Page 1



the go to resource for local families













departments AGES & STAGES 12

BABIES The Apgar Score


TODDLERS & PRESCHOOLERS Birthday Party Etiquette


SCHOOL AGERS Talking with Your Child About an Autism Diagnosis


TWEENS & TEENS Handling High School Cheating


MOMS Have the Urge to Purge?


DADS Keeping Dads Healthy

in every issue 06 08 34 35


columns + guides 26






HIDDEN GEMS The Best Finds Only the Locals Know!




DAY CAMP Preparing for Adventures Close to Home

A Dad Influence A Bitter Pill to Swallow




meet the staff Publisher Mary Wynne Cox

Associate Publisher & Advertising Sales Jennica Zalewski

Editor Susan Bryant

Advertising Coordinator Karen Ring

Spring Has Sprung And it’s a wonderful thing, isn’t it? We had some false starts there for a while – a warm, sunny day getting our hopes up only to be followed by a cruel blast of arctic air reminding us that Old Man Winter wasn’t ready to let go. But now we are in the clear and can officially say “hello” to spring! Of course, with spring comes spring cleaning and if this task is on your to-do list, you’ll want to read our article Have the Urge to Purge? Here we give all the local organizations that would love to have what you would love to get rid of. Get a clutter-free home and feel good about donating to worthy causes. An important campaign happens this spring as well: National Autism Awareness Month in April. With autism spectrum disorder estimated to affect more than 2 million people in the U.S., many families are dealing with this issue. In our article Talking with Your Child About an Autism Diagnosis, we asked autism professionals and parents of children with autism for their input on how to address this important subject. Have you heard of the website If not, you’ll want to check it out. Developed by a Fishers dad, this site clues you in to all the things happening in your teen’s world that you probably aren’t aware of, but should be (like texting slang, phone apps and video games that raise parental red flags). Turn to our Local Spotlight on page 30 to read more about this free, valuable parenting resource.

Creative Director Katie Clark

Business Manager Roxanne Burns

Public Relations and Events Wendy Cox

CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Melissa Glidden, Dr. Susan Benson, Stephanie Lowe Burry, Holly Kline, Jennifer Thompson, Andrea Limke, Claire Rogers, Whitney Riggs, Denise Yearian

Contact Us Hamilton County Family 6340 Westfield Blvd., Ste. 200 Indianapolis, IN 46220 (317) 417-3031 or (317) 710-6622

And you know what spring leads to, right? Summer! Now’s the time to start thinking about summer camp options for your kids. If your child is not quite ready for sleepaway camp, try reading our piece on Day Camp for ten tips on making the experience a success. There’s much more in this issue, so please keep reading! In fact, maybe you’ll find a nice spot on a beautiful spring day to leisurely flip through each page. Here’s to daffodils, open windows, kids taking their energy outside and all things spring!

Hamilton County Family Magazine is published quarterly. Copyright 2017. All rights reserved. Reproduction without permission is prohibited.

Susan Bryant




Plan a Great Family Getaway in Fort Wayne Within a few hours’ drive, a heart-warming getaway awaits in Fort Wayne, Indiana! Fort Wayne offers the big city attractions and activities that you’re looking for in a friendly, affordable city that will warm your heart. From catch-them-before-they’re-gone experiences to tried and true favorites, Fort Wayne has a great family getaway in store for you this summer! Any trip to Fort Wayne starts at the Fort Wayne Children’s Zoo. Named one of the top ten zoos in the nation, the Children’s Zoo offers over 1,500 animals on 42 acres–and countless activities to fill the day. There are rides in every part of the zoo - families are encouraged to “tickle their toes in the treetops” on the Sky Safari, travel through Australia on a river log ride, feed a giraffe, pet a stingray, and more!

And in the evening, you’ll want to head downtown to one of Fort Wayne’s favorite entertainment options – a TinCaps baseball game. Set in a breathtaking downtown park setting, a TinCaps game is truly fun for the whole family – and seats on the grass start at just $5. After all this fun, we know you’ll want to relax. Fort Wayne offers over 50 great places to refresh and recharge. Choose a hotel with a pool, free hot breakfast, or extra room for the kids. Fort Wayne’s hotel packages and affordable admission rates make it easy for your family to get away without breaking the budget. Find itinerary suggestions, hotel packages, coupons, contests and more contact Visit Fort Wayne at 1-800-767-7752 or visit




Bits of info you might not know! Are robins

really a sign of spring? Not for us in Indiana, where the American Robin is considered a year-round bird. We just don’t see them during the winter because they are roosting in trees instead of hopping around on our lawns. Another fun fact? Robins can gather in huge groups, sometimes with a quarter of a million birds in each flock!

seasonal TO DO'S • Climb the big hill at Flat Fork Creek Park and sail a kite from the top. • Visit the baby animals at Conner Prairie. • Pick strawberries at Spencer Farm in Noblesville. • Take a hike – Hamilton County has over 500 miles of trails! • Float down the White River in a canoe or kayak.

