Category: Safety & Prevention

Cloth Face Coverings for Children

Cloth Face Coverings for Children During COVID-19

 

Why are people wearing cloth face coverings right now?

  • Since so many people who have COVID-19 don’t have symptoms, wearing cloth face coverings reduces the chance of transmitting the virus through the spray of spit or respiratory droplets. This is especially true for when someone with COVID-19 comes within 6 feet of you, which is the range of transmitting infection through acts like sneezing or coughing.​​

Should children wear cloth face coverings?

  • Children under the age of 2 years should not wear cloth face coverings.

When do children need to wear cloth face coverings?

  • There are places where children should wear cloth face coverings. This includes places where they may not be able to avoid staying 6 feet away from others. For example, if you have to take them to the doctor, pharmacy, or grocery store.
  • However, there are other places where children do NOT need to wear a cloth face covering:
    1. At home, assuming they have not been exposed to anyone with COVID-19.
    2. Outside, as long as they can stay at least 6 feet away from others and can avoid touching surfaces. For example, it’s fine to take a walk as long as your children stay 6 feet away from others and do not touch tables, water fountains, playground equipment or other things that infected people might have touched.​
  • Caution: you may need to reconsider the use of cloth face coverings if:
    1. The face coverings are a possible choking or strangulation hazards to your child.
    2. Wearing the cloth face covering causes your child to touch their face more frequently than not wearing it.

Staying home and physical distancing is still the best way to protect your family from COVID-19. Especially for younger children who may not understand why they can’t run up toward other people or touch things they shouldn’t, it’s best to keep them home. Children who are sick (fever, cough, congestion, runny nos​e, diarrhea, or vomiting) should not leave home.

What if my child is scared of wearing a face covering?

  • It’s understandable that children may be afraid of cloth face coverings at first. Here are a few ideas to help make them seem less scary:
    1. Look in the mirror with the face coverings on and talk about it.
      Put a cloth face covering on a favorite stuffed animal.
    2. Decorate them so they’re more personalized and fun.
    3. Show your child pictures of other children wearing them.
    4. Draw one on their favorite book character.
    5. Practice wearing the face covering at home to help your child get used to it.
  • For children under 3, it’s best to answer their questions simply in language they understand. If they ask about why people are wearing cloth face coverings, explain that sometimes people wear them when they are sick, and when they are all better, they stop wearing them.
  • For children over 3, try focusing on germs. Explain that germs are special to your own body. Some germs and good and some are bad. The bad ones can make you sick. Since we can’t always tell which are good or bad, the cloth face coverings help make sure you keep those germs away from your own body.

One of the biggest challenges with having children wear cloth face coverings relates to them “feeling different” or stereotyping them as being sick. As more people wear these cloth face coverings, children will get used to them and not feel singled out or strange about wearing them.

What about children with special health care needs?

  • Children who are considered high-risk or severely immuno-compromised are encouraged to wear an N95 mask for protection.
  • Families of children at higher risk are encouraged to use a standard surgical mask if they are sick to prevent the spread of illness to others.
  • Children with severe cognitive or respiratory impairments may have a hard time tolerating a cloth face covering. For these children, special precautions may be needed.
  • What is the “right way” to wear a cloth face covering?
    1. Place the cloth face covering securely over the nose and mouth and stretch it from ear to ear.
    2. Remember to wash your hands before and after you wear it and avoid touching it once it’s on your face.
    3. When back inside, avoid touching the front of the face covering by taking it off from behind.
    4. Cloth face coverings should not be worn when eating or drinking.
  • Wash cloth face coverings after each wearing.
  • What kind of cloth face covering is best?
    1. Homemade or purchased cloth face coverings are fine for most people to wear.
    2. For children, the right fit is important.
    3. Pleated face coverings with elastic are likely to work best for kids.
    4. Adult cloth face coverings are usually 6×12 inches, and even a child-sized 5×10 inch covering may be too large for small children.
    5. Try to find the right size for your child’s face and be sure to adjust it for a secure fit.

Due to very limited supply now, professional grade masks like N-95 masks should be reserved for medical professionals on the front lines who have increased risk of exposure to coronavirus.

More Information:

For a complete list of COVID-19 content for parents, go to the AAP HealthyChildren.org website and link to the HealthyChildren.org 2019 Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19). Most resources are also available in Spanish.

Baby Teeth Eruption Charts

http://www.mouthhealthy.org/en/az-topics/b/baby-teeth

 

http://www.mouthhealthy.org/~/media/MouthHealthy/Files/Kids_Section/ADAPrimaryToothDev_Eng.pdf?la=en

Eruption Charts

 Teeth vary in size, shape and their location in the jaws. These differences enable teeth to work together to help you chew, speak and smile. They also help give your face its shape and form. At birth people usually have 20 primary (baby) teeth, which often erupt about 6 months of age. They are then shed at various times throughout childhood. By age 21, all 32 of the permanent teeth have usually erupted.

Download the following eruption charts:
Primary Teeth Eruption Chart (PDF) : click below

ADAPrimaryToothDev_Eng

Primary Tooth Development

 

Permanent Teeth Eruption Chart (PDF)

ADAPermanentTeethDev_Eng

 

Baby Teeth

A child’s primary teeth, sometimes called “baby teeth,” are as important as the permanent adult teeth.

When Do Baby Teeth Come In?
A baby’s 20 primary teeth are already present in the jaws at birth and typically begin to appear when a baby is between 6 months and 1 year.

