Posts tagged with "prevention"

Alex Bogdan for use by 360 MAGAZINE

Tips to Maintain a Healthy Back

With the COVID-19 pandemic reaching another surge this holiday season, its more important than ever to stay safe, protected and healthy. With the pandemic continuing throughout the winter season, it’s easy to forget that the chilling winter weather can result in the muscles and ligaments of our bodies to contract and tighten significantly more. The muscles and ligaments that strengthen the back and spine, as well as the shoulders and knees, are considerably impacted by these seasonal changes.

From the Pinkston News Service comes a series of tips from Dr. Rita Roy, Chief Executive Officer of the National Spine Health Foundation, on how to protect and keep your back healthy during these frostier months.

Stretch regularly

Implementing a consistent stretching routine can lower your risk of injury, and can even elevate the healing process of a previous injury. Engaging in basic back stretches such as the child’s pose or cat-cow and enhance strength and flexibility to your spine.

Wear proper footwear

Dr. Rita Roy encourages everyone to be mindful of the shoes that you plan to wear depending on the weather you may be dealing with. Make sure that your footwear is a fitting size, by trying them on in-store first, if you can. Ensure that your shoes have proper lining to keep you warm during the chilling temperatures. Making note to purchase a set of footwear that has non-stick rubber soles and treads on the bottom of the shoe for an extra level of safety from slipping. Remember to also take those shoes off when you head indoors, replacing them with socks or slippers, so you don’t run the risk of slipping inside as well.

Be aware of your surroundings

If you know that you may be heading outside, make sure to pay attention to what surfaces you step foot on. To get ahead of the game, keep up on the weather conditions heading your way. If you live in an area with a lot of icy roads and sidewalks, make sure to take your time, walk slowly and steer clear of carrying large items along your path. Make sure to look around you and use the objects that are not moving to your advantage; hold onto a handrail or tree to give yourself some extra balance. Keep your eyes peeled and watch around you to avoid unwarranted hazards.

Stay active

While winter follows the holiday season, this may warrant a lot of eating, sitting around and mood shifts. Seasonal depression is ever apparent through this time of year, so it’s extremely crucial to get your body moving to aid the dreariness that comes with winter. Moving around in between meals through exercising can help you in more ways than you may know.

Don’t overextend yourself

While it is crucial that you keep exercising, be sure to not overreach these efforts. The end of the holiday season raises a whole new set of physical activities, such as, hanging Christmas lights and shoveling snow. These unique tasks pose risks to the body because these are not activities that are regularly carried out year-round. Shoveling snow can cause intense stress to your back. It is vital that you use proper techniques and equipment when carrying out these tasks. Give yourself well-needed breaks and time to rest while participating in these endeavors.

Always wear a seatbelt

This may seem like a misplaced tip among the rest, but nonetheless this one is exceptionally valuable. Studies have found that a large amount of weather-related auto accidents happen throughout the winter, and around 76,000 people become hurt in accidents that result on snowy or slushy roads. Back pain can result from a mere low-speed fender-bender since the body was not anticipating the impact. So, keeping your seatbelt on can limit these sudden movements.

Mosquito illustration by Heather Skovlund for 360 Magazine

Mosquito Season

How to Prepare for Mosquito Season

Mosquito season is right around the corner. If you happen to live in warmer regions of the country, you might already be seeing some mosquito activity around your home. Even if it will be a couple of months until the warm weather reaches your part of the country, it is very important to prepare for mosquito season early.

Here is why you should begin to prepare for mosquito season early and some ways to do that:

Why should I prepare for mosquito season early?

  • Mosquitoes may already be in your yard: While they seem to disappear in the colder months of the year, some mosquitoes can in fact survive the winter. How? Through a process called overwintering. Overwintering is when female mosquitoes lay their eggs before winter, and the eggs survive and eventually hatch when temperatures rise again.
  • Being prepared means avoiding unnecessary hassle: Why wait until your yard is filled with mosquitoes to do something about them? By preparing early, you can lessen the stress of mosquito season and focus on enjoying your outdoor space.

