Health & Disease Prevention

Vaccine Safety

Vaccine Safety

Vaccines are safe and effective. Because vaccines are given to millions of healthy people — including children — to prevent serious diseases, they’re held to very high safety standards.

In this section, you’ll learn more about vaccine safety — and get answers to common questions about vaccine side effects.

 

How are vaccines tested for safety?

 

Every licensed and recommended vaccine goes through years of safety testing including:

  • Testing and evaluation of the vaccine before it’s licensed by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and recommended for use by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
  • Monitoring the vaccine’s safety after it is recommended for infants, children, or adults

 

Vaccines are tested before they’re recommended for use

 

Before a vaccine is ever recommended for use, it’s tested in labs. This process can take several years. FDA uses the information from these tests to decide whether to test the vaccine with people.

During a clinical trial, a vaccine is tested on people who volunteer to get vaccinated. Clinical trials start with 20 to 100 volunteers, but eventually include thousands of volunteers. These tests take several years and answer important questions like:

  • Is the vaccine safe?
  • What dose (amount) works best?
  • How does the immune system react to it?

Throughout the process, FDA works closely with the company producing the vaccine to evaluate the vaccine’s safety and effectiveness. All safety concerns must be addressed before FDA licenses a vaccine.

 

Every batch of vaccines is tested for quality and safety

 

Once a vaccine is approved, it continues to be tested. The company that makes the vaccine tests batches to make sure the vaccine is:

  • Potent (It works like it’s supposed to)
  • Pure (Certain ingredients used during production have been removed)
  • Sterile (It doesn’t have any outside germs)

FDA reviews the results of these tests and inspects the factories where the vaccine is made. This helps make sure the vaccines meet standards for both quality and safety.

 

Vaccines are monitored after they’re recommended to the public

 

Once a vaccine is licensed and recommended for use, FDA, CDC, and other federal agencies continue to monitor its safety.

Check out this infographic for details on how vaccines are developed, approved, and monitored.

 

There are many different parts of the national vaccine monitoring system

 

The United States has one of the most advanced systems in the world for tracking vaccine safety. Each of the systems below supplies a different type of data for researchers to analyze. Together, they help provide a full picture of vaccine safety.

  • Vaccine Adverse Events Reporting System (VAERS): VAERS is an early warning system managed by CDC and FDA that is designed to find possible vaccine safety issues. Patients, health care professionals, vaccine companies, and others can use VAERS to report side effects that happen after a patient received a vaccine. Some side effects might be related to vaccination while others might be a coincidence (happen by chance). VAERS helps track unusual or unexpected patterns of reporting that could mean there’s a possible vaccine safety issue that needs further evaluation.
  • The Vaccine Safety Datalink (VSD): VSD is a collaboration between CDC and several health care organizations across the nation. VSD uses databases of medical records to track vaccine safety and do research in large populations. By using medical records instead of self-reports, VSD can quickly study and compare data to find out if reported side effects are linked to a vaccine.
  • Post-licensure Rapid Immunization Safety Monitoring System (PRISM)PRISM is part of the Sentinel Initiative, which is FDA’s national system for monitoring medical products after they’re licensed for use. PRISM focuses on vaccine safety — it uses a database of health insurance claims to identify and evaluate possible safety issues for licensed vaccines.
  • Clinical Immunization Safety Assessment Project (CISA): CISA is a collaboration between CDC and a national network of vaccine safety experts from medical research centers. CISA does clinical vaccine safety research and — at the request of providers — evaluates complex cases of possible vaccine side effects in specific patients.
  • Additional research and testing: The Department of Defense (DoD) and U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) have systems to monitor vaccine safety and do vaccine safety research. The National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the Office of Infectious Disease and HIV/AIDS Policy (OIDP) also support ongoing research on vaccines and vaccine safety.

Source https://www.vaccines.gov/basics/safety


Managing Itch

The itch of psoriasis may have a bigger impact on quality of life than the visible aspect of the disease.

