Children Are not to Blame for the Adults’ Inability to Live in Peace

The panacea does not exist. The human body fights on its own with any disease and medicine can only help it in this, but it is not omnipotent. When a man dives into great depths, he/she must have an adequate reserve of air to come up back. Otherwise, he/she runs the risk of suffocation. Something similar happens to the human body when it takes up the fight against a disease. It needs resource to cope with it and return to normal life. Availability of the resource in sufficient quantity is determining when the question of a disease curability is being solved. The ability of the immune system to ensure the normal functioning of the human body in the conditions of environment also directly depends on how fast it can compensate for a resource. The resource is nothing but human stamina.When an adult dies — it is a great loss for the family and the people close to him, but it is doubly hard to accept the death of a child.

 

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Top 10 Toddler Fears

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Fear: The Dark

What He’s Thinking: I can’t see what’s out there and I feel unprotected in the dark.

How to Help: Most children are afraid of the dark on some level — it’s a very common fear of the unknown. To combat this fear, try teaching your child how to turn on lights around the house, and add a night-light to his bedroom. «Allow your children to control the amount of light they have on when they go to sleep and gradually decrease it over time,» Dr. Ayelet Talmi suggests. Help your child understand darkness by going on a night walk together and discussing all the new and interesting things you can see when it’s dark.

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6 Ways to Stop Sibling Fighting

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Explain Yourself

Understanding that you’re not being arbitrary doesn’t always soothe kids’ immediate sense of injustice (see sweatshirt anecdote, above), but walking them through your logic isn’t a waste of breath, either. «It’s a good way to stimulate their development and understanding of fairness,» says Smetana. Try something like «The reason I let him stay up later than you is because younger kids need more sleep than older ones. When you’re his age, you will be able to stay up until the same time.» Reassure them that you’ve given the issue of fairness and their concerns a lot of thought. Myers suggests saying, «You have to realize that I treat everybody fairly, but I treat both of you differently depending on your needs.» Eventually, they’ll catch on.

 

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Top-10 Homework Tips

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Kids are more successful in school when parents take an active interest in their homework — it shows kids that what they do is important.

Of course, helping with homework shouldn’t mean spending hours hunched over a desk. Parents can be supportive by demonstrating study and organization skills, explaining a tricky problem, or just encouraging kids to take a break. And who knows? Parents might even learn a thing or two!

Here are some tips to guide the way:

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The Ultimate Road Trip Guide

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Packing

Long road trips with kids aren’t always fun fests. But they are doable, and at times even enjoyable.

Our tried-and-true tips:

  • Pack one small bag that contains clothes for the next day, an extra change of clothes (for spills), PJs, a toothbrush, and anything else you need for that day and night. It will be much easier to grab that than paw through the big suitcase.
  • Take your toddler’s blanket and pillow if there’s room. This is extra important if your road trip includes an overnight stay. Kids like their own stuff, particularly at bedtime in a strange place. If your child is out of his car seat, he may nod off more easily if he puts the pillow against the window and rests his head against it.
  • Babies and toddlers drop, spill, and spit up. Keep a roll of paper towels and a box of wipes in the front seat for easy cleanups. Keep a garbage bag handy too.

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10 Things Not to Say to Your Kids

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1. No (running, hitting, yelling, fill in the verb)!

Kids hear the word “no” far too frequently. You can always rephrase the sentence from a negative to a positive, which will correct the behavior without sounding critical. Train yourself to say what you want them to do instead of what you don’t. So, you can say “Walk, please” instead of “No running”.

2. Good job!

I have spent a good deal of time on articles on the difference between Praise vs. Encouragement, and this phrase is arguably the most commonly spoken praise children hear. Train yourself to respond with “You did it!” or “You got it!” or “You figured it out!”. Notice the common element is starting with the word “you” and then acknowledging what they worked at, rather than what you think about it.

3. Don’t argue with me.

Children are programmed to question, analyze and wonder about situations. This can sometimes present itself in an argumentative manner, but this is actually a normal part of development. Instead of cutting off the conversation, you can say, “I know you want my answer to be different, but it will not change”. You can also train yourself to make sure the child fully understands your response, with “I just told you my answer. Do you have a question about it?” This allows the child to present their opinion or get clarification. Either way, the child is allowed to express their thoughts or concerns and feel validated without an argument.

