Flu Season Tips


By Aging Well Blogger Karen Reynolds, Advanced Practice Nurse – Geriatrics

We are right in the middle of winter, although I say that tongue in cheek for those of us in Florida, as we have seen only a mild seasonal change. However, we are also right in the middle of cold and flu season, which occurs Oct. 1 – March 31 annually. (more…)

Mental Health Tips for the Holidays from the American Academy of Pediatrics


The holidays are a fun, exciting, and sometimes stressful time for most everyone, especially children. Busy weeks are filled with decorating and holiday shopping; celebrations and visiting with family and friends; and the anticipation of parties, presents and a magical new year.

Many children and adults experience a sense of loss, sadness or isolation during the holidays. It is important to be sensitive to these feelings and ask for help for you, your children, family members or friends if needed.

Keeping everyone happy, healthy and safe is always a priority. Here are a few tips from the AAP to help us:


Visiting and Celebrating

  • Clean up immediately after a holiday party. A toddler could rise early and choke on leftover food or come in contact with alcohol or tobacco.
  • Remember that the homes you visit may not be childproofed. Keep an eye out for danger spots like unlocked cabinets, unattended purses, accessible cleaning or laundry products, stairways, or hot radiators.
  • Keep a list with all of the important phone numbers you or a baby-sitter are likely to need in case of an emergency. Include the police and fire department, your pediatrician and the national Poison Help Line, 1-800-222-1222. Laminating the list will prevent it from being torn or damaged by accidental spills.
  • Always make sure your child rides in an appropriate car seat, booster seat, or seat belt. In cold weather, children in car seats should wear thin layers with a blanket over the top of the harness straps if needed, not a thick coat or snowsuit. Adults should buckle up too, and drivers should never be under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
  • Traveling, visiting family members, getting presents, shopping, etc., can all increase your child’s stress levels. Trying to stick to your child’s usual routines, including sleep schedules and timing of naps, can help you and your child enjoy the holidays and reduce stress.
  • Try to keep household routines the same. Stick to your child’s usual sleep and mealtime schedules when you can, which may reduce stress and help your family enjoy the holidays.
  • Take care of yourself both mentally and physically. Children and adolescents are affected by the emotional well-being of their parent or caregivers. Coping with stress successfully can help children learn how to handle stress better, too.
  • Make a plan to focus on one thing at a time. Try a few ideas to balance the hustle and bustle of things like shopping, cooking, and family get-togethers during the holidays: Stop and pay attention to what is happening at the moment, focus your attention on one thing about it ,and notice how you are feeling at the time. Withhold immediate judgment, and instead be curious about the experience.
  • Give to others by making it an annual holiday tradition to share your time and talents with people who have less than you do. For example, if your child is old enough, encourage him or her to join you in volunteering to serve a holiday meal at your local food bank or shelter or sing at a local nursing home. Help your child write a letter to members of the armed forces stationed abroad who can’t be home with their own family during the holidays.
  • Kids still need to brush their teeth twice a day!
  • Don’t feel pressured to “over-spend on gifts.” Consider making one or two gifts. Help your child make a gift for his or her other parent, grandparents, or other important adults and friends. Chances are, those gifts will be the most treasured ones and will teach your child many important lessons.
  • Most important of all, enjoy the holidays for what they are — time to enjoy with your family. So, be a family, do things together like playing board games, and spend time visiting with relatives, neighbors, and friends.

Mom-to-Mom Groups are Beneficial


A mother recently asked if I thought a Mom-to-Mom support group would truly be helpful to her.   After all, life is hectic and she was trying to scale back on ‘other’ activities; not add to her busy life. (more…)

Breathing Easier Thanks to Advanced Heart Valve Option


Steve Baran underwent his second aortic valve replacement in 2016, choosing Sarasota Memorial Hospital’s cardiac surgery team, which offers a full spectrum of minimally invasive and advanced surgical options as well as the latest generation valves. (more…)

Rehabilitation Pavilion Opening Update


The opening of Sarasota Memorial’s new Rehabilitation Pavilion, originally scheduled for Dec. 17, 2016, has been postponed and now will take place in the new year.  A new grand opening will be announced soon.

Take a Break from the Holiday Stress!


Feeling frazzled from holiday to-dos and all of the hustle and bustle? During the next two weeks, stop by SMH for a special stress buster! Learn how to relax, decompress and enjoy a healthier holiday season. (more…)

Skin to Skin in the OR


SMH Women’s and Children’s Department understands that birth is a special experience for all families.  The initial moment of ‘welcoming baby’ into our lives is a special family time. (more…)