This Popular Sleep Aid May Be Harmful to Kids

There’s no quick fix that gets kids to sleep sooner, better, deeper. But melatonin comes pretty close.While medical experts don’t have much bad to say to adults about using melatonin, which isn’t a pharmaceutical rather a health supplement, some are concerned when it comes to regular use in children.

A recent New York Times Well blog post reported that while a lot of parents have given melatonin for their kids because it works—doctors don’t actually know whether it’s doing harm in the long run. Children’s brains are still growing and developing, and melatonin is a synthetic form of a hormone the pineal gland produces, and which signals to the brain it’s time for sleep.

“I think we just don’t know what the potential long-term effects are, particularly when you’re talking about young children,” said Dr. Judith Owens, director of the Center for Pediatric Sleep Disorders at Boston Children’s Hospital. “Parents really need to understand that there are potential risks.”

Research isn’t conclusive but some suggests that it could have effects not just on the brain but on other systems developing in children: reproductive, cardiovascular, immune and metabolic.

Melatonin has known possible side effects for adults, including “headaches, dizziness and daytime grogginess,” the Times reports. That last one is what makes it a sleep aid and also dangerous for drivers who might use it. The hormone-like substance, which is also found in foods like barley and walnuts, can also interfere with medications for blood pressure and diabetes.

When researchers looked into consistency across melatonin products, they found that 71 percent of their samples were at least 10 percent off from the written dose.

Doctors who treat sleep disorders in children have long known parents turn frequently turn to melatonin to help their kids with sleep issues, often picking up the pills at a health food store and not telling their own doctors—a mistake.

“I rarely see a family come in with a child with insomnia who hasn’t tried melatonin,” Owns said. “I would say at least 75 percent of the time when they come in to see us” at the sleep clinic, “they’re either on melatonin or they’ve tried it in the past.”

For those who give it to their children, Owens recommends letting their child’s doctor know. She also said the pills should be picked up from a reputable source. Because they’re not regulated by the Food and Drug Adminstration, there’s no way of know how much of the useful ingredient is in each pill. Buy “pharmaceutical grade,” which tend to have “more precise dosing levels.”

When researchers looked into consistency across melatonin products, they found that 71 percent of their samples were at least 10 percent off from the written dose. In fact—and this is where parents, particularly, should be cautious—some contained nearly 5 times the dosage written on the label.

So while there’s still no silver bullet for kids and sleep—except for lots of exercise, predictable nighttime routines and early (yes, early!) bedtimes—the melatonin temptation should be met with caution and some medical support.

Contributions on this post via Mom.me

Are You This Lucky?

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There is one rule in most situations to don’t compare yourself to others. But as moms, that’s almost impossible not to do, we now spend a majority of our time with other parents and their kids. I often think to myself, is she just a better mom than me, or does she have easier kids?

Of course, I know the answer to this question. All children come with their own set of rules, and I’m doing the best I can, but it’s still hard because our children can be a reflection of us to the outside world.

These are the moms some wouldn’t mind trading places with for one day:

  1. The Moms whose Kids Sit in the Shopping Cart

The grocery store is practically handing us an excellent ticket when they offer carts that look like race cars. It should be a toddler version of someone letting me drive their Ferrari but my kid make me want to drive off a precipice as I push that ridiculously enormous object and here comes another car cruising towards me, those damn carts are so huge we have to knock down all the displays to get what we want most of the times.

  1. Moms whose Kids Hold Their Hand When Walking Down the Street

These are the moments I apologize to the parenting gods for ever judging anyone who put their child on a leash. I want to handcuff mine most of the times. Even when he does hold my hand walking, it’s a little vague; his arm is in a constant shake motion.

  1. The Moms whose Kids Brush Their Hair and Teeth

Just ask my kid sometimes every morning is a mission to do it, he is little and he needs my help but even that he wants to make it himself and is the constant fight every morning. It makes no difference what flavor the toothpaste is or what character appears on their toothbrush.

  1. The Moms whose Kids Leave Places in peace

Everywhere we go somewhere and it’s time to get back into the car to leave my kid act like I’m tearing him away from Disney World. No matter where we are, chaos ensues when it’s time to go. I think I won’t take him to Disney World until at least their mid-30s, when he establishes some self-control.

Needless to say, these are things I never imagined would be an issue before I was a mother. I had no idea my child would complain about the simplest tasks, he also knows the right moment to plant a kiss on my cheek or bring a smile on my face, but I also have come to embrace the chaos, and laugh each day because I survive the unexpected but even the adversity I consider myself a lucky mom.

