Safe Toys and Gifts Month

December 12, 2013

It’s that time of year again; the season of giving. With that being said, the month of December is Safe Toys and Gifts Month. Make sure as you are doing your holiday shopping you’re being mindful of children’s age, things they may be allergic to, and what the toy or gift is made of. Does it have lead paint in it? Does it have small parts a child might ingest? These factors are easily overlooked with the excitement of the season. The U.S. consumer Product Safety Commission has found in its most recent report, which is from 2010, that emergency rooms treated 251,700 toy related incidents throughout the United States; 72% of these injuries were in adolescents less than 15 years of age. When it comes to young children, make sure it is age appropriate and has nothing like small magnets that a child could swallow. If batteries are needed, make sure they are secured within the toy. Ingesting a magnet or battery can cause severe injury and would require an emergency room visit. Also, if a toy has to be assembled, make sure to secure it tightly so that it won’t break while a child is on it, or playing with it. Supervision is always the best way to prevent an injury from happening! These are just a few suggestions to take into consideration so that this Christmas is filled with joy and happiness with friends and loved ones!

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It’s the first day of summer! Now is the time for cook outs, pool parties, and family gatherings for fun in the sun. One thing that is often overlooked, though, is the importance of not getting too much sun exposure. It IS possible to get too much sun, and it can be harmful to your health. It can lead to skin cancer, may possibly weaken your immune system, and can cause premature aging or “leathery” looking skin. The good thing is that it is easy to prevent! Apply sunscreen at least thirty minutes prior to being outdoors, and make sure to apply it to all areas that will be exposed to the sun such as: hands, feet, ears, and even your scalp. A common myth about sunscreen is that you won’t tan with it on; so many people don’t wear it. This is false, you will tan even when wearing sunscreen; it just may take a bit longer but the wait is worth it because a person’s risk for melanoma doubles if he or she has had five or more sunburns. Another way to prevent too much sun exposure is by wearing a hat or sitting under an umbrella when outside, and be sure to take breaks if you feel like you are getting burned or overheated. Also, be wary of any medication you are taking, as certain medications can make you more susceptible to sunburns. If you have any questions about this, contact your primary care physician and they will be more than happy to answer them. Don’t let a day at the beach or pool get ruined by a bad sunburn, protect your skin and your health! Everyone have a safe and fun filled summer!

Spring Fever

May 15, 2013

Warmer weather is finally here, but that also means that allergy season is back. You may have noticed your allergies started bothering you a bit earlier this year. That’s because we experienced a warmer winter than we usually do, which means the trees got an early start at pollinating. Itchy, watery eyes and a constant sneeze or runny nose is never a fun thing, especially when you just want to enjoy the warm weather and be outdoors. Here are a few tips to help you manage your allergies this year.

Keep Pollen out of your house by:

  • When washing your sheets and bedding, use the dryer rather than hanging them up outside.
  • Although it’s nice to have open window during warm weather, try to keep them closed and just use the fans in your home. This keeps pollen from coming into your house.
  • Try to wipe down countertops and surfaces on a daily basis to get rid of any pollen that did come in, and prevent it from building.
  • Don’t forget pets can bring in pollen on their fur. Give them a good brushing and wipe down before bringing them back inside.

Also, when driving, do not ride with the windows down and you can wear sunglasses to keep pollen out of your eyes. After being outdoors, immediately take a shower and wash your hair to get all the pollen off of you and to keep it from settling into your house. These are just a few tips on how to control your allergies but you can also take over-the-counter medication such as: Allegra, Benadryl, Claritin, or Zyrtec. However, if these don’t work, visit your primary care doctor to see about further treatment for your allergies. Don’t let seasonal allergies get you down, take this advice so you can enjoy the warmer weather!

Defeat Your Diabetes!

April 12, 2013

Defeat Your Diabetes!

 

Many people may not know that April is National Defeat Diabetes month. So, I found it fitting to inform you of a few facts, and give some tips, on diabetes and how to control it. Did you know that 25.8 million adults and children in the United States have diabetes? That’s 8.3 percent of the population. There are three types of diabetes: Type 1, Type 2, and Gestational. Gestational diabetes affects women who are pregnant, primarily around 24 weeks. If you experience gestational diabetes, it does not mean you had diabetes before you were pregnant or that you will have it after you give birth but it is very important to follow your doctor’s advice on keeping blood sugar at a healthy level while planning for your pregnancy. Type 1 diabetes is usually found in young adults or children, and it occurs when the body does not produce insulin. Type 2 diabetes is the most common form of diabetes and occurs when the body either does not produce enough insulin, or the cells ignore the insulin that is produced. Is it possible to prevent diabetes? Yes. By making simple life changes such as eating a healthier diet, increasing your physical activity, and maintaining a healthy body weight, you can reduce the risk of diabetes. Another great way to prevent, or control diabetes if you already have it, is to keep your stress levels down. This is important because stress can raise your blood sugar levels. Do things that calm you down, whether it is exercising, taking a class you enjoy, reading a book, etc.  Also start tracking your meals and be more conscious of the foods that you are eating. Controlling diabetes isn’t hard; you just have to be patient and mindful every day. Here’s a link with a list of diabetic friendly recipes to get you started!

