A good resource, but not the only resource.
The other day, a mom-to-be approached the Research Desk in a bit of a panic. “All of your copies of What to Expect When You’re Expecting are checked out!” Now it is true that What to Expect When You’re Expecting is one of the most requested titles by future moms, and with good reason. According to the book description it “is a perennial New York Times bestseller and one of USA Today’s 25 most influential books of the past 25 years. It’s read by more than 90% of pregnant women who read a pregnancy book–the most iconic, must-have book for parents-to-be, with over 14.5 million copies in print.”
High praise, indeed, but if it’s not on the shelf and you want it that day, there are other fish in the sea. Take, for example, the Mayo Clinic Guide to a Health Pregnancy. Publishers Weekly stated, “Would-be mothers looking for precise, accurate information from a reputable source will appreciate this mammoth pregnancy guide…most readers will find great reassurance this volume’s carefully vetted facts.” And The Joy of Pregnancy: The Complete, Candid, and Reassuring Guide for Parents to Be is another popular and trusted source.
There’s also The Pregnancy Bible: Your Complete Guide to Pregnancy and Early Parenthood and Your Pregnancy Week By Week. Both of which not only give you tips on a health pregnancy, but also gives you a weekly progress report on what’s going on in there.
Of course if you want a little humor to go with your advice, there’s always The Girlfriends Guide to Pregnancy or The Mother of All Pregnancy Books. And you can always put the future papa to work with The Expectant Father: Facts,Tips, and Advice for Dads-To-Be. But that’s just a small sampling. There are many more good pregnancy guides as well as many that deal with very specific areas of pregnancy such as diet or high-risk pregnancies. Be sure to stop by any branch of HCLS for even more options.
It’s been a long time since we talked about some the kid friendly, teaching tools on health in the HCLS collection. Today, we are going to highlight some new additions to our collection.
The first set of books is part of the “Your Healthy Plate” series, and features Grains, Fruits, and Proteins. According to Cherry Lake Publishing, the books are specifically designed to highlight the five five food groups as described in the new dietary guidelines launched in January 2011 by the FDA. “This leveled reader series helps the young child understand the importance of a balanced diet.” The books are informative without being overwhelming. Some of the topics covered include: What Are/Is Grains/Fruits/Protein? Why Do You Need Grains/Fruit/Protein? How Often Should You Eat Grains/Fruit/Protein? Find Out More, Glossary, and Home and School Connection. Simple text and lots of bright pictures make these books an excellent way to introduce young children to healthful eating.
A non-nutrition-related book that your inquiring, 6-to-9 year-old reader may find interesting is My Itchy Body. Part of the BODY WORKS series, the publisher, Tundra Books, describes it as “a fact-filled book about everything that itches: the causes, the cures, the myths, and the reality.” The book provides medically accurate information paired with very funny, often silly, illustrations. The book would work really well at home or in the classroom, and it includes fun facts, sidebars, and a glossary.
Don’t forget, learning about health and good habits can and should start at a young age. Plus, as John Locke stated: “Children should always be heard, and fairly and kindly answered, when they ask after anything they would know, and desire to be informed about. Curiosity should be as carefully cherished in children as other appetites suppressed.”
By Azcolvin429 (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-3.0], via Wikimedia Commons
Happy Earth Day! What better day to think about personal well-being than a day devoted to the well-being of the entire planet? We’ve already given you a few hints on how being kind to Mother Earth can personally benefit you, say through gardening
, or protecting your soil
. But what else can you do to help Earth and, ultimately, yourself and those you love?
Well, of course, The Earth Day Network has several suggestions to be active, from helping the climate to recycling. They also have a place for donations if you don’t have time to get personally involved.
National Geographic has some very specific examples of the link between the health of the Earth and its population. “Our health is intimately connected with the world around us. Scientists are continually discovering new ways that ecosystems affect us. Destruction of natural wildlife habitats, for instance, can lead to humans being exposed to new diseases.” They offer such examples as how deforestation of the Amazon has led to more CO2 in the atmosphere and loss of clean drinking water; how air pollution can provoke heart attacks, stroke, and asthma; and how preserving wetlands protects both wildlife and natural filters that remove pollutants from water before they reach the ocean or tap water. National Geographic also offers some suggestions everyone can employ to stop the damage.
