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August 05, 2016
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Back to School Tips

The following health and safety tips are from the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP).

MAKING THE FIRST DAY EASIER 
  • Remind your child that there are probably a lot of students who are uneasy about the first day of school. This may be at any age. Teachers know that students are nervous and will make an extra effort to make sure everyone feels as comfortable as possible.
  • Point out the positive aspects of starting school. She'll see old friends and meet new ones. Refresh her positive memories about previous years, when she may have returned home after the first day with high spirits because she had a good time.
  • Find another child in the neighborhood with whom your student can walk to school or ride on the bus.
  • If it is a new school for your child, attend any available orientations and take an opportunity to tour the school before the first day.
  • If you feel it is needed, drive your child (or walk with her) to school and pick her up on the first day.
BACKPACK SAFETY
  • Choose a backpack with wide, padded shoulder straps and a padded back.
  • Pack light. Organize the backpack to use all of its compartments. Pack heavier items closest to the center of the back. The backpack should never weigh more than 10 to 20 percent of your child's body weight.
  • Always use both shoulder straps. Slinging a backpack over one shoulder can strain muscles.
  • If your school allows, consider a rolling backpack. This type of backpack may be a good choice for students who must tote a heavy load. Remember that rolling backpacks still must be carried up stairs, they may be difficult to roll in snow, and they may not fit in some lockers.
TRAVELING TO AND FROM SCHOOL 

Review the basic rules with your student:

School Bus 
  • Children should always board and exit the bus at locations that provide safe access to the bus or to the school building.
  • Remind your child to wait for the bus to stop before approaching it from the curb.
  • Make sure your child walks where she can see the bus driver (which means the driver will be able to see her, too).
  • Remind your student to look both ways to see that no other traffic is coming before crossing the street, just in case traffic does not stop as required.
  • Your child should not move around on the bus.
  • If your child's school bus has lap/shoulder seat belts, make sure your child uses one at all times when in the bus. (If your child's school bus does not have lap/shoulder belts, encourage the school system to buy or lease buses with lap/shoulder belts.}
Car
  • All passengers should wear a seat belt or use an age- and size-appropriate car safety seat or booster seat.
  • Your child should ride in a car safety seat with a harness as long as possible and then ride in a belt-positioning booster seat. Your child is ready for a booster seat when she has reached the top weight or height allowed for her seat, her shoulders are above the top harness slots, or her ears have reached the top of the seat.
  • Your child should ride in a belt-positioning booster seat until the vehicle's seat belt fits properly (usually when the child reaches about 4' 9" in height and is between 8 to 12 years of age). This means that the child is tall enough to sit against the vehicle seat back with her legs bent at the knees and feet hanging down and the shoulder belt lies across the middle of the chest and shoulder, not the neck or throat; the lap belt is low and snug across the thighs, not the stomach.
  • All children younger than 13 years of age should ride in the rear seat of vehicles. If you must drive more children than can fit in the rear seat (when carpooling, for example), move the front-seat passenger's seat as far back as possible and have the child ride in a booster seat if the seat belts do not fit properly without it.
  • Remember that many crashes occur while novice teen drivers are going to and from school. You should require seat belt use, limit the number of teen passengers, and do not allow eating, drinking, cell phone conversations,  texting or other mobile device use to prevent driver distraction. Limit nighttime driving and driving in inclement weather. Familiarize yourself with your state's graduated driver's license law and consider the use of a parent-teen driver agreement to facilitate the early driving learning process. For a sample parent-teen driver agreement, seewww.healthychildren.org/teendriver
Bike 
  • Always wear a bicycle helmet, no matter how short or long the ride.
  • Ride on the right, in the same direction as auto traffic.
  • Use appropriate hand signals.
  • Respect traffic lights and stop signs.
  • Wear bright-colored clothing to increase visibility. White or light-colored clothing and reflective gear is especially important after dark.
  • Know the "rules of the road."
Walking to School 
  • Make sure your child's walk to school is a safe route with well-trained adult crossing guards at every intersection.
  • Identify other children in the neighborhood with whom your child can walk to school.  In neighborhoods with higher levels of traffic, consider organizing a "walking school bus," in which an adult accompanies a group of neighborhood children walking to school.
  • Be realistic about your child's pedestrian skills. Because small children are impulsive and less cautious around traffic, carefully consider whether or not your child is ready to walk to school without adult supervision.
  • If your children are young or are walking to a new school, walk with them the first week or until you are sure they know the route and can do it safely.
  • Bright-colored clothing will make your child more visible to drivers.
EATING DURING THE SCHOOL DAY
  • Studies show that children who eat a nutritious breakfast function better. They do better in school, and have better concentration and more energy.
  • Most schools regularly send schedules of cafeteria menus home and/or have them posted on the school's website. With this advance information, you can plan on packing lunch on the days when the main course is one your child prefers not to eat.
  • Look into what is offered in school vending machines. Vending machines should stock healthy choices such as fresh fruit, low-fat dairy products, water and 100 percent fruit juice.  Learn about your child's school wellness policy and get involved in school groups to put it into effect.
  • Each 12-ounce soft drink contains approximately 10 teaspoons of sugar and 150 calories. Drinking just one can of soda a day increases a child's risk of obesity by 60%. Choose healthier options to send in your child's lunch.
BULLYING 

