Blog Posts

Protecting the Child, Preserving the Family, and Honoring Life

Welcome to the Blog page of the American College of Pediatricians, which we call Scribit Veritas.  Each issue of the Blog is intended to assist parents, encourage children, and enrich the family.  Read our most recent issue below, and scroll to the bottom of this page to read earlier issues.

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Reimaging Body Image

*Abby is scrolling through Facebook for the umpteenth time today only to see girls with picture-perfect skin, hair, makeup, and bodies. She can’t help but groan when she sees herself in the mirror, scrutinizing every little imperfection she finds. Her thighs aren’t skinny enough, her skin isn’t clear enough, her hair is too frizzy . . . she could go on.

Whatever it is, there always seems to be some part of our bodies to be dissatisfied with.  

And unfortunately, this dissatisfaction with appearance is all too common for teenagers. Their poor body image can lead to eating disorders, depression, and more. According to the National Institute of Mental Health, about 3% of all teenagers in the US struggle with an eating disorder of some kind.

How can we help our children learn to take care of their bodies while still having a healthy attitude about their physical appearance?

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Family Resolutions for 2018

It’s an American tradition to make resolutions for the new year. But sometimes these resolutions are so lofty, people don’t keep up with them. This year, keep it simple. Instead of making a whole list of complicated goals for the year that are way too specific, make some general decisions that apply to the whole family so you won’t be the only one making an effort to keep them.

Below are some great resolutions that’ll be easy to follow and that’ll be a benefit to the whole family.

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3 Benefits of Family Fun

Some of my favorite memories growing up are from family game nights. My oldest sister would be making cool creations with the game pieces, my dad would be trying his best to win, and the rest of us would gang up against my dad. There was always plenty of laughter, joking, and all-around fun.

While I didn’t realize it at the time, the family togetherness that came from our family fun really shaped me. Research shows that spending meaningful and fun time together as a family has a variety of benefits. Here are just a few of them.

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Preparing for Flu Season: 2017 Flu Update for Parents

 

This blog post is an adaptation (with minor modifications) of a 2017 Update on Influenza Disease and Vaccine written by ACPeds Board Member Dr. Scott Field.

We are getting into influenza (flu) season, and this one is likely to be a heavy one.

Most flu cases occur between December and March, with A strains causing the overwhelming majority of cases in the first two months, and B strains becoming more common in the last one or two months.  Light seasons frequently alternate with heavy seasons.  The last two seasons have been relatively light (1).

Flu causes millions of illnesses, hundreds of thousands of hospitalizations and tens of thousands of deaths each year in the United States. Last season, over 100 pediatric deaths from influenza were reported to CDC.

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Overpopulation: Too Many Kids, or Not Enough?

Many scientists and concerned citizens around the globe are worried about the economy, the environment, and more. While they all seem to have different ideas about solutions, a lot of people point to what they feel is the problem: too many kids.

Overpopulation

This worry about overpopulation was kickstarted back in 1968 with Paul Ehrlich’s The Population Bomb. But he didn’t come up with this concern on his own! Way back in 1798, Thomas Malthus wrote An Essay on the Principle of Population, proposing the idea that limited resources can only sustain so much. And Ehrlich said we were getting dangerously close to maxing out those limited resources.  

While overpopulation was a big concern back in the day, according to the Pew Research Center, Americans are even more worried about it now than they were then. Today, 59% of Americans and even more scientists think that the growing population is going to “strain the planet’s natural resources.”1

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Holiday Resources for Needy Families

In 2016 there were 40.6 million people in poverty, and 15 million of those people were children.

Most of these children have parents who work, but low wages and unstable employment leave their families struggling to make ends meet throughout the year, and especially during the holiday season. Thankfully, there are many government and non-profit agencies and programs across the United States that offer special assistance to low-income families desiring to celebrate this special time of year. If you are a parent who lacks the financial resources to celebrate properly with your children, or you know someone who is, please take a look at the resources below.

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Getting Enough Sleep for You and Your Child

Have you ever heard the saying, “Early to bed, early to rise, makes a man healthy, wealthy and wise”? It is well established through research that much of our family’s well-being and success depends on getting a decent amount of shut-eye every night.

How much Sleep Do We Need?

From the American Academy of Sleep Medicine (AASP):

  • Infants age 4 to 12 month need 12-16 hours a day, including naps
  • Toddlers age 1-2 …………………….11-14 hours of sleep a day, including naps
  • Children age 3-5 …………………….10-13 hours a day, including naps
  • Children age 6-12…………………… 9-10 hours
  • Teenagers 13-18 ……………………. 8-10 hours a day,
  • Adults ……………………………….7 or more hours a day, varying upon the individual

According to the AASP, 25-50% of preschool children do not get enough sleep and lack of regular bedtime and insufficient sleep in young children leads to problems with cognitive function, behavior, hyperactivity, being overweight or obese, and increases the likelihood of needing special education.

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3 Ways to Help Your Kids Give Back on #GivingTuesday

As a young child, I loved Thanksgiving and Christmas. To me, both these holidays meant lots of getting: getting yummy food and getting presents. But over time, my focus shifted from getting to giving.

How can you help your kids learn the importance of giving during this holiday season? Here are a few ideas to help you celebrate the National Day of Giving (the Tuesday after Thanksgiving) and teach your kids to give back.

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Giving Thanks This Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving really is a wonderful time of year, full of family and feasting and fun. From the turkey to the homemade rolls to the pumpkin pie, my stomach always comes away happy!

While I love having an excuse to eat my fill of delicious food, Thanksgiving should be about more than just turkey and pie. It can serve as a beautiful reminder of the importance of gratitude, both for us individually and for our families.

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3 Ways to Prevent Type 2 Diabetes for You and Your Kids

Checking blood sugar, counting carbs, injecting shots of insulin — all this and more are just another part of living with diabetes.

And it’s not just a few people who have to constantly worry about keeping their blood sugar levels just right. In fact, over 30 million people in the US have diabetes, or about 1 in 10 Americans. Not only this, but “another 84 million adults in the United States are at high risk of developing type 2 diabetes.” (1)

Type 1 and type 2 diabetes both have genetic factors involved, but type 2 diabetes can actually be prevented. This November is National Diabetes Month, the perfect time to learn how you and your kids can minimize your risk for developing type 2 diabetes. Here are a few places to start.

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