Child Health & Safety News Roundup: 11-11-2013 to 11-17-2013

Last updated on March 2nd, 2018 at 02:49 pm

twitter thumbWelcome 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 Twitter to communicate relevant and timely health and safety information to the parents, medical professionals and other caregivers who follow us. Occasionally we may miss something, but we think overall we’re doing a pretty good job of keeping you informed. But for our friends and colleagues who are not on Twitter (or who are but may have missed something), we offer you a recap of the past week’s top 30 events & stories.

PedSafe Headline of the Week:

Children’s Drugs Warnings Have Helped Curb Misuse –

PedSafe Headline of the Week #2:

Food Allergy Awareness Reaches President’s Desk

Preventing, Detecting and Treating TMJ in Children

Last updated on August 29th, 2015 at 04:06 pm

TMJ scanAlmost everyone, including children, experiences soreness and discomfort in the jaw from time to time, and most times these symptoms fade and disappear in a few short days. Those other few instances where the pain lingers and increases should raise alarm for parents. Continued soreness and tightness in the jaw as well as difficulty chewing, smiling and even breathing are all symptoms of TMJ, or temporomandibular joint, disorder.

The TMJ is the joint that connects the lower jaw to the skull. Overuse or irritation to the joint can result in headaches, neck aches, and jaw or face pain, problems chewing or biting, popping and clicking sounds when opening and closing the mouth and extreme cases cause the jaw to lock open or closed. TMJ can occur to anyone at any age, but is especially prevalent in teenage girls.

Unfortunately, it is often unclear what causes TMJ disorders in children. Contributing factors include can include: stress, clenching or grinding of the jaw or other oral or overall health issues. Stress frequently results in the grinding or tightening of the jaw in children. Many do not even realize they are doing it as it becomes habit. Also, if your child has a bad bite, muscle problems or has had face or jaw trauma, they are more likely to experience the discomfort or TMJ.

Thankfully, there are many treatment options to relieve the pain of TMJ disorder. The simplest fix, depending on the severity of the condition, is to encourage your child to rest their jaw for a few days. You can assist in this by having soft foods for meals and snacks, and discouraging aggravating activities such as gum chewing, open-mouth yawning and clenching or grinding. Also apply ice or heat as needed to relieve pain temporarily. For the more involved cases, further treatment will need to be explored. Dentists may provide a device for your child to wear at night to minimize grinding or prescribe medication to relax the jaw muscles. Braces or corrective dentistry may be needed if the disorder is stemming from a misaligned bite. Rarely, surgery will be recommended.

To help your child avoid TMJ disorder, bring to their attention bad grinding or clenching habits. The habits often coincide with certain behaviors – being upset, studying for tests, etc – so teach your child to pinpoint their trigger behaviors so they can consciously combat the bad habits. Allowing plenty of time for exercise and play will also help keep stress levels down.

If you think your child is exhibiting symptoms of TMJ, contact a local dentist today. The earlier TMJ can be treated, the better.

Post Halloween: Teaching Our Kids the “Why” Behind Moderation

Last updated on August 30th, 2015 at 10:17 pm

Teach Post-Halloween Moderation2My son, Evan, was on quite a roll a recent morning! He started off by telling me his leg hurt. I asked him if he hit it on something and he said no. I then explained that when his body grows, it can cause his body to hurt sometimes. He said, “Oh, I know why! I think I ate too much candy for Halloween.” I stopped in my tracks and smiled. “Really? You think that’s why?” He said, “Yes. Mommy, will you give me something healthy to eat? I need to make my leg feel better.” I almost fell over. I explained to him that the foods he ate for breakfast were actually healthy (whole grain waffles, yogurt, orange juice) so that should make his leg feel better soon.

I think Evan remembered me telling him and his sister about how candy can make them feel “yucky” if they eat too much. I’ve explained that eating some candy is fine, but eating a lot can make them feel sick and can even take some of their “super powers” away. Even though I thought Evan wasn’t listening, I think that made an impression on him after all.

As parents, let’s remember to tell our children the “why’s” behind being healthy. Avoid making associations between food and weight or “to avoid getting granny’s sugar disease,” but instead mention things that matter to them right now. Evan loves soccer, being strong, smart and running fast. I tell him that eating healthy foods help him with those things and he gets it. Get them invested in the healthy lifestyle for their own reasons; it will stick with them for the rest of their lives. [By the way, he recently started eating broccoli after over 3 years of rejecting it on his plate and now he says it’s his favorite food. Perserverance in healthy messgaging and exposure pays off!]

Stick with those positive messages, Mom and Dad. They are listening even when you don’t think they are. I was reminded today that my son is listening to me!

The Smart Mom’s Tips for Healthy, Quick Homemade Meals

Last updated on November 19th, 2013 at 02:19 pm

Quick healthy family mealsCooking at home is more cost-effective than ordering in, better for your family’s health, and if you do it right, quicker, too. New York based nutrition expert Bonnie Taub-Dix, MA, RD, CDN, author of Read It Before You Eat It, shares the items you should always have in stock for healthy, delicious, kid-friendly 30-minute meals.

