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Shake Out!

Wednesday, November 8th, 2017
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Southern Californian’s are used to earthquakes. Unfortunately, earthquake drills are a common activity in schools and the workplace. In Southern California, we are always talking about “The Big One” – presumably, we have a higher possibility of experiencing another big quake in the coming years.  It sounds scary, right? Don’t be frightened, there are many things you can do to prepare yourself and your loved ones for an unexpected earthquake big or small.

Be prepared! Don’t let Mother Nature catch you by surprise.

1. Secure your space! Identify the hazards in your home and secure any items that could fall during an earthquake.
2. Create a Plan! It is important that you and your family create a disaster plan in case of an emergency. Be sure that your family members understand the plan and how to communicate in case of an emergency.
3. Have a disaster toolbox!
a. Prepare a disaster supply box.
b. Store flashlights, blankets, water, food, and a first aid kit. You can also store anything you might find necessary for your family.
4. Financial Hardships! Be sure to always keep your important documents together and in a safe place. Make sure to protect your home! You may even want to consider home insurance in case there is damage during an earthquake.

Now that you know how to better prepare for an earthquake, here are steps on what to do during the shake out.

  1. Drop, cover, and hold!
    a. Drop low to the ground.
    b. Take cover under a sturdy table or desk.
    c. Hold onto until the shaking stops.
  2. Take safety measures!
    a. If necessary, evacuate your home.
    b. Help those who are hurt.
    c. If possible, prevent further injuries.
     3. Reconnect and restore your daily life. Natural disasters happen and we can be prepared if and when they do.

Stay Prepared!

Source: Southern California Earthquake Center, 2017
http://www.earthquakecountry.org/sevensteps/

 

Preventing Tooth Decay in Children and Infants

Friday, October 27th, 2017
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New parents always have hard time understanding when the appropriate time is to take their children for their first dental visit. Studies conducted in the state of California show that “54% of children will have tooth decay by the time they start kindergarten in Los Angeles County alone.” According to the California Children’s Report card, in 2016, tooth decay was found to be the most common chronic illness affecting children.  It is important for parents to understand the basics of dental hygiene and how to help prevent tooth decay in the early stages of their children’s lives.

Causes and Prevention

To prevent children from having early childhood cavities, parents have to first understand and find out if their child is at risk of developing cavities. The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD) recognizes that children run a great risk of suffering from early childhood caries if they are frequently exposed to sugary liquids, such as breast milk, formula, milk, juice and other sweet fluids. Therefore, the AAPD suggests that children who are at risk of early childhood cavities visit a pediatric dentist by the age one.

So how should a parent understand if their baby is at risk? First and foremost, it is important for parents to periodically check for white spots on their children’s teeth. If white spots are present, this could be a sign of dental caries and parents are advised to schedule appointments with their pediatric dentist as soon as possible.

To prevent babies getting tooth decay, dentists recommend cleaning baby’s gums and teeth after every feeding.

For children between the ages of 1 and 6, dentists strongly recommend that parents limit intake of juice to 4-6 ounces per day.

A common cause of cavities is the bacteria that are spread from parents to children as a result of sharing. Dentists therefore recommend not sharing a toothbrush or utensils with children and instilling these habits early in childhood.

Dentists also recommend brushing children’s teeth twice a day with fluoride toothpaste and the perfect amount of toothpaste should resemble the diameter of a penny!

As parents and caregivers, we must remember to schedule appointments with our dentists every six months for a basic cleaning, flossing and general check up for cavities or tooth decay.

For more information about dental services provided at CCHC, please click here! To schedule and appointment with one of our pediatric dentists, call:

CCHC Glendale – (818) 265-2259   |    CCHC Sunland – (818) 273-8800   |    CCHC Eagle Rock –  (323) 543-2444

Remain Calm and Meditate!

Thursday, October 12th, 2017
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Are you feeling stressed? Don’t know how to deal with it? No worries, you are not alone. Everyone- adults, teens and even children experience stressful situations. Usually, in stressful situations we tend to rely on family and friends to vent and receive support, however this may not be sufficient for some people. Many of us need different forms of support to feel a sense a relief. Some people cope with stress by taking a vacation, others go for walks and some chose to meditate.

According to Mayo Clinic, meditation can help restore your calmness and inner peace when feeling stressed, anxious, tensed and worried.  If you are not as familiar with meditation, don’t worry, we have some fun, inexpensive techniques to share with you today. Anyone can practice meditation. Whether you’re out taking a walk, waiting at the doctor’s office, or simply in your own home. When you meditate, you are able to block out thoughts that may cause you to stress. Here are a few of those meditation tips.

Guided Meditation

In this form of meditation, you form mental images of places or situations you often find relaxing. Examples are beach waves, bird chirping, soft music or simply, the warmth of the sun. Once you have your perfect mental image, try to use as many senses as possible to guide you through forming the image.

