Four Antibiotic Myths Still Common Among Parents

When it comes to a child being sick, you want to have the most correct and up to date information regarding treatment at your fingertips. As with most other issues that change and develop with time and technology, medicine tends to leave some folks behind; these folks remain confused about what works and what doesn't. In order to stay up to date, you'll want to be clear about the following myths that have been debunked but remain to be commonly believed by parents today.

An Antibiotic is Needed for Everything

Many parents assume that an antibiotic is needed for all different ailments, serious or not, bacterial or viral. Though in fact, the vast majority of children's illnesses are viral. Antibiotics are actually solely used for bacterial infections, such as sinus infections, where you need to give your body the antibodies to fight off the infection that your body isn't doing a great job fighting off itself. In the case of some infections, if you just give the body a minute to adapt before throwing it on the first antibiotic you're given, the body will fight the infection off on its own.

Antibiotic Myths Still Common Among Parents

Yellow Snot Requires an Antibiotic

We all heard it growing up: our mothers would tell us to blow our noses in her tissue, she'd look at the gunk and diagnose you on the spot, “It's an infection” if it's yellow or green; “It's just a virus” if it's clear. We're not quite sure when mother's were given the ability to bypass years of medical school to diagnose and treat based on snot color, but they sure do it. Believe it or not, this is myth. A doctor will diagnose all symptoms combined to determine whether or not an antibiotic is needed.

It's OK to Implement an Antibiotic “Just in Case”

Sometimes parents like to use antibiotic medication as a “just in case” method. In other words, they're not really sure that the kid needs it, but just in case they'd like to get one for him; as if a strong antibiotic will do the trick if it's a virus. Giving an antibiotic before you actually know you need one can cause more problems- side effects, not to mention the loss of good bacteria that your body actually needs.

Using the Same Antibiotic Over and Over Again is Best

Stick with what works, right? Not so much. With antibiotics, doctors hear your recommendation to stick with what worked before, but don't be alarmed if they do just the opposite. In fact, doctors intentionally will rotate antibiotics because our bodies will become immune to repeats after a few trial runs with no interruption. The doctor may keep in mind that it works great, but trust him when he shockingly treats the infection with something else.

Truth be told, these myths continue to stick around because they all stem from the same general idea that “mom and dad know best”. While it's true that you may know your child better than the pediatrician, use that knowledge to inform him only and then allow him to diagnose and treat as he sees fit.

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Vaccines for Babies and Older Kids

Vaccines provide protection against a host of childhood illnesses. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have a comprehensive vaccine schedule for children from birth through adulthood, with appropriately timed and spaced immunizations to provide maximum health benefits. Here’s a brief primer on vaccines for babies and older kids.

Commit to Vaccines

There’s quite a bit of discussion about vaccines, despite the fact that they are safe and effective. It is critically important that you commit to vaccines and get them for your children on the approved timeline. The CDC has a standard timeline as well as a delayed one. Some parents with concerns about immunizations for very young children opt for the delayed schedule, which spreads required vaccines out over a longer period of time. However you choose, commit to completing each series of vaccines. Starting then stopping an immunization program poses health rises from decreased immunity, among other things.

Discuss with Your Pediatrician

Discuss immunizations with your pediatrician. They can discuss recommendations based on your child’s individual medical records and answer any questions you may have. It’s important to make decisions as soon as possible – even before the birth of your child – as some immunizations are given at the hospital immediately after birth.

Vaccines for Babies and Older Kids

The Vaccine Schedule

There are interactive immunization schedules available at a variety of sites online. The CDC site includes the standard schedule for babies through 6 years, a full schedule to age 18, and a catch up schedule if you’ve fallen behind or decide later to have your child immunized. Become familiar with the schedule so that you know when you visit your pediatrician when shots are to be given.

Well Child Visits

Take advantage of well child visits – a series of doctor visits during the first six years of life to ensure proper growth and development of your child. Most insurance plans cover well child visits with no deductable or co-pay.

