5 Ways to Practice Toy Safety This Holiday Season

Toy Safety Tips

Traditional children’s toys are still one of the largest and fastest-growing segments of consumer purchases in America even as video games and electronic devices top many holiday wish lists. And if you’re like many people this holiday season, you’ll be looking to purchase a toy for the child or children on your shopping list.

While toys always make for great holiday gifts and have the ability to put a smile on just about any child’s face, without the proper care and attention, they can also pose a serious danger, too.

Is Toy Safety Really an Issue?

Although many parents and grandparents can probably attest to the fact that many children’s toys are safer today than they were in the past, toy-related injuries are still prevalent in the United States.

How prevalent are they? According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission’s latest report, there were an estimated 251,700 toy-related injuries treated in hospital emergency departments in 2017 alone. And of these reported injuries, 69 percent happened to children younger than 12 years of age.

Pay Close Attention to Age Recommendations and Warnings

Age and usage guidelines provided on the packaging of toys and in online product descriptions aren’t just simple recommendations for who might enjoy them. These important guidelines are generally outlined to provide parents an idea as to whether or not a toy is safe for their child to use in the first place.

Whether you’re doing your shopping online or in a store, take a few extra minutes to read the warnings and instructions for toys you’re considering. It’s also a good idea to read online reviews and user feedback if you’re still not sure.

Trust Your Own Judgment

Even if the packaging and warning labels don’t indicate a particular hazard, use your best judgment about whether or not a toy is right for your child. If it looks like something that you could see them misusing or having an accident with, it’s far better to be safe and look for something else.

Get the Whole Family Involved

If you have multiple children that vary in age, it’s important to teach older children about the dangers their toys can pose to their younger siblings or relatives. If they have toys that contain small pieces (choking hazards) or sharp points, instruct them to put them in places where younger children can’t get to them.

Keep Toy Storage in Mind

One of the easiest — but often overlooked — ways to prevent toy injuries is storage. Toys left on the floor across the home pose a tripping or falling hazard for many young children, so it’s smart to think about how you’ll store your child’s toys before you buy them. All it takes is a simple bin or container to keep your kids safe after playtime has ended.

Be Aware of Toy Recalls

After the holidays are said and done, it’s always a good idea to be on the lookout for toy-related recalls. Even though many of America’s top toy companies test their products for safety, accidents do happen, and toy recalls are not unheard of.

If there’s a previously undiscovered safety issue with a toy that you purchased for a child, you’ll want to know what you should do about it. You can keep up with the latest children’s product recall alerts from Safe Kids Worldwide, a nonprofit organization dedicated to preventing childhood injuries.

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How You Can Support the Charles Regional Medical Center Foundation This Holiday Season

Charles Regional Medical Center Photo

Whether we’re showing friends and family how much we love them or simply doing something for our community to show how much we care, this time of the year is all about giving. And, in our opinion, there’s nothing better than giving the gift of good health to those around you. Fortunately, you don’t have to look too far to figure out exactly how you can do just that.

For more than 30 years, the hospital’s foundation — now known as the Charles Regional Medical Center Foundation — has supported our mission to provide exceptional health care to everyone who calls Charles County and Southern Maryland home. It’s no small task, but the CRMC Foundation’s dedicated work has resulted in continued expansions of our range of services offered in our region. And without the support of community members just like you, none of it would be possible.

If giving back is on your holiday to-do list this year, there’s no better time than right now to support the CRMC Foundation. Here’s how you can help.

One-Time Gifts

This is one of the easiest ways to give back to your community during the holidays. Simply visit CRMCfoundation.org and enter your donation amount. From there, you can select a specific gift designation, gift type, and gift dedication options.

Payments can be made easily and securely through the Foundation’s SSL-encrypted donation page or by calling the Foundation office at (301) 609-4132 today.

Planned Giving

Planned gifts are larger donations made by generous members of our community who’ve designated the CRMC Foundation as the beneficiary of their assets or through tax-advantaged gifts such as trusts, IRA rollovers, annuities, etc.

