, Heavier oil-based moisturizers can cause acne cosmetica--an [acne-like] skin condition directly attributed to the use of cosmetics.

Though popping a pimple may make it seem less noticeable temporarily, popping can cause the zit to stay around longer. Popping a pimple pushes bacteria from the zit further into the skin, making the area around the acne even more reddened and inflamed. Pimple-popping devices — such as "blackhead extractors" advertised in magazines — aren't any safer. Sometimes, popping a pimple will cause a brown or red scar to form that could last months; and scars, in the form of dents and pits, can last forever.

If your child is bummed because a huge zit arrived just in time for a special event, a cortisone injection given by a dermatologist may help to reduce redness and inflammation and speed healing. A dermatologist may also be able to recommend treatments for a teen with severe scarring.

Kids don't have to forego cosmetics as long the products used are labeled noncomedogenic or non-acnegenic, which means they won't cause breakouts. Some concealers now contain benzoyl peroxide or salicylic acid, which help to fight acne. Tinted acne-fighting creams may also help to fight pimples while hiding them.

However, if any product seems to be irritating the skin or causing breakouts, have your child stop using the product and call your dermatologist.

Cosmetics labeled "organic," "all natural," or those containing herbs have gained popularity, but they may contribute to clogged pores and acne, so it's best for kids who are prone to breakouts to steer clear of them.

Teen boys who have acne and shave can use either safety or electric razors, but should shave lightly around blemishes to avoid nicking the skin and causing irritation and infection.

When it comes to over-the-counter acne medication containing active ingredients such as benzoyl peroxide and salicylic acid, more isn't better. Using too much medication can actually worsen acne because it leads to dryness, irritation, and more blemishes.

But kids can get help for acne. A dermatologist can suggest acne treatments if your child:

  • has tried over-the-counter acne treatments with little or no success
  • has developed acne scars
  • has painful, large pimples
  • is dark-skinned and has acne that's causing dark patches to form
  • has low self-esteem or a reduced enjoyment of life because of acne


As teens' bodies are growing and changing, so are their complexions. Blemishes, blackheads, pimples, rashes, and acne are common problems that many teens would rather not discuss. However, it is important to understand these breakouts and their causes. By knowing how to care for your teenager's troubled skin, you can alleviate much of the anxiety it creates.

The exact cause of skin problems such as acne is not known, but hormones appear to be a major factor. During the teenage years, the levels of androgen, or male sex hormones, markedly elevate in both boys and girls. This results in an increase in both the size of the oil glands and the quantity of oil produced. Washing the face at least twice a day (three times if the skin is extremely oily) with a gentle cleanser will help keep the complexion clean and clear.

Excitement and stress are other causes of breakouts. When a big event, such as a test or date, we awake to find our skin has erupted during the night. Hormones are again the culprit. When we are under stress, our bodies secrete extra adrenal hormones, which promote the production of sebum, the skin's own natural moisturizer. This excess oil blocks the pores and can lead to breakouts. Learning to relax and understand troubled emotions may be the best defense. Encourage teens to express their feelings with a family member or friend to keep both their heads and skin clear. Relaxation exercises, such as yoga, walking, or meditation, can also be beneficial.

In addition to hormones and stress, another cause of teenage acne is heredity. This is not to say that just because you had complexion problems your teenager faces the same fate. But understanding your family history is useful in dealing with skin troubles, and may provide important background information to assist your physician when discussing your teenager's skin care.

Blemishes fall into two categories: comedown’s, or blackheads; and papules, or whiteheads. Both types of breakouts occur in the hair follicles. They develop when pores become clogged with sebum (oil) and other surface impurities, such as dead skin cells and bits of protein. Blackheads are not caused by dirt on the skin, but rather by excess oil left on the skin. If not removed within eight hours, this oil hardens into a plug. When the hardened oil is exposed to air, it is oxidized, giving it a black color. If bacteria come into contact with this plugged pore, it can cause an inflammation, or a whitehead (the classic pimple).

Never squeeze a blemish. Squeezing a pimple can cause infection, damage the skin, and push bacteria deeper, making the inflammation last longer. Even worse, it could lead to permanent scarring. Keeping the skin clean and loosening clogged pores is the best preventative. A weekly gentle facial scrub and deep cleansing mask can accomplish this.

To determine other ways to prevent or treat skin problems, examine where your teenager's skin is breaking out. Everyone gets breakouts in different places, not always on the face. Breakouts around the hairline can be caused by excessive amounts of hair styling gel or mousse. The hair should always be kept very clean, since the scalp can also produce excess oil. Pull hair back away from the face will also help.

Acne on the back or chest is common among young boys. Make sure they shower after exercising and wear natural fabrics that breathe, especially during hot weather.

If the chin or sides of the face always seem to be broken out, your teen may be touching the skin without realizing it, by resting the face in the hands during the day or while sleeping.

When their complexions are less than perfect, many teens panic and try harsh treatments that can actually make the condition worse. Instead, they should give their skin some tender loving care and relax. The following recipes and treatments will help clean, tone, and clear up troubled skin. (For severe cases of acne, see a doctor or skin care specialist.)

A few suggested organic treatments:

Honey Blemish treatment
Honey is great for drawing out impurities. It also contains a large amount of potassium, giving it antibacterial properties. For serious cases, try a complete facial mask of pure honey, rather than just a spot treatment.

Soak a cotton ball in warm salt water; press on the blemish for three minutes to help dissolve the top.

Dab a bit of honey on the affected area to deep-clean the pore and draw out any bacteria. Let sit for ten to 15 minutes.

Clean the face with normal cleanser; then rinse the skin well with warm water, then cool water.

Pat the skin dry.

Almond Meal Mask
This mask makes a good blackhead treatment. Almond meal is easy to make at home: Simply grind whole almonds in your coffee grinder or blender until they reach the consistency of cornmeal. You may also substitute ground oatmeal.

Ingredients:
2 tbs. almond meal
1-2 tbs. distilled water

Directions:

Mix the almond meal or oatmeal and water into a smooth paste, adding more water if necessary. Spread the mixture over the face and lightly massage the skin. Let the mask sit for 15 to 20 minutes. Rinse well with warm water, followed by cool water. Pat the skin dry.

Yield: 2 ounces

Fresh Strawberry Mask
Strawberries are rich in salicylic acid, a key ingredient in many commercial blemish control products that rids the skin of dead cells and deep-cleans the pores. In addition to helping heal blemishes, strawberries also have a mild bleaching effect on the skin.

Ingredients:
1/2 cup fresh strawberries
1 tbs. milk
1 tbs. cornstarch

Directions:

Mix the ingredients together to make a smooth paste. Spread over the face and neck and let sit for 20 minutes. Rinse first with warm water, then cool water. Follow with a mild astringent such as witch hazel, and apply a light moisturizer. Refrigerate any leftover mask and discard after one week.

Yield: 4 ounces

Non-soap Cleanser
This is a good all-purpose cleanser for use over the entire body. It helps loosen any surface impurities from the pores while cleaning the skin.

Ingredients:
2 tbs. oatmeal
1 tbs. honey
1 egg white

Directions:

Stir the ingredients together and pour the mixture into a clean container. Pour a small amount into your hand and massage the skin for a few minutes. Rinse well with warm (not hot) water and pat the skin dry. Refrigerate any leftover cleanser and discard after a week.

Yield: 2 ounces

Clear Skin Cleanser
Keep a small jar of this mixture next to the bathroom sink. It helps to dislodge embedded dirt and oil that can turn into blemishes. Keeping the skin clean and flee of excess oil is important in preventing breakouts.

Ingredients:
1/4 cup grated mild soap (I use Castile soap)
1/4 cup cornmeal
1/4 cup oatmeal

Directions:

Mix the ingredients together and pour into a clean container with a tight-fitting lid. Scoop out a small amount and mix together with water to form a smooth paste. Massage the cleanser into the face and neck; then rinse well with warm water, followed by cool water. Pat the skin dry and follow with a toner.

Vinegar Toner
This is a wonderful final rinse for troubled skin. After cleansing the skin and rinsing well with warm water, then cool water, use this product to restore the skin's natural acid level. It will also help the skin function more effectively and fight off harmful bacteria. (Never use straight vinegar on the skin or hair--it should always be diluted with water.)

Ingredients:
1 tbs. apple cider vinegar 1 cup distilled water

Directions:

Mix vinegar and water together.

Pour into a clean container with a tight-fitting lid or spray attachment. Splash or spritz on the face after cleansing. Do not rinse off; let the skin air dry (the vinegar smell will quickly fade).

Yield: 8 ounces

Fresh Parsley Splasher
Fresh parsley is perfect for soothing teenage skin. It has skin-softening properties that help to clean and calm the complexion. Wet a cotton washcloth with this mixture and use it as a cold compress for 15 to 20 minutes.

Ingredients:
1 large handful fresh parsley, about 1 cup
2 cups boiling water

Directions:

Place the parsley in a glass or ceramic bowl. Pour the boiling water over it and allow the mixture to cool completely. Strain out all solids and pour the fresh, green liquid into a clean container with a tight-fitting lid. Splash on the face after cleansing or apply to the skin with clean cotton pads. Keep in the refrigerator and discard after a few weeks.

Yield: 12 ounces

Natural Pimple Cream
Use this cream at night as a spot treatment on blemishes. Like honey, it will draw out any impurities and clear up the skin. Lanolin and glycerin can be found in the skin care section of any drugstore.

Ingredients:
1 tsp. castor oil
1 tsp. glycerin
1 tsp. lanolin

Directions:

Melt the ingredients together in a glass bowl placed in a microwave or over a double boiler. Cool completely and store in a clean glass jar. Apply a small amount to blemishes at night before bed.

Yield: 1/2 ounce

Simple Skin Saving Tips


Use these pointers to keep the complexion glowing with natural health:

Fight acne from the inside out by eating a balanced diet full of fiber, fresh vegetables, and fruits.

Drink plenty of liquids to flush any impurities from the system--at least 12 glasses of water or water-based beverages, such as herbal tea or diluted fruit juices daily.

Chocolate and cola are fine, but avoid seafood and salty snacks. They are both sources of iodine, which can aggravate acne in some people.

Take a well-balanced vitamin and mineral supplement. Vitamins A and B-6, zinc, and chromium help to clear up acne.

Keep your fingers out of cosmetic products. Pour creams, lotions, and makeup into clean hands or use a small spoon to scoop them out. This will prevent you from introducing germs and bacteria into the products.

Keep your hands off your face. Touching the face during the day will only irritate blemishes, plus expose the skin to harmful bacteria.

Keep your hands out of your hair. Oils from hair can be transferred to the fingertips and end up on the face. To fix your hair, use a brush or comb.

An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. Keep skin clean. Wash your face before going to bed at night and use a weekly scrub, such as almond meal or cornmeal, to keep the pores clear.

If your skin is broken out, do not steam your face in an effort to open up the pores. This can aggravate the condition by stimulating blood vessels and activating oil glands. Instead, apply hot towels to your face for no more than one minute.

ECZEMA (atopic dermatitis)

If you have eczema, you're probably not the only person you know who has it. Eczema isn't contagious like a cold, but most people with eczema have family members with the condition. Researchers think it's inherited or passed through the genes. In general, eczema is fairly common — approximately 1 in 10 people in the world will be affected by it at some point in their lives.

People with eczema also may have asthma and certain allergies, such as hay fever. For some, food allergies (such as allergies to cow's milk, soy, eggs, fish, or wheat) may bring on or worsen eczema. Allergies to animal dander, rough fabrics, and dust may also trigger the condition in some people.

Signs and Symptoms

It can be difficult to avoid all the triggers, or irritants, that may cause or worsen eczema flare-ups. In many people, the itchy patches of eczema usually appear where the elbow bends; on the backs of the knees, ankles, and wrists; and on the face, neck, and upper chest — although any part of the body can be affected.

In an eczema flare-up, skin may feel hot and itchy at first. Then, if the person scratches, the skin may become red, inflamed, or blistered. Some people who have eczema scratch their skin so much it becomes almost leathery in texture. Others find that their skin becomes extremely dry and scaly. Even though many people have eczema, the symptoms can vary quite a bit from person to person.

What Do Doctors Do?

If you think you have eczema, your best bet is to visit your doctor, who may refer you to a dermatologist (a doctor who specializes in treating skin). Diagnosing atopic eczema can be difficult because it may be confused with other skin conditions. For example, eczema can easily be confused with a skin condition called contact dermatitis, which happens when the skin comes in contact with an irritating substance like the perfume in a certain detergent.

In addition to a physical examination, a doctor will take your medical history by asking about any concerns and symptoms you have, your past health, your family's health, any medications you're taking, any allergies you may have, and other issues. Your doctor can also help identify things in your environment that may be contributing to your skin irritation. For example, if you started using a new shower gel or body lotion before the symptoms appeared, mention this to your doctor because a substance in the cream or lotion might be irritating your skin.

Emotional stress can also lead to eczema flare-ups, so your doctor might also ask you about any stress you're feeling at home, school, or work.

If you're diagnosed with eczema, your doctor might:

  • prescribe medications to soothe the redness and irritation, such as creams or ointments that contain corticosteroids, or antihistamine pills
  • recommend other medications to take internally if the eczema is really bad or you get it a lot

For some people with severe eczema, ultraviolet light therapy can help clear up the condition. Newer medications that change the way the skin's immune system reacts may also help.

If eczema doesn't respond to normal treatment, your doctor may do allergy testing to see if something else is triggering the condition, especially if you have asthma or seasonal allergies.

If you're tested for food allergies, you may be given certain foods (such as eggs, milk, soy, or nuts) and observed to see if the food causes an eczema flare-up. Food allergy testing can also be done by pricking the skin with an extract of the food substance and observing the reaction. But sometimes allergy testing can be misleading because someone may have an allergic reaction to a food that is not responsible for the eczema flare-up.

If you're tested for allergy to dyes or fragrances, a patch of the substance will be placed against the skin and you'll be monitored to see if skin irritation develops.

Preventing Eczema

Eczema can't be cured, but there are plenty of things you can do to prevent a flare-up. For facial eczema, wash gently with a nondrying facial cleanser or soap substitute, use a facial moisturizer that says noncomedogenic/oil-free, and apply only hypoallergenic makeup and sunscreens.

In addition, these tips may help:

  • Avoid substances that stress your skin. Besides your known triggers, some things you may want to avoid include household cleaners, drying soaps, detergents, and fragranced lotions.
  • H20 is a no-no. Too much exposure to water can dry out your skin, so take short warm — not hot — showers and baths and wear gloves if your hands will be in water for long periods of time. Be sure to gently and thoroughly pat your skin dry, as rubbing with a coarse towel will irritate the eczema. Also, it isn't the water that causes your skin to react; it's the water evaporating if not dried soon enough.
  • Say yes to cotton. Clothes made of scratchy fabric like wool can irritate your skin. Cotton clothes are a better bet.
  • Moisturize! A fragrance-free moisturizer such as petroleum jelly will prevent your skin from becoming irritated and cracked.
  • Don't scratch that itch. Even though it's difficult to resist, scratching your itch can worsen eczema and make it more difficult for the skin to heal because you can break the skin and bacteria can get in, causing an infection.
  • Keep your cool. Sudden changes in temperature, sweating, and becoming overheated may cause your eczema to kick in.
  • Take your meds. Follow your doctor's or dermatologist's directions and take your medication as directed.
  • Unwind. Stress can aggravate eczema, so try to relax.

There's good news if you have eczema — it usually clears up before the age of 25. Until then, you can learn to tune in to what triggers eczema and manage the condition. For example, if you have eczema and can't wear certain types of makeup, find brands that are free of fragrances and dyes. Your dermatologist may be able to recommend some brands that are less likely to irritate your skin.

Your self-esteem doesn't have to suffer just because you have eczema, and neither does your social life! Getting involved in your school and extracurricular activities can be a great way to get your mind off the itch. If certain activities aggravate your eczema, such as swimming in a heavily chlorinated pool, suggest activities to your friends that won't harm your skin.

Even if sweat tends to aggravate your skin, it's still a good idea to exercise. Exercise is a great way to blow off stress — just try walking, bike riding, or another sport that keeps your skin cool and dry while you work out.

 

DRUGS & ALCOHOL

Alcohol, Anabolic-Androgenic Steroids, Cocaine, Ecstasy (MDMA), Inhalants, Marijuana

-Teen Alcohol

Experimentation with alcohol during the teen years is common. Some reasons that teens use alcohol and other drugs are:

  • curiosity
  • to feel good, reduce stress, and relax
  • to fit in
  • to feel older

Alcohol seems harmless to many teens, it is not
Statistics show that teens who drink are more likely to be sexually active and to have unsafe, unprotected sex. Resulting pregnancies and sexually transmitted diseases can change — or even end — lives. The risk of injuring yourself, maybe even fatally, is higher when you're under the influence, too. One half of all drowning deaths among teen guys are related to alcohol use. Use of alcohol greatly increases the chance that a teen will be involved in a car crash, homicide, or suicide.

Teen drinkers are more likely to get fat or have health problems, too. Many people who continue drinking heavily well into adulthood risk damaging their organs, such as the liver, heart, and brain.

-Parents FYI

For many parents, bringing up the subject of alcohol is no easy matter. Your young teen may try to dodge the discussion, and you yourself may feel unsure about how to proceed. To make the most of your conversation, take some time to think about the issues you want to discuss before you talk with your child. Consider too how your child might react and ways you might respond to your youngster’s questions and feelings. Then choose a time to talk when both you and your child have some “down time” and are feeling relaxed.

You don’t need to cover everything at once. In fact, you’re likely to have a greater impact on your child’s decisions about drinking by having a number of talks about alcohol use throughout his or her adolescence. Think of this talk with your child as the first part of an ongoing conversation.

And remember, do make it a conversation, not a lecture! You might begin by finding out what your child thinks about alcohol and drinking.

Your Child’s Views About Alcohol.

Ask your young teen what he or she knows about alcohol and what he or she thinks about teen drinking. Ask your child why he or she thinks kids drink. Listen carefully without interrupting. Not only will this approach help your child to feel heard and respected, but it can serve as a natural “lead-in” to discussing alcohol topics.

Important Facts About Alcohol.

Although many kids believe that they already know everything about alcohol, myths and misinformation abound. Here are some important facts to share:

·        Alcohol is a powerful drug that slows down the body and mind. It impairs coordination; slows reaction time; and impairs vision, clear thinking, and judgment.

·        Beer and wine are not “safer” than hard liquor. A 12-ounce can of beer, a 5-ounce glass of wine, and 1.5 ounces of hard liquor all contain the same amount of alcohol and have the same effects on the body and mind.

·        On average, it takes 2 to 3 hours for a single drink to leave a person’s system. Nothing can speed up this process, including drinking coffee, taking a cold shower, or “walking it off.”

·        People tend to be very bad at judging how seriously alcohol has affected them. That means many individuals who drive after drinking think they can control a car—but actually cannot.

·        Anyone can develop a serious alcohol problem, including a teenager.

  • Oh, and can you ever be sick!

Good Reasons Not to Drink.

In talking with your child about reasons to avoid alcohol, stay away from scare tactics. Most young teens are aware that many people drink without problems, so it is important to discuss the consequences of alcohol use without overstating the case. Some good reasons why teens should not drink:

·        You want your child to avoid alcohol. Clearly state your own expectations about your child’s drinking. Your values and attitudes count with your child, even though he or she may not always show it.

