Video: Parents Talk about Their Children with Diabetes

Parents describe how they deal with having a diabetic child, including daily routines such as insulin injections, and how children can live life to the fullest.


Editor’s Note: Video Highlights

  • measuring glucose level blood test from diabetes child babyParents talk about the challenges of their child’s diabetes diagnosis
  • Others describe how they must learn to care for their children like medical professionals
  • A particular concern is when the children go off to school – it can be hard to accept someone else taking control over their diabetes
    • This requires a close, integrated approach between the family and school
  • Some of the children also talk about managing their diabetes while at school
  • Parents also describe the disruption that diabetes management represents for their kids’ lives
    • But these steps are absolutely required to keep them alive
  • Another worry covered is when children grow into teenagers – and that new habits and concerns could get in the way of good diabetes control
  • A diabetes physician talks about how the real challenge of diabetes for both parents and the child is maintaining motivation to manage this chronic condition well over decades
  • Parents also emphasize that you will make mistakes and shouldn’t beat yourself up about it – you’re only human and you will get the hang of it all
  • Managing your child’s diabetes can be challenging and stressful, but it does become more normal over time – and your family will be able to focus on other things in life
  • Finally, parents emphasize that a child with diabetes can live a normal life to a full extent

For more information on babies and rashes, click on this link from NHS Choices.

Child Health & Safety News Roundup: 06-20-2016 to 06-26-2016

twitter thumbIn this week’s Children’s Safety News: A disturbing look inside the world of online sextortion

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 and Facebook 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 not on Twitter or FB (or who are but may have missed something), we offer you a recap of the past week’s top 15 events & stories.

PedSafe Child Health & Safety Headline of the Week:
Sorry Kids: Flu Shots Work Better Than Nose Spray –

How Important is Crawling for Baby Development?

This post was sparked by a recent basement storeroom clear out with my now 14-year old son….but more on that later…

issues with skipping crawlingAll new parents probably worry about their baby’s development. Will he develop normally? Will she hit the milestones on time? And there are a lot of milestones to keep track of, as shown on the US Centers for Disease Control (CDC) website – covering areas such as social/emotional development, communication and cognition/thinking. But the area our son seemed to have an issue with was in movement and physical development….he wouldn’t crawl.

According to developmental guidelines (for example and WebMD), by nine months your baby should be getting into a sitting position on his own, pulling to stand, and crawling to get around and explore his surroundings. Our son, Elliott, definitely did the first two, but he wouldn’t crawl. Instead he perfected the art of rolling. Everywhere. And very quickly!

By rolling I mean rolling onto his side and then his stomach, and then his other side, and his back….and the whole thing over and over again. And he was very good at it. Each time he set out on one of these rolling journeys, he could only go in one of two directions – whichever ways his sides were facing. So he quickly learned to get to all corners of the main floor of our house by rolling in one direction for a bit and then turning and changing direction – with just a bit of a shift in his orientation so that he wasn’t going back where he came from. In this way he whizzed about the house in a rolling zigzag pattern – pretty handily getting from point A to B.

Hey Mom....look at me go!

Hey Mom….look at me go!

At first this was really cute and quite a marvel. And given that he could move about quite well, we really didn’t have anything to be worried about, right? Well, it wasn’t entirely clear. Since this was more than 10 years ago – at the very early stages of internet search engines – we couldn’t easily access the huge range of information we can all get today. And some of the baby books and articles at the time suggested there could be issues with babies skipping crawling, including for hand-eye coordination and social development. Even today, a few articles on the web talk about issues with not crawling – like potential delays in building upper body strength – but the majority say crawling isn’t needed. One article even pointed out that crawling isn’t listed on the Denver Developmental Screening Test, widely used by pediatricians to assess normal infant development.

Just to be on the safe side, we tried a number of tactics to promote crawling, including little pushes on his bottom and demonstrating crawling techniques ourselves (that was a hoot!). We also took him regularly to Gymboree classes from an early age, so he saw lots of other babies crawling around – but nothing worked. Until one day someone (a class leader? another mom?) suggested trying one of the collapsible-tunnel-photo-200many collapsible fabric tunnels in the class. My mom was with me that day and she put Elliott in front of the entrance to the tunnel while I encouraged him forward from the other end. But nope….he just rolled away. After trial and error, we figured out that we had to place him a ways inside the tunnel so he couldn’t back out – and need to steady the tunnel on the sides so he couldn’t make the whole thing roll. So there he was…stuck in the middle…and was he ever MAD! He made all sorts of angry grunting and mewling sounds and eventually started crying. But he finally began to reach his arms out in front of him and began “army-style” crawling on his belly!! I was so ecstatic I bought a collapsible tunnel on the spot for more practice at home.

And so it worked. After more time in the tunnel, he learned how to crawl and began using this skill instead to go exploring around the house. But in the end, I don’t think it really mattered whether he rolled or crawled. Even before the “tunnel therapy” he was already on to later milestones like standing and taking steps while holding onto low furniture. And he never had any issues with upper body strength or fine motor skills, despite a very brief crawling stage.

The biggest problem came more than a decade later when I found the flattened fabric tunnel in that basement storeroom. I thought it was such a cute story that I shared it with now-teenage Elliott, who insisted on opening it up for a better look. But instead of thinking it was sweet, he got rather annoyed and accused us of “torturing” his baby self! Moral of the story…whatever you do in the best interests of your child – save the stories until they have kids of their own and “get” how tough parenting decisions can be.

