How to Recognize If Your Child Has An Airway Problem

Have you noticed any unnatural or worrisome behavior in your child’s sleeping patterns? For example, does your child snore, even as an infant? Does your child gasp for air, appear to choke, or thrash around in his or her sleep? If so, you may want to have your child’s airway development evaluated.

We all know proper breathing habits are essential to our children’s health, development, and intellectual success. Early detection and correction of airway problems is critical to their overall quality of life. Children who cannot adequately breathe through their noses tend to breathe through their mouths. Constant mouth breathing is not only unhealthy, but also tends to affect the growth of facial features.

Even if your child has never had any respiratory issues, his or her ability to easily and efficiently breathe depends on more than lung functionality. Even if your child’s lungs are functioning properly, any obstructions or constrictions of the airway over a significant amount of time can lead to unhealthy breathing habits and anatomical pathologies. As your child grows, a restricted airway increases his or her chances of asthma, allergies, and chronic sinus and throat infections.

Don’t forget – the tongue is the strongest muscle in our body! The more your child’s tongue sits in the lower jaw, the more pressure exerted. This leads to severely compromised nasal breathing, causing the upper jaw and midface to develop at a slower rate, because the natural growth stimulant of air flow through the nasal passages is absent. The deficiency of growth in our upper jaws and midface affects our facial balance, beauty and function. A poorly-developed upper jaw means less support for the eye sockets and nasal airways, leading to a deviated septum, asymmetrical nose, snoring, and sleep apnea.

By examining, diagnosing and treating your child’s airway development at an early age, you can:

  • Remove dangerous factors influencing your child’s growth
  • Ensure proper growth in your child’s development
  • Assist in the psychological well-being of your child
  • Save your child from a potential jaw surgery in adulthood
  • Prevent crowding and crooked teeth in your child’s smile

To determine which course of treatment would be the most beneficial to your child, reach out to your pediatrician, dentist, orthodontist, or sleep specialist.

Why You Need To Shut The TV When Your Toddler’s Playing

As parents we’ve probably all had these moments—you are asking your child a question or to complete a chore and they are glued to the TV screen (or tablet). You ask multiple times, you maybe even raise your voice, but no response. You soon realize that the screen is taking all their attention and your efforts are useless.

We adults multi-task all the time. In today’s digital world, it’s easy to find yourself looking at your phone, watching TV and perhaps even working on your computer all at the same time. We think we are being productive but research shows that this type of multi-tasking really is ineffective.

What about the effects of multi-tasking on young children? Now, hopefully they aren’t using multiple screens at once, but they are often trying to play with toys while background TV is on. We have probably all done this in our homes—we leave the TV on with a program that is not child-centered (e.g., the news) while we make dinner or fold laundry. Our toddler happens to be in the same room playing but we do not think they are paying any attention to the TV…or are they?

More and more research has emerged in the last few years about the effects of background noise and TV on children’s playtime.

Generally, these studies find that young children do not multi-task well. In the presence of background TV, even TV that they are not interested in, toddlers tend to play less.

Closer analysis reveals that toddlers tend to look at the TV in short spurts. During these times, their play with toys stops and then it is hard for them to restart the play after turning away from the TV.

Sounds familiar, right? How do you feel when you are reading an article and then turn to look at the TV for a few minutes? It is hard to return to your article and refocus your reading attention. Now imagine trying to do a similar task but you are only 2 years old and have an immature brain. It’s easy to see why this multi-tasking presents a problem for young children.

The other key aspect of this research is that parents tend to interact with children less when background TV is on as well. This is crucial, as you can imagine, because the less parents interact with kids, the fewer words they hear. The number of words kids hear early in life in directly related to their language develop by age 2.

As with all things parenting, balance is key. Sure it’s not a big deal if the TV is on while you make dinner. However, if the TV is rarely off in your home, even when (seemingly) no one is watching, then you might re-consider. Those little eyes are always watching, even if we do not think they are.

It’s also a good idea to take notice to how your young children react (or fail to react) when the TV is on. Do they stop often to look at it while playing with siblings or toys? Do they have a hard time listening to you? These are just a few things to consider in how screen time is managed in your home.

We live in a digital world where screens are ever present. However, if we want our kids to learn presence, we have to guide them in learning how to manage technology.

Video: How Do I Explain Death to My Young Child

In this brief video, NHS Health Visitor Ruth discusses how to explain death to your young child and help them with the grieving process.

Editor’s Note: Video Highlights


  • Babies do not understand death, but they do recognize when someone they love is missing so they may have feeding and sleeping difficulties.
  • It will be helpful to:
    • Continuously reassure them
    • Maintain routines

2 Years and Older

  • At this age, children see death as reversible.
  • It will be helpful to:
    • Be specific – tell them someone has died – not is “gone”
    • Verify their understanding and clarify questions
    • Maintain routines including playtime
    • Reassure them that they are in no way responsible for the death of their loved one
  • Understand that they may not express their grief – this is not a sign they aren’t experiencing it
    • They may ask the same questions repeatedly to check that facts haven’t changed
    • Talk with them about their feelings when they are ready
  • Help them find a way to remember their loved one by looking through photos or creating a memory book


NHS Choices logo


Child Health & Safety News 7/24: Reversed Brain Damage in Toddler

twitter thumbIn this week’s Child Safety News: Parent Guide to Teens, Social Media Secrets and Smartphone Addiction

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 social media to communicate relevant and timely health and safety information to the parents, medical professionals and caregivers who follow us. Occasionally we overlook something, but overall we think we’re doing a pretty good job of keeping you informed. Still, quite a bit happens every day – so to make sure you don’t miss anything, we offer you a recap of this week’s top 15 events & stories.