Itch is present in 70 to 90 percent of psoriasis patients, yet it is only in the last decade that itch has been recognized as a common symptom of the disease, says Gil Yosipovitch, M.D., chairman of the Department of Dermatology and director of the Center for Itch at Temple University School of Medicine in Philadelphia.

Psoriatic itch is different than that of other skin disorders. Some people have described it as a burning sensation. Others compare it to the feeling of being bitten by fire ants. Doctors were once taught that psoriatic patients couldn’t have both itch and pain, but scientists now know that itch and pain signals travel along different pathways in the spinal cord, Yosipovitch says.

Treating psoriasis also can profoundly improve these symptoms and your ability to cope with psoriasis on a day-to-day basis.

Read on for tips on handling the itch of psoriasis.

  • Stress and itch
  • Home remedies
  • Prescription treatments

Stress and itch

Stress is a common trigger for a psoriasis flare. Stress also can make itch worse. This makes managing stress a particularly important skill for people with psoriasis. Consider the following ways some people with psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis are effectively reducing stress in their lives.

  • Jon-Kabat Zinn, M.D., is considered a leader in the mindfulness meditation movement. He describes mindfulness as “paying attention in a particular way on purpose, in the present moment and nonjudgmentally.” Meditation has been described as a good way to clear the mind, slow racing thoughts and relieve anxiety. You can give it try yourself: For 15 minutes, sit comfortably on the floor, with eyes closed or barely open, and focus on your breathing.
  • Exercise increases production of endorphins, chemicals that improve mood and energy. Exercise also has been shown to improve sleep and decrease anxiety. A large U.S. study showed that women who regularly participate in vigorous exercise are less likely to get psoriasis than less-active women. If you haven’t been active for a while, talk to your health care provider before starting any exercise program.
  • Get outside help.Consider taking a course in stress management or finding a therapist in your area who specializes in stress management. Connecting with others who know what you are going through can help, too. Connect with someone who’s been through what you’re going through with Psoriasis One to One. You can also connect with people living with psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis on TalkPsoriasis.org.

Home remedies

The following are ways people with psoriasis help relieve itch:

  • Keep skin moisturized.This is the first step in controlling itch because it reduces redness and itching and helps the skin heal. Dermatologists recommend heavy creams and ointments to lock water into the skin. Cooking oils and even shortening can be inexpensive substitutes for commercial moisturizers.
  • Remove scale and flaking.Apply a scale-softening (keratolytic) product to reduce excess skin and prevent psoriasis plaques from cracking and flaking. Over-the-counter lotions that contain ingredients like salicylic acid, lactic acid, urea or phenol can help remove scale. Removing scale can reduce itch and make itch-relieving lotions and ointments more effective.
  • Cold showers and cold packs also can offer relief.Avoid hot baths and try to limit showers to 10 minutes or less. Hot water can make skin irritation and dryness worse. Apply lotion after washing to lock in moisture. Store lotions in the refrigerator. The feeling of a cool lotion on itchy skin can help.
  • Over-the-counter treatments can help.There are several ingredients that have been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for treating itch. Some of these include calamine, hydrocortisone (a weak steroid), camphor, diphenhydramine hydrochloride (HCl), benzocaine and menthol. Be aware that these ingredients may increase irritation and dryness.

Prescription treatments

Simply treating your psoriasis can help reduce itch. If your psoriasis is moderate or severe, or your itch is particularly bothersome, consider asking your doctor to put you on a more aggressive treatment.

Aspirin and noradrenergic and specific serotonergic (NaSSA) antidepressants also can relieve itch, Yosipovitch says. Gabapentin, a drug more commonly used to treat neurological pain, can help, too.

