April is Military Children's Health Month

Story Number: NNS180416-18Release Date: 4/16/2018 3:20:00 PM
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By Joycelyn Biggs, U.S. Naval Hospital Public Affairs

GUANTANAMO BAY, Cuba (NNS) -- Military children are exposed to many difficulties non-military children often do not have to face such as deployments, combat injured parents and frequent military.

Military Kids Connect is a Defense Department program which addresses some of those unique situations facing 1.7 million children age 18 or younger of military parents.

The online community is for children ages six to 17 years old. In addition to the website, Military Kids Connect uses Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram to provide children with stress-management tools, provide information about their parents' deployments and offer videos of other children sharing personal stories. Children can also chat in safe, moderated online forums, according to the website.

"The Military Kids Connect website offers answers and solutions to their unique situations," said Lt. Gibran Pierluissi-Jovet, a pediatrician at Naval Hospital Guantanamo Bay. Pierluissi-Jovet said he understands those unique challenges first-hand because he was the child of an Air Force service member.

"It is a tremendous relief to be able to offer a great source of help to my patients and their parents."

The Stress Detective is one example of the tools offered and helps children recognize stress and provides activities to help cope with those stressors. Older children have the opportunity to explore stressors independently while younger children and parents work together. The exercises include arts and crafts, sporting activities and recipes from different countries and cultures.

According to Kelly Blasko, psychologist and program lead for the mobile web program at the National Center for Telehealth & Technology, Joint Base Lewis-McChord, the Military Kids Connect website is visited about 8,000 each month.

Military Kids Connect can be accessed from any computer at militarykidsconnect.dcoe.mil.

U.S. Navy Hospital Guantanamo Bay embraces providing world-class care by maintaining a reputation for sustaining one of the highest patient satisfaction rates of any military treatment facility in the Navy. The patient population of approximately 5,500 includes military family members, government civilian employees and their families, special category residents, contractors, foreign nationals and migrants.

For more navy news, visit www.navy.mil, www.facebook.com/usnavy, or www.twitter.com/usnavy.

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