Scribit Veritas

Protecting the Child, Preserving the Family, and Honoring Life

Welcome to the Blog page of the American College of Pediatricians.  Each issue of the Blog is intended to assist parents, encourage children, and enrich the family.  Read our most recent issue below, and scroll to the bottom of this page to read earlier issues.

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How to Keep Your Kids Safe #ChildSafetyandProtectionMonth

When you’re a parent of young kids, life suddenly becomes more dangerous. The stairs, electric outlets, the stove, and more are all disasters waiting to happen!

In the Walt Disney film Lilo & Stitch (1), Nani struggles to keep her little sister Lilo safe from the many hazards of life. In this clip (2) she sheepishly tries to explain herself to the social worker:



Thankfully, Lilo turns out okay in spite of being left home alone with pots boiling over on the stove. But if we aren’t careful and don’t provide appropriate supervision, our kids can really get hurt.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, “Injuries are the leading cause of death in children ages 19 and younger. But most child injuries can be prevented” (3). This November in honor of Child Safety and Protection Month, take some time to learn how you can help your children stay safe, whether at home or on the go.

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3 Reasons Why You Should Read With Your Kids

I still remember fondly the days when my dad read the Harry Potter series to me and my siblings. His silly voices made the fantastic world seem all the more magical! As I grew older, my mom would sometimes read her book club books aloud to me, and we’d discuss the stories and ideas. Those times reading with my parents are probably some of my favorite childhood memories.

Perhaps you also have fond memories of being read to. Or maybe you now enjoy being on the other end, reading aloud to your own children!

Reading books with your kids can be fun, but it’s much more than just a good idea. In fact, “reading aloud to . . . children is crucial” (1). But what is it that makes reading with your children so very important? In honor of National Family Literacy Month this November, here are just a few of the research-based reasons why you should read with your kids.

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4 Ways to Scare Away Cavities This Halloween

When I was just three years old, I discovered the joy of Halloween. After tentatively approaching a couple of doors with my parents, I suddenly realized what was happening: people were giving me candy!

I soon began to run with my little toddler legs, gasping out, “Huwwy! Huwwy!” I was not going to let these free treats pass me by, and my parents were not going to slow me down.

Halloween can be a lot of fun for kids as they get to dress up, go to parties, and eat treats. Unfortunately, that abundance of Halloween candy can cause problems — especially for your children’s teeth.  

At Halloween or any time of the year, it’s important to help your kids develop good dental hygiene habits so they can keep those cavities away. In honor of National Dental Hygiene Month, we want to share the Daily 4 of dental hygiene to help you and your kids have healthy teeth.

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The Great Outdoors

Childhood memories of climbing trees, squelching through mud, and carrying out fantastical role-playing games with neighborhood children are memories that many adults treasure from their youth. These adults may not realize that, for a large portion of today’s children, these experiences are nearing extinction.  Many parents are aware of the national lack of active play outdoors, which some have come to call “Nature Deficit Disorder”. There exists an increasing trend of sedentary lifestyles in America. Along with this, parents today often feel unsafe in their neighborhoods and hesitate to let children play outside. In addition, availability of outdoor play areas near children’s homes is decreasing while daily hours spent watching TV, and video games are as plentiful as ever.

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Antibiotics 101: Fighting Bacteria the Right Way (International Infection Prevention Week)

*This week is International Infection Prevention Week*

When you’re sick and miserable, all you want to do is get better — and fast! You go to the doctor in hopes that he can give you some magical medicine to make your headache, sore throat, runny nose, or aches and pains disappear overnight.

Unfortunately, there isn’t always a magic medicine. Especially with viral infections, the doctor will likely tell you to rest and push the fluids. But that can be hard to hear, especially when your symptoms are making you feel downright wretched.

While antibiotics can be really helpful in treating bacterial infections, the overprescribing and improper use of antibiotics has actually made some strains of bacteria stronger — which makes all of us more susceptible to hard-to-treat illnesses.

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Is Your Family Prepared for an Emergency?

When a category 4 tornado hit St. Louis in 2011, ripping the roof off our airport, I was home alone with three children and 7 months pregnant with my 4th.  Yet I knew we were safe in our fully stocked tornado shelter.  No, we don’t have a bunker in our backyard; we have a family emergency kit in our basement.

Being prepared for an emergency is neither difficult nor expensive, but it does require some advanced planning, especially for families with children. Have you put together a family emergency kit?  We’ll get you started.

If you search online for pre-made emergency or disaster preparedness kits, you’ll find overpriced kits full of things you are unlikely to need, and things that expire and require replacement. This market profits off fear-mongering, and if you search too long your may find yourself wondering if you need to equip your family to survive volcanic eruption.  Before purchasing a solar-powered chainsaw and building your off-the-grid cabin, start with this simple list from FEMA, with my added comments:

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3 Things Parents Can Do to Prevent Bullying

 

In the original Disney film Beauty and the Beast (1) Belle and her father Maurice are pretty much social outcasts. People think Belle is beautiful but strange, and they just laugh at Maurice, the crazy inventor. After returning home from the Beast’s castle, Maurice rushes into the village pub, frantically trying to convince someone to help him. See how the villagers respond in this clip (2):

After promising to help, a few of the men throw Maurice out in the snow, commenting, “Crazy old Maurice! He’s always good for a laugh.”

While the snow in the face probably wasn’t fun, the mocking may have hurt just as much. Poor Maurice had to put up with all sorts of bullying!

Hopefully your kids don’t get thrown in the snow or locked up for being “crazy” like Maurice was, but bullying certainly is a problem today. And unfortunately, this isn’t something that affects just a few kids. According to the 2014-2015 School Crime Supplement, just over 1 in 5 students ages 12-18 has experienced bullying (3).

With bullying affecting so many of our children, what exactly is the problem with bullying today? And what can we do as parents to prevent it?

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How to Talk to Children about a Natural Disaster

Whether someone lives in the path of a natural disaster or is not personally impacted by it’s destruction, it is safe to say that a nation as a whole is affected by natural disasters. This broad awareness extends to children who are also impacted in some way by a natural disaster, even if not directly impacted by loss. Children could be exposed to the events of a natural disaster through the media, their peers, or through overhearing conversations between adults. This could cause children to have feelings of fear or anxiety. Children are unique in that their language is largely through play so children, especially under the age of 12, often do not have the verbal ability to communicate feelings to others. Since it might not always be apparent if a child is facing emotional adversity after a stressful event, it is a good idea to reassure them of their safety and security regardless of their response to a natural disaster. Because children communicate their feelings and thoughts differently than adults, talking to them about a natural disaster could be intimidating. Here are some ideas to consider when it comes to having this conversation.

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Global Obesity, Malnutrition Epidemic: Tips for Reversing the Trend

According to the findings of a recent study, the prevalence of obesity worldwide has risen from 105 million in 1975 to 641 million in the last 40 years and researchers predict that by 2025, 44% of Americans could be obese. Another study reports that 7 states have obesity rates among adults at or above 35 percent and yet another study reports that even child obesity rates are alarmingly high.

What could be contributing to this obesity epidemic?

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How Important Is Family Dinner?

For those who do not already have the habit in place, eating dinner together as a family might be a battle between parents and children or even just one more task to take on. Although it may be difficult to begin this habit or truly ensure that it occurs, recent studies have shed more light on why this particular part of the day is so critical to the development and success of children.

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