Posts Tagged "Health"

13Jan2023

Children are more likely than adults to experience nightmares and night terrors, which frequently disturbs parents’ sleep as they attempt to comfort and ease their child back to sleep. Night terrors and nightmares share many similarities, yet they can differ greatly. While nearly everyone has nightmares throughout childhood, just 1-6% of children suffer night terrors, and the experience is significantly more distressing for both parents and children. In this blog post, we’ll examine what night terrors are, the causes of them, and some strategies for dealing with them if your child has them.

Understanding Nightmares and Night Terrors

A night terror is a sleep disorder in which the subject experiences intense panic, which frequently manifests as yelling, shouting, and thrashing. Similar to sleepwalking, a youngster may occasionally move out of bed, open their eyes, and then continue to sleep. Other side effects of night terror include perspiration, faster breathing, and an elevated heart rate. After an episode, it can frequently be challenging to get a child back to sleep because of the overwhelming sense of panic. Night terrors can happen more than once per night and typically persist for several minutes, occasionally even up to 15 minutes.

The Causes of Night Terrors

A night terror often develops as a result of an interruption to a child’s deep slumber, an over-arousal of the central nervous system during sleep. Children who have a family history of sleepwalking or night terrors are more likely to experience an episode. Night terrors may also be brought on by elements that interfere with deep sleep, according to certain theories. One trigger may be an increase in deep sleep, which may be brought on by factors including fatigue, fever, or medicine. Another possibility is when this phase of sleep is disturbed, frequently as a result of stress, excitement, loud noises, or the desire to use the restroom.

What Should I Do if My Kid Has Night Terrors?

When your child has a night terror, it can be a scary experience because you always want to see them sleeping peacefully. However, the best course of action when dealing with one that is already underway is to wait patiently for it to pass while watching out for your child or daughter’s safety. Though you might be tempted, it’s best to refrain from awakening your child while they are having an episode. After a few minutes, most kids will go back to their regular slumber, so if you wake them up abruptly, they could get disturbed and less likely to fall back asleep. Furthermore, it’s doubtful that they would recall the incident, thus waking them awake will simply make them feel uneasy. You can wake up your child once the episode has ended and they have calmed down.

To assist them reset their sleep and prevent them from relapsing into a night terror, make sure they are fully awake and, if required, take them to the bathroom. Although there is no proven cure for night terrors, there are several things you can do to help your kid go asleep and address the underlying causes: 

  • Assist them in managing stress: Like adults, kids might experience tension and worry before bed, which can exacerbate night terrors. Find out what’s causing the issue and try to assist the youngster in resolving it; you may also try some stress-reduction strategies. 
  • Create a calming bedtime routine: While we’ve written on relaxing bedtime routines for adults, much of the same guidance also applies to children. Making sure they consume healthy foods and liquids, limiting computer time before bed, encouraging them to take a hot bath, and reading a tale aloud are all helpful strategies for easing children into sleep.
  • Stop them from getting too tired: Night terrors are frequently preceded by being overtired, so it’s a good idea to keep an eye on your child’s routine to ensure that they aren’t overexerting themselves and are getting enough rest.
  • Provide creative outlets for imaginative children: Children with active, vivid imaginations are more likely to experience night terrors, so provide them with opportunities to express themselves during the day. This could be done through acting, singing, dancing, or another art form.
  • Talk to them about night terrors in the proper way: The last thing you want is for your child to develop a real fear of their night terrors, so you should be careful to talk to them about their episodes in a way that doesn’t make them anxious or scared.

Even while the majority of night terrors may be treated at home, you should consult a doctor if they recur frequently or more than once a night. A medical expert should be able to determine whether there are any underlying conditions that are the root of the issues. Contact Kid’s 1st Pediatrics if you have any inquiries.

7Nov2022

When considering air pollution, the majority of us think of outdoor air. However, given that many kids spend more than 90% of their time inside, indoor air quality might be even more important. The EPA estimates that indoor air pollution levels may be two to five times greater than outdoor pollution levels. There is not much ventilation in today’s energy-efficient homes to improve indoor air quality.

Compared to adults, children inhale and retain more air pollution per unit of body weight. Children are more vulnerable to the effects of polluted air since their lungs and elimination systems are still developing. Children’s body cannot handle more pollutants once they are already overburdened. They might start to react negatively to exposures like fresh paint, new carpet, cleaning supplies, mattress and furniture off-gassing, dust, mold, or pollen. A toxic overload youngster might become seriously unwell from even small exposures. According to estimates, more than 40 million individuals currently suffer from an environmental sickness as a result of harmful or allergic reactions to numerous environmental contaminants.

