Make Summer Safe for Kids

Summer is a great time for kids to enjoy different indoor and outdoor activities. Whether they are young children or teens, kids can keep safe and healthy while they enjoy the summer fun.

 

The National Safe Kids Campaign estimates that every year, one in four kids ages 14 and younger will sustain an injury that requires medical attention. Forty percent of all injury-related emergency room visits and 42 percent of all injury deaths happen between May and August, they report, but it's not all bad news. We can keep kids free from about 90 percent of these accidents by educating ourselves and our kids on how to stay safe while still enjoying summer vacation.

July is Juvenile Arthritis Awareness Month.

That's right, kids get arthritis.  It is a common misconception that only 'old' people are afflicted with arthritis.  Nearly 300,000 children in American have been diagnosed with juvenile arthritis. 

The form of arthritis that these kids experience is not the same as grandma's aches and pains.  These children suffer from various autoimmune forms of arthritis.  Their body's immune system is attacking their joints, causing swelling, stiffness and permanent damage.  This condition is extremely serious; if let untreated it can result in loss of mobility, blindness and even death.  

There are several different types of Juvenile Arthritis (JA), but the Arthritis Foundation says that "Although the various types of JA share many common symptoms, like pain, joint swelling, redness and warmth, each type of JA is distinct and has its own special concerns and symptoms."

Unfortunately, there is no cure for juvenile arthritis.  But, it is important to talk to your doctor to come up with the best treatment plan to manage the condition.  Usually, your doctor will recommend taking some medication that can relieve inflammation and control pain, as well as to incorporate healthy eating and physical activity into your lifestyle.  

Sources:  Medikidz.com & Curearthritis.org

Alzheimer's and Brain Awareness Month

What is Alzheimer's?

Alzheimer's is a type of dementia that causes problems with memory, thinking and behavior.  Symptoms usually develop slowly and get worse over time, becoming severe enough to interfere with daily tasks.  

The symptoms of Alzheimer's disease worsen over time, although the rate at which the disease progresses varies.  On average, a person with Alzheimer's lives four to eight years after diagnosis, but can live as long as 20 years, depending on other factors.  

There are 10 warning signs and symptoms. Every individual may experience one or more of these signs in a different degree. If you notice any of them, please see a doctor.  

Warning signs & symptoms.  

Men's Health Week

National Men’s Health Week is observed each year leading up to Father’s Day.  This week, June 12-18, 2017 is a reminder for men to take steps to be healthier, but they don’t have to do it alone!  Whether it’s your husband, partner, dad, brother, son, or friend you can help support the health and safety of the men in your life.  To show your support, Friday, June 16, 2017 has been officially named Wear BLUE Day.  

You can also show support by setting an example with healthy choices.  

National Senior Health and Fitness Day - 5/31

Today we celebrate National Senior Health and Fitness Day. The common goal for this day:  to help keep older Americans healthy and fit.  

 

Is there a difference between being healthy and being fit?

Well, just because a body builder, or any athlete for that matter, looks strong, sculpted and without a trace of fat, there is no guarantee that he or she is healthy. 

To be healthy, you must be fit, but you can be fit and not be healthy. They are not equal. Health is a state of complete physical, mental well-being, not merely the absence of disease. Fit means in good health, especially because of regular physical exercise.

Sometimes the more fit we are, the easier it is to ignore our body’s warnings. This is true of young people as well as adults. We can easily disregard warning signs, however, being healthy means listening to our brains and our bodies.

So, what five things should you NOT ignore?

1.  Chest pain or discomfort

2.  Unexplained shortness of breath

3.  Light-headedness or blacking out, especially during exercise

4.  Unexplained fatigue

5.  Palpitations–the sense of a rapid or irregular heartbeat. 

Any of these warning signs or a family history of heart issues, deserves investigation, because being healthy is the ultimate goal.

Article provided by Arnold Schewitz Foundation.

 

May is National Mental Health Month (MHM).

What is Mental Health?

Mental health includes our emotional, psychological, and social well-being.  It affects how we think, feel, and act.  It also helps determine how we handle stress, relate to others, and make choices.  Mental health is important at every stage of life, from childhood and adolescence through adulthood.

Over the course of your life, if you experience mental health problems, your thinking, mood, and behavior could be affected.  Many factors contribute to mental health problems.  

The 2017 MHM campaign is titled Risky Business, and will educate the public on habits and behaviors that increase the risk of developing or exacerbating mental illnesses, or are signs of mental health problems themselves. These include such diverse risk factors such as sedentary lifestyles, hyper-sexuality, recreational drug use, internet/gaming addiction, disordered eating, and other obsessive/addictive behaviors.

The intent behind this theme is to raise awareness of the risks that these types of behaviors present—especially to young people—to help individuals detect these early warning signs, and to provide resources for prevention and early intervention.

In addition to the above habits and behaviors, there are other early warning signs of mental illness.  Experiencing one or more of the following feelings or behaviors can be an early warning sign of a problem:

  • Eating or sleeping too much or too little
  • Pulling away from people and usual activities
  • Having low or no energy
  • Feeling numb or like nothing matters
  • Having unexplained aches and pains
  • Feeling helpless or hopeless
  • Smoking, drinking, or using drugs more than usual
  • Feeling unusually confused, forgetful, on edge, angry, upset, worried, or scared
  • Yelling or fighting with family and friends
  • Experiencing severe mood swings that cause problems in relationships
  • Having persistent thoughts and memories you can’t get out of your head
  • Hearing voices or believing things that are not true
  • Thinking of harming yourself or others
  • Inability to perform daily tasks like taking care of your kids or getting to work or school

If you detect these types of habits and behavior in someone you know, the Plaquemines Community CARE Centers has professional counselors available to provide assistance to the residents of Plaquemines Parish.  Give us a call @ 504-393-5750.

Information courtesy of Mental Health.gov.

Healthy and Safe Swimming Week

Swimming and other water-related activities are excellent ways to get the physical activity and health benefits needed for a healthy life. However, they are not risk-free. CDC's Healthy Swimming website provides information for all groups of individuals involved in a healthy and safe swimming experience about how to maximize the health benefits of swimming while minimizing the risk of illness and injury.

 

How to make swimming and other water activities safer.  

National Women's Health Week

National Women's Health Week is an observance led by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office on Women's Health. The goal is to empower women to make their health a priority. The week also serves as a time to help women understand what steps they can take to improve their health. The 17th annual National Women's Health Week kicks off on Mother's Day, May 8, and is celebrated through May 14, 2016.

What steps can I take for better health?

To improve your physical and mental health, you can:

Find out what additional steps you should take based on your age.