Friday, March 30, 2012

Is your child ready for sports?

This month the AAP had a great article on how to determine if your child is ready to play sports. Here is part of the article along with some great suggestions.
Sports readiness means that a child has the physical, mental, and social skills to meet the demands of the sport. While general guidelines can help you select a sport based on age, it’s important to remember that children develop at different rates. Children are more likely to enjoy and succeed in sports when they have the physical, mental, and social skills required by the sport.

Ages 2 to 5 years

Before age 6 years, most children do not have the basic motor skills for organized sports. Balance and attention span are limited, and vision and ability to track moving objects are not fully mature. Instead, look for other sports activities that focus on basic skills such as running, swimming, tumbling, throwing, and catching. These skills can be improved through active play but do not require organized sports activities. Children at this age have a short attention span and learn best when they can explore, experiment, and copy others. Instruction should be limited, follow a show-and-tell format, and include playtime. Competition should be avoided. Parents can be good role models and should be encouraged to participate.

Ages 6 to 9 years

By age 6 years, most children have the basic motor skills for simple organized sports. However, they may still lack the hand-eye coordination needed to perform complex motor skills and may not yet be ready to understand and remember concepts like teamwork and strategies. Sports that can be adapted to be played at a basic level and focus on basic motor skills are the most appropriate. This includes running, swimming, soccer, baseball, tennis, gymnastics, martial arts, and skiing. Sports that require complex visual and motor skills, quick decision-making, or detailed strategies or teamwork (football, basketball, hockey, volleyball) will be difficult unless modified for younger players. Rules should be flexible to promote success, action, and participation. The sport should focus on learning new skills rather than winning. The equipment and rules should also be appropriate for young children. For example, smaller balls, smaller fields, shorter game times and practices, fewer children playing at the same time, frequent changing of positions, and less focus on score keeping.

Ages 10 to 12 years

By ages 10 to 12 years, most children are ready for more complex sports. They have the motor skills and cognitive ability to play sports that require complex motor skills, teamwork, and strategies. Most experts believe that sports at this level should focus on skill development, fun, and participation, not competition. Most children would rather play more on a losing team than less on a winning team.
Some children in this age group may be starting puberty. During this time, the physical differences between children, particularly boys of the same age, can be dramatic. This can make a difference in what sport is best for your child. Boys who start puberty sooner will be temporarily taller, heavier, and stronger. This may give them a physical advantage, but it doesn’t mean they are more talented and will continue to excel in sports. If possible, they should compete with boys with the same physical ability. Similarly, boys who mature later may experience a temporary physical disadvantage in sports. This should not be seen as a lack of talent or ability. These boys should be encouraged to play sports with less emphasis on physical size, such as racquet sports, swimming, martial arts, wrestling, and certain track events.
Also, growth spurts can temporarily affect coordination, balance, and the ability to perform a skill. Keep in mind that it can be frustrating if this is seen as a lack of talent or effort.

Other Guidelines

  • Get fit and learn a new skill. Encourage your children to participate in activities that promote physical fitness as well as learning sports skills. The activities should be fun and right for their ages.
  • Focus on fun. Choose sports programs that focus on personal involvement, variety, success, and fun rather than competition, strict rules, and winning. It may help them stay interested and want to keep playing.
  • Check out the rules. Equipment and rules should be right for their ages. If not, they should be modified.
  • Make sure safety is a priority. Appropriate setting, equipment, protective gear, program design, and rules of play are important.
  • Keep differences in mind. Prior to puberty, there are very few differences between boys and girls in endurance, strength, height, or body mass, and they can compete together on an equal basis. During puberty, to make sure athletes are well matched in contact sports, consideration should be given to body size and physical maturity as well as chronological age.
  • Proceed with caution. Early specialization in a single sport, intensive training, and year-round training should be undertaken with caution because of the risk of overuse injury, mental stress, and burnout. Playing only one sport may also prevent a child from developing a variety of motor skills that they would learn from participating in several different sports.
  • Wait until your children are ready. Children should not play competitive win/lose sports until they understand that their self-worth is not based on the outcome of the game.
  • Find a good sports program. Get feedback from other children and parents who are in the programs. Try to check out programs before you join them. A sign of a good program is children having fun.
To read the full article click here
**info from and the AAP

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Another CPR class!