Mindfulness Meditation

This type of meditation allows you to develop your conscious awareness by focusing on what you experience on a daily basis. You can observe your thoughts and emotions, but always remember to let them pass without judgment.

Qi Gong

Qi Gong is part of traditional Chinese medicine that allows you to meditate while combining meditation with slow physical movement and breathing exercises.

Yoga

Yoga is another popular form of meditation, which incorporates exercises with each movement. The poses require balance and flexibility, allowing you to distract your mind from stressful thoughts.

 

When meditation is performed, some of the most common features include focused attention, relaxed breathing, quiet setting, comfortable positions and an open attitude.  Experimenting with various forms of meditation is recommended until you find what works best for you.

Next time you are feeling stressed, overwhelmed, exhausted or just tired, remember to breath, remain calm and meditate.

Do You Remember the Time?

Thursday, September 28th, 2017
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As you get older, it seems like you become more forgetful or you simply don’t have the head space to retain the information we receive on a daily basis. While you can’t get around the fact that your memory speed slightly decreases every 10 years of your life, here are 5 things to do to help your brain out:

Catch some zzz’s

Skipping out on hours of sleep may be the reason you sometimes forget a thing or two. Deep sleep can help shift memories into your long term brain space. If you get less than eight hours of sleep, you may want to adjust your bedtime.

Don’t go through that door!

It’s happened to you before. You’ve walked through a doorway and lost your train of thought. Researchers aren’t sure why this happens but recent studies have shown a correlation between recall memory and walking into a new space. So when trying to remember information, avoid the door.

Be STILL

Amongst all the hustle and bustle of everyday life, you will need to be still to remember information. At least for 8 seconds- that’s what studies have shown. Concentration during this short amount of time can help transfer memories from short term to long-term memory

Eat right, Think Right

Food impacts your thought process. Although the sugars and fats may keep you temporarily alert, it doesn’t serve the brain well. If you don’t already, be sure to include antioxidant rich foods, including colorful fruits and vegetables into you food diet.

Get ready to rumble!

Well, not really–just close your fists in rumble position and that should do it. Research has shown that clenching the fist of the opposite hand you write with can help you recall information you have recently memorized; however, If balling up your fists in fighting stance isn’t your thing, you could do some exercise instead. Exercise has a similar effect of increasing alertness and blood flow.

Image source: http://www.prevention.com/health/why-youre-forgetful

Stress Management: Too Much on Your Plate?

Tuesday, September 12th, 2017
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Stress: A common word and a normal daily experience of the 21st century. With everyone’s busy schedules and going about daily errands of ‘life’, people often complain about types of stress they endure at work, at home and everywhere else.

It’s hard to cope with stress, but engage in this discussion. How does one deal with stress? By resorting to food perhaps? Does eating replace the feeling one endures during stress or help to produce a ‘feel good’ effect?  Why do people often resort to eating when they are stressed out? Many of us wonder about this common phenomena called “Stress Eating”.  We try to cope with stress through food; we eat foods that make us happy or calm our nerves – mostly unhealthy – and often high in sugars and fat. It should be mentioned that stress can trigger other unhealthy behaviors such as less exercising, loss of sleep, drinking more alcohol, which in turn add up to the calories in our body.

It’s almost second nature to often hear these phrases from co-workers, family members or friends:

“I don’t feel like eating. Not in the mood. I am stressed out”.

“I had such a rough day, I am so stressed out. I can’t even think about eating.”

“I have such a busy schedule – I can’t catch a break. I am extremely stressed. Someone get me some ice-cream!”

“There are not enough hours in the day! Talk about being stressed! I need some comfort foods!”

Studies have shown that stress, for a short period of time, can suppress one’s appetite. Stress for prolonged periods of time does however lead to overeating. This is caused by a hormone called cortisol released by the adrenal gland. Cortisol increases appetite which leads to overeating.  When stressed, admit it – one resorts to “comfort” foods such as pizza, French fries, Mac and Cheese, ice-cream, Cinnamon rolls, caffeine, sweets and many more. Stress is one of those things that just comes with daily life. How you deal and handle stress is key, and here are a few suggestions:

*Eating healthy is the key. Do you know that you can fight stress with food? Ironic but true. If you choose the right food, such as antioxidant-rich fruits and vegetables, lean protein, and grains we can boost our immune system, reduce stress, and feel healthier.

*Eat regular balanced meals and have healthy snacks in between. Avoid binge eating.

*Drink a lot of water.

*Exercise. It is a great way to relieve stress. You can practice yoga as well.

*Meditate.

*Sleep, plenty of sleep!

*Get social support. Talk to a friend or a family member.

Like in the movie Forest Gump, he says “…life was like a box of chocolates. “You never know what you’re gonna get.” We never know where life will lead us to and we cannot predict how things turn out. Take it day by day, while taking good care of yourself and your family. Work towards minimizing those areas that lead to increased stress and put a plan in place to reduce the stress level. Speak to your doctor or your medical team about how you can cope with stress and options to help you manage stress.

