More than 600 children drown every year. But you can help bring down this tragic number. We’ll show you how to make nearly every body of water—from your bathtub to the beach—a whole lot safer for your family and friends.


Two Girls On Float Tubes in Pool

Make no mistake: Drowning is a threat to children everywhere. Nationwide, it’s the number-one cause of accidental death in kids ages 1 to 4 and the second-most-common cause of injury-related death in children ages 1 to 14, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Every year upwards of 600 children under age 15 die from drowning, and seven times that many get treated in emergency rooms for nonfatal submersion injuries. Most deadly accidents affecting young kids happen in backyard pools, but there are also sneaky hazards around the house and at the beach. That’s why learning water-safety essentials and being aware of drowning dangers is so important. Start with this lifesaving advice:

Rule #1: Never take your eyes off your child when she’s in or around the water.

Sadly, young children can drown silently in as little as 25 seconds, even in the shallow end or in a baby pool, says Lois Lee, M.D., M.P.H., an emergency-medicine specialist at Boston Children’s Hospital.

Kids who are not yet experienced swimmers need constant touch supervision when they’re playing in or near a pool or at the beach. That means you (or another responsible adult) should stay in the water with your child at all times, within touching distance, giving him 100 percent of your attention. Once your child has learned to swim long distances and float on his back, he won’t necessarily need you right next to him, but you should always keep him in sight, no matter how old he is. (Kids of all ages can get stuck underwater, grow tired, or become panicked.) And don’t assume you’ll hear your child yelling or splashing if he needs help—that’s something you see in the movies. In real life, most kids and adults drown quietly and quickly.

Rule #2: Ignore your phone.

Make a pact with yourself: When you’re at the pool or the beach or the lake, silence your phone and stow it out of reach in your bag so you’re not tempted to use it. “If you hear a text message come in and turn to your phone for five seconds, that’s long enough for a child to be submerged,” says Anne Beasley, M.D., a pediatric hospitalist at Phoenix Children’s Hospital. This doesn’t mean, however, that you should leave your phone at home; it’s best to keep it fully charged and within reach in case of emergency. (You should also memorize the address of wherever you’re swimming so you can easily give your location to a 911 operator.)

Rule #3: Don’t rely on water wings, inflatable toys, floating loungers, or pool noodles.

“Parents put too much faith in flotation devices that were never made to be life preservers,” says James Callahan, M.D., a pediatric emergency physician at The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. If your little one is a nonswimmer, it’s okay to let her use floatie toys, but only if you’re right there next to her in the water. And just say no to toy mermaid fins; they can trap your child’s legs, preventing her from easily kicking her way to the surface from beneath the water. The only safe flotation device is a well-fitting Coast Guard–approved life jacket, and it’s not a bad idea to have a weak swimmer wear one while she’s in or around the water (though, of course, you still need to be with her too). Remember to keep all floating toys out of the pool when they’re not in use; otherwise they may entice a toddler into the water.

Rule #4: Sign up your child for swimming lessons.

What’s the right age to get started? The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends that all children ages 4 and older take swimming lessons. But don’t let lessons give you a false sense of security: Regardless of ability, all toddlers and preschoolers need a caregiver at their side in the pool.

Two Girls Playing in Sand on Beach

Rule #5: Make older kids buddy up.

As an extra layer of protection, experts recommend that kids follow the buddy system. Pair your child with a friend or a sibling, and explain that each kid is responsible for knowing where her buddy is at all times. But don’t forget that a pal doesn’t replace adult supervision; the system serves as a supplement.

Rule #6: When there’s a crowd, put a parent on lifeguard duty.

Or better yet, hire help. At a party or a gathering, it’s almost guaranteed that parents will get distracted and look away from the pool at some point. A simple backup to make sure that everyone’s safe: In addition to keeping track of your own kids, pay a pro or designate an adult “water watcher” and take turns every 15 minutes, suggests Dr. Beasley. That person’s only job is to sit on the edge keeping an eye on all of the children. If there are more than a few kids, designate multiple water watchers, with some swimming in the water with the littlest ones and others standing where they can observe the entire group. And don’t drink alcoholic beverages while your kids are swimming or hanging out by the pool; save the wine for when outdoor time is over for the day.

Rule #7: Teach your child the rules.

For easy memorizing, stick to these five: no running, no diving in the shallow end, no pushing people in, no pulling other kids under the water, and no swimming without adult supervision—ever. And remember: Children aren’t the only ones who shouldn’t swim alone; it’s not particularly safe for adults to swim solo either, says Dr. Callahan.

Rule #8: Learn CPR.

