Healthy Driven Families

At Edward-Elmhurst Health, they take your family’s health as seriously as you do. Through community programs and educational resources, their Healthy Driven Families initiative aims to improve families’ overall health by helping you make intentional choices that lead to a healthier lifestyle. In this post, you will find tools to help you and your family incorporate healthier habits and practices — in the areas of nutrition, exercise, sleep, and mental health — into your daily lives to optimize wellness.

Maintaining a healthy weight

The percentage of children and adolescents affected by obesity in the United States has more than tripled since the 1970s. Childhood obesity can harm a child’s health now and lead to lifelong health problems. Edward-Elmhurst Health offers a variety of services to help combat childhood obesity.

If your child is 15 or younger, Maria Ariza, M.D., a family medicine physician who specializes in childhood obesity medicine, can help your child achieve a healthy weight. Dr. Ariza provides compassionate, personalized care with consideration for your family’s lifestyle.

If your child is 16 and older, the medical weight loss specialists at Endeavor Health® Weight Management provide medical management and lifestyle recommendations. The medically-supervised program is tailored to your child’s metabolism and unique weight issues to help him/her eliminate weight-related health problems.

 

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THE IMPORTANCE OF PRESCHOOL PLAY

“Rise and Shine” shared that during the pandemic, many children became accustomed to staying home and only interacting with their immediate family. Sharing and playing with others was a completely foreign concept to a lot of kids. As a result, many parents, teachers, and clinicians have noticed social-emotional delays or gaps in young kids learning basic social skills. But don’t worry, your children are adaptable and are learning, even if they are a little behind. Here are some benefits of preschool play and why you should make sure your children are playing with others.

Lower risk of mental health issues

Now that social and societal activities are returning to a new normal and children can go back to school, it is important that your children are playing and socializing with other peers outside the family. Children learn skills interacting with peers that they may not develop when playing with siblings (e.g., turn-taking, moderating emotional responses or frustration, learning to work with others). Research shows that children who play better with their peers are less likely to have behavioral difficulties in the future. Research also shows that children are less likely to fight with their classmates later in life. Preschool play can also lower the likelihood of mental health problems as children get older because they learn the skills to regulate their emotions and cope with new feelings.

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MONKEYPOX RISKS FOR CHILDREN

Xiaoyan SongXiaoyan Song, the Chief Infection Control Officer at Children’s National Hospital and a Professor of Pediatrics at the GW School of Medicine and Health Sciences shared in “Rise and Shine” that monkeypox all over the news lately, you may be wondering about your family’s risk for contracting the virus. So far, the disease, which spreads through close contact, has been found mostly among adults. However, children can still contract the virus so it’s good to be aware of the risk levels of certain activities.

What should I know about monkeypox as my child goes back to school?

Your child still has a low risk of contracting monkeypox, and unlike COVID-19 and flu, monkeypox is unlikely to be spread through brief accidental contacts or interactions. Parents should keep themselves educated about this virus and the rate of transmission. While there is potential for this virus to spread in places like daycares and schools, the risk of your child contracting it from those places is not high.

How can kids spread monkeypox?

There is some spread that happens when in contact with clothing or other objects that have been in direct contact with monkeypox lesions. Making sure that kids are only using items that belong to them is a good way to control the spread (for example, not sharing clothing, blankets, etc.).

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25 Calming Activities For Kids With Anxiety

photo by Caleb WoodsParenting Pod shared an article by Ana (Jovanovic) Sokolovic, a licensed psychotherapist who works with adults, children, and adolescents.  In it, she states that it is perfectly normal for children to experience anxiety as they grow, learn, and change environments. One of the greatest gifts you can give your child is to teach them useful strategies for understanding and tending to this emotion.

This article will give you activities and tools to help your child cope with anxiety. Test them and see which ones help your child.

Do not be surprised if some of them feel good for you too!

Situations, where anxiety is a normal response, include:

  • The unknown
  • A lack of predictability and control
  • Perceived lack of psychical or emotional safety.
  • Separation
  • Loss
  • Illness

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Survey Finds Parents’ Screen Use Has Negative Influence on Children

Little girl and boy sitting on sofa with a laptop computer at home. Happy children playing indoors using PC.It’s no exaggeration to say technology has taken over the world. We use it to learn, work, communicate, pay, play… the list goes on and on. While it is important, it can also easily become addicting. Addicting in our own lives, technology use has become a top concern to many parents. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends kids under 5 spend less than 1 hour a day using screens, but many children are spending double or even triple that amount of time staring at a screen.

