Category Archives: Family Health

Teaching Kids to Take Pride in their Appearance

Here are a few tips for teaching children and teens the proper way to take pride in their appearance.

pride in appearance

  1. Shower and/or bathe regularly.  Children older than 7 years old should shower a minimum of every-other-day (my opinion anyway).  Children and tweens should shower daily once they hit middle school…though an occasional day off is acceptable every few days or so.


  1. Wear clean clothes every day. This includes clean underwear!


  1. Wear nice clothes that are practical, that match, and that are situation-specific. Be sure to consider the day’s weather and the day’s activities.   Children and teens should dress modestly and should avoid wearing clothes that don’t fit properly.


  1. Take care of your hair. Keep it clean, trimmed, and in style.  It shouldn’t look like you just rolled out of bed…nor should it look as though it is housing a small family of rodents.


  1. Wear deodorant and/or a nice scent. People that smell good always leave a pleasant and lasting impression!  Be careful not to over-do  it…too much is worse than none!


  1. Use accessories to add some pizazz! A nice bracelet, ring, and/or necklace will compliment most outfits.  Girls might want to sport a cute pair of earrings, a fashionable headband or a pretty bow to accentuate their hairstyle while boys might choose to accessorize with a baseball cap.  A nice pair of shades can boost anyone’s level of “coolness.”


  1. Maintain good oral hygiene. Take good care of your teeth.  Brush and floss them regularly and be sure to visit your dentist every six months or so for a good professional cleaning.  You may not be too concerned about your teeth as a pre-teen but as you get older you will be glad you established healthy habits with regards to your teeth. Tune in regularly to know more about that here.


  1. Smile often. Nothing shows confidence better than a nice smile.  People notice smiles and they enjoy being around people who display them frequently.

Tips for Helping Your Child Deal with Anger

Whether your child has an “anger issue” or not, there’s one thing that’s clear: Children get angry and there’s really no way around it. Here are a few tips for dealing with your child’s anger:

1. Have your child identify his/her anger “triggers” then come up with solutions for handling those triggers once they present themselves.

2. Teach your child to “talk it out” in a clam and controlled manner.

3. Encourage your child to journal about his/her feelings. Sometimes the mere act of writing down one’s feelings can help to alleviate the intensity of those emotions.

4. Teach your child to use coping skills.

a.  Self-Soothing

Engage in simple behaviors that are relaxing/calming. Some ideas include: take a bubble bath, exercise, read, listen to music, draw, write poetry, go for a jog, pet your cat/dog, etc.

b.  Self-Talk

Talk yourself down by saying such things as: “There’s no point in getting angry, it isn’t worth it” or “I’m just going to keep calm and not let this get to me”

c.  Relaxation Techniques

This could include deep breathing, yoga, meditation, guided imagery (using your imagination to think of calming scenarios), etc.

d.  Problem-Solving StepsAngry Boy

i.) Identify the problem

ii.)  Propose solutions

iii.)  Weigh your options

iv.)  Choose the best solution

v.)  Do it!

5. Acknowledge and praise appropriate responses to anger. There’s no need to go overboard, but a simple comment such as “Nice job handling that” will go a long way to reinforce appropriate responses to anger.

6. Be a good role-model for handling anger. Swearing, yelling, slamming doors, and name-calling are not good examples for your child. You should never let him or her see you doing these things out of anger.

7. Make your child aware of the physical responses that his or her body experiences when angry. Clenched fists, sweaty forehead, shallow breathing, tightened jaw, tensed muscles, and lowered eyebrows are all signs that anger is present. Once your child recognizes his/her body’s “anger cues” then he or she will know that it’s time to start taking action to minimize that anger.

9 Ideas for Summer Fun with Your Children

9 Ideas for Summer Fun with Your Children

9 Ideas for Summer Fun with Your Children

Summer is now upon us, which means  it’s time for some “fun in the sun.”  If you aren’t quite sure what to do with your kiddos this summer then here’s a list to get you started:

