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Growth And Development

Arts and Crafts
A MINUTE FOR KIDS: Parents and teachers should make sure that all art supplies are non-toxic and safe for children. Dangers include lead-based paints and toxic fumes. Children should always be supervised while doing arts and crafts projects.
Calcium
Calcium is a mineral that your body needs. Its main job is to build strong bones and teeth. Your bones store calcium for the rest of your body, like a bank keeps money for when you need it.
Calcium and You
As you grow, you need calcium to build strong bones and a healthy body. Getting plenty of calcium while you are young also makes your bones strong and keeps them strong for your entire lifetime.
Choosing a Summer Camp
A MINUTE FOR KIDS: Parents should make sure that their children are emotionally and physically ready to go to camp. Camps should match a child's interests, and parents can talk to camp directors and parents whose children have attended that camp before.
Choosing Quality Child Care: What's Best for Your Family?
Finding high-quality child care is very important but not always easy. Your choice will play a key role in your child's health and development. Read on for more information from the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) about child care options to help you in your search for what's best for your family.
Connecting With your Community
Dad's Role in the Family
A MINUTE FOR KIDS: A father's interaction with his children has a positive influence on their lives. The average amount of time a father spends with his children has increased in recent years, and slowly fathers have moved beyond the stereotypical role of financial supporter.
Digital Media and Your Family: TV, Computers, Cell Phones, and Other Screens
While family is the most important influence in a child’s life, media in all its forms, including TV, computers, and other screens, are not far behind. Because media can influence how children think, feel, and behave, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) encourages parents to help their children form healthy media use habits early on. Read on for information about steps you can take to encourage healthy media use habits and to learn more about media messages and TV ratings.
Ear Piercing
A MINUTE FOR KIDS: Certain guidelines should be followed when considering ear piercings for your child. Wait until they are old enough to take care of the piercing themselves and make sure the piercing is done by a pediatrician or trained professional.
For Today's Teens: A Message From Your Pediatrician
Now that you are getting older, you have different health needs than you did when you were younger. However, your pediatrician is still there to help you stay healthy.
Friends Are Important: Tips for Parents
Getting the Most of Quality Time Together
A MINUTE FOR KIDS: It is important to have regular, uninterrupted time with your child. Set aside a certain amount of time each day to be together. This will show your child just how much you care.
Good Posture
A MINUTE FOR KIDS: It is important to encourage good posture from a young age so that it does not lead to chronic back problems later in life. Children may slouch for a variety of reasons.
Growing Independence: Tips for Parents of Young Children
Guidelines For Special Time
Cite as: Howard BJ. 2002. Guidelines for special time. In Jellinek M, Patel BP, Froehle MC, eds., Bright Futures in Practice: Mental Health—Volume II. Tool Kit. Arlington, VA: National Center for Education in Maternal and Child Health.
Heading Back to School
A MINUTE FOR KIDS: Help your child get their new school year off to a good start. Make sure they eat a healthy breakfast and lunch each day, make sure they have the proper school supplies, and make sure you have registered your child completely.
Health Care for College Students
College is filled with many opportunities to learn and experience life. You'll be responsible for making your own choices, including choices about your health. Following is important information to help you stay healthy and safe on your new journey.
Healthy Communication With Your Child
Healthy communication with your child is one of the most important and rewarding skills that you can develop as a parent. It also makes the tough parts of parenting (such as disciplining your child) much easier and more effective. Good communication is a two-way street, meaning that listening to your child is just as important as talking to him.
Helping Kids Understand Tragic Events
A MINUTE FOR KIDS: Recent violence in schools has frightened parents and children alike. Help your kids understand these tragic events by monitoring TV coverage of these events, and encouraging them to discuss their thoughts and feelings about the event.
Helping Shy Children
A MINUTE FOR KIDS: Parents need to be proactive in helping their shy children adjust to new people or unfamiliar situations. Positive reinforcement and thoughtful parenting will help your child's socialization.
Helping Your Child Learn to Read
As your child begins elementary school, she will begin her formal reading education. There are many ways to teach children to read. One way emphasizes word recognition and teaches children to understand a whole word’s meaning by how it is used. Learning which sounds the letters represent—phonics—is another way children learn to read. Phonics is used to help “decode” or sound out words. Focusing on the connections between the spoken and written word is another technique. Most teachers use a combination of methods to teach children how to read.
How Do Infants Learn?
Importance of Play, The
A MINUTE FOR KIDS: Make sure that free play remains a part of your child's life by providing them time for unstructured and creative activities. This free play will help them develop skills that they will need later in life.
Importance of Tummy Time, The
A MINUTE FOR KIDS: It is important that your infant is given some time each day to lie on their stomach. This tummy time should take place when your infant is awake and alert. This will allow them to strengthen their neck muscles.
Internet and Your Family, The
The Internet can connect you and your family to all types of resources. At your computer, you and your family can read the latest news, look up information, listen to music, play games, buy things, or e-mail friends. The possibilities for learning and exploring on the Internet are endless. However, not all information and resources are safe and reliable. Read more about how to make sure you and your family's experience on the Internet is safe, educational, and fun.
