Tag: family health

The Health Benefits of Grandparent-Grandchild Relationships

In the not-so-distant past, extended families were the norm, with multiple generations residing on the same street if not in the same house. Today the family unit is largely an amalgam of different situations. The rise of two-income families has pressured parents into finding childcare situations. Quite often grandparents once again step in to offer guidance and support for youngsters. This can be a good thing for both the grandparents and the grandchildren. Although a bevy of psychological research focuses on parent-child relationships, new evidence points to the benefits of the grandchild-grandparent relationship as well. Close relationships between these different demographics is often a sign of strong familial ties.

A study from researchers at Boston College discovered that emotionally close ties between grandparents and adult grandchildren reduced depressive symptoms in both groups. Research at the University of Oxford among English children between the ages 11 and 16 found that close grandparent-grandchild relationships were associated with benefits including fewer emotional and behavioral problems and fewer difficulties with peers. Adult and grandchildren alike benefit from relationships with their elders. Grandparents can provide a connection and exposure to different ideas while providing a link to family history and knowledge regarding traditions and customs not readily available elsewhere. Nurturing grandparent-grandchild experiences may be easy for families where grandparents live in the same house or close by. For others, it may take some effort. The following are some ways to facilitate time spent together.

• Schedule regular family reunions or get-togethers. Host or plan multi-generation events that bring the family together and expose children to various members of their family.

• Promote one-on-one time. Have grandchildren spend time with grandparents in intimate settings. Alone time can be good for both and offers each undivided attention. A meal at a restaurant or time spent doing a puzzle or craft can be interesting to both generations involved.

• Video chat when possible. If distance makes frequent visits challenging, use technology to bridge that gap. Send photos, letters and electronic communications. Tech-savvy grandparents can use Skype or Facetime to stay in touch and speak one-on-one with their grandchildren.

• Share skills with each other. Either generation can play teacher to the other. Grandparents may have certain skills, such as baking, sewing or wood crafts, they can impart that may not be readily taught today. Children can help grandparents navigate computers, video games or sports activities.

Grandchildren can help grandparents feel younger, and grandchildren can learn new experiences from their grandparents

Vitamin Deficiency in Kids & Pediatrician Links

Thanks to finicky eating habits and limited choices, many children are not getting the vitamins and minerals they need to grow up healthy! Although many foods are fortified with certain vitamins, they still may not be enough to provide the level of nutrition required for a growing body. Parents may be well informed of a child’s needs of vitamin C to boost immune system function, but they may not be as readily informed about other vitamins that are essential to human health.

* Vitamin A: Vitamin A promotes a healthy immune system and proper eyesight function. A child lacking in vitamin A may be tired and weak and experience weight loss. Other symptoms include dry eyes, skin scaling and respiratory infections.

* Vitamin B6: Hyperactivity and impulsiveness are often blamed on an underlying medical condition, such as ADHD. But such conditions may be the result of a deficiency in vitamin B6.

* Vitamin B12: Nervous system function is largely governed by proper levels of vitamin B12. Children who do not receive enough vitamin B12 may experience weakness, insomnia, edema, and abdominal pain.

* Vitamin D: Vitamin D is called the “sunshine vitamin” because it is produced in the body after exposure to the sun. Children who spend many hours indoors or wearing thick layers of sunscreen may not get enough vitamin D. Irritability, muscle cramps and even late teething could be tied to vitamin D deficiency.

Parents should consult with pediatricians about the proper levels of vitamins children need.

[FP135106]

doctorLocal Pediatrician Links:

*Keystone Pediatrics, Chambersburg  “Keystone Health is a full-service, family-centered, primary care facility providing quality, affordable, accessible health care.”

*Antietam Pediatrics, Hagerstown “At Antietam Pediatric and Adolescent Care, our primary goal is to ensure healthier lifestyles for the pediatric and adolescent populations. Responding to the needs of patients and their families is our highest priority.”

*The Children’s Doctor , Hagerstown/Boonsboro Our entire team is dedicated to helping you and your child feel at home from the moment your walk through the door. We’re proud to be members of the Hagerstown community and serve the needs of their children.”