Handwashing: A Recipe for Health

Handwashing: A Recipe for Health

Information Resources

By Evelyn Cunico, MA, MS/LIS
Posted October 30, 2018

Why Wash Your Hands

Keeping hands clean by washing them with soap and clean, running water is one of the most important habits we can develop to avoid getting sick and spreading germs, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Handwashing is so important to health that Global Handwashing Day in October has been named in honor of Handwashing!

Fight Antibiotic Resistance

Did you know that handwashing helps to fight the rise in antibiotic resistance?

Preventing sickness reduces the amount of antibiotics that people use and the likelihood that antibiotic resistance will develop. Handwashing can prevent about 30 percent of diarrhea-related sicknesses and about 20 percent of respiratory infections, such as colds. Antibiotics often are prescribed unnecessarily for these health issues, according to the CDC.

How to Wash Your Hands: A Recipe for Health

The CDC recommends cleaning hands in a specific way to avoid getting sick and spreading germs. The guidance for effective handwashing and use of hand sanitizer was developed based on data from a number of studies. That is why the CDC calls handwashing, A Recipe for Health.

Step One
Wet your hands with clean, running water, turn off the tap, and apply soap.

Step Two
Lather your hands by rubbing them together with the soap. Be sure to lather the backs of your hands, between your fingers, and under your nails.

Step Three
Scrub your hands for at least 20 seconds. To estimate time, hum the Happy Birthday song twice.

Step Four
Rinse your hands well under clean, running water.

Step Five
Air dry your hands, or dry your hands using a clean towel.

For more information, see the following Selected Information Resources.

Disclaimer: The information presented in this blog should not replace the medical advice of your doctor. You should not use this information to diagnose or treat any disease, illness, or other health condition without first consulting with your medical doctor.

Selected Information Resources

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Fight Germs. Wash Your Hands!
Summary Note: Three-minute video demonstrates five-step handwashing approach. Links to English and Spanish versions.
(Accessed 27 October 2018)

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Handwashing: Clean Hands Save Lives. Global Handwashing Day, October 15, 2018: A Recipe for Health
Summary Note: Handwashing Resources, such as scientific data behind CDC recommendations.
(Accessed 27 October 2018)

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Handwashing: Clean Hands Save Lives. Show Me the Science – Why Wash Your Hands?
Summary Note: Explains how germs get onto hands, how handwashing can prevent illness, and how handwashing helps to minimize resistance to antibiotics.
(Accessed 27 October 2018)

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Handwashing: Clean Hands Save Lives. Show Me the Science – How to Wash Your Hands.
Summary Note: Describes the five-step handwashing approach. For each step, provides evidence-based reasons why the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends cleaning hands in a specific way.
(Accessed 27 October 2018)

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Handwashing. Clean Hands Save Lives. Show Me the Science – Situations Where Hand Sanitizer Can Be Effective and How to Use It in Community Settings
Summary Note: Describes when and how to use hand sanitizer.
(Accessed 27 October 2018)

 

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Child Development

Child Development

Information Resources

By Evelyn Cunico, MA, MS/LIS
Posted September 23, 2018

Child development includes emotional, intellectual, physical, and social changes. When talking about differences among healthy children, it is hard to define what is normal. Diet, exercise, and heredity are all contributing factors.

MedlinePlus, which is part of the U.S. National Library of Medicine, has produced a full topic page on Child Development. Explore MedlinePlus Child Development which includes links provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, a Medical Encyclopedia, and Related Health Topics.

Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD), which is part of the National Institutes of Health, is the primary NIH organization conducting research on child development. Visit the NICHD Newsroom to find statistics from U.S. government agencies on the status of at-risk children and youth.

For more information, browse the following Selected Information Resources.

Disclaimer: The information presented in this blog should not replace the medical advice of your doctor. You should not use this information to diagnose or treat any disease, illness, or other health condition without first consulting with your medical doctor.

