Calm Your Children’s Back-to-School Anxiety

Last updated on August 31st, 2015 at 01:25 am

Imagine starting a new job every year — with a new boss, new colleagues and new projects. Sound a bit stressful? That’s how the start of the school year feels to many kids. Most children experience anxiety when they don’t know what to expect, says Dr. Andrea Weiner, a child and family therapist and the author of The Best Investment: Unlocking the Secrets of Social Success for Your Child. “It’s fear of the unknown,” says Weiner. “Parents need to give children an understanding of what they will be in control of.”

Try these tips to ease some anxiety your kids may have:

How will I know where to go?

Whether your child is starting kindergarten or middle school, moving to a new town or just switching schools, he’s bound to be anxious about getting around the building. Where’s the bathroom? Which stairwell leads to the library? How long will it take to get from one classroom to another? Remove the guesswork (and the anxiety) by taking a tour a day or two before school starts. (Just call the school office and explain the situation.) Time how long it takes to get from one place to another, and point things out along the way. Getting the lay of the land ahead of time will give your child a sense of control before the first bell rings.

Will my teacher be nice?

Teachers are usually in the building setting up a day or so before school starts, so when you take your tour, ask if you can to stop by the classroom and introduce your child to the teacher. This is especially important to young kids who have no basis for comparison. If you know of older children who’ve had this teacher, you might want to ask them about their experience and then pass on the information to your child. (Don’t have the kids talk directly to each other unless you know the older child has good things to say!)

What will I be doing every day?

Kids love routines and get a great deal of comfort from knowing what their regular schedule will be. For kindergartners and first-graders, explain that the teacher will go over everything on the first day of class (and probably for the next few days after that). The teacher will describe the rules of the classroom, what he expects from the students and what they will be doing during the day. For kids starting middle school, explain that they’ll probably get a printed schedule showing the days, times and locations of all their classes.

Will I have friends?

The social aspect of school is a huge cause of anxiety for kids of all ages, whether they are new to the school or old-timers. Returning kids may worry that none of their friends will be in their class, and that they’ll have to form new friendships. New students may not know how to reach out to other kids. Weiner recommends giving kids some conversation starters to take the pressure off. Suggest they ask such questions as “I like your backpack; where’d you get it?” and “Did you go away this summer?” They can also share some of their doubts: “Did you understand that assignment? I didn’t get it at all.”

Will I be able to keep up?

All kids worry about their academic performance, according to Weiner. The important thing to tell them is that effort counts much more than grades do. Parents should stress the importance of trying and learning, as opposed to succeeding. Say something like, “Some subjects may be harder for you than others, and that’s OK.” And remind your child that teachers really are there to help.

“Most kids think they’re the only ones who are afraid,” says Weiner. “Remind them that everyone is in the same situation and feeling the same way. It helps kids deal with the anxiety a little better when they know everyone is in the same boat.”



“Best of” Back-to-School Health and Safety Tips 2011: Part II

Last updated on May 24th, 2018 at 05:38 pm

If you are someone who takes care of kids in any way, shape or form (which I’m assuming you are if you’re reading this) one phrase has probably dominated your world for the past couple of weeks: “back-to-school”. It is likely that you have not spent a day, opened a newspaper or a journal or gone to the sites you typically visit online without seeing these words staring back at you in an article offering you advice on: “How can you best prepare your kids”, “The 101 things you should know about your child’s health and/or safety before you send them back to school…” etc.

Unfortunately, too much of a good thing is not always a good thing… With so many articles and so much information it can be a bit overwhelming at times. With that in mind, I’ve done a little searching and pulled together a “best of” health and safety tips across all the expert information I’ve found. While last week’s back-to-school health and safety tips focused on everything to consider before they head off to school, today’s tips focus on what you need to know to send them off and make sure they return safely. Hopefully it will save everyone a little time that they could be otherwise be using to get 5 more minutes (or 1 extra hug) with their kids. (*Please note: as with my last post, I am sourcing other author’s tips and will cite all references below – all copyrights, credit and thanks belong to them)

Heading to School:

Getting on the Bus Safely:

  • When the bus arrives, stand at least three giant steps (6 feet) away from the curb.
  • If you have to cross the street in front of the bus, walk on the sidewalk or along the side of the road until you are five giant steps (10 feet) ahead of the bus. Then you can cross the street.
  • Be sure the bus driver can see you and you can see the bus driver.
  • Never walk behind the bus.
  • If you drop something near the bus, tell the bus driver. Never try to pick it up first because the driver may not be able to see you.

