WonderWorks Myrtle Beach announces its youth art contest winners. ART-OLINA: Youth Art Gallery of the Carolinas, located inside WonderWorks Myrtle Beach, will display the winning pieces for a year. The winners also each receive four complimentary tickets to WonderWorks to visit the art gallery and see their work on display. The winners of this year’s art contest are:
Dawson, 12th Grade, Socastee High School, Art Title: COVID19 Self Portrait
Rori, 8th Grade, Loris Middle School, Art Title: The Dream
Erin, 7th Grade, Bob Jones Academy, Art Title: Free to Dream
Corbin, 8th Grade, Black Water Middle School, Art Title: Right and Left State of Mind
Addysyn, 6th Grade, Bryson Middle School, Art Title: Mind on Me
Anna, 5th Grade, Waccamaw Elementary School, Art Title: Light through the Dark
Kaylee, 6th Grade, St. James Intermediate School, Art Title: Thinking About Art in Space
Weston, 3rd Grade, Aynor Elementary School, Art Title: In the Wild
Adayln, 1st Grade, Carolina Forest Elementary School, Art Title: Thinking
“We received a lot of great artwork from the youth in our community,” explains Robert Stinnett, general manager at WonderWorks Myrtle Beach. “We are happy to be able to have some of it on display for the next year. This is a great way to honor our young artists and to inspire others.”
Submissions for the art contest were accepted through December 18, 2020, with the winning submissions going on display January 22, 2021. The theme for this year’s contest was “Time to Think,” which encouraged young artists to think and express their thoughts through art. All of the artwork focused on being unique in concept, design, and execution. All winning artwork will help expand the illusion art gallery in a special section created to highlight local area youth art.
Encouraging youth to engage in art comes with many benefits. According to the National Endowment for the Arts, youth that engage in arts do better in school, are more optimistic, less likely to try drugs, and have higher school attachment. Additionally, youth who engage in art tend to have a higher quality of life, reduced stress and make them feel more involved in the community.
“Art is one of the things that we focus on here at WonderWorks Myrtle Beach,” added Stinnett. “We are happy to offer the area’s young artists a chance to have their artwork on display. Combine that with all the other family fun we offer, and it’s a winning combination.”
WonderWorks Myrtle Beach programs include the WonderWorks WonderKids event, ART-OLINA Young Artist’s Gallery of the Carolinas, online science worksheets, sensory days, group rates, birthday parties and a homeschool program.
WonderWorks Myrtle Beach offers a variety of STEM- related activities, including virtual learning labs, science fair partnerships, on-site exhibits, activities and more. To learn more about the program, visit the site here. To learn more about the most recent career highlight, visit the site.
WonderWorks Myrtle Beach has COVID-19 safety measures in place. They include reduced hours, enhanced cleaning, spatial distancing protocols, employee health screenings and employee personal protective equipment (PPE).
WonderWorks, a science-focused indoor amusement park, combines education and entertainment. With over 100 hands-on exhibits, there is something unique and challenging for all ages. Feel the power of 84-mph hurricane-force winds in the Hurricane Shack. Make huge, life-sized bubbles in the Bubble Lab. Get the NASA treatment in our Astronaut Training Gyro and experience zero gravity. Nail it by lying on the death-defying Bed of Nails. Conquer your fear of heights on our indoor Glow-In-The-Dark Ropes Course. WonderWorks is open 365 days a year and hosts birthday parties and special events.
By Hannah DiPilato
Notable musician Lil Nas X has brought his signature style and voice straight to the page in his new entertaining alphabet picture book. C Is for Country follows a young cowboy and his sidekick, Panini the pony, as they use the ABCs to seek out adventure in wide-open pastures, embrace family, and celebrate individuality, all during a single day. The book features bold, bright illustrations from award-winning artist Theodore Taylor III which are sure to keep kids engaged.
