Safety Concerns for Children with Autism

Safety Concerns for Children with Autism

We’ve all heard of stranger danger and the importance of looking both ways before crossing the street, but children with Autism bring a whole new pool of safety concerns into the mix. If you see signs that your child is autistic, it is a good idea to focus on safety matters for inside and outside the home.

Children with Autism sometimes wander.

  • Install a battery-powered doorbell chime that lets you know when your door has been opened. This will let you know if your child has wandered outside, no matter where you are in the house.
  • Depending on your child’s tendency to wander, consider investing in a GPS locator device. These can be placed on your child’s clothing. Consider putting it on a piece of clothing that the child will not likely take off. You may be able to find one at your local Wal-Mart or online.
  • When buying a home, the smart thing to do is to get one without a pool. If you have a pool already, consider putting a fence just around the pool area, so that when your child with Autism goes into the backyard, he or she can’t get into the pool without your help unlocking the gate. Be sure that the lock is secure.

Children with Autism don’t always communicate like other children.

  • autism safetyIt’s common for autistic kids to not even respond to their own name when called. If you do have to enlist in a search party for any reason, it’s important to keep recent photographs of your child. When calling out the child’s name doesn’t work, it’s important for searchers to know exactly who they’re looking for.
  • Inform all neighbors of your child’s disability. If your neighbor ever tries to talk to the child without your presence, it would be helpful for them to know the situation. If they child is trespassing or doing something wrong, neighbors need to know that simple communication to the child might not be the best way to handle the situation.
  • Even if your child has no problem with communication, there could be an instance where he or she doesn’t have the ability to talk. If an accident occurs, or he or she is lost and is too overwhelmed to communicate, it’s imperative to invest in a medical ID for autism. A simple dog tag hanging under your child’s shirt or a secure bracelet will let medical personnel know of your child’s Autism. This could save precious time in getting him or her the right help.

American Medical ID has dog tags, bracelets and other accessories that can help your child stay safe. Emergency medical officials are trained to look for this jewelry as it is engraved with a patient’s pertinent medical information. Find the perfect medical ID jewelry for your child today and make sure that it is worn at all times.

5 Tips for Managing Job-Related Stress

With much of your life spent at work, it’s not uncommon for adults to feel constantly overwhelmed by to-do lists, appointments and just the speed of life in general. High stress levels are dangerous, so although you may think you’re doing a good job keeping your head above water, you could actually be opening a floodgate for future health concerns. It’s never too late to start managing your stress at work.

job related stress relief

1.  Take a walk in the morning.

Not only will a walk every morning before work wake you up better than that cup of coffee, but you’ll have the time to sort your day out in your mind. This might make the tasks and appointments of the day easier to tackle because you’ll be ready for them. A walk every morning will also get your blood flowing, which has excellent health benefits. You may or may not lose weight, but you are lowering your risk of high blood pressure, diabetes and much more.

2.  Throw out unrealistic goals.

Want to be able to finish an impossible amount of work one day? If it’s clear that this just can’t happen, stop trying to make it work. You’re only setting yourself up for disappointment at the end of the day. Instead of telling yourself that giving up lunch, cutting your appointments short and even staying an hour late could help you reach your goal, start planning for a realistic day.

3.  Take a break when you’re feeling stressed.

Step back and analyze your range of emotions. When you’re feeling good, you’re happy. When something unexpected happens, you deal with it and move on. If something else goes wrong, are you frustrated at this point? As the stress levels build, your emotions change gradually from good to bad. Figure out at which point you’re feeling frustrated, long before you’re feeling frantic, angry or upset – and when you’ve reached out, step out. When you’re feeling like you can breathe again, go back to your desk. Taking a few 5-minute breaks in the day won’t set you back, and they’ll help you a lot in the end.

4.  Bring healthy snacks to work.

Not only does bringing snacks save you a dollar here and there at the vending machine, but there are many other benefits to bringing snacks to work, too. Two candy bars a day might make you feel remorseful, but fruit or nuts are healthy and give you vitamins and nutrients your body needs to function. Also, staving off hunger before it really takes a hold of you can also lower stress levels significantly. If you want, go the extra mile and bring lunch to work, too. The money you save and the extra calories from fast food you spared are sure to brighten your week.