Check out this baby teeth eruption chart to see the order in which teeth break through and at what ages you can expect specific teeth to appear. 

When teeth first come in, some babies may have sore or tender gums. Gently rubbing your child’s gums with a clean finger, a small, cool spoon or a wet gauze pad can be soothing. You can also give the baby a clean teething ring to chew on. If your child is still cranky and in pain, consult your dentist or physician. Most children have a full set of 20 primary teeth by the time they are 3.

Why Baby Teeth Matter
Not only do primary teeth help children chew and speak, they also hold space in the jaws for permanent teeth that are growing under the gums. When a baby tooth is lost too early, the permanent teeth can drift into the empty space and make it difficult for other adult teeth to find room when they come in. This can make teeth crooked or crowded. That’s why starting infants off with good oral care can help protect their teeth for decades to come.

When Should I Start Taking My Child to the Dentist?
The ADA recommends that a dentist examine a child within six months after the first tooth comes in and no later than the first birthday. A dental visit at an early age is a “well-baby checkup” for the teeth. Besides checking for tooth decay and other problems, the dentist can show you how to clean the child’s teeth properly and how to evaluate any adverse habits such as thumbsucking.

How to Care for Your Child’s Teeth
It’s important to care for your baby’s teeth from the start. Here’s what to do:

Begin cleaning your baby’s mouth during the first few days after birth by wiping the gums with a clean, moist gauze pad or washcloth. As soon as teeth appear, decay can occur. A baby’s front four teeth usually push through the gums at about 6 months of age, although some children don’t have their first tooth until 12 or 14 months.
For children younger than 3 years, caregivers should begin brushing children’s teeth as soon as they begin to come into the mouth by using fluoride toothpaste in an amount no more than a smear or the size of a grain of rice. Brush teeth thoroughly twice per day (morning and night) or as directed by a dentist or physician. Supervise children’s brushing to ensure that they use of the appropriate amount of toothpaste.
For children 3 to 6 years of age, use a pea-sized amount of fluoride toothpaste. Brush teeth thoroughly twice per day (morning and night) or as directed by a dentist or physician. Supervise children’s brushing and remind them not to swallow the toothpaste.
Until you’re comfortable that your child can brush on his or her own, continue to brush your child’s teeth twice a day with a child-size toothbrush and a pea-sized amount of fluoride toothpaste. When your child has two teeth that touch, you should begin flossing their teeth daily.

 

 

 

 

Happy Holidays! Holiday Safety and Mental Health Tips

Holiday Safety & Mental Health Tips

The holidays are an exciting time of year for kids, and to help ensure they have a safe holiday season, here are some tips from the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP). 

