Do not feel bad about needing time away from your children. It is a huge responsibility that takes alot of our energy. Here is a great article why you need a break!!
Vaping is the new trend in the smoking population. What is it you ask? It is the inhalation of “vapor” that is produced by an electronic nicotine delivery system (ENDS). It has been touted to be a safer way to smoke or a means of quitting the nicotine habit. In reality, this is quite the opposite. Before FDA began regulation of the ENDS and products, it was becoming very popular among our teenage population due to the different flavors available, ease of availability, and thought process that it is harmless. National Youth Tobacco Survey found from 2011 to 2015 an increase in use from 0.6% to 5.3% in middle school and 1.5% to 16% in high school. https://www.healthychildren.org/English/news/Pages/Adolescents-Who-Vape-Six-Time-More-Likely-to-Smoke-in-Early-Adulthood.aspx
First and foremost, vaping is NOT harmless. The vapors emitted have many harmful substances that are dangerous to the lungs. Even if the product claims not to have nicotine, studies have found low levels of nicotine. These solutions also contain carcinogens, aldehydes, metals, volatile organic compounds, diethylene glycol 1% (used in antifreeze), and several other hard to pronounce substances. The flavored solvents that were advertised as safe by FDA were actually approved for ingestion and were never meant to be inhaled-they are respiratory irritants.
The liquid cartridges that were first sold were not child resistant. These cartridges could contain of up to 30ml of flavored liquid with nicotine. It only takes 2ml of this liquid to be lethal to a small child!
The good news is as of 2016, FDA has better regulation on these vaping products. It is now prohibited to be sold to minors, must be labeled with ingredients and risks, and must be in child proof containers. Due to the enticing flavors though, teenagers are likely to try and become addicted to these vaping devices. We encourage you to talk with your teenager about the risks of vaping. If anyone in your home is vaping, we implore you to keep products locked up and away from little ones who could ingest these dangerous products.
Here is the AAP policy statement on vaping. https://www.aap.org/en-us/advocacy-and-policy/state-advocacy/Documents/Liquid%20Nicotine.pdf
American Academy of Pediatrics has put out new guidelines for media use and kids. The new guidelines are age based and calculates their activity level to balance out the use of media.
Pokemon Go is all the rage right now!!! If your kids aren’t playing, I’m sure you know or have seen someone playing. We have heard of lots of scary injuries that have occured while playing this making many leary about the game. The following article has some great tips if your kids insist on playing!
Pokémon GO Tips for Parents
Pokémon GO is a global phenomenon getting children and adults walking around outside with their smartphones hunting creatures.
It seems like the computer game parents have been waiting for – one you have to GO outside to use.
However, as well as encouraging healthy exercise, there are some safety concerns over children playing the game.
The NSPCC has issued advice for parents and has written to Nintendo UK saying the app “appears susceptible to being hijacked by users who wish to harm other players and as such raises fundamental child safety concerns”.
The game uses the phone’s GPS location feature to lead players to Pokémon using built-in maps.
Before the app launched in the UK, the charity says: “there have been numerous accounts of children being placed in dangerous situations because of the geo-location feature – in one instance it is reported that armed robbers lured teenagers to a particular spot using your game and in another that players are taken to a sex shop”.
Despite these concerns, millions of parents are likely to come under pressure by children wanting to play Pokémon GO, so what can be done to help kids play it safely?
Understand the Game
You’ll need to know your Poké Balls from your Pokémon Gyms to understand what kids will be doing when out playing Pokémon GO.
Pokémon are ‘pocket monsters’. They only exist inside the game – but you have to track them down in the real world outdoors. When one is spotted nearby, the app gives an alert and you use the phone’s camera to look in front of you – and the Pokémon is seen superimposed on the real life scene on the phone screen – called augmented reality.
You catch them by flicking Poké Balls at them. The captured creatures are logged in the player’s Pokédex. Once you have reached a high enough level in the game you can visit Pokémon Gyms in your area where you can train the creatures and take part in competitions. PokéStops are other places you can visit to collect items for the game.
Before letting kids out on their own with the app, join them for their first Pokémon adventure – and play along yourself if you can.
