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A Special Publication of the I-75 Newspaper Group Troy Daily New • Piqua Daily Call • Sidney Daily News


ALL ABOUT KIDS

I-75 Newspaper Group

March 2012

Page 2

For the love of reading The earlier the better: Read to your child BY LOLA E. BILLIEL Ohio Community Media Early exposure to reading has been proven to give kids a head start in life that often propels them through to success as adults. And what better way to help children discover the joy of reading than to read aloud to them? Area children’s librarians agree that reading to children, even to infants, has many beneficial effects. Bonnie Banks of Amos Memorial Library in Sidney, Nancy Spillane of the Piqua Public Library and Nancy Hargrove of the Miami County Public Library in Troy say the earlier parents begin reading to their children, the better. They note that a child’s reading skills are important to success in school and work. The key is to make reading fun for children, as it opens doors to all kinds of new worlds.The librarians report that parents can not only play a critical role in helping their children develop the ability to read, but also foster an enjoyment of reading. See READING/Page 3

Ohio Community Media Photo/Luke Gronneberg

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ALL ABOUT KIDS

I-75 Newspaper Group

March 2012

Page 3

READING Quick tips for reading success O Take books everywhere (the car, bus, doctor’s office), and make the most of every minute. O Read everyday items aloud: food labels, maps, menus, cereal boxes, road signs, catalogs, and newspapers. O Ask your local librarian to help you find books that meet your child’s interests and needs. O Set up a home library. A few books on a special shelf is a great start. And it doesn’t have to be expensive O Used book stores, yard sales, and flea markets sell books that children will treasure for years. The Piqua library also has a summer reading program. Spillane also visits local nursery schools once a month to read to children. She often uses puppets to encourage nursery school children to read. Hargrove also feels strongly about the benefits to reading to children, noting it opens up the world to them and helps them do better in school. The Troy library offers various programs including “Baby and Me Laptime,” “Toddler and Me Storytime,” “Preschool Story” and a Saturday family program. They utilize books, songs, puppets, fingerplays and crafts to make the experience both fun and educational. Hargrove says that all programs strive to make children into lifelong readers and library users. Mary Vernau, co-owner of Jay and Mary’s Bookstore in Troy, notes the store has an extensive children’s section featuring both books and educational toys. Store personnel are willing to help people make a selection. She also lectures to parent groups on books for children and the importance of reading to them. Among families that take reading to children seriously are Heather and Joseph Chrisman of Sidney. Mrs. Chrisman says she and her husband feel that reading to their youngsters enhances their vocabulary. She discovered that initially it may appear to be a chore for the parent, but as time progresses you realize you are

creating a reader. She feels it is important to visit the local library and to always be a role model for one’s children by reading. One of the Chrisman parents reads to their children each day with material ranging from Clifford and Arthur books to the scriptures. Educators have discovered

that children who have been read to daily do substantially better in kindergarten than those whose parents read occasionally or not at all. They urge parents to make a commitment to read aloud daily, to read slowly with expression and follow the words with your fingers. They also suggest parents point to pictures and say the names of objects and colors, have a child help turn the pages and take time to answer questions. It is recommended parents read a variety of books - old favorites as well as new ones. They also stress the value of modeling by parents - let a child see you read, whether it’s books, newspapers or even signs. The key is that parents can play a critical role in helping their children develop not only the ability to read, but also an enjoyment of the practice.

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Amos Memorial Library encourages new parents, upon the birth of their children at Wilson Memorial Public Hospital, by providing each with a “Born to Read” tote bag containing information on how to read to a child; keys rings; a cup with the inscription, “Daddies read to babies too;” a board book and a coupon for a free book. Banks advised that reading to one’s offspring promotes bonding between parent and child with the book being the vehicle. She added that children need exposure to language and reading aloud provides the opportunity to enhance their language skills. Amos Memorial Library has a variety of programs for children at all stages of development, including “Babies, Books and Blocks” for those 12 months to 3 years; “Mother Goose,” for little ones up to 24 months; “Tales for Two,” for 2 to 3 1/2 year olds, and “Preschool,” for those age 3 1/2 to kindergarten. An “easy reader” bookshelf is also available. Also offered are “Family Fun Night” for 4-year-olds up to second graders and a program Thursdays for children in grades 3-6.There is also a popular summer reading program. Banks said parents and the library “plant the seed for love of reading” and that in turn provides children the opportunity to express feelings and gain new experiences. She stresses that parents can never start the process too early. Spillane encourages parents to ask questions in their quest for the right books for their child. The Piqua library also encourages early readers, but Spillane notes that a parent should read at the level of their child’s attention span. She also suggests using board books with bright colors and one or two words for the very young. She said it is important to read daily with children, but as they get older let them help choose the book.