There are several ways to ensure your assets help you leave a lasting legacy in your community, and the planned giving site is the best place to start if you want to learn more. As always, you can contact the CRMC Foundation’s office at (301) 609-4132 if you have any questions.


In addition to financial gifts, the CRMC Foundation is always looking for willing volunteers to help plan and execute vital fundraising events such as the annual Wine Tasting, Tree of Life, and Crab Feast. You can sign up to be a volunteer today, and someone from the Foundation will be in touch with more information.

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6 Stories of Healing and Hope Honored with the 2018 Christmas Tree of Life

Tree of Life 2018 Event Photo

Every year, the Charles Regional Medical Center Foundation hosts the Tree of Life Illumination Ceremony to signal the start of the holiday season.

On December 5 in our hospital’s courtyard, this annual event was dedicated to all those who’ve had a positive impact on our lives. The names and stories honored at this event turn this symbol of the holiday season into a symbol of hope and healing in our community.

There are so many stories of love and remembrance that can be told from this year’s event. Each name that was hung from a tree in our healing garden represents a personal connection with someone who lives or lived in your community. We invite you to stop by our hospital this holiday season to enjoy the holiday lights in the healing garden.

Tree of Life Healing Garden Photo

In the meantime, we wanted to share the special stories of those who helped our tree shine brightly into the night on December 5. These are the stories of our Tree of Life illuminators and a few other community members.

The Family and Friends of Dr. Guillermo E. Sanchez

Dr. Guillermo E. Sanchez Photo

Before his passing in 2018, Dr. Guillermo Sanchez served as the Chief of Staff, Chairman of the Department of Surgery, and Board Member of UM Charles Regional Medical Center. But beyond his titles, Dr. Sanchez was an asset to the health of our community and touched countless lives as an orthopedic surgeon.

We were so humbled to have the family Dr. Sanchez join us at the illumination ceremony and dedicate their light in his memory on this year’s tree.

Quint Burroughs

Quint Burroughs Photo

Earlier this year, University of Maryland student and Charles County resident Quint Burroughs came to UM Charles Regional Medical Center following hospitalization for a head injury and low sodium levels. He is still working towards a full recovery, but he and his family take comfort in knowing that they had somewhere to go nearby to get him the care he needed.

“His treatment was very personable,” Quint’s mother said. “Everyone knew what was going on and was trying to comfort him.”

We were so happy to see Quint at this year’s illumination ceremony and wish him the absolute best as he recovers from his injury.

The Bean Family

Bean Family Photo

After suffering from his first seizure earlier this year, Kimberly Bean’s son, Xavier, was transported to UM Charles Regional Medical Center for testing and treatment. Awaiting the results from his tests, Xavier suffered from another seizure and returned to the hospital. At that time, our Dr. Houston was able to determine that he was showing signs of epilepsy.

“From the moment we arrived at UM CRMC, the doctors, nurses, and medical staff treated Xavier and our family with the utmost care,” Kimberly said. “Because of his persistence, Dr. Houston was able to obtain the information needed to make the decision to prescribe an anti-seizure medication for Xavier.”

Kimberly joined us as one of our illuminators in honor of Dr. Houston and her son, and we wish the entire Bean family well as Xavier continues his treatment for seizures.

Greg Cockerham

Greg Cockerham Photo

Community Bank of the Chesapeake Executive Vice President and Chief Lending Officer Greg Cockerham and his family have been receiving care from our hospital since the days we were known as Physicians Memorial Hospital. From same-day surgery and trips to the ER to physical rehabilitation and wound healing, Greg and his family have had experiences with nearly every branch of UM Charles Regional.

“I have a great, longstanding relationship with the hospital,” Greg said. “It’s an amazing local hospital and has been for some time. They really value the relationship with their patients.”

We were so excited to welcome Greg to our illumination ceremony and look forward to a continued relationship with him and his family.

Dutch Williams

Dutch Williams Photo

After having his kegel muscles removed to treat his prostate cancer, Dutch Williams found himself in need of assistance to restore his physical strength. He reached out to Sara Hall, DPT, at UM Charles Regional Rehabilitation, who was more than willing to assist in his care.

