The kids are back in school and already busy with homework, classes and practice. Don't let hectic schedules put your children’s health in detention. Parents can do plenty to help their children stay healthy and succeed in school—from
ensuring they get adequate sleep and regular exercise to serving up balanced meals and more. After all, children’s health has been shown to be directly linked to success in school.
infographic explores the connection between children’s health and academic performance with health information and tips from the experts at NorthShore University HealthSystem. Click on the image below to see the full infographic.
Join NorthShore's new online community, The Parent 'Hood, to connect with other new and expecting parents, as well as our expert physicians. Find support, ask questions and share your stories. Click The Parent 'Hood to start now!
Summer is reaching its end, and many parents are still finding themselves with questions
about the upcoming school year. Lindsay Uzunlar, MD, Pediatrician at NorthShore, answers five common questions to help prepare
parents for what's ahead:
My child gets stressed out pretty easily, and now that she’s entering middle school, I’m nervous that she’ll have a tough time. Are there any tips I can give her in case she panics?This can be a very stressful time for kids and transitioning to a new school is even harder. There are a couple of things that you can do to help:
I’ve been struggling to get my 7 year
old up and moving in the mornings. Is there any way I can make this easier for him?The first way to help is to make sure that he goes to bed early the night before. Children between 6 and 13 should be getting between 9-11 hours of sleep a night.
Secondly, trying to let the sunlight in early will help a lot as it stimulates the body to wake up. Lastly, try to get everything together and done the night before. This includes bathing and setting out clothes for the next day.Can you
give me some tips to tell my children about walking to school? We’re in a good neighborhood, but I still want to be cautious.Living in the city, there are a couple of things that you want to focus on:
Do you have any recommendations when it comes to packing a lunch? I have a little one starting elementary
school, and I’m feeling a little lost when it comes to how much to give her. I've seen some cute boxes and containers online, and am wondering if these will help.First of all, make sure that you include fruits/veggies AND a protein
(preferably a meat but if she is a vegetarian then cheese/yogurt). Giving her some some carbs such as bread in a sandwich or baked chips is great as well but try to limit it to one portion. Too many carbs could make her sleepy in the afternoons. As for portions,
it really depends on how much she normally eats and/or what your pediatrician has recommended. There are definitely some great boxes etc that you can find to help guide you with this.What are some good mid-day snack options? I want to make
sure I’m not giving my child junk food to take to class.The best snacks include fruit and veggies. If your child isn't milk allergic or lactose intolerant, string cheese is delicious and fun!You can learn more about
health and nutrition for kids through NorthShore’s Pediatrics department. Find more back to school tips from Dr. Uzunlar in our Back to School Basics chat.
Going through treatment, trying to cope with a
social disorder or building the courage to start exercising again all come with their own physical and emotional stresses. When facing a unique struggle, many patients have found an equally unique solution in the form of pet therapy. This treatment method
pairs patients with animals such as a dog, cat or another creature to provide comfort and support that’s shown to have a number of benefits.Pet therapy animals can provide individual comfort to a patient working towards a specific goal through
structured activities. This could include:
Therapy animals and their handlers both go through a certification process, but it’s important to note that therapy dogs don’t receive the
same training as service dogs.Not only are domestic animals like dogs and cats able to become therapy animals, but there are also ways to work with smaller animals (rabbits, fish, birds), as well as even bigger animals like horses or dolphins.
Leon Benson, MD, Orthopaedic Surgeon at NorthShore and owner of two certified therapy dogs (pictured right with Chelsea) details
the process of animal therapy and some of the positive effects it can have on patients. Studies have shown that pet therapy can help improve:
is happy to be offering a pet therapy program for its patients through Evanston Hospital. Learn more through our Physical
Medicine & Rehabilitations Services.
What do you think would be a great new way to use pet therapy?
It’s hard to avoid screens these days. Between television, computers, tablets and cell
phones, kids have easy access to hours of entertainment. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, children under the age of two should not have any screen time, while children older than two should only be in front of a screen for one to two hours
a day at most. In reality, the averages are much higher; kids are spending 7 or more hours watching programs/videos, texting and playing games. This can be troubling, especially in younger children, as too much screen time can increase the risks of childhood
obesity, poor language development and unhealthy sleep patterns.
