Posts for category: Awareness Campaigns
A friend of mine introduced me to a game. A Facebook game. However, instead of asking others to play, he was warning anyone that would listen of this very dangerous game. It’s a popular trend in which mainly teens and pre-teens are getting involved. It’s called the “Fire Challenge”. Have you heard of it? I hadn’t. But, as probably most of you, I haveheard of the Cinnamon Challenge, the Ice Challenge, and most recently, the Cold Water Challenge. The Fire Challenge, however, takes these games to a whole new level.
There is a myth making its rounds in correlation with the Fire Challenge which states that when rubbing alcohol is put on your skin, only the alcohol and fumes will burn, not your skin. In the Fire Challenge, the person accepting the challenge pours flammable liquid (usually rubbing alcohol or something similar) onto their bare skin while standing in a bathtub (believing that if all goes wrong, they can simply turn the shower on). Then, they take a lighter and ignite the liquid, which then, to their surprise and dismay, engulfs their bodies in flames. To most adults (there have been some adults to participate), the thought of doing such a thing to your body is unfathomable. As adults, we are able to see the lasting consequences of such an idea. However, the pre-teens and teens are not considering the end result. Teens are challenging, or rather daring, each other to participate. Some are saying that it is peer pressure that is causing this trend to rise. Others are blaming social media sites as these teens are uploading their videos of the Fire Challenge to Facebook, YouTube, and others in hopes of a chance to have a video go viral. Since this trend began, numerous participants around America have been rushed to the hospital for second and third degree burns. Sadly, a 15 year old boy died from injuries due to participating.
Fire Marshals all over the country are urging parents to be aware of what your kids are doing and what they may be viewing or getting involved with on the internet. Take precautionary measures by speaking with your children today, even if they have not heard of the trend yet. Here are some facts about the Fire Challenge and burn injuries that you may want to share with your child:
- The myth surrounding the fire challenge is wrong. Pouring flammable liquid on your skin, such as rubbing alcohol and nail polish remover WILL burn your skin, even to the second and third degree!
- Second degree burns are also known as partial-thickness burns meaning that the top several layers of skin are burnt. This causes swelling and blistering and is very painful.
- Third degree burns are also known as full-thickness burns meaning that the full thickness of the skin is destroyed down to the muscle underneath. This causes permanent scarring, possible permanent damage (such as nerve damage), and, depending on the severity, can cause death.
- Flammable liquid is what causes the combustion and then allows the fire to spread at rapid rates. So rapid, in fact, that it makes logical thinking almost impossible. The people doing the burn challenge are unable to think clearly enough to even turn on the shower. People instinctually run when on fire which is what many of the participants do in their videos, being unable to help themselves at all.
As parents, this should bring awareness to the effects of peer pressure on our children. It should also serve as a reminder to always be aware of what our children are viewing online. Take time to talk with your children today about the long-lasting damage that the Fire Challenge and other peer-pressured events can cause and prepare them on how to simply say “no”.
If you have children, you know that crying is what babies do best. They cry when they are hungry, they cry when they are too cold or too hot, they cry when they need a diaper change, and they even cry when they are tired! God designed our babies to cry when they are in need. Crying is a useful tool to help parents know when their baby is in need. However, sometimes babies cry when they don’t need anything and aren’t even in any pain. This kind of crying can be so frustrating and very hard for parents to deal with.
The term “colic” was thrown around quite often until Dr. Ronald Barr developed the concept of the Period of PURPLE Crying. The term “colic” implied that babies had a “problem” or a “condition” when actually, normal and completely healthy babies cry…a lot. It’s part of their development that can begin as early as 2 weeks of age and continue on up to 3-4 months of age. Some babies don’t cry much during this time, but some cry excessively. It sometimes seems to parents that their child is in need or is in pain. If you have done all that you can to comfort your baby (i.e. ensuring he/she has a clean diaper, not too hot or too cold, belly is full, etc.), and your baby is still crying inconsolably (it can even last for hours), there is no need to worry!
The Period of PURPLE Crying sounds as though it received its name from the color that babies sometimes appear when they cry for long periods of time (and it even crossed my mind that it’s the color parents may appear when they are at their wit’s end!). The term “PURPLE Crying” actually was developed from an acrostic to remind parents of the stages of this trying time in parenthood:
P: Peak of crying – Your baby may cry more each week; the most at two months, then less at three to four months.
U: Unexpected – Crying can come and go and you don’t know why.
R: Resists soothing – Your baby may not stop crying no matter what you try to do.
P: Pain-like face – A crying baby may look like they are in pain, even when they are not.
L: Long lasting – Crying can last a much as five hours a day, or more.
E: Evening – Your baby may cry more in the late afternoon and/or evening.
When your baby is crying inconsolably, you can try to take measures to comfort them, but if it gets to be too much and you feel your nerves are wearing thin, lay your baby safely in his or her crib and walk away to give yourself a break. This is a good thing to do many times to just take a step away for a few minutes and regain your composure. Many times, loving, well-meaning parents have become so overwhelmed with frustration during a bout of crying from their baby that they shake their baby. Shaking a baby is extremely dangerous… [then you can insert whatever consequences happen from this because I couldn’t keep reading all the stuff online…]
If you are currently caring for an infant, keep the acrostic above in mind. Inform other parents of infants of the Period of PURPLE Crying, as well. Although it is very frustrating and trying time, this time will end and it does not imply that you are not caring for your child properly. It is just a developmental stage that all babies must go through. Remember to take breaks when you need to by either laying the baby in his or her crib or even calling family or close friends to watch your baby for a short time. Don’t allow yourself to get to a point where you are overwhelmed and never shake your baby.
