Monthly Archives: October 2016

Kerri

Tips for Halloween Safety

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jack-o-lantern-pumpkins-11288879970iUJPIt’s coming up to Halloween time, and that means trick-or-treaters will be storming the streets. Here are some quick tips from My Identity Doctor to help you and your kids have a safe and healthy halloween.
  • Be bright. Glow sticks, reflective tape, and flashlights added to costumes can help kids be more visible. Wear bright coloured costumes to help out—while they might not be as scary, not much is scarier than a car coming at you unexpectedly!
  • If pets are walking around with you, they may be easily startled, and should also have something bright attached to them to stay safe.
  • Stay outside. Remind kids never to go inside a stranger’s house on Halloween night.
  • Check candy. Remind kids never to eat candy before they get home. If they really can’t resist, send some safe candy from home with them for their adventure.
  • Read labels. If your child has food allergies, ensure you read all candy labels or contact manufacturers. Have safe candy at home for them to have a treat while you’re checking their candy.
  • Be mindful of medical needs. If your kids have medical conditions, ensure you’re prepared for anything that might arise when you’re out—such as high or low blood sugars for kids with diabetes, seizure disorders, fatigue, or asthma (bonfires or exertion might cause symptoms). For kids with autism or other sensory issues, having another parent or adult along—whether collecting candy individually or in a group—might help to keep your child safe in a time that might be full of sensory overload. Another adult can help you keep an eye on the child with autism, or allow you to take an overwhelmed child home and allow others in the group to keep going with supervision.
And of course, our Medical ID products from My Identity Doctor compliment any costume—mix your fun with safety for a lower-stress night out.
Kerri

The true facts about ADHD

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October is ADHD Awareness Month. As someone living with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, there are a lot of things people do not realize about ADHD.
  • ADHD does not always look like what people think it might: people with ADHD are not always hyperactive, and not always diagnosed as children.
  • Girls and women have ADHD, too, but it goes undiagnosed more often than in boys and men.
  • ADHD is a neurodevelopmental disorder that often co-exists with learning disabilities. Anxiety and depression, as well as substance abuse, may also be more common among those with ADHD.
  • Not everyone has the “hyperactive” component of ADHD. Some of us fall into a “primarily inattentive” subtype, while others are “primarily hyperactive”, and others the “combined subtype”.
  • Medication is only one option for treating ADHD, and using medication to manage ADHD is not a cure or a quick fix. Not everyone with ADHD chooses to use medication.
  • Exercise, cognitive behaviour therapy, organization techniques, and memory aids are just a few more of the ways ADHD is treated. Some people will use all of these, some will only use a few.
  • ADHD should not simply be diagnosed by your general practitioner: a psychologist should do a thorough psychoeducational assessment and specific ADHD tests to determine whether or not a person has ADHD and/or comorbid learning issues like dyslexia.
  • ADHD does not make a person less intelligent, and often makes us more creative—the founder of IKEA has ADHD, which is where all those fun names came from because he could not remember product numbers!
  • There may be a genetic link for ADHD.
I also like to believe that people with ADHD have more fun and live more interesting and potentially unconventional lives, but this may not be an actual fact ;) . I believe some of my “extra awesomeness” is attributable to my ADHD, and am happy to have the answers in my life that my diagnosis at 21 years old brought me, why I am the way I am. The more you know, the more you can achieve—even with ADHD.
It may be desirable to have children, especially, with ADHD wear a Medical ID bracelet or necklace, so that people are aware of their diagnosis. Especially if they are prone to injury or risky behaviour, medical identification may help to get in contact with the parents of a child who is injured more quickly. If taking medication, it can be important to know this in an emergency as well.
Kerri

World Mental Health Day

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Mental health awarenessAs the years advance, it is fortunate that we hear more and more about mental health, wellbeing, mental health or brain illness, and what supports are available to help with our mental health. Conditions like anxiety, depression and post traumatic stress disorder are becoming more commonly discussed and understood—we know anxiety is not simply panic disorder or panic attacks, post traumatic stress disorder is commonly seen among military veterans but is also seen in people who have gone through other traumatic experiences, and that depression exists in the more commonly recognized major depressive disorder form, but also that it is common to have a low-grade depression, or low mood, for a long period of time, which is known as dysthymia.
We also see more and more support services advertised—from helplines, to local charities, and runs and walks that raise money for foundations that promote mental health and assist people who are living with mental health disorders. It is now more commonly understood that people do not develop mental illness due to any sort of personal weakness or fault, but because our brain chemistry and the events we go through in our lives simply may predispose us to develop any number of mental health conditions. We also have more medications available to help treat mental illness, and these medications are becoming more widely accepted and, slowly, the stigma of using anti-anxiety medicines, anti-depressants, and even medicines for attention deficit disorder is—among most people, anyways—decreasing, allowing more people to access the medicines that they have discussed with their doctors, and feel that they are making a more positive choice rather than feeling isolated or stigmatized by their choice to use medicine to help them heal.
Along with medication, therapy, social support, and a variety of other strategies and treatment methods can help people take control of their mental health. Preventative type mental health programs or interventions are becoming increasingly common, such as mindfulness meditation which is now widely available in smartphone applications and can help people feel calmer and more in control of their circumstances.
This World Mental Health Day, take some time for you, and if you are struggling, remember there are people who are there to help.
Kerri

Celebrate the International Day of Older Persons

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black and white photo of older adult hand holding small handToday is October 1st. While the transition to Fall may make you want to pause and take a look at what is going on around you, today, think about pausing for another reason: to think about and thank an older person in your world. This person may be a grandparent, a parent, an aunt or uncle, or a neighbour or teacher.
Older adults are living longer and healthier lives, but often do live with chronic medical conditions or take multiple daily medications to stay healthy. Alzheimer disease, Parkinson’s, Type 2 Diabetes, and Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease, among others, are medical conditions that are often seen as more common among older adults (usually considered so when they reach age 65 or older). In addition to healthy lifestyle changes like avoiding tobacco, exercising regularly and ensuring positive nutrition habits, which are good choices for any older adult and great choices for those with chronic disease. Another smart choice is wearing a medical ID bracelet or necklace, which can provide a sense of security for older adults, no matter if they live in the community in their own home, with a family member, or in a care home where medical errors can be reduced by ensuring medical needs are easily identifiable. If your loved one is in a care home, you might be able to ask staff what is a good idea to engrave on a medical bracelet or necklace.
If you have a special older adult in your life, think about them today—maybe it is a good day to help them order or update a medical ID bracelet or necklace, and maybe take them a meal or dessert to show that you care for them. If you cannot go for a visit to an older person who is special in your life, give them a phone call or even send them an e-mail and let them know you are thinking about them!
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