Summer farmers markets are nearly here
Your adolescent needs more sleep (no matter what they say)
Too little can lead to the equivalent of driving drunk, significant depression
“Why do children wake up early when they are young but want to stay in bed until noon as teenagers?” asks Dr. Perri Klass in the May 26 issue of WELL, an excellent family health section in The New York Times.
It’s biology, she and experts say; we’ve all been there. One problem is, of course, kids spacing out in class until the afternoon. Following the recommendation of the American Academy of Pediatrics, some schools are starting classes at 8:30 am or later for older students.
Of more concern, perhaps, is that one of every four 16-18 year olds reported driving “drowsy” on occasion. Driving with four or fewer hours of sleep is the equivalent of driving drunk.
Depression is another risk, the article reports. Dr. Wendy Troxel points out that “new cases of depression skyrocket when kids become teens…sleep problems and behavioral and mental health problems are linked.”
Can we help your family “unplug” this summer?
The goal: 100 hours of no TV, computer, smartphone, or video games
Here’s a frightening thought. Youth between the ages of 8-18 reportedly log an average 7.5 hours of screen time every day. Outside recreation time? Could be as little as 4-7 minutes a day. (Don’t get smug adults; you don’t do any better.)
And now it’s summer.
The OARS outfitting company urges a 100-hour challenge. Go without any screen for 100 hours this summer. Sound onerous? Hardly. OARS writes: “100 hours is just about 4 days. It’s a long weekend or two separate weekends. Or maybe it’s every Saturday in June.”
Maybe we can help. South County Healthy Bodies Healthy Minds maintains a calendar on our website that lists children’s reading hours, nearby farmers markets, land trust and Audubon hikes, wellness lectures, and so much more. We list six activities on the home page, but click on “View All Upcoming Events” at the bottom to open monthly calendars with lots more.
Submit your organization’s activities, too! They need to fit within the following subjects: health, mental wellness, nutrition, physical activity, developmental events for kids (reading hours, bullying prevention workshops, for example). Send your listings to firstname.lastname@example.org. Don’t wait until the last minute!
The milestones as your child develops…
Ten free 1-page typical checklists from 2 months to 5 years old
What can you expect when my child turns (2 months, 6 months, 1 year, 3 years, 5 years old)? The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has some answers.
The CDC offers easy-to-follow, one-page checklists of typical milestones for ten different ages. For example, a 2-month-old begins to smile at people and can briefly calm himself (social/emotional). She coos and turns her head toward sounds (language/ communications). He pays attention to faces and gets fussy if activities don’t change (learning/thinking). He can hold her head up and begins to push up when on his tummy (movement/physical development).
Your child not reaching a milestone? It’s not uncommon. If you’re worried, talk with your health care professional.
Find a link to the milestone checklists on the Healthy Bodies, Healthy Minds website.