“C Is for Country goes out to every amazing kid out there who sang along to ‘Old Town Road’ on repeat and helped change my life forever,” said Lil Nas X. “I hope this book inspires them and makes learning the alphabet a thousand times more fun. I’m so happy with how it turned out, and I can’t wait for the world to see it,” he continued.
Lil Nas X had a goal to promote individuality in his book so children everywhere are able to embrace who they are. The artist has never been one to shy away from his true self, releasing music that speaks to who he is and instantly creating hits. Soon after releasing the children’s book, it hit number eight across all kid’s books in the world Lil Nas X announced in a tweet.
“A is for adventure. Every day is a brand-new start!,” an excerpt from the book on the website says. “B is for boots—whether they’re big or small, short or tall. And C is for country.”
Earlier in the year, Lil Nas X appeared on Sesame Street’s, The Not-Too-Late Show to sing Elmo’s Song with Elmo himself. The artist also made an appearance at Lander Elementry School in 2019 to perform for the children there. These appearances have certainly helped him create a younger fan base and an audience for his new picture book. His hit song, “Old Town Road” ended up being a smashing success with the younger crowds as well. Recently, Lil Nas X’s “Old Town Road” remix featuring Billy Ray Cyrus has officially become 14x platinum and is now the most certified song in music history.
Lil Nas X has been embracing his younger fan base he isn’t necessarily self-conscious about it. “I’m well aware that life and careers and everything goes in chapters,” the rapper said in NPR. “That’s the chapter I’m in right now and I’m OK with that.” C Is for Country was made for kids ages three to seven and is sure to help little ones learn the alphabet.
Lil Nas X is not the first celebrity to check “write a children’s book” off of their bucket list. Madonna, a well-known star to all ages has written a number of books for kids. Her first book, The English Roses, became the biggest and fastest-selling children’s book by a first-time author. The book, which references Madonna’s personal experiences, features many moral life lessons and has been published in 42 languages. Madonna then went on to write eleven more books in this series which has now flourished into a book series that features 12 chapter books. Madonna lovers can even buy an audiobook version where Madonna reads all of the stories aloud.
Madonna has also written a number of other children’s books aside from The English Roses series including, Yakov and the Seven Thieves and The Adventures of Abdi. In her stories, Madonna not only references her childhood experiences while teaching life lessons, but she also promotes gender equality and uses her Jewish background to do so.
Another notable celebrity, Jamie Lee Curtis, has made her mark in the world of children’s books. She has written twelve bestselling children’s books including When I Was Little: A Four-Year-Old’s Memoir of Her Youth, Today I Feel Silly: And Other Moods That Make My Day and Tell Me Again About the Night I Was Born. These books have been a great success in teaching kids important life lessons in a silly and entertaining way.
Curtis said that her daughter was her first inspiration for writing children’s books. “My four-year-old said something funny to me one day,” explains Jamie Lee Curtis. “She walked into my office, all petulant and sweet, and announced that ‘when I was little I used to wear diapers, but now I use the potty.'”
“The idea that she had thought about her life in the past,” Curtis continues, “when she was really just four, made me smile. I wrote on a piece of paper: ‘When I Was Little: A Four-Year-Old’s Memoir of Her Youth.’ I then wrote a list of things that she used to not be able to do and now could. By the end, I realized I had written a book.”
Although Lil Nas X didn’t grasp his inspiration from any one person in particular, his youthful spirit and young fanbase have certainly set him up to be a successful writer for children. It’s clear the young cowboy in the book is inspired by Lil Nas X complete with a bedazzled, pink cowboy outfit.
It’s not just actors and singers becoming authors, famous athletes such as LeBron James, Alex Morgan and Mia Hamm have also become authors. LeBron James’ book, I Promise, was recently published in August of 2020 and encourages children to strive for greatness. This book coincides with the I Promise School, a school powered by the LeBron James Family Foundation. This school helps students that are in danger of falling through the cracks to succeed. I Promise shares a common goal with this school in helping children strive to be the best they can be.