How should I prepare for mosquito season?

There are a number of ways you can get ready for the beginning of mosquito season and help prevent bites around your home. Below are a few:

  • Hire your local mosquito control company: The best way to beat mosquitoes is to enlist the help of a professional. Our specialists at Mosquito Authority are committed to doing everything possible to ensure your home and yard are mosquito-free zones. Our treatments are even designed to break up the 21-day lifecycle of mosquitoes, which means you won’t be bothered in between treatments.
  • Be aware of the best mosquito repellents and how to use them: Although your home will be mosquito-free after your Mosquito Authority treatments, other outdoor areas might not be. If you are planning on hiking, going to the park, or participating in any other outdoor activities in the spring and summer, make sure to apply insect repellent. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend using products that contain DEET, picaridin, oil of lemon eucalyptus, or other EPA-registered products.
  • Make sure your yard isn’t a breeding ground for mosquitoes: Mosquitoes need water to lay eggs, which is why any areas of standing water make for popular mosquito breeding grounds. As the snow begins to melt (or you start to experience more rainfall), standing water will start building up around your yard. A big part of DIY mosquito control is getting rid of standing water near your home; this includes tipping over items like trash can lids, tire swings, and children’s toys to empty the water out.

Joe Malinowski is the director of pest management for Mosquito Authority and Pest Authority. He has worked on the operational and corporate side of top companies in the pest control industry. Malinowski served as vice president of technical services at Orkin and vice president of sales for B&G Equipment Company. He also helped launch new and innovative products in the industry for ForeFront Product Design and SenesTech. Operational roles at the branch, regional, and divisional levels have given him an understanding of profit and loss, customer and employee retention, correct product and equipment selection, and precise training to ensure exceptional service.

Male Pattern Baldness article illustrated by Kaelen Felix for 360 MAGAZINE

Everything You Need To Know About Male Pattern Baldness

The average person loses anywhere from 50 to 100 hairs a day—it’s part of the natural hair cycle and won’t make a difference on the scalp.

It only becomes a problem when there isn’t new hair to replace the ones that you’ve lost. A medical condition, it can be caused by a number of things from medications to hormonal changes.

Genetics can play a role as well. If anything, that’s what causes androgenic alopecia aka male pattern baldness.

Think you might have it? Want to know what some of the possible treatments are? If so, be sure to read the rest of the post!

What Is Male Pattern Baldness?

Male pattern baldness is a condition that causes loss of hair in men. In the United States, it affects nearly 50 million individuals. In fact, it’s said that more than half of all men will experience it to some extent by the age of 50.

And while it doesn’t pose any health threats, it can be psychologically distressing.

What Causes Male Pattern Baldness? 

Male pattern baldness has to do with the male sex hormones aka androgens. More specifically, they have an effect on the hair growth cycle. Instead of producing new strands to replace the ones that have fallen out, the hair follicle shrinks.

Over time, this leads to baldness.

While the condition is often inherited, it can also be caused by other things such as medications and certain cancers. In cases like that, it’s often accompanied by a rash or peeling of the scalp.

Who’s At Risk?

When do men start balding? It depends, but male pattern baldness typically occurs when an individual is in his 30s or 40s (the likelihood increases with age). With that said, it can also happen during the teen years after puberty. 

Since it’s genetic, those with a family history of the condition are also at a higher risk of developing the condition. This is especially true if it runs on the material side of the family.

Common Symptoms 

Male pattern baldness shows up in a telltale shape. That is, it often starts as a receding hairline with thinning strands around the hair.

Over time, it’ll continue to move backward, forming an “M” shape. Eventually, as the hair becomes shorter and finer, it’ll create a horseshoe pattern with hair on the sides of the head.

Depending on the severity, the hairline may continue to recede until all of the strands are gone.

Treating Male Pattern Baldness 

Unfortunately, there’s no cure for male pattern baldness. Having said that, there are treatments available for those who’d like to improve their appearance. 

Medications

There are a couple of medications that can help with the condition, one of which includes a topical lotion or foam. Available over-the-counter, it works best on the crown of the head.

