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Tips and News for Parents and Caregivers

What is kangaroo care?

Invented in Bogota, Columbia, in the 1970s in response to high death rates among preterm infants, kangaroo care (or skin-to-skin contact) is a care technique in which the mother or father lies bare-chested with their newborn cradled on them. Studies show that kangaroo care promotes bonding and early breastfeeding by simulating the nurturing environment of a kangaroo’s pouch. It’s also said to help to stabilize the baby’s heart and respiratory rate, improve oxygen saturation, regulate body temperature and conserve calories. Now, 50 years later, the practice is frequently used in neonatal intensive care units around the world.

Two apples a day

Consuming a whole proanthocyanidin-rich apple (not apple juice) twice a day delivers improvements in heart health, according to scientists at the University of Reading.

Asthma tips for your child

• Help your child to understand their asthma triggers and how to avoid them.  
• Make sure your child takes their asthma-prevention medication as prescribed, even when they are symptom-free. 
• Check if your child knows how to use their puffer by themselves or when to ask an adult for help. 
• Ensure your child is using a valved-holding chamber (spacer) with a metered-dose inhaler. 
• Ask school officials about rules for asthma medications, and ensure your child is able to carry their medications with them at all times.
• Schedule regular asthma check-ups to properly monitor your child’s condition.

5 Tips for toy safety

Consider your child’s age when buying them toys or games. Read the instructions and warning labels to make sure you’re making the best choice.

1. Check for small parts or potential choking hazards.

2. Look for child safety approvals and seals.

3. Watch for paint and fabrics that might be toxic or not fire resistant.

4. Use a bin or container to store toys when playtime is over.

5. Watch for holes and hinges that could catch little fingers.

Shifty results

When researchers tracked 600 families with fluctuating work hours, they found that non-standard working times affected their children’s development. Most damaging was the resulting parental stress, followed by the lack of stability the children felt due to their parent’s unpredictable routine. Different caregivers and different meal schedules were further negative factors for kids.

Online video watching

Media habits are continuing to change. Today, two-thirds of kids use their own smartphones to watch videos online. In fact, 56 per cent of 8- to 12-year-olds and 69 per cent of 13- to 18-year-olds say they watch videos for at least an hour each day. Sadly, screen media continues to be dominated by watching; rather than reading, writing or creating their own content.

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