Three Tips for Encouraging Exercise in Kids

Over one-fifth of children throughout the United States experience obesity, putting them at risk for serious chronic conditions such as high blood pressure and cholesterol, joint and breathing problems, and type two diabetes. This is partially due to the fact that less than a quarter of children between the ages of six and 17 engage in at least an hour of physical activity each day.

Regular physical activity is one of the most effective tools for preventing childhood obesity. It also offers additional benefits such as improved cognitive performance and classroom behavior.

There are many recreational options for children to choose from. Unfortunately, non-physical activities such as video games and social media compete for their attention and are more easily accessible than physical activities. Therefore, it’s important that parents make physical activities as equally appealing and engaging as possible. Here are a few effective ways this can be achieved:

  • Focus on fun: Kids are much more likely to stick with something that they find enjoyable. The desire to become more skilled, play with friends, or feel a greater sense of self-confidence may all factor into this enjoyment. If they’d like to explore an activity that they believe may be fun or are already enjoying something they’re starting to participate in, encourage them to keep it up and do what you can to facilitate it.

 

  • Try different activities with your child: Kids may not have much interest in sports or other activities that have no previous positive connotations in their minds. Trying out a few different activities with them yourself not only provides a reference point, but allows for bonding opportunities with you and all who participate.

 

  • Make exercise rewarding: Even if you succeed in getting your child interested in a particular activity, they may devote too much time to it at the expense of other obligations such as academics. Emphasize that recreational activity, while important, is a reward for keeping up with prioritized obligations.

If your child is experiencing medical problems preventing them from participating in physical activities, you can schedule an appointment at Flushing Hospital Medical Center’s Pediatric Ambulatory Care Center by calling (718) 670-3007.

All content of this newsletter is intended for general information purposes only and is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please consult a medical professional before adopting any of the suggestions on this page. You must never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment based upon any content of this newsletter. PROMPTLY CONSULT YOUR PHYSICIAN OR CALL 911 IF YOU BELIEVE YOU HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY.

National Bullying Prevention Month

As much as 20% of children aged 12 to 18 experiencing bullying throughout the United States. It is a prevalent issue that can happen at school, home, online, or in any other place where children regularly spend time.

Bullying is a problem that holds consequences for both victims and perpetrators. Kids who get bullied are at higher risk for mental and emotional issues such as depression and anxiety, health issues, and decreased academic performance. Bullies themselves are at higher risk for substance abuse, criminal behavior, and dropping out of school. Even kids who witness bullying may face a higher risk of substance abuse, mental health problems, and absenteeism.

Deadly consequences can occur as a result of bullying. It can contribute to a victim’s risk of committing suicide or, in rare cases, to extremely violent retaliatory measures such as a mass shooting.

Preventing bullying effectively involves helping children understand bullying, teaching them how to respond to it, and providing positive examples for them to follow. You can achieve these objectives by:

  • Providing a clear explanation of what bullying is and how it affects others.
  • Helping children to identify bullying and encouraging them to report it to an adult.
  • Teaching children to treat people with respect, kindness, and empathy.

If you believe that your child is experiencing mental health or developmental problems that are causing them to bully other children or are a result of their experiences as a victim of bullying, you can schedule an appointment at Flushing Hospital Medical Center’s Developmental and Behavioral Pediatric Department by calling (718) 670-5213 now.

All content of this newsletter is intended for general information purposes only and is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please consult a medical professional before adopting any of the suggestions on this page. You must never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment based upon any content of this newsletter. PROMPTLY CONSULT YOUR PHYSICIAN OR CALL 911 IF YOU BELIEVE YOU HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY.

Remote Learning Tips

With the lazy days of summer coming to an end, it’s time to start the frenzy called “Back to School!”

Each year parents, guardians and students visit their local stores frantically purchasing supplies, clothing and all things school related.  However, the 2020-2021 school terms will be like no other.

For this school year, different models for learning are being offered. One of the models offered is Full Remote Learning.

