As a new parent, what do we fear most? Illness for our child.
Premature babies are especially vulnerable to illness. Just ask Deb Discenza, co-founder of PreemieWorld LLC, a website dedicated to education and support for parents of premature babies.
In the interview below, Discenza speaks to Family First Editor-In-Chief Marijo Tinlin about the challenges parents face in the light of the current healthcare system, specifically in regards to Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV), a deadly respiratory infection that threatens premature babies.
She is advocating parents sign a petition that lobbies to have the American Academy of Pediatrics reinstate the use of a drug for preemies called Synagis. Please listen to her interview and check out the petition to help premature babies and their parents today.
Now that cold temperatures are here and we’re spending more time inside, we’ll see more illness hitting our kids.
Fevers, flu and colds are the common aliments most parents see at some point during the year.
Here are some tips from the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) to help parents when treating their sick little one.
Fevers don’t have to be treated, according to AAP, unless your child isn’t sleeping or eating well or if he is lethargic and uncomfortable. They do recommend consulting with your child’s doctor. To keep them comfortable, here are their tips:
Colds and Flu
Because there is no cure for the flu or a cold, treatment can be given to help make your child more comfortable from the aches and pains, sore throat or some fevers associated with these illnesses. The American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP) recommends giving ibuprofen or acetaminophen to help relieve these symptoms.
Giving Prescription Medication
If your doctor does give you a prescription for your child, the AAP has some recommendations for giving these medications.
Put down the remote, the game player, the cell phone and play a game together as a family. You might just be amazed at what you find out about your spouse, your children and yourself.
Playing games together engages all members of the family and puts everyone on the level playing field, Laurie Mahoney, Marketing Manager of Buffalo Games tells Family First. Instead of “Mom” or “Dad”, you are now a player in the game. While you play, you may hear what’s going on in your kid’s head because he feels ok revealing things when it’s a game. The results can be hilarious – and bring you closer as a family.
One of Buffalo Games’ games is Likewise and can be a great view into how your kid thinks. The point of the game is to think alike. Each player has a paddle and they must write their answers to funny combinations on these and try to think like the other players. An example on the box is “funny hairstyles”; mullet may come to mind but you never know what your kid will say. What a great way to find out how they think.
Mahoney gave an example of her son’s answer to the “80’s Hairstyle” question: John Adams – huh? She thought “what is he thinking” and then realized he had seen the tail-end of the John Adams epic they had watched recently. When her son saw Adams, he was old – in his 80s – and so her son thought that’s what they meant – an 80s hairstyle – of course!
Games bring families together in an unplugged, full-attention situation and a little healthy competition doesn’t hurt either. Buffalo Games has four games they sell today: Last Word, Likewise, The T-Shirt Game and their newest game, Truth Be Told, which was released in February 2010 and has already won the 2010 Tilliwig Award in the “Laugh Out Loud” category. All are meant for play at all ages.
Mahoney points out that while most of the games have suggested age ranges of middle school and up printed on the box, they can easily be modified for younger ages by slightly changing the rules or modifying the way you play.
For example, Last Word is a game where players draw subject cards and then a letter card. The timer starts and players shout out words that are of that topic and start with that word. The player who spoke the last word when the buzzer goes off wins that round and advances one space on the game board. So – Boys’ Names could be the subject and “C” might be the letter. Answers could be “Carl” “Calvin” “Conner” etc.
You can easily modify this game to play on road trips – pick just a subject card and let everyone shout out answers until the buzzer goes off. If it’s just two or three of you and the children are younger, not setting the timer takes a little pressure off and lets the kids think a little bit. It can be a great spelling lesson and a great way to help kids push themselves a little to think up answers.
The other night, my 8-year-old and I played Last Word, just the two of us. We didn’t use the timer; we just had fun picking subjects (some we had to skip because she didn’t know anything about the subject – like College Majors and Things at a Bank). But many were really funny – like Things a Dog Does. We had a blast and really enjoyed the one-on-one time we got.
Mahoney says teachers really like the Buffalo Games games because it gets kids thinking beyond the most common words like “apples and oranges” – they must utilize their vocabulary more. In Truth Be Told and Likewise, players must write answers so it helps kids with their writing and spelling. In all the games, there is some reading required, which also helps kids keep their reading skills sharp. If you have a pre-reader, you could team him or her up with an adult so the young one can still enjoy playing.
One of the best features of any of the Buffalo Games, says Mahoney, is that every game is different each time you play. You will never play the same game because the subjects are so varied and the personalities and life experiences of the players (think: her son’s John Adams answer) are always going to be different. This is a different feature than some of the old stand-bys. We all know everyone tries to buy Park Place and Boardwalk and put hotels on these immediately, right?
Mahoney says studies from the American Academy of Pediatrics actually prove that playing games is essential to kids’ cognitive and social development. Plus it gives them a chance to engage and even partner with an authority figure for better communication. Most parents, especially those of a pre-teen or teen, most likely desire more interaction with their kids in a positive way versus “take out the trash.”
When you’re playing a game, you’re talking to each other, teaming up together, learning about sportsmanship skills and how to win and lose gracefully. So take an hour, turn off the movie or the computer, put down the cell phone and spend time playing together as a family. You’ll be glad you did.
About Buffalo Games
All the Buffalo Games are made in the United States (in Buffalo, New York) and are made with 100% post-consumer recycled materials. The games mentioned in this story are sold on the Buffalo Games website (www.buffalogames.com), on Amazon and at any of the over 3,000 retail locations wherever games are sold such as Walmart, Target and Barnes & Noble. You can order them by phone at 1-800-832-2331. You can also watch short videos on their website about how each game is played.
Mahoney says they rigorously test the games before bringing them to market. They are always trying for the triumvirate of game criterion: 1) Is it fun? 2) Is it easy to learn? And 3) Will people play it again and again (“repeat play value”). They do have more games in the works so look for more fun from Buffalo Games in the future.]]>