Symptoms of Indoor Air Pollution

  • Watery eyes
  • Sneezing
  • Coughing
  • Headaches
  • Congestion
  • Fatigue
  • Trouble breathing

Allergens, tobacco smoke, or chemical exposure can cause asthma symptoms to appear or exacerbate already present symptoms. There may be a large list of other baffling issues with environmental sickness that are hard to identify.

Several distinct sources are releasing particles or gases into the air in your house. The most crucial room, though, is usually the one where your kids sleep. Their bodies regenerate as they sleep. Your kids’ bodies enter a deep healing phase when they sleep at night, and their immune systems work to get rid of any pollutants. If there is an added burden of toxins in the bedroom air, cleansing is challenging for the body. How long do your kids stay in their bedrooms? In addition to sleeping at night, a lot of kids are also napping or playing in their rooms during the day.

Lowering Indoor Air Pollution

First and foremost, it’s essential that infants and young children sleep on an organic mattress that doesn’t off-gas. All mattresses that include vinyl, polyurethane foam, fire retardants, or other harmful components need to be replaced immediately. Furthermore, the majority of bed frames, cribs, cradles, bassinets, changing tables, dressers, cupboards, and bookshelves are constructed from pressed or composite wood products that emit formaldehyde or contain paints or varnishes that also do the same. Replace this furniture, if possible, with solid wood pieces that have natural finishes. Another significant toxin that can discharge toxins almost continually is carpet. Paints, building materials, personal care items, and cleaning supplies can all release toxins into the air. For kids, any mold, dust mites, or animal dander in the bedroom can be a major issue.

Ways to Remove Allergens from Children’s Bedrooms

  • Invest in a HEPA room air purifier that eliminates odors, viruses, pollutants, and chemicals
  • Put non-toxic 100% organic cotton dust-mite-proof covers on pillows, mattresses, and box springs
  • Think about getting a nontoxic organic children’s mattress
  • Reduce indoor humidity to less than 50% to prevent the growth of mold
  • Immediately address any plumbing, roof, and other water leaks, and securely remove any mold throughout the whole house
  • Use a HEPA-filtered vacuum twice a week to clean the house (more frequently if you have pets)
  • Regularly vacuum upholstered furniture, curtains, and mattresses
  • Use a moist cloth to wipe off hard surfaces and avoid using hazardous cleaners
  • To lessen exposure to pet dander, keep allergy-causing animals out of the bedroom or bathe your animals once per week
  • Wash linens once a week in hot water
  • Wash plush toys frequently
  • If at all feasible, replace carpet with natural, non-toxic rugs that you can wash frequently
  • Keep cigarettes out of the house
  • When possible, try to get solid wood furniture rather than composite or particle board
  • Before bringing composite wood goods within, let them off-gas outside for a few days or weeks
  • After bringing new furniture inside, carefully ventilate the space. Everyday window opening will enhance interior air quality
  • Common indoor plants like spider plants and bamboo palms may aid to filter the air
31Oct2022

In order to give them the energy they need for vigorous play and good health, children must get adequate sleep so they grow and develop at a quick rate. Your child can sleep better if you practice proper sleep hygiene, such as setting regular bedtimes and creating a calm, secure sleeping environment.

A good sleeping habit is a set of behaviors and practices that promote restful sleep. It is frequently called good sleep hygiene.

How Much Sleep Should a Child Get?

Sleep patterns of newborns vary greatly. Most infants sleep 14 to 17 hours throughout the day after about a month. Your infant will gradually sleep longer at night and shorter during the day.

Preschoolers and toddlers require 11 to 14 hours of sleep every day. The majority of it need to happen at night, but they frequently also want rest during the day.

Attempt to limit daytime naps to one to two hours in order to prevent extending nighttime bedtimes, although each child’s needs will differ. Children in primary school need 9 to 11 hours of sleep every night.

Understanding Internal Timers and Sleep Cycles

Our body’s internal clock regulates our sleep habits by keeping us awake during the day and encouraging sleep at night. The hormone melatonin, which alerts our bodies that it is time to sleep, is released in accordance with the body clock.

Most kids are asleep in 20 minutes or less after going to bed. It’s crucial to set regular intervals for your youngster to nap during the day and sleep at night. This enables the release of melatonin by their biological clock, hastening the process of falling asleep. We alternate between phases of deeper and lighter sleep after falling asleep.