Is Your Toddler Communicating With You?
Your baby is able to communicate with you long before he or she speaks a single word! A baby's cry, smile, and responses to you help you to understand his or her needs. In this publication the American Academy of Pediatrics shares information about how children communicate and what to do when there are concerns about delays in development.
Kids and Stress
A MINUTE FOR KIDS: Kids can suffer from stress and many handle it in different ways. At times there may be physical repercussions from a child suffering from stress, such as shortness of breath. Talk to your pediatrician and always try to provide a loving and supportive environment.
Learning Disabilities: What Parents Need to Know
Your child will learn many things in life—how to listen, speak, read, write, and do math. Some skills may be harder to learn than others. If your child is trying his best to learn certain skills but is not able to keep up with his peers, it’s important to find out why. Your child may have a learning disability (also known as LD). If your child has an LD, the sooner you know, the sooner you can get your child help. Your child can succeed in school, work, and relationships. Read on for more information from the American Academy of Pediatrics about LDs.
Managing Early Risers
A MINUTE FOR KIDS: Preschool or school-aged children that wake early often become grumpy later in the day. Tell your child that they must stay in bed until 7 AM, and after a few weeks your child will hopefully learn to sleep in until a more appropriate time.
Media History
Please check one answer for each question. If the question does not apply to your family (ie, you do not own a computer or mobile device), leave that section blank.
Medicines for ADHD: Questions From Teens Who Have ADHD
Q: What can I do besides taking medicines?
Next Stop Adulthood: Tips for Parents
Pacifiers and Infants
A MINUTE FOR KIDS: Pacifiers have not been found to cause any physical or psychological problems. Pacifiers, however, should not replace meals. Never tie a pacifier to your child's crib or around your child's neck as this can pose a serious strangulation risk.
Parenting Your Infant
Parents’ Guide: A Strengths-Based Approach
The following guidance is based on the Vermont Child Health Improvement Program.
Playing Is How Toddlers Learn
Preparing for College
A MINUTE FOR KIDS: Prepare your child to stay healthy when they leave to go to college for the first time. Make sure they have a personal care provider and all of their insurance cards. Motivate your teen to take care of themselves and to maintain a healthy diet.
Right From the Start: ABCs of Good Nutrition for Young Children
As a parent, you are interested in your child's health. Your role is to provide healthy food in appropriate portions, and your child's role is to decide how much to eat. That is why it is important to understand how to provide healthy choices for your child.
Sibling Relationships
Almost 80% of children grow up with at least one brother or sister. Brothers and sisters teach each other how to get along with others. Even if they do not always get along with each other, siblings play very positive roles in each other's lives.
Sibling Rivalry
A MINUTE FOR KIDS: As a parent you can reduce the conflict that sometimes arises between siblings. It is often best to let them work out their differences as long as they do so calmly. Be sure to give them their personal space and be consistant when disciplining in order to avoid feelings of favoritism.
Single Parenting
Single-parent families are more and more common in today's society. While raising children alone isn't easy, children in single- parent homes can grow up just as happy as children in 2-parent homes. Read on to find out how single parents can better cope with the special challenges of raising children on their own.
Single Parenting-Taking Care of Yourself
A MINUTE FOR KIDS: Single parents face many unique situations. Be sure to spend time with your child but still make time for yourself. Enlist the help of family or community members if needed, and resist the urge to treat your child as an adult.
Speech Development
A MINUTE FOR KIDS: Each child's speech develops at its own rate, and most children can usually say a few complete words clearly by their first birthday; however, girls often develop speech before boys. Remember to be patient with your child and do not pressure them to speak before they are ready.
Start Reading to Your Child Early
A baby can enjoy books by 6 months of age! Here are things you can do with your child at different ages to help your child learn to love words and books.
Teaching Good Behavior: Tips on How to Discipline
Teaching Kids to Share
A MINUTE FOR KIDS: Getting a child to share can be difficult, and studies have shown that children under age 3 aren't able to understand the concept of sharing. It is important that each child is given their own toys to play with and try to encourage activities that don't require toys to avoid the issue.
Teen Sleep Patterns
A MINUTE FOR KIDS: When your child reaches adolescence they go through a sleep change shift. Most teens stay up later to take part in social activities or to do homework and then suffer from a lack of sleep. Encourage your teen to drink less caffeine and to get to bed earlier each day.
Teens and Anxiety
A MINUTE FOR KIDS: Teens are particularly prone to anxiety, which can be triggered by stress in relationships, peer pressure, or body image. They may be easily irritated or have trouble sleeping. Gently talk to your child about the problems that may be causing their anxiety.
Temper Tantrums
It's hard for a young child to hold strong feelings inside. Young children often cry, scream, or stomp up and down when they are upset. As a parent, you may feel angry, helpless, or ashamed.
