(BPT) - Headlines filled with news of opioid abuse, overdoses and reports that 90 percent of addictions start in the teen years could make any parent worry. Yet parents remain conflicted about opioids: While more than half express concern their child may be at risk for opioid addiction, nearly two-thirds believe opioids are more effective at managing their child’s pain after surgery or a broken bone than non-prescription medication or other alternatives, according to a nationwide survey commissioned by the American Society of Anesthesiologists (ASA).
“The survey results shed light on the country’s conflicted relationship with and understanding of opioids,” said ASA President Linda J. Mason, M.D., FASA. “Opioids may not always be the best option. It really depends on the type of surgery and how long they are required. It is important for parents to know that there are many alternatives available that are as — or more — safe and effective for pain management.”
During Physician Anesthesiologists Week (Jan. 27 to Feb. 2), ASA wants parents to know that a physician anesthesiologist can create an individualized plan to best address patients’ pain based on the condition or type of surgery and decrease the risk of opioid misuse and addiction.
Parents aren’t asking about effective alternatives
While opioids can help with pain management for a few days after surgery or injury, there are effective alternatives that do not have the side effects and risks of opioids. But the survey results suggest parents often don’t ask about alternatives, or aren’t aware of the range of options.
* 59 percent said they would talk to their physician about pain management options, but only 37 percent of those whose children were prescribed opioids actually did.
* 88 percent recognized non-opioid, over-the-counter medications, such as acetaminophen (Tylenol), ibuprofen (Advil or Motrin) and aspirin, are used to effectively help treat pain. However, few were aware the same applies to other non-opioid options, including steroids (23 percent), antidepressants (9 percent) and anti-seizure medications (7 percent).
Beyond medications, a number of non-drug therapies can help with ongoing pain, including nerve blocks, physical therapy, biofeedback, meditation, virtual reality, massage and acupuncture.
Parents are unaware that safe storage and proper disposal are key
More than half of people who misuse prescribed opioids get them from a friend or relative. That’s why safe storage and proper disposal of the drugs are important to help curb the epidemic.
* Only 50 percent said they stored or would store opioids in a safe and secure place.
* 60 percent of those whose children took opioids said they needed fewer than were prescribed and had leftover medication. But only 39 percent of all parents disposed or would dispose of leftover opioids as recommended, including taking them to a local pharmacy or health clinic, flushing them down the toilet or mixing them with dirt, kitty litter or coffee grounds before throwing them away.
* 61 percent correctly identified the ideal method of disposing leftover opioids, which involves taking them to a collection center at a local police station or drug disposal program at a pharmacy or health clinic.
Parents understand importance of communication
When a child is prescribed opioids, parents need to have an open and honest discussion about the potential side effects and risks — not only with the child taking the medication, but other family members as well.
* 74 percent said they have talked to their child about the dangers of abusing prescription and over-the-counter medications and 20 percent said they intend to have the conversation.
* 89 percent of those whose children have been prescribed opioids said they’ve had those discussions.
* 91 percent said they are confident their children know that prescribed and over-the-counter medications can be just as dangerous as illegal drugs.
Parents recognize naloxone saves lives
Naloxone (Narcan) is a lifesaving medication administered via nasal spray or injection that rapidly reverses the effects of an overdose. It’s important to know about naloxone because anyone who uses opioids may be at risk for an overdose.
* 71 percent agreed that having naloxone on hand is the same as having other life-saving medication available for people who suffer from conditions such as allergies, asthma or diabetes.
* 80 percent said they would be more comfortable having it at home if their child or another family member was taking opioids.
* 92 percent thought all first responders should carry it.
The 17-question Engine Caravan Omnibus Survey was conducted online Nov. 25 to Dec. 2, 2018, among 1,007 parents of children ages 13-24, one-third of whom had been prescribed opioids.
Visit ASA’s website for information about all aspects of pain management and to access an opioid overdose resuscitation card that provides guidance on symptoms of an overdose and how to help.
The American Society of Anesthesiologists
Founded in 1905, the American Society of Anesthesiologists (ASA) is an educational, research and scientific society with more than 53,000 members organized to raise and maintain the standards of the medical practice of anesthesiology. ASA is committed to ensuring that physician anesthesiologists evaluate and supervise the medical care of patients before, during and after surgery to provide the highest quality and safest care that every patient deserves.
