Kids Outgrowing Their Skates

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By John Harmata

askmredgeSummer is over and I signed my children up for skating classes again. I tried their skates on just a couple days ago and they felt fine. Today at the rink they told me their feet are hurting. For most parents, this is the last thing they want to hear from their kids, especially if they just recently purchased new skates for them.

No need to worry just yet because chances are your children haven’t grown out of them. It may be just the way in which they are putting them on their feet; in a hurry and not paying attention to what they are doing. Remember, these aren’t tennis shoes you’re putting on, so take time to put them on properly.

How do you check to see if skates fit or not? First check to see if they are putting them on properly. This can be done by following a simple check list:

• Loosen up the laces all the way down to the tips of the toes.
• Pull the tongue forward.
• Place the foot into the boot and kick back into the heel of the boot
• While the foot is still pointed upward, begin lacing from the bottom, all the way to the top. Do not put your foot flat down till you’ve totally laced them up.

Now stand up and see how they feel. If it still feels as if your toes are touching the front of the boot, then proceed with the following:

• Pull out the insoles and check if the front of them has curled backwards
• If so, cut off the backward curl with a pair of scissors, place them back in the skates and lace them up again.

If all is well and good, fine. If not, guess what? The boots no longer fit and it’s time to be measured for a new pair.

Note: Don’t confuse feeling tight in the width with growing in length. Many times I have skaters who say their feet have always felt tight in the width but just recently have become worse. Often times it is because they were originally fitted longer in length to accommodate width. Now that they have grown in length the widest part of their foot is closer to the front of the boot, making it tighter. When this happens, parents are often surprised to hear that their child still needs the same length boot, but much wider.

– Guest author, John Harmata

Teens And Their Parents Money

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By Mary Jo Rapini, MEd, LPC

teens‘Tis the Holiday Season, the beginning of the New Year and a new beginning for some is right around the corner. Budget discussions in Congress, as well as in the common home, seems to be the topic most likely to stimulate some thought as people everywhere gather during this festive season and look forward to what financially might be ahead for them next year.

Although everyone is concerned with the national debt and their own finances, in a recent poll, teens reported feeling very optimistic about theirs. It appears the reason they are so happy-go-lucky about their finances is because they are expecting mom and dad to take care of them until they are twenty-seven years old. What a change this is compared to twenty years ago when most kids couldn’t wait to leave home and get out from under mom and dad’s watchful eye.

The president of Junior Achievement USA, in a recent statement, said that teens expect to live with their parents longer because many of them are unsure about their ability to budget or use credit cards. Interesting too was the finding that 33% of the teens surveyed in the Junior Achievement USA said they do not use a budget, and even worse, 42% of that group were not interested in learning to budget. Although the majority of the kids polled thought students were borrowing too much to pay for college, only 9% of them were currently saving for college. One third of them hadn’t even talked to their parents about higher education.

schoolbusSchools do not have time to teach kids about saving money, budgeting, or opening a savings account or any of the other issues related to finances. This has to come from parents because parents are still the number one influence on how their children save money, budget and pay for expenses. College costs and debt has reached an astronomically high number, and the average kids finish college now with at least a $20,000 debt. No age is too young to begin teaching your child the importance of money and saving. It all begins with a piggy bank, and expands with savings accounts, bonds and other types of investments.

Below are some suggestions of ways to help your child understand the value of a dollar, so they will be more realistic about their future and their money instead of depending on yours.

1. Begin when they are a baby. Saving money for college or higher education should begin with the first day of your child’s life.

2. Kids learn best when chores are rewarded with money, and teaching them that some of that money should go into savings. Parents who talk to their kids about saving some money raise kids who automatically have money saved.

3. No chores, no allowance. An allowance is sort of like paying someone for vacation or existing. Who does that in the real world? Why would you teach your child that lesson?

4. Set an example: You cannot have everything you want. Explain to your child that you have to earn enough to buy things you want.

