Wear Your Apron

Reading through the local Highland Community Newspaper Friday February 24th 2012 I came across the editorials page with Letters to the Editor. I found a touching article that I needed to share:

Wear your apron

By Cindy Larson

Published: Thursday, February 23, 2012 3:25 PM PST to the Highland Community News paper, Highland, CA.

On Wednesday, Feb. 15, Dr. Oz had a show on the fastest growing cancer in women, thyroid cancer.

It was a very interesting program and he mentioned that the increase could possibly be related to the use of dental x-rays and mammograms. He demonstrated that on the apron the dentist puts on you for your dental x-rays there is a little flap that can be lifted up and wrapped around your neck. Many dentists don’t bother to use it. Also, there is something called a “thyroid guard” for use during mammograms.

By coincidence, I had my yearly mammogram yesterday, Feb. 16. I felt a little silly, but I asked about the guard and sure enough, the technician had one in a drawer. I asked why it wasn’t routinely used. Answer: “I don’t know. You have to ask for it.” Well, if I hadn’t seen the show, how would I have known to ask?

We need to pass this on to our daughters, nieces, mothers and all our female friends and husbands tell your wives.

Link to the original article by Dr. Oz- http://www.doctoroz.com/videos/increase-thyroid-cancer?page=2

Thank you for stopping by!!
Taylor Smith
VEW For Independence

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Sunflower Seeds are Answer from Nature to Antidepressant Drugs

Thursday, April 30, 2009 by: Barbara L. Minton, citizen journalist
Learn more: http://www.naturalnews.com/026165_seeds_sunflower_body.html#ixzz1C4ntLg38

(NaturalNews) Sunflowers are the earthly representation of the sun. They have such an affinity for the life giving force that they twist on their stems so their faces can bask in sunlight all through the day. Photons from the sun are stored in the DNA of the sunflower, making its seed resonate with the photons in human cells. This resonance is good for mind as well as body, and makes sunflowers one of the top foods for fighting depression.

Key nutrients raise serotonin levels and boost nerve function naturally

If we believe that we are what we eat, it is clear that nerves depend on what they are fed. While all of the wealth of nutrients found in sunflower seeds contributes to nerve health, sunflower seeds are particularly rich in key nutrients that have a direct impact on alleviating depression. Their high levels of magnesium counterbalance calcium, helping to regulate nerve function. And the substantial content of the amino acid, tryptophan, enhances serotonin production and thus improves mood.

Neurotransmitters are chemicals that pass messages between nerve cells in the brain. They have a tremendous impact on overall mood and feelings of well being. Serotonin is one of the body’s most important neurotransmitters. When released, serotonin gives a relaxing, content feeling that relieves emotional tension. This feeling is often described as mellowness. It is serotonin’s profound effect on the mind that makes Prozac, Paxil, and other antidepressants such popular drugs. These drugs act by artificially keeping serotonin levels high. Higher serotonin can be naturally achieved by eating sunflower seeds, and there are no side effects.

Carbohydrates are needed to help tryptophan cross the blood-brain barrier and get to where it can work its wonders. Sunflower seeds offer the perfect blend of tryptophan and carbohydrates making them an ideal functional food to fight depression. Dark meat from poultry is also high in tryptophan, but needs carbohydrates added to be effective. Increased serotonin is why a Thanksgiving dinner of turkey, potatoes and stuffing provides such a relaxing sense of well being that the diner is soon asleep on the couch. Sunflower seeds are the perfect vegetarian alternative to such a food orgy.

Vitamin B-6 is also necessary to fuel the body’s normal depression-fighting chemical reactions. B-6 deficiency is common in Americans, particularly when considered in light of the absurdly low RDA of two milligrams. Sunflower seeds are a good source of B-6, giving them a three way punch against depression.

Sunflower seeds have a long history of benefiting people

Sunflower seeds are one of the first plants to be cultivated in the U.S. They have been used by Native Americans for more than 5,000 years as a food source and for their oil. Parts of the flowers, roots and stems have been used for varied purposes including pigment dye, but the bright yellow petals of the sunflower are considered poisonous to humans.

