National School Backpack Safety Monthy

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September is National School Backpack Safety Month and Flushing Hospital Medical Center is sharing information on how you can help your child avoid the pain and injury that is associated with carrying heavy backpacks.  These simple tips can help protect your child from having chronic back pain throughout their lives.

Backpacks are essential back-to- school items for kids.  They come in different colors, sizes and shapes and most importantly they help children to carry their belongings.  Backpacks are preferred by many in comparison to shoulder bags because when worn correctly, they evenly distribute weight across the body.  However, if worn incorrectly they can cause back pain or injuries and eventually lead to poor posture.

To prevent problems associated with improper backpack use, parents should first purchase a backpack that has the following features:

  • Lightweight
  • Wide and padded straps
  • Multiple compartments
  • Padded back
  • Waist belt
  • Correct size (A backpack should never be wider or longer than your child’s torso).

Practicing these safety tips will further reduce the chance of back pain or injuries caused by backpacks:

  • When packing, heavier items should be placed to the back and center of the backpack. Lighter items should be in front. Sharp objects such as scissors or pencils should be kept away from your child’s back.  Utilizing different compartments can help in distributing weight.
  • Do not over pack. Doctors recommend that children should not carry backpacks that weigh more than 10-15% of their body weight.
  • Ensure that children use both straps. Using a single strap can cause muscle strain.
  • Adjust the straps so that the backpack fits closely to your child’s back and sits two inches above the waist. This ensures comfort and proper weight distribution.
  • Encourage children to use their lockers or desks throughout the day to drop off heavy books.

The Pediatric Orthopedic Society of North America recommends that parents should always look for warning signs that indicate backpacks may be too heavy. If your child struggles to put on and take off the backpack, they are complaining of numbness or tingling or if there are red strap marks on their shoulders -It may be time for you to lighten their load.

 

All content of this newsletter is intended for general information purposes only and is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please consult a medical professional before adopting any of the suggestions on this page. You must never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment based upon any content of this newsletter. PROMPTLY CONSULT YOUR PHYSICIAN OR CALL 911 IF YOU BELIEVE YOU HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY.

September Is Suicide Prevention Awareness Month – Know the Warning Signs

Suicide affects millions; over 800,000 people take their lives each year, and the number of people who attempt suicide is twenty five times that amount. In addition to the lives lost, suicide also affects the many friends and family members devastated by the loss of their loved one.

Suicide is largely preventable though. Through education and awareness, we can get those people who are contemplating suicide the help they need.

One of the best tools in preventing suicide is to know the risk factors. Over 90% of people who attempt suicide live with depression or another mental disorder. Alcohol or substance abuse is often a contributing factor. Adverse factions to traumatic events or stress can also lead to someone wanting to take their own life.Other risk factors for suicide include:

 

  • Feelings of hopelessness
  • Self-loathing
  • Changes in sleep patterns; which can either be excessive sleep or a deprivation of sleep
  • Irritability or anger
  • Talking about harming themselves
  • Loss of interest in daily activities or things they were once passionate about
  • Reckless behavior
  • Increasing use of alcohol or drugs
  • A preoccupation with death
  • Getting their affairs in order in preparation for death
  • Verbalizing thoughts such as “ Everyone will be better without me”  or “I  have nothing  to live for”
  • Visiting or calling people to say goodbye

These actions are a cry for help. It is important to let your loved one know that you have recognized changes in their behavior, they are not alone and you are there to support them through this difficult time.  Speak openly about what they are feeling and ensure them they will not be judged because they feel suicidal.  Seek the help of a mental health professional immediately.  Insist on accompanying this person to their consultation or treatment. Continue to demonstrate your support during treatment by reminding them to take prescribed medications, keeping up with physician appointments and encouraging a positive lifestyle.

Many organizations from around the world have joined together during the month of September, which has been designated Suicide Prevention Awareness Month. Flushing Hospital’s supports their efforts and the hospital’s Department of Psychiatry offers many inpatient and outpatient services to help those in need.