If you have chosen this model for your student, Flushing Hospital Medical Center would like to share some helpful tips on how to help your student succeed:

  1. Utilize the internet for live video lessons and record lessons. It will be helpful for your student to be able to review the video to reinforce the lesson.
  2. Be sure your student has the tools they need to succeed. Both electronically and physically (such as, computer, scientific calculator, folders, paper, pads, pens, pencils, etc.)
  3. Provide a supportive, quiet and private space for learning where there are little to know distractions.
  4. Remain consistent in your methods and keep to a schedule, otherwise things could become disorganized.
  5. Be supportive of your student. Let them know you are there to help them navigate the unknown.
  6. Stay in touch with your students educators. Keep the lines of communication open between yourself and the educators so that you can be made aware of any assignments that may or may not have been submitted.
  7. Be supportive of your student. Remember, this is new territory for your student.  Try to remain understanding, patient and offer to help as much as you are able to.
  8. Create a cohort of support. Encourage your student to speak regularly with other students from their class, virtually or on the phone, to discuss, collaborate and communicate in real time. They will need to know that their problems are shared and can help each other by exchanging ideas.

Keep in mind that no matter what method or tip you follow, adapting to remote learning is going to be challenging.  We hope these tips will help reduce some of the stress and confusion

All content of this newsletter is intended for general information purposes only and is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please consult a medical professional before adopting any of the suggestions on this page. You must never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment based upon any content of this newsletter. PROMPTLY CONSULT YOUR PHYSICIAN OR CALL 911 IF YOU BELIEVE YOU HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY.

What To Do When Your Baby Suddenly Stops Breastfeeding

When most people hear the words “nursing strike” the most common assumption is that it has something to do with a work stoppage by hospital caregivers, but the term can also refer to when a baby suddenly refuses to breastfeed. This response can sometimes be mistaken for weaning, but unlike a nursing strike, weaning normally takes places gradually over a period of weeks or months.

Nursing strikes can be frightening and upsetting to both you and your baby, but they are almost always temporary. Most nursing strikes end with your baby back to breastfeeding, within a few days. In some cases the cause is a mystery, but most of the time it is due to some external factor. Some of the most common triggers for a nursing strike include:

  • An illness affecting your baby such as an ear infection or stuffy nose
  • A change in deodorant, soap, lotion or anything that would result in you smelling different to your baby
  • Your baby is teething or experiencing sore gums
  • A temporary reduction in milk supply
  • A change in nursing patterns
  • Your baby was frightened during a previous nursing experience

Whatever the cause, getting the baby back to the breast can sometimes be challenging. Here are some tips that can help get your baby back to breastfeeding:

  • Be patient. Don’t try to force your baby to breastfeed as it can make the situation worse.
  • Rule out any physical problems such as an ear infection, stuffy nose, teething issues or a bladder infection.
  • Spend more skin-to-skin time together.
  • Avoid giving your baby a pacifier.
  • Attempt to nurse when your baby is either falling asleep, sound asleep, or just waking up.
  • Movement helps so try putting your baby in a sling while you walk around or try relaxing in a rocking chair.
  • Take a bath together or cuddle in a quiet, dark room.

You should continue to pump or hand express milk while your baby is refusing to nurse to prevent plugged ducts and infections.  It is also important to remain calm and understand that your baby isn’t rejecting you and while the situation can be upsetting that it is only temporary and everything will go back to normal.

If your baby is experiencing a nursing strike and you have additional questions, you should speak with your doctor or a lactation consultant.

If you would like to speak to a lactation consultant at Flushing Hospital Medical Center, please call 718-670-5201.

All content of this newsletter is intended for general information purposes only and is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please consult a medical professional before adopting any of the suggestions on this page. You must never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment based upon any content of this newsletter. PROMPTLY CONSULT YOUR PHYSICIAN OR CALL 911 IF YOU BELIEVE YOU HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY.

October is SIDS Awareness Month

The month of October is designated as National Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) Awareness Month. The purpose of this observation is to bring attention to this leading cause of death in children under the age of one.

SIDS is the unexplained death of a seemingly healthy baby that occurs during sleep. The cause is not completely known, however, it is thought to be related to a defect in the part of the brain that controls breathing.

Some of the risk factors for SIDS include:

  • A low birth weight
  • Having a recent respiratory infection
  • Having a brain defect that controls breathing
  • Gender ( boys are at higher risk than girls)
  • Living in an environment with second hand smoke
  • Having a family history of SIDS
  • Having a mother who smokes or drinks alcohol during pregnancy

How a baby sleeps can also be a factor. The risk of SIDS may increase if a baby sleeps in a bed with another person, if a baby sleeps on their stomach, or if a baby sleeps on a mattress that is too soft.