Health benefits of sunflower seeds are extensive

Some people think sunflower seeds are for the birds. They can be seen picking through all the other seeds in the feeder to get to the prized sunflower seeds. Birds are smart enough to go for the finest in nutrition. Sunflower seeds also supply all the nutrients needed by the human body with the exception of vitamin D. They are extremely rich in vitamin E, the primary fat-soluble antioxidant in the human body. Vitamin E roams the body looking for free radicals to put out of business. This action keeps fat-containing molecules from being damaged and leading to early aging. Vitamin E protects against inflammation too, making it a potent fighter of arthritis, cancer and diabetes.

One-quarter cup of sunflower seeds contains over 90% of the daily value of vitamin E. This makes sunflower seeds extremely helpful in protecting cardiovascular health by preventing free radicals from damaging cholesterol. Only after being damaged can cholesterol stick to blood vessel walls and begin the process of atherosclerosis which leads to clogged arteries, heart attack, and stroke. People with a high intake of vitamin E are at much lower risk of dying from a heart attack than are people whose vitamin E intake is inadequate.

Sunflower seeds are loaded with potassium, so needed in the American diet to balance the effects of sodium. Potassium controls the pressure inside cells while sodium controls the pressure outside cells. Sodium concentrations are more than ten times lower inside than outside cells, and potassium concentrations are about 30 times higher inside than outside cells. The concentration differences between potassium and sodium across cell membranes create an electrochemical gradient known as the membrane potential.

A large amount of energy in the body is dedicated to maintaining the sodium/potassium concentration gradients, underscoring the importance of the balance between sodium and potassium in sustaining life. Tight control of cell membrane potential is critical for heart function, nerve impulse transmission, and muscle contraction. This dedication of body energy to maintaining sodium/potassium balance is what makes fatigue the most obvious symptom of potassium deficiency. Heart rhythm irregularities also signify the need for more potassium.

One-quarter cup of sunflower seeds contains more than 30% of the daily value for selenium in a form with much greater bioavailability than can be obtained from selenium supplements. Selenium has been shown to protect against cancers by inducing DNA repair and synthesis in damaged cells, by inhibiting the proliferation of cancer cells, and by inducing cancer cells to die. Selenium is incorporated at the active site of many compounds, including cancer fighting glutathione peroxidase, one of the most powerful antioxidant enzymes found naturally in the body. When glutathione peroxidase levels are too low, toxic molecules are not able to be disarmed, and are left to create havoc in the body damaging DNA and promoting cancer.

That same quarter-cup of sunflower seeds also contains more than 32% of the daily value of magnesium, a mineral that does a lot more than keep people in a good mood. Magnesium is natures channel blocker, preventing calcium from overly activating nerves, sending too many messages, and causing excessive muscle contractions. Magnesium deficiency contributes to high blood pressure, muscle spasms that include the heart muscle, and spasms of the airways that characterize asthma. Migraines, muscle cramps, tension, soreness and fatigue are also symptomatic of magnesium deficiency.

A quarter-cup of sunflower seeds is a rich source of manganese, containing 37% of the daily value. Manganese is critical in the activation of enzymes without which many key nutrients will remain unused by the body. Some of these enzymes are necessary for bone formation and may be needed for thyroid hormone production. Manganese is a component of nerve health and is another player against depression. It is a catalyst in the synthesis of fatty acids and cholesterol, and facilitates protein and carbohydrate metabolism.

Many physiological processes are impacted by manganese deficiency. Some of the symptoms of shortage are loss of hair color, hearing loss, dizziness, skin rash, bone loss and osteoporosis, excessively low cholesterol levels, and reproductive health issues.

Sunflower seeds act as a natural pH buffer because of their high mineral content. Keeping the body at optimal pH, which is slightly to the alkaline side, has been recommended as one the best means for protecting the body against the ravages of Morgellons disease, cancer, and other degenerative diseases.

Sunflower seeds are user friendly

Although some people like the hands on involvement of shelling sunflower seeds as they are eaten, buying them already shelled is easy to do. The seeds should be kept in an air tight container in the refrigerator. Kids like a snack bag of seeds to take outside, or as an addition to lunch. An adult snack bag makes a great mid-morning or afternoon energy booster.

