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Child Health & Safety News 9/17: 8 Easy-To-Miss Car Seat Hazards

twitter thumbIn this week’s Child Health News: Horrific New Playground ‘Stunt’  – Roundabout of Death – Left 11 Year Old Boy with Serious Head Injuries bit.ly/2Mx4IS3 

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 Art and Science of Raising a Sensitive Boy (Without Crushing his Spirit) bit.ly/2pbcPuv 2018-9-16
  • This One Trick Can Save Parents $2,000 a Year On Day Care bit.ly/2D0BhbI parents – check on Dependent Care Flexible Spending Accounts (DCFSA)2018-9-16
  • Virtual reality app could lessen anxiety for pediatric patients during MRI bit.ly/2CYpfzG 2018-9-16
  • Parents, take note: Kids, teen, college student mental health problems on the rise abcn.ws/2D0nr9d 2018-9-15
  • Brief psychotherapy benefits women caring for children with severe health issues bit.ly/2CZRsWG 2018-9-15

PedSafe Child Health & Safety News Headline of the Week
8 Easy-To-Miss Car Seat Hazards That a Child Safety Tech Wants You to Be Aware Of and Keep In Mind http://bit.ly/2pi3RM4 

  • This Girl Was Hospitalized After Getting Her Ears Pierced, & Parents Are Freaked bit.ly/2pd0plz 2018-9-15
  • When Parents Are In Jail, Their Kids’ Health Suffers bit.ly/2NJRCFT here’s a pilot program to change that 2018-9-15
  • How To Teach Kids Storytelling To Improve Their Friendships bit.ly/2xcJmnv 2018-9-14
  • The Problem With Parents and Social Media bit.ly/2x2dEKr 2018-9-13
  • But Mom, what if it’s not just a sprain? Thurs Time Capsule 09/11 bit.ly/2N7B1Mv 2018-9-13
  • There’s A Reason Babies Stop Crying When You Stand Up bit.ly/2x6TJt6 there is a science behind this 2018-9-12
  • How To Prepare When You Are Expecting Healthy Twins bit.ly/2OdOZJd 2018-9-12
  • EMS Providers Recall 9/11 bit.ly/2CNaXlj A day of remembrance and gratitude. We honor those who bravely gave their lives coming to rescue all who had fallen. 2018-9-11
  • Do your children know what you do? Eat dinner together and tell them. bit.ly/2xb6naz 2018-9-11
  • Parenting Tips for Raising Happy, Healthy Preschoolers bit.ly/2x1O2gB 2018-9-11
  • American Academy of Pediatrics: Children 6 years and older should have at least 60 minutes of physical activity per day. Active play is the best exercise for younger children. Learn more here: ow.ly/4ic430lJpkC 2018-9-10
  • Social Media, Social Life: Teens Reveal Their Experiences (2018) | Common Sense Media bit.ly/2wZF6sa 2018-9-10
  • The nation’s ‘first safety-demonstration home’ will break ground in KC http://bit.ly/2pgGket 2018-9-10
  • How to Keep Kids From Getting Bit Helping with Dog Training bit.ly/2QfMYOq 2018-9-10

How to Make Back to School Feel Safe? a Pediatrician Perspective

It is certainly understandable, given the amount of press and official and unofficial commentary through law enforcement, social media discussions, and easily seen news programs, that fear should arise in the minds of both children attending school and parents of those children about their safety in what has traditionally been a bastion of safety, their schools.

This publicly available information, easily seen by children, has always been centered around the person responsible for the shootings occurring in schools and other public places. The information made available in the news media is repeated ad infinitum after the event occurs and only later is there information about the victims.

This public, news-related, policy needs to be changed to include minimal information, if any, about the perpetrator and immediate coverage about the victims and their families.

The American Academy of Pediatrics refers to the situation surrounding school shootings as “a public health threat to children” and has shared their perspective on the general health of the Pediatric population with such statements as: “We can start by working to advance meaningful legislation that keeps children safe….We also call for stronger background checks, solutions addressing firearm trafficking, and encourage safe firearm storage….children and their families (should) have access to appropriate mental health services.”

As a Pediatrician, I absolutely agree with their statements.

