Parenting & Safety

Communication is key to healthy family relationships

Let’s face it – it’s a tough world out there. And kids are exposed to it at a younger and younger age. This came as a bit of a reality check for Elicia Newcom Gregory when her oldest daughter, Molly, age 9, started asking some tough questions.

“I knew it was inevitable, but I was surprised to learn that children Molly’s age seemed to already be worried by their appearances,” Elicia said. “Even with her going to a small school and living in a home with limited television, Molly’s self esteem seemed at risk of being challenged at a much younger age than I expected.”

Stay safe while seeking theme park thrills

With a local theme park making its much-anticipated reopening this summer, you can bet thousands of families will be flocking there seeking thrills. While amusement park accidents are rare, there are some things you can do to stay safe during your visit.

Stay cool. Stuffed animals and indigestion aren’t the most common things people leave with — it’s sunburns and dehydration. Pack plenty of sunscreen and re-apply it throughout the day. Wear a hat, moisture-wicking clothing and protective, comfortable shoes. Stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water. Don’t load up on sugary drinks. Water is the best way to prevent heat-related illnesses.

Be a role model for healthy skin

Megan Keenan doesn’t dress her kids in hats and sunglasses because it’s stylish. She is creating good skin care habits for her children, Audrey, 5, and Wyatt, 2. “The kids never go outside without 50 SPF sunblock,” she said. “And I only use moisturizer and makeup with SPF, as well as sunscreen whenever I’m out in the sun.” Because she is fair-skinned and freckled, Keenan knows she may be at a higher risk of developing skin cancer. She started protecting her skin early, after her mother had several cancerous areas removed from her skin over the years.

Keeping summer fun safe

With school out and the days becoming warmer and longer, kids and their parents are looking forward to summer activities. Safe Kids Louisville, a program led by Kosair Children’s Hospital, is encouraging families to practice safe summer habits.

Bike, board and blade safe

Last year, 219 children were treated in the emergency department at Kosair Children’s Hospital for bike-related injuries, according to Doug Beckhart, bike safety coordinator for the Children’s Hospital Foundation Office of Child Advocacy of Kosair Children’s Hospital and Safe Kids Louisville and Jefferson County.

A good night sleep is key for kids

Brooks and Hal Deetsch, ages 6 and 3, have a bedtime routine. Starting at 7:30 p.m., they take a bath, brush their teeth, put on their pajamas, have a story read to them, say a prayer, listen to their mother sing a song, then lie down and go to sleep.

“We established a routine with Brooks when he was very young, and that has not changed,” said the boys’ mother, Anne Karrick Deetsch. “Routine has been the key.”

According to Karen Spruyt, Ph.D, pediatric sleep medicine specialist at Kosair Children’s Hospital, the Deetsch family is doing exactly what they should to help kids get the sleep they need. “Establishing an age-appropriate routine and a regular bedtime are the best things you can do for your child,” she said. “Developing regular schedules and routines not only helps the child by getting him or her to relax to actually go to sleep, but creates a sense of security that allows children to sleep better.” 

Healthy Pregnancy, Healthy Baby

Prenatal care is essential for healthy, happy babies

Delivering a healthy baby is often a direct result of a healthy pregnancy. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services reports that babies of mothers who do not get prenatal care are three times more likely to have a low birth weight and five times more likely to die than those born to mothers who receive prenatal care. These statistics illustrate how important prenatal care is to mom and baby.

Does spanking lead to a cycle of misbehavior?

Being a parent is not an easy job. To me, it’s the toughest job in the world that requires no prior experience or four-year degree. And it’s certainly a test of a parent’s patience when a child is fussy, angry, defiant or just generally “difficult.”

When I was a kid I got a spanking when I did something my parents told me not to do. Sometimes it was a swat on the bottom, but it also could be dad’s belt or a switch from a bush out front. Fortunately, I didn’t get too many spankings — but they left a lasting impression.

Kids and nicotine poisoning

Most of us know about the dangers of tobacco products and secondhand smoke, but did you know that nicotine, the addictive ingredient in tobacco, can be poisonous in any form? Each year the Kentucky Regional Poison Control Center of Kosair Children’s Hospital receives hundreds of calls about children who have nicotine poisoning due to eating, swallowing or touching tobacco or nicotine products.

Teen Driving

Nearly every Tuesday for several years, I went to a Mom’s Club play group. All the moms had one baby, and then about two years later, we each had a second baby.

And though we’ve lost touch in recent years, major milestones bring us back together online. The latest one: They’re starting to drive!

That scream in the background is coming from me and all the other parents shocked by the idea of their baby — I mean teenager — behind the wheel of a large automobile.