Human Papillomavirus (HPV) Infection

College of DuPage Nursing student Jade Maestas asks Healthy Lombard viewers,  “Would you prevent cancer if you could?”

While no universal cure for cancer exists yet, some forms of cancer are highly preventable due to modern medical advances. Cervical cancer is one of these. In fact, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, an estimated 93% of cervical cancers could be prevented through regular vaccination and screening.1 Every single year, over 13,000 people in the United States are diagnosed with cervical cancer and 4,000 people die from it.2 Widespread use of just these two prevention methods alone could prevent the vast majority of these illnesses and deaths.

Connected to 99% of cervical cancer cases, human papillomavirus (HPV) infection is the main risk factor for developing cervical cancer.2 HPV infection is also incredibly common. Whether or not they realize it, about 80% of all women have been infected with HPV at some point in their lives by the time they are 50 years old.2 Further, 9 out of 10 people will have HPV at least once during their lifetimes.3 Most of the time, our bodies can fight off HPV, and the infections clear without causing any further issues. However, the virus sometimes causes changes in normal body cells that can lead to the development of cancer over time. In addition to cervical cancer, the virus can cause head, neck, mouth, throat, anal, vaginal, and penile cancers.4 Fortunately, the HPV vaccine can prevent this cancer-causing infection.

The vaccine is recommended for all children and can be first administered as early as age 9.5 Adults who have not yet received the vaccine are encouraged to do so as soon as possible to increase the chance of preventing infection. Adults 26 and younger are at the highest risk for new infection, but people as old as 45 can receive the vaccine.5 Read more

How Incorporating Safety into Bedtime Routine Can Help Ease Your Child’s Anxiety

Corey Joyner Jr <> shared with Healthy Lombard that these days, parents have a variety of tech and tools to help with bedtime routines. From sound machines and meditation recordings to aromatherapy and storytime, these gadgets can help parents with children get their little ones to sleep.

But for some children consumed by worry and anxiety, those options aren’t quite good enough to get to help them get to sleep and stay asleep. Studies show that 7.1% of children aged 3-17 years of age (approximately 4.4 million) have diagnosed anxiety. For those children plagued with concerns about the welfare of themselves and their families, feeling safe and secure can make a big difference.

The experts at Freshome put together tips to weave elements of safety and security into your daily nighttime routine as a way to ease causes of bedtime anxiety, so you and your child get the best night’s sleep possible.

Children need to feel safe and secure before going to bed 

Lack of sleep causes children to feel cranky, irritable, and can even lead to depression.  Sleepless nights can also contribute to physical symptoms, such as headaches and stomach aches. We all want good sleep for our children, so what’s getting in the way?

According to the Alaska Sleep Education Center, there are many sources of anxiety that prevent children from falling or staying asleep. Experts say that many of those symptoms revolve around the child’s developmental stage. Read more

Organic Food Solves Health Problems with Kids

Karthik Reddy, Community Manager at Webmasterjury shared with Healthy Lombard that conventional food has been scientifically proven to contain over 2,000 chemicals that can be detrimental to a child’s health. It can cause numerous health problems such as hormonal disorders, kidney stones, gout, brain damage, obesity, and even cancer.

To prevent various diseases that may arise from eating conventional food, many parents try to encourage healthier eating habits in their children by buying organic products. According to the insightful infographic composed by HealthCareers, 40% of them try to preserve their children’s wellbeing early in childhood by purchasing organic food for their babies.

Diseases Caused by Bad Eating Habits

Did you know that 57% of children are well on their way to becoming obese by the age of 35? This is a staggering number, especially considering that parents nowadays have the opportunity to buy food that is healthy and will not harm their child’s health in any way. Although more visually appealing, conventional food is not nutritionally rich, causing a temporary feeling of satiety in children.

Excessive calorie intake and lack of physical activity can cause obesity in children of all ages. Furthermore, many conventional food producers add a variety of preservatives and additives to keep the food fresh for a longer period of time and make it more attractive to consumers. These chemicals can have a long-lasting negative effect on your children’s health.

Cancer is the leading cause of death worldwide. The number of children with various types of cancer is one the rise. The CDC records about 15,000 pediatric cancer patients each year. It may be hard to believe, but food can be a cause of cancer.