TREES
When purchasing an artificial tree, look for the label “Fire Resistant.”
When purchasing a live tree, check for freshness. A fresh tree is green, needles are hard to pull from branches and needles do not break when bent between your fingers. The trunk butt of a fresh tree is sticky with resin, and when tapped on the ground, the tree should not lose many needles.
When setting up a tree at home, place it away from fireplaces, radiators or portable heaters. Place the tree out of the way of traffic and do not block doorways.
Cut a few inches off the trunk of your tree to expose the fresh wood. This allows for better water absorption and will help keep your tree from drying out and becoming a fire hazard.
Be sure to keep the stand filled with water, because heated rooms can dry live trees out rapidly. 
LIGHTS
Check all tree lights (even if you’ve just purchased them) before hanging them on your tree. Make sure all the bulbs work and that there are no frayed wires, broken sockets or loose connections.
Never use electric lights on a metallic tree. The tree can become charged with electricity from faulty lights, and a person touching a branch could be electrocuted.
Some light stands may contain lead in the bulb sockets and wire coating, sometimes in high amounts. Make sure your lights are out of reach of young children who might try to mouth them, and wash your hands after handling them.
Before using lights outdoors, check labels to be sure they have been certified for outdoor use. To hold lights in place, string them through hooks or insulated staples, not nails or tacks. Never pull or tug lights to remove them.
Plug all outdoor electric decorations into circuits with ground fault circuit interrupters to avoid potential shocks.
Turn off all lights when you go to bed or leave the house. The lights could short out and start a fire.
DECORATIONS
Use only non-combustible or flame-resistant materials to trim a tree. Choose tinsel or artificial icicles of plastic or nonleaded metals.
Never use lighted candles on a tree or near other evergreens. Always use non-flammable holders, and place candles where they will not be knocked over.
In homes with small children, take special care to avoid decorations that are sharp or breakable. Keep trimmings with small removable parts out of the reach of children to prevent them from swallowing or inhaling small pieces. Avoid trimmings that resemble candy or food that may tempt a young child to eat them.
Wear gloves to avoid eye and skin irritation while decorating with spun glass “angel hair.” Follow container directions carefully to avoid lung irritation while decorating with artificial snow sprays.
Remove all wrapping papers, bags, paper, ribbons and bows from tree and fireplace areas after gifts are opened. These items can pose suffocation and choking hazards to a small child or can cause a fire if near flame. 
Keep potentially poisonous holiday plant decorations, including mistletoe berries, Jerusalem cherry, and holly berry, away from children.
TOY SAFETY
Select toys to suit the age, abilities, skills and interest level of the intended child. Toys too advanced may pose safety hazards for younger children.
Before buying a toy or allowing your child to play with a toy that he has received as a gift, read the instructions carefully.
To prevent both burns and electrical shocks, don’t give young children (under age 10) a toy that must be plugged into an electrical outlet. Instead, buy toys that are battery-operated.
Young children can choke on small parts contained in toys or games. Government regulations specify that toys for children under age three cannot have parts less than 1 1/4 inches in diameter and 2 1/4 inches long.
Children can have serious stomach and intestinal problems – including death — after swallowing button batteries or magnets. In addition to toys, button batteries are often found in musical greeting cards, remote controls, hearing aids and other small electronics. Small, powerful magnets are present in many homes as part of building toy sets. Keep button batteries and magnets away from young children and call your health care provider immediately if your child swallows one.
Children can choke or suffocate on uninflated or broken balloons; do not allow children under age 8 to play with them.
Remove tags, strings, and ribbons from toys before giving them to young children.
Watch for pull toys with strings that are more than 12 inches in length. They could be a strangulation hazard for babies.
Parents should store toys in a designated location, such as on a shelf or in a toy chest, and keep older kids’ toys away from young children.
FOOD SAFETY
Bacteria are often present in raw foods. Fully cook meats and poultry, and thoroughly wash raw vegetables and fruits.
Be sure to keep hot liquids and food away from the edges of counters and tables, where they can be easily knocked over by a young child’s exploring hands. Be sure that young children cannot access microwave ovens.
Wash your hands frequently, and make sure your children do the same.
Never put a spoon used to taste food back into food without washing it.
Always keep raw foods and cooked foods separately, and use separate utensils when preparing them.
Always thaw meat in the refrigerator, never on the countertop.
Foods that require refrigeration should never be left at room temperature for more than two hours.                          
HAPPY VISITING
Clean up immediately after a holiday party. A toddler could rise early and choke on leftover food or come in contact with alcohol or tobacco.
Remember that the homes you visit may not be childproofed. Keep an eye out for danger spots like unlocked cabinets, unattended purses, accessible cleaning or laundry products, stairways, or hot radiators.
Keep a list with all of the important phone numbers you or a baby-sitter are likely to need in case of an emergency. Include the police and fire department, your pediatrician and the national Poison Help Line, 1-800-222-1222. Laminating the list will prevent it from being torn or damaged by accidental spills.
Always make sure your child rides in an appropriate car seat, booster seat, or seat belt. In cold weather, children in car seats should wear thin layers with a blanket over the top of the harness straps if needed, not a thick coat or snowsuit. Adults should buckle up too, and drivers should never be under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
Traveling, visiting family members, getting presents, shopping, etc., can all increase yourchild’s stress levels. Trying to stick to your child’s usual routines, including sleep schedules and timing of naps, can help you and your child enjoy the holidays and reduce stress.
FIREPLACES
Before lighting any fire, remove all greens, boughs, papers, and other decorations from fireplace area. Check to see that the flue is open.
Use care with “fire salts,” which produce colored flames when thrown on wood fires. They contain heavy metals that can cause intense gastrointestinal irritation and vomiting if eaten. Keep them away from children.
Do not burn gift wrap paper in the fireplace. A flash fire may result as wrappings ignite suddenly and burn intensely.
If a glass-fronted gas fireplace is used, keep children and others well away from it with a screen or gate. The glass doors can get hot enough to cause serious burns and stay hot long after the fire is out.
HOLIDAY MENTAL HEALTH TIPS
Take care of yourself both mentally and physically. Children and adolescents are affected by the emotional well-being of their parent or caregivers. Coping with stress successfully can help children learn how to handle stress better, too.
Make a plan to focus on one thing at a time. Try a few ideas from “mindfulness” as a strategy to balance the hustle and bustle of things like shopping, cooking, and family get-togethers during the holidays: Stop and pay attention to what is happening at the moment, focus your attention on one thing about it ,and notice how you are feeling at the time. Withhold immediate judgment, and instead be curious about the experience.
Give to others by making it an annual holiday tradition to share your time and talents with people who have less than you do. For example, if your child is old enough, encourage him or her to join you in volunteering to serve a holiday meal at your local food bank or shelter or sing at a local nursing home. Help your child write a letter to members of the armed forces stationed abroad who can’t be home with their own family during the holidays.
Remember that many children and adults experience a sense of loss, sadness or isolation during the holidays. It is important to be sensitive to these feelings and ask for help for you, your children, family members or friends if needed.
Try to keep household routines the same. Stick to your child’s usual sleep and mealtime schedules when you can, which may reduce stress and help your family enjoy the holidays.
Kids still need to brush their teeth twice a day!
Don’t feel pressured to “over-spend on gifts.” Consider making one or two gifts. Help your child make a gift for his or her other parent, grandparents, or other important adults and friends. Chances are, those gifts will be the most treasured ones and will teach your child many important lessons.
Most important of all, enjoy the holidays for what they are — time to enjoy with your family. So, be a family, do things together like sledding or playing board games, and spend time visiting with relatives, neighbors, and friends.
Published
 11/17/2015 12:00 AM

FROM HEALTHYCHILDREN.ORG

Insect Bites and Stings

Your child’s reaction to a bite or sting will depend on her sensitivity to the particular insect’s venom. While most children have only mild reactions, those who are allergic to certain insect venom can have severe symptoms that require emergency treatment.

In general, bites are usually not a serious problem, but in some cases, stings may be. While it is true that most stings (from yellow jackets, wasps, and fire ants, for example) may cause pain and localized swelling, severe anaphylactic reactions are possible, although uncommon.

