Monday, March 23, 2009

Health Tips for March 23

Health Tip: Coping With Juvenile Arthritis

Arthritis isn't just a disease of the elderly. Children may be affected by a disease called juvenile arthritis.

The Arthritis Foundation offers these suggestions to help families cope with the condition:

* Family members should openly discuss what each person is feeling, including concerns, anger and fears.
* The child with juvenile arthritis should not be allowed to shirk responsibilities, as long as he or she is physically able to fulfill them.
* Teach your child about the disease, including information about management and treatment, in an age-appropriate way.
* Don't be overbearing or overprotective. Encourage independence and responsibility.
* Spend time with each other -- as a family, and one-on-one with your child.

Health Tip: Have Your Child's Hearing Checked

Children need regular hearing tests to help identify any hearing problems before they worsen.

The American Speech-Language-Hearing Association has issued guidelines for when school-age children should have their hearing examined.

A hearing test should be performed:

* Before children start school, and each year beginning with kindergarten through the third grade. The test should be repeated when children are in the seventh and 11th grades.
* If concerns arise about a child's language, speech, learning or hearing capabilities.
* If a family history of hereditary hearing loss exists, particularly later in life.
* If there are persistent ear infections.
* If there are problems with the skull or face that may affect hearing, or an injury to the head that rendered the child unconscious.
* If there are other factors that could lead to hearing loss, such as being exposed repeatedly to very loud noise.

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