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How To Have a Conversation With Your Teenager

Getting teenagers to talk openly about what’s bothering them can be hard. Follow these tips to help get them talking to you about their worries.

1. Ask, don’t judge

Start by assuming they have a good reason for doing what they do. Show them you respect their intelligence and are curious about the choices they’ve made.

If you don’t pre-judge their behaviour as “stupid” or “wrong”, they’re more likely to open up and explain why their actions made sense to them.

2. Ask, don’t assume or accuse

Don’t assume that you know what’s wrong. Rather than asking “Are you being bullied?”, try saying “I’ve been worried about you. You don’t seem your usual self, and I wondered what’s going on with you at the moment? Is there anything I can help with?”.

3. Be clear you want to help

If you suspect your child is using drugs or drinking excessively, be gentle but direct. Ask them, and let them know that you’ll help them through any of their difficulties.

4. Be honest yourself

Teenagers will criticise you if you don’t follow your own advice. If you drink too much alcohol yourself, for example, they’re likely to mention it (“You can’t talk!”). Make sure you’re acting responsibly yourself.

5. Help them think for themselves

Instead of trying to be the expert on your teenager’s life, try to help them think for themselves:

  • Discuss the potential implications of poor behaviour choices. For example, “How does smoking dope make you feel the next day? So, if you feel like that, how’s that going to affect you playing football?”
  • Help them think critically about what they see and hear. “So Paul said X: is that what you think?”
  • Help them feel that they can deal with life’s challenges. Remind them of what they’re good at and what you like about them. This will give them confidence in other areas of their lives.
  • Information is empowering. Point them towards websites that can give them information on drugs, sex and smoking so they can read the facts and make up their own minds.
  • Help them think of ways they can respond and cope. “So, when you feel like that, is there anything you can do to make yourself feel better?”
  • Encourage them to think through the pros and cons of their behaviour.

6. Pick your battles

If they only ever hear nagging from you, they’ll stop listening. Overlooking minor issues, such as the clothes they wear, may mean you’re still talking to each other when you need to negotiate – or stand firm – with them on bigger issues, such as drugs and sex.

7. If they get angry, try not to react

Teenagers often hit out at the people they most love and trust, not because they hate you, but because they feel confused.

Don’t think that they mean the bad things they say (“I hate you!”). They may just feel confused, angry, upset, lost or hormonal, and they don’t know how to express it.

8. Help them feel safe

Teenagers often worry that telling an adult will just make things worse. You need to be clear that you want to help them and won’t do anything they don’t want you to.

This may be particularly important with bullying. If your child opens up to you about bullying, explain that it isn’t acceptable. Listen to their fears and reassure them it’s not their fault.

Help build up their confidence by reassuring them that you’ll face the problem together.

9. Avoid asking questions they won’t answer

Sometimes you’ll find out more about your teenager if you ask open questions. If they have an eating disorder, for example, asking confrontational questions like “What did you eat for lunch?” or “Have you made yourself sick?” may mean you get a dishonest answer.

Sticking to open questions such as “How are you?” or “How has your day been?” helps your teenager talk to you about how they’re feeling.

Reflux in Babies: Symptoms, Causes, Treatment and Advice

Babies often bring up milk during or shortly after feeding – this is known as possetting or reflux.

It’s different from vomiting in babies, where a baby’s muscles forcefully contract.

Reflux is just your baby effortlessly spitting up whatever they’ve swallowed.

It’s natural to worry something is wrong with your baby if they’re bringing up their feeds. But reflux is very common and will usually pass by the time your baby is a year old.

This page covers:

Signs and symptoms

When to get medical advice



Treatments and advice

Signs and symptoms of reflux in babies

Signs that your baby may have reflux include:

  • spitting up milk during or after feeds – this may happen several times a day
  • feeding difficulties – such as refusing feeds, gagging or choking
  • persistent hiccups or coughing
  • excessive crying, or crying while feeding
  • frequent ear infections

When to get medical advice

Reflux isn’t usually a cause for concern and you don’t normally need to get medical advice if your baby seems otherwise happy and healthy, and is gaining weight appropriately.

