Thursday, May 31, 2012

Swatting Those Bugs Away Already? Here's the Safest Bug Sprays for Your Kids...

Pediatric Dentistry of Garden City
With summertime in full swing, many of us are spending much more time enjoying the warmer weather outdoors. One thing many of us find ourselves doing while outside in the warm weather is swatting those bugs away!
One way we keep the bugs away is bug spray! Many people ask which kind of bug spray is safe for kids and which kind works the best. 

 The best reported bug repellent out there to work against both ticks and mosquitos is DEET(N,N-diethyl-meta-toluamide). The smell of this type of repellent isn’t pleasant to insects. The way DEET works is the length of protection depends on the percent of DEET. 10% works for a couple of hours and 20% works twice as long.

However, DEET does pose a couple of side effects, the most common side effect being skin irritation. There is also a slight risk that DEET can affect the brain and possibly cause seizures. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) reports that the risk of seizure due to DEET is one in a hundred million users.

The American Academy of Pediatrics does not recommend using DEET in infants less than two months old. They also report that using up to 30% is safe for children. A couple of tactics that have found not to work are soaking wristbands in repellents, taking a garlic or vitamin B1 pill and bug zappers or ultrasonic devices.

Here is a list of some otherrepellents besides DEET that work pretty well:
  • 2-undecanone (IBI-246). This is a chemical naturally found in various plants--it's used to not only repel insects, but dogs and cats! It is found in Bite Blocker products. According to the EPA, it protects for four hours against mosquitoes, two hours against ticks.
  • Oil of Lemon Eucalyptus or PMD (the man-made version of it)--this works pretty well for up to six hours against both mosquitoes and ticks.
  • Picaridin--works well against mosquitoes, but not ticks.
  • IR-3535--this is the active ingredient in Avon's insect repellents. It's made from a common amino acid, alanine. It only protects for about two hours against mosquitoes or ticks.
  • Citronella oil--doesn't work as well as Eucalyptus. You will only get an hour or so out of it.
  • Other oils, like Soybean or Catnip (your cat will love that one)--they offer variable protection, and aren't so great against ticks.
Here is another list of things to remember no matter what kind of repellent you choose to use:
  • Grownups, not kids, should do the applying.
  • Spray in an open area to minimize how much of the stuff you breathe in.
  • When applying to the face, spray some into your hand and then rub it on the face (steering clear of the eyes and mouth).
  • Wash your hands, so that you don't end up inadvertently mixing bug spray with your sandwich (this is why I'm not so wild about those repellent wipes).
  • Try to use a product geared for the amount of time you need, rather than reapplying (especially when using a DEET product).
  • Don't buy combination sunscreen-insect repellent products, for just this reason--sunscreen is something you should reapply.
  • Don't use it on open skin.
  • Dress kids in light-colored clothing--and spray the clothing.
  • Give kids a good washing at the end of the day with soap and water, and be sure to wash sprayed clothing before it's worn again.
 What kind of bug repellent do you use on your children? Let us know on Pediatric Dentistry of Garden City's Facebook page linked here.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Should Video Games Be Considered Works of Art?

Pediatric Dentistry of Garden City

The Smithsonian American Art Museum recently had an exhibition called “The Art of Video Games,” presented by KidsPost. The exhibition raised much debate over whether or not video games should be considered works of art and displayed in museums. 

Some believe that video games should be considered works of art, while others believe as fun and interactive as video games may be, they should not be classified as art.

After asking numerous kids their opinion on the debated topic, here’s what they said:

Art is the expression or application of human creative skill and imagination. I think that video games fit this definition. People that create video games are using their creativity and imagination.
— Shivali Dessai, 12, Ashburn

Video games are like a painting on an electronic screen. The controller functions as your paintbrush, while the screen serves as your canvas. In order to make a video game, you have to think of something original to reach your audience. That is the point of art.
— Mary Pottanat, 13, Falls Church

I don’t think video games are art, but don’t get me wrong. I love video games. But my vision of art is painting and making music, or performing on stage in a play. Sitting around at home looking at the screen for hours on end is not art.
— Matthew Rice, 12, Silver Spring.

However incredible, realistic and entertaining video games are, they are not art. Poetry is art, and painting is art, but not video games. Art has passion, beauty and culture that no technology could ever compare to. Even though you can create art in some video games, the “Mona Lisa” wasn’t painted with Nintendo. . . . Video games are not art.
— Caroline Kaplan, 10, Ashburn

What do you think? Should video games be considered art? Let us know on the Pediatric Dentistry of Garden City Facebook Wall, linked HERE

Thursday, May 24, 2012

It's National Bike Month! A Few Bike Safety Tips for Kids...

Pediatric Dentistry of Garden City

The month of May is the official National Bike Month. This month gives bike lovers the opportunity to celebrate the unique power of the bicycle and the many reasons why so many individuals out there love to ride them. 

In honor of National Bike Month, get involved within your city or state and help to get more people in your community active and riding!

Bicycling is the most popular outdoor activity for American youth! More than 70% of all US children ages 5-14 ride a bicycle.