No matter which celebrity is behind writing the pages of these books, they all have one thing in common, they hope to promote positivity and important life lessons to all children that read them. Lil Nas X is no different when it comes to C Is for Country. When celebrities use their platform to write children’s books, they are using their fame to promote life lessons to kids. This is especially useful for an artist like Lil Nas X who already has a relatively young fan base.
C is for Country is available now for purchase and can be bought in hardcover, Kindle or audiobook version. If you know a child that has been blasting “Old Town Road” on repeat, then this book is sure to be a success.
SKOOG Inc., a media tech company with a mission to enrich children’s lives through creative and immersive play, today announced a global partnership with Sesame Workshop, the nonprofit organization behind Sesame Street, introducing a new interactive platform that merges tactile technology with an ever-expanding content library featuring Sesame Street characters. The platform combines multi-sensory play with fun, interactive content and meaningful learning experiences.
Originally focused on helping children with disabilities express their creativity through music, the team at SKOOG created a suite of unique hands-on technology devices that children of all abilities can enjoy. SKOOG’s patented platform includes a parent-controlled app with unique cube-like hardware that lets kids play and create without relying solely on a smartphone screen.
Sesame Street is SKOOG’s first children’s brand collaboration; the new platform will combine SKOOG technology with Sesame Workshop’s early childhood expertise and educational content to create a new hands-on – and screen-independent – way to play. By pressing soft, squeezable, interchangeable RFID buttons on their SKOOG Cube, little ones will be able to enjoy interactive songs, games, and stories featuring the voices of beloved Sesame Street characters.
“Children’s interactive play has never been as important as it is right now. In today’s complex digital world, we set out on a mission to help motivate and inspire children, leading the shift from passive consumption to active engagement—while enabling children of all abilities to play, engage, and consume safe and smart content independently,” said Gregg Stein, SKOOG Inc., CEO.
“As huge Sesame Street fans, we’re thrilled to be collaborating with Sesame Workshop, a community of creators, educators, and unforgettable characters built on diversity, equity, and inclusion,” continued Stein. “Together, we have created a best-in-class physical and digital creative sandbox that will empower millions of children to experience the joy of infinitely expandable personal play patterns, enabled by stories and audio books, branching adventures, games, musical instruments, songs and so much more.”
“Playful learning is at the heart of everything we do at Sesame Workshop, so we’re thrilled to work with SKOOG, Inc. to bring this enriching new play experience to life,” said Scott Chambers, Sesame Workshop’s Senior Vice President & General Manager, North America Media & Licensing. “We hope that our unique combination of SKOOG technology and Sesame Workshop’s powerful content will inspire kids and families to get creative together – with a little help from the Sesame Street Muppets!”
About Skoog, Inc.
A multi-award winner and sold at Apple stores worldwide, SKOOG is on a mission to enrich children’s lives through creative and immersive play. SKOOG Inc.’s technology has developed from education and disability-led innovations to technology that helps motivate and inspire children, leading the shift from passive consumption to active engagement while enabling children of all abilities to actively play, engage, consume safe and smart content independently. Inclusive and accessible, learn more athttps://skoog.media/
About Sesame Workshop
Sesame Workshop is the nonprofit educational organization behind Sesame Street, the pioneering television show that has been reaching and teaching children since 1969. Today, Sesame Workshop is an innovative force for change, with a mission to help kids everywhere grow smarter, stronger, and kinder. We’re present in more than 150 countries, serving vulnerable children through a wide range of media, formal education, and philanthropically-funded social impact programs, each grounded in rigorous research and tailored to the needs and cultures of the communities we serve. For more information, please visit www.sesameworkshop.org
A recent study finds that, while youth think all bullying is bad, non-immigrant adolescents object less to bullying when the victim is an immigrant. However, the study found that the more contact immigrant and non-immigrant children had with each other, the more strongly they objected to bullying.
“We know that bystanders can play a key role in stopping bullying, and wanted to better understand bystander responses to bias-based bullying,” says Seçil Gönültaş, first author of the study and a Ph.D. student at North Carolina State University. “What role does a victim’s background play? What role does the bystander’s background play? Are children more or less likely to intervene if they come from different backgrounds?”
