Don’t Let Diabetes Spoil Your Halloween Fun

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This article is courtesy of the Baylor College of Medicine…..

pumpkinsWhether it’s a festival celebration, a haunted house visit or trick-or-treating, parents of children with diabetes need to be prepared for the sugar-fueled festivities, said experts at Baylor College of Medicine.

“Halloween shouldn’t be scary for children with diabetes or their parents,” said Dr. Maria J. Redondo, associate professor of pediatrics – pediatric diabetes and endocrinology at Baylor. “By planning ahead, children with diabetes can have a fun Halloween without their blood glucose getting too low or too high.”

In type 1 diabetes, the most common form of diabetes in children, insulin injections (or a device that continuously delivers insulin, called an insulin pump) must be taken to regulate sugar levels in the blood stream. People with type 2 diabetes may do well with only diet modifications and exercise, or may require medication in the form of pills or insulin injections.

“When too much sugar is present in the blood stream it causes increased thirst, increased urination, unintended weight loss, tiredness and frequent infections such as urinary or wound infections,” Redondo said. “If untreated, particularly in type 1 diabetes, this situation can progress to a serious condition called diabetic ketoacidosis.”

For a safe Halloween, Redondo offers the following tips for parents:

* Take diabetes supplies on outings

* Focus on costumes, decorating and spending time with family and friends, rather than candy

* Eat the candy at home and count the carbohydrates

* Trade candy for stickers or small toys

* Check blood glucose levels more often than usual

* Check for ketones if blood glucose is elevated

* Stay hydrated

“You may also replace some of the candy with sugar-free sweets,” she said. “However, beware of the amounts because sorbitol, used in place of sugar, can cause diarrhea if consumed in excess.”

By focusing on the fun of the holiday and not restrictions, children with diabetes will have a safe and healthy Halloween.

Craving Fun In The Sun, Then Leave The Limes At Home

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Submitted by the Baylor College of Medicine…..

didyouknow?Adding a slice of lime to a favorite summer drink is nice to cool off with, but it could leave your skin burning, say dermatologists at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston.

The condition, called phytophotodermatitis, happens when a certain plant compound comes in contact with the skin, making that one area light sensitive. During the summer, lime juice is the common cause for this condition, which is why some doctors call it ‘margarita dermatitis.’

“The reaction usually looks like sunburn, or a poison ivy rash, with redness and sometimes swelling and blistering,” said Dr. Rajani Katta, professor of dermatology at Baylor. “It can be itchy and painful, and leave behind skin discoloration.”

The photosensitizing compound is also found in plants such as celery, parsley and even Queen Anne’s Lace. Exposure can come from fruit drippings, scratches from branches or airborne particles.

“It’s not just the plant that causes the condition,” Katta said. “The skin must be exposed to both the plant compound and the sun.”

Treatment is similar to treating a poison ivy rash. Cool compresses and hydrocortisone creams along with oral antihistamines are used. Severe cases could require steroid pills.

“This is a common condition, but most cases are mild and people usually won’t head to the doctor,” Katta said. “I find patients are more bothered by the discoloration left behind rather than the inflamed area.”

Preventative action is best. Be aware of what plant products you come in contact with and wash the area thoroughly before going out in the sun. As always, make sure to apply sunscreen and stay in shaded areas to maintain good skin health.

Family Fun And Fitness: Finding The Best Backyard Playset

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By Jereme Thomas

groupkidswbgFinding something that promises to deliver hours of family fun and helps to keep kids fit and active is not always that easy, but a backyard playset can often satisfy all of these requirements.

Children naturally enjoy playing outside and are always keen to have some fun through climbing, sliding and swinging, which are things you can do when you install a backyard playset for them.

Plenty of reasons

If you need a reason to buy a playset for your kids, there are plenty of them, and when you add them all together it makes the idea of investing in one for your backyard seem like a bit of a no-brainer.

