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June is National Safety Month

Some great tips to help you and your family have a fun and safe summer  

Safety should always be top of mind, whether at work, at home or out and about with friends and family. As the days become warmer and longer, we’ll be spending more and more time outside enjoying the weather. However, this means taking steps to be safe, while we’re also enjoying summertime activities.

With June being National Safety Month, it’s a great opportunity to highlight and spread the word on ways you and your family can take steps to avoid and prevent any injuries or accidents.

Trampolines

On a beautiful and warm summer day, few things seem more fun for kids (and sometimes adults) than jumping on a trampoline. Unfortunately, some thousands of children wind up in emergency rooms every year due to trampoline-related accidents, according to a study by the American Academy of Pediatrics.

Be sure to take care while you (or your children) are playing on trampolines, as unsafe use can lead to severe spinal injuries, brain trauma and broken bones. Allow only one jumper at a time, be sure to use an enclosure net and check that there aren’t any holes or tears in the trampoline.

Water Safety

Cooling off in a pool, lake or river is a fun and popular summer pastime for many of us. It can be easy to overlook some safety concerns when splashing around in the water.

Before jumping in at the beach, lake, river or pool, don’t forget to check the water quality. Contamination levels can change from week to week, and while park and pool officials have a responsibility to monitor for water contamination, you can also find information on water quality on the United States Environmental Protection Agency beach advisory databases. To find out about a specific lake or river’s water quality, many of these reports can be found online by doing a quick Google search of the lake or river.

If you’re swimming at a local pool, ask the pool staff. Many states, including Pennsylvania, have state rules mandating testing and related requirements they must follow in order to operate a public pool, including regular testing and monitoring of water quality and required chlorine levels.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report nearly 4,000 people drown each year in the United States from non-boating related incidents. That’s equal to about 10 deaths every day. Designate a responsible adult to watch kids while they’re in and around the water and ensure they are swimming and playing safely. And remember, pool floaties and foam toys are just that — toys. Do not substitute them for life jackets.

Garden Safety

Gardening is a great way to bring healthy and natural foods to your dinner table, but gardens can also bring some safety precautions to keep in mind.  It’s vital to understand the products you’re using in your garden. Many fertilizers and pesticides can cause harmful reactions to your pets and family members. Keep those pesticides out of reach of children, and make sure they aren’t dangerous to anyone’s health. Also consider using organic fertilizers and pesticides in and around your garden and lawn.

Read up on the local critters you have in your area; notably snakes and insects, like spiders and critters that can sting (such as wasps and yellow jackets). For snakes, learn about the ones you encounter and keep characteristics of the venomous kinds top of mind. If you’re working in your garden and you spot a snake you’re unfamiliar with, give it some space and consider investing in a snake repellent.

Home Safety

You may already be aware of the typical hazards that come with homes. But with warmer weather, new hazards can surface. Before cracking your windows to let in some fresh air, make sure an adult is supervising open windows, even if you have screens installed. In most cases, screens do not prevent window falls. Sadly, 3,300 children require emergency treatment from window falls each year.

The dangers don’t stop inside the house. Annually, 247,000 people are injured by lawn mowers. Flying objects at speeds of up to 100 mph can strike you or anyone around you while mowing. Before cutting grass, clear the lawn of any toys, woods, rocks or debris. Also consider wearing adequate eye protection to protect your eyes while you’re mowing.

This National Safety Month, take some time to evaluate any potential warmer-weather safety hazards to ensure you and your family have a safe, fun summer. If you have questions about ways you can keep you or your family safe, reach out to our providers, who are experts on keeping everyone healthy, during the summer and year-round.

5 dental care questions you need to ask your dentist

What every patient should know before their next appointment

Dentist and dental hygienists ask each patient extensive questions about his or her oral health, hygiene, and lifestyle habits during every visit. At your next dental appointment, make sure you take advantage of the time you have with your dentist, and pose some questions for him or her so you can improve your dental care routine.

Here is a list of questions you should ask your dentist at your next appointment so that you can be proactive about improving your oral health. 

How is my overall dental care?

