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The Children's Wellness Blog

Tips for Childproofing Your Home

December 12, 2016

Tips for Childproofing Your HomeThe term “in the safety of your own home” can be a bit of a misnomer for parents with toddlers, or at least for parents who have not taken the time, or adequately been able, to childproof their home. As statistics show household injuries are one of the most common reasons kids 3 and under visit the hospital each year, once a child is able to crawl or walk, it’s important that parents are as diligent as possible in reducing the potential for injury hazards for children.

With this in mind, the healthcare providers at Children’s Wellness Center have put together some helpful tips for how to childproof some of the most common rooms of your home.

The Kitchen

  • Invest in a gate to ensure that the kitchen is off-limits when you’re not around.
  • Protect lower cabinets with locks or latches to keep children away from potentially harmful kitchen cleaning products like detergents and bleach.
  • Keep sharp cutlery high and out of reach.
  • Stove and stove nobs (which can be fun to twist) should be covered when not in use.
  • Trash cans should have a child-resistant cover.

The Bedroom

  • Ensure your child’s crib is sturdy and set up properly.
  • Since traditional drop-side cribs are now banned from being sold in the US due to safety concerns, make sure to purchase a fixed-side crib.
  • Install a window guard and make sure windows cannot open more than a few inches.
  • Cover electrical outlets with sliding covers and avoid removable plastic covers that can be choking hazards for kids.

The Bathroom

  • Protect kids from burns by setting your water heater to 120 degrees or installing an anti-scald device to the bath spout and sink faucet.
  • Nonslip mats in and around the tub can help prevent slips and falls on slick bathroom surfaces.
  • Store all medications in an out-of-reach, preferably in a lockable cabinet.

The Living Room

  • Cushion the edges of coffee tables, TV stands, window ledges and anything else with sharp/jagged corners.
  • Cover the fireplace with a gate.
  • Mount your TV securely on the wall or anchor them to stands to prevent risk of them falling over.
  • Anchor furniture to walls to prevent tipping over.
  • Cover fireplace stones.

Stairs

  • Place gates at the top and bottom of stairs to prevent potential falls.
  • Stair balusters should be no more than 4 inches apart.

Remember than anything smaller than the opening of a toilet paper roll can be a potential choking hazard for your child. In the case of a poisoning emergency, immediately contact poison control at (800) 222-1222. A safe, childproof home is a major step towards a happy and healthy home environment for your young ones and we hope this quick guide is useful as you prepare your own home. If you have concerns that you’d like to discuss with any of our providers, feel free to contact Children’s Wellness Center today. Our healthcare providers are available to answer your questions and help out any way we can.

Tips for Potty Training Your Toddler

December 6, 2016

tips-for-potty-training-your-toddlerPotty training is a developmental milestone for kids and parents alike, and while we understand just how intimidating it can seem initially – it doesn’t have to be! The truth is that if your child is truly ready, potty training can actually be pretty enjoyable. Many parents tend to compare the advancements of other children but when it comes to potty training, there is not a specific age. Some kids are ready as soon as 18 months and some may not hit this milestone until they are approaching age 4. As with many other developments that children undergo in their early years, you may be familiar with the notion that kids tend to do things on their timetable and not always on ours, as the parents.

When the moment does come, it’s recommended that parents to be ready and knowledgeable in order to help ease their child’s transition out of diapers. That’s why the healthcare providers of Children’s Wellness Center are happy to provide a few potty training steps we have collected during our own experiences to help break down the process for first time parents (or even those who are having another round and would like to try things differently). Hopefully, this potty training guide will help your child transition quickly and make potty training as painless as possible for everyone involved:

Be Aware of Signs of Readiness

Look out for signs that your child may be ready. These may include the child:

  • Expressing interest in the potty
  • Feeling uncomfortable in dirty diapers
  • Getting dressed without help
  • Staying accident-free for longer periods of time
  • Going to the bathroom on a schedule

Introduce Kids to the Potty

When you think your child may be close to ready, bring up potty training occasionally in conversation to make them aware of the concept of potty training. Children’s books about potty training can even help spur their interest as a fun, engaging alternative to talking.

Choose the Right Potty for Your Child

Purchase either a full potty that sits on the floor or a potty seat that goes on top of the regular toilet. Some parents may want to set up multiple potties around the house, though we recommend sticking with one in the bathroom for repeated use. If you choose to use a potty seat, make sure to get a step stool too so your little one has an easier time climbing on top.

Choose a Method & Be Consistent

Creating a potty training schedule for toddlers is highly recommended. Set out certain times of day to take your child to the potty (whether or not they have to go) and stick with them to create a routine. We recommend having kids sit on the potty first thing in the morning, before you leave the house, and before naps and bedtime. The key is to ritualize using the potty so it becomes more of a habit for your child.

Teach Hygiene after Potty Use

Keeping clean is a big part of potty training. Instruct kids how to properly wipe (front to back), flush, and to wash their hands with soap and water afterward to avoid spreading germs and prevent potential sickness.