It’s easy to add sunflower seeds to any meal. Add them to hot or cold breakfast cereal or sprinkle them on yogurt. Mix into cream cheese for a bagel spread. Add them while mixing muffins or multi-grain breads. Top your lunch salad with sunflower seeds. Pack a pita with salad and crunchy sunflower seeds. Add them to any stir fry or pasta dish, and incorporate them into tuna, chicken or shrimp salads. Add sunflower seeds to trail mix, or mix them up with assorted dried fruits.

For the best in nutrition, taste and digestibility, soak or sprout sunflower seeds. The wisdom of Mother Nature has implanted seeds with enzyme inhibitors so they can remain viable for a long period of time. This inhibitor can make seeds difficult to digest. When seeds are soaked or sprouted, the process of nature is imitated; the inhibitor is lost, and the nutrients contained in the seeds are released along with enzymes that make them highly digestible. The full flavor of soaked or sprouted seeds is also released. Several online retailers sell already sprouted organic sunflower seeds that are plain, with added sea salt, or really spiced up. The amount of different sprouted organic seed products available creates enough variety to keep the interest level high.

Make up a batch of live granola

Instead of buying baked granola at the supermarket that is made with vegetable oil, create a really healthy choice with raw soaked grains and seeds.
2 cups rolled oats (soaked overnight in fresh apple juice and drained)
1 cup buckwheat groats (soaked overnight in fresh apple juice and drained)
1 cup shelled sunflower seeds (previously soaked or sprouted for 1 day)
1 cup raisins
1 cup sesame seeds
4 Tbs maple syrup
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp or more fresh ground cinnamon
Enough fresh fruit juice to create the consistency you like

Stir together all the ingredients except the raisins and sesame seeds. The mixture should stick together in clumps. If it doesn’t, add some of the fruit juice. Spread out on a dehydrator tray at 105 for about 6 hours. When dry and crunchy, add the raisins and sesame seeds and seal it all in an airtight container. Eat as cereal or bag as snacks.

For more information see:




About the author
Barbara is a school psychologist, a published author in the area of personal finance, a breast cancer survivor using “alternative” treatments, a born existentialist, and a student of nature and all things natural.

Learn more: http://www.naturalnews.com/026165_seeds_sunflower_body.html#ixzz1C4o1eEWY

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Experts Help Local Families ‘Senior Safety Proof’ Their Homes

VEW For Independence Raises Fall Prevention Awareness

One out of three adults age 65 and older falls each year and nearly a third of them will live with discomfort from the fall for the rest of their lives. That’s why VEW For Independence, a leading in-home care provider serving the Southern California area, has highly trained caregivers who can help spot danger zones in seniors’ homes and help families make their homes safer.
“Up to 30 percent of those who fall suffer injuries such as hip fractures or head traumas,” says Tina Eyraud, Director and founder of VEW For Independence. “Those types of injuries not only make it hard for seniors to live independently, but those injuries can sometimes be fatal. Our caregivers are there to provide families with the comfort that someone is watching over their senior loved one and helping make sure they’re living in a safe environment.”

VEW for Independence Caregivers Help Fall-Proof Home By:

Safety Proofing the Home

• Remove boxes, newspapers and electrical cords from halls
• Move coffee tables, magazine racks and plants stands from high-traffic areas
• Help repair loose, wooden floor boards and carpeting right away
• Store clothing, dishes , food ,medication and all necessities within reach

Adding Safety Devices

• Hand rails for both sides of the bed
• Non-slip treads for wooden steps
• Raised toilet seat or one with arm rests
• Grab bars for shower or tub
• Sturdy plastic seat for shower or tub plus hand-held shower nozzle

Checking Seniors’ Shoes

• Get rid of high heels, floppy slippers, shoes with slick soles
• Have foot size measured each time seniors buy shoes – foot size changes and shoes that are too big can make you fall
• Avoid extra-thick soles

Lighting-Up Living Space

• Place night lights in bedroom, bathroom and hallways
• Place lamp near side of bed
• Consider switching traditional light switches for glow in the dark switches

Exercising Regularly

Help seniors with activities that increase leg strength and improve balance in seniors, such as Tai Chi.
Taking Seniors for Eye Check-ups – make sure seniors have their eyes checked by a doctor at least once a year and have their eyeglasses updated as needed. A good tip: consider getting a pair with single vision distance lenses for activities such as walking outside.

Review Medications

Have a doctor or pharmacist review medications/prescriptions to let them know what may cause side effects, such as dizziness or drowsiness.