Bullying or cyberbullying is when one child picks on another child repeatedly. Bullying can be physical, verbal, or social. It can happen at school, on the playground, on the school bus, in the neighborhood, over the Internet, or through mobile devices like cell phones. 

When Your Child Is Bullied 
  • Help your child learn how to respond by teaching your child how to:
    1. Look the bully in the eye.
    2. Stand tall and stay calm in a difficult situation.
    3. Walk away.
  • Teach your child how to say in a firm voice. 
    1. "I don't like what you are doing."
    2. "Please do NOT talk to me like that."
    3. "Why would you say that?"
  • Teach your child when and how to ask a trusted adult for help.
  • Encourage your child to make friends with other children.
  • Support activities that interest your child.
  • Alert school officials to the problems and work with them on solutions.
  • Make sure an adult who knows about the bullying can watch out for your child's safety and well-being when you cannot be there.
  • Monitor your child's social media or texting interactions so you can identify problems before they get out of hand.
When Your Child Is the Bully 
  • Be sure your child knows that bullying is never OK.
  • Set firm and consistent limits on your child's aggressive behavior.
  • Be a positive role mode. Show children they can get what they want without teasing, threatening or hurting someone.
  • Use effective, non-physical discipline, such as loss of privileges.
  • Develop practical solutions with the school principal, teachers, counselors, and parents of the children your child has bullied.
When Your Child Is a Bystander
  • Encourage your child to join with others in telling bullies to stop.
  • Encourage your child to tell a trusted adult about the bullying.
  • Help your child support other children who may be bullied. Encourage your child to include these children in activities.
BEFORE AND AFTER SCHOOL CHILD CARE 
  • During early and middle childhood, youngsters need supervision. A responsible adult should be available to get them ready and off to school in the morning and supervise them after school until you return home from work.
  • If a family member will care for your child, communicate the need to follow consistent rules set by the parent regarding discipline and homework.
  • Children approaching adolescence (11- and 12-year-olds) should not come home to an empty house in the afternoon unless they show unusual maturity for their age.
  • If alternate adult supervision is not available, parents should make special efforts to supervise their children from a distance. Children should have a set time when they are expected to arrive at home and should check in with a neighbor or with a parent by telephone.
  • If you choose a commercial after-school program, inquire about the training of the staff. There should be a high staff-to-child ratio, and the rooms and the playground should be safe.
DEVELOPING GOOD HOMEWORK AND STUDY HABITS
  • Create an environment that is conducive to doing homework. Children need a consistent work space in their bedroom or another part of the home that is quiet, without distractions, and promotes study.
  • Schedule ample time for homework.
  • Establish a household rule that the TV and other electronic distractions stay off during homework time.
  • Supervise computer and Internet use.
  • Be available to answer questions and offer assistance, but never do a child's homework for her.
  • Take steps to help alleviate eye fatigue, neck fatigue and brain fatigue while studying. It may be helpful to close the books for a few minutes, stretch, and take a break periodically when it will not be too disruptive.
  • If your child is struggling with a particular subject, and you aren't able to help her yourself, a tutor can be a good solution. Talk it over with your child's teacher first.
  • Some children need help organizing their homework. Checklists, timers, and parental supervision can help overcome homework problems.
  • If your child is having difficulty focusing on or completing homework, discuss this with your child's teacher, school counselor, or health care provider. 
  • Establish a good sleep routine. Insufficient sleep is associated with lower academic achievement in middle school, high school and college, as well as higher rates of absenteeism and tardiness. The optimal amount of sleep for most adolescents is in the range of 8.5 to 9.5 hours per night.
 © 2015 - American Academy of Pediatrics

