September 17, 2019

5 Common Rashes… and what to do about them!

helping mothers

Rashes are a part of childhood. Most kids get them, and sometimes they appear for no apparent reason. They can be understandably upsetting for parents, so it can be helpful to know about the most common childhood rashes, as well as what you can do to help and when it’s time to see a doctor.


1. Eczema

Eczema is a common childhood rash. It is usually genetic and kids who have parents with eczema or asthma are prone to it. It can be exacerbated by allergies or sensitivities to environmental irritants. Eczema can look like patches of dry skin or red, thickened skin. These patches are itchy, and your child may scratch. Eczema should be seen by a doctor for an official diagnosis. Prescription medications are available. You can prevent eczema flares by finding your child’s triggers and keeping her skin moisturized.

2. Impetigo

Impetigo is a bacterial infection. It’s mostly commonly found around the mouth and nose but can appear anywhere on the body. It looks like red bumps and can also have a golden-colored crust. Impetigo requires a bacterial prescription medication, so a trip to the doctor is necessary.

3. Ringworm

This fungal infection is very common and, despite common belief, it has nothing to do with a child’s cleanliness. Anyone can get ringworm. The infection usually looks like a raised red circle with a patch of normal looking skin in the middle. Ringworm is usually itchy. Try to keep your child from scratching it because this can spread the infection. You can treat this rash with over-the-counter fungal cream along with hydrocortisone cream to help the itching.

4. Hives

Hives indicate that your child is having an allergic reaction. They can be caused by a food allergy or an environmental allergy. If your child has hives and is having any signs of swelling or difficulty breathing, get to an emergency room immediately. Hives usually show up the trunk of the body and occasionally on the arms and legs. They are irregularly shaped welts that often appear in clusters. Hives can be treated with oral diphenhydramine and hydrocortisone cream, but you should have your child tested to find out what he is allergic to.

5. Roseola

Roseola is a viral disease that causes a high fever and a rash that looks like spotty red bumps, which can sometimes have a lacy appearance. The fever usually comes first and lasts for a couple days. After the fever breaks, the rash appears. You can treat your child’s fever with acetaminophen, following the package directions for dosing. Contact your doctor if the fever doesn’t come down with medication or if your child begins to show signs of dehydration.

Improving Fine Motor Skills in Your Preschooler

Kids HandsAs your preschooler is growing and adapting, you may notice a burgeoning interest in fine motor skill activities. At this age, kids enjoy experimenting with crayons and markers, and they are also learning independence. By providing a steady stream of activities designed to help improve these skills, you can give your child an edge as kindergarten draws closer. Make sure to take note of which activities your child is especially drawn to, and if your child isn’t showing interest in a particular activity, don’t force the matter.


Puzzles

Puzzles are a good choice for preschoolers. Look for heavy cardboard with large pieces or wooden puzzles. Help your child put the puzzles together until she gets the idea, and then encourage her to do it on her own. It’s okay if kids do the same puzzle over and over. Repetition is one of the most important ways that kids learn.

Play Dough

Not only is play dough fun to create with, the act of kneading it and pushing into different shapes helps strengthen your child’s hands, so that he will be more successful with other fine motor activities. In addition to helping build motor skills, play dough can also be used to teach your preschooler about colors and abstract imagery.


Chalkboard easels

Drawing on an upright easel with chunks of sidewalk chalk is a fun activity for kids that helps them develop their grip, as well as their imagination. The size and shape of sidewalk chalk is perfect for little hands and gives them a level of control they might not find with crayons.


Scissors

Older preschoolers can begin cutting paper with safety scissors. Show your child how to properly hold the scissors and always supervise. Give your child plenty of sturdy construction paper to cut up. A fun addition to this activity is to let them use glue sticks to attach the pieces that they cut together. You might be amazed at how creative your child can be.


Tracing Activities

As your child’s hands get stronger and you notice a more distinct finesse to his activities, you can begin providing more structure. Draw dashed lines with a pencil on a piece of paper and have your child trace the lines with a thick crayon or marker. As your child improves, add waves or zigzags to the lines for a bit of a challenge. This activity will prepare your preschooler for kindergarten and for learning to write letters.