For more information on the field of anesthesiology, visit the American Society of Anesthesiologists online at asahq.org. To learn more about the role physician anesthesiologists play in ensuring patient safety, visit asahq.org/WhenSecondsCount. Like ASA on Facebook; follow ASALifeline on Twitter
The school year should be filled with playing, learning and growing, but for many children who face hunger, even basic staples like milk are missing. From the kitchen to the classroom, kids in your own community may be missing out on essential nutrients they need to be set up for success this fall.
Help Kids Falling Short on Nutrients They Need this School Year
Milk is one of the most requested, but least donated items at food banks, meaning children in need may be missing out on essential nutrients
(Family Features) The school year should be filled with playing, learning and growing, but for many children who face hunger, even basic staples like milk are missing. According to experts, one out of two kids ages 9 and up fall short on calcium, vitamin D and potassium – essential nutrients they need to grow strong. Milk is the top food source for these nutrients, and the likelihood of kids missing out is even greater when they don’t have access to fresh, nutritious foods like milk.
More than 46 million Americans – including 12 million children – are served by Feeding America® food banks each year. From the kitchen to the classroom, kids in your own community may be missing out on essential nutrients they need to be set up for success this fall.
Here are a few ways you can help kids facing hunger:
Since it began in 2014, The Great American Milk Drive has delivered more than 1.8 million gallons of milk – more than 28 million servings – to food banks across the country. Learn more about milk’s nutrition and the need for milk in food banks at milklife.com/give.
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Getting adequate sleep may seem impossible with a new addition to your family, but it is essential for managing stress and preparing for the day ahead. While there isn’t a magical formula for getting enough sleep, these strategies can help.
5 Ways for New Parents to Get More Sleep
(Family Features) Between feedings, changing diapers and household chores, sleep is often put on the back burner for new parents at the end of a busy day.
In fact, a survey of 2,000 parents, conducted by OnePoll on behalf of Mattress Firm, found the average parent loses one-third of his or her nightly sleep after a baby arrives, decreasing from an average of six hours per night to just four. The same study also found that nearly half (48 percent) of new parents said sleep loss is their biggest obstacle to overcome.
Getting adequate sleep may seem impossible with a new addition but it is essential for managing stress and preparing for the day ahead. While there isn’t a magical formula for getting enough sleep, these strategies can help:
Find time for rest
Establish a routine
Try soothing techniques
Choose the right mattress
Remember, the sleepless nights won’t last forever; the American Academy of Pediatrics notes almost all babies should be able to sleep through the night by 6 months of age. For more strategies for helping new parents sleep, visit DailyDoze.com and follow along on social media with #WorkHardSleepHarder.
Photo courtesy of Getty ImagesSOURCE:
Parenting, while providing plenty of excitement, comes with a certain set of challenges. With years of outdoor playtime ahead, one of those challenges is ensuring safety while still promoting an adventurous spirit.
5 Tips for Raising Resilient Kids
(Family Features) Parenting, while providing plenty of excitement, comes with a certain set of challenges. With years of outdoor playtime ahead, one of those challenges is ensuring safety while still promoting an adventurous spirit.
A child’s ability to push through, endure struggle, fail and try again can help encourage long-term success and happiness. Still, many parents feel pressure to be overprotective and prevent their kids from any bumps and scrapes along the road of life.
Jessie Graff, Hollywood stuntwoman and a breakout star of NBC’s American Ninja Warrior, and Nexcare recommend these “tough love” tips that encourage parents to overcome their fears, take a step back and let their kids build resiliency and mental toughness by taking reasonable risks.
“As a child, my parents supported me when I wanted to push myself and take some physical risks,” Graff said. “That led to plenty of scrapes and bruises, but ultimately helped me build confidence and mental toughness while I honed my physical skills. That freedom is what helped me accomplish my dreams.”
For more tips on raising resilient kids and taking appropriate risks, visit Nexcare.com/toughlove.
Photo courtesy of Getty Images (Boy riding bike)SOURCE:
(BPT) - If you’re a parent, a big part of your job is making sure your children feel well. No matter how many times you wash their hands, sterilize their toys or keep a sparkling clean house, inevitably the germs will win. All parents know that taking care of a sick child can be a stressful experience that can leave you feeling helpless — especially when they have a cough that is keeping them up at night.
On top of that, if you’re trying to juggle a job, keep the house in order and get enough sleep yourself, the experience can feel overwhelming.
Emily Schuman, founder of the popular lifestyle parenting blog Cupcakes and Cashmere, has had more than her fair share of days spent taking care of her toddler when she is sick. The following are some of her best cough and cold remedies to help care for your little one when they’re sick.
1. Sleep is great medicine
Parents know that a sleepy child is a crabby child. Just as sleep is vital for a child’s mood, it is also a crucial step in combating coughs and colds. Naps and early bedtimes should be a priority. To help your sick child sleep better and longer, you might have to give them more cuddles than usual!
