3D Printing Prosthetics for Kids

3D printing will change the world we live in. Ever since the day a popular 3D printing technology patent expired, it grew so fast. The technology has massively evolved and became so much more affordable than before that even a regular consumer can afford a 3D printer and be able to create their own products or even “download” things online.

What’s great about 3D printing technology is that you can design virtually anything you want and print it as long as your printer can handle it. In theory, there is nothing impossible to print, though the quality and the time it takes to print something varies. Quality is mostly affected depending on the type of chosen filament for 3D printers. In case you don’t know, different types of filament produce different results, but we’re not going to discuss that here.

What we are going to discuss is what 3D printing of today is capable of making: prosthetics.

Prosthetics for kids costs thousands of dollars and only few can afford it. But this nonprofit organization called e-NABLE is making affordable 3D printed prosthetic hands and now, they are giving it away for free!

The video below tells the story of the child named Kieran, his life before and after he received the prosthetic hand:

As you can see in the video, the hands are well-made and solidly built. They are fully functional and making them will only cost one around a hundred dollars, far cheaper compared to modern prosthetics of today that can cost you tens of thousands of dollars.

In this video, we can see that the kids who were unable to live their life to the fullest are now capable of doing so. They are not bullied anymore and they even get the looks of a superhero. According to the video, the hands were intentionally made to look like a normal human hand at all, it was made so that the kids can’t only live a better life, but also to give them a “heroic” feeling. This is really great as this encourages them that no matter your status in life, as long as you have a strong will, hope and determination, you can overcome anything.

If you want to help contribute to the project, head over to LimbForge. You can also print your own – visit http://enablingthefuture.org/wrist-powered/ for more information on how to do that.

Dealing with Toothaches in Children

Toothaches are one of the worst things to deal with and they often strike at the most
inappropriate times. Children especially can have a hard time dealing with pain. Luckily there are a few things you can do to help until you can book a dental appointment. Of course, avoidance is the best
technique which is easy of you just look after your child’s teeth and clean them properly. With children it’s better to start them young, and educate them on the proper way to brush their teeth. If left untreated tooth decay only gets worse and will end up costing you.

Remember as well that if the pain ever becomes too severe take your child out of school and book the
earliest appointment possible at your local orthodontist. Until then, try out one of these techniques.

What causes tooth decay?

The primary cause of toothaches is tooth decay. Bacteria in your mouth live off of starch
and sugars left there from what you’ve eaten. These bacteria form a sticky plaque that
clings to the surface of your teeth. The acids produced by this plaque eats through the hard-
white coating on your teeth, known as the enamel. Left untreated this leads to a cavity. The
first sign of a cavity is a sharp pain in a tooth when you eat something sweet, very hot, or
very cold. Toothaches can also develop for several other reasons such as:

– Trauma or damage to a tooth
– An acclimation of food between your teeth
– A split in the tooth that occurs over time
– Sinus infection that can be felt as pain in the tooth
– An infection at the root of your tooth or in the gums

Temporary solutions to a toothache

1. Clove oil – cloves are a traditional remedy for toothaches thanks to their primary
chemical compound eugenol, which acts as a natural anaesthetic. Be careful when
applying it as it can cause more pain if you get too much on your gums or tongue.
Pour two drops worth on a cotton bud and stick it between your teeth where you
feel the pain

2. Salt and hot water – dissolve a teaspoon of salt in a cup of hot water and swish it
around your mouth for 30 seconds. This will clean away any debris and help reduce
swelling. Do it as often as you need to. This is also pretty good for dealing with a sore
throat.

3. Ice – place a small ice cube in a plastic bag and wrap it with a thin cloth. Apply this to
the aching tooth for 15min to numb the nerves. You can also apply it on your cheek
over the sore tooth.

These techniques are only meant to be temporary but if all you need is just a bit of time
they can be enough to last you until you can see a dentist New Westminster.

How to Take Your Child Swimming

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Taking your child swimming is an event that can be split into several events, so to speak.  First, you need to get the baby used to water, especially if he is a baby who yells at the mere sight of water in the tub.  Then you need to introduce him to the concept of swimming.  You know, the whole paddling and kicking part.

Once you have done this, you can help him build enough confidence for him to have fun at swimming.  In fact, both of you should have fun at it.

Start warm and slow

It is best if the pool you are going to be using is warm enough for your toddler to feel comfortable.  If the water is too cold, this can only add to the stress, especially if it’s his first time.  A temperature of around 32 degrees Celsius (90 degrees Fahrenheit) is great.

