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How to Help Your Child Live With Kidney Disease

Having kidney disease affects children in many ways. They may need to take medicines and alter their diet, and can also face challenges at school.

It’s only natural to worry if you have a child with kidney disease. Parents often have questions about their child’s health. We answer some of the most common ones.

It can be helpful for parents to talk to members of the renal team, such as the social worker or clinical psychologist. Other parents and patient support groups may also be able to help.

Can I give a kidney to my child?

As a parent, your first instinct may be to deal with your child’s condition by giving them one of your kidneys. Around half of all kidney transplants carried out are now from living donors.

Living organ donation usually involves one family member donating an organ to another family member or a partner. The relative is usually blood related – a parent, brother, sister or child. It’s possible for a healthy person to lead a completely normal life with only one working kidney.

Considering donating a kidney is a big step. It’s major surgery, and will only go ahead once strict rules are met and after a thorough process of assessment and discussion. Talk to your child’s renal team if you want to explore whether donation could be an option for you and your child.

Will my child grow normally?

The kidneys play an important role in a child’s growth, so children with kidney disease may not grow as well as their peers. To make the problem worse, their illness can make them feel sick, alter their sense of taste and reduce their appetite.

How to help

It’s important to make sure that children with kidney disease get enough nutrition. Talk to your child’s doctor about ways to help boost growth. Taking supplements and limiting certain foods while eating more fats and carbohydrates to increase calorie intake can help. Some children benefit from injections of growth hormone.

Will my child have a problem making friends?

Children with kidney disease can have trouble making friends and fitting in with children of their own age. This can be because they miss time off school.

It can also be because of a child’s natural concern that their kidney disease makes them different from other children. Children can lack confidence if they’re small for their age and their appearance has changed (for example, if they are bloated) as a result of their condition and its treatment.

How to help

Find ways to encourage your child to meet other children and make friends. They can meet other children through nurseries, playgroups, school and after-school clubs. Having children over for tea and sleepovers and, in the case of older children, using social networking sites, such as Facebook, can help encourage them to make friends.

Will my child have difficulties at school?

Kidney disease itself doesn’t usually cause problems with learning, but children who have had kidney disease from a young age may spend so much time in hospital that they struggle with schoolwork. They usually catch up as they get older.

How to help

If your child misses school, do all you can to help them with their schoolwork. Talk to their teachers as early as possible to make a homework plan that your child can get on with while they’re in hospital.

  • Make sure your child is getting as much extra educational support as possible from the school. The hospital teachers can also help and advise you.
  • If you have concerns about your child’s development or learning, talk to your child’s school.

Read more about how to talk to the school about your child’s health condition.

Should children with kidney disease do sport?

It’s tempting to be overprotective of a sick child. In general, sport and exercise is great for children with kidney disease. But bear in mind that they may get tired more easily than their friends and classmates.

How to help

Encourage your child to do all the activities their friends do. If your child is on dialysis, swimming might not be possible. In some cases, particularly after a kidney transplant, children should also avoid contact sports. Otherwise, they can safely take part in most sports.

What if my child refuses their medicine?

Taking medicines is part of life for most children and young people with kidney disease. They can find this a strain and may stop taking their medicines.

How to help

  • Try to work out why they don’t want to take their medicines. Children, especially teenagers, may stop taking their medicines because they can cause unflattering changes in appearance.
  • Talk to them about why taking their medicines is important for their health and what will happen if they don’t. Be careful not to scare your child into taking their medicines.
  • Explaining to older children and teenagers why they need to be responsible for taking their own medicines can make them more likely to keep taking their tablets.
  • It can also help to involve the renal team that’s looking after your child, as they will have lots of experience of tackling this problem with other children and young people.
  • It’s very important that you let the renal team know immediately if you think your child isn’t taking their medicines.

Who can my child talk to about kidney disease?

All children’s kidney teams have different professionals on hand to chat to your child. These include doctors, nurses, psychologists, social workers, play specialists, teachers and some youth workers.

