Category Archives: Children

Digital tech bad for kids

Wisdom and a warning this morning from the New York Times – see below – connect to article here

“What makes less sense to me is why our society has done so little to protect children from the apparent damages of ubiquitous digital media. They are almost certainly larger for most children than the threat from Covid.”

Also, there was an excellent 60 Minutes piece on Sunday on the increased mental health issues youth are experiencing – via this link

May 10, 2022
Author HeadshotBy David Leonhardt
Good morning. We look at the mental health crisis facing adolescents — and the role of digital technology.
The local Boys and Girls Club in Glasgow, Ky.Annie Flanagan for The New York Times
On the phone, alone
Many measures of adolescent mental health began to deteriorate sometime around 2009. It is true of the number of U.S. high-school students who say they feel persistently sad or hopeless. It’s also true of reported loneliness. And it is true of emergency room visits for self-harm among Americans ages 10 to 19.
This timing is suspicious because internet use among adolescents was also starting to soar during the same period. Apple began selling the iPhone in 2007. Facebook opened itself for general use in late 2006, and one-third of Americans were using it by 2009.
Last month, The Times began publishing a series on adolescent mental health, and the latest piece — focusing on pediatricians who are struggling to help — has just published.
The author of the series is Matt Richtel, who has spent more than a year interviewing adolescents, their relatives and their friends. In my recent conversations with Matt about his reporting, he has gone out of his way to emphasize the uncertainty about the specific causes of the crisis, including how much of a role social media plays.
“When you look at specific research on the role of social media impacting young people, it’s quite conflicted,” he said. Some studies find that adolescents who use social media heavily are more likely to feel sad or depressed, while others find little or no effect. There is no proof that, say, TikTok or social media’s “like” button is causing the mental-health crisis.
But Matt also thinks that some of these narrow questions of cause and effect are secondary. What seems undeniable, he points out, is that surging use of digital technology has changed life’s daily rhythms.
It has led adolescents to spend less time on in-person activities, like dating, hanging out with friends and attending church. Technology use has also contributed to declines in exercise and sleep. The share of high-school students who slept at least eight hours a night fell 30 percent from 2007 to 2019, Derek Thompson of The Atlantic has noted.
Technology use is not the sole cause of these trends. Modern parenting strategies, among other factors, play a role as well. But digital technology — be it social media, video games, text messaging or other online activity — plays a strong role, many experts say.
“If you’re not getting some outdoor relief time and enough sleep — and you can almost stop at not enough sleep — any human being is challenged,” Matt said. “When you get the pubescent brain involved in that equation, you are talking about somebody being really, really challenged to feel contented and peaceful and happy with the world around them.”
The role of any specific social-media platform or behavior may remain unknown, but the larger story about American adolescents and their emotional struggles is less mysterious.
“They have too much screen time, they’re not sleeping, on phones all the time,” Dr. Melissa Dennison, a pediatrician in central Kentucky who sees many unhappy adolescents, told Matt. Dennison regularly encourages her patients to take walks outdoors or attend church.
It’s true that the decline of in-person interactions has had a few silver linings. Today’s adolescents are less likely to use tobacco, drink alcohol or get pregnant. But the net effect of less socializing is negative. Most human beings struggle when they are not spending time in the company of others.
The Covid-19 pandemic, of course, has exacerbated isolation, loneliness and depression. In December, the U.S. surgeon general warned of a “devastating” mental health crisis among America’s youth.
A 12-year-old patient of Dr. Dennison in Kentucky.Annie Flanagan for The New York Times
I find Covid to be a particularly relevant comparison. Over the past two-plus years, millions of American parents have demonstrated intense concern for their children by trying to protect them from Covid. Fortunately, Covid happens to be mild for the vast majority of children, causing neither severe illness nor long-term symptoms. One sign of that: Young children, not yet eligible for vaccination, are at considerably less risk on average than vaccinated people over 65.
Still, I understand why so many parents remain anxious. Covid is new and scary. It taps into parents’ fierce protective instincts.
What makes less sense to me is why our society has done so little to protect children from the apparent damages of ubiquitous digital media. They are almost certainly larger for most children than the threat from Covid.

