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12 Fun Family-Friendly Summer Activities

By Vanesa Sallego

Summer’s on its way, which means hot and sunny days and your children home from school for some summer vacation. To help make the most of this time of year and keep your children from getting bored, we’ve come up with a list of 12 fun summer activities that are fun for the whole family and affordable.

1. Family road trip

You don’t need to get on a plane or travel far to find something new and exciting to do. Besides, half the fun is getting there! Pick a destination an hour or two from home to explore and get the car games and iPod playlists ready for some quality family time in the car.

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Tips for Travelling with Children

Travelling with Children

By Lisa Pecos

Summer vacation is fast approaching, and while many parents are looking forward to getting away, the idea of travelling with children can be a little daunting to say the least. Fortunately, a little planning can help take the stress out of travelling with children and make vacations a lot easier on the whole family.

Keep it Simple

This is the best possible motto when planning a trip with children, especially younger children. The key is to plan trips that are as simple as can be, from reducing the number of items on your travel itinerary to avoiding flights with multiple connections.

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Making Healthy Foods Fun for Kids

By Jamell Andrews

Most children will take a processed snack pack or treat over fruits and veggies any day, but with childhood obesity becoming an epidemic, finding ways to make healthy foods more appealing is more important than ever.

Childhood obesity has more than doubled in children and quadrupled in adolescents in the last 30 years, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), with more than 1 in every 3 children being considered overweight or obese. This increases their risk of joint problems, heart disease, and much more.

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Puberty Woes or PCOS: Know the Signs

By Jamell Andrews

As a parent of an adolescent daughter, it’s easy to brush off acne and irregular periods as normal parts of puberty. While missed or heavy periods and acne are certainly common at this stage of a girl’s life, they can also be signs of a condition called Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS).

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5 Things to Watch Out for During Pregnancy to Keep Yourself Healthy

healthy-pregnancy

Most women go into healthy living overdrive as soon as they start trying to get pregnant, which is highly recommended. As soon as conception occurs, your body begins changing, and the healthier you are, the easier it is to cope with all the changes.

Unfortunately, issues can come up during pregnancy that you may not expect or can’t control. But keeping informed and following the health tips below can help you and your baby stay as healthy as possible during all 40 weeks of the pregnancy.

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5 Tips for Talking to Your Teen Driver about Drinking and Driving

Mature parents talking to their adult daughter about drinking and drving

It is a well-known fact that drinking and driving is the number one killer of teenagers in the nation. Cell phone usage while driving is running a close second, but drinking and driving is still the number one cause. It is very important that you talk to your teenager about the dangers of drinking when driving. While it may be hard to talk to your teen, it is important that you do so for not only their safety, but the safety of others on the road with them.

Read on below for some tips for having this difficult conversation with your teen driver.

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Unusual Causes for Asthma Attacks

Odd Things that May Trigger Asthma Attacks

Asthma is an ongoing breathing disorder characterized by difficulty breathing, coughing and sometimes wheezing. About half of all asthma attacks are produced by various allergens, which irritate and inflame the airways; the rest can be caused by factors that have nothing to do with allergies, but which still irritate the airways and cause them to constrict.

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Drinking in Movies and Teenage Drinking

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Teenagers Who Watch Actors Drinking Alcohol in Movies More Likely to Drink Themselves

A study published earlier this year in the journal Pediatrics found that young European teens who watched more scenes of actors drinking in Hollywood movies were more likely to binge-drink and otherwise abuse alcohol.

Researchers gave questionnaires to more than 5,000 15-year-olds from England, and found that youths who had watched the most minutes of drinking scenes in different movies were twice as likely to have problems relating to alcohol as teens who had watched the fewest minutes. Those who had watched the most minutes were also almost 2.5 times more likely to drink at least once a week and 70 percent more likely to binge-drink (that is, drink 5 or more drinks in a single day).

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Can Vaccines Cause Peanut and Other Food Allergies?

Boy and vaccine syringe

Do Vaccines Cause Peanut and Other Food Allergies in Children?

No child health topic is being more hotly debated in the United States right now than mandatory vaccinations — and the side effects, sometimes quite serious or deadly, that many parents believe are a direct result of vaccines given to infants and young children.

Greater numbers of children than ever before are developing food allergies in the U.S., and parents are wondering if heavy vaccine schedules are to blame.

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Reducing Exposure to Environmental Allergens

Child's Allergies

Control Your Child’s Allergies Naturally

Part 2 of 2

In Part 1 of our allergy prevention report, we discussed the importance of feeding our children foods that are known to strengthen the immune system and cleanse the body, which will help prevent or lessen allergy symptoms. That is preventing allergies from the inside out, which is essential. But it is also important to prevent them from the outside in — to limit the allergy triggers to which an allergic child is exposed.

