Tag Archive | "child health issues"

Down Syndrome In Children – Causes, Symptoms and Treatment

Down syndrome, also known as Trisomy 21 is a condition that leads to developmental delays, both mentally and physically. This happens when a child gets additional genetic material from chromosome 21. It occurs in about 1 in 800 births and is more prevalent in boys born to women ages 35 and up. The effects of Down syndrome in children are a case by case basis. Others live healthy lives while some need serious medical assistance.


Down syndrome is caused by an error in cell distribution during the development of the egg or sperm. There are 3 genetic variations that can cause Down syndrome:

  • Trisomy 21 – The most common cause of Down syndrome. Humans have 23 pairs of chromosomes. A child gets chromosomes from the father (23) and the mother (23), a total of 46 chromosomes. However, when a child gets an extra copy of chromosome 21 in “all of his cells”, it becomes 47 chromosomes. That extra chromosome causes setbacks with the way the body and mind develop.
  • Mosaic Down Syndrome – An uncommon form of Down syndrome. Occurs when children have “some cells” with an extra copy of chromosome 21.
  • Translocation Down Syndrome – Arises when part of chromosome 21 gets connected onto another chromosome before or during delivery.


Some common signs of Down syndrome include:

  • Head is smaller than normal
  • Excess skin at the neck
  • Small ears
  • Tilted eyes
  • Flat nose
  • Obtruding tongue
  • Uneven teeth and delayed dental development
  • Wide, short hands
  • Short height
  • The big toe and second toe are apart
  • Behaviour problems like autism, ADHD, depression and short-temperedness
  • Slow learner
  • Heart defect
  • Eye, hearing and respiratory problems


There is no exact treatment for Down syndrome. But, any parent can reduce the possibility of further complications by following these tips:

Regular Check-ups and Screening

A toddler with Down syndrome needs regular medical care. This is done to prevent possible health risks from happening. Your toddler will have to undergo dental and hearing exams every 6 months, annual thyroid testing and x-rays of the spinal column (between 3 to 5 years of age).

Early Childhood Intervention

Your pediatrician may recommend your toddler to undergo an early intervention program. This special program will stimulate your child at an early age by giving physical therapy (for improving movement) and speech therapy (for boosting language skills). Special education is also offered to help children with intellectual development delays.

Parent’s Love and Support

Having a toddler with Down syndrome may overwhelm you. But remember, no treatment or prevention will be effective if you do not give him the affection and support he deserves. Maintain eye contact when talking to your toddler. Teach your toddler how to dress, bathe and brush teeth on his own. Perform lots of physical activities together to increase muscle strength and motor skills. Enroll him in classes to help him socialize with children his age.

You play an important role in helping your toddler with Down syndrome reach his full potential. There might be hitches along the way, but knowing your child is slowly progressing is worth every effort.

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Allergies In Children – What Parents Need To Know

An allergy is a disorder of the immune system which usually occurs when a person’s immune system abnormally reacts to a harmless substance (known as an allergen) in the environment. Everyone is at risk to it, especially children. Hence, it is imperative for parents to learn about allergies in children so they can better manage the condition.

Most Common Allergens

The most common allergens are:

  • Drugs – OTC (over-the-counter) and prescription medications such as aspirin and penicillin
  • Food – products such as peanut, dairy (cheese, milk and egg), wheat, soybeans, seafood (crab, fish and lobster), tomatoes and strawberries
  • Animal or Pet Dander – found in the animal’s hair, saliva and urine
  • Environmental Factors – dust, dust mites, mold, pollen, hot or cold temperatures, sunlight
  • Insect Stings – venom from fire ants, honeybees, wasps and yellow jackets

It is also true that allergy is hereditary. If both of the toddler’s parents have allergies, there is an 80% possibility the toddler will acquire an allergy of some sort. If only one is allergic, then there is a 25% to 50% chance.

