Recognize the signs and symptoms of a concussion with the new Concussion Recognition and Response app ($3.99) from Safe Kids USA. Using information from the Centers of Disease Control (CDC), two experts, Gerard A. Gioia, Ph.D., and Jason Mihalik, Ph.D., created the app to help parents and coaches in the event a child experiences a home- or sports-related injury.
In just a few minutes, complete a checklist to determine if symptoms are serious enough for immediate medical attention. Parents can also record a child’s health information (name, age, gender, sport played), take photos of the injury, and share all the information via email with health care professionals for proper treatment and follow-up. Plus, the app offers tips on how a child can safely return to regular sports or exercise routines after an injury.
Editor’s Note: The tips in this post were provided by Autism Today (www.AutismToday.com), a resource website for autism that was founded by Karen Simmons, a mom of six kids (two with special needs). The advice below is aimed at helping parents who are dealing with autism for the first time.
1. Start Local. Find a strong local support system and learn what is available in your area. Reach out to nearby cities if needed.
2. Utilize the Internet. Go to reliable websites with autism resources to educate yourself on programs, services, interventions, therapies, and supports.
3. Qualify Your Doctor. Locate a medical doctor who specializes in autism and has experience treating autism. A referral from other parents or a reputable autism organization is best.
4. Look Into Special Services. Check for related health services focused on speech and language, recreational therapy, occupational therapy, physical and behavioral therapy, etc.
5. Reach Out for Help. Make use of specific government agencies and public services that support autism, especially in the early intervention arena.
6. Educate Your Family. Teach relatives, friends, neighbors, and your child’s siblings and peers about autism and share what your family is going through. Help them be more accepting and to understand the challenges.
7. Get Up to Speed. Stay current with the latest medical, biomedical, behavioral, and education services so you can pick and choose what is right for your child and your family.
8. Be Involved. Attend conferences focused on educational information and network with other individuals with autism, families, and professionals in the field. You may find lifelong alliances!
9. Take Frequent Breaks. Find and take advantage of respite for yourselves. As caregivers, you will need it.
10. Plan for the Future. Autism is a lifelong disorder and is not going to go away, but with proper interventions, it improves over time. And as long as parents, caregivers, and other supporters have the best mindset, a child they can be guided toward leading a happy, fulfilling life.
Editor’s Note: This guest post is written by Ari Brown, M.D., FAAP, a Parents advisor and pediatrician in Austin, TX. She is the co-author of the best-sellling “411” parenting book series including Expecting 411: Clear Answers and Smart Advice for your Pregnancy, Baby 411, and Toddler 411. Here, she shares her new role as champion for the world-wide Shot@Life initiative.
As a pediatrician, and a spokesperson for the American Academy of Pediatrics, I’ve been involved in children’s health initiatives in the U.S. for a long time. But this year, I’m going global! I’m excited to be a part of a new movement to help kids and I want to share it with you!
On April 26, 2012, the United Nations Foundation will roll out a new grassroots program cleverly titled, Shot@Life. The message: every child—no matter where they live—deserves a shot at leading a healthy, productive life.
American parents don’t usually have to worry about losing their children to diseases like measles, pneumonia, or even the worst case of diarrhea. That’s because most of our kids have access to and are able to receive life-saving vaccines. Unfortunately, 1 in 5 children worldwide don’t have that opportunity for protection. In fact, 1.7 million children will die this year from these diseases that are rare in the U.S., thanks to vaccination. Unfortunately, a child dies every 20 seconds.
I know, I know. We have so many economic issues at home, it is hard to think about the plight of children on the other side of the world. But honestly, protection against diseases there helps all of our kids. Germs don’t need a passport. They don’t have to take their shoes off in security or go through special body scanners to get on a plane to our hometowns. So, our own children will benefit from protecting children in other countries.
Before February ends, we wanted to honor National Children’s Dental Health Month. To help kids maintain strong, cavity-free teeth every day, Andie Pearson, D.D.S., a practitioner for ChicagoHealers.com, recommends the following suggestions.
Refrain from sugary and processed snacks. Kids who constantly eat sticky, chewy, and dry snacks will suffer from decomposed tooth enamel and tooth decay over time. Children should regularly avoid eating snacks like dried fruit, candy, chips, granola bars, popcorn, nuts, cookies, cakes, and other baked sweets.
