The Family Center: enrichment programs for families and professionals

Sports Injury Prevention Tips

Ask the Experts by Kunal Kalra, MD

Q. What can I do to prevent injuries when my kids play sports?

A. The new school year brings the return of Fall sports and that can mean injuries ranging from sprained ankles to ACL injuries and concussions.

According to the Centers for Disease Control, sports-related injuries are the leading cause of emergency room visits in 12-17-year-olds. Injuries from organized and unorganized sports also account for 775,000 emergency room visits annually. Common Fall ...

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Identity theft can happen to anyone, at any age, at any time

Ask the Experts by Carolyn Van Dorn

Q: My mom has recently moved into a nursing care facility and I have power of attorney over her finances. Do I still need to be concerned about identity theft for her?

A: Absolutely! Identity theft is rampant in today's society and has no age boundaries.

In February 2013, The Federal Trade Commission released The 2012 Consumer Sentinel Network Data Book. Their statistics showed that the occurrence rate in the under- 20 group, which includes infants and ...

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The Importance of Monitoring Medications

Ask the Experts by Mary Ellen Brayton

Q: My 82 year old father lives alone and is doing pretty well overall. Lately, however, we’ve become aware that he is not always taking the right dosage of his medications. He forgets some days and other days may be taking double the dose because he’s unsure if he took it. What are some options to make sure he takes the prescribed amount so we don’t have to worry?

A: Staying on medication for a long period of time requires some work, ...

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The Affordable Care Act

Ask the Experts by Tom Gordon

Q: I’m confused, I’m a senior and I’ve heard a lot of things about the Affordable Care Act. Can you provide any targeted benefits for me as a senior?

A. The Affordable Care Act goes into full effect January 1, 2014. The law will expand health care benefits to the 55 million Americans without health coverage. It also increases benefits for those who are underinsured, including seniors.

Insurers are required to meet standards set in the law. There ...

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Skills for Success in Kindergarten

ASK THE EXPERTS by Dorothy Heitjan, Deb Kraft and Kristen DeVooght

Q. How can we as parents help our preschooler make a successful transition into Kindergarten?

It is vital in the preschool years to provide your child with the experiences that will build the foundation for later success in school. Keep in mind the amazing developmental changes that occur in a child's body and brain during the preschool years.

In order to help your child build these neural connections, parents should provide:...

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Love and Logic Helps with Bedtime Routines and Homework Battles

Ask the Experts by Lynn Kaiser

Now that the school year is in full swing many parents might find themselves struggling, here are some tips to keep your sanity.

Q. How do I get my kids into a bedtime routine and end the bedtime frustrations?

A. Start by using a "slowdown time". A slowdown routine is essential. Children's brains operate at a high frequency and don't shut down as quickly as adult brains. Parents should announce the beginning of slowdown time about 40 minutes before bedroom time....

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The College Research, Application and Selection Process

Ask the Experts by Beth Walsh-Sahutske & Milissa Pierce

Striking the right balance in helping your child through the college preparation process is no simple task. Parents want to instill a college mindset and encourage their child to maintain high standards while still keeping an eye on family/life stability. The potential to disrupt home with stress to child and parents is great. The optimal solution is to reframe the approach that the whole family takes towards the college investigation ...

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The Middle School Years: Brain Matters

Ask the Experts by Mary Beth Garvey, LMSW

Q. I have one child in middle school and another about to begin middle school. I have seen behavioral changes in both of them and don’t know what is “normal” for this age. What would be helpful for me to understand about these middle school years?

A. The pre-teen years bring enormous cognitive, social and emotional changes for early adolescents – some welcomed and others quite challenging.

These changes can be complex, sometimes ...

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Finding “Normal” in the Middle School Years

Ask the Experts by Michael Dib

Q: What is considered a normal middle school student?

A: Many times parents are worried by changes in their middle school aged child. Please keep in mind that there will be many internal chemical and hormonal changes that occur during adolescence. You will experience behaviors that were not prevalent or observable during elementary school.

While each middle school student has her/his own interests, personality, and likes/dislikes, there are many developmental ...

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Reducing Stress Through Mindfulness Meditation

Ask the Experts by Maureen McKinley Light, LMSW

Q: I can’t seem to get a handle on stress. It seems to affect every part of my life, including my ability to parent. I feel overwhelmed by everyday life. What can I do?

A. There is a growing recognition that we can have more control over our emotions than we suspect. Often we fall victim to our reactions to life. In recent years new approaches to psychology such as cognitive behavioral therapy have demonstrated that we can moderate ...

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Making the Most of Technology In Your Family

Ask the Experts by Sean Hogan Downey, LMSW

Q: I have 3 children that are 6, 9 and 12 years of age. With the influence of more technology starting at an ever-younger age, it seems like we have less and less family time. How can we increase face to face connection time and still see the value in technology?

A: Culture has absorbed the digital world. Helping kids also see the value of personal interaction is your goal. Recognizing these facts will get you started on a solution:

  • TV, computers, ...

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Modeling Adulthood

Ask the Experts by Jeff Jay

Q. My husband and I have two children, 9 and 12. We're not sure how to talk to them about alcohol and other drugs, but we're afraid these things are soon going to be part of their world. What should we do?"

A. Kids notice everything. As they move into their teen years they notice more of everything and with a more discerning eye. They're constantly adapting themselves to the world around them and evaluating the actions of others. Young people want to grow up fast, ...

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How Important Is It...Really?

Ask the Experts by Carolyn Van Dorn

Q: Why do I need my medical information written out?

A: We live in a world where everything is in the palm of our hands or loaded on a computer. Sometimes it is good to choose to do it the "old fashioned way," and jot it down.

It is extremely important for us to have our health information documented. In an immediate emergency situation, responders need to know what measures to take and if there are pre-existing medical issues. In most cases, they will not ...

Read more: How Important Is It...Really?


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