A study was conducted in France, which followed a group of 70,000 adults over a 5-year period. People who consumed organic food were found to have 25% fewer diagnoses of cancer. These benefits would apply to children as well. Just imagine how many children’s lives can be saved with a simple change in eating habits?

Read more

Keto Diet

College of DuPage Nursing Student Alexandra Neumayer shared with Healthy Lombard that just about everyone can relate to the daily dread of figuring out what is for dinner. For many it becomes appealing to have those decisions made for us. Healthy, simplified eating “rules” can kill two birds with one stone. This is one of the many reasons the ketogenic diet (or keto for short) has become such a popular direction for people trying to lose weight while also simplifying their daily food options.

A major element of the ketogenic diet is maintaining control over macro proportions, macros being fats, carbohydrates, and protein. A normal diet consists of about 25% fats, 50% carbohydrates, and 25% protein. Rachel Kleinman, RDN, LDN from the University of Chicago, explains that the Keto Diet was mainly developed to help children with epilepsy control their seizures and this diet increases the fat consumption to about 75%, cutting out almost all carbs and keeping protein around 20%. Dietician Mary Condon, RN, LDN explains that while Keto may help with initial weight loss and blood sugar reduction it is not sustainable and usually results in the weight being gained back quickly.

There are risks beyond just future weight gain, however. People on medication that causes low blood sugar may have to adjust the medication relatively quickly after beginning Keto. There is also a risk of an increased risk of heart disease because of the large amount of fat intake. Heart-healthy fats (unsaturated fat) may be acceptable in large doses in the diet, but a significant increase in saturated fat consumption can pose a threat. Read more

Bullying Awareness and Prevention Guide

Harry Southworth a freelance writer who focuses on articles on education and students’ life, shared with Healthy Lombard that Bullying has always been a serious problem due to the negative impact on both a victim and a bully. Children and teenagers are especially prone to this harmful experience because they are still developing their understanding and attitude towards the world and cases of constant humiliating, isolation, or physical aggression can lead to severe psychological problems in the future. The power over other people that bullies feel may also inevitably change their personalities and prevent them from developing adequate relationships with other people in general. That is why this issue needs to be addressed as soon as it emerges.

What is Bullying?

Basically, this is the term that includes various behaviors of a person intended to frighten or even hurt another person who usually could not resist the pressure and might be forced to do things he or she did not want.

Read more

Winter Play Campaign Aims to Get Kids Outdoors

Simon Weedy wrote for “Child in the City” that the Association of Play Industries (API) is promoting a new initiative aimed at getting children outdoors and using playgrounds over the winter.

It has joined forces with Leyla Preston, founder of online parenting platform Motherhood Diaries and social media influencer, to launch the new winter campaign.

It builds on the API’s  Play Must Stay campaign, which has shown that parents are becoming increasingly concerned with the steep decline in public playgrounds. With the vast majority of families living in urban areas, community playgrounds are often their only chance to get their children playing outdoors and the winter months present even more challenges.

Play Must Stay campaign

Mark Hardy, API Chair, said: “Without access to free, local, high-quality outdoor play facilities, children can spend most of the winter cooped up indoors.  The closure of hundreds of playgrounds across the UK means that the reality for many families is that children are not even getting the minimum recommended amount of daily exercise.  In the midst of a childhood obesity epidemic and rising mental health problems, we are calling on the government to urgently invest in public play provision before it’s too late.”

Leyla Preston added: “Last year our summer project explored how less screen time and more time spent in playgrounds impacted not only my two boys’ lives but our family as a whole.  I saw a dramatic difference in their health and wellbeing.  My children were happier, they slept better and their behavior improved.

“I know that many parents are waiting for this debate to take place; so many of us know that our children are not outside enough and spend far too much time indoors and on screens, especially in winter.  Parents need and deserve support to turn this around.  We have wonderful playgrounds in the UK that we need to value and protect, as well as campaign for government investment in them before they disappear for good. Read more

Cities are Addressing Inequality in Parks Access

Changing America reported that residents with lower incomes are less likely to find green space nearby in their neighborhoods in several major U.S. metro areas. But American cities have started addressing long-standing disparities in access to parks and green space, new research finds. A report from the City Parks Alliance showcases cities that are leading the way in distributing funding for parks more equitably, using data-driven approaches.

