5 tips for keeping kids healthy in school

Back to schoolAnn Piccininni, Daily Herald Correspondent, shared that the bell is about to ring, heralding the start of a new school year. As parents take children shopping for backpacks and other necessary supplies, medical professionals remind parents and students that preparing for school isn’t only about buying the right educational tools.

Cultivating a few simple habits can help make the year a healthier one, said Dr. Julie Miaczynski, family medicine physician at Edward Medical Group in the Edward Healthcare Center in Plainfield.

Wash hands

“As kids go back to school, because of the nature of the environment, the close proximity to each other, we see a spike in colds, flu, that type of thing,” she said. “We remind people of really good hand-washing habits.”

Frequent washing won’t prevent all microbial threats from causing illness. Inevitably, hands will come into contact with some nasty germs.

“Try to avoid touching the face. That’s really important,” she said.

When students come home from school each day, they potentially and unwittingly bring germs with them. Miaczynski recommends families take steps to stop the spread of germs before they infect family members.

“Around the house, wipe down knobs and handles,” she said. Stepped-up routine cleaning can help prevent colds and flu germs from getting a foothold in the household.”

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proactive-kidsA new school year has begun and school physicals are well under way!  As a clinician, you will see many overweight children over the next few weeks and we hope you remember to tell them there is a place where they can get help –

ProActive Kids is a health education program offered FREE to children ages 8-14 who are considered obese or overweight and their families.

 Click here for more information on the complete program.  

There is a ProActive Kids program in your community where you can refer your patients. We will help them learn how to live a healthier lifestyle!

TO REFER A CHILD OR FAMILY   Please refer patients, students or parents to the ProActive Kids website at www.proactivekids.org  or ask them to call 630-681-1558.

LOCATIONS FOR FALL 2015 (Sept 21 – Nov 13)
ProActive Kids locations are made possible by the following generous funding sources. 

Addison, IL — At Club Fitness at Addison Park District, Funded by Edward-Elmhurst Healthcare

Downers Grove, IL  — At Good Samaritan Health and Wellness Center, Funded by Advocate Good Samaritan Hospital

Melrose Park, IL — At Gottlieb Memorial Hospital,  Funded by Loyola University Health System

 Oak Lawn, IL — At Oak Lawn Ice Arena – Oak Lawn Park District, Funded by Advocate Children’s Hospital Oak Lawn

Park Ridge/Niles, IL — At Gemini  Junior High School, Funded by Advocate Children’s Hospital Park Ridge

 Woodridge, IL — At Edward Health and Fitness Center, Funded by Edward-Elmhurst Healthcare


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How Friendship Fights Depression

friendsJULIE BECK a senior editor who writes about Health shared in The Atlantic on August 19 that … “As everyone knows, depressed people are some of the most boring people in the world,” Mindy Kaling writes in her book Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? “I know this because when I was depressed, people fled. Except my best friends.”

In a section titled “Best Friend Rights and Responsibilities,” she vows, “If you’re depressed, I will be there for you … I will be there for you during your horrible break-up, or getting fired from your job, or if you’re just having a bad couple of months or year. I will hate it and find you really tedious, but I promise I won’t abandon you.”

Having a relationship with someone who’s depressed can be difficult. It’s hard to hear a friend say negative things about herself; it’s hard to know how to help. These are among the more noble reasons people might have—or they may just not want to be brought down themselves by spending time with someone who’s depressed.

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Stop the Unhealthy Snack Attack! 10 Fresh Ideas For Work

trail mixLizzie Fuhr from PopSugar offers this healthy advice:

Whether you’re looking to lose a few pounds or maintain a healthy weight, stocking up on healthy snacks for work is essential. Fueling your body with quality nutrition will increase energy levels, helping you feel more productive, and also stave off fatty and sugary cravings.

1.   Fresh fruit: You can’t go wrong with fresh fruit at the office! Put your favorite sliced fruits and berries together in a beautiful salad for the office fridge, so you can scoop out the perfect portion to enjoy all week long. If that sounds like too much effort, pack low-maintenance picks like apples, oranges, and pears, so all you need to do is wash and eat.

2.  Veggies: Bring a tub of baby carrots, celery sticks, or already steamed edamame to the office. You can easily find prepackaged options at your grocery store, but skip the ranch or blue cheese dressing, and opt for a small side of hummus instead to offer your body some protein.

3.  Healthy bars: Unfortunately, not all bars deemed “healthy” are created equal. Look for bars that are relatively low in sugar and high in fiber and protein. If you eat a bar that’s all carbs and sugar, then chances are you’ll experience a crash after eating it, just as if you’d chowed down on a candy bar.

4.  Single servings of trail mix: Take the issue of portion control out of the picture, and prepackage small baggies of trail mix or dried fruit and nuts at home. Not only will you save money, but you’ll also be able to keep tabs on exactly how much you’re eating.

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5 Secrets a HIIT Trainer Wants You to Know

trainerShort, fast intervals (called HIIT, or high-intensity interval training) are the way to go if you want to melt fat and target a muffin top. But if you’re not quite certain if you’re doing it right, Sean Bartram, the trainer for the Indianapolis Colts cheerleaders and author of High-Intensity Interval Training For Women ($18), will let you in on a few secrets. Stop fearing HIIT and start reaping the sweat-inducing workout’s benefits with these beginner-friendly tips.

