August 31, 2016

10 TOP NEGATIVE EFFECTS OF MOBILE PHONES ON HEALTH!

Various studies and researches have proven that extensive long-term use of cell phones leads to several ailments. Here are top 10 of them:

Impaired Concentration.

You own a cell phone ? No No! it’s the cell phone that owns you! Researchers have found that most people fanatically check their menu screen, e-mail, apps and news though the probability of seeing something new is pretty much low. During a study, Reaction times in an emergency were 23 per cent longer when texting than normal. Probably that is why talking on mobile phone while driving is against the laws in many countries. Use of mobile phones reduces your ability to focus. You take more time to do a task whether  it’s solving a mathematical question or approaching the car breaks to avoid an accident.

General Sickness.

It won’t be wrong if I say that Your cell phone is making you sick! All that tapping, typing, and swiping may make your mobile screen as germ-packed as your computer keyboard, You have just washed your hands from a disinfectant soap and it is the time for your meals when the mobile screen flashes. There’s a text, you read and reply and begin to gallop the healthy meal. Well! Everything ain’t  as healthy as you have assumed it to be. The moment you touch the mobile screen, 20% to 30% of all virus and bacteria were transmitted to your hands and finally into your body. You might not fall sick the very next day but believe me it has hazardous long- term consequences.

Eye Problems

The combination of holding your phone too close to your eyes along with staring at its viciously small font can lead to eye strain, headaches, dry eye and blurred vision. This has been proved by a College of Optometry research

As a measure of prevention, Increase the font size to twice the smallest size you’re able to read. Also, maintain a distance of at least 16 inches between the mobile screen and your eyes. If you’re reading for longer time ( More than a few minutes) , take a regular 20-second breaks.

Increased Stress

You bought your phone so you will be reachable 24X7. Consequently you never have the time to relax., Why? Because you’re never inaccessible.  You are constantly expecting someone to access you via your cell phone. This is building up the stress ( You don’t realize it though!). In fact, a University of Worcester study showed that this constant stress can actually make people believe that their phone just vibrated from a new call or message when in reality it didn’t! Start by switching off your phone for an hour every day. It would help you to unwind.

Risks to the Unborn

Another Research says that usage of Cell phones during pregnancy slows down the rate of brain development of the fetus or may lead to hyper activity. In a renowned research, there were two cages of pregnant mice one with a mobile phone and the other without it. When the mice gave birth, the offsprings of the two cages remarkably differed.  The progeny of the mice who were kept in the cage with cell phone were more active and their memory was lesser than those born of the mice in the cage without mobile phones. The scientist had enough biological reasons to explain that why and how the results could be duplicated in humans! The rise in behavioral disorders in children these days could be partly attributed to the fact that their mothers must have used Mobiles during pregnancy.

Also, radiations emitted by mobile phones can lead to miscarriage.  One should avoid cell phones during pregnancy and in case of a necessity; the safest bet is to keep it as far as possible.

Neurodegenerative Disorders.

The harmful radiations emitted by the cell phones can damage DNA. DNA damage in brain cells can affect neurological functions. This can possibly lead to neurodegenerative diseases. The radiations from mobiles have been tested to reduce melatonin levels which can cause neurological disorders.

Also, it has been scientifically proven that exposure to Electromagnetic radiations emitted from a mobile phone can cause sleep disorders and neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease.

Heart risks

Radiations from cordless phones (including mobile phones) can cause irregularities in normal functioning of heart. It was found that cell phones emit radiation which forces red blood cells to drip hemoglobin.  The hemoglobin then builds up in the body and this can result in health complications including heart diseases. Probably that is why whenever you keep the cell phone in the front pocket of your shirt; some elderly person will tell you not to do so! People with a pacemaker are strictly forbidden by the cardiologist to keep the phone near their heart.

Reduced Fertility

“That ringing in your pocket might turn out to be a death knell for your sperm”, says a research. Several studies have shown that men who excessively use cell phones have suffered from slower or damaged sperm and decreased sperm concentration. One reason could be mobiles heat up when in use and so they increase the temperature in and around crotch. This is not good for sperm health as they survive in temperatures less than 4 degrees the body temperature. Another reason could be the Electromagnetic Frequency (EMF) emitted by both the mobile and your body. EMFs emitted by mobiles penetrate your body hindering the useful EMFs  emitted by your body which in turn leads to abnormal sperm. In the nutshell, excessive use of mobiles could come in way of your desire of cute kids.

Loss of Hearing

The radiation emitted by cell phones can damage delicate workings of the inner ear. People who are subjected to long-term mobile phone use are at a higher risk of developing hearing loss.Today, there are ever-increasing numbers of people between 18 and 25 years suffering from hearing loss. Doctors consider excessive use of cell phones and other gadgets a major reason behind it. A person who spends more than two to three hours on the cell phone every day runs the risk of partial deafness over three to five years. Apart from trying to reduce the mobile phone use, slow down the ringer volume. Avoid hearing too much music on the phone.

Brain Cancer

Cell phone radiation may be slowly damaging your brain. Using a unique technique for determining electromagnetic radiation, researchers came to a conclusion that the radio-frequency field generated by your cell phone triggers heating up of brain tissue. The fact proves that your brain absorbs the radiation emitted by your mobile. The World Health Organization has classified these radio-frequency fields as possibly carcinogenic. This means that the exposure to them may cause an augmented risk of Brain Cancer. I know it’s totally impossible in today’s tech scenario to get rid of your cell phone. One can only aim to minimize it’s usage by switching it off whenever possible. Also, keep the phone away from you while you are sleeping. It will be good for your health!

August 30, 2016

ALOPECIA; HAIR LOSS IN CHILDREN!

Hair loss in children is typically caused by one of five conditions:

-Alopecia Areata,
-Tinea Capitis,
-Traction Alopecia,
-Trichotillomania, or
-Telogen Effluvium.

Children’s Tinea Capitis

Childrens Tinea CapitisTinea Capitis is a disease caused by fungal infection of the skin of the scalp, eyebrows and eyelashes, with a propensity for attacking hair shafts and follicles. It is also called “ringworm of the scalp”.

The condition is caused by a fungus that invades the hair shaft and causes the hairs to break. The bare patch of hair loss is often round and the scalp takes on a black-dotted stubble appearance from hair shafts broken off at the surface. There may also be mild itching and scaling. The condition is transmitted by contact from one infected child to another through the sharing of combs, brushes, hats, barrettes, pillows and bath towels. Minor bruising of the scalp occasionally provides an entry for the microscopic fungus. Children 3 to 10 years of age are more susceptible and boys are more so than girls. Ringworm of the scalp is not dangerous.