5. Many parents parent with guilt instead of discipline when teaching their children about money. If you give your child what they want, you are telling them that you don’t think they can earn it. Confidence is built when we work toward a goal or desire and our hard work pays off.

collegekids6. Teach your children to price shop and also look for bargains. This can be taught by clipping coupons and checking prices from one store to another. It also helps your child re-evaluate how much they want something. Sometimes this alone will deter them from spending money on a frill they didn’t really want or need.

College debt is a huge problem in our country. Kids take out huge loans yet are never really prepared for what to expect in regards to their financial debt after college. Living within your means and teaching your children to do the same is part of parenting.

Lessons taught young correlate highly with adults who understand the importance of saving and budgeting. Your kids don’t need the “stuff” money can buy half as much as they need the time you give teaching them about how long it takes to save for that “stuff.”

– Mary Jo Rapini, MEd, LPC, is a licensed psychotherapist and co-author with Janine J. Sherman, of Start Talking: A Girl’s Guide for You and Your Mom About Health, Sex or Whatever. Read more about the book at and more about Rapini at

Where Are Worried Parents To Turn If Their Child Is Obese?

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doctorglobeFrom Your Health Journal…..”An interesting article from Ireland in a publication called the Independent that I wanted to promote. It brings up the interesting question for parents…..Where Are Worried Parents To Turn If Their Child Is Obese? Childhood obesity is on the rise all over the world as children are showing risk factors for heart disease, cancer, type 2 diabetes, weak joints, and asthma. The reduction of physical activity, increase of sedentary lifestyle which includes technology, as well as poor diet have all contributed to this growing concern. But, where should a parent turn to for help? Here are a few suggestions:

1. Your child’s pediatrician
2. The school nurse, principal, or PE teacher
3. A nutritionist
4. A dietician
5. A grandparent
6. A coach
7. A family role model

You get the point. A parents objective in this situation is to have long list of supporters who may be able to help an overweight or obese child. Once this is in place, then parent and child can become educated on lifestyle changes that may help them get on the path to a healthier lifestyle. Please visit the Independent web site (link provided below) to read the complete article.”

From the article…..

Where do you go and who do you turn to if your child is overweight or obese? Apparently, parents have little or no services to turn to. This startling fact was revealed at the launch of the INDI (Irish Nutrition and Dietetic Institute) Nourish Children Week in Dublin.

This lack of services is particularly worrying when, according to figures from the national Growing Up in Ireland survey, one-in-four of the 30,000 primary school children in this country are either overweight or obese.

The school yard is a jungle for all kids. The last thing a child needs is to be singled out for their weight. Overweight children often complain about bullying in school. This, on top of their already fragile self-esteem, is a dangerous combination.

Nourish Children Week is aiming to highlight the lack of HSE childhood obesity services. Dietitian Richelle Flanagan, INDI’s president, said there is a dearth of services despite child obesity now reaching epidemic levels.

“73pc of the country doesn’t have access to a child obesity programme and 88pc of the country doesn’t have access to a group intervention programme when kids are already obese,” he says.

The INDI presented a map of Ireland which showed that just three HSE childhood obesity prevention programmes exist across seven counties, along with two group treatment programmes that cover three counties.

To read the complete article…..Click here

Diabetics Need To Manage Their Mouth

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By P. Piero D.D.S.

diabeteswordTwenty four million Americans have diabetes. That’s about 8% of the population. A person with diabetes will have malfunctioning insulin production resulting in high levels of blood sugar. Organs become exhausted because, the individual’s pancreas can no longer put out sufficient insulin to lower the blood sugar.

A hormonal feedback mechanism controls the pancreas. However, acute and/or chronic infections create hormonal chaos in the body. Unfortunately periodontal disease is a chronic infection that provokes a lot of chaos. And it is the most widespread infectious disease on the planet, so chances are the diabetic is dealing with that as well.

