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Dr Vaidehi Shah MD FAAP
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YOU’LL SLEEP SOUNDLY KNOWING BABY IS SLEEPING SAFELY
Some baby products are leading causes of death and injury among infants. That’s why it’s so important you know the facts when you welcome a new baby home.

To promote safe sleep habits, please keep the following guidelines in mind:

For Crib Safety

Be sure you have a crib that meets all the new federal crib safety regulations (established by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission in 2011). Click here for more information on current crib laws.

Before buying or borrowing a crib, make sure it has not been recalled. Visit our recall page or CPSC.gov to check.

Always fill out and return the Product Registration Card to be notified personally if a product is recalled or has a safety defect.

Check the crib regularly to make sure there are no loose or missing parts.

The safest place for your baby to sleep is in his/her own crib in your room.

Remove all soft items from the crib including traditional crib bumpers, pillows, blankets, comforters and toys. Bare is Best!

Never place a baby on a waterbed, sofa, soft mattress, pillow, or other soft surface to sleep.

Never use a sleep positioner, which is both unnecessary and can be deadly.
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Is It Really Necessary for Your Children to Get the HPV Vaccination?

Doctors recommend it for kids nine and up.

Sometimes it seems like the list of vaccinations your child needs just gets longer and longer. Measles? Check. Chicken pox? Check. Hepatitis A and B? Yep, those too.

Yet, there's one immunization many kids are missing out on: the human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine, which is recommended for girls ages nine to 26 and boys ages nine to 15. According to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), only 40 percent of girls and 21 percent of boys have received all three doses of the vaccine. Ideally, that number would be closer to 100 percent.

The reason rolling up your child’s sleeve for this shot is so important: The HPV vaccine protects against a variety of cancers (in both genders) caused by HPV, including cervical, vaginal, vulvar, anal, and throat cancers. Plus, it prevents 29,000 to 30,000 cases of cancer a year—and 5,000 deaths, says Offit. “If you had to pick a vaccine that prevents more cancer and deaths per year, it would be the HPV vaccine,” he says. In fact, the prevalence of HPV (the most common sexually transmitted disease in the U.S.) is down 64 percent since the CDC recommended the vaccine 10 years ago, according to recently released research.

Depsite its effectiveness, many parents shy away from this shot because they fear that the HPV vaccine encourages youngins to have sex. But a 2015 study published in JAMA Internal Medicine found that girls ages 12 to 18 who were vaccinated had the same rate of STDs as those who were unvaccinated, showing that the shot doesn't promote unsafe sex after all. And FYI—kids should be vaccinated before their first episode of sexual contact, says Offit.

The bottom line: When it comes to your children, take the HPV vaccine just as seriously as you take other vaccines. If you're freaking out about having "the talk" with your preteen, don't fret: You (and your child's doc) don't have to mention sex at all. “When we give vaccines, we don’t often say how the virus is transmitted”. If you feel the need to tell a young child what the shots are for, tell them they’re protecting themselves from a common cause of cancer—that will suffice.
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Is It Really Necessary for Your Children to Get the HPV Vaccination?

Doctors recommend it for kids nine and up.

Sometimes it seems like the list of vaccinations your child needs just gets longer and longer. Measles? Check. Chicken pox? Check. Hepatitis A and B? Yep, those too.

Yet, there's one immunization many kids are missing out on: the human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine, which is recommended for girls ages nine to 26 and boys ages nine to 15. According to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), only 40 percent of girls and 21 percent of boys have received all three doses of the vaccine. Ideally, that number would be closer to 100 percent.

The reason rolling up your child’s sleeve for this shot is so important: The HPV vaccine protects against a variety of cancers (in both genders) caused by HPV, including cervical, vaginal, vulvar, anal, and throat cancers. Plus, it prevents 29,000 to 30,000 cases of cancer a year—and 5,000 deaths, says Offit. “If you had to pick a vaccine that prevents more cancer and deaths per year, it would be the HPV vaccine,” he says. In fact, the prevalence of HPV (the most common sexually transmitted disease in the U.S.) is down 64 percent since the CDC recommended the vaccine 10 years ago, according to recently released research.

