On Monday, the Howard County Police published a press release reminding Howard County residents to practice safe trick-or-treating and be assured of police presence in residential neighborhoods this Halloween.
Today promises to be an exciting holiday of fun with friends and neighbors handing out an assortment of Halloween treats. Here are the safety highlights found in the press release:
Encourage children to trick-or-treat before dark. After dark, an adult chaperone should carry a flashlight and choose well-lighted streets.
Wear costumes that are short, snug and flame retardant. Flowing sleeves, capes and skirts can cause children to trip and can catch fire if they brush against candle flames. Also be sure to wear light colors or reflective tape.
Avoid masks that can obstruct vision. Use face paint instead or make sure mask eye holes are wide enough.
Discourage the use of fake knives, guns and swords, as they may result in aggressive behavior. If these types of props are used, be sure they are made of flexible materials, such as foam or rubber.
Stay in groups while trick-or-treating, and make sure young children always are accompanied by adults.
Teach children that they should NEVER go into a stranger’s home or car.
Eat dinner before trick-or-treating to prevent the urge to eat treats before they have been inspected by parents. Never eat treats that have been opened.
Leave porch or other outside lights on to make clear that trick-or-treaters are welcome.
Being healthy means more than limiting your sweets intake this Halloween, it means being aware and taking note of your surroundings too. Have a happy, healthy Halloween, Howard County!
I have a sealed jar of brightly colored pills sitting on my kitchen counter- nearly a quart of expired medication. I was inspired to cull through and remove the out of date and no longer used medications after I wrote this post about accidental poisoning. It is amazing, even frightening, how many types of drugs a family can unintentionally stockpile over the years. But, I’m embarrassed to admit that they’ve been on my counter this long. Good intentions gone awry. I started to throw them in the trash but then thought of the potential environmental hazard they’d pose. I considered flushing them- but wasn’t sure that was as a good idea for our sewer treatment facilities. The Johns Hopkins Outpatient pharmacy in Columbia has nifty little envelopes you can buy to ship your drugs away for safe disposal, but I have too many to fit in the envelope. (It would be fine if I cleaned out my medicine cabinet on an annual basis as any well & wise citizen should!). Finally, though, thanks to the DEA, the Howard County Police Department and HC Drugfree, I have an answer!
Be sure to black out personal information
The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration’s (DEA’s) sixth semiannual National Take Back Day program will be held Saturday, October 26, 2013 from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. This is a wildly successful national program. At the last event on April 27, 742,497 pounds (371 tons) of prescription medications were collected from members of the public at more than 5,829 locations manned by 4,312 state, local, and tribal law enforcement agencies that partnered with DEA on the event. When added to the collections from DEA’s previous five Take-Back events, more than 2.8 million pounds (1,409 tons) of prescription medications have been removed from circulation.
Responsibly disposing of these medications is not only better for the environment it is much safer for us. Removing these drugs from the home significantly reduces the potential for misuse and abuse. Data from the National Survey on Drug Use and Health shows that 70 percent of misuses of prescription opioid medication can be tied to obtaining the medication from family or friends – often from home medicine cabinets. And the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) notes that unintentional deaths from narcotic pain relief drugs are a national epidemic. 27,500 people in the United States died of unintentional drug overdoses in 2007. DEA Administrator Michele M. Leonhart recognizes the issues at hand and says, “While a uniform system for prescription drug disposal is being finalized, we will continue to sponsor these important take-back opportunities as a service to our communities.”
The Food and Drug Administration encourages all citizens to take advantage of the Take Back initiative and has additional information on its website about the safe disposal of drugs, including this easily printable pdf. One last important piece of advice, after you sort through your medications and identify those you no longer need, make sure you remove prescription drug labels from the bottle, or black out your private patient information.
Medication disposal sites in Howard County are open on Saturday from 10: 00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.
Harper’s Choice Community Policing Office 5485 Harpers Farm Road, Columbia.
Howard County Police Northern District, 3410 Courthouse Drive, Ellicott City.