But contact your midwife, health visitor or GP (*pediatrician) if reflux starts after six months of age, continues beyond one year, or your baby has any of the following problems:

  • spitting up feeds frequently or refusing feeds
  • coughing or gagging while feeding
  • frequent projectile vomiting
  • excessive crying or irritability
  • green or yellow vomit, or vomiting blood
  • blood in their poo or persistent diarrhoea
  • a swollen or tender tummy
  • a high temperature (fever) of 38C (100.4F) or above
  • not gaining much weight, or losing weight
  • arching their back during or after a feed, or drawing their legs up to their tummy after feeding

These can be signs of an underlying cause and may mean your baby needs tests and treatment.

Causes of reflux in babies

It’s normal for some babies to have reflux. It usually just occurs because a baby’s food pipe (oesophagus) is still developing.

It normally stops by the time a baby is a year old, when the ring of muscle at the bottom of their oesophagus fully develops and stops stomach contents leaking out.

In a small number of cases, reflux can be a sign of a more serious problem, such as:

  • gastro-oesophageal reflux disease (GORD) – a long-term form of reflux where stomach contents are able to rise up and irritate the oesophagus
  • a cows’ milk allergy – this can also cause a rash, vomiting and diarrhoea; many babies will eventually grow out of it and can be treated by removing cows’ milk from their diet
  • a blockage – rarely, reflux may occur because the oesophagus is blocked or narrowed, or there’s a blockage in the stomach and small intestine

Tests that may be needed

Most babies with reflux don’t need any tests. It can usually be diagnosed based on your baby’s symptoms.

In rare cases, the following tests may be recommended if your baby’s reflux is severe or persistent:

  • endoscopy – a narrow, flexible tube with a camera at the end is passed down their throat to look for any problems
  • barium swallow – this where your baby is given a drink containing a substance called barium before an X-ray is taken; the barium shows up on the X-ray and helps highlight any problems in their digestive system

These tests will normally be carried out in hospital.

Treatments and advice for reflux in babies

Reflux doesn’t usually require treatment if your baby is putting on weight and seems otherwise well.

The following treatments and advice may be offered if your baby appears to be in distress or their reflux has a specific, identified cause.

Feeding advice

Your midwife or health visitor may want to check how you feed your baby and suggest some changes to help with their reflux.

These changes might include:

  • burping your baby regularly throughout feeding
  • giving your baby smaller but more frequent feeds
  • holding your baby upright for a period of time after feeding
  • using thicker milk formulas that are less likely to be brought back up – these are available to buy without a prescription, but only try them if advised to by a healthcare professional

If your doctor thinks your baby could have a cows’ milk allergy, they may suggest trying special formula milk that doesn’t contain cows’ milk.

Read more general breastfeeding advice and bottle feeding advice.


Babies with reflux don’t usually need to take any medication, but sometimes the following medicines may be offered if your doctor feels the problem is severe:

  • alginates – these form a protective barrier over stomach contents, stopping them travelling up and irritating the oesophagus
  • proton pump inhibitors (PPIs) and H2-receptor antagonists – these reduce the level of acid in the stomach, so the stomach contents don’t irritate the oesophagus as much

Alginates may be used if changing the way you feed your baby doesn’t help. PPIs and H2-receptor antagonists may be recommended if your baby appears to be in discomfort or is refusing feeds.


In a very small number of babies – most often, babies with serious underlying conditions such as cerebral palsy – an operation may be needed to treat GORD by tightening the ring of muscle at the bottom of the oesophagus.

Surgery may also be needed if there’s a blockage or narrowing in the oesophagus, stomach or small intestine.

Editor’s Note: *clarification provided for our US readers.

6 Parenting Behaviors That Hurt Kids: How to Recognize & Fix Them


  • Referees giving parents lollipops at youth hockey games to stop them from yelling at their kids.
  • Teachers taking out insurance policies to defend themselves against parental lawsuits (“She gave my kid a B+ and ruined his Harvard chance!”)
  • Moms socially engineering kid “cliques to feature only the ‘best’ and leaving out other Moms.”

No kidding! These are the stories I’ve been collecting and have shared on the TODAY show. And these are real issues that are affecting our children’s character. Here’s what to do. ENOUGH!

Parents behaving badly is a timeless problem, but there’s a modern-day category of ill-behaving Moms and Dads who could easily earn membership in the Parents Wall of Shame. Their actions are insensitive, manipulative and callous, but also impact kids. Make no mistake, uncivil adult behaviors affect children’s moral development. After all, kids learn values like compassion, honesty, sportsmanship, civility, and respect from example. And oh how today’s kids desperately need good role models! But grownup insensitivity also affects other parents who should be around supportive, civil-minded adults! Here are six bad parenting behaviors that are affecting our kids’ character …and solutions.