Symptoms of Allergies

  • Eyes – red, puffy and watery eyes
  • Nose – sneezing, nasal itching, runny and clogged nose
  • Stomach – bloating, diarrhea, vomiting
  • Chest – asthma (difficulty breathing), coughing, wheezing
  • Skin – eczema (dry, flaky, irritated skin particularly around the neck, arms and legs), hives (small, red bumps that spread around the body), contact dermatitis (red, swollen rashes that occur after direct contact with an allergen)

Diagnosing The Exact Cause of An Allergy

Detecting the exact cause of an allergy is quite tricky. It would be best to visit your toddler’s doctor so allergy testing can be administered. Your toddler might undergo skin testing - the most common method of allergy testing. It is done by putting a small amount of the suspected allergen to your toddler’s skin and then lightly piercing the area so the substance moves under the skin. The skin will then be observed for signs of a reaction.

A blood test may also be administered. But it is less accurate than skin testing.


Keep Your Toddler’s Surrounding Clean

Keep your home as allergen free as possible. Remove any item from your home that collects dust (e.g. rugs, carpets, heavy curtains, etc.). Clean your home, especially your child’s bedroom frequently, at least 3 times a week. Change his beddings once a week and wash them in hot soapy water. Keep the windows closed, especially at night. During pollen or allergy season (spring, summer and fall season), let your toddler stay indoors. Keep pets and plants outside your home. If you run a humidifier, make sure to change the water to avoid mold and mildew from growing. Lastly, create a smoke-free environment. Do not smoke inside or outside your house.

Offer Medication

There are prescription and over-the-counter drugs that prevent and provide relief from allergies. Antihistamines and Corticosteroids (an anti-inflammatory medicine) are available in capsule, eye drop, liquid and nasal spray form. Make sure to consult with your pediatrician first for the correct dosage.

Allergy Shots

For severe allergy problems, allergy shots or immunotherapy may be given. Your toddler will receive weekly shots for 6 months. Once his body can endure the shots, it will be administered twice a month for 6 months, followed by monthly injections for a year.

Raising an allergic toddler can be difficult. But luckily, you can help manage it so he can outgrow it and live a normal life.

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Head Lice In Children

Head lice in children are very common. They are itchy, irritating, hard to get rid of and contagious.

Why do children get head lice?

Close contact or sharing personal items (e.g. comb or hat) with someone who has head lice is the most common cause of infestation. A louse cannot fly nor jump, but all it takes is head-to-head contact (e.g. children playing closely together or laying their heads on the same pillow) to spread lice from one person to another. Children are more susceptible to it than adults because their acid mantle (an acidic film on the skin’s surface which acts as a wall from bacteria and viruses that can infiltrate the skin) has not fully developed.

How To Know If Your Toddler Has Head Lice

Lice Eggs and Live Lice

Lice eggs look like small tan or yellow dots before they hatch while live lice look like gray or reddish brown sesame seeds with six legs often seen on the scalp, behind the ears, around the nape and the side of hair shafts. Lice can be easily detected by applying conditioner to dry hair, combing it and then wiping the conditioner off the comb on a tissue.

Head Scratching

Head scratching is caused by an itchy scalp (caused by the saliva of the lice). However, the itching may not start at once, especially if your toddler’s skin is not sensitive to the lice. But, he may feel “something” is tickling or moving around his head.


The irritation can range from mild to severe scratching. Excessive scratching can result to a bacterial virus, wherein the skin becomes red and crusty which can lead to the development of inflamed lymph glands in the toddler’s neck.

How To Treat Head Lice

Over-the-counter or Prescription Head Lice Products

This is the most common approach to treating head lice. Buy an OTC or prescription  lice-killing product. You can choose from cream rinse, gel, lotion or shampoo. Make sure to apply the product as directed to prevent the risk of causing harm. You may need to do 2 to 3 treatments to make sure all the eggs and live lice are dead.

Chemical Free Treatment

If you want to treat head lice naturally, buy a bottle of hair conditioner. Apply the conditioner to the hair, make sure you cover each hair from root to tip. Cover your toddler’s head with a shower cap. Leave the head covered for about 10 to 15 minutes to allow the head to steam. Take out the cover and untangle your toddler’s hair with a fine-toothed comb. Submerge the comb in a mixture of equal parts vinegar and water. Continue combing his hair at least 5 times.

