ARE PLAYGROUNDS SAFE DURING THE PANDEMIC?

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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WHEN IS IT OKAY TO SEE GRANDPARENTS?

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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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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Make the most of your telehealth visit

The National Institute on Aging shared that many doctor’s offices are switching to telehealth appointments because of coronavirus concerns. Telehealth appointments may take place over the phone or via a video conferencing service. Here are some tips to make the most out of these appointments:

  • Make a list of your concerns and prioritize them. Talk about the most important points first—don’t put off what’s really on your mind! If you don’t get through all of your concerns, you may need to ask to schedule a follow-up appointment.
  • Minimize technical difficulties. Ask a friend or family member to help you download any apps and test your microphone and camera to make sure they are working. Make sure your speakers are up loud enough for you to hear well.
  • Keep your doctor up to date. Let them know about any hospital or specialist visits you’ve had since your last visit. Also mention any changes you’ve noticed in your appetite, weight, sleep or energy levels.

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SUMMER!Who loves summer?… Kids!

College of DuPage Nursing Student  Jennifer Schwarz shared that f kids could be outside 24/7, they would be! Kids have endless amounts of energy and love to explore! The positive aspects of being outside are numerous! Fresh air, playing sports, swimming, riding bikes, hopscotch, and just being with friends. Since living in the midwest and dealing with chilly winters, in addition to being at school five days a week for much of the year, along with the recent limitation inactivity due to the Coronavirus pandemic means for most kids, that summer can’t come soon enough!

During the summer months, however, it is important to remember to practice safety. Sun safety is essential to protect our skin as well as to make sure we don’t overheat! This is a safe practice for life, not only while we are young. Wearing sunglasses to protect the eyes, finding shade under a tree or tent, staying hydrated by drinking enough water are all essential safety practices during summer. In addition to drinking water to stay hydrated, being in a pool or beach will help with staying cool on those extremely hot days. Or even running through a sprinkler in the yard for fun!

A child’s skin needs to be protected at all times when outside during the summer, regardless of the activity. Sunburns not only hurt, but UV rays are harmful! According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC, 2019), only a few sunburns may increase the risk of skin cancer in later life and only 15 minutes of UV rays from the sun may damage unprotected skin. 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.

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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 choosemyplate.gov 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)

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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 https://www.nature.com/articles/s41372-019-0576-6 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.

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