Wednesday, April 23, 2014
Inquirer Daily News


POSTED: Thursday, March 13, 2014, 5:30 AM
Filed Under: Fitness

Today's guest blogger is Robert Marx, MD, an orthopedic surgeon in the Sports Medicine and Shoulder Service at Hospital for Special Surgery in New York City.

One of the most common knee injuries in young people is a torn ligament, particularly the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL). Young athletes, especially those in their adolescence, are more likely to sustain ACL injuries as well as those who participate in cutting and pivoting sports such basketball, soccer, football, skiing and lacrosse.

The rate of ACL reconstructions in New York per 100,000 population aged 3-20 increased from 17.6 cases in 1990 to 50.9 in 2009, according to a recent study. Patients aged 15-18 had the highest rate of ACL reconstruction and also the greatest increase in the number of reconstructions in the 20-year span.

POSTED: Wednesday, February 26, 2014, 5:30 AM
Filed Under: Fitness | Lauren Falini
For many of us, teasing by children while participating in physical activity may not seem like a big deal. Most of us have memories of being teased in gym class because of the way we ran, missed a catch, or being unable to climb the rope. Perhaps you were the last one picked for a team or didn’t make it through tryouts to be on a team. Is being teased sometimes during gym, recess, sports, or dance classes just part of growing up?

A recent study in the Journal of Pediatric Psychology suggests that teasing during physical activity is not that innocent and causes lasting effects on children. The study gave three questionnaires to 108 fourth and fifth grade students and then followed up with another questionnaire one year later. The questionnaires measured physical activity, teasing during the activity, and health-related quality of life.

The results of the study showed that overweight and obese children who were teased during physical activity had lower scores of health-related quality of life one year later. Even more interesting was that the study showed that ALL children who were teased during physical activity were at increased risk of being less active one year later. Simply put, if your child is teased while being physically active, it may decrease their quality of life and decrease their physical activity one year later.

POSTED: Tuesday, February 11, 2014, 5:30 AM

Does your child get tired easily during or after exercise, or coughs after coming inside from being active outdoors? It could be exercise-induced bronchospasm (EIB) or exercise-induced asthma, a condition in which people experience constriction of the airway when they exercise, producing symptoms such as wheezing or coughing.

For some, it can lead to shortness of breath and an inability to continue the exercise. EIB is common in asthmatics, but may also occur in those who do not have asthma. For children with EIB, winter weather poses special concerns. The cold, dry air combined with rapid breathing during exercise are a combination that can trigger attacks of EIB.

The upper airways – the nose and mouth – act as an air conditioner, moisturizing and warming the air as it goes down into the lungs. When you are breathing rapidly, the dry, cold air doesn’t have a chance to warm up. Cold air is, to begin with, drier than warm air, because air at lower temperature has a lesser capacity to hold water. That is why even stepping out into the cold sometimes “takes your breath away.” The effects of cold and exercise are most pronounced with high ventilation sports, such as soccer, running, hockey and skiing.

POSTED: Wednesday, February 5, 2014, 5:30 AM
Filed Under: Fitness | Gary A. Emmett | Obesity

Only about one-quarter of American teens aged 12–15 years engaged in moderate-to-vigorous physical activity for at least 60 minutes daily, according to recently released data from the National Center for Health Statistics.

The findings from the 2012 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) and the NHANES National Youth Fitness Survey also showed that the percentage of male teens who were physically active for at least 60 minutes daily decreased as weight status increased.

These numbers are troubling to me because Inactivity is the hidden bomb that will hurt our children as they age.  Exercise when young makes one’s bones thicker and sturdier and will delay osteoporosis later in life.  Regular exercise prevents, to some extent, obesity, and definitely makes the muscles better developed and the cardiovascular system more able to deal with stress.

POSTED: Thursday, December 19, 2013, 5:30 AM
Filed Under: Fitness | Lauren Falini

Lots of children are asking for video games this Christmas, and parents are faced with question of whether or not to buy them. Will I have to fight with my children to get them to stop playing? Are they going be sitting on the couch with a controller in their hands, and eyes fixed on the TV screen all day and night? Will I have to force my child to do their homework and be active?

For many parents, the compromise is to buy their children “active” video games instead of sitting down games. At least they are getting some exercise, right?

Well, recent studies have shown that active video games are not as active as they claim.

