Child Health & Safety News 11/12: Measles On Rise Among Orthodox

twitter thumbIn this week’s Child Health News: Tiny pacemaker prototype avoids open chest surgery for infants

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.

  • The worst “social network” is the one you can’t delete: Group texts are the new cliques for teens and tweens 2018-11-11
  • 10 Alternative Treatments in Pediatrics to Avoid  2018-11-11
  • Rwanda aims for universal coverage of maternal, child health services by 2024 2018-11-10
  • Expanding polymer water beads recalled over child safety fears Intended for floral arrangements, Consumer Protection said if the balls were swallowed, they could expand and block a child’s intestines or bowel, or be a choking hazard.  2018-11-10
  • Why you shouldn’t hold a baby in flight 2018-11-10
  • Pediatric Anesthesia Does Not Affect Development Outcomes 2018-11-10
  • Are child walkers actually safe? Not really. 2018-11-09

PedSafe Child Health & Safety News Headline of the Week
New York’s Orthodox Jewish community is battling measles outbreaks.
Currently all cases are occurring in the unvaccinated or undervaccinated Orthodox population

  • Why Research Says it’s Actually Good for Kids to Daydream  2018-11-09
  • How Shyness and Introversion Are Different in Kids  2018-11-08
  • End the Teeth-Brushing Battles Thurs Time Capsule: 11/12 2018-11-08
  • Can Zero Tolerance Policies in Schools Keep Your Kids Safe? Or Does it Do More Harm Than Good? 2018-11-07
  • Gender-diverse youth need pediatrician advocates 2018-11-07
  • Pediatricians strengthen stance against spanking kids 2018-11-07
  • Youth TBI laws promote head injury evaluation in emergency department 2018-11-06
  • The Effects of Armed Conflict on Children “Armed conflict directly and indirectly affects children’s physical, mental, and behavioral health. It can affect every organ system, and its impact can persist throughout the life course…” 2018-11-06
  • Instant soups account for more than 20% of pediatric scald injuries While adults may burn the roof of their mouths, kids with developing motor skills, burn their torsos. 2018-11-06
  • Letter from frustrated dad helps spark initiative to address pediatric cancer in Nebraska 2018-11-05
  • 5 children killed and 7 injured in one week – hit by motorists as they boarded school-buses – Please Read: School Bus Stop Arms Are Being Ignored: How to Fix That 2018-11-05
  • 10 Parenting Strategies for Raising Happy Kids 2018-111-05
  • How to Care For Your Child if They Chip a Tooth 2018-11-05

How to Raise a Charitable Child – Hidden Ways They Benefit

You know charity starts at home. Here’s how to cultivate a giving spirit in kids and start an UnSelfie Revolution, so they think we, not me!

Samantha is not yet 4 years old, but she already has the makings of a charitable child. She was distributing school supplies with her family to kids at a shelter and noticed one child in a corner didn’t have a backpack. She picked up a spare, walked to him and said, “I sorry you don’t have one. I hope you happy.”

The preschooler may have missed a few words. But her message displayed empathy and a charitable spirit, all because her parents were raising her to care about others. And the benefits of doing so? Oh, let me count the ways.

  • Over and over, researchers are finding that empathy is the cornerstone for becoming a happy, well-adjusted, successful adult. 
  • Studies show that possessing empathy also makes children more likable, more employable, better leaders, more conscience-driven, and even increases their overall performance.

The best news is that empathy can be cultivated, and one of the best empathy generators are service projects to help kids step out of their comfort zones, open their eyes, and expose them to others’ lives. And there are other proven ways to raise an empathetic child as well. Here are simple, science-backed tips adapted for this blog from my book, “UnSelfie: Why Empathetic Kids Succeed In Our All-About-Me World” to inspire generosity in your children 365 days a year:

1. Prioritize caring. Harvard University’s Making Caring Common Project report, “The Children We Mean to Raise: The Real Messages Adults Are Sending About Values,” found that most teens value academic achievement and individual happiness over caring for others. Their reason for this? Kids believed that’s what adults value.

