Today's guest blogger is Heather Manning who lives in Bethlehem, Pa. with her partner and their sons, Lucas and Miles. Together they hike, paddle, run, swim, visit farms, and attend festivals throughout the Philadelphia and Lehigh Valley area. A version blog originally appeared on Kids Outdoors Philadelphia, a free online community from the Appalachian Mountain Club.
One of our favorite family activities is going on nature walks. Whether we’re hiking all day or just taking a short walk in the woods, it is one way we stay grounded, balanced, and connected to nature. And after this very snowy and cold winter, we are eager to spend time outdoors, looking for signs of spring. It’s an exciting time for my 2-year-old, Miles, since these spring experiences are somewhat new to him. For Lucas, my 8-year old, it is just a thrill to be out and about again enjoying the outdoors without lugging winter gear around.
Below are some ways to start getting your kids excited for warmer weather and looking for signs of spring:
Gary A. Emmett, M.D., Director of Hospital Pediatrics at TJU Hospital & Pediatrics Professor at Thomas Jefferson Univ.
The health benefits of infant male circumcision far exceeds the risks associated with the procedure, according to a recent article that reviewed studies in the Mayo Clinic Proceedings, an online journal.
In the United States, the rate of circumcision in men ages 14 to 59 has increased to 81 percent over the past decade from 79 percent. However, the study authors found an alarming decrease in infants, which showed that circumcision had declined from a high of 83 percent in the 1960s to 77 percent today.
They worry that a falling rate of newborn circumcision will result in a marked increase in overwhelming infection in newborn males in the U.S. and long-term increased rate of venereal disease in them and cervical and anal cancer in their sexual partners. The evidence given by Brian Morris, DSc, PhD, and his colleagues is very strong, but like everything involved with sex and sexual organs – the emotions and religious feeling the subject releases will lead to controversy.
Anna Nguyen, Healthy Kids blog Editor
With e-cigarettes becoming more popular, the number of calls of exposure to e-cigarette liquids containing nicotine to poison control centers have significantly grown, according to a CDC study published in Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report earlier this month.
The number of calls rose from one per month in September 2010 to 215 per month in February 2014. More than half (51.1 percent) of the calls to poison centers due to e-cigarettes involved young children under age 5, and about 42 percent of the poison calls involved people age 20 and older.
Data for this study came from the poison centers that serve the 50 states, the District of Columbia, and U.S. Territories. The study examined all calls reporting exposure to regular cigarettes, e-cigarettes, or nicotine liquid used in e-cigarettes.
Denise Jeffery RD, LDN, clinical dietitian, Healthy Weight Program, The Childrens Hospital of Philadelphia
Looking for a healthier version to prepackaged chicken nuggets? Give these homemade nuggets a try. They have much less fat and calories, and more protein then your typical prepackaged nuggets.
Homemade Chicken Nuggets
Flaura Koplin Winston, MD, PhD, Scientific Director of the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia’s Center for Injury Research and PreventionWhere do you go for medical advice and support in caring for your child? You are increasingly going digital, according to The Pew Charitable Trusts. Seven in 10 people like you looked online for health information last year and found this information through search engines like Bing and Google. This strategy might be a good first step to find out what is available, but may not tell you whether it’s information you can trust.
We are all amazed with the power of digital solutions to get us information – quickly, with minimal or no cost, and in the comfort of our homes. It feels like the Wizard of Oz is sitting behind our laptop screen. We type in a question and get an answer. When looking for an answer to a trivia question or what toaster to buy, the consequences are not great if the information is inaccurate or misleading. For information about your health or that of someone you love, it could be life-threatening.
Digital search results are determined by algorithms – all of the processes and methods that make sure that answers people “like” are shown first. Sadly, we all know that much of medicine is not what we “like” – getting immunizations, checking our weight, limiting snacks – and there are many people who are happy to tell us what we want to hear. A secret about search is that it can be manipulated. A huge industry manages digital content to ensure that algorithms find their content and place them first (to promote a product, a cause, a viewpoint, or a celebrity).
Today's guest blogger is Heather Manning who lives in Bethlehem, Pa. with her partner and their sons, Lucas and Miles. Together they hike, paddle, run, swim, visit farms, and attend festivals throughout the Philadelphia and Lehigh Valley area. A version of this blog originally appeared on Kids Outdoors Philadelphia, a free online community from the Appalachian Mountain Club.
After the harsher than usual winter we experienced this year, I think it’s safe to say that most of us are eager for spring to arrive. My family has a serious case of cabin fever and can’t wait to get out in warmer weather to enjoy all of the fun activities coming up and spring time hikes. Here are some ideas of destinations in the Lehigh Valley and Philadelphia area you won’t want to miss this spring.
1. Morris Arboretum, Philadelphia
Anna Nguyen, Healthy Kids blog Editor
Evenflo voluntarily recalled more than 1.3 million child safety seat buckles due to the risk that children could not be removed quickly in an emergency.
The recall includes buckles used in a number of children's convertible and booster seat models manufactured between 2011 and 2014. Not all seats made during that time are included. The recall includes some of Evenflo's Momentum, Chase, Maestro, Symphony, Snugli, Titan, SureRide and SecureKid models. The affected seats have model number prefixes of 306, 308, 310, 329, 345, 346, 371 or 385.
The buckle may become stuck in a latched position, making it difficult to remove a child from the seat. This could prove critical to a child's safety in the case of an emergency.
Beth Wallace Smith, RD, Children's Hospital of Philadelphia
Whether your child has a sweet tooth or not, parents often have questions about sugar. Sugar is a type of carbohydrate that the body uses as a source of energy. Some foods naturally contain sugar like fruit (fructose) and dairy (lactose).
Added sugars are the biggest dietary concern because excessive intake of sugar can cause unnecessary weight gain. In children, early excessive weight gain can lead to type 2 diabetes and other adult-type conditions like high triglycerides.
In recent years, there seems to be a growing list of sweetening options available on grocery store shelves, but here are 5 things you really need to know.
- Your child’s body doesn’t know the difference between all of those added sugars. Whether it’s honey, cane sugar, or plain old white granulated, your child’s body will use each source for energy, and store the excess as fat. There are some specific medical situations when a child’s body can’t tolerate a certain kind of sugar (fructose or lactose intolerances), but most often, the body won’t differentiate the rest.
- Know your sugar terminology. All of the following are added sugars that can be found in the ingredient list. Remember, no one is particularly better (or worse) for your child: Corn syrup, Cane sugar, fruit juice concentrate, honey, agave, sucrose, molasses, maple sugar, brown sugar, and raw sugar.
- Other than sweetened beverages, breakfast is one of meals highest in added sugar. Sweetened breakfast cereals, breakfast pastries, muffins, jelly, syrup…all are common sources of sugar in a child’s diet. If one of these items is on the menu, consider making some adjustments in the snacks and other meals for the day to balance the diet.
- The food label does not distinguish between added and naturally occurring sugars. In order to get an idea about how much added sugar the product contains, look at the ingredient list. Ingredients are listed by weight, so the earliest items in the list are the major components of the product. If sugar or a sweetening product is one of the first three ingredients, leave it on the shelf.
- Don’t be fooled by manufacturer’s labels. Recently, companies have started to make their own claims on product packages, but these claims are not often regulated. Just because the manufacturer tells you it’s a good choice, doesn’t mean it would meet your requirements for a healthy item. Always check the ingredients.
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