In three and a half years I managed to deliver three busy babies. Attention to details was perhaps not my strength at that time…even with a fabulous Nanny! So when my oldest turned eight, I finally noticed she was squinting even on cloudy days. I had never worn glasses a day in my life, so I didn’t recognize the signals. Another huge clue was the fact my husband was practically blind without his contacts. I made an appointment with an eye doctor a few days later and took all of the children. All three ended up with glasses on that same day and they said they were so excited to actually “see the leaves on the trees”. My guilt lingered for weeks, however they all survived quite nicely and don’t seem too damaged by my “over sight”.
Adults know when they’re having trouble with their vision, but young children may not realize that anything is wrong. They may think that the poor quality of their sight is normal, or they may be too young to communicate that there’s a problem. That’s why it’s important for parents to pay close attention to tell-tale signs that their child is having trouble seeing so the problem can be corrected quickly. Here are 10 signs that your child may need glasses.
1. Squinting – The most common sign of vision problems is squinting. Anyone who has trouble seeing will squint to try to focus better. If you notice your child squinting a lot, you may want to make an appointment with the eye doctor.
2. Rubbing eyes – Another tell-tale sign to watch for is excessive eye rubbing. Most children will rub their eyes when they’re tired, but if this begins to happen frequently, then it could be an indication of a bigger problem. Two potential reasons a child may frequently rub his eyes are a subconscious reaction to blurry vision or it could just be allergies.
3. Tilting head – Children with double vision may tilt their head to see more clearly. This could be caused by a muscle imbalance in their eyes that can be corrected with eyeglasses.
4. Headaches or dizziness – Constant eye strain from poor vision can cause headaches and dizziness. If your child complains of frequent headaches in the forehead area or is irritable after reading or watching TV, he may need to see an optometrist.
5. Sits close to TV – Does your child constantly insist on sitting in front of the television? This could be a sign of nearsightedness that can be easily corrected with eyeglasses. Nearsightedness is identified when there is a problem with seeing things in a distance, so kids will sit closer to compensate.
6. Closing one eye – Another clue to vision trouble is closing or covering one eye when reading or watching TV. This could mean there is a problem with one eye, so a child will close it to see more clearly. Because this could be a serious condition, it should get immediate attention.
7. Holds books close – Most children should be able to read books at a comfortable distance, so holding books up to their face is a sign they may need eyeglasses. If your child is a bookworm with her nose continually in a book, she may need a visit to the eye doctor.
8. Problems in school – Quite often children who are having problems in school are facing these issues because of undiagnosed eye trouble. If they’re having trouble seeing the blackboard or reading they can become disinterested or even disruptive. Be sure to have your child’s vision checked if he is suddenly having trouble with school.
9. Lazy eye – When kids have a weakness in one eye it will show up when they’re tired. A droopy eyelid or one eye drifting out of alignment is a sign of a lazy eye that can often be corrected with eyeglasses.
10. Finger reading – Some kids will use a finger to follow the words when they read. This isn’t a clear sign they need glasses, but if it persists, there could be a problem. They may need the finger to keep their place when reading if they have astigmatism or amblyopia.
Many vision problems are hereditary, so if parents need glasses, chances are the kids may be prone to the same fate. Nobody wants their kids to have to wear eyeglasses, but left unchecked, vision problems will only worsen over time. It’s much better to have an eye doctor give a clean bill of health than to let your child suffer with poor vision. Merely asking your child if they can see alright won’t work if they don’t know what clear vision is like. Routine vision screenings at school don’t always catch less common eye problems, so a visit to the optometrist may be necessary. Wearing glasses is no fun, but not being able to see clearly is worse. Watch for these signs to make sure your child doesn’t have a vision problem that’s left uncorrected. Contributed by Nanny Care
With Nannies as a “profession on the rise”, we believe it is critical to offer continuing education to our caregivers. Experienced and educated Nannies clearly contribute to the long term success of our children and families. However, we now realize that our seminars cover material that may interest all parents as well!