Reward Good Potty Behavior

Remember that accidents are part of the process. Keep patient and don’t discourage your child if they have an accident. Instead, be encouraging and even offer a small reward when your child uses the potty successfully to reinforce the good behavior.

One of the most helpful tips we like to share with parents is this: remember, potty training is not an overnight process. Stay patient and encourage your child every step of the way to help them through this process and feel good about their accomplishments. If you have additional questions, don’t hesitate to contact Children’s Wellness Center. You can also follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Google+ for more news and updates.

How to Know Which Daycare is Right for Your Child

December 1, 2016

How to Know Which Daycare is Right for Your ChildFor parents, we know the idea of leaving your baby in someone else’s care can be agonizing. Regardless of whether you’re considering a relative, a nanny or a daycare center, it’s only natural for parents to be anxious about someone else taking care of their child. If this sounds familiar, don’t worry, you’re not alone. Statistics show that more mothers than ever are returning to work after having a child. According to a recent study conducted by the Pew Research Center more than 70% of all moms in the US work outside the house.

This is where daycares can help. Not only can daycare centers offer exceptional care with licensed caregivers, they can also provide an environment with other children that will help your young one develop valuable social skills. Though not every daycare is necessarily right for every child and parent. That’s why we’re happy to provide a collection of tips and factors to consider for any parent trying to decide which daycare may best cater to their needs.

The first step to choosing a daycare is deciding which style of daycare you prefer for your child:  group daycare or home daycare. Group daycares are state-licensed centers that are typically similar to a school environment. They offer trained and licensed staffs. Scheduling can be inflexible at times (including during holidays), which may be inconvenient for some families.

Home daycares are run out of the provider’s home, often as the provider cares for his or her own children at the same time. There are normally fewer kids at a home daycare and some parents prefer the more hands-on approach. There is also less exposure to potential illness due to smaller group size. On the downside, it’s important to be aware that many home daycare providers are not formally trained or state-licensed.

There is no right or wrong answer here, it’s just a matter of personal preference. Once you’ve made that determination, here are a few vital steps all parents should take before settling on a daycare center for their child:

Do Your Research

  • This includes checking references and word-of-mouth from other parents.

Interview Your Choices

  • Make sure to ask questions to confirm that the daycare’s cost, group size and philosophy (in regards to discipline, feeding, immunizations, education, etc…) are concurrent with your expectations.

Confirm Accreditation

  • Group centers that are accredited by the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) adhere to higher standards. The same goes for home centers accredited by the National Association for Family Child Care.

Check it out in person

  • Drop by unannounced to get a feel for what a normal day is like at the center.

Once you’ve selected your daycare, they will serve as your partner in caring for your child. It’s up to you to stay involved and participate in the daycare experience when you can. Regular visits and participation in events at your child’s daycare can help reinforce that you are heavily invested in your child’s learning and daycare experience. If you have further questions, don’t hesitate to contact Children’s Wellness Center today. You can also follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Google+ for more childcare tips and updates.

The Importance of Providing a Healthy School Lunch for Your Kids

November 17, 2016

The Importance of Providing a Healthy School Lunch for Your KidsWe know mornings are hectic, especially for parents. Getting your kids up, ready for school and out the door can certainly be an ordeal. Preparing lunch for your kids can get lost in the shuffle of your morning routine, but that could be affecting your child’s overall health and performance in the classroom. Even though school cafeteria lunches have generally become healthier following the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act established in 2010, the most effective way to guarantee a healthy, nutritious lunch for your child is to make it yourself.

A child’s lunch provides roughly a third of their total daily calories, so it’s important to really make those calories count. You want your child to get his or her daily nutrients like protein, vitamin A, Vitamin C, iron and calcium, which are critical for your child’s current health as well as their growth and development. Establishing healthy eating habits is also a great way to avoid childhood obesity and increased body mass index (BMI) that can lead to heart disease and other medical issues as they grow.

A healthier lunch has been proven to help young students concentrate in the classroom. A study taken in 2014 by The Amherst H. Wilder Foundation examined the eating habits of children and discovered that kids who ate more nutritious meals and snacks performed better on literacy tests when compared to children with a diet higher in fat and salt. Additionally, better meals provide the energy kids need to make it through the school day and stay alert and active during after school activities and sports.

Follow these tips to help provide a wholesome, healthy school lunch for your kids:

  • Prepare lunches the night before to avoid additional morning craziness
  • Plan healthy meals with ingredients like fruits, veggies, whole-grains and low-fat dairy products
  • Avoid all trans fats and limit saturated fats, calories and salt
  • Include some form of protein (dairy, meats, nuts or peanut butter, eggs, beans)
  • Provide your kids with healthy drinks like milk and water instead of sugary stuff like certain juices and soda

Proper health and nutrition is important, but that doesn’t mean it can’t be fun. Letting your kids participate in choosing and preparing their own lunch can help keep them interested in their meal and less likely to eat something else. Eating right is the first step for your kids towards staying fit and leading a healthy, active lifestyle. If you have questions about your child’s nutritional needs, don’t hesitate to contact Children’s Wellness Center today at (404) 303-1314. Add or follow us on Facebook and Twitter for more information and updates.

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