GOT A KID WHO CAN’T SHUT HIS MOUTH?

Owen Wilson mouth breather sleep apnea breathing problems rhinoplasty broken nose
Who doesn’t love Owen Wilson–even though he can’t seem to keep his mouth shut?

AN OPEN MOUTH IS NOT A SHUT MOUTH

We all know at least one kid who can’t shut his mouth. But could the reason he can’t shut his mouth be just that…because he literally cannot keep his mouth closed? Is he an “Open Mouth” kid?

Prince William Royal Family mouth breather Prince George
What do Prince William and Owen Wilson have in common?

IS IT AN OPEN OR SHUT (MOUTH) CASE?

What does “open mouth” really mean? How “open” is open enough to damage a child’s literacy…and life?  And what does it have to do with misdiagnosed ADHD?? Find out here:

WHAT IS AN OPEN MOUTH A SIGN OF?

Why is an open mouth so alarming? It a sign a child is–or will be–affected by Pediatric Sleep-disordered Breathing (PSDB). PSDB is a serious problem with with whole-body effects. A child with this disorder is affected in all these ways:

  • physical health,
  • emotional health,
  • academic growth, and
  • even looks!

And over 80% of pediatricians report having NO FORMAL TRAINING on sleep disorders.

Don’t take a chance that your child will not get help. Learn the other signs of PSDB.

If we can SPOT IT, we can STOP IT!

Lady Gaga mouth breather bad romance wardrobe malfunction
What earns Lady Gaga a spot here with Owen Wilson and the Royal Prince William?

What do these three famous people have in common? It’s not open SESAME…it’s OPEN MOUTH for these well-known mouth breathers.

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WHY PERFECT BABY TEETH ARE NOT PERFECT FOR READING

SADLY, PERFECT BABY TEETH ARE A PROBLEM

We love to see those perfect pearly whites in a young child’s mouth. But we now know they are a sign of pending problems in a child’s reading development…and everything else.

WHY ARE PERFECT BABY TEETH ARE A PROBLEM?

They are a sign a child is–or will be–affected by Pediatric Sleep-disordered Breathing (PSDB). PSDB is a serious problem with with whole-body effects. A child with this disorder is affected in all these ways:

  • physical health,
  • emotional health,
  • academic growth, and
  • even looks!

Learn the other signs of PSDB. If we can spot it, we can stop it!

Find out why perfect baby teeth are a SERIOUS RED FLAG in this quick video:

Learn the TOP 4 SIGNS OF PSDB

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BAD ROMANCE for Mouth Breathers??

 It’s the Mid-week Reading Challenge (MWRC), this time with a little Lady Gaga and something that can give you “Bad Romance.” Yep, it’s all about Mouth Breathers!

Trying to get your tweens and teens to read more? Put a little “pleasure” back into reading by sharing the “Mouth Breathers”  MWRC with them–any way you like!  #ShareSomeReading to send a message that reading is enjoyable.

(Got a question about how to motivate your older child to read?  Check out the Ask Tara! freebie Q&A.)

Or “Print and Pin” the “Mouth Breathers” graphic somewhere. The kids will notice. The kids will comment. And that could be the start of something great–if not this week, then next!

Lady Gaga P-Diddy rapper Bad Romance fake news mouth breathers

Follow me @NurturingLit on Instagram.

CONCERNED ABOUT YOUR CHILD’S READING? Use this 8-question reading skills diagnostic for the answers you need.

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THE ONE THING THAT HARMS YOUR CHILD EVERYDAY — AND HOW TO PREVENT THE DAMAGE

shower filter filters chlorine EPA AquablissWhat is the one thing that harms your child everyday? Water. Find out about “vaporized chlorine” and how to prevent the damage to your children and family.

HOW ARE OUR KIDS EXPOSED

One primary way our kids are exposed to chlorine at home is through the tap water used for drinking and cooking. (If you’re not filtering your drinking water, use these three steps.) But even more dangerous than the chlorine exposure in drinking water is exposure to chlorine gas from other “personal uses” like bathing, showering, and use of the toilet.

BATHING

kids chlorine bath danger safety death asthmaLet’s look first at the bath. While it’s true that chlorine robs our skin and hair of moisture and elasticity, that’s just cosmetic. However, over time skin can become irritated from the chlorine, leading to “irritant dermatitis.” Also, chlorine has a drying effect on the eyes and can make them burn. (Can you imagine a child with burning eyes and irritated skin wanting to sit down and read? CONCERNED ABOUT YOUR CHILD’S READING? Use this 8-question reading skills diagnostic for the answers you need.)

