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Study: The Danger of Cotton Swabs

Posted By Communications Manager, Wednesday, May 17, 2017
Updated: Monday, May 15, 2017

Put down that cotton swab! A new study in the Journal of Pediatrics conducted by researchers at Nationwide Children’s Hospital found that approximately 12,500 children under the age of 18 enter and get treated by emergency departments ear injuries caused by cotton swabs each day.

About 34 children are seen for injuries related to the use of swabs. While many adults believe cleaning their ears is an important part of their hygiene routine, ear cleaning is not necessary.

Research was conducted by examining hospital visit data for 20 years (between 1990 and 2010). They discovered that 260,000 children arrived at the emergency room with ear injuries, consisting of tissue ears of the tympanic membrane and problems with the ear drum. Most of the damage was caused when children were tasked with cleaning their own ears.

Cuts in the ear canals, perforated ear drums and dislocated hearing bones are all causes of cotton swab use. These injuries can lead to hearing loss, dizziness or ringing in the ears.

The ear is a self-cleaning body part and there is no need to dig out ear wax. Simply wiping away excess wax when it reaches the outer ear is enough. Doctors recommend against using ear irrigators, candles and other home remedies, as well.

The study showed that 99 percent of patients did not suffer permanent damage, but those who did had permanent hearing loss.

Read more at CNN.

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Register Now for Summer Fun Day at the Farm

Posted By Communications Manager, Tuesday, May 16, 2017
Updated: Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Warming weather means plenty of fun, and with the start of spring a distant memory, summer is on the horizon. Celebrate the longer days with PAMP in Half Moon Bay.

Fun Day at the Farm is back! If you missed our spring event, you’ll surely want to come out to Pastorino Farms for pony rides, hayrides, train rides, bouncy houses and a petting zoo! There’s plenty to keep the kids entertained.

Even though PAMP will provide light snacks and water, we encourage you to bring a picnic lunch and take a break at Pastorino’s dining area.

Friendly Pony Parties, as always, is a co-host and PAMP families get in for only $10! Don’t forget to tell your non-member friends about it and bring them along! Non-member families can enjoy all the fun for only $25.

PAMP members who want to attend for free, can volunteer. It’s a great way to help us out while enjoying all of activities. “I enjoy volunteering at PAMP events because it is a wonderful program and it makes me happy to help out the families and children,” says PAMP member Patty Bors. “We have been going to family day at the farm for a couple years now, and it’s one of my son's favorite events.”

Come out and enjoy all of the great activities we have planned. Spend time with fellow PAMP members and make new friends. Summer Fun Day at the Farm begins at 10 a.m., but come whenever you want and spend as much or as little time as you’d like. Children of all ages are welcome!

If you’ve recently tried to register for PAMP’s Summer Fun Day at the Farm and received a message saying the event was full, please try again. Due to a technical problem, the system closed registration. We have fixed the error and registration should be open.

Pastorino Farms is only 30 minutes from the Palo Alto/Menlo Park area. All payments are final. No refunds will be issued. Walk-ins are discouraged and not eligible for the PAMP member discounted rate.


Tags:  pamp events  summer fun at the farm 

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Study – Father’s Age May Affect Social Development in Children (although results are somewhat misleading)

Posted By Communications Manager, Wednesday, May 10, 2017
Updated: Monday, May 1, 2017

Researchers at the Seaver Autism Center for Research and Treatment at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York City found that paternal age at the time of conception can influence the social development of their children.

By analyzing the social behaviors of over 15,000 twins between early childhood and adolescence (ages 4-16), researchers found that children who were born to fathers under 25 and older than 51 showed more pro-social behaviors in early development, however, once children reached adolescence they were behind in social skills to their peers who were born to fathers between 25 and 50.

The study, published in the Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, also showed that the development of social skills was influenced by genetics more than environmental factors.

According to one of the researchers, there is an increased importance on genetic factors observed in the offspring of older fathers, suggesting there may be different mechanisms behind the effects of the older and younger fathers.

Read more here 

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Child Sleep Series 1: How to survive the 4 Month Sleep Regression

Posted By Communications Manager, Tuesday, May 9, 2017
Updated: Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Whether you are a first time parent or a second time parent, there is nothing like the shock of the 4 month sleep regression.   How can a baby go from “sleeping like a baby” to waking her parents up multiple times per night?   How little sleep can parents and baby get?

