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Young Children and Screen Time

Posted by Shelly
Shelly
Shelly Nalbone is a Pediatric Nurse Practitioner who has worked with children fo
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on Thursday, January 16 2014
in Parenting Tips

From TV to smart phones to tablets, the lives of children and families are dominated by media exposure.  More and more families are purchasing tablets for their young children and letting kids routinely play on smartphones.

 

The first two years of your child’s life are especially important in the growth and development of the brain. During this time, children need positive interaction with other children and adults. This is especially true at younger ages, when learning to talk and play with others is so important. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) discourages TV and other media use by children younger than 2 years and instead encourages interactive play for children.  Interactive play helps children develop social skills, gross and fine motor skills, and encourages language development and creativity.

For older children, total entertainment screen time should be limited to less than 1 to 2 hours per day of educational, nonviolent programs/games.   The AAP suggests that ALL screen time should be supervised by parents.

The AAP recommends that parents make a media use plan.  Media plans should include,

  • Mealtime and bedtime curfews for media devices
  • Screens should be kept out of kids’ bedrooms
  • A no-device rule during meals
  • A set family rules covering the use of the Internet and social media and cellphones and texting, including, which sites can be visited, who can be called and giving parental access to all social media  accounts.
  • Limits on  the amount of screen time for entertainment to less than two hours per day
  • Children younger than 2 shouldn't have any TV or Internet exposure

 

Information for this post was obtained from www.aap.org and    www.healthychildren.org

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#lovemykids #can'tgetthemofftheiPhone #whatisaparenttodo? (Parents, Kids, & Social Media)

Posted by Shelly
Shelly
Shelly Nalbone is a Pediatric Nurse Practitioner who has worked with children fo
User is currently offline
on Thursday, January 16 2014
in Parenting Tips

So your kids have graduated from play dough, Legos, and Barbie, to iPad and iPhone.  With electronic devices comes access to social media.  As a parent, it is important to set limits, rules, and be aware of what your kids are doing on social media sites and to understand what they are saying.

  • Tablets and smartphones are not toys; they are a tool and a privilege.  You pay for it; therefore, you own it and can take it away if needed.
  • Have Rules and set limits on usage
  1. Who your child is allowed to call?
  2. How many minutes is your child allowed to use each month?
  3. Is your child allowed to text?
  4. What apps is your child allowed to use?
  5. At what time each night must the smartphone/tablet usage stop?  It is a good idea to have a central charging station for the family.  This ensures that kids are not up late on their devices and that sleep is not interrupted from that midnight text from a friend.
  6. Can the child bring the smartphone to school? Use it when hanging out with friends?
  7. Have a no device at mealtime rule to encourage family interaction.  How many times have you seen families in a restaurant and everyone is on their device?
  8. What are the consequences for breaking the rules?
  • Stress Quality over Quantity
  1. Make sure that kids understand that the number of friends or followers is not important.  Don’t make the goal to get 1000 followers.  Stress to kids that social media is a great way to stay connected to your friends and family.  Only have followers that are close enough to you that you want to share your personal pictures and words with.
  • It is important to talk to kids about how to treat others while texting/posting.  Teach kids to ask themselves:
  1. Would I say the words I am texting/posting to a person's face?
  2. What would my parents think if they read this text?
  3. Could this photo I am sending cause embarrassment to me, my friends, my family or anyone else?
  4. Can my words be taken out of context and used to hurt me or someone else?
  5. Talk to kids about sexting or sending inappropriate pictures.
  6. A good rule to go by is:  If I would be embarrassed if Grandma saw it, don’t post it or send it.
  • Set privacy settings and don’t let kids tag their location when they post. This alerts people to where your children are.
  • Parents should become familiar with Instagram, Snap Chat, Facebook, Twitter, Ask FM, and any other social media site that your child gets on.
  • Friend or follow your child so that you see what is going on.
  • Know the lingo – figure out the hashtags and abbreviations, if you can LOL!
  • TTFN (That’s all for now)

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Teen Safety

Posted by Shelly
Shelly
Shelly Nalbone is a Pediatric Nurse Practitioner who has worked with children fo
User is currently offline
on Thursday, January 09 2014
in Teen Info

