1. Staph Infections: What Parents Need to Know About Treating and Preventing

    Mom putting bandage on daughter’s kneeCuts, scratches and scrapes are a typical part of growing up. A quick clean-up, a bandage, and a kiss from Mom frequently suffice to make everything better. Sometimes, however, a cut or scrape may become infected and, if not treated appropriately, could worsen and lead to an infection.

    A Staph infection, for example, can occur when an open wound is exposed to Staph bacteria – a bacteria found on the skin or in the nose of about a third of the population, according to The Mayo Clinic.

    Staph bacteria, the most common cause of skin infections in the United States, explains the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), can cause minor infections such as boils and pimples, which are usually treated without antibiotics. A more serious Staph infection may require an antibiotics regimen in order to rid the body of the infection.

    If you think that your child may have a Staph infection, consult your child’s pediatrician, who can advise if treatment requires antibiotics.

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    Categories: Health & Safety
  2. Common Symptoms of Strep Throat in Children and Ways to Treat It

    Mother taking son’s temperatureStrep throat can be a very painful and contagious infection. While anyone can catch strep throat, it is most common among school-age children and teens between the ages of 5 and 15 years old, as the bacteria that causes strep throat spreads most often during the school year when large groups of children are in close quarters, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

    How can you tell if your child has strep throat or is simply suffering from a sore throat? The CDC recommends checking for these common strep throat symptoms in children:

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    Categories: Health & Safety
  3. Should you limit how much time your child spends in front of a screen?

    Girls looking at cell phoneUp until recently, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) took a very hard stance on managing children’s technology use. In the academy’s research-based AAP guidelines, they advised that “screen time” (or the amount of time a child spent using a device with a screen, such as a cell phone or tablet) should be prohibited for children under age 2 and limited to two hours a day for children over 2 years old.

    The guidelines, initially published in 2011, were recently revised, however, to reflect the explosion of technology and apps aimed at young children. According to the non-profit Common Sense Media, more than 30 percent of children in the U.S. first play with a mobile device while they are still in diapers. Nearly 75 percent of 13- to 17-year-olds have smartphones, of which 24 percent admit to using their phones almost constantly, reports the Pew Research Center.

    According to the AAP, “screen time” is becoming simply “time,” and so they set out to review and update their guidelines, including through a two-day “Growing Up Digital: Media Research Symposium” in May. The goal of the symposium, notes the AAP website, was to evaluate available data, identify gaps in research, and consider how to provide thoughtful, practical advice to parents based on the evidence.

    Here’s a recap of the AAP’s key messages and updated guidelines for managing media usage and screen time for kids:

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    Categories: Parenting Tips
  4. Helping Your Child to Cope with Divorce

    Boy with teddy bear and parents fightingAccording to The New York Times, the divorce rate in America has been declining for a few decades. Nevertheless, there are still many children who have to cope with having their parents separate, so it’s important for parents to help their kids manage this difficult situation – although this often is easier said than in practice.

    Most separating or divorcing parents may have never gone through the process before, and therefore may be unsure of what to do when helpings kids cope with divorce. Here are some ways:

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    Categories: Parenting Tips
  5. Alleviating Back-to-School Anxiety

    Children getting onto a school busAs the first week of school approaches, you begin to notice a change in your child. Maybe he or she becomes nervous at the mention of starting a new school year or throws a fit every time someone brings up the subject of meeting his or her new teacher.

    What could those changes mean?

    For some children, acting out or withdrawing or complaining of small physical pains such as a headache could be signs of back-to-school anxiety, notes Jeremy Pettit, an associate professor of psychology at Florida International University. If you notice any of those signs as your child prepares for the upcoming school year, try these tips for easing his or her anxiety:

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    Categories: Parenting Tips