Who can you trust in the vaccine debate?

Politicians and celebrities vs. facts in the vaccine debate

vaccine trustVaccines are in the news again.

It’s not new, this “news.” It’s actually the same story – hashed and rehashed, depending on which celebrity or politician or spokesperson is given the megaphone.

Who is in the news talking about vaccines may change from day to day, but one thing has not.

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Hiking with kids

Tips for hiking with kidsSummers in the Midwest are a great time to get out and enjoy nature. Hiking with kids is wonderful exercise and a fun family activity. Just be sure to follow some basic safety tips to make sure everyone has a good and safe time.

Planning the hike

Hiking is a fun way to explore new areas. You can start by taking a few minutes to prepare so everyone has a good time. Continue reading

Reach Out and Read

mott blog - jess fealy and daughter RoRA trip to the doctor’s office can be scary for small children, but we’ve helped fix that while also encouraging children to read through our involvement in the national “Reach Out and Read” program.

At many of our pediatric primary care clinics, every child from the age of six months to five years who comes in for an annual check up receives a brand new, age-appropriate book for free.

We’ve been participating in this program for 13 years and it’s tremendously valuable to both the doctors and the patients and families.

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Poison plants

A parent's guide to poison ivy, poison oak and poison sumac

Poison plantsNothing ruins fun in the outdoors like a good case of poison ivy (or oak or sumac). While some people experience minor irritation when they come in contact with one of these poison plants, others can have an extreme reaction that lingers for days and even weeks. You don’t even need to touch the plant directly. Sometimes just contact with another person or object that is carrying the oils from the plant can cause irritation.

Avoiding the rash 

If you’re going to be outside in a wooded area, wear protective clothing such as pants, or high socks if wearing shorts. Make sure your child wears gloves if gardening or doing yard work alongside you. If you do come into contact with an irritant, washing any potential oils off of the skin and underneath the fingernails within 10 minutes of contact will improve the likelihood of reducing the symptoms. Consider using a barrier protectant such as “Ivy Block,” which needs to be reapplied every four hours.

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Changing Colors

Learn about nutrition with carnations and color!

CIY carnation activity

Photo credit: PaintCutPaste.com

A fun way to teach kids about how our body uses the nutrients we give it is with a simple experiment involving carnations and food coloring.

You’ll need several white carnations (as many as you’d like to experiment with), food coloring, water and a few vases.

The experiment

Fill the vases up about a quarter of the way with water. Add about 10 to 20 drops of food coloring and stir it into the water. Cut off about an inch from the bottom of the stem of the carnation and place it in the vase. Now we wait. You can fill several different vases with different coloring if you’d like.

Every few hours, check back on the carnation to see if anything has changed. You might want to have your child keep a small notebook of observations.

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Empowering young adults to own their healthcare

Teen transition to adult healthcareFrom the day your child was born, you’ve most likely been managing every aspect of his or her healthcare — scheduling appointments, filling prescriptions, making sure immunizations are current. As your children get older, it’s important that we as parents play a role in empowering young adults to own their healthcare.

Start early

The American Academy of Pediatrics and the University of Michigan Health System recommend that young adults transition to adult care between the ages of 18 and 21 years old. Start preparing for this transition when your child is 14 or 15. Help your child understand his personal and your family’s health history. Have him fill out any health history forms under your supervision so you can discuss any health history.

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