Teen Safety

Dating

  • Get to know someone well before going on a date.  Date people that you know and trust.  Go out in groups as much as possible and to public places.  If you want to spend some time alone with the person you're seeing, wait until you've had a few dates and have set ground rules for alone time.
  • Talk with your parents.   Never go on a date without telling someone else. Even if it's a little annoying, let your mom, dad or another adult know when you’re going out. Be sure to tell your parents who you're going with, where you plan to go and what time you expect to return home, too.
  • It's a good policy to bring your cell phone along, and to leave your date's phone number with your parents, just in case anything goes wrong. Be prepared for the unexpected: You might need a ride home or need some extra cash.
  • If you feel uncomfortable about a situation on a date, say "no" clearly and confidently. You're always allowed to change your mind about something, too. If someone likes and respects you, they'll back off. Don't worry: They will most likely ask you out again. If your date doesn't respect your decision, stay safe by leaving the situation.
  • Avoid drugs and alcohol while on a date.  Drugs and alcohol compromise your ability to make smart decisions and to escape dangerous situations. They can make you take risks you wouldn't usually take with your body, your car and your safety in general. They also prevent you from getting to know what your date is really like and keep your date from getting to know the real you.  Never accept a drink from someone.  Only drink from a glass that you have poured yourself.

Cell Phone/Internet

  • Do not give your cell phone number to people that you do not know.  Don't respond to text messages from numbers and people you don't know.
  • Do not take any cell phone pictures or video that is sexual in nature. First off, if they involve

nudity or partial nudity, they are illegal and classified as child pornography ‐ a felony offense in most states.  The intent of the parties does not matter, nor does whether permission was granted. Secondly, they have the tendency to get into the hands of the wrong people. Think about your reputation.

  • Do not send texts or capture pictures or video on your cell phone that you wouldn't feel comfortable sharing with your parents.  Ask yourself how you'd feel if the text you sent or the picture or video you captured were broadcast all across the school, and all across the Internet. Even if you personally don't send it around, others can and often do.
  • Keep your cell phone keypad locked (and the PIN or password safe and private), so that others can't grab it, unlock it, and use it to get you into trouble when you're not looking.
  • Be careful with on-line chat rooms/social media such as Facebook and Instagram.  If you do not know someone, do not communicate with them online.

 

Car Safety

  • Texting & Driving- It is dangerous!  Parents remember to set good example for your teen.  No text is worth losing your life over, or taking someone else's. If something is urgent, pull the vehicle over to a safe place before dealing with it.
  • Always wear your seat belt.
  • Never get into a car with someone who has been drinking or taking drugs.  If you have been drinking or taking drugs, do not drive!  Call a responsible person to get a ride home.  Parents - It is always a good idea to have an agreement with your teen for a no questions asked ride home policy.  If they call and are asking for a ride home, go and get them, but skip the 3rd degree.  Sit down with your teen a couple of days later and talk about it.

 

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Older School-Age and Early Teen Safety

Posted by Shelly
Shelly
Shelly Nalbone is a Pediatric Nurse Practitioner who has worked with children fo
User is currently offline
on Thursday, January 09 2014
in School Age

Older School-Age & Early Teen Safety

  • Teen should always wear a seatbelt when riding in a car.
  • They should wear helmets when riding bikes, skateboards, rip sticks, or skating.
  • Talk to your teen about smoking, tobacco, drugs and alcohol use.  Also talk about the dangers of steroid and diet pill use.
  • Talk with your teen about non-violent ways to handle anger or fear.
  • Be aware of where your child is going and who they will be with.  It is always a good idea to have a parent close by at the mall, movies, parks, etc.  If your child wants to hang out with a friend, make sure that the other child’s parents will be home and that there will be adult supervision.
  • Teen parties should always be supervised by a responsible adult.
  • Encourage kids that they should  not give their cell phone number to people that they do not know.  Teach them not to respond to text messages from numbers and people that they don't know.
  • Talk with kids about what is appropriate.  Do not send texts or capture pictures or video on cell phones that they wouldn't feel comfortable sharing with their parents. Have them ask “how would I feel if that text or picture/video were broadcast all across the school, and all across the Internet.
  • Encourage kids to keep their cell phone keypad locked (and the PIN or password safe and private), so that others can't grab it, unlock it, and use it.
  • Monitor your child’s cell use and online activity.  Teach kids that on-line chat rooms/social media can be dangerous.   Tell your kids that if they do not know someone, do not communicate with them online or with texting.  Cyber bullying is real and happens every day.  Parents,  be aware of what is going on.