Source: https://indianaaudubon. org/2014/03/25/american-robin/

FACT OR FICTION? Because of Earth’s position relative to the sun on the spring equinox, it is possible to balance an egg on its end.

Although this is a popular myth, there is nothing about the spring equinox that makes eggs easier to stand up on end compared to any other time of the year. Source: article/science-nature-activities/science-mythcan-you-balance-egg-spring-equinox

F lo w e r power Would you recognize these spring blooms by their fancy Latin name?

Narcissus pseudonarcissus

Daffodil Lilium longiflorum

Easter Lily Tulipa gesneriana

Tulip Syringa vulgaris



did you know? On the first day of spring, someone at the

North Pole would see the sun skimming across the horizon, beginning six months of uninterrupted daylight. Someone at the South Pole would see the sun skimming across the horizon, marking the start of six months of darkness. Source:

it's a spring thing Got the spring cleaning bug? What compels us to suddenly wash our windows, steam clean the carpets and organize our closets this time of year? Some think it has to do with simple biology. With decreased exposure to sunlight during the winter, the pineal gland produces more melatonin – making us feel sleepier. As the days become longer and we enjoy more sunlight, melatonin production goes down and we have more energy. If spring cleaning is on your to do list, check out The Urge to Purge on page 22 for a list of places to donate all your unwanted stuff! Source:


to our hardworking staff at Hamilton County Family for receiving multiple awards from the Parenting Media Association’s recent Editorial and Design Awards Competition. These awards recognize the best of what local parenting magazines are doing all over the country when it comes to the design, editorial and digital media of their publications. The competition is judged by an independent group of experts from the Missouri School of Journalism who receive submissions from magazines representing the U.S., Canada and Australia. Hamilton County Family was honored to be given a total of 6 awards in several divisions, including gold awards recognizing both our editorial and design and top honors for our overall writing.

Thank you

to all of our staff who bring their unique talents together to create Hamilton County Family each issue.



Carmel Music Academy A place where playing an instrument and fun go hand-in-hand If finding a quality music program for your child has been on your to-do list and you are ready to take the plunge, head over to Carmel Music Academy where they have a unique approach to teaching music that is engaging, fun and largely led by the student’s interests. Jon E. Gee (who has been playing the bass guitar for John Mellencamp’s band since 1999) and his wife Sondra (who is affectionately referred to as Mrs. Gee) first opened the doors of Carmel Music Academy five years ago. They have already won the Best of Carmel Specialty Schools two years in a row and have also been named one of the Top 10 in the nation because of their curriculum. At Carmel Music Academy, students are not handed a music book. Instead, they learn to play by listening and hearing the music first then later when the student is ready they are introduced to theory. Before the student's first lesson, the instructor will know the student's favorite band, artist, or genre and will use this information to help find the music the student wants to play. Mrs. Gee says, “We teach music backwards. You talk before you learn how to read, so you play before you learn how to read. A lot of places will lose students because they want to teach about the instrument, how to read music and how to play all at once. When you are forcing all three, the student can lose interest. They are more likely to stick with it and play at home if it is fun. We tell our parents not to tell the kids to practice, but instead tell them to play. If you ask


them to go and play for five minutes, that five minutes will quickly turn into 15 minutes – or more.”

Another thing that sets them apart is their recognition program. Each student will set goals with their instructors and when those goals are achieved, they receive a wristband and a certificate. They also have trophies for the students to earn ranging from Apprentice to Prima. The parents do not pay any additional fees for this program. They also do not pay any additional fees for their concerts, which are held three times a year for all of their students. It isn’t just the parents who attend for free – guests are able to attend the performances for free as well. This is a huge benefit for parents, as these things can quickly add up. Students at Carmel Music Academy take individual lessons, but also have the opportunity to play together. Their Musical Director, Daren Owens, has traveled the world playing and producing music and has performed with various artists. He and Jon E. Gee have known each other for years and both share a passion for teaching kids how to play together. Owens says, “It’s about showing the students how to keep this going, music is all independently produced and people aren’t learning how to play with others. Our goal in the band is learning how to play with others. I want to give back to them what was given to Jon E. Gee and me.”

For more information on pricing and scheduling, contact Carmel Music Academy at or call 317-581-1030.