So….on February 11th Nannies on the Go is partnering with Cook Children’s Hospital to bring you current information regarding inoculations. Dr. Jason Terk is a public policy advocate, especially where vaccines are concerned, and will speak about the controversy surrounding vaccinations as well as who needs them now. Allison Oster will also teach us about the steps that are necessary to get your child on a healthy sleep schedule. For all of you with challenging newborns and toddlers, this is a must.
If you are interested, we would love to have parents join us next Saturday morning at Timarron Country Club. The event is complimentary and refreshments will be served. The lectures are hosted by recognized experts who have extensive backgrounds in research and the newest approaches to soothing children.
Seating is limited, so call or e-mail to reserve your spot.
Hope to see you there!
It happens all the time, whether it’s at the playground or park, or while supervising a play date. A kid, who is not your own, behaves so badly you feel compelled to do something.
But do you? Should you?
It’s one thing to mete out your brand of justice when it’s your own flesh and blood. But is it OK to punish someone else’s child?
For a “He Says/She Says” take on the issue, TODAY asked two experts to weigh in.
In the “it’s OK to discipline someone else’s child” corner is Ian Kerner, therapist and author of “Love in the Time of Colic.” Kerner is a firm believer in the three Fs method: Be firm, fair and don’t freak out.
In the “it’s not OK” corner is Susan Swimmer, features editor for More Magazine. Swimmer says when it comes to kids under the age of 10 who are not your kids, it’s not your job, nor your business, to correct their behavior.
He says: Get involved and be fair and firm
For Kerner, the key to getting involved with another child depends on how the situation has escalated and whether anyone (your child, or another child) is in danger.
“You have to intervene on behalf of the children involved,” Kerner says.
His three Fs method goes as follows: Be firm with the child. Be fair to the child’s parent or caregiver. And, whatever you do, don’t freak out.
Imagine a scenario where a child is being aggressive with your kid. Kerner suggests: Use a firm tone of voice to stop the situation and get the aggressor’s attention. (Often a sharp, “Hey!” will do the trick.) After that, you should explain to the parents – calmly – what the problem is. A parent will respect you more for intervening if you explain to them fairly and rationally what happened, says Kerner. Do not get emotionally hijacked by the situation and lash out — or freak out — at the other parent, because that’s when they’ll be less likely to listen.
She says: Let their parents handle it
For Swimmer, the issue of discipline is a tricky one. Other than a few exceptions (when something dangerous is happening or if you are in a leadership role, such as a coach or teacher, or if you are dealing with older kids) Swimmer believes that you should defer to the parents or caregivers of the child causing problems.
Why? For starters, it’s an imbalance of power. Says Swimmer: “You’re big and they’re small and you are a stranger.” Swimmer recalls an incident where her own child was reprimanded by another kid’s father, and was emotionally scarred afterwards. “He was waaaaaaay too fierce,” she said. “If he wanted to speak in that way, he should have spoken to me, at least he and I would have been on equal footing. I chased him down and told him so.
Most importantly, you have a choice for your own child, says Swimmer. “If you don’t like how a kid is behaving, take YOUR kid out of the situation.”
Contributed by Kavita Varma-White
This is an interesting article and a “must read” book for me over the summer….
If getting kids back in the groove after the holidays has you about to tear your hair out, you’re not alone. U.S. News contributor Nancy Shute took heart from David Palmiter, a clinical psychologist and father of three children in Clarks Summit, Pa., whose new book, Working Parents, Thriving Families: 10 Strategies that Make a Difference (Sunrise River Press, $16.95), focuses on how hectic parents with limited time and energy can do better by their kids in 2011.