How to help

Arrange for your child to talk to a member of the kidney team. It can also help if they meet a young adult who had chronic kidney disease during childhood, or another child of their own age. You can find contacts through your doctor, local support group, or the British Kidney Patient Association (BKPA)**.

How do I explain kidney disease to my other children?

Brothers and sisters of children with kidney disease may feel left out and worried. They need time with you to talk over their worries and feel part of the overall plan.

How to help

Your child’s kidney team is there to help the whole family. Ask the play specialist, psychologist or social worker to spend time talking to your child’s brothers and sisters and answering their questions.

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

** Resources in the United States, the National Kidney Foundation  and the American Kidney Fund





Child Health & Safety News 8/14: Finland Program Combats Bullying

twitter thumbIn this week’s Child Health News: Britain is facing health ‘time bomb’ as obese children are hit by Type 2 Diabetes bit.ly/2vY9Nyg

Welcome to Pediatric Safety’s weekly “Child Health & Safety News Roundup”- a recap of the past week’s child health and safety news headlines from around the world. Each day we use social media to communicate relevant and timely health and safety information to the parents, medical professionals and caregivers who follow us. Occasionally we overlook something, but overall we think we’re doing a pretty good job of keeping you informed.  Still, quite a bit happens every day – so to make sure you don’t miss anything, we offer you a recap of this week’s top 15 events & stories.

  • Flashing Red. Kids Ahead. promotes bus safety bit.ly/2vvnjsF 2017-08-13
  • This book on child malnutrition will change the way you think about health interventions wapo.st/2vY2y9t  2017-08-13
  • 25 Simple Ways to Help Kids Learn to Make Friends and Collaborate https://t.co/ESvCps5EEr  2017-08-12
  • Breastfeeding is a very different experience in other countries bit.ly/2wE091u Here’s what it’s like around the world 2017-08-12
  • A keen eye on children’s health, environmental risks bit.ly/2hS07zR 2017-08-12

PedSafe Child Health & Safety News Headline of the Week:
Finland found a proven way to combat bullying. Here’s what it’ll take to make it work in the United States  cnn.it/2wGzocN

  • Why Free Play is Important for Your Overscheduled Child vwell.cm/2uuIbNM 2017-08-11
  • Teachers, Want to Help A Child Learn? Encourage Wiggling!zpr.io/PVNL8 2017-08-11
  • How to Avoid Taking Your Stress Out On Your Kids – Thurs Time Capsule 07/11 bit.ly/2eZi0ff 2017-08-10
  • Ex-Atlanta Firefighter Dies Saving Child In Water At Tallulah Gorge bit.ly/2unycJW taking a minute to honor the brave 2017-08-09
  • How to Manage Your Diabetes for a Safer Pregnancyzpr.io/PVtwB 2017-08-09
  • Are moms who don’t breastfeed “bad”? No! bit.ly/2fmSe4D 2017-08-08
  • Celebrate World Breastfeeding Week by Trading Up Your Pump (and Helping Moms in Need) bit.ly/2uhDqH9 2017-08-08
  • How to Help Your Preschooler Develop a Healthy Moral Compass vwell.cm/2vFT0ju 2017-08-07
  • The Emoji Movie is Sensory Friendly, Tomorrow Night at AMCzpr.io/PviHx 2017-08-07
  • For a Great School Year, Bullyproof Your Special Needs Child zpr.io/PviHX 2017-08-07

6 Reasons to Stop the “Every Kid Gets a Trophy” Epidemic

Just pretend:  The sports season just ended and you and the other parents are bursting with pride watching each child receive a participation trophy with their teammates. Of course, we hate to see our children disappointed, so when we notice every kid holding a golden statue, we utter a collective parent sigh: “Oh, good, they all feel special!” Phew!

But do our good intentions really help our kids? Not if we really want to nurture our children’s character and base our parenting on solid child-development research.

The “Every Kid Gets a Prize” is a staple of modern-day parenting. Even coaches and the sports industry are jumping on board. The local chapter of one national sports association spends roughly 12 percent of its yearly budget on trophies just to make sure that every kid feels special—even if it’s just for “showing up.”

