There was a recent outcry over the news that outdated parenting advice grandparents are using may be putting kids at risk. Parenting sure has changed from our parents' generation to our own. This is certainly not a negative reflection on them; our knowledge and scientific research has come a long, long way. And it is continuing to evolve.
But what the articles didn't let us know was what the outdated advice we need to update our parents - and sometimes even ourselves - on. There's classes to help bring grandma and grandpa up to date on changes, and these are a great idea. Also, while not exhaustive by any means, here's a list of fairly recent updates in health and wellness advice we should be aware of:
Honey should not be given to babies under 12 months of age, or if they have a depressed immune system, as they may be at risk of developing botulism.
Whole grapes, hot dogs, and raw vegetables should be sliced lengthwise or cut into small pieces to prevent becoming choking hazards for children under four, and some foods should not be offered at all.
Juice does not replace the nutrition of whole fruit, and should not be offered regularly to babies and toddlers.
Solids should not be forced on babies under 6 months of age just to help them sleep through the night.
Allergenic foods such as peanut butter should be introduced to babies before 12 months of age - unless a child is considered at high-risk for having an allergic reaction.
Infant rice cereal is not the only option for babies starting solids, and rice cereals should not be offered more than twice a week.
Elevated temps can happen during teething, but fevers over 100.4 mean that the baby is sick, especially if there's runny noses, sneezing, coughing, diarrhea, vomiting, rashes, or the baby won't eat or drink.
Asprin should only ever be given to children on the explicit instructions of a doctor, as Reyes syndrome is linked to Asprin usage in children.
Ice baths and cold compresses should never be used to bring down high fevers. Stick to tepid baths or sponging - after administering children's Tylenol or Ibuprofen.
Rubbing alcohol should not be rubbed on a baby's skin either to cool a fever, either, because it can be absorbed through the skin and cause alcohol poisoning.
A person with chickenpox is contagious up to 48 hours before the rash appears and remains contagious until all of the blisters have scabbed. And yes, exposing people deliberately to chicken pox can be dangerous.
Nosebleeds should be treated by tilting the head forward, not back, to keep blood from draining down the back of the throat and into the stomach, possibly causing vomiting.
If a child is having a seizure, nothing should be inserted into their mouth to prevent them from biting or swallowing their tongue. And you should not restrain her.
Cuts and scrapes do not need to "breathe." They should be kept clean and protected by a dressing. And alcohol is a poor choice for disinfecting children's wounds. And definitely don't treat a burn with butter.
Putting children to sleep in any position other than alone, on their backs, in a crib can contribute to risk of SIDS.
Having blankets, stuffies, and crib bumpers can also contribute to SIDS.
Continuing to swaddle babies after four months of age can also contribute to risk of SIDS, especially if they're being put on their sides.
Sleep training will not cause toxic stress in babies.
Talcum powder can be highly irritating to babies' lungs, even in small amounts, and it is advised to use very sparingly if not avoided completely.
Q-tips should never be used to clean out a baby's ears of wax buildup.
Whisky, bourbon, or any other alcohol should not be given to soothe a cranky baby - teething or otherwise. Even in small amounts.
Don't treat lice with kerosine, gasoline, vasoline, olive oil, or salt water.
And last but not least - we all know that for many of us, a car restraint looked like mom's arm across our middle. While 3 and 5-point safety harnesses have been around over a decade, a scary fact is that MANY OF US still aren't installing them correctly or buckling the kids into them right. Here's the scoop from the MTO on how to choose and install the right car seat for your child. If you're still having difficulty, or are unsure if you're doing it correctly, contact your local public health unit or call ServiceOntario to find a car seat clinic!