While on the bus:

  • When on the bus, find a seat and sit down. Loud talking or other noise can distract the bus driver.
  • Never put head, arms or hands out of the window.
  • Keep aisles clear—books or bags are tripping hazards and can block the way in an emergency.
  • At your stop, wait for the bus to stop completely before getting up from your seat, then walk to the front door and exit, using the handrail.

Getting off the Bus:

  • If you have to cross the street in front of the bus, walk at least ten feet ahead of the bus along the side of the road until you can turn around and see the driver. Make sure the driver can see you.
  • Wait for a signal from the driver that it’s safe before beginning to cross…then, walk across the road keeping an eye out for sudden traffic changes.
  • Stay away from the wheels of the bus at all times.

Walking to school:

  • Walk to school with a group of kids and always have a responsible adult with you.
  • Always walk on the sidewalk if one is available. If no sidewalk is available, walk facing the traffic.
  • The safest place to cross is at a street corner or intersection.
  • If you are 10-years-old or younger, you need to cross the street with an adult. Before you step off the curb, stop and look all ways to see if cars are coming. When no cars are coming, it is safe for you to cross, but look left-right-left as you do and hold the adult’s hand.
  • Walk, don’t run. This gives time for drivers to see you before you enter the roadway.
  • Don’t dart out in front of a parked car. The driver of the car coming down the street will not be able to see you.
  • In neighborhoods with higher levels of traffic, consider starting a “walking school bus,”  in which an adult accompanies a group of neighborhood children walking to school.

Riding a bike to school:

  • Always wear your helmet and make sure it fits correctly. The helmet should fit low on your forehead so that two fingers fit between it and your eyebrows.
  • To ride safely, you need to know the “rules of the road”. Ride on the right side of the road in a single file line in the same direction as other vehicles and come to a complete stop before crossing streets. Wait for a driver’s signal before crossing the street.
  • Wear bright colors during the day and right before the sun rises or sets.
  • Riding at night can be dangerous. You should have a white light on the front of your bicycle and a red reflector on the back. You also can get lights and reflective materials to put on your shoes, helmet and clothing.

By the Way – Here’s a great brochure by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) that uses graphics and humor to teach little kids how to be safe on their way to school.

Teen Driving:

  • Graduated Driver Licensing allows teens to practice driving skills in low risk situations, moving through driver license stages with gradually increasing responsibility. GDL reduces teen driver crashes and deaths by up to 40%. You can implement life-saving GDL practices in your home by following these tips:
    • Extend the learner’s permit period until at least 6 months of practice has passed.
    • Set a nighttime driving restriction – no unsupervised driving after 10pm.
    • Set a passenger restriction – no one younger than 18 allowed during a teen’s first 12 months of driving.
    • Ban cell phone use and make safety belts mandatory while driving. Prohibit alcohol – zero tolerance for underage drivers.

During the School Day:

Eating during the day:

  • Most schools regularly send schedules of cafeteria menus home. With advance information, you can plan on packing lunch on the days when the main course is one your child prefers not to eat.
  • Try to get your child’s school to stock healthy choices such as fresh fruit, low-fat dairy products, water and 100 percent fruit juice in the vending machines.
  • Each 12-ounce soft drink contains approximately 10 teaspoons of sugar. Drinking just one can of soda a day increases a child’s risk of obesity by 60%. Restrict your child’s soft drink consumption.

