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Archive for the ‘Children's Health’ Category

A couple of weeks ago my daughter, Lilah (5 ½ years old), was eating a cracker and told me her bottom tooth was hurting. I took a look and realized that she had her first loose tooth. Over the last couple of weeks I’ve noticed her playing with the tooth more and more. She’s had a difficult time eating things like corn on the cob so I have been cutting it off for her. When I picked Lilah up from school last night the tooth was moving all over the place. I cringed every time I saw it move, but she thought it was the greatest thing. I stepped out into the yard for a few minutes, and when I returned she told me she had pulled out her tooth, and that it “didn’t hurt but there was some blood.” EEWW!

Last night she eagerly placed her tooth in a baggy under her pillow and awaited the gift mom promised from the Tooth Fairy. This morning she ran down the stairs pleased as punch with a five dollar bill. I used the opportunity to reminder her about proper dental care. I explained that she needed to be extra careful to keep her mouth clean so that the new hole from her missing tooth would not get an infection. We have also been discussing that when she gets her new teeth they will have to last her a lifetime.

I’ve included some information below about the baby-to-adult teeth process. I hope this helps ease any fears you may have and equips you with information to prepare your child for this milestone.

When will my child’s baby teeth start falling out and which ones?
Alan Carr, D.M.D. a prosthodonist with the Mayo Clinic said, “A child’s baby teeth (primary teeth) begin to loosen and fall out on their own to make room for permanent teeth at about age 6. Timing can vary, though, and girls generally lose baby teeth earlier than do boys. The last baby teeth typically fall out by age 12 or 13.

Baby teeth usually fall out in the order in which they erupted — first the two bottom front teeth (lower central incisors), followed by the two top front teeth (upper central incisors), the lateral incisors, first molars, canines and second molars. If a child loses a baby tooth early as a result of tooth decay or an accident, a permanent tooth may erupt early and potentially come in crooked due to limited space.”

What if my child in nervous about the process and wants you to take it out?
If your child wants you to pull out a loose tooth, grasp it firmly with a tissue or piece of gauze and remove it with a quick twist. If the tooth is resistant, wait a few days and try again. If you’re concerned about a baby tooth that doesn’t seem to loosen sufficiently on its own, check with your child’s dentist. He or she may recommend a wait-and-see approach or an extraction in the dental office.

When your child starts to lose his or her baby teeth, reinforce the importance of proper dental care. For example:

  • Remind your child to brush his or her teeth at least twice a day. Supervise and help as needed.
  • Help your child floss his or her teeth at bedtime.
  • Limit eating and drinking between meals and at bedtime — especially sugary treats and drinks, such as candy and soda.
  • Schedule regular dental visits for your child, either with your family dentist or a pediatric dentist.
  • Ask the dentist about use of fluoride treatments and dental sealants to help prevent tooth decay.

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Le Top “Under Construction” Collection Wheel Loader Graphics Box Tee

This green short sleeve cotton tee is perfect for rough-and-tough play. Features ‘look-and-learn’ wheel loader graphics with boy-at-work style. Crafted with cozy cotton that is soft to the touch and made to last through multiple washes where colors stay true and bright. Gentle ribbed collar for easy dressing.

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Decisions, decisions.  Should you throw out your old sippy cups and bottles or are they okay to keep using with your young ones? I love all the new sippy cups – the colors the fun Disney designed ones, etc.  There’s a much better selection than one year ago, that’s for sure! My question is, do we need to make the switch to BPA free? Should I toss all our old sippy cups and buy new, BPA free ones at our house? It definitely depends who you ask. The FDA said last Tuesday, July 17, 2012  that baby bottles and children’s drinking cups could no longer contain bisphenol A, or BPA, an estrogen-mimicking industrial chemical used in some plastic bottles and food packaging.

We’ve long been warned of the potential hazards of BPA, which has estrogen-mimicking properties, so much so that manufacturers voluntarily stopped using it. Manufacturers have already stopped using the chemical in baby bottles and sippy cups, and the F.D.A. said that its decision was a response to a request by the American Chemistry Council, the chemical industry’s main trade association, that rules allowing BPA in those products be phased out, in part to boost consumer confidence.

BPA is often found in cans and plastics and other types of food packaging. BPA is also found in hundreds of other plastic items, ranging from water bottles to CDs to dental sealants. But the FDA has repeatedly stated that those findings cannot be applied to humans. The federal government is currently spending $30 million on its own studies assessing the chemical’s health effects on humans. SO, essentially the new prohibition does not apply more broadly to the use of BPA in other containers, said an F.D.A. spokesman, Steven Immergut. He said the decision did not amount to a reversal of the agency’s position on the chemical. The F.D.A. declared BPA safe in 2008, but began expressing concerns about possible health risks in 2010, and said there is “some concern” about the chemical’s impact on the brain and reproductive system of infants, babies and young children.

