Health & Wellness
The holidays are an exciting time of year for kids, and to help ensure they have a safe and happy holiday season, here are some safety and mental health tips from the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP).
Keep potentially poisonous holiday plant decorations, including mistletoe berries, Jerusalem cherry, and holly berry, away from children and pets.
Select toys to suit the age, abilities, skills and interest level of the intended child. Toys too advanced may pose safety hazards for younger children.
Before buying a toy or allowing your child to play with a toy that he has received as a gift, read the instructions carefully.
To prevent both burns and electrical shocks, do not give young children (under age 10) a toy that must be plugged into an electrical outlet. Instead, buy toys that are battery-operated.
Young children can choke on small parts contained in toys or games. Government regulations specify that toys for children under age three cannot have parts less than 1 1/4 inches in diameter and 2 1/4 inches long.
Children can have serious stomach and intestinal problems – including death – after swallowing button batteries or magnets. In addition to toys, button batteries are often found in musical greeting cards, remote controls, hearing aids, and other small electronics. Small, powerful magnets are present in many homes as part of building toy sets. Keep button batteries and magnets away from young children and call your health care provider immediately if your child swallows one.
Children can choke or suffocate on uninflated or broken balloons; do not allow children under age 8 to play with them.
Remove tags, strings, and ribbons from toys before giving them to young children.
Watch for pull toys with strings that are more than 12 inches in length. They could be a strangulation hazard for babies.
A diagnosis of cancer in a woman’s reproductive organs can lead to fears about losing her femininity and her ability to bear children.
But, according to gynecologic oncologist Robert DeBernardo, MD, gynecological cancers aren’t common, and most can be easily treated.
“Gynecological cancers are rare in the grand scheme when compared to lung or colon cancer,” says Dr. DeBernardo, Director of Minimally Invasive Surgery in Cleveland Clinic’s Ob/Gyn and Women’s Health Institute. “But, they’re scarier because they happen to a woman’s genitals.”
In all gynecological cancer cases, most women should consult a specialist. General obstetrician/gynecologists are not trained to treat these diseases, and women will heal better with access to the right treatments, clinical trials and medications, he says.
There are four main types of gynecological cancers that women should discuss with their doctors.
1. Endometrial cancer
Endometrial cancer develops in the lining of the uterus, the endometrium. According to the American Cancer Society, it’s one of the most common. Between 80 percent and 90 percent of women fare well, because it’s frequently caught early, Dr. DeBernardo says.
Endometrial cancer’s cause is unknown, but it’s linked to several risk factors. Many are associated with the balance between estrogen and progesterone.
Its main symptom is the reason this cancer is most often diagnosed early, Dr. DeBernardo says.
“Ninety percent of women who have endometrial cancer present with abnormal bleeding. This is usually after menopause,” he says. “They’ll have breakthrough bleeding or a pink tinge on their underwear, and they’ll go in to the doctor.”
Several tests, both invasive and noninvasive, can identify endometrial cancer.
Surgery, including a hysterectomy, is the main treatment for endometrial cancer, but radiation therapy, hormone therapy and chemotherapy may sometimes be used for therapy. Women can reduce their risk by using oral contraceptives, controlling their weight and managing their diabetes, Dr....
This trail mix fits easily in a pocket or purse, and can help you avoid spur-of-the-moment fast food or other unhealthy choices. The key is to include a protein source, such as the nuts and seeds found in this trail mix recipe, as well as a fiber source, provided by the nuts, seeds, whole grains and dried fruit.
¾ cup unsalted roasted peanuts
¾ cup unsalted roasted almonds
1 cup unsalted roasted pumpkin seeds (pepitas)
¼ cup unsweetened shredded coconut
½ cup raisins or currants
¾ cup plain oat or bran or whole grain cereal
- Combine all ingredients.
- Measure out ¼ cup servings in individual snack-size bags to make a healthy, portable snack.
Nutrition information (Per serving)
Makes 16 servings. Each serving ¼ cup.
Total fat: 9 g
Saturated fat: 1.5 g
Trans fat: 0 g
Cholesterol: 0 mg
Sodium: 20 mg
Total Carbohydrate: 11 g
Fiber: 3 g
Sugars: 4 g
Protein: 5 g
Recipe provided by Digestive Disease Health Team dietitians.
Spending time with others brings a lot of joy during the holiday season, but it can also bring germs along the way. Parties, travel and shopping all include risks of picking up an illness from someone else nearby.
The first rule of protecting yourself against picking up bacteria and viruses is: Be smart about what you do. That means you should consider everything you touch to be something that could transmit a virus or bacteria to you.
“We can’t protect ourselves against every single germ out there, but we have to be conscious of what we come in contact with, particularly at a time when we are exposed to so many more people in crowds, on the streets and in the stores,” says infectious disease specialist Alan Taege, MD.
1. Keep your hands away from your face
Washing your hands or applying an alcohol-rub hand cleaner every five minutes is what it would take to keep your hands germ-free. That just isn’t possible. But, you have another option: Decrease your chances of transmitting whatever virus or bacteria you’ve touched to your body by keeping your hands away from your eyes, nose and mouth. These are the soft, wet areas where germs can take hold and multiply.
“When you do need to put something into your mouth,” Dr. Taege says, “that’s when you should first wash your hands or use a sterile hand cleanser.”
Of course, currency and credit cards, which get handled by numerous customers and salespeople, are also flying fast and furious between hands throughout the holidays. So, again, keep your hands away from your face and wash them when you can whenever you’ve been shopping.
2. Stay home if you’re sick
Another important piece of advice from Dr. Taege: When you do feel yourself becoming ill, just stay home....
You’re not feeling well. You’re exhausted, coughing and have a stuffy nose. How do you know if it’s the flu or merely a cold?
Flu and cold symptoms are similar and may differ only in severity. To quickly tell if you’re probably dealing with the flu versus a cold, infectious disease expert Susan Rehm, MD, says to think of F.A.C.T.S. That stands for fever, aches, chills, tiredness and sudden onset — all symptoms pointing to flu.
Sudden onset is the key
Symptoms that turn on like a light switch are telling. “A respiratory illness that comes on suddenly, like you’re being hit by a ton of bricks, may very well be flu,” says Dr. Rehm.
A stuffy nose, sore throat and hoarseness without the other symptoms indicate a cold, she says. For adults, vomiting is a sign of a stomach bug rather than flu. (Flu affects the respiratory tract and not the digestive tract.)
Getting help early on
“If you feel like you’re getting flu symptoms, contact your healthcare professional as soon as you can,” says Dr. Rehm. “You might be a candidate for prescription antiviral medication that specifically works against the flu.”
Antiviral medication can lessen the effects and shorten the duration of flu. However, it works best when given within the first 48 hours.
If you’re at high risk because you have a chronic medical condition or are pregnant, antiviral medicine might mean the difference between a milder flu and a very serious flu that results in a hospital stay.
Prevention: The best medicine
But flu vaccine remains your best protection against flu and flu complications like pneumonia, says Dr. Rehm. Vaccination is critical for those at highest risk: children under 5, the elderly, pregnant women and those with chronic medical conditions.