Dehydration In Kids

Children and adults normally lose water through sweat; especially during hot weather, extended physical activity or because of fever. It’s also lost through urine, stool, tears, vomit and breathing. The water and salts lost must be replenished for normal body functions to continue; usually from water and salts in our diet.

Dehydration can have severe consequences if not treated in time thus action to rehydrate the body must be taken as soon as signs of dehydration are noticed.

Signs of dehydration

These include:

  • Lack of tears when crying
  • A sunken fontanel
  • Irritability and lethargy. If the child is older, he/she may feel dizzy or exhausted
  • Dry, sticky mouth
  • Eyes that appear sunken
  • Small amounts of deep yellow urine or total lack of urine for 6 to 8 hours in infants
  • In older children, there is little dark yellow urine or no urine at all for 12 or more hours
  • Cool, dry skin

dehydration-in-kids

Treating dehydration

  • Dehydration is normally treated by rehydration measures to replenish fluids and restore the required level of water and salts in the body. Mild dehydration from exertion can be treated by giving the probably thirsty child a lot of fluid then letting him/her rest in a cool place. While other fluids can do, plain water is preferred.
  • If illness is causing mild to moderate dehydration in a toddlers, fluids can be replenished with an Oral Rehydration Solution (ORS), which can be bought at a pharmacy. ORS has the correct balance of sugar and salts needed by the body. It should be administered over 3 to 4 hours according to instructions using a spoon or oral syringe every few minutes. As the child recovers, you can give more ORS less often. This treatment can also be used in vomiting children since small amounts of fluid can be absorbed between vomiting episodes.
  • If you still nurse your infant, continue breastfeeding him/her unless vomiting is persistent. Give ORS between breastfeeding intervals but stop giving him/her formula until no sign of dehydration remains.
  • Drinks such as soda, fruit juice, chicken broth, sports drinks and tea should be avoided since they don’t have the required mix of sugar and salt. Other treatment methods such as withholding food for over 24 hours or maintaining the BRAT diet don’t meet the child’s nutrition needs and are not recommended. Over-the-counter medications for vomiting and diarrhea should also be avoided.
  • If ORS is not effective and the child is vomiting persistently, has frequent diarrhea or can’t swallow, take him/her to a hospital near you. Intravenous fluids may have to be given.

Preventing dehydration

  • Ensure enough fluid intake
  • During strenuous activity, your child should take fluids about every 20 minutes
  • Try to ease pain if a sore throat prevents a child from drinking or eating. Fever should also be controlled.
  • Ensure that your child drinks enough fluids often in hot weather and avoid scheduling physically demanding activities for hottest hours of the day.

Rehydration and gastroenteritis

If your child has a mild case of “stomach flu” but is not dehydrated, keep feeding him or her as usual but avoid fatty or very sugary foods. Foods such as complex carbohydrates, lean meats, fruits, vegetables and yogurt are often well tolerated by children who have gastroenteritis but aren’t dehydrated.

 

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Tips for Traveling with Infants

Whether you are traveling for business or pleasure, there is a chance that you might find yourself traveling with an infant, and in this case, there are many things for you to consider. Traveling with an infant is unlike traveling with a small child, or even a toddler, so whether you are a parent or a babysitter, it is important to be prepared, especially if it is going to be a longer trip. Though it is easy to get anxious and concerned about this situation, the truth is that many people travel with small infants and if they remember to take the proper precautions, the trip can actually go quite smoothly.

tips-for-traveling-with-infants

The important thing to remember is that an infant, just like everyone else, has things that need to be packed and day to day needs. Of course, the first things to remember are the day to day hygiene supplies. Diapers, diaper rash cream, wipes, and a reusable pad to change your baby on are all basic things that you will find in your normal gear, so remember to pack these. Look around for travel-sized bottles of baby wash, baby lotion and disinfecting hand gel to make sure that you can keep everything tidy, and don’t forget to bring a good change of clothes, especially ones that can easily be washed clean.