5.  Connect with your co-workers.

Being social is key to keeping a smile on your face. If you have an office, start leaving your door open so that your co-workers will feel comfortable stopping in for a brief chat. This simple gesture could get you an invite to their usual happy-hour outings or other social activities outside of work. If you’re working with people you like, you’ll like your job more. Or if you have a work-from-home job, take that laptop to a public place with free Wi-Fi. Just being around others every day is good for you and you may even get a lot more done.

It’s never too late to take your health into account.

By integrating these small changes into your day, you could lower your stress levels significantly. Not only will you see direct results by changes in your mood, but lowering your blood pressure – or preventing it from rising – will benefit you in the long run. High blood pressure is one of the biggest causes of heart disease, which is the No. 1 killer in America. Lower your risk of heart attacks and stroke now, and you’ll live a happier, healthier life when you’re older.

If you’re already suffering from high blood pressure or something more serious, it’s never too late to be proactive. You can still manage your stress levels, but it’s important to identify yourself in the process. If a medical emergency arises while you are at work, your co-workers will most likely not know your medical history or medication that you are on. If you’re wearing medical alert jewelry, emergency personnel can identify what treatment is right for you right away. This could be the difference between life and death. Shop for bracelets, dog tags and more at today and find what’s right for you.

How Vitamin D Helps You Lose Weight

There is more to vitamin D deficiency that just feeling sluggish; it can actually make your bones brittle and increase your risk of heart disease. It can also make it harder to lose weight. A study by researchers at the University of Minnesota shows a correlation between vitamin D and weight loss. Fun in the SunThe study found that people who were overweight were more successful at shedding pounds after increasing their vitamin D levels.

The study placed 38 overweight men and women on a diet program, some with more emphasis on vitamin D consumption, and found that the participants with increased D levels lost up to half a pound more than those who followed a regular diet plan. The reason for this is simple.

Vitamin D, in combination with calcium, has been shown to regulate and maintain normal blood sugar levels. A lack of either nutrients results in the body’s production of synthase, a fatty acid enzyme that turns calories into fat.

To combat this process, many physicians suggest increasing your daily vitamin D intake in a number of ways. Vitamin D is found in sunlight, some foods and in pill form.

Foods rich in vitamin D include:

  • Salmon
  • Mushrooms
  • Tuna fish
  • Eggs
  • Milk
  • Sardines
  • Shrimp

Many meats and fruit juices are fortified with vitamin D, but few fruits and vegetables contain this necessary nutrient. That’s why many medical professionals recommend taking a daily vitamin D supplement. Before doing so, talk to your doctor about what dosage is right for you. It isn’t a cure-all pill or something that should be relied upon for weight loss. Exercise and a healthy diet are keys to weight loss, but boosting your vitamin D levels may help you reach your goals.

If you are overweight or have a medical condition, consider taking a step towards managing your health by getting a medical ID bracelet. In the event of an emergency, medical professionals are trained to look for a medical ID bracelet before administering treatment. If you suffer from diabetes, heart disease, drug allergies, food allergies, asthma, autism or other conditions, a medical ID bracelet may speak for you when you can’t.

Common Morphine Allergies

Morphine is a sedative used primarily in hospitals to ease pain associated with injuries and certain diseases. It is an effective and commonly used drug but as with anything, some people can experience strong reactions and allergies.  Morphine needleThough rare, these reactions can cause the following:

  • Anaphylaxis – One of the worst allergic reactions, anaphylaxis affects the whole body and can cause slurred speech, anxiety, confusion, difficulty breathing, heart palpitations, sweating, dizziness, fainting and even death in some cases. Immediate medical attention is essential.
  • Nasal Allergies – Similar to hay fever, a morphine allergy can cause nasal congestion and a flood of histamines that irritate the nasal passage. While not life-threatening, this allergic reaction can cause major discomfort.
  • Bronchospasm – A little more serious, this allergic reaction causes the airway to constrict. A patient typically has trouble breathing and can have a reaction similar to those with asthma. Medical professionals must intervene to avoid serious complications due to lack of oxygen.

Other symptoms of a morphine allergy can include a skin rash or headache. It is important to get treatment for any allergic reaction and avoid a reoccurrence in the future.