It Is Free… But…
The game is free to download and play – but there are tempting in-app purchases available to help players reach higher levels. Check the settings on your child’s phone and store account to prevent these extra charges or limit them to avoid a bill shock later. A boost of 14,500 virtual Pokécoins will set you back £79.99 in real money.
The game only works on smartphones, so be ready for pester power from children insisting they need a costly upgrade this summer.
The app also uses mobile data—so keep an eye on this mounting up and going over spending limits on your account or pay-as-you-go top ups.
A child will probably find a couple of Pokémon close to home, but will need to go some miles to keep finding more. Talk to children about how far you are happy for them to go while playing, and specify areas you want them to keep away from.
You can get very immersed in the game and forget about real dangers around you. Make sure children understand road safety dangers – and make sure they concentrate near traffic and look out for physical risks, such as cliff paths.
The NSPCC says there have already been cases of children being lured into unsafe places.
The Pokémon maps mostly follow real life pavements and paths, but the creatures can appear to tantalisingly close, but in graveyards, someone’s garden or on other private property. Make sure kids know where they can and can’t go.
At the moment Pokémon is a single player game, but PokéStops and gyms, and the location of the creatures themselves will bring people together to certain places in your area. Some of the strangers your children will meet will be other kids, but the game is also popular with adults. The NSPCC warns “you never know who they might meet”.
Theft is another risk, with reports of phones being snatched from players as they turn up at known locations in the game.
Is It Age-Appropriate?
You’ll know best whether your child is old enough to play the game and also understand the risks. Make sure younger children are accompanied by an appropriate older child or adult while playing.
Playing the game uses the phone’s screen, GPS tracking and mobile data – and that runs the battery down far quicker than normal use. So that kids can always get in touch with you when they are out and about, consider investing in a special spare battery pack to plug in if the phone goes dead. Stress that this is to keep them in touch with you – not just to extend playing time!
When the game starts up the first screen warns players: Remember to be alert at all times. Stay aware of your surroundings. Niantic and The Pokémon Company who make the game have told players they take safety seriously.
They advise players to be aware of their surroundings especially when exploring unfamiliar places. They suggest playing with friends and family, and respect local laws and the locations visited.
NSPCC: Pokémon GO: Our open letter to Nintendo UK,
Apple App Store
Pokémon GO app game play
Niantic and The Pokémon Company
WebMD Inside Health News: The Pokemon GO Pick-Me-Up
This is a topic that we have posted before as we saw a lot of research surfacing on the benefits of a plant based diet. Obese people with high inflammatory markers (making them suceptable to heart disease), show significant improvement in their markers after following this plant based diet. It may be worth trying for those with heart disease or even our teens with high cardiac risk!
It saddens me to turn on the news these days. Police officers being shot to the wars in the Middle East, there seems to be an overwhelmingly lack of good news. I have to question, “why is there so much violence?” There is not one answer to this question, but I can’t help but think the virtual world our children our constantly exposed to may contribute to this. I look at the video games advertised and can’t believe the extensive violence portrayed! What happened to Pac-Man and Frogger? When kids spend HOURS and HOURS on these games, this becomes their reality. We as parents need to stand up and take responsibility for what we allow our kids to see and do!
I love the following article that gives parents helpful tips and how to steer our kids away from the violence. Well worth the read!
The internet and media can be a wealth of information!! On the other hand, when used inappropriately can be a nightmare! Locally, we have had new app called Ogle that is a social media app geared for kids to share campus information, but has been used to post mean things about other kids and a bomb threat! This terrifies me! How do you know whoever posted that threat won’t act out on it?! We need to teach our kids proper use of the internet and safety measures. It is too accessible to not address this issue any more. A local school sent an email to parents warning them of the above app and internet safety tips to review with your child. Please consider discussing these tips with your children!!
Here are some helpful hints for parents and families to help support your child from Peaceful Parents, Happy Kids by Dr. Laura Markham:
1. Never write or forward a photo, or anything in a text, that you wouldn’t want forwarded to everyone in your school, your principal and your parents. Remember that everything you send can become public.
2. Always ask before you forward a text or photo. Be respectful. How would you feel if someone forwarded an unflattering photo of you?
3. Always ask before you take a photo or video. Even once someone has given you permission to take a photo, ask before you post it.