One of the things that aid gum disease is sugar. The presence of sugar in the mouth feed the bacteria that lead to periodontal disease. Diabetics have compromised blood vessels. The vessels thicken and slow the delivery of oxygen to the extremities as well as slow the removal of waste from these tissues. This also lowers the body’s defenses to infection, including periodontal infection.

Current research shows that there is a between periodontal disease and diabetes. The Dentistry Today publication reported that those with diabetes have more severe periodontal issues and those with the oral disease have a more difficult time controlling their diabetes. The link is found in both adults and children. In addition, the Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital at Stanford University Medical Center reports that 50 percent of children have periodontal disease. It is crucial that children with diabetes receive regular oral checkups because the symptoms of periodontal disease are often not noticeable until the disease is advanced. A dentist can diagnose the disease in the early stages, prior to parents realizing their children have it.

diabeticA study at the School of Dental Medicine at the University at Buffalo found that obesity is significantly related to periodontal disease through the pathway of insulin resistance. Sara Grossi, director of the UB Periodontal Disease Research Center and lead author of the study said, “Now we see a relationship between obesity, insulin resistance and periodontal disease in a large, population-based cohort. This relationship is significant because obesity is an important risk factor for Type 2 diabetes and heart disease.” (

Those diabetics with periodontal disease should be treated for the periodontal infection. Not only is treating the periodontal disease good for the health of the diabetic, it also can save money. A three year study showed that the medical costs for those with diabetes were reduced by $2500 when their gum disease was treated compared to those who did not treat their oral infection. This study looked at medical claims for patients with diabetes and periodontal disease.

Today, adults and children with diabetes have a better chance of keeping this disease under control. Besides diet, it also takes diligence and thoroughness in oral health.

– Dr. Piero, a practicing dentist for over twenty five years, is the inventor of Dental Air Force. Articles published are on periodontal health related to heart disease, respiratory health, diabetes, strokes, and other systemic diseases. He is the Executive Editor for Journal of Experimental Dental Science, a contributing author to Hospital Infection Control: Clinical Guidelines and soon-to-be published book, Put Your Money Where Your Mouth Is.

Talking To Children About Their Weight

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From Your Health Journal…..”I always enjoy pieces from the New York Times, and today, found a great article by Harriet Brown about ‘Feeling Bullied by Parents About Weight’ – which I strongly recommend your reading the entire article on the Times site (link provided below). So many times, parents have good intentions when they try to discuss their children’s weight, but once in a while, it can be hurtful, and in many cases, the parent may not even be aware of it. The parents response usually is, “I was just trying to be helpful.” But, this can sometimes cause the child harm. Please visit the Times site to read the full article, and some very helpful ways of discussing this topic with your child. One things I always recommend is to base a discussion on health, rather than weight issues. But, always a sensitive topic, and each child is different – so one method may work with one child, but not another.”

From the article…..

Nancy Keefe Rhodes, a therapist and writer in Syracuse, N.Y., has struggled with weight all her life. So when the uncle she idolized asked her, at age 10, if she went to “Omar the tentmaker” for her clothes, she was devastated. “When I begged him to stop, he said he was just trying to help,” she said.

Parents and other adults who are “only trying to help” may do harm rather than good, as a recent study from the journal Pediatrics makes clear. More than 350 teens who had attended one of two weight-loss camps filled out detailed questionnaires about their experiences of being victimized because of their weight. It found, not surprisingly, that nearly all heavier teenagers are teased or bullied about their weight by peers. What was surprising was the number of teenagers who said they have experienced what amounts to bullying at the hands of trusted adults, including coaches and gym teachers (42 percent) and, most disturbingly, parents (37 percent).

“What we see most often from parents is teasing in the form of verbal comments,” says Rebecca M. Puhl, director of research at Yale University’s Rudd Center for Food Policy and Obesity and the study’s lead author. Such comments can range from nagging a child about eating too much to criticizing how she looks in a particular outfit to trying to bribe him into sticking with a diet.