If you or your friends or family has a known morphine allergy, take a proactive step in preventing an episode by getting a medical ID bracelet or necklace. Wearing a medical ID bracelet or necklace alerts medical personnel to your morphine allergy in the event of an emergency. You don’t have to worry about a big, bulky tag identifying your condition. Medical ID bracelets and necklaces from American Medical ID are discreet and stylish, just like a fine piece of jewelry. You can even customize your jewelry with different colors and styles. They also make a great gift! Get yours today and keep morphine allergies at bay!

National Autism Awareness Month

April is National Autism Awareness Month! Since the 1970s, the United States has recognized this month in honor of those who are affected by Autism to educate the public and raise awareness. Autism affects about one in 110 babies born in the United States. But what is Autism and how can you help?

Autism Awareness Month in AprilWhat is Autism?

Autism is a developmental disorder affecting a child’s ability to interact with others. It typically appears somewhere between birth and three years of age. It affects each child differently. Symptoms, severity and age all vary. Thus, it’s called a “spectrum disorder.” There is no known cause, and although at present it’s incurable, it can be controlled through treatment, especially if it’s diagnosed early on.

What Should I Look For?

Again, if diagnosed early and treatment is started, significant improvements in outcome can be seen. Some signs include –

• Difficulty in achieving spoken language.

• Repetition in language or mannerisms such as hand flapping, object twirling, etc.

• Little or no eye contact, especially during communication.

• A distinct lack of interest in cultivating interpersonal relationships with peers.

• Lack of imaginative or spontaneous play.

• Focusing on an object’s parts rather than the whole.

What Can I Do? Put on the Puzzle!

The official symbol of National Autism Awareness Month is the Puzzle Ribbon. Show your support of the over 13 million families affected by the disorder by wearing the ribbon with pride. Whether it’s a pin, a magnet for your car, or something even more creative, be sure to show your support! Showing empathy, even in a small way, for all the families with children who suffer from Autism is the first step in helping out, and it’s a big part of April’s Awareness Month.

How to Make a Big Difference

Local and federal legislators can help, too. Sometimes a simple letter to your representative telling them to “vote 4 Autism” is all it takes to make a big push in the right direction. Even a small push could make a real difference in the lives of so many affected by this disorder. “Vote 4 Autism” is a group dedicated to just that – making a change through legislation. Be sure to check with your local Autism Society chapter to stay up to date on the latest events and information.

Also, reaching out to your community can make a huge difference. Chances are, there are families near you who need at least a supportive word of encouragement or a friend. Maybe you even know a family affected by Autism personally. Reach out to help out!

Finally, attend a meeting and get educated! Since this is Autism Awareness Month, there will be plenty of events locally and nationally. The events will allow you to meet families, learn more about the disorder and find out even more ways to help.

If your child has Autism, consider taking a proactive step by purchasing medical ID jewelry that displays his or her condition. For most parents with an autistic child, safety is of the utmost importance. Medical ID jewelry can help by keeping your child’s teachers, friends, doctors and other family members in the know.

Autism awareness jewelry from American Medical ID comes in a fun array of colors and styles to match your child’s personality. Play a part in National Autism Awareness Month and help parents of other autistic children see the importance of Autism bracelets for the safety of their little ones. It may even become a new symbol of awareness!

Stroke Warning Signs and Prevention

The bad news: Having a stroke is the third leading cause of death behind heart disease and cancer in the United States.  It afflicts about 700,000 Americans per year and is also one of the leading causes of disability and dementia.

The good news: Strokes can be prevented. With good health, nutrition and daily exercise, the risk of stroke is much less.

Stroke Diagram

What is a stroke?

People experience a stroke when the blood flow to the brain is interrupted or severely limited, effectively cutting off oxygen to the brain. This can hamper, slow or even stop bodily functions such as movement, perception, speech and consciousness. A stroke is not to be confused with a heart attack, which is when the blood supply to the heart is reduced or cut off.

Symptoms of a stroke

It is important to recognize and respond to stroke symptoms as early as possible for a greater chance of survival. Here are the major stroke warning signs:

  • Sudden numbness, tingling, weakness or paralysis in the face, arms or legs, especially on only one side of the body
  • Sudden confusion
  • Trouble speaking or understanding or losing the ability to read, write and speak
  • Trouble seeing in one or both eyes
  • Trouble with coordination that includes dizziness and loss of balance
  • Sudden, severe headache lasting longer than normal.