 

May 06, 2015
Category: Uncategorized
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Sun and Water Safety Tips

 

Keep your family safe this summer by following these tips from the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP).  

Babies under 6 months:

  • The two main recommendations from the AAP to prevent sunburn are to avoid sun exposure, and to dress infants in lightweight long pants, long-sleeved shirts, and brimmed hats that shade the neck to prevent sunburn. However, when adequate clothing and shade are not available, parents can apply a minimal amount of sunscreen with at least 15 SPF (sun protection factor) to small areas, such as the infant's face. If an infant gets sunburn, apply cool compresses to the affected area.

For All Other Children:

  • The first, and best, line of defense against harmful ultraviolet radiation (UVR) exposure is covering up. Wear 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 clothing with a tight weave.
  • Stay in the shade whenever possible, and limit sun exposure during the peak intensity hours - between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m.
  • On both sunny and cloudy days use a sunscreen with an SPF 15 or greater that protects against UVA and UVB rays.
  • Be sure to apply enough sunscreen -- about one ounce per sitting for a young adult.
  • Reapply sunscreen every two hours, or after swimming or sweating.
  • Use extra caution near water and sand (and even snow!) as they reflect UV rays and may result in sunburn more quickly.

HEAT STRESS IN EXERCISING CHILDREN
 

  • The intensity of activities that last 15 minutes or more should be reduced whenever high heat or humidity reach critical levels.
  • At the beginning of a strenuous exercise program or after traveling to a warmer climate, the intensity and duration of outdoor activities should start low and then gradually increase over 7 to 14 days to acclimatize to the heat, particularly if it is very humid.
  • Before outdoor physical activities, children should drink freely and should not feel thirsty. During activities less than one hour, water alone is fine. Kids should always have water or a sports drink available and take a break to drink every 20 minutes while active in the heat.
  • Clothing should be light-colored and lightweight and limited to one layer of absorbent material to facilitate evaporation of sweat. Sweat-saturated shirts should be replaced by dry clothing.
  • Practices and games played in the heat should be shortened and there should be more frequent water/hydration breaks. Children should promptly move to cooler environments if they feel dizzy, lightheaded or nauseous. 

