Why energy drinks may be a health hazard

Why energy drinks may be a health hazard

Because of the way energy drinks are labeled, it can be difficult to know how much caffeine is in a drink.

They’re fruity, they taste good and they give you that boost of energy you need to get through the day. But energy drinks can be harmful. Toxicologists at Wisconsin Poison Center urge parents to use caution and common sense when using energy drink products — for yourself and especially for your children.

From Jan. 1 through April 30 this year, poison centers across the country received reports of 1,060 individual cases …Continue reading →

Tips for making potty training less stressful

Tips for making potty training less stressful

Potty training is an exciting milestone in your child’s life.

As a pediatrician at Southwest Pediatrics, I see a lot of parents who are frustrated with the process of potty training their toddler. Sometimes, it’s because parents are starting the process before their child is ready.

The average age of a girl to potty train is 3 years old and the average age for a boy is 4 years old. A lot of grandparents will say that their kids were trained way earlier than that, but that’s because adults were “trained” to put their kids on the toilet every 30 minutes.

The goal of being potty trained is for the …Continue reading →

Fireworks on the 4th of July: 9 ways to keep your kids safe

Fireworks on the 4th of July: 9 ways to keep your kids safe

Sparklers can burn at more than 1,200 degrees Fahrenheit.

As a nurse in the Burn Program at Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin, I’ve cared for kids who have suffered serious burns to their hands, feet, faces and bodies as a result of the careless use of fireworks.

Many people think sparklers are safe, but I know all too well that sparklers can be just as dangerous as larger fireworks, …Continue reading →

10 ways to prepare your teen for the responsibility of driving

Preparing teens for the responsibility of driving

Look who’s driving now: Your teen!

Very soon my second teenage daughter will be behind the wheel. (Gasp!) Recently, a friend who has a daughter enrolled in the classroom portion of driver’s education asked some of us more experienced parents how we prepared ourselves and our teens for the responsibility of driving. Here are some helpful tips:

1. Make a contract to emphasize driving is a privilege, not a right. Use the parent-teen driving contract found on the …Continue reading →

Car seat safety: 3 easy steps to ensure your child is riding safely

Summer is almost officially here and that means many families will be hitting the road for summer vacation. Before you leave, make sure your family is riding safely.

As a child safety advocate and certified car seat technician, I meet many families who think their children are riding safely, but they’re not. The most frequent mistake I see …Continue reading →

Parents beware of the latest teen dare: The Cinnamon Challenge

Parents beware of the latest teen dare: The Cinnamon Challenge

Some teens are being dared to swallow a spoonful of ground cinnamon.

With more teenagers home during the summer, be on the lookout for the Cinnamon Challenge. It begins with a teen being dared to swallow a spoonful of ground cinnamon without drinking water.

The cinnamon coats and dries the mouth and throat, causing gagging, vomiting, coughing, choking and throat irritation. People with asthma or other respiratory conditions are at greater risk of having …Continue reading →

How helmets can help prevent tragedies during “trauma season”

At Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin, summer is “trauma season.” Birds are chirping, flowers are sprouting and kids are falling — off their bikes, scooters and while on their in-line skates. Last weekend, our Emergency Department admitted 12 kids with injuries related to summer activities. Half of them were bicycle injuries.

As a parent, we have many responsibilities, but none is more important than being a role model. Trust me — kids are watching. A couple of weeks ago, I bought my daughter a pair of in-line skates for her birthday. I have been blading for years, and she was excited to join …Continue reading →

Medicine Collection Day: Helping keep the earth clean and prevent poisonings

Medicine Collection DayA great way to get rid of outdated or unneeded medications, keep dangerous drugs out of the hands of our children and protect our drinking water is to participate in Medicine Collection Day on Saturday, April 27.

In 2012, 48 percent of calls to Wisconsin Poison Center involved either prescription or over-the-counter medications. By bringing these drugs in, you will help keep them from getting into the wrong hands or our local water supply. Remember, never flush or pour unused …Continue reading →

Laundry detergent packets: How dangerous are they to kids?

Laundry detergent packets: How dangerous are they to kids?Convenient and easy to use, detergent packets like Tide Pods, All mighty pacs or Purex Ultrapacks often are found in homes with young children. The packets are designed to dissolve quickly when exposed to water in the washing machine. They are colorful and squishy — some even look like candy or a toy — making them attractive to kids.

Poison centers receive many calls each year about children getting into laundry …Continue reading →

Five ways to keep your family safe while riding bikes

Every day, more than 600 children are injured due to bicycle-related crashes. Younger children are at higher risk, but even experienced teenagers, like my son, can be in danger. This summer it will be 10 years since we lost our son due to a bicycle/vehicle crash. Don’t think it can’t happen to your family.

With spring just around the corner, now is the time to start tuning up your bikes, checking helmet sizes and reviewing the rules of the road. Bike safety is a passion for my family …Continue reading →