Lice Comb

Part your toddler’s hair in the middle. Clip one side. Take a small section of hair of the loose side and run through each section (starting at the scalp) up, down, right and left. Drag the comb to the tip of the hair. Dip the tip of the comb into a bowl of soapy water and wipe it dry with a towel after every swipe. Repeat the action until the comb comes out clean.

Wash Clothing and Bedding Regularly

It is also very important that you wash your toddler’s clothes, bedding and other personal items frequently to help get rid of lice. Make sure to clean them in hot water, rinse them twice and air dry them.

Before treating your toddler’s head lice, consult with your doctor first to ensure proper treatment will be given.

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Dry Skin In Children – Causes, Treatment and Prevention

   Dry skin in children can be irritating and annoying. Thus, it is very essential that parents are aware of its causes and how it can be treated and prevented.

What causes dry skin?

Because a toddler’s skin is more delicate than an adult’s, it is more vulnerable to becoming dry. Environmental conditions like the sun and weather can irritate a toddler’s skin, resulting to dryness. Other factors such as air conditioning, indoor heating, chlorine, salt water and over bathing can also rob the skin of its natural moisture.

How To Treat Dry Skin

Observe Proper Bathing

Bathe your toddler in lukewarm water. Use soap sparingly. Make sure not to leave the soap floating in the tub so he will not be sitting in soapy water. Immediately wrap your toddler after every bath and gently pat (not rub) his skin to dry. In addition, avoid bubble baths as much as possible.


After giving him a bath, apply moisturizer to seal in the moisture. Opt for a moisturizer formulated for children with dry skin (e.g. Cetaphil Moisturizing Cream, Cutemol Emollient Skin Cream, Eucerin Calming Creme or Mustela Dermo-Pediatrics) since they contain lactic acid which promotes hydration of the skin.

Run A Humidifier

A humidifier can be your home’s best friend. Place a humidifier in your toddler’s bedroom and in areas where your little one spends most of his time to keep the air cool. Make sure to clean it at least once a week to prevent mold and mildew from developing.

Apply Medicine

Applying a thin amount of over-the-counter hydrocortisone cream or ointment to the red, cracked or itchy areas of the skin two to three times a day can help speed up recovery. Cover the ointment with wet cotton gloves, socks or bandages.


Dehydration can cause dry skin. Supply his body with water by letting him drink at least 8 glasses of water every day to refill the moisture that is evaporating from his skin. Avoid offering caffeinated drinks such as juice and soda.


Limit Bath Time

Daily bathing is okay as long as you observe preventative measures. Instead of a 30-minute bath, cut it to 10 minutes or less.

Choose Skin Care Products Carefully

Take a good look of your toddler’s bathing products. See to it that his cleansing bar, shampoo, lotion and moisturizer are unscented, alcohol-free, dermatologically tested and non-comedogenic.

Wash Your Toddler’s Clothes Thoroughly

Chemicals found in laundry detergents can also make the skin dry. Look for a detergent that is safe for kids’ clothes since it is additive-free and scent-free. Make sure to wash his clothes carefully, rinse the clothes twice to eliminate any traces of detergent that might be left behind and air dry or machine dry them.

Dress Your Toddler Appropriately

Protect your toddler’s skin from the elements. During summer, dress him in a loose t-shirt or tank top, shorts, sandals, sunhat and sunglasses to avoid trapping sweat in his skin. Do not forget to slather sunscreen to keep him from incurring sunburn. During cold weather, dress him in thick articles of clothing and use mittens and ear muffs to avoid chafing.

If your toddler’s skin stays dry or if there are signs of an infection, it is best to call your pediatrician and set an appointment.

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How To Help Underweight Children Gain Weight

Childhood obesity is one common health issue of children. However, many children actually deal with the opposite problem. Underweight children can experience delays in development and health complications. Below are some tips on how parents with underweight children can help.

