Your Toddler

Got Water?

Too many children are getting much of their water from sweetened beverages rather than plain old H2O, the researchers found. The study also revealed that those who drink water consume fewer sweetened beverages and eat fewer high-calorie foods.Children in the United States are not drinking as much water as they should, and the deficiency can have far-reaching implications, a new study suggests.

"Even mild dehydration can affect physiological function, and cause fatigue, muscle weakness, headaches and dry mouth," said Samantha Heller, clinical nutrition coordinator at the Center for Cancer Care at Griffin Hospital in Derby, Conn., who was not involved in the study. Impaired cognitive and mental performance are also linked to inadequate hydration, said Heller. According to the study, published in the October issue of the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, depending on age-only 15 to 60 percent of boys, and 10 to 54 percent of girls drink the minimum amount of water recommended by the U.S. Institute of Medicine. Too many children are getting much of their water from sweetened beverages rather than plain old H2O, the researchers found. The study also revealed that those who drink water consume fewer sweetened beverages and eat fewer high-calorie foods. The research looked at the water intake of 3,978 boys and girls, aged 2 to 19 years, who had been included in a national nutrition study from 2005 to 2006. The investigators found that water intake from all sources varied by age: 2 to 5 year-olds drank 5.9 cups a day. 6 to 11 year-olds got 6.8 cups, and 12 to 1-year-olds consumed 10.1 cups daily. Girls generally drank less than boys. The findings also suggest that kids of all ages are more likely to drink beverages, such as sodas, tea or milk, and not water at mealtime. Water makes up 55 to 75 percent of total body weight, said Heller. "We cannot live without water for more than a few days because our bodies cannot store water. Thus, it is essential we replace the water our bodies lose every day." Heller, a nutritionist and dietitian, advises starting children on water early. "Give them water instead of sweetened beverages during the day and between meals," she said. To make it more appealing, put sliced cucumbers, oranges, lemons or strawberries in ice water, she suggested.

Your Toddler

Preschool Lunch Isn’t Always Nutritious

Parents may be sacrificing nutrition by giving their children the food they like when packing their preschoolers lunch. That's one of the conclusions of a new study in the January 2009 issue of the Journal of the American Dietetic Association. The study found that 71 percent of packed lunches didn't have enough fruits and vegetables and that one in four preschoolers didn't get enough milk with lunch.

"What we found primarily was that parents weren't sending in as many fruits and vegetables and whole grains as they should, and the number of milk servings was low, too," said study author Sara J. Sweitzer, a registered dietician and a doctoral candidate at the University of Texas at Austin. The study was triggered by a recent change in Texas day-care regulations that allow day-care programs to stop providing meals and snacks. A subsequent survey found that about half of child-care centers in two Texas counties had chosen to do just that. But they survey also reported that directors of those centers said that children were being given chips, prepackaged lunches and "junk food" by their parents. Vegetables, fruits and whole grains were rarely included. To determine whether or not these results were true, Sweitzer and her colleagues interviewed the parents of 74 children from five day-care centers. All of the children were between three and five years old and most were white and from families headed by two adults. The children's lunches were observed for a three-day period so the researchers could accurately assess the nutritional content. 67 percent of the parents interviewed said they packed nutritious food, even though they thought their child probably wouldn't eat them. 63 percent said they packed foods they knew their child would eat. Milk was available at the child-care center, but the child had to request it. According to the study, only 29 percent of the packed lunches contained adequate fruits and vegetables and only 20 percent of the children had a milk serving at lunch. 11 percent didn't get enough whole grains. "Fruits and vegetables and whole grains need to be presented on a regular basis," said Sweitzer, adding, "With chronic disease issues such as type 2 diabetes on the rise, this becomes a very key time to educate this child about nutrition." The easiest thing to do, she suggested, is to pack up some of the previous night's dinner to be reheated in a microwave, which is usually available at child-care centers.

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Your Toddler

Small Children and Rx Poisoning

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Most small children who are poisoned by an adult’s prescription medication do not get it from a secured cabinet but rather from a purse, countertop, sofa cushion, floor or other easy-to-see place in the house.

