4 Actions Families Can Take to Keep Youth Physically Active

Portrait of a clever young boy typing message on mobile phone isolated over orange background

The YMCA of Metro Chicago shared that proper physical activity is critical for every child’s health and well-being, and according to Dr. Dan Cooper, it’s even associated with improved academic performance. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) states that children and adolescents should get at least 60 minutes of daily exercise that includes aerobic activities, muscle-strengthening activities, and bone-strengthening activities.

While most parents know the importance of keeping youth active, it may sometimes be challenging to make exercise appealing to children. Try to adopt new habits that will improve the health of both you and your children, while also strengthening your family’s bond.

Here are a few ways to that you can empower your family to be more physically active together:

1. Lead an active life yourself. Children are heavily influenced by what they observe from their parents or guardian. They will learn the value of physical fitness if they see exercise incorporated in your own daily life. Read more

DuPage Medical Group offers obesity medicine services

DuPage Medical Group, a large independent, multi-specialty physician group, said it will now offer obesity medicine services at its new weight loss clinic in Oak Brook.

Leading this new service line are Doctors Zaid Jabbar and Jeffrey Pua, who work alongside patients to help them achieve their wellness goals through individualized approaches to weight loss management at 3011 Butterfield Road, Suite 240 in Oak Brook.

 High blood pressure, diabetes, high cholesterol, arthritis and sleep apnea are just some of the chronic conditions that can be caused by obesity. DMG’s Weight Loss Clinic specializes in obesity management services as well as medical consultation for metabolic disorders and weight control. Each patient receives a customized wellness plan that evaluates key health areas such as preventative care, metabolic disease, weight loss, cholesterol management and medication management. Obesity medicine specialists coordinate each patient’s care with other medical specialists, aiming to improve overall health and quality of life through weight loss management.

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Is your child actually sick, or are they school phobic?

Evonne Woloshyn    askes  in the Advocate Health News:

Does your child frequently feel sick just before leaving for school?

Do those symptoms, like headaches and stomach aches, disappear at home until it is time to go to school again?

Experts say it could be school avoidance. Also called school refusal or phobia, as many as five percent of children may struggle with the disorder.

“When kids routinely don’t want to go to school, there is usually an emotional struggle at the core,” says Dr. Frank Belmonte, a pediatrician at Advocate Children’s Hospital. “The reasons that are most common are social problems with other kids, bullying, a ‘mean’ teacher or fear of failure.”

So what is a parent to do?

“First, see your pediatrician,” says Dr. Belmonte. “You will want to rule out the possibility of a physical illness. “If something physical is not the cause, parents need to identify what is causing the child’s worry and anxiety.”

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Tips to Prevent Drowning

The United States is losing its children to accidental drownings at an alarming rate. In fact, drowning remains the leading cause of death for children under the age of 4 in most southern states, with the majority of deaths occurring in backyard pools and spas.

“Sadly, many of these deaths can be prevented with proper swim skills and survival tools taught to children before they even learn to walk,” says Bloom, founder of Baby Otter Swim School, which has taught thousands of children as young as 8 months old how to swim and prevent accidental drowning since 1978.

Baby Otter’s water survival lesson plan gets completed in just five, 30-minute private lessons and includes a graduation of sorts—a child is dropped into the water and must turn, kick and reach themselves back to safety. This ‘Turn, Kick, Reach’ methodology was designed and licensed by Bloom and serves as the program’s hallmark.

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Chickenpox (Varicella)

The Center for Disease Control shared that Chickenpox is a contagious disease caused by the varicella-zoster virus. The virus spreads mainly by touching or breathing in the virus particles that come from chickenpox blisters, and possibly through tiny droplets from infected people that get into the air after they breathe or talk, for example. Symptoms of chickenpox include an itchy rash, fever, and tiredness. The disease can be serious, even fatal, for babies, adolescents, adults, pregnant women and people with weakened immune systems. The best protection against chickenpox is two doses of the chickenpox vaccine. You can still get chickenpox if you’ve been vaccinated. However, you’ll likely have fewer blisters and little or no fever.

Key Facts

  • Chickenpox is a very contagious disease that is caused by the varicella-zoster virus.
  • The classic symptom of chickenpox is a blister-like rash. You can have between 250 and 500 blisters all over your body.
  • Before the vaccine was available, about 4 million people in the United States would get chickenpox each year.
  • You can still get chickenpox if you’ve been vaccinated, but you’ll likely have fewer blisters and little or no fever.
  • CDC recommends two doses of chickenpox vaccine. If you previously got one dose, make sure to get a second one.

