Moms: How to Control Your Fears Before They Control You

Last updated on March 3rd, 2018 at 01:24 pm

It’s part of a mom’s job to watch over her children’s health and wellness. And when kids don’t feel well, we nurture them back to health as best we can.

But have you ever heard your child cough Calm fearsonce and wondered if it’s something serious? Sometimes a small concern can quickly escalate into feelings of real fear. If this sounds familiar, there are steps you can take to avoid making yourself sick with worry — for your sake and your child’s.

“Children are very sensitive to mom’s mood,” says Betsy Cetnarowski, a certified child life specialist at Akron Children’s Hospital in Ohio. “So when mom is anxious, it can make kids anxious as well.”

Check out these strategies for managing fears that come with being the No. 1 caretaker for your child’s health.

  1. Talk to your pediatrician. It’s important to arm yourself with information. Instead of putting energy into worrying about what could be going on, call your pediatrician about your child’s symptoms. “They will either allay your fears or say, ‘That does sound serious, come in,’” says Los Angeles marriage and family therapist Tiffany Howsam. “It’s OK to ask questions, including where to get more information.”  Just beware of consulting Dr. Google, warns Howsam. If you’re already feeling anxious and you start looking up symptoms, you’re bound to find something to confirm your fears, even if it’s an extremely rare case. “Speak to your doctor instead,” she urges.
  2. Stay in the present. Unless you have a crystal ball, you can’t see the future — and you shouldn’t even try. “When you start thinking about what might happen,” warns Howsam, “you can go into a downward spiral. If your child has a low fever, that doesn’t mean it’s the first sign of an untreatable disease.” Find out the facts from a professional before making any conclusions.
  3. Do a reality check. Distinguish the difference between fearful feelings and measurable facts. “Ask yourself, ‘Is this true?’” advises Howsam. “Learn to catch yourself and identify when you’re catastrophizing.”
  4. Take a breather. “Find a quiet place to sit for five minutes, relax and focus on your breath as it goes in and out,” says Howsam. If your mind wanders, just bring it back to the breath. Stick with it. You’ll find that you can redirect your thoughts and calm yourself.
  5. Make a list. If you notice your nerves getting out of control, you may be dwelling on one negative detail and disqualifying the positive signs of health or recovery. Write down five positive things about your child’s health — for example, he has a good appetite, his fever is going down, he’s energetic or he’s sleeping better. If you feel yourself heading down that road of negativity, just look at your list for some reassurance,” says Howsam.
  6. Focus on the familiar. One way to comfort yourself is to concentrate on making your child feel more comfortable. “If you are going to a doctor’s office, bring books or toys from home,” says Cetnarowski. “Doing something familiar while you’re waiting will not only help your child, it’ll also help you feel safer.”
  7. Be prepared. If your child does need to be tested or treated, find out exactly what’s going to happen, gathering all the details of necessary procedures. “After all,” says Cetnarowski, “the unknown is often scarier than the reality.”

Caring for Baby Teeth Means Healthier “Grown-Up” Teeth

Last updated on March 3rd, 2018 at 01:26 pm

Baby teeth are referred to as many things such as; deciduous, milk teeth, temporary or primary teeth. These teeth are the first set of teeth that a child develops. They develop in the womb and become noticeable in the mouth during the infant years. Permanent teeth are those which replace the baby teeth when they fall out.

Deciduous dentition consists of central incisors, lateral incisors, canines, first and secondary molars. The lower, two front teeth are the first teeth to go, followed by healthy baby teeththe upper two front teeth, moving on to the teeth on either side of the front teeth. The primary teeth may continue to fall out until the age of 12-13. The ages are general guide lines. Different children, even in the same families, vary in age ranges

Many times we are asked how to tell the difference between a baby tooth and an adult tooth. Primary teeth start to exfoliate between the ages of 4-6 years. Primary teeth tend to be whiter and smaller then the permanent teeth. The permanent teeth are 1.5 times the size of the baby teeth.

Care of baby teeth is just as significant as caring for permanent teeth. While the truth of the matter is that baby teeth only spend a short period of time in a child’s mouth, they play a fundamental role for the permanent teeth that come later. They not only save space for their permanent tooth replacement but they also give the face a normal look. They assist in clear pronunciation of words, help manage good nutrition for the body and help protect the permanent teeth. When a primary tooth is decaying or infected, it can also damage the permanent teeth underneath the gum line.

Care for baby teeth starts before they breakthrough the gums. Start getting in the habit of wiping your baby’s guns with a soft, wet washcloth or gauze during bath time. Toothpaste is not necessary at this stage. You can wrap the cloth around your finger and gently wipe over the gums. This also helps your baby get used to having his or her teeth cleaned as part of their regular routine.

After your child’s teeth start to show around 6 months of age or so, purchase a baby toothbrush with small bristles. Don’t get worried if your child hasn’t cut any teeth by the end of their first year, for some kids this doesn’t happen until 18 months of age. If you are cleaning your baby’s teeth regularly at this stage, toothpaste is still not necessary just yet. Brush gently on both sides of the teeth twice a day. You can brush your baby’s tongue gently to remove bacteria.

