Wholesome foods are fresh foods that have not been processed and are so called “good foods” that your body would really appreciate as they can help you stay to healthy! In this video, MOMmy – Emiza from Energise Kids will be sharing with you why we should eat wholesome foods instead of processed foods, and she will also quote some examples for both wholesome foods and processed foods so that you’ll have a better idea of what foods to take and which to avoid.


via Cincinnati Children’s: Have you heard of GERMS? Do you know what a germ is?

Germs can cause you to be sick. They’re tiny little microorganisms that exist all around us. And they are invisible, so small you can’t even see them.

But, they’re real, and here are a few common nasty ones. Scary-looking, I know.

These germs have favorite places to hide and live, too. We call these areas germ hot spots, like kitchen counter tops, door knobs, and even your gaming devices and cell phone.

And they love to live in your bathroom. If you don’t kill these germs, they can spread and get on you and then inside you and make you sick.

But here is the good news: You can kill these germs and help protect yourself by following these three simple clean and healthy germ knock-out rules.

Number one, build you immune system. A healthy body is a strong body. Always eat lots of veggies and fruit to build your immune system to protect yourself if and when a germ attacks your body.

Number two, wash your hands regularly with soap and water. Any time you encounter a hot spot where germs live, scrub your hands all over, front and back, between fingers and around nails, for as long as it takes to sing “Happy Birthday” twice to really knock those germs out.

And three, germs love to spread from one sick person to another. So try to keep your germs to yourself. Cough or sneeze into the crook of your elbow to keep your hands clean and your germs contained. Then, wash your hands.

Just remember, germs are out there. And they can make you sick. Do your best to help prevent the spread of germs, and knock them out.


via food.ntv: A popular ingredient finding its way into many Indian gravies, cashew – a plant originating from Brazil, is a nut high in minerals. Brought to India by traders, the cashew tree grows up to exceptional heights having a rather irregular trunk. Hanging from the branches are large juicy apples at the bottom of which are attached the cashew nut. Made available round the year, the nut has a great shelf life if stored properly. The nut and the fruit, both have multiple uses. The nut, often known as the poor man’s plantation although now it is sold for steep prices, is used to make delectable and rich curries and also roasted and eaten dry. They are an intrinsic part of our festive celebrations too. Just imagine how incomplete Diwali celebrations would be without ‘kaju ki barfi’. Back when nomads had no idea how to consume the fruit, the nut was discarded while the fruit was given more importance. A book written by SP Malhotra, World Edible Nuts Economy, points out, “Natives also knew of many medicinal uses for the apple juice, bark and caustic seed oil that were later exploited by the Europeans.”

Contrary to the popular belief that it can make you gain fat, a considerable amount of cashews in your diet can provide you with many health benefits –

1. Heart Health

The National Centre for Biotechnology Information (NCBI) in its case study points out that nuts are likely to be beneficial for health, keeping a check on various ailments, such as heart disease. Studies consistently show that nut intake has a cholesterol-lowering effect, in the context of healthy diets, and there is emerging evidence of beneficial effects on oxidative stress, inflammation, and vascular reactivity. Cashews help lower LDL and increase the carrying capacity for HDL. HDL is responsible to absorb the cholesterol from the heart and take it to the liver where it can be broken down.

In 2003, the Food and Drug Administration had stated that a fistful of nuts a day as part of a low-fat diet may reduce the risk of heart disease. The heart association recommends four servings of unsalted, un-oiled nuts a week and warns against eating too many, since they are dense in calories. Another study, published in the New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM), also establishes a significant association between the consumption of nuts and a lower incidence of death due to heart diseases, cancer and respiratory diseases. The study stated that nutrients in nuts, such as unsaturated fatty acids, protein, fiber, vitamins, minerals and antioxidants may confer heart-protective, anti-carcinogenic and anti-inflammatory properties.

2. Prevents Blood Disease

The consumption of cashews on a regular basis and limited manner may help in avoiding blood diseases. Cashew nuts are rich in copper, which plays an important role in the elimination of free radicals from the body. Copper deficiency can lead to iron deficiencies such as anemia. Hence our diet should contain recommended quantity of copper. And cashew nuts are a good source.