To explore these questions, the researchers conducted a study with 179 children, all of whom were in either sixth grade or ninth grade. Seventy-nine of the study participants were of immigrant origin, meaning that at least one of their parents was born outside of the United States. Researchers categorized the remaining 100 participants as non-immigrants for the purposes of this study, meaning both of their parents had been born in the U.S.
Study participants read three different scenarios and were then asked a range of questions to assess what they thought of the interactions in each scenario and how they would have responded in each situation.
In the first scenario, a non-immigrant child socially bullies an immigrant child because of his or her immigrant status. In the second scenario, a non-immigrant child socially bullies another non-immigrant child for being shy. And in the third scenario, a non-immigrant child socially bullies an immigrant child for being shy. Social bullying involves verbal or emotional abuse, rather than physical abuse. Immigrant youth in the fictional scenarios were born outside of the U.S.
“In general, the kids thought bullying was not acceptable,” says Kelly Lynn Mulvey, co-author of the study and an associate professor of psychology at NC State. “But non-immigrant youth thought bullying immigrant peers was more acceptable than bullying of other non-immigrant peers. Immigrant origin youth thought bullying any of the kids was equally wrong.”
“On a positive note, we found that there were two things that made a difference,” Gönültaş says. “First, we found that the more contact children in one group had with children in another group, the less accepting they were of bullying and the more likely they were to intervene to stop the bullying. That was true for immigrant origin and non-immigrant youth.”
“We also found that children who scored higher on ‘Theory of Mind’ were more likely to intervene,” Mulvey says. “Theory of Mind is an important part of understanding other people’s perspectives, so we suspect this is likely tied to a child’s ability to place themselves in the victim’s shoes.
“Ultimately, we think this study is valuable because it can help us develop more effective anti-bullying interventions,” Mulvey adds. “For example, these findings suggest that finding ways to encourage and facilitate more positive interactions between groups can help kids to understand that all bullying is harmful and to encourage kids to step in when they see it.”
The paper, “The Role of Immigration Background, Intergroup Processes, and Social-Cognitive Skills in Bystanders’ Responses to Bias-Based Bullying Toward Immigrants During Adolescence,” is published in the journal Child Development. The work was done with support from the Society for the Psychological Study of Social Issues’ Grants-In-Aid Program.
This study examined how intergroup processes and social-cognitive factors shape bystander responses to bias-based and general bullying. Participants included 6th and 9th graders (N=179, M=13.23) who evaluated how likely they would be to intervene if they observed bullying of immigrant-origin and nonimmigrant-origin peers. Adolescents’ grade, intergroup attitudes, and social-cognitive abilities were evaluated as predictors of bystander responses. Nonimmigrant-origin adolescents reported that they expect they would be less likely to intervene when the victim is an immigrant-origin peer. Further, participants with more intergroup contact and higher Theory of Mind were more likely to expect they would intervene in response to bias-based bullying. Findings have important implications for understanding factors that inform anti-bullying interventions that aim to tackle bias-based bullying against immigrants.
Having trouble getting your kids to eat healthy? When you package these superfood hits into a child’s menu you can be sure it’s a surefire way of giving them the nutrients they need and show them great nutrition is just around the corner!
This superfood packs in vitamins A, C and K, iron, potassium and calcium kids can grow their own basil at home. toss it on pasta sauces or pizza! It’s rich in plant chemicals, chlorophyll and other happy mood plant compounds.
Add cocoa powder and honey to kefir for a healthy quick breakfast for kids who won’t sit still to eat a meal. Or a cup of hot cocoa (at least 70 percent pure cocoa) promotes oral health and helps to protect delicate skin from sun damage over time. You can also sprinkle cocoa powder on fruit, snacks and desserts for a healthy punch of flavor. Plant chemicals and antioxidants increase concentration and decrease inflammation!
