What You Need To Know About Mosquito Repellents

Just as any paranoid mother would, we habitually slop on spoonfuls of insect repellent lotion on our little one’s skin, short of putting an anti-mosquito force-field around him or her. Though it is hardly in our power to turn our daughter into Violet of The Incredibles, we can still rely on the effectiveness of some mosquito repellents when it comes to keeping dengue-causing mosquitoes at bay.

Much has been said about the negative effects of DEET on children’s skin, but the truth is, mosquito repellents with DEET are the most effective. The safe amount of DEET found in repellents is thirty percent. However, if your kid isn’t going to stay outdoors for a long period of time, a 4-7% DEET concentration is enough for him. Citronella, which is the popular alternative to DEET, is effective too. Just be cautious when using it on kids with sensitive skin, though.

It is never advisable to apply insect repellents on the skin of babies two months and younger. You’re better off using mosquito nets or screens to keep them insect-free. But if they won’t stop bugging you to take them outdoors to play, better dress them in long pants and long sleeves. Also, avoid going out during early mornings and early evenings, as these are the peak biting times for mosquitoes.

Now that you’re more acquainted with mosquito repellents, you can make smarter and less frantic choices when buying such products for your children.

Eat to Lose Weight

Surprise, surprise! The idea of starving yourself just to lose a few inches from your waist is a thing of the past. You don’t have to deprive yourself of life’s yummy pleasures just to lose the extra pounds.

I just saw the Today Show’s interview with Dr. Ian Smith, an American physician and author who launched the 50 Million Pound Challenge. He is a famous fitness advocate who stresses the need for each of us to take control of our health by losing excess weight. According to Dr. Smith, there are certain foods which you can eat, and eating guidelines to follow in order to lose weight:

Load up on protein. By protein, Dr. Smith means lean portions of meat, with the skin taken off. Protein helps you lose more weight, because it makes the body work harder at burning calories, and protein helps build muscle.

Choose whole grains. When buying bread, for instance, look for those which say “100% whole wheat” on the package label. Whole grains help modulate blood sugar.

Follow the 80-20 rule. Eighty percent of what you eat should be healthy, and the remaining twenty percent could be anything your heart desires. Those beehive cupcakes and greasy burgers still look promising.

Size does matter. Consider the portions of what you eat. Pieces of meat should be as big as a deck of cards. Your entrée should be no bigger than a baseball.

The key to eating healthy is to eat 4-5 meals a day. Never skip a meal. Following the guidelines above will help lower your blood pressure and cholesterol levels. Eventually, you will not only look better in those skinny jeans, but you’ll also end up being healthier.

Lousy Myths About Head Lice

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Head lice may not be as common as the common cold (maybe that’s why it’s not called “common lice”… uh oh, here I am, trying to be ruthlessly funny again!), but at some point in their innocent lives, children are bound to catch them. And when they do, it’s definitely one itchy situation. It’s almost a pity to see your little one scratch his head even in his sleep. What are the common misconceptions about head lice?

• Having head lice is an indicator of poor hygiene- As a matter of fact, head lice prefer clean hair over dirty hair, because it’s less greasy and easier to hold on to.

• They fly or jump in the air- Truth is, they don’t. They just have this talent for crawling really fast. You can catch them only when two heads touch each other for some time. You don’t get head lice from the back of a chair. Moreover, it takes constant contact with an infected person to catch it.

• Cutting some of your hair off will get rid of the lice- Live lice and nits stay on the scalp and on the hair close to the scalp, so chopping off hair won’t do the trick.

Prevention is still the best cure here. Make it a habit to constantly check your child’s head for any creepy crawlies.

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Why do we need to wear sunglasses?


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More than making yourself incognito from the paparazzi, it comes as a no-brainer that sunglasses or shades are worn for the obvious reason of protecting our eyes from the glaring heat of the sun. Nothing is more unattractive than squinting your eyes like an old hag.

The sun’s ultraviolet rays are most damaging between 10am and 2pm. Even under overcast skies, we should protect our eyes, as the rays of the sun do pass through clouds. And when under a shade, we should still wear sunglasses, because UV rays are reflected by sand and water. When driving most especially, we need to wear shades, because oftentimes, the glare from sunlight is almost blinding.

Contact lenses today offer some UV protection, but that isn’t enough. We need to wear something to cover the entire eye area, which is most susceptible to early signs of aging brought about by the sun’s rays.

Sun damage may strike at any season, whether it’s summer or winter, so it’s wisest to always wear sunglasses whenever we go out. It makes for an awesome fashion statement too!

5 easy ways to keep a cold from getting worse

Nothing is more annoying than toting a box of Kleenex to your board meeting, or sniffing the time away as you try to finish reading to your child. Having a cold is a total drag, as it brings with it a ton of cumbersome symptoms: headaches, itchy throat, an irritating cough.

We moms are not exempt from this, as we are notorious multi-taskers, Yes, doing too much all at the same time [Read more…]

How Yoga Benefits Kids

If seeing your preschooler twisting and turning her body into pretzel-esque proportions makes you want to head off to the nearest pharmacy to get some tranquilizer, better think again. It’s not that bad. Yoga for kids might seem to put too much strain on their young bodies, but the benefits do outweigh the aches [Read more…]

Sunblock 101

Pop quiz: What is one thing that’s just as important in life, but often neglected? No, it’s not your possessive boyfriend or your pet goldfish.  It’s none other than sunblock! With summer in the air and that white beach beckoning, we must not forget to protect our skin from the sun’s harmful rays.  Here are a few simple ways to keep sunburn at bay:

How cough and cold medicines harm your child

Whenever our little one gets the sniffles, we’re often compelled to remedy the situation they way we would if we ourselves had colds. We’d grab a bottle of cold medicine from our trusty old medicine cabinet and give a spoonful of it to our kid. Insert STOP sign and car-coming-to-a-screeching-halt sound effect here. Experts say, that is not the right way to go.

Doctor Prudence (a resident physician here in the metro) emphasizes in her blog, that just because we can readily get hold of over-the-counter (OTC) medicines even without a doctor’s prescription, that doesn’t mean these OTC drugs are safe for our kids. [Read more…]

Close Encounters of the Dental Kind

In life we go on a lot of trips: trips to the mall, the park, the nearby grocery store. The one trip a majority of us dread going on, is a trip to the (drum roll, please) dentist!

My five-year old has just recently gone on such a trip, and I must say, I am one proud momma. She didn’t show the slightest fear or resistance. [Read more…]