SHOWERING

All of these effects from bathing are bad, but showering is even worse. That’s for two reasons:vaporized shower kohler breast

  1. Chlorine vaporizes much faster than water, and it vaporizes at a lower temperature than water as well. This means vaporized chlorine (chloroform) builds up in the air inside your home. Dr Lance Wallace of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency concludes:  “Showering is suspected as the primary cause of elevated levels of chloroform (chlorine gas) in nearly every home because of chlorine in the water.”
  2. The heat of the water opens your pores, and that allows for accelerated absorption of this pesticide.

The bottom line: That steamy shower that feels so good is actually quite bad for your health. In fact, a ten-minute shower gives you the same chlorine exposure as drinking a gallon of unfiltered, municipal tap water. Unfortunately, children are in greater danger because of their smaller size.

THE TOILET

Another often overlooked source of vaporized chlorine in the home is the toilet. Each time the toilet is flushed, chlorinated water comes into the bowl. It takes about thirty minutes for the chlorine in the water to vaporize into the air. Of course, this adds to the concentration of chloroform that is already in the air from showering. Couple this with the fact that many homes are sealed off much of the year (for heat in the cold weather and air conditioning in the hot weather) and the indoor air becomes very unhealthy, for adults and especially children.

INHALING CHLORINE GAS IS DANGEROUS

Inhaling chlorine gas is much more harmful than drinking chlorine in water.  Why? Because when we inhale chloroform, it goes directly into our bloodstream. And kids, because of their smaller size, reach dangerous concentrations sooner. In fact, inhalation of chlorine is a suspected cause of asthma and bronchitis, especially in children. Also, there is a large body of research connecting chlorinated water use and many types of cancer. For example, one study found that “women with breast cancer have 50% to 60% higher levels of organochlorines (chlorination byproducts) in their breast tissue than women without breast cancer.”

HOW TO KEEP YOUR FAMILY SAFE

To keep your children and family safe from vaporized chlorine, REMOVE it and PREVENT it from accumulating in your home.

  1. REMOVE the chloroform by airing out your house for 5-10 minutes each day. Allow cross-ventilation to flush the chloroform out of the air completely every 24 hours, no matter the temperature outside.
  2. PREVENT it from building up by filtering your “personal use” water:
    1. The best option is to install a “whole house” filter. This removes the chlorine from your indoor water supply. (You will still need a filter for your drinking/cooking water  because the piping in homes contains contaminants (e.g. lead in older plumbing and plastics in newer PVC piping.)
    2. If a whole house filter is not an option, install shower filters.

C. If your children still take baths, use bath filters.

  1. What if your options are limited? Follow the experts’ advice. Dr. Mercola says, “If you can afford only one, get a shower filter.”Inhaling vaporized chlorine (chloroform) is more damaging than ingesting chlorine when we drink it in tap water–and is related to many health problems. To keep your children and family safe, REMOVE it and PREVENT it from building up inside your home. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
  2. Next up on the blog? AIR. Find out some little known research that will take your breath away about your child’s breathing. What you need to know for HAPPY and HEALTHY children, Today and Tomorrow
  3. CONCERNED ABOUT YOUR CHILD’S READING? Use this 8-question reading skills diagnostic to give you the answers you need.

    Please note: The links above are affiliate links. There is no additional cost to you to purchase a product through them, but it sure helps here–thanks!

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MWRC–NO HORSING AROUND…IT’S OATMEAL MONTH!

Who’s up for some horsing around?? Not literally, of course. We have some trivia about a horse because it’s oatmeal month! (Yes, literally, oatmeal month.) 

Read this Mid-week Reading Challenge (MWRC) with someone to put a little reading fun into the day! (New to the Mid-week Reading Challenge? Check it out!)

Or “Print and Pin” the OATMEAL MONTH graphic. Someone will notice. Someone will read it. And that could be the start of something great–if not this week, then next!

And as you think about oatmeal, think about filtering your tap water. Why is FILTERED WATER so important? Because our tap water is unhealthy and particularly damaging to children.

OK, here’s this week’s Mid-week Reading Challenge…

water oatmeal mercury lead Scotland horses English Aveeno beta glucans bacteria

Get a little reading fun eack week! Get next week’s MWRC delivered to your inbox.

Got a question about your child’s reading?  Check out the Ask Tara! freebie Q&A.

Follow me @NurturingLit on Instagram.

