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Don’t Ignore Cyber Bullying

Posted by | Posted in Expert Tips, Memorial Behavioral Health, Mental Health, Parents | Posted on 12-08-2016

upset-boy-on-cellphoneSocial media and video gaming has seen rapid growth in recent years. With children and adolescents frequenting online communities, this opens the door to cyber bullying and puts our children’s emotional well-being at risk. Children who experience cyber bullying are more likely to show signs of loneliness and social isolation. With prolonged exposure, they can experience lowered self-esteem and depression.

“Our children are facing new and complicated social situations online,” said Autumn Dunham Neubert, LCSW, at Memorial Behavioral Health—Springfield Children’s Center. “Unfortunately, the repercussions can be devastating to their feelings of worth, especially in the preteen and teenage years.”

A Mom’s Best Friend

Posted by | Posted in Expert Tips, Memorial Medical Center, Parents, Winter | Posted on 12-01-2016

Cold and flu season is upon us. And as moms, dads and anyone who wants to avoid seasonal viruses prepare for the germ battle, they often reach for the same weapon of choice: the trusty ole’ hand sanitizer.

hand-sanitizerThe small gel bottles are inexpensive, easy to throw in a purse and convenient in a pinch. But despite its brilliance, it may not always be the best solution. Gina Carnduff, Memorial Medical Center’s Infection Prevention system director weighs in on what you need to know:

Is Your Child Scared of Santa? Four Tips to Help Calm Their Fears

Posted by | Posted in Expert Tips, Parents, Pediatrics, Physician Services | Posted on 11-18-2016

santa-mom-and-childAll you want for Christmas is a picture-perfect photo of your child sitting on Santa’s lap to share with the world on social media, holiday cards and texts to grandparents.

Unfortunately, your child won’t set foot near the bearded bearer of gifts.

Jennifer Snyder, MD, a pediatrician with Memorial Physician Services, is a mom of a 3-year-old and a 16-month-old. She understands parents’ enthusiasm for holiday pictures, but as a physician, she also recognizes how some children experience anxiety over the much heralded meeting.

An Honor to Serve Those Who Served

Posted by | Posted in Heart, Memorial Medical Center, Rehab | Posted on 11-09-2016

pete-rafferty-and-nephewPete Rafferty, 72, knew from early childhood that he wanted to serve his country.

A Springfield native who attended Feishan’s High School, he achieved that dream quickly upon graduation when he enlisted in the U.S. Marines in 1963.

He was assigned to the 1st Marine Regiment of the 1st Marine Division. By July 1965, his unit had deployed to patrol South Vietnam, where he served as a communications and radio operator.

Later that year, Pete contracted a severe case of malaria. He came home soon after to recover and was honorably discharged.

His was a less-than-glamorous homecoming, like so many other war veterans of his time and those who served before him. So when his opportunity came to travel on an Honor Flight to Washington, D.C., this past summer, he had high hopes of returning home to his family and friends with a greater sense of celebration and fond memories to boot.

But first, Pete had to ensure his health would allow the trip to happen at all.

4 Ways to Raise Healthy Children

Posted by | Posted in Expert Tips, Memorial Center for Healthy Families, Memorial Medical Center, Parents, Pediatrics, Physician Services | Posted on 11-01-2016

woman-reading-to-childWe all want our kids to grow into healthy adults. Virginia Dolan, MD, a pediatrician with Memorial Physician Services-Koke Mill and Memorial Center for Healthy Families, spoke recently on radio station WTAX about four areas to target for optimal health for your kids.

Sleep: Most young people need nine to 11 hours of sleep by the time they’re in kindergarten, but it’s also important to ensure that your children get restful sleep. Sleep has a significant effect on health. Children who lack sleep are sick more often, their school grades are often affected, and they’re more likely to be impulsive. Establish a five- to 10-minute bedtime routine for your kids that helps them be calm and ready for sleep. And avoid screen time—TV, iPads and so on—for about 90 minutes prior to bedtime.

SmartVisit Helps Busy Woman Save Time

Posted by | Posted in Physician Services | Posted on 10-19-2016

memorialmd-smartvisitLynne Gray keeps busy with two jobs. She serves as a paralegal for a Virden, Illinois, attorney and sells skin care and makeup products.

When sinus problems started to slow her down, taking up to three hours out of her day to visit her family doctor wasn’t an option. Instead, she fired up her computer and logged into MemorialMDSmartVisit, a secure, internet-based service to treat non-emergency illnesses offered by Memorial Physician Services.

Senior Citizens and Anxiety: Five Indicators

Posted by | Posted in Expert Tips, Mental Health, Taylorville | Posted on 10-18-2016

anxiety-senior-citizenFor families and friends with aging loved ones, the signs of anxiety and depression can be subtle and build up over time.

Barb Brauer, a licensed clinical social worker with Christian County Mental Health, shares these common signs that indicate anxiety or depression in an elderly person.

The Power of Protein

Posted by | Posted in Expert Tips, Nutrition, Recipes | Posted on 10-11-2016

Family-Grilling-FallFall weather means being outdoors with your family and friends, playing in the yard, and often grilling burgers, brats and hot dogs. How often do you add variety to your grilling? Do you consider the nutrition content?

Foods in the meat, poultry and fish group provide nutrients that are vital for health and maintenance of your body. Proteins function as building blocks for bones, muscles, cartilage, skin and blood. They are also building blocks for enzymes, hormones and vitamins. However, according to the USDA’s ChooseMyPlate.org, choosing foods from this group that are high in saturated fat and cholesterol may have health implications. Diets high in saturated fat raise “bad” cholesterol levels, or LDL, which results in an increased risk for coronary heart disease. The calorie content of fat is higher than that of proteins or carbohydrates, therefore high-fat diets lead to excess calorie intake as well.

Help for Men, National Depression Screening Day

Posted by | Posted in Memorial Behavioral Health, Men, Mental Health | Posted on 10-06-2016

Father and daughter sitting in the kitchenSure, everyone has days where sadness creeps in, but typically the feelings should pass after a few days. If it gets to a point that the sadness, exhaustion, or loss of interest starts to affect your daily life, you may be suffering from depression. National Depression Screening Day is Oct. 6 and is an important reminder that depression doesn’t discriminate. It impacts both men and women, but depression can affect men differently than it does women.

According to the National Institute of Mental Health, men may be more likely to feel very tired and irritable and lose interest in their work, family or hobbies. They may be more likely to have difficulty sleeping than women who have depression.

Early Puberty and Depression: Tips for Guiding Younger Girls Through Body Changes

Posted by | Posted in Expert Tips, Memorial Behavioral Health, Mental Health, Parents, Pediatrics | Posted on 09-28-2016

Sad lonely girl sitting on stairsWhat used to be a rite of passage for girls entering their teenage years is now occurring more frequently at younger ages, which can make it developmentally and emotionally challenging for many.

According to The American Academy of Pediatrics, the average age of puberty in females now occurs around third and fourth grades, which is generally eight to nine years old. Twenty-five years ago, the average age was 12.

Amanda Armstrong, MA, LCPC, is a child out-patient therapist with Memorial Behavioral Health at the Springfield Children’s Center in Springfield, Illinois. She sees firsthand how early puberty can affect some girls and how communication is key in combatting depression.