Children with obesity and growing up with ACEs have 18 and 20 year decreases, respectfully, in life-expectancy. Overweight/Obesity and ACEs have a prevalence in children of approximately 30% each. Both of these conditions are in higher racial minorities, those living in poverty, and those with special needs.
Response to COVID-19
The Pandemic at first crippled our school-based programming which had blossomed over the past two years in multiple school districts. As we refocused our efforts to telemedicine, we became faced with the dire impact on early education during shelter in place orders. We witnessed how our youngest patients and those with special needs were often traumatized by distance learning and certainly not learning or thriving.
These observations ignited our team to create engaging distance learning content. We initially intended to promote literacy, health, and emotional support but as the needs of these children arose, it became clear that we needed to address a full spectrum of topics: mindfulness, curbing screen time, exercise, play, nutrition, health, sleep, and science. All subjects are ingrained in what the surgeon General of California is promoting to buffer the devastating effects of toxic stress (ACEs) and make no mistake the pandemic is a new ACE.
Adapting to this new reality, we developed virtual platforms to support our schools and community. Dr Patricia first piloted the content as guest lectures through Zoom for local kindergarten classes in May and received amazing feedback. We created a new website DrPHC.org which is designed to support children, parents, and teachers solidify concepts through online activity books that can be printed out, along with recipes, and parent education on raising healthy children.