Fun at the Forge – 5/14

From Stacey David of Bellforge Arts Center –

BELLFORGE PRESENTS FREE “FUN AT THE ‘FORGE” FESTIVAL ON MAY 14

Medfield, MA (May 3, 2022): The Bellforge Arts Center is pleased to present Fun at the ‘Forge, a free family festival on the grounds of the former Medfield State Hospital (MSH) on Saturday, May 14, 2022, from 10:00am to 3:00pm. Bellforge’s third event in their summer series includes musical performances by Stacey Peasley and Wayne Potash; a puppet show by Rotem Goldenberg; arts and crafts with Kurt Jackson; science fun with The Inventor Mentor; and face painting and more with Raddo. In addition, attendees can help create a colorful on-site art installation with the PopUpCycler. The festival is free with registration at http://www.bellforge.org. A rain date has been scheduled for Sunday, May 15.

“Stacey Peasley’s cheerful, folksy, sing-along tunes have made her the Pied Piper of the under-10 crowd for years,” says Jean Mineo, the Executive Director of the Cultural Alliance of Medfield, who are currently working to build the Bellforge Arts Center at MSH. “She has quite the following in MetroWest, and we are thrilled to be able to have both Stacey and Wayne Potash perform at this event. Wayne has similar appeal, with his quirky, fast-paced and downright funny songs. I think the kids are going to be up and dancing all afternoon.”

In addition to the musical performances, Rotem Goldenberg will be delighting the audience with her tiny puppet theater. Goldenberg is a Community Creative Fellow, an initiative powered by the Jewish Arts Collaborative (JArts) and Combined Jewish Philanthropies (CJP). Her art is for audiences of all ages and exists between the spaces of visual theater, performance, storytelling, and clowning.

In between the performances, festival-goers can explore a variety of fun science projects with The Inventor Mentor, including bubbles, foam stations, rockets, parachutes, and more, or have children’s entertainer Raddo twist up a balloon hat, paint their face or airbrush a tattoo. Kurt Jackson from the Zullo Gallery will also be engaging the kids in a simple watercolor art project using a masking technique to create a beautiful landscape for them to make and take home. With Kim Bernard, from the PopUpCycler, attendees can use recycled plastic to create colorful disks to decorate the exterior of the Bellforge’s chapel in a unique crowd-sourced art installation.  

Food, drink, and Magic Tree Henna, who will have a booth providing beautiful henna designs, are the only fee-based activities at the festival.

Bellforge will host a variety of concerts, festivals, and fun family days on most Saturdays from May through October. The majority of events are free; schedules and registration information can be found at the Bellforge website at www.bellforge.org or by registering for their newsletter at https://bit.ly/newsletterBellforge.

Color Medfield net zero 2050

From Sustainable Medfield and TOMCAP –

Coloring…..
Send us your colored version of this Medfield scene!  We will be drawing two submissions to receive prizes of either a $50 or a $25 gift certificate.   

*No age restrictions, winner to be chosen at random, some additional rules apply, please see instructions on the coloring sheet.


Thank you to MEMO, the Medfield Employers & Merchants Organization, for the sponsorship of the insert in the Hometown Weekly on April 28th.  

If you missed it in the Hometown Weekly or need another one, you can download a Coloring Sheet and see the instructions for how to submit your coloring here.

Submissions must be received by May 15th.

New Life 5k Trail Run on 5/7 updates

From Todd Dimmick –

New teams enter the New Life 5k Trail Run on May 7th

New Life is excited to host its 5th annual Trail Run on Saturday, May 7th on the Medfield State Hospital grounds (at Hospital Rd. & Service Dr., Medfield, MA). The route winds through the beautiful Charles River Reservation, and the event is open to runners, walkers and everyone in between. Many teams have already entered the Trail Run, including A Team, Eliot Church XC, GNRC, Iwaki America, MAKT, Millis UCC on the MOVE, Shamrock Shuffle, Soles of Medfield, UCC Medfield, Unicorn Amazing, and Westwood First Parish Church. These teams include runners from across eastern Massachusetts. New teams are welcome and are easy to set up. 

To celebrate being back in person after two years of virtual runs, New Life has partnered with the Cultural Alliance of Medfield to provide live music on race day. Also, the Furniture Matters club of Medfield High School will introduce a Kids Fun Run for children 4-10 years old.