·        To maintain self-respect. Teens say the best way to persuade them to avoid alcohol is to appeal to their self-respect—let them know that they are too smart and have too much going for them to need the crutch of alcohol. Teens also are likely to pay attention to examples of how alcohol might lead to embarrassing situations or events—things that might damage their self-respect or alter important relationships.

·        Drinking is illegal. Because alcohol use under the age of 21 is illegal, getting caught may mean trouble with the authorities. Even if getting caught doesn’t lead to police action, the parents of your child’s friends may no longer permit them to associate with your child.

·        Drinking can be dangerous. One of the leading causes of teen deaths is motor vehicle crashes involving alcohol. Drinking also makes a young person more vulnerable to sexual assault and unprotected sex. And while your teen may believe he or she wouldn’t engage in hazardous activities after drinking, point out that because alcohol impairs judgment, a drinker is very likely to think such activities won’t be dangerous.

·        You have a family history of alcoholism. If one or more members of your family have suffered from alcoholism, your child may be somewhat more vulnerable to developing a drinking problem.

·        Alcohol affects young people differently than adults. Drinking while the brain is still maturing may lead to long-lasting intellectual effects and may even increase the likelihood of developing alcohol dependence later in life.

The “Magic Potion” Myth.

The media’s glamorous portrayal of alcohol encourages many teens to believe that drinking will make them “cool,” popular, attractive, and happy. Research shows that teens who expect such positive effects are more likely to drink at early ages. However, you can help to combat these dangerous myths by watching TV shows and movies with your child and discussing how alcohol is portrayed in them. For example, television advertisements for beer often show young people having an uproariously good time, as though drinking always puts people in a terrific mood. Watching such a commercial with your child can be an opportunity to discuss the many ways that alcohol can affect people—in some cases bringing on feelings of sadness or anger rather than carefree high spirits.

How to Handle Peer Pressure.

It’s not enough to tell your young teen that he or she should avoid alcohol—you also need to help your child figure out how. What can your daughter say when she goes to a party and a friend offers her a beer? Or what should your son do if he finds himself in a home where kids are passing around a bottle of wine and parents are nowhere in sight? What should their response be if they are offered a ride home with an older friend who has been drinking?

Brainstorm with your teen for ways that he or she might handle these and other difficult situations, and make clear how you are willing to support your child. An example: “If you find yourself at a home where kids are drinking, call me and I’ll pick you up—and there will be no scolding or punishment.” The more prepared your child is, the better able he or she will be to handle high-pressure situations that involve drinking.


-Anabolic-androgenic steroids
are man-made substances related to male sex hormones. “Anabolic” refers to muscle-building, and “androgenic” refers to increased masculine characteristics. “Steroids” refers to the class of drugs. These drugs are available legally only by prescription, to treat conditions that occur when the body produces abnormally low amounts of testosterone, such as delayed puberty and some types of impotence. They are also prescribed to treat body wasting in patients with AIDS and other diseases that result in loss of lean muscle mass. Abuse of anabolic steroids, however, can lead to serious health problems, some irreversible.

Today, athletes and others abuse anabolic steroids to enhance performance and also to improve physical appearance. Anabolic steroids are taken orally or injected, typically in cycles of weeks or months (referred to as “cycling”), rather than continuously. Cycling involves taking multiple doses of steroids over a specific period of time, stopping for a period, and starting again. In addition, users often combine several different types of steroids to maximize their effectiveness while minimizing negative effects (referred to as “stacking”).

Health Hazards

The major side effects from abusing anabolic steroids can include liver tumors and cancer, jaundice (yellowish pigmentation of skin, tissues, and body fluids), fluid retention, high blood pressure, increases in LDL (bad cholesterol), and decreases in HDL (good cholesterol). Other side effects include kidney tumors, severe acne, and trembling. In addition, there are some gender-specific side effects:

  • For men - shrinking of the testicles, reduced sperm count, infertility, baldness, development of breasts, increased risk for prostate cancer.
  • For women - growth of facial hair, male-pattern baldness, changes in or cessation of the menstrual cycle, enlargement of the clitoris, deepened voice.
  • For adolescents - growth halted prematurely through premature skeletal maturation and accelerated puberty changes. This means that adolescents risk remaining short for the remainder of their lives if they take anabolic steroids before the typical adolescent growth spurt.

In addition, people who inject anabolic steroids run the added risk of contracting or transmitting HIV/AIDS or hepatitis, which causes serious damage to the liver.

Scientific research also shows that aggression and other psychiatric side effects may result from abuse of anabolic steroids. Many users report feeling good about themselves while on anabolic steroids, but researchers report that extreme mood swings also can occur, including manic-like symptoms leading to violence. Depression often is seen when the drugs are stopped and may contribute to dependence on anabolic steroids. Researchers report also that users may suffer from paranoid jealousy, extreme irritability, delusions, and impaired judgment stemming from feelings of invincibility.1

Research also indicates that some users might turn to other drugs to alleviate some of the negative effects of anabolic steroids.

-Cocaine

Cocaine is a powerfully addictive stimulant drug. The powdered, hydrochloride salt form of cocaine can be snorted or dissolved in water and injected. Crack is cocaine that has not been neutralized by an acid to make the hydrochloride salt. This form of cocaine comes in a rock crystal that can be heated and its vapors smoked. The term "crack" refers to the crackling sound heard when it is heated. *

Regardless of how cocaine is used or how frequently, a user can experience acute cardiovascular or cerebrovascular emergencies, such as a heart attack or stroke, which could result in sudden death. Cocaine-related deaths are often a result of cardiac arrest or seizure followed by respiratory arrest.

Health Hazards

Cocaine is a strong central nervous system stimulant that interferes with the reabsorption process of dopamine, a chemical messenger associated with pleasure and movement. The buildup of dopamine causes continuous stimulation of receiving neurons, which is associated with the euphoria commonly reported by cocaine abusers.

Physical effects of cocaine use include constricted blood vessels, dilated pupils, and increased temperature, heart rate, and blood pressure. The duration of cocaine's immediate euphoric effects, which include hyper stimulation, reduced fatigue, and mental alertness, depends on the route of administration. The faster the absorption, the more intense the high. On the other hand, the faster the absorption, the shorter the duration of action. The high from snorting may last 15 to 30 minutes, while that from smoking may last 5 to 10 minutes. Increased use can reduce the period of time a user feels high and increases the risk of addiction.

Some users of cocaine report feelings of restlessness, irritability, and anxiety. A tolerance to the "high" may develop—many addicts report that they seek but fail to achieve as much pleasure as they did from their first exposure. Some users will increase their doses to intensify and prolong the euphoric effects. While tolerance to the high can occur, users can also become more sensitive to cocaine's anesthetic and conversant effects without increasing the dose taken. This increased sensitivity may explain some deaths occurring after apparently low doses of cocaine.

Use of cocaine in a binge, during which the drug is taken repeatedly and at increasingly high doses, may lead to a state of increasing irritability, restlessness, and paranoia. This can result in a period of full-blown paranoid psychosis, in which the user loses touch with reality and experiences auditory hallucinations.

Other complications associated with cocaine use include disturbances in heart rhythm and heart attacks, chest pain and respiratory failure, strokes, seizures and headaches, and gastrointestinal complications such as abdominal pain and nausea. Because cocaine has a tendency to decrease appetite, many chronic users can become malnourished.

Different means of taking cocaine can produce different adverse effects. Regularly snorting cocaine, for example, can lead to loss of the sense of smell, nosebleeds, problems with swallowing, hoarseness, and a chronically runny nose. Ingesting cocaine can cause severe bowel gangrene due to reduced blood flow. People who inject cocaine can experience severe allergic reactions and, as with all injecting drug users, are at increased risk for contracting HIV and other blood-borne diseases.

Added Danger: Coca ethylene
When people mix cocaine and alcohol consumption, they are compounding the danger each drug poses and unknowingly forming a complex chemical experiment within their bodies. NIDA-funded researchers have found that the human liver combines cocaine and alcohol and manufactures a third substance, coca ethylene that intensifies cocaine's euphoric effects, while potentially increasing the risk of sudden death.

Treatment

The widespread abuse of cocaine has stimulated extensive efforts to develop treatment programs for this type of drug abuse.

One of NIDA's top research priorities is to find a medication to block or greatly reduce the effects of cocaine, to be used as one part of a comprehensive treatment program. NIDA-funded researchers are also looking at medications that help alleviate the severe craving that people in treatment for cocaine addiction often experience. Several medications are currently being investigated for their safety and efficacy in treating cocaine addiction.

-Ecstasy (MDMA) (3,4 methylenedioxymethamphetamine) is a synthetic, psychoactive drug chemically similar to the stimulant methamphetamine and the hallucinogen mescaline. Street names for MDMA include Ecstasy, Adam, XTC, hug, beans, and love drug. MDMA is an illegal drug that acts as both a stimulant and psychedelic, producing an energizing effect, as well as distortions in time and perception and enhanced enjoyment from tactile experiences.

 
Also, Rohypnol, GHB, and ketamine are among the drugs used by teens and young adults who are part of a nightclub, bar, rave, or trance scene. Raves and trance events are generally night-long dances.

MDMA exerts its primary effects in the brain on neurons that use the chemical serotonin to communicate with other neurons. The serotonin system plays an important role in regulating mood, aggression, sexual activity, sleep, and sensitivity to pain.

Health Hazards

For some people, MDMA can be addictive. A survey of young adult and adolescent MDMA users found that 43 percent of those who reported ecstasy use met the accepted diagnostic criteria for dependence, as evidenced by continued use despite knowledge of physical or psychological harm, withdrawal effects, and tolerance (or diminished response), and 34 percent met the criteria for drug abuse. Almost 60 percent of people who use MDMA report withdrawal symptoms, including fatigue, loss of appetite, depressed feelings, and trouble concentrating.

Cognitive Effects
Chronic users of MDMA perform more poorly than nonusers on certain types of cognitive or memory tasks. Some of these effects may be due to the use of other drugs in combination with MDMA, among other factors.

Physical Effects
In high doses, MDMA can interfere with the body’s ability to regulate temperature. On rare but unpredictable occasions, this can lead to a sharp increase in body temperature (hyperthermia), resulting in liver, kidney, and cardiovascular system failure, and death.

Because MDMA can interfere with its own metabolism (breakdown within the body), potentially harmful levels can be reached by repeated drug use within short intervals.

Users of MDMA face many of the same risks as users of other stimulants such as cocaine and amphetamines. These include increases in heart rate and blood pressure, a special risk for people with circulatory problems or heart disease, and other symptoms such as muscle tension, involuntary teeth clenching, nausea, blurred vision, faintness, and chills or sweating.

Psychological Effects
These can include confusion, depression, sleep problems, drug craving, and severe anxiety. These problems can occur during and sometimes days or weeks after taking MDMA.

Neurotoxicity
Research in animals links MDMA exposure to long-term damage to neurons that are involved in mood, thinking, and judgment. A study in nonhuman primates showed that exposure to MDMA for only 4 days caused damage to serotonin nerve terminals that was evident 6 to 7 years later. While similar neurotoxicity has not been definitively shown in humans, the wealth of animal research indicating MDMA's damaging properties suggests that MDMA is not a safe drug for human consumption.

Hidden Risk: Drug Purity
Other drugs chemically similar to MDMA, such as MDA (methylenedioxyamphetamine, the parent drug of MDMA) and PMA (paramethoxyamphetamine, associated with fatalities in the U.S. and Australia) are sometimes sold as ecstasy. These drugs can be neurotoxic or create additional health risks to the user. Also, ecstasy tablets may contain other substances in addition to MDMA, such as ephedrine (a stimulant); dextromethorphan (DXM, a cough suppressant that has PCP-like effects at high doses); ketamine (an anesthetic used mostly by veterinarians that also has PCP-like effects); caffeine; cocaine; and methamphetamine. While the combination of MDMA with one or more of these drugs may be inherently dangerous, users might also combine them with substances such as marijuana and alcohol, putting themselves at further physical risk.

-Inhalants are breathable chemical vapors that produce psychoactive (mind-altering) effects. A variety of products common in the home and in the workplace contain substances that can be inhaled. Many people do not think of these products, such as spray paints, glues, and cleaning fluids, as drugs because they were never meant to be used to achieve an intoxicating effect. Yet, young children and adolescents can easily obtain them and are among those most likely to abuse these extremely toxic substances.

Inhalants fall into the following categories:

Volatile Solvents

  • Industrial or household solvents or solvent-containing products, including paint thinners or removers, degreasers, dry-cleaning fluids, gasoline, and glue
  • Art or office supply solvents, including correction fluids, felt-tip-marker fluid, and electronic contact cleaners

Aerosols

  • Household aerosol propellants and associated solvents in items such as spray paints, hair or deodorant sprays, fabric protector sprays, aerosol computer cleaning products, and vegetable oil sprays

Gases

  • Gases used in household or commercial products, including butane lighters and propane tanks, whipping cream aerosols or dispensers (whippets), and refrigerant gases
  • Medical anesthetic gases, such as ether, chloroform, halothane, and nitrous oxide ("laughing gas")

Nitrites

  • Organic nitrites are volatiles that include cyclohexyl, butyl, and amyl nitrites, commonly known as "poppers." Amyl nitrite is still used in certain diagnostic medical procedures. Volatile nitrites are often sold in small brown bottles labeled as "video head cleaner," "room odorizer," "leather cleaner," or "liquid aroma."

Health Hazards

Although they differ in makeup, nearly all abused inhalants produce short-term effects similar to anesthetics, which act to slow down the body’s functions. When inhaled in sufficient concentrations, inhalants can cause intoxication, usually lasting only a few minutes.

However, sometimes users extend this effect for several hours by breathing in inhalants repeatedly. Initially, users may feel slightly stimulated. Repeated inhalations make them feel less inhibited and less in control. If use continues, users can lose consciousness.

Sniffing highly concentrated amounts of the chemicals in solvents or aerosol sprays can directly induce heart failure and death within minutes of a session of repeated inhalations. This syndrome, known as "sudden sniffing death," can result from a single session of inhalant use by an otherwise healthy young person. Sudden sniffing death is particularly associated with the abuse of butane, propane, and chemicals in aerosols.

High concentrations of inhalants also can cause death from suffocation by displacing oxygen in the lungs and then in the central nervous system so that breathing ceases. Deliberately inhaling from a paper or plastic bag or in a closed area greatly increases the chances of suffocation. Even when using aerosols or volatile products for their legitimate purposes (i.e., painting, cleaning), it is wise to do so in a well-ventilated room or outdoors.

Chronic abuse of solvents can cause severe, long-term damage to the brain, the liver, and the kidneys.

Harmful irreversible effects that may be caused by abuse of specific solvents include:

  • Hearing loss—toluene (spray paints, glues, dewaxers) and trichloroethylene (dry-cleaning chemicals, correction fluids)
  • Peripheral neuropathies, or limb spasms—hexane (glues, gasoline) and nitrous oxide (whipped cream dispensers, gas cylinders)
  • Central nervous system or brain damage—toluene (spray paints, glues, dewaxers)
  • Bone marrow damage—benzene (gasoline)

Serious but potentially reversible effects include:

  • Liver and kidney damage—toluene-containing substances and chlorinated hydrocarbons (correction fluids, dry-cleaning fluids)
  • Blood oxygen depletion—aliphatic nitrites (known on the street as poppers, bold, and rush) and methylene chloride (varnish removers, paint thinners)

Extent of Use

Initial use of inhalants often starts early. Some young people may use inhalants as an easily accessible substitute for alcohol. Research suggests that chronic or long-term inhalant abusers are among the most difficult drug abuse patients to treat. Many suffer from cognitive impairment and other neurological dysfunction and may experience multiple psychological and social problems.

-Marijuana

The way the drug affects each person depends on many factors, including:

  • user's previous experience with the drug;
  • how strong the marijuana is (how much THC it has);
  • what the user expects to happen;
  • where the drug is used;
  • how it is taken; and
  • whether the user is drinking alcohol or using other drugs.

Some people feel nothing at all when they smoke marijuana. Others may feel relaxed or high. Sometimes marijuana makes users feel thirsty and very hungry—an effect called "the munchies."

Some users can undergo bad effects from marijuana. They may suffer sudden feelings of anxiety and have paranoid thoughts. This is more likely to happen when a more potent variety of marijuana is used.

-Methamphetamine

Are a very addictive stimulant drug that activates certain systems in the brain. It is chemically related to amphetamine but, at comparable doses, the effects of methamphetamine are much more potent, longer lasting, and more harmful to the central nervous system (CNS).

Methamphetamine is a Schedule II stimulant, which means it has a high potential for abuse and is available only through a prescription that cannot be refilled. It can be made in small, illegal laboratories, where its production endangers the people in the labs, neighbors, and the environment. Street methamphetamine is referred to by many names, such as "speed," "meth," and "chalk." Methamphetamine hydrochloride, clear chunky crystals resembling ice, which can be inhaled by smoking, is referred to as "ice," "crystal," "glass," and "tina."

Methamphetamine is taken orally, intranasally (snorting the powder), by needle injection, or by smoking. Abusers may become addicted quickly, needing higher doses and more often. At this time, the most effective treatments for methamphetamine addiction are behavioral therapies such as cognitive behavioral and contingency management interventions.

Health Hazards

Methamphetamine increases the release of very high levels of the neurotransmitter dopamine, which stimulates brain cells, enhancing mood and body movement. Chronic methamphetamine abuse significantly changes how the brain functions. Animal research going back more than 30 years shows that high doses of methamphetamine damage neuron cell endings. Dopamine- and serotonin-containing neurons do not die after methamphetamine use, but their nerve endings ("terminals") are cut back, and regrowth appears to be limited. Noninvasive human brain imaging studies have shown alterations in the activity of the dopamine system. These alterations are associated with reduced motor speed and impaired verbal learning. Recent studies in chronic methamphetamine abusers have also revealed severe structural and functional changes in areas of the brain associated with emotion and memory, which may account for many of the emotional and cognitive problems observed in chronic methamphetamine abusers.

Taking even small amounts of methamphetamine can result in increased wakefulness, increased physical activity, decreased appetite, increased respiration, rapid heart rate, irregular heartbeat, increased blood pressure, and hyperthermia. Other effects of methamphetamine abuse may include irritability, anxiety, insomnia, confusion, tremors, convulsions, and cardiovascular collapse and death. Long-term effects may include paranoia, aggressiveness, extreme anorexia, memory loss, visual and auditory hallucinations, delusions, and severe dental problems.

Also, transmission of HIV and hepatitis B and C can be a consequence of methamphetamine abuse. Among abusers who inject the drug, infection with HIV and other infectious diseases is spread mainly through the re-use of contaminated syringes, needles, and other injection equipment by more than one person. The intoxicating effects of methamphetamine, however, whether it is injected or taken other ways, can alter judgment and inhibition and lead people to engage in unsafe behaviors. Methamphetamine abuse actually may worsen the progression of HIV and its consequences; studies with methamphetamine abusers who have HIV indicate that the HIV causes greater neuronal injury and cognitive impairment compared with HIV-positive people who do not use drugs.

 

HERPES

Herpes Simplex being a common skin disorder is spread by the person who carry herpes. The carrier of the disease does not even know about it. Herpes simplex is a Disease which consists of infection that affects the mouth. Herpes is a contagious infection that's caused by the herpes simplex virus.

