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July 15, 2016

Making Sense of Salt

And the food debates continue…eat eggs, don’t eat eggs, eat eggs…butter out, margarine in, nope wait, olive oil in! Now add to the list, confusion over salt (sodium). A recent study published in The Lancet reported that a low salt diet was associated with increased risk for heart disease and death. Whoa, hold the presses, what? Haven’t we been told for years that a low salt diet is associated with better health? It can be frustrating to read headlines that contradict everything we’ve been told for the last decade or more. To sort out the confusion, several doctors analyzed The Lancet report and then looked at the evidence from several other major respected and well-researched studies. Their conclusion recently published in the New England Journal of Medicine was that The Lancet study was flawed in a number of ways. Their suggestion based on an overwhelming amount of evidence – keep holding the salt. For the majority, lower sodium levels will significantly improve blood pressure and heart health. Over the last 40 years, the average sodium intake has increased dramatically and most Americans consume way too much. The average American consumes more than 3,400 milligrams of sodium each day. The American Heart Association (AHA) recommends people eat no more than 1,500 milligrams per day. The CDC and the American Diabetes Association suggest consuming less than 2,300 mg sodium per day. While the numbers vary a bit, everyone agrees that minimally cutting back to 2,300 mg or less will significantly improve blood pressure and heart health for many people. The 2009-2012 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey looked at almost 15,000 participants. They found 89% of adults and over 90% of children exceeded the recommended daily allowances for sodium. Among hypertensive adults (those with high blood pressure), 86% exceeded the 2,300 mg threshold. Here is what we know. High sodium intake contributes to high rates of blood pressure, heart attack, and stroke. And while everyone’s individual body chemistry is different, the majority of people will benefit from a low sodium diet, rich in fruits, veggies, whole grains, and lean meats as opposed to a high-sodium processed food diet. Nearly 400,000 deaths per year are attributed to high blood pressure and decreasing sodium levels could prevent some of these deaths. Keeping tabs on your sodium intake is one piece of the prevention puzzle. But who knows how much salt they eat? It turns out not too many people. Most folks underestimate how much they take in, if they can estimate at all. The AHA surveyed 1,000 adults and found that 33% could not estimate how much sodium they ate; and another 54% thought they were eating less than 2,000 mg sodium a day (but they weren’t!). We estimate poorly because 75% of our sodium comes from processed, prepackaged, and restaurant foods – not from the salt shaker. In addition, not all processed foods are created equal so one slice of frozen cheese pizza can range from 450 mg to 1200mg. So where do you start? The American Heart Association, American Diabetes Association, and the CDC offer the following information and tips: Six popular foods can add high levels of sodium to your diet including: bread and rolls, cold cuts and cured meats, pizza, poultry (sodium varies depending on preparation methods), canned soups and broths, and sandwiches/burgers from fast food restaurants. Check labels to find lower sodium varieties. Many of the large chain restaurants include nutrition facts on their menus or websites. Consider using a sodium tracker, either a paper/pencil type or an app. Buy fresh, frozen (no sauce), or no salt added canned vegetables. Use fresh poultry or pork (with no saline or salt solution added), fish, and lean meat. Read labels and buy low sodium, lower sodium, reduced sodium, or no salt added versions of products. For example, compare ½ cup serving sizes of three types of Delmonte diced tomatoes: Regular diced tomatoes – 130 mg sodium – 5% of daily allowance Diced tomatoes with basil, garlic, and oregano – 350 mg sodium – 15% of daily allowance No-salt added diced tomatoes – 15 mg sodium – 1% of daily allowance Limit your use of mixes and “instant” products, including flavored rice and ready-made pasta in a can. Before heading out to dinner, check to see if the restaurant lists nutrition facts on its website. Request that no salt be added to your food. Beware of hidden sources of sodium such as salad dressings, marinades, spaghetti sauce, taco sauce, teriyaki sauce, salsa, ketchup, and barbeque sauce. Watch out for pickled foods such as pickles, relish, and sauerkraut. One pickle wedge can have 500 mg of sodium. Read the label first and eat these occasionally. Eat plenty of vegetables and fruits. They have no added sodium! One final note, some people do need a bit more sodium in their diets. According to the AHA, the 1,500 mg guideline does not apply to people who lose big amounts of sodium in sweat, like competitive athletes, and workers exposed to major heat, such as foundry workers, fire fighters, or outdoor workers in the summer, or to those directed otherwise by their physician. Talk with your doctor if you have any questions or concerns about your sodium levels. For more information on sodium, try these websites: American Heart Association at http://sodiumbreakup.heart.org/ CDC at https://www.cdc.gov/salt/ American Diabetes Association at http://www.diabetes.org/food-and-fitness/food/what-can-i-eat/food-tips/cutting-back-on-sodium.html Lorraine Wichtowski is a community health educator at Noyes Health in Dansville. If you have questions or suggestions for future articles she can be reached at lwichtowski@noyeshealth.org or 585-335-4327. ... Read More