Adults aren’t the only ones who suffer from high cholesterol, they just get checked more often than kids. Black beans help kids keep cholesterol levels down and provide plenty of calcium and protein to boot. Make a tasty black bean dip with some fresh veggies for a fun snack.
This superfood is great sprinkled on breakfast foods. it regulates blood sugar, which will keep energy from crashing after breakfast in the middle of a school day, tastes great and is so easy to use. Its natural sweetness is a plus and goes with so many foods and beverages!
Avocados are full of good fat. Kids need a daily diet of 30% monosaturated fat and a little avocado a day provides more than enough. Use it like ordinary mayo for a great mix-in to creamy dips and sauces or sliced fresh for an afternoon snack. Guacamole is a no brainer for kids!
Here’s a switch, a tomato a day can keep cancer away. That’s right, the plant version of vitamin A can best fight off all kinds of stressors and the potassium they contain helps to boost energy and stabilize hydration. In-season tomatoes are amazing with basil and olive oil or lightly sautee for a very tasty sauce for pasta, fish or veggies!
A sweet spot you don’t want to ignore, kids have a natural liking for fruit and its energy-boosting plus. Encouraging eating fruit curbs drinking sugary beverages and snacks. Go for seasonal fun and plan a harvesting trip to a local orchard or bring your kiddies to the local green grocers to pick out what they want. A variety of colors provides kids with essential vitamins and minerals they need to grow and fiber to keep their bodies healthy. Introduce your kids to a daily fruit plate at a young age and they will probably continue the habit into adulthood.
These orange tubers are high in Vitamin A which helps kids develop healthy vision and eyes. And they’re delicious roasted, mashed or baked. For an amazing marshmallow flavor, use vanilla extract and honey for a not to be missed sweet treat.
Flaxseed is bursting with Omega-3 fatty acids that little guys need to grow their brains to their full potential. Buy it ground and sprinkle it over their cereal or add 1/4 cup to their favorite baked-good recipe. They’ll get better nutrition without even knowing it.
Kids who start their day with oatmeal concentrate better in school all day. oatmeal breaks down slowly to give continual bursts of energy over a long period of time. Add honey, nuts or chocolate chips to make it more kid-friendly, for a great way to use oatmeal be sure to check out the recipe section for a granola recipe the whole family will love.
About Nicolette M. Pace MS, RDN, CDE, CBC,CDN, CFCS ,FAND
Nicolette founded NutriSource Inc. ( www.nutrisource.org ) in 2002 to provide high quality education, counseling and nutrition services for a diverse community population. Prior to founding NutriSource Inc, she served as Director of Clinical Nutrition at the NYHQ/Silvercrest Center where she provided both administrative and direct care for sub-acute and chronically ill patients. Nicolette was a key member of performance improvement projects and as Chair of the Nutrition Committee; significant positive changes were made in the standard of care.
Nicolette has been featured in CBS, ABC, NBC, Fox News, the New York Times, Seventeen, Fitness, Men’s Journal, More, Dr. Oz, Everyday Health, AOL, IVillage, Health, Shape and other magazines. She is also a contributing writer for Minerva Place, as well as an adjunct professor of Nutrition at CUNY and Touro Colleges. She believes in emphasizing a holistic approach toward food, nutrition and preventative healthcare.
Nicolette Pace Demo Reel watch HERE.
It takes a village to improve mobility in a kid diagnosed with severe cerebral palsy, but without a proper battle plan, some efforts may be all for naught while others may simply not yield the best results. In this post we have rounded up a five-step guide for getting you started. But first let’s see how cerebral palsy affects mobility in children.
How Cerebral Palsy Affects Mobility
Mobility limitations experienced by children with cerebral palsy vary from patient to patient as there are no two diagnoses alike. And the diagnosis can be mild, moderate or severe. But all cerebral palsy patients have something in common: Their mobility has been affected and not for the better.
