Yoga for kids
Teach Your Child These Yoga Asanas to Stay Calm and Focused

Do you know what is the priority of many school boards around the world this year? It’s not the new math curriculum and it’s not literacy, it’s student mental health and well-being! As a children’s yoga teacher, I can see how difficult it is for them to cope with today’s challenges. Whether children go to school or study remotely, they experience anxiety, confusion, lack of motivation, and uncertainty about the future. These, in turn, manifest as physical symptoms like trouble sleeping, difficulty concentrating, lack of movement, eating disorders and more.

How can we help children overcome all of these challenges and take care of themselves, self-regulate, be healthier and do better in school? The pandemic has taught parents and teachers how important it is to perfect a hobby by exposing children to various extracurricular activities. A hobby in the form of arts, crafts, music, yoga, etc. in today’s world can also be a profession in its own right.

We all know how beneficial yoga and mindfulness are. We can teach mindfulness practices, tools and techniques to help children in their daily lives at home and at school.

Lotus pose / Padmasana

The lotus posture is a meditation posture par excellence. (Source: Sabrina Marchande)

Start your morning with this yoga pose which helps deepen meditation by calming the mind and relieving various physical ailments. Here’s how to do the pose:

* Sit on the floor or on a mat with your legs straight out in front of you while keeping your spine straight.
* Bend the right knee and place it on the left thigh. Make sure the soles of the feet point up and the heel is close to the abdomen.
* Now repeat the same step with the other leg.
* With legs crossed and feet placed on opposite thighs, bring your palms together toward the center of your chest.
* Keep your head straight, spine straight, and eyes closed.
* Hold and continue with long, gentle breaths in and out.


* Calm
* Improves awareness and concentration
* Improves digestion
* Stretches knees and ankles
* Strengthens the spine, abdomen, pelvis, bladder

Child pose / Balasana

Yoga, child pose This pose gently stretches your body. (Source: Sabrina Marchande)

The child’s pose can be used as an opportunity to rest between more difficult poses, or it can be practiced for calm and concentration.

Here’s how to do the pose:

* Kneel on the floor and sit on your heels.
* Lean forward to gently rest your forehead on the floor.
* Relax your arms in front of you, palms down.
* Imagine you are a hippo in the water.
* Close your eyes and relax your body for several breaths.


* Calm
* Restores
* Stretches

Ants pose / Baddha Konasana (variant)

Yoga, ant pose Make yoga fun with this interesting pose. (Source: Sabrina Marchande)

How to pose:

* Sit up straight and bring the soles of your feet together.
* Raise your hands and raise your arms and bring your palms together above your head.
* Now put your hands under your leg and hold your toes. Lower your knees and slowly bend forward to touch your forehead to your toes.
* Hold for 3-4 breaths.
* When you are ready to release the pose, slowly unscrew your hands first, then sit up to return to the starting position.


* Helps calm emotions.
* Relaxes the nervous system.

Vajrasana (The Lightning Pose)

yoga, lightning pose This pose helps calm the mind. (Source: Sabrina Marchande)

Vajrasana is a sitting posture. Here’s how to do the pose:

* Stand on the knees, lower legs together and stretched back, the two big toes crossing.
* Lower your body and sit on your heels. Your buttocks will rest on the heels and the thighs on the calf muscles.
* Keep your hands on your knees or close to your heart and keep your head straight.
* Concentrate on the breath and observe the process of inhaling and exhaling.
* You can close your eyes, to concentrate and calm the mind.
* Stay in this position for at least 3 to 5 minutes.


* It’s a good meditative pose
* Slow and rhythmic breathing in Vajrasana can induce a meditative state.
* It increases the efficiency of the digestive system and helps people with poor digestion to easily digest a full meal.
* It helps prevent acidity and ulcers by improving digestion.