http://www.everydayhealth.com/publicsite/recipes/viewall.aspx?ShowValueDatas=Diabetic

As you all know, October is breast cancer awareness month. Here are a few facts to help you better understand breast cancer. Did you know that no two breast cancers are exactly alike? This means that treatment for women with breast cancer will vary due to factors such as: the stage of the disease, the type of cancer, the genetic make-up of the tumor and the preference of the women who will be treated. This means that the treatment plan for each woman will differ. Don’t be afraid to seek a second opinion. If there was any trouble or controversy with the initial diagnosis, it is perfectly okay to seek an opinion of another healthcare provider with expertise in that field. In some cases, insurance will even pay for a second opinion if you request it. Women who are diagnosed with breast cancer should find out as much information as they can about their particular cancer. This will allow them to be an active participant in the treatment options and decision making process. Overall, the most important thing is for women to be aware of their body and to do self breast exams to detect any lumps that may be of concern. Early detection can make all the difference!

Starting off your day right!

September 25, 2012

When you wake up in the morning, what is the first thing you think of? I bet you didn’t say breakfast; although, breakfast is the most important meal it is often the most skipped meal. In order, to celebrate September’s “Better Breakfast Month”, here’s some information as to why it’s so important. Many health benefits are linked to eating a healthy, hearty breakfast. It can improve your work or school performance, it can give you more energy and endurance for physical performance, it can lower cholesterol levels, and can help weight control! How can eating breakfast help you lose weight? Eating breakfast within an hour of waking up will jump start your metabolism and burn more calories throughout the day. Who knew waking up ten to twenty minutes earlier to eat breakfast, could have so many wonderful benefits? Here’s a delicious and healthy recipe for lemon blueberry corn muffins to start off your day:

Ingredients:

1/2 cup unbleached white flour

1/2 cup whole-wheat flour

1 cup yellow cornmeal (finely ground works best)

1/3 cup granulated sugar

1/3 cup Splenda (or other sugar alternative for baking)

 1 tablespoon baking powder

 1/2 teaspoon salt

  Zest from 1 lemon, finely chopped (about 1 1/2 teaspoons)

  1/4 cup canola oil

  4 tablespoons lemon juice

  1/4 cup fat-free sour cream

  3/4 cup fat-free half-and-half or low-fat milk

  1 large egg

  1/4 cup egg substitute

  2 cups frozen or fresh blueberries          

 Preparation:

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line 15 muffin cups with paper or foil liners.
  2. Whisk together the flours, cornmeal, sugar, Splenda, baking powder, salt, and lemon zest in a large bowl.
  3. Add canola oil, fat-free half-and-half, egg and egg substitute to a large mixing bowl and beat on medium until well blended. Gradually add flour mixture to the batter in the mixing bowl, while beating on low speed, until just combined.
  4. Gently stir in blueberries and spoon batter into prepared muffin cups using a 1/4-cup measuring cup.
  5. Bake until a tester inserted in center of largest muffin comes out clean (about 18 minutes).

Heat Exhaustion

August 7, 2012

Heat Exhaustion is a heat-related illness that may occur after you’ve been exposed to high temperatures for several days and have developed dehydration. Although heat exhaustion isn’t as serious as other heat-related illnesses, it isn’t something to be taken lightly. Without proper care, heat exhaustion can progress to heat stroke, which can damage the brain and other vital organs and even cause death.If you or anyone else has symptoms of heat exhaustion, it’s essential to immediately get out of the heat and rest, preferably in an air-conditioned environment. If you can’t get inside, try to find the nearest cool and shady place.Drink plenty of non-caffeinated and non-alcoholic beverages; remove any tight or unnecessary clothing; take a cool shower, bath, or sponge bath; and apply other active cooling measures such as fans or ice towels. If such measures fail to provide relief within 30 minutes, contact a doctor since untreated heat exhaustion can progress to heat stroke.

 Symptoms of Heat Exhaustion

The most common signs and symptoms of heat exhaustion include:

  • confusion
  • dark-colored urine (which indicates dehydration)
  • dizziness
  • fainting
  • fatigue
  • headache
  • muscle cramps
  • nausea
  • pale skin
  • profuse sweating
  • rapid heartbeat

 Heat exhaustion is strongly related to the heat index. A relative humidity of 60% or more hampers sweat evaporation, which hinders your body’s ability to cool itself. The risk of heat-related illness dramatically increases when the heat index climbs to 90 degrees or more. Some Medications that can affect heat exhaustion include diuretics, sedatives, tranquilizers, stimulants, some heart and blood pressure medications, and medications for psychiatric conditions. Infants and children up to age 4, and adults over age 65, are particularly vulnerable because they adjust to heat more slowly than other people.

 Information for this bog was provided by: WebMD