POOL SAFETY
 

  • Never leave children alone in or near the pool or spa, even for a moment.
  • Whenever infants or toddlers are in or around water, an adult – preferably one who knows how to swim and perform CPR – should be within arm’s length, providing “touch supervision.”
  • Install a fence at least 4 feet high around all four sides of the pool. The fence should not have openings or protrusions that a young child could use to get over, under, or through.
  • Make sure pool gates open out from the pool, and self-close and self-latch at a height children can't reach. Consider alarms on the gate to alert you when someone opens the gate. Consider surface wave or underwater alarms as an added layer of protection.
  • If the house serves as the fourth side of a fence surrounding a pool, install an alarm on the exit door to the yard and the pool. For additional protection, install window guards on windows facing the pool. Drowning victims have also used pet doors to gain access to pools. Keep all of your barriers and alarms in good repair with fresh batteries.
  • Keep rescue equipment (a shepherd's hook ­– a long pole with a hook on the end — and life preserver) and a portable telephone near the pool. Choose a shepherd’s hook and other rescue equipment made of fiberglass or other materials that do not conduct electricity.
  • Avoid inflatable swimming aids such as “floaties.” They are not a substitute for approved life vests and can give children and parents a false sense of security.
  • Children ages 1 to 4 may be at a lower risk of drowning if they have had some formal swimming instruction. However, there is no evidence that swimming lessons or water survival skills courses can prevent drowning in babies younger than 1 year of age.
  • The decision to enroll a 1- to 4-year-old child in swimming lessons should be made by the parent and based on the child’s developmental readiness, but swim programs should never be seen as “drown proofing” a child of any age.
  • Avoid entrapment: Suction from pool and spa drains can trap a swimmer underwater. Do not use a pool or spa if there are broken or missing drain covers.  Ask your pool operator if your pool or spa’s drains are compliant with the Pool and Spa Safety Act. If you have a swimming pool or spa, ask your pool service representative to update your drains and other suction fitting with anti-entrapment drain covers and other devices or systems. See PoolSafely.gov for more information on the Virginia Graeme Baker Pool and Spa Safety Act.
  • Large, inflatable, above-ground pools have become increasingly popular for backyard use. Children may fall in if they lean against the soft side of an inflatable pool. Although such pools are often exempt from local pool fencing requirements, it is essential that they be surrounded by an appropriate fence just as a permanent pool would be so that children cannot gain unsupervised access.
  • If a child is missing, look for him or her in the pool or spa first.
  • Share safety instructions with family, friends and neighbors.

BOATING SAFETY 

  • Children should wear life jackets at all times when on boats or near bodies of water.
  • Make sure the life jacket is the right size for your child. The jacket should not be loose. It should always be worn as instructed with all straps belted.
  • Blow-up water wings, toys, rafts and air mattresses should not be used as life jackets or personal flotation devices. Adults should wear life jackets for their own protection, and to set a good example.
  • Adolescents and adults should be warned of the dangers of boating when under the influence of alcohol, drugs, and even some prescription medications. 

OPEN WATER SWIMMING 

  • Never swim alone. Even good swimmers need buddies!
  • A lifeguard (or another adult who knows about water rescue) needs to be watching children whenever they are in or near the water. Younger children should be closely supervised while in or near the water – use “touch supervision,” keeping no more than an arm’s length away. 
  • Make sure your child knows never to dive into water except when permitted by an adult who knows the depth of the water and who has checked for underwater objects.
  • Never let your child swim in canals or any fast moving water.
  • Ocean swimming should only be allowed when a lifeguard is on duty.
  • Teach children about rip currents. If you are caught in a rip current, swim parallel to shore until you escape the current, and then swim back to shore.
 

For more tips on sun and water safety, visit www.healthychildren.org

Copyright © 2013 American Academy of Pediatrics. Please feel free to use tips in any print or broadcast story with appropriate attribution of source.  ARTICLE COPIED FROM THE AMERICAN ACADEMY OF PEDIATRICS WEBPAGE.

 

Prematurity is the leading killer of America's newborns. Premature birth is birth that happens before 37 completed weeks of pregnancy. Babies who survive often have lifelong health problems, including cerebral palsy, intellectual disabilities, chronic lung disease, blindness and hearing loss.

Preterm birth can happen to any pregnant woman. In about half of all cases, the causes are unknown. The March of Dimes has taken on this devastating problem — to find out what causes it and how it can be stopped.