#1. The Braggart

New Child and Parent Motto: “Share and take turns.”

Whether it’s bragging about our kid’s grades, talent, or athletic feats, parents love to boast! One survey found that the average mom posts a whooping 1,000 photos of their child online before he turns five. Of course we are proud of our kids, but always bragging, constantly comparing, or continually dismissing other children’s accomplishments also lower the other parent’s confidence. Parental boasting and bragging may be one reason today’s teen narcissism increased 58 percent in 30 years. Watch out! Kids copy what they see and hear and it’s not always pretty and polite.

Solution: Parental pride is natural, so when a parent who rarely boasts finally does, she deserves our sincere “Congrats.” If bragging is usually one-sided and rarely considers your child’s accolades, try: “Isn’t it wonderful how well our kids are doing? Mine just…” (and then describe your pride).

But what if the parent continues her exclusive “My kid is so special” routine and you want to maintain your relationship? Speak up and explain your side: “You always brag about your child and never ask about mine. I feel you don’t care about my family.” If that doesn’t work, find another friend! Pride about our kids should always be a two-way club.  

#2. The Bad Sport

New Child and Parent Motto: “Be a good sport or you can’t play.”

A Reuters News poll found that 60 percent of American adults who’d been to youth sporting events said they’d witnessed parents “become verbally or physically abusive towards the coaches or officials.” But there’s also parents screaming at their kids’ performance and booing the opposing team. No wonder nearly 75 percent of kids who play organized sports quit by age 13!

Yes, parents make huge investments in sports in hopes of scholarships and college entries, but bad behavior teaches poor sportsmanship and also undermine kids’ love for the game. Enough!

Solution: Unacceptable adult behavior can’t be ignored, but …

Confronting offensive parents can be a potential fireball. Better to move your seat, and approach cooled-down troublemakers later to share your concerns. Beware!

Many leagues and schools require parents to sign pre-season sportsmanship pledges and attend mandatory “ethics” courses or their kids can’t play. Spectators can then report inappropriate parental behavior to officials who can notify the offenders that uncivil behavior can mean banishment from games.

Meanwhile can we please be positive and remember to cheer the whole team, entire class, the other kid, not just our child? Please!

#3. The Gossip

New Child and Parent Motto: “If you can’t say anything nice, don’t say it!”

Think Queen Bees were confined to the middle school hive? Many adults never outgrew their mean childhood antics and now gossip about other parents. Those sordid details also show up on social media with no way for parents to defend themselves. While gossiping can be a way to connect with others and find reassurance about your parenting, cattiness is toxic. It’s easy to get caught in the gossip mill and spread hurtful rumors. Beware: kids pick up our behavior and mimic us. It’s a big reason the Mean Girl Tween Scene is flourishing.

Solution: Make a vow not to gossip. If you do hear cattiness, speak up: ‘It isn’t fair to talk about her when she isn’t here to defend herself.” And never give out information that a catty parent can use against you or others or assume that she won’t spread untruths about you. Meanwhile, find like-minded parents and join forces. Together, you can change norms.

#4. The Excluder

New Child and Parent Motto: “How would you feel if that happened to you?”

Deliberately leaving others out is called social exclusion, and is a form of bullying that causes deep distress. It peaks in middle school, but the tactic is all-too common with moms these days (“She’s cool and can join us.” “Don’t let Shelley come!”) But the excluded aren’t only women, but also their kids. One report described one mom who saved eight bus seats for 11-year girls. (She literally jumped on the bus and roped off the seats!) When a new girl asked if she could join “those girls,” the child was told “Sorry, but those seats are reserved.” Adults who socially engineering the “in” and “out” cliques for  kids, are being plain cruel.


Just plain refuse to join grownup Queen Bees. The best way to cultivate empathy is for parents to demand that kids treat others with dignity, and then show that you are inclusive.

To other Moms: “Let’s invite her! She just moved here.” Do the same with your child: “Invite all the boys: you don’t leave one out.” “Ask Abby to come!” How would you feel as a new kid?”

You might not be BFFs with every mom, but you will set a great example for your child. And that’s what matters!

#5. The Non-Disciplinarian

New Child and Parent Motto: “Be nice, or you can’t play.”