Also, make sure you are always next to your tot while you are at it.  Choose a pool that is close to your location.

Choose a Child-Appropriate Pool

Going to a water park is probably not the best place to take your little one.  They are usually packed with people and they usually do not allow diaper toddlers to use the pools anyway.   Pick a pool that is more family-friendly.

Most of these pools will let you take your little one in a swimming nappy. These can either be reusable or disposable.  Some pools will insist you double up with an extra nappy to avoid any leakage.

Clothes Changing

Also, make sure that the pool has enough facilities to get your child changed.  This will definitively make your life so much easier.

Some places have dressing mats and even dressing pens to prevent your little from running away while he gets changed.  As an extra advice, be practical and put on the swimming gear under his clothes.  In this way, once you get there, all you have to do is strip the clothes he is wearing on top.

A Good After Shower

It is always a good idea to give your child a shower after the pool.  Babies love it and it is a fun way to call it a day.  As a matter of fact, you can use this “warm rain” even before getting into the pool.

Make sure you put him in a snuggly towel right after pulling him out of both the pool and the shower.

Baby Swim Classes

If possible, take your toddler to swimming classes.  This could be a great way to introduce your baby to water.  Pools are designed to meet little children’s needs.

Your baby is still pretty young but if you would like to take yourself and him to the next level, get yourself some snorkels and fins to, you know, add to the fun.  Get them at your best retail store.

How to Make Sure your Child Gets Enough Exercise

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If you are a mother, you know how hard it is to get children to have an active lifestyle.  Especially in these times where kids are being absorbed into more sedentary ways of living through the television, Internet, mobile technology, and video games.

This is when parents ask the same question: Is my child getting enough exercise.  The question is completely valid, especially considering that child obesity is an issue that many families are facing in North America.

Benefits of Child Exercise

The truth is that everyone can benefit from regular exercising.  In the human body, physical activity promotes a good circulation,  enhances lung resistance, builds muscle, burns calories, and many other beneficial things.  Children who are active:

  • have a leaner body
  • have stronger bones and muscles
  • reduce the probability of suffering type 2 diabetes
  • are less likely to become obese
  • have an optimal blood pressure and low blood cholesterol levels

How Much is Enough?

Is my kid getting enough exercise?  Well, it all depends.  If your child seems to be a bit overweight, then it means that he is no getting enough exercise.   But then let’s face it.  Long gone are the days of going outside to run or ride a bike.  These activities have been replaced by TV and video games.

The keyword here is moderation.  Children should understand that, in the long run, they will get important results from exercising today.

It is recommended for people of all ages to spend at least one hour a day in activities that require physical exercise.  Now physical activity does not strictly mean a fitness routine.  You can also play a sport, throw hoops, etc.  The idea is to get them burn calories.

You might want to get off the car one day and ask the teacher what is the amount of exercise they do in school.  This will give you a broader idea of how much more exercise does your toddler need.

How to Get your Kid to Move

Getting your kids to be active is beyond what you were obviously trying to pay.  Since you are a big shot, we will skip explaining how to get you into fitness.

Is your boy or girl hard to get to move?  Nothing to worry about. There are some quick tips that you can follow:

  • Find out what it is that your child enjoys.  Not everyone gets stoked at the idea of an organized sport.  Try other activities such as swimming, dancing, rock climbing, etc.  Now, be patient as it might take some time to figure out what excites your child.
  • Kids love it when their parents play along with them.  So plan a day going hiking with the family or plan to play a game in the backyard this Saturday afternoon.
  • Provide alternatives to screen watching.  Pediatricians recommend children to spend no more than one to two hours of screen time a day.  That includes TV, tablets, and video gaming. Encourage other activities such as walking the dog, playing tag, or throwing some hoops.

Fresh Fitness offers the best training programs to keep you active and lead your kids by example, which is also very important.

At what age should children get braces?

The most confusing this when you get a second opinion from two different orthodontists is that they can have such opposing views. Generally though, the recommended age for getting braces is 7 to 8 years old. Depending on the condition of your child’s teeth an orthodontist may use other temporary methods until your child loses all their baby teeth. Once all their permanent teeth have set in they can begin applying braces. Every orthodontist will have a different approach to this and depending on the patient, treatment will be a little different. 

