Are you ready? Back to school tips for parents

Back to school tips for parentsAs the lazy, hazy days of summer wind down, many parents (and some children) are ready to get back to the routine of the school year. That routine is one of the key ingredients of a successful back-to-school experience.  Try out these back to school tips to make your adjustment back into the school year routine a smoother one.

Bedtime

After a summer of what was most likely a fluctuating bed time, reintroducing the school-night bedtime can be a challenge. It’s easiest if you gradually work back into it instead of waiting until the night before the first day. About a week before school starts, gradually start moving bedtime closer to what it will be during the school year. Move it up 20 or 30 minutes every evening until you’re back on track. Also start re-establishing a bedtime routine — bath/shower, brushing teeth, reading, etc. Whatever your school year routine is, get started with that now.

Wake Up

What’s your typical morning routine? If your child uses an alarm clock, start setting that now and gradually work into the time he or she will have to wake for school. If you are your child’s alarm clock, do the same thing and start waking him or her up earlier about a week before school starts so day one isn’t made more difficult by a sleepy student.
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Running with children

Tips on how to introduce your child to running, even if you’re not a runner yourself!

Tips on getting started running with your kidsRunning is a great activity families can enjoy together. You don’t have to be a marathoner or even a running enthusiast to get started having some fun while being active with your family. It’s also a great opportunity to be a role model of living an active lifestyle. If you’ve never run before, start out slow and work up your stamina.

Here are some tips for getting started running with children:

How young is too young?

There’s no data that shows there is a lower age limit for starting running. That’s best evaluated on an individual basis. A good rule of thumb is to evaluate your child’s interest (they may need a little prompting at first, but remember, this is for fun, not training for the Olympics).

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You can Make Health!

mott blog - design app imageHave you heard of the maker movement? It’s a grass roots “Do It Yourself” (DIY) movement to encourage kids and adults to “learn by doing”, and to do this learning with peers, for the purposes of fun and self-fulfillment.

We (myself and my colleague Matt Kenyon, Associate Professor at the Stamps School of Art and Design) are leading a group of individuals at the University of Michigan and from the larger community, to support maker activities for health, as we believe that kids and caregivers should part of the creation and promotion of health.

To encourage kids to become creators and designers of their own tools and technologies for health, we have created this app design tool.

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Healthcare design by us (and you!)

Creating a culture of participatory design in healthcare

mott blog - healthdesignbyus imageHere’s a statement you don’t see too many blog posts start out with…

We don’t know what we’ve created, but we know we’re onto something big.

It’s called Healthdesignby.us, and it’s a community of individuals (patients, doctors, makers, artists, designers, researchers, professors, students, advocates) passionate about health, technology, and participatory design.

Curious? Concerned? Skeptical? Let me give you some background.

It all started with a YouTube video.

I know there are lots of readers thinking, “Seriously? A YouTube video?”

Yup. I made a YouTube video with my son back in the fall of 2012.

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Balancing child care needs and infectious diseases

Sick kids and daycareOne night in the emergency department back when I was in medical school, I noticed a mom there with her young children around midnight. One of her children appeared to a have a cold and symptoms of mild pink eye. Curious, I wondered what brought the family to the ED in the middle of the night. When I asked her, she said, “I need to get my child seen by a doctor so he can get back into child care and I can go to work.”

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Trail’s Edge Camp celebrates 25 years of camping fun for ventilator-dependent children

Twenty-five years ago, I was working as a respiratory therapist at C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital working with ventilator-dependent children. A mother of a ventilator-dependent child expressed how emotionally trying and physically exhausting her child’s care was at home. She simply wished for one week a year where she wasn’t responsible for the 24/7 care of her child whose life depended on the ventilator. So, we made that wish a reality and created Trail’s Edge Camp.

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