But beware: our good-hearted trend may actually backfire and diminish-not nurture-our children’s self-esteem, character and resilience. Here are six reasons to stop the “Every kid gets a trophy” trend, and pronto.

Curtails Character Development

Our children develop crucial character traits like perseverance, dependability, and trustworthiness by rolling up their sleeves, practicing hard, and giving tasks their personal best. Awarding kids for putting on a uniform is honoring mediocrity-not excellence-and it robs them of the opportunity to strengthen their character. Character is what helps our children become good people and handle life.

Short-Changes Real-Life Preparation

Life is tough. Success is hard work. So truth be told: the real world doesn’t give out ribbons, medals, awards and trophies just for participating. Ask yourself: “If my child thinks that all she has to do is show up to earn the prize, what message does she learn?”

Let’s not allow our kids to believe that they can take the easy way out, cut corners, and rely on others to do the heavy hitting. Doing so won’t prepare them for the real world.

Robs “Authentic” Self-Esteem

In all fairness, a big reason many parents joined the “Trophy Bandwagon” is because they assumed that it would nurture their children’s self-esteem. But research tells a different story.

Authentic self-esteem is comprised of two parts: A Feeling of Worthiness (“I am a worthwhile person”) and A Feeling of Competence (“I am capable to handle life.”)

While that trophy may make a kid feel “special” in the moment, it doesn’t endure. Real self-esteem is gained from praise, pats on the back or trophies that are earned, and kids are quick to recognize they did nothing to warrant the award.

Curtails Resilience

Helping kids cope with adversity must be part of our parenting agendas. After all, life has bumps and our children must learning coping skills to ride them out.

Children become more tolerant to frustration when they are exposed to setbacks in small doses.That way when those bigger challenges come along they realize they can handle them.

Giving every kid a trophy as a means to cushion disappointment from not “being the best,” only reduces their chances to realize that they can bounce back and curtails their capacity for resilience.

Devalues Real Success

 I’ll never forget when my college-bound son handed me a box of his trophies culled from being on dozens of teams. “They don’t mean anything,” he explained, “everyone has same trophies.” He saved just one medal from a team History Day competition that was well-earned from hard work and passion.

If every kid gets the trophy, then their “real win” isn’t special and they fail to reap the joy that comes from realizing that their hard efforts actually paid off.

It’s natural for parents to want to help their kids feel good, but what we may be missing is helping them care about others and support their teammatesThe real world isn’t about “Me” but “We.” In today’s diverse, global world our children must learn to collaborate and support each other. And we must switch our kids’ from thinking, “I, me, mine,” to “we, us ours.” One way to do so is by encouraging them to recognize the strengths of others, and to congratulate their teammates for their talents. To prepare them for today’s world, we must help our kids think “WE,” not “ME.”

Let’s stop this craze of giving every kid a trophy just for showing up and breathing. The practice is not beneficial to children’s character development. Instead, tell your son or daughter that you are proud that they were a team player and that you loved going to those games or event.

Do snap that photo of your child, but make sure your son or daughter is in a group shot with all his or her teammates. Now there is the memory that both you and your child will want to preserve! And it’s also one of the best ways to raise a generation of kids who think “WE,” not “ME.”

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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 amazon.com.

Teachers, Want to Help A Child Learn? Encourage Wiggling!

The research is clear, many of us move to think, that means we can cheer for kids who like to wiggle while they learn.

Large motor movement such as walking 15 minutes before school, doing moderate-intensity exercise before a test and peddling or bouncing before academics have been shown to improve performance. Small movements such as fidgeting, squirming, leg-swinging, foot-tapping, and chair-scuffling may help us learn new knowledge and work out complex tasks. The research is reviewed in 70 Play Activities.

Here are 8 science-based ways to improve thinking, learning, and behavior in your classroom.

70 Play Activities – Kenney & Comizio 2016

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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 amazon.com

 

How to Manage Your Diabetes for a Safer Pregnancy

Diabetes and your unborn baby

Diabetes is a condition in which the amount of sugar (glucose) in the blood is too high.