Howard County Police Southern District, 11226 Scaggsville, Road, Laurel.
Long Reach Community Policing Office, 8775 Cloudleap Court, Columbia.
Oakland Mills Community Policing Office, 5820 Steven’s Forest Road, Columbia.
Owen Brown Community Policing Office, 7154 Cradlerock Way, Columbia.
North Laurel Community Policing Office, 9411 Whiskey Bottom Road, Laurel.
Gary Arthur Community Center, 2400 Route 97, Cooksville.
Wilde Lake Village HC Drugfree Office, 10451 Twin Rivers Road, Suite 404, Columbia.
“Master the Movement” is a five-part series which briefly covers the proper form and mechanics of various exercises. Please consult your physician before attempting any new exercise regimen and consider meeting with a certified, professional trainer who can assess your form to prevent injury as you work toward your goals.
Have you noticed the massive influx of new exercise machines, group fitness classes, and gadgets promising quick weight loss? Despite the high turnover of fads and products, there’s one piece of equipment that hasn’t gone out of style: the barbell.
While barbells are commonplace in nearly every gym, many people perform barbell exercises without practicing or understanding proper form. There are those who are afraid to do squats because they think it will hurt their knees, while others fear the damage a dead lift could do to their backs. The reality is that both injuries are possible, but not if the movement is done correctly.
Now regarded by many people as a standard benchmark for strength, the bench press is usually seen as a chest or pectoral exercise. While the pecs play a role in the movement (when done properly and safely), it’s the triceps which work for the majority of the rep. This exercise is about body movement awareness and control.
Many thanks to my lovely wife for being our bench pressing model.
#1 Set up: Lay down on the bench with the bar at eye level. Feet on the floor and a comfortable width apart. Try to squeeze your shoulder blades together. Arch your back as much as is comfortable (think putting a fist under your back). Arms slightly wider than shoulder width.
#2 Lift Off: Get your whole body tight (legs, abs, back, etc.). Take a deep breath in your belly. Exhale as you lift off. Bring the bar out so your arms are vertical. Avoid locking your elbows, otherwise you risk hyperextension in that joint.
#3 Descent: While keeping everything tight, bring the bar straight down. Do NOT flare out elbows, keep them tucked comfortably near your body. Let the bar descend until it touches your sternum, avoiding bouncing at all costs. if you can picture your arms making a 90-degree triangle you can avoid unnecessary strain on your muscles. The objective is to work not injure.
#4 Ascent: Still keeping your body as tight as you can, explode the bar off of your chest straight up (not backwards towards the rack) After maintaining this position for a short count, re-rack the bar.
Be sure you know what your goals are before you attempt any kind of lifting exercises. Not to mention, get your doctor’s approval too. Your goals will dictate what proper form looks like. That is, your grip, reps, speed, stance, weight, and the like affects your workout outcomes.
The New Rules of Lifting series can help you examine your current lifting form and provide a deeper explanation of what’s happening between your movements and your muscle groups, as well as get you started with new exercises suited to your goals (allowing for modifications when necessary).
The fact is, proper form equals an efficient workout.
Share your experiences with bench pressing in the comments below.
Matthew Hall is a Customer Service Specialist at HCLS. He spends the majority of his free time with his wife and kids. His interests include religious studies, psychology, and fitness.
September 6, 2-6:00 p.m. HCGH Farmers’ Market. Join us every Friday for the HCGH Farmers Market. Keep your family healthy with fresh fruits, vegetables, bread, cheese, eggs, meat and other farm products grown and produced on local Howard County Farms. New vendors this year include Misty Meadows Milk and a jewelry vendor once a month. Market is at the rear of Visitor Lot C at HCGH.
September 6-13, Various times and Branches. Play Partners. Stories, baby games, and musical activities. Ages infant-23 months with adult; 20-30 min. Contact your Branch for registration requirements.
September 6-10, Various times and Branches. Teen Advisory Board. Join the Teen Advisory Board to recommend books, music, and movies; develop and plan events for teens; and work with HCLS instructors on projects you create. Service learning hours available for some projects. Ages 11-17. No registration required.
September 7, 10:00 a.m. Ask A Master Gardener. Discuss gardening questions and concerns at the Miller Branch. April through September. Saturdays, 10 am – 12 pm (except holiday weekends). University of Maryland Extension – Howard County Master Gardeners. Offered again 9/9 at 7:00 p.m. No registration required.
September 9, 10:15 a.m. & 11:30 a.m. What’s the Sense?: The Five Senses. Explore the five senses and how we use them at Miller Branch. Ages 3-5; 30 min. Multi-week series. Limited space; tickets available at Children’s Desk 15-30 minutes before class.
September 9, 10:15 & 11:30 a.m. Just For Me. A class at the Central Branch for children ages 3-5 who are ready for an independent class that includes creative expression, listening comprehension, and early reading skills. 30 min. Tickets available at Children’s Desk 15-30 minutes before class. Offered again 9/11 at 10:15 & 11:15 a.m. at the Elkridge Branch. No registration required.
September 10, 1:00-3:00 p.m. Quilting Support Group for cancer patients, survivors and caregivers. Join us on the 2nd and 4th Tuesdays of each month to learn quilting and hand piecing techniques and to for time to work on projects. Free. Claudia Mayer Cancer Resource Center, 10710 Charter Drive, Columbia MD. Call 410-740-5858 for more information.
September 10, 1:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m. Blood Pressure Screening. Free, walk-in blood pressure screening and monitoring at the Elkridge Branch offered by Howard County General Hospital: a Member of Johns Hopkins Medicine. 2nd Tuesdays; a Well & Wise event. No registration required.
September 10, 5:30-9:00 p.m. Adult, Child & Infant CPR and AED. $55. Learn the skills needed to clear an airway obstruction, perform cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and how to use an automated external defibrillator (AED). Earn a two-year American Heart Association completion card. Howard County General Hospital Wellness Center, 10710 Charter Drive, Columbia MD.
September 10, 6:30 p.m. I’m Going to Be a Big Brother or Sister!Prepare for the arrival of a baby in this class for new siblings at the Glenwood Branch. Enjoy stories, activities, and bring a favorite doll or stuffed animal to practice holding a baby. Resources for parents, too. Families; 30 – 45 min. Limited space; tickets available at Children’s Desk 15-30 minutes before class. In partnership with Howard County General Hospital: A Member of Johns Hopkins Medicine. A Well & Wise Event.
September 11, 7- 8:30 p.m. Maybe Baby: Health Issues to Consider Before Pregnancy. Learn about parent wellness, health care matters and other considerations when starting your family. Presented by Signature OB/GYN. Free. Howard County General Hospital Wellness Center, 10710 Charter Road Columbia, MD.
September 11, 7- 9:00 p.m. What is Pre-Diabetes? Has your doctor told you that you have pre-diabetes or risk factors for developing diabetes? This program will answer your questions. Our certified diabetes educator and registered dietitian will teach you how to make changes to prevent or delay an actual diabetes diagnosis. Howard County General Hospital Wellness Center, 10710 Charter Drive, Columbia MD.
September 12, 4:30 p.m. Tween Sprouts: Enchanted Garden Club. Discover the joys of gardening in the fall at Miller Branch. Learn about ecology, plant a fall garden crop, and help maintain beds in the Enchanted Garden. Be prepared to get your hands dirty while growing healthy habits. Ages 9-11; 90 min. Registration and signed release form required.
September 13, 8:30 a.m. -2:30 p.m. Living With Diabetes. Have you recently been diagnosed with diabetes or have you been living with diabetes and would like to improve your health? Our diabetes specialists will teach you how to change your habits, give you practical, attainable solutions for staying healthy and design a diabetes management plan to fit your lifestyle. Living with Diabetes is a two-day, interactive, group course taught by an endocrinologist, diabetes nurse educator, dietitian, psychologist, podiatrist, and exercise specialist. Choose a day program or a condensed evening program. Day classes are held Friday and the following Tuesday from 8:30 a.m. – 2:30 p.m. Most insurance plans cover all or part of this program. The Bolduc Family Outpatient Center at Howard County General Hospital. For more information or to register, please call 443-718-3000
September 16, 10- 11:30 a.m. Medicare 101: What You Can Expect From Medicare. Are you currently on Medicare or soon will be? Do you provide care to someone covered by Medicare? This presentation will review Original Medicare (Part A Hospital and Part B Medical) and Prescription Drug Coverage (Part D). Learn what is covered, your costs, how Medicare works, and available benefit programs. Presented by the State Health Insurance Assistance Program (SHIP), Howard County Office on Aging. Howard County General Hospital Wellness Center, 10710 Charter Drive, Columbia MD.
September 17, 6:00-8:00 p.m. It’s not Breast Cancer, but What is It? Finding a lump in your breast can raise anxiety in all women. Learn from our experts about common conditions such as fibrocystic disease, fibroadenomas, hyperplasias and more. What are they, what do they mean and what are the options for treatment? Presented by Lisa Jacobs, M.D. Light refreshments will be served. Free. Howard County General Hospital Wellness Center, 10710 Charter Drive, Columbia MD.
September 18, 7:00-8:30 p.m. Breast Cancer Support Group. This group, facilitated by Mary Dowling, LCSW-C meets on the third Wednesday of each month. Free. Registration requested. Claudia Mayer Cancer Resource Center, 10710 Medical Pavilion, Columbia MD. Call 410-740-5858 for more information.
September 18, 6:00-9:00 p.m. Living With Diabetes. Have you recently been diagnosed with diabetes or have you been living with diabetes and would like to improve your health? Our diabetes specialists will teach you how to change your habits, give you practical, attainable solutions for staying healthy and design a diabetes management plan to fit your lifestyle. Living with Diabetes is a two-day, interactive, group course taught by an endocrinologist, diabetes nurse educator, dietitian, psychologist, podiatrist, and exercise specialist. Choose a day program or a condensed evening program. Day classes are held Friday and the following Tuesday from 8:30 a.m. – 2:30 p.m. Most insurance plans cover all or part of this program. The Bolduc Family Outpatient Center at Howard County General Hospital. For more information or to register, please call 443-718-3000
September 20, 10:30 a.m. Care Giver’s Support Group. Meets on the first Tuesday of each month at 3:30 p.m. or the third Saturday of each month at 10:30 a.m.- noon. FREE. Registration is required. Call the Claudia Mayer Cancer Resource Center at 410 740-5858 for more information. 10710 Charter Drive, Columbia MD.
When a heart attack strikes, swift action can save a life. Physicians like to say “Time is muscle” – meaning- the faster you call and the faster you get treatment- the better your chances of preserving heart function.
If you suspect that you or someone you know is having a heart attack, don’t hesitate, call 9-1-1 immediately! Every minute counts. Howard County’s Emergency Medical Services (EMS) first responders and Howard County General Hospital’s cardiac team are standing by when time and immediate treatment are of the essence.
County Residents Benefit from Their own Gift of Lifesaving Technology
At Howard County General Hospital, saving lives is a collaborative effort with our Howard County Department of Fire and Rescue Services (HSDFRS). Thanks to the generous donations from many members of our community, Howard County EMS staff can diagnose and begin treatment in the field and while en route to the hospital. Our HCDFRS uses special equipment that allows EMS staff to transmit data to hospital specialists, activating an emergency response and mobilizing a team of cardiac specialists at HCGH. The team is ready to treat you upon arrival and can perform needed procedures quickly, thus reducing the chances of permanent damage to heart muscle.
George Groman, M.D., a Howard County cardiologist who worked with Johns Hopkins cardiologist Peter Johnston, M.D., to build this lifesaving program at the hospital, and his colleagues Michael Silverman, M.D., and Jerome Hantman, M.D., explain the importance of this effort on this video:
Teaching the Community to Save Lives
Are you interested in learning more about CPR or how to use an AED? HCGH’s Wellness Center staff have been teaching cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) to hospital employees for 29 years and to the community for 24 years. During that time, we have trained thousands of hospital and emergency management personnel, about 600 employees and 500 members of the community each year! Register for a CPR class today and be prepared for tomorrow!
Johns Hopkins: Rich CPR History
Johns Hopkins also has a rich history related to CPR, having discovered that CPR could extend someone’s life long enough to get them to a medical professional. To learn more about the history of CPR and how a dog led to the discovery of the effectiveness of chest compressions, watch this video:
Hello, my name is Wendy and I’m a “walkaholic.” The first step toward recovery is admitting that you have a problem. However, being addicted to walking doesn’t seem like an unhealthy issue requiring a steps program. Seriously though, walking is a really easy and healthy way to exercise. It’s low-impact, easy on your joints and muscles, making it hard to injure yourself, right? Wrong. You can get hurt while walking. I learned this lesson the hard way.
I typically walk on my treadmill daily. Recently, I heard a strange noise while on my machine and I discovered that I had worn out a part on the treadmill. I replaced it and commenced with my walking routine– thinking everything would return to normal. Apparently, fixing the machine had changed my pacing. I increased the speed and incline to compensate for the change and tried to find a comfortable pace. Unfortunately, I set the incline too high and the speed too fast. I felt pain in my hip and instead of stopping, I kept walking, believing it would work itself out. Then, when I got off the machine, I could hardly put weight on my right leg. I had injured myself.
I had never hurt myself like that before, and after failed attempts at trying to diagnose my injury online, I went to a specialist. I suffered a hip adductor strain after an x-ray ruled out a stress fracture. Stubbornly, I kept trying to use my treadmill despite my high pain level. I refused to listen to my body and I didn’t rest as instructed. I knew that I needed to completely stay off the treadmill until the pain subsided and I was well again, but my treadmill was calling to me. I needed to be walking.
Avoiding my treadmill was especially difficult. Walking is really important to me. I walk daily as a way to clear my head, relieve stress, and prepare for the day. I finally accepted that I needed to rest the injury in order to get back to walking the way I wanted to, but it was exceptionally hard. Much to my chagrin, I stayed off the treadmill for a couple of weeks and tapped into my collection of fitness DVD’s, which are very low-impact.
These past weeks have taught me a valuable lesson about the consequences of ignoring my body’s cues and the painful effects of body strain. I am much better at listening to my body, and if something hurts, I stop doing it right away. I’m also taking the time to stretch both before and after walking (especially afterward, when the muscles are warm). I’m careful not to make sudden changes while walking either. Quick, jarring movements can easily cause muscle strain.
Now that I’ve admitted to my walking addiction and how it hurt me, I’m committed to walking smarter. I keep on a much slower and easier pace than before and pay attention to my body.
Here are some of the things I’ve done to help in my pursuit of a more conscious and careful walking routine.
Wear proper footwear. I made the mistake of wearing athletic shoes a half-size larger than my actual foot size. I had thought it would be better to have extra room in the toe area. Instead, I got blisters on the back of my heels. So, I had my feet measured and bought a pair of properly fitting shoes. Talk about a difference! Also, you know the extra shoelace holes at the top of the shoe near the ankle? I never laced those before. These days, I do lace them up. Now, I have a more secure fit with my shoe; less sliding around means less friction, which, in turn, means no blistering! I also found some really cool toe-socks to help with blistering.
Listen to my body. If something hurts, stop doing the exercise! Rest it, get it checked out, and with an expert’s direction, ease back into your activity.
For those of you who don’t want to walk outside (or on a treadmill) but want to get moving, try Leslie Sansone on DVD. As always, you should consult your primary care physician before attempting any kind of exercise program. Happy and safe walking everyone!
Wendy Camassar is an Instruction and Research Specialist at the Central Branch of the Howard County Library System. Prior to joining HCLS, she worked as a freelance makeup artist for several years. She enjoys hiking with her family, exercising, reading, and organic foods and skin care products.