4. Wait until your Dad/Mom/other person finds out about this.

This does two things. First, it creates anxiety and fear in the child, especially of the person who you are going to tell about whatever happened. Second, it ignores your responsibility to deal with the issue at hand and passes it to someone else. By the time a child has gotten in trouble for something, they already feel guilty, sorry and embarrassed about it. Threatening to tell someone else rubs salt in the wound. Choose whether the other person really needs to know about the issue, and if yes, let the child decide who will tell them. “Do you choose to tell (Mom) what happened, or choose for me to tell her with you there to make sure that I explain it correctly?” This gives the child respect and responsibility for their actions.

5. If you do that one more time…

I can’t tell you the number of times I hear that phrase when around other parents, even though it is highly ineffective. First, you are threatening a child, which makes them fearful of you. Second, the threat is usually not something that is feasible to do (we are going home, you are going straight to bed, you don’t get dinner, you are grounded for a week, etc.) What we say in frustration is not only impractical but easily forgettable. Then we contradict our credibility. You can train yourself to be clear and concise, using choices. “If you choose to (continue that behavior), you choose to (receive whatever consequence has already been established as a punishment)”. You might say, “Erin, if you choose to poke your sister again, you choose to not watch TV for the rest of the day”. This clearly communicates the expectation and the consequence, without a threat.

6. You are doing that the wrong way. 

Parents tend to want control all of the time, and it takes work to allow kids to have freedom to do what they choose. Of course, there will be times when a task must be completed in a certain fashion (homework, etc.). However, many times we force kids to do something the “right way”, when it could have been done in several ways. If a child is coloring the grass purple, it is easy to tell them it must be green. A kid can sit down on a chair facing the back, and we make them turn around. Train yourself to acknowledge their behavior without a judgment, such as “You chose to sit the other way on the chair” or “You colored the grass purple instead”. This gives them the freedom to be creative and discover things without expectations.

7. That is what happens when you… 

We often try to teach lesson to kids about life at the most inappropriate times. If a child gets hurt because they were doing something dangerous or inappropriate, they already learned their lesson. It is wasted words to try to express a rule when a child is upset, as they focus on one thing at a time. Instead, train yourself to say, “You realized that you jumped off the chair and got hurt when you landed on the ground”, rather than, “See, that is what happens when you jump off the chair”. The former acknowledges that the child already figured out the problem, but is still comforting.

8. You can’t/Don’t do that. 

When redirecting behavior, it is difficult to know how to phrase things in the best manner. Telling a child that they can’t do something makes them prove that they can, by telling you or showing you that it is in fact possible. Telling a kid to not do something makes them want to argue or rebel. Train yourself to explain the reason behind your statement. “That is not safe” or “Your skin is not for coloring on” is specific and helps them learn why things are off limits, rather than just that they are.

9. We are (whatever the child doesn’t want to do at that moment), OKAY? 

In an attempt to be kind and loving to children, parents tend to ask kids for their approval. I understand the rationale behind it, but I believe it becomes a habit when trying to convince a child to comply. Parents will often say, “We are leaving the playground now and we’ll come back again, okay?” The reality is that asking your child if it is okay sets you up for an argument when the child says no. You already know that he doesn’t want to leave, or you wouldn’t be negotiating with him. Train yourself to state things in sentence form, while acknowledging the child’s feelings. “Kevin, I know you want to stay and play, but it is time to go. We can come back another day”. This helps the child feel understood, but still communicates that leaving is non-negotiable.

10. You are making me really mad right now. 

When I was a child and fought with my younger brother, I would complain to my mom that he made me mad about something. She would (and still does) respond with “No one can make you feel anything. You choose to get mad.” At the time, I hated that phrase. However, it is very true. Parents tend to let their children control their emotions when it is the parent who is ultimately responsible for how they feel. It is also important for kids to understand that they choose what they feel, and they are not creating emotions in you. Train yourself to say, “I need a break right now because I am getting upset” or “I am angry right now”. You can communicate your feelings to your children without placing the burden of cause on them.