When you don’t feel like cooking …

Taub-Dix loves making salads – and, yes, even for her kids. For those who find all that chopping and shredding a hassle, she recommends salads in a bag. Several bagged lettuce companies now make medleys with pea pods, carrots, croutons and even bacon bits. “You don’t have to start from scratch,” says Taub-Dix — although she does advocate washing even prewashed ready-to-eat produce. To make your salads kid-friendly, create a salad bar at home. Lay out their favorite ingredients, like dried cranberries, sliced almonds, cheese and mandarin slices, and let them build their own. For a quick protein topper, use canned tuna or salmon, canned beans or a store-bought rotisserie chicken.

When you’re craving comfort food …

“Carbs and comfort go hand in hand,” says Taub-Dix. Luckily, satisfying that yen can be achieved in 20 minutes or less. Her go-to recipe for a heart-warming dish includes just six ingredients: chicken, pasta, chicken broth, frozen or fresh vegetables, olive oil and garlic – all of which you should always have on-hand. Boil your pasta in low-sodium chicken broth. Meanwhile, heat olive oil and garlic in a sauté pan and add your vegetables. If you like a lot of flavor, season to taste with your favorite herbs, like pepper, thyme and oregano. Buying an already-barbecued chicken is the easiest way to go when in a time crunch, but you can just as easily sauté a pan of chicken tenders with your vegetables. (Just remember to toss them into the fridge to defrost in the morning). For picky kids, serve with shredded parmesan cheese.

When your kid is extra-finicky …

Sometimes there’s just no getting around your child’s cravings. When they refuse to eat anything but chicken nuggets, Taub-Dix says it’s okay to give them what they want – with a few rules, of course. Tell them they can have chicken nuggets for dinner, as long as they eat them with vegetables or a fruit cup, says Taub-Dix. “Secondly, not every chicken nugget is created equal. Some are more like cardboard and some are really chicken,” she says, which is why she advises a close inspection of the label. Make sure the first ingredient is chicken, so that the breading doesn’t outweigh the meat. Also, avoid brands that use sugar or hydrogenated fat.

The surefire crowd pleaser …

Who doesn’t love pizza? It’s a fun activity you can do with your kids, and an easy way to get vegetables onto their plate. According to Taub-Dix, you can buy pizza dough at the supermarket, go to the pizza store and buy dough, or just keep flatbread, pita or English muffins on-hand. “Every week, I would make different pizzas and they could choose their own toppings, like grilled chicken, pineapple or mushrooms, and have fun with it,” she says.

When your kids are done playing chef in the kitchen, make cleanup a breeze by letting them wipe down the counters and freshen up the air with odor-eliminating candles while your hubby does the dishes.

Print & Go Grocery List For Healthy, Quick Family Meals:


Shredded cheese

Bagged salads

Canned beans

Chicken tenders

Canned tuna or salmon

Frozen vegetables

Pasta or couscous

Pasta sauce

Olive oil


Chicken broth

Dried cranberries, pineapple, mango or other fruit

Sliced almonds

Fresh chopped fruit like watermelon or pineapple

Child Health & Safety News Roundup: 11-04-2013 to 11-10-2013

Last updated on March 2nd, 2018 at 02:50 pm

twitter thumbWelcome 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 Twitter to communicate relevant and timely health and safety information to the parents, medical professionals and other caregivers who follow us. Occasionally we may miss something, but we think overall we’re doing a pretty good job of keeping you informed. But for our friends and colleagues who are not on Twitter (or who are but may have missed something), we offer you a recap of the past week’s top 25 events & stories.

PedSafe Headline of the Week:

Obesity tied to early puberty in girls – with risk for mental and physical health issues 2013-11-06

PedSafe Headline of the Week #2:

8 Scary Social Networking Sites You Should Know 2013-11-05

How Well Do You Know HIPAA (what keeps kids’ health data safe)?

Last updated on March 2nd, 2018 at 02:50 pm

doctors visit is protectedThe Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) was passed in 1996 in order to allow for transfer of one’s health insurance from one job to another, and, among other regulations, to protect all patients of physicians from having their personal information abused. When you take your child to his Doctor, he is allowed to collect certain private and sometimes intimate details of your health related history. With the institution of this law, this information must be handled in a way that will not disclose such information to anyone you do not wish to receive it. With each initial visit to a physician, you will be asked to sign a receipt that you in fact have been given a copy of the office’s HIPAA policy, whether or not you have read it. The law has been tweaked many times and will be re- tweaked this year again to more broadly include the use of Electronic Medical Records with all of its security hazards.

All of your (and your childrens’) very personal health data can only be used for the medical treatment of your child, and can be given to whoever you allow (in writing) to see that information and to nobody else except in the case of legal requirements. You can feel safe knowing that your personal life will remain personal and secure. The mandates in this law are very strict and the punishment for breach of these mandates by your health care provider can be quite harsh, from monetary fine to imprisonment. The law itself, by the very nature of legislation is long, intricate and boring to read but compliance of a medical practice with this law is an absolute. If any patient feels as though his or her rights have been violated, there is legal recourse one can take.

In order to remain in compliance with this law, here are some suggestions that health care professionals should monitor: a practitioner should occasionally walk around his office as if he were a patient and look at the various areas where he would be uncomfortable. Areas such as the front desk sign in area where it might be possible for a close by patient to view the information you are placing in the sign in log. The patient should only be asked what time his appointment is and his/her name; anything else could be construed as being personal information, and available to anyone within range. Also information on computer screens should never be visible to other patients as they walk by. There are many more areas of possible breach that a physician must be aware of and attempt to fix.

There is much more information about this topic and if there are any further questions let us know and I will deal with them in the future.