Health Matters | 5 Tips to Help Keep Your Little One Safe

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5 Tips to Help Keep Your Little One Safe

Little ones are sometimes hard to keep track of, especially after they start walking! While most parents keep a close eye on their tiny tot, accidents happen frequently. Whether the dangers lurking in your home include the stairs, medications, cleaning supplies, pillows or blankets, there are certainly many harmful objects in your home that may end up in the tiny hands of your child. Check out these common parenting tips to help keep your little one safe:

Sleeping infants
Infants and newborns should always be left to sleep on their backs. There should not be any other items in the crib such as pillows, blankets, stuffed animals, or any other toys that may cause harm to the child. Incorrect sleeping environments are a major cause of SIDS and can be prevented by following correct sleeping guidelines.

Treatment for high fever
You should never place a child in an ice bath to attempt to reduce a fever. Inserting the child into too cold of a bath may cause shivering, which will in turn cause the body temperature to rise more. Instead, if your child has a fever, any excess clothing should be removed. The child may also benefit from a lukewarm bath, or sponge bath. You should take your child to a doctor immediately if he/she has a fever of or over 100.4°.

Tending to burns
Ice should not be applied to minor burns. According to the Mayo Clinic, icing a burn may cause frostbite or other damage to the surrounding skin. Instead, you should run lukewarm water over the burn. You may also treat the burn with ointment and gauze after, as well as take a pain reliever.

Child car seat installation
While it is still recommended that children ride in a car seat until they are at least 40 pounds, parents are encouraged to secure a child’s car seat facing the rear of the car. This may help prevent injuries to your little one in case of an accident.

Preventing medicine ingestion
It may be tempting to leave your daily multi-vitamin on the counter or prescription antibiotic at a sick child’s bedside; but, taking the time to properly store medication can save you time and prevent panic. Young children are curious and will put pretty much anything in their mouth. Hardware and department stores often sell “child-proof” locks to help deter little fingers from opening the medicine cabinet.

Rest easy and keep your new baby or curious toddler safe by following these 5 simple tips every time!




  • Fall into Safety - Safety tips for weekend yard work warriors
    Fall foliage is beautiful to look at – on the trees. However, the fall beauty quickly ends up laying in your yard. You may have big plans for your yard, but make sure that you take the proper precautions. You may think it only happens to the other guy, but yard work mishaps injure thousands of people every fall. A few simple safety tips can ease the strain and reduce your risk of injury.

    Dress for Safety
    • Be sure to wear proper shoes. Forget the flip-flops. They won’t protect your feet from debris or give you proper foot support in the yard.
    • Long sleeves and pants can help protect you from poison ivy, cuts and other dangers lurking in the bushes.
    • Protective gloves with a nonslip surface will help you grip tools and prevent blisters. They also provide protection from thorns and sharp objects.
    • Safety glasses or goggles are especially important. Wear them when operating machinery like weed trimmers, lawnmowers, and leaf blowers. They protect your eyes from flying debris and reduce the amount of pollen that can irritate eyes.

    Warm Up
    Remember to protect yourself by warming up with a few stretches before you begin working. Your muscles will thank you for it. Start with a short walk to loosen the muscles, followed by a 5 to 10 minute stretching session. This will help prevent injury to your back, legs, arms, shoulders and neck.

    Take Your Time
    • Be sure to pace yourself. Take frequent breaks and drink plenty of water. Proper hydration is important for your muscles and general good health.
    • Avoid straining muscles by rotating tasks to avoid repetitive movements.

    Proper Lifting and Bending
    Save your aching back. Remember to bend your knees and use your legs when lifting heavy items. Do not just reach out with your arms. Lift that bag of mulch straight off the ground by bending your knees and keeping your spine straight. Avoid twisting your body and get help if something is too heavy to lift alone safely. Also, remember that kneeling is easier on your back than bending over for long periods of time. Use knee pads, or sit on a garden stool to ease unnecessary stress on your back.

    Protect Your Skin
    • Don’t forget to use sunscreen to prevent sunburn – and yes, you can still get sunburned even in the fall!
    • Hats and long sleeves can also protect you from some of the sun’s rays.
    • Bug spray can help keep mosquitoes and ticks at bay.

  • Spring into Safety - Safety tips for weekend yard work warriors
    The cold temperatures did not want to go away. But spring is finally here, and you can’t wait to get your yard back in shape. You may have big plans for the great outdoors, but make sure that you take the proper precautions. You may think it only happens to the other guy, but yard work mishaps injure thousands of people every spring. A few simple safety tips can ease the strain and reduce your risk of injury.