The first question you should ask your dentist is about the overall health of your mouth and teeth. General exams of the mouth area can give dentists a good idea about the status of your oral health. Checking for any lumps that don’t belong, signs of teeth grinding, and gauging for bone density are all general examinations your dentist can perform to ensure that your mouth is healthy. 

What foods are good/bad for my teeth?

Don’t underestimate the effect food and drinks can have on your teeth and gums. Ask your dentist for a specific list of foods and drinks that can be damaging to your mouth, and an explanation on what impacts they can have.

Additionally, ask your dentist about which foods you should be gravitating toward including as part of your dental care routine. Some foods like almonds or leafy greens have nutritional properties that can help you fend off mouth diseases and avoid cavities.

What products and tools should I be using?

With so many types of toothbrushes, toothpastes and mouthwashes on the market, it can be intimidating when it comes to choosing the right one for your needs. Speak to your dentist about what he/she recommends you need, or products that can help with certain oral conditions, like gum disease or plaque buildup.

Is there anything I should tell my family doctor about?

Studies suggest the links between oral health and overall health are very closely related. That’s because your oral health offers clues about your general well-being, as many health concerns that affect the entire body can begin in the mouth.

While your dentist is examining your mouth and noting any potential concerns, ask him/her if there are any red flags that you should relay to your doctor.

Remember to bring this list of questions with you at your next dental appointment. Get to know our Dental Health Services and Dental Providers at Sadler Health Center, and learn how to Become A Patient.

 

 

3 tips to have a healthier home

Finding the fun in healthy snacks for kids

The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics continuously makes efforts to educate people across the country about ways to live a nutritious and healthy lifestyle. Educating your children early on about the importance of living a healthful lifestyle and adopting a nutritious diet will help them grow up to be healthy adults.

There are fun ways to get the entire family to work on developing better habits around food and exercise.

Regularly introduce new foods

Only about 10% of Americans are getting enough fruits and vegetables in their diets. With so many added benefits like vitamins, nutrients, and antioxidants, fruits and vegetables keep us feeling and looking our best. 

However, we recognize that it can be difficult to commit to healthy meals for those who might not be used to it, yet. Make it a goal each week to introduce healthy snacks for kids like new fruits or vegetables. You may even find that there are plenty of fun and tasty ways to prepare even the leafiest of greens.

Get your hands dirty

Gardening is a rewarding hobby for both your family and the environment. Research suggests that having your kids help to make a family garden can improve their eating habits because they are more likely to want to try the fruits (and vegetables) of their labor.

Once you’ve harvested your foods, bring your child into the kitchen to help make a meal. Through the experiential learning of creating healthy snacks for kids together from seed to table, children will become excited about their efforts and nutritious foods.

Play a game with your food

Playing with food is usually a big no-no in every house. However, a creative and fun way for your children to learn about foods and ingredients is by turning it into a game. Try having them explore the aisles of a farmer’s market or grocery store to locate healthy food items you will need to prepare a meal.

A scavenger hunt challenges them to learn more about healthy food groups, and where they are found in the grocery store. Children love to be hands-on with most activities and encouraging them to try a new dish filled will be much easier if they are involved in the progress. By recognizing certain ingredients that they helped find, they’re more likely to want to try the final masterpiece. 

It is always a great time to involve the entire family in bringing healthy snacks for kids to the table. Get to know our Pediatric Medical Providers, or Contact Us to schedule an appointment today.

Has your baby received their vaccinations yet?

Take steps to protect your child’s health – and the health of others

It’s always an exciting time when you can welcome a new child into the family. Ensuring your new baby is up to date on his/her shots is vitally important for your baby’s health and the public at large.

April 21st begins National Infant Immunization Week, a week designed to increase and promote the benefits of early childhood vaccinations and the positive impacts immunization has had on the lives of infants and children.

Below are some commonly asked questions and answers regarding vaccinations:

Q: Why are infant vaccinations important?

A: Thanks to immunizations, we’re now able to protect infants and children from a number of vaccine-preventable diseases before the age two. Some diseases that once injured or killed thousands of children have been eliminated completely and others are close to being gone – primarily due to safe and effective vaccines.

For example, polio was once one of the most-feared diseases in the United States. Today, thanks to vaccination, there have been no reports of polio in the United States.

Q: What sort of impact do immunizations have on public health?