Wide Leg Forward Bend Pose / Prasarita Padottanasana

yoga pose This pose stretches the thighs. (Source: Sabrina Marchande)

How to pose:

* Start by standing with your legs 3 to 4 feet apart. Folding forward bringing the palms to the ground below the shoulders.
* Use the arms to pull the forehead towards the floor, bending the elbows towards the back wall. Press down on the feet, extending the legs to push the hips toward the ceiling.
* Feel the spine pulled in opposite directions as you press your head down and lift the hips.
* Breathe in and hold for 3 to 8 breaths.
* To release, extend your arms to the sides and return to the starting position.


* Lengthens the spine.
* Stretch the back of the legs.
* Strengthens the back muscles.

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Congenital heart disease in children: an expert answers the FAQ

Heart disease is on the rise around the world and one of the main factors is changing lifestyles. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), 17.7 million deaths in India are due to heart problems. A significant number relate to the younger population, which is why it is important to be aware of congenital heart disease (CHD) in children.

The term “congenital” means “present from birth”. Congenital heart disease, one of the most common birth defects, is a collection of malformations that affect the way the heart develops and functions from birth and has the ability to change the way blood flows through the heart. one person. These can be acyanotic CHD (pink babies) or cyanotic CHD (blue babies).

A recent study shows that each year more than 2,000,000 children are born in India with congenital heart disease, of which one-fifth are very likely to be in a serious condition requiring surgery within a year of birth. Some of the questions that are regularly asked about CHDs are:

What are the symptoms of coronary heart disease in children?

There could be several symptoms related to coronary artery disease, especially in children. Some of the key symptoms are:

Repeated respiratory infections

Rapid heartbeat and breathing

Swelling of the legs, stomach or around the eyes


Bluish discoloration of the skin / nails / lips / tongue, known as “cyanosis”

Fast breathing / easy fatigability during feeding

Inability or reduced ability to exercise or play (compared to peers in the same age group)

What factors might increase a child’s risk of developing coronary artery disease?

Most coronary artery disease problems start early because a child’s heart begins to develop before birth. Although the exact cause of coronary heart disease may be unknown, certain risk factors may play a role:

Smoking and drinking alcohol during pregnancy

Certain medications taken during pregnancy

Diabetic mother

Mother with rubella (German measles) during pregnancy

Smell or use of harmful substances during pregnancy

Genetic factors / syndromes

What is the cure for coronary heart disease?

Various treatment options are currently available to diagnose and treat congenital heart defects. They include drugs, catheter procedures, and surgery to treat and cure many conditions. Some defects require multi-step procedures and others require multi-step remedial procedures.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), about 97 percent of babies born with non-critical coronary artery disease are likely to survive for up to a year and about 95 percent of babies born with non-critical coronary artery disease are likely to survive to age 18. However, it is very important that these children are monitored regularly.

Is there a way to diagnose these defects during pregnancy?

Yes, examination for fetal abnormalities / echocardiography at 18-20 weeks gestation (fifth month of pregnancy) helps to detect and diagnose heart defects while the child is in its mother’s womb. This is very important and helps the healthcare team and parents decide what to do with these defects in the future. Some children may need surgery soon after birth and it is therefore important that the birth takes place in a center with pediatric cardiac services (pediatric cardiology and pediatric cardiac surgery) for support.

Are children with coronary artery disease more likely to be affected by COVID-19?

Children with coronary heart disease or postoperative cases of coronary heart disease are known to have a greater predilection for severe disease. Extra precautions to avoid infections and treat respiratory infections early on are imperative.

How can children with congenital heart disease be protected from COVID-19?

The important measures that should be adopted are masking, social distancing and good hand hygiene.

Regular check-ups and teleconsultations with your doctor can help. In addition, it is advisable to consult your doctor before having your child vaccinated and to complete your child’s vaccination according to the schedule.

Thus, it is of the utmost importance that these congenital heart defects are detected early on. Discussing with a multidisciplinary team about treatment options and planning the procedures at the right time is very important for a positive and healthy outcome.

(The author is a consultant – Pediatric and Adult Thoracic Cardiovascular Surgeon, Fortis Hospitals, Bannerghatta Road.)