Finding a balance between screen time and other activities can seem like a big task. Amanda Britt, MD, a pediatrician at NorthShore provides some tips for how to make the most out of your child’s digital time so that it is both productive and educational.
NorthShore is a proud sponsor of Moochie
Kalala Detectives Club, an educational children’s show on PBS that teaches kids about arts and sciences while featuring some of Chicago’s best museums, zoos and educational resources.
best tip for managing screen time in your home?
If you have young children and watch the news, you’re probably aware that there is a strand of lice that is resistant to over-the-counter treatments.
While an annoyance, head lice, including this strand, can be effectively treated at home. Lice are a very common problem for preschool, kindergarten and elementary students. In fact, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimate 6-12 million infestations
occur a year among children ages 3-11.
While typically not known for spreading disease, these parasites can be a nuisance to identify, treat and exterminate. As the school year begins, Felissa Kreindler, MD, shares her insight on warning signs for detecting and treating head lice:
Have you or your kids ever had lice? What did you do to get rid of them?
Summer is winding down, and many of us are looking for ways to
use our fresh produce before it gets chilly out. Our latest healthy recipe has a Mediterranean twist that will be a saucy addition to soups, meat dishes, and more. Emmaline Rasmussen, MS, RD, LDN, Dietitian at NorthShore, recommends this
sofrito recipe that’s rich in antioxidants:
Serving Size: 3/4 cupRecommendation of at least 2 servings per week for the best health benefitsIngredients4
tomatoes, diced1/2 large onion, diced2 cloves garlic, minced1-2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
To prepare the base:
Note: You can also make this recipe during the fall. Our favorite way is to serve it over baked spaghetti squash instead of traditional pasta to cut carbs and add more veggies to your diet.
Discover more appetizing
and healthy recipes that are part of the Mediterannean Diet on our new Pinterest board.
Jorge Saucedo, MD, has had a love for medicine since he was a student, which has led to his success as the Division Chief of Interventional Cardiology at NorthShore. He now shares his experience and some helpful tips on heart
health, as well as some of his most interesting personal passions.
When did you know you wanted to go into medicine? Was there a particular moment of realization? Where did it all start?For me, it was when I was finishing high
school. Outside of the U.S., you begin medical school right after high school (there is no college, and medical school is longer). For me at the age of 17-18, it was more like “I guess I will go into medicine”. I truly fell in love with medicine
at the end of my second year of medical school. My love for the profession has increased with every year that goes by.
When did your attention turn to cardiology? What led you to this specialty?The second hardest decision was
to choose between surgery and internal medicine when finishing medical school. The decision was made the night before the interviews. In regards to cardiology, this was easy. As soon as I started my internal medicine training, I knew I wanted to become a cardiologist.
What do you enjoy most about your job?Spending quality time with patients. I also enjoy doing complex interventions, particularly in patients with heart attacks.
What do you
find most challenging about cardiology? Treatment of patients?Keeping up with how tremendously fast the field evolves.
What do you think is the most important thing everyone should know about their heart/the
care of their heart?Prevention is crucial. Watch your blood pressure, know your cholesterol levels, exercise and don't use tobacco products.
What can/should people do themselves to improve their heart
health?Maintain healthy eating and sleeping patterns, and do not abuse alcoholic drinks.
One of your other passions is opera and classical music? Where did this passion start?When I was around 15 years old. Both,
music and voce have been a fascination to me.
Is there any particular performer or performance that inspires you?I have had the privilege of hearing the best opera singers on the best world stages. I love Mozart and Verdi operas.
Obviously, Spanish tenors like Placido Domingo are on the top of my list. Hearing Joyce DiDonato was also truly inspirational.
If you could perform anywhere or for anyone, where or who would it be?If I had any talent, I would
love to perform at Teatro alla Scala in Milano or the Lyric in downtown Chicago. Maybe the roles of Manrico in Il Trovatore or Mario Cavaradossi in Tosca.