If the worst happens and you have to rescue a distressed swimmer, conducting CPR while you wait for an ambulance to arrive could save that person’s life. When the heart stops, continuing to circulate blood to the brain helps prevent a bad outcome, explains Dr. Beasley. “In a perfect world, all parents would be trained in CPR.” You can find a class through a community center or hospital, or via the American Heart Association or the American Red Cross. If you’re untrained or rusty on CPR, do chest compressions (100 per minute), and skip rescue breathing, also known as mouth-to-mouth. When it comes to drowning, doing something is always better than doing nothing.

First published:By Kate Lawler from

There’s a lot to do when the weather is right: family picnics, working on your tan at the beach, a homerun derby on the softball field, endless hours on the golf course, or lounging in your backyard hammock. Unfortunately, too much fun in the sun can be dangerous. Excessive heat exposure can cause dehydration, which in turn can cause dangerous conditions like heat cramps, heat exhaustion, and heat stroke (also called sunstroke).Image result for dehydration

No matter what your plans are this summer, you won’t want to miss any of them. Combating the toll of the heat and sun on your body will keep you healthy and active all summer long. Try a few of these simple precautions, and you’ll still be going strong as the leaves start to turn.

What to Wear

The way you dress can go a long way towards keeping you comfortable when you’re outside in the heat. Make sure you bring:

Light-Colored Clothes

The white linen shirt every male movie star wears on the beach isn’t just fashionably conscious; it’s also intelligent for hot, sunny days. Dark clothing absorbs more heat, and tight clothes don’t let sweat — your body’s natural cooling system — evaporate.


Sunglasses are chic and functional. They prevent harmful ultraviolet (UV) rays from scorching your corneas and protect your eyes for many more summers to come. Choose sunglasses that block 90 to 100 percent of UV rays.

Image result for sunglasses


Unlike 8-inch high heels at the beach, a hat is smart summer fashion. Throwing on a wide-brimmed hat
prevents UV rays from hitting the sensitive spots on your face and keeps your skin looking young and wrinkle-free.


Nothing knocks good days off a summer calendar like a nasty sunburn. When outdoors, use sunscreen with an SPF rating of at least 15. Use a higher-rated, waterproof sunscreen if you’ll be poolside or out on the beach. Don’t forget to cover areas that burn easily: nose, ears, shoulders, and back of the neck.

Image result for lipbalm spf


Lip Balm

keeps in moisture for your lips. Perfect for a day on the lake or while you’re working on that summer romance.Just like sunscreen protects the rest of your skin, a lip balm with SPF protection blocks out the sun


How to Stay Hydrated

The heat makes you sweat, which cools you down, but that also means you’re constantly losing fluid. Here’s how to stay hydrated:


Don’t wait until you’re thirsty! Drink water throughout the day to prevent dehydration or over exhaustion. Use the color of your urine to guide if you’re hydrated enough — the clearer the better.

JuiceImage result for water and juice

All natural juice without added sugar not only provides hydration but also important nutrients to keep you active in hot weather. Check the label on the juice bottle and make sure it says “100 percent juice with no sugar added.”

Avoid Alcohol and Caffeine

While an ice cold cocktail — complete with a little paper umbrella — might sound good on the beach, it won’t be as refreshing to your body. That’s because alcohol only dehydrates you more. If you can’t barbecue without a brew, drink a bottle of water between each alcoholic beverage to stay hydrated.

Like alcohol, caffeine sucks the moisture out of you. On hot days, avoid it as much as possible, especially when combined with alcohol.

What to Eat

The food you eat can also help you stay cool. Try adjusting your diet so that it includes:

Fruits and Vegetables

Fruits and vegetables are easy to digest and often high in water content. Salads and other dishes rich in seasonal produce will keep you feeling light and hydrated.

Spicy Foods

Popular in wImage result for spicy foodarm climates, the tingling feeling and accompanying sweat caused by spicy foods has a purpose; the sweat actually cools your body down.

Low-Fat Meats

Fat takes longer for your body to digest and carries a higher salt content, which can add extra strain on your body when you need it maximized for efficiency.

When to Stay Out of the Sun

Avoid peak hours of sunlight when the temperatures and UV rays are at their highest, normally between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. That’s the best time to head inside, get food and water, let your body cool down, and maybe even take a nap.

When heat and humidity are at their highest, it’s never a bad time to take a break. Water sports are especially tricky because you can easily become overheated without realizing it. When in doubt, take a breather.

Where to Hide

If you live in an area where summer heat can become dangerous, pay close attention to any heat-related warnings. When it’s dangerous, stay inside with the A/C or fan going. If it’s not cool enough at home, find a cooling station, usually set up at public libraries and other buildings.