It’s always important to replace any toothbrush when it looks worn or the bristles start to spread out. Remember to start forming good brushing habits with your kids at a young age. Call your dentist with questions or concerns you may have with your child’s teeth. There is never a silly question for your dentist; we understand the importance of your child’s health.

Secrets to Breathing Better With Allergies

Last updated on June 16th, 2018 at 12:38 am

AllergiesWarmer weather triggers trees, flowers and grasses to bloom, beckons kids back outside and sets off seasonal allergy suffering for 40 percent of those kids. Pollens, which have been dormant all winter, are abundant from spring to fall. These irritants gang up with existing indoor allergens (such as dust mites, pet dander and mold) and bully your child’s immune system, causing itchy, watery eyes, runny noses, sniffling, sneezing and coughing.

“While allergens are unavoidable, there are things you can do to reduce your child’s exposure to them,” says Dr. Rebecca Gruchalla, professor of internal medicine and pediatrics at the University of Texas Southwestern Center in Dallas.

Try these tricks for keeping allergens to a minimum:

  1. Make plans based on pollen counts. Plan indoor activities when outdoor pollen counts are highest – every day before 10 a.m., on windy days and after it rains. Check for the daily allergy forecast in your area.
  2. Control the spread of allergens. After a day of fun outside, have the kids take showers, wash their hair and put on clean clothes before they’re allowed to play in their rooms. You don’t want them tracking pollen into their bedrooms since allergy symptoms are often worse at night.
  3. Manage indoor air quality. Keep windows closed during pollen season and crank up the air conditioning to help filter the air in your home. An indoor air temperature between 68 F and 72 F inhibits mold and dust mite growth and helps the indoor humidity level stay at an ideal 30 to 40 percent.
  4. Keep bedding healthy. Dress your child’s bed using linens made of cotton or synthetic materials as opposed to bedding filled with feather or down, which can trap moisture and invite dust mites to spread. Dust mites produce a protein that can irritate the nasal passage and cause sneezing and a runny nose. To get rid of them, wash your child’s sheets once a week. Wash the comforter, mattress pad and blankets once a month. And never hang linens or clothes to dry outside, where they can gather pollen.
  5. Clean stuffed animals and toys. Only buy washable stuffed animals and throw them in the laundry with the bedsheets every week. And when they’re not being loved, store stuffed animals — and all toys — in sealed, dust-free plastic containers.
  6. Use allergen-resistant covers. Wrap the mattress, box spring and pillows in allergen-resistant covers to reduce your child’s exposure to dust mites by as much as 80 percent.
  7. Keep floors free of irritants. Vacuum the floors in kids’ rooms twice a week using a cyclonic machine or one outfitted with a high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filter. Keep kids out of the bedroom for at least 30 minutes afterward, since vacuuming kicks up allergen-filled dust that can irritate allergies.
  8. Move moisture out of the bathroom. Bathrooms tend to accumulate water around the shower, tub and sink areas, keeping the room moist and susceptible to mold growth. Control moisture by making sure wet towels and clothes are hanging so they’re able to dry. After showers, allow the curtain or door to air-dry before pulling it closed. And to keep air flowing and remove moisture, leave a fan on after showers and baths.
  9. Prevent pet allergens. Pets produce more allergens than the great outdoors. Don’t let your furry friends into the kids’ rooms. Wash and brush Fido — outside — once a week to decrease the dander inside.
  10. Equip bedroom with a HEPA air filter. If your child has severe allergies, consider putting a HEPA air filter in the bedroom. Check the CADR (Clean Air Delivery Rate) label, which indicates the size of room it’s best for.

Daffodils and Parmesan

Last updated on March 3rd, 2018 at 01:33 pm

Spring is here. Flowers are in bloom. In Connecticut Daffodils - beautiful but dangerousone local town celebrates the arrival of spring with an annual daffodil festival. In fact – thousands of flowers. I wonder how many people know that the bulbs of the plant are among the most poisonous of all plants in the US.

And who doesn’t like a little Parmesan cheese sprinkled on- well in my house, on just about everything. And I like the bright inviting colors of the packaging- inviting me to indulge. Unfortunately Comet cleanser has equally colorful packaging. And certainly you never accidentally put your comet in the fridge and the Parmesan under the sink but look at products the way a child would. They are drawn to bright colors and to things that Mom and Dad handle and use.

Antifreeze used to smell really nice and became a common poison to our animals and kids. Manufacturers are no longer allowed to add perfumes to make the product smell better. Believe it or not, antifreeze performance does not improve with the addition of perfume and without it kids and dogs are safer.

So as you go about enjoying spring, getting into spring cleaning- check to make sure that your cabinets, both kitchen and bath have child proof locks. In the garage make sure that kids can’t get in or that products are well out of reach. Also make sure that shelving is very secure and won’t fall over onto curious, climbing kids. And finally check your fridge for Comet- just to be sure.

Accidental poisoning CAN be prevented- take a few minutes to check things out- don’t guess, be sure.