Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Health Tips for June 24

Health Tip: Preparing Your Child for a Medical Test

Medical procedures and tests can be frightening for both parents and children, so it's important that you're both prepared and calm.

The U.S. National Library of Medicine offers these suggestions:

  • Give your child a detailed, simple and clear explanation of what is going to happen.
  • Be specific about which part of the body will be affected, and how it might feel.
  • Allow your child to react -- even if it includes anger, screaming or crying -- but encourage communication about what he or she is feeling.
  • Have your child practice the position that will be required -- such as lying down, stretching out an arm, or curling up on one side.
  • Talk about why the test or procedure is necessary and how it will help your child.
  • Let your child make decisions whenever possible, such as the color of the bandage that may be applied.

Health Tip: Eating Out With a Diabetic Child

It's easy to monitor what your diabetic child eats at home when you're the one preparing the meals. But it gets trickier when the family eats at a restaurant.

The American Academy of Family Physicians offers these suggestions for dining out with a diabetic child:

  • Ask questions about what's in a particular menu item, and how it's cooked.
  • Ask for healthier substitutions. For example, swap out fries for a salad or vegetable.
  • Look for dishes that are grilled, steamed, broiled or baked instead of fried.
  • Skip high-fat salad dressings, sauces and gravies.
  • Split a large dish with your child to limit portion size, or box up half and take it home.
  • Teach your child how to make healthy decisions by involving the child in the ordering process.

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