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Image of two Airmen treating a patient.

Air Force SMART program sustains readiness and c...

Local News
Oct. 27, 2022

The Air Force’s Sustained Medical and Readiness Trained, or SMART, program has become a dynamic training...
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JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (Sept. 24, 2022) – Capt. Sharon House, Naval Hospital Jacksonville director and Navy Medicine Readiness and Training Command Jacksonville commander, together with the command’s Military Health System (MHS) GENESIS team, prepare to cut the ceremonial ribbon for the new electronic health record system MHS GENESIS on September 24 at the hospital. The ribbon cutting recognized the launch of the new electronic health record at the hospital and its Naval Branch Health Clinics Jacksonville, Key West and Mayport. (U.S. Navy photo by Yan Kennon, Naval Hospital Jacksonville/Released).

MHS GENESIS ‘Goes Live’ at Naval Hospital Jackso...

Local News
Sep. 26, 2022

Naval Hospital (NH) Jacksonville and Naval Branch Health Clinics (NBHC) Jacksonville, Key West and Mayport...
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Novavax COVID-19 Vaccine Now Available for 12 to 17 Year-Olds

Novavax COVID-19 Vaccine Now Available for 12 to...

Local News
Aug. 31, 2022

Adolescents ages 12 to 17 can now receive the Novavax COVID-19 vaccine, the fourth vaccine to be authorized...
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New COVID-19 Boosters Against Subvariants Coming Soon

New COVID-19 Boosters Against Subvariants Coming...

Local News
Aug. 30, 2022

Public health experts say COVID-19 cases are anticipated to spike again this fall, but new vaccine versions...
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Image of monkeypox.

Eligible Airmen, Guardians have access to more m...

Local News
Aug. 22, 2022

The Department of Defense is increasing its supply of the approved monkeypox vaccine, JYNNEOS, which allows...
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JBSA-Lackland, JBSA-Randolph Pharmacies change processes

JBSA-Lackland, JBSA-Randolph pharmacies implemen...

Local News
Aug. 19, 2022

The Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland and Randolph Pharmacy teams are changing some of their processes to...
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collage of active duty service women

After Dobbs Decision, Department of Defense Prov...

Local News
Aug. 16, 2022

When the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade, the 1973 decision protecting abortion rights, service...
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Walk-in clinic aids service members with musculoskeletal injuries

Walk-in clinic aids service members with musculo...

Local News
Aug. 16, 2022

The Brooke Army Medical Center Musculoskeletal Integrated Practice Unit, located in the Capt. Jennifer M...
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Local News | May 26, 2022

Tips for Talking to Your Kids About Current Events

Military families have a unique connection to war, regardless of when or where it occurs.

For military children – who know that their parents regularly train, prepare, and deploy for military missions as part of their job – current events can cause stress and anxiety. Streams of media images and reports about troubling news events can be outright scary.

Talking to kids openly and honestly about the events they see and hear about can help validate their feelings and make them feel reassured that they are safe and loved, said Air Force Col. (Dr.) Eric Flake, a developmental behavioral pediatrician at Madigan Army Medical Center on Joint Base Lewis-McChord, in Washington.

During these conversations, he recommends parents:

  • Keep it simple and honest
  • Validate their kids' feelings
  • Express feelings about how the family might be impacted by what's going on
  • Highlight the values and strengths that people demonstrate during hard times

Flake highlighted the importance of military parents explaining to their children that the reason for their military service is to protect children and make them feel safe.

"Everyone, but especially children, like to feel safe and secure," he said.

"Reassurance is key."

An important part of that is reassuring children that feelings of anxiety are normal, the behavioral specialist said. Parents can help externalize or label feelings and remind children that adults get anxious, too. Children need to understand that it's OK to feel scared or anxious.

"It's a healthy response, and we all feel it," said Flake. "Having an emotional response and being sensitive to the suffering of others is healthy and should be supported, not turned off."