Consult With Your Toddler’s Pediatrician

Contact your toddler’s pediatrician to determine why your toddler is underweight. The doctor will be able to rule out any underlying health issues such as food allergies, food intolerance or Celiac disease (disorder of the small intestine) that may contribute to his lack of weight gain or weight loss.

Make Mealtimes Relaxing

Pressuring your little one to eat will only cause him to eat less. Never force your toddler to eat when he does not want to. Just let him leave the table. He will eat when he is hungry. As much as possible, eat together as a family. Do not punish him if he does not eat much. Also, make sure to provide a relaxing eating environment. Eat at the dining table and see to it that there are no toys, TV or anything that can distract your toddler.

Let Your Toddler Help You Cook

Another effective technique is to encourage your toddler to participate with meal preparation so he feels invested in the food and will eat more. Just assign him simple tasks such as setting up the dining table, letting him wash the vegetables or passing the ingredients to you.

Offer Small Meals Often

Offer a few extra snacks throughout the day. A toddler who does not like eating a full meal will benefit from eating small yet filling snacks in between meals. Ask your toddler every 2 hours if he is hungry and give kid-friendly foods and drinks such as dried fruit, trail mix, granola bars, cheese, yogurt, crackers, wheat bread spread with tuna or a glass of chocolate milk.

Offer Healthy Foods Your Underweight Toddler Will Eat

Keep in mind that it is your job to provide your toddler foods that will nourish his body. Give him whole milk instead of low-fat milk. Add milk (instead of broth or water), small pieces of vegetables and meat to soup. Spread peanut butter on apples. Stir olive oil into pasta. Grill potatoes and chicken instead of frying them. Slice fruits and vegetables into tiny portions to make a fruit and vegetable salad and create a tasty dip for more flavor. This way, even if he is eating small amounts of food, he still gets the nutrients he needs.

Also, an underweight toddler should never rely on candies, chips, chocolates, cookies and pastries for energy. Substitute these with healthy desserts and snacks such as fruits with whipped cream, frozen yogurt, low-fat muffins and cookies.

Provide Liquid Calories

Give your toddler water, shakes, smoothies and fresh fruit and vegetable juice to increase his calorie intake. Avoid giving him artificial fruit juices which have minimal nutritional value. Make sure you do not give your little one more than 4 to 6 ounces of juice a day as this can fill up an already tiny appetite.

Use A Multivitamin Supplement

Using a multivitamin supplement can also be helpful in making sure your toddler gets all the necessary nutrients he needs until his diet improves. Ask your pediatrician which vitamins are suitable for your little one.

Helping an underweight toddler to gain weight can be a really challenging task. But with a little help from the expert, creativity and a healthy meal plan, your child can gain weight for better health in no time.

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Dealing With Depression In Children

The toddler years is supposed to be a fun and happy time for children. Unfortunately, there are some children who deal with depression. But luckily, there is a solution for this problem. Here are some natural ways to help parents treat depression in children.

Signs of Depression

  • Fatigue
  • Irritability
  • Increase or loss of appetite
  • Social withdrawal
  • Sadness
  • Frequent crying

Coping With Depression

Recognize The Problem

Depression is not something that goes away through time. Thus, the very first step to help a toddler with depression is for the parent to accept that the child is depressed. When you acknowledge that there is a problem, you can think clearly and come up with effective solutions to combat this condition.

Identify The Source of Depression

A toddler with a depressed parent or a mental illness is more likely to suffer from depression. Traumatic life events like abuse (emotional, social, sexual or physical abuse), neglect at home or at school, parent’s divorce, death of a loved one, detached parenting and accidents can also lead to depression. Identifying the cause of your toddler’s depression is very important so you can resolve that issue and permanently cure your toddler’s disorder.

Modify Your Toddler’s Diet

A depressed toddler should have a healthy eating habit. Ditch (or at least limit) chips, sweets and sodas and prepare healthy meals for your little one. Wheat bread contains serotonin and green vegetables like broccoli and spinach are natural antidepressants as these contain high amounts of vitamin B9 or folic acid, which are natural mood stabilizers. Citrusy fruits such as oranges, pineapples and lemons are rich in vitamin C which is needed for the body to produce dopamine to keep your toddler bright and energetic. Let him drink plenty of water (at least eight glasses a day) as well. This will keep your toddler from getting dehydrated which causes exhaustion. Eating right helps cleanse your toddler’s body of toxins and chemicals that could be affecting his mood.