 

 

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Pre-School/School Age Safety

Posted by Shelly
Shelly
Shelly Nalbone is a Pediatric Nurse Practitioner who has worked with children fo
User is currently offline
on Thursday, January 09 2014
in School Age

Pre-School/School Age  Safety

Car Seats

  • Children should remain in a 5 point harness car seat until they have reached the weight/height limits for the seat and then may move to a belt positioning booster.
  • Booster seats should be used until age 8 or when the child reaches 4 ft 9 in in height.

Stranger Danger

  • Talk to your children about the dangers of strangers.  Use role play to practice different scenarios in which they may encounter a stranger.

Fire Safety

  • Develop a fire safety plan for your family and practice.  Remind small children that a fire in your home is very scary, but that they should never hide under a bed or in a closet during a fire.
  • Allow children to help change the batteries of the smoke detectors.  Set off a test alarm so that everyone in the family knows what sound to listen for.
  • Practice stop, drop, and roll with your kids.

Water Safety

  • Teach your child how to swim, but never allow them to be near a pool alone.   Even good swimmers can have accidents!
  • If there is a time that you cannot find your child, check the pool or body of water first!!

General Safety

  • Helmets should always be used when children are playing on bikes, skates, skateboards, rip sticks, or any other riding toy.  Start this early so that your child gets used to always wearing their helmet.
  • Teach children their parent’s names, phone numbers, and address.  Practice this with them often so that they can easily recall the info.
  • Kids are very computer savvy now.  Monitor their use of computers, i-pads, and cell phones.  Use parental controls if possible.  You child can accidently access unwanted sites very easily.

 

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Toddler Safety

Posted by Shelly
Shelly
Shelly Nalbone is a Pediatric Nurse Practitioner who has worked with children fo
User is currently offline
on Thursday, January 09 2014
in Toddlers

Toddler Safety

  • Choking hazards are a still a danger for toddlers.  Keep an eye out for small beads, coins, larger pieces of food etc.
  • Toddlers should remain rear facing in the car seat as long as possible, preferably until age 2.
  • Make sure that all electrical outlets have protective plugs.
  • Secure all cleaning supplies and medications in upper cabinets with cabinet locks.
  • Toddlers love to climb.  Be aware that they can and do, push chairs up to counters and can easily get onto your countertops.  Make sure that dressers, bookshelves, and other furniture is secured to the wall with furniture straps.
  • Keep all glass/crystal picture frames in a secure place where children cannot reach them.  Remember than frames can fall/break and children can easily get injured.
  • Keep children safe around bodies of water.
  • Never leave your child unattended while he/she is in the bath.
  • Keep stairs gated for the safety of your toddler.

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Series on Safety

Posted by Shelly
Shelly
Shelly Nalbone is a Pediatric Nurse Practitioner who has worked with children fo
User is currently offline
on Thursday, January 09 2014
in General Info

Today we will be starting a series on safety by age group.  Please check back daily for new posts.

 

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Infant Safety

Posted by Shelly
Shelly
Shelly Nalbone is a Pediatric Nurse Practitioner who has worked with children fo
User is currently offline
on Thursday, January 09 2014
in Infants

Infant Safety

  • Crib mattress should fit snugly into crib
  • All crib surfaces should be smooth
  • A bumper guard/pads should not be installed as this may contribute to a danger of suffocation
  • No pillows, stuffed animals, comforters or blankets  should be used in the crib
  • Lower the crib mattress to the lowest level before your child can get to a sitting position on his own
  • Never turn your back on the baby while changing a diaper, even if using the strap on the changing table
  • Infants should be placed in a rear facing infant car seat in a vehicle.   Check your car seat manufacturer guidelines on height/weight limits.  Most babies are ready to move to a rear facing convertible car seat between 6- 9 months of age.
  • Check frequently for safety recalls on your infant products.
  • Always be careful with toddlers and small babies.  Toddlers do not understand how strong they are and can hurt an infant accidentally.
  • Be careful of pets around infants.  A pet’s natural protective instinct is to scratch or bite and small children can accidentally get hurt.  Larger dogs can also unknowingly knock over bouncy seats, car seats, and swings.

