Tips for a Healthy Summer IV – How to Beat Boredom

June 7, 2012

Now that the kids are out of school and have many more hours to fill each day, you may start to hear “I’m bored!” once in a while. So what’s the best way to fill those wide open summer afternoons? Here are some suggestions for fun and healthy activities for your family.

1. Try a new sport! Summer is full of opportunities to play soccer, baseball, tennis, volleyball — informally or in organized teams and leagues in your town. Or, at home, try roller skating, bike riding or jumping rope.  And, course, swimming! (Just remember those water safety tips.)

2.  Go to the library.  Pick out books that interest your children, even if they’re not on the required reading lists for school.  Keeping their brains active is just as important as their bodies!

3.  Socialize at camp.  There are tons of summer camp options to choose from, including overnight camps, day camps, sports camps, arts camps — you  name it! Older children and teens can become counselors or counselors-in-training.

4.  Most of all — enjoy your time together as a family! Get out on your bikes, go to carnivals, eat ice cream, go for a picnic, take a walk around your town. Or maybe it’s a great year to throw all the kids in the car and go off on a family vacation.  Before you know it, fall will be here again!

What do you and your family do during the summer to beat boredom? Leave your ideas below!

Image courtesy of beingcraftyutah.com

Autism Awareness Month: What to Know

April 3, 2012

Did you know that April is National Autism Awareness Month?

Autism is a complex developmental disorder affecting up to one percent of children in the United States. It often goes undiagnosed until late childhood due to the wide range of signs and symptoms. Recent studies have shown that the earlier the disorder is diagnosed in a child, the more help he or she can receive for school planning, support for the child and his or her family, and interventions including speech, physical and occupational therapy.  This can result in better outcomes for the child overall.

Autism affects many areas of a child’s life, including:

Social interaction    

  • He or she may not be able to make friends.
  • He or she may not know how to share interests with others.

Communication

  • He or she may have language delays or not be able to speak at all.
  • He or she may not be able to pretend or play make-believe with others.

Play

  • He or she may appear to be preoccupied or “stuck” with one toy or parts of toys.
  • He or she may have particular routines or rituals that need to be followed.

Has your child been screened?

Ever wonder why your child is seen so often in the first few years?  It’s not just for vaccines. Your child’s development is being closely monitored, from making eye contact, to sharing toys, to first words; each and every step is important.  Recommended routine screening for Autism is done at 18- and 24-month well-visits with short questionnaires or earlier if there are “red flags.”

Red flags include:

  • No babbling or cooing by 12 months old.
  • No gesturing or pointing by 12 months old.
  • No single words by 16 months old.
  • No two-word phrases by 24 months old.
  • Any loss of language skills at any age.

 

Please contact your doctor if you have any questions or concerns about your child!  And visit the Autism Society’s website to learn more about getting involved in Autism Awareness month.

Valentine’s Tips for a Happy Family

February 13, 2012

Happy Valentine’s Day from Bright Steps! We traditionally think of Valentine’s Day as a time to show appreciation for our significant others and spouses. But when love is in the air on February 14th, why not share some of it with our children?  Rather than flowers, chocolates and gifts, there are some simple ways to show your children you love them – while improving their physical and mental well-being.

The American Academy of Pediatrics offers 14 Ways to Show Love for Your Child today (and every day!), and here are some of our favorites.

Be a Model of Good Behavior

Always try to remember to use positive language when talking to your children.  They generally don’t understand sarcasm and innuendo the way that adults do.  Also try to practice your please & thank you’s — if you show good manners, it increases the chances of them rubbing off on your children!

Listen, Listen, Listen

Busy is the name of the game for most families day in and day out.  It’s important that you acknowledge your child’s needs, even if you are busy or distracted.  Try to spend at least 30 minutes each day of dedicated time with your child.

Nurture Your Child’s Inner Creative Genius

Encourage time away from technology.  Limit screen time (including cell phones and computers) as much as possible.  Read with your child — even through teenage years! Find books that interest them, and let them try a wide variety of hobbies and activities.  You may have a budding Beethoven or a promising Picasso on your hands!

Get (and keep) Your Children Active

It’s hard during the winter months, but resist the temptation to be inactive or sedentary.  Take a family walk or play outside in the snow.  Or play indoor games — when was the last time you played Twister or charades?

And finally, hug your children and tell them you love them every day!

No explanation needed.

Bonus V-Day Tip

February is also American Heart Month — try a heart-shaped low-fat grilled cheese sandwich on whole wheat bread with tomato soup for a healthy Valentine’s Day lunch!

More New Year’s Resolutions for the Whole Family (Part Two)

January 4, 2012

Yesterday we shared some simple new year’s resolutions to get your family on track with eating right and boosting activity levels in 2012.  Today, we have a few more resolutions you may want to add to your list.  Changing even small habits like these can make a big impact!

Vaccines

  1. Make sure all family members (including the grown-ups!) are up-to-date with immunizations.  Have you gotten your tetanus booster in the last 5-10 years?
  2. It’s flu season!  Have all members of the household gotten their flu shots? Getting a flu shot each season is hands down the best way to prevent the flu.

Car Safety — Start Young

  1. Teach your family to wear a seat belt each and every time they get into the car. It should be a habit by the time they’re teenagers and driving on their own.
  2. Absolutely NO texting or cell phone use, regardless of state laws. Pull over if you need to make a call or if you’re lost!

Behavior — Good, Better, Best!

  1. Winter is stressful!  Teach your family to take a few deep breaths before reacting if upset or angry.
  2. Always model good behavior in front of your children — they really do absorb everything they see, good and bad.
  3. Make sure you take a few minutes of “me time” every day.

Here’s to making the new year your family’s healthiest!

Dr. Lloyd is moving!

On May 21st, 2018, she joined Portland Pediatrics! Her new office is located at:
Portland Pediatrics- Webster Office
(behind the Holt Road Wegmans)
1110 Crosspointe Lane, Suite D
Webster, NY 14580
Phone: 585.872.3390

New Families

We are accepting new patients! Please call to schedule a "meet and greet" visit to look around the office and ask any questions you have.

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