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First with Kids, by Dr. Lewis First

What parents need to know about teen suicide

Parents have been asking me some tough questions recently about their teenagers being stressed to the point they might try to hurt themselves or even try to commit suicide. This is a topic that should be stressed for all parents, so let me try to provide some helpful information. Suicide ...

Sign language for babies and toddlers

Baby sign language is a way to communicate with infants before they can express their needs verbally. In fact, it has long been observed that children can be taught to use their hands to talk long before they are able to speak, such as when they wave bye-bye. Baby sign language also offers a ...

Getting ahead of children’s headaches

Some of the most painful questions I get are about headaches in children and when parents should be concerned. Let me ease some of the tension surrounding this topic by providing some information. Most of the time, there is a good reason for your child’s head to ache, such as staying up ...

Big resolutions for our smallest loved ones

With New Year’s Day upon us, parents have been asking me to help them help their children with their resolutions. Here are a few suggestions to ring in 2021. ¯ Infants need to resolve to sleep on their backs to prevent them from being at risk for sudden unexpected infant death, and to ...

Simple safety tips to avoid holiday hazards

It’s the holiday season once again, and the perfect time to remind everyone of some simple things you can do to keep you and your children safe and sound. ¯ If you have a tree, secure it well to keep it from tipping. If it is a live tree, make sure it’s fresh, green, well watered, and ...

Translating the benefits of raising children to be bilingual

Parents who speak more than one language in their home have been asking me lots of questions about teaching their infants and toddlers to be bilingual and what to expect if they try to do this. Well let me translate those concerns into some helpful information about children who are taught or ...

Let’s focus on your child’s vision

Parents have been asking me to focus on what to do if they are concerned about their infant’s or child’s vision. Well, let me see what I can see and say about this topic. A newborn can see large shapes, faces and bright colors even at the time of birth. By 3 to 4 months of age, a baby ...

Talking turkey: feeling your best after the big feast

This year, as a result of the pandemic, Thanksgiving dinners may not involve as many guests and family members as you might have liked to have around the table, but parents are still cooking up a lot of questions about that Thanksgiving turkey and why everyone gets sleepy after a big ...

Scratching beneath the surface of dry skin

Parents have been itching to ask me questions about what to do for their babies and toddlers’ dry skin — especially with the cold winter season coming our way. Well, let me see if I can do more than scratch the surface on this topic. Young children tend to have thinner and more delicate ...

Say ‘yes’ to managing teen negativity

Parents have been quite positive about asking me questions regarding their teen’s negativity — so let me say yes to providing some guidance on this topic. Negativity may be a way for your teen to manage their concerns or stresses, especially during these challenging times of the pandemic. ...

A mouthful of answers about canker sores

Parents have been asking me a mouthful of questions as to whether or not their child has a canker sore and what to do about it. Well, I don’t want anyone to be sore at me about this topic, so let me provide some information. - Are they contagious? About 1 in 5 children develop a ...

Hot tips for fire prevention

Since this week is National Fire Prevention Week, parents have been hot to ask me what they should be teaching their young children should a fire occur in their home. I hope these tips get you fired up to talk with your family about the following ways to safely escape a hot situation. Avoid ...

The not-so-ugly truth about cold sores

Parents have been asking me a mouthful of questions about cold sores and what to do about them when their child gets one. Well I don’t want anyone to get sore at me, so let me provide some information on cold sores. A cold sore — or fever blister — is an unsightly, painful, small, red ...

Valuable advice for teaching kids about money

Parents have been more than just nickel-and-diming me with their questions about how to teach their children about money, how it’s earned and how it’s used. Let me try to make some cents on this important topic. - Start at age 3 - Believe it or not, you can start teaching your ...

Why adolescents need annual checkups

Parents have been checking up with me about whether they really need to bring their teenager in every year for a checkup. Well, let me examine that concern and provide some advice on this important topic since teens’ annual visits to a health care professional should occur more frequently ...

Steps for solving the problem of smelly feet

Parents have been asking me what to do about the fact that their child’s feet smell. Let me see if I can get a foot up on this topic and provide some information on smelly feet. - What causes smelly feet? - Blame bacteria that love damp places like the inside of sweaty shoes or ...

Heads-up about ice cream headaches

Parents have been asking me some painful questions about what to do when their child gets a headache, usually over their forehead after eating ice cream. Since I don’t want everyone screaming for anything but ice cream, let me provide some information on this topic. - What they ...

The cold hard truths about hot cars in summer heat

With summer here, things are heating up, especially cars left out in the sun on a hot day. Let me share some chilling information with you about the dangers of young children being left locked inside them, even for a few minutes. Believe it or not, a car left in the sun can heat up inside by ...

6 tips for keeping children safe by the water

With summer here, parents are frequently pooling their thoughts and asking me for tips on keeping their children safe when they are around pools and other bodies of water. Let me dive right in and provide some information on water safety and kids. 1. Remember, while dealing with the COVID-19 ...

Nightmares and night terrors: what are they?

Recently, I have found myself losing sleep because parents are always asking me questions about their children having nightmares and night terrors. They wonder if both are due to the coronavirus or something else. Fear not, for this week I shall tell you a bit about both of these sleep ...