    Dress for Safety
    • Be sure to wear proper shoes. Forget the flip-flops. They won’t protect your feet from debris or give you proper foot support in the yard.
    • Long sleeves and pants can help protect you from poison ivy, cuts and other dangers lurking in the bushes.
    • Protective gloves with a nonslip surface will help you grip tools and prevent blisters. They also provide protection from thorns and sharp objects.
    • Safety glasses or goggles are especially important. Wear them when operating machinery like weed trimmers, lawnmowers, and leaf blowers. They protect your eyes from flying debris and reduce the amount of pollen that can irritate eyes.

    Warm Up
    Remember to protect yourself by warming up with a few stretches before you begin working. Your muscles will thank you for it. Start with a short walk to loosen the muscles, followed by a 5 to 10 minute stretching session. This will help prevent injury to your back, legs, arms, shoulders and neck.

    Take Your Time
    • Be sure to pace yourself. Take frequent breaks and drink plenty of water. Proper hydration is important for your muscles and general good health.
    • Plan the most strenuous tasks for early morning and evening when it may be cooler.
    • Avoid straining muscles by rotating tasks to avoid repetitive movements.

    Proper Lifting and Bending
    Save your aching back. Remember to bend your knees and use your legs when lifting heavy items. Do not just reach out with your arms. Lift that bag of mulch straight off the ground by bending your knees and keeping your spine straight. Avoid twisting your body and get help if something is too heavy to lift alone safely. Also, remember that kneeling is easier on your back than bending over for long periods of time. Use knee pads, or sit on a garden stool to ease unnecessary stress on your back.

    Protect Your Skin
    • Don’t forget to use sunscreen to prevent sunburn.
    • Hats and long sleeves can also protect you from some of the sun’s rays.
    • Bug spray can help keep mosquitoes and ticks at bay.

  • 7 Tips to Ease Your Child's Anxiety About the Doctor
    A visit to the doctor may not seem like a big deal to you, but for your little one the experience may be a little frightening. Check out these tips to ease your child’s anxiety about heading to the doctor:

    Go with your child
    Regularly accompanying your child to the doctor may help them feel more comfortable. Familiarity with medical facilities may help your child remain calm if an emergency occurs or requires him or her to visit the doctor alone.

    Show them what doctors do
    Give your child an idea of what a doctor’s visit is like. Play pretend or role play a doctor’s visit and explain that doctors are there to help them. Familiarizing your child with instruments such as a stethoscope may also help them be less nervous with the instrument in a medical setting.

    Validate your child’s fears
    Many children fear a visit to the doctor because of shots they may need. While your little one may be scared, never promise them that they will not get shots or tell them getting a shot won’t hurt. Instead, assure them that while the quick stick may be uncomfortable, it will be over quickly. Assure your child knows you are there by their side for support or to hold their hand.

    Keep Calm
    Children pick up on their parent’s emotions. If you are relaxed and calm in a medical setting, your child may also feel more relaxed. Having a child sit on a table away from their parent while a stranger examines them may cause your little one stress. Instead, try holding your child in your lap and involving them in the examination process. Ask your child which ear they would like the doctor to look at first, or if they mind if the doctor listens to their belly. This will help your child become more comfortable with a stranger poking and prodding.

    Bring a friend
    If your child has a favorite stuffed animal, blanket, or a pacifier, bring it along to the visit. While your company may be reassuring to your child, an old friend will allow them to have another form of comfort. If you have more than one child, try asking the older sibling if they mind being examined first. Seeing that their brother or sister is brave and the doctor won’t hurt them may lessen your child’s stress about going to the doctor.

    Give them something to look forward to
    Stop on the way home from the doctor’s visit for an ice cream treat, or to a park to play for the afternoon. If your child has something to look forward to, it might distract their minds from the fear. However, try not to base their fun activity on their behavior at the doctor. If your little one is still too stressed around the doctor, they may feel worse after losing their treat.

    Participate in fun activities through your health care provider
    Every year, Patient First offers free x-rays of your child’s Halloween candy. This is a fun activity for your child that will also help ease the anxiety of their next visit. The more comfortable your child is in a medical setting the easier their regular check-ups will be.
  • 7 Tips to Ease Your Child's Anxiety About Visiting the Doctor
    A visit to the doctor may not seem like a big deal to you, but for your little one the experience may be a little frightening. Check out these tips to ease your child’s anxiety about heading to the doctor:

    Go with your child
    Regularly accompanying your child to the doctor may help them feel more comfortable. Familiarity with medical facilities may help your child remain calm if an emergency occurs or requires him or her to visit the doctor alone.

    Show them what doctors do
    Give your child an idea of what a doctor’s visit is like. Play pretend or role play a doctor’s visit and explain that doctors are there to help them. Familiarizing your child with instruments such as a stethoscope may also help them be less nervous with the instrument in a medical setting.

