Fun in the Sun - Sunscreen Tips
Summer fun in the sun is a recipe for sunscreen application. Use the following tips when purchasing and applying sunscreen on children.
Babies under 6 months:
o To prevent sunburn in young children, the AAP recommends avoiding sun exposure, and dressing infants in lightweight long pants, long-sleeved shirts, and brimmed hats that shade the neck. When adequate clothing and shade are not available, apply a minimal amount of sunscreen with at least 15 SPF (sun protection factor) to exposed areas, such as the infant's face and the back of the hands. If an infant gets sunburn, apply cool compresses to the affected area.
For All Other Children:
o Cover up children’s exposed skin to provide the first line of defense against harmful ultraviolet radiation (UVR) exposure. Consider sun protective wear such as a hat with a three-inch brim or a bill facing forward, sunglasses (look for sunglasses that provide 97% -100% protection against both UVA and UVB rays), and cotton clothing.
o Encourage children to stay in the shade whenever possible, and limit sun exposure during the peak intensity hours - between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m.
o Always apply sunscreen to young children, even on cloudy days. Use a sunscreen with an SPF 15 or greater which protects against UVA and UVB rays.
o Be diligent about reapplying sunscreen every two hours, or after swimming or sweating.
o Use extra caution near water and sand because both reflect UV rays and may result in a sunburn.
Nutrition and Physical Activity in Childcare
Ensuring that children grow and thrive is an essential part of the child care provider's job. Feeding infants appropriately, serving well-balanced meals and snacks, preparing and serving foods safely, providing regular opportunities for children to be physically active, and teaching healthy habits are all important ways that child care providers can support healthy eating and physical activity, and reduce the risk of childhood obesity in our youngest children.
Screen Free Week
Screen-Free Week is April 29 - May 5, 2013. This event challenges families to go for a week without screen time or even consider reduced screen time.
Screen Time Includes:
o Tablet or smart phone
o Video games
Screen-Free Week encourages family members to explore other entertainment options outside of the screen. Instead of turning on the t.v. during or after dinner, go for a family walk or a bike ride. Engage your children in a board game or ask them what’s new or interesting in their lives. Sitting together as a family on the couch to read a book can be a bonding experience.
Take the opportunity to try new or different types of entertainment, and you may discover that going screen-free is something you may want to try more often.
Accessing Your Local Farmers Market
Farmers markets are wonderful opportunities to purchase local fruits and vegetables to feed to your family. Farmers markets feature foods sold directly by farmers to consumers. In honor of Earth Day pledge to visit your local farmers market this week. Use the USDA National Farmers Markets Directory to find farmers market locations near you, operating times, product offerings, and accepted forms of payment. http://search.ams.usda.gov/farmersmarkets/ (Source: MyPlate)
Make Food Fun!
Picky eating is temporary and there are many things you can do to deal with picky eating in a positive way. One way is to make food fun!
Get creative in the kitchen:
o Name a food your child helps create. Make a big deal of serving "Dawn's Salad" or "Peter's Sweet Potatoes" for dinner.
o Cut a food into fun and easy shapes with cookie cutters.
o Encourage your child to invent and help prepare new snacks or sandwiches. For example, make your own trail mixes from dry cereal and dried fruit.
Choose smart, fun snacks and meals:
o Frozen bananas: Put a wooden stick into a peeled banana. Cut large bananas in half first. Wrap in plastic wrap and freeze. Once frozen, peel off the plastic and enjoy.
o Potato Pal: Top half a small baked potato with eyes, ears, and a smile. Try peas for eyes, a halved cherry tomato for a nose, and a low-fat cheese wedge as a smile. Be creative, you'll be surprised at how many foods can turn into eyes, noses, and smiles!
o Frozen graham cracker sandwiches: Mix mashed bananas and peanut butter, spread between graham crackers and freeze.
o Fruit smoothies: Blend fresh or frozen fruit with yogurt and milk or juice. Try 100% orange juice, low-fat yogurt, and frozen strawberries.
o Frozen juice cups: Pour 100% fruit juice into small paper cups. Freeze. To serve, peel off the paper and eat.
o Ants on a Log: Thinly spread peanut butter on narrow celery sticks. Top with a row of raisins or other diced dried fruit.
Source: USDA: Choosemyplate.gov
The Dangers of Third-Hand Smoke
Third-hand smoke is a term that refers to the contamination that remains after a cigarette has been extinguished. It is a relatively new concept because of the fact that toxins from cigarettes can linger in fabrics from carpets, sofas, clothes and other materials for hours or even days after a cigarette is put out. It is best to join a smoking cessation program in order to reduce the dangers of contamination from third-hand smoke.
