illustration of a flu virus structure on isolated backgroundBernhard Wiedermann, MD, MA,  a specialist in pediatric infectious diseases. shared with “Rise and Shine” that grocery shopping is important, but sometimes people get more worried about the objects they’re touching than about the people that are around them. When it comes to grocery shopping – and things outside the house in general – you want to first focus on the setting and the people involved.

When I go grocery shopping, I make sure it’s at a store where the customers, salespeople, and checkout people are all wearing masks. Ideally, the checkout people are behind Plexiglass barriers so they’re somewhat protected. All of this tells me it’s a safer environment, especially since most grocery stores do not have aisles that are 6 feet wide, so maintaining social distancing of 6 feet in a grocery aisle isn’t that practical – you’re going to have to pass someone at some point.

When it comes to touching things in the grocery store, my advice is to do whatever gives you more peace of mind. It’s a good idea to plan your visit and make a grocery list. Your overall objective is to get in and get out as quickly and safely as possible. You should wear a mask while shopping, and if it makes you feel more comfortable, you can wear gloves.

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Alsan Bellard Jr., M.D., the medical director of the Children’s Health Center at THEARC, shared in the Rise and Shine newsletter that flowers are blooming everywhere and the air is filled with pollen, which means it’s allergy season. But this allergy season is a little different because it’s overlapping with a pandemic. So how can you tell if your child’s sneezes and sniffles are from allergies or from the coronavirus (COVID-19)?

Typically, allergies are associated with what we call itchy symptoms: itchy eyes, itchy nose, and sneezing. Those symptoms are usually relieved with routine allergy medicines.

Symptoms of COVID-19, on the other hand, also include those typical allergy symptoms, but they are accompanied by fever, cough, shortness of breath, and lots of body aches. These symptoms tend to be a lot more severe and would warrant an immediate call to your health care provider.

When it comes to determining if your child has been exposed to COVID-19, you’ll want to look at your family risk factors. Have you been out in a public area where you could have possibly been exposed to someone with COVID-19? You’ll also want to take into account your child’s behavior. Most parents are pretty familiar with what normal behavior and activity for their child are. If your child is acting sick or off, even if they don’t have all the symptoms of COVID-19, call your health care provider and let them help you figure out what’s going on. Read more


Bernhard Wiedermann, MD, MA, a specialist in pediatric infectious diseases. His research and clinical interests include general pediatric infections such as Lyme disease, unexplained and recurrent fevers, malaria and other tropical diseases, bone and joint infections, medical education, distance learning, and telemedicine and evidence-based medicine.  He shared in “Rise and Shine” that the risk of contracting the virus is actually more related to the other people in and around the playground than the equipment itself.

According to Wiedermann, the risk of contracting the virus is actually more related to the other people in and around the playground than the equipment itself. In general, for this virus, there’s no place better to be than wide-open spaces because if there’s any virus around it dissipates very quickly.

But, if you’re at the playground with eight other families and everybody’s running into each other and crawling all over each other, that’s not a great situation. So pay attention more to the surrounding environment. If a child has been on the playground equipment and has coughed and there’s mucus everywhere, then that’s not going to be a good situation.

Most importantly, regardless of your activities, wash your hands, wash your hands, wash your hands! And also don’t forget that you should not be going out or around others if you are sick.

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Kristen Reese, MD, a pediatrician at Children’s National Pediatricians & Associates Foggy Bottom and Capitol Hill and Rachel Shnider, MD, a pediatrician at Children’s National Pediatricians & Associates Foggy Bottom.both have a special interest in newborn care and infancy, adolescent health and medical education.  The co-authored an article for “Rise and Shine,” which says that when determining if it’s okay to see grandparents during the pandemic, you need to evaluate your family’s risk factors and risk tolerance.