Fresh air and exercise

In a digital age, it is great to see the kids enjoy some fresh air and exercise and soon forget about the iPad when they are having so much fun.

Outdoor play equipment offers the opportunity for physical exercise whilst they are playing. Climbing to the top of a slide before enjoying that quick descent helps children to develop their upper and lower body strength and also improves their cardiovascular health with all that running around.

Good for their health

There are definite benefits attached to being outside that go beyond the obvious advantage of keeping kids fit and healthy through the exercise that a playset offers.

Simply being outside and soaking up some sunlight will help boost their vitamin D intake and some studies also show that regular exposure to mud and dirt, which is part of the fun as far as they are concerned, actually boosts their immune system, which is obviously a positive aspect to consider.

Choosing the right equipment

Kid’s playsets offer a wide variety of different options, so you can have a slide, monkey bars and different combinations of ladders and other equipment to allow them to climb safely.

Although a good playset will have been manufactured with safety as an important consideration, you do have to ensure that you choose the right equipment that is appropriate to the age of your child.

Children develop quite quickly and you will certainly want to buy a playset that offers your kid’s the chance to enjoy at least several years of enjoyment, but it is always advisable to remember that equipment that is fun and safe for a 10-year old, will not be suitable for a toddler.

Look for a playset model that allows you to modify the equipment at a later date but if you are unsure, take advice from the supplier as to what combination of equipment is safe and appropriate for your child to use right now.

twokidsunSuitable and safe

If you have children who are under two, the tower railing needs to be as open as possible with slats in place rather than solid walls, so that they can learn to climb more easily.

A tower for a child of this age should ideally not be any more than five feet off the ground, but a six foot tower might be acceptable in order to keep the playset just as exciting as they grow a bit bigger. A two-child back-to-back glider is worth considering, as it children tend to get the hang of these more quickly than a traditional swing, and it encourages them to use their arm muscles which will help them get fitter as well.

A glider is suitable for ages two and up and you should get plenty of use out of it, as older kids also tend to enjoy riding them too.

Equipment options

Older kids will love using a rock-climbing wall and if you get one with colored grips or rocks, they can play games following the color patterns as they climb up and down. Tire swings are quite popular with kids, but they are quite heavy and can easily knock a child over if they get too close while someone else is on it, so it wouldn’t be advisable to get one fitted if you have kids aged under four.

Trapezes are also best avoided for younger children, as the young ones find them difficult to get the hang of and this can present a dislocation hazard. Monkey bars are another item that are more suited to older children, as they need a reasonable amount of upper body strength and can become dangerous if a young child manages to climb to the top, but can’t then get down safely.

A playset in your backyard offers a great chance to enjoy some family fun and improve fitness, just take the time to choose the right combination of equipment so that they can play as safely as possible.

– Jereme Thomas is the owner and founder of Totally Swing Sets, an online swing set store that specializes in quality wooden swing sets and outdoor accessories. His wife, Nikki, assists in running Totally Swing Sets as the Director of Sales and Service.

12 Fun Facts About Dentistry

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By Dr. A. Fakhimi

malesmileDid you know that every person has a unique set of teeth that is all their own, just like a fingerprint? Tongue prints are also unique for every individual, even among identical twins. However, that is only one of several awesome facts you should know about the field of cosmetic dentistry. Whether you are curious about the history of dental tools or cosmetic dentistry procedures, dentistry has a well established past that shows the value of its importance for healthcare. Check out a dozen of the most interesting facts about the dental industry.

History of Dental Tools

• In 1498 the Chinese began to manufacturer toothbrushes containing bristles. These bristles came from the bristles of horses, hogs and badgers. However, it wasn’t until 1938 that the first toothbrush was made commercially and distributed to toothy individuals worldwide.

• The first mouth rinse was most likely concocted by the ancient Gauls during Roman days. They are documented to have swished urine around in their mouth rinse as a tooth whitener.