“When seniors fall, they usually develop a fear of falling, even if they’re not injured,” says Tina. “That fear can easily turn into a senior choosing to limit their physical activity which in turn increases their risk of falling again. That’s where our caregivers come in; they help to prevent falls and help seniors cope with fall-related fears they may already have.”

Did You Know?

• In 2008, 82% of fall deaths were among people 65 and older.
• In 2008, more than 19,700 older adults died from unintentional fall injuries.
• Fall-related fractures occur more than twice the rate for older women than for older men.
• More than 90% of hip fractures are caused by falls. And white women have significantly higher hip fracture rates than black women.
• Direct medical costs of falls equaled $28.2 billion last year alone.

This story affects all seniors and their families in your area. Help us spread the word about Fall Prevention Awareness with our tips to keep seniors safe. We are happy to have our local senior care experts show you how to safety proof your home to protect seniors from falling. We can set-up interviews with local senior experts and families.

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Family Caregiver Tips: To Help you Find Balance In Your Life

Stay True to Yourself
Keep Your Friendships Thriving
Keep Your Body Moving
Keep the Brain Active

Learn About Alternate Resources to Aide in Caregiving
Consolidate Important Papers
Complete an Advanced Health Care Directive (AHCD)
Give Copies of Your AHCD to Family Members & Doctors
Eat Well
Plan for a Crisis
Communicate With and Cherish Family
Accept Help Graciously When Needed
Realize that Change Happens— Don’t Fight It!

This list adapted from “Tips for Successful Aging” published by the Public Information Committee of the Marin County Commission on Aging, which appeared originally in Great Age, their quarterly newsletter.

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VEW for Independence provides non-medical in home care, family respite, after surgery assistance and more! For more info please visit our website at www.vewonline.org

How do I persuade my parent that he/she needs help?

• When your parent says “I don’t need any help” try gently pointing out that they no longer pursue the activities they enjoy like playing bridge, going shopping, choosing library books, etc. Then tell them how much more pleasant life would be with some help so that they could stay in their home and maintain independence.
• When your parent says, “I want things done my way, I’m the only one who knows what I like to eat, do, buy etc.” let them know they can choose and supervise the caregiver.
• If your parent is adamant that they don’t want a stranger in their house, allay fears by staying with them for one or two days while the caregiver is there as well as dropping in to see how things are at different hours of the day and night.
• When your parent says, “Absolutely not” contact the home-care agency and arrange a visit with another senior who is happy with their caregiver. Being able to witness a positive situation may help your parent to make a decision.
• Discuss what would happen if they won’t let anyone help. Let them experience a couple of days without your assistance so they understand it is best to have someone around regularly.
• Slowly introduce them to outside services. For example, arrange for someone to take them shopping or to the library. A kind and compassionate person coming into the home may earn trust and prepare them to be open to further assistance.
• Consider hiring a geriatric-care manager or Certified Professional Consultant on Aging who has the expertise to help your parent accept assistance.

VEW For Independence provides NON-Medical In Home Care including but not limited to Complete Daily Routine Assistance, Recovery Assistance From Any Surgery, New Mother’s Assistance, Family Respite, Transportation, Companionship, Housekeeping, Medication Reminders, Liquidation Of Household Items, and More….. Please call 1-866-792-5757 for a brochure and check us out online at www.vewonline.org

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Pain in Your Feet? Try These Proven Techniques for Soothing Them

Birgitta Rice, MS, RPh, CHES
Dec 25, 2008
This article was originally published in Diabetes Health in February, 2008.

One of the more common and early complications of diabetes is nerve pain or peripheral neuropathy. Symptoms are tingling, pain or numbness in the legs and feet, sometimes in arms and hands.

The nerve endings seem to be starved for nutrition and tend to deteriorate. The weakened nerves give off false sensations, often as pain or burning.

Over time, peripheral arterial disease (PAD) may develop. This contributes to “claudication” or “rest pain,” which develops when you are walking and stops when you are at rest. Unfortunately delayed wound healing, development of gangrene and amputations are also results of PAD. People with diabetes are 20 times more likely than the non-diabetic population to develop these conditions.

Though there is no cure for these conditions, the American Podiatric Medical Association has suggested some exercises that may be beneficial and feel good.