The medications that are dangerous enough to send a child to the emergency room usually belong to a mother or grandparent according to a report released by the non-profit group Safe Kids Worldwide, based in Washington D.C.

Kids "are getting medications from Mom's purse and Grandma's pillbox," says Rennie Ferguson, a researcher for Safe Kids.

Ferguson examined 2,315 emergency department records on children 4 years old and under that were compiled by the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) in 2011.

67,000 children visited emergency departments in 2011 after accidental exposure to one or more medications.

The report notes that such cases have grown by 30% in the last decade amid a growing number of prescription and non-prescription medicines in the home. While ER cases dropped slightly between 2010-2011, the difference was not statistcally significant.

Where are children finding unsecured medicines? When examining the cases, the researchers noted that when a source was recorded:

-       27% came from the floor or had been otherwise misplaced.

-       20% came from a purse, bag or wallet.

-       20% had been left out on counters, dressers, tables or nightstands.

-       15% came from a pillbox or bag of pills.

-       6% came from a cabinet or drawer.

-       12% came from other places.

The medications belonged to adults in 86% of cases, the report adds. Moms (31%) and grandparents (38%) were the most common sources.

Because small children tend to put anything and everything in their mouths, an accidental poisoning can happen quickly while someone is distracted or out of the room.

The new data suggests that small children infrequently get into medications that are properly stored.

Many times people think they will forget to take their meds if they do not see them. If you have small children in the house, or ones that visit, store the medicines in a secure cabinet and set your watch or cell phone alarm to remind you to take them.

Make sure you do not leave medicines in a coat pocket or purse where children can find them. Also, you should speak up and ask that medications be stored away when your children visit the homes of grandparents, other relatives or friends. If you feel awkward in bringing up the subject, you can always mention that your child is at a very curious stage where they get into everything. It’s absolutely true – small children are curious about everything and they seldom understand which things are dangerous and which ones are not. It’s much better to be safe than sorry.

If you think a child has taken a medication that is not meant for them, the best thing to do is to call the National Poison Help Line at 1-800-222-1222.  The line is open 24 hours a day.

If your child is exhibiting acute signs of being poisoned call 911 first.

Symptoms of poisoning may include:

-       Seizure

-       Stop breathing

-       Change in cognitive abilities

-       Nausea

-       Vomiting

-       Drowsiness

-       Stomach pain

Check to see if you can find any loose pills or bottles around the child so you can determine what he or she has taken.

Prescribed medications can be necessary and effective for a host of illnesses or conditions. Many households have at least one prescription medicine in the home at all times. But there are many things parents and other caregivers can do to minimize risks, says Kate Carr, Safe Kids president and CEO. The first is to store medications out of sight and out of reach — "up and away" in the catchphrase of an ongoing medication safety campaign led by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Up and away, easy to remember - easy to do.

Sources: Kim Painter, http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2013/03/20/children-medication-poisoning/1998237

 

Your Toddler

Replace Recalled Brand With Generic

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For the time being, Frattarelli suggests parents look for generic versions of the medications, which are just as effective as name brands. "It's really just a difference in flavor or packaging," said Frattarelli, who heads the American Academy of Pediatrics' Committee on Drugs. "Sometimes they are almost indistinguishable.”What to do? When kids begin sniffling, the first thing many parents reach for is Children's Tylenol. But that option is not available since a massive recall last year.