• In 373 A.D. the first toothpaste formula was created. It was discovered etched into a dusty sheet of papyrus that was hidden in a Viennese museum basement. However, it took Colgate until 1873 to create commercialized toothpaste.

• Prior to commercially prepared toothpaste, people took rough items, such as burnt cow hooves or crushed eggshell, and used these as abrasives to clean teeth.

• The earliest toothbrushes were individual’s fingers or twigs from plants, such as Neem twigs that have high antibacterial properties.

Off-the-Wall Tidbits

• Certain foods help you to keep your pearly whites up to par. For example, eating a nibble of cheese, particularly hard cheeses including aged cheddar, after a meal will help clean your choppers.

• The cap on your toothpaste tube harbors all sorts of harmful bacteria. It’s best to leave the toothpaste cap off between brushings.

• A dentist named Dr. Alfred Southwick invented the electric chair.

Famous Faces of Dentistry

• That famous Brit who yelled the most famous words of the American Revolution, Paul Revere, was a dentist, as well as a copper plate engraver and silversmith.

• In one of the most famous portraits of American artists, a dentist is portrayed as a farmer holding a pitchfork. This painting, by Grant Wood, is titled “American Gothic.”

• The first woman to graduate from professional dentistry school was Lucy Hobbs Taylor. In 1866 she received a degree as Doctor of Dental Surgery.

• Zane Grey, best known for writing westerns with titles including “Riders of the Purple Sage” and “The Heritage of the Desert,” got his professional start as a dentist.

Visiting your dentist on a regular basis can ensure that you maintain a healthy and beautiful smile. By going on a regular dental schedule, you can prevent many dental issues, such as tooth decay and plaque buildup. Save money in the long term by maintaining regular dental checkups, and you’ll appreciate the peace of mind afforded to you by your dentist.

– Dr. Fakhimi specializes in cosmetic dentistry procedures in San Diego, California. He graduated From University of Nevada with a Bachelor of Science in Biology and attended one of the top ranked dental schools in the country, Tufts University of Dental Medicine in Boston where he excelled in his class and received his Doctorate degree in 1997.

10 Simple Fun Ideas For Family Fitness – Part 2

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By Stephanie Ingram

Continued from part 1 of this article…..

jogger6. Go Outdoors

Look for ways to stay active with your kids. Kids enjoy moving outdoors. Gear up and go to the nearest park to your place. Plan outdoor activities for kids such as football, basket or baseball as children love team sports. You can also go for swimming and enjoy the sun, sand and beach? These activities certainly contribute to keep you and your kids fit and healthy.

7. Dance Around

Get into the groove by dancing for few minutes, an easiest way to burn calories and stay fit. Turn music on while you do the household chores. For an added kick, go for some rocking or hip hop music that’ll get your heart racing. Dance around with kids, show off your moves, burn calories on each step and stay in shape.

8. Turn Chores Fun

Make chores fun and get into home improvement activities while engaging kids along. Do some cleaning and vacuuming and do your body good. Vacuuming will not only help you clean the house but you’ll also burn calories with the push and pull of the machine.

9. Walk the Dog

Don’t you have a pooch? Look for one now. According to a survey, pup-owners are said to have more fun losing weight and staying fit than non-pup-owners. To make walking more exciting, don’t leave your pet behind, take it too with you. Walk the dog as a family and spend some time playing games with it and the kids. This ensures that the whole family gets a workout.

10. Team Sports

Family gathering is a great idea to play a team sport. How about designating one evening in a week as a family fitness night? Let a family member come up with a fitness activity that you will all do together each week. Whether it is swimming, walking, skating, or a basketball game, everyone will get an opportunity to do something they enjoy, and your workout will never become dull and boring.

I always wonder how great it would be to involve my family in my pursuit to work-out regularly. Working out together will be great fun, isn’t it? Moreover, this will not only result in staying fit but will also develop strong bond among us. So get an idea now!