 

Source: http://paulashealthyliving.com/how-to-stop-your-bad-eating-habits/

Source: http://www.health.harvard.edu/heart-health/7-ways-to-keep-stress-and-blood-pressure-down

References

http://www.health.harvard.edu/newsletter_article/why-stress-causes-people-to-overeat

http://www.pcrm.org/health/health-topics/how-to-eat-right-to-reduce-stress

https://www.hmc.edu/student-life/health-wellness/resources-for-students/nutrition-and-stress/

http://www.health.harvard.edu/heart-health/7-ways-to-keep-stress-and-blood-pressure-down

https://www.cdc.gov/violenceprevention/pub/coping_with_stress_tips.html

What Does Your Selfie Say About You?

Thursday, August 31st, 2017
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Do you love taking selfies and sharing them online? Do you spend hours getting ready and take multiple shots of your face until your chin looks just right? Are you extremely picky about what selfie you post and do you anxiously wait to see how many likes you can get? Well, we have some news for you:  studies suggest that selfies may indicate low self-esteem and a slew of other mental health disorders.

In 2013, Oxford Dictionary announced “selfie” as its International Word of the Year, yet the word “selfie” can pretty much reflect the essence of this generation – the Millennial’s. Millennial’s are completely consumed by social media: activities such as sharing pictures of our food, places we visit, our Frappuccino, the classic gym photo, and most of all selfies. There are a multiple reports discussing the topic of selfies and how it affects confidence levels and more. According to psychologists, a person who takes a lot of selfies tends to have low confidence levels. Another indication of frequent selfie-taking activities suggests that individuals may be looking for validation from peers to determine their self-worth.

Typically selfies are not taken after any meaningful life event, they are taken for no reason at all:  in restrooms, in the car while driving, during class, at work and in many inappropriate locations. After the selfie, it goes a step further when it comes time to post. Various filters and edits are made to erase flaws and create the “perfect” image. Perhaps if selfies were achievement photos snapped by people who overcame great hurdles in life or simply made a small difference in the world, there would be greater significance to the act of selfie-taking. Unfortunately, this is not the case. Society has altered our perceptions and has made us believe that physical attractiveness is our most important quality. In that respect, society teaches the younger generation that our self-worth is a reflection of how many followers we have on Instagram or how many likes and comments we can receive on our “flawless” selfies.

Let’s stay grounded and remember that our value and worth as individuals is much more than the validation we receive on social media. Let’s all take a moment to put our lives in perspective and realize that we all have so much more to offer than our exterior. If you are feeling unconfident, go for a hike, go to the gym and get those endorphins going. We must remember that flaws are beautiful and we all have something unique and wonderful to offer to the world.

Source: http://www.counselheal.com/articles/11413/20140919/selfie-addiction-low-self-esteem-linked-uk-study.htm

Source:  https://en.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/selfie

Source: http://whatsthings.com/the-absurd-story-of-the-selfie/

 

Stay Cautious! Protect Yourself and Your Loved Ones

Friday, August 18th, 2017
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Southern Californians always need to prepare for two types of natural disasters: Earthquakes and Wild fires. We all love those hot summer days but unfortunately, they often lead to wildfires that endanger our lives, homes and animals. That’s why it is extremely important to stay safe and take precautions to prevent more damage.

When a brush fire is burning near our homes, we all panic and hope that it gets put out as soon as possible. A million things run through our mind! Is anyone hurt? Can it be controlled? Will I have to be evacuated?  While we focus on our lives and wellbeing, we have the brave fire fighters and fire crew on our minds, hoping they remain safe!

When we are in this situation it is important that we stay calm and seek safety.

Here are a few steps to help you get through such situations:

  1. Keep the area CLEAR! It may get hot, but it is extremely important to keep our backyards well kept. Make sure to pick up any dry leaves or materials that are likely to 2. If possible, trim off any hanging branches that can attract flames.
  2. Screen, Seal, and Close! Smoke may enter through vents, window or doors. Be sure to close these correctly to minimize the volume of smoke that enters our homes.
  3. Keep it all together! It is always a great idea to keep all important documents in a safe and easily accessible location in case of emergency evacuations. You should include documents such as birth certificates, passports, vaccination cards, or anything else you feel may be important..

REMEMBER, if it is not safe it is important that you leave it behind. Material items are replaceable. Your well being matters the most!

For more tips on wild fire safety please visit: www.firewise.org

 

From Bore to More – How to Add Life to Your Salad

Tuesday, August 8th, 2017
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Tired of the same old boring salad, day after day? Let’s face it, eating a salad everyday can get a little boring; iceberg lettuce, Caesar dressing, plum tomatoes, perhaps a touch of grilled chicken – how much repetition of this can you handle? The great outcome and health benefits of eating a leafy green salad are incredible and here’s a list of various ways we think you can use to spice up that salad up!