There also are prescription treatments that specifically help with itch, such as:

  • Antihistamines
  • Phototherapy
  • Steroids
  • Topical treatments that contain capsaicin
  • Topical anesthetics like Pramoxine

Topical anesthetics like Pramoxine

Source https://www.psoriasis.org/life-with-psoriasis/managing-itch


Screen Use for Kids

There are many reasons for parents to be thoughtful about how much screen time they allow their children. Amount of screen use per day has been associated with developmental outcomes, obesity, poor sleep quality and eye development. Research from Canada has also found that preschoolers who had more than two hours of screen time per day had a nearly-8-fold increase in ADHD.

Expert organizations have created guidance for parents to help understand the facts uncovered in scientific research. The World Health Organization’s 2019 guidelines suggest no screen time at all for children before age 1, and very limited screen time for children for several years after that.

The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends no digital media use (except video-chatting) in children younger than 18 to 24 months and focusing on educational media when children do start using screens.

Effects of Screen Use on Children’s Eyes

The American Academy of Ophthalmology does not have specific recommendations for amount of screen time for children. But parents should be aware of the possible effects of screen use on children’s eyes, as well as the broader health concerns raised by other groups like the WHO.

Myopia (Nearsightedness) and Close Work and Reading

The number of people developing nearsightedness in the United States has nearly doubled since 1971. In Asia, up to 90 percent of teenagers and adults are nearsighted, a dramatic increase over recent generations.

A 2019 study published in Ophthalmology—the journal of the American Academy of Ophthalmology—offers more evidence that at least part of the worldwide increase in nearsightedness has to do with near work activities. It’s not just screens affecting eye development, it’s also traditional books and the amount of time spent indoors overall. The study also found that spending time outdoors—especially in early childhood—can slow the progression of nearsightedness.

Digital Eye Strain

Digital eye strain isn’t a single eye condition, like glaucoma or pink eye. It’s a name for the kinds of symptoms that people experience when they spend too long looking at a screen. These symptoms can include dry eyes, itchy eyes, blurry vision and headaches. These symptoms are temporary, and no permanent damage is being done to the eyes.

The easiest way to avoid digital eye strain (or eye strain from any extended near-focus task like reading or sewing) is to make sure to blink often and to look up from your screen or close-up work every 20 minutes and focus at least 20 feet away for 20 seconds. This strategy of frequent re-focusing is called the 20-20-20 rule, and lets the eyes relax and reset.

Sleep Disruption from Screen Use

While some of the dangers of blue light may have been overhyped in recent years, screen use too close to bed time can harm sleep quality. And sleep is important enough to childhood development that the World Health Organization made sleep one of the focuses of their latest recommendations.

Eye Comfort and Safety Tips for Children and Screens

The best way to deal with possible effects of screens on children’s eyes and vision is to help them set good habits for use. These same tips are good practices for adults and anyone suffering from chronic dry eyes or eye strain.

  • Follow the 20-20-20 rule: every 20 minutes, look at least 20 feet away for 20 seconds.
  • Set a timer to remind the child how often to look into the distance.
  • Alternate reading an e-book with a real book and encourage kids to look up and out the window every other chapter.
  • After completing a level in a video game, look out the window for 20 seconds.
  • Pre-mark books with a paperclip every few chapters to remind your child to look up. On an e-book, use the “bookmark” function for the same effect.
  • Avoid using screens outside or in brightly lit areas, where the glare on the screen can create strain.
  • Adjust the brightness and contrast of the screen so that it feels comfortable.
  • Use good posture when using a screen. Poor posture can contribute to muscle tightness and headaches associated with eye strain.
  • Encourage your child to hold digital media farther away: 18 to 24 inches is ideal.
  • Remind them to blink when watching a screen.

Source https://www.aao.org/eye-health/tips-prevention/screen-use-kids


Four Hidden Signs of Vision Problems in Kids

As summer winds down, families of school-aged children scramble to get backpacks, clothes and other supplies ready for the new school year. But one of the most important yet often overlooked necessities is healthy vision.

As children grow and change from year to year, so do their eyes and vision. School demands intense visual involvement. It doesn’t matter if children are in the classroom or learning from home. Learning can involve reading, writing, computer and chalkboard/smartboard work. Even physical education and sports need strong vision. If their eyes aren’t up to the task, a child may feel tired and have trouble concentrating and learning.