Palmiter emphasizes parenting strategies that have been scientifically tested and proven effective. He tells U.S. News that the biggest is “one-on-one time with the kids. It’s not ‘quality time.’ It’s really paying attention to your child, and praising him or her. It’s the difference between bowling and spending an hour looking your child in the eyes and telling her why she is important to you.” But that’s not all parents can do to keep their family glued together. “One of the best gifts you can give your children is your own peacefulness,” Palmiter says. “It’s incredibly important in terms of promoting kids’ wellness. And it’s also very hard for many parents to pull off, because they’re so stressed about work, the economy, and jobs.” [Read more: How to Be a Better Parent in 2011.]
When it comes to the experiences of the average kid nowadays, can it really be said that young people are having childhoods they will remember? That’s the question asked by a recent article in USA Today, and one that many parents are probably asking themselves.
After all, in today’s world, it seems like kids more and more are subject to rigorous schedules, especially when they are involved in activities like sports, the arts, after-school programs and more. While activities are undoubtedly a good thing when it comes to mental, physical and social development, there also might also be something to allowing kids time for self-discovery and a degree of freedom.
Adding to the problem, according to reporter Sharon Jayson, is the fact that due to rising concerns of safety, many parents have to be extra-protective and constantly worry about their kids’ whereabouts at all times.
“Many parents rarely let their kids roam the neighborhood, use public transportation or walk to school alone,” Jayson writes. “Play and sports are organized into play dates and teams, and extracurricular activities eat up kids’ free time.”
A recent report from Dr. William Bird of the conservation organization Natural England detailed how children over the years have lost the “right to roam.” In the report, Bird documents how kids four generations ago were allowed to walk around and explore areas far away from their homes, while children today are often not even allowed to leave their own property without permission.
This inability to explore the outdoors may have an adverse impact on children’s mental health, Bird warns, and as a result kids today may be lacking some of the stimulation they need for their brains to fully develop. It also may increase stress and the prevalence of health issues like depression or anxiety.
So why has there been such a huge shift in the ability of kids to roam around? For one, parents today are much more aware of the potential hazards that may be out there, and rightfully want to keep their kids safe. After all, the world today seems to be a much more dangerous place than it was just a few decades ago, and parents need to be extra careful.
But is the world really that less safe? Perhaps not, says historian Paula Fass, who is quoted in the USA Today article. She argues that it might be an increased awareness and the heightened perception of danger that is driving the change.
“It’s not that (kids’) lives are more hazardous, but perceptions of the hazards have increased a lot. When that happens, we close down on the children and make it less possible for them to act informally, and worry that we need to have somebody watching over them,” Fass says.
So what’s the solution? The answer may be in striking a balance between allowing a certain amount of freedom for children, while still being aware and taking measures to prevent common hazards and dangers.
“Children need manageable opportunities to experience risk and responsibility in their lives,” says Michael Unger, a professor of social work. “If we take away all these opportunities to suffer natural consequences, then where are they going to learn the skills they need to become well-functioning adults?”
Although we’re barely into the spring season, before we know it the kids will be out of school and in need of some great activities for the summer months. And, while it may seem far away, it’s never too early to start considering summer camp options for your kids, whether just for the day or for more traditional overnight camp experiences.
There are many different options in the Dallas/Fort Worth area, and a number of organizations that offer outstanding camps for kids of all ages. The following are some of the more popular summer camps in our area:
If you’re kids are particularly interested in art, then Bounce U may be a great option for your family. Organized for kids ages 4-12, this camp features a variety of arts and crafts projects that range from working with clay to creating canvas paintings. However, kids will also be able to get out and play, as the camp offers a number of structured physical activities, as well.
Bounce U is located in Carrollton and offers a nine-week experience, with kids attending every Tuesday through Thursday from 9:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.
Are your kids really into music? If so, the Creative Soul School of Modern Rock is a very unique camp, offering everything from writing original songs, performing live and forming a band of your own. In this weeklong camp in Watauga, students will receive lessons for the guitar, voice, drums, piano or bass, depending on their preference.