Selected Information Resources

Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. EatRight. Five Ways to Promote a Positive Body Image for Kids.
Summary Note: How to talk with children about the myth of the perfect body. Conversations between parents and children can build confidence and self-esteem.
(Accessed 22 September 2018)

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Child Development. CDC A-Z Index.
Summary Note: Browse the CDC A-Z Index at the letter, C, for Child.
(Accessed 22 September 2018)

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. National Center on Birth Defects and Developmental Disabilities. Child Development. Basic Information.
Summary Note: Includes Effective Parenting Strategies and Positive Parenting Tips. Also includes links to information on milestones that children should reach from birth through teen years.
(Accessed 22 September 2018)

National Book Foundation. BookUp.
Summary Note: National Book Foundation (NBF) works to ensure that books have a central place in American culture. NBF partners include the U.S. Department of Education and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. NBF BookUp is a free reading program in low-income and minority communities where reading proficiency is particularly low.
(Accessed 20 September 2018)

National Institutes of Health. Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD). How Can Parents and Caregivers Promote Early Learning
Summary Note: Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development is the primary NIH organization that supports and conducts research on the processes of human development and how they affect health, from preconception through adulthood.
(Accessed 22 September 2018)

National Institutes of Health. Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD). News Release. September 19, 2018. America’s Children in Brief 2018: Key National Indicators of Well-Being.
Summary Note: NICHD Newsroom announces publication of the latest annual report of Federal statistics on the health and well-being of America’s children and youth. Newsroom includes link to the full report.
(Accessed 22 September 2018)

National Institutes of Health. News in Health. April 2018. Building Social Bonds. Connections that Promote Well-Being.
Summary Note: A monthly newsletter from the National Institutes of Health, part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. April 2018 newsletter issue discusses positive emotional family bonds that are central to the development of children.
(Accessed 22 September 2018)

National Institutes of Health. News in Health. Special Issue: Parenting. It’s a Kid’s Job. Playing Helps Kids Learn and Grow.
Summary Note: A monthly newsletter from the National Institutes of Health, part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Special Issue on Parenting includes comments from medical experts on play behavior. Evidence suggests that play can help increase brain function, promote fitness, improve coordination, and teach cooperation.
(Accessed 22 September 2018)

National Institutes of Health. U.S. National Library of Medicine. MedlinePlus. Child Development.
Summary Note: MedlinePlus topic page for Child Development. Section titled, Start Here, provides background with links to federal government, university, and nonprofit organizations. Website includes sections on Treatments and Therapies, Videos and Tutorials, Statistics and Research, Journal Articles, and Patient Handouts.
(Accessed 22 September 2018)

Nemours Foundation. KidsHealth from Nemours. Growth and Development.
Summary Note: Website helps parents to learn about the changing body and mind of their growing child. Topic links include
Feeding and Eating, Learning and Play, Medical Care, Sexual Development, and Sleep.
(Accessed 22 September 2018)

 

Telehealth

Telehealth

Information Resources

By Evelyn Cunico, MA, MS/LIS
Posted June 28, 2018

What Is Telehealth?

Telehealth is part of the broad field of Health Internet Technology (Health IT). Specifically, Telehealth is the use of communications technologies that provide health care from a distance.

Terms often used interchangeably with Telehealth include, Connected Health, Electronic Health (e-health), Mobile Health (m-health), and Telemedicine.

What Are Benefits of Telehealth Technologies?

  • Mobile Health (m-Health) is a technology that uses your mobile device to talk with or text your provider. You can use health apps to track your blood sugar levels, or diet and exercise results, and then share information with your medical providers.
  • Online Patient Portals allow you to e-mail your medical doctor, request prescription refills, schedule appointments, and see your test results. Medical providers must use computer software that keeps your health records more secure than if you used an e-mail account that is outside of an Online Patient Portal.
  • Remote Patient Monitoring (RPM) is a technology that monitors your health from your home. For example, in diabetes management, the real-time transmission of blood glucose and blood pressure readings enables immediate alerts for patients and healthcare providers, according to the National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering.

What Are Drawbacks of Telehealth Technologies?

  • Computer-driven decision-making might not be the best, if you have a complex medical history.
  • Essential information from your medical history may not be considered.
  • Telehealth services do not allow for easy doctor-patient decision-making about possible alternative treatments.
  • Virtual patient visits cannot include an in-person evaluation, without which an accurate diagnosis might not be possible.

Does Health Insurance Pay for Telehealth Services?

