General Health Tips
Cars and Safe Kids
A few safety reminders about kids and cars:
Summer may be almost over, but that doesn’t mean it’s safe to leave your kids in a parked car. A car parked in the sun in a mild temperature of only 60 degrees can heat up dangerously within minutes. A good rule of thumb: NEVER leave your child alone in a parked car. It’s simply too risky, period.
Another important safety tip about kids and cars: don’t let children ride in the front seat. Side air bags deploy with too much strength for a child’s small body. That’s one reason why the front seat should be off limits. But even if you don’t have side air bags in your car, your child should ride in the back seat, where it’s safest.
Source: National Safe Kids Campaign http://www.jpma.org/consumer/JPMASafetyHouse/Con_safetyhouse_livingroom.htm#walkers
What’s an Osteopath?
An osteopath is a doctor of osteopathy, or D.O. People with a D.O. degree are physicians who get a lot of the same medical training as the M.D.s you may be more familiar with. For example, D.O.s can perform surgery and prescribe medication, just like M.D.s.
The difference is that D.O.s practice what they call a “whole person approach” to medicine. Their goal is to assess the overall health of their patients, including the home and work environment, rather than focus on particular symptoms. D.O.s generally receive more training in the musculoskeletal system (the nerves, muscles and bones) than M.D.s do. D.O.s believe that focusing on this system enables them to get a complete understanding of how an injury to one part of your body can affect other parts of your body.
D.O.s also receive training in osteopathic manipulation, in which they use their hands to diagnose injury and illness and to encourage your body’s natural healing abilities.
Sources: American Osteopathic Association
Screening for Ovarian Cancer
Ovarian cancer is the fifth leading cause of cancer death in women. Factors that influence your risk for ovarian cancer include:
- Pregnancy and breast feeding: Having children and breastfeeding decrease your risk.
- Taking oral contraceptives: Women who have taken birth control have a lower risk.
- Having your tubes tied or having a hysterectomy: Having these procedures, and keeping your ovaries, reduces your risk.
- Family history: Having a mother, sister or daughter who has had ovarian cancer increases your risk.
- Fertility drugs: Taking these drugs gives you a higher than average risk.
- High levels of CA125. This is a tumor marker that you can look for in a blood test. Higher levels may indicate the presence of ovarian cancer cells.
Your doctor will decide which screening tests you need after assessing your risk profile for ovarian cancer. Tests that can detect this cancer include a pelvic exam, ultrasound, CA125 blood test, a PAP smear and a procedure that looks for cancer cells in the fluid from around the ovaries.
Source: National Cancer Institute
Safe Baby Gates
Baby gates are like part of the furniture in households where babies are starting to walk. Follow these guidelines to make sure the gate itself isn’t a hazard:
- If your gate has a pressure bar, the gate should be installed so that the bar isn’t on the side the baby’s on.
- Make sure the gate is anchored securely. At some point, your baby will probably “pull up” on it, and disaster could follow if the gate’s not secure.
- Never leave your baby alone in a room, even if the room is gated off.
- If you intend to use your gate at the top of a stairway, read the package instructions or ask a salesperson whether that particular gate is appropriate for that use.
Source: Juvenile Products Manufacturers Association
Health Screenings: Important as you Age
No matter how well you eat or how much exercise you get, you still need to get checked out for diseases as you age. The earlier diseases are detected, the better your chances of curing them or controlling their progress. Conditions everyone should be screened for include:
- Cardiovascular disease
- Colon cancer
- Thyroid disease
- Vision problems
- Skin cancers
In most cases, you should begin these screenings at about age 45, but every case is individual, depending on your particular risk factors. Ask your doctor about your risk profile. That’s the best way to figure our when you should start getting tested and how often.Source: Center for Human Nutrition, University of Colorado Health Sciences Center.