As a general rule, remember that blankets in the car are usually a good idea; you can cover yourself when nursing, keep your baby shaded or cushioned as well provide a soft and clean place to sit down if your baby wants to roam a bit. Remember extra pacifiers, and if your baby is on solid foods, remember baby food and an easy to carry and clean plastic feeding set. Take a look at everything your normally use to feed and water your baby, from formula to juice to sippy cups to plastic nipples, and bring those along as well.

If you are going to be on the road for more than one night, a few things can make it easier for you as well. Take some time to find a good nightlight, to make sure that you won’t be stumbling blearily around your hotel room at 3 AM, and just in case of bumps and contusions, remember to pack a first aid kit. If you are going to be going some place where you are going to be walking a great deal, remember that a snuggle sack will help you keep your hands free for other things. For your own convenience, you may wish to think about purchasing an inflatable tub, a collapsible stroller or a travel playpen to keep your child occupied.

Traveling with an infant can in no way be considered lightweight, but rest assured that if you take the proper precautions, it will not turn into the disaster that you might fear. When all is said and done, don’t forget the digital camera, either.

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Preschool Thanksgiving crafts

Even little ones can participate in making crafts for holidays, and we have found some great ideas for preschool Thanksgiving crafts that are fun and easy to make. With especially small children, you will most likely have to help a little with assembly, but you can let your child be creative and go crazy with decorating and gluing as their skill level will allow. We have a couple of ideas for you to try for some cute preschool Thanksgiving crafts.

One of the especially easy preschool Thanksgiving crafts we like is to let your child make placemats for Thanksgiving dinner. For this craft, you’ll need a dried corn cob without the kernels on it. You can usually find tons of these in fields. If you have them with kernels, let your child pick off the kernels – this is what popcorn is, you know! Then you can pop it later for a yummy snack!

thanksgiving-kids-crafts

Take some poster paint and cover the corn cob with paint. Have your child roll the cob onto a piece of large paper to make a fun design. After the paint is dried, let the kids decorate the remaining of the paper with leaf cutouts which are colored, stickers, and crayons or markers. The more detail, the more fun they are. Make several of these with the cob painted different colors. Have them laminated and you have some great, fun, and creative placemats made with the little hands of your child.

preschool-kids-crafts

Another great preschool Thanksgiving crafts project involves making a turkey out of your child’s hand and foot prints. You will have to help with this a little bit, but preschoolers are going to love how these turn out. First, trace your child’s foot on a piece of brown construction paper. Do not trace the toes! Then trace two handprints from yellow, red, and orange construction paper. Do trace the individual fingers. Cut out the hand and foot prints. The heel of the foot print will be the turkey’s head. Draw on a turkey face and then arrange the hand prints behind the foot print for the feathers. Have your child glue them on. Cut two strips of brown construction paper for legs and fold them accordion style. Make yellow feet out of construction paper and then glue them onto the bottom of the body and you are done!

There are many, many other ideas for preschool Thanksgiving crafts online. One great site with tons and tons of preschool Thanksgiving crafts can be found at www.preschooleducation.com. Then enjoy crafting time with your little one!

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Top Toddler-Feeding Essentials

Toddlers are notoriously picky eaters and yours is likely no exception. Following his first year of rapid growth, your toddler will gain weight more slowly during his second year and will need less food. This developmental change, combined with a day care going toddler‘s growing need for independence and his inability to sit still for prolonged periods, can turn the dinner table into a battleground.

When your toddler turns his nose up at a new food or refuses to eat or drink something that was a favorite at one time, don’t worry. For toddlers, what and how much they are willing to eat may vary daily. Just offer food that packs lots of nutrition in small doses and makes mealtime fun.

toddler-feeding-essentials

• Make Every Calorie Count- Children ages 1 to 3 years of age require 1,000 to 1,300 calories a day, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP). So making sure your toddler gets enough nutrient-rich foods along with enough calories to help him or her active and going. Some of these foods, include pasta, peanut butter, potatoes, cheese, eggs, sweet potatoes, and yogurt.

• Offer Unique Ways to Try Foods-Be creative with meals as well as with presentation. Finger foods can make mealtime fun for a toddler. Offering different ways to try foods can also make them more appealing. Many toddlers love to eat foods that they can dunk in a dip, such as cream cheese, fruit preserves or guacamole. Foods that can be spread on bread or crackers or sprinkled onto main courses are also popular with the toddler set.

