Posted on Nov 24, 2015
While 89 percent of the 700 teenagers polled said they don’t give out too much personal information online (although 46 percent said their friends do), many admitted to engaging in online behaviors that could put their personal information at risk. Three-fourths of kids 13 to 17 included some type of personal information (partial or complete birth date, address, phone number, school, etc.) on their social media profiles.
“Clearly, there’s a disconnect between what teens – and their parents – think they know about online safety and what they’re actually doing,” says Hilary Schneider, LifeLock’s president. “While teens may be experts at using technology and social media to stay connected, we as parents must help them understand the steps necessary to protect their online privacy – or how their online actions today could affect their lives in the future.”
Despite near-daily stories of social media misbehavior damaging the careers of politicians, athletes and entertainers, nearly half of surveyed teens don’t expect their online activities to hurt them later in life.
Many were unaware of how to tell whether a site is secure before entering personal information.
“Children are favorite targets for identity thieves because they have clean credit histories,” says Schneider, who herself is a mother of teenagers. “Fraud may go undetected for years until the child applies for credit as a young adult. With the risks so high, teens and parents have to take steps to protect their privacy, security and identities online.”
The identity theft protection professionals at LifeLock (www.lifelock.com) offer some tips:
* Limit the personal information you share in your social media profile. Listing your full name, full address or even your birth date could potentially open the door to identity thieves.
* Do not accept “friend” requests from anyone you have not already met in person, even if he or she claims to be a friend of a friend.
* Use strong passwords for each social media account and for all your mobile devices. Strong passwords include capital and lowercase letters, numerals and special symbols. Consider using a pass-phrase like “LincolnClassOf2013IsTheBestEver!” or the first letter of each word: “LCo2013itBE!”
* Do your best to verify the security and authenticity of a website before you interact with it, buy something from it or give any information about yourself. Look for the URL to begin with “https” or for the lock symbol on the page that indicates a secure site at checkout.
* Remember that anything you post online is forever. It’s almost impossible to completely eliminate information from the Internet. Inappropriate material posted online now may affect your future relationships, ability to get into the college of your choice – even your future job prospects.
“Today’s teens use technology in virtually every aspect of their lives,” Schneider said. “But they can still use some help from parents to ensure they safely navigate the digital world.”
More information is available at http://www.lifelock.com/education and from the Federal Trade Commission at http://www.onguardonline.gov/features/feature-0002-featured-info-parents.
Posted on Nov 24, 2015
As the quest for the perfect body and flawless face continues, many consumers have turned to spas, salons and walk-in clinics for cosmetic medical procedures at bargain prices. With the number of these facilities increasing, more consumers are influenced to believe that certain cosmetic procedures are easy, inexpensive and risk-free.
“In many instances, dermatologic surgeons, who are properly trained and experienced in performing cosmetic medical procedures, are sought to correct the mistakes of inexperienced and unqualified physicians,” says Dr. Susan Weinkle, president-elect of the American Society for Dermatologic Surgery (ASDS). “Consumers should be aware that lower prices do not mean equal training and treatment, and should be cautious that these discounted prices could put their health at risk as a result of the provider’s inadequate training and lack of expertise.”
Dr. Weinkle and the ASDS urge consumers to recognize that all cosmetic procedures are medical procedures that should be performed by a qualified physician or under the close supervision of an appropriately trained physician.
Serious side effects, such as burns, infections, scars and pigmentation disorders can occur when consumers visit non-physicians or physicians who do not specialize in dermatology and perform treatments like laser hair removal, deep chemical peels, acne therapy and other procedures, says Dr. Weinkle. Non-physicians do not have the necessary medical training, and physicians who are not board-certified in dermatology lack the qualifications to determine and optimally perform the best treatment for your concern, or to handle complications adequately, should they occur.
“It’s critical that consumers take precautions and understand that dermatologic surgeons with the experience and knowledge of the health and function of the skin should perform cosmetic surgery procedures,” Dr. Weinkle says.
The ASDS suggests consumers follow these tips before undergoing any cosmetic medical procedure:
- Check credentials: Research the physician before undergoing the procedure to ensure that he or she is board-certified in dermatology. To find a board-certified dermatologic surgeon, visit www.ASDS.net.
