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Mom teaching teenage daughter how to drive

Kids behind the wheel (they’re still kids)

My dad taught me to drive in a cemetery. Why? Because there’s no traffic. It’s impossible to get lost. “And you can’t hurt anyone because there aren’t any living people in a cemetery.” Even still, we were very respectful. Life was simple back in 1997. (I’m 38 now, I’ll save you the math.) You could get your restricted license at 15 years old after a Driver’s Ed class and a written test. You received your “real” driver’s license once you turned 16. And after that, you were free to run around town in your hand-me-down car.

Girl in bed with thermometer

Flu season is here: Shaping up to be longer, more severe

Earlier this year, we shared a blog about the importance of getting your flu shot. (Click here if you missed it.) Since our team at Children’s Mercy have seen more cases of influenza earlier than usual, we wanted to follow up on this important subject. Seeing cases earlier than usual is an indication that this flu season could be longer and more severe than normal. In the video below, Angela Myers, MD, MPH, Director-Division of Infectious Diseases, explains the current situation and provides reminders on precautions everyone should take to reduce the risk of getting sick or spreading germs.

5 Ways to Make Magical Memories this Holiday Season

I can’t remember the gifts I received on Christmas morning. But I remember how I felt. A mix of excitement, pure joy and anticipation for a day spent together as a family. I remember waking up way too early and climbing into bed with my sister on Christmas morning until everyone else was awake. I remember walking down the stairs to see the Christmas tree glowing and checking to see if Santa and his reindeer ate the treats we left out. And let’s not forget the warm cinnamon rolls we would enjoy together in our pajamas that morning! If I could bottle up that feeling to sell it, I would be a millionaire.

Cold weather car seat safety

Statistics show that motor vehicle crashes are a leading cause of death among children in the United States. Most of these deaths, due to children either being unrestrained or improperly restrained, are preventable.  As a rule, bulky clothing - like winter coats or buntings - should not be worn underneath the harness of a car seat. In a crash, fluffy padding immediately flattens out from the force, leaving extra space under the harness. This leaves the straps too loose to properly restrain the child, increasing the risk of injury. The same is true for adult passengers in a vehicle.

Woman holding a coffee mug tumbler

5 tips for “balance” as a working mom

My phone rang and I went into full panic mood. My son was supposed to be napping but was screaming in his crib. It was time for my weekly conference call with a client and I was home with my son without any help. So, I did what was necessary in the moment. I took him out of the crib and put him into his stroller and took the call while power walking for over an hour. He slept and I somehow pulled off the call. It was a win-win! That’s what I call... multitasking like a mother.

Kid opening present box and frowning

Failure as a gift

Webster Dictionary defines failure as “lack of success” or “falling short.” As well-known comedian, Ellen De Generes stated, “When you take risks you learn that there will be times when you succeed and there will be times when you fail, and both are equally important.” Invariably, on their path to adulthood, teens will encounter the race they cannot win or the math problem they cannot solve. There are ways that parents can help their teens benefit from those experiences of failure and perhaps, at a later time, to even come to view them as “gifts.”

Kids crossing the street

5 Most Preventable Childhood Injuries

Most childhood injuries can be prevented and knowing how to prevent an accident is key to keeping children safe. We’ve all been taught the basics. Buckle-up in the car, wear a bike helmet and look both ways before crossing the road. But there are several other simple things you can do (some you might not have heard of before) that can protect you and your family.

Child on the street learning to potty train

Constipation: every parent’s favorite topic

It’s amazing how once you become a parent you begin to realize that talking about poop is just part of everyday conversation. Has your child pooped today? What was the consistency? What was the color? (I know! Your high school self would not believe this is what you now talk about with your significant other!) But what happens when you child can’t, or isn’t, pooping? 

Mom holding child in chicken costume

Halloween safety: 5 things parents should (and shouldn’t) do

The countdown is on until Halloween, but before your kids head out to trick-or-treat here are some lesser-known safety tips to help keep your ghosts and goblins safe.

Girl sneezing into elbow

Top 5 excuses for not getting a flu shot (and why you still should)

The first cases of true influenza have been reported. Again, we’re expecting at least a moderately severe flu season nationally this year. To put it in perspective, 1 in every 3 unvaccinated children is predicted to get influenza, while 1 in 9 unvaccinated adults will get symptomatic influenza. The best available way to protect yourself and your loved ones is the flu vaccine.