The best thing about the Creative Soul School is that no prior experience in music is needed. Kids ages 8-18 are invited to participate, and there’s even a mini-camp option for those who can only attend half days.
Instead of sitting in front of the TV all summer, would you like your kids to get outside and really enjoy the summer? If so, Camp Giddyup offers a terrific opportunity for kids to experience the fun of horseback riding! This four-day camp for children 8 and under includes activities like trail riding and horse care, and can be a great experience for kids who love animals.
For a more traditional summer camp, check out Camp Langston, which has been a summertime favorite since 1951. Located just an hour and a half from Dallas in Mount Pleasant, campers will engage in a number of activities that include hiking, water sports, archery, ATV riding, riflery, creative arts and much more. Camp Langston runs from June 19 to July 23, with sessions that last one week each.
For kids, camp can be a chance to meet new friends, enhance their social skills and have experiences they never would have had otherwise. This year, consider camp as a great option to allow your kids to have some truly memorable summer fun!
By 2014 the U.S. Department of Labor predicts employment for all child care workers to be as fast, if not faster, than the average pace of employment. The department notes that job opportunities for nannies should be particularly strong. The continuing trend of both parents working outside the home ensures that nannies will remain in demand. With Nannies as a ” profession on the rise”, what are we doing to train them to make sure our children are safe with experienced and educated Nannies? Continuing to educate your caregiver should be a top priority for all parents.
On March 26th Nannies On The Go will be hosting the first of a series of training programs specifically targeted for the caregivers. Actually parents may find it equally as interesting. Dr. Caron Goode will be leading the session on March 26th and is an author of over 15 books as well as as the founder of the Academy for Coaching Parents International. In addition to her many talents, Caron manages www.InspiredParenting.com, which provides strategies for holistic approach supporting children’s physical health, emotional fluency, mental development, and spiritual enrichment. She also founded Intuitive Parenting & Intuitive Children web site, which offers specialized training for parents and parent coaches. (http://intuitiveparenting.wordpress.com/
Kay Willis will also be part of the training and is a wife, mom, and an RN with over 23 years in Women’s Services. Kay has been teaching childbirth and baby care classes since 1992 and an IBCLC (certified lactation consultant) for over 7 years. She believes that starting a family should come with a manual that meets each individuals goals and sharing realistic expectations with new parents helps them to set those goals. Kay is a dynamic speaker and loves to pass on her skills and insights.
Nanny Network Academy for continuing education - Series One
1) Understanding your charges Interactive Style and how to effectively get the behavior you want. Dr. Caron Goode – ED.D. NCC, DAPA
ü The Nature of 4 Core Interactive Styles
ü Factors Influencing Families Today
(a questionnaire must be completed by all participants prior to the training)
2) The Professional Nanny in Demand: Gain an edge with education – Kay Willis, RN
ü Basic Infant Needs and Care
ü Sids and Shaken Baby Syndrome
ü Implementing the 5 S’s and why they work
ü Breast and Formula Feeding
ü Safety and First Aid
3) Family Dynamics:
ü How to effectively communicate with the family every day
ü Best strategies for discussing difficult behavior in a child with the parents
ü Honoring family values
ü Understanding and respecting boundaries
ü Providing Solutions – you are an expert!
4) Group Session: Sharing challenges and solutions
Fee: $75.00 per person – non-refundable
Location: Hotel Mandalay Bay – Las Colinas
Time: 1:00pm – 5:30pm
Refreshments will be served throughout the day
Call Nannies On The Go 817.442.0225 for reservations
Sitting down to a meal can be daunting for an expectant mother weighing conflicting recommendations about which foods are good for her unborn child — and which might subject that child to long-term ills like allergies to peanuts and other foods.
But just as dietary advice for weight loss changes as new scientific information becomes available, so, too, does dietary advice for moms-to-be about how their eating shapes their future sons’ and daughters’ health.