When Vaccines are Administered

Some of the stress around childhood vaccines centers on access to medical information. Take a proactive stance regarding vaccines: know which well child visits include shots, research or discuss with your physician the possible side effects for each and monitor your child closely for 24 hours after each immunization. For some vaccines, such as Measles, Mumps, Rubella (MMR), the reaction is delayed by 7-10 days. While it’s not an official recommendation, many parents opt to have immunizations early in the day so they can monitor the child for possible side effects for several hours before bedtime.

Make the decision to get all of the recommended vaccines for your baby or older children. You’ll be protecting their health as well as the health of others who and weakened immune systems and cannot get vaccines. This collective protection is called “herd immunity” and it’s only effective if the majority of individuals receive their vaccinations on schedule. If you have questions or concerns about vaccines, discuss them with your pediatrician or health care provider.

 

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Childhood Cancer: How to Deal with a Shocking Diagnosis

Childhood Cancer

The truth is kids get cancer.  It’s really sad that children have to deal with a disease that even the strongest adult has trouble with.

Here are some thoughts to help you get through the shocking diagnosis of childhood cancer.

Always Be a Team

Your first emotion could well be anger.  And sometimes the easiest person to give that anger to is your spouse or partner because you know they will eventually forgive you.

But it’s important to remember to keep working as a team.  If you have other children in the family, enlist their help as a team member for your sick child.

If that means or reading a book to your kid while some painful medication is being administered, then that’s what you do.

Try to stay as positive as you can and always carry hope for the best.  It may feel like that’s impossible but hope and faith can go a long way.

Ask Questions

Don’t be afraid to ask the questions that have scared you since you heard about the diagnosis.  Ask if any child survives that particular form of cancer.

You will need to be a team with those physicians and it’s far easier to do that if you feel you’re able to ask the hard questions.

And let friends and family ask their questions as well.  It may not be very comfortable but transparency will be your friend.

Staying Positive

This is, perhaps, the hardest part of the diagnosis of childhood cancer.  You may hear platitudes from caregivers like, “Everything is going to be just fine.” While your heart may not want believe it, it will be helpful if your head remembers it.

Take every day as a blessing.

Let People Help You

Friends and family may want to reach out and help.  Telling them exactly what you need – even down to preparing a list of tasks that folks can do for you – will help them give you exactly what you need when you need it.

Communicate With Your Child

Kids are so astute and they know when something’s wrong.  Be honest with them about the diagnosis as well as their chances for survival.

Let them see how you feel.  Instead of trying to be artificially strong, it’s perfectly fine to let your child see you cry.  That’s how they know how much you care.

Behavior Changes

As the diagnosis and treatment progresses, expect your child’s behavior to change.  Young kids may cling to you when, before the diagnosis, they wouldn’t.  Teenagers could become angry or distant and even withdraw from the family.

Encourage your kids to ask questions and let them know that it’s okay to be afraid.  If you can keep a daily schedule that is as normal as possible it will help your child feel as though they’re not being left out.

Don’t Forget Your Needs

Try not to exhaust yourself in dealing with your child’s cancer.  Reconsider your schedule and get help to get things done.

A cancer diagnosis is frightening but can bring a family together as they fight the battle as a unit.

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The Challenges of Parenting a Child with Asperger’s

Aspergers Syndrome

Having a child with Asperger’s Syndrome is difficult but not impossible.  While the symptoms are certainly not a result of anything your child did or didn’t do, he will still feel the consequences of his actions and behavior.

Here are some tips that will help you relate to your child with Aspberger’s.

Patience

One of the hardest things for parents to do is step back and try not to nag their child.  If there’s something that’s bothering you, try to explain your concerns to your child when she’s able to listen not in the middle of a meltdown.

Part of patience in this instance is to not cloak your child with your wisdom.  When she’s having a particularly difficult day, try to decide if this is a battle that needs to be fought or something that can be left for another day.  If you think that professional intervention is the only way to go, certainly make an appointment with your healthcare provider as soon as possible.

Celebrate

This may seem like an unusual suggestion, but see if you can celebrate your child’s humor, passion and, especially, creativity.  There will be plenty of times when his solution to a problem wouldn’t be one that you would choose but if it works for him, praise him and let him try.

