Thursday, March 23, 2017

Child Anxiety and Stress

Child Anxiety and Stress

Tips for Coping

By Sandra S. Pimentel, PhD

HEALTH- From making friends to starting school, anxiety and worry are expected parts of child development.  Anxiety Disorders are the most common mental health issue faced by young people and they can co-occur with other medical and complex life issues

At Montefiore, our newly launched Anxiety and Mood Program in the Child Outpatient Psychiatry Department specializes in treating youth with anxiety, trauma, mood and related disorders and seeks to provide comprehensive, evidence-based assessment and treatment services for children and their families.   

So how do we teach our patients to cope? Like any other skill, we do on purpose and step-by-stepHere are some suggestions for helping kids cope with anxiety:

Validate. Instead of jumping ahead to problem solving, take a moment to validate that certain situations areindeed scary.  Helping kids to make sense of their emotions include helping them to feel them! Anxiety is normal—it’s even good for you!  
Get Specific.  Offering general advice statements such as “Don’t worry” or “You’ll be fine” may feel invalidating or even dismissive. Learning to cope with anxiety includes helping kids learn how to get specific about their experiences. What specifically do they think will happen? 

Work with Kids to Understand the Problem. Before we can problem solve, we must understand the problem.  Anxiety and stress include feelings, thoughts, and behaviors; in turn, problem solving includes helping kids to learn how to identify and understand that how they think is related to how they feel and what they do or don’t do.

Practice Problem-Solving/Coping. Teaching kids to cope with anxiety and stress includes teaching them to problem solve. When kids feel anxious, they may have trouble seeing options. Teach kids to recognize their specific anxious thoughts, feelings, and actions (oravoidance), and then to brainstorm as many alternatives to dealing with these as possible. Is there another way to view a situation? What are some calming strategies for when your heart is racing? How can you practice for that presentation

Encourage Approach over Avoidance. It’s true--avoiding a situation that makes us nervous works…but the relief is temporary! And, avoidance actually serves to keep anxiety going in the long term.  It also keeps kids from practicing coping skills and deprives them of learning that outcomes are not always as bad as we predict. 

Model Your Own Stress Management SkillsOftentimes, parents try to hide their worries or share their worries without sharing their coping steps. Children learn skills by observingand parents can model coping and problem solving.  What do parents do when they are stressed? Talk it out. Brainstorm examples together.

For many children and adolescents anxiety may become so severe that it interferes with healthy development. Some potential red flags include:
• Chronic stomach pains or physical symptoms when worried
• Frequent requests to leave and/or be picked up from school, or multiple trips to the school nurse
• Withdrawal from peers or social activities (e.g., clubs, parties, teams)
• Excessive clinginess and/or reassurance-seeking questions that are asked repeatedly
• Sleep or eating disturbances
For more information about our Anxiety and Mood Program call: 718-696-3011

Saturday, March 18, 2017

Your Health Voice: Learn How to Stop the Bleeding

Your Health Voice: Learn How to Stop the Bleeding: HEALTH - While 2016 marked the fewest shooting incidents in the Bronx in 23 years, there were still 286 victims. In these or other situa...

Friday, March 17, 2017

Learn How to Stop the Bleeding

HEALTH- While 2016 marked the fewest shooting incidents in the Bronx in 23 years, there were still 286 victims. In these or other situations of emergency blood loss, seconds count, and immediate intervention to staunch blood loss can be the difference between life and death.

Join us as medical staff from NYC Health + Hospitals/Jacobi present on how to "Stop the Bleed" in emergency situations.

Educational Event
Thursday, March 30th 7 p.m.
Bartow Center - 2049 Bartow Avenue, Room 31, Bronx, NY 10475

For more information please contact (718) 918-3827

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Sharing a Hug and Teddy Bear with Sick Children

HEALTH- Bear Givers Inc. donated 200 teddy bears to the patients of the NYC Health + Hospitals/North Central Bronx Pediatric ED. 

Here, young Anyla shares cuddles with Daran Kaufman, MD, NCB Pediatric ER Director & Medical Staff President.

Monday, March 13, 2017

Start Good Health Habits in Kids with their Teeth

HEALTH- Did you know that children who establish good oral care habits pave their way to becoming healthier adults?

The health of a child’s mouth can reveal plenty about their overall health. Children need healthy teeth to help them speak clearly and chew healthy foods. Baby or primary teeth hold space to make room for healthy, stable adult teeth and as early as two years old, kids can begin brushing their teeth with a pea sized amount of fluoride toothpaste.

“Oral health problems like cavities and periodontal disease can be avoided through proper oral health prevention,” said Dara Rosenberg, DDS, MS, MPH, Director of Dentistry. “We advise parents to schedule appointments for children based upon oral health risk, which can vary anywhere from once a year to every three months.”

Here are some tips from dentists at UCHC on how parents can help their children have healthy teeth for life:
Parents should clean their baby’s’ teeth with a soft clean cloth or baby toothbrush.

Avoid putting the baby to bed with a bottle and check teeth regularly for spots and stains.

Schedule the child’s first dental visit six months after the eruption of their first tooth or by age one. Be sure to schedule routine dentist appointments every six months for children of all ages.
Children should brush their teeth twice a day and practice flossing daily to avoid tooth decay and promote healthy teeth and gums.
Provide healthy foods and limit sweet snacks and sugary drinks for children of all ages.

“My advice to parents is make an appointment for children before any oral health issue they may be experiencing becomes harder to treat,” said Dr. Rosenberg, DDS, MS, MPH. “Our number one goal is to make each patient feel comfortable and educate them on proper oral health practices that will help prevent a variety of oral health and overall wellness issues down the road.”

At Union Community Health Center (UCHC), dentists are equipped with the latest technology and specialty dentistry to ensure children are taking the best measures to protect their teeth long into their adulthood and in the month of February UCHC is honoring National Children’s Dental Health Month by providing free dental screenings for children.

To inquire about screening or to schedule a dental appointment at UCHC, call 212-220-2020. For more dental tips, follow UCHC on Twitter @UCHC_Bronx.