We are all facing increased time at home these days. For our kids, grandchildren, nieces, nephews
– six weeks is a long time to be away from school, friends, and the overall
ability to be social. Everyday
activities can only engage and last for so long before inevitable boredom sets
in. Can you hear the restlessness
With a little research (and maybe some shopping), I found some really inexpensive card game options that you can order to the comfort of your home. I am all about budget-friendly so everything listed is $10* or under. Amazon is still filling orders! Any non-essential orders are not a high priority – but they are still shipping (it is just slightly delayed).
Engaging family fun is always an amazing time so enjoy and
Games for Kids
under $10 (brought to you by Amazon’s
current inventory and pricing):
With area schools closing for the next six weeks and more at home time happening for everyone, we wanted to provide some resources for parents and folks who are self-quarantined alike. There are many free resources available right now to learn and also free lunches available to any child 18 years or younger.
A couple of tips before we get into the resources:
Remain calm and reassuring.
Children will react to and follow your verbal
and nonverbal reactions.
What you say and do about COVID-19, current
prevention efforts, and related events can either increase or decrease your
Let your children talk about their feelings
and help reframe their concerns into the appropriate perspective.
Children may need extra attention from you and
may want to talk about their concerns, fears, and questions.
It is important that they know they have
someone who will listen to them; make time for them.
Tell them you love them and give them plenty
First of all, be sure to check in with your school and school district. They may have excellent resources for what your child is currently learning in class. Your student’s teacher may have plans already prepared to help you navigate this time, be sure to be in contact if possible.
Below are some resources we’ve found that may help you to navigate learning and fun:
Storyline Online, streams videos featuring celebrated actors
reading children’s books alongside creatively produced illustrations. Readers
include Viola Davis, Chris Pine, Lily Tomlin, Kevin Costner, Annette Bening,
James Earl Jones, Betty White and dozens more.
Kennedy Center Education
Artist-in-Residence at Home
Mo Willems invites YOU into his studio every day for his LUNCH
DOODLE. Learners worldwide can draw, doodle and explore new ways of writing by
visiting Mo’s studio virtually once a day for the next few weeks. Grab some
paper and pencils, pens, or crayons and join Mo to explore ways of writing and
making together. https://www.kennedy-center.org/education/mo-willems/
Explore the National Parks virtually
thanks to Google
The Cincinnati Zoo and Botanical Garden are doing live safaris via Facebook Live at 12pm they highlight one of their amazing animals and include an activity you can do from home. (this is also available afterward on YouTube):
KiwiCo is a STEM kit delivered to your door.
However, they just launched a really cool free online resource page to learn at
home. Check it out: https://www.kiwico.com/blog/
now is a great time to connect with family members near and far.
Call/Skype/FaceTime/Zoom with family members
Look at photo albums and discuss family heritage
Create a family tree
Write letters to/create cards for relatives (Perhaps an overdue thank you note for that really nifty gift you received?)
With the cancellation of playdates, birthday parties, and other activities, your calendar is likely wide open. Which allows for some fun family activities to take place, here are some suggestions for fun things you can do with your family:
Play card and board games
Make art or do crafts together
Cook and bake together—talk about math as you prepare the recipe
Build forts, design a marble run, or other fun STEM project
Sort through bookshelves, revisit favorite titles and make a pile
Change family picture frames and revisit memories as you change
Make a photo book together
Make up a play
Sing, play recorder or other instruments
Have a dance party, do fitness activities together, and play in
the yard as a family
Seek accurate information and limit exposure to social media and
news reports that provide no new information or inaccurate information. Here
are some reliable sources of information:
WSMA President Bill Hirota, MD, on the 5 things your doctor wants you to know about coronavirus. A public service message from Washington State Medical Association and the Washington State Hospital Association.
CHAS Health is dedicated to the health and wellness of the communities we serve. Recent global events have raised questions about the coronavirus (COVID-19) and how to stay healthy. Below are answers to frequently asked questions. If you still have concerns for your health related to the coronavirus, please call us for more information at 509.444.8200 or 208.848.8300.
1. What is coronavirus aka COVID-19?
COVID-19 is the official name of the disease that is causing this 2019 coronavirus outbreak, first discovered in Wuhan China. The virus likely originated in animals and spread to humans. There are many types of human coronaviruses, including some that cause mild, cold-like illnesses. Some coronaviruses can cause illnesses in certain types of animals, such as cattle, camels and bats. This was the case with SARS and MERS. In rare cases, animal coronavirus cases can spread to humans.