July 11, 2016

Healthy Hydration

The hot weather is here and many folks wonder if they are getting enough to drink. This is important because according to Dr. Jack Guralnik of the National Institute on Aging, “Water is involved in all body processes…you the need the proper amount for all those processes to work correctly.” For the most part, healthy bodies are very good at regulating water. We sweat, urinate, defecate and lose water; then ingest water, juice, eat veggies and fruit to take in water. Our bodies signal thirst and we get a glass of water. This balance, however, can get upset when the temperatures soar into the high 80s and 90s. Even the healthiest people can become dehydrated on hot days, especially if they are exercising. But dehydration is more of a problem in the elderly, who have a decreased sensitivity to thirst and very young children who cannot communicate they are thirsty. In addition, people who perspire heavily, overweight people, and those with chronic diseases such as diabetes, heart disease, or cystic fibrosis may need to drink more water to stay properly hydrated. Furthermore, some folks take medications that act as diuretics, causing the body to lose more fluid. “Dehydration is very dangerous. It can lead to an emergency visit and it can do significant damage to your body if left untreated,” says Dr. Sandra Schneider with the American College of Emergency Physicians. “But dehydration is also easily preventable, especially if the cause is excessive heat.” Dehydration can lead to problems ranging from fatigue or headache to a life threatening condition such as heat stroke. The best way to keep all systems running smoothly is education and prevention. Knowing the warning signs and preventive measures are the first lines of defense against dehydration. Warning Signs of Dehydration Thirst Flushed skin Increased body temperature Faster breathing and pulse rate Weakness and fatigue Dry or sticky mouth Loss of appetite Low blood pressure Inability to produce tears Low or no urine output for 8 hours or if urine is concentrated and appears dark yellow Sunken eyes Dizziness or light headedness Dry cough Preventive Measures Pay attention to the color of your urine. Pale and clear means you are well hydrated. If it is dark, drink more fluids. (Note: certain vitamins and medications can color your urine.) Drink more on hot days even if you are not exercising. Stay out of excessive heat if possible; wear light clothing and a hat when outdoors. Avoid alcoholic and caffeinated beverages as they can worsen dehydration. Get in the water bottle habit. Take one for every member of the family wherever you go. Water is the best beverage for hydration. It is all you need for low or moderate activity such as walking for an hour or less. Save sports drinks for longer, intense exercise or if you plan on being in the heat for more than a few hours. (Note: Sports drinks replace fluid and chemicals such as sodium and potassium. They can also contain large amounts of sugar.) Avoid fruit juices and soda as they can be hard on your stomach if dehydrated. Drink water before and during exercise. After exercise, replenish your system with a healthy snack like orange slices, bananas, or a handful of unsalted nuts. (Note: According to the American Heart Association’s Dr. Batson, “Drinking water before (exercise) is much more important. Otherwise, you’re playing catch-up and your heart is straining.”) Watch the weather - know when it is going to be hot. If you travel, your body may react differently to high elevations or temperatures that are significantly hotter than NY temps. Pay close attention to the elderly, young children, and those with chronic diseases during hot spells. Remind them to drink more on those days. For more information on proper hydration, check out these websites: Cleveland Clinic at http://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/diseases_conditions/hic_avoiding_dehydration American Heart Association at http://www.heart.org/HEARTORG/HealthyLiving/PhysicalActivity/FitnessBasics/Staying-Hydrated---Staying-Healthy_UCM_441180_Article.jsp#.V30lIRzD-1s Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics at http://www.eatright.org/resource/fitness/sports-and-performance/hydrate-right/hydrate-right Lorraine Wichtowski is a community health educator at Noyes Health in Dansville. If you have questions or suggestions for future articles she can be reached at lwichtowski@noyeshealth.org or 585-335-4327. ... Read More