    Validate your child’s fears
    Many children fear a visit to the doctor because of shots they may need. While your little one may be scared, never promise them that they will not get shots or tell them getting a shot won’t hurt. Instead, assure them that while the quick stick may be uncomfortable, it will be over quickly. Assure your child knows you are there by their side for support or to hold their hand.

    Keep Calm
    Children pick up on their parent’s emotions. If you are relaxed and calm in a medical setting, your child may also feel more relaxed. Having a child sit on a table away from their parent while a stranger examines them may cause your little one stress. Instead, try holding your child in your lap and involving them in the examination process. Ask your child which ear they would like the doctor to look at first, or if they mind if the doctor listens to their belly. This will help your child become more comfortable with a stranger poking and prodding.

    Bring a friend
    If your child has a favorite stuffed animal, blanket, or a pacifier, bring it along to the visit. While your company may be reassuring to your child, an old friend will allow them to have another form of comfort. If you have more than one child, try asking the older sibling if they mind being examined first. Seeing that their brother or sister is brave and the doctor won’t hurt them may lessen your child’s stress about going to the doctor.

    Give them something to look forward to
    Stop on the way home from the doctor’s visit for an ice cream treat, or to a park to play for the afternoon. If your child has something to look forward to, it might distract their minds from the fear. However, try not to base their fun activity on their behavior at the doctor. If your little one is still too stressed around the doctor, they may feel worse after losing their treat.

    Participate in fun activities through your health care provider
    Every year, Patient First offers free x-rays of your child’s Halloween candy. This is a fun activity for your child that will also help ease the anxiety of their next visit. The more comfortable your child is in a medical setting the easier their regular check-ups will be.
  • Keep Your News Year's Resolution Safe
    New Year’s resolutions are a tradition for many people as they reflect on the past year and look for ways to improve the next. The most common resolution by far is to “lose weight” and “get healthier,” but how many people actually stick to their resolution?

    Losing weight is an admirable, and often necessary, resolution. By losing weight, you may reduce the health problems associated with obesity including high blood pressure, heart disease, stroke, certain types of cancer, and osteoarthritis. While it is easy to get lost in the chase for the desirable end result, it is important to start your resolution in a reasonable manner to increase long term progress and overall health.

    The most important step to achieving your New Year’s resolution is to set realistic goals. Making goals for a healthy lifestyle, not a specific number of lost pounds, results in changes you’ll stick with. For example, a goal of “taking daily walks” is more positive and long-term than “lose ten pounds.”

    People often plunge into weight loss head first and take drastic steps to drop the pounds. This unsafe approach may lead to health problems, negative self image, and burn out. If a diet or work out plan sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Skip programs that promote unsafe detoxification pills, laxatives, and fasting. Always avoid any program that promises weight loss of more than two to three pounds per week.

    Cutting calories is an obvious step in weight loss; however, cutting too many calories is counterproductive. When you cut calories, you lose fat, but also muscle, which can slow your metabolism and make it more difficult to increase exercise intensity or duration. Instead of cutting calories, be picky about what calories you consume. The idea is to eat more of the most efficient and useful calories. Fill up on lean protein and fiber that fuel the body while minimizing starches, added sugars and animal fat from meat and dairy. One easy way to lower sugar intake quickly is to cutback on beverages other than water and unsweetened ice tea. Avoid switching to diet soda, which studies show triggers sugar cravings and contributes to weight gain.

    Just as dieting too much, too fast is harmful, jumping into an exercise regimen can be just as risky. It is best to talk to a physician before starting any program, especially if you are diagnosed with any chronic conditions. Be realistic in your work out plans -- a couch potato will not turn into a marathon runner overnight. If you hurt yourself early on, you will not be able to continue your work out plans. Three ten minute spurts of exercise per day are just as good as one 30-minute workout. An easy way to get your ten minutes in is taking the stairs instead of the elevator and parking in the back of the parking lot. Every bit helps, and these minor lifestyle changes will have long lasting health effects.

    An important step in safely achieving your long term New Year’s resolution is to monitor your progress. Look at your goals often and determine if they need tweaking. It’s okay to change your goal. No one is perfect, and the idea is for the goal to be achievable. Don’t rely just on the number on the scale to benchmark your progress. Use photographs and measurements to see the actual progress your body is making. Muscle weighs more than fat, and fat often redistributes throughout the body with activity. How you look and feel is a much better indicator of your progress than the number on a scale.

    Losing even 5 to10% of your total body weight is likely to produce health benefits such as improved blood pressure, blood cholesterol, and blood sugars. Overall health is a lifestyle and not a quick stop fix. Taking a long-term, realistic approach to your weight loss will give you a greater chance of achieving your goal and living a healthier life.

    To learn more about achieving and maintaining a healthy weight, visit the CDC's website.


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