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ALL ABOUT KIDS

I-75 Newspaper Group

March 2012

Page 4

Doing something ‘extra’ Busy students = better academic performance BY DAVID FONG Ohio Community Media fong@tdnpublishing.com That there is a direct correlation between student participation in extracurricular activities and students’ academic performance comes as no surprise to Dr. Peter Titlebaum, Associate Professor of Health and Sports Science at the University of Dayton. “Kids who get involved in extracurricular activities learn more time management skills,” Titlebaum said. “It’s kind of like that old saying, ‘If you want something done, give it to someone who is busy.’ Through their extracurricular activities, kids have learned how to budget their time and get things done.” A recent study by California State University, Sacramento, backs up Titlebaum’s claim. In a study of college freshmen from 2002 to 2007, the study found those who chose to participate in extracurrcicular activities had, on averge, higher grade point averages than those who did not.

Ohio Community Media File Photo/anthony Weber

STUDIES HAVE shown children who participate in extracurricular activities, such as marching band or sports, tend to have higher grade point averages than students who do not participate. Not only do students who participate in extracurricular activities learn better time management skills, Titlebaum said, they also tend to work better in team situations - which pays off both in the

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classroom and when the students graduate and look to become members of the work force. “Obviously in extracurricular activities, you are put into situations you wouldn’t normally put yourself in,” he said. “You are forced to work with people from different backgrounds to try to achieve a common goal. It’s the same thing once you enter the work force. People who work together may not necessarily like one another, but still have deadlines and still have to get projects out on time.” To prove his point, every semester Titlebaum asks his students if they would rather be “the best player on the worst team in the league or the worst player on the best team in the

league.” He said the class is almost always evenly split between the two choices. Ultimately, Titlebaum said, he informs his students a prospective employer is far more likely to hire someone from the latter group. “It’s important to employers to find someone who is willing to sacrifice for the team.” Finally, Titlebaum said, there is another reason - perhaps the most obvious of all - why children who participate in extracurricular activities tend to become successful adults. “They have less time to get into trouble,” he said. “If they are involved in extracurricular activities, they are less likely to be out doing things they shouldn’t.”


ALL ABOUT KIDS

I-75 Newspaper Group

March 2012

Page 5

When the dinner bell rings Tips for dealing with a picky eater BY JENNIFER RUNYON Ohio Community Media

has specific behaviors that are concerning, consult your doctor or dietitian for help. For pediatric nutrition concerns, talk to the dietitians at Dayton Children’s. QUESTION: What is the most common problem you see with children’s diets and how do you recommend this is corrected? VANSCHUYVER: The goal for our children is to provide a wide variety of foods including fruits and vegetables, whole grains, dairy and lean meats. Most commonly, children are limited in variety and food choices. Children commonly prefer certain foods and parents mistakenly assume they do not like other foods. Then, we don’t give that food or food group and assume they do not like it forever. It may take more than 10 times of offering a new food for a child to accept it. This may be due to the new textures or flavors or a new environment for introduction. If we continue to provide a variety of foods from all food groups at each meal, we have a better chance of our children accepting more foods and receiving all the important nourishment needed. Start with providing something different within their accepted foods every day. If they ate cereal yesterday, serve eggs for breakfast today. Teach your child to expect variety within the foods they nor-

mally eat. Then when you start introducing new foods they will more accepting. When introducing new foods and flavors, involve your child in food preparations, present foods in a fun, playful ways and offer on a regular basis. Encourage your

child to try the new foods, but don’t push if he or she refuses. Do not punish your child, but encourage your child’s good behaviors and be consistent by providing fruits and vegetables often.” See PICKY/Page 6

