Fun in the Sun

Mom applying sunscreen to child

When you’re getting ready to leave the house, you always make sure you have your keys, your wallet or purse, anything your children might need — but do you make sure you also have your SPF on?

Early summer is a great time to review the the in’s and out’s sun protection and why it could be one of the most important ways you can protect your kids.

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It’s Our Birthday!

It’s our birthday! One year ago we launched Growing Up Healthy. And we’re glad you’re here to help us celebrate.

We love birthdays as much as the next one year old. The presents. The party. The cake. Did you know, kids can also make a difference when they have a birthday?

By joining the Peter Pan Birthday Club, rather than gifts, kids request monetary donations to American Family Children’s Hospital. When they make a donation, the Peter Pan Children’s Fund will send the hospital an additional $100 in honor of the donation.

The Peter Pan Children’s Fund encourages kids around the world to help make a difference for others. If your kids would like to participate, it’s as simple as filling out a form and then having a party. And when they do, they’ll also receive an official Peter Pan Birthday Club Certificate and Order of Pan crest pin.

Learn more about the Peter Pan Birthday Club

While we were making plans to celebrate our special day, we did a little surfing for some new ideas. There’s so many great ones out there for unique birthday party themes, we decided to make a board on our Pinterest page and share with you.

Check out our Happy Birthday board on Pinterest

Our friends in the Pediatric Fitness Clinic are particularly fond of the “All-Fruit Cake”. We’re partial to the beach party with a watermelon “sand bucket”. Make your kids’ next birthdays ones they won’t forget and check out some of the great ideas.

Also to say thanks for following our blog during our first year,  we’re giving away an American Family Children’s Hospital gift bag filled with goodies to a lucky blog subscriber. Subscribe today to get Growing Up Healthy delivered to your inbox.

How to Encourage Reading During the Summer

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.

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Welcome to Summer

Kids on Jungle Gym

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.

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Lawn Chemicals and Kids: Should Parents Be Concerned?

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.

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