Nine months later, the Johnson & Johnson unit that was responsible is still ironing out its problems, and there's little indication of when parents will be able to turn to the brand. But medical experts say that when it comes to treating sick kids, there are still plenty of options. "The nice thing about this situation is that there are other alternatives to name brands," said Dr. Daniel Frattarelli, chairman of pediatrics at Oakwood Hospital in Dearborn, Michigan. The recall was announced last April 30 by Johnson & Johnson's McNeil Consumer Healthcare division. More than 50 variations of the company's liquid products for infants and children were pulled from shelves, including certain types of Tylenol, Zyrtec, Benadryl and Motrin. In all, 136 million bottles of medicine were recalled — the largest withdrawal of children's medications from the market in U.S. history. The products were recalled after a U.S. Food and Drug Administration inspection of the Fort Washington, Pa., plant where McNeil manufactures them. Investigators found a host of problems, and company executives acknowledged that some of the medications "may contain a higher concentration of active ingredient than is specified; others may contain inactive ingredients that may not meet internal testing requirements; and others may contain tiny particles." The company added that although there were no reports of adverse medical effects from the recalled products, customers should nevertheless stop using them. The plant in question has been shut since April, and additional recalls of children's Tylenol and Benadryl, as well as various adult products, continued through the end of 2010. It's still unclear when McNeil children's products will be back on store shelves. Assessments of the Fort Washington plant and others are continuing, company spokeswoman Bonnie Jacobs said. She added that "McNeil will take whatever steps are needed" to correct their continuing problems, including, if necessary, more recalls. For the time being, Frattarelli suggests parents look for generic versions of the medications, which are just as effective as name brands. "It's really just a difference in flavor or packaging," said Frattarelli, who heads the American Academy of Pediatrics' Committee on Drugs. "Sometimes they are almost indistinguishable.” The simplest way to find a generic version of a medication is to look for one with the same active ingredient, he said. Children's Tylenol contains acetaminophen, and children's Motrin contains ibuprofen. Both are used to treat aches and pains and to reduce fevers. Generic alternatives also are available for the allergy medications Zyrtec and Benadryl, said Dr. Stanley Fineman, president-elect of the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology. Zyrtec contains a long-acting antihistamine called cetirizine, which helps relieve symptoms like runny noses and itchy eyes, noses and skin. The active ingredient in Benadryl is diphenhydramine, which addresses the same symptoms but can cause drowsiness, Fineman said. Parents should not give kids partial doses of adult medications, doctors warn. Even with medications for infants, it's important to adhere to the age limits printed on the packaging. For instance, acetaminophen should be given only to children who are at least 3 months old. "If you have a young child under 3 months who has a fever, that's not a situation where you want to give them something to block the fever and call it a day," Frattarelli said. "A fever under 3 months needs to be evaluated."

Your Toddler

Is Your Child a Biter?

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At some time or another your sweet child is going to bite or wallop someone, most likely another kid. And yes, it's embarrassing to have to pull your child off another or to apologize to grandma because her grandchild just took a chunk out of her arm. 

Know that you’re not alone - all kids bite and /or hit. The key to stopping aggression in children is teaching them that there are alternative ways to handle frustration and biting is not acceptable behavior.

Not all biting stems from anger. The younger the child, the less chance that biting is an aggressive behavior. It can also be a simple case of exploration. Young children bite for many reasons, from painful gums because they are teething to seeing what kind of reaction they get. Children between the ages of one and three typically go through a biting phase they eventually outgrow.

While biting may be a normal phase kids go through, it’s something you want to discourage.

Let’s look at some of the reasons kids bite.

  • They're in pain. When babies bite, typically it's because they're teething. They're just doing it to relieve the pain of their swollen, tender gums.
  • They're exploring their world. Very young children use their mouths to explore, just as they use their hands. Just about everything infants or toddlers pick up eventually winds up in their mouths. Kids this age aren't yet able to prevent themselves from biting the object of their interest.
  • They're looking for a reaction. Part of exploration is curiosity. Toddlers experiment to see what kind of reaction their actions will provoke. They'll bite down on a friend or sibling to hear the surprised exclamation, not realizing how painful the experience is for that person.
  • They're craving attention. In older kids, biting is just one of several bad behaviors used to get attention. When a child feels ignored, discipline is at least one way of getting noticed -- even if the attention is negative rather than positive.
  • They're frustrated. Biting, like hitting, is a way for some children to assert themselves when they're still too young to express feelings effectively through words. To your child, biting is a way to get back a favorite toy, tell you that he or she is unhappy, or let another child know that he or she wants to be left alone.

