Read More »from Is Fast Food OK for Kids?
By Elisa Zied
The billions of dollars spent on marketing and the proliferation of fast food restaurants over the last several decades have essentially programmed many of us to frequent fast food restaurants. Whether we're short on time, traveling, have many mouths to feed or simply want to settle our stress, a burger and fries has come to epitomize the ultimate--and affordable--comfort food fix for parents and children alike.
RELATED: What To Feed Kids Every Day
Although eating fast food is not the sole cause of current high rates of obesity, type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure and other diet-related diseases, it is likely a key contributor--especially among children. Studies suggest that children who eat more fast food tend to take in more calories and fewer nutrients than those who consume less or no fast food. Including more fast food in the diet may be a marker for less healthful habits overall. Perhaps families who eat a lot of fast food have fewer home-cooked, family meals
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Read More »from How Do You Know If Your Baby Has a Heart Defect?
The signs and symptoms of heart problems in babies.
By Darshak Sanghavi, M.D
Heart problems are the most common type of major birth defect and a leading cause of infant death, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. In the United States, a child with a heart defect is born every 10 minutes. Given these statistics, many parents may wonder: How do I know if my baby has one? Like snowflakes, no two hearts with defects are exactly alike. However, there are roughly 40 different types of congenital heart diseases. The most common are simple defects affecting the muscles separating the chambers (for example, atrial septal defects and ventricular septal defects), or the valves (for example, pulmonary valve stenosis and mitral stenosis). Rarer, more complex defects include hypoplastic left heart syndrome (where the heart's main pumping chamber is absent) and heterotaxy syndrome (where the heart is pretzeled bizarrely, and the liver and stomach are backwards).
Seeking safe sunscreen? Shield baby's skin from the harsh rays with these natural lotions.
By Jessica Hartshorn
Mineral-based sunscreens are best for your baby. (And not a bad idea for you either!) In the following seven sunscreens, zinc oxide is the primary active ingredient; it stays on top of your baby's skin to physically block rays.
RELATED: 5 Most Common Myths About Sun Safety
An additional mineral, titanium dioxide, helps get Aveeno Baby Natural Protection Lotion up to an SPF 50. Even so, you'll want to reapply after you've been outside awhile, and it's always best to avoid being out between 10am and 2pm. ($10-$11)
Green Babies SPF 30 Sunscreen is lightly scented with essential oil. It's also PABA-and paraben-free. With all sunscreens, put them on before you head outdoors if possible. ($17)
RELATED: Get Serious About Sun Safety
Coppertone Water Babies Pure & Simple SPF 50 stays water-resistant for 80 minutes. Reapply after you towel-dry your
Use this age-by-age guide to find out the amount of food your child should be eating -- and how to create healthy habits for a lifetime.
By Sally Kuzemchak, R.D.
From Day 1, we worry about our kids getting enough to eat -- yet with the childhood obesity rate at 17 percent, we also fret that they'll get too much. What's the right amount? To cut through the confusion, nutrition experts help ed compile this guide of just how much kids need at each age, plus tips on how to stay on track. Follow their advice -- and your child's weight will be one concern you can cross off your list.
RELATED: Fighting Childhood Obesity
AGES 1-3: Feeling FinickyRead More »from How Much Does My Kid Need to Eat?
Daily Calorie Needs 1,200 - 1,400
Remember that baby of yours who happily ate chicken, squash, and most anything else that landed on his high-chair tray? He's been replaced -- by someone a lot less agreeable at mealtime. After your baby's first year, growth slows down by about 30 percent, and so may appetite. Infants
By Leslie Garisto Pfaff
Your second-grader has a spelling quiz today. It's 7:30 A.M. To help her do her best, you should...
A. Give her a pep talk.
B. Quiz her on the material.
C. Turn on some music and challenge her to jump around for ten minutes.
Okay, it's a trick question, since all these strategies can be helpful. But if you answered C, you've aced the prep test -- and there's a very good chance your child will do well too.
RELATED: Why We Need More Physical Education In Schools
Of course, you know that regular physical activity is important for kids' health and reduces their risk of becoming overweight. However, the intriguing news is that it's also associated with higher academic achievement. A recent study by the Delaware Department of Education and the nonprofit Nemours Health & Prevention Services analyzed the records of more than 80,000 Delaware public-school students. It found that the kids who were more physically fit generallyRead More »from Kids Need Phys Ed, so Why Are Schools Cutting It?