• Let Your Child Drink it Up-If your child would rather drink than eat, making nutritious drinks such as smoothies with milk, fruit and yogurt can be a great, healthy snack. Offering drinks in a fun new spill-proof cup, such as the Cupsicle Straw Cup by Munchkin, can keep your child refreshed throughout the day. The Cupsicle is insulated with Ice Cold Crystals that hold the cold inside once the cup is chilled. Just place the cup in the fridge or freezer before use, fill it with a nutritious drink and relax. You know he’s much more likely to drink those important fluids if they’re fresh and cold. And because fluids and nutrition are important at any age, there is a Cupsicle for every stage of a child’s development.

• Be a Good Role Model-One of the most effective ways to ensure that your child develops healthy eating habits is to model your own enthusiasm for nutritious food. Limit your intake of junk food and alcohol and eliminate smoking from the household. If your toddler sees you engage in healthful eating and exercise habits, chances are he will grow to want to as well.

While at times overwhelming, working through your toddler’s picky eating habits can be achieved with a little ingenuity and a whole lot of patience. Following these essential steps will help ensure your child is getting the nutrients he needs to stay healthy and strong.

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Uneven infants’ head shape

It’s not unusual to see newborn babies whose heads are slightly uneven.  Babies’ skulls are very malleable and therefore, slight pressure during birth or from lying extensively in the same position (positional plagiocephaly) can alter its shape. One side of the child’s head may appear flatter than the other. The cheekbone on this side may slightly protrude and the ear may appear as though it has been pushed for forward. A baby’s head also has soft, flat spots known as fontanels.

An unevenly shaped head is hardly a cause for worry though it doesn’t hurt to discuss it with your doctor. Positional plagiocephaly is considered a cosmetic issue that resolves on its own as the baby develops while the fontanels round out by about 6 months of age. At birth and in subsequent visits to the doctor, the shape of the baby’s head and the fontanels are examined to make sure that nothing is wrong. This is usually done regularly through the first year of the baby’s life. Nevertheless, changing the baby’s position often can help even out the shape of the head. Below are some of the changes you can make:

Uneven head shape

Change sleeping position

Keep placing the infant baby to sleep on his back but change the direction to which his head faces. If the baby changes back to the original position during sleep, change his position the next time. You can also change his position when breastfeeding by alternating arms each time he feeds.

Hold him

Instead of leaving the baby in his carrier, swing or infant seat for long, hold him more when he’s awake. This helps to relieve the pressure on his head.

Tummy time

Tummy time helps develop upper body strength and encourages crawling but it also helps to relieve pressure from the head. Under close supervision, place the baby on his tummy on a flat, firm surface to play.

A little creativity

Find a position that will force the baby to get off the flattened side of the head in order to track movement or look at you. Occasionally move the baby’s crib to give him a different vantage point.

Molded helmet (Cranial orthotic therapy)

If the unevenness doesn’t resolve by the time your baby is 4 months old, the doctor may prescribe a helmet, molded to shape the head. This helmet guides growth and is usually recommended for babies between 4 and 6 months old. The therapy normally takes several months during which the baby is required to wear the helmet for 23 hours per day. Above age 1, the treatment becomes ineffective since the skull is no longer as malleable as it was.

The treatments above are positional molding measures that are effective in treating positional plagiocephaly. Other causes of unevenness may require different treatments depending on the cause.

Other treatments

If the child has an underlying muscle problem that causes his head to tilt to one side, physical therapy may be recommended. The therapy helps the baby to change his head position more freely. Surgical treatment may be recommended during infancy if the unevenness is caused by premature fusing of some skull bone plates. The surgery separates the fused bones; allowing enough space for proper brain growth. Disclaimer: Information on this website is not medical or dental advice, its for general information only. For more accurate medical and dental information please contact your pediatrician and dentist.

