Preventing Obesity

id you know that outside of the hospital walls, Lurie Children’s is working to help prevent childhood obesity in Chicago.

Why this needs our attention

Obesity creates long-term health concerns for children. Being overweight or obese can increases a child’s risk for developing type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure and certain cancers, and raise the likelihood for developing asthma by more than 50%. More than half of overweight and obese adolescents already display at least one risk factor for heart disease.

Obesity can also lead to bullying, stigma, stress and depression.

While recent data show that obesity rates are beginning to level off after years of rapid increases, that rate still remains 300% higher than it was in the 1980s. In America today, nearly 17% of children are obese. Recent projections predict that 57.3% of children will be obese at age 35 and that roughly half of that prevalence will occur during childhood. Even more concerning are the significantly higher obesity rates among children of color. Nationally, 22% of Hispanic children and 19.5% of African American children are obese, much higher than the 14.7% rate for white children. These disparities are mirrored in Chicago’s communities of color: in neighborhoods such as Roseland, Humboldt Park and West Town, nearly 50% of children are obese. Read more

How kid-friendly ERs make a difference

 

Jennifer McNulty, M.D.Specialty: Pediatric Emergency Medicine wrote for Edwards-Elmhurst Health that when your child is sick or injured, his/her physician is usually your first point of contact. Even if it’s after hours, the on-call doctor can help you decide where to go for care, such as an Immediate Care Center or a Walk-In Clinic.For a situation that’s more serious, a trip to the ER may be needed. Your child may need emergency care when she/he shows any of these signs. Of course, there are some emergencies in which 911 is your best choice: your child is having trouble breathing, is badly injured, unresponsive or unconscious.

When your child needs emergency care, a pediatric ER can provide care that’s more specialized for young patients than a regular ER.

Why choose a pediatric ER?

  • Expertise in treating children – Pediatric ERs are staffed by doctors, nurses and techs who are trained to specially care for kids, including board-certified ER doctors, pediatric intensivists, pediatric hospitalists, and certified emergency nurses and techs. They spend extra time in their training, have additional certifications and, most importantly, specifically choose to care only for kids.
  • Kid-friendly environment – Pediatric ERs focus on the unique needs of children in a kid-friendly environment that is designed to put children at ease, with kid-friendly waiting areas and family-friendly rooms.

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Registration for Flat Apple 2018 Begins June 1

The free Flat Apple Summer Activity encourages children to be physically active and rewards them with a prize drawing.

The Healthy Lombard Foundation wants kids to stay fit this summer, and kids who keep track of their activities just may win a prize or find a bit of local fame.

The foundation is launching the Flat Apple Summer Activity, which aims to keep kids moving through the warm weather. From Friday, June 1, through Aug. 25, kids are encouraged to take part in Healthy Lombard-sponsored activities at community events such as a Lombard Cruise Night and keep a log of the time they spend doing things that will keep their bodies healthy.

Play sports? The game goes on the log. Spend the afternoon swimming? Log it. Ride your bike with friends and take a family walk? Log and log again.

“Flat Apple is for both (the) athletic and nonathletic child,” foundation board President Jay Wojcik said. “Our goal is for kids to have a great experience and be motivated to stay active during the summer.”

To take part in Flat Apple, children between the ages of 4 and 16 must have their parents register them for the free program on the Healthy Lombard website, healthylombard.com. The program is open to children who live outside of Lombard as well as to residents.

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Protect Your Baby with Immunization

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention shared that  immunization is one of the best ways parents can protect their infants from 14 serious childhood diseases before age 2. Vaccinate your child according to the CDC’s recommended immunization schedule for safe, proven disease protection.

Diseases that vaccine prevent can be very serious—even deadly—especially for infants and young children. Vaccines reduce your child’s risk of infection by working with their body’s natural defenses to help them safely develop immunity to disease. Immunizations have helped improve the health of children in the United States. Most parents today have never seen first-hand the devastating consequences that vaccine-preventable diseases have on a family or community. Although most of these diseases are not common in the United States, they still exist around the world, so it is important to protect your child with vaccines.