A: The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report that routine vaccines can prevent an estimated 381 million illnesses, more than 24 million hospital visits, and 855,000 early deaths over the course of their lifetimes.

Vaccinations also mean fewer missed work days and school days. If a child gets a disease that could have been prevented by a vaccine, they may have to miss school or day care for several days or weeks, and a parent having to stay home to care for their sick child can burden a family financially.

Q: Are vaccines safe for my young child?

A: The United States has the safest vaccine supply in its history. Before an immunization can be approved and used on children, it is tested extensively by scientists and medical professionals. They evaluate information about the vaccine to determine its success rate and safety, and vaccine recommendations are updated as new information from the scientific and medical communities become available.

Q: How can I find out if my infant is up to date, and what shots might he/she need?

A: Your child’s pediatrician or family physician can provide you with a timeline of vaccinations he/she needs, based on his/her age. Your child’s provider is a great resource for you to ensure your child is protected from a variety of serious childhood illnesses and can alert you to any immunization updates. In addition, you can also find vaccine information for your child from the PA Department of Health.

If your child needs a pediatrician, reach out to our team at Sadler Health. We provide comprehensive primary and preventative health services, including annual and routine checkups for all members of your family, including infants, toddlers and adolescents.

We can also provide education and guidance on related children’s health issues. Call Sadler Health to schedule an appointment at 717-218-6670.

5 Ways to Add Stress Management to Your Work Day

It’s Stress Awareness month – learn healthier techniques for stress management

For many of us, the majority of our day revolves around work. Driving to and from work, being at work or thinking about work, can result in built up job-related stress. In fact, a Stanford University professor says the workplace environment is the fifth leading cause of death in the U.S.

33 percent of working Americans reported having chronic work stress and only 36 percent believe their employers supplied the resources needed to help manage that stress. It’s vital then, to find healthy and positive ways to alleviate and eliminate work-related stress through stress management.

Understand your stressors

You can’t tackle your stressors before you’re completely sure you know what they are. Keep a notebook on hand during work and jot down times you are feeling stressed and what you think the causes are. Make a point to note how you reacted – did you raise your voice, grab a snack, get some fresh air?

Keeping this journal will help you identify what’s causing you to feel this way and discover healthier ways to deal with stressful situations down the line.

Give yourself time for recovery

All work and no play, is the perfect recipe for burnout. Therefore, give yourself time to recover and take a mental or physical break during the workday. Working intensely for hours on end sets you up for fatigue, feeling overwhelmed and stressed.

The best type of break is one that detaches you from work-related thoughts for a short period of time. So, every few hours, take a walk around the block, watch a funny video, or just take a step away from your work to reset your energy and focus. Doing this will help your stress and concentration levels immensely.

Communicate with your team

If you’re feeling repeatedly stressed out about the same tasks or issues, remember, you’re not in it alone. A healthy and happy employee is more productive and efficient. This means your employer has real incentive to address workplace stresses when they happen.

Inform your employer about what’s causing your stress and even suggest a way you can both work to overcome it. Just relaying these feelings to someone who is willing to listen and try to fix them can be extremely helpful in achieving stress management. 

Don’t allow work-related stress to take over your professional and personal life. Be proactive about managing and eliminating as much of it as you can because it can have truly detrimental impacts to your overall health.

If you’re still having trouble coping with job-related stress and begin to notice it’s impacting other areas of your life, consider speaking with a licensed psychologist or counselor to help. Our Behavioral Health services team can help you with stress management, with the ultimate goals of improving your health and well-being.

 

 

3 Ways to Prevent Heart Disease: Keep your heart healthy and strong

Woman and child with hands in a the shape of a heart

Heart disease is the leading cause of death in America, with one person dying from a heart disease related event every minute, according to the Centers for Disease Control. Fortunately, your lifestyle choices and actions can prevent or reverse your risk of developing heart disease.

How can you prevent heart disease? Dr. James Sioma, DO, ACOFP, offered these three tips to prevent heart disease and keep yourself healthy at any age.

