News From Our Blog

Cholesterol Education Month

September is National Cholesterol Education Month. Too much cholesterol in the body is one of the main risk factor for heart attack or stroke.

Watching your cholesterol intake can be confusing because your body actually needs some of it and not all cholesterol is bad.

There are two types— HDL and LDL. LDL is the bad stuff found in foods with trans and saturated fats.

To keep cholesterol in check, it’s important to

  • eat a healthy diet
  • exercise regularly
  • maintain a healthy weight
  • avoid smoking.

Because it is Cholesterol Education Month, it’s an ideal time to get screened and know exactly what your cholesterol levels are. If you are 20 years old or older, you should be screened every 5 years, and more often as you age.

Raising Non-Violent Kids

Your child’s environment – whether at home, at school or socially – can greatly influence how they may behave in the future.

FindYouthInfo.gov, a government website focused on youth issues, found that in 2012, more than 630,000 young people between the ages of 10 and 24 were admitted to the hospital due to violence-related injuries.

If you’re worried that your child is at risk for violent behavior, there are some factors that may indicate a problem.

Risk factors for violent youth

During their teen years, some kids may behave violently because of some risk factors found in their environment.

Note: Some of these risk factors may be out of your control. However, it is recommended that you keep them under consideration.

At home

From an early age, young people could be exposed to:

  • Violent behavior between parents
  • Severe punishments
  • Parents who are frequently absent or don’t pay attention to their children
  • Rejection or emotional distance from parents
  • A broken home

At school

Youth may exhibit behavioral problems such as:

  • Teasing or bullying other students
  • Skipping class
  • Exhibiting either aggressive or introverted behavior
  • Difficulty concentrating or exhibiting hyperactive behavior
  • Developing learning issues or failing classes

In society

Young people could be considered violent if they:

  • Harass or provoke kids that are their same age or younger
  • Have been arrested before age 14 for committing a crime
  • Belong to a gang or other violent group
  • Take drugs or drink alcohol
  • Have been treated for psychological or emotional issues

Tips to prevent youth violence

You can help prevent violent behavior in your child by following these recommendations:

  • Spend more time with your child and include everyone in family activities.
  • Don’t argue with your spouse in front of your child.
  • Form a bond with your son or daughter. Communicate with your children if they have any problems or issues.
  • Make respect and open communication a priority in your home.
  • Do not give out severe or violent punishment.
  • Be aware of your child’s friends, but do not be overprotective.

Resources

STRYVE is the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s national initiative helping families and communities prevent youth violence.

FindYouthInfo.gov is a collaboration among 18 government agencies that supports programs and services for the prevention of youth violence.

Read this note in Spanish.

Image description:
From Stopbullying.gov:

Spending 15 minutes a day listening and talking with your child can help build the foundation for a strong relationship and provide reassurance that he/she can come to you with a problem. It can also help your child recognize and respond to bullying.
KnowBullying, a new mobile app by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), can help get the conversation started among parents and their children. The app provides tips on talking about school, work, relationships, life, and bullying. Learn more.

Image description:

From Stopbullying.gov:

Spending 15 minutes a day listening and talking with your child can help build the foundation for a strong relationship and provide reassurance that he/she can come to you with a problem. It can also help your child recognize and respond to bullying.

KnowBullying, a new mobile app by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), can help get the conversation started among parents and their children. The app provides tips on talking about school, work, relationships, life, and bullying. Learn more.

Image description:
From Stopbullying.gov:

The You Have The Power! Bullying Prevention Peer Education Project (YHTP!) is a 10-week after-school program where trained high school age youth mentors, with adult supervision, teach elementary and middle school students about the characteristics, risks, and consequences of bullying, and bullying prevention.
Often when people hear the phrase “peer pressure” they think of how young people can influence each other in negative ways. However, peer pressure can also apply to how youth can be positive and supportive role models to others. As a high school student, Colleen O’Neill had an interest in promoting bullying prevention in schools. Her friends, including Mike Sousane encouraged her to become involved with the You Have the Power! Bullying Prevention Peer Education Project (YHTP!) at Sherwood High School in Maryland.
“I’ve always been someone that wants to help the community and the people around me. Some of my friends volunteered for You Have the Power!. From what I heard about it from them, it sounded like a great way to get involved, help the community and have fun. I also love working with kids, so knowing that was part of the program helped me choose to join.” Read more.

Image description:

From Stopbullying.gov:

The You Have The Power! Bullying Prevention Peer Education Project (YHTP!) is a 10-week after-school program where trained high school age youth mentors, with adult supervision, teach elementary and middle school students about the characteristics, risks, and consequences of bullying, and bullying prevention.

Often when people hear the phrase “peer pressure” they think of how young people can influence each other in negative ways. However, peer pressure can also apply to how youth can be positive and supportive role models to others. As a high school student, Colleen O’Neill had an interest in promoting bullying prevention in schools. Her friends, including Mike Sousane encouraged her to become involved with the You Have the Power! Bullying Prevention Peer Education Project (YHTP!) at Sherwood High School in Maryland.

“I’ve always been someone that wants to help the community and the people around me. Some of my friends volunteered for You Have the Power!. From what I heard about it from them, it sounded like a great way to get involved, help the community and have fun. I also love working with kids, so knowing that was part of the program helped me choose to join.” Read more.

Summer Safety Tips

With warm weather comes more opportunities to explore new places, spend time outdoors and share quality time with friends and family.

Swimming, walking or having a picnic are just some of the many things you can do together during the Summer.

To enjoy these activities safely and accident-free, make sure to keep these tips in mind:

Water safety

  • Supervise your kids, as well as other children, when playing or swimming in the ocean, lakes, rivers or pools.
  • Only use life jackets certified by the U.S. Coast Guard.
  • Avoid swimming in rough or deep water.
  • Respect “No Swimming” signs.
  • To prevent choking, make sure children do not eat or chew gum in the water.
  • If your home has a swimming pool, install a protective fence around it. Be sure to place a cover on the pool when it’s not in use.
  • Take cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) classes to help people who are drowning or choking.

Protection against sun and heat

  • To avoid dehydration or heat exhaustion, make sure to drink plenty of water throughout the day. Avoid beverages that contain alcohol, caffeine or too much sugar.
  • Wear lightweight, light-colored clothing. Also wear sunglasses and a hat that covers your face and ears.
  • Apply sunscreen with sun protection factor (SPF) 15 or higher a half an hour before any sun exposure. Reapply several times a day, or according to the product directions.
  • Keep your lips hydrated with a lip balm that contains sunscreen.
  • Avoid direct sun exposure when ultraviolet (UV) rays are at their strongest between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m.
  • Try to spend the majority of your time protected by cool, shady areas.

Food safety

  • If you’re camping or you plan to do any outdoor cooking, use a cooler with ice to keep your food refrigerated. Make sure to keep the cooling temperature (PDF) at 40 degrees Fahrenheit or below.
  • Wash your hands thoroughly before handling any food.
  • To avoid cross contamination, separate raw meat from other food, and place meat on its own plate or tray.
  • Make sure meats are cooked and served at an internal temperature (PDF) of 140 degrees Fahrenheit or higher.
  • Immediately refrigerate or freeze any leftovers. Don’t leave perishable foods out in the open for more than two hours.
  • To avoid getting food poisoning, follow these tips for eating safely at fairs and festivals.

For more information about food safety contact the USDA Meat and Poultry Hotline at 1-888-674-6854.

Read this note in Spanish.