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MCHC Awarded Healthy Communities Grant

Child obesity/overweight rates have been steadily climbing for the last thirty years nationwide. Today, one in three children is overweight or obese, a percentage that has doubled since 1990 and quadrupled for adolescents. Weight impacts risk for heart disease, type 2 Diabetes, asthma, sleep apnea, and psychological stress. Despite a slight decline in obesity rates among 2-4 year olds enrolled in WIC from 2010-2014, the state of Missouri is still among the lowest performers in childhood obesity rates. Why is MCHC getting involved in driving down the rates of obesity among children in Kansas City? Family health is a continuum that does not end with the birth of a child. Missouri rates for overweight and obesity among low-income children is 27%. These children often live in food deserts, do not have adequate infrastructure to play outside safely at home, and cannot afford nutrient-dense, fresh food. The quality of a child’s food and access to physical activity are delivered and determined by the early child care providers during most of the child’s waking hours for the majority of a given week. I am pleased to announce that MCHC has received a Health Forward Foundation Healthy Communities grant to begin reversing these trends by building community support to enact a city ordinance that establishes evidence-based strategies around healthy food, physical activity, and reduced screen time for children at our early care facilities. This project, titled Healthy Bodies, Healthy Minds will bring together community partners, parents, and providers to establish a more level playing field when it comes to developing good health habits for all of our children. The Kansas City Council has made the health of this community a priority for several years. Passage of prevention policies such as this initiative are so important to improving the overall health of Kansas City’s youngest, and bending the curve on health outcomes tied to place. Tracy Russell Executive Director Mother & Child Health Coalition...

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August is National Breastfeeding Month- A Special Film Screening

This August, in honor of National Breastfeeding Month, we’re sharing tips and resources to help women start and continue to breastfeed. Visit womenshealth.gov for information from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Office on Women’s Health (OWH) on the benefits of breastfeeding, how to overcome common challenges, and why building a support system of family and friends is an important step for breastfeeding success. You can even download a free copy of Your Guide to Breastfeeding, an easy-to-read guide that covers everything from making the decision to breastfeed to getting a good latch to weaning your baby. Join the conversation on social media throughout the month using #BreastfeedingTips4Mom and follow OWH on Twitter and Facebook. CHOCOLATE MILK: A DOCUMENTARY FILM SCREENING Wednesday, August 14, 2019 1:30 – 4:00 p.m. Please use the link below to register. REGISTER Told through the narratives of three African American women: a new mother, a midwife and a WIC lactation educator, the film seeks to answer the longstanding question of why more African American women are not breastfeeding. By creating an engaging narrative centered around the challenges of breastfeeding, Chocolate Milk will spark public discussion on how communities can better support black mothers. Join us for a free screening and panel discussion with breastfeeding experts from Women, Infants & Children (WIC) and breastfeeding moms. Co-hosted by Mother & Child Health Coalition and Samuel U. Rodgers WIC. The screening will be held at Samuel U. Rodgers Health Center 825 Euclid Ave KCMO 64124 Lower Level Community Rooms A & B Light refreshments will be served Please use the link below to register....

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Kansas Schools To Require Two New Vaccines

