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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: Toddler

The number 1 rule about cleaning out earwax

Let’s set the scene - you look over at your kid and there’s a bunch of earwax in their ear. You may feel immediate panic to clean it out. There’s no way you can let them walk around like that. So, you run to get the cotton swabs you know you shouldn’t use. But, before you do anything, here’s the No. 1 rule about cleaning out earwax.

Close up of a child's back of the head while a doctor uses an otoscope to look in his ear.

Ear infections in children: What you can do and when it’s time for ear tubes

Ear infections are one of the most common medical issues among young children and can be frustrating for both parents and kids. As a parent, we know you want to do everything possible to keep your child healthy.  Here’s what to know about ear infections and when to talk to your doctor about discussing ear tubes.

Young teen looks at a pill bottle while in front of a mirror.

6 Ways to keep kids safe around medications

You might be pretty good at home security. Many people have doorbell cameras, security alarm systems, door locks, window locks and child locks. But have you ever thought about medication storage? Medications are often left in places where curious children can find them, like bathroom cabinets, purses and nightstands. It helps to have a strategy to prevent kids from accessing medications.

Young girls looks at arm while a nurse is giving her a vaccine and using a ShotBlocker.

Ways to comfort children for vaccine appointments

If you’ve ever wished for a way to help your child not feel pain, you’re not alone. We’ve all had vaccines or drawn blood and know it does come with some discomfort. The Child Life team at Children’s Mercy works every day to comfort children before needle procedures like routine vaccines or blood work and they’re sharing ways parents can help prepare kids—and even help kids cope with pain.

Developmental milestone updates: What parents need to know

Developmental milestones help track how children are progressing in physical and behavioral ways like talking, walking, playing and learning. They are also used to help detect autism and developmental delays in children. These milestones have just been updated for the first time in 18 years. Here is what’s changed and how it will affect parents.

Diaper changing hacks to save you time and from a blowout

It’s estimated a 6 month old will have used about 1,440 diapers. The pie chart of spending time with a new baby has got to be 80 percent changing a diaper. Here are some top diaper tips to save you from a blowout, save you some time and save you some sanity.

Young boy holds hand to throat and winces in pain.

All about strep throat

Along with all the other infectious diseases in our community right now, one we typically see in children is strep throat. Strep throat can feel awful and impact your energy and eating. Here’s what symptoms to be on the lookout for and ways to feel better.

Overcoming a fear of the dentist

A fear of the dentist. We’ve heard about it. It’s not just kids, even some adults have a fear of visiting the dentist. It may be because they think it’s painful, scary, or even just fear the unknown. Here are a few ways to help kids overcome their fear of the dentist.

Mom sits on couch and listens to toddler talking to her.

Tips to help your toddler communicate

Concerned about your child meeting language milestones? You’re not alone. I often work with children whose parents are really concerned their children are not yet talking. One thing I try and point out is there are often ranges for children in regards to speech-language milestones. Here’s what I mean.

Close up of two torsos with arms hugging around a person.

Why teaching personal boundaries is important for kids

Sadly, 1 in 10 children will be sexually assaulted before their 18th birthday. We all want to keep kids safe from this kind of trauma. One way to keep kids safe is to teach them a few things to feel empowered to stop abuse before it even starts. Here’s what I mean.

Mom hugs her preteen son. They are wearing sports clothes and near a basketball goal outside on a sunny day.

8 tips to support kids when talking about gender

Learning about gender is a normal part of growing up. At around 2 years old, children start to notice people are different genders. By age 6, most children will identify themselves as male or female. Responding to your child’s questions or concerns about gender or sex can be uncomfortable or confusing. Here are some tips to help have those conversations.

It’s more than duck-duck-goose: how to encourage active play in preschoolers

We know staying active has so many benefits on your health and happiness. There are lots of ways to help lay the groundwork at an early age that will help encourage kids to stay active later in life. And yes, even duck-duck-goose has a hidden learning purpose.

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.

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.