Alcohol, Pregnancy and FAS
Fetal alcohol syndrome (FAS) can result when a pregnant woman drinks alcohol. Children with FAS can have such symptoms as
- Mental slowness
- Poor growth
- Defects of the head and face
- Behavioral problems
Avoiding alcohol when you’re pregnant is the only way to be sure that your child will not have FAS. You don’t have to be an alcoholic to have a baby with FAS. Binge drinking even once (five or more drinks at a time) can result in serious damage to an unborn child. And drinking any amount of beer, wine or hard liquor when you’re pregnant may cause your baby to have FAS or a less severe, but still serious condition, Fetal Alcohol Effect. Nobody knows for sure if there is any “safe” amount of alcohol to consume during pregnancy. So, the only safe amount is none!
Source: American Academy of Family Practitioners
Is it Stuttering?
Worried that your child might have a stuttering problem? Most children do experience what’s called “disfluency” in their speech. They tend to repeat whole words and use “er” and “um” a lot. Children at risk for stuttering tend to repeat syllables or sounds, as in b-b-b-ball, they may have “tense pauses” between words and they may speak in spurts.
People who stutter often have tense muscles n the lips, jaw or tongue when speaking. Frequently, they have more trouble speaking in certain situations than others. They may have difficulty in school, for example, but not at home.
If you are concerned about your child’s speech, be sure to seek the advice of a certified speech-language pathologist.
Source: American Speech-Language-Hearing Association
Passive Smoke and Cavities
A recent study in the Journal of the American Medical Association has shown that
A study called The Third National Health and Nutrition Survey looked at 3,531 children ages 4 to 11. Results showed that being exposed to tobacco smoke can double the risk that a child will have cavities. Children who inhale tobacco smoke have higher levels of a substance in the blood called “cotinine,” which is directly related to nicotine.
Additionally, it appears that tobacco smoke, and the higher levels of continine, seem to decrease a child’s ability to fight infection. Children who are exposed to passive smoke also tend to have more colds and ear infections.
Source: Journal of the American Medical Association, 12 March 2003
Kids and Tooth Care
Children need to start getting dental care early. How early?
According to the American Dental Association, you should take your child to the dentist as soon as the first tooth shows through, and no later than the child’s first birthday.
Getting regular dental care for your child is extremely important. Kids who don’t see the dentist regularly are likely to sleep poorly and to have trouble paying attention in school, because they’re suffering from untreated dental problems.
Parents can help set good examples for their children by brushing twice a day, flossing once a day and by visiting the dentist regularly.
Source: American Dental Association
If you Sit for Long Periods…
Sitting is hard on your back. It increases pressure on the discs between your vertebrae. It’s also hard on your feet and legs. If you have a job that requires a lot of sitting, some of the following tips might help you:
- Don’t sit in one position for long periods of time. Keep moving and shifting.
- Try to alternate your work activities between the things that require sitting (especially at a computer) and those that require you to go and talk with a colleague, file, etc.
- Make sure your chair supports the small of your back (lumbar support). See if it helps to use a cushion, towel or lumbar roll.
- Make sure your feet rest flat on the floor.
- Make sure you have about 2 or 3 inches between the tops of your thighs and the underside of your desk or work station.
Source: Centers for Disease Control’s Computer Workstation Ergonomics Web site.