If you must be outside, keep your activities close to a shady spot. It can provide enough of a cool down to keep you safe. Even a small drop in temperature can make a big difference.

When it’s hot and you’re active, stay close to restaurants, convenience stores, or any other place that can offer cold temperatures and beverages should you need them in an emergency. If you’re at the beach or pool, the cool water offers great relief from the heat.

Originally found: by: Brian Krans

Your eyes are watery, your nose is itchy and you can’t stop sneezing – welcome to springtime allergy season.

While spring ushers in the green leaves and warmer weather, for some people it means a months-long stretch of annoying symptoms. About 20 to 30 per cent of Canadians suffer from some kind of seasonal allergy.

“Springtime is easily the worst season when it comes to allergies. Which pollens are prevalent differs from province to province but the first seasonal allergy to pop up is tree pollen which could start as early as March,” allergist Dr. David Fischer told Global News.

He’s a Western University professor and president of the Canadian Society of Allergy and Clinical Immunology.

Sometimes, Canadians don’t even know they’re grappling with allergies. Instead, they think they’re dealing with a cold or feeling under the weather, according to Dr. Susan Waserman, an allergist and McMaster University professor.

“It’s like having a bad cold that’s persistent. You don’t have a fever and aches but you feel congested and sneezy. It interferes with your sleep, concentration and performance, so in many ways it affects your quality of life,” she told Global News.

We asked the experts what you need to know about the upcoming allergy season and how to combat those pesky symptoms.

What are the most common allergies in the spring?

Because temperatures vary across the country, allergy season will start at different times depending on how each province is faring.

Across the board, tree pollen allergies start first, according to Fischer. It could start in late March and move into June for Ontario, Quebec and Atlantic Canada, while B.C. has the “worst” tree pollen season kicking off as early as February and into June, he said.

After that, grass and ragweed pollens start up in August.

READ MORE: What doctors are warning parents about allergies and asthma in kids

“This will vary depending on where you live, moisture levels and temperature – these all determine how much pollen you’re getting,” Waserman said.

Moulds grow quickly in heat and high humidity. Believe it or not, it’s not just what you think of in attics or basements – mould spores crop up on your lawn outside after snow melts and the leftover grass from when you mowed last autumn resurfaces.

Snow mould in the spring. Watch for this as snow melts, it causes allergies.

“When people think of mould, they think of the black stuff on walls, but mould spore counts are incredibly high outside too,” Fischer said.

What are the symptoms?

If you’re fighting a battle with springtime allergies, you’ll know. Your symptoms could include:

  • Runny or stuffy nose
  • Puffy or watery red eyes
  • Itchy eyes or nose
  • Dark circles under the eyes
  • Perpetual sneezing
  • Itching in your ears

Why do I have allergies?

Pollen, from trees, grass or weeds, is released into the air to fertilize other plants. But sometimes they get into your nose and nasal passage.

If you’re allergic, your immune system kicks in thinking the pollen is a hazard to your body. This is why your body sends out histamines into your blood – that’s when your nose starts running and your eyes get watery as your body tries to expel what it thinks is a danger.

“It’s a misfiring of your immune system by turning something innocuous into something it wants to fight off drastically,” Waserman said.

It’s genetic, too. If one or both of your parents has an allergy, you’ll probably end up with similar symptoms too.

Symptoms can start as early as childhood, in teenage years or even as an adult.

If you’re not sure, simply get referred to an allergist for testing. You will be screened for common allergens, such as various types of pollens, cat and dog fur, dust mites, mould spores and more.

How can we tell if we’re in for a bad season?

An early and hot spring is a bad sign for allergy sufferers, the experts warned.

“Last year’s grass season was probably the worst I can remember. The pollen conditions were bad – it was a very hot and humid summer combined with wind. That’s the worst scenario for pollen sufferers,” Fischer said.

It also didn’t rain for some time. Rain washes pollen away, but pollen counts can soar after rainfall. On days without wind, airborne allergies are grounded. Once the wind picks up again, pollen counts in the air surge.

Geography makes a difference as well: Ontario has the most ragweed, while B.C. sees the most tree pollen.

How can I ease the symptoms?

There are a handful of ways you can safeguard yourself to avoid a nasty few months of allergies.

Over-the-counter-meds: Antihistamines help to tame symptoms, but make sure you’re seeking out options like Reactine, Aerius, or Allegra, Fischer said.

Try to avoid Benadryl or other medications that come with side effects, such as drowsiness.

Prescription medications: If needed, your doctor or allergist can prescribe eye drops, nasal sprays or other medicines to help alleviate symptoms.