So, how do you prevent or teach your child that they can’t go through life biting others?

You start with consistent prevention and move on to discipline if they are older.

  • If your baby is teething, make sure to always have a cool teething ring or washcloth on hand so he or she will be less likely to sink teeth into someone's arm.
  • Avoid situations in which your child can get irritable enough to bite. Make sure that all of your child's needs -- including eating and naptime -- are taken care of before you go out to play. Bring along a snack to soothe your child if he or she gets cranky from being hungry.
  • As soon as your child is old enough, encourage your child to use words such as “I'm angry with you" or "That's my toy" instead of biting. Other ways to express frustration or anger include hugging (not hitting) a stuffed animal or punching a pillow. Sometimes redirection is helpful; shortening activities or giving your child a break can help prevent the rising frustration that can lead to biting and other bad behaviors.
  • Give your child enough of your time throughout the day (for example, by reading or playing together), so he or she doesn't bite just to get attention. Extra attention is especially important when your child is going through a major life change, such as a move or welcoming a baby sibling. If your child is prone to biting, keep an eye on any playmates and step in when an altercation appears to be brewing.

You’ve done all that is possible to prevent another biting situation, and low and behold your child is biting another. What do you do then?

When your child bites, firmly let your child know that this behavior is not acceptable by saying, "No. We don't bite!" Explain that biting hurts the other person. Then remove your child from the situation and give the child time to calm down. It’s important that you remain calm.

Seeing your child bite another is naturally going to create an unpleasant reaction in you. As soon as you witness a biting episode, your body tenses, your heart races, and even if you don't actually scream, you really want to. The angrier you are, the tenser the situation becomes. You are much more likely to strike your child when you let your anger get the best of you. Take a deep breath, assess the situation and intervene calmly. Remove your child, let him or her calm down and explain (yes, once again) that biting is not going to be tolerated. If your child is old enough to understand time-out, this is a good time to use it. If not, remove the child from the temptation. Playtime is over.

One way some parents handle biting is to bite their own child to show them how painful it can be. Doing what you are telling your child not to do sends a mixed message. It’s similar to hitting your child and then saying “don’t hit others.” Most likely your child will experience how painful it is because another child will bite them someday.

The point is not so much that biting is painful, the action itself is unkind, unproductive and wrong.

When biting becomes a habit or continues past the age 4 or 5, it may stem from a more serious emotional problem. This is the time to ask for help from your pediatrician, family doctor or a child psychologist.

If your child is bitten, wash the area with soap and water. If the bite is bleeding and the wound appears to be deep, call your child’s doctor. The bite may need medical treatment, which could include antibiotics or a tetanus shot or both.

Biting is a horrible habit to get into and a difficult one to stop. Start teaching your child early that momma and daddy are not putting up with it and that there are better ways to explore the world and handle frustration.

Source: http://www.webmd.com/parenting/guide/stop-children-from-biting

Your Toddler

Honey Relieves Kid’s Cough

1.45 to read

My grandmother used to say a little honey was the best thing to stop a cough. A new study, published in the September issue of Pediatrics confirms what mothers and grandmothers have been saying for decades… a couple of teaspoons of honey soothes the throat, stops the coughing and helps you sleep better.

It’s tough for parents to find an over-the-counter solution to treat colds and coughs. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) states that over-the-counter (OTC) cough and cold medicines don't work for children younger than 6 years and may pose risks. The FDA takes a similar stance.

In the new study, 270 children aged 1 to 5 with nighttime cough due to simple colds received one of three types of honey or a non-honey liquid of similar taste and consistency 30 minutes before bedtime. Parents completed questionnaires about their child's cough and sleep on the night before the study began and then again the night after their kids were treated.

Children received either 2 teaspoons of eucalyptus honey, citrus honey, Labiatae honey, or similar-tasting silan date extract 30 minutes before bed. All kids did better the second night of the study, including those given the date extract. But children who received honey coughed less frequently, less severely, and were less likely to lose sleep due to the cough when compared to those who didn't get honey. 