Not all health insurance companies pay for all telehealth services. Also, services may be limited for persons with Medicare or Medicaid. In addition, states have different standards for services that they will cover. Always check with your insurance company to be sure that Telehealth services will be covered.

More Information

For more information on Telehealth, see the Selected Information Resources that follow this blog post. You may also search online or ask a Reference Librarian at your local Public Library.

Disclaimer: The information presented in this blog should not replace the medical advice of your doctor. You should not use this information to diagnose or treat any disease, illness, or other health condition without first consulting with your medical doctor or other healthcare provider.

Selected Information Resources

American Health Information Management Association. What Is a Personal Health Record (PHR)?
Summary Note: Describes how you can compile, organize, and maintain your own Personal Health Record to help manage your health. Explains the difference between a Medical Record and a Personal Health Record.
(Accessed 23 June 2018)

American Telemedicine Association. Telemedicine glossary.
Summary Note: Alphabetical list defines more than 100 items.
(Accessed 23 June 2018)

Center for Connected Health Policy. Telehealth Medicaid and State Policy.
Summary Note: The Center for Connected Health Policy (CCHP) is a program of the Public Health Institute. CCHP was created in 2008 by the California Health Care Foundation. The National Telehealth Policy Resource Center project is made possible by the Office for the Advancement of Telehealth, Health Resources and Services Administration, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The CCHP annual survey and analysis of state Telehealth laws and reimbursement policies shows that no two states approach Telehealth in the same way.
(Accessed 26 June 2018)

Feltes, Jordan, Michael Push, and Avik Som. Messaging System Helps Caregivers Keep Tabs on Growing Number of Patients with Substance Use Disorder. New England Journal of Medicine Catalyst. April 17, 2018.
Summary Note: Describes a patient outreach automated text and phone call based mobile messaging system that integrates into a community substance abuse recovery program. Explains how the texting program works and specifies time and dollars saved.
(Accessed 23 June 2018)

HealthIT dot gov.
Summary Note: Official website of the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC). Information for patients and healthcare providers about how health information technology can provide privacy and security.
(Accessed 23 June 2018)

HealthyPeople dot gov. HealthyPeople 2020. Health Communication and Health Information Technology. Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion.
Summary Note: Provides science-based ten-year objectives for improving the health of Americans through health communication strategies and health information technology.
(Accessed 23 June 2018)

Mayo Clinic. Healthy Lifestyle. Consumer Health. Telehealth: Technology Meets Healthcare. See How Technology Can Improve Your Health Care.
Summary Note: discusses a variety of Telehealth tools to help you manage your healthcare. Provides examples of how you might use remote services, such as mobile phones, nursing call centers, online patient portals, and Personal Health Records.
(Accessed 23 June 2018)

National Institutes of Health. National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering (NIBIB). Science Education. Telehealth.
Summary Note: Defines types of Telehealth technologies and how they are improving medical care now. Also discusses new devices that NIBIB-funded researchers are developing in the area of Telehealth.
(Accessed 23 June 2018)

National Institutes of Health. U.S. National Library of Medicine. MedlinePlus. Medical Encyclopedia. Telehealth.
Summary Note: Medical Encyclopedia entry on Telehealth includes sections on How to Use Telehealth, Benefit of Telehealth, and Telehealth and Insurance.
(Accessed 23 June 2018)

Sauerwein, Kristina. Text Messaging Tool May Help Fight Opioid Epidemic. News Release. April 17, 2018. Washington State University School of Medicine in St. Louis.
Summary Note: News Release discusses article by Jordan Feltes and other authors cited in this list of Selected Information Resources. Describes how a new automated text messaging service may curb opioid abuse and reduce likelihood of relapse.
(Accessed 23 June 2018)

 

 

 

 

Infectious Disease Prevention: Daily Habits a Strong Defense

Infectious Disease Prevention: Daily Habits a Strong Defense

Information Resources

By Evelyn Cunico, MA, MS/LIS
Posted May 30, 2018

Background

In the United States, where vaccination rates are high, and many contagious diseases have been declared eliminated, you may believe that you or your children do not need to be vaccinated.

However, there is no reliable way to know whether you or your children may come into contact with someone who has not been vaccinated, particularly now that many people travel globally.

