The Top 5 Summer Emergencies and What to Do (Part 5 of 5)

bugsWarmer weather invites activities and adventures. But what happens when things go awry? In this special five-part series, the real experts at NYU Langone Medical Center provide valuable tips to serve as your guide. Part 5:

Bug Bites

When outdoors in the summer, avoid areas where insects are more likely to be present, such as areas with stagnant water, uncovered food, or flowers in bloom. Dress your children in long sleeves and pants, avoid brightly colored clothing, and use insect repellent to help prevent bites or stings. For those with severe allergies, always carry an Epipen, if one is prescribed, when traveling to places where you might be stung. Before leaving for any outdoor activities, check to make sure that it is not expired.

Bug bites and/or stings should always be cleaned to help prevent infection. Seek medical treatment if the site of the bite is warm, tender, growing in size, is getting more painful, or, if there is any red streaking, which is a warning of a serious infection.

Dress your child in long sleeves and pants when hiking to prevent ticks. If your child does get a tick bite, do not squeeze the tick to try to get it out. This could actually cause more saliva to be released and could cause an infection. The tick should be removed with tweezers by someone who has experience to ensure that the mouth parts that are attached to the skin are completely removed. After identifying a tick bite, watch for signs of a bullseye rash or fever, which could signal Lyme disease. Call your child’s doctor if you can’t remove the tick or the tick’s head, your child develops fever or rash within 2 weeks after the bite, if the bite looks infected, or if you have any other concerns.

When choosing an insect repellent, look for products such as DEET, picaridin, IR3535, or oil of lemon eucalyptus. With regards to tick repellents, DEET products can be used, but permethrin products–a synthetic insect repellent–are applied to clothing, and are more effective against ticks compared to DEET. Most insect repellents are safe to use on children older than 2 months of age. Oil of lemon eucalyptus should not be used on children younger than 3 years of age. Products containing more than 30% DEET are not recommended for children. Do not reapply insect repellents due to the risk of toxicity.

NYULMC-2011_2CP_RGB_300dpiFrom the Real Experts at NYU Langone Medical Center:

Madhavi Kapoor, MD, is a clinical assistant professor in the Department of Pediatrics at Hassenfeld Children’s Hospital at NYU Langone and a pediatrician at NYU Langone at Trinity.

 

The Top 5 Summer Emergencies and What to Do (Part 4 of 5)

campfireWarmer weather invites activities and adventures. But what happens when things go awry? In this special five-part series, the real experts at NYU Langone Medical Center provide valuable tips to serve as your guide. Part 4:

Burns

Summer often means campfires, fireworks, and sun. So what should you do if you get burned?

If the burn is from a flame or hot object, run it under cool water to reduce the severity of the burn, clean the area with a mild soap and water, and apply an antibacterial ointment or cream. Similarly, for sunburns, you should treat it by applying a cool compress, washing the area with a mild soap and water, and apply an antibacterial ointment or cream. If symptoms do not improve after several days, or if an infection develops, seek medical attention.

To prevent sunburn, provide shade and dress your child in protective clothing such as wide-brimmed hats and lightweight long-sleeved shirts and long pants to limit sun exposure. If adequate shade or protective clothing are unavailable, for babies under 6 months of age, apply sunscreen that protects against UVA and UVB rays with at least SPF 15 to small, exposed areas (i.e. face, hands, etc). For children over 6 months of age, apply sunscreen with at least SPF 30 to exposed skin.  Remember to reapply sunscreen every two hours and after swimming or sweating.

NYULMC-2011_2CP_RGB_300dpiFrom the Real Experts at NYU Langone Medical Center:

Madhavi Kapoor, MD, is a clinical assistant professor in the Department of Pediatrics at Hassenfeld Children’s Hospital at NYU Langone and a pediatrician at NYU Langone at Trinity.

 

The Top 5 Summer Emergencies and What to Do (Part 3 of 5)

helmetWarmer weather invites activities and adventures. But what happens when things go awry? In this special five-part series, the real experts at NYU Langone Medical Center provide valuable tips to serve as your guide. Part 3:

Trauma

As the weather gets warmer, trauma incidences rise since there is typically a lot more physical activity this time of year.