 

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Treatments for cradle cap

Cradle cap is a condition in which your baby starts shedding yellowish or brownish scales from the head.  It is also known as infantile seborrheic dermatitis. It looks like dandruff and is liked to having an oily skin. Doctors however don’t know what exactly causes it. The mother’s hormones or a yeast infection are also thought to contribute to its occurrence. It is generally harmless and doesn’t affect the child in any way but if severe, it can cause itching. As baby grows, cradle cap will soon be a thing of the past. Despite this, cradle cap is not pretty and you may want to get rid of it especially if the baby’s scalp is itchy. There are several treatments for cradle cap which can help you get rid of it.

You can treat cradle cap by washing the infant child’s scalp with shampoos made specifically for fighting cradle cap. Loosening the flakes through a gentle scalp massage or brushing it off lightly with a soft brush should be effective. Shampooing the baby’s scalp frequently but not more than once a day also help to treat cradle cap. Regular shampooing keeps oil produced by the scalp from accumulating and creating a favorable environment for cradle cap to develop. Make sure that you rinse off all shampoo from the baby’s hair each time you wash.

Treatments for cradle cap

Treating cradle cap with natural oils

Pure natural oils such as olive oil, almond and coconut oil can be used to get rid of the flakes. Rub olive oil, almond or coconut oil on the baby’s scalp; leave it on for a while. After about 15 minutes clean it gently using a clean, soft brush or simply massage the scalp with your fingers.  A fine toothed comb can also be used to gently remove the flakes. You can apply coconut oil and leave on for the night then brush it off in the morning. Shea butter can also help in softening and getting rid of the scalp. Simply rub some Shea butter on the child’s head then comb the flakes off gently.

After brushing the flakes off, use a mild baby shampoo to wash off the oil from the baby’s scalp. Let the shampoo sit on the head for a short while then rinse it off thoroughly. This helps get rid of the oil better. You don’t want to leave the oil on the scalp as it can clog the baby’s pores and make a bad situation worse.

Vaseline

Many mothers swear by the effectiveness of Vaseline for getting rid of the flakes in cradle cap. Try it by simply applying Vaseline on the baby’s scalp at night.

Should you see a doctor?

For severe cases of cradle cap where nothing you try seems to work, it may be necessary to take your baby to a doctor. This is especially important if it has spread beyond the baby’s scalp to other parts of the body. If there’s any bleeding from the affected area, you should also talk to your doctor. He may prescribe an antidandruff shampoo or cortisone cream for scalp inflammation. If he determines that the cause is a fungal infection, he will prescribe an antifungal cream for you to use. Disclaimer: Information on this website is not medical or dental advice, its for general information only. For more accurate medical and dental information please contact your pediatrician and dentist.

 

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Treating Diaper Rash

Babies can get diaper rash despite the caregivers’ best effort to prevent it. These are rashes on the baby’s genital area that appear as red scales or splotches. It thrives in warm, damp parts of the body. It is caused by sensitivity to new products and food, irritation from urine or stool, yeast or bacterial infection, a tight diaper or by an allergic reaction triggered by the diaper.

Diaper rash occurs more often when the baby is left to wear dirty diapers for too long. It is also common in older babies from 9 to 12 months of age and when they begin taking solid food. The risk is also higher when she has diarrhea, sleeps in soiled diapers or if you are taking antibiotics while nursing. It can be a source of great discomfort for the baby but there are remedies you can use to treat it.

Treating diaper rash

Clean and dry

Fight diaper rash by depriving it of the warm, moist environment it loves by keeping the baby clean and dry. You should clean the infant baby’s bottom gently and thoroughly by using a soft cloth and water to wipe the area. Water is best for cleaning the baby’s genital area since wipes contain chemicals that can irritate the skin. At bath time, use mild baby soap and pat the area dry before you put a fresh diaper on. Never rub a baby’s sore bottom.

Diapers

Leaving the baby without a diaper is even better for fighting diaper rash but when she wears one, make sure it’s clean and dry. Use a superabsorbent disposable diaper or well cleaned nappies. The nappies should be cleaned with mild unscented detergent and rinsed thoroughly so that harsh chemicals aren’t left behind. Change the diaper as soon as it is soiled. The diaper should be fitted loosely as a tight diaper would cause further irritation. Always wash your hands before and after changing diapers.

