Currently browsing zFeatured

Preparing Our Kids for Global Digital Citizenship Success

We’ve all heard how our world is getting smaller – how our digital connectivity is conquering distance and outpacing time. But how does this closeness shape the way we interact with each other? More importantly, how does it affect our youth?

This is the reality: The way young people socialize online deeply affects the relationships they have with themselves and the people around them. We have to acknowledge that our kids meet and connect emotionally through their digital devices. They cultivate relationships through a number of virtual world connections – by joining social networks and receiving status updates; building lists of friends and groups; and receiving IMs, texts and video messages.

After hearing countless news stories about identity theft, sexting and cyberbullying, we’ve made the frightening discovery that sometimes wires and signals can separate actions from consequences. And we’ve seen our children’s misguided belief in anonymity slink in easy as pie and place their security, reputations and lives at risk.

But things are changing. Media literacy and global digital citizenship are quickly becoming the key issues in education and law enforcement. Dialogue surrounding the consumption and production of information across connected technologies is growing at a heartwarming rate.

And leaders are working alongside students, using their experience with the Internet, cell phones, MP3 players and gaming devices to create a framework around kids and teens worldwide successfully learning how to be good to each other while engaging in new media activities.

Twenty years ago, good citizenship took place in the microcosm of the classroom and was simply rewarded with a certificate. Today, with its millennial twist, global digital citizenship reaches far beyond the playground fence. Its stewards are enriched with a much deeper understanding of how their actions affect their own lives as well as those of their peers, at home and around the world.

That’s why students must take an active role in identifying and establishing ethical digital use. They need to be involved in the critical thinking and policy creation that affects ultimate change. It’s called buy-in, and these days our savvy students require it if they’ll be expected to have a healthy relationship with technology.

Defining successful global digital citizenship matters to all of us because it profoundly touches our youngest technocrats. Although they are swift enough to sync their social media profiles on their cells, they may not be equipped to handle the overwhelming cyber situations that erupt from uniformed decisions.

We all want to keep our kids safe, but that won’t happen if we create barriers and block device usage. It is only when we empower them to explore their connected world that they will be keyed into the pitfalls and advantages of social navigation across all platforms.

Braces for Your Child: A Life Changing Decision

We understand that getting braces is a really big decision. Your dentist or orthodontist will walk you through your options carefully and help you determine what the best type of treatment is for your individual child’s needs. When you consider braces for your child, you are making a decision that will change his or her life forever.

Starting young can give you some of the following benefits:

  • Correct detrimental habits such as tongue thrusting or thumb sucking
  • Decrease the need for oral surgery and even extractions of adult teeth
  • Improve your child’s face and smile while decreasing their insecurities
  • Help to improve their speech and or the way their lips fit together
  • Simplify and shorten the length of orthodontic treatment
  • Help disrupt jaw growth issues or damage to the jaw joints

These are just a few of the benefits to starting orthodontics young. Often teenagers develop a resistance to orthodontic treatment due to the appearance as well so starting your child at a young age will help them comply with treatment.

Some kids just can’t wait to get braces while others are a little worried about how it will affect their lifestyle. There will be some foods that they won’t be able to eat for a while and some things that have to be prepared differently.

There are several types of braces to choose from now days. From the traditional metal braces to tooth colored or clear braces and even Invisalign- the invisible braces! With all the options and the improved quality of the materials used, braces are better then they have ever been!

Your dentist should always be there to address any concerns you may have.

Best of luck!

Wishing You a Safe, Happy and Healthy 2021!

GOODBYE 2020!!!

The end could not come fast enough!