Treatment

Although insect bites can be irritating, they usually begin to disappear by the next day and do not require a doctor’s treatment. To relieve the itchiness that accompanies bites by mosquitoes, flies, fleas, and bedbugs, apply a cool compress and/or calamine lotion freely on any part of your child’s body except the areas around her eyes and genitals. If your child is stung by a wasp or bee, soak a cloth in cold water and press it over the area of the sting to reduce pain and swelling. Call your pediatrician before using any other treatment, including creams or lotions containing antihistamines or home remedies. If the itching is severe, the doctor may prescribe oral antihistamines.

If your child disturbs a beehive, get him away from it as quickly as possible. The base of a honeybee’s sting emits an alarm pheromone (hormone) that makes other bees more likely to sting as well.

It is very important to remove a bee stinger quickly and completely from the skin. The quick removal of a bee stinger will prevent a large amount of venom from being pumped into the skin. If the stinger is visible, remove it by gently scraping it off horizontally with a credit card or your fingernail. Avoid squeezing the stinger with a pair of tweezers; doing this may release more venom into the skin. The skin may be more swollen on the second or third day after a bee sting or mosquito bite.

Keep your child’s fingernails short and clean to minimize the risk of infection from scratching. If infection does occur, the bite will become redder, larger, and more swollen. In some cases you may notice red streaks or yellowish fluid near the bite or your child may get a fever. Have your pediatrician examine any infected bite right away, because it may need to be treated with antibiotics.

Call for medical help immediately if your child has any of these other symptoms after being bitten or stung:

  • Sudden difficulty in breathing
  • Weakness, collapse, or unconsciousness
  • Hives or itching all over the body
  • Extreme swelling near the eyes, lips, or penis that makes it difficult for the child to see, eat, or urinate
  • Prevention
  • Some children with no other known allergies may have severe reactions to insect stings. But if you suspect that your child is allergy-prone, discuss the situation with your doctor. He may recommend a series of shots (hyposensitization injections) to decrease your child’s reaction to future insect stings (but not bites). In addition, he will prescribe a special auto-injection kit containing epinephrine for you to keep on hand for use if your child is stung.

It is impossible to prevent all insect bites, but you can minimize the number your child receives by following these guidelines.

Avoid areas where insects nest or congregate, such as garbage cans, stagnant pools of water, uncovered foods and sweets, and orchards and gardens where flowers are in bloom.
When you know your child will be exposed to insects, dress her in long pants and a lightweight longsleeved shirt.
Avoid dressing your child in clothing with bright colors or flowery prints, because they seem to attract insects.
Don’t use scented soaps, perfumes, or hair sprays on your child, because they also are inviting to insects.
Insect repellents are generally available without a prescription, but they should be used sparingly on infants and young children. In fact, the most common insecticides include DEET (N, N-diethyl-m-toluamide), which is a chemical not recommended for use in children under two months of age. Do not apply DEET-containing repellents more than once a day on older children.

The concentrations of DEET vary significantly from product to product—ranging from less than 10 percent to over 30 percent—so read the label of any product you purchase. Some products have concentrations much higher than 30 percent, and the higher the concentration of DEET, the longer the duration of action. Its effectiveness peaks at a concentration of 30 percent, however, which is also the maximum concentration currently recommended for children. The safety of DEET does not appear to be related to its level of concentration; therefore, a prudent approach is to select the lowest effective concentration for the amount of time your child spends outdoors. You should avoid products that include DEET plus a sunscreen, because sunscreen needs to be applied frequently while DEET should be applied only once a day. If you apply DEET more frequently, it may be associated with toxicity. Also be sure to wash off the DEET with soap and water at the end of the day.

An alternative to DEET is a product called picaridin (KBR 3023). While it has had wider use in Europe, picaridin has more recently become available in the US. It is a generally pleasant- smelling product without the oil residue associated with DEET, and is available in concentrations of 5 to 10 percent.

The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that repellents used in children over six months of age have 30 percent DEET or 5 to 10 percent picaridin repellent, applied once before going outdoors. These repellents are effective in preventing bites by mosquitoes, ticks, fleas, chiggers, and biting flies, but have virtually no effect on stinging insects such as bees, hornets, and wasps. Contrary to popular belief, giving antihistamines continuously throughout the insect season does not appear to prevent reactions to bites.

Insect Bites and Stings

Mosquitoes
Water (pools, lakes, birdbaths)
Stinging sensation followed by small, red, itchy mound with tiny puncture mark at center.
Mosquitoes are attracted by bright colors and sweat.

Flies
Food, garbage, animal waste
Painful, itchy bumps; may turn into small blisters.
Bites often disappear in a day but may last longer.

Fleas
Cracks in floor, rugs, pet fur
Multiple small bumps clustered together; often where clothes fit tightly (waist, buttocks).
Fleas are most likely to be a problem in homes with pets.

Bedbugs
Cracks of walls, floors, crevices of furniture, bedding
Itchy red bumps occasionally topped by a blister; usually 2–3 in a row.
Bedbugs are most likely to bite at night and are less active in cold weather.

Fire ants
Mounds in pastures, meadows, lawns, and parks in southern states
Immediate pain and burning; swelling up to 1⁄2 inch (1.2 cm); cloudy fluid in area of bite.
Fire ants usually attack intruders.

Bees and wasps
Flowers, shrubs, picnic areas, beaches
Immediate pain and rapid swelling.
A few children have severe reactions, such as difficulty breathing and hives/swelling all over the body.

