Making Fitness and Weight Management a Family Affair

Obesity is a growing epidemic among both adults and children. Today, three out of every 10 kids are struggling with excess weight. So why worry about this? Carrying extra weight can lead to diseases like high blood pressure, diabetes, high cholesterol, sleep apnea, depression, joint problems, heart disease and heart attacks - all of which ultimately compromise a child's quality of life.

Parents report genetics, thyroid problems or medication side effects as the top three reasons why their children have weight problems. Although these factors may have caused some weight gain, there is good news in that weight is something you can control if you make changes in the environment around you. Large portions, not exercising enough, abnormal eating patterns (such as skipping meals, sneaking food, nighttime eating and binge-eating) and dining out frequently play a bigger role in the rapid rise of childhood obesity.

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Preparing Yourself for Daycare

After spending every waking and sleeping moment caring for my newborn daughter, the last thing I wanted to think about was going back to work. That would mean leaving my child with people who did not know her and would never be able to take care of her the way I could. How was I going to make it an entire day without seeing her? Who would rock her to sleep? Who would hold her when she cried? How would someone know if she was hungry or cold? How could I possibly let her go?

What I did not realize at that point was that there would be many moments in my life when I would have difficulty letting go. There were so many firsts in my daughter's life, and I had the same feelings each time. I've learned the anxiety does not change, but the situation and the unknowns do. After looking back at so many partings, I tried to figure out what was wrong with me. But the truth was I missed her, no matter what she was doing or who was caring for her when I wasn't there. Once I admitted this, I was able to look beyond my own perspective.

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Show Your Kids Arkansas' Best Kept Secret: Its Trails

Arkansas has a secret - hiking trails.

There's no "star" like the Appalachian Trail or the Pacific Crest Trail, and there's no huge population base. Maybe that's why we've been able to keep it quiet. As Arkansans, we're lucky we have a wide variety of uncrowded, beautiful trails that are perfect for families.

These are just a few trails that are suitable for kids. Longer trails - the Ozark Highlands National Recreation Trail and the Ouachita National Recreation Trail - give backpackers hundreds of miles to work with.

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ACH and UAMS Expand Subspecialty Care in Northeast Arkansas

Two of Arkansas' most trusted names in healthcare are expanding a unique collaborative to bring subspecialty services directly to children and families in northeast Arkansas. The University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (UAMS) Department of Pediatrics and Arkansas Children's Hospital (ACH) announced in September the opening of the Centers for Children in Jonesboro, which is initially offering neurology and cardiology clinics. Additional services will follow.

Read more on the Centers for Children in Jonesboro.

It's the bug that doesn't back down. ACH pediatrician Dr. Bryan Burke answers some of the questions about strep throat the he typically hears from parents in this helpful segment!

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Getting Your Child to Mind Better: Giving Effective Instructions

Parents of preschoolers often ask me, "How can I get my child to mind me better?" Well, the first step in getting young children to mind better is to make sure that we, as parents, give our children instructions in a way that increases the likelihood they will do as they are told. Unfortunately, we often phrase instructions to our children ineffectively.

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