June 30, 2016

Fruit and Vegetable Benefits

Every summer for most of my adult years, I have planted a garden - sometimes small, sometimes large, sometimes bountiful, sometimes not so much so. No matter the outcome of the garden, my family always enjoyed the process and the harvest. Goodness knows nothing tastes better than beans, tomatoes, or cucumbers straight out of the garden. Fortunately for upstate NY folks, fresh veggies are readily available this time of year either from the garden out back, a local farm market, or roadside stand. In addition, many supermarkets offer produce from local growers this time of year. It is the perfect opportunity to indulge in as many veggies as you want, introduce children to new varieties, and experiment with new recipes. Everyone from the CDC to the American Heart Association to the American Medical Association recommends that Americans bump up their fruit and vegetable intake. So what’s the big deal? Why the push? Is this just another fad? The answer is “No, this is not a fad.” This is actually going back to the diet of our ancestors long before the age of cheese puffs, chocolate cereals, and pastries wrapped in plastic at the gas station. It turns out our moms, grandmothers, and great grandmothers were right – eat your fruits and veggies! Human bodies function best on foods as close to their original form as possible; not ones invented in a chemistry lab at a large food company. This basically means carrots, apples, and broccoli, raw, steamed, or sautéed will always trump potato chips, cookies, and TV dinners. Numerous research studies show that vegetables and fruits, unlike any other food group, provide the most benefits for the heart, blood pressure, digestive tract, and diabetes. Heart Benefits Most vegetables are naturally low in fat and none have cholesterol. Harvard Public Health reports that there is “compelling evidence that a diet rich in fruits and vegetables can lower the risk of heart disease and stroke.” Harvard studies and numerous others in the U.S. and Europe all found similar results: Individuals who ate more than 5 servings of fruits and vegetables per day had roughly a 20% lower risk of coronary heart disease and stroke compared with individuals who ate less than 3 servings. Blood Pressure A diet rich in fruits, vegetables, and low-fat dairy products that limits total fat can reduce blood pressure. One major study found that people who followed this diet reduced their systolic (upper number of a blood pressure reading) by about 11 mm Hg and their diastolic blood pressure (the lower number) by almost 6 mm Hg. This is as much as many medications can achieve. A 2005 trial known as the Optimal Macronutrient Intake Trial for Heart Health showed that a fruit and vegetable rich diet lowered blood pressure even more when some of the carbohydrates were replaced with healthy saturated fat or protein. (i.e. – take out some of the pasta and add a piece of fish, chicken, or other lean protein.) Digestive Tract According to a 1998 study published in the Journal of Nutrition, vegetables contain indigestible fiber, which absorbs water and expands as it passes through the digestive system. Authors of the study indicate that this can calm irritable bowel syndrome and by triggering regular bowel movements can relieve or prevent constipation. In addition, the bulking and softening action of insoluble fiber also decreases the pressure inside the intestinal tract and may help prevent diverticulosis. Diabetes A review of three major studies that included over 187,000 men and women who were free of major chronic diseases found that greater consumption of whole fruits, especially blueberries, grapes, and apples, is associated with lower risk of type 2 diabetes. A 2008 report in Diabetes Care looked at over 70,000 female nurses aged 38-63 years who were free of cardiovascular disease, cancer, and diabetes. Research showed that consumption of leafy green vegetables and fruits was associated with lower risk of diabetes. Overall Health Vegetables are important sources of many nutrients, including potassium, folate (folic acid), vitamin A and vitamin C. Potassium helps with blood pressure. Vegetable sources of potassium include sweet potatoes, white beans, tomato products, beet greens, soybeans, lima beans, spinach, lentils, and kidney beans. Vitamin A keeps eye and skin healthy and helps to fight against infections. High vitamin A foods include sweet potatoes, carrots, dark leafy greens, winter squashes, lettuce, dried apricots, cantaloupe, bell peppers, and tropical fruits. Vitamin C helps heal cuts and wounds and keeps teeth and gums healthy. It is also aids in iron absorption. Papaya, strawberries, pineapple, kiwi, cantaloupe, and raspberries are also excellent vitamin C sources. Cranberries, blueberries, and watermelon are examples of very good sources, while apples, pears, and bananas are in the good category. Folate helps the body form red blood cells. Proper quantities of folate reduce the risk of neural tube defects, spina bifida, and anencephaly in fetal development. Good sources of folate include: lentils, dried beans, peas, avocado, broccoli, spinach, collard or turnip greens, okra, Brussels sprouts, asparagus, and citrus fruit and juice. To learn more about the benefits of fruits and vegetables, try these websites: United States Department of Agriculture at http://www.choosemyplate.gov/vegetables-nutrients-health Produce for Better Health Foundation at http://www.fruitsandveggiesmorematters.org/why-fruits-veggies/ Livingston County Farm Market List at http://www.fingerlakeswest.com/eat/farm-markets Lorraine Wichtowski is a community health educator at Noyes Health in Dansville. If you have questions or suggestions for future articles she can be reached at lwichtowski@noyeshealth.org or 585-335-4327. ... Read More