“I don’t discipline because I don’t want to damage my child’s self-esteem,” I hear from countless parents. While wanting to be a “Pal Not a Parent” is a hot trend, correcting misbehavior is part of raising good people. So how do you discipline when a misbehaving child is in your care?

Solution: While you don’t want to counter a parent’s child-rearing philosophy, if behavior is dangerous, harmful to others (like hitting, biting, bullying) or counters your values, you can’t ignore it.

You can review your rules: “In our house we don’t swear,” and separate kids from each other, but spanking, grounding, or yelling the “other child” are off-limits.

If the parent is present, disciplining their child is also a no-no. If misbehavior continues, call the parent: “I’m sure you would want to know so this is what our kids were up to.” Her child will give his interpretation, so better it come from you. Just don’t expect the parent to take your side. Do beware parental litigations are rising. Manhattan play groups ask parents to sign four-page waivers so they won’t be sued when supervising the other parents’ kids! It’s a very different world to raise kids!

#6. The Bully

New Child and Parent Motto: “Expect respect!”

Bullying is hurtful whatever the age, and it is always intentional-delivered cruelty. Nightmare stories continually surface about parents verbally abusing other moms and dads-both online and off. Bullying is learned and can be unlearned. The sooner we show kids how to stand up for themselves, the less likely they’ll be targeted.

Solution: Use my CALM Strategy for handling a bully of any age.

C – Stay calm. (Bullies love reactions).

A – Assert yourself with a strong (never insulting) comeback back: “Cut it out.” Or: “Stop it!”

L – Look bully in the eye.

M – Mean it! Deliver the line with a firm, confident, serious voice.

Practicing CALM with your child will help reduce peer cruelty.

Raising good people starts with adults modeling good character, and many grown-ups are in need of serious behavior makeovers.

Meanwhile, let’s take our own Reality Check and ask ourselves: “If my kid watched only my behavior, what would he have caught today?” That answer will say volumes about your child’s character development.

What are your worst nightmare stories that involve parents? How did you handle them?


UnSelfie 140x210Teens today are 40 percent less empathetic than they were thirty years ago. Why is a lack of empathy—along with the self-absorption epidemic Dr. Michele Borba calls the Selfie Syndrome—so dangerous? First, it hurts kids’ academic performance and leads to bullying behaviors. Also, it correlates with more cheating and less resilience. And once children grow up, it hampers their ability to collaborate, innovate and problem-solve—all must-have skills for the global economy. The good news? Empathy is a trait that can be taught and nurtured.  UnSelfie is a blueprint for parents and educators who want activate our children’s hearts and shift their focus from I, me, and mine… to we, us, and ours.  It’s time to include “empathy” in our parenting and teaching!  UnSelfie is AVAILABLE NOW at

3 Ways Music Improves Kids’ Learning, Relationships & Confidence

When we think of music, often what comes to mind is song. We may think of Broadway musicals, Bach or Justin Timberlake. In our minds, we might imagine orchestras or pianists.

Music has been central to civilization for thousands of years. In fact, before we had language we used musical tones and sounds to communicate. The tone of a grunt signaled a message in our prehistoric ancestors, while the beat of a drum brought village people together in unity far and wide. What we think of a little less often is what music is made of and how it impacts our learning, behavior and social relationships.

Music is all around us as we hear the subway cling and clatter, the pitter-patter of our children’s footsteps and the ambient noise inherent in life. Music engages our sensory, motor and auditory pathways in the brain fostering engagement and synchronicity (Patel & Iverson, 2014).

Curiously, the ability to synchronize with a beat is associated with learning language and grammar (Corriveau & Goswami, 2009; Gordon et al., 2015). At its core music is made of beats and rhythms that create sound, melody and even movement. These beats and rhythms are meaningful scaffolds we can use in school, at home and in life to enhance foundational aspects of our learning, behavior and character.

Here are three ways to incorporate music into your family life to foster growth in learning, behavior, confidence, social relationships and character.

TRUST Engaging in music with your children, classmates and workmates can enhance a sense of cohesion, emotional safety and trust. Our brains and bodies love to entrain, that is, join together in synchrony with others. Moving, tapping and singing in synchrony provide us with a felt-sense of togetherness, safety and trust. Consider for a moment, the smile on an infant’s face as he plays clapping games with his mother. Think about your own emotions as you walk by a classroom of students harmonizing in song.