Future problems and treatment

Although braces can be helpful they won’t be able to correct an overbite if your child is under 10 years old. The problem is that new teeth will continue to grow along the lower jaw. Children with buck teeth can have them corrected with braces in later years, 12 to 14.

How to know when your child needs braces

There are a number of signs you can look out for to tell when your child needs braces. If you suspect they may need some then arrange an appointment with your local orthodontist.

       Crowding – this happens when there is insufficient room in your child’s mount for teeth to grow. This can push teeth out and make them crooked and unsightly. This tends to get worse over time and can make it more difficult to brush and floss. This results then in plaque build-up which in turn causes tooth decay.

       Overbite – this refers to the horizontal overlap of the front teeth, the incisors. While the severity of this can vary greatly it can be quite noticeable when the front teeth stick out a great deal from the bottom teeth. An excessive overbite can lead to other problems like an increased risk of fracturing in an injury and complications with other dental restorative work.

       Underbite – the opposite of an overbite in which the bottom front teeth overlap the upper front teeth. This can cause more noticeable problems than an overbite such as an imbalanced facial imbalance, difficulty chewing and accelerated facial ageing

 

Even if your child is still at a young age you should still arrange for an evaluation by your local orthodontist. If they are too young for braces just yet they can be put in a supervision program until their baby teeth all fall out. Annual evaluations will keep an eye on their progress and make changes as needed. If an orthodontist recommends starting a phase one treatment seek a second opinion first before deciding. If the second orthodontist also agrees with the need for early treatment then start with it straight away. If however they disagree then seek a third option and decide from there.

The problem with early phase one treatment is that it will likely mean having to pay for braces twice over, usually one they reach puberty at 11-13 years. However, if the condition is serious enough then it may be the only option.

Why your child might benefit from massages

The holistic benefits of massage therapy are well documented and are not confined to patients of any particular age. The benefits extend to people at any stage of life, regardless of age, occupation or background.

Children undergo stress as well, whether it be from school, family disputes or play time with peers. Too much stress can imbalance the immune system and even onset the early stages of depression. Massage therapy seems to work just as well for any age group, whether they be toddlers, preschoolers or teens. Providing your child with regular massage therapy can help them to develop and grow into a balanced and mature adult. Massage specialists like Adam Harris can cater to all needs and age groups. Read on for a summary of the benefits massage therapy can have for children.

 

Infant weight gain

Premature babies often have problems with weight gain. A gentle massage can help release a growth hormone that stimulates growth and aids the development of the brain and vital organs. One study by the Department of Neonatology showed that infants who undergo massage gained more weight than infants who went without massage.

Reduces stress and anxiety

Studies have backed up the belief that massage therapy can reduce stress and anxiety and it is no different for children. Massage therapy reduces hormone levels and blood glucose which leads to reduced feelings of stress and anxiety. Reduced feelings of stress not only mean better mental health but also physical thanks to an increased immune system. It’s also been found that massage therapy helps reduce asthma symptoms and help children adhere to sometimes painful diabetic treatment.

Stimulates motor development

Children are constantly developing their motor skills as they grow. With periodic massage treatment, the tension this development causes in the body can be eased and development increased. One study by the university of Miami indicated that massage therapy improved motor function in children with Down syndrome.

Stimulates cognitive development

There is much be said about the benefits massage can have on early cognitive development. While most of a child’s brain development takes place before age six, by age three the amount of hands-on stimulation an infant has received will dictate the amount of growth in each region of the brain. This stimulation is what provides a foundation for learning and what better stimulation could there be then giving your infant a light massage.

The same study by the Touch Research Institute in Minami found, among other things, that massage help increase serotonin and dopamine levels which in turn lead to improved memory and cognitive ability. In the study, infants were randomly selected and assigned to a massage group or comparison group. Massage was applied on half the infants for 15min each day for 12 days just 10 days after they were born. Brains waves were later measured and the researchers proposed that massage has positive effects on the brains electrical activity.

How to keep your child in shape: a guide

Over the last 30 years, obesity rates in children have almost tripled. P.E classes may not be enough to keep your child in shape and if your child is averse to physical activity then it may be difficult to keep them fit and healthy. If this is something that you worry about then there are a few helpful tips that can make the process a lot easier. Staying fit and healthy doesn’t need to be a chore and there are lots of ways you can make it a fun activity.

