Halloween safety tips

halloween safety tipsWatch for cars!

What is the biggest risk to kids on Halloween night? It’s not an overdose of sugar, or the possibility of tainted treats. It’s the traffic.

The Mother’s Complete Guide to Halloween Safety says child pedestrian accidents increase 400% on Halloween, compared to an average day. The greatest number of accidents occur between the hours of 5 pm and 9 pm.

The guide gives the following tips for kids and parents:

  • Use crosswalks.
  • Stay alert to your surroundings—that means put the phone away and keep your eyes up!
  • Plan your route ahead of time.
  • Make eye contact with
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Exercise for brain health

brainThe wellness blog in the New York Times had an article about brain health that has strengthened my resolve to exercise every day.

Walk, Jog or Dance: It’s All Good For the Aging Brain

It turns out that regular walking, cycling, swimming, dancing and even gardening may substantially reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s.

The author is referring to a recently published study in the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease.

The study looked at 10 years’ worth of lifestyle data, including exercise levels, on 900 men and women over the age of 65. Over the course of those 10 years, the … Continue reading

How healthy are public pools?

This summer is already unusually hot where I live and kids and adults are flocking to the local public swimming pools and wading pools.

But I read a couple of articles last week that first made me think “Eww!”, and then made me wonder about how healthy public pools really are.

‘Crypto’ Parasite Outbreaks Increasing in Pools Across America

A diarrhea-causing parasite that is often transmitted through water is causing an increasing number of outbreaks in U.S. pools and spas, according to a new report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Turns out there is a reason pools … Continue reading

Brain health – Play EyeWire

brain health eyewireUse it or lose it

There are several pieces of advice for helping prevent or delay age-related dementia and Alzheimer’s.

  • Don’t smoke
  • Eat healthy, heart-friendly foods
  • Exercise
  • Socialize
  • Challenge your brain

Keeping your brain active and fit can be especially fun and rewarding, as it usually involves learning something new. Examples of good brain-stretchers are:

  • Learning a foreign language
  • Learning to play an instrument
  • Learning to dance, especially a complicated dance such as ballroom or folk dancing
  • Playing games

I love to play games. Board games, card games, word games or video games. You can play with others, which also … Continue reading

Do you didgeridoo?

didgeridoo playerAs I was skimming through some of my favorite medical blogs the other day, I ran across a post by Dr. Synonymous, a family medicine doctor somewhere in middle America. His post referred to the time and place of his first “Didgeridoo Hullabaloo” session that he was offering for his patients that suffered from snoring and sleep apnea.

What is a didgeridoo? It’s a native Australian wind instrument, which can be up to 10 feet long! It works like a large kazoo, and produces a low, resonant sound something like an elephant.

And how does this help snoring? Snoring and … Continue reading

The healing power of mahjongg?

For more than five years, one of my best friends has been battling ovarian cancer. A fierce fighter (and fabulous friend!), she has endured surgeries and several rounds of chemotherapy to keep this grim disease at bay. Her oncologist monitors her condition with the blood test CA-125.

Early last summer, her CA-125 began creeping up into the “let’s watch it but not get too excited—yet” territory. She knew from past experience that she might be facing another round of chemo.

Then we began playing mahjongg. Or, more accurately, American mahjongg, which is a variant of the arcane Chinese game … Continue reading