If you or someone you know is having suicidal thoughts or demonstrating suicidal behaviors, get help immediately. Call 911, 1-800-SUICIDE, or 1-800-273-TALK

All content of this newsletter is intended for general information purposes only and is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please consult a medical professional before adopting any of the suggestions on this page. You must never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment based upon any content of this newsletter. PROMPTLY CONSULT YOUR PHYSICIAN OR CALL 911 IF YOU BELIEVE YOU HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY.

National Food Safety Education Month

September is National Food Safety Education Month. Designating this observance provides an opportunity to raise awareness about steps you can take to prevent food poisoning.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), every year, an estimated 1 in 6 Americans (or 48 million people) get sick, 128,000 are hospitalized, and 3,000 die from eating contaminated food. Some people are more likely to get a foodborne illness (also called food poisoning) or to get seriously ill.

Flushing Hospital Medical Center (FHMC) would like to share information regarding food poisoning and prevention.

Some foods to avoid in an effort to prevent food poisoning are:

  • raw or undercooked meat and poultry
  • raw or undercooked fish and shellfish
  • canned fish and seafood
  • refrigerated smoked seafood in a cooked dish
  • unpasteurized dairy (milk and eggs)
  • raw or undercooked sprouts (alfalfa, bean, etc.)
  • unwashed fresh vegetables
  • soft cheeses made from unpasteurized milk
  • processed cheeses

To learn more about ways to prevent food poisoning visit: www.cdc.gov/foodsafety

 

All content of this newsletter is intended for general information purposes only and is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please consult a medical professional before adopting any of the suggestions on this page. You must never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment based upon any content of this newsletter. PROMPTLY CONSULT YOUR PHYSICIAN OR CALL 911 IF YOU BELIEVE YOU HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY.

Healthy School Lunch Tips

As parents, we do our best to make sure that our children eat healthy when they are with us. This includes preparing well-balanced meals for them and saying “no” when they want to overindulge on junk food.

Keeping an eye on what our kids eat can be a difficult enough task when they are in our presence, but the task is even harder when they aren’t – like when they are in school.

Most children spend an average of six hours a day in school. It is estimated that they consume half of their daily caloric intake while at school, therefore it is important to make that they receive proper nutrition during this time.

Data from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) indicates that childhood obesity is a growing problem in the United States. The number of children and teens classified as obese has tripled since the 1970s and it is now estimated that one out of every five school-age children in the U.S. fits this criteria.

September is National Childhood Obesity Awareness Month and Jamaica Hospital wants to raise awareness about this growing problem and the serious consequences associated with it. Obesity puts children at greater risk of developing many other chronic health conditions and diseases, such as asthma, sleep apnea, bone and joint problems, and type 2 diabetes. They also have more risk factors for heart disease, high blood pressure and high cholesterol. Children with obesity can be bullied and teased more than their normal-weight peers and they are also more likely to suffer from social isolation, depression, and lower self-esteem.

The good news is the childhood obesity is preventable. One way to reduce your child’s chances of becoming obese is to make sure they eat healthy at school. So, whether your child packs lunch or their school provides lunch for them, there are a few things you can do to make sure they are eating healthy during the school day.

SCHOOL LUNCH TIPS
If your child opts to receive the school provided lunch, do your homework and make sure their school is offering a healthy menu.  Many school districts across the country have changed their lunch menu to meet the United States Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) standards. This includes providing children with the appropriate food portions with a concentration on more fruits and vegetables, increased whole grains and fat-free or low-fat options.

Also, check your school’s website as it often lists the menu for the month. If your child is a picky eater or has food allergies, knowing in advance what days he or she may not eat school lunch will help you prepare an alternate plan.  If getting out the door in the morning is a problem, consider signing your child up for school breakfast too as starting the day off with a good breakfast has many benefits.

PACKING LUNCH TIPS
If your child prefers to bring lunch from home make sure to have a variety of healthy options at home for them to bring to school. This includes fresh fruits and vegetables, lean proteins, and snacks with reduced saturated fat, trans fat and sodium.  Sometimes coming up with healthy options can be a challenge; if so, there are many websites that offer a variety of ideas for parents of even the most finicky eaters.

