Friday, October 27, 2023

Tips for Staying Healthy During Cold and Flu Season

Woman sitting on a deck with her dog

While people with specific conditions and disabilities (e.g., asthma, COPD, cystic fibrosis, heart disease, sickle cell disease, or diabetes) must take specific precautions in the winter months to avoid respiratory infections, these tips will help everyone stay healthier.

  • Stay away from people who have a cold or the flu. These viruses are VERY transmissible. Stay out of crowds. But don’t totally isolate yourself or you run an increased risk of getting depression.

  • Don’t touch your nose or mouth. If you touched something with the cold or flu virus on it, and then touch your face, you are infecting yourself.

  • Wash your hands frequently and thoroughly. Scrub your hands and between your fingers with soap and warm water for at least 20 seconds. Wash before eating, before and after handling food, after using the restroom, and after touching shared objects like door knobs.

  • Get the flu shot. The Centers for Disease Control recommend that almost everyone over age 6 months get vaccinated.

  • The people you live with and your close friends should get the shot too. Research says that will reduce your risk of getting the flu.

  • Discuss with your doctor whether you should also get the pneumonia shot.

  • Practice healthy life habits. Be physically active, eat a healthy diet (emphasize veggies and fruits), don’t smoke, and get enough sleep.

These steps may help you have a virus-free winter.

Monday, October 9, 2023

The Teal Pumpkin Project

A pumpkin painted teal, a form of blue
Teal Pumpkin

Did you realize that one in thirteen children has some kind of food allergy? And many more have food intolerance, or are on medically restricted diets, perhaps for Type 1 diabetes or celiac disease.

Halloween Trick or Treats may not offer anything appropriate for these children. Most home hostesses offer a bowl full of candy or other edible treats to the costumed callers who ring the doorbell.

You could make Halloween a more inclusive, safe and fun holiday for children who may not be able to eat a candy snack. You could offer small toys, packages of stickers, puzzle books or games in a separate bowl from the candy. 

How to let kids (and parents) know that you’re making non-candy treats available? Put a teal pumpkin on the front step to show that you are part of the Teal Pumpkin Project. You can also add your home to the Teal Pumpkin Map. Parents can search the map by zip code, state, or city, or your home address.

The Teal Pumpkin Project was started in 2014 by Food Allergy Research and Education as a way to help children with food allergies enjoy Halloween night along with their friends. Participating in the Teal Pumpkin Project also helps raise public awareness of the issues faced by children with food allergies.

Healthinfo Island
Click the image to teleport there!

You can teleport to any of the eight displays and exhibits using the links in this blog post, including clicking on the posters! Once at the exhibit clicking each poster gets you a message with additional information and live links. Just what you wanted to know for Halloween about those black hairs on your tongue and the odd color of your mucus!

Other interesting topics include trauma-informed therapy, health benefits of eating berries, how generic medications differ from biologic medications, developmental language disorder (it's not the same as autism or dyslexia), and more.

Generics? Biosimilars? What's it all about?

Stick Out Your Tongue!

Emergency Medical Treatment and
Active Labor Act (EMTALA)

Autonomic Dysreflexia

Developmental Language Disorder

Trauma-Informed Therapy


Berries with Benefits