Vaccines work by protecting the body before disease strikes. So, the best time to immunize yourself and your children is when you are healthy. Consider talking with your doctor about how to schedule vaccinations as part of your healthy lifestyle habits.

Daily Habits

Your daily habits provide some of the strongest defenses against infectious diseases, according to the National Academy of Sciences. Following are some of the actions you can take to protect yourself.

  • Keep immunizations up to date. See the Immunization Schedules on the website of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
  • Wash your hands often. Wash with regular soap and water for at least 20 seconds, then rinse with running water, then dry thoroughly. This daily habit is the most important way to prevent spreading disease.
  • Prepare and handle food carefully. See, Check Your Steps, on the Food Safety dot Gov website. Follow the four steps, Clean, Separate, Cook, and Chill, to keep your family safe from food poisoning.
  • Use antibiotics only for infections that are caused by bacteria. Viral infections cannot be treated with antibiotics.
  • Outdoors, avoid insect bites by using insect repellent and wearing long-sleeved shirts, long pants, and a hat.
  • Every day, eat well, get six to eight hours of sleep, exercise for 30 minutes, and avoid tobacco and illegal drug use.

For more information, see the Selected Information Resources that follow this blog post.

Disclaimer: The information presented in this blog should not replace the medical advice of your doctor. You should not use this information to diagnose or treat any disease, illness, or other health condition without first consulting with your medical doctor or other healthcare provider.

Selected Information Resources

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. About.
Summary Note: Describes CDC roles, such as finding out what makes people sick and spotlighting the most effective ways to prevent chronic and infectious diseases.
(Accessed 28 May 2018)

Centers for Control and Prevention. Children, Ages 4 to 11, Diseases and Conditions.
Summary Note: Learn about diseases and conditions that could affect your child.
(Accessed 30 May 2018)

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Immunization Schedules.
Summary Note: Website serves two audiences, For Health Care Professionals and For Parents and Adults. The 2018 Recommended Immunization Schedules are categorized by, For Children Birth to 6 Years, For Persons 7 Years to 18 years, and For Adults 19 Years and Older.
(Accessed 29 May 2018)

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Ten Reasons to Get Vaccinated.
Summary Note: CDC has selected ten reasons, among many, to get vaccinated. Website includes a Vaccination Quiz, to find which vaccinations are best for you.
(Accessed 30 May 2018)

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Vaccine-Preventable Adult Diseases.
Summary Note: Learn about Serious Diseases that Can Be Prevented by Vaccines.
(Accessed 30 May 2018)

National Academy of Sciences and National Institutes of Health. U.S. National Library of Medicine. National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI). What You Need to Know About Infectious Disease. Prevention and Treatment.
Summary Note: Discusses Vaccines and Medicines, such as Antibiotics and Antivirals. Under the section titled, Microbe Awareness, provides a list of Daily Habits that you can practice as strong defenses against infectious diseases.
(Accessed 29 May 2018)

National Institutes of Health. U.S. National Library of Medicine. MedlinePlus. Immunization. Also called, Vaccination.
Summary Note: MedlinePlus topic page defines immunity and why vaccines are important for children and adults. Includes links to more than 40 Federal websites under topics, such as, Ten Reasons to Get Vaccinated, Videos and Tutorials, Find an Expert, and Patient Handouts.
(Accessed 29 May 2018)

National Institutes of Health. U.S. National Library of Medicine. MedlinePlus. Infection Control
Summary Note: Links to resources for healthcare workers and for patients and visitors in hospital and dental settings. Resource link topics are general, such as, Patient Safety, and specific, such as, Top 9 Ways to Reduce the Risk of Pneumonia If You or a Loved One is Hospitalized. Some links are in Spanish.
(Accessed 29 May 2018)

National Institutes of Health. U.S. National Library of Medicine. MedlinePlus. Infectious Diseases. Also called, Communicable Diseases.
Summary Note: Lists ways that you can get an infectious disease. Describes Four Main Types of Germs. Suggests Steps You Can Take to Prevent Infectious Diseases. Under category titled, Children, includes PDF linked resource titled, Talking with Children: Tips for Caregivers, Parents, and Teachers during Infectious Disease Outbreaks.
(Accessed 29 May 2018)