A stroke usually comes on suddenly but can also occur over several hours. It is not always easy to recognize symptoms of a stroke – especially a small stroke.

Recognizing a Stroke

Sometimes symptoms of a stroke are difficult to identify. Unfortunately, the lack of awareness spells disaster. The stroke victim may suffer severe brain damage when people nearby fail to recognize the symptoms of a stroke. Now doctors say a bystander can recognize a stroke by asking three simple questions:

1. S - Ask the individual to SMILE.
2. T –
Ask the person to TALK, to SPEAK A SIMPLE SENTENCE.
(Coherently) (i.e. . . It is sunny out today.)
3. R –
Ask him or her to RAISE BOTH ARMS.

If he or she has trouble with any one of these tasks or if there is any doubt, call 911 immediately and describe the symptoms to the dispatcher. Don’t take any chances.

Stroke prevention guidelines

There’s more good news: Up to 80 percent of strokes can be prevented. Although no one is immune, different risk factors can increase the chances of having one. These stroke prevention guidelines by the National Stroke Association Stroke Prevention Advisory Board will help you learn how to lessen your stroke risk. Talk to a healthcare professional and follow these guidelines:

Treat high blood pressure (hypertension). High blood pressure is a major stroke risk factor if left untreated. Have your blood pressure checked yearly. If your blood pressure is high, take measures to lower it immediately following directions from your doctor. A healthy diet and daily exercise can help decrease high blood pressure levels.

Stop smoking. Smoking doubles the risk of stroke. It damages blood vessel walls, speeds up artery clogging, raises blood pressure and makes the heart work harder to pump blood to the brain and body.

If you have an increased risk of stroke due to high blood pressure or another medical condition, don’t take any chances. Wearing a medical ID bracelet or other identifier can help alert medical providers to your situation in the event of an emergency. A brief description of vital medical facts engraved on your medical ID ensures appropriate and timely medical care. Wearing a simple, stylish bracelet, necklace or even keychain from American Medical ID may help save your life. They also make the perfect gift for someone you care about!

The Pros and Cons of Bariatric Surgery

Before deciding to undergo any sort of medical procedure, it’s important to weigh the risks and benefits carefully with the aid of a licensed physician. Bariatric, or weight loss surgery, is no exception. Any elective surgery comes with its own pros and cons. weigh to determine need for bariatric surgeryAlthough weight loss surgery has the potential to change your life for the better, serious complications are always a possibility. Obesity-related health conditions are often reduced after losing weight, but surgery may not be the right step. Weigh your options before deciding that bariatric surgery is right for you.

The benefits:

  • Less than 2 percent of patients suffer from complications as a result of bariatric procedures.
  • Patients suffering from obesity-related disorders often see improvements within a three year span, if not sooner.
  • Improvements in cardiovascular conditions such as hypertension, high cholesterol and diabetes are related to weight loss.
  • In the case of hypertension in particular, patients can see vast improvements within 2-3 months after surgery.
  • Stress incontinence also responds dramatically to surgery.
  • Weight-related aches and pains can also be resolved through bariatric surgery.
  • Breathing disorders such as asthma and sleep apnea generally improve.
  • Over 90 percent of patients with Type II Diabetes see positive results, sometimes with the disorder going into remission. Borderline diabetics are even more likely to see a reversal in their symptoms.

The risks:

  • As with any surgery, the risk of bleeding is a factor, especially as the area of operation with bariatric surgery is close to the spleen, which is particularly fragile and prone to bleeding.
  • Patients with existing heart or lung conditions, or who are severely demobilized, are at greater risk of heart attack or lung failure during or after surgery.
  • Complications during surgery can result in prolonged hospital stays and more surgeries.
  • Patients who have a history of blood clots can be more prone to heart attack, pulmonary embolism, stroke or deep vein thrombosis (DVT) during surgery.
  • Infections can occur, affecting the initial wound or abdominal cavity. Abdominal infection in particular is quite serious. This can also result in prolonged hospital stays or additional operations.
  • Also, as with any surgery, death is a possibility. However, the percentage of patients who don’t survive surgery is at about 1 percent, with the most common causes being infection and pulmonary embolism resulting from blood clotting.

Before electing to have bariatric surgery, talk to your doctor or specialist about your condition. As an alternative to surgery, many obesity-related diseases can be controlled with medication. If you suffer from hypertension, diabetes, high blood pressure or even mobility issues, consider a proactive way to manage your health conditions.