This is an issue that should be taken up by the public as a whole, through local involvement in both federal and local government. This is only one method by which fear is spread. The fact that domestic terrorism has occurred at all promotes the initial terror also seen repeatedly on television and written forms of news media in all its gory details. Your child is exposed to this every couple of months in our society. It’s no wonder there is some fear of the school environment.

To balance my professional opinion with my personal experience, I have three grandchildren who live in Connecticut, not far from Newtown where the Sandy Hook killings took place. I am probably biased, but I consider them to be stable, “normal” children, with good, close ties to their parents compared to the general population.

Although there has been no clinical PTSD, they have certainly become more aware and somewhat fearful of their surroundings. I consider the awareness to be a positive result of this episode, as every person in America has become more aware of their surroundings since 9/11. A fact that has possibly contributed to the absence of further attacks of this magnitude having taken place. They have also become much more tolerant and even thankful for the occasional practice drills in their school.

What can be done to decrease and hopefully eliminate such events and fearsome coverage of those events?

  • The ultimate answer to this is involvement by you and your children in local, civic activities. The Federal government can only do so much and every time it tries there is resistance from many sides. The real power lies in local and state governments who can exert a lot of power if supported by their constituency, something that changed in this respect after 9/11.
  • Get involved. There is much improvement possible at the local and state levels, but it must arise from the grassroots. To start, sale and ownership of assault rifles and large magazines capable of carrying large volumes of ammunition should be limited. There is always pushback on this and officials are slow to act as a result. We must push such acts, as statistics do not necessarily show either side to be correct on this issue.
  • You must answer your children’s questions honestly in an age-appropriate format and up-play the quality and determination of those people in their schools who are there to protect them from harm: from teachers to any law enforcement officers in place. If your child can grasp the concept of statistics, you might point out to them that 56 million students attend US elementary and secondary schools, and only a relative handful (159, less than 3/1000 of one percent) have been affected by such school tragedies, and many of these involved single episodes. Try to relate those numbers to things in their personal lives that at that statistical rate they clearly would not be involved.

  • In the extreme, especially if such events have occurred near to your home and school districts, your child might require a short period of counseling. Although child psychiatry services are not readily available in many smaller communities, a parent can ask his/her Pediatrician, the local medical society or the nearest large children’s medical center for such references.

Understand their fear and as parents there will be no trouble empathizing 

The bottom line is, as always, good communication with your children is of paramount importance! Never stop talking to your children, keep all the channels open, and you will be greatly rewarded as your children grow to maturity.

How To Teach Kids Storytelling To Improve Their Friendships

Thinking, speaking or acting impulsively without planning or thinking things out poses social challenges for children. We can help children better manage their impulsive thoughts, words, and actions by using a storytelling activity we call The Thought Bubble Technique. In this visual conversation activity, we help children think, write, draw, and talk about what characters in a story might be thinking, feeling, saying or doing. The Thought Bubble Technique encourages children to use their imaginations while building their thinking skills.

Here is how you do it…

Open a book with vivid imagery such as a Dr. Seuss book. Let your child or student turn the pages until he discovers a page he finds interesting. Tell your child, “We’re going to use our imaginations. We’re going to imagine a thought bubble is over the head of each of the characters on the page. Then we’re going to imagine what they might be thinking.”

By looking at the images on the page ask your child to make up a story about what’s happening on the page. What are the characters thinking? What are the characters saying? What are the characters doing? How are the characters feeling?

Help the child “THINK OUT” how is the thought, feeling or action helpful or not helpful? How might the other characters respond? How can the characters shift their thoughts, words, feeling or actions so that each story has a happier ending?

The key is to use the creative exploration of images to help the child thoughtfully reflect on how words, thoughts, feelings, and actions are prosocial, facilitating relationships or challenging causing others to feel uncomfortable, unhappy or withdrawn. Use your own creative license, adapt the “Cognitive Conversation” with the child to help him or her see things in a new way. Thoughtful exploration leads to the mindful development of new thinking skills.