2. Reduce their coughing
One of the worst parts of taking care of a sick child is hearing them cough, which is also uncomfortable for the child. In fact, a recent Vicks VapoRub survey* found that nearly all (94 percent) moms say coughing from being sick makes sleeping difficult for their child, and 92 percent say finding symptom relief to improve their child’s sleep is top priority. Fortunately, Vicks VapoRub, a cough remedy moms have used for over 100 years, is safe, effective, has long-lasting vapors and is fast-acting for children ages 2 years and up. When applied on the chest or throat, the medicated vapors in Vicks VapoRub last up to eight hours, to help quiet the cough, which in turn helps moms and their children sleep better and get the rest they need.
3. Bring out the humidifier
With winter comes dry air, and when you add in central heating, the air is even dryer. This is particularly uncomfortable when you have a cold or cough. Placing a humidifier near your child’s bed can do wonders as far as allowing them to breathe more comfortably and sleep better.
4. Feed them nutrient-rich foods
When you’re sick, it’s easy to gravitate toward comfort food like mac and cheese or sweets. But it is important to make sure your child gets plenty of nutrients from food like fresh fruits and veggies. Soups and smoothies are perfect ways to get your little ones to eat these foods.
5. Provide them with activities and distractions
Being sick is not fun, and not just because your child feels lousy. They’re also cooped up, bored and incredibly restless. Make sure you have plenty of rainy-day activities, like coloring books and special toys, ready for them. If they feel up to it, encourage them to make a fort out of the couch cushions. It’s also the perfect time to let them have extra screen time.
It’s hard to have a sick child at home, but getting ample sleep, having Vicks VapoRub on hand, using a humidifier, eating well and being prepped with some creative distractions can go a long way toward comforting your child and making things easier for the entire household. And remember as stressful as it can be caring for a sick child, nearly nine in ten (87 percent) moms say it can be a bonding experience.*
* This content is based on an online survey conducted by Kelton in October 2017 among a sample of 1,016 American mothers with children between the ages of 2 and 17.
Easy ways to help your child go to the head of the class(BPT) - The education children receive today will help them throughout their lives. School is the fundamental component of the learning process, but education doesn't stop when kids arrive back home at the end of the day.
"Education and family go hand in hand," says Ellen Marks, curriculum director of Bricks 4 Kidz, an award-winning summer camp and after-school program. "Parents who take an active role by supporting classroom learning will not only see their kids' education blossom, but their relationship with them, too."
The start of the new year is the ideal time to evaluate what you're doing right and where you could improve in regards to supporting your child's education. Marks offers these smart ideas guaranteed to help you keep this resolution in 2017 and beyond:
Connections to real life: One of the best ways to help kids understand classroom lessons is to connect the material to everyday experiences. Practice fractions while cooking. Chat about biology as birds fly by the window. Learning moments are all around, you just have to point them out.
Daily conversations: With a fun, no-pressure approach, go over what your children learned in school. If they don't want to talk right after school, wait until later. During or after dinner may allow enough transition time so you'll find they'll open up more.
Positive attitude: Kids will mirror your attitude toward your work as well as how you view their school, homework and teachers. Stay positive, respectful and model resilience during difficult times; you'll find they'll do the same.
Enriching activities: Select fun after-school activities that emphasize cognitive development while building self-esteem. For example, Bricks 4 Kidz uses relatable tools like LEGO Bricks to teach science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) skills. Learn more at www.bricks4kidz.com and sign up for an After School class.
The parent-teacher relationship: Sending check-in emails, attending conferences and volunteering are ways to build strong relationships with teachers. Be proactive about asking where your child excels and what areas they may need additional help.
Homework help: Good study habits are essential to excelling at school. Create a comfortable homework space with adequate supplies and few distractions. What's more, be an active partner in your child's homework and assist when needed with gentle guidance and encouragement.
Reading buddies: Reading together can instill a lifelong love of literature. Try reading the same books your child is assigned in school so you can foster a good discussion about characters and storylines. When you both finish the book, rent the film version and plan a movie night.
Active learning opportunities: Reading, writing and solving math problems are passive learning activities. At home, encourage active learning where your child builds models, creates art projects and can ask questions. It's amazing to watch their minds work and see what they create.
Health and wellness: A child must first be well before they can effectively learn. Make sure kids stay fueled with a variety of healthy foods. Next, ensure they get a good night's sleep. Full, well-rested kids are always ready and eager to learn.
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