Herpes simplex is commonly referred to as cold sores or fever blisters. It is a viral infection of the skin that may occur once or return again and again. A mother who has genital herpes can pass the infection on to her newborn if she delivers the baby vaginally. A finger infection, called herpetic whitlow, is another form of herpes infection. It usually affects health care providers who are exposured to oral secretions during procedures. Sometimes, young children contract the disease.

Symptoms of Herpes Simplex when they occur tend to be milder and heal much more quickly, typically within two to twelve days. Herpes Simplex Infections with the virus that causes genital herpes are common among teen girls. Herpes Simplex the incidence and prevalence of both strains of the virus among adolescent women.

Both types of the virus can be transmitted through direct contact. They can be mild for one individual and severe for another. A person can get the cold sores of HSV1 by kissing or sharing eating utensils with an infected person.

Main cause of Herpes Simplex is the Virus. The description of the causes is as follows:

There are two kinds of herpes virus, type 1 and type 2. Type 1 virus causes 60% of the cold sores so common on the lips and face. The other 40% of cases are caused by type 2. On the genitalia these percentages are reversed, that is 40% of genital herpes cases are caused by type 1 and 60% of cases are caused by type 2.

  • Herpes simplex virus 2 (HSV-2) is sexually transmitted.
  • Herpes simplex virus type 1 (HSV-1) is usually associated with infections of the lips, mouth, and face
  • Once you have herpes simplex type 1, you cannot be re-infected with the type 1 virus. You can however be infected with the type 2 virus.
  • Fever, sun exposure and menstruation can act as trigger factors, which cause the virus to travel down the nerves to the skin and cause the outbreak known as herpes or cold sores.
  • Herpes simplex is caused by the herpes hominis virus.
  • Herpes simplex is transmitted by sexual contact, kissing, or other close contact. Family members should not share towels or linen with someone who has an outbreak of herpes on the genitalia or cold sores. Herpes can spread from person to person even when an infected individual has no outbreak or symptoms.

 

HIV/AIDS
1 in 4 Americans living with HIV/AIDS does not know they have it

There is no cure!

HIV can infect anyone who doesn't take the proper precautions. Just a little reminder to teens, you are not invincible, HIV "can" become full blown Aids, and you will die! and it is a Terrible Death.



In 2018, approximately 770 000 people died from AIDS-related illnesses worldwide

Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) causes acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS), which is deadly if left untreated. An HIV infection damages the immune system, your body's defense against disease and infection. A person can die from "opportunistic" infections from bacteria, viruses and other types of microscopic organisms that are usually harmless to healthy people. Because the immune system is damaged, the body of someone with this condition cannot defend itself well. AIDS is the final stage of HIV infection, when opportunistic infections occur because of a greatly weakened immune system.

The white blood cells (lymphocytes) in our bodies work to protect us against infection. Lymphocytes include B cells and T cells. B cells produce antibodies that destroy organisms invading the body. T cells help regulate the production of these antibodies.

Some T cells are helper cells; others are suppressor cells. T helper cells help create antibodies and so-called cell-mediated immunity that also assist in the defense against certain infections. Suppressor cells end the immune reaction. The HIV virus targets a specific kind of T helper cell called CD4 cells. HIV attacks CD4 cells and uses them to make more copies of the HIV virus. As CD4 cells are destroyed, the immune system fails and AIDS develops.

In the United States, more than half a million people have died from AIDS

Do you really know if your partners is free of HIV?


In excess of 20,000 young people are newly infected with HIV. Teens are at high risk for infection with HIV, even though they account for only a small percentage of reported AIDS cases. Over the last few years the annual number of new HIV infections has risen among youth. Sharing needles or other paraphernalia used in injection drug use and risky sexual practices are the two main ways that HIV is spread. HIV is transmitted when an infected person's blood or other bodily fluid comes in contact with the blood, broken skin, or mucous membranes of an uninfected person

Presently in the U.S. about 25% of new infections are in women, especially women of color, and over 70% of new infections in women occur through heterosexual sex. 
HIV statistics related to women in the United States:


At present, there is no cure for AIDS, although it can be treated with HAART, which can prolong life and decrease symptoms. ,

You cannot tell by looking at them if someone is infected with HIV. A person can be infected with the virus for many years. A medical diagnostic test is the only way to know if a person has HIV or if their HIV has progressed to AIDS

FYI, oral sex is not as safe as you think. Studies have shown that infected bodily fluids such as semen and vaginal secretions have high concentrations of HIV that can enter the blood stream through the mucous membranes of the mouth.

People are living longer due to the advent of powerful HIV medications that help fight the virus. The medications are not a cure. Liver disease, pneumonia, and serious infection of the brain and other internal organs are constant concerns for those living with HIV. The medicines are not a "quick fix" to an HIV infection. They are difficult to take and cause many terrible side effects.

Often people who are newly HIV infected have few or no symptoms. Other times, symptoms of HIV are confused with other illnesses such as the flu. If a person were to have symptoms they would include:

  • Swollen lymph nodes in the neck, groin or under the arms
  • Diarrhea
  • Unexplained weight loss
  • Fatigue
  • Fever, chills or sweats (especially at night)
  • Visual changes
  • Frequent pneumonias or shortness of breath
  • Rash
  • Flu-like symptoms

Ways of contracting HIV

  • By way of bodily fluids (blood, semen, and vaginal secretions) during sexual contact. Saliva is not considered a transmission route for HIV.
  • By sharing needles to inject drugs. Infected blood can be exchanged between the parties who are using the same needle and syringe.
  • By accidental needle sticks in the health care industry (needles contaminated with HIV infected blood).

A person may live with it but in the end, he will surely get aids. The virus is fought with our antibodies that diminishes after some period of time. And there is no cure so far to protect these antibodies.

Don't have unprotected sex.

Safer sex, teens and HIV, and abstinence are all things that weigh heavily on the mind of a teenager. While many teens want to say "no" to sex, but, peer pressure and a lack of assertiveness prevents them from doing so. For those wanting to say "no" but are having problems doing so, there are ways for teens to say "no" to sex. Many online sources are available for you to seek help in dealing with this sometimes-difficult situation.

More:

STD is a sexually transmitted disease. STDs are spread by having sex with someone who has an STD. You can get a sexually transmitted disease from sexual activity that involves the mouth, anus or vagina.

STDs are serious illnesses that require treatment. Some STDs, like AIDS, cannot be cured and are deadly. By learning more about STDs, you can learn ways to protect yourself from these diseases. STDs include:

  • Genital herpes
  • HIV/AIDS
  • Genital warts
  • Hepatitis B
  • Chlamydia
  • Syphilis
  • Gonorrhea (“Clap”)
  • Vaginitis
  • Trichomonas (“Trick”)

Sometimes, there are no symptoms. If symptoms are present, they may include:

  • Bumps, sores, or warts near the mouth, anus, penis, or vagina
  • Swelling or redness near the penis or vagina
  • Skin rash
  • Painful urination
  • Weight loss, loose stools, night sweats
  • Aches, pains, fever, and chills
  • Yellowing of the skin (jaundice)
  • Discharge from the penis or vagina (Vaginal discharge may smell bad.)
  • Bleeding from the vagina other than during a monthly period
  • Painful sex
  • Severe itching near the penis or vagina

 

(ICE)

IN CASE OF EMERGENCY

On your Childs (as well as your own) Cell phone create an entry that enables first responders, such as paramedics, firefighters, and police officers, to identify you or your child and contact your next of kin to obtain important medical information. You can list multiple emergency contacts as "ICE1", "ICE2", ICE home, etc.

 

INFANTS

Sleeping

Babies, especially really young ones have much more light sleep than adults and older children. This means that they have more opportunities to wake up and when they do, many infants need help to get back to sleep.

If at all possible, always place your child in their bed at bedtime. The great advantage with having your child falling asleep in their bed - they will not become terrified waking up in the middle of the night! If your baby always falls asleep in your arms, your child will start believing that this the normal, instead of a bed.

Obviously when nursing or bottle feeding, your child will fall asleep in your arms, you should place them in their crib do both at night and every time your baby takes a nap at day time. During their first weeks your baby will probably fall asleep every time they are fed. Don't worry about it. When he is a little bit older, at two months or so, you can feed the child while they are still not too tired and then put a tired, full baby to bed half an hour later.

Establish a routine and repeat it every night around the same time. This may involve giving your baby a bath, changing them, having a story together and then settling your child to sleep.

Same Place. Always try to put your baby down to sleep in the same place. This way your baby will associate that place with sleep time.

Work out a simple bedtime routine, such as a soft music lullaby music to help soothe them off to sleep, or a gentle massage. It is amazing how a gentle massage to an infant will relax them.  Repeat this every night and your baby will also learn this is another cue to sleep, keep in mind that gently patting your baby may also calm them to sleep.

Make sure the sleeping area is dimly lit, close the curtains or blinds, also no bright lights and unnecessary activity, this usually keeps babies awake.

If your baby wakes up, check if he / she needs a diaper change or is your baby feeling too cold or hot.

If your baby wakes after they have settled, stay in the bedroom to soothe your child back to sleep.

Rocking and walking with baby in your arms often settle a crying baby.

Baby Tooth Care

- Start cleaning your child's mouth even before her teeth come in. Wipe the gums off after each feeding with a warm, wet washcloth or a dampened piece of gauze wrapped around your finger. You can also buy thimble-like, soft rubbery devices (they fit over your index finger) to use for rubbing off excess food.

-Once the teeth begin coming in, start taking care of them right away. Many parents think baby teeth aren't important because they're eventually replaced by permanent ones. But these first teeth preserve the spacing for the permanent ones and help baby chew and talk. If they're not cared for properly the can decay, leading to a gum infection called gingivitis, which can affect the spacing of permanent teeth.

- Watch for cavities. The first signs of cavities in baby teeth are discoloration and minor pitting. Putting baby to bed with a bottle of milk (or worse, juice) is notorious for causing cavities. Don't leave your infant with a bottle for long periods of time, especially if you notice he's no longer feeding and is just using the bottle for comfort.

- Follow meals with water. Most infant foods easily wash off baby's teeth with just a drink of water after meals. But it's good to introduce a toothbrush (choose a very soft one) as soon as possible, so baby can get used to having it in his mouth. You probably won't need to use the brush to actually clean baby's teeth until he's eating only table foods (and has a significant number of teeth), at around 18 months. However, you'll want to gently clean your child's teeth with a toothbrush or thimble like cleaner and some bicarbonate of soda if your toddler has eaten sticky, sugary foods.

- Begin using a pea-size amount of non-fluoride toothpaste once baby is about age 2. Wait until at least age 3, when your child is old enough not to swallow the toothpaste, before introducing the fluoride kind.

- Regulate baby's fluoride intake.  Even though your baby isn't using a fluoride toothpaste, he should get enough fluoride -- important for preventing tooth decay -- from drinking tap water. Most communal water supplies have it added just for this beneficial purpose. Ask your doctor about fluoride supplements baby can take once he's 6 months old if your tap water is not fluoridated or your child doesn't drink any tap water.

-Schedule a dental exam.  Your baby should receive their first dental exam at age 1, but most pediatricians agree that the first visit can wait until age 3, as long as you practice good home care.

                                                             The American Dental Association

Bathing

Check with your doctor; more than likely, he or she won't recommend a daily bath for your newborn.

The frequency depends on your climate, your baby's health, and the time of year. Sponge baths are a good idea until baby is about 6 weeks old. Use warm water and a soft cloth to clean all those baby parts that need special attention--­first the face and then the neck, hands, and diaper area. Of course, bathe more often as the situation requires­--after all, babies can get a bit messy. When your baby starts to eat solid foods (between 4 and 6 months) the mess will begin, you'll need to bathe your baby more often.

-Sponge-bathe your baby until the umbilical cord falls off. For circumcised baby boys, wait until the circumcision has healed (about 10 days) before giving him his first full bath.

-Water temperature counts. A baby can't regulate their body temperature as well as you can, so always bathe in a warm room. The water should be at body temperature. Always check the bath water temperature with the underside of your wrist before you place baby into the water. Also, make sure the room where you bathe the baby is adequately warm and draft-free. 

-A wet baby is a slippery baby, so use both hands to bathe him. Watch for his natural startled reaction to the water, which may cause him to slip out of your grasp. To keep baby from slipping in the sink or tub, lay a towel beneath him to act as a soft bath mat.

-A newborn's skin is very sensitive, so use only mild, no-tears baby soaps and shampoos. Avoid using oils, lotions, and other toiletries on your baby unless they're recommended by a doctor.

-Collect soap, towels, and other bath items so they're close at hand before you begin a bath.
Never leave your baby in the tub unattended—not even for a second!  NEVER NEVER!! if you must stop bathing, lift your baby out of the tub, wrap them in a bath towel, and take your baby with you.

Each year, about 50 children drown in the bathtub because they were unsupervised.

-Until your baby is several months old, shampoo his hair about once a week. Use a mild no-tears formula, and place a washcloth on his forehead to help keep drips out of his eyes. Of course, if your baby has lots of hair, shampoo whenever necessary.

- Because some infants will become fussy when placed in water,
crying and with flailing arms, it's important to make bath time a comfortable, peaceful experience. Be sure to sing and talk when bathing your child. The gentle sound of your voice, in most cases, will have a soothing effect on your baby.

-When tub time is done, bundle up baby in a clean, soft towel, and dry him off by gently patting (not rubbing) his skin and hair. Then take a deep breath and enjoy the wonderful fresh smell of your little one.

The kitchen sink will do if your baby fits in it comfortably. Do be careful that the faucets don't hit the child, and line the sink with a towel for their sponge bath.

The bathtub will be your choice when baby grows too big for the sink and can sit up on his own, which will happen around 6 months old. Never leave your baby in a tub unattended, regardless of how little water (Two (2") inches of water are adequate for a child to drown) is in it.

Colic or Fussy

O
ne way to tell if your baby is simply fussy or is suffering from colic, which is a common condition that involves intense, inconsolable crying for long periods of time, is to take note how often and how long your baby cries. For babies who cry in the afternoon or evenings for longer than three hours a day, three days out of the week, colic is most likely the cause. Episodes of colic usually start suddenly for no reason. If your baby does indeed have colic, make an appointment with your doctor to learn how to care for your baby properly during this time

Diaper Rash
When your baby's bottom is irritated, try easy home remedies to soothe and calm them down. For diaper rash and chaffing, apply a generous amount of fresh aloe extract. You can purchase a bottle of aloe extract from many retailers, drug store, health foods, etc,.( If you are caught unprepared and have no Aloe in the house, use vegetable shortening. Apply it directly onto your baby's affected area. For really bad diaper rash, spread the vegetable shortening onto their diaper instead of their skin, and then apply diaper).


Safety

Tips for Your Baby's Safety


Nursery Equipment Safety Checklist

From the beginning of a child's life, products, such as cribs, high chairs and other equipment intended for a child must be selected with safety in mind. Parents and caretakers of babies and young children need to be aware of the many potential hazards in their environment - hazards occurring through misuse of products or those involved with products that have not been well designed for use by children.

This checklist is a safety guide to help you when buying new or secondhand nursery equipment. It also can be used when checking over nursery equipment now in use in your home or in other facilities that car for infants and young children.

ASK YOURSELF: DOES THE EQUIPMENT HAVE THE SAFETY FEATURES IN THIS CHECKLIST? IF NOT, CAN MISSING OR UNSAFE PARTS BE EASILY REPLACED WITH THE PROPER PARTS? CAN BREAKS OR CRACKS BE REPAIRED TO GIVE MORE SAFETY? CAN I FIX THE OLDER EQUIPMENT WITHOUT CREATING A "NEW" HAZARD?

If most of your answers are "NO," the equipment is beyond help and should be discarded. If the equipment can be repaired, do the repairs before you allow any child to use it.

The Consumer Product Safety Commission's concern is that the children in your care have a safe environment in which to grow.


 

Back Carriers

YES

NO




1. Carrier has restraining strap to secure child.

___

___

2. Leg openings are small enough to prevent child from slipping out.

___

___

3. Leg openings are large enough to prevent chafing.

___

___

4. Frames have no pinch points in the folding mechanism.

___

___

5. Carrier has padded covering over metal frame near baby's face.

___

___


THE COMMISSION RECOMMENDS: Do not use until baby is 4 or 5 months old. By then baby's neck is able to withstand jolts and not sustain an injury.


 

Bassinets and Cradles

YES

NO




1. Bassinet/Cradle has a sturdy bottom and a wide base for stability.

___

___

2. Bassinet/Cradle has smooth surfaces - no protruding staples or other hardware that injure the baby.

___

___

3. Legs have strong, effective locks to prevent folding while in use.

___

___

4. Mattress is firm and fits snugly.

___

___


THE COMMISSION RECOMMENDS: Follow manufacturer's guidelines on weight and size of baby who can safely use these products.


 

Baby Bath Rings or Seats

YES

NO




1. Suction cups securely fastened to product.

___

___

2. Suction cups securely attached to SMOOTH SURFACE of tub.

___

___

3. Tub filled only with enough water to cover baby's legs

___

___

4. Baby NEVER left alone or with a sibling while in bath ring, even for a moment!

___

___


THE COMMISSION RECOMMENDS: NEVER leave a baby unattended or with a sibling in a tub of water. Do not rely on a bath ring to keep your baby safe.


 

Carrier Seats

YES

NO




1. Carrier seat has a wide sturdy base for stability.

___

___

2. Carrier has non-skid feet to prevent slipping.

___

___

3. Supporting devices lock securely.

___

___

4. Carrier seat has crotch and waist strap.

___

___

5. Buckle or strap is easy to use.

___

___


THE COMMISSION RECOMMENDS: Never use the carrier as a car seat.


 

Changing Tables

YES

NO




1. Table has safety straps to prevent falls.

___

___

2. Table has drawer or shelves that are easily accessible without leaving the baby unattended.

___

___


THE COMMISSION RECOMMENDS: Do not leave baby on the table unattended. Always use the straps to prevent the baby from falling.


 

Cribs

YES

NO




1. Slats are spaced no more than 2 3/8 inches (60 mm) apart.

___

___

2. No slats are missing or cracked.

___

___

3. Mattress fits snugly--less than two finger width between edge or mattress and crib side.

___

___

4. Mattress support is securely attached to the head and footboards.

___

___

5. Corner posts are no higher than 1/16 inch (1.5 mm) to prevent entanglement of clothing or other objects worn by child.

___

___

6. No cutouts in the head and footboards which allow head entrapment.

___

___

7. Drop-side latches cannot be easily released by baby.

___

___

8. Drop-side latches securely hold sides in raised position.

___

___

9. All screws or bolts which secure components of crib are present and tight.

___

___


THE COMMISSION RECOMMENDS: Do not place crib near draperies or blinds where child could become entangled and strangle on the cords. When the child reaches 35 inches in height or can climb and/or fall over the sides, the crib should be replaced with a bed.


 

Crib Toys

YES

NO




1. No strings with loops or openings having perimeters greater than 14 inches (356 mm).

___

___

2. No strings or cords longer than 7 inches (178 mm) should dangle into the crib.

___

___

3. Crib gym has label warning to remove from crib when child can push up on hands and knees or reaches 5 months of age, whichever comes first.

___

___

4. Components of toys are not small enough to be a choking hazard.

___

___


THE COMMISSION RECOMMENDS: Avoid hanging toys across the crib or on crib corner posts with strings long enough to result in strangulation. Remove crib gyms when child is able to pull or push up on hands and knees.