Dutch’s treatment required an exercise program that he continues to this day as well as regular exams to ensure his muscles are responding appropriately. He has experienced continued improvements as a result of his muscle treatment but credits the informative approach Sara has taken throughout the process.

“It was a wonderful experience that helped me immensely,” he said. “I’m looking forward to coming back.”

Dutch’s story, like so many of our patients’ stories, is one of renewed hope after a life-changing experience, and we were so happy to be able to honor it at the illumination ceremony.

Bobby Stahl

Robert Stahl Photo

Town of La Plata Director of Operations Bobby Stahl came into our ER in August with a pain in his side, and further examination resulted in the removal of his appendix. Following the removal, his pathology results came in showing a cancerous tumor.

Because of the UM Charles Regional’s connection to the University of Maryland Medical Center, Bobby was confidently referred to a doctor who could treat him. He returned to work just days after his surgery and is staying well leading up to his procedure in December.

“The care that I got was exceptional,” Bobby said. “I really felt like they were looking out for my care and, in every situation, they made sure that I was comfortable and addressed my needs. Having the resources of the entire University of Maryland Medical System has been extremely important.”

This Year’s Cause

We, along with the entire Charles Regional Medical Center Foundation team, would like to thank everyone who contributed to this year’s Tree of Life.

As a result of your generosity, more than $4,000 was raised for the upcoming Julie and Bill Dotson Center for Breast Health in La Plata. Once it opens in 2019, this new practice will add to our existing range of services and help us further our mission to making Southern Maryland a healthier, better place to call home.

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5 Simple Ways to Enjoy a Healthier Thanksgiving


Thanksgiving is just days away, and if you’re like us, your mouth is already watering for the delicious dishes and desserts that await. Fortunately, you don’t have to totally cut out everything that makes Thanksgiving great just to enjoy a healthier holiday this year. Here are five simple tips for making the most of the day without overdoing it.

Start with Realistic Expectations

First and foremost, it’s important to understand that Thanksgiving only comes around once a year. For most people, the portion sizes and food selections seen on Thanksgiving would be otherwise incompatible with their everyday diet — and that’s OK.

Before you ever get your first helping, set some realistic expectations about what you want to eat and what you’ll try to avoid. We say “realistic” because we know how hard it’ll be to resist a piece of pumpkin pie or an extra serving of mashed potatoes. Do your best to avoid poor eating choices, but no matter what, don’t let one day of indulgence ruin your healthy eating habits altogether.

Eat Breakfast Beforehand

It might seem like a good idea to skip breakfast altogether on Thanksgiving to save your calorie intake for the big meal later in the day, but that may actually make you more prone to overindulgence.

When you wake up on Thanksgiving Day, eat a light, nutritious breakfast as you normally would. And if you get hungry a little bit later before Thanksgiving dinner, don’t be afraid to grab a healthy snack. By getting enough to eat throughout the day, you’ll be far more likely to enjoy more reasonable portion sizes later.

Look for Lighter Ingredients

If you’re going to be helping out with preparing the food for everyone, you’ll have a good opportunity to make the meal healthier for everyone. When possible, try substituting some of the more high-calorie ingredients in your recipes with lighter options. It could be as simple as using a lower-calorie alternative to butter in your baked items or as intense as swapping mashed potatoes for mashed cauliflower. Either way, the little things you do when you put together your menu can add up in a big way at mealtime.

Load up the Veggies

Let’s face it, Thanksgiving is about big appetites. Unfortunately, satisfying that appetite with things like mashed potatoes, stuffing, or desserts comes with the price of an extraordinary amount of calories.

It’s okay to eat a little bit more than you’re used to on Thanksgiving, but you can limit the number of calories you eat by opting for nutrient-rich sides such as green beans, asparagus, carrots, baby corn, and squash. Load up your plate with these non-starchy vegetables — they’re filling, they’re tasty, and they’re far better for you than most dishes served on Thanksgiving.

Get Moving

With football on TV and plenty of food to enjoy, the temptation to stay on the couch is real. Fight the temptation and get to the gym for a quick workout or take part in one of Maryland’s many “turkey trots” before Thanksgiving dinner. Or you can go for a brisk walk after you’re done eating with your family.