Keep in mind, however, that it can take several months for you to see results. Also, the medication must be used indefinitely to preserve the effects.

And while it’s typically well-tolerated, it can cause side effects such as itching, irritation, or swelling of the skin.

In addition to that, there’s a prescription medication that you can take orally. Put it simply, it prevents DHT, a male hormone, from shrinking the hair follicles on the scalp. In doing so, it can slow the progression of baldness.

As with the lotion, however, the effects will be reversed if the pill is stopped.

Wigs 

Wigs can be used to cover receding hairlines, thinning hair, or complete baldness. The best part is that they come in a variety of colors and styles so that you can choose the one that’s right for you.

You can also work with a professional wig stylist for a more natural look.

Hair Weaves 

Weaves are basically wigs that are sewn into your hair. There’s just one thing—you must have enough hair for them to work with.

Unlike wigs, which can easily come off, weaves will always stay on, even if you’re running or swimming. However, they must be sewn again whenever new hair growth occurs.

Hair Transplants 

A hair transplant is the most invasive option and because of this, it’s often considered to be the last resort. How does it work?

A doctor will remove hair from areas of the scalp that still have active growth and transplant them to balding areas. Generally speaking, multiple treatments will be necessary.

Common side effects include numbness on the treated areas of the scalp, swelling, and scarring. The new hair may also appear less dense over time depending on the density of follicles in the transplanted area.

Is Male Pattern Baldness Preventable?

Currently, there’s no known way to prevent the condition. With that said, some researchers believe that it may help to reduce stress. Ultimately, this has to do with the fact that stress can contribute to hair loss by increasing sex hormones.

Given that, you may want to participate in relaxing activities such as walking or listening to soothing music.

Understanding Male Pattern Baldness 

Now you know all about male pattern baldness. As you can see, it can be caused by various things from medications to genetics. Fortunately, there are ways to treat the condition. When in doubt, consult with your primary care doctor!

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Industrial Disinfection During COVID-19

Unusual times lead to unusual challenges for companies, making new solutions necessary. Formel D, a global service provider to the automotive and component supply industry, is currently supporting its customers in disinfecting vehicle parts and vehicles, along the entire value chain, and is thereby guaranteeing comprehensive protection for production employees and for end customers.

Because of COVID-19, hygiene and disinfection are hot topics in all private and commercial sectors. This naturally also applies to work processes in the automotive industry. Vehicle parts supplied to production plants as well as vehicles transferred to end customers must be free of all contamination in order to prevent the possible infection of production employees and end customers.

Automotive manufacturers and vehicle fleet companies therefore require a rapid and flexible solution that is not only cost effective and professionally implemented, but also does not damage vehicles during the disinfection process.

Formel D addresses all of their customers’ needs and requirements to ensure protection against contamination with a trained team and modern sanitation equipment on their site. All processes are continuously monitored and extensively documented by Formel D by using VIN tracking tools. The entire sanitization process is carried out to the highest standards, without any physical contact of the vehicle surfaces.

Further information about the services of Formel D in this area can be found here.

 

California Poison Control Offers Rattlesnake Bite Prevention Tips  

By Dr. Rais Vohra

At California Poison Control System (CPCS), we want to remind residents that with warmer spring weather, rattlesnakes are more likely to be found on hiking trails and sunning in rural areas. Most bites occur between the months of April and October. Even baby rattlesnakes possess dangerous venom as soon as they hatch. 

This weekend, we received three calls about rattlesnake bites, a higher number per weekend than usual. About 300 cases are reported to CPCS annually in California, with additional other cases managed by physicians and hospitals. 

While the odds of being bitten by a rattlesnake are small compared to other environmental injuries, residents can follow precautions outdoors that can minimize the chance of being bitten. For example, children are naturally curious and may look into open pipes or under rocks, or kick loose brush and bushes where snakes may sometimes lie quietly. Children need to be carefully supervised outside, especially in wooded and desert areas where snakes tend to live.  Rattlesnakes do not always make a rattling sound, so someone can be standing next to a rattlesnake and not even know it. 