WORDS BY // Dr. Susan Benson, OB/GYN

The Apgar Score What it is and why it’s done Introduced in 1952 by Dr. Virginia Apgar, the “Apgar score” is a means of evaluating whether babies need help breathing or are having heart problems at the time of birth. The score was designed for health care providers to assess quickly and easily which babies may need some support. The first score is given at 1 minute of life, which tells doctors how well the baby handled the actual birthing process. The second score is given at 5 minutes of life, and reflects how well the baby is transitioning to being outside the mother’s body. In rare instances, a third score is performed at 10 minutes of life (most often this is done if the first two scores are low). Five categories are assessed and given a score of 0, 1 or 2 depending on the observed condition:

• Breathing effort • Heart rate • Muscle tone • Reflexes • Skin color For example, an infant who is not breathing would receive a score of 0 for that component, while a baby who has a strong cry would receive a 2, and so forth for each condition. The higher the total score, the better the baby is adapting to its new environment. A score of 7, 8, or 9 is the most common and is considered normal. A score of 10 is very rare due to the fact that almost all babies have blue hands and feet at birth and lose a point for skin color. A score less than 7 is an indicator that the baby needs some help, whether it be breathing support, oxygen, removal of secretions from the airway, stimulation to get the baby to cry or grimace, or even CPR to help with a slow heart rate. Babies with low Apgar scores at 1 minute of life are very often


normal by 5 minutes of life, especially with proper intervention. The most common causes of low Apgar scores are a difficult birth, cesarean delivery and fluid in the baby’s airway. The most important thing to remember about Apgar scores is that they do not in any way predict a baby’s overall health, and a low Apgar score at birth does not mean the baby will have long-term health problems. It is merely meant to be a rapid assessment for health care providers to determine when babies need assistance at birth. Health care providers know that time is of the essence to take care of a struggling newborn, and this score is simply meant to promote rapid assessment and intervention.

Susan Benson, MD, FACOG, is the Regional Medical Director of St. Vincent Medical Group Primary Care and the Department Head of Obstetrics and Gynecology at St. Vincent Fishers Hospital. Her office is located at St. Vincent Fishers Hospital (317.415.6450) and she is currently accepting new patients.



Birthday Party Etiquette Teaching kids how to be gracious hosts It’s no secret that young children love to celebrate their birthdays. In fact, many begin talking about their next birthday party before the first one is barely over! And although this is “their day” it is also the perfect time for the birthday girl or boy to learn how to make their guests feel welcome and appreciated. Here are a few suggestions to follow before, during and after a birthday party to help your child become a proper host.


Before the party

During the party

Instilling graciousness in your child can begin at a very young age. As Renae Weghorst of Etiquette Indianapolis says, “My favorite three words are ‘Please’ and ‘Thank You’ and should be part of every young child's vocabulary shortly after ‘Mommy’ and ‘Daddy.’” And when it comes to toddlers and preschoolers, repetition and roleplay are two great ways to reinforce a new concept. The key is to be consistent with “please” and “thank you” and use these phrases yourself so your child can model your behavior. Try roleplaying a few thank you scenarios with your child. Hand them a pretend gift and have them practice saying thank you. You can also switch roles and have your child give you something which you can respond to with an enthusiastic “thank you!”

While the focus of the day is on the birthday boy or girl, it’s also a learning opportunity to reinforce positive social behavior in your young child. As a host, he or she can help greet guests as they arrive, offer to take their coats or show them where the food and drinks are. For a very young or shy child, even just saying “hello” to friends as they come in the door is a good start. While opening gifts, break out those “thank you’s.” And if your child receives two of the same gift or already owns the item, Weghorst suggests a response such as “Hey, I will have twice as much fun with two of these!"

After the party Once the balloons have popped and the leftover cake has been eaten, it’s time to send thank you notes. When it comes to proper etiquette, Weghorst says nothing can replace the written word. “Writing thank you notes (even if a child doesn't know how to write her name yet), is an important and fun way to reflect on the party with your child.” No matter the age, a child can help with this process. While a parent may have to write the actual note, the child can draw a picture or write their name (even just a scribble) to include on the card as well. Kids can also put notes in envelopes, adhere the stamps and place the cards in the mailbox. All of these small actions reinforce the idea of showing appreciation for the gifts they received and the company of their guests. A birthday party is a wonderful way to celebrate just how special your child is. It’s also a great chance to teach your child to appreciate those who have taken time to celebrate with him. By encouraging a few simple etiquette rules along the way, your party-goers can enjoy the experience as much as the honored guest.




Talking with Your Child About an Autism Diagnosis How to plan for a positive experience A conversation with your child about a developmental disability is a complex and sensitive subject, requiring significant consideration and planning. It’s no surprise that many families wrestle with details like how and when to broach the subject. Some parents wonder how much their child really needs to know about the diagnosis. Others feel compelled to share information sooner than later, especially as the child becomes increasingly aware of their unique differences and challenges. This was the case for Fishers mom, Jess W. and her son. Jess wanted to equip her child with the tools to understand his diagnosis as early as possible so he could begin to learn how to ask for help and access resources and support. At the same time, she didn’t want to bring up the subject too soon and risk overwhelming him. Ultimately, Jess decided to talk to her son a few months after his seventh birthday. “For our family, our main priority was that our son would never feel limited by his diagnosis,” says Jess. “We choose to be positive in our interactions with him – not treating him differently because of his challenges. It’s important to us that he feels empowered to push himself beyond what others might see as a limitation. We wanted to honor who he is by being honest with him about his autism – we felt that hiding his diagnosis from him could convey that autism was something to be ashamed of, which obviously couldn’t be further from the truth. It’s just one aspect of the amazing kid he is.” For parents who may be wondering how to best approach the topic, here are a few practical suggestions for talking with your child about his or her autism diagnosis.