The US preterm birth rate peaked in 2006 at 12.8, after rising steadily for more than 2 decades, and dropped by more than 8 percent to 11.7 in 2011. The March of Dimes estimates that this single year improvement means about 16,000 babies were spared the health consequences of an early birth. Preterm births fell for the fifth straight year in 2011, and the improvement was across the board -- every racial and ethnic group benefitted, and there were fewer preterm babies born at all stages of pregnancy, according to preliminary birth data released by the National Center for Health Statistics.

About the Prematurity Campaign
The March of Dimes Prematurity Campaign was launched on January 30, 2003. The Campaign has two goals:

1. To raise public awareness of the problems of prematurity
2. To decrease the rate of preterm birth in the United States

The Campaign:

  • Funds research to find the causes of premature birth
  • Encourages investment of public and private research dollars to identify causes and to identify and test promising interventions
  • Educates women about risk-reduction strategies and the signs and symptoms of premature labor
  • Provides information and emotional comfort to families affected by prematurity
  • Advocates to expand access to health care coverage to improve maternity care and infant health outcomes
  • Helps health care providers to improve risk detection and address risk factors
  • Generates concern and action around the problem

Important milestones in the Campaign

  • In 2004, the March of Dimes created the Prematurity Research Initiative, which funds promising, innovative research into the causes of prematurity. Nearly $17.4 million has been awarded to 55 grantees over the past 6 years, and the program has already produced promising discoveries.
  • In 2005, the Institute of Medicine published the report Preterm Birth: Causes, Consequences, and Prevention. Funded in part by the March of Dimes, this report thoroughly documented the impact of premature birth on families, the health care system and business; it also provided the first cost estimates.
  • In 2005, the March of Dimes initiated the PREEMIE (Prematurity Research Expansion and Education for Mothers Who Deliver Infants Early) Act. This act became law in 2006. It authorizes increased federal support for research and education on prematurity. Work continues on appropriation of funding to implement the act's provisions.
  • In 2008, the first Surgeon General’s Conference on the Prevention of Preterm Birth was held. This conference was called for as part of the PREEMIE Act and brought together experts from the public and private sectors. March of Dimes staff and volunteers were key participants in each of the six work groups that developed goals for an action plan. The goals were presented to the Surgeon General at the conclusion of the conference. Achieving the goals of this plan requires both private and public resources for broad-based research, capacity building, data systems, creation of interventions, quality initiatives and a comprehensive communications strategy.
  • In 2008, a March of Dimes board resolution extended the Prematurity Campaign to 2020 and established prematurity prevention as a global campaign.
  • In 2009, the March of Dimes sponsored the Symposium on Quality Improvement to Prevent Prematurity. The Symposium brought together an interdisciplinary group to discuss quality improvement as an essential strategy to prevent prematurity. Attendees explored the state of quality initiatives and developed an action agenda to decrease the rate of preterm birth.
  • In 2009, the March of Dimes issued the white paper The Global and Regional Toll of Preterm Birth. In 2005, an estimated 13 million babies worldwide were born preterm, almost 10 percent of total births worldwide. About 1 million deaths in the first month of life are attributable to preterm birth. Around the world, preterm birth takes a huge emotional, physical and financial toll.
  • In 2012, Born Too Soon: The Global Action Report on Preterm Birth, was published by the March of Dimes Foundation, The Partnership for Maternal, Newborn & Child Health, Save the Children, and the World Health Organization, and represents almost 50 United Nations agencies, universities, and organizations. It contains the first-ever estimates of preterm birth rates by country.
  • In 2012, the March of Dimes set a goal of lowering the national preterm birth to 9.6 percent of all births by 2020. This goal can be achieved by a combination of activities: giving all women of childbearing age access to health care coverage, fully implementing proven interventions to reduce the risk of an early birth, such as not smoking during pregnancy, getting preconception and early prenatal care, progesterone treatments for women who are medically eligible, avoiding multiples from fertility treatments, avoiding elective c-sections and inductions before 39 weeks of pregnancy unless medically necessary, and by accelerating investment for new research on causes and prevention of preterm birth.
  • In 2012, through Strong Start, a partnership with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG), the March of Dimes is promoting its Healthy Babies are Worth the Wait campaign, which urges women and health care providers to avoid scheduling a medically unnecessary delivery before 39 weeks of pregnancy. This is because important development of the brain, lungs and other organs occur during the last few weeks of pregnancy.
  • In 2012, a new partnership between Association of State and Territorial Health Officials (ASTHO) and the March of Dimes, has been established to prevent preterm birth and infant mortality. State and territorial health departments have been invited to reduce premature birth by 8% in every state by 2014. As of November 1, 2012, 48 states, Puerto Rico and the District of Columbia have signed the pledge to accept ASTHO’s 2012 President’s Challenge to improve birth outcomes by reducing infant mortality and prematurity in their state.