June 23, 2016

Zika Virus

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), the Zika virus is spreading and with it concern for the public’s health. Zika was discovered in the 1950s and for many decades outbreaks were small and sporadic. The first large outbreak of disease was not reported until 2007 when there was a rise in cases on the Island of Yap. Fast forward to 2016 and the scenario has changed dramatically. Today, WHO states that 60 countries and territories report continuing mosquito borne transmissions of the virus; the most serious outbreak occurring in Brazil. The CDC indicates that the Zika virus will continue to spread. Zika virus spreads to people primarily through the bite of an infected Aedes species mosquito (Ae.aegypti or Ae. Albopictus). This species is aggressive and primarily a daytime biter but can also bite at night. The Ae. Aegypti is the mosquito that most efficiently transmits the Zika virus. At this point in time, the Ae. Aegypti is found in the Deep South and Southwest United States. The Ae. Albopictus mosquito on the other hand is more prevalent. Its territory extends to portions of the Midwest and mid-Atlantic including the New York City and surrounding areas. According to the NY Department of Health, it is not clear if the albopictus is transmitting the virus to humans. Basically this means, we know for sure Ae. Aegypti is the more efficient vector (transmitter) and that type of mosquito does live in the southern regions of the U.S. We don’t know if albopictus will do the same – it may since it has been implicated in other virus outbreaks such as a recent Dengue outbreak in Hawaii. All that being said, it is very important to note that there have been zero cases of locally acquired mosquito borne cases in the U.S. All 755 U.S. cases to date have been travel associated cases. The NY Department of Health states “In the U.S., no mosquitos have yet been found carrying the virus. The only cases in the U.S. are in people who got the virus while traveling to Zika affected areas or through sexual transmission from someone who traveled there.” As noted, Zika spreads when a mosquito bites an infected person. That mosquito can then spread the virus by biting more people. There are three other ways Zika can spread: 1) during sex with a man infected with Zika; 2) from a pregnant woman to her fetus during pregnancy or around the time of birth; or 3) through blood transfusion (likely but not yet confirmed by the CDC). The good news is that for the vast majority of people, the virus is mild. In fact, the CDC reports that many won’t have symptoms or will only have mild symptoms. The most common symptoms are fever, rash, joint pain, or red eyes. Other symptoms may include muscle pain or headache. Symptoms can last for several days to a week. Overall, the symptoms and effects are mild for the majority of people; however, there is scientific consensus that Zika virus is a cause of microcephaly and Guillain-Barre syndrome. The biggest concern regarding Zika is its effect on fetuses. Contracting the virus during pregnancy can cause a serious birth defect called microcephaly which translates to ‘small head’. The baby’s brain does not grow at the expected rate during pregnancy and as a result major defects can occur. Microcephaly has been linked with the following problems: seizures, developmental delays, intellectual disability, problems with movement and balance, feeding problems, hearing loss, or vision problems. For this reason, women who are pregnant or may become pregnant and their partners need to exercise extra caution to avoid the virus. In addition to the effect on fetuses, Zika is also causing Guillain-Barre syndrome in a small number of people. In Guillain-Barre syndrome, the body's immune system attacks part of the nervous system causing muscle weakness and loss of sensation in the legs and/or arms. For some people, these symptoms can lead to paralysis of the legs, arms, chest, or facial muscles. At this point, only 3 cases of Zika related Guillain-Barre syndrome have been identified in the U.S. Once again, those cases were not contracted by mosquito bites here in the U.S. The best way to prevent Zika as well as other mosquito bite transmitted viruses such as West Nile and Eastern Equine Encephalitis is to protect yourself and your family from mosquito bites. The New York Department of Health and the CDC offer the following advice: Wear long-sleeved shirts and long pants. Stay in places with air conditioning and window and door screens to keep mosquitos outside. Treat your clothing and gear with permethrin or buy pre-treated items. Use EPA registered insect repellents. Follow directions carefully and never use insect repellent on babies younger than 2 months old. Do not use products containing oil of lemon eucalyptus or para-menthane-diol on children younger than 3 years old. Mosquito netting can be used to cover babies younger than 2 months old in carriers, strollers, or cribs to protect them from mosquito bites. Sleep under a mosquito net if air conditioning or screened rooms are not available or if sleeping outdoors. Prevent sexual transmission of Zika by using condoms or abstaining from sex. Reduce the mosquito population near your home by reducing or eliminating standing water and debris. Dispose of cans, containers, pots or other water holding containers. Dispose of used tires which are a significant breeding ground for mosquitos. Turn over plastic wading pools and wheelbarrows when not in use. Change water in birdbaths twice weekly. Clean and chlorinate pools and hot tubs on a regular basis. Drain water from pool covers. Pregnant women should not travel to Zika areas. If you must travel, take extra precautions. For more information about travel advisories or what to do if you believe you have the Zika virus, visit the following websites: New York Department of Health – https://www.health.ny.gov/diseases/zika_virus/ The NY Department of Health also has a toll free line for Zika questions - 1-888-364-4723. CDC - http://www.cdc.gov/zika/ World Health Organization - http://www.who.int/topics/zika/en/ Lorraine Wichtowski is a community health educator at Noyes Health in Dansville. If you have questions or suggestions for future articles she can be reached at lwichtowski@noyeshealth.org or 585-335-4327. ... Read More