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Make the transition to the school year less stressful

Transitioning from summer vacation to back-to-school can be an adjustment for both parents and children. With the carefree days of summer gone, getting back into a school year routine can be overwhelming and stressful, but it doesn’t have to be.

“Transitions for anyone can be stressful. Kids often react to stress in different ways from adults, and parents should watch for any significant changes in mood or behavior,” says Devin Carey, Ph.D., the pediatric psychologist at Lurie Children’s Primary Care — Town & Country Pediatrics.

“The anxiety of beginning the academic year tends to be the hardest when kids are starting a new school or during transitions, such as from elementary to middle school or middle school to high school,” says Carey.

“A lot of anxiety can be related to the unknown and uncertainties like, ‘Will I know anyone in my class?’ ‘What’s my teacher going to be like?’ ‘Am I going to have friends?'”

Stress can come not only from the fear of a new school but from the change in a child’s routine.

“It’s important for parents to recognize that some anxiety with a new school year is normal,” Carey says. “If there are no additional stressors, kids should adjust after a few weeks.”

Carey suggests that parents or caregivers prepare their child for the new school year by engaging in conversation before the first day.

“Help prepare your child ahead of time so the first day of school and first few weeks aren’t as overwhelming,” Carey says. “See what questions they might have. Ask them what they are looking forward to most. It’s important to balance the negative with the positive.” Read more

Tips for Keeping Your Car Cool in Summer

The Allstate Blog Team shared that if you are wondering how to keep your car cool during summer, there are plenty of simple things you can do. From maximizing your air conditioning to taking advantage of a shady spot when parking, the following tips can help you maintain a cooler vehicle on those hot and humid summer days.

Block Car Windows from the Sun

Cars can trap heat, causing the temperature inside them to quickly rise, says the National Weather Service. According to one test, a parked car’s temperature rose from 80 degrees to more than 94 degrees in about two minutes and reached 123 degrees within an hour. A car can reach up to 200 degrees inside, according to Consumer Reports.

Reducing the amount of heat entering through your windows may help keep your car cooler, making it more comfortable when it’s time to take a ride. Here are some tips to help keep your car cool in the summer:

  • Sun shades: Sun shades help block the direct rays coming into your vehicle, says Consumer Reports. This keeps the temperature slightly lower, which can help your car cool down more quickly once the vehicle is started.

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Self-Care: The Journey to Maintain a Healthy Lifestyle

Paired with our expertise, the team at Jumo Health shared that encouraging a healthy lifestyle is essential for the growth and development of our youth. When we teach our kids self-care practices, they are likely to maintain these practices in order to evolve and thrive from adolescents into healthy adults. Self-care does not just pertain to physical health but it includes mental health as well. While childhood obesity and mental illness are not always mutually exclusive, they are commonly diagnosed as a result of the other.

Nearly 1 in 5 school age children and young people (aged 6 to 19 years) in the United States has obesity. Children who suffer from obesity are teased more than their peers of healthy weight, and therefore are more likely to suffer from social isolation, depression and lower self-esteem. However, there are ways in which we can encourage our children to take care of their body and their mind. Here are three self-care practices to start incorporating into our everyday lives:


Power a Healthy Mindset with Knowledge

According to Sarah Katula, an Advanced Psychiatric Nurse, conversations about the mental health of another person should begin with a casual chat. This facilitates the opportunity for a loved one or friend to point out a noticed behavior without accusation. In the particular scenario of childhood obesity, this is a conversation that will likely be started by a parent who notices a change in their child. Coping with any diagnosis can be challenging, and growing up diagnosed with obesity has its own particular set of challenges. Read more

When Children Lose Control

Even well-meaning parents can inadvertently get in the way of a child learning these skills. When a parent avoids situations that are emotionally challenging, routinely gives in to tantrums or rushes in to fix things, the child loses the opportunity to practice and bolster their own coping abilities. “Kids need scaffolding and a support system in their parents, but they also need opportunities to learn how to tolerate and manage discomfort, which will help them in the long run,” said Susan Calkins, a professor of human development and family studies at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, who has been studying emotional regulation in children for nearly 30 years.

For children, lessons in regulating emotion can be found in big challenges, like going away to camp, or in smaller ones, like sitting through a dinner out without the crutch of an electronic device. Fortunately, there are proven strategies that can help children to manage emotions, even in the heat of the moment.

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