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Imagine having symptoms that feel like heartburn. You Google “heartburn symptoms and cures” and seek out advice from friends on Facebook.  Your symptoms worsen throughout the day, so you schedule a doctor’s appointment using your physician’s patient online services.

After your appointment, your doctor electronically sends a prescription to the pharmacy and provides you a handout with recommendations to follow for improvement.

This is a regular occurrence when you visit your physician and seems in line for medical treatment today. However the privacy of your health information may have been violated, and unfortunately these violations are common. A recent study in January of 2018 by the University of Phoenix found that 1 in 5 medical staff personnel had experienced a breach of patient data at their facility.

If medical data is shared inappropriately or stolen, these situations may occur:

  • Potential medical identity theft,
  • Your information may be used to obtain medical or government services and medical equipment, and/or,
  • Insurance claims may be falsified.

Secure Your Paperwork

  • Surveys reveal that 47% of individuals receive printed copies of their medical records from a doctor’s office, hospital, insurance companies or testing labs.
  • Sensitive medical information may inadvertently be released to family members and others – allowing them to read printed materials that were left unsecured.
  • Always keep medical documents locked up or shred them.

Secure Your Devices

  • Check smartphones and tablet settings to see if mobile apps you have downloaded are asking for information.
  • If you are not sure why an app asks for certain information – turn off the permission.
  • Create strong passwords and do not share them. Avoid using the same passwords for multiple accounts.

If Your Data is Stolen

  • Carefully review the accuracy of every explanation of the benefits document you receive from your health insurer.
  • If you find visits to a doctor, hospital or lab that are not familiar to you, report it immediately.
  • Get copies of your medical records and request a correction if you notice an error.
  • If you lose your health insurance card, ask for a new number.
  • Never give out health data by phone or email unless you are sure of the recipient.

Protect yourself and your health information!!

 

Written by: Beth Stefura, OSU Extension Educator, Family & Consumer Sciences, Mahoning County, Stefura.2@osu.edu

Reviewed by: Donna Green, OSU Extension Educator, Family & Consumer Sciences, Erie County, green.308@osu.ed

Resources: consumer.ftc.gov

 

 

 

 

 

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Grilling Safety

When talking about grilling safety, I usually think about food safety – cooking foods to safe temperatures to prevent food borne illness, proper handling before and after cooking, etc.  However, two weeks ago, I stepped out onto my patio when I noticed a large cloud of smoke in the sky. As I looked around, I watched as a home in my neighborhood went up in flames. The quickness and intensity of the fire was overwhelming.  

Luckily, no one was hurt, but the brand new home that the family had only lived in two months, was a total loss.

The cause of this fire?  Grilling in the garage!  I’ve seen people pull their grill into the garage to avoid rain drops but I don’t think anyone in our neighborhood will ever do that again. This gave a new meaning to me for the term grilling safety.

How can you protect your family from this type of loss?

The National Fire Prevention Association provides a great fact sheet with safety tips when grilling. 

Tips from them and others include: 

·         All BBQ grills should be used only outdoors.

·         The grill should not be placed near any part of the home, deck railings. Place it at least 10 feet from any structure.

·         Never grill inside a garage or carport.

·         Keep it clear of eaves and overhanging branches from nearby trees.

·         Keep the grill clean – remove grease buildup from the grills and trays below the grills.

·         Never leave your grill unattended.

·         Do not attempt to move a hot grill.  

There are also safety tips specific to the type of grill you are using. 

·         For a gas grill, check the gas tank for leaks before using it for the first time each year.

·         Always make sure the lid is open before lighting it.

·         For charcoal grills, use care when starting the coals. If using starter fluid, use only one made specifically for lighting charcoal.

·         Keep the lighter fluid out of the reach of children and away from heat sources.

·         When you finish grilling, cool the coals completely before safely disposing of them in a metal container. 

In addition to these tips, it is a good idea to keep a spray bottle of water close and also a fire extinguisher nearby and know how to use it! A fire can grow quickly and you won’t have time to read instructions if that happens.  

I really enjoy grilling out  in the summer with family and friends. I know that I will not forget these safety tips and hope that you keep them in mind the next time you fire up your grill. 

