Best gift EVER? Play with your kids
Dec24

Best gift EVER? Play with your kids

What single thing develops every aspect of a child’s health? A. Giving them LOTS of gifts B. Giving in when your child whines C. Roughhousing The answer is C. Roughhousing seems an easy way to get hurt. But I assure you that I’ve seen hundreds of kids with broken bones from jumping on trampolines and slipping in socks on wood floors; but never a roughhousing injury. What I do see are kids who take life way too seriously, so that every...

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How kids would run reading time
Dec04

How kids would run reading time

Why bother reading when skipping a page sets off a tantrum and Olivia won’t sit still long enough to conquer even one page? Listening to a story literally builds kids’ brain cells. Only seconds after reading to a toddler, thousands of cells in their growing brains respond. So you have to read books to help develop well-rounded language skills. In fact, children are exposed to fifty percent more unique words in books than in television...

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Growing pains caused by living life
Nov23

Growing pains caused by living life

Growing pains cause real pain, but it’s not from growing. If your child has arm or leg pain at night, without warmth or redness of the joints, and the pain is gone the next day, they have growing pains. You don’t need to worry your child has some dangerous, mysterious disease (like cancer or an infection). They do have a mysterious disease, but it’s a common, benign one. Nobody knows exactly what causes growing...

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Unclog a stuffy nose (the right way)
Nov01

Unclog a stuffy nose (the right way)

What are you supposed to do you when your little one is congested? Cough and cold medicines are potentially dangerous for children under two years old and are ineffective anyway.  A study in 2010 showed that good old vapor rub improved kids cough and congestion symptoms, and most importantly improved their sleep. So now I recommend Vicks VapoRub. But again, the camphor in VapoRub is not supposed to be given to children younger than...

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Birthmarks and baby spots
Oct09

Birthmarks and baby spots

Have you been surprised to find a new spot on your child and wondered where it came from? The word “birthmark” is really misleading. They can be present at birth, but they don’t have to be. Birthmarks often appear when a child gets older and demonstrate that a baby’s body is still developing. Like the rest of their body, babies’ skin pigmentation is not mature at birth. Most kids get a little darker all over as they get older....

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Psych! You’re eating healthy
Sep16

Psych! You’re eating healthy

How do you get kids to eat healthy?  You have to teach kids to choose healthy foods. Humans come pre-programmed to like sweets and to reject plant-based foods. But kids’ palates really are surprisingly malleable. Here’s how you can raise a healthy eater. Kids start developing their tastes early in life; breast milk changes flavor between feedings and educates the palate. But formula-fed babies seem to transition just fine to the...

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Are multivitamins necessary?
Sep11

Are multivitamins necessary?

Is your child a picky eater, vegetarian or only eats white foods? Then you’ve wondered what their diet is missing. Children have a natural instinct to eat just the right amount of calories to grow. Unfortunately, they don’t automatically choose a well-balanced diet. It seems natural to try to fill the gaps in a picky toddler’s diet. Although multivitamins provide B vitamins, vitamin C, zinc and many other nutrients, all of these are...

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Bend over and take your medicine:  rectal acetaminophen
Aug06

Bend over and take your medicine: rectal acetaminophen

Child refusing fever medicine? What to do when not even a spoon full of sugar will make the medicine go down. Most kids can vomit on command as many parents have witnessed after politely begging a child to take their medicine. Vomiting is no special trick. But I’ve yet to meet a kid who can bear down and push out a rectal suppository. So, if you’ve got an uncooperative medicine-taker at home, there are options. Rectal acetaminophen...

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Welcoming a new baby: Rules of engagement for big sibs
Jul15

Welcoming a new baby: Rules of engagement for big sibs

Worried you don’t have enough space in your house or enough attention to give two kids? There’s plenty to fret about when you are expecting an addition to the family. Don’t waste your time worrying; this efficient guide will prepare any age sibling for the new arrival: Under age 2 You can give your toddler an army of baby dolls and let her rub your giant tummy for hours but these kiddos aren’t quite developmentally capable of...

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The fluoride rebellion: when, why & how to brush kids’ teeth
Jun22

The fluoride rebellion: when, why & how to brush kids’ teeth

Wanna get top dollar from the tooth fairy? Here’s how to keep those baby teeth healthy! Fluoride is the Goldilocks of preventive medical treatments. Too little leaves teeth prone to decay. Too much can permanently stain the teeth. Over the course of many decades scientists have determined the amount of fluoride that is just right. However, it is nearly impossible for us to get just the “right” dose because we get fluoride...

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5 Science-based tips to guide kids’ media use
Jun12

5 Science-based tips to guide kids’ media use

Do you feel like a bad parent when you distract your toddler with a smartphone app while waiting at a store? It’s not so bad; after all, it is an educational toy. Right?! The AAP (American Academy of Pediatrics) has long recommended limiting children’s screen time to less than two hours a day (and no screen time for kids under age two), however the ubiquitous existence of electronic media makes exposure unavoidable. To make things...

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Hear ye! Noise is more dangerous than you think
May29

Hear ye! Noise is more dangerous than you think

Worried about damaging baby’s ears at a movie or sporting event? You should be. Babies’ ear canals are smaller and their skulls are thinner, so the sound pressure entering a baby’s ear is amplified. Hearing damage isn’t simply a result of the volume of a sound. It’s the energy in the sound that damages our inner ear. And energy is a product of both the volume and duration of exposure. For example, an 80db noise (heavy city traffic)...

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