Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Halloween Safety Tips

Halloween Safety Tips
Halloween is an exciting time of year for kids, and to help ensure they have a safe holiday, here are some tips from the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP). Feel free to excerpt these tips or use them in their entirety for any print or broadcast story, with acknowledgment of source.

  • Plan costumes that are bright and reflective. Make sure that shoes fit well and that costumes are short enough to prevent tripping, entanglement or contact with flame.
  • Consider adding reflective tape or striping to costumes and trick-or-treat bags for greater visibility.
  • Because masks can limit or block eyesight, consider non-toxic makeup and decorative hats as safer alternatives. Hats should fit properly to prevent them from sliding over eyes.
  • When shopping for costumes, wigs and accessories look for and purchase those with a label clearly indicating they are flame resistant.
  • If a sword, cane, or stick is a part of your child's costume, make sure it is not sharp or too long. A child may be easily hurt by these accessories if he stumbles or trips.
  • Obtain flashlights with fresh batteries for all children and their escorts.
  • Do not use decorative contact lenses without an eye examination and a prescription from an eye care professional. While the packaging on decorative lenses will often make claims such as “one size fits all,” or “no need to see an eye specialist,” obtaining decorative contact lenses without a prescription is both dangerous and illegal. This can cause pain, inflammation, and serious eye disorders and infections, which may lead to permanent vision loss.
  • Teach children how to call 9-1-1 (or their local emergency number) if they have an emergency or become lost. 
  • Small children should never carve pumpkins. Children can draw a face with markers. Then parents can do the cutting.
  • Consider using a flashlight or glow stick instead of a candle to light your pumpkin. If you do use a candle, a votive candle is safest.
  • Candlelit pumpkins should be placed on a sturdy table, away from curtains and other flammable objects, and should never be left unattended. 
  • To keep homes safe for visiting trick-or-treaters, parents should remove from the porch and front yard anything a child could trip over such as garden hoses, toys, bikes and lawn decorations.
  • Parents should check outdoor lights and replace burned-out bulbs.
  • Wet leaves or snow should be swept from sidewalks and steps.
  • Restrain pets so they do not inadvertently jump on or bite a trick-or-treater. 
  • A parent or responsible adult should always accompany young children on their neighborhood rounds.
  • If your older children are going alone, plan and review the route that is acceptable to you. Agree on a specific time when they should return home.
  • Only go to homes with a porch light on and never enter a home or car for a treat.
  • Because pedestrian injuries are the most common injuries to children on Halloween, remind Trick-or-Treaters.
  • Stay in a group and communicate where they will be going.
  •  Remember reflective tape for costumes and trick-or-treat bags.
  • Carry a cellphone for quick communication.
  • Remain on well-lit streets and always use the sidewalk.
  • If no sidewalk is available, walk at the far edge of the roadway facing traffic.
  • Never cut across yards or use alleys.
  • Only cross the street as a group in established crosswalks (as recognized by local custom). Never cross between parked cars or out driveways.
  • Don’t assume the right of way. Motorists may have trouble seeing Trick-or-Treaters. Just because one car stops, doesn't mean others will!
  • Law enforcement authorities should be notified immediately of any suspicious or unlawful activity.

  • A good meal prior to parties and trick-or-treating will discourage youngsters from filling up on Halloween treats.
  • Consider purchasing non-food treats for those who visit your home, such as coloring books or pens and pencils.
  • Wait until children are home to sort and check treats. Though tampering is rare, a responsible adult should closely examine all treats and throw away any spoiled, unwrapped or suspicious items.
  • Try to ration treats for the days following Halloween.
Have a safe and healthy Halloween!

From your friendly Therapists at GSC Therapy

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Slow Down the aging process

These simple tips can help you keep your joints healthy and reduce the stress that leads to arthritis and other age related conditions.

1.            Practice low-impact exercise. Walking, biking and swimming are some aerobic activities that will increase your heart rate yet will avoid pounding or jarring of your joints that can lead to cartilage damage.

2              Wear protective gear.  Joint damage can lead to arthritis, so wear elbow pads, knee pads, etc. during activities such as skating.  If you already suffer from joint pain, wear braces or splints during activities that may further stress your joints, like golfing or playing tennis.

3.            Nutrition is key!  Foods containing omega-3 fatty acids can help decrease joint inflammation.  Also, a diet rich in calcium can help reduce the risk of bone loss.  Healthy bones can help keep your joints healthy.

4.            Practice good body mechanics.  When lifting from ground or knee-level, bend your knees and hips instead of your back, therefore protecting the smaller joints in your spine. When lifting and moving a heavier load, keep it as close to your body as possible and pivot with your legs instead of twisting your trunk to place it to one side or the other.

5.            S  t  r  e  t  c h!  Joints can get lazy too… If they are not called upon to work, they may become slackers.  Stretching and moving your joints through full range of motion can help remind your joints that they do still work and will keep them flexible and prevent stiffness.

GSC Therapy is an occupational therapy outpatient orthopedic practice that treats the full body! We incorporate specific exercises, techniques, adaptive equipment to help you achieve maximum function at home, work and with your leisure activities. Our customized programs incorporate your goals. Each patient receives a customized home program on a CD for easy follow through!

GSC Therapy has designed Next level Fitness for those who would like to know more about correct exercise, body mechanics to reduce joint stress or to establish a structured, supervised exercise program. You can purchase 1, 5 or 10 visits and use them at any time.

Call us at 480-855-8866 or visit our website at www.gsctherapy.com for additional information. Please let us know if you find us on face book and receive a complimentary gift certificate for a 30 minute massage when you become a patient with us!