Child Health & Safety News Roundup: 11-14-2016 to 11-20-2016

Last updated on November 28th, 2016 at 08:14 pm

twitter thumbIn this week’s Children’s Safety News: Keeping kids safe from hazardous toys during the holidays http://cnn.it/2fzBkex

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 Twitter and Facebook 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 not on Twitter or FB (or who are but may have missed something), we offer you a recap of the past week’s top 15 events & stories.

PedSafe Child Health & Safety Headline of the Week:
Depression rates for teen girls spikes in an age of cyber bullying https://t.co/xj7xV3pgDx

Are Thumb-sucking and Pacifiers Bad For My Child’s Teeth?

Last updated on March 7th, 2018 at 07:27 pm

Japanese baby girl sucking on a pacifier (0 year old)Thumb-sucking and pacifiers have both been a natural source of comfort for children for decades. It’s an instinctual habit; sucking on thumbs, fingers, pacifiers or other objects often help babies relax, boosting their moods and leading to soothing sleeping patterns.

However, as comforting as thumb-sucking may be, these habits can be detrimental to your child’s oral health. The intensity of the sucking, or how aggressive your child is sucking on an object, is the determining factor between a harmless practice and a damaging dental issue. For children who passively rest their thumbs in their mouths, dental damage is rare. On the other hand, for kids who vigorously suck on their thumbs several hours a day, there’s a high risk of developmental problems in baby teeth, proper growth of the mouth, alignment of the teeth and changes in the roof of the mouth.

Pacifiers can affect your child’s teeth in the same ways, but it is usually an easier habit to break compared to thumb-sucking. Children should stop sucking on objects and fingers around the age of two, or by the time the permanent front teeth begin to erupt through the gums.

If your child is a vigorous thumb-sucker, try the following:

  • Reward or praise your child when they are not sucking.
  • Thumb-sucking is often a subconscious solution to feelings of insecurity or boredom. Focus on solving the source of the thumb-sucking, rather than breaking the habit itself.
  • For an older child, involve him or her in the decision to stop sucking. Explain why it is harmful to their teeth, as well as their overall health, due to the intake of unnecessary germs.
  • Bandage the fingers or thumb.
  • Coat the fingers or thumb in a safe, bitter-tasting coating.
  • Ask your dentist about a mouth appliance.

If you have any other questions regarding thumb-sucking or pacifier use, please do not hesitate to contact your dentist, or leave us a comment below!

A Parent’s Guide to Managing Childhood Asthma (Infographic)

Last updated on November 28th, 2016 at 08:13 pm

According to the American Lung Association:

“Most children who have asthma develop their first symptoms before 5 years of age. However, asthma in young children can be hard to diagnose. Sometimes it can be difficult to tell whether a child has asthma or another childhood condition because the symptoms of both conditions can be similar.”

The following infographic is courtesy of FilterBuyIt is designed to help parents everywhere understand how to recognize and control asthma symptoms within their children, increase their awareness of the disease, identify common triggers, and when possible, find out how to prevent asthma attacks.

Childhood Asthma Infographic

10 Ways To Get Active With Your Kids…And Make It Fun!

Last updated on November 28th, 2016 at 08:13 pm

Family take walk in autumn forest flying kitePhysical activity helps children grow strong bones, maintain a healthy weight and discover the world around them. Best of all, it’s great fun.

All children should be physically active for at least one hour a day. You can help by encouraging your child to find activities they enjoy, and by building physical activity into family life. Most children love running around a park or playing in a playground.

One reason why physical activity in childhood is so important is because it helps your child to maintain a healthy weight.

But that’s not the only reason. Physical activity is a part of the way children discover the world and themselves. It helps to build strong muscles and healthy bones, as well as to improve self-confidence.

You can find advice on eating well and getting active as a family at the Change4Life website.

Bristol University’s professor of exercise and health sciences, Ken Fox, has 10 suggestions that can make exercise fun for all the family.