2. How is the virus spread?
The way this virus is spread is not yet fully understood. However, based on other coronaviruses, it may spread between people by coughing and sneezing into the air, close personal contact, such as touching or shaking hands, touching an object or surface with the virus on it, then touching your mouth, nose, or eyes before washing your hands, and rarely through stool contamination with the virus present.
3. What are the symptoms of COVID-19 infection?
Symptoms include fever, cough and shortness of breath. Other symptoms can include runny nose, headache, and sore throat, and rarely digestive problems such as diarrhea or stomachache.
4. How can I protect myself from getting the virus?
The most important thing you should do is clean your hands frequently, especially before touching your face or eating. When you wash your hands, use soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Use alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water are not available. Avoid close contact with people who are sick, and cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze, then throw tissue away and wash your hands. Clean and disinfect objects and surfaces. Stay home and away from others if you are feeling ill.
5. I think I’m experiencing symptoms of coronavirus, what do I do?
If you have traveled from a high-risk area (currently identified by the CDC as China, Japan, South Korea, Italy and Iran) or you have symptoms of fever, cough, or shortness of breath and feel you may have been exposed to this virus:
Healthy teeth are an important part of a healthy body. Spending a few minutes each day taking care of your teeth keeps your smile beautiful and your body happy. Here are recommendations from our dental and pediatric team to keep you and your children’s dental health in check:
Keep Those Pearly Whites Shining Bright
Clean teeth twice daily with a soft toothbrush
Brush for two minutes each time (sing the ABCs in your head three times!)
Start flossing once per day as soon as teeth begin to touch
Parents should supervise brushing until kids are able to tie their shoes
A word about fluoride:
Use fluoride-containing toothpaste for all children with teeth. For children less than three years, use an amount the size of a grain of rice. For children over three, use an amount the size of a pea!
Most of the water in the Spokane area is non-fluoridated; consider a fluoride supplement. Ask your doctor!
Have fluoride painted on your teeth as often as recommended by your dentist or doctor
Watch What You Eat – Your Teeth Are Counting On It!
Frequent snacking and sugary beverages during the day may increase the risk of dental decay
If you plan on snacking on a sugar-containing beverage (soda/juice/sports drink), drink it within a limited time instead of slowly sipping during the day
Try to give your mouth a three-hour break between sugary foods/drinks
After sugary foods and beverages, rinse your mouth with water or chewing sugarless gum
Watch out for: hard candy, gummy candy/vitamins, cough drops, and fruit leathers
Did you know? Children who visit the dentist before they are four years old are less likely to need dental procedures (crown placement, restorations, tooth removal) compared with children who start seeing the dentist at a later age.
For the really young ones: The first tooth usually appears around six months of age. Think about scheduling the first dental visit when your child turns one. Start a training cup (sippy cup) at six months. Plan to ditch all bottles by one year.
Factors that increase the risk of developing dental decay: Bottle use beyond 12 months of age using a sippy cup throughout the day (especially for juice/sugary drinks)Exposure to secondhand smoke using a bottle at bedtime breastfeeding past 12 months if nursing overnight
Healthcare can be complex, especially in today’s busy world.
Many provider hours are limited to the school day, and offices may be located
far from the school. That means students have to take time away from school and
possibly find a ride, making it difficult to get the care they need while
School-based health centers (SBHC) tackle that problem directly by adding an on
campus clinic, making getting the care you need as simple as walking to the
other side of the building.
Why school-based health centers?
Essentially, school-based health centers is an extension of your neighborhood health clinic in the school.
Healthy students are better learners. When students don’t feel well, it’s much harder to learn and pay attention in class. Not to mention days where students may be too ill to come to class at all, making it harder to catch up on materials.
School-based health centers aim to tackle this by offering
an easy–to-access clinic where students don’t have to take time off to be seen
by a provider.
How is a SBHC
different from the school nurse’s office?
A SBHC is a fully-licensed primary care facility, providing
a range of physical and mental health services, with limited dental
services. SBHC’s and school nurses work
closely together, with school nurses able to refer students to the SBHC to
resolve student health problems.
What services will CHAS
Health at John R. Rogers -based health centeroffer?
This new clinic will be for students and school staff only, and will provide
the following services:
• Primary medical care
• Answers to your health questions and concerns
• Treatment of common injuries and illnesses (allergies,
rashes, sore throat, etc.)