In a new survey, we asked nearly 1,000 parents and caretakers about screen time and their children. While many parents follow and stick to rules about technology use in their homes, they’re also worried about the example they’re setting through their own screen time.

Screen Time Strains

According to respondents, adults are giving their children different tech devices at a younger and younger age. Nearly 1 in 4 (24%) have let kids play with tech when they’re 1 year or younger. Nearly 3 in 4 (74%) parents have given devices to their children by the time they turn 5.

More than 4 out of 5 (82%) kids have their own device, with 21% having a school-issued device.

The main reason more than 90% of kids are using technology is for entertainment. Adults say their kids regularly watch shows, movies, and other content on streaming services. Kids are also using technology to play games (86%), which makes sense since the second most-used device is an iPad or tablet.

More than 60% of children use phones regularly and just under half play on the computer (49%) or on gaming consoles like a Nintendo Switch (48%).

The other top reasons kids are using technology include homework (57%), classes/education (48%), and messaging friends (46%).

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Back to School Snack Ideas

Nicole Palmieri, who is currently studying Dietetics at the University of Dayton, shared with Healthy Lombard that…

Back-to-school season is fast approaching and that means the routines from the summer will have to shift into new ones. As your kids come back from school, it is important to provide healthy and filling snacks for them! Below is a list of some healthy snacks that are perfect to make for after school!

Peanut Butter Jelly Bites

An age-old classic, peanut butter jelly bites usually do not fail to appease the kids! Try using whole wheat bread instead of white to boost their fiber intake!

 

Turkey Cheddar Skewers

Grab a few long toothpicks and layer folded deli turkey slices, cubes of cheddar cheese, grapes, and diced apple pieces! You can also add cubes of cucumber to sneak in a vegetable!

 

Kid-Friendly Trail Mix

At the beginning of the week, create a large batch of kid-friendly trail mix and portion it out in snack-sized bags so it is ready to go when the kids come back from school! Ideas for this mix could include raisins, unsalted cashews, walnuts, almonds, macadamia nuts, yogurt-covered peanuts, chocolate chips, pretzels, dried banana chips, and popcorn!

 

Snack Platter with Yogurt Dip

Create a delicious yogurt dip by mixing ¼ cup of plain yogurt, 2 T. peanut or any nut butter, 1 tsp. honey and 1 tsp. cinnamon together. Pair this with apple slices, pretzel sticks, strawberries, and crackers! Read more

How to Help Kids Learn Self-care

Self-care is important for everyone, including kids. By teaching kids how to reset, refresh, and prepare for the days ahead, you can help them manage stress and anxiety. Healthy Lombard shares some specific ideas about how kids can practice self-care.

Prioritize Fun Fitness (and Fun Getaways!)

Exercising is an excellent way for kids to release energy and improve their mood. Getting out in nature, playing tag, or shooting some hoops are all fun ways to get kids moving. Enjoying exercise can help them develop a healthy lifestyle that will benefit them for years.

Also, look for ways to simply get away. Spending time with your kids shows them you prioritize and value time invested in them and the family, something they’ll more likely replicate when they’re older. Going to a sports event is a great way for everyone to have fun, and it doesn’t have to cost a fortune. For example, you can score tickets for the Yankees when they play the Cubs or White Sox by going online and purchasing discounted tickets.

Meditate and Breathe

Help kids learn how to meditate by having them sit still and focus on their breath. Once they’ve mastered that, HealthyChildren.org notes that they can try a guided meditation specifically for kids. Many free apps offer kid-friendly meditations. Join them and let them see that even grown-ups need to take a break and relax. Modeling this behavior will help them feel more comfortable trying it themselves.

Create Art

Encourage kids to express themselves through art. Art can be an excellent way for kids to process their feelings and work through emotions. It can be as simple as doodling in a notebook or coloring pages. Or they can get more creative with craft supplies and make sculptures, paintings, or collages.

Listen To Music

Music can have a powerful effect on our mood. The Council for Professional Recognition suggests helping kids find music that makes them feel happy and calm. There are tons of great kids’ songs that can encourage positive thinking and self-care. You can even dance along together.