 

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Welcome 2014!!!

Posted by Shelly
Shelly
Shelly Nalbone is a Pediatric Nurse Practitioner who has worked with children fo
User is currently offline
on Wednesday, January 08 2014
in General Info

At the start of each new year, many of us wish for peace, health, and prosperity.   Here are some cute quotes found on Pinterest that may inspire you.

  • Dear Lord, All I ask for is a chance to prove that winning the lottery won't make me a bad person.  

if you don't win the lottery this year, you can wish for this...

  •  I dream of a better world where chickens can cross the road without having their motives questioned.  

for those who want to eat healthier in 2014...

  • You can't buy happiness, but you can buy cupcakes.  And that's kind of the same thing.
  • Chocolate comes from cocoa which comes out of a tree,  That makes it a plant.  Therefore, chocolate counts as salad.  The end.

And our final words of wisdom for the day...

-Do not spoil what you have by desiring what you have not;  but remember that what you now have was once among the things you only hoped for.

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Finger Foods for Babies

Posted by Shelly
Shelly
Shelly Nalbone is a Pediatric Nurse Practitioner who has worked with children fo
User is currently offline
on Wednesday, January 08 2014
in Parenting Tips

By the time they're 9 months old, most babies have developed the fine motor skills — the small, precise movements — needed to pick up small pieces of food and feed themselves.

Allow your child to self-feed as much as possible, though you'll still be helping out by spoon-feeding cereal and other important dietary elements. Encouraging finger feeding helps your child learn about textures and independence.  If you have not already done so, it is time to introduce table/finger foods.  Do not limit your baby to just Gerber puffs.

By 9 months, most babies are ready to try table food and should be able to try many of the things that you eat.    Here are some suggestions.

  • Zucchini, carrots, potatoes, sweet potatoes, beans, or other well-cooked veggies.
  • Pieces of ripe banana, soft pears or peaches, and cooked apples
  • Well-cooked pasta
  • Dry cereals and crackers such as cheerios, graham crackers, & ritz crackers.  Ask yourself, does it melt in the mouth? Some dry cereals and crackers that are light and flaky will melt in the mouth.
  • Shredded cheeses  and  cottage cheese
  • Small pieces of soft, cooked beef and chicken are other good choices

Food should be cut into small pieces. The sizes will vary depending on the food's texture.   You should avoid the following foods that can be choking hazards.

  • Pieces of raw vegetables or hard fruits
  • Whole grapes, berries, cherry or grape tomatoes (instead, peel and slice or cut in quarters)
  • Raisins and other dried fruit
  • Peanuts, nuts, and seeds
  • Peanut butter and other nut or seed butters
  • Whole hot dogs and sausages (peel and cut these in very small pieces)
  • Untoasted bread, especially white bread that sticks together
  • Chunks of cheese or meat
  • Candy (hard candy, jelly beans, gummies, chewing gum)
  • Popcorn, pretzels, corn chips, and other snack foods
  • Marshmallows

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Eczema

Posted by Shelly
Shelly
Shelly Nalbone is a Pediatric Nurse Practitioner who has worked with children fo
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on Tuesday, January 07 2014
in Info on illnesses

Atopic dermatitis (eczema) is a red itchy inflammation of the skin. It's a long-lasting (chronic) condition.  The cause of atopic dermatitis is not clear, but it affects the skin's ability to hold moisture. Skin becomes dry, itchy, and easily irritated.  Eczema may affect any area of the body, but it typically appears on the arms and behind the knees. It tends to flare periodically and then subside.

back_of_knees_eczema

There is no cure for eczema, but the goal in treating eczema is for a child to be comfortable.

  • Moisturize often. Creams work better than lotions.
  • Bathe with lukewarm water and for short periods daily.
  • Avoid things that trigger rashes, such as harsh soaps and detergents.
  • Control scratching. You may want to cover the rash with a bandage to keep your child from rubbing it. Put mittens or cotton socks on your baby's hands to help prevent him or her from scratching.  Oral antihistamines, such as Benadryl, can reduce the sensation of itching. Topical antihistamines are not recommended.
  • To treat the inflamed, itchy rash areas, most pediatricians and dermatologists will use very mild prescription strength cortisone (steroid) creams. These creams are applied two until the rash clears or the itching stops.

