Healthy parenting breeds healthy child development

April 10, 2011 at 3:26 am | Posted in parents | Leave a comment

Parenting is the work or skill of a parent in raising  a child or children.  Most of us learn to be parents by trial and error, and from our own parents and grandparents.  However, it is important to recognize and identify unhealthy practices and work to eliminate them for the benefit of rising generations.  Some unhealthy parenting practices include emotional, verbal, physical, and sexual abuse, and neglect.  Neglect means a parent or guardian failed to provide for the child’s basic educational, physical, or emotional needs. A child abuse statistic article indicates that girls are more often the victims of sexual abuse than boys. If you are interested in learning more about parenting skills, you may want to attend the Navajo Community Parenting class.  It is a monthly all-day session.  Topics include:

  • parents as models and leaders
  • responsibilities of children in the family
  • adults working together
  • changes that impact the family
  • solving family problems
  • family values regarding sex, drugs, alcohol, & violence
  • family safety
  • prevention of child abuse & neglect

The Navajo Community Parenting Class is free and open to anyone. The class is offered the third Saturday of every month in the West Wing of Northern Navajo Medical Center, Nizhoni conference room.  Class hours are 8:00am to 5:00pm.  If you have any further questions, please call Margaret Lee at 505-368-6300.

What is the hardest part about being a parent?

  1. 27%  discipline
  2. 24%  security-finance, environment
  3. 17%  time management (enough family time)
  4. 15%  parent support & resources. ie- babysitter, parenting class
  5. 10%  unhealthy behavior & lifestyle.  ie- overeating, not active
  6. 6%     other

Other child abuse statistics from the “Fourth National Incidence Study of Child Abuse and Neglect” include that:

  • children whose parents are unemployed have about two times the rate of child abuse and two to three times the rate of neglect than children with employed parents
  • children in low socioeconomic families have more than three times the rate of child abuse and seven times the rate of neglect than other children
  • living with their married biological parents places kids at the lowest risk for child abuse and neglect, while living with a single parent and a live-in partner increased the risk of abuse and neglect to more than eight times that of other children

How does building healthy families, build healthy communities?

April 10, 2011 at 12:33 am | Posted in community health | 6 Comments

When you go to see the doctor, you know they are going to check your vital signs – temperature, blood pressure, pulse – and use these readings as an indicator for your health.  But what about the vital signs of our communities?  Is your community in good health?  That’s where the “Building Healthy Families & Communities Survey” comes in.  For the past nine years, Navajo Health Promotion has been checking the vital signs of Navajo Nation communities. Each year, more than 80,000 surveys are sent to mailboxes throughout the Navajo Nation and Nation residents in border towns.  The survey is a wellness check for each community and town to find our how healthy they are.

SEARCHing for Diabetic Youth

April 10, 2011 at 12:21 am | Posted in diabetes, teen health | Leave a comment

We know that people who have diabetes before age 20 often have serious health problems at a very young age, unless they participate regularly physical activity.  We also know that diabetes in Native American youth, between 10-19 years of age, is higher than the rest of the population that age, there needs to be a way to assess Navajo youth with diabetes. Or better yet, how can we encourage youth to engage in physical activity for at least 30 minutes a day, 5 days a week?  Football! Cross country! Basketball! Track!!!

But the Navajo SEARCH for Diabetes in Youth Study is a national study that wants to know how many youth under age 20 are actually diagnosed with either Type I or Type II Diabetes.

Click here to download a similar article, the Prevalence, Incidence, Demographics, and Clinical Characteristics: The SEARCH for Diabetes in Youth Study

JUST MOVE IT… T’aa hwo aji’ t’eego

April 10, 2011 at 12:13 am | Posted in events | 1 Comment

Many Navajo communities have taken action for their health by participating in Just Move or T’aa hwo aji’ t’eego since 1993!  Each summer, Just Move It fun runs and walks are held in 30 Shiprock communities and more than 100 other sites throughout the Navajo Nation.  These free events are non-competitive and open to people of all ages.

Just Move It has grown in a number of communities and participants.  Beginning in 1993, with 20 communities and 482 participants.  Most recently in 2008, Shiprock JMI had 12,027 participants in 30 communities.  The overall Navajo Nation JMI had 35,845 participants in 2008.  Being physically active everyday can help you stay healthy.

2011 Just Move ItMay 17-July 26: 13th Annual Family Fun Run/Walk Series. 1st Annual Junior Roadrunner Series (K-6th Grade). All events are non-competitive and free.

For upcoming Just Move It and Keep On Movin’ It events, please visit www.navajojmi.com.

Youth Risk and Resilience

April 9, 2011 at 11:58 pm | Posted in teen health | Leave a comment

“Most of us are making good choices and leading healthy lives,” is what students are telling us through the 2008 Navajo Youth Risk and Resiliency Survey (NYRRS).  The survey was filled out by 22,800 middle and high school students in 139 schools across the Navajo Nation during the Fall of 2008.  it is a way for student to let us know how they are doing in areas like safety, drugs and alcohol, violence, tobacco use, sexual behavior, physical activity, and nutrition.  The NYRRS gives students a voice to let us know what things they are proud of or what things might worry them.  The data collected helps schools, youth organizations, leaders, and school health programs improve education and services.  If you would like more information about NYRRS go to www.cdc.gov/ybrss.

  • In 2008, 37% of middle school students were active 60 minutes or more per day for five or more days in one week.
  • In 2008, 45% of high school students were active 60 minutes or more per day for five or more days in one week.

Pre-School Head Start

April 9, 2011 at 11:48 pm | Posted in children's health | Leave a comment

Early childhood learning strengthens our children, families, and communities on the Navajo Nation.  Teaching culture and language helps our children gain a positive self-identity, strong self-esteem, and confidence to become active members in their communities.  Providing good nutrition and a physically active lifestyle helps our children become healthy adults.

The Navajo Coordinated School Health Pre-School Survey is mailed each year to parents of children 3-4 years old.  The survey helps our Coordinated School Health team learn what preschool children are learning about their culture and language, how much television they watch, how physically active they are, and what they eat.  This information is helpful for planning pre-school lessons, activities, and health care education.

Women’s cancer screenings save lives!

April 9, 2011 at 10:59 pm | Posted in cancer, women's health | Leave a comment

Cancer is the third leading cause of death on the Navajo Nation and prevention, early detection, and treatment can help reduce those rates.

Dine’ College staff, Navajo Health professionals, and the Mayo Clinic have developed and printed a Navajo/English brochure in collaboration with the American Cancer Society called, Guidelines for the Early Detection of Cancer, which encourages us to get breast, cervical, prostate, and colon screenings for cancer.  With respect in strengthening the Navajo language, they are also working on the Navajo Cancer Glossary to help us learn new ways to speak about our health.

You may contact Dr. Edward Garrison at Dine’ College, 505-368-3583, for more information on the glossary or to receive the brochure, Guidelines for the Early Detection of Cancer in Navajo.

American Cancer Society Guidelines for Early Detection of Cancer:

Breast Cervical Colon
Women Women Women & Men
Age 20: clinical breast exams every 3 years Age 21 or 3 years after first sexual activity: yearly pap smears Age 50: both men and women should be tested
Age 40: clinical breast exam and mammogram every year Age 30: after 3 normal pap smear test results, every 2-3 years
Age 70+: talk to your doctor to see if you need a pap test
*women interested in doing self-breast exams should get training from their health care provider *if cervix has been removed, you still need to talk to your doctor about regular pelvic exams *talk to your doctor about which test would be best for you
Breast Cancer: Early Detection Cervical Cancer: Prevention and Early Detection

Men’s cancer screenings save lives!

April 9, 2011 at 10:54 pm | Posted in cancer, men's health | Leave a comment

Cancer is the third leading cause of death on the Navajo Nation and prevention, early detection, and treatment can help reduce those rates.

Dine’ College staff, Navajo Health professionals, and the Mayo Clinic have developed and printed a Navajo/English brochure in collaboration with the American Cancer Society called, Guidelines for the Early Detection of Cancer, which encourages us to get breast, cervical, prostate, and colon screenings for cancer.  With respect in strengthening the Navajo language, they are also working on the Navajo Cancer Glossary to help us learn new ways to speak about our health.

You may contact Dr. Edward Garrison at Dine’ College, 505-368-3583, for more information on the glossary or to receive the brochure, Guidelines for the Early Detection of Cancer in Navajo.

American Cancer Society Guidelines for Early Detection of Cancer:

Colon Prostate
Women & Men Men
Age 50: both men and women should be tested Age 50: talk with doctor if testing is the right choice for you.If you have a father or brother who had prostate cancer before age 65, you should have this talk with your doctor starting at age 45. If testing is done, you should also have the PSA blood test done with or without a rectal exam. How often you are tested will depend on your PSA level.
*talk to your doctor about which test would be best for you Men must make an informed decision with their doctor about whether to be tested
Prostate Cancer: Early Detection

The wonderful benefits of breastfeeding!

April 9, 2011 at 4:21 pm | Posted in infant health | 2 Comments

The birth of a child is considered sacred in the Navajo tradition.  A child is a five-fingered being and is the Holy People’s plan for future generations.  The love and support parents provide for their children is important in the early stages of life.

The Northern Navajo Medical Center mailed a family wellness survey to families with small children.  The purpose of the survey was to find out what parents think about their baby’s development, prenatal care, and what kind of family support they have to care for their baby.  The results will be used to develop or improve programs to help families with early child development.

One of the important decisions parents face is whether their baby will be breastfed or formula fed.  Breastfeeding is a great health choice for mom and baby.  Benefits for mom and baby include:

Breastfed baby:   Decreases risk for viral or bacterial infections, obesity, and Type 2 Diabetes. Breast milk is easier for the baby to digest,  fewer ear infections, and fewer respiratory infections.

Mom:   Decreases risk for breast cancer, ovarian cancer, and diabetes, helps mom lose weight, and nurtures baby-mom relationship.

How long did you breast feed your baby?

  • 38%   6+ months
  • 21%   1-2 months
  • 16%   3-4 months
  • 16%   Did NOT breastfeed
  • 9%     5-6 months

Who is involved in caring for your new baby?

  • 97%   Mother
  • 73%   Father
  • 69%   Grandparents
  • 58%   other family members

What type of ceremony did you  have to welcome your baby?

  1. 34%   baby shower
  2. 33%   First Laugh (Laughing Party)
  3. 10%   Welcome home dinner
  4. 8%     Traditional ceremony
  5. 4%     Native American Church Ceremony
  6. 4%     Other
  7. 4%     None
  8. 3%     Baptism

Early cancer detection could save your life!

March 31, 2011 at 5:02 am | Posted in cancer, men's health, women's health | 15 Comments

Many health care workers and language scholars believe the Navajo word for cancer, Lood doo Nadzihii, is no longer a good translation. Saying that cancer is ‘a sore that does not heal,’ does not consider all the lives that can be saved if we have a better and more current understanding of cancer.  Though cultural sensitivity to language is important, it is necessary to find a new way to speak about cancer.  Cancer is the third leading cause of death on the Navajo Nation and prevention, early detection, and treatment can help reduce those rates.  See later posts for specific gender-specific detection tests and information.

Dine’ Breast Cancer Awareness Prevention Training Program to provide information and education about all cancers, and especially the high incidence of breast cancer among Navajo women. Their program is designed to stress the importance of early breast cancer screening, and to provide information and support to overcome cultural and institutional barriers to treatment. Click here to download their brochure.

The following video is basic information about what cancer is and how it works in our bodies all in Dine’ bizzad (Navajo Language).

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