Allergy shots: Those with severe allergies receive multiple injections – sometimes weekly – to tame their allergies.

Environmental factors: You can lessen your risk of encountering severe allergies by being mindful of your surroundings. For starters, don’t dry your clothes outside – that could bring in pollen that’ll trigger your symptoms.

If you’re going swimming over the summer in a river or pond, wear goggles and nose clips to keep any allergens out of the way. Once you’re out of the water, rinse off.

When you’re in the car, keep your windows rolled up and the air condition running, Waserman said. Try to keep your windows closed when you’re at home, too.

But don’t shutter yourself in during the warm months, Waserman said.

“Some people may choose not to go outdoors when [pollen] counts are high, but it’s hard to watch the weather channel and live life like that,” Waserman said.

“Pollen allergies are a fact of life in this part of the world. We have good things out there now to help you stay prepared,” she said.

Originally Posted: Global News Carmen Chai
Here’s what you need to know about springtime allergies in Canada

The change means that 46 per cent of U.S. adults, many of them under the age of 45, now will be considered hypertensive

The nation’s heart experts tightened the guidelines for high blood pressure Monday, a change that will sharply increase the number of U.S. adults considered hypertensive in the hope that they, and their doctors, will address the deadly condition sooner.

Acting for the first time in 14 years, the American Heart Association and the American College of Cardiology redefined high blood pressure as a reading of 130 over 80, down from 140 over 90. The change means that 46 per cent of U.S. adults, many of them under the age of 45, now will be considered hypertensive. Under the previous guideline, 32 per cent of U.S. adults had high blood pressure.

“We’re recognizing that blood pressures that we in the past thought were normal or so-called ‘pre-hypertensive’ actually placed the patient at significant risk for heart disease and death and disability,” said Robert M. Carey, co-chairman of the group that produced the new report. “The risk hasn’t changed. What’s changed is our recognition of the risk.”

But the report’s authors predicted that relatively few of those who fall into the new hypertensive category will need medication. Rather, they hope, that many found with the early stages of the condition will be able to address it through lifestyle changes such as improving their diet, getting more exercise, consuming less alcohol and sodium and lowering stress.

The new guidelines will be influential in clinical practice, with most health care providers expected to follow the research-based recommendations from leading voices in cardiovascular medicine. In addition to tightening the definition of high blood pressure, the new report does away with the old category of “pre-hypertension,” which was defined as a top (systolic) reading of 120 to 139 or a bottom (diastolic) number between 80 and 89.

“An important cornerstone of these new guidelines is a strong emphasis on lifestyle changes as the first line of therapy. There is an opportunity to reduce risk without necessarily imposing medications,” said Richard Chazal, the immediate past president of the American College of Cardiology.

Instead, the guidelines create new categories of blood pressure, including “elevated,” “Stage 1 and 2 hypertension,” and “hypertensive crisis,” each characterized by various blood pressure readings. Normal blood pressure still will be considered 120 over 80.

The systolic reading refers to the pressure when the heart contracts and sends blood through the arteries. Diastolic pressure is measured when the heart relaxes between beats.

In 2010, high blood pressure was the leading cause of death worldwide and the second-leading cause of preventable death in the United States, after cigarette smoking.

Hypertension leads to cardiovascular disease, strokes, severe kidney disease and other maladies that kill millions of Americans every year. Blood pressure is affected by a wide variety of factors including genetics, age, diet, exercise, stress and other diseases such as diabetes. Men are more likely to have high blood pressure than women and blacks are more likely than whites. Many people are unaware that they have the condition because there are no symptoms.

Much of the data to support the update came from Systolic Blood Pressure Intervention Trial or SPRINT trial, a large-scale study of more than 9,000 people sponsored by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute. When the results were first presented in 2015, they shook many assumptions about blood pressure management.

The study showed that bringing blood pressure below 120 versus the recommended 140 to 150 could reduce the risk of heart attack and stroke. While that research only included people 50 and older and at high risk for heart problems, subsequent studies have shown this benefit appears to extend to younger people as well, said Chazal who is medical director at the Lee Memorial Health System in Fort Myers, Fla.

It is not easy to take drugs for the rest of your life for a condition you are not sick from. There is a reason it’s known as the silent killer

Thomas Frieden, the former director of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention who now runs a global health initiative that focuses on heart disease and stroke, said that the “big news about this guideline is it should end forever any debate about whether people should be treated with medicines once they hit 140/90.” He said that until now there has been “a perspective that it’s not that big of a risk, but that’s just wrong.”

“The fact is lower is better,” Frieden said, “Even what we considered mild hypertension before is a deadly disease.”

