Candy! Candy! Candy! Kids love their candy on Halloween. With this fun holiday for children and adults alike, there are ample ways to keep them healthy and safe, while providing a chance to give out healthy snacks, get physical activity, and focus on safety. Below are a few tips to help you keep your trick-or-treaters or Halloween party guests safe while enjoying Halloween fun:
- Remind drivers to watch out for trick-or-treaters and to drive safely.
- Provide healthier treats for trick-or-treaters such as low-calorie treats and drinks. For party guests, offer a variety of fruits, vegetables, and cheeses.
- Use party games and trick-or-treat time as an opportunity for kids to get their daily dose of 60 minutes of physical activity.
- Be sure walking areas and stairs are well-lit and free of obstacles that could result in falls.
- Keep candle-lit jack o'lanterns and luminaries away from doorsteps, walkways, landings, and curtains. Place them on sturdy tables, keep them out of the reach of pets and small children, and never leave them unattended.
Each year, nearly 5 million people are treated for skin cancer in the United States and the number of diagnosed cases continue to rise. Treatment has increased by nearly 77% over the past three decades and more people are becoming aware of the impact of skin cancer. Basal and squamous cell skin cancers are types of skin cancers that start in the basal cells or squamous cells of the skin, which is how they get their names. These cells are found in the outer layer of the skin. Most basal and squamous cell cancers develop on sun-exposed areas of the skin, like the face, ears, neck, lips, and the backs of the hands. Basal cell cancers grow slowly and rarely spread to other parts of the body. Squamous cell cancers are more likely to grow into deeper layers of skin and to spread, although this is still not common. Both basal cell and squamous cell skin cancers can be cured if found and treated early – when they are small and have not spread. But either type can cause problems if it is left untreated. Melanoma, the form of cancer we hear about most in the news, is a cancer that begins in the melanocytes – the cells that make the brown skin pigment known as melanin, which gives the skin its color. Melanin helps protect the deeper layers of the skin from the harmful effects of the sun. Melanoma can start on nearly any part of the skin, even in places that are not normally exposed to the sun, such as the genital or anal areas. It can also start in other parts of the body, such as in the eyes or mouth. Melanoma is almost always curable when it’s found in its very early stages. Although melanoma accounts for only a small percentage of skin cancers, it’s much more likely to grow and spread to other parts of the body, where it can be hard to treat. Because of this, melanoma causes most skin cancer deaths, accounting for nearly 10,000 of the more than 13,000 skin cancer deaths each year. Skin cancer can be found early, and both people and their doctors play important roles in finding skin cancer. If you have any concerns about your skin and the possibility of an abnormality on your skin, contact your doctor right away.
Studies have found, many living with psoriasis, an autoimmune disease that causes raised, red, scaly patches to appear on the skin, are twice as likely to become depressed as the rest of the population. Physicians believe the biological changes that cause psoriasis may also cause depression, and the visible symptoms associated are often additional triggers for depression as well. Depression can have a significant impact on quality of life. It's important to look out for symptoms of depression and seek treatment if you’re dealing with psoriasis. If you have any of the following symptoms, discuss them with your doctor:
- Problems sleeping
- Feeling like you cannot get out of bed
- Low or loss of energy
- Lack of interest in things you used to enjoy
- Problems focusing
Childhood obesity has both immediate and long-term effects on a child’s health and overall well-being. The percentage of overweight children is growing at an alarming rate. Now, one in three kids are considered overweight or obese in the United States. Kids are spending much more time inside and less time exercising and playing outside. The Television, computer and video-game console has had a large impact on childhood obesity on today’s families. Additionally, time constraints on today’s busy families make it harder to prepare nutritious home-cooked meals. Adapting the way your family eats and exercises can easily prevent your kids from becoming overweight. Helping kids live healthier lifestyles begins with the parents leading by example. Obesity increases the risk for serious health conditions such as type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure and high cholesterol. Obese children may also be prone to physiological effects such as low self-esteem based on peer rejection and bullying. Is your child at risk of being overweight and obesity? Talk to your doctor about a healthy plan to keep the entire family on track to a healthy lifestyle.
Pink! The international color representing breast cancer awareness, and this month, October, is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. This monthly awareness push is an annual campaign to increase awareness of the disease. While most people are aware of breast cancer, many forget to take the steps to have a plan to detect the disease in its early stages and encourage others to do the same. We have made a lot of progress but still have a long way to go. With early detection, and if found is in the localized stage, the 5-year relative survival rate is 100%. Screening exams, or tests and exams used to find the disease, find breast cancers before they start to cause symptoms (like a lump that can be felt). Early detection lets breast cancer get diagnosed earlier than otherwise might have occurred. When breast cancers are found because the patient is already having symptoms, tend to be larger and often spread beyond the breast. If found during screening exams, breast cancers are most often confined to the breast. When it’s found most often predict the prognosis for patient health outlook for a woman or man with the disease. It’s important to talk to your doctor about breast cancer and what you can do to keep up to date on screenings and early detection.