NJ Poison Control Center Poison Prevention Week Video Contest

The New Jersey Poison Control Center is happy to announce the second annual National Poison Prevention Week Video Contest. This contest is open to all New Jersey residents from Kindergarten through 12th grade. Please forward this email/attachment to anyone who might be interested in participating in the contest.

All videos should be no longer than 2 minutes and should educate the public about the dangers of poisons and communicates ways we can all take responsibility for preventing poisonings while promoting the national poison helpline. All submissions should be submitted through the national contest website by January 15, 2020. Contest rules and submission requirements can be found through the official contest website; https://nationalpoisonpreventionweek.submittable.com/submit/147044/national-poison-prevention-week-video-contest.

All questions regarding this contest should be directed to the national organizers (call: 419-534-4700|email:poisonprevention@glm.com).

If you have an event coming up, would like to plan a program, or have any questions about National Poison Prevention Week/poison education in New Jersey please contact health education specialist, Danielle Bartsche (drb144@njms.rutgers.edu).

Thank you and GOOD LUCK!
The Public Education Department at the New Jersey Poison Center

Are you FLUent in flu prevention?

As the weather starts to cool and we transition from fall to winter, it’s important to remember that we are well into the fall influenza season. The following are some of the key ways to protect yourself and your community against the flu this flu season.

Get Your Annual Flu Vaccine
The single most effective protection against flu is getting a flu vaccine. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommend that all individuals 6 months of age and older receive the flu vaccine each year, as long as they do not have a contraindication. This is key to ensuring optimal protection for the upcoming flu season because circulating flu viruses can change season to season and the body’s response to prior flu vaccinations also decreases over time. It can take a couple of weeks for the flu vaccine to become effective, so the best time to get vaccinated is before the start of the flu season. Some of the common side effects of the flu shot include soreness and redness at the injection site. It’s also possible to have muscle aches or a low-grade fever after receiving the flu shot. It is not possible to get the flu from the flu shot.
Some people that are thinking about getting the flu shot may have concerns about its effectiveness and that they may still get the flu even though they received the shot. An important thing to remember is that although the effectiveness of the flu shot varies from year to year, studies have shown that getting the flu vaccine reduces the severity of illness and complications from the flu in people that still get the flu even though they were vaccinated. Getting the annual flu vaccine is the best way to protect yourself against severe illness and complications from the flu.

Practice Common Everyday Prevention Measures
Flu is mainly spread from person to person through droplets generated when a sick individual sneezes, coughs, or talks. To help reduce to spread of the flu, remember to take common everyday prevention measures: wash your hands, cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue or your elbow if a tissue isn’t available, and clean high touch surfaces that may be contaminated with the flu virus.

Stay Home While You’re Sick
People sick with the flu are generally the most contagious during the first few days of illness. To help prevent the spread of the flu, the CDC recommends staying home, unless seeking medical care or other necessities, for at least 24 hours after your fever is gone without the aid of fever-reducing medications.

If you haven’t already gotten your flu shot, we still have vaccines available! Please call the Montgomery Township Health Department (908) 359-8211 to schedule your appointment today!

 

Healthy Holiday Baking Tips

American Institute for Cancer Research

Healthy Holiday Baking Tips by Sheena Swanner

The holiday season is here! Transform your holiday baking with tips from AICR’s registered dietitian to make your recipes lighter and healthier. Increase the nutritional benefits and trim calories by cutting back on added fats and sugars, while still enjoying your favorite holiday dishes and desserts. Try these AICR healthy recipe modifications:

  1. Swap refined flours for whole-grain flours.

In many recipes, you can substitute 100% whole-grain flour for refined flour or simply use a mix of half 100% whole-grain flour and half refined flour, like all-purpose flour. This trick can add fiber and nutrients to a variety of recipes, and added fiber is beneficial for your digestive tract.

  1. Cut back on added sugars.

Cutting back on 25% of sugars in a recipe will not make a noticeable difference to the taste, so try to reduce the amount of sugar you use. When you do reduce the sugar in a recipe, it is recommended to increase liquid. You can also add mashed bananas or applesauce as a natural way to sweeten desserts or toss in dried fruits that don’t contain added sugars; dates, apricots, and raisins are naturally sweet. There is an indirect link between sugar and cancer, as consuming foods with added sugars can lead to consuming more calories and cause weight gain. Having overweight or obesity increases the risk of 12 types of cancer.