progress and impact

For more than 70 years, the March of Dimes has saved millions of babies and children from death and disability through our lifesaving research and innovative programs, as well as the work of dedicated volunteers. The March of Dimes was founded in 1938 by President Franklin Delano Roosevelt to defeat polio, a dreaded disease that claimed the lives and limbs of America's children in record numbers. Within 17 years, the Salk vaccine was developed, and polio was defeated. 

The March of Dimes then turned its attention to an even greater challenge — fighting birth defects and other infant health problems. With a track record of success in bringing people together to solve complex health challenges, the March of Dimes is uniquely qualified to take on the problem of premature birth.

( article taken from www.marchofdimes.com) 

Last updated October 2012

Renaissance Pediatrics has been a long time supporter of the March of Dimes Foundation. It is with great pleasure that we are hosting the 75th Anniversary Gala for the March of Dimes Foundation at the Williamsburg Winery Limited in Williamsburg, Virginia.

Founded by FDR during his presidency, it was originally created to fight the polio epidemic that was plaguing our nation. Known then as the National Foundation for Infantile Paralysis, it eradicated polio with the creation of a vaccine by Drs. Jonas Salk and Albert Sabin, which was funded by the foundation.

With its original mission accomplished, the MOD soon changed their focus to birth defects and infant mortality. The March of Dimes continues to lead the way in the discovery of the genetic causes of birth defects, the creation and promotion of newborn screenings, and the education of medical professionals and the public on healthy pregnancies. It has supported research for surfactant therapy which treats respiratory distress and co-founded the system of regional neonatal intensive care for premature and sick babies.

In 2003, the March of Dimes began what it has been most recently known for; the Prematurity Campaign. With preterm births on the rise, the March of Dimes devoted itsself to a multi-year campaign to raise awareness and find the cause of prematurity.

The March of Dimes is the only medical foundation that has accomplished the mission for which it was founded and it continues to make strides within the medical community on behalf of all babies.

Renaissance Pediatrics is honored to sponsor this event with Wardell Orthopeadics located in Suffolk, Virginia. If you would like to donate to the March of Dimes or attend the event please contact our office at (757) 488-2223.

By Renaissance Pediatrics, P.C.
July 12, 2013
Category: Child Health
Tags: Welcome  

Welcome to Our Blog!

Renaissance Pediatrics, P.C. would like to welcome you to our blog. Here you will find informative and useful postings about child health care and our practice.

At Renaissance Pediatrics, P.C. we believe that educated parents are better prepared to make decisions regarding their child’s health and wellbeing.  Our blog was designed to provide you with valuable health care information, the latest pediatric developments and child health care advice from our dedicated team. 

Renaissance Pediatrics, P.C. hopes you find our blog to be a great resource for keeping up to date with proper child health care and treatments.

We welcome all comments and questions.

-- Renaissance Pediatrics, P.C.





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