Children's Health

More on Creative Play from NPR

February 28, 2008

Creative playHere's a link to this morning's follow-up story from NPR's Morning Edition about children and creative play: Creative Play Makes for Kids in Control. We wrote about the story that aired last week that introduced the subject. You can read our take on it here or jump directly to the story on NPR's website: Old Fashioned Play Builds Serious Skills. Either way, the series is really fascinating, especially given the over-regulated lives that many children lead these days.

You can also read answers to reader-submitted questions about kids and play from Adele Diamond, a professor of developmental cognitive neuroscience at the University of British Columbia.

The Importance of Imaginitive Play

February 21, 2008

Children playing at a parkMy husband e-mailed me a link to a story he heard on NPR's Morning Edition yesterday morning while driving in to work. It was something of particular interest to me, a story about the importance of imaginitive play in the lives of children, and how it greatly affects their development and behavior. It's an interesting take on the role of toys, especially specific toys such as those tied into TV shows and movies, and the commercialization of children's play (marked by the debut of the Mickey Mouse Club in 1955 and its associated toy advertising).

Breastfeeding Tips from Moms for Moms

February 19, 2008

Breastfeeding my children was one of the best choices that I made as a mother. I have been nursing my 2 children a total of 4 years. When I had my first child, I almost gave up breastfeeding after the first few weeks of his birth. My son had a hard time latching on and never got enough food. I recently came across an article in Parents Magazine called 23 Great Nursing Tips from Moms that offers some valuable you-can-do-it. I wish I had read this article when I was beginning my nursing endeavor. Some of the tips that I most identified include:

Snacks for Kids: A Necessity

February 16, 2008

A recent AP article in the IJ  (Wednesday, February 13, 2008) stresses the necessity of making sure active kids eat healthy snacks throughout the day. Younger children, especially, need two snacks during the day since they definitely need the energy. I'm not going to rewrite the article here (and I can't find it on the IJ's website), but the gist of it is that kids need healthy snacks low in fat and sugars and high in fiber and nutrients. Fruit and crackers, two snack staples in our home, are specifically mentioned.

At least five servings of fruits and vegetables are recommended; that's at least 2 1/2 cups of vegetables and 1 1/2 cups of fruit. One of the ways we like to make sure the kids consume enough fruit is through fruit smoothies like the one we wrote about here.

How Safe is That Plastic Bottle or Sippy Cup?

January 23, 2008

Sippy cups and bottlesWith all talk about toxic plastics in the news, I decided to research the subject a little closer and find out which children and household items are not safe in my home. After finding a quick reference of plastic codes from the National Geographic Green Guides, I decided to go through my kitchen cabinet and check the kid’s sippy cups and plastic dishes to find out if they should be avoided. You can check the type of plastic of an item by looking for the number on the bottom.

Lead Poisoning: Is Your Child at Risk?

December 7, 2007

Marin Mommies is pleased to present the second in a series of guest posts by pediatricians Dr. Steven Martel and Dr. Oded Herbsman. Drs. Herbsman and Martel are the founders of Child’s Light Pediatrics, Inc., an innovative, house-call based pediatric practice that serves Marin and San Francisco.

There has been a lot of media attention regarding the risk of lead exposure from children’s toys. Most of this attention has been focused on the risk of exposure from lead paint in toys made in China.

What is lead poisoning?

Lead is a toxic metal that affects the nervous system.  It is absorbed primarily through the inhalation of lead dust and ingestion of lead products.  Lead poisoning generally occurs slowly after repeated exposures.

Sleep Safely with a Sleep Sack

November 10, 2007

sleep sackNow that the nights are getting chilly, the safest way to keep baby warm is with a sleep sack. For those who have big babies or toddlers who kick off the covers at night, Baby in a Bag carries traditional European-style sleep sacks in larger sizes. These premium sleep sacks are made from breathable, comfortable fabrics, and are available in a variety of styles, including lightweight summer and heavier winter models, both made of soft 100% cotton; as well as PamperSacks made from a variety of fabrics, including soft Minky, eco-friendly soybean protein fiber, and luxurious 100% silk. All are available in a variety of colors and patterns. Prices start at $24.95, so they're not terribly expensive, and make a great new-baby or shower gift!

Get Your Unique, Handmade Shopping Cart Cover

October 24, 2007
Now that fall has arrived, the flu and cold season is just around the corner. I have to admit that I’m a little paranoid about germs, so when my son and daughter were old enough to sit in a shopping cart, I quickly ran out and bought a cart cover. The one that I purchased wasn’t very good and would never fit around the shopping cart properly.

Understanding Influenza and the Flu Vaccine

October 19, 2007

Marin Mommies is pleased to Introduce the first guest post by pediatricians Dr. Steven Martel and Dr. Oded Herbsman. Drs. Herbsman and Martel are the founders of Child’s Light Pediatrics, Inc., an innovative, house-call based pediatric practice that serves Marin and San Francisco.

Fall and Winter is a frequent time for illness in children. One frequent cause of Fall and Winter illness is influenza or “the flu”.  Fortunately, there is a way to diminish the likelihood that children are sidelined by this illness.

What is Influenza?
The flu is a contagious respiratory illness caused by any strain of influenza virus.  It causes mild to severe illness, and is potentially serious in younger and chronically ill children. 

Each flu season is unique, but it is estimated that 5-20% of people in the U.S. get the flu. More than 200,000 persons are hospitalized for flu-related complications yearly. 
The flu virus spreads easily in droplets from coughs and sneezes. People become infected when droplets of an infected person are deposited on the mouth or nose of another person or on objects that are touched by that person.

Does my child have the flu?

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