Monday, October 16, 2017

Paving The Way to A Healthy Weight in Children

Obesity continues to be a priority health challenge in the US which it is putting children at jeopardy for poor physical, social and emotional outcomes throughout their lifetime.  Despite recent declines in the prevalence among preschool-aged children (according to the CDC children aged 2 to 5 years decreased from 13.9% in 2003-2004 to 9.4% in 2013-2014) , obesity among school aged children (6- 19) is still too high. In that age group 1 in 5 are overweight or obese. It is a frightening reality that "today's children may live a shorter life than their parents".
Childhood obesity has both immediate and long-term impacts. Obese children are at higher risk of chronic health conditions (sleep apnea, joint problems, hypertension, type 2 diabetes and heart disease) often once only seen in the older population. Obese children are teased and bullied more than their healthier weight peers leading to social isolation, depression and low self-esteem.
The key to achieving and maintaining a healthy weight begins early in life. Parents must set good example of what healthy eating, hydration, exercise, stress management and daily rest & rejuvenation looks like. Parents should also seek the assistance of their children's physician for programs that focus on lifestyle behaviors that help maintain a sense of well being for the entire family. One such program is the care process model (CPM) which was created to promote proven approaches to lifestyle and weight management that can be implemented in routine primary care.
Check out "Rx to Live Well" as an example of where you as parents can begin. 
We must all learn to develop a healthy relationship with food which uses food for what it was intended for...nourishment for the body. There is a lot to be gained from the saying..."we should eat to live and not live to eat".

Sunday, October 8, 2017

Hidden Danger in Your Car

The season for the family trip to mom's/grandma's house for Thanksgiving and/or Christmas is just around the corner. Before hitting the road, most seasoned drivers know it is always a smart idea to get your vehicle road ready. This often includes getting a tune-up, tire pressure check, rotation or new tires if needed, fluid level checks and topped off, and often replacement windshield wipers. But wait...there is a hidden danger that before today I never considered a risk...carbon monoxide leaks.
According to the Centers for Disease Control, 50,000 people are hospitalized each year, and 430 die from carbon monoxide. Drivers suffering from carbon monoxide intoxication think slow and irrational, become confused and are not able to safely operate a motor vehicle. Within minutes of exposure, severe neurological damage can occur. Since carbon monoxide is odorless and colorless by the time you feel its' effects it may be too late.
There are recommendations to help avoid vehicular carbon monoxide exposure:
  • Include periodic exhaust system checks and never operate a car with a defective exhaust system.
  • Maintain the suggested vehicle maintenance scheduling to maintain a tuned engine and emission system
  • Avoid driving your vehicle with the trunk lid or rear tailgate open.
  • Avoid driving a vehicle with holes in the car body.
  • Never allow children to ride under a topper on a pick-up truck.
  • Avoid warming the car in a garage
  • During snow storms...before starting the engine be sure the exhaust tail pipe is free of packed snow covering it
  • Consider investing in a car carbon monoxide detector designed for use in a vehicle 
Wishing you safe passage!!!!