Why students need eye exams

eye examThe Daily Herald Newspaper posted this good advise on August 25, 2014:

As students head back to school, the American Optometric Association is reminding parents to schedule a comprehensive eye exam, NBC-South Bend reports.

One in four students in kindergarten through sixth grade has an undetected vision problem, which can interfere with their ability to read and learn, the group says.

It’s best to get your child’s eyes checked once they start kindergarten.

Although some schools do vision screens, complicated vision problems are often overlooked. A comprehensive eye exam can catch a lazy eye, farsightedness or even more serious problems that need to be diagnosed early.

Some key signs to look for this school season, if you think your child might have a vision problem, include often getting headaches or a child who does well on tests but doesn’t pay attention in class because he or she can’t see the board.

Be extra cautious against WNV over Labor Day

3495411871-1County residents are reminded to be extra diligent during the approaching Labor Day weekend and protect themselves from mosquito bites that could lead to West Nile virus (WNV) infection. The Health Department has raised its Personal Protection Index (PPI) from level one (low) to level two (moderate) because of an increase in the number of mosquito batches testing positive for WNV.

Level two indicates that there are high numbers of infected mosquitoes in most areas, which could potentially increase the likelihood for human cases to appear. At this time, there have been no confirmed human cases of WNV reported in DuPage County this year. Level two cautions residents to drain any standing water around their homes and defend by wearing an insect repellent containing DEET when outdoors, especially during prime times of mosquito activity like between dusk and dawn.


County residents will be enjoying the great outdoors and traveling during the Labor Day weekend and they are advised by the Health Department to be cautious, but not curtail any outdoor plans.

The Health Department encourages residents to follow the “4 Ds of Defense,” which include draining standing water, using insect repellent to defend yourself, dressing with long sleeves and pants to cover your skin and being especially careful between dusk and dawn, when mosquitoes are most active.

The PPI widget provides a real-time snapshot of WNV activity, which ranges from zero to three, zero meaning there is no risk and three announcing a high level of risk with multiple confirmed human cases of WNV.  View the PPI widget at  www.dupagehealth.org. Many community partners including townships, municipalities and park districts, also have posted the PPI widget on their websites. Residents who click on the widget will be linked to the Health Department’s “Fight the Bite” page for additional information.  The Health Department monitors WNV activity by collecting and testing mosquitoes in traps located throughout the county.

Fitness for Body & BRAIN

adultmainpage-r2You are invited to experience something NEW!
Peggy Kinst of Ageless Grace &
Tami Neumann of
are inviting you to experience demonstrations of
“timeless, fun fitness for body & BRAIN”…that “almost anyone can do!”…in a chair… based on the Science of Neuroplasticity and Movementplus

designed to give you a hands-on insight into of how it feels to have Dementia.

Demonstrations every 30 minutes on September 6, 10am – 4pm
beginning with Ageless Grace at 10:00am

14401 West Avenue, Orland Park, Il


Back to School and Backpack Safety

Boy with BackpackDr. Tim Westlack from West Suburban Wellness in Lombard, IL shared this valuable information:

Several news stories and articles have appeared speaking to the issue of backpack safety in school children. One article from the Aug. 1, 2007 issue of the Okeechobee News starts off by noting that backpacks can be purchased anywhere, but very few people ask about the construction of these packs. The article suggests that parents ask the following questions. “How wide are the shoulder straps? Does it disperse weight evenly? Does the bag have a waist belt to disperse weight to the hips?”

The Okeechobee News article reports that according to the the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons (AAOS), there are more than 21,000 backpack-related injuries each year. The article notes that increased weight is a major issue. The result, as they suggest, is that, “This increase in weight can be correlated to an increase in children seeing chiropractors.”

On July 12, 2007, the California publication, The Acorn, also published a story on backpack safety. In this story they quote Dr. Gerard W. Clum of the Foundation for Chiropractic Progress who advises, “Backpacks weighing more than 15 pounds that are slung over a shoulder produce an imbalance in the rib cage.” He continued by saying, “This type of repetitive strain can also initiate arm and hand numbness, headaches or backaches.”

The July 20, 2007 Toledo Free Press also ran a story on backpacks where they offered tips by the American Chiropractic Association to “help prevent the needless pain that backpack misuse could cause the students in your household.” These tips included:

  •  Make sure your child’s backpack weighs no more than 10 percent of his or her body weight.
  • The backpack should never hang more than four inches below the waistline.
  •  A backpack with individualized compartments helps in positioning the contents most effectively.
  • Make sure that pointy or bulky objects are packed away from the area that will rest on your child’s back.
  • Urge your child to wear both shoulder straps.
  • The shoulder straps should be adjustable so the backpack fits to your child’s body.  If the backpack is still too heavy, talk to your child’s teacher.

Healthy Tips from the Tri-Town YMCA

ymcaOutdoor Fun
he Great Outdoors is not only fun but helps strengthen overall health and well-being. Besides helping reach the daily 60 minutes of moderate-tovigorous activity, we can provide an opportunity to reduce stress and support emotional well-being. Within minutes of seeing green spaces, stress levels fall and by providing the opportunity for kids to be “free rangewe can help reduce anxiety and depression associated with busy schedules and lack of unstructured time.