When you have been on your feet all day or maybe it is just an ordinary day when your feet hurt, these simple movements can bring some relief. You can do them by yourself. Use any or all of them.

Massage Your Feet

– Rub down your feet to release tension, increase circulation and rejuvenate the skin.

Soothe Your Soles

– Wash your feet for 3-4 minutes in a container filled with lukewarm water. Pat them dry and apply a cream or lotion to hydrate them.

Elevate Your Legs

– Put your legs up above your heart while lying down to help reduce swelling and relax a while.

Rotate Your Ankles

– Hold your foot under the back portion of the heel and turn the ankle slowly five times in both directions. This loosens the ankle joint and relaxes your feet.

Point Your Toes

– While standing holding on to a chair, do toe raises, toe points and toe curls counting five times for each foot. Repeat up to 10 times. This alleviates toe cramps and strengthens calf muscles.

The benefits of some of these movements have been tested in research and found to be very beneficial. Relaxation is one of them.

The natural effect of relaxation allows the peripheral capillary blood vessels in your feet to dilate, letting more blood to flow through to those tissues, providing nutrients and oxygen. That is the reason relaxation feels so good! It may also bring about pain relief and healing.

You Can Use Your Mind to Increase Blood Flow and Foot Temperature

Researchers recently conducted a controlled study in which they taught diabetic patients how to relax and visualize warming their feet. Patients used a standardized relaxation technique with assisted temperature biofeedback to guide them. The patients all suffered from chronic foot ulcers (sores).

After 12 weeks, 14 of 16 patients who practiced the relaxation intervention completely healed their chronic ulcers, compared to seven of 16 in the control group without the relaxation. They all had excellent wound care.

The findings have been presented nationally and published in medical journals. Based on this and other clinical work, the WarmFeet® intervention was developed. It has established itself as a new treatment modality – “an educational intervention” – to be used as a complementary therapy to standard medical therapies for foot and wound care.

For more information, contact Health Education for Life, 7412 Park View Drive, St. Paul, MN 55112, or go to www.WarmFeetKit.com. Cost for the WarmFeet® Kit is $22.95 for the CD version or $17.95 for the audio cassette. Add $3 for shipping and handling. The kit includes recorded and printed instructions, the guided relaxation and a skin thermometer for assisted biofeedback.

Information and reference for health professionals, nurses, diabetes educators and CDEs:

The Diabetes Educator, Vol.33, No 3, p 442, May – June 2007 “Clinical Benefits of Training Patients to Voluntarily Increase Peripheral Blood Flow: The WarmFeet Intervention” http://tde.sagepub.com/cgi/content/abstract/33/3/442

Birgitta I. Rice, MS, RPh, CHES, received her education and pharmacy license in Sweden. She has lived in the United States all her adult life and works now as a researcher, clinician and certified health education specialist at the University of Minnesota Epidemiology Clinical Research Center in Minneapolis, Minn.. Birgitta has had type 1 diabetes for 48 years.


Study Shows Podiatrist Care Reduces Amputation Risk

Amputation, one of the most devastating and costly consequences of diabetes, can be prevented when patients are treated by podiatric physicians.

That’s the finding of a national, large-scale study coauthored by Dr. James Wrobel, DPM, MS, associate professor of medicine at Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine and Science. He is also director of the Center for Lower Extremity Ambulatory Research (CLEAR) at the university’s Dr. William M. Scholl College of Podiatric Medicine. CLEAR is recognized for its work in treating and preventing lower-extremity complications associated with diabetes.

“More than half of all amputations in the U.S. are related to diabetes,” says Wrobel. “Podiatrists are detecting conditions that can lead to amputation. That’s just what we do.”

The first of its kind, the study examined records for almost 29,000 patients with diabetes, ages 18-64, and compared health and risk factors for those who had seen podiatrists to those who had not. Researchers found that podiatric care – defined as at least one podiatrist visit before a foot ulcer was diagnosed – was associated with a nearly 15 percent lower risk of amputation and 17 percent lower risk of hospitalization.

The study, funded by the American Podiatric Medical Association (APMA), used Thomson Reuters’ MarketScan Research Databases, which contain anonymous healthcare claims data. “We statistically matched patients with diabetes and foot ulcers who had visited a podiatrist with like patients who had not,” says lead researcher Teresa Gibson, PhD, director of health outcomes research at Thomson Reuters. “Patients who had seen a podiatrist in the year prior to the onset of a foot ulcer had significantly lower rates of any amputation and hospitalization than those who had not.”

The large quantity of data and the precision of the data matching make the study findings more robust. “We found people who looked very similar to each other, and we were able to observe the outcomes were due to podiatric care rather than something else distorting the data,” Wrobel says. “This is a very strong study, as it was conducted in patients already having a foot ulcer, and it highlights the podiatrist’s role in preventing hospitalizations due to infection and in preventing amputations if a foot ulcer develops.”

Diabetic foot complications are the leading cause of nontraumatic lower- limb amputation in the U.S., a lapse in prevention that costs an estimated $3 billion per year.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that 24 million Americans have diabetes, and 86,000 undergo amputations each year.

Podiatrists diagnose and treat foot problems, which may be the first area to show symptoms of serious conditions like diabetes, arthritis and heart disease. People with diabetes are prone to foot infections and ulcers because of poor circulation and neuropathy (loss of physical sensation). Podiatrists can spot problems like calluses, blisters or ill-fitting shoes before a hard-toheal sore develops.

The study, presented July 17 during APMA’s Annual Scientific Meeting in Seattle, adds to the body of evidence that shows that including podiatry in a multidisciplinary, coordinated effort to treat diabetes could prevent up to 50 percent of related amputations and the pain, depression and loss of quality of life that often follow. Wrobel points to the conclusion of the study and numerous smaller studies that preceded it that show expert podiatric care not only saves limbs but possibly lives as well, given that the 5-year survival rate after an amputation is poorer than with many cancers.

Wrobel emphasizes the need for coordinated patient care and communication among healthcare providers. “The delivery of healthcare in this country happens too often in isolated pods – insurance companies, managed care providers, fee-based care,” he says. “There has been very little patient advocacy. Problems with diabetes are too pervasive for care not to be more coordinated. We’re beginning to see it now, bubbling up from patient frustration.”

However, in 10 states, according to Chad Appel, APMA state advocacy associate, Medicaid programs do not reimburse for podiatric care, including California, Michigan and, effective October 1, Arizona, where Native American populations suffer higher rates of diabetes and related complications. “Budgets are hurting, and they have to look for somewhere to cut and right now, podiatric care is an optional service under Medicaid,” Appel says.

Preventing Limb Loss on 18 Apr, 2011 1 Comment »
http://www.amputee-coalition.org/Limb-Loss-Awareness/index.php/archives/539Posted in

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Tips To Protect Parents And Kids From Tobacco Smoke

This year, thank a parent who recently quit smoking.

An estimated 20 percent of adults in the United States smoke cigarettes, and 7 out of 10 of them want to quit. Some adults who have quit smoking are parents, and their efforts to become smoke-free have made them role models for their children as well as other smokers in their families and communities.

Did one of your parents quit smoking? If so, click on the following link and honor their decision by sending them an appreciation e-card:


Other parents continue to struggle with addiction to tobacco. Let parents who smoke know that they’ve taken great care of their families and that now you want them to do something important for themselves: quit smoking.

Let them know that you are supportive.

Smoking cessation treatment and social support derived from family and friends improve cessation rates.

Send a supportive e-card that encourages them to quit and let them know of the tremendous health benefits they will experience after quitting by visiting www.cdc.gov/tobacco.

For women planning to have children, it is important to understand the health risks associated with tobacco use. Smoking increases risk for adverse pregnancy-related health outcomes, including infertility, spontaneous abortion, premature rupture of membranes, low birth weight, neonatal mortality, stillbirth, preterm delivery, and sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS).

ALL parents can protect their children from the dangers of secondhand smoke.

Many parents already understand that breathing even a small amount of secondhand smoke can be dangerous, and they take steps to keep their children safe.

But not everyone knows that there is no safe amount of secondhand smoke, that tobacco smoke contains a deadly mix of more than 7,000 chemicals (including toxic substances like formaldehyde, arsenic, lead, carbon monoxide, hydrogen cyanide, ammonia, and butane), and that each year more than 300,000 children suffer from infections caused by secondhand smoke (including bronchitis, pneumonia, and ear infections).

The following tips can help all parents protect their children:

• Do not let people smoke around your children, and teach your children about the health risks of tobacco use and secondhand smoke.

