The Best 3 Holiday Gifts for Families with Allergies

Each year, many of us are stressed during the holidays trying to figure out what to get for others. When a person has allergies, this can make it even trickier to find a gift that will also keep them safe. The last thing that anyone strives to do is to give a gift that will be linked to a negative memory. Holidays are very often focused on food however; a gift can be many things. This year, why not think beyond what we can share on our plate. Here are my top three holiday picks that are all allergy-friendly, budget-friendly and even come with a mission to help others:

  1. Veta Smart Case & App This is, in my opinion, allergy worries meets digital technology. This device reminds those with food allergies to bring their auto injectors with them. Utilizing Bluetooth technology, these electronic cases offer immediate notifications whenever the person who should be carrying epinephrine forgets it, goes too far without it, has it in the wrong temperature and more. It’s like having someone following you around, tapping you on the shoulder and telling you that you need to make sure your epinephrine is  cared for to keep yourself prepared. The Veta Smart Case app has the ability to set up multiple user profiles to strengthen your support circle and it even has a visual aid to help someone administer epinephrine if it is needed. The Veta Smart Case can be found on Amazon . This is a gift that will allow those with food allergies to LIVE with food allergies.
  2. Land of Not Having food allergies can make us forget the positive side of life. This book is one of the newest ways to share your passion for helping while teaching children that food allergies is not about who they are with the allergy, but rather who they can be with the allergy. This book is part of a national campaign to raise food allergy awareness, bring people together while they are reading and learning and includes a mission to share this book in schools everywhere. The book is subtly humorous in its setup while being very kid-friendly, making it a must-have for people of all ages. Purchase a book to donate at a school near you, read it in your child’s class or keep a copy for your personal library. You can order Land of Not right on the Land of Can Whichever you decide, this book is an amazing gift option that will be perfect for reading together.
  3. Backpack Health – Because so many of us are spending more and more of our time on electronic devices, why not put all of what we really need at our fingertips? Think of this app as your health empowering you to have all of your medical history in one spot while also having the ability to engage in true to life research for multiple health issues. Backpack Health gives you the ability to download all of your personal health information while also doing the same for anyone else in your family that you would like to include. Simply put “Your health information belongs to you. You have a legal right to it, and that means with the right tools, you can make the most out of your own health narrative. Our goal is to help you do just that.” The Backpack Health app offers multiple languages to ease the stress of trying to translate health concerns while traveling and empowers it’s users to take control of their health. This user-friendly app can be found at the App Store , Google Play or directly on their website. Helping yourself while helping others each and every day is the greatest gift of all.

Whichever item you choose to share this season, all of them offer the same mission for those with allergies- be prepared.

Study after study has shown that being prepared is the first line of defense. Stand up for your allergies, stand up for the right to know how to have the upper hand for situations before they happen and embrace anyone that is willing to lend you a helping hand in doing this. Nobody asks to be given allergies but everyone asks how they can make their weakness into strength. All you need are the right tools and someone who offers them to you.

Child Health & Safety News 12/10: For Gifted Kids, Hands On or Off?

twitter thumbIn this week’s Child Safety News: Trouble In Toyland – 33rd Annual Toy Safety Report  bit.ly/2RNy7La 

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.

  • Schools fight to dispel health misperceptions that it’s safer, ‘vaping epidemic’ bit.ly/2RNfZRA 2018-12-09
  • Sufficient sleep in childhood may lead to healthy BMI later bit.ly/2E9AAf2 2018-12-09
  • ‘Kids are falling off’: Why fewer children have health insurance now https://nbcnews.to/2EmtZis 2018-12-08
  • 7 Easy Ways to Boost Your Child’s Health | Times Square Chronicles http://bit.ly/2L7GoHn 2018-12-08
  • Ooredoo unveils new safety devices for children, pets http://bit.ly/2QoCjEO parents and pet owners in Qatar can now keep tabs on their children and their pets any time of the day or night 2018-12-07