The story I hear usually goes something like this:  “I was rocking this new motherhood thing.  I had all my gear lined up and picked out.  My stroller was killer, my diaper bag was adorable, and she slept!  Yes, she slept 4 hours, maybe even 6-8 on a good night.  It was amazing.  I was so proud of her.  But then somewhere between 3 ½ and 4 ½ months she just stopped sleeping.  She started waking up every 3 hours at night time, and would only go back to sleep if I fed her, and her naps were terrible.  Where I used to be able to take her out in the car seat and have her nap during all my errands, she was waking up after just 45 minutes and grouchy.  What happened?”

Around 4 months, children are coming out of that “4th trimester”.  That beautiful period where they are portable and sleep easily on the go.  They were awake for merely 1.5 hours at a stretch and will sleep just about anywhere, and your social life is not so impeded.  At 4 months though, your baby wakes up to the world and is aware of her surroundings and in particular YOU!  She knows where you are, and when you are not there. 

A daytime sleep cycle is 45 minutes in length.  At 4 months, a child will surface from the sleep cycle, and then be distracted by their surroundings and will not fall back into the next sleep cycle.  Often you get naps only lasting 45 minutes in length.

A nighttime sleep cycle is 3 hours.  During the 4 month sleep regression, a child will surface from a night time 3 hour sleep cycle and because of her increased awareness, she will look for the same help that she had falling asleep at bedtime. Often that mechanism is being nursed back to sleep, taking a bottle, or being rocked. These are what we call “sleep crutches”, something external that she needs to fall asleep.

You’ve probably heard the term “sleep training”.  That is an endeavor that parents take on to teach their child to sleep without needing that “sleep crutch”.  Parents usually engage in this activity when they reach a point when they can no longer continue spending a lot of time getting their child to fall asleep and/or waking frequently through the night.

I prefer the term “sleep teaching” to “sleep training” as the latter has a strict, unloving connotation to it.  In addition, the term “sleep training”, is inaccurate, for we aren’t training your child to sleep, as we have already trained your child to fall asleep during that 0-3 month period when we used the pacifier, the boob, motion or a bottle to get her to sleep.  We actually need to do some “re-training”! 

How do you get through this 4 month sleep “regression”?  While it is known, as a “regression”, its actually not a regression, as it will not receed. 

Usually a parent waits the 4 month sleep regression out to see what will happen.  Answering those multiple night time cries with feeding, and perhaps having naps on Mom.  There is nothing wrong with this, there is no right or wrong way to raise your child.

However, there will come a time when you look at your child struggling to fall asleep, or you see the deep bags under your eyes in the mirror and you’ll say to yourself, I can’t go on like this.  My baby, my husband I and we deserve more. 

And that is when you are ready to do some sleep teaching so that your child can learn to relax herself into sleep without the help of a boob, bottle, or pacifier, but with your presence or your quick response.  There are many different types of sleep training techniques, which you can read about in my article Is It Time To Sleep Train My Baby?  Sleep Trained Techniques Defined.

Do you have questions about your child’s sleep?  Feel free to join my FREE Facebook group Helping Babies Sleep Support Group.  You can post sleep questions and I’ll help you with the answers and have other Moms share their experiences so you know that you are not alone.  This is a journey.  Hang in there. 

Sarah Mitchell has a Bachelor of Kinesiology from McMaster University and a Doctor of Chiropractic Degree from the Canadian Memorial Chiropractic College.  She has always been interested in health and the human body.  Having children of her own uncovered a new passion, helping parents get their children to sleep.  Her 1st child would not sleep, which led her down the path of researching everything she could about baby and toddler sleep, and now she wants to empower you. She coaches parents and blogs at Helping Babies Sleep., twitter: @sleepcoachsarah

Tags:  sleep  sleep regression 

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Protecting Children from Garden Hazards

Posted By Communications Manager, Tuesday, May 9, 2017
Updated: Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Houseplants provide a naturally beautiful décor option for the home. Bright happy Daffodils, flowering bountiful Peace Lilies and sweet Lily of the Valley add a pop of color and a splash of whimsy to a room. However, these same plants also can be dangerous when left in places that are accessible to children and pets.

While many houseplants are non-toxic and safe for both humans and furry friends, other plants and flowers are toxic and can cause reactions ranging from mild stomach upset to death. When integrating plants and flowers into home décor, education about plants and their toxicity is imperative for parents and pet owners.

The easiest solution means playing it safe by ensuring that all houseplants are non-toxic. This eases the stress within the household and allows for plants to be placed anywhere and everywhere---although dogs, cats and curious toddlers might pluck a leaf for tasting!

However, if limiting plant selection isn’t an option, parents of kids and pets must ensure that plants that pose a health hazard are safely out of reach. Hanging baskets can easily be perched from the ceiling to display favorite plants.