Depsite its effectiveness, many parents shy away from this shot because they fear that the HPV vaccine encourages youngins to have sex. But a 2015 study published in JAMA Internal Medicine found that girls ages 12 to 18 who were vaccinated had the same rate of STDs as those who were unvaccinated, showing that the shot doesn't promote unsafe sex after all. And FYI—kids should be vaccinated before their first episode of sexual contact, says Offit.

The bottom line: When it comes to your children, take the HPV vaccine just as seriously as you take other vaccines. If you're freaking out about having "the talk" with your preteen, don't fret: You (and your child's doc) don't have to mention sex at all. “When we give vaccines, we don’t often say how the virus is transmitted”. If you feel the need to tell a young child what the shots are for, tell them they’re protecting themselves from a common cause of cancer—that will suffice.
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Flu Shots Protect Babies, Too

Here’s one more reason pregnant women should get a flu shot: It not only protects mothers, but a large study suggests it prevents flu in the infant, too.

Giving babies under 6 months old a flu vaccination does not work. Their immune systems are too immature to mount an effective response. But infants can get the flu, and it can have serious, even deadly, consequences.

Researchers used data on live births among women in a large health maintenance organization, including 23,847 babies born to mothers who had been vaccinated against the flu and 225,540 born to mothers who were not vaccinated. The study, published in Pediatrics, was carried out during the H1N1 flu pandemic of 2009-10.

Babies of unvaccinated women were 70 percent more likely to have a laboratory-confirmed case of flu, and 81 percent more likely to be hospitalized for flu before they were 6 months old.

The lead author of the study, Dr. Julie H. Shakib, an assistant professor of pediatrics at the University of Utah, said that after the 2009-10 pandemic, rates of vaccination of pregnant women went up sharply. In the 2013-14 season, more than 50 percent of pregnant women were vaccinated.

“We were encouraged to see the increase after the pandemic,” she said. “That’s when the public became aware of how much of a risk there was, and when obstetrics practices started delivering the vaccine as a routine part of care.”
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Winter Safety Tips for Children!!!

Whether winter brings severe storms, light dustings or just cold temperatures, I have some valuable tips on how to keep your children safe and warm.

What to Wear
Dress infants and children warmly for outdoor activities. Several thin layers will keep them dry and warm. Don’t forget warm boots, gloves or mittens, and a hat.

The rule of thumb for older babies and young children is to dress them in one more layer of clothing than an adult would wear in the same conditions.

Blankets, quilts, pillows, bumpers, sheepskins and other loose bedding should be kept out of an infant's sleeping enviroment because they are associated with suffocation dealths and may contribute to Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS). Sleep clothing like one-piece sleepers or wearable blankets is preferred.

If a blanket must be used to keep a sleeping infant warm, it should be thin and tucked under the crib mattress, reaching only as far as the baby’s chest, so the infant's face is less likely to become covered by bedding materials.

Hypothermia
Hypothermia develops when a child's temperature falls below normal due to exposure to colder temperatures. It often happens when a youngster is playing outdoors in extremely cold weather without wearing proper clothing or when clothes get wet. It can occur more quickly in children than in adults.
As hypothermia sets in, the child may shiver and become lethargic and clumsy. Speech may become slurred and body temperature will decline in more severe cases.
If you suspect your child is hypothermic, call 911 at once. Until help arrives, take the child indoors, remove any wet clothing, and wrap him in blankets or warm clothes.

Frostbite
Frostbite happens when the skin and outer tissues become frozen. This condition tends to happen on extremities like the fingers, toes, ears and nose. They may become pale, gray and blistered. At the same time, the child may complain that his/her skin burns or has become numb.
If frostbite occurs, bring the child indoors and place the frostbitten parts of her body in warm (not hot) water. 104° Fahrenheit (about the temperature of most hot tubs) is recommended. Warm washcloths may be applied to frostbitten nose, ears and lips.
Do not rub the frozen areas.
After a few minutes, dry and cover the child with clothing or blankets. Give him/her something warm to drink.
If the numbness continues for more than a few minutes, call your doctor.

Winter Health
If your child suffers from winter nosebleeds, try using a cold air humidifier in the child's room at night. Saline nose drops or petrolatum jelly may help keep nasal tissues moist. If bleeding is severe or recurrent, consult your pediatrician.
Many pediatricians feel that bathing two or three times a week is enough for an infant’s first year. More frequent baths may dry out the skin, especially during the winter.
Cold weather does not cause colds or flu. But the viruses that cause colds and flu tend to be more common in the winter, when children are in school and are in closer contact with each other. Frequent hand washing and teaching your child to sneeze or cough into the bend of her elbow may help reduce the spread of colds and flu.
Children 6 months of age and up should get the influenza vaccine to reduce their risk of catching the flu. It's not too late to get the vaccine! Around 80% of all influenza illness generally occurs in January, February, and March.

