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 “Fire Resistant” on the label. (click for more tips)
- LIGHTS: Turn off all lights when you go to bed or leave the house. The lights could short out and start a fire. (click for more tips)
- DECORATIONS: Use only non-combustible or flame-resistant materials to trim a tree. Choose tinsel or artificial icicles of plastic or nonleaded metals. (click for more tips)
- TOY SAFETY: Remove tags, strings, and ribbons from toys before giving them to young children. (click for more tips)
- FOOD SAFETY: Never put a spoon used to taste food back into food without washing it. (click for more tips)
- 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. (click for more tips)
- FIREPLACES: Do not burn gift wrap paper in the fireplace. A flash fire may result as wrappings ignite suddenly and burn intensely. (click for more tips)
- HOLIDAY MENTAL HEALTH TIPS: Try to keep household routines the same. Stick to your child’s usual sleep and mealtime schedules when you can, which may reduce stress and help your family enjoy the holidays. (click for more tips)
- The flu vaccine is essential for children.
- Now is the time to get vaccinated.
- This year’s flu vaccine is only available as a shot.
- It doesn’t matter which form of the vaccine you get.
- You can’t get the flu from the flu vaccine
Learn more about the 2016-2017 flu vaccine by clicking the link above!
Children younger than five, but especially children younger than 2 years old, and children and adolescents with chronic health conditions are at greater risk for serious flu complications. These flu complications can result in hospital stays and even death. The best way to prevent the flu is by getting a flu vaccine each year.
- How do I know if my child is at greater risk for flu-related complications?
- What are symptoms of the flu?
- What is a flu complication?
- How can I protect my self against the flu?
- What can I do if my child gets sick?
- When can my child go back to school after being sick?
- Is the flu vaccine safe for my child with chronic health problems?
- What types of vaccine should my child receive and how many doses?
- How can I plan ahead?
Follow the link for answers to these questions and other important information!
Parents and child care providers can help prevent and slow the spread of the flu. Flu infections are highly contagious and spread easily when children are in a group with other children such as in a child care center or family child care home.
Flu is more dangerous than the common cold for children and can lead to serious health conditions like pneumonia or bacterial infections. Each year many children are hospitalized and some die from the flu.
The link above provides beneficial information and a variety of resources to help you keep your child safe during flu season.
Why is singing with your little one so important? Listening to music and singing together is a great way to have fun, bond, and help your child learn! Like talking and reading, singing supports your child’s language development. Music introduces children to new words, sound patterns, and much more! These skills help build the necessary foundation for learning how to read.
See the link above to learn more about the power of music and how you can use music of all kinds to help enhance your child’s early development!
Addiction is defined as a chronic disease of the brain that forces the person to seek out a fix for their cravings (be it drugs, alcohol, or any other substance), despite realizing that it can be harmful. Usually, the first use is the person’s free choice, however, after repeated use the brain undergoes chemical changes which then force the person to use the drug over and over again, and in most cases in a higher quantity and/or potency.
Although using drugs at any age leads to addiction, researchers confirm that substance abuse at an early age can result in more serious, hard to reverse issues. Since the brain is still developing, the drugs have more powerful and more harmful effects. There are several other factors such as method of use, type, and quality of the drug, drug abuse history in the family etc., that determine how quickly and how badly a person can get addicted, however, age is one of the key factors and remains a strong indicator of problems ahead.
The link above will provide you with helpful information such as…how to approach your child if you believe he or she is abusing drugs/alcohol, where to seek help, and steps you can take to help prevent addiction!
Like most aspects of development, there is a wide variation among children when it comes to acting out aggressively. Children who are intense and “big reactors” tend to have a more difficult time managing their emotions than children who are by nature more easygoing. Big reactors rely more heavily on using their actions to communicate their strong feelings.
As parents, one of your most important jobs is to help your toddler understand and communicate her feelings in acceptable, nonaggressive ways. This is no small task. It requires a lot of time and patience. But with your support and guidance, your child will learn to manage her strong emotions and reactions over the next months and years.
Follow the link above to learn more about how you can help your child better manage his emotions and express his behaviors in a healthy way!
When you see challenging behavior, it usually means that your child can’t figure out how to express her feelings in an acceptable way or doesn’t know how to get a need met. What helps your child learn is when your response shows her a different, more constructive way to handle these feelings.
Learning to cope with strong feelings usually happens naturally as children develop better language skills in their third year and have more experience with peers, handling disappointment, and following rules. Although children won’t completely master self-control until they are a bit older, there are several ways you can help him begin learning this important skill early on.
Click the link above to find out a few great tips on helping your child practice self-control and manage her emotions! Learning these skills early in life can be greatly beneficial down the road.
Many children are uneasy or cautious in new situations or with unfamiliar people. As babies, they didn’t like being held by just anyone; they wanted to be cuddled by only a few special, trusted people. As toddlers, they stay on the “sidelines” for a while, watching what others are doing until they feel comfortable enough to join in. They may have a difficult time with changes like a new child care provider, and protest when a relative they don’t see often offers a big hug.
