Children tend to absorb everything around them. As much as you may think your baby or toddler isn’t paying attention, he or she is likely absorbing any background activity or noise. That’s why it’s so important to be conscientious about how much and what kinds of media your child consumes at each stage of development, regardless of whether done actively, such as watching a movie on TV, or passively, such as playing the radio. The programming you select, including any adult media, can influence your child.
The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) suggests that TV and other media should be avoided for children age 2 or younger. Instead, the AAP emphasizes that children should learn from play and from human — not screen — interaction.
It’s therefore important for parents to determine how to regulate, limit, or monitor the media impact on children. Here are some tips:
Babies and toddlers have very little concept of danger, evidenced by the way they may walk into – or sometimes lunge off of – objects without fear of falling or injury. As important as it is to teach toddlers about eating healthy foods and good manners, it’s also essential that they understand how to avoid harming themselves and how to address danger.
New parents often find themselves losing sleep over late-night wake-up calls, whether to feed a hungry baby or lull one back to sleep. It follows that moms and dads may turn to co-sleeping with their baby to make nighttime feedings easier or to help a nursing mother and her baby get on the same sleep cycle.
Is co-sleeping with your baby safe? Evidence-based research and experts say no.
Co-sleeping puts babies at risk of suffocation and strangulation, according to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission. Although research is ongoing to determine if there’s a connection between co-sleeping and Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS), it has been shown that co-sleeping increases the likelihood of accidental death.
Babies are often more susceptible than adults to short- and long-term damage from ultraviolet (UV) rays, due to the delicateness of their skin. However, that doesn’t mean your family has to ban the beach altogether. In fact, there are benefits to taking babies who are at least a few months old to the beach. The texture of the sand, the sound of the waves, and salty ocean air all provide rich sensory experiences that aid in your baby’s development.
Instead of ruling out the beach for your baby this summer, follow these tips for safe fun in the sun:
We all want to keep our children safe and injury free. You can start by teaching your children these five safety tips:
Tip #1: Street Safety. Demonstrate how to look left and right before crossing the street. Teach your kids how to use and obey traffic and safety signals, and to walk on the left hand side of the road (i.e., facing traffic). Explain that cars can’t always see them, and that they must be aware of everything around them at all times. Above all, make sure they understand that they can’t play in the street.
Tip #2: Water Safety. Knowing how to swim is both a fun activity and a potentially life-saving ability. If you don’t know how to swim, consider taking yourself and your children for swim lessons and safety training at a local pool or athletics club. And, never let a young child swim alone. A person can drown or nearly drown in seconds – active supervision is the key to prevention.