Flushing Hospital Offers Halloween Safety Tips

Halloween is known as a kid-favorite holiday full of spooky fun and lots of candy.  However, it can also present many opportunities for injury, as children take to the streets in pursuit of trick-or-treat goodies.

Statistics show that roughly four times as many children aged 5-14 are killed while walking on Halloween evening compared with other evenings of the year.  Also, injuries such as falls are a leading cause of injuries among children on Halloween.

Parents can help minimize the risk of children getting injured at Halloween by following these safety tips from the American Academy of Pediatrics, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the National Safety Council.

On Halloween children should:

  • Go only to well-lit houses and remain on porches than entering houses.
  • Travel in small groups accompanied by an adult.
  • Use costume plastic knives and swords that are flexible, not rigid or sharp.
  • When walking through neighborhoods trick or treating, use flashlights, stay on sidewalks, and avoid crossing yards.
  • Cross at the corner, use crosswalks and do not cross between parked cars.
  • Be sure to stop at all corners and stay together in a group before crossing.
  • Wear clothing or costumes that are bright, reflective and flame retardant.
  • Consider using face paint instead of masks which can obstruct a child’s vision.
  • Avoid wearing hats that will slide over children’s eyes.
  • Avoid wearing long, baggy or loose costumes or oversized shoes to prevent tripping.
  • Be reminded to look left, right and left again before crossing a street.

On Halloween parents and adults should:

  • Supervise the trick or treat outing for children under age 12.
  • Avoid giving choking hazards such a gum, peanuts, hard candies, or small toys as treats to young children.
  • Parents and adults should ensure the safety of pedestrian trick or treaters.
  • Make sure children under age 10 are supervised as they cross the street.
  • Drive slowly.
  • Watch for children in the street and on medians.
  • Exit driveways and alleyways slowly and carefully.
  • Have children get out of cars on the curbs side, not on the traffic side.

By following these simple tips, you and your children can have a safe and fun Halloween!

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.

October is SIDS Awareness Month

Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) is defined as the sudden and unexplained death of an infant under the age of one. It is the leading cause of death in babies in the United States. Most cases of SIDS occur while infants are asleep; this is why it is also referred to as “crib death”.

Despite many years of research, the cause of SIDS is still unknown; some experts theorize that the cause may be the result of defects in the part of a child’s brain that controls breathing and arousal from sleep.

Although the cause of SIDS is undetermined, research does indicate that factors that include a combination of factors in physical and sleep environments can make infants more vulnerable.   According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), parents and caregivers can take the following actions to help reduce the risk of an occurrence:

  • Make sure babies sleep on their backs (Babies should not sleep on their stomachs or sides)
  • Avoid placing soft materials such as quilts or comforters in cribs or wherever babies are placed to sleep
  • Place babies to sleep on a firm surface( Infants should not be placed on soft surfaces such as waterbeds or sofas)
  • Breastfeed for as long as possible- especially within the first six months of a baby’s life
  • Adults should avoid sharing beds with babies
  • Use cribs that conform to the safety standards of the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission
  • Abstain from drinking, smoking or using illicit drugs during pregnancy and after  giving birth
  • Monitor the temperature in a baby’s  sleep space to ensure they are not too warm

The CDC reports that due to education, incidents of SIDS have declined.  Flushing Hospital Medical Center is raising awareness during SIDS Awareness Month, which is observed in October, by educating the community about ways to reduce risks.

Although there has been a declination in the number of infant deaths attributed to SIDS, It is important to keep in mind that SIDS remains the leading cause of death in babies and parents should always take measures to provide a safe sleep environment for their child.

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.

Organ Donor Registry Day

New York State currently holds the second lowest number of organ donors with 26% registered compared to 50% nationwide.  That’s why the state has adopted October 4, as its additional Organ Donor Registry Day.

In an effort to bolster the number of organ donors in NYS, Flushing and Jamaica Hospital Medical Center’s hosted a registration in their main lobby.

On hand to give their personal account of the importance of organ donation was Mary Fischer, CNA at FHMC and her daughter, Lauren Fischer, a double lung transplant recipient.

According to the United States Department of Health and Human Services nearly 124,000 men, women and children are awaiting organ transplants in the US.  One organ donor can save up to eight lives, however 21 people still die each day waiting for an organ.