Say yes to “real” foods

In a world where saturated fats, sweets, and sodium fill the aisles of every grocery store and restaurant menu, it’s important to become an educated consumer and a conscientious eater. The American Heart Association recommends you limit your intake of saturated fats like animal fats and partially hydrogenated vegetable oils, in order to reduce the amount of harmful trans-fat in your diet.

Focus your diet on whole plant foods like fresh, frozen or canned vegetables and fruits, and on lean, organic meat choices like fish and chicken. Red meat and processed foods like candy, chips, and soda can contain harmful cholesterol and large amounts of trans fat, which create a buildup of plaque in your arteries and can lead to a heart attack.

Kick the smoking habit

With every puff of tobacco smoke, the vessels that supply blood to your heart become more and more damaged. Smoking stiffens your blood vessels and limits their ability to expand and contract as needed. Reducing the blood supply that your heart can receive from your vital arteries is what leads to strokes, angina, and heart attacks. In fact, smoking increases your risk of having a heart attack by 200 percent, according to the Heart Foundation.

Cut the habit and, within one year, your risk of a heart attack or stroke is sliced in half. After 5 to 15 years of living smoke-free, your risk of heart disease and stroke are at the level of someone who never smoked, according to the World Health Organization.  Of course, quitting is easier when you have support, from a Tobacco Cessation program or even from your family and friends.

Keep your blood pumping

Prevent heart disease one step at a time, literally and figuratively. By going for a walk, jog, or run — anything that keeps you active for 30 minutes a day — you can significantly reduce your risk of developing heart disease. Cardiovascular exercises like these are excellent for strengthening your heart, blood vessels, and improving your blood pressure. Exercise as a part of your lifestyle — whether it’s vigorous or an after-dinner stroll — can also greatly reduce your stress levels.

Talking with your primary care provider through regular check-ups is also imperative, as it provides an opportunity to discuss risk factors that affect you specifically and ways to adopt and maintain heart-healthy habits to help prevent heart disease. Get to know our Medical Providers, or Contact Us to schedule an appointment today.

What to Know About Pediatric Children’s Dental Health

Child visiting the dentist

 

A lifetime of healthy teeth and gums starts by developing good habits and routines at an early age. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has reported that over 19 percent of children 5 to 11 years old have untreated cavities. Children’s Dental Health Awareness Month is a perfect time to get your child on the right track to a healthy smile for life.

Lisa Juliana, PHDHP at Sadler Health Center, answered some common questions on children’s dental health and how to create healthy habits for your children through adulthood.

Q. When should I schedule my child’s first dental visit?

Remember this: First birthday, first visit. As you get things ready for your child’s first birthday party, don’t forget to schedule his or her first dentist visit, too. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends a dentist visit by this age in order to prevent any early childhood cavities.

Q. How often should I schedule appointments?

Bi-annual dental check-ups with your pediatric dentist can ensure your child is not one of the 25 percent of children who develop a cavity by the age of 5. Your dentist can also be a great source for tips and tricks on pediatric children’s dental oral health, oral hygiene and how to best implement them with young children.

Q. When kind of toothbrush does my child need?

Shopping for toothbrushes can seem a bit overwhelming when there are so many varieties to choose from. It’s important to remember that your child’s needs are very different from your own. Other than choosing a size comfortable for their mouths and hands, keep your eye out for toothbrushes with soft bristles. One made from a round-ended material, that seems almost “polished” is the way to go. These brushes are gentle on your child’s gums and still remove the cavity-causing plaque you want to avoid.

Q. When should I begin using toothpaste?

The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends fluoride toothpaste for all children starting at tooth eruption, regardless of any cavity risk. A small smear on a toothbrush is enough to get the job done; graduate to a pea-sized amount once your child is three to four years of age. 

Remember that the flavor of mint toothpaste is oftentimes a bit strong or uncomfortable for children, so a different flavor may be better received.

Q. How can I get my child excited about brushing his/her teeth?

Brushing teeth can easily become a fun activity and less of a chore for kids if you incorporate a few fun elements. Allowing your child to pick his or her own toothbrush, or picking one yourself that has fun colors, characters, and designs can make it something they look forward to every morning and evening.

Need to schedule your child’s first dentist appointment? Get to know our Pediatric Dental Health Services and Dental Providers at Sadler Health Center, and learn how to Become A Patient.