Stay Connected on Facebook

31 10 2012

Have you noticed that your personal Facebook newsfeed isn’t as well-rounded as it used to be?

Facebook decides what makes it to your newsfeed and what doesn’t. Let’s say you “like” 10 pages on Facebook. If you seldom interact (like or share or comment) with a page’s posts, or seldom visit a page, its posts slowly disappear from your newsfeed.

Facebook thinks it has you figured out and, if left alone, will show you only what it thinks you want to see.

There is a simple way to see the posts that you actually want to see. You create a “list” of the pages that you like and those pages’ posts will start showing up again in your newsfeed. Most of them, anyway. You can see every single post from every page that you like by clicking on the “list” that you created.

This is how to do it:

Look on the left side of your newsfeed/home screen. Click  INTERESTS. If you do not see INTERESTS, click MORE.

The INTERESTS section will appear – click ADD INTERESTS

Then, click CREATE LISTS

Click PAGES on the left, then click on each page’s icon. A little blue check mark will appear to indicate that you’ve chosen that page to be on the list. Once you’ve selected all the pages you want for this particular list, click the NEXT button at the bottom of the box.

Type in a name for this list, and choose who can see the list. Once you’ve done that, click DONE.

That’s it! Now most of the posts from the pages on your list will appear in your newsfeed. To see all of the posts from each page on your list, look under INTERESTS on the left side of your newsfeed/home screen and click on the list. If you don’t see INTERESTS, click on MORE and that is where you’ll find it.

There is another way to ensure that you get a page’s posts in your newsfeed, and that’s to go to a page, hover over the LIKED button and then click “Show in News Feed” in the dropdown menu.

Those of you with branded pages should share this post with your Facebook followers so that they can get your page on their list.

[Update: No sooner do you post something about Facebook than it changes – a little or a lot. In this case, it’s a little, but it’s helpful. Check out this article on staying connected:]

By Trish Parnell

Flu Season is Here

24 10 2012

Flu season has begun. It’s been nasty in other parts of the world, and could turn that way here—it’s impossible to say how it’s going to play out.

Few of us think of flu as being a serious disease, but in the US, deaths each year range from 3,000 to an astonishing 49,000. About 200,000 people are hospitalized each year for influenza-related illnesses.

It’s not worth the risk. Everyone over the age of six months needs to get vaccinated each year unless a healthcare provider believes there’s a medical reason not to do so.

Symptoms of flu can include fever, cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, body aches, headache, chills and fatigue. Some people may also have vomiting and diarrhea.

If you’re not yet vaccinated, you can find a flu vaccination clinic near you with the flu vaccine finder at

For more information on flu, visit

Flu Education Resources

17 10 2012

The American Lung Association’s Faces of Influenza campaign has a fabulous toolkit available this year that is free-of-charge, along with PSAs that are also free-of-charge.

They have brochures, posters, and flyers ready to print, and they have an influenza backgrounder, templates of articles and letters to the editor, press releases, print ads, and other materials ready to use.

You may download all of these materials, or you may ask that hard copies be sent to you.

There are two campaign spokespeople this year, both of whom are warm and caring individuals—one is Sarah Chalke from the television show Scrubs, and the other is Maria Canals Barrera, from the television show Wizards of Waverly Place.

If you have any questions about the materials, contact Mary Havell at the American Lung Association.

Families Fighting Flu also has materials that may be downloaded and used in flu-fighting efforts. They have posters, postcards, and brochures that may either be downloaded at no cost, or they have hard copies that may be ordered.

The Immunization Action Coalition has handouts about vaccine-preventable diseases and vaccines that may be downloaded from their website free-of-charge.

The Vaccine Education Center at CHOP also has many handouts that are downloadable free-of-charge from their website.

There are lots of other organizations that have free educational material about influenza, including PKIDs.

What materials do you have that you can share with others this flu season? Tell us about them in comments, and leave URLs if you can.

By Trish Parnell
Image courtesy of USACE Europe District

School Lunches (Groan)

11 10 2012

Our dinner conversations are usually launched by my 8th grader, a girl of many opinions. She’ll start out by asking each of us how our day went, or sometimes what we did that day. Depending on the answers, or with no relation to the answers, we move on to other topics.

Last night, Paloma (the 8th grader) was telling us about the fruit they had that day in the school lunch. She talked about how grossed out the kids were, and she went on from there, just generally trash-talking the fruit.

I wondered why she was expending negative energy on the school fruit, because she brown bags it for lunch and she loves fruit. When I bring fresh fruit into the house, I have to stash some in a far corner or I’ll never get any. Same with canned fruit. She. Loves. Fruit.

So, I asked her why having fruit with the school lunch was a bad thing, and she told me it’s not the fact that it’s “fruit” (she did the air quotes), but that it was disgusting, slimy, limp, and gross fruit.

I replied that the schools were trying to bring healthier choices to kids, and that providing fruit was a good option. Didn’t she, my fruit-loving girl, agree?

Yes, she did agree, but “you gotta have the good stuff. No kid is gonna eat it if it looks like that. And, it tastes gross.”

This change that kids are seeing in school lunches comes about because of the Healthy Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010. It’s legislation that has good intentions and will, I believe, make a difference in the end.

But the trial-and-error phase is painful.

Kids around the country are complaining about the quantity and quality of the food offered each day, and some parents and others are complaining that the allotted calories per lunch don’t take into account the active lifestyle that many kids have at school.

Some kids get their primary nutrition for the day from the school breakfast and lunch, and some kids need help in judging their nutritional requirements because they, like so many adult Americans, are packing on unhealthy body weight.

The fact is, a healthy diet helps one’s body stay healthy. But, as a reasonable adult who knows the importance of good nutrition, would you eat “disgusting, slimy, limp, and gross fruit?” Neither would I, and apparently, neither will many of my daughter’s classmates.

It’s not enough to say our kids should eat healthier, we have to show them what that means and provide for them food that looks and tastes good. We eat with our eyes first, to quote about a thousand chefs.

We need solutions like the Farm to School programs popping up around the country.

What programs are working for your school? Or do you have ideas for programs that might get our kids excited about healthy food and help our schools serve food that the kids actually want to eat?

By Trish Parnell

Athlete’s Foot

4 10 2012

PKIDs’ advice nurse, Dr. Mary Beth Koslap-Petraco, gets into the details of athlete’s foot, including how to recognize it and treat it.

Listen now!

Right-click here to download (8.5min/4mb)

Pertussis Booster

1 10 2012

PKIDs’ advice nurse, Dr. Mary Beth Koslap-Petraco, discusses the staying power of the pertussis booster for teens and adults.

Listen now!

Right-click here to download (4min/2mb)