Author Archives: Virgil Pearson

Keeping Your Child Safe Goes Beyond Baby-Proofing

As a new parent, you probably know that you should babyproof your home. If you have an older child, you probably teach them to pick up their small toys. You probably put a gate in front of the stairs and made sure that you put plugs on all of your electrical outlets.

Keeping a Toddler Safe

You might think that you have finished making your home safe for your child, but once your baby becomes a toddler, there is a new set of safety hazards to worry about.

Toddlers are capable of reaching objects that they never could reach before, moving furniture and objects that allow them to flip light switches and climb onto window ledges, and will be capable of getting into more trouble than they ever had before.

There are several things that you can check to make sure that your toddler stays safe.

Doors

Your toddler will be able to open doors before you know it. If you don’t want them wandering into the bathroom to play in the toilet, or opening the outside door and wandering around the neighborhood, you should purchase safety covers for your doorknobs.

If you have a glass door, put decals at your child’s eye level to prevent them from running into the glass.

You may also like: Tips for Taking Your Child’s Temperature

Windows

The cords from blinds and drapes have been known to strangle children. Shorten them so that your child will not be a victim. Keep in mind that your toddler could stand on a chair by the window and grab the cords.

If any of your windows are not on the first floor, be sure to lock them to prevent your child from falling out.

Dishes

Toddlers can reach (or climb) onto tables. If you use glass cups, plates, or bowls, make sure that you put them away after you are done with them. Install child-proof locks on cupboards where you store your dishes.

Kitchen

Keep knives out of your toddler’s reach. Keep cleaning supplies, dishwasher detergent, and other poisonous items in a latched drawer or cupboard. Turn pot handles towards the back; using back burners is preferable.

Install an oven lock and knob covers to keep your child from opening the oven door and turning on the stove. If you can, gate off the kitchen to keep your child out of the kitchen completely.

Bathroom

Toddlers love water play, and the toilet can be a lot of fun when you are one or two years old. Install toilet locks. Be sure to keep medicines, other poisonous items, and items that could be dangerous in locked cabinets.

Your child might want to unroll the toilet paper too, so try to keep the bathroom door shut. Never leave a toddler unattended in the bathtub.

Climbing Tools

Toddlers enjoy climbing on chairs, ladders, stools, toys, and anything else that will help them reach up high. Try to keep these away from your toddler as much as possible.

Falling Hazards

Bookshelves and dressers look fun for a toddler to try to climb. Unfortunately, bookshelves can tip over and fall on an unsuspecting child. Secure these items to the wall. Toddlers could also knock down large floor lamps, so remove them if at all possible.

Your child might also figure out how to pull down tablecloths, so keep heavy or breakable objects off the dining room table to keep your child from injury.

Toddlers learn a wide variety of skills that help them gain independence, but they lack the wisdom to keep safe in a typical American home.

Taking extra safety precautions, beyond the measures you took when your child was an infant, will help keep them safe while they figure things out.

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Tips for Taking Your Child’s Temperature

Every parent has experienced their little one feeling feverish and sick. Fevers can often be the body’s way of fighting off infections, so it can be a good thing. However, it is natural for a parent to worry about their child when they feel warm.

Tips for Taking Your Child's Temperature

It is important to take a child’s temperature to get a more accurate idea of how serious the illness may be.

The following are a few tips on how to take your child’s temperature:

  • Always use a digital thermometer. Mercury thermometers have been known to be dangerous due to the mercury.
  • Rectal thermometers are more accurate in taking temperatures. You can use an oral thermometer in a child older than 3 months unless otherwise directed by the doctor.
  • Make sure you keep the rectal and oral thermometers labeled to be sure you do not accidentally mix them up.
  • Always wash the thermometer before use. Clean it in lukewarm water with soap. Rinse well with cool water. After use, clean it with rubbing alcohol and wash with cool, soapy water.
  • Be sure not to take your child’s temperature after a bath, for that will influence the reading. Also, do not bundle up your child too tightly while taking their temperature.
  • If the temperature is taken orally, be sure to wait at least 20 minutes after your child has eaten or drank anything. This can also influence the reading.
  • When taking the temperature rectally, lay your child on their on belly across your lap. Make sure you cover the tip of the thermometer with Vaseline. Do not force the thermometer if you feel any resistance. Also, be sure to not let go of the thermometer.
  • When taking the temperature orally, place the thermometer under the tongue. Try to make sure your child keeps his or her mouth closed around the thermometer.
  • Never leave a child unattended while using a thermometer.
  • If your child’s temperature is higher than 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit, it is time to call the doctor to see if your child requires medication.
  • Make sure you follow directions on using the chosen thermometer. Be sure to wait the right amount of beeps before taking out the thermometer and recording the temperature.
  • In addition to taking your child’s temperature, note any other symptoms the child may be having. This will help the doctor make a more accurate diagnosis.

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No Carbohydrate Diets Best at Controlling Type 2 Diabetes

No Carbohydrate Diets Best at Controlling Type 2 Diabetes

A study by Duke University Medical Center researchers has recently compared low carbohydrate diets and their effect on blood sugar control and found that the lowest carbohydrate diets are better at controlling type 2 diabetes, which is a condition that affects the way the body metabolizes sugar.

No Carbohydrate Diets Best at Controlling Type 2 Diabetes

The study compared low carbohydrate diets, one with the lowest possible rating of the glycemic index. The glycemic index ranks carbohydrates based upon their effect on blood glucose levels.

Patients who followed the no glycemic diet were able to reduce, and in some cases eliminate, their medication to control type 2 diabetes. The findings of the study lead by Eric Westman, MD, director of Duke’s Lifestyle Medicine Program, are published online in Nutrition and Metabolism.

Westman stated that a no-glycemic diet is better at improving blood sugar. Stated simply, people who cut out carbohydrates lower their blood sugar. Losing weight helps the blood sugar go down even further.

Type 2 Diabetes

According to the Mayo Clinic website, type 2 diabetes is a chronic condition that affects the body’s metabolism for sugar, Type 2 diabetes is often preventable but is on the rise, largely due to the current epidemic of obesity.

While there is no cure for type 2 diabetes, the condition can often be managed by eating healthy foods, exercising daily and maintaining a healthy eight. If the condition cannot be controlled by diet and exercise, you may need to take diabetes medication.

Symptoms of type 2 diabetes are increased thirst, frequent urination, extreme hunger, weight loss, and fatigue, and blurred vision, slow healing sore and frequent infections.

The condition can progress into more serious long term complications, such as heart disease, nerve damage, kidney damage, eye damage, foot damage, skin conditions, osteoporosis and Alzheimer’s disease.

If you have symptoms of Type 2 diabetes, see your doctor for a proper diagnoses.

Low Carbohydrate Diet

A low carbohydrate is generally a nutrition plan that restricts food high in carbohydrates, such as breads and pasta.

Low Carbohydrate Diet

Foods that are low in carbohydrates include meats and some vegetables. Examples of low carbohydrate diets are the Atkins Plan and South Beach Diet. Low carbohydrate or no carbohydrate diets are not for everybody, as some people find them difficult to follow.

Talk to you physician about whether a low carb diet is appropriate for you.

Information is this article is not intended as medical advice. If you have a medical condition, discuss questions with your physician.

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Are Alternative Medical Therapies Worth the Money?

The use of alternative medicine is either scoffed at or wholeheartedly endorsed by people who have used it. But are these alternative medical practices really worth it? Read ahead to compare which therapies are right for you-and your wallet.

Acupuncture

Acupuncture is a ancient Chinese medical practice that using needles inserted in various places of the body to balance a person’s yin and yang. It is mainly used to ward of disease or to ease a person’s physical pain. Treatment ranges between $50-100 per treatment. Some health insurance do cover acupuncture, so check your policy.

Research has found acupuncation to be safe and effective for both the treatment of pain and nausea.

Herbs

St. John's Wort

Various herbs (like oolong tea and St. John’s Wort) have been found to have healing properties. The cost can range from $10-20 per 100 capsules. Insurance companies typically do not cover the costs of buying herbs. The jury is out on whether herbs are really a healthy supplement.

They are usually part of fads and can be dangerous if you do not do proper research on the herb. Check with your doctor first before taking.

Homeopathy

Homeopathy is a type of vibrational medicine and Naturopathy is a new age approach to nutrition and a type of vibrational medicine. For an initial consultation, you pay between $50 to 300. Some insurances do cover this type of therapy. There is no concrete evidence on the health benefits of Homeopathy, however, it does seem to have credence.

Naturopathy teaches healthy advice on eating right and living a healthy life.

Supplements

Supplements are very popular with anyone looking to include a vitamin or mineral that may be lacking in their diet. Supplements include vitamins, minerals, amino acids and oils. Supplements can range from very inexpensive or very expensive, depending on where you purchase them from and the brand. Supplements are not covered by insurance.

Doctors recommend supplements, but check with yours first to make sure it doesn’t interfere with any medication you may be taking.

Massage and Reiki

Massage and Reiki

Massage and Reiki are both practices done to promote blood flow throughout the body to promote blood flow. A half-hour long massage will cost you at least $60, while a 30- to 60-minute Reiki session will cost upwards of $100. Insurances do not typically covered massage or Reiki sessions, however both do very well to relax you.

Meditation

Meditation is a popular technique that works to clear the mind and help you focus on one goal. It can cost up to $100 per session, however, meditation can be practiced for free in your own home. Meditation isn’t covered by insurance. Many people who have participated in meditation rave about its benefits.

Chiropractic

Chiropractic is a manipulation of the spine and is done in a chiroprator’s office. It costs between $130-$150 for an initial visit and between $50 to 70 for any follow-up visits. It is often covered by insurance companies. People visit chiropractor’s offices for alleviation for sore backs.

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Ginger Root: Effective Herbal Remedy for a Variety of Medical Conditions

For many years I would go into my local supermarket, saunter right past the bin of tan, knobby, aromatic ginger root, head straight to the medicine aisle and plop a bottle of aspirin, ibuprofen or acetaminophen into my basket. About five bucks later I’d return home, with my little bottle of side effect producers, armed and ready for the war on pain.

The ginger would have armed me just as well for about 20 cents. Without putting me at risk of an ulcer or a stroke. I just didn’t know any better in those days.

After a frightening incident in which my friend’s blood pressure shot up to 171/117 after he’d used a prescription pain med we began to wonder of the pharmaceutical companies really had our best interests at heart. Doug stopped the naproxen immediately and I began to search, in earnest, for a natural remedy for his wrist (he’d sprained it) pain.

Ginger Root

I had been toying with herbalism and nutrition therapy for years, but now was the time to get serious. I had recently lost my mom to a massive stroke. I had to find something to help my friend that would not endanger him. I pulled my reference books off the shelf and paged through them again. I scoured the net.

I kept seeing references to ginger. At first, I paid them no mind. It’s just a kitchen spice I told myself. I’ve had a jar of it in the pantry for ages. It makes a nice square cake that tastes good with a dollop of whipped cream on top of it, but a pain reliever? Naah. A natural cox II inhibitor? An anti-inflammatory?

A cure for gas, nausea and motion sickness? You’ve got to be kidding me.

I was more than skeptical, but ginger’s cheap and accessible so what did I have to lose?

I knew from my research that I could buy a root, peel the papery skin off, slice a 1/4″ round from it and just simmer it in a cup of water for ten minutes to make a spicy tea, but, as I needed to order some supplements at the time anyway, I opted to purchase dried, ground ginger root in capsules.

At $2.50 per hundred these were cheaper than most of the NSAIDs we’d been using and we could just wash two down with a glass of water. I wouldn’t always have time to make a tea. This way, Doug could take them to work if he wanted to.

When the capsules arrived, I explained to Doug what they were supposed to do. He accepted this much more readily than I had and took two right away. Half an hour later I made inquiry. He said his wrist didn’t hurt anymore. Over the next couple weeks, he continued to take two 540mg caps at the first sign of pain.

The ginger root always knocked it right out. And he noticed another thing. His back wasn’t bothering him anymore.

Doug had been suffering, on and off, with osteoarthritis in his lower back for 20 years. Because he was leery of taking mega doses of NSAIDs, he was rarely pain free during these flare-ups. The difference between the NSAIDs and the ginger root is “night and day” in his estimation. The ginger root takes the pain completely away.

I was so impressed by this that I began using it for period pain instead of ibuprofen. I have uterine fibroids which cause so much pain on days two and three of my menstrual cycle that it prevents me from sleeping. I found that the ginger root relieved my pain as effectively as ibuprofen if I started dosing on day one (two caps every six hours).

If I don’t remember to take it until my abdomen starts throbbing, I will have to add some cramp bark, yarrow or desmodium tea to my regimen in order to obtain complete relief.

Other Uses

  1. Ginger Root photoNausea: ginger is reputed to be safe and effective against morning sickness.
  2. Motion sickness: start dosing well ahead of the event. I find that this only works for me if I have at least two grams in my system before boarding the plane.
  3. Gas and indigestion: take one cap with foods known to cause distress. Alternately, if the dish is compatible, you could grate some fresh ginger into it. I do this with bean dishes and it prevent us from becoming so “musical”.
  4. Bioavailability enhancer: ginger root is one of those special herbs that helps your body to better absorb anything you take with it. In the case of other herbs you may be using for medicinal reason, this can be a desirable side effect. If you are on prescription meds, this can be something you don’t want to happen. So talk to you doctor before combining ginger with drugs.

Forms

You can make ginger tea, eat candied ginger, shred the fresh root into food or pop the capsules of dried, ground root. Some companies sell standardized capsules guarantied to contain a certain percentage volatile oil. I have used these and I have used just plain ginger. The non-standardized works just as well in my opinion.

You Can Tell By the Smell

How do you know if that root you just picked up is potent enough to treat your symptoms? Sniff it. The healing oils in ginger are very aromatic. They are also hot. Chew a little piece. If you can feel the heat, you know you’ve got the good stuff.

Dosages

One 540mg capsule for gas or indigestion. Two for pain or motion sickness. You may have to take a dose every four to six hours until enough is built up in your system to relieve your symptoms. Then you may be able to cut back to just one or two grams a day.

One of the nicer benefits of taking ginger root is that it can help your body repair itself so that you eventually need less of it. When we first started using it, we’d go through 100 caps in three weeks. Now, one bottle lasts us about three months.

Toxicity

None really. At extremely high doses (20 grams or more) it might bring on a premenopausal woman’s menses.

Warnings

Pregnant women should discuss this with their docs before beginning. Also, make sure you drink a full glass of water when taking the capsules.

Doug was used to swallowing meds without water. He tried this one night with a ginger cap on his way to work. It got stuck in his esophagus, the capsules dissolved and the ginger started to burn. Good thing there was a 7-11 nearby. He had to stop and buy a bottled water.

In the war on pain, indigestion and motion sickness, ginger root is a weapon I wouldn’t want to be without.

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