  1. Mix & Match your Greens: Changing your greens allows you to receive a variety of different nutrients. Try adding mixed greens, spinach, kale, arugula, alfalfa etc.
  2. Make your own dressing: Ranch, Cesar and balsamic vinaigrette are fine and dandy, but a unique dressing can take your salad to the next level of deliciousness. Try making your own vinaigrette with oils and vinegars. Try any of the recipes shared here (link to website).
  3. Add a little crunch: Adding different textures to your salad is a fun way to change things up. Try adding some roasted nuts like almonds, walnuts etc.
  4. Add some sweets and color: If your salads are usually a little bitter, throw in something sweet. Raisins or cranberry raisins are a delicious sweetener. Both are packed with fiber and add a whole different pool of flavors to your salad. Also, don’t be afraid to throw in a bit of nature’s candy—fruit. Try adding pomegranate bits, pineapple, chunks of mango, watermelon or strawberries. It’s perfect for the summertime!
  5. Change the texture: Most salads are just chopped veggies and lack variety. Avocado is a delicious ingredient you can add to smooth out some of that crunch. You can also add quinoa, garbanzo beans, pinto beans or come delicious boiled corkscrew pasta.

The absolute most important thing to remember is to have fun and be creative! Just because it’s a salad does not mean that you are limited to basic salad bar type ingredients. Adding unique toppings to your salad keeps your taste buds interested and keeps you eating healthy. Bon appétit everyone!

Source: https://paleoleap.com/8-ways-make-salad-interesting/

Photo Source: http://www.hellawella.com/turn-boring-salad-its-head-these-fun-recipes-and-tips

How to Use Food as Skincare!

Thursday, July 27th, 2017
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The skin care remedies we’re sharing with you, will not only save you some money, but you’ll definitely enjoy applying these onto your skin. The great thing is that all remedies are natural and they all include… FOOD!

Food is not only essential for us to consume, but perfect for brightening, tightening and moisturizing our skin. Clogged pores and dead skin cells contribute to acne and while there are many cleaners, acne remedies and more, it is important to remove all buildup in a proper and natural way. Using store-bought face scrubs or cleaners may cause skin irritation to some due to a variety of reasons, whereas using food as a natural remedy improves our skin in the most ordinary way. Keep reading to find out how you can keep your skin healthy with ingredients you can find in your kitchen!

Olive Oil

Olive Oil works great as a moisturizer for dry skin. It also works great as a makeup remover. Apply a small amount on your palm and massage gently onto skin for about 1-2 minutes. Wash away with hot water and a washcloth (use soap if desired)

Sugar

Sugar works as a natural exfoliator for the skin.  This natural exfoliator will remove dead skin cells and leave your skin feeling smooth and bright. Squeeze the juice from half of a lemon into a small container. Mix one spoonful of sugar to make the exfoliating paste. Rub gently onto your face and hands. Leave on for 10 minutes and then remove with hot water by gently scrubbing away.

Yogurt

Yogurt has natural probiotics and lactic acid which helps soften and sooth the skin. You are able to use yogurt as a facial mask to rejuvenate skin and give it a beautiful glow. Add a tablespoon of olive oil and three tablespoons of yogurt to a container. Mix well and apply mixture to your face for about 30 minutes, three times a week.

Aloe Vera

Aloe Vera is able to speed up skin cell reproduction, fight inflammation and reduce redness. It works great for treatment of acne scars and helps sooth the skin. First access the Aloe Vera plant by selecting one leaf.  You can find aloe vera gel from the aloe plants. Simply cut off a leaf from the plant and remove the thorns. Be with the thorns! Once you remove the outer layer, you will see a thick gel form. Apply the gel to face and leave on for 10-15 minutes. Rinse off with warm water while gently massaging the face. Apply moisturizer if needed.

Oatmeal

Oatmeal is good for sensitive skin and may be applied as a facial to moisturize face. Apply one teaspoon of lemon juice, two tablespoons of oatmeal and one tablespoon of honey. Combine all three ingredients together, spread the mask on your face, and leave on for 15 minutes. Use warm water to rinse off.

Raw Apple Cider Vinegar

Raw apple cider vinegar is very beneficial due to its powerful healing compounds such as potassium, magnesium and probiotics. It can be placed on the skin to remove excess dirt, kill bacteria from acne, dead skin cells and remove the appearance of fine lines. It is important to dilute the apple cider vinegar with water. You may put half of portion of each. Due to the acidity, it is recommended to first test it on the bottom of your chin in case it causes an allergic reaction. If you are able to proceed, apply in small dabs on the face with a cotton ball.  Leave on for 10 minutes until dry. (Rinsing is not necessary, but you may do so and apply moisturizer).

Baking Soda

Baking soda works great as an exfoliant too! Apply a mixture of baking soda and water to make the paste. One tablespoon of each should be sufficient. Then apply to face and leave on for 10-15 minutes. Rinse off with warm water and apply moisturizer.