With all of the controversy swarming vaccinations in the past several years, have you ever found yourself concerned that maybe vaccines are not safe for your child? Maybe all of these accusations are true and vaccines really do cause autism. This can be a very scary thing for parents who only want the absolute best for their children.
Before I became a parent, I did not care about vaccines. All I knew is that there were heated debates; some say vaccines are the best thing we can do for our children and some say it is the worst. When I gave birth to my son in 2010, I told Dr. Solari that I had been seriously considering not vaccinating my son due to hearing the scary rumors that vaccines do more harm than good. Dr. Solari strongly urged me to do my own research from reliable sources so I set out to find the truth about vaccines. I am now a very strong advocate for vaccines! I make sure that my son stays up-to-date on his vaccines so that he has the most protection possible. I also am quick to defend vaccines in conversations with my friends and family who may have been sucked in to the wide-spread rumors that vaccines are dangerous. Now, I am excited to have the opportunity to share some information with you! I do, however, always encourage this to everyone I talk to about vaccines: Do your own research from highly reliable sources. (And for the record, news articles such as cbs.com and websites who already have a vendetta against vaccines such as naturalnews.com are not reliable sources.)
Doctor Solari says, “Vaccines have been one of the most important preventative health measures available to physicians throughout modern history. Vaccines have saved more lives than any other single medical advance.” He is not the only medical doctor who holds this view. The overwhelming majority of medical doctors (who have to at least have 8 years of schooling under their belt plus their experience in practicing medicine) hold this view as well. Pediatricians are even going as far as to require all of their patients to stay up-to-date on their vaccines to be able to remain a patient at their practice. It is commonly thought among mothers that doctors are doing this in an effort to impose their vaccine views and opinions on “uneducated” parents. This is not the case! Doctors know and understand how important vaccines are and want to make sure they are providing the absolute best care to their patients. They also want to make sure they provide a safe atmosphere for infants and children with compromised immune systems who are unable to receive some vaccines. If these children and infants would contract a vaccine-preventable disease, the chances of complications and possible death are significantly higher than healthy, older children and adults.
Another very common theory is that “Big Pharma” (meaning the pharmaceutical companies who develop the vaccines) are only out for our money. Rumors have spread that these companies have put out an expensive product telling us it will save the lives of our children, when really it is harming our children; the idea is that they want our money, but do not care about our children. This is a false accusation as vaccines do not bring in money for pharmaceutical companies like some may believe. The amount of research to develop the vaccine and then put the vaccines through extensive testing to ensure the safety of the vaccines cost the pharmaceutical companies high dollar amounts. In addition to this, most vaccines do not need boosters throughout a person’s lifetime. Most vaccines are given at young ages of a person’s life and then are never given again. The vaccine industry is not one that people continuously return to throughout their lifetime.
If you are concerned that vaccines are not effective, I urge you to take a look at “the numbers”. Before the polio vaccine was developed and released, an average of 13,000 to 20,000 cases of polio were reported each year. Now, we are 1% away from polio eradication! Only three countries in the world still have active cases of polio. The number of people who died as a result of complications from chickenpox has been reduced by 78% since the chickenpox (varicella) vaccine came out in 1996. These are just two examples of how the numbers and statistics speak for themselves. These numbers and other astounding statistics of how vaccines are saving lives and preventing unnecessary suffering can be found on the Center for Disease Control website at www.cdc.gov.
Over the next several weeks, I will highlight some vaccine-preventable diseases to show what exactly these vaccines are preventing against, as well as give more statistics as to how vaccines are saving “more lives than any other single medical advance.” We are spoiled by vaccines and do not know what our ancestors before us had to face before vaccines were developed. I am looking forward to writing the next several blogs and encourage you to not only stay tuned in to our blog, but if you have questions or feel uncertain about the safety of vaccines, please call our office today and we will be glad to answer any questions that you may have.
For the first “official” blog post, I thought we could start out with something that pretty much all parents must address at some point: screen time. About 99% of American homes have at least one television and American children spend an average of 28 hours a week watching television1. In addition, on average, American children spend 7 hours a day in front of a screen2! Is this too much? Is it a reasonable amount? If they are watching educational programs, does that make a difference?
The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recognizes that there are potential problems when a child spends too much time in front of the television or other types of media. They report that there have been studies that show that too much “screen time” (that is, any time spent in front of a screen such as television, video games, iPads, smartphones, etc.) may cause long-lasting struggles for children such as obesity, learning disorders, and even sleep and eating disorders!
Fortunately, the AAP has set guidelines to help parents avoid these problems that may arise from too much screen time. For young children, the AAP recommends no screen time until the age of 2 years old. After the age of two, the AAP recommends limiting your child’s screen time to 1-2 hours of quality programs each day. They recommend that during this allotted period of screen time, there should be strict monitoring of what the child is watching or playing. Media that promotes violence, drug use, and sexual content should not be permitted. Positive and educational programs are preferred; however, even if all of the media is educational, they still recommend keeping a limit of 1-2 hours per day.
What can you do in the meantime? This is a great time to talk to your children. This will build up relationships within the family and draw the family together as a whole. Also, keep in mind that when you are talking to your children (teenagers, in particular), even though they seem to be disengaged and not listening, your children listen to everything that you say. Use this time to teach them about good morals and character! Limiting screen time will give you more opportunity to interact and exercise with your children by playing with them. Go to the park, or just spend time playing outside. Crafts, activities or games are also great ways to spend this time. Lastly, encourage your child to read! This is a great method of education and it also allows them to expand their imagination by envisioning the events as they read.
Our culture is geared toward constant screen time, but it is not healthy for our children to constantly be in front of a screen. “Screen Free Week” is April 29 through May 5 which would be a great time to try out different activities with your family away from the screens! Your family may like it more than they expect!