It’s not just about burning calories because there are so many health benefits of exercise. Just do what you can to add some extra movement into your day so that you can enjoy a guilt-free Thanksgiving.

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5 Frequently Asked Questions About Pancreatic Cancer, Answered

Pancreatic Cancer Awareness Month

The pancreas is a small organ that’s situated behind your stomach in your abdomen area and is responsible for helping the body with digestion and regulating blood sugar levels. Unfortunately, it’s also an often-overlooked organ for one of the deadliest forms of cancer.

For Pancreatic Cancer Awareness Month this November, we’re taking a closer look at a few of the most commonly asked questions about pancreatic cancer so you can be informed and help spread awareness in your community. Take a look.

What is Pancreatic Cancer?

Pancreatic cancer occurs when cells begin to grow uncontrollably and crowd out normal, healthy cells on the pancreas. There are different types of pancreatic cancer, but most cases are what are referred to as “exocrine pancreatic cancers” because they start in the exocrine cells, which are those that aid in digestion. Less common are endocrine tumors that affect the cells that help regulate blood sugar.

How Common is Pancreatic Cancer?

The American Cancer Society (ACS) estimates that over 55,000 Americans will be diagnosed with pancreatic cancer this year, which accounts for about 3% of all cancer cases in the United States. Even more sobering, however, is the fact that this form of cancer accounts for about 7% of cancer deaths in our country every year.

Who’s at Risk for Pancreatic Cancer?

Because everyone has a pancreas, everyone is technically at risk of developing pancreatic cancer. With that said, there are a few contributing factors that can greatly increase your level of risk. Here are a few of the biggest risk factors:

  • Tobacco Use – The ACS estimates that 20-30 percent of pancreatic cancers are caused by smoking or using smokeless tobacco.
  • Weight – Obesity is believed to increase a person’s level of risk by as much as 20%.
  • Age – Your level of risk goes up as you age, especially over the age of 65. The average age of most people when they’re diagnosed is 71.
  • Gender – Men have been shown to have a slightly higher level of risk, but the gap between men and women has been closing in recent years.
  • Family History – Like many diseases and ailments, a person’s genetics has a lot to do with their level of risk; however, many people who do develop pancreatic cancer have no known family history of it.
  • Chronic Diseases and Diabetes – Pancreatic cancer has been found to be more common in people with chronic pancreatitis and diabetes.

Although there’s no way to totally prevent pancreatic cancer, it’s a good idea to talk with your primary care doctor if you have any questions or concerns regarding your level of risk. He or she will be able to shed some light on your individual risk factors and provide strategies for improving your chances of avoiding pancreatic cancer (and other types of cancer, too).

What are Some Warning Signs and Symptoms of Pancreatic Cancer?

Perhaps the most troubling aspect of pancreatic cancer is the fact that the symptoms, especially early on, are wide ranging and often difficult to pinpoint. Here are just a few of them:

  • Jaundice (yellowing of the eyes and skin)
  • Unusually dark urine
  • Light-colored or greasy stools
  • Belly or back pain
  • Unexpected weight loss
  • Poor appetite
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Fatty tissue abnormalities under the skin

There are other signs and symptoms of pancreatic cancer as well, but it’s important to understand that many of the symptoms noted above and by the ACS are often caused by something other than pancreatic cancer. With that in mind, it’s still important to see a doctor right away if you have any of these symptoms because, by the time symptoms arise due to pancreatic cancer, the cancer has likely already spread outside of the pancreas.

Is There Any Way to Treat Pancreatic Cancer?

Although the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network notes that the five-year survival rate for pancreatic cancer is just 9%, a patient’s individual prognosis is going to depend greatly on their overall health as well as the stage in which the cancer is discovered. The most common forms of treatment include:

As with every form of cancer, the earlier pancreatic cancer is detected, the more treatment options there will be for a person’s cancer team to explore.

Want to learn more about pancreatic cancer or looking for ways to get involved? Visit the official website of the American Cancer Society for additional statistics, facts, figures, and articles. And be sure to check out the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network’s website for shareable social media graphics and ideas that you can use all month long.

