Tag Archives: knowyourotcs.org

Kids and Fevers – Don’t Freak Out

I was not prepared as a parent for when my kids got sick. Not at all. Not even a little.

Throw in the abject terror of the first fever and combine it with a complete lack of knowledge about sick kids and you end up feeling like most full-time parents. I remember when Will got his first fever I had no clue what to do. I was home alone with him at the time and the thermometer said 102.3 degrees, so I did what any new dad would do.

I called the pediatrician and asked her whether I should bring Will to her or go to the emergency room.

Yes, it was an overreaction. No, I didn’t know it’s sometimes OK for a kid to run a fever if there are no other serious symptoms. But luckily for you, my ignorance can be your wisdom. I’ve teamed up with Consumer Healthcare Products Association (CHPA’s) Educational Foundation in support of KnowYourOTCs.org, to give you four FAQs I wish I had before I made a fool of myself.

Here are some tips from Dr. Swanson from Seattle Mama Doc.

1, Is it necessary to treat every fever? 
The short answer is no. Remember, treat your child’s symptoms. If they have a fever but they’re acting acting playful then they’re likely OK. But if there’s a fever and you notice they seem tired or unwell, it’s probably time to call a pediatrician.- or do they seem tired and unwell? According to Dr. Swanson “Fever is a natural response of the immune system – it’s a response to illness, not illness itself.”

2. So when kids have a fever, when should you seek out the pediatrician? 
Dr. Swanson recommends seeing the pediatrician if the fever persists after three days in infants and children, in any fever in a baby three months or younger, or any fever over 104.

3. Are you correctly dosing your child? Be precise with right device.
Before offering your child an OTC pain reliever, remember to always read the Drug Facts label to ensure correct dosage and to make sure you aren’t double dosing because some cold and flu OTCs contain acetaminophen. According to a study conducted by the National Institute for Health (NIH), eight out of 10 parents have given the wrong dose of liquid medicine by accident. Only use the dosing device that comes with the medicine to ensure proper dosing.Never ever use a kitchen spoon – it is never appropriate to substitute for the dosing device that comes with the medicine.  Find more tips on safe dosing here. And remember to dose your child based on their weight, not their age.

4. What about alternating between ibuprofen and acetaminophen? 
If you decide to alternate between these two medicines, make sure you are keeping track of dosage and time. Make sure you start with one medicine and then offer the other medicine next, about 3-4 hours later. Dr. Swanson wants to remind parents that neither medicine should be used for more than 72 hours without consulting a physician. Click here for a helpful dosing chart based on child’s weight, for ibuprofen and acetaminophen.

And here’s a helpful infographic.

This is a sponsored post. I am collaborating with the CHPA (Consumer Health Products Association) Educational Foundation and knowyourOTCs.org. I was compensated for this post but as always, my opinions are my own.

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Curiosity and Candy: Helpful Halloween Tips to Save a Sweet Tooth

Candy.

Know what’s in those buckets and bags? Why they go door-to-door like sugar-crazed lunatics? Why they nudge one another off front stoops in an effort to be the first to reach into the bowl?

It’s all about the candy.

Let’s face it – for a kid candy is the beginning, middle, and end of Halloween. Sure the costumes are nice, but they’re only a means to a chocolate-covered, sticky, delicious end. The toughest part for me, as their dad, is to curtail their candy intake because, well, I’m also a candy fiend.

Give me all your Reese’s peanut butter cups. I’ll eat as many Hershey bars as I can get my hands on. I’ll do battle with 3 Musketeers and Junior Mints never live long enough to become seniors, because I’ll devour them. But HEAVEN HELP YOU if you give me or my family Butterfingers or candy corn.

The point is, I like candy just as much as my kids so it’s tough to tell them to knock it off with the candy when I’m simultaneously emptying it into my gullet.

But what I can do to battle the $2.7 billion Americans will spend on Halloween candy this year is make sure their oral health habits even out the candy insurgence that’s about to take place. How?

  • Brush and floss twice a day, especially after eating
  • Brush with a toothpaste that contains fluoride
  • Use a soft toothbrush
  • Floss with dental floss
  • Only give Tommy (under 3) a grain of rice-sized amount of toothpaste
  • Use a pea-sized amount of toothpaste for Sam (3-6) to minimize swallowing

You can read more tips here. And here’s a cool infographic.

This is a sponsored post. I am collaborating with the CHPA (Consumer Health Products Association) Educational Foundation and knowyourOTCs.org. I was compensated for this post but as always, my opinions are my own.

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Back to School Means the Return of the Kid Plague

You might be happy about the kids finally leaving the house during the day when school starts, but September means the return of germs and the Kid Plague.

It’s especially demoralizing because you know it’s coming. It’s inevitable and it looms over everything. You watch your kids like a parental hawk looking for signs of sickness. And just when you think maybe you’ve escaped this year’s Kid Plague — BOOM! Your kid sniffles. Then he wipes his nose with the back of his hand. Then he touches the kitchen counter. Suddenly there isn’t enough cleaning products in the world to stop what’s coming next.