Don't forget to share these bike safety tips with your children before heading out for a ride:
  • Wear a properly fitted bike helmet- protect your brain, save your life.
  • Adjust your child's bicycle to fit- have your child stand over their bicycle. There should be 1-2 inches between him and the top tube (bar) if using a road bike and 3-4 inches if it's a mountain bike. The seat should be level front to back. The seat height should be adjusted to allow a slight bend at the knee when the leg is fully extended. The handlebar height should be at the same level with the seat. 
  • Check your equipment- before riding, inflate tired properly and check that your brakes work.
  • See and be seen- Whether daytime, dawn, dusk, foul weather, or at night, you need to be seen by others. Wearing white has not been shown to make you more visible. Rather, always wear neon, fluorescent, or other bright colors when riding day or night. Also, wear something that reflects light, such as reflective tape or markings, or flashing lights. Remember, just because you can see a driver doesn't mean the driver can see you.
  • Control your bicycle- Always ride with at least one hand on the handlebars. Carry books and other items in a bicycle carrier or backpack. 
  • Watch for and avoid road hazards- be on the lookout for hazards such as potholes, broken glass, gravel, puddles, leaves and dogs. All these hazards can cause a crash. If you are riding with friends and you are in the lead, yell out and point to the hazard to alert the riders behind you.
  • Avoid riding at night- it is far more  dangerous to ride at night than during the day because you are harder for others to see. If you have to ride at night, wear something that makes you more easily seen by others. Make sure you have reflectors on the rear and front of your bicycle in addition to reflectors on your tires so others can see you.
  • Go with the traffic flow- ride on the right in the same direction as other vehicles. Go with the flow, not against it.
  •  Stay alert at all times- use your eyes and ears. Watch out for potholes, cracks, wet leaves, storm grates, railroad tracks, or anything that could make you lose control of your bike. You need your ears to hear traffic and avoid dangerous situations; don't wear a headphones when you ride. 
  • Children under 10 years old should ALWAYS ride on the sidewalk.
  • Children 10 years and older can ride in the street, but should obey all traffic laws and signs.
  • Watch for vehicles coming out of or turning into driveways. 
  • Stop at corners and sidewalks and streets to look for cars and to make sure the drives see you before crossing. 
  • Enter a street at a corner and not between parked cars. Alert pedestrians that you are near by saying "excuse me," or "passing on your left," or use a bell.  
Take your kids out for a bike ride around town this weekend to celebrate National Bike Month! 

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Easy Craft Ideas for Your Kids!

Pediatric Dentistry of Garden City

With school ending and the summer approaching, you may need a couple of craft ideas to do with your children on a rainy day.  Here are a few easy and enjoyable crafts to share with your children!

Make your child’s family tree from construction paper. Your child can make a simple but pretty family tree and learn about family’s heritage.

Supplies Needed:
  • Sky blue and green construction paper
  • Crayons, tempera paint or markers
  • Scissors
  • Glue Stick
  • Draw a large tree with many branches
  • Cut out leaves from the green construction paper or use leaf rubbings that you cut out
  • Each leaf will represent a person in the child’s family and should be big enough to write that person’s name    on the leaf. Cut enough leaves for each of the child’s siblings, parents, grandparents and more!
  • Write the name of each person on their leaf. You might want to include the relative’s relationship to the child.
  • Glue the leaves to the tree. Put the child’s generation at the top of the tree, the parents at the second level, and the grandparents at the bottom.
Craft 2: Family Collage

You can make a great family collage to hang up around the house or in your child’s room by cutting out pictures of family members and gluing them to poster boards!

Supplies Needed:
  • Family photos
  • Scissors
  • Glue
  • Thick paper or poster board
  • Markers
  • Cut a variety of pictures of family members from photos into different shapes and sizes
  • Glue the pictures, overlapping one another on poster board or construction paper
  • Decorate the collage using markers, glitters, stickers or whatever else you wish! 

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Common Everyday Baby Items Found To Be a Risk For Your Child's Health

Pediatric Dentistry of Garden City


There are many common everyday baby items such as baby bottles, pacifiers and sippy cups that have been found to be a risk for your child’s health. Researchers at the center for BiobehavioralHealth and the Center for Injury Research and Policy at Nationwide Children’s Hospital have analyzed the number of child injuries related to these kinds of products and the numbers are extremely high.
Researchers collected data from from 100 hospitals, and found that between 1991 and 2010, over 45,398 children under the age of 3 were sent to the emergency room with an injury related to one of these everyday baby products.  That equals out to be one child every four hours! This doesn’t include the non-reported injuries.
71% of these injuries were linked to the mouth and 20% were around the head, face or neck. The biggest issue occurred with baby bottles, which accounted for two-thirds of the reported injuries. Pacifiers accounted for 20% of the injuries and sippy cups were responsible for 14% on these injuries.