  • Whitley County EMS creates an ambulance celebrating autism awareness – handprints were created by autistic kids 2017-07-23
  • President Uhuru signs Kenya school bus safety Bill – includes safety belts on buses 2017-07-23
  • 3 Signs of Stress in Toddlers and How You Can Help 2017-07-22
  • N.H. boy, 6, believed to be state’s youngest suspected overdose case 2017-07-21
  • First double hand transplant involving a child declared a success 2017-07-21

PedSafe Child Health & Safety News Headline of the Week:
Scientists have reversed brain damage in a U.S. toddler who drowned in her family swimming pool

  • Saturday, Spider-Man: Homecoming is Sensory Friendly at AMC 2017-07-21
  • How To Have a Conversation With Your Teenager 2017-07-21
  • Why spanking isn’t an effective consequence… 2017-07-20
  • At What Age Are They “Old Enough” to Swim Unsupervised? – Thurs Time Capsule 04/11 2017-07-20
  • The 17 Skills Your Child Needs Before Starting Kindergarten Now 2017-07-19
  • Trampolines & Jump Centers: Fun but Risky, Parents Beware 2017-07-19
  • 2017-07-18
  • New program through Children’s Hospital connects first responders to child’s needs before an emergency 🙂 2017-07-18
  • Help available for kids coping with parents’ addiction to opioids 2017-07-18
  • How Outdoor Activities Reduce Family Stress 2017-07-17
  • Happy Birthday Pediatric Safety! 8 Years is Only The Beginning… 2017-07-17

War for the Planet of the Apes is Sensory Friendly, Tuesday at AMC

AMC Entertainment (AMC) has expanded their Sensory Friendly Films program in partnership with the Autism Society. This Tuesday evening, families affected by autism or other special needs have the opportunity to view a sensory friendly screening of War for the Planet of the Apes, a film that may appeal to older audiences on the autism spectrum.

As always, 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! Imagine …no need to shhhhh your child. No angry stares from other movie goers. Many parents think twice before bringing a child to a movie theater. Add to that your child’s special needs and it can easily become cause for parental panic. But on this one day a month, for this one screening, everyone is there to relax and have a good time, everyone expects to be surrounded by kids – with and without special needs – and the movie theater policy becomes “Tolerance is Golden“.

AMC and the Autism Society will be showing War for the Planet of the Apes, sensory friendly tomorrow, Tuesday, July 25th at 7pm (local time). 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 full list, please scroll to the bottom of the page).

Coming In Aug: The Emoji Movie (Tues, 8/8);


Editor’s note: Although War for the Planet of the Apes has been chosen by AMC and the Autism Society for a Tuesday Sensory Friendly screening, we do want parents to know that it is rated PG-13 by the Motion Picture Association of America for for sequences of sci-fi violence and action, thematic elements, and some disturbing images. As always, please check the IMDB Parents Guide for a more detailed description of this film to determine if it is right for you and your family.

A Pediatrician’s Unique Perspective on Dads and Babies

Most human Mom’s live with their babies developing in their uteri for about 9 months. During this time, they both experience the physiologic and personality changes associated with pregnancy. Dad too has been involved but in a much more subtle and marginal way. He has seen the remarkable changes occurring in the mother of his child almost on a daily basis and has looked on in awe and wonderment at her growing belly and occasionally has been lucky enough to have been present when the movement of the fetus can be seen and felt through the mother’s abdominal wall. If he was lucky enough to attend her prenatal visits he might even have caught a glimpse of the actual baby moving through the magic of sonography.

Some men, rarely, have expressed a feeling of disappointment at not having had the same experiences moms have. Most Fathers, however, have experienced the same joy and elation at seeing their newborn baby for the first time as Moms. There is that certain feeling of witnessing a miracle that doesn’t come along every day. Just imagine that little perfect person with everything an adult has but just in miniature. In fact, the production of a baby is, by all accounts, a miracle of such huge proportions that volumes of books and stories have been written and seen and read on this topic alone.

A father develops a special bond with his baby that can almost not be put into words. The presence of a father adds a certain amount of stability immediately to the family unit and, if Mom will allow the participation of the Father in an equal manner with her, then the family unit is strengthened even more- and the father feels less like an outsider and more like an active influence on the development of the baby.

In fact, fathers should be encouraged to take a very active role in the care of this infant right from birth. A father taking his baby to the Doctor’s office for regular visits is becoming far more common now than it ever used to be. I remember as a young intern and resident with a very busy day and night schedule I could not attend very many of my childrens’ doctor visits and could only listen in amazement at the reports my wife would give me in the evening when I finally got home. To this day I feel cheated of some of the elation that came when our baby’s doctor could confirm that our care was certainly correct and of great benefit for our child. After all, babies do not come with instructions or warranty manuals and it is important for parents to have their parenting skills recognized and confirmed by an objective third party.

Erin Pougnet’s studies of fathers’ influence on children’s cognitive and behavioural functioning have shown greater achievable IQ levels in children with whom the father has paid a greater role during early infancy and childhood. Fathers are known to contribute different ways of looking at non-verbal skills as they take part in the physical contact of their children (playing roughly) and offer another definition of reasoning. Recent evidence gathered from families in which the father is absent due to armed forces responsibilities show that there are more stresses, sadness, withdrawal and aggressive behavior when Dad is away for any significant time span. Families in older generations suffered from the father’s inability to express appropriate feeling toward his children; now it is felt that younger fathers have these skills.

A Father should never be a casual observer to the growth and development of his child but an active contributing member of the family unit. Prenatal classes of a different kind than those for expectant mothers should be offered to the father- to- be as well, so that his role can be more clearly defined. As research has shown, dad’s increasing involvement is making a difference.