Get Moving with a Free Child Physical Activity Program You Can Do from Home!

Many Latino children have pressing mental health needs but are not getting adequate mental health care, studies have shown.  COVID-19 didn’t help, either.  The pandemic heightened social isolation, dependence on smartphones and social media, and mental health issues among young people.   Meanwhile, opportunities declined for physical activity – a proven method for treating disorders such as depression and anxiety.  Loss of physical activity can harm physical, emotional, social, and mental health.  This is why a PhD student at Michigan State University is offering a free online program geared to increasing physical activity to improve mental health in Latino children between the ages of 7 and 11.  About the Physical Activity Program  The program is part of a ...

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USDA Approves Big Changes to Improve Nutrition in WIC Food Packages

USDA has approved a final rule to improve nutrition and support breastfeeding in food packages in the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC). The final rule includes these changes: Require WIC-eligible whole grain breakfast cereals contain a whole grain as the first ingredient. Increase access to whole grains in breakfast cereal, bread, and grains, including "tortillas made with folic acid-fortified corn masa flour (once available in the marketplace)." Expand whole grain options to include foods like quinoa, blue cornmeal, and teff to reflect dietary guidance and accommodate individual or cultural preferences. Provide more convenience and options in the dairy category, including flexibility on package sizes and non-dairy substitution ...

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Houston’s Latino Children Struggle with Diabetes, Health Challenges

Nearly one of every two people are Latino in Harris County, Texas, which is home to Houston, the nation’s fourth-largest city. As the Latino community rises, equitable health, education, and opportunity is critical. That is why two Houston organizations, Children at Risk and Child Health Policy at the Baker Institute, published the 2024 Latino Child Health Initiative Report to examine the state of Latino child health in Precinct 2, one of four precincts in Harris County. The report identified high rates of type 2 diabetes and obesity among Latino children in Houston, as well as barriers to mental health services and kindergarten readiness. Let’s dive into the report and how it reflects the overall US Latino population. Latino Children and Risk for Diabetes, Obesity In ...

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After COVID: Many Latinos Still Stuck in Inflexible Jobs

When COVID-19 hit, it hurt many Latinos who worked in industries and jobs with few benefits and no flexibilities to respond to childcare disruptions.   Unfortunately, after the pandemic, that situation remains.  The industry and occupational distribution of Latino parents with low incomes remains largely unchanged from pre- to post-pandemic for mothers and fathers, according to a recent study from the National Research Center on Hispanic Children and Families.  “We provide the first national portrait of the industries and occupations that employ Latino parents with low incomes in the aftermath of the pandemic, and highlight employment shifts that occurred during the pandemic,” according to the study.   Let’s dive into the study finding and how it impacts Latino ...

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Many Latino Families Struggle with Child Care Cost, Access

Child care is crucial for Latino and all families, but some face issues with access and cost.   While many Latino households with low incomes used no-cost child care, those who paid out-of-pocket tended to face very high costs, according to a new research brief from the National Research Center on Hispanic Children and Families (Hispanic Research Center).  “Our findings suggest a need for sustained and varied investments to support affordable child care access for Hispanic families with low incomes,” according to the Hispanic Research Center.   Let’s dig deeper into how this impacts Latino families.   Child care Costs for Latinos   The Hispanic Research Center examined data from the 2019 National Survey of Early Care and Education to explore the average weekly hours ...

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CDC: Mistreatment During Maternity Care Contributes to Maternal Health Disparities

mistreatment maternity care

Despite the heaviest spending on healthcare, the United States has the highest maternal mortality rate among developed nations. Sadly, this historic trend has worsened over time and disproportionately impacts women of color. The reasons for America’s maternal health crisis is multi-faceted, but a new Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Vital Signs survey highlights one potential reason for this worsening health trend – mistreatment of women by healthcare workers during pregnancy and delivery care. Let’s explore the survey results and how mistreatment during maternity care affects Latinas and all women. Mistreatment During Maternity Care for Women of Color The survey, which included data from 2,402 women, found that 1 in 5 women (20%) experienced ...

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Giving Birth in Cars: The Reality of Rural America’s Maternal Health Crisis

maternal healthcare struggles

Implications of the lack of quality maternal healthcare in the United States are well documented. Pre-term birth rates are rising, maternal mental health is suffering, and maternal mortality remains high, especially in women of color. Women living in rural areas are hit even harder by these implications, as indicated by a new March of Dimes report on maternity care deserts. Let’s explore just how much living in a rural area matters when it comes to maternal health, and how we can work to improve maternity care in underserved rural areas. Maternity Care Deserts in Rural Texas Counties Maternity care deserts make up 36% of all US counties, according a 2022 March of Dimes report. These maternity care deserts contribute to the US having the highest maternal mortality rate ...

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5 Ways to Keep Kids Safe This Summer

Summer heat waves are increasingly more severe due to climate change, making it important to ensure children’s safety amid rising temperatures.  While essentials like sunscreen, hats, and shade are important, one of the most crucial steps is keeping children hydrated.   Let’s dive into hydration and other ways to help families stay safe this summer!  1. Drink Water The Institute of Medicine recommends that children ages 4 to 8 drink about 2 quarts of water a day, with the amount going up as they get older.  Teenage boys should drink 3.5 quarts of water a day, and teenage girls 2.4 quarts a day.    How much more water should children drink amid the summer heat?   “There is no exact calculation for figuring out how much water is enough as kids run around faster ...

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Texas Extends Postpartum Medicaid Coverage from 60 Days to Year

postpartum medicaid coverage expansion

June 16, 2023 was a big win for low-income Texas families. Gov. Greg Abbot signed House Bill 12, which extends Medicaid health coverage for Texas mothers from just 60 days after giving birth to a full year. This new bill, which is expected to take effect by the end of 2023, has massive potential to improve newborn and maternal health outcomes for Latinas and all mothers statewide. Here are several big-as-Texas reasons to celebrate the signing of House Bill 12! Improved Access to Prenatal and Postpartum Care Half of women having babies in Texas get their healthcare coverage through Medicaid, according to data gathered by March of Dimes. Many of these women are low-income Latinas who may not be able to afford another healthcare coverage option. Going without health ...

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