Calling hypertension “the world’s most under-addressed preventable health problem,” Frieden said that, ironically, one of the reasons treatment has been slow to catch on in some parts of the world is because the medications are not as profitable as many others. The four main classes of drugs for blood pressure have generic versions and can be as cheap as a few dollars a month. Another barrier is what he called “therapeutic inertia,” the reluctance of some physicians and patients to try medication when a person with high blood pressure appears to be otherwise healthy.

“It is not easy to take drugs for the rest of your life for a condition you are not sick from,” he explained. “There is a reason it’s known as the silent killer.”

Originally Posted: Washington Post Lenny Bernstein and Ariana Eunjung Cha –

Symptoms include: fever, chills, sore throat, dizziness, confusion, severe pain, redness and swelling

Health officials have issued an alert, saying nine people have died in an ongoing invasive group A streptococcus outbreak in the London area.

The outbreak was declared more than 18 months ago and the Middlesex-London Health Unit says more than 132 cases of infection have been reported since April 1, 2016.

Of the cases, 22 per cent required treatment in intensive care, 15 per cent had Streptococcal Toxic Shock Syndrome and 15 per cent had necrotizing fasciitis – also called “flesh-eating” disease.

Associate Medical Officer of Health Dr. Gayane Hovhannisyan said about half of the cases have been among injection drug users and/or people without access to stable housing.


Symptoms depend on the site of the infection and may include fever, chills, sore throat, dizziness, confusion, severe pain, redness or swelling around a wound or injured area.

Hovhannisyan said the alert has been issued because the health unit is seeing an increase in infections among people who have no connection to the outbreak.

“We need a better understanding of what’s happening, which is why we’ve issued this alert,” she said Monday in a news release.


The bacteria are spread by direct contact with nose and throat secretions from an infected person, or by direct contact with infected wounds or sores on the skin.

While the infections can occur year-round, the health unit said Monday that the number of infections tends to increase during the winter.

It said the majority of streptococcus infections cause relatively mild illnesses like strep throat, but sometimes more serious and potentially life-threatening infections are able to get into muscles, blood and other organs.

The health unit advises regular hand washing, covering the mouth and nose when coughing or sneezing, avoid sharing drinking and eating utensils and to not share drug paraphernalia in an effort to avoid infection.

Originally Published: The Canadian Press

Dress warmly, work out inside, and get enough vitamin D. These are some of the ways you can get arthritis pain relief despite the bone-chilling cold of winter weather.

By Madeline R. Vann, MPH
Medically Reviewed by Lindsey Marcellin, MD, MPH

Many people with arthritis swear by the pain in their joints as a predictor of rainy or cold weather. “I used to hear people complain all the time that they knew rain was coming from the aching in their knees,” says Pam Snow, 54, of Denver, who has arthritis. “Now I’m one of those people!”
Snow has osteoarthritis in both knees. She typically manages her pain with exercise, diet, weight loss, and the occasional over-the-counter pain reliever, but when winter weather sets in, Snow faces an extra joint-pain challenge. “I think it’s related to barometric pressure,” she says. “It definitely has made me more cognizant of the weather.”

For Snow, arthritis isn’t just a personal problem. As vice president for community involvement for the Colorado Arthritis Foundation, she travels the state educating others about the condition. So she’s aware that there’s very little scientific evidence to support her own experience, and that of the legions of others with arthritis who feel worse when the weather is frightful.

“In terms of really trying to scientifically study it, [research] is rather sparse and contradictory,” says rheumatologist Bonita S. Libman, MD, professor of medicine and division chief of rheumatology and clinical immunology at the University of Vermont College of Medicine in Burlington. Yet a lot of people do feel that weather affects their symptoms, Dr. Libman adds.
In fact, she says there may be some truth to the old wives’ tale that aching joints indicate a change in weather. According to some old studies Libman is familiar with, and which the Arthritis Foundation cites, people in barometric pressure chambers found that the lower the pressure, the more aches and pains they felt.

How to Find Arthritis Relief

Whether the joint pain/weather connection is scientifically true or not, you can still use these arthritis pain-relief tips when your aching joints act up in winter.

1. Dress Warmly

If it’s cold outside, keep aching hands warm with gloves, and add extra layers over knees and legs. “I’m one of those people who loves to wear dresses and skirts,” Snow says, “so when it’s cold, I also wear tights or leggings to stay warm.”

2. Layer Up

Snow, who moved from Birmingham, Alabama, to Denver, says she loves being active in the Colorado weather, but knows it’s important to wear lots of layers so she can control her comfort level when temperatures shift dramatically during the day. For example, she layers a few pairs of gloves on her hands and can peel them off, one by one, as needed.