Sometimes parents can tell if their child has a vision problem. Their child may squint or hold reading material very close to their face. They may also complain about things appearing blurry. There are some less obvious signs of vision problems as well.

Here are four subtle signs that could point to vision problems in kids.

1. Having a Short Attention Span

Your child might seem to quickly lose interest in games, projects or other lengthy activities.

2. Losing Their Place When Reading

As your child reads (aloud or silently), they may have difficulty seeing to keep track of where they are on the page.

3. Avoiding Reading and Other Close Activities

Your child may avoid reading, drawing, playing games or doing other projects that need up-close focus. Children can be subtle about it and not tell you about the trouble they are having.


4. Turning Their Head to the Side

A child may turn their head to the side when looking at something in front of them. This may be a sign of a refractive error, including astigmatism. Turning their head helps the child see better.

Eye Screenings Are Crucial

Success in school is closely tied to eye health, so kids need regular eye screenings. An ophthalmologist or another trained professional can find and treat vision problems early. The earlier the treatment the better off your child will be—in and out of school. If your child is still having difficulty after their vision problems are addressed, they might have a learning disability. Vision problems do not cause learning disabilities. They are two separate issues. If you have any questions or concerns about your child’s vision, be sure to ask your child’s doctor.

Source https://www.aao.org/eye-health/tips-prevention/four-hidden-signs-of-vision-problems-in-kids


Gastroparesis Prevention & Management Tips

There are lots of things that affect health and illness. Some you cannot control, but some you can.

Beyond making healthy lifestyle choices, having gastroparesis will likely push you to always be looking for what does and does not help, hurt, and work best for you. It’s not always easy but sorting this out can help you improve your health-related quality of life.

Here are some things to keep in mind when dealing with gastroparesis. Taking some preventative steps can help you ease symptoms, lessen the unwanted effects on your daily life, and enhance your well-being.

Be Aware of Causes and Complications
Not only recognizing the symptoms, but also knowing the cause, and complications that can arise from gastroparesis, can help prevent delays in obtaining appropriate treatment.

Although most commonly the cause is unknown (idiopathic), in about 1 in 4 people with gastroparesis it occurs as a complication of long-standing diabetes.

Gastroparesis can also arise:

  • As a problem after some surgical procedures (particularly esophageal or upper abdominal surgeries)
  • After use of certain medications, such as narcotic pain killers, anticholinergic/antispasmodic agents, calcium channel blockers, some antidepressants, and some diabetes medications
  • In association with illnesses that affect the whole body, the nervous system, or connective tissue, such as multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s disease, cerebral palsy, systemic lupus, and scleroderma

Gastroparesis can lead to:

  • Severe dehydration due to persistent vomiting
  • Difficulty managing blood glucose (blood sugar) levels in individuals with gastroparesis associated with diabetes
  • The formation of clumps of undigested food (bezoars), which can cause nausea, vomiting, or obstruction
  • Malnutrition due to poor absorption of nutrients or a low calorie intake
  • Adverse events caused by drug interactions (treatments often may involve taking different classes of drugs to treat several symptoms, such as to reduce nausea, reduce pain, and lower blood glucose levels)

Prevention and Management Tips

  • Work with a registered dietician (RD) or nutrition support specialist (nurse or doctor) to design a dietary plan to meet your individual needs; understand how to use and maintain dietary and nutritional therapies.
  • Eat frequent, small meals that are low in fat and fiber. Fat, fiber, and large meals can delay stomach emptying and worsen symptoms.
  • Keep hydrated and as nutritionally fit as possible.
  • If you have diabetes, maintain good glucose control. Irregular stomach emptying can negatively affect blood sugar levels. Keeping your blood sugar under control may help stomach emptying.
  • Before having surgery, ask your doctor, surgeon, or health care team about risks involved and weigh these against the benefits. Ask about alternatives.
  • Let your doctor and pharmacist know about all medications you are taking – prescription and over-the-counter, as well as any supplements.
  • Be aware of possible drug interactions and discuss alternatives with your doctor.
  • Understand the possible side effects of your treatments, and know what to do if side effects occur.
  • Avoid or reduce alcohol and smoking tobacco. These can slow gastric emptying.
  • Engage in regular physical activity as you are able.

