Tips for Helping Kids Through The Covid Crisis

The Coronavirus has become a pandemic crisis impacting every aspect of our lives.  Parents are being forced into the role of educator as our children are pushed into a home-schooling situation.  To add to that stress, many of us do not know how long we will have a paycheck or a job as so many industries are having to reduce operations or shut down completely.  We are being asked to limit contact with others.  All of this is causing anxieties to rise in both adults and children. 
Be mindful that your children are looking to you to see if they should be scared. Do not completely ignore what is happening.  Answer your child’s questions in an age appropriate way.  Develop a new routine so that your child can feel safe.  Talk to them about taking the recommended precautions to stay healthy. 
Additionally, do a daily “worry” check in.  With my child it goes something like this, “Let’s check in.  Tell me something you are worried about today?”  or “Are you concerned about anything today?”  It is enlightening what you may find out.  Many days those concerns have nothing to do with what is currently happening and many times it is something that a parent can address easily.  The later is great.  It gives you a boost in your confidence level as a parent and your child is reassured that things are okay.  Soon, you may find that your child is initiating the daily check in.  “Hey Mom!  Tell me how your day went?  What made you happy today?”  At my house, we change the questions up.  Sometimes worried focused questions, sometimes feelings focused questions and sometimes activity focused questions.
Here are some ideas for activities that you can do to keep your child engaged and to help with your own self-care during this unsettling time:
  • Read a book aloud. My child’s class has read aloud time during the school day and it is something he enjoys.  Pick a series and read together for thirty minutes a day.
  • Do an art project together. Draw, make slime, finger paint, color—build with legos.
  • Write a “book” together. Develop a story line, take turns writing paragraphs, create illustrations.  It can be a true or fantasy.
  • Take a hike. Go someplace and enjoy nature together.
  • Watch a movie or find a series on Netflix or Amazon Prime that is family friendly. Gilligan’s
  • Bake or cook with your child. This helps to develop math, reading and survival skills.
  • Teach your child to clean and disinfect.
  • Play outside…basketball, catch, blow bubbles, hide and seek, take a walk.
  • Play tic tac toe, board games, card games, or make up your own game.

Structure can help get you through this crisis and as a bonus the “together time activities” will help to strengthen family bonds.
By Tammi Pitzen
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U Pick Peaches at Sugar Plumb Acres

I recently found Sugar Plumb Acres on Facebook and was super excited to go out and check out the farm located at 1850 Pioneer Rd. in Talent, Oregon.

We have a family recipe for a peach cake that my children love so it was easy to talk them into coming. When we pulled up to the farm the first thing that caught my eye was all the beautiful flowers!

They have a u-pick area that you can find reasonable priced flowers to make your own bouquet. Our next trip out we will be taking advantage of this for sure. We were directed to area to pick the peaches, you need to bring your own containers to transport them, we brought reusable fruit bags.

There are plenty of low hanging fruit so that even your toddlers are able to participate. Once you’ve gathered all your peaches you just have to pull up to the exit and you’re able to weight and pay right there, the farm does only take cash or checks.

For more information visit

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Free Summer Meals Program for Kids & Teens

Summer Meals -Nourishing Oregon’s Kids.

There are over 800 summer meal sites in Oregon with free meals for kids and teens ages 1-18.

   Summer meal programs may serve a combination of lunch, breakfast, supper and morning or afternoon snacks. Some programs also offer learning activities for kids before or after meals.

     Click on  the map below to find a site near you.


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The 8th annual Kids Dash is June 8th, 2019 at the Grants Pass High School track. Gate opens st 8AM. Entry fee is $10/child.

The Kids Dash was founded by Dr. Nate Tanner. It has been a KidZone Community Foundation event since 2014.

The Kids Dash includes runs for children ages two through middle school as well as relay races for the whole family, a 1600 meter run for middle school and advanced runners, a foam dart javelin throw, standing long jump, a giant slingshot game and the Hue-man race, our version of events like The Color Run(TM).


The Kids Dash will also have a full carnival which is free to all  and is sponsored by Asante Physician Partners.


New this year will be an opportunity to participate in games with student-athletes from the University of Oregon presented by the Oregon Athlete Foundation.

The event also feature a Wellness Midway with presentations by many local fitness and health-related organizations.

Please visit for more information.

