Claire Boogaard, MD, a pediatrician at Children’s National, wrote in the Rise and Shine newsletter that now that flu season is quickly approaching and COVID-19 vaccines for children ages 5 to 11 are on the horizon, you might be wondering if it’s safe to get shots for both at once. To help you, we asked pediatrician Dr. Claire Boogaard some questions about the flu shot and COVID-19 vaccine.

Is it safe for my child to get the flu shot and the COVID-19 vaccine at the same time?

Yes, as long as your child is eligible to get the flu shot and the COVID-19 vaccine, then it is safe to administer them together.

Previously, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) said it wasn’t safe for kids to get the COVID-19 vaccine at the same time as other vaccines. What made them change their minds?

Initially, the CDC recommended trying to space the COVID-19 vaccine from other vaccines to decrease the expected side effects that occur after administration, because co-administration could increase the reactogenicity of the vaccines (i.e., the immune response reactions that are expected after vaccines, such as fever, chills, headache, etc.). However, given that we are in a global pandemic, the CDC decided to eliminate any unnecessary barriers to getting vaccinated.

In addition, the pandemic has led to a drop in routine vaccinations — some people stopped getting preventive care during the pandemic because they didn’t see it as essential and didn’t want to risk exposure to the coronavirus. Co-administration of vaccines allows these individuals to catch up on routine vaccinations.

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Why is Early Orthodontic Treatment Important for Your Child?

Emily Taylor, the Online Marketing Manager at Thurman Orthodontics in Fresno CA, asks, “Is your child going through the stage of replacing baby teeth with permanent teeth?” This is the time when you should check for orthodontic issues such as misaligned, crooked, or crowded teeth. And also to take them for early orthodontic treatment. Read on to know more!


What is Early Orthodontic Treatment? – An early orthodontic treatment starts in childhood. Although orthodontic treatment can be done at any age, correcting problems like gapped teeth and abnormal bites in formative years is easier. This is because the jawbones are not fully developed and hardened.

The ideal age for your kid to be taken for a first orthodontic evaluation is 7 years. At this age, your child’s adult teeth start to grow.


How Do You Know That Your Child Need Orthodontic Correction? – When your child is approaching the age of 7, you can start looking for these signs and symptoms. They might be indicators of your child needing orthodontic treatment: –

  • Lower front teeth protruding the upper front teeth can be a sign of an underbite.
  • It can be a crossbite if the jaw is shifting to one side.
  • Gapped or crowded teeth.
  • Any extra teeth or missing teeth.
  • Upper teeth arch and lower teeth arch, not meeting correctly.
  • Excessive thumb or pacifier sucking.


What are the Advantages of Early Orthodontic Treatment? – It’s a misconception that you need to wait until high school or middle school to get braces for kids. You can start their treatment sooner. And there are various benefits of early orthodontics treatment. We are mentioning some of them here.

  • Corrects Speech Impediments – Malocclusion often results in speech issues that adversely affect your child’s confidence. Early intervention fixes this problem for them.
  • Treats Bite Issues – A kid’s jawbone is in the growing stage. Therefore early treatment can easily resolve the bite issues due to misaligned teeth.
  • Prevents Crooked Teeth – If your kids lose teeth before time, they might suffer from crooked permanent teeth. Early orthodontic treatment prevents it from happening.
  • Makes Treatment Simpler – Orthodontic treatment of a child is less expensive and time-consuming. Treatment in childhood also lowers the chances for any treatment required in adulthood.

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New Study Finds 1 in 3 Children Don’t Get Enough Sleep

The CDC shared that infants, children, and adolescents who do not get sufficient sleep are at increased risk for injuries, obesity, type 2 diabetes, poor mental health, attention and behavior problems, and poor cognitive development (1). The American Academy of Sleep Medicine (AASM) provides age-specific sleep duration recommendations to promote optimal health (1). CDC analyzed data from the 2016–2018 National Survey of Children’s Health (NSCH) to assess the prevalence of short sleep duration among persons in the United States aged 4 months–17 years. Overall, on the basis of parent report, 34.9% of persons aged 4 months–17 years slept less than recommended for their age. The prevalence of short sleep duration was higher in southeastern states and among racial and ethnic minority groups, persons with low socioeconomic status, and those with special health care needs. The prevalence of short sleep duration ranged from 31.2% among adolescents aged 13–17 years to 40.3% among infants aged 4–11 months. Persons aged 4 months–17 years with a regular bedtime were more likely to get enough sleep. Public health practitioners, educators, and clinicians might advise parents on the importance of meeting recommended sleep duration and implementing a consistent bedtime for healthy development.