For more info on eczema visit, www.nationaleczema.org

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Infant seat, Convertible seat, Booster...How do I choose?

Posted by Shelly
Shelly
Shelly Nalbone is a Pediatric Nurse Practitioner who has worked with children fo
User is currently offline
on Monday, January 06 2014
in General Info

We often get questions from parents about car seats.  When do I change car seats?  When can my child face front?  When can we stop using a car seat?  We hope that this info will answer some of those questions.

In this first stage, most parents use an infant carrier/car seat combo with base.  These safety seats are used only in the rear facing position for infants approximately 5-30 lbs and less than 30 in.  Most babies will use this type of seat until about 9-12 months of age.  These types of safety seats are convenient for parents, because they are easy to get the baby in and out of the car and can be used as an infant carrier.

infant carrier

Some parents chose to start with a convertible car seat.  Convertible car seats can be used in the rear facing position for infants weighing 5-30 lbs and can then be converted to forward facing for older children from 22-40lbs.  The benefit of this type of safety seat is that your child can use this seat from birth to about 40 lbs (about 4 years).  The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends keeping children rear facing until as close to age 2 as possible.  Many parents will use this type of safety seat from about 12 months to 4 years of age.

convertible car seat 2

Harness Booster safety seats can be used for children weighing 22-40lbs in the forward position only.  This seat uses the 5 point harness system and most harness booster seats will convert to belt positioning seats for children over 40 lbs.  This type of seat is good for children over 2yrs of age and will last your child for several years.

harness booster

Belt Positioning Booster seats elevate and position children so that the vehicle lap and shoulder belt fit them properly.  This type of seat is for those children who have outgrown their convertible or harness booster seats.  They are for kids over 40lbs.  Texas law requires that children stay in a belt positioning booster seats until they are 8 yrs old or until they reach 4ft 9in in height.

belt positionng boosterbooster

This information is intended to be a guide for parents.  Each manufacturer will have the specific weight and height limits on the side or back of the safety seat.  Be sure to check the guidelines for your specific car seat.  If there is a topic that you would like more info on, email This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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Kids Punch for New Year's Eve

Posted by Shelly
Shelly
Shelly Nalbone is a Pediatric Nurse Practitioner who has worked with children fo
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on Monday, December 30 2013
in Recipes

Here is a recipe for the kids on New Year's Eve.

Pink Champagne Punch

1 12-ounce bottle white grape juice
1 6-ounce can frozen lemonade concentrate, thawed
1 16-ounce pkg. frozen whole strawberries, thawed
1 12-ounce can lemon-lime soda, chilled
8 cherries (optional)

Combine 1/2 of the grape juice, lemonade, and strawberries in a blender. Whirl until smooth and pour into drink container. Repeat steps 1 and 2 with remaining juice, lemonade, and strawberries. Add soda and stir well. Pour into 8 fancy plastic glasses. Add a cherry to the glass for garnish.

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Merry Christmas

Posted by Shelly
Shelly
Shelly Nalbone is a Pediatric Nurse Practitioner who has worked with children fo
User is currently offline
on Tuesday, December 24 2013
in General Info

mannger 2

As we celebrate Christmas this year, this is a good time to reflect on the year and be thankful for our many blessings.  Over the years Christmas has become a holiday filled with presents, Santa, lights, and decorations.  All of the festivity is a fun way to celebrate, but it is also important for us to remember the true meaning of the celebration.  For people of the Christian faith, Christmas is one of the most significant times of the year.  The history of Christmas started from when Jesus was born and it is all about celebrating his birth, giving gifts to our King and Savior, and being thankful to God for our many blessings.  So as you celebrate the miracle of our Savior’s birth with your loved ones, remember to take a  few moments during this wonderful season to think not just about buying presents and decorating the tree, but think of those in the world who are not as fortunate and give thanks for all that we are blessed with.

Wishing you a Merry Christmas and a blessed New Year.

