This past Thanksgiving weekend, we started celebrating the Holiday season with movie watching! We saw "Arthur Christmas." In it, we got to see the whole Claus family ... Grand Santa, Santa, Mrs. Claus & their 2 sons, Steve & Arthur. They definitely put the fun in dysfunctional. It was an action, comedy, adventure, animation. Basically, it was super cool.
Best part? Watching my son get excited about the whole Santa Claus operation. "Mommy why did they leave one present behind? Is that little girl going to get her present?"
Arthur reminds us that each child is important. It's not just about gifts. It's about believing against all odds. Believe and success is possible.
This past weekend my family had a great time at Sea World in Orlando. We focused mainly on the kids' section, Shamu's Happy Harbor. It's really great. I highly recommend it.
In particular, I noticed that the way I "do" parks has definitely changed since becoming a mom. No longer do I feel the need to "do it all" in a day. In addition, I'm okay with not going on every ride. I'm more than okay with going for only a few hours. It's more relaxing to just enjoy it.
Not to mention, I have fun staying in one section alone. We spent over an hour in the "Net Climb" section of Shamu's Happy Harbor at Sea World in Orlando. We genuinely enjoyed being kids again. I'm sure our son enjoys it this way too. Having his parents climb through tunnels and on nets is super fun and special.
While I was watching my 6'4" husband net climb & tunnel crawl, at least 4 stories up in the air, I thought to myself, 'Wow ... I never imagined seeing this!'
Then, I thought about how much all of us do, so differently as parents, as compared to our lives before children. Do you notice it too? Granted, your days may not be filled with your husband singing Chipmunks tunes at random hours of the day, when your child is no where near. And you may not have a husband that is addicted to the new adventures of "The Fresh Beat Band." However, you surely have your own stories of parental life. I'd love to hear them.
As an "FYI", we used our Fun Card. For the price of a one day ticket, purchased almost a year ago, we were able to enjoy Sea World for an additional 2 days for free. You can't beat that. Deals are great. But quality time is what it's all about; the bonus was that this time it was at Sea World in Orlando.
Update: December 15, 2018
Shamu's Happy Harbor is currently closed & will reopen in 2019, remodeled as a Sesame Street themed land. The Sea Carousel is still accessible.. However, the large net climb structure, Water Works, and Fun Ship are slated for removal. The Seven Seas Railway, Shamu Express, Flying Fiddler, Jazzy Jellies, Ocean Commotion, Sea Carousel, and Swishie Fishies will survive, although relocated, liley with new theme & layout. New rides, new buildings & the entire area is upposedly going to look like Sesame Street. I have to wonder if there will be a Sesame Street themed net climb area, as there is a similar one in Busch Gardens, their sister park in Tampa, Florida. While I will miss my memories, I look forward to improvements & new activites!
For many years, before the chicken pox vaccine was available, parents used to have "chicken pox parties." The idea was to get it over with,
Chicken Pox Lollipops
as you knew it was only a matter of time before your children became infected with the chicken pox. Now, apparently, some parents are taking this to a new level. Chicken Pox Lollipops? There is a Facebook Page titled, "Find A Pox Party." This multi-state group of parents favors "natural immunity." In so going, they purchase and sell chicken pox laced lollipops. The concept is simple and dangerous. A child that is acutely infected with chicken pox licks a lollipop. You buy the lollipop. You give that lollipop to your child. Your child gets infected with chicken pox. However, the consequences are not simple; in fact, they can be deadly. Pediatricians do not recommend these parties. And we definitely are against these chicken pox lollipops. We recommend disease prevention, period. Any intentional injury or disease is unacceptable.
Anyone who knowingly infects their child in the name of "natural immunity" while not being aware of the dangerous and deadly consequences, needs to become better informed. I hope that that the information in this blog post will educate many and thereby prevent disease. Parents may think, "What are the chances of that happening to my child? It almost never happens." Remember, it only takes one time, one disasterous infection, for a parent to live a live filled with regret.
First of all, it is important to know that prior to the vaccine, chicken pox used to kill 100 children in the U.S. every year. The chicken pox vaccine is the safest manner in which you can prevent your child from getting the disease.