There are a few ways to prevent SIDS from occurring. These include having the baby sleep on its back, keeping the room where a baby sleeps from getting too hot, keeping the crib as empty as possible, and having the baby sleep in the same room as an adult if possible. It is also thought that breast feeding for the first six months may help to prevent SIDS.

If you are pregnant, it is important to receive good prenatal care. Speak to your doctor about classes that you can take to learn how to properly care for your infant. You can also call Flushing Hospital Medical Center at 718-670-5000 and ask to speak to a maternity specialist.

All content of this newsletter is intended for general information purposes only and is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please consult a medical professional before adopting any of the suggestions on this page. You must never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment based upon any content of this newsletter. PROMPTLY CONSULT YOUR PHYSICIAN OR CALL 911 IF YOU BELIEVE YOU HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY.

Is Strength Training Safe For Your Child?

For better or worse, children today play sports at a much different level than in previous generations. They start much younger and the level of competition is much higher. This has led some parents and coaches to incorporate strength training programs for children, however many wonder at what age or if this is appropriate or safe.

The answer is, if done properly, strength training can be safe and offer many benefits for young athletes. Strength training is even a good idea for kids who simply want to look and feel better. In fact, strength training might put your child on a lifetime path to better health and fitness.

There is a distinction between strength training and lifting weights, and experts don’t want parents to be confused. According to the Mayo Clinic , “Weightlifting can put too much strain on young muscles, tendons and areas of cartilage that haven’t yet turned to bone (growth plates) — especially when proper technique is sacrificed in favor of lifting larger amounts of weight.” This type of training should not begin until bones are fully-matured, which is after the onset of puberty.

Instead, children should focus on strength training that incorporates using their own body weight to get stronger, by doing push-ups, chin-ups, or planks. Another type of training that can increase not only strength, but also coordination is the use of resistance bands and tubes. Children can begin this type of training when they become interested in sports, usually between ages six and eight.

Strength training can offer children many benefits, including:

  • Increasing muscle strength and endurance
  • Protecting muscles and joints from sports-related injuries
  • Improving performance
  • Developing proper techniques that can continue into adulthood

Even if your child isn’t an athlete, strength training can help promote a healthy lifestyle and bolster self-esteem.

Before having your child begin a strength program, make sure it is under the supervision of a trained professional experienced in youth training.  A good program should not be too intense, include a proper warm-up and cool-down periods, and emphasize technique over results. Lastly, because they are kids, your child’s program should incorporate an element of fun.

All content of this newsletter is intended for general information purposes only and is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please consult a medical professional before adopting any of the suggestions on this page. You must never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment based upon any content of this newsletter. PROMPTLY CONSULT YOUR PHYSICIAN OR CALL 911 IF YOU BELIEVE YOU HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY.

Are Pediatric Vitamins Necessary for My Child

One of the most important jobs for every parent is to make sure they give their children a healthy start in life. A big part of that includes making sure they receive their daily recommended vitamin intake. Many automatically assume this includes providing them with a chewable or gummy vitamin each day, but is this really necessary?

The answer is not necessarily. Most experts agree that children should get their vitamins from a healthy diet that includes dairy products like milk, cheese and yogurt; fresh fruits and green leafy vegetables; proteins, such as meat, chicken, fish, and eggs; and a variety of whole grains.

However, given the busy lifestyles of most families, providing well-balanced meals isn’t always a realistic option. In these instances, because children may not be getting their vitamins through their daily diet, supplements should be considered . Other potential reasons to supplement your child’s diet with vitamins include:

  • If your child is a fussy eater
  • If your child has a delay in his or her physical development
  • If your child is living with a chronic medical condition such as asthma
  • If your child has digestive problems or food allergies
  • If you are raising your child as a vegetarian or vegan
  • If your child eats a lot of fast food or processed food or drinks a lot of soda

If you believe that vitamins are necessary for your child’s development, it is important to make sure they are receiving the right ones. The following vitamins are considered most critical for growing children.