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Meal times with young children can be trying for parents especially if the children around your table are picky eaters. Marisa VanSchuyver, pediatric dietitian at Dayton’s Children’s Hospital, offers many tips to keep children eating healthy. QUESTION: It can be scary when your child doesn’t eat. In general, do parents need to worry when their child refuses to eat? VANSCHUYVE R: Yes, when your child refuses to eat, it can be scary. Children often choose food battles to show their independence. Allow your child independence within a safe environment that you can tolerate. For example, offer your child a choice of two or three options from each food group, all of which you would be acceptable to you. Most children will not refuse to eat often when given a choice of healthy options and a relaxed, calm atmosphere. Our job as parents is to set the schedule and offer healthy foods at each meal and snack. Our child’s job is to choose whether or not to eat. We want our children to honor their hunger and eat when they are hungry, and we have to honor their ability to determine their hunger. Generally, children will not refuse to eat in these circumstances for more than a meal or two and we can stop worrying most of the time. Food jags and picky eating can be a normal part of your child’s behavior. Most of these behaviors will end on their own if parents are patient and supportive. If these behaviors last more than a month, or if your child


ALL ABOUT KIDS

I-75 Newspaper Group

March 2012

PICKY QUESTI ON: Do you recommend any kind of supplements? VANSCHUYV ER: If your child is provided a wide variety of foods including fruits, vegetables, whole grains, dairy and lean meats then there needs are being met and they do not require a supplement. Supplements can be useful if there is a specific need that is not being met in the diet or your child has specific nutrient needs. Follow your doctor’s recommendation for supplementation of specific nutrients. In general, breastfed babies should take 400IU of vitamin D until they are transitioned to milk or milk substitute. Formula fed babies are receiving all they need with their formula. After one year of age, your pediatrician may rec-

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From Page 5

Ohio Community Media Photo/Jennifer Runyon

MEMBERS OF the Busy Bee Class at Main Street Preschool in Tipp City enjoy a healthy snack of crackers and cheese. ommend a multi-vitamin with no more than 100 percent RDA for age of the individual.” QU ESTI ON: Is it true that a child’s stomach is only has big

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as his/her fist? VANSCHUYVE R: Children’s tummies are small and they require frequent meals and snacks to meet their needs. Try to offer your child foods every 2-3 hours when they are toddlers and transition to fewer snacks as they get older. Monitor intake of juice or milk between meals so they are hungry at meal/snack times. An average of 24 ounce of milk per day is recommended and no more than 4 ounces of 100 percent fruit juice if desired. Since children have small tummies, be sure that healthy foods are the majority of their diet to meet their needs and that they are not filling up on unnecessary items. QUESTI ON: Do you recommend eating on a pretty regular schedule, i.e. serving meals and snacks at about the same time everyday or just letting kids eat when they’re hungry? How many meals/snacks do you recommend? VANSCHUYV ER: For toddlers, you should provide an opportunity to eat every two to three hours. This may be three snacks and three meals each day. Your job as a parent is to provide the healthy food at consistent times, and your child will decide if they want to eat at these opportunities. For

each meal provide healthy options from each food group, and provide at least two food groups at each snack. Then, when your child only takes a few bites, it is less concerning because they will take a few bites of healthy foods at the next meal or snack. QUESTION: Should parents offer different foods if the child doesn’t like what is offered? VANSCHUYV ER: Parents that provided a variety of healthy foods at each meal or snack should not have to prepare a different food when the child requests something else. Offer your child a choice of two or three things you would be satisfied with providing and stick with the choice they make. Teach your child to be accountable for their choices and to accept a variety of foods. If your child is eating a variety at snack and meal times that makes each meal less important because you know they have other meal or snacks to meet their needs. As parents, your goal is to provide healthy meals and snacks throughout the day. Your child may eat a great breakfast, and pick at dinner. It is normal for food intake to vary from day to day.