  1. Increase fiber.

You can add high fiber ingredients such as rolled oats, dried fruit, pureed beans, nuts and seeds into your waffles, pancakes, muffins, or other holiday dishes. Top with fresh fruit such as mashed or whole berries for more added flavor and fiber! Using this easy trick is a great way to increase fiber intake. As part of a healthy eating pattern to lower cancer risk, AICR recommends getting at least 30g of fiber each day. Try making this Nectarine and Raspberry Cobbler for your next holiday gathering. One cup of raspberries contains 8 grams of fiber!

  1. Spice things up.

Warm, aromatic spices are always a hit for the holidays. Adding a few dashes of cinnamon, nutmeg, or clove to any holiday recipe is not only a great way to add holiday cheer, but spices also provide cancer-fighting phytochemicals. These spices are another great way to add additional flavor to your foods to help you cut back on salt and sugar in your baking.

  1. Boost nutrients and flavor.

Make dessert recipes that feature fruit, whole grains, nuts and seeds as the star of the show, like AICR’s Easy Baked Apples with Walnuts and Raisins or No-Knead Bread with Fruit and Nuts.  You can add shredded or pureed apples, pears, carrots, coconut, mashed banana, pumpkin or sweet potatoes to boost nutrients, flavor and moisture. You can use these ingredients to add extra flavor and act as a replacement for some of the butter or oil in the recipe.

Know! The Red Flags of Teen Depression

It’s December; tis the season to be jolly. That’s easier said than done for many people, adults and teens alike. All the hustle and bustle can worsen the symptoms of those who already suffer from anxiety and depression into. And for others, the holidays can create the perfect storm for the onset of symptoms.

Holiday parties, family gatherings, the overabundance of social media pics and posts, the loss of a loved one, divorce or other family separation, financial concerns, less sleep, indulging in unhealthy foods and drinks, are all contributing factors to people of all ages feeling overwhelmed, anxious and many times, depressed this time of the year.

For some teens, feeling depressed can cause them to withdraw and avoid social interactions, which oftentimes leads to further sadness and loneliness – a downward spiral that can easily spin out of control. These feelings, which may be more easily managed during other times of the year, may be intensified in the midst of the holiday season.

As parents and other caregivers of young people, it is vital to be aware of the many signs and symptoms of teen depression (according to HelpGuide: Parent’s Guide to Teen Depression):

·    Irritability, anger, or hostility

·    Sadness or hopelessness

·    Tearfulness or frequent crying

·    Withdrawal from friends and family

·    Loss of interest in activities

·    Poor school performance

·    Changes in eating and sleeping habits

·    Restlessness and agitation

·    Feelings of worthlessness and guilt

·    Lack of enthusiasm and motivation

·    Fatigue or lack of energy

·    Difficulty concentrating

·    Unexplained aches and pains

·    Thoughts of death or suicide

When considering the red flags for depression, it is important to know that they may look very different in young people versus adults.

Irritability, anger, or hostility: The predominant mood in a depressed teen is oftentimes irritability, as opposed to sadness. It is common for a depressed youth to be grumpy, hostile, easily frustrated, or prone to angry outbursts.

Unexplained aches and pains: When a physical exam turns up zero answers to your child’s chronic headaches, stomachaches and such, the cause may be due to depression.

Extreme sensitivity to criticism: It is common for young people who are depressed to experience feelings of worthlessness, which makes them even more vulnerable to criticism, rejection, and failure than their teenage peers.

Withdrawing from some, but not all people: Depressed teens typically maintain at least some friendships, while depressed adults tend to isolate themselves. Depressed youth, however, are known to socialize less, pull away from their parents, and start hanging out with a new crowd.

You are now aware of the many potential triggers of teen depression this time of the year. You are also aware of the signs and symptoms to look out for when it comes to youth who are depressed. Now it’s time to start up a conversation with your child, as communication is key.

