Q: My child keeps refusing to wear a helmet while riding his bike. How can I make him understand how important it is?
A: Due to ongoing cognitive development, children can’t always understand the consequences of their actions. The most important thing for parents is to have ongoing discussions about safety and to set firm rules and consequences.

Q: My child has started spending more time in her room alone. Should I be concerned?
A: It is natural for adolescents to start seeking more privacy as a part of emotional and social development. However, even if your child is reluctant, you should continue to involve them in family events and outings. Keeping your child involved and connected will help build self-esteem, which can be difficult to maintain at this age.

Q: My child has trouble falling asleep. How can I help?
A: A good night’s sleep is invaluable to your child’s health. To help your child fall asleep easier, set up a relaxing routine, limit food or drink, avoid screen time (TV, Computer, etc.) before bed and make sure everyone’s bedroom is quiet, dark, and cool. More serious issues, such as insomnia, sleepwalking, sleep terrors and excessive daytime sleepiness, may indicate a sleep disorder.

Q: I’m nervous to have my child start Kindergarten. How can I make the transition smoother?
A: Having some plans in place can greatly reduce any anxiety about starting a new school. Make sure you have a plan for sick days and a routine for morning and bedtimes. You should also schedule a routine checkup a few weeks or months before school begins for your child and complete any school or medication forms. For more tips, read Back-to-School »

Q: My child has been asking me questions about sex. Shouldn’t I wait to discuss it until she is older?
A: Discussions about sex and sexuality should be ongoing, so your child can learn the appropriate information at the right times. Be sure to address questions as they come up, so that your child doesn’t seek information elsewhere and end up with the wrong answers.

Q: When should I start talking to my child about drugs and alcohol?
A: You should talk to your child about drugs and alcohol before they begin middle school. Remember that the information you give them will help them to make informed decisions later on and that you are the best role model for your child. If you smoke, try to quit, and drink only in moderation.

Q: When will my child begin going through puberty?
A: Around age 11, children enter adolescence and often begin going through the physical changes associated with puberty. Because each child is different, however, your own child may enter puberty earlier or later than peers. Be sure to emphasis to your child that his or her development is normal.

Q: When should I bring my child to the pediatrician rather than just letting them rest at home?
A: Many common illnesses can be treated at home, but more serious infections, such as strep throat, pinkeye or an ear infection, should be seen by your child’s pediatrician. For your convenience, we have walk in hours available. Read more on When to Visit »

Q: How can I keep my child safe when playing sports?
A: Sports are a wonderful way for your child to gain social interaction and essential activity for his or her health. Keep your child safe by teaching him or her to stretch and warm up and by keeping the proper safety equipment in good condition. Learning the sport yourself will allow you to provide valuable guidance on skills and techniques, as well as give you the chance to be more involved in your child’s activities. Read more on Safety Concerns »

Q: My child is being bullied. What can I do?
A: If your child is being bullied, you should take immediate steps to end the abuse. Talk about the problem and practice how your child will react to the bully. In addition, get him or her involved in different hobbies and groups for an opportunity to meet new friends. Read more about bullying »

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