Is your child ready for kindergarten?

By Dr. Ruchi Kaushik
General Pediatrics
The Children’s Hospital of San Antonio

Sending your child to kindergarten is a bittersweet juncture, filled with mixed emotions ranging from anxiety to pride to excitement! But how do you know your little preschooler is ready to make the jump?  Every child’s rate of development is different, and you may find that your child picks some tasks up quite quickly, while others try your patience.  Here are a few skills that tell you your big kid is ready to board the bus:

Social Skills:  Dressing your child and rushing out the door on time is akin to an Olympic sport at times.  Now imagine the teacher dressing 20 children.  Consequently, kindergarteners should be able to perform simple self-help tasks including getting jackets on and off, going to the bathroom independently, eating neatly, etc.  They should also be able to play well with others.  Promote sharing and taking turns in your home to help develop these skills.  Kindergarten teachers expect students to be able to listen to instructions and follow them promptly.

Continue reading “Is your child ready for kindergarten?”

Gotta catch some exercise this summer? Pokémon GO to the rescue

By Dr. Sky Izaddoost
The Children’s Hospital of San Antonio Primary Care

As a pediatrician, one of the most dreaded questions I have to ask is: What are you doing this summer? “Nothing” is the number one answer. While our kids do benefit from the unstructured summer months, they spend too much time glued to the television, video games, smartphones, and tablets. These tools can be used for an educational purpose, but sometimes, kids revert to Sponge Bob reruns, Netflix binging, and the never-ending Angry Birds, Cut the Rope, and Toca Hair Salon. This costs our children some badly needed exercise.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), approximately 17 percent of children and adolescents aged 2 to 19 years are obese. That is 12.7 million children in the United States. Both a diet of moderation and exercise are vital to curing this problem, but also according to the CDC, over 75 percent of teenagers are not getting the recommended hour of physical activity daily.

Fortunately, now there is a popular smartphone app that is encouraging San Antonio’s children to get up and out, but is it safe? Continue reading “Gotta catch some exercise this summer? Pokémon GO to the rescue”

Are you a sitting duck?

By Julie La Barba, MD, FAAP
Medical Director, Culinary Health Education for Families
The Children’s Hospital of San Antonio

It should not sit well that most of our nation’s time is spent in chairs. Dr. James Levine, a Mayo Clinic researcher, calls ours a “chair-based lifestyle.” Sound extreme? Then just think about how often our work, leisure time, transportation, entertainment and meal times revolve around a sedentary posture. High tech conveniences DO save us work, but sitting and pushing buttons also means we move our bodies considerably less often and with less force.  Continue reading “Are you a sitting duck?”

Make your pool a safe zone

By Dr. Ruchi Kaushik
General Pediatrics

Summer is upon us, and with the heat comes the desire to jump in the pool!  For parents, with this pool plunge comes the importance of swimming safety.  The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) lists drowning as the second-leading cause of injury-related death in children ages 1 to 14 years.  So, before diving into summer, be sure to review a few water safety tips with your “water babies.” Continue reading “Make your pool a safe zone”

When to see your pediatrician

By Dr. Ruchi Kaushik
General Pediatrics

Today’s economy probably has you considering and reconsidering every nickel you spend. Pizza night may become less frequent; you may have skipped swimming lessons this year; you searched and searched for the store with the lowest prices for back-to-school supplies. What about doctor visit copays? Continue reading “When to see your pediatrician”