• How to Keep your Children Safe on Halloween During the COVID Pandemic

    2020 has been quite a year! If you’re like many of us, you’ve probably got mixed emotions about the upcoming holiday season. On the one hand, it would be great to get back to a sense of normalcy, embracing well-loved traditions despite the COVID-19 pandemic. On the other hand, what’s safe? As Halloween approaches, many parents are wondering how their kids can safely celebrate this festive holiday.

    So, is trick-or-treating safe in 2020? If you think of all the ways Halloween is typically celebrated, with dances, parties, hayrides, and carnivals, trick-or-treating seems like a more manageable activity. It’s outside, and it’s relatively easy to stay socially distant from other kids. If you’re in a quiet neighborhood, trick-or-treating might be the way to go.

    Infection disease specialists, however, urge caution. Especially if you live where community spread is still high, trick-or-treating may not be a good idea. If you’re in an area where the prevalence of COVID-19 is low, it’s still wise to be aware of potential dangers. What are the riskiest elements of trick-or-treating this year?

    • Being in a large group.: Trick-or-treating in a group of friends may not be the best idea, because being close to people from another household and spending several hours together brings a risk of virus transmission. If your kids have their hearts set on trick-or-treating with their friends, limit it to 3-4 kids from families who have been social distancing.
    • Face-to-face exposure at neighbor’s doors: Walking to a door, knocking, saying “trick or treat?”, taking some candy, and leaving doesn’t involve a lot of face to face time, it’s true. But even though it may not seem risky, the more households you visit, the more exposure you have, especially since other kids are lingering on the same doorsteps.
    • Touching things: This is the least concerning factor- just use hand sanitizer frequently and wash hands when you get home. There’s little risk of infection from candy wrappers, but to be extra careful, set aside most of the candy for 3 days before eating it.

    The CDC advises that staying home may be best this year, celebrating Halloween by decorating your house, carving pumpkins, having a movie night, or maybe hosting a virtual costume contest. If you’re handing out candy, wear a mask or consider placing individually bagged treats on the porch. If you do decide to trick or treat, though, incorporate face masks into the costumes, don’t let kids share props or toys, and talk to your kids about not touching too many things or digging around in candy bowls.

    At Center for Vasectomy Reversal, we love helping to create healthy, happy families. Under the direction of Dr. Joshua Green, our team provides state-of-the-art treatment for men who need a reversal of their vasectomy or have other fertility concerns. To learn more, contact us through our website, or call 941-894-6428 for a free consultation.

     

  • How to Prepare your Home and Surroundings for your Baby’s Arrival

    Whether you’re expecting your first baby or adding to your growing family, preparing for the new arrival is exciting. It can also be a little bit overwhelming, as you try to think about everything you might need and everything you need to do. Don’t worry! We’ve got you covered, with this list of helpful tips.

    • Deep clean before the baby comes. Now is the time to do this, before you’re busy with a newborn. Either deep clean on your own or hire someone else to do it. Consider steam cleaning your floors, to remove dirt and germs without chemicals. Don’t hesitate to hire help with cleaning after the baby arrives.
    • Know your limits. Some tasks are not good for a pregnant woman to do. Avoid moving furniture or doing other extremely strenuous tasks, and delegate the cleaning of the cat box to someone else.
    • Set yourself up for success post-baby. Create space beside your front door and insist that people remove their shoes when they enter your home. Get a separate hamper for the nursery. Stash cleaning wipes near hotspots like doorknobs and faucet handles, so it’s easy to keep them germ free. Establish cleaning routines that can be easily and quickly implemented by anyone helping you.
    • Do a thorough safety check. Your baby will become mobile more quickly than you can possibly imagine. Now, before the baby arrives, remove possible hazards and secure dangerous items. Store medicine out of reach and out of sight, and securely lock your cabinets. Magnetic locks work well on nearly every type of cabinet, allowing you to keep little ones safe without pinching your fingers. IF you have firearms in your house, remove and lock ammunition and lock it away in a place separate from the gun. Install smoke and carbon monoxide detectors or check to make sure yours are working properly.
    • Clear some room in your fridge. You’ll need to make room to store bottles of formula or breastmilk. Also, people will probably bring casseroles and meals to help you out after your new little one arrives, and you should make sure there’s space for that. It’s also not a bad idea to throw out anything on the verge of going bad and give your refrigerator a good cleaning before you have the baby.
    • Get ready for visitors. Will someone be coming to stay and help after the baby arrives? Take some time now to make sure you’ve got everything an overnight guest will need. Change the sheets in your guest room and buy extra toothbrushes, toothpaste, and soap.

