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Let's Talk Babies!

Baby Health

Maddie

It has been 2 years.

2 years since a Mom and Dad lost the most amazing thing in their lives, their daughter.

2 years since the world lost the light and life of an incredible little girl.

2 years.

For 2 years we’ve been missing Madeline Spohr. We’ve been supporting her family in every way we can. Lifting them up when the weight of a world without her seems too much to bear.  2 years.

On this April day, 2 years ago, we said good-bye to Maddie.

On this April day we remember the beauty, light, love and strength beyond her years that was the Amazing Maddie.

We love you. We miss you. We will remember you always.

Please stop by Heather’s blog and let Heather, Mike and Annie know that you are thinking about them today.  They need love on this day.  Please consider making a donation today in memory of one truly awesome little girl.  Heather and Mike are raising money for the March of Dimes this year in preparation for walking in Maddie’s honor again this year or you can make a donation to the charity set up in Maddie’s name, Friends of Maddie.

The long standing warning from pediatricians and other health care professionals to avoid introducing nuts into your child’s diet until they are 3 years old has recently been changed.  Studies have found that it could be that waiting to introduce nuts into your child’s diet may actually increase their chances of developing a nut allergy.  Only about 1-2 percent of children are predisposed to nut allergies because of a family history.  By introducing nuts earlier children without a predisposition may be much less likely to develop the an allergy.

Recently the AAP (Amercian Academy of Pediatrics) changed it’s long standing policy regarding nuts and is now recommending introducing nuts into a child’s diet as early as 6 months of age if the child has shown no signs of other food allergies and there is no family history of nut allergies.  For many parents, especially those with older children who had to avoid nuts for so long it may be hard to accept the new recommendations.  Nut allergies are scary to many parents and taking that first step and giving your child something that contains nuts for the first time is very nerve-wracking.

When introducing nuts parents should be sure to give their child a very small amount the first time and be careful to watch for signs of an allergic reaction.  Common symptoms of an allergic reaction include: wheezing, stomachache, vomiting, diarrhea, hives and swelling.  If you suspect an allergic reaction contact your child’s doctor and if the symptoms are severe seek medical treatment immediately.

Be sure to talk to your child’s pediatrician about these new recommendations and make sure you have all the facts and information before beginning to introduce nuts into your child’s diet.

Remember it is not safe for children until the age of 5 to have whole nuts.  Any nuts your child consumes before the age of 5 should be in spread form, or ground into other foods.

Every year almost 550,000 babies in the United States is born premature, that’s 1 baby for every 8 babies born. That is too many. Today, November 17th, is National Prematurity Awareness Day. Today is about giving a voice to those tiny lives who don’t have a voice of their own. Today is about showing our support for the parents of those tiny babies born too soon. Today is about supporting an organization that is trying to end prematurity, the March of Dimes.

Premature birth is the leading cause of death among newborns worldwide and results in $26 billion in health care costs each year here in the United States alone. The goal of the March of Dimes is to help each pregnant woman have a healthy pregnancy and help each family welcome a healthy, full-term baby at the end of that healthy pregnancy.  That may seem like a lofty goal, but it is a goal that has resulted in a recent decline in premature births by more than 3%.  It is a goal I am proud to support.

As the mother of a little girl who was born full term I know the joy and relief that can come from knowing your baby is healthy.  Every mother should know that feeling.  I have also seen the pain, frustration, helplessness and agony that can come from watching your child fight for their life from the confines of a NICU.  My youngest brother was born 8 weeks premature.  Today he is a healthy 19 year old, but in those early days it was scary.  No parent should have to stand back and wonder if their child will make it, or worse watch as their baby loses their fight for life.

I support the March of Dimes and I fight for preemies on behalf of children like Maddie Spohr who sadly and heartbreakingly lost their fight, and on behalf of children like my brother who thankfully won theirs.  Each child deserves a fighting chance and I want to help give them that.

Please, if you can, support the March of Dimes in their efforts and show those tiny babies fighting for their lives that they are not fighting alone.

November, 11 2010.  Veterans Day.  Remembrance Day. Maddie’s Birthday.  Today would have been, should have been, Madeline Spohr’s 3rd birthday. I should have woken up this morning to a beautifully written blog post by her mom, Heather Spohr, proclaiming and celebrating the awesomeness that would have been Maddie at 3 years old. Instead I wake up with a heavy, sad heart wondering why.  Instead I wake up asking how I can honor Maddie and show her parents my love and support.

Today is about celebrating the life of a little girl who touched the lives of so many. Whose life has inspired so many. Whose smile and angel eyes could light up a computer screen like no other. Today is about supporting Heather, Mike and Annie as they go through yet another birthday without Maddie. Today is about remembrance and celebration and honoring the life of Maddie.

To celebrate Maddie’s birthday I will be making a donation to Friends of Maddie and my daughter I will be taking a trip to the park in Maddie’s honor. We will swing on the swings and feed the ducks and place a purple flower in the lake.  I ask you to do something for Maddie today as well, please visit Heather’s blog and leave a quick message letting Heather know you are thinking about Maddie today, celebrating Maddie today.

Happy Birthday, Maddie.

Cold and flu season is upon us.  No one likes being sick, and no parents likes to see their child suffer from an illness.  Though it is probably impossible to keep your child free and clear of all viruses, it is possible to help keep the cold and flu bugs away at least some of the time.  There are steps you can take, things you can do, things you can teach your child to do, that will help keep them healthy during this cold and flu season.

Viruses spread easily and quickly among children. Between the tendency for children to constantly put their hands in their mouth and a tendency to forget about the coughing and sneezing into your elbow rules it isn’t any wonder germs make their way around a group of children so easily. Kids share toys, food and inevitably germs.  Here are a few things you can do to help your child avoid cold and flu bugs this season:

  • Talk to your child’s doctor about getting a flu vaccine this season.  Flu vaccines are effective at preventing the spread of the flu.
  • Teach your child to wash their hands frequently.  Clean hands are less likely to spread germs and contract germs.
  • Teach your child to sneeze or cough into the crease of their elbow to help avoid getting germs on their hands that they then spread to others.  A child who is used to this rule will likely encourage their friends to do the same.
  • Encourage your child to keep his or her hands of their face, and especially out of their mouth.
  • Encourage your child to be active.   A healthy, active child is far less likely to get sick.
  • Encourage good sleep habits.  A well rested person is better able to fight and avoid cold and flu bugs.
  • Provide your child with a healthy diet.  Encourage healthy meals and snacks.

The more active and well rested your child is the better chance they have of avoiding the cold and flu bugs that will inevitably go around their classroom this year.  Teaching your child good habits for washing their hands and avoiding putting their hands on their face or mouth is a great way to further help your child avoid the bugs this season. If you have questions about the flu vaccine or steps you can take to help your child avoid the cold and flu this season talk to your child’s doctor.

Happy cold and flu season. Here’s hoping you and your family can avoid as many bugs as possible this winter.