Winter Sports and Activities
Set reasonable time limits on outdoor play to prevent hypothermia and frostbite. Have children come inside periodically to warm up.
Using alcohol or drugs before any winter activity, like snowmobiling or skiing, is dangerous and should not be permitted in any situation.

Ice Skating
Allow children to skate only on approved surfaces. Check for signs posted by local police or recreation departments, or call your local police department to find out which areas have been approved.
Advise your child to:
Skate in the same direction as the crowd
Avoid darting across the ice
Never skate alone
Not chew gum or eat candy while skating.
Consider having your child wear a helmet, knee pads and elbow pads, especially while learning to skate.

Sledding
Keep sledders away from motor vehicles.
Children should be supervised while sledding.
Keep young children separated from older children.
Sledding feet first or sitting up, instead of lying down head-first, may prevent head injuries.
Consider having your child wear a helmet while sledding.
Use steerable sleds, not snow disks or inner tubes.
Sleds should be structurally sound and free of sharp edges and splinters, and the steering mechanism should be well lubricated.
Sled slopes should be free of obstructions like trees or fences, be covered in snow not ice, not be too steep (slope of less than 30º), and end with a flat runoff.
Avoid sledding in crowded areas.

Snow Skiing and Snowboarding
Children should be taught to ski or snowboard by a qualified instructor in a program designed for children.
Never ski or snowboard alone.
Young children should always be supervised by an adult. Older children’s need for adult supervision depends on their maturity and skill. If older children are not with an adult, they should always at least be accompanied by a friend.
All skiers and snowboarders should wear helmets. Ski facilities should require helmet use, but if they do not, parents should enforce the requirement for their children.
Equipment should fit the child. Skiers should wear safety bindings that are adjusted at least every year. Snowboarders should wear gloves with built-in wrist guards. Eye protection or goggles should also be used.
Slopes should fit the ability and experience of the skier or snowboarder. Avoid crowded slopes.
Avoid skiing in areas with trees and other obstacles.

Snowmobiling
The AAP recommends that children under age 16 not operate snowmobiles and that children under age 6 never ride on snowmobiles.
Do not use a snowmobile to pull a sled or skiers.
Wear goggles and a safety helmet approved for use on motorized vehicles like motorcycles.
Travel at safe speeds.
Never snowmobile alone or at night.
Stay on marked trails, away from roads, water, railroads and pedestrians.

Sun Protection
The sun’s rays can still cause sunburn in the winter, especially when they reflect off snow. Make sure to cover your child’s exposed skin with sunscreen and consider using sunglasses.

Fire Protection
Winter is a time when household fires occur. It is a good time to remember to:

Buy and install smoke alarms on every floor of your home
Test smoke alarms monthly
Practice fire drills with your children
Install a carbon monoxide detector outside bedrooms
Keep space heaters at least 3 feet away from anything that could burn, and turn them off when leaving the room or sleeping.

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Concussions Can Occur in All Youth Sports

Recent attention to long-term brain damage linked to multiple concussions among professional football players has prompted a much closer look at how children and adolescents who participate in sports can be protected from similar consequences.

And with good reason. The young brain is especially susceptible to concussion, and sports-related concussions account for more than half of all emergency room visits by children aged 8 through 13, according to the National Athletic Trainers’ Association. A child who suffers a concussion is one and a half times more likely to experience another, and those who have had two concussions have a threefold greater risk of the same injury happening again.

At the same time, misconceptions among parents and coaches abound about the seriousness of concussions and how best to prevent them, especially for players who often think they are invincible and say they feel fine so they can get back in the game. Studies have found that more than 50 percent of high school athletes and 70 percent of college athletes failed to report concussions they had sustained while playing football.

But first, it is worth noting that almost no sport is free of a concussion hazard, and that participating in sports has “cognitive, physical, emotional and social benefits that outweigh everything,” said Steven P. Broglio, the director of the Neurotrauma Research Lab at the University of Michigan and the lead author of the National Athletic Trainers’ Association position statement on how best to deal with concussions among young athletes.