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RSV in Infants

Posted by Shelly
Shelly
Shelly Nalbone is a Pediatric Nurse Practitioner who has worked with children fo
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on Wednesday, December 18 2013
in Info on illnesses

Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), which causes infection of the lungs and breathing passages, is a major cause of respiratory illness in young children. RSV is highly contagious and can be spread through droplets containing the virus when someone coughs or sneezes. It also can live on surfaces (such as countertops or doorknobs) and on hands and clothing, so can be easily spread when a person touches something contaminated. Because RSV can be easily spread by touching infected people or surfaces, frequent hand washing is key in preventing its transmission. Fortunately, most cases of RSV are mild and require no specific treatment from doctors. RSV season is usually from fall to early spring and we are already seeing cases in the community. Antibiotics aren't used because RSV is a virus and antibiotics are only effective against bacteria. Medication may sometimes be given to help open respiratory airways. If your child gets RSV or other respiratory viruses there are some things that you can do at home to make them feel better.

Make a child with an RSV infection as comfortable as possible, allow time for recovery, and provide plenty of fluids.

The last part can be tricky, however, because babies may not feel like drinking. In that case, offer fluids in small amounts at more frequent intervals than usual.

To help your child breathe easier, use a cool-mist vaporizer to keep the aire moist. If your child is uncomfortable & too young to blow his/her nose, use a nasal aspirator or bulb suction to remove nasal secretions.

Treat fever with acetaminophen as needed.

For more info see www.kidshealth.org

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Constipation

Posted by Shelly
Shelly
Shelly Nalbone is a Pediatric Nurse Practitioner who has worked with children fo
User is currently offline
on Friday, December 06 2013
in Info on illnesses

Constipation is a very common problem among kids, but many parents are confused about what constipation really is. A child is considered constipated when he or she has fewer than three bowel movements in a week; has difficulty having a bowel movement; or when the stools are hard, dry, and unusually large.  A child who doesn't have a bowel movement every day isn't necessarily constipated.  Here is a diagram of types of stool.

109598518

Constipation:  Stool types 1 and 2

Normal Stools:  Stool types 3 and 4

Loose/Diarrhea Stools:  Stool types 5,6, and 7

Most of the time, constipation is due to a diet that doesn't include enough water and dietary fiber.   Here are some things that you can do if your child is constipated.

•Give your child more fluids. Drinking enough water and other liquids helps stools move more easily through the intestines. Most school-age children need 3 to 4 glasses of water each day. If your infant is constipated during the transition from breast milk or into solid foods, try serving just a few ounces of prune juice each day.

•Serve more fiber. Foods that are high in fiber, such as fruits, vegetables, and whole-grain bread, can help prevent constipation. Fiber can't be digested, so it helps clean out the intestines by moving the bowels along. Fiber doesn't have to be a turn-off for kids: Try apples, oatmeal, oranges, bananas, baked potatoes, and popcorn.

•Make sure kids get enough exercise. Physical activity helps the bowels move, so encourage your kids to get plenty of exercise.

•Develop a regular meal schedule. Eating is a natural stimulant for the bowels, regular meals may help kids develop routine bowel habits.

•Get kids into the habit of going at the same time each day to set a routine.   Have your child sit on the toilet for at least 10 minutes at about the same time each day, preferably after a meal.

Even if you do all of the right things, some kids will still have problems with constipation.  If you have questions about your child, call the office at (281)292-0999.

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The Stressful Holiday Season

Posted by Shelly
Shelly
Shelly Nalbone is a Pediatric Nurse Practitioner who has worked with children fo
User is currently offline
on Wednesday, December 04 2013
in Parenting Tips

The holidays are a fun time of year for most children with the anticipation of getting gifts, seeing family and being out of school. It is also an important time of year to be mindful of your children's safety.  Here are some tips to keep everyone safe.

