Bathroom Safety

baby in bath towel

Bath time is a fun and playful time for your child or toddler, but it is important to keep their safety in mind. The bathroom has many unsafe substances and surfaces that can be harmful to your little one. The easiest way to prevent injuries is to make the bathroom inaccessible to them without adult supervision, which can be done by using a child lock. However, even while under adult supervision, you should take the necessary precautions to avoid injuries from happening to your child.

Bathroom Safety Tips

  • Your child should be under adult supervision at all times while in the bathroom. If you must leave the bathroom for any reason, always take your child with you. Children can drown in only a few inches of water and bath seats and rings will not prevent drowning. Make sure you gather all the bath time necessities such as towels, shampoo, soap, rubber duckies, etc., before starting the bath to avoid having to leave the room. Also, never leave water in the bathtub when it is not in use.
  • Slips and falls can easily happen in a bathroom. To prevent this, you can install no-slip strips on the bottom of the bathtub. You can also put a soft cover on the water faucet so that your child does not hurt their head if they bump into it. Curious children may be fascinated by the toilet and want to play in it. Not only is this unsanitary, but your child could slip and fall into it which makes this also a drowning hazard. To avoid this from happening, you can install a toilet lid lock.
  • Make sure your water temperature is not set over 120°F to prevent scalding. Always test the water temperature before putting your child in the tub. It is also important to teach your child to turn the cold water on first when they are old enough to use the faucets alone.
  • Medicines should also have child-resistant caps to prevent your child from opening the bottles. However, just because a medicine bottle has a child-resistant cap doesn’t mean it is childproof. Make sure medicine and toiletries are always locked away and out of reach of children when they are not in use.
  • Just like medicine and toiletries, electrical appliances used in a bathroom, such as hair dryers and razors, should also be locked away and out of reach of children. If they are not in use, be sure to unplug them and put them away properly. To avoid electric injury resulting from electrical items falling in a sink or tub, it’s better to use electrical items in a room where there is no water.

Source:   Healthy Children

Grandparent Daycare

grandparents holding their grandchildren

Becoming a grandparent is one of the most rewarding and fun parts of growing older. The innocence and sense of wonder that your grandchildren possess can make you feel young again. Being a grandparent is exciting, but it’s also a responsibility that should not be taken lightly. If you are in charge of watching your grandchildren while their parents are away, here are some tips to keep the little ones safe and sound.

Child Care Tips for Grandparents

  • You are more than just their babysitter. Grandparents can play an important role in any child’s life. Your knowledge, values, and stories can impact their lives and play a crucial role in their learning process. Your teachings can follow them to adulthood and influence who they become.
  • If you assist in dropping off or picking up your grandchildren from a childcare center or babysitter, there are a couple things you should do. First, make sure that you introduce yourself and provide the babysitter or childcare center with your contact information should an issue or emergency occur. Next, while you are there you should determine the quality of the facility and make sure it is up to your and your grandchildren’s parents’ standards. Lastly, make sure the child is properly buckled and in the appropriate car seat at all times.
  • Learn about new medical discoveries through your children, your grandchildren’s pediatrician, and other credible sources. Medicine and childcare are constantly evolving, and it is important to know the latest childcare and medical practices. What may have been the best method when you were raising your own children may not be the best practice now.
  • Make sure that your medications are out of reach and properly secure so that your grandchildren can’t get to them. It’s easy to forget to put something away that is part of your daily routine, so making the conscious effort to properly store potentially dangerous medicines, cleaners, etc., is a wise choice. Children are curious and will get into anything and everything.

Source:  Healthy Children

Daycare Drop-Off Tips

baby playing with toys at daycare

Dropping off your child at daycare can be challenging for everyone involved. You and your child may experience separation anxiety and that is normal, but it is important to find ways to overcome that anxiety. Here are some tips to make it easier for the both of you each morning.

Early Infancy

The truth is, at this stage daycare drop off is probably going to be harder on the parent than the baby. Usually, the infant can be anywhere from 0 to 7 months old and needs to be cared for and comforted, but it’s unlikely the baby will experience separation anxiety. The infant should transition quite easily to a daycare employee but the parent may be the one experiencing separation anxiety. Over time, you will find you become more comfortable with it.

Seven to Twelve Months

During this stage, your baby is anywhere from 7- to 12-months old. At this age it is normal for your baby to be weary of getting handed off to a stranger. Between the new environment and the new people, your baby may become reluctant to leave your arms. It is recommended that you do not begin childcare at this age when possible, but if you have to, slowly transition into it. To help the transition process, try creating a goodbye routine and keep it consistent from day to day.

One to Two Years Old

This age range is when your child is going to have the most difficulty being dropped off at daycare. Their separation anxiety peaks between the ages of one and two and they may kick and scream to prevent you from leaving. The toddler often thinks you will not return and will become upset when you walk away. It is important to reassure them that you will be back to get them and that everything is going to be okay. While you want to comfort them, it is important to stay firm when doing so. Once you leave the room, don’t come back in if they begin to cry.

