Last updated 5 months ago
Approximately one in three kids in the US are overweight or obese. Bad eating habits by adults have trickled down to the younger generation, who are experiencing unprecedented levels of heart disease, high blood pressure, and other obesity-related conditions. With 25 percent of kids’ calories coming from snacks, what your child eats between meals can make or break their healthy eating efforts. Your pediatrician is a great source of information for good dietary habits for your child, but here are some things you can do to encourage healthy snacking:
Avoid the Junk Snacking is not the same thing as having a junk food treat. A good snack keeps kids energized between meals without piling on empty calories. You have complete control over the food that comes into your house, so put a ban on items that have little nutritional value. Your child can’t eat cookies that aren’t there, so shop wisely. If it’s time for a treat, go out and buy just what you need, so you don’t create temptation to choose the wrong snacks.
Stock Up on Nutrition Look for kid-friendly versions of healthy snacks. Baby carrots, string cheese, yogurt, and fruit are things most kids love to eat and offer good nutritional value. Small-serving containers of orange juice and chocolate milk also appeal to kids while giving them nutrients they need. Talk to your pediatrician about other ideas for healthy snacks for kids, or ask them to refer you to a pediatric dietician for advice.
Lead by Example Are you eating the way you’d like your kids to be eating? Your children will follow your lead when it comes to nutrition. You can’t serve them baby carrots while you eat a candy bar. Choose healthy snacks for yourself, and your children will see nutritious eating as the norm.
Battles with weight can be difficult for children, but you have an ally in pediatrician Dr. Nanette Nuessle. Make an appointment with Dr. Nuessle’s pediatric practice today by calling (913) 948-3323. In addition to general pediatric services, Dr. Nuessle offers the Independence, Kansas community telemedicine and online pediatric video visits. Call today to learn more.
Last updated 5 months ago
Do your children have a TV in their bedroom? Many children do. We know that 30% of children under 3 years of age have a television in their bedroom, and that the percentage rises with age. By their teens, many kids have a television with a cable box or satellite box, a computer, and a mobile phone charger in their bedrooms. Yes, this is part 2 of 2 on our series on TV and children. We have known since 2008 (http://buff.ly/SVU9qE) that having a television in your kids bedroom can lead to poor school performance, sleep disturbances, obesity and smoking. We also know devices such as computers, DVD players, game consoles and mobile phones can also have similar effects (http://buff.ly/S0cGnC). This study also shows these same health problems, and school performance, can improve if electronic devices are removed from the bedroom.
If a television is in a child's bedroom, then their television viewing increases dramatically. Some studies show they go from viewing 21 hours of TV a week to 30 hours. Parents may or may not know the content that their children are viewing. Furthermore, each hour viewing TV is an hour spent not exercising, not conversing with family members and, frequently, not attending to homework. The hour not exercising is felt to contribute to obesity. An hour not conversing with family members can stunt a child's social development. An hour watching TV instead of studying, or while studying, can interfere with academic success. Additionally, once a television is in a child's bedroom, parents find it difficult to take it back out.
Here are some interesting statistics. By 5th grade, half of all children have a TV, DVD player or game console in their bedroom. Over 20% have a computer in their bedroom and over 15% have a mobile phone. What does all of this do to their sleep? 57% of these children admit to using electronics after bedtime, with over 25% engaging in 3 or more such activities after they were supposed to be asleep. Just this lack of sleep alone can contribute to academic failure and to obesity. The devices your children (and you) have taken to their bedroom emit blue light. This blue light is particularly important in sleep disturbances(http://buff.ly/SWLdRU and http://buff.ly/SSwlXi). The blue light affects melatonin, a chemical in our brains that tells us to sleep (http://buff.ly/SSyO41). This makes it more difficult to fall asleep. Some investigators claim that having a blue lights source on in the bedroom will affect the quality of your sleep, even if you do sleep.
What should we do with this information? First, realize that you are not alone. Next, I would suggest you remove televisions, DVD players, computers and game consoles from all bedrooms. Your children and teens will resist this, but as I said, you are not alone. Allow them to use these devices in a family setting where the content can be supervised. Then, consider setting up a central charging area in your home for laptops, tablets, readers and mobile phones. Finally, now that your children are watching less television, playing fewer video games and spending less time on their mobile phones, get active and do fun things together as a family.
Our key points today are:
1. TV and other electronic devices in the bedroom are associated with many medical problems and with poor school performance.
2. Certain lights affect sleep more than others
3. Removing these devices from the bedroom can correct the medical problems.
If you have questions or comments about this, or any of our articles, please let us know.
~Dr Nan N~
Last updated 6 months ago
Do you know how to handle common childhood illnesses and injuries? Check out these links from around the web for more information on staying healthy during the holidays and avoiding common sports-related injuries in children.
Call pediatrician Dr. Nanette Nuessle at (913) 948-3323 for more information on our general pediatric services, telemedical services and pediatrician house call services.
Last updated 6 months ago
New studies report that since 1997, the number of children suffering concussions during organized sports has doubled. If your children enjoy playing sports, be sure to watch this informative news clip.
You’ll hear the story of Matthew Alan Gfeller, a high school student who suffered a fatal brain injury during a football game. Matthew’s parents have since founded the Sport-Related Traumatic Brain Injury Research Center at the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill to improve awareness, prevention, and treatment of concussions. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that approximately 3.8 million sports-related concussions occur every year, many of which go undiagnosed and untreated, so it’s important for parents to be informed.
If your child has incurred a sports-related injury, contact pediatric physician Dr. Nanette Nuessle at Dr. Nan's Pediatric Solutions of Independence, KS at (913) 948-3323. Dr. Nan is available to provide comprehensive pediatric care to your family.
Last updated 6 months ago
Minor scrapes and bruises are a relatively normal part of childhood, but some injuries are more serious than others, especially among children who participate in recreational sports. Though you should always leave treatment to your pediatric physician, it is important to educate yourself on common sports injuries that may affect your child.
Sprains and Strains Sprains and strains are among the most common sports-related injuries in children today. A sprain occurs when one of the ligaments joining the ends of two bones becomes overstretched or torn. A strain, on the other hand, occurs when there is an injury to one of the muscles or tendons. Sprains and strains tend to affect the ankles, knees, and wrists in most cases.
Overuse Injuries Overuse injuries are those caused by repetitive motions of the muscles and tendons. Fortunately, these injuries are often relatively minor and can be treated using rest, ice, compression, and elevation. In some cases, overuse injuries may include stress fractures; if a fracture occurs, treatment often includes crutches, immobilization, and physical therapy.
Heat-Related Illnesses Children are at risk for a number of heat-related sports injuries, as they often fail to hydrate themselves properly before, during, and after participating in sports activities. Common heat-related illnesses include heat exhaustion, dehydration, and in serious cases, heat stroke.
Growth Plate Injuries Growth plate injuries are injuries affecting the area of developing tissues located at the end of a child’s long bones. These long bones include the bones in the hands and fingers, forearms, upper legs or femurs, lower leg bones, and the foot bones.
If your child is suffering from a heat-related illness or an ankle sprain, Dr. Nanette Nuessle is available to provide comprehensive pediatric care. Contact Dr. Nan at (913) 948-3323 for more information on her services for children of Independence, KS.