Ten activity tips for children

1. Walk or cycle to and from school with the kids as often as possible. Read about the health benefits of cycling.

2. Build a den or treehouse with them in the school holidays. Or, under supervision, encourage them to climb a tree or two.

3. Go roller skating, roller blading or skateboarding, indoor or out. In winter, go ice skating. Kids also love scooters.

4. Do an activity challenge together, such as working towards a fun run or a walk for charity.

5. Take the dog for a walk. If you don’t have one of your own, ask to borrow a neighbour’s or friend’s dog and take it for a walk.

6. Support your kids in sports, clubs or any other activities that may interest them. Joining a weekend club sport ensures commitment to a team and regular exercise. Find all kinds of sporting facilities in your area (*in the UK).

7. Find time every weekend to do something active with your children. Play frisbee or football in the park, go trampolining or try indoor rock climbing.

8. Fly a kite. The Kite Society of Great Britain’s website (*in the UK – American Kitefliers Association in the US) lists a number of groups that regularly meet for special flying days with experienced members who offer advice and assistance. Some also run kite-making workshops.

9. Try a beach holiday. When they hit the sand, children find a multitude of ways to exercise, including games, swimming and plenty of running around. Or try an activity-based holiday. Read more about healthy holidays with children and activity holidays.

10. The National Parks website (*in the UK – National Park Service in the US) has lists of events such as guided walks and children’s fun days, for fresh ideas for active days out.

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





Child Health & Safety News Roundup: 11-07-2016 to 11-13-2016

Last updated on November 21st, 2016 at 02:02 am

twitter thumbIn this week’s Children’s Health News: CDC Finds Alarming Rise in STDs Among College-Age Youths http://bit.ly/2fAAqyP

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 Twitter and Facebook 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 not on Twitter or FB (or who are but may have missed something), we offer you a recap of the past week’s top 15 events & stories.

PedSafe Child Health & Safety Headline of the Week:
Childhood obesity linked to irregular sleep and skipping breakfast https://t.co/RBMpKpBBjd

How Much Homework is Healthy: a Pediatrician’s Perspective

Last updated on March 2nd, 2018 at 12:17 pm

Girl Doing HomeworkHome work for children is considered a benefit by some and an albatross to bear by others with no good studies showing that it is beneficial to children or their grades. The amount of homework children get now appears to be excessive by parents and children alike, and is often the source of interpersonal problems and stress within an individual family unit.

Some studies have indeed found that the amount of homework that children receive is excessive and unrelated to a child’s age or abilities.  A National Educational Association has established what they refer to as “the rule of 10s”, wherein the length of time that a child spends on homework should be no more than 10 minutes per night  for each grade level of school, and none for Kindergarten.  Therefore a first grader should get about 10 minutes a night, second grader 20 minutes a night all the way up to a 12th grader at 120 minutes per night.  When the same group studied the amount of homework that children actually receive today, they found that it was two to three times that amount.  If any of you have tried to keep a 5 or 6 year old sitting in one place for 20 to 30 minutes it becomes obvious that the standards need to be looked at very closely and probably revised.

It has also been found that the younger the child the less impact homework had on their grades or school performance.  Conversely, the older child showed the amount of homework was definitely related to an improvement in the parameters mentioned above (within reason).

Life has become very active and full for children of all school ages to the point that there is practically no time for being a child: running around outdoors, keeping busy getting exercise, relating to other  children and doing things that we all did and enjoyed when we were younger.  Both children and their parents are responsible for this behavior as parents are pushing and children are striving for higher and higher goals.  This is not to specifically to point a guilty finger at anyone but merely a reminder about what really is important in life and grades will not necessarily make a lasting difference in the future of your child.

So try to objectively evaluate your own child in terms of abilities, needs and the need and importance of non-scholastic activities for your child.  Also evaluate the health of your family to determine if mood is related to the homework experience- if so find a way to decrease the stress, and understand your child does have limits.