Unfortunately, even the highest point of the house can be accessed by a stealthy toddler, curious child or lithe cat, which can jump to almost any height. Childproofing and pet-proofing is vital for the safety of kids and pets.

For parents and pet owners who wish to eliminate the risk of poisonous plants in the home, here is a list of the plants that should be avoided as well as the dangers they pose to health:

Amaryllis: According to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA), ingesting parts of the Amaryllis can cause all types of issues including vomiting, diarrhea, stomach issues, anorexia and depression. The plant is also toxic to humans.

Daffodils:  The popular spring/Easter flower is also poisonous to both children and pets. According to the National Capital Poison Center, Eating the bulb can cause skin irritation. Eating the petals or other parts of the plant can cause digestive irritation like vomiting, diarrhea and nausea.

Peace Lily: Used as an indoor plant, the Peace Lily causes digestive irritation in pets, mouth irritation and even swelling of the mouth and throat (which can disrupt breathing, according to the Pet Poison Hotline). In humans, the Peace Lily can cause irritation of the mouth.

Elephant Ear: Kids and pets love those huge ear-like leaves. Children love to pluck them for play and fanning, while pets like to chew them. Beware of the Elephant Ear! The entire plant is a hazard and can cause pain and swelling in the mouth and throat.

English Ivy: Commonly used as a decorative plant for its flowing vine of leaves, English Ivy is poisonous to cats and dogs. Eating the plant will cause typical digestive upset like vomiting, diarrhea, and stomach issues. Drooling is also common.

Mistletoe: Yes, the holidays are a long way off, but it’s always important to reiterate the toxicity and hazards of real Mistletoe. The Pet Poison Hotline warns that ingesting mistletoe can cause diarrhea, vomiting, hypotension, seizures and even death. For kids, mistletoe berries can cause vomiting and diarrhea. Be safe and use artificial mistletoe for decorative purposes!

If parents suspect that their child has ingested any part of a plant, they should call their local Poison Control hotline. Pet owners should contact their vet or the Pet Poison Hotline regarding any plant-related poisoning or related issues.

For more information about toxic plants and flowers, check out this comprehensive online guide.

Looking for a list of non-toxic plants? listed the best houseplants for kids and pets. Love Elephant Ears? Try the safer version…the Zebra Plant. Ferns, African Violets and the Spider Plant also made the cut!

When flowers and greenery are used for home décor, parents and pet owners should research the safest choices for kids and pets. If you’re absolutely desperate to hold onto a plant that poses a health hazard, always store it out of reach of little hands and curious paws. However, no place is completely out of reach, so err on the side of caution when possible.

Hilary Smith is a freelance journalist based out of Chicago. Born and raised in Austin, TX, Hilary attended St. Stephen's Episcopal School and Northwestern University's school of journalism. Upon graduation, she turned her love of technology into a freelance writing career. After becoming a mother, she began focusing on writing about family and parenting in the digital age.

Tags:  gardening 

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Study – School Children Get Less Active with Age

Posted By Communications Manager, Wednesday, May 3, 2017
Updated: Monday, May 1, 2017

In medical news out of the University of Bristol in England, researchers found that as children progress through school, their levels of physical activity declines.

The study measured the level of physical activity of 1,299 children at primary schools throughout England, with 1,223 children being retested four years after the study began. Researchers used accelerometers to track the children’s physical activity.

Children were significantly more active before beginning school (prior to age 5 or 6). Activity declined between children entering school and fourth grade (between the ages of 8 and 9). According to research, one-third of boys and two-thirds of girls failed to meet the one hour of physical activity each day guidelines.

Throughout the study period, levels of moderate-to-vigorous-intense physical activity dropped by 4 percent in boys and 11 percent in girls while sedentary time increased by 20 percent in boys and 23 percent in girls.

The study, published in the International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity, shows parents and educators should find ways to help children maintain activity throughout the day and at home.

Read more here 

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Toddlers & Tech: Device Use and Your Child - May 20 Event

Posted By Communications Manager, Tuesday, May 2, 2017
Updated: Monday, May 1, 2017

Technology has been a boon to children’s development, helping them learn and grow through access to information and digital learning tools. Yet with the benefits come concerns. If I give my young child a tablet or an iPhone, will I erode their attention span? How much screen time is too much? How do I balance the value of tech while encouraging my young one to engage with the physical world?