HE- Healthy Eating Tip
Help kids feel cool as a cucumber with fun frozen fruits and veggies to snack on or to add to water instead of ice cubes. Purchase fresh or frozen and serve as needed. Remember produce is cheaper when in it’s in season so if you have extra space, bulk up and freeze for a later date. Try frozen blueberries, or grapes.

Tri-Town YMCA
1464 S . Main St.
Lombard, IL 60148

13 Mental Health Benefits Of Exercise

bike1By Sophia Breene

Many people hit the gym or pound the pavement to improve cardiovascular health, build muscle, and of course, get a rockin’ bod, but working out has above-the-neck benefits, too. For the past decade or so, scientists have pondered how exercising can boost brain function. Regardless of age or fitness level (yup, this includes everyone from mall-walkers to marathoners), studies show that making time for exercise provides some serious mental benefits. Get inspired to exercise by reading up on these unexpected ways that working out can benefit mental health, relationships and lead to a healthier and happier life overall.

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1. Reduce Stress
Rough day at the office? Take a walk or head to the gym for a quick workout. One of the most common mental benefits of exercise is stress relief. Working up a sweat can help manage physical and mental stress. Exercise also increases concentrations of norepinephrine, a chemical that can moderate the brain’s response to stress. So go ahead and get sweaty — working out can reduce stress and boost the body’s ability to deal with existing mental tension. Win-win!

2. Boost Happy Chemicals
Slogging through a few miles on the ‘mill can be tough, but it’s worth the effort! Exercise releases endorphins, which create feelings of happiness and euphoria. Studies have shown that exercise can even alleviate symptoms among the clinically depressed. For this reason, docs recommend that people suffering from depression or anxiety (or those who are just feeling blue) pencil in plenty of gym time. In some cases, ex

ercise can be just as effective as antidepressant pills in treating depression. Don’t worry if you’re not exactly the gym rat type — getting a happy buzz from working out for just 30 minutes a few times a week can instantly boost overall mood.

3. Improve Self-Confidence
Hop on the treadmill to look (and more importantly, feel) like a million bucks. On a very basic level, physical fitness can boost self-esteem and improve positive self-image. Regardless of weight, size, gender or age, exercise can quickly elevate a person’s perception of his or her attractiveness, that is, self-worth. How’s that for feeling the (self) love?

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Breakfast Helps Students Bring Their A-Game to the Classroom

Dairy Food wbDairy Makes Sense shared that when parents scurry to buy school supplies and new shoes and clothes so our kids can start the school year prepared, they sometimes might miss something critical to preparation, and that something is breakfast. A daily morning meal, eaten at home or at school, can prepare students for not only a successful start to the school year, but a successful start to every school day.

Research shows that kids who eat breakfast score higher on tests, as well as have better attendance and behavior in the classroom. Not to mention, breakfast-eaters have improved overall nutrition since kids who skip breakfast rarely make up for missed nutrients later in the day.

To help students bring their A-game to the classroom, remember to make breakfast a back-to-school to-do for your family. Here are some ideas for simple, kid-friendly breakfasts:

Milk cereal for all its worth: For its taste and nutritional value, milk and cereal is one of the greatest breakfast pairings of all time. Instead of one type of whole-grain ready-to-eat cereal, offer kids a mixture of several types. Also, try hot cereals such as oatmeal, and be sure to prepare them with fat-free or low-fat milk instead of water.

Tip: Top any cereal and milk combo with fresh fruit to add even more flavor and nutrients.

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Get Moving!

ch3The “A Year of Being Well”  Newsletters shared that some people dread the thought of physical activity even though adults need at least 30 minutes each day and kids ages 6 and older need at least 60 minutes. Reasons for lacking enough physical activity vary. Perhaps being active seems tough because you’re not in shape or you have trouble finding time in the day? Whatever your reasons, there are affordable ways to keep moving that can fit into your busy schedule. It’s important for families to understand that small, easy steps can significantly increase your family’s prospects for healthier lives.

Explore new ideas to get your kids moving more. Doing things as a family will help you ensure you’re all getting the amount of physical activity you need. Play ball or tag. Ride bikes. Take a Walk to Be Well. Physical activity doesn’t have to be something you dread. Find an activity you like and do it every day!

Healthy lesson plan for back to school

DuPage County children are heading back to school and the DuPage County Health Department offers some tips that will make 3495411871-1this school year healthy and happy for all children.

According to the Health Department, the following guidelines can help parents prevent the spread of illnesses in classrooms:

  • Make sure your children are up to date on their immunizations and sports physicals, and receive an annual flu shot.
  • Make sure your children have plenty of rest and a nutritious diet to help them fight germs.
  • Make sure your children are dressed properly if they are involved in outdoor activities at recess or gym.
  • Notify the school if your child has been diagnosed with an infectious condition such as strep throat, chickenpox, scarlet fever, or pertussis.
  • Teach your children the proper way to wash their hands. Make sure they use soap and water, rub their hands for at least 20 seconds, and thoroughly rinse and dry their hands.
  • Teach children the importance of covering their coughs and sneezes.
  • Keep your child home if he or she is ill. One sick child can spread germs to all of his or her classmates.
  • Keep your child home if he or she has a fever of 100.4 degrees or higher, has nausea or vomiting, has a sore throat with fever, has a persistent cough (dry or productive), has diarrhea (three or more episodes in 24 hours), has a rash, or has symptoms that prevent him or her from participating in school such as fatigue or lack of appetite, headaches, body aches, earache or sore throat.