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Preteens

Physical Activity: A Key Ingredient to Keeping Kids at a Healthy Weight, Powered by Nemours Children's Health System

Physical Activity: A Key Ingredient to Keeping Kids at a Healthy Weight

Last year’s social distancing restrictions left many families cooped up inside. With more time indoors, screen-time increased and physical activity declined for many families. With the weather heating up, and outdoor restrictions lifting, many are eager to get back to their regular summer activities. Benefits of Being Active When kids are active, their bodies can do the things they want and need them to do. Why? Because regular exercise provides these benefits: strong muscles and bones weight control decreased risk of developing type 2 diabetes better sleep a better outlook on life Healthy, active kids are also more likely to do better in school. And physical competence builds self-esteem at every age. Additionally, regular physical activity improves mental health. It can have a positive impact on reducing the symptoms of depression, anxiety, stress, and ADHD. Exercise can boost overall mood. Getting outside to local parks and finding nearby recreation centers […]

Nut Allergies: What Friends and Family Need to Know | Promise: Powered by Nemours Children's Health System

Nut Allergies: What Friends and Family Need to Know

For parents whose children live with an allergy to peanuts or tree nuts, avoiding the ingredients can become a matter of cautious routine. It’s never easy, but parents grow accustomed to avoiding certain foods and contaminants, watching for symptoms, and carrying the necessary supplies in case of an accidental exposure. But what about friends, friends’ parents, or other family members? It can be hard to give a simple overview of the dangers and limitations that come with a peanut or tree nut allergy – especially when you’re trying to allow your child to live a life that’s as close to normal as possible. Here’s what friends and family members should know about caring for or spending time with a child who has a nut allergy – whether it’s a sleepover, family vacation, or a babysitting gig. It’s a real thing. No matter what your own experiences with peanut or tree nut […]

When Your Child Complains of Chest Pain by Thomas Craig Edwards, MD | Promise, powered by Nemours Children's Health

When Your Child Has Chest Pain

When your child complains of chest pain, it’s natural to jump to heart-related conclusions. But most cases of chest pain in children aren’t caused by cardiac conditions. It can sometimes be hard to get a clear description of your child’s chest pain, but symptoms usually include: Tightness. Discomfort. Burning sensation. Pain when taking deep breaths. Coughing. Wheezing. So what should you do? Make an appointment with your child’s primary care physician, and keep in mind that chest pain in children is usually not heart-related. Chest pain can often be attributed to one or more of the following: Gastroesophogeal reflux disease, or ongoing heartburn Pain or inflammation in the chest wall Asthma Pneumonia Stress or anxiety Injury Viral illness Heading to the hospital is absolutely necessary in some situations. Seek emergency care if: Exercise brings about chest pain, or makes it worse. Chest pain occurs with rapid or irregular heartbeat. Fainting or […]

Help for Hungry Children - Summer Food Program and School Meals

Help for Hungry Children – Summer Food Program and School Meals

Summer and fun: two words that go hand-in-hand, especially when you’re talking about kids.  However, summer break looks very different for many children. For millions of children from low-income households across the U.S., summer months mean no access to school meals, which may sometimes be the only nutritious food available. And even more children will have less food on their table this year because of the COVID-19 pandemic. For summer 2021 and 2022, the USDA has launched a new summer food program that will help all low-income children of all ages have nutritious meals and snacks. School Meals Help Keep Kids Healthy During the school year, many schools provide students with access to meals through federal school meal programs like the National School Lunch Program and the School Breakfast Program. These programs are run by the U.S. Department of Agriculture and state agencies, who reimburse schools that provide healthy meals […]

Keep Your Kids Safe From TikTok "Challenges"

Keep Your Kids Safe From TikTok “Challenges”

Rachel Simon, third-year pediatric resident at Nemours/Alfred I. duPont Hospital for Children, also contributed to this article. Teens’ use of TikTok, the social media app that allows users to watch, create, and share 15- to 30-second videos recorded on cellphones, has escalated during the pandemic. TikTok is now the second most popular downloaded app, after only Instagram. If you ask teenagers what they like to do online, chances are it’s TikTok. Almost half of TikTok users are between ages 16 and 24, and 90% of users engage with the app every day. The content varies widely and ranges from music, dance, exercise, and tutorial videos to humor and parodies. TikTok can get people moving, educated, and laughing. “It’s all good!” however, does not apply to all of TikTok. Here are just a few of TikTok’s dangerous “challenges”: “The Benadryl Challenge” involves individuals taking high doses of diphenhydramine, an over-the-counter allergy […]

What You Could Miss If You Skip Your Child's Well Visit

What You Could Miss If You Skip Your Child’s Well Visit

Your family has been doing their part and staying home as much as possible to prevent and stop the spread of COVID-19. But messages can get confusing about whether you should take your child to their doctor for a pediatric well visit or check-up. Even during a pandemic, it’s important for kids to have their growth, development, and well-being tracked. What You Could Be Missing by Skipping Your Child’s Well Visit Physical Exam: A regular physical exam can help your doctor pick up hard-to-detect issues like high blood pressure, heart murmur, lumps and bumps, ear and hearing issues, and even cavities. Assessment of Growth: During a check-up, your healthcare provider will track height, weight, and BMI. These measurements can tell them if your child has any medical issues that impact growth. Assessment of Development: A development exam looks at parts of your child’s functioning, including things like reasoning and understanding, […]