Make exercise a family activity

The key to keeping kids active is for the parents to keep active as well. On days off, take the whole family out for a bicycle run, nature walk or just a game of Frisbee in the backyard. Kids take after their parents and will be more encouraged to stay fit if they see you doing it as well. This can turn out as a great weekly event that will keep the whole family fit and give a chance to bond more. You can even team up with another family and make a large outing together as a chance to form closer friendships with neighbours and friends.

Hit the Gym

Some gyms allow kids aged 11-13 to use the equipment, other may restrict gym use until their 16-17. While care should be taken with designing the right program for a child there is little to worry about children using the gym. A personal trainer can help a lot with planning the right workout plan and training them for the right fitness.

Experiment with different sports

It’s likely that you’ll go through a lot of different sports and activities before you find one that your child latches on to. If a child finds a sport or activity they enjoy early on in life then they can become really good if they keep at it. Look into any local activities in your area and try something different each week. Indoor rock climbing is a very popular sport and one that just about every kid loves. Hiking can encourage them to appreciate the great outdoors while also staying healthy. Sailing, fishing and horse riding are also easy to pick up and can teach a child a lot more than just how to stay healthy.

Encourage unstructured playtime

It’s too easy to think that structured sports are the only way to go. Staying fit and healthy is a lifetime habit when picked up early so it helps to make your child think of exercise as if its play. Encourage your child to get out more and do what they wish. There might be some concern about leaving them unsupervised, if you’re not available then ask a neighbor to keep an eye on them when they’re in the backyard. Children need to be left to make up their own games and when left to their own they can be very creative.

What music should children be listening to?

Music can serve as a great bonding technique between you and your child. Music can also help them with learning skills, language learning ability and improve their memory retention and IQ. but what sort of music should allow them to listen? Should you allow them free reign or control what they are exposed to. To help out, we’ve put together a few suggestions to help decide.

 Choice music that is interactive

Children learn best when they’re allowed to sing or clap along with the music. Interactive music allows them to make meaning of the music and develop their cognitive abilities. Chose music so that slows your child to easily sing and play along with it. This might take some experimenting to find what they like best.

Go for variety

Give your child a variety of different styles and music types to give them the most exposure to what music does. Music with a variety of different tones, rhythms and keys will give them the most diversity and stimulate their thinking. Try out music from different cultures as well as your own so that they can understand how different music can be.

Play a lot of your own favorite music

It’s a true fact that young children learn better from seeing rather than being told. If you want to build your child’s interest in music let them see and hear you playing a lot of your own types. Chances are whatever you listen to will grow on them and influence their tastes as they grow older. A lot of music stars have said they got much of their influence from their parents who played a lot of classical music which has influenced their own style.

Classical music

Short classical pieces can serve as a great introduction. If you’d like your child to learn an instrument play common songs on this instrument so they can get used to the rhythm and flow. Great examples include Peter and the Wolf by Prokofiev and Carnival of the Animals by Camille Saint-Saens. Longer versions may not hold their attention span long enough so keep it between 3-5 minutes. If you play any instruments yourself this can prove a great bonding exercise.

Slow trance

Electronic music comes in many different forms. Being so popular these days it will be very hard to escape its influence. If you listen to a lot of this music yourself you should have no trouble finding the right type for a young child. As said above variety is the spice of life so expose them to as many types as you can. DJ Krista is a wedding performer so much of her music is perfectly appropriate for younger ears.

Music to be avoided

The music should be kept ‘child-friendly’ and while children’s music is the most child-friendly it is often poorly produced and won’t stick for long with a child as they grow older. Anything with inappropriate language should, of course, be avoided though it is up to the parents to decide what is inappropriate.

Childhood Obesity: A Very Dangerous Condition

It is so alarming that there is a significant increase in childhood obesity nowadays, and obviously the morbidity rate increases with it. The heightened  rate of this condition has brought medical professionals together to try to alleviate the effects and hinder the occurrence of this dreadful state among children. However,  they cannot do this alone, the society, specifically parents or guardians must be the first ones to partake in this. No one else can best help the children, but their primary caretakers.

To convince you more to take responsibility in preventing or help treat childhood obesity and engage them to thrive fitness, you must know the effects of this condition to your young ones. Be aware that the suffering is not only brought upon physically, but the pain they endure is beyond skin deep. The condition also affects them mentally and emotionally.

Effects of Childhood Obesity

Cardiovascular Disease and Hypertension

Ingesting unhealthy food, especially high in bad fats increases the risks to hypertension, which can eventually lead to cardiovascular diseases. This can be very detrimental, especially if the fat deposits clog the arteries of the heart  or the nerves going to the brain, leading to heart attack or stroke.

