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By Rajesh Vohra
Winter is the time to bask in the sun, stroll around the lanes and devour all the great delicacies. While indulging in all these activities, parents should remember that their little ones need more protection during this season. Winter days come with a lot of smog, and when temperatures are really chilly outside. A mask is something that can protect a baby from various environmental hazards and also protect the little nose and mouth from the harsh winds during the winter season.
A mask specially designed for kids: A mask has become a clothing accessory over the last couple of years, and people tend to wear them for longer hours. When buying masks for children, the first thing for parents to understand is that the masks made for adults are not suitable for children. There are masks available on the market which are specifically designed for kids in the age group of 3-6 and for kids in the age group of 7-12 years.
There are masks available on the market which are specifically designed for kids in the age group of 3-6 and for kids in the age group of 7-12 years. | Photo by Atoms on Unsplash
Choose suitable mask material: Always look for a material that is soft enough to not irritate your child's sensitive skin.The ideal mask should have six layers of filtration, and the innermost layer is recommended to be made of soft fabric that is breathable for kids. The ear loops and noseband should be flexible and adjustable in order to fit the child's face properly and provide protection from dust, pollution, and germs.
The ideal mask should have six layers of filtration, and the innermost layer is recommended to be made of soft fabric that is breathable for kids. | Photo by Vera Davidova on Unsplash
Breathable factor: The breathable factor of a mask is important for every individual, considering the longer usage span. Children's daily routines are more active when compared to adults; they run, they play, they fight, and they enjoy being outdoors, which increases their breathing level. Thus, it becomes more important for a child to wear masks under which they can breathe properly, encouraging them to wear them for a longer period of time.
It is important for a child to wear masks under which they can breathe properly, encouraging them to wear them for a longer period of time. | Photo by Atoms on Unsplash
Filtration Efficiency: While considering the entire comfort factor, parents must not ignore the filtration capacity of a mask. The pandemic has added to the ongoing pollution hazard, seasonal viruses, dust, pollen, and other harmful particles in the environment, making parents more cautious while selecting the right mask for their babies. It is always important to choose a mask with at least 95 percent filtering efficiency of > 0.3 microns when releasing the child into the outdoors.While you may find many masks on the market mentioning various layers, it's important to check that the mask has layers of melt-blown filters inside to give your child effective protection against germs and pollution.
While considering the entire comfort factor, parents must not ignore the filtration capacity of a mask. | Photo by Kelly Sikkema on Unsplash
Colourful masks: The biggest challenge for parents these days is to make sure that their kids are wearing masks all the time. To make this easier, choose a mask with cheerful designs and decorations that the kids can relate to and will encourage them to wear it.
Choose a mask with cheerful designs and decorations that the kids can relate to and will encourage them to wear it. | Photo by Anton on Unsplash
Re-usable masks: Another factor that people consider while choosing a mask is the price. The market has a range of masks that are expensive and can be used only once. The expenses are always on the higher side with a child at home, as a parent always wants the best for their baby. To balance out the budget, it is advisable to choose a re-usable mask that is re-usable at least up to 25 washes without affecting the 95 percent filtration efficiency.
With the spread of smog, parents have become more cautious when it comes to protecting their babies. Every parent knows what is best for their babies, and with a little research and effort, they can never go wrong with their choices.
(Article originally published on IANSlife) (IANS/ MBI)
Keywords: mask, face mask, kids, children, baby, breathable factor, filter, colourful
By N. Lothungbeni Humtsoe
Have your children pleaded and negotiated with you for extended screen time? 'Just five minutes more please, sounds familiar, right? However, when the five minutes deadline is over, we get to see their tantrums and at times their temper, as if they have some sort of a nervous breakdown. The dominance of screens in the lives of children has been a pressing challenge for parents and the pandemic has worsened it exponentially. Parents are constantly worried about their kids spending too much time on screens, and it's hard to set limits.
Studies by 'The American Academy of Paediatrics' recommends:
>Avoiding screen exposure for children less than 18 months of age,
>Introducing children 18 to 24 months of age to screen media slowly,
>Limiting screen time to an hour a day for children from 2 to 5 years of age,
However, 87 per cent of children have screen time exceeding these recommendations.
Increased screen viewing is becoming common in children with working parents being busy and finding inadequate time to spend with them. Also, screen viewing often comes as an easier option for parents as they go about their chores. But can we blame either the child or parent for this? It is an extremely difficult task to keep kids entertained round the clock when they are indoors. Most parents unwillingly cave into more screen time as a last resort despite knowing its harmful effects. Their eyes are the first to be affected due to the constant staring at screens. This is followed by back problems in young kids because they tend to slouch whilst doing this. It directly affects their body posture. It also stifles their creative thinking and interferes with social skills development.
Increased screen viewing is becoming common in children with working parents being busy and finding inadequate time to spend with them. | Photo by Frank Romero on Unsplash
Experts say that listening to music, podcasts, and audiobooks are the only digital activities kids can do on their own, without parental supervision, as much as they want. Audio offers the right level of engagement for kids. It activates their minds while leaving them plenty of space to build their world around what they're hearing As a result, SUPER BUDDY, a speaker that acts as a storyteller, entertainer, and the ideal friend for every child, comes to the rescue.