3. Protects the Eye

In the urban environment matched with its excessive pollution, our eyes often suffer from various infections. Cashews contains a powerful antioxidant pigment called Zea Xanthin. This pigment is readily and directly absorbed by our retina, says nutritionist Anju Sood. This then forms a protective layer over our retina which prevents the harmful UV rays. Dr Anshul Jaibahrat Bhatnagar says small quantities of Zea Xanthin helps prevent age related macular degeneration in elderly and hence helps maintain eyehealth.

4. Good for the Skin

Derived from the cashew seeds, “cashew oil does wonders for your skin,” says Gargi Sharma, Manager Weight Management, Aayna. Cashew nut oil is rich in selenium, zinc, magnesium, iron and phosphorous. Also, they are great sources of phytochemicals, proteins and antioxidants. The high percentage of selenium in cashews is not only good for your skin but “helps prevent cancer as well,” says nutritionist Anju Sood.

5. Weight Loss

In comparison to diets excluding the intake of nuts, people consuming nuts on a moderate and regular basis lose weight faster. Based on the evidence from epidemiological and controlled clinical studies, nut consumption is not associated with higher body weight. The study done by the Journal of Nutrition states that the epidemiological evidence indicates consistently that nut consumers have a lower BMI than non-consumers. With respect to clinical studies, the evidence is nearly uniform that their inclusion in the diet leads to little or no weight gain. Moreover, nuts like cashews are “packed with Omega 3 fatty acids that contribute to giving a boost to the metabolic process to burn excess fat,” says Delhi-based nutritionist Shilpa Arora. Nuts are a great snack for those who are looking to lose weight as they are nutritious and tend to keep you full for a longer time. “Nuts should always be eaten raw and unsalted, so they are beneficial for weight loss efforts,” adds Shilpa.

6. Source of Dietary Fibres

According to studies, cashew nuts have a great percentage of dietary fibers. The two essential dietary fibres required by our body are, oleic acid and palmitic acid. “These fibers are not produced by our body hence they need to be consumed externally,” says nutritionist Anju Sood. Cashew nuts are good sources of these fibers. Dietary fibers help digest food better, however excessive consumption may cause bloating and significant intestinal gas production. Consumption of nuts like cashews have been related to decreased incidences of several digestive diseases.

7. Healthy and Shiny Hair

Experts say that the consumption of cashews as well as the application of cashew oil on your scalp ensures healthy hair. “Copper present in cashew nut oil helps in the production of skin and hair pigment called melanin,” says nutritionist Gargi Sharma. It also enhances hair colour and can provide a silky-smooth texture due to the presence of linoleic and oleic acids.


via LiveStrong: It wasn’t too long ago when your toddler was eating the softest, purist foods you could supply, but now that she and her appetite are expanding, it’s a good idea to ask which new foods are appropriate and which aren’t for her young, growing body. Pickles are a relatively nutritious finger food, appetizing to many toddlers, but are they healthy enough? While they can be a great source of Vitamin A, iron and potassium, there are some ingredients to watch out for. Whether or not your toddler should be eating pickles could depend on the brand.

Sodium Content

Despite being, technically, a vegetable, most pickles are sky high in sodium content. Doctors recommend no more than 1000 mg per day of sodium for toddlers, since sodium can tax your toddler’s kidneys and lead to hypertension. Many brands contain more than 1200 mg for a single pickle. Select low-sodium varieties, which can contain as little as 12mg of sodium — far more healthy for your little one.

Sugar Content

No longer relegated to little white packets, sugar now hides everywhere–in drinks, in packaged foods and even in processed vegetables. The pickle, so seemingly fresh and healthy, undergoes quite a bit of processing before it reaches your pantry, so check the label to be sure the sugar content isn’t too high for you toddler. Experts recommend that little ones have no more than 1 tbsp. per day per year of age –or 15 to 45 grams in the toddler years. A store-bought jar of pickles will usually have 5 or so grams of sugar, quite a lot when you consider that the pickle is just a snack.

Natural Flavors

Almost anything packaged and store-bought these days comes with a load of preservatives and chemicals we didn’t bargain for — and pickles are no different. Watch out for added chemicals like “natural flavors,” which are anything but. Natural flavors are designed by flavorists who test natural and synthetic chemicals to create their “natural” tasting concoctions. Look for natural and organic brands with few preservatives and added flavors.