It also helps to provide children with the coping skills needed to "ride through" times when anxiety is particularly difficult to manage, he added.

"Do healthy things to help bring down the anxiety levels, like eating healthy, exercising, and getting enough sleep," he added.

He recommends the following resources to ease kids' anxiety:

  • Eat a meal together without distractions
  • Go on walks together and talk about things that interest the child
  • Talk about what is going at the level that the child understands
  • Develop a personal growth mindset and teach children about this concept

Military children face unique anxieties, even in the best of times, for example that their parents will be leaving for a deployment, or that their family will be moving, said Air Force Maj. (Dr.) Kara Garcia, a staff pediatrician at the 96th Medical Group in Eglin Air Force Base, Florida.

"Leaving friends, schools, familiar parks, churches, and changing routines can be very disorienting for children," she said.

"It's important as a parent to talk about the certainties and constants: that they are loved, that the adults around them are happy and healthy, that things will turn out OK in the end."

But if a parent feels that their child is excessively anxious, Flake recommends they make an appointment with their primary physician.

"There is also 24/7 help anywhere in the world to address anxiety concerns via Military OneSource, including virtual counseling," he said.

For more information, talk to your health care provider, your local Military & Family Life Counseling Program, or school counselor.

Local News

 

 

Local News | May 26, 2022

Tips for Talking to Your Kids About Current Events

Military families have a unique connection to war, regardless of when or where it occurs.

For military children – who know that their parents regularly train, prepare, and deploy for military missions as part of their job – current events can cause stress and anxiety. Streams of media images and reports about troubling news events can be outright scary.

Talking to kids openly and honestly about the events they see and hear about can help validate their feelings and make them feel reassured that they are safe and loved, said Air Force Col. (Dr.) Eric Flake, a developmental behavioral pediatrician at Madigan Army Medical Center on Joint Base Lewis-McChord, in Washington.

During these conversations, he recommends parents:

  • Keep it simple and honest
  • Validate their kids' feelings
  • Express feelings about how the family might be impacted by what's going on
  • Highlight the values and strengths that people demonstrate during hard times

Flake highlighted the importance of military parents explaining to their children that the reason for their military service is to protect children and make them feel safe.

"Everyone, but especially children, like to feel safe and secure," he said.

"Reassurance is key."

An important part of that is reassuring children that feelings of anxiety are normal, the behavioral specialist said. Parents can help externalize or label feelings and remind children that adults get anxious, too. Children need to understand that it's OK to feel scared or anxious.

"It's a healthy response, and we all feel it," said Flake. "Having an emotional response and being sensitive to the suffering of others is healthy and should be supported, not turned off."

It also helps to provide children with the coping skills needed to "ride through" times when anxiety is particularly difficult to manage, he added.

"Do healthy things to help bring down the anxiety levels, like eating healthy, exercising, and getting enough sleep," he added.

He recommends the following resources to ease kids' anxiety:

  • Eat a meal together without distractions
  • Go on walks together and talk about things that interest the child
  • Talk about what is going at the level that the child understands
  • Develop a personal growth mindset and teach children about this concept

Military children face unique anxieties, even in the best of times, for example that their parents will be leaving for a deployment, or that their family will be moving, said Air Force Maj. (Dr.) Kara Garcia, a staff pediatrician at the 96th Medical Group in Eglin Air Force Base, Florida.

"Leaving friends, schools, familiar parks, churches, and changing routines can be very disorienting for children," she said.

"It's important as a parent to talk about the certainties and constants: that they are loved, that the adults around them are happy and healthy, that things will turn out OK in the end."

But if a parent feels that their child is excessively anxious, Flake recommends they make an appointment with their primary physician.

"There is also 24/7 help anywhere in the world to address anxiety concerns via Military OneSource, including virtual counseling," he said.

For more information, talk to your health care provider, your local Military & Family Life Counseling Program, or school counselor.

Learn More about COVID-19 and the COVID-19 Vaccine.