Nemours Foundation. KidsHealth. Frequently Asked Questions about Immunizations.
Summary Note: Easy-to-Read list of more than 15 questions and answers, such as, What do vaccines do? Will the vaccine give someone the disease it is supposed to prevent? Why should I have my child immunized if all the other kids in school are immunized? Answers have been reviewed by a medical doctor.
(Accessed 29 May 2018)

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Food Safety dot Gov. Check Your Steps.
Summary Note: Describes Four Steps to Food Safety: Clean, Separate, Cook, and Chill.
(Accessed 30 May 2018)

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion. Healthy People 2020 Immunization and Infectious Diseases.
Summary Note: National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS) and other Federal departments fund the HealthyPeople 2020 initiative, which gathers statistics and projects trends. The U.S. Health System disease management trend is shifting from a focus on disease treatment to disease prevention.
(Accessed 29 May 2018)

 

 

Manage High Blood Pressure for Good Health

Manage High Blood Pressure for Good Health

Information Resources

By Evelyn Cunico, MA, MS/LIS
Posted March 29, 2018

Background

About one in three adults in the U.S. has high blood pressure, but many adults do not realize it, according to the National Institutes of Health.

High blood pressure usually has no warning signs. Yet, left untreated, high blood pressure can lead to heart attack or stroke. High blood pressure also can damage the brain, kidneys, or muscles.

It is important that you talk with your medical doctor or other healthcare provider to find healthy actions that can prevent high blood pressure from damaging your health.

Definitions

Blood pressure is the force of your blood pushing against the walls of your arteries. Your arteries are blood vessels that carry blood from the heart to other places in your body.

Each time that your heart beats, it pumps blood into the arteries. Your blood pressure is highest when your heart beats, pumping the blood. This is called, systolic pressure.

When your heart is at rest, between beats, your blood pressure falls. This is called, diastolic pressure.

Normal blood pressure means that your systolic pressure is less than 120 and your diastolic pressure is less than 80. Usually, the systolic number in your medical record is recorded before or above the diastolic number.

How to Manage High Blood Pressure

  • Do not smoke. Cigarette smoking raises your blood pressure and puts you at higher risk for heart attack and stroke. If you do not smoke, do not start. If you do smoke, talk with your medical doctor, nurse, or other health care provider for help in finding the best way for you to quit.
  • Eat a healthy diet. Talk with your medical doctor about the DASH Diet. DASH stands for Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension. The DASH Diet, developed in part by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, is designed to help prevent or treat high blood pressure.
  • Exercise daily. Aim for 30 minutes of daily exercise. Before starting to exercise, talk with your doctor about the possibility of aerobic exercise, such as brisk walking, in which your heart beats harder and you use more oxygen than usual.
  • Limit alcohol. Drinking too much alcohol can raise your blood pressure and also increase calories. Men should have no more than two drinks per day. Women should have no more than one drink per day, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
  • Control weight. Maintaining a healthy weight for your body frame can help manage high blood pressure and reduce your risk for other health conditions, such as heart disease or stroke.
  • Relax. Learning how to relax and manage stress can improve your emotional and physical health and lower high blood pressure. Stress management techniques include exercising, focusing on something peaceful, listening to calming music, and meditating.

For more information, see the Selected Information Resources that follow this blog post.

Disclaimer: The information presented in this blog should not replace the medical advice of your doctor. You should not use this information to diagnose or treat any disease, illness, or other health condition without first consulting with your medical doctor or other healthcare provider.

Selected Information Resources

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Preventing High Blood Pressure.
Summary Note: Describes a healthy lifestyle in terms of healthy diet, healthy weight, physical activity, no smoking, and limited alcohol. Includes CDC links to related information.
(Accessed 26 March 2018)

Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research. Nutrition and Healthy Eating. DASH Diet: Tips for Shopping and Cooking.
Summary Note: Provides tips to help you get started with the DASH (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension) Diet. Tips include what to do before you grocery shop and how to select and prepare foods that support the DASH Diet.
(Accessed 26 March 2018)

National Institutes of Health. National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health. Relaxation Techniques for Health.
Summary Note: Discusses specific relaxation practices whose goal is to lower blood pressure, slow breathing, and produce a feeling of increased well-being.
(Accessed 28 March 2018)

National Institutes of Health. National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke. Mind Your Risks.
Summary Note: Describes Mind Your Risks, a public health campaign that educates people with high blood pressure about the importance of controlling blood pressure in mid-life (from the ages of 45 to 65). Explains that high blood pressure is one of the risk factors for dementia and stroke. Includes Additional Resources.
(Accessed 26 March 2018)

National Institutes of Health. U.S. National Library of Medicine. MedlinePlus. Blood Pressure.
Summary Note: Animated slide show with audio description of normal blood pressure. Mentions risks of high blood pressure. Encourages medical evaluation to prevent stroke and damage to important organs, such as the brain and kidneys.
(Accessed 26 March 2018)

National Institutes of Health. U.S. National Library of Medicine. MedlinePlus. High Blood Pressure.
Summary Note: MedlinePlus Topic Page. Includes information on High Blood Pressure organized by categories, such as Children, Teenagers, Women, Seniors, and Patient Handouts.
(Accessed 28 March 2018)

National Institutes of Health. U.S. National Library of Medicine. MedlinePlus. How to Prevent High Blood Pressure.
Summary Note: MedlinePlus Topic Page. Defines different types of high blood pressure. Suggests ways to prevent high blood pressure. Includes links to Clinical Trials, Journal Articles, Patient Handouts, and Videos and Tutorials.
(Accessed 20 March 2018)

National Institutes of Health. U.S. National Library of Medicine. MedlinePlus. Quitting Smoking.
Summary Note: MedlinePlus Topic Page on Smoking Cessation. Includes tips to stop smoking, therapies and treatments, patient handouts, and links to National Cancer Institute and other reliable websites.
(Accessed 28 March 2018)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Childhood Asthma

Childhood Asthma

Information Resources

By Evelyn Cunico, MA, MS/LIS
Posted February 27, 2018

Definition

Asthma is a disease that affects your airways. Your airways are tubes that carry air in and out of your lungs. If you have asthma and you experience an asthma attack, the inside walls of your airways become sore and swollen, and your airways fill with mucus. The swelling and mucus cause the airways to narrow, making breathing difficult.

Population

In the United States, the number of adults aged 18 and over who currently have asthma is nearly 20 million, which translates to more than seven percent of U.S. adults aged 18 and over. The number of U.S. children under the age of 18 who currently have asthma is more than six million, which translates to more than eight percent of U.S. children aged 18 and under, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Causes and Triggers

No one knows for certain why some persons develop asthma. Experts believe that causes may include hereditary genes, overweight, and environmental factors.

A key part of asthma in children is an allergic reaction, according to the U.S. National Library of Medicine. Allergens are also called, triggers. One way that parents can help to control childhood asthma is by avoiding triggers.

The following tips can help to avoid triggers:

  • Get rid of tobacco smoke in the home. This is the single most important thing that a family can do to help a child with asthma, according to the A.D.A.M. Medical Encyclopedia.
  • Keep the house clean by changing the linens often, vacuuming regularly, and keeping food in containers and out of bedrooms, according to KidsHealth at the Nemours Foundation.
  • Keep pets away from the child’s bedroom, according to the National Library of Medicine.

Asthma Action Plan

You and your child’s healthcare providers can work together as a team to create and carry out an Asthma Action Plan, which is a care plan that helps to control asthma.

An Asthma Action Plan will give you the following instructions:

  • How to avoid asthma triggers
  • How to watch for symptoms
  • How to Use a Peak Flow Meter, which measures air flow to and from the lungs
  • How to take asthma medicines for long-term control or for quick relief

Asthma that is not well controlled can lead to lasting lung problems. However, with proper treatment, most children with asthma can live a normal life.

For more information, see the Selected Information Resources that follow this blog post.

Disclaimer: The information presented in this blog should not replace the medical advice of your doctor. You should not use this information to diagnose or treat any disease, illness, or other health condition without first consulting with your medical doctor or other healthcare provider.