    At the Center for Vasectomy Reversal, we love helping people build their families. Under the direction of Dr. Joshua Green, our team provides state-of-the-art treatment for men who need a reversal of their vasectomy or have other fertility concerns. To learn more, contact us through our website, or call 941-894-6428 for a free consultation.

  • How to Protect Your Baby from COVID19

    COVID-19 has made this year frightening. We know that for adults to say safe, socially distancing and wearing face coverings are important. We agonize over whether to send children back to school, wondering if they’ll be able to understand the need to stay away from others. But what about babies and toddlers? How can you protect little ones from COVID-19?

    • First, let’s address face coverings. People over age two are advised to wear a face covering or mask when in public. As you probably know, this is primarily to protect other people. Wearing a mask even if you don’t suspect you have the virus can help keep those around you from getting it. Obviously, this applies to small children as well; when they’re surrounded by adults wearing masks, they’re protected from infection.
    • But why shouldn’t toddlers themselves wear masks? First, their smaller airways make it harder for them to breathe through cloth. Additionally, masks can have strings and elastic pieces that could cause a young child to choke. Finally, little children are likely to try to remove the mask, which will lead to a lot of face touching, and this can spread the virus.
    • Can kids even get infected with COVID-19? While most cases occur in adults, children can be infected. For most kids, the virus causes a mild illness, and in some there are no symptoms at all. However, some babies and children have gotten very sick from the virus, so while you can’t protect them by having them wear masks, it’s important to protect little children in other ways.
    • Some basic safety measures can help keep the virus at bay.
      • Keep your family at home and away from others as much as possible, only going out when it’s necessary.
      • Whether you’re at home or out and about, avoid people who are sick.
      • Wash your hands well and often and teach others in your family to do the same. Wash your hands thoroughly when you go into your home after being out, before handling your child, and before feeding your baby.
      • Try not to touch your face.
      • Clean all surfaces that people touch a lot, like doorknobs, cellphones, and countertops.
      • If you’re sick, wear a face covering at home, limit contact with your child, and sneeze or cough into a tissue rather than your hands.
      • When your baby is in an infant carrier, place a blanket over the carrier while it’s in your view, making sure the blanket doesn’t touch the baby. Wipe down your stroller or carrier when you get home.

    At the Center for Vasectomy Reversal, we love helping people build their families. Under the direction of Dr. Joshua Green, our team provides state-of-the-art treatment for men who need a reversal of their vasectomy or have other fertility concerns. To learn more, contact us through our website, or call 941-894-6428 for a free consultation.

     

  • When to Start Weaning Your Baby Off Baby Food

    When babies are born, it’s easy enough to feed them. Breast or bottle, on-demand or on a schedule, and that’s pretty much the extent of the decision-making process. Once babies can sit up and hold their heads up on their own, you can start introducing pureed foods one at a time. As they grow, though, it gets a little more complicated. How do you know when it’s time to wean your little one from pureed baby food and start solids? We’ve got some useful advice.

    Six months is typically the age at which babies start pureed foods. Be sure to offer a variety of foods, one at a time, because there’s evidence that this can help reduce the risk of allergies. As your child eats more foods, he or she will take less milk or formula. From pureed foods, you’ll move to mashed foods, then chopped, then small bites and finger foods.

    Moving away from jarred foods is important because, although pureed foods and solids may be nutritionally equal, whole foods are better for a child’s development. Children need to learn to adapt to new things, and as they grow and learn to self-feed, they’ll be better able to develop the natural sense of appetite that will be important throughout their lives. By about the age of two, most healthy, typically developing children can eat the same foods as the rest of the family.