Seek appropriate care and take an active role in your health. Working along with your doctor or health care team will help control, reduce, or prevent symptoms and complications.

Source https://aboutgastroparesis.org/living-with-gastroparesis/prevention-management-tips.html


UV Radiation Safety

Taking steps to protect yourself from the sun is a year-round responsibility. Protect yourself and others from the sun with shade, a shirt, or sunblock (SPF 15+) all year long.

Ultraviolet (UV) radiation is a form of non-ionizing radiation that is emitted by the sun and artificial sources, such as tanning beds. While it has some benefits for people, including the creation of Vitamin D, it also can cause health risks.

  • Our natural source of UV radiation:
    • The sun
  • Some artificial sources of UV radiation include:
    • Tanning beds
    • Mercury vapor lighting (often found in stadiums and school gyms)
    • Some halogen, fluorescent, and incandescent lights
    • Some types of lasers

What are the different types of UV radiation rays?

UV radiation is classified into three primary types: ultraviolet A (UVA), ultraviolet B (UVB), and ultraviolet C (UVC). These groups are based on the measure of their wavelength, which is measured in nanometers (nm= 0.000000001 meters or 1×10-9 meters).

 

Wave TypeUVAUVBUVC
Wavelength315- 399 nm280-314 nm100-279 nm
Absorption LevelNot absorbed by the ozone layerMostly absorbed by the ozone layer, but some does reach the Earth’s surfaceCompletely absorbed by the ozone layer and atmosphere

 

All of the UVC and most of the UVB radiation is absorbed by the earth’s ozone layer, so nearly all of the ultraviolet radiation received on Earth is UVA. UVA and UVB radiation can both affect health. Even though UVA radiation is weaker than UVB, it penetrates deeper into the skin and is more constant throughout the year. Since UVC radiation is absorbed by the earth’s ozone layer, it does not pose as much of a risk.

Benefits

Beneficial effects of UV radiation include the production of vitamin D, a vitamin essential to human health. Vitamin D helps the body absorb calcium and phosphorus from food and assists bone development. The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends 5 to 15 minutes of sun exposure 2 to 3 times a week.

Risks

  • Sunburn is a sign of short-term overexposure, while premature aging and skin cancer are side effects of prolonged UV exposure.
  • Some oral and topical medicines, such as antibiotics, birth control pills, and benzoyl peroxide products, as well as some cosmetics, may increase skin and eye sensitivity to UV in all skin types.
  • UV exposure increases the risk of potentially blinding eye diseases, if eye protection is not used.
  • Overexposure to UV radiation can lead to serious health issues, including cancer. Skin cancer is the most common cancer in the United States. The two most common types of skin cancer are basal cell cancer and squamous cell cancer. Typically, they form on the head, face, neck, hands, and arms because these body parts are the most exposed to UV radiation. Most cases of melanoma, the deadliest kind of skin cancer, are caused by exposure to UV radiation.

Anyone can get skin cancer, but is more common in people who:

  • Spend a lot of time in the sun or have been sunburned.
  • Have light-color skin, hair, and eyes.
  • Have a family member with skin cancer.
  • Are over age 50.

To protect yourself from UV radiation:

  • Stay in the shade, especially during midday hours.
  • Wear clothes that cover your arms and legs.
  • Consider options to protect your children.
  • Wear a wide brim hat to shade your face, head, ears, and neck.
  • Wear wraparound sunglasses that block both UVA and UVB rays.
  • Use sunscreen with sun protection factor (SPF) 15 or higher, for both UVA and UVB protection.
  • Avoid indoor tanning. Indoor tanning is particularly dangerous for younger users; people who begin indoor tanning during adolescence or early adulthood have a higher risk of developing melanoma.