Enforcing bed time to kids

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I am a stickler for a strict bedtime for my kid  specially during the week  since he was a baby because I think nothing is worse than greeting a lot of cranks attitudes  in the morning and specially to maintain a routine and for my mental health is also an advantage.

Now, a new study published in the journal BMC Public Health finds that enforcing a bedtime during the week means kids are more likely to meet established sleep guidelines, which benefits their overall health and well-being.

Researchers at Public Health Ontario, Canada looked at self-reported data from more than 1,600 parents with at least one kid younger than 18 and found that 94 percent of parents encouraged a specific bedtime. Meanwhile, 84 percent of parents went a step further and enforced bedtime rules. These parents were 59 percent more likely to have kids who met sleep guidelines on weekdays.

Dr. Heather Manson, senior author of the study, explains the different between encouraging and enforcing bedtimes, saying: “We found that ‘encouragement’ as a parental support was less effective for both weekend and weekday sleeps. Enforcement of rules around bedtimes had a significant impact, but only on weekdays. We can conclude that parents enforcing a bedtime on the weekday could help support their child to achieve sufficient sleep.”

Manson added, “Sleep is increasingly being recognized as an important determinant of health, and an integral component of healthy living for children, integrated with other behaviors such as physical activity and sedentary time. In the family context, parents’ support behaviors towards sleep could play an important role in their child’s health.”

 

When Mom or Dad Is Seriously Ill

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When a parent becomes gravely ill, the entire family is thrown into crisis; for children, it may well be the worst of their lives so far. Often, the first impulse is to protect children, to spare them as much pain as possible. But children usually have to take on new responsibilities and confront stark realities, frightened and exhausted adults often have little energy to spare for children who are themselves terrified and confused.

As a parent you feel like the whole world is crashing down, feeling like you are sinking, and hard to give your kids the support, and at the same time you don’t want them to be ruined by this.

Ms. McCue, the supervisor of the Child Life Program at the Cleveland Clinic Foundation, a major medical center, has spent years trying to help adults and children not only to endure these crises, but also to emerge stronger. For years, she said, children were “the invisible people” in hospitals. Only in the last five years, she said, have professionals begun to recognize that techniques devised to help seriously ill children can be used to help healthy children whose parents are sick.

Probably the most difficult principle for well-meaning parents to follow, but the most central, is to tell children the truth, with the details adjusted to suit their ages. Parents, she writes, should always tell the children three things: that the mother or father is seriously ill, what the name of the disease is, and what the doctors say is likely to happen.

Most parents, she said, have found their children are far stronger than they thought. Children must be allowed to express their grief.

“Although telling the children the truth is very frightening and can be very emotionally overwhelming at the time, once you’ve gotten past that moment, everyone is carrying the burden together,” Ms. McCue said. “You can deal with it and help the child make the most of it. You say, ‘Here’s what we’re going to do to handle this.’ ”

Adults must be careful, however, not to overburden children or to expect them to offer more than fleeting comfort, Ms. McCue said. They will need help talking about their fears, reassurance that the illness is not their fault and permission to have fun, Ms. McCue said.

Children may also need to be prepared for the sight of a sick parent in the hospital, and Ms. McCue recommends showing them pictures of hospitals and describing in detail the machines or other medical devices the children will encounter.

In many cases, children’s grades might suffer, but both the well and the sick parent, if possible, need to tell children that illness cannot be an excuse for failure, example, stopped doing his homework and started acting up.

While these are normal reactions for children, Ms. McCue also provides a list of warning signs that should prompt parents to seek professional help. These include severe problems with sleeping or eating, risky actions that might indicate suicidal thoughts — like deliberately dashing in front of cars — very aggressive or withdrawn behavior and extreme fears.

When the worst happens, and a parent is going to die, Ms. McCue offers detailed guidance about how to prepare children and how to handle final hospital visits. Although generally she advocates not pushing children if they are reluctant to talk about their parents’ illness, she said that if death is imminent, children must be told as soon as possible, to give them time to prepare.

She suggested that parents offer children several opportunities to visit the parent, but not to force them to do so. Whenever possible, the dying parent can be encouraged to dictate a last message to children, something they can hold on to in later years.

In her years of work with children, Ms. McCue said that she has been continually surprised at how much children can grow and even thrive despite the trauma of parental illness. “They develop some skills they didn’t know they had,” she said. “If you could make it go away, that’s the first choice. But if they can get through this, they can get through many things.”