PedSafe Child Health & Safety News Headline of the Week
For gifted kids, better to be hands-on or -off? https://cnn.it/2RPQuzj 

  • Volunteer Projects Children Can Do to Help Those in Need bit.ly/2UejGBH 2018-12-06
  • Medical Experts Gather in Atlanta to Improve Clinical Care for Children with Chronic Kidney Disease prn.to/2BTWOQS 2018-12-06
  • Could My Child Have Hypothyroidism (and Will It Go Away)? cle.clinic/2KYgdmx:  2018-12-05
  • Regular bedtimes and sufficient sleep for children may lead to healthier teens http://bit.ly/2QnYBX6 2018-12-05
  • Universal Pre-K Became State Law In 2014 — But Vermont Is Losing Child Care Capacity http://bit.ly/2QpqT3D  2018-12-04
  • New Nebraska Child Car Seat / Booster Safety Restraint Law in effect Janurary 1st. http://bit.ly/2EauP0N 2018-12-04
  • Winter Safety Advice For Parents And Kids http://bit.ly/2EmhOlL 2018-12-03
  • The Techniques of a Predator: Part 2 – Bribery and Threats bit.ly/2AkWCIc 2018-12-03

Why You Should Not Give Milk to a Child on an Antibiotic

For any drug or medication to be effective it must reach the gastrointestinal tract where it will be absorbed through the stomach or intestinal lining and enters the blood stream.  It then circulates in the bloodstream to get to the site where it can affect the infection or other issue for which it is being used, in the right concentration to be maximally effective.  If this process is interrupted or altered in any way the effectiveness of the medication may also be altered and therefore the infection might not be treated adequately.

First of all, the medication (antibiotic) must be in the effective chemical form to enter the gastrointestinal tract and be absorbed, and so most medicines are combined with a chemical to aid in ingestion and absorption.  Children obviously have problems with pill form medications and therefore liquid preparations have been developed for just about any medications.  If that medication causes nausea and/or vomiting the chain is broken and adequate delivery of the antibiotic cannot be established.  One must also be aware of the local climate in the stomach and intestines; any variety in the acidity or other factors can alter the absorption of the medication. If there is disease process affecting the lining of the stomach or intestines such as malabsorption, short bowel syndrome after certain surgeries, acid reflux disease, hyperacidity, and other issues, this may also affect absorption of medications. Any food or fluid taken with a medication may alter the effectiveness of the medicine and therefore it is very important to follow directions on the prescription bottle placed there by the pharmacist, the expert in such matters.


This brings me to the topic at hand today:

Because of the calcium content of certain foods, and because calcium can bind to certain medicines making them more or less effective, there are certain antibiotics that should absolutely not be taken with milk, cheese or other milk products. 

Tetracycline (doxycycline and other forms) can be deactivated or inactivated by concurrent ingestion of these milk products.  To some extent some other antibiotics may also be affected by milk, etc. so it is again very important to follow the pharmacist’s directions; ask any questions you may have regarding these directions because occasionally taking some antibiotics along with food can enhance the absorption.

Just to be absolutely clear – before you leave the pharmacy, ask your pharmacist the following two questions: “should this be taken with food?  Does my child need to avoid milk products while taking this?”

Child Health & Safety News 12/3: Birth Control “Gel” for Men?

twitter thumbIn this week’s Child Health News: Number of Uninsured Children Rose for the First Time This Decade bit.ly/2E5KsqZ 

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.