By Leslie Harris O'Hanlon
My 5-year-old son, Walker, pays attention only when he wants to. I'm showing him how to make the letter "A" for what seems like the millionth time. I say, "Start at the top, go down, and make a line across." As I'm talking, he's looking at everything except at what he's doing. He fidgets and plays with his pencil. I keep pulling his attention back to what we're doing and my constant refrain is "Pay attention!" but I'm losing my patience. He listens when I read his favorite books, and he listens to his swim teacher when she tells him to extend his arms to improve a stroke, but this is an exercise in frustration.
RELATED: Discipline Tactics for Every Age
Child development experts say that, on average, a 4- or 5-year-old child should be able to stay focused on a task for two to five minutes times the year of their age. So, young kids should be able to focus between 4 and 20 minutes, possibly more, depending on the task. But this rule of thumb,
By Judith S. Lederman
I met my pediatrician husband four years ago on an Internet dating site. He liked my profile, but he said that he was really hoping to have more children. He was 50 and I was a 49-year-old mother of three grown children -- not to mention that I'd already become a grandmother! I thought a new baby wasn't likely to happen, so, longing to be just a few years younger, I wished him luck. Months later, though, he e-mailed again, imploring me to give him another chance. The issue of children, he said, we would leave to God.
RELATED: How Pregnancy Has Changed: The Inside Scoop from a Pregnant Grandmother
We dated long-distance for six months, before we married in 2010 and I moved from New York to Michigan to be with him. Three years later, God has given us an answer: Today I am 53 years old and pregnant with twins.
A year into our marriage, I consulted with a doctor who told me it could happen, because I was "young for my age." For my husband and
By Jennifer Wilson
We spoke with Matthew Cox, M.D., a child abuse pediatrician at the Children's Medical Center's Referral Evaluation of At Risk Children (REACH) program in Dallas, Texas, a state with one the nation's highest abuse rates. He regularly conducts medical examinations on children to determine if their injuries are due to abuse, and works with local agencies to ensure kids' safety. This is his advice on how to prevent and report abuse, as well as how to help victims:
RELATED: 12 Kids' Symptoms You Should Never Ignore
Signs of Abuse
Above all else, if you suspect abuse, trust your instincts, says Dr. Cox. "Time after time we hear family members who say 'I was worried, but I didn't have any evidence,'" he says. "If you have a gut feeling, act on that concern."
Common indicators of child abuse include:
Bruises. Look for them in unusual locations such as cheeks, back, backside, or chest. Any bruise on an infant is worrisome.
Babies who fuss
By Richard Rende
This seemingly simple question does not have a simple answer. Here's why.
There are studies that report links between playing video games with violent content and measures of aggression. Many of these studies show small statistical associations - meaning that it is not highly predictive of aggressive behavior. In addition, many focus on kids' self-reports of their own aggressive behavior. While this is one valid way of measuring aggression, it is not the only way - which limits the take-home messages from these studies. And we all know that "association" (or correlation) is not the same thing as causation.
RELATED: What Every Parent Needs to Know About Video Games
Consider a recent well-designed study published in Developmental Psychology. The study authors reported that teen accounts of their frequency of playing violent video games were predictive of increases in their self-reported aggressive behavior over time. There were a number of
By Keely Savoie
Many chemicals today are known or suspected to be links to cancer, early puberty, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), obesity, autism, and other serious health issues. "As we look at protecting children's health, we need to look not just at nutrition, diet, and physical activity, but also exposure to chemicals," says Jason Rano, director of government affairs at the Environmental Working Group.
RELATED: 10 Surprising Safety Hazards
The Safe Chemicals Act, which passed out of committee for the first time this year, would require chemical companies to prove that their products are safe. "In the U.S., we are a toxic dumping ground for unsafe products," says Katy Farber, founder of Non-Toxic Kids (Non-ToxicKids.net). "Many parents are exhausted by trying to keep up with what to avoid and what to do. The Safe Chemicals Act would shift the burden to where it belongs." Your family doesn't have to live like ascetics to minimize your children's