• Look for restaurants and other places that do not allow smoking, and let owners of businesses that are not smoke-free know that smoke bothers you and that a “no-smoking” section is not good enough. Separating smokers from nonsmokers, cleaning the air, and ventilating buildings do NOT eliminate exposure to secondhand smoke.

• Make sure your children’s day care centers and schools are tobacco-free. A tobacco-free campus policy prohibits any tobacco use or advertising on school property by anyone at any time. This includes off-campus school events.

• Make your home and car completely smoke-free. Opening a window does not protect you or your children from secondhand smoke.

More information is just a click or call away. For more on the health consequences of smoking and exposure to tobacco smoke, as well as resources on how to quit, consult the following:

• Secondhand Smoke: What it Means to You at
http://www.cdc.gov/tobacco/data_statistics/sg r/2006/consumer_summary/index.htm

• How Tobacco Smoke Causes Disease: What it Means to You at
http://www.cdc.gov/tobacco/data_statistics/sg r/2006/consumer_summary/index.htm

• Vital Signs: Tobacco Use at
http://www.cdc.gov/vitalsigns/TobaccoUse/Sm oking/.
For additional quitting help visit www.smokefree.gov, www.women.smokefree.gov, or call 1-800-QUIT-NOW (1-800-784-8669).

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Earpieces Can Minimize Possible Risks From Cellphones, Experts Say

Advice follows warning that microwave radiation from the devices a possible carcinogen.

By Steven Reinberg
HealthDay Reporter

WEDNESDAY, June, 1 (HealthDay News) —

Can using a cellphone increase the risk of cancer?

The World Health Organization (WHO) says that it might.

After a group of scientists from 14 countries, including the United States, analyzed peer-reviewed studies on cellphones, the team announced Tuesday that there was enough evidence to categorize personal exposure as “possibly carcinogenic to humans.”
This puts cellphones in the same category as lead and auto exhaust. The WHO report noted that there wasn’t enough evidence to prove the radiation from cellphones is linked to cancer, but enough to alert consumers to a possible connection.
Dr. Michael Schulder, vice chairman of neurosurgery and director of the brain tumor institute at North Shore Long Island Jewish School of Medicine in Hempstead, N.Y., said the category into which WHO is putting cellphones is one that asserts there may be a concern. “That’s fairly weak as a concern goes,” he addded.

According to the U.S. Federal Communications Commission (FCC), which regulates radiation from cellphones, “there is no scientific evidence to date that proves that wireless phone usage can lead to cancer or a variety of other health effects, including headaches, dizziness or memory loss.”

But, Schulder said, “commonsense would tell you that since a cellphone is a microwave generator and emits radiation, it has the potential to alter DNA. And it should be used in moderation.”
Proving a causal relation between cellphone use and brain tumors is very hard to do, Schulder added. “It [would] take following many patients over many years to try to draw a connection,” he said. “Even if a connection exists, it will be very hard to prove.”
That’s partly because the radiation emitted by cellphone includes very low level microwave radiation, a type of non-ionizing radiation which is absorbed near the skin. It’s not ionizing radiation such as that emitted by an X-ray or CT scan. So-called ionizing radiation — a known cause of cancer — has enough energy to break down chemical bonds by knocking electrons off atoms or molecules (thus “ionizing” them and making them unstable).

However, to be on the safe side, Schulder recommends not speaking for long periods with the phone held to the ear. In addition, he suggests using an earpiece or speaker whenever possible. Both will keep the phone away from your head, he pointed out.
“If you use these methods, then any risk of brain tumor formation from the phone will be essentially eliminated,” Schulder said.
Dr. Otis Brawley, chief medical officer for the American Cancer Society, added: “Given that the evidence remains uncertain, it is up to each individual to determine what changes they wish to make, if any, after weighing the potential benefits and risks of using a cellphone.”