You don’t have to go all out at the start: That image of a sweaty, muscly man defying gravity doing box jumps is enough to make anyone intimidated about trying an interval workout. But almost any explosive movement can be modified until you’re ready to take your workout to the next level. “Don’t be intimated by HIIT,” Sean says. “If you don’t feel comfortable taking on the plyometrics exercises, you can always substitute.” For example, Sean recommends doing areverse lunge instead of a jump lunge if you’re not ready for jumps. Focus on mastering these moves first, and add more explosive ones when you’re ready.

Form is more important than reps: That speed demon who’s racking up squats like nobody’s business? Don’t pay her any attention — it’s more important to focus on your own form and ensuring that you’re doing your reps correctly. “We have one golden rule and that’s always form first, speed second. We’re about quality, not so much quantity,” Sean says. So if you can only do five perfect squats in 30 seconds, pat yourself on the back for focusing on form.



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Healthy Lombard Schedules Final Event for Flat Apple 2015!

skyOn September 19, 2015 the Healthy Lombard Foundation will host its fourth and final Flat Apple Hot Spot in conjunction with Sky Centers Martial Arts’ Annual Open House. In addition to offering children, ages 4 – 14, an opportunity to can earn one “bite of the apple” (a raffle ticket) by participating in the Sky Centers inflatable Obstacle Course Challenge, this event will also celebrate the achievements of this summer’s participants with the drawing and presentation of Flat Apple Raffle Prizes.

Parents/Guardians may register their child/children on-site or on-line prior to the event by clicking on the link provided at the top of the Healthy Lombard Foundation’s website at www.healthylombard.com or on the site’s Flat Apple 2015 page.


The event will take place between the hours of 10 AM-1: 30 PM at Sky Centers Martial Arts www.skycenters.com located at 112 W. ST. Charles Rd. in Downtown Lombard. Parking is available on the street or just west of Sky Centers at the State Farm and Accounting parking lot. Everyone attending must enter through the front entrance of Sky Centers and must receive a wristband in order to participate.

The raffle tickets earned at this event will be added to those already collected at the three previous Flat Apple Hot Spots. The Raffle Drawing will be held at 2PM. Winners need not be present. The winner’s names and corresponding prize will be list on the Flat Apple 2015 web page following the event. Prizes include a child’s bike – partially donated by J & R Cycle of Villa Park, a mini Apple I-Pad, Beet Headphones, and sports equipment.

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Low-Calorie and Filling, This Chia Pudding Is a Perfect Breakfast

This recipe is from From Lizzie Fuhr, POPSUGAR Fitness.

Chia seeds and coconut milk marry for a Paleo-friendly pudding that works great for breakfast. High in anti-inflammatory omega-3s, this sweet chia pudding is a make-ahead recipe that will save you time, fill you up on fiber, and help you debloat. Mix together the ingredients the night before, pop it in the fridge, and look forward to a special treat the next day. It’s that easy.


This recipe includes 1/4 cup of diced mango and pepita seeds, but feel free to top the pudding with your favorite fruit and nuts.

Chia Pudding Recipe


1/4 cup chia seeds
1 cup light or full-fat coconut milk, depending on preference
1/2 tablespoon honey


  1. Mix chia seeds, coconut milk, and honey together in a small bowl or glass mason jar. Let it set in refrigerator overnight.
  2. Remove it from the fridge, and make sure your pudding looks thick and the chia seeds have gelled. Top with fresh fruit and nuts, and enjoy immediately.
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Avoid ticks and Lyme disease

Lyme-diseaseThe DuPage County Health Department reminds residents that while enjoying the great outdoors this summer they should take precautions against ticks which may carry several diseases, including Lyme disease.

Ticks live in and near wooded areas, tall grass and brush.  If infected, ticks can transmit diseases including Lyme disease, Rocky Mountain spotted fever, tularemia and other diseases.

A person who experiences a rash, or any unexplained illness, accompanied by a fever following a tick bite, should consult a medical professional.  It’s important for people to recognize the signs and symptoms of tick-borne diseases so treatment with appropriate antibiotics is not delayed.  If left untreated, some tick-borne diseases can cause serious illnesses and may be fatal.

The best way to protect against tick-borne illnesses is to avoid tick bites by taking the following precautions:

〈       Ticks are usually found in ankle- to shin-high grass and weeds.  Ticks cannot hop or fly. Walk in the center of trails so weeds do not brush against you.

〈       Check your clothing often for ticks climbing toward open skin.

〈       Wear white or light-colored long-sleeved shirts and long pants so the tiny ticks are easier to see. Tuck long pants into your socks and boots.  Wear a head covering or hat for added protection.

〈       Apply insect repellent to exposed skin (except the face). Use repellents containing DEET or permethrin to treat clothes while in locations where ticks may be common.

〈       Remove any tick promptly.  The best way to remove a tick is to grasp it with fine-point tweezers as close to the skin as possible and gently, but firmly, pull it straight out.

〈       Wash the bite area and your hands thoroughly with soap and water; apply an antiseptic to the bite site.

〈       Keep your grass mowed and keep weeds cut back around your home.

〈       Check your pets for ticks if you let them outdoors.

DuPage County residents with questions about ticks may call the Health Department at (630) 682-7400.

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