The authors understand that these have been really challenging times for families and that it has been very hard for people to remain physically distanced from their loved ones during the pandemic. Many people are starting to question when it may be okay to have grandparents visit their grandchildren or to travel themselves to visit family members. While social distancing and isolation are crucial to controlling the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19), we recognize that mental health and family relationships are also critical during this strange “new normal.”

Evaluate your risk factors and risk tolerance

There is no single answer, but here are some things to consider when evaluating your family’s risk factors and risk tolerance. Do the grandparents have high-risk medical conditions? In general, the risk of getting very sick due to COVID-19 is higher in older people, but medical conditions such as lung disease, heart problems, and diabetes can place people at higher risk for a more serious infection. Consider how well each family member has been socially distancing – have any family members still been working outside the home on a regular basis? Some jobs may be riskier than others (for example, healthcare and grocery store workers) due to how many contacts they have with other (potentially sick) people. Read more

Racism has devastating effects on children’s health, pediatricians warn

William Wan a national reporter covering health, science, and news for The Washington Post wrote that the nation’s largest group of pediatricians warned this week that racism can have devastating long-term effects on children’s health.

policy statement from the American Academy of Pediatrics is the first it has issued to its members on the dangers of racism. Doctors involved in the report said the current political and cultural atmosphere makes the work more urgent.

“If you look at what’s in the news today, in social media, on Twitter, there are so many kids are exposed to,” said Jackie Douge, a pediatrician with the Howard County Health Department who co-wrote the statement. “As much as you want to keep it in the background, it’s not in the background. It’s having direct health effects on kids.”

Their report comes at a time when racism is dominating headlines, driven by racist tweets from President Trump, which have inspired chants at his rallies, and also by the rise of white nationalism.

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Our First Flat Apple 2020 Video!

Check it out !!!!!
Watch this fun Relay Race.
This is the first video submission for Foat Apple 2020.
These three wonderful participants decided to run back and forth and counting each lap to see who could be the first to complete twenty laps.

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How racism harms children

, Senior Faculty Editor, Harvard Health Publishing, writes that Racism hurts children, in real and fundamental ways. It hurts not just their health, but their chances for a good, successful life.
 That’s the bottom line message of a new policy statement from the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP). It is a call to action for all of us. If we care about the health and future of all of our children, it says, we need to take real steps to end racism — and to help and support those who are affected by it.Racism informs our actions when we structure opportunities for and assign value to people based on our interpretation of how they look. Biologically we are truly just one race, sharing 99.9% of our genes no matter what the color of our skin or what part of the world we come from. But historically we have found ways to not just identify differences, but to oppress people because of them. Racism grew out of and helped rationalize colonization and slavery. Despite our biological sameness, people continue to look for differences — and claim superiority. While we have made historical progress, the beliefs and oppression that underpin racism persist; it is, as the AAP statement calls it, a “socially transmitted disease.”

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Flat Apple Is In Full Swing

This summer we have over 30 students registered to participate in Flat Apple 2020.  This FREE summer program is designed to incentivize kids to stay active during the summer months outside of school.  The 2020 program runs June 1- August 7.  The program allows participants to earn tickets for eligibility to win a variety of prizes at the end of the summer.  Prize winners are typically contacted in September.

Flat Apple provides various opportunities to earn “tickets” for eligibility for raffle prizes at the end of the summer.

Earning tickets is as easy as 1, 2, 3.:

  1. Registered participants can log their physical activity for the summer and complete the activity tracker.  A copy of the activity tracker is on the backside of this note and additional copies can be downloaded at  Every 300 minutes counts for one raffle ticket.  Participants are encouraged to log as many hours as they wish, but please note the max number of tickets earned for completing the activity tracker is ten (3,000minutes).
  2. Registered participants may earn tickets by posting a “Healthy Selfie” on THEIR Facebook with #HealthySelfie.  Or email it to Participants may earn a total of 10 tickets by submitting “Healthy Selfies.”
  3. Kids can make a Healthy Video and send it to  After review, the videos will be posted on our YouTube Channel.  Each video accepted counts for 3 tickets.

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