Online School and Bullying – Know the Signs and How to Prevent It

Online School and Bullying – Know the Signs and How to Prevent It

Many children have gotten used to going to school and learning virtually since the beginning of the pandemic. But now, some students are facing a new form of cyberbullying via the chat functions on Zoom, Google Media, or whichever tool their school district uses for online learning. School administrators, teachers, and parents should know the signs of this type of bullying and work together to prevent and stop it. When the Chat Becomes Mean Virtual meeting and classroom tools have become useful to educate children during the COVID-19 pandemic. However, parents and teachers are seeing that some students are using the chat function to make fun of other kids, taking screenshots or photos to ridicule their looks, social status, and what they have or don’t have in the background. Unlike an incident that happens in school and is often quickly dealt with and then forgotten, shared photos and messages can […]

Curve Alert

Curve Alert: Don’t Miss That Scoliosis Screening

Because of the COVID pandemic, you may be putting off visits to your child’s pediatrician. But a missed well visit could mean missing a scoliosis screening. What is scoliosis? Scoliosis is an S-shaped curve in the spine.  It is a condition that occurs equally in boys and girls; however, the curve tends to increase more often in girls. Small curves usually don’t cause problems. But large curves can cause health problems like pain or trouble breathing. What causes scoliosis? The most common form of scoliosis is idiopathic which means “cause unknown.” Kids of any age — even infants — can have idiopathic scoliosis. But it’s usually found when a child begins going through puberty. How do you know your child might have scoliosis? Most often, parents, pediatricians or school nurses may notice one or more of the following signs of scoliosis: One shoulder blade more prominent Ribcage is shifted to one […]

Rethink How you Think About Food

Positively Delicious: Having Healthy Conversations About Food

Melanie Franklin, PhD, Psychology Fellow, contributed to this blog post. It’s well recognized that childhood eating habits have a lasting impact on health, longevity, and disease prevention. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) report that obesity affects approximately 42% of adults living in America, and obesity-related conditions (type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and certain types of cancer) are some of the leading causes of preventable death. Obesity affects nearly 20% of children and adolescents (13.7 million), which greatly increases the chances that obesity will carry forward into adulthood. While encouraging healthy food choices is important for preventing obesity and its related conditions, parents should be mindful of how they discuss diet and weight with and around their children. Encouraging kids to diet can have a lasting impact into adulthood, including: a higher risk of disordered eating, unhealthy weight control behaviors, lower body satisfaction, and higher risk of overweight […]

Peaceful Protests

Peaceful Protests

With the current social unrest over police brutality related to the death of George Floyd and others, your children may ask questions about the protests that are happening nationwide. Here are some tips on how to respond to kids on what can be a divisive topic. State the facts I recommend that parents respond to tough questions from their kids with a simple statement of facts, followed by questions of their own. If a child asks, “What are these protests all about?” you might respond: “Many people are protesting the deaths of unarmed black women and men by police and others.” You might follow up by asking questions about what your child thinks about the protests, what they have heard (from friends, media, etc.) and what parts are confusing to them. Asking questions first will likely lead to a better conversation with your child. As you respond, try to help […]

Trouble Breathing During Exercise -- It’s Not Always Asthma, Powered by Nemours Children's Health System

Trouble Breathing During Exercise — It’s Not Always Asthma

What Is Vocal Cord Dysfunction? When a pre-teen or teenager experiences trouble breathing while exercising or playing a sport, many doctors and parents are quick to diagnose the child with asthma. But in some cases, it’s not asthma at all — it’s vocal cord dysfunction, a condition that occurs when the vocal cords do not open correctly. The symptoms of the condition are very similar to asthma, with a child experiencing difficulty breathing or coughing and wheezing. The difference, however, is that vocal cord dysfunction doesn’t improve with a rescue inhaler or a prescription steroid. And for some children, the condition is never diagnosed because, frustrated and distressed, the child quits the activity. But the good news is that vocal cord dysfunction can be diagnosed and treated with the correct therapy. Understanding the Symptoms “Children with vocal cord dysfunction often describe tightness as you’d find in asthma, but opposed to […]

Vegetarian and Vegan Diets: Are They Safe for Kids?, Powered by Nemours Children's Health System

Vegetarian and Vegan Diets: Are They Safe for Kids?

What is the difference between vegetarian and vegan diets? Vegan and vegetarian diets are primarily plant-based, meaning all meals consist mostly of plant foods including fruit, vegetables, whole grains, nuts and seeds, with little to no animal products. A person following a vegetarian diet may consume limited types of animal products. There are many types of vegetarian diets: Lacto-vegetarian: consumes dairy; does not eat meat, poultry, eggs or fish Ovo-vegetarian: consumes eggs; does not eat meat, poultry, dairy or fish Lacto-ovo vegetarian: consumes dairy and eggs; does not eat meat, poultry or fish Pescatarian: consumes fish; does not eat meat, poultry, dairy, or eggs A person following a vegan diet does not consume any animal products including meats, dairy, eggs, and seafood. This diet sometimes excludes honey and gelatin as well, depending on the individual’s decision. Why do people choose to follow plant-based diets? There are several reasons why someone may […]

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