For Health Professionals
We Can!® recognizes the important relationship that health professionals have with parents and families. Parents often turn to health professionals for accurate information and guidance regarding their child's health.
We Can! worked with two of its national partners, The American Academy of Pediatrics and The American Academy of Family Physicians, to develop The Physicians' Role in Preventing Childhood Overweight and Obesity (93 KB PDF) and We Can! Parent Tips: Healthy Families, Healthy Weight (88 KB PDF). These resources for physicians and other health professionals include information on how to enhance children's activity and nutrition.
In addition to these tip sheets, We Can! provides other materials, resources, and community–based opportunities that empower health professionals to help their patients' families. We encourage you to familiarize yourself with We Can! by reviewing the online We Can! Energize Our Families: Parent Program training. The Parent Program provides parents and caregivers with guidance on getting the entire family to eat right, move more and reduce screen time. The online training is great for health professionals and educators, community organizations, or anyone interested in working with parents and primary caregivers to give them the tools they need to help children maintain a healthy weight.
One great benefit of the online training is that you can view the modules at your leisure, and pause it with the click of a mouse if necessary.
Health Professionals can help educate parents and young patients on ways to improve nutrition, increase physical activity, and limit screen time. Health professionals often have the ability to identify at-risk children and youth whose parents or caregivers can most benefit from this information. We encourage you to:
- Distribute the We Can! Parent Handbook, We Can! Parent Tips: Healthy Families, Healthy Weight (88 KB PDF), or other We Can! materials to parents. These resources will teach parents and caregivers about helping children maintain a healthy weight.
- Display We Can! posters and brochures designed for parents and caregivers.
- Ensure that your patients with health conditions like asthma understand how to safely engage in moderate to vigorous physical activity. Most patients with asthma should be able to participate vigorously in any activity they choose without experiencing asthma symptoms. This can be accomplished by developing 1) a treatment plan that keeps the patient's asthma well controlled on a day-to-day basis, and 2) if the patient has exercise-induced bronchospasm (EIB), an action plan for the patient describing what treatment to take for EIB (see the National Asthma Education and Control Program Expert Panel Report-3: Guidelines for the Diagnosis and Management of Asthma Summary Report 2007, section on "Managing Special Situations" (3.9 MB PDF) for more information).
- Refer families to the We Can! website, which provides families with tips, resources, and ideas for maintaining a healthy weight. You can link directly to the We Can! website from your practice’s intranet or website.