Prioritize charitableness in your family chats. Be clear that you expect them not only to do their academic best, but to care about others. Display photos of your kids engaged in thoughtful endeavors, rather than just showcasing their school successes, athletic prowess or having them look cute for the camera, so they recognize that how much they care about others matters to you.

2. Be a charitable role model. The old saying, “Children learn what they live,” has a lot of truth to it. Studies show that if parents are generous and giving, kids are likely to adopt those qualities. So show your child the joy you get by giving.

There are so many daily opportunities: phoning a friend who is down, collecting blankets for the homeless, volunteering at a food bank. After volunteering, be sure to tell your child how good it made you feel.

3. Make it a family routine. A simple way to inspire children’s generosity is by reinforcing it. Keep a box by your backdoor to encourage family members to donate their gently used toys, games or books. Then each time the box is filled, deliver the items as a family to a shelter or needy family. Make charity a routine ritual that becomes a cherished childhood memory.

4. Acknowledge charitableness. Whenever your child acts in a kind-hearted way, say so: Thank them for being kind or helping out. Also, let your kids overhear (without them thinking they’re supposed to) you describing their caring qualities to others.

5. Use real events. Instead of just bemoaning bad news, talk about how you might help in the local community. It could be donating items to help after a widely publicized fire, or thinking about ways to assist the most vulnerable – like the homeless – during the winter. You can start at home, too, such as teaching them to be there for a family member who is going through a hard time.

6. Start a “giving plan.” Encourage your children to give a portion of their allowance – or tooth fairy money – to a charity of their choice. Provide three small plastic containers for younger kids or envelopes for teens that are labeled: “Save,” “Spend,” and “Give,” and help them decide which percentage of their money is to be allocated to each container.

7. Find your child’s passion. Kids are more likely to want to get involved in service projects that match their interests. Help your kids choose something they’re good at and enjoy doing. If he loves reading: read to the blind; enjoys writing: be a pen pal to an overseas orphan; likes sports: volunteer for the Special Olympics; is musical: play at a homeless shelter; enjoys knitting: knit a beanie for a soldier. You get the idea.

8. Make charity a family affair – or share the experience with friends. Find a service to do together, like serving in a soup kitchen. If your child enjoys volunteering with friends, ask if she’d like to do her project with someone. Or your child can form a club with neighbors, classmates, members of their scout troop or a church group.

9. Recap their impact. Research has found that children who are given the opportunity to help others tend to become more helpful, especially if the impact of their helpful actions is pointed out. So encourage your child to reflect on her volunteering experiences: “What did the person do when you helped? How do you think he felt? How did you feel? Is lending a hand easier than it used to be?” And do remind your kids that their caring efforts are making a difference.

10. Keep giving. A once-a-year day of volunteering is rarely enough for a child to adopt a charitable mindset. Look for ways to help your children experience the joy of giving on a regular basis: baking an extra batch of cookies for the lonely neighbor next door, adopting an orphan overseas (a portion of their allowance each week goes to that child), singing to a nursing home to add a little joy. The goal of getting kids involved in charity is not about winning the Nobel Peace Prize, but to give them the opportunity to experience goodness.

The truth is, kids don’t learn how to be kind from reading about it in a textbook, but from doing kind deeds. The more children witness or experience what it feels like to give, the more likely they will develop a charitable spirit. And that’s how we’ll raise the next generation to be good, caring people.

What are you doing to help your children learn the value of giving to others?


UnSelfie 140x210Teens today are 40 percent less empathetic than they were thirty years ago. Why is a lack of empathy—along with the self-absorption epidemic Dr. Michele Borba calls the Selfie Syndrome—so dangerous? First, it hurts kids’ academic performance and leads to bullying behaviors. Also, it correlates with more cheating and less resilience. And once children grow up, it hampers their ability to collaborate, innovate and problem-solve—all must-have skills for the global economy. The good news? Empathy is a trait that can be taught and nurtured.  UnSelfie is a blueprint for parents and educators who want activate our children’s hearts and shift their focus from I, me, and mine… to we, us, and ours.  It’s time to include “empathy” in our parenting and teaching!  UnSelfie is AVAILABLE NOW at

Why Research Says it’s Actually Good for Kids to Daydream

School has been in session for a couple of months now, but winter break is still weeks away. This is prime time for kids to start to be a little less focused, distracted, and perhaps even daydream during school time. In our culture of hyper-stimulation and constant information flow, the idea of daydreaming often get met with judgmental glances and even reprimand from teachers. While we all want our kids to focus on their school work, research suggests that there may be a valuable place for daydreaming as well.

