The Patient and Family Learning has moved!

we'vemovedThe Patient and Family Learning Centre has moved to the Marketeria on the 6th floor of the Cardinal Carter Wing to make way for major construction at St. Michael’s Hospital.

It is now easier for patients to enter through the Victoria Street (Cardinal Carter Wing) entrance and take the lobby elevators up to the 6th floor, where they will find the entrance to the Marketeria. The PFLC is located inside the Marketeria.

On October 15th – October 17th, we will be holding a PFLC Open House, with great games and prizes. Please visit us and check out our new space.

Please visit our website for more information about the Patient and Family Learning Centre: http://www.stmichaelshospital.com/learn/patient-family-learning-centre.php

Keep Safe this Labour Day Weekend

Holly by Thomas Hawk, on Flickr
Creative Commons Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 2.0 Generic License   by  Thomas Hawk 

Labour Day weekend tends to be very busy at local pools and beaches as kids try to get one last taste of summer before they go back to school.

Here are some tips to keep your children safe in the water:

  • Have a “water watcher” while kids are swimming. This adult’s sole job is to watch the kids. He or she should avoid talking on the phone, reading, or cooking while supervising.
  • Never let your child swim alone. Make sure your child is always swimming with a buddy.
  • Keep a phone near by for emergencies
  • Do not allow children to swim outdoors during thunderstorms or lightening storms

Additional tips about water safety at the pool or beach, click here.

What you can do to prevent skin cancer?

Senior woman watering lawn with a hose.

Being exposed to the sun’s harmful rays is a major cause of skin cancer. People of all ages and backgrounds are at risk. But in most cases, skin cancer can be prevented:

  • Start by avoiding the sun’s UV (ultraviolet) rays.
  • And don’t use tanning beds, which are no safer than the sun.

When you are outdoors, it’s best to follow all these steps:

  • Wear tightly woven clothing that covers your skin. Put on a wide-brimmed hat to protect your face, ears, and scalp.
  • Watch the clock. Try to avoid the sun between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m., when it is strongest.
  • Head for the shade or create your own. Use an umbrella when sitting or strolling.
  • Know that the sun’s rays can reflect off sand, water, and snow. This can harm your skin. Take extra care when you are near reflective surfaces.
  • Keep in mind that even when the weather is hazy or cloudy, your skin can be exposed to strong UV rays.
  • Shield your skin with sunscreen. Also, apply sunscreen to your children’s skin.

Click here to read more tips for using sunscreen.

Related posts: Prevent and Detect MelanomaWays to Prevent a Sunburn

Ways to Prevent a Sunburn

Woman putting sunscreen on nose. Apply plenty of sunscreen of SPF 15 or higher. Reapply it often.

If you have been sunburned, like most people, you know what it is — red, hot, painful skin.

You are more likely to burn in the sun if you:

  • Have very fair skin.
  • Are exposed to sunlight reflected from snow or water.
  • Live near the equator or at high altitudes.
  • Are taking certain antibiotics, birth control pills, accutane (a medicine for acne), or some herbs such as St. John’s wort.

Long-term sun exposure may lead to wrinkling and skin cancer. To protect your skin:

  • Avoid the sun between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m., when rays are strongest.
  • Wear a wide-brimmed hat and long sleeves in the sun.
  • Use sunscreen of at least SPF 15, even on cloudy days.

Most sunburns are minor and go away in a few days. However, sunburns can be serious sometimes, so it’s important to know when to get medical care. Click here to read more.

Heat-Related Illness in Children

Boy drinking water from bottle sitting on grass outdoors.

Heat-related illness occurs when the body’s temperature gets too high. Body temperature can be affected by the temperature of the air and by level of physical activity (exercise).

Heat-related illnesses include heat cramps, heat exhaustion and heat stroke. In the summer, the risk of getting heat-related illnesses are higher.

You can do the following to prevent your child from getting heat-related illness:

  • Keep your child indoors or in shaded or cool areas.
  • Give your child more fluids than normal.
  • Spray cool water on your child to keep him or her cool.
  • Dress your child in fewer layers.
  • Have your child wear a hat or a visor.
  • Have your child rest and take breaks during exercise or physical activity.

Click here to read more.

Exercise to Manage Your Blood Sugar

Being physically active every day can help you manage your blood sugar. A recent study by Dr. Gillian Booth from St. Michael’s Hospital showed that more walkable neighborhoods can decrease the risk of diabetes, a condition in which your body has trouble using sugar for energy.

Man outside looking at pedometer on his belt.If daily activity is new to you, start slow and steady. Begin with 10 minutes of activity each day. Then work up to at least 30 minutes a day. Do this by adding a few minutes each week. It doesn’t have to be done all at once. Each active period throughout the day adds up.

You don’t have to join a gym or own pricey sports equipment. Just get out and walk. Walking is an aerobic exercise that makes your heart and lungs work hard. It helps your heart and blood vessels. Walking requires only a sturdy pair of sneakers and your own two feet. The more you walk, the easier it gets.

  • Schedule time every day to move your feet.
  • Make it part of your daily routine.
  • Walk with a friend or a group to keep it interesting and fun.
  • Try taking several short walks during the day to meet your daily activity goal.

Click here to read more.

Prediabetes – Are You at Risk?

Man and woman consulting with doctor.

It is estimated that out of 35 million Canadians, approximately 5.7 million have prediabetes (Canadian Diabetes Association).

Prediabetes means that the level of sugar (glucose) in your blood is too high. Without changes to your lifestyle, you may develop type 2 diabetes. Type 2 diabetes is chronic (ongoing) and needs to be managed for the rest of your life. Diabetes can harm the body and your health by damaging organs, such as your eyes and kidneys. It makes you more likely to have heart disease. And it can damage nerves and blood vessels.

Risk Factors For Prediabetes

The exact cause of prediabetes is not clear. But certain risk factors make a person more likely to have it. These include:

  • A family history of type 2 diabetes
  • Being overweight
  • Being over age 40
  • Having had gestational diabetes
  • Not being physically active
  • Being African American, Asian-American, Hispanic, Native American, or Pacific Islander

Click here to learn more about Prediabetes, including diagnosis and treatment.