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ALL ABOUT KIDS

I-75 Newspaper Group

March 2012

Page 8

Nobody wins if somebody gets hurt Dayton Children’s give tips for Sports Safety Playing a sport is a great way for children to find friends who stick by them through the good and the bad times. Unfortunately, for many young athletes, the bad times come more often than they should. Nearly 2,000 children were brought to the Soin Pediatric Trauma and Emergency Center at The Children’s Medical Center of Dayton in 2010 with sports-related injuries. More than 90 percent of children treated for sports injuries are older than age 9. These injuries are typically preventable if the proper precautions are taken. Preventing injury at an early age sets a child up for a healthy, injury-free future – both on and off the field. Keys to avoiding injuries “In addition to traumatic sports injuries, I often see young athletes in my office with overuse injuries affecting the feet, knees, and spine,” says Craig Shank, MD, orthopedic surgeon at Dayton Children’s. “Many of these injuries could be prevented by proper stretching of the Achilles and hamstring tendons.” Young athletes must always prepare for playing a sport. Preparation should include: • Warm-ups such as a five minute jog • Stretching the major muscle groups of the body, paying close attention to hamstrings and heel chords • Cooling down • Properly hydrating the body by drinking water before, during and after playing Wearing the appropriate gear for practices as well as games is also a key in prevention. Make sure equipment is the right size for your child. Equipment cannot protect your child if it is too big or too

small. Common safety gear Contact Sports (Soccer, football, hockey, basketball, etc.) • Properly adjusted helmet (when applicable) • Mouth guards • Appropriate sized pads or shin guards • Remove all jewelry • Properly tied shoes Individual Sports (Skateboarding, rollerblading, etc.) • Properly adjusted helmet • Mouth guard • Body pads • Knee pads • Wrist guards • Properly tied shoes Not all injuries occur in big collisions or in highlight-reel tackles. Many of injuries are the result of a lack of proper equipment and protective gear that doesn’t fit. Concussions The American Academy of Pediatrics found concussion rates appeared to have more than doubled among students participating in common sports including basketball, soccer and football from 1997 to 2007 even as participation in those sports declined. Coaches, parents and athletes should pay special attention to the signs and symptoms of concussions to properly address these serious injuries. If you notice a player with some of the symptoms below, be sure to remove them from the field and do NOT let them return until they have seen a doctor. Symptoms include: • Bad headache • Dizziness • Confusion • Fatigue • Blurred vision • Nausea and vomiting • Shows mood or behavior changes “Concussions can be avoided and the severity of

head trauma greatly reduced when protective headgear is worn correctly and rules are followed. But more importantly, players should not be allowed back to playing until they have seen a doctor.” Laurence Kleiner, MD, is director of the department of neurosurgery at Dayton Children’s. Rules: Why are there rules? Regardless of the sport your child is playing, there are rules that govern every aspect of the game. Those rules are not in place to stop the game from being fun. They’re in place to protect everyone playing the game. For example, a late hit in football results in a huge penalty. Why? Because the player getting hit didn’t expect another player to hit him unprotected. In baseball and softball, a player sliding into second base with his or her cleats up is ejected. Why? Because it is dangerous and could lead to injury. With soccer, the referee blows his or her whistle when an opposing player tries to kick a ball near another player’s head. Why?

To protect both players involved. Rules are in place to protect the players; encourage your child to follow them! Being a positive role model for your child early in their life will make them more likely to follow safe habits as they get older. About Dayton Children’s: The Children’s Medical Center of Dayton is the region’s only medical facility dedicated to children. Consistently recognized as one of the country’s best pediatric hospitals, Dayton Children’s provides medical treatment, advice and information for children and families from 20 Ohio counties and eastern Indiana. Dayton Children’s accreditation by the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations ensures the regions’ infants, children and teens receive excellent pediatric care. For more children’s health and safety information, visit our web site at www.childrensdayton.org. 2263067


I-75 Newspaper Group

March 2012

Page 9

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ALL ABOUT KIDS


ALL ABOUT KIDS

I-75 Newspaper Group

March 2012

Page 10

Show us your pearly white teeth How to keep your child’s smile healthy BY LAURA WILLIS Ohio Community Media Children should begin visiting the dentist regularly at age two — and just like everyone else, they should been seen twice a year to start keeping those smiles healthy. “Going to the dentist will help your child get used to the environment,” said Kelly Staudt, dental hygienist at Midwest Dental in Sidney. “We help by giving the children rides in the chairs. We will have the parent get their teeth cleaned in front of the child to show that this is something

everyone does and it’s not something to be afraid of.” Bennett Cromes, 2, was scared during his recent first visit to the dentist. “He was asking to go home,” said mom Tashina Cromes. Cromes said that their family dentist was prepared to help her toddler during his first visit, noting that the dental office’s toys and cartoons were part of what made Bennett’s trip more comforting. “He was able to hold a toy tortoise that they gave him,” she said. “There were cartoons on, which really helped him out.”