 

What Parents Need to Know About the Child Who Died Under Dental Anesthesia

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Article original from Parents

Our hearts go out to the parents of the toddler who passed away during a dental procedure. And here’s what parents can take away from this unthinkable tragedy.

You may have read about Texas 14-month-old Daisy Lynn Torres, who passed away under anesthesia during a dental procedure back in March. But in case you’re seeing this heartbreaking story circulating again online, here’s what you need to know.

According to Yahoo News, a pediatric specialist at Austin Children’s Dentistry, Dr. Michael Melanson, at first informed Daisy’s mom, Betty Squier, that Daisy needed to be put under anesthesia to fill two cavities, because she wouldn’t be able to sit still long enough for the procedure.

But Squier recounted to Inside Edition that during the procedure, Dr. Melanson told her, “things have changed, [and it’s] six cavities. We’re going to go ahead and do 4 crowns and 2 fillings.”

Understandably, Squier wasn’t so sure putting a crown on baby teeth was necessary. But she explains, “I allowed him to do it because I trusted him.”

Unthinkably, Daisy went into cardiac arrest while under anesthesia. She was rushed to the hospital, where she later died.

The medical examiner concluded anesthesia likely killed this adorable little girl, according to the autopsy results. “One can only speculate as to why any treatment was performed considering no indication of dental disease or pathology,” the report also says.

In a statement to Inside Edition, Dr. Melanson’s attorney said, “There is no evidence that either the mother, the anesthesiologist, or the dentist did anything to cause the event. The best interest of the child was everyone’s only goal. Our hearts continue to go out to the family.”

As does mine. I am shattered for this mom.

Even worse is that this is not the first case of something like this happening. In July, a 3-year-old girl in California died after being put under anesthesia for a dental procedure, according to People magazine. And in January of 2014, a Hawaiian 3-year-old lapsed into a coma and later died after being placed under “heavy sedation” in the dentist’s chair, the Association of Health Care Journalists reports. And those are just the cases that made headlines. As the Huffington Post reports, 31 kids have died under dental sedation in the past 15 years.

Given this scary statistic, and in light of the tragedy that took the life of Daisy and other kids mentioned here, we talked to Jade Miller, D.D.S., president of the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD), to ask what parents should know. When asked how young might be too young for general anesthesia, Dr. Miller replied, “The primary factor to consider is the severity of the dental disease. Young children with dental pain and/or infection require treatment at any age. Alternatives should be assessed to determine all options that may be available. In some cases, a general anesthesia is the very best approach for that child and can be completed in a safe and effective manner.”

If your dentist recommends general anesthesia, Dr. Miller said to keep these three tips in mind:

  • Get ALL your questions answered. “We always recommend if a parent has any concerns or questions related to their child’s dental care to make sure they are answered to their satisfaction,” Dr. Miller said.
  • Don’t be afraid to seek a second opinion. If you’re uncomfortable with or have questions about your child’s diagnosis or treatment, there’s no harm in talking to your child’s dentist or getting a second opinion.
  • Know your options. “Parents should understand any alternatives to a general anesthesia, which could include a conscious sedation and the advantages and disadvantages of an alternative approach,” Dr. Miller said. “They should ask about where the procedure will take place, such as in a surgery center or a dental office, and the experience and training of the anesthesia provider.”

My son was 2 years-old when I first took him to the dentist when he broke his frontal tooth, my first nightmare and first question was about the anesthesia, if gradually during the process he will be under general anesthesia or some type of local anesthesia, but the answer was NO.

I realize Daisy’s procedure was completely different, but the point is that I can relate to Squier trusting a medical professional’s advice as to how her daughter should be treated. And then, to have this happen? It’s unimaginable.

5 Best Deodorants for Women

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Living in South Florida means that is warm and hot most time of the year. As a result here is a short list of the five best deodorants found for women.

 1.Native deodorant

Made from natural ingredients, blew us away in terms of effectiveness, and is one of the favorite deodorant by far.  It is fantastic at eliminating odors – you can wear it to yoga and to the gym multiple times, and never felt worried about your body odor. In addition, Native kept us feeling dry all day long, and didn’t leave behind that sticky or oily feeling that some deodorants gave us.

Native deodorant is completely natural, and doesn’t contain chemicals like aluminum and paraben. Most antiperspirants (like Secret, Dove and Degree) have aluminum, which has been linked to breast cancer and Alzheimer’s, so we wanted to avoid it.  Native comes in a few different scents, including Unscented, Coconut & Vanilla, Lavender & Rose, Eucalyptus & Mint, and Citrus & Herbal Musk.