Get Moving

Regular exercise is one of the best ways to naturally treat depression. When a person exercises, endorphins (happy hormones) are released in the body which will give him a feeling of euphoria. This will also boost a person’s self-esteem which will help him feel better and look at life with a more positive attitude. Exercise together with your toddler. It can be as simple as playing tag, hide and seek, walking from the house to the park or cleaning the house.

Make Sure Your Toddler Gets Plenty of Sleep

Notice how irritable you are when you do not get adequate sleep? Sleep deprivation stops an individual’s body and mind to function well. The less sleep your toddler gets, the more down he will feel. To make sure your youngster gets plenty of rest, create a bedtime routine and stick to it. It can be as simple as giving him a bath, offering a light snack, reading a book, cuddling followed by a hug and a kiss and then lights-out. A bedtime routine creates consistency which will help relax your depressed toddler at night.

Seek Support

Toddlers who suffer from depression need a lot of support from their parents and from professionals. Look for a therapist that will help your toddler work on his social skills. Invite your neighbor’s kids over to your house, set-up play dates or if he likes to play soccer, enroll him in a soccer class. This will encourage him to be more active, increasing his confidence and social interactions. If he is surrounded with friends, his depression will ultimately go away.

Of course, the most important thing you can do to help your depressed toddler is to communicate with your toddler and to show your love and compassion. Having a strong support system can combat depression effectively.

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How To Help Your Obese Child Lose Weight

It is not always easy to identify an obese child since children grow at different rates. So even though your toddler may seem a little plump than his peers, it does not automatically mean he is overweight. The best way to determine this is by consulting with his doctor. The doctor will calculate your toddler’s BMI (Body Mass Index) to check if his weight is proportional to his height. Your toddler will be ranked in percentiles. If he is in the 95th percentile (BMI is higher than that of 95 percent of children his age and gender), he is obese. Here are some ways you can help your toddler slim down and improve his weight.

Know The Causes

The first step to helping your obese child is to determine the causes of obesity. This condition is often caused by:

  • Poor diet
  • Eating too much foods with high-calorie content (e.g. sweets, chips, sodas)
  • Health problems
  • Minimal physical play

Seek Expert Help

Next, consult your toddler’s pediatrician for information on a smart approach to weight loss. The doctor is familiar with your toddler’s development and can gauge the seriousness of the condition. Usually, the doctor will not recommend a diet for children, but rather a healthier eating habit and increased physical activity.

Get The Whole Family Involved

The most effective way to help your toddler lose weight is by being healthy yourself. Do not expect your toddler to eat healthy if he sees mommy, daddy and his siblings binge on junk food. Set a fixed meal time and only eat in the kitchen or dining room without any distractions like the TV. Serve your family the same food you prepared for your toddler. If he sees everyone eating vegetables, he will be more willing to try it. Getting fit as a unit will not make your toddler feel singled out.

Encourage Exercise

Limit TV, computer and gaming time. Your toddler does not have to go to the gym, exercising should be a fun activity for your child. It can be as simple as playing active games inside and outside your home like hide and seek, tag or catch the ball. Take a walk together. Go biking. Let him play on the playground. Visit the park. Assign him a chore like sweeping the floor, mopping or dusting. Enroll him in a sports class. These activities may be simple, but they burn a lot of calories.

Cook At Home

Limit dining out. Restaurants, especially fast food chains tend to serve foods high in calories and fat. Prepare healthy home-cooked meals such as grilled chicken, fish sticks and cooked vegetables, Chinese chicken salad or tofu. Offer nutritious desserts like fresh fruit salad or yogurt. Cooking at home is also a great way to get your toddler involved with the food preparation which will serve as his lesson on healthy eating.