The level of impairment depends on the type of cerebral palsy and the severity of the diagnosis. There are four types of CP and just as many ways the condition manifests itself:
· Spastic cerebral palsy is the most common type of CP, with 80% of CP patients being diagnosed with it. Patients with spastic CP have an issue with muscle spasticity and muscle stiffness and tightness, which means that they may experience uncontrolled movements, difficulty in walking, and coordination and posture issues. In severe cases, children with spastic CP cannot walk at all.
· Dyskinetic cerebral palsy is the second most common type of CP, but just 5 to 6% of children with a CP diagnosis are affected by it. Patients diagnosed with dyskinetic CP may experience involuntary movements (including twisting), repeat movements, posture and coordination issues, varying muscle tone from too weak to excessively tight.
· Ataxic cerebral palsy is the rarest form of CP. Patients affected by it have problems with coordination and may experience gait issues such as spreading their legs when walking, bad posture, and poor balance.
· Mixed cerebral palsy – the symptoms are a blend of the mobility limitations mentioned above.
5 Steps to Improve Mobility in Your Kid
Depending on the type of CP your child has been diagnosed with, you can take all or just some of the following steps. However, regardless of the severity of the condition, always consult with a professional before trying a new step with your kid. Early intervention is the key here for the best outcome, but uninformed decisions may negatively affect our kid’s prospects.
Step 1: Assessing Your Child’s Mobility
Each CP patient needs a personalized treatment plan for a successful recovery. But for that you will need to properly assess the young patient’s mobility issues. Things like type of CP, location of impairment, the extent of brain damage, severity of symptoms are all factors that need to be taken into consideration.
The following areas will need to be evaluated during the initial assessment:
· Muscle tone
· Muscle control
· Fine and gross motor functions
· Ability to perform simple tasks like feeding oneself, getting dressed, using the bathroom, etc.
· Diet, as some CP subtypes may be made worse by nutrient deficiencies even before the child was born.
Medical professionals may use state-of-the-art medical devices to assess all these aspects and issue a customized treatment plan. This plan will include methods to address mobility limitations in both legs and arms to ensure that the patient’s walking and mobility issues affecting the upper body are fully addressed.
A doctor may need to run several tests before he or she can come with a comprehensive assessment of a child’s mobility issues.
Step 2: Set Goals for Therapy
The lack of goals for improving or restoring mobility may lead to wasted resources, frustration, and less-than-ideal outcomes. Your child’s diagnosis is unique so there are various ways of achieving the ultimate goal of a customized care plan, namely achieving the highest degree of independent living and quality of life the diagnosis permits.
Some of the goals you should keep in mind when tailoring a treatment plan with your child’s healthcare provider include improving/ restoring mobility, control the pain, boost current levels of independence, prevent CP-related complications such as post-impairment syndrome that usually appears later in life, optimize muscle tone, encourage self-care, and manage secondary symptoms such as seizures.
Step 3: Create a Personalized Care Plan
After determining your child’s mobility limitations and therapy’s goals, it is time to create a personalized medical care plan. Don’t expect your child’s primary care provider to come with a standard protocol as there isn’t one for cerebral palsy.
The plan should cover all bases when it comes to mobility issues and goals for therapy and must include both conventional and complementary therapies, along with alternative treatment options.
When drafting a plan include:
· Therapy options (physical therapy, occupational therapy, massage therapy)
· Medication (in some cases it might not be required)
· Corrective surgery (if absolutely necessary)
· Mobility aids, including walkers and eating aids
· Home modifications (families affected by cerebral palsy often need to make modifications in their home to accommodate the child’s needs)
· Strength training (this type of training has been proven very affective at improving mobility in CP patients)
· Any other complementary and alternative treatment options that your kid’s doctor says they may work.
As the child grows, you will need to adjust the plan and consult with the kid’s educators and instructors on new ways to improve mobility depending on the educational settings’ limitations.
Step 4: Build a Dream Team of Experts
This step is easier said than done as you’ll likely find the best people to work with your child during your journey towards recovery. Make sure that you have the right primary care physician on board as he or she will be able to refer you to the right specialists for your kid’s needs.