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5 deadly diseases rats and mice carry

Jane Wilson,, а freelance writer who is passionate to help people with easy tips shared with Healthy Lombard that we all loved watching Tom & Jerry as kids, and to be honest, most of us were always on Jerry’s side. Rooting for the underdog was always in human nature, and when it comes to a kids’ cartoon, it’s only logical to take the side of the poor, small and defenceless mouse. However, growing up, you understand that a mouse in the house is never the hero. Actually, that’s a great way to know if you’re already an adult. If you cheer for the mouse, you obviously never have found one lurking in your food supply, eating your belongings and running your property’s value to the ground. 

While the harmless mischief Jerry did, were, without a doubt, hilarious, and we all spent hours laughing at Tom’s misery, in reality, mice, rats and other rodents are extremely dangerous. Even though they pale in size compared to other mammals, they are by far one of the deadliest, not because of their ferocity but because of the diseases they carry. Here are the 5 most dangerous among them.

Hantavirus

This life-threatening virus can be transmitted to humans via inhalation of rodent excrements, urine or saliva. There are plenty of those whenever there is a rat or mouse infestation. The pests don’t shy away from doing their business everywhere.

“Rats and mice can climb almost all surfaces. They constantly pee and poo, which may contaminate food, fluids or anything that gets in touch with them”, points out Neel Patel, one of Fantastic Services’ top pest controllers in Australia. 

Thankfully there is no human-to-human transmission, but in Europe, the risk of infection is not minimal. It typically happens in small towns, where the bank voles and the yellow-necked mouse mostly live. The peak of the virus is during the autumn months when rodents are most likely to attack urban areas. 

The symptoms are anything but pleasant. They include high fever, general fatigue, and severe muscle aches, which predominantly target the lower back, hips, and thighs. Diarrhoea, vomiting, nausea and abdominal pain are also among the frequently suffered symptoms. 

Thankfully, there is a cure for the disease, but unfortunately, the virus is severely underdiagnosed, and sadly the fatality rate is around 38%.

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HOW TO TREAT POISON IVY AND POISON OAK RASHES IN KIDS

Poison IvyScott A. Norton, MD, MPH, MSc, former Chief of Dermatology at Children’s National Hospital shared in the “Rise and Shine” blog that with summer just around the corner, it is important to know how to treat poison ivy and poison oak rashes in kids. The best prevention is to teach your children how to recognize poisonous plants and stay away from them. The American Academy of Dermatology and American Academy of Pediatrics offer information on how to identify these plants and treat a rash if one occurs.

About five to 10 percent of people are not allergic to poison ivy and will never get a rash from poison ivy. Many other people mistakenly believe that they are not allergic to poison ivy because they have not yet had a noticeable reaction, such as a rash. The explanation is that people rarely develop a rash or any type of skin reaction the first time they encounter poison ivy, however, most people will break out in a rash after subsequent exposure. The urushiol oil contained in the leaves and stems of poison ivy and poison oak causes the rash. It may be carried by pets or clothing that were exposed. If a rash develops, it usually appears in one to four days after exposure and should heal in two to three weeks. The rash will often form in streaks on exposed skin, a result of the individual brushing through the plants. Read more

How to keep kids safe online?

Portrait of cute children typing on laptopSarah Johnson asks the Healthy Lombard’s audience if they have had a discussion with their child about online safety and obligation.? Today kids are getting online at a previous age, which implies conversing with them at a prior age. At schools today, it is obligatory that children become familiar with the PC rudiments while they are still in grade school.

It is inescapable that they will be online before you even know it. Significantly, they are advancing or, more than likely, in this day and age, they will be abandoned. However, you want to have that discussion. Conversations with them place the right things for them.

As in going out in the public world, there are rules you show your child what is a suitable and improper way of behaving, similar to somebody contacting them is off-base. Well, similar turn out as expected in the digital world. Ensure you educate your child about the online world and how great it is that there is an additional risk out there to know about.

Here are a few threats to know about:

Improper Content

Regardless of how much parental control, like channels or observing programming you utilize, some unseemly substance will traverse. Have your child figure out about that happiness and have them report it to you immediately. Between the ages of 8 to 12, you ought to screen them intently. However, something might fall through, and they should be admonished before it works out and understands what to do if it does. Read more