Now that you have some tips for a better skincare, remember that it is also as important to maintain a healthy diet. Work on avoiding greasy foods, eat healthy, incorporate more greens in your diet, eat more fruits and drink plenty of water!

 

Image sources:
Pixabay.com
https://draxe.com/home-remedies-for-acne/

What’s on TV today?

Thursday, July 13th, 2017
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“TV/media or video games are bad for your kids”. Is this true or is it just a myth? What effect does TV have on your kid?  Let us discover together!

Parents often have a busy schedule trying to juggle between work, home, and everything in between – trying to achieve that work-life balance.  Yes, yes… admit it- sometimes parents try to keep their kids busy by occupying them with TV or video games just to get a few minutes to finish up tasks and errands around the house. Let’s be completely transparent here – no, we are not pointing a finger at you; many of us are extremely guilty of the same “crime”. Or is it a crime?

Studies reveal that parental guidance on TV should start from an early age. You heard it right. Even if your kids are a few months old, TV can have a dramatic impact on them.

We often wonder if TV/media/video games have a positive effect on our kids. Think about this – do our kids learn from TV, especially if they watch educational movies or programs? The answer lies in what kids watch on a consistent basis.  Are the programs kids watch educational or good for them to digest? What about kids who spend hours playing video games? Many of these games do contain substantial amounts of violence and inappropriate language and kids are exposed to them daily. Have we talked about the TV ads? That’s a whole other conversation.

Let us be honest. TV/video games have negative effect on our kids. How? Check this out:

  • Impacts kid’s brain development. When TV replaces reading, less thinking occurs. Hence, it affects school performance. Less reading may lead to drop outs in the future.
  • Encourages sedentary lifestyle, which may lead to obesity.
  • Decreases social skills. Kids do not want to play with other kids or even go outdoor. They feel content playing with their video games.
  • Disturbs sleep leading to concentration impairment.
  • Leads to aggressive behavior due to violence on TV.

Whether we like it or not, technology is advancing, and watching TV has become part of the everyday activities in many households.  How do we tackle this and deal with all this information? As parents and community members, we have to be smart about decisions we make for kids and how much we enable them to explore and ‘grow up.’  So, what can we do and how do we alleviate some of these issues.

Here are some helpful tips:

  • Turn off the TV during meals and enjoy family time.
  • No TV in kids’ bedrooms.
  • Watch TV together. Control what they watch and enjoy each other’s presence!
  • Limit the hours. Interact more with your kids: talk and play with them more often.
  • Encourage kids to do outdoor activities such as sports. We do not want our kids to end up being a couch potato.
  • Read a book. This will have a tremendous impact on your kid. You can visit the library or have kids check out books from their schools. Our organization also has a great literacy program implemented from the Reach Out and Read platform, where each kid will receive a book after every well-child visit. How amazing is that? Parents can read to their kids and work to improve their kids’ literacy levels and strengthen their parental bonds.

Every kid is their parent’s pride and joy. Let us provide a healthy environment; let us read, play, and talk with our kids. They are our future!!

Image Sources:
https://sites.psu.edu/dansblog/category/uncategorized/page/2/
http://candostreet.com/blog-parents/2011/09/why-is-learning-to-read-difficult-for-some-children/\

Catch Me Outside, How About That?

Monday, July 3rd, 2017
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Summer time is upon us!  More sun, more fun….more health benefits?! Yes! The sun can actually help boost your immune system or even lower your blood pressure! We’re sharing the several benefits to moderate sun exposure so you can catch some sunrays this summer!

 

Stronger bones and immune system
The sun helps us produce Vitamin D. Unlike other vitamins obtained through food, Vitamin D is created within the skin once exposed to sunshine. Vitamin D plays an active role in calcium metabolism and how the immune system functions.

Boosts Child growth
Sunlight can influence how tall a child can grow according to
several studies. If you are expecting or have a new bundle of joy, consider taking a brief walk in the daylight to help boost that growth!

 

Improved Wake/Sleep Cycle
When sun rays hit our eyes it stops the production of melatonin, a hormone that makes us drowsy. Getting the right amount of sun during the day helps us stay awake during the day and gets our sleep cycle on track to doze off at night.

Increases Brain function
Studies have shown that sunlight enhances the growth of some of our brain cells. The brain cells affected by sunlight are responsible for how we memorize facts and events. With our busy schedules and trying to maintain that work-life balance, our memory can always use a little help!

Lowers Blood Pressure
When sunlight makes contact with our skin, nitric oxide is released into the blood vessels. Nitirc what? Yes-it’s a chemical that researchers at the University of Edinburgh in Scotland discovered helps lower blood pressure.

Positive Vibes
Ever wonder why you seem happier on sunny days rather than cloudy or gloomy days? Sunshine can make you happy! How? Well, our bodies contain a chemical called Serotonin, which stabilizes a person’s mood. Being in the sun increases one’s serotonin hormone levels, which will in turn make you more HAPPY!