How you communicate is as important as what you communicate. When talking with your child, focus on listening, not lecturing. Be gentle but persistent, knowing that it can be extremely difficult for a teen to express having feelings of sadness and depression. Acknowledge their feelings, even if it seems silly or irrational to you. In the end, trust your gut. If your child won’t open up to you, but you know there is something more going on, consider reaching out to a school counselor, teacher, or mental health professional. The essential piece is to get them talking.

Whether you question if there is a potential issue of depression or not, talking regularly with your son or daughter on topics such as this will help to build and foster a strong relationship between the two of you.

In the tip to follow, we will share information on how to help depressed teens navigate through the holiday season and beyond.

 

Sources

 

·    Melinda Smith, M.A., Lawrence Robinson, and Jeanne Segal, Ph.D. HelpGuide: Parent’s Guide to Teen Depression. October 2019.

·    Jennifer Salerno, NP, Teen Depression and the Holidays. The Struggle is Real. October 2017.

Healthy Holiday Tips

Hackensack Meridian Health

Connections Newsletter

Holiday Tips:

  1. AVOID OVERINDULGING -This includes food, alcohol, binge-watching TV, and impulse shopping on Black Friday. You’ll get a self-esteem boost from practicing self-control and feel better physically.
  2. FOCUS CONVERSATIONS ON POSITIVE TOPICS – It’s okay to ask your guests to refrain from discussing politics, tragedies, or gossip. In fact, most will welcome the respite from negative conversations.
  3. HAVE AN ATTITUDE OF GRATITUDE – Being thankful is what the holidays are all about. Make a list of reasons to be grateful and encourage loved ones to do the same.
  4. IF YOU’RE FEELING DOWN OR STRESSED, SEEK HELP – A professional counselor can help you improve your overall outlook, coping skills, and quality of life. Visit CarrierClinic.org for more information about their FREE programs.

Carbon Monoxide Does NOT Discriminate

Don’t Be the Next Statistic. Experts at the state’s poison control center are all too familiar with the dangerous, even deadly health effects of carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning. The center is often involved in the medical management of patients exposed to carbon monoxide.

 Carbon monoxide is a poisonous gas overlooked by many because it gives no warning – you can’t see, smell, hear, or taste it. The effects of CO are hard to detect, and symptoms often mimic those of viral illnesses like the common cold and the flu. Additionally, the gas is undetectable without a working carbon monoxide detector. This combination creates the perfect storm for a dangerous, even deadly public health risk.

Last month, U.S. Senator Bob Menendez (D-N.J) visited the New Jersey Poison Control Center at Rutgers New Jersey Medical School to discuss the significant health risks posed by carbon monoxide exposure. While visiting the poison center, he announced bipartisan legislation requiring carbon monoxide detectors be installed in all federally subsidized residences. It is important to remember that CO poisoning poses a risk to all people and pets, including those living in public or rural housing.

Although the only way to detect a leak is with a CO detector, it is important to know how to recognize the effects associated with CO poisoning, and to seek help immediately upon the onset of symptoms. Common symptoms of low-level poisoning include headaches, sleepiness, fatigue, confusion and irritability. At higher levels, poisoning can result in nausea, vomiting, irregular heartbeat, impaired vision and coordination, brain damage and death.

“Don’t be fooled. As we see every year, this poisonous gas can and does kill,” says Diane Calello, MD, Executive and Medical Director of the New Jersey Poison Control Center at Rutgers New Jersey Medical School’s Department of Emergency Medicine. “Carbon monoxide poisoning is serious and should be handled as a medical emergency. Prevention and early detection are crucial in preventing poisoning injury and even death from carbon monoxide. You want to catch a leak in gas appliances and heating systems before it turns into a serious problem.”

Although cold weather brings increased risk, carbon monoxide exposures happen throughout the year, resulting from sources other than gas appliances and heating systems. Lesser known sources of exposure include portable gas generators used during severe weather; snow accumulation in car exhausts/tailpipes, heating and dryer vents; portable room heaters; fireplace/chimney flues; blocked engine and exhaust systems on boats; and smoking hookah in small and/or poorly ventilated spaces.