  1. Spend time in the park.  There are so many things that can be done in a park for fun.  Bring a Frisbee, soccer ball, baseball and glove, football, or anything else that strikes your fancy.  Parks are also great for picnics!  Some parks even have grills and sitting areas that can be used for BBQing.
  2. Go fishing.  Be sure to follow local ordinances (especially if a fishing license is required).   Streams, lakes, ponds, and rivers all provide opportunities for catching fish.  Ponds are also a great place to catch turtles, frogs, and other critters.
  3. Visit an amusement park.  Most amusement parks offer great deals on summer passes, which can be purchased for very reasonable prices.   Water Parks are popular too!
  4. Go swimming.  What summer activity is more popular than swimming?  Not many!  Visit the local pool or head out to the beach f or some fun in the sun.  Don’t forget the sunscreen!
  5. Get active!  Roller-blade, walk, or bike around the neighborhood.  Better yet, do so on your way to the local store for some ice cream or cold treats!
  6. Go bowling or roller-skating.  Raining outside?  These are the perfect activities for such days!  Your kids will have a blast and still be active.
  7. Start a neighborhood game or activity.  Gather the neighbor kids and start a game of “Kick the Can,” kickball, street hockey, or any other type of outside game.  Be sure to respect the property of your neighbors and to keep the noise at a reasonable level.
  8. Attend a local event.  Check the internet for local activities, events, and festivals.  Perhaps there is a carnival, puppet show, parade, or outdoor concert going on over the weekend.
  9. Have a BBQ.  Invite the neighbors over (or a few friends) and grill up some burgers and brats, you can use great knifes like the ones from  Don’t forget the watermelon, potato salad, and baked beans!

Preventing Sports Related Injuries in Children

According to the National Center for Sports Safety, over 3.5 million kids under the age of 14 receive medical treatment for sports-related injuries each year. That’s why it’s important to be informed of the different types of sports related injuries, their causes and what you can do to help prevent them.

What Typically Causes Sports Related Injuries?
Did you know that children ages 5 to 14 account for nearly 40 percent of sports-related injuries seen in emergency rooms? The Pediatric Sports Medicine Program at Miami Children’s Hospital–home to one of the nation’s top pediatric orthopedic programs, according to U.S. News & World Report–is dedicated to supporting the treatment and prevention of sports injuries in growing athletes. The program is staffed by two of the region’s top pediatric sports medicine specialists, Dr. Stephen Swirsky, DO and Dr. Craig J. Spurdle, MD. Both doctors are board certified and are members of the Pediatric Orthopedic Society of North America and the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons, and are highly experienced in helping patients with a wide range of sports-related injuries.

“Younger children are more susceptible to sports related injuries than adults because they are typically less coordinated and have a slower reaction time,” said Dr. Swirsky. “Broken bones, concussions and eye injuries can result from falls, being hit with an object or colliding with another player.”

Sprains and strains are also among the most common types of sports related injuries in children. “Kids who play sports that involve repetitive movements such as swimming, gymnastics, baseball and tennis, are more vulnerable to these types of injuries,” explained Dr. Spurdle.

What Can I Do to Prevent My Child From Being Injured?
When it comes to children and sports, injuries are inevitable. But there are certain things you, as a parent, can do to lower the risk of your child suffering from a painful or potentially dangerous sports-related injury.

First off, Dr. Swirsky suggests, “before you sign your child up for a sport like little league baseball, soccer or football, make sure they know how to play the game, especially since they may end up playing among other kids who are more experienced.”

Dr. Spurdle noted, “Once your child feels comfortable enough to play with other kids, “make sure they have all the proper equipment-helmets, shoes, padding, mouth guards and protective cups-and, that all their equipment is in good condition and make sure that they use the proper protective gear, like shoes with ankle and toe protection, such as these ones: Meanwhile, enroll your child in a reputable sport program run by a school, youth center or church. Find a coach that is trained in first-aid and CPR, and one who encourages children to play by the rules.

Finally, talk to your kids. “Explain to them the importance of warming up and stretching before playing sports. And most importantly, encourage them to tell someone-either their coach or a parent-if they feel like they may have injured themselves. Playing through an injury is never a good idea as it can result in more severe injury and a more lengthy recovery. Encourage your kids to know their limits can help avoid severe and potentially long-term complications due to injuries,” said Dr. Swirsky.

In the Event of Injury
In the event of a sports injury, athletes up to 21 years of age are encouraged to see a pediatric sports specialist. “Because children and teens are still growing and developing, they experience different types of sports-related injuries than adults,” said Dr. Spurdle. “Swelling, limping or restricted use of the injured limb are signs of an injury. If it is more than a bruise or a cut, it is important that the child be evaluated by a medical professional specializing in pediatric sports injuries,” he said.