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Daylight Saving Time - Help your children adjust

Daylight Saving Time is approaching quickly. In fact, the ‘spring forward’ time change is scheduled for Sunday, March 14, 2010 when the clocks will move forward one hour. Adults know the adjustments it takes for their body to recognize the difference in sleep patterns; children are no acceptance.

Children, especially smaller children, have an internal clock that adjusts to daylight and the lack of daylight rather than the numbers on their parents’ watch. One hour does not seem that hard to adjust to, but with children, it can be quite difficult. Jodi Mindell, Ph.D., a professor of psychology at Saint Joseph's University in Philadelphia who specializes in pediatric sleep says, "That hour is more difficult for kids to deal with than flying cross-country to a whole new time zone," stating, "It can throw off their sleep, appetite, attention span, mood, everything."

It can sometimes take 7-10 days for a child’s internal clock to reset after a time change. One easy step to help your children adjust: Bedtime. Begin shifting your child’s bedtime a day, or even several days, before Daylight Saving Time. Gradually put your child to bed earlier each night, starting with fifteen to twenty minutes earlier than their normal bedtime, and increase it until DST comes.

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