Study Finds Too Much Screen Time Causes Nearsightedness in Children

The children & nature network reports that A study out of Waterloo has found too much screen time and not enough outdoor time is causing irreversible damage to children’s eyes.

Even an hour more outside every week will go along way in preventing myopia, or nearsightedness, which affects almost 90% of high school students in Asia.

The numbers aren’t nearly as high here in Canada, but according to a recent study by three groups including the Centre for Ocular Research & Education in Waterloo, they’re still troubling.

“We’re finding children are starting to have higher nearsightedness at a younger age and that means as an adult their prescription is higher, increases the risk of retinal degeneration, retinal detachments.”

Dr. Mike Yang is the study’s lead investigator. He says 6% of children aged 6-8 in the study were nearsighted, that number jumped to nearly 30% in kids 11-13 years old.

In 2015 a world health organization report projected that in 2050, half of the world population would be nearsighted and technology is a big reason.

“When they’re spending so much time on the screen, they’re spending less time outdoors, therefore an increased chance of becoming nearsighted.” Dr. Yang. Read more

Get Up Get Moving

7 Weird Ways To Help Combat ‘Hermit’ Habits As A Remote Worker

Leah Ryder onbeen working remotely now for nearly five years. For her, part of adapting to this incredibly rewarding lifestyle was about learning to take more accountability for major life habits, like keeping active, having a balanced diet, and nurturing rewarding relationships with a distributed team. These are the pillars of a long and rewarding remote work career.

Highlights of the 2018 Guideline on the Management of Blood Cholesterol

Healthy Lombard’s Vice President for Health Dr. Elizabeth Moxley shared with us that the recently published, “2018 Guideline on the Management of Blood Cholesterol” is an update to the 2013 guideline on diagnosing, treating, and monitoring high cholesterol.

According to the American College of Cardiology and the American Heart Association 2013 guidelines, fifty-six million (48.6%) US adults older than 40 years are eligible for statin therapy.

Risk factors for atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease (ASCVD) include a high level of low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C).

What is LDL-C?

LDL-C contributes to fatty buildups and narrowing of the arteries (atherosclerosis), it’s often called the “bad” cholesterol, and in fact, high LDL-C at any age can cumulatively increase the risk for heart disease and stroke.

There is no ideal target blood level for LDL-C. The recent 2018 Guideline suggest, “lower is better” and studies have found an optimal total cholesterol level of ~ 150 mg/dL with LDL-C at or below 100 mg/dL since adults at this level have a lower incidence of heart disease and stroke.

Adults who have an extremely high LDL-C, i.e., 190 mg/dL or greater, typically have an increased ASCVD risk; similarly, those who have been diagnosed with cardiovascular disease should consider a drug called a statin to manage their cholesterol.

Read more

This Could Save Your Life

College of DuPage Nursing Student Megan DalSanto asks, “Would you believe me if I said running or walking 3.1 miles could change your life?”

As a finisher of many 5K run/walks, I can confidently say that participating in one of these events will bring you satisfaction, motivation, new friends, and physical benefits for your body.  Often, these events take place in beautiful parks, nature preserves, or peaceful neighborhoods. This provides the chance to spend time outside in green space.

In the 21st century, especially we have adopted an indoor, sedentary lifestyle working desk jobs, watching television, and not getting enough exercise. Outdoor green spaces are linked to positive human health and well-being, including mental health. As mentioned earlier, one way to experience outdoor green space is to do so by participating in a local run or walk this upcoming Spring or Summer. Not only will you reap the cardiovascular benefits from exercise, but you will be rejuvenated by engaging in the outdoors; nature (whether you realize it or not), sunshine and fresh air! After a long winter, it’s vital to spend time outside to replenish Vitamin D which is absorbed by our skin through sunlight. Read more

Healthy Valentine’s Day Treats for Kids: 30 Great Ideas!

Forkly shared that Valentine’s Day is a day to celebrate the ones you love and let them know how much you care. What better way to celebrate than showering your kids with cool (and healthy) treats to eat!

Your kids will remember the special little things you do for them and they’ll appreciate the thought and time you put into making their day truly unique and fun. If you’re looking for healthy Valentine’s Day treats for kids, check out the 30 great ideas below:

1. Mini Heart Shaped Pizzas

When you want to enjoy Valentine’s Day with a healthier twist, making a homemade pizza is a great way to have control over what goes into your food.

Top your pizza off with piles of veggies for added nutritional value and make sure your dough is whole wheat!

2. Chocolate Covered Clementines

Sugar may be something we want to avoid the majority of the time, but we often forget that nature has so many options for natural sugar sources that can serve as a replacement for dessert.

That’s why pairing the uber sweet clementines with some tart dark melted chocolate is a delicious combination for you and your family on Valentine’s Day.

Read more

Beyond Wrinkles: Fixes for Later-in-Life Skin Issues

Barbara Stepko, AARP,  shared that whether you’ve coasted for decades with a flawless complexion or bumped along with a breakout or two, most people find that at a certain age their skin demands some extra attention. Years of sun exposure may bring discoloration. Your skin barrier, designed to latch onto moisture, weakens, causing dryness and irritation. Collagen begins to break down, leaving you with a lackluster look. And what’s with those spots that seem to pop up overnight? If you’re not loving what you’re seeing in the mirror, read on for doctors’ best advice to make age spots, redness and more history.

Rosacea

What it is. Basically, a less charming form of blushing. The main symptoms of this inflammatory skin disease are redness, broken blood vessels (which appear on the cheeks and nose but can find their way to the forehead and chin) and, in some cases, acne-like bumps. It’s typically found in fair-skinned adults, usually women. In a survey conducted by the National Rosacea Society, 39 percent of the participants said their rosacea first appeared after the age of 50.

What causes it. The exact cause is unknown though the condition tends to run in families. “It’s also thought to be brought on by hyperactive blood vessels underneath the skin’s surface,” says Elizabeth Martin, a Birmingham, Alabama–based dermatologist. Another possible cause: microscopic mites, called Demodex, that release bacteria into the skin when they die, which can lead to inflammation. “Everyone has these mites inside their skin, particularly on the face, but people with rosacea can have an overconcentration,” says Martin. Studies show that people with rosacea may have more than 10 times the Demodex mites on their skin as those without the condition. Read more

Liquid Gold: What is it and why does it cost so much?

College of DupageNursing Student BridgetBykner provided the following blog of Healthy Lombard:

When I say liquid gold, I’m not talking about the skin moisturizer that you can find on the shelves at Walmart, I’m talking about breast milk, and more specifically, colostrum. Colostrum is produced by the mother from about sixteen weeks into her pregnancy, until around three days after the birth of the child.

It is the absolute perfect drink for a baby who does not yet have a fully functioning digestive system. Colostrum is packed with nutrients including carbohydrates and protein and is very easy to digest and colostrum has a laxative effect.

Colostrum contains immune factors such as immunoglobulin A, otherwise known as IgA, which is essentially an antibody that helps to fight infection in the throat, lungs, and intestines. In addition, colostrum has antimicrobials including enzymes such as lysozyme that help fight specific bacteria along with growth and repair factors that aid in cell growth, reproduction, and the inflammatory response.

Since the newborn baby does not have the ability to produce their own IgA with no built-up immune response, they are at high risk for infection. Colostrom is, therefore, extremely valuable during these early days and one of the reasons many lactation experts call it “liquid gold”.

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Updated cholesterol guidelines

The American Heart Association/American College of Cardiology Guidelines state that A lifetime approach to lowering cholesterol is still key to reducing cardiovascular risk

Statement Highlights:

  • High cholesterol, at any age, can increase a person’s lifetime risk for heart disease and stroke. A healthy lifestyle is the first step in prevention and treatment to lower that risk.
  • The 2018 guidelines recommend more detailed risk assessments to help health care providers better determine a person’s individualized risk and treatment options.
  • In some cases, a coronary artery calcium score can help determine a person’s need for cholesterol-lowering treatment, if their risk status is uncertain or if the treatment decision isn’t clear.
  • While statins are still the first choice of medication for lowering cholesterol, new drug options are available for people who have already had a heart attack or stroke and are at highest risk of having another. For those people, medication should be prescribed in a stepped approach, first with a maximum intensity statin treatment, adding ezetimibe if desired LDL cholesterol levels aren’t met and then adding a PCSK9 inhibitor if further cholesterol reduction is needed.

More personalized risk assessments and new cholesterol-lowering drug options for people at the highest risk for cardiovascular disease (CVD) are among the key recommendations in the 2018 cholesterol guidelines from the American Heart Association (AHA) and the American College of Cardiology (ACC).

Read more

Prevent Rotavirus

Rotavirus causes diarrhea and spreads easily among infants and young children. Some children may get severe diarrhea, become dehydrated and need to be hospitalized. Protect your child with rotavirus vaccine.

Rotavirus disease is common among infants and young children. Rotavirus can cause severe watery diarrhea, vomiting, fever, and abdominal pain. Some children with rotavirus disease lose a lot of fluids and become very dehydrated. As a result, they may need to be hospitalized and can even die.

Rotavirus spreads easily among children. A child can get rotavirus by accidently getting (stool) poop into their mouth from another child who has rotavirus. This can happen if a child puts their unwashed hands or a contaminated object, food, or liquids into their mouth. In the United States, children are more likely to get rotavirus from December to June.

Rotavirus Can Cause Dehydration

Symptoms of Dehydration

  • Decrease in urination
  • Dry mouth and throat
  • Feeling dizzy when standing up

A dehydrated child may cry with few or no tears and be unusually sleepy or fussy.

Prevent Dehydration

You can help prevent your child from getting dehydrated by having them drink plenty of liquids. Oral rehydration solutions (ORS) are helpful to prevent and treat dehydration. These are commonly available in food and drug stores. If you are unsure about how to use ORS, call your doctor.

 

Children are most likely to get rotavirus disease in the winter and spring (December through June).

Protect Your Child with Rotavirus Vaccine

The best way to protect your child from rotavirus is with rotavirus vaccine. Almost all children who get rotavirus vaccine (85 to 98 percent) will be protected from severe rotavirus disease. Most vaccinated children will not get sick from rotavirus at all.

There are two different rotavirus vaccines. Both are given by putting vaccine drops in an infant’s mouth.

  • Rotateq® – Infants should receive three doses of this vaccine—at 2 months, 4 months, and 6 months of age.
  • Rotarix® – Infants should receive two doses of this vaccine—at 2 months and 4 months of age.
  • Children should receive the first dose of either vaccine before they are 15 weeks old and all doses they turn 8 months old.

Millions of Infants Have Been Vaccinated

Millions of infants in the United States have gotten rotavirus vaccine safely. However, some studies have shown a small increase in cases of intussusception from rotavirus vaccination. Intussusception is a bowel blockage that is treated in a hospital and may require surgery. It is estimated that risk of intussusception is 1 in every 20,000 infants to 1 in every 100,000 infants after vaccination. Intussusception is most likely to happen within the first week after the first or second dose of rotavirus vaccine.

CDC continues to recommend that infants receive rotavirus vaccine. The benefits of the vaccine far outweigh the small risk of intussusception. Thanks to the rotavirus vaccine, there has been a dramatic decrease in the number of children who are hospitalized or visit the emergency room because of rotavirus illness in the United States.

Paying for Rotavirus Vaccines

Most health insurance plans cover the cost of vaccines. However, you may want to check with your insurance provider before going to the doctor. If you don’t have health insurance or if your insurance does not cover vaccines for your child, the Vaccines for Children (VFC) Program may be able to help. This program helps families of eligible children who might not otherwise have access to vaccines. To find out if your child is eligible, visit the VFC website or ask your child’s doctor. You can also contact your state VFC coordinator.

Did You Know?

Fewer children get rotavirus vaccine compared with other childhood vaccines. . Rotavirus vaccine is very effective, especially against severe disease. By vaccinating their infants, parents can protect their children against rotavirus, which is very contagious and causes outbreaks.

Learn about past outbreaks of rotavirus that affected unvaccinated and vaccinated children, and caused severe disease and the death of a child. Learn more about rotavirus outbreaks.