    Of course, care must be taken to keep your toddler from choking. Keeping the food soft and not circular is part of preventing choking hazards. Find ways to make your toddler’s food finger-friendly, cutting it into small bites the child can pick up and chew. Pizza can be cut into small squares, soft fruit, soft cooked vegetables, or fully cooked eggs can be placed on the child’s tray to offer practice for finger feeding, and bread can be sliced into strips.

    Use good practices to help your child develop good eating habits. Make sure you’re eating the same healthy fruits and vegetables you’re stressing for your child. Don’t cater to picky eaters by making different meals for different family members, but don’t be too strict about finishing meals, either. The important thing is to frequently expose your child to a variety of healthy foods. Allow children to serve themselves as much as is reasonable, and don’t insist on large portions. Set clear expectations, gently guide your children into eating healthy foods, and help them learn to trust their own appetites.

    There are few things more rewarding than building a family and watching your little ones grow. At the Center for Vasectomy Reversal, we love helping people build their families. Under the direction of Dr. Joshua Green, our team provides state-of-the-art treatment for men who need a reversal of their vasectomy or have other fertility concerns. To learn more, contact us through our website, or call 941-894-6428 for a free consultation.

  • How to be Supportive During Your Partner’s Pregnancy

    Many expectant parents are excited about the arrival of a new child, but sometimes, pregnancy brings a bundle of stress along with the joy. It’s easier to face the many changes, unknowns, and lengthy to-do lists when a man and woman act as partners in the pregnancy. A partnership strengthens the relationship, lowers anxiety, and increases the chance of a smooth transition into parenthood. Follow these tips to help you support your partner during her pregnancy.

    Educate Yourself

    The more you learn about your partner’s body and the changes she’s experiencing, the more effectively you can support her. It’s also wise to educate yourself about childbirth and infant development, so you know what to expect when the baby arrives. Here are some resources to guide you:

    • Read pregnancy books with helpful week-by-week details.
    • Attend childbirth classes and doctor visits where you can ask specific questions of educators and healthcare providers.
    • Speak with other new parents, including friends and family, who may be eager to talk about how they navigated unique pregnancy challenges.

    Provide Emotional Support

    If you notice your partner struggling emotionally or dealing with high stress, step in with these tips:

    • Encourage and reassure your partner.
    • Ask her how you can help, and then follow through.
    • Shower her with affection.
    • Help her make difficult lifestyle changes, such as giving up alcohol alongside her.
    • Encourage her to take breaks and rest more, being aware that pregnancy hormones increase a woman’s need for sleep.
    • Talk to your partner about her desire for intimacy.
    • Take walks together, where you can get some exercise and have time to talk.
    • Reach out to a counselor, therapist, or healthcare provider if you feel your partner could use help for anxiety or depression.

    Offer Physical Support

    As your partner’s body undergoes tremendous change, be prepared to offer your physical support in the following ways:

    • Take on more responsibilities at home, such as cooking and cleaning.
    • Be open to eating different foods if your partner’s nausea or cravings change her usual diet.
    • Don’t smoke around her. Seriously consider quitting or at least cutting back.
    • Offer back massages and foot rubs to ease her stress and pain as the pregnancy progresses.
    • Help her check items off that long to-do list.
    • Make sure your partner knows you’re planning to be an involved father. This includes helping to feed, change, and bathe your baby to give her a break. If you have other children, volunteer to handle more of their care during the first few weeks of the baby’s arrival.

    At the Center for Vasectomy Reversal, we love helping moms and dads build their families together. If you’re ready to begin your journey into parenthood, we’re here to help. Our team offers state-of-the-art treatment for men seeking vasectomy reversal under the direction of Dr. Joshua Green. To learn more, please call our Sarasota, FL clinic at 941-894-6428 and schedule a free consultation.