Sources: 

Grilling Safety, National Fire Prevention Association. (2016) https://www.nfpa.org//-/media/Files/Public-Education/Resources/Safety-tip-sheets/Grilling_safety_Tips.ashx 

AgriLife Extension experts offer tips on grilling, food safety (July 2016), https://today.agrilife.org/2016/07/25/agrilife-extension-experts-offer-tips-on-grilling-food-safety/ 

Tips for summer grilling safety, (2015) http://www.dasnr.okstate.edu/news/2015/tips-for-summer-grilling-safety 

Author:  Marilyn Rabe, Extension Educator, Family and Consumer Sciences, Ohio State University Extension, Franklin County, rabe.9@osu.edu 

Reviewer: Michelle Treber, Extension Educator, Family and Consumer Sciences, Ohio State University Extension, Pickaway County, treber.1@osu.edu 

Dairy monthJune is National Dairy Month. There are over 2,500 dairy farms in Ohio and West Virginia. These hardworking dairy families work around-the-clock to produce safe, high quality milk. Let’s take the time this month to honor these families that provide us with milk and dairy foods. The American Dairy Association Mideast is having Farmer Fridays on Facebook during the month of June. Every Friday at noon you can watch them go live from a different Ohio dairy farm. They will tour the farm so you can see what goes on behind the scenes.

Dairy products provide us with calcium, potassium, Vitamin D, and protein. They can reduce the risk of osteoporosis, cardiovascular disease, and Type 2 diabetes. Dairy products can help lower blood pressure and of course, they are good for bones.

When selecting dairy products look for low-fat or fat-free varieties. A serving size of 3 cups is recommended for anyone over the age of nine. Check this list to find what the equivalent is for 1 cup of dairy.

Do you struggle with getting enough dairy? Try some of these tips:

  • Yogurt fruit smoothie
  • Add milk to oatmeal
  • Top casseroles with low-fat shredded cheese
  • Make pudding with fat-free or low-fat milk for a dessert
  • Include milk as a beverage at meals

One dairy product I would like to highlight that isn’t consumed enough is plain, nonfat Greek yogurt. All yogurts provide us with calcium, potassium, protein, zinc, and vitamins B6 and B12. However, Greek yogurt is thicker, creamier, lower in lactose, contains probiotic cultures, and has twice the amount of protein! Since there is more protein in Greek yogurt, it helps keep you feeling full longer which helps with weight control. What’s your favorite way to eat plain, nonfat Greek yogurt?

Greek Yogurt Recipes to try:Greek Yogurt

Honey Mustard Yogurt Chicken Skewers

Overnight Oatmeal

Banana Split Greek Yogurt Pancakes

Roasted Red Pepper Greek Yogurt Hummus

Light and Creamy Barbecue Chicken Salad

 

Sources:

Goard, L., & Oliveri, C. (2015, February 20). Putting MyPlate on Your Table: Dairy. Retrieved from https://ohioline.osu.edu/factsheet/SS-150

Higgins, S. (2018, June 1). June Dairy Month. Retrieved from https://www.drink-milk.com/june-dairy-month/

National Center for Complimentary Health (October 2016). Probiotics: In Depth. Retrieved from https://nccih.nih.gov/health/probiotics/introduction.htm

Zelman, K. M. (2010). 6 Best Foods You’re Not Eating. Retrieved from https://www.webmd.com/diet/features/best-foods-you-are-not-eating#1

Author: Amanda Bohlen, Family and Consumer Sciences Educator, Ohio State University Extension, Washington County, bohlen.19@osu.edu

Reviewer: Misty Harmon, Family and Consumer Sciences Educator, Ohio State University Extension,  Perry County, harmon.416@osu.edu

It is unfortunate that it takes a tragedy, or several, for people to start talking about an issue. With the recent celebrity suicides, one can hardly go through the day without seeing or hearing something about mental health or suicide. While these losses of life are tragic, the fact that the media and ordinary people are talking about mental health and suicide is a step in the right direction.

mental-health

According to the National Institute of Mental Health, in 2016 suicide was the tenth leading cause of death overall in the United States, claiming nearly 45,000 lives. It was the second leading cause of death among individuals between the ages of 10 and 34, and the fourth leading cause of death among individuals between the ages of 35 and 54. In the same year, there were more than twice as many suicides (44,965) in the United States as there were homicides (19,362).

The Centers for Disease Control (CDC), reports that mental health conditions are often seen as the cause of suicide, but suicide is rarely caused by any single factor. In fact, many people who die by suicide are not known to have a diagnosed mental health condition at the time of death. Other problems, such as those related to relationships, substance use, physical health, and job, money, legal, or housing stress can contribute to one’s risk. Government, public health, healthcare, employers, education, the media and community organizations working together is important for preventing suicide.

