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Hannibal Regional News

Hannibal Regional Healthcare System News Archive

Choosing Active Learning Toys Bookmark

While choosing toys for your children over the holidays, do not overlook the importance of selecting toys which will promote active learning.  Dr. Julia Roberts, pediatrician with Hannibal Regional Medical Group offers a few tips to help you choose toys that will encourage your children to learn while engaging in play.  “Active learning occurs when children learn or strengthen skills through play,” shares Dr. Roberts. “Toys can help children with their problem solving skills as well as encourage them to be active and explore new things.”

Select toys that encourage exploration and problem solving.
Children are able to practice new skills over and over through play.  “When children play with toys that give them an opportunity to figure something out on their own, or with little help, they are building logical thinking skills and becoming problem-solvers,” shares Dr. Roberts.  Items such as puzzles, blocks, nesting blocks or cups, and art materials are good choices to help children learn and use their problems solving skills.

Find toys that encourage your child to be active.
Toys that encourage children to be active are helping them practice current physical skills and develop new ones.  “Choosing toys that encourage physical activity will help your children develop motor skills and make them more confident to try more activities,” says Dr. Roberts.  Some toys that encourage active play are balls of different shapes and sizes, tricycles or three-wheeled scooters (with appropriate safety gear), gardening tools and plastic bowling sets.  

Choose toys that encourage cross-generational play.
Adults and children can play almost anything together, but some toys are designed for adults to play as well.  Children as young as three can play board games and they are fun for all ages to play. “Playing board games together will help your children learn to count, matching and strengthen memory skills,” says Dr. Roberts.  “Children will also learn listening skills and self-control as they learn to follow the rules.”

Toy Safety Tips for the Holiday Season Bookmark

During the Christmas season children will receive a variety of toys - but some of them come with potential safety risks if it is not age appropriate or if the warning labels are ignored.  Dr. Julia Roberts, Pediatrician with Hannibal Regional Medical Group, has a few tips to help make this Christmas a safe one.

Buy age appropriate toys.
When choosing toys as gifts, age matters.  Small items are not the safest choice for young children.  For children under age three, choose toys that are at least 1 inch in diameter and 2 inches long, so they will not lodge in a child’s mouth or throat.  “It is also important to watch for pull toys with longer strings as they could be a potential strangulation hazard for babies,” notes Dr. Roberts. “If you are purchasing gifts for an older child be sure to keep in mind younger siblings as well.  If you purchase a toy for an older child that has several small parts try to keep it separate from the younger siblings toys.”

Be cautious about toys containing button batteries or magnets.
Children can have serious stomach and intestinal problems – including death – after swallowing button batteries or magnets. “Button batteries or small magnets can be in a variety of items - not just toys,” notes Dr. Roberts.  “If children swallow batteries or magnets it could lead to serious medical problems and you should call your healthcare provider immediately.” In addition to toys, button batteries may be in musical greeting cards, remote controls, hearing aids, and other small electronics. Small, powerful magnets may be part of building toy sets.

Avoid choking hazards.
“Test your child’s toy to see if there are any small parts that can break off and check to see if the toy you choose has small parts - if they can fit inside a paper towel roll they are potential choking hazards,” notes Dr. Roberts.  Don’t forget to discard any plastic wrapping or other toy packaging once the gifts are opened. When storing toys, remember to store toys for older kids separate from toys for younger kids.

To contact the pediatrics office at Hannibal Regional Medical Group call (573) 629-3500.

 

Back to School: Tips for a Better Year Bookmark

Dr. Deborah BaumannThe time for kids to head back to school is quickly approaching and as your family adjusts to the new school year, it’s a good idea to take some precautionary measures to set your kids up for a safe, healthy year.  Dr. Deborah Baumann, pediatrician with Hannibal Regional Medical Group, has a few tips to help make sure your children will have a great year.

Alert the school of health concerns.
One of the most important things you can do to ensure your child remains healthy is to make certain the school is aware of your child’s health care needs and knows how to address them. “If your child takes any medication, or experiences common health problems such as severe allergies, asthma or physical restrictions, it’s a good idea to prepare your school nurse or administrator for potential health issues prior to the first day of school.  Remember to also provider proper medicine and dosage information, as well as emergency contact and physician information” shares Dr. Baumann.

