Here is a quick look at some headlines from this week impacting the lives of kids 0-5 and their families. The purpose of these stories is simply to inform, and they do not necessarily reflect First 5 Kern's areas of support or efforts towards these issues.

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Now for the headlines........

What happens when you have a child that requires special around-the-clock attention ? In all too many cases, at least one parent must leave the work force, and sometimes learning how to navigate the medical/insurance/medical equipment waters is a full-time job in itself.

This in-depth article from the San Diego Union Tribune dives headfirst into those waters and explains the sacrifices parents and caregivers of children with disabilities go through.

RELATED: A recent article focused on a Los Angeles-based organization of nurses , called Angels in Waiting, who step in to care for medically vulnerable babies and toddlers who are in the foster care system. They boast about five dozen members and their numbers are growing.

The Medically Vulnerable Care Coordination Project exists locally to bring together agencies across the medical spectrum to help make this process clearer for families in Kern County. It has been a First 5 Kern-funded program since 2010.

Home visiting programs are seen as a constructive way to help new moms raise healthier babies, and can sometimes have a tremendous impact. But this interesting article from The 74 - which is a website dedicated to education news and issues - takes Home Visiting a step further and sees it as a way to help parents get their kids prepared to begin school.

It only takes seconds for a child to drown , and drowning is one of the leading causes of childhood deaths in the U.S. every year. The AAP places kids aged 1-4 at the highest risk. A CBS news feature is stressing recommendations that children begin swimming lessons at one year old.

First 5 Kern funds two "learn to swim" programs aimed at kids under the age of five: Make-A-Splash in Bakersfield, and the Kern Valley Aquatics Program in Weldon, the latter of which is holding a Polar Bear Plunge fundraiser on April 5. Summer is right around the corner, so make plans to sign your kids up as soon as they release their 2019 class information.

USA Today featured an article this week referencing new recommendations by the American Academy of Pediatrics regarding food allergies and how to help prevent them from developing in your children. This story received widespread coverage, and supports the growing belief that delaying exposure to traditionally allergenic foods does nothing to prevent the allergies from forming.

In the study, o nly 1.9% of kids introduced to peanuts around 4-6 months of age developed an allergy, compared to 13.7% of kids who waited until they were 5 years of age.

RELATED NEWS: A California teenager is eligible for a national award after designing a DNA test to detect whether someone has a food allergy . His test, which began as an idea he had while he was 14, stems from his personal experience.

Administrators and teachers alike in New Haven, Conn., appear to regret their decision a few years back to decrease recess time in order to squeeze in more instruction for their youngest students. A school committee meeting this week brought experts and parents into the fold to present the case for bringing play time back for kids up to third grade.

The evidence for play-based learning is there, and this is an interesting read as they figure out a potential new path for their kids.

It was a busy week for stories on children's issues. Here are some other great reads:

This video from EDWeek on how to help your child learn to love reading , is a quick how-to guide for parents on reading with their kids. Plus, the video includes a Pete the Cat book, prominently, so that's like a bonus.

We went to the website, , earlier for the home visiting story, but they also had an upbeat story about a kindergarten teacher who cut her hair to look like her student and put an end to her bullying.

Many states are seeing a dramatic increase in minimum wage . This public radio interview out of Illinois discusses what that may mean for child care employees and the child care industry.

If a woman describes her childbirth experience as having felt like she was hit by two trucks simultaneously, you probably need to read that story .

Harvard Health published a blog post this week aiming to educate parents about how to prevent poisonings in children.

A pediatrician in Shreveport, Louisiana, has taken matters into her own hands after a concerning number of her child patients were suffering from low self-esteem. Her new book I am cool was her answer, and it's getting some well-deserved attention .

The City of Baltimore is reviewing their Safe Sleep education program after seeing a spike in SIDS-related deaths early in 2019.
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...about First 5 Kern
First 5 Kern was established in 1998 when California voters passed Proposition 10, which levied a 50-cent tax on tobacco products. Revenues generated from the tobacco tax are used to fund local programs in the areas of health and wellness, early childcare and education, and parent education and support services that promote early childhood development for children ages zero to five.

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Special thanks to Vecteezy for assistance on graphics