In honor of National Relaxation Day, we’re getting serious about stress
relief. When people talk about relaxation, it often seems like something that we aren’t always able to fit into our busy schedules. In reality, relaxation can be one of the healthiest things to incorporate into your everyday life.Daily stress
can take a toll on both physical and mental health. Studies show that various forms of relaxation can help reduce many chronic health concerns as well as restore energy and encourage a more positive sense of self. Some popular relaxation techniques include:
Dr. Mina Lee Ryu, MD, FACP, Internist in Internal Medicine at NorthShore working in internal medicine, lists some of the many benefits of making relaxation a part of your daily routine:
How do you incorporate relaxation into your daily routine?
When her body just wasn't feeling right, Cynthia Lund made the decision to go to NorthShore Evanston Hospital where she eventually diagnosed with advanced ovarian cancer. Cynthia and her husband ultimately decided to work together with Gustavo
Rodriquez, MD, and the team at the NorthShore Kellogg Cancer Center to fight Cynthia's battle with several rounds of chemotherapy and a complete hysterectomy.
In her NorthShore patient story, Cynthia talks about her journey and how research
has helped her look forward to a brighter future with her family.
How did you come to realization that your worsening symptoms were probably not caused by stress?I had recently had a baby and instead of my stomach going
down it was increasingly getting bigger--I ate very little and got full very fast--yet my weight was up a bit--I went to the emergency room looking as though I was five months pregnant.Is it accurate to say your diagnosis of advanced ovarian
cancer took you totally by surprise? How did you respond?I was COMPLETELY SURPRISED. I thought something was wrong with my appendix. Never in a million years did I think I had ovarian cancer, even though my mom is a survivor. I thought I was too young--how
naive! I responded by immediately doing an enormous amount of research and made appointments with three doctors in the Chicagoland area.After your diagnosis, you spent considerable time interviewing different healthcare providers. Why
did you ultimately choose NorthShore? Dr. Rodriguez? Why was this research so important for you and your family?I wanted the best doctor for many reasons: Top research available, feel comfortable and to ultimately feel a connection so that I could
have confidence as I went through this fight. After meeting Dr. Rodriguez, not only did I feel comfortable with his demeanor, but I knew he was in touch with the latest research. I also thought the Mayo Clinic and University of Chicago connections were important
for any collaborations needed on my diagnosis and treatment.
You underwent genetic testing and it revealed you are a carrier of the BRCA1 genetic mutation. How does this knowledge better inform your care moving forward?I now have
consistent check ups for breast and ovarian care. I also needed this information so I could be better informed for my three daughters. When they are older we will get on a consistent routine for high-risk check ups. What would you tell
other women your age who may be experiencing the same kind of symptoms?Listen to your body and your intuition--and get to a doctor when you have signs that something isn't right. Get to a second doctor if something doesn't "feel" right
with the first!What’s next for you and your family? What do you look forward to the most?Through our cancer journey we found the gift of enjoying each other and living the in present moment. We cherish our time and
look forward to making memories. This includes road trips, travel, festivals, play time, singing and lots of dancing!
What did you learn through this experience?Listen to your body, listen to your heart and share your gifts and
your truest self with the world.
Psoriasis, which can first show symptoms between the ages of 15 and 25, often has a severe impact on
an individual’s physical health as well as their confidence. A chronic condition, psoriasis occurs when new skin cells replace the old too quickly, creating areas of skin with thick, scaly red patches of various sizes. In some cases, the skin condition
also creates swelling and pain in the joints, called psoriatic arthritis. Approximately 7.5 million Americans or 2.2 percent of the population suffers from psoriasis, according to the National Psoriasis Foundation.
Fortunately, there are treatments
available for psoriasis that can reduce the severity of the symptoms. For example, your dermatologist may prescribe medicated skin products, UV treatments, or other systemic medications to reduce symptom severity, although it may take time to determine
which course of treatment will yield the best results.
For most, symptoms often become worse following certain triggers. Therefore one of the best steps you can take in controlling your psoriasis is to identify and avoid those triggers that can
cause flare-ups. Stephanie Mehlis, MD, Dermatologist at NorthShore, highlights some common psoriasis symptom triggers:
How do you cope with symptoms of psoriasis? What triggers your symptoms?