– Stephanie Ingram is a blogger, writer and an enthusiast to spend her efforts and time in learning, applying and writing fitness articles, health care and green living. She has been passionate about learning and sharing the ways to improve fitness and maintain optimal health in order to live an active life. For more credible information about Health & Fitness visit our website: fitnessrepublic.com

10 Simple Fun Ideas For Family Fitness – Part 1

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By Stephanie Ingram

familywalk2It seems challenging to find enough hours in a day to spend a quality time with your family these days. Busy hours, hectic schedule, hustle bustle along with a strict routine life, it does not ensure that your child stays active neither you are able to make time for your own exercise regimen. So what to do to incorporate workout sessions in your schedule and get the whole family moving?

Check out some really fun yet convenient ideas I have come up with to make it work for everyone. No need to devote thirty minutes of vigorous workout every day. Just get yourself set for the fun.

1. Go for Post Dinner Walks

Incorporating a walking plan into your daily schedule is a great way to spend some family time and stay fit and active. How about a going for a long stroll after dinner? Tag your teen and toddler along too. I am sure these evening walks would surely do good to you and your family too.

2. Go Cycling

Cycling sounds much more exciting than long strolls, isn’t it? A family cycle ride once a week can be a great way to raise the fitness level. Make use of your bikes to go to school, to the grocery store or any other location when and where appropriate.

3. Plant New Bulbs

Gardening probably does not sound like an exercise, but trust me, it does wonders! If you are not up for hiking and running, walk to the back yard and do some gardening. Plant new bulbs and water the lawn. Engage your kids too in gardening. Planting vegetables and fruits may also encourage them to eat these healthy foods thus improving their health in another way.

4. Sneak Workouts in Household Chores

Vacuuming, dusting and cleaning, these chores might seem demanding to you. Why not make them a fun activity? Tune to your favorite track while you do the laundry or clean the house. Get yourself into gardening. Dig up dirt, plant new bulbs, water the lawn and keep yourself moving to stay active throughout the day.

5. Turn TV Advertisements into Fitness Breaks

Our living room is often a center of laziness with a comfy couch, a rack full of DVDs, video games while nothing to encourage fitness. Sprawling on a sofa and watching TV throughout the evening will only make you a couch potato. Why not turn TV commercials into fitness breaks? Just turn your sporty mode on during TV advertisements and do some sit-ups and push-ups to keep yourself flexible.

Stay tuned for part 2 of this article shortly…..

– Stephanie Ingram is a blogger, writer and an enthusiast to spend her efforts and time in learning, applying and writing fitness articles, health care and green living. She has been passionate about learning and sharing the ways to improve fitness and maintain optimal health in order to live an active life. For more credible information about Health & Fitness visit our website: fitnessrepublic.com

Fun Outdoor Activities For The Whole Family

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rollerbladeWith spring in the air, and the last of winter melting away, most of us have warm weather on the brain. And with summer just around the corner, it’s time to start planning those fun activities that get the entire family outdoors and into the spirit of the season. So, if you’re looking for fun, exciting ways to spend time with your family this summer, keep reading for a list of activities designed to keep your brood active, healthy and happy!

Rollerblading

Want to have hilarious outdoor adventures with your family? Give rollerblading a try! This super-fun activity offers cardiovascular benefits that equal those of running, cycling and other intense workouts, but is also amusing, light-hearted and fun for individuals of all ages. Plus, rollerblading can promote balance, endurance and flexibility, and is a great way to introduce kids to sports like hockey, figure skating, etc. So if you’re interested in picking out some rollerblades for summer and getting in on the inline action, check out the following tips for beginners:

• Choose the right skate. In order to provide adequate ankle support, skates should fit snugly. If your skates feel a little loose in the ankle area, try a smaller size or tighten up the laces.

• Protect yourself. Every skater, no matter their skill level, should wear the proper protective gear when rollerblading. Helmets, plus pads for the knees and elbows, are absolute musts.