Selected Information Resources

American Academy of Physicians. Asthma Triggers and What to Do About Them.
Summary Note: Lists asthma triggers, which are certain things that cause asthma attacks or make asthma worse. Includes tips on how to help children reduce exposure to triggers.
(Accessed 10 February 2018)

American Lung Association. Lung Health and Diseases. For Parents of Children with Asthma.
Summary Note: Discusses how children with asthma are diagnosed and treated. Suggests resources, such as school programs and an interactive website, where children with asthma can learn self-management skills.
(Accessed 10 February 2018)

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. National Center for Health Statistics. Asthma.
Summary Note: Data for the U.S. on Morbidity, Physician Office Visits, Emergency Department Visits, and Mortality. Includes link to Summary Health Statistics Tables for U.S. Children: National Health Interview Survey, 2015.
(Accessed 26 February 2018)

National Institutes of Health. National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute.
Summary Note: NHLBI is the primary NIH organization for research on Asthma in Children.
(Accessed 23 February 2018)

National Institutes of Health. U.S. National Library of Medicine. MedlinePlus. Asthma – Children. Medical Encyclopedia.
Summary Note: Medical Encyclopedia is published by A.D.A.M., Inc. Defines Asthma. Compares diagrams of normal and asthmatic airways. Includes diagram of Peak Flow Meter. Discusses Triggers, Symptoms, Tests, Treatment, and Medicine. Includes Patient Instructions.
(Accessed 25 February 2018)

National Institutes of Health. U.S. National Library of Medicine. MedlinePlus. Asthma in Children.
Summary Note: NIH Topic Page for Childhood Asthma. Includes list of websites from the National Institutes of Health and other reliable research and education sources. Resources are arranged by category, such as, Start Here, Diagnosis and Tests, Prevention and risk Factors, Videos and Tutorials. Includes free Patient Handouts.
(Accessed 10 February 2018)

National Institutes of Health. U.S. National Library of Medicine. NIH MedlinePlus Magazine. Don’t Let Asthma Define You. Fall 2017 issue.
Summary Note: Features a young woman, diagnosed with asthma at birth, whose asthma impacted life milestones, such as giving birth, but whose self-confidence and prescribed medications help her to live a life defined by positive thought and action.
(Accessed 10 February 2018)

National Institutes of Health. U.S. National Library of Medicine. NIH MedlinePlus Magazine. Outrunning Asthma: Football Player Rashad Jennings Battled Childhood Asthma with Exercise and Determination Fall 2017 issue.
Summary Note: Features a football player, diagnosed with childhood asthma, who uses exercise and self-determination to compete on and off the football field.
(Accessed 10 February 2018)

Nemours Foundation. KidsHealth dot org. Asthma Basics.
Summary Note: Presents frequently asked questions, with answers that have been reviewed by a medical doctor. Includes a list of tips on how an Asthma Action Plan can be developed with the Pediatrician or other medical doctor.
(Accessed 10 February 2018)

 

 

 

 

 

 

Create an Active Lifestyle

Create an Active Lifestyle

Information Resources

By Evelyn Cunico, MA, MS/LIS
Posted January 19, 2018

What is an Active Lifestyle?

An active lifestyle includes at least 30 minutes of brisk walking or other moderate activity, five days a week, according to the National Institutes of Health.

However, most adults nationwide do not meet this 30-minute minimum daily recommended amount of physical activity.

Why Do Many Adults Choose Not to Adopt an Active Lifestyle?

Lack of time is a common reason for not exercising, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

How Can You Learn to Choose Active Lifestyle Activities?

The CDC recommends identifying available time slots by paying attention to your daily routine for one week. Identify at least three 30-minute time slots in a week that you could use for physical activity.

Select activities that require minimal time, such as, jogging, stair climbing, or walking.

How Can You Be More Active at Home?

MedlinePlus, which is part of the U.S. National Library of Medicine, suggests some ways that you can be active at home.

  • Do housework, gardening, and yard work, which are all physical work.
  • Walk your kids to school, walk your dog, or go for a walk in your neighborhood.
  • Keep moving while you watch TV. Do some yoga stretches or lift hand weights.
  • Get some exercise equipment, such as exercise mats or stretch bands.

How Can You Be More Active at Work?

