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Lifestyle : Toddler and Baby Edition Special Report May 2013
1HERSA1 A041 Accurate ± 0.3 0C Fast (Less than 1 Second) Hygienic -- doesn't touch skin Easy to Use -- just point and read Easy to Read Backlit Screen changes colour; green <37.5°C, orange from 37.5 to 38°C, red > 38°C Voice reading also available in 3 languages Data Memory (32 memory) 12 Months Replacement Warranty AA Batteries and Pouch included Effective medication delivery Easy to Use - One button operation Easy to Carry - Handle and light weight Easy to Clean 2 separate compartments Latex Free Suitable for all ages 2 years replacement warranty Complete nebuliser kit included; Tubing, Adult Mask, Child Mask, Filters. www.medescan.com.au email@example.com 1300 736 330 Touchless Thermometer Nebuliser Measure Body Temperature Measure Room Temperature Measure Surface Temperature Available at all good pharmacies Contact customer service for your nearest stockist iG5998367AA-120513 Baby & toddler THE SUN-HERALD SUNDAY, MAY 12, 2013 41 Aim for a healthy amount of playtime In the swing: Children need games that are energetic and fun. Old-fashioned pursuits such as hide and seek are the best way for toddlers to get the recommended daily quota of exercise, writes Leith Young. It seems obvious, but the best exercise for young children is free play. Running in the garden, chasing bubbles, toss- ing a ball in the park, hide and seek games and ''Simon says'' -- these time-honoured activities help tod- dlers stay healthy and develop well, but it's not always what they get. Dr Shirley Alexander, staff spe- cialist in weight management ser- vices at The Children's Hospital at Westmead, says toddlers should have about three hours spread throughout the day of robust activit- ies -- running, jumping, bouncing and climbing. "Children this age sleep for at least 12 hours a day, and spend a lot of time doing things like drawing, playing in a sandpit, being fed or driven around," Alexander says. "It's difficult to say whether tod- dlers are more sedentary than they used to be, although anecdotally, I think incidental activity has reduced. For example, they may be carried more. Our lives seem busier today than before and parents may be in rush, so they lift toddlers into the car seat rather than wait for them to climb in. The best way to get them to be active is to allow them to have free play." And it's not as simple as just exer- cise. Children need the freedom to explore and experiment, which is all part of normal development, but many observers believe that fears about safety have restricted these opportunities. "Children aren't allowed to explore their limits as much as they used to," Alexander says. "Perceived fears about safety are sometimes overplayed. There are so many more occupational health and safety concerns at pre-schools and play groups now. ''Parents worry about strangers, yet most of the time, on the rare occasions that children are abducted or hurt, it's by someone they know. ''Focusing on things such as tod- dler gym equipment -- mini treadmills, air walkers, rowing machines and weight benches -- is unnecessary. If children are watch- ing television, they're sitting still, not running around. The current recom- mendations for watching TV, DVDs or playing computer games is noth- ing at all under two years, and less than an hour a day for children aged two to five. "What we need is a happy medium. Make sure children's play is safe and supervised, but allow them to devel- op skills of exploration. It's a staged progression -- they need to develop one skill before they can go on the next. They need to muck around, learn to play and explore their envir- onment in a safe setting." Babies need exercise, too. Even before they are mobile, they can be encouraged to reach, grasp, pull and push. Babies need ''tummy time'' on the floor for rolling and reaching, sit- ting up and crawling, and to help prevent ''flattened head syndrome''. This common condition, called positional plagiocephaly, is a mis- shapen head caused by prolonged pressure on the soft bones of a baby's skull from bassinette and cot mat- tresses. If an infant always sleeps on its back, the pressure can be on one spot and the skull becomes flattened. Dr Erica Jacobson, a neurosur- geon at the Sydney Children's Hos- pital, says that since the late 1990s when it was recommended that babies sleep on their backs to pre- vent SIDS, the incidence of plagiocephaly has jumped by 600 to 700 per cent. The condition is largely cosmetic, and has no impact on a baby's development. In severe cases, babies wear hel- mets to correct their head shape, but most of the time, parents can avoid a helmet. Techniques include chan- ging the baby's head position from side to side, changing the sleeping end of the cot and giving babies a lot of tummy time. "If parents know what to do early on, they can save themselves a lot of worry. This is a lot more anxiety-producing than it needs to be," Jacobson says. For more on recommended activity for under-fives, go to health.gov.au.
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