Flu season is upon us and just a friendly reminder of ways to help keep ourselves and others healthy. Hand washing is one of the most important and effective ways to prevent the spread of infections and illness. Here are some helpful reminders.
When should you wash your hands?
- Before, during, and after preparing food
- Before eating food
- Before and after caring for someone who is sick
- Before and after treating a cut or wound
- After using the toilet
- After changing diapers or cleaning up a child who has used the toilet
- After blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing
- After touching an animal, animal feed, or animal waste
- After touching garbage
What is the right way to wash your hands?
- Wet your hands with clean, running water (warm or cold), turn off the tap, and apply soap.
- Lather your hands by rubbing them together with the soap. Be sure to lather the backs of your hands, between your fingers, and under your nails.
- Scrub your hands for at least 20 seconds. Need a timer? Hum the “Happy Birthday” song from beginning to end twice.
- Rinse your hands well under clean, running water.
- Dry your hands using a clean towel or air dry them.
What should you do if you don’t have soap and clean, running water?
Washing hands with soap and water is the best way to reduce the number of microbes on them in most situations. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol. Alcohol-based hand sanitizers can quickly reduce the number of microbes on hands in some situations, but sanitizers do not eliminate all types of germs.
Hand sanitizers may not be as effective when hands are visibly dirty or greasy.
How do you use hand sanitizers?
- Apply the product to the palm of one hand (read the label to learn the correct amount).
- Rub your hands together.
- Rub the product over all surfaces of your hands and fingers until your hands are dry.
Here are some healthy alternatives to sugary Halloween treats!
Healthy doesn’t have to be boring!
Class parties just got a lot spookier!
Continuing education is very important to us. This last August the 4 hygienists went to Chicago for a 3 day conference and learned a lot about new products and what’s current with patient care.
Here is a fun picture that was taken at the exhibits.
The table below gives examples of common ingredients found in toothpaste.
|Abrasives||Varying particle sizes create an abrasive system that cleans and polishes||Calcium carbonate, calcium pyrophosphate, aluminum oxide, silicone oxides, bicarbonate, chalk|
|Detergents||Help loosen debris; have foaming action; act as surfactant moisture||Sodium lauryl sulfate, sodium lauryl sarcosinate|
|Water and Humectants||Maintain moisture and consistency||Sorbitol, glycerin, propylene glycol, mannitol|
|Binders (Thickeners)||Prevent separation of ingredients||Alginate, gums, synthetic celluloses|
|Preservatives||Prevent mold and bacterial growth||Alcohols, sodium benzoate, dichlorinated phenols|
|Sweetinging Agents||Create pleasant taste||Saccharine, sorbitol, mannitol, xylitol, glycerin|
|Flavoring Agents||Create pleasant taste||Essential oils (pepperment, spearmint, wintergreen, cinnamon), menthol|
|Coloring Agents||Give attractive and desirable appearance||Vegetable dyes|
*Table information retrieved from Mosby’s Dental Hygiene Concepts, Cases, and Competencies (2008).
One ingredient not listed in the table, is Polyethylene microbeads. This is a plastic and its purpose is to help the product design of the toothpaste appeal to consumers. Microbeads are considered safe by the FDA (ADA, 2014). They can also be found in several Proctor and Gamble products, including Crest Pro Health toothpaste, but not for long.
There is concern that the microbeads could cause harm to peoples oral health because the specs of plastic are being found in their gum tissue pockets (the space between the tooth and the gums).
Crest Pro Health toothpaste currently has the ADA Seal of Acceptance and a statement from the ADA released on September 16, 2014 stated, “At this time, clinically relevant dental health studies do not indicate that the Seal should be removed from toothpastes that contain polyethylene microbeads.”Nevertheless, due to the growing preference that these microbeads be removed from products, Proctor and Gamble intends to do so. They plan to complete the removal process by March 2016 (Alter, 2014).
Until then, be sure to read the label.
Alter, M. (September 15, 2014). P&G making ingredient changes after dentist finds plastic in Crest toothpaste, calls it dangerous. abc7 WXYZ Detroit. Retrieved from http://www.wxyz.com/money/pg-making-ingredient-changes-after-dentist-finds-palstic-in-crest-toothpaste-calls-it-dangerous
American Dental Association. (September 16, 2014). American Dental Association Statement on Polyethylene Microbeads in Toothpaste. American Dental Association. Retrieved from http://www.ada.org/en/press-room/news-releases/2014-archive/september/statement-on-polyethylene-microbeads-in-toothpaste
This blog has been prompted by fall being upon us and with fall comes fall sports and sometimes with fall sports comes……concussions. Please inform yourself and keep your child safe.
A concussion is also known as a mild traumatic brain injury. The brain is made of soft tissue and is cushioned by spinal fluid. It is encased in the hard, protective skull. The brain can move around inside the skull and even bang against it. If the brain bangs against the skull — for example, due to a fall on a playground or a whiplash-type of injury — it can be bruised, blood vessels can be torn, and the nerves inside the brain can be injured. These injuries can cause a concussion.
Anyone who has a head injury should be watched closely for signs of a concussion, even if the person feels OK. An undiagnosed concussion can put someone at risk for brain damage and even disability, so anyone who has any symptom of a concussion should be examined right away by a doctor.
Kids who get concussions usually recover within a week or two without lasting health problems by following certain precautions and taking a break from sports and other activities that make symptoms worse.
Signs and Symptoms
Signs of a concussion can be physical, cognitive (how the brain processes information), emotional, or related to sleep. Anyone showing any of these signs of a concussion should be seen by a doctor.
- nausea and vomiting
- difficulty with coordination or balance (not being able to catch a ball, perform other easy tasks, etc.)
- blurred vision
- feeling confused and dazed
- difficulty concentrating, thinking, or making decisions
- trouble remembering things, such as what happened right before or after the injury
- slurred speech or saying things that don’t make sense
- feeling anxious or irritable for no apparent reason
- feeling sad or more emotional than usual
- sleepiness or difficulty falling asleep
- sleeping more or less than usual
Someone with a concussion may be knocked unconscious, but this doesn’t happen in every case. In fact, a brief loss of consciousness or “blacking out” doesn’t mean a concussion is any more or less serious than one where a person didn’t black out.
Symptoms of a concussion don’t always show up right away, and can develop within 24 to 72 hours after an injury. Young children usually have the same physical symptoms as older kids and adults, but cognitive and emotional symptoms (such as irritability and frustration) can appear later, be harder to notice, and last longer. Sleep-related issues are more common in teens.
Call 911 or go to the ER right away after a head injury if your child:
- can’t be wakened
- has convulsions or seizures
- has slurred speech
- seems to be getting more confused, restless, sleepy, or agitated
- has vomited more than once
- has a headache that gets worse or won’t go away
Though most kids recover quickly from concussions, some symptoms — including memory loss, headaches, and problems with concentration — may linger for several weeks or months. It’s important to watch for these symptoms and contact your doctor if they last. Often, in these cases, children need further evaluation and treatment.
To diagnose a concussion, the doctor will ask about how and when the head injury happened, and about your child’s symptoms. The doctor also may ask basic questions to test your child’s consciousness, memory, and concentration (“Who are you?”/”Where are you?”/”What day is it?”).
The doctor also will do a physical exam and focus on the nervous system by testing balance, coordination, nerve function, and reflexes. Sometimes a computed tomography (CAT scan or CT scan) or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) brain scan will be done to rule out internal bleeding or other problems from the injury.
Some kids who have head injuries from playing organized sports are examined by a coach or athletic trainer immediately after they’re injured. This “sideline testing” is becoming more common in schools and sports leagues. By watching a child’s behavior and doing a few simple tests, a trained person can see if the child needs immediate medical care. Often, these sideline results are compared with similar tests done at the start of the sports season (called “baseline concussion tests”) to check for changes in brain function. These tests also can help doctors make a diagnosis.
Because each concussion is unique, symptoms can differ in severity. For this reason, treatment depends on a child’s particular condition and situation.
If a concussion is not serious enough to require hospitalization, a doctor will give instructions on home care. This includes watching the child closely for the first 24 to 48 hours after the injury. It is not necessary to wake the child up while he or she is sleeping to check for symptoms.
If a child has a headache that gets worse quickly, becomes increasingly confused, or has other symptoms (such as continued vomiting), it may mean there is a more serious problem. Call the doctor if your child experiences any of these symptoms.
Otherwise, home care for a concussion may include:
- Physical rest. This means not doing things like sports and physical activities until the concussion is completely healed. While they still have symptoms, kids should do only the basic activities of day-to-day living. This reduces stress on the brain and decreases the chances of re-injuring the head in a fall or other accident. When all symptoms are gone, kids should return to physical activities slowly, working their way back to pre-concussion levels.
- Mental rest. This means avoiding any cognitive (thinking) activity that could make symptoms worse, such as using a computer, cellphone, or other device; doing schoolwork; reading; and watching TV or playing video games. If these “brain” activities do not make symptoms worse, kids can start them again gradually, but should stop immediately if symptoms return.
- Eating well and drinking plenty of non-caffeinated beverages.
Kids with concussions also should avoid bright lights and loud noises, which can make symptoms worse. While they have symptoms, teens should take time off from work and not drive, operate heavy machinery, or do any other activities that require quick decisions and reactions.
Healthy kids usually can return to their normal activities within a few weeks, but each situation is different. The doctor will monitor your child closely to make sure that recovery is going well, and might recommend acetaminophen, ibuprofen, or other aspirin-free medicines for headaches. Pain medicines can hide symptoms, though, so kids should not return to normal activities until they no longer need to take them.
Returning to Normal Activities
Be sure to get the OK from the doctor before your child returns to sports or other physical activities. Sometimes kids feel better even though their thinking, behavior, and/or balance have not yet returned to normal.
Even if your child pleads that he or she feels fine or a competitive coach or school official urges you to go against medical instructions, it’s essential to wait until the doctor has said it’s safe to return to normal activities. To protect kids and remove coaches from the decision-making process, almost every state has rules about when kids with concussions can start playing sports again.
It’s very important for anyone with a concussion to heal completely before doing anything that could lead to another concussion. Hurrying back to sports and other physical activities increases the risk of a condition called second-impact syndrome, which can happen as a result of a second head injury. Although very rare, second impact syndrome can cause lasting brain damage and even death.
All kids should wear properly fitting, appropriate headgear and safety equipment when playing contact sports or biking, rollerblading, skateboarding, snowboarding, or skiing. Nothing can prevent every concussion, but safety gear has been shown to reduce the occurrence of severe head trauma.
Childproofing your home will go a long way toward keeping an infant or toddler safe from concussions and other injuries. Babies reach, grasp, roll, sit, crawl, pull up, “cruise” along furniture, and walk. Toddlers may pull themselves up using table legs; they’ll use bureaus and dressers as jungle gyms; they’ll reach for whatever they can see. All of these activities can result in a head injury that leads to a concussion. Be sure your child has a safe place to play and explore, and never leave a baby or toddler unattended.
People are much more likely to sustain a concussion if they’ve had one before, so prevention is even more important following a head injury. Evidence shows that repeated concussions can result in lasting brain damage, even when the injuries happen months or years apart.
Concussions are serious injuries that can become even more serious if kids aren’t given the time and rest needed to heal them completely. Safety precautions can help prevent concussions, and following a doctor’s advice can minimize their effects if they do happen.
How to Make Your Own Sanitizer
Non-toxic Hand Sanitizer
3oz. filtered water
1 tsp. aloe vera gel
10 drops cinnamon essential oil
10 drops clove essential oil
10 drops rosemary essential oil
10 drops eucalyptus essential oil
20 drops lemon essential oil
Mix ingredients in a 4 ounce spray dispenser, and shake gently. Spray onto hands (3-5 spray) and massage the spray into hands for 5-10 seconds.
A simple refreshing sugar-free drink
Raspberry-Lime -Kiwi Cooler
6 kiwi, peeled and sliced
2 cups fresh raspberries
1 lime, sliced
4 sprigs fresh thyme
In pitcher, combine 2 qts. water, kiwi, raspberries, lime and thyme, stirring to lightly mash fruit. Chill at least 1 hour. Serve over ice.
Life is full of many experiences and every person is different on the number of experiences that we want to pull off that shelf and experience for yourself. The world we live in is full of an infinite number of wonderful events and unfortunately an equal number of life-threatening, mind numbing and soul searchingly bad events. We all get a little or a lot of both. Fill up your bucket, and make a list.
Getting a bucket of ice cold water dumped on my head was not even close to the top of my bucket list though I have to admit that it is an experience that I would not give back either. This week I accepted the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge from Starr/s husband, Matt, after he had drenched Starr with a surprise attack with a barrel filled with ice. Yes, Matt is still alive and he passed it on to me. The good thing about the even is that it is to be completed within 24 hours and then pass it on to someone else. This is good timing because there isn’t a lot of time to stew and fret over the necessary task. Now I will say that I could avoid the dumping entirely by giving to the ALS society, but wanting to experience life to the fullest, I did both which is what most people are doing. But then comes the life experience that I hope that I never experience and I certainly hope that you or anyone else never undergoes, and that is to have ALS. I have known personally three people that have been diagnosed with ALS, but have heard of numerous people that have succumbed to the disease and to know the road that you have to travel has no possible escape. Yet the people that I have known with the disease have taken on their fate with great dignity and resolve.
Tome Watson and George Brett have led the way in fundraising for ALS in this area but nothing has raised the awareness nationally like dumping ice cold water on your head. I hope that the money raised can help to at least start finding a cure or even a delay to the end results. That’s the one we would all like to put on our bucket list.
Donations are easily made by going to ALSA.org
I’ve recently come across two delicious recipes that are perfect for Summer. One is a slow cooker recipe for chicken phillies and the other is a raspberry black bean dip. Enjoy! :)
Slow Cooker Chicken Phillies
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 1 large sweet onion, sliced
- 2 green bell peppers, sliced
- 3 boneless,skinless chicken breasts, sliced
- 2 tablespoons Dale’s Steak Seasoning (found at HyVee)
- sliced Mozzarella cheese
- hoagie rolls
- Spray a 3 – 4 quart slow cooker with non-stick cooking spray and turn to LOW heat.
- Add butter, onions and green peppers.
- Toss chicken with steak seasoning, salt and pepper, then add to slow cooker. (I marinated the chicken in the sauce, salt, and pepper overnight)
- Cover and cook for 5 hours.
- Serve on hoagies with a slice of cheese melted on top.
Raspberry Chipotle Black Bean Dip
- 1 15-ounce can black beans, loosely rinsed and drained
- salt and black pepper
- 1 tsp cumin_
- 1/2 red or white onion, diced (~2/3 cup)
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1 2.5 ounce jar (5 Tbsp) raspberry chipotle sauce (Bronco Bob’s - found at World Market)
- 1 8-ounce package cream cheese
- 1/3 cup shredded jack cheese
- Cilantro for topping and chips or crackers for serving
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
- In a small saucepan, heat the beans along with a healthy pinch each salt, pepper, and 1 tsp cumin. Once warmed through, taste and adjust seasonings. Set aside.
- Add 2 Tbsp olive oil to a 10- or 12-inch cast iron skillet (or oven-safe skillet) over medium heat. Add onions and a healthy pinch of salt and stir. Cook until soft and fragrant stirring frequently – about 5 minutes.
- Add garlic and cook 2 more minutes. Then add to a mixing bowl with the cream cheese and stir.
- Removed from the stove top, add the cream cheese-onion mixture back to the cast iron skillet. Place it in the center and make a well (or just spread it in an even layer on the bottom for more even distribution).
- Add the black beans on top around the outside of the cream cheese, and pour the raspberry chipotle sauce in the center.
- Sprinkle the cheese evenly over the top (optional but recommended) and bake for 12-15 minutes or until warmed through and bubbly and the cheese is melted.
- Remove from oven and top with a bit of additional cheese and fresh cilantro (optional). Serve immediately.
- You can either swirl everything around first to combine flavors, or let people scoop into it with chips and get a little bite of each ingredient. Leftovers will keep covered in the fridge for several days. Just reheat in the microwave or the oven.
For step by step pictures of both recipes, click on the links below.
You may have read the following news clip or perhaps you saw a related television interview– Barbara Smith, known as B. Smith — who is called “the black Martha Stewart” — recently shared with CBS News that she has been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s.
Smith, 64, began her career as a model and was one of the first African Americans to grace the cover of Mademoiselle. In 1986, she opened her first restaurant in New York City, and two more followed. She went on to become a pioneer in the lifestyle area, an expert in food and home entertaining.
Around four years ago, Smith noticed that she was repeating herself and forgetting things. She shared her symptoms with her doctor before she told her husband and business partner of 22 years, Dan Gasby, CBS reports.
Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia, Parkinson’s and strokes do not discriminate when finding victims. And it can hit close to home at any time–my 88-year old uncle was caring for his wife of over 60 years who has cancer when he suffered a stroke last week.
The common thread with these situations and yours is that family members are impacted by diseases that result in cognitive decline. In the United States alone, some 15 million family members are involved in caring for 5 million loved ones with Alzheimer’s. It is said that one in three persons knows someone who has Alzheimer’s disease.
Certainly, B. Smith’s husband Dan Gasby can marshal an army of paid caregivers to assist him as his wife’s disease progresses, but down in Green Valley, Arizona it is my cousins who bear the load of caring for my aunt and uncle, as he moves from the hospital into rehab and hopefully back home. But having vast resources to draw on won’t minimize the impact on Mr. Gasby. Like every other family member affected by a loved one’s diagnosis of Alzheimer’s or dementia, his suffering is emotional as he watches his otherwise healthy wife lose her memory at a very young age.
On June 24, the anniversary of opening our care home in Baldwin City, I celebrated the residents our home has served these past 3 years, but what is foremost in my mind today is paying tribute to the family caregivers who never stop thinking about their loved ones’ plight. After adjusting to a loved one being placed in a care home, the respite the home’s employees provide may help to dull the family’s pain, but the family members never relinquish their roles as chief caregivers. Because let’s be real, no one can love a family member like his or her relatives can.
So today, let’s keep all the family caregivers we know in our thoughts and prayers, remembering them always as they suffer what we call “the long goodbye.”
Scott Schultz, President, ComfortCare Homes Baldwin