June 17, 2016

Bicycle Safety

One of my fondest memories of childhood was riding my bicycle. That purple banana seat bike outfitted with a white flower power basket and handle bar streamers gave me a sense of independence and adventure. I could visit friends on my own, bike over to grandpa’s house on the lake, or go for miles on a dirt road in search of critters and treasures. More than a few times, I took a spill and was fortunate to get by with only a scraped knee. Unfortunately, many people are not so lucky. In 2013 in the U.S., there were an estimated 494,000 emergency department visits due to bicycle-related injuries. According to the CDC, children (5-14 years), adolescents, and young adults (15-24 years) have the highest rates of nonfatal bicycle-related injuries, accounting for more than one-third of all bicycle-related injuries seen in U.S. emergency departments. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports that males are at particular risk. 88% of the bicyclists killed and 80% of those injured are male. Teaching bicycle safety at a young age is an important first step toward lowering those statistics. Bicycle safety falls into four big categories: helmet and clothing, bike mechanics, control, and rules of the road. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and Kidshealth.org offer the following tips: Helmet and Clothing Wear a bicycle helmet every time you ride, even in your driveway. Helmets provide some protection for your face, head, and brain in case you fall down. The U.S. government requires all helmets to meet safety standards. All helmets should have a sticker from the Consumer Products Safety Commission (CPSC) indicating it meets the standards. Helmets should fit properly and straps should be fastened snugly. It should be worn level and cover your forehead. (for complete fitting information, visit Livingston County Cornell Cooperative Extension at http://ccelivingstoncounty.org/resources/easy-steps-to-properly-fit-a-bicycle-helmet) Wear neon, fluorescent, or bright colors during the day, dusk, dawn, or night. Wear something reflective – tape, markings on shoes/shirts/pants, or flashing lights. Wear sneakers when biking. Never ride barefoot or in sandals. Avoid wearing anything that can get caught in the chain such as loose pant legs, backpack straps, or loose shoes laces. DO NOT wear headphones or earbuds. It is against NYS law and it is dangerous. You must be able to hear everything in your surroundings including cars, trucks, dogs, and people. Bike Mechanics Get the right size bike – when you are on your bicycle, stand straddling the top bar of your bike so that both feet are flat on the ground. There should be 1 to 3 inches of space between you and the top bar if using a road bike and 3 to 4 inches if a mountain bicycle. Make sure your seat, handlebars, and wheels fit tightly. The seat height should be adjusted to allow a slight bend at the knee when the leg if fully extended. The handle bar should be at the same height with the seat. Oil the bike chain regularly. Check the brakes and make sure they are not sticking. Check the tires and make sure they have enough air. Control of Your Bike Always ride with your hands on the handlebars. Carry books and other items in the bicycle basket or in a backpack. Stay alert for wet leaves, big puddles, potholes, storm grates, gravel and rocks, curbs, trash, pets, and wild animals. If you see any of these hazards, slow down and point them out to anyone else riding with you. Avoid riding at night if at all possible. If you must be out, be sure you and the bicycle are outfitted with reflective tape and flashing lights. (48% of bicycle fatalities occur between 4 p.m. and midnight.) Never ride a bicycle while under the influence of alcohol or drugs. (24% of bicyclists killed had blood alcohol concentrations of .08 g/dL or higher) Rules of the Road Go with the traffic flow. Ride on the right, in the same direction as other vehicles. Go with the flow – not against it. Learn hand signals and use them. Obey all traffic laws. Bicyclists must obey all the same traffic signs, signals, and lane markings as vehicles. Always stop and check for traffic in both directions when leaving your driveway, an alley, or curb. Look left-right-left before entering a road. Cross at intersections. If it is a busy road, walk your bike across the street at the cross walk. Do not pull out between parked cars; drivers will not see you coming. Ride in straight, predictable lines; look over your shoulder for traffic, and use hand signals before changing lane position. Alert pedestrians that you are near by saying, “excuse me” or “passing on your left” or use a bell or horn. Use bike lanes or designated bike routes whenever you can. Ride single file on the street with friends. For more information about bicycle safety, check out these websites: National Highway Traffic Safety Administration at www.NHTSA.gov/Bicycles KidsHealth at http://kidshealth.org/en/kids/bike-safety.html Cornell Cooperative Extension of Livingston County at http://ccelivingstoncounty.org/home-family/traffic-safety-education/wheeled-sport-safety New York State bicycle laws at http://www.safeny.ny.gov/bike-vt.htm Lorraine Wichtowski is a community health educator at Noyes Health in Dansville. If you have questions or suggestions for future articles she can be reached at lwichtowski@noyeshealth.org or 585-335-4327. ... Read More