You might have to need to work on several medical conditions stemming from the primary diagnosis at once. So, your medical team might need to include:
· Physical therapist
· Occupational therapist
· Massage therapist
· Developmental pediatrician
· Orthopedic surgeon
· Rehabilitation medicine specialist
Step 5: Keep a Record
By keeping track of your child’s medical history, therapy sessions, medications, and other interventions, you’ll be able to tell what works and what doesn’t work to improve your little angel’s mobility.
What’s more, in some states, primary care physicians may be able to legally destroy some or all medical records after several years. You’ll also need a copy of medical records and detailed log of all interventions to share with new experts on the team, health insurers, lawyers, and authorities.
Proactive Steps Linked To Reduced Medical Costs, Hospital Visits for Children With Asthma
A new study looking at data from tens of thousands of children with asthma finds that several widely available interventions are associated with both reduced medical costs and a reduced likelihood that the children will need to visit an emergency room or stay in the hospital.
“This work shows that you can improve the quality of life for children with asthma and you can reduce government spending by implementing these proactive interventions,” says Julie Swann, lead author of the study. Swann is the department head and A. Doug Allison Distinguished Professor of the Fitts Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering at North Carolina State University.
The researchers looked at data from 2010 and 2011 on more than 70,000 children with asthma enrolled in the Medicaid programs in New York and Michigan. The researchers focused on four interventions: asthma self-management education (ASME); flu vaccine; the use of spacers, which are low-cost plastic tubes that improve the performance of inhalers; and the use of nebulizers, which are devices that convert liquid medicine into an aerosol that patients can inhale.
Specifically, the researchers analyzed the data to understand the extent to which each of these interventions was associated with three outcomes: asthma-related visits to the emergency room; asthma-related visits to a primary-care physician; and asthma-related stays in the hospital. The researchers also assessed the extent to which each intervention influenced costs associated with each child’s asthma medication and so-called “utilization costs” – which are the costs associated with other aspects of a child’s asthma treatment, such as the cost of visiting a primary-care provider or hospital.
To address these questions, the researchers plugged the healthcare data into models that allowed them to assess the impact of each intervention separately, compared to no intervention.
“One of the key findings, which should be of interest to policymakers, is that all four interventions were associated with lower medication costs and utilization costs,” Swann says.
And while the numbers varied between states, the decreases in cost could be substantial. For example, being vaccinated against the flu was associated with a 16.4% reduction in utilization expenses and a 15.6% reduction in medication expenses for children in New York.
“There can be significant cost reductions associated with a fairly inexpensive intervention,” Swann says.
“Our results suggest that ASME training, and the use of spacers and nebulizers, are also associated with significant decreases in both emergency room visits and hospitalizations,” says study co-author Pinar Keskinocak. “And the flu vaccine helps reduce the number of visits to a child’s primary care provider.” Keskinocak is the William W. George Chair and Professor in Georgia Tech’s H. Milton Stewart School of Industrial and Systems Engineering and the director of the Center for Health and Humanitarian Systems at Georgia Tech.
“It’s important to note that we looked at the impact of these outcomes separately while accounting for other interventions,” Swann says. “You would expect that the more of these proactive interventions a child has, the greater the positive impact we would expect to see on both their health and on what Medicaid would be asked to spend on their care.”
The study, “Estimating the Impact of Self-Management Education, Influenza Vaccines, Nebulizers, and Spacers on Healthcare Utilization and Expenditures for Medicaid-Enrolled Children with Asthma,” is published in the Journal of Asthma.
The paper was co-authored by Fatma Melike Yildirim, a Ph.D. student at Georgia Tech; Paul Griffin, the St. Vincent Health Chair of Healthcare Engineering at Purdue University; and Jean O’Connor of Emory University.
The work was done with support from the Center for Health and Humanitarian Systems and the William W. George Endowment at Georgia Tech, and the Edward P. Fitts and the A. Doug Allison Distinguished Professorship at NC State.
