3-5 years: Preschool Archives - Nemours Blog

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3-5 years: Preschool

Layers of Protection, Including Swim Lessons, Help Prevent Child Drownings

The pandemic has put many children behind on swim lessons. The AAP (American Academy of Pediatrics) is alerting parents that swim lessons for children over 1 year are an important part of the layers of protection that can help prevent drownings. So, schedule those swim lessons for your kids and use all these layers of protection to help prevent drownings: Water Watcher There should always be an adult water watcher while children are in and around a pool. For young children and beginner swimmers, the water watcher should be within arm’s length. For older children who can swim, the water watcher should have their eyes on the children at all times. The water watcher should not be using a cellphone, socializing, drinking alcohol, or doing anything else that might be distracting. At a party, have adults take turns as water watcher. Even if a lifeguard is on duty, a water […]

Melatonin: 5 Safety Tips for Kids and Teens

Melatonin: 5 Safety Tips for Kids and Teens

We all know that terrible feeling of not being able to sleep and drudging through the next day in a fog. If your child is having trouble sleeping, of course you want to help. You have probably heard of using melatonin for sleep problems. Its use has skyrocketed in the past few years. Melatonin is a hormone (or chemical messenger) made by the brain. It helps us fall asleep. Melatonin is also made as a dietary supplement and can be bought in the U.S. without a prescription. But is melatonin safe for kids and teens? Does it work? If melatonin is used with guidance from a health care provider, it is probably safe for short-term use in kids over 5 years. It can help kids and teens get some rest while they work through certain types of sleep problems. But it is still being studied so we don’t know for sure what […]

Stuttering: What to Know About a Common Speech Problem in Kids

Stuttering: What to Know About a Common Speech Problem in Kids

As toddlers and preschoolers begin to speak more, they might stumble over their words or have problems with enunciating certain sounds. That being said, how do you know if your child is having typical speech problems, or experiencing something more than just the common stumble over their words? What is stuttering? Many young kids go through a stage between the ages of 2 and 5 when they stutter. This might make them: repeat certain syllables, words, or phrases prolong them stop, making no sound for certain sounds and syllables Stuttering is a form of dysfluency (dis-FLOO-en-see), an interruption in the flow of speech. What Causes Stuttering? Doctors and scientists aren’t completely sure why some kids stutter, but most believe that a few things contribute to it, such as: a problem with the way the brain sends messages to interact with the muscles and body parts needed for speaking. Genetics, kids who stutter […]

Navigating Early Picky Eating Concerns

Navigating Early Picky Eating Concerns

Who recalls the joy and excitement of their baby gobbling up all sorts of messy foods? One of my favorite photos of my son is him at 7 months old with a yogurt beard. As parents and caregivers we often work so diligently in those early introductions of solids — whether it’s spoon fed purees or baby led weaning. But something tends to shift in those toddler years. Our little ones have more awareness of hunger and satisfaction cues and their preferences for flavors emerge. We often see children start refusing those previously accepted foods and showing a liking for specific foods. It can be daunting not to comment on our child’s negative responses to food or trying to persuade them to “just take a bite.” Listed below are some tips to help you navigate these picky eating behaviors. Understand Hierarchy of Feeding Ellyn Satter, a dietitian who is recognized […]

Choosing the Best Yogurt for Kids

Choosing the Best Yogurt for Kids

A walk down the yogurt aisle can be overwhelming to say the least.  There is Greek, French-style, Icelandic, drinkable, squeezable, organic, fruit on the bottom, whipped, non-GMO, and dairy free. Supermarkets may have up to 500 different varieties of yogurt on the shelves. So which is the best yogurt for kids?  What is yogurt? According to the FDA, yogurt is defined as a fermented dairy product.  It is derived from the fermentation of milk by two species of bacterial cultures, Streptococcus thermophilus and Lactobacillus bulgaricus.  Other cultures such as Lactococcus lactis, Lactobacillus casei, or different species of bifidobacteria may be added for taste, texture, or for their probiotic properties.  There is no FDA standard for plant-based yogurts, which may be fermented using S thermophilus and L bulgaricus.1  Live cultures are living organisms which change milk into yogurt during fermentation. Some yogurts are heat-treated after fermentation and most, if not all, of the […]

Behind Their Bite: When is “Picky Eating” Something More?, Powered by Nemours Children's Health System

Behind Their Bite: When is Picky Eating Something More?