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Acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Medicine for Kids

People often ask me if they need to believe in acupuncture for it to work. This question makes me smile. For one, I have to remind myself that acupuncture is still a mystical experience for some people because it’s not well understood. But it is an effective, straight-forward method of helping the body to heal.
My favorite way of explaining how belief is not necessary for acupuncture’s effects is that the populations it works best on are pets and kids.
We know that Fido is not fretting over whether or not his acupuncture treatments are going to cure his arthritis. And the toddler is surely not ruminating over her acupuncture session and creating a placebo effect. It is true that kids and animals both respond to acupuncture more quickly than adults, and often require fewer treatments. I believe that not stressing over the healing process is a large part of what allows kids and animals to heal quicker.
Sometimes people are surprised that children can receive acupuncture. If you have never experienced it, it is helpful to know that it is nothing like getting poked by a syringe! Most people find it to be a painless and relaxing experience.
Kids are most apprehensive in response to their parents being apprehensive. Sometimes children are even braver than adults when trying acupuncture for the first time. Especially if Mom or Dad tries a needle or two as well, curiosity wins out and most kids will be willing to give acupuncture a try.
Chinese medicine is a whole system, and acupuncture is just one part. Nutrition therapy, Chinese herbs, massage, exercises and healthy habits are all important branches of traditional Chinese medicine. When working with children, I like to provide as much at-home care as possible to empower parents to treat their child at home and limit the number of office visits they need.
Traditional Chinese Pediatric Medicine includes acupuncture, herbs, nutrition, and a style of massage called Tuina.  What type of treatment a child will receive is based on their individual needs.
An appointment begins with gathering information about the condition, and some physical examination. Once the acupuncturist has reached a diagnosis, they will begin treatment. If they are doing acupuncture, it is likely only to take about 20 minutes. The younger a child is, the shorter the acupuncture treatment they need.
When the needle is inserted in an acupuncture point on the body, the body has a variety of healing responses. There are now numerous research studies that show many different effects acupuncture has, but not why it has the effects. We can prove some of what acupuncture does through research: changes in neurotransmitters, blood cell counts, hormone levels, immune system function, brain activity, and blood circulation. But we cannot yet explain why acupuncture has these effects.
After the needles are removed, the body continues having the effects for many hours afterward. Treatments come in a series, and the number of treatments needed depends on the condition. Sometimes an acute problem can be fixed in just a couple of sessions, but some serious chronic issues may take a couple of months of weekly visits.
Herbal medicine and nutrition therapy can be just as effective as acupuncture for most conditions, in cases of children who are afraid of needles. Acupuncture and herbs work very well in combination, and most people choose to do both together to get the fastest relief.
The most common conditions I see children for are skin problems, dental issues, digestive problems, bed wetting, sleep issues, ADD/ADHD, diabetes, upper respiratory infections, and autoimmune disorders. Chinese medicine can also be very helpful for teen and pre-teen depression/anxiety and eating disorders.
Please consider trying Chinese medicine if your child is ill. It is best if you can find an acupuncturist experienced in treating children, so be sure to ask. Acupuncture and Chinese Medical Pediatrics should always be a consideration for treatment to keep our kids healthy in a safe, gentle and effective way.
Miranda Black, MAcOM, LAc
Radiant Family LLC


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Women, Infants and Children WIC – Jackson County

The Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children (WIC) is a free nutrition education program that helps families identify healthy nutrition choices that work for them.

Why WIC?
WIC debit

Women on WIC eat a healthier diet, have healthier babies and receive early prenatal care.

Infants born to WIC mothers weigh more and have improved growth and development rates.

Children on WIC eat foods with more iron and vitamin C, and visit their doctors regularly.


You are eligible for WIC if you meet all of the following criteria:

  • Live in Oregon
  • Are a pregnant, postpartum or breastfeeding woman, an infant or a child under 5 years old
  • Have a nutritional need
  • Have a household income that meets the current income guidelines.

*Fathers, grandparents, foster parents or other guardians may apply for WIC for their children.


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T1 Dynamite: A Southern Oregon group for youth with type 1 diabetes and their families

This is a support group for kids under age 25 who have type 1 diabetes. In the world of diabetes, type 2 diabetes tends to get most of the attention, leaving people with type 1 lost in the mix. Of the 26 million Americans living with diabetes, only 5% of that 26 million have type 1.
I have started a group for local youth with type 1 diabetes because I couldn’t find one in Southern Oregon. If you are 25 or under and have type 1 diabetes, please join us at one of our meetings!
This is an active group with each meeting focusing around an active activity such as bowling, swimming, or rock climbing. Being active is an important part of proper diabetes management, but managing your blood glucose during exercise can be difficult. Because of this, many people with type 1 diabetes are discouraged from joining sports teams or doing sports altogether. T1 Dynamite meetings are a safe place to be active, have fun, and learn that it is possible to play sports, even with type 1 diabetes.
Our Group’s Objectives:
1. To help young type 1s and their families connect;
2. To raise awareness about type 1 diabetes in our community; and
3. To be active and do fun things together where we all have type 1 diabetes, and where managing blood glucose is the norm!

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By Dana Nguyen Schmidl, DDS, MS

Orthodontists do more than just straighten teeth. We improve the harmony of the bite, mitigate issues associated with improper jaw alignment, and address aesthetic concerns such as facial symmetry and profile.

 As an orthodontist, the most common question I am asked by patients and dental colleagues is “At what age should a child be evaluated for orthodontic treatment?”

While braces are typically associated with teens, you may be surprised to hear that even children who are still donning some baby teeth may benefit from orthodontic treatment. The American Association of Orthodontists recommends for all children to be evaluated by an orthodontist no later than age 7.