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Natural Children’s Allergy Prevention

Children Flu Sneeze Elbow Sick

Natural Ways to Prevent Your Child’s Allergies

Part 1 of 2

Spring is upon us. Flowers — and allergies — are in full bloom.

Are there natural steps that parents can take, to prevent or lessen children’s seasonal allergies? Yes, there are many.

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Taking Short Breaks from Daily Parenting Duties Is Good

Little girl get a pressure to study

Taking Mini-Breaks from Daily Parenting Duties Is Good for You, Will Recharge You

We know that you are a loving, dedicated mom (or dad!), and there aren’t enough hours in the day to do all the things you want to do for your family. But it is important to remember that taking a break from the daily routine is essential for recharging your ‘go’ and making you feel happier and more positive. After all, feeling more content will help you continue to be a good parent!

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Delaying School Start for Summer-Born and Premature Children

little tired boy sitting at a desk and holding hands to head

Delaying Start of School for Summer-Born or Premature Children Lowers Academic Performance, Says Study; Some Parents Disagree

Children who start school a year later due to summer birthdays or premature births may do worse academically later on, according to a British study published recently in the Journal of Developmental Medicine and Child Neurology.

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Helping Your Child Prepare for Tests

Elementary school children writing in class

12 Tips to Help Your Child Do Well on Tests

Other than making sure your child gets plenty of study time to prepare for a test, are there specific things that you and he or she can do, to insure they do their best on a test?

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Diabetes in Young Children

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More White, American Children Getting Type 1 Diabetes

Cases of type 1 diabetes are increasing among white American children, especially among 5- to 9-year-olds, according to a study published recently in the journal Diabetes.

Almost 6,000 new cases of the disease were diagnosed in the United States among white teenagers and children, ages 19 and younger, between 2002 and 2009. Most new cases were in children between 5 and 9 years old; smaller increases were seen among children and teens 10 to 19 years old. No increase was seen in cases in children 4 years and younger. Boys were slightly more likely to develop the illness than girls.

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Cigarette Vapor Damages Children’s Lungs

Young man exhaling smoke from electric cigarette

Children’s Lungs Could Be Especially Vulnerable to E-Cigarette Vapor

Electronic cigarettes, or e-cigarettes, have become popular in the last few years among many people trying to quit regular cigarettes; they were heralded when they were introduced as a much safer way for people to get the nicotine they want, without the thousands of chemicals that are often present in conventional cigarettes.

But new studies are beginning to show that e-cigarettes may not be as safe as consumers were led to believe. One new study has found that vapor from these cigarettes may increase young people’s susceptibility to respiratory infections, including infection by rhinovirus, the most common cold virus.

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Hearing Damage from Loud Music

girl with headphones

Warn Your Children About Hearing Loss from New Music Players

Many young children and teenagers got MP3 players as holiday gifts last month; doctors want to urge parents to caution their children not to play their music too loud, to avoid noise-induced hearing loss.

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‘Rat-Bite Fever’ from Pet Rats Can Sicken or Even Kill, Says CDC Report

rat in kitchen

As pets go, most parents would agree that rats are not among the cutest (though we know some kids might disagree). It turns out there is a good reason not to cave in and get your child a pet rat, if that’s what he or she wants.

A 10-year-old boy from San Diego, CA died in 2013 after being scratched by his pet rat, highlighting the risks from handling the pet rodents, according to a report recently released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

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Most U.S. Teens Are Sleep-Deprived

Teen_Sleep

Almost All U.S. Teenagers Are Not Getting Enough Sleep, Says Study

A full night’s sleep is one of the best things a teenager can do for his or her physical and emotional health, mental alertness and performance at school or sports. Yet, a new study found that more than 90 percent of American teenagers aren’t getting enough rest during school nights, with only 7 percent of girls and 8-9 percent of boys getting 9 or more hours of nightly sleep.

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Some Words of Caution Before You Buy Your Children’s Holiday Toys

Holiday_Toys

Before you buy toys for the children in your life this holiday season, the Public Interest Research Group (PIRG) — and doctors — caution you to keep some important things in mind.

PIRG has released its annual “Trouble in Toyland” report, which evaluates many children’s toys that are being sold during the holiday season. As always, there were toys that PIRG tested and concluded did not meet safety standards of the United States Consumer Product Safety Commission, or that had other problems that make the toys dangerous.

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