Homemade Pickles

One great way to control the sodium, sugar and chemical content of the pickles your toddler eats is to make them yourself. Perhaps your toddler can even lend a hand. For dill pickles, you’ll need fresh, crisp cucumbers, a handful of dill, a few cloves of garlic, and salt and pepper. The website Vegan Reader has a very workable recipe (See Resources).


via healthlineCoffee is addictive and withdrawal symptoms are real. – Toby Amidor, MS, RD

“Coffee contains caffeine, which is a stimulant. There are no standards in the U.S. for caffeine intake in kids, but Canada has a maximum limit of 45 mg per day (equivalent to the caffeine in one can of soda). Too much caffeine can lead to insomnia, jitteriness, upset stomach, headaches, difficulty concentrating, and increased heart rate. In younger children, these symptoms occur after just a small amount. Further, childhood and adolescence are the most important times for bone strengthening. Too much caffeine can interfere with calcium absorption, which negatively affects proper growth. Additionally, adding cream and loads of sugar, or drinking high calorie specialty coffees, can lead to weight gain and cavities. So when is it okay for kids to start drinking coffee? A few sips here and there are no big deal. However, when sips turn into daily cups, that’s a whole other story. Coffee is addictive and withdrawal symptoms are real, so the later you start, the better. I recommend starting towards the end of adolescence when growth and development is slowing down.”

Coffee is a vessel for empty calories in the form of added sugar. – Andy Bellatti, MS, RD
“The research I’ve seen points to negative cardiovascular and neurologic effects, namely anxiety and insomnia, in children who consume caffeine. These days, the issue is not coffee itself, but rather the cloyingly sweet ‘energy drinks’ commonly consumed by tweens and teenagers. In many cases, energy drinks are marketed to teenagers. The other problem right now is that ‘coffee’ has become synonymous with 20-ounce coffee-ish concoctions largely made up of syrups, whipped cream, and caramel sauce. In the case of many teenagers, coffee is a vessel for empty calories in the form of added sugar. As far as drinking ‘real’ coffee on a daily basis — espresso, cappuccinos, and lattes — I think it’s prudent to wait until the age of 18.”

The effects of excessive caffeine include hyperactivity, mood swings, and anxiety. – Cassie Bjork, RD, LD
“There’s not necessarily a black and white answer for what age is appropriate to introduce coffee. The main downfall is that coffee has caffeine, a stimulant, which can make it an addictive substance. Most would likely agree that an addiction to anything is not ideal, especially in childhood. Yet this can happen if coffee is consumed excessively, regardless of age. The effects of excessive caffeine include hyperactivity, insomnia, poor appetite regulation, mood swings, and anxiety. Tolerance to caffeine widely varies from person to person. Most recommendations for adults are to keep caffeine to 200 to 300 mg per day to avoid experiencing negative side effects. And for developing children, it may be wise to stick to half of this amount to be safe.”

Soda and energy drinks contain similar amounts of caffeine. – Alex Caspero, MA, RD
“As we all know, coffee contains caffeine, a stimulant that affects both adults and children. Soda and energy drinks contain similar amounts of caffeine. At low levels, caffeine can help increase alertness and focus. However, too much can cause jitteriness, nervousness, headaches, and increased blood pressure. Since children are smaller than adults, the amount of caffeine needed for this to happen is lower. There are no set guidelines in the U.S. for caffeine intake by kids, but I would consider a few things. First, caffeinated drinks like sodas, frappuccinos, and energy drinks contain a lot of empty calories, with similar amounts of sugar as you’d find in candy bars, which I wouldn’t recommend daily. Secondly, caffeine is a diuretic, so I would recommend extra caution if your child is drinking coffee and exercising, especially outside. One thing that caffeine doesn’t do is stunt growth. Although this belief was once promoted heavily, the theory isn’t backed by research.”


via catsterOur feline companions are cherished members of our families, and it can feel physically and emotionally devastating when one of the human family members develops an allergic reaction to them. The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease reports that between 6 million and 10 million Americans are allergic to pets. And cat allergies are twice as common as dog allergies.