 

Gates and Enclosures

YES

NO




1. Openings in gate are too small to entrap a child's head.

___

___

2. Gate has a pressure bar or other fastener that will resist forces exerted by a child.

___

___


THE COMMISSION RECOMMENDS: To avoid head entrapment, do not use accordion-style gates or expandable enclosures with large v-shaped openings along the top edge, or diamond-shaped openings within.


 

High Chairs

YES

NO




1. High chair has waist and crotch restraining straps that are independent of the tray.

___

___

2. Tray locks securely.

___

___

3. Buckle on waist strap is easy to use.

___

___

4. High chair has a wide stable base.

___

___

5. Caps or plugs on tubing are firmly attached and cannot be pulled off and choke a child.

___

___

6. If it is a folding high chair, it has an effective locking device to keep the chair from collapsing.

___

___


THE COMMISSION RECOMMENDS: Always use restraining straps; otherwise child can slide under the tray and strangle.


 

Hook-On Chairs

YES

NO




1. Chair has a restraining strap to secure the child.

___

___

2. Chair has a clamp that locks onto the table for added security.

___

___

3. Caps or plugs on tubing are firmly attached and cannot be pulled off and choke a child.

___

___

4. Hook-on chair has a warning never to place the chair where the child can push off with feet.

___

___


THE COMMISSION RECOMMENDS: Don't leave a child unattended in a hook-on chair.


 

Pacifiers

YES

NO




1. No ribbon, string, cord or yarn attached to pacifier.

___

___

2. Shield is large enough and firm enough to not fit in child's mouth.

___

___

3. Guard or shield has ventilation holes so the baby can breathe if the shield does get into the mouth.

___

___

4. Pacifier nipple has no holes or tears that might cause it to break off in baby's mouth.

___

___


THE COMMISSION RECOMMENDS: To prevent strangulation, never hang pacifier or other items on a string around a baby's neck.


 

Playpens

YES

NO




1. Drop-side mesh playpen or crib has label warning never to leave side in the down position.

___

___

2. Mesh has small weave (less than 1/4-inch openings).

___

___

3. Mesh has no tears, holes or loose threads.

___

___

4. Mesh is securely attached to top rail and floorplate.

___

___

5. Top rail cover has no tears or holes.

___

___

6. Wooden playpen has slats spaced no more than 2 inches (60 mm) apart.

___

___

7. If staples are used in construction, they are firmly installed and none are missing or loose.

___

___


THE COMMISSION RECOMMENDS: Never leave an infant in a mesh playpen or crib with the drop-side down. Even a very young infant can roll into the space between the mattress and loose mesh side and suffocate.


 

Rattles, Squeeze Toys, Teethers

YES

NO




1. Rattles, squeeze toys and teethers are too large to lodge in a baby's throat.

___

___

2. Rattles are of sturdy construction that will not break apart in use.

___

___

3. Squeeze toys do not contain a squeaker that could detach and choke a baby.

___

___


THE COMMISSION RECOMMENDS: Take rattles, squeeze toys, teethers and other toys out of the crib or playpen when the baby sleeps to prevent suffocation.


 

Strollers & Carriages

YES

NO




1. Wide base to prevent tipping.

___

___

2. Seat belt and crotch strap securely attached to frame.

___

___

3. Seat belt buckle is easy to use.

___

___

4. Brakes securely lock the wheel(s).

___

___

5. Shopping basket is low on the back and directly over or in front of rear wheels for stability.

___

___

6. When used in carriage position, leg hold openings can be closed.

___

___


THE COMMISSION RECOMMENDS: Always secure the seat belts. Never leave a child unattended in a stroller. Keep children's hands away from pinching areas when stroller is being folded or unfolded or the seat back is being reclined.


 

Toy Chests

YES

NO




1. No lid latch which could entrap child within the chest.

___

___

2. Hinged lid has a spring-loaded lid support that will support the lid in any position and will not require periodic adjustment.

___

___

3. Chest has ventilation holes or spaces in front or sides, or under the lid should a child get inside.

___

___


THE COMMISSION RECOMMENDS: If you already own a toy chest or trunk with a freely falling lid, remove the lid to avoid a head injury to a small child, or install a spring-loaded lid support.


 

Walkers

YES

NO




1. Wide wheel base for stability.

___

___

2. Covers over coil springs to avoid finger pinching.

___

___

3. Seat is securely attached to frame or walker.

___

___

4. No x-frames that could pinch or amputate fingers.

___

___


THE COMMISSION RECOMMENDS: Place gates or guards at top of all stairways, or keep stairway doors closed to prevent falls. Do not use walker as baby sitters.


 

Recalls & Alerts

 

MONO

Infectious mononucleosis ”mono" or "the kissing disease," is an infection usually caused by the Epstein-Barr virus (EBV). EBV is very common, and many people have been exposed to the virus at some time in childhood

Not everyone who is exposed to EBV develops the symptoms of mono, though. As with many viruses, it is possible to be exposed to and infected with EBV without becoming sick.

People who have been infected with EBV will carry the virus for the rest of their lives — even if they never have any signs or symptoms of mono. People who do show symptoms of having mono probably will not get sick or have symptoms again.

One common way to "catch" mono is by kissing someone who has been infected, which is how the illness got its "kissing disease" nickname. If you have never been infected with EBV, kissing someone who is infected can put you at risk for getting the disease.

But what if you haven't kissed anyone? You can also get mononucleosis through other types of direct contact with saliva (spit) from someone infected with EBV, such as by sharing a straw, a toothbrush, or an eating utensil.

Some people who have the virus in their bodies never have any symptoms, but it is still possible for them to pass it to others. Experts believe that EBV can even spread from people who had the virus months before.

Symptoms usually begin to appear 4 to 7 weeks after infection with the virus. Signs that you may have mono include:

  • constant fatigue
  • fever
  • sore throat
  • loss of appetite
  • swollen lymph nodes (commonly called glands, located in your neck, underarms, and groin)
  • headaches
  • sore muscles
  • larger-than-normal liver or spleen
  • skin rash
  • abdominal pain

People who have mono may have different combinations of these symptoms, and some may have symptoms so mild that they hardly notice them. Others may have no symptoms at all.

Even if you have several of these symptoms, don't try to diagnose yourself. Always consult your doctor if you have a fever, sore throat, and swollen glands or are unusually tired for no apparent reason.

Because the symptoms of mono are so general and can be signs of other illnesses, it's possible to mistake mononucleosis for the flu, strep throat, or other diseases. In fact, occasionally some people may have mono and strep throat at the same time.

When making a diagnosis, the doctor may want to take some blood tests to see if mono is causing the symptoms. But even if the blood tests indicate mono, there isn't much the doctor can do other than advise a person to drink lots of fluids and get plenty of rest.

There is no cure for mononucleosis. But the good news is that even if you do nothing, the illness will go away by itself, usually in 3 to 4 weeks. Because mono is caused by a virus, antibiotics such as penicillin won't help unless you have an additional infection like strep throat. In fact, certain antibiotics can even cause a rash if you take them while you have mono.

Although there's no magic pill for mono, you can do some things to feel better. The best treatment is to get plenty of rest, especially during the beginning stages of the illness when your symptoms are the worst. Put yourself to bed and pass on school, sports, and other activities.

For the fever and aching muscles, try taking acetaminophen or ibuprofen. Steer clear of aspirin unless your doctor tells you to take it: Aspirin has been linked to a serious disease in kids and teens called Reye syndrome, which can lead to liver failure and death.

If you have a sore throat, chew gum, drink tea with honey, or suck on hard candy or ice pops. Even if you're not hungry, try to eat a well-balanced diet and drink lots of water and juices to prevent dehydration. You can get some nutrition and soothe your throat with cold fruit smoothies or low-fat shakes.

When you start feeling better, take it slow. Although you can return to school once your fever disappears, you may still feel tired. Your body will tell you when it's time to rest — listen to it. By taking good care of yourself and resting as much as you need to, you will soon be back to normal, usually within a few weeks.

Doctors also recommend avoiding sports for at least a month after the illness because the spleen (an organ in the body that sits under the left rib cage) is often enlarged temporarily while you are ill. An enlarged spleen can rupture easily, causing internal bleeding and abdominal pain and requiring emergency surgery. Do not participate in contact sports, cheerleading, or even wrestling with your little siblings or your friends until your doctor gives you permission.

As you recover, make sure you don't share the virus with your friends and family. Chances are they will not get the disease from casual contact with you, but you can take a few steps to help them stay germ free. Wash your hands often, cover your nose and mouth when you sneeze or cough, and keep your drinks and eating utensils to yourself. This is one time when your friends and family will thank you for being selfish.

 

JUVENILE DIABETES

All of us make a hormone called insulin that helps break down the food you eat every day. Every time you eat something, your body turns that food into glucose, which is what you use for energy. If a person has diabetes, his or her body either has trouble producing enough insulin to do this, or it's not able to use the insulin it makes. Either way, their cells can't use the energy from the food they eat, and they build up too much sugar in their blood and urine.

Having too much sugar in your blood can damage every part of your body, especially your eyes, kidneys, nerves, heart, and even gums! Over a lifetime, having diabetes puts someone at much greater risk of heart attack, stroke, blindness, and kidney failure. Circulation problems and nerve damage can also mean that people with diabetes have to have their feet or legs amputated.

Types of Diabetes:

There are two types of diabetes. While both have similar effects - your body can't process glucose right - different things cause them.

Juvenile diabetes got its name because most people who got this type of the disease got it when they were children (even though adults can get it, too). Now, it is called type 1 diabetes. This kind of diabetes happens when the immune system attacks the cells that make insulin in a body organ called the pancreas. Without insulin, you develop diabetes. Between 5 and 10 percent of people with diabetes have this kind.

The other kind of diabetes is called - you guessed it - type 2 diabetes. With this kind, your body makes insulin, but it either doesn't make enough, or something prevents your body from using it right.

Until recently, most cases of type 2 diabetes were in older people and adults who were overweight. In the last few years, though, more and more kids are being diagnosed with this kind of diabetes. Most likely, this is because kids today are more likely to be overweight and not get enough exercise than they were in the past. Children who are African-American, Hispanic, Asian, or Native American are more likely to develop type 2 diabetes than others.

Because diabetes causes people to have too much glucose, or sugar, in their blood, a lot of people call it sugar or sugar diabetes. No matter the name, though, it's all the same disease.

Scientists do not know exactly how many kids have diabetes, but they do know that doctors are seeing more and more cases of diabetes in kids. And most of these cases are now type 2 diabetes, which used to be very rare among kids.

Signs of type 1 diabetes are usually hard to miss. They include being unusually thirsty or hungry, having to pee a lot, and being really tired. Rapidly losing weight and having blurry vision are also symptoms of type 1 diabetes. These often happen really quickly - in just a few weeks. If you notice these symptoms, tell your parents right away so that a doctor can check you out.

Many people with type 2 diabetes don't have any signs, especially in the early stages. Over time, someone with type 2 diabetes might see some of the same signs as type 1.


There is presently no cure for diabetes, but it can be controlled with medicine, exercise, and eating right. These three things work together to keep blood sugar under control.

There are a lot of different medicines to treat diabetes. One type you might have heard of is insulin shots, which probably sound scary - who wants to get a shot every day? But for people with type 1 diabetes, taking insulin every day is a lifesaver. And, many kids will tell you that it's not such a big deal once you get used to it. Also, today many kids who need insulin get it through a pump that attaches to their bodies. They wear it on their waist, and it looks like a pager or cell phone.

For kids with type 2 diabetes, doctors will first help them try to lose some weight, increase their exercise, and eat a better diet. This often works to control their diabetes. Some kids with type 2 diabetes have to take a pill or insulin every day, too.

For any person with diabetes, eating right and getting exercise are very important in keeping it under control. And, keeping weight within a healthy range is also really good for someone with diabetes, because being overweight can make controlling blood sugar more difficult.

Prevention:

Fortunately, diabetes can be prevented in many cases. And, taking good care of yourself if you have diabetes can prevent a lot of these scary things from happening.

Healthy meals and snacks are very important for someone with diabetes. Since some carbohydrates (link to carbohydrate definition) can affect blood sugar really quickly, people with diabetes need to make sure they eat mostly complex carbs like whole grain bread and pasta, fruits and vegetables, and low-fat dairy products. These are broken down more slowly by the body and help keep blood sugar stable. Carbs like white bread, juice, soda, or candy can send blood sugar soaring - just what people with diabetes need to avoid. Eating small meals every few hours also helps keep blood sugar levels from going up and down too much.

So, if a friend turns down cake at your birthday, don't take it personally or try to make him eat it anyway. And, it's even better if you can plan ahead to make sure that you have plenty of stuff they can eat there, too - there are even special cake recipes that use artificial sweetener that people with diabetes (and everyone else, too) can eat.

Physical activity is very important that people with diabetes get plenty of activity, because it helps them to keep their blood sugar down. For those who do not have diabetes, don't think you're off the hook. Being active can help prevent diabetes, because keeping your weight at the level that's right for you is one way to reduce the chance of getting type 2 diabetes

 

DYSLEXIA



A common assumption about dyslexia is that letters or words appear reversed; i.e., "was" appears like "saw." This type of problem can be a part of dyslexia, but reversals are very common among all children up until first grade, not just kids with dyslexia.

A child who appears to be average or bright when they are talking to you is struggling to read, spell or cope with math, this may be the strongest indicator that they may be dyslexic. It is very common for dyslexic children to be quite able, especially in the areas of creativity (art, drama, drawing, etc.) and physical co-ordination (physical education, swimming, sports, model making, etc.). However, there are differences in the neural links in their brain that makes it hard for them to deal with text (and often with numbers) without extra support. A reading age or grade level of two years below what you would expect from them is a sign of possible dyslexia. Obviously, this could also be caused by other factors such as lengthy absences from school due to illness

A typical child with dyslexia has trouble making the connection between the sound and the letter that makes that sound and difficulty blending those sounds to form words. If it takes too long to sound out the word, then the child has a hard time reading through sentences and understanding them. A child with dyslexia may forget the word and its meaning in the larger context of the sentence or paragraph.

Some children who mix up 'b' and ’d’, or even 'p' and the number 9. These letters are the same in their mirror image, and cause regular confusion for a dyslexic person. Some pupils make a point of always writing the letter 'b' as upper-case or capital 'B', finding this much easier to remember in terms of the direction it faces.

Another feature of dyslexia is difficulties with sequencing - getting things in the right order. Math depends on sequences of numbers - 2. 4. 6. 8. Etc. Many people are aware that dyslexic children and students have problems with reading and spelling, they do not know that math can also be a real challenge

A few examples of a child with Dyslexia:

  • Good at "hands-on" learning, they seem almost intuitive at figuring out how to do things.
  • Has a vivid imagination.
  • Seems intelligent but reads slowly.
  • Difficulty remembering words, learning new words especially under stress.
  • Difficulty sequencing days of week, months of year.
  • Develops negative, emotional, behavior due to lack of academic achievement.
  • Wants to know how things work and can understand them.
  • Builds things or invents things.
  • Left/Right confusions.
  • Slow reader, also usually slow to learning to talk
  • Dyslexics are also known for creativity.
  • Mixing the order of letters and/or numbers.
  • Difficulty finding appropriate words to express them self.
  • Difficulty expressing oneself.
  • Slow learning the alphabet.
  • Hesitant in speech.
  • Low self-esteem due to past frustrations.

Provided with the proper instruction and assistance, a child with dyslexia can learn to read, thrive in school, and succeed in the workforce. But it's important for the child to be diagnosed as early as possible and to promptly get any needed support and assistance.

The specific reason why some people process information this way is unknown, though genetics may play a role, as Dyslexia runs in families

 

EXERCISE-FITNESS


Unorganized free play is great. At the minimum, your child should be physically active most, if not all, days of the week. Experts suggest at least 60 minutes of moderate physical activity daily for most children. Soccer, baseball, gymnastics and football, bicycling, jumping rope, walking fast, etc., engaging in sports activities are all good ways for your child to be active.

-There are some kids that simply do not wish to compete in sports, there are many other ways to be active, such as swimming, horseback riding, dancing, cycling, bike riding, skateboarding, yoga, walking, etc. Help seek out your child’s interests.

- There are those kids that are embarrassed to participate, as they do not think they are good enough, if so, work with them and help them to build their confidence.


Family Fun, Fly a Kite

                                              

SELF-DEFENSE FOR KIDS: Their voices and their legs are their best defense.
Teach your child to run away from someone who is bothering them, while at the same time yelling to attract as much attention as possible. Have them practice yelling at you.
Children should also be taught not to approach cars that stop to ask for help and to NEVER GO anywhere with anyone without your permission.
QT. Buy your child a whistle and have them keep it on a string around their neck. Teach them that this is not a toy, but for their safety, blowing it as a alarm.. It will not seem so silly to have one, IF IT SAVES THEIR LIFE!!

 

HEALTHY DIET

Establishing good eating habits for your child


Americans over 2 years of age to eat a variety of nutrient dense foods. Recommended items include fruits, vegetables, fat-free or low-fat milk and milk products, lean meats, poultry, fish, beans, eggs, nuts, and whole grains. The guidelines also recommend a diet low in saturated fats, trans fats, cholesterol, salt (sodium), and added sugars.

  • Buy and serve more fruits and vegetables (fresh, frozen, or canned). Let your child choose them at the store.
  • Buy fewer soft drinks and high fat/high calorie snack foods like chips, cookies, and candy. These snacks are OK once in a while, but keep healthy snack foods on hand too and offer them to your child more often.
  • Eat breakfast every day. Skipping breakfast can leave your child hungry, tired, and looking for less healthy foods later in the day.
  • Plan healthy meals and eat together as a family. Eating together at meal times helps children learn to enjoy a variety of foods.
  • Eat fast food less often. When you visit a fast food restaurant, try the healthful options offered.
  • Offer your child water or low-fat milk more often than fruit juice. Fruit juice is a healthy choice but is high in calories.
  • Do not get discouraged if your child will not eat a new food the first time it is served. Some kids will need to have a new food served to them 10 times or more before they will eat it.
  • Try not to use food as a reward when encouraging kids to eat. Promising dessert to a child for eating vegetables, for example, sends the message that vegetables are less valuable than dessert. Kids learn to dislike foods they think are less valuable.
  • Start with small servings and let your child ask for more if he or she is still hungry. It is up to you to provide your child with healthy meals and snacks, but your child should be allowed to choose how much food he or she will eat.

Some Healthy snack foods*

  • Dried fruit (raisins, apple rings, or apricots) and nut mix
  • Fresh fruit
  • Fruit canned in juice or light syrup.
  • Fresh, frozen, or canned vegetables (such as baby carrots, cucumber, zucchini, or tomatoes) or fruit served plain or with low-fat yogurt
  • Rice cakes, whole-grain crackers, or whole-grain bread served with low-fat cheese, fruit spread, peanut butter, almond butter, or soy nut butter
  • Pretzels or air-popped popcorn sprinkled with salt-free seasoning mix
  • Homemade fruit smoothie made with low-fat milk or yogurt and frozen or fresh fruit
  • Dry cereals served plain or with low-fat or fat-free milk
  • Graham crackers, animal crackers, or low-fat vanilla wafers

**Children of preschool age and younger can easily choke on foods that are hard to chew, small and round, or sticky, such as hard vegetables, whole grapes, hard chunks of cheese, raisins, nuts and seeds, and popcorn. Carefully select snacks for children in this age group.

Calcium helps build strong bones and teeth. Milk and milk products are great sources of calcium. If your child cannot digest milk or if you choose not to serve milk products, there are other ways to make sure he or she gets enough calcium.