In recent years, researchers have begun to look into what the brain does during these times of “day dreaming” or what they call “inward attention.” They are beginning to see how time spent focused inward may actually help students focus better on outward tasks. Some research has shown that when times of inward reflection were incorporated into the school day, students often became less anxious, performed better on tests, and were able to plan more effectively.

Time for inward reflection is also linked to social-emotional development. In order to understand the feelings of others, our own feelings, and gain insight into moral decision-making, allowing time of inward reflection is necessary. Kids’ brains are still quite immature in many ways. If time is not allowed for them to decompress from constant input and have time to actually make meaning of all the information they absorb, it will ultimately have no place in their lives in the long-term.

This idea of inward attention, of course, goes against much of our cultural atmosphere at this time. We are constantly bombarded by information, technology, screens, etc. Even for adults, this constant stimulation can be overwhelming, but for kids it can be paralyzing. I’ve seen examples of this in my own experience with youngsters. While volunteering in my son’s kindergarten class, I sometimes notice kids just staring off into space and not “paying attention.” While they may seem “unfocused” to the observer, I wonder if they are not just having a moment of this “inward attention” to help their brain re-group from all the stimulation.

Children are learning and absorbing information almost constantly, especially at school. It’s great to be able to allow them some time to just day dream or let their mind wander without having to worry about the end product. I have noticed this even with my 3-year-old. After playing for a while, he will often just lay down and drink something or hold a toy, seemingly “doing nothing.” After a few minutes, however, he will perk up and say something clever or begin playing in a new way. It seems that, given the opportunity, kids will carve out this “day dreaming” time for themselves.

If this time of inward attention is so important for children’s development, how can we allow space for this in our homes?

  • Allow time after school for kids to “decompress” from the day without other forms of stimulation (e.g., TV, tablets, etc.)
  • Allow for quiet time on a regular basis. Kids may resist this at first, but once it becomes routine they usually learn to enjoy it. They can read books or play quietly with toys but the overall goal is time without a set goal or schedule.
  • Time in nature can often promote inward attention. Allow kids plenty of time to be outside, go for hikes or just play in the leaves.
  • Promote a mindset of reflection in your home. Recognize that not everything you or your child does has to be productive. This goes against what our culture tells us, but it’s possible. Your child spending an hour playing in the leaves or sitting in their room daydreaming is not “wasted time.”

We all know the importance of children learning to focus their attention on tasks or assignments. In fact, the ability to focus on a task and persist when it gets difficult has been linked to many positive outcomes for kids. An inward focus, however, may be equally important for children to help develop these focusing skills, as well as develop social-emotional skills.

Child Health & Safety News 11/5: When a Country Bans Spanking…

twitter thumbIn this week’s Child Safety News: Dressers Exempt From Industry Safety Standard Fail Consumer Reports’ Tests – New data show dressers 30 inches tall and under have been linked to deaths, so why aren’t they covered? 

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.

  • Adulting: Teach Your (nearly) Grown Kids the 9 Skills They Need Now – Ask Doctor G 2018-11-04
  • Sharp Rise Seen in Kids’ ER Visits for Mental Health Woes 2018-11-04
  • In Mexico, an estimated 2300 children traveling with migrant caravan still in need of protection and support – UNICEF 2018-11-04
  • Research shows early introduction of peanut reduced the risk of allergy development in high-risk infants and may do the same for other foods. Don’t miss the discussion with MichaelPistiner Sunday at AAP18: 2018-11-04
  • It’s Daylight Savings: Check Smoke Alarms & Keep Your Family Safe with SafeKids Downloadable Fire Safety Checklist 2018-11-04