Follow the link above to find out how you can help your child learn to cope with new people and new situations!
It is a toddler’s job to be oppositional. This is the period in your child’s development when she begins to understand that she is separate from you and can exert some control over her world. One powerful way she can do this is by defying you.
The link above provides helpful information such as…
- What type of defiant behavior to expect from birth to three years
- How to respond to defiance and oppositional behavior
- And when to seek professional help (should your child’s defiant behavior interfere with his daily functions)
Recent studies show that using e-cigarettes, also known as vaporizers or just e-cigs, is many times safer than smoking. Unlike chewing a gum or slamming a patch on your arm, it offers pretty much the same sensation as smoking a real cigarette, it can come in handy for harm-reduction. However, those who don’t smoke or underage children need to stay away from vaporizers.
Smoking among teens has been a huge concern over many years. According to federal statistics, approximately 90% of smokers try their first cigarette by 18. During the past few years, vaping among teens has also surfaced as a major concern.
According to National Youth Tobacco Survey in the United States, published by the CDC every year, vaping is becoming quickly popular among high school students, which definitely is a bad news. So, what’s the good news?
If you are a parent who uses e-cigs, check out the link above for some valuable tips and information to help you keep your child safe and healthy!
How can I help my child learn to read?
Reading books aloud is one of the best ways you can help your child learn to read. The more excitement you show when you read a book, the more your child will enjoy it. The most important thing to remember is to let your child set her own pace and have fun at whatever she is doing.
Listening to your child read aloud
Once your child begins to read, have him read out loud. This can help build your child’s confidence in his ability to read and help him enjoy learning new skills. Make sure you give your child lots of praise! The praise and support you give your child as he learns to read will help him enjoy reading and learning even more.
Learning to read in school
Encouraging a child’s love of learning will go a long way to ensuring success in school. Most children learn to read without any major problems, but pushing a child to learn before she is ready can make learning to read frustrating. Reading together and playing games with books makes reading fun.
– Follow the link to learn a few tips that will benefit your child as he or she learns to read!
Even toddlers can enjoy books and learn from sharing books with you. Sharing books with your children can help them learn to talk better and get them ready to listen and learn in school.
By simply sharing books and stories with your children early on, you greatly increase their likelihood of academic success, as well as success into adulthood. Click the link to discover several ways that you share books with your young child and help increase his or her literacy skills.
Summer is a great time for kids to enjoy different indoor and outdoor activities. Whether they are young children or teens, learn ways to keep your kids safe and healthy while they enjoy the summer fun.
- Master water safety
- Beat the heat and sun
- Keep mosquitos and ticks from bugging you this summer
- Prevent injuries
- Stop the violence
For more on these summer safety tips, follow the link above!
Provided by – CDC (Centers for Disease Control)
As a parent, helping your young toddler navigate the tide of strong emotions she is experiencing this is a big job. The emotional lives of 2-year-olds are complex. This year they are beginning to experience feelings like pride, shame, guilt, and embarrassment for the first time. Your toddler will really need your loving guidance to figure out how to cope with his emotions as he begins to learn to manage these new strong feelings.
Follow the link to learn more about what you can do to help your child navigate through “toddlerhood” and sort through his/her newfound behaviors and emotions!
Feeding is one of a parent’s most important jobs. It is how we help our children grow healthy and strong. But mealtimes are about much more than food. Meal and snack times give you a chance to help your baby or toddler:
- Learn healthy eating habits
- Feel important and loved
- Feel understood and respected
- Trust that others will care for her
- Feel good about her body
For more health and nutrition tips, follow the link above!
Day after amazing day, all the fun-filled things they do and discover are the very things that help children learn. And all the things you do for them? Part of giving your child the best possible start. This age-by-age playtime guide helps parents understand what toys are best for their child from ages 1 month all the way through 5+ years of age. This guide leads parents through the physical, cognitive & social/emotional development of their child at each age so they can have a better understanding of age-appropriate toys.
Follow the link to learn more about toys and play tips for your child!
In a world where children are “growing up digital,” it’s important to help them learn healthy concepts of digital use and citizenship. Parents play an important role in teaching these skills. Here are a few tips from the AAP (American Academy of Pediatrics) to help parents manage the digital landscape they’re exploring with their children.
- Treat media as you would any other environment in your child’s life
- Set limits & encourage playtime
- Families who play together, learn together
- Be a good role model
- Know the value of face-to-face communication
- Create tech-free zones
For more information on these tips and for other helpful tips on how you can help your child understand the healthy use of technology- follow the link above!
As a parent or caregiver, developing a positive, healthy relationship with your child can help your little one bounce back from and cope with difficult circumstances. This process, known as resilience, refers to the protective skills and supportive environments that help children cope and succeed in the face of difficult circumstances.
Stable and nurturing relationships with parents and caregivers help provide a buffer against stressful childhood experiences and can help children build skills that are keys not just to coping, but to thriving despite big challenges!