Ticks
Wooded areas
May not be noticeable; hidden on hair or on skin.
Don’t remove ticks with matches, lighted cigarettes, or nail polish remover; grasp the tick firmly with tweezers near the head; gently pull the tick straight out.

 

The Milestone of Riding a Bicycle…Tips to Get Started

https://www.healthychildren.org/English/safety-prevention/at-play/Pages/Choosing-the-Right-Size-Bicycle.aspx 

Choosing the Right Size Bicycle

A bicycle of the wrong size may cause your child to lose control and be injured. Any bike must be the correct size for the child for whom it is bought. To keep your child safe, the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends the following:

Do not push your child to ride a 2-wheeled bike until he or she is ready, at about age 5.
Take your child with you when you shop for the bike, so that he or she can try it out. The value of a properly fitting bike far outweighs the value of surprising your child with a new bike.
Buy a bike that is the right size, not one your child has to “grow into.” Oversized bikes are especially dangerous.
How to test any style of bike for proper fit
Sitting on the seat with hands on the handlebar, your child must be able to place the balls of both feet on the ground.
Straddling the center bar, your child should be able to stand with both feet flat on the ground with about a 1-inch clearance between the crotch and the bar.
When buying a bike with hand brakes for an older child, make sure that the child can comfortably grasp the brakes and apply sufficient pressure to stop the bike.
A helmet should be standard equipment. Whenever buying a bike, be sure you have a Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC)-approved helmet for your child.
Consider the child’s coordination and desire to learn to ride. Stick with coaster brakes until your child is older and more experienced.
Last Updated
 5/11/2015
Source
 TIPP: The Injury Prevention Program (Copyright © 1994 American Academy of Pediatrics, Updated 9/2005)

Sun Safety to Enjoy a Healthy and Fun Summer

https://www.healthychildren.org/English/safety-prevention/at-play/Pages/Sun-Safety.aspx

Sun Safety: Information for Parents

About Sunburn & Sunscreen

It’s good for children and adults to spend time playing and exercising outdoors, and it’s important to do so safely.

Simple Rules to Protect your Family from Sunburns
Keep babies younger than 6 months out of direct sunlight. Find shade under a tree, an umbrella, or the stroller canopy.
When possible, dress yourself and your children in cool, comfortable clothing that covers the body, such as lightweight cotton pants, long-sleeved shirts, and hats.
Select clothes made with a tight weave; they protect better than clothes with a looser weave. If you’re not sure how tight a fabric’s weave is, hold it up to see how much light shines through. The less light, the better. Or you can look for protective clothing labeled with an Ultraviolet Protection Factor (UPF).
Wear a hat with an all-around 3-inch brim to shield the face, ears, and back of the neck.
Limit your sun exposure between 10:00 am and 4:00 pm when UV rays are strongest.
Wear sunglasses with at least 99% UV protection. Look for child-sized sunglasses with UV protection for your child.
Use sunscreen.
Make sure everyone in your family knows how to protect his or her skin and eyes. Remember to set a good example by practicing sun safety yourself.
Sunscreen
Sunscreen can help protect the skin from sunburn and some skin cancers but only if used correctly. Keep in mind that sunscreen should be used for sun protection, not as a reason to stay in the sun longer.

How to Pick Sunscreen
Use a sunscreen that says “broad-spectrum” on the label; that means it will screen out both UVB and UVA rays.
Use a broad-spectrum sunscreen with a sun protection factor (SPF) of at least 15 (up to SPF 50). An SPF of 15 or 30 should be fine for most people. More research studies are needed to test if sunscreen with more than SPF 50 offers any extra protection.
If possible, avoid the sunscreen ingredient oxybenzone because of concerns about mild hormonal properties. Remember, though, that it’s important to take steps to prevent sunburn, so using any sunscreen is better than not using sunscreen at all.
For sensitive areas of the body, such as the nose, cheeks, tops of the ears, and shoulders, choose a sunscreen with zinc oxide or titanium dioxide. These products may stay visible on the skin even after you rub them in, and some come in fun colors that children enjoy.
How to Apply Sunscreen
Use enough sunscreen to cover all exposed areas, especially the face, nose, ears, feet, hands, and even backs of the knees. Rub it in well.
Put sunscreen on 15 to 30 minutes before going outdoors. It needs time to absorb into the skin.
Use sunscreen any time you or your child spend time outdoors. Remember that you can get sunburn even on cloudy days because up to 80% of the sun’s UV rays can get through the clouds. Also, UV rays can bounce back from water, sand, snow, and concrete, so make sure you’re protected.
Reapply sunscreen every 2 hours and after swimming, sweating, or drying off with a towel. Because most people use too little sunscreen, make sure to apply a generous amount.
Sunscreen for Babies
For babies younger than 6 months: Use sunscreen on small areas of the body, such as the face, if protective clothing and shade are not available.
For babies older than 6 months: Apply to all areas of the body, but be careful around the eyes. If your baby rubs sunscreen into her eyes, wipe her eyes and hands clean with a damp cloth. If the sunscreen irritates her skin, try a different brand or sunscreen with titanium dioxide or zinc oxide. If a rash develops, talk with your child’s doctor.
Sunburns
When to Call the Doctor
If your baby is younger than 1 year and gets sunburn, call your baby’s doctor right away. For older children, call your child’s doctor if there is blistering, pain, or fever.

