12 tips for buying safe toys

Susan Stevens Martin from the American Academy of Pediatrics shared in the Daily Herald that whether they’re wrapped under a tree or exchanged with the lighting of a candle, giving gifts to children is a favorite part of winter holidays.

When choosing a toy for a child, the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends the toy be appropriate for the child’s age and stage of development. This makes it more likely the toy will engage the child — and reduces the risk it could cause injury.

If you are shopping for a toy for a child this holiday season, here are a few tips from the AAP.

1. Read the label. Warning labels give important information about how to use a toy and what ages the toy is safe for. Be sure to show your child how to use the toy the right way.

2. Look for learning toys. When choosing gifts for babies and toddlers, consider toys that will build developmental skills. Toys that can be manipulated, such as shape sorters, stacking blocks, and baby-safe puzzles, are great for developing fine motor, cognitive, and perceptual skills.

3. Think LARGE. If you are buying a toy for a child under age 3, make sure all toys and parts are larger than the child’s mouth to prevent choking. Read more

How to manage sibling rivalry

Advocate Children’s Hospital shared that for parents, there is no way around it. Having more than one child likely means one thing in your household; rivalry. And while all the bickering and competition may be irritating and stressful, rivalry is not such a bad thing when handled properly.

In fact, it can actually help build necessary lifelong skills and lead your kids to a healthier life.

No matter what the age difference, tension and conflicts tend to arise between siblings over a variety of things, ranging in severity.

“The way siblings handle these conflicts depends on several factors, but the most important is how they are taught by their parents to manage them,” says Dr. Joanna Lindell, a child and adolescent psychiatrist at Advocate Children’s Hospital. “If you can remember the acronym PEACE, these five tips may bring peace to your home, at least most of the time.”

P: Pick and choose which rivalries to leave alone and which ones to intervene on.

Typically, small squabbles should be left for siblings to try to resolve on their own. However, the second it starts to get emotionally abusive, like insulting remarks, and/or physically abusive, parents must quickly jump in and address the conflict.

E: Eliminate equality. While children think in terms of “fair” a lot, the world mostly does not. So the earlier kids are taught this concept, the more adaptable they can become.

Example: “Just because your older sister got a new back pack does not mean you have to have one.”

Explain reasons for things.

“She had hers for a long time and it is worn out, you just got a new one last year. But we can look at some new tennis shoes next week for you, since you’ve had yours for a while and they have holes in them.”

A: Alone one-on-one time with a parent is essential.

This “special” time (a lot of sources highly recommend using the word “special” a lot) will help build each parent-child relationship and decrease resentments.

The one thing every child wants more than anything is the attention of his/her parents and will tend to fight their sibling for it, unless it is given enough.

C: Comparisons; just don’t go there, especially in front of the other sibling.

This will only make one child feel worse about him or herself and the other one gloat. It’s not the best lesson to teach.

Additionally, if possible and appropriate, separate each sibling when intervening in these situations. This will allow you to listen to each child’s side, let them cool off, and deal with each at their developmental level.

E: Expectations; set them!

Kids do thrive on structure and rules, as much as they resist it. The clearer you can be on what is and is not appropriate, the better.

Practice the “hands-to-self” rule, encourage empathic behavior and responses and schedule family meetings to resolve disagreements, if necessary.

“Teaching your children PEACE is actually a good way to prepare them for life and for building relationships with others along the way,” adds Dr. Lindell.

• Children’s health is a continuing series. This week’s article is courtesy of Advocate Children’s Hospital. For more information, visit www. advocatechildrenshospital.com.

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To fidget spin or not to fidget spin?

Dr. Erik L. Johnson, a pediatrician with the Amita Health Medical Care Group, shared the following about Spinners:

Some light up. Some play music. All spin in a mesmerizing way. But do fidget spinners — the kid craze of 2017 — have health benefits, or are they a health hazard?

Some retailers have claimed that spinners have health benefits, such as easing stress, post-traumatic stress disorder, anxiety and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.A recent article by Forbes contributor Bruce Y. Lee explored the science behind the allure of spinners and found that:

• Fidgeting may prevent your mind from being occupied by obsessive and unhealthy thoughts.

• Body movements are actually part of the thinking and expression process.

• Fidgeting serves as a ritual. Rituals can offer comforting predictability, familiarity and structure that may be relatively absent in real life.

So a fidget spinner can’t hurt if you have a fidgety child, right?

Well, maybe.

It turns out that spinners also might be hazardous to your child’s health.

A consumer watchdog group, World Against Toys Causing Harm, Inc., reported this summer that the spinners can fall apart, and their small pieces can be swallowed, creating a choking hazard.

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Apple Crunch Day is October 12, 2017!

The Illinois Great Apple Crunch is a daylong celebration of Midwest produce. Schools across the state participate by serving local apples on the lunch tray and crunching into them together as a school.  It is a fun event that lets schools support Illinois farmers and teach their students about healthy, fresh, and local food. Educational supplements are provided for use in the cafeteria and the classroom to teach students about Illinois apples.  Mark your calendars for Thursday, October 12th, 2017 and join participants across Minnesota, Wisconsin, Illinois, Michigan, Indiana and Ohio on Thursday, October 12, 2017, for the fourth annual Great Lakes Great Apple Crunch. Participants of all ages are invited to help us reach our goal of ONE MILLION CRUNCHES this year!