June 9, 2016

Water Safety

Upstate New York is absolutely beautiful in the summer - rolling fields with crops, lush green wooded hills, and water, water everywhere. Lakes, streams, ponds, and pools are in abundance. With the warmer temperatures, folks will be fishing, kayaking, swimming, and splashing and as such, it is a good time to review water safety rules. The importance of water safety cannot be overstated. Drowning is the second leading cause of unintentional death in children ages 1 to 14, accounting for 30% of all preventable deaths in this age group. And according to the National Safety Council, this elevated risk continues through the early teen years accounting for 14% of all preventable deaths for children ages 5 to 14. Knowing the safety rules for all bodies of water including pails, kiddie pools, and bathtubs is good start to keeping children safe year round. June is National Safety Month and as part of its Safe for Life campaign, the National Safety Council offers the following advice for water safety: Protect Your Children • Be attentive when your children are near water. Teach children never to go near or into water alone – an adult should always be present. Designate an adult (or two) to be a “water watcher” and actively supervise children who are swimming. Drowning can happen silently, in seconds, and in just an inch of water. • Stay nearby. When infants and toddlers are in the water, adults should never be more than an arm’s length away. Gather all items you need before starting a child’s bath. And at pools, even though there may be a lifeguard, it is important to watch over older children as well. • Get a good life jacket. Traditional pool floats, like water wings, inner tubes and pool noodles, aren’t designed to keep kids safe. Use a life jacket approved by the Coast Guard to be safer. • Know what to do in an emergency. Make sure that you and anyone who takes care of your children are trained in CPR, so you’ll all be ready if there’s ever a need. Learn to Swim • Start your baby out early. You can introduce your little one to the water as early as 6 months old. • Sign your children up for swimming lessons. Formal lessons can help reduce the risk of drowning, especially for kids ages 1 to 4. • Make sure your child knows the basics. Everyone should learn how to float and tread water, and should also know how to figure out how deep the water is. • Teach kids the differences between swimming in a pool and swimming in open water. Pools or areas specifically set up for swimming are best for young swimmers. Open water in the ocean, creek or other bodies of water can have uneven surfaces, larger waves and strong currents that can make swimming more difficult. • Keep children out of a hot tub or spa until they can stand on the bottom with their heads above the water. They should also not use the hot tub or spa longer than 5 minutes at a time, especially at the maximum temperature of 104 degrees. Follow Pool Rules • Teach children to get into the pool feet first unless they know for sure that it is more than 9 feet deep. Only then is it safe to dive, and only when an adult is watching them. • Stop horseplay around the pool. Don’t let your kids run or ride bikes near the edge of the pool. • Don’t let kids eat, drink or chew gum in the pool. They might end up choking. For more on choking hazards visit makesafehappen.com/choking. • Teach children to never use a pool, hot tub or spa that’s missing a drain cover. They should let a parent or lifeguard know if a drain cover is broken, loose or missing, and avoid the water until the cover has been fixed. For Children and Parents • Always watch your child while he or she is bathing, swimming or around water. • Gather everything needed (towel, bath toys, sunscreen) before the child enters the water; if you must leave the area, take the child with you. • Empty all buckets, bathtubs and kiddie pools of water immediately after use and store them upside down and out of your child’s reach. • Install a 5-foot-tall fence with self-closing gate latches around your pool or hot tub. • Consider installing door alarms to alert adults when a child has unexpectedly opened a door leading to a pool or hot tub. • Keep a phone and life preserver near the pool or hot tub in case of emergency. Just be sure to keep your focus on your children if the phone rings. The call can wait! For more information on water safety, visit the National Safety Council at www.nsc.org or the Red Cross at http://www.redcross.org/get-help/prepare-for-emergencies/types-of-emergencies/water-safety. Lorraine Wichtowski is a community health educator at Noyes Health in Dansville. If you have questions or suggestions for future articles she can be reached at lwichtowski@noyeshealth.org or 585-335-4327. ... Read More