Everyone knows one, has one or was one – a picky eater. The logic behind why a child does or does not eat something is difficult to understand. Sometimes picky eating is as simple as a food being too bitter or too bland. Other times, it can be more complex. I like to remind parents that it can take anywhere from 10-15 tries before a taste becomes likable or even familiar. Coffee is a great example. The first time you tried it, I bet it wasn’t your favorite food. But over time — and early wake ups, dance recitals, baseball practice, carpool, swim lessons and potty training — it probably holds a pretty significant place in your heart (and your sanity). Introducing new foods to picky eaters Introduce a new food with old foods and favorite foods (example: mac and cheese with broccoli) Consider “taste-ability.” Crunchy, sweet, good-looking foods will […]

Prebiotics and Probiotics: What Parents Need to Know, Powered by Nemours Children's Health System

Prebiotics and Probiotics: What Parents Need to Know

Prebiotics and probiotics are likely words that you’ve come across while reading a magazine, watching the news, or browsing the supplement aisle at the store. But do you know what they actually are or what they do? Prebiotics and probiotics have been recognized through nutrition research as “functional foods.” Simply put, “functional foods” provide benefits that may improve health, wellbeing, and/or reduce risk of disease. An example of a functional food is live-culture yogurt that contains probiotics and prebiotics. Many supplement manufacturer utah companies make probiotics and other supplements that are a source of these “functional foods.” Though keep in mind that this is not the only way to incorporate prebiotics and probiotics into your diet. Prebiotics and probiotics can easily be incorporated into your daily diet with a variety of natural, everyday food sources. In fact, your body is often better able to absorb and digest the prebiotics and […]

Closing The Gap In Reading Readiness For America’s Preschoolers | Dr. Laura Bailet | Promise, powered by Nemours

Closing the Gap in Reading Readiness for America’s Preschoolers

While many parents are familiar with developmental screenings for hearing or vision, they may not be aware of the importance of screening for issues like reading readiness. Reading readiness screening tools—like the Nemours BrightStart! Preschool Reading Screener for children ages 3-5—can provide a snapshot of a child’s progress in essential pre-reading skills. They can also show how a child’s progress compares to developmental milestones for those skills. Early screening gives parents, health and early childhood professionals the chance to offer additional supports for children who may not be on track for developmental milestones. Providing these supports as early as possible makes it much more likely that children will gain the skills they need to be successful readers. Nemours knows that literacy and health are connected, so we developed ReadingBrightStart.org to help parents build their children’s early literacy skills. It’s loaded with tips, milestones, developmentally appropriate activities, articles and recommended books by age, […]

Afraid preschooler curled up in chair shows impact of anxiety in young kids

Anxiety in Young Kids: 4 Ways to Help

Many parents wonder: “Is my child’s anxiety normal? Should I be worried?” While anxiety in young kids can be nerve-wracking for parents, it has a lot to do with age and development. Anxiety about a certain trigger can be completely appropriate at one stage and inappropriate at another. For example, it’s entirely normal for children up to age 2 to have some degree of separation anxiety, but we hope that kids are able to separate without too many tears around ages 3 or 4. Being worried about dogs, bees, storms and sudden loud noises is totally understandable for 3- and 4-year-olds because they’re starting to understand that the world can be scary sometimes. It’s also expected that kids of this age will go through a phase when they’re exercising mastery of their environment – when it’s “my way or the highway,” which can often be mistaken for obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). For […]

What's Up With Kids' Blood Pressure?

What’s Up With Kids’ Blood Pressure?

We don’t usually think of blood pressure as a matter of concern during childhood — and for most kids, it’s not. But blood pressure is an important vital sign and one that your child’s physician should be taking at every check-up. Babies’ blood pressure measurements are taken at birth as part of routine newborn screenings. After that, expert guidelines, including those of the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), call for measurements to be taken at well-child visits and sick visits in the pediatrician’s office, starting at age 3. What’s Considered “Normal” Blood Pressure for Kids? Determining normal or optimal blood pressure for children is a bit complex because it depends on a number of factors including age, height and gender. A simplified approach is to use these thresholds: A child from 3 to 11 years should have blood pressure at or below 110/70. From age 12 upward, a measurement of […]

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