  • Serve calcium-rich vegetables like broccoli, mustard greens, kale, collard greens, and brussels sprouts.
  • Include high-calcium beans like great northern beans, black turtle beans, navy beans, and baked beans in casseroles and salads.
  • Try calcium-enriched soy- and rice-based drinks. Serve chilled, use in place of cow’s milk in your favorite recipes, or add to hot or cold cereals.
  • Serve lactose-reduced or lactose-free dairy products like low-fat or fat-free milk, yogurt, and ice cream. (Lactose is the sugar in milk and foods made with milk. People who cannot digest lactose often have stomach pain and bloating when they drink milk.)
  • Try low-fat yogurt or cheese in small amountsthey may be easier to digest than milk.

The good and the Bad  (Know the difference)

Saturated fats and trans fats can raise your child’s cholesterol, as well as their risk for heart disease. While mono- and polyunsaturated fats can help protect their heart.


             

HOUSEHOLD CHORES & RESPONSIBLITY

You can make a big difference in your children's future by asking them to take out the trash. And do the laundry, wash the dishes, make the beds, put away the toys

Children in household tasks at an early age can have a positive impact later in life. By involving children in tasks, parents teach their children a sense of responsibility, competence, self-reliance, and self-worth that stays with them throughout their lives.

Responsibility learned via household tasks is best when learned young.

Suggestions for your child chores, (none of which they should be paid).

3 yr old: Pick up personal items in their room and around the house, this includes their soiled clothes. Help set table for meals, as well as help clean up table after eating.

4 yr old: Keep room neat and picked up, to include putting away clean & folding clothing. Daily responsibility of bringing in the mail and newspaper.

<>5 yr old: Walking the family pet, as long as the pet is not to large. Feeding the family pet, rinsing the dishes after meals and putting them away after they have been washed (a little early for washing) Emptying the trash. Help with putting away groceries.

6-7 yr old: Wash and dry dishes, Trash out for weekly street collection. Cleaning up after family pet. Dusting, vacuuming.

8-9 yr old: Wash and dry laundry, Furniture polishing.

10 + yr old: Yard work and helping clean bathroom, especially their own.

How you present household chores will also influences children's abilities to become well-adjusted adults. The tasks should not be too overwhelming, parents should present the tasks in a way that fits the child's preferred learning curve, and children should be involved in determining the tasks they will complete. Your child's knowledge that they are contributing to the household provides them with a since of accomplishment and pride. Sit down with your family and create a task chart for your kids, spelling out their contribution. They should not be made to do the tasks for an allowance. The earlier parents begin getting children to take an active role in the household, the easier it will be to get them involved as teens.

If your child doesn't do their designated tasks, don't you do them. Eventually, your child will get the feeling that their efforts are important to the overall functioning of the family. Do not complain that your child doesn't do it their chore properly, at least initially. They will be less likely to help out willingly. Rarely will any child do a job as well as a parent might, but don't complain. With younger children, you'll need patience because, as a beginner, children will need to learn over and over how to do a particular job. Be generous with your praise.

Avoid bringing up past mistakes. Use yourself as a model. Be patient, the more your child does something, the easier it will become. Kids are usually capable of doing much more than is asked of them, so don't be afraid to assign more than one task. The older children get, the more they are capable of taking on.

Do be aware of your child's abilities and limitations; discover what your child's style is. Does he/she work better alone or with others? Is your child a reader or a listener, (of course this it tied to their abilities or retention, depending on age? Does your child require step-by-step instructions or a preference to discover the best way to do something? If your child likes to read, chances are they will respond better to a written list of chores and instructions.

If you wish to provide your child with an allowance, that should be a separate agreement, but should not be tied to their household contribution.

FYI: Younger children tend to be more family oriented and will enjoy working with a parent.

 

Q.T. Use Nasal spray (Salt) twice daily in each nostril.
This helps clear up allergies and fight colds.

 

HYGIENE

ORAL HYGIENE

 

Preventative Measures

Diet plays a critical role in the prevention of tooth and gum conditions. Products that are high in sugar are particularly dangerous for your child's' teeth. Sugar causes an excessive production of plaque which puts teeth at risk of decay; it also produces higher levels of acid that can cause erosion of the teeth.

Dental hygiene is made up of brushing your teeth with toothpaste at least two times each day, flossing your teeth often, trying not to eat too many sweets that will rot your teeth and seeing your dentist for regular check-ups. Taking good care of your mouth and teeth will help you to have pleasant breath, a nice smile and fewer cavities. The daily brushing of the tongue is recommended, while your child is brushing their teeth.

Regular visits to the dentist will ensure that any conditions are diagnosed early and can be treated with minimal effort, which will also be reflected in your pocket.

Tooth decay, gum disease and bad breath, can all develop due to the neglect of oral health. Not just a health problem, bad hygiene of the mouth can alos have significant outcomes on social issues for your child.

Halitosis

Halitosis, or bad breath, is normally caused by a dry mouth, hunger, a build-up of plaque, or on occasion, by problems unrelated to the mouth. For this you need to visit your health care provider.

Treatments that can be performed at home include the use of an antiseptic mouthwash, regular brushing and flossing and the brushing of the tongue, yes the tongue, "gently brushing it, not scrubbing it".

Brushing and Flossing

Brushing and flossing the teeth should be an integral part of your child's everyday routine. The tooth brush should not be so firm that it is not pliable and cannot accommodate the small crevices between and around the teeth. Flossing is an additional method of ensuring debris between the teeth that a toothbrush cannot reach is removed and plaque levels are kept to a minimum. It is recommended that flossing should be done twice a day. Mouthwash also is beneficial in your child having fresh breath, as it also aids in the rinsing of food debris in the mouth.

Toothpaste's now often come with added fluoride, a substance that helps to protect teeth from decay. Your Children should be taught of the importance of oral hygiene and correct techniques for brushing and flossing at the earliest age possible. Prevention at this age can be reflected throughout their adult life.

Oral hygiene is important for physical, social and psychological needs. By ensuring a satisfactory regime is employed, many future problems can be prevented

Massaging gums is generally recommended for good oral health. Teach your children to take a finger and gently massage their gums a few times a day. It is very helpful in stimulating healthy gums and tissue.

Dentists recommend that teeth be cleaned professionally at least twice per year. Professional cleaning includes tooth scaling, tooth polishing, and, if too much tartar has built up, debridement. This is usually followed by a fluoride treatment.

Dental specialists recommend cleaning the tongue using a tongue cleaner as part of one’s daily oral care routine, in order to remove the bacterial coating that generates bad breath and may affect the health of teeth and gums as well.

 

DAILY HYGIENE

Health and Safety

Teach your child (if dealing with a toddler, obviously, you must) to always check the temperature of the water before your using so as to avoid burns from hot water or shock from overly cold water.

Use non slip mats to avoid accidents especially with young children. 

Avoid dry skin by having warm, not hot water, as this can dehydrate the skin.

Washing and bathing is a very individual issue. Daily attention to our body is the best way of avoiding odors, germs and infections.


Teaching the basic principles of cleanliness to your children should be addressed very early on. It will help to prevent the spread of infections. Below are just a few examples of clean living habits everyone should try to follow.

Parents provide vast influence in the way their children approach personal hygiene, habits learned early on in their lives will stay with them for life. Educating children on good hygiene is the best way to avoid the spread of infection and social problems and not just for childhood complaints; teaching the principles of correct hygiene at an early age can help keep individuals healthy throughout their entire lives. Your child's hygiene should be made part of everyday life; you too must also practice good hygiene, leading by example.

All persons should have their own towel that is washed after each use. Bacteria can multiply on a moist towel and infections can be spread easily. At the very least, your towel should be hung in a manner so it will dry out, after each use.

One very effective method in teaching your child to practice good hygiene is to make up a simple wall chart, which shows each hygiene activity and provides for placement of gold stars listing their accomplishments. Children thrive on achievements; it is easy and it is fun.

#1 Hand Washing

Hand washing is the single most important factor relating to the spread of infection, not just for children but for adults of all ages.

Children should be encouraged to wash their hands before eating, after using the toilet and playing with pets.

Using eating utensils, such as forks and spoons, these provide a twofold benefit, one which allows the child to learn table manners and will lessen the chance of the transfer of germs from the hands to the mouth.

#2 Bathing


Taking a bath or shower means washing your body with soap and washing your hair with shampoo. How often you take a bath or shower will depend on your activities. If you take part in activities that get you dirty or make you sweaty, then you will need to get clean more often than someone who does not take part in such activities. A good rule to follow is to take at least one bath or shower each day no matter what and then if you get dirty and smelly while playing, you will need to get clean after your activities.

The choice of whether to use a bath or a shower is very individual and each has its own benefits. Bathing can be an excellent way of relaxing and enjoying some quiet time, for toddlers, it is a special time to play in the bubbles, hardly do you not hear the laughter and amusement of children in the tub. Bathing is a good way for parents to spend some quality time with their children and can be a way of ensuring there is some one-to-one interaction.

When drying after a bath of shower, the skin should be patted dry, not rubbed, so as to lessen irritation to the skin, leaving some moisture on the skin, this helps decrease the risk of dry skin, this is especially import for toddlers, but just as important for anyone.

For what it is worth (not that your little one cares), the steam rising in a tub or shower helps open the pores and loosen the dirt from the tiny glands of the skin, aiding in their removal. This is really important for those in the midst of puberty.

#3 Nails: The nails and nail beds offer an excellent environment for germs to live and breed.  The occurrence of diarrhea can badly affect a child and they can become quite ill from electrolyte imbalance and dehydration; this can happen very quickly in the young. Even if correct hand washing takes place, there will continue to be some germs under and around the nail, if left they will not normally cause any harm, but transfer to the mouth by nail biting can introduce more germs into the body. Keeping nails short will help to reduce the number of germs under the nail.
#4 Hair Care

Hair does not have to be washed daily as this can induce flaking of the scalp, itching and removal of the natural oils. There is no harm in bathing every day, but it is more sensible to wash the hair every other day, using a frequent use shampoo. Obviously for the toddlers, the use of shampoo's that do hurt burn their eyes.

#5 Ear Wax

Ear wax is present in everyone and its function is to provide a protective barrier between the fine structures of the middle and inner ear and the outside world. The wax is produced by the tiny glands found in the layers of the skin. It will start to work its own way out to the external part of the ear by itself when ready. Fresh wax is then produced.

Wax Build Up

Occasionally a collection of wax can form in the ear; this may occur for number of reasons. Some people may have an anatomical narrowing of the ear canal that prevents the wax from escaping naturally, others may find the prolonged use of hearing aids or ear plugs can interfere with the normal excretion of wax, sometimes it may be down to the individual who produces more wax than others. Occasionally the buildup of wax can affect the ability to hear properly, can be uncomfortable, upset balance and may cause ringing in the ears known as tinnitus

Treatment of Wax Build-Up

It is extremely important to remember that experts do not recommend the use of any implement to try and remove the wax from inside the ear. Cleaning of the pinna with simple soap and water is acceptable, but no attempt should be made to go any deeper than this. The use of Q-tips once favored by previous generations is a dangerous practice and can cause severe damage to the delicate structures of the ear, and can push wax further in leading to blockages and infections. If your ears are bleeding or excreting fluids, contact your health provider.

If you feel you have a buildup of wax, purchase some softening ear drops from the pharmacy or use a few drops of warmed (not hot) olive oil to help loosen the wax. It will usually come out when softened. ear care should be part of everyday hygiene, though this area is often overlooked

 

 

 

Questions About Kids

KINDERGARTEN

 

Is My Child Ready for Kindergarten?

When children turn five years old, many parents question whether or not their child is ready for kindergarten. There is a lot of advice floating about these days, and not all of it is helpful. Hard and fast rules such as "never send a summer birthday, five-year-old boy to kindergarten" are not appropriate.

School readiness is more complex than sex and chronological age.

School readiness is more complex than sex and chronological age. It is also not simply being able to recite numbers, letters, shapes, and colors. School readiness is a constellation or combination of many factors. Few children are complete ready or not ready for kindergarten, and most will fall somewhere in between on a continuum of readiness.

Here are some developmental skills to look for in a school-ready child:

Social Development

·        able to trust other adults and children

·        able to play with, not just next to, other children

·        able to learn and play in a group

Emotional Development

·        some degree of independence and self-direction

·        self-control or ability to delay gratification (even briefly)

·        reasonably confident and willing to try new things

·        interested in school and in learning new things

Language Development

·        able to understand directions

·        able to express needs

·        able to communicate with adults and other children

·        can express thoughts in sentences

·        reasonably broad vocabulary

Motor Development

·        can run and jump (if not handicapped)

·        sense of spatial awareness and balance

·        shows right or left dominance

·        has self-help skills: dressing, eating, and toileting

·        able to manipulate small objects

·        can copy simple symbols

·        can hold a pencil appropriately

Intellectual and Academic Development

·        able to focus and concentrate on an activity for 10 to 15 minutes

·        understands that letters stand for something

·        understands that printed text is spoken language written down

·        has had experiences with environment (grocery store, post office, library, department store, etc.)

·        can follow simple directions and remember simple routines

·        able to stick with and solve simple problems

Researchers have identified elements of homes that prepare children for school. Indeed, the "academic culture" of the home appears more influential than either income level or parents' level of education.

Parents can prepare their children for school by communicating that school is important and by helping them develop the language skills and social behaviors needed for school.

It is important that parents feel and communicate that school is important and do their best to ensure their child's regular school attendance. Parents can model appropriate use of written materials, whether they are TV Guides, magazines, newspapers, or books. Using language often with children is important. This includes talking about events and feelings, in addition to giving directives. Finally, parent-child interaction which demonstrates social behaviors needed for school, such as complying with rules and expectations and delaying immediate gratification, is critical.

Obviously, it is important for parents to do their best to ensure that their children are healthy and consume reasonably nutritious foods in adequate amounts. Less obvious is the need for parents to monitor and control the amount and content of television watching in the household.

Children who watch excessive amounts of television are losing precious time that could otherwise be spent in more mentally and physically challenging activities.

Reading to children prepares them for school in a variety of ways.

Finally, parents who read to their children for as little as ten minutes daily at bedtime are giving their children a bouquet of important readiness activities. These include close body contact (which promotes security and independence), practice in learning and using language skills, vicarious learning about the world and its peoples, and maybe most important, the concept that reading is fun.

Additional factors may affect children's readiness for kindergarten, such as temperament and activity level. However, it is important to realize that not all kindergartens, whether publicly or privately sponsored, use developmentally appropriate teaching methods. Excessive dependence on worksheets and "seat work" which require children sit still, be quiet, and focus on abstract tasks for extended periods of time are NOT appropriate.

Children learn by doing, experiencing, and interacting with the people and objects in their environment. Therefore, the question is not simply "Is my child ready for kindergarten?" but "Is the kindergarten ready for my child?"


The “Question About Kids” series is published by the Center for Early Education and Development to provide state-of-the-art information about young children and families. They are reviewed by a panel of child development experts at the University of Minnesota. For further information, contact the Center at 612-624-5780.


Copyright © 2004 by Center for Early Education and Development

These materials may be freely reproduced for education/training or related activities. There is no requirement to obtain special permission for such uses. We do, however, ask that the following citation appear on all reproductions:

Reprinted with permission of the Center for Early Education and Development (CEED), College of Education and Human Development, University of Minnesota, 40 Education Sciences Building, 56 East River Road, Minneapolis, Minnesota, 55455-0223; e-mail: ceed@umn.edu, web site: http://cehd.umn.edu/ceed.

 

LEAD

 

                                                           -It's Deadly Poisoning effects-

Is a Neurotoxin, too much in your system can cause irreparable damage to the brain and the central nervous system. It accumulates in the Bones and Blood. Levels measured in the US today; show that we have over 675 times more lead in our bodies than were present 100 years ago.

 

                                   Your Child and Blinds = Blind cords can kill your child

 

Eating Tip: After eating, it usually takes about 20 minutes for your brain to realize that you’re full. Between bites, chew slowly; and savor the flavor. You will not eat nearly as much, and consequently your child will have potential weight loss.

 

MANNERS
Oprah Winfrey, although not a parent herself, but certainly learned in exposure to her audience, said it best:
"Parenting is the most difficult job in the world."

It does seem that manners and politeness have disappeared.  Often in today's society is would appear that politeness has all but disappeared in our youth, but just about the time you feel that it has vanished, you come across youths that bring a smile to your face, as all is not lost. The appearance of thoughtfulness or consideration and common courtesy and tactfulness brought about by a meeting, can make your day. It is so important to express words of praise and teach our children to use politeness at all times.

Manners and respect are inseparable. Children begin developing respect for others by first developing it for their parents. Children should be taught to behave in mannerly ways toward their parents. That means children should not be allowed to call their parents (or any adult for that matter) by their first names, to interrupt adult conversations unless in crisis, or (beyond age three) to throw tantrums when they don't get their way. We might even go so far as to recommend that children be taught to respond to all adults, including their parents, with "Yes, Sir" and "Yes, Ma'am." When adults speak, children should pay attention; and when adults give instructions, children should carry them out.

You do not have to shove manners down your child's throat, it is something that if done often as part of everyday matters, you will find that your child will pick up on it. Too many social skills at once, you will end up teaching none of them well. Instead, teach table manners first, for example. When those have been learned, advance to phone manners, and so on.

When your kids display proper manners at home or in public, give them immediate positive feedback. It's more critical that you do this during the early "learning phase" of manners instruction, but even older children need to occasionally hear how proud you are of their behavior and manners.

Do be patient as your children will make mistakes. The more patient you are, the more progress they will ultimately make. You should not reprimand a child's social errors in public, although firm reminders may at times be in order. Remember that children want to please adults, albeit in their own way. If, for example, your child forgets to extend his or her hand upon meeting an adult, quietly ask, "What are we supposed to do when we meet someone older than ourselves?" That gives the child the opportunity to do the right thing without feeling he or she is being criticized.

A "do as I say, not as I do" approach to manners simply won't work. Your children must see you setting a good example when it comes to manners. And by the way, manners are not a one-way street. If you want your children to behave in a mannerly way toward you, then you must behave in a mannerly way toward them as well

It is so important to express words of praise. The feeling that one gets when someone says “thank you” or “you look good today” or “I love your haircut”, “wow, neat shoes, great tie, I love it”, “I love you” “you're wise, beautiful, and I'm so glad you're part of my life” means a lot to people.

People like to hear someone say, “thanks” when they do something, or when someone else does something. It does a person's heart good to hear those words. How often do you hear, "have a good day" from youth with sincere conviction at a drive-up window or the take out counter? Not very often, when you hear it, it is "robot talk" with little or none expression of sincerity. 

As an example, when you do encounter youth that greet you with courtesy, warmth and sincerity, you will almost always embrace the moment. There are many kids out there, who practice the above, and you can bet that most got this gift from their parents.

Something you want to instill in your child early on, is to always make sure your children write good old-fashioned thank you notes. Sending a card after getting a birthday present or holiday gift isn't just good manners -- it will also give your child a chance to reflect on how thoughtful his family and friends are. One way to make this a learning experience -- instead of a chore -- is to talk about why he needs to send Grandma a card. Chances are, he'll realize that it makes her happy -- and this awareness of other people's feelings is critical to raising a moral child.

Your child should try to send it within a few days of receiving the gift, but the most important thing is to be sincere." If your child can write, let them do it himself. Perhaps there will be a few spelling mistakes, but that will just make the note more authentic. Help with the basics -- make sure there is mention the gift and how much your child is enjoying it and appreciate the thought behind the gift.