Source h https://www.cdc.gov/nceh/features/uv-radiation-safety/index.html


Protect Yourself, Family and Pets from Excessive Ultraviolet (UV) Radiation

UV Safety: Stay Safe in the Sun

  • Do Not Burn or Tan: Avoid intentional tanning. It may contribute to skin cancer and premature aging of skin
  • Seek Shade: Get under cover when the sun’s rays are the strongest between 10 am and 4 pm
  • Wear Protective Clothing: Wear long-sleeved shirts and pants and a wide-brimmed hat as well as UV-blocking sunglasses
  • Generously Apply Sunscreen: Use a Broad Spectrum sunscreen with a Sun Protection Factor (SPF) of 30 or higher for protection from ultraviolet A (UVA) and ultraviolet B (UVB) rays, which contribute to premature aging, sunburn and skin cancer. Always follow the label directions and apply sunscreen generously. Apply 15 minutes before going outdoors and reapply every two hours, or after swimming, sweating, or toweling off. Choose sunscreens without chemicals harmful to marine life.
  • Use Extra Caution Near Water and Sand: These surfaces reflect the damaging rays of the sun, which can increase your chance of sunburn
  • Check the UV Index Every Day: The higher the UV index, the more you should do to protect yourself from the sun. When planning outdoor activities, follow EPA’s safety recommendations
  • Get Vitamin D safely: While the skin needs sunlight to help manufacture vitamin D, which is important for normal bone health, overexposure to UV light can be detrimental by damaging and killing skin cells. The National Council on Skin Cancer Prevention recommends obtaining vitamin D through food and supplements, not through UV rays.
  • Protect Children from UV Rays: Children, the elderly and those with special needs may need special attention or be more sensitive to sun. Children tend to spend more time outdoors, can burn more easily, and may not be aware of the dangers of UV exposure. Parents and other caregivers should protect children from excess sun exposure by using the steps above. Babies younger than 6 months should be kept out of direct sunlight and protected from the sun using hats and protective clothing.

Source https://www.weather.gov/safety/heat-uv


16 Joint-protection Tips

Arthritis aches and pain can affect your daily life. But there are simple ways to protect your joints, reduce strain and improve how you function each day. Here are 16 things you can do that could make a big difference.

 

1.Ditch the high heels.

Unless you’re a fashion model, chances are you can live without high heels. Experts say a 3-inch heel stresses your foot seven times more than a 1-inch heel. In addition, heels put extra stress on your knees and may increase your risk of developing osteoarthritis.

 

  1. Hang out at the bar.

Popular veggies from a salad bar – romaine and Bibb lettuces, broccoli, spinach, kale or parsley – can slow down cartilage destruction and lessen the amount of bone loss that occurs with age, research says, thanks to their high calcium counts. But remember to go easy on the dressing.

 

  1. Move around.

Neither sitting nor standing on your feet all day is good for your joints. When possible, alternate between the two to prevent stiffness and strain. If your job primarily involves sitting, try to take a break and stand up every 30 minutes or so. Whether at home or the office, make time for simple stretches throughout the day.

 

  1. Kick butt.

People who smoke have a greater risk of fracture than nonsmokers. In fact, smoking can reduce bone mass, which can lead to osteoporosis. Kick the habit to keep your body strong and healthy. Plus, just think of all the money you’ll save by going smoke-free.

 

  1. Resolve to reduce.

If you lose weight, you may not only like your “new look,” you’ll feel better, too. Every extra pound you gain puts four times the stress on your knees. The flip side is that even a small amount of weight loss will give your knees relief. Research has shown that losing as little as 11 pounds may improve your joint health and cut your risk of osteoarthritis of the knee by 50 percent.