June 8, 2016

Noyes Health Auxiliary Announces 2016 Scholarship Winners

The Noyes Health Auxiliary celebrated the awarding of their annual high school scholarships at the Auxiliary’s spring dinner on Tuesday, April 26th at Noyes Health in Dansville. Students that have been awarded scholarships and their families were invited to attend the dinner. This year the Auxiliary awarded three high school scholarships to local students: Melissa Kirsop, Perry Central School District, received a $2,000 award. Melissa’s desired career choice is to be an Orthodontist. Her career choice was selected while attending the Genesee Valley Educational Partnership’s Health Careers Academy. She plans to attend SUNY Geneseo in the fall. Melissa wants to help people of all ages smile proudly. Jacob Mesi, Avon Central School District, received a $2,000 award. Jacob’s desired career choice is to be a Neurosurgeon. He plans on attending the University of Rochester in the fall. Jacob’s goal is to improve the lives of those with diseases or conditions in the brain. Alexis Rudesil, Hornell Central School District, received a $1,000 award. Alexis’ desired career choice is Oncology and/or Prosthetics Design. She plans on attending Alfred State College and transferring at a later date to RIT. Alexis believes she was born to find a cure for cancer. “The Auxiliary received many excellent scholarship applications this year, and wants to wish success, in their chosen field, to all of the students who applied,” said Noyes Health Auxiliary President Gerri Long. For more information visit www.noyes-health.org, Noyes Health Facebook Page or contact Cynthia Oswald, Director of PR/Foundation coswald@noyeshealth.com or 585-335-4323. ... Read More

June 8, 2016

Noyes Health Receives Get With The Guidelines-Stroke Silver Quality Achievement Award

American Heart Association Award recognizes Noyes Health commitment to quality stroke care Noyes Health has received the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association’s Get With The Guidelines®-Stroke Silver Quality Achievement Award. The award recognizes the hospital’s commitment and success ensuring that stroke patients receive the most appropriate treatment according to nationally recognized, research-based guidelines based on the latest scientific evidence. To receive the Silver Quality Achievement award, hospitals must achieve 85 percent or higher adherence to all Get With The Guidelines-Stroke achievement indicators for at least 12 consecutive months. Noyes Health earned the award by meeting specific quality achievement measures for the diagnosis and treatment of stroke patients at a set level for a designated period. “A stroke patient loses 1.9 million neurons each minute stroke treatment is delayed. This recognition further demonstrates our commitment to delivering advanced stroke treatments to patients quickly and safely,” said Noyes Health Stroke Coordinator, Patricia Derowitsch. “Noyes Health continues to strive for excellence in the acute treatment of stroke patients. The recognition from the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association’s Get With The Guidelines-Stroke further reinforces our team’s hard work.” Noyes Health has also met specific scientific guidelines as a Primary Stroke Center featuring a comprehensive system for rapid diagnosis and treatment of stroke patients admitted to the emergency department. “The American Heart Association and American Stroke Association recognize Noyes Health for its commitment to stroke care,” said Paul Heidenreich, M.D., M.S., national chairman of the Get With The Guidelines Steering Committee and Professor of Medicine at Stanford University. “Research has shown there are benefits to patients who are treated at hospitals that have adopted the Get With The Guidelines program.” According to the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association, stroke is the No. 5 cause of death and a leading cause of adult disability in the United States. On average, someone in the U.S. suffers a stroke every 40 seconds, someone dies of a stroke every four minutes, and nearly 800,000 people suffer a new or recurrent stroke each year. ### Noyes Health is a diverse and comprehensive healthcare system which includes Nicholas H. Noyes Memorial Hospital, a 67-bed facility in Dansville, New York, Noyes Health Services in Geneseo, New York, Noyes Kidney and Dialysis Center in Geneseo and Noyes Mental Health Services in Dansville. Noyes Health is accredited by the Joint Commission and serves all of Livingston County and parts of Steuben, Allegany and Ontario Counties. Nicholas H. Noyes Memorial Hospital is a community hospital and the only Emergency Department in Livingston County, located right off Interstate 390 Exit 4. For more information about Noyes Health visit our website at www.noyes-health.org About Get With The Guidelines® Get With The Guidelines® is the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association’s hospital-based quality improvement program that provides hospitals with tools and resources to increase adherence to the latest research-based guidelines. Developed with the goal of saving lives and hastening recovery, Get With The Guidelines has touched the lives of more than 6 million patients since 2001. For more information, visit heart.org. For more information visit www.noyes-health.org, Noyes Health Facebook Page or contact Cynthia Oswald, Director of PR/Foundation coswald@noyeshealth.com or 585-335-4323. ... Read More