• Take baby steps. Rollerblading requires a great deal of balance. To build your way up to serious skating, lace up your skates and practice walking in grass or gravel.

• Once you feel comfortable enough to actually skate, look for a flat, smooth surface on which to practice turning, stopping, etc. Go slowly at first, then try your hand at picking up some speed.

Lawn Games

Classic lawn games can be a great way to bring the family, and maybe even the whole neighborhood, together for some outdoor fun and excitement. To make the most of a beautiful day, consider getting your family and friends together for classic outdoor games like the ones listed below. For added fun, host a barbecue or potluck picnic, centered around some friendly competition.

• Croquet.
• Lawn darts.
• Badminton.
• Horseshoes.
• Beanbag toss.

Camping

familyvectorCamping can be a vigorous physical activity, especially when you add in hiking, swimming and other camping-related fun. And while taking the entire family on a camping excursion may seem like a lot of work, the rewards definitely outweigh the effort. Enhance your experience by keeping the following points in mind:

• When it comes to packing, less is more. Remember, your kids will have nature at their disposal, so leave the toys and electronics at home.

• Use rubber storage bins to tote your food, toiletries and other items.

• Don’t forget essentials like flashlights, bug spray, toilet paper, folding chairs, soap, sunscreen, a first aid kit, plates and cups, wet wipes, etc.

• In case of bad weather, bring along a few books, puzzles, or maybe even a board game.

• If possible, choose a spot near a lake, pool or other outdoor attraction. Don’t forget the swimsuits!

• Plan hikes and other activities during your camping trip. One great idea is a nature scavenger hunt. Make a list of things found in nature (e.g., acorns, bugs, specific types of leaves and rocks), and see if each member of your family can find one of each item.

• So as not to tempt the wildlife, never leave food or scraps outside the tent. Likewise for trash and personal items.

Paddle-Boarding

If you spend any time at all near the water, you’ve probably witnessed the latest trend in water sports. Stand-up paddle-boarding, also called stand-up surfing, is quickly becoming a favorite among water lovers of all ages. And with good reason! Paddle-boarding is a lot like surfing; but, as the name suggests, lovers of this sport glide through water with the use of paddles, and typically stick to calmer waters. Benefits include fun in the sun, improved balance, enhanced strength and more. Beginners should heed the following advice:

• When choosing a board and paddles, consult an expert. Factors like height, weight and fitness levels really come into play, so, instead of buying online or from a private seller, visit a reputable shop and make use of the sales staff.

• Before boarding in deep waters or waves, get plenty of practice in calm, shallow waters.

• Safety first! Life jackets are a must.

With the activities listed here, your family is all set for summer fun and excitement. Plus, by staying active, you’ll receive added benefits to health, as well as the advantage of family togetherness. Have fun, and play safe!

Guest Post – Kac Young PhD, DCH. ND, Heart Easy Tips For Having Fun During The Holidays Without Paying A Price

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heartWith the holiday season upon us some of us have mixed feelings. Flights, lines, delays, junk food, sugary treats, Uncle Fred, gravy, creamed vegetables, Aunt Clara’s desserts…all of these things can be stressful to the person who is trying to eat heart healthy. A small amount of thinking ahead can make all the difference. Here are some tips you can use to keep yourself healthy and still have fun during the holidays:

1) Plan ahead and keep your heart healthy brain engaged. In every social situation take a moment to determine how much control you have over the menu. If you’re doing the entertaining, it’s a breeze. You make the food choices and stay with the heart healthy ones. If you know your host loves to cook with butter, sugar and salt come prepared with your own food. Take fresh veggies you can steam in the microwave, bring healthy snacks, like a handful of almonds or walnuts, and eat before you go.

2) Be alert: survey the buffet table before plunging in. Choose an appetizer size plate and begin with the freshest foods first. Choose veggies. Avoid cheese, crackers and pastry.