The best way to treat a concussion is to prevent a concussion. Always have your children wear the right protective gear for the chosen activity, including knee pads, elbow pads, eye protection, and a helmet—every time. It’s very important to check your helmet to make sure it fits properly and there is no structural damage to it. If a head injury is sustained, monitor for headaches as this could be a sign of concussion.

When riding a bicycle, skateboard, or scooter, children should be taught to ride only as fast as they can also feel comfortable slowing down in a controlled manner. Never ride a skateboard or scooter in or near open, moving traffic.

Practice playground safety when taking your children to a park or playground. Children should be supervised by an adult when using play equipment.  Make sure to keep your child out of reach of any moving parts that could pinch or trap any body part. Plastic, metal, and rubber play equipment can become hot quickly in the summer heat, so check that slides and swing seats are cool to prevent burns. Do not allow children to play barefoot in playgrounds.

NYULMC-2011_2CP_RGB_300dpiFrom the Real Experts at NYU Langone Medical Center:

Madhavi Kapoor, MD, is a clinical assistant professor in the Department of Pediatrics at Hassenfeld Children’s Hospital at NYU Langone and a pediatrician at NYU Langone at Trinity.

 

The Top 5 Summer Emergencies and What to Do (Part 2 of 5)

swimWarmer weather invites activities and adventures. But what happens when things go awry? In this special five-part series, the real experts at NYU Langone Medical Center provide valuable tips to serve as your guide. Part 2:

Water Related Injuries

According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, about one in five people who die from drowning are children aged 14 and younger. But for every child who dies from drowning, another five receive emergency department care for nonfatal submersion injuries.

It’s important to keep children in sight at all times. It can take less than a minute to drown, especially if a child is a beginner swimmer. Children can even drown in a wading pool if there is enough water to cover the nose and mouth.

If there is a water emergency, immediately pull the individual out of the pool, and if there is no other trauma, you can roll them onto their side to help drain the water. Then call 9-1-1.

When it comes to diving, make sure your child knows to never dive into water without the permission of an adult who knows that the water is deep enough and clear of underwater objects.

NYULMC-2011_2CP_RGB_300dpiFrom the Real Experts at NYU Langone Medical Center:

Madhavi Kapoor, MD, is a clinical assistant professor in the Department of Pediatrics at Hassenfeld Children’s Hospital at NYU Langone and a pediatrician at NYU Langone at Trinity.

 

The Top 5 Summer Emergencies and What to Do (Part 1 of 5)

hot-summerWarmer weather invites activities and adventures. But what happens when things go awry? In this special five-part series, the real experts at NYU Langone Medical Center provide valuable tips to serve as your guide. Part 1:

Exposure to Extreme Temperatures

Rising temperatures and humidity can cause a range of symptoms including dehydration, heat exhaustion and heat stroke. Most are familiar with dehydration, which is a loss of body fluids through sweating and physical exertion. Signs of dehydration in infants and children can include decreased urination or wet diapers, fewer or no tears when crying, dry or parched mouth, a sunken soft spot of the head in infants or toddlers, and decreased energy.

If early signs are not heeded, dehydration can lead to heat exhaustion. This form of more severe dehydration is characterized by weakness, muscle cramps, pale skin, profuse sweating, dizziness, and nausea. If symptoms are not resolving with fluids and rest at home or become very severe (such as fainting), these children should be brought to an emergency department to get evaluated and treated.

The next progression of heat exhaustion is heat stroke, which is when the body stops being able to release its own heat. The body becomes so dehydrated it can’t sweat anymore, causing the body temperature to reach dangerous levels. This can lead to confusion, kidney damage, heart problems and, in the most extreme cases, fatality. Symptoms also include hot, flushed skin with high fever over 105 degrees Fahrenheit. Every patient with heat stroke needs to be brought to the emergency room so they can be rapidly cooled and a thorough physical examination can be performed to determine if there is any organ damage.

To protect your child from extreme heat this summer: Plan to allow your child more time to rest when playing outside. Encourage your child to drink water or a sports drink frequently while playing in the heat. Try to find a cool (ideally air-conditioned) place to take breaks from playing outside. Don’t forget to apply sunscreen when outdoors. Never leave your child in a car or other closed vehicle, even if you plan to come back soon as temperatures inside a closed vehicle can rise to dangerous levels quickly.