Good stuff, right? So this weekend don’t be afraid to have a little fun in the sun. Moderate exposure to sunlight is key. Over exposure can be harmful. So, if you’re going to be in the sun for extended periods of time, don’t forget your sunscreen! Be sure you and your children wear sun screen with a SPF factor of at least 15, a hat, light clothing, and sunglasses for protection.

 

 

 

Image Sources:
http://www.articlesweb.org/health/strong-bones
http://www.scmp.com/lifestyle/health/article/1412641/sleeping-allows-brain-cleanse-itself-too-much-harmful
http://www.icsva.org/2017/03/27/happiness/
 
 

Put the Blue Light Down

Tuesday, June 20th, 2017
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Do you have trouble going to sleep at night? Do you somehow end up on your smartphone doing one thing or another? In recent years, technology has become such a huge part of our daily lives and activities and it is extremely hard to put our gadgets down, even when it’s time to rest!  Whether you’re surfing the web, looking at memes on Instagram, or viewing stories on Snapchat, you’re probably keeping yourself from a restful night’s sleep.

Studies suggest that if you use your mobile phone, laptop or any other device before bed, the bright blue light from the screen may be preventing your body from producing melatonin. Melatonin. What exactly is Melatonin? Interestingly enough, when we find ourselves in dark environments, our bodies produce a hormone whose primary effect is to make us sleepy – Melatonin!

The bright blue light from your mobile phone screen tricks our brain into thinking it is still daylight, which prevents the release of Melatonin. This not only makes it more difficult to go to sleep, but it also affects your quality of sleep.

Sleep deprivation is associated with various health problems such as hypertension, diabetes, obesity and more. Additionally, it affects one’s cognitive abilities and emotional state.

(Image Source: https://onsizzle.com/i/im-going-to-sleep-w-when-does-the-internet-sleep-wait-10187209)

We all know we need to get enough sleep to get us through each day and here are just a few benefits of sleeping:

  • Sleep boosts your immune system. Getting too little sleep affects your immune system tremendously which prevents your body from fighting against bacteria and viruses; making you more likely to catch a cold or flu.
  • Sleep may help you maintain a healthy weight. Studies suggest that people who get less than seven hours of sleep per night tend to gain more weight and are at higher risk of becoming obese. Sleep deprivation causes a lack of the hormone leptin, which tells your brain that your belly is full.
  • Sleep helps prevent chronic illnesses and heart disease. Studies conclude that people who sleep less than five hours are at an increased rate of developing diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease and stroke.

Let’s start taking care of our bodies and fight the temptation to scroll through social media or the internet when we should be resting our bodies. We owe it to ourselves to let our bodies rest. Put the blue light down!

Fancy up your H20

Tuesday, June 6th, 2017
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It’s time for us to really talk about water! We hear of so many new diets on a daily basis and frankly, there’s too much information on the internet to digest! Allow us to tell you some facts about something most people don’t really know much about.

Did you know that the average adult needs to drink at least 6-8 cups of water every day? Many of us find it difficult to drink that much water in a day because we find water to be boring and flavorless. Right about now, a few of you are nodding and agreeing with these statements. So why drink water when there are various options for flavored drinks that taste much better? Here’s our little secret to share with you all; you can now stay hydrated by drinking infused water!

The next question we need to answer is ‘What is infused water?’ Simply stated, infused water is water that contains flavors of various fruits and vegetables. Many people have different perceptions about what infused water actually does for the body. Infused water only gives the individual the mere satisfaction of good flavor. In addition, it is cheap and tastes delicious when made with healthy ingredients! That’s it! No added benefit. No additional weight loss. No better skin. Just simply, it tastes and ‘looks healthy’. On the bright side, infused water gets you to drink more water throughout your day which does have greater health benefits!

If you are interested in making your very own infused water, then do not hesitate because it is simple and not costly. Take a look at the following steps and recipes that will help guide you in making your very own flavored water:

Step 1 – Choose organic fruits and vegetables and make sure to wash them before putting them in the water

Step 2 – Make sure to use cold or room temperature water.

Step 3 – Add your favorite fruits or vegetables

Step 4 – Leave the infused water at room temperature for no more than 2 hours and then put it in the fridge.

Step 5 – Enjoy!

Strawberry Mint Water
Slice 6-8 strawberries and add 1 cup of mint leaves. Make sure to tear the mint leaves before you add it to the mix for more flavor.

Watermelon Basil Water
Add 2 slices of watermelon that are cut into thirds and a small handful of basil.

Blueberry Orange Water
Cut 2 mandarin oranges into wedges and add a handful of blueberries. You can squeeze in the juice of one mandarin orange to get more flavor.

