Did You Forget To Sign Up for Flat Apple Fitness 2021?

Flat Apple logo 2021No worries.  You can still register.

WHO WE ARE:

The Mission of Healthy Lombard is to address the epidemic of Pediatric Obesity through Awareness, Activities, and Achievement. WE DO THIS BY:

  • Providing free-of-charge activities for youth
  • Promoting a healthier lifestyle for everyone through the information shared on our website
  • Providing a platform for community networking and collaboration through our quarterly partner meetings

 

WHY FLAT APPLE:

With that mission in mind, Healthy Lombard developed the Flat Apple Fitness Program to motivate kids to stay active and positive during the summer months outside of school.  The 2021 program runs June 13- July 31, 2021.  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. (BTW, the program is called “Flat Apple” because that is what our logo looks like!)

 

WHAT’S NEW:
This year, we have added some new features like “Mindfulness Mondays” to promote Social-Emotional Learning (SEL). In addition to earning tickets for healthy selfies and healthy videos, kids can complete a BINGO Sheet and/or try a recipe to earn extra participation tickets each week. We have also added, “Wellness Wednesdays” to encourage physical activity and “Foodie Fridays” to promote healthy eating and cooking! All three components will be highlighted in a weekly newsletter.

Read more

Food for Thoughts

College o DuPage Nursing Student Rana Shubbak wrote for Healthy Lombard that a majority of the American population, including children and adults, have been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic one way or another. Other than the financial crisis that many Americans have dealt with, mental health is an issue that has been overlooked and seldom discussed. Nearly all families have dealt with the struggle of remote learning and work commitments from home. Juggling school, work, caring for children, and managing finances are all factors that can take a toll on mental health. There are many things that can be done at home during the pandemic to help improve mental health.

A place to begin to improve health is diet. According to a recent article by Brookie and colleagues (2018), a diet comprised of a higher quantity of raw fruits and vegetables is rich in micronutrients and associated with improved mental health. Once vegetables are cooked or processed many of the important micronutrients are lost. Chai et al., (2019) recently found that only about 54% of families consume food from non-fast-food outlets each month. Processed foods and fast-food not only contribute to obesity but other long-term health issues. Consuming fresh raw fruits and vegetables is not only healthier but saves time and money as well. A time-saving strategy is to wash and cut up favorite fruits and vegetables, such as berries or cucumbers, then placing in a container the night before work or school or on an ongoing basis for a convenient snack. Since this healthy snack has already been prepared it is available and convenient. Nutritious snacks not only improve overall health and save time but also improve one’s mood (Brookie et al., 2018). It is best to consume vegetables raw since boiling or cooking results in reduced nutrient content. To add flavor to raw vegetables, use dips such as peanut butter, ranch dressing or hummus that come in a variety of flavors. Read more

Flu Shot for the Kids!

College of DuPage Nursing Student Niro Nazareno shared with Healthy Lombard that in a recent article entitled, 5 Reasons Kids Need Flu Shots Every Year, Falusi (2019) recommends children in the U.S. get a flu shot every year. Parents are often concerned, however, about the safety and side effects of the flu shot. The flu is a dangerous, contagious virus that may cause illness or death (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention [CDC], 2020) and infect the nose, throat, and lungs, is clearly demonstrated.

The Flu Makes Kids Very Sick
Some ask why the flu vaccine is recommended. Flu season peaks from October to May (Falusi 2019). The flu is not just an ordinary cold, it is actually dangerous; it is very contagious, and a child may end up in bed with a high fever, painful cough and body aches for more than a week. Your child may be able to overcome the flu, however, since they are surrounded by others, they may spread the virus even when not experiencing symptoms. The flu virus changes frequently, so a child may still catch a strain of the virus if they do not have an updated vaccine. Overall, it is best to get a flu shot. Read more

How to Get Your Kids Outside and Active this Summer

girl going for a wlkWriter Sierra Powell asks, “Have you ever wondered what to do with the kids after a long day in school?”   Some actives can either be fun, recreational, or educational to keep your children occupied. Some of these activities help your kids develop spatial, science, reading, Math, and writing skills every day. The advantage of some activities after school can be so much fun they won’t know they are learning.