Trail Run registration is open at www.newlifefb.org/5ktrailrun. Registration is $30 until May 5; and $35 on race day. On-site Kids Fun Run registration will be $5 (cash or check). There is a $5 group discount for teams of four or more when the registrations are made at the same time.  On-site registration opens at 7:30 on race day. The Kids Fun Run starts at 9:00, and the Trail Run starts at 9:30, with live music to follow. The first 300 people to register will receive a t-shirt on race day.

The Trail Run benefits New Life Furniture Bank of MA and its mission to provide essential home furnishings to those in need. The Medfield-based not-for-profit organization operates a Walpole Donation Center, and serves the MetroWest and Greater Boston area. New Life provides a meaningful option for folks who are downsizing, renovating or disposing of a loved one’s property.

Those interested in being a sponsor, volunteering, donating home furnishings, or making a financial contribution are encouraged to visit www.newlifefb.org.


CAM’s “Fairy Walk & Daffodil Days” postponed to Sunday, due to rain

From Jean Mineo –

Fairy House Walk and Live Music April 9

From Jean Mineo –

The Cultural Alliance invites the public to kick off a season of live music outdoors at Bellforge, the newly named arts center planned at the former Medfield State Hospital. The inaugural free family-friendly event is Saturday, April 9 from 10 am – 3 pm (raindate is Sunday, April 10).

Visitors are invited to walk the grounds of the campus and the Chapel will be open for tours starting at 10 am. More than two dozen community groups have created fairy houses on display for the day, complete with photo opportunities and crafts for kids. Students from Pointe Premiere School of Dance take the stage at noon, and artists will be on site to sell their handcrafted pottery, jewelry and photography all day. Musicians Olivia Wendel and Ghost Grl perform live on the outdoor stage starting at 12:45 pm. Bring a lawn chair or blanket, and enjoy treats from ThankQue Catering or Clarke’s Cakes and Cookies food trucks.

Additional live music events are planned most Saturdays through October. The schedule will be updated on Bellforge.org.

Hinkley Playground Rebuild Launch Event – 5/15, 11-2:30

Medfield Foundation supports new town initiative

Hinkley Helpers aims to improve playground at Hinkley Park, hosting launch event on May 15

Hinkley Helpers, an initiative of The Medfield Foundation, Inc. has announced it has launched. The group is raising funds to contribute to a rebuild of the Hinkley Playground in coordination with Medfield Parks and Rec. 

Hinkley Helpers was formed by a group of parents and residents to fundraise to create a best-in-class, new, safe and creative playground at the current Hinkley Park site. 

According to Kelly Fallon, Hinkley Helper’s Founding Chair,” We believe all children deserve a safe, clean and inclusive place to play.” 

 “The mission of Hinkley Helpers is vital to support the thriving town of Medfield and this initiative plans to raise private funds for public good and an improved playground at Hinkley Park”, said Kirsten Poler, president of Medfield Foundation.

Hinkley Helpers invites the public to attend the Hinkley Playground Rebuild Launch Event on Sunday May 15 from 11 AM – 2:30 PM at Hinkley Park, 51 Green Street Medfield featuring events for kids, face paint, and local food vendors Chubbs’ Ice Cream, Medfield House of Pizza, and The Hot Dog Wagon.

About Hinkley Helpers

The Hinkley Helpers are a group of passionate parents and frequent Hinkley Playground visitors who are eager to fundraise and design a new playground at Hinkley Park in Medfield, MA. The committee is open to all and actively seeking new members. 

https://hinkleyhelpers.com

About The Medfield Foundation (MFi)

The Medfield Foundation (MFi) is a 100% volunteer run 501(c)(3) non-profit charitable corporation whose mission is to enrich the lives of Medfield residents, build a stronger community, and facilitate the raising and allocation of private funds for public needs in the town of Medfield. Its signature initiatives include the Angel Run, Volunteer Awards, Legacy Fund and Youth Leadership.

https://www.medfieldfoundation.org

5th New Life 5k Trail Run 5/7

From Tod Dimmick –

The 5th New Life 5k Trail Run hits the trails on May 7th

New Life is excited to host its 5th annual Trail Run on Saturday, May 7th on the Medfield State Hospital grounds (at Hospital Rd. & Service Dr., Medfield, MA). The route winds through the beautiful Charles River Reservation, and the event is open to runners, walkers and everyone in between.

