AAP Releases Updated Safe Sleep Guidelines

Presented by TP Mechnaical | Provided by HORAN

The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recently released new guidelines designed to help reduce the risk of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) and other types of sleep-related infant deaths, which are also known as sudden unexpected infant deaths (SUIDs). SIDS is the leading cause of death among infants between 1 month and 1 year of age, with 90 percent of SIDS cases occurring before an infant is 6 months old.

The new report suggests that:

  • Infants should sleep in the same room as their parents, but in separate beds, for at least the first six months of their lives.
  • Infants should never sleep on a soft surface, such as an armchair or couch.
  • Infants should be placed on their backs to sleep on a firm surface with a tight-fitting sheet.
  • Parents should avoid putting an infant in a crib with pillows, loose sheets, blankets or other soft surfaces.

For more information, visit the AAP’s website.


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The Connection Between Office Camaraderie and Your Health

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Getting along with your co-workers can make the task of going to work more enjoyable and, according to recent research, can actually improve your health.

The Society for Personality and Social Psychology analyzed 58 studies of more than 19,000 people from different parts of the world and published its findings in the Personality and Social Psychology Review, an academic journal. The report also explains that when individuals identify and are invested in relationships with their colleagues, workplace productivity increases, employee morale increases and burnout levels decrease.

If you have not already done so, consider taking steps toward building professional, positive relationships with your co-workers. Use the following tips to develop positive relationships with your colleagues:

  1. Be friendly and encouraging
  2. Be supportive of other people’s work
  3. Initiate conversations, repeated interactions and communications
  4. Be respectful to your co-workers and their space
  5. Participate in activities that don’t involve work
  6. Maintain a positive attitude as much as possible

Reduce Your Holiday Stress

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The holidays can bring joy, but they can also bring stress. Whether you are worried about money, gift-giving or finding enough time to get everything done, using the following coping mechanisms can help you manage and reduce your holiday stress.

  • Get organized—Writing down the things you need to do or places you need to be can help you visualize your to-do list and make it seem much more manageable.
  • Know that it’s OK to say “no”—If attending an event that isn’t important to you will interfere with you getting work done or running errands, just say “no” politely.
  • Create and stick to a budget—Money is one of the biggest holiday stressors for people. Set a realistic budget this holiday season and don’t go over it.
  • Ask for help when you need it—You don’t have to decorate, wrap presents or cook by yourself. Ask friends or family members to help you complete these tasks.

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Check Your Tap Water for Chromium-6

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A recent report from the Environmental Working Group (EWG), a nonprofit research organization, revealed that there are higher-than-recommended levels of chromium-6 in the tap water being supplied to two-thirds of all Americans. EWG published an interactive map that lists its water testing results on a county-by-county basis.

Chromium-6 is a cancer-causing chemical that occurs naturally in the environment and can be produced in high quantities by industrial projects. In addition to being a known carcinogen, chromium-6 can also cause burns, pneumonia and complications during childbirth.

If you live in an area that has high levels of chromium-6, consider purchasing a filter to remove the chemical from your water. The following are the most common filters used:

  • Ion exchange water treatment units—These units are effective in removing chromium-6. However, they need to be monitored, maintained and replaced fairly frequently.
  • Reverse osmosis filters—These filters are often more affordable and practical for residential use and are easier to find at local stores. However, they use much more energy, and you must dispose of the filtered materials.

If you aren’t sure what filter is best for you, visit EWG’s Water Filter Buying Guide for further guidance.

Important Updates: 2016 Flu Vaccine

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As the 2016-2017 flu season approaches, now is a great time to get vaccinated against the flu. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that everyone 6 months of age and older get a flu vaccine.

Unlike their recommendations during past flu seasons, the CDC and the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) are not recommending the nasal spray vaccine, FluMist, for the 2016-2017 season due to concerns over its effectiveness, especially in children. The CDC and AAP are now only recommending the injectable flu vaccine.

Some flu shots protect against three flu viruses while others protect against four viruses. Consult your physician to determine which shot is best for you. If you don’t have a regular doctor, you can get a flu vaccine at a local health department, pharmacy or urgent care clinic.

Getting an annual flu vaccine is the first and, arguably, the best way to protect your family during the flu season. For more information on the 2016-2017 vaccine, click here.

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Choosing Medications Wisely

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Drugs And Warnings

The rising cost of prescription and specialty medications is alarming. The most recent example of how expensive these types of medications can be is the price hike of the life-saving EpiPen, which now costs more than $600 for one pack of two EpiPens.