How to Soothe Sunburn
Here are 5 ways to relieve discomfort from mild sunburn:

Give your child water or 100% fruit juice to replace lost fluids.
Use cool water to help your child’s skin feel better.
Give your child pain medicine to relieve painful sunburns. (For a baby 6 months or younger, give acetaminophen. For a child older than 6 months, give either acetaminophen or ibuprofen.)
Only use medicated lotions if your child’s doctor says it is OK.
Keep your child out of the sun until the sunburn is fully healed.​

Last Updated 5/11/2015
Source Fun in the Sun: Keep Your Family Safe (Copyright ? 2008 American Academy of Pediatrics, Updated 4/2014)

Some Childrens TV Shows Are Bad for Their Brains

Some Childrens TV Shows Are Bad for Their Brains

A new study in the October, 2011, issue of the journal, Pediatrics, finds that some TV shows may be worse than others. The study, “The Immediate Impact of Different Types of Television on Young Children’s Executive Function,” published online Sept. 12, tested 4-year-old children’s attention, problem solving, self regulation and other executive function abilities after they watched one of two cartoons for nine minutes. A control group of children received crayons and markers for free drawing for the same time period. The children who watched a fast-paced cartoon featuring an animated kitchen sponge did significantly worse on tests than the drawing group. There was no difference between the drawing group and children who watched a slower-paced, realistic Public Broadcasting Service cartoon about a typical preschool boy.

Study authors stated they cannot tell which features of the TV show created the effects, though they speculate the combination of fantastical events and the fast pacing are responsible. They conclude that parents should be aware that watching similar television shows may immediately impair young children’s executive function.

In a commentary, “The Effects of Fast-Paced Cartoons,” pediatrician and researcher Dimitri Christakis, MD, FAAP, discusses the study and the implications that media exposure has for children’s health.

Back to School Tips

Helpful health and safety tips from the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP)

Making the First Day Easier

  • Remind your child that she is not the only student who is a bit uneasy about the first day of school. Teachers know that students are anxious and will make an extra effort to make sure everyone feels as comfortable as possible.
  • Point out the positive aspects of starting school: It will be fun. She’ll see old friends and meet new ones. Refresh her positive memories about previous years, when she may have returned home after the first day with high spirits because she had a good time.
  • Find another child in the neighborhood with whom your youngster can walk to school or ride with on the bus.
  • If you feel it is appropriate, drive your child (or walk with her) to school and pick her up on the first day.

Backpack Safety

  • Choose a backpack with wide, padded shoulder straps and a padded back.
  • Pack light. Organize the backpack to use all of its compartments. Pack heavier items closest to the center of the back. The backpack should never weigh more than 10 to 20 percent of your child’s body weight.
  • Always use both shoulder straps. Slinging a backpack over one shoulder can strain muscles.
  • If your school allows, consider a rolling backpack. This type of backpack may be a good choice for students who must tote a heavy load. Remember that rolling backpacks still must be carried up stairs, and they may be difficult to roll in snow.

Traveling To and From School

Review the basic rules with your youngster:

School Bus

  • If your child’s school bus has lap/shoulder seat belts, make sure your child uses one at all times when in the bus. If your child’s school bus does not have lap/shoulder belts, encourage the school to buy or lease buses with lap/shoulder belts.
  • Wait for the bus to stop before approaching it from the curb.
  • Do not move around on the bus.
  • Check to see that no other traffic is coming before crossing the street.
  • Make sure to always remain in clear view of the bus driver.
  • Children should always board and exit the bus at locations that provide safe access to the bus or to the school building.

Car

  • All passengers should wear a seat belt and/or an age- and size-appropriate car safety seat or booster seat.
  • Your child should ride in a car safety seat with a harness as long as possible and then ride in a belt-positioning booster seat. Your child is ready for a booster seat when she has reached the top weight or height allowed for her seat, her shoulders are above the top harness slots, or her ears have reached the top of the seat.
  • Your child should ride in a belt-positioning booster seat until the vehicle’s seat belt fits properly (usually when the child reaches about 4′ 9″ in height and is between 8 to 12 years of age). This means that the child is tall enough to sit against the vehicle seat back with her legs bent at the knees and feet hanging down and the shoulder belt lies across the middle of the chest and shoulder, not the neck or throat; the lap belt is low and snug across the thighs, and not the stomach.
  • All children younger than 13 years of age should ride in the rear seat of vehicles. If you must drive more children than can fit in the rear seat (when carpooling, for example), move the front-seat passenger’s seat as far back as possible and have the child ride in a booster seat if the seat belts do not fit properly without it.
  • Remember that many crashes occur while novice teen drivers are going to and from school. You should require seat belt use, limit the number of teen passengers, do not allow eating, drinking, cell phone conversations or texting to prevent driver distraction; and limit nighttime driving and driving in inclement weather. Familiarize yourself with your state’s graduated driver license law and consider the use of a parent-teen driver agreement to facilitate the early driving learning process. Click here for a sample parent-teen driver agreement.

Bike

  • Always wear a bicycle helmet, no matter how short or long the ride.
  • Ride on the right, in the same direction as auto traffic.
  • Use appropriate hand signals.
  • Respect traffic lights and stop signs.
  • Wear bright color clothing to increase visibility.
  • Know the “rules of the road.”

Walking to School

  • Make sure your child’s walk to a school is a safe route with well-trained adult crossing guards at every intersection.
  • Be realistic about your child’s pedestrian skills. Because small children are impulsive and less cautious around traffic, carefully consider whether or not your child is ready to walk to school without adult supervision.
  • If your children are young or are walking to a new school, walk with them the first week or until you are sure they know the route and can do it safely.
  • Bright colored clothing will make your child more visible to drivers.
  • In neighborhoods with higher levels of traffic, consider starting a “walking school bus,” in which an adult accompanies a group of neighborhood children walking to school.