For many it’s been heartbreaking, lonely …at times terrifying

A year full of overwhelming grief at loss of loved ones and livelihoods …of every aspect of life as we knew it

But you were stronger than you ever thought possible …and you have survived

 

We know it is not over…there are still difficult days ahead…but we can see a light…even if it is just the glimmer from a candle burning in the darkness

I hope we as a people continue to value the heroes of 2020 – long after this nightmare is over

Thank you healthcare workers, emergency responders, police men and women and teachers! Thank you to every essential worker who kept a food service open, a building clean and safe, a transportation service operational. Thank you to every person who put their lives on the line so that the rest of us could live to see tomorrow.
It is to you we dedicate 2021!

 

And on a personal note from all of us at Pediatric Safety:

Our thanks to all of you who stayed with us

We’re honored you’ve let us
be a part of your life.

Have a Safe, Happy and Healthy 2021!

Stefanie, Clara, Audra and Jim….

Do You Know What Vitamins & Supplements Your Little One Needs?

The average healthy American child probably does not need much of anything to supplement their diet and the emphasis should be placed on offering a healthy diet in moderation of all portions of that diet to include fats and carbohydrates (sugar). Most regular vitamins we all hear about are needed in very small doses that are easily supplied by a varied North American diet. Having said that, there are certain groups of children who definitely need supplementation; to mention just a few, certain chronically ill children, certain children from third world countries suffering from starvation or emotional deprivation, or severely abused children in this country who have been subjected to the worst possible environmental deprivations.

The Academy of Pediatrics recommends the following for other special groups:

  1. Since another recommendation is to limit sun exposure in children in order to prevent later skin cancers, and this restriction can lower amount of vitamin D normally produced in sunlight, and therefore, a supplement of 400 IU of vitamin D is recommended based on sun exposure (or lack thereof). For exclusively breast fed babies, 400 IU of vitamin D daily is recommended early after delivery. For those babies drinking 32 ounces of formula a day no vitamin D supplement is recommended since all American formulas have the correct supplement of this vitamin. Whole milk also has correct vitamin D supplement but whole milk not recommended for children over 12 months of age. Check with your baby’s Doctor about the need for this vitamin. Similar recommendations are made for calcium and phosphorus intake.
  2. Babies who are full term and have no problems have probably received enough iron from their mothers during the last month of pregnancy to last the first 3- 4 months so an exclusively breastfed baby should begin Ironsupplementation beginning at age four. Iron in breast milk is only partially absorbed. Preterm and developmentally disabled children are also at higher risk for Iron deficiency while formula fed infants will receive the proper amount of iron as long as they continue formula. Fortunately, it is common place for Pediatricians to check a blood count as an indication of iron status at age 9- 10 months and again at around 15 months and if anemia is found iron can be added to the diet. The bottom line again is to check with your Doctor for the need and amount of iron needed for your infant and child.
  3. Large amounts of certain vitamins such as A, C, D and Khas never been shown to provide any beneficial effects in normal healthy North American children and can be toxic– this is not a case of “if a little is good a lot is better”- often times this is not the best policy for anything.
  4. As far as other vitamins (such as A & B) are concerned, I stick with my original paragraph that most healthy children eating a fairly well rounded diet over all, (not day to day) does not need any extra vitamin supplement at.

Homeopathic supplements for children are very popular now but there are no adequate recommendations for amount used and frequency for children and therefore should be used with caution; further knowledge and research is needed.

Other complementary medical treatments have no definite guidelines for use in children, but certain children may benefit from their use.

Always involve your child’s Doctor when considering going beyond the established guidelines in your children.

Dear Santa…Please Keep My Family Safe

Every year children all across the country and the world make lists to Santa. Wishes for new bikes and dolls and don’t forget the very latest toy. Childhood wishes and childhood dreams. Every year though children are poisoned by holiday plants; are electrocuted by holiday decorations. Parents die in drunk-driving collisions.

Dear Santa letter2As a paramedic my partner and I responded one Christmas morning to an unknown medical. When we arrived we walked past a Christmas tree completely surrounded by presents as well as two young children eagerly awaiting both parents arrival so the day’s festivities could begin. The husband met us and led us to the master bedroom. Mom was dead- had died several hours earlier. The holidays are hard times for many people even people with love, and family and friends. Some people make choices during the holiday they might not make during other times of the year. There was nothing we could do and not a more helpless feeling we could feel.

