The beginning of summer doesn’t have to mean the end of reading for children who may not voluntarily pick up a book outside of school. An American Family Children’s Hospital pediatrician has tips for keeping kids engaged after the school year’s final bell rings.
“There are strategies for integrating reading into a child’s life, no matter how young or old they are,” said Dr. Dipesh Navsaria, pediatrician and director of University of Wisconsin Pediatric Early Literacy Projects, which includes the clinic-based Reach Out and Read program and the American Family Children’s Hospital Inpatient Reading Library.
School’s out for the summer. For some, it may mean a brief reprieve from the stressful get-out-the-door morning routine. For others, new challenges start with figuring out what to do to keep kids entertained, engaged and even supervised this summer.
Throughout the next few months, we’ll be featuring weekly posts with information and resources for parents to help families keep kids active, healthy and stress-free all summer long. And best part of all, at the end of each post, we’ll include an opportunity to win a prize just for answering our question.
So, let’s get started.
Dr. Claire Gervais, with the University of Wisconsin Department of Family Medicine, is also a member of the City of Madison Pest Management Advisory Committee and President of Healthy Lawn Team. She discusses the issue of lawn chemicals and children.
1. Should parents be concerned about pesticides?
I’d like to first explain that often people think the term pesticide means only insecticide. Actually, pesticides include insecticides, herbicides and fungicides; chemicals that kill insects, weeds, and fungi.
Children are at greater risk of pesticide effects because they are smaller and their brain, liver, and immune systems are still developing. Also, they spend more time in direct contact with grass and more often put things in their mouth. Besides an increased risk of childhood cancers, such as leukemia and neuroblastoma (the most common brain cancer), the latest research shows that exposure to environmental chemicals contributes to the rise in childhood disorders such as autism and ADHD. A recent study shows that kids with ADHD have more pesticide metabolites in their urine.
Our son, Maxwell, was born in September, 2011 in Madison WI. The pregnancy had been uneventful, so we were taken by surprise when we learned that Max would need to be taken up to the NICU due to having difficulty breathing. We were soon informed that our newborn son was placed on a ventilator and would need to be rushed to American Family Children’s Hospital. We were able to go to the NICU and touch Max’s feet as the hospital staff was scurrying around organizing the specialized transport that Max would need to make his journey across the city.
Did you know kids are actually less active during the summer? On average, they also read less too. Without the daily school schedule it can be easy to pass the hours by watching TV or playing computer games. Starting June 11th, we’ll feature a weekly post with information and resources for parents to help keep kids of all ages active and engaged. Answer the question at the end of each post, and you could win the weekly prize including gift certificates to the Farmer’s Market, book store, sporting goods store and more.
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