Potty Training Tips – Is my child ready?

potty training-506287066If you are wondering, “how will I know when my child is ready to begin potty training?”  You should know there are several signs you can look for that can help with gauging your toddler’s readiness.

The first step in determining if your child should begin potty training is making certain they are physically and emotionally ready. Beginning training before your toddler is ready can result in frustration and delay.

Most children show an interest in potty training between 18- 24 months; however, it is important to keep in mind that not all children are ready to begin training around this age.  Some toddlers are ready to train earlier and others later.  Paying attention to the following signs can serve as a better indicator than age:

  • Dry periods (going without urinating) of at least two hours.
  • Regular bowel movements at relatively predictable times.
  • Telling you when their diaper is dirty and wanting to be changed.
  • Understanding and using “potty” language such as “poo” or “pee”.
  • Being able to sit down and get up from the potty.
  • Having the ability to understand and follow basic directions.
  • Being able to pull pants up and down.
  • Being able to tell you that they need to go or have gone.

If you feel that your child is ready and you decide to begin training, you should prepare yourself for the journey ahead by keeping in mind; patience is the key to successful potty training.  This process will take time so do not have unrealistic expectations and timeframes. Prepare your child by talking to them about potty training- reading them storybooks can also be helpful. Teaching them the names of their body parts and how they eliminate waste is essential. This will help your toddler to understand body function and pay attention to cues that signal it’s time to use the potty.

Speaking to your pediatrician about what to expect is a very important part of your preparation.   Your child’s doctor can offer advice and helpful tips to ensure a positive experience for you and your toddler.

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.

Q and A: Medication Expiration Dates

Q: Do over -the-counter and prescription medications have expiration dates? Do they mean anything and is it safe to take them past the expiration date?

A: Over-the-counter and prescription medications are time stamped with expiration dates. Time stamps can be found on the labels or on the actual container. It is important that you pay attention to these dates. The expiration dates indicate a guarantee of full potency and safety within the recommended shelf life.

Person holding vial of pills, pointing at label, Close-up of hands

According to the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) – “Don’t be tempted to take expired medications.” The FDA states, using expired medical products is “risky and possibly harmful to your health.” This is because the efficiency of a medication may lessen over time due to changes in its chemical composition or a decrease in its potency.

 

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.

Colorectal Cancer Risk factors and Prevention

colonoscopy-524701836Colorectal cancer is a disease that causes abnormal cells or tumors to develop in the colon or rectum.  It is the third most commonly diagnosed type of cancer found in men and women in the United States.

Although colorectal cancer causes the deaths of approximately 50,000 people each year; the rate of survival is improving due to education, early detection and treatment.

Learning the risk factors of colorectal cancer is essential as there are risk factors you can control and some you cannot. The risk factors you can control include:

  • Smoking
  • Being overweight or obese
  • Lack of physical activity
  • Poor diet – a diet rich in red meats and processed meats can increase your risk
  • Heavy alcohol consumption

These factors can be addressed by quitting smoking, exercising, eating a healthy and balanced diet and moderating your consumption of alcoholic beverages.

The factors that you cannot control that may contribute to colorectal cancer are:

  • Age- people over the  age of 50  have a higher risk in developing the disease
  • A family history of colorectal cancer or adenomatous polyps
  • A personal history of colorectal polyps, colorectal cancer or inflammatory bowel disease
  • Having an inherited gene defect  that can cause family cancer syndromes such as familial adenomatous polyposis (FAP), Gardner syndrome, Turcot syndrome or Lynch syndrome
  • Race or ethnicity
  • Having type 2 diabetes

Knowing your risk factors and taking appropriate actions can help you to reduce the probability of developing the disease.

Although it is not completely clear what causes colorectal cancer; it can be prevented by receiving regular screenings. With regular screenings, polyps or colon cancer can be found and treated early before advancing.

There are several testing methods your doctor may use to screen for colorectal cancer. Screening tests may include a colonoscopy or other testing methods such as fecal occult blood test,   flexible sigmoidoscopy, CT colonography or double-contrast barium enema. The American Cancer Society recommends that men and women should receive screenings beginning at the age of 50.

