1-3 years: Toddler Archives - Nemours Blog

1-3 years: Toddler

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 […]

Button Batteries

Button Batteries: Small in Size, Big in Dangers to Children

The child ingestion rate of button batteries is on the rise. More than 3,500 incidents of button battery ingestion are reported to U.S. poison control centers each year. The most serious injuries are usually associated with 20 mm diameter batteries, about the size of a nickel. They are dangerous to toddlers and kids because they are easy to swallow or be inserted into their nose or ears. Serious injuries and even death can result if the button battery is not removed in time. What Are Button Batteries? Button batteries are small, round, and shiny batteries that are found in numerous household items like: Hearing aids Remotes controls Toys Holiday decorations Watches Flameless candles Bathroom scales What Can Happen If Ingested? If swallowed, chemicals in the batteries can cause serious burns when swallowed or get stuck in the body. According to HealthyChildren.org, when the battery makes contact with bodily fluids, it generates […]

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 […]

What You Could Miss If You Skip Your Child's Well Visit

What You Could Miss If You Skip Your Child’s Well Visit

Your family has been doing their part and staying home as much as possible to prevent and stop the spread of COVID-19. But messages can get confusing about whether you should take your child to their doctor for a pediatric well visit or check-up. Even during a pandemic, it’s important for kids to have their growth, development, and well-being tracked. What You Could Be Missing by Skipping Your Child’s Well Visit Physical Exam: A regular physical exam can help your doctor pick up hard-to-detect issues like high blood pressure, heart murmur, lumps and bumps, ear and hearing issues, and even cavities. Assessment of Growth: During a check-up, your healthcare provider will track height, weight, and BMI. These measurements can tell them if your child has any medical issues that impact growth. Assessment of Development: A development exam looks at parts of your child’s functioning, including things like reasoning and understanding, […]

A Lifetime of Better Health Begins with Good Oral Health, Powered by Nemours Children's Health System

A Lifetime of Better Health Begins with Good Oral Health

When your child has good oral health, it sets them up for good health overall, and helps them with their wellness as they grow into adults. Gum disease is linked to many illnesses like heart disease, diabetes, respiratory disease, osteoporosis, and rheumatoid arthritis. Our mouths are an entryway for infection, and inflammation can let bacteria enter the bloodstream. Oral health affects your child’s speech, how they eat, and their ability to smile and show emotions. It also influences a kid’s self-esteem, academics and school attendance. Starting them off with healthy habits to care for their mouths is essential in preventing oral and other chronic illnesses in the future.  Protect Tiny Teeth As Soon As Possible Your baby’s teeth are hiding just beneath their gums as soon as they are born. Every baby is different, but usually the first teeth to appear are in the top and bottom front of their […]

Car Seat Safety, Powered by Nemours Children's Health System

Car Seat Safety

As a parent, you want the very best for your children. One of the most important things you can do is make sure your kids are as safe and secure as possible while riding in your car. Keep Your Kids Buckled Up Every Time Parents and caregivers can keep children safer every time they ride in the car by doing the following: Know the proper way to use car seats, booster seats and seat belts. Use appropriate seats and seat belts with your children on every trip in the car, no matter how short. Set a good example by always using a seat belt yourself. A Car Seat Safety Guide There are many car seat and booster options available to parents and caregivers to use in protecting children while driving. Use this guide to help determine the best way to keep children safe in the car. Rear Facing Car Seat […]

Autism Rates: Understanding the Rise, powered by Nemours Children's Health System

Autism Rates: Understanding the Rise

Autism diagnoses are on the rise, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says in a new report. Autism rates have gone up since 2016, and 1 in 59 U.S. kids have some form of autism (also called “autism spectrum disorder” or “ASD”). Many parents are asking why — and wondering if they should worry. What Does the Rise in Autism Rates Mean? Experts say that the higher autism rates do not mean more and more kids are developing autism. Rather, ways to recognize, diagnose, and treat autism spectrum disorders have greatly improved. Ideally, doctors should look for signs of autism in babies and toddlers at every routine well visit, and perform an autism screening at the 18- and 24-month checkups. However, this may be challenging to accomplish in a busy practice. The CDC also reports that some groups were previously underdiagnosed. Black and Hispanic populations, for instance, have often […]

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 […]

For Little Kids, Sleep is a Big Deal | Christopher M. Makris, MD | Promise, powered by Nemours Children's Health

For Little Kids, Sleep is a Big Deal

It can seem like a simple thing, but how (and how much) a child sleeps can have an enormous impact on their mental and physical health, behavior and learning abilities. A lack of healthy sleep in children can lead to trouble focusing, a decline in grades, irritability, daytime sleepiness, sleep-related injuries and hyperactivity. For some children and their families, getting proper sleep can be as easy as sticking to an evening routine or setting an early bedtime. But for others, sleep disorders are a very real and serious issue, and deserve proper and thorough diagnosis, management and care. Common sleep disorders in children and teenagers include: insomnia (difficulty getting to and staying asleep) delayed sleep phase syndrome (DSPS) (inability to fall asleep at bedtime and difficulty waking up) restless leg syndrome (irresistible need for movement) narcolepsy (uncontrollable urge to sleep) breathing-disordered sleep (snoring, sleep apnea) parasomnias (night terrors, nightmares or sleepwalking) rhythmic […]

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