Autism is not just a brain problem. Many people with autism, which affects 1 in 110 children, often have physical symptoms including sleep disorders, seizures, energy problems, immune system issues, and digestive troubles. Treating these symptoms can improve the lives of autistic children. For example treating their stomach when gastrointestinal problems are evident may reduce distressed and autistic behaviors.
A British study was conducted on March 2012 where 8,000 parents with children ages 7 and under were investigated. The study found that children who snored or had other breathing difficulties during sleep were 50% more likely to have behavioral issues such as hyperactivity, temper tantrums, or anxiety.
The public can help protect children and dogs from heat-related illness. If you witness a child or dog left unattended in a hot car, don’t assume the owner will be “right back”. Also do not assume that the child or dog is safe since the windows are open a crack. You can save a life when you see a child or dog left in a parked car by calling the local police or 911 immediately. It is better to be safe than sorry.
When leaving a vehicle, check to make sure everyone is out of the car. This includes all pets and kids. Do not overlook any children who have fallen asleep in the car.
On a 70-degree day, even with car windows slightly rolled down, the temperature inside a car can exceed 120 degrees in 20 minutes and 150 degrees in 40 minutes. At those temperatures it does not take long for children or pets to become sick. Left in this situation children and dogs can become dehydrated, overheated, pass out, or die.
Offering choices for healthy snacks allow kids to feel like they are making decisions. For example having a child choose between a banana, apple, carrot, or celery empowers them while at the same time allows the parent to be in control of the healthy options.
Studies suggest that medications for treatment of ADHD may increase risk of sudden cardiac death in children. Various medical associations recommend that children be screened for heart problems before starting these types of drugs. In fact it has been reported to us by a family we tutor that her son had to go off Ritalin immediately due to his heart racing for no apparent reason.
Some kids have difficulty falling asleep when the room is too warm. Keeping the body cool slows down all of the metabolic processes. Try lowering the temperature of the room if your child has insomnia.
Sometimes insomnia can be from asthma and allergies. If your child has difficulty sleeping due to these, the underlying cause may be dust mites living in the mattress. You may try a mite resistant casing for your child’s bed and pillow.
The blue light glow from a TV, computer, cell phone, or digital clock may be keeping your child awake. In fact, adults who don’t use blue light glasses can also be affected by this. The blue light suppresses the secretion of melatonin (a sleep promoting hormone). If your child has insomnia, have them read a book rather than watch TV or use the computer before bed. Also try covering up digital clocks if their light is blue colored. You may also want to replace the bedtime reading light with an orange light bulb. It’s glow lets you read or relax without actively inhibiting melatonin.