- Don’t rely on price: If a procedure’s cost seems too good to be true, it probably is. Bargain-priced treatments may end up costing you in the long run if they cause harm, need correction or are ineffective.
- Make sure a doctor is on-site to closely supervise: Most cosmetic surgery procedures should be performed by a physician. If the physician is supervising a procedure, make sure he or she is immediately available on-site to respond to any questions or problems that may occur while the procedure is being performed.
- Ask questions: Always ask questions no matter how minor your questions may seem. Good questions include the following: Who will perform the procedure? Is this treatment right for me? What if something goes wrong? What procedures are in place to deal with an emergency? What training does the staff have? Is this laser, device or technique appropriate for my skin type? How many of the procedures do you perform in a month? May I see before and after photographs?
- Be sure your medical history is taken: Before undergoing any cosmetic surgery procedure, make sure the physician is aware of your medical history, including allergies to medications and previous surgeries.
- Don’t be afraid to walk away: Trust your instincts. If it doesn’t feel right, find a more reputable location.
For more information and to download a free pre-cosmetic surgery questionnaire, visit www.ASDS.net.
Posted on Nov 18, 2015
“Women can become proactive in their own health care to reduce their risks where possible and to increase their chances of early detection if breast cancer strikes,” says Jacqueline Ross, PhD., a registered nurse and senior clinical analyst in the Department of Patient Safety, The Doctors Company.
Breast cancer is second only to lung cancer in causing cancer deaths among women, with 220,000 newly diagnosed cases and 40,000 deaths each year in the United States. Fortunately, death rates from breast cancer have been declining due to early detection, screening and increased awareness.
Women can be proactive by increasing their knowledge of the risks of breast cancer. The majority of women with breast cancer have no direct family history of breast cancer. The chance of getting breast cancer increases with age. Two-thirds of women diagnosed with breast cancer are ages 50 and older. Some other risk factors related to breast cancer include radiation exposure, never having been pregnant, having the first child after the age of 35, beginning menopause after 55, never having breast fed, obesity, drinking more than one alcoholic beverage a day and having dense breast tissue, which can mask the presence of a cancerous tumor.
As with any risk factor, some of these can be controlled, but many cannot. For example, hereditary factors cannot be controlled. A woman who has a sister, mother or daughter who had breast cancer – especially if cancer was in both breasts, was pre-menopausal or occurred in more than one first-degree relative – is two or three times more likely to develop breast cancer. If a woman has this history, she should consider genetic counseling.
Women can also be proactive by taking steps to help prevent adverse events in the diagnosis and treatment of breast cancer. Some 92 percent of breast cancer malpractice cases involved a delayed or missed diagnosis, according to six years of data on breast cancer claims from The Doctors Company, the nation’s leading physician-owned medical malpractice insurer. Both patients and physicians have a responsibility to take action to prevent adverse events. Patients can be proactive by communicating with their physicians and then adhering to their instructions. The following are other steps patients can take to help prevent adverse events:
* Discuss with your physician when and how often to get screened. Screening recommendations vary. The American Cancer Society and the Susan G. Komen Foundation recommend that women over 40 get annual mammograms, whereas the U.S. Preventative Task Force recommends screening mammograms should begin at 50 and younger patients should discuss with their physicians when to initiate screening mammography.
* Discuss with your physician whether to get a digital or traditional mammogram. A study in the New England Journal of Medicine compared traditional mammograms to digital mammograms. The digital mammogram is stored in a computer, can be manipulated better for visibility and clarity, has a lower average radiation dosage, but is more costly. The findings showed that digital mammograms were superior to traditional mammograms for three groups of women: those younger than 50, those with dense breasts (a risk factor in breast cancer), and those who were premenopausal or who were in their first year of menopause.
* Work closely with your physician on developing a comprehensive health history. -Many risk factors for breast cancer are known. Share any family history of cancer with your provider.
* Discuss with your physician how to do a self-breast exam. Often sudden changes can be discovered in-between annual exams. Let your physician know immediately if you notice any changes.
* If diagnosed with breast cancer, follow all your physician’s instructions for follow-up appointments and medications.
“While women can do nothing about the strongest risk factor for breast cancer – age – there is still a lot they can do to lessen other risks and increase their chances of successful treatment if diagnosed,” says Ross. “They can know the risk factors, get screened, be in touch with their bodies, make healthy lifestyle choices, communicate clearly with their physicians, and follow their doctor’s instructions.”