NYULMC-2011_2CP_RGB_300dpiFrom the Real Experts at NYU Langone Medical Center:

Madhavi Kapoor, MD, is a clinical assistant professor in the Department of Pediatrics at Hassenfeld Children’s Hospital at NYU Langone and a pediatrician at NYU Langone at Trinity.

 

Teaching Your Child to Present with Confidence!

AdobeStock_90643537

By: Alexandra Laura Kavanaugh

Every parent dreams of their child growing into a successful adult. We push our children to work hard in school so they can become proficient in math, science, reading, and writing…But is that enough? To achieve success within most careers, people will also need to learn to effectively communicate through speech. However, communication strategies are not often taught explicitly alongside academic skills in U.S. classrooms. Embodied Minds Kids classes can supplement your child’s inherent strengths by increasing their confidence and communication skills!

Embodied Minds Kids was born from Embodied Minds, a private company that offers public speaking consultation and life coaching to adults. The co-founders of Embodied Minds, Leticia Warner and Shira Lahav, are both registered drama therapists who use dramatic techniques and psychotherapy to help professionals and students reduce their underlying anxiety around public speaking. In treating adults, they noticed that many of their clients had traumatic public speaking experiences during their childhood or adolescence. As they both became mothers, they realized how important it was to teach effective communication skills to children at a young age, in order to prevent struggling to present oneself effectively as an adult.

What is Drama Therapy? Drama therapy is a creative arts psychotherapy that uses many of the different techniques used in the theater, such as improvisation, storytelling, embodiment, and role play. Drama Therapy works to enhance an individual’s creativity and spontaneity, making them more adept at handling the turbulence of everyday life. Children are actually the ideal clients for drama therapy because, unlike adults, they are naturals at “play”. Typically, children don’t have the fear and insecurities that often keep adults from speaking up or performing in front of others.

How does drama help kids learn public speaking skills? Research done on drama classes in schools have proven that participating in dramatic activities significantly increases students’ confidence and self-esteem, key ingredients for a strong presenter! Working on improvisation helps your child to think on their feet. Practicing vocal skills such as projection and enunciation helps your child to be more articulate and easily understood. Working with movement and embodiment helps your child to understand non-verbal communication–Kids will learn that their bodies “tell” a lot about how they’re feeling or what they want to say verbally.

Embodied Minds Kids Classes will be separated into four age groups: 7-9 year olds, 10-11 year olds, 12-14 year olds, and 15-17 year olds. By participating in groups, children will learn how to be excellent listeners and to effectively collaborate with others.

Each group is designed to be developmentally appropriate for the children:
• The 7-9 year old group will focus on developing social skills through play and creative drama. Through the use of sound and movement, children will learn how their voices and bodies can communicate with an audience. They will learn to introduce themselves to others using eye contact and a confident tone of voice!
• The 10-11 year-old group will continue to work with sound and movement as they learn to present themselves confidently to others! They will explore improvisation and role play to help develop spontaneity in their speech and movement. As these children prepare to enter Middle School, the group will participate in drama activities that bolster self-esteem to help develop a confident speaking voice.
• The 12-14 year-old group will continue to focus on the development of self-esteem in how they present themselves, as they enter into the tumultuous world of adolescence. The students will learn about how to speak differently to various audiences through improvisation and scene work. They will practice skills such as posture, tone, subtext, and gesture as they develop the facets of their emerging identities and respond to the demands of their academic and social worlds.
• The 15-17 year old group will focus on preparing the teens for the challenges of high school, college, and a career as they develop more advanced public speaking skills such as clarity, pace, and the elimination of filler words “um” or “like”. These skills will come in handy as this age group embarks on challenges such as college or job interviews, as well as intimidating school presentations.

Our goal at Embodied Minds Kids is to help your child present themselves confidently and have a blast while they do it!

Alexandra Laura Kavanaugh is a licensed Theater Educator and Kids Coach with Embodied Minds Public Speaking Consultants, LLC.

Learn more about Embodied Minds on Kidz Central Station and reserve your child’s spot now for their Public Speaking and Communications Skills Group, starting in the fall.

Summer Safety: Helping Kids Avoid Broken Bones and Hurt Heads

brokenSchool is out, the weather is warm, and outdoor activities are in full swing. Summertime is a fun time for most children, but it’s also a season when New York-area hospitals see a spike in the number of kids who suffer fractures or concussions.

