Healthy Kids Play is a child health and wellness blog sharing resources and information to help parents make informed decisions to keep our children healthy and playing.

Our Mission is to help parents, caretakers, educators, and researchers raise healthy kids by sharing resources and information on the multiple influences on child health (physical, intellectual, emotional, social, spiritual, and environmental). We hope to inspire others to keep our children playing.

Our culture is family oriented and passionate about creating a website that inspires.

All parents desire the best health for their children. What is one of the best indicators that a child is healthy? They play! Raising healthy children is not an easy task and it includes multiple influences: physical, intellectual, emotional, social, spiritual, and environmental. This website explores the multiple influences on a child’s health and what we can do as parents to help our children be healthy and play.

Health is a quality of life involving social, emotional, mental, spiritual, and biologic fitness on the part of the individual, which results from adaptations to the environment.

– Rene Dubos

Health is a complex concept, but we know that when children are playing, they are healthy!

– Dr. Ipuna Black

Dr. Ipuna Estavillo Black

On the family level, I’m the mother of four children.

My seven-year-old son was hospitalized at the end of 2015 for almost two months with encephalitis and Guillain Barré syndrome. He had extensive therapies for over one year. This gave me a deeper perspective on health and wellness for children that I hope to share on this blog. (To read more on why this blog was started, click here.)

Jy Hospital healthy kids play

He’s getting better, but he is still recovering physically and mentally.

Jy Well healthy kid play

On a professional level, I have worked in the area of pediatrics as a nurse since 2001. I was recently an Assistant Professor at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas teaching growth and development, nutrition, and pediatric clinicals, but opted to work part-time to allow me more time for my family (and the birth of this blog). I’ve taught for several colleges in the area of pediatric nursing. I’m an active member of Partners for Healthy Nevada, a coalition that supports activities that encourage physical activity and healthy eating. I’ve also been an active participant in creating the local school Wellness Policy. I’ve conducted research in the elementary school playground environment in examining ways to increase physical activity levels in children while at school. I’ve presented at numerous conferences on health and wellness for children. I’ve published a few articles related to health and children.

Feng, D., Song, H.,, Esperat, C., & Black, I. (2015) A multicomponent intervention helped reduce sugar-sweetened beverage intake in economically disadvantaged Hispanic children. American Journal of Health Promotion. doi:

Black, I. E., Menzel, N. N., & Bungum, T. J. (2015). The Relationship Among Playground Areas and Physical Activity Levels in Children. Journal of Pediatric Health Care, 29(2), 156-168. doi: 10.1016/j.pedhc.2014.10.001

Black, I. E. (2014). Health promoting school. Spaces and Flows: An International Journal of Urban and ExtraUrban Studies, 4(2), 27-36.

Black, I. E., Keele, S., & White, R.M. (2013). Using geographic information systems to identify obesity risk factors. Spaces and Flows: An International Journal of Urban and ExtraUrban Studies, 3(3), 79-94.

Some initials I have accumulated over the years:

  • BSN- Bachelor of Science in Nursing, University of Nevada, Las Vegas
  • MSN/PNP- Masters of Science in Nursing, Specialty: Pediatric Nurse Practitioner / Clinical-Nurse Specialist in primary, acute, and chronic care, Stony Brook State University of New York,
  • PhD- Doctor of Philosophy in Nursing: Sustainable Health, University of Nevada, Las Vegas