Video: Childhood Squint – How to Identify and Treat It

John Sloper, a paediatric consultant at Moorfields Eye Hospital explains the causes of squints, a misalignment of the eye. He describes how to identify the symptoms and the treatment options..

Editor’s Note: Video Highlights

What Is Childhood Squint:

  • Occurs when the two eyes point in different directions and as a result see different things and the brain can’t combine the images – vision in one eye deteriorates (amblyopia)
  • Amblyopia is very common and affects one child in 20
  • Squints can occur in children at any age although it commonly occur in babies between 4-6 months old or children ages 2-3 and it’s important up to about age 7 because that’s the age at which it can affect the development of vision


  • Parents will notice the two eyes are not pointing in the same direction
  • Lazy eye is more difficult to diagnose because it can also occur because the focus in the two eyes is different


  • First question is whether vision is affected in both eyes
    • Glasses are first line of treatment
    • Patching good eye to develop vision in poor eye
    • Improvements typically seen in 80% of children
  • Goal of treatment
    • Good vision in both eyes
    • Get the eyes to work together (achieved with a minority of children)
    • Make the eyes look straight (helps the children socially)
  • Surgery is an uncomfortable 2nd option, but children bounce back quickly
    • Good vision results are usually permanent
    • If eyes work together results are usually long lasting
    • If not, the affected eye may drift over 20-30 years and can be corrected with further surgery as an adult
    • Surgical complications are extremely rare
    • Squint surgery is typically a single day procedure with no overnight hospital stay required
  • Results
    • Squints are common and a lot can be done to improve them, however it is important to treat children with squints early – as the earlier they’re seen, typically the better the outcome of the treatment.

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Child Health & Safety 1/15: Porn Hidden in Google Play Game Apps

twitter thumbIn this week’s Child Health News: The U.S. Is the Most Dangerous Wealthy Nation for Your Child to Be Born a study of the 20 wealthiest nations find the US has highest mortality rate for newborns

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.

  • A School’s Way To Fight Phones In Class: Lock ‘Em Up Locked in pouches for the duration of class. Student keeps possession but can’t access them 2018-01-14
  • Scramble Is On To Care For Kids If Insurance Coverage Lapses peds cancer docs are giving away meds to leukemia patients….as they worry Congress will fall short in renewing a health care program that covers millions of kids 2018-01-14
  • AAP names senior vice president of Global Child Health and Life Support 2018-01-13
  • Talking to Kids About YouTube Celebs Who Cross the Line What’s clearly offensive to parents is often a big gray area for kids 2018-01-12
  • Pediatric X-ray Imaging Safety a Shared Responsibility between equipt manufacturers, medical professionals and caregivers  2018-01-12

PedSafe Child Health & Safety News Headline of the Week:
Malware Displaying Porn Ads Discovered in Game Apps on Google Play 
Check the article appendix for a list of app names!

  • Sensory Friendly Screening of Ferdinand, Tomorrow at AMC 2018-01-12
  • Parents Should Teach Their Kids About Not Keeping Secrets – what to teach your kids about secrets…and why 2018-01-11
  • Icky Things Kids Do…Should We Worry?? – Thurs Time Capsule 01/11 2018-01-11
  • 16 years after her daughter’s murder, Erin Runnion continues advocating for child safety by launching a 5K run 2018-01-11
  • Upstate Golisano Children’s Hospital launches red light safety project “no interruption” zones while patient meds are being prepared, etc. Goal is to reduce errors 2018-01-10
  • Air gun eye injuries up 169% among kids Only 11% of the time when a child sustains an eye injury, is an adult present. 2018-01-10
  • How to Get Kids to Talk About Their Feelings 2018-01-10
  • New Year New You: Commit to healthier snacking for kids in 2018 with these 8 tips 2018-01-09
  • Investors want Apple to do more to fight kids’ smartphone addiction 2018-01-09
  • Do You Know What Vitamins & Supplements Your Little One Needs? 2018-01-08
  • The Greatest Showman is Sensory Friendly Tomorrow Night at AMC 2018-01-08

Is It Safe for My Child to Whiten Their Teeth? How?