  • Fun Activities to Do With Your Children this Summer

    Keeping the kids entertained while they’re out of school may seem like a daunting task at first, but with this list of activities on your summer bucket list, you’ll enjoy learning and playing with your children more than ever!

    Outdoor Activities for Nice Days

    Help the kids get some fresh air and explore nature when the weather is nice with these cheap or free activities.

    • DIY bird feeders: Encourage your feathered friends to visit your backyard by making a bird feeder with your child’s help.
    • Family hike: Planning a weekend outing on a local trail will give everyone in your family something to look forward to all week long.
    • Bike ride and picnic: Put a meal together with your kids’ help, load the food into a backpack, and bike to a scenic picnic spot to enjoy your lunch as a family.
    • Backyard obstacle course: Things such as traffic cones, hula-hoops, 2x4s, slides, pool noodles, and ropes strung between trees make for fun obstacles with minimal setup on your part.

    Water Activities for Hot Days

    Don’t let the heat stop you from going outside—introduce a little water to help everyone stay cool! Just remember to wear sunscreen and keep an eye on the youngsters.

    • Water balloon piñatas: Tie water balloons to a clothesline to make piñatas for your kids and their friends.
    • Water balloon baseball or volleyball: These classic games make for hours of water fun under the sun for the whole family.
    • Sprinkler: Set up an oscillating sprinkler, and leave your kids to it!
    • Water play: For younger kids, a small kiddie pool filled with a few inches of water and some plastic or rubber toys is just right.

    Indoor Activities for Stormy Days

    When summer rainstorms threaten to put a damper on your fun, try these indoor activities instead of resorting to videogames or TV.

    • Balloon tennis: A few air-filled balloons and fly swatters are all you need for this family-fun activity.
    • Indoor golf or croquet: Set up a course in your living room, or even all over the house, for tons of indoor fun when the weather won’t cooperate.
    • Cooking or baking: Whether it’s whipping up a batch of cookies, making pancakes from scratch, or trying no-bake cake pops, summer is a great time to get your kids involved in the kitchen.
    • Puppet theater: Got a few puppets in the toy chest? Make up a play with your kids or help them reenact their favorite movie.

    Entertaining the kids may seem like a chore at times, but watching them grow and learn is also one of the most rewarding things you’ll ever do. If you’re ready to experience summer fun as a dad, the Center for Vasectomy Reversal can help you get there. Under the direction of Dr. Joshua Green, our team offers state-of-the-art treatment for men seeking vasectomy reversal. To learn more, please call 941-894-6428 or schedule a free consultation on our website.

  • The Science of Having a Boy or a Girl

    Most parents-to-be want a healthy baby, but many also wish for a particular gender. You have probably heard rumors for tipping the odds in favor of one sex or the other, but are any of them true? Explore the science of having a boy or a girl.

    The Father’s Sperm Determines a Child’s Gender

    No matter what other factors may be at play, one thing is certain—the sex chromosome of the sperm that fertilizes the egg determines the baby’s gender at birth. If an X chromosome combines with the mother’s X chromosome, you get a girl (XX). And if a Y chromosome reaches the egg first, you get a boy (XY).

    Factors that May Influence the Sex of a Child

    Just about everyone has a nearly 50/50 chance of conceiving a boy or a girl. Having a family of all boys or all girls is almost always due to pure chance. Still, specific factors may slightly influence the odds that an X or Y chromosome sperm will fertilize the egg.

    • The ovulation cycle: In the 1960s, the best-selling book, How to Choose the Sex of Your Baby, argued that timing sex close to ovulation allows fast-swimming Y sperm to reach the egg sooner, resulting in a male baby. And since Y sperm die quicker, intercourse far away from ovulation maximizes the chance of X sperm achieving fertilization, resulting in a female baby. However, this argument has been disputed over the years.
    • Wartime: Some research has found a small correlation between higher male birth rates and times of war and conflict. This is an interesting find, given that male mortality rates are high during war.
    • Stress: Other studies show that extreme stress can lead to female conceptions, which may be related to the fragility of Y sperm or the hormonal changes that tend to favor X sperm when the going gets tough.
    • Wealth: A study of billionaires suggests that men who inherit their money are more likely to have sons than self-made billionaires (and the general population), suggesting that wealth without stress leads to sons.
    • Mother’s diet: Some argue that eating cereal preconception induces male births, while others say low-salt, high-calcium diets favor females.
    • The father’s family: A study of family trees found that fathers inherit a tendency to have more sons or daughters from their parents. Therefore, a man with many brothers is more likely to have sons, and a man with many sisters is more likely to have daughters.

