Living Healthy

KIP Kidz

It's Never Too Early for Kids to Adopt a Healthier Lifestyle

Turn on the TV or pick up a newspaper or magazine, and you'll find plenty of scary stories about the growing number of obese youngsters and the danger that these young people will live shorter lives than their parents. Most experts agree about the importance of teaching our children how to live a healthier lifestyle to possibly avoid serious diseases later in life. But with the information coming from so many sources, sometimes the message gets lost in the hype.

Nikki Ross Inda, coordinator of the KIP (Knowledge Is Power) Kidz™ program at Moffitt Cancer Center in Tampa, FL, recognized that there was a need to develop a program aimed specifically at young people to encourage them to adopt healthy lifestyles. Guided by the philosophies of "prevention should start early" and of "knowledge is power," Inda launched KIP Kidz in 2008 to provide education about sun safety, healthy eating and the dangers of tobacco—with the goal of reducing health disparities as well as cancer risks.

Since its inception, Moffitt's KIP Kidz has educated approximately 1,000 children on a variety of health topics, and expanded its portfolio of programs to include cancer prevention education for the whole family—from child to adult. Children learn about nutrition, the importance of sun protection, fitness and the dangers of smoking.

Dangers of Smoking

"In our education about the dangers of tobacco, we actually show young people a 'jar of tar' and a 'yuck mouth' model," says Inda. "We teach the kids that there are more than 4,000 chemicals in a cigarette and, according to the National Cancer Institute, more than 50 of these chemicals are known to cause cancer."

Importance of Fitness

Inda emphasizes that an important part of the program is addressing the growing rates of obesity among children and teens, since "obesity can lead to chronic diseases such as diabetes, heart disease and possibly even cancer."

Promotes Self-Esteem

KIP Kidz encourages young people to become leaders in their schools and communities. It teaches kids that knowledge is power and offers fun activities in English and Spanish for children of all ages and backgrounds, including the underserved and developmentally delayed.

KIP Kidz

Through a targeted media outreach campaign, KIP Kidz has developed health education and promotional materials, including tobacco-free pledge cards and a 30-second public service announcement.

KIP Kidz partners with professional, community, academic and athletic organizations, including the Tampa-Hillsborough County Public Library Cooperative, the Head Start and Early Head Start Programs, and the Tampa Bay Rays. Beginning in the fall of 2010, KIP Kidz will seek opportunities to include their healthy lifestyle curriculum in private schools and various other outlets.

Inda says that the KIP Kidz program is making a huge difference in the lives of children. For more information, contact Inda at nikki.inda@moffitt.org.

Back to Top


A Cruise to Longevity

The goal for passengers on most cruises is to unwind, relax and rejuvenate. But those sailing as part of our AAA group, onboard the brand new Celebrity Eclipse, will be able to take that goal a step further. They'll learn about good health habits and how to put that knowledge into action with lectures and fitness programs, exclusively for AAA.

Burton Goldberg—"The Voice of Alternative Medicine"—and fitness, health and wellness professional June Kittay will be co-hosting the 7-night Western Caribbean cruise, which departs from Miami on Feb. 5, 2011. Also onboard are physicians renowned for their knowledge of health and longevity.

Back to Top

Children and Vision

Identifying Vision Problems in Children

Early diagnosis and treatment is critical in minimizing the effects of a vision disorder, yet children are too young to let you know that something's not right with their eyes. Following are some warning signs, and while the presence of one or more of these does not necessarily indicate a problem, parents should look for changes in their child's eyes and let their pediatrician know about any of these symptoms.

For babies:

For preschoolers:

For school-age children:

In children of all ages, be alert if flash photography consistently shows an unusual whitish spot in the pupil instead of the typical "red eye." This can be a sign of retinoblastoma, a malignant tumor on the retina that is highly curable if detected early.

Scheduling regular eye exams is the best way to identify vision problems, helping to ensure that all eye disorders are detected and treated early. So schedule an eye exam for your child today with your eye care professional.

Back to Top

AAA Card

Save on Eyewear

Valid AAA membership required. Discount off tag price. Valid on multiple pairs. Frame and lenses purchase with valid prescription required. Valid at participating LensCrafters, Pearle Vision, Sears Optical and Target Optical locations. Contact lens purchase requires valid contact lens prescription. Cannot be combined with any other offer, previous purchases, or vision and insurance plans. Some restrictions apply. Some brands excluded. See store for details. Void where prohibited. Valid at participating locations. The Sears trademark is registered and used under license from Sears Brands LLC. Target Optical® is a registered mark of Target Brands, Inc. used under license.

Back to Top