For a complete guide to the American Cancer Society’s recommendations for colorectal cancer early detection, please visit https://www.cancer.org/cancer/colon-rectal-cancer/early-detection/acs-recommendations.html

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.

Home Remedies for Foot Odor

feet -450795759The medical term for foot odor is bromodosis.  The main cause for this common condition is excessive perspiration. Sweaty feet create the perfect environment for odor-causing bacteria to develop.  Additional causes for foot odor may include stress, medication, hormonal changes, alcohol and drug use, fungal infections or poor hygiene.

Foot odor can be embarrassing and can affect anyone; however, there are simple and inexpensive remedies that can be used at home to help eliminate the smell.  Here are a few:

  • Wash your feet twice a  day with antibacterial soap
  • After a bath, use a cotton swab to dab between the toes with rubbing alcohol
  • Soak your feet in salt water or baking soda
  • Bathe  your feet in vinegar
  • Clean and scrub feet with a pumice stone
  • Sprinkle corn starch into your socks
  • Wear fresh socks and change them regularly (moisture absorbing socks are best)
  • Change your shoes regularly to allow them to dry and air properly. Podiatrist recommend that you do not wear the same shoes for two consecutive days

If an odor persists after trying these remedies, it is recommended that you see a podiatrist.   There are several courses of treatment your doctor may recommend. Depending on the severity of your case, prescription–strength products, the use of electrical devices to eliminate perspiration or a surgical procedure that helps to control sweating are a few of the options your podiatrist may explore.

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 That You’ve Quit Smoking –How Do You Resist Temptation?

smoking -462264231Congratulations, you have quit smoking.  You have accomplished a major milestone in your journey to achieving good health.  A challenge you may face after your Quit Day is remaining tobacco free by resisting the temptation to smoke again. Coping with tobacco cravings can be difficult; however, by applying the following tips you can decrease the urge to smoke:

  • Remove yourself from situations that may trigger the urge to smoke
  • Spend free time in environments where smoking is not allowed
  • Reduce alcohol consumption
  • Create or join a support group
  • Think about how harmful tobacco is to your health
  • Think about the health benefits you will gain by remaining smoke free
  • Try nicotine replacements such as gum, patches or prescription medications
  • Do not have just one cigarette to satisfy a craving- one cigarette will make you want more
  • If you miss the feeling of having a cigarette in your mouth try a toothpick, a stick of gum, celery -anything besides a cigarette
  • Exercise
  • Practice relaxation techniques
  • Give yourself credit for each day you are tobacco free
  • Envision being tobacco free long-term

Quitting smoking and remaining smoke free can be difficult and requires a life-long commitment but the benefits to your health are immeasurable.

Flushing Hospital Medical Center offers a Freedom from Smoking Tobacco Cessation Program to help you overcome your addiction to tobacco and enjoy the benefits of better health in a fun and interactive environment. Receive personalized attention as well as the support from group members who are experiencing this journey with you. For more information, please call 718-206-8494.

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.

Pulmonary Rehab For COPD

COPD-473880188

Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is a general term that describes progressive respiratory diseases including emphysema and chronic bronchitis. COPD is characterized by decreased airflow over time and increased inflammation of the lungs.

A decrease in airflow often results in shortness of breath, which at times makes performing minimal physical activities difficult. One of the most recommended forms of treatments used to improve this issue is pulmonary rehabilitation for COPD.  A respiratory therapist can assess the severity of a patient’s condition before enrollment into a program by administering tests such as a pulmonary function test.

This form of treatment involves a series of exercises that teaches people breathing techniques that help them build physical fitness and lung strength.

