The words ‘back to school’ often bring up a range of emotions for children: excitement to reunite with friends and share stories about the summer months, worry about the upcoming academic challenges and sadness that the summer is over. When a child or teen has experienced the death of a loved one, the thought of going back to school may take on an entirely new meaning.
When thinking of summer, most of us picture sundrenched panoramas and enjoying time outside as a family swimming at the lake, paddling in the back yard pool or running through the front yard sprinkler. We smile as we remember our childhood summers filled with sunshine. Then suddenly our smiles fade away as we remember the dangers of sun and fear that someone in our family might develop skin cancer in their lifetime. So we slather on the sunscreen, avoid as much direct sunshine as we can manage and keep our skin as pale as possible all year round to keep our families safe. Except that now they’re telling us we’re low in Vitamin D (aka the sunshine vitamin) and that low levels of Vitamin D are linked with higher rates of cancer. Furthermore, some of the chemicals in conventional sunscreens are being linked with causing cancer. So what should we do?
We all know that maintaining a healthy body weight and exercising regularly are good ways to prevent chronic health problems. Yet, according to Health Canada and the World Health Organization, more than 50 per cent of Canadian adults are overweight or obese, and studies suggest a majority do not engage in enough physical activity. In addition, many who start an exercise routine do not stick with it. Clearly, there’s a disconnect between what we know is good for us and what we actually do.
Surgery is the last thing most new parents expect to encounter during their baby’s first year, yet many do. Anthony and Kimberly Pope’s seven-year-old son Braylon had surgery at four days old for intestinal blockage. Robert and Jessica Cordova took son Wesley in for hernia surgery at seven weeks old. Colin Smith and Emma Lantz’s son Arlo, now three, had fundoplication surgery for reflux at five months old, along with seven other surgical procedures during his first year of life.
Calgary’s Child Magazine © 2017 Calgary’s Child