DIY Creations

Since schools can be a whole day of sports and academia, students might come home tired and mentally exhausted. A little fun won’t be wrong to break the dullness. For you to make sure children stay proactive, it’s essential to keep them on a schedule of activities this Summer. It’s vital to find fun activities and chores to instill discipline through duties and activities.

It’s good you provide them with random recycled materials, scissors, glue and tell them to create a bridge or a different idea that you might have.

Chalk Drawing on the Sidewalk

After children have spent their day indoors in rigorous academic learning, there is nothing wrong with spending some time outdoors. A good game you can introduce to your children Is drawing objects on the sidewalk and let them guess.

After spending all day inside and focus, it is great to spend some time outside after school. We like to play one game to guess the picture with the sidewalk and let the others think about what the images stand for. Chalk Drawing boosts the children’s creativity to turn a word into a picture and be an “outside the box thinker.”

Chalk Drawing helps kids learn to think creatively to turn a word into a picture and think out of the box and think of ways to enable their team to attempt to know the word. If you happen to have enough kids, you can vary the game and play it in groups. You can even introduce spelling words and vocabulary in a fun way.

Make a Snack!

Children, in general, love treats. The evening hours can be a great time to instill kids with skills to create snack recipes and follow them keenly. You win as a caregiver if you label anything as a treat since it gets them exciting. Snack preparation serves as a double duty to teach your kids basic cooking skills and follow instructions and cook.

A good snack recipe I would suggest is peanut butter energy balls. Read more

What’s on Your Hands?

College of DuPage Nursing Student Ashley Gilpin wrote for Healthy Lombard that children are told from a young age to wash their hands. But why is this necessary? Is this because they are dirty or have germs on them and if so, aren’t germs good for building a healthy immune system? Washing hands is such a simple task that is performed countless times a day without actually knowing what is on them. The reality is that there is usually all sort of good and bad things on the hands of an individual.

Certain bacteria that collect on the hands each day are actually considered vital for healing open wounds and cuts. Any scratch that impairs skin integrity initiates an inflammatory response, and the presence of microbes modulates the inflammatory response (Geddes, 2009). Without these normal bacteria on the hands, the body is not able to heal properly. Bacteria may be harmful, however, when an open wound occurs on the body.

Long before the COVID-19 pandemic, handwashing was a common practice, but it has increased since it began. According to Courtney (2019), however, 92% of individuals claim they wash their hands after using the restroom, yet only about 66% of them actually do. On average, the typical individual touches an estimated 60,000 germs a day, with about one to two percent of these germs considered dangerous to the immune system. The most common harmful bacteria and viruses that we encounter include ‘staph’, E. Coli, salmonella, types of fungi, and certain parasites (Courtney, 2019), and those that cause the cold and flu. The most common locations of these harmful bacteria are door handles, ATMs, shopping carts, keys, money, purses, wallets, remote controls, bathrooms, restaurant menus, and most importantly, cellphones (Brownstein & Chitale, 2008) and many of these bacteria may live on surfaces for up to 24 hours. Read more

How Can Martial Arts Help with Childhood Obesity, Mental Health, and Habits?

Robert from wayofmartialarts.com shared with Healthy Lombard that millions of things make martial arts an excellent option for everybody to start practicing regardless of age, gender, or physical condition. They will boost your strength, stamina, flexibility, confidence, and mental toughness while reducing stress levels.

Apart from all those general benefits, there are also more specific ways that martial arts can help you lead a much more healthy and fulfilled life. Children with obesity problems, attention deficit disorders, or people with mental health issues can all have huge benefits from practicing martial arts.

We’ve developed a list of concrete examples of how martial arts can help with childhood obesity, mental health, and habits.

Martial Arts Help Fight Children Obesity

Nowadays, more and more children suffer from obesity from the youngest age, especially in the western cultural circle. That has a lot to do with our modern way of life: spending more time sitting in front of screens than ever before, which means less exercise and movement whatsoever.