  • At least once each hour, get up from your desk chair and move around.
  • Take the stairs, instead of the elevator.
  • Use your break or part of your lunch time to walk around the building.
  • Have “walking” meetings with co-workers, instead of sitting in a conference room.
  • Stand when you are talking on the phone.

Experts on physical activity and nutrition say that it is not necessary to do vigorous physical activity, such as running, to have beneficial health effects.

Just 30 minutes of brisk walking most days, in at least 10-minute segments, can have a healthy effect.

Most important, you have to learn to look for opportunities to fit physical activity into your days, according to the National Institutes of Health. You can put on your sneakers and go to the gym, but that is not the only way to get active.

Create an active lifestyle by getting active, wherever you are!

For more ideas on how to get active physically, browse the following Selected Information Resources.

Disclaimer: The information presented in this blog should not replace the medical advice of your doctor. You should not use this information to diagnose or treat any disease, illness, or other health condition without first consulting with your medical doctor.

Selected Information Resources

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Overcoming Barriers to Physical Activity.
Summary Note: Lists the ten most common reasons that American adults give when asked why they are not more physically active. Offers Suggestions for Overcoming Physical Activity Barriers.
(Accessed 12 January 2018)

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Physical Activity and Health. The Benefits of Physical Activity.
Summary Note: Lists benefits of physical activity, such as controlling your weight and reducing your risk of cardiovascular disease. Focus is that everyone can gain the health benefits of physical activity. Age, ethnicity, and body shape do not matter.
(Accessed 16 January 2018)

Cunico, Evelyn. CHIME Consumer Health. Physical Activity – How to Start. Information Resources. Blog posted June 28, 2016.
Summary Note: Suggests that believing in your ability to be active physically, combined with social support from family and friends, can lead to a healthier, more active lifestyle. Selected Information Resources include links to authoritative websites, such as, the U.S. National Library of Medicine and the Nemours Foundation.
(Accessed 12 January 2018)

Cunico, Evelyn. CHIME Consumer Health. Walking for Health and Fun. Information Resources. Blog posted January 31, 2015.
Summary Note: Discusses walking as the most popular form of physical activity in the U.S. Lists health benefits and community projects that encourage walking. Selected Information Resources include links to 2008 Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans and authoritative medical journal articles on recreational neighborhood walking.
(Accessed 12 January 2018)

National Institutes of Health. National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute. Home page.
Summary Note: The NHLB Institute provides research, training, and education to prevent and treat heart, lung, blood, and sleep disorders. The NHLB Institute is also the primary NIH organization for research on Health Risks of an Inactive Lifestyle.
(Accessed 12 January 2018)

National Institutes of Health. May 2015. Opportunities Abound for Moving Around: Get Active, Wherever You Are.
Summary Note: A monthly newsletter from NIH, part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The May 2015 issue offers ideas on how to become more active in everyday healthful physical activities without spending a lot of money. Sidebar includes Links and References.
(Accessed 06 January 2018)

National Institutes of Health. U.S. National Library of Medicine. MedlinePlus. Health Risks of an Inactive Lifestyle.
Summary Note: Defines inactive lifestyle. Describes how an inactive lifestyle affects your body, including disease risks. Suggests ways to get started with exercise at home and at work. Includes Resources, Clinical Trials, and Journal Articles.
(Accessed 06 January 2018)

Saelens, Brian E., Anne Vernez Moudon, Bumjoon Kang, Philip M. Hurvitz, and Chuan Zhou. American Public Health Association, American Journal of Public Health. 2014 May; 104(5):854-859. Relation between Higher Physical Activity and Public Transit Use
Summary Note: Public transit use data collected in 2008 to 2009 from nearly 700 Travel Assessment and Community study participants from King County, Washington State showed that transit use was directly related to higher physical activity.
(Free PMC Full Text accessed 12 January 2018)

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion. 2008 Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans
Summary Note: Provides science-based guidance to help Americans ages six and older to maintain or to improve their health through regular physical activity. View Guidelines by category, such as, Children and Adolescents, Adults, Older Adults, Women during Pregnancy, Adults with Disabilities, and People with Medical Conditions.
(Accessed 15 January 2018)