Keep Your Kids Cool & Healthy with These Summer Treats!

Summer is here, and with it comes long days, sunshine, and kids playing in the backyard instead of sitting behind their desks at school. With all of that playing, they can sure work up an appetite. Anyone can grab a handful of goldfish or some fruit snacks, but why not take an extra minute or two to plan some nutritious snacks that will also help your kids keep cool during hot summer days!
Almost all kids like fruit, and even just out of the refrigerator, it can be refreshing. But many fruits taste great and feel like an extra treat if they spend some time in the freezer before serving. Blueberries, watermelon, even grapes are great frozen. Check out these ideas and some other great summer treats, check out this article on Food Network’s homepage.
Since you are keeping fresh fruit at the ready, make sure you also have a good blender on hand for smoothies. Banana and strawberries are always a hit, but you and your kids can dream up tons of combinations so you won’t get bored all summer. Don’t forget to try some of the more uncommon fruits like mango for a new taste! Add a dollop or two of Greek yogurt from some protein and a little bit of honey to satisfy a sweet tooth, and you have the perfect summer snack or even quick breakfast on your way to the pool!

Building Better Immune Systems One Day Care at a Time.

Sending children to day care can often cause parents a large amount of stress. If germ exposure was a big item on the list of things to worry about, parents can now cross it out. A new study conducted by researchers in the Netherlands and published in the Journal of Pediatrics has found that being around sickness in the day care has benefits. You can see some of the benefits described here.
The Researchers followed a large group of children over the first six years of their lives and looked at how often doctors diagnosed acute gastroenteritis. They found that 1,344 out of the total 2,220 children they studied attended day care during the first year of life. While having children in day care as an infant increased their risk of having the dreaded stomach bug in the first year of life, they discovered it then had a protective effect after that. A study released in 2014 found the same pattern in ear and respiratory infections.
During that first year of day care as one germ after another finds its way through the front door, parents may feel overwhelmed. Dr. Timothy Shope, an associate professor of pediatrics at Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh encourages parents to remember that “they’re making an investment for the future, their child is less likely to be ill going into kindergarten when other children raised with less contact are more likely to be ill”

Nobody Puts Baby in the Corner, but Don’t be Afraid to Put Them in the Crib

For most parents, bedtime is a joyful occasion. Knowing their children are safely and peacefully snuggled in bed, it’s the time that parents can figuratively “clock-out” and take some time to unwind. When a young baby is in the picture, it is often a different story. Babies are notorious for waging anti-sleep campaigns while parents helplessly try and sooth them despite their own extreme exhaustion. For parents who feel guilty letting baby cry, a new research study suggests that it may be time to give that method a try. Your text to link…
The study published in the journal Pediatrics focused on 43 infants described by their parents as having sleep problems but being otherwise healthy. The parents were told to try two different methods that involved allowing the child to cry for short periods of time called graduated extinction and bedtime fading. Researchers found that both of the sleep techniques decreased the time it took children to fall asleep and graduated extinction even helped to reduce night wakings. The researchers did not find any negative emotional impact.
The first author on the study Wendy Middlemiss, an associate professor of educational psychology at the University of North, cautioned parents that “you have to be responsive. You can’t let them cry for long periods of time”.
The researchers agree that while the sleep training techniques used may not be for everyone, this study will help alleviate guilt for exhausted parents who may decide to give them a try.

Are Daily Vitamins Necessary For Your Health?

Vitamins play an important role in our health and can be found in the foods that we eat daily. However, what happens if we don’t eat a balanced diet. There are 13 essential vitamins the body needs, but scientist doesn’t seem to know how much we truly need on a daily basis.
Plenty of books have been written on vitamins and their role in the body. Just recently, Cathrine Price released her paperback book called “Vitamania: How Vitamins Revolutionized the Way We Think About Food. In her book, she explains some common misconceptions about vitamins. Ms. Price is a science journalist and wrote this book because she was curious about how vitamins in our food interact with our body.
Vitamins have often been thought as “superfoods” but vitamins are not food. A vitamin is a pill or dietary supplement that usually contains all the essential vitamins. However, these essential vitamins are found in foods. Many foods in the American diet are fortified with vitamins and other supplements. If a person eats a well-balanced diet, a daily vitamin may not be necessary. People who seem to benefit from this type of dietary supplement are people that have restricted diets or health issues.
Essential vitamins are necessary for everyone, but Ms. Price seems to believe the vitamin requirement is different for everyone. Until more research is done on the recommendations, it might be best get your essential vitamins through a balanced diet.

Global Running Day for Adults and Kids

The organizers of Global Running Day are also running a campaign to get kids to join in on the day as well. They are running the Million Kid Run campaign hoping to get a million kids to sign up to run on June 1st this year, which is also Global Running Day. The hope is to get kids more involved in a safe physical activity and to make that activity a part of their daily lives.

Parents are encouraged to make the activity a fun one for their kids, after all, if it feels like a chore they are not going to want to participate. It is also important that both kids and parents have the proper foot attire and take any foot, knee, or leg injuries seriously.

It is recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics that children or teens do not run
full marathons. Many marathons will have an age restriction on them anyway and it is recommended that parents follow those rules. Physical activity has been shown to decrease depression and anxiety in children, as well as build their self-esteem and sense of accomplishment. It also helps to give them a sense of community while staying fit and active.

For more information, or to pledge to run for the Million Kid Run, check out the full article on The New York Times Online.

Keep Your Family Safe This Summer

There was a report
last week that a 49 year old Pennsylvania woman was the first person in the U.S. with a bacterial infection that could not be treated by Colistin, an antibiotic of last resort. This raised alarm in public health officials and infectious disease experts who had been warning that indiscriminate overuse of antibiotics would someday make them ineffective against bacteria that have become resistant to the antibiotics now in use.

The E. coli bacteria carried by the woman contained a gene that is resistant to Colistan, a last resort antibiotic used for the most dangerous “nightmare bacteria” that could kill 50 percent of infected patients. The worry is that this gene can spread to other bacteria, resulting in superbugs causing untreatable infections.

Pharmaceutical companies had not been doing the research and development of new antibiotics because of low returns. However, two recent events show that this problem is finally being addressed. In January, 2016, a Declaration on Combating Antimicrobial Resistance
was signed by 85 international pharmaceutical and research companies declaring support of efforts to prevent drug-resistant infections. Last year, Congress approved the additional funding of federal agencies engaged in this fight against antibiotic-resistant bacteria.

How can the average person join this fight? One way is to maintain a healthy life style. Another is to be informed about antibiotics and their proper use. For example, respiratory illnesses caused by viruses are not treatable with antibiotics. And always wash hands and cook meat thoroughly.

Can a Brain Infection Cause Alzheimer’s disease?

Recently, researchers at Harvard have come up with a hypothesis that Alzheimer’s disease could be caused by an infection. They are suggesting this may happen because of a leaky brain barrier leak. Supposedly as people age, the brain barrier gets weaker. When a person gets an infection, it crosses over into the brain and leaves behind plaque. The plaque that’s left behind is a tell-tale sign of Alzheimer’s disease.
The researchers from Harvard have already been doing studies to confirm part of their hypothesis. They have been conducting studies in Petri dishes, mice, fruit flies, and roundworm. A study done with mice revealed that Salmonella bacteria would cause plaques in the brain of the mice. Since this study verified that a bacteria could cause plaques, researchers want to continue their next phase of studies by examining the human brain. The current studies on animals were funded by the National Institutes of Health and the Cure Alzheimer’s Fund. These studies are critical in helping find a cure for Alzheimer’s.
Besides this theory, the Harvard investigators think there is more to Alzheimer’s than just a brain barrier leak. Some Alzheimer’s patients have a mutated gene that will cause this disease while other patients have been found to have high levels of antibodies to herpes and developed Alzheimer’s later in life. Alzheimer’s disease seems to have more than one possible cause however; researchers at Harvard believe the brain barrier hypothesis needs to be further researched.

Zika Scares Impact on Upcoming Olympics

The upcoming Olympics are to be held in beautiful Rio de Janeiro this year, but some health officials are not sure if that is such a good idea. The Zika virus has spread to thousands of people in Brazil causing deaths, microcephaly, and Guillain-Barre syndrome. If participants in the Olympic games visit the country, they too would be at risk for contracting the disease. This is a serious problem because some countries have had no cases of the Zika virus so far, such as India. If athletes from there were to contract the disease, they could spread it to the non-infected countries. They might even bring back infected mosquitoes or larvae, which could cause even more deaths. Though the Olympic games are an important tradition, risking the lives of visitors, athletes, and coaches is hardly worth it. The World Health Organization (WHO) has close ties to the Olympics, but they are refusing to change the location of the upcoming event even though it is common knowledge that Rio has done very little to thwart the mosquito problem to make the games safer. This has raised questions as to their leadership, and some are calling for members of the group to step down. WHO says that participating in the Olympics is a decision that should be made on an individual basis, but this hardly considers the people that could be impacted if the Olympics causes a further spread of the virus.

A Walk a Day Keeps the Doctor Away

Trains, planes and automobiles make the world go ’round. Getting lost in the fast paced environment we live in today, we often forfeit the health benefits and uncomplicated tranquility of walking. When you mention jogging or swimming, most people recognize the well-being associated with them right away. A simple walk never seems to get enough credit.
A recent study conducted by Canadian researchers found that walkable neighborhoods had residents with lower rates of obesity and diabetes. Studying more than three million people in 8,777 neighborhoods, the researchers ranked each neighborhood for “walkability” on a 100 point scale. The study shows that the commonness of being overweight and obese was more than 10 percent lower in the one-fifth of neighborhoods rated highest for walkability than in the one-fifth rated lowest. The Canadian team of researchers followed the participants of the study for a 12 year period, the detailed investigation demonstrated that being obese and overweight increased by as much as 9.2 percent in the three-fifths of neighborhoods rated lowest, with no change in the two-fifths rated highest. The prevalence of diabetes was also lowest in the more walkable neighborhoods.
While the study isn’t proven and was not a randomized trial, the senior author Dr. Gillian L. Booth said “walking, cycling and public transit rates were much higher in walkable neighborhoods, and that leads to better health outcomes”.

Your text to link… Walking can improve overall health and is terrific for ending a stressful day. Also, don’t forget to stop and smell the roses while you’re out there.

Active Surveillance

Active surveillance is a new treatment for treating early-stage prostate cancer in younger men. Younger men tend to choose this treatment plan because they want to avoid surgery and the complications of radiation treatment. Complications such as impotence and incontinence tend to affect younger men to a much greater degree than men in their 60’s or 70’s.
In this treatment plan, the cancer is left alone but monitored to make sure it’s not growing. The National Institute of Health and the American Society of Clinical Oncology both approve of this treatment for men with small and low-risk tumors.
When men are newly diagnosed with prostate cancer, the cancer cells are rated on a scoring system known as the Gleason. This scale starts ratings at a 2, and the highest rating is a 10. A score of 6 on this magnitude is the lowest score that indicates the cells are cancerous. However, the Gleason scale is somewhat confusing and is being replaced with a new system that has been endorsed by the World Health Organization.
Even though the active surveillance treatment is being recommended for men 50 or younger with low-risk cancers, these patients need to be monitored with biopsies and the PSA test. The PSA test checks for protein levels that are linked to prostate cancers. However, when patients choose this treatment plan, they are taking a gamble. There is always the possibility that this cancer can get worse and not be caught in time for treatment.