Spring Edition - April 2020
What You Need to Know About COVID-19 (Coronavirus)

The Florida Department of Health (DOH) has valuable resources and information available for how to protect your family against COVID-19 (also known as the Coronavirus Disease), as well as information on recognizing the signs and symptoms of the virus and what to do if you suspect anyone in your family may have it. Several of these are provided below for your reference:

How can I protect myself? There are some common-sense precautions that you can take and that apply to many infectious diseases. The most important is frequent hand washing for at least 20 seconds with soap and water or an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol. This is especially important after going to the bathroom, before eating and after blowing your nose, coughing or sneezing. You should also avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unclean hands and encourage people around you to cover their nose and mouth with a tissue when coughing or sneezing.

What are the signs and symptoms of COVID-19? Patients with confirmed COVID-19 infection have reportedly had mild to severe respiratory illness with symptoms of: fever, cough and difficulty breathing. The Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) offer more about COVID-19 symptoms here .

What should I do if I think I (or someone in my family) might have COVID-19?
  • Contact your county health department (CHD).
  • Consult a health care provider as soon as possible. Call ahead and tell them before you visit that you think you may have COVID-19 so they can take precautions to prevent exposing other people.

Florida Healthy Kids Takes Proactive Steps to Protect Members During COVID-19 Outbreak
Through April 30, 2020, families with children enrolled in the Florida Healthy Kids program, serving kids aged 5-18, will have no copays for the most commonly used health services (in partnership with Aetna Better Health of Florida, Community Care Plan and Simply Healthcare Plans).

There will also be no costs for COVID-19 testing or treatment if it is needed.

For more information on additional benefit and eligibility adjustments, read the press release here .
Live Life Well
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Do you want your child to live a healthy life?
Take care of your child’s body and mind. Behavioral health (or mental health) affects how you think, feel and act. Your genes and life experiences help to shape it. Behavioral health issues are common. But your child doesn’t have to suffer – they’re treatable.
Do you have any behavioral health concerns for your child?
Talk to your child’s doctor and ask about treatment options. You can take your child to see a behavioral health specialist without a referral. And there are no copays.

Need help now?
If your child or someone you know is having a crisis, get help. Talk to your child’s provider. They will listen to your problem and help guide you in how to handle it.

Need a fun activity for the kids to do at home? Families can download and print the above Florida KidCare coloring activity sheet here .

Parent Challenge -
Vaping Products

Calling all parents! See if you can correctly identify the four vaping products that are popular with teens in this video.

Source: TobaccoFreeCA
Water Safety: Keeping Kids (and Adults) Safe
Brought to you by Community Care Plan
June is National Safety Month and it’s also the beginning of summer, which often means pool parties and trips to the beach.

Did you know that drowning is the leading cause of death for children ages 1 to 4? These drownings usually occur in the bathtub or swimming pool. Children, ages 5 to 18, are more likely to drown in large bodies of water, like canals or the ocean.

However, there are things you can do to keep your child, family and friends’ water safe, such as:

Take swim lessons . Swim lessons are for the whole family, not just the children. Everyone should know how to swim. Check to see if your health insurance plan offers a swim lesson benefit.

Become a water watcher . A water watcher is an adult who is always keeping an eye on the water without any distractions. Designate a water watcher and take turns. Don’t assume someone else is watching! Water watchers should know how to swim.

Create barriers . Make your home pool safer by adding a pool fence, gate, door and/or pool alarms.

Life jackets . Wear life jackets in and around large bodies of water, such as the ocean, even if everyone knows how to swim. Life jackets do not replace the need for a designated water watcher!

Be prepared . Keep a phone and safety equipment at the pool. Adults and caregivers should always know CPR.

Does Your Child Grind Their Teeth at Night?
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Do you know that some people grind their teeth when they sleep and that affects their oral health? This is known as bruxism. Studies show that at least two out of 10 children grind their teeth.

Most kids are not aware that they could be damaging their teeth while they sleep. If you think your child grinds their teeth at night, they may experience some of these symptoms:

  • Dull headache
  • Sore or painful jaw
  • Pain when chewing
  • Cracked or loose teeth
  • Worn out enamel

Bruxism can be caused by stress or underlying problems within the mouth. Stress can come from many sources - pressure at school, a new sibling, a disagreement among friends or an argument with family. Problems such as an abnormal bite, misaligned teeth, irritation in the mouth and even allergies have also been shown to lead to tooth grinding.

If your child experiences bruxism, their dentist can diagnose it and help them protect their teeth with a mouth guard. The following tips can also help prevent bruxism:

  • Reduce stress by spending more time outside
  • Be active by increasing sports activity
  • Avoid chewing anything with your teeth other than food

If you notice any of these signs, please consult with your child's dentist who can provide you with valuable solutions.

Sources: Kids Health (Nemours), Mouth Healthy (American Dental Association), Mayo Clinic , National Sleep Foundation
Four Things to Know About Family Stress
Brought to you by Simply Healthcare Plans

1.   Everyone feels stressed at times. Stress affects everyone — even kids and teens. It can be caused by work, school, family, relationships, money and more.