Most feline allergies result from something called Fel d1, a protein found in a cat’s saliva and skin. When a cat cleans himself, the Fel d1 in the saliva becomes airborne and looks for a warm, moist spot to live, usually landing in the eyes and nose. The same thing happens when the cat’s skin flakes and releases the protein.

Sometimes parents don’t know their child has an allergy to a pet until the little one is toddler-aged. Our cats never affected our daughter, but when she was around age three, we participated in a local walk-for-animals fund-raiser and she spent a good part of the day petting some of the canine walkers … and then rubbing her face. We initially had no idea what was happening when her face became red, itchy and so puffy that she couldn’t open her eyes. She’d been around dogs, but not so many of different types all at once.

We raced to urgent care and eventually discovered that she did indeed have an allergy to some dogs. We also learned that if one or both parents have allergies of any kind, the child is likely to develop them as well. My husband has eczema, which flares from various triggers (none of them animal-related). Consequently, our daughter went on to develop eczema as well.

We have friends and family with dogs and we didn’t want to avoid them, so we began researching ways we could help our daughter avoid allergic reactions. We discovered there was a lot we could do and much of it applied to both cat and dog allergies.

One point I can’t emphasize enough is that you do not have to rehome your cat if your child starts sneezing. There are many strategies you can use to create happy cohabitation with both cats and children with sensitivities. Here are 10 tips for helping your child cope with feline allergies.

1. Definitively identify the allergy
Make sure the reaction is to the feline protein and not something else. In addition to other common allergies like mold or dust mites, outdoor cats can bring pollen and grass inside — these could actually be the culprits. If you’re able, start by eliminating some of the suspected triggers and see what happens. We did this with regard to food allergies with our daughter. Perhaps keep the outdoor kitty inside and see if the reactions lessen or stop.

You may choose to visit your family doctor to discuss other options like allergy testing. Your decision will certainly depend on the age of the child and the severity of the reaction.

2. Make your child’s bedroom a cat-free zone
Wash all sheets, blankets, pillow and drapes in the child’s bedroom — better yet, replace everything if you’re able. The allergens may not disappear from the room immediately, but over time, you’ll notice a definite difference.

3. Replace carpet with a hard surface
Carpet collects allergens and frequent vacuuming only blows around the offenders. If you can, rip up the carpet and replace it with a hard surface — even if it’s just in the child’s bedroom. If this isn’t possible, use a vacuum cleaner with a HEPA filter and regularly steam clean.

4. Use an air purifier
Purchasing a good air purifier with a HEPA filter will go a long way in keeping the air clear of allergens. Again, even if you’re only able to place on in your child’s bedroom, it’s well worth it.

5. Regularly bathe or clean your cat
Some cats react more positively (or less negatively) than others to bathing. If your cat is one who doesn’t mind a once-or-twice weekly wash, then go for it. If your cats are like mine, you may opt to purchase nontoxic cleaning wipes. Bathing or cleaning won’t eliminate the allergens, but will slightly lessen them.

6. Remind your child to wash her face and hands after handling kitty
It’s hard to share your life and home with a precious cat and not want to cuddle and pet him. In order to reduce the chances of a sneezy nose and itchy eyes, it’s critical that the child wash her hands and face after spending up close and personal time with your cat.

7. Frequently wash cat beds and toys
Obviously, if your cat spends time lying on a cat bed or playing with toys, those items will contain allergens. Purchase beds and cloth toys that can be tossed in the washing machine and use nontoxic cleaners on the hard toys. Always use the hot water setting on the washer.

8. Clean upholstered furniture and open windows
My cats constantly nap on top of our upholstered sofa and chair. I know this because of the amount of cat hair I remove on a daily basis! If your child is allergic to cat allergens, a steam cleaner would be a great investment. Additionally, keeping fresh air circulating through your space will increase ventilation, resulting in fewer trapped allergens.

9. Consider a hypoallergenic cat breed
Is there such a thing as a hypoallergenic cat breed? There are absolutely breeds that produce fewer allergens and many families who live with these cats experience amazing results. We’ve identified the top hypoallergenic breeds, including some from the Oriental lines, “Rexes” and both a hairless and hairy type. For additional information about hypoallergenic cats, including breed information, read Catster’s recommendations.