Schedule a well-child visit.
An annual well-child visit with your child’s pediatrician will help ensure your child is healthy before returning to class.  “A well-child visit is one of the best things you can do to keep your children healthy. Annual visits are recommended until kids head off to college.  It’s a good time for parents to visit with us and share any concerns” says Dr. Baumann. Well-child visits are also a good time to complete any needed sports physicals, update any prescriptions or have any other necessary forms signed.  

Establish good hygiene habits and know when to stay home.
We have likely all heard about the importance of proper hand hygiene and it is no different for kids.  It is a good idea to help kids establish a habit of washing their hands before eating and after bathroom use and remind your kids that there are times when it’s ok not to share. “Help your children understand that there are certain things that shouldn’t be shared.  These items include eating utensils, drinking cups, water bottles, grooming articles, etc. It is especially important to keep this in mind during cold and flu season” says Dr. Baumann.

If your child is sick, please don’t send them to school.  If your child is running a fever, is vomiting or having diarrhea, please stay home and rest.  If more symptoms appear or continue to worsen, consult with your healthcare provider.

Manage stress and re-establish routines.
Back-to-school time can be overwhelming and a bit stressful for kids and parents, but too much stress can lead to a variety of health issues.  “You can help your children manage stress by talking to them about anything that’s bothering them” notes Dr. Baumann. “Schoolwork and after-school activities are important, but don’t forget that it’s also important to take time to relax and spend time together as a family.”  

At least one week before school begins, shift your children from flexible summer sleep hours to bedtime schedules that fit the school year.  “To help re-establish a good sleep routine, turn off all screens to include computer, television and phone 30 minutes prior to sleep” says Dr. Baumann.  “The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends teenagers sleep 8 to 10 hours per 24 hours on a regular basis to promote optimal health.”

To contact Hannibal Regional Medical Group call 573-629-3500.

Hannibal Regional Medical Group Welcomes Dr. Roberts Bookmark

Hannibal Regional Medical Group (HRMG) is pleased to announce the addition of Dr. Roberts to their Pediatrics team! Julia Roberts, DO earned her medical degree at Kansas City University of Medicine & Biosciences. HRMG's pediatrics team is excited to have Dr. Roberts join them as they continue to guide the community to better.

When asked why she chose to specialize in pediatrics, Dr. Roberts shares, “I absolutely love watching families grow and being part of their child's development. From telling a family they have a healthy newborn to delivering life-changing news to a family about their child's health - I consider my role as a pediatrician an honor in the lives of my patients and their families.” Dr. Roberts has always had the desire to help others and was exposed to the healthcare field at an early age, so deciding to become a physician was a natural progression. Dr. Robert's goal is to make sure families are able to focus on loving and nurturing their child while allowing her to take care of the medical side of things. Dr. Roberts says, “As a mother of two, I know how challenging raising kids can be and I want my families to know they have my support along the way.”

Dr. Roberts is accepting new patients and works with the compassionate, skilled pediatric team of Deborah Baumann, MD; Barbara White, DO and Jennifer Bowler, DNP. To reach the pediatric office at Hannibal Regional Medical Group call 573-629-3500.

Hannibal Regional Medical Group Welcomes Jennifer Bowler, DNP Bookmark

Hannibal Regional Medical Group (HRMG) is pleased to announce the addition of Jennifer Bowler, DNP, CPNP-PC to their pediatrics team! Jennifer Bowler, DNP completed her Nurse Practitioner degree at MU Sinclair School of Nursing in Columbia, MO. Ms. Bowler is certified as a Primary Care Pediatric Nurse Practitioner (CPNP-PC), which means she has in-depth knowledge and experience in well child care, prevention and management of common pediatric acute illnesses and chronic conditions. HRMG is excited to have Jennifer Bowler, DNP join their pediatrics team as they continue to guide the community to better. 

At the age of nine Bowler told her family that she would like to work in a profession that cares for children and has never once doubted her decision. Growing up she enjoyed reading her mother’s EMT books and would often accompany her to classes. “The most rewarding part of my job is getting to know the kids and their families, watch them grow and teach them to live a safe and healthy life along the way,” shares Jennifer Bowler, DNP. “It’s my goal to have all of my families walk out of my office feeling confident and satisfied with their care.”

Jennifer Bowler, DNP is accepting new patients and works alongside the compassionate, skilled pediatric team of Deborah Baumann, MD; Julia Roberts, DO and Barbara White, DO. To reach the pediatric office at Hannibal Regional Medical Group call 573-629-3500.