The CDC suggests that states and communities can:

  • Identify and support people at risk of suicide.
  • Teach coping and problem-solving skills to help people manage challenges with their relationships, jobs, health, or other concerns.
  • Promote safe and supportive environments. This includes safely storing medications and firearms to reduce access among people at risk.
  • Offer activities that bring people together so they feel connected and not alone.
  • Connect people at risk to effective and coordinated mental and physical healthcare.
  • Expand options for temporary help for those struggling to make ends meet.
  • Prevent future risk of suicide among those who have lost a loved one to suicide.

My job involves helping to meet the needs of the people in my county and my state. Reducing the stigma related to mental health is one thing I have been promoting. I work in an area where mental health services can be few and far between and where the stigma associated with seeking treatment is still quite prevalent. Many people view mental health issues as being a weakness of character or will instead of the medical issue that it is. One of the ways I have been promoting mental health awareness is by teaching Mental Health First Aid.R

Mental Health First AidR gives you the tools and knowledge to assist someone having a mental health emergency much like regular first aid or CPR do for a medical emergency. You are not expected to diagnose or treat someone with a mental health issue; just as you would not be expected to perform surgery on someone you have given first aid. Mental Health First AidR also encourages people to pay attention to the words they use when talking about mental health issues. Since language can be very powerful, when we use nonjudgmental words, a person with a mental health issue or someone thinking about suicide is more likely to reach out for help.

If you would like more information on how you can become a mental health first aider, you can search for a course near you at: https://www.mentalhealthfirstaid.org/take-a-course/.

 

Author: Misty Harmon, Ohio State University, Family and Consumer Sciences Educator, Perry County; harmon.416@osu.edu

Reviewer: Candace J. Heer, Ohio State University, Family and Consumer Sciences Educator, Morrow County; heer.7@osu.edu

 

Photo Credit:

https://pixabay.com/en/mental-health-wellness-psychology-2019924/

Sources:

National Institute of Mental Health (May 2018). Suicide. https://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/statistics/suicide.shtml

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (June 7, 2018). Suicide rising across the U.S. https://www.cdc.gov/vitalsigns/suicide/

National Council for Behavioral Health (2018). https://www.mentalhealthfirstaid.org/

National Council for Behavioral Health (2018). https://www.mentalhealthfirstaid.org/take-a-course/

Salad, Kiwi, Eyes, Play, Vegetables

Summer is full of fresh fruits and vegetables. They are on sale at the store, coming from our gardens, and filling the farmers markets.  This season is a great time to evaluate food choices in our lives and set goals for improvement. Evaluating what we are serving to our children is a worthwhile place to start.  As parents we want our children to eat a variety of healthy foods, but are often met with resistance when offering a food that is unfamiliar. Getting our kids to try new foods can be difficult and frustrating!   Here are some simple tips that can help you find success when offering new foods to your growing child:

Make sure you are offering a variety of foods on a regular basis.  This helps children become familiar with a variety of flavors and textures.

Try pairing a new food with one that is familiar.  For example, try scrambling a diced vegetable into eggs or offering a new fruit choice at breakfast as a pancake topping.

Involve your kids in planning new food choices.  Invite them to learn about the food, how it grows or how it is made.  Help them find a recipe and shop for it, then join them in the kitchen preparing the food.

Model a variety of good food choices yourself. You don’t have to be an adventurous eater, but you can display a positive attitude about trying new foods to your child.

When trying new foods ask your kids to describe the color, smell or texture instead of asking only of they like it.  This helps your child to pay more attention to just how it tastes, and focus on all aspects of the new food.

Let your children know they aren’t wrong if they don’t like it. There is no wrong or right answer when trying something new.  Be positive and reward their willingness to try new foods with words of encouragement.

Think about appearance when offering new foods.  A fun shape or presentation can be enticing.  For example, make a small kebob out of a new fruit, or cut vegetables into exciting shapes. Kids love to dip.  Try offering a dip alongside a vegetable to make eating it fun.  Hummus is a great suggestion and tastes great with a variety of raw vegetables while adding some protein to your snack.

Most importantly, be patient! It often takes repeated exposure to a new food for children to embrace it.  Continue to be encouraging and try, try again.

 

Written by: Alisha Barton,Ohio State University, Family and Consumer Sciences Educator, Miami County

Reviewed By: Misty Harmon, Ohio State University, Family and Consumer Sciences Educator, Perry County

Resources:

https://www.choosemyplate.gov/preschoolers-picky-eating

https://choosemyplate-prod.azureedge.net/sites/default/files/audiences/KitchenHelperActivities.pdf

https://choosemyplate-prod.azureedge.net/sites/default/files/audiences/HealthyTipsforPickyEaters.pdf

https://www.usda.gov/media/blog/2016/08/22/new-myplate-resources-families

Every year, a few new words or terms that make their way into common language. While they’re usually words that describe new trends or technologies (glamping, cryptocurrency) one that I’ve heard a lot lately is Mom Guilt. And while the use of the term has only recently gone mainstream, I imagine that the emotion has been around since the beginning of motherhood.
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Guilt, on its own, is an emotion experienced when we perceive that we’ve done something wrong. Add “Mom” as a prefix and, it’s clear that we’re referring to instances when we feel we could have done better by our child.