  • Mistletoe, holly, poinsettias, and other plants are commonly used as decorations during the holidays. Like many plants, these are considered potentially poisonous and should be kept out of the reach of kids.
  • Alcohol poisoning is a common risk for children during the holiday season. Many parents host holiday parties where alcohol is served. Parents must take care to remove all empty and partially empty cups as soon as possible. Because kids imitate adults, many may drink the beverages they see adults drinking.
  • The needles of holiday trees, ornament hooks, and staples on package bows can cause painful cuts in the mouth and throat of a child who puts them in their mouth or swallows them.
  • Tree ornaments, light bulbs, icicles, tinsel, and small toys are potential choking hazards for small children because they may block the airway.
  • Keep breakable ornaments out of young kids' reach — or keep them off the tree until your children are older. If one does break, clean up the broken glass quickly.
  • Keep in mind that artificial snow and flocking materials are not edible, so you may want to avoid them if there are younger children in the home.
  • Be careful of heavy stocking holders that toddlers and preschoolers can pull down on top of themselves, which is becoming an increasing common hazard as use of these heavy stocking hangers become more popular.
  • Candles should never be left unattended, placed in an area where they can be easily knocked over or near flammable curtains or decorations.
  • Common holiday foods such as peanuts or popcorn are potential choking hazards and should not be given to children under age 4.

Always remember that the hustle and bustle of the holidays can be stressful on children and adults.  Try to slow down and spend time with family and friends to celebrate the reason for the season. 

Merry Christmas Everyone!!!

 

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Fever Is Your Friend

Posted by Shelly
Shelly
Shelly Nalbone is a Pediatric Nurse Practitioner who has worked with children fo
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on Monday, December 02 2013
in Info on illnesses

It’s 2 am. Your youngest child is upset and crying. And… they’re hot. The thermometer you have reads 102. You’re nervous. Your child is nervous. Fever can feel like your family’s worst enemy.

Believe it or not, and despite the fear often associated with it, fever is often your child’s friend.   Fever revs up the body’s immune system and activates it to fight off any viral or bacterial “invaders.”   So, when your child has a fever, it means her body is doing its job.  

Most pediatric experts agree: a fever is a temperature equal to or greater than 100.5 degrees.  That’s why when you make an appointment for your child for a “fever” we sometimes push you on the details: 100.2 you say?  Not a fever.  Felt your child and thought he was hot but didn’t take the temperature? Might have been a fever, but might not have.  We want to know, when possible, the actual temperature and how you took it (under the arm, in the mouth, in the ear, or on the skin).  Your child’s temperature depends on a number of factors, including how you take it. The closer we get to the core of the body, the more accurate it is. That’s why, when we measure the temperature of a baby, we often want to take the temperature in the baby’s bottom.  For older kids, a temperature taken in the mouth or the bottom is much more accurate than a temperature taken under the armpit.

A child’s age also matters a lot when it comes to fever.   Any child under a month of age needs to be evaluated by a doctor immediately if they have a fever, even if it only occurs once.

As kids get older and older, we are less concerned about low-grade fevers in otherwise healthy and vaccinated kids, but recommend an evaluation if your child has had a temperature for more than 2-3 days (or anytime you are concerned).  

Some things do worry us when it comes to fever. We worry when the fever lasts several days without a good explanation for it.  We worry when your child becomes dehydrated.  We worry when your child is lethargic. We worry when your child is not fully vaccinated.  Most of all, we worry about how your child “looks” overall, which is why we pay a lot of attention to this when you call or come in.  

It also doesn’t matter if the Acetaminophen or Ibuprofen you’ve been giving to treat your child’s fever makes it go away and stay away.  These medications are for your child’s comfort but don’t help to fight off the virus or bacteria your child has.  If they don’t completely eliminate the fever, it doesn’t mean they aren’t working, just that they wore off like they are supposed to.

Fever can be scary, but knowing what a fever does for the body is helpful. On average, kids will have 4 to 6 acute episodes of fever from birth to 2 years of age, so fever is here to stay, whether we like it or not. Think of it as an (often annoying, but very helpful) friend.

 

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Giving Thanks

Posted by Shelly
Shelly
Shelly Nalbone is a Pediatric Nurse Practitioner who has worked with children fo
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on Thursday, November 21 2013
in General Info

As we approach Thanksgiving, we feel that it is important to teach our children that the day is not just about turkey and pumpkin pie, but about being thankful for each other and our many blessings, big and small.  Below is a link to a Focus on the Family article about teaching children  (by age groups) about giving thanks. 

We hope that everyone has a safe and blessed Thanksgiving. 