A Cultural Revolution That Has Gone Too Far
By Laura Wellington
My son came home from school yesterday. A normal afternoon, I heated up a hamburger and fries and placed it in front of him. It launched us into our regular discussion regarding his day. You know the one, “How was it? What’d you do? What’d you learn?” and so on.
This afternoon, however my son took our pleasant exchange one step further. He coupled it with expressing a worry of his, denoting that “something may be seriously wrong with him because he has a hard time sitting still in school at times and occasionally feels the need to fidget.” He then went on to grasp the name of the disorder he must have and shared it with me. I stopped him in his tracks.
My son is ten. He is an intelligent kid as well as a talented athlete. He’s met all of his pediatric markers since birth easily. He has friends of whom he socializes daily. There is nothing wrong with him. I reassured him of this, emphasizing my point by telling him that, “He is a kid, and by definition, he should be feeling these things at his age.”
This incident made me question where we’ve arrived in society, wondering how many other children worry about the same thing? What percentage today suffer with the notion that something might be truly wrong with them simply because they don’t understand what normal behavior is for kids their ages and are growing up in a culture laden with labels and diagnoses eagerly offered to explain the imperfect beings that they are? I bet you that percentage is relatively high.
Don’t get me wrong. I am far from being flippant about mental health. As we all know, there are very real disorders that plague children. Diagnosing and treating them are imperative. But when children become clinicians, themselves, because they are so tapped into the undertone of an era that gives off the vibe that “something is wrong” before it is even right or normal, that’s a little scary. What it tells me is that WE need to back off in this regard so that our kids can too.
I’m not alone in my thinking. Allan Schwartz, LCSW, PH.D. concurs in his article “Children: Are We Too Quick To Suspect Mental Illness?” In it he states “Given the new diagnostic criteria and additional behaviors listed as indicative of mental illness in the DSM V, there is the danger that too many children could be viewed as having mental disorders when it is not necessary.”
Children need to be children. It is tough enough to be a child when you are naive to what you are supposed to do simply because you are one. Helping them to understand this is key. If you can follow up with a brief conversation about the current tone of society specific to mental health, including where you agree and disagree, this can’t hurt either.
The fact that today’s kids have placed the action of “self-diagnosing” their own disorders in their repertoires is a serious warning call for the rest of us. We need to change this and let them go back to being imperfectly-perfect children — the ones who don’t want to sit still, argue with their siblings incessantly, and whine each night to stay up past their bedtimes.
There is time enough to grow up and worry about everything else.
And speaking about worrying, in my new book “Be Careful What You Wish For”, what did Joan help Evie stop worrying about when together at the table? (Question #5, BCWYWF book contest)
Follow Laura J. Wellington
Continuing the celebration of inspirational artists of the 20th century, Kidrobot in collaboration with the Keith Haring Foundation brings art to life with the first collectible 3-inch tall Dunny mini figure series featuring the work of Keith Haring. Each of the 12 Dunnys in this Kidrobot x Keith Haring Dunny Series features one of Keith Haring’s iconic art pieces from his short but impactful career.
The series is now available at select Kidrobot retailer stores and for order online at Kidrobot.com.
Each blind boxed figure retails for $11.99 each.
ABOUT KEITH HARING
Keith Haring was an iconic pop artist and graffiti artist inspired by the New York City street culture of the 1980s. Inspired by the originality and spontaneity of spray-paint graffiti Haring began producing chalk drawings on blank NYC Subway advertisement boards. As his career progressed his art spread to other mediums and he rose to the top of the art world with mass appeal. Haring continued to create public art with the intention of making art accessible to all, which resonates with the mission of Kidrobot.
Haring was involved in numerous charities and causes and hosted drawing workshops for kids around the world. After being diagnosed with AIDS in 1988, he founded the Keith Haring Foundation. His later works leading up to his death in 1990 contained political and societal statements that encapsulate the era. His art has since become iconic and remains relevant to this day.