Negotiation

This is particularly important with teenagers.  In order for your child to see the beauty and joy of negotiation, parents must model that for their child.  This goes for all parents but most particularly for parents of Aspberger’s Syndrome children.

When your child displays negative behavior, it’s usually because your kid feels like the world is spinning out of control.  Learning how to negotiate a truce will go a long way.

Forgiveness

The effects of Asperger’s is not something your child signed up for.  Forgive her every day and forgive yourself while you’re at it.

Try to defuse and cut off any fights that may begin.  Conversations with your child can only happen when the tantrums have stopped.

Rewarding Good Behavior

This idea is very similar to one used in dog training.  Now, we’re not suggesting for a minute that your child should be compared to a dog.  What we are suggesting is that you give praise and reward the behavior you want your child to exhibit.  Make sure that this reward is immediate and consistent.

Planning

One of the things that trips up an Asperger’s child the fastest is change.  Make sure that you give plenty of notice before something in the house changes especially with routine.  Have a chat with your kid about what’s going to happen and what you expect of her as a result of those changes.

For Asperger’s children there is no past or future, only now.  There will be plenty of issues as you go down the road and the way to prepare your child for a successful and fruitful adulthood, is to set good behavior patterns early and often.

Asperger’s Syndrome is challenging at best and heartbreaking at worst.  But with some pre-planning and thought, you can help your child grow from adolescence to adulthood and live with Asperger’s successfully.

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The Best Supplements for Womens Health

Womens Health

What to Choose When You Need Dietary Supplements (and You Will)

There is a world where you wake up each morning, get a pot of boiling water going on the stove, pour in your steel-cut oats, turn it down to a simmer, and chop up some fresh fruit to add in when the oats have finished cooking, about half an hour later. After a cup of green tea and small pear later that morning, you start contemplating which leafy green you'll have as the base of your lunchtime salad—it's always a tough call between arugula and baby spinach. The next decision point comes when you're choosing which vegetables are at their peak in your backyard organic garden. Summer means you've been loading up on squash and tomatoes; fall offers the indulgence of a small, roasted sweet potato. A quick roasting of vegetables, addition of tuxedo quinoa, and grilled chicken breast complete the dinner.

There is also a real world, in which you live. It has far less time for breakfast, far greater temptations during lunch, and no organic garden apart from any nutrients growing wildly in your unkempt lawn. This is the world that has prioritized taking care of your work and family at the expense of a nutrient-dense diet for your body. This is where dietary supplements come in.

Basic Training: Your Daily Multivitamin

Even if we suspend reality for a moment and assume you, in fact, carefully tend a pot of steel-cut oats each morning and list kale among your favorite foods, you could still be missing essential nutrients from your diet. A basic multivitamin is the best way to ensure your body gets its recommend daily dose of dozens of vitamins and minerals. Calcium, vitamin D, and potassium are three core nutrients found in almost any multivitamin and are important for the health of all adults and children. Most daily multivitamins are similar and include these and other important nutrients such as vitamin C, thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, folic acid, iodine, selenium, borate, zinc, magnesium, manganese, molybdenum, betacarotene, and iron, among others. It's important to remember that more is not necessarily better: There's no reason to exceed 100 percent of the daily recommended dose unless directed by your doctor.

Meeting Your Specific Needs

Some multivitamins tailored to women—specifically those of child-bearing age—will contain greater quantities of folic acid and iron, which help prevent birth defects. About 400 micrograms of folic acid are necessary for women of child-bearing age, with a recommend dose of 600 micrograms during pregnancy. Iron supplements are necessary due to losses that occur during menstruation. After menopause, women's need for iron decreases to levels equivalent to men. Most senior multivitamins, gender specific or not, will reflect this difference. Continuing to take iron supplements or multivitamins with high doses of iron after menopause can put women unnecessarily at risk for heart disease.

Most high-priced or exotic supplements are usually clever ways to part consumers with their money, and occasionally are dangerous to your health. Consult your physician before starting any new supplement regimen.

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