 

http://www.focusonthefamily.com/parenting/articles/give_thanks.aspx

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Infants 101

Posted by Shelly
Shelly
Shelly Nalbone is a Pediatric Nurse Practitioner who has worked with children fo
User is currently offline
on Wednesday, November 13 2013
in Infants

New parents often have questions about caring for their new baby.  Here are some common topics related to newborns:

Umbilical Cords

  • Your baby’s umbilical cord stump should be kept clean and dry until it falls off.  The cord will usually fall off after the first couple of weeks of life.  Fold the baby's diaper below the stump or buy newborn diapers with a cut-out space for the cord so it's exposed to the air and won't come in contact with urine.  Sometimes you may see some yellowish discharge underneath the dried cord and there may be some oozing of blood for a few days as the cord separates.   If you notice discharge from your baby’s cord, you can apply a small amount of rubbing alcohol with a cotton ball to help dry it out.  Don't be afraid to lift up the dry part of the cord in order to apply rubbing alcohol to the moist part below. Call us immediately if there is red streaking, swelling or inflammation around the cord.

Infant Acne

  • Baby acne is pimples and whiteheads that develop on a newborn's skin. Baby acne can occur anywhere on the face, but usually appears on the cheeks, nose and forehead.  It commonly begins at two to three weeks of age and is usually gone before your baby is six months old. Baby acne is thought to be caused by Mom's hormones, which are still circulating in baby's bloodstream.   There's little you can do to prevent baby acne. The best treatment for baby acne is usually no treatment at all.

Swollen Breast Tissue

  • It's normal for babies (boys and girls) to have mild or even swollen, enlarged breasts and/or lumps under the nipple.  This is normal and it is from the effects of hormones that the baby received from his or her mother.  The same hormones that cause the mother's breasts to swell and milk glands to be stimulated can do the same to the baby's breasts. Their breasts may even secrete small amounts of milk, and while alarming to most parents, this is nothing to be worried about and the effects will wear off in a few weeks to months

Newborn Genitals

  • Girls:  Your newborn girl's genitals have been exposed to many hormones in the uterus. Newborns genitals are usually a little swollen and prominent for the first week.  Girls may also have a thick, milky discharge in the vagina.  At 2 or 3 days of age, your daughter may have a little bit of bleeding from her vagina. This is perfectly normal -- it is caused by the withdrawal of the hormones she was exposed to in the womb.   Clean your daughter's genitals as you would any other part of her body. Spread the labia and gently wash out the creases; there is no need to go any deeper. Nature takes care of naturally cleaning the inside of the vagina. Use warm water only -- there's no need for soaps. Remember, this sensitive tissue is the same as that inside the mouth.
  • Boys:  Three or four times a day, you will need to clean the circumcised area with warm water. Soap is not necessary. At each diaper change, you will want to apply a small amount of petroleum jelly to keep the area moist. It can take several days for the scab over an incision to fall off, and about the same amount of time or a little longer for the plastibell to fall off. Be sure not to pull on the plastibell as it can cause soreness and bleeding. After the circumcision is healed,  no further care is needed outside of normal good hygiene.

Peeling Skin

  • When babies are in the womb, they are covered with a white substance called vernix that is made up of shed skin cells and oil gland secretions. This waxy material protects your baby's skin until birth. After the vernix is washed off, the top layer of a baby's skin begins to dry up and peel off.  As newborn babies adjust to life outside the womb, the appearance of their skin may be startling to new parents.  During the first few weeks, your baby may have peeling or cracking of the skin, especially on the wrists, hands, ankles and feet. The peeling can last for the first few weeks of life. Overdue babies seem to peel more than babies born closer to their due date. This is normal and no treatment is necessary.  New babies also commonly develop bumps and rashes during the first weeks of life, but these skin conditions are usually normal and harmless. After your baby sheds the top layer of his skin, the underlying layer should be normal and healthy.  Do not try to treat your baby's peeling skin with harsh lotions or scented products, and do not scrub or try to peel your baby's skin.  Such measures can irritate sensitive newborn skin. Peeling newborn skin does not need to be treated because it is a normal part of your baby's development.

Cradle Cap

  • Cradle cap, the common term for infantile seborrheic dermatitis, causes scaly patches on a baby's scalp. Though cradle cap isn't serious, it can cause thick crusting and white or yellow scales.  Cradle cap usually resolves on its own within a few months. Self-care measures, such as washing your baby's scalp daily with a mild shampoo, can help loosen and remove the cradle cap scales.

If there is a topic that you would like more info on, email This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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