Staudt, who has been a dental hygienist for 30 years, explained that often the dental staff will play games with the children to make them feel comfortable. “We will count their teeth, and make a game out of it,” she said. “We’ll ask them if they know how many teeth they have and see if they have more or less.” At the first visit, parents should expect X-rays, a gentle exam, a cleaning to remove plaque, tartar, build-up or stains and some tips from the dentist.

Dr. Julie Jones, DDS, is a specialist for children’s dentistry. Jones, who has worked at Excellence in Dentistry, Bentley, Stevens and Jones in Troy since 2010, believes that prevention is key when it comes to oral health. “Prevention is key,” she said. “Limit snacks and intake of juices, pop and sugar. Brushing, flossing and regular checkups all help prevent problems.” Both Jones and Staudt recommended that toddlers brush See DENTIST/Page 11

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BENNETT CROMES, 2, son of Doug and Tashina Cromes of Troy, is becoming a pro at brushing his teeth. Bennett recently had his first visit to see the dentist.


DENTIST at least twice daily. “Use a pea-sized amount of toothpaste,” Staudt said. “This will be enough to clean their teeth, and the pea-size amount will limit the amount they might swallow. Make sure it becomes a daily routine.” Staudt also recommends that “child r e n should brush for 2 minutes using a pea size amount of toothpaste. I encourage the child to clean all areas the fronts, tops, and backs of the teeth. Timers can be helpful. In-between the teeth is best cleaned by flossing and is best started around age 2 or when the child has their back teeth.” As a mother, Cromes helps Bennett in his daily routine by giving him time to learn to brush his teeth. “We let him brush his own teeth first. He rinses them out. We then go through the hard part and help him with the brushing to make sure everything is clean,” she said. “Then

I-75 Newspaper Group

From Page 10 we let him brush again to feel like he’s included.” Cromes said that Bennett gets excited about brushing his teeth and that his toothbrush is kept at a level he can reach, and he will often bring his toothbrush to his parents and ask for help brushing. Another key for parents of young children is to stay positive about oral healthcare, which will help young children want to take care of their teeth. “Talking about the dentist in a positive light will help your child see it is a fun experience. Avoid sharing any negative stories or thoughts as this can influence your child and make them nervous,” Jones said. “Just be patient,” Cromes said. “The whole experience for them is new, but it will help them to know what to expect.”

March 2012

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5 Tips to prepare for your child’s first visit to the dentist 1. Start early The earlier your child sees the dentist, the better. This visit won’t be too long; think of it as a chance for your child to get to know the dentist and the dentist’s office. It’s also a great chance for you to ask the dentist any questions you might have about dental care for your little one’s baby teeth, including tips for brushing and flossing and ways you can prevent cavities. 2. Read and role-play Many favorite children’s characters are featured in books about going to the dentist. Reading with your child gives you a chance to talk about why visiting the dentist is important. It also helps your child become familiar with the dentist and what to expect during a dental checkup. Role-playing a visit to the dentist can be fun for kids. You can begin by asking your child to “open wide,” then count his or her teeth. Then let your child pretend to be the dentist while you play patient. 3. Let your child tag along during your visit Taking your child along during your routine dental checkup will give your little one a chance to become familiar with the dentist office environment. (Check with your dentist to make sure it’s okay first.) The goal is for your child to see that there’s nothing scary about going to the dentist. 4. Consider a specialist A pediatric dentist undergoes additional training in the dental needs of young patients. Pediatric dental offices tend to be very kid-friendly, often with waiting rooms full of toys, books and other things that will interest kids. A dentist who treats children should know how to cope with any initial fears and put your child at ease. A “kid dentist” may be especially helpful if your child is shy, anxious or has special needs. 5. Keep your fears to yourself If you’ve got dental anxiety, your child will pick up on that and be fearful, too. Avoid negative words when you’re talking about the dentist and never suggest that anything will be painful. And don’t share any negative experiences you might have had with the dentist with your child. The goal is for your child to look forward to seeing the dentist every six months, not dread it.