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Children are spending long hours on the computer owing to the pandemic. (Source: Screen Time/ Unsplash)
Ways to replace screen time for kids

Today, many parents struggle to reduce screen time and find other ways to engage their children. For many, the struggle is to be able to persuade their children to disengage from the screen.

Now that online schooling has brought screens to the home, the magnet of online games and recreation seems to consume most children’s hours.

Ironically, for parents, the screen is an easy tool at their disposal that gives them some respite, but screen addiction in young children is not what most had bargained for. Most parents and guardians realize that children shouldn’t have easy access to technology at such a young age. Yet we are all guilty of doing it because we have to multitask, we get tired and because kids love it. Surprisingly, two-year-olds today can probably use a smartphone better than I can.

Yet despite how easy it can be to hand this gadget to your child, I will say the obvious – screen time for children is not at all appropriate. Research from the Indian Academy of Pediatrics points out that children under the age of two should not be exposed to any type of screen except occasional video calls with loved ones. For children aged two to five, screen time should not exceed one hour, although less is better. For ages over five, screen time should never come at the expense of another developmental activity such as physical activity, sleep, schoolwork, eating, etc.

Plus, more time spent on phones and tablets also means less time spent with others. This comes at the cost of slowing down and hampering the development of language, social and interpersonal skills that develop the much-needed capacity to feel compassion and empathy.

Unfortunately, it can also cause isolation at a young age, leading to issues such as increased anxiety and even depression in the future.

Therefore, despite the fact that we can be proud that our child quickly understands their mastery of technology or learns nursery rhymes through YouTube, screen time for children beyond school should be minimized. and discouraged.

Before the technological age, children enjoyed childhood in the truest sense. A childhood that led them to use their imaginations to create games, find friends to play with and connect with the outdoors – all the tools needed to sculpt children into healthy, confident and social beings with real meaning. of their world.

Although we have identified the problem, I would like to focus on some possible alternatives for involving our children.

Start with the old-fashioned game

Children today are hardly allowed to be. Children need free, unstructured play time. Give your child the opportunity to think and understand while playing alone or with friends.

Adults can provide children with open materials (cardboard boxes, empty bottles, nature collections, etc.). However, avoid telling them what to do with it. Let them use their thought, creativity and imagination to determine how they want to use the materials.

Children are natural scientists and will be busy exploring the possibilities. It is important that adults do not cast their shadows on children.

Have art materials such as pencils, paints, glue, and different types of paper available. Don’t ask them to make a finished product of your choice, instead encourage them to explore and create whatever they want.

An open approach will encourage your child to think, give them ownership and confidence in their abilities – all essential life skills! I encourage board games, puzzles, and specific research projects based on a child’s interest in older children. I have witnessed the success of this process with my own grandchildren.

Be a role model

Today, as parents and children are spending more time at home due to the pandemic, children increasingly admire parents. Children imitate what they see, not what we ask them to do.

Therefore, it is crucial that they see that you are not spending all of your free time on a screen. Parents can also reserve an hour or more, entirely dedicated to the child and free of any gadgets. It can be the same every day because children appreciate predictability. Have a ritual of reading to your child, listening and dancing to music, cooking together, playing, etc.

Spending time outdoors

The kids will usually follow whatever you prefer. Make time spent outdoors part of your routine. Simple games with a ball, riding a bike, climbing rocks, planning a picnic will make the outdoors a fun time for the family.

You can organize a play date with your child’s best friend or introduce them to a new park or sport. Or if the child is old enough, it can be his free time with friends. Knowing that they can choose how to use their time outdoors can boost their self-confidence, improve their social skills, and help them take responsibility.

Instill a habit of reading or storytelling

Children benefit a lot from books. Help your child choose books that interest him. Take the time to read daily. Reading to your child is the most beneficial thing you can do as a parent. To read for the pure joy and pleasure of history. This will encourage your child to become a lifelong reader.

Reading Together is a positive bonding activity that helps develop language, imagination, and increase understanding of various concepts and emotions.