Some rattlesnake bite prevention tips include: 

  • Wear boots and long pants when hiking.
  • Stay on trails when hiking, away from underbrush and tall weeds.
  • Do not touch or disturb a snake, even if it appears dead. 
  • Carefully inspect logs or rocks before sitting on them.
  • Never hike alone in remote areas. Always have someone with you who can assist in an emergency. Calling for help if alone is not an option, as cellphones do not always work in remote areas.
  • Teach children to respect snakes and to leave them alone.

The symptoms of a rattlesnake bite may include extreme pain and swelling at the location of the bite; excessive bleeding; nausea; swelling in the mouth and throat making it difficult to breathe; lightheadedness; drooling; and even collapse, shock and death in rare cases.  If you are bitten by a rattlesnake, immediate medical attention is critical. Severe or even life-threatening symptoms may occur within minutes after the bite, or in other cases may begin after couple of hours. In either event, your best bet is to get to a hospital as soon as you can.  

The following steps are important for any rattlesnake bite:   

  • Get immediate medical attention.
  • Do not apply ice, do not use a tourniquet or constricting band, do not try to suck out the venom, and do not use any device to cut or slice the bite site.
  • Keep calm, do not run and keep the affected extremity elevated during transport to a medical facility.
  • Do not call the local hospitals to see if they have anti-venom, just go ASAP.

By the way, many veterinarians now carry rattlesnake anti-venom and rattlesnake vaccines for dogs and other pets that are bitten. Contact a veterinarian for more information.

Dr. Rais Vohra is Medical Director for the Fresno/Madera Division of CPCS.

Call Poison Control at 1-800-222-1222 (number is the same in all states) for questions about poison encounters. Trained pharmacists, nurses and other providers are available to help 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The service is free, confidential and interpreters are available. Get weekly tips about safety by texting TIPS to 20121 for English or texting PUNTOS to 20121 for Spanish. Follow CPCS on Facebook and on Twitter @poisoninfo. CPCS is part of the University of California San Francisco School of Pharmacy and is responsible to the California Emergency Medical Services Authority.

Vaughn Lowery, 360 MAGAZINE

Ending Suicide This National Suicide Prevention Month

By Vinay Saranga M.D.

National Suicide Prevention Month is this September, with Suicide Prevention Week being recognized Sunday, Sep. 8, 2019 – Saturday, Sep. 14, 2019. Suicide is a growing issue in America, with an estimated 44,965 Americans ending their own lives each year, or roughly 123 each day. Think about that for a moment: 123 people each day saying they’ve had enough.

Suicide is the worst possible outcome there is not just for the individual, but for the family he or she leaves behind. Quite often this involves parents and grandparents, children, siblings and friends who are left wondering why. Why did he do it? Why didn’t I see the signs? Could I have done more? Is this somehow partially my fault? Was I not nice to him or her?

As mental health professionals, it hurts us too. If the person didn’t get help, why not? Was he or she denied access to mental health benefits? If he or she was under our care, where did we go wrong? Did we not see the signs or prescribe the wrong course of treatment?    

When it comes to suicide, there are no straightforward answers. In fact, most of the time, we never get answers unless the person left behind a note, and even then, we are still often left scratching our heads in disbelief and dismay.

That’s why initiatives like National Suicide Prevention Month and Suicide Prevention Week are so important. It helps us shine the light on the pain of suicide, even if for a short period of time. The reality is, we need to have open conversations about suicide, depression and overall mental health all the time, 365 days a year. We need to end the stigma surrounding mental illness immediately or unfortunately, suicide will continue to needlessly end the lives of so many around us.

The only bit of good news is that suicide is preventable, but an intervention must take place. The driving force behind a suicide must be properly dealt with before it spirals out of control, whether this is a mental illness, nasty divorce, job loss or anything else.

We can provide hope and support by starting a conversation. Reach out to help normalize the topic. Don’t hesitate to seek treatment for mental illnesses. It is not a sign of weakness. Someone suffering from heart disease wouldn’t hesitate to seek help for their heart condition. The same normalization needs to be visible in the mental health community. If you suspect someone might be suicidal, here are some things you can do to help.

Talk

Again, help normalize the topic by conversation. Simply asking someone if they are thinking about suicide is a good step. Never promise to keep their suicidal thoughts a secret. Be open and non-judgmental. Encourage immediate professional intervention through the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255. It is available 24-hours a day.

Connect

Professional help is essential. Don’t just suggest it because they might be unlikely to follow through. Do it for them. Someone who might be suicidal could be suffering from deep depression, mania and other conditions that sometimes prevent clarity. Do the research and help get them set up with an appointment with a mental health professional like a clinical psychologist, psychiatrist or licensed counselor.

Support

If someone in your life is contemplating suicide, constantly remind them that there is hope. There are many successful treatments which can help turn how their feeling around. Life is worth living. Continue to support and communicate with them. You can increase their feelings of connectedness and share your ongoing support. There is evidence that even a simple form of reaching out, like sending a card or email, can potentially reduce their risk for suicide. Remember, loneliness is a major cause of depression.

This National Suicide Prevention Month, let’s put an end to this horrific epidemic once and for all. The more we continue the conversation and bring attention to it, the more people we will reach and save.

Vinay Saranga M.D. is a psychiatrist and founder of Saranga Comprehensive Psychiatry. http://www.sarangapsychiatry.com/

HELP USA helps children

Helping Children Experiencing Homelessness to Succeed in School

At HELP USA, we believe that housing is only the beginning. We do everything we can to ensure that our residents thrive. For our youngest residents, this means making sure they get the best education possible. At HELP Bronx Crotona, a family shelter in the South Bronx, we have dramatically improved school attendance rates for the youth who live there. As a result of a partnership with the NYC school system, over 25% more students have good attendance rates. We’re excited that our young people have made such dramatic progress, and look forward to sharing more about our clients’ successes in the future!

Jon Bon Jovi visits HELP USA!

April is National Volunteer Month, and we’d like to say thank you to the many volunteers that help us accomplish our mission. We recently hosted a very special day of service in Newark, NJ. Students from Rutgers beautified the grounds of JBJ Soul Homes, and Jon Bon Jovi himself even stopped by! Jon Bon Jovi is a longtime friend of HELP USA and partnered with us to build JBJ Soul Homes and other housing developments. To learn more, visit our website.

“HELP was wonderful” – Ivy Lee’s Story

When Ivy Lee’s mother passed away, he found himself without a safe home. So he turned to HELP USA, where he found a new, affordable apartment at HELP Philadelphia V.

Click to hear why he’s grateful to HELP USA.

GIVE TODAY!

Five Steps for Prevention from Watson Institute Experts

The Majority of Children with Autism Are Bullied—Do You Know How to Help?

Children with autism face unique social and education challenges that require attentive support. 1 in 59 children is diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder. Boys are four times more likely than girls to have autism. Autism affects all ethnic and socioeconomic groups. Autism spectrum disorder encompasses a wide range of challenges with repetitive behaviors as well as social and communication skills.

For students with Autism, school can be daunting, as they are faced with social interactions and not feeling accepted. Coupled with that, children with Autism are at higher risk for being victimized or bullied by peers. Nearly two-thirds of children with autism between the ages of 6 and 15 have been bullied—over twice the rate of children without autism. 65% of parents report that their child had been victimized and 50% report being scared by their peers (Issues in Comprehensive Pediatric Nursing (2009)).  

These pressures can lead to refusal to attend school, anxiety or depression, and an overall decline in academic performance. This is borne out in the high school graduation rates for students with disabilities, which is only 67.1% (U.S. Department of Education’s National Center for Education Statistics), compared to an overall 84% graduation rate.

