Big Kid Kids Health

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    Kids who wander into a patch of poison ivy can pay dearly for this mistake ... only if you're a parent keen to ease your child's suffering, never fear -- there's plenty you can do. Follow these guidelines to get the details on how to treat poison ivy on kids, from how to I.D. the rash to ways to alleviate the itch.

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    In the eyes of many natural moms, commercial bug spray presents more dangers to their kids than the insects they repel. And they have some reason to worry -- studies have shown that pesticides like DEET can cause a host of problems in children. So what's a holistic-minded mom to do, short of letting her kids get bitten to death? One option is you can make your own bug spray at home. As is the case with all-natural remedies, it's best to consult your doctor before trying them, and test for allergies on a small area of skin first. But since the ingredients are all-natural, the odds of an adverse reaction are slim. Here we highlight five all-natural recipes from holistic bloggers and explain what makes them effective.

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    Mosquito bites suck, literally. No child gets through summer without getting bit, a lot. And since kids rarely possess the self control to not scratch 'til they bleed, it's imperative that parents know the best way to treat mosquito bites so they can minimize their little one's discomfort. Here are the steps to take:

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    Like many overprotective moms, I slather my kid in sunscreen all summer. The irony? According to the Environmental Working Group, many store-bought sunscreens contain potentially dangerous ingredients, from allergens to toxic chemicals. In an effort to shield their kids from these health threats, a growing number of holistic moms are swapping recipes on how to make your own natural sunscreen at home.

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    For kids, summer comes with the added risk of injury, from scrapes to bug bites to poison ivy. But according to holistic health experts, a bunch of natural treatments can be found right in your own home, and even cobbled together into your own kid-friendly summer first-aid kit. As with anything, of course, you should consult your doctor first to make sure these treatments are right for you. Here are a few worth considering:

    Photo via Jessica Lucia/Flickr

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    Breakfast is said to be the most important meal of the day, and what better ingredients to include in it than vitamins. Right? Maybe not. According to the Environmental Working Group (EWG), overly fortified cereals can be bad for kids

    In its annual report, the organization found that some popular cereals contain lots of zinc, niacin, and vitamin A.That doesn't sound so bad, so what's the problem?

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    There are some oddball milestones in parenting, aren't there? A recent one for me was taking my son to see Godzilla. The noise, the monsters, the immersive nature of watching it in IMAX 3D ... there was a time I would've predicted that sort of movie outing would have been about as successful as trying to force-feed him a bag of live spiders.

    It seems so obvious in retrospect: he wouldn't have enjoyed a loud dramatic movie because he was too young. But at the time, I thought of him as quirky. I mentally referred to his sensory issues. It occurs to me -- now that he's older, now that I'm not so caught up in how he compares to other kids his age -- that our easy access to an infinite amount of anecdotal medical information has ruined our collective ability to let our kids develop at their own pace.

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    One Pennsylvania mom is taking on the school board after her 10-year-old daughter was drug tested for the third time in a single school year. The fifth grader is an honors student at her middle school, where any child who joins an after-school activity is randomly drug tested throughout the year.

    But with the latest test, mom decided to take some action. Some board members even agreed that their policies need to be reviewed, so the district will be going over their testing rules.

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    The first, and most important, meal of the day is meant to keep us energized and going and ready to start the day. For the kids, it gets them prepped to take on school. But when it comes to what breakfasts feed our children, researchers have found that one bowl of cereal every day is the same as eating 10 pounds of sugar every year.

    In their annual evaluation of the most sugary cereals, the Environmental Working Group found that the worst cereals contained up to 15 grams of sugar per serving. And that one serving of crunchy and sweet cereal equaled 50 percent of a child's recommended intake of sugar.

    Here are the most sugary cereals by grams of sugar per serving, from pretty bad to the absolute worst. Read at your own risk!

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    No matter how old kids are, moms want to ensure their little ones are happy and healthy. From time to time, an ugly cold or nasty scrape is bound to rear its ugly head. That's why it pays for all moms to keep a well-stocked medicine cabinet.

    Here, the 12 items every parent should have at the ready ... 

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