Tuesday, July 24th, 2012
Survival Rates for Premies Are Better Than Previously Reported
Premature babies are more likely to survive when they are born in high-level neonatal intensive care units (NICUs) than in hospitals without such facilities. Pediatric researchers who analyzed more than 1.3 million premature births over a 10-year span found that the survival benefits applied not only to extremely preterm babies, but also to moderately preterm newborns. (via Science Daily)
Severely Obese Babies: Hearts Already in Danger
Heart disease is normally associated with middle age, but the early warning signs were detected in children between the ages of two and 12. Two-thirds of the 307 children studied had a least one early symptom such as high blood pressure. (via BBC)
Social Deprivation Has a Measurable Effect On Brain Growth
Severe psychological and physical neglect produces measurable changes in children’s brains, finds a study led by Boston Children’s Hospital. But the study also suggests that positive interventions can partially reverse these changes. (via Science Daily)
After 30 Years, Unintended Birth Rate Still Almost 40 Percent
About 37 percent of births in the United States are the result of unintended pregnancies, a proportion that has remained fairly steady since 1982, according to new research from the National Center for Health Statistics, a branch of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (via ABC)
Childhood Obesity Linked to Cancer Risk
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According to the American Heart Association, one in three children and teenagers are now considered overweight or obese. There is a growing recognition of health problems associated with extra pounds, including the risk of diabetes, heart disease, and joint and muscle pain. (via Science Daily)
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Thursday, April 26th, 2012
I’m offering a guest post today from my sister Molly. She works for Event 360, which helps organizations use events to create a better world. One of its biggest events is the Susan G. Komen 3-Day, which has raised nearly $600 million in the fight to end breast cancer. She just wrote a great post about her experience helping my daughter raise money for the American Heart Association’s Jump Rope For Heart program (that’s her in the photo, jumping away), and I think there’s so much here for parents to think about.
I’ve written before about how I’m the go-to fundraiser in my family. Previously, I was helping my cousin raise money for juvenile diabetes. But today I’m writing about how I helped my 6-year old niece, Julia, raise money for heart disease.
I received an email from my sister stating, “Julia’s learning about children with heart disease and wants to do her part to help. She’ll be participating in Jump Rope for Heart. In addition to raising money for the American Heart Association, your donation will help Julia’s school win free physical education equipment. And the class that raises the most gets to have lunch and recess with the gym teachers–another big incentive for Julia! Thanks for any amount you donate.”
I went directly to Julia’s fundraising page only to discover that her fundraising goal was set to $200. Not only was it entirely too low for my liking, but she had almost reached her goal. As a result, I didn’t really feel compelled to donate.
Here’s what happened next:
Me: Please increase her goal to $500 and then I’ll make my donation
Sister: How about $300? I don’t plan to hit up many people! I figure we have a lifetime of these asks ahead of us.
Sister: Yes ma’am.
Me: Donation made.
I can’t stress enough the importance of setting a challenging goal and updating it as you get closer to hitting it to ensure people will still feel compelled to donate. Within one day, and with the help of Facebook status updates from her three aunts, Julia’s fundraising went through the roof and she had met her fundraising goal. Within two days, Julia raised $615 and became the top fundraiser in her 1st grade classroom.
If you’re looking to engage children in fundraising, here are some tips you’ll want to consider:
- Make the message as simple and relatable as you can. Julia understood that it was as basic as asking people for money, spending some time jump roping and she’d be helping people she’d never meet.
- When engaging children, use video as much as possible to show them who they’re helping and why. Julia remembered the name of the girl in the video – Britney – and could even describe how her heart sounded (with a “whoosh”). More than that, she understood that what she heard wasn’t normal or the way your heart is supposed to sound. The video helped her connect and stay connected to Britney.
- Connect the activity to the cause. In the video they played at school to engage Julia and her classmates, they witnessed Britney getting better and even being able to jump rope. Julia was really impressed that Britney could now jump rope and learned that jumping rope would make her own heart strong too.
- Incentives work for all sorts of people as my friend Jill Stewart recently shared and this couldn’t be truer for children. Even better, when you’re dealing with tiny humans, they don’t need anything that costs money. The thought of winning lunch with her teachers was enough to keep Julia focused on the task at hand! And then, Julia was rewarded for all her hard work when she learned that the teachers changed their mind and instead of just inviting the top class, they decided to also invite a few other big fundraisers. She was psyched to get an invitation from her gym teachers to join them for lunch for being the top fundraiser in her class! These kinds of things cost nothing and go a very long way with children.
- Take any opportunity you have to remind children that we all share in the responsibility to help people who aren’t as fortunate or as healthy as we are.
The bottom line is that there’s no age requirement when it comes to fundraising. In fact, the top fundraiser in Julia’s school was in kindergarten! Regardless of your age, there are important and valuable lifelong lessons that fundraising can teach you. Why not start early?
I’m curious: Have you helped your child with fundraisers? How did it go? Which causes are dear to your family, and why?
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Thursday, December 16th, 2010
SIDS Spikes on New Year’s Day
Not a happy holiday thought, but an important one: The number of babies who die of SIDS, or sudden infant death syndrome, surges by 33 percent on New Year’s Day. The suspected reason? Alcohol consumption by caretakers the night before. (Science Daily)
Most Young Children Consume Caffeine Each Day
A new U.S. study finds that 75 percent of children consume caffeine daily, largely through sodas. And the more caffeine they consumed, the less they slept. (US News)
Get a Head Start on New Year’s Resolutions
Nintendo and the American Heart Association have teamed up for the “12 Days of Getting Active,” a series of daily tips to make it easy for people to get active during the dessert-enticing holiday season. A recent survey found that 68 percent of people who play active-play video games start becoming more physically active in real life. (Activeplaynow.com)
Humana Foundation Awards Grants To Combat Childhood Obesity
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Humana Inc. (NYSE: HUM) and The Humana Foundation announced today that five U.S. nonprofit organizations will receive a total of $212,000 to combat childhood obesity, a serious public health crisis in the U.S. These grants are a part of The Humana Foundation’s 2010 Future Without Childhood Obesity initiative. Humana recognizes that childhood obesity carries with it significant consequences – related medical costs have reached $14 billion per year and children are now being diagnosed with adult weight-related diseases, like type 2 diabetes, that significantly threaten quality of life. (Medical News Today)