10. Explore medications, if necessary
I’m not one who immediately turns to medication, especially with children. I believe in trying the more conservative methods listed above; however, you may arrive at the decision to try an OTC (antihistamines and decongestants) or prescription medication. Always consult a physician first because the type of medication and dosage amounts will depend on your child’s age and medical history.

Do you have tips for helping your child cope with feline allergies? Tell us about it in the comments!


via medicinehealth: Breast cancer is a disease in which malignant (cancer) cells form in the tissues of the breast. Breast cancer may occur in both male and female children.

Breast cancer is the most common cancer among females aged 15 to 39 years. Breast cancer in this age group is more aggressive and more difficult to treat than in older women. Treatments for younger and older women are similar. Younger patients with breast cancer may have genetic counseling (a discussion with a trained professional about inherited diseases) and testing for familial cancer syndromes. Also, the possible effects of treatment on fertility should be considered.

Most breast tumors in children are fibroadenomas, which are benign (not cancer). Rarely, these tumors become large phyllodes tumors (cancer) and begin to grow quickly. If a benign tumor begins to grow quickly, a fine needle aspiration (FNA) biopsy or an excisional biopsy will be done. The tissues removed during the biopsy will be viewed under a microscope by a pathologist to check for signs of cancer.

What Are the Signs and Symptoms of Breast Cancer in Children?

Breast cancer may cause any of the following signs. Check with your child’s doctor if your child has any of the following:

  • A lump or thickening in or near the breast or in the underarm area.
  • A change in the size or shape of the breast.
  • A dimple or puckering in the skin of the breast.
  • A nipple turned inward into the breast.
  • Scaly, red, or swollen skin on the breast, nipple, or areola (the dark area of skin that is around the nipple).
  • Dimples in the breast that look like the skin of an orange, called peau d’orange.

Other conditions that are not breast cancer may cause these same signs.

How Is Breast Cancer in Children Diagnosed?

Tests to diagnose and stage breast cancer may include the following:

  • Physical exam and history.
  • MRI.
  • Ultrasound.
  • PET scan.
  • Blood chemistry studies.
  • X-ray of the chest.
  • Biopsy.

Another test used to diagnose breast cancer is the mammogram (an x-ray of the breast). When treatment for another cancer included radiation therapy to the breast or chest, it is important to have a mammogram and MRI of the breast to check for breast cancer. These should be done beginning at age 25, or 10 years after finishing radiation therapy, whichever is later.

What Is the Treatment for Breast Cancer in Children?

Treatment of breast cancer in children may include the following:

  • Watchful waiting for benign tumors.
  • Surgery to remove the tumor, but not the whole breast. Radiation therapy may also be given.

Treatment of recurrent breast cancer in children may include the following:

  • A clinical trial that checks a sample of the patient’s tumor for certain gene changes. The type of targeted therapy that will be given to the patient depends on the type of gene change.

via SFGATE: Delicious, nutritious and easy to prepare, eggs are a breakfast favorite of many moms and kids. They’re a rich source of high-quality protein, vitamin A and vitamin B-12, but they’re also a source of saturated fat, which adults and kids alike should limit in their diets for the sake of heart health. Keep your child’s intake to one egg a day, and add variety with other kid-friendly sources of breakfast nutrition.

Everything in Moderation

Eggs provide a wealth of nutrients children need for healthy growth and development. One large egg provides 6.25 grams of protein, which is between 18 and 48 percent of the RDA for protein for children ages 1 to 13 years old. One large egg also provides 60 to 128 percent of the RDA for vitamin A and 18 to 23 percent of the RDA for vitamin B-12. Vitamin A is crucial for good vision and healthy bone growth, and vitamin B-12 is necessary for optimal development and cognitive functioning.

Eggs are also high in fat, however, including the type that can be unhealthy in excess – saturated fat. The Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2015 – 2020 recommends that all Americans limit their intake of saturated fats to less than 10 percent of their total daily calories. One large egg provides 1.5 grams of saturated fat. For a moderately active 8-year-old boy, that’s only 1 percent of his daily calories. But that number can quickly increase with the number of eggs he eats, especially when combined with the other foods he eats in a day that may also contain saturated fat.

