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Tips of the Week for December, 2012

Healthy New Year's Resolutions for Kids
12-31-2012

The following New Year tips are from the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP).

Preschoolers

  • I will clean up my toys and put them where they belong.
  • I will brush my teeth twice a day, and wash my hands after going to the bathroom and before eating.
  • I won’t tease dogs or other pets – even friendly ones. I will avoid being bitten by keeping my fingers and face away from their mouths.

Kids, 5- to 12-years-old

  • I will drink reduced-fat milk and water every day, and drink soda and fruit drinks only on special occasions. 
  • I will apply sunscreen before I go outdoors on bright sunny days. I will try to stay in the shade whenever possible and wear a hat and sunglasses, especially when I’m playing sports.
  • I will try to find a sport (like basketball or soccer) or an activity (like playing tag, jumping rope, dancing or riding my bike) that I like and do it at least three times a week!
  • I will always wear a helmet when bicycling.
  • I will wear my seat belt every time I get in a car. I’ll sit in the back seat and use a booster seat until I am tall enough to use a lap/shoulder seat belt.
  • I’ll be nice to other kids. I’ll be friendly to kids who need friends – like someone who is shy, or is new to my school.
  • I’ll never give out personal information such as my name, home address, school name or telephone number on the Internet. Also, I’ll never send a picture of myself to someone I chat with on the computer without my parent’s permission.

Kids, 13-years-old and up

  • I will try to eat two servings of fruit and two servings of vegetables every day, and I will drink sodas only on special occasions. 
  • I will take care of my body through physical activity and nutrition.
  • I will choose non-violent television shows and video games, and I will spend only one to two hours each day – at the most – on these activities.
  • I will help out in my community – through volunteering, working with community groups or by joining a group that helps people in need.
  • When I feel angry or stressed out, I will take a break and find constructive ways to deal with the stress, such as exercising, reading, writing in a journal or discussing my problem with a parent or friend.
  • When faced with a difficult decision, I will talk about my choices with an adult whom I can trust.
  • When I notice my friends are struggling or engaging in risky behaviors, I will talk with a trusted adult and attempt to find a way that I can help them.
  • I will be careful about whom I choose to date, and always treat the other person with respect and without coercion or violence. I will expect the same good behavior in return.
  • I will resist peer pressure to try drugs and alcohol.
  • I agree not to use a cell phone or text message while driving and to always use a seat belt.

 

Published 12/11/2012 12:00 AM by www.healthychildren.org

 

 


Chillin with Winter Safety
12-26-2012

It may be cold outside, but it’s just as important for children to get physical activity during the winter as it is during the warmer months. Physical activity should be a healthy part of your family’s routine throughout the year. And safety should always be a central part of your children’s recreational fun.

Fun in the Winter Sun

It’s true that many safety concerns are the same regardless of season. For example, parents still need to remember sunscreen. Even though it might seem odd, you can get sunburn in the winter. The sunlight reflects off snow and ice.

  • Choose a sunscreen made for children with a sun protection factor (SPF) of at least 15. (Check the label.) Apply the protection 15 to 30 minutes before going out. They need to be reapplied every one and a half to two hours, particularly if your child spends a lot of time outside. Consult the instructions on the bottle. 
  • You should also wear protective eyewear and an SPF lip balm.  

Safety in Layers

When thinking about outside activity, think about clothing, too. Layering is a good idea; so are moisture-wicking fabrics and clothing that’s geared to the sport. Keep in mind that regulating body temperature is more difficult in younger children (just as it is during warm weather), so hypothermia can occur more easily. For example, kids can sweat when they’re warm and, as they remove layers, that sweat can chill them quickly when it gets exposed to the cold air. 

Parents have to be really proactive and responsible about dressing children appropriately in layers, covering their heads and necks.

Watch out for fashion trends that could land you in the ER:

  • Long scarves and cords can get caught in sled blades.
  • Hoods can block peripheral vision.

Stay Alert

Injuries can happen anywhere, anytime. Be aware and use caution.

  • Children should always wear helmets while sledding, skiing, snowboarding, and playing ice hockey. 
  • Parents should also make sure that the hill your children are sledding down doesn’t empty onto a pond that might not be frozen solid. 
  • Don’t load up the sled with multiple riders; take turns. "Reckless play," or actively trying to crash into each other or knock people off, is obviously a setup for injury.   

Equipment Check

If you’re planning a skiing or snowboarding trip:

  • Have the equipment fitted by a professional.
  • A child in too-large boots can trip and fall.
  • A child in skis that aren’t the right size can fall, too.
  • Wrist fractures, commonplace in snowboarding, can be prevented by simply using wrist guards.

Safety is key in ice hockey or sports involving equipment. No one wants to buy new skates every year, but it may be necessary as your child grows.

Used equipment is fine, but check it out before you buy it:

  • Look at the laces.
  • Look for broken blades.
  • Make sure the leather on hockey and ice skates isn’t too broken down around the ankles.
  • If you need a mouth guard, wear one.

You have to check all equipment, new and old, to see that it fits. You need to check it to make sure it’s still safe or not broken. If it gets used a lot, it may not hold up. Make sure helmets and boots are sized correctly. Make sure the equipment is in good shape. If you’re concerned, ask a sales person at a ski shop.     

Skills Assessment

If it’s a new activity, work with your child to master the skill first. For example, play it safe by starting with a snowboarding lesson before you all hit the slopes.

It’s recommended, appropriate and safe, to start slow or on a more gentle slope. Practice with your equipment and gradually build up to a steeper slope or faster speed. Be patient and resist pressure to take on more than you’re ready for.

By taking a few precautions, you can make sure that your children get the healthy benefits ts of winter exercise without taking unnecessary risks.

Additional Resources

Provided by www.healthychildren.org

 

Last Updated 12/6/2012  :Source:  Adapted from Healthy Children Magazine, Winter 2008

 


AAP Offers Resources to Help Parents, Children and Others Cope in the
12-17-2012

The AAP has assembled a collection of resources to help parents, teachers, students, and schools cope with the aftermath of school shootings. Additional resources are provided on promoting mental health, school safety and violence prevention. Contact your pediatrician for more information.

For Parents/Teachers:

For Students:

For Schools:

Related AAP Policy Statements:

Published 12/14/2012 8:15 AM by www.healthychildren.org

 


Holiday Safety Tips
12-10-2012

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 when bent between your fingers, needles do not break. 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.
  • 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. 

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 and magnets. In addition to toys, button batteries are often found in musical greeting cards, remote controls, hearing aids and other small electronics. Keep them 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 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.
  • Traveling, visiting family members, getting presents, shopping, etc., can all increase your child'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.

 Provided by www.healthychildren.org

Published

11/20/2012 12:00 AM

 


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