  • Vitamin A– Promotes normal growth and development; tissue and bone repair; and healthy skin, eyes, and immune responses.
  • Vitamin B – The family of B Vitamins, including B2, B3, B6 and B12 aid metabolism and energy production. They also promote bone and tooth formation and development of healthy muscles and connective tissue.
  • Calcium – Essential for helping build strong bones as a child grows.
  • Iron – Builds muscle and is essential to healthy red blood cells. Iron deficiency is a risk in adolescence, especially for girls once they begin to menstruate.

If you do give vitamins to your children, follow these safety tips:

  • Put vitamins away, well out of reach of children, so they don’t treat them like candy.
  • Be sure not to exceed the daily recommended dosage as too many vitamins can be dangerous
  • If your child is taking any medication, be sure to ask your child’s doctor about any drug interactions with certain vitamins or minerals.
  • Try a chewable vitamin if your child won’t take a pill or liquid supplement.
  • Consider waiting until a child reaches age 4 to start giving a multivitamin supplement, unless your child’s doctor suggests otherwise.

There are many over-the-counter pediatric vitamins on the market today. Before you make a decision on which to buy for your child, consult with your pediatrician. They can advise you on what makes the most sense for your child.

To make an appointment at xx Hospital’s Pediatric Ambulatory Care Center, please call 718-670-5486.

All content of this newsletter is intended for general information purposes only and is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please consult a medical professional before adopting any of the suggestions on this page. You must never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment based upon any content of this newsletter. PROMPTLY CONSULT YOUR PHYSICIAN OR CALL 911 IF YOU BELIEVE YOU HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY.

Benefits of Grandparents Who Help Raise Grandchildren

Studies have shown that raising grandchildren can be mutually beneficial.  Grandparents provide a stable, safe, loving and fun environment for their grandchildren and the closeness between grandchildren and grandparents may keep older adults sharp, ward off depression, boost social connections, and solidify an important family relationship.

Some positive results of grandparents caring for their grandchildren are:

  • Peace of mind – Parents know that their children are with those who love them and are giving them the time an attention their parents can’t while at work.
  • Financial – Childcare is expensive. Parents may be able to save in lieu of paying the high cost of childcare.
  • Flexibility – If the parents are called in to work on an off day, grandparents are generally ready, willing and able to take on whatever was planned for that day.
  • Health – Many grandparents feel that their grandchildren keep them fit and to a grandchild no one can fix a cut or scrape better than a grandparent.
  • Wisdom – Grandparents can impart great wisdom to your child in a way that is much more absorbable than if a parent tries to impart that same wisdom.

Having grandparents help raise your children is a mostly “pro” scenario, but no situation is a perfect one.  Always have a childcare plan “B” in place in case Grandma and Grandpa need a day off.

 

 

All content of this newsletter is intended for general information purposes only and is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please consult a medical professional before adopting any of the suggestions on this page. You must never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment based upon any content of this newsletter. PROMPTLY CONSULT YOUR PHYSICIAN OR CALL 911 IF YOU BELIEVE YOU HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY.

Baby-Led Weaning is a New Way of Feeding Your Baby – Learn More About it

Every parent remembers when they first introduced their baby to solid foods. This momentous occasion of spoon-feeding them pureed food is considered a major milestone for babies and their parents.

Today however, more and more parents are opting to skip the applesauce and mashed sweet potatoes and instead are adopting a new feeding technique called “baby-led weaning” ( or BLW)  for their babies. This alternative approach to feeding, first introduced in the UK a decade ago, involves introducing solid chunks of foods much earlier on by placing them on the baby’s high chair and letting them grasp the food and feed themselves directly. As the name implies, feeding time is led by the baby as they determine the pace and the amount of food they consume; basically, baby-led weaning puts the baby in charge.

While children all develop at different paces, advocates of baby-led weaning agree that this method of eating shouldn’t be introduced until the baby is ready. Cues to begin BLW include making sure that your baby can sit up straight unassisted, have good neck strength and be able move food to the back of their mouth with up and down jaw movements. Most babies develop these skills by the sixth month, but some babies may not fully develop them until they are nine months old.

Proponents of BLW believe that it holds many benefits, including enhancing baby’s hand-eye coordination and other fine motor skills, including using their thumb and index finger to grasp their food. They also feel that it will produce healthier eaters than spoon-fed babies because BLW eaters get to choose how much they eat as opposed to traditional feeding methods, which sometimes results in force feeding.  Other advantages that BLW supporters claim to be true is that it creates a more enjoyable feeding experience for babies and less stress on their parents.