Without treatment, however, the hair loss can be considerable, and some children will develop a boggy, tender swelling of the scalp known as a kerion.

Children’s Telogen Effluvium

Childrens Telogen EffluviumFollowing a high fever, flu or severe emotional stress, hairs that were in their growth phase can sometimes be suddenly converted into their resting phase. Two to 4 months later, when the child is otherwise fine and the stress is forgotten, these hairs can begin to shed. The shedding, which is actually a mass exodus of follicles from growth into dormancy, can last for up to 6 weeks. The hair loss is not total nor does it tend to show up in patches. It typically appears thin throughout the scalp. Unless the initial cause is repeated, all the hairs normally return (Telogen Effluvium explains why many mothers lose so much hair in the weeks following childbirth).

Most parents who bring their child to the physician for this condition are worried that the youngster has cancer or another bad disease. Hair takes between 3 and 6 months to re-enter into growth phase, so the restoration can be somewhat slow.

Children’s Alopecia Areata

Childrens Alopecia AreataAlopecia areata is another common form of patchy hair loss in children. The typical story is the sudden appearance of one or more totally bald areas in the scalp. The child with this condition loses hair in circular patches sometimes up to two inches in diameter. The hair at the borders of these patches is loose, but the peach-colored scalp looks and feels normal, without scaling or inflammation. There may be just a few patches of hair loss or a total absence of body hair.

Alopecia Areata is not life-threatening, and children who have it are otherwise healthy. Why the hair falls out from the roots is still a mystery. What is known is that the condition is not contagious, caused by foods, or the result of nervousness, hyperactive disorders, or psychological stress. In 20% of cases, another family member has been affected. Some patients with this condition will also develop a grid-like pitting of the nails. Fortunately, over 80% children with alopecia areata grow new hair within 12 months. Oddly, the new hair may temporarily be white, but eventually the hair returns to its natural color. This is a much higher resolution rate than is seen in adults with the same condition, so the news is good.

Children’s Traction Alopecia

Children's Traction AlopeciaTraction Alopecia, or physical damage to the hair, is another common cause of hair loss, particularly in girls. The human hair is quite fragile and does not respond well to the many physical and chemical assaults it has to endure in the name of beauty.

Constant teasing, fluffing, combing, washing, curling, blow drying, hot combing, straightening and bleaching can do a number on the fragile hairs, causing them to fall out, especially around the hairline and along the front and sides. In adults, this is not as frequent a problem, as the hair has grown in strength and quality over several years, but it can pose a problem for our little companions who typically have much thinner, fairer and less dense hair. Styles that apply tension to the hair, such as tight ponytails, braiding, barrettes and permanent waving can also damage the hair. However, one should not assume that hair loss in one’s child is due to pony tails that are too tight.

If hair loss is noted, it is imperative that a physician evaluate the child and rule out other causes. Recommended treatment for children’s traction alopecia is to handle the hair gently, as little as possible, and use natural hair styles. The hair will usually return, but regrowth can be slow. Injured hair follicles do not heal quickly and often take 3 or more months before they are back to their growing phase.

Children’s Trichotillomania

Childrens TrichotillomaniaTrichotillomania is the compulsion to pull out one’s own hair. It results in irregular patches of incomplete hair loss, mainly on the scalp, but may involve the eyebrows and eyelashes as well. The habit of pulling out one’s hair is usually practiced in bed before falling asleep or when the child is studying or watching television. Interestingly, parents are usually not aware of the habit and frequently find it hard to believe that their child would do such a thing.

Affected areas of hair loss often appear on the left side of right-handed children and on the right side of left-handed youngsters. Most cases of trichotillomania resolve spontaneously. Diagnosis of this type of alopecia can be done in the convenience of your own home, by closely evaluating your child to see if they have this habit.

The cause of this type of condition many times is related to stress, long term ongoing tension or other possible psychological or emotional deficiencies.

The best treatment is to ignore the hair pulling and concentrate on why the child is anxious, nervous or frustrated.

August 28, 2016

INSOMNIA IN INFANTS & CHILDREN!

There are some people who have problems falling asleep each and every night. If they do, chances are they are afflicted by a psychological sleeping disorder called insomnia. Usually, people suffering from insomnia blame this for too much stress, worries, depression and a very worrisome life.

People mostly believe that these feelings cannot be experienced by infants and children because they are too young to worry about anything. Based on this reasoning, some people think that insomnia would not occur in children. But this is not true. Just like adults, insomnia can also happen to children and infants.

Children have different sleeping habits and time patterns. For infants who are one week old, the average length of sleep per day is 16 hours. There are parents that believe that babies who sleep less are geniuses or have a high I.Q. But there is no scientific evidence to support this belief. Babies usually wake once every evening at the minimum. Unless breast fed, infants can go back to sleep on their own.

Insomnia or sleeping disorders can be defined in the following parameters:

•       Having a hard time to sleep at night
•       A person who wakes up very early
•       A person who wakes up often at night

This ailment can cause the feeling of tiredness and drowsiness even after waking up in the morning. A person with insomnia also has a hard time concentrating.

Other terms for insomnia are Wakefulness, Sleeplessness and Dysomnia.
Infants usually wake up frequently at night. At the sixth month, babies basically have a normalized nocturnal pattern by being asleep the whole night. When the infant reaches a year old, he or she sleeps at a rate of 16 hours per 24 hours.  The baby will sleep during daytime from 2 to 3 hours.

Reasons why babies suffer from insomnia:

•       They want their parents to notice them
•       They may be suffering from digestive ailments or infantile colic which is a condition where babies cry for more than 3 hours a day.
•       Infants that are often hungry
•       Their teeth are beginning to grow
•       They may be ill or afflicted by a disease

Here are some tips in curing insomnia for infants:

•       Try not to comfort the baby immediately when crying at night. It would be best to wait until the infant stops crying on his or her own. Constant attention can be a stimulus for infants to stay awake at night.

•       Observe if the child is unable to sleep because of excessive noise. Try playing classical or slow songs to cover up noisy environment.

•       Do not make a child go to bed as a penalty or reprimand for something. This can cause insomnia because instead of them enjoying being asleep, they dread it.

•       Parents should not make an infant accustomed to falling asleep in their arms. When the baby is already six months old, try making them used to fall asleep on their cribs by themselves.

•       Reading stories in bed, tapping or scratching a child before sleeping, singing a lullaby is often a cause of insomnia because without these routines children will be unable to sleep.

•       Do not give a child sleep inducing medicine unless the doctor advices it. As much as possible, do not use chemicals or drugs in curing insomnia.

•       Remember that sleeping pills may have side effects.

•       If the condition remains after trying home measures to cure insomnia, consult a doctor.

To cure infant insomnia, parents should be ready to let their baby cry without comfort until they learn to sleep by themselves. They can also try to slowly lessen the attention that they give each night to put an infant to sleep until they can totally do it without parent”s supervision.

Children especially infants need enough and regular sleep for them to grow healthy emotionally and physically. Parents should be very sensitive and vigilant in observing their child”s sleeping habit. Eventually both the parents and the child will be affected by insomnia if this is not given attention. The bedroom should be a place to sleep and should be peaceful not rowdy. A bedroom in not a room for a child”s play but for a child”s restful evening.

Finally, sleeplessness is a sign of a mind not at peace. A child is always an angel and an angel should always be at peace. Making your baby grow like an angel is not easy and most of the time it takes sacrifices. In time, parents can sleep soundly at night because their child grew up to be a good person; all because they made their child sleep right since birth.

TREATMENTS FOR MENTAL ILLNESS IN CHILDREN!

What should you do if you suspect your child has a mental health condition?

If you're concerned about your child's mental health, consult your child's doctor. Describe the behavior that concerns you. Consider talking to your child's teacher, close friends or loved ones, or other caregivers to see if they've noticed any changes in your child's behavior. Share this information with your child's doctor, too.

Mental health conditions in children are diagnosed and treated based on signs and symptoms and how the condition affects a child's daily life. There are no simple tests to determine if something is wrong. To make a diagnosis, your child's doctor might recommend that your child be evaluated by a specialist, such as a psychiatrist, psychologist, social worker, psychiatric nurse, mental health counselor or behavioral therapist.

How is mental illness in children treated?

Common treatment options for children who have mental health conditions include:

    -Psychotherapy.
Psychotherapy, also known as talk therapy or behavior therapy, is a way to address mental health concerns by talking with a psychologist or other mental health provider. During psychotherapy, a child might learn about his or her condition, moods, feelings, thoughts and behaviors. Psychotherapy can help a child learn how to respond to challenging situations with healthy coping skills.
   
  -Medication.
Your child's doctor or mental health provider might recommend that your child take certain medications — such as stimulants, antidepressants, anti-anxiety medications, antipsychotics or mood stabilizers — to treat his or her mental health condition.

Some children benefit from a combination of approaches. Consult your child's doctor or mental health provider to determine what might work best for your child, including the risks or benefits of specific medications.

Helping your child cope with mental illness:

Your child needs your support now more than ever. Before a child is diagnosed with a mental health condition, parents and children commonly experience feelings of helplessness, anger and frustration. Ask your child's mental health provider for advice on how to change the way you interact with your child, as well as how to handle difficult behavior.

Seek ways to relax and have fun with your child. Praise his or her strengths and abilities. Explore new stress management techniques, which might help you understand how to calmly respond to stressful situations.

Consider seeking family counseling or the help of support groups, too. It's important for you and your loved ones to understand your child's illness and his or her feelings, as well as what all of you can do to help your child.

To help your child succeed in school, inform your child's teachers and the school counselor that your child has a mental health condition. If necessary, work with the school staff to develop an academic plan that meets your child's needs.

If you're concerned about your child's mental health, seek advice. Don't avoid getting help for your child out of shame or fear. With appropriate support, you can find out whether your child has a mental health condition and explore treatment options to help him or her thrive.

August 27, 2016

MENTAL ILLNESS IN CHILDREN!

KNOW THE SIGNS!

Children can develop the same mental health conditions as adults, but their symptoms may be different. Know what to watch for and how you can help.

Mental illness in children can be hard for parents to identify. As a result, many children who could benefit from treatment don't get the help they need. Understand the warning signs of mental illness in children and how you can help your child cope.

Why is it hard for parents to identify mental illness in children?

It's typically up to the adults in a child's life to identify whether the child has a mental health concern. Unfortunately, many adults don't know the signs and symptoms of mental illness in children.

Even if you know the red flags, it can be difficult to distinguish signs of a problem from normal childhood behavior. You might reason that every child displays some of these signs at some point. And children often lack the vocabulary or developmental ability to explain their concerns.

Concerns about the stigma associated with mental illness, the use of certain medications, and the cost or logistical challenges of treatment might also prevent parents from seeking care for a child who has a suspected mental illness.

What mental health conditions affect children?

Children can develop all of the same mental health conditions as adults, but sometimes express them differently. For example, depressed children will often show more irritability than depressed adults, who more typically show sadness.

Children can experience a range of mental health conditions, including:

    -Anxiety disorders. Children who have anxiety disorders — such as obsessive compulsive disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder, social phobia and generalized anxiety disorder — experience anxiety as a persistent problem that interferes with their daily activities.

    Some worry is a normal part of every child's experience, often changing from one developmental stage to the next. However, when worry or stress make it hard for a child to function normally, an anxiety disorder should be considered.
   
    -Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). This condition typically includes symptoms in three categories: difficulty paying attention, hyperactivity and impulsive behavior. Some children with ADHD have symptoms in all of these categories, while others may have symptoms in only one.
   
      -Autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Autism spectrum disorder is a serious developmental disorder that appears in early childhood — usually before age 3. Though symptoms and severity vary, ASD always affects a child's ability to communicate and interact with others.
   
     -Eating disorders. Eating disorders — such as anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa and binge-eating disorder — are serious, even life-threatening, conditions. Children can become so preoccupied with food and weight that they focus on little else.
   
     -Mood disorders. Mood disorders — such as depression and bipolar disorder — can cause a child to feel persistent feelings of sadness or extreme mood swings much more severe than the normal mood swings common in many people.
   
      -Schizophrenia. This chronic mental illness causes a child to lose touch with reality (psychosis). Schizophrenia most often appears in the late teens through the 20s.

What are the warning signs of mental illness in children?

Warning signs that your child might have a mental health condition include:

    -Mood changes. Look for feelings of sadness or withdrawal that last at least two weeks or severe mood swings that cause problems in relationships at home or school.
   
    -Intense feelings. Be aware of feelings of overwhelming fear for no reason — sometimes with a racing heart or fast breathing — or worries or fears intense enough to interfere with daily activities.
   
     -Behavior changes. These includes drastic changes in behavior or personality, as well as dangerous or out-of-control behavior. Fighting frequently, using weapons and expressing a desire to badly hurt others also are warning signs.
   
     -Difficulty concentrating. Look for signs of trouble focusing or sitting still, both of which might lead to poor performance in school.
   
    -Unexplained weight loss. A sudden loss of appetite, frequent vomiting or use of laxatives might indicate an eating disorder.
   
    -Physical symptoms. Compared with adults, children with a mental health condition may develop headaches and stomachaches rather than sadness or anxiety.
   
     -Physical harm. Sometimes a mental health condition leads to self-injury, also called self-harm. This is the act of deliberately harming your own body, such as cutting or burning yourself. Children with a mental health condition also may develop suicidal thoughts or actually attempt suicide.
   
     -Substance abuse. Some kids use drugs or alcohol to try to cope with their feelings.

August 26, 2016

INFERTILITY IN MEN!

What Is Infertility?

Some couples have a hard time getting pregnant. A couple is considered to have infertility issues when they try for a year without success. More than 1 out of 10 couples experience infertility.

There was a time when people thought infertility was only a woman’s problem. But men can have fertility problems, too. When a couple is having a hard time getting pregnant, it is just as likely to be caused by a problem with male fertility as it is with female fertility.

When a couple has a problem achieving pregnancy, it’s estimated that about

    -1 out of 3 times it’s due to a problem with the man’s fertility
    -1 out of 3 times it’s due to a problem with the woman’s fertility
    -1 out of 3 times it’s due to a problem with both the woman’s and the man’s fertility, or a cause cannot be found for the problem

That’s why both the woman and the man usually get tested for fertility problems when a couple is having infertility problems.

What Causes Male Infertility?

The most common causes of male infertility are related to sperm — usually problems with sperm count and the quality of that sperm. Sperm-related problems include

    -low sperm count
    -sperm that don’t move quickly enough — they die before they reach the egg
    -sperm that are not formed correctly
    -seminal fluid that is too thick — sperm can’t move around in it very easily
    -no sperm

Sperm-related problems may result from too much or too little of some of the hormones that guide sperm making.

Another cause of male infertility is a problem with ejaculation. In some cases, tubes inside the male reproductive organs are blocked. If so, you may have a hard time ejaculating, or nothing comes out when you have an orgasm. Sometimes, the ejaculation goes backward from the prostate into the bladder instead of out of the body.

In some cases, there is no known reason for someone’s infertility. This is called unexplained infertility. This can be a very frustrating diagnosis. But even if you are diagnosed with unexplained male infertility, you still have treatment options to consider.

What Could Increase the Risk of Infertility?

Certain things may increase a man’s risk of infertility. They include

    -chemotherapy or radiation treatment for cancer
    -environmental toxins, like lead and pesticides
    -excessive drug or alcohol use
    -injury to the scrotum and testes
    -smoking cigarettes
    -having overheated testicles from wearing clothing that is too tight or swimming or bathing in hot water
    -having an undescended testicle

How Is Male Infertility Treated?

Treatment is available for male fertility problems. Male infertility treatment options include

    -surgery
    -medication
    -hormone treatment

If a man’s sperm are not able to fertilize an egg, donor sperm — another man’s sperm — can be used.

Surgery, medication, hormone treatments, and donor sperm may be used alone or along with other treatments that help the egg and sperm unite. Two of the most common treatments include

    -intrauterine insemination (IUI) — Semen is collected from a man. A procedure called “sperm washing” is done to separate the healthy sperm from the rest of the semen. A health care provider puts the sperm directly into the uterus. This puts the sperm closer to the egg. It cuts down the time and distance sperm have to travel to reach an egg. IUI is often referred to as donor insemination, alternative insemination, or artificial insemination.
   
      -in vitro fertilization (IVF) — A woman takes medication to make several eggs ripen. A health care provider removes the eggs. Semen that has been collected from a man is put together with the eggs in a lab. After some eggs have been fertilized, one or more of them is put into the uterus. Pregnancy happens if one or more of them implant in the wall of the uterus.

Your health care provider can help you figure out what treatments may work best for you and your partner.

August 25, 2016

8 THINGS EVERY CHILD NEEDS TO THRIVE!

You don't have to be a child development expert to give your baby a great start in life. Love, attention, and basic care are what your baby really needs and wants. To help your baby reach his full potential, follow these simple steps.

Show your love

Children need love. Your emotional caring and support give your child a secure base from which to explore the world. This isn't just touchy-feely advice. Love, attention, and affection in the first years of life have a direct and measurable impact on a child's physical, mental, and emotional growth.
Love and touch actually make your child's brain grow.

How do you show your love?
Hug, touch, smile, encourage, listen to, and play with your little one whenever you can. It's also important to answer his cries immediately, especially in the first six months or so, when experts say it's impossible to spoil a child.

Responding to your baby promptly when he's upset (as well as when he's happy) helps build trust and a strong emotional bond.

Care for your child's basic needs

Your baby needs to be in good health and have lots of energy so she can learn and grow, and you can help by covering her basic needs. Take her for regular well-baby checkups, and keep her immunizations up to date.

If you're concerned about giving your baby so many shots, it's worth researching the potential risks of postponing or skipping vaccinations. The benefits of vaccines far outweigh any potential risks.

Sleep is anything but wasted time for your baby, so help her get plenty of shut-eye. During REM (rapid eye movement) sleep, your baby's brain cells are making important connections, or synapses. These are the pathways that enable all learning, movement, and thought, and they're the keys to your baby's understanding of everything she sees, hears, tastes, touches, and smells as she explores the world.

Breast milk or formula provides all the nutrients your baby needs for the first six months, and it will be an important part of her diet until at least her first birthday. Breastfeeding is best for your baby: Studies show that breastfed babies have lower rates of allergies, diarrhea, respiratory problems, obesity, and ear infections, and may get an IQ boost. But if you're unable to breastfeed (or choose not to), your baby can thrive on formula as well.

It's best to tend to your baby's physical comfort right away. Be sensitive to whether she's too warm or if her diaper is wet. You and your baby are a team, and one of your jobs is to take care of the basics so she can get on with her challenging developmental tasks!

(If you're worried about your baby's sleeping or eating patterns, talk to her doctor.)

