Simple precautions can help prevent falls and serious or deadly head injuries:
* Secure loose electrical cords and put away toys and other items that are lying around on floors, stairs, etc. * Use safety gates and install window guards to protect young children. * Secure rugs and lift them periodically to inspect the backing for wear. * Don't walk on slippery, freshly washed floors and avoid floor waxes. * Install grab bars and handrails if you are frail or elderly. * Improve the lighting in your home; dim lighting can increase the risk of falls. * Install night lights in halls and bathrooms and keep a flashlight near your bed. * Store items in easy-to-reach places; use stepstools or ladders only when absolutely necessary. * Check all stair railings and steps. * Don't wear any clothing that interferes with your vision. * Wear proper shoes with slip-resistant soles. * Inspect and remove debris from walkways, driveways, porches and yards. * In winter, remove ice and snow from areas where people walk. * Inspect and remove debris from lawns before mowing or gardening. * Store outdoor equipment properly. * Make sure ladders are stable and secure before you use them.
Experts Offer Tips on Easing Mammogram Discomfort
Mammograms can be uncomfortable, causing some women to skip the potentially lifesaving annual exam. But experts at Baylor Health Care System in Texas offer tips on how to ease any possible discomfort during the procedure.
Don't drink coffee, tea or caffeinated soft drinks during the week before a mammogram. Caffeine can make breasts tender and lumpy, which may lead to discomfort during a mammogram. Chocolate and some over-the-counter pain relievers also contain caffeine. Check the label of any OTC medication before you take it during the week before a mammogram.
Don't use deodorant, perfumes, talcum powder, or oils on the day of a mammogram. These products can leave a residue that can be picked up by the X-rays, obscuring the mammogram and possibly interfering with the results, leading to the need for a second mammogram.
Don't have a mammogram during periods of breast tenderness.
"Most women's breasts are naturally more tender or slightly swollen during the week prior to their menstrual period," Dr. Alicia Starr, medical director of the Women's Imaging Center at Baylor Regional Medical Center at Plano, noted in a prepared statement. "Try to avoid scheduling your annual mammogram during this time."
It's also a good idea to wear a two-piece outfit with a blouse or sweater. It's easier and faster to take off a blouse or sweater instead of removing a one-piece dress.
Mammography is currently the most effective way of finding breast cancer in its earliest and most treatable stages, the experts noted.