Join the Computer History Museum’s NextGen Advisory Board and PAMP for a discussion on the considerations around children and technology use, and learn more from our panel of experts in child development, app making, and education:

  • Iris Kaddis, M.D., Pediatrician with the Palo Alto Medical Foundation
  • Ann Rose Gavey, M.Ed, Owner and Co-founder of Rising Star Montessori School
  • Caroline Hu Flexer, Cofounder and CEO of Duck Duck Moose (now part of Khan Academy)

 Moderated by Betsy Corcoran (Founder and CEO of EdSurge), the panel will discuss the considerations and practical implementation of helping very young children ages 2-6 engage with technology in a healthy, productive way.


 Meet other young parents in the Bay Area and bring your children for a slate of fun activities during the panel! There will be coloring and art-friendly table tops to keep your kiddos busy while you enjoy the discussion. *Children are welcome, but child care will not be provided at the event and you must accompany your child at all times. In addition to tabletop activities in the Hahn Auditorium during our panel, a separate room will be open where children can play if they get too antsy during the panel.*


There will also be a few vendors joining the event to share relevant children’s products you might enjoy, including popular parenting app Winnie, childcare app Trusted, children’s artwork and memento app Keepy, and more!


Moderator: Betsy Corcoran, Founder and CEO of EdSurge
Betsy Corcoran is co-founder and CEO of EdSurge, an award-winning go-to resource on education technology. EdSurge delivers news for educators and entrepreneurs, the most comprehensive index of edtech products, top edtech job posts and a vibrant conference program. Betsy has received national recognition for her work as a journalist. She’s been a staff writer and editor for: Scientific American magazine, the Washington Post and Forbes. She lives in California where her children attend public school.


Iris Kaddis, M.D., Pediatrician with the Palo Alto Medical Foundation
Iris Kaddis is a general pediatrician with Palo Alto Medical Foundation Medical Group in Los Gatos.  She has been with Palo Alto Medical Foundation since 2008.  She was born and raised in the Northeast.  She completed her undergraduate and medical degrees at Tufts University in Boston, Massachusetts, her first two years of residency at Massachusetts General Hospital then final year at Baylor Texas Children's Hospital in 2003.  After practicing in private practice in Houston for a few years, she moved to the Bay Area with her family.  She has three children, now ages 10, 12 and 16 years old.  Her most recent favorite past time is bike riding (with and without them) so she will never leave the Bay Area!


Ann Rose Gavey, M.Ed, Owner and Co-founder of Rising Star Montessori School
Ever since she was five years old, Ann Gavey wanted to be a teacher. Her love of reading and life long learning started when she was a young girl, building her own library out of issues of National Geographic and running her own printing press. In 1982, her dream came true when she had the opportunity to co-found Rising Star. At the time she was teaching Alameda’s first Montessori elementary class, having worked for six years at Berkeley Montessori and Diablo Valley Montessori schools.


Building a school that celebrates diversity and welcomes everyone has always been very important to Ann. During the summer she enjoys traveling with her husband Rex, to the National Parks and then coming back to teach about them to the children.


 Ann received her Bachelor’s of Arts from the University of Washington in Psychology, with a fifth year in Native American education. She is Montessori certified in Infant, Toddlers Early Childhood and Elementary, holds an Early Childhood Education Specialist Credential for K-12, and Masters in Education from Notre Dame de Namur University. In addition to her work at Rising Star, Ann also works as a Montessori school consultant, conducting teacher trainings and curriculum development and works with schools across the country.


 Caroline Hu Flexer, CEO and Co-Founder of Duck Duck Moose
Caroline Hu Flexer is the CEO and Co-Founder of Duck Duck Moose, creator of educational children’s mobile applications, and now a subsidiary of Khan Academy. Duck Duck Moose was founded in 2008 by three parents, who share a passion for education, design, music and play. The company has designed and built 21 top-selling apps, and has won 21 Parents’ Choice Awards. Prior to Duck Duck Moose, Caroline worked as a design consultant at IDEO, and as a software product manager at Intuit. She holds an AB in Architecture from Princeton University, attended the Master in Architecture program at the Harvard Graduate School of Design, and received an MBA from the Stanford Graduate School of Business. She lives in Palo Alto, CA with her husband Michael and two daughters (9 and 11 years old), who are the real Duck Duck Moose product managers.


