Why Fish Make Great Pets For Kids

Tim from The Witty Fish shared with Healthy Lombard that if you’re a parent you have likely considered getting your child a pet at some point. A child can benefit in many ways by being responsible for the life of a small animal. As an animal lover and parent, Tim has gotten a variety of different pets for his children.

But what kind of pet should you get for your child? Common options include things like corn snakes, guinea pigs, hamsters, reptiles, cats, and dogs. While each of these animals can make great pets, my aim is to convince you that you should consider fish instead.

Reasons Fish Make Great Pets For Kids

Why do fish make great pets for kids? There are a variety of reasons. Some of them are common to all pets. Others are unique to fish. Either way, you will find these are all great reasons.

So let’s dive in and explore the top 8 reasons fish make great pets for kids!

1. Pet Fish Can’t Escape

Would the thought of a loose mouse, gerbil, or even a snake keep you up at night? Many types of small pets recommended for children want nothing more than to escape confinement. This has happened in my home more than once. Sometimes we can’t even find the little fugitive for days!

Children are still learning responsibility and make mistakes. They may not secure a lid tightly, or at all. Even if they do a good job with the lid, a squirmy pet may still wiggle its way out of their grasp. In any case, this is a very real concern and something that should be considered.

The good news is this isn’t something you need to worry about with pet fish! While some fish do jump, a decent aquarium lid prevents any such mishaps.

 

2. Great Tool To Educate & Teach Responsibility

There is a great deal that a child can learn when caring for an aquarium full of fish. I’d even go as far as to say they will learn more than with any other pet. They will learn about responsibility, water chemistry, water filtration, temperature, breeding & genetics, biology, and even death.

With such a broad category of things to learn children as young as preschoolers and as old as teenagers all have something to learn.

At the preschool-age children can be given the responsibility of daily feedings. In addition to responsibility, they will also learn that like themselves, fish get hungry and need food to survive. They can also learn that different types of aquatic pets need different kinds of food.

As they get older they can be taught how to clean and maintain an aquarium. This includes learning a little about the nitrogen cycle, water chemistry, and temperature.

This may also be a great time to start introducing concepts such as breeding and genetics.

Live bearers, or fish that give birth to live free-swimming young, are great for this. Fancy guppies are my favorite due to their wide variety of bright colors. By breeding guppies, a child can learn about heredity, genotype, and phenotype.

It’s very interesting to see the offspring that two different colored guppy parents produce!

Inevitably, your child also has the opportunity to learn about death. Fish are short-lived animals and will eventually pass away. As dark and difficult as it may seem this can be a non-threatening opportunity to teach a child about death.

 

To read the entire article, click here.

A Beginner’s Guide to Healthy Habits

College of DuPage Nursing Student Alyssa Powell wrote for Healthy Lombard that now that we reached the one-year anniversary of the COVID-19 shelter-in-place orders, it is important to reflect on certain habits throughout this time of quarantine. If the habits involved binge-watching all three seasons of The Crown last week, it may be a time to be kind to oneself. Many reporters have echoed that we are living through ‘unprecedented times’; maybe, any activity that brings one joy should be cherished. Yet, certain activities are not only joy-inspiring but may also be healthy as well. Interacting with a support system is such an activity.

According to the Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry (2020), older adults who use resources like Skype to interact with others have been found to have a significantly lower risk of depression. This interesting report is encouraging for those who are apprehensive about technology but are looking for a reason to make social connections during the quarantine.

A concern while binge-watching TV shows, however, is binge-eating; consuming an entire bag of Cheetos is actually very unhealthy. During quarantine, an alarming 32 percent of individuals report they have gained weight from snacking, stress eating, and eating comfort food, while only 15 percent say they have lost weight (Peachman, 2021). During these unpredictable challenges, it is important to remain focused on what we can control. Each of us has the ability to control many decisions such as: where to expend energy, how to respond to challenges, when to do household chores, and even when to ask for help. These seemingly small decisions offer a feeling of empowerment and may provide a healthy outlet for stress while persevering through the ongoing challenge of quarantine. Read more

Understanding the Bully

Sarah Mattie, the Content Production Editor at MSWDegrees.org shared with Healthy Lombard that bullying is an idea that strikes anger in parents’ hearts and exasperation in the minds of teachers and others who work with kids.