To help ensure that you plan wisely, avoid packing lunches in the morning when you might be in a rush. Instead, try preparing them the night before when you have more time to select the healthiest options. It is also important to make sure to have foods packed at appropriate temperatures. This may include inserting ice packs for yogurt or other dairy items or a thermos for chicken soup or other hot lunch options.

It is important to remember that whether parents choose to have their children buy school lunch or pack a lunch for them, they need to set a good example in the home by eating healthy themselves. Parents should also take the time to teach their children about what foods are healthy and why it is important to maintain a well-balanced diet.

Working together with your school system, you can ensure that your child will receive the proper nutrition this school year, which will benefit both their body and their mind.

All content of this newsletter is intended for general information purposes only and is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please consult a medical professional before adopting any of the suggestions on this page. You must never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment based upon any content of this newsletter. PROMPTLY CONSULT YOUR PHYSICIAN OR CALL 911 IF YOU BELIEVE YOU HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY.

September is National Prostate Awareness Month

The month of September has been designated as National Prostate Cancer Awareness Month to bring attention to this very common form of cancer that affects so many men. Prostate cancer is the most commonly diagnosed form of cancer in men and is the second leading cancer related cause of death in men. Although it is not known exactly what causes prostate cancer some risk factors for developing  it are:

• Older age (more than 65% of prostate cancers are diagnosed in men older than 65)
• Race (African-American men are 60% more likely to develop prostate cancer than Caucasian men)
• Family history (having a father or brother with prostate cancer)
• Obesity

The prostate gland is a part of the male reproductive system that produces a fluid that mixes with sperm and other fluids during ejaculation.  It sits just below the bladder and is normally about the side of a walnut.

Prostate cancer, especially in its early stages, may not have any symptoms.  When symptoms are present they may include difficulty starting urination, less force to the stream of urine, dribbling at the end of urination, needing to urinate frequently, urinating frequently at night, pain while urinating, blood in the urine or semen, difficulty starting or maintaining an erection, pain with ejaculation, pain or stiffness in the lower back, hips, pelvis and upper thighs, or unintended weight loss.

When screening is done there are two tests that are available.  The available tests are a digital rectal exam (DRE) and prostate-specific antigen (PSA) test.  To perform a digital rectal exam your doctor uses a gloved finger, inserted a few inches into your rectum, to check your prostate gland.  A prostate-specific antigen test is a blood test that measures the level of PSA in your blood.  Many men who have prostate cancer have elevated levels of PSA, however PSA can also be elevated for less serious causes such as prostate enlargement or infection. Further testing is needed to diagnose cancer.  Additional tests that your doctor may recommend to diagnose cancer include an ultrasound of the prostate and a biopsy of the prostate.  A biopsy is when a small piece of the prostate is removed to look for abnormal cells.

Treatment of prostate cancer depends on many factors including your age, your overall health and the growth and spread of the cancer when it is diagnosed.  Some men who have slow growing tumors may not need treatment right away and some may never need treatment.  Other types of prostate cancer are aggressive and can quickly spread to other parts of the body making treatment difficult.  Common treatment options include watchful waiting or expectant management (regular testing and checkups to assess for new signs or symptoms), radiation therapy (high-energy x-rays used to kill cancer cells), chemotherapy, surgery (having the prostate gland removed) and hormone therapy.
To schedule an appointment with a physician at Flushing Hospital to discuss a prostate cancer screening, please call 718-670-5486.

All content of this newsletter is intended for general information purposes only and is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please consult a medical professional before adopting any of the suggestions on this page. You must never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment based upon any content of this newsletter. PROMPTLY CONSULT YOUR PHYSICIAN OR CALL 911 IF YOU BELIEVE YOU HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY.

Learn How to Better Avoid Slips and Falls

June is Safety Awareness Month and Flushing Hospital Medical Center wants everyone to focus on preventing injuries and making safety a priority.

Whether at home or in the workplace, one of the most common types of avoidable injuries are slips and falls. Millions of people are treated in emergency rooms for fall-related injuries every year and falls are the third leading cause of unintentional injury-related deaths in the United States.