3. Hydrate

Snow found that when she moved to the drier climate of Colorado, she started drinking more water. “I really think [staying hydrated] has helped me stay active,” she says. Even mild dehydration might make you more sensitive to pain, according to study results published in the September 2015 issue of Experimental Physiology.

4. Lose Weight

When Snow moved to Colorado in 2013, she weighed 172 pounds, and her new doctor told her that at 5’6” she was obese.

“I heard that ‘O’ word and I thought, well, I don’t feel like I’m obese. I was always watching my weight by how my clothes fit,” she says. At that time, she comfortably wore a size 14. But she committed to losing weight and now clocks in at about 158 pounds and wears a size 10. She credits the more physically active culture of Colorado for some of her success. “There’s always someone to walk with,” she says.

And, as her activity levels went up and her weight went down, her arthritis improved, even in cold weather. Indeed, a 2013 article in The Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) highlighted the significant improvement people with knee arthritis can get from weight loss, from diet, and exercise.

5. Exercise Inside

While it’s understandable to want to avoid winter chill, people with joint pain should still stay active. The less sedentary you are, the better your physical function, according to a study of people with knee arthritis published in Arthritis Care & Research in March 2015. Come up with an indoor exercise plan. Snow has a treadmill and an elliptical trainer at home. Libman recommends walking the mall.


6. Let Warm Water Comfort You

Swimming in a heated pool is both great exercise and soothing to joints. You can also get relief from warm baths, according to the Arthritis Foundation. Just don’t go right out into the cold after your soak. Let your body temperature normalize a bit first.

7. Supplement Vitamin D

Low levels of vitamin D might play a role in how sensitive you are to arthritis pain, according to research in the September 2015 issue of Pain Management. Being deficient in vitamin D also raises the risk for osteoporosis, Libman warns. You’re less likely to get enough vitamin D from its natural source, sunlight, in the winter, so talk to your doctor about your need for supplements or vitamin D-fortified foods.

8. Stay Safe

Particularly when the weather turns icy, people with arthritis need to protect their joints from further damage. If you’re going outside, pick solid, supportive shoes with good treads and try to walk on a surface that doesn’t look slick, Libman advises.

9. Try a Glucosamine-Chondroitin Supplement

Although no herbal supplements have been proven to provide arthritis pain relief in clinical studies, and the American College of Rheumatology (ACR) does not recommend glucosamine-chondroitin for arthritis, Libman says that some of her patients do report relief from taking these supplements. “What I tell my patients is, if they can afford to pay for it and they want to give it a try, it seems to be a low-risk therapy for pain,” she says.

10. Add Fish Oil

“Omega-3 fatty acids do have some benefit because they seem to reduce the level of inflammation,” Libman says. The Arthritis Foundation recommends up to 2.6 grams of fish oil capsules twice a day. Make sure to let your doctor know if you try omega-3s, as they can increase the risk for bruising or bleeding.

11. Consider Acetaminophen or NSAIDs

Even if, like Snow, you prefer to treat your joint pain with lifestyle changes rather than medication, you may want to take an over-the-counter pain reliever when your joint pain seems to worsen with the weather. The ACR guidelines include a recommendation to use these over-the-counter pain relievers for osteoarthritis. However, Libman says that, “to avoid side effects, take the lowest dose for the shortest amount of time, and always check with your doctor first to make sure it is safe for you to take.”

12. Get a Massage

Yes, you have permission to indulge yourself and get a massage. “A lot of what’s happening in terms of pain is [that] some is emanating from the joint and some from the muscles around the joint,” Libman explains. Getting an hour-long massage once a week for at least eight weeks was shown to reduce pain, according to research in the June 2015 issue of The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine.

13. Go Under the Needle

Acupuncture is another option for those willing to consider non-traditional treatments. “It does seem patients derive some benefit with regard to pain,” Libman says. You also might find the process relaxing and feel generally healthier, according to research in the August 2015 issue of The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine.

Originally Posted:

Almost 1.5 million Ontarians have diabetes. Most can lead healthy lives if they:

  • eat a balanced diet
  • exercise regularly
  • maintain a healthy weight
  • manage blood glucose levels, taking insulin if needed

Ontario offers a number of programs to help people with diabetes improve their quality of life and avoid complications.

If not treated or properly managed, diabetes can cause a number of serious health problems. These include heart disease and stroke, kidney disease, eye disease, erectile dysfunction (impotence), and nerve damage.



The Diabetes and You Tool Kit – A diabetes tutorial with easy-to understand fact sheets and short videos to help you manage your disease. You can order the Kit through Service Ontario.