Perhaps concussions would command greater respect if they were called by their proper medical term: mild traumatic brain injuries. A concussion is caused by a direct or indirect blow to the head. The brain is jostled against an unyielding skull, temporarily disrupting normal neurological and metabolic functions.

Contrary to popular belief, you don’t have to lose consciousness to have sustained a concussion. Ninety percent of concussions involve no loss of consciousness or only a brief disruption of mental alertness. You don’t even have to hit your head — a whiplash injury can cause one.

Furthermore, the usual five-minute assessment done on the sidelines to check an injured athlete’s ability to orient, remember, concentrate and recall words “misses about 40 percent of concussions,” Dr. Broglio said in an interview. “A single test is not diagnostic and should not be relied on. Multiple different tests taken together can increase the sensitivity to the mid- to upper 90s.”

However, the time allotted to assess an injured athlete on the sidelines is often inadequate to determine whether it is safe for a player to go back in the game, Dr. Broglio said. One of the most dangerous effects of failing to detect a concussion and allowing time for a young athlete to recover fully is second-impact syndrome — rapid, catastrophic swelling of the brain that can cause lifelong impairments, coma and even death — should the athlete have another concussion.

Among girls, soccer is associated with the highest risk — 6.7 concussions per 10,000 athletic exposures, according to the academy study. Although many focus on the hazards of heading the ball, a new study of high school soccer players found that contact with another player was by far the most frequent cause of concussions among female and male players.

Girls’ basketball is not far behind, with 5.6 concussions per 10,000 exposures, a rate twice that of boys’ basketball.

Gymnastics has seen a sharp rise in concussions in recent years. As the USA Gymnastics organization pointed out last year, “a concussion can be caused by a hit to the body, not just the head. A gymnast could fall, have a whiplash type movement and sustain a concussion even though they didn’t hit their head.”

The lowest concussion rate is associated with swimming, with only 0.2 such injuries per 10,000 exposures among girls and 0.1 among boys who swim competitively, according to a 2012 study in The American Journal of Sports Medicine.

Every athlete, parent and coach should be familiar with the signs and symptoms of concussion, some of which may show up hours or days after the injury. The athletic trainers’ report includes these:

■ Difficulty thinking clearly, concentrating or remembering new information.

■ Headache, blurry vision, queasiness or vomiting, dizziness or balance problems or sensitivity to noise or light.

■ Irritability, moodiness, sadness or nervousness.

■ Excessive sleepiness or difficulty falling asleep or remaining asleep.

Any of these should be reported without delay to a coach, athletic trainer, parent or school nurse. Especially worrisome is a symptom that gets worse with time.

All 50 states and the District of Columbia have laws to protect young athletes suspected of having sustained a head injury. Most important, the laws stipulate that no one with even a slight concussion should return to play the day of injury. The athlete should be evaluated and cleared by a health care provider trained to do so before returning.
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States Looking For More Effective Ways To Encourage Vaccinations

When kids start school this fall, it’s a sure bet that some won’t have had their recommended vaccines because their parents have claimed exemptions from school requirements for medical, religious or philosophical reasons. Following the much publicized outbreak of measles that started in Disneyland in California in December, these exemptions have drawn increased scrutiny.

That outbreak, which eventually infected 147 people in seven states, was a wake-up call for many parents, who may not have realized how contagious or serious the disease can be, and for states as well, say public health officials.

Boy and vaccine syringe

“States are beginning to realize that they have effective measures to combat these outbreaks, and philosophical exemptions are eroding these protections and resulting in significant costs to states,” says Dr. Carrie Byington, professor of pediatrics at the University of Utah and chairwoman of the American Academy of Pediatrics Committee on Infectious Diseases.

In addition, research shows that eliminating vaccine exemptions or making them harder to get can improve vaccination rates and reduce disease outbreaks.

California and Vermont passed laws this year eliminating exemptions in 2016 for philosophical reasons; California’s law eliminates religious exemptions as well.

More from this series

The federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention provides suggested vaccination schedules for children and adults, but there’s no federal requirement that parents vaccinate their children. All states, however, have laws or policies requiring that children be up-to-date on recommended vaccines in order to attend school or day care. Unvaccinated children can generally attend only if their parents have obtained a vaccination exemption approved by the states.