Eating During the School Day

  • Most schools regularly send schedules of cafeteria menus home. With this advance information, you can plan on packing lunch on the days when the main course is one your child prefers not to eat.
  • Try to get your child’s school to stock healthy choices such as fresh fruit, low-fat dairy products, water and 100 percent fruit juice in the vending machines.
  • Each 12-ounce soft drink contains approximately 10 teaspoons of sugar and 150 calories. Drinking just one can of soda a day increases a child’s risk of obesity by 60%. Restrict your child’s soft drink consumption.

Bullying

Bullying is when one child picks on another child repeatedly. Bullying can be physical, verbal, or social. It can happen at school, on the playground, on the school bus, in the neighborhood, or over the Internet.

When Your Child Is Bullied

  • Help your child learn how to respond by teaching your child how to:
  1. Look the bully in the eye.
  2. Stand tall and stay calm in a difficult situation.
  3. Walk away.
  • Teach your child how to say in a firm voice.
  1. “I don’t like what you are doing.”
  2. “Please do NOT talk to me like that.”
  3. “Why would you say that?”
  • Teach your child when and how to ask for help.
  • Encourage your child to make friends with other children.
  • Support activities that interest your child.
  • Alert school officials to the problems and work with them on solutions.
  • Make sure an adult who knows about the bullying can watch out for your child’s safety and well-being when you cannot be there.

When Your Child Is the Bully

  • Be sure your child knows that bullying is never OK.
  • Set firm and consistent limits on your child’s aggressive behavior.
  • Be a positive role mode. Show children they can get what they want without teasing, threatening or hurting someone.
  • Use effective, non-physical discipline, such as loss of privileges.
  • Develop practical solutions with the school principal, teachers, counselors, and parents of the children your child has bullied.

When Your Child Is a Bystander

  • Tell your child not to cheer on or even quietly watch bullying.
  • Encourage your child to tell a trusted adult about the bullying.
  • Help your child support other children who may be bullied. Encourage your child to include these children in activities.
  • Encourage your child to join with others in telling bullies to stop.

Before and After School Child Care

  • During early and middle childhood, youngsters need supervision. A responsible adult should be available to get them ready and off to school in the morning and watch over them after school until you return home from work.
  • Children approaching adolescence (11- and 12-year-olds) should not come home to an empty house in the afternoon unless they show unusual maturity for their age.
  • If alternate adult supervision is not available, parents should make special efforts to supervise their children from a distance. Children should have a set time when they are expected to arrive at home and should check in with a neighbor or with a parent by telephone.
  • If you choose a commercial after-school program, inquire about the training of the staff. There should be a high staff-to-child ratio, and the rooms and the playground should be safe.

Developing Good Homework and Study Habits

  • Create an environment that is conducive to doing homework. Youngsters need a permanent work space in their bedroom or another part of the home that offers privacy.
  • Schedule ample time for homework.
  • Establish a household rule that the TV set stays off during homework time.
  • Supervise computer and internet use.
  • Be available to answer questions and offer assistance, but never do a child’s homework for her.
  • Take steps to help alleviate eye fatigue, neck fatigue and brain fatigue while studying. It may be helpful to close the books for a few minutes, stretch, and take a break periodically when it will not be too disruptive.
  • If your child is struggling with a particular subject, and you aren’t able to help her yourself, a tutor can be a good solution. Talk it over with your child’s teacher first.

Announcing New Crib Standards

Beginning June 28, 2011, new federal safety standards prohibit the manufacture or sale of drop-side rail cribs. Crib safety standards have not been updated in nearly 30 years and these new rules are expected to improve the quality of cribs and make them safer for babies.

But drop-sides are not the only changes. The new regulations also require that all new cribs have stronger slats and mattress supports, better quality hardware, and to undergo more rigorous testing.

Since 2007, over 11 million cribs have been recalled. In addition, drop-sides were associated with 32 infant suffocation and strangulation deaths since 2000. These new standards will help prevent these tragedies and keep children safe in their cribs.

Child care centers, family child care homes, and places of public accommodation, such as hotels and motels have until December 28, 2012 to comply with these new rules.

What Parents Can Do

Please consider getting a new crib for your baby. If that is not possible, the AAP and the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) encourage you to check the crib frequently to make sure that all hardware is secured tightly and that there are no loose, missing, or broken parts. Also be sure to:

  • Check CPSC’s crib recall list to make sure that your crib has not been recalled.
  • Stop using the drop-side rail of your crib. If the crib has been recalled, see if you can get a free immobilizer from the manufacturer or retailer (immobilizers vary depending on the crib).
  • Consider using a portable play yard, so long as it is not a model that has been recalled.
  • As always, keep items like pillows, cushy bumper pads, quilts, comforters, stuffed toys, and positioning devices out of the crib.

Re-sale of Cribs

Keep in mind that these new rules also apply to the re-sale of cribs, including at garage and rummage sales, on online auction sites, or even by donation to thrift stores. Unsafe cribs should be disassembled and thrown away.

For more information on choosing a safe crib for your baby, click here.

You can also find more details about the new regulations from the CPSC here.

