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Featured Posts

Spooky Fun: No-Carve Pumpkins

Spooky Fun: No-Carve Pumpkins

Ready to decorate for Halloween? The kids will love helping with these DIY no-carve pumpkin projects that minimize mess and maximize fun! Thank you to Deborah at www.SuperMoms360.com for sharing her i . . .

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DIY Funko POP! Costume

DIY Funko POP! Costume

Looking for a creative Halloween costume to accommodate a stroller or wheelchair? Have fun designing and making a Funko POP! costume. Use everyday clothing to create a POP! character that fits your . . .

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7 Tips to Overcome Fear of the Dark

7 Tips to Overcome Fear of the Dark

Avoid ideas like "monster spray" which only affirm in a child's mind that monsters are real and need to be "sprayed away."  - Berkley James, pediatric sleep consultant  Fear of the dark i . . .

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Things to Do in Julian

Things to Do in Julian

Family Fun in Julian The beauty of historic Julian (a gold mining town just 60 miles northeast of San Diego) is that many attractions are within walking distance of each other. It’s the perfect fami . . .

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San Diego Robotics Programs for Kids

San Diego Robotics Programs for Kids

Discover STEM in Youth Robotics Many parents encourage kids to pursue STEM-related careers (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) and youth robotics programs offer one such option. Along with l . . .

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Art with Alyssa: Skull Craft for Dia de los Muertos

Art with Alyssa: Skull Craft for Dia de los Muertos

Create a beautiful calavera (skull, in English) to celebrate Mexico’s Día de los Muertos (Day of the Dead). Traditionally, skulls are created out of sugar or clay, elaborately decorated and place . . .

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Do Children's Symptoms Get Worse At Night?Why is it that your 5-year-old’s fever, congestion, and pain suddenly worsen at nightfall when the pediatrician’s office is closed?

Is it simply a matter of your weary child noticing their symptoms while lying quietly in bed? Maybe. But there are also real changes occurring late in the evening and during sleep, which may contribute to increased severity in their illness symptoms.


Emotions

At bedtime, your sick child’s anxiety may grow simply because of the dark or imagined monsters under the bed. Isolation and silence at nighttime may also contribute to how they perceive their discomfort.


Physical Changes

During sleep, a child’s symptoms may grow more severe. For example, with an ear infection, lying down is painful because of an increase in  fluid in the ear canal (which places pressure on inflamed ear tissue). This explains earaches (and crying!) flaring up in the middle of the night. Also, fever burns in the evening, and prevalent health conditions such as asthma worsen at night.

Asthma affects 20 million Americans and involves a narrowing and clogging of the bronchi tubes in the lungs. At night bronchi narrow in everyone, increasing resistance to air flow. Not a problem for kids without asthma, but in asthmatics such constriction at night may bring on an attack.


Chronobiology

Chronobiology relates to circadian rhythms and how internal timing mechanisms affect our biology. At night, two important internal hormones that relax the airway—cortisol (a steroid) and epinephrine (adrenaline)—taper off. In fact, since both hormones have an anti-asthma effect on the body, synthetic versions are administered to break severe asthma attacks.


Allergens in Bedroom

Unfortunately the air children breathe at night in their rooms may host common allergens including pet dander and dust mites which can set off a reaction.


Comfort Ideas for Nighttime

In addition to your pediatrician on speed dial, it may be possible to ease your child’s pain and illness at night by keeping these items close at hand:

• Compassion, patience and lullabies
• Rocking chair, ice pack and soft music
• Children’s antihistamine
• Children’s pain reliever
• Humidifier
• Ear drops
• Popsicles
• Thermometer
• Saline nose spray

-----------------------
Michele Ranard is a professional counselor/tutor and a freelancer.

Published: April 2013

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