BPA has been used since the 1960s to make hard plastic bottles, cups for toddlers and the linings of food and beverage cans, including those that hold infant formula and soda. Until recently, it was used in baby bottles, but major manufacturers are now making bottles without it. Plastic items containing BPA are generally marked with a 7 on the bottom for recycling purposes.

Interestingly, the chemical can leach into food, and a study of over 2,000 people found that more than 90 percent of them had BPA in their urine. Traces have also been found in breast milk, the blood of pregnant women and umbilical cord blood. Some advocates also pointed out that the decision did not include BPA used in containers of baby formula.

Recent research has linked BPA to behavioral problems in human children. A study last October in Pediatrics found pregnant moms with the highest levels of in their urine were more likely to have daughters who were more aggressive, hyperactive, anxious or depressed. No behavioral effects tied to BPA exposure were seen in boys.

Though the plastics lobby clearly helped to ban BPA, understandably moms and other consumer groups who would not buy plastic products for their babies made life such hell for the plastic companies that the industry had to step in.

Have you gone BPA free and how? Are you using sippy cups or baby bottles that you’d recommend to other parents out there? I know many of you feel strongly about this – let us know your thoughts!

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Soda in a sippy cup? NOPE! But researchers say that when a baby’s bottle or cup is filled with juice — even the 100 percent, all-natural, no-sugar-added stuff — parents might as well be pouring Pepsi. Last night I was filling my nieces sippy bottles with “fresh cold” water as they like to call it (a.k.a. bottled cold water fresh out of the refrigerator)….was it a little over the top to pour super cold water in a bottle? Not really when I thought more about it.

Many people mistakenly believe that as long as you are drinking fruit juice, it’s healthy even though it’s sweet, but this is a dangerous misconception that is fueling the rising rates of weight gain, obesity, fatty liver disease, high blood pressure and Type 2 diabetes in the United States and other developed nations.

Consumption of sweetened beverages has been associated with the rise in childhood obesity. The USDA’s publication “Dietary Guidelines for Americans, 2010” estimates that obesity rate in children age 6 to 11 increased from 4 percent in the early 1970s to 20 percent in 2007 to 2008. Many factors have contributed to this disturbing statistic, including beverage intake. This reminds me of many children who drink juice over soda because parents might think its healthier, but isn’t it a lot of sugar? What happen to water? What’s really better – soda or juice?

Though healthy in moderation, juice essentially is water and sugar. In fact, a 12-ounce bottle of grape soda has 159 calories. The same amount of unsweetened grape juice packs 228 calories.

Quick Tips: Fruit Juice is NOT a Healthy Beverage

  • First off, most fruit drinks on the market should be more aptly named flavored sugar-water, because many contain next to no real juice.
  • If your fruit juice is actually labeled a “fruit drink,” “fruit beverage,” or “fruit cocktail,” it’s because it does not contain 100% juice.
  • In fact, according to the Discovery graphic, on average fruit drinks contain just 10% fruit juice!

Make Your Children Aware
As a parent, it’s important to talk to your kids not only about the health implications of drinking soda, but also those from drinking all sugary beverages such as fruit juice and fruit drinks.

  • Children’s exposure to TV ads for sugary drinks from Coca-Cola and Dr Pepper Snapple Group nearly doubled from 2008 to 2010.
  • MyCokeRewards.com was the most-visited sugary drink company website with 170,000 unique youth visitors per month (42,000 of whom were young children and 129,000 were teens); Capri Sun’s website was the second-most viewed site, attracting 35,000 young children and 35,000 teens per month.
  • Twenty-one sugary drink brands had YouTube channels in 2010 with more than 229 million views by June 2011, including 158 million views for the Red Bull channel alone.
  • Coca-Cola was the most popular of all brands on Facebook, with more than 30 million fans; Red Bull and Monster ranked 5th and 15th, with more than 20 million and 11 million fans, respectively.

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So What Should Your Child Drink? Kicking your kid’s soda habit starts at home.
Instead of soda or juice, offer your children water or low-fat or non-fat milk. As children age, their calcium requirements go up, not down, so your growing child should be drinking plenty of milk, too. To help your children cut back on sugary drinks, don’t stock them at home. This will help them understand that sodas are for special occasions, not a daily treat.

4 IMPORTANT FACTS ABOUT JUICE VS. SODA 

Caloric Intake
In terms of calories, soda and juice contain similar amounts. A 1-cup serving of cola contains 91 calories, whereas the same size serving of orange juice contains 122 calories. In terms of fighting childhood obesity, neither beverage offers a clear advantage. Combined with reduced physical activity, consumption of either beverage sets up the scenario for weight gain.