Health3) Eat for your heart, not your stomach, or your mood. Many holiday standards are loaded with sodium (read the labels), sugar (corn syrup is the biggest offender), and saturated fats. Select white meat turkey without the skin or a ham slice without the topping. Avoid the butter-laden mashed potatoes and gravy (unless you’ve brought a non fat packet of gravy and made your own.)

4) Be a thinking drinker. Choose a beverage that is not high in sugar and alcohol. Sticking with wine or light beer is best. Avoid mixed drinks and seasonal corn syrup based festive drinks. Keep your consumption moderate and drink a glass of water between each drink.

5) Keep your backside in motion. If you’re visiting cold-weather climates and can’t easily go for a walk after meals, visit the local indoor mall and take a power walk to keep your body moving in the right direction.

cookie6) Skip dessert. Seriously. Unless it’s fresh fruit or frozen yogurt, pass. No good can come from pies, cookies, cakes and bon-bons. Unless they are made from non fat or low fat products and have reduced sugar and salt, you’re best without them. If you must, then have “just a taste” to satisfy your sweet tooth, then quit. One bite is all you need.

7) Listen to your body. It will always tell you when enough is enough or when you need something special. Holidays can deplete the body, so don’t neglect your sleep.

8) Last but not least, enjoy the company. Ask questions of the people you are with, delve into their lives and find out what motivates them. Ask them to share a childhood memory with you. Learn something new about each person in the room. Help with the clean up. Learn a trick or a game to entertain the kids. Bring photos with you that many may not have seen in years. If a new person has been added to the family, include them in the conversations and try to make sure they feel comfortable. Show a little extra kindness to everyone; you’ll feel a lot better, too.

– Dr. Kac Young – www.HeartEasy.com

Guest Post – Victoria Marin, Fun Family Fitness

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familybikeridetogether

Make Healthy Lifestyle Part Of Your Daily Family Plan

As a mother of five children, I know how difficult it can be to schedule your daily responsibilities into your day let alone a fitness routine. With childhood obesity on the rise and other health problems such as Diabetes becoming more prevalent, I plan physical activity into our busy days. Extended hours in front of the television and video games have led to sedentary lifestyles for our children. Following, I offer several suggestions on how to keep your family active and fit through fun and energizing activities.

Going for walks. Walking along a shoreline or wooded path provides the perfect backdrop for a family oriented afternoon where the notion of exercise gets lost in the scenery. Pack a healthy lunch to make the outing extra special.

Down by the sea. While a day at the beach or a lake may sound relaxing, the water offers many opportunities for exercising as a family such as swimming and rowing. Plan ahead and bring bikes for the kids. Many locations offer trails for biking and hiking.

Shoot hoops. Basketball is a great sport for the family to play as it requires running, coordination and agility. Invite other families to participate to make the game more challenging.

Dancing. Enroll for lessons at a local dance studio. Not only is dancing great fun but a wonderful form of fitness for the mind, body and soul.

Gardening. For families with younger children, gardening is a creative way to get all members of the family physically active. Purchase plants and gardening tools and plan for the entire family to spend the day beautifying the yard.

Go To The Park. Enjoy a day at the park with a game of catch. Bring a frisbee or a kick ball to add some friendly competition to the afternoon.

5K Run. Train as a family for a local 5K run. Our school principal encourages students to participate by offering a small prize to the student who beats his time.

As a family, discover fun ways to get active.

The goal of exercising as a family does not necessarily conform to the traditional definition of exercise. As a family, discover fun ways to get active. Parents need to engage in regular exercise, not only for their own health, but for the health of their children too. Being that children learn by example, set a good example by showing your children that living a healthy lifestyle is important to their well being.

Victoria Marin is the author of Aiden’s Waltz which is a sublimely reflective tale of a young boy with Autism who journeys to find acceptance and strength within himself. From peering through a frosted window while watching boys and girls playing soccer, Aiden rises from the shackles of Autism as he dances across the ballroom dance floor with the grace and elegance of a swan.