Archive | March 11th, 2013

Toddler Medicine – Common Medication Mistakes Parents Make

Medicines are supposed to treat a sick individual. However, parents at times make dangerous choices about medicines. Below are six common toddler medicine mistakes parents make along with some advice on how to avoid them.

Mistake # 1: Playing Doctor

This is probably the most common medication mistake parents make. A lot of parents diagnose the problem themselves especially if one of their children has previously experienced the same condition. However, giving inappropriate medication can make a toddler sicker and lead to serious side effects. Thus, it is very important to leave the diagnosing to a medical expert. Your daughter’s medication might have cured her strep throat but it does not mean it will also be effective in treating your younger son’s infection.

Mistake # 2: Using The Wrong Dosing Device

A lot of parents use a kitchen spoon to administer medicine to their children. Kitchen spoons vary in size, some may be teaspoons or soup spoons which do not provide correct measurements – a toddler might get too much or too little medicine. Always use the dosing device that comes with the medication. If unavailable, you may use an oral dosing dropper or syringe which you can buy from drugstores.

Mistake # 3: Basing The Dose On A Toddler’s Age

Toddler medicine should be based on a child’s weight and not how old a child is. Know how much your toddler weighs and always consult with your pediatrician before giving your toddler medication especially if his weight is lower or higher than what is designated in his age category on the label.

Mistake # 4: Thinking More Is More

If the medicine is not working right away, giving a little more might help – right? Wrong. Never give your toddler an extra dose just to ease his discomfort. Doing so can cause serious harm to a toddler especially if you are giving him acetaminophen or antihistamine. Remember, it often takes 3 to 4 days for a medicine to be effective so be patient and wait it out.

Mistake # 5: Stopping Medication

Oftentimes, parents stop giving antibiotics once their toddler feels better especially if it is a struggle to get their child to take them. But stopping medication too early may not completely kill the infection and worse, it can boost the resistance of the bacteria in the body to the medication. If the doctor’s instruction says “2 times a day for 1 week”, make sure you follow through. Think of other ways to give medicine to your toddler such as mixing it to his food (see to it you ask your doctor’s approval first).

Mistake # 6: Using Leftover Medicine

Never give old medicine to a toddler. Most medications lose their potency over time. Check your medicine cabinet at least twice a year. Take out any medication that is expired or has a different color and consistency.

These blunders are all too easy for even the most cautious moms to commit. Make sure to keep these things in mind so you will not end up doing them.

Posted in Doctors & Medication, HealthComments (0)

Easy Ways To Boost Listening Skills In Children

Toddlers have a gift of gab. They love to talk. But sadly, listening is not always easy for them. Follow these everyday activities to help boost listening skills in children.

Be A Listener Yourself

Parents play a big role in shaping a child. Hence, it is very important that you model appropriate listening skills. Do not interrupt a conversation. Avoid doing other things when your toddler is talking. Get down to your toddler’s level or pick him up so you can look him in the eye. Listen thoughtfully. Repeat what your toddler said. Respond if he asks you a question. If your toddler sees you listening, he will be encouraged to imitate your behaviour.

Talk To Your Toddler

Have conversations with your toddler. Talk to him about the things he is interested in or what he did in school. Narrate household activities. For instance, while you are cooking, explain to him what you are doing and why you are doing it. Make sure you listen and answer any queries he may have such as “Why do you have to wash the vegetables?” or “How will you know the beef is cooked?”. Conversing with your toddler gives him a chance to engage in a real conversation, practicing both speaking and listening.

Repeat Information

Ask your little one to repeat what you said after telling him something. For instance, if you asked your toddler to pick up his toys, put them back in the shelf and wash his hands after, have him say the things he has to do again. This gives him a chance to think about what he was told and allows you to ensure your toddler is listening to you.

Play Games

Play listening games with your toddler. Play “story chain”. Start by saying something and then ask your toddler to give the next sentence. The funnier the better. Play a game of I Spy or Simon Says. Teach your toddler to follow instructions by turning it into a game. Give him a direction and ask him to follow it. Make your instructions fun to make the game exciting. For instance, you can ask him to make a silly face, hop three times and construct a tower using blocks. Your toddler will be encouraged to listen carefully so he can follow what is happening.

Read Together

Read with your toddler often. Ask him what he thinks will happen next or to give a different ending. Discuss it or have him repeat the story in his own words. Just make sure you choose books that will fascinate your toddler to make him sit still until you finish the book.

Praise Good Listening

Positive reinforcement is always effective in encouraging any good behaviour. If your usually distracted toddler makes his bed without you having to reiterate the instruction, praise him for a job well done. Say “Thank you for being such a good listener!”. Knowing you appreciate his effort makes him more motivated to repeat the good behaviour.

Listening is an important skill toddlers must learn at an early age. This skill will help him succeed in life.

Posted in Parenting, Parenting TipsComments (0)

Fun Activities To Improve Writing Skills of Preschoolers

Writing is an important part of everyday life. However, it is a skill that is learned one step at a time. Here are eight activities to improve writing skills of preschoolers.

Experiment With Surfaces

White paper is a must. But, why not let your preschooler write on chalkboards, dry erase boards, easels, walls and sidewalks. Just buy washable paints, markers, crayons, chalks and pens if you are concerned about the mess. For sure, your toddler will have lots of fun while enhancing his writing and creative skills at the same time.

Modeling Clay

Start by making big flashcards with basic words or letters of the alphabet. Then roll out thin strips of clay. Have your toddler trace the letters or words on the cards using the strips of clay. This activity not only helps him identify words but also helps hone muscles in his fingers, boosting the fine motor skills he will need for writing.

Letter Stencils

Start out by spelling out his name with the stencils. Give your toddler a jumbo crayon or maker for a solid grip. Then assist your little one in tracing along the inside of the letter stencils. Let him doodle around or color the letters after tracing. This helps enhance your toddler’s letter identification skills while letting him practice outlining the shape of the letters.

Writing Tray

Help your little one make letters and words by giving him a tray filled with salt or sand. Ask your preschooler to draw curves, lines and other shapes in the salt or sand that are similar to letters or numbers. He can use his hand to wipe out the marking if he wants to start over.  If you do not mind cleaning up, glitter, pancake batter, candy sprinkles, shaving cream and whipped cream also works for this activity.

Keep A Diary

Toddlers love writing in a journal. Give your toddler a small diary (preferably one with a lock and a key) and encourage your toddler to write a few words or a sentence every day or two. Give him different writing tools to keep the activity fun. Make diary writing a part of his bedtime routine. If he is having trouble getting started, you can ask him to write what he did for the day.

Play Games

One effective way to improve writing skills of toddlers is playing word-based games such as Hangman and crossword puzzles. Or, why not let your toddler use the computer and check-out websites that focus on helping preschoolers improve their writing. Online games such as Bookworm, Tumble Bees, Word Hunt and Zoodles are great learning tools that enrich writing as well as reading skills.

Pretend Play

Pretend play is also a great activity for honing a toddler’s writing abilities. For instance, you can build a pretend restaurant and provide your toddler with a small notepad or a magic drawing board so he can write down the order.

Write Letters

Encourage your toddler to write notes to daddy, grandma or a sick playmate. Have him write thank you notes when he receives gifts from family and friends. Helping him write a grocery list or filling out an order form also helps.

It might take some time for your toddler to perfect his writing, but these activities will help make his practice entertaining and exciting.

Posted in Education, Toddler LearningComments (0)

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