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Smith County Fall 2009

BeSafe Child Since 1994

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BeSafe Child™ magazine


Inside BeSafeChild Combating Childhood Obesity: Instill Healthy Habits Early...............4 Sudden Infant Death Syndrome........5 H1N1 Flu Virus...................................6 Schools And The Flu...........................7 LATCH That Car Seat.......................7 Tips To Help Children Conquer Reading................................................8 Selecting Age Appropriate Video Games..................................................9

www.unitedwaytyler.org No matter where you live, you can call and get referrals to local health and community services. ■ 24-hours-a-day, 7-days-a-week ■ All Languages ■ Dial 2-1-1 or 903-534-9977 2-1-1 East Texas is a collaborative partnership of the United Way of Tyler/Smith County and the Texas Health and Human Services Commission.

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Helpful Toll-Free Numbers

• Texas Poison Control 1-800-222-1222 • Texas Department of Family & Protecting From RSV........................10 Protective Services (DFPS) Abuse Hotline: 1-800-252-5400 Children Online.................................11 • Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS) Vision & Hearing Screening 1-800-252-8023 Ext. 6687 Childcare Guide...........................12-14 • Office of Attorney General Child Support: 1-800-252-8014 CHIP/Children’s Medicaid..............15 • Centers for Disease Control & Protection (1-800-CDC-INFO) 1-800-232-4636 • Texas Youth Hotline 1-800-210-2278 • Runaway Hotline 1-800-580-4357

Child Safety Is No Accident!

BeSafe Publications ~ 566 C.R. 4103, Jacksonville, TX 75766 903-586-3767 1-800-233-8568 Fax 903-586-0333 www.besafechild.com email: info@besafechild.com Publisher/Editor: Royce Ewing Graphic Design/Layout: Claudette Wooddell Office: Patricia Goar ©Copyright 2009 BeSafe Publications We make every effort to ensure the accuracy of the information within these pages. We cannot, however, assume any liability of any kind for its validity or completeness or for additional or changed information subsequent to the date the information contained herein was submitted for publication. BeSafe Publications welcomes your suggestions and inquiries. Articles from professionals in child safety and health are also encouraged. While we retain our copyright position, we do grant permission to responsible parties to duplicate our articles in the interest of child safety, health and good character.

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Combating Childhood Obesity: Instill Healthy Habits Early

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Source: U.S. Dept. of Agriculture, AMA, & Evenflo

ccording to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the number of children between the ages of 2 and 5 who are considered overweight has nearly quadrupled over the past few decades. Today, approximately 20 percent of toddlers fall into the overweight category, compared with just 5 percent a generation ago. One significant factor may be the increase in portion sizes, which have more than tripled in recent years. As the childhood obesity rate continues to rise, parents can take proactive steps to help their toddlers build a foundation of lifelong healthy habits. MyPyramid.gov, a project of the U.S. Department of Agriculture that is focused on changing the way American families eat, states that parents are the most important influences on their children’s eating habits. Simple practices such as teaching correct portion control and encouraging selfserving play an important role in maintaining a healthy weight. During the toddler years, children possess the natural instinct of knowing when they are hungry and when they are full, which makes it the perfect time to encourage them to listen to their bodies and find ways to make family mealtime a fun, educational experience. Following are tips from Evenflo to help toddlers develop lifelong healthy eating habits: • Make portion control a priority: Portion sizes are bigger than ever. Evenflo has developed a new line of toddler-feeding products called Smart Steps, designed to address portion control and teach children and parents the amount of food they need. • Apply a self-serve policy: The American Medical Association (AMA) recommends allowing children to serve themselves so that they can self-regulate their meals. During the ages of 3 to 5, kids’ natural instinct of feeling hungry versus feeling full is

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changing; now is the time to help them listen to their bodies. • Turn off the TV: Just like adults, children will consume more calories when they eat in front of the television. Kids are more likely to pay attention to signs of fullness when they aren’t distracted by a favorite cartoon character. • Don’t worry if at first you don’t succeed: MyPyramid.gov recommends feeding children a wide variety of healthy foods, but it’s normal for kids to balk at unfamiliar choices. You may need to offer the new food up to 10 times before it is deemed familiar and acceptable, so remember to try, and try again. It’s also helpful to introduce a new food in tiny portions, so that little ones can “taste” without being overwhelmed. For more information about toddler nutrition, visit www.evenflo.com/smartsteps.

