First Aid Kits and Emergency Aid

College of DuPage Nursing Student Robert Sullivan shared that with the return to school and the start of fall sports, now is the perfect time to review a current first aid kit or to make one. Very often, the first people on the scene are bystanders and not the First Responders. Having and maintaining a first aid kit and becoming trained in first aid, will equip one to be more than a bystander but a responder. There are many items that will be helpful if the situation for response occurs, starting with what is applicable for a family of four according to the American Red Cross (American Red Cross, 2021). These items include:

  • A first aid guide
  • 2 absorbent compress dressings (5 x 9 inches)
  • 25 adhesive bandages (assorted sizes)
  • 1 adhesive cloth tape (10 yards x 1 inch)
  • 5 antibiotic ointment packets
  • 5 antiseptic wipe packets
  • 2 packets of aspirin (81 mg each)
  • 1 emergency blanket
  • 1 breathing barrier (with one-way valve)
  • 1 instant cold compress
  • 2 pairs of non-latex gloves (size: large)
  • 2 hydrocortisone ointment packets
  • 1 3-inch gauze roll (roller) bandage
  • 1 roller bandage (4 inches wide)
  • 5 3 x 3-inch sterile gauze pads
  • 5 sterile gauze pads (4 x 4 inches)
  • A thermometer (non-mercury/non-glass)
  • 2 triangular bandages
  • Tweezers

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Healthy Jumpstart for Everyone

College of DuPage Nursing Student Marta Jasinski asks Healthy Lombard followers, “Do you lack the motivation to engage in regular physical activity?” Awareness of the numerous benefits of both physical activity and exercise may help motivate even those who are least interested in physical activity to begin. Routine physical activity or an exercise program can be implemented at any age, starting with those who are young and continuing into older age. This article will provide several benefits of becoming more active to encourage overall health for the entire family.

To begin with, physical activity and exercise are not the same. Physical activity is any activity, whereas exercise is planned and structured movement. Either will help with mental well-being and improve mood. Stress is relieved and cognitive thinking and acuity, and ability to focus are improved (Center for Disease Control and Prevention [CDC], 2021). In general, physical activity and exercise help to increase energy levels throughout the day. Another advantage of physical activity and exercise is their contribution to decreasing depression and anxiety (CDC, 2021). When people are active, sleep also improves tremendously (CDC, 2021).

Physical activity and exercise help with wellness, and along with a healthy diet, facilitate weight loss which is also beneficial in preventing disease. When people are consistently active, blood pressure and cholesterol are improved and the chance of type 2 diabetes is reduced (CDC, 2021). Read more

The stages of Alzheimer’s

The National Institute on Aging shared that Alzheimer’s disease is the most common form of dementia among older adults. People with Alzheimer’s often have difficulty thinking, remembering, and reasoning. Eventually, they may be unable to carry out simple daily tasks. There are different stages of Alzheimer’s disease. The stages include:

  • Mild Alzheimer’s disease. People in this stage often have problems that can include wandering and getting lost, difficulty handling money and paying bills, taking longer to complete normal daily tasks, and personality and behavior changes.
  • Moderate Alzheimer’s disease. In this stage, memory loss and confusion get worse, and people begin to have problems recognizing loved ones, learning new things, and completing multistep tasks such as getting dressed. People at this stage may also experience hallucinations, delusions, and paranoia.
  • Severe Alzheimer’s disease. People in this stage of Alzheimer’s can no longer communicate and completely dependent on others for their care. During this stage, the person is near the end of life and may be bedridden.

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Get outside to meet your movement goal

Melanie Kirschten, a personal trainer with Edward-Elmhurst Health & Fitness, shared in their of that this has been a challenging year, to say the least. The COVID-19 pandemic has had us isolated, sedentary, and indoors, with many adults working from home and children e-learning. Social isolation and inactivity have been detrimental to our physical and mental well-being. It’s time to get out of the house, off the sofa, away from the computer, and outside. It is amazing how simply stepping outside into the fresh air can have a positive effect on one’s mind, body, and spirit.

The American Council on Exercise recommends that children get cardiovascular exercise for 60 minutes each day and adults get 30 minutes of exercise five times a week.

If you do not know where to start, start by taking a walk. If all you can do is one lap around the block before getting exhausted, it’s better than nothing. As you begin to feel stronger, challenge yourself the next time by walking an extra block, and so on.

For those who enjoy running more than walking, go for that run. Again, if all you can do is run around the block once before getting tired, do not let that get you disappointed. The next time you go for a run, try going one extra block.

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What Are the Side Effects of Booster Shots?

AARP shared that millions of Americans who originally received the Pfizer-BioNTech coronavirus vaccine series are now eligible for a booster dose of the same brand.

So much about this third shot, which is meant to rev up the immune system so that it stays sharp in the fight against COVID-19, will be just like the previous two. Pfizer’s third booster dose is the same formulation and the same strength as shots one and two. And data collected to this point suggests the side effects brought on by the booster are like the symptoms some people experienced after the initial set — even milder.

Here’s what we know so far about the side effects of Pfizer’s booster shot.

Booster trial reveals no new surprises

Pain at the injection site was the most commonly reported reaction after receiving the booster, according to the clinical trial data Pfizer and BioNTech submitted to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). About 83 percent of the trial’s booster recipients reported it, followed by fatigue (63.7 percent) and headache (48.4 percent), most of which were mild to moderate. These findings closely mirror the side effect data collected from Pfizer’s second vaccine shot. Other side effects recorded in the booster trial also fall in line with symptoms documented after the primary Pfizer series. They include muscle and joint pain, chills, diarrhea, vomiting and fever. And compared to adults ages 18 to 55, Pfizer’s trial found that adults 65-plus were less likely to experience these fatigue or flu-like symptoms after receiving the booster. Read more

The Many Health Benefits of Ginger

College of DuPage Nursing Student Mia Alegado asks Healthy Lombard readers, “Would you believe it if there was a plant that had anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, and antimicrobial properties that could help prevent numerous chronic diseases?”   Well, ginger root has been a staple of herbal and alternative medicine for thousands of years.  It is popular in Arabic, Indian, and Asian cultures and is used for both food and remedies for a number of ailments.  It is slightly sweet with a bit of a peppery taste and aroma.  It can be an acquired taste for some, but the novel flavor is a small payoff for the plethora of health benefits you can receive.

Ginger helps in the prevention of many diseases because of its antioxidant properties.  Free radicals and oxidative stress are common mechanisms in many diseases, but the active components in ginger (gingerol and shaogol) help counteract this and boost the antioxidant status in our body (Mashhadi 2013).  This can help reduce the risk of hypertension, atherosclerosis, diabetes, and cancer.

Arthritis and rheumatism are among the most common issues affecting the aging population.  It’s painful and debilitating, but the consumption of ginger can help alleviate symptoms.  The root has anti-inflammatory properties that can help reduce the swelling of joints and in turn, reduce pain.  These anti-inflammatory properties also help ease symptoms in conditions that largely target our immune systems, like general allergies or asthma. Read more

Sleep Affected by Covid-19 Pandemic

College of DuPage Nursing Student Julia Hurtado wrote for Healthy Lombard that out of all the aspects of our lives that the Covid-19 pandemic has affected, many people couldn’t imagine that their sleep has also been greatly impacted. In fact, studies show that due to increased anxiety in adults during the pandemic, Covid-19 has had a negative impact on our sleep (Eren, 2021). No one can dispute the importance of sleep to our physical and mental well-being. To demonstrate just how important sleep is, many studies have linked a decreased risk of many diseases with a correlation to good sleeping habits. Therefore, it is imperative we enforce simple but effective techniques that will maximize the amount of daily sleep we obtain. This is crucial during the current Covid-19 pandemic.

At the start of the Covid-19 pandemic, many can attest to experiencing a mix of emotions such as; high levels of stress, anxiety, and uncertainty. Generally, it is normal to experience stress during chaotic events. This is also commonly called the “fight-or-flight” response due to the sympathetic nervous system being stimulated to a potential threat. Being unable to adapt to a threat or a stressful situation can lead to physical and emotional illnesses. An example would be leading to the onset of anxiety. As mentioned previously, an increase of anxiety during the pandemic has proven to negatively affect sleep (Eren, 2021). Anxiety during the pandemic is brought on due to social isolation, disruption of daily life routines, and the uncertainty of normalcy (Eren, 2021).

Sleep quality entails various components such as sleep delay, sleep duration, habitual sleep efficacy, sleep disorders, use of sleeping medications, and daytime dysfunction (Eren, 2021). Eren (2021) found that anxiety is one of the most important aspects of worsening sleep quality. With a pandemic such as the coronavirus, it’s potentially affecting every component of sleep quality.  Due to the repercussions of Covid-19, thoughts and fears roam our minds daily. Thus, leading to falling asleep later and not receiving an adequate amount of sleep. How can we battle the effects of this pandemic on our sleep? The CDC has simple and highly effective techniques to implement to improve our sleep quality during this pandemic.

Under normal circumstances, the CDC recommends adults obtain 7 to 9 hours of sleep per night (CDC, 2020). To successfully battle the negative effects of Covid-19 on our sleep quality, the following techniques should be considered and implemented as soon as possible. Some of these techniques include avoiding sunlight/bright lights 90 minutes before going to sleep and avoiding food/drinks 2-3 hours prior to bedtime. Activities such as meditation, relaxation breathing, or progressive muscle relaxation to aid in falling asleep have also proven to help promote healthy sleeping patterns. Doing simple actions such as setting a comfortable, dark, cool, and quiet environment to sleep in has also proven to be beneficial. It is recommended that if one is working long shifts, try “banking your sleep,” by sleeping several hours longer than you normally do (CDC, 2020). Read more

TODAY is Apple Crunch Day!!

Join Healthy Lombard the 2021 Apple Crunch Great Lakes Great Apple Crunch to celebrate Illinois farmers, healthy kids, and strong communities this October.
The Great Apple Crunch is an annual celebration of fresh, local apples on the second Thursday of October, during National Farm to School Month. The Illinois Crunch is part of the Great Lakes Great Apple Crunch, which is also celebrated in the neighboring states of Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio, and Wisconsin.
Participating in the Crunch is simple: buy, serve, and Crunch into locally grown apples!
Since 2015, the Crunch has supported our local farmers and celebrated local apples across the Great Lakes region.
We would love it if you could CRUNCH today at Noon, but we welcome your Crunch anytime on October 14, 2021!
If you send us a selfie (of yourself, your family, your co-workers, etc.) crunching, we will enter you into a drawing for some great prizes like an Amazon Gift Card, A Sports Watch, and more!
Send the selfies to   Winners will be notified by October 20, 2021!

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Claire Boogaard, MD, a pediatrician at Children’s National, wrote in the Rise and Shine newsletter that now that flu season is quickly approaching and COVID-19 vaccines for children ages 5 to 11 are on the horizon, you might be wondering if it’s safe to get shots for both at once. To help you, we asked pediatrician Dr. Claire Boogaard some questions about the flu shot and COVID-19 vaccine.

Is it safe for my child to get the flu shot and the COVID-19 vaccine at the same time?

Yes, as long as your child is eligible to get the flu shot and the COVID-19 vaccine, then it is safe to administer them together.

Previously, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) said it wasn’t safe for kids to get the COVID-19 vaccine at the same time as other vaccines. What made them change their minds?

Initially, the CDC recommended trying to space the COVID-19 vaccine from other vaccines to decrease the expected side effects that occur after administration, because co-administration could increase the reactogenicity of the vaccines (i.e., the immune response reactions that are expected after vaccines, such as fever, chills, headache, etc.). However, given that we are in a global pandemic, the CDC decided to eliminate any unnecessary barriers to getting vaccinated.

In addition, the pandemic has led to a drop in routine vaccinations — some people stopped getting preventive care during the pandemic because they didn’t see it as essential and didn’t want to risk exposure to the coronavirus. Co-administration of vaccines allows these individuals to catch up on routine vaccinations.

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Loss of Sleep for School Age Children and Adolescents

College of DuPage Nursing Student Sammie Prince researched that with school back in session, late nights and early mornings become the daily routine of adolescents again. From the freedom of summer to the stricter schedule of school and outside activities, it is easy for students to lose sleep.

Although some may not believe it, children require more sleep on average than adults. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC, 2019) recommends that children between 6 and 12 years of age get between 9 and 12 hours of sleep per day. Those who are between 13 and 18 years should have at least 8 to 10 hours of sleep per day.  For an age group that may resist sleeping, it is imperative for their growth and development, and for proper mind and body function.

School is filled with early mornings and late nights, which may become normal for the adult population, but needs to be discussed further with the adolescent. Children and adolescents have multiple commitments and responsibilities that, at times, may be hard to fit in one day. The CDC (2020) suggests that 6 of 10 middle schoolers do not get enough sleep, and for high schoolers, about 7 of 10 currently do not get enough sleep. Read more