Vim & Vigor - Summer 2017 - North Mississippi - 19
MANAGING SCREEN TIME
YPERACTIVITY. If your child
is persistently hyperactive, particularly aggressive or is experiencing
academic or social challenges, talk to
your family's pediatrician.
NFECTIONS. Viral infections (like
the flu) can't be cured with antibiotics, so don't be surprised if you leave
the doctor's office without a prescription. The illness should run its course
in about seven to 10 days.
UICE. "Juice is just childhood
soda," says Natasha Burgert, MD,
a spokeswoman for the American
Academy of Pediatrics (AAP). Stick
ISSING. Adolescence is often a
time of sexual exploration. Learn
what's happening with your children's
bodies and hormones and what they're
experiencing emotionally so you can
best help them navigate this time.
IFESTYLE HABITS. Your own
choices-like eating healthy foods,
exercising and not smoking-have an
impact on your child's choices.
EDIA. The AAP advises limiting
entertainment-based media to
two hours a day. "There are changes
that happen-specifically, an increase
in aggression, an increase in obesity,
an increase in sleep disorders-when
recreational screen time [regularly]
exceeds that," Burgert says.
URSING. The AAP recommends
breastfeeding exclusively for the
first six months of a baby's life, then
breastfeeding combined with introducing foods until at least a year.
Breastfeeding can continue for as long
as both baby and mom are on board.
BESITY. Childhood obesity in
the U.S. has tripled over the past
30 years. About one-third of kids are
overweight or obese. A healthy diet
and exercise are the keys to prevention, of course, and your child's doctor
might be able to help.
HYSICAL ACTIVITY. A good rule
of thumb, Burgert says, is 60 minutes a day of physical activity.
Healthcare experts recommend limiting children's screen time to two hours a day,
but that's easier said than done. Toddlers have their own iPads. School-age kids are
doing homework on tablets. Teenagers are texting and social networking. And TVs
are still everywhere.
What is a parent to do?
"It's increasingly hard," says Natasha Burgert, MD, a spokeswoman for the
American Academy of Pediatrics. But screen time is about more than the number
of hours. She offers a few tips.
1. Focus on quality. Make sure you know what your child is watching. "I always
recommend that you watch a few episodes of what your child is interested in,"
Burgert says. Use your common sense about what's appropriate and worthwhile.
2. Set parental controls. If you can't screen everything, let technology help
you. Use parental controls on devices and within apps so kids don't have unlimited
access to content.
3. Model the lifestyle you want to encourage. That might mean no screens
at the dinner table, no smartphones on the nightstand and keeping phones turned
off until after breakfast, for example.
UESTIONS. Kids have lots of
questions. Answer what you
can-truthfully. And don't be afraid
to say you don't know. Take the time
to research the right answer.
ELATIONSHIPS. Help kids understand the importance of good communication, respect and give-and-take
in a relationship. You can direct teens
UGAR. "Americans in general consume too much," Burgert says. And
research shows that excess sugar intake
can increase your risk of dying of heart
disease even if you aren't overweight.
Start kids on a healthy path now.
ODDLER TANTRUMS. Young
children can have temper tantrums
for lots of reasons-hunger, sleepiness,
frustration. Try to stay as calm as possible so you can be a soothing influence.
V RAYS. Kids' skin is sensitive and should be protected,
the Centers for Disease Control and
Prevention advises. Shade is best,
and don't forget about sunscreen (for
babies younger than 6 months, talk
to your doctor), hats, sunglasses and
ACCINES. "Science and research
has never presented vaccination as
controversial or dangerous in any way,"
ELL VISITS. Even when vaccines are done, well visits remain
important. "If we catch a small issue on
a physical exam, we're able to potentially prevent really big problems later,"
-RAYS. Many parents worry about
X-rays and kids. If your child needs
an imaging test, you can seek out facilities that offer lower-dose options.
EAH! Positive reinforcement can
be a powerful tool in your parenting toolkit. Let your child know you're
behind him or her as much as possible.
ZZS. With more and better sleep,
kids have stronger immune systems, greater focus and better performance in school. They should aim for
eight to 10 hours a night for teens, and
even more sleep for younger children. n
Families in Transformation
helps children ages 8 to 13 and
their families be healthier. Call
800-THE DESK (800-843-3375)
or email email@example.com.
SUMME R 2017