Consider the best timing

Choose a time when everyone is calm and rested to introduce the subject. Consider discussing the idea through multiple small conversations over a period of time rather than one long conversation. It might be helpful to view the discussion as an ongoing talk about autism.

“Many adults with an autism spectrum disorder express the view that children should be given some information before they hear it from someone else and/ or overhear or see information that they sense is about them,” says Marci Wheeler with the Indiana Resource Center for Autism. “A child may have the view that people do not like them and/or that they are always in trouble, but do not know why. If given a choice, waiting until a negative experience occurs to share the information is probably not the best option.”

Look for cues from your child The Indiana Resource Center for Autism suggests preparing for a conversation when your child begins to observe differences about themselves and asks questions. Some children may already notice how other kids interact with people and realize that they have a different way of processing information. Helping a child understand their differences and become knowledgeable about their diagnosis can encourage him or her to access the resources and support available to them now and in the future.

Utilize resources to help Take advantage of the many children’s books available on autism. Books can open the door to a general discussion about autism before shifting into the specifics of your child’s diagnosis.

Using books, play or puppets first can be a non-threatening way to introduce the subject and ease into a conversation. Some families invite a trusted friend, religious leader or counselor to help facilitate the discussion.

Think carefully about what you will say When talking with your child, remember to choose your words carefully, stay positive and use age appropriate language. Remain matter-of-fact and positive. Avoid using technical terminology or sharing too much information and overwhelming your child. You can always share additional follow-up information later. Allow time for your child to process the information, share concerns and ask questions. Taking into account your child’s perspective and emotions will improve communication.

Emphasize unique strengths and differences Remind your child that everyone has differences and this is what makes us individuals. “Many families have found that setting a positive tone about each family member’s uniqueness is a wonderful starting place,” says Wheeler. “A positive attitude about differences can be established if you start as early as possible, and before the diagnosis is mentioned. Everyone is in fact unique with their own likes and dislikes, strengths and weaknesses,


and physical characteristics. Differences can be discussed in a matter of fact manner as soon as the child or others their age understand simple concrete examples of differences. With this approach, it is more likely that differences, whatever they are, can be a neutral or even fun concept.”

Help facilitate connections Seeking out camps, workshops and conferences for children who have an autism spectrum diagnosis can give your child opportunities to interact and connect with kids who have similar experiences. At the end of the day, many children on the autism spectrum are encouraged to simply know that they aren’t alone.

While talking with your child about their autism diagnosis may not be an easy conversation, thinking ahead about how and what you want to convey will set the stage for future positive discussions. By reminding your son or daughter that autism is just one component of who they are, and reinforcing the many qualities and attributes that make them special, you can help your child have a healthy perspective now and throughout their lifetime.



WORDS BY // Stephanie Lowe BURRY

The Counselor’s Corner Handling high school cheating I’m concerned about the amount of cheating that seems to be going on at my children’s high school. Both my kids say that it’s not uncommon to witness students looking off each other’s papers during exams or use their phones to help them during tests. Even worse, they say that when someone asks to cheat off you, the expectation is that you will. I have always tried to reinforce the importance of a good work ethic and the idea that not only is cheating wrong, it will catch up to you – but I’m worried that this message is getting less believable to my kids when they see their peers seemingly having no consequences for their actions. What can be done to curb cheating in kids and how can I reinforce to my children that honesty and hard work will pay off in the long run?

parents, feeling stressed to keep up with classmates, embarrassment to ask for help or fear of disappointing teachers, parents, coaches, etc.

grade (especially one that is not actually earned.) Also, clearly state the consequences you will enforce if they are found to be cheating.

What can parents do to address the problem? Start by connecting with your child about what’s happening at school. When talking about grades, instead of asking “How did you do?” ask “How did you feel about the test? Are you happy with that grade?” When you ask the child how they feel about their work, they must think from a more intrinsic place – and hopefully develop an internal desire to perform well as opposed to simply wishing to please a parent, for example.

In terms of dealing with the pressure of other students who want to cheat, help your child come up with strategies for how to respond in those situations. Sometimes nonverbal body language – turning away, blocking one’s paper – may be enough. Other times a more direct approach must be used, saying “No, you can’t look off my work” or “No, I don’t want to be involved.” While it may be tough to do, talk with your student about how to say these statements strongly and without apology.

Try to talk about school without lecturing. Find out what classes may be causing your child stress and help them problem-solve for a solution. Teach kids how to identify areas where they struggle and help them learn how to ask for help when they need it.