Chicken Pox Infection Complications
Secondly, it is important to be educated regarding the possible complications that can arise from a chicken pox infection. Most people think it is only a simple skin infection that itches a whole lot; then goes away. Many complications can arise from chicken pox. Chicken pox can cause a myriad of complications, including, but not limited to shingles, cellulitis, osteomyelitis, seizures, cerebellar ataxia, meningitis, encephalitis, pneumonia, hepatitis, conjunctivitis, retinal vasculitis, secondary blindness, and a whole slew of secondary bacterial infections, including MRSA.
Sharing Chicken Pox Lollipops Equals Sharing Many Unknown Diseases
Another thing to consider is the chicken pox lollipop is carrying that infected child's medical history. That child could have had mono, AIDS, and many other diseases that are easily spread when there are open sores and/or saliva in their mouth. Simply put, the chicken pox lollipop is filled with the unknown and could be deadly.
Illegal - Federal Crime
Lastly, this news has gotten federal attention. Please be aware, that this is a federal crime on two counts. It is illegal to send any disease via U.S. mail or private mail. Also, it is illegal to alter or tamper with consumer products. Candy is a consumer product.
More Chicken Pox Disease & Vaccination Information
Today, the world mourns the lost of a great health advocate. An advocate that we perhaps we didn't even know we needed. She was an activist and advocate for breast cancer awareness.
Did you ever wonder who came up with the Pink Ribbon for breast cancer? Evelyn Lauder and her friend, Alexandra Penney, the former editor-in-chief of SELF magazine co-created the Pink Ribbon in 1992. Ms. Lauder was diagnosed with breast cancer in 1987. She made it her mission to bring breast cancer awareness to the forefront. She made is okay to say the words "cancer" and "breast" out loud. In the past, it was whispered at best. Now, it is a loud roar.
Evelyn Lauder and Alexandra Penney started a breast awareness campaign through the company Estée Lauder and SELF Magazine. Estée Lauder began handing out breast cancer pink ribbons at the counters to its customers. Self Magazine promoted it in their issues with a special annual issue to boot. And it took off from there. Ms. Lauder created the Estée Lauder Companies Breast Cancer Awareness (BCA) Campaign. Fundraising efforts linked to the Pink Ribbon supported the Breast Cancer Research Foundation, of which she was the Founder and Chairman. According to her website, http://www.evelynlauder.com/, "The BCRF is the first and largest national organization dedicated solely to funding clinical and/or translational research in breast cancer at major medical centers around the globe." To date, the BCRF has received $350 million in donations. In addition, Ms. Lauder's advocacy helped lead to the congressional designation of October as Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Ms. Lauder also helped to establish the Evelyn H. Lauder Breast Center at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York City.
Evelyn Lauder is an example of living a full life. Initially, she was trained as a teacher. After marriage into the Lauder family, she joined the company. Eventually, she became Head of Fragrance Development Worldwide at Estee Lauder, creating the famous and successful Clinique line of products. In addition to Clinique, she helped develop the fragrances Beautiful and Pleasures. She was also an accomplished photographer. We can all learn a lot from Evelyn Lauder's life of advocacy and personal fulfillment. Evelyn Lauder died from complications of ovarian cancer at the age of 75 years old.
The U. S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) has released a warning regarding magnets and children. Much care should be taken when considering giving children toys that have mini-magnets. If these magnets become dislodged or if children swallow them during play, then injury and death can occur. If two (2) or more of these magnets are swallowed, they may not pass in the stools. They can attach to each other in the gastrointestinal tract. As a result, various injuries can occur, including perforation, twisting, and blockage of the intestines. In addition, the magnets can cause infection, blood poisoning, and death.
The CPSC has stated that it is aware of at least 53 children who have suffered after having ingested magnets: 33 were injured, 19 required surgery, and one died.
So what precautions can you take with your child? Injury prevention is the key. Carefully decide which toys your child can play with & what toys you even allow into your home. Regularly check any toys that have magnets for missing pieces. These magnets can either be a part of toys or they can be the toy itself. A building set of mini-magnets is a perfect example of a toy that although advertised for children, should not be used without strict constant direct one-on-one supervision.
Lastly, if you think you child has swallowed magnets, contact your doctor immediately. Signs and symptoms of a problem can include nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and/or abdominal pain.
To listen to an audio regarding injury in children who swallowed magnets by accident, please go to http://bit.ly/sLFGxR.