Not every child is the same and some may experience separation anxiety at different ages. No matter their age, it is important to stay consistent and be specific, keep your promises and create short, fun goodbye routines.

Source: Healthy Children

Flu Dangers to Healthy Children

Infant Immunizations

Each year, healthy kids die from flu-related complications. Many of these deaths are preventable by vaccine, and the statistics attributed with flu deaths are staggering. The flu season of 2017-2018 was one of the worst in recent memory with 181 children falling victim to the virus. This is a dramatic increase from 94 children in 2015-2016.

The official cutoff date for flu season reporting is during the week ending the 29th of September, and already, a child has passed away in 2018. We don’t share this to scare you, but to encourage you to have your child vaccinated with the flu vaccine every year.

In 2013, it was reported that 43% of the children who died from flu-related complications between October 2004-September 2012 were otherwise healthy and did not suffer from chronic, high-risk conditions such as asthma, diabetes, certain types of cancer, congenital heart defects or neurological disorders such as cerebral palsy or epilepsy. Each of these conditions pose a higher risk of flu-related fatality.

Flu Prevention

If your child is 6 months of age or older, please talk to your pediatrician about the vaccine. You could be saving your child’s life, or the life of another by stopping the spread of disease. Be sure to wash hands with soap and water regularly throughout the day and keep kids home from school who have a fever.

Sources:

Flu View

Weekly U.S. Influenza Surveillance Report

USA Today: Even healthy kids can die from flu complications

Dry Winter Skin

Dry Winter Skin

Whether your child suffers from eczema or just seasonally dry skin, it’s important to take his skincare seriously, as uncomfortably dry skin can have an effect on his mood and ability to focus in school. Low moisture in winter air combined with dry air in heated homes are the culprits to pesky dry winter skin. Here are some tips recommended by the American Association of Pediatrics on how to deal with your child’s dry winter skin:

Drink lots of water
The first line of defense in protecting your children from dry winter skin is encouraging them to drink more water. This may be easier in summer months when they are hot and thirsty, but drinking lots of water hydrates their skin from the inside out.

Only bathe your child three times a week
Being exposed to long, warm baths may make your child feel nice during chilly winter months. However, these baths are actually robbing your child’s skin of moisture and contributing to the problem. They should only bathe three times a week to help mitigate a loss of hydration.

No bubble bath with fragrance
When your child does take a bath, use gentle cleaners that are formulated especially for sensitive skin without fragrance. These chemicals cause skin to dry up, no matter what the packaging might suggest.

Pat dry
After bathing, do not rub your child’s skin down with a towel. Instead, pat them down gently. Rubbing wet skin can irritate it and dry it out further.

Apply moisturizer right away
While your child is still damp and in the bathroom which still has moisture in the air, apply moisturizer. Children may need to get used to moisturizing twice per day if their dry skin persists.

Development of Sports Skills

Watching our babies grow, it’s easy to fantasize about what they will be when they get older. If we are athletes or athletic, there is a natural tendency to want to get our children involved in sports as well. There are many benefits to being active, however, the age at which we start should be considered.

When our babies and toddlers are rolling around the house and gripping and pulling and jumping around, that is the type of “sports” that they should be doing. Organized sports or training, when they are too young, is not recommended by most pediatricians or The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) Council on Sports Medicine and Fitness. And they know something about the benefits and dangers of getting young children involved in sports too soon.

If your hopes and dreams entail you watching them spike a volleyball, score on a soccer field or run a football into the end zone, you are not alone. But if it is pulling at you so hard that you have purchased equipment and are encouraging them to play while they are still in the crib, you’re jumping ahead a little.

During these early stages of life, they should be focused on activities that increase their motor skills, movement, curiosity and just having fun being active. Their love for your sport can very well come in time, and if they are not bombarded with it early on, they may naturally find their passion for it on their own. In the meantime, as they get older and are able to join teams, expose them to all types of sports and games to give them some well-rounded opportunities and see where they naturally progress.

Being practical for a moment, everything that a baby touches goes into their mouths. Little baby footballs, baseball gloves, and running shoes may be cute, but their effectiveness as sports equipment is lost when they become just another baby chew toy.

No matter what, have fun with your child during all their stages of growth and never take sports more seriously than your connection to your child.

Early Signs of Autism

Autism

There are certain milestones that children typically hit which are a good indicator that things are going as they should be. How a child responds to a parent or caretaker increases as they grow from an infant to a toddler and beyond. As a parent, you have instincts and a pretty clear understanding of your child’s habits and abilities, so when something feels off, it’s time to do a little investigating.