POSTED: Wednesday, December 4, 2013, 6:00 AM
Filed Under: Fitness | Lauren Falini | Tips

It seems like 2-years-olds are always on the move. A typical day for a toddler might involve running around the house as your chasing him, wearing himself out at the playground, and racing around on a ride on toy.

But is this enough physical activity? What kind of exercise does a toddler need? The National Association of Sports and Physical Education (NASPE) recommends that toddlers 12 to 36 months old should get at least 30 minutes of structured adult led physical activity, and at least 60 minutes of unstructured physical activity or free play. It is also recommended that toddlers should not spend more than one hour being inactive except when they are sleeping.

These are important guidelines. Studies have found that active children sleep better, maintain healthier weight and remain active through childhood. Being active also helps prevent diseases such as hypertension and diabetes.

POSTED: Monday, November 4, 2013, 9:39 AM
Filed Under: Anna Nguyen | Fitness

WHYY expects more than 500 runners and fitness enthusiasts of all levels and ages for its fifth annual Y12K Road Race this Saturday from 8:00 a.m. to noon at Fairmount Park in Philadelphia. The 12-kilometer (7.45-mile) course extends from the southern side of the Philadelphia Museum of Art to Falls Bridge and back along Martin Luther King Jr. Drive. You can register up until the day of the event.

Designed for all skill levels, from novices to experienced runners, the event also features a 3K Family Walk/Run, free for children 13 and under, and Y Kids Family Fit Zone. Parents are encouraged to run, walk or push strollers with their kids through the 3K race. The Y Kids Family Fit Zone offers fitness activities and educational games, as well as a chance to meet your favorite costumed characters from Sesame Place. New this year, the event also includes a “Fred” 5K honoring the memory of the beloved PBS host Fred Rogers. Runners of the Fred 5K are invited to dress up as their favorite character from Mister Rogers Neighborhood.

“What better way to enjoy the beautiful fall foliage in Philadelphia’s Fairmont Park than being active with your family while supporting a great cause,” said Julie Gannaway, WHYY community relations coordinator in a written statement. “People of all ages and fitness levels can get involved in this fun, community-centered event. And best of all, proceeds benefit WHYY’s educational and enriching programs and services.”

POSTED: Thursday, October 31, 2013, 9:49 AM
Filed Under: Fitness | Lauren Falini | Obesity

What does your child say when someone asks about his or her favorite subject? Does your child usually say recess or gym? Do you cringe wishing that reading, math, or science was the answer? Actually, it’s not wrong to love recess or gym class, and recent studies show that recess and gym class are just as important as reading, math, and science for your child’s overall development.

With budgets being cut and pressure on academic performance increasing, it is no surprise that recess and gym class are being sacrificed. Research is showing that this is a big mistake and children need both recess and gym class.


About this blog
The Healthy Kids blog is your window into the latest news, research and advice around children's health. Learn more about our growing list of contributors here.

If you have questions about your child's health, ask them here.

Anna Nguyen Healthy Kids blog Editor
Stephen Aronoff, M.D., M.B.A. Temple University Hospital
Christopher C. Chang, M.D., Ph.D Nemours/Alfred I. duPont Hospital for Children, Jefferson Medical Colg
Mario Cruz, M.D St. Christopher’s Hospital for Children, Drexel University College of Medicine
Katherine K. Dahlsgaard, Ph.D. Lead Psychologist - The Anxiety Behaviors Clinic, CHOP
Gary A. Emmett, M.D. Director of Hospital Pediatrics at TJU Hospital & Pediatrics Professor at Thomas Jefferson Univ.
Lauren Falini Bariatric exercise physiologist, Nemours/Alfred I. duPont Hospital for Children
Hazel Guinto-Ocampo, M.D. Nemours duPont Pediatrics/Bryn Mawr Hospital
Rima Himelstein, M.D. Crozer-Keystone Health System
Anita Kulick President & CEO, Educating Communities for Parenting
Janet Rosenzweig, MS, PhD, MPA VP for Programs & Research for Prevent Child Abuse America
Beth Wallace Smith, RD Children's Hospital of Philadelphia
W. Douglas Tynan, Ph.D. Nemours/Alfred I. duPont Hospital for Children, Jefferson Medical Colg
Flaura Koplin Winston, MD, PhD Scientific Director of the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia’s Center for Injury Research and Prevention
Also on
Stay Connected