Choose fruits, vegetables and dairy first. With lots of nutrients, these are the healthiest options for kids’ teeth. Store snacks like baby carrots, sugar snap peas, cucumber slices, bananas, berries, yogurt, and cheese where children can conveniently grab when hungry so that they steer clear of the less healthy snacks. Fruit and vegetable juices are also great choices, but be sure to avoid products with high fructose corn syrup, as they contain loads of sugar.
Brush 2-3 times per day. Sugar and tiny crumbs tend to get stuck around the teeth and gums so it’s important for kids to brush frequently. Not doing so will cause tooth enamel to decompose and, in turn, cause the teeth to decay over time. Make sure that children brush after every meal, and rinse after every snack.
Floss daily. Food gets stuck in gums that can’t be removed simply by brushing. Teach kids to floss during their younger years to prevent gum disease and tooth decay later in life.
The competition is divided into two categories: School Programs and Technology Innovation. Teachers, schools, and school districts can enter School Programs by submitting their school’s unique physical activity programs, which can include curriculums, activities, environmental modifications, events, or any other initiatives that are currently being implemented. Regional winners will receive $25,000 prizes and national winners will receive $100,000 prizes.
Technology developers can enter TechnologyInnovation with ideas of how existing and emerging technology can be used to inspire kids to get active. Technology can include devices, tracking and measurement systems, software applications, social media, gaming systems, and smartphones. Winners will receive $50,000 in funding and the chance to present at this year’s Health 2.0 conference.
Note: This guest post is by Dr. Alanna Levine, a pediatrician and mom of two children. She is partnering with Pfizer Consumer Healthcare, makers of Children’s Advil®, this cold and flu season on a fever education program.
With cold and flu season underway, many parents will have concerns when caring for their sick, feverish children. New national surveys of parents and pediatricians reveal that the actions many parents take to alleviate their child’s fever are not always in line with the most current recommendations made by doctors. Recently, the makers of Children’s Advil® conducted two online surveys, one given to 1,000 parents to find out how they treated their children’s fevers and a follow-up survey given to 250 pediatricians on their views of parents’ misperceptions and where education was needed. Based on the “Dose of Reality” study, follow the advice below to treat your child’s fever in safe ways.
1) Dose based on weight. The preferred way to dose a children’s fever reducer is to dose based on your child’s weight, yet more than one-third of parents (36 percent) surveyed dose based on their child’s age. Follow the dosing instructions on the medicine label, but if your child’s age and weight don’t match up, follow the weight dose. If you don’t know your child’s weight, follow the age dose.
2) Use a long lasting fever-reducing medication. Remember that the main goal of giving your child a fever reducer is to make him more comfortable, not to bring the temperature down to normal. It’s important to consider how long a medication will last. For example, products containing ibuprofen (like Children’s Advil®) provide up to eight hours of relief with just one dose.
3) Wait 24 hours after the fever breaks before sending a child back to school or daycare. More than half of the parents surveyed admitted to sending their child back to class less than 24 hours after the fever broke. Pediatricians advise that parents keep their child home from school or daycare until the she is fever-free for at least 24 hours.
1) Worry. Fever is the body’s normal response to an underlying infection and parents should talk to the pediatrician about the proper treatment. Definitely call the doctor if: a child is under three months of age and has a fever of 100 degrees or more; a child has a high fever over 103 degrees; or a child has had a persistent fever for more than a few days.
2) Give adult medication to a child. Nearly a quarter of the parents from the survey gave their child an adult over-the-counter medication and estimated the dose. This is dangerous. Children are not mini-adults and should only be given medication that has been formulated for them, unless specifically advised by the pediatrician.
3) Wake a child at night just to give fever medication. Pediatricians believe that feverish children who are sleeping comfortably should not be awakened to take fever medication. Instead, close monitoring is a good idea and parents should always check with the pediatrician.
Did you know that costume wearing evolved from a 17th-century British tradition of wearing masks for Guy Fawkes Day? Since then, costumes have evolved into fun, fantastical ways to showcase creativity and imagination.