• Counseling (help with emotional and social issues)
• Sports physicals
• Vaccinations, including flu shots
• Reproductive health services
• and much more
CHAS Health at John R. Rogers High School be staffed by Jeff
Hayward, Family Practice Physician Assistant; Kristie Stolgitis, Pediatric
Nurse Practitioner; Michelle Timmerman, Behavioral Health Proivder; Kelsey
Kienbaum, Medical Assistant. Johnnie
Beans serves as the School Outreach Specialist, and is actively engaged in
connecting with the students and staff.
Hours of operation will be Monday – Friday 7:30 am to 4:00
pm with both scheduled appointments and same day walk-in appointments
School-based health centers often are operated as a partnership between the school
and a community health organization, such as a community health center,
hospital, or local health department. The specific services provided by
school-based health centers vary based on community needs and resources as
determined through collaborations between the community, the school district
and the health care providers.
CHAS Health at John R. Rogers High School is made possible thanks to funding
from Kaiser Permanente, in partnership with Spokane Public Schools.
Juuling has quickly become very popular in our high schools, colleges, and even middle schools. While electronic cigarettes were created to help people quit smoking, in young people they are actually becoming the introduction to tobacco use. Here are some key things to know:
Safer does not equal safe. Yes there are no studies linking e-cigarettes to cancer. Just because e-cigarettes are safer than traditional cigarettes does not mean they are safe. They still contain many chemicals that we know are airway irritants and carcinogens. They contain nicotine. We have no long term studies of the safety of e-cigarettes.
Nicotine is addictive. The Juul pods contain the same amount of nicotine as a pack of cigarettes. Some e-cigarettes juice is even stronger. Studies have shown e-cigarette fluid that claims to be nicotine free often contains nicotine. We also know nicotine affects the developing brain leading to difficulties with attention, learning, impulse control, and mood.
Teens are the target of advertisement. Juul, the most common e-cigarette used among teenagers, began advertising on Youtube, Instagram, and Twitter. There is a huge social media presence of Juul and Juul is starting to show up in TV shows and movies. #doitforJuul is a common hashtag that people use to show them using a Juul. This affects teens, even if they do not realize.
People vape a variety of substances. On youtube you can find videos of people using a variety of fluids including caffeine, alcohol, and Marijuana. Anytime someone is breathing in a substance, it is likely to irritate the airwyas. There have even been cases of people dying after vaping synthetic cannabinoid.
Juul use is increasing tobacco use among teens. Starting in the 1990s there was a steady decline in tobacco use among teenagers, reaching as low as 12% of all teenagers ever using tobacco. With the advent of Juul, as many as 35% of teenagers admit to using nicotine containing products. Unfortunately, many of these Juul users go on to smoke traditional cigarettes.
Juul and other ecigarette companies create fruit flavored fluids that appeal to young users. Juul can be easily concealed and has become a trend among high school students. Our teens are getting addicted to nicotine and we must do our best to prevent this!
I know when my oldest let me know about the changes, I wasn’t ready. I had prepared my child with what to expect, gotten her some nice books about it that we read together. But, when the time arrived, I thought, “already?”
The changes of puberty are different for every child, but there are some points that help know what’s ahead, just around the corner.
For girls, the changes of puberty start between 8 and 13 years old. Usually the first sign is breast development. It commonly takes about two years to get from there to the first menses, or period. Along the way, development of pubertal hair and a growth spurt usually ensue as well. When girls start menses, it can be irregular in the first year, but it tends to become more regular with time.
For boys, the changes of puberty start between 9 and 14 years of age. This starts with genitals enlarging, followed by pubertal hair. Then they will develop increased muscle mass and voice changes, with the start of these averaging at 13 ½ years old. The peak height for boys is usually reached by 17 years old, 2 years past that for girls.
Both girls and boys will have other changes as well, including hair growth, acne, and body odor. If you have questions or concerns about whether your child’s patterns are normal, it’s important to ask your healthcare provider.
Along with the physical changes, there are many emotional changes with puberty as well. Adolescent youth begin to become more independent and less interested in having the attention of their parents. Some will lose their temper more easily and have more mood swings. It’s important to keep the conversation open with these changes, both physical and emotional. Being positively and proactively involved in your child life, even when it’s not invited, helps them know you support them when they need it.