  • What Should You Teach Your Child About Personal Hygiene? bit.ly/2FRdcp9  2018-12-02
  • Experts warn of new online safety risks for kids bit.ly/2U43y5z 2018-12-02
  • Lawmakers press for fingerprinting of staff running detention facility for migrant children bit.ly/2QacXug The contractor running Tornillo has not put its staff through FBI background checks, and is allowed to have one mental health clinician for every 100 kids 2018-12-01
  • “Kids Who Care – Issue #15 – When Kids Recognize a Friend in Need…” getrevue.co/profile/pediat… (via @revue) – Just in time to start the weekend smiling… 2018-12-01
  • How to Help Your Baby or Toddler Clear a Stuffy Nose cle.clinic/2E6Uxnp 2018-11-30

PedSafe Child Health & Safety News Headline of the Week
Birth control for men: researchers test a male contraceptive gel https://nbcnews.to/2FXMEmj

  • The ‘smart’ baby technology raising today’s children https://bbc.in/2G00jt7 2018-11-29
  • Fortnite Has Invaded the Modern American Classroom Like No Other Game – IGN bit.ly/2E0EgRf   2018-11-29
  • Is there an ROI on wishes granted through Make-A-Wish? This study says yes  http://bit.ly/2BQvxih  2018-11-28
  • New Government Report Suggests 1 In 40 Kids May Have Autism bit.ly/2r81096 While difficult to pinpoint the best data reporting method- it’s estimated that the correct number is between 1 in 40 and 1 in 59. 2018-11-27
  • November is Child Safety and Prevention Month. One way to keep your child safe is to have an evacuation plan in case of a natural disaster. Learn more:  2018-11-27
  • Largest pediatric study shows obesity increases asthma risk in children bit.ly/2TPXCNg 2018-11-26
  • Dog Acting Strange? Change Affects Every Member of the Family bit.ly/2BvVTWu 2018-11-26
  • Thousands of booster, car seats recalled from different manufacturers including Graco, Britax, Harmony, Diono… http://bit.ly/2Qaq3re 2018-11-26

The Techniques of a Predator: Part II – Bribery and Threats

In The Techniques of a Predator: Part I we discussed how online predators groom children for both online and offline sexual attacks using trust and romance to manipulate them.  Now, we will conclude this discussion by talking about how predators can use bribery and threats as well and we will give you additional ways to protect your children. 

Bribery

Here, predators offer gifts to the other person in exchange for getting what they want.  This often takes the form of gift cards that can be redeemed online. For younger victims, gift cards to Google Play or iOS App Store are popular.  For older children, Amazon gift cards are popular, as are those to gaming platforms. They are easily obtained and the redemption codes can be sent via text or by taking a picture of the card’s unique code. They can also be difficult to trace, especially when bought in a store and sent as a picture.

Similar to the stereotypical drug dealer exchange, the first “gift” may be provided for free.  After that, the predator suggests that since they did something for the victim, then the victim should do something in return before they give them another gift.

Threats

Once an intimate image is sent, it is easily used as leverage to get more.  However, another type of threat is becoming more common. In this case, a predator takes their time to groom their target over an extended period of time.  All during this time, there is nothing done or said that could be construed as troubling. Everything seems safe and risk-free.

During this time, the predator is learning about their target through seemingly innocent conversation, asking questions such as:

  • “Where do you go to school?”
  • “Where do you live?”
  • “Do you have any brothers or sisters?”

Depending on the app being used, their privacy settings, and if they’ve actually friended/connected this person, the predator has complete access to everything they’ve posted.  They can see who their friends and family member are through their Facebook profile, for example. They can see who they follow on Instagram and who follows them. They can see who they’ve tagged in images and who has tagged them.

This all leads up to the predator threatening to physically hurt the people that their victim knows if they do not send pictures or videos to the predator. Scared and not sure whom to trust, minors often send the pictures to protect their family and friends. This only makes the situation worse, leading to more cases of sextortion.

In the case of Ashley Reynolds, she was contacted by a man who said that he had naked photos of her and would send them to her friends if she didn’t send him more pictures. Ashley was confident that nobody had such pictures of her like that, as she’d never sent any pics like that to anyone. She was 14 at the time.