4. If someone asks you to send a “sexy” photo, remember that even with Snapchat (which “evaporates” the photo), the picture can be copied and forwarded to others. Anyone could see it — every kid in the school, your teachers, your parents. It happens all the time to great kids. Just don’t send it. And talk to your parents about it.
5. If you receive an inappropriate photo, immediately delete it from your phone, tell your parents, and block the number so you can’t receive more. Possession or distribution of sexual pictures of people who are underage is illegal. If the person who sent it to you asks why, just say “It’s illegal. Let’s talk instead.”
6. Never post your cell phone number on Facebook or broadcast it beyond your friends (because it leaves you open to stalking.)
7. Never broadcast your location except in a direct text to friends (because it leaves you open to stalking.) Don’t use location apps that post your location.
8. Never respond to numbers you don’t recognize.
9. If you receive an unsolicited text, that’s spam. Don’t click on it. Instead, tell your parents so they can report the problem and have the caller blocked.
10. Don’t download apps without your parents’ permission.
11. Don’t spend your money all in one place.You don’t need web-surfing or ringtones. Get unlimited texts so you don’t have to worry about budgeting.
12. Set up your charging station in the living room so your phone is not in your room at night.
13. Have a life. Don’t feel obligated to respond to texts right away and don’t text until homework is done, during dinner, or after 9 p.m.
14. L8R – Later! If you’re driving, turn off your cell phone and put it in a bag where you can’t reach it in the back seat. (Make sure you have directions before you start out.) Cars kill people.
15. Nothing replaces FtF. If a “friend” sends you a mean message, take a deep breath and turn off your phone.Talk to them the next day, Face to Face, about it. Never say anything via text that you wouldn’t say Face to Face.
Here’s an interesting article about the use of fish oil (focus on Omega-3 fatty acid) helps inattention symptoms of ADHD. May be worth a try!
We are asked quite often what do we think about using essential oils for treatment on their children. Many are staunch advocates for the use of oils because they are “natural” or have tried and seen it work on someone they know. By no means do I plan on slamming the use of essential oils, but I do want you to be aware of the risks vs benefits.
We all love things that smell good. We know there is a psychological benefit to pleasant odors. “Such studies have consistently shown that odors can produce specific effects on human neuropsychological and autonomic function and that odors can influence mood, perceived health, and arousal. These studies suggest that odors may have therapeutic applications in the context of stressful and adverse psychological conditions.”
So what exactly are essential oils? They are liquid substances extracted from aromatic plants by steam distillation or mechanical expression for use in complementary therapies such as aromatherapy or massage. They are not regulated by FDA unless there is a claim for treatment then may be subject for approval. Toxicity risk low when used via inhalation or diluted topical. Essential oils should never be orally consumed unless directed by physician due to risk of toxicity.
Where are the scientific studies? Honestly, not many have been done. We do have some studies that show benefit of peppermint oil for IBS/dyspepsia, tea tree oil for acne/dandruff, and lavender for dementia/agitation, but in general, there is not enough info out there to prove it truly is helpful. Here are some of those studies.
What are the risks using these oils? Rashes can develop. Oils that are high in phenols, such as cinnamon, can irritate the skin .Those with asthma can induce an asthma attack with exposure. Some may develop headaches, liver and nerve damage. Should never be used with pregnancy as they can be harmful to fetus. Essential oils are highly volatile and flammable so they should never be used near an open flame.
Animal studies suggest that active ingredients in certain essential oils may interact with some medications. Researchers don’t know if they have the same effect in humans. Eucalyptus, for example, may cause certain medications, including pentobarbital (used for seizures) and amphetamine (used for narcolepsy and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder) to be less effective. An accidental overdose can be fatal in children with a little as 1oz of ingestion of certain oils.
There are those that will swear it works just by what you have seen. True, there may be benefit to the oils, but they should never be used in place of medical treatment when necessary. Incidents have occurred where a child is not treated for a few days due to trialing different types of oils to see if child responds, but these have and can end up with detrimental consequences. Please, please, please always let your care provider know if you are using oils. I encourage you to read the links that have been provided as they contain great information related to the use of essential oils.
We, as your providers, work hard to research and give you the most up to date information on various topics by reputable sources. Not everyone takes the time to look at where the information is coming from — “You can’t believe everything you read on the internet.” If you have a question you would like us to answer, please feel free to leave a comment on a topic and we will work on this.