Retraining your way of speaking will take time and energy, but can be done. I would encourage you to do it one step at a time, and feel proud when you hear yourself respond differently. It will not happen overnight, as I liken it to learning a new language, but it can happen with practice!

5 Tips to Get Your Kids Up for School

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Going back to school means the relaxed, lazy days of summer are about to give way to packed schedules, homework, after-school activities, and — toughest of all — waking the kids up early. The change of pace can be a jolt to the whole family.

So, how, after months of sleeping late, do you get the kids used to earlier wake-up times without creating household chaos first thing in the morning? Here are five tips to get your kids out of bed and off to school.

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Toy blocks and construction toys: A guide for the science-minded

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Toy blocks and other construction toys might not be as flashy as battery-powered robots or video games.

But as developmental psychologist Rachel Keen notes, parents and teachers «need to design environments that encourage and enhance problem-solving from a young age».

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Four Things You Should Do Now to Get Ready for Back to School

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As we get ready to say goodbye to the lazy days of summer, it’s time to turn our attention to the new school year. Whether you’re a student yourself or a parent responsible for one, make the often harsh transition a lot easier with these four tips for starting the school year off on the right foot.

1. Plan Out and Reset Your Daily Schedule

Many adults and children have different schedules during summer vacation than they do during the school year. Bedtimes and wake-up times creep later or simply become irregular. Two of the biggest keys to a student’s success, though, are getting enough sleep and sticking to a consistent routine, so now’s the time to ease into the new fall schedule.

  • Slowly move bedtimes and wake-up times back to what they should be during the school year. You can do this gradually over one or two weeks. If meal times or other regular routines have changed over the summer vacation, reset those as well.
  • Block out the school schedule (holidays, test days, etc.) on a calendar. For parents, a family calendar in a prominent place helps everyone see what’s going on at a glance, including after school activities and childcare. College students should map out their class schedule for the next semester and also block out times for studying, meal, exercise, and other essentials, as this 8-hour college day planner recommends. Web-based Semester Planner can help you organize the classes you’re taking and track assignments. Shoshiku is an alternative that also includes email alerts.
  • Figure out where you’re going. One of the biggest stressors at the start of school is if you’re going to a new building or your classes are in different locations than last year. College students should look at a campus map and plot out how they’re going to get from one place to the next, based on their schedule. Other students/parents should know the route to school, where the classrooms are, and how long it takes to get there.

2. Organize Your Workspace and Supplies

If you (or your child) don’t have an organized area to work in yet, now’s the time to get it set up.

  • Declutter and streamline the workspace. Make sure it’s a quiet, distraction-free place. Older students might benefit from using one of the many distraction-killing apps and tricks people in the workforce use.
  • Stock up on the supplies you need , including any organization accessories like file folders or desk trays.
  • If you’re buying a new computer for school, you might want to set the computer up before the first day of school, so you’re not fumbling with the PC at the last minute.
  • On the other hand, perhaps you shouldn’t buy textbooks ahead of time, depending on the class. Hack College offers this tip: “it may be wise to check ratemyprofessor.com to see if the professor of your class actually requires their students to use the textbook. If the site’s reviews say that you do not need the book for the class, then you can either not buy the book, or buy it from somewhere that you know you can return it, and receive a full refund.” Or rent or copy a textbook, perhaps.
  • Make sure you have a system for processing school work (a file accordion? Scanner and laptop?) and keeping upcoming assignments front and center. (I use a clear plastic folder by our front door to hold school notes and similar paperwork, and a file box to store student artwork and tests until I get a chance to process them.)
  • Speaking of paperwork, there’s often lots needed at the start of the year, such as medical forms or immunization records. Now’s the time to get those medical and other appointments out of the way so you can have the forms ready when you need them.

3. Get in the Back-to-School Mindset

The new school year is a refreshing time when you get to start anew. Then again, your mind might still be back at the beach. To get juiced up about the new semester:

  • Review your previous academic achievements. The summer might have made you forget about that awesome term paper you wrote last fall or the straight A’s in math. A quick review can not only energize you for the new school year, it can help you identify areas you might want to work on more this semester.
  • Set goals for yourself for this upcoming school year. Setting goals (and sticking with them) is an important skill students  of all ages can learn. Instead of vague goals like “get good grades,” come up with SMART goals like “During the first marking period, I will complete my homework during the hours of 6 to 7 p.m. on school nights at my desk in my bedroom. After completing my homework, I will put my homework in a homework folder and put it in my backpack. At school the next day I will turn in my homework to my teacher. I will revise this goal after receiving my first marking period report card.” Scholastic has a list of everyday study skills and activity sheets to learn about setting goals, managing time, and creating the right environment.