There is not a friend or relative who wish to be taken granted, should you question this wisdom, simply ask yourself, " wouldn't you expect a "Thank you"?

 

                                           

QuickTip Teeth Care:

Brush Teeth in the morning and prior to bedtime.

  • Brush teeth with a fluoride toothpaste
  • Provide healthy foods and limit sweet snacks and drinks
  • Provide low-fat milk and dairy products high in calcium
  • Schedule regular dental check-ups

 

                                

 

 You must encourage your child to exercise, because they will:
# have stronger muscles and bones.
# will be healthier.
# have a leaner body because exercise helps control body fat.
# be less likely to become overweight.
# decrease the risk of developing type 2 diabetes
# possibly lower blood pressure and blood cholesterol levels.
# have a better outlook on life.

 

Tips for better child health:

Make sure that your child eats breakfast. Fill them up with energizing high-fiber cereal, whole-grain bread and fruit. It is the energy that allows them to learn in school..
Limit the amount of added sugar in your child's diet, avoiding the sugar sweetened soft drinks and fruit flavored drinks.
Be a diet role model for your children, "Do practice what you preach".
Encourage your child to be active every day. If a child lives a more active life, they will most likely continue this throughout their life.

What your child learns about proper eating habits today, will determine their eating habits for the rest of their life.
Limit your children's television, computer and video game time. They will achieve better social skills, when they have to interact with other children. You must provide a role in motivating them.
When parents help their children to be aware of peer and media pressures, children are more likely to make better choices.

 

Yucky.com

 

That Second wind:  Snack on fiber rich munches such as dried apricots, celery sticks, an apple or a few pistachio nuts. The fiber helps control the release of glucose (a sugar) into your bloodstream and may prevent energy dips.

 

 OVERWEIGHT CONCERNS

Is your child logging more time in front of the television, computer and video screens, their physical activity levels decreasing, while their body weights have increased. It is up to you, the parent to take charge and re-direct their activities, for the sake of their health.

Children who are teased a lot can develop low self-esteem and depression. While children can play ball at the local park and choose healthier foods in school, at the end of the day family support is what really counts. You are a role model for your kids. Children form habits from parents.


Perhaps one of the more devastating issues to an overweight child than the health problems is the social discrimination they encounter. Obesity in kids is now epidemic in the United States. The number of children who are overweight has doubled in the last two to three decades; currently one child in five is overweight. The increase is in both children and adolescents, and in all age, race and gender groups.


Because children grow at different rates at different times, it is not always easy to tell if a child is overweight. If you think that your child is overweight, talk to your health care provider. He or she can measure your child's height and weight and tell you if your child is in a healthy range.

  • Do not put your child on a weight-loss diet unless your health care provider tells you to. Limiting what children eat may interfere with their growth.
  • Involve the whole family in building healthy eating and physical activity habits. It benefits everyone and does not single out the child who is overweight.
  • Accept and love your child at any weight. It will boost his or her self-esteem.
  • Help your child find ways other than food to handle setbacks or successes.
  • Talk with your health care provider if you are concerned about your child’s eating habits or weight.


Overweight Children

There are many causes of obesity. While there's no doubt genetics plays a role, genes alone can't account for the huge increase in rates over the past few decades. The main culprits are the same as those for adult obesity: eating too much and moving around too little. Almost half of children aged 8-16 years watch three to five hours of television a day. Kids who watch the most hours of television have the highest incidence of obesity.

Reaching and maintaining an appropriate body weight is important. That's why recommendations that focus on small but permanent changes in eating may work better than a series of short-term changes that can't be sustained.

  • Reducing caloric intake is the easiest change. Highly restrictive diets that forbid favorite foods are likely to fail. They should be limited to rare patients with severe complications who must lose weight quickly.
  • Becoming more active is widely recommended. Increased physical activity is common in all studies of successful weight reduction. Create an environment that fosters physical activity.
  • Parents' involvement in modifying overweight children's behavior is important. Parents who model healthy eating and physical activity can positively influence their children's health.

In treating most overweight children, the main emphasis should be to prevent weight gain above what's appropriate for expected increases in height.

FYI:

-Obese children and adolescents are showing an alarming increase in the incidence of type 2 diabetes.
- Many obese children have high cholesterol and blood pressure levels, which are risk factors for heart disease.
-Obese children appear to be affected with sleep apnea (interrupted breathing while sleeping).
-Overweight adolescents have a 70 percent change of becoming overweight  or obese as adults.
.

 

PEER PRESSURE
 When another kid is trying to get you to do something you didn't want to do, that is peer pressure.

When most parents hear the term "peer pressure", they almost immediately envision their teenager being forced into situations that they wouldn't normally be in just to keep up with their friends. However, peer pressure can also be positive. It's difficult for any parent to decipher which pressures are positive and which are negative, especially as teens mature and try to find their individuality. During teen years, adolescents are more likely to seek the opinions and acceptance of friends rather than family. No influence in a teenager's life is as powerful as peer pressure. However, there are some techniques that parents can use to teach their children about peer pressure, the difference between positive and negative peer pressure, and how to deal with negative peer pressure.

Positive Peer Pressure
Teens have an important role to play in influencing socially acceptable behavior by affecting the attitudes and behaviors of their peers. At best, positive peer groups can mobilize a teen's energy, motivate him to succeed, and encourage him lead a happy and healthy lifestyle. Parents should encourage their teens to interact with these positive peer groups and learn from them. While the right peers can be positive role models, parents want to be careful not to pick their children's friends for them. This can have the opposite effect and drive your teen toward another peer group. Suggest activities to your teen that you know would introduce them to positive role models. Get them involved in community activities, volunteering, or finding a part-time job in an area that interests them.

Negative Peer Pressure
Negative peer pressure is the unwanted pressure that causes a teen to participate in activities that may hurt him or others. It can draw a teen away from their family and into dangerous activities like experimenting with tobacco, alcohol or drugs. Also, the pressure to be sexually active is very strong among teens. Teenage boys can be pressured by friends to engage in sexual activity to "become a man", and girls can feel pressured to have sex in order to fit in or feel better about themselves. In both cases, teens see it as a way of fitting in and being accepted. Even reasonably independent teens can be persuaded to go with the crowd and follow what their friends may say or do.

Research has shown that teens look to their peer groups for social and emotional support. In order to keep that support they are more likely to give in to negative peer pressure. Teens who don't receive enough affection and approval from their parents will be more likely to seek approval from their friends and are more susceptible to negative peer pressure.

The influence of negative peer pressure on your teen is greatly impacted by their age. Research has shown that pre-teens age 11 to 13 showed the greatest conformity to peer pressure.

Poor choices are not always obvious to parents. Teens who appear to be happy and well-grounded when they are with their parents may actually be participating in dangerous activities when they are with their friends. Parents can help their teens recognize that just because everyone else is doing it doesn't make it okay.

How Parents Can Help
To help prevent your teen from being a victim of peer pressure:

  • Get to know your teen's friends and their parents.
  • Ask your teen questions about their activities when they are with friends. Not as a formal inquisition, but as casual conversation.
  • Make open and honest communication a part of your relationship.

Often, just talking about things can help a teenager see how he is being pressured unfairly or unnecessarily by the group. It can be difficult for teens to talk about these topics with their parents, but if a parent provides for open communication with their teen, it can be much easier. It is necessary to keep channels of communication open with other parents as well. This will help keep you informed of your teen's activities, even when you can't be there.

 

Parents need to be more involved with their teens and offer more supervised activities with their friends. Parents should hold their teen accountable for their misbehavior and encourage their teen to take responsibility for his or her actions rather than blame friends.

Good social skills are learned at home. Even though teens are influenced by peer pressure, the values and social skills they learn at home will stay with them throughout life. In order to establish these skills, parents should start teaching their children good social skills early. Don't wait until you are faced with the problem of peer pressure to start talking to your child about it. Also, parents must make clear, sensible rules for their teen and expect their teen to follow those rules consistently.

Parents have to help build and maintain healthy self-esteem in their teen so that the teen values himself as a person, trusts his abilities and makes the right choices on his own.

 

PUBERTY

Puberty is a time in your life when your body makes changes that cause you to develop into an adult. These changes affect both how you look like growing taller and developing more muscle. They also affect how you feel — one minute you want to be treated like an adult, at other times you want to be treated like a kid.

Hormones in your body increase, and these make the changes of puberty happen. For girls, these hormones are estrogen and progesterone. For boys it's testosterone. Much of what happens to your body is controlled by your hormones and the "genetic map" that your body is following. Of course, no one can control these two things.

Puberty starts and ends at different times for everyone. Girls develop more and change between the ages of 9 and 13. For boys, puberty typically starts a little later, when they are between 10 and 15 years old. This explains why many girls are taller and more mature than boys for a few years until the boys catch up. Just remember, everyone develops at a different rate and African American kids tend to develop earlier.

During puberty, you may experience a "growth spurt," or period of fast growth. Most girls start their growth spurt between ages 9 and 11, reaching their full height between the ages of 15 and 18. Some girls grow as much as 4 inches per year. Boys typically begin their growth spurt later than girls, between ages 13 and 14. But it lasts longer—until about age 20 or 21. On an average, boys grow about 31/2 inches per year during puberty.

There is no way to know for sure how much you will grow. Your body is following a genetic map, which helps determine how you will look as an adult. Things like height, body type, and facial features are determined by your genes. Your special pattern of genes comes to you from members of your family. But, you might ask your parents about what puberty was like for them, and that can help you understand what you should expect.

During puberty, both boys and girls sweat glands are more active. Kids will also sweat more during puberty. A lot of kids notice that they have a new smell under their arms and elsewhere on their bodies when they hit puberty, and believe me, it's not a pretty one. That smell is body odor (you may have heard people call it B.O. for short), and everyone gets it. The hormones become more active, affect the glands in your skin, and the glands make chemicals that smell bad.

So what can you do to feel less stinky? Well, keeping clean can stop you from smelling. You might want to take a shower every day, either in the morning before school or at night before bed. Showering after you've been playing sports or exercising is a really good idea. Another way to cut down on body odor is to use deodorant. If you use a deodorant with antiperspirant, it will cut down on sweat as well.

About 85-90% of all kids — boys and girls — have acne during puberty, and you can count on a zit attack when you want to look your best. The hormonal changes that are happening inside your body cause the oil glands to become more active. It doesn't mean that you are dirty; it just means that what is happening on the inside has put your oil glands into high gear and can causes acne or pimples. You may notice pimples on your face, your upper back, or your upper chest. Pimples usually start around the beginning of puberty and can hang around for a few years as your body changes.

Just as suddenly as your body starts changing, your mind is also making changes. The same hormones that cause changes in your appearance can also affect your emotions, making you feel like no one understands what you're experiencing. You may feel like your emotions are all over the place. One minute you're happy and bouncing off the walls, the next minute you're losing your temper, or bawling your eyes out.

What's going on? Confusion and mixed-up feelings are normal. The different hormones in your body can send your emotions on a roller-coaster ride. Puberty makes almost everyone feel that way. Make no mistake—your body has taken control and you are along for the ride. These changes in emotions are normal and once you've gone through puberty, the emotional roller coaster should slow down. Just keep your cool. It'll gradually become easier as you get used to the new you.

In the meantime, you can control other things that affect how you look, how you feel, and how healthy you are. Taking charge of your health can help you to feel good, and in control during the changes of puberty.

 

SIBLING RIVALRY

When brothers and sisters fight, parents may wonder if their children will ever be close. They fear that their family experience will never be warm and loving. But quarreling between siblings is natural. It may be more obvious in some families than in others, but there is always some tension between children in every family.

All children want to feel loved. There are times when a child becomes worried that the affection shown to a brother or sister means there is less for him. This is especially true when a new baby arrives. It's a major event that always affects the other children. Your older child is likely to be full of questions that he or she can't yet put into words. She may have worries such as, "Do my parents love the baby more than me?" or inner questions like, "Why did they have a new baby?" It's natural for your older child to feel uncertainty, and even jealousy or anger. Very young children haven't yet learned to talk about their feelings. So, they need you to tune into their way of expressing these kinds of feelings. They need to feel your understanding.

Parents often wonder about the best time to tell their child the news. If you're pregnant and past the first trimester, your child can pick up on changes. He may overhear you talking to friends, or you may be more tired and cranky. That's a big change for him, so it would be good to prepare him. It's time to begin to talk about the new baby that is in your belly. First, just give him the news. Think of a marker in time--like a holiday he knows or a family birthday--and tell him the baby will come after that. Allow him a little time to get used to the idea and to ask questions. If after a few days he doesn't ask, then you can bring it up again. It's best to let him tell you what he wants to know. His questions may surprise you.

Don't be disappointed if your child doesn't exactly share your excitement. He has his worries that the baby will be taking his place. Just remember that this is natural. You can certainly talk to him about the fun part of having a new sister or brother. But don't push it too much. Keep in mind that your child may have mixed feelings about it and he needs to have those for awhile.

If your child says he doesn't want a new baby, you can talk about how most kids feel that way at first and that he will always be a big brother. He may be clingy and moody for a while. It may be hard for him for a while, but the positive side is that having a young sibling will give him a chance to learn about give and take with other children. The important part is that you show him that you understand and accept his feelings, then he will feel safe in talking about them with you.

When you're closer to your due date you'll want to think about preparing him for the next stages, like when you go to the hospital. Some hospitals have sibling tours, they can help. It's also important to decide who will take care of him while you're giving birth. It should be someone he trusts and feels very comfortable with. The most important thing is to tell him your plan ahead of time.

Preparing your older child in advance for the arrival of a new baby is a way of letting him share in it. This can help lessen his anxious feelings that the new baby will take his place. You might ask him if he'd like to draw a picture to send to you and the baby at the hospital. Be sure that when you call him from the hospital you let him choose whether or not he wants to talk to you. Don't let it get you down if he doesn't. He just needs time.

Some children may want to visit their mother in the hospital. Prepare for your child's visit by putting the baby in her crib before he arrives so that he can see you sitting up, ready for him. Have a special toy or treat at the hospital for him. Then gradually you and your older child can look at the baby together.

Once the baby is born, it's important to realize that your child will have mixed feelings and that accepting these new changes in his life will go slowly. Once you tune into his feelings, you can discover some reassuring ways to talk to him. Negative feelings toward the new baby can occur at any time, right after the birth or several weeks or months later. You might notice changes in sleep patterns, waking up at night, reluctance to separate from you or go to daycare, and he may even begin to act like a baby himself (talking baby talk and reverting to crawling). You may feel as if you have to split yourself in two.

It's important for you to know that all of this is typical. Keep reminding yourself that this is a transitional time--he needs to get used to the new situation and so do you.

There are different ways to help your child through these difficult feelings. It's important to find time to be alone with your older child that is not rushed. It's hard to plan your time, but try to work towards a regular schedule so that you can fit in some time alone with him. If someone can be with the baby it will make it easier for you. Even ten or fifteen minutes twice a day without the baby would be very important for any older child. It helps to call this his special time and it's just for you two to have fun together. During this time, do what he likes to do, like singing together or making play dough. You might be able to use those times to draw him out about how he feels about having a new sister or brother. But don't push too many questions.

It's hard to schedule and plan with a new baby, but whenever you know you're going to have to give the baby your full attention, try to prepare your oldest and find some activity for her. When you know you're going to feed or bathe the baby, you can tell her, "I'm going to feed the baby in a few minutes. Let's find something for you to do while he's nursing and then we can plan what you and I will do when he's finished." We know it's not always possible, but checking in with her will help her wait until you can get back to her.

It may feel hard to be there for your oldest the way you used to be and you may feel upset and overwhelmed. Sometimes it's easy to get mad at her. It's normal to feel that. After a while you'll find your rhythm. It's okay to tell her you miss the times alone with her. But that doesn't mean you need to apologize. If you just tell her you know how she feels it will help more than you think. When you talk to her about what has changed in her life and what hasn't, you will help her to manage her feelings. It's a way for her to grow.

If your older child becomes aggressive towards the baby, you will need to respond firmly to protect them both. But while hurtful behavior must be stopped, it's helpful to acknowledge the older child's feelings of anger or jealousy. Direct punishment is not helpful. It may suppress angry feelings at the moment, but these have a way of popping up in other ways that can be destructive.

Sometimes your older child may be very loving but may go too far and get rough and poke the baby. You may be afraid to leave them alone together for fear that she may hurt him. That happens a lot. It's just another way she's showing how hard it is for her. These are times when you may try to draw her out a little. Let her tell you what bothers her about the baby. Try to be sympathetic to her feelings instead of punitive. Tell her that if she feels angry at the baby it's not O.K. to poke at him, but it is O.K. to tell you she's angry. Tell her when she gets a mad feeling towards the baby she can use words, but she mustn't hurt him. You can tell her it’s okay to say to the baby, "You make me mad." Usually, children are relieved if their feelings can be put into words and they know that parents recognize both their negative and positive feelings.

Listen to her. Ask her what makes her want to hurt him. If she hints that she wishes you didn't have him, don't argue her out of it. Just say you realize she wishes that, and she'll get used to him after awhile. A girl or boy, your child might also have some feelings when the baby is the opposite sex. He may feel that that makes the baby special. It can be helpful to draw out a child to talk about feelings when a new sibling is the opposite sex.

When children resort to baby talk, it's best to let them know that it's better to just say what they are talking about or tell you what they want to do. It's always important to encourage the older child when she's gentle towards the baby, when she's cooperative or when she learns ways to help you. And it's particularly important never to tease about jealous feelings.

When both children are older, rivalry is acted out in different ways. Sometimes parents forget that their children need a break from each other, just as adults do. They might get on each other’s nerves and need a parent to separate them and redirect them. Each of them needs reassurance that you understand their feelings. It's really important not to make comparisons between them. Try to find a way to spend some time with each of your children separately and protect this time so each gets your full attention.

A new baby brings big changes for the whole the family. Hopefully these suggestions will help you throughout this challenging time.

 

SLEEP/ SLEEPWALKING

Most children who sleepwalk do not have emotional problems, so relax.

Sleep walking should be distinguished from the occasional night wakening that occurs because of a thunderstorm or bad dream. In these situations, the child walks directly to their parents’ bedroom and can usually be persuaded back to sleep with a little parental coaxing.

Sleep is an important a part of your health and energy—it ranks right up there with diet and exercise. Sleep gives you the energy

Most children that experience episodes of sleepwalking have them occur less than once per month and do not result in harm to the patient or others. Others experince episodes more than once per month, but not nightly, and do not result in harm to the patient or others. In its most severe form, the episodes occur almost nightly or are associated with physical injury. If the sleepwalker exits the house, or is having frequent episodes and injuries are occurring -- seek professional help from a sleep disorder center in your area.

The child may feel embarrassment, shame, guilt, anxiety and confusion when they are told about their sleepwalking behavior. It is important to handle the child's feelings about sleepwalking with care.

Medical reports show that about 18% of the population is prone to sleepwalking. It is more common in children than in adolescents and adults. Boys are more likely to sleepwalk than girls. The highest prevalence of sleepwalking was 16.7% at age 11 to 12 years of age.  Sleepwalking can have a genetic tendency.

Sleepwalking that starts at an early age, generally disappears as the child gets older. If the child outgrows the sleepwalking the age that it ended was approximately 13.8 years old. If the child begins to sleepwalk at the age of 9 or older, it often lasts into adulthood.