I'm enjoying this movie on DVD with my son. It's an oldie and a goodie. Testing mobile blogging at the same time. I snapped a picture of Alvin taking a shower in Dave's dish washer. Note: Alvin was waiting for the rinse cycle when Dave unexpectedly opened the door.
My son imitates the Chipmunk voices really, really well. Such simple fun. It's great to laugh!
A recent study that evaluated over 2,000 U.S. teens from ages 12 to 19, revealed that the teens who ate more fiber-rich foods, such as vegetables and whole grains, were less likely to have risk factors for diabetes and heart disease. This study was published in the Journal of the American Dietetic Association this month. The study is based on government data collected between 1999 and 2002 for the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey.
They study also evaluated if the teens had three or more conditions that make up metabolic syndrome. Metabolic syndrome is not a disease. It is comprised of several risk factors (high blood pressure, elevated levels of sugar and fats in the blood, low levels of HDL or "good" cholesterol, and a large waistline) that place a person at risk for developing diabetes and heart disease.
Overall, about 6% of the teens had metabolic syndrome. Specifically, 9% of the teens that ate the least fiber had metabolic syndrome, whereas, only 3% of the teens who ate the most fiber had metabolic sydrome. This means that in order to minimize the risk factors of metabolic syndrome, teens should try to eat a healthy diet with fiber rich foods, including fruits, vegetables, and whole grains.
Today, the New England Journal of Medicine published the results of a study that showed there is no increased risk of serious heart problems in children and young adults who take medication to treat ADHD.
This study was a large retrospective study which reviewed the medical records from four health plans of 1.2 million children and young adults from ages 2 to 24 years old. This study evaluated the frequency of sudden cardiac death, heart attack and stroke in those treated with ADHD medication versus those not treated with ADHD medication. Those with a history of heart problems were not included in this study. The FDA sponosored this study, as they wanted more information regarding the potential side effect of sudden death that had been previously reported with ADHD medication. Funding for this study was obtained by two agencies in the Department of Health and Human Services. It is reasuring that there is no increased risk of ADHD medications associated with sudden cardiac death, heart attck, and stroke. However, parents should still make informed decisions regarding their child's medications and their health with their child's doctors. And as with any chronic medication, ADHD medicaions should be monitored by their doctor.
If you you would like to learn more about ADHD, starting with an answer to the common question, "What is ADHD?, please go to http://bit.ly/um63SP.
Asthma is worse in single parent family homes. This past Saturday, the Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center presented a study that revealed that children in single parent families are 50% more likely to return for hospital care of their asthma than children in two parent homes. The American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology (ACAAI) annual meeting in Boston had a presentation regarding tis finding.
The study also revealed that children were more likely to return for hospital care for their asthma, if their family's annual income was less than $60,000 a year.
Children with Asthma Need Family Support
This study, presented at the ACAAI annual meeting, has not yet been published in a peer-reviewed journal. Therefore, this is a preliminary report. However, pediatricians see this every day; there is a definite socioeconomic impact on childhood disease. In general, single-parent families are more overwhelmed and have less of an income than two-parent families. Who is there to take turns when it comes to missing work, administering medications, and catching up on much needed sleep when caring for a sick child? This is yet another reminder that single parent families need more support. Support can come from other family members, friends, and in some cases the employer. Inevitably, where there is more parental support, the child with a chronic disease is healthier.
Only 37% of children between the ages 14 and 59 months have received the 13-valent pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (PCV13). This alarming statistic was released on November 4, 2011 in the U.S. Centers for Disease Control's Morbidity & Mortality Weekly Report.
PCV13 replaces the 7-valent pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (PCV7). Current recommendations include that: 1) children receive a primary series of PCV13 and 2) children between ages 14 and 59 months who have previously received the PCV7 as their primary series, receive a supplemental dose of PCV13, in order to prevent invasive pneumococcal disease (IPD). Essentially, PCV13 protects children against an additional 6 strains of pneumococcus infection.
Pneumococcus is a bacterial infection that can cause invasive disease, such as pneumonia, sepsis, and/or meningitis, which can result in severe illness and/or death. Parents are usually familiar with & doctors typically refer to this vaccine as one of the "pneumonia" vaccines.