Click the link above for a few tips on how you can build resilience by bonding with your child!
Understanding shapes is one of the early math concepts that children develop from birth to age five by exploring as they play and observe the world around them. Young children benefit from exploring shapes using their senses.
Whether you’re at home, outside or at the grocery store, simply describe the shape and position of objects as you go about your day together!
Click the link above to find out tips on “everyday fun with shapes”—including parent-child activities for each developmental stage. (Provided by TOO SMALL TO FAIL)
Starting from birth, babies begin to develop spatial awareness as they observe and interact with the world around them. Spatial awareness is the child’s ability to notice and understand spatial relations—which is the position of objects and people in relation to other things.
You can help your child develop spatial awareness by using language that describes how objects fit and move in relation to one another. By describing the shape, size, and position of objects as your child plays, you help him learn these important concepts.
Follow the link above to discover tips on “everyday fun with spatial awareness”—including parent-child activities for each developmental stage. (Provided by TOO SMALL TO FAIL)
Throughout the first five years of your child’s life, he or she learns about counting in a number of ways. Research has shown that having a strong foundation in early math can lead to higher achievement in both math and reading later in school.
It’s fun and easy to help your child learn about counting as you talk, play and explore together. When you count objects with your child, describe the amount of things, and use counting to solve number problems in daily routines. This will help your child learn important early math skills.
The link above provides information on “everyday fun with counting”—including parent-child activities for each developmental stage. (Provided by TOO SMALL TO FAIL)
Influenza (“the flu”) is more dangerous than the common cold for children. Each year, many children get sick with seasonal influenza; some of those illnesses result in death.
- Severe influenza complications are most common in children younger than 2 years old.
- Children with chronic health problems like asthma, diabetes and disorders of the brain or nervous system are at especially high risk of developing serious flu complications.
- Each year an average of 20,000 children under the age of 5 are hospitalized because of influenza complications.
The single best way to protect your children from the flu is to get them vaccinated each year.
The link above leads to a helpful flu guide created specifically for parents- provided by the CDC (Centers for Disease Control)!
If you’re concerned about your child’s development, don’t wait. Acting early can make a big difference.
- Talk with your child’s doctor
- Use a milestone’s checklist
- Ask about developmental screening
Follow the link above to learn more about how to “act early”!
Play has an important role in the growth and development of children of all abilities, but it is particularly valuable for children with special needs. Through play, children with special needs develop cognitive, motor, and social skills in a fun and engaging way.
The link above provides information on toys that can help children with developmental delays or disabilities expand and develop their skills.
The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) encourages parents, teachers, child care providers, and others who work closely with children to filter information about the crisis and present it in a way that their child can accommodate, adjust to, and cope with.
Parents who have a child with a developmental delay or disability should gear their responses to their child’s developmental level or abilities, rather than their physical, age.
No matter what age or developmental stage the child is, parents can start by asking a child what they’ve already heard. Learn more on how to talk to your child about tragedies by clicking the link above!
To choose appropriate holiday gifts for young children, it is best to consider not only their age and developmental stage, but also their play habits. Oftentimes, children of the same age might develop at different rates- so a toy for one child may not be appropriate for another. As well, it is important to consider the type of toys you you give to a child. The more a toy requires a child to interact, the more that child will gain from that toy developmentally.
To learn more about developmentally-appropriate holiday gifts, follow the link above!
The Consumer Product Safety Commission sets certain safety regulations for children’s toys and other children’s products. However, toys can present serious risks to children if they are not age-appropriate (or appropriate for a child’s skill and ability level) or if the toys are used incorrectly. The best way to keep children safe from toy-related injuries is through careful toy selection and proper supervision.
Find out more about toy safety and learn about the risks of unsafe toys in the link above!
Your child’s growth can be measured in more than just height and weight – the way he or she behaves, talks, plays and interacts with others can provide important clues about his or her cognitive development. With careful surveillance, early assessment and intervention, and the help of your pediatrician, you can help your child grow to reach his or her full developmental potential.
- What are “developmental milestones”?
- What if my child is not meeting milestones appropriately?
- What is the role of my pediatrician?
- What is my role as a parent?
Follow the link above to learn more about developmental milestones and find answers to the preceding questions.
- Create opportunities for success and avoid frustration when possible
- Build your child’s confidence
- Say what you mean
- Model what you want your child to do
- Prepare your child for new situations
- Promote your child’s self-advocacy
Follow the link above to learn more about how you can help your child succeed!
Although the holidays are typically filled with joy and laughter, they are often accompanied by stress. For parents who have children with developmental delays or disabilities, they not only have to worry about their own stress–but also the anxieties of their child. The holiday season throws changes into everyday routines and creates unusual atmospheres. This can cause stress for any given individual, but for a child with a developmental delay or disability, it can make things particularly stressful.
The link above provides a few tips for parents with special needs children to help reduce stress during this time of year!