Most fall-related injuries take place when ladders are involved. With the warm weather upon us, more and more people are working on outdoor projects where slips and falls are likely.

To avoid these types of injuries, Flushing Hospital’s Safety Department offers the following tips:

  • Scan the work area for potential hazards before starting any work
  • Make sure you have level ground to set up your equipment
  • If working outside, check the weather forecast; never work in inclement weather
  • Use the correct tool for the job, and use them as intended
  • Ensure stepladders have a locking device to hold the front and back open
  • Always keep two hands and one foot, or two feet and one hand on the ladder
  • Place the ladder on a solid surface and never lean it against an unstable surface
  • Wear slip-resistant shoes and don’t stand higher than the third rung from the top
  • Don’t lean or reach while on a ladder, and have someone support the bottom
  • Never use old or damaged equipment; check thoroughly before use

 

By following these simple tips, you can minimize your chances of suffering a fall-related injury and enjoy your summer.

All content of this newsletter is intended for general information purposes only and is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please consult a medical professional before adopting any of the suggestions on this page. You must never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment based upon any content of this newsletter. PROMPTLY CONSULT YOUR PHYSICIAN OR CALL 911 IF YOU BELIEVE YOU HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY.

World No Tobacco Day

Since 1987 the World Health Organization has recognized May 31st as a day to bring awareness around the world of the harmful effects of tobacco. This year the focus is on tobacco and cardiovascular diseases.
The risks of using tobacco are well documented, however many people around the world are not fully aware of the dangers.  There is a very strong link between tobacco use and heart disease, circulatory problems and stroke.
Coronary vascular diseases are one of the world’s leading causes of death.  Tobacco use is the second leading cause of these types of diseases, hypertension being the leading cause. With all of the knowledge we have about the harmful effects of tobacco use, there are still some who have not received the message and as a result, more than 7 million people die each year from the effects of tobacco.
A few of the initiatives that the World Health Organization is trying to implement to inform people about tobacco’s harmful effects are:
• Increase public knowledge of the risks of smoking and second hand smoke
• Encourage healthcare providers to speak to their patients about the hazards of tobacco
• Encourage governmental  support for educational programs
• Seek ways to promote smoke free zones in buildings and public spaces
• Increase taxes on tobacco products
• Make it more difficult to purchase tobacco products
• Ban tobacco advertising
If you use tobacco products and would like to quit, speak to your provider. Flushing Hospital offers a tobacco cessation program  to help you. Please call 718-206-8494 to learn more.

All content of this newsletter is intended for general information purposes only and is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please consult a medical professional before adopting any of the suggestions on this page. You must never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment based upon any content of this newsletter. PROMPTLY CONSULT YOUR PHYSICIAN OR CALL 911 IF YOU BELIEVE YOU HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY.

Know The Facts About Osteoporosis

May is Osteoporosis Awareness and Prevention Month and  Flushing Hospital wants to help raise awareness about this condition.

Woman in her 40s undergoing scan at bone densitometer machine

Osteoporosis, meaning “porous bones,” is defined as a condition, in which bones become weak and brittle, making individuals more susceptible to fractures. Bone is living tissue that is constantly being broken down and replaced. Osteoporosis occurs when the creation of new bone tissue doesn’t keep up with the removal of old bone tissue.

Osteoporosis affects men and women, but older women who are past menopause are at highest risk. Medications, healthy diet and weight-bearing exercise can help prevent bone loss or strengthen already weak bones.

Your chances of developing osteoporosis partly depends on how much bone mass you accumulate in your youth, when you are at you peak bone building mass age. During this period in your life, you can build-up a bone mass reserve that can be used later in life when you are more likely to develop osteoporosis.