Announcing CPR Courses for Parents! Such a huge hit last time and so many of you keep asking for it!

Saturday, April 28th 2012 at 2:00 pm

The class will last approximately 1 hour

$15 per person

15-20 spots available

To sign up, please speak with our office coordinator, Margie. You can contact her by calling the office or email her at
Spots will be offered on a first come first serve basis!
This is only a CPR class, NOT certification. It will be taught by Christine Keddington, who is certified to teach CPR.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Autism and Awareness and Poision Control week

Autism Awareness: Tom Fields-Meyer will discuss autism awareness. Fields-Meyer wrote Following Ezra, about his experience as a parent of a child with autism. A group of panelist also will weigh-in on this topic, including Doug Goldsmith from The Children's Center; Sam Goldstein, Editor and chief of Journal of Attention Disorders; and Pete Nicholas from the Carmen B Pingree Center for Children with Autism
     When: THURSDAY March 22 at 7 PM
     Where: Jewish Community Center, 2 N Medical Drive, SLC, UTAH
      Info: FREE, for details email or call 801-581-0098 ext 119
(Thanks Dr Lynch for this information )

This week is also POISON CONTROL WEEK. Recently we did a post all about Poison Control so click here to read all about it. A great reminder to make sure you have that phone number in your cell phones and on your fridge at home. Have a great week!
 **info from and


Friday, March 16, 2012

School Bags can cause back pain

Have you ever tried to lift up a junior high or high school student's backpack? If you have you may realize how heavy it is. Dr Lynch found a great article and wanted to share it. Click on THIS LINK for the study
Also here are Related Stories that are worth the read! Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

New Nutritional Standards for Schools

This year First Lady Michelle Obama and Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack unveiled new requirements for nutritional standards in the National School Lunch and School Breakfast Programs across the nation. The official press release outlines the improvements to school lunch programs that are expected to enhance the health of children at school as well as lessen the childhood obesity trend. Under the new rules, schools will be required to double the servings of vegetables and fruits per meal.

In an effort to support the nutritional standards for school meals and our teachers and students, TEACH.COM has created an info graphic, “Targeting Children with Treats” with statistics sharing lifestyle, consumption, and media activity relating to children. Take time to look at this and share it with your children! We can't wait to see the changes that are happening in Nutrition in our schools.

**Brought to you by and

**Info from USDA-United States Department of Agriculture and Food and Nutrition and (thank you)

Friday, March 9, 2012

Baseball safety reminder

It is that time of year again when children are signing up for baseball along with other sports. The AAP has a great reminder to prepare for the baseball season. Being safe is always our priority and bringing you a few great reminders before you start the season. Have a great weekend!