“Do not gamble with your family’s health and well-being; CO detectors are a must even on boats,” says Bruce Ruck, Pharm.D., Managing Director of the New Jersey Poison Control Center. Battery-operated carbon monoxide detectors should be put on every level of the home and near every sleeping area. Always check the batteries of both detectors (fire and CO) when changing the clocks twice a year for daylight savings time.

If you suspect a carbon monoxide exposure, take immediate action:  

  1. If someone is unconscious or unresponsive, get him or her out of the house and call 9-1-1 immediately.
  2. Exit the house/building immediately. Do not waste time opening windows. This will delay your escape and cause you to breathe in even more dangerous fumes.
  3. Contact your local fire department/energy provider.
  4. Call the NJ Poison Control Center at 1-800-222-1222 for immediate medical treatment advice. Do not waste time looking for information on the internet about carbon monoxide poisoning. Call us for fast, free and accurate information.

 

If you suspect illness, do not wait until symptoms occur or waste time looking up information on the Internet. Contact your local poison control center at 1-800-222-1222 to get the immediate help you or a loved one needs. Center experts are health professionals available 24/7 for emergencies, questions, concerns, or information. Services are free, confidential, and a language line is available (over 150 languages). New Jersey residents can reach their center in the following ways: call (1-800-222-1222), text, or chat.

If someone is unconscious, not breathing, hard to wake up, or seizing, call 9-1-1 immediately.

 Help is Just a Phone Call Away!

 Stay Connected: Facebook (@NJPIES) and Twitter (@NJPoisonCenter) for breaking news, safety tips, trivia questions, etc.

Real People. Real Answers.

 Available for Media Interviews

Diane P. Calello, MD, Executive and Medical Director, New Jersey Poison Control Center, Rutgers NJ Medical School’s Department of Emergency Medicine

Bruce Ruck, Pharm.D., Managing Director, New Jersey Poison Control Center, Rutgers NJ Medical School’s Department of Emergency Medicine

Lewis S. Nelson, MD, Professor and Chair of Emergency Medicine at Rutgers NJ Medical School

 About New Jersey Poison Control Center / NJPIES
Chartered in 1983, the New Jersey Poison Information & Education System (NJPIES) is New Jersey’s only poison control center. Medical professionals such as physicians, registered nurses and pharmacists offer free consultation through hotline services (telephone, text and chat) regarding poison emergencies and provide information on poison prevention, drugs, food poisoning, animal bites and more. In addition, it tracks incidences of adverse reactions to food, drugs and vaccines to monitor for potential public health issues and provide data to the New Jersey Department of Health, U.S. Food and Drug Administration and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. NJPIES’ confidential services are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, every day of the year. When needed, NJPIES responds to other emergent health issues by expanding hotline services.

NJPIES is designated as the state’s regional poison control center by the New Jersey Department of Health and the American Association of Poison Control Centers. It is a division of the Department of Emergency Medicine of Rutgers New Jersey Medical School. NJPIES has a state-of-the-art center located at Rutgers Health Sciences in Newark. NJPIES is funded, in part, by the NJ Department of Health, NJ Hospitals and the United States Department of Health and Human Services.

New Jersey residents should save the Poison Help number, 1-800-222-1222, in their mobile phones and post the number somewhere visible in their home. NJPIES is also available via text 8002221222@njpies.org and chat www.njpies.org.

Stay Connected: FB / Twitter / Website

 About Rutgers New Jersey Medical School

Founded in 1954, Rutgers New Jersey Medical School is the oldest school of medicine in the state.  Today it is part of Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey and graduates approximately 170 physicians a year. In addition to providing the MD degree, the school offers MD/PhD, MD/MPH and MD/MBA degrees through collaborations with other institutions of higher education. Dedicated to excellence in education, research, clinical care and community outreach, the medical school comprises 20 academic departments and works with several healthcare partners, including its principal teaching hospital, University Hospital. Its faculty consists of numerous world-renowned scientists and many of the region’s “top doctors.” Home to the nation’s oldest student-run clinic, New Jersey Medical School hosts more than 50 centers and institutes, including the Public Health Research Institute Center, the Global Tuberculosis Institute and the Neurological Institute of New Jersey. For more information please visit: njms.rutgers.edu.