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Doing What We Can To Prevent Sudden Infant Death Syndrome

Anne L. Christian, M.D., Board of Certified Pediatrician. ETMC First Physicians, 5th Street Pediatric Clinic. uring the past 13 years of Pediatric 3. Bed Sharing: Sharing a bed increases an Practice, I have had the privilege of infant’s risk for S.I.D.S. observing up-close, the changes which 4. Pre-term and low birth weight infants: Infamilies go through during the first year after fants born premature or low birth weight are the birth of a new baby. Whether it is the at a high risk. birth of a first child, or the fifth child; the first 5. Overheating: Overdressed, have too many year is filled with parents focusing on keepblankets on, or are in a hot room. ing the new baby healthy, and safe. While 6. Soft sleep surfaces: Sleeping on a water avoiding diaper rash, choosing the best car bed, couch, sofa, or pillows, or sleeping with sear, and feeding your baby the right foods stuffed toys. are very important aspects of these overall 7. Loose bedding: Sleeping with pillows or goals, there is a silent threat to the actual life loose bedding such as comforters, quilts, and of a new baby that we need to devote our blankets. attention to also. This silent threat is SudWhat steps can a parent take to lower their den Infant Death Syndrome or S.I.D.S. The baby’s risk of S.I.D.S? best way to do everything you can to avoid 1. Place babies to sleep on their backs. Use S.I.D.S. is to learn more about it. the back sleep position every time. Avoid side Why is S.I.D.S an important topic for new sleeping. parents? SIDS is the leading cause of death 2. Place your baby on a firm sleep surface, among infants aged 1–12 months, and it is the such as a safety-approved crib mattress covthird leading cause overall of infant mortality ered with a fitted sheet. in the United States. 3. Avoid exposing babies to any cigarette What exactly is Sudden Infant Death Syn- smoke, both during pregnancy and after birth. drome (S.I.D.S.)? The American Academy 4. Babies should sleep in the same room with of Pediatrics (A.A.P) defines S.I.D.S. as: “the parents but in separate beds. sudden death of an infant under 1 year of age 5. Offer your baby a pacifier. Using a pacifier that remains unexplained after a thorough during sleep reduces S.I.D.S. case investigation, including complete au6. Keep soft objects, toys, and loose bedding topsy, examination of the death scene, and out of your baby’s sleep area. review of the clinical history.” 7. Avoid letting your baby overheat during When do parents need to be the most sleep—Dress your baby in light sleep clothattentive to reducing a baby’s risk for ing and keep the room at a temperature that is S.I.D.S? During the entire first year of life, comfortable for an adult. there is an increased risk for S.I.D.S. HowWhat groups are most at risk for SIDS? ever, the most deaths occur between the 2nd The C.D.C says these groups are at most risk: and 3rd months of age. 1. Babies who are placed to sleep on their What are the risk factors for S.I.D.S? Acstomachs or sides are at higher risk for cording to the Centers for Disease Control S.I.D.S. than babies who are placed on their and the A.A.P., the following items increase backs to sleep. an individual baby’s risk for S.I.D.S.: 2. Babies who are born before 37 weeks ges1. Sleeping Position on the Tummy or the tational age are at higher risk for S.I.D.S. Side: Infants who are put to sleep on their 3. African-American babies are more than tummy or on their side are more likely to die two times as likely to die of S.I.D.S. as Caufrom S.I.D.S casian babies. 2. Smoking: Infants born to mothers who 4. American-Indian/Alaska Native babies are smoke during pregnancy are at increased risk nearly three times as likely to die of S.I.D.S. of S.I.D.S. Also, infants exposed to smoke at as Caucasian babies. home or at daycare.