Glucose comes from the digestion of starchy foods, such as bread and rice. Insulin, a hormone produced by your pancreas, helps your body to use glucose for energy.

Three types of diabetes can affect you when you’re pregnant:

The information on this page is for women who have pre-existing diabetes in pregnancy.

Most women with diabetes have a healthy baby, but diabetes does give you a higher risk of some complications.

If you already have diabetes

If you already have type 1 or type 2 diabetes, you may be at a higher risk of:

People with type 1 diabetes may develop problems with their eyes (diabetic retinopathy) and their kidneys (diabetic nephropathy), or existing problems may get worse.

If you have type 1 or type 2 diabetes, your baby may be at risk of:

  • not developing normally and having congenital abnormalities, particularly heart and nervous system abnormalities
  • being stillborn or dying soon after birth
  • having health problems shortly after birth, such as heart and breathing problems, and needing hospital care
  • developing obesity or diabetes later in life

Reducing the risks if you have pre-existing diabetes

  • The best way to reduce the risk to your own and your baby’s health is to ensure your diabetes is controlled before you become pregnant.
  • Ask your GP or diabetes specialist (diabetologist) for advice. You should be referred to a diabetic pre-conception clinic for support before you try to get pregnant.
  • Find diabetes support services near you (UK)**.
  • You should be offered a blood test called an HbA1c test, which helps assess the level of glucose in your blood.
    • It’s best if the level is no more than 6.5% before you get pregnant, as long as this does not cause problems with hypoglycaemia (*hypoglycemia).
    • If your HbA1c is higher than this, you would benefit from getting your blood glucose under better control before you conceive to reduce the risk of complications for you and your baby.
    • Your GP or diabetes specialist can advise you on how best to do this.
    • If your HbA1c is very high (above 10%), your care team should strongly advise you not to try for a baby until it has fallen.

Folic acid

  • Women with diabetes should take a higher dose of folic acid. The normal daily dose for women trying to get pregnant and for pregnant women is 400 micrograms.
  • Diabetic women should take 5 milligrams (mg) a day. Your doctor can prescribe this high-dose folic acid for you, as 5mg tablets are not available over the counter.
  • Taking folic acid helps prevent your baby developing birth defects, such as spina bifida. You should take folic acid while you are trying to get pregnant, until you are 12 weeks pregnant.

Your diabetes treatment in pregnancy

  • Your diabetic treatment regime is likely to need adjusting during your pregnancy, depending on your needs.
  • If you take drugs for conditions related to your diabetes, such as high blood pressure, these may have to be altered.
  • It’s very important to keep any appointments that are made for you so your care team can monitor your condition and react to any changes that could affect your own or your baby’s wellbeing.
  • Expect to monitor your blood glucose levels more frequently during pregnancy. Your eyes and kidneys will be screened more often to check they are not deteriorating in pregnancy, as eye and kidney problems can get worse.
  • You may also find that as you get better control over your diabetes you have more low blood sugar (hypoglycaemic) attacks. (*hypoglycemic) These are harmless for your baby, but you and your partner need to know how to cope with them.
  • Find out about treating a hypoglycaemic attack, and talk to your doctor or diabetes specialist.

Diabetic eye screening in pregnancy

You will be offered diabetic eye screening at recommended intervals during pregnancy if you had diabetes before you got pregnant (pre-existing diabetes).

This screening test is to check for signs of diabetic eye disease, including diabetic retinopathy.

Everyone with diabetes is offered diabetic eye screening, but screening is very important when you are pregnant because the risk of serious eye problems is greater in pregnancy.

Diabetic eye screening is strongly recommended in pregnancy. It is part of managing your diabetes, and diabetic retinopathy is treatable, especially if it is caught early.

If you decide not to have the test, you should tell the clinician looking after your diabetes care during pregnancy.

Read more about diabetic eye screening.

Labour and birth

If you have diabetes, it’s strongly recommended that you give birth with the support of a consultant-led maternity team in a hospital.

Read more about where you can give birth, including in hospital.