There are several reasons for this recommendation. By age 7, the permanent first molars have erupted, establishing the bite. Also around this time, the permanent front teeth begin to emerge, allowing an orthodontist to evaluate if your child has crowding, spacing, an overbite or underbite. 

 Additional problems such as cross-bites, deep bites, open bites, and adverse dental habits can be detected.

While the majority of children do not need any orthodontic treatment at a young age, early detection can prevent more serious problems from developing and may make subsequent orthodontic treatment shorter and less complicated.

For example, detection and treatment of a prolonged thumb-sucking habit can prevent narrowing of the upper jaw, an open bite, and excessive protrusion of the front teeth.

 If a significant issue is identified during the initial examination, early interceptive (“Phase 1”) orthodontic treatment is recommended. Usually completed in less than a year, this treatment is typically done during the ages of 7-11 when children have a mixture of permanent and baby teeth. Children will then be monitored regularly and evaluated for a second phase of orthodontic treatment once all permanent teeth erupt, around age 12.

If you have questions or concerns about your child’s dental alignment or bite, schedule a consultation appointment with a local orthodontist or ask your family dentist for a referral. Consultations are quick, painless, and often complimentary.  A beautiful smile is right around the curve.

For more information visit Schmidl Orthodontics at

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Guarding Against Online Predators

Are your children safe online? It seems like the online world is harmless right?

Most of the time your children are online in home and sometimes under your watchful eyes.
Did you know that one out of every five youth online is solicited? Did you know that one in four received an unwanted exposure in the past year to pictures of naked people or people having sex?

Very few of these incidents are reported to police and while many did not find these incidents disturbing, they were distressing to a good number of the youth involved. Of the people who participated in the research funded by the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, only 17% of the youth and 11% of the parents could even name a specific authority or internet service provider to which they could even report an internet crime. This is
staggering. Do you know what to do if your child reports to you that he or she was sent pornographic materials on line? These crimes are widely under reported which means that we can’t fully understand the impact these crimes have on the children and families involved.

There are some signs that might be red flags that indicate your child may be connecting with an online predator. None of these signs are definitive but indicate that it may be time to talk to your child to further understand what
is going on. If your child becomes withdrawn or isolated from their friends and family you may want to check in with them. Other red flags include, finding inappropriate or disturbing material on the computer, your child
receives gifts, money, mail or phone contact from people that are not known to you or you see charges on your phone bill from numbers or people that you do not recognize.

If you think that your child is a victim of an on line predator you should reassure your child that it is not their fault. You should save the evidence.
Evidence might be emails, instant messages, or any pictures that might have been sent. You should contact your local law enforcement agency and make a report.

You can also make a report to the CyberTipline at or 1-800-THE-LOST and include all information available, even if you do not feel it is important information.
Guarding Against Online Predators

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Healthy Eating for Kids

You want the best for your family and food is a healthy way to interact with your kids.


Start young

School your children early with board books about fruits and vegetables. Involve them when you go grocery shopping identifying the fruits and vegetables and picking out healthy choices. Kids are more likely to eat healthy if they are engaged in the process of selection, planning and preparation of their meals. You can make meal preparation fun and creative that kids will look forward to. Make scenes with your food, pancake or sandwich faces, craft animals from celery sticks, peanut butter and apples or raisins.  We are taught not to play with our food but a little fun time can be good.


Where Food Comes From

A great way to teach kids about food is to visit the source. Maybe you have space for a garden and can involve your kids in the growing of the food they will eat. Or maybe you can visit a farm, a U pick, Farmers Market or even join a community garden. How fun it can be to grow, care for and pick fresh fruits and vegetables together.


Healthy Snacks

Keep a good choice of healthy snack options at home or when you are on an outing.  Carrot sticks, sliced apples or cucumbers, grapes or raisins, bananas, whole grain crackers, yogurt, popcorn. Seasonal fresh snacks of sliced watermelon, cantaloupe, pineapple, berries, peaches and other sliced fruit is a treat.


Maybe your child is picky about eating fruits and vegetables in the whole form. A good way to be sure they get a mix of fruits and vegetables is making fresh vegetable juice or a smoothie. Carrots, celery, beets and a little ginger make a yummy vegetable combination (you would need a juice machine for best results).  Bananas, strawberries (or other fruit choices) , yogurt and coconut water, almond or soymilk make a yummy smoothie and the variation of combinations of what is right for your family is limitless and a great way to introduce new fruits.  The end result is you are happy knowing your kids have drank their fruits or vegetables.

Be a Good Example

Let your child see you make healthy food choices. If your kids see you eating healthy that will become a norm in their lives. Maybe you can read ingredient labels together, if your kids see it is important to you then it will be important to them to develop healthy eating habits.

Try, Try Again

If your kids reject a new fruit or vegetable, don’t give up.  Take a break and offer at a different setting. There are many creative ways to incorporate fruits and vegetables into main dishes if you search for new recipes.- Zucchini noodles.  Banana and fruit pancakes, cauliflower crust pizza, etc

Make it fun and start young.


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