4. Start the First Week the Way You Want to Continue

Doing the above should help you get a good start on the school year. You can make the first week even easier by setting up the daily routines that make school life easier.

  • The weekend before, pick out outfits for the week with your child.(College students, this is up to you.) -Each night before school, prep lunch and snacks, and maybe even dinner.
  • Throughout the week, try to get to school early, check out the school’s resources, and start making friends in class. Since it’s the start of the term, it’s also a good time to visit the college counselor.
  • “Get ready for school!” checklist might help both young and older lazybones do what’s needed to get ready in the morning.

Have a great semester/school year!

 

Birth Day: Your Baby’s First 24 Hours of Life

While you’ve probably mapped out what your post-delivery hospital stay will entail, you may not realize that your baby will be twice as busy as you’ll be. Just five minutes after he arrives, he is poked, pricked, measured, tested, cleaned, and swaddled. Delivery procedures are different in every hospital, but here’s what’s likely to happen in the whirlwind that’s your baby’s first day.

Baby’s First Hours

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Your first day with your baby will be exciting (and emotional), as doctors and nurses examine him to ensure that he’s healthy — and teach you the essentials of caring for him. Knowing what to expect will make this special time feel more joyful and less overwhelming. While procedures vary by hospital, our time line will give you a sense of how the hours typically unfold, starting with the minute he’s born.

First 5 Minutes
As soon as your child arrives, the doctor will suction her mouth and nose to clear away mucus and amniotic fluid, and she should begin to breathe on her own. The doctor will then clamp and cut (or let your partner cut) the umbilical cord before determining your baby’s Apgar score, which is based on heart rate, color, reflex response, activity and muscle tone, and breathing at one minute and five minutes post-delivery. Scores can range from zero to ten, but anything above seven is generally considered healthy. Most babies score eight or nine, but if your baby tests lower, the cause will be addressed (say, she’s having trouble breathing) and testing will continue at five-minute intervals until the issue is resolved. Not to worry: Most infants who receive a low mark at birth go on to be healthy, happy babies. While you’re delivering the placenta, your newborn will be weighed and measured. Typically a nurse will wipe her clean and place her in a baby warmer until she’s able to maintain her own body temperature — a process that can take from a few minutes to a couple of hours. You may be able to watch all of this happen, but you also may be getting stitches, if necessary.

Hour 1
When you’re still in the delivery room, your baby will get antibiotic eye ointment to prevent eye infections that can result from passing through the birth canal. He’ll also receive a vitamin K shot in the thigh to prevent clotting problems. If you plan to breastfeed, you’ll be encouraged to try it. Even if you’ve had a C-section you can begin nursing as soon as you leave the operating room, provided that you’re comfortable, alert, and aren’t experiencing complications. If the doctor sends your baby to the neonatal intensive-care unit (NICU) because he was born prematurely or there’s a risk of infection, this bonding session will be postponed.

Hours 2 to 3
Now that your child’s initial tests have been completed, the two of you will spend time together in your hospital room or the recovery room, as long as both of you are well. At some point, the nurse will examine your baby to determine how well she’s adjusting to newborn life. She’ll also check her pulse, feel her abdomen, make sure her genitals have formed properly and verify that she has all ten fingers and toes. She’ll also record the Ballard score, in which your child’s head circumference, chest circumference, and length are measured to confirm her gestational age.

If your baby is premature, she’ll most likely remain in the nursery, where her temperature, heart rate, and respiratory rate can be closely monitored, and you’ll be able to visit. Her vitals will be checked every 30 minutes for the first two hours and then every four to six hours if all is on track. If her vitals aren’t stable after two hours, the NICU staff will perform more tests.