While many triggers exist, Mom Guilt is often associated with the times when we are not physically with our children. If you hesitate to plan a weekend with friends, pass on date night with your partner, skip your workouts, or even feel badly leaving for work, all because you feel you shouldn’t be leaving your child, you may be experiencing Mom Guilt.

That most likely means that you recognize how critically important you are to him or her. According to the Harvard University Center on the Developing Child, “The single most common factor [in resilient children] is at least one stable and committed relationship with a supportive [parent or other adult.]”mom-48958_960_720

So, it’s wise and admirable that you would be thoughtful about how you use your time, and that you see the value in devoting the better part of a given day, week, or month to time with your child and your family. However, for loving and attentive parents, perhaps a feeling of guilt (which remember, refers to feelings of having done wrong), each time you leave home, should be reconsidered. Here’s why:

  1. Your child needs the opportunity to exercise independence. In many of our parenting classes, when we ask parents what their goals are for their children, we almost always unanimously agree that we want our children to grow into happy, independent adults. Children need the chance to exercise their independence by being away from you at times.
  2. You are your child’s first teacher, and always a role model. Let them see how you can manage the many responsibilities adulthood, including heading out to work each day. I hope to inspire my daughter by showing her that every day, going after what needs to be done with a positive attitude, which includes leaving for work, is good for me, for her, and for our family.
  3. Happy parents create happy families. Taking care of #1 has rippling effects for your family. So, if you need to take a break without your kids, whether that’s going to yoga or having lunch with friends, know that it’s nothing to feel guilty about. When you’re back, you’ll feel more peaceful and rejuvenated, and can be present with your child, the beneficiary of a happy mom!

What do you do to relieve your “Mom Guilt?”  Respond in the comment section.

Resources:

The Harvard University Center on the Developing Child, Resilience https://developingchild.harvard.edu/science/key-concepts/resilience/

PBS Parents, Fostering Independence in Children http://www.pbs.org/parents/education/learning-disabilities/fostering-independence-in-children/

Writer: Joanna Fifner, Extension Educator, Family and Consumer Sciences, Ohio State University Extension, Medina County, fifner.2@osu.edu

Reviewer: Michelle Treber, Extension Educator, Family and Consumer Sciences, Ohio State University Extension, Pickaway County, treber.1@osu.edu

 

“It is not what you do for your children, but what you have taught them to do for themselves that will make them successful human beings.” This quote from Ann Landers really outlines the basic purpose of parenting. The purpose of

photo of father and daughter running at the park

Photo by Josh Willink on Pexels.com

parenting is the same today as it has been for many years: to protect our children and prepare them to survive in society.  In order to survive in society, children have to learn to be independent.  Parenting involves gradually teaching a child independence according to their age. Children develop in stages, so appropriate behavior at one age may not be appropriate at another. Giving children the opportunities to learn, grow and be independent can be very scary for parents. At an early age, we watch our toddler learn to walk. We have to watch their many failed attempts before they learn to master the skill of walking. As hard as it is for parents to watch their children fall, we also know that it is necessary for them to grow, and this is true throughout the many stages and challenges of their childhood.

Equipping children with some basic skills will help them continue on their path to independence. In Active Parenting: A Guide to Raising Happy and Successful Children, author Micheal H. Popkin argues that active parents help children learn survival skills and independence. The four skills that Popkin identifies are:

  • Courage, or trying new things without fear of failure. Courage is the building block of self-esteem.
  • Self-esteem, or how people feel about themselves. People with high self-esteem feel capable and able to succeed.
  • Responsibility, or the ability to accept consequences for decisions and actions. Children who learn responsibility have courage to stick with their decisions.
  • Cooperation, or working as a team member. Children are true members of the family and are entitled to express their feelings, respectfully, to their parents.

Parents are the foundation that help children learn to have courage, be responsible and cooperative, and feel good about themselves. Putting it simply, the job of parenting is to work yourself out of a job.

 

Written by: Kathy Goins, Family & Consumer Sciences Educator, Ohio State University, Clark County, goins.115@osu.edu

Reviewed by: Shannon Carter, Family & Consumer Sciences Educator, Ohio State University Extension.