If your child gets deep sleep, they won’t wake up too frequently. Most children have their deepest sleep before midnight, so putting them to bed early will allow them to benefit from this time for restful sleep.

Forming the Best Sleeping Patterns for Children

Exercise and Nutrition

Your youngster will sleep soundly with the aid of a healthy diet and regular exercise. If at all possible, try to plan meals so that your child doesn’t feel uncomfortable or unable to go asleep by going to bed either hungry or full.

Play and physical exercise during the day will also help your child burn off energy, reducing the likelihood that they will be restless when it is time for bed. Encourage your children to play outside so that they can synchronize their body clocks, which will help them sleep more soundly.

If your child is older than 5, avoid naps throughout the day. Make sure your child doesn’t consume any caffeine, including that found in chocolate and soft beverages.

Time to Wind Down Before Bed

Your youngster can more easily transition from playtime to sleep if there is a wind-down phase right before bed. Playing some calming music, reading a book, or telling your child a story are all peaceful activities that can put your child to sleep. If your child is having trouble falling asleep for a daytime nap, wind-down times may be especially helpful. For at least an hour prior to going to bed, refrain from utilizing electronic devices such as television, laptops, and cell phones.

Routines Before Bedtime

You may help your youngster associate showering and brushing their teeth with going to sleep by having a consistent bedtime routine that includes these actions. Additionally, it’s critical that kids feel secure and at ease in their sleeping surroundings. If left alone in a dark room to sleep, some kids may feel upset. It could be reassuring to use a night light or leave the door open. If your youngster is checking the time frequently, make sure they can’t see a clock.

If you need to tend to your kid after they are in bed to help them settle, try keeping the lights low and the room quiet to avoid upsetting the peaceful atmosphere of bedtime.

13Dec2021

With Thanksgiving just around the corner, many parents are thinking about the best ways to keep their kids healthy. Given that many families will be having group gatherings for the first time in over a year, it’s always wise to step back and think about the ways that you can help to ensure that your child stays safe over the holidays.

Good Habits for Staying Healthy

The best place to start is, of course, always going to be with the basics. Make sure that you’re practicing the same kind of basic hygiene practices that you practiced with your child before the pandemic. That means washing hands, stepping back from people who are actively sneezing or coughing, and keeping hands off of objects like doorknobs and railings. It’s also a good idea to make sure that your child doesn’t put anything in their mouth that doesn’t belong to them.

Staying healthy this year may also mean making choices about where you go and when. Always keep the health of your child and family in mind before you go to gatherings, and feel free to stay back if you know that someone at your party isn’t feeling well. The last thing you need is to exacerbate existing problems, and almost everyone around you will appreciate your willingness to stay home to keep others well.

Finally, make sure that you’re keeping up with your child’s general health. Making sure that they can get plenty of rest and that they stay hydrated can play a massive role in making sure that their immune system stays strong. This isn’t going to be enough to fight off every contagious illness, of course, but your child’s body really will function better if they are getting everything that they need.

There’s no perfect way to keep holiday illnesses away, but you can take steps to keep your child a bit healthier. Make sure that you’re practicing good hygiene, that you avoid places where people are already sick, and that you keep your child to a good rest and hydration routine. If nothing else, doing so gives your child a better chance to stay well.

29Sep2021

A good diet is incredibly important for growing children. It ensures that they’re not only able to grow, but that they also receive the fuel that they need to meet the challenges of growing up. While you can certainly make dining decisions for your children when they are very young, things become more complex as they get older. As such, it’s essential to start talking to your children about making healthy eating choices.

Starting Healthy Eating Habits as Children

First and foremost, it’s important to remember that healthy eating isn’t about how someone looks. Don’t bring up issues like weight with your child when you talk about eating healthy. Instead, focus on his or her health as it relates to how he or she eats. With younger children, it might be essential to talk about strong bones or a healthy heart. With older children, though, it might be best to talk about how they feel after they eat certain things.

Above all else, this process is about helping your child to understand that he or she will have to make choices. Don’t talk about completely eliminating desserts or going on diets; instead, talk to your child about how it’s important to practice moderation with certain kinds of treats. Helping your child to understand that eating healthy doesn’t mean giving up the things he or she loves can be a great way to help make the lesson stick.

Don’t forget to involve your child in helping to make healthy meal choices. For example, let your child help the family’s shopping list and discuss why you choose certain items instead of others. If you can get your child involved with his or her own diet early on, he or she will find it much easier to eat healthy when he or she is out on his or her own. The groundwork you lay now can lead to a healthier future for your child.