Children's Health

Snacks for Kids: A Necessity

February 16, 2008

A recent AP article in the IJ  (Wednesday, February 13, 2008) stresses the necessity of making sure active kids eat healthy snacks throughout the day. Younger children, especially, need two snacks during the day since they definitely need the energy. I'm not going to rewrite the article here (and I can't find it on the IJ's website), but the gist of it is that kids need healthy snacks low in fat and sugars and high in fiber and nutrients. Fruit and crackers, two snack staples in our home, are specifically mentioned.

At least five servings of fruits and vegetables are recommended; that's at least 2 1/2 cups of vegetables and 1 1/2 cups of fruit. One of the ways we like to make sure the kids consume enough fruit is through fruit smoothies like the one we wrote about here.

How Safe is That Plastic Bottle or Sippy Cup?

January 23, 2008

Sippy cups and bottlesWith all talk about toxic plastics in the news, I decided to research the subject a little closer and find out which children and household items are not safe in my home. After finding a quick reference of plastic codes from the National Geographic Green Guides, I decided to go through my kitchen cabinet and check the kid’s sippy cups and plastic dishes to find out if they should be avoided. You can check the type of plastic of an item by looking for the number on the bottom.

Lead Poisoning: Is Your Child at Risk?

December 7, 2007

Marin Mommies is pleased to present the second in a series of guest posts by pediatricians Dr. Steven Martel and Dr. Oded Herbsman. Drs. Herbsman and Martel are the founders of Child’s Light Pediatrics, Inc., an innovative, house-call based pediatric practice that serves Marin and San Francisco.

There has been a lot of media attention regarding the risk of lead exposure from children’s toys. Most of this attention has been focused on the risk of exposure from lead paint in toys made in China.

What is lead poisoning?

Lead is a toxic metal that affects the nervous system.  It is absorbed primarily through the inhalation of lead dust and ingestion of lead products.  Lead poisoning generally occurs slowly after repeated exposures.

Sleep Safely with a Sleep Sack

November 10, 2007

sleep sackNow that the nights are getting chilly, the safest way to keep baby warm is with a sleep sack. For those who have big babies or toddlers who kick off the covers at night, Baby in a Bag carries traditional European-style sleep sacks in larger sizes. These premium sleep sacks are made from breathable, comfortable fabrics, and are available in a variety of styles, including lightweight summer and heavier winter models, both made of soft 100% cotton; as well as PamperSacks made from a variety of fabrics, including soft Minky, eco-friendly soybean protein fiber, and luxurious 100% silk. All are available in a variety of colors and patterns. Prices start at $24.95, so they're not terribly expensive, and make a great new-baby or shower gift!

Get Your Unique, Handmade Shopping Cart Cover

October 24, 2007
Now that fall has arrived, the flu and cold season is just around the corner. I have to admit that I’m a little paranoid about germs, so when my son and daughter were old enough to sit in a shopping cart, I quickly ran out and bought a cart cover. The one that I purchased wasn’t very good and would never fit around the shopping cart properly.

Understanding Influenza and the Flu Vaccine

October 19, 2007

Marin Mommies is pleased to Introduce the first guest post by pediatricians Dr. Steven Martel and Dr. Oded Herbsman. Drs. Herbsman and Martel are the founders of Child’s Light Pediatrics, Inc., an innovative, house-call based pediatric practice that serves Marin and San Francisco.

Fall and Winter is a frequent time for illness in children. One frequent cause of Fall and Winter illness is influenza or “the flu”.  Fortunately, there is a way to diminish the likelihood that children are sidelined by this illness.

What is Influenza?
The flu is a contagious respiratory illness caused by any strain of influenza virus.  It causes mild to severe illness, and is potentially serious in younger and chronically ill children. 

Each flu season is unique, but it is estimated that 5-20% of people in the U.S. get the flu. More than 200,000 persons are hospitalized for flu-related complications yearly. 
The flu virus spreads easily in droplets from coughs and sneezes. People become infected when droplets of an infected person are deposited on the mouth or nose of another person or on objects that are touched by that person.

Does my child have the flu?

Baby Tooth Care Tips

August 27, 2007
Baby TeethI took my 4-year-old to the dentist earlier this summer and found out that he had a cavity. Because of this, I have been very thorough about cleaning my 20-month-old’s teeth. I started researching the subject and found it’s really a hot topic out there. There’s a lot of information available, and it can get a little confusing. I’ve put together a list of baby tooth care tips that seem to be pretty universal.

Baby and Toddler-Friendly Sunscreens

May 30, 2007

kid on the beachWhen my family hits the great outdoors for a walk, hike, or swim, I always try to remember to put lots of sunscreen on them. I usually don’t do much more than buy what’s on sale, and make sure it has an SPF of at least 30 to 40. I decided to do a little research on the subject to find out what really is the best sunscreen for children. One thing I discovered is that it’s important to buy a sunscreen or sunblock with either zinc oxide or titanium dioxide. I also found out the sunscreen and sunblock are totally different; I thought the two terms were interchangeable, and they aren’t. Sunblock physically blocks the sun's UV rays, whereas sunscreen actually absorbs the ultraviolet light so it doesn’t reach your skin.

When you buy a sunscreen with zinc oxide and/or titanium dioxide (which is recommended) it sits on top of the skin and forms a barrier against the sun's rays. When using a chemical sunscreen without either of those two ingredients, your skin actually absorbs the sunscreen, which may cause irritation or allergic reactions. It doesn't matter if you buy a so called "broad-spectrum" product, just make sure that it contains the all important zinc oxide, titanium dioxide, or both.

The Klean Kanteen Stainless Steel Sippy Cup

April 16, 2007

I’ve heard a lot of talk from moms in the last week about the hazards of using plastic products for children. There are concerns, spurred by recent reports like this in the San Francisco Chronicle, that chemicals used to soften polyvinyl chloride (PVC), namely bisphenol A or BPA, may pose health concerns when used in children’s toys, baby bottles, and sippy cups. Glass baby bottles are making a comeback, and I recently ran across this nifty little gadget: Klean Kanteen Stainless Steel Sippy Cup

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