Diabetes fact sheets, organized by topics are available to download in 13 languages. Watch these diabetes videos for tips from experts to help you lead a healthier life.

Who is more likely to get diabetes?

You are more likely to get diabetes if you:

  • are of Aboriginal, Asian, South Asian or African descent
  • are overweight (especially if you carry most of your weight around your middle)
  • have a parent, brother or sister with diabetes
  • have health complications associated with diabetes, such as eye, nerve or kidney problems
  • gave birth to a baby weighing more than 4 kg (9 lbs)
  • had diabetes while you were pregnant
  • have a history of impaired glucose tolerance, impaired fasting glucose or pre-diabetes
  • have high blood pressure
  • have high cholesterol or other high levels of fats in the blood
  • use glucocorticoid medication
  • have been diagnosed with any of the following conditions:
    • polycystic ovary syndrome
    • acanthosis nigricans (darkened patches of skin)
    • schizophrenia
    • obstructive sleep apnea

Diabetes symptoms

You can get diabetes even if you don’t have any of the common risk factors in the list above.

If you are developing diabetes or high blood glucose, your body will often show signs like:

  • feeling more thirsty
  • frequent urination
  • a sudden weight gain or loss
  • low energy or feeling more tired than usual
  • blurred vision
  • frequent or repeat infections
  • injuries, such as cuts and bruises, that are slow to heal
  • tingling or no feeling in your hands or feet
  • trouble getting or maintaining an erection

If you have symptoms like these, talk to your health care provider.

– Originally published at:

Reasons to Get Your Flu Shot:

To get vaccinated or not… that is the question Canadians ask every Fall. Here are a few reasons why you might consider getting a flu shot this year.


“The flu? I’ll be just fine after a few days of rest.” That might be true for the common cold, but the flu is much more seriousIf you get the influenza virus, you’re likely to experience high fevers, extreme fatigue, muscle aches and severe headaches, in addition to the usual cough and stuffy nose. Sounds fun, right? The flu shot is the best way to protect you and your family against getting the flu in the first place.


The flu virus circulates all around the world, and evolves very quickly. So quickly, in fact, that new strains of the flu are constantly emerging. Every year, scientists and health experts create a new flu vaccine designed to fight the most prevalent flu strains. This means old vaccines won’t properly protect you against this year’s influenza virus.2 You need to get the best protection for this current flu season.


Not everyone is well equipped to overcome the flu. Some groups, such as infants, seniors, and those with weakened immune systems, are much more vulnerable to getting the flu. By not getting the flu shot, you’re increasing their chances of getting sick as well. The more people that are protected against the flu, the less the virus can spread. Of course, members of at-risk groups are encouraged to get flu shots, but some, such as babies under the age of 6 months, can’t be vaccinated. To minimize their risk of getting sick, you can do your part by getting the flu shot. You won’t just be protecting yourself, but you’ll also help protect others around you.


Getting a flu shot is quick and easy; click on the following site: to find a place near you to get protected against the flu orcome into our clinic today

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Fall can bring on more than beautiful colours, cooler temperatures and shorter days – the shift in weather can lead to a dip in mood and energy.

Routines take over and there’s less time for outdoor activities and down time. Warm, sunny summer days are replaced by stress-inducing traffic jams, mood-bashing deadlines and ferrying kids to endless activities. The mere thought of upcoming wintry weather puts a chill on autumn.

There just ain’t no sunshine when the sun is gone! Thankfully, for most people it won’t reach a diagnosable Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) level – a mood disorder related to the change in seasons – but there are definite changes that happen in the fall to impact our energy, mood, metabolism and sleep habits.

First off, not all things are bad in the fall, stresses Dr. Natasha Turner. “Our testosterone increases so, therefore, so does our sex drive, and fertility appears to be best in October to December. Our memory and our focus can also improve in the fall and winter.”

What does suffer is our serotonin levels, the happy hormone that is naturally produced more when we have warmer weather and more sun exposure. These naturally begin to decline and melatonin, the hormone that controls our sleep, increases, which can lead to sleeping more and a decreased mood, says Turner, a naturopathic doctor at and author of The Hormone Boost.

And although we sleep more in October than other months, the quality and depth of sleep suffer, so you may end up feeling groggy during the day.

“This is because the shorter days equal less exposure to sunlight, so a simple solution is to use a sunlamp in the morning,” says Turner. Consider St. John’s Wort to help boost serotonin, and make sure you’re getting enough vitamin D.

Plan for your metabolism to drop too. “Unfortunately, our master of metabolism – thyroid hormone – naturally drops in the cold, darker days of autumn and winter. Since thyroid hormone controls the energy and metabolism of every cell in your body, a thyroid boost is essential to beat fall fatigue.”