 

Last year, Healthy Lombard partnered with Jewel/Osco on Main Street to provide apples for community members, and students in Lombard Elementary School District District 44 and Glenbard High School District 87.

Over 3000 apple coupons were distributed making this event a HUGE success.

Please join us this year and crunch an apple on October 12yth

Does your teen want a tattoo?

Lisa Black wrote for the American Academy of Pediatrics that like them or not, tattoos and piercings have entered the mainstream as a fashion phenomenon.

Children can spot them on celebrities, sports heroes, their baby sitters and baristas, so it is no surprise that teenagers might start thinking about making their own personal statement through ink or piercing.

Before they make that decision, young people are encouraged to talk with their doctor to review the possible consequences and potential risks associated with permanent tattoos, piercings and other body modifications.

That recommendation comes from the American Academy of Pediatrics, which published its first clinical report on tattoos in September.

Pediatricians recognized the popularity of body art and the need for doctors — and their patients — to understand the health and social ramifications.

“Tattooing is much more accepted than it was 15 to 20 years ago,” said Dr. Cora C. Breuner, an adolescent medicine specialist and chair of the AAP Committee on Adolescence, and the lead author of the AAP report. “These services have come a long way, safety-wise, but it’s best to proceed with caution.”

When counseling teens, Dr. Breuner urges her patients to do some research, to think hard about why they want a tattoo, and where on their body they want it.

While societal acceptance of tattoos and piercings has increased, there may still be repercussions. In a 2014 survey, 76 percent of 2,700 people interviewed said they believed that a tattoo or piercing had hurt their chances of getting a job.

Each state’s tattooing laws vary, but at least 45 states have laws prohibiting minors from getting tattoos, including Illinois. Thirty-eight states have laws that prohibit both body piercing and tattooing on minors without parental permission. In Illinois, minors can get a piercing with written permission from a parent or legal guardian.

The AAP recommends:

• If you are considering a tattoo, make sure all of your immunizations are up-to-date, and that you are not taking any medication that compromises your immunity.

• Before getting a tattoo or piercing, make sure the salon is sterile, clean and reputable. The facility should be regulated by the state and provide clients with information on how to care for the area that has been tattooed or pierced afterward. The facility should practice infection control just like at the doctor’s office.

The AAP also recommends teens talk with their parents before getting a tattoo or piercing.

“In most cases, teens just enjoy the look of the tattoo or piercing, but we do advise them to talk any decision over with their parents or another adult first,” said Dr. David Levine, a co-author of the AAP report. “They may not realize how expensive it is to remove a tattoo, or how a piercing on your tongue might result in a chipped tooth.”

Laser removal of tattoos can range from $49 to $300 per square inch of treatment area.

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Relationship between Exercise and School Participation

Elementary school teacher with pupils in classroom

College of DuPage Nursing StudentVidhi Jasani shared that the concept of exercise has been revolving around for a long time to promote wellness and many different purposes. But who knew exercise could help children focus in class? Some children struggle to concentrate in class to, but exercise has been shown to provide an excellent outlet for concentration and participation in class. According to National Public Radio’s, Patricia Neighmond, “walking and running help with reading and writing.”

Some researchers have observed that exercises, like tennis help to prepare their brain for academic pursuits. It is thought that exercises such as tennis require good concentration over a long period of time. Dr. Anthronette Yancey, a director at Center of Eliminate Heath Disparities believes; “Kids have better attention to subjects when they’ve been active.”

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Top 5 Exercises to Increase Height For Kids

Gregory Brown, a chief editor at ConstructMuscles.com, shared that if you have a child, you need to prioritize for him to grow healthy and strong. What we want for the child is to start making fitness a habit. We need to teach them that sleep is important, eating is the way to go and grow, and exercising is just as fun as playing with your friends. We can always teach kids how to live in the fitness world by having fun and breaking a sweat.

It is a saying that when you put yourself in physical stress all the time while you are young, your growth spurt will lessen. It is time to put that nonsense to rest. We are going to show you Exercises that will allow your kids to get taller, and make them grow up healthier each day. We are going to take it easy, and see how the children will have fun while getting their fitness fix.

Exercises For Kids

What we are going to see on this article are exercises that you can do anywhere and anytime. They are functional movements that can be done under time-controlled pace. Think about as a High Intensity Interval Training without the “High Intensity.” What we will focus on is for the children to have fun, and not make them feel groggy or tired. The youth are always full of energy, and they can do this every single day before or after they go to school.

  1. Jumping Jacks

In any fitness center you go to, you barely see people do the Jumping Jacks. It is one great warm-up movement to get your blood running about. For Kids, it is all about stretching their arms, legs, and spine.

  • To perform this, jump and spread your limbs wide open, but not sudden to avoid any injuries.
  • You can clap at the top of your head, or just fully stretch out your arms above your head.
  • While the limbs are spread out, the legs should be beyond hip-width apart.
  • Then, back to standing tall.

