Friday, April 4, 2008

Children's changing health

When my children were younger (they're 16, 19 and three weeks short of 21 now), there was some concern among some parents about keeping the kids active. Computers weren't all the rage quite yet and movies were only available in VHS (or beta!), so TV was really the major competition for exercise.

I did notice, very early, that there weren't kids playing outside in the same numbers as when I was a child. When we brought our kids to a local park, there may be a few other children playing, but very often, ours were the only ones there. This was the same park I played at as a child and was always full of kids - alone - all day long.

I know that things are different now, particularly with most families having both parents working, but we have to look at what this is doing to our children. For many, the only physical activity they get is in organized sports (if parents can afford it) or gym class at school (if they have it).

I've seen playgrounds at schools where children are banned from playing any of the active games that we played, for fear of injury. One friend even told me that tag was banned at her cousin's school because too many children were getting hurt running and tripping on the concrete. You see, many schools don't have grass either.

Add to that, many of the kids who would have walked to school in "the old days" are now driven by parents, the lack of time on weekends to go outside and play because of all the stuff that needs to be caught up, is there any wonder we're looking at record numbers of obesity, high cholesterol and type 2 diabetes in *children*?

It's just going to get worse. The more we try to protect our kids, the worse we are making it for them. Here are a couple of the most recent stories in the news: Inactive kids face 6-fold risk of heart disease by teen years, study finds and Keep on running.

We worry too much about our kids - seriously. I know a few people I knew thought I was nuts to let my kids do some of the stuff they did. My oldest used to go outside with his friend, on their bikes, and go dirt bike riding near the river and across some farm land behind our house (we live in a suburb that borders some farms). They'd be gone for hours. My daughter didn't get into the same sort of thing, but she did dance competitively for quite a while and played organized sports. My youngest son did some of the stuff his older brother did, but he got more involved with wilderness and camping stuff - and he's involved in a weekly floor hockey program.

We have to go back to letting kids be kids. There has got to be a better way to balance our need to protect them with their needs to be free to do things that will help them grow up strong and healthy.

News for Today:
Good trans fats could reduce heart disease, diabetes risk
Glaxo adds warnings of reported psychiatric problems to flu drug
How long is optimal for sex? 3 to 13 minutes, therapists say
No link found in Paxil use, baby heart defects
Now you can visit your doctor online
New test could cut unnecessary treatment for blood disorder in pregnancy

Thursday, April 3, 2008

If I tagged you....

I should have mentioned that it was from Help My Hurt.


Top 10 posts here

I've been writing this blog for almost a year - covering topics ranging from spelling tricks to dealing with people who are dying. Quite a variety - don't you think? Very many of my visitors come from Internet searches and it's interesting to see what phrases they use to find what they're searching for.

Here are what seem to be the 10 most popular posts. The first one pops up at least once or twice a week, if not more often; I hope it's helpful to those who find it.

Spelling Tricks
Paintball - fun or danger?
Broken hips in the elderly
Cancers below the waist
Someone pull the knife out of my eye please?
Occupational therapy and physiotherapy
Shingles vaccine available
Trampolines - jump or dump?
Emergency room waiting times
Medication errors

Writing this blog is fun. I noticed that my posts are getting shorter - probably because I have a lot less time now than when I started it. But, as long as I'm getting the readers every day, I'll continue. I hope you get as much out of it as I get putting into it.

News for Today:
Drinking water may have little benefit: study

Obesity and pregnancy means more health care needed
Patients prefer to challenge nurses rather than doctors on safety issues
Anemia Increases Risk of Breast Cancer Recurrence
Automated External Defibrillators and CPR Are Equally Helpful for Sudden Cardiac Arrest in the Home
Medicines Regulator Approves A New Over-the-counter Medicine For The Treatment Of Period Pain, UK

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Alternative therapies

For some people, conventional Western medicine just doesn't cut it for their problems. Either it doesn't work, it doesn't work well enough, or they feel that there has to be something better out there.

I believe that we can use both conventional therapies and alternative therapies together to get the best of both worlds. I have used acupuncture and love it. I've undergone chiropractics and don't love it. I'm willing to try other forms of alternative therapies too. But - I'm lucky. Our insurance covers at least part of it, which makes it fairly affordable. But what of those who can't afford it? Must they do without?

In Canada, the province of British Columbia is addressing the issue: BC acupuncture coverage begins April 1.

I think that's great news. At least it gives more people the option. And, if acupuncture does help what ails them, it could lessen the drain on the conventional medical system. I look at it as a "if we don't try, we'll never know" program.

News for Today:
New study shows children benefit from drinking chocolate/flavored milk
Combining Internet with Office Visits Cut Heart Attack Risks
Journal SLEEP: Insomnia may perpetuate depression in some elderly patients
Ear Aches Complicate Most Colds in Young Children
Journal SLEEP: Short, long sleep duration is associated with future weight gain in adults
Study indicates diabetes medication may help slow plaque build-up in coronary arteries

Monday, March 31, 2008

What's in the news today?

There isn't much different today - nothing earth shattering. Sometimes it gets to the point that I'm not sure what to blog about. Should I discuss a particular news story? A particular illness or disorder?

Some interesting ideas can come from the Awareness Months set for April. They include:

Alcohol Awareness Month
Cancer Control Month
Counseling Awareness Month
Irritable Bowel Syndrome Awareness Month
National Autism Awareness Month
National Donate Life Month
National Sarcoidosis Awareness Month
Sports Eye Safety Month
STD Awareness Month
Women’s Eye Health and Safety Month

What would you like to read?

Today at Help My Hurt:
Company's calling: Another migraineur speaks out
Take care of those teeth: it’s Root Canal Awareness week!
Foot pain causes a lot more than just discomfort - any podiatrists out there?
FDA warning: “Total Body Formula” and “Total Body Mega Formula”

News for Today:
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder Associated With More, Longer Hospitalizations
Stigma clings stubbornly to women living with HIV/AIDS
Preschool kids do better when they talk to themselves, research shows
Are teenage brains really different?
Study finds improvement in the care of children with cancer at the end of life
How dangerous is boxing for the brain?
FDA reviewing safety of HIV drugs after heart attack reports
Doctors wary after cholesterol drug flap