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Wednesday, May 1st, 2013
My daughter, Leeana, has plenty of charming quirks, like her little sweaty feet, and the way that she breathes through her mouth when she’s really focused. But these little nuances became a big worry, when she began snoring.
This wasn’t the cute purring that some kids do in their sleep. Leeana’s snoring actually woke her father up in the middle of the night. It made me uneasy, so I brought her into our bed so that I could monitor her sleeping, and what I saw shook me to my core.
My daughter stopped breathing in her sleep at least 6 times while I watched. She would jerk herself awake, gasp for air, and continue snoring until she stopped breathing again.
When I took her to her pediatrician the next morning, she told me that Leeana has sleep apnea. An estimated 1 to 4 percent of children suffer from sleep apnea, according to SleepApnea.org, many of them being between 2 and 8 years old.
Our pediatrician also explained to us that her sweating and heavy breathing were symptoms of her condition. She said that, while it wasn’t something to run to the emergency room for, sleep apnea does have several long-term side effects.
“As many as 25 percent of children diagnosed with attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder may actually have symptoms of obstructive sleep apnea, and much of their learning difficulty and behavior problems can be the consequence of chronic fragmented sleep,” reports SleepApnea.org. “Bed-wetting, sleep-walking, other hormonal and metabolic problems, even failure to thrive can be related to sleep apnea. Some researchers have charted a specific impact of sleep disordered breathing on ‘executive functions’ of the brain: cognitive flexibility, self-monitoring, planning, organization, and self-regulation of affect and arousal.”
Our pediatrician said that sleep apnea could be a result of oversized tonsils or adenoids. She also mentioned that a positive airway pressure (PAP) machine might help keep the airways open during sleep. The machine delivers pressurized air through a mask to hold the airways in the throat open.
I looked into these machines and found that the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia conducted a study on them last year. Researchers found that kids who used PAP machines had significant improvements after three months, even if the kids didn’t use it all the time. Although I’m worried about how comfortable she will be wearing it to sleep, if we do have to go that route, hopefully Leeana won’t need to use it for longer than a few months.
If your child is snoring, or has symptoms such as heavy breathing and sweating, be sure to discuss it with your pediatrician. It may also be worth it to stay up one night and monitor their sleep.
Leeana has an appointment with her ENT later this week. Hopefully a good night’s sleep is in her near future.
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children, ENT, heavy breathing, kids, PAP machine, pediatrician, positive airway pressure machine, snoring, Speel apnea, study, sweat | Categories:
Friday, November 23rd, 2012
A laptop for $249? It does exist–and not just on Black Friday! Google’s new Chromebook, in a partnership with Samsung, is thin, light, and has an aesthetic design similar to the pricey Apple laptops. So what’s the catch? It doesn’t run off of Windows or the Apple OS. Instead, it runs off of a system designed by Google, which allows for Chrome web apps. It’s a great choice if you’re looking for a first computer for your kid or even a second family computer for Web-surfing or to take with you on the go. Click here for more information on the Samsung Chromebook.
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Entertainment, GoodyBlog, Holidays, Shopping & Gear, Time for Fun
Friday, November 2nd, 2012
Yesterday, our blogger Rosie Pope wrote a great post about talking to her kids about Hurricane Sandy. The devastating storm inspired them to reflect on the things that are really important, like the safety of the people they love. Even though the storm can help us put things in perspective and re-evaluate our priorities, it’s a stressful time for the millions of families impacted by it. You may feel overwhelmed by the news coverage–not to mention the lingering power outages, property damages, and transportation delays. New York City’s Department of Health has created some great resources to help families reduce and cope with disaster-related stress. To make this scary time easier for kids, limit their exposure to news coverage, and be sure to talk to them about the footage that they do see. Hopefully these tips will help the people in Sandy’s wake stay a little calmer as we rebuild.
Image: Family talk via Shutterstock
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Thursday, November 1st, 2012
I recently was lucky enough to eat lunch with Jamie Deen of The Food Network. The event was sponsored by Hidden Valley Original Ranch, and was promoting healthy eating for children. Deen’s mom is Paula Deen, whose recipes are certainly known for being delicious—but not necessarily for being healthy. Jamie, however, is the father of two boys, ages 6 and 17 months, so he has made it his mission to make sure they eat nutritious foods every day.
Here are some of his tips for parents on getting kids to eat those veggies and other healthy foods:
1. Get them eating healthy foods right away. “I think it’s important that you start them off when they’re young,” Deen says. “That’s really the key.” He and his wife bought a baby food maker and use it with fresh fruit and vegetables like butternut squash. Then, they’ll put some of the mix into an ice cube tray and freeze them, so they can pop them out later and feed to Matthew, his youngest son. “He’s eating different tastes and different textures at 17 months and that opens up his palate,” Deen explains.
2. Lead by example. “Kids emulate what they see,” he says. “If you’re eating healthy, it’s part of their life and that’s just what they eat. That’s what I cook, that’s what’s at the table, and that’s what we eat.”