If your child sleepwalks, he or she may walk or do other things and not remember them the next day. Your child may sit up in bed and rub his or her eyes or fumble with clothes. The child may get out of bed and walk around the room. The child may look dazed, and his or her movements may be clumsy. When you talk to your child, he or she usually will not answer you.

The most important thing you can do is keep dangerous objects away from places that your child can reach. Keep doors and windows closed and locked. You might need to move your child to a bedroom on the ground floor of your home.

When you find your child sleepwalking, gently guide your child back to bed. Do not yell or make loud noises to wake your child up, and do not shake your child. Do not make your child feel ashamed about sleepwalking.

The majority of children who experience sleepwalking only have a mild display and frequency of the disorder. Therefore, most parents are relieved to know that most children will outgrow sleepwalking with time.

If your child sleepwalks frequently, try to stop this distressing sleep pattern. For several nights, note how many minutes pass from the time your child falls asleep to the time he starts sleepwalking. Then on the following nights awaken your child 15 minutes before the time you expect him to start sleepwalking. Remind your child at bedtime that when you do this, his job is "to wake up fast." Keep your child fully awake for 5 minutes. Continue these prompted awakenings for 7 nights in a row. If your child starts sleepwalking again, repeat this seven-night training program.

For more severe forms of sleepwalking

  • Improving the patterns of sleep-wake cycle thus eliminating the possible role of sleep deprivation as a trigger to sleepwalking. (Bedtime should be the same every night, taking care to get plenty of sleep).
  • A full bladder may trigger an episode, so fluids should be restricted before bedtime.
  • Parents should remove anything from the bedroom that could be hazardous or harmful to a child.
  •  

Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is a condition in which a Childs breathing stops and starts many times during sleep. These interruptions in breathing last at least 10 seconds and sometimes as long as two minutes, minutes. These frequent disruptions have a number of side effects. By depriving the body of oxygen repeatedly, even for short periods, and disturbing valuable sleep time, there is increased risk of symptoms such as poor concentration, daytime fatigue, headaches and even organ damage. Furthermore, there is some evidence that sleep apnea may be related to high blood pressure (hypertension), abnormal heart rhythms and pulmonary hypertension.

There are three types of sleep apnea: obstructive, central and mixed. Obstructive sleep apnea, which accounts for about 90 percent of cases, is a mechanical problem in which relaxed muscles at the back of the throat block the air passage. Central sleep apnea is a neurological problem in which the brain fails to signal the lungs to breathe. Mixed sleep apnea is a combination of both problems.

If you suspect that your child has obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), you may want to consult first with your child's primary care provider (usually a pediatrician or family physician) and share your concerns. You may also choose to consult with an otolaryngologist (ear, nose, and throat specialist or ENT) or a pulmonologist (a specialist in lung problems) who deals with children. Sometimes, because of the hyperactivity, inattentiveness, aggressive behavior, irritability, and mood swings associated with pediatric OSA, a mental health provider, such as a child psychiatrist or psychologist, or a neurologist may be the first to recognize the problem

For children this can be a serious disorder that, untreated, may result in health problems as well as behavior and academic problems. Although common, OSA often goes unrecognized, but it can usually be easily treated if detected. Symptoms of pediatric OSA should not be ignored.

 

SMOKING


Tobacco use (like smoking, dip, or chew) is a major cause of death and disease in this country.
Smoking harms nearly every organ of the body; causing many diseases and reducing the health of smokers in general. The adverse health effects from cigarette smoking account for an estimated 438,000 deaths, or nearly 1 of every 5 deaths, each year in the United States. More deaths are caused each year by tobacco use than by all deaths from human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), illegal drug use, alcohol use, motor vehicle injuries, suicides, and murders combined.

Smoking promotes health problems as a result of smoking, like cancer, strokes, or heart disease.

You can also be affected by the smoke from other people’s cigarettes (and from the smoke the smoker breathes out!). This is called second-hand smoke and it can be just as bad. There are approximately 4,000 chemicals in cigarette smoke and almost 70 of them cause cancer in humans. Because of this danger to non-smokers, there are now laws that prevent people from smoking in places like restaurants, schools, at work, on airplanes or in public buildings.

Should current youth tobacco use trends continue, over six (6) million of today’s young people will die from tobacco-related diseases. Nearly all first-time tobacco use occurs before high school graduation. This suggests that if kept tobacco-free, most youth will never start using tobacco.

Fortunately, youth sports continue to be popular in the United States. Sports activities, therefore, present great opportunities to reach young people. Young athletes learn to make important health decisions related to tobacco use, physical activity, and good nutrition while on a sports team.

Smokeless Tabacco:

  • Smokeless tobacco contains 28 cancer-causing agents (carcinogens). It is a known cause of human cancer, as it increases the risk of developing cancer of the oral cavity. Oral health problems strongly associated with smokeless tobacco use are leukoplakia (a lesion of the soft tissue that consists of a white patch or plaque that cannot be scraped off) and recession of the gums.
  • Smokeless tobacco use can lead to nicotine addiction and dependence.
  • Adolescents who use smokeless tobacco are more likely to become cigarette smokers.

Quitting Smoking Tip:

Are you one of most smokers who want to quit? Then try following this advice.

- Don’t smoke any number or any kind of cigarette. Smoking even a few cigarettes a day can hurt your health. If you try to smoke fewer cigarettes, but do not stop completely, soon you’ll be smoking the same amount again.

Smoking "low-tar, low-nicotine" cigarettes usually does little good, either. Because nicotine is so addictive, if you switch to lower-nicotine brands you’ll likely just puff harder, longer, and more often on each cigarette. The only safe choice is to quit completely.

-Write down why you want to quit. Do you want to—

  • Feel in control of your life?
  • Have better health?
  • Set a good example for your children?
  • Protect your family from breathing other people’s smoke?

Really wanting to quit smoking is very important to how much success you will have in quitting. Smokers who live after a heart attack are the most likely to quit for good—they're very motivated. Find a reason for quitting before you have no choice.

-Know that it will take effort to quit smoking. Nicotine is habit forming. Half of the battle in quitting is knowing you need to quit. This knowledge will help you be more able to deal with the symptoms of withdrawal that can occur, such as bad moods and really wanting to smoke. There are many ways smokers quit, including using nicotine replacement products (gum and patches), but there is no easy way. Nearly all smokers have some feelings of nicotine withdrawal when they try to quit. Give yourself a month to get over these feelings. Take quitting one day at a time, even one minute at a time—whatever you need to succeed.

- For staying healthy, quitting smoking is the best step you can take. Half of all adult smokers have quit, and so can you. The continued damage to your body is staggering, just ask a x-smoker, for they have experience the damage and are very glad they quit, before it killed them.

Smoking also can cause other respiratory diseases, such as chronic bronchitis and pneumonia. Smokers are more likely than nonsmokers to have upper and lower respiratory tract infections, perhaps because smoking suppresses immune function. Smokers’ lung function also declines more quickly than that of non-smokers. What to expect from smoking into mid-to-late adulthood:

Some Statistics that smokers or wan-a-bee smokers should consider.

  • Cancer is the second leading cause of death and was among the first diseases casually linked to smoking.
  • Smoking causes about 90% of lung cancer deaths in men and almost 80% of lung cancer deaths in women. The risk of dying from lung cancer is more than 23 times higher among men who smoke cigarettes, and about 13 times higher among women who smoke cigarettes compared with never smokers.
  • Smoking causes cancers of the bladder, oral cavity, pharynx, larynx (voice box), esophagus, cervix, kidney, lung, pancreas, and stomach, and causes acute myeloid leukemia.
  • Rates of cancers related to cigarette smoking vary widely among members of racial/ethnic groups, but are generally highest in African-American men

Death by Cancer, is not pretty!

Cancer of the Throat
Cancer of the Lungs

EmphysemaSmoking injures lung tissue. Tissue damage from smoking can lead to chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), which is sometimes called emphysema.
With COPD, the airways and air sacs lose their elasticity and the walls between many of the air sacs are destroyed. The walls of the airways also become inflamed and swollen and more mucous is formed. As a result, it becomes very difficult to get air in and out of the lungs. Because these changes happen slowly over a number of years, a person may not notice the changes until it’s too late. Ever notice those walking around tethered to an oxygen bottle, more often than not, they have COPD and they "will die from it"

Heart Disease disease and stroke are cardiovascular (heart and blood vessel) diseases caused by smoking. Heart disease and stroke are the first and third leading causes of death in the United States. Most cases of these diseases are caused by atherosclerosis, a hardening and narrowing of the arteries. Smoking speeds up this process, even in young smokers. Cigarette smoke damages the cells lining the blood vessels and heart, causing swelling that prevents the flow of blood and oxygen to the heart. Smoking also increases a person’s risk of dangerous blood clots, which can also cause a heart attack or stroke.


Fortunately, risks for heart disease and stroke decrease steadily after a person quits. One year after a person quits, the excess risk for coronary heart disease is half that of a smoker, and after 15 years, the risk for coronary heart disease returns to that of a nonsmoker. After 5 to 15 years, a former smoker's risk for stroke decreases to that of a nonsmoker.

Number 1. Have your child who could care less about all of the above information, visit a person dying from Cancer from smoking, it is called a wake up call
Number 2. Just a little reminder to you kids that smoke, you are not invincible!

 

SOCIAL SKILLS

Teens are always observing and learning. They prefer safe and comfortable social situations. Our job as parents may be to allow them (and to reassure them to allow themselves) to be observers if they wish, without thinking that they are inadequate. 

Socialization has definitions other than the connection with friendship. One is the ability to get along with others. This includes all kinds of social skills: How to be polite and considerate, how to say no, how to negotiate, how to respect others even while disagreeing with them, how to speak up for oneself, and how to accept others. It involves virtually any interaction between people. This is a lot to learn and our guidance is vital to how our children will conduct their lives in the future. This is the job of every parent. The easiest and most natural way to teach these skills is through modeling. We inwardly can take this as an opportunity to improve our own social skills as we outwardly model for our kids. For example, being diplomatic or solving problems without anger are difficult tasks for most of us, but are great skills to master and to pass on to our children.

A child with poor social skills may wind up being the target of jokes or the victim of bullies. He may also be an aggressor who acts as a bully to try to control his environment. Being a bully, victim, or social misfit as a child has lasting effects as children mature into adulthood. Children need input and guidance from adults as they navigate through peer pressure, cliques and childhood. Adults also need to model positive social interactions and not tolerate bullying, demeaning, harassing, teasing or degrading behaviors from any child with whom they come into contact.

You as the adult can also be instrumental is assisting a child with poor social skills develop necessary skills by placing them in situations that allow their strengths to be displayed. Once others begin to notice their contributions, not only will that child's self-esteem improve, but their peers will be more accepting of the child.

Of note is the child who has teen Social Phobia, or Teen Social Anxiety Disorder, which typically first appears during early to mid-teens, usually preceded by a history of shyness or social inhibition. The primary signature of social phobia in teens is extreme dread of a social or performance situation, and includes a grossly exaggerated fear of embarrassment. Situations that would provoke anxiety related to social phobia are avoided, or endured with great distress. Parents usually recognize that their fear is unwarranted and to at least some extent acknowledge that it is generated in their minds, but adolescents may not be as self-aware. Symptoms may be very similar to those experienced during a Panic Attack.

Common symptoms or signs that accompany Teen Social Phobia are the following:

  1. Hypersensitivity to criticism
  2. Negative self-evaluation
  3. Fear of rejection
  4. Social passivity (fear of assertiveness)
  5. Low self-esteem (inferiority)
  6. Poor social skills
  7. Noticeable signs of anxiety

Should you child exhibit some of these symptoms, a visit with your family health provider could shed more light on this, and help your child better deal with it, or direct you to a specialist that can help your child.

 

SPORTS READINESS

As you think about signing kids up for sports, consider how emotionally and physically ready they are to participate. Signing up too early can end up being frustrating for everyone, and can turn kids off from sports for good.

Although there are sports programs designed for preschoolers, it's not until about age 6 or 7 that most kids develop the appropriate physical skills or the attention span needed to listen to directions and grasp the rules of the game. While preschoolers can throw and run, it usually takes some time before they can coordinate the two skills. And it usually isn't until kindergarten or first grade that kids grasp concepts like "taking turns" that are crucial to many sports.

That doesn't mean kids can't play sports when they're younger. Sports can be fun for toddlers and kindergartners, but they should be less about competition and more about having fun opportunities to be active. So even if young kids inadvertently score a goal for the other team or spend the entire game chasing butterflies, as long as they're enjoying it, that's OK.

If you do decide to sign your 5-year-old up for a team, be sure to choose a league that emphasizes fun and basic skills.

If kids show an interest in a sport, try to let them do it. You may be worried that your child will get hurt, particularly in a contact sport like football, but as long as the coach requires players to use the correct safety gear, your doctor OK's it, and your child is matched up with other kids of the same size and ability, go ahead. Even if the sport doesn't turn out to be a good fit, your child will learn much from the experience.

When choosing a sport, consider your child's unique temperament. Some kids are naturally inclined toward team sports, while others may feel more comfortable in activities where the focus is on individual efforts. There's something for everyone — from soccer and baseball for team-oriented kids, to tennis, fencing, karate, dancing, and swimming for kids who'd rather go solo.

Don't be surprised if it takes a few tries — or a few seasons — to find the sport that's right for your child. It often takes time for kids to figure out which activities they enjoy.

Some kids may just not be interested in team sports, but they can still keep fit by engaging in other activities that don't emphasize competition. No matter what they choose, kids should be physically active for at least 60 minutes a day.

Before you sign up for a season of sports, think about how practices and games are going to affect the day-to-day life of your child and the rest of the family:

  • How will it affect how much time your child has for things like homework, other activities, and time with friends and family? You may want to get the schedule of practices and games and map out a typical week on a calendar with your child.
  • It's important for kids to have time to rest, think creatively, and play freely when they're not engaged in something else. This rest can help give them the energy they need for their activities.
  • How will the sport affect the rest of the family's plans? Many teams only practice and play games during the weekend, which can be a problem if your family likes weekend getaways.
  • If you have more than one child playing sports, how will you coordinate transportation to practices and games?
  • How involved do you want to be in the sport, and how involved does your child want you to be? Sports leagues usually look for parents to volunteer with everything from coaching to team snacks and transportation. Being involved — either as a coach or in another role — can be a great way to spend time with your kids and show them you're interested in what they do.

However, kids feel when they enroll for a season of sports, there may come a time when they want to quit. If your child comes to you with this plea, try to find the reason behind it. It may have to do with something small and fixable, like a bad-fitting uniform, or it may be a bigger issue, like how comfortable your child feels with the coach or the kids on the team. It could also be that your child just doesn't enjoy the sport.

Is it OK to let kids quit? If your child is on a team that depends on his or her participation, you may want to explain the importance of sticking it out for the season. If that's not the case, then think about what you want your child to get out of the experience, and how quitting would affect that.

When kids are overscheduled or unhappy, quitting may be the right thing. But it's still important for all kids to be physically active every day, even if they're no longer playing an organized sport.

Kids should have a physical examination before beginning any sports or fitness program. Those with certain medical conditions, vision or hearing problems, or other disorders may have difficulty playing some sports. Rarely, a doctor may find an undiagnosed condition that can affect participation.

Although you should share your interests with your kids, it's never a good idea to force them into an activity just because you once excelled in it. And once they choose a sport, be sure to head out to the field, gym, or pool to cheer them on.

These are general guidelines to keep in mind. Kids mature at their own pace and develop their unique skills at different times, so consider your child's emotional and physical maturity before you commit to a season of sports.

 

SPORTS SAFETY

Participating in sports provides plenty of physical activity for fitness and also provides for interaction with others. A great tool for the rest of your Childs life.

The use of protective gear is very important for, no matter what sport you play, you need to always be sure you are using the right safety gear and are using equipment that fits the right way. Items like shin pads, helmets, mouth guards, elbow pads, knee pads, shoulder pads, etc.

  • Before you join any sport, you should go to your doctor for a check-up and get an okay to play.
  • You should learn the basic skills needed to play the game the right way and make sure that you are playing with other kids who are at the same skill level and size that you are.
  • Always wear the right safety gear and make sure that it fits you the right way.
  • Always use the same safety gear to practice as you would for a real game.
  • Be sure that someone checks the field or play area before a game so that there isn't anything in or on the ground that can cause a fall, twist or sprain.
  • Drink plenty of water before during and after your games or practices to keep your body full of the amount of water it needs to keep you going.

 

Our bodies need water to work properly. Usually, you can make up for the water you lose — like when you come in from outside and have a long, cool drink of water. If you don't replace the water your body has lost, you might start feeling sick. And if you go too long without the water you need, you can become very ill and might need to go to the hospital.

Dehydrated

Many times, kids get dehydrated when they are playing hard and having fun. Have you ever gotten really sweaty and red-faced when you've been playing? This often happens when it's hot outside, but it can happen indoors, too, like if you're practicing basketball in a gym.

Kids also can get dehydrated when they're sick. If you have a stomach virus), you might throw up or have diarrhea. On top of that, you probably don't feel very much like eating or drinking. If you have a sore throat, you might find it hard to swallow food or drink. And if you have a fever, you can lose fluids because water evaporates from your skin in an attempt to cool your body down. That's why your mom or dad tells you to drink a lot of fluids when you're sick.

Signs of Dehydration

In addition to being thirsty, here are some signs that a person might be dehydrated:

  • feeling lightheaded, dizzy, or tired
  • rapid heartbeat
  • dry lips and mouth

Another sign of dehydration is not peeing as much. Normally, urine should be a pale-yellow color. Dark or strong-smelling pee can be a sign of dehydration.

If you can, try not to get dehydrated in the first place. If you're going to be going outside, it's a good idea to drink water before, during, and after you play, especially if it's hot. Dehydration can happen along with heat-related illnesses, such as heat exhaustion and heat stroke. In addition to drinking water, it's smart to dress in cool clothes and take breaks indoors or at least in the shade.

If you're sick, keep taking small sips of drinks and soups, even if you're not that thirsty or hungry. Eating an ice pops is a great way to get fluids. How is an ice pop a liquid? Well, it's basically frozen water and flavoring. The warmth in your mouth and stomach turns it from a solid to a liquid. Other foods, such as fruits and vegetables, contain water, too.

Some cases of dehydration can be handled at home. But sometimes, that isn't enough to get a kid feeling better. A kid may need to go to the doctor or emergency department if he or she has a heat-related illness or a virus with vomiting or diarrhea that just won't quit.

At the hospital, the good news is that an intravenous line can get fluids into your body fast. An IV line is a special tube (like a very thin straw) that goes right into your veins, so the liquid goes right to where your body needs it most. It may pinch a little when the nurse is inserting it, but it often helps a person feel much better.

Thurst Tips:

So do you have to drink eight glasses of water a day? No, but you do need to drink enough to satisfy your thirst, and maybe a little extra if you're sick or if you're going to be exercising. The best drink is water, of course, but milk is another great drink for kids. Juice is OK, but choose it less often than water and milk. Sports drinks are fine once in a while, but water should be considered the drink of champions.

Limit soda and other sugary drinks, such as fruit punches, lemonades, and iced teas. These drinks contain a lot of sugar that your body doesn't need. Some of them also contain caffeine, which is a diuretic This means that caffeinated drinks cause you to urinate (pee) more often than normal. In other words, they tell your body to get rid of fluids. And as you now know, that's the opposite of what you need to do if you're dehydrated!