Keep sending the message that honesty and hard work do pay off. Also, emphasize how we may not always see how someone who cheats suffers the consequences. At the end of the day, we all must live with the decisions we make and the person we are becoming.

From the beginning of childhood, we teach kids that cheating is wrong. From playing board games to video games to neighborhood kickball, children learn early on what the rules are and what happens when someone violates them. Indeed, young children can be the first ones to call out a cheater.

Reiterate the importance of honesty and truthfulness in your own family. Make sure your children understand that these values are more important to you than a good

Somewhere along the line however as kids grow older, the risk for cheating may outweigh the feared consequences. The possibility of being caught may be worth a good grade, a win or the praise from parents and other adults. Compounding the problem, our society can also send the message that it is important to win at any cost. Why do some kids cheat? There may be several factors at play besides just not being prepared: pressure to succeed from


Stephanie Lowe Burry is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW) with Centerpoint Counseling and Baume Psychological Services and has nearly twenty years of experience helping adults, teens and children develop healthy skills to manage life’s challenges.



WORDS BY // Jennifer Thompson

Have the Urge to Purge? Clear the cutter and donate to a local organization! It’s spring – and that means spring cleaning! Time to throw open your windows, let in the fresh air and get to work sorting, de-cluttering and organizing. Wondering what to do with all that stuff you no longer want? Donate to a local organization in need of just what you’re ready to part with. Here’s a list of a few places to get you started.

Amvets amvets Amvets accepts clothing, household items, small furniture, small appliances and several other items to help raise funds for services, welfare and rehabilitation work for American veterans. All you need to do is schedule a pick-up, leave your donations outside and they will take care of the rest.


hygiene supplies. The organization has limited storage space, so be sure to contact them prior to donating large items such as appliances and furniture. Do you have bins of LEGOS at your house no one is playing with anymore? BrickRecycler accepts used LEGOS (whether they are in sets or mixed-up pieces) and sends them to children around the world to play with.

Children’s Bureau, Inc. Children's Bureau, Inc. serves abused and neglected children and families in Indiana, providing a full array of community-based prevention and intervention services. They accept gently used kids' clothing, toys, books, small household goods, infant items (diapers, wipes, etc.) and new


Goodwill Goodwill accepts a variety of items and your donations help individuals in the community with job skills training and education. With eight locations in Hamilton County, dropping by a Goodwill with a box or bag of clothes, household objects or other items you’re ready to part with is easy to do.

Good Samaritan Network

Our local Good Samaritan Network serves the physical, financial and emotional needs

of underserved individuals and families in Hamilton County. They are in need of a wide variety of items such as baby and children’s clothing up to size 6, baby supplies, maternity clothes, toys and more.

Jordan’s Place Jordan’s Place provides resources for foster families and is currently seeking clothing of all sizes from infant to teen as well as a variety of other items. Be sure to check their website for a complete listing of their current most crucial needs. Jordan’s Place offers pick up for donations of numerous items or those that are large and bulky.

Julian Center The Julian Center is a home for women and children who are victims of domestic violence and sexual assault. Many who arrive at the facility have the clothes on their back and little else. Women and children can “shop” for items such as clothing, toys, books and household items free of charge at the Julian Center’s thrift store, Thrifty Threads. Items are also sold to the public to help raise funds needed for the center. Donations can be dropped off at the Julian Center or at Thrifty Threads. You can also request a pick-up of any large furniture you wish to donate.

Pals on Patrol other-ways-to-help/ Wondering what to do with all your kids’ stuffed animals? Pals on Patrol collects new and gently used stuffed animals for children who have experienced traumatic events. The stuffed animals are donated to local police, fire and state agencies who give them to children for comfort during a difficult time.

Riley Hospital for Children Child Life Program

Shepherd Community Center things-we-need/

Donations of toys, books and other items gives kids who are hospitalized something fun to do during their stay. Books, board games, Wii games, music and movies can also be given to the Edward A. Block Family Library which is utilized by patients and families during their stay.

Shepherd Community is an inner-city ministry on the near eastside of Indianapolis that helps neighborhood children, teens and their parents break the cycle of poverty and overcome challenges they may be facing in all areas of life. Visit their website for a complete list of the items most needed.

Safe Families for Children

The O’Connor House Safe Families for Children serves those who find themselves temporarily unable to care for their children due to crisis situations. Safe families will host children who are at risk of abuse and neglect with the goal of reuniting them with their family once the crisis has passed. Donations of gently used items such as beds, furniture and clothing are appreciated.

Salvation Army

Prevail Have an old cell phone (or two) that you need to get rid of? Consider making a donation to Prevail’s cell phone drive. For each used cell phone donated, Prevail receives funds to help support their organization which serves victims of crime and abuse.