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How to Get Kids to Eat Vegetables

Carla S from “All Things Kids”  shared with Healthy Lombard that some kids will eat anything. Then, like the flip of a switch, your kid is shaking their head at the vegetables you thought they liked. It’s tricky to convince them to try new vegetables.

It’s a classic question: how to get kids to eat vegetables?

If you have a picky eater, we have a few tips to improve your kids’ relationship with vegetables.

Undercover Veggies

When vegetables are a separate serving, your kids zero in on the problem. By integrating veggies into mixtures or soups, it’s challenging to pick out one food. If you make the vegetables smaller, your kids can focus on the flavor of the food they prefer.

One tasty example is cauliflower in mac n’ cheese. You can also finely slice and dice vegetables to add into a rice mixture.


Pureeing disguises vegetables. You can puree vegetables into a side serving, like potatoes, or make a smoothie. Banana or citrus fruits can disguise many veggie flavors, transforming a vegetable serving into a treat.

Whether you tell your kids about the trick is up to you. Younger kids might resist on principle, even if it tastes yummier. Older kids will probably appreciate the ingenuity. Read more

Is Early Orthodontic Treatment Necessary?

Emily Taylor, the Online Marketing Manager at Thurman Orthodontics in Fresno CA, believes that a great smile does more than just make a person look great – it makes them feel great as well. The power of a smile has always been a mystery to Emily, and she loves researching and writing about it. Here, she shared with Healthy Lombard that you are right in worrying so as early orthodontic treatment is important as this is the time when your children’s jaws are still growing. The early orthodontic treatment allows your family dentist to keep track of your child’s oral health as well as to prescribe orthodontic treatment for any orthodontic problems that may be faced in the future.

The American Association of Orthodontics (AAO) advises that all children should start getting oral screenings from the age of 7 years as their permanent teeth usually start to erupt then. It is a good time to have your child’s oral health checked as their bones are still growing and treatment at this time can yield much more positive results.

What is Early Orthodontic Treatment?

This is also known as Phase One and normally begins when a child is around 8 or 9 years of age. This treatment is used to correct oral problems such as setting a natural growth pattern of your child’s jaw as well as correcting his underbite. This also helps lay a proper foundation with equal spacing for your child’s permanent teeth. Read more

Healthy Back to School Snack and Lunch Ideas + Printables

Corey Doane shared with Healthy Lombard that now that most schools are back to in-person learning, that means back to packing your child’s school lunches! Packing your child healthy and yummy snacks and lunches is important to help fuel their minds and bodies throughout the school day. Making sure your child is eating nourishing food is also important to help support their immune system—something they really need with the transition back to in-person learning. 


If you’re looking for ideas for quick and easy healthy lunches and snacks that require little prep time, we’ve got you covered. The below printables include a grocery shopping list, so you don’t have to worry about putting one together, and a list of 12 healthy snack and lunch ideas you can pack this year. There’s even a coloring page for your kiddo to get involved and learn about healthy and nutritious foods. 

1. Grocery Shopping List

A healthy diet is the cornerstone of success. Whether getting your kids ready for the classroom or after-school activities, this list is full of nutritious foods their bodies will love. The list is broken down by category—veggies, fruits, fats, carbs, protein, and beverages—so you can easily make your way through the grocery store. 


Download the printable grocery list here

2. Lunch Combos and Snack Ideas 

Now that you’ve got all the food you need, use this sheet to help you pack your kiddo’s lunch. These lunch combos and snack ideas aren’t just nutritious—they’re delicious too! They even have fun names that can get your kids excited to eat their lunch. Feel free to mix up the options with other items from the grocery list based on what your kiddo prefers. 


Download the lunch and snack ideas here

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With Healthy School Meals for All, There Is Such a Thing as a Free Lunch

Voices for Healthy Kids shared with Healthy Lombard that reading, writing … and really nutritious lunch? That’s what’s on the menu this upcoming school year. The federal government extended healthy school meals for all – as a response to the ongoing pandemic – through the 2021-22 school year so that all students can eat free meals at school regardless of family income.

While this is a win for students, their families, and schools, the future of healthy school meals for all beyond this school year is unknown. Kristy Anderson, MPP, the senior government relations advisor for the American Heart Association, is working to take this temporary program and make it a permanent one. Voices for Healthy Kids sat down with her to gain insight into healthy school meals for all and why it should be here to stay.


