I have written before about what it was like when my son had a malignant skin cancer at the age of five. Thankfully, God saved him for another purpose in life, but September is a month to think about children of all ages because it’s the month for childhood cancer, infant mortality, newborn screening, and childhood obesity awareness.
I remember when he was just born and a nurse came into our room and took his foot and pierced it. She squeezed out his blood and his cries made me twinge in horror. What could be so important that the nurse had to do that to him? I found out later that pinprick could have made the difference in his life if he had one of the diseases that they test for at newborn screening.
These tests are for diseases you don’t notice when you see a newborn baby, but they can prevent healthy development and lifelong impairment according to KidsHealth. There are no federal standards for this but most states screen for about 30 diseases.A friend of mine just had a baby a few days ago. She had experienced many miscarriages and this baby coming to term was a true miracle. But the vigilance is not over now. According to the Centers for Disease Control, about 25,000 babies each year die before they turn one, some from birth defects, some from preterm birth during their first year, some from pregnancy complications or injuries and some from Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS).
Billboards across my town have shown a woman in a turtle neck asking people not to let her be the last one to see their baby. She is a coroner who sees babies die from cosleeping all too often.
I need to warn my friend about cosleeping, or sleeping with your baby. I never did it because I wanted to keep our bed for my husband and I, but now I’m glad we decided that because I know it could have saved my son’s life.
I also wanted to mention that this month is National Childhood Obesity Awareness month. My son is not obese. But he does spend a lot of time in front of the computer or TV. He also does not have physical education for the first time this year.
I’ve tried to start a walking time for us as a family to exercise, but a lot of time my husband or I are not around to do it. He does martial arts three nights a week and I play tennis one night. We are modeling exercise but not making it a part of our life with our son.
Unfortunately, he doesn’t want to do tennis or martial arts with us. So, we need to step up and find something to do with him. Walking is the natural choice. It’s easy, fairly quick to do, and we have a great neighborhood for it. First, though I think I need to use the Screen Time Chart you can get from the National Institute of Health to show my husband and son how much screen time our son actually gets per day. I’m going to print it out and use it.
I hope he never has a recurrence of his cancer, but if he does, I just might need another service I found out about recently Compass to Care. They provide transportation to treatment for the families of kids with cancer. We had to go to another state for our son’s surgery and 40 percent of children diagnosed with cancer do not have an oncologist within 60 miles of them.
I stuffed a lot into one post today about kids and didn’t talk so much about volunteering and charity. Whenever I mention a topic relating to health, there is usually an organization that needs your help, either volunteering or money, but there’s another issue that’s always there—awareness. This week I’m letting people know about these issues to help prevent them becoming problems. Have a great weekend and God Bless.