Lauren Martin, MD, who was a pediatrician at Children’s National Medical Center and also completed her residency and internship programs at Children’s National Medical Center wrote for the Rise and Shine Newsletter shared that handing over the important responsibility of managing your child’s health care needs can be daunting. However, you can assure your child’s school is ready to respond to his/her health needs by taking proper steps to prepare your child’s medications and medical plans for the school and by communicating effectively with the teachers, school nurse, and administration.
- Medications should be labeled with the original pharmacy label.
- If a medication must be administered during school hours, have your pediatrician fill out a form with instructions. This may include temporary and topical medications such as eye drops or skin creams.
- Inform your child’s school about any physical activity restrictions that are needed, and supply any necessary documentation from your pediatrician indicating these restrictions.
- Check expiration dates on chronic medications and renew annually when indicated, even if they were not used.
- Ask your school officials about their policy for the administration of over-the-counter medications such as antihistamines or pain relievers should these be needed.
- Communicate openly (and frequently) with your child’s teachers, school nurse, and administration about your child’s health needs.
Erika Long is a freelance health and wellness writer who shared with Healthy Lombard that it can be difficult to get kids into a consistent sleep routine. With increasing pressure at school, hyperactive minds, and distractions such as televisions and mobile devices, it’s hard for kids to calm down enough to relax and sleep. When children resist sleeping, it is easy to throw in the towel and just say, “They’re kids, they’ll be fine.” But several studies show that sleep deprivation is detrimental to their health. Here are five benefits to creating healthy sleep habits in your kids.
1. Boosts Immunity
If your child regularly struggles with the flu and other infections, it may be time to look into their sleep patterns. Fighting infections requires a strong immune system and although most kids are born with good immunity, chronic sleep deprivation potentially weakens the immune system as they start growing.
Studies show that in both children and adults, sufficient sleep is mandatory to release enough amounts of cytokines in the body. Cytokines are proteins that help manage inflammation through cell-to-cell communication through the body’s immune system. They also fight physiological stress caused by infections, producing a drowsy effect in the process. If your child is unwell and wants to sleep longer, let them. It is their body’s natural defense mechanism working hard to restore their health.
Research carried out in recent times also shows that sleep apnea in children is caused by disrupting the body’s natural defense mechanism, causing vulnerability in terms of contracting short-term, frequent illnesses.
2. Promotes growth hormones
One of the reasons behind the rapid growth in infants is the secretion of human growth hormone during their long hours of sleep. Growth spurts tend to decrease as children grow older, yet most young children in their growing years tend to wake up taller some mornings because of the growth hormones released during their sleep the previous evening.
Conversely, if sleep is disrupted, production in childhood growth hormone could be sufficiently reduced to make children grow into shorter adults. Being tall depends on many factors, including genes, but children have the best chance at growth when they get adequate amounts of sleep.
Recent studies have shown growth hormones are at their peak just after the onset of sleep, especially in infants. Hence, the first sleep cycle is extremely important for the healthy growth in children. Read more
TOM BANSE / NW NEWS NETWORK reported that dozens of Pacific Northwest doctors are teaming up with a national nonprofit to write a different kind of prescription. Their “park prescriptions” direct patients with obesity, anxiety, depression or certain chronic conditions to spend more time outside.
Physicians already routinely counsel patients to exercise more, as you may know from personal experience. This takes it one step further — by writing actual prescriptions specifying how long and how often to recreate in named parks. Dr. Atoosa Kourosh, a pediatrician and allergist in Seattle said a written prescription makes a stronger impression.
“If you do that, then people take it more seriously than you’ve told them to get outside and be active,” Kourosh said in an interview.
Kourosh is one of 63 health care providers in Washington state and 12 in Oregon who have signed up with the nonprofit Park Rx America to “prescribe” parks. Washington State Parks recently joined the national group, which provides clinicians a template to prescribe nearby green spaces with address and amenity details.
Nature immersion could be suitable to treat a range of conditions in children and adults, say Kourosh and the state parks department. Obesity gets a frequent mention, as well as hypertension, diabetes and attention deficit disorder.
“Children with both attention problems, behavioral problems, and psychological problems seem to very much benefit from these experiences,” Kourosh said.
She said patient reactions to getting a park prescription tend toward “delight,” although she also has seen some skepticism. Read more
Laura Koehler, Psy.D., Clinical Psychologist at Edward-Elmhurst Health shared that according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than 7 percent of kids ages 3-17 are diagnosed with anxiety. When left untreated, these kids are at risk to perform poorly at school and, in some cases, it will lead to school refusal behavior.
School refusal is emotionally based and tends to occur with underlying mental health issues. It’s often to avoid some type of anxiety – general, social, performance or separation. The most common ages for school refusal are ages 5-7 and 11-14. This is attributed to the transition from kindergarten to 1st grade, and going to and leaving middle school.
Here are some of the most common signs of school refusal:
- Chronic headaches or stomachaches
- Frequently asking to stay home from school
- Repeatedly leaving class or going to the nurse’s office
- Refusing to participate in extracurricular sports or activities
- Lack of concentration or focus
- Sleep difficulties
- Lack of appetite or overeating
Michele Wheat wrote for https://www.wristband.com/ that bullying can come in many different forms. Sometimes, mean kids bother others on the playground, on the bus, or in the halls at school. You might run into a bully in the lunchroom or in a quiet corner of the library. Bullies also are mean to people online on social media sites, in email, and in text messages. But no one is allowed to bully others at any time or in any place. If you have a problem with a bully or you see someone else struggling with one, always tell an adult to get help. Teachers, parents, and other adults will step in to stop the abuse.
