How To Survive When Your Special Child’s Medical Needs Resurface

When my child was born she ended up with some potentially serious medical conditions. They turned out to be minor – really minor – but could have been much, much worse. The other day one of them reared its ugly head (and I mean ugly). Frankly, I had almost forgotten about this particular bugaboo but just like riding a bike, it all came back to me.

When it hit, I could hardly breathe. It seemed that all the progress we had made went right out the window, or maybe I had just imagined it all. I couldn’t believe that I had actually let myself forget all that we had been through and I was angry with myself because I had dared to let my guard down. Realistically you can’t really live with your guard up 24/7 year after year. I know that now that the moment has passed…

So, here are some things that help me get through when it seems that we have taken a step backwards:

Keep it in perspective

Things may not going well today but that doesn’t automatically mean they will continue to spiral down tomorrow, or next week. Everyone deals with ups and downs, no matter how perfect their lives may seem on social media.

Get yourself help

Ask friends or family to take on some tasks to lighten your load, or outsource the work if you can afford it. If the prognosis is truly dire, seek professional counseling or a support group even if you think you don’t need it. Parents and caregivers of kids with special needs sometimes have to be superhuman, but superhuman still has the word human in it. Sometimes we humans need help.

Take care of yourself

Eating and showering may seem pointless when dealing with your child’s medical crisis (no matter how small) but you can’t take care of your child if you don’t take care of yourself. Find time to keep up with good nutrition, basic hygiene and sleep. These things will help with your stress level and overall health so you can be at your best for your child.

Find your outlet

Don’t feel pressured to load up on yoga classes or whatever the latest exercise trend might be…unless yoga works for you, of course. Maybe washing your car is therapeutic for you, or you feel truly relaxed while brushing your dog. Find what helps you unwind, whatever that looks like for you. And when you find it, let me know what it is because I am still looking for mine!

12 Strong is Sensory Friendly Tomorrow Night at AMC

AMC Entertainment (AMC) has expanded their Sensory Friendly Films program in partnership with the Autism Society. This Tuesday evening, families affected by autism or other special needs have the opportunity to view a sensory friendly screening of 12 Strong, a film that may appeal to older audiences on the autism spectrum.

As always, 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“.

AMC and the Autism Society will be showing 12 Strong sensory friendly tomorrow, Tuesday, January 23rd at 7pm (local time). Tickets can be as low as $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: Paddington 2 (Sat 1/27); 

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Editor’s note: 12 Strong has been chosen by AMC and the Autism Society for a Tuesday Sensory Friendly “Mature Audience” screening. Parents should be advised that it is rated R by the Motion Picture Association of America for war violence and language throughout.  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.

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

Symptoms

  • 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

Treatment

  • 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.

NHS Choices logo


From www.nhs.uk





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 bit.ly/2DsWvLR 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 n.pr/2r44b4O 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 n.pr/2CZdnbY 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 bit.ly/2CY23wI 2018-01-13
  • Talking to Kids About YouTube Celebs Who Cross the Line bit.ly/2CTfWMJ 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 wb.md/2CRXRyP  2018-01-12

PedSafe Child Health & Safety News Headline of the Week:
Malware Displaying Porn Ads Discovered in Game Apps on Google Play bit.ly/2D7q2Oh 
Check the article appendix for a list of app names!

  • Sensory Friendly Screening of Ferdinand, Tomorrow at AMC zpr.io/njsZg 2018-01-12
  • Parents Should Teach Their Kids About Not Keeping Secrets bit.ly/2qPlUgf – what to teach your kids about secrets…and why 2018-01-11
  • Icky Things Kids Do…Should We Worry?? – Thurs Time Capsule 01/11 bit.ly/2CB2azd 2018-01-11
  • 16 years after her daughter’s murder, Erin Runnion continues advocating for child safety by launching a 5K run bit.ly/2qLPB1F 2018-01-11
  • Upstate Golisano Children’s Hospital launches red light safety project bit.ly/2DdlDpZ “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 cnn.it/2qFbU9i 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 zpr.io/nZvt4 2018-01-10
  • New Year New You: Commit to healthier snacking for kids in 2018 with these 8 tips  WRAL.com bit.ly/2CWhE4h 2018-01-09
  • Investors want Apple to do more to fight kids’ smartphone addiction usat.ly/2CVQs5k 2018-01-09
  • Do You Know What Vitamins & Supplements Your Little One Needs? zpr.io/nZyHh 2018-01-08
  • The Greatest Showman is Sensory Friendly Tomorrow Night at AMC zpr.io/nZyUB 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); 

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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.