If some feel the potential risk outweighs the benefit, they can take actions, including limiting cellphone use or using a headset, he said. “Limiting use among children also seems reasonable in light of this uncertainty,” Brawley said.
“On the other hand,” Brawley said, “if someone is of the opinion that the absence of strong scientific evidence on the harms of cellphone use is reassuring, they may take different actions, and it would be hard to criticize that,” he said.
Brawley also noted that many common exposures — even coffee drinking –are classified by WHO as potentially concerning.
For those who want to know how much radiation their phone emits, the FCC recommends contacting the manufacturer.
The FCC noted that earpieces will indeed “significantly reduce the rate of energy absorption” in a user’s head, but that if the phone is attached to the waist or another part of the body, “then that part of the body will absorb [radiofrequency] energy.”
Besides ear pieces, there are other devices (such as metal cellphone shields) that claim to protect users from cellphone radiation or reduce it, but the FCC is skeptical of them.

“Studies have shown that these devices generally do not work as advertised,” an FCC official statement cautioned. “In fact, they may actually increase radio frequency absorption in the head due to their potential to interfere with proper operation of the phone, thus forcing it to increase power to compensate,” the agency stated.
Another expert, Dr. Roberto Heros, a professor of neurological surgery at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine, has a different take on cellphone safety.
“Our culture has become a slave to the cellphone,” he said. “We feel we cannot be out of touch for one minute, and we have to be connected by the cellphone.”

Heros thinks people should limit the time they spend on the devices. But, he said, “they should use it when necessary. They should not [hesitate to] make calls that are necessary, because of any fear or panic about radiation,” he said.
“If you really want to save lives, then don’t use the cellphone while you’re driving,” Heros said. “Not because of brain cancer, but because of immediate death from an accident.”

More information
For more information on cell phone safety, visit the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.
(SOURCES: Michael Schulder, M.D., vice chairman, neurosurgery, and director, Brain Tumor Institute, North Shore Long Island Jewish School of Medicine, Hempstead, N.Y.; Otis Brawley, M.D., chief medical officer, American Cancer Society; Roberto Heros, M.D., professor, neurological surgery, University of Miami Miller School of Medicine)
Copyright © 2011 HealthDay. All rights reserved.
HealthDayNews articles are derived from various sources and do not reflect federal policy. healthfinder.gov does not endorse opinions, products, or services that may appear in news stories. For more information on health topics in the news, visit Health News on healthfinder.gov.

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Help Your Children Eat Well During Summer Vacation

Involve your kids in the shopping and cooking for family meals, experts suggest.

TUESDAY, May 31 (HealthDay News) — With summer vacation fast-approaching, parents should take an active role in promoting routine healthy eating among their kids, advises the American Dietetic Association (ADA).

To that end, the ADA is offering some practical tips to help parents whip up healthy meals that kids will enjoy, all the while promoting a learning environment that encourages a youthful appreciation for eating well.

“For many families, the summer break can lead to a disruption of the normal routine and a diversion from the eating habits established during the school year,” registered dietitian Katie Brown, the ADA Foundation’s national education director, noted in an association news release.

It’s important to ensure everyone “is eating the foods they need when they need them,” she explained.
To help parents achieve that goal, the ADA has fashioned a website entitled “Kids Eat Right.” It is designed as a one-stop shop for weekly nutritional updates (in the form of articles, videos, recipes, eating tips) to promote the fundamentals of healthy eating.

One of the best ways to help your kids eat right is to involve them in every step of the process, registered dietitian and American Dietetic Association spokesperson Amy Jamieson-Petonic said in the news release.

This includes involving children in both the shopping and cooking process leading to a communal family dinner. Parents should also encourage — and, if necessary, organize — daily physical activity and outdoor fun, according to the association.

“Your kids should be getting at least 60 minutes of physical activity most days of the week,” noted Jamieson-Petonic. “So don’t let them spend the summer sitting on the couch.”

More information
For more on the American Dietetic Association’s tips, visit Kids Eat Right.
(SOURCE: American Dietetic Association, news release, May 24, 2011)
Copyright © 2011 HealthDay. All rights reserved.
HealthDayNews articles are derived from various sources and do not reflect federal policy. healthfinder.gov does not endorse opinions, products, or services that may appear in news stories. For more information on health topics in the news, visit Health News on healthfinder.

Would you like peace of mind knowing while you’re away at work your children have had a healthy lunch and safe summer activities at home or in the community? VEW for Independence offers assistance with all ages. A care provider can come to your home for several hours a day/week to prepare healthy meals for your children and provide supervision to any event, conference, or field trip. Please call 1-866-792-5757 or email info@vewonline.org for more information.

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