PedSafe Child Health & Safety News Headline of the Week
What Happens When A Country Bans Spanking?
A new study looking at 400,000 youths from 88 countries has answers

  • Doctors’ son died 10 days before flu shot appointment. Now, they want to save your child  2018-11-04
  • Over a million Texas children could qualify for subsidized child care — but less than 10 percent of them receive it 2018-11-03
  • How Can You Get Your Kid to Go to Sleep More Easily? 2018-11-03
  • 10th Patient Dies in Viral Outbreak at New Jersey Pediatric Facility. 27 cases have been associated with the respiratory virus at the center 2018-11-02
  • Teens and parents discover how to address cyberbullying with help from Microsoft Store | 2018-11-02
  • Tree of Life – Talking With Our Kids After Acts of Violence and Anti-Semitism 2018-11-02
  • Are You or a Family Member Ditching Dairy? CAUTION! Thurs Time Capsule 10/12 2018-11-01
  • Data and Resources on Sudden Unexpected Infant Death | Children’s Safety Network 2018-10-31
  • The 7 Best Parenting Books to Buy in 2018  2018-10-31
  • Decorative Contact Lenses: What Teens and Parents Need to Know  2018-10-30
  • Why I Celebrate My Son’s Autism On Halloween 2018-10-29
  • Why I Called Out My Daughter’s Cyberbully 2018-10-29
  • Uncommon Halloween Safety Tips 2018: What EMS Wants You to Know 2018-10-29

How to Care For Your Child if They Chip a Tooth

As parents, we do our best to care for our children when accidents or injuries occur. In dentistry, one of the most common dental emergencies that family and pediatric dentists see is chipped teeth.

By being prepared and knowing how to handle a chipped tooth, you can ensure your child is well looked after from the moment the injury occurs to when your family finally makes it to see your dentist.

Control Any Bleeding

The mouth bleeds easily and heavily, due to the many blood vessels supplying it. Apply pressure with a clean cloth or sterile gauze (a facial tissue works if you don’t have anything else on hand) to help stop any bleeding that’s occurring.

Look for the Tooth Fragment

If the damage to your child’s tooth is significant, your dentist may be able to bond the broken off portion back into place. The key is to find it quickly and store it properly, so that it doesn’t dry out. Place it in a sealed container and submerge it with milk, contact solution, or if nothing else is available, tap water.

Take note not to scrub the tooth fragment clean, especially if it’s a completely knocked out tooth. Doing so could make it harder for your dentist to put back in place.

See your dentist within the next hour if at all possible. The sooner you seek out care, the more conservative treatment will tend to be.

Baby vs. Permanent Teeth

How your dentist handles treating a chipped tooth will depend on if it’s a baby or adult tooth. Adult teeth need to be treated quickly to avoid permanent nerve damage or deterioration of the compromised enamel. However, baby teeth are typically handled on a case-by-case basis. Depending on the size of the chip, your dentist may only want to monitor the tooth to make sure it doesn’t start to die before it exfoliates (falls out) naturally on its own time. However, larger cracks and chips may require some type of filling or a crown.

Preserve Your Child’s Smile

The health of your child’s teeth plays a direct impact on the development of their adult smile, speech patterns, and even their self-esteem. If your child has chipped a tooth or suffered from a bump to the mouth, see your dentist for a quick exam and X-ray to determine the severity of the trauma.

For Daylight Savings: Check Smoke Alarms & Fire Safety Checklist

Last updated on November 5th, 2018 at 04:36 pm

To quote our former EMS Safety Expert Greg Atwood in his post A Little Change & Prep Now, a Year of Safety for Your Family:

“when the clocks change, its time to change the batteries in all of your detectors in your home, whether they be smoke or gas detectors. A properly functioning detector is key in the safety of you and your family in early trouble detection from smoke, flames and harmful gases in your home day and night. So please do not put this off, it only takes a few minutes and can make all the difference in the world and while you are at it, maybe you can make a fun family fire drill out of testing your new batteries in your detectors”.


**Our thanks to the wonderful folks at Safe Kids Worldwide and Nationwide for providing us with this terrific Fire Safety Checklist