The study was co-funded by the Honey Board of Israel.

Not only were the children able to sleep better, parents were able to sleep through the night as well. That’s a huge relief especially for parents who have to be at the office or on the job site the next day.

Mild coughing isn’t always a bad thing: it helps clear mucus from the airway. But an acute cough can be relentless - causing vomiting and gasping for air.

Honey can be part of a supportive care regimen for children with colds, says Alan Rosenbloom, MD. He is a pediatrician in private practice in Baldwin, N.Y.

There are a few caveats, he says. Honey is not appropriate for children younger than 1 because they are at risk for infant botulism. "Never give honey to a child under the age of 1."

Skip the honey, and call your pediatrician if your child also has:

  • Fever
  • Prolonged, worsening cough
  • Wheezing
  • Cold symptoms that last longer than two weeks

If your child has a cold, Rosenbloom suggests a couple of other ways you can help them be more comfortable. Try saline drops or nasal spray, a humidifier in the bedroom to keep the air moist, and propping up the child's head during sleep to stop the postnasal drip that can trigger coughing.

If you want to give honey a try, there’s no need for a “special” kind of honey – any honey will do. It may be the best choice in the first few days of a cold – less coughing, better sleep, safer and more effective than OTC medications.

Looks like grandma was right—as always.

Source: http://children.webmd.com/news/20120806/mom-was-right-honey-can-calm-cou...

Your Toddler

Are Little Girl's Toys Too Sexy?

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Peter Pan may never have grown up, but Tinker Bell and her fairy friends definitely have. The Disney Fairies boast hourglass figures, coy glances and barely-there mini dresses. In short, these girls aren’t your mama’s pixies.Notice anything new about the dolls and ponies that your daughter picks up at the toy store these days? Once you get a good look at them, do you think they may be a little too hot-to-trot? You're not alone.