 

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OUR TOXIC TAP WATER: HOW TO KEEP OUR KIDS SAFE

It’s easy to take water for granted, but we shouldn’t. We need it, and we need it to be clean. But the sad fact is that we get toxic tap water from so many of the public water supplies around the world. And it is up to parents to make drinking water safe for their children.

LESSONS LEARNED FROM THE FLINT, MICHIGAN WATER CRISISdiscolored water Flint Michigan lead corrosion LeeAnne Walters

It’s been all over the news that families in Flint, MI were dealing with toxic water and had to fight to get their concerns addressed–concerns that were voiced by residents as early as the spring of 2014. Many months passed, and lots of finger pointing occurred before the toxic water supply was acknowledged by governmental officials.

 

OFFICIALS GET IT WRONG

In December of 2015, The Flint Water Advisory Task Force reviewed the response of the office responsible for public water safety. The task force declared that the “minimalist approach to regulatory and oversight responsibility is unacceptable and simply insufficient to the task of public protection.” 

Dan Wyant DEQ Department of Environmental Quality mistake officials

SO WHO IS WATCHING OVER OUR WATER SUPPLY?

We all want to trust that we have responsible public officials. But if you want to protect your family, the only safe course of action is to become your own steward. Learn what is in our water supply, and take action to ensure that your children have safe drinking water.

WHAT IS IN OUR WATER?

In our modern lives, there are many things that end up in our water. In fact, all of these toxins are found in municipal water in varying levels:

  • Pharmaceuticals
  • Heavy Metals
  • VOCs (Volatile Organic Compounds)
  • Plastics
  • Nitrates

WE INTENTIONALLY ADD THESE TOXINS

That list of contaminants is bad enough. But it gets worse. Unbelievably, there are things we intentionally add into our drinking water–things that are known toxins!

  1. FLUORIDE: It is touted as preventing tooth decay, but it is actually a known “endocrine disruptor.” In fact, it is used in Europe to treat people who have overactive thyroids (HYPERthyroidism). So obviously, fluoride affects the thyroid gland. But it also affects your bones and your brain, and even the blood sugar levels of children!
  2. CHLORINE: It’s an inexpensive way to kill the microbes in the water supply–and has been the standard since 1904. Of course, the problem is that it doesn’t only kill the bad microbes. When we drink the chlorinated water, we kill the healthy bacteria in our gut as well. And that is a massive assault to the immune system.
WHY ARE THESE TOXINS SO HARMFUL TO CHILDREN?

Everyone is affected by these toxins in the water, but kids are particularly impacted. One reason is that because of their smaller size, kids have more concentrated levels when exposed. Another reason is that their developing bodies and organs are less effective at processing and eliminating toxins. The bottom line is that anything that affects a child’s overall health will unavoidably impact cognitive functioning as well. And while it may not be damaging enough to prevent a child from learning to read, it can diminish a child’s potential. (If you’re concerned, use this reading skills diagnostic for answers.)

HOW TO KEEP YOUR KIDS SAFE

There are things you can do! Follow these THREE STEPS to keep your kids’ drinking water safe for consumption:

  1. Filter your water at home. There are many options. Since this fall, we’ve been
    Berkey water filtration fluoride granite stainless steel
    OUR BERKEY ON OUR COUNTER

    using the Berkey water filtration system with the optional fluoride filters. I had wanted an under-the-counter system, but my research showed it didn’t remove as many toxins as the solid carbon block technology of the Berkey. So I got the Berkey, and we all love it! One other consideration: if you have a direct water line to your refrigerator, that will need filtering as well.

 

 

2.  Be mindful of your kids’ water consumption when they are not home.

  • Send filtered water to school each day with your child, especially if the building is not a new one.
  • Give your child filtered water for after-school activities.
  • When eating out, order bottled spring water–and make sure it comes from a glass bottle. (Those ubiquitous plastic bottles of water are not safe. During manufacturing, they are filled with HEATED water, and this causes plastic to leach into the water.)

3. Use glass or stainless steel bottles whenever you send your kids off with water. 

borosilicate glass water bottles pyrex nonslip silicone sleeve
Our 12 oz bottles–silicone sleeves wrapping the same glass as PYREX!

There are things in our drinking water that make it toxic to our bodies, and our children are especially affected. Some of these toxins just end up in the water supply, but some are intentionally added to our drinking water. The modern-day reality is that it is our job as parents to keep our children’s drinking water safe, and fortunately, there are things we can do to let them be happy and healthy readers.