Cooking Methods Make a Difference

What is your child’s favorite way to eat eggs? Scrambled with cheese? Fried with butter? Over sausage links? An egg is only as healthy as the way it’s prepared. Fats and oils used in different cooking methods and in foods commonly eaten with eggs can significantly drive up the saturated fat in an otherwise healthy meal. Boiling and poaching are the healthiest ways to cook eggs. If you’re going to fry or scramble them, use a small amount of a healthy oil such as olive oil and go easy on the cheese.

Variety is Key

The more variety you can introduce into your child’s diet, the more nutrients she’ll get. Increased exposure to different foods also reduces picky eating behaviors. Other nutritious sources of protein at the morning meal include Greek yogurt with fruit or granola, almond butter on whole-grain toast, oatmeal with chia seeds and berries or quinoa with sliced bananas.


via wonderbaby: Raising a blind baby may seem hopelessly difficult at first. For most parents, this isn’t something they expected or were prepared for.

At this point, you’re most likely searching for answers and preparing for what feels like an endless journey. Questions and emotions are running through your mind and you may feel like you’re in a rush to figure things out…

What do I do?

How can I cope?

How can I help my child?

Does it ever get easier?

What you need is support, understanding, and resources. I began this website as a means to provide all three to other parents of blind and disabled children, but as the site has grown I worry that the information may have become overwhelming. Where do you start?

I decided that it was time to put together a step-by-step resource guide, picking out the most pertinent articles and resources for parents with babies and young children searching for help.

Let’s get started!

STEP 1: FIND SUPPORT

The most important thing to do at this stage is find someone who understands what you are going through and can offer relevant advice. Whether you find a support group in your area through Early Intervention or join an online group (Yahoo Groups is a good place to start looking), the important thing is to connect with other parents.

Here is some advice from real parents of kids with special needs:

  • Enjoy every minute, no matter what!
  • Relax; Never forget you know your child best; Ask yourself if your concern now is going to matter when your child is an adult.
  • It’s going to be ok…
  • Don’t try to “fix” every problem. Take life one day at a time and enjoy every minute. Give yourself a break now and then.
  • A sense of humor is a must!
  • It’s amazing how this experience allows you to grow. I think I like myself better now, than I did years ago.
  • What seemed to break our hearts at the beginning, was truly a blessing. Enjoy every precious moment.
  • Don’t fret so much about what your baby can or can’t see; In the long run, it’s not really as important as you think.
  • Don’t worry so much about “development” and throw the development charts out the window. Your child will grow up to be who he is going to be.
  • Social workers are your friends. If you ever have a problem or a question, call your social worker or case manager first. If they don’t have the answer they can give you the number of someone who does.

STEP 2: READ SOME ARTICLES

There’s so much information out there vying for your attention right now, from medical journals discussing genetic therapy to all the flyers and handouts your therapists have brought with them on home visits. Here’s a good thing to remember: You don’t have to read everything!

I’ve chosen a few articles here to cover some of the basic questions you may have right now. Browse through this list and see what grabs you.

Feel free to print these articles or share them with others. If you are a social worker organizing a support group for parents of visually impaired children, these articles might make good handouts.

Try a Little Tenderness: Sorting through the Grieving Process
This article describes what it’s like when you first learn your baby has a vision impairment and helps you sort through your emotions.

Help! My Baby Won’t Sleep!
A common complaint I hear from parents of blind children is that they don’t sleep well. This article provides ideas to help get kids to sleep.

From Cracks to Chasms: Maintaining Your Relationship When You Have a Disabled Child
This article gives practical advice on how to keep your relationship in tact while raising a special needs child.

Yes You Can!
This is one of my favorite articles that I have written about how to help and encourage your child without pushing too hard.

STEP 3: JOIN SOME ORGANIZATIONS

There are many private and government-run organizations out there designed to help you and your baby. Some organizations charge a small membership fee, but many are free. When you join you’ll receive an introductory package full of information and resources. This can be a great way to connect with other parents as well.

A good place to start is to locate and contact your state’s Commission for the Blind. Not all states have one, but most do. Find out what you need to do to get registered and meet with a case manager as soon as you can. They’ll be able to tell you about all the resources in your area and what services you’re eligible for. Of course, you should also register with your local Early Intervention office and meet them, as well.

