Keeping an Eye on Kids’ Eyes

A softball player looking over her shoulder preparing to hit the ballWe all heard it growing up: “You only have two eyes, so you need to take care of them.”

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.

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Bed Bugs: Unwelcome Bedfellows

Baby bedbug or cimex after sucked blood from skin

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.

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Be on the Lookout for Cataracts

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.

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Man Up! Focus on Men’s Health

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.

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Smoke Alarms and Escape Plans Go Hand in Hand

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.

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Get Hip to Hepatitis, Then Prevent It

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.

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Be Wheel Smart: Drive Without Distractions

We are indeed a nation of multitaskers, and we give ourselves pats on the backs for accomplishing so much daily. But while we may pride ourselves on this juggling act, at the office or at home, a key place where it doesn’t work is in the car. There, reaching for that cell phone or balancing a drive-through burger can cost you (or someone else) a life.

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Where There’s Smokeless, There’s Still Fire: Smokeless Tobacco Dangers

The list of diseases resulting from smoking is long and devastating, from COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease) and emphysema, to lung cancer, and more. Cigarette smoking alone accounts for more than 480,000 deaths per year (about one in five deaths annually), and more than 16 million people live with a smoking-related disease.

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