As your child’s smile begins to blossom into his or her permanent grin, you may notice that his or her baby teeth are significantly whiter and brighter than his or her secondary teeth. This is completely normal! Primary teeth tend to naturally appear whiter, which tends to worry some parents. These concerns lead to the question, “Is my child old enough for teeth whitening?”

Many dental professionals have different opinions on an acceptable age for teeth whitening in youth. That being said, the discussed age range tends to float around 14-18. The Academy of General Dentistry recommends waiting on teeth whitening until a child’s tooth pulp is fully formed, which is typically around the age of 15.

To reduce the level of tooth sensitivity, a safe age to go by is 18. It is important to let the enamel on your child’s permanent teeth completely mature, which takes 2-3 years after original eruption. Hydrogen peroxide, the leading chemical in teeth whitening, is typically safe in adult products. However, at-home bleaching products can contain up to 14% hydrogen peroxide concentration, according to the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry. The higher the concentration, the greater chances of the whitening product having an adverse effect on your child’s smile.

Teens and children also have higher tendencies to apply the whitening products incorrectly, due to lack of experience and education. There’s a shortage of studies and data proving the safety of teeth whitening products on children. Currently, there are no solid studies verifying that these processes are 100% safe for young adults. Teens and children who attempt to whiten their smiles themselves may leave the whitening strips on for too long, or they could even swallow the bleaching product, creating a health hazard.

For individuals under the age of 18, the best solution for a whiter smile is to adopt proper oral hygiene products and regular visits to your dentist. Instead of using potentially harmful bleaching products, dental professionals recommend avoiding soda and utilizing whitening toothpaste, which is oftentimes gentler than bleaches and does not alter the intrinsic color of the tooth. You can find several brands of whitening toothpaste with mild abrasives or polishing agents at your local drug store.

Unlike an over-the-counter solution, your dentist can screen and monitor your teenager during the whitening process to ensure it is personalized, safe, and effective.

Sensory Friendly Screening of Ferdinand, Tomorrow at AMC

New sensory friendly logoSince 2007, AMC Entertainment (AMC) and the Autism Society have teamed up to bring families affected by autism and other special needs “Sensory Friendly Films” every month – a wonderful opportunity to enjoy fun new films in a safe and accepting environment.

The movie auditoriums will have their lights turned up and the sound turned down. Families will be able to bring in snacks to match their child’s dietary needs (i.e. gluten-free, casein-free, etc.), there are no advertisements or previews before the movie and it’s totally acceptable to get up and dance, walk, shout, talk to each other…and even sing – in other words, AMC’s “Silence is Golden®” policy will not be enforced during movie screenings unless the safety of the audience is questioned.

Does it make a difference? Absolutely! Imagine …no need to shhhhh your child. No angry stares from other movie goers. Many parents think twice before bringing a child to a movie theater. Add to that your child’s special needs and it can easily become cause for parental panic. But on this one day a month, for this one screening, everyone is there to relax and have a good time, everyone expects to be surrounded by kids – with and without special needs – and the movie theater policy becomes “Tolerance is Golden“.

Families affected by autism or other special needs can view a sensory friendly screening of Ferdinand on Saturday, January 13th at 10am (local time). Tickets are typically $4 to $6 depending on the location. To find a theatre near you, here is a list of AMC theatres nationwide participating in this fabulous program (note: to access full list, please scroll to the bottom of the page).

Still to Come in January: 12 Strong (Tues 1/23); Paddington 2 (Sat 1/27); 


Editor’s note: Although Ferdind has been chosen by the AMC and the Autism Society as this month’s Sensory Friendly Film, we do want parents to know that it is rated PG by the Motion Picture Association of America for rude humor, action and some thematic elements.  As always, please check the IMDB Parents Guide for a more detailed description of this film to determine if it is right for you and your family.

How to Get Kids to Talk About Their Feelings

If you’re worried about a child, encouraging them to talk can be very helpful, whether you’re a parent, grandparent, friend or teacher.

If you think a child you know has a problem, it can be hard to know how to start talking to them about it.

When there are problems at home, such as parents fighting, divorce or a death in the family, children can become withdrawn and upset.

Being able to talk to someone other than a parent is sometimes very helpful for children. Grandparents, uncles, aunts, teachers or even a counsellor can all offer support.

