Posts tagged with: Children

Booster Seat Safety

Before you jump in the car to start your summer vacation, we want parents to make sure their children are safely buckled up in the backseat. The majority of serious injuries and fatalities for children under the age of 14 occur in the summer months due to motor vehicle collisions. With only 28 per cent of children between the ages of four and eight using booster seats, parents are putting their children at risk for serious injuries in the event of a car crash. Booster seats are required in most states for children ages 4-8 and those who have not yet reached a height of 4’9″.

I know that kids, especially as they get older, don’t like to sit in a booster seat. When my kids fought sitting in the seat I just explained to them that, I loved them too much to allow them to sit without a booster seat. They understood that and when a friend would see that they still sat in a booster seat and tease them, which happened often, my kids said, “It’s because my mommy loves me. I guess your mommy doesn’t love you very much.” This “positive” peer pressure actually led to several families in our church getting booster seats for their kids.

Some tips for using a booster seat:

– A child is ready for a booster seat when they are less than four feet
nine inches tall and weigh between 40 and 80 pounds.
– A booster seat lifts a child up so that the seat belt fits correctly.
Both the lap and the shoulder belt must be used and will hold the
child and the booster seat in place during a crash or sudden stop.
– There are two different types of booster seats:
A high back booster seat provides head and neck protection in cars
without head restraints and a no back booster is used in cars that
have adjustable head restraints or high seat backs.
– A child is ready for a seat belt, in the back seat when he or she is at least four feet nine inches or 80 pounds.

Motor vehicle collisions are the leading cause of injury-related death for children. Every year, an estimated 100 children age 14 and under are killed and more than 10,000 are injured due to traffic collisions. Show your kids how much you love them. Get them a booster seat.

Bare Foot Blunders

With Memorial Day right around the corner, the season for going bare foot is here. Unfortunately, going bare foot can be dangerous. Here are some tips for parents from Dr Oliver Zong.

Going bare foot is the easiest way to get a cut or scrape especially during the warm summer months. One hidden danger lurking at the pool, in the locker room, and on the gym floor is bacteria that gets into the blood stream through these tiny cuts in bare feet and causes warts.

“50% of children experience these painful plantar warts at some point in their life,” says board-certified New York City podiatrist Dr. Oliver Zong. Plantar warts are caused by exposure to Human Papilloma Virus or HPV, which thrives in moist warm environments like public pools, showers, and gyms. During the summer months when kids are out playing in the sunshine or walking around the pool, plantar warts are bound to pop up. They are painful, feel spongy, often have dark spots or blood clots in the middle and are extremely difficult to get rid of. Kids are more prone to catch warts then adults as their immune systems are not as prepared to deal with the HPV virus that causes them.

If you find these warts have already taken root on your children’s feet, Dr. Zong does not advise using over the counter medications. Over the counter medications contain chemicals that destroy skin cells and can actually damage the healthy tissue surrounding the wart causing spreading. Instead Dr. Zong recommends his innovative a quick, pain-free treatment with the CryoPen, a rapid nitrogen freezing of the wart with a Q-tip like applicator pen. “The non-invasive, patient-friendly CryoPen is also the most effective cryosurgical technique to remove plantar warts without causing any pain,” says Dr. Zong.

This summer as you pull out the kid’s bathing suits and sunblock, Dr. Oliver Zong also recommends you keep in mind a few simple do’s and don’ts to prevent warts from planting on your kid’s feet.

  • change your children’s shoes and socks daily avoid direct contact with your children’s warts
  • have your kids wear water shoes when at the pool
  • visit a podiatrist if you discover these warts
  • Don’t use over the counter medications that can possibly spread warts
  • Don’t let you kids walk barefoot in public areas
  • Don’t let your child share shoes or flip flops with other children

According to Dr. Zong, if parents follow a few simple prevention tips they can help manage the spread of plantar warts.

. Oliver Zongis a podiatrist in Manhattan’s influential Financial District. As one of the premier cosmetic foot surgeons in the country, he serves as the Director of Surgery at NYC Foot Care and is on the Board of Directors at Gramercy Park Surgery Center. Besides traditional and cosmetic foot surgery, Dr. Zong is also an accomplished cryosurgeon and co-founder of the Podiatric Cryosurgery Center of New York. He is an attending physician at New York Hospital Downtown, Wyckoff Heights Medical Center, Cabrini Medical Center, and Gramercy Park Surgery Center.  An accomplished foot surgeon, Dr. Zong is credited with coining the terms, “Foot Makeover”, “Foot Facelift”, “The Toe Tuck”, and “High Heel Feet”. For more information please visit

2009 Burn Awareness Week

TAMPA, Fla. — Feb. 1-7 is Burn Awareness Week, and during this week, Shriners Hospitals for Children will kick-off a year-long campaign focused on preventing gasoline burn injuries. A special Web site has been developed for the campaign, Burn Awareness Week . Once at the website click Parents & Caregivers at the top of the page. This page will show you all sorts of pdfs of coloring pages and fact sheets for young children and their parents. On the same page there are also pdfs and a video for teens and tweens.

“Preventing burn injuries and burn awareness education should be an ongoing effort, not just a week-long campaign,” said Peter Armstrong, M.D., chief medical officer at Shriners Hospitals for Children. “We are declaring 2009 the year of ‘Preventing Gasoline Burn Injuries.'”

According to a study published in the November 2007 issue of the Journal of Burn Care and Rehabilitation, there are an estimated 10,000 pediatric burn injuries annually in the United States. “Most of these types of burn injuries are preventable,” Dr. Armstrong said.