Here are a few of our favorite organizations…

  • American Foundation for the Blind: AFB provides support and services for the blind and visually impaired. Their web site offers a Services Locator and a great Bookstore. Some books published through AFB press can only be found here.
  • National Federation for the Blind: NFB produces the often quoted publication Future Reflections, a magazine for parents and teachers of blind children. You can download the magazine directly to your computer for free.
  • National Association for Parents of Children with Visual Impairments (NAPVI): NAPVI helps you help your child learn and grow. It’s a very encouraging organization. They also have a wonderful website, FamilyConnect, where you can find information about your child’s eye condition and connect with other parents. They also provide local state chapters that organize events and support groups.
  • Foundation Fighting Blindness: FFB raises money to help fund research that will provide preventions, treatments and cures for people with vision loss. They’re a great organization to go to if you’re looking for more information about your child’s condition.
  • National Organization of Parents of Blind Children: NOPBC, a division of NFB, supports, encourages, and shares information with parents of blind children. They’re great at connecting you with people and resources in your area.

STEP 4: EDUCATE YOUR FAMILY

Your extended family and friends no doubt want to help, but may feel uneasy if they don’t understand what’s going on. A great way to begin educating your family is to print up some easy-to-read fact sheets and hand them out to any one who’s interested.

All of these fact sheets are from the Blind Babies Foundation and are in .pdf format. You will need Adobe Acrobat Reader to view them on your computer, or you can learn more about Adobe Accessibility and using screen readers to read .pdf files.

  • Introduction
  • Introducción (Español)
  • Eye Specialists
  • Especialistas en los Ojos (Español)
  • How the Eye and Brain Work Together
  • Como Funcionan Juntos el Cerebro y los Ojos (Español)
  • Cortical Visual Impairment
  • Impedimento Visual Cortical (Español)
  • Retinopathy of Prematurity
  • Optic Nerve Hypoplasia
  • Hipoplasia del Nervio Óptico (Español)
  • Albinism
  • Albinismo (Español)
  • Optic Nerve Atrophy
  • Atrofia del Nervio Óptico (Español)
  • Retinal Diseases
  • Enfermedades de la Retina (Español)
  • Vision Assessment
  • Evaluación de la Visión (Español)

STEP 5: TAKE A BREAK!

You’ve been working so hard trying to inform yourself about your new baby and what’s going on. It’s perfectly resaonable to feel overwhelmed and exhausted and more than sensible to stop and just enjoy yourself and your baby.

Don’t forget to slow down and just be you!


via MHA: Children’s mental health problems are real, common and treatable. Although one in five children has a diagnosable mental health problem, nearly two-thirds of them get little or no help.

Untreated mental health problems can disrupt children’s functioning at home, school and in the community. Without treatment, children with mental health issues are at increased risk of school failure, contact with the criminal justice system, dependence on social services, and even suicide.

Parents and family members are usually the first to notice if a child has problems with emotions or behavior. Your observations, along with those of teachers and other caregivers, can help determine whether you need to seek help for your child.

The following signs may indicate the need for professional help:

  • Decline in school performance
  • Poor grades despite strong efforts
  • Constant worry or anxiety
  • Repeated refusal to go to school or to take part in normal activities
  • Hyperactivity or fidgeting
  • Persistent nightmares
  • Persistent disobedience or aggression
  • Frequent temper tantrums
  • Depression, sadness or irritability

Early identification, diagnosis and treatment can help children reach their full potential. A first step may be to have your child complete our youth screening which is intended for young people (age 11-17) who are concerned that their emotions, attention, or behaviors might be signs of a problem. A complementary parent screening is also available for your use.

The information from the completed screenings can be helpful in starting a conversation with your child about their mental health, and may be useful when talking with your child’s pediatrician or a mental health professional.

An evaluation may include consultation with a child psychiatrist, psychological testing and medical tests to rule out any physical condition that could be causing the symptoms. Childen also must be carefully evaluated to distinguish possible mental health conditions from learning disabilities or developmental delays.

If your child is diagnosed with a mental health problem, a comprehensive treatment plan should include psychotherapy and, in some cases, may include medication. The plan should be developed with the family. Whenever possible, the child should be involved in treatment decisions.