Akron Children’s Hospital is encouraging patient families to embrace the concept of “kangaroo care.”
The hospital’s neonatal intensive care unit launched a “kangaroo-a-thon” last week that continues through May 31 to get as many parents as possible to offer skin-to-skin care for their babies.
“Kangaroo care is a cutesy way of describing skin-to-skin care in the NICU,” said Marybeth Fry, NICU family care coordinator. “Skin-to-skin is a method that is recommended for preterm babies to be held. The benefits of this are numerous.”
Kangaroo care originated in Colombia decades ago to try to address high mortality among premature babies.
The practice promotes skin-to-skin contact between a parent and a baby, who rests on the bare chest of Mom or Dad while wearing only a diaper. The practice got its name because of the way kangaroos carry their joeys.
Studies have shown the close physical contact can decrease stress, improve weight gain and promote normal temperature, heart rate and breathing among preterm and low birthweight babies.
Hospital neonatal intensive-care units throughout the United States began adopting the practice in the 1980s and 1990s. According to one survey, more than 200 neonatal intensive care units nationwide now use kangaroo care for their patients.
“Our goal is to increase the amount of kangaroo care given and the length of time kangaroo care is given,” Fry said. “We’re trying to increase awareness and increase our education.”
The hospital has decorated the unit with kangaroos to promote the practice.
The March of Dimes provided plush kangaroos with joeys in the pockets to give to parents who participate in the kangaroo-a-thon, which is taking place on the main campus and in NICUs operated by Children’s at Akron General Medical Center and Summa Akron City Hospital. Participating parents also are eligible for a drawing for prizes.
Entering the teen years can be tough.
The Aultman College of Nursing and Health Sciences is offering two classes — one each for boys and girls — to help children in grades four through six learn about their changing bodies and minds.
“Boy-ology” and “Growing Up Girl” will focus on embracing change, developing and maintaining a healthful lifestyle, resisting peer pressure and improving communication with adults.
The sessions will take place from 10 a.m. to noon June 10, 12 and 14 at the college at 2600 Sixth Street SW in Canton.
Cost is $49.
For more information or to register, go online to www.aultmancollege.edu/ACCE.
Lodi Community Hospital is hosting the Spring into Health 5K Run and 1 mile Fun Run on June 1 at the Rory O’Neil Ball Park on North LeRoy Road in Westfield Center.
Registration begins at 7:30 a.m. for both events. The 1-mile event will start at 8:30 a.m., followed by the 5K run at 9 a.m.
Cost is $10 for the mile run.
Early registration is available for $20 through Friday for the 5K. After that, the entry fee is $25 through the day of the race.
To register, call 330-948-5502 or email Kathy.Wood@akrongeneral.org.
Belly dance class
Kadilak Fitness is offering a free belly dance class at 6 p.m. May 28.
The class will be led by Courtney Johnson-Benson at 4875 S. Main St., Green
All levels of fitness can participate in the class.
Cheryl Powell can be reached at 330-996-3902 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow Powell on Twitter at twitter.com/abjcherylpowell.