Talk to your child

Research shows that children whose parents speak to them extensively as babies develop more advanced language skills than children who don't receive much verbal stimulation. You can even begin during your pregnancy – it's a great way to start the bonding process.

Talk to your baby as you diaper, feed, and bathe him. He'll respond better if he knows the words are directed at him, so try to look at him while you're speaking. Don't worry about being profound. Just describe what you're doing: "Mommy is putting warm water in the tub so she can clean you up."

Parents naturally use baby talk, speaking in simplified sentences and phrases with a high-pitched voice. This actually helps young babies learn language, but as your baby gets older it's important to wean yourself off baby talk so your child can develop good language skills.

Read to your child

Reading out loud is one of the most important things you can do to help build your child's vocabulary, stimulate her imagination, and improve her language skills. It also gives you an opportunity to cuddle and socialize.

Even newborns enjoy listening to a story. Make a point of reading to your child from day one.
Find two perfect, development-boosting activities for every week of your baby's first year.

Stimulate all his senses

For your child to learn about people, places, and things, he needs to be exposed to them. Every new interaction gives him information about the world and his place in it. Studies show that children who grow up in an enriched environment – where they are presented with new experiences that engage their senses – have larger, more active brains than those who grow up without adequate sensory stimulation.

Of course, children can become overstimulated – you don't want to bombard your child 24 hours a day, or try to engage all his senses at once. And it's important to note that doctors discourage any TV or screen time for children age 2 and younger.

When your child is interested in playing, though, provide a variety of toys and other objects. Choose things with different shapes, textures, colors, sounds, and weights.

Learn about the effect of music on your child's development at different ages, and sing your favorite lullabies. Play interactive games such as peekaboo and patty-cake, go on walks and shopping trips together, and let your baby meet new people. Even the simplest daily activities stimulate your baby's brain development.

It's also essential to give your child room to roam. To develop strong muscles, good balance, and coordination, he needs plenty of space to crawl, cruise, and eventually walk. He'll also benefit from safe spaces where he can explore his surroundings without constantly hearing "no" or "don't touch."

The easiest way to do this is to childproof your home (or at least the common areas). Keep dangerous or valuable objects out of your baby's reach and safe ones accessible.

For instance, in the kitchen, put childproof locks on all the cabinets except one. Fill that cabinet with plastic bowls, measuring cups, wooden spoons, and pots and pans that your baby can play with safely.

Encourage new challenges

It's important not to frustrate your child with toys and activities that are way beyond her abilities, but a little stretching goes a long way toward learning new skills.

When an activity doesn't come easily to your baby, she has to figure out a new way to accomplish the task. That type of problem-solving is the stuff better brains are made of.

If she's attempting to open a box, for example, resist the urge to do it for her. Let her try first. If she continues to struggle, show her how it's done, but then give her back a closed box so she can try again on her own.

Take care of yourself

Try to find time to take care of yourself – there's truth to the saying that a happy parent makes for a happy baby. Get some exercise (even if it's just going for a walk with your baby in his stroller), eat healthful foods, and squeeze in naps to be sure you're getting enough rest.

If you're feeling drained, find ways to share the household and parenting responsibilities with your partner. If you're a single parent, surround yourself with people who can offer you help and support.

And don't forget to treat yourself to some time alone once in a while. Being a parent – especially an involved and active one – is tiring, and you need time to re-energize.

If you're overwhelmed with caring for your baby or you're feeling down, find someone you trust to talk to. Parents who are feeling down or upset may find it difficult to respond swiftly and sensitively to their child's needs.

Most women experience the "baby blues" after childbirth, a physical and emotional reaction that usually lasts for a week or so. Postpartum depression is a much more serious condition, but it's also highly treatable.

If you find yourself feeling intense sadness or anxiety, if you're not able to care for yourself or your baby, or if things that normally make you happy no longer do, you may be depressed.

Don't be afraid to reach out. Seek advice about coping with postpartum depression, and talk with your healthcare provider any time you think you may need help.

Find good childcare

If you work and aren't able to care for your baby during the day (or need a babysitter regularly), a quality childcare provider is essential to your baby's healthy development. You'll want to find someone who can do the things you would do for your baby when you're not around.

Whether your childcare provider is a nanny, a relative, or a daycare worker, she should be experienced, caring, and reputable, with a genuine love for children and the energy to help your baby thrive.

August 22, 2016

SURVIVAL TIPS FOR SINGLE PARENTS!

Are you a single parent? Raising a child is hard enough with a partner, but when you're doing it alone, the difficulty rises to a whole new level.

Yet parents all over the world are successfully and joyfully raising children by themselves.
These tips can help smooth your journey. 

Take care of yourself

While a trip to a luxury spa would certainly be nice, self-care in the early days of parenting is more about paying attention to your basic needs as you pay attention to your baby's needs too. These are all too easy to neglect, especially if you don't have a partner to spell you.

Always maintain a positive mind and stay as happy as you can. No matter what happens to you, never give stress the chance to settle in.

Incorporate small chunks of exercise into your life whenever you can. Like dancing to your favourite songs or Instead of driving to the grocery store, you can plop the baby in the stroller or use your baby carrier and walk. Especially if the distance isn't far.

Join forces

Being the lone mom or dad on a playground full of parenting couples every Saturday morning can get old pretty fast, as can being stuck at home every evening with only your colicky baby for company.

Hooking up with your friends (moms and dads) in similar situations can be a lifesaver. the two of you can get together for lunch or dinner at your house or theirs. Sometimes both your babies would be crying, but at least you're both  going through the witching hour together. Lol

If you're having trouble finding buddies, consider joining a single parent support group.  You can check Facebook and other social networking sites; contact your local women's center, mothers' club, dads' group, YMCA, church, etc to find other single parents in your area. And if there isn't an existing group to join, try starting your own.

Build a community

A strong community can provide emotional support and a sense of belonging – the perfect antidote to the isolation brought on by solo parenting.

Don't just focus on other single parents. The more varied your community, the richer it will be. "Having a diverse social circle is very important,"

If you're on the introverted side, building a community can be tough. You may need to push yourself into social situations. For example, join a church , find structured playgroups, or attend weekly story time at your local library.

And remember, meeting new people gets easier with practice.

Accept help

For some, this is easier said than done. "Sometimes you feel like you don't deserve to feel overwhelmed, since you chose to become a single mother/father. But try to remember that this doesn't change the fact that you need help."