Click here for more recipes on infused water that will have the taste and look of a summertime treat! We hope you enjoy these recipes and feel free to email us at outreach@cchccenters.org to answer any questions you have about this topic!

Source:
http://dailyburn.com/life/recipes/fruit-infused-water-recipes/

Lost in the Sauce

Thursday, May 25th, 2017
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In a public school system that often has a surplus of students but a shortage of teachers and resources, it is not uncommon to think your child may be “lost in the sauce”. This becomes a more pressing concern for children with disabilities who require a particular kind of education.

An Individualized Educational Plan (IEP) is the special education a child receives if he/she has a documented disability that could hinder his/her academic progress. The IEP document is uniquely designed to meet your child’s educational needs. It contains your child’s current academic performance level, goals to meet, and the support and services required. Several people are included in the creation of an IEP:

  • General and Special Education teachers- Provide insight on your child’s performance, classroom expectations and strategies for teaching your child.
  • School system and Service Agency representatives- knowledgeable about resources available that can help to support your child.
  • YOU- As the parent you know information about your child that can benefit the team in creating the most effective IEP.

(Image Source:http://www.autism-community.com/education/individualized-education-plans/)

Make sure you are not “lost in the sauce” either!

It is easy to get confused with the process of an IEP and at times, you may feel like you are not part of your child’s education plan. Here are a few tips on how you can empower yourself to be part of the IEP team and maximize the role you play:

Know your authority- no IEP can go into effect without your consent. You have to provide the school with written permission.

  • Before attending an IEP meeting organize your thoughts and write them down on paper
  • If you are bringing another advocate for your child, be sure to let the school know in advance
  • Ask clarifying questions for anything you may not understand during the meeting
  • You can request a meeting to revise an IEP if you believe your child is not making progress. Be sure to put your request in writing and provide it to school administration

Your child receiving the best education suitable for him or her is of upmost importance. Communicate with your child’s school staff frequently and schedule an appointment to speak to your child’s school about the IEP.

                                         (Image Source: http://www.friendshipcircle.org/blog/2014/11/25/10-helpful-and-compassionate-comments-heard-at-an-iep-meeting/)

 

Let’s Get Moving

Thursday, May 11th, 2017
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Getting up early in the morning or working out may be very difficult for some to achieve. Some people blame it on laziness. Others don’t have enough time or are simply not motivated. Regardless of the excuses, it is very important to keep ourselves active throughout the day in order to stimulate our endorphins and feel good about ourselves! Keeping active and exercising also helps with controlling weight, strengthening bones and muscles, and increasing chances of living longer.
 
If you are not sure about how to start being active or how to get your heart rates up, don’t worry, you are not alone. It is important to start slowly and remain consistent. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), it is recommended to start with brisk walking or moderate-intensity aerobic activity.
 
If you have a chronic health condition, it is important to get advice from your Doctor before you start developing your plan on how to stay healthy.
 
The great thing about living in Los Angeles (LA) is there are many health events that take place throughout the year, including walking, hiking, sporting races and much more. As we get ready for summer, here are a few events that you may want to consider to help you stay active.
 
May 20,2017- Breathe Easy Asthma Awareness
This race begins at 9:30am. The race will take place in Alondra Park, Redondo Beach Blvd in Los Angeles. Supports Asthma awareness month by walking 1K or 5K at this event.
 
May 21,2017- LA Life Run
This run begins at 8:00am. The run features a 5K/10K Run/Walk & Tinsel Town Tot Trot in Downtown LA while enjoying live music and entertainment. Collect your medal at the end of the race and enjoy some LA food with food trucks.
 
July 22, 2017- LAPD Foothill Fitness Run and Resource Fair
The 10K run begins at 8:30am, but there will also be a 1K that will begin at 8:00am for kids to participate and have fun. This event will help support the Youth programs form the Foothill station such as LAPD Cadet Program, Ballet Folklorico, Joyas Divinas del Valle and Foothill Jeopardy.
 
If you would like to view more events taking place in LA, feel free to visit www.active.com
 
If race walking, jogging, or running doesn’t interest you, you can still be active by incorporating a moderate-intensity aerobic activity into your lifestyle. When you work hard and exercise enough to where you raise your heart rate and break a sweat, you are definitely on the right path to keeping fit! Some examples of such activities include:

  • Heavy cleaning (Washing windows, vacuuming, mopping)
  • Mowing the lawn
  • Riding a bike (10-15mph)
  • Tennis
  • Water aerobics

Now that you have some tips for an active lifestyle, remember to stay motivated, focused and get moving!

Don’t Keep Calm – CCHC’s new clinic is NOW OPEN!

Monday, April 10th, 2017
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Do you live in or near Sunland, California?

Do you need a medical home? Are you in need of healthcare services?

