We strive to promote health and well-being in many ways. Watch the newspaper for the many community activities in which we take a part.
Anchor It: Child-Proofing Furniture
Did you know that every 30 minutes a child is brought to the hospital because of injuries from falling TV’s, furniture, or appliances? Moreover, unsecured TV’s account for over 70% of these tragic accidents. Avoiding this grim reality is as simple as following several steps to ensure your child is safe from tippy furniture.
- Anchor heavy furniture to the wall with straps, braces, or brackets.
- Strap non-wall mounted televisions to the wall. If standing, the television should be secured with a brace.
- Remove attractive objects from danger points – don’t place toys or games on top of dressers, TV’s, or other large furniture.
For more information, read the safety guide produced by SafeKids.org.
Media Guidance for Parents
Pediatric health practitioners have long cautioned parents about limiting the amount of television their children watch. Now, with the internet, smartphones, tablets, and portable gaming systems, screen time has increased dramatically.
Here are a couple of links that can help:
Parent Lending Library
We have dozens of books on a wide variety of topics related to parenting and children’s health. The library is free and open to the public.
Reach Out and Read
Reach Out and Read prepares America’s youngest children to succeed in school by partnering with doctors to prescribe books and encourage families to read together. Reach Out and Read is a nonprofit organization that trains and supports medical providers who give books to children and advice to parents about the importance of reading aloud at well-child exams.
As participants, Just So Pediatrics is able to give new, developmentally-appropriate books to children, ages 6 months through 5 years at each Well Child visit and advise parents about the importance of reading aloud.
As a result of this evidence-based intervention, parents learn new ways to stimulate their children’s literacy development, have more books in their home, and read to their children more. Parents are supported as their children’s first and most important teachers, and children grow up to become readers. For more on Reach Out and Read, visit their website.
Teen Mental Health Project
For more information, click here.
Sudden Infant Death Syndrome
Recently the AAP published recommendations for a safe sleep environment that can reduce the risk of all sleep-related infant deaths (such as suffocation, asphyxia, and entrapment), as well as SIDS. The recommendations for infants up to 1 year of age are categorized into 2 levels of strength:
Level A Recommendations (based on good and consistent scientific evidence)
- Always place the infant on the his/her back for every sleep for the first year of life (includes infants with GE reflux)
- No side sleeping.
- Do not elevate the head of the bed (includes infants with GE reflux).
- Once an infant can roll in both directions, the infant may be left in the position he/she assumes.
- Use a firm sleep surface or mattress approved by the US Consumer and Product Safety Commission (US CPSC) covered by a thin, tightly fitted sheet.
- Use a crib, bassinet, or portable-crib that conforms to current US CPSC standards.
- Parents/providers should check that the crib/bassinet has not been recalled by the USCPSC.
- Infants should not be placed on a standard bed for sleep.
- Sitting devices, car seats, strollers, swings are not recommended for routine sleep, especially under 4 months of age.
- Do not use broken cribs or attempt to fix a broken crib.
- Room-sharing without bed-sharing is recommended (i.e. do not use “in-bed co-sleepers”; avoid co-bedding for twins and multiples).
- Keep soft objects, such as pillows or toys out of the crib.
- Bumper pads are not recommended.
- Consider offering a pacifier at nap time and bedtime (if breast-feeding, introduce pacifier after breastfeeding is firmly established, usually by 3-4 weeks of age). Do not reinsert pacifier if it falls out once the infant is sleeping; If infant refuses the pacifier, the infant should not be forced to take it; do not attach to infants’ clothing during sleep; Pacifiers should not be hung around the infant’s neck)
- Avoid overheating (dress accordingly; check if sweating or feels hot). [Sorry, no recommended room temp!]
- Avoid the routine use of home cardio-respiratory monitors as a strategy for reducing the risk of SIDS (ok for selected infants).
Level B Recommendations (based on limited or inconsistent scientific evidence)
- Avoid commercial devices marketed to reduce the risk of SIDS (claims need scientific evidence).
- Supervised, awake tummy time is recommended to facilitate development and to minimize development of positional plagiocephaly.
Kids Need Clean Hands, Too!
Help children stay healthy by encouraging them to wash their hands properly and frequently. Wash your hands with your child to show him or her how it’s done. To prevent rushing, suggest washing hands for as long as it takes to sing the “Happy Birthday” song twice. You might place hand-washing reminders at your child’s eye level, such as a chart by the bathroom sink that can be marked every time your child washes his or her hands. If your child can’t reach the sink on his or her own, keep a step stool handy.
Alcohol-based hand sanitizers are OK for children and adolescents, too, especially when soap and water aren’t available. Remind your child to make sure the sanitizer completely dries before he or she touches anything. Store the container safely away after use.
Hand-washing is especially important for children in child care settings. Young children cared for in groups outside the home are at greater risk of respiratory and gastrointestinal diseases, which can easily spread to family members and other contacts. Be sure your child care provider promotes frequent hand-washing or use of alcohol-based hand sanitizers. Ask whether the children are required to wash their hands several times a day — not just before meals. Note, too, whether diapering areas are cleaned after each use and whether eating and diapering areas are well separated.