Bullying:

  • “Bullying is when one child picks on another child repeatedly. Bullying can be physical, verbal, or social. It can happen at school, on the playground, on the school bus, in the neighborhood, or over the Internet”. The American Academy of Pediatrics has detailed guidelines on managing bullying from the perspective of the child being bullied, the child who is the bully and the bystander. Across all 3 categories, what is consistent is involving a parent or another adult to develop a proactive solution. Rather than try and abbreviate this section, if this is an issue for your child, well documented and excellent guidelines can be sourced here.

School Sports

  • Acclimate children to hot weather workouts by gradually increasing time outdoors about ten days to two weeks before official practice begins to help prevent heat injuries.
  • Make sure children drinking plenty of fluids and take frequent breaks: every 10-15 minutes while playing outdoor sports. Also make sure they wear light clothing and limit their exposure to the sun in the hottest part of the day. Apply towels soaked in ice cubes and water to the head and neck to stay cool.
  • When heat illness is suspected, move the athlete into the shade or coolest area nearby. Try to cool them as quickly as possible by exposing the skin to ice/cold water and cool circulating air.
  • Young athletes with asthma should use preventative inhalers 20-30 minutes before exercise, do a gradual warm-up and should have a rescue inhaler available to them during practices and during competition.
  • Make sure children wear a well-fitted helmet if they play football, softball or baseball to prevent severe injuries such as concussions.
  • Remind children to immediately tell the coach or trainer if they feel dizzy or have a lapse in memory after taking a blow to the head. They should not return to the same practice, game or contest and should be evaluated by a physician prior to return to play.

Keeping them safe at school:

  • Ask your child about safety in his or her school. Where do they feel most safe? Least safe? Why?
  • Identify comfort levels and methods for reporting safety concerns. Do students have at least one adult and/or method through which they would feel comfortable reporting safety concerns at school?
  • Examine access to your school. Are there a reduced number of doors that can be accessed from the outside (while still allowing children to exit from the inside in an emergency)? Does faculty know who is in their school?
  • 5 excellent questions that your school’s crisis management team should know the answer to – if not, get involved:
    • How do you dial 9-1-1 from the school phones? Do you need to get an outside line first?
    • What is the actual street address of the school if asked by a 9-1-1 dispatcher?
    • If your school’s nearby walking evacuation site is a community church, does someone have the keys to get in if no one from the church is there when you arrive?
    • How long does it really take to mobilize your school bus drivers in the middle of the day if you need to evacuate multiple buildings?
    • Have you ever trained students NOT to open doors to people on the outside trying to get into the school?

After School:

Getting home from school safely and staying that way:

  • Make sure your child walks home with a group of friends or a responsible adult.
  • Make sure to have an adult at the bus stop after school to ensure the kids get home safely.
  • Make a code word that will be used when someone else they do not know will pick them up. Every time you have someone pick your child up from school they have to know your secret code word or your child will not get in the vehicle.
  • Let them know that if an adult makes them feel uncomfortable or is following them they should call 911 and find a safe place – go back to school, to the police, or to a friend’s home as quick as possible.
  • Along those lines – teach your children “No, Go, Yell, Tell”: Say No! loudly if they feel they’re in danger; Go! run fast and far to the nearest safe place; Yell! as loudly as they can while they run; Tell! a trusted adult exactly what happened as soon as they reach safety.
  • If they are going to be alone in the afternoons, teach them to go straight home, lock the door and only open it for people with permission to enter the house. Never open the door to delivery people.
  • They should never tell someone on the telephone or on the internet that they are home alone. If asked about mom/dad say something like “He or she is busy right now. Can I take a message?”