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H1N1 Flu Virus

n 2009, we saw the emergence of a new H1N1 influenza virus causing Iillness in people. This virus is spread-

the community to protect themselves by following a few ing from person-to-person worldwide, simple guidelines: • Get your flu shot. probably in much the same way that • Cover your nose regular seasonal influenza viruses and mouth with a tissue when you spread. On June 11, 2009, the World cough or sneeze. Throw the tissue in Health Organization (WHO) signaled that a pandemic of 2009 H1N1 flu was the trash after you use it. • Wash your hands often with soap and underway. water, especially after you cough or Flu viruses are spread mainly from sneeze. Alcohol-based hands cleaners person to person through coughing are also effective. or sneezing by people with influenza. Sometimes people may become infect- • Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth. Germs spread that way. ed by touching something – such as a surface or object – with flu viruses on it • Try to avoid close contact with sick and then touching their mouth or nose. people. • If you get sick, CDC recommends The symptoms of 2009 H1N1 flu vithat you stay home from work or rus in people include fever, cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, body school and limit contact with others to keep from infecting them. aches, headache, chills and fatigue. A significant number of people who have If a person that is experiencing flu-like been infected with this virus also have symptoms reports to their physician reported diarrhea and vomiting. Severe and tests positive on the rapid flu A test, it is highly probable that this flu is illnesses and death has occurred as a H1N1 because that is the only flu strain result of illness associated with this we are seeing right now and this is not virus. the typical flu season. Seasonal influenza can cause mild to severe illness, and at times can lead to The Northeast Texas Public Health death. Each year, in the United States, on average 36,000 people die from flu- District will follow the guidelines set by CDC regarding the H1N1 vaccine. related complications and more than We encourage our communities to 200,000 people are hospitalized from remember to receive their seasonal flu flu-related causes. Of those hospitalvaccine and we will work with the meized, 20,000 are children younger than 5 years old. Over 90% of deaths dia to get the information out about the and about 60 percent of hospitalization H1N1 vaccine as soon as we receive this information from CDC. occur in people older than 65. Dr. Jonathan MacClements, Smith So, what are local health officials recCounty Health Authority reports, “We ommending to protect the East Texas will continue to see the virus spread Community? “We are working very because influenza is highly transmisclosely with our hospitals, physicians, schools, cities, and counties to monitor sible from person to person. Local the situation and to prepare for the up- Health Officials continue to encourage our citizens to use common prevencoming flu season; as well as plan for both seasonal and H1N1 vaccinations.” tative methods; such as proper hand Says George Roberts, CEO, Northeast washing, covering a cough, and social distancing. These are the most effecTexas Public Health District. tive precautions to contain the spread in our area.” The Health District has emergency flu plans in place that have been exercised Ref: www.cdc.gov/ www.who.int with all of our community partners. However, it is up to each member of 6

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Schools And The Flu Source: Nancy Jones, RN at Tyler I.S.D. n interview with Nancy Jones, RN gave us the following information A for parents:

• Make sure your child’s school has your current phone numbers and correct address. This is important. The school needs to be able to reach you without delay if your child became ill. • Nancy Jones encourages the same steps as Health Authorities; making sure your kids know the proper etiquette for sneezes and coughs. Making sure they wash their hands often. • Parents need to know that your schools are taking the proper precautions with strong germicides to clean desks, door knobs, etc. to fight the spread of flu germs. • If it becomes necessary to close any

school based on the cases of flu illness it will be done. Closing schools, however, has not proven to be an effective way to keep children from spreading the flu. So many of the older students end up congregating at the mall or other public places or in each others homes. • If your child has the flu he/she will need to be at home 24 hours after the fever has returned to normal, without any medication, before returning to school. Expect five to seven days of missed school time. • Get your child’s flu shots; both H1N1 and the seasonal flu.

LATCH™ That Car Seat

ccording to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration A (NHTSA), three out of four kids are

not as secure in the car as they could be because their car seats are not being used correctly. While it’s certainly true most parents want to do everything in their power to protect their children, it’s also true they may not know about a simplified anchoring system that’s built into most new cars to help make it easier to install car seats. Known as LATCH (Lower Anchors and Tethers for Children), the system was developed to make it easier for parents to correctly install child safety seats into vehicles. Yet 40 percent of parents still rely on the vehicles’ seat belts when installing their car seat rather than using LATCH. In addition, only 55 percent of parents report using the upper tether, which provides additional attachment of the child safety seat to the vehicle and has been shown to reduce forward movement of the child’s head, minimizing risk of head impact. For additional information about the

LATCH system and other safety measures, visit www.safercar.gov. The site includes instructional videos and helpful informational resources.