Look for clues in their play

Children express themselves through play as well as words. You can learn a lot about how they’re feeling by simply spending time with them and watching them play.

Stressed and upset children often play fighting games with their toys. Comment on this by saying, “There are a lot of fights going on” or “It seems pretty frightening”. This can help to get them talking about what’s bothering them.

Even if you don’t start a conversation, you’ll be making the child feel more comfortable with you, paving the way for them to open up to you about their problems.

If you can get them talking, gently ask what’s wrong. But if the child doesn’t want to open up, let the subject go, then repeat the process at another time until they’re ready to tell you what’s bothering them.

If a child is too frightened to talk

If you’re worried that a child you know might be being abused at home, it can help to ask a question like, “Is mummy getting very cross with you? You can tell me about it if you want to”.

A child might not understand that they’re being abused. They may simply see it as a parent being angry or annoyed with them.

Children who are being sexually abused often don’t talk about it because they think it’s their fault or they have been convinced by their abuser that it is normal or a “special secret”.

Children will often ask if you’re going to tell anyone about what they’ve told you. Never promise not to tell, but explain that you’ll only tell other people who want to help.

If you suspect abuse, encourage them to call ChildLine** in the UK (0800 1111) or ring the NSPCC** yourself (0808 800 5000) in the U.K. and get advice about how to report it.

If a child is aggressive or misbehaving

If a child is fighting or being aggressive, they’re doing it for a good reason, and talking may help you discover the reason.

Start by telling the child that their bad behaviour is unacceptable and why – for example, because it will harm other people or get them into trouble. Then offer them the chance to talk about why they’re angry.

This might not work instantly because an angry child might not listen to you straight away. Don’t give up. Children are aware when they’re behaving badly, and it’s important to find out the reasons why.

If your child is grieving

Young children don’t always understand what death means. It helps to explain it by saying, “Nana’s died. She’s not going to be with us any more”.

Watch children carefully if someone close to them has died. If they seem tearful or withdrawn, encourage them to open up about how they’re feeling by talking about the person who’s died.

You could say something like, “It’s very sad that Nana has died” or “I feel sad that Nana has died, and sometimes it’s hard to understand why people die”.

If you’re still worried about your child

If you are still concerned about your child after talking to them, see your GP (*physician) for further advice.

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

** Resources outside the U.K.:

NHS Choices logo


Child Health & Safety 1/08: 11 Signs of Abused Kids

twitter thumbIn this week’s Child Health News: Opioid-related overdoses nearly double in 2017, EMS called daily

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.

  • Proposed bill would expand use of baby boxes. “Indiana’s Safe Haven Law allows a person to surrender a newborn anonymously to a hospital or site that is a staffed emergency medical services provider.” 2018-01-07
  • Borough creates child safety zones Ordinance bans sex offenders from designated areas 2018-01-06
  • Sugar: How Bad Are Sweets for Your Kids? How much sugar is ok? Cleveland Clinic weighs in…  2018-01-05
  • Pediatricians screen more kids for mental health issues if they receive hands-on support 2018-01-05
  • Research Trials Make Treatments Affordable for Special Needs Kids – Thurs Time Capsule 01/11 2018-01-04

PedSafe Child Health & Safety News Headline of the Week:
Learn 11 signs of abused children  

  • How Can Parents Prevent Behavior Problems in Their Children? 2018-01-03
  • How Can I Make Sure My Toddler Eats Healthy – Part 2: Meal Ideas 2018-01-03
  • Safe pediatric dental anesthesia is the right of every child  Know the level of anesthesia training of the dental professional administering sedation to your child! 2018-02-01
  • Officials warning parents of winter safety seat dangers 2018-02-01
  • Baby University continues to change lives of new parents supplying support and resources to pregnant mothers through their child’s toddler years 2018-02-01
  • FDNY Tips for Keeping Kids From Starting House Fires After the tragic Bronx fire, some suggestions from the FDNY 2018-01-01
  • 3 important steps for keeping your kids safe online in 2018 2018-01-01
  • Glide through these ice skating safety tips  2018-01-01
  •  In an Emergency, Please Wait – EMS Will Be There! 2018-01-01