This Saturday, AMC Sensory Friendly Films will show Ice Age 4

Once a month, AMC Entertainment (AMC) and the Autism Society have teamed up to bring families affected by autism and with other special needs ”Sensory Friendly Movie Screenings“ – a wonderful opportunity to enjoy their favorite “family-friendly” films in a safe and accepting environment.

The movie auditoriums will have their lights turned up and the sound turned down. Families will be able to bring in snacks to match their child’s dietary needs (i.e. gluten-free, casein-free, etc.), there are no advertisements or previews before the movie and it’s totally acceptable to get up and dance, walk, shout, talk to each other…and even sing – in other words, AMC’s “Silence is Golden®” policy will not be enforced during movie screenings unless the safety of the audience is questioned.

Does it make a difference? Absolutely! “It can be challenging enough to bring ANY child to a movie theater” says PedSafe Special Needs Parenting Expert Rosie Reeves.  “For a parent with a special needs child attempting an outing like this may seem overwhelming. And yet getting out, being with the community and sharing in an experience with an audience can be invaluable for just such children”.

On Saturday July 21st at 10am local time, Ice Age: Continental Drift will be screened as part of the Autism Society “Sensory Friendly Movie Screenings” program. Tickets are $4 to $6 depending on the location. To find a theatre near you, here is a list of AMC theatres nationwide participating in this fabulous program (note: to access list, please scroll to the bottom of the page).

Coming August 11th: Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Dog Days

 

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Editor’s note: Although Ice Age: Continental Drift has been chosen by the Autism Society as this month’s Sensory Friendly screening, we do want parents to know that it is rated PG by the Motion Picture Association of America for some mild rude humor and action/peril. As always, please check the IMDB Parent’s Guide for a more detailed description of this film to determine if it is right for you and your child.

Child Health & Safety News Roundup: 07-09-2012 to 07-15-2012

Welcome to Pediatric Safety’s weekly “Child Health & Safety News Roundup”- a recap of the past week’s child health and safety news headlines from around the world.

Each day we use Twitter to communicate relevant and timely health and safety information to the parents, medical professionals and other caregivers who follow us. Occasionally we may miss something, but we think overall we’re doing a pretty good job of keeping you informed. But for our friends and colleagues who are not on Twitter (or who are but may have missed something), we offer you a recap of the past week’s top 20 news-worthy events.

PedSafe Headline of the Week:

Babies who have a cat or dog around during their 1st year have fewer health problems than those without pets http://t.co/KGXr6m3B

New Brain Beats CD Brings Learning and Music Together

Calling all alternative learners, auditory learners, music lovers and anyone who is afraid of summer brain drain – now you can pop some catchy music into your nearest player and learn some really useful info thanks to Brain Beats, a fun mnemonic collection of songs. Covering everything from geography, science, history, math, grammar and more you can slip in a little lesson during your next car ride, workout or even let it play poolside.

Our memory loves music, so instead of committing the latest drivel by a bubblegum popstar to memory, feed your brain the words to the preamble of the constitution! Back in the day School House Rock got me through some of my classes, and now Brain Beats brings educational music to a new generation.

Check out Brain Beats Tour of the States music video and follow the link to the album for more info. Brain Beats is available at all Marbles The Brain Store locations and on their website.

Child Health & Safety News Roundup: 07-02-2012 to 07-08-2012

Welcome to Pediatric Safety’s weekly “Child Health & Safety News Roundup”- a recap of the past week’s child health and safety news headlines from around the world.

Each day we use Twitter to communicate relevant and timely health and safety information to the parents, medical professionals and other caregivers who follow us. Occasionally we may miss something, but we think overall we’re doing a pretty good job of keeping you informed. But for our friends and colleagues who are not on Twitter (or who are but may have missed something), we offer you a recap of the past week’s top 20 news-worthy events.

PedSafe Headline of the Week:

CPSC Recall: Kids Rigo sleepwear (pull on pants & boxers) recalled after boy is burned
http://t.co/mu5oVgcF

Resetting Needle Phobia for Kids Who Get “Home Shots”

A recent post on an arthritis blog I belong to discussed a common problem, out of control needle fear. In many cases, it has grown so out of control that home shots are going to be transferred to the hospital, or effective IM medications are going to be swapped for less effective oral ones. If you’re on this path, here is a way to try to address the issue for children age 4 – 10: try a “do over”.

Kids are used to new rules being laid down, and so long as you are 100% consistent after calling a “do over” they usually adapt in one to three events. Say, OK, this isn’t working, before we decide to just do this at the hospital every time let’s make a plan for next time and you choose what you want to try. Write down the options to make the exercise super legit and read it to her or let her circle what she wants to give control.