Every state allows medical exemptions for children whose immune systems are compromised because of congenital problems or cancer treatment, for example. Nearly all states allow exemptions from vaccinations because of religious beliefs; excluding California and Vermont, 18 permit exemptions because of parents’ personal or philosophical convictions, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

Just three states–West Virginia, Mississippi and now, California–allow vaccine exemptions only for medical reasons.

In recent years, exemption rates for children have soared, but they vary. On the low end, New Mexico’s rate was less than half a percent in 2012, while the top state rate was Oregon’s at 6.5 percent, according to a study this month in the journal Health Affairs.

Local rates may be much higher, though. There are pockets in California and Colorado, for example, where the exemption rates top 30 percent, says L.J Tan, chief strategy officer at the Immunization Action Coalition, an advocacy group that works to increase immunization rates.

But since in most places the percentage of children getting the recommended vaccines tops 90 percent for most diseases, many parents have never seen someone with measles, for example, or whooping cough and may not understand their dangers.

“In the absence of disease the alleged risks of the vaccine become easier to sell,” says Tan.

Those risks are real, says Barbara Loe Fisher, co-founder and president of the National Vaccine Information Center, a group that advocates that people be able to decline mandatory vaccines based on their philosophical or personal beliefs. Fisher testified before the California State Assembly against the new law, which takes effect next July.

“Some people are more susceptible than others to injury or death from vaccines,” Fisher says. “But it’s not clear who is at higher risk.”

For the vast majority of people, however, vaccines are very safe, and studies have failed to show a link to autism, a common concern of parents who don’t vaccinate their kids.  “The risk of getting the disease is higher than the risk of getting a vaccine,” says Dr. Mark H. Sawyer, a pediatric infectious disease specialist at the University of California, San Diego.

The Health Affairs study analyzed the different elements of state rules to tease out the extent to which they affected vaccine exemptions. It found, for example, that policies that required the state health department to approve nonmedical exemptions or permitted exemptions only for specific vaccines rather than all vaccines had a significant effect on reducing vaccine exemptions. So too did laws that imposed civil or criminal punishments such as expulsion from school (for the child) or criminal negligence charges (for parents) for not complying with vaccination rules.

The threat of penalties alone may be enough to deter parents from refusing vaccinations, says study co-author W. David Bradford, a professor of public policy at the University of Georgia.
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The problem with childhood vaccines

To get right to the point, I find that the problem with vaccines (or at least writing about them) is that more people are likely to read what I’m about to write if I imply there’s a problem with them then if I were to simply state that vaccines happen to be one of the single most life-saving accomplishments of the twentieth century – appropriately credited with literally transforming the landscape of medicine. That’s not to say that a majority of the general public doesn’t take vaccines seriously. But in this day and age – when we all reap their benefits – we perhaps run the risk of taking vaccines a bit too much for granted. After all, most parents who choose to vaccinate their children (and in many instances, even the health care providers who routinely give these life-saving immunizations) have never had to witness the devastation that vaccine-preventable diseases can and still do cause. As a pediatrician who trained in the 1990’s, I myself have never had to care for a child with measles, witness the devastation caused by polio infection, or even watch a child struggle to breathe due to a once-common infection now easily prevented by routine Hib vaccination. With all that said, the “out of sight, out of mind” principle makes it all the more compelling and worthwhile for me to take the time to reinforce some of the most important aspects of vaccines, while also addressing some of parents’ biggest questions and concerns.

 Are vaccines safe? Just like any medication, vaccines do come with their own potential side effects – each of which is clearly written out and explained on the Vaccine Information Statements (VIS) you receive every time your child is due for a shot. What’s important to remember, however, is that the serious risks of the diseases themselves (also explained on the VIS sheet) outweigh the potential side effects, and that vaccines are held to the highest standard of safety. Approving a vaccine for use in the United States can take ten or more years of testing, and even once a vaccine is made available to the general public, it is closely monitored by the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for any adverse effects. While nothing in life is 100% effective or safe, vaccines are the very best thing we have to protect ourselves and our children from some pretty devastating diseases.

