Posts Tagged ‘ parenting news ’

Don’t Make This Medication Mistake! The AAP Clarifies Dosage Guidelines for Kids

Monday, March 30th, 2015

Liquid medicineOne of the most common medication mistakes parents make is measuring the incorrect amount of medicine. Thankfully, the latest dosage guidelines from the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) states that parents should never use spoons (including teaspoons and tablespoons) as a measurement tool for children’s medicine.

Instead, cups or syringes labeled with clear metric measurements in milliliters (mL) are the only way to ensure that children consume the correct dose of medication.

The smallest error in measurement can be toxic to a young child. “Each year more than 70,000 children visit emergency departments as a result of unintentional medication overdoses,” states the AAP’s press release. “Sometimes a caregiver will misinterpret milliliters for teaspoons. Another common mistake is using the wrong kind of measuring device, resulting in a child receiving two or three times the recommended dose.”

Many over-the-counter medications cause confusion because labels recommend metric dosing, but measuring devices are also included that may be marked in teaspoons. Now, with the latest guidelines, “we are calling for a simple, universally recognized standard that will influence how doctors write prescriptions, how pharmacists dispense liquid medications and dosing cups, and how manufacturers print labels on their products,” said Ian Paul, MD, pediatrician and lead author of the AAP statement.

In order to decrease confusion and a child’s risk of potential overdoses, the AAP’s 2015 policy statement includes the following updates to increase accuracy:

  • Standard measurement language should be adopted, including mL as the only appropriate abbreviation for milliliters. Liquid medications should be dosed to the nearest 0.1, 0.5, or 1 mL.
  • The dose frequency should be clearly stated on the label. Common language like “daily” should be used rather than medical abbreviations like ‘qd’, which could be misinterpreted as ‘qid’ (which, in the past, has been a common way for doctors to describe dosing four times daily).
  • Pediatricians should always review mL-based doses with families when they are prescribed.
  • Dosing devices should not have extra markings that can be confusing; they should not be significantly larger than the dose described on the label, to avoid two-fold dosing errors.
  • Drug manufacturers should eliminate labeling, instructions, and dosing devices that contain units other than metric units.

Caitlin St John is an Editorial Assistant for Parents.com who splits her time between New York City and her hometown on Long Island. She’s a self-proclaimed foodie who loves dancing and anything to do with her baby nephew. Follow her on Twitter: @CAITYstjohn

How to Give Your Baby Medication
How to Give Your Baby Medication
How to Give Your Baby Medication

Image: Liquid medication via Shutterstock

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Is Your Parenting Style Creating Couch Potatoes?

Tuesday, March 17th, 2015

Active ChildrenEvery mother or father has their own parenting style—each with its own pros and cons. But some parents who choose hyper-parenting (defined as “a child-rearing style in which parents are intensely involved in managing, scheduling, and enriching all aspects of their children’s lives”) may be raising kids who sit around too much.

A new study from Queen’s University in Ontario, has found a link between hyper-parents and their children being less physically active.

Children whose parents displayed extreme, attached parenting techniques (quite the opposite of free-range parenting!) ”spent less time outdoors, played fewer after-school sports, and were less likely to bike or walk to school, friends’ homes, parks and playgrounds than children with less-involved parents,” reports The Wall Street Journal.

Researchers collected information from 724 parents with children between the ages of 7 and 12. Parents were given questionnaires to determine if their parenting style ranked within four categories of hyper-parenting: overprotective parents (aka. helicopter parents), overindulgent parents, overscheduled parents, and overly achievement-driven parents (aka. tiger moms). Approximately 40 percent of parents received high hyper-parenting scores, while only 6 percent had low scores.

Parents who received low to below-average hyper-parenting scores in all four categories had the most active kids. Although helicopter parenting was the most common style, it was not directly associated with physically active kids, but the other three styles were associated with fewer active kids. According to The Wall Street Journal, researchers concluded that “the difference between children in the low and high hyper-parenting groups was equivalent to about 20 physical-activity sessions a week.”

Less active children only fuels the ongoing issue of childhood obesity, so the more that is known about a child’s physical activity—or lack thereof—the better.

Caitlin St John is an Editorial Assistant for Parents.com who splits her time between New York City and her hometown on Long Island. She’s a self-proclaimed foodie who loves dancing and anything to do with her baby nephew. Follow her on Twitter: @CAITYstjohn

The Lasting Impact of the Early Childhood Years
The Lasting Impact of the Early Childhood Years
The Lasting Impact of the Early Childhood Years

Image: Active children via Shutterstock

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Are You Raising Narcissistic Kids?

Monday, March 9th, 2015

Girl looking at self in mirrorParents are wired to love their children unconditionally and to believe they’re extra special (and who can blame them!), but according to research, “overvaluing” your child may hurt them in the long run.

A new study shows that children whose parents think they are “more special than other children” or “deserve something extra in life,” display more narcissistic characteristics and behaviors.

Researchers collected data from 565 children (ages 7 to 11) and their parents in order to find out how narcissism develops. Over the course of a year and a half, participants completed four surveys that measured children’s levels of self-esteem and narcissism, as well as parents’ emotional warmth and their tendency to overvalue their children’s abilities.

The difference between high self-esteem and narcissism was clearly evident. Children who had high self-esteem reported being happy with themselves without believing they were better than others. Narcissists believed their worth was higher than others, which can contribute to aggression and violence later in life.

