Thursday, May 24, 2018
Health

Kids and caretakers enjoy All Children's new playground — and a visit from Ann Romney

ST. PETERSBURG

Seth Morano had a few words of advice for the lady in a bright pink dress and a triple strand of pearls.

"Let yourself shine," the 11-year-old told Ann Romney as she arrived Wednesday morning at All Children's Hospital, fresh off her nationally televised speech the night before at the Republican National Convention in Tampa.

At a ribbon-cutting ceremony for a playground intended as a therapeutic tool, the wife of presidential candidate Mitt Romney credited Seth, who receives therapy at the hospital, for a powerful message.

"We're all limited," Ann Romney said. "We may not know how limited we all are, but we all have our own limits, and our own disabilities — and our own issues that we may struggling with," she said. "They may not be physical, but remembering to go to the joy is such an important lesson."

And there is no place like a playground for children to find joy.

The Credit Union National Association, the League of Southeastern Credit Unions and National Journal Group partnered to donate the facility as "leave behind'' project to commemorate the RNC.

Its unusual features include two things that Seth, who mostly uses a wheelchair, asked for — a swing for children with special needs and a bike trail for his three-wheeler.

"It's like a normal playground," said Seth, who comes to All Children's from his home in Sarasota for therapy to mitigate health issues including cerebral palsy and a seizure disorder.

It may be even better than a traditional playground. The rock climbing wall, airplane bouncer and water-sand table — among other features — were instant hits with Mrs. Romney's 12 grandchildren, ages 3 to 11, accompanying her on the brief campaign stop.

Eleven-year-old Chloe Romney called the local children who will be using the playground in the future "really lucky."

"It's a really fun playground," she said, "and most hospitals don't have one."

Indeed, All Children's had been without one since moving into a new facility almost two years ago. And it has been many more years, officials noted, since the hospital had a play area designed specifically for therapy.

In addition to the equipment that will help children build strength and coordination, therapists expect to use the playground for speech, eating and sensory development.

"We can do picnics in the park," said Cara Drumm, a speech therapist working with 15-month-old Jack Cole, who has Down's Syndrome. The St. Petersburg boy was born prematurely and spent almost three months in neonatal intensive care.

For example, Drumm noted, the short walk from the adjacent outpatient therapy center offers the chance to practice opening and closing doors, and pressing elevator buttons.

And for Jack's language development, play can be work in disguise.

"Instead of seeing pictures of things," said mother Danielle Cole, "he'll actually be able to do 'up,' 'down,' 'swing,' 'climb.' "

Among the lessons for Jack, Seth and the other children at Wednesday's dedication ceremony — in politics, there's a lot of smiling for photos. But it's not hard to look happy on a playground.

Comments
Estimated 7,000 bodies may be buried at former asylum

Estimated 7,000 bodies may be buried at former asylum

STARKVILLE, Miss. — Some of the boxes stacked inside anthropologist Molly Zuckerman’s laboratory contain full bones — a skull, a jaw, or a leg. Others contain only plastic bags of bone fragments that Zuckerman describes as "grit." These humble remain...
Published: 05/23/18
FDA warns teething medicines are unsafe for babies

FDA warns teething medicines are unsafe for babies

WASHINGTON — Federal health officials warned parents Wednesday about the dangers of teething remedies that contain a popular numbing ingredient and asked manufacturers to stop selling their products intended for babies and toddlers. The Food and Drug...
Published: 05/23/18
A chronic lack of sleep could lead to decreased brain function, study finds

A chronic lack of sleep could lead to decreased brain function, study finds

A sleep study revealed that less than six hours of sleep a day can limit the brain’s ability to function properly.The study, published on Monday in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, found that people experiencing less than...
Published: 05/23/18
Many cancer patients juggle care along with financial pain

Many cancer patients juggle care along with financial pain

Josephine Rizo survived chemotherapy, surgery and radiation, but breast cancer treatment wrecked her finances.Money was already tight when doctors told the Phoenix resident she had an aggressive form of the disease. Then she took a pay cut after goin...
Published: 05/22/18

Hernando County officials gather to remedy ‘dearth of services’ for youth with mental illness

BROOKSVILLE — Educators, court officials, law enforcement officers and health care professionals met Friday to identify the best ways to keep local youth with mental illnesses out of the court system and provide treatment for those already in the sys...
Published: 05/22/18
Give your arms a workout, too

Give your arms a workout, too

In addition to appearance, it is very important to maintain strength in those arms, as they are needed for practically every upper body movement we perform. We often take our 23 arm muscles for granted, until we reach a point where it suddenly become...
Published: 05/22/18
Intermittent fasting seems to be a good thing, new report suggests

Intermittent fasting seems to be a good thing, new report suggests

Going long hours without eating isn’t good for us, we are often told. Our bodies need fuel regularly. Otherwise, we may become lethargic, tired and hungry. Our thinking can become mushy, our ability to work, and even play, hampered.Not so fast.A new ...
Published: 05/22/18
U.S. approves first drug developed to prevent chronic migraines

U.S. approves first drug developed to prevent chronic migraines

TRENTON, N.J. — U.S. regulators Thursday approved the first drug designed to prevent chronic migraines. The Food and Drug Administration’s action clears the monthly shot Aimovig (AIM’-oh-vig) for sale. It’s the first in a new class of long-acting dru...
Published: 05/18/18
Know your blood pressure numbers? Today (May 17) is World Hypertension Day

Know your blood pressure numbers? Today (May 17) is World Hypertension Day

Today (May 17) is World Hypertension Day, and the American Medical Association is encouraging people to monitor their blood pressure levels and get high blood pressure, or hypertension, under control. High blood pressure, sometimes referred to as the...
Published: 05/17/18
Study: Depression in men may lower chances for pregnancy

Study: Depression in men may lower chances for pregnancy

Women having trouble getting pregnant sometimes try yoga, meditation or mindfulness, and some research suggests that psychological stress may affect infertility. But what about men: Does their mental state affect a couple’s ability to conceive?The la...
Published: 05/17/18