Posts in “Health” Category
Kellan and I were at a local park today and a little boy playing near us was stung by a bee. Judging from the boy's reaction, it was painful! Other parents were giving the boy's mom advice about what to do - ice seemed to be the favorite remedy - but I've never been stung by a bee so I didn't have a clue. After today's incident though, I realized I needed first aid knowledge.
The most important thing is to remove the stinger right away. I've read that using your nail or a credit card to scrape the stinger off is the best method. Washing the area with soap and water is the next step. Ice can offer pain relief or you can make a paste with baking soda and water to cover the affected area. You can also contact your pediatrician to find out if an over-the-counter antihistamine will work for your child.
If your child has an allergic reaction, like dizziness and trouble breathing, seek medical attention right away. You can read more about bee stings and how to treat them here.
A musician friend of ours was in town for a show in Portland last night. We took Kellan along, knowing that the venue allowed kids for early gigs. Kellan loves live music and it doesn't take much encouragement to get him dancing, so our crowd of friends got a little side show in addition to the music.
It was a fun night, but the show did get a bit loud. My husband and I took turns taking Kellan outside for a break from the loudness. Just what we need, a four-year-old with tinnitus! Kellan didn't mind the high volume, but I definitely don't want to start him down the road of early hearing loss. A new study finds one in five teenagers have some form of hearing loss, the main culprit being portable music players. Too often kids crank up the volume and listen longer than is safe for their hearing.
Next time, we will be much smarter and think ahead. We can bring protective headphones just in case it gets loud or just skip the concert altogether. As fun as rocking out may be, it's not more important than preventing hearing loss.
What do you do about headphone use in your house?
We've finally had some hot days here in Portland! Well, 86 degrees counts as hot for us. Last weekend, after a morning in the sun picking strawberries, we all sat down in the shade with something cold to drink. Erik drank an orange soda, Kellan had lemonade, and I had water. I don't know if it's a maternal thing, but I always feel like I have to be a good example.
I'm not going to give Erik a hard time for drinking an occasional soft drink, but I do think I have to make up for it by being the one making the healthy choice. It's not like I don't like sweets. I just indulge when Kellan is asleep or not around. I keep chocolate hidden and when we bake cookies, I put half the dough in the freezer so we don't have too many cookies in the pantry.
Childhood obesity is a real and growing problem. According to the CDC the number of obese children has tripled in the past 30 years. However, in my effort to teach my son how to eat a balanced diet, I wonder if I'm going overboard. If we're doing everything else right - eating mostly healthy meals, staying active and limiting TV time - should I cut myself some slack? Maybe I don't need to hide the chocolate. What do you do in your house?
Kellan has never been the perfect sleeper. He goes to sleep well enough, but he often wakes up in the middle of the night and needs help falling back asleep. So a recent study about sleep issues in preschoolers caught my attention.
The study of 600 children between the ages of three and five found a link to viewing media at night and sleep problems. Researchers also found that viewing during the day did not affect sleep quality, but violent content did. The part about viewing violent content won't surprise parents. What's interesting about the study is that time of day has a connection to sleeping problems.
We almost exclusively watch kids movies or TV shows on DVD or streaming on our computers because we can watch when it's convenient. We closely monitor what Kellan watches, but we didn't know watching in the evening could affect his sleep. What I have noticed is that even if there isn't anything overtly frightening in a TV show or movie, there are situations that can cause anxiety so we try to avoid that.
This study is another useful reminder to parents that we should always be aware of what and how our children view media. What kind of rules do you have about watching TV or videos?
Last week, I blogged about new FDA rules that should make it easier for you to find the right sunscreen. What I also want to mention is that you can step up your family's sun protection with UV blocking clothes. That doesn't just mean rash guards for kids to wear on the beach. These days, UV clothes come in all kinds of styles and choices.
More people are looking for sun protective clothing, especially designs that are a bit more fashionable that in the past. The latest study shows in increase in melanoma diagnoses in younger women, so making UV clothes more appealing to women could make a difference. I like Patagonia because they have options for the whole family and it's a great place to look for sun protective clothing when we are going on an active vacation. If you want sun protection in everyday clothes, Mott 50 has very fashionable options for men and women.
UV protective clothing has a different rating system than sunscreen, which uses UPF (ultraviolet protective factor) instead of SPF. The UPF system indicates how much ultraviolet radiation the fabric absorbs. UPF 50 is the highest rating a fabric can have. Normal clothing does offer some UV protection. The rule of thumb is, the tighter the weave, the higher the sun protection. So you don't need a whole new wardrobe for sun activities. Wearing sunscreen is your best bet. UV clothing is icing on the cake.
As parents, we make our kids wear hats and put on sunscreen before they play outdoors, but how good are you about protecting your own skin?