What causes a “break” in good food habits? Why get tempted by candy or chips, when you could reach for grapes, or whole-grain crackers? Why is it that you can work out for a few weeks, then end up in front of the TV for days later? These questions can haunt even the most dedicated of those trying to follow a healthy lifestyle. (No one’s perfect!)
It’s sometimes very easy to forget about getting and staying healthy. Life gets busy, and if you’re a parent, the focus is mostly on your kids, not on yourself. That includes getting them to their doctor when they get sick, going to the local walk-in clinic, or trying to treat them at home, if it’s something minor. If you’re a woman, you may only be getting your annual mammogram, or ob-gyn exam — both very important.
A CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) sampling of five to 17 year-olds showed that almost 60 percent of children that were overweight had at least one risk factor for heart disease, and 25 percent had two or more risk factors.
Concussions in sports (especially professional, contact sports) have been all over the news, largely because of what can be accumulative effects of repeated “hits” to the head. That’s long-prompted discussion about the safety of kid athletes.
Just as eye exams are important for adults every one to two years (depending on personal risk factors and family history of eye disease), parents need to be vigilant about their children’s eye health, when it comes to screenings, recess, and sports.
Bed bugs are small, (think Lincoln’s head on a penny), flat, brick-colored, wingless parasites that dine on animal and human blood. (They can survive several months at a time without a meal!) Avid travelers, they show up world-wide where people sleep, and don’t discriminate between lodgings (that includes five-star hotels — and the cleanest of homes.) Bed bugs hitch a ride and hide, which means they can stow away in luggage that you bring back home. In a bedroom, they’re known to journey more than 100 feet in one night, even though they tend to live within eight feet of where people snooze. Dirt is not so much a factor, but what they do like are areas behind wallpaper, bed frames and box springs, mattress seams, cracks, crevices, and clutter.
A cataract is one of several eye ailments to look out for as we age, but it’s also something that we can help prevent. This normally clear area of an eye’s lens becomes cloudy and impairs vision. While it can be present as early as birth, or shortly thereafter due to an infection acquired by the mother during pregnancy, it can also be caused by an eye injury, or post-surgery for an eye problem.
Studies show that women are three times more likely to visit their doctors for preventive care than men. When it comes to men being mindful of their own health, guys are often guilty of avoidance because they may feel embarrassed or less “manly” if something isn’t feeling or functioning quite right. That’s even more reason for men to see their doctor for regular checkups and routine screenings.
Sound the alarm (the smoke alarm that is). Smoke alarms are your path to safety in the event of a house fire, because if one sounds, that’s your cue to move you and your family calmly and quickly outside, and call 9-1-1. Smoke spreads fast, and can not only incapacitate you, causing serious injury (smoke inhalation can be deadly), it can impact visibility to escape.
Variety may be the spice of life, but not when it comes to hepatitis (inflammation of the liver). Whether acute (short-term), or chronic (long-term), each one from this “family” of viruses can have an extremely serious impact on the body. Yet, hepatitis can be prevented, either by avoiding exposure, or (with the exception of hepatitis C, and the rarer D and E strains), by getting vaccinated.