If you’re a parent and your child tells you they’re being bullied, your immediate response is likely to defend your kid. Perhaps you even thought—or said—the bully is a “bad kid.” That’s a totally reasonable reaction. You don’t want your child to hurt.

If you work in a school, chances are you’ve sat through countless professional development sessions being told about the effects of bullying and learning about your school’s “zero-tolerance policy.”

But in both cases, it’s possible you still felt a bit helpless. If you work with kids, you may know zero-tolerance policies don’t work, posters saying “be a friend, not a bully!” do nothing, and punishments are often disproportionately used against students with special needs and who identify as BIPOC and LGBTQ+. If you’re a parent, you aren’t there to help at school, and you can’t hover over a smartphone 24/7.

Often, the talk about bullying focuses on “victims.” But what if some of the focus was shifted to the “bullies” themselves? When we talk about other dangerous situations, like criminality, we care about the victims’ welfare—but we know interventions are needed for the perpetrators. Only they can truly stop their own behaviors.

This article explores the nature of bullying, why kids engage in bullying behaviors, the long-term consequences if the underlying issues aren’t addressed, and steps you can take to help those who bully before it’s too late. Read more

Meditation during the Pandemic

College of DuPage Nursing Student  Krystal De Mesa wrote for Healthy Lombard that the pandemic has truly taught us the importance of health and overall well-being, among other vital things. There are various things that we normally enjoy outside the homes that we cannot do, and every activity has restrictions, for very critical reasons. We all need to be safe, healthy, and eventually, normalish life will resume.

It is extra difficult to stay indoors when you are an extrovert and the first thing you want to do in the morning is absorbed vitamin D by basking in the sun, smelling the fresh air, going cycling, surfing, or running, all of which help preserve the mind, body, and spirit. But the freedom to do many of these things became limited during the pandemic, catching most of us off guard. The new norm requires wearing a mask, oftentimes, outdoors, having hand sanitizer with us at all times, and maintaining a six feet distance from one another. While all of this has been challenging, it has also been necessary.

This has been a struggle for most people, however, one way to cope and manage additional anxiety is to focus on ways to stay optimistic rather than all that is lost. Energy spent on researching strategies to stay active indoors, reading articles, or talking to friends about what they do to cope, and other activities may yield a more beneficial result. Meditation is a beneficial practice that has been around for thousands of years and been helpful for many to decrease stress and anxiety. The practice of meditation involves taking time to sit with the eyes closed, maybe listening to relaxing music, rather than staying active and keeping moving which is so often that many of us do without realizing it. Some describe meditations as a way to immerse oneself in your inner peace and research has demonstrated it helps to alleviate anxiety, depression, and even manage certain medical issues like digestive complications, pain, and even types of heart disease (Mayo Clinic, 2020). Read more

Understanding Screen Addiction and Responsible Digital Use

Little girl sitting on sofa with a smart phone. Happy child playing indoors.Holly Niblett, from the Digital team, asks,Have you been spending more time on your phone or laptop?”
The way we spend our time has been changing as a result of COVID-19. Whether it’s during a lockdown or as we adjust to new norms, it’s likely you’ve been spending more time on your devices.

The pandemic may have encouraged more screen-related bad habits, but the risks were always there. How does your time online make you feel? Are you able to switch off when you need to?

The time we spend in front of screens has a huge influence on our lives. Take control and ensure your digital devices have a positive impact on your life.

How technology use has changed

Thinking back to a time when digital devices didn’t exist or weren’t easily accessible may feel like ancient history. But it really wasn’t that long ago. Internet use, including emails, only became more widespread when broadband allowed the signal in one line to be split between telephone and internet in the early 2000s.