    With so many factors at play, most of which aren’t within your control, the odds end up being about the same as flipping a coin. And chances are, the moment you hold your newborn, it won’t matter to you whether it’s a boy or a girl.

    Are you interested in having a vasectomy reversal so you can welcome a new son or daughter into the world? If so, please contact the Center for Vasectomy Reversal in Sarasota, FL at 941-894-6428 for more information.

  • Why you Should Let your Children have Pets

    There’s something appealing about seeing kids and pets together. Especially if you’re an animal lover, the very idea of bringing a pet into your child’s life can conjure up idealistic images of kids playing, snuggling, and bonding with a new animal friend. But is it a good idea? There are many factors to consider, but there are plenty of great reasons to let your children have pets.

    Before looking at the positives of pet ownership, let’s address the negatives. Pets are a big responsibility, and much of that responsibility falls on the parents. Having a pet requires a significant investment of time and money. Cats and dogs live for many years, so they require a commitment to an essentially permanent family member. Smaller pets, like goldfish and hamsters, don’t live as long, but their shorter lifespans present an emotional challenge. Pets require food, exercise, grooming, and veterinary care. Additionally, if a family member turns out to be allergic, you’re likely to have to experience the pain of rehoming a pet just as you’ve gotten attached.

    Now that the negative aspects of pet ownership are out of the way, let’s look at all the wonderful things about getting a pet for your child.

    • Pets can be good for a person’s health. In fact, research indicates that children who grow up with pets are at a lower risk of developing allergies and asthma. Pet owners require fewer trips to the doctor, and playing with dogs can lower blood pressure.
    • Having a pet encourages exercise. Running, walking, playing, throwing a ball: pets give kids great reasons to head outside and get moving.
    • Pets provide emotional benefits. Pets reduce stress, loneliness, and anxiety, and children with pets tend to have better impulse control, social skills, and self-esteem. Living with animals gives kids a healthy respect for nature, and children derive comfort from having an animal pal.
    • Children learn while playing with pets. Caring for pets fosters responsibility, and nurturing a pet helps kids practice caregiving, developing empathy and compassion. Additionally, kids who are learning to read benefit from reading aloud to pets. Some studies even indicate that having pets helps kids become comfortable in leadership roles.
    • Pets help a family to bond. Pets give families a common interest and can help slow the hectic pace of modern life. There’s even evidence to show caring for a pet together increases the sibling bond.

    Pets are a great idea for a family with kids, as long as you make sure the pet you’re getting is a good fit for your family. When you’re ready to start a family, the Center for Vasectomy Reversal is here to help. Under the direction of Dr. Joshua Green, our team provides state-of-the-art treatment for men who need a reversal of their vasectomy or help with their fertility. To learn more, contact us through our website, or call 941-894-6428 to arrange a free consultation.

  • How to Discipline your Children

    Being a parent is a hard job, especially because it’s your responsibility to teach your children how to be good people. Teaching your kids how to behave properly can be a challenge when there is so much conflicting information about discipline. Remember: discipline should be about guiding and teaching your children, not getting angry and punishing them. Here, we offer some tips for disciplining your children successfully.