Voices for Healthy Kids: What is healthy school meals for all?

Kristy Anderson: Healthy school meals for all allow children enrolled in a school that operates the National School Lunch Program or School Breakfast Program to receive free breakfast and free lunch, regardless of their families’ incomes. Healthy school meals for all also removes the administrative burden for schools and families by making all kids eligible.

We are super-excited that the budget bill being considered in the House of Representatives expands the Community Eligibility Provision (CEP) – a program that was created under the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act that allows for the highest poverty schools to provide universal meals. While this is an important step toward achieving healthy school meals for all, we still need to continue to push to ensure all children have access to school meals. Read more


Rise and Shine shared that back-to-school season is a good time to think about boosting your kids’ brainpower. But instead of focusing on flashcards and spelling drills, you might want to look at their diet – what your kids eat can impact everything from their energy level to their mood and academic performance. Megan Barna, MS, RD, a dietitian at Children’s National who works closely with the Obesity Institute, has a few tips on brain foods for kids.

Don’t skip breakfast!

Breakfast time is important for many reasons, especially because of the essential nutrients kids need. In fact, eating breakfast has been linked to improved concentration, performance, mood, attendance, and behavior.

“When kids skip breakfast, it’s really hard to make up for all the nutrients they miss,” says Megan.

Here are some tips for healthful breakfasts:

  • Try to eat a balance of whole grains, low-fat dairy, fruit, and protein. Megan recommends peanut butter or eggs as an easy way to incorporate protein into breakfast.
  • Read the cereal labels! Look for whole grains as the first ingredient, with 3 or more grams of fiber in each serving. Each serving should have no more than 12 grams of sugar.
  • Avoid caffeine and energy drinks, especially with young children.

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25 Tips, Tricks, and Tools To Get Sleep with ADHD

Dr. Amy Wolkin, a physical therapist based in Atlanta, GA, whose clinical interests are outpatient orthopedics, women’s health, and pediatric sports medicine wrote for Slumber Yard that if you or someone you love has ADHD, you know just how many areas of everyday life can be affected. In addition to the hallmark challenges of focusing at work or school, the majority of people affected by ADHD face irregular sleep patterns. According to Children and Adults with Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (CHADD), three out of four children and four out of five adults with the condition also struggle with some type of sleep disorder.

So what causes those with ADHD to have such a hard time sleeping? Experts mostly point to the hyperactivity component of the condition, which can also manifest as fidgeting, difficulty sitting still, and talking excessively or over others. Hyperactivity can also make it extremely difficult to wind down at night if the body and mind continue to race instead of quieting in preparation for sleep.

Some of the most common sleep disorders associated with ADHD include:

  • Obstructive sleep apnea, a type of sleep-disordered breathing in which muscles surrounding the throat relax and block airways
  • Restless leg syndrome, a neurological condition that causes discomfort when the legs are at rest
  • Circadian-rhythm disorders, in which the body’s natural sleep patterns misalign with nighttime hours

For people with ADHD, the loss of sleep can be detrimental. Many studies have shown that sleep deprivation impairs cognitive function, further impacting the ability to pay attention. In children, the implications can be long-term, potentially leading to impaired brain development.

Thankfully, there are ways individuals with ADHD can do to try and maintain healthy sleeping habits. We’ve compiled science-based tips from the top doctors and ADHD experts to help you regain control of your sleep cycle and get the rest you deserve. Read more

Seven Tips to Help Kids Detach from Their Screens

Young Kid Using His Notebook Computer For Study And FunJessica Butts, Licensed Clinical Social Worke, wrote in the Healthy Driven Chicago blog that according to the Kaiser Family Foundation, kids ages 8-18 spend an average of 7.5 hours per day in front of a screen for entertainment. This number does not include time spent with a screen for school or educational purposes.

There’s no question that now, more than ever before, screens play a big role in our lives. People of all ages rely on their screens to connect with others and get information, and for entertainment purposes.

The amount of screen time kids get should be based on age. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends no more than two hours of screen time for kids and teens. Children younger than two years old should not have any screen time; if they do, it should be very limited and have an educational purpose.

There’s a reason lower amounts of screen time are recommended for kids. Spending too much time with a screen can lead to:

  • Vision issues
  • Increased risk for being overweight or obese
  • Decreased muscle tone, coordination, and flexibility
  • Stunted communication skills
  • Reduced empathy for others
  • Agitation and restlessness

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