Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Enough regular sleep at consistent bedtimes is important:

Under the category of studies probably proving what is common sense; children need consistent and stable bedtimes that give them enough rest to refresh their bodies.

"Having regular bedtimes during early childhood is an important influence on children’s behavior. There are clear opportunities for interventions aimed at supporting family routines that could have important impacts on health throughout life."

Work done by Yvonne Kelly, PhD, John Kelly, BEng, and Amanda Sacker, PhD
Click here to see full text of abstract in Pediatrics 

"children who changed from a non-regular to a regular bedtime between ages 5 and 7 experienced a significant decline in behavior problems. They also report that children who changed from a regular bedtime to a non-regular bedtime between 5 and 7 experienced a significant, but smaller, increase in behavior problems. We applaud the authors' test of the reversibility of behavior problems associated with a non-regular bedtime. We have conducted similar tests of the reversibility of aggressive behaviors associated with sleep problems in the US; however, our models also address directionality, whereas Kelly and colleagues modeled only the pathway from sleep to behavior. As Kelly et al. noted, the direction of the causal link between sleep problems and aggression is unclear. While it is plausible that a lack of sleep leads to elevated aggression, it is also plausible that aggressive behavior disturbs sleep. Children who are aggressive may be unusually resistant to bedtime, find it difficult to fall asleep, or be frequently wakened by nightmares."

From Anne Martin, Senior Research Scientist, Lauren Hale and Jeanne Brooks-Gunn
Columbia University and Stony Brook University
Click here to read more

Monday, November 25, 2013

Tips for healthier holiday meals

Mayo Clinic Health System Health Note:

The holidays have arrived! We all worry about those extra pounds that can result from indulging in all the fabulous holiday treats. If you’re trying to avoid this season’s weight gain, here are some tips to use when planning your holiday meals.

Cookies, candy and treats...oh my! The holidays are here, and so is the holiday food. Have you started your meal planning and prepared your shopping lists for your holiday feasts yet? This year, consider substituting those foods high in calories, fat, carbohydrates and sugar for healthier options. Most, if not all, substitutions are simple, such as substituting butter or margarine for olive oil, sugar for agave or honey, salt for sea salt, etc. Chances are you your family and friends won't even be able to tell the difference. You won't sacrifice the taste or enjoyment! There is nothing better than saving those extra calories and avoiding those excess pounds over the holiday!

Amy Every
Senior Communication Consultant, Marketing Communications
Mayo Clinic Health System Franciscan Healthcare

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Deer hearts for the Raptors

 A hunting season message from Brent Seamans:

5th Annual Give a Heart to REGI - Deer Heart Drive

It is that time of year again! We will be collecting deer hearts to be donated to the Raptor Education Group, Inc. (REGI) located in Antigo, WI. The hearts are used for a great source of food for the birds who are being rehabilitated. You can drop your hearts off to me at Bluff View or to Mrs. Timmerman at the HS (unless you have a specific teacher who is giving you extra credit). A big thank you to all the PdC Science teachers for helping me out as well as to Mr. Antoniewicz for taking the coolers full of hearts up north with him on his annual migration. Here are the totals for the last four years and the website to find out more details about REGI. Help us beat our record! http://www.raptoreducationgroup.org/

Be safe!

2013-2014 ?
2012-2013 BV and HS 159 + 12 from the Desoto School District
2011-2012 BV and HS 128 + 10 from the Desoto School District
2010-2011 BV and HS 113
2009-2010 HS only 50

Contribution rates for Wisconsin Retirement System (WRS) will increase in 2014

Excerpts from Department of Employee Trust Funds:

Contribution rates for most Wisconsin Retirement System (WRS) employers and employees will increase in 2014.

The total contribution rates for General/Teacher are 14.0%; 7.0% employee; 7.0% school district

 While many complex factors affect WRS contribution rates, the increase is primarily due to the lingering effects of 2008’s global economic meltdown. 2014 is the last year that the investment declines will affect WRS contribution rates. Contribution rate changes, whether increases or decreases, are considered normal for retirement systems that have defined, or pre-funded, benefits.

Core Trust Fund investment results are distributed (“smoothed”) over five years to soften the impact of year-to-year volatility of investments. This also helps to keep WRS contribution rates stable. For example, over the past 25 years the rate for General category employees has deviated by just 2%.