An article on this week’s MSNBC’s website, offers a look into the world of children’s sexed-up play things. Peter Pan may never have grown up, but Tinker Bell and her fairy friends definitely have. The Disney Fairies boast hourglass figures, coy glances and barely-there mini dresses. In short, these girls aren’t your mama’s pixies. Even trolls have come of age. Those formerly stout, pug-nosed kewpies, have reemerged in a new slim, thigh-baring line called Trollz. Rainbow Brite and Strawberry Shortcake have become tweens and shed their baby fat.  And et tu Holly Hobbie? She’s traded her prairie dresses for a saucy wardrobe and lightened locks. In recent years, Disney, Mattel and other major companies have revisited a host of iconic dolls and turned them into freshly tarted-up — or at least more grown-up —toys. New lines, like the Monster High Dolls and hot-to-trot Struts horses (yes, horses),  came out of the gate tramping it up and they're making some parents — and psychologists, uncomfortable. “They send the message to kids that you can’t just be you,” says Lori Mayfield, a 30-year-old mother of four from Draper, Utah. “It seems like toy makers are setting up our kids.” While she likes the Disney fairies because they “have a good friendship and there’s always a lesson to be learned,” she says that even she and her husband, Chad, were startled by their saucy style. The actually found themselves recently debating which fairy is the hottest. (Consensus: Silvermist.)  Mayfield, who runs the blog, Twinfinity from her home, says she and her husband strive to teach the kids that beauty comes from within, but frets that her 6-year-old daughter is already asking to wear makeup and worrying whether her coat makes her look fat. Dale Atkins, a psychologist says she's upset about what the revved-up dolls are teaching girls about their own appearance.  “When we have these ridiculous models —sexualized children, and horses with long eyelashes that are flirtatious and all of that — it sets up this ideal of beauty and body image that kids have to pay attention to because they can’t not pay attention to it. And they feel less good as they’re trying to develop a good sense about their own bodies," she says. "The sexualized aspect just makes them feel like they're only good if they are objectified. ... And it's all so subtle, for a child anyway. We parents and adults look at this and say, 'Oh my gosh, this is so blatant, but in fact it's subtle because kids are playing with these things and then they look in the mirror." But representatives at Mattel, the makers of the wildly popular Monster High Dolls, say its controversial line of toy dolls, featuring the teen offspring of monsters, aims to show kids it's OK to be different. “Monster High is all about celebrating your imperfections and accepting the imperfections of others," says Margaux Vega, spokeswoman for Mattel.  She acknowledges that the dolls, which sport fishnet stockings, heavy makeup and ultrashort skirts, appeal mostly to 5- to 7-year-olds. But they also have online personas and webisodes aimed at older kids that tell each doll's back-story. "Clawdeen Wolf is the teenage daughter of a werewolf. In the webisodes, she has to shave and wax and pluck between classes," Vega says. "Girls of a certain age know about the embarrassment of unwanted hair in unwanted places.” 'Why does she look like a boy?' It's gotten so that some kids, even young tots, expect that dolls will look like they've already been through puberty.  When Joy Oglesby showed her daughter, Lauren Welmaker, a picture of the old version of Tinker Bell in a library book, the 4-year-old, who has all the new Disney fairies, wondered: "Why does she look like a boy?" Oglesby, 34, of Fort Lauderdale, Fla., has seen Struts horses, which have long eyelashes and wear high heels on their hooves, and says her daughter would love one. "The mane is silky and she would be attracted to the eyes, and the accessories that come with it. It looks very girly, I'm not sure why she gravitates to this kind of toy, but I'm not worried about it yet." But the effect of titillating toys creeps in slowly, says Peggy Orenstein, the author of the bestseller “Cinderella Ate my Daughter.” “Girls don’t naturally want to be sexy — they want to be girls,” says Orenstein. “That is natural. [But] when they continue to see images of toys that are supposed to be age appropriate emulating sexiness, then that un-natural aspiration, becomes natural.”  Orenstein says toy manufacturers began following the marketing strategy “Kids Getting Older Younger” when they realized that toys marketed towards kids between the ages of 8 and 12 were attracting kids who were in the 3-year-old to 8-year-old age range because they wanted to emulate their older brothers and sisters. But Donna Tobin, director of global brand strategy and marketing for Hasbro, says the company actually has gone the opposite direction with makeovers for its toy My Little Pony, aimed at girls ages 3 to 6. "We want our girls to stay little longer!" she says. "Look at My Little Pony. She’s cute. She’s pretty. She’s pink. She may have a different look, but she has always stood for friendship. We’re not about ipstick or shaving." As younger kids gravitate to older toys earlier, their big sisters and brothers often have already closed up their toy boxes and moved on to other things. At ages 6 and 8, sisters Amanda and Sophia Oliva of Fort Lauderdale, Fla., aren't interested in playing princess anymore, says their mom, Lauri. When they play dress up, they pretend to be models. And their newest obsession is with teen music sensation Taylor Swift. “Now, everything in our house is about Taylor Swift," says Lauri Oliva, 46. Sophia tries to emulate her. She'll sing and dance Taylor Swift karaoke songs in the mirror.” For Sophia's birthday, all she wanted was tickets to a Swift concert. "Kids are 8 going on 15 these days,” she says. What is old is new again Some kids' toys aren't necessarily being marketed to kids, but rather to their parents, says Reyne Rice, trend specialist for the Toy Industry Association. She says updating the look of a toy is a way manufacturers can appeal to the new generation of consumers while still tapping into the nostalgic interest and collector dollars of the older generation.  “A lot of these toy manufacturers realized the interest in brands that have been around for generations and realized there was still interest in the brands — from both the children as young as 3, as well as their parents,” says Rice. But Dr. Gail Saltz, psychiatrist, suggests parents actually seek out their old favorites instead of embracing some of the "refreshed" versions. “You have to use your judgment,” she says — and maybe hit up eBay or garage sales for the classic versions. “If you have a choice, I’d take the old Strawberry Shortcake.” Saltz says these sexed-up toys and childhood icons go in the same category as violent video games and PG-13 movies: Parents need to take a close look, evaluate them for themselves, and decide whether they’re appropriate. Melissa Walker, 41, of Southlake, Texas, walks the line of finding suitable toys for her daughters Gabrielle, 6, and Adeline,4, while letting them indulge their interests. Gabrielle loves the Disney fairies and says her favorite is Rosetta, "because she's pink and that's my favorite color. And because I like flowers and she makes flowers." (Rosetta is the red-headed fairy with a "garden talent.") Walker doesn't mind the Disney fairy makeover because of the overall message they send. "They control everything. They are in charge of seasons, of things working. They are good role models," says Walker. But she draws the line at sexy doll clothes. On a recent shopping trip to Costco, Walker saw a big bin of Barbie clothes, but despite her daughters' love for the doll, her cart remained empty. "There was not one outfit that wasn't a 'hoochie' dress. I guess it was the 'Barbie Goes Wild' collection. We didn't buy anything. There's no reason for that," adding that she's happy to buy Barbie outfits where she looks like a doctor or a princess or a soccer player. Walker has a strict "no exposed belly buttons" rule in her house, and figures her kids' dolls should follow it, too. "We don't want to plant that too soon," she says. "We'll have that fight soon enough."