Baseball is one of the most popular U.S. sports for children of all ages. Pediatricians who have an understanding of baseball and softball can encourage children to participate safely in the game and avoid injury.
The rates of injury for baseball and softball are relatively low compared to other sports, but the degree of injury severity is relatively high.
In the revised American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) policy statement, “Baseball and Softball,” in the March 2012 Pediatrics (published online Feb. 27), the AAP recommends prevention of throwing injuries by instructing kids on proper throwing mechanics, training and conditioning, and encouraging athletes to stop playing and seek treatment when signs of overuse injuries arise.
“Not everyone may know exactly when an athlete begins to show signs of overuse,” said Stephen Rice, MD, FAAP, policy statement co-author, “but it is important to know to never pitch when one’s arm is tired or sore. Athletes must respect the limits imposed on throwing, including pitch counts and rest periods.”
Additional recommendations include:
  • All players should wear appropriate protective gear to avoid injury. Polycarbonate eye protection or metal cages on helmets should be worn when batting.
  • Coaches should be prepared to call 911 and have rapid access to an automated external defibrillator if a player experiences cardiac arrest or related medical condition.
  • All coaches and officials should be aware of extreme weather conditions (heat, lightning) and postpone or cancel games if conditions worsen and players are at risk.
  • Not all children will develop at the same rate, so repeated instruction and practice are essential for young baseball and softball players to acquire basic skills when learning the fundamentals of the game.
“Baseball is America’s pastime,” said co-author, Joesph Congeni, MD, FAAP. “In order to minimize the risk of injury and maximize enjoyment of the game, coaches, parents and youth baseball and softball players should be familiar with ‘an ounce of prevention’ guidelines. Being aware of a few issues regarding overuse, appropriate equipment, environmental factors and those rare but catastrophic injuries can help accomplish these goals and ensure kids are having fun and staying healthy playing ball.”

**full article click HERE
**thanks to the AAP and for info

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

How animals can help heal

Dr Jopling found a great article off of NPR and wanted to share it. It is very interesting and has a great view point. Thanks to NPR and Julie Royner for this story.....
Ryan Shank-Rowe, 9, takes part in a therapeutic riding program at Little Full Cry Farm in Clifton, Va., last month.
Maggie Starbard/NPR Ryan Shank-Rowe, 9, takes part in a therapeutic riding program at Little Full Cry Farm in Clifton, Va., last month.
Pet Therapy: How Animals And Humans Heal Each Other
Those of us who own pets know they make us happy. But a growing body of scientific research is showing that our pets can also make us healthy, or healthier.
That helps explain the increasing use of animals — dogs and cats mostly, but also birds, fish, and even horses — in settings ranging from hospitals and nursing homes to schools, jails and mental institutions.
Take Viola, or Vi for short. The retired guide dog is the resident canine at the Children's Inn on the campus of the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Maryland. The Inn is where families stay when their children are undergoing experimental therapies at NIH.
Vi, a chunky yellow Labrador retriever with a perpetually wagging tail, greets families as they come downstairs in the morning, as they return from treatment in the afternoon, and can even be "checked out" for a walk around the bucolic NIH grounds.
Melissa Forsyth/NPR Thelma Balmaceda, age, 4, pets Viola, the resident canine at the Children's Inn on the campus of the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Md. Families stay at the inn when their children are undergoing experimental therapies at NIH.
"There really isn't a day when she doesn't brighten the spirits of a kid at the Inn. And an adult. And a staff member," says Meredith Daly, the Inn's spokeswoman.
But Vi may well be doing more than just bringing smiles to the faces of stressed out parents and children. Dogs like Vi have helped launch an entirely new field of medical research over the past three decades or so.
The use of pets in medical settings actually dates back more than 150 years, says Aubrey Fine, a clinical psychologist and professor at California State Polytechnic University. "One could even look at Florence Nightingale recognizing that animals provided a level of social support in the institutional care of the mentally ill," says Fine, who has written several books on the human-animal bond.
But it was only in the late 1970s that researchers started to uncover the scientific underpinnings for that bond.
One of the earliest studies, published in 1980, found that heart attack patients who owned pets lived longer than those who didn't. Another early study found that petting one's own dog could reduce blood pressure.
More recently, says Rebecca Johnson, a nurse who heads the Research Center for Human/Animal Interaction at the University of Missouri College of Veterinary Medicine, studies have been focusing on the fact that interacting with animals can increase people's level of the hormone oxytocin.
"That is very beneficial for us," says Johnson. "Oxytocin helps us feel happy and trusting." Which, Johnson says, may be one of the ways that humans bond with their animals over time.
But Johnson says it may also have longer-term human health benefits. "Oxytocin has some powerful effects for us in the body's ability to be in a state of readiness to heal, and also to grow new cells, so it predisposes us to an environment in our own bodies where we can be healthier."
Animals can also act as therapists themselves or facilitate therapy – even when they're not dogs or cats. For example, psychologist Aubrey Fine, who works with troubled children, uses dogs in his practice but also a cockatoo and even a bearded dragon named Tweedle.
"One of the things that's always been known is that the animals help a clinician go under the radar of a child's consciousness, because the child is much more at ease and seems to be much more willing to reveal," he says.
Horses have also become popular therapists for people with disabilities.
"The beauty of the horse is that it can be therapeutic in so many different ways," says Breeanna Bornhorst, executive director of the Northern Virginia Therapeutic Riding Program in Clifton, Va. "Some of our riders might benefit from the connection and the relationship-building with the horse and with their environment. Other riders maybe will benefit physically, from the movements, and build that core strength, and body awareness and muscle memory."
*thanks to NPR for the link to there website