2. Aesop Deodorant

Aesop Deodorant is a skin care company that started in Australia and has really begun making a name for itself in the United States.  Like the other deodorants on the list, Aēsop Deodorant is aluminum and paraben free.  It has a sophisticated scent and is on the pricey side for deodorants and earned the #2 spot.

3.Jason Deodorant

JASON has a long history of making natural products, and its deodorant is no different. It came in stick form as opposed to a spray or cream, and based on some reviews the stick form tend to be more effective at keeps you dry.

4. Honest Deodorant

If you are a parent, you’ve likely experimented with some Honest Co. products. Honest Deodorant comes in a spray format.  Has been found that natural spray deodorants don’t do a good job at preventing wetness.  Honest Co is no different – it has great scents (Bergamont Sage ) but doesn’t do enough to prevent wetness, ranked Honest Co. #4 on the list.

5. Organic 101 

Organic 101 Deodorant is certified organic by the USDA, and I’m not sure if any other deodorants are able to say that. The deodorant smelled a bit manly more like Old Spice or a heavy dose of cinnamon, and comparing with Honest, Honest’s scent was superior.  It is also a bit dry to roll on, it earned #5 spot.

I hope this list helped you to choose the best and natural option, through years aluminium and paraben has been linked to breast cancer and Alzheimer’s, and we can start to be more careful and choose the best option for us and for our family.

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The Benefits of Himalayan Salt

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The pink Himalayan Salt has a myriad of healthy medicinal properties, being rich in 84 minerals and trace elements.

It can be used as a replacement of the processed table salt, as a bath soak or body scrub, or as pink Himalayan salt lamps. Yet, you might not know that you can use it as a salt inhaler and enjoy its numerous health benefits!

These salt inhalers have small Himalayan salt rocks at the bottom, and when you inhale, the natural moisture of the air helps absorb the salt particles into the lungs.

This is highly beneficial in the case of colds, congestion, allergies, and asthma. The method is completely safe and natural, and thus causes no side-effects.

These are the benefits of salt inhalers:

  1. Protect against Harmful Organisms

Himalayan salt protects against numerous dangerous organism, and due to the high extent of minerals and natural elements, it boosts the immune system and offers potent antibacterial, anti-fungal, and anti-microbial properties.

  1. Detoxification

The air we breathe is full of chemical pollutants, smog, smoke, dust, and pet dander, and the lungs are exposed to constant stress due to air pollution. The use of such a Himalayan salt inhaler detoxifies the lungs and the air around you.

  1. Soothe Sinus issues

Salt inhalation therapy strengthens the respiratory system, and the inhalation of pure, ionized air in salt mines treats respiratory issues, and even general irritation due to smoking and air pollution.

  1. Mucus Buildup prevention

Pink Himalayan salt cleanses the body of the mucus deposits from toxins in the air. These inhalers will relieve congestion and eliminate mucus buildup.

  1. Improve sleep

Salt inhalers soothe a nighttime cough and snoring by reducing mucous build up and congestion, and help you breathe easily and get the needed rest.

This is how to use them:

You should avoid plastic inhalers, but put the Himalayan rocks in a ceramic one. Then, put the mouthpiece in the mouth, and start breathing slowly and deeply through the mouth, and exhaling through the nose.

This is a dry therapy, so do not add water. Deep breathing will bring the small salt ions to the lungs, and they will bypass the nasal filtering system and go directly to the lungs.

They will be easily absorbed in the lungs and brought into the bloodstream, where they will soothe the inflammation and pain due to various reasons, like respiratory issues, such as pneumonia, asthma, and bronchitis.

I hope you enjoyed this information about Himalayan Salt

I was not aware it was useful for many health conditions.

What These Nurses Invented Will Change C-Sections Forever

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Even that a C-section is just as much a special delivery as a vaginal birth, there are some things that are clearly lacking about the whole experience, due to Mom being covered in a surgical drape, the shakes from the anesthesia and, for some, not being able to hold their newly delivered baby right away. Now thanks to Virginia nurses Kimberly Jarrelle, Deborah Burbic and Jess Niccoli, the whole C-section experience may be changing—for the better.

The three women have been working for years to perfect a new surgical drape called the Skin-to-Skin C-Section Drape which has a reseal able flap that will allow the doctor to pass the baby through the sheet to the mother as soon as they are out. Since the flap can be resealed immediately, it maintains the sterility of the surgical environment as the doctor closes Mom back up. Oftentimes, C-section moms have to wait up to half an hour to hold their baby while they get sutured in order to keep things sterile. And, as many moms can attest, after waiting many months, you can only imagine how painfully long the wait can be.