It is such an easy warm-up, yet it is fun to do for kids. You don’t need any equipment, but a decent amount of space for you and your kid to move around.

 

  1. Hanging on The Playground Bars

It is also a great chance for you and your young one to have a bonding session. Just guide your child through the Jungle Gym bars. The reason for them to do it, is to have the same purpose of stretching their limbs and spine. You don’t need to do it on a daily basis. Just be cautious of your child’s surroundings to avoid hurting the others. It is one of those exercises that you can do on a DIY Pull-Up Bar if you have one at home.

 

  1. Squat Jumps

Another functional movement that is applicable to any demographic available. Tell your child or your younger sibling that even strong athletes do it to motivate them to exercise with you. Studies show that, jumping can boost your child’s growth and bones. It is the reason that some kids want to play basketball, so that they can grow as tall as the professionals that we see on TV.

  • Just tell them squat down, like how they would sit on a chair,
  • Then, jump as high as you can and repeat the process.

Tip: add a game to it such as, “

 

4. Stretching Movements

When you get to wake your kid up in the morning, try to ask them nicely to try and reach their toes. It will lengthen their hamstring muscles, and get a good stretch to their healthy spine. It is a good practice to get their mobility done. Then, after they try to reach for their toes, make them reach for the ceiling and tell them to reach for the sky.

Since there isn’t much movements involved besides stretching, accompany them while you are at it. On the first days, they might not be ecstatic to do it, until they get curious and do it with you.

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Healthy Lombard Invites Community to Crunch Along on October 12

On “Apple Crunch Day”, Healthy Lombard is encouraging everyone to crunch into an apple in a unifying action to raise awareness about eating better diets for our health and the environment, access and affordability of fruits and vegetables, and supporting local farmers.

Hundreds of thousands of school students in Illinois will crunch into an apple at lunchtime on October 12. Parents and other healthy-minded individuals will also join in the fun by crunching into an apple either in corporate cafeterias, their place of business, or at home.

Last year over 600 Lombard Elementary School District 44 and Glenbard High School District 87 students as well as parents, residents and employees at local businesses participated.

Healthy Lombard Foundation Board President Jay Wojcik is hoping to greatly increase that number this year. “We are so grateful to Jewel/Osco on Main Street (in Lombard) who has agreed to provide District 44 students with FREE Apple Coupons,” said Wojcik. “They partnered with us in Apple Crunch Day 2016 and, now that the community is aware of this special day, we are looking forward to much more participation.”

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Ever wonder how to lesson your kids’ screen time?

Overweight Brother and Sister Sitting on a Sofa Eating Takeaway Food and Watching the TV

College of DuPage Nursing Student Czarina Anne Cruz feels that children’s use of electronics nowadays seems unavoidable. They can spend a whole day watching TV shows, playing video games or texting on their phones, without having actual conversations with other people. This is alarming and can negatively affect their social skills and most importantly, their overall health including their sleep, vision, and weight. According to American Association of Pediatrics, children from 2-5 years old should spend 1 hour a day on their screens. For most homes, however, this is not the case. It is becoming difficult for parents to get their children’s attention, and getting their eyes off their screens.

Here are some tips to lessen your kids’ screen time:

  • No phones during dinner. Whoever touches his or her phone first would have to clean up the table and wash the dishes. This will also allow you to have a good conversation with your kids.
  • Wi-fi password. Do not give them the Wi-fi password unless all their homework and chores are done.
  • Turn off the phone at night. This will help them get enough sleep. They do not realize how much time they spend scrolling before they realize that they missed bedtime.
  • Play time Fridays. This is for your younger kids who spend hours playing on their tablets. Get them used to the rule that they can only have their tablet during a certain day, or on weekends if you prefer.

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Are good sleepers born or made?

Advocate Children’s Hospital asked the question, Are some babies just born “good sleepers” while others are not? he answer is no according to Dr. Darius Loghmanee, a pediatric sleep medicine physician at Advocate Children’s Hospital.

“In our society, we have very strange attitudes about sleep,” Loghmanee said. “We tend to look at it as a separate part of our lives which either magically happens or doesn’t. That is just not the case.”

Sleeping well is a learned behavior and it’s something you continue to learn throughout your life cycle, according to Loghmanee.

“Sleep is not something a parent can control in their baby,” Loghmanee said. “Only an anesthesiologist can put someone to sleep. It is no different than teaching your child the skills needed to do math. You must teach healthy sleeping habits.”

Loghmanee offers parents and caregivers the following tips to help your child become a so-called “good sleeper.”

1. Create a relaxed, happy and comfortable sleep environment. Consider lighting and soothing sensory input, such as mobiles, a sound machine or scents, such as lavender. You want your infant to associate these things with relaxation in their sleep environment. They will also have something consistent to focus on when placed in the crib. (Be careful not to overstimulate them, as well.)

2. Create a bedtime routine. Enjoy a short sequence of events that will help your baby wind down and relax; reading books, singing lullabies or rubbing their back. Learn what activities help your child wind down and incorporate them into the routine. Read more