Summer Edition - July 2019
Is Your Back-to-School Checklist Complete?

In just a few short weeks, you will be getting your kids ready for the start of another school year. This means busy days getting your kids registered for school, shopping for school supplies and easing your children back into earlier bedtimes to prepare for those early school mornings. Don't forget to include a back-to-school doctor's visit on your list! Annual physicals are important and some students may need certain shots before they go back to class. It may also be time for another dental cleaning so make your appointments today!

To help you, c heck out the following links for age-appropriate tips offering information about school (riding the bus, transition between grade levels, homework), friendships, nutrition (healthy choices) and exercise (activities and safety):


The Florida Department of Health (DOH) provides information on the necessary and recommended shots for students attending public/private school in Florida (kindergarten through twelfth grade). To see what shots your child may need, click to view it here in either English , Spanish and Haitian Creole .
5 Facts to Help Combat Childhood Obesity
Brought to you by Aetna Better Health of Florida
 
The number of obese kids is on the rise. To help an overweight child become healthy, you need to know a few facts.

Start with these five:

  1. Neither parent nor child is to blame. Children put on weight for many reasons. Focus on solutions—not guilt.
  2. There is no quick fix. Diets that promise fast results can be dangerous. A pediatrician can help you create a plan for safe and lasting weight loss.
  3. Kids don't just outgrow weight problems. Growth spurts rarely take care of weight issues. Changes in eating and exercise habits are needed to slow weight gain.
  4. The height and weight charts apply to all kids. Any child outside the normal range for weight is considered overweight. Being "big-boned" doesn't change this.
  5. A heavy child does not need more food than the average kid. Larger portions add to a child's weight problem. Feed a child the amount of food he or she needs to stay at a healthy weight.

Talk with your pediatrician about proper portion sizes and any concerns you have about your child's weight. You'll find lots of help and resources.

The DOs and DON'Ts of Antibiotic Use
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Antibiotics are medicines used to treat bacterial infections and keep them from spreading. Antibiotics can be lifesaving, but if your child gets a virus, antibiotics won’t work. This is important to know because if your child takes antibiotics when they are not needed, it can make it harder to treat future bacterial infections. Do you know when to use antibiotics?

DO use antibiotics for:
Bacterial infections
Strep throat
Pneumonia
Some sinus infections

DO NOT use antibiotics for:
Viral infections
Colds and runny noses
Most coughs and bronchitis
Sore throats not caused by strep
Most upper respiratory infections

If your child has been prescribed antibiotics to treat a bacterial infection, give your child the medicine exactly as your doctor prescribed; do not give your child antibiotics prescribed for someone else; do not skip doses; do not save antibiotics; and, contact your child’s doctor if side effects develop, especially diarrhea. For additional help with questions about antibiotic use, contact your child's doctor.

What is Ultrasonic Scaling?
Brought to you by DentaQuest

The last time your child saw a dentist for a cleaning they may have used a tool you did not recognize.

  1. Did the tool vibrate and use water? That tool is called an ultrasonic scaler.
  2. How does an ultrasonic scaler work? An ultrasonic scaler is a tool that uses both tiny vibrations and water to clean teeth and gums. Your child’s dentist can control how much power and water is used during a cleaning.
  3. Why did my child’s dentist use an ultrasonic scaler for dental cleaning? Ultrasonic scalers can help the dentist give your child the best cleaning possible. They especially help for treating gum disease. The benefits of an ultrasonic scaler include: removing build-up around teeth; removing light stains; and, using water to flush out bacteria from below the gum line.
  4. Does this mean the dentist no longer has to clean my child’s teeth with regular instruments? It depends. The dentist will look at the condition of your child’s mouth and decide what is best. It may mean that the dentist uses regular instruments less often.

Ultrasonic scalers are made to be a safe and useful tool for cleaning teeth. Next time your child visits the dentist ask them about the benefits of an ultrasonic scaler.
Summer BreakSpot provides nutritious meals at no cost to children 18 and under while school is out for the summer. Many meal sites are located at places like parks, libraries and churches and offer breakfasts, lunches, snacks or supper. To find a location, visit the meal site locator . You can also text “FoodFL” to 877-877 or dial 2-1-1.
Can Kids Get Arthritis?
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You might think of arthritis as a condition that affects adults, but kids can also get it. It is called juvenile arthritis (JA), and it can affect any child.
 
Experts don’t know what causes JA, but they think it might stem from a problem with the immune system. If your child has JA, he or she might have symptoms like:

  • Joint pain or stiffness
  • Swelling
  • Trouble walking or getting dressed
 
Juvenile arthritis cannot be cured. But with treatment, your child’s symptoms could go away. If you think your child may have juvenile arthritis, talk to their doctor to learn more. You may need to see a specialist to diagnose your child’s symptoms.