Most pulmonary rehab programs include:

  • Exercise-This is one of the key components in pulmonary rehab. Patients are required to do a series of physical activities such as:
  1. Exercises to strengthen and improve breathing muscles
  2. Upper body exercises
  3. Lower body exercises
  4. Strength training
  • Smoking cessation- In order to improve quality of life and lung function, smoking cessation is often a goal or prerequisite in pulmonary rehab. Quitting is the most important thing a smoker can do to slow the progression of COPD.
  • Education-Programs offer education in either a group setting or on an individual basis. Education sessions are designed to teach people ways to manage their COPD or include lessons on understanding medication as well as using oxygen therapy.

Patients who participate in pulmonary rehab programs gain several benefits. Most see significant improvement in their breathing. It is suggested that participants continue the exercises even after completing a program by incorporating them into their daily life. Those who do not may experience a decline in its benefits

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 Drug and Alcohol Facts Awareness Week – Prescription Opioid Facts

taking pills -464517261Prescription opioid abuse among teens living in the United States has become a major public health concern. In fact, many national health organizations have declared that the U.S. is in the midst of an opioid epidemic.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has reported that the use of these drugs among young adults has more than doubled and the number of opioid- related deaths has quadrupled in recent years. The CDC, along with other health organizations such as the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), hope to reduce these statistics by increasing education among teens and their families.

It is crucial for parents and young adults to know the facts about opioids so that they can understand how these drugs can negatively affect a person’s health and quality of life.  Here are six important facts families should know:

  1. Opioids are narcotic medications that are prescribed to treat mild to severe pain.
  2. Some of the most common types of opioids are fentanyl, hydrocodone, oxycodone, morphine tramadol and codeine.
  3. Opioids work by reducing the intensity of pain signals being transmitted to the brain. They interact with opioid receptors in the brain to produce pain relief and feelings of euphoria.
  4. Misusing opioids can result in the development of a chemical dependency to these drugs. Misuse may occur when a person is taking opioids long term, is taking more than what was prescribed or is taking them for non-medical reasons.
  5. It is common for teens to mix prescription opioids with other substances such as alcohol. A recent study revealed that seven out of ten teens combined opioids with additional substances and 52% within this group co-ingested prescription pills with alcohol. This behavior puts teens at a higher risk for overdose.
  6. Some of the warning signs of opioid abuse include; anxiety attacks, a sudden improvement in self-esteem, depression, improved alertness, increased energy, a decrease in appetite, fatigue, nausea, constipation and breathlessness.

There are several steps one can take to prevent or reduce the chances of prescription opioids misuse, they include; keeping medication locked up or keeping track of medication to ensure pills are not missing, correctly disposing unused medication, monitoring your loved one’s behavior while they are taking medication and communicating with your doctor about not exceeding the recommended time period for pain treatment.

If your loved one is addicted to prescription opioids it is highly recommended that you have an honest conversation with them about harmful effects that could potentially lead to death.  Reassure them that you are here to help and not to judge them. Seek help from a trained medical professional immediately.  There are several treatment options available which include medication and counseling. Your physician or mental health counselor will determine which treatments are best for a healthy recovery.

The National Institute for Drug Abuse has designated the week of Monday, January 23rd, 2017 as National Drug and Alcohol Facts Awareness Week in an effort to provide teens with the facts about drugs and alcohol.

For further information and resources about opioid addiction and treatment, please visit the NIDA’s website www.drugabuse.gov.

 

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.

Who Should Get Tested for Hepatitis C?

Hepatitis C written on a page.Hepatitis C (HCV) is a disease that infects and causes damage to the liver. It is caused by the hepatitis C virus and is spread from person to person through contact with blood. Over time, this disease can lead to cirrhosis, liver cancer and ultimately, liver failure.

