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It's not perfect. It's parenting.

Sometimes you need answers to the little everyday things that parents encounter. And sometimes, you just need someone to encourage you through all of the craziness and challenges of parenthood. Welcome to Parent-ish, a blog from the experts at Children's Mercy.

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Category: Health and Wellness

Kids sick again? What to do about those pesky bugs going around

If it feels like the kiddos in your life are constantly coming down with something, it’s probably not your imagination. In the first 2 years of life, it is common for kids in daycare to be sick with respiratory illnesses 10 to 12 times per year. Nobody wants their children to be under the weather that much, but it is normal and generally not cause for worry. That said, we would like to put parents’ minds at ease with a few tips and tricks to deal with those pesky colds, flus and other common illnesses. 

Healthier eating in the new year is a resolution you can keep. No, really!

Be honest: How many days into the new year did you make it before you abandoned all those well-intentioned resolutions? It happens to the best of us. But as a parent, finding ways to implement healthier eating habits for your family is a constant priority — and struggle. 

Antibiotic FAQs – What parents need to know

The holiday season may be the most wonderful time of the year, but it can also bring about a not so fun season of illnesses. Knowing whether your child’s illness needs an antibiotic to get better can be hard during this time of colds and “Flu.” We’ve answered some frequently asked questions below, and your child’s primary care provider (PCP) is a wonderful resource if you have questions or concerns about your child’s illness.

Top questions for your pediatrician at all ages

When you have your first baby, they unfortunately aren’t born with a handbook. Even if they were, every child is different and may not follow exactly what would be “outlined.” As a first-time parent you are going to have lots of questions and those questions won’t stop until your child is grown. You may first start asking questions about milestones your child should be reaching in their early years, but will eventually transition to questions on when you should bring up topics like the birds and the bees. 

COVID-19, RSV and the Flu: What you need to know

Viral respiratory season is quickly approaching. Since the COVID-19 pandemic, respiratory viruses seem to circulate in new patterns, so being prepared is important! According to the American Academy of Pediatrics last flu season a record number of children under the age of 4 years old were hospitalized. Here’s what you need to know to help keep your family safe and healthy.

The power of adaptive sports

Staying active benefits all children, but for kids with physical or cognitive differences, sports can be a game-changer for their overall wellness. 

Everything parents need to know about food allergies

Food allergies are a concern for many parents – especially those of younger children who are being introduced to new foods on a regular basis. But it can be hard to determine what is a food allergy versus a food intolerance.

By bus, by bike, by car...oh my! Get to school safely - no matter how you travel

School is back in session! Ensuring all kids make it to and from school safely is everyone’s responsibility. We recommend sitting down and speaking with your kids this back-to-school season to make sure they know and are following these safety guidelines.

How to set a schedule for back-to-school success

It's that time of year - you can almost smell the sharpened pencils and fresh notebook paper. Students will be returning to school before you know it and getting used to a whole new routine. Set them (and yourself) up for success by getting a jump start on a back-to-school schedule. Developing a plan ahead of time can reduce anxiety and get everyone on the same page.

Autism Spectrum Disorder: Setting up for back-to-school success

Starting a new school year is exciting but can also be a bit frightening. While this is true for all children, it can be heightened for kids with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). Predictability and routine are very important for children with ASD. Here are 6 ideas to help your child feel prepared before the first day of school.

Less frustration, more communication: How to use baby sign language with your child

As parents, we’ve all been there – your baby is upset and screaming, and you just want to yell, “Tell me what you want!” Adding a few basic sign language words to your child’s vocabulary can help ease this frustration for both of you and encourage your child’s verbal development as well.

Beat the heat! How to bring your summer fun indoors

We know it’s a parent’s dream to spend as much time outside with the kiddos as possible. Summer is all about enjoying the outdoors from sunup until sundown. However, there are certain barriers that can limit you from doing just that. Whether it’s extreme heat, rain showers or even nap times, for some families spending time indoors to wind down is inevitable.

Have fun in the sun - safely!

As the weather warms up, we’re all spending more time outdoors, and that means more time in the sun. Whether your family likes swimming, picnicking, playing sports or just hanging out in the backyard, you need to protect yourselves from UV rays.

nurse helps young girl with hurt arm

When to go: Emergency Room vs. Urgent Care

School is out for the summer – that means playground visits, pool days or play dates that could result in an unexpected injury or illness for your child. And of course, it always happens when your doctor’s office is closed. So, the dilemma every parent faces …do you go to the Emergency Room (ER) or Urgent Care?

Improve your sleep, improve your mental health: 8 steps to better sleep for your family

Getting more sleep—for you and your child—is a goal many parents dream of. After all, sleep has a significant impact on our mental and physical health.