For more patient safety articles and practice tips, visit www.thedoctors.com.
Posted on Nov 11, 2015
Beautiful fall vegetables are in season now and make for wonderful dishes that will have your family members saying yum.
In addition to the traditional fall flavors of produce like squash and cauliflower, California grapes are also in season, having one of the longest, just-picked seasons among North American fruits, from May to January. Always the perfect snack, grapes possess a flavor balance of sweetness and acidity, making them a versatile ingredient for both sweet and savory preparations.
When it comes to fall produce, cauliflower is often passed over in the produce aisles in favor of its much-touted cousin broccoli. But roasting cauliflower brings out a hint of surprising sweetness in this robust veggie. Add to that roasted grapes, with their juicy burst of tangy flavor, along with a good sprinkling of ground cumin, and you’ll be reaching for cauliflower more often just to prepare this simple and delightful dish.
Butternut squash takes on a whole new dimension when baked with grapes and rosemary and seasoned with a gratin topping. The crunch of the topping adds another texture component to the pop of juice coming from the grapes and the browned edges of the comforting squash. Rosemary offers a hint of aromatics that fits perfectly into the mix.
Roasting grapes is a big trend in finer restaurants, but very easy to do. Roasted grapes can also be turned into a simple sauce, by adding a ladleful of wine, water or broth and reducing the mixture over heat to thicken to a syrupy consistency. Drizzle over pork tenderloins or sauteed chicken breasts, and you’ll wonder why you’ve never done it before.
Both featured recipes have an added bonus: They combine fruit and vegetables, which are foods that health experts say we need to eat more of, more often.
Roasted Cauliflower and Grapes
1 large head cauliflower (3 pounds), cut into 1 1/2-inch florets
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
3/4 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 cups red, green or black seedless California grapes
Preheat the oven to 450 F. Toss cauliflower, 1 1/2 tablespoons oil, salt, cumin and pepper together in a large bowl and spread in one layer on a large, rimmed baking sheet. Roast 20 minutes and stir the cauliflower. Toss the grapes and remaining olive oil together and add to the baking sheet. Roast 5 to 10 minutes longer and serve.
Nutritional analysis per serving: Calories 116; Protein 3.3 g; Carbohydrate 17 g; Fat 5.2 g; 37 percent Calories from Fat; Cholesterol 0 mg; Sodium 287 mg; Fiber 3.6 g.
Butternut Squash, Rosemary and Grape Bake
5 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
2 medium butternut squash (about 4 pounds), peeled and cut into 1-inch chunks or 3 1/2 pounds pre-cut butternut squash chunks (11 cups)
Freshly ground black pepper
1/2 large red onion, cut into thin slices
1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary or 1 teaspoon dried
3/4 cup chicken or vegetable broth
2 cups red or black seedless California grapes, stemmed and rinsed
2 cups fresh breadcrumbs
1/2 cup finely grated Parmesan
Preheat the oven to 375 F. Grease a 9 x 13-inch baking dish. Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add half the squash and season liberally with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until browned, about 5 to 7 minutes, then transfer to the baking dish. Repeat browning of remaining squash with another tablespoon of olive oil and more salt and pepper. Transfer to baking dish.
Heat another tablespoon of the oil in the skillet and add the onion and rosemary. Season with salt and pepper and cook until softened, about 5 minutes. Pour in the broth and scrape up any browned bits on the bottom. Bring to a simmer and pour into baking dish. Cover with foil and bake until squash is very tender, about 40 minutes.
Raise the oven temperature to 450 F. Remove the dish from the oven and take off the foil. Sprinkle the grapes over the top. In a medium bowl, mix together the breadcrumbs, Parmesan and remaining 3 tablespoons olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Sprinkle over the squash. Bake until top is browned and bubbling, or about 10 to 15 minutes longer.
Nutritional analysis per serving: Calories 259; Protein 6.6 g; Carbohydrate 36 g; Fat 12 g; 38 percent Calories from Fat; Cholesterol 10 mg; Sodium 266 mg; Fiber 4.7 g.