A fracture, which is a partial or complete break in a bone, can occur anywhere on the body. The most common sites are the wrist, elbow, and collarbone, as well as the ankle and femur (thighbone). A concussion is a type of brain injury that occurs from a blow to the head or body.

Any activity children participate in can lead to injuries: playing outside, swinging, climbing the monkey bars, jumping on trampolines, playing in bouncy castles. Falls and fractures are common in activities involving speed, like skateboarding, bicycling, or riding a scooter. Fireworks and climbing trees are a common cause of many summer injuries, too. At Hassenfeld Children’s Hospital at NYU Langone, we see many of these injuries every summer, in addition to injuries that might not be as obvious to parents. Oftentimes, youth who engage in activities such as contact sports or bicycling, or those who simply have a collision or fall when playing, might sustain a concussion, and may need to be seen by a specialist at our Concussion Center.

Of course, it’s impractical for children to avoid all of these activities. Kids will be kids, and outdoor recreation is beneficial to children’s physical, mental, and emotional health. That’s why it is important to take reasonable precautions to increase their safety as they enjoy their summer:

Wear proper protective equipment.
Helmets should always be worn for activities like bike riding and skateboarding, as well as for contact sports like football. When skateboarding, kids should be wearing elbow and kneepads, too.

Pay attention to playground surfaces. Rather than concrete, asphalt, or hard packed dirt, they should be made out of softer surfaces like shredded rubber or wood chips. These can better absorb the impact of a fall and are less likely to cause injuries.

Build strength and endurance. Being in proper physical condition is important for preventing injuries when participating in sports. Receiving appropriate instruction from athletic trainers is always recommended.

Always supervise kids around fireworks to prevent explosion injuries, which are common in the hands.

You can take steps to lessen the chances of broken bones and concussions, but you can’t avoid the risk altogether. Serious injuries may still occur as kids participate in typical summer activities. If your child has suffered a head injury or if an injury has caused pain out of proportion to a regular knock or “boo boo”:

• Immobilize the child.
• Do not move an affected limb or joint.
• Put ice on swollen areas.
• Call your doctor’s office for advice or go to the emergency room for evaluation by a physician.

Sometimes, children require specialist evaluation and treatment because their bones are still growing. For example, if the wrist looks obviously deformed, you can assume that would require a pediatric orthopedic surgeon. If you’re in doubt about the seriousness of an injury, there is no harm in coming to the ER to make sure everything is okay. Emergency room doctors are very good at distinguishing what needs to be seen by a specialist and what doesn’t.

Here’s to a happy, healthy and safe summer!

NYULMC-2011_2CP_RGB_300dpiFrom the Real Experts at NYU Langone Medical Center:

Pablo Castañeda, MD, is the Division Chief of Pediatric Orthopaedic Surgery at Hassenfeld Children’s Hospital at NYU Langone.

 

Preventing Summer Learning Loss

summer-homework

School’s out for summer, but learning shouldn’t be on vacation, too. “Summer slide” occurs when children forget skills they learned the previous school year, and it’s a concern for many parents, especially parents of children with learning difficulties. Here are some ways to engage and support children at any age to retain those skills and even give them a leg up for the next school year, while still having fun and enjoying their time off from school.

Elementary school:
• Try and find some time daily to read with your children. You can start a fun summer book club with a few of your children’s friends and rotate homes where you can meet and discuss the book of the week. You can also stop at the library before your summer road trip or longer vacations for books to take along with you. Set 20 minutes aside daily for some quiet reading or shared reading pleasure. Nothing like a great book for the beach for you and your child!
• If your younger child (pre-k to 1st grade) struggles with reading, it is even more important that you read to them every day. Have them try and pick out words they recognize (sight words) and begin to use their phonetic skills to “tap out” or sound out more challenging words.
• For this young age group, you should also review and practice the sequence of the alphabet. Sing or say the alphabet whenever you can – in the car, on a walk, while taking a bath. Fun activities include scrambling magnetic plastic letters of the alphabet and asking your child to sequence them as he or she says the letter names.
• You can also practice the alphabet with a game–it can be something as simple as jumping rope while reciting the alphabet, and coming up with a vocabulary word based on the letter you stop jumping at.
• Rhyming games can also be fun. Say four words and ask your child to tell you which word does not belong. Make up silly words to get them even more engaged!
• For slightly older children (first grade and onward) start to talk to your child about a book before you even get into the text with them. Ask them questions about the cover, read the chapter headings, and have them hypothesize what they think the story will be about. After reading a chapter, pause and have them reflect and predict what they think will happen next in the story. Review and discuss the different characters and have them start to form inferences about what will happen as you move along in the book with them.
• If engaging your child in a book is a struggle, try graphic novels instead. They have proven to be appealing to students who have not yet developed a love of reading.
• Strengthen your child’s number skills by incorporating fun math activities into your summer routine: count the seashells on the sand while you’re walking, or add up the number of birds you see flying overhead.
• You can include practice with measurement by having your child engage in cooking or baking and having them take charge in following the recipe.
• For kids who are having difficulty making their handwriting legible, summer is a great time to work on that skill, or learn to type. Look for programs or apps that can help make the process fun.