TOPEKA — Kansas schools will require two new vaccines come August, including one against a virus that’s hospitalized 13,000 people and killed 200 across the country since 2016. The new rules, which apply to public and private schools, will be phased in over the next several years. But come August, schools will check that: Kindergartners and first-graders have gotten hepatitis A vaccine. Seventh-graders have had their first dose of a MenACWY, a vaccine against four types of meningococcal bacteria. 11th-graders get a dose of MenACWY, too (even students who received a first dose when they were younger will need a booster dose). Kansas allows exemptions for medical and religious reasons, but not philosophical reasons. Nationally, 25 states have seen more than 20,000 cases of hepatitis A in widespread outbreaks since 2016. Most people shake off hepatitis A in a matter of weeks. Others fight it for months. The liver infection often spreads through contamination in water, raw or undercooked foods or through sex. Kansas hasn’t seen any recent cases, though its neighbors have. More than 300 in Missouri and nearly 100 in Colorado have gotten sick. Read about the known side effects of specific vaccines here. No evidence links vaccines to autism, a myth that got its start with a debunked academic article.  Read Autism Speaks’ FAQ page on what does and doesn’t cause autism here. Most people shake off hepatitis A in a matter of weeks, the federal Centers for Disease Control say. But others fight the illness for months, suffering from things like diarrhea, fatigue, vomiting, fever, jaundice and stomach pain. Last month, the federal panel of health experts that sets vaccine guidelines recommended children and teens who missed the hepatitis A shots as toddlers get them now. In Kansas, federal data suggest more than 85% of children receive it as toddlers, in part because it was already required for day care. Fewer Kansans get the MenACWY vaccine. Meningococcal bacteria cause, among other things, meningitis. Source: Kansas Department of Health and Environment Outbreaks are rare but nearly a third of patients die, lose limbs or sustain long-term brain damage. People living in close quarters, such as college dorms, are at higher risk of contracting meningococcal disease.  Celia Llopis-Jepsen reports on consumer health and education for the Kansas News Service. You can follow her on Twitter @Celia_LJ or email her at celia (at) kcur (dot) org. The Kansas News Service is a collaboration of KCUR, Kansas Public Radio, KMUW and High...

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Have a Safe 4th of July Celebration!

Office of the Kansas State Fire Marshall: Celebrate safely this Independence Day More than 200 fireworks-related injuries occurred last year in Kansas Topeka – The Kansas Department of Health and Environment, Office of the State Fire Marshal and Safe Kids Kansas would like to remind Kansans of the importance of fireworks safety this Independence Day. Fireworks are dangerous to both adults and children if not handled properly. Out of 207 reported fireworks-related injuries in Kansas in 2018, males between the ages of 9 and 34 were the most commonly injured demographic, according to the 2018 Kansas Fireworks Injury Survey. Males represented 64 percent of the total number of injuries. Nearly half of the injuries involved children under the age of 18. Hands, eyes, face and head injuries were among those reported. “Hand injuries are the most common injury seen in Kansas, at 34 percent,” Cherie Sage, Director of Safe Kids Kansas, said. “It’s really important for little hands to not light fireworks. This includes sparklers, which burn at a temperature hot enough to melt glass. We encourage parents to let their little ones use glow sticks instead of sparklers.” The data was collected through voluntary reporting from Kansas hospitals and administered by the Office of the State Fire Marshal. “We want all Kansans to have a fun, safe Fourth of July,” Doug Jorgensen, Fire Marshal for the State of Kansas, said. “We know the safest way to enjoy fireworks is to visit public fireworks displays conducted by trained professionals who know how to properly handle fireworks. If you are going to purchase and partake in consumer fireworks, a few simple precautions can prevent you or your loved ones from becoming one of these statistics.” Jorgensen added that always using a long-handled lighter to ignite fireworks, lighting from a solid, flat and stable platform and making sure fireworks debris has cooled off completely before disposing, are tips that can significantly lower the risk of injuries and fires. “It’s everyone’s responsibility to ensure a safe and healthy holiday,” Lee Norman, Secretary of KDHE, said. “Having a water supply handy, being prepared with first aid kits and following the laws and safety protocols are just a few ways Kansans of every age can come together for a great, safe Fourth of July.” Other tips include: Have an adult supervise all fireworks activities Always ignite fireworks outdoors Light only one firework at a...

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What’s behind the statistics for maternal mortality in Missouri?

KCUR 89.3 FM Central Standard, with host Gina Kauffman Monday, June 24, 2019: Missouri ranks 42nd in the United States for maternal outcomes, with a number of pregnancy or childbirth related deaths per capita among the worst in the nation, according to a recent article by Andy Marso in the Kansas City Star. Today’s guests say that’s an indicator of poor health in the state overall. Tracy Russell, executive director, Mother & Child Health Coalition Beth Simpson, MD pediatrician, Children’s Mercy Hospital Keri Ingle, Missouri State representative LISTEN to the 49 minute...

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