Fast-forward to 2008, and 17% of people owned a smartphone, according to Ofcom data. A smartphone does a lot more than make phone calls and send text messages. Back when you could have only browsed the internet home by kicking someone off a landline phone, shopping, or watching a film on a phone might have felt impossible. But by 2018, smartphone ownership was up to 78%, and 95% among 16-24 year-olds, many of whom would feel lost without their smartphones.

According to Ofcom, the proportion of people accessing the internet on their mobile has increased from 20% in 2008 to 72% in 2018. What’s more:

  • 64% say the internet is an essential part of their life
  • 72% of adults say their smartphone is their most important device for accessing the internet
  • 71% say they never turn off their phone
  • 78% say they could not live without it

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

A List Of The Best Breathing Exercises To Feel Calm, Alive & Relaxed

Kalina Nowak from  https://respiratorycram.com shared with Healthy Lombard that nowadays it’s all too common that we’ll find ourselves rushing around, stressing ourselves out to the point of no return. Have you ever felt so panicked that it felt like you couldn’t breathe?

Sometimes there is a bigger problem at hand that needs to be fixed, but you might be surprised at how much learning a breathing technique can help you in situations like these.

We know what you’re thinking – that a breathing exercise isn’t going to help you quell the nerves for your test or meeting.

However, we think that you’ll be pleased with the results if you’re willing to put the effort into trying it for yourself. And, as you’re on our article, it must mean that you’re ready to give it a go.

Stress doesn’t just make you feel uneasy, it can actually be detrimental to your health. High blood pressure can come from prolonged periods of stress, and your immune system can also be suppressed.

This means that not only will you be worrying about an event coming up, but you also might have to endure it while sick.

Relaxation techniques are one of the easiest, most effective, and inexpensive ways to calm your mind. So, before you shell out on expensive hypnotherapy and other stress relief medications, why don’t you humor us and give it a go? Read more

How to Organize Your Home with the KonMari Method Checklist

Jo, an Editor at Happy DIY Home,   shared with Healthy Lombard that a famous Japanese organizing expert and tidying consultant, Marie Kondo is the writer of The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up, which became a No. 1 New York Times best-seller, and she is also the main star of Netflix’s Tidying Up With Marie Kondo. Through her trademark, the KonMari method, she can create a world that sparks joy not only in your home but also in your life. Quoting from Marie’s book, “A dramatic reorganization of the home causes correspondingly dramatic changes in lifestyle and perspective. It is life-transforming,” explains that the KonMari method aims for a significant effect of tidying up in the lives of the people.

Tidying has always been a challenge for me. It requires energy, both physical and mental, or even emotional. Additionally, you need to spend some time carrying out the task. I am mostly a neat and organized person, but learning about the KonMari method made a massive turn in my life. Discipline is vital, and it will also take a lot of effort to do the method properly. Even so, the result will bring out the best of you. So, either you are an orderly or a messy type of person, this method will improve both your home and your life. Read more

Financial Wellness

The Travis Credit Union Blog shared that there’s no denying it: 2020 was a rollercoaster of a year. As our lifestyles and routines changed during 2020, so, too, did our approach to money—how we spent and saved it, as well as how we plan to use it in 2021.

At Travis Credit Union, they strive to be there for our members every step along their path to financial wellness. Part of doing so is understanding where their members are and how they’re feeling when it comes to their personal finances.  Travis surveyed 2,000 Americans to learn how their spending and savings habits changed this year, plus their outlook on the economy and their own financial futures.

Of those they surveyed, half said they’ve reined in their spending in 2020. Three in five made it a conscious choice: 52% cited financial uncertainty due to COVID-19, 28% said they simply had fewer opportunities to spend it, and 15% said job loss caused them to re-evaluate their spending.

Not everyone is being more careful with his money, however: one in three said they’ve actually been spending more this year, and 61% of those said they’re doing it deliberately. Why? Most often, out of stress, anxiety, or boredom. Read more