Do vaccines cause autism? While the concern that autism may in some way be caused by MMR vaccination was certainly more understandable back in the late 1990’s in the years immediately following the publication of Dr. Andrew Wakefield’s now infamous (and subsequently discredited and retracted) 1998 Lancet article, we now have evidence from several studies that simply don’t support the association between autism and vaccines. Not only that, but the Institute of Medicine’s thorough and rigorous scientific review reinforced that “the evidence favors rejection of a causal relationship between thimerosal containing vaccines and autism” – a finding that was reinforced by both the American Academy of Pediatrics and the CDC. 

Should you space out your child’s vaccines? As much as I understand the temptation to space out vaccines, there’s simply no evidence to support doing it. At the same time, parents and pediatricians alike need to understand that the currently recommended vaccine schedule published by the CDC each year isn’t simply made up out of thin air, but rather represents the best knowledge, science and evidence we have about what is the most effective way to protect our children. In this day and age of modern and evidence-based medicine, deciding to space out vaccines simply because it sounds like a good idea is not only bad science, but potentially puts children at risk.

Where can I find out more, accurate information about vaccines? Let me just say that the operative word in the preceding question is the word “accurate.” Almost more than any other topic I can think of, the amount of misinformation about vaccines available on the internet is all but guaranteed to invoke doubt (if not fear) amongst parents trying to inform themselves about childhood immunizations. Instead of addressing the myriad of other vaccine questions and concerns that parents have, I will instead keep this blog from turning into a novel by simply recommending the following resources for good, useful, and evidence-based information that will hopefully help you better understand vaccines and better protect your children against vaccine-preventable diseases.

The CDC Vaccines & Immunizations
The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia – Vaccine Education Center. A huge wealth of accurate, parent-friendly information on immunizations, the diseases they prevent, and how to separate fact from fear.

The American Academy of Pediatrics has compiled an easy-to-access one-stop-shop for vaccine information.
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Newborn care: 10 tips for stressed-out parents
Round-the-clock newborn care can turn your life upside down. Use these practical strategies to handle the new stress in your life.

A newborn can bring a whirlwind of activity and excitement to your life — and plenty of stress and fatigue. Whether you're a first-time parent or a seasoned veteran, consider 10 practical tips to keep stress under control.

1. Take care of yourself
Resist the urge to count caffeine as a major food group or a substitute for sleep.
Instead, eat a healthy diet, drink plenty of water and get some fresh air. Sleep when the baby sleeps — and work out a nighttime schedule with your partner that allows both of you to rest and care for the baby. Do something you enjoy every day, either with the baby or on your own.
Good habits will help you maintain the energy you need to care for your newborn.
2. Establish visiting rules
Friends and loved ones might come out of the woodwork to admire your newborn. Let them know which days work best and how much time you have for a visit.
Insist that visitors wash their hands before holding the baby, and ask anyone who's ill to stay home.
Don't be afraid to set aside your social graces, either. Let trusted visitors care for the baby while you get some much needed rest.
3. Go with the flow
Allow plenty of time each day for nursing sessions, naps and crying spells. Keep scheduled activities to a minimum. When you need to head out, give yourself extra time to pack your supplies and change the inevitable out-the-door dirty diaper.
4. Expect a roller coaster of emotions
You might go from adoring your baby and marveling at tiny fingers and toes to grieving your loss of independence and worrying about your ability to care for a newborn, all in the space of a single diaper change.
Chances are, you and your partner are both tired and anxious as well.
To help you stay connected, talk about what's bothering you — such as a strained budget or difficulty soothing the baby. A shared laugh might help lighten the mood.
5. Relax your standards
Hide the broom and leave dust bunnies where they lie. Store clean clothes in the laundry basket — or in stacks on the floor — until you need them. Clean the bathroom with a fresh diaper wipe. Serve cold cereal and peanut butter toast for dinner when you're too tired to prepare a more traditional meal.
6. Get out of the house
If you're going stir-crazy with a fussy newborn, take the baby out for a walk. If you can, let someone you trust take over for a while.
7. Accept a helping hand
When friends and loved ones offer to help, take them up on it. Suggest holding the baby, folding the laundry or running a few errands — whatever would help you the most.
8. Nurture other relationships
Your newborn needs your love and attention, but you won't let your baby down by spending time with others.
If you have other children, set aside one-on-one time with each of them. Schedule dates with your partner. Meet a friend for lunch or a movie.
9. Keep your perspective
The newborn days won't last long. Step back and appreciate the moment, even amid the chaos.
10. Know when to seek additional help
Parenting is a challenge, even on a good day. If you're depressed or you're having trouble adjusting to life with a newborn, consult your health care provider or a mental health provider.
Learning to handle the new stress in your life can help you enjoy the riches parenting has to offer.
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Diabetes Myths and Facts

If your child, other family member or a friend has been diagnosed with type 1 diabetes, type 2 diabetes or prediabetes, you may have a lot of questions about what that really means. There are a lot of misconceptions about diabetes and it can be difficult to tell the facts from the fiction.