The Rest of the Day

Hours 4 through 22
You’ll spend this time learning how to care for your newborn. You’ll probably help a nurse give him his first bath and change his diaper once he passes his first bowel movement, called meconium. You’ll also learn how to swaddle and hold your baby, as well as how to handle his umbilical cord stump and his circumcision site (if he’s been circumcised). If you choose to breastfeed your baby, you’ll be nursing him every two to three hours. Most hospitals have a lactation consultant who will check in to see how you’re doing, even if you’ve breastfed before. If you don’t get a visit, ask for one.

Hours 23 and 24
By now your baby will have been formally evaluated by a pediatrician — unless a problem was discovered at birth, in which case this exam will have been done then. The doctor will assess risk factors for infection, check for malformations, and ensure that your child is feeding and breathing well. She’ll be checked for jaundice, which causes yellowish skin because bilirubin isn’t being broken down in the liver. Babies with the condition may be exposed to a special kind of light that helps break down bilirubin, and you’ll be encouraged to nurse your little one often to help eliminate the substance through her stool. In rare cases, if left untreated, jaundice can lead to brain damage. Additionally, your baby’s heel will be pricked to screen for up to 50 different metabolic diseases, depending on your state’s requirements, including sickle cell anemia and phenylketonuria (PKU). Performing this test any earlier is useless; blood levels in a baby don’t rise until 24 hours after she has begun to drink breast milk or formula, so there can be a higher incidence of a false negative if the test is performed too soon. This evaluation is extremely important — if your baby has one of these diseases, detecting and treating it early can substantially improve her prognosis.

Just Before Hospital Discharge
You’ll stay at the hospital 24 to 48 hours after having a routine vaginal delivery. If you’ve had a C-section, you’ll generally be there for three to four days. Right before you leave, your baby will receive a hearing test, in which he’ll wear a pair of headphones and an audiologist will monitor his brain waves in response to sound. He’ll also be weighed, and you’ll probably notice that his weight has dropped since birth. Don’t be alarmed. Fluid is moving from his extravascular system to his blood vessels, increasing his blood pressure and promoting the flow of oxygen to his organs. He’s urinating out the excess fluid, which causes a 5 to 7 percent dip in his birth weight, but he’ll gain back the weight after a few days of eating.

6 Best Small Pets to Consider for Your Child

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When you’re looking to add a pet to your family, there are many options to choose from other than cats and dogs. Plenty of cuddly and furry pets are more compact, easier to care for, affordable, and don’t require as much attention. Small pets are good options for children older than 5 because they can be a great way to teach responsibility, says Dr. Jennifer Graham, assistant professor at Tufts University’s Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine. To decide which small animal might work as a family pet, you should do as much research as you would when choosing a larger pet. Some of the most popular small pets, such as hamsters and guinea pigs, might look similar but are very different in terms of their needs and how they interact with kids. But if you’re looking for small pets that require less interaction and are just fun to watch, a gerbil or even a chinchilla might be right for your family. When deciding on a small pet for your family, consider these six options — some traditional and some unusual — and before you welcome the right pet into your home, keep in mind that each one has unique needs and characteristics.

Hamsters

This classic small pet is easy to care for and can even be trained to use litter, but hamsters can be rather nippy, and small breeds (females in particular) can be quite aggressive, warns Dr. Katherine Quesenberry, an exotic-pets expert at New York City’s Animal Medical Center. This makes some hamsters difficult to handle; Dr. Graham recommends getting a larger breed such as the Syrian hamster, which is more likely to adapt to being handled. A hamster should also be kept in a cage that is roomy, with tunnels and nesting areas for sleeping, but make sure you can clean the cage easily. A hamster will typically live for about three years, so consider how much your child will want to interact with it: If you think she will lose interest in caring for the hamster, these years might seem long, but they could also seem too short if the pet dies, giving your child her first exposure to death. Unless your child has experienced the loss of a family member or friend, the experience will undoubtedly be upsetting, though it can also provide the opportunity for an important life lesson. «It can be sad but also a way to introduce the idea that everything dies,» Dr. Graham says. «You can be there as your child goes through the experience.»