Bullying has become a problem for kids throughout the United States and even around the world. Bullying might involve making fun of someone, calling them names, threatening them, or spreading rumors. Bullying can also involve shoving, pushing, or tripping someone. Sometimes bullying happens by excluding a person from activities or by forcing someone to do something they don’t want to do. Bullying might also involve destroying someone else’s property.
Ashley Green, Program Manager for Action for Healthy Kids shared that backyard baseball, pillow forts, and cardboard spaceships are all good. Play can be anything you want it to be and looks a little different for everyone. Fun and games aside, play serves an essential part of physical, cognitive and social-emotional development.
While the idea of ditching the busy schedule and letting impulsiveness or exploration take the reins for an afternoon can be unsettling, it’s important to your child’s developing imagination and well-being to participate in regular unstructured playtime. Read below about some of the benefits of unstructured play for both children and adults, and explore ways to begin facilitating at home or at school!
Play builds social skills.
Playing with others helps build relationships through interaction. We learn respect, trust, and tolerance and how to navigate group dynamics—including collaboration, compromise, and conflict resolution. It helps us develop a sense of belonging and boost confidence to take risks and try new things, explore our creativity, and problem solve. Check out these ways to facilitate play in a group setting:
- Explore new worlds through dramatic play! Maybe there’s a castle made of winding hallways with treasure hidden in its walls – work together to sneak past the sleepy giant and climb the trellis of cushions. Encourage children to create their own characters and allow them to explore these roles, however, they may imagine them.
- Put your heads together and your teamwork to the test with a balancing game of ants on a log. Read more
Lurie Children’s Hospital shared with the Daily Herald Newspaper that the school year is a busy and sometimes stressful time for many families. It is especially stressful for the 176,500 people under the age of 20 who have type 1 diabetes, and the growing number of youth with type 2 diabetes.
Extra planning and unique worries are a big part of hitting the books again.
So, Shirley Goodman, RN, CDE, Jill Weissberg-Benchell, Ph.D., CDE, and Dr. Naomi Fogel, MD, from Lurie Children’s Division of Endocrinology, are sharing tips to ensure a successful and safe school year for children living with diabetes.
Cast a wide communication net
Parents need to reach out and cast a communication net when deciding whom to communicate with at school.
It’s important to think about not only specific teachers, school nurses, or specific administrators, but all the other people who will touch a child’s life throughout their school day. For example, the bus driver, cafeteria workers, coaches, front-office staff, art teacher, and after-school volunteers.
Do not be shy when it comes to advocating for your child. Sometimes it even helps to spend a day at the school observing where your child goes and which adults they seem to be interacting with the most so you can partner with the school in developing a safe plan of care. Read more
Slumber Seacrets shared, “Work eight hours and sleep eight hours and make sure that they are not the same hours.”
Those are the famous words of the prominent oil magnate T. Boone Pickens.
We all know about the eight-hour sleeping rule, but getting a good night’s sleep is sometimes impossible. The next day, all we can think about is going back to bed in the evening and catching up on sleep. As a result of sleep deprivation, we are tired and unable to function properly.
But what is sleep deprivation exactly? And is a single sleepless night enough to make us sleep-deprived?
Sleep deprivation happens when a lack of sleep prevents us from being alert and fully awake during the day. Depending on how long it goes on, it can be both acute and chronic. As such, even one night of poor sleep is enough for the symptoms of exhaustion to kick in.
How Much Sleep Do We Need?
Not all people need the same amount of sleep to wake up refreshed the next morning. The recommended sleep time varies based on your age.
Here is how much sleep people of different ages need, according to the National Sleep Foundation:
- Newborns: 14-17 hours
- Infants: 12-15 hours
- Toddlers: 11-14 hours
- Preschoolers: 10-13 hours
- Schoolchildren: 9-11 hours
- Teenagers: 8-10 hours
- Adults up to 64 years: 7-9 hours
- Adults over 65 years: 7-8 hours
As you can see, adults need at least seven hours of sleep each night. Anything less than seven hours may result in unrefreshing sleep and thus lead to chronic sleep deprivation. Read more
On August 1, 2019, the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases begin a Clinical Trial to Evaluate Experimental Treatment in People Allergic to Multiple Foods.
Though food allergy affects more than 4.8 million children in the United States, no approved preventative treatments currently exist. While experimental desensitization strategies are available in research settings, people with food allergies must avoid known allergens and are advised to carry injectable epinephrine to prevent potentially life-threatening allergic reactions caused by accidental exposures. To help alleviate this risk, a new study to evaluate an experimental treatment for food allergy launched today. The study is supported by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), part of the National Institutes of Health; Genentech, a member of the Roche Group; and Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corporation.
The study is called Omalizumab as Monotherapy and as Adjunct Therapy to Multi-Allergen Oral Immunotherapy in Food Allergic Children and Adults, or OUtMATCH. It will test the ability of biweekly or monthly injections of omalizumab—alone or together with multi-allergen oral immunotherapy (OIT)—to increase a person’s ability to tolerate foods to which they are allergic. Multi-allergen OIT involves consuming small, gradually increasing amounts of several allergens in a controlled setting to build the body’s tolerance to those food allergens. Investigators will assess whether the experimental treatment regimens help prevent allergic reactions to small amounts of food that may be consumed unintentionally, thereby mitigating the danger of life-threatening emergencies among people with multiple food allergies. Read more