Know! To Put Kindness into Action

While there appears to be a designated “day” on the calendar for everything these days, World Kindness Day is one to celebrate and share with the young people in our lives. It takes place annually on November 13th, and promotes putting kindness into action through caring and compassionate acts. In a world where far too many youth face bullying, deal with anxiety and depression, and fight the pressures to succumb to a variety of risk-taking behaviors, why not encourage kindness and compassion? The benefits can be far-reaching and long-lasting.

Richard Davidson and his team of researchers from the Center for Healthy Minds at the University of Wisconsin-Madison say that humans are biologically hardwired for kindness and selflessness. He says that even very young children show a preference toward being cooperative, giving and warm-hearted in their interactions with others. Dr. Davidson also believes that kindness can and should be nurtured in youth, and is absolutely teachable. He says, “It’s kind of like weight training, we found that people can actually build up their compassion ‘muscle’ and respond to others’ suffering with care and a desire to help.”

While the motivation behind acts of kindness should simply be about doing something nice for a fellow human being, with nothing in it for ourselves, it cannot be helped that the giver receives a host of benefits in return. In addition to improving one’s relationships and connections with others, KINDNESS…

Kindness Increases

  • Oxytocin and Serotonin – powerful hormones that stabilize mood, and provide feelings of well-being.
  • Energy – some people report a spike in energy after doing good for others.
  • Pleasure – kindness toward others lights up the brain’s pleasure and reward centers.
  • Happiness – in a survey that spanned 136 countries, those who reported being charitable givers also reported being the happiest overall.

Kindness Decreases

  • Pain – produces endorphins, the brain’s natural painkillers.
  • Stress – reduces the stress hormone cortisol in the body.
  • Anxiety and depression – kindness elevates mood, wards off social avoidance.
  • Blood pressure – as oxytocin is produced, nitric oxide is released, a chemical that dilates blood vessels and lowers blood pressure.

Ways to Be Kind

Kindness comes in all shapes and sizes, cannot be measured by cost or skill, and can be done at any age. Since this tip focuses on tweens and teens however, here are some ideas geared toward their age group. Of course youth are more likely to become more engaged if they come up with their own ways to put kindness into action. But here are a few ideas to help them get started.

  1. Go through your closet and donate some clothing items.
  2. Send a positive text to someone.
  3. Rake a neighbor’s leaves or shovel someone’s sidewalk or drive (depending on where you live).
  4. Give someone a compliment.
  5. Give your mom, dad or other caregiver a random hug.
  6. Thank a veteran.
  7. Smile more often at others.
  8. Say hello to someone new.
  9. Offer to babysit for free one evening.
  10. Send someone a hand-written thank you note.
  11. Hold the door for someone.
  12. Do a chore around the house without being asked.
  13. Forgive someone.
  14. Bake cookies for a neighbor.
  15. Ask about someone’s day.
  16. Call your grandparents.
  17. Put a happy face sticky note on someone’s locker.
  18. Volunteer at any kind of shelter.
  19. Smile and say “good morning” to an adult in your school building.
  20. Invite someone sitting alone to sit with you at lunch.

These are so many simple ways to be kind. Challenge your child to rattle off or jot down some ideas of their own. Of course parents walking the walk is the greatest way to nurture and teach children the importance of doing good for others.

Also keep in mind that you play an important role if you or your child happen to be on the receiving end of a good deed. Kindness goes full circle when someone accepts that offer of help, smiles back or acknowledges another’s kind gesture.

Let World Kindness Day be the kickoff to purposeful acts of kindness among your family that in turn may grow and spread worldwide.

Sources

Health Walks in November

HealthHike Walking Program: Wednesday, November 6: AMC Theatres in Bridgewater Commons Mall: 6:30 am –  9:00 am

Nature Walk: Saturday, November 9: Duke Farms: 9:00 am

Ranger Walk: Saturday, November 16: Skillman Park: 9:00 am

HealthPro Hike: Saturday, November 23: Food Court of Bridgewater Commons Mall: 9:00 am