Project Home Indy Project Home Indy provides long-term residential living for young mothers in need, helping them break the cycle of poverty and develop the skills to live independently. They are in need of baby supplies, paper products, cleaning supplies and more.

The Salvation Army helps people of all ages in time of need. They also maintain a variety of programs such as adult rehabilitation, veterans' services, prison ministries, elderly services, housing and homeless services and much more. The Salvation Army accepts donations of clothing, furniture, household items and cars.

Society of St. Vincent de Paul – Indianapolis

St. Vincent DePaul provides person-to-person assistance for the homeless and working poor through a variety of services. They accept many types of donations such as major appliances, furniture, household items, clothing, linens, kitchen items, books, adult bicycles, helmets, locks, backpacks and reading glasses.

The O’Connor House serves pregnant women over the age of 18 who are in a crisis pregnancy, providing shelter, counseling, prenatal care and career counseling and planning. They are in need of women’s clothing, maternity clothes, children’s clothes up to 6 years, household items and more.

Wheeler Mission to-give/ Wheeler Mission serves disadvantaged and homeless men, women and children and accepts clothing, household items, hygiene and grocery items, linens – even vehicles. Wheeler has donation bins for convenient drop-off and also offers pick-up service for unique goods or large quantities of particular items.

So dive in that jam-packed closet, find what’s hiding under the bed, collect old toys from the kids’ rooms and see what treasures you can part with. Donating items not only unclutters your home, but can provide valuable and much-appreciated resources for those in need.



WORDS BY // Melissa Glidden

Keeping Dads Healthy The top health screenings every man should consider When it comes to maintaining his car, he’ll schedule a tune up. Taking care of his finances? He’ll arrange a meeting with his financial planner, of course. But finding time to stay on top of his personal health? This is one area many men overlook. There are important reasons for men to schedule regular healthcare screenings, and not wait to see a doctor only when something is wrong. Here we asked three area physicians, Michael Gelatt, D.O., Todd Fogelsong, D.O. and Jeremy Hampton, D.O., to weigh in on the top health screenings men should schedule to stay healthy for a long time to come.

The “Big Six” The U.S. Preventative Task Force has identified six health issues that men of all ages should keep an eye on. They are:

• • • • • •

high blood pressure diabetes cholesterol obesity depression colon cancer

“I would definitely agree that these are some of the primary health concerns for men in the U.S.,” says Dr. Hampton, a family practice physician at Cumberland Family Medicine. “However, I would put obesity at the top, as it’s a primary contributor to all of the other diseases on the list.” Dr. Hampton adds that several studies link obesity with depression and colon cancer.


Another health concern not included in the “big six”? Tobacco use. Dr. Fogelsong, a family physician with Community Health Network at Saxony, says, “Tobacco cessation is one of the most important preventative health measures. Tobacco use affects nearly every organ system in a detrimental way.” Dr. Gelatt, a family physician with Community Health Network, says it’s important not to put off getting these tests done. “When we can detect certain diseases early, we have tools available to us that can help us prevent serious morbidity and mortality.”

What screenings to get and when Dr. Hampton suggests that men over the age of 20 get a cholesterol screening, especially if there’s a history of heart disease in their family. Between the ages of 40 and 70, he recommends diabetes screenings for men who are overweight or obese. Dr. Gelatt agrees, and says this is one of two screenings he urges men to get. “Two of the screening tests I strongly recommend to my patients are a fasting glucose level or a hemoglobin A1C in order to find those at risk of developing diabetes, as well as a colonoscopy to detect colon cancer.”

What about prostate and testicular cancer screenings? According to Dr. Hampton, while the official guidelines for these screenings have changed over the years, monthly self-exams are key for men between the ages of 17 and 35. “While not extremely common overall, testicular cancer is the most common cancer in this age range,” says Dr. Hampton. “This also holds more personal weight with me as I’ve had several friends who have been diagnosed.” “Routine colon cancer screenings should be offered to men beginning at age 50,” says Dr. Fogelsong, who adds that these screenings should start even earlier if there’s a family history of the disease. Fortunately, new technologies make these screenings much less intrusive than ever before. Cologuard, for example, can be used to screen for colon cancer in patients who are not high risk, and only requires a stool sample that can be collected comfortably at home. Of the “big six” health concerns, all three doctors agree that depression is one that should not be overlooked. “I believe the body is an incredibly integrated unit of mind, body and spirit,” says Dr. Fogelsong. Dr. Gelatt adds that while talking about depression can be difficult for many people, it’s important to address because it can affect so many areas of our lives. “We have many options to treat depression, both with and without medication, and men should know that there are many others who are dealing with similar thoughts and feelings.”

Although it’s easy to put off, men really do need to make their health a priority and stay on top of the various issues that can affect them. Meeting with a physician can determine the specific screenings that are appropriate for each individual. Taking the time to schedule an appointment today could help avoid dealing with a much larger health concern in the future.