Barrier creams and jellies

Apply a cream or paste that contains titanium dioxide or zinc oxide on the baby’s bottom. This helps to soothe the baby’s skin and protect the skin from contact with irritants such as feces.

Anti-fungal creams

If the rash has developed into a secondary fungal infection with the skin appearing bright red and raw, applying an antifungal cream prescribed by your doctor can get rid of it. Over-the-counter creams containing Clotrimazole, Nystatin and Ketaconazole can also help but should be used with caution. Visit your doctor for a proper diagnosis when you notice these symptoms.

Oatmeal bath

Soaking the rash in lukewarm bath water mixed with ¾ cup of finely blended oatmeal for 10 minutes helps soothe the stinging or itchiness of the rash.

Cornstarch

Applying cornstarch on the bottom helps reduce friction and keep the area dry. This should however not be applied on rashes caused by yeast infection.

Other treatments such as Mylanta which contain antacids can also be used to treat the raw, wet bottom. These treatments can be applied on the baby’s skin and then covered by a your favorite diaper cream and a layer of sealant such as Vaseline. Disclaimer: Information on this website is not medical or dental advice, its for general information only. For more accurate medical and dental information please contact your pediatrician and dentist.


 

 

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Transitioning to the toddler bed

Children have to move from the crib or family bed to their own toddler bed at some point. This is a trying time especially for the kid and it may take a while for her to get used to her new bed. Here’s how you can help make the transition easier.

Timing

Don’t make the transition too soon. Unless she constantly tries to get out of the crib and is likely to hurt herself in the process, wait as long as possible. Avoid making the transition at a time when the child is undergoing other changes such as potty training or when you are moving houses. The changes may too much for the child to handle all at the same time.

Transitioning to the toddler bed

If the reason for the move is to make room for another baby, it helps to make the transition a few months before the new baby arrives. This gives her time to adjust to her new sleeping environment before someone else takes over her crib.

Bedtime routine

Create a bedtime routine for your child before the transition. After you’ve moved her to her bed, ensure that the same routine is maintained.

Bedding

When it’s time for the big transition, let the child take part in selecting the beddings. Having her involved in this process can help get her excited about the change. If necessary, let her move with some of the things she used in the crib. You can also help prepare her for the switch by talking to her about it. Point out how cool having a “big kid” bed is. It helps to use some of her friends who sleep in their own bed as examples.

Safety

Note that the child is not used to the vast freedom offered by the toddler bed. Take the necessary precautions to protect the child from getting hurt as a result of falling off the new bed. For instance, as a safety precaution, you can place a mattress or pillows on the floor next to the bed so that if she falls she won’t be hurt. You can also use bed rails to keep her from falling. With this freedom she might also wander at night without you hearing her. As a safety measure, find ways of blocking the door such as placing a gate at the door or using door handle covers and knob protectors.

Put her to bed exhausted

With the transition, the child may find it difficult to fall asleep. In order to help her sleep quickly, take her to bed when she is tired. Encourage extra play during the day so that by bedtime she’s tired and sleepy.

Maintain consistency

Consistency and firmness helps the child adapt better to her new sleeping arrangement. If for instance during the first days she keeps getting out of bed, gently but firmly put her back in her bed. If she cries, stay and comfort her. To help her adjust, you can sit on her bed until she starts sleeping; gradually moving your sitting position further away from the bed towards the door each time.

 

 

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Toy Safety Tips

When buying a toy, there’s a lot more factors to consider aside from whether the child will love it or not. Toy safety is of utmost importance. The safety of the child when she is playing with toy cannot be taken lightly. Several factors determine whether a toy is safe for the child or not.

toy safety tips for kids

What to look out for

When you are selecting a toy for your child you must check it well for any sharp edges, small loose parts such as buttons wheels and eyes, which can cause the baby to choke. You should also stay away from small toys with parts that have a diameter of 1.75 inches or less for the same reason. Strings that exceed 7 inches in length, and parts that can pinch the little fingers should also be avoided.  Long strings can lead to strangulation if they become entangled around the baby’s neck.

