Vim & Vigor - Fall 2018 - Community Healthcare - 43

say and mimic sounds that aren't yet
words? Babies need to hear language to
express it, so that could be a source of
the problem-children who don't say
at least a word or two by 18 months
should have a hearing check and some
cognitive testing, even if they passed
their newborn hearing screening,
Swanson says.
If tests don't find any reason for
concern, ask your doctor if you should
wait a few months or if speech therapy
might help. Some children are just late
bloomers, but getting some expert
help might give you peace of mind.

Q

Your 5-year-old is about to start
kindergarten, but she doesn't
know her colors.
Is it: Developmentally appropriate or
a sign of a delay?
AGAIN, IT DEPENDS. Lots of things
have to happen for children to identify
colors, and children develop in their
own ways. If your child knows some
numbers and letters and can name at
least six body parts, it's probably not
something to worry about, Swanson
says. If you think your child has been
taught in multiple ways-through sight,
hearing and touch-and you still have
concerns, you might want to see a
developmental therapist.

Q

Your second-grader still wets
the bed, and she's embarrassed
to have friends sleep over or to
spend the night at her grandparents'
house.
Is it: Something she'll outgrow or a
worrisome condition?
PROBABLY SOMETHING SHE'LL
OUTGROW. Bed-wetting typically
stems from an immature connection

TOOL

Screening the Screens
With phones, tablets and TVs vying for your child's attention, it's
important to have a media use plan in place. Visit healthychildren.
org/mediauseplan to build one that works for your family.

between the brain and the bladder-in
deep sleep, kids relax the sphincter that
keeps the bladder closed and they wet
the bed. About 10 percent of 7-yearolds and 5 percent of 10-year-olds
still wet the bed and should eventually outgrow it, Swanson says. Limiting
liquids after dinner and emptying the
bladder before bedtime can help, and
medications can block urine production for special occasions such as camp
and sleepovers.
One caveat: If a child has had
dry nights for a long time and then
starts wetting the bed, that could
signal a medical problem or psychological stress. In this case, consult
your pediatrician.

Q

You checked the browser on your
9-year-old's laptop and discovered
that he has been looking at pornography online.
Is it: Typical childhood curiosity or
inappropriate behavior?
CHILDHOOD CURIOSITY. That said,
it still warrants a discussion about
what pornography is and why it's not
appropriate for children. "It's a hard
conversation, but you just need a minute of courage," Swanson says. You can
explain that curiosity is understandable

and he shouldn't be ashamed, but that
you don't think it is good for him to be
watching adults act in this way.
Kids this age should be accessing the internet only in public and in
supervised parts of the home, not on
devices in their bedrooms. And if you
don't have one, put a family media
plan in place. It should include clear
ways to know what your child is doing
online and repercussions if he violates
your trust.

Q

Your teenager wants your permission to get a tattoo, and she
insists it will be small, tasteful and
in a spot she can easily cover.
Is it: Something you should allow or
something you should discourage?
PROBABLY SOMETHING YOU
SHOULD DISCOURAGE. Tattoos are
permanent, and teenagers aren't generally mature enough to decide that
they want something on their body
forever, Swanson says. That's why it's
illegal in most states for minors to
get tattoos without parental permission. Most people choose tattoos as a
sign of self-expression, so encourage
her to express herself with other, lesspermanent options such as hair color,
makeup, jewelry or henna tattoos. ■

FALL 2018

43


http://heathychildren.org/mediauseplan http://heathychildren.org/mediauseplan

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Vim & Vigor - Fall 2018 - Community Healthcare

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