Since 2002, Shriners Hospitals for Children has treated more than 800 children for acute burns caused by ignition of a highly flammable material, such as gasoline. Kids 13 and older are in the highest at-risk group for gasoline and other flammable substance burns.

Shriners Hospitals for Children encourages firefighters, teachers, parents, caregivers and other members of the community to participate in the year-long campaign by visiting Burn Awareness Week for important gasoline safety and burn prevention messages and tips and information on how to order free materials, including lesson plans for students in grades K-3, facts sheets about gasoline safety, coloring books, crayons, stickers and copies of a DVD developed specifically for teen audiences.

About Shriners Hospitals for Children
Shriners Hospitals for Children is a one-of-a-kind international health care system dedicated to improving the lives of children by providing specialty pediatric care, innovative research and outstanding teaching programs. Children up to age 18 with orthopaedic conditions, burn injuries of all degrees, spinal cord injuries, and cleft lip and palate are eligible for admission and receive all care in a family-centered environment at no charge – regardless of financial need.

The When’s and What’s of Chores

When should my child start doing chores? What chores can they do at what ages? Are questions I am often asked by moms. Every child is different, so you need to base what jobs you give your child by what they can accomplish. You will probably be surprised though, most kids are able to do more than they are ever asked to do. A child as young as 2can be responsible for basics like putting her toys away and putting dirty clothes in the hamper. By age 3 you can add basic hygiene like brushing teeth and hair. At age 4 is when true chore responsibilities can begin.

Most 4-5 year olds can be responsible for picking up their toys/bedroom, making their bed, dressing themselves, brushing teeth, washing face and hands, helping separate the laundry, putting dirty clothes in the hamper and putting clean, folded clothes away in their drawers.

By elementary school you can add feeding pets, doing homework, practicing for music lessons, etc. By age 8-9 children can start doing the laundry, this was my boys’ favorite chore! They can also start doing more pet care at this age. They can help in the kitchen by loading the dishwasher, cleaning the microwave, washing pots and pans by hand, wiping down counters, tables, chairs and cabinet doors as well as sweeping the floor. In the bathroom they can clean the sinks, toilets and bathtub. Taking out the trash, dusting and vacuuming can also be added during the elementary school years.

Once they enter middle school they should be folding clothes and towels, mowing the lawn, learning to cook and iron. One of my goals when having my children do chores is that when they grow up and leave my house I want them to know how to care for themselves, their homes, and their families. Now that my boys are in high school they each have 1 night a week that they plan and cook dinner as well as their other chores. I was blessed to marry a man who knew how to take care of our home and I am determined that when the time comes, my boys will bless their wives with housekeeping skills.

The Why’s of Chores

The dawn of a new year often brings discussions of children and chores. In the last few days I have spoken with several parents about this very issue. Common questions parents have are: Why should my children do chores? What age to start chores? What chores are appropriate? How many chores? and To pay or not to pay. There are several philosophies on how to approach chores. Over the next week or so I am going to share my chore philosophy.

Why should my children do chores?

There are many reasons children should do chores. The most important reason a child should do chores is that doing chores teaches responsibility. In my years of teaching and working with youth, often when I am working with a student who is rather irresponsible I will ask him, “Do you do chores at home?” The asnwer is almost always 1 of 2 things. First is just, “No.” Second is, “I’m supposed to but I don’t.” As parents we want our children to grow up to be responsible citizens, I believe this starts with how we deal with chores. For a child to learn to be responsibile the parent must see chores first as a learning environment then as a work environment.  Yes, this will create work for the parent but-that’s what parenting is all about. We will cover this more in detail in my article “The How’s of Chores”.

Another reason children should have chores to do is that it actually helps them have a stake in the family. Each member of the family should be a productive member of that family and for children having chores to do gives them that feeling of “I’m doing my part.” This is true especially today. We no longer June Cleaver home all day cleaning the house in her pearls and pumps.  Many families have either both parents working outside of the home, or are single parent families. In homeschooling families when often only 1 parent works outside the home but the other parent has the added responsibility of educating the children, everyone in the home needs to pitch in and do what they are capable of doing.

In the next article I will be discussing “The When’s and What’s of Chores”. What age should children start doing chores and what chores are age appropriate.

New Year’s Resolutions for School-aged Children

The new year is a great time to help your child create some new positive habits in his life. Talk with your child about what you want them to focus on in this new year.  Don’t give them a long list of things that need to change. Help them create a list of 5 things they can be responsible for changing. Let them know you will be holding them accountable for living up to these changes.

When they forget something they are trying to work on, gently remind them of their resolution and let them work it out. Do not hold these resolutions over their heads like a bunch of edicts that must be followed “or else”. If your child seems to be having a hard time with a certain resolution, talk with them about it. Why is it so hard? What can you, as the parent do to help them improve in this area. A child who successfully makes changes in their own life at a young age will feel empowered to improve other things in their lives. The goal here is accomplishment and success not more harsh rules and possible punishments. Living out your new year’s resolutions is a process that takes time.

Here are some suggestions for New Year’s Resolutions for School-aged children:

  • Pick up my room before supper every day
  • Complete my homework without complaining
  • Try new fruits and vegetables
  • Wear my bike helmet every time I am on my bike
  • Be helpful to others in my home
  • Go to bed on time
  • Do my chores without being reminded

Of course, every child and every family is different-use this list as a springboard for ideas you can discuss with your child.

Happy New Year!