So folks, I know it was a long list, but I hope it’s one you’ll find useful. Until next time, keep them healthy and keep them safe…

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As we did with “Best of” Back to School Health and Safety Tips 2011: Part I, we’d like to send out our thanks and recognition to some very smart folks for some really terrific advice:

  1. Waiting for the Bus, While on the bus, Getting off the Bus, Walking to school and Riding a bike to school: (Traveling to School: Safety tips to share with your children: National Safety Council)
  2. Teen Driving: (Teen Driving Safety: Graduated Driver Licensing saves lives: National Safety Council)
  3. Eating during the day and Bullying: (Back to School Tips: American Academy of Pediatrics 2011)
    *(Note: our thanks to Kelly from Educator Labs and her student Robbie for finding us an updated link for this)
  4. School Sports (Children Should Rely on Safety Equipment to Prevent School Sports Injuries: Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center)
  5. Keeping them safe at school: (Parents & School Safety – Can you Prevent Another Tragedy? How Safe is Your Child’s School: Ken Trump, president of National School Safety & Security Services)
  6. Getting home safe and staying that way bullets #1,2,3,4: (Children’s safety tips to remember for back to school: Melina Ann Collison, St Louis Crime Examiner, July 27, 2009)
  7. Getting home safe and staying that way bullets #5: (Living Safe – Teach your children “No, Go, Yell, Tell”: Katherine Cabaniss Crime Stoppers)
  8. Getting home safe and staying that way bullets #6,7: (After-school safety tips from the American Red Cross)

“Best of” Back-to-School Health and Safety Tips 2011: Part I

Last updated on October 5th, 2015 at 11:37 pm

It’s that time of year again… back to school. A time filled with carpools, backpacks and homework…and on many parent’s minds, a question… How can I keep my kids healthy and safe without following them around 24/7? We know they need to experience independence, learn how to develop friendships and how to make good decisions, yet we’re torn with a desire to protect them in every way possible. Unfortunately the hazards they face – bullying, gangs, drug sales, reckless drivers and predators, just to name a few – can happen before, during or after school. The best we can hope for is to make sure they are healthy before they walk out the door, ensure their trip to and from school is “uneventful”, and equip them with the tools, knowledge and resources to help them keep themselves safe and healthy until they are once again in our care.

To assist our efforts, experts provide us with articles and blog posts of “back-to-school” health guidelines and safety tips do and don’t lists. In fact there is a wealth of knowledge on the web on how to best prepare your child and send them off to school. Hello information overload! So, in an effort to save you a little time – which at this time of the year we all know is in incredibly precious – I’d like to share with you our compiled list of the best back-to-school tips we’ve been able to find. In “Back-To-School” Part I, we’ll cover everything you need before they head out the door. Part II will keep them safe until they come home. (*Please note – I am sourcing other author’s tips and will cite all references below – all copyrights, credit and thanks belong to them)

Before School Begins:

Prep for back-to-school physicals:

  • Bring five questions with you to be discussed during the visit. This helps parents to start thinking about their child’s health concerns earlier which may prevent parents from forgetting topics they want to discuss.
  • Be sure to know the name and dosage of all medications your child is on.
  • Bring shot records with you – especially if you’re changing pediatricians as vaccine schedule recommendations can change.
  • Bring sports physical forms. Pediatricians can fill these out and conduct the sports physical exam in tandem with the yearly checkup.
  • Bring report cards and conduct grades. If your child has special needs or classes, bring that information in as well. This information can help pediatricians look into, and potentially address, any underlying medical reason behind low marks.

Review your back-to-school health check list:

  • Immunization: Ensure your child’s preschool immunization is completed prior to entering Kindergarten to protect her against vaccine-preventable diseases. Check here for the CDC 2011 Child & Adolescent Immunization Schedules.
  • Vision screening: Have your child’s vision tested before he starts Kindergarten (ideally by age three) and annually until age 18. As much as 80% of learning is visual, so ensuring children can see properly will help them reach their full potential in the classroom.
  • Hearing/speech screening: If you suspect your child may have a hearing or speech problem, check with your doctor for a referral to an audiologist and/or speech specialist. An undetected problem could interfere with your child’s learning.
  • Dental checkup: Regular dental checkups should begin by age three. If your child hasn’t had her teeth examined prior to starting school, now is a good time for it. Regular checkups and cleanings help detect and prevent dental problems early.
  • Mental Health Check: Pediatricians are now requesting that patients and their parents fill out questioners to monitor behavior and psychological healthiness. For children ages 18 months to two years this can help doctors rule out pervasive developmental disorders such as autism. For teens and pre-teens this can help doctors determine whether the child should be treated for depression.
  • Emergency contacts: Make sure the school has up-to-date emergency numbers, including contact information for parents, physicians, etc.
  • Health conditions: Ensure the school has up-to-date information about any physical impairments or medical conditions your child may have, including allergies. Also inform the school about any medications your child takes. Check here for more detailed information on preparing children with asthma to return to school
  • Nutrition plan: Ensure your child has a healthy breakfast before heading to school in the mornings, and help her pack a nutritious lunch. Planning meals ahead of time and involving children in planning and preparation can make this task more manageable and fun.