The Nature Conservancy has an All Hands on Earth campaign, “asking millions of people all over the world to spend the whole month of April— Earth Month— thinking about where their food comes from, and how their food choices impact our planet.” They are organizing Picnic for Earth to encourage everyone to come together and eat sustainably.
You may also want to link healthcare improvement and environmentalism directly by getting involved with Practice Greenhealth. They are the nation’s leading healthcare community, working toward empowering members to “increase their efficiencies and environmental stewardship while improving patient safety and care through tools, best practices, and knowledge.”
Finally, if you’re just looking for some simple changes you and your family can make to help keep the planet and its inhabitants a little healthier and happier, check out:
The Green Guide: The Complete Reference for Consuming Wisely
True Green Kids: 100 Things You Can Do to Save the Planet by Kim McKay
Do One Green Thing: Save the Earth Through Simple, Everyday Choices by Mindy Pennybacker
Generation Green: The Ultimate Teen Guide to Living an Eco-Friendly Life by Linda & Tosh Silvertsen
And the DVD Bag It: Is Your Life Too Plastic?
Posted by HCGH on Apr 9, 2013 in Health, Safety | 0 comments
Spring is in the air, but warm weather means ticks and exposure to Lyme Disease.
Did you spend time outdoors this weekend? Gardening? A walk in the woods? Camping? Or maybe just a pick-up game of softball in the park? All of these activities and more are part of the reason we look forward to Spring. But- in our area especially- it is important when spending time outdoors, to be aware of the risks of ticks and Lyme Disease. Lyme disease is caused by the bacterium Borrelia burgdorferi. People become infected when an infected black-legged tick, also known as a “deer tick” bites them.
Here are 7 tips to help you avoid Lyme Disease
Avoid Direct Contact with ticks. Stay on the trail. Avoid, if possible, high grass and wooded areas.
When hiking, wear long sleeves and long pants over tall socks. Pull your hair back and wear a cap. Light colored materials make it easier to spot any hitchhikers. Tuck the bottom of your pants into your socks, or band the bottom of your pants and sleeves. (Another great use for duct tape!)
Apply repellents that contain 20% or more DEET (N, N-diethyl-m-toluamide) on exposed skin. Re-apply every few hours. Make sure to follow directions and avoid applying to hands, eyes and mouth.
Apply repellents that contain permethrin to clothing and gear. A coating on pants, socks, etc. will last through several laundry cycles. (Outfitters make clothing that is pre-treated and can last for 50 or more laundry cycles)
Bathe or shower immediately after coming indoors. Conduct a thorough search with a partner if possible, or a hand mirror. Parents- check your children! Pay special attention to the scalp, under the arms, between the legs, and inside the ears.
Stow your gear outside until you get a chance to check it. Pets, coats, day packs- all should be checked before coming into the house. Clothing can be laundered and dried on high heat for an hour to kill any remaining ticks.
If you’ve been bitten by a tick- follow these tick removal instructions from the CDC.
For more information about Ticks and Lyme Disease, check out the Johns Hopkins Medicine Health Library.
Follow these guidelines and you can still enjoy the great outdoors, so go ahead… Get Out!
Hiking in the Middle Patuxent Watershed
Photo Credit: Mary Catherine Cochran
Posted by hclibrary on Feb 25, 2013 in Cancer, Health, Safety | 0 comments
By Cherise Tasker
Check out the new Heath IT Cancer Resources Guide. The site takes an innovative approach to cataloging informative medical websites and apps. Many excellent websites offer wellness and health resources, but this site goes a step further by dividing the resources within a patient-supportive framework. The 76 digital tools are divided in five categories as follows: Decision Making, Education, Information and Treatment management, Social Support, and Lifestyle Management.
The eHealth Initiative is a unique nonprofit collaboration between nonprofit and commercial healthcare organizations; community and academic centers; and medical, clinical, and information technology professionals. The diverse influences and perspectives allow the organization to advocate for health information technology that meets the needs of patients, providers, payers, and quality monitors. For example, innovative technology will help care providers communicate electronically through health information exchanges (HIEs). Patients will have access to more efficient, state-of-the-art healthcare that is not limited by the patient’s area of residence. These cooperatives are being built specifically with healthcare in mind and with the privacy considerations unique to patient care. For example, many of Maryland’s hospitals and long-term care facilities are already members of CRISP (Chesapeake Regional Information System for Our Patients), an HIE dedicated to data sharing for improved patient care. As HIEs evolve, patients will more easily be able to move between care providers who will all be able to access critical medical documentation in a secure electronic environment.
Not only are health technology experts taking on the challenge of interconnectivity within states, they are addressing the national challenge as well. Regional Health Information Exchanges (RHIOs) would connect hospitals in different states and between HIEs. The RHIO networks would allow community providers to share data with local hospitals and academic centers. Patients needing specialty care in other locations or patients experiencing health issues while traveling could be cared for more quickly and expertly when care providers have access to medical problem lists, prescription records, prior laboratory results, and existing diagnostic studies such as EKGs. The information would be available through secure, private portals accessible only after patient consent and staff access verification.
Each of us can go digital with our own health information. Creating an online personal health record (PHR) collects medical data in an automated environment that one can access from anywhere there is a computer with Internet. A PHR is a convenient way to keep track of one’s medications, for example. In case of a medical emergency, a trusted friend or family member could access the information and provide it to healthcare providers. Free online PHR programs are available on websites such as WebMD. Several of Maryland’s hospitals have PHR programs as part of their online tools for their patients. Howard County General Hospital has information on its website about creating a PHR, including a link to a free program created by the American Health Information Management Association.
Posted by hclibrary on Feb 14, 2013 in Safety | 0 comments
It’s Valentine’s Day. This means you’ve suffered through or will endure a number of ridiculous conversations about the holiday. Is it a conspiracy theory constructed by greeting card companies and the Knights Templar? Should feminism have destroyed it for supporting outdated and destructive stereotypes? Is it the pressure to find the right gift that destroys relationships or is it that you’re just really bad at gift giving and maybe don’t know your partner that well in the first place? And what on earth happens to the stuff that isn’t sold–is there a vast wasteland of tchotchkes covered in pink glitter and hearts? Can we go there?!
Oddly, the conversation we never seem to have at Valentine’s Day is about sex. So today we’re going to talk about sex! Specifically, about Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs), so that if your life choice is to have sex, you can do so with minimal risk to yourself and your partners.
FACT: Anyone can get an STI.
Let’s get something out of the way early. STIs don’t just happen to “those” girls or “those” guys, because there is no such thing as “those” people, there’s only us. People who get STIs include people who have sex with lots of people, and people who have sex with only one person their entire life. They happen to people the first time they have sex and the 50th time. Anyone can get one, so the important thing is safety.
Fact: You can still get an STI if you’re a “virgin.”
Because so many still define virginity as someone who hasn’t had penile-vaginal intercourse, there are a lot of ways to have sex while still technically remaining a “virgin” in the eyes of others. And all those ways can lead to STIs, including non-penetrative sex.
FACT: Lots of people have STIs and don’t know it.
You might have seen terrifying pictures or heard horror stories about the worst case scenarios when it comes to STIs. You might be picturing them right now. Stop that. Look at the adorable baby animal picture instead.
The thing is, many STIs have minimal indicators, and some like Chlamydia and Gonorrhea are often asymptomatic, but can have severe consequences, especially for women.
FACT: Just because you see a doctor, doesn’t mean you don’t have, or can’t get an STI.
Things are real and happen, even if a medical professional hasn’t told you about them. Also, when you go in for your exam, do you know what STIs you’re being tested for? Is it all of them? Have you ever asked? Many doctors don’t conduct routine STI screenings, or only test for a few. And, unfortunately, some STIs don’t have definitive tests. So the only way you know you have them is if you develop the symptoms.
FACT: Condoms and dental dams aren’t foolproof.
You should still use them anyway. They don’t really make sex “safe,” but they do make it significantly safer and have decreased the spread of a number of STIs. However, even if prophylactics are used correctly, there are incurable STIs that are transmitted by skin contact, and so you need to make sure you’re talking with your partner and your doctor about risks.
So seriously, talk to your kids about the things they need to know, or to your partners if you have them. If you think it’s an awkward conversation to have before you have sex, it’s probably infinitely more awkward, sad, and frustrating to have after a visit to the doctors.
For more information you can find these at your local library:
The Book of Love: Every Couple’s Guide to Emotional and Sexual Intimacy
Sexpertise: Real Answers to Real Questions about Sex
It’s Perfectly Normal: A Book about Changing Bodies, Growing Up, Sex and Sexual Health
Talk to Me First: Everything You Need to Know to Become Your Kids’ “Go-To” Person about Sex
Or you can read AP Sex Ed online here.