Balance Screen Time with Green Time

According to by  in  The New Nature Movement –   nature experiences can be a perfect antidote to the buzzing distraction of modern childhood. After a trip to the forest or the beach, the mind seems reinvigorated. Here’s why.

Attention Restoration Theory, first developed by Rachel and Stephen Kaplan, asserts that people can concentrate better after spending time in nature or even looking at scenes of nature. Turning the theory into practice, by encouraging people to spend time outdoors in urban parks or wilderness areas has been shown to help many people.

Students can experience significant benefits. According to Attention Restoration Theory, resting in green environments allows students to regain the attentional focus they need for academic success in school. Concentrating in the classroom requires the brain to work in a way that cannot be maintained forever. The longer the brain must hold focus and ignore distraction, the more it loses the ability to concentrate. Read more

Experimental Nasal Influenza Vaccine Tested in Kids, Teens

The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases shared  that an early-stage clinical trial testing the safety and immune-stimulating ability of an experimental nasal influenza vaccine in healthy 9- to 17-year-old children and teens has begun enrolling participants at a Vaccine and Treatment Evaluation Unit (VTEU) site at Saint Louis University, St. Louis, Missouri. The VTEU is funded by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), part of the National Institutes of Health.

Annual vaccination against influenza is recommended for everyone over six months of age. However, because the flu virus changes from year to year, vaccines must be reformulated annually to take account of those changes. When mismatches occur, vaccine effectiveness may suffer. “We are hopeful that newer kinds of influenza vaccines, such as the candidate being tested in this trial, will provide protection even if their components do not precisely match the currently circulating influenza virus strains,” said NIAID Director Anthony S. Fauci, M.D.

Principal investigator Daniel Hoft, M.D., Ph.D., leads the clinical trial, which will enroll 50 participants. Half will receive the candidate nasal vaccine and the other half will receive a dose of inactive saline solution delivered as a nasal spray. Neither the study staff nor volunteers will know whether a participant has received the experimental

Read more

The Exercise That Helps Mental Health Most

Sumathi Reddy shared in the Wall Street Journal that we assume exercise improves our mental health. But what kind of exercise works best?

Researchers looking at the link between physical activity and mental health found that team sports fared best, followed by cycling, either on the road or a stationary bike.

The study, published in the journal Lancet Psychiatry this month, is among the first of its kind, and the largest, analyzing the effect of different types of exercise.

It found that physical activity typically performed in groups, such as team sports and gym classes, provided greater benefits than running or walking.

Researchers rated mental health based on a survey. It asked respondents how many days in the previous month their mental health was “not good” due to stress, depression or problems with emotions.

People who played team sports like soccer and basketball reported 22.3% fewer poor mental-health days than those who didn’t exercise. Those who ran or jogged fared 19% better, while those who did household chores 11.8% better.

In a secondary analysis, the researchers found that yoga and tai chi—grouped into a category called recreational sports in the original analysis—had a 22.9% reduction in poor mental-health days. (Recreational sports included everything from yoga to golf to horseback riding.)

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.

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.

Read more

Keep Your Cool in Hot Weather!

The Center for Disease Contro; shared the following information about heat-related illness and how to stay cool and safe in hot weather.

Now is the time to prepare for the high temperatures that kill hundreds of people every year. Extreme heat causes more than 600 deaths each year. Heat-related deaths and illness are preventable, yet many people still die from extreme heat every year.

Take measures to stay cool, remain hydrated, and keep informed. Getting too hot can make you sick. You can become ill from the heat if your body can’t compensate for it and properly cool you off. The main things affecting your body’s ability to cool itself during extremely hot weather are:

High humidity. When the humidity is high, sweat won’t evaporate as quickly, which keeps your body from releasing heat as fast as it may need to.
Personal factors. Age, obesity, fever, dehydration, heart disease, mental illness, poor circulation, sunburn, and prescription drug and alcohol use can play a role in whether a person can cool off enough in very hot weather. Read more

Is my newborn normal?

Therese Gracey, M.D.Specialty: Pediatrics with Edwards-Elmhurst Health shared in their Healthy Driven blog that 

Moms know what a big change it is to have a newborn at home. You’ve waited for months for your baby to get here. Now she’s here and you aren’t quite sure what to make of this tiny creature.

During the first couple of weeks after you give birth, you may wonder: is this how a newborn is supposed to look and behave?

Here are some common newborn traits you should know, and some not-so-normal things to look out for:

  • Crying. All newborn babies cry, all the time. You’ll get familiar with your baby’s normal pattern of crying. Until then, make sure your newborn is fed, burped, has a clean diaper, and isn’t too cold or hot. You can also try holding, rocking, swaddling or singing to her.Contact your pediatrician: If your baby won’t stop crying after trying the above.
  • Breathing. Newborns tend to breathe through their noses, and their nasal passages are narrow. Your baby may breathe noisily, sneeze, or sound congested even when she doesn’t have a cold. A bulb syringe can help with clearing out her nasal passages.Contact your pediatrician right away: If your baby has trouble breathing. When in doubt, go to the ER or call 911.

Read more

Dental Expo at Metropolitan Family Services

You’re invited to the Dental Expo at Metropolitan Family Services (222 E. Willow Ave in Wheaton) on July 18th from 9 to 2 pm.

Please note that this event is intended for children ages 0-3 as it is focused on preventative dental care and easing the fear and expectations for children and parents that often comes with the first dental visit.

The Oral Healthcare Professionals, specifically Dr. Eric Jackson, will be providing dental screenings and individualized dental education for families. Thank you, Dr. Jackson! We will also have special giveaway items for every family in attendance which include an event tote bag, dental board book, cup, age-appropriate toothbrush and more!!

If you have any questions, please  contact:

Elise Schram, MPH, CHES. Project Director, Wheaton/Warrenville Early Childhood Collaborative, Metropolitan Family Services DuPage, 222 East Willow Avenue | Wheaton, Illinois 60187 Read more

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.

Read more