Nutrient Intake
Juice offers a clear nutritional advantage over soda. A 1-cup serving of cola contains virtually no vitamins and only trace amounts of calcium, iron or phosphorus. A 1-cup serving of orange juice, on the other hand, provides over 100 percent of the recommended daily allowance for vitamin C. It is also a good dietary source of potassium and vitamin A. Cola has 22 g of total sugar to orange juice’s 20 g. By consuming juice rather than soda, you have the satisfaction that you have chosen the healthier beverage.

Caffeine Content
One concern you may have with soda is its caffeine content. The actual amount varies with the type of soda. A cup of cola contains about 64 mg of caffeine. By contrast, coffee contains 60 to 150 mg. Consumption of caffeine can cause headaches and dizziness in some individuals. The risk also exists for caffeine toxicity. A study from University of Miami researchers, published in the March 2011 issue of “Pediatrics,” explains that high consumption of caffeine in children with existing health conditions such as diabetes or behavioral disorders can lead to adverse effects.

Obesity
Soft drink consumption has increased 300 percent from 1988 to 2008. A study from Wayne State University School of Nursing in Michigan, published in the February 2008 issue of the “Journal of the School of Nursing,” reports that between 56 to 85 percent of school-aged children consume at least one soft drink daily. The study also points out that for every soft drink consumed, the risk of obesity increases 1.6 times. Juice doesn’t fare much better. A study from the University of California, Davis, published in the November 2002 issue of the “American Journal of Clinical Nutrition,” found that fructose consumption was also associated with weight gain and insulin resistance, a precursor to diabetes. These findings suggest that consumption of all sugar-sweetened beverages should be limited in children.

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Ten percent of 2- to 5-year-olds and 20 percent of 6- to 11-year-olds qualify as obese, according to 2008 data on U.S. children from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Being aware of exercise guidelines for children can help you provide your child with the proper amount of physical activity to maintain a healthy weight, thereby preventing excess weight and multiple other potential health problems.

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Tonight I am cooking for my fiance’s 90-year-old grandmother (Mama) and her boyfriend Marvin who is 95-years-old! Mama happens to be diabetic and said she couldn’t eat anything really with a lot of sugar. My father is also diabetic and tends to avoid desserts, but how could I not have dessert after dinner? It made me think about families with kids who have diabetes and how it might be hard to do “homemade” desserts without buying something that is tasty for a diabetic child. So, on my last-minute quest today, I found this fabulous recipe that I am sure any child or family member would love. Enjoy!

Most children with diabetes have type 1 diabetes. Children with type 1 diabetes do not make enough insulin and must receive insulin injections to move sugar from the bloodstream into the cells to supply energy. To help manage blood sugar, children with diabetes should aim to eat the same amount of carbohydrates at each meal. Foods with carbohydrate include starch, fruit, milk and yogurt. Carbohydrate needs vary based on your child’s calorie needs and blood sugar goals.

APPLE DUMPLINGS

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 recipe Basic Pie Shell
  • 4 apples
  • 1 Tablespoon (15 mL) lemon juice
  • 3 Tablespoon (45 mL) granulated sugar replacement or granulated fructose
  • 1/4 teaspoon (2 mL) cinnamon
  • 4 teaspoon (20 mL) margarine
  • 1 egg white (slightly beaten)

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Roll out pie dough and cut into 4 equal pieces.
  2. Peel and core apples and sprinkle them with lemon.
  3. Place 1 apple in center of each piece of dough.
  4. Combine sugar replacement and cinnamon in a bowl, sprinkling evenly into cavity of apples.
  5. Top each apple with 1 teaspoon (5 mL) margarine.
  6. Bring opposite ends of dough up over apple.
  7. Moisten slightly with water; seal securely.
  8. Brush with beaten egg white and place in shallow baking pan.
  9. Bake at 425 F (220 C) for 35 to 45 minutes, or until pastry is golden brown.

NUTRITIONAL INFORMATION:
Serving Size: 1 dumpling
Yield: 4 dumplings
Exchanges: 2 bread, 1 fruit, 2 1/2 fat
Nutrition: 221 calories

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My father is Chinese and has always been a fan of acupuncture and its eastern methods of relieving certain ailments or pain and focusing on your “qi” (pronounced chee). So I am not sure how I missed this article before Thanksgiving, but after reviewing 60 years of research, the American Academy of Pediatrics has given acupuncture the green light, reporting that the practice is “generally safe for children when performed by appropriately trained practitioners.” Would you consider it, if your child were ill and not responding to conventional medical treatment? A surprising number of parents have. Large studies in the past have generally focused on acupuncture in adults…is this how adults used to rave about yoga 15 years ago and now there are toddler yoga classes? Will child acupuncture be all the rave in 10 years? Maybe…

The report looked for evidence of side effects from 37 studies of needle acupuncture on children from birth to age 17. The researchers found 279 adverse events from acupuncture, 253 of which were mild, 1 that was moderate, and 25 considered serious. In the findings, 1,422 children were successfully treated with few exceptions of mild adverse effects dominating the reports.