Puberty is Starting Earlier
Despite the normal ranges of puberty described above, the onset of puberty has gotten earlier over the years. The cause is unclear, but we know several factors can lead to an earlier start. Trends from lifestyle factors include an earlier start for girls with more sugar intake (independent of weight), also an earlier start for girls with obesity. There are differences in the start of puberty with different racial background as well, with puberty often occurring earlier in African-American children.
If your girl starts showing signs of puberty before 8 years old or your boy before 9, it’s worth bringing up with your provider to discuss further. Similarly, if your girl has not started these changes by the time she reaches 13 or your boy by 14, that’s a good reason to discuss as well. Your annual well-child visits are a great opportunity for providers to evaluate these development milestones and make sure things are on track. Please make sure to keep up-to-date on these important visits.
Entering into the next stage can be an intimidating phase for parents and kids alike, but it’s all about being there for your child in an open and honest way.
We all know that the skin is the largest organ of the body. But sometimes we forget how important healthy skin is for a healthy body. Your skin does many jobs like helping your body control its temperature and protecting you from germs like bacteria that might make you sick. A way to think of your skin is like a strong concrete wall. Skin cells form a good barrier when they have strong connections to each other, just like concrete blocks need cement to keep them stuck together. And just like any good wall, if we don’t care for it the wall might start to crack and fail – with our skin that might mean infection or inflammation.
So, let’s review skin health, which is especially important during the winter when the air doesn’t hold as much moisture and dry weather makes it easier for our “strong wall” of skin cells to crack and weaken.
Signs that our skin might be starting to weaken:
Dry, itchy arms and legs
Cracked hands and feet
Small white patches on the cheeks
Skin Moisture – Our goal is to combat the dry air. Here are a few tips:
Use a moisturizer
Find a moisturizer that you like – the best moisturizers are thick and do not have fragrances or other additives, especially for those of us with sensitive skin.
Some options that I like to use: CeraVe, Cetaphil, coconut oil, or even ointments like petroleum jelly (as long as we can keep it from staining your clothes!)
If a lotion has a pump it might mean that water was added to the lotion, which can actually dry the skin.
Better to find a tub or squeeze tube.
Apply 1-2 times every day, especially after baths or showers when the water washes away natural skin oils
Overuse of hand soap can also remove natural oils
Moisture comes from the inside too!
Drink water throughout the day whenever you are thirsty and more often when you are exercising, spending time outside or sick.
Skin care can be quick and simple! Even if you do not have obvious signs of skin dryness, having a daily routine will keep your skin happy and healthy.
What’s a good present that we can all give to ourselves this winter season? Answer: A big tub of moisturizing skin cream!
Winter is here and kids are excited to get outside and play in the snow. Parents know that the cold temperatures can also bring potential dangers. Fortunately, there are several steps you can take to keep your family safe this time of year.
Dress for the Weather:
-Dress children in layers when they go outside to help them stay warm and dry. This should include a hat, gloves or mittens, warm socks and waterproof boots. Make sure to remove and replace any wet clothes right away.
– Remember that sun sunscreen and sunglasses are important this time of year because the snow reflects the sun’s UV rays.
-Give your child a snack before they go outside. It’s also a good idea to have children come inside about once every hour to warm up and drink fluids.
Use Caution when Participating in Winter Sports:
-Children and teens should wear a properly fitted helmet for skiing, snowboarding and sledding.
-Avoid sledding on steep hills or areas where there are trees, large rocks, or busy streets nearby.
-The American Academy of Pediatrics advises that teens younger than 16 should not operate snowmobiles and children younger than 6 should not ride on them.
Be Aware of Signs of Danger:
-Signs of frostbite are pale, grey or blistered skin. Frostbite most commonly occurs on the ears, nose, fingers, and toes. If you think your child has frostbite, seek medical care.
-Signs of hypothermia are shivering, slurred speech, clumsiness and confusion. If you suspect your child has hypothermia, call 911 immediately.
Keep Your Family Safe Inside the Home:
-Make sure that smoke and carbon monoxide alarms are installed and in working order on every level of the home and in all sleeping areas.
-Be careful around fires. Put a protective gate around the fireplace if there are small children in the house.
-Keep an emergency kit at home and in the car. Stock the kit with extra blankets and clothes, flashlights, batteries, matches, a first aid kit, bottled water, and non-perishable food.
Washing hands frequently and keeping your family’s immunizations up to date are also important ways to stay healthy this winter.