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70-play-hi-res-150x197Written for teachers, educators, and clinicians whose work involves playing, talking or teaching children who would benefit from better executive function and social-emotional learning skills, 70 Play Activities incorporates over 100 research studies into printable worksheets, handouts, and guided scripts with step-by-step directions, to empower children to learn and behave better. “With 70 Play Activities we aim to improve the trajectory of children’s learning by integrating the newest neuroscience with activities children love!” With over 70 activities designed to improve thinking, self-regulation, learning and behavior, your tool-kit will be full and your creative brain will be inspired to craft your own meaningful exercises. 70 Play Activities is available at amazon.com

How To Prepare When You Are Expecting Healthy Twins

If you’re pregnant with more than one baby, a healthy diet and lifestyle will help you cope with your pregnancy and give your babies the best start in life.

The advice for keeping healthy in pregnancy is similar whether you’re expecting twins, triplets or just one baby. Eat well, take gentle exercise, drink lots of fluid and, if you feel stressed, get support from friends and family, or talk to your midwife. It’s also important to attend all your antenatal (*prenatal) appointments so your maternity team can keep a close eye on you and your babies.

Healthy eating with a twin pregnancy

Expecting two babies doesn’t mean you have to eat significantly more than during a single pregnancy. However, it’s normal to put on more weight than a woman who is only carrying one baby.

Aim to eat a healthy, balanced diet that includes plenty of fruit, vegetables and wholegrains. These will help you avoid constipation and provide a range of vitamins and minerals.

You also need some protein foods, such as lean red meat, well-cooked eggs, and nuts and seeds. Dairy foods such as milk, cheese and yoghurt are important for calcium.

If you feel peckish, it’s best to fill up on healthy snacks, such as fresh fruit, low-fat yoghurt or sandwiches filled with grated cheese, lean ham or mashed tuna. Try to avoid foods with empty calories, such as sugary snacks, crisps and fizzy drinks.

You’re more at risk from anaemia during a twin pregnancy. You’ll be offered extra blood tests and may be offered iron supplements. Good sources of iron include lean red meat, leafy green vegetables, beans and fortified breakfast cereals.

Read more about healthy eating in pregnancy and foods to avoid in pregnancy.

Staying active with a twin pregnancy

Gentle exercise will help you tone your muscles and protect you from aches and pains. Exercises that won’t overstress your joints are recommended, such as swimming, walking, antenatal yoga, pilates and tai chi.

Doing pelvic floor exercises regularly will help your pelvic floor get back to normal after your babies are born. Even if you’ve had a caesarean birth, you pelvic muscles can still be weak from your pregnancy.

Read more on how to keep active in pregnancy.

Common pregnancy health worries with twins

  • It’s not necessarily true that you will have more morning sickness if you’re expecting twins.
    • Although some women expecting twins or more report lots of morning sickness, others don’t experience any.
    • If you do experience morning sickness, you may find it helps to eat little and often, and to avoid getting hungry.
  • You’re more likely to experience piles and varicose veins during a multiple pregnancy, because of the weight of your babies pressing on the blood vessels of the pelvic area.
  • Pressure from your womb (uterus) pushing on your stomach may make you more prone to heartburn and indigestion as well.
  • You may also find you have backache and pelvic pain, particularly later in your pregnancy. Speak to your midwife, who may refer you to an obstetric physiotherapist.
  • If you register with Tamba** on their website, you can download their Healthy Multiple Pregnancy Guide for free.

For more information on how to have a healthy pregnancy, feel free to read:

Editor’s Note:  * Clarification Provided for our U.S. Readers

**Resources Available Outside the UK

  • Marvelous Multiples: provides links to support organizations throughout the world for expecting parents and families of multiple births.

NHS Choices logo


From www.nhs.uk

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Child Health & Safety News 9/10: New AAP Child Seat Guidelines

twitter thumbIn this week’s Child Health News: New study recommends against brain scans for kids with concussion http://bit.ly/2N3ZtP4 

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.