Dinkar Pathak, Founder of Tarbull, says, "Super Buddy is close to my heart because as a father of 2 kids we have experienced the struggles with screens, the internet, and introducing age-appropriate content on a first-hand basis. Modern-day parents need a modern solution and a companion for their kids to help them embark on the journey of less screen time and more storytime. Our curated content helps kids unlock a beautiful world of music and stories while keeping them engaged throughout the day without the side effects of screen addiction. It takes your little ones on a path where they can explore their imagination and weave their magic. With Super Buddy, you can give your child a best friend and a teacher without worrying about issues of privacy, inappropriate content, or unhealthy engagement." (IANS/ MBI)
Keywords: Children's Day, screen time, kids, heart, music, podcasts
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Using social media platforms like Instagram or Snapchat before age 11 was significantly related to more problematic digital behaviour compared to those who joined these platforms when they were older, finds a new study. The study, published in Computers in Human Behavior, showed that joining Instagram or Snapchat before age 11 was significantly associated with having online friends or joining social media sites that parents would disapprove of, more problematic digital technology behaviour, more unsympathetic online behaviour, and greater likelihood of online harassment and sexual harassment victimisation.
However, some of these effects were lessened when parents restricted phone use and limited how often their kids checked social media. "Social media sites all require a minimum age of 13 to register, but the reality is that many users are younger than that: one-third of our sample had already started using social media at age 11 or 12 and another one-third had begun at age 10 or younger," said lead author Linda Charmaraman, director of the Youth, Media and Wellbeing Research Lab at the Wellesley Centers for Women (WCW).
"This study helps us understand the risks and benefits for kids and tweens, so that parents and policymakers can make decisions that prioritise their well being," she added. The team surveyed 773 middle schoolers in the Northeast US about their social media initiation, digital behaviour, and parental restrictions on digital use.
Using social media platforms like Instagram or Snapchat before age 11 was significantly related to more problematic digital behaviour finds a new study. | Photo by McKaela Taylor on Unsplash
The researchers also found that regardless of when they joined social media, early adolescents more frequently engaged in positive digital behaviour than negative ones. And those who joined social media as children (age 10 or younger) demonstrated a greater tendency to engage in supportive or civically-engaged online community behaviour such as socially supportive social media posts, fostering awareness of social issues, or organising events through social media, compared to those who joined later. This may be due to being socialised at a younger age to understand both the positive and negative potential of different platforms.
"These findings suggest that the industry-based age minimum of 13 for social media users may potentially be a good standard, if it can be enforced," said Charmaraman. "The findings also suggest that a potential strategy to support families with children, tweens, and teens is to keep track of social media sites joined and online friend networks; set even one rule about screen use (i.e., limiting duration on school nights); and monitor children's frequency of checking, particularly if they're using social media at age 10 and younger." (IANS/ MBI)
Keywords: social, instagram, snapchat, right age, join, kids, behaviour, digital platforms
In comparison to adults, children are prone to getting traumatized by troubling events easily, and this makes it important for parents to help their children when the times are tough. It could be a brutal accident, an unprecedented pandemic, a violent crime, or other disasters but with the right parental support, children have a higher chance of coming out stronger from an awful situation.
Anuja Kapur, Psychologist shares few tips wherein you can assist your child when tough times comes calling:
Every child responds differently to disturbing events: What children feel about a current disaster in their life and how they react to it can come and go in waves. Children can act moody and withdrawn at times, struck with sorrow and fear at other times. There's no absolute "right" or "wrong" way to feel after a traumatic event so make sure not to dictate what your child or how your child should feel and react to the event.
Children can act moody and withdrawn at times, struck with sorrow and fear at other times. | Photo by Kat J on Unsplash
Encourage your child to be transparent: Just make sure you let your child know that whatever feelings they're experiencing is normal. The unpleasantness will pass if your child opens up about it and that the phase is temporary. While many teens may be reluctant to talk about their feelings with a parent, encourage them to confide in another trusted adult such as a family friend, relative, or a counselor and teacher. It's important to talkeeven if it's not with you.
Just make sure you let your child know that whatever feelings they're experiencing is normal. | Photo by Sebastián León Prado on Unsplash
Deter your child from reliving the disturbing event: Dwelling over, watching the footage, or imagining the event can be overwhelmingly stressful for children and this stress can even block their nervous system. However, to negate such things from happening encourage activities that keep your child's mind occupied so they're not obsessive about the event. You could encourage your children to read, play games together, or simply watch an uplifting movie.
Dwelling over, watching the footage, or imagining the event can be overwhelmingly stressful for children and this stress can even block their nervous system. | Photo by Юлія Дубина on Unsplash
Cocoon your child with warmth: In order to reassure your child that they are safe with you and feel secure, that the worst is over your physical affection is important in making them feel safe again. Teens may try to be tough through it and avoid being held, but they still need the proximity.
In order to reassure your child that they are safe with you and feel secure, that the worst is over your physical affection is important in making them feel safe again. | Photo by adrianna geo on Unsplash
Maintain routines. Establishing a predictable structure and schedule for your child's life can help to make the world seem more stable again. Try to maintain regular times for meals, homework, and family activities. Make sure your child accommodates time and space for rest, play, and fun. Keeping up with a schedule can help countercheck the obnoxious feeling of stress and worry in children about the future being dark, hopeless, and unpredictable.
Try to maintain regular times for meals, homework, and family activities. | Photo by Paico Oficial on Unsplash
Acknowledge and validate your child's concerns. The disastrous events in life may give place to unrelated fright and concerns in your child. However, understanding and accepting your child's present state is a comfort for the child. If at any point the child blames himself for the event make sure to make it clear and crisp the event was not their fault, you love them, and it's okay for them to feel upset, angry, or scared but not guilty.
Understanding and accepting your child's present state is a comfort for the child Photo by Jeremiah Lawrence on Unsplash
Irrespective of the age of your child, it is vital for parents to offer that extra support and assistance following an unsettling event. The traumatic event may bring up unrelated fears and issues in your child. However, by accepting their thoughts and replacing their fear with your love and direction, the ominous feelings will start to fade away. Eventually, the child will be able to return to a normal and healthy life. (IANS/ MBI)
Keywords: Kids, Help, stress, cope, routine, warmth, understanding, encourage, psychology, children