2.   Stress can be good and bad. Healthy stress can motivate us to work harder and improve focus. But bad stress or too much stress can make people sick. Getting sick with stress can cause:

  • Headaches and stomachaches (especially for kids and teens).
  • Digestive problems.
  • Trouble staying focused.
  • Lower grades.
  • Losing sleep or sleeping too much.
  • Feeling tired, lazy or depressed.

3.   Healthy habits can help relieve stress. Things like exercise; methods to relax, like meditation or yoga; talking with someone you trust, like family or a close friend; writing in a journal or making a to-do list when feeling too busy; making time for fun - time to laugh, do things you enjoy, start a new hobby, etc.; taking breaks and vacations when possible.

4.   Get help from a doctor if you or a family member is:

  • Feeling stressed or depressed for a long time (longer than a few weeks).
  • Drinking alcohol, smoking cigarettes or using drugs to relieve stress.
  • Having behavior issues or acting out.

A doctor may try prescription medicine and/or psychotherapy (talk therapy) with a psychiatrist, psychologist, or support group. If you or a family member has thoughts of hurting themselves or others, call 911 or go to an ER right away.

Take Control of Your Stress
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During stressful times, you and your child may be more prone to dental problems. 

It’s important to take proper measures to reduce stress and to stay well!

Keep in mind that stress affects children differently. What causes one child to feel stress, may not cause stress in another child. 

If you’re worried that stress may be affecting your child’s teeth, talk to your child’s dentist for some suggestions.

You and your child can:

Eat a balanced diet – Keep sweets to a minimum and increase healthy foods high in vitamins and nutrients, such as salmon, kale, blueberries, potatoes, or cocoa.

Stay active - Physical activity helps bump up your body’s production of endorphins, which make you feel better. Go outside and just “smell the roses”.

Hydrate properly – Drink plenty of water. Water helps wash away bacteria in your mouth.

Rest – Get plenty of sleep.

Relaxation – Find free videos online that promote relaxation, such as tips on breathing exercises.

Talk – Sometimes just talking to someone about how you or your child is feeling helps to reduce stress levels.
2020 Annual Income Guidelines Available Now!
Applications Now Available
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Step Up For Students administers five scholarship programs for Florida’s schoolchildren:

  • The Florida Tax Credit and Family Empowerment Scholarship for children K-12 from lower-income families.
  • The Gardiner Scholarship for children ages 3-22 who have certain special needs.
  • The Hope Scholarship for children K-12 who are victims of bullying.
  • The Reading Scholarship Accounts for public school students in grades 3-5 who struggle with reading.

Apply Now. Program funds are limited and are available on a first-come, first-served basis. To learn more and apply, visit
Baby Bottle Tooth Decay
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Baby bottle tooth decay or early childhood cavities are caused by repeated exposure to sugar in drinks, such as milk or juice in a baby bottle.

The disease begins between one and three years of age. Tooth decay causes pain and infection but it can be prevented.

To help prevent baby bottle tooth decay follow these easy steps:

  • Never put your baby to bed with a bottle – only give a bottle during meals.
  • Keep your baby’s mouth clean by using gauze, a washcloth or a baby toothbrush after feedings.
  • Teach your child to drink from a cup as soon as possible or by one year of age.
  • Use water and a soft children’s toothbrush for daily cleaning once your child has teeth.
  • Take your child to the dentist - first visit by their first birthday!
Help Kids Have a Healthy Weight for Life
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Kids come in every shape and size—and every package is wonderful. Some kids may struggle more than others to stay at a healthy weight, but all of them can benefit from learning good habits when they're young. As a parent, there are positive ways you can help. For instance:

Focus on long-term habits, not quick fixes. Make sure your kids don't fall for fad diets. It's healthier to focus on smart food and exercise choices they can keep up for life.

Introduce healthy foods. Offer kids a variety of nutritious choices—like fruits, veggies, whole grains and lean meats—at each meal. Don't worry if your child won't try a food at first. Just offer it again next time. It can take many tries before kids learn to love something new.

Encourage play every day. Give kids chances to play outdoors, if it's safe. If not, you might sign them up for classes or organized sports—or do fun indoor activities as a family. Dance off, anyone?

Promote a positive self-image . It's OK to praise your child's looks, but be sure to compliment their inner beauty too. Talk about how good eating and exercise habits can help your child be stronger and do more, not just look a certain way. You can also set a good example by talking about your own body—whatever its shape—in positive ways.

Still have concerns about your child's weight? At their next well-child visit, ask the doctor how you can help.

Celebrating Children's Day at the Capitol
Every year, more than 5,000 children, parents, teachers, advocates, community leaders and others gather at the Capitol in Tallahassee for a week celebrating children. Florida KidCare was present to offer information about its programs and to engage with the school-aged children and teens who stopped by for a pencil, activity sheet and crown.
Contact Florida KidCare
1-888-540-KIDS (5437)
Monday – Friday
7:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. (ET)
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