You'll definitely discover that babies have a magical way of bringing people closer.

Move past "couple envy"

"Do you feel envious of friends who have kind, involved husbands/wives? men/women who actually want to be with them, who want to pitch in, you must learn, it's all too easy to get caught up in the illusion that everything would be perfect if you just had a partner.

"The reality is that everyone has problems, even married people," being a single mom/dad comes with its own advantages too. "You find it much simpler to only have to think about one other person's needs,"

Constant envy can turn into resentment and bitterness, which is a drain on your energy. And causes you so much emotional stress. Focus instead on things in your life that you're grateful for,especially your baby. including also, your married friends.

Plan ahead for urgent situations

It's midnight, your baby has a fever, and you're out of medicine. Or you have a virus yourself, and you're too busy throwing up to care for your baby. Without another adult in the house, what do you do?

It's important to be prepared for these types of situations. Find out if there's an emergency babysitting service in your area – while these services can be pricey, they can often provide help fairly quickly.

In addition, develop an "emergency list" of friends (including neighbours) and family members you know you can call on when need be.

Get creative about childcare

"Cultivate a babysitting network,"

Another good idea is to trade childcare with other families you can trust. Your friend could watch your baby while you do errands, and you'd watch his/her baby while he/she is busy with important work/stuffs. Trade-offs provide a free break for you and a playdate for your child – what's not to love about that?

Believe you can do it and you will

"Having a positive mindset  and always believing in yourself is the way to go. You can do it if you believe. You just have to be strong for yourself and your baby, knowing you have no other choice than to be. Cos if you break, your baby breaks even more. You need all the strength you can get.

August 17, 2016

HELPING YOUR CHILD TO LOVE READING!

There are lots of fun ways to help your little one learn to love books and stories. And, surprisingly, not all of them involve sitting down with an actual book.

Use books to bond

It's not all about reading the words. At this age it's more about enjoying the interaction with Mum or Dad. When your child sits in your lap as you read aloud, she doesn't just enjoy books, she also enjoys the security of your undivided attention.

Set up a ritual

A regular reading time establishes a calming routine young children love -- that's why the bedtime story is a time-honoured tradition. But don't forget that many other daily events also provide good reading opportunities. Once in a while try establishing a new ritual with a breakfast story, a bathtime story, a just-home-from-nursery story or even an "on the potty" story. Some toddlers (and older children) who are heavy sleepers are much better able to face the day when their parents "read them awake" rather than hustle them out of bed.

Choose appropriate books

Toddlers love board books, bath books and pop-up books -- any type they can hold easily and manipulate themselves. They love stories accompanied by bright, clear realistic pictures. And, of course, they love rhymes. That's not to say your two-year-old won't appreciate the stories her big brother chooses -- who knows, Harry Potter may end up being her favourite book! Just make sure she has access to simpler books as well.

Repeat, repeat, repeat

Stifle your yawns if you've read The Very Hungry Caterpillar every night for the past month and your child still asks to hear it again. Repetition is a hallmark of the toddler years. The reason children love to read the same stories over and over and over again is that they're so thirsty to learn. You'll soon find that your toddler has memorised her favourite passages and is eager to supply key phrases herself -- both signs of increasing readiness to read.

Ham it up

Lose your inhibitions when you read to your child. Growl like the Papa Bear in Goldilocks, squeak like Piglet in Winnie-the-Pooh. Kids love drama as much as adults do -- in fact, your youngster may love to pretend to be the scary wolf in The Three Little Pigs. Encourage her, even if it slows the story's progress. She'll get more out of the story if she's participating actively.

Follow her interests

Choose books about her favourite activities -- visiting the zoo, swimming, playing catch. Back up her favourite videos and TV programmes with books about the characters. You may be mystified by the appeal of Teletubbies, but if your child loves the cheery little creatures, she'll love the books about their exploits as well. Follow her lead, but do experiment with a wide variety of books. Your little girl who loves dressing up and dolls may, to your surprise, also be the one who asks to hear stories about dinosaurs and monsters again and again, too.

Go to the library

Even babies like library story-hours, and they're wonderful adventures for toddlers. Your child may well discover a new favourite when it's presented by the beguiling librarian with her soothing voice and perhaps some pictures or puppets to illustrate the action. And, of course, libraries allow parents -- and toddlers -- to take home countless stories without spending a penny.

Use the spoken word

Many wonderful books exist on CD or via downloads. You can feed your child's eagerness to hear Puss in Boots for the umpteenth time, even though you need to go start dinner, by putting on a story, instead (with or without the accompanying picture book). You could also record books and stories yourself, or ask a beloved friend or relative to do so. Hearing granny's voice reading a favourite story is a special treat.

Don't make books a reward

Don't tell your child she can listen to a story if she finishes her dinner. When reading is associated with systems of reward and punishment, it isn't a positive experience. Instead, pick times to read that feel natural, such as when you want your toddler to quiet down before her nap.

Dealing with a wriggler

Some wriggly youngsters just won't sit still through all of Spot's Birthday Party. Don't worry about it. Just leaf through something short for a few minutes (or even seconds) and then let them go. The next day you can try a slightly longer session. Some children will always be more interested in running around than in reading. If your toddler is the physically active type, she may respond best to the non book-related activities described below.

Make storytelling a part of life

While you're at the dinner table or in the car, tell stories -- standards like Goldilocks and the Three Bears are fine, or anecdotes from your own childhood or stories that feature your child as a central character. Make books of your child's drawings or favourite photos, and tell stories about them -- or ask her to be the narrator.

Point out words everywhere

Wherever you go, you can show your child that words are an important part of everyday life. Even the youngest toddlers quickly learn, for example, that traffic signs say STOP. Alphabet refrigerator magnets are staples in many homes. Other families label objects around the house, such as the shelves that house BLOCKS, DOLLS, and other toys. If your child is in playgroup or nursery, slip a daily note into her lunchbox. Even if she can't yet read CAT, seeing the word printed on a piece of paper, along with a drawing or sticker of a cute kitten, will be a high point in her day and help excite her interest in reading. If this seems too ambitious, try drawing a heart or smiley face with a simple "I love you", which will help get your toddler excited about the meaning behind words.

Talk

Children from families who talk at the dinner table have larger vocabularies, according to researchers. Talk with your toddler, and don't be afraid to use complex words and phrases. Encourage her questions and explanations. Toddlers are curious and wonder endlessly about the world, so don't be shy about trying to explore her interests with her.