Do Not Ban Junks Entirely

There is no individual that does not love eating “sinful foods”, especially toddlers. Having a no sweets and junks rule is a temptation for cravings and overeating. Supervise his snacking instead by replacing cookies and chips with healthy options like low-fat cheese, pudding, yogurt, fresh fruits and vegetables. Substitute juice and soda with water, fresh fruit juice and low-fat milk. Once in a while, allow him to eat ice cream or chocolates, but make sure you keep a close eye on him.

Finally, be supportive and provide a lot of encouragement. This will not be a quick and easy journey for your toddler, but it can be done with your help.

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Toddler Medicines – Ways To Make Your Toddler Drink Medicine

Toddler medicines taste icky and bitter, no wonder why toddlers detest it. But, no matter how many protests and pleas children make, they still have to take it. The following are some effective tips that will get toddlers to drink medicine.

Make It More Appetizing

If your pediatrician gives you the go signal, combine medicine with sweet tasting food and drink to make it more palatable. This is a very effective approach to camouflage the bitterness. Mix medicine into a small amount of apple juice, white grape juice, cherry-flavored syrup, ice cream or yogurt. But, do keep in mind that if you mix the medicine into something else, your toddler has to eat or drink the entire thing in order to get the full dosage.

Make It Fun

Even if you feel guilty about forcing your little one to drink something he hates, you have to smile, be cheerful and be matter of fact about it. Sway the medicine spoon up in the air and mimic the sound of an airplane as the spoon comes near your toddler’s mouth. Pretend to give the medicine to his favorite stuffed animal. Better yet, pass the medicine spoon around and pretend to take a sip. It will make him want what you are having.

Try A Different Form

Ask your toddler’s pediatrician for alternative forms. Most often, delivery can make all the difference. Try offering the medication in a medicine dropper or a small cap
(with the exact measurements). Use a plastic syringe (without the needle) so you can spray the medicine straight into the back of his mouth.

In addition, you can also try giving your toddler small doses of medicine for several minutes instead of giving it all at once. It may be easier to swallow if he does not have to drink it all in one gulp. Ask if the medicine is available in chewable or suppository form, paper strips (melts on the tongue) or in a less concentrated dosage.

Avoid The Taste Buds

The idea is to avoid the bitter taste buds (front and center of the tongue) and place the medicine on the back of the tongue. You can also try placing it between the back gum and the inside of his cheek where it will easily glide down his throat avoiding contact with the bitter taste buds.

Give A Reward

Sometimes, all it takes for your toddler to take the medicine is by offering a prize. Give your toddler a piece of paper and some stickers. Let him attach a sticker each time he swallows a dose and give him your word that once he gets five stickers, he will receive a small but special award (e.g. his favorite food, favorite game, a new toy, etc.) for taking his medicine.

Be Firm

Your reaction can greatly affect how your toddler responds to medicine. If you try to get your toddler to drink medicine with a scowl on your face, he will sense that something unpleasant is about to take place. Be straightforward because once he sees you have doubts, it will make him think that it is okay to resist.

Medicines will never be yummy. But with a little ingenuity, you can get your toddler to take his medicine.

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The Benefits of Exercise For Toddlers

Exercise for children can be as simple as catching a ball, crossing the monkey bars or playing tag. It brings a lot of positive things that will help your toddler in his development. Below are the benefits of exercise for your toddler.

Gives Strength

Your growing toddler will need strength in order for his body to cope up with his intense energy. Exercise builds strong bones and muscles which give your toddler strength, stamina and resilience to handle whatever challenges he might come across. This will also help reduce the risk of injuries and problems later in life.

Become More Flexible

If your little one performs stretching exercises on a regular basis, his flexibility improves, enabling muscles and joints to bend and move more easily. This can be obtained just by doing a cartwheel or reaching the different parts of the body.

Increases Blood Flow

Exercising can boost the blood flow to all body cells and tissues, including the brain. Improved blood flow transports more oxygen and nutrients to every part of the body, which is very helpful for your growing toddler whose entire body needs large amounts of nutrients. The more nutrients your toddler has, the more energy he has for physical activities.