Those are the kinds of comments that Kim Kachmann-Geltz, 46, of Hilton Head Island, S.C., heard from her father, a neurosurgeon, around the dinner table, where he would needle both her and her mother “that if we ate our dessert, he would find a new wife and no one would ever want to marry me.” Coming from a father she adored, they triggered decades of bulimia and compulsive exercise that she’s only now getting over, she said. “My father’s rants still must be stirring deep within my subconscious,” she said. “Cognitively, I know the things he said weren’t right or good. But somehow the truth still hasn’t sunk in 100 percent.”

“There still remains the widespread perception that a little stigma can be a good thing, that it might motivate weight loss,” said Dr. Puhl, a clinical psychologist. (Medical doctors, too, fall prey to this misconception.) But research done at the Rudd Center and elsewhere has shown that even well-intentioned commentary from parents and other adults can trigger disordered eating, use of laxatives and other dangerous weight-control practices, and depression.

Parents who struggled with weight themselves when young, for example, may believe their criticism will help their own children sidestep some of the hardships they endured. Kido, a mother in Oakland, Calif., who goes by only her last name, says she was obese as a child, and that her mother used to set up booby traps with food, to catch her sneak-eating. So when her older daughter started gaining weight in middle school, she reacted harshly. “I didn’t want her to know any part of what I’d gone through,” she said. “I’ve been apologizing to her for years about what I did.”

To read the full article…..Click here

Survey: Most Kentucky Parents Think Their Child Is The Right Weight

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From Your Health Journal…..”I strongly urge my guests here to visit an excellent article written by The Lane Report of Kentucky, which we are reviewing on Your Health Journal today. The author of this article brings up some excellent points between facts and perceptions. In Kentucky, many parents feel their children are at the correct weight, but reports coming in about their weight tell a different story. According to the National Survey of Children’s Health, 37 percent of school-age children in Kentucky are overweight or obese. Yet most Kentucky parents (76 percent) think their child weighs about the right amount and few (14 percent) think their child weighs too much. This is very common, not only in Kentucky, but throughout the US and World. The truth is, we cannot really tell if a child is overweight simply by looking at them. A slim child may be overweight to some extent, especially if they do not exercise and eat poorly. Their body mass may not be lean body mass, rather fat mass – – even if they appear thin. So, what can we take from this report? All children need to eat properly, exercise, and practice good health habits to lead a healthy life. It is a team effort, as parents need to lead by example, and educate their children on the proper techniques to a healthy lifestyle.”

From the article…..

As part of its Kentucky Parent Survey, the Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky released new data about children’s health behaviors. The parental perceptions measured by the poll provide valuable insight into the health habits and behaviors of Kentucky’s children, which often fell short of recommended benchmarks.

“Our children’s habits and behaviors impact their health today and shape their quality of life as they grow,” said Dr. Susan Zepeda, president/CEO of the Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky. “When kids eat poorly and don’t get enough physical activity, it increases their risk for obesity, diabetes, heart disease and other chronic diseases. This poll data helps us understand what parents think about the behaviors that are so critical to health.”

According to the National Survey of Children’s Health, 37 percent of school-age children in Kentucky are overweight or obese. Yet most Kentucky parents (76 percent) think their child weighs about the right amount and few (14 percent) think their child weighs too much.

One strategy being used to reduce childhood obesity in Kentucky is called 5-2-1-0. The numbers correspond to behavior recommendations: each day, children should eat at least five servings of fruits and vegetables, limit screen time to no more than two hours, have one hour of physical activity and zero sugar-sweetened beverages.

More than half of Kentucky’s children (56 percent) are watching more than the maximum recommended amount of “screen time” per day, according to their parents. Screen time refers to time spent watching television, playing video games or surfing the internet.

To read the full article…..Click here