Looking, Learning and Memory in Infants
Researchers at the University of Iowa documented that infants learn by taking inventory of the things they see in their surroundings which is a crucial link to looking, learning and memory.
When to Start Solid Foods
Breast milk or formula is the only food your newborn needs. Introducing solid foods to your baby before he or she is ready may increase the risk of some chronic diseases because babies’ bodies are not yet ready to deal with these foods.
Most babies are ready to begin eating solid foods in addition to breast-feeding or formula-feeding between ages 4 months and 6 months. Your baby may be ready if she or she can do the following:
o Hold his or her head in a steady, upright position?
o Sit with support?
o Interested in eating what you're eating?
If you answered yes to these questions, your baby may be ready to begin eating solid foods, however, always check with a healthcare provider before beginning solid foods.
National Poison Prevention Week
Over 50% of calls to poison centers involve children 6 and younger. Keep medicines out of reach and household cleaners in locked cabinets. Learn more at: http://poisonhelp.hrsa.gov/what-can-you-do/poison-proof-your-home/index.html
Do you have questions? Not sure if it’s an emergency? When in doubt, check it out. Call Poison Help at 1-800-222-1222 or visit: www.poisonhelp.hrsa.gov/
Learn what you can do to protect your family from poisonings: http://poisonhelp.hrsa.gov/what-can-you-do/index.html
Keep your home safe and be prepared. Request free Poison Help magnets and stickers and place them near your phones. Poison Help 1-800-222-1222 or www.ask.hrsa.gov/results_materials.cfm?type=poisoncontrol&searchterm=none&startlist=1&displaymax=all&subset=none
Read Aloud to Your Children
It's never too late to share read-aloud book ideas! Here's a list of 100 books nominated by Goodreads readers as their favorites for reading aloud to kids under 5.
So what's YOUR favorite book to read aloud to kids?
When there are little children in your house, it is best to play it safe. The following safeguards will protect not only your small child, but your entire family.
o Install smoke detectors throughout your home, at least one on every level and outside bedrooms.
o Put safety plugs that are not a choking hazard in all unused electrical outlets so your child can’t stick her finger or a toy into the holes.
o Certain houseplants may be harmful so forego house plants, or keep all house plants out of reach.
o Check your floors constantly for small objects that a child might swallow, such as coins, buttons, beads, pins, and screws.
o Attach cords for window blinds and drapes to floor mounts that hold them taut, or wrap these cords around wall brackets to keep them out of reach.
o Move furniture with hard edges and sharp corners out of traffic areas, particularly when your child is learning to walk.
o Never leave plastic bags lying around the house.
o To prevent burns, check your heat sources. Fireplaces, woodstoves, and kerosene heaters should be screened so that your child can’t get near them.
Source: AAP: www.healthychildren.org
Helping Your Child Learn to Read
How can you help your child learn to read - by starting with reading books aloud to them! This can be fun for you, as the parent as well. Be sure to show excitement when you read the story – this will encourage your child to enjoy it. Remember the following things when reading to your child:
• Run your finger under the words as you read to show your child that the print carries the story.
• Stop to look at the pictures; ask your child to name things she sees in the pictures.
• Invite your child to join in whenever there is a repeated phrase in the text.
• Show your child how events in the book are similar to events in your child's life.
• If your child asks a question, stop and answer it.
• Remember to set aside time every day to read together.
Reading is an important skill for children to learn to prepare for entering school. Encouraging a child's love of learning will go a long way to ensuring success!
Source: AAP: www.healthychildren.org
Why to Avoid TV Before the Age of 2
A child’s brain will grow greatly during the first 3 years of life. The brain triples in size in just the first 12 months. What a child is exposed to during the first 3 years will overwhelmingly influence brain development. Children learn better from experiences in the real world, especially with regard to language.
Research suggests that screen viewing before age 2 has lasting negative effects on children (language development, reading skills, and short-term memory). It can also contribute to problems with sleep and attention.
The problem mostly lies in what a child is NOT doing because they are spending time watching TV. Children learn by interacting with people and they are definitely not doing this when their eyes are glued to screen.
What can you do as a parent? Limit your child’s TV time to 2 hours a day. Screen time includes TV, computers, and mobile phones. Also remember to play close attention to the content. Do your research ahead of time and find programs that are designed to teach your child age appropriate information.