  • Here’s How Many Immigrant Kids Are Still Separated From Their Parents bit.ly/2wY5lz3 2018-9-09
  • A teen who spent his free time speaking out against gun violence was shot and killed in Chicago cnn.it/2wY5dj3 2018-9-09
  • AAP Raises Concerns That Food Colors May Damage Children’s Health bit.ly/2wUhB32 2018-9-09
  • Children’s Health: Backpack Safety bit.ly/2wRRtXa 2018-9-09
  • How to Keep Your Kids Safe on the Playground bit.ly/2MafFJa  2018-9-08

PedSafe Child Health & Safety News Headline of the Week
What You Need to Know About the New American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) Child Seat Guidelines   bit.ly/2wDPDIJ

  • We Must Stop Destroying our Children – Children’s Defense Fund bit.ly/2CwsUEs 2018-9-08
  • Strategies Parents Can Use for Handling Out-of-Control Kids bit.ly/2wUkBx7  2018-9-08
  • Health Matters: What to do when your child bullies other kids nbcnews.to/2wVoGkq 2018-9-08
  • 3 Tips to Raise a Drug-Free Child bit.ly/2wPNaLi 2018-9-07
  • How Can My Allergic Kid Join In When It’s All About the Food bit.ly/2wPvS0F 2018-9-07
  • How to Talk to Your Kids About…Strangers: Thurs Time Capsule 08/12 – bit.ly/2M18vXL  2018-9-06
  • Four million UK children too poor to have a healthy diet, study finds bit.ly/2wL2LLY 2018-9-06
  • Advocacy Group Urges Testing Water for Lead at Child-Care Centers bit.ly/2MPEcs1 Despite the health risks, only 7 states and New York City require licensed child-care facilities to conduct testing for lead in drinking water 2018-9-05
  • What being held at the Mexican border is really like bit.ly/2CrBcNI a doctor describes visiting the South Texas Family Residential Center 2018-9-05
  • Should Special Kids Take Standardized Tests? Intelligent Lives bit.ly/2Ni4suO 2018-9-05
  • Google using AI to help organizations detect and report child sexual abuse material online bit.ly/2wCDVi3 2018-9-04
  • Homelessness Takes Toll on Kids’ Health Even Before They’re Born http://bit.ly/2N77mDu  2018-9-03
  • Growth in first 3 years of life affects respiratory health in children bit.ly/2wAbJfU excessive weight gain in the first years of life can be associated with lower lung function and a higher risk of childhood asthma 2018-9-03
  • Children may care about their reputations earlier than thought: Study abcn.ws/2wrKW5p 2018-9-03

Loli-O’s and Kids: Puts the Treat in Breathing Treatments

Have you ever received a breathing treatment, either in an ambulance or in the hospital?  It can be uncomfortable and you might be a little hesitant if you haven’t done one before.  Now imagine you’re a child…

A lot of children in the pre-hospital setting as well as clinics, offices, homes and urgent care facilities tend to become very anxious and uneasy when you try and place a mask over their face or get them to hold a tasteless plastic mouthpiece in their mouth to receive breathing medications. Anxiety causes symptoms to increase and that is certainly where you do not want to go.  Loli-O’s helps children from the ages of 3+ receive breathing treatments while enjoying a sugar free and dental friendly lollipop. Using Loli-O’s allows the child to focus on something that is comforting and enjoyable other than “I’m getting medicine”.  And if used as directed, it delivers the medication at nearly the same equivalence as a mouthpiece nebulizer with ZERO anxiety and a happy kiddo in the process because let’s face it…… kids love lollipops!

I came up with the concept that is now Loli-O’s while transporting a 4 year old girl from a rural hospital to a metropolitan hospital in Nashville, TN.  I am a 23 year veteran paramedic and have run across this scenario many times in my career.  The child was ordered by the physician to receive continuous breathing medication during the over 1 hour transport.  The child was already very anxious because I was a stranger and she was scared not knowing what was going to happen.  During the transport, she would become more excited and upset during the treatment attempts, which in turn caused the shortness of breath to increase, her heart rate to increase and the oxygen level to decrease – the exact opposite of where we wanted to be. Despite many attempts to administer the treatments as ordered, I was unable to effectively give the treatment.

After arriving at the receiving hospital, care was released to the staff and the report was given.  The staff was attempting to give the breathing treatment as we were leaving but were having the same problems I had faced in the back of the ambulance.  After leaving the hospital we stopped at a convenience store to get a soft drink for the ride back home.  While standing in line to pay, I noticed an older gentleman with what I assumed was his grandson standing at the counter.  The little boy was about the same age as the little girl I had just transported.  While at the counter, the little boy grabbed a whole handful of lollipops and put them on the counter.  The grandfather asked him “so you want a lollipop huh?” The boy jumped up and down and said “yes yes yes!”  That was it!  Kids love candy, especially lollipops!  There is something comforting to a child about having a sweet treat that I knew could work with helping receive breathing treatments.