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ALL ABOUT KIDS


ALL ABOUT KIDS

I-75 Newspaper Group

March 2012

Page 12

Weight gain in children What’s normal and what’s not? COURTESY OF UPPER VALLEY MEDICAL CENTER Ben was a chubby baby; some might even say “fat.” By the age of one, he had lost nearly all of his baby fat, and today he is a tall, lean adolescent — a power forward on his high school basketball team. Doctors in the past frequently had to tell parents not to worry about the baby fat; children grow and change. Today, however, as childhood obesity has become a national problem, such advice is not so freely given. The percentage of children and adolescents classified as overweight has become a national health concern in the United States. In recommending action, the American Heart Association (AHA) points out that “overweight children are more likely to be overweight adults. Successfully preventing or treating overweight in childhood may reduce the risk of adult overweight” which, in turn, should lower the risk of

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brain and central nervous system. Children vary in terms of body types as well as appetite, so it’s not always so easy to tell when a child is gaining too much weight. It is important to schedule regular well child checkups so your pediatrician or family practitioner can keep you informed about how your child is doing. Body mass index (BMI) is plotted on growth charts using percentile lines. Overweight is officially defined as a BMI-for-age between the 85th and 94th percentiles; obesity is a BMIfor-age in the 95th percentile or above. Abnormally rapid weight gain — even as early as six months of age — may be

cause for concern. According to one study, children who gained more weight (relative to their height) than other children at six months of age had more risk factors for diabetes, insulin resistance and high cholesterol as early as age four. [American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, October, 2009] TV, fr ies and v ideo games Although genetics may enter into the picture, most children are at risk of becoming overweight (1) when they’re sedentary — spending a good part of their time at the computer or in front of the television set — and (2) when they load up often on fast foods, baked goods, vending machine snacks and soft drinks. Some youth, like adults, overeat to cope with emotional problems, stress or boredom. Even during childhood, abnormal weight gain can contribute to health concerns such as diabetes and asthma. And overweight children have an elevated risk of developing these and other health problems in early adulthood. In addition, there can be social and emotional complications — low self esteem, behavior and learning problems, social withdrawal and depression. Restrictive diets for kids are not generally advised. However, it is recommend that parent pay attention to prevent weight gain above what is appropriate for expected increases in height through small but permanent changes in eating habits and physical activity. See WEIGHT/Page 13


ALL ABOUT KIDS

EXERCISE Arguing with kids about what they eat or making certain food off-limits is nearly always counter productive. It is much better to be positive by setting up healthy eating and exercise patters for the entire family, such as: MOR E MEALS AT HOM E: With time at a premium, many American families are relying more and more on outside sources for their meals — restaurants, fast food establishments, carry out counters at the grocery store or deli. Resist the temptation. Restaurant meals and take away foods are generally higher in fat, sodium and calories than those prepared at home. The family meal at home is an important way of staying together as a family. Sit down at the table — not in front of the TV — and share information, ideas and stories. BUY H EALT HY SNAC KS : You can’t control what your child buys from vending machines at school, but you can control what kinds of snacks are available in your home. Avoid the chips and other highly processed snack foods. Stock up on fruits, vegetables, yogurt and whole grain snacks. C UT BAC K ON SWEETE NE D B E V ER AG E S : The national epidemic of obesity has coincided with increased consumption of soft drinks. Sodas are empty calories that go down so easily. Even sweetened fruit drinks are deceptively high in calories. Limit your purchases of all sweetened beverages. B E A G O O D RO L E MODE L: You can’t expect your children to eat healthy snacks if you go around the house sipping on a cola or nibbling on chips. E N C O U R AG E P H Y S I C A L ACT IVITY: Being a good role model is also important. If you