“When mom gets to hold that baby for the first time on her chest, it is just unbelievable, that experience,” says Burbic. “We were going, ‘How could we make this happen in the operating room?'” And thankfully, they did.

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“When mom gets to hold that baby for the first time on her chest, it is just unbelievable, that experience,” says Burbic. “We were going, ‘How could we make this happen in the operating room?'” And thankfully, they did.

And now that there is a new evidence touting the benefit of skin-to-skin contact not just for Baby but for Mom as well, the nurses are hoping to see this adopted in hospitals nationwide—although like any new medical product they do expect for hospitals to be “leery at first.” Original by Mom.me

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8 Things You Will Definitely Not Miss About the Baby Stage

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Sure there are moments we all miss about our kids being babies (like falling asleep with them in our arms or the smell of their heads, not their diapers) but there are definitely certain things we don’t ever want to relive. Here are a few:

  1. Keeping track of bowel movements besides your own

Along with the smell of poop, you won’t miss having to have every waking moment and every conversation consumed with the topic, either. Although judging by what I’ve overheard at some gyms and health food stores it’s not reserved for just people with babies.

A doorbell, a phone ring, a friendly voice—any of these are enough to make your blood run cold when you’ve got a baby napping.

  1. A world ruled by burp cloths

Someday you’ll be able to leave the house—or even a room—without having to find a burp cloth first. Related: You can also look forward to owning a black top without stains on the shoulders.

  1. Hoarding diaper coupons like they’re priceless heirlooms

I had a neighbor who would go door-to-door asking everyone for their Sunday insert so she could stock up on diaper coupons. I never went this far, although I do remember crying once when my husband accidentally threw away a stack of $1.50 coupons that I had gotten as a supermarket promo.

  1. Not being able to say “goodnight” without lying

Why say “goodnight” to anyone? Those words are empty because you know that there is no ‘good’ in your night as long as your baby will be waking up every 20 minutes. In the future you’ll be able to say something other than, “OK then, see you soon,” before you fake sleep.

  1. Dreading sound of any kind

A doorbell, a phone ring, a friendly voice—any of these are enough to make your blood run cold when you’ve got a baby napping. Once they become better sleepers, though, you’ll be able to dread sounds because you just hate human interaction like normal people.

  1. A bag that doesn’t weigh 50 pounds

Once you don’t have to pack diapers, wipes, snacks, bottles, toys, extra clothes, sunscreen, medicine, a baby monitor and four books on baby care, you can go back to a bag filled with gum and old receipts like you used to do.

  1. Doing five loads of laundry every day

You’ll get a short break from this schedule until your kids become teens.

  1. Taking an hour to get into your car and another hour to get out

I’m not going to lie, one of the happiest days of my life was watching my son toddle to the car, crawl into his car seat and buckle himself in.

I hope you identified on this article, I think inside of us we feel the same way. The information on this article was original from Marsha Takeda-Morrison

 

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HOW MUCH PEE IS IN OUR SWIMMING POOLS?

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Talk to anyone and they’ll tell you peeing in the pool is just plain wrong. Despite people’s outward disgust, new research says many of your friends are probably lying.

Scientists developed a test to discover how much urine is really in local swimming pools and the results may, or may not surprise you.

“We want to use this study to promote public education on appropriate swimming hygiene practices,” Lindsay Blackstock, a graduate student at the University of Alberta, Edmonton, and lead author or the study told The Guardian. “We should all be considerate of others and make sure to exit the pool to use the restroom when nature calls.”

First, Blackstock and her team identified a compound that would be consistently present in urine, artificial sweetener, acesulfame potassium (ACE). ACE is found in processed foods and passed through the digestive tract unaltered.

Using this method, researchers tested 250 water samples from 31 pools and hot tubs in two Canadian cities. They then compared the results with over 90 samples of clean tap water from the outlets initially used to fill the pool.

The findings, published in the American Chemical Society journal, Environmental Science & Technology Letters reported: “The concentration of ACE in the pools and hot tubs ranged from 30 to 7,110 nanograms per liter of water — up to 570 times more than the levels found in the tap water samples.

“The researchers estimated that swimmers released more than 7 gallons of urine — enough to fill a medium-size trash bin.”

Scientists hope to develop an ACE test to ensure pool water is kept at a hygienic level.

Original information from Practical Parenting