Conduct a Back-to-school backpack check:

  • A child’s backpack should weigh no more than about 15% of his or her body weight. This means a student weighing 100 pounds shouldn’t wear a loaded school backpack heavier than about 15 pounds.
  • Select a pack with well-padded shoulder straps. Shoulders and necks have many blood vessels and nerves that can cause pain and tingling in the neck, arms, and hands when too much pressure is applied.
  • Adjust the shoulder straps so that the pack fits snugly on the child’s back. Wear the waist belt if the backpack has one. The bottom of the pack should rest in the curve of the lower back. It should never rest more than four inches below the child’s waistline.
  • Distribute weight evenly by using both straps. Wearing a pack slung over one shoulder can cause a child to lean to one side, curving the spine and causing pain or discomfort.
  • Load heaviest items closest to the child’s back (the back of the pack). Arrange books and materials so they won’t slide around in the backpack.
  • Check what your child carries to school and brings home. Make sure the items are necessary for the day’s activities.
  • If the backpack is too heavy or tightly packed, your child can hand carry a book or other item outside the pack. If the backpack is too heavy on a regular basis, consider using a book bag on wheels if your child’s school allows it.

Deciding when they’re too sick for school:

  • Fever: Fever is a common symptom of viral infections, like influenza. If your child’s temperature is 100.4 degrees or higher, keep your kid at home. While at home, encourage your child to drink plenty of liquids. If you have concerns about your child’s health, get in touch with her pediatrician. A child should be fever-free for 24 hours (without medicine) before returning to school.
  • Mild Cough/Runny Nose: If there’s no fever and the child feels fairly good, school is fine.
  • Bad Cough/Cold Symptoms: Children with bad coughs need to stay home and possibly see a doctor. It could be a severe cold or possibly bronchitis, flu, or pneumonia. But when the cough improves and the child is feeling better, then it’s back to school. Don’t wait for the cough to disappear entirely — that could take a week or longer!
  • Diarrhea or Vomiting: Keep your child home until the illness is over, and for 24 hours after the last episode (without medicine).
  • Sore Throat: A minor sore throat is usually not a problem, but a severe sore throat could be strep throat even if there is no fever. Other symptoms of strep throat in children are headache and stomach upset. Keep your child home from school and contact a doctor. Your child needs a special test to determine if it is strep throat. He or she can return to school 24 hours after antibiotic treatment begins.
  • Earache: The child typically needs to see a doctor.
  • Pink Eye (Conjunctivitis): Keep the child home until a doctor has given the OK to return to school. Pink eye is highly contagious and most cases are caused by a virus, which will not respond to an antibiotic. Bacterial conjunctivitis will require an antibiotic; your doctor will be able to determine if this is the case.
  • Rash: Children with a skin rash should see a doctor, as this could be one of several infectious diseases. One possibility is impetigo, a bacterial skin infection that is very contagious and requires antibiotic treatment.