Smoking Isn’t Cool Anymore – Find Out Why

The decline of smoking in America has leveled out, according to CNN Health. From 24.1 percent in 1998 to 19.8 percent in 2007, the decline was well underway, but in 2008 and 2009, the numbers remained relatively unchanged. smoking laws make smoking not coolBut the positive is that the percentage of American smokers in 1965 was more than 40 percent, much higher than in recent times. This successful decline was a result of endeavors like anti-smoking campaigns, tobacco product price increases and the simple fact that smoking became socially unacceptable.

In short, cigarettes just aren’t as cool as they used to be – which is a huge positive for American’s health. Many factors contributed to this downward trend. The first might have been in 1998 when the seven top tobacco companies were ordered to pay $206 billion to states as compensation for tobacco-related health care costs. That same year they were ordered to abandon their current marketing strategies, which towered over roads and highways on thousands of billboards. Point-of-purchase marketing tactics simply could not create the exposure the industry needed to continue its reign.

But lawmakers didn’t just stop there. In 2000, federal government officials announced that their goal was to decrease smoking to 19 percent of American adults, so they continued with their campaigns. In 2008, states raised sales tax on tobacco products and did so again in 2009. states that the average tax on cigarettes in the United States in $1.19 a pack. For a-pack-a-day smokers, this could break the bank or – as federal lawmakers predict – force them to quit.

For those unfazed by increased tobacco taxes, the FDA recently released 36 gruesome photos to be printed alongside the one-liners like “Smoking Kills” already on cigarette packs. If you think this is taking it too far, Canadians buy cigarette pack covers in order to avoid looking at the photos printed on the boxes. The U.S. is just catching up with the rest of the world.

Even pop culture and the alcohol industry have made efforts to reduce smoking. Magazines have replaced the cigarette in the model’s hand with another accessory. Almost all restaurants have converted their smoking section to just another non-smoking section, and even many bars have banned cigarettes to encourage the now more prominent non-smoker crowd to come in and have a drink.

Individuals have also taken it upon themselves to help the cause and have produced an overwhelming amount of anti-smoking campaigns. Perhaps the most well known are the “Truth” commercials. These national television ads expose, and even sometimes confront, prominent tobacco companies. One recent “Truth” ad pointed out the irony that despite the 2010 FDA ban on candy cigarettes, tobacco companies are still allowed to produce over 45 sweet flavors of real cigarettes. These ads usually mix humor with shock-value to get people’s attention.

Effects of smokingMany people are convinced that smoking is dangerous but still can’t seem to kick the habit. Fears of developing cancer, becoming infertile and contributing to osteoporosis aren’t enough to make some quit. Even smokers who have already developed certain health problems, such as heart disease, emphysema, stomach ulcers and even dental issues may worsen the effects by continuing to smoke.

A proactive approach to those who have already developed health complications is to invest in medical id jewelry. In the event of an emergency, a medical ID bracelet, dog tags or even keychain with your medical condition engraved on it could save emergency personnel ample time, so that you can get the care you need right away. carries a line of stylish, personalized medical alert jewelry that speaks for you when you can’t.

4 Tips to Improve Your Diet Today

According to the American Diabetes Association , more than 25 million Americans suffer from diabetes, and this epidemic continues to grow every year. Not only can diabetes alone cause complications, but it also contributes to other life-threatening issues like heart disease and stroke.
tips to improve your diet
Want to learn a good way to make sure you and your family don’t become a part of this statistic? Eat healthier. March is National Nutrition Month, so if losing weight was a New Year’s resolution that you haven’t gotten around to yet, now’s the perfect time.

1.Cut out the soda

Unfortunately, simply replacing it with the diet version doesn’t work. Although your calorie count may be less at the end of the day, the sugar substitute in diet sodas is just as harmful as high-fructose corn syrup. The insulin spike caused by the substitute sweetener blocks the breakdown of fats within the body. Also, switching from sweet to unsweet or green tea will also benefit you in the long run. Remember, it’s not just about the calories – it’s about the amount of added sweetener.