If you take prescription medication, using the following strategies can help you become a wiser health care consumer and save you money:

  • Shop around—Drug prices are not the same at every pharmacy. You may be able to save money by shopping around.
  • Ask about drug substitution—When your doctor prescribes a drug, ask if a cheaper alternative is available or if an over-the-counter drug will work just as well.
  • Consider using a generic version of your prescription drug—Generic medications work just as well as brand-name drugs and can cost up to 80 percent less.
  • Look into discount card programs—Some drugstore chains offer discount prescription cards that provide additional discounts on your prescriptions for a small monthly or annual fee.

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Halloween Safety Tips

 

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Poster, banner or background for Trick or Treat Halloween Party

For some Americans, Halloween is one of the most anticipated holidays. Unfortunately, it can also be rather dangerous. Use the following suggestions to help keep your child safe this year.

Costume Safety Tips

  • Choose fire-resistant costumes, wigs and accessories.
  • Avoid potentially dangerous props, like hard swords.
  • Opt for non-toxic face paint or makeup instead of masks.
  • Decorate costumes and treat bags with reflective tape if your child will be out after dark.

Trick-or-treating Safety Tips

  • Accompany children under 12 at all times.
  • Insist that trick-or-treating only be done in familiar areas.
  • Plan a route if older children are going alone.
  • Designate a specific time for children to return home.
  • Instruct children to never enter a stranger’s car or home.
  • Remind children to always look both ways before crossing a street, to be aware of their surroundings and to use sidewalks whenever possible.
  • Tell your children not to eat any treats until they return home.
  • Discard treats that appear to be open or tampered with.

For more tips on how to celebrate Halloween safely, click here.

Breast Cancer Awareness Month

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Breast cancer is the second most common type of cancer and the second leading cause of cancer deaths for women in the United States. Top risk factors include getting older, race and family history of breast cancer, which are things you cannot change.

Regardless of your personal risk factors, you can use these prevention strategies to reduce your risk of breast cancer:

  • Maintain a healthy weight.
  • Exercise regularly.
  • Avoid exposure to carcinogens and radiation.
  • Abstain from drinking alcohol or limit intake to one drink per day.

In general, living a healthy lifestyle can help lower your risk of developing cancer and increase your chances of surviving cancer. If you are concerned about your personal risk of developing breast cancer, call or visit your doctor.

For more information on risk factors, prevention tips and breast cancer screening, visit www.cdc.gov/cancer/breast/.

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Prevent Backpack-related Injuries

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According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, over 5,000 children under the age of 19 suffered backpack-related injuries last year. The vast majority of these injuries were caused by overloaded and incorrectly fitted backpacks.

Smiling Little Boy With Big Backpack Jumping And Having FunWhile you may not have complete control over the weight of your child’s backpack, you can purchase a well-fitting, comfortable backpack. When shopping for a backpack, search for:

  • The proper size (never wider or longer than your child’s torso, never hanging more than 4 inches below waist)
  • Padded back and shoulder straps
  • Multiple compartments and a waist or chest strap to help balance the weight
  • Reflective, lightweight material

Purchasing a good backpack for your child is just the first step in preventing backpack-related injuries. Be sure to encourage them to always use both straps when carrying their backpacks and to only pack what is absolutely necessary to carry.


This article is intended for informational purposes only and is not intended to be exhaustive, nor should any discussion or opinions be construed as professional advice. Readers should contact a health professional for appropriate advice. © 2016 Zywave, Inc. All rights reserved.

Avoiding Sports-related Eye Injuries in Children

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Eye injuries are the leading cause of blindness in children, and most eye injuries incurred by those ages 11 to 14 happen while they are playing sports. Every 13 minutes, an emergency room in the United States treats a sports-related eye injury. Of the estimated 2 million Americans who sustain eye injuries each year, approximately 40,000 will go on to be considered legally blind in the injured eye.

August is “Children’s Eye Health and Safety Month.” This is not only a good time to get your child’s eyes checked before school starts, but it is also a good time to ensure that they are protecting their eyes while playing sports.

Many youth sports teams don’t require eye protection, so parents should insist that their children wear safety glasses or goggles when playing. Parents can also set a good example by wearing protective eyewear themselves. The following graphic shows the type of protective eyewear that should be worn while playing popular sports.

Eyewear_Gear