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2:22 PM Mon, Sept. 24th

Instructions not included: Helpline a lifesaver for parents of young children

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For parents of young children, the idea of a helpline where they can call for advice on a wide range of topics - including how to deal with tantrums - may sound too good to be true. But it exists. And it's known as the "Birth to Five Helpline." This helpline is available for all families with young children looking for the latest child development information from experts in the field. Professionals may also take advantage of this free service. Staffed by early childhood development specialists, registered nurses, disabilities specialists, early literacy specialists, and mental health counselors, the helpline provides a toll-free number for all Arizona families with young children, and parents-to-be, to call with questions or concerns about their infants, toddlers and preschoolers.

In today's busy and mobile world, many young moms and dads do not have their extended family members nearby. They can't just walk down the block and ask their aunt, uncle, mom or grandfather how to handle a parenting situation. Arizona's First Things First has ensured that this service is available for parents so that they can parent with confidence and successfully address issues ranging from potty training to health and nutrition.

For questions about dealing with tantrums, or anything else, ask the Birth to Five Helpline. Call toll-free 1-877-705-KIDS (5437) or submit a question via their website and talk to child development specialists-it's free for Arizona families with young children. The program is operated by Southwest Human Development with the aid of First Thing First's financial support, so parents' email questions should be directed to http://www.swhd.org/programs/health-and-development/birth-to-five-helpline.