Your Toddler

Deafness After Mumps More Common Than Thought

New research out shows that mumps-related hearing loss in children may be 20 times more common than previously suggested. "Deafness is rare but important complication of mumps virus infection," the researchers from Japan's Hashimoto Pediatric Clinic in Osaka wrote in a report in The Pediatric Infectious Disease Journal. The researchers determined the incidence of sudden hearing loss in children with mumps based upon a population-based office survey of more than 7,500 patients from 40 pediatric practices in Japan, a country where mumps is constantly present.

Among 7400 children who took hearing tests after the onset of mumps, seven or 0.1 percent had confirmed hearing loss. Hearing loss in the seven children was confined to one ear but was "severe and did not improve over time," the researchers note. None of the 7 children with mump-related hearing loss had been vaccinated against the mumps. In a commentary on the Japanese report, Dr. Stanley A. Plotkin from the University of Pennsylvania, Doylestown, highlights the lack of universal mumps vaccination in Japan. The absence of vaccination against mumps is "surprising for a developed country," Plotkin wrote, "and this regrettable policy must be changed for the sake of Japanese children."

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Your Toddler

Talk to Your Toddler Often!

1.45 to read

Want your toddler to cultivate a good vocabulary?  Talk to him or her often and in great detail. A new study suggests that the more an adult talks to a toddler, the better language skills the child will develop

The study included 29 children, 19 months old, from low-income Hispanic families. Each child was fitted with a small audio recorder that captured all the sounds he or she heard during the day in their homes.

The recordings were analyzed to distinguish between adult speech directed at the toddlers and speech they only overheard, such as when a parent or other caregiver was on the phone or talking with another adult.

The researchers found a wide spectrum of differences in the families. Some parents engaged their tot in conversation on a regular basis and some barely spoke to their little one. One child heard more than 12,000 words of child-directed speech in a day, while another heard only 670, according to the study released online recently in the journal Psychological Science.

"That's just 67 words per hour, less speech than you'd hear in a 30-second commercial," study co-author Anne Fernald, a psychology professor at Stanford University, said in a news release from the Association for Psychological Science.

The scientists followed up five months later with the children and tested their language skills. At age 24 months, those who had experienced more child-directed speech had larger vocabularies than those who heard less child-directed speech.

Experts say reading to your child is a wonderful way to help your child learn language skills. While reading, include extra information. An example might be: The bird flew over the tree  - The bird was a little brown bird, like the birds in our yard. What sound does a bird make? Cheep, cheep! Now, you say it. Cheep, cheep.

Developing good language skills early will help your toddler express what he or she wants better and may help lessen some of the frustration toddlers often experience.

Source: Robert Preidt, http://consumer.healthday.com/kids-health-information-23/child-development-news-124/briefs-emb-10-21-toddlers-language-psych-science-release-batch-988-681484.html

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