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Dear Friends and Neighbors,

CentraCare care givers have been working around the clock for more than 20 months to care for you, your families and friends during COVID. We are committed to caring for every Minnesotan who needs us, and nothing will prevent us from doing so – even during these never-seen-before times.

The challenge of providing this level of care is that our hospital beds are often full. ERs in all of our hospitals are packed. And our clinical teams are exhausted. Early in the pandemic, our community stepped up in amazing ways to help us. We ask that you again join us in fighting this pandemic together.

How can you help?

  • Please get your COVID vaccines and booster shots. They are proven safe and effective in reducing COVID illness, keeping people out of the hospital, and preventing death.
  • If your situation is not an emergency, please use other care options, including:
  • If this is a medical emergency, call 9-1-1, or visit the ER.

Together, we can do this. Thank you for your support.

Ken Holmen, MD
President and CEO

Let them play

Published in For the Health of It Author: Krystal Thrasher,MA, OTR/L

In the busyness of modern life, it can be easy to pass the stress of a hurried, over-scheduled life on to children, leaving out time for play. However, a recent report released by the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) emphasizes the importance of play for children’s healthy development, including social, emotional, language and cognitive skills. “We’re recommending that doctors write a prescription for play, because it’s so important,” said Pediatrician Michael Yogman, MD, FAAP, lead author of the AAP report.

The new AAP report also explains how play:

  • Improves executive function skills
  • Builds the bond between caregiver and child
  • Helps buffer the negative impact of stress

While research demonstrates the benefits of play for children, there are several societal forces that threaten children’s time to play.

  • Increased emphasis on reading and math skills at an earlier age
  • Decrease in recess time
  • Parents’ concerns about outside safety
  • Media use distracting children from play
  • Pressure to enroll children in “enrichment opportunities”

Say yes, next time your child asks to play. Let them take the lead. Provide unstructured time and a safe environment. Remember, play can take many forms: traditional toys/objects, outdoor, active physical/rough-and-tumble, pretend, social (with peers or adults). Playing with a child also gives you opportunity to relive the fun part of your childhood and the immense joy of watching your child’s interests and passions develop. It also focuses time and energy on your bond and relationship with your child.

If you have concerns with your child’s development, please contact your provider. Log in to MyChart to send a secure message to your provider.

Read more about the benefits of playing at playgrounds.