    • Set clear limits and firm consequences. Your rules should be clear and consistent, and the consequences should be established ahead of time. When a rule is broken, be prepared to follow through right away.
    • Be positive whenever possible. Catch your children doing the right thing so that you can give positive attention and praise their successes. Even when you’re setting limits, try to phrase things in a positive way, telling them what they can do instead of just saying no.
    • Take the time to listen. Especially with older kids, it’s important to hear your child’s point of view. When a child feels heard, he or she will be more likely to listen.
    • Model the behavior you want to see. Stay calm when you’re correcting your child, both in your words and actions, and you’ll set a better tone for your household.
    • Let some things go. If you’re always saying no, your child will begin to tune you out. On the other hand, sometimes ignored misbehavior delivers its own natural consequences. Prioritize, to avoid nagging.
    • Avoid physical punishment. Spanking is a hotly debated topic, but most experts agree that it’s not a good idea. Research indicates that physical punishment is ineffective and causes long-lasting negative effects.
    • Watch your words. Verbal abuse can be as painful as physical punishment, causing the same kind of long-term damage. Make sure the words you say to your children focus on building them up, rather than tearing them down.
    • Set your child up for success. Pay attention to patterns in a child’s misbehavior and try to avoid situations that will stretch a child’s limits. Children who are hungry, tired, or overexcited are more likely to misbehave.
    • Keep discipline age appropriate. Begin setting limits when your child is still an infant, and once he or she is a toddler, start using short time-outs and redirection to correct misbehavior. Preschool children are old enough for simple chores, and to begin learning about good choices and logical consequences. Older children need a balance of privilege and responsibility, and teens need clear boundaries and the opportunity to build decision-making skills.

    Being a parent requires commitment and hard work, but it’s also extremely rewarding. If you’re ready to start a family, the Center for Vasectomy Reversal is here to help. Under the direction of Dr. Joshua Green, our team provides state-of-the-art treatment for men who need a reversal of their vasectomy or help with their fertility. To learn more, contact us through our website, or call 941-894-6428 to arrange a free consultation.

  • Common Questions Kids Ask and How to Answer Them

    If there’s one thing kids know how to do, it’s ask questions. Unfortunately, sometimes the questions they ask come at inopportune times, and we as parents may not have ready answers. Heard any hard questions lately? We’ve compiled some tips on how to answer your child’s questions, as well as a list of questions you might hear.

    When a child asks as questions, mirror the question back at the child; sometimes children are seeking validation for their feelings rather than concrete answers. Once you’ve mirrored what you believe is being asked, let the child ask a second time, to clarify the question. When answer, keep your answer age-appropriate and don’t the child more information than he or she can handle. Now, let’s look at some common questions.

    • Why is the sky blue? Science questions are fun! The sky looks blue because that’s the color of the light in the air. When it’s time for sunrise or sunset, the molecules in the air spread out, and then the sky looks red or orange.
    • What happened to the dinosaurs? Talking about dinosaurs can open up much bigger scientific conversations. The simple answer: an asteroid crashed into the earth when dinosaurs were alive, and it changed the planet. Dinosaurs died because they couldn’t adapt to the changes, and new animals that could live in the changed climate took their place.
    • Where do babies come from? Before answering this question, take a breath. Make sure you know exactly what your child is asking, so you don’t give too much information when it’s inappropriate. Keep your answer simple and age-appropriate, but avoid confusion by using the correct terminology.
    • Why do people speak different languages? This provides an opportunity to discuss other cultures and how we can learn from them. The short answer: a long time ago, people in different parts of the world invented different words for things, and languages grew from there.
    • Why do we cover our private parts? Be matter of fact about this, explaining that it’s because we use those parts for things we don’t do in public. Talk about which body parts are off-limits to outsiders, while modeling a calm attitude about the body.
    • Why do people get sick? Give a simple explanation, being careful to differentiate between common and more serious illnesses. Use the opportunity to discuss habits that help keep people healthy.
    • What happens when people die? This answer will vary based on your beliefs, but remember, it’s ok to say you don’t know.

    Having kids is sometimes a challenge, but it’s always a gift. If you’re ready to start your family, the Center for Vasectomy Reversal is here to help. Under the direction of Dr. Joshua Green, our team provides state-of-the-art treatment for men who need a reversal of their vasectomy or help with their fertility. To learn more, contact us through our website, or call 941-894-6428 to arrange a free consultation.