However, while the Kid Plague is powerful, there are little things you can do to improve your chances. Like this easy tip from yours truly, winner of the “Small Victories Award.”

And if you don’t believe me, you’re in luck because there are a bunch of great bloggers with some additional tips that will prove really helpful. Watch this great video.

If you’re not already in the midst of Kid Plague, congratulations. But be warned, it could come at any moment. Because of that, I’d like to leave you with a few tips that might help mitigate things when the going gets tough.

  • Do you know how to properly treat a fever? Be confident that you are safely dosing your child.
  • It’s tough to know when it’s allergies and when it’s a cold. Here are some tips on telling the difference.
  • Be confident you are making smart, informed choices before treating your child’s symptoms and learn why reading the Drug Facts label is a critical step before offering an over-the-counter (OTC) medicine to your kids.
  • For tips on how to treat your family with care all year long, log onto KnowYourOTCs.org.

This is a sponsored post. I am collaborating with the CHPA (Consumer Health Products Association) Educational Foundation and knowyourOTCs.org. I was compensated for this post but as always, my opinions are my own.

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Video: Down and Dirty Sunscreen Tips for Parents of Young Kids

One solution to kid sunburns? Wear a hat!

Look, I could type all these well thought out and funny things to tell you how to put sunscreen on kids. But that takes a long time and no one reads anything anymore. So instead of that, I’m just going to show you two quick and funny videos (one of which stars yours truly and Sam!!) that have some great tips on what to look for in sunscreen and how to actually apply it to kids.

Now go forth and seize summer with no burns!

This one is the one with me and Sam:

And this one stars some other top-notch bloggers with ridiculously cute kids:

This is a sponsored post. I am collaborating with the CHPA (Consumer Health Products Association) Educational Foundation and knowyourOTCs.org. I was compensated for this post but as always, my opinions are my own.

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When Brushing Kids Teeth Turns Into a Battle

Our favorite football team gave us reason to keep our smiles fresh

Every night at 7 pm Will and Sam brush their teeth.

This has been the routine for years, yet it seems to take them by surprise every single night. I announce it’s time to brush teeth and they glare at me with a look of affront as if I’ve just suggested something completely outrageous. And then the fight begins.

Will runs away. Sam starts crying. I grab Will and force him into the bathroom (a task which gets tougher every single day as he nears his ninth birthday), and then MJ drags a screaming Sam in as well. You’d think we were forcing them into a dungeon instead of a bathroom. Will does his best to pretend he’s brushing, and I tell him it would take him less time to actually brush efficiently than to carry out this nightly farce of faux brushing three times until we make him do it right. Sam? He just continues to scream and clench his jaws shut like a caged animal. When we do manage to get the toothbrush in there, he bites it like it’s a bone. Sometimes we need to tickle him to get him to open his mouth just for a few seconds.

But eventually we micromanage Will’s brushing and hold Sam down long enough so hopefully a few bristles hit his teeth, and then release them upstairs for bed. Another battle won in a long war that wears us down and makes no one happy.

With Christmas candy still hanging around the house and Valentine’s Day snacks sure to add to the pile of sugary sweets, it’s important to remember the other thing February is known for — National Children’s Dental Health Month.

Did you know that according to the CDC:

  • At least 20% of children ages 5-11 have at least one untreated decayed tooth
  • Tooth decay is the most common chronic disease in kids age 6-11 and adolescents age 12-19

This is why we fight the battle. The people who didn’t take great care of their teeth will be the first ones to tell you they wouldn’t wish that pain and cost on anyone later in life. So to prevent that, we’re doing all we can to promote good oral hygiene in our kids and make brushing as painless as possible. That includes:

  • Letting them pick their own fun toothbrushes
  • Having them pick out their own toothpaste
  • Giving them special treats if they brush for a week with no complaining
  • Allowing them to set the timer to make sure they brush long enough
  • Let them pick their favorite songs to play during brushing
It’s all worth it to get healthy smiles like this one

Does it always work? Absolutely not. Does it incrementally improve things? Yes. And anything that makes the battle slightly easier is worth it.

We also include our 17-month-old Tommy, because in 2014 the American Academy of Pediatrics changed their oral health guidelines and said parents should begin using a smear of fluoride toothpaste at tooth eruption. If you need more information on fluoride ingredients and general use, click here.

Here are some additional quick oral health care tips for parents:

  •  Fluoride is an anti-cavity active ingredient available in over-the-counter (OTC) products that helps prevent tooth decay and cavities.
  • Children under the age of 6 should use a pea-sized amount of toothpaste and be supervised in order to develop good brushing and rinsing habits and to minimize product swallowing.
  • Parents and caregivers should help a child brushing his or her teeth until mastery is obtained, usually around age 8.

This is a sponsored post. I am collaborating with the CHPA (Consumer Health Products Association) Educational Foundation and knowyourOTCs.org. I was compensated for this post but as always, my opinions are 100% my own. 

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