Teething Necklaces

Baby Tooth

Necklaces made from amber beads are the latest trend. They allegedly reduce teething pain, although there isn’t any science to back up the claims.

What pediatricians do know is that the necklaces pose a risk for choking and strangulation.

Do not place teething necklaces around your chid’s neck. Placing the necklace on a wrist or ankle does not remove the risk of choking on a bead.

Information about helping your teething baby and what we know about teething pain is here.

Read more information about the trend here.

The Consumer Product Safety Commission’s Safety Alert is here.

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Potty Training



When you toddler shows signs of knowing a clean from dirty diaper, you can start potty sitting. This is around 18 months, but varies from child to child.

Children should be encouraged to sit on their potty (with clothes and diaper on or off) first thing in the morning, before all snacks and meals, before naps and bedtime and before leaving the house.

Praise for cooperating and sitting. Your child will decide when (and if) he or she wants to put their poop or the pee in the potty. They are in control. You provide a structured, supportive environment.

Potty sitting can be part of a Simon Says game in the bathroom or introduced as tagging up at home plate.

In between potty sits, “catch” your child with dry diaper or training pants and pile on the praise. Talk up how great friends or family kids are who are potty trained. Once your child is farther along with training if you find dirty pants or a diaper, take the child to the bathroom, go through what your child should do next time and continue scheduled potty sitting.

Put your child in training pants on easy-clean floors or outside with a potty close at hand.  Accidents can and do happen. Make potty runs outside the house too. Start with stores and places with nice bathrooms first and build from there.

More information and statistics on when to expect success follows:






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Super Fruits!

fruitYou can’t go wrong with fruits.

But even in the fruit world, some have more vitamins and fiber like guava, watermelon and kiwi. The chart below award gold, silver and bronze medals to the most nutritious.

Read the full article from the Center for Science in the Public Interest that links to the chart here.


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How Do I Get My Kids to Stop Picking Their Scabs?

mosquito-clip-art-AT-1-300x215Warmer weather is here!

Time for shorts and tank tops and cuts and mosquito bites.


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Is Bubble Bath Bad for Kids?

bubble bathWebMD_BubbleBaths_2000

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A Day’s Worth of Food: for Adults

Pyramids and plates and portions—for adults, here’s the day—

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How Do I Stop Getting Sick?

VintageFast fact: most viral infections enter the body through the eyes, nose or throat. It takes discipline, but don’t touch your eyes, nose or throat unless you have just wished your hands.

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Helping the Anxious Child and Teen

Teddy Bear

A little anxiety in normal in the face of new people and new activities. When anxiety keeps your child from activities or intrudes on family time, it’s important to understand how best to respond to your child and provide support. Parents often find it difficult to reassure the anxious child. This is natural, because you cannot change the anxious person’s perception.

Anxiety is best approached by developing strategies:

  • Distract yourself with pleasant thoughts and activities
  • Use play and laughter to keep worries away and make the body strong
  • Set a specific, short time each day for worrying
  • Tell the worry to wait for worry time
  • Write the worry down and put it in a special place until worry time

Anxiety_Helping_Your_Child_Cope is a parent information sheet from the American Academy of Pediatrics.

Recommended Books

What to Do when you Worry Too Much by Dawn Huebner, PhD

Helping your Anxious Child by Ron Rapee

Treatments that Work (series): Mastery of Your Anxiety and Panic workbook & Mastery of Your Anxiety and Worry workbook and other titles. 

My Anxious Mind by Michael Thompkins &Katherine Martinez (for teens)

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy is an effective way to address anxiety. Therapists may use workbooks like Mastery of Your Anxiety and Panic: Workbook by David H. Barlow & Michelle G. Craske for older teens and adults.

Local Resources

The San Francisco Bay Area Center for Cognitive Therapy in the Rockridge section of Oakland, CA is one resource. Their number is 510.652.4455.











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When Should I Keep my Baby or Child Home?

First Aid Neon

Babies and kids can get sick up to a dozen times a year as they build their immunity to common childhood diseases. Each infection can last up to two weeks, so parents often wonder when to keep their child home and when can they go back.

Children can be contagious for days before they show any symptoms and can spread some infection for three weeks afterward.

General reasons to keep your child home include:

  • Fever (temperature over 100.4F/38C) in the last 24 hours
  • The child can’t stop coughing and the cough is interfering with the child’s day or the day of those are her*
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea that cannot be contained in the diaper or need close access to bathroom
  • Pink eye (conjunctivitis). Children may usually return after 24 hours of prescription antibiotic eyedrops
  • Children with strep throat may return after 24 hours of antibiotics
  • Children who need more TLC than daycare and school can provide while they recover

The Bananas child care sick policy is a comprehensive list of conditions for which a baby or child should be kept at home.

*Despite the current “catch your cough” craze, sneezing and coughing are best done into a tissue which is then thrown away and then the hands washed. Coughing and sneezing into the hands of the elbow of clothing leaves mucus on hands and clothing which is then spread by touching. Use tissues and wash hands with soap and water. Hand sanitizer is useful when there is no soap and water.




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