What’s amazing to me is that this call was over 20 years ago. I had no other involvement that what I stated yet I still remember it- every Christmas season. The children would be grown by now. I bet that they too still remember. I bet they still feel different about Christmas than do many of their friends.

I bet if those kids could go back in time their wishes would simply be to have Mom with them for many more years to come. So please place safety at the very top of your Santa list. As adults we need to assure the health and safety of our kids and we can’t afford a break over the holiday season.

The lyrics of one of my favorite holiday songs perhaps say it best.

My Grown Up Christmas List

….”As children we believed
The grandest sight to see
Was something shiny
Wrapped beneath the tree

But heaven only knows
That packages and bows
Can never heal
A hurting human soul

No more lives torn apart
That wars would never start
And time would heal all hearts
And everyone would have a friend
And right would always win
And love would never end

Oh, This is my grown up Christmas list”

Mindful Meditation for Families – Calm the Chaos

One path toward shifting your thoughts, particularly your judgmental or negative thoughts is through sustained non-judgmental attention or meditation. Meditation is the experience of sustaining one’s focus on a thought, word, sensation or sound in order to calm the mind. Mindful meditation is the act of calming your mind and body through non-judgmental sustained attention.

If you are prone to rumination, negative thinking or catastrophizing, mindful meditation is a skill you may wish to explore. If you find that you are overwhelmed with work, life, people, finances, holidays or parenting cultivating a sense of peace and calm, developing more neutral thoughts, and appreciating what you have in the moment will likely help decrease your experience of stress. Health benefits abound for families.

Let’s say you are ready to feel better, to think more positively and to feel less distressed. Begin by simply adding ten minutes of mindful meditation to your day. You can do it in the morning right when you wake up, in the evening before you go to sleep or anytime you feel fidgety, anxious, overwhelmed, sad, angry or depressed. Meditation can take place anywhere, in the mall, in the swimming pool, or in your car. You need not “go somewhere” to meditate. Meditate where ever you are.

Start with your “Beginner’s Mind” allowing yourself to relax into the experience as though you have never been in this moment before.

  1. Sit in an upright position with your ribs aligned over your hips and your shoulders aligned over your ribs. (I prefer to lie down, you can as well, if you wish)
  2. Close your eyes to reduce distraction and breath.
  3. 1-2-3 in, 1-2-3 out, in through your nose out through your nose or mouth.
  4. Bring your focus into your breath, feel your breath moving in and out, see your breath, color your breath, feel your breath oxygenate your blood and feed the cells of your body.
  5. When your mind wanders in a relaxed manner, bring your focus back to your breath.
  6. Feel your body relax, experience your minds reflections.

For children who are restless, consider having them lay with a warm blanket or a heating pad. Often the warmth and containment in space help them relax. Music from Stressfreekids.com is also a great help. In fact, I use their stories and sounds in my office regularly.

After about fifteen minutes you may slowly open your eyes and note how you feel calm, refreshed and ready for what life has in store for you. Over time you may choose to extend your mindful moments. You may choose to meditate up to 45 minutes a day. You may choose to meditate or pay mindful attention when you grocery shop, pump gas, or talk with your neighbor. Feel the intimacy in your relationships grow as you give your conversational experiences with friends, your undivided mindful attention.

You may bring mindfulness into your parenting by increasing your undistracted, sustained attention with your children. Through mindfulness, you will naturally experience being more “present” with your children. You may lose your keys less often and even yell less, as your mindful experiences allow you to live more peacefully and non-judgmentally in the moment.

Peaceful moments to you.

**************************************************************************************************************************

For books and resources you may choose to visit The UCLA Semel Institute and The UCSD Center for Mindfulness.