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Wash Your Hands

The Center for Disease Control shared that handwashing is one of the best ways to protect yourself, your family, and others from getting sick.

Washing your hands with soap and water is simple and easy. More importantly, it’s one of the most effective ways to prevent the spread of germs. Clean hands can stop germs from spreading from one person to another and throughout an entire community—from your home and workplace to childcare facilities and hospitals.

When should you wash your hands?
You can help yourself and others stay healthy by washing your hands often, especially during these key times when germs are likely to get on your hands and can easily spread to you or others:

Washing hands
Scrub your hands for at least 20 seconds.

Hand sanitizer
If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol.

Before, during, and after preparing food
Before eating food
Before and after caring for someone who is sick
Before and after treating a cut or wound
After using the toilet
After changing diapers or cleaning up a child who has used the toilet
After blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing
After touching an animal, animal feed, or animal waste
After touching garbage
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Go Fly A Kite Was A Success

Thank you to everyone who stop by the Lombard Park District’s Time for Tots and joined us for “Go Fly A KIte!”  We were so fortunate to partner with the Kiwanis Club of Lombard on this activity since both organizations are all about helping kids.

If you could not attend you can still participate and “Go Fly A Kite.”  Seriously, GO FLY A KITE!   April was chosen as National Kite Month because it was the month that perfectly symbolizes hope, potential, and joy.  As the first month in spring, April is the month when we see the last of the snow giving way to green lawns, a month that we are eager to get outside and be active. April is when most kite fliers start to bring their kites out of the closet and prepare for a summer in the park or on the beach.   So why not join in this year?

And, if you like, take a photo of your child with their kite an send it to jay@healthylombard.com for posting on the Healthy Lombard Selfie Page (www.facebook.com/healthylombardselfies) AND on the Kiwanis Club of Lombard website (www.kiwaniscluboflombard.org).

All entries will be entered into a drawing at the end of April. Two winners will be selected at random. The winners will each receive a $25 gift card to Yorktown Mall.

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This common virus can turn deadly for babies

Dr. Gabriel Aljdeff from Advocate Children’s Hospital shared in the Daily Herald Newspaper that this year’s deadly flu season has been widely reported, but there’s another lesser-known illness that doctors are seeing a high number of cases of in young children and babies this winter.

It’s called respiratory syncytial virus (RSV).

RSV is quite common, with almost all babies contracting it at least once before their second birthday. It produces mild, cold-like symptoms, including coughing, sneezing and a low-grade fever.

While RSV typically clears up on its own within a week or so, the virus can be more dangerous, even life-threatening, for others, particularly premature infants, a child born with a congenital heart defect or babies under six months old.

“The virus causes inflammation, which can block a baby’s small airway and makes it difficult for them to breathe,” explains Dr. Gabriel Aljadeff, a pediatric pulmonologist at Advocate Children’s Hospital in Park Ridge. “These higher-risk babies are very prone to RSV, becoming severe and progressing into their lower airways, leading to pneumonia and bronchiolitis.”

Every year, more than 57,000 children younger than 5 years old are hospitalized due to RSV infection, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

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See Something, Say Something

Sometimes so much emphasis is given to eating right and working out that we forget that Mental Health is equally important to wellness as physical health and perhaps even more so when considering the health of a community.

I share this thought as a reaction to what appears to be an increase in acts of bullying. We live in a land where everyone is allowed to express their opinion on every topic imaginable from politics, to religion, to race, to weight. But many are forgetting that this should not be done in harsh and hurtful ways using aggressive behavior and intimidation.

These types of negative actions affect the targeted individual’s mental health and this is especially so in children. Research by stopbullying.gov indicates that persistent bullying can lead to or worsen feelings of isolation, rejection, exclusion, and despair, as well as depression and anxiety, which can contribute to suicidal behavior.

So as we approach spring, a time for rebirth and renewal, now is a good time to make a personal commitment to take a stand and stop bullying. Have the courage to use the simple “See something, Say Something” approach. When adults respond quickly and consistently to bullying behavior they send the message that it is not acceptable. Research shows this can stop bullying behavior over time.

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