Check back again soon for Part II where we’ll pick up our “Best” Back-to-School Health and Safety Tips 2011 with suggestions for what to do once they head out the door. Until next time keep them healthy…keep them safe…

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Sending out thanks and recognition to some very smart folks for some really great advice:

  1. Prep for back-to-school physicals: (Texas Children’s Pediatric Associates prepare patients to go back to school by Texas Children’s Hospital, Aug 2, 2011)
  2. Review your back-to-school health check list: (Back to school health checklist by Alberta Health Services)
  3. Conduct a back-to-school backpack check: (Backpack strategies for parents and students by the American Occupational Therapy Association, Inc.)
  4. Deciding when they’re too sick for school: (Your Child: Too Sick for School? by Jeanie Lerche Davis for WebMD September 2010)

Who Will Look After the Kids If/When Mom Can’t?

Last updated on October 5th, 2015 at 11:34 pm

Ten years ago, Kristine Breese found herself in a situation that turned out to be a wake-up call in more ways than one. At the age of 35, the mother of two went into cardiac arrest at her home in Carlsbad, California. And in that moment, Breese’s first thought was not what you would expect. “I thought ‘Who’s going to give the kids dinner?’” she says. She was even thinking about the mac ’n’ cheese dinners in the freezer as the paramedics wheeled her to the ambulance.

Thankfully, Breese survived her ordeal, regained her health and today she is a successful writer and public speaker. But one thing she’ll never forget is the fact that every mom needs a reliable backup plan to cover those unexpected moments when mom is not available.

Whether it’s a result of a surgery, as it was for Breese, or something more common such as a cold or flu, if you need time to rest and recover, make sure your backup plan is in place ahead of time. Check out these strategies and be prepared.

1. Learn to ask for help.

Some moms understandably have trouble asking for help. “Moms push it to the limit,” says Breese, author of Cereal for Dinner: Strategies, Shortcuts, and Sanity for Moms Battling Illness. “When women start feeling bad, they don’t cut down on their activities or turn to others. Things can quickly spiral out of control.”

Develop the skill of asking for help before you’re in a crisis. For example, when someone offers to carry your groceries to the car, let them. “You may feel silly at first. We’re in that post-feminist generation where we’re not supposed to let someone open the door for us, but asking for help doesn’t have to be a statement about who you are as a woman,” says Breese.

2. Set up a network of helpers.

You need to have a list of people to call when you need assistance. Set up a way to contact everyone quickly and easily. For instance, create an email list or Facebook group specifically for this purpose. Or set up a telephone tree where you call the first person on the list, they call the next person and so on. Think of it as your own personal “Emergency Response System.” Then all you have to do is send one message or make one call to say, “Can you help me out and pick up my kids from school this afternoon? I have been flat on my back all day.”

3. Ask for specific kinds of help.

Designate people to do specific tasks. For instance, ask a neighbor in advance if she’d be OK to cover carpool duties if you’re in a pinch. Ask a girlfriend if she’d be willing to buy some groceries if you just can’t manage a trip to the market.

You can even get the kids involved, in an age-appropriate way. “Kids really respond when they can help,” says Breese, who suggests making a game of it when you need help from younger kids. For instance, give them a “Do Not Disturb” sign to hang on your bedroom door or have them set a timer so they know how long mommy needs to rest.

4. Have a replacement on call.

You need several reliable baby sitters to call on. If you don’t have any, try finding someone through a baby-sitting agency such as the Web site Sittercity, or a local church or college. Interview candidates and check references before you need them. Ideally, your baby sitters are familiar with your family and your home, and they have flexible schedules so they’re likely to be available in an emergency. If your budget allows, set aside some cash and contacts for extra conveniences like a cleaning service or takeout meals when you really are down for the count.

5. Leave a paper trail.

Before you get sick, pretend you’re going on vacation and write down everything a caregiver would need to know while you’re away. Include essential phone numbers, information about kids’ activities and schedules, medications, allergies, and other relevant details. Ideally, your regular baby sitters already know the drill, but it’s good to have written instructions for reference. Keep this information in one place (try the fridge or the kitchen table), and be sure to update it often.

6. Stock your freezer.

While you’re healthy, find some freezer-friendly recipes. Double them each time you cook, and freeze half. Or keep some commercially prepared meals on hand that a caregiver could easily pop in the oven or microwave.

