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April 12, 2005     Cape Gazette
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April 12, 2005

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26 - CAPE GAZETTE, Tuesday, April 12 - April 14, 2005 HE:\\;LTH & FITNESS Play clinic offers insights on childhood development By Jim Westhoff Parents who have worried their child is lagging behind other chil- dren in reaching developmental milestones, who have questions or are concerned about their child's development, may find help with at a new business in Lewes. Child's Play by the Bay was the dream of two women, Candace Shetzler and Alesia Griffith. Both pediatric occupational therapists, they decided to start something new and something they felt the area could use. "Our mission is to offer another resource for the community by providing highly trained profes- sionals who can study your child's development," Shetzler said. Located on King's Highway in Lewes, near Mr. P's Pizza and Pasta, Child's Play by the Bay of- fers not a doctor's office setting but rather Romper Room style evaluations with castles, balls and lots of toys. "Through activity, we're mak- ing the connections for parents about what the child is doing," Shetzler said. "If you want to learn more about your child's development' come here." In addition, both evaluation and therapy can take place in a child's own home. Shetzler and Gfiffith can learn about a child's developmental problems by being on the floor Jim Westhoff photo Alesia Grifflth, left, and Candace Shetzler are the owners of a new business specializing in pediatric occupational therapy, called Child's Play by the Bay. In addition to working with children who are referred for occupational therapy, the two therapists also work with par- ents who have questions about their child's development. Located on King's Highway in Lewes, their services include direct therapy, infant massage and play-to-learn groups. In addition, the two therapists evaluate and treat children in their own homes. with them playing or observing as children play with other children. Gfiffith said they like to call it a play clinic. "Parents are always looking for that instruction manual," Griffith said. "I think we can provide parents with a window in understanding the whole development se- quence." The two therapists plan to work with children who have referrals from doctors for occupational therapy. They also plan to see children whose parents just want to know more about their child's development. According to the American Oc- cupational Therapy Association, occupational therapy is skilled treatment that helps people achieve independence, giving people the skills for the job of liv- ing needed for independent and satisfying lives. For example, occupational ther- apy can help a chitd whose mus- cles are weak or floppy and one who is overly active and can't slow down. Therapists can also help a child who avoids playground activities or has difficulty understanding questions. "We believe we can empower parents so they work with their children at home," Griffith said. "We want them to feel like they can learn all they can and have that same ability to stimulate the child that we had." Child's Play at the Bay offers individual services as well as a playgroup with other children. The playgroup is designed to teach children how to share toys and take turns, while also helping some children work through.their shyness. Child's Play by the Bay also of- fers infant massage and enrich- ment workshops for families, and plans are in place to offer pre- school classes. The facility also hostS birthday parties. If the therapists are not conduct- ing a home visit, Child's Play by the Bay is open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, and from 9 a.m. to noon, Saturday. For more information, or to make an appointment, call 645-2153 or email childsplayde @ Osteoporosis is not just a disease of elderly women Did you know that a bone frac- ture occurs every 20 seconds? According to the National Insti- tutes of Health Osteoporosis and Related Bone Diseases-National Resource Center (NH ORBD- NRC), 10 million people already have osteoporosis in the United States today, and 34 million more have low bone mass which in- creases their risk for osteoporosis. Osteoporosis is a major public health threat for Americans, 68 percent of whom are women, ac- cording to NH ORBD-NRC. One out of two women and one out of four men will have an os- teoporosis-related fracture during their lifetime. Osteoporosis is responsible for more than 1.5 million fractures annually, including hip fractures, vertebral fractures, wrist frac- tures, and more than 300,000 frac- ,o.o-,s .a zLbr xJlr_s. More than 2 million American men suffer from osteoporosis and 80,000 men suffer each year from a hip fracture of who one-third die within a year. Osteoporosis is a disease char- acterized by a reduction in bone HEALTH TOPICS Jessica Glass is a physical therapy assistant at Aquacare Rehabilitation Services, a local physical therapy facility that special- izes in the treatment of os-. teoporosis. For more infer-. mation or to schedule an ap-. pointment for a free osteo- porosis screening, call 945- 0200. mass and deterioration of bone tissue, leading to fragile bones and increased susceptibility to fractures of the hip, spine, and r wrist. It does not discriminate against age, race, ethnicity, or gender. However you are at higher risk if you are female, small and thin- boned, Caucasian or Asian, or have a history of fractures. As you get older, you are at greater risk of developing osteo- porosis because your bones be- come less dense and weaker as you age. Osteoporosis is often called the silent disease because bone loss occurs without symptoms. A Collapsed vertebra in the spine known as a compression fracture may cause a loss of height, change in posture or sud- den back pain. Osteoporosis is a disease that can be prevented and treated. To prevent and treat osteoporosis, maintain a balanced diet rich in calcium and vitamin D. If we do not eat enough calcium to meet our body's needs, it's tak- en from our bones. Guidelines recommend a daily intake of 1,000-1,500 mg of calci- um based on age and sex. Consume only moderate amounts of high protein and sodi- um foods. Too much protein and sodium causes excess calcium to be lost through your urine. Maintain a regular exercise pro- gram, particularly weight beating exercises, which help prevent bone loss and stimulates bone growth. Muscle tone, strength, coordi- nation, and balance are improved with weight-bearing exercises. Twisting motions and high-im- pact activities should be avoided. Always consult your physician before beginning a new exercise program. Avoid smoking because it dou- bles your risk of osteoporosis by reducing bone mass. When you stop smoking, your risk for osteoporosis is reduced by half. Reduce your alcohol intake be- cause alcohol interferes with vita- min D metabolism resulting in de- creased calcium absorption. Have a bone mineral density (BMD) test and take preventative medication when appropriate. Fall prevention is an important aspect for those with osteoporosis. Besides environmental factors, falls can be caused by impaired vision, hearing, balance disorders, chronic diseases that impair men- tal or physical functioning, and medications such as sedatives and antidepressants. Tips for fall prevention include using a cane or walker outdoors for added stability, wear flat, rub- ber-soled shoes for traction, walk on grass when sidewalks are slip- pery, carry salt or kitty litter to sprinkle on slippery sidewalks, and use caution when walking on highly polished floors. Indoors, keep floors free of clutter, wear supportive, low- heeled shoes, avoid walking in socks or slippers and use skid- proof backing on carpets and area rugs. It is also important to keep stair- wells and hallways well lit and free of cords, to use hand rails, in- stall grab bars in bathrooms, use a rubber bath mat in the shower and carry a cordless phone so that you don't have to rush to answer the phone or so you can call for help if you do fall.