Winter Safety and Frostbite

Frostbite happens when the skin and outer tissues become frozen, commonly on extremities such as the finger, toes, ears and nose. Frostbite symptoms can include pale, gray or blistering of the skin, or skin that feels like it is burning or becoming numb. Follow these recommended tips:

  • Get indoors and place the frostbitten parts of the body in warm, not hot, water (about the temperature of most hot tubs is recommended, approximately 104 degrees). Warm washcloths may be applied to frostbitten nose, ears and lips.
  • Wait a few minutes and dry and cover yourself with clothing and blankets and drink something warm.
  • Call your doctor if numbness continues for more than a few minutes.

American Academy of Pediatrics, 1/15; SafeKids, 11/10; National Fire Protection Agency, 11/12


December 4, 2015 at 6:59 pm Leave a comment

Recognizing Hypothermia in Children

When a child’s temperature falls below normal due to exposure to colder temperatures, hypothermia can develop. It can occur more quickly in children than in adults.

  • As hypothermia sets in, the child may shiver and become lethargic and clumsy. Speech may become slurred and body temperature will decline in more severe cases.
  • If you suspect your child is hypothermic, call 911 at once. Until help arrives, take the child indoors, remove any wet clothing, and wrap him/her in blankets or warm clothes.

American Academy of Pediatrics, 1/15; SafeKids, 11/10; National Fire Protection Agency, 11/12

December 4, 2015 at 6:55 pm Leave a comment

Winter Safety Tips for Children

Follow these valuable tips to help keep your children safe and warm during this cold weather.

  • Dress infants and children in several thin layers to keep them dry and warm. Be sure they also wear warm boots, gloves or mittens and a hat.
  • Older babies and young children should have one more layer of clothing than an adult would wear in the same weather.
  • Blankets, quilts, pillows and bumpers and other loose bedding should be kept out of an infant’s sleeping environment as they may contribute to Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS). Use sleep clothing like wearable blankets or one piece sleepers.

Source: American Academy of Pediatrics, 1/15; SafeKids, 11/10; National Fire Protection Agency, 11/12

December 4, 2015 at 6:53 pm Leave a comment

5 Simple Tips for Workplace Wellness

If you’re going to spend eight hours a day — and probably more — at the office, make them count. Healthy habits may start at home, but you can take them to work with you.

  • Avoid snack machines. Prepare your own snacks — from fresh fruit to mixed nuts — in advance. Pre-planning will help you make healthy choices and avoid impulse buys.
  • Make fitness part of your work routine. If you don’t have time to hit the gym, try some simple chair yoga. Two minutes of stretching and breathing several times a day can increase your fitness and focus.
  • Pack your own lunch. Studies have shown that people who eat lunch out less frequently are more likely to lose weight. Even one fast-food meal a week can do damage, including increasing your risk for heart disease.
  • Trade your smoke break for fresh air. If you quit smoking by age 40, you reduce your risk of smoking-related death by a whopping 90 percent. When you get the urge to smoke, try a walk around the block instead.
  • Be your own health advocate. Ask your employer about ways to boost your health — and the health of your coworkers. This can be as simple as adding healthier options in the snack machine or as involved as incentives for exercise and wellness programs.


Source: The Cleveland Clinic

December 3, 2015 at 7:34 pm Leave a comment

Six Ways to Sneak Fruit and Vegetables into Your Diet

According to the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, fruits and vegetables should make up half of your meal, every time you eat. Here are some ways to incorporate fruits and vegetables into your diet.

  • Avoid plain cereal. Give your cereal a boost by adding blueberries, strawberries, sliced bananas, raisins, dried cranberries or cherries.
  • Blend your fruit. Smoothies can have three to five servings of different fruits or vegetables. Be sure to use whole foods and not just juice for maximum nutritional benefits. If adding dairy products, use plain low-fat yogurt instead of whole milk or ice cream. Also limit added sugars to help keep fat and calories in control.
  • Do the mash. Mash cauliflower and turnips into mashed and “twice-baked potatoes.” Grate carrots, zucchini, turnips and squash, and add them to red sauces, meatloaf and chili. No one will notice, but the nutritional benefits will be there.
  • Make veggie spaghetti. Use a spiral slicer to turn firm fruits or vegetables into spaghetti-like strands, translucent long ribbons or thin slices. Add pesto or marinara sauce to raw “pasta” for a new twist on eating veggies.
  • Make dessert dip. Dip plain fruit such as grapes, sliced apples, orange segments, or figs into melted chocolate or a peanut butter dip.
  • Be downright sneaky. Add vegetable purees to traditional comfort foods and desserts. Pureed blueberries, spinach leaves, carrots, sweet potatoes, butternut squash or cauliflower can be deliciously hidden into food.

Source: Compass Group

December 3, 2015 at 7:31 pm Leave a comment

Four Tips to Manage Winter Allergies

While most people associate allergy symptoms like sneezing, coughing and itchy eyes with warm, spring weather, the truth is some of the top allergy triggers are actually more common indoors than outdoors. And since most of us spend the winter months primarily inside, allergy symptoms are surprisingly common this time of year.

Here’s what you can do to help control winter allergies:

  1. Maintain household humidity. Mold and dust mites are two of the most common indoor allergens, and both thrive in high humidity. So aim to keep indoor humidity less than 50 percent. You can achieve a comfortable, safe environment by running exhaust fans when cooking, showering and bathing, and using a humidifier or dehumidifier to maintain household humidity at 30 to 40 percent.
  2. Install high-efficiency filters. High-efficiency furnace filters capture up to 30 times as many allergens as traditional furnace filters. They trap allergens like pet dander, molds and dust mites instead of recirculating the particles throughout your home.
  3. Clean your house. Regular vacuuming, wet mopping, laundering and general cleanliness will go a long way toward decreasing allergen exposure and allergy symptoms. Vacuum your carpets at least weekly using a vacuum with a HEPA filter or micro filter bag. Wet mop linoleum, tile and wooden floors to remove dust, pet dander and molds.
  4. Minimize exposure to pets. Or create a pet haven. Contrary to popular belief, there’s no such thing as a hypoallergenic dog or cat. The best way to control or eliminate pet-associated allergies is to limit your exposure to animals. If you (or a family member) have a pet, don’t allow your pet free access to the house. Create a dedicated space for your pet to eat, sleep and play.


December 2, 2015 at 7:19 pm Leave a comment

Winter Travel Safety Tips

Snow, ice and freezing temperatures can make for dangerous travel during the winter months. But if you are prepared for the hazards of winter, you will be more likely to stay safe and healthy.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention offers these winter weather travel safety tips:

  • Don’t travel when the weather service has issued weather warnings or advisories.
  • If you must travel, make sure you let friends and family know your planned route and what time you should arrive.
  • Wear appropriate outdoor clothing – layers of light, warm clothing, mittens, hats, scarves and waterproof boots.
  • Keep your gas tank full to avoid ice in the tank and fuel lines.
  • Carry a cell phone.
  • Keep an up-to-date emergency kit that includes battery-operated devices, such as a flashlight, a weather radio, a lamp, blankets, food, water, booster cables, flares, and a bag of sand or cat litter for traction.
  • If you are stranded, stay with your car unless safety is no more than 100 yards away, and keep your arms and legs moving.
  • To ensure others can see you, lift the hood of your car when the snow isn’t falling, turn on the interior light when the engine is running, and put a bright cloth on your antenna.
  • Leave a downwind window open, and only run the heater and engine for 10 minutes every hour.
  • Make sure nothing is blocking your vehicle’s tailpipe.

December 2, 2015 at 7:08 pm Leave a comment

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