- All infants should be put down for sleep on their back to reduce the risk for Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS)
- Avoid soft bedding that might suffocate your baby, such as pillows, blankets, plush toys, and bumpers.
- Crib slats should be 2 3/8 inches apart or less so that your baby’s head cannot get trapped.
- Keep your baby’s room at a moderate temperature and dress them in a way that will prevent them from overheating to also reduce the risk for SIDS.
- Share a bedroom with your newborn—but not a bed.
- Avoid devices marketed to reduce the risk of SIDS, such as sleep positioners.
Nursing your baby and making sure that your baby gets all of the recommended vaccines can help protect against SIDS. Your pediatrician is available to provide you with the right information to protect your baby and keep him or her healthy and that includes proper care while they are sleeping.
As the skin cancer rate continues to rise, many of us can’t help but wonder why people continue to expose themselves to harmful ultraviolet (UV) radiation. A tan, whether it’s acquired from the pool, in a salon or through incidental exposure, is always dangerous.
The use of tanning beds today is an especially common practice among teenagers, specifically the female population. What many young girls don’t realize, however, is that the bronzed image they so desire is only the skin’s visible reaction to damage from harmful UV rays. Melanoma, the most aggressive form of skin cancer, is now the second most common cancer seen in young adults. According to the American Academy of Dermatology, nearly 28 million people tan indoors in the United States annually. Of these, 2.3 million are teens. Their findings go on to report that 70 percent of tanning salon users are Caucasian girls and women, primarily aged 16 to 29 years.
Skin cancer aside, basking in UV rays—indoor or outdoors—also leads to premature aging of the skin. That means that even just a few minutes of exposure each day over the years without protection can cause noticeable changes to the skin later in life. Freckles, age spots, leathery skin, wrinkles, saggy skin and uneven skin tone can all be traced to UV exposure.
The good news is that skin cancer and premature aging of the skin can easily be prevented. For one, stay away from tanning beds. Pediatricians also recommend that children and teens wear proper clothing, hats and sunglasses when outdoors. Always use sunscreen and avoid exposure during peak hours of 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
There is no such thing as a safe tan. Talk to your teen about the serious, life-threatening consequences of tanning. If your teen insists on a sun-kissed glow, suggest safer sunless methods, such as spray tans and other sunless gels or creams.
Colds may be common, but that does not mean caring for your child’s cold is easy. To help your little one feel better, your pediatrician is available to offer tips on what you need to know about your child’s cold. The common children’s cold is a viral infection of the upper respiratory tract that usually lasts a week or two.
The typical preschool-age child may experience 6-10 colds per year. Most colds resolve on their own with rest and fluids, but some may lead to ear infections, sinus infections, asthma attacks or other complications.
Caused by viruses, colds can be spread through a sneeze or cough. The virus may also be spread indirectly, through touching the hand of a healthy person or even by using door handles with your hand you may have just sneezed or coughed into. Once the virus is present and multiplying, your child will develop the familiar symptoms and signs:
- Runny nose
- Mild fever, particularly in the evening
- Decreased appetite
- Sore throat
- On-and-off irritability
- Slightly swollen glands
Many parents become confused about the proper way to treat a coughing, sneezing child, because colds and allergies often have overlapping symptoms. When in doubt, talk to your pediatrician who will know exactly what is causing your child’s symptoms, especially if they are persistent or worsen with time.
If your child has a typical cold without complications, the symptoms should disappear on their own after seven to ten days. Your pediatrician may want to see your child if symptoms do not improve and is not completely recovered within one week from the start of their illness.
Contact your pediatrician for further treatment and to better understand your child’s cold symptoms.
When your little one turns into baby-on-the-go, it's time to start baby proofing your home. While you cannot create an environment that is 100% safe, you can take the best measures to protect your baby with help from your pediatrician. Here's everything you need to know about locking down the dangers that lurk behind your cupboards and more.
In your bathroom, start by turning down the water temperature on the water heater. When you put your baby in the bath, it is easiest to avoid any burning problem by keeping the temperature lower. Also, consider purchasing and installing toilet lid locks to protect your baby, as well.
With your windows, install window guards or adjust windows so they cannot open more than six inches. Be sure to tie up cords to blinds, as well, so that your child does not get tangled up in them. When finding an appropriate placement for your child’s crib, playpen, highchair or bed, place them away from blind cords. Your pediatrician also recommends placing furniture away from windows so that your child does not climb near a window.
While the fireplace is excellent in the winter, it is important to take extra precautions to protect your baby from harm. Purchase a fireplace hearth cover because once kids learn to walk and crawl, they run a risk of falling into a fireplace. Ready-made, or even homemade cushiony devices that go around the hearth will also help to keep your child out of harm’s way.
If you have any stairways in your home, install gates once your child begins to crawl. Place the gates at the bottom of stairways to prevent them from getting up the stairs, and if you are worried about them getting out of the bedroom, place a gate on the doorway to their room. Your pediatrician, also warns against placing a gate at the top of the steps because some babies can climb up a gate and fall from an even higher height.
Talk to your pediatrician for more tips on how to properly baby-proof your home.
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