Social 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.” Read the rest of this entry »
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.
The 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: Read the rest of this entry »
All 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. Read the rest of this entry »
We 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. Read the rest of this entry »
For 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. Read the rest of this entry »
Fall 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. Read the rest of this entry »
What 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. Read the rest of this entry »
Have you or someone you know lost a loved one to suicide? While it is not an easy topic to discuss, suicide is one of the leading causes of death in the world, especially among young people. Every year, nearly one million people worldwide die by suicide, or one death by suicide every 40 seconds.
More than 90 percent of people who die by suicide have depression or another diagnosable mental disorder. Many times, they have a substance abuse problem. It is important to learn and recognize the warning signs. The majority tell someone first, so never take threats of suicide lightly. Read the rest of this entry »
Children are developing an unhealthy body image at younger and younger ages, said Cheri Harrison, MS, LCPC, pediatric program coordinator for the Memorial Center for Healthy Families at Memorial Medical Center. They feel there’s something wrong with the way they look and believe they need to change it. Read the rest of this entry »
Many families have been schooled on the “big” summer safety issues that threaten the well-being of children including water safety around the pool, fireworks precautions and the importance of using sunscreen and sunglasses on your little ones.
But what about the lesser-known dangers that range from annoying to downright dangerous, not just for children but for all of us? Nicole Florence, MD, an internal medicine physician and pediatrician with Memorial Physician Services—Koke Mill, part of Memorial Health System, during a recent interview on WTAX’s Ask the Expert program on the Ray Lytle Show, shares her expertise. Read the rest of this entry »