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spend most of your leisure time in front of the TV, you can’t expect much different behavior from your kids. Don’t think just in terms of structured exercise or organized sports. Hide and seek, tag, jump rope and outdoor water play are all good ways of burning calories and building fitness. Find out what your child likes to do — whether it’s bowling, skating, hiking or playing catch — and spend some quality time together. If your child likes to read, great; walk to the library to choose some books. Experts recommend maintaining a positive attitude as opposed to simply denying certain foods or engaging in food-related power struggles. Don’t use foods or exercise for either punishment or reward. For most children, particularly those under age seven with no health problems, it is not a matter of losing weight as much as preventing abnormal weight gain. And even when weight loss is recommended, it should be gradual. There is no question that childhood obesity is a major health problem. But in most cases, it can be managed with small but permanent steps toward establishing healthier eating and physical activity patterns. This information is provided by the health care professionals of Upper Valley Medical Center. It is intended for educational purposes and should not be used as a substitute for the care of a physician. Please contact your doctor for specific advice and/or treatment of health conditions. Or if you need a new doctor, call CareFinders free physician referral service at (866) 608-3463. For additional health-related information, log on to UVMC.com.

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Sleep tips for children (StatePoint) — Sleep is vital for children’s overall health and development. That’s why it’s important that children develop good sleep habits, right from the start. “Parents of infants need to know how to help their baby safely fall asleep,” says Robert W. Block, MD, FAAP, of the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP). “And older children will benefit from an environment that helps them get enough sleep.” Here are some tips for safe and adequate sleep from the experts at the AAP: Safer sleep Babies up to 1 year of age should always be placed on their backs on a firm surface to sleep. This will reduce the risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome, or SIDS, which is the leading cause of death in the United States for babies between 1 month and 1 year old. “While we don’t know what causes SIDS, we have learned how parents can dramatically lower the risks,” says Dr. Block. Make sure the crib, bassinet or play yard meets current safety standards and hasn’t been recalled. And make sure to keep all objects -including soft toys, blankets and crib bumpers -- out of the crib, as they can increase the risk of suffocation or strangulation. Consider using a sleeper instead blankets, and make sure the baby’s head remains uncovered. The crib can be in the same room as you sleep, but do not place the baby in the same bed as you. Also, keep the baby away from smoke and smokers. Warm, not hot Keep the room where your baby sleeps at a comfortable temperature. In general, dress your baby in no more than one extra layer than you would wear. Your baby may be too hot if she is sweating or if her chest feels hot. You may offer a pacifier, which can help reduce the risk of SIDS. However, other products like wedges, positioners, special mattresses and specialized sleep surfaces have not been shown to reduce the risk of SIDS. If you are breastfeeding, wait until breastfeeding is going well before offering a

pacifier, usually around 3 to 4 weeks. Children should be taken out of a crib by the time they are 35 inches tall. Establish routines If your child or teen seems to be having trouble sleeping, try altering the environment or establishing a routine. For example, see if your child sleeps better in a dark room or with a night light. Do not allow a TV in your child’s bedroom, and make sure he or she doesn’t watch or read anything upsetting or scary within two hours of bedtime. Instead, a bath, warm drink or story time will help a child unwind. For more tips to help your young one get a good night’s sleep, visit the AAP’s website for parents, www.healthychildren.org . If sleeping problems persist, consult your pediatrician. Even sleepers with the toughest problems can learn good habits.

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ALL ABOUT KIDS

I-75 Newspaper Group

March 2012

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Arts enhance learning Lullabies, finger painting, puppets stimulate children BY LOLA E. BILLIEL Ohio Community Media Child behavioral experts report that appropriate arts experiences can greatly influence a child’s development. The arts play a central role in developing motor language, social-emotional development and cognitive skills. From a baby’s first encounter with lullabies, to a toddler’s experimentation with finger paints and puppets, to a school-age child dramatizing a story — the arts serve to engage children in learning. They also motivate youngsters, facilitate understanding and stimulate memory, enhance communication skills, promote relationships and provide an avenue for building competence. The Gateway Arts Council of Sidney and The Hayner Cultural Center in Troy are organizations that offer area children a multitude of opportunities to grow through the arts. Ellen Keyes, executive director of Gateway Arts, notes the council offers a variety of cultural activities geared to enriching children’s experiences in the arts. Totally free to children is the council’s “art table” at the Shelby County Applefest celebration each year, at which a child can participate in a project, such as creating apple prints. Another free favorite is the annual Kids Around the Square festival in downtown Sidney at which children are encouraged to be creative, whether in making an work of art or working with a puppet. June brings art projects to area young people in