I jotted down some rough drawings and came up with a plan.  I bought a candy kit at Hobby Lobby and some cpvc fittings from Lowe’s and went to work.  In just a couple of hours I had a working prototype right there in my kitchen.  I shared this idea and prototype of mine with a long time physician friend and he was just as convinced as I that we had something worth pursuing here.  3 years later, our team consists of 4 top physicians as well as an accomplished ACNP (acute care nurse practitioner). Loli-O’s is ready to help children get that treatment they need with a little less anxiety and a whole lot more fun.  We like to say that with Loli-O’s we put the “treat” in treatment.  Loli-O’s uses lollipops that are sugar free, gluten free, dairy free, have no added dyes and are manufactured in a peanut free facility.  In fact, the lollipops are considered “dental friendly” and the best part is they taste amazing and come in 5 different flavors.

Until Loli-O’s, there have basically only been 2 delivery methods for breathing medications.  One being a mask that is strapped to the child’s face and the other is a plastic mouthpiece that the child has to hold in their mouth while they are breathing the medication. Loli-O’s is not trying to replace these devices because they are very effective for children who are already used to receiving treatments or are old enough to understand the reasoning behind that particular treatment device.  But for the child who has to have a breathing treatment for the first time, or who might be scared and anxious, or who is younger, or for any reason at all, Loli-O’s is here to help the child, the parent and the provider.  We have spoken with countless EMS professionals, ER physicians, pediatricians, nurses and respiratory therapists and have all concluded what we have thought from the beginning…….  Loli-O’s can help!

Loli-O’s is set to hit the consumer market in July 2017.  It already has commitments from EMS agencies and emergency departments in our area and will eventually make its way to ambulances, emergency departments, acute care clinics and pediatrician offices all over the US.  In time, our goal is to see Lolio’s become a go-to among the already established nebulizer options.  Another tool in the toolbox is always a good thing.

HEALTHFUL HINTS:

  • Anxiety with children during doctor visits is all too common. Children, especially at a younger age have certain “comforts”.  A parent/guardian is of course a big one but there are other comforts that can help make that trip to the doctor a little easier on the child as well as mom and dad.
    • First start off simple and if possible bring that stuffed animal or action figure that your child loves to play with. You would be surprised what a little “toy time” can do to alleviate some of that anxiety.
    • Next, let the child hold the stethoscope and let them hear their own breathing and heartbeat! I’ve seen more smiles from kids who hear their own ticker working than you could imagine.
    • Unfortunately, sometimes at the doctor the child has to get a treatment or injection that is either frightening or painful. In these circumstances, I’ve found that a little soft talking and explanation of why they are receiving it is very helpful.
  • There are many respiratory conditions that effect children. From simple occasional allergies, to bronchitis, to asthma, to cystic fibrosis and etc., not every child will have the same symptoms or the same diagnosis which only proves that just 1 treatment device/medication is not the answer. Pay attention to your doctor and more importantly your child.  Children have the ability to compensate very well when it comes to illness and injury but when their compensating mechanisms have run their course, children can and will become severely ill very quickly. When it comes to respiratory problems, there are a few tell-tale signs that let you know that your child is getting worse.
    • The first would be to watch your child’s posture. If you find your child setting uncharacteristically straight or in a position known as “tripod” where the hands are propped on the knees and leaning forward, then this would indicate a more severe respiratory distress.
    • Also watch for flaring of the nostrils. This indicates a forceful respiratory pattern that the child involuntarily does in order to move air in and out of the lungs.
    • You can also see what is referred to as “retractions”. This is where the child is having so much difficulty that the muscles between the ribs and other areas of the chest are sucking inward with inspiration.  This is usually a sign of severe respiratory distress.
  • As proactive parents and guardians, it’s a good idea to be prepared for health situations that could arise.
    • Have your child’s general and medical information written down on an index card and kept in a safe location.
    • Include your child’s name, date of birth, any allergies to medications, any current prescription medications they are taking and a thorough medical history. Having this card on hand will help so much if you should have to call an ambulance or if your child is being taken by someone other than yourself to receive medical treatment. When your child is severely ill is not the time you want to have to remember these important details.