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 »
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 »
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 »
Kara and Jason Kincaid, with 5-year-old Melanie, 3-year-old Will and infant daughter Mya.
If you spend time online, you’ve seen the stories. Moms asked to cover up or stop breastfeeding in public as to not offend people around them. While health experts and most of society agree “breast is best” when it comes to feeding your baby, how did where the baby eats become so controversial?
We talked to three current or former nursing moms to get their take on the issue. Read the rest of this entry »
Most of us have been there. You have hours ahead of you on the road and from the backseat all you can hear is, “Are we there yet?” This year, instead of loading the kids up on packaged snacks with enough sugar to keep them bouncing out of their seats, try these wholesome, homemade and cost-friendly snacks presented by Memorial Food and Nutrition. While we can’t promise a peaceful car ride, we can guarantee happy stomachs. As many of us know, that’s half the battle! See what our own taste-testers had to say, too. Read the rest of this entry »
Even the best behaved kids have bad habits.
“There’s no such thing as a bad kid,” says Nicole Florence, MD, an internal medicine physician and pediatrician with Memorial Physician Services-Koke Mill, part of Memorial Health System. “There might be bad choices, but every kid is a good kid.”
Dr. Florence spoke to Ray Lytle recently on radio station WTAX’s Ask The Expert program about some of the bad habits that even your little angel can get into–and how parents should handle them. Read the rest of this entry »
It’s a moment 18 years in the making—sending your child off to college with all the emotions at full throttle. Joy! Sadness! Excitement! Fear! So much to do—so little time!
Cynthia Mester, PhD, LCPC with Mental Health Centers of Central Illinois, offers one big piece of advice to parents: be prepared.
“For the student and parent, it’s a new environment, new expectations, new freedoms and new ways of thinking about life,” Mester said. “The best way to minimize the stress and maximize the potential for positive adjustment is to be prepared.”
She recommends that parents think through the following topics and then make time for brief constructive conversations with their kids before college departure. Read the rest of this entry »