7. Have confidence in your family.

Realize that things won’t fall apart just because you’re not directing the scenes. Sure, dad may not cut the crust off the bread when he packs lunches, and he may send Susie to school without brushing her hair. What’s important is that he’s getting the kids to school. If you make home-cooked meals but grandma takes the kids out for chicken nuggets, no permanent damage done. It’s OK if your kids watch a bit (or even a lot) more TV while you’re ill. Just remember the overarching goal: Giving mom a break so you can rest and rejuvenate.



Is Endodontics Right for Your Child…Do Root Canals & Kids Mix?

Last updated on August 20th, 2015 at 12:13 am

When a child feels pain in a tooth at random for no reason, has hot or cold sensitivity or breaks their tooth and exposes what we call the pulp, he or she may need endodontic treatment. Endontic treatment consists of several types of procedures. They are classified in two groups: vital pulp therapy (where the tooth can be saved) and non vital pulp therapy ie. a root canal (where the tooth is essentially considered “dead”).

Endodontics are necessary when the pulp and nerve of the tooth are affected by decay or some sort of damage. The pulp of your tooth not only houses the nerve, it also contains blood vessels that supply your tooth with nutrients and oxygen it needs to stay healthy.  Endodontic treatment is performed essentially to save the tooth.

Endodontic treatment can be done on both baby and permanent teeth. It can be performed by any trained dentist general or specialist but be discriminating. Parents often think that because baby teeth fall out eventually that it’s not important to perform these types of procedures on them. Contrary to that belief, baby teeth have several crucial functions. They hold spaces for permanent teeth and are also very important for chewing and speaking.

Because there are several types of pulp therapies (described above), you should consult your dentist to ensure this type of treatment is right for your child. The other option you have is to get your child’s tooth extracted. There are several things to consider when you are weighing these two options: which tooth is affect, approximately how long until it falls out on its own, how damaged it is and whether or not gum or bone have been affected.

Another factor to consider is whether or not your child has any serious medical conditions. In these cases, infection can be more serious. If the tooth is infected there is the possibility that the surrounding bone and gum tissue could also develop an infection after endodontic therapy.

Finally, we want to assure you that some soreness is normal after endodontic therapy and should be manageable with over the counter pain relievers that are safe for children.

New FBI Child ID App Helps Parents Locate Missing Kids

Last updated on September 2nd, 2015 at 11:37 pm

According to the FBI “A child goes missing every 40 seconds in America… many do not return home.”

Not long ago one of our editors shared a story about her experience with Code Adam – the phrase used to initiate a “lockdown” if your child goes missing in a store. But what if they’re not immediately found? The new app – “FBI Child ID” can help.

The FBI Child ID App provides a convenient place to electronically store photos and vital information about your children so that it’s literally right at hand if you need it. You can show the pictures and provide physical identifiers such as height and weight to security or police officers on the spot. And, using a special tab on the app, you can also quickly and easily e-mail your child’s information to authorities with a few clicks.”

The App also offers advice for parents on how to keep kids safe, as well as specific guidance on what to do in the “first few crucial hours” after a child goes missing. And for parents concerned with privacy the FBI offered the following:

Note: the FBI (and iTunes for that matter) is not collecting or storing any photos or information that you enter in the app. All data resides solely on your mobile device unless you need to send it to authorities. Please read your mobile provider’s terms of service for information about the security of applications stored on your device.

Right now the FBI Child app is only available for the iPhone, and can be downloaded for free here at iTunes, however the FBI plans to expand this tool to other types of smartphones (such as Google Android devices) in the near future.

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Editor’s Notes:

Although the FBI has been very proactive in addressing internet privacy concerns, one area that seems to have been overlooked is local data security. Since the FBI Child ID app is not password protected, if someone steals your phone they would have easy access to all of your child’s data. Additionally, the big red “Call 911” and “Call NCMEC” buttons might seem very tempting to a child playing with the phone. Again, password protection will help with this.

Overall our thoughts are that this is a terrific app that is still very early in its development and we will likely see additional security features (like password protection) in upcoming releases.