“Musical engagement provides opportunities to improve social cohesion, psychological safety and trust in our relationships.”

What can you do? Sing more with others. Whether acapella, with the radio or as you complete your tasks of daily living, turn up the music and sing along. Choose songs that are known to all and enjoy the feeling of camaraderie and togetherness as you sing out that tune, together.

LEARNING – Even if you aren’t a musical performer, songs, chants, poems and raps are a wonderful way to learn academic knowledge. Music provides a rhythmic foundation on which to layer information in order to encode it and make it learned knowledge.  Further, consistent beats, specifically in 4/4 time, stimulate the brain’s natural interest, comfort and familiarity with patterns and sequences. Help your children learn their math facts, historical knowledge, literature and foreign language saying simple repetitive words with rhythm for better encoding and retrieval of learned knowledge.

“We are musical beings, even our neurons fire like an orchestra.”

MOVE IT – Clapping, tapping, stepping, marching and bouncing to a beat provide a firm scaffold on which to layer learning. Start by clapping or stepping to a simple quarter note at 85-120 beats per minute and increase tempo as the children become familiar with the beat.

On the downbeat add the content to be learned, for example, C-A-T CAT.  You can also say the words syllabically, HO – USE HOUSE with a double clap on the fourth beat. Imagine learning your history facts to a beat, “Abraham Lincoln, our 16th president, created Thanksgiving Day, he championed for freedom, as the children played.” Mix and match beats with rhythm, movements, sounds and words for an engaging social experience. The words can rhyme, but they don’t have to.

Music is magical. It has the ability to help us calm or energize, connect and reflect, enhancing our thinking skills, learning and character by engaging us as musical and prosocial beings.

Enjoy building confidence, character, and social connections as you chant, sing, move, and create to the sounds of music.

For more musical learning ideas see Musical Thinking and 70 Play Activities for Better Thinking, Self-Regulation, Learning and Behavior.


  • Corriveau K, Goswami U. (2009). Rhythmic motor entrainment in children with speech and language impairments: tapping to the beat. Cortex, 45: 119–130.
  • Gordon R, Shivers C, Wieland E, Kotz S, Yoder P, McAuley J. (2015). Musical rhythm discrimination explains individual differences in grammar skills in children. Developmental Science, 18: 635–644.
  • Patel, A. D., & Iversen, J. R. (2014). The evolutionary neuroscience of musical beat perception: the Action Simulation for Auditory Prediction (ASAP) hypothesis. Frontiers in Systems Neuroscience, 8, 57.

Helpful websites:


70-play-hi-res-150x197Written for teachers, educators, and clinicians whose work involves playing, talking or teaching children who would benefit from better executive function and social-emotional learning skills, 70 Play Activities incorporates over 100 research studies into printable worksheets, handouts, and guided scripts with step-by-step directions, to empower children to learn and behave better. “With 70 Play Activities we aim to improve the trajectory of children’s learning by integrating the newest neuroscience with activities children love!” With over 70 activities designed to improve thinking, self-regulation, learning and behavior, your tool-kit will be full and your creative brain will be inspired to craft your own meaningful exercises. 70 Play Activities is available at


Boredom vs. Structure: Is One “Better” for a Special Needs Child?

There is a lot of parenting buzz about letting your kids be bored because only then will they tap into their imaginations and learn to be self-reliant. Childhood boredom can lead to many wonderful things like invented games, improvised plays and backyard expeditions. Then again, many children with special needs need structure. Some get very anxious when they are unsure where to go and what to do. Others get lost in time and distractions in ways that are not beneficial or can get up to activities that are destructive or unsafe. Throughout this article please understand that when I refer to unstructured time I never mean for it to mean unsupervised time. Safety is crucial! Also, this is not about boredom in school – this is about the summertime, weekend, hanging out at home type of boredom. So how do you balance your child’s need for structure with the healthy benefits of downtime?

I was faced with this dilemma of schedule vs. free time on only the fourth day of summer break, when my special needs child dramatically threw herself on my bed and sighed, “I’m bored.”

As always, take the unique needs of your child and your family into consideration. If you work, if your child is in a summer program or camp or if your child has a caregiver this may not all be up to you. You will need to get input from your child’s team to see how he or she tolerates unstructured time before you can decide how much boredom to allow at home.