Detoxifies The Body

Because exercise increases blood flow, his body is able to detoxify and as a result, toxins and other harmful elements (from food, air and water) are taken out. Exercising helps your toddler breathe better and sweat more, which are great ways in keeping the body clean.

Healthier Weight

Obesity is one common health issue in children. An overweight toddler is incapable of reducing his body weight and body fat but a toddler who exercises has less fat and a leaner body structure (weight is proportional to the height). Exercising improves your toddler’s appetite and metabolism.

Stronger Immune System

Your toddler is more prone to sickness due to his undeveloped immune system. But through exercise, his body’s ability to fight diseases is improved. He is less likely to develop health issues such as colds, allergies, diabetes, heart disease and respiratory problems.

Improves Mental Health

Exercise improves the brain’s metabolism. It burns off harmful hormones while at the same time stimulates the production of new neurons and brain cells. As a result, your toddler’s memory is improved, he can focus much better and respond quickly.

Better Sleep

When your toddler is active during the day, he is using a lot of his energy and he will feel tired come night time which will help him sleep better (giving you extra hours of sleep too). You will no longer have a hard time following his bedtime routine or hear him grunt when you tuck him to bed.

Happier Disposition

Exercising releases endorphins, more popularly known as “happy hormones”. Your toddler’s anxiety decreases, mood is improved, self-esteem is boosted and he will have a sunnier outlook on life.

Exercising is good for everyone, especially for your toddler. So encourage your toddler to be more active or better yet, get fit together.

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Finding A Doctor For Your Toddler

Finding a doctor for your toddler is one of the most crucial responsibilities you have as a parent. But with a little time and research, you can find one that will give utmost care for your precious one. Here is a list of qualities you should look for.

Qualities A Good Doctor Should Have

The perfect doctor for your toddler should be:

Certified and Experienced

An excellent and poor doctor can both have fancy diplomas and remarkable credentials. Likewise, a doctor who went to the most prestigious medical school does not automatically mean that person is the best in the medical field. Look for a board certified pediatrician. This way, you can be sure that the doctor has a clean record. Also check with the Federal of State Medical Boards to see if there is any case against the doctor.

Make sure that the doctor has a few years of experience either in practice or through internship. You can verify this by checking the certificates in the doctor’s clinic. Avoid a doctor who is not affiliated with a hospital or is connected with a hospital that has a bad reputation.

Kind and Genuine

Look for a doctor with a compassionate attitude. If you find a doctor you feel comfortable with, then most probably your toddler will feel comfortable too. A good pediatrician shows genuine care for children, is warm, attentive and knows how to distract and relieve a nervous toddler. So even if your toddler is not looking forward to his doctor visits, at least he will be somewhat at ease when he is inside the clinic.


This is one very important quality which a doctor must possess. Dealing with children is difficult and definitely not easy. A good doctor should know how to handle a cranky or terrified toddler and an anxious parent. Go for a doctor who can keep calm and remain composed even in the midst of crisis.

A Listener and A Responder

A good doctor knows how to listen, understand your emotional condition and will comfort you to give you some sense of relief. The doctor should have an open mind and should be able to respect your own childcare philosophies (e.g. feeding, sleep, immunizations, etc.). A good doctor will explain and share that knowledge with you in a language you can understand, not medical jargon. If the doctor takes time to answer and reply to your queries and concerns, you know that that doctor is a keeper.

Easy to Reach

Doctors are busy people so it should be made clear how you can contact the doctor during nights and weekends, who you can call in case the doctor is out and if you can make emergency visits or re-schedule appointments.

Respectful of Your Time

A good doctor has regular office hours, is not late and will avoid taking phone calls, being disrupted by a nurse with queries or getting impatient to end your consultation. A doctor who respects your time does not mean you will never have to wait especially during peak-hours or emergencies. It only means that even if things are busy around the clinic, the staff should never put you on hold and should keep you informed how long you will have to wait.

A doctor plays a very important role in the life of your toddler. So never settle for anything less and choose a doctor who can meet or better yet, exceed the qualities mentioned above.

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