According to Yahoo.com, the top five search trends for baby costumes this year included pop culture characters such as Angry Bird and Cookie Monster as well as the ever-popular butterfly, dinosaur, and pumpkin outfits. Meanwhile, toddlers were eager to dress up as pirates, elephants, characters from Disney Pixar’s “Up,” and even the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man. Harry Potter, Michael Jackson, and classic Disney characters such as Mickey and Minnie were the top-searched kids’ costumes.
If you haven’t headed outdoors yet with the kids, take a few moments to brush up on your Halloween safety to ensure it’s a frightfully fun and fearless evening.
Better yet, gather the whole family and explain the history of Halloween, including why we celebrate certain customs such as trick-or-treating, carving pumpkins, and bobbing for apples (Halloween Traditions for the Family). Or download our free Carve-a-Pumpkin app to keep the Halloween fun going throughout the night.
Happy Halloween! (and don’t forget to share how you’re celebrating in our Comments section below.)
Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is a neurobehavioral disorder that is more commonly diagnosed during childhood. Children diagnosed with ADHD are unable to focus or stay still for a long time and act impulsively. According to the CDC, an average of 5.4 children (9.5%) between ages 4-17 have been diagnosed with ADHD, and boys are more likely to be diagnosed than girls (13.2% vs. 5.6%). ADHD is also a more common term than Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD), although both are still used interchangeably.
This guest post was written by Ben Glenn, the author of “Simply Special, Learning to Love Your ADHD.” In grade school, he was diagnosed with dyslexia and other learning disabilities, but he wasn’t diagnosed with ADHD until an adult. Glenn travels the country and the globe, sharing his personal experiences with ADHD. He resides in Indianapolis with his wife and two children. For more information, visit www.SimpleADHDExpert.com.
Despite the amount of press, websites, and books explaining Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), it is still one of the world’s most misunderstood psychiatric disorders. At its simplest, ADHD is the inability to sustain attention, and the person who has it is generally restless, fidgety, impulsive, and struggles with sustaining productivity. The deeper issue is that people with ADHD have problems with the part of the brain that controls executive functions (also known as the pre-frontal lobes of the cerebral cortex), such as initiating tasks, knowing when to put on the brakes, transitioning easily from one task to another, being systematic and maintaining order, self-monitoring and controlling one’s emotions, and holding onto information vital to completing a task.
While the bulk of scientific data about ADHD has increased in the last quarter century, ADHD is not a new disorder. In fact, it has been around for decades (some speculate even centuries). ADHD was officially recognized in British medical literature for the first time in 1902 (it was labeled as “morbid defect of moral control“) and has, since then, undergone several more name changes (including minimal brain dysfunction). The 2013 revision of The American Psychiatric Association’sDiagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders might see yet another name revision. While the exact definition of ADHD is still evolving, there is no doubt that ADHD is real and affecting the lives of millions of children and adults. I am one of them.
I wasn’t diagnosed with ADHD until I was an adult because I didn’t have the “hyperactive” element, but the schools did catch my dyslexia in third grade. I hated being labeled. Going to a Special Education classroom was hell. I was teased and treated like a dummy. I struggled with things that were easy for everyone else and done in no time at all, I was walking around feeling like a mistake, like a loser with no future. For a while I really lost all hope. This is a terrible way to grow up.
Children and adults with ADHD get a bad rep for being lazy, unmotivated, disorganized, and unable to complete any task on time. Relationships suffer because people with ADHD tend to blurt out what’s on their mind without thinking or lose interest in the middle of the conversation and wander off. While we all have moments where we display these behaviors, the important distinction is that people with ADHD literally can’t help being this way most of the time. It’s not a matter of trying harder to be better. It’s a neurobiological inability to do so. ADHD is also not the result of bad parenting or “broken homes” or lack of parental attention and discipline. While these may worsen the symptoms of ADHD and negatively impact a child’s behavior, ADHD is not caused by any of these things. Research has shown that ADHD symptoms are caused by brain chemistry. ADHD may also be genetic, which supports some beliefs that ADHD is more “nature” than “nurture.”
However, ADHD is one of the most treatable psychiatric disorders and has one of the best outcomes for anyone who gets the right kind of help and support from understanding parents, friends, teachers, and doctors. Thankfully there were teachers who helped and supported me. I credit them for restoring some of my self-confidence. The rest of the credit goes to my wife, my sympathetic enforcer!