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UM Charles Regional Medical Center Receives Top Marks for Patient Safety

An "A" Rating for Patient Safety

When you’re getting treatment for an illness or injury, the last thing you should ever have to worry about is whether or not your hospital is providing the best possible care. That’s why patient safety has always been our top priority and also why we’re so proud to announce UM Charles Regional Medical Center has received an ‘A’ grade from The Leapfrog Group, a national nonprofit organization committed to improving health care quality and safety.

What an ‘A’ Grade Means for You

Whether it’s you or someone you know, a patient at UM Charles Regional Medical Center should always receive the highest level of care in a safe environment designed to protect them from infections, accidental falls, and more.

“Leapfrog’s Hospital Safety Grades recognize hospitals like UM Charles Regional Medical Center that focus on advancing patient safety,” The Leapfrog Group President and CEO Leah Binder said. “This ranking provides an important resource for patients, and a benchmark for hospitals, to determine how care at one hospital compares to others in a region.”

Since UM Charles Regional Medical Center received the last biannual grade this past spring, our rating increased by two letter grades. This is a reflection of our ongoing efforts to promote a culture of safety and represents improvements made across every level of patient care.

How Hospitals Are Graded

Developed under the guidance of a panel of national health care experts, the Leapfrog Hospital Safety Grade uses 28 measures of hospital safety data points to assign grades to more than 2,600 hospitals twice per year. Available for free to the public, the findings are peer reviewed and fully transparent to ensure everyone is able to make the right choice about where they receive care.

Although patients ultimately decide what safety factors are most important to them, the grading system is based on a variety of measures, including:

  • Hand Hygiene
  • Fall Prevention
  • Communication Accuracy
  • Infection Prevention
  • Doctor and Staff Responsiveness

How Many Hospitals Receive an ‘A’ Grade

In fall 2018, UM Charles Regional Medical Center was one of just 855 acute care hospitals in the United States to receive this designation. That means only 32% of hospitals graded received an ‘A’ for their efforts to maintain a high level of patient safety.

To learn more about our grade or for additional information about how patient safety affects you, visit The Leapfrog Group’s Hospital Safety Grade website.

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5 Things You Can Do to Help Promote Healthy Holiday Travel


Getting ready to travel for the holidays ahead? Nothing can derail a fun family trip more than an unexpected cold, flu, or some other illness. Fortunately, there are some simple steps you can take to improve your chances of staying healthy and on the go this year. Read on to find out what we recommend.

Get Your Flu Shot Ahead of Time

We’re in the thick of flu season, and the seasonal flu vaccine is one of the easiest and best ways to protect yourself and your family. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, everyone in your family over the age of 6 months of age can get vaccinated (assuming they’re in good health), and it’s something that most insurance plans make available at little or no cost to consumers.

It’s important to remember that it can take up to two weeks before your body is able to develop an antibody response to the vaccine, so be sure to plan ahead if you can. But even if you’re traveling within the next two weeks, it’s still important to get it as soon as possible. It’ll help to keep you (and those most vulnerable to the flu) safe throughout the winter ahead, so it’s never too late.

Make a Quick Visit to Your Doctor

No matter where or how you’re traveling, it’s always a good idea to stop by your primary care provider ahead of time for a quick checkup or to get any vaccinations you might need if you’re traveling abroad.

Practice Frequent Hand-Washing

This is something you should be doing already, but it’s even more important for protecting your family from sickness during the holidays.

As more people from different areas come together in places such as airports, malls, and family gatherings, you’ll want to take some time to keep your hands clean. Whether that means you take extra opportunities to wash your hands before your next meal or simply carry around a travel-sized bottle of hand sanitizer, it’s especially important to practice good hygiene this time of year — for yourself and everyone around you, too.

Make Healthy Choices

We’ve all been there before. Fast food and other less-than-ideal food choices always seem like the most convenient. But even though you may be on holiday, your immune system isn’t, and it still needs nutrient-rich foods such as fruits, vegetables, and low-fat proteins to perform at its best.