To celebrate being back in person after two years of virtual runs, New Life has partnered with the Cultural Alliance of Medfield to provide live music on race day. Also, the Furniture Matters club of Medfield High School will introduce a Kids Fun Run for children 4-10 years old.

Trail Run registration is open at www.newlifefb.org/5ktrailrun. An “early bird” discount registration of $25 is available until April 23; after that registration will be $30 between April 24 to May 5; and $35 on race day. On-site Kids Fun Run registration will be $5 (cash or check). There is a $5 group discount for teams of four or more when the registrations are made at the same time.  On-site registration opens at 7:30 on race day. The Kids Fun Run starts at 9:00, and the Trail Run starts at 9:30, with live music to follow. The first 300 people to register will receive a t-shirt on race day.

The Trail Run benefits New Life Furniture Bank of MA and its mission to provide essential home furnishings to those in need. “The funds we raise go directly to helping those coming out of homelessness to furnish their new homes,” said Rich Purnell, Executive Director of the New Life Furniture Bank.

New Life Furniture Bank of MA collects high-quality gently-used furniture and household essentials that are made available at no cost to individuals and families in need. The Medfield-based not-for-profit organization operates a Walpole Donation Center, and serves the MetroWest and Greater Boston area. New Life provides a meaningful option for folks who are downsizing, renovating or disposing of a loved one’s property.

Those interested in being a sponsor, volunteering, donating home furnishings, or making a financial contribution are encouraged to visit www.newlifefb.org.

Angel Run

The Angel Run is coming!

Last call for shirts!

The Medfield Foundation Angel Run will be held on Sunday, December 5. It’s a 5K / Run / Walk community “fun raiser” and family event. The route is filled with decorations and festive highlights. Bring your friends, the kids, the dog, the stroller and Grandma too. Wear your festive holiday gear and and help raise funds for Medfield families in need. 

Early Bird Registration is $25 and includes a commemorative shirt, but ends soon on November 1.  

Standard Registration is $30 and runs until November 19, but does NOT include a shirt. 

Go to MedfieldFoundation.org for more info and to sign up.

Please spread the word!

We hope you’ll join us!

Don’t Let a Playground Injury Ruin Outdoor Fun

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PETERSON | Law
Osler “Pete” Peterson
617-969-1500 – Newton
June 2021
Attorney Photo

How to Avoid COVID-19 on Playgrounds

Thanks to national vaccinations, COVID-19 numbers are declining for adults. But vaccines are not currently available to children under 12, meaning they are still vulnerable to the virus. The question then: Is it safe to take your kids to the park? Doctors say “yes,” as long as you follow basic precautions such as:

* Wear masks and practice social distancing.
* Bring your own toys and food, and don’t let your kids share these with others.
* Wash or sanitize your kids’ hands before and after play.
* Find a different playground if the park is especially crowded or come back later.
Continue reading.


boy on playground

Don’t Let a Playground Injury Ruin Outdoor Fun This Summer

Ah, playgrounds and summer – the perfect combo for millions of children on school break and bursting to get outside. Not surprisingly, playground injuries spike in June, some serious and most preventable. Don’t let a playground injury ruin outdoor fun for the kids in your life this summer with these tips on equipment, clothing and safe behavior.
READ MORE


BY THE NUMBERS

5 to 9

Children ages 5 to 9 have the highest rate of emergency room visits among the more than 200,000 kids injured each year on playgrounds.
READ MORE


VIDEO BOOKMARK

Join the Danger Rangers Before Playtime

The first step to protecting children from playground injury is to talk to them about safety. Here’s a video to watch together before hitting the monkey bars. 
VIEW VIDEO

THE DOCKET
GET TOWN OF MEDFIELD INFORMATION AT MY BLOG


ALL KIDS DESERVE PLAYGROUND FUN

This website will help caregivers find playgrounds that are safe and accessible for kids with disabilities or help DIYers build their own!
READ MORE
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