The advice has been particularly tricky with respect to peanut allergy, a potentially fatal condition that affects an estimated 1 percent to 2 percent of children. The incidence has gone up in the last decade, although scientists can’t say why.
From 1998 to 2000, the American Academy of Pediatrics and the British Committee on Toxicology recommended that in families where parents or siblings have allergies, women avoid peanuts during pregnancy and breast-feeding. But the data for these recommendations was scant and scientific studies yielded conflicting findings: Some said early exposure might be protective, others, harmful.
In 2008, the AAP reversed its position. Similarly, the European panel reversed its recommendation to stay away from peanuts during pregnancy and breastfeeding.
It now appears that in families with lots of allergies, it makes some sense for mothers-to-be to go easy on the peanuts, because of new research suggesting heavy consumption, particularly late in pregnancy, might set the stage for peanut allergies.
But for most families, doctors say there’s no evidence that pregnant moms’ peanut eating will produce an allergic baby — or that avoiding peanuts will guarantee a healthier one.
To help clarify the issues, the Consortium of Food Allergy Research studied the relationship between maternal diet and childhood allergies. The researchers, led by Dr. Scott H. Sicherer of the Jaffe Food Allergy Institute at Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York, followed 512 infants with food allergies to see if they became allergic to peanuts over time.
The investigators from Mount Sinai, Duke University in Durham, N.C., Johns Hopkins in Baltimore, National Jewish Health in Denver and Arkansas Children’s Hospital in Little Rock, also asked the mothers about their prenatal eating.
In results published online Oct. 29 in the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology, which will appear in the December print issue, they reported that the more that a mom consumed peanuts in the third trimester of her pregnancy, the greater the chances her infant would test positive for sensitivity to peanuts.
* SOURCE: By JANE E. ALLEN, ABC News Medical Unit
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Motherhood And Sleep Deprivation
New research by Mother & Baby magazine reveals some shocking statistics. Their survey shows that for the first four months of a newborns life, mothers are surviving on an average of three-and-a-half hours sleep a night with the impact appearing to be greatest on women who leave it until their late 30s to start a family.
The consequent sleep deprivation is playing havoc with their relationships and working lives. Half of those surveyed said that sleeplessness had caused rows with their partners, 13% had nearly broken up because of it and 3% had actually split up. Hardly surprising is the 83% of respondents who said that sheer exhaustion put them off sex.
The average adult needs seven to nine hours of sleep every night but when this is compromised you build up a sleep debt. A sleep debt is difficult to pay back and as a result your health can suffer. Fortunately, this sleep deprivation eases once a child begins sleeping through the night which normally begins at around 3 months old.
But why do mothers nowadays suffer from such profound sleep deprivation? The report in the Mother & Baby magazine points to an increasing reliance on gadgetry such as baby monitors, breathing sensors, video monitors, mattresses fitted with alarms and suggests that these actually put more pressure on parents because they are less likely to relax. Editor of Mother & Baby, Elena Dalrymple, said: Just as a watched kettle never boils, so a watched baby never sleeps.
One of the most disappointing statistics unearthed by the survey is that only 23% of dads wake up when the baby cries. This means a whopping 76% of dads enjoy blissful slumber while the mother does the hard graft (getting up on average of four times a night).
We all know how difficult it can be to function after a disturbed nights sleep so the cumulative effect of night after night of sleeplessness can be profound. It is hardly surprising that new mums vent their frustration on their partner. And when you consider that many new mums are back in full-time work by the time their baby is six months old, the pressure can be immense.
So what is the solution? It is essential for parents to work as a team so they can get through the difficult times more harmoniously. But also for new mums to know that it is OK to admit they are absolutely knackered and to grab any opportunity that comes their way to claw back some of those sleep-starved hours. Napping is a great way to reduce your sleep debt. Even 20 minutes can make a big difference for many people.
About the Author: John Mce writes on behalf of Baby Says Hello
MORE INFO on Sleep Deprivation: See what the experts have to say. Read the Washington Post article.