If you answered yes to the questions above, then look no further!  Our new clinic in Sunland will be opening on April 10th, 2017 and we are so happy to join the Sunland community! The new clinic site with state of the art technology is located at 8316 Foothill Boulevard in Sunland and sits almost halfway between CCHC’s two largest health centers: North Hollywood and Glendale. The Sunland clinic will offer coordinated primary medical, dental, behavioral, vision and supportive services to the community. The clinic is easily accessible by public transport and has ample parking for new and existing patients.

As part of our mission to help all individuals reach their fullest human potential, we remain committed to providing quality services to those who walk through our doors. We believe in ensuring the wellness of our patients and our staff are committed to providing the best care possible to those who seek our help and need our services.

If you want to learn more about our organization or have questions or specific needs, we are here to help! Call the Sunland clinic at (818) 273-8800 and our team members will help you schedule an appointment or direct you as needed. Make sure you stop by the clinic and say hello!

Honey, I strapped the kids!

Monday, April 3rd, 2017
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If you think that going through pregnancy is the toughest part of parenthood, well, think again. The real challenge starts when we deal with safely handling car seats. Many of us can relate to this picture, right!?? So, you better buckle up! One interesting adventure is on the way!

(Source: http://ridingcoastal.com/tag/car-seat-cartoon/)

Sometimes it is confusing when it comes to choosing a good car seat and knowing how to install it, but first, parents should know the rules related to car seats.

Did you know that a new car seat law has been implemented in California as of January 2017? Here are the facts:

  • Children ages 2 and younger should ride in a rear-facing car seat.
  • Exceptions apply if your child weighs 40 pounds or more or is 40 inches or taller.
  • Child should be secured in a way that complies with the specified height and weight limits set by the car seat manufacturer.

Kids under the age of 8 must still be secured in a booster or a car seat, whereas 8-year-olds or a height of  4’9’’ must be secured in a safety belt. Passengers 16 years and older should follow California’s Mandatory Seat Belt law. Yes, your teenagers need to put on their seatbelts, too!

California Highway Patrol (CHP) provides some great videos regarding the new car seat law according to age group. Click here to watch. (https://www.chp.ca.gov/programs-services/programs/child-safety-seats/child-safety-seat-videos).

If you are not sure how to properly install a car seat, do not worry! Your local CPH can be of help. Check out this link to find a local area office (https://www.chp.ca.gov/find-an-office).

If you live in the Los Angeles area, you can contact Children’s Hospital to schedule an appointment for a car seat inspection. Don’t need your car seat anymore? You can donate it to the Children’s Hospital every Friday of the month between 10:00 a.m. and 3:00 p.m.

Covered CA Open Enrollment: Ends January 31st

Tuesday, January 24th, 2017
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Covered CA open enrollment period began on November 1st 2016. Since then, we have been working hard to ensure our patients and our community members have access to health coverage.

Did you know that 1.3 million Californians are renewing their coverage and 258,158 new consumers have signed up during this enrollment period?

Here at CCHC, we have Certified Enrollment Counselors at each clinic and in the Outreach & Enrollment department that can assist with Covered CA, Medi-Cal, and My Health LA applications. During this enrollment period, CCHC has assisted many patients and members of the community with their applications and gaining access to health care services.

If you or someone you know needs assistance with their application or has questions about selecting the right plan, contact us today at enrollment@cchccenters.org or 818-630-2210. Hurry! Deadline is January 31st.

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CCHC’s First Annual Toy Drive & Giveaway – A BIG SUCCESS!

Wednesday, January 4th, 2017
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On December 17, 2016, CCHC hosted a memorable fun filled event that provided nearly 600 children a little extra cheer this holiday season. The event brought families together from all walks of life in a moment of joy, kindness, and solidarity. CCHC partnered with the Los Angeles Police Department Foothill Division to host the First Annual Toy Drive & Giveaway, benefitting the Sunland-Tujunga Area.

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Hundreds of toys were donated, thanks to our community partners at USC Verdugo Hills Hospital, YMCA of Glendale, Glendale Community College Scholars Program, Glendale Community College Global Medical Training Organization and Sol Del Valle Community Center, who hosted a toy drive at each of their locations. In addition to the overwhelming support from our partners, the Los Angeles Police Department Foothill Division donated 9 bicycles that were raffled off during the event.

At the event, families began arriving nearly two hours early at the New Hope Community Church in anticipation for the festivities. As children anxiously waited, the Los Angeles Fire Department stopped by to allow kids to learn about fire trucks, take photographs with the firemen and with the fire trucks. Volunteers from local high schools and businesses helped with setup, event registration, distribution of toys, decorations, and more.

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The event featured hot chocolate, coffee, cookies, and other sweets  provided by Carol n’ Rajsheda Catering and Events. Additionally, with donations from Blue Shield of California and local businesses, attendees were provided pizza and popcorn as families waited to take pictures at the photo booth or get their faces painted.

With the success of our 1st Annual Toy Giveaway, we look forward to making this a holiday tradition at CCHC and we hope you can join us next year.

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You can find a complete collection of photos from the event on our facebook page.