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Tag Archive | "American Academy of Pediatrics"

Tell your kids: go out and play

Kids need a well-rounded diet of play to develop into well-rounded adults.

Kids need a well-rounded diet of play to develop into well-rounded adults.

(NAPS)—The next time you tell your children to stop playing and hit the books, you may want to think again. The Genius of Play, a movement to bring more play into kids’ lives, wants you to know that playtime is critical to healthy child development. Through play, kids build physical skills, improve cognitive abilities, learn communication and social skills, process and express emotions, and increase creativity.

Parenting expert and author Meredith Sinclair, M.Ed., offers four fun tips to help parents encourage more playtime every day.

  • Look for opportunities to make chores or activities you already do with your kids more playful. For example, grocery shopping can be a great chance to play “I Spy,” or you can make flash card drawings of items you want your child to help you find. When you’re doing the laundry, have your child roll the socks and make it a basketball -challenge.
  • Create a simple “Pops of Playfulness” jar for those moments when there’s “nothing to do.” Fill a mason jar with slips of paper that say such things as “tell us your best joke,” “pillow fight!” or “five-minute puppet show.” Whenever you need a spontaneous spark of playfulness, simply pull one from the jar and jump in.
  • Make a time for a playdate. Whether it’s playing with friends or family, playdates are an important part of childhood—a time when your children can learn to resolve problems and hone their social skills.
  • Check out nearby parks and playgrounds. They can be great places for your kids to make new friends and learn about other cultures. Don’t worry about language barriers. The language of play is universal.

Research shows that play is essential for kids to reach developmental milestones and learn. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends children spend 60 minutes daily engaged in open-ended, unstructured play.

Here are three amazing facts about play:

  1. Play enhances the progress of early development from 33 percent to 67 percent by improving language and reducing social and emotional problems.
  2. Children with access to a variety of toys were found to reach higher levels of intellectual achievement, regardless of the children’s sex, race or social class.
  3. Research points to a direct correlation between play and stress reduction.

It’s Child’s Play: Great Ideas and Resources for Parents

Parents and other caretakers can get expert advice, play tips and ideas based on their children’s ages and developmental stages from www.thegeniusofplay.org. Created with the mission to help raise happier, healthier and more successful generations through the power of play, the Genius of Play website and social media channels show how to help kids build confidence, creativity, critical thinking and other skills that will serve them throughout their lives.

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Breastfeeding moms: Tips for long-term success

August is National Breastfeeding month

HEA-Breastfeeding-month1(BPT) – No one argues the benefits of breastfeeding – 77 percent of babies start out being breastfed, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The problem is that six months later, only 16 percent of babies are exclusively breastfed. What’s causing the significant drop off?

Both the American Academy of Pediatrics and the Surgeon General recommend exclusive breastfeeding until six months of age. And while breastfeeding and breast-pumping rates continue to grow, according to research from Medela, only 30 percent of moms are satisfied with their ability to meet their goals as well as national goals for breastfeeding.

Though breastfeeding is natural, the technique is a learned skill. Many new moms struggle with the task within the first months of their baby’s life, and frustrations paired with difficulties cause them to give up too quickly.

HEA-Breastfeeding-month2Moms-to-be can increase the likelihood of breastfeeding success with the right education and appropriate tools. Here are five expert tips for expectant parents to prepare themselves for a successful breastfeeding journey:

1. Get tools and supplies covered by the Affordable Care Act.

The Affordable Care Act (ACA) is redefining health care in America, and breastfeeding moms in particular are benefitting. While changes vary among insurance plans, the ACA now requires insurance companies to cover breastfeeding support and supplies. This may include lactation consultation, breast pumps and other health supplies needed for moms and babies to successfully breastfeed. For information on the ACA, how to talk to your insurance provider and more, visit www.breastfeedinginsurance.com. It’s important to have your questions answered and to be as knowledgeable as possible before baby arrives.

2. Educate yourself before baby’s arrival.

Reading books and watching videos can be extremely helpful for moms-to-be who want to breastfeed. Because there is a lot to learn, an online class can be particularly beneficial. The Medela Breastfeeding University is a 90-minute online course developed by health care professionals that walks moms through what to expect during pregnancy as their bodies change, what to expect at the hospital, how to transition at home and work, and even what fathers and grandparents can do to support breastfeeding efforts. Available in both English and Spanish, the $25 course fee will be donated to the Ronald McDonald House, plus moms who complete the course will receive a $25 coupon for a breastfeeding Accessory Starter Set. Visit-medelabreastfeedingu.com to learn more.

Use the code RELjN5GmY for a free registration for Medela Breastfeeding University in English, and use code RELSPqT6XAK to register in Spanish. Moms who use the free registration codes and complete the course are still eligible to receive the $25 coupon.

3. Build a support system

Breastfeeding takes time and dedication. Having a support system can help women overcome obstacles and successfully breastfeed for six months or longer. Spouses, family members and friends can all provide important support. Expert support can help as well, particularly when it comes to overcoming any hurdles such as latching problems or low-supply concerns. Consider meeting with a certified lactation consultant or join a support organization like La Leche League International or the Nursing Mothers’ Council. Your local Women, Infants and Children (WIC) office can also provide excellent breastfeeding support.

4. Prepare for comfortable breastfeeding at home

A few items can make breastfeeding at home easier and more comfortable for moms and babies. Some top supplies to consider stocking at home include a breastfeeding pillow to help support and position baby correctly, a rocking chair or glider, and multiple burping clothes to quickly clean up messes. Nursing bras, washable or disposable bra pads, and lanolin ointment are helpful also. Some women like to stock their breastfeeding area with bottled water, small snacks or reading material that they can enjoy while bonding with baby.

5. Prepare for heading back to work

With the right tools and a little preparation, mothers can continue breastfeeding while working. Federal law states employers must provide reasonable break times for employees to express breast milk for one year after a child’s birth. Employers must also provide a comfortable, private area that is free of intrusion, other than the bathroom. Talk with your employer or human resources contact about your intent to express milk during work hours. A double-electric pump and storage containers are good supplies to keep at work. Expressed milk can be safely stored at room temperature for four to six hours, in the refrigerator for three to eight days at 39 degrees or lower, and in the freezer for six to 12 months at 4 degrees or lower, according to www.BreastmilkGuidelines.com.

Stay connected to your baby, even when you’re not there. To learn more, visit www.medela.com.




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