Source: AAP: www.healthychildren.org
The Dangers of Secondhand Smoke
Secondhand smoke is dangerous for everyone, especially children. After someone smokes a cigarette, the smoke can stay in the air for many hours. After it settles on surfaces smoke can be ingested by children, making them sick with issues such as: ear infections, bronchitis, pneumonia, or Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS). The smoke can either be inhaled, or ingested through putting items in their mouths.
Secondhand smoke exposure cannot be elimiated by opening a window, sitting in a separate area, or using ventilation. The only way to maintain a smoke free enviornment is to stop smoking - especially in areas where children live or play. Reference: HealthyChildren.org
Did you know smoking can actually make it harder to get pregnant?
Helpful info graphic from the Food and Drug Administration on how smoking affects pregnancy: http://sphotos-b.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-snc6/c0.3.403.403/p403x403/408424_10151382974579556_690774676_n.jpg
Develop Healthy Eating Habits
Raise a healthy eater by setting a good example and practicing positive habits as well as trying new foods and playing actively every day.
Stay Warm - Avoid Frostbite
During these cold winter days, be sure to bundle up to avoid prolonged exposure to low temperatures, wind or moisture. This can result in cold-related illnesses such as frostbite and hypothermia. Avoid frostbite and hypothermia when you are exposed to cold temperatures by wearing layered clothing, eating a well-balanced diet, and drinking warm beverages to maintain fluid levels. This is especially true for susceptible age groups such as the elderly and young children.
With the Cold Weather Upon Us
With cold weather upon us, children will most likely be indoors more than during warmer weather. Find ways to engage your child in simple games and activities to support physical and mental fitness. For example, pull out hula hoops or jump ropes and find an open space in your home to use them. Even playing “keep away” with a soft washcloth or kitchen towel can be fun and engaging. Weather permitting, pack a “winter” picnic (i.e., hot drinks, cheese, crackers, and fruit) and go to a nearby park to explore how different the setting is in wintertime.
Play simple mental games like “I spy” or “20 questions” while doing other household chores. Take a “technology-free” break to disengage from all social media devices and play a board game together or simply get to know your child better by discussing your child’s wishes, plans, or goals for this year (depending on the age of your child). Brain research shows that children’s brains are most active when they are physically active as well, so find ways to encourage your child to do both this winter. For more ideas or to learn more about brain research visit Dr. John Medina’s website http://brainrules.net/.
Folic Acid Awareness Week
Folic acid is necessary during early pregnancy to promote proper cell growth in the growing fetus. Folic acid can prevent 50% up to 70% of some forms of serious birth defects of the brain and spine.
Women who could possibly become pregnant should take 400 micrograms of synthetic folic acid daily from the following food sources: fortified foods like grains, pastas, or breakfast cereals.
Folic acid can also be obtained by taking a daily multi-vitamin.
Smarter Ways to Discipline Children
When looking for smarter ways to discipline your child try this: Instead of just focusing on what happens when a child acts out, parents should first decide what behaviors they want to see in their kids (cleaning their room, getting ready for school on time, playing nicely with a sibling). Then they praise those behaviors when they see them. Information reposted from full article at: http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424127887323277504578189680452680490.html?KEYWORDS=disciplining#project%3DDISCIPLINE1226%26articleTabs%3Darticle
Avoid unsafe baby products
Avoid unsafe baby products and toys. The Consumer Product Safety Commission can help. Call 800-638-2772 for information on recalled baby products.
Safe Sleep for your Infant
Give your baby the safest place to sleep. The best things you can do are:
1) Always put your baby to sleep on his or her back
2) Don't use bumper pads on the crib
3) No blankets or stuffed animals in the crib
4) Never let your baby sleep on a soft surface like a pillow, sheep skin, couch or recliner, or with anyone else
How to Calm a Fussy Baby
A baby’s cry is a powerful sound that demands immediate attention and for new parents, their baby’s cries can be frustrating and stressful. Crying is a baby's most basic mode of communication and soothing a fussy baby can be challenging for any parent. Yet, parents can eventually learn to identify their infant's cries to respond to their specific needs.
Experts believe that different needs distinguish an infant's cries. Babies cry because one of the following: hunger, pain, fatigue, boredom, frustration, or over-stimulation. Listen carefully to your baby's cries and you'll soon be able to distinguish her needs. Call your doctor if you need assistance with soothing your baby.