Photo provided

CHILDREN WHO are taking part in the play “Rapunzel” run through one of the scenes during a rehearsal. The play was a Gateway Arts Council Youth Education Series performance. local parks, while “Music munity theater group. ground presenting a folk music Matters” is a program in which “The arts are a cornerstone program that combines the needy students are provided in a child’s education; they two elements. Visual arts instruments for lessons or to teach creativity and creativity offered provide preschoolers play in bands. Middle school can be translated in any field,” and older children with generand high schoolers present a said Keyes. al art and music experiences. concert as part of Music “Art doesn’t discriminate The center also offers a Matters. by color, gender or age but summer art day camp, this Keyes notes that the Arts that is for everyone,” said Kim year with a theme of Council also brings a touring Chifton, program coordinator wa t e r / o c e a n s / s e a s / r i ve r s . company to Shelby County to at the Hayner Cultural Center. Children will create projects give a theater presentation, Clifton said that Hayner related to the theme and there such as the recent staging of works with the Troy City will be a theater presentation “The Ugly Duckling,” with Schools with the arts and cur- titled, ”ARRRR! Pirates have young people invited to an art riculum. She notes that stud- feelings too.” An art exhibit class beforehand. Other arts ies show the arts stimulate featuring the creative works of activities for children in the other areas of development for kindergartners through grade Sidney area are provided by children. The center offers 12 students is also sponsored the Sidney Dance Company programs such as a classical by Hayner. and the Sock and Buskin com- guitarist with a science backSee ARTS/Page 15


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March 2012

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ARTS

Photo provided

CHILDREN WORK on a mural at Art in the Park in Sidney. that schools should definitely have arts in their curriculums and that is a necessary part of education. For those willing to take a short drive south, the Dayton Art Institute also offers programs and experiences for children, such as its Interactive Gallery for Children and Adults and the Art Place for Young Learners Center. Miami and Shelby counties are home to private dance studios and others that offer lessons in the arts and music. Educators encourage parents to involve their children in writing and drawing at home and to take them to museums and art performances. The arts can provide both a learning and growing experience which broadens the realm of possibilities for children and help teach them tolerance and understanding of the much larger world. Simply stated, the arts can open many doors for children.

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Another organization encouraging the arts for children is the Shelby County Historical Society. Tilda Philipot, director, said children are encouraged to create ornaments for the society’s Christmas activities. This past year several retired teachers visited area schools and encouraged and helped children create ornaments for the trees. The Christmas open house at the Historical Society’s museum also encourages children to participate in “Christmas of Yesteryear.” They do so by making handmade gifts, ornaments or gingerbread houses. Children are are brought to the museum to experience various displays, such as one on Immigration. Children are involved in living history through Indian beading, Indian storytelling and Indian flutes. Philipot notes the Historical Society also works in partnership with Amos Memorial Public Library in a program involving high schoolers in which they read books about their heritage and people from Shelby County who have changed the world. Presently they are reading “Laura’s Children” and in April will meet Becky Powers, the author. Dan Knepper, Botkins art teacher, feels that art education teaches good work ethics. “Evening With the Arts” is a popular event in the Botkins Schools where students exhibit their art works and there are demonstrations in dance and music appreciation. Knepper notes that Botkins High School students have created murals for the Columbus Zoo and have also designed surf boards used by the 60s singing group, the Beach Boys. Knepper feels

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March 2012

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Need a doctor? Upper Valley Medical Center (UVMC) makes it easy to find the right doctor for you and your family. As part of the Premier Health Partners network, UVMC participates in the CareFinders free physician referral service. Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s easy. One phone call to CareFindersâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; toll-free number can connect you to family physicians and specialist near your home or work. Specially trained CareFinders counselors have important information, like which physicians are accepting new patients, office hours, location, special procedures and insurances accepted. CareFinders can also provide helpful information about hospital services, free screenings, support groups, health education and more.

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