WORDS BY // Denise Yearian

Day Camp P r e pa r i n g f o r a dv e n t u r e s close to home Day camp is a place where children can stretch their minds, exercise their bodies, develop new interests and forge lasting friendships. To help your child make the most of the experience, consider these 10 tips:

2. Ponder program length.

4. Ask about staff. Find out about

Camps range from several hours to a full day and can run from one week to an entire summer. How long your child should participate in a program will depend largely upon his age, developmental level and previous camp experience. First-time campers would do well starting in a partial to full week program. Experienced campers may enjoy one that runs throughout the summer.

the camper-to-counselor ratio. Ideally it should be six campers to one counselor, as recommended by the American Camping Association. What experience and/ or training do the counselors have? How are they selected? What is the camp’s discipline policy? Are they trained to take care of health concerns such as asthma, allergies and dispensing medicine?

1. Consider interests. Day

3. Look at location. If you

5. Focus on the facility. Ask camps offer a host of options that include everything from one centralized activity to a variety of traditional camp fun. Talk with your child about what he would like to gain from the experience. Does he want an assortment of activities or to concentrate on one skill, such as soccer or art?


choose a day camp close to home, commute time will be less and your child may already be acquainted with some of the other children. A day camp near your employer, however, would allow quick access to your child. But if your child needs additional morning or afternoon childcare, you may want to consider a program close to your sitter.

about indoor and outdoor facilities. Is there ample indoor space for children to play during inclement weather? Is the outdoor equipment and grounds well maintained? Are the children’s swimming skills tested before they are allowed to enter the water?

6. Investigate cost. Inquire about additional fees. Some day camps have a base price but charge extra for trips and special activities. If the camp you want to send your child to costs more than you can afford, find out if there is a scholarship program. 7. Arrange a pre-visit. Find out if the camp you have chosen has an open house. If not, make arrangements to visit. Before leaving home, jot down any questions you have. If they are not addressed during the meeting, ask to speak with someone before securing your deposit.

8. Fill out forms. When it comes to forms, be thorough and specific. For example, if your child was taking medication during the school year but will be off of it for the summer, make sure the camp is aware as this could cause a change in behavior. Insect and food-related allergies should be listed too. Also list family crises that could affect your child – divorce, recent death, etc. When filling out the emergency contact form, make sure the person you designate to help out in your absence knows in advance her name is listed. Every year camps contact the emergency person written down and she was not informed she was “on call.”

9. Peruse policies & procedures. Most camps have a weekly schedule so parents know the upcoming activities. Talk with your child about what is planned. If she cannot participate due to health reasons, make sure you (not your child) inform the camp. Also, many camps have strict policies about leaving technology items at home. If restricted items are brought, they may be confiscated and returned at the end of the day in hopes the child gets the message.

10. Keep communicating. At the end of each camp day, find time to listen to your child as he shares his adventures. If he is having a hard time articulating what happened, break it down by activities – “What crafts did you do?” “Did you play any outdoor games that involved balls or running?” “Who did you play with at the pool?” Above all, encourage your child to always do his best, obey the rules and be respectful of others, and chances are he’ll have a great time.


Lemonade Day Registration Now Open Lemonade Day Greater Indianapolis will be held May 20 this year and the goal is to register 10,000 youth who will in turn start 10,000 new businesses across the Greater Indianapolis area – on a single day. Lemonade day is a free, citywide initiative that introduces youth to the fundamentals of entrepreneurship and financial literacy. It was introduced to the Greater Indianapolis area in 2010 by serial entrepreneur Scott A. Jones, who is the creator of many tech based innovative products and services such as the voicemail system and Indy’s own Cha Cha.


Registration for this year’s event is now underway and kids can sign up online, at school, or via one of the many partner organizations participating throughout Indianapolis. Once registered, kids have the opportunity to participate in a number of fun, free workshops and contests to brush up on their business skills. They are then encouraged to put their newfound skills to use on May 20 by setting up a lemonade stand of their own. The kids who participate keep all of their profits, and learn valuable lessons about how to spend, save and share the money they earned. To learn more about Lemonade Day and how you can register your child, visit indianapolis.



WORDS BY // HOLLY KLINE Keeping moms and dads “in the know” Remember when you thought parenting was hard because babies didn’t sleep through the night and toddlers seemed perpetually sticky? Or how frustrating it was to ask your kindergartener to put on his shoes at least ten times every morning? Now raise your hand if you have a teenager and wish you could go back to the “problems” of those early days. Parenting teenagers is more than tough; it can be downright scary. Navigating their world, especially in this age of technology, can be confusing and difficult. While we want to provide the freedom that our teens crave, keeping them safe is always our top priority. Enter CarefulParents (, the parenting social network created by Fishers resident John Michels and technology professional Tim Sabens. This unique online resource answers the question “What are your kids into?” by providing current information on teenage topics like texting slang, drug use, phone apps and video games. Music and movies that might raise alarm bells for parents are also included. Content is uploaded by parents wishing to share what they are learning with other moms and dads. “One of the main goals of the site is to educate parents about what is going on so they can be aware and maybe help prevent a problem before it starts,” says Michels.