The research, published on Tuesday, includes recommendations and seven case studies of cities that have made equity in park funding a priority. These cities include San Francisco and L.A. County, Calif.; Pittsburgh, Philadelphia, New York City, Minneapolis and Detroit.

Catherine Nagel, City Parks Alliance executive director, says, “There’s been a greater awareness of the unintended consequences of many of the linear parks, which inadvertently have contributed to rising real estate values around them. I think cities are really trying to figure out how they pay more attention to neighborhoods … [without] driving further displacement.”

The recommendations of the report include getting leaders from one or more sectors of the city to champion, explain the need for and work toward better equity in parks funding. In some of the cities featured in the report, it was the city’s parks and recreation department that led the effort, but in others, it was the mayor or nonprofit sectors that play a role. Read more

How to get your child to eat more veggies

Toni Havala, MS, Registered Dietitian, Endeavor Health Weight Loss Clinic in Naperville asks in the Edward-Elmhurst Health Blog, “Ever try to get your child to eat her/his veggies and failed miserably?” If you are like many parents, you may be searching for clever ways to sneak veggies into meals because your kids just won’t eat them.Picky eating is common in young children, especially when it comes to vegetables and other healthy foods. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that nine out of 10 children don’t eat enough vegetables.

But they should. Vegetables provide nutrients that are vital to good health. Eating a diet rich in vegetables may help reduce the risk for health issues later, include type 2 diabetes, obesity, heart disease and certain types of cancer.

The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends vegetable consumption with every meal and snack. How many veggies does your child need to eat in a day? It depends on her/his age, gender and activity level. According to site, the daily recommended vegetables for children are:

  • 2-3 years old: 1 cup
  • 4-8 years old: 1 ½ cups
  • 9-13 years old: 2 cups (girls), 2 ½ cups (boys)
  • 14-18 years old: 2 ½ cups (girls), 3 cups (boys)

Read more

Marijuana use in Pregnant Women Determined to be cause for Developmental Delays

College of DuPage Nursing Student  Maria Villagomez wrote for Healthy Lombard that recreational marijuana is now legal in Illinois and researchers in the Midwest have warned expectant mothers to refrain from marijuana use after observing infants exposed to marijuana are at a greater risk for social and emotional issues.

Researchers at the University of Iowa, HealthPartners Institute, and the University of Minnesota conducted a recent study that involved the use of a development screening tool to examine babies and the risk for developmental delays and found that 9.1 percent of babies from mothers who used marijuana while pregnant were at risk, whereas only 3.6 percent of mothers who refrained from drug use while pregnant were at risk.

The study also assessed the child’s growth as they approached one year of age. Marijuana use may also be linked to socioeconomic factors, as mothers who used marijuana were younger tended to be from low-income backgrounds. What is also concerning is that mothers may also not realize how long marijuana will stay in their system, which may contribute to additional complications.

Read more

Acupuncturist Incorporates Nature as Part of Treatment for Patients

Overall health and wellbeing encompass much more than just physical health. Licensed Acupuncturist and Healthy Lombard Board Member, Jenn McGrath, thoroughly understands how physical, mental and emotional wellbeing are all connected and practices a holistic approach when treating her patients at the Points to Wellness in Oakbrook Terrace, Illinois.

To describe how emotional and physical health are connected, Jenn gives the example of grief. Grief is known to negatively affect many areas of the body. Grief can cause digestive disturbances such as constipation, diarrhea, flare-ups of colitis and nausea. Grief can also cause immune stress, anxiety, insomnia, weight gain/loss or even impaired driving ability due to lack of focus.

When taking a patient’s health history, Jenn engages with the patient to better understand their emotional and mental state in addition to physical conditions. This includes discovering what brings them joy and makes them happy. Based on her patient’s interests, Jenn encourages spending time with loved ones, singing/playing an instrument, outdoor activities such as taking time to build a snowman with their child or taking a 30 minutes walk with a friend.

Jenn often incorporates time in nature into her treatment plans as promoted by the Conservation Foundation in Naperville, IL whose mission includes improving the health of our communities by preserving and restoring natural areas and open space. Studies show spending 30 minutes in nature lowers the stress hormone cortisol. Read more