Sun and Water Safety this Summer

Fun in the Sun

Babies under 6 months:

  • The two main recommendations from the AAP to prevent sunburn are to avoid sun exposure, and to dress infants in lightweight long pants, long-sleeved shirts, and brimmed hats that shade the neck to prevent sunburn. However, when adequate clothing and shade are not available, parents can apply a minimal amount of suncreen with at least 15 SPF (sun protection factor) to small areas, such as the infant’s face and the back of the hands. If an infant gets sunburn, apply cold compresses to the affected area.

For All Other Children:

  • The first, and best, line of defense against harmful ultraviolet radiation (UVR) exposure is covering up. Wear a hat with a three-inch brim or a bill facing forward, sunglasses (look for sunglasses that provide 97% -100% protection against both UVA and UVB rays), and cotton clothing with a tight weave.
  • Stay in the shade whenever possible, and limit sun exposure during the peak intensity hours – between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m.
  • On both sunny and cloudy days use a sunscreen with an SPF of 15 or greater that protects against UVA and UVB rays.
  • Be sure to apply enough sunscreen – about one ounce per sitting for a young adult.
  • Reapply sunscreen every two hours, or after swimming or sweating.
  • Use extra caution near water and sand (and even snow!) as they reflect UV rays and may result in sunburn more quickly.

Heat Stress in Exercising Children

  • The intensity of activities that last 15 minutes or more should be reduced whenever high heat and humidity reach critical levels.
  • At the beginning of a strenuous exercise program or after traveling to a warmer climate, the intensity and duration of exercise should be limited initially and then gradually increased during a period of 7 to 14 days to acclimatize to the heat, particularly if it is very humid.
  • Before prolonged physical activity, children should be well-hydrated and should not feel thirsty. For the first hour of exercise, water alone can be used. Kids should have water or a sports drink always available and drink every 20 minutes while exercising in the heat. Excessively hot and humid environments, more prolonged and strenuous exercise, and copious sweating should be reasons for children to substantially increase their fluid intake. After an hour of exercise, children need to drink a carbohydrate-electrolyte beverage to replace electrolytes lost in sweat and provide carbohydrates for energy.
  • Clothing should be light-colored and lightweight and limited to one layer of absorbent material to facilitate evaporation of sweat. Sweat-saturated shirts should be replaced by dry clothing.
  • Practices and games played in the heat should be shortened and more frequent water/hydration breaks should be instituted. Children should seek cooler environments if they feel excessively hot or fatigued.

Pool Safety

  • Never leave children alone in or near the pool or spa, even for a moment.
  • Install a fence at least 4 feet high around all four sides of the pool.
  • The fence should not have openings or protrusions that a young child could use to get over, under, or through.
  • Make sure pool gates open out from the pool, and self-close and self-latch at a height children can’t reach.
  • If the house serves as the fourth side of a fence surrounding a pool, install an alarm on the exit door to the yard and the pool.
    Keep rescue equipment (a shepherd’s hook – a long pole with a hook on the end – and life preserver) and a portable telephone near the pool. Choose a shepherd’s hook and other rescue equipment made of fiberglass or other materials that do not conduct electricity.
  • Avoid inflatable swimming aids such as “floaties.” They are not a substitute for approved life vests and can give children and parents a false sense of security.
  • Children ages 1 to 4 may be at a lower risk of drowning if they have had some formal swimming instruction. However, there is no evidence that swimming lessons or water survival skills courses can prevent drowning in babies younger than 1 year of age.
  • The decision to enroll a 1- to 4-year-old child in swimming lessons should be made by the parent and based on the child’s developmental readiness, but swim programs should never be seen as “drown proofing” a child of any age.
  • Whenever infants or toddlers are in or around water, an adult – preferably one who knows how to swim and perform CPR – should be within arm’s length, providing “touch supervision.”
  • Avoid entrapment: Suction from pool and spa drains can trap a swimmer underwater. Do not use a pool or spa if there are broken or missing drain covers.  Ask your pool operator if your pool or spa’s drains are compliant with the Pool and Spa Safety Act.  If you have a swimming pool or spa, ask your pool service representative to update your drains and other suction fitting with anti-entrapment drain covers and other devices or systems. See PoolSafely.gov for more information on the Virginia Graeme Baker Pool and Spa Safety Act.
  • Large inflatable above-ground pools have become increasingly popular for backyard use. Children may fall in if they lean against the soft side of an inflatable pool. Although such pools are often exempt from local pool fencing requirements, it is essential that they be surrounded by an appropriate fence just as a permanent pool would be so that children cannot gain unsupervised access.

Boating Safety

  • Children should wear life jackets at all times when on boats or near bodies of water.
  • Make sure the life jacket is the right size for your child. The jacket should not be loose. It should always be worn as instructed with all straps belted.
  • Blow-up water wings, toys, rafts and air mattresses should not be used as life jackets or personal flotation devices. Adults should wear life jackets for their own protection, and to set a good example.
  • Adolescents and adults should be warned of the dangers of boating when under the influence of alcohol, drugs, and even some prescription medications.

Open Water Swimming

  • Never swim alone. Even good swimmers need buddies!
  • A lifeguard (or another adult who knows about water rescue) needs to be watching children whenever they are in or near the water. Younger children should be closely supervised while in or near the water – use “touch supervision,” keeping no more than an arm’s length away.
  • Make sure your child knows never to dive into water except when permitted by an adult who knows the depth of the water and who has checked for underwater objects.
  • Never let your child swim in canals or any fast moving water.
  • Ocean swimming should only be allowed when a lifeguard is on duty.

Tips are available in Spanish here.