Demonstrate your own love of books

Your child wants to imitate you. If she sees books all around the house and knows that you like to settle down with one whenever you have a moment to yourself, she'll learn that books are essential to daily life. Showing her your own love of reading is more powerful than making your child sit through a rigid story time.

August 14, 2016

PLAY! WHY IT'S SO SO IMPORTANT TO YOUR BABY!

Is play necessary for development?

Absolutely. Play is crucial for your child's social, emotional, physical, and cognitive growth. It's your child's way of learning about his body and the world, and he'll use all five senses to do it, especially in the first year.

-What does this feel like when I touch it? What does this sound like when I squeeze it?

-What will happen if I push this or pull that? Crawl over there? Pull myself up on this?

Exploration is the heart of play, and in your child's mind any experiment counts, even hurling a bowl of cereal off the highchair tray. Development experts are fond of saying that play is the work of children (and cleaning up after play seems to be the work of parents)

As your child moves into the toddler years, his play will become more imaginative and complex. Through play, he'll exercise key skills and qualities, such as independence, creativity, curiosity, and problem-solving.

It can also be an important place to explore feelings and values and develop social skills. Long before your child feels comfortable sharing his favorite toy with his sister, he may offer it to a doll.

His first spontaneous "please" and "thank you" may slip out at an imaginary tea party. And what parent can resist wasting a perfectly good bandage the first time her child says his teddy got hurt?
Babies like games that engage their senses.

What types of play are best for my child?

It depends on the stage of development. Since play is the tool your child uses to learn about the world, the skills he's working on right now are your biggest clues to choosing the best activities.

For instance, if your 3-month-old is learning how to grab objects, let him play with large, soft toys. If at 12 months he's exploring cause and effect, play a simple version of hide-and-seek with a blanket or by hiding around corners.

Here are some guidelines for the types of play your child may be most interested in at different stages, according to a play therapist:

    Social play
    Interacting with you and others is important throughout the first year. Infants like to smile, look, and laugh. Older babies enjoy games such as peekaboo and itsy-bitsy spider.

    Object play
    Touching, banging, mouthing, throwing, pushing, and otherwise experimenting with things is fascinating for the 4- to 10-month-old set.

    Functional and representational play
    Pretending to use familiar objects in an appropriate way – pushing a toy lawn mower over the grass, or calling Grandma with a hairbrush or their hands placed on their ears as a phone for instance – is the height of fun for 12- to 21-month-olds as their imaginations begin to blossom.

    Early symbolic play
    This type of play, common around the age of 2, creates something out of nothing. Your child might play with a shoebox as if it were a school bus, complete with motor noises, for example, or pretend to eat an invisible object, insisting it's a doughnut.

    Role play
    Around 30 to 36 months your little actor will begin taking on new roles. Playing doctor, teacher, or mommy is common now.

What are the best toys for my child?

Let age be your guide. For instance, 2-month-olds will delight in a wind chime that moves with the breeze, while 15-month-olds need a little more excitement – think pretend cooking in a play kitchen.

How can I make the most of my child's playtime?

Try these suggestions:

    -Think of playtime as more than toy time. Playing is really any enjoyable activity that involves people, objects, or movement.
    -Everything from blowing bubbles at each other to singing songs to splashing in the tub to chasing each other around the room qualifies. If you've ever seen a 12-month old enthralled with a cardboard box, you understand how wide the parameters are.
    -Get down on the floor with your baby. You are the ultimate plaything, and any activity will seem more fun if your baby can share it with you. Talk to your baby while you play and you'll help boost his language skills.
    -Introduce play activities when your baby is happy and rested.
    -Stop when your child's had enough. Children have different thresholds for stimulation. When yours seems bored, fussy, or tired, it's time for a break.
    -Give your child a chance to play alone and with others. Both types of play are beneficial.
    -Let your child choose activities and control the direction of his play. You can suggest new things or present new options, but your child should be the boss. After all, play is about fun, and if there's one thing your child is an expert at already, it's having a good time

August 8, 2016

EFFECTS OF THYROID DISEASES IN THE BODY!

The 6 Main Systems and Organs Affected by Thyroid Diseases

Thyroid Symptoms

Symptoms involving the thyroid gland, whether they stem from hypothyroidism, hyperthyroidism, Graves' disease, or Hashimoto's thyroiditis, reflect the damage to the various systems and organs of the body.

Thyroid Gland

Damage to the thyroid gland affects the body's metabolic rate. As a result, weight can be easily gained (hypothyroidism) or lost (hyperthyroidism). Hashimoto's disease can cause both weight loss and gain depending on the phase of autoimmune destruction of the thyroid gland.

Cold hands and feet are related to a low metabolism caused by hypothyroidism while sensitivity to heat is linked to hyperthyroidism.

Cardiovascular System (Circulatory)

The cardiovascular system responds to minimal changes in the amount of circulating thyroid hormones.

Hyperthyroidism induces a hyper-dynamic cardiovascular state which manifests by a faster heart rate, higher systolic and diastolic function i.e. higher blood pressure, atrial fibrillation, and reduced exercise performance.

Insomnia is often associated with hyperthyroidism. Some of the symptoms and signs of hyperthyroidism can make sleep difficult. The stress of having a "racing" heart or palpitations, rapid pulse (above 100 beats per minute is considered tachycardia), and higher blood pressure can cause lack of sleep. Insomnia can also be related to a decreased amount of serotonin production that is linked to gut issues which are often seen with thyroid problems.

Hypothyroidism is characterized by the reverse- a lowed heart rate and lower blood pressure. With lowered thyroid hormones in circulation there is an increased risk of atherosclerosis and myocardial infarction (heart attack).

Nervous System

The central nervous system (CNS) can be greatly affected by a thyroid disorder. The CNS reacts to both too little and too much thyroid hormone. Too little hormone causes mental sluggishness or "brain fog" while too much hormone induces anxiety and nervousness. Depression is commonly associated with thyroid conditions.

Recent studies have linked hypothyroidism and Hashimoto's disease with accelerated brain degeneration and development of Parkinson's, Alzheimer's and Huntington's disease.

Reproductive System

Hypothyroidism can be related to heavy menstrual flow, miscarriage, and infertility in women. Hypothyroidism can decrease the absorption of the sex hormone, progesterone, by the body's cells which can upset the menstrual cycle. Hypothyroidism can also cause constipation which can delay the body's normal elimination of another sex hormone, estrogen.