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Tips To Help Children Conquer Reading

h, the places students can go when they open up a good book! O Students who enjoy reading do well in

even as young as 6 weeks old. • Have materials on hand at home. In addition to books, stock up the house with newspapers, magazines and school; they boast higher test scores, other periodicals to persuade childevelop comprehendren to read instead of turning on sion proficiency and the television or playing a video improve analytical game. skills faster and better • Build skills and comprehension than their peers who by starting a discussion. When read less frequently. you read aloud, stop to discuss But how do parents unfamiliar words and pause to get their children to ask questions to help your child turn the pages when predict what is coming next. Ask reading is sometimes children about characters in stoseen as a chore rather ries and why characters might act than a reward? the way they do. “No matter what • Make reading a daily routine. Chilthe subject, good reading skills will dren are more comfortable when they pave the path to academic success,” know what to expect each day. says Dennis Van Roekel, president of • Set and reward reading goals. Build the National Education Association enthusiasm by providing a spe(NEA), which represents 3.2 million cial treat when a reading target is educators. “Parents can encourage reached. Positive reinforcement can their children to enjoy reading by makhelp boost motivation. ing it a family affair.” , NEA encourages students to be in the “Parents play the title role in their children’s education,” adds Van Roekel. company of a good book and offers “If everyone in the family is on the these tips to parents: same page, then magic happens.” • Don’t wait to set a good reading For more information and tips, visit example. It’s never too early to start www.nea.org/readacross. good reading habits. Begin sharing books with children during infancy,

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Selecting Age-Appropriate Video Games SOURCE: The Entertainment Software Rating Board

ith the advent of the video game rating system in W 1994, parents were

given a heads-up about what titles were appropriate for their children. But as the next generation of kids starts to play, and with gaming technology making the action even more realistic, it’s even more essential that parents look closely at the packages to ensure that the game fits the child. The Entertainment Software Rating Board was created to empower consumers, especially parents, with the ability to make informed decisions about the computer and video games they choose for their families through the assignment of age and content ratings, and to hold the computer and video game industry accountable for responsible marketing practices.

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But just as motion picture ratings now feature descriptions that list the potentially offensive content, video game ratings also feature descriptors that indicate elements in a game that may have triggered a particular rating and/or may be of interest or concern. This sort of verbiage can help parents decide when their young gamer is ready to transition, for example, from EC (early childhood) titles to E (everyone), which may contain minimal cartoon, fantasy or mild violence and/or infrequent use of mild language. This decision can be a little tricky, especially with young boys. That’s why Ubisoft created Jake Power, a line of games for the Nintendo DS, which let boys ages 5 to 8 play as a Policeman, Fireman or Handyman. All three games are rated E for Everyone. To learn more, visit www.ubi.com.

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Protecting Children From A Common Respiratory Virus

ith cough and cold season back in swing, parents with infants W and small children should be on the

disease. Infants who attend child care or day care, and those with school-age siblings, also have an increased risk for RSV infections. lookout for a common virus RSV is highly contathat may lead to potentially gious. It can be spread serious complications-RSV when a person coughs (respiratory syncytial virus). or sneezes, and it can Nearly half of all children live on surfaces such are infected during their first as toys, countertops year of life, and almost all or doorknobs, and on children get an RSV infechands and clothing. tion by the age of 2. AccordIt is important for RSV ing to the American Acadto be diagnosed-and emy of Pediatrics, RSV is distinguished from the leading cause of bronchiother, similar illnesses olitis and pneumonia among with similar symptomschildren under 2 years old. so that proper medical Recent studies suggest that attention can be adthere is an association beministered to minimize tween RSV-induced bronchiinfection and risk to olitis and asthma within the the patient. Health care first decade of life. RSV is a virus that causes acute respi- professionals recognize the benefits of utilizing rapid RSV tests to aid clinical ratory illness in patients of all ages. While symptoms usually resemble the diagnosis and management of patient care. The QuickVue RSV test allows common cold and are fought off in a for the rapid detection of RSV. The matter of days, cold-like symptoms accompanied by wheezing or difficulty test is both accurate and gives results in 15 minutes. It is manufactured by breathing may be indicative of RSV. the makers of the QuickVue Influenza Among those at greatest risk from A+B test. For more information, visit RSV are babies born prematurely, as www.rsvtesting.com well as children with lung or heart

