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More expert tips for parents

The Washington Post
Occupational therapist Sharon Anderson and speech and language pathologist Amy Freedman are two of the four authors of “Is It a Big Problem or a Little Problem: When to Worry, When Not to Worry, and What to Do,” a guide to help parents who might be confused by their young child’s development and behavior.
How can a parent wade through the numerous controversial and unproven treatments ó from nutrition to therapy ó to decide what’s worth trying?
“You need to read. You need to talk to other people that are doing things. You need to talk to the specialists that you’re working with,” Anderson says. “And just because something is very expensive and new does not mean that it’s necessarily good. And don’t get caught up in the feeling of guilt that there’s more out there you could be doing. You have to use your own good judgment and common sense.
Adds Freedman: “And if things seem magical, they’re not. Often, we find the things that work over time are things that are hard work, like therapy and environmental strategies and working in partnership.”
– – –
You know your kids need calcium to promote healthy bones. But vitamin D is just as important. Without it, their growing bodies would have a harder time absorbing calcium, resulting in thin, brittle or misshapen bones.
Unfortunately, most children in the United States don’t get all the vitamin D they need: 9 percent are vitamin D deficient, and another 61 percent are vitamin D insufficient, according to a recent report in the journal Pediatrics.
Fortified foods, fish and egg yolks are good sources, but most kids don’t get enough vitamin D from their diets alone. What they need is more time in the sun, an excellent source of vitamin D. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) also recommends vitamin D supplements for most children.
Altogether, children and teens should get up to 400 IU every day, the AAP says.

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