June 6, 2016

4H Club Donation to Cancer Center

The Scottsburg Highlanders 4H Club, led by Linda Carney and Ann Davis, along with leadership from Livingston County Cornell Cooperative Extension, including Director Bo Freeman, turned out in numbers Friday, June 3rd for the 4Her's donation check presentation to the Ann and Carl Myers Cancer Center project. Accepting the check on behalf of Noyes Health were Foundation Chairman Jon Shay, Noyes Health Director of P.T., Diagnostic Imaging, Mental Health and Laboratory, Michael Donegan, and Noyes Health Foundation Director Cynthia Oswald. The Club has raised over $500 by selling photo postcards of Livingston County this past year. The photos were taken by the young people and their photography instructor Bob Oswald, Light Bandit Photography. The Club will continue to sell postcards at their booth at the Hemlock Fair next month. This is also the group of young people that is spearheading the Caring Capes project for cancer patients. Caring Capes are easy to make bright, colorful, fleece capes that will be given out to patients receiving radiation therapy when the new Cancer Center in Dansville opens. The public is encouraged to donate completed Caring Capes or make a financial donation to the program. For more information call Livingston County Cornell Cooperative Extension, Youth Team Coordinator, Mark Wittmeyer, at 585-991-5420.Thank you to all our 4H friends for your generous donation and your ongoing support of Noyes Health! For more information visit www.noyes-health.org, Noyes Health Facebook Page or contact Cynthia Oswald, Director of PR/Foundation coswald@noyeshealth.com or 585-335-4323.... Read More

May 31, 2016

Road Trip Snacking

My family is headed out on a road trip in a few weeks and as is tradition in the Wichtowski household, mama will pack the snack bag. Finding the right balance between fun and healthy foods is the key to keeping the troops happy. After all, it wouldn’t be much of a road trip if all I had to offer the family was twigs and berries. That being said, junk food full of salt and sugars but void of any nutrition is the perfect combo-pack for sugar highs followed by my tummy is empty and so is my brain lows. With a little planning, you can save money, keep the family happy, and feel good about the food provided. A week before your trip, ask your family members what they would like for snacks and then involve them in putting together the goodies. This is a great opportunity to fit in a little nutrition education in the context of everyday living. Studies show that children who are involved in the planning and prepping process are more likely to eat healthy foods. Depending on the age of the children in the household, it may make sense to package individually sized portions. In addition, you can reduce litter in the car and in the landfill by storing snacks in re-usable plastic containers. If you will be traveling all day before reaching your destination, consider packing a healthy lunch to save on time, money, and calories. And finally, before you head out, make sure everyone in the family takes time to eat a healthy breakfast. To make snacks and lunch easy, pack a variety of nutrition packed foods that can be eaten without utensils or just a spoon. Before hitting the grocery store, consider the balance of snack bag foods. You want some healthy carbs, fruits and veggies, protein, and drinks. Finally, throw in a little bit of fun! When you are ready to load, pack a bag for the non-perishables and a cooler for the perishables. Here are some suggestions to stock your car for this summer’s road trip: Healthy Carbs Homemade popcorn (leave it unbuttered for the sake of your upholstery) Whole wheat crackers Whole wheat mini pitas Whole wheat bread or bagels Energy or granola bars – look for ones with whole grains and limited added sugar Fruits and Veggies Apples Bananas Grapes Clementines or pre-cut orange slices Baby carrots or carrot sticks Celery sticks Cucumber slices Sugar snap peas Grape or cherry tomatoes Apple sauce – individual containers – no added sugar Dried fruit – raisin, craisins, apricots, apples Protein Hummus – store bought or homemade – serve with pitas, crackers, or veggies Cheese – string, cubed, or sliced Peanut butter – individual size containers for celery sticks, apple slices, or crackers Hard boiled eggs Nuts and seeds – almonds, walnuts, sunflower seeds Lean meats for sandwiches or to top crackers Drinks Water bottles for everyone – Freezing the water bottles the night before is a great trick for keeping the water cold and the slow melt keeps kiddos from gulping down all the water at once. Low sugar juice boxes or low-fat, soy, or almond milk for lunch time Caffeine drinks as needed for the drivers! Something Fun A bit of chocolate (small individual pieces instead of large candy bars - keep it in the cooler –take it from me, melted chocolate, white shorts, and car upholstery do not mix!) Gum (if the child is old enough) Trail mix – make it with the children ahead of time- pop in a few chocolate chips amongst the nuts and dried fruits Even with planning, some fast food stops may be inevitable. If you find yourself at one of these highway stops, consider these healthy fast food options: Salad – light on the dressing Choose a side of fruit or baked potato instead of fries Ditch the bun and skip the mayo – save calories and fat by eating only half the bun and using mustard instead of mayo Choose grilled chicken over a burger or fried chicken Load up with veggies at the sub shop – choose a lean meat and then load on as many veggies as you like Drink milk or water instead of soda Have fun this summer – enjoy the journey and as always, be healthy out there! Lorraine Wichtowski is a community health educator at Noyes Health in Dansville. If you have questions or suggestions for future articles she can be reached at lwichtowski@noyeshealth.org or 585-335-4327. ... Read More

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