 

  1. Take the plunge.

From strength training to jogging to aerobic classes (and let’s not forget the plain old swim), aquatic exercises can help maintain flexibility and range of motion, while taking a load off of your joints while you exercise.

 

  1. Warm up.

Don’t think about hitting the gym, the pool or the trails (or any exercise for that matter) before warming up. Warming up your body before exercise is like warming your car up in the winter. To keep it running smoothly and for optimal joint safety, start slowly and get up to speed only after your muscles and joints have at least five minutes prep time.

 

  1. Handle heavy loads.

Use your largest, strongest joints and muscles to take stress off of smaller hand joints and to spread the load over large surface areas. When you lift or carry items, use the palms of both hands or use your arms instead of your hands. Hold items close to your body, which is less stressful for your joints. For joint safety, slide objects whenever possible rather than lifting them.

 

  1. Build strong bones.

Boost your calcium intake, because a diet rich in this important mineral helps to keep your bones sturdy and can lower your risk of osteoporosis (the brittle bone disease). There are plenty of sources besides milk, including yogurt, broccoli, kale, figs, salmon and calcium supplements.

 

  1. Pick, pour or peel.

If you’re looking for a tasty treat, reach for an orange – or a tall glass of orange juice. Why? Research shows that vitamin C may help to slow the progression of osteoarthritis.

 

  1. Cut back on caffeine.

While you may need that extra burst of energy in the morning, try and resist those second and third cups of coffee. Studies show that the extra caffeine can weaken your bones.

 

  1. Take your vitamins.

Supplementing your diet with a multivitamin is a good way to get the nutrients you may lack in your diet. Strong joints (and overall joint health) will benefit from bone-building calcium and vitamin K, tissue-repairing vitamin C, pain-relieving vitamin E, folic acid and more.

 

  1. Choose function over fashion.

Shoes shouldn’t just look good; they should work well, too. Look for flexible, supportive shoes that are squared or rounded at the toe so your toes can move around. A shoe with a rubber sole will give you more cushion. Make sure your shoe is flexible at the ball of your foot, where you push off.

 

  1. Don’t stomp your feet.

Research shows pounding exercises like kickboxing and step aerobics can be tough on joints. Switch to low-impact activities like biking and swimming that offer the same calorie-burning benefits without the painful pounding.

 

  1. Increase your range.

Range-of-motion exercises (such as stretching) are a good way to keep your muscles and ligaments flexible and strong. Add weights to your workout and you’ll tone up, too.

 

  1. Say no.

It may be tough at first, but saying no to others lets you say yes to extra time for yourself. It also frees up time to allow you to say yes to exercise, healthy eating and stress reduction – three power-packed methods of improving your health.

Source https://www.arthritis.org/health-wellness/healthy-living/managing-pain/joint-protection/16-joint-protection-tips


Does Cord Blood Contain COVID-19?

To the best of our knowledge, the umbilical cord blood will not contain COVID-19, even if the mother is sick at the time of delivery.  It is important to clarify that there is a difference between studies that look for COVID-19 disease transmission between mother and baby, versus studies that test for signs of COVID-19 in the cord blood; these are two separate topics.

When a person is sick with a respiratory virus, it is very rare for the virus to appear in their blood3,10,12. The patient’s blood will show antibodies to the virus, but not the virus itself. For this reason, the FDA does not recommend13 tests to screen asymptomatic blood donors for COVID-19. It is extremely unlikely for COVID-19 to appear in cord blood.

A 2006 study12 sponsored by the American Red Cross is almost prescient in describing the current COVID-19 pandemic. The paper predicts that during a flu pandemic, donated blood will be safe, but there will be a blood shortage due to disruption of blood center operations. That is exactly what is happening now, and in response the FDA has relaxed their restrictions on blood donors14.