Even for parents who feel their kids are not headed for trouble, CarefulParents can be a resource to stay informed on what’s happening in a child’s world and what they are being exposed to. For example, social media “challenges” are popular among kids (think the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge). Unfortunately, some challenges that teens find funny may actually be very dangerous. On the site, descriptions of the “Chubby Bunny” and “Firespray” challenges are provided as examples. This “Online Videos” section gives a variety of links to YouTube videos that teens find appealing but parents find inappropriate. A “Texting” section lets parents know how to decipher a teen’s emoji conversations, how to recognize sexting codes and what some popular slang expressions really mean. According to the site, the innocent-sounding text “Netflix and chill?” is actually a request to come over and have sex.

CarefulParents is growing fast and Michels says that parent participation yields the most valuable and up-to-date content. “We want to see more parents join so we can offer the best information,” he says. “When parents submit, we see the post first and confirm it before we publish it.” Currently Michels is working on developing a CarefulParents app that will alert users when new info is posted. He would also like to provide incentives for parents to register with the site, such as offering discounts on related products and services. “Our site aims to educate parents across the board so that they know a little more about what might be going on in their kids’ world.”

Parents can sign up for free at

Wondering which concerns are talked about most on CarefulParents? “Phone apps are a big topic on the site,” says Michels. “These are probably one of the main sticking points with parents.”

John Michels, Founder


hidden gems

of hamilton countY

WORDS BY // Whitney Riggs, Communications Coordinator, Hamilton County Tourism

The best finds only the locals know! UNraveled Boutique 108 E. Main Street, Westfield

(317) 771-0363 No need to head to the city to find that stylish spring outfit! Unraveled Boutique in Westfield has the latest fashion choices for girls and women. In addition to the racks of dresses, tops and pants, Unraveled has handcrafted jewelry, canvasses, pallets and more – perfect for gifts. Owner Holli Godsey says the store, which relocated from Carmel last year, adds a “pop of color” to Westfield’s downtown. Unraveled Boutique is open Tuesday through Saturday.

SoHo Art Gallery and Café 620 S. Rangeline Road (Monon Square Shopping Center)

(317) 564-4800 Art, coffee, even beer! SoHo is a central hub for meetand-greets, coffee breaks, artistic geeks and relaxation. Bring your laptop and hang out or just stop by for a caffeine pick-me-up and browse the artwork on the walls. The patio is located along the Monon Trail and offers a comfortable atmosphere whether you need to work or just want some me-time. Besides hot or cold drinks, SoHo’s menu includes lunch options of soups, wraps and sweets.

Super Bowl Pho 112 E. Main St., Westfield

(317) 399-7858 If you’ve never tried pho (pronounced fuh), then Super Bowl Pho is the place to taste your first Vietnamese soup. Leo Van and his nephew, Tony Nguyen, opened the lunch and dinner spot three years ago, offering dinein or carry-out. Try the specialty of beef-flavored broth prepared with rice noodles and topped with cilantro, culantro, scallions and sweet onion or venture out on the menu and try a stir fry, Bánh mì (sandwich) or Vietnamese crêpe. PHOTO CREDIT // Hamilton County Tourism



A Dad Influence A Bitter Pill to Swallow “Would you like your antibiotic as a liquid or in pill form?” the pediatrician asked my ten-year-old daughter. “A pill please,” she said matter-of-factly. After I picked my jaw up off the floor, I gently reminded her she didn’t know how to take pills. In fact, oftentimes she choked while drinking water – by itself. Her response? “Nah, a pill is fine.” After getting the prescription we realized that not only were these pills large, they were also plastic looking coated caplets – I guess to make it “easier” to swallow. In my daughter’s case, it just made her more nervous. She’s listened to me tell her younger siblings, time and time again, to stop putting tiny pieces of plastic like Legos in their mouths. Now I’m making her put this plastic looking pill in her mouth. No wonder she was anxious. She had to take these pills twice a day for two weeks. My wife and I tried to help her in several ways. First, we had her place the pill on the back of her tongue and swallow. This resulted in a lot of looking upward and blinking. No luck. Second, we gave her juice to drink with the pill hoping that would help. All that amounted to was her chugging her favorite drinks. Strike two. Third, we let her empty the contents of the pill into a drink, watching her retch and gag repeatedly while she tried to drink it until we were all about to dry heave. This method was a total disaster. Finally, we had her drop her pill in 4 ounces of water and offered her $1 if she could swallow it in 30 seconds. That worked. Another parenting win solved with creativity, a little bit of patience, teamwork and cold hard cash.















0417 hcf issuu  
0417 hcf issuu