Boost your metabolism with a good breakfast, including 30 grams of protein and forgoing starchy carbohydrates like toast, cereal or bagels. Go for two eggs with goat cheese and tomatoes; one natural chicken sausage with one egg; a fruit free smoothie including chocolate whey protein, hemp hearts, baby spinach, cinnamon and coconut milk.

Get set for your waistline to widen. You may find yourself more vulnerable to the call of comfort foods to help boost serotonin levels back to what feels normal, but since that increase in appetite generally coincides with less daylight to exercise, seasonal weight gain is common, says Turner.

To beat back pounds, don’t exercise longer. Instead increase the intensity of your workouts but keep the sessions less than 40 minutes, with interval training, cycling, sprinting, etc. “It’s perfect for fat loss and won’t tend to increase your hunger or your stress hormones.”

There’s more: Studies directly link falling temperatures and increased intensity of joint pain. Plus it can all be one big headache – a fall in barometer pressure, a sudden increase in humidity or drop in temperatures can trigger migraines.

Finally, get set for fall allergy symptoms to flourish. As the seasons change, ragweed plants spew billions of pollen grains until November or the first frost of the year. Hay fever can impact mood and activity so be sure to treat symptoms with medications. Nasal symptoms are typically treated with an over-the-counter non-drowsy oral antihistamine or a steroid nasal spray such as Flonase.

· Get outside. Studies show that just a few minutes of fresh air can lift your spirits and mood. A study published in the Journal of Consumer Psychology revealed that people felt more positive in outdoor light so head out for a quick walk on your lunch hour.

· Find some fall-themed activities and make a move on pumpkin picking, corn mazes and fall hikes. Even when it’s cold and rainy, you’ll still get some exposure to UV rays, which can help boost your mood and regulate your body’s circadian rhythm.

· Peel away the blues: The smell of this citrus fruit is one of the most mood-enhancing around, according to a study published in Chemical Sciences. So grab yourself some Florida sunshine – orange you glad you know this!

· Hack into your happy chemicals by moving your body. Research by the British Journal of Sports Medicine reveals that a mere 20 minutes of physical activity can impact mood.

· Get rid of clutter. Visual chaos may seem harmless but the disarray, disorganization and mess is stressful and brings people down. Studies show that when people are in aesthetically pleasing, organized and uncluttered surroundings, they feel more relaxed and content.

· Focus on what’s going well. It’s impossible to be unhappy when you’re feeling grateful. Before you go to sleep every night, write down in a journal three things that you appreciated most about the day. You’ll fall asleep on a positive note and will be more likely to wake up feeling optimistic about the day ahead.

Don’t let your health get tricked this Halloween! Here are a few ways to stay safe and healthy.

1. Get Moving

Carve out time to be active this Halloween – between get-togethers and trick-or-treating in the neighborhood. Take a walk and do some weight training to help you feel good!

Regular physical activity can help control your weight, reduce your risk of heart disease and some cancers, improve mental health and mood, and increase your chance of living longer.

Three children with pumpkins

2. Eat Well

Don’t spend this Halloween filling up on junk food and sweets. Give yourself and your guests healthier choices and nutritious treats.

Fruits and vegetables are part of a well-balanced and healthy eating plan. Fruits and vegetables also provide essential vitamins and minerals, fiber, and other substances that are important for good health.

3. Keep Your and Your Family’s Bite Healthy

Keep Halloween candy at bay. Care for teeth the right way – brush with a flouride toothpaste each and every day.

Tooth decay (cavities) is one of the most common chronic conditions of childhood in the United States. Untreated tooth decay can cause pain and infections that may lead to problems with eating, speaking, playing, and learning.

4. Play it Safe

Take precautions to stay safe while trick-or-treating on Halloween night. Watch out for cars, use reflective gear, walk with a group, and carry a flash light.

Check out CDC’s Injury Center for tips to stay safe at home, on the road, and at play.

5. Scare Away the Flu and Colds

Don’t get spooked by the flu, wash your hands frequently and get a flu vaccine, too!

Everyone 6 months and older should get a flu vaccine each year. Get vaccinated to protect yourself and your loved ones and learn about good health habitsthat can help stop germs.

6. Don’t Be a Zombie

Sleep is important – even on Halloween! Adults need 7-8 hours each night. It’s best for staying healthy and helping the disease fight!

Insufficient sleep is linked to an increased risk for the development of Type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and obesity.

7. Be Afraid of Smoking

Keep your Halloween activities smoke and tobacco free. Being smoke free is the way to be!

Smoking harms nearly every organ of the body, causing many diseases. Get help to quit smoking.

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