Posted on Nov 10, 2015
The oral health of older Americans is in a state of decay, according to a new national report released by Oral Health America (OHA). A State of Decay, a state-by-state analysis of oral health care delivery and public health factors impacting the oral health of older adults, reveals more than half of the country received a “fair” or “poor” assessment when it comes to minimal standards affecting dental care access for older adults.
One reason for the decline in oral health care is that many older Americans do not have dental insurance. In fact, only 2 percent of Americans who retire do so with a dental benefit plan. In addition, transportation issues, mobility limitations, fear of dentists, and lack of awareness of available oral health services are other factors which impact dental care.
According to the report, the factors negatively affecting the oral health care of older Americans include:
* Persistent lack of oral health coverage – 21 states do not offer dental benefits for low-income Americans or only provide emergency coverage through Medicaid dental benefits.
* Strained dental health providers – 31 states have a shortage of dental health providers, meaning they only have enough providers to cover 40 percent of the population.
* High rates of tooth loss – Eight states had extremely high rates of edentulism – the loss of all natural permanent teeth. Loss of teeth often results in a person forgoing nutritious food choices due to the inability to chew properly.
* Deficiencies in preventive programs – 13 states have about 60 percent of residents living in communities where fluoride is not added to drinking water, despite the fact that it’s been recognized for 68 years to markedly reduce dental decay.
“While we are seeing improvements in certain areas of older adult dental care, there is still a lack of progress in advancing the oral health of such a vulnerable population,” says Dr. Ira Lamster, professor, Department of Health Policy and Management at Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health. “Older adults face significant health challenges if their oral health is poor, and there is no coordinated program to help fund necessary services.”
In response to the need for reliable, readily available, cost-effective, and digestible oral health resources for older adults, Oral Health America has created www.toothwisdom.org, a user-friendly website that connects older adults and their caregivers with local oral health resources. With funding from the DentaQuest Foundation and support from the American Dental Hygienists’ Association and the Special Care Dentistry Association, toothwisdom.org offers dependable oral care information from oral health experts across the country, so older Americans can learn why it’s so important to care for their mouths as they age. Visitors to the site can also utilize an interactive map to find resources where they live for affordable dental care, transportation, social services, financing care and support for caregivers.
Posted on Nov 4, 2015
(BPT) – More and more, Millennials are on the road for work. In an average month, one in four business-traveling Millennials travel overnight for work at least once per week.
As the line between “personal” and “business” grows thinner and thinner for this generation, Millennials are increasingly finding adventure through business. More than any other group, Millennial business travelers are more likely to add on extra days to their business trip for leisure travel (84 percent) according to the Hilton Garden Inn Discovery and Connection Survey. Millennials are funding these adventures through their business trips, too. The vast majority of this group (85 percent) is more likely to use reward points from their business travel to book a vacation, compared to a year ago.
Business travel across the nation is on the rise. According to the Global Business Travel Association, U.S. business travel is expected to grow 5.1 percent. As more Millennials hit the road for work, they are keeping top of mind a few, simple business travel perks to fulfill their appetite for personal adventure and discovery:
* Fly for free – Those flying for business can earn airline miles in their name. These business miles quickly add up, allowing travelers to upgrade seats or add another destination without accruing additional cost. Business travelers can then use these miles to bring a friend or loved one on the trip with them – quickly transitioning from business to family vacation or romantic getaway once the weekend hits.
* Earn hotel perks – Frequent stays in hotels offering rewards programs can grant business travelers benefits like free overnight stays, late checkout, and complimentary breakfast. These extras turn a business trip into much more, especially when additional nights are used to extend a business trip into a vacation.
Some hotels have seasonal programs, such as Hilton Garden Inn and Hilton HHonors Triple Your Trip promotion, which offers guests around the world the opportunity to earn double or triple HHonors’ points while enjoying the signature Hilton Garden Inn Bed n’ Breakfast deal that includes breakfast for each adult staying in the same room, and free meals for kids 12 and under.
* Discover local hidden gems – Cities often encourage business travelers to experience the local culture while in town and provide package deals with discounts to restaurants, tickets to local shows or events, helpful tips to find transportation in the city and even sightseeing opportunities to explore during free time. This becomes even more common when a city is hosting a large business gathering, such as an industry convention.
Millennials continue to be at the forefront of achieving work-life balance – utilizing business travel to discover new cities, explore local cultures, taste authentic cuisines and connect with new people across the country and around the globe.