More Income-Based
Scholarships Available for
2019-2020 School Year
Brought to you by Step Up For Students

Step Up For Students has super news. There are more income-based scholarships available for the 2019-2020 school year. This means Step Up For Students can help more children like yours. How amazing is that?

We are hoping you can help us spread the news. Do you have family or friends who are looking for more K-12 school options in Florida, but they simply cannot afford it?

Well, please help us to spread the word and tell them Step Up For Students can help. Don't delay - we are first-come, first-served, so it is important to apply now for the upcoming school year. If interested, apply here .
Healthy Food Choices for Healthy Teeth and Gums
Brought to you by MCNA Dental

This September, celebrate "Fruits & Veggies -- More Matters Month" by making positive changes to your family’s diet! Most people know that eating fruits and vegetables is important for good health but do not realize they are also great for oral health. They provide key nutrients that many of us do not get enough of like calcium. Calcium is important because it helps to protect and rebuild enamel, which is the hard outer covering of your teeth. They also contain many vitamins and minerals that help keep gums healthy.

How can you fit more fruits and veggies into your family’s day? It is easy! Try starting with some of these great ideas:

  • Keep a bowl of fruit out where the whole family can see it.
  • Cut up veggies ahead of time so they are ready for quick, healthy snacks.
  • Top yogurt, oatmeal, or cereal with berries or sliced fruit.
  • Try to fill up a sandwich with sliced or shredded veggies like beets, carrots, tomatoes or even cucumbers.
  • Add frozen peas or broccoli to rice when it’s almost done cooking.
  • Eat fresh fruit for dessert.
 
Need more ideas about how you can add more fruits and veggies to your family’s diet? The Produce for Better Health Foundation has created a website to help you make the best choices for you and your family. Visit the Have a Plant website at fruitsandveggies.org .
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UV Skin Protection
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Ignoring sun safety now when kids are young can lead to wrinkles, skin cancers and vision problems later in life. Kids need to know how to be sun safe everyday! By incorporating sun safety into both your and their daily routine, it will become a no brainer!
 
Sunscreen should be a year-round daily habit for the whole family. Make it a routine, such as right after brushing teeth each morning. Reapply regularly, especially when outdoors or they get wet or sweaty.
 
Everyone should wear UV protection sunglasses. The Skin Cancer Foundation recommends that kids over the age of 6 months wear sunglasses because kids under the age of 10 are at high risk for ocular changes resulting from UV ray damage. Not to mention their eyelids and skin around their eyes is vulnerable. Cover up with hats. They not only provide shade over your face, but also protect your eyes. Go ahead and let the kids pick the glasses and hats out. They will be way more likely to voluntarily put them on.
 
If you know you will be where shade is not provided bring your own, by bringing a tent or umbrella. Having trouble with the older kids and the myth of the healthy tan? Enlist the help of their pediatrician. Always remember, parents are role models. Kids are much more likely to keep those sunglasses and hats on if mom and dad does!
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Summer Travel Tips With an Infant
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Summertime often means road trips to visit family or other fun destinations. For families, it can also mean traveling with an infant. If a crib isn’t waiting at your summer destination, parents may be tempted to share a bed instead. The American Academy of Pediatrics and Safe Kids Northeast Florida warn against that. Guidelines say until age one, infants should sleep:

  • Alone
  • On their backs
  • Near a parent, but in a separate safe sleep environment
 
Beds are not safe places for sleeping infants. Babies can get tangled in blankets, suffocate from an adult rolling over, fall off the bed or get wedged between the bed and headboard or wall. An easy solution is to bring a “Pack ‘N Play” style portable play yard, which is designed for safe sleep. Listed below are some do's and don'ts for safe sleep when you are away from home:

  • Do - place the baby on his back, on a firm mattress; dress the baby in a sleep sack, instead of blankets and sheets; supervise the baby on long road trips. Stop and take him/her out of the car seat every couple of hours.
  • Do not - use an old crib that doesn’t meet current safety standards; put items in the crib like pillows, stuffed animals or bumper pads; let your baby sleep in any product not made for routine sleep. This includes rockers, bouncers, swings, or car seats outside the car. Always read product owner’s manual for warnings; put the baby on a bed, couch, chair, or air mattress with another child or pet. The risks are the same as sharing with an adult.

Contact Florida KidCare
1-888-540-KIDS (5437)
Monday – Friday | 7:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. (ET)
FloridaKidCare.org | connect@healthykids.org
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