3. Let kids get involved with meal preparation. “If my older son touches the food in the production stage, the more he’s likely to eat it and take ownership of it,” Deen explains. “He’s like, ‘Oh, I made this and this is mine.’” Deen and his wife encourage him to decorate his fish with zest or help his mom make fruit smoothies.
4. Pack a lunch. Deen makes sure to include a simple sandwich like peanut butter and banana or peanut butter and jelly, along with a fruit cup and pretzels.
5. Find new options, if necessary. If your child really cannot stand one particular food, look around and see if you can find a substitute. “Or, use a little low fat ranch dip and that helps mask some of the bitterness for the kids,” Deen suggests. “If that’s the trick you use to get your kids to eat more fresh vegetables, then that’s a good option too.”
Photo courtesy of Hidden Valley
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Thursday, October 25th, 2012
Whooping Cough Vaccine Urged for Pregnant Women
The government’s vaccine advisory panel is urging every expectant mother to get a whooping cough vaccine, preferably in the last three months of pregnancy. (via New York Times)
Clinical Trial Attempts to Cure Autism with Cord Blood
Researchers recently announced the beginning of a FDA-approved clinical trial that uses umbilical cord blood stem cells to “cure” autism. (via Fox News)
Scientists Make Embryos with 2 Women, 1 Man
Scientists in Oregon have created embryos with genes from one man and two women, using a provocative technique that could someday be used to prevent babies from inheriting certain rare incurable diseases. (via ABC News)
Court’s Split Decision Provides Little Clarity on Surrogacy
The New Jersey Supreme Court is deadlocked over how to handle an infertile wife’s plea to be named the mother of the child that she and her husband are raising. (via NY Times)
Parents Tend to Downplay Kids’ Worries
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A new study has discovered parents consistently overestimate their children’s optimism and downplay their worries. (via PsychCentral)
Tuesday, October 23rd, 2012
Want to keep your house safe from egg and toilet paper vandals on Halloween? Trust us, giving trick-or-treaters what they want is the first line of defense. Forget handing out raisins or carrot sticks and stock up chocolate candy bars. Snickers is the preferred choice for little ghosts and goblins, with Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups coming in second.
Feeling guilty for sneaking candy from your kids’ Halloween night haul? Don’t worry, you’re not alone. A whopping 90% of parents admit to having sticky fingers!
For more fun Halloween facts (on everything from the most popular costumes to the largest pumpkins) just click on the infographic below. The statistics may surprise you.
Click here for even more Family Halloween Fun
Spooky Scoop Compiled by Kiddie Academy
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Tuesday, September 4th, 2012
We know that it’s sometimes a struggle to find time (and energy!) to prepare nutritious food. We’ve got your back with lightning-fast recipes and our series of helpful kitchen hints and tricks. Disney hears you, too–that’s why they’re launching a new series called “That’s Fresh,” hosted by chef Helen Cavallo. The show premieres tonight during the new Disney Junior Night Light programming block on the 24-hour Disney Junior channel. Each episode of this mom-friendly show focuses on taking one simple main ingredient to create healthy recipes that both kids and adults will enjoy.
Helen also shared her top tips for whipping up nutritious meals and snacks for your family:
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- Plan ahead. Get your food shopping out of the way over the weekend, so you’re not scrambling to buy groceries during the week. Make lunches at the same time that you’re making dinner (that way, you’ll only have to clean up the kitchen once!). It’s easy to store sandwiches or whole fruits, and you can even stash some dinner leftovers to pack for lunch.
- Master quick-and-easy shortcuts. For a healthy side in a snap, roast vegetables in a pan with olive oil and a pinch of salt. It’s also simple to steam veggies: you can make a whole meal’s worth at once, and cleanup is a cinch.
- Scissor solution: Instead of cutting your kid’s food with a knife and fork, snip it into bite-sized chunks using kitchen scissors. This can save a lot of time!
Thursday, August 30th, 2012
Everybody plays. That’s the motto of a campaign from kids’ gear companies Infantino and Step 2. Infantino brand manager Colette Cosky became committed to celebrating the awesome uniqueness of every child after giving birth to her son Dexter, who has Down syndrome. It’s also a message that we take to heart at Parents: we’re proud that our stories and photos feature kids of all abilities and appearances. (Check out the sweet sibling story “Dake” from our recent August issue.)
That’s why we’re so excited that Infantino is hosting an open casting call for kids of all shapes, sizes, and needs to star in an upcoming ad campaign. Even better: the photos will be shot by our friend Kelle Hampton, a mega-popular mom blogger and author whose second daughter, Nella, was also born with Down syndrome. (Kelle shared Nella’s birth story with us—it’s a tear-jerker!) Kelle shot this cute photo for last year’s campaign.
Is your child ready for her close-up? Kids must be 5 years or younger, live in Southern California, and not be represented by a modeling agency. If your tot fits the bill, send her name, age, date of birth, and a recent close-up and full-body snapshot to firstname.lastname@example.org. Submit your kid’s photo by 09/10/12 for a chance to be considered.
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