The take-home message is that it is absolutely safe in both the adult and pediatric world, but you have to go to somebody who is trained. Acupuncture is sometimes used to treat headaches, migraines, back and joint pains, cramps, and chemotherapy-induced nausea. Estimates show 150,000 U.S. children undergo acupuncture each year.

Acupuncture is a treatment that is said to have originated in China thousands of years ago. In Eastern medicine, acupuncture is believed to open the channels where a person’s Qi (pronounced chee), or life force, is blocked. In Western medicine, it’s more commonly believed that acupuncture works by stimulating the release of the body’s natural painkillers, according to the U.S. National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine.

The main concern I have is how do you know if you have an acupuncturist who is properly trained, or even has the experience to work with children? What would you do?

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With the holidays here – your kids are probably eating cake, sugar cookies, cupcakes, and tons of candy (as we all like to do as kids)…and it can be tough as a parent to get your children to actually want to eat healthy when they eat more junk food during the holidays. Letting kids eat unhealthy food increases the chances they will become overweight and eat a poor diet as adults. Kids who eat a healthy diet are more likely to get enough nutrients, have more energy, build strong bones and muscles and maintain a healthy weight. Parents can encourage their children to make healthy eating choices by providing lots of healthy options, being patient and setting a good example.

Here are some tips on how to get your kiddo to eat healthy and persuade your little one not be such a picky eater!

1.  Make a schedule. Children need to eat every three to four hours: three meals, two snacks, and lots of fluids. If you plan for these, your child’s diet will be much more balanced and he’ll be less cranky, because he won’t be famished. Put a cooler in the car when you are out with your kids and keep it stocked with carrots, pretzels, yogurt, and water so we don’t have to rely on fast food.

2.  Plan dinners. If thinking about a weekly menu is too daunting, start with two or three days at a time. A good dinner doesn’t have to be fancy, but it should be balanced: whole-grain bread, rice, or pasta; a fruit or a vegetable; and a protein source like lean meat, cheese, or beans.

3.  Don’t become a short-order cook. Don’t get into the bad habit of preparing a meal for your kids and one for you and your partner. It can be exhausting. Prepare one meal for everybody and serve it family-style so the kids can pick and choose what they want. Children often mimic their parents’ behavior, so one of these days, they’ll eat most of the food you serve them.

4.  Introduce new foods slowly. Children are new-food-phobic by nature.

5.  Dip it. If your kids won’t eat vegetables, experiment with dips. One example is when your child tries your first veggie such as a carrot, dip it in ranch dressing or even hummus, salsa or some sort of yogurt-based dressing.

6.  Make mornings count. Most families don’t eat enough fiber on a daily basis, and breakfast is an easy place to sneak it in. Make up batches of whole-grain pancake and waffle batter that last all week. For a batch that serves five, sift together 2 cups whole-wheat pastry flour, 4 tsp. baking powder, 1/2 tsp. salt, and 2 Tbs. sugar. When you’re ready to cook, mix in 2 Tbs. ground flax meal, 2 cups water, 3 Tbs. canola oil, 1/4 tsp. vanilla, and 2 Tbs. applesauce.

7.  Get kids cooking. If your children become involved in choosing or preparing meals, they’ll be more interested in eating what they’ve created. Take them to the store, and let them choose produce for you. If they’re old enough, allow them to cut up vegetables and mix them into a salad.

8.  Cut back on junk. Remember, you — not your kids — are in charge of the foods that enter the house. By having fewer junk foods around, you’ll force your children to eat more fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and dairy products.

9.  Allow treats. Having less healthy foods occasionally keeps them from becoming forbidden — and thus even more appealing. Even treat them to McDonald’s for lunch every so often.

10.  Have fun. The more creative the meal is, the greater the variety of foods my kids eat. We make smiley-face pancakes and give foods silly names. (Broccoli florets are “baby trees” or “dinosaur food.”) Anything mini is always a hit too. I often use cookie cutters to turn toast into hearts and stars, which the children love.

11.  Be a role model. If you’re constantly on a diet or have erratic eating habits, your children will grow up thinking that this sort of behavior is normal. Be honest with yourself about the kinds of food messages you’re sending. Trust your body to tell you when you’re hungry and when you’re full, and your kids will learn to do the same.

12.  Adjust your attitude. Realize that what your kids eat over time is what matters. Having popcorn at the movies or eating an ice-cream sundae are some of life’s real pleasures. As long as you balance these times with smart food choices and physical activity, your children will be fine.

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