Why Teens are Always Tired…and What You Can Do

Trouble getting up on school days, dozing off in class, marathon lie-ins at weekends … You’d be forgiven for thinking teenagers sleep their lives away.

why-teens-are-always-tiredIn fact, the opposite is true. Sleep experts say teens today are sleeping less than they ever have. This is a worry, as there’s a link between sleep deprivation and accidents, obesity and cardiovascular disorders.

Physiological changes, social pressures and external factors such as TVs and other stimulating gadgets in the bedroom contribute to late nights and mood swings.

Lack of sleep also affects teenagers’ education, as it can leave them too tired to concentrate in class and perform to their best ability in exams.

Teen Sleep Thieves

Our sleep patterns are dictated by light and hormones. When light dims in the evening, we produce a chemical called melatonin, which gives the body clock its cue, telling us it’s time to sleep.

“The problem is that society has changed,” says Dr Paul Gringras, consultant paediatrician and director of the Evelina Paediatric Sleep Disorder Service at Guy’s and St Thomas’ Hospital in London.

“Artificial light has disrupted our sleep patterns. Bright room lighting, TVs, games consoles and PCs can all emit enough light to stop the natural production of melatonin.”

Other distractions include mobile phones and instant messaging, which teens may use well into the night.

These all worsen the usual changes taking place in the body during adolescence, which means teenagers fall asleep later in the evening.

“That wouldn’t be a problem if there was no need to get up early in the morning for school,” says Dr Gringras.

“The early-morning wake-ups mean they’re not getting the average eight to nine hours of sleep. The result is a tired and cranky teenager.”

Several school districts in the US have introduced later start times for pupils in an effort to improve their performance, although results have been mixed.

How the Body Clock Affects Sleep

“Catching up on sleep at weekends isn’t ideal. Late nights and long lie-ins further disrupt the body clock,” says Dr Gringras.

In severe cases, an individual’s body clock can be so different to everyone else’s that they can’t fall asleep until late at night. This condition is called delayed sleep phase syndrome (DSPS). It’s similar to the feeling of jet lag and is a disorder of the body’s timing system.

Treatment for DSPS includes bright light therapy – such as exposure to a bright light for about half an hour every morning – and chronotherapy, which involves restoring the individual’s natural sleep phase.

“Sometimes we give a small dose of melatonin in the evening, about an hour or so before bedtime,” says Dr Gringras. “Over the long term, this helps to reset the body clock.”

“However tired they feel, they should avoid lie-ins at the weekend. They should get exposure to outdoor light,” he says.

Getting Help for Sleep Problems

A range of services for sleep problems can be accessed through the NHS. Your GP (*pediatrician or family doctor) can tell you more about this.

Dr Gringras says: “Your doctor will also be able to give you basic advice on addressing sleep issues and, where appropriate, recommend a sleep clinic.”

Find your local NHS sleep medicine services.

See Sleeping tips for teenagers for more advice.

Editor’s Note: *clarification provided for our US readers.

Child Health & Safety News Roundup: 06-13-2016 to 06-19-2016

twitter thumbIn this week’s Children’s Safety News: One Thing Snapchat Desperately Needs To Copy From Facebook & Twitter – Suicide prevention tools

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 and Facebook 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 not on Twitter or FB (or who are but may have missed something), we offer you a recap of the past week’s top 25 events & stories.

PedSafe Child Health & Safety Headline of the Week:
2011-2017 BMW X3 and X4’s recalled due to child safety concerns

Thank you Danny – I Forgot You Don’t Always See Special Needs

Overweight-special-needs-boyEvery day of the school year as I crept along in my car in Los Angeles traffic, I passed an elementary school. There were always many children walking with adults, but one boy caught my attention. He was incredibly overweight, and he didn’t walk as much as waddle. His feet barely fit in his sneakers. When I first started seeing him and his mother I got a little judgy – how could his mother let him get this out of hand? What is she feeding him? Doesn’t she realize she is setting him up for a lifetime of health challenges and eating disorders? Then I caught myself, and I thought of Danny.

I never met Danny during his short life, but I follow his mother on Facebook on her Danny’s Warriors page. She chronicled his battle with a brain tumor with painful honestly – a battle we all knew he was going to lose. She and her family tried to make happy memories with Danny, despite his decline. She shared info about his meds and their side effects. Even as he got sicker, one of his meds made him very swollen.

Suddenly my attitude toward the boy and his mom changed. What were they dealing with? Did he have special needs? What if his future was going to be cut short? Now I was happy that the boy was up on his feet, and that he was being made to walk. Each day I tried to see if he was doing better or worse. I searched for little signs, and I worried about him and his mother. I could see how much she loved him unconditionally. I can’t believe I missed all that the first few times I saw them! Sometimes I actually wanted to pull over and talk to them, to see if they needed anything, but I thought that would be weird and stalker-ish. I have to trust that they have a support system in place. All I can do is send out love to them.

Danny has been gone for a while now. I send out love to his mom, his family and his little brother and I thank them for changing my attitude about this other boy and for reminding me how important it is to love the people who are around you today.