If the toy is battery-operated, carefully check to make sure that it covered with screw-secured cases so that the baby doesn’t access the battery. Not only do batteries pose the risk of chocking, they can also lead to chemical burns and internal bleeding if swallowed. Any electric toys you purchase must also be UL-approved. Remember also that babies put things in their mouth all the time and the toys are no exception. Therefore, another important factor to consider is whether the toy has any toxic chemicals that can harm the child. This is especially true for soft plastic toys and stuffed animal coated with flame resistant chemicals. To avoid most of the dangers posed by these hazards, below are some tips to help you ensure that your child is safe.

  • Check the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) recall page as well to ascertain that the product has not been recalled.
  • Select age-appropriate toys. Most manufacturers include a recommended age for their toys. Buy toys according to those recommendations to keep your child safe.
  • Riding toys must always be stable and should have safety straps to keep the baby from falling off. It is important that the manufacturer’s age recommendations are followed at all times even if the child is able to sit unsupported.
  • Avoid hand-me-down toys but if you must, study them carefully for any signs of damage. Homemade toys can also be dangerous to child because they have not been tested for safety.
  • Toys which shoot objects are best avoided since they can lead to choking or injure the baby’s eyes.
  • Keep older kids’ toys out of the baby’s reach.
  • Toy storage containers can cause suffocation when the child gets trapped inside. Avoid them or make sure that there is no chance of the child getting trapped.
  • Avoid toys with flammable materials.
  • Keep latex gloves and balloons away from the baby and older toddler children up to 8 years old because if they chew on them or blow them up, they can choke from inhaling them if they pop.
  • Vending machine toys might be too small and can cause choking while the stuffed animals bought at carnivores may not meet safety standards. Avoid them as much as possible.
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Safety devices for childproofing your home

Injuries caused by hazards inside and around the home occur rather often. Most of these injuries can be easily avoided by childproofing your home. There are many relatively inexpensive safety devices that can help protect the child around the home. Below are some of the devices available.

Safety devices for childproofing your home

Safety locks and latches

Drawers and cabinets are a good place to keep poisonous substances and other potentially hazardous items such as medicines, lighters and sharp objects away from young children’s reach. They would however be ineffective if they aren’t locked. Installing locks and safety latches for drawers and cabinets in the bathroom, kitchen and any other area enhances child safety. The latches and locks must be strong enough to resist the children’s tugs and pulls. These devices usually cost between $3 and $10.

Door locks and knobs covers

Simply shutting the door is not always enough to keep children safe.  Installing door locks and knob covers on doors to areas with hazards prevent the children from accessing them. These cost about $5. The covers must be strong yet still allow quick access to the area an area by an adult in case there an emergency arises.

Safety gates

Keep young preschool children from going into potentially dangerous areas such as pool areas and the stairs with safety gates. Costing at least $35, they effectively prevent falls from stairs and drowning in pools by restricting access. The gates must be strong, securely screwed to the wall and resistant to the children’s pushes and pulls. They should not have spaces large enough to accommodate a child’s head and neck in their design. This prevents the child from inserting her head through the space and getting stuck.

Smoke detectors

Smoke detectors should be installed on each floor of the house and especially in the kitchen and sleeping areas. For at least $15, these essential devices will sound an alarm to alert you whenever there is a fire in any part of the house. This gives you time to get the children to safety and stop the fire from spreading. Carbon monoxide detectors are also important safety devices to install.

Anti-scald devices

Burns from hot water can be prevented by installing anti-scald devices on shower heads and faucets. These devices which cost up to about $30 help regulate the temperature of the water coming out; effectively reducing the risk of burns. Set the heater temperature to an appropriate temperature (120oF) to prevent burns.

Edge and corner bumpers

Costing anywhere from $10 to approximately $80, these devices cover sharp edges on fireplaces and corners. They help prevent the child from injuries as a result of falling or bumping against sharp edges and corners.

While installing safety devices protects the child, they would not be effective if not installed and used correctly. Therefore remind the adults and older children in the home to always leave the safety devices secured. Having these devices in place also doesn’t mean that the children should not be watched. Children who are determined have been known to find a way to disable them. The safety devices should also be checked regularly to ensure that they are in good condition.

 

 

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