Children may choose to do this, and young children often naturally stage scenes from a story. You can help them understand the emotion behind a character’s role or have them share their thoughts on how the story might end, etc. Storytelling is not only a great substitute for screen time, but also has many benefits and the emotional side of memories of a lifetime. .

Help cultivate a hobby

Like us, kids also turn to a phone when they’re bored. Help them fill that time with a hobby they enjoy. It can be a creative hobby like dancing, singing, learning an instrument of their choice, or learning a new skill of embroidery, cooking, art, etc. It doesn’t have to be an organized activity and can be an activity at home or at a friend’s house. at home so that they can look forward to it.

Let the kids decide on the hobby, and give them time and space to find out what they like. That way, they won’t feel like they have to do something.

In conclusion, there are many ways to engage young children as they are inherently curious, capable and strong. Parents and caregivers should be prepared to devote the time and effort necessary to encourage children to seek entertainment other than gadgets.

Additionally, as parents, we need to give our children the freedom to explore ways to care like our parents would and let them engage in old-fashioned, unstructured free play.

It is essential that children spend time away from screens, as time away from technology can do wonders for a child’s social, emotional and cognitive development.

(The writer is the founder of Learning Matters, an early childhood education organization of Max Learning Ventures.)

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Urinary Tract Infection, Urinary Tract Infection in children, Urinary Tract Infection in the monsoon season, UTI in kids, UTI symptoms, parenting, indian express news
How to prevent urinary tract infections in children during the monsoon

The monsoon season can bring much more besides the rains and a pleasant breeze. He brings mosquitoes and tons of fungal and other infections by his side. Children need to be protected from these infections before they become dangerous in no time. The rapid change in the weather from hot and dry to sweltering can decrease the immunity of young people.

One of the infections that children get during this season is urinary tract infection. This is common due to the humidity in the air and if private individuals are not treated, one can get a tract infection. It is known that children urinate much more frequently than adults because they need a smaller bladder. A urinary tract infection can very quickly turn into a kidney problem if it is not detected early and treated.

Symptoms of urinary tract infection (UTI):

• Blood in the urine

• Smelly urine

• A burning sensation when urinating.

• Very dark or cloudy urine

• Notice an increase in the frequency of urinating.

An untreated urinary tract infection, which has spread to the kidney, may present with the following symptoms:

• Nausea and vomiting throughout the day.

• Pain in the lower back

• Fever

Children can get a infection of the tract if they do not disinfect their private parts properly after visiting the toilet. Unidentified urinary tract infection can spread to the kidneys very quickly. There are two types of tract infections, which are cystitis and pyelonephritis. We talk about cystitis when impacts the child’s bladder, and pyelonephritis when the infection affects the kidneys. These infections can simply be treated with a dose of antibiotics. Never self-diagnose your child as this can lead to other complications. Parents should take care of it so that the child receives his medication on time and completes a dose of the antibiotic. If not diagnosed and treated in time, the infection of the tract can become very dangerous very quickly and affect your child’s kidneys.

How to prevent urinary tract infections:

  • Keep your children well hydrated. Drink at least 7-8 glasses of water throughout the day. Liquids like fruit juices and soups can also help.

  • Probe frequently using good cleaning technique. Keeping the bladder empty of urine will help prevent infections.

  • Prevent constipation. A huge amount of stool in the rectum can prevent the bladder from emptying and can allow many bacteria to grow in children. Thus, a healthy potty habit is highly recommended.

  • Infant and youth bedding and pillows should be washed and ironed regularly before reusing, in order to kill bacteria or germs on the fabric.

  • Parents should wash their child’s clothes daily so that sweat, dirt or moisture does not lead to fungal / bacterial infections.

  • Include enough vitamin C and zinc to reduce bacterial growth in your child’s diet, and don’t force the child to wear tight underwear.

  • A good bowel program is essential. Keep poop out of private parts as much as possible, which will help prevent bacteria from causing infection. Be sure to wipe from front to back.

(The author is a Senior Consultant Pediatrician and Neonatologist, Motherhood Hospital, Noida.)

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