Archive | March 12th, 2013

Helping Your Toddler Prepare For An Emergency

Being prepared for any emergency is something every individual must learn, including toddlers. Helping your toddler prepare for an emergency is not as hard as you think. Here are some basic tips about emergency preparedness for children.

Talk To Your Toddler

Instead of protecting your toddler from possible tragedies, educate your toddler about the different kinds of disasters. This is the best way to alleviate his fears. Talk about the difference between a problem and an emergency. A problem is something that he needs help with but does not need emergency services while an emergency requires immediate assistance. Encourage him to ask questions about fires, floods, earthquakes, etc. and make sure you answer them as clearly as possible. Provide various scenarios and ask your toddler how he would react to it. For instance, you can say “What would you do if there is an earthquake?” or “Who will you call if there is an intruder in the house?”. Doing this will help you evaluate what your toddler already knows as well as give him appropriate actions he must do during an emergency.

Come Up With A Plan

Plan escape routes with your toddler. Determine how you can get out of your house quickly, which exits to use and who to call in case of an emergency. Assign a meeting place where everyone can gather in case there is a need to evacuate and do a head count to ensure all members of the family are present.

Prepare An Emergency Kit Together

Organize an emergency kit with your toddler. Show him each item and explain its purposes. Items that must be present in an emergency kit include:

  • Flashlights
  • Battery-operated radio
  • Extra batteries
  • First-aid kit
  • Bottled water
  • Cash
  • Important documents stored in a water-resistant and fireproof container (e.g. birth and marriage certificates, passports, insurance papers)
  • 3-day supply of non-perishable foods for each family member (formula milk, canned soup, vegetables, meat and juice, granola bars, candies, dry pasta, crackers and cereals)
  • Extra clothes
  • Blankets
  • Sanitation items (diaper, toothbrush, toothpaste, toilet paper, wet wipes, hand sanitizer, etc.)
  • A few books and toys


It is very important that you do practice runs on a regular basis. Act out what should be done if an emergency came up. Practice going to your basement to prepare for a tornado. Teach him to crawl out of your house, get under a sturdy table during an earthquake or how to tell if someone is breathing so he can pass the information to the 911 operator.

Conduct a surprise drill. Being under pressure is the best way to determine whether your toddler truly knows how to act during an emergency. Play “Black Out” one evening. Turn off all the lights in your home and get out flashlights. Spend at least 2 hours without electricity to see what your toddler would do.

It is normal for your toddler to feel scared during an emergency. But, by preparing your toddler at an early age, your toddler will likely be less anxious because he knows how to react.

Posted in Safety, Toddler ProofingComments (0)

A Parent’s Guide To Bronchitis In Children

Bronchitis is an inflammation of the bronchial tubes - large airways between the nose and the lungs. Toddlers with immature immune systems are most susceptible to bronchitis. Some toddlers have a speedy recovery while others may need weeks and months to recuperate. This guide will help parents better understand bronchitis in children.

Levels of Infection

There are 2 types of bronchitis– acute and chronic.

  • Acute bronchitis – A short-term infection that usually follows a cold or viral infection such as the flu which affects the nasal passages, sinuses and throat before entering the lungs.
  • Chronic bronchitis – A long-term infection that generates excess mucus in the lungs which causes chronic coughing until the infection is cleared out of the body. It can result to breathing difficulties making it a serious condition.

What causes bronchitis?

Bronchitis in children is normally caused by several viruses such as influenza A and B. Bacteria is another leading cause of bronchitis. This is a result of a sinus infection that has spread to the chest or by inhaling airborne bacteria such as cigarette and tobacco smoke, air pollution and chemical solvents. Allergies can also cause bronchitis in children. According to child health experts, toddlers who suffer from allergies or asthma are more likely to develop this infection due to the immune system’s sensitivity to substances such as dust, molds and pollen.

What are the symptoms?

Toddlers suffering from bronchitis will have one or more of these symptoms:

  • Coughing (starts out dry but later on produces greenish or yellowish mucus)
  • Low-grade fever (100 to 101 degrees Fahrenheit)
  • Chills
  • Runny nose
  • Shortness of breath
  • Wheezing
  • Body pains
  • Sore throat
  • Fatigue

How is bronchitis diagnosed?