Here are a few popular myths and facts about organ donation:

Myth:  Age, illness or physical defects can prevent me from becoming a donor.

Fact: A person’s medical condition is evaluated at the time of death to determine what organs and tissues are viable for donation. People living with chronic diseases or those who have a history of cancer or other serious diseases are still encouraged to join the donor registry.

Myth: If doctors know that I am registered to be an organ or tissue donor, they won’t work as hard to save my life.

Fact: The first priority of a medical professional is to save lives. Organ and tissue donation isn’t even considered or discussed until after death is declared.

Myth: My religion doesn’t support organ and tissue donation.

Fact: Most religions support organ and tissue donation.  Discuss organ and tissue donation with your spiritual advisor if you have concerns on this issue.

Myth: My family will be charged for donating my organs.

Fact: Costs associated with recovering and processing organs and tissues for transplant are never passed on to the donor family.

To find out how you can register as organ, eye and/or tissue donor please visit http://www.liveonny.org/

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.

October is National Bullying Prevention Month

October is National Bullying Prevention Month is a nationwide campaign founded in 2006 and its mission is to reach out to communities in an effort to educate and raise awareness of bullying and the tools for prevention.

Bullying occurs when an individual or group possesses an imbalance of power, either from a physical or social status perspective, over another person or group. While bullying is prevalent among all age groups, it has become a serious cause for concern among children.

The National Bullying Prevention Center defines bullying as behavior that hurts or harms another person physically or emotionally. Those being bullied often have difficulty stopping the behavior directed at them and struggle to defend themselves.

Statistics have shown that at least 28 percent of students, ages 12-18, reported being bullied at school during the year. Additionally, 7.2 % of students admit to not going to school due to personal safety concerns. Many fear the physical and verbal aggression of their peers, and many more attend school in a state of anxiety and depression.

Many children will not tell parents they are being bullied until the situation escalates, but there a few changes in their behavior that can alert you. Signs that your child may be a victim of bullying include refusing to speak about their day at school,not wanting to go to school, unexplained marks and bruises, asking for more lunch money, complaining of frequent headaches and stomach aches,sudden loss of friends and frequent nightmares.

If you find that your child is being bullied, you will need to document the dates, times and places of the action. If the bullying is taking place on school grounds, call the school and schedule a face to face meeting with a teacher or principal. If not on school grounds, notify the police.

Most schools have adopted an anti-bullying policy. Obtain a copy to determine if the bully violated school law. Bullying is best handled when you work together, with the proper authorities.

After notification, be sure to follow up with your child, and the school, to make sure that the bullying has stopped.

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.

The Importance Of Early Detection

October is Breast Cancer Awareness month.   Did you know that breast cancer is one of the most common cancers found in women in the United States? It estimated that each year, one in eight women will develop invasive breast cancer in their lifetime.

Over 40,000 women are expected to lose their fight to disease. However, more women are surviving breast cancer due to improvements in treatment and early detection.

Cancer deaths can be decreased by as much as one-third with early detection and treatment.

Early detection can start from home.  Doctors suggest that women perform monthly breast self-exams.  In addition to yearly screenings and mammograms, self-exams can help women to monitor changes or abnormalities that may occur in her breasts.  It is important to remember that breast self-exams are never a substitute for clinical breast exams or mammograms.

The American Cancer Society recommends that women should begin receiving clinical breast exams in their twenties. Women below the age of forty are advised to receive them every three years. Those over 40 should schedule yearly mammograms and clinical breast exams.

Mammograms are one of the most effective breast screening and diagnostic tools; however, other tools such as MRI’s or ultrasounds may also be used to further evaluate abnormalities or help diagnose breast cancer.

Early and immediate treatment is one of the benefits women will gain from early detection of cancer. If you are age forty and older schedule an appointment for a mammogram as soon as possible.  The American College of Radiology is a great resource to find accredited facilities and breast imaging centers.

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.