The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) and the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD) have listed some recommendations for the use of these everyday baby items for parents to follow closely. Some of these include helping children give up pacifiers after 6 months and when they start walking or giving children lidless cups when they are a year old and making sure they are sitting down when drinking to avoid falling and injuring themselves.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

The Weight of the Nation: A 4-Part Documentary on the Obesity Epidemic

Pediatric Dentistry of Garden City

HBO is partnering with the National Institutes of Health, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Institute of Medicine for a four-part series called “Weight of the Nation.” With more than a third of Americans being overweight or obese, the United States is certainly facing an epidemic.

The goal of this series is to inform individuals about all the health issues that pertain to them and the future of the United States. Weight of a Nation will focus on a couple of different issues/areas surrounding the epidemic including consequences, choices and children in crisis and challenges.

Here are a couple of interesting facts from the documentary:
  • One out of 5 kids drinks three or more sugar-sweetened beverages per day,accounting for an extra meal. 
  • Less than 1 percent of Americans meet the criteria for ideal cardiovascular health. 
  • One in 4 adults gets no physical activity. 
  • Obesity costs American businesses $70 billion in lost productivity. 
  • Profit margin for soft drinks is 90 percent. Profit margin for produce is 10 percent.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Mother's Day Recipe for a Cool, Delicious Cake!

Pediatric Dentistry of Garden City

Cool Cake for MomSunday, May 13th marks the official date of Mother’s Day! With this special day quickly approaching, many people are scrambling for the perfect gift idea. Here’s an easy recipe to show mom just how much you appreciate her!

  • 1 (10 3/4-ounce) pound cake
  • 1 (3 1/8-ounce) box of instant pudding
  • 1 cup whipped topping

  • Fruit (we used 2 bananas and 4 large strawberries)
  • Mint sprigs (optional)
  • Chilled chocolate syrup

  1. Slice the pound cake into several horizontal slices about an inch thick.
  2. Prepare the pudding according to package directions. Mix the pudding with the whipped topping.
  3. Chop up the fresh fruit you've chosen.
  4. Layer the cake, fruit, and a little less than half of the pudding mixture in a loaf pan. Then top the cake with the remaining pudding.
  5. Put the cake in the fridge for a couple of hours. When it's chilled, decorate it; we topped ours with trimmed strawberries and mint sprigs.
  6. Squeeze on a greeting with chilled chocolate syrup. Then serve Mom a sweet treat on her special day.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Do Kids Need Dental Sealants?

 Pediatric Dentistry of Garden City 
Many children across the nation choose sugary juice drink over water and rarely turn down a piece of candy. Dentists who see these children often times suggest giving them dental sealants to keep tooth decay to a minimum. It is an ongoing debate amongst dentists whether enough kids get the liquid plastic coverings that protect their teeth.
According to studies conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, about 20% of children at poverty level and only 40% of kids from higher-income homes actually receive recommended sealants. Dental sealants are formed when dentists drip a plastic-like liquid onto the biting surface of the tooth, coating the pits and fissures that typically trap food and foster the growth of bacteria.
Dental sealants are applied to the permanent molars and set with ultraviolet light, usually between the ages of 5 and 7. The cost of this procedure is usually $30 to $40 per tooth and it is typically covered by most dental insurance policies.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

AAPD Announces the Launch of Their New Customer-Based Website!

Pediatric Dentistry of Garden City

The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD) has announced the launch of their new customer-based website

AAPD is a recognized leader in children’s oral health. The website will aim to answer many frequently asked questions by parents including:
  • When should I take my child to the dentist for the first check-up?
  • What should I use to clean my baby's teeth?  
  • Are baby teeth really that important to my child?  
  • How do dental sealants work?  
  • How safe are dental X-rays?
AAPD is also aiming to meet the growing need for high quality, evidence based dental information that is giving the most up to date information on children’s oral health directly to parents. 

What do you think of the new site? Let us know on the Pediatric Dentistry of Garden City's Facebook Wall, linked HERE!

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

What Do You Do With Your Children for Fun?

Pediatric Dentistry of Garden City
Are you looking for some fun activities to do with your children close by? Here is a list of some ideas in the area happening soon, provided by the New York Times

Visit the Roslyn Harbor Nassau County Museum of Art's “A Self Portrait on the Walls,” a documentary on the artist Jim Dine as he produced an exhibition in Germany. “All About Looking,” a film about Mr. Dine’s teaching his drawing methods. Tuesdays through Sundays at 11:30 a.m., 12:30 and 3 p.m., both through July 8. Free with museum admission, $4 to $10. Nassau County Museum of Art, 1 Museum Drive. (516) 484-9337.
If you’re from the Garden City area come down to the Long Island Children’s Museum “The Mystery of the Mayan Medallion,” traveling exhibition, through May 6. “Catch-All Character Cups.” Visitors create a character cup to display and organize markers and crayons. May 1 through 4, 2:30 to 4 p.m. Free with museum admission, $10 and $11. “Cinco de Mayo!” Visitors learn about the history of the holiday and make a miniature sombrero. May 5, 2:30 to 4:30 p.m. Free with museum admission. Long Island Children’s Museum, 11 Davis Avenue. (516) 224-5800;
What do you like to do with your kids on Long Island? Share your ideas with us on the Pediatric Dentistry of Garden City Facebook Wall, linked HERE.