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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: Infant

Parents beware: gruesome injuries caused by toy

Any parent or pediatrician can agree – children will try to swallow almost everything. Some say, there is nothing quicker on Earth than a child’s hand reaching for something they shouldn’t have. When kids are young, they use their mouth to explore the world. But, when they are playing with certain toys, it can be extremely dangerous.

Four rules of lawn mower safety

Spring has sprung! We all know what that means…mowing season has arrived. You probably have the one friend who LOVES to mow, but for most people it is a hot, sweaty and dirty task at the bottom of the “adulting” to-do list. Kids may even find the ride on lawn mowers exciting. But when it comes to kids and lawn mowers, things can turn dangerous quickly.

Family with young baby holding baby food jar in a grocery store.

Toxic metals found in baby food: what you should do now

With the recent news that the US House of Representatives found multiple baby food brands were tainted with high levels of heavy metals like arsenic, lead, cadmium and mercury, it can send any parent into fear mode.  We should be concerned, but not panic. Here’s why.

Newborn baby resting on mom's shoulder

How new parents can avoid social isolation during the COVID-19 pandemic

Bringing home a new baby can be stressful for parents at any time, but COVID-19 has added a new layer of complication. But, with a little creativity, parents can still stay connected to their “village,” to each other and to themselves.

Testing food allergies early in children

Studies have shown that, for at least some children, early introduction of food can help children to avoid the development of food allergies. Here’s what introducing those foods can look like.

What you should know about elderberry remedies

Families commonly ask about ways to help keep their children well and ward off infections such as the flu. Many parents are looking for natural remedies and some may even grow their own elderberry to use as medication.

Family on FaceTime

7 ideas to host a rocking virtual holiday party

Many families are choosing to not have extended family and friends over for the holidays this year because of COVID-19. But, that doesn’t mean the holidays can’t be fun. Here are a few ideas to get that holiday party popping – virtually!

Happy family swimming together in a pool

7 ways to keep pools safe this summer

Summer is here! For me, it felt like summer would never come this year after such a cold winter, and the start of stay-at-home orders. But now, some city pools are opening and lakes and all types of fun water activities are an option!

Mom putting hand sanitizer in child's hand

Talking to kids about this phase of re-opening

As local authorities ease restrictions on businesses opening and people gathering, we all have questions about how to make smart decisions to keep our families safe. And if we grown-ups are scratching our heads, you can bet our kids have questions, too.

Mom and daughter crafting face masks

Helping your child wear a mask

Since wearing a mask is currently required when social distancing isn't possible, it is important to help children understand why we're wearing masks and to help them feel as comfortable as possible. Below are some tips for you and your family to help your child with wearing a mask.

Mom showing son how to wear a face mask

Tips for helping children understand the new normal

In many places, the coronavirus stay-at-home orders are being lifted and people may return to work and social events in phases. We as adults may understand the new rules, so it may be easy for us to flip that switch and attempt to return to normal.

Woman holding coffee mug

Gifts Moms really want for Mother’s Day

I never truly appreciated what my mother did for me until I became a mom myself. And now I know. Being a mother is the hardest, most beautiful and challenging role of all. But I wouldn’t trade it for anything.

Kid waving at person on computer

Birthdays in the time of COVID-19

My birthday is Nov. 27. It’s 1981, if you really want to know. Every year for my birthday growing up, my parents let me pick where we could go out to eat for dinner. I usually picked Oak Park Mall’s food court. It was the 80s and my parents had four kids, spaced two years apart.

Child on bike smiling with Dad following behind

How parents can make a healthier environment for healthier kids (on Earth Day and every day)

This Earth Day, like a lot of days lately, looks different this year. With social distancing and other public safety measures in place, we won’t be spending time in community gardens, planting trees with neighbors, or gathering to celebrate. However, there is still a lot we can do to combat the effects of climate change right where we are.

Frustrated mom at table looking at papers

Ways to curb frustration as a social-distancing parent

With the coronavirus pandemic, children are home all the time! Which is safe, but that means parents aren’t just parents - they are now teachers, caretakers, chefs, entertainers, housekeepers and everything else to their child. It’s a lot for anyone to manage.