Babies born to diabetic mothers are often larger than normal. This is because blood glucose passes directly from you to your baby, so if you have high blood glucose levels your baby will produce extra insulin to compensate.

This can lead to your baby storing more fat and tissue. This in turn can lead to birth difficulties, which requires the expertise of a hospital team.

After the birth

Two to four hours after your baby is born they will have a heel prick blood test to check whether their blood glucose level is too low.

Feed your baby as soon as possible after the birth – within 30 minutes – to help keep your baby’s blood glucose at a safe level.

If your baby’s blood glucose can’t be kept at a safe level, they may need extra care. Your baby may be given a drip to increase their blood glucose.

Read more about special care for babies.

When your pregnancy is over, you won’t need as much insulin to control your blood glucose.

You can decrease your insulin to your pre-pregnancy dose or, if you have type 2 diabetes, you can return to the tablets you were taking before you became pregnant. Talk to your doctor about this.

If you had gestational diabetes, you can stop all treatment after the birth.

You should be offered a test to check your blood glucose levels before you go home and at your six-week postnatal check. You should also be given advice on diet and exercise.

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

** Locate diabetes support services in the United States 





Child Health & Safety News 8/07: Teen Girl Suicides At 40 Yr High

twitter thumbIn this week’s Child Health News: How to tell if a baby-friendly hospital is right for you bit.ly/2hxcelM

Welcome to Pediatric Safety’s weekly “Child Health & Safety News Roundup”- a recap of the past week’s child health and safety news headlines from around the world. Each day we use social media to communicate relevant and timely health and safety information to the parents, medical professionals and caregivers who follow us. Occasionally we overlook something, but overall we think we’re doing a pretty good job of keeping you informed.  Still, quite a bit happens every day – so to make sure you don’t miss anything, we offer you a recap of this week’s top 20 events & stories.

  • FDOT provides Back to School traffic safety tips bit.ly/2uegwjR 2017-08-06
  • Completing your child’s back-to-school health checklist bit.ly/2uctlLG  2017-08-05
  • Up to 200 breastfeeding mothers to join challenge – BBC News bbc.in/2vACb9B  2017-08-05
  • 8 Steps for Choosing the Right Preschool for Your Child vwell.cm/2fg8tAi 2017-08-05
  • “This Mom Was Shamed After Her Child With ADHD Threw a Tantrum — & It’s Not OK” bit.ly/2vpoUk2 2017-08-04

PedSafe Child Health & Safety News Headline of the Week:
Suicides Among Teen Girls Hit 40-Year High bit.ly/2v4MrpQ
It doesn’t get more real than this…

  • Science Says Sugar During Pregnancy Could Be Linked To Child’s Allergies bit.ly/2vlIqOl while not proved, indicates likelihood 2017-08-04
  • August is kids eat right month and according to the CDC, childhood obesity has tripled since the 70’s on9news.tv/2uPXTp6 2017-08-03
  • The Sarahah App Is Dangerous for Students bit.ly/2vhOUO1 One more app enabling anonymous cyberbullying & hate speech 2017-08-03
  • How Kids can Learn to Resist Temptation…and Why They Need to – Thurs Time Capsule 06/11 bit.ly/Ox9Mkg 2017-08-03
  • The Surprising Effect Motherhood Has on Self-Esteem bit.ly/2tRW3kS 2017-08-02
  • 8 Tips to Help Overcome Your Child’s Behaviour Problems zpr.io/PvqSZ 2017-08-02
  • Which Recaro Baby Car Seats Are Being Recalled & Replaced? It’s For A Chilling Reason bit.ly/2tUYXt6 2017-08-01
  • Hundreds of libraries serve federally funded lunches so school kids don’t go hungry during the summer nyti.ms/2tRLWwt 2017-08-01
  • Variation in Management for Infants With GERD bit.ly/2vcCTJI 2017-07-31
  • The Forgotten: Children of Narcissistic Parents bit.ly/2vcl2CV the results: narcissistic personality disorder 2017-07-31
  • How to Recognize If Your Child Has An Airway Problem zpr.io/P4cRm 2017-07-31

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