Protective gear is anything you wear that helps keep you from getting hurt. The gear you wear depends on the sport you play. Helmets are the most common protective gear. They protect your all-important head while you're playing football, hockey, baseball, softball, biking, skateboarding, and in-line skating, just to name a few!

Make sure you're wearing the right helmet for your sport. For instance, don't wear your baseball batting helmet when you're playing football! Your helmet should fit snugly but comfortably, and if it has a strap - like a bike helmet does - you need to fasten it. Otherwise, it will fall off when you need it most.

Other sports require eye protection, mouth guards, pads, wrist, elbow, and knee guards, and a protective cup (for boys only). And don't forget your feet. Cleats are worn in football, baseball, softball, and soccer. These shoes have special rubber or plastic points on the soles to help your feet grip the ground when you run around.

Talk with your parents or your coach to know what gear you need. Then wear that gear whenever you're practicing or playing.

It's not a good idea to just bolt on to the field and start playing. You shouldn't even start stretching until you're a little warmed up. So take a light jog to get loosened up and ready to play.

Doing some stretching also can get you prepared to hit the field. By warming up, you get yourself ready to play. Warming up your muscles and practicing a sport help keep you safe, too. Warm-ups that last 15 to 30 minutes and include slow, gradual stretching help lengthen your muscles and increase your blood flow and muscle temperature. That way, your muscles are ready to go and are much less likely to get hurt.

When players know the rules of the game - what's legal and what's not - fewer injuries happen. You and the other players know what to expect from each other. For instance, you know that in soccer you can't come from behind, crash into a player's legs, and steal the ball. It's legal - and safer - to go after the ball rather than the player.

With sports that use plays, it helps to understand the plays and what your role is in each one. Being where you're supposed to be can help you stay out of harm's way, too.

Some rules don't have anything to do with scoring points or penalties. Some rules are just about protecting other people and being courteous. For instance, in baseball or softball, the batter can't fling the bat after hitting the ball and heading for first base. He or she must drop it so that it doesn't hit anyone. Likewise, a diver would make sure that the pool was clear before diving in. Otherwise, he or she might land on someone else.

One way you can watch out for others is to communicate on the field. For instance, a baseball player in the outfield might yell "I got it" to avoid a collision with another outfielder. Listening to your coach during a game also can help keep you safe. It's also good to just be courteous, like telling someone his or her shoe is untied. Check your shoes, too!

This is a really important one. If you love sports, it's tempting to get right back in the game, even after an injury. But playing when you're hurt - or before an injury has had a chance to fully heal - is a bad idea. It can lead to an even worse injury, one that might sideline you for a long time. Be honest with parents and coaches if you've been hurt. See a doctor for your injuries, when necessary, and follow his or her advice about how and when to return to practice and play.

 

STRESS AND YOUR CHILD

Create healthy ways for your child to respond to and express emotions, such as the activities described in this book. Let your child see you using healthy ways to express emotions.

The following changes or behaviors may be signs of a problem:

-Clinging behavior
-Fears that won’t go away
-Nightmares
-Bedwetting
-Difficulty paying attention
-Jumpy, edgy
-Behavior problems in school
-Headaches, stomachaches, or dizziness for no known reason
-Sad or less active
-Always talking about or acting out a disaster
-Irritability
-Changes in eating behavior
-Decrease in academic performance

Children may show one of these behaviors, or many of them; they may do them just a little, or all the time. It’s important that you talk to a health care provider, teacher, school counselor, or mental health professional if you see any of these behaviors. These people can help figure out whether your child’s reactions are nothing to worry about, or if your child needs some special attention or care.


Anticipating problems

Prevention is more than just saying "no" or "stop." Prevention has two parts: 1) Spotting trouble before it becomes a problem; and 2) Knowing how to work through a problem once it happens. To learn more, look at each one a little closer.

Spotting Trouble

Consider these ways to spot trouble before it turns into a full-blown problem:

-Be active in your child’s life. This is important for all parents, even if your child only lives
    with you part of the time. By knowing how your child usually thinks, feels, and acts, you can see
    when things start to change. Some changes are part of your child’s growing up, but others could
    be signs of trouble.

-Set limits that everyone can live with and follow up with them consistently. Put limits
    only on things that are most important to you. Make sure you and your child can “see” a limit
    clearly. If your child goes beyond the limit, deal with her in the same way when the situation is
    the same. If you decide to punish her, use the most effective methods, like restriction or
    timeouts. You could also make your child make up for or fix the result of her actions. Make
    sure the punishment fits your child’s “crime.” As your child learns how limits work and what
    happens when she goes over the limit, she’ll trust you to be fair.

-Create healthy ways for your child to express emotions. Many children act out when they
    don’t know how to handle their emotions. Feelings can be so strong that normal ways of
    letting them out don’t work. Or, because feelings like anger or sadness are sometimes seen as
    “bad,” your child may not want to be angry or sad in front of others. Help your child learn
    that it’s OK to say or show how she feels in healthy, positive ways, like the activities outlined in
    this book. Do these things yourself to deal with your own feelings. When the strong feelings
    have passed or are less powerful, talk to your child about how she feels and why she
    feels that way. Make sure your child knows that all her feelings are part of who she is,
    even the “bad” ones. Once your child knows her range of feelings, she can start to learn how to
    handle them.

 

SWIMMING  & WATER SAFETY

DO NOT DRINK AND SWIM.

Swimming is such a natural action for humans that many babies are born with the ability to swim! If you don't already know how, take lessons! The best way to stay safe when swimming or diving is to go with a friend, using the buddy system, and swim or dive only in marked areas. 

Use a Life Vest
Even the strongest swimmers can get in bad situations. Even the best of swimmers should wear a life vest when playing around the water. Although when conscious and calm they may be able to swim 1 or 2 miles, a person who is injured or upset may need the extra flotation to help them survive until help comes.

Do you know CPR & First Aid?
It's always a good idea to know how to help in an emergency. Not only may you be able to rescue another from a tough situation; you may also learn important guidelines for a calm and efficient reaction to danger.

Take CPR classes and First Aid, whenever you have the opportunity. Knowing a few simple and logical steps may save a life.

-Swim only in marked swimming areas, preferably with a lifeguard.
Some lakes can be extremely deceiving, seeming bottomless, when in fact they are only 12 feet deep in the middle. Be extremely careful when diving or jumping into water. Although the bottom may not be visible, it also may not be very far away from the bottom of the boat.

-Boating Safety
When scuba diving, snorkeling, or water skiing, the sport often requires exiting or entering the boat from the back. This can be an especially dangerous aspect of the sport. Be extremely careful of propeller blades, anchor ropes, fishing line, or any other items that might be beneath the water near the boat.

Wait for your driver to come to a complete stop and shut off the motor before approaching the vehicle.

-Underwater safety
Many underwater accidents happen due to blind groping. Many divers or snorkelers use their hands while lurking through the depths, and mistakenly grab a poisonous animal. It is important to avoid touching the bottom when underwater for visibility reasons as well.

-Take Swimming lessons.
Whether you are white water rafting, swimming, or snorkeling it is important to prepare for the sport before diving in. Many sports require certification; and even if your chosen activity doesn't, it's still a good idea to find out more about safety before going.

- Always with a Buddy

Never surf, swim, dive, raft, fish, canoe, kayak, or jet ski alone. If a person is injured during their sport, having a buddy nearby can save a life. Find a friend who wants to play in the water as well.

 

TEENS

 

DRUGS AND ALCOHOL

Using alcohol or drugs regularly is usually just a step away from addiction — where you depend on these substances just to feel good or get through your day.

Here are a few of the early warning signs that someone may have a substance abuse problem:

  • relying on drugs or alcohol to have fun, forget problems, or relax
  • having blackouts
  • drinking or using drugs alone
  • withdrawing or keeping secrets from friends or family
  • losing interest in activities that used to be important
  • performing differently in school (such as grades dropping and frequent absences)
  • building an increased tolerance to alcohol or drugs — gradually needing more and more of the substance to get the same feeling
  • lying, stealing, or selling stuff to get money for drugs or alcohol

It's usually hard for people to recognize they have a problem, which is why friends or family often step in. People who are addicted to drugs or alcohol may promise over and over that they'll stop. But quitting is hard to do, and many people find they can't do it without help. The best thing you can do is to talk to someone you trust — preferably an adult who can support you — so you don't have to deal with your problem alone.

 

TWEENS
There really is no such word, but it now is considered a marketing term.

Preadolescence is a stage of human development through childhood that occurs in a child's years before adolescence. The point at which a child becomes an adolescent is usually defined by the onset of puberty. However, in some individuals (typically females), puberty begins in the preadolescence years, and may extend a few years beyond the teenage years in others (typically males)

Tween are those kids approximately 8 and 12 when they are not yet a teen but no longer a little kid. Often, they are overlooked by their parents and experts, alike because they happen to fall between two very busy and exciting social stages of life little kids and teen years. As tweens transition from childhood dependence to adult independence, their social interactions demonstrate a switch in emphasis: parents become less important than peers in decision-making processes. This is considered tumultuous period for children. It is a time of extremes from the lowest to the highest, with regard to the changing of their hormones and they’re not really understanding their emotions, as well as their expectations and assumption of responsibilities. These years also mark two important transitions which affect tweens' motivation, behavior and self-perception: the move from the elementary grades to middle school, and then to high school

Your Child the Tween:

  • They will often act like teenagers or even adults on minute while reverting to childish behaviors the next.
  • They still like to play with toys but do it mostly in private, they will be more reserved about sharing this information with you.
  • They are more likely to question your ideas and values.
  • They will become argumentative, looking for ways to negotiate and do it their way.
  • They are quieter, sleep more and spend more time by themselves.
  • They are more predisposed to have more violent mood swings than their older teenage counterparts.

How your child travels the road between the tweens often predicts how he handles himself academically and emotionally in the future. The relationship you encourage now will lend you to a more open and trusted relationship in the future, as well. Tween parenting is very important! Being the Parent of a Tween:

 A few tried and proven pointers.

  • Teach your child to work through their moods in a healthy and appropriate way.
  • Ask open ended questions that can't be answered with a "yes" or a "no" to keep dialogue going.
  • Don't assume that your child is ready for teenaged responsibilities just because she often acts like one. Tweens are not teenagers and are often not ready for real responsibilities, they must be supervised, they are not old enough to have an evening at the mall, dating. Prepare for the argument, they think they know it all.
  • Allow your child to stretch their new found voice by permitting them to negotiate and debate important issues and do consider their point of view. You may be surprised that sometimes your child is right and makes good points far more often than you might consider. 
  • In the end, you are the adult and it is important for your child to remember that you have final say.

 

TODDLERS
There are no instructions that come when you have a child

The fact is, the toddler years are some of the most trying times for parents. Your child's personality starts
to develop and your quiet little adorable baby that smiled and cooing, is now a little person. You will get
through it. The key to managing this occasionally challenging period is to allow your child room to grow
and explore while establishing boundaries and rules for him. Albeit, the balance can be delicate and tricky,
but is essential in developing a good relationship with your toddler. The examples you set during this stage
will carry with them for the rest of their lives. It is perhaps one of the most important time in your child's growth
and development.

From early on, your toddler feels most secure when they know what to expect in their day, and that you will
be in charge of until your child is big enough to manage it on their own. This type of security will come from
a regular daily routine, so that your child one will be able to anticipate the next activity throughout his day. It
is also important for your toddler to understand the behavior that you expect. You can communicate this to
your child via consistent boundaries and a clear enforcement of the rules of the house.

Today's hectic schedule consist of multiple duties, such as doing dishes, helping to cook dinner, working on
the car, or mowing the lawn, parents are so wrapped up in other things that we may not always stop to
really listen. This is an important part of communication. Take the time now to listen to your children
because  you may not have many opportunities when they are older. Stop what you are doing, look your
child in the eye and listen. They are communicating and what they are telling you is very important to them.
Do let them know what they are saying is important to you. Listen with an open-mind and control your
emotions while listening to a child unburden themselves.

One of the most important things a toddler will learn is to obey rules

  • Keep things short - Babies and young children won't understand lengthy explanations. Present one idea to make your point.
  • Keep things clear - A young child will not understand that he or she can splash water in the tub only if it doesn't get all over the floor. For now, tell baby he or she cannot splash.
  • Keep things specific - Telling your child that he or she isn't allowed to play a specific room is very clear. If you want to avoid "no-ing" simply introduce your child to an area where he or she is allowed play.
  • Keep things consistent - There's nothing more confusing to baby than being able to do one thing one day and not the other.
  • Be emotional to make your point - We never recommend yelling or shouting at your child, but simply express your frustration by admitting your anger is an effective way to set rules. Simply say, "It makes me angry when you

Setting rules and boundaries is most effective if done from the start. Suddenly starting discipline at age 3 will unlikely yield results. When in doubt, discipline should be "slow and steady.

Tantrums

Temper tantrums are another universal part of the life a toddler, since they can get frustrated easily and can't express what they need or want very well. But while they are something that is to be expected, that doesn't mean that you can't take steps to try and make them happen less often. Most importantly:

-Do you best to anticipate tantrums, distract your child before one erupts, and keep in mind that most toddlers can't be easily calmed down once a tantrum starts. Seek out something that will interest them in an engaging activity, do keep in that that you should pick up your child if you think they will hurt themselves.


- Do not give in to your Childs tantrums, or they will never end, until the child has their way every time.

Discipline is a paramount issue that every parent of a toddler faces, your child is going to be fun to
observe exploring his world or learning to relate to his family members. You will fare much better during
this life phase if you allow time for you and your child to simply play and be together. Sometimes the
world can see much more delightful when it is seen through a toddler's eyes. By playing with your child
at their level, you will be building a loving and trusting relationship. Enjoy the ride, and even though you
may have other children, each one is unique and that experience will last for a lifetime, both yours and
theirs

Nighttime

 

Toddlers thrive on routine. Try keeping them on as regular as a daily schedule or routine as possible, with regular sleeping times, 

    
eating times, and play times. 

    
    
Getting a toddler into the bedroom at night can also be a challenge. If you entice them into their room by letting them choose a book for you to read to them, you 
will probably have fewer complaints. After a bedtime story or two your children are usually ready to settle down for bed.
 

This period of your Childs life is very short, live it to the fullest with them.

Safety first.

- The car seat in the back seat facing backwards until your child is 12 months old AND 20 pounds. After that, they can face forward in the back seat, or continue to face backwards until they reach the seat's weight limit.

- Their curiosity is never ending, so in addition to having covers on electrical outlets, latches on cabinets, smoke and carbon monoxide detectors, etc., you should also be sure to remove climbing hazards from your home. A prudent move is to use wall anchors to keep large appliances and furniture from tipping over if your child climbs on them. And place childproof covers on door knobs to make sure that your toddler can't get out of the house on his own or into rooms that aren't childproofed.

Teething

By your Childs first birthday, they will probably have at least eight teeth. he second year lies in the type of teeth that come in. The first eight teeth that appear are almost always incisors: the relatively thin, flat, and sharp front teeth used for biting rather than chewing. They cut through the gums fairly easily and therefore, cause little pain. The second year brings two sets of molars: the bigger and broader teeth that are used for chewing. These teeth have a harder time breaking through the gums. For this reason, they tend to cause more pain than incisors.

The first set of molars is usually cut between 12 and 15 months; a second set will probably come through in the months before your child's second birthday. Unfortunately, your baby will probably find them very painful and will, quite understandably, be miserable and irritated for days.

Although cutting molars will usually cause irritability, don't assume that your baby is teething just because she seems cranky. Look for another cause, especially if her irritability is accompanied by fever, diarrhea, vomiting, or loss of appetite. Teething cannot cause any of these symptoms; only illness can.

If you suspect teething as the source of your baby's changed mood, check it out for yourself. Look for swollen and red gums and then feel with your finger. You may be able to feel the lump of a tooth underneath the gums in the days before it appears. Cutting molars also may cause redness and warmth on the cheek of the affected side.

If your baby is cutting molars, the best thing you can do to help relieve the pain is to give her something to chew on. Offer your child a teething ring, a bagel, zwieback, a frozen banana, or something else that she likes to chew. A cold teether often can offer much needed comfort. (Some teething rings feature a gel on the inside that will cool inside a refrigerator.) A small ice cube wrapped in a clean dish towel combines the best virtues of any teething aid: hardness and coldness. You also can try giving her a cold, wet washcloth or a toothbrush to chew on.

If teething toys and other chewable don't do the trick, try rubbing the tooth or gum directly with your finger. Ask your pediatrician to recommend an herbal or medicinal pain reliever that you can apply directly to the gums. Also consult your doctor about using liquid acetaminophen to ease the pain associated with teething. One way or another, you and your child will get through this painful first set of molars. And in about eight months, you can look forward to going through it all over again.


Thumb Sucking

Children suck their thumbs because it's calming and relieves stress. Children tend to let go of this habit on their own, so it's best to let the process pass with time.

Despite popular belief, young children who obsessively suck their thumbs will generally not develop dental problems due to the thumb sucking. However, if they continue to suck their thumbs when their second teeth start growing in, there's a risk for developing dental abnormalities.

Unless your child is sucking his or her thumb excessively, there's no real urgency to intervene. If you're still worried, talk to your health care provider or your family dentist.

 

WHICH UNITS TO USE IN MEASURMENT

 

 

WRITTING SKILLS
-The key is legibility -

Handwriting has a place in today's society and will most likely continue.

Handwriting is important because numerous studies show that when children are taught how to do it, they are also being taught how to learn and how to express themselves. Educators are now noticing a significant decline in the quality of students' handwriting and an increase in frequency of problems such as letter reversal.

This all matters, because evidence is growing that handwriting fluency is a fundamental building block of learning. As a sensory motor process, handwriting is a major brain shaping experience, molding and shaping it as few things can! Learning first comes in through our senses. Sensory input can reorganize the brain. Yet, strong stress on penmanship was abandoned 50 years ago, so today's educators are unaware of its profound impact on the learning process. Stimulating the cerebellum via handwriting provides an incredible benefit that nothing else offers uses "bottom up processing" to influence "top down processing." Its action encourages brain growth and the ability to gain impulse control. When kids struggle with handwriting, it filters into all of their academics. Spelling becomes a problem, math becomes a problem, because they reverse their numbers. The third grade is where children must be introduced to writing skills. Penmanship is not so important as fluidity and speed, but there is no excuse for illegibility, as no one can understand it, consequently, the author cannot express their thought.

Kindergarten through fourth grade, kids think and write at the same time. Only later is mental composition separated from the physical process of handwriting. If they have to struggle to remember how to make their letters, their ability to express themselves will suffer. The motions have to be automatic, both for expressive writing and for another skill that students will need later in life, note taking.

Measures in speed among elementary school students are good predictors of the quality and quantity of their writing in middle school obviously, handwriting skills are important and a necessity in today's society.

Handwriting provides your child the ability to communicate with others.

A wonderful tool to aid your youngster, as well as teenager in developing their handwriting skill is to provide time every day for them to trace words, lists, sentences or paragraphs, you only need tracing paper and a pencil, how neat is that. For the beginner, have them trace over printing, after a short learning time, have them duplicate the printing on a separate piece of paper. This is also a great way for your child to begin reading.

One must learn to print before one can do cursive writing. The method of tracing or duplicating is the same for cursive, just more difficult. Emphasize the need for your child to work towards legible penmanship; it does no good, if no one else can read it.

Perhaps at first they will balk, but after a few sessions, they will succumb to "the challenge". They can't lose, as there is nothing like accomplishing a rewarding method to communicate in the written.

 


 

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