Plus, often we don’t have the time to cook, so we settle for fast food and junk that has no nutritional value and only makes us fat. Children spend less time outdoors doing any physical activity, and when you combine that with a poor diet, they become obese.

That’s where martial arts can play a crucial role in the child’s development and fight obesity, even when dealing with extreme cases. The body has a much higher ability to change and adapt; hence physical exercise will have a more significant effect.

Every martial art is unique in one way or another, but they all have in common that they are all great full-body workouts, regardless of what techniques they are using: striking, grappling, or both.

Read more

Remote Learning During Covid-19 Is Causing Children to Gain Weight, Doctors Warn

White protective mask on young patientKate King in the WSJ reported that pediatricians are warning that the coronavirus pandemic’s protracted disruption of in-person schooling, sports, and other activities is leading to weight gain that could have long-lasting impacts on children’s health.

Students are snacking more and exercising less, and nutritionists and doctors who study obesity worry the pandemic is putting children at greater risk for type-two diabetes and asthma, among other health concerns.

“We’re seeing a lot of elementary school-aged kids who are gaining 20 to 30 pounds in a year,” said Hai Cao, a pediatrician, and owner of South Slope Pediatrics in Brooklyn, N.Y.

Brittany Wilson, a physician assistant with Island Kids Pediatrics on Staten Island, N.Y., said the pandemic seems to have accelerated weight gain among patients who were already overweight. Children 6 to 12 years old seem to be gaining the most.

“Even kids in grammar school are getting depressed,” Ms. Wilson said. “They miss their friends. A lot of them aren’t doing as well academically. With depression also comes weight gain. They’re bored, and I think they’re comfort-eating.”

Studies have shown that being in the classroom helps keep students’ weights in check, especially children who live in low-income neighborhoods. The Healthy Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010 resulted in new federal nutrition standards for school meals, including serving more fruits and vegetables.

Students who attend schools offering more-nutritious foods have healthier weights, according to research by Michael Yedidia of Rutgers University and Punam Ohri-Vachaspati of Arizona State University, who have been tracking the heights and weights of tens of thousands of New Jersey children who live in low-income communities since 2008.

Read more

FACTORS TO CONSIDER IN A RETURN TO IN-PERSON SCHOOLING

White protective mask on young patientRise and Shine posted that school systems around the world are grappling with rising coronavirus cases in their communities and how to continue to operate and/or reopen safely for in-person learning. They are also facing rising inequities due to the challenges of virtual learning and the digital divide. Parents around the nation are wrestling with similar decisions about whether to send their children to school for in-person learning.

While virtual learning has been a necessary adjustment during the pandemic, particularly when we knew little about schools and the risk of COVID-19 transmission, we also know there is no substitute for in-person learning. When children are physically in school, they have access to supports and services that enhance their development, including in-person academic instruction; the stability of routines; physical exercise; nutritious meals; social connection with other students, teachers, and staff; medical services such as oral health, mental health, and physical health services as well as therapies like speech and physical therapy; and contact with a network of supportive adults who can build relationships with children.

Questions to consider when deciding to return to school

Every decision about returning to school should start at home, and there are a number of questions to consider.

  • Who is living in the home? Is there anyone who is an elderly adult or immunocompromised and therefore at higher risk of severe illness from COVID-19 infection?
  • Does your child have special therapy needs that are best served in-person at school?
  • If your child returns to school in-person, do you have a back-up plan for childcare or supervision of virtual learning if the school has to close due to a COVID-positive case?
  • What is your family’s tolerance for risk?
  • Are you living with a high level of anxiety in your household such that a return to in-person school would be detrimental to the mental health of individuals in your household? Or is virtual learning a major strain on your family and your child’s social and/or academic development, such that a return to in-person schooling would be more supportive?
  • Do you have stable internet access and enough devices for each child who would be learning virtually?
  • For older children, you may want to ask them what their thoughts are: what have they heard about returning to school in person? Do they feel they will be able to adhere to masking and physical distancing requirements in school? What concerns and preferences do they have?