Flushing Hospital Offers Tips For Successful Aging

September is Successful Aging Month and Flushing Hospital Medical Center recommends creating and following a longevity program for those who want to live a long and healthy life.  Your longevity program should incorporate the following components:

 

  • Eating a healthy diet is considered the foundation of a healthy lifestyle. By following a balanced diet and eating within your recommended calorie allowance, you can take an important first step in your successful aging plan.
  • Dedication to a daily exercise plan is another foundation of a healthy lifestyle. The US Center for Disease Control recommends daily moderate to intense exercise as part of a longevity program.
  • Pursuing mental challenges is another key when developing a longevity program. You can keep your mind sharp through reading, crossword puzzles, or games like chess or checkers. Mastering any new skill is also beneficial.
  • Staying social is also important. Being involved with other people who depend on you and who you depend on goes a long way in living longer. Interacting with people in different age groups throughout your life cycle will help you feel and be younger.
  • Finding meaning in your life is another important factor in living a long a healthy life. Do something that permits you to see yourself as being part of something larger than simply yourself and you will be filled with greater peace.

Following these tips are easier said than done. Believing in yourself, having self-control against negative impulse and outlining a vision for your future are all necessary for success. Flushing Hospital suggests practicing these tips just a few minutes a day and adding just a few more minutes a day every two weeks you will find that you have become a master of successful aging.

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 World Alzheimer’s Awareness Month

Alzheimer’s Awareness month was started in 2012 in order to raise awareness about the disease and to link families affected by it with resources to help. There is great emphasis placed on early detection and early intervention when dementia is detected.
Alzheimer’s is the most common cause of dementia. It mainly affects the part of the brain that is responsible for memory, and is responsible for almost 75 percent of the cases diagnosed of dementia. While most commonly seen in people who are over 65, it can be found in people who are younger.
Commonly seen symptoms include:
• Forgetting of names, places, and recent events
• Confusion
• Personality changes
• Mood swings
• Loss of inhibition
• Wandering from home
There is no cure for Alzheimer’s at the present time though some medications are available that may slow down its progression. If you would like to schedule an appointment with a physician at Flushing Hospital who may be able to assist you or someone you know, 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.

Tips For Living With AFib

Atrial fibrillation (AFib) is one of the most common forms of heart arrhythmia.  It is estimated that up to six million people living in the United States are affected by this condition.

When a person has AFib their heartbeat is irregular. The upper chambers of the heart are out of sync with the lower chambers.  Irregularities in the rhythm of the heart can increase their risk for complications such as stroke or heart failure.

Living with AFib poses challenges that can affect several aspects of a person’s health.  However, there are lifestyle changes that can be applied to help improve quality of life.  Here are a few:

  • Diet- A heart-healthy diet is important for overall good health and offers many benefits to those living with AFib. Eat foods that are low in sodium and fat. Avoiding caffeine and alcohol is recommended as these substances have been known to trigger AFib episodes.
  • Using medications as advised- There are over-the-counter (OTC) drugs that can have adverse effects. Some OTC cold medications and nasal sprays may contain substances that aggravate AFib. Certain multivitamins and herbal remedies, when combined with prescription medications, can also result in adverse reactions. Therefore, it is highly recommended to speak with a physician before taking any drugs or supplements.
  • Exercise- Adopting an exercise routine that fits your life can help strengthen your heart and improve stamina. As a person living with AFib, it is advised that you speak with your doctor about your exercise regimen because participating in activities that are too rigorous may lead to complications. Exercise also promotes the production of feel-good hormones.
  • Keep stress levels low- High levels of stress or intense bouts of anger can cause heart rates to quicken- this is not good for AFib. Find ways to keep stress to a minimum. Participating in activities such as taking walks or yoga can help to alleviate stress and decrease depression or anxiety.

The key to improving your health while living with AFib involves incorporating these tips as well as communicating with your doctor.   He or she will recommend a care plan for you to follow.

To schedule an appointment with a cardiologist at Jamaica Hospital Medical Center, please call 718-206-7001.

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 School Backpack Awareness Day

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.

Suicide Prevention- Pay Attention to The Signs

Suicide prevention-467918329An estimated 1 million Americans attempt suicide each year. It is the 10th leading cause of death in the United States. Ninety percent of people who committed suicide had treatable mental health disorders that went unnoticed.   Suicides can be prevented if signs associated with the mental health disorder are recognized and addressed immediately.

There are several signs that may indicate that a person is suffering from a mental health issue and is contemplating suicide. If someone you know exhibits the following behaviors, do not dismiss them as a passing phase:

  • 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.

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.