Even when it seems like I am letting my kids hang around the house doing nothing, I always have a secret schedule in my mind and am always watching the clock and listening to the sibling rivalry. Sometimes I have to step in and redirect, sometimes I can let it play out. Sometimes I have to force them all to unplug, or go outside or read.

If your child needs structure and scheduling, try building some imagination time into the daily agenda. Start small, maybe ten minutes, and build the time up as your child can tolerate it. Knowing there is an end time may also help the child feel less anxious about free time.

Some children have trouble making choices. In this case you can schedule something like reading time or art time, but allow your child the choice of what book to read or what art materials to use. If that is too overwhelming, you can give your child two or three options and let them choose. Then stop giving the options. Eventually you can work up to giving your child bigger choices, like reading time or art time. Even using the phrase “play time” instead of “free time” may offer the child a hint about appropriate choices during this time. If the idea of unstructured time is very overwhelming to your child, brainstorm a list of things they could do during free time, then post it somewhere or keep it in a notebook so you can consult it as needed. You may even want to make a Boredom Jar so the suggested activities will be randomized when your child pulls one out.

As always, if unstructured time doesn’t work for your child right now that is fine, but as our kids grow up and we try to teach them to be independent you can revisit it at a later date.

When Should Your Allergic Child Start Wearing A Medic Alert?

Medic Alert Foundation: Kid’s Medical ID’s

Everyone has a habit- some of us don’t leave the house without our keys while others need to make sure that all of the lights are turned off. Whatever your habit, chances are these are things that were learned easily by repetition.  We are all taught at an early age that repetition helps us to remember to do things with less concentration. If your child has severe (e.g. life threatening) allergies, the same can be done to help teach your children to stay as safe as possible each and every time that they leave the house.

Begin As Soon As Possible This truly means as soon as possible. Regardless of what age your child learns about their allergies, it is crucial that they understand the importance of wearing some type of medical I.D. item. From the moment that your child is diagnosed with an allergy, make it part of their daily routine to check for their medical I.D. before they leave the house. Just as we teach them colors and numbers, teach them to advocate for themselves before they even understand that’s what’s actually happening. Always be open and honest with your child and explain the reason for having their allergies easily accessible for those who may need to see it in the event of an emergency.

Medical I.D. is Necessary Many parents feel that having their child wear a medical I.D., especially at an early age, may not be necessary. Parents who are with their children most of the time feel that they can ensure that proper allergy information is exchanged directly from them. Although this is understandable, it may not always be the case. Car accidents can happen at any time. This is one example of the possibility of a parent not being able to speak for their child due to what may have happened to them during the accident as well.  Sometimes things happen in life that we do not expect. Should a parent fall ill, become unconscious or be unable to speak or communicate for whatever reason, a medical I.D. would still be accessible in the interim.  With a medical I.D. product, everything is clearly seen. If you relay allergy information to a family member or guardian, they may not share the complete information if they are affected by an accident or are under stress.

What is Appropriate? Luckily, there are quite a few items that are available now. There are multiple styles, colors, sizes and ways to showcase the important information that just may save your child’s life.  Having more than one I.D. is often recommended as well (one somewhere on yourself and one on your personal effects).

  • Medic Alert Foundation: Medical ID

    Infant car seats can use a D. Wrap as a first line of information if someone was removing your child from the car. If there is an accident, emergency responders instinct is to reach for the car seat- having the wrap attached makes all of the emergency information travel with them.

  • Shoe tags are also recommended. Having emergency information on a car seat is the first step but for parents who rely on babysitter or daycare, shoe tags will still be with your child after they are taken out of their car seat.
  • Necklaces for both boys and girls are available as well. These are items that can always be worn so, in this case, the habit would be to make sure it’s not missing. I do recommend that you research the appropriate items and length for younger children who still like to put things into their mouth.
  • Bracelets are often the preferred jewelry. The reason being- a necklace may slip back underneath your child’s head and become invisible if they are lying down whereas a bracelet will always be on a place where vitals will be checked.

Allergies can be a tricky part of life, especially for younger children and new parents as well. By teaching your children that this is their normal way of life, they will grow up not feeling as if they should have done something differently. Empower your children by letting them pick out their I.D. items and always have open conversations with them on why they need to keep themselves safe. At such early ages, our children are like little sponges of information- let them sink it all in but always let them know that their safety comes first.

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