About Jen Thorpe

I have a B.S. in Education and am a former teacher and day care worker. I started working as a freelance writer in 2010 and have written for many topics here at Families.com.

Some Teens are Having Bariatric Surgery

Teenagers who are obese might have the option of having bariatric surgery. Previously, this type of weight loss surgery was only offered to adults. Although it isn’t the best choice for every teenager, there are some teens who can greatly benefit from it. The New York Times reported in February of 2017 that the number of adolescents who are overweight or obese has leveled off in recent years. But the number who are severely obese – heavy enough to qualify for bariatric surgery – has nearly doubled from 1999 to 2014. Previously, 5.2 percent of adolescents were severely obese. That … Continue reading

The Many Ways that Toddlers Play

Toddlers are very interested in exploring their world. They haven’t yet developed the social skills that preschools use to play with other kids. Parents might wonder what their toddler is thinking when he or she starts playing with “boring” household objects. Here is some insight about what’s going on. Parallel Play One of the earliest ways for toddlers to be social with each other is through parallel play. One toddler sits on the floor next to a huge pile of cars and trucks. She selects one, and starts rolling it back and forth on the floor in front of her. … Continue reading

New Jersey has a Baby Box Initiative

New Jersey has become the first state to adopt what has been called the Baby Box initiative. The idea comes from Finland and is also used in Canada. The main purpose of the program is to reduce the chances of sudden infant death syndrome. The New Jersey Baby Box Initiative was inspired by the Finnish Baby Box intervention, which has led to Finland having the lowest infant mortality rates in the world. New Jersey’s Child Fatality & Near Fatality Review Board (CFNFRB) now offers free Baby Boxes to every new or expecting family in New Jersey. The Baby Box itself … Continue reading

Teach Your Kids How to Spot Fake News

Parents should give their children the tools they need to safely navigate their way through the plethora of information that can be found online. Teach them how to spot fake news. Fake news is an article, website, or social media post that was created with intentionally false information. It is usually designed to evoke a strong emotional response – which urges people to share the fake news on social media. Example: Someone made a Twitter account that used what looked a lot like the icon for the BBC. The fake account used a photo of the Queen of England and … Continue reading

Everything You Need to Know About Norovirus

Flu season typically reaches its peak between late January and March. There is a lot of focus on Influenza which can be prevented by getting vaccinated every year. The “flu” vaccine cannot prevent Norovirus. Here is a quick look at everything a parent needs to know about Norovirus. There is no vaccine for Norovirus. Unfortunately, there is no vaccine to prevent Norovirus. Part of the difficulty involved in making a vaccine is that Norovirus can mutate and that it is a virus that lives in the gut. Some companies are working on a Norovirus vaccine, but it isn’t ready yet. … Continue reading

Babee On Board Helps Pregnant Commuters Find a Seat

Many people understand that certain seats on public transportation are set aside for those who would have difficulty standing for the whole trip. Those seats are for people who are disabled, elderly, or pregnant. An app that has been released in the UK is helping pregnant commuters find a seat. Babee On Board is an app created by a company called 10x and they are based on London. They want to make public transport stress-free for everyone. Their app is simple to use and unobtrusive. It is an improvement over their previously released Babee on Board badge, which was hardware … Continue reading

Where to Find Free Valentine Printables

Want a fun, free, activity that your kids can do for Valentine’s Day? There are plenty of Valentine’s Day coloring sheets that you can print out for free. They make wonderful Valentine’s Day cards for grandparents and relatives that live far away. In addition, there are also some kid-friendly Valentine’s Day cards that parents can print out and their kids can sign and give to their classmates. Printable Valentine Coloring Pages Crayola.com has two Valentine’s day inspired coloring pages. Both of them are cute and have large spaces that little kids will find easy to color. Choose a Cupid or … Continue reading

The Best Way to Clean Baby and Toddler Toys

Have you ever wondered how sanitary your baby or toddler’s toys are? Most toddlers have the ability to grab toys and put them into their mouths. This is especially true for babies and toddlers that are teething. Keeping toys clean can help prevent illness from spreading. Does your baby or toddler use a teething toy? Good Housekeeping recently reported that a popular toddler teething toy called Sophie the Giraffe has the potential to grow mold inside it. Some parents, who cut apart Sophie the Giraffe, discovered that the inside was coated with black mold. Carolyn Forte, the Director of the … Continue reading

ACOG Released a New Opinion on Delayed Cord Clamping

For decades, the prevailing viewpoint among healthcare practitioners was that it was best to cut the umbilical cord within 15 to 20 seconds after a baby was born. A new opinion from the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists changes their previous recommendations regarding delayed umbilical cord clamping after birth. The umbilical cord functions as a lifeline between mother and baby. The baby receives oxygen rich blood from his or her mother through the umbilical cord. The umbilical cord is also the baby’s way of removing carbon dioxide and waste products. For decades, health practitioners would clamp the umbilical cord, … Continue reading

How to Childproof Your Toddler’s Room

Toddlers are really good at getting into things that parents wish they would leave alone. A viral video that showed a dresser falling over onto twin toddler boys made many parents want to learn how to childproof their toddler’s room. You may have seen the viral video that showed two twin toddlers climbing up their dresser when they were supposed to be sleeping. The two-year-old boys, Bowdy and Brock, figured out how to open up the bottom drawers of the dresser and use them like a step so they could climb up to the top of the dresser. Unfortunately, the … Continue reading