Parental warmth was also associated with higher self-esteem, while overvaluation was linked with higher levels of narcissism. According to the study, which appears in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, “parental overvaluation was connected to narcissism even after the researchers took into account the narcissism levels of the parents.” Put another way: narcissistic parents don’t always have narcissistic children; instead, excessive praise and compliments are strong influencing factors.

This study expands on earlier research that aimed to show the degree to which some parents overvalue their children. Parents who overestimated their children’s worth claimed they had an abundance of knowledge, even about topics that didn’t actually exist. But overvaluation is not the only factor that causes narcissism; individual traits and genetics are also important to consider.

Since beginning research on this topic, Brad Bushman, co-author of the study and professor of communication and psychology at Ohio State University, has altered his own parenting style to avoid treating his three children like they are extra special. “Children believe it when their parents tell them that they are more special than others. That may not be good for them or for society,” Bushman says.

Caitlin St John is an Editorial Assistant for Parents.com who splits her time between New York City and her hometown on Long Island. She’s a self-proclaimed foodie who loves dancing and anything to do with her baby nephew. Follow her on Twitter: @CAITYstjohn

What's Your Parenting Style?
What's Your Parenting Style?
What's Your Parenting Style?

Image: Girl looking in mirror via Shutterstock

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Parents Across the U.S. Are Saying NO to Standardized Testing

Friday, March 6th, 2015

Standardized TestA growing number of states are adopting Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC) standardized testing, and as a response, many parents are refusing to allow their children to take them.

New Jersey and Ohio were the first states to administer these exams, which align closely with the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) exams created in 2009, and this year, eight more states will be following their lead.

Many parents argue that these exams focus too strongly on math, reading, and critical thinking skills, and don’t leave room for other important subjects, like science and history. Others, like Parents blogger Lisa Milbrand, believe the exams put an unnecessary amount of stress on their children.

Supporters, though, believe standardized testing is the best way to track a student’s performance, and to assess whether or not the school district is up to par. PARCC is “a valuable tool to know with confidence how their children are doing academically and how best to support their learning,” says Ellen Hur, a spokesperson for the New Mexico state education department.

But some New Jersey school districts have reported that more than 25 percent of their students have opted out of the exam. And these parents are not alone in this battle—hundreds of high school students in New Mexico recently staged walkouts during PARCC testing this year.

Although the kids are not penalized for opting out of exams, federal law states that 95 percent of the student body must complete the exam. If the quota is not met, the school risks losing their federal funding. “The rule is meant to keep administrators from quietly discouraging low performers to stay home on exam day, something that could skew performance upward and hide racial or socio-economic inequities,” reports the Washington Post. However, it’s unlikely that schools will be penalized for the opt-out portion of students.

As always, social media is helping to spread these displays of civil disobedience to an even wider audience, which may lead more parents and students to join the opt-out movement.

Caitlin St John is an Editorial Assistant for Parents.com who splits her time between New York City and her hometown on Long Island. She’s a self-proclaimed foodie who loves dancing and anything to do with her baby nephew. Follow her on Twitter: @CAITYstjohn

Helping Your Child Succeed At School
Helping Your Child Succeed At School
Helping Your Child Succeed At School

Image: Standardized exam via Shutterstock

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Here’s Why a Doctor Denied a Baby Healthcare

Friday, February 20th, 2015

stuffed puppyChoosing the right pediatrician to care for your newborn can be nerve-racking for any parent who wants to make sure they pick a nurturing and thorough doctor.

Like many parents, one couple in Michigan interviewed a number of pediatricians before the birth of their daughter, Bay. Months before she was born, Krista and Jami Contreras decided on Dr. Vesna Roi, and six days after birth, they arrived at the doctor’s office for Bay’s first appointment.

But much to their surprise, the parents were turned away for one reason: they are a lesbian couple.

After spending time in “much prayer,” Dr. Roi concluded that she would not be the best fit for Bay. Another doctor at the practice actually delivered the unexpected news. He offered to take Bay on as his patient, but that did not make the situation any less shocking for the Contreras.

I was completely dumbfounded,” said Krista, Bay’s biological mother. “We just looked at each other and said, ‘Did we hear that correctly?’” Jami, put it more simply and accurately when she said, “You’re discriminating against a baby? It’s just wrong.”

Months later, Dr. Roi sent a handwritten letter to the parents. The letter did not directly state that she made her decision based on their sexual orientation, but she did explain that she did not judge the couple’s “free choice.”

Krista and Jami did not immediately reach out to the media about their experience, but they finally chose to speak out so that others are aware that instances like this still happen.

Although Dr. Roi’s actions may be discriminatory, they are not illegal. “Currently, 22 states have laws that prohibit doctors from discriminating against someone based on their sexual orientation. Michigan is not one of these states,” reports USA Today. Also, there is currently no federal law protecting LGBT individuals from discrimination.

This is not the first time a child has been refused something because of a parent’s sexual orientation. Just last month, Brian Copeland and Greg Bullard’s visit with a private preschool was canceled once the administration learned that they were a married couple raising children.

Caitlin St John is an Editorial Assistant for Parents.com who splits her time between New York City and her hometown on Long Island. She’s a self-proclaimed foodie who loves dancing and anything to do with her baby nephew. Follow her on Twitter: @CAITYstjohn

Your First Prenatal Visit and Tests
Your First Prenatal Visit and Tests
Your First Prenatal Visit and Tests

Image: Stuffed puppy with stethoscope via Shutterstock

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