Guinea Pigs

Guinea pigs may be in the same rodent family as hamsters, but their demeanor couldn’t be more different. These rodents are gentle and have a sweet disposition, which makes them less likely to bite. Plus, they can be sociable, which means they won’t mind being handled — as long as they are held properly — and they won’t mind if young kids want to interact with them. These cuddly creatures are ideal for a kid who is just learning to take care of a pet because a guinea pig is less likely to get frustrated with its young caretaker. Consider getting another guinea pig as a companion, however, so the pet won’t get lonely. Guinea pigs have a longer life span — around five to seven years — than hamsters do, and they require more time and effort because of their bigger appetite for lots of hay and vegetables. This bigger appetite can make guinea pigs messier than other small mammals, so you might have to clean their cage more frequently as well.

Gerbils

«Gerbils are easy to take care of but not very hands-on,» Dr. Quesenberry says. «They’re fine for kids who don’t want to be that involved.» Unlike hamsters and guinea pigs, gerbils have a relatively short lifespan — about two years. It’s easy to feed gerbils because they have a standard diet similar to that of rats and hamsters: rodent pellets and food blocks, along with some supplemental seed mixes. Gerbils are not usually aggressive, so they can also be held, but they are very fast, so it won’t be easy to hold them for long. This quickness means a lot of activity in the cage, which could pique your child’s curiosity. Gerbils are more sensitive to their environment than other small animals, however, and humidity can give them respiratory and fur problems. If you are concerned that your environment might be too humid for a gerbil, consult a veterinarian.

Rats

A rat might not be the first pet on your list, but «they make some of the best pets for small children,» says Dr. Graham. «Rats can be calm, laid-back, not as nippy as other small mammals, and they can be handled a lot.» They make ideal pets if you want your child to develop a strong bond with a pet, because they are interactive and able to learn tricks, such as retrieving objects and navigating mazes or obstacle courses. Since rats enjoy interacting with people and things, providing a number of toys and accessories, from ropes to paper-towel rolls, will keep them happy and occupied. Rats are also easy to care for and require a standard rodent diet of food blocks. However, like gerbils, rats have a short lifespan ranging from two to three years.

Rabbits

These popular pets are good for young children as long as there is also adult supervision. Like guinea pigs, rabbits are good for younger kids because they usually have a very gentle and sociable nature. While larger breeds can be especially gentle, Dr. Quesenberry advises that all rabbits should be spayed or neutered to prevent any aggression (and to prevent uterine cancer in females). This is especially important if you want to keep more than one rabbit in the same space. A rabbit can live from 8 to 12 years, can be litter-trained, and is easy to care for. Dr. Quesenberry notes that a proper diet is very important to ensure the animal’s health and happiness: grass hay, rabbit pellets, and vegetables.

Chinchillas

Chinchillas are a more exotic option for kids who want to watch what their pet does rather than have direct interaction with it. Although they’re gentle, chinchillas can be very agile and quick and may not be appropriate for young children who aren’t able to handle them, Dr. Quesenberry says. They need a diet of chinchilla pellets and hay, with vegetables as a treat. Unlike their small-pet counterparts, chinchillas should be provided with a dust bath instead of a water bath. Buy chinchilla dust (specially formulated to mimic the dust in their native habitat) and place it in a sturdy bowl or deep dish, or purchase a dust house. A chinchilla needs a dust bath two to three times a week, given outside of its cage; the cage should be multilevel so it can climb up and down. With a lifespan of around 12 to 15 years, chinchillas tend to live much longer than guinea pigs and other rodents.

Hedgehogs

These spiny mammals may not make cuddly pets, but they are cute, friendly, and relatively long-lived, with a lifespan of five to seven years. And if hedgehogs are handled while still young, they will grow to be social with your child. A downside is that you might find yourself spending more money caring for them. «Hedgehogs require more care and are prone to more health problems than other small pets,» says Dr. Quesenberry. «They have a higher incidence of disease and sometimes develop oral cancer and get mites, so your vet bills may be a bit higher for a hedgehog.» Hedgehogs also require a different diet containing vegetables and special food with protein because they are omnivores. Sometimes cat food can fulfill the requirement, but you should consult your veterinarian. When considering getting a hedgehog as a pet, make sure to check your local state laws — it’s illegal to own these small mammals in certain states.

 

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