10 Types of Toys for Toddlers

Choosing toys for toddlers is exciting, but it can sometimes be a little overwhelming. Should you look for toys designed to help your child learn? Should you just focus on toys that are fun to play with? Many of the best toys for toddlers are a mixture of both. If you are looking for a gift for a toddler, check out this list for some ideal options.

1. Shape sorters

Shape sorters help toddler’s master fine motor skills, relational skills and the concept of shapes. Play with your child, and ask questions like “What shape is this?” and “Where did the triangle go?” to help develop these skills.

2. Riding toys

Although the idea of making your toddler more mobile might make you cringe, these toys are actually great for helping develop large motor skills and coordination.

3. Stuffed animals

Stuffed animals are cute and cuddly and can also help your child develop a sense of empathy. Additionally, they help stimulate the imagination. You probably remember your own favorite stuffed animal from when you were a child.

4. Blocks

All types of building blocks are wonderful for developing fine motor skills. Most toddlers will also enjoy the activity of destroying that follows building, which actually helps teach causation.

5. Nesting cups

Not only do these help your toddler develop spatial reasoning as they get stacked and lined up, they can also be used in the tub or in a sand tray to help develop sensory skills.

6. Books

Books are phenomenal for every age, even toddlers. Choose books with simple language, rhymes and colorful pictures. Look for board books or books with different textures to help your child really explore. Take time to read to your toddler every day.

7. Crayons

Thick chunky crayons are fun for toddlers to experiment with. Ooh and aah over their masterpieces as they have fun and develop fine motor skills.

8. Balls

Balls are a great outdoor toy and help your toddler develop large motor skills. Toddlers can chase after balls, and can learn to kick them and even catch them if they are gently tossed.

9. Puzzles

Puzzles with large, sturdy pieces will help your toddler develop fine motor skills and spatial reasoning.

10. Push toys

Toys that your child can push and pull — toy lawnmowers, shopping carts and other items — help your child build large motor skills and will also help develop your toddler’s sense of balance and coordination.

Instilling a Sense of Gratitude in Your Child

Although you may sometimes feel like your child is the most selfish kid on the face of the planet, the truth is that all small children are inherently self-centered.

As they get older and begin to notice more about the world around them, it’s up to us as parents to guide them toward empathy for others and gratitude for the good things in life.
Most kids don’t realize how good they have it. When you have a roof over your head, food on your table and toys to play with, you tend to take that for granted.

By encouraging your kids to participate in the world around them and volunteer to help others in your community, you can help develop their sense of gratitude.

Volunteer in the Community

Many community programs welcome children volunteers. Participating in groups like Scouts or helping through a church or similar organization will open up plenty of volunteer opportunities. Make a point of volunteering your own time, and explain to your child what you are doing and why it’s important. Encourage your child to ask questions, and try to answer them as honestly as possible.

Role-play Kindness Toward Others

Did your child behave in a selfish way toward another child? Sit down with your child and talk about what happened and why taking things or behaving in a selfish manner is not okay. Act out little scenarios in which you take toys and other items from your child, and talk about how that makes him feel. Children ages 4 and under may struggle with this concept, but older children will understand easier.

Donate Old Toys

Does your child’s room look like a toy store exploded in there? Many children acquire new toys with no obligation to give up their old ones, some of which may not have even been played with. Go through your child’s room and start pulling out toys that are no longer played with or that have been outgrown. Explain to your child what you are doing — and that she is not being punished! — and ask her to help you choose toys that are no longer loved so that other children can enjoy them. Have your child come with you when you donate the toys ,and talk about how much other children are going to appreciate the toys and how thoughtful and kind she is for giving them up.

Affordable & Fun Family Outings

family fun outdoors Sometimes it can feel like everything that’s fun to do costs a fortune. While it’s true that prices have gone up for many activities, it’s not too hard to find fun and inexpensive — and even free — outings for the family if you know where to look. Check out some of these suggestions and fill up your calendar with entertaining things to do.

1. What’s happening at the library?
Think libraries are just for checking out books? Think again. Ask for a copy of the schedule, and see what programs the library has lined up. Many libraries feature plenty of free activities for kids, including musical performances, readings by authors, small plays from local troupes, and arts and crafts projects. [Read more...]