What’s next on the blog? Water for bathing/personal use. Sign up to get it delivered right to your inbox.

Follow me on INSTAGRAM @NurturingLit

Please note: The links above are affiliate links. There is no additional cost to you to purchase a product through them, but it sure helps here–thanks!

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Halloween and Sugar: The Treat That’s a Trick for Readers

It’s Halloween! Oh, the candy! But this treat can be a trick with serious effects for readers.

Find out why a treat with sugar affects reading so significantly, and use the 3-step action plan to avoid the negative effects.

When I think about how demanding reading is, it reminds me of being a parent. At first, there’s the birth! And then there are those early years of 24/7…everything! The physical demands of the early parenting phase are unprecedented. Later, the demands begin to shift. The physical demands lessen, but only to be replaced by greater mental demands. (Is there a parent you know who has not lost a night of sleep worrying about a child??)

Like parenting, reading has two distinct phases. For early readers, sounding out words and tracking the lines of the story requires lots of physical energy. As readers develop, however, “getting the word off the page” becomes more automatic, and so the physical demands are decreased. But the mental energy requirements skyrocket as the text becomes more complicated in content, vocabulary, and overall structure.

So, for parents and for readers, the real, ”full-brains-on” work begins in the second phase. This is when we need to have all of our mental energy available to us. And that is the real challenge with all the Halloween candy: the sugar has an energy-zapping effect that can deplete us physically and mentally, leaving us unable to do our respective jobs.

WHY IS SUGAR SO BAD

Let me not sugar coat it: Sugar is damaging in many ways. Here are two “biggies” that impact readers:

  1. In the short term, eating candy causes a meteoric rise is blood sugar–and an abnormally rapid rise in blood glucose. This leads to a dramatic crash, often within minutes (see graph below), and symptoms can include: 
  • Confusion and difficulty concentrating on tasks
  • Anxiety
  • Light-headedness
  • Fatigue
  • Headache
  • Irritability

Treat Sugar blood attention comprehension brain fog insulin spike protein

2. In the long-term, consuming excess sugar is literally detrimental to your brain, particularly when you have to work on a mentally challenging task like reading. This is because “high blood sugar coupled with performing a mentally challenging task is associated with high levels of cortisol—a stress hormone known to impair memory.

Difficulty concentrating? Impaired memory? The damaging effects of sugar on our readers are clear! Trying to manage it can be daunting. But there is hope!

 

THE GOOD NEWS…A 3-STEP PLAN:

 Try this 3-step action plan to help your readers enjoy those Halloween treats!

STEP 1: Encourage Kids to Eat Strategically

  • Avoid eating candy in the morning. Why?  Because that’s when blood sugars and insulin levels are set for the day. Instead, guide your child to eat a healthy breakfast within one hour of waking. 
  • Avoid eating candy on an empty stomach, and always have some protein before the treat. As Shelly Robinson, nutritionist and health coach explains,  protein breakfast eggs healthy insulin glucose“The key to keeping your blood sugar stable and preventing a crash in energy (that’ll have your or your kiddos going back for even more sugar) is to include a healthy dose of protein before your sweet treat.” 
    Why is this important? Because “…protein helps to slow down digestion effectively turning the carbohydrate in your meal into a slow release capsule and tempering the blood sugar response.”                        

STEP 2: Educate and Empower Kids

sugar damage fatty liver weight gain movieThis movie is a must-see!  Through its engaging presentation, it gives kids of all ages a chance to see the impacts of sugar. And its very empowering.  (After watching this film, my 12-year-old decided to stop using maple syrup on his pancakes!)  Arm kids with this knowledge. Then decide, with them, these two things: when and how much candy is reasonable.

 

STEP 3: Entice Kids with Healthier options

But let’s face it. They are still kids and will want something sweet. What was my ultimate treat? Caramel! I practically grew up on Rolos and Twix bars! Luckily, some very clever nutritionists have come up with a couple of great alternatives:

A Rolo alternative… Cinnamon Fig Doodles!

A TWIX bar alternative…Healthy Candy Cookie Bars

Even if Rolos and Twix are not your child’s thing, take these suggestions as food for thought! There are healthier choices out there that will satisfy a sweet tooth but  not zap your reader’s energy!

So…

This Halloween, help your kids enjoy their treats! Follow the 3-step action plan to master the sugar-spiking, reading-wrecking candies that fill our children’s Halloween bags. You’ll feel better about it, and so will your readers–today and tomorrow.

Find some FUN Halloween trivia here! 🙂

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