Signs and symptoms of osteoporosis include:
• Back pain, caused by a fractured or collapsed vertebra
• Loss of height over time
• A stooped posture
• A bone fracture that occurs much more easily than expected

There are a number of factors that can increase the likelihood that you’ll develop osteoporosis – some are controllable, but others are not. Some of the factors are:

• Gender – Women are much more likely to develop osteoporosis than men.
• Age – The older you get, the greater your risk of osteoporosis.
• Race – You’re at the greatest risk of osteoporosis if you’re white or of Asian descent.
• Family history – Having a parent or sibling with osteoporosis puts you at greater risk.
• Body frame size – Men and women who have small body frames tend to have a higher risk because they may have less bone mass to draw from as they age.
• Hormone levels – Osteoporosis is more common in people who have too much or too little of certain hormones in their bodies.
• Dietary factors – Those with a lower calcium intake or have a history of eating disorders are at an increased risk
• Medications – Long term use of oral or injectable steroids can interfere with the bone rebuilding process
• Lifestyle – Excessive alcohol consumption and tobacco use can contribute to the weakening of bones.

A bone density test can be performed to measure the proportion of mineral in your bones. During this painless test, you lie on a padded table as a scanner passes over your body. In most cases, only a few bones are checked — usually in the hip, wrist and spine.

Hormone therapy or medications can be administered to treat osteoporosis, but there are side effects. Please consult your doctor. If you do not have a doctor, Flushing Hospital has qualified physicians at our Ambulatory Care Center. To make an appointment, please call 718-670-5486.

All content of this newsletter is intended for general information purposes only and is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please consult a medical professional before adopting any of the suggestions on this page. You must never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment based upon any content of this newsletter. PROMPTLY CONSULT YOUR PHYSICIAN OR CALL 911 IF YOU BELIEVE YOU HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY.

May is Hepatitis Awareness Month

May is Hepatitis Awareness Month which serves to make people more familiar with the disease and ways to prevent it. Hepatitis is defined as an inflammation of the liver and can be caused by alcohol abuse, exposure to certain toxins, drug abuse, bacterial or viral infections. Many people aren’t even aware that they have hepatitis. The three main types of viral hepatitis are Hepatitis A, Hepatitis B and Hepatitis C. Each year approximately 15,000 people die in the United States die from either liver cancer or chronic liver disease caused by hepatitis.

Hepatitis A can be mild or severe and can last weeks to months. It is spread by contact with food, liquids and objects that are infected with fecal matter from a person who is infected. Hepatitis B can be a life long illness. It is transmitted by blood, semen, other bodily fluids and as a baby passes through the birth canal. Hepatitis C is spread through sharing needles and syringes with people who are infected. It also used to be spread through blood transfusions and organ transplants but better screening techniques have virtually eliminated this risk.

Hepatitis awareness is important in making prevention better understood. A vaccine exists for Hepatitis A and Hepatitis B for populations that may be at risk. If you would like to schedule an appointment with a physician at Flushing Hospital to discuss this illness please call 718-670-5486.

All content of this newsletter is intended for general information purposes only and is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please consult a medical professional before adopting any of the suggestions on this page. You must never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment based upon any content of this newsletter. PROMPTLY CONSULT YOUR PHYSICIAN OR CALL 911 IF YOU BELIEVE YOU HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY.

National Nurses Week

National Nurses  Week is celebrated each year beginning on May 6th and ending on May 12th, Florence Nightingdale’s birthday.  The first National Nurses Week was celebrated in 1954, but wasn’t officially recognized until many years later.  In 1982 President Ronald Reagan signed a proclamation making May 6th National Recognition Day for Nurses, and this was later expanded to a whole week by American Nurses Association in 1990
The purpose of this week long celebration is to educate the public on the important role nurses play in healthcare and in our lives. Every year a different theme is selected by the American Nurses Association that highlights a different aspect of what nursing does. The theme for the 2018 National Nurses Week is “Nurses: Inspire. Innovate, and Influence”.
This year, the Nursing Department at Flushing Hospital will hold various activities, including an international food festival. a poster presentation, educational workshops, and wellness and relaxation  activities.

All content of this newsletter is intended for general information purposes only and is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please consult a medical professional before adopting any of the suggestions on this page. You must never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment based upon any content of this newsletter. PROMPTLY CONSULT YOUR PHYSICIAN OR CALL 911 IF YOU BELIEVE YOU HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY.