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.


Soccer ‘headers’ and concussion

A female soccer player heading the ballDr. Tom Schweizer, director of the neuroscience research program at St. Michael’s Hospital, found that concussions account for up to 8.6 per cent of all soccer injuries. Many of these concussions are the result of heading (when a soccer player uses their own head to advance the ball). Even when the blows are not severe enough to result in a concussion, the repeated hits to the head can add up and may be damaging to thinking and memory.

Click here to read the whole article by City News Toronto.

Click here to watch a video on the symptoms, diagnosis and treatment of concussions.

Tips to prevent Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI)

Woman lying in bed holding compress to forehead.Traumatic brain injury (TBI) is an injury to your brain that changes the way your brain works. A TBI can change the way you think, feel, act, and move.

A TBI can result from anything that jolts your brain. Some causes are a fall, a car accident, a fight, or a sports injury. About half of all TBIs are caused by car accidents.

The first tip is to recognize the dangers of a TBI and avoid risky behavior. Here are some other tips:

  • Don’t drink and drive.
  • Don’t use drugs or alcohol to treat symptoms of depression or anxiety.
  • Take good care of yourself. Eat a healthy diet and exercise regularly. Get good quality sleep.
  • Spend time with your friends and family and be active in social activities. People who become isolated and withdrawn from loved ones are more likely to engage in risky behaviors.
  • Wear a seat belt when you drive.
  • Wear a helmet if you ride a motorcycle or bicycle. Also wear one if you engage in any high-risk activities like skiing, contact sports, or snowmobiling.

Click here to read more.

Preventing Food Poisoning

Woman reading label of organic product in grocery store.

Food poisoning is usually caused by improper food preparation or storage. Germs (bacteria) can grow in food if it is not handled right. Germs can also grow on any surface, including cutting boards and sponges. When germs get inside your body, they can cause diarrhea, vomiting, and headache. In some cases, food poisoning can be fatal if it is not treated promptly.

Store leftovers in the refrigerator right away. Divide foods in small, shallow pans to cool faster. Throw away food that has been left out for more than 2 hours.

Below are some tips – Click here to read more:

  • Look Before You Buy
  • Wash Everything Often
  • Keep Hot Foods Hot
  • Keep Cold Foods Cold

What is a TIA?

TIA (Transient Ischemic Attack) is an early warning that a stroke (also called a brain attack) is coming. A TIA is a temporary stroke. The symptoms last from a minute to as long as 24 hours. It causes no lasting damage. But the effects of a stroke, if it happens, can be very serious and lasting. If you think you are having symptoms of a TIA or stroke — even if they don’t last — get medical help right away.

Symptoms may come on suddenly and last for a few seconds or a few hours. You may have symptoms only once. Or they may come and go for days. These symptoms of a TIA are a warning sign that you are at risk of having a more serious and debilitating stroke. If you notice any of the following symptoms, don’t wait. Call 911 or emergency services right away.

Closeup of telephone with "911" superimposed on it.

Symptoms of TIA and Stroke

  • Sudden weakness, numbness, tingling, or loss of feeling in your face, arm, or leg.
  • Sudden trouble seeing in 1 or both eyes; double vision.
  • Sudden slurred speech, trouble talking, or problems understanding others when they speak
  • Sudden, severe headache
  • Sudden dizziness or a feeling of spinning
  • Sudden loss of balance or falling
  • Blackouts or seizures

Click here to watch a video.