Middle and high school:
• If your child struggles in a particular subject, like math, try to find out what’s coming up in the class next year. That way you can start previewing the upcoming new concepts early.
• Writing demands increase as we enter the higher grades. Finding opportunities when older students would be interested and willing to engage in writing practice can be hard. One way to incorporate writing exercises is by coupling them with fun adventures. Visiting local museums, finding a fun landmark to research while on a trip, and even conducting an interview with a relative or someone in the neighborhood can be used as opportunities to foster journaling and writing.
• As your children transition into middle and high school, organizational skills and independence become even more important. Help your child get a head start on organizing their notebooks for different subjects and scheduling due dates for assignments.
• If your child is anxious about starting at a new school, use the summer to engage in helpful social activities. Look for ways they can meet peers early on, visit and walk around new school grounds to diminish anxiety and increase confidence.

The most important thing to keep in mind is that helping your child keep up over the summer shouldn’t be costly, either in terms of a financial burden or by straining your relationship with your child. There are so many resources in our environment to employ and ways to continue to promote and foster learning that are present as long as we’re creative in thinking about how to include them.

NYULMC-2011_2CP_RGB_300dpiFrom the Real Experts at NYU Langone Medical Center:

Daniela Montalto, PhD, is a clinical assistant professor in the Department of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry at NYU Langone’s Child Study Center, a part of Hassenfeld Children’s Hospital. She is the Clinical Director of the Child Study Center’s Institute for Learning and Academic Achievement.

 

Head of the Class Mom: Leticia Warner

Meet our latest Head of the Class Mom, Leticia Warner—co-founder of Embodied Minds, a public speaking company that helps kids with presentation and self-esteem—and an amazing mom!leticia

Why did you start Embodied Minds Public Speaking Consultants?
I am co-founder of Embodied Minds as well as a consultant, Licensed Creative Arts Therapist, and Registered Drama Therapist. My co-founder Shira and I started Embodied Minds because we knew there was a lack of public speaking companies that focus on the reasons behind the fear of public speaking. A lot of companies emphasize the surface solutions but aren’t able to delve deeper. We, on the other hand, look at both the internal and external processes. When it comes to our Kids program, we focus on helping children and young adults increase self-esteem, improve their thought organization, interpersonal skills, build confidence, reduce their use of filler words, and more.

What is your secret to balancing work and family? Is there a balance?
I don’t know if I yet have a secret to balancing work and family. It’s something that I’m still figuring out! My son is 5 months old so I’m still getting used to balancing the demands of my business as well as his needs. My husband and I are lucky to have a reliable nanny so when I need to focus on my business, I know my son is in good hands. However, what I have learned so far is that it’s extremely important to spend quality time with my family as often as I possibly can. Time will not stand still and our children are only getting older. Therefore, if I have a break between clients or I can avoid working through lunch, I will take a quick trip to see my son wherever he is and that sustains me for the rest of the day.

Share a funny story that helped you become a better parent and/or better at your job.
I’m not sure if this made me a better parent or better at my job, but it was certainly when I first experienced the two needs clashing for the first time… we had a really important workshop taking place the week I gave birth to my son. Though I couldn’t physically be there, my co-founder Shira and I were literally working on the workshop while I was in labor (!) and once I had given birth. On top of that, I was answering work e-mails while in labor and took an emergency call from one of my private clients less than 24 hours after my son was born. Obviously, the boundaries were out of control to say the least, but this story to me is the epitome of the “working mom” story. In some ways, it helped me become a better working mom because I learned to create boundaries after experiencing it!