2.White to wheat

If you need to take baby steps in eating healthier, try a fancy whole grain bread like honey oat. When white bread is processed, two essential nutrient-rich parts are removed. Wheat bread, on the other hand, offers a large amount of fiber, vitamins B6 and E, magnesium, zinc, folic acid and chromium that white bread does not. According to the American Heart Association, switching from white to wheat can lower heart disease risk by 20 percent. Do this with your pastas, too!

3. Start with a salad

No,  you don’t need to go on an all-veggie diet. You can still enjoy your favorite meat dishes, but whip up a salad first. For each meal, eat a small salad as an appetizer. Keep it colorful with carrots, cucumbers and tomatoes. And to keep your taste buds interested, lightly drizzle on a low-fat dressing. If you start with a salad, you won’t eat as much at dinner and you’ll feel full quicker.

4. Practice portion control

At restaurants, ask for a to-go box right when your meal comes. Before you dig in, half the portion and put the rest in the take-home container. At home, invest in smaller plates and portion out your meals. If you place a smaller portion in front of you, the less you will consume. Just try to steer clear of the pantry a few hours after dinner!

These simple steps won’t change your daily routine much and you’ll benefit greatly in the long run. Not only can these changes help you lose weight, but lower cholesterol, increased energy and lower risks of life-threatening diseases are all benefits of eating healthier.

It’s not too late to make a difference in your health

These tips aren’t just for people looking to lose weight – controlling your diabetes is just as important, if not more. Nutrition management is an essential step to healthy aging. Also, taking extra precautions, such as exercising daily, sticking to your medication schedule and identifying yourself with medical alert jewelry, are just as essential.


Complications of Obesity – Stop It Before It Starts

Obesity rates in America have steadily increased over the past few decades. To combat this epidemic, people need to know the consequences of unhealthy eating and a sedentary lifestyle.

According to WebMD, people with obesity are twice as likely to suffer a higher mortality rate than those of a healthy weight. Medical complications from obesity are common and include the following:

  • Type 2 diabetes reduces the body’s ability to regulate its blood sugar. The intake of sugars and starches is converted to glucose. Insulin in the body moves the glucose from blood to cells. If too much glucose is produced, it builds up in the blood, which causes Type 2 diabetes. Exercise and limiting your daily intake of sugars and starches significantly reduces your risk for developing diabetes.
  • Heart disease is the number one cause of death in America. Obesity leads to high blood pressure, which is a major factor in heart disease. Angina, or chest pain, is the most common indicator that you may have heart disease. Other symptoms include a faster heartbeat, shortness of breath and sweating. People with unhealthy excess weight can suffer from a heart attack or stroke without even realizing that they have heart disease. If you are overweight, it’s best to get tested for heart disease so that you can take preventative measures before it’s too late.

  • Cancer is now linked to obesity as well in some cases. In women, excess body fat increases the amount of estrogen in the body, which raises the risk of developing cancer in reproductive areas such as the cervix, breasts, ovaries and uterus. In men, prostate cancer becomes a risk when overweight. Obesity also can make it harder for medical personnel to find tumors of any kind, lessening the chance of catching cancer before it spreads.

  • Osteoarthritis develops in the joints when cartilage breaks down. This disease also causes bone spurs, cysts and small broken fragments of bone. Obesity puts an enormous amount of pressure on bones, especially the knees, causing unrepeatable damage.

  • Sleep apnea is when a person stops breathing for a short time while asleep. Each episode can last from 10 seconds to a few minutes and can occur up to 30 times an hour. According to Dr. Michael D. Myers, M.D., 95 percent of people suffering from sleep apnea are obese. Obesity can also cause breathing problems during the day. Asthma is severely worsened by strained movements caused by being overweight. U.S. reports that those with obesity face an increased risk of hospitalization for severe asthma attacks compared to those of a normal weight.

If you are overweight, taking precautions now can help stave off the onset of disease. Even losing just 10 or 20 pounds can improve your health significantly. Shedding even small amounts of weight can lower your blood pressure and cholesterol, which in turn, reduces your chances of health complications and premature death.

Another thing to consider if you have already been diagnosed with any of these medical conditions is to invest in medical alert jewelry. These come in all shapes and sizes from stylish bracelets to dog tags that can be worn under your shirt. Your health information is engraved on the jewelry, so that in the event of an emergency, medical personnel will know almost immediately how you should be treated. This will save essential time in getting you the care you need. Order yours today and take a proactive step in your health.