POSTS WITH TAG: toddler health

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    Sooner or later, just about all kids come down with some ominous-sounding illness you haven't heard of before, and it scares your pants off. Yet oftentimes, these ailments may sound scary but are far less dangerous than a cold. If you're curious what curve balls you might encounter that aren't worth worrying about too much, take a look at these common health problems for kids below.

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    While most moms know their kids should drink milk, many are torn about which type. Odds are you fed your baby whole milk, only as your little tyke shot up into toddlerhood, you may have considered making the switch to skim, 1%, or 2%. After all, we're in the midst of a childhood obesity epidemic. Once kids have graduated beyond the chunky baby phase, whole milk seems like a gratuitous amount of fat and calories that could lead kids down an unhealthy path.

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    Most of us know of the many health and economic reasons to breastfeed for mothers and babies. We are told regularly that “breast is best,” and although there continues to be debate about the degree that not breastfeeding results in health problems for an individual dyad in a Western society, we acknowledge that whether one does it or not, breastfeeding is definitely a healthy choice. However, most mothers who continue to breastfeed beyond a year, especially those who continue to nurse at night, face backlash from an unexpected source: the dentist.

    Many families face a dentist who is adamant that they give up breastfeeding or give up night feeds due to the higher risk of cavities despite the other benefits to the families that breastfeeding may confer. What are parents to do? Give up breastfeeding or accept the risk? Or can families have their breast milk and drink it too?

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    It's midnight, you have a sobbing toddler in the grips of some serious teething pain in your arms, and you can't figure out the right dose of pain relief medicine for your kiddo. Feeling desperate? You're not alone.

    A new study of calls to poison control has revealed some 10,000 come in every year over liquid medication dosage errors. Turns out parents are unwittingly overdosing their own kids on common medications.

    A LOT of parents.

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    It only took a second for Aileen Burger to decide to move her whole family across the country. It was a Wednesday, and doctors had just told her they couldn't operate on 4-year-old Elizabeth's brain to cure her intractable epilepsy. By Saturday, the Burgers, who hail from New York, were in Colorado, signing their daughter up for Charlotte's Web, a strain of medical marijuana that's changing the lives of kids with epilepsy.

    Choosing to put your toddler on pot may not be the obvious decision for any parent, the Burgers included. But as Aileen told The Stir, it's the only one that was right for their little girl.

    "We decided to treat Elizabeth with medical marijuana because we had exhausted nearly all other available treatments," she said simply.

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    Ear infections. If you've got a child, no doubt you've dealt with at least one. After all -- three out of four kids in America will have at least one case before age 3. Scary statistic? You better believe it.

    "Many experts (and parents) believe ear infections are on the rise, possibly the result of increased day care attendance at younger ages and increased allergen exposure," notes Dr. Jennifer Gardner, the pediatrician and mom behind the Healthy Kids Company. While Gardner notes other experts say immunizations and increased focus on breastfeeding is bringing down the number of ear infections, contradicting moms' beliefs, ear infections remain "the number one reason for non-wellness doctor visits in babies and toddlers."

    Don't want to end up in the pediatrician's office with a miserable tot? Here are pediatricians' best tips to try to prevent ear infections:

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    If your baby sucks their thumb, you've probably heard the warnings: thumb sucking will ruin their teeth! Been trying to wrench that little digit out of baby's mouth ever since but struggling? You're not alone. As much as 46 percent of "typically developing" kids under 4 suck their thumbs.

    And yes, it can damage their teeth, says Dr. David Zirlin, pediatric dentist at White Plains Pediatric Dentistry. But you can stop pulling that thumb from baby's mouth right now -- and don't bother grabbing a pacifier.

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    Child safety gates are pretty high on parents' "childproofing" to-do lists. They're super handy in keeping the children off the stairs, out of rooms, and away from dangerous objects. But they do have their dangers. Boy do they have dangers! A new study released in this month's issue of Academic Pediatrics shows that baby-gate related injuries have quadrupled since 1990.

    According to researchers at the Center for Injury Research and Policy at Nationwide Children’s Hospital, when used incorrectly, the gates can lead to some very serious injuries.

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    Got a "time-out" chair in your home? You might want to put it back in the playroom. While time-outs were the discipline method du jour for parents in the '90s, they've fallen out of favor with today's more progressive child behavior experts. "Time-outs were originally a way for kids to take a break, think about what they did, maybe even have remorse for it, and settle down and return," says Tovah P. Klein, Ph.D, author of How Toddlers Thrive. "They don't make sense at all for young children."

    The two biggest reasons to skip time-outs? They're not healthy for your child's emotional well-being (now or later), and they're not effective in terms of curbing "bad" behavior. (If you're constantly giving your child a time-out, that tells you something, doesn't it?)

    Let's take a closer look at this form of discipline.

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    More and more parents in the United States are choosing not to vaccinate their children for religious, philosophical, health and other reasons. Anti-vaxxers, as they're called, run the gamut across the political and geographical spectrum. Overall, more than 10 percent of parents are either delaying when their children are vaccinated or not getting the shots at all.

    The decision of whether or not to vaccinate your child is a personal one, but make it a well-informed one. Ask questions. Do your research. Talk to your pediatrician. Your decision affects not only your child, but the people around them (at school, at church, on the playground, at the grocery store, and so on). Understanding the risks of not vaccinating your child is an important part of the decision-making process.

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