Further reassurance that COVID-19 does not appear in the umbilical cord blood or birth tissues comes from a study15 of nine births in Wuhan China. The nine mothers were all suffering from COVID-19 pneumonia, and their babies were delivered via C-section. While the babies were still in the sterile operating room, and before they had contact with their mothers, samples were collected of their amniotic fluid, cord blood, and neonatal throat swabs. Later the mother’s breastmilk was collected. All of these samples tested negative for COVID-19, using both the CDC test and the hospital’s in-house RT-PCR test15.

Hence, if a mom has COVID-19 during her pregnancy or even during birth, she does not need to worry that the virus will be present in the umbilical cord blood or the tissues of the placenta and umbilical cord. To learn more about cord blood banking, visit Parent’s Guide to Cord Blood Foundation at https://parentsguidecordblood.org/en/news/coronavirus-during-pregnancy-and-cord-blood-banking

 

Source https://parentsguidecordblood.org/en/news/coronavirus-during-pregnancy-and-cord-blood-banking


Men: Take Charge of Your Health

Men: Take Charge of Your Health

Overview

Most men need to pay more attention to their health. Compared to women, men are more likely to:

  • Smoke
  • Drink too much alcohol
  • Make unhealthy or risky choices
  • Put off regular checkups and medical care

The good news is that you can start taking steps to improve your health today!

How can I take charge of my health?

See a doctor for regular checkups even if you feel healthy. This is important because some diseases and health conditions don’t have symptoms at first. Plus, seeing a doctor will give you a chance to learn more about your health.

Here are some more things you can do to take care of your health:

  • Eat healthy and get active.
  • If you drink alcohol, drink only in moderation.
  • Quit smoking.
  • Know your family’s health history.
  • Get screening tests to check for health problems before you have symptoms.
  • Make sure you’re up to date on your shots.

Healthy Habits

Use these tips to take charge of your health.

Eat healthy and get active.

Remember, it’s never too late to start healthier habits. A healthy eating pattern and regular physical activity can help control your:

  • Blood pressure
  • Blood sugar
  • Cholesterol
  • Weight

By keeping these numbers in the normal range, you can lower your risk of serious health problems like type 2 diabetes and heart disease.

Make eating healthy and being active part of your daily routine.

In addition:

Small Changes

Make small changes every day.

Small changes can add up to big results – like lowering your risk of type 2 diabetes or heart disease. Here are some examples:

  • Take a walk instead of smoking a cigarette.
  • Try a green salad instead of fries.
  • Drink water instead of soda or juice.

Get more ideas for small changes you can make to stay healthy.

Talk about it.

Don’t be embarrassed to talk about your health. Start by talking to family members to find out which diseases run in your family.

Use this family health history tool to keep track of health problems that run in your family. Then share this information with your doctor.

 

Get Preventive Care

Get preventive care to stay healthy.

Many people think of the doctor as someone to see when they’re sick. But doctors also provide services – like screening tests and shots – that help keep you from getting sick in the first place.

Get screening tests to find problems early.

Screenings are medical tests that check for diseases and health conditions before they cause any signs or symptoms. Screenings help find problems early, when they may be easier to treat.

Depending on your age and medical history, you may need to be screened for things like:

  • Certain types of cancer
  • High blood pressure or high cholesterol
  • Mental health conditions, like depression

Learn more about getting screened.

Stay up to date on your shots.

Everyone needs shots (vaccines) to stay healthy. Ask your doctor or nurse which shots you need to stay healthy – then make sure you stay up to date. For example, everyone age 6 months and older needs a seasonal flu vaccine every year.

Find out which shots you may need:

Use the myhealthfinder tool to get personalized preventive services recommendations.

 

Cost and Insurance

What about cost?

Depending on your insurance plan, you may be able to get screenings and shots at no cost to you.

The Affordable Care Act requires most insurance plans to cover many preventive services. This means you may be able to get screenings and shots at no cost to you. Check with your insurance provider to find out what’s included in your plan.

If you don’t have insurance, check out these resources to help you get health care:

Source https://health.gov/myhealthfinder/topics/doctor-visits/regular-checkups/men-take-charge-your-health