  1. Freeze spray/no freeze spray: Research shows for children under age 6 freeze spray hurts more than helps on average. We don’t recommend it.
  2. Position (sitting in dad/mum’s lap, lying on side, etc): Tensing muscles makes shots worse (that’s awfully hard not to do when a child is freaking out). Since lying on the back is anxiety provoking, you can try lying on the side.
  3. Entertainment or distraction so as to NOT pay attention to shot: watching TV, blowing out on a kazoo (blowing helps naturally decrease fear), etc.
  4. Other sensations: take a big sip of something cold and sweet right at the moment of the shot, turn a Buzzy on and off in her hand, press Buzzy to her forehead (THAT’s a big counter stimulation) etc. (see the Buzzy story in Pediatric Safety).
  5. Poke-r chips or a token economy: Decide on a prize for working on this together, a treat you’ll both get like an outing to a movie or a favorite shop. Make a goal number of chips and a value for behavior, perfect = 3, but you get 1 no matter what, that kind of thing. Assign enough chips to behaviors so it’s attainable in that magic three events, and then let her decide how well she did and how well you did. Both of you performed the plan perfectly? Three chips for you, 3 chips for her, only 4 more to go! You forgot to have the cold sweet drink nearby but otherwise did well? 2 for you, 3 for her (and you got some feedback on what was most important to her). She lost it, freaked out, had to be dragged out from under a table? Well, one chip is the lowest you can get, so 1 for her, 2 for you maybe, and the prize is still within reach. Having a tangible token is important here. (*acknowledgement to Nancy Potash of the Platelet Disorders Support Association for this Poke-r Chips pun and concept.)

With so much going on, and having a plan and feeling more in control, perhaps you can reset the fear windup. When she starts ramping up a day or so before, remind her, “No, no, this is going to be completely different, remember? We have our plan.”

Not everything works for every kid…so if you have additional solutions that worked for you, I’d love to hear them…

A recent post on an arthritis blog I belong to discussed a common problem, out of control needle fear. In many cases, it has grown so out of control that home shots are going to be transferred to the hospital, or effective IM medications are going to be swapped for less effective oral ones. If you’re on this path, here is a way to try to address the issue for children age 4 – 10: try a “do over”.

Kids are used to new rules being laid down, and so long as you are 100% consistent after calling a “do over” they usually adapt in one to three events. Say, OK, this isn’t working, before we decide to just do this at the hospital every time let’s make a plan for next time and you choose what you want to try. Write down the options to make the exercise super legit and read it to her or let her circle what she wants to give control.

1) Freeze spray/no freeze spray: Research shows for children under age 6 freeze spray hurts more than helps on average. We don’t recommend it.
2) Position (sitting in dad/mum’s lap, lying on side, etc): Tensing muscles makes shots worse (that’s awfully hard not to do when a child is freaking out). Since lying on the back is anxiety provoking, you can try lying on the side.
3) Entertainment or distraction so as to NOT pay attention to shot: watching TV, blowing out on a kazoo (blowing helps naturally decrease fear), etc.
4) Other sensations: take a big sip of something cold and sweet right at the moment of the shot, turn a Buzzy on and off in her hand, press Buzzy to her forehead (THAT’s a big counter stimulation) etc.
5) Poker chips or a token economy: Decide on a prize for working on this together, a treat you’ll both get like an outing to a movie or a favorite shop. Make a goal number of chips and a value for behavior, perfect = 3, but you get 1 no matter what, that kind of thing. Assign enough chips to behaviors so it’s attainable in that magic three events, and then let her decide how well she did and how well you did. Both of you performed the plan perfectly? Three chips for you, 3 chips for her, only 4 more to go! You forgot to have the cold sweet drink nearby but otherwise did well? 2 for you, 3 for her (and you got some feedback on what was most important to her). She lost it, freaked out, had to be dragged out from under a table? Well, one chip is the lowest you can get, so 1 for her, 2 for you maybe, and the prize is still within reach. Having a tangible token is important here. (*acknowledgement to Nancy Potash of the Platelet Disorders Support Association for this Poke-r Chips pun and concept.)

With so much going on, and having a plan and feeling more in control, perhaps you can reset the fear windup. When she starts ramping up a day or so before, remind her, “No, no, this is going to be completely different, remember? We have our plan.” Not everything works for every kid, and if you have additional solutions that worked for you, I’d love to hear them…

Child Health & Safety News Roundup: 06-25-2012 to 07-01-2012

Welcome to Pediatric Safety’s weekly “Child Health & Safety News Roundup”- a recap of the past week’s child health and safety news headlines from around the world.

Each day we use Twitter to communicate relevant and timely health and safety information to the parents, medical professionals and other caregivers who follow us. Occasionally we may miss something, but we think overall we’re doing a pretty good job of keeping you informed. But for our friends and colleagues who are not on Twitter (or who are but may have missed something), we offer you a recap of the past week’s top 20 news-worthy events.

PedSafe Headline of the Week:

Nearly half of kids worldwide report experiencing online bullying
http://t.co/MPHLBD9r  Wow! Alarming statistic!