Detractors of baby-led weaning feeders point out that these babies are generally underweight as compared to spoon-fed babies because they simply do not ingest that much when they are first introduced to this way of eating due to difficulties grabbing food.  BLW babies also tend to be iron-deficient because they aren’t consuming the iron-fortified cereals that spoon–fed babies typically eat. Lastly, a big concern for many parents is the increased choking hazards associated with BLW, and while the American Academy of Pediatrics doesn’t have opinion of BLW, they do state that babies are ready for solid food once they are ready to sit up on their own and bring their hand to their mouth.

If you are considering baby led weaning for your child, here are a few tips:

  • Continue breast feeding and / or formula feeding as this will continue to be your baby’s biggest source of nutrition until they are 12 months old.
  • Begin BLW feedings with softer foods, such as ripe fruits, cooked egg yolks, and shredded meats, poultry and fish.
  • Avoid foods that can pose as choking hazards, such as nuts, grapes, popcorn, or foods cut into coin shapes, like hot dogs.
  • Do not leave your child unattended during BLW feeding times. Continue to supervise and socialize with them while they eat and to have them eat when the rest of the family does.
  • Don’t panic if your baby gags as it is a safe a natural reflex. Instead of overreacting, prepare for a choking event by familiarizing yourself with the infant-specific Heimlich maneuver.
  • Introduce new foods one at a time to pinpoint potential food allergies. A recommended length of time is three to four days between foods.
  • The goal of BLW is to let your baby explore eating at their own pace. This may include the smashing, smearing, or dropping of food, so prepare for a mess.

Before you decide to adopt BLW to your child, it is a good idea to discuss with your child’s pediatrician as it may not be a good idea for all babies, especially those babies with known developmental delays or neurological issues.

To make an appointment with a pediatrician at Flushing Hospital’s Ambulatory Care Center, please call 718-670-5486.

All content of this newsletter is intended for general information purposes only and is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please consult a medical professional before adopting any of the suggestions on this page. You must never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment based upon any content of this newsletter. PROMPTLY CONSULT YOUR PHYSICIAN OR CALL 911 IF YOU BELIEVE YOU HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY.

National School Backpack Safety Monthy

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September is National School Backpack Safety Month and Flushing Hospital Medical Center is sharing information on how you can help your child avoid the pain and injury that is associated with carrying heavy backpacks.  These simple tips can help protect your child from having chronic back pain throughout their lives.

Backpacks are essential back-to- school items for kids.  They come in different colors, sizes and shapes and most importantly they help children to carry their belongings.  Backpacks are preferred by many in comparison to shoulder bags because when worn correctly, they evenly distribute weight across the body.  However, if worn incorrectly they can cause back pain or injuries and eventually lead to poor posture.

To prevent problems associated with improper backpack use, parents should first purchase a backpack that has the following features:

  • Lightweight
  • Wide and padded straps
  • Multiple compartments
  • Padded back
  • Waist belt
  • Correct size (A backpack should never be wider or longer than your child’s torso).

Practicing these safety tips will further reduce the chance of back pain or injuries caused by backpacks:

  • When packing, heavier items should be placed to the back and center of the backpack. Lighter items should be in front. Sharp objects such as scissors or pencils should be kept away from your child’s back.  Utilizing different compartments can help in distributing weight.
  • Do not over pack. Doctors recommend that children should not carry backpacks that weigh more than 10-15% of their body weight.
  • Ensure that children use both straps. Using a single strap can cause muscle strain.
  • Adjust the straps so that the backpack fits closely to your child’s back and sits two inches above the waist. This ensures comfort and proper weight distribution.
  • Encourage children to use their lockers or desks throughout the day to drop off heavy books.

The Pediatric Orthopedic Society of North America recommends that parents should always look for warning signs that indicate backpacks may be too heavy. If your child struggles to put on and take off the backpack, they are complaining of numbness or tingling or if there are red strap marks on their shoulders -It may be time for you to lighten their load.

 

All content of this newsletter is intended for general information purposes only and is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please consult a medical professional before adopting any of the suggestions on this page. You must never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment based upon any content of this newsletter. PROMPTLY CONSULT YOUR PHYSICIAN OR CALL 911 IF YOU BELIEVE YOU HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY.