July 4th is right around the corner. This time of year guarantees a few things – sales at your favorite stores, new Resident Physicians in the hospitals, and Emergency Departments full of people with injuries from fireworks. Sadly, this past weekend a 12 year old Nashville boy died from a firework-related accident when a firework hit him in the chest. Fireworks are a big deal.
Imagine a time you may have eaten while doing something else: running an errand, playing on your phone, or being entertained by a favorite movie. Can you picture it? Now, think about where your attention was in that moment. Was it on your task, errand, or movie? Or, was it on what your belly was telling you?
We have all experienced mindless eating – the autopilot, unconscious eating that happens without attention to signals of hunger or satiety (a.k.a. being satisfied). This habit can challenge our ability to know when we are full and may lead to overeating. We know obesity is a serious public health problem for both children and adults. Many health experts believe mindless and hurried, overeating is one part of this problem.
In 1996, California became the first state to legalize medical marijuana. Since that time, 22 additional states as well as Washington D.C. and Guam have passed various types of legislation that allow for some use and possession of marijuana. While the laws vary quite a bit in defining what marijuana can be used for and how it is regulated, there has been a definite trend toward making the use of marijuana more accessible, particularly for certain medical conditions.
Did you catch some of the warmth and sunshine we’ve had in the past couple of weeks? Wisconsin may be home of the “Frozen Tundra,” but eventually that ice melts and brings with it some gorgeous weather, perfect for being active outside (and maybe getting sweaty). As adults we know the importance of drinking water to stay hydrated, but what about for infants? Could something as simple as water be dangerous to little ones? The surprising answer is YES! Drinking too much water can put anyone, especially infants, at risk for water intoxication. This is when excess water leads to a low level of sodium in the body (hyponatremia), which in turn can cause swelling of the brain, seizures, and even death.
It is finally summer, a time for teens to enjoy a break away from school and spend time (possibly an excessive amount) hanging out with friends, making memories and cruising around town. If your teen (or his/her friends) has a driver’s license, they have (a certain amount) of freedom. However, driving is not just a privilege but it is an incredible responsibility. As my old Driver’s Ed teacher used to say, “A car is a 3,000 lb lethal weapon.” Although he was saying this to try to get us to pay attention in class (zzzzzz…….), he was right on. Did you know that accidents are the #1 cause of death in adolescents and young adults? According to the CDC, about 292,000 teens were in the emergency room for injuries secondary to car crashes and 2,650 teens in the US (ages 16-19) were killed in car crashes in 2011 alone, which equates to about 7 teenagers a day!