Digestive System

Chronic constipation is associated with hypothyroidism while diarrhea or frequent bowel movements are linked with hyperthyroidism. These symptoms are partly due to altered metabolism but also are created by faulty digestion beginning in the stomach. Hypothyroidism can reduce the production of stomach acid by its effect on the hormone, gastrin. When too little gastrin is produced, this reduces the amount of stomach acid (HC1). Bloating, G.E.R.D., heartburn, intestinal inflammation, decreased food digestion and more can result from the lack of normal HC1 levels.

Food allergies are consistently seen in those presenting with thyroid problems. Beyond gluten sensitivity, which most people are aware of, there are other food allergens to which patients will test positive.

Anemia

Anemia is diagnosed in 20-60% of patients with hypothyroidism and is often the first sign of hypothyroidism. Anemia caused by an iron or B12 deficiency begins in the stomach and stems from low stomach acid also known as hydrochloric acid or HCl. Hypothyroidism causes the hormone, gastrin, to decrease.

The production of stomach acid, HCl, depends on the hormone gastrin. So when gastrin is diminished there is less stomach acid. Less stomach acid hinders the absorption of such vital nutrients as B12, iron, and calcium.

The most common symptom of anemia is fatigue which is also the hallmark symptom of hypothyroidism.

Adrenal Glands

Thyroid function is intricately tied to our adrenal health. Part of a comprehensive, functional medicine thyroid treatment plan usually involves adrenal gland support for the following reasons:
     -Adrenal fatigue causes the thyroid receptors on cells to lose their sensitivity to thyroid hormones
    -Adrenal fatigue can decrease the conversion of T4 to T3 to a usable form
    -Adrenal fatigue decreases the efficiency of the immune system barriers in the gut, lungs and the blood/brain barrier
    -Adrenal fatigue inhibits absorption of thyroid hormone into cells
    -Adrenal fatigue disrupts the interchange between the hypothalamus and pituitary gland with the thyroid gland

August 2, 2016

SEVEN REASONS YOUR CHILD NEEDS SLEEP!

Sleep promotes growth.

You've probably had mornings where you've sworn your baby got bigger overnight, and you'd be right. "Growth hormone is primarily secreted during deep sleep," Mother Nature seems to have protected babies by making sure they spend about 50 percent of their time in this deep sleep, considered to be essential for adequate growth. Researchers, studying children with deficient levels of growth hormone, have found that they sleep less deeply than average children do.

Sleep helps the heart.

Experts are learning more about how sleep protects kids from vascular damage due to circulating stress hormones and arterial wall -- damaging cholesterol. "Children with sleep disorders have excessive brain arousal during sleep, which can trigger the fight-or-flight response hundreds of times each night," "Their blood glucose and cortisol remain elevated at night. Both are linked to higher levels of diabetes, obesity, and even heart disease."

Sleep affects weight.

There's increasing evidence that getting too little sleep causes kids to become overweight, starting in infancy. One study has shown that when parents are coached on the difference between hunger and other distress cues and begin to soothe without feeding -- using such techniques as swaddling and swinging -- babies are more likely to be sound sleepers, and less likely to be overweight. Better yet? This coaching can begin when babies are 2 weeks old. The study followed the babies for a full year, and found that when parents used these techniques, it paid off.

That's key, because the sleep-weight connection seems to snowball. When we've eaten enough to be satisfied, our fat cells create the hormone leptin, which signals us to stop eating. Sleep deprivation may impact this hormone, so kids keep right on eating. "Over time, kids who don't get enough sleep are more likely to be obese,"

Worn-out kids also eat differently than those who are well rested. "Research has shown that children, like adults, crave higher-fat or higher-carb foods when they're tired,""Tired children also tend to be more sedentary, so they burn fewer calories."

Sleep helps beat germs.

During sleep, children (and adults) also produce proteins known as cytokines, which the body relies on to fight infection, illness, and stress. (Besides battling illness, they also make us sleepy, which explains why having the flu or a cold feels so exhausting. It forces us to rest, which further aids the body's ability to heal.) Too little sleep appears to impact the number of cytokines on hand. And it's been found that adults who sleep fewer than seven hours per night are almost three times more likely to develop a cold when exposed to that virus than those who sleep eight or more hours. While there's little data on young children, studies of teens have found that reported bouts of illness declined with longer nightly sleep.

Sleep reduces injury risk.

Kids are clumsier and more impulsive when they don't get enough sleep, setting them up for accidents. One study of Chinese children found those who were short sleepers (i.e., fewer than nine hours per night for school-age children) were far more likely to have injuries that demanded medical attention. And 91 percent of kids who had two or more injuries in a 12-month period got fewer than nine hours of sleep per night.

Sleep increases kids' attention span.

Children who consistently sleep fewer than ten hours a night before age 3 are three times more likely to have hyperactivity and impulsivity problems by age 6. "But the symptoms of sleep-deprivation and ADHD, including impulsivity and distractibility, mirror each other almost exactly," explains Dr. Owens. In other words, tired kids can be impulsive and distracted even though they don't have ADHD. No one knows how many kids are misdiagnosed with the condition, but ruling out sleep issues is an important part of the diagnosis, she says. For school-age kids, research has shown that adding as little as 27 minutes of extra sleep per night makes it easier for them to manage their moods and impulses so they can focus on schoolwork. Kids with ADHD also seem to be more vulnerable to the effects of too little sleep. Parents are almost three times as likely to report that their child with ADHD has a hard time falling and/or staying asleep than parents whose kids don't have ADHD, says Dr. Owens.

Sleep boosts learning.

A baby may look peaceful when he's sleeping, but his brain is busy all night long. Researchers  have shown that newborns actually learn in their sleep: Investigators played certain sounds for sleeping newborns, followed with a gentle puff of air on their eyelids. Within 20 minutes, the sleeping babies -- who were between 1 and 2 days old -- had already learned to anticipate the air puff by squinting. And as for that twitching all babies do as they snooze? It seems to be how their nervous system tests the connection between the brain and muscles.

Sleep aids learning in kids of all ages, and education experts are finding that naps have a particular magic.

Making sure families get enough sleep isn't easy, especially with parents working longer hours, more elaborate after-school activities, bedrooms full of cool electronics, and the pressure to pack more into every day. "We've done a good job of teaching parents about why kids need to exercise and eat healthy foods," says a Dr.. "Still, the simple fact is that kids sleep less today than they used to. And unless we make an effort to get that sleep time back, their health will suffer."