Review your school’s reopening plan

The next thing to review is the plan for reopening at your child’s school. Any reopening plan should, at a minimum, address the following areas:

  • Masking protocols: Is your child’s school requiring masking of all students ages 2 and up as recommended by public health experts? Is the school providing masks for students, staff and families who don’t have access to them?
  • Hand hygiene and physical plant cleaning protocols: Has your child’s school indicated the plans for encouraging hand hygiene among students and staff? Have they issued plans for frequent cleaning of high touch surfaces such as door handles?
  • Physical distancing: Is your child’s school making efforts to decrease the number of people on campus each day, either through cohorting students in a hybrid curriculum (part-time in school and part-time virtual learning) and/or through limiting visitors and other non-school staff on campus?
  • Ventilation: Has the school consulted with a Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning (HVAC) specialist regarding the air filtration in the school and any necessary upgrades to increase air flow and filtration?
  • Communication and cooperation with the local department of health: Does your child’s school have a plan to communicate with students and families if there is a case of coronavirus in the school community and to coordinate a response with the local department of health?

We’re learning more and more about COVID-19 and schools every day. The “right” decision is highly personal and involves family dynamics and characteristics, your child’s academic progress and mental health, and your school and community environment. Don’t hesitate to reach out to your pediatrician to discuss this important decision. We’re here for you.

ABOUT THE AUTHORS

Danielle DooleyDanielle Dooley, MD, is a general pediatrician who specializes in immigrant child health and school health. As Medical Director of Community Affairs and Population Health, she provides advocacy education for residents and faculty, participates in a new social determinant of health resource connection initiative within the primary care clinics, and develops collaborations and strategies to improve population health for children across the institution and the District of Columbia.


Olanrewaju FalusiOlanrewaju Falusi, MD, is a pediatrician at Children’s National and Medical Director for Advocacy Education at Child Health Advocacy Institute (CHAI) and an Assistant Director for the LAUnCH Track in the Pediatric Residency Program. Her clinical, education, and research interests focus on how social factors – including poverty, immigrant status, and many others – affect the health of children, and how this growing body of research can help us to improve patient care and advocacy on an individual and community level.

Read more

FACTORS TO CONSIDER IN A RETURN TO IN-PERSON SCHOOLING

Little girl and boy lying with laptop at home on the groundDanielle Dooley, MD, a general pediatrician who specializes in immigrant child health and school health and
Olanrewaju Falusi, MD, a pediatrician at Children’s National and Medical Director for Advocacy Education at Child Health Advocacy Institute (CHAI) and an Assistant Director for the LAUnCH Track in the Pediatric Residency Program shared in Rise and Shine that school systems around the world are grappling with rising coronavirus cases in their communities and how to continue to operate and/or reopen safely for in-person learning. They are also facing rising inequities due to the challenges of virtual learning and the digital divide. Parents around the nation are wrestling with similar decisions about whether to send their child to school for in-person learning.

While virtual learning has been a necessary adjustment during the pandemic, particularly when we knew little about schools and the risk of COVID-19 transmission, we also know there is no substitute for in-person learning. When children are physically in school, they have access to supports and services that enhance their development, including in-person academic instruction; the stability of routines; physical exercise; nutritious meals; social connection with other students, teachers and staff; medical services such as oral health, mental health and physical health services as well as therapies like speech and physical therapy; and contact with a network of supportive adults who can build relationships with children. Read more

What Is Children’s Mental Health?

Crying kid, emotional sceneThe CDC found that being mentally healthy during childhood means reaching developmental and emotional milestones and learning healthy social skills and how to cope when there are problems. Mentally healthy children have a positive quality of life and can function well at home, in school, and in their communities.

Mental disorders among children are described as serious changes in the way children typically learn, behave, or handle their emotions, which cause distress and problems getting through the day. Many children occasionally experience fears and worries or display disruptive behaviors. If symptoms are serious and persistent and interfere with school, home, or play activities, the child may be diagnosed with a mental disorder. Read more