Diabetes

Obesity can aggravate or increase the risk for diabetes. An appalling condition that can affect the organs of the body. If the blood sugar is uncontrolled it can lead to kidney failure or worse, multi organ failure. Thus, consulting a thrive personal trainer can not only give you proper advice on fitness program, but as well as guide you to a nutritional diet appropriate for your child’s age.

Osteoporosis

Children are developing their bones and muscles as they grow, thus bone mass is very essential. Consequently, children with high fat percentage compromise their bone mass leading to bone weakness and osteoporosis. And this will worsen in adulthood if they do not lose weight. Hence, it is important to have an ideal weight during the growing years.

Asthma and Sleep Apnea

70% of obese children have a higher risk of developing asthma and sleep apnea. Their breathing passages can be interrupted or constricted leading to difficulty of breathing, which then decreases perfusion and oxygenation. Young ones who have this problems experiences easy fatigability, weakness, lethargy, poor memory and difficulty in cognitive learning.

Depression and Anxiety

The mere fact that the children dealing with being overweight can be depressing for most obese children. Added by the society’s critical nature, these young ones are exposed to bullying and torments. The pain and suffering they experience is seeded deeply and when they are not able to cope up properly, this can lead to low self esteem, depression and anxiety. Some children even resort to suicide to escape the reality. It’s a sad preventable occurrence, if only primary caregivers will be able to provide the proper guidance they need physically, emotionally and mentally.

Parents and guardians should take responsibility of their children’s health. You should be there to guide them not only with what food they should eat or how much exercise they should do, most importantly, be there to support them emotionally and mentally. Also being a good role model is a proven way to teach your children to be physically fit and show them how to adhere to a healthier lifestyle. Be a good role model. Your kids look up to you. So be sure you are showing them a good example.

Kiddos & Doggies – How to Prevent Pet Related Problems

Dogs and children seem to have an endearing connection and based on different studies, children who have dogs as pets are happier, responsible, more loving and caring. These furry buddies definitely have positive effects on kids – they offer loyalty, friendship and companionship, protector, and a lot more. But bringing a dog into a child’s life entails a lot of responsibilities among adults. Although, dogs can be really be good for children, there are adverse consequences and unwanted circumstances that may occur if you, as parents or guardians are careless and fail to consider the necessary precaution of having pets and kids under one roof. So, what do you need to know? Read on.

 

Preventing Dog Related Injuries

First and foremost, know if your kids have allergies to dogs. If your kids start sneezing and wheezing around animals, maybe it’s not a good thing to have a dog at home. This may trigger asthma asthma attacks that can be detrimental to a child’s life.

      • You should train your dog how to behave appropriately around children. This is important even though your hounds may have a sweet demeanor. This is a great resource if you’re looking for tips on how to train your dog if you have a baby. They should know to be a proper companion to kids. But simultaneously, you should also make sure that your kids are well tempered and are aware that dogs are not toys. More often than not, you cannot expect a dog to behave well when a kid is ill mannered or tries to hurt them.
      • Never ever leave your dogs and children together unsupervised. Kids are kids and dogs are dogs, both are not trustworthy enough to be left together alone. Children may sometimes be too rough and dogs can be aggressive at times. This may lead to a disaster that you will surely regret.
      • Choose the proper breed for kids. Not all dogs are appropriate for kids, some have an aggressive behavior which can be very harmful and can put your little ones in danger. Or if you have such a dog, before your kids came along, you can let them undergo dog training by professionals who are familiar with their breeds.
      • Set boundaries and restrictions. This does not only apply with your pets, but also with your kids. Rough play can excite or make dogs aggressive which can lead to injuries and accidents. So teach your kids to play with them properly. Rough play should be forbidden and not be allowed by all means. And as for the dogs set restrictions and boundaries, they should know how to follow basic commands. Your kid’s life is more important than your pet’s.
      • Teach your children how to be responsible, things as simple as showing your kids how to properly pet a dog can go a long way, it can lead to a more loving and lasting relationship between them. And when they are old enough, they can take on the responsibility of caring, feeding and even dog walking.

These are just a few preventive measures, but these are the major ones to avert having problems when you have a dog and a kid. You must not ignore these precautions. Diligent practice will dramatically reduce the risk of dog related injuries among children. If you follow these, you will surely enjoy raising your kids to be better individuals with the help of man’s best friend.