Even if the images were not of her though, Ashley worried that people would not believe her if she denied it. Doubting herself, she yielded to his demands, which led to months of anguish, until her parents found out what was happening. She was sending as many as 60 pictures per day to her attacker. Eventually, her attacker made a mistake that led to his arrest. According to the FBI, he was a 31 year old man from Florida, with over 80,000 images on his computer from 350 girls, across 26 states, Canada and the U.K.  He was sentenced to 105 years in prison for his crimes.

Had Ashley never sent the image to her attacker, she could very well have gotten through the situation, even if he had followed through on his threat to send pictures that were reportedly of her.  By giving in, the opened the door to not being able to deny the pictures were of her.

How You Can Protect Your Family

Talk to your child about how sharing intimate photos online can affect them.

Parents need to discuss the realities of what can happen if such images ever make it to the Internet.  One of those realities is that the images may never go away. They become part of their Digital Footprint – the impressions left behind long after the person does something online.

Wisdom comes with time, something that by their very nature, children lack.

Parents need to have “the talk” with their kids earlier than they expect to about what is acceptable and responsible with regards to online behavior.  This may be more difficult to do than some parents would expect.

In the world where kids feel like they have to send such pictures or feel that it’s no big deal to show off their bodies, a “scared straight” approach might be what it takes to get through to them.

In Shame Nation, the Global Epidemic of Online Hate, the authors interviewed people involving a case coming from an affluent town in Massachusetts. Using Dropbox, an online storage site for file sharing, several high school boys reportedly starting posting intimate images of girls from the school.  Even after the story broke, girls continued to send pictures to boys, knowing that they would likely end up on the site. They considered it an honor, with one mother saying, “It was a bit of a beauty contest… Some are mortified, some are proud.”

Encourage them to consider who could see what they share online.

In business classes that I teach, we discuss the Four P’s of Marketing.   I took that approach and turned it into the Four P’s of Social Media:

  1. Parents (or other family members)
  2. Principal (or employer)
  3. Police
  4. Predator

Everyone should consider how they’d feel if any of the Four P’s of Social Media saw what people did online.  Parents need to discuss what is acceptable and unacceptable to do online with their children – probably far earlier than they expect to have to do so.

Understand how important it is that you talk to your child about sex and consent.

Last year, I gave a presentation to all of the principals and guidance counselors in my own district’s schools.  This originated after a district administrator noticed an increase in sexting at the grade school level! Even before that, when our daughter was in third grade, a classmate announced that she posts inappropriate pictures of herself on Instagram.  It turned out to be not true in this case, but that statement was a cry for attention. A cry for help!

As Dr. Mary Anne Franks, the tech policy director at the Cyber Civil Rights Initiative explains, “Parents have to be willing to talk to their children about sex and the importance of sexual consent. Otherwise, they leave children to learn about sex from peers, porn, and predators.” When we choose to teach them about sex ourselves, we can limit the sexual influences of other people and teach them how to deal with pressure from outside sources, like predators.

Whether parents like it or not, sexting is the new norm for this generation.  Forbidding them from doing it won’t stop them. If that were the case, children would always do as their told.  Is that the way it works? In most homes, the answer is no. Some treat sexting as comparable to dating – before their parents will actually let them go out on a date.  Others see it as “getting to first base”.

The old saying, “Do as I say, not as I do,” is no longer acceptable.

Be a role model.

Additionally, parents need to realize that they are role models to their kids 24/7.  When they see adults or older siblings do things, they expect that it’s acceptable behavior and will not realize it may not be good for them. In a new study that just came out from the founders of the Cyberbullying Research Center, boys, not girls, were more likely to be targeted for sextortion.  This surprised them and would probably shock many parents, who tend to think more about protecting girls from online sexual predators.

In conclusion, by speaking to our children clearly and openly about sexuality and online dangers, we give them the knowledge they need to make healthier decisions. And when we begin the dialogue with them, they are more likely to be open with us when they are facing a questionable situation.

Prevention here is not worth an ounce of cure.  It’s worth an immeasurable amount of cure!