The Myth of Spoiling a Child
Drs Martha and William Sears, child development experts dispute the notion that parents who always respond to an infant's cries are somehow spoiling him or that the child will never learn how to calm and settle himself. Sears and other pediatricians point to the 1970s research of Sylvia Bell and Mary Ainsworth, who studied two groups of children - those whose mothers promptly and caringly responded to their infants' cries, and those whose mothers were more restrained. Bell and Ainsworth found that the children in that first group were more securely attached to their mothers and had better communication skills than the children in the second group.
-Information obtained from: Calming Your Fussy Baby, by T. Berry Brazelton, M.D., and Joshua D. Sparrow, M.D.
Limiting your child's screen time
The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends limiting a child's use of TV, movies, video and computer games to no more than one or two hours a day. Too much screen time has been linked to: obesity, irregular sleep and less time for play.
November is Prematurity Awareness Month
Check out the March of Dimes for ways to get involved during November and the National Premature Infant Health Coalition for resources.
Breastfeeding your Infant decreases your risk of developing breast cancer
October is breast cancer awareness month. Did you know that breastfeeding your infant decreases your breast cancer risk? A delayed menstruation results when a mother makes the decision to breastfeed her infant. Thus, it reduces a woman’s lifetime exposure to hormones like estrogen, which is linked to breast cancer risk. Another benefit to breastfeeding your infant!
beverage choices for kids
For kids of all ages, water and milk are the best choices. Water is calorie-free and definitely a thirst-quencher. Add lemon or a splash of juice for some flavor. Alternatively, a cup of milk has 300 milligrams of calcium, so it can contribute greatly to your child's daily needs.
Children are born learners. Every day they learn new skills they will build upon as they grow. Adults can guide children's early learning experiences and use blocks as the tools to support their development. Playing with blocks can provide the experiences for children to learn math and science, new words and pre-reading skills, social skills and physical skills.
Children and Snacking
Children need healthy snacks to keep them growing and developing.Active kids need energy and nutrients to refuel their bodies
several times a day. Plan three regular daily meals plus two to three small snacks. Snacks should be provided to children at least two hours before the next main meal.
Importance of Play with Children
Playing with infants is an important part of their growth and development. Young children enjoy simple games of peek-a-boo, or other songs and rhymes such as “patty cake, patty cake…” Take time to play and really enjoy being with your child every day. Children want to see your smiling face more than anything in the world, and chances are, they will smile back which helps you enjoy and appreciate them all the more. Even a few moments of play can brighten everyone’s day. So take the time to notice what your child is interested in, what he or she enjoys doing that’s fun, and wholeheartedly join in. You’ll be helping your child grow and develop in a healthy way, and the smiles and laughter are good for you, too!
Rough and Tumble Play
Rough-and-tumble play supports preschool children’s development. Energetic play that involves using legs and arms and the whole body helps children grow physically. Because children enjoy it so much, they tend to play for a long time which also gives them other opportunities to grow and develop. Through play, children learn to use language, understand cause and effect, learn how to take turns, compromise, and make and follow rules. Spend time doing some rough-and-tumble play with your child. As always, supervise your child’s play to be sure it doesn’t get out of hand—sometimes children need to take a break and calm down to keep from getting hurt. But remember, exuberant, boisterous, rough-and-tumble play supports children’s healthy development in many ways.
Source: Teaching Young Children, NAEYC.org/TYC
Encouraging Positive Self-Concepts in Children
Helping children develop a positive self-concept may be one of the most difficult tasks of parenting or teaching. There is no easy, fool-proof formula for accomplishing this. It takes a lot of time and effort from concerned adults like you.
Tips for Effective Discipline
1. Be realistic and expect a child to act like a child.
2. Choose a few simple, important rules for behaviors; explain them repeatedly to your child.
3. Use a few clear words to explain how you want your child to behave.
4. Show by your example how you control your anger.
5. Use words to discipline your child.
Make meal time family time
Eating together frequently as a family is an important habit that provides benefits for the whole family. These benefits include increased communication and stronger bonds among family members and healthier lifelong eating habits.
Just in Time Parenting
Checking out Just in Time Parenting at: http://www.parentinginfo.org/ for age-paced newsletters and expert advice.
Parents, the first teachers for a child
Children tend to eat the way their parents do because parents are usually the child's first teachers of nutrition information. Methods for preparing and serving foods, what makes a complete menu, and what is a reasonable serving size are just a few pieces of information children pick up at home. Much of this knowledge will remain with them throughout life.
Early language and literacy (reading and writing) development begins in the first three years of life. The interactions that young children have with books, paper, and crayons, and with the adults in their lives are the building blocks for language, reading and writing development.
Read a book to your child today!!
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