Parents on the lookout!

Children under the age of five are learning and growing every second of the day. It is important for them to start off their learning experience with as solid a foundation as possible. Problems with things like vision, hearing or other disabilities can interfere with the learning process. To enable her to reach her full potential, you need to know as early as possible any difficulties she is encountering. In some cases, early intervention allows a problem to be completely fixed. Look through this page to find out more about what you can do.

Parents know their children better than anyone and should be on the look out for signs of trouble. Our page on ages and stages gives parents an idea of where children should be in their development and offers a list of possible red flags to watch out for.

Hearing

Hearing loss can get in the way of a child’s communication with the rest of the world, and can affect the learning process. Screening tests for normal hearing are often done at birth these days, allowing doctors and parents to catch many hearing problems. However, children should be tested periodically as they grow older to make sure that their hearing is still on track. Take a look at the sites listed below to learn more about testing for your child.

Kid’s Health’s pages on Hearing Evaluation in Children explores how the ear works and explains some different types of hearing loss, as well as offering additional resources, should you need more information. The American Academy of Otolaryngology’s Fact Sheet Page on Early Childhood Screening provides information on everything from when a child should be tested to what signs parents can look for. National Center for Hearing Assessment and Management

Vision

As children grow and develop, much of the information they receive is through their eyes. Vision a very important learning tool. Many vision problems can be corrected by early detection and treatment, while later detection can lead to permanent damage. Be sure to bring your child in for routine eye examinations. Visit the links below for more information.

Kid’s Health has a Vision Page that gives suggestions on when children should be tested and also provides warning signs that a parent can look out for. Your Child’s Sight is a large website created by Prevent Blindness America to inform parents on vision facts and issues in children.

Genetic Disorders

Genetic Disorders are extremely varied and can affect everything from mental to physical to social and emotional development. Some are well known, like Down Syndrome and Sickle-Cell Disease. Others are much less known. Visit the links below for more information on the diverse aspects of genetic disorders.

Your Genes Your Health is a multimedia site with in-depth information on many of the more common genetic disorders, from testing to causes to how common they are. The Genetics and Rare Conditions site acts as an access point to information on pretty much everything related to genetic disorders, from advocacy groups to information on individual disorders to support groups. National Organization for Rare Disorders

Social and Emotional Development

National Center for Early Development and Learning
Center on the Social and Emotional Foundations for Early Learning

Learning Disabilities

Learning disabilities refers to a broad range of conditions that affect the way people process information and cover a large range of severity. Early identification and understanding of a child’s disability allows parents and caregivers to help that child learn and grow to the best of her ability. Visit the links below for more information on identifying and working with disabilities in children.

Online Children’s Hospital’s page on Learning Disabilities in Children provides quick, basic information on learning disabilities.

LDOnline is a much more extensive site with information on everything from how normal vs. atypical development, signs to look for, to what different disabilities there are. It also provides information on where you can go for support and help in your area.

National Dissemination Center for Children with Disabilities

Family Village is a global community that integrates information, resources, and communication opportunities on the Internet for people with cognitive and other disabilities, for their families, and for those that provide them services and support.

Autism

Autism is a developmental condition that affects the way a person communicates and relates to the world. It spans differing levels of severity. Early diagnosis is important, as it alerts parents to the special needs of their children and allows them to help the children reach full potential. For more information, take a look at some of the sites below.

The Center For Disease Control’s Autism Spectrum Disorder’s Fact Sheet and Autism Information Center both provide in-depth information.

Pediatrics’ Autism in Children page on autism also provides a lot of good information, and provides vignette examples of how some children with autism might behave.

Oral Health

Teeth are important parts of our health, and good oral health starts even before a baby gets her first tooth! Visit Kids’ Health’s page on Keeping Your Child’s Teeth Healthy for more information on everything from how to feed your baby, cleaning a baby’s gums and mouth, dental screenings, preventing tooth loss and infection, and how you can help your child develop good brushing habits.

Prenatal Care

Remember, it’s never too early to start thinking about your babies health—pre-natal care can be extremely important. Check out the websites below for general information, but if you think you might be pregnant, make sure to make an appointment with your doctor and start your prenatal care today!

The March of Dimes site on Pregnancy and Newborns offers answers to frequently asked questions about such things as nutrition, exercise, prenatal tests and choosing a prenatal health care provider.

Health Pages’ Guide to a Healthy Pregnancy offers similar information about how to keep healthy during your pregnancy, both for yourself and your baby.

Nutrition

MedlinePlus lists a number of articles on the special nutritional needs of infants and children from the National Institutes of Health and the National Library of Medicine.

The Child Care Nutrition Resource System provides information on preparing nutritious meals and food safety.

Food and Nutrition Information Center lists articles on nutrition and health.

Immunization

The Idaho Immunization Program provides information and education about vaccine-preventable diseases, furnishes vaccine at no cost to private physicians and public health providers, and supports the Governor's Immunization Initiative in many other ways.

IRIS - the Idaho Immunization Reminder Information System

Idaho Health is a gateway to health services and information.

National Immunization Program from the Centers for Disease Control

Brain Development

A peek at the early stages of brain development

Tufts University links to the best sites on brain development: Information on the human brain, infant brain development, early brain development in children, and much more.

National Center for Children in Poverty provides information on the effects of poverty on children.