What has been your biggest challenge and/or greatest reward in the struggle for work-life balance?
I adore what I do and I’m so lucky to own a business, as it provides me with flexibility and freedom. But, I would be lying if I said I don’t feel guilty that I don’t spend enough time with my son. I have to keep reminding myself that I am doing this for him, to model proper work ethic and make a living doing what I love.

What is one thing you wish you knew before you had kids?
That there’s no way to plan for the overwhelming feeling of being a parent; the awe-inspiring love mixed with the chaos. I also wish I knew how quickly kids grow out of clothes! I had an idea, but could never have anticipated the speed at which it happens.

If you could give other moms one piece of advice what would it be?
Don’t be afraid to ask for help. Sometimes we try really hard to be the “perfect mom” and do it all on our own, but there’s no such thing as a perfect mom and there’s no shame in asking for help and support. If in the end it will keep you sane and allow you to spend more quality time with your child, why not?

QUICK Q’s:

What is your favorite children’s book? “The Little Boy Who Lost His Name” (Personalized Book).

What has been your favorite kids’ class?  “Rockin’ Railroad” at Kidville, but I’m moving to Long Island City and bet I’ll have a ton of new favorites!

What is your favorite thing to do with your family on weekends? My son is currently 5 months old so if at home, my husband and I like to pull out the playmat and play with him. If we’re going out, we love to take walks and go to the park with him.

What is your favorite rainy day escape? Any New York Public Library or bookstore that’s nearby.

Learn more about Embodied Minds on Kidz Central Station and reserve your child’s spot now for their Public Speaking and Communications Skills Group, starting in the fall.

When Fido Meets Baby: A Primer for Pet Parents Expecting a Newborn

babydog

The birth of a new baby is a joyous moment for parents, as well as a transition for the entire family, including pets. Many pet owners think of their pets as family, and are eager to ensure a safe, healthy connection with the new baby.  Expectant parents who are pet owners may have questions about circumstances that commonly arise where babies and pets coexist. Here are some things to consider and helpful tips for preparing your dog for a new baby:

• Don’t make assumptions about a dog’s breed being more or less suitable for a baby. Much of what ensures safety between dog and baby stems from learned behavior and reinforcement.
• It’s important for your dog to recognize and respect your role as family leader. Start early to instill and/or correct a leadership dynamic with your dog helps to set healthy boundaries and ensure comfort and safety for everyone.
• Prepare your dog for baby’s arrival by establishing physical boundaries in your home. For example, it is a good idea to keep your dog’s toys in a distinct location away from the baby’s toys. It may also be a good idea to train your dog to stay out of your baby’s nursery, or to set limits for access.
• Establish a “go to” place for your dog, and train him/her to follow your “go to place” command.
• Make a safe zone or space for your dog to be able to escape to if he/she needs to get away from new stresses and stimuli.
• Manage the introduction of your dog to your baby and take things slowly. It may be a good idea to walk the dog first, for example, giving the dog an opportunity to discharge energy before greeting baby.
Always supervise your dog and baby when they are together; never leave them alone.
• Remember to make time for your dog and try as much as possible to ease the dog into changes in his routine. Doing so can help to minimize the stress of change.
• As your baby grows, be sure to teach him or her good manners towards your dog (i.e. no yanking or pulling on its ears or tail). Dogs are often very patient with displays of affection, but learn to recognize early signs of stress in your dog to prevent an escalation to aggression.

The Center for Perinatal Education and Lactation at NYU Langone offers a monthly, two-hour-long information session called Dogs and Storks for expectant women and partners to help prepare the family pet for a new baby.  The session is taught by a licensed dog trainer, certified by Family Paws.

Receiving expert guidance on concerns such as those outlined above can make all family members, including our furry ones, to feel safe, happy and comfortable together.

NYULMC-2011_2CP_RGB_300dpiFrom the Real Experts at NYU Langone Medical Center:

Elizabeth Moore, BSN, RN, is the coordinator for Parent Education and Community Outreach in NYU Langone’s Parent Education Program. As a doula and childbirth educator, she has worked as a maternal-child health nurse and educator for over 20 years.