Whenever you can, opt for water over sugary, high-calorie drinks such as soda or juice, even if they come with the promise of high vitamin C. The calories and sugar aren’t worth it, and your body functions best when it’s hydrated with the right fluids. When it comes to what you eat, consider looking for lighter options along the way or simply pack your own food ahead of time if your travel plans allow. If fast food is your only option, consider going for some of the lower-calorie menu items available.

Take a Deep Breath and Relax

This might be the most underrated tip on the list, but it’s absolutely vital: Take a deep breath and relax as you get ready to travel. Everyone knows how hectic and stressful this time of the year can be, but stress has been shown to be one of the most destructive forces to a person’s overall well-being.

Take some time during the holidays to relax, unwind, get some exercise in, or simply focus on your favorite activities. And most importantly, get plenty of sleep. It’s one of the best ways to keep your body in shape to fight off all the viruses and bacteria it’s sure to encounter this holiday season.

Happy travels!

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Honor a Loved One and Give the Gift of Good Health to Your Community with the Tree of Life

Tree of Life

Every year, the UM Charles Regional Medical Center’s Tree of Life is lit in honor of those who’ve touched our lives in incredible ways. And we need your help to ensure this year’s tree shines as brightly as ever.

From now until December 5, we invite you to make a gift in recognition or in memory of someone who’s had a positive impact on your life, and we’ll add a light to our Tree of Life. There are three different ways you can give this year:

  • Light Donation: $15
  • Healing Garden Luminary Donation: $50
  • Angel Perpetual Light Donation: $100 (A One-Time Gift)

All gifts must be received by Wednesday, November 21, to be included in the commemorative program.

This Year’s Cause

The Tree of Life has always been such an important event to us because it’s an opportunity to celebrate those who mean so much to us while we give the gift of good health to our community.

Proceeds from this year’s event will directly support the planning and construction of the new Julie and Bill Dotson Center for Breast Health in La Plata, MD. Once completed, this state-of-the-art practice will serve as the region’s home for a broad range of breast health services and breast cancer treatments.

Giving Your Gift Online

You can make your gift is by visiting the official event page on CRMCfoundation.org/TreeOfLife. Making your donation on our site is fast, easy and secure!

Giving Your Gift by Mail or Fax

You can also make your gift by mail with a check or credit card by downloading the registration form and mailing it to:

CRMC Foundation
P.O. Box 1701
La Plata, MD 20646

Alternatively, you can fax your completed form to the Foundation office at (301) 609-4470.

Illumination Ceremony

We invite you to join us on the grounds of the hospital on Wednesday, December 5, at 5:30 p.m. for the Tree of Life illumination ceremony. Watch as we light up the night in celebration of fellowship and our community, and stay for a dessert reception and holiday music afterward.

Have questions? Please contact the Foundation office at (301) 609-4132, and be sure to stay tuned to our Facebook page for announcements regarding special guest illuminators!

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No Insurance? No Problem. Get Your Free Flu Shot in Southern Maryland.

Free Flu Immunization Clinics in Southern Maryland

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends the annual influenza vaccination for everyone who is six months and older. And, as we’ve noted on our blog previously, now is the ideal time to get your flu shot.

For many with insurance, a quick trip to a nearby pharmacy or primary care provider is all it will take to get a free or low-cost flu shot this year. But if you’re facing economic hardship and are worried about being able to afford seasonal flu vaccination for you or your family, you’re not alone — and you’re not without help.

This year, the Charles County Department of Health is once again hosting a handful of free flu immunization clinics right here in Southern Maryland. These clinics are free-of-charge for adults and children alike and are being offered throughout November and December. Here’s a look at the upcoming clinics:

Thursday, November 1 | 3:00-7:00pm
Piccowaxen Middle School — 12834 Rock Point Road, Newburg, MD 20664

Saturday, November 3 | 10:00am-2:00pm
Charles County Department of Health — 4545 Crain Highway, White Plains, MD 20664

Thursday, November 8 | 4:00-7:00pm
Smallwood Middle School — 4990 Indian Head Highway, Indian Head, MD 20646

Tuesday, November 13 | 3:00-7:00pm
Thomas Stone High School — 3785 Leonardtown Road, Waldorf, MD 20695

Thursