10 tips to make your holiday gift-giving safe for children

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‘Tis the season for gift giving for your little ones. Did you know that there are more than 250,000 toy-related injuries in the United States each year—mostly involving children under the age of 5?

If you are among the millions purchasing gifts for children for the holidays, it’s important to make sure that the gifts are both safe and appropriate for the children to whom they will be received.

We know that toys are meant to provide education and fun for children of any age, however, many people too often forget that they can also provide a great deal of danger. Depending on the toy, injuries can happen to the child’s eyes, mouth, throat, neck, ears, arms or legs.

Finding age-appropriate toys at times can be a challenge, especially if the child is asking for a gift that it not yet their part of their age group. But, all labels and instructions should always be followed.

When shopping for gifts this holiday season, please reference these toy safety tips to keep everyone safe:

  • Buy gifts only meant for their age group
  • Show the child how to safely use their toy
  • Never leave a child unattended with toys. Children tend to become curious, which may lead to an unexpected accident.
  • Always read all warnings and instructions on toys
  • Don’t be afraid to give family members recommendations for toys that you feel are acceptable for your child.
  • Do not gift toys with small parts to young children. Younger kids tend to put just about everything in their mouths, so small parts and cords leads to a greater risk for potential harm.
  • Avoid toys that are cheaply made, because often this leads to them breaking into small pieces.
  • Inspect all toys before giving them to a child
  • Keep toys that are intended for older children away from younger children.

With a little research, a little common sense and a lot of supervision, you can make sure that you keep the happy and healthy in your holidays.

Sources: L afcweb.com; babycenter.com; injuryinformation.com

Eight early symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease

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Research shows that Alzheimer’s is a complex neurological disease where brain cells die and causes memory and cognitive loss. The disease, which starts mild and then advances to worse, is known for being the most common form of dementia.

Unfortunately in the United States, more than five million people suffer from the disease and more than 10 million provide care to someone who is suffering.

We complied a list of common symptoms to look for if you believe that a loved one is developing Alzheimer’s:

  • Are they experiencing memory loss? Often, one of the most common early symptoms of dementia is forgetting recently learned information. Usually the person starts to forget more often and is unable to remember the information later.
  • Do they have problems with performing familiar tasks? This usually begins to happen with everyday tasks, such as forgetting how to make a telephone call, how to cook a meal, etc.
  • Are they having difficulty with language? One who is developing Alzheimer’s will begin to forget simple words or substitute words.
  • Have you noticed them having disorientation to time and place? You will begin to notice big changes, such as them getting lost in their own neighborhood or forgetting where they are and then not knowing how to get home. You may also find them just wandering.
  • Has their judgment decreased? It’s very important to look for this. Too many times someone who is developing Alzheimer’s will lose their best judgment and end up giving large sums of money away. It is also common for them to begin dressing inappropriately.
  • Have they began to misplace items? The person may begin to place objects in unusual places, such as their phone in the refrigerator or placing their laundry in the trash.
  • Do you notice a sudden change in mood behaviors or personality? Someone who is developing Alzheimer’s may begin to experience very noticeable mood swings that are caused by no apparent reason.
  • Is there a loss of initiative? They may begin to lose interest in their favorite activities or begin to sleep more than usual. It’s important to look for signs of them beginning to become very passive.

If you feel that a loved one is developing these symptoms, please call Dr. Schumacher at (614) 299-9909 to set up an appointment to discuss treatment options.

For a additional resource read the 36 hour day book by Nancy Mace.

#mdcare4you,#grandviewdoc,#alzheimers, #OSUdoc

 

 

Tips to deal with bullying

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Did you know? One out of every four students reports being bullied during the school year.

Research shows that children who are bullied are more likely feel like they are alone, different, powerless and unpopular.

In 2006, PACER National Bullying Prevention Center declared October as National Bullying Prevention Month. The campaign works to unite communities nationwide to raise awareness of bullying prevention. Throughout the last 10 years, the campaign has involved hundreds of schools and organizations that have signed on as partners. Some of the partners are Disney, CNN, Facebook, Instagram, TLC and Yahoo!.

The campaign helps both parents and kids understand that bullying is never acceptable. Research shows that children who bully do it because they think the bullying will help them be popular, they want to copy their friends or they think they are better than the child they are bullying.

Bullying is no longer just being mean to another child. Today bullying can include:

  • Cyberbullying
  • Teasing
  • Spreading rumors
  • Leaving kids out on purpose
  • Physically attacking
  • Yelling at the child
  • Talking about hurting the child

If you suspect that your child is being bullied, some common signs to look for include:

  • Experiencing low self-esteem
  • Having poor grades
  • Isolating themselves so they have only a few friends
  • Developing a negative view of school and education
  • Experiencing physical symptoms, such as feeling sick, headaches, tiredness, etc.
  • Experiencing mental health issues, such as anxiety, depression and suicidal thoughts

Most kids who are bullied believe the bully is more powerful than they are. Children who are bullied can also have problems later in life, which can include alcohol and drug abuse, dropping out of school and getting into fights.

If you or someone you know is being bullied, call Dr. Schumacher at (614) 299-9909 to discuss options.

 

Sources: Stompoutbullying.org and Pacer.org

How vaccinations save millions of lives

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Research shows that vaccines have been one of the most effective preventive health interventions ever created. For more than two centuries, humans have been benefitting from immunizations.

We wanted to highlight a few of childhood diseases that are preventable through immunizations. It is recommended for children to be vaccinated for these up through the age of six:

  • Diphtheria
  • Hepatitis A
  • Hepatitis B
  • Meningococcal
  • Varicella
  • Rubella
  • Mumps
  • Measles
  • Influenza
  • Polio
  • Pneumococcal
  • Haemophilus influenzae type b
  • Pertussis
  • Tetanus

It is important for children to receive immunizations. This helps their bodies recognize germs as antigens (“foreign invaders”), which signals the body to produce antibodies to fight them. The immune system eventually builds up immunity, meaning if they get infected again, even as an adult, the body remembers the antigen and is able to produce antibodies faster.

Vaccinations can be used to help children build immunity without them getting ill first. Vaccines contain dead or modified viruses that connect cause with the disease but the body recognizes them as the disease. This allows the body to respond quickly and prevent any attacks by that disease.

In addition to children, it is also necessary for all adults to be up-to-date with vaccinations—to ensure that they stay protected from illnesses, such as pneumonia and the flu. It is always safer to prevent illnesses and diseases than to treat it after it occurs. It also helps to protect others who immune memory may have faded from catching the disease.

If you or someone you know needs an appointment for vaccines, or for all back-to-school/sports physicals, please contact Dr. Schumacher by contacting (614) 299-9909.

Six signs of happy feet

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Is foot pain preventing you from enjoying sports and the great outdoors? If you answered yes to that question then your feet are more than likely trying to tell you something. Often times we forget about our feet and we end up missing crucial warning signs that our bodies are trying to communicate with us.

We have complied a list for you to use to check if your feet are happy and healthy:

  • Not experiencing numbness: Do you ever feel like you can’t feel your feet or that your feet have heavy pin and needles sensation? Often times that is your body’s way of giving you information from your brain and spinal cord to the rest of your body. This may be a sign of peripheral neuropathy, which can have many causes, but two main causes are diabetes and alcohol abuse. It’s always best to see a physician to pinpoint the cause.
  • Healthy toenails: What’s the shape of your toenails? If they look sunken in with spoon-shaped indentations, it could be a warning sign for anemia, also known as iron deficiency. A physical exam will be necessary to properly diagnose and treat the symptoms.
  • No extreme foot cramping: If you are experiencing foot cramping quite often, it could mean that your diet isn’t getting enough calcium, magnesium or potassium. Be sure to always pay attention to your diet to ensure that you are getting the proper amount of nutrients.
  • Healthy skin on the feet: Do you have dry, flaky skin on your feet? You don’t have to be an athlete to get Athlete’s Foot, which is a fungal infection that starts with dry and itchy skin. It can be treated with frequent bathing of the feet, drying them thoroughly and using foot powder in shoes and socks. But, best to seek a professional if the symptoms worsen or lasts longer than two weeks.
  • Moderate pain: Of course everyone has those days that are hard on the feet. But if you are constantly experiencing foot pain, it could be a sign of a decrease in optimum bone density or a malnutrition, anorexia or a an issue with absorbing calcium. It’s best to see a doctor if the pain exists longer than two or three days.
  • No heel pain: If you are experiencing heel pain, it may be a sign of plantar fasciiitis, which is an inflammation that is an abnormal strain in the tissue beyond its normal extension. The pain could start in the morning and progress as the day wears on. Seek treatment if the pain persists more than a few weeks.

Taking care of your feet is just as important as taking care of your skin, heart and lungs. You can give your feet a treat by pampering yourself with regular pedicures or by purchasing a new pair of comfortable shoes.

If you are noticing any changes in your feet, know that it is more than likely signaling that there is a greater health issue in your body. If you or someone you know is experiencing these problems, contact Dr. Schumacher, M.D., at (614) 299-9909 to set up an appointment.

How to know when a mole becomes cancerous

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Skin cancers can appear suddenly, and in many shapes and sizes. Fortunately, it can almost always be cured when found early and properly treated.
Research shows that skin cancer is the most common type of cancer in the United States. It is estimated that more than one million Americans develop skin cancer annually, and more than 5.4 million cases of nonmelanoma are treated. Also each year, in the United States, there are more new cases of skin cancer than there are combined cases of breast, prostate, lung and colon cancers. That’s why May is designated to raise awareness about skin cancer, and to help people take action to prevent and detect it.

There are three types of skin cancer, which includes:
1. Basal Cell Carcinoma: BCC is the most common form of skin cancer. It is rarely fatal, but if left untreated, can become highly disfiguring.

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Source: WebMD

  1. Squamous Cell Carcinoma: This cancer is the second most common form of skin cancer.
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Source: WebMD

  1. Malignant Melanoma: This cancer is the most serious skin cancer. It is estimated that one person dies every 52 minutes from this condition.Screen Shot 2016-05-25 at 6.35.12 PM

Source: WebMD

No one is exempt from skin cancer, and can affect everyone’s skin and eyes. According to the American Cancer Society, some common factors that increase your chances of developing the condition include:

  • Having a family history of skin cancer
  • Had skin cancer in the past
  • Have several moles, irregular moles or large moles
  • Have freckles and burn before tanning
  • Have fair skin, blue or green eyes or blond, red or light brown hair
  • Live or vacation at high altitudes
  • Live or vacation in tropical or subtropical climates
  • Work indoors all week and then get intense sun exposure on weekends
  • Spend a lot of time outdoors
  • Have certain autoimmune diseases, such as systemic lupus erythematosus.
  • Have certain inherited conditions that increase your risk of skin cancer, such as xeroderma pigmentosum or nevoid basal cell carcinoma syndrome.
  • Have a medical condition that weakens your immune system, such as HIV, the virus that causes AIDS
  • Have had an organ transplant
  • Take medications that lower or suppress your immune system
  • Take medicines that make your skin more sensitive to sunlight

Some methods of protecting yourself from harmful UV rays include using an effective sunscreen, seeking shade when possible, wearing clothing that provides protection, wearing hats with at least a 2- to 3-inch brim, wearing sunglasses and avoiding tanning beds and sun lamps.

If you or someone you know suspects skin cancer, please call Dr. Schumacher at (614) 299-9909 to set up an appointment. If you have a form of skin cancer, finding it early is the best way to ensure it can be effectively treated.

Alcohol abuse: the not-so silent killer

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Research shows that more than 17 million people in the United States are dependent on alcohol.

Alcoholism, also known as alcohol dependence or alcohol use disorder, is the most severe form of alcohol abuse. It is a chronic disease that affects family and professional responsibilities, as well as the individual’s physical and mental health. People who are dependent on alcohol will more than likely continue to drink, despite facing family, health or legal obstacles because they need it to get through the day. Alcoholics also have a high tolerance and suffer from withdrawal, which includes sweating, insomnia, nausea, depression, headaches and irritability, to name a few.

No age is exempt from alcohol addiction, however, abuse is highest with adults ages 18 to 29 and lowest among adults ages 65 and older. Depending on the user’s tolerance, some common effects of drinking include risk of injuries, increase in violence, liver disease, developing some types of cancer, slower reaction times, problems with hearing and seeing and a lower tolerance of alcohol.

The difference between alcoholism and alcohol abuse is very small; however, if someone is abusing alcohol but not yet dependent on it, they may experience some tolerance and some withdrawal but nothing as severe as an alcoholic.

Abuse can be noticed when a person is seen with a pattern of drinking that results in repeated disruption of responsibilities to work, school or home responsibilities. Other warning signs include:

  • Drinking in situations that are physically dangerous, such as while operating a vehicle or combining alcohol with prescription medication
  • Having legal issues, such as being arrested for driving under the influence
  • Reaching for alcohol as a stress reliever
  • Continuing drinking despite having relationship problems that are caused or made worse by drunkenness.
  • No longer participating hobbies or activities that they were once involved in.
  • Lost control over drinking and can’t limit the amount they are drinking.

Since 1987, the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence, Inc., has designated April as Alcohol Awareness Month. This month focuses on increasing public awareness, reducing stigma and encouraging local communities to address alcoholism and alcohol-related problems.

We can all do our part to prevent abuse. A few ideas you can utilize this month to raise awareness are:

  • If you suspect that someone is already an abuser, don’t ignore the problem. Help them seek treatment. Recovery will be an ongoing process, which will require new coping skills, treatment, time and patience. All problems that led to the abuse in the first place will have to be faced.
  • Share tips with parents to help them talk with their kids about alcohol usage. The earlier they talk to their children, the less likely they are to drink underage. Plus, the longer children wait to start drinking, the less likely they are to develop.
  • Talk with anyone you know who may be suffering from the disease. Challenge them to keep track of their drinking by setting limits.
  • Encourage alternative activities to teens/young adults that they can do in place of drinking.

If you think that you or someone you know is suffering from alcohol addiction, please call Dr. Schumacher, M.D., at (614) 299-9909 to set up an appointment.