Your doctor will perform several tests to diagnose bronchitis. The pediatrician may base his finding on the physical symptoms your toddler may be experiencing. The doctor can order chest X-rays to verify the condition of the lungs. A device called pulse oximetry may also be used to evaluate the amount of oxygen that is in your toddler’s blood.

How is bronchitis treated?

Antibiotics will be given to your toddler if bronchitis is caused by a bacterial infection. The doctor might also recommend running a cool-mist humidifier in your toddler’s bedroom to moisten the air and relieve your child’s breathing. Saline drops may also be used to ease congestion.

It is also very important that your toddler drinks plenty of fluids (about 8 to 10 glasses per day) to prevent dehydration and keep his airway free of irritants. Plenty of rest is also necessary. Elevate his head with a pillow while your toddler is sleeping to make breathing easier for him.

Giving your toddler a correct dose of children’s acetaminophen or ibuprofen can also help reduce his fever and discomfort. The doctor may also recommend cough medicine with expectorant to clear out mucus. Or if your toddler has asthma, a bronchodilator may be given to open up his airways.

Bronchitis is very common in children. But, you can protect your toddler from this disease by making sure he washes his hands regularly, maintains a well-balanced diet, gets adequate sleep and limits contact with sick people and people who smoke.

Posted in Health, Toddler SicknessComments (0)

What To Feed A Sick Toddler

A sick toddler normally loses his appetite which makes feeding a struggle. However, it is essential for a toddler to take in as many nutrients as possible to boost his immune system. These foods are perfect for keeping a toddler well-fed when he is feeling under the weather.

Plenty of Fluids

First of all, it is very important for a sick toddler to stay hydrated than stay fed. Whether it is a case of diarrhea, vomiting or low-grade fever, the body needs all of the water it can get in order to counter the infection. This way, even if your toddler rejects to eat but is able to drink, his immune system is still continuing to function. Make sure your toddler stocks up on these fluids:

  • Water
  • Milk
  • Oral rehydration solution (e.g. Pedialyte)
  • Broth
  • Popsicle
  • Apple juice
  • Hot cider
  • Orange juice mixed with ginger ale
  • Warm and fresh lemonade


For colds, sore throats and a congested nose, feed your toddler warm foods such as soups. Chicken soup has anti-inflammatory components and acts as a vaporizer, reducing nasal mucus which helps in your toddler’s breathing. You can add cooked macaroni or whole wheat cracker crumbs if your toddler has some appetite. Serving tomato soup with milk also helps. Just dilute the tomato soup with milk instead of water. It will reduce the tomato’s acidity and provide a tasty and creamier concoction.


The BRAT (bananas, rice, apple sauce and toast) diet consist of foods that are tasteless and low in fiber. These foods are best offered for toddlers who are suffering from gastrointestinal problems such as diarrhea, dyspepsia, gastroenteritis and vomiting. These foods are great sources of vitamins and minerals that will not upset the stomach.


Another alternative that can sooth an upset tummy is the CRAM diet. CRAM stands for cereal, rice, apple sauce and milk. These foods have more fat and protein content making it a more effective remedy than BRAT according to child health experts.

High-fiber Foods

Offer your toddler foods rich in fiber if he is constipated. Breads, cereals, apples, oranges, raspberries, artichokes, broccoli, carrots, celery, green peas, lentils, prunes and prune juice help stimulate bowel movement to keep stools regular.


Non-fat yogurt is a cool and smooth food you can give your sick toddler. Yogurt is nutritious and easy to eat and digest. Plus, the probiotics can actually help fight off some of the bad bacteria that dwells in the stomach which are very helpful in treating diarrhea, typhoid and vomiting. Just make sure you avoid offering sugary yogurts to your little one as his tummy can reject sweet foods which will only aggravate his condition.

Regular Diet

If your toddler has fever, continue with his regular diet. Your toddler still has the appetite to eat but only in small amounts. Add dips, sauces or butter to his food to increase calorie intake. Give him crackers, oatmeal, scrambled eggs, mashed potatoes, pudding or his favorite food.

The main idea is to keep your toddler healthy even when he is sick. Keep him hydrated and offer comfort foods. But, never force your toddler to eat. Just offer small, frequent meals throughout the day. His appetite will return once he is feeling better.

Posted in Food, Toddler FeedingComments (0)

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