Saturday May 20th, 2017
11:30 AM  - 2 PM
Computer History Museum
1401 North Shoreline Boulevard
Mountain View, CA 94043

11:30 AM - Registration Opens
12:00 PM - 1:30 PM - Panel Discussion including Q&A in Hahn Auditorium
2:00 PM - Event ends 

Register here

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Study: Limited Screen Time, Set Meal and Bedtimes Cut Child’s Obesity Risk

Posted By Communications Manager, Wednesday, April 26, 2017
Updated: Monday, April 24, 2017

In news out of the UK, researchers, who monitored 11,000 children as part of a long-term study on obesity found that parents of preschoolers who regulate their child’s mealtimes, bedtimes and limit screen time are less likely to raise obese youngsters.

The study, published in the International Journal of Obesity, found a link between preschool routines and the ability for young children to self-regulate, leading to better emotional health and less risk for weight gain.

The Millennium Cohort Study found that age 3, 41 percent of children studied had a regular bedtime, 47 percent had a regular mealtime schedule and 23 percent had a screen time of one hour or less. By age 11, about 6 percent were obese.

Researchers also found that of the three routines, a regular bedtime appeared to be the most important, with the absence of a regular preschool bedtime routine leading to the greatest obesity risk.

While not an complete predictor of a child’s obesity risk, the study gives some insight to the need to start routines at an early age and stick with those routines throughout childhood.

Read more at US News

Tags:  mealtimes  screen time  sleep  study 

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Our Mother's Day Event - A Day of Wellness Just for Mom!

Posted By Communications Manager, Tuesday, April 18, 2017
Updated: Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Moms traditionally keep households together, taking on the tasks of waking up the kids, getting them ready for school, making sure they eat breakfast and have a lunch (made or lunch money), running them around to practices and after school activities, feeding them dinner, keeping them on task and ensuring they get to bed on time. Just thinking about the day-to-day activities can be exhausting. It is rare moms get time to themselves to de-stress, relax and re-center and often when they try, mom guilt gets the best of them.

Our Mom’s Day of Health and Wellness on Saturday, May 6 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Mitchell Park Community Center Ballroom and Courtyard is a couple of hours for you to spend on you. Our featured speaker is Erin Paruszewski, founder and CEO of Alkalign Studios, whose 45 minute workshop will focus on tips and tricks for how to say goodbye to mom guilt and hello to you! As a busy, working mom of two young daughters (3 and 7), Erin knows firsthand how challenging it can be to balance it all. Her interactive session will have you leaving with actionable ways to reduce stress, increase acceptance of “what is” and carve out time to prioritize you. She’ll even be handing out an Alkalign goody bag to all participants.

In addition to Erin’s workshop, we will be having a restorative yoga session – no yoga experience necessary – to kick off the morning and then you’ll be treated to hand treatments from Aveda, a trunk show from Athleta, spring photo booth and smoothie bowls, healthy salads and juice between yoga and the workshop. Everything about that day will be about you!

The best part is that PAMP member moms who come without the kids get in absolutely FREE! Bring your mom, a close friend or family member for only $15. You can even bring the whole family for $15 for members (2 adults and 2 children) or $25 for non-members (extra child fee $3). While this is our Mother’s Day event and all about mom, we don’t want to leave out the family, but please note that the yoga class is for mom only. If you’re coming with the kids and without a chaperone, there will be kids’ activities and entertainment to enjoy during that time.

So come out for an interactive day of movement, shopping and beauty just for you! Register online today and feel free to share this with friends and family who may be interested in attending Mom’s Day of Health and Wellness!

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Study Shows Flu Shots Save Lives

Posted By Communications Manager, Wednesday, April 12, 2017

A recent study in the April 3 online issue of Pediatrics found that children who receive the flu shot were less likely to die of flu complications.

According to the study, three-quarters of U.S. children who died of complications from the illness between 2010 and 2014 had not received the vaccination prior to their death. The study, which was completed by the United States Centers for Disease Control, goes on to state that  it’s estimated  that 65 percent of those deaths could be prevented with an annual flu shot.

The reality is that children without medical complications – those who are otherwise deemed healthy – can and do die from the flu, if it causes complications, like pneumonia. The risk of death is compounded by children with medical conditions such as asthma, heart disease, diabetes, cystic fibrosis and sickle cell anemia.

The findings were based on 358 children and teens who died from the flu and were confirmed by lab testing throughout the four-year study. Of the 153 children with high-risk conditions, 31 percent had gotten the flu shot. Researchers then compared those children with three groups of children whose vaccinations had been tracked – of which, 48 percent had received the flu shot.

The reluctance to vaccinate, according to researchers, comes from the belief among some parents that the flu shot is ineffective and uncertainty of what the flu is, confusing it with the common cold or stomach infections and thinking that if they become at all ill after receiving the vaccination the shot did not work.

Read more about the study here.

Tags:  medical study  study 

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