Monday, March 5, 2012

And the WINNER is.....

Thank you to all of you who participated in our Target Gift Card Giveaway! We had 47 people enter and the winner is...WENDY--Child Sabrina 4/18 Jopling !!! Congrats! Please contact our office and ask for Margie or Mandy! We appreciate all of you! See you all at your Well Child Exams!

Friday, March 2, 2012

Last day to ENTER our Contest!

Today is the last chance to enter into our contest! If you have a Well Child Exam schedule between Jan 1st and June 1st you may enter! Click HERE to enter or leave a comment on our blog! Thanks again for following our blog. We appreciate you all so much! Have a wonderful weekend! The winner will be announced on MONDAY, March 5th! GOOD LUCK!

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Guest Post: Mind in the Making

Today we wanted to share a link to our friend AMANDA over at NOTJUSTCUTE.COM. Recently our readers have asked about information and books so here is another resource that we think you may find very interesting. Check it out and read below for what this Mind in the Making is all about. Thanks Amanda for the guest post!

Mind in the Making: Chapter 1
If you happened to miss the introduction, I’m launching a project. I’ll be reading and discussing the book, Mind in the Making: The Seven Essential Life Skills Every Child Needs right along with all of you who’d like to join. And here’s the latest perk: Ellen Galinsky has graciously offered to answer some of your questions at the end of our virtual book club meeting! I’ll be giving you more details on that in the future. For now, grab the book from your library, order it up on Amazon, borrow it from a friend — just get reading! And keep track of the ideas you want to discuss here, and those questions you’d love to have answered by Ellen Galinsky herself!

The book discusses seven essential skills, so we’ll have seven discussions, focusing on seven chapters. First off, Skill One: Focus and Self Control.
I think the first thing that stands out in this chapter, of course, is the research showing how strongly these executive functions are related to future success. As the book suggests, they are as predictive as — if not more so than– IQ tests. So it seems we should be putting some of our focus, as parents and teachers, into building these essential skills.
I found it interesting, in this time when ADHD is considered by some to be an epidemic, that our fast-paced, technology-infused culture almost seems to feed into it. Think about some of the negative factors talked about in this chapter: stress, background TV noise, distracted parents, innappropriate technology use. And then think about some of the positive factors that children need, but which sometimes seem to be disappearing from our culture: simple games, “lemonade stands” (in all their forms), sitting down to a book, taking breaks, pretending, playing. To me, it all seemed to sum up to say: SLOW DOWN! We can’t expect children to learn to focus, if their days are all a hurried blur.

That’s not to suggest that the children of this generation are doomed to such a diagnosis, but it’s a reminder to me that I must be much more intentional and vigilent when making choices about what my children are exposed to and how we spend our time. Just as Galinsky points out in this chapter, many tools (TV and computer games for example) can be used both in good ways and bad. We need to be aware of those choices and make them intentionally. And I think we would all do well to slow down a bit, and make room for the things that really benefit our kids in the long run.

To read the here.....