Clinical experts from the Watson Institute have five tips on combating bullying among all students, especially those with autism:

  1. Highlight individual strengths. Parents and teachers can be proactive by teaching children that it’s natural to expect others to be just like us, but the things that make us different are often the very things that make us special. Make a habit of complimenting students on their strengths—including in front of their peers.
  2. Widen perspectives. Teaching children to see things from more than one perspective is a key part of developing empathy. Help children connect beyond surface circumstances to underlying emotions. If a child makes fun of a student for not being good at something, ask them to reflect on something that is hard for them.
  3. Praise kindness. Children risk being teased or bullied themselves when they reach out to a student who is being bullied. It takes courage for students to act. Turn this perceived liability into an asset by applauding acts of kindness. This can be done individually, (“I saw how you stood up for Kyle and I’m really proud of you.”) and corporately, through public recognition or incentive programs.
  4. Get involved. If a bullying situation has developed, adult intervention is usually required. Leaving students to “work it out themselves” will often exacerbate or prolong a negative situation. Involve students and parents in addressing the situation. Approach the conversation with a problem-solving, not a punitive attitude.
  5. Provide support. Children can feel a range of emotions—from fear to shame and many more—when they’ve been the victim of bullying. Don’t assume because a child is no longer actively being bullied, that the situation is resolved. Make space for them to talk about their feelings and provide any additional support they need.

ABOUT THE WATSON INSTITUTE

The Watson Institute is organization providing special education programming as well as outpatient mental health services such as social skills groups, therapy, and evaluations for children ages 3 to 21.  www.thewatsoninstitute.org.

Focusing on People & Data to Distract Hackers

We live in times when it’s become easier than ever for hackers to breach an organization through social engineering. Breaches are primarily caused by phishing attacks, representing a huge security problem for businesses.

But why is this type of cybercriminal so widely represented in the statistics? What is it that makes it so easy and so profitable for hackers? We might not like the answers. The ever-increasing connectivity and focus on people and data is leaving us vulnerable to malicious attacks. To protect your business, you need to start thinking like a hacker. Let’s take a look at how they infiltrate big business and what can be done about it.

How Social Engineering Works

Since social engineering relies on personal information hackers can find online, it’s pretty difficult to counter. Before; that required some digging on the hacker’s part – now all it takes is a data-matching service like Spokeo and PeekYou, and they get all the information they might need and more. Cross-matching public records is one thing, but employees also freely share a lot of information on social media. This personal info is then used to target employees within a company with malicious emails, by posing as a trusted individual. From there, all a hacker needs to do is convince an employee to click on a malicious link or perform a wire transfer.

Are Individual Threats the Same as Company Threats?

As we can see, cybercriminals can efficiently use your social media information to reach their desired target within your company. Does that mean company executives should stop using social media altogether, or ban their employees from sharing any work-related information?

The short answer is yes. The long answer, if not “yes,” is that there should be strict policies in place about the use of social networks and what can and can’t be shared. For example, if a company executive posts about being on a business trip, hackers take that as a signal to try and perform BEC. Anything an employee posts about work projects or people they spend time with inthe office can help cybercriminals construct an elaborate and believable social engineering scam. It is why every employee must assume the whole world is watching them when they want to post anything work-related on social media.

The frequency of Social Engineering and Phishing

It’s no accident that social engineering and phishing attacks are responsible for 95 percent of data breaches. They exploit what will always be the weak link in any company’s security chain – the people who work there. Relying on traditional protective measures such as firewall, antivirus, anti-spoofing techniques, etc. cannot stop all of these attacks. Education is vital for prevention, but with these scams getting more elaborate and difficult to spot, it doesn’t ensure safety.

What Can Protect Your Business?

Wouldn’t it be wonderful if you didn’t have to worry about phishing? Good news, the worrying stops today. It seems challenging to prevent phish, but Area 1 Security offers an Anti-Phishing Service that finds and eliminates phish through a combination of web crawling and small pattern analytics. With Area 1 Horizon, your business will be safe, and you won’t be adding to the pool of $5.3 billion in losses due to phishing attacks last year.

With the ever-increasing focus on people and data, businesses are leaving themselves wide open to hackers. In those circumstances, there are two options – limiting the information hackers can get about you through social media, or investing in preemptive and comprehensive phishing protection. At Area 1 Security, we stop phishing for good.