Although hepatitis C is the most common reason for liver transplants in the United States, many people do not know they have the disease until they are donating blood or are diagnosed with liver damage.  The symptoms of HCV can take years to present and may include:

  • Joint pain
  • Sore muscles
  • Dark urine
  • Stomach pain
  • Yellowing of the eyes (jaundice) and skin
  • Fatigue
  • Loss of appetite
  • Fever
  • Clay-colored bowel movements

Learning the risk factors of hepatitis C and receiving treatment promptly can reduce the severity of symptoms. Talk to your doctor about getting tested if the following pertains to you:

  • You were born between 1945 and 1965
  • You are infected with HIV
  • You received a blood transfusion or organ transplant before July, 1992
  • You are having or have had unprotected sex with multiple partners
  • You are a current or former drug injection user and have shared needles
  • You work in an environment where you are exposed to blood through a needle stick
  • You have liver disease or have received abnormal liver test results
  • You were treated for a blood clotting problem before 1987
  • Your mother had hepatitis C when she gave birth to you

If diagnosed with hepatitis C, consider seeing a specialist who is trained and experienced in treating patients with your condition. There are several therapies and medications that your doctor may recommend.  A complete list of approved medications and treatments for HCV can be found on the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s website.

In addition to treatment, your doctor will also advise that you live a healthy life by maintaining

 

a balanced diet, exercising regularly, reducing or eliminating alcohol consumption, quitting recreational drug use, practicing safe sex and getting regular checkups.

 

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.

FDNY Fire Safety Education Unit’s Holiday Safety Tips

200268321-001During a recent interview with Lieutenant Anthony Mancuso, head of the FDNY’s Fire Safety Education Unit, we learned that the three major causes of residential fires during the holiday season are candles, cooking and electrical failure or malfunction.

Cooking

According to the Lieutenant, cooking stands at the top of the list because it is the leading cause of fire-related residential property damage. Mancuso explained that unattended cooking is a major contributor to incidents- especially during this time of year. His advice for holiday chefs is to:

  • Never leave cooking  food unattended
  • Avoid distractions while cooking
  • Properly prepare and follow guidelines when deep frying turkeys or other foods

In the event of a kitchen fire it is important to:

  • Never use water to extinguish a grease fire
  • Use generous amounts of baking soda to extinguish small fires. Otherwise use a fire extinguisher (if available) and call 9-1-1 immediately.

Candles

While candles are aromatic and delightful, if not handled safely they can be dangerous. Lieutenant Mancuso recommends flame-less candles, “If aromatic candles are what you prefer, there are many flame-less candle brands that offer that option.” He added, “If you choose to use real candles, do not leave them unattended.”

Electrical

When using electrical lights for decoration it is important to ensure that these products have been tested for safety. Look for UL or ETL listings or certifications on these devices. Without a UL or ETL label, you will not know how safe a product truly is. Other things to keep in mind are to never leave lights on while you are sleeping or not home and to use extension cords and power strips appropriately.

Lastly, Lieutenant Mancuso encourages residents to ensure that their smoke alarms are operational and to make certian batteries are changed as recommended. He also wants members of our community to keep in mind that following these very important tips can be the difference between life and death in some cases. The Fire Safety Education Unit of the FDNY recommends that everyone should visit http://www.fdnysmart.org/safetytips/ to learn more about fire safety.

Lieutenant Mancuso and the Fire Safety Education Unit of the FDNY wishes everyone, “A happy and safe holiday.”

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.

Choosing Safe Toys for Toddlers

toys toddlers -156930341The holiday season is the best time of the year to buy toys for children. However, parents are often overwhelmed by a larger selection and choosing the best toy can become challenging.  The most important thing to remember when choosing toys for toddlers is picking toys that are safe and appropriate for their age.

Each year hospital E.R.’s are visited by over 200,000 young children, typically under the age of three, who have incurred toy-related injuries.   These injuries can be avoided if parents keep these guidelines in mind when buying toys:

  • Carefully read warning labels
  • Do not buy toys with small and removable parts
  • Check to see if toys are on a recall list by visiting sites such as recalls.gov or cpsc.gov.
  • Avoid buying toys with parts that launches or projects
  • Do not purchase toys with sharp edges or points
  • Make certain that cords or strings are shorter that seven inches
  • Avoid buying toys that make extremely loud noises
  • Check to see if toys have been tested for lead-based paint by visiting websites such as www.ecocenter.org

Most toys come with warning labels that advise parents of potential choking hazards and compatibility by age group. Parents should pay close attention to these labels and also do due diligence by researching toys and inspecting them for further dangers.

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.