Checking off the milestone list of what your child should be able to do by certain ages is a great way to see if there is any discrepancy in what most children are able to do at their age.  There are exceptions – for example, in multi-lingual homes it’s not unusual for a child’s speech to be slightly delayed because they are processing more than one language at a time. When that’s not the case, or when other indicators suggest there could be an issue, staying calm and getting informed is your best plan of action.

As difficult as it is to even suspect that your child could be autistic, it is best to be honest about their abilities and habits, and to discuss any changes in their behavior with your pediatrician. But how do you know if there is really something wrong as opposed to a natural delay in their growth? Here are some indicators that may be cause for concern:

Children with Autism have a difficult time:

  • Showing empathy
  • Engaging with others
  • Communicating with people, including parents and siblings
  • Making friends or playing with others
  • Maintaining eye contact
  • Pointing out things or acknowledging things being pointed out to them
  • Responding to facial expressions, such as returning a smile

Children with autism also tend to take comfort in routines and repetition, for example, they may like to rock or sway their bodies, flap their hands, or walk on their toes. They also prefer to keep the same routine throughout their day and a disruption in it can make them physically and emotionally agitated.

If your child is diagnosed with autism, you are not alone and you will get through this. Work closely with your doctor to gather information, resources, and find out about available therapy and treatments. This is the time to lean on your family and close friends for support to adjust to your family’s new needs and impending challenges. Together you will get through it, and with the help of support groups and charities, you will see that you are far from alone.

Can Infant Sleep Machines Hurt Babies’ Ears?

Can_ Infant_ Sleep_ Machines_ Hurt_ Babies’_ Ears?_Childrens_Medical_Group_Poughkeepsie_Pediatrics

Can Infant Sleep Machines Hurt Babies’ Ears?

​Infant “sleep machines” (ISMs) are used to produce noise to mask other sounds in busy or loud households. The intended goal is to soothe an infant during sleep. The consistent use of these devices, however, present concerns about potential hearing loss and one Pediatrics study, Infant Sleep Machines and Hazardous Sound Pressure Levels, explored these concerns.

14 different infant sleep machines and the maximum noise level of 65 decibels were considered at three separate distances:

  • 30 centimeters (to simulate placement on a crib rail)
  • 100 centimeters (simulating placement near a crib)
  • 200 centimeters (to simulate placement across the room)

The current recommended noise limit for babies in hospital nurseries is 50 dBA and all 14 machines exceeded that level. All but 1 of the 14 exceeded the recommended noise limit even when placed 200 centimeters (or 6.6 feet) away. The findings from this study also revealed that regular exposure to white noise through an infant sleep machine may be damaging to infant hearing and auditory development.

The authors encourage further study and suggest parents and guardians lower the volume and keep the infant sleep machines farther away than 200 centimeters.

Tips for Buying a Safe Stroller

Tips_ for_ Buying_ a_ Safe_ Stroller_Childrens_Medical_Group_Poughkeepsie_Pediatrics

Tips for Buying a Safe Stroller

The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) has recently approved new federal mandatory safety standards for strollers and carriages, and these new standards took effect late last year. The CPSC received almost 1,300 incident reports that related to strollers or carriages between 2008 and 2013. Four of those reports involved a fatality. The new CPSC standards addressed the following issues: broken wheels, stroller head entrapment, locking mechanism problems, parking brake failures, restraint breakage or detachment, child unbuckling the restraint, and hinge issues (amputations and pinching).

Follow these safety guidelines for strollers:

  1. Choose a stroller that has a wide base. You don’t want it to tip over.
  2. Your stroller should have a seat belt and a harness. Make sure you use the seat belt and harness each time your child goes for a ride in his/her stroller. For infants, you can use rolled-up baby blankets as bumpers that you place on either side of the seat.
  3. Whenever you use bumpers in your stroller (or if you’re stringing toys across it) make certain you fasten them securely so there is no chance they’ll fall on top of your baby. Remove toys as soon as your infant can sit or get on all fours.
  4. Your stroller should have brakes that are easy to operate.Be certain to use the brake every time you stop. Also be certain that your child can’t reach the brake release lever. A brake that locks two wheels provides an extra level of safety.
  5. Avoid having items from the handles of your stroller. This can make strollers tip backward. If your stroller has a basket that is made for carrying things, make certain it is placed low and towards the rear wheels.
  6. Children’s fingers can become caught in the hinges that fold the stroller. Be sure you keep your child at a safe distance whenever you open or close your stroller. Always make certain that the stroller is securely locked open before placing your child in it.
  7. Never leave your child unattended in a stroller.

  8. If you purchased a side-by-side twin stroller, be certain that the footrest extends all the way across both sitting areas. Be mindful that a child’s foot can become trapped between separate footrests.
  9. There are also strollers that allow an older child to sit or stand in the rear.It’s important to always be mindful of the weight guidelines and to be extremely careful that the child in the back isn’t tipping the stroller.