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Children Online

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Brought to you by Universal Child Abuse Prevention Program a Unit of ACCESS STAR Program. Funded by DFPS

illions of youths are online, whether at 4. Instant Messages: Is live text conversahome, at school, at a friend’s house, or tions between two or more individuals. With if they have internet access on a handheld instant messaging, a user can choose which device or cell phone—almost anywhere. If of his friends he will converse with, selectyou are a parent, you are faced with a sobering from a contact list he has created. Instant ing reality: Your children are probably more message conversations can be distracting comfortable in this new cyber world than you if your child is supposed to be studying or are, and they may even know how to keep engaging in another activity that requires you in the dark about their online activities. concentration such as driving. In addition, What Parents should know: how can you be sure with whom your son or 1. E-Mails: Written messages that are sent daughter is communicating? After all, you electronically. Is a fast and inexpensive can not hear the conversation. way to correspond with friends and family. 5. Blogs: They are online diaries. Blogging Unsolicited e-mail, often called spam, can be gives youths the opportunity to write about more than just an annoyance. Often they con- their thoughts, passions, and activities. A blog tain suggestive or blatantly obscene content. is open to the public. Some youths carelessly Links inside messages may prompt the user reveal information that can be used to identify to volunteer personal information, which can their family, school, or home address. Blogs lead to identity theft. Replying to such e-mail can harm reputations, including the blogger’s will confirm that the user has an active e-mail own. address, which may lead to further unsolicited 6. Online Social Networks: Sites that allow e-mail. youths to create a Web page and enhance it 2. Web Sites: They are collections of elecwith pictures, videos, and blogs. Examples of tronic pages created and maintained by these are MySpace and Facebook. Creating organizations, educational institutions, busiand enhancing a Web page enables a young nesses, and individuals. Millions of sites person to express his or her identity. Online are available, providing youth with endless social networks allow young ones to meet opportunities to shop, do research, connect many new “friends”. A social networking with friends, and play or download games and site is like an online party. Some very scary music. The Web has been exploited by unpeople can show up. Unscrupulous youths scrupulous individuals. and adults can exploit the personal informaMany Web sites feature explicit sex, and these tion posted on social networks. These sites are easy for the unwary to stumble upon. do not verify a person’s age and many kids 3. Chat Rooms: Are electronic spaces for live and adults use false names and ages. Internet text conversation, usually centered around a friendships tend to be superficial. specific topic or interest. Your child can com- Experts believe that up to 750,000 predamunicate with a number of individuals whom tors may be online on a daily basis, trolling he or she many never have met but who share Internet chat rooms and dating services. In the a common interest. Predators commonly United States, 93 percent of youths between frequent chat rooms hoping to lure a child the ages of 12 and 17 use the Internet. into an online or even a face-to-face sexual encounter.

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Guide to Licensed Child Care Centers

After School Care

Registered Preschool

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After School Care

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After School Care

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We Know Kids

ETMC First Physicians for Kids When it comes to knowing kids, the pediatricians at ETMC First Physicians clinic on Fifth Street in Tyler are experts. They’re specially trained in the care of newborns, infants, toddlers and adolescents, with emphasis on physical, mental and social development. See the ETMC First Physicians for Kids on Fifth Street in Tyler for: • Immunizations • Physicals and developmental assessments • Treatment of childhood viruses and illnesses For an appointment, call 903-596-ETMC. 1000 E. Fifth St. Tyler, TX 75701 ETMC First Physicians are in-network providers for most insurance plans.

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Smith County Fall 2009 Since 1994 2 BeSafe Child ™ magazine

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