Temper Tantrums: A Normal Part of Growing Up
It's hard for young children to hold strong feelings inside. When they feel frustrated or angry, they often cry, scream, or stomp up and down. This is a temper tantrum. Temper tantrums are a normal part of your child's development. They usually begin around age 12 to 18 months, get worse between 2 and 3 years, then taper off after that, once children are able to use words to communicate their wants and needs. This publication was written by the American Academy of Pediatrics to help parents understand temper tantrums and how best to deal with them.
Thumbsucking
A MINUTE FOR KIDS: Thumbsucking is a common habit, and usually is not a cause for concern unless it continues past 5 years of age or affects the shape of your child's mouth. Different methods to eliminate thumbsucking work for different children. Be patient when trying to help your child quit the habit.
Toilet Training
Teaching your child how to use the toilet takes time and patience. Each child learns to use the toilet in his or her own time. Here is information from the American Academy of Pediatrics to help guide you and your child through the process.
Understanding Irritability in Children
A MINUTE FOR KIDS: Irritability can be caused by many factors, depending on the age of the child. Irritability and mood swings are normal at any age, but if your child seems to be chronically irritable, consult your pediatrician to determine if there are any underlying conditions.
Vacations and Sleep Pattern Changes
A MINUTE FOR KIDS: If you are planning a vacation with your small child, be sure to bring along a familiar blanket or stuffed animal to help your child sleep. Try to stick to their regular sleep schedule to make the transition back to your home environment that much easier.
What is a Developmental-Behavioral Pediatrician?
If your child has a developmental, learning, or behavioral problem, a Developmental-Behavioral Pediatrician has the training and expertise to evaluate and care for your child. Developmental-behavioral pediatricians possess training and experience to consider, in their assessments and treatments, the medical and psychosocial aspects of children's and adolescents' developmental and behavioral problems.
What is ADHD? Questions from Teens
Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a condition of the brain that makes it difficult for people to concentrate or pay attention in certain areas where it is easy for others, like school or homework. The following are quick answers to some common questions:
What Is Your One-Year-Old Telling You?
Language begins long before the first spoken words. Your child starts “telling” you things during the first year of life. Your child may say things with looks, smiles, movements, or sounds. These early messages are very important.
What's on TV
A MINUTE FOR KIDS: On an average day of television watching, many children are exposed to a number of alcohol and toy commercials, excessive violent acts, and a number of scenes of sexual conduct. Suggest reading a book or going on a walk to your child rather than watching TV. This will reduce their exposure to such content.
Young Children Learn A Lot When They Play
Your Baby at 2 Months
Check the milestones your child has reached by the end of 2 months. Take this with you and talk with your child’s doctor at every visit about the milestones your child has reached and what to expect next.
Your Baby at 4 Months
How your child plays, learns, speaks, and acts offers important clues about your child’s development. Developmental milestones are things most children can do by a certain age.
Your Baby at 6 Months
Check the milestones your child has reached by the end of 6 months. Take this with you and talk with your child’s doctor at every visit about the milestones your child has reached and what to expect next.
Your Baby at 9 Months
Check the milestones your child has reached by the end of 9 months. Take this with you and talk with your child’s doctor at every visit about the milestones your child has reached and what to expect next.
Your Baby's First Steps
Learning to walk takes practice. Each child will learn to coordinate and balance at different rates. You can expect some wobbling and falling down at first, but before you know it, your child will be running circles around you.
Your Baby's Head Shape: Information for Parents on Positional Skull Deformities
Many parents wonder if the shape of their newborn's head is normal. Maybe it seems a bit flat in the back or uneven on one side. Most of these slight imperfections happen when infants spend too much time in one position such as in a crib, a car safety seat, or an infant carrier. The good news is that most of the time the shape of the head returns to normal on its own by simply changing your baby's position regularly. This publication was written by the American Academy of Pediatrics to answer questions from parents about their newborn's head shape.
Your Child at 1 Year
How your child plays, learns, speaks, and acts offers important clues about your child’s development. Developmental milestones are things most children can do by a certain age.
Your Child at 18 Months (1½ Years)
How your child plays, learns, speaks, and acts offers important clues about your child’s development. Developmental milestones are things most children can do by a certain age.
Your Child at 2 Years
How your child plays, learns, speaks, and acts offers important clues about your child’s development. Developmental milestones are things most children can do by a certain age.
Your Child at 3 Years
Check the milestones your child has reached by his or her 3rd birthday. Take this with you and talk with your child’s doctor at every visit about the milestones your child has reached and what to expect next.
Your Child at 5 Years
How your child plays, learns, speaks, and acts offers important clues about your child’s development. Developmental milestones are things most children can do by a certain age.
Your Child is on the Move: Reduce the Risk of Gun Injury
Your Child's Eyes
Eye exams by your child’s doctor are an important way to identify problems with your child’s vision. Problems that are found early have a better chance of being treated successfully. Read on for information from the American Academy of Pediatrics about your child’s vision, including signs of vision problems and information on various eye conditions.
Your Child's Growth: Developmental Milestones
Watching a young child grow is a wonderful and unique experience for a parent. Learning to sit up, walk, and talk are some of the major developmental milestones your child will achieve.