Sunday, November 16, 2014

Parent2Parent Tip #9: Alternative for Sandbox Play

My son mouthed everything when he was a toddler and well into his early school years. It was difficult to find safe alternative ways to stimulate him cognitively through hands-on play without encountering the risks that accompany a child who explores his world by mouthing. I could not risk him putting objects in his mouth that could cause choking or get into his already compromised gut.

Sandbox play is a form of play that offers a multitude of benefits.
8 Reasons Why Playing in the Sand is Good for Kids

However, the possibility of my son swallowing sand was ever present. So, I came up with a safe and inexpensive way for him to enjoy indoor sandbox play.

Find a good sturdy box with a lid (I used a Xerox box). Get 2 or 3-10 lb. bags of instant grits. Pour the grits into the box. Add a few things like scoops, shovels, cups (various sizes, shapes and colors), a couple material scraps or other items that will allow the child to feel the textural differences of a sand like substance rubbed against different items. Be sure to select items that are sturdy and safe for your child to mouth. You may even hide a few smaller toys like a med. sized figurine or small stuffed toy that your child can dig out. Add anything you think your child may enjoy and they will have loads of endless fun and exploration. It's a great activity for a child to do independently and with friends/family.

A really cool and multi leveled idea is to hide building blocks in your alternative sandbox. Your child will have to dig up all of the blocks and put them together.  How cool is that?!

Bricks and Blocks: Toys at Walmart Duplo Sets

Please be sure to supervise your child while they play with their alternative sandbox. After play, replace the lid and put the alternative sandbox somewhere that is out of reach for the child(ren).


Parent2Parent Tip #8: Getting EEG Glue or Paste Out of Hair

Hi everyone! Sorry it's been so long since I've written. I was working on a few other projects and then my son had a couple seizures or something that looked a lot like seizures last month. We've been back and forth to the neurologist, 2 EEGs and 1 MRI. There was one EEG at the hospital and the other was an EEG recorder that my son wore home over the weekend. I must say, my son did remarkably well with wearing the EEG recorder. A little explanation and a little ingenuity and we were off to having a wonderful time. Thankfully both EEGs showed normal brain activity.

The MRI results were a bit of a mystery. For those of you who don't know, my son is a preemie, 28 weeks. The MRI did not show any signs of prematurity, however we discovered that my son's cerebellum is underdeveloped. That would explain his difficulty with motor planning. With that being said, we agreed to look into a couple more things in February. For now, we are going to give him a break from all of the visits and let him return to his happy normal routines. I have not seen any other seizure like activity and have no idea if this is going to be a short term thing or something that we will have to deal with for the long term. I'll be keeping a close watch and praying.

In lieu of everything else, my son also started drooling and having some gut issues. This started about a month before the seizure like activity. We also found that he was a little impacted which is something we've never had to deal with before. Having a short gut, my son is more prone to the opposite. I don't know what the cause is because he has a very good diet. His doctor automatically said that there's not enough green leafy veggies in my son's diet. I so wish these doctors would stop speaking out of a place of assumption. My son has a very healthy diet. He eats more veggies, green leaf and other than most kids I know. I'm still not sure of the cause. We will be seeing a GI specialist in the very near future. What I'm doing in the meantime is making some small adjustments to my son's diet. I've cut out a lot of wheat and wheat based products. He's always been on a high fiber diet because it seemed to help with his gut issues, however, just before my son's 15th birthday everything changed. I don't know, but it looks like he's developed a sensitivity to wheat products. Somewhere in the course of changing his diet and the seizure like activity my son has verbal ability has increased. He's speaking more clearly and he's also responding to questions more readily than ever before. Not to mention that he is starting to say words that I have not heard him say. I totally amazed and thankful for this change, but I have not yet identified the cause. It looks like we will be taking a very close look at a gluten free diet. Onward and Upward on this wonderful road!

My original reason for writing this post was to share a little tip with you guys on how to get the glue/paste/gunk out of hair after an EEG. I'm sure some of you have had to deal with this problem. The tech that placed the leads on my son's head told me that it would take at least 3-4 washings just to loosen the glue. Well, I found a sure fire way to loosen and remove the glue and gunk in little to no time and with little to no pain or discomfort.

Here's what I did:

Removal of glue/paste/gunk from hair.

It can be done in a few easy steps:

1.    Thoroughly wet hair. (if possible, have the child/person hold a clean dry wash cloth/hand towel over their eyes)
2.    Pour a little Skin So Soft (Avon) on all areas where there is glue and/or paste. Gently message SSS into areas to loosen glue/paste. Glue will begin to soften immediately and easily pulls away from hair. (Continue this step until you have loosened all of the glue/paste)

3.    Rinse hair in warm water to remove any residual glue/past.

4.    Apply shampoo of choice (I used baby shampoo). Wash hair and dry.

It is not uncommon to miss a spot or two sometimes. If you find there is an area that you've missed, moisten the area, apply SSS and repeat steps 2, 3 & 4. I was able to remove all glue and past from my son's hair in 15 minutes. That's a far cry better than the original option.

I don't know if this will work with the host of other wonderful sticky items we may find in our kid's hair. I say...give it try and see if it works. This just might be the solution you've been looking for to remove gum, candy and maybe a variety of glues.

Hope this tip works for you. Take care and happy parenting my friends.