Debunking the Myths
Physicians frequently hear some of these common myths:

Myth: Eating too much sugar causes diabetes.
The Truth: Type 1 diabetes can occur in people who are not overweight. Both type 1 and type 2 diabetes seem to be influenced by genetics, as well as other risk factors. However, being overweight can increase a person’s risk and research has shown a link between sugary beverages and the development of type 2.
Myth: People with diabetes can’t eat sweets.
The Truth: We should all eat a balanced and healthy diet full of fruits, vegetables, lean protein and whole grains. Exceptions can made for special occasions, but small portions and moderation is the key.
Myth: You can catch diabetes from others.
The Truth: While there are still things we do not know about diabetes, we do know that it is not contagious. You cannot catch it from another person like you can a cold or the flu.
Myth: Having diabetes means my child is sick.
The Truth: Diabetes does not mean that your child is sick or unwell. Your child can be healthy with diabetes as long as she follows the recommendations of her health care team. Illness can make diabetes more difficult to control, so it is important to promote healthy habits like hand washing and to make sure your child gets the flu vaccine each year.
Understanding Type 1, Type 2 and Pre_diabetes
There are two types of diabetes that are found in kids and teens: type 1 and type 2. Type 1 diabetes usually affects younger and slimmer individuals while type 2 typically affects older and heavier individuals, although there is some crossover.
With both types of diabetes there is an issue with how the body makes and uses insulin, a hormone that helps move sugar from the blood to the liver and muscles for energy. Without insulin, the body begins to break down fat for energy, which can make you feel sick.
In type 1 diabetes, the body does not make enough insulin. There’s no known cause and currently no known way to prevent the development of type 1. Kids with type 1 need insulin for treatment, but monitoring their diet and encouraging plenty of exercise are still important.
People with type 2 diabetes may make insulin, but it may not be enough to meet the body’s needs. These children are sometimes treated with medicines taken by mouth along with diet and exercise, but some will also need to be treated with insulin. Making healthy choices is good for everyone and can potentially prevent type 2 diabetes.
Before being diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, your child may have prediabetes. This is when blood glucose (blood sugar) levels are higher than normal but not yet high enough to be called diabetes. Many times there are no clear signs of prediabetes, although children could have thickening or darkening of the skin around their neck.
What signs should parents look for? Common symptoms include increased urination, waking up at night to urinate or having accidents, drinking more water than usual, losing weight without trying, and vomiting. Your child’s doctor will be able to diagnose diabetes by checking his blood glucose level.
Although diabetes is not yet curable, it is manageable. Your child’s pediatrician might refer you to an endocrinologist, a doctor who has special training for treating diabetes and other conditions that are affected by how the body produces certain hormones. Together with your primary care physician, endocrinologist and other specialists–such as a diabetes educator, registered dietician, pharmacist, and mental health professional–you’ll be able to develop a personalized care plan for your child. With regular care, a long and healthy life is possible.
Living a Healthy Lifestyle
An easy way for families to get and stay healthy is to remember the 5-2-1-0 rule:
Aim to eat 5 servings of fruits and vegetables every day
Spend less than 2 hours in front of the screen (school work not included)
Exercise for at least 1 hour daily
Limit or have 0 sugar sweetened drinks
The American Heart Association reports that sugary beverages are the number one source of excess sugar in the diets of Americans. More than just soda, this category also includes fruit juice, sweet tea, flavored milk, and sports drinks. Water is the best way to stay hydrated, so try adding freshly sliced fruit, vegetables and/or herbs to a bottle of water for a flavorful treat.
Encourage physical activity by planning activities that get the whole family moving and create a routine by setting aside time every day for swimming, skating or any other physical activity your child likes to do. If it feels like play, kids will be more likely to want to take part.
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