Click here to see the full release on Employer and Employee Contributions to Increase

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Benefit for Wisconsin Lion's Camp

From Dale Hanson;
If anyone gets deer hides this season and wants to donate them to a good cause, I would be happy deliver them to one of the locations in the county that collects them to benefit Wisconsin Lion's Camp. My son Trevor works there and two of our students attended a camp session there last summer. The majority of campers that go there are on scholarships.

Diabetes Fair for All Ages

The PdC Memorial Hospital is collaborating with local clinics to host a Diabetes Fair for All Ages on Wednesday, November 20, 5-7 pm in the large conference room at the hospital.

Click here to see flyer for more information.

Kris Lawrence, Communications Coordinator
PdC Memorial Hospital

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Great American Smoke Out November 21; helpful tips to help to quit smoking

Mayo Clinic Health System Health Note: Will you or someone you know be making quit attempt for the Great American Smoke Out on November 21? Here are some helpful tips to help you or a loved one prepare to quit smoking.
There's no easy way to quit smoking. Those who prepare for quit day are more prepared for the hurdles they're likely to face. Here are some helpful tips on how to prepare for quit day:
  • Mark the day. Quitting is an important day in your life, so treat it like one. 
  • Talk to your health care provider. Your provider has a lot to offer those who are trying to quit smoking, such as stop-smoking counseling and medications.  
  • Tell people. Let your family, friends, and co-workers know that you are going to quit smoking. A support system is there for you when you face a trigger or event that makes you feel like you need tobacco.  
  • Clean house. Dispose of all your tobacco products and deep clean areas that you prefer to smoke, such as your car, office, garage, or home. Also, consider getting your teeth professionally cleaned as motivation to stay quit.
  • Stock up. Have items on hand that will help you get through your cravings like sugar-free gum, hard candy, cinnamon sticks and crunchy vegetables.  
  • Join up. Find local tobacco cessation programs near you. You can contact your local health department, hospital or clinic to see if they offer classes or group sessions. There are also programs that you can join online.  
  • Reflect. Try keeping a journal of why you quit smoking and if you've tried quitting before, the challenges you faced and why you started again. Individuals who are prepared are more likely to commit to tobacco cessation.
Amy Every
Senior Communication Consultant, Marketing Communications
Mayo Clinic Health System Franciscan Healthcare
700 West Avenue South
La Crosse, WI 54601

Friday, November 1, 2013


This is an excerpt of an article from North Shore Pediatric Therapy; click on the link to see more:

It is common for young children to make certain sound substitutions as their speech and language skills are developing. One example is substituting /t/ for /k/ (e.g. saying “tar” instead of “car”); another is substituting /d/ for /g/ (e.g. saying “do” instead of “go”). By the age of 3, however, most typically-developing children are able to accurately produce the /k/ and /g/ consonant sounds.

If your child is having difficulty with these sounds, first try some tricks to work on the /k/ sound. Once your child has mastered the /k/ sound, she is ready to work on /g/. /k/ and /g/ are considered “cognates,” meaning that they are produced in the same place in the mouth, with the back of the tongue elevating towards the roof of the mouth. However, /k/ is voiceless, meaning it is produced without using your voice, and /g/ is voiced, meaning it is produced with your voice on.

No More FLEX "Use-it-all or Lose-it"

We will study this further and if determined to be beneficial for our employees, (which it looks like it will be) we will most likely allow this increased flexibility during the renewal period that is opening.

From Employee Benefits Corporation:

One of the largest barriers to health care flexible spending account (FSA) adoption, the "use-it or lose-it" rule, has effectively been eliminated. The US Department of the Treasury and Internal Revenue Service, yesterday, changed the 30-year old policy by adding an alternate opportunity for you to offer a carryover option to your employees.

There has always been the option to include a two and a half month grace period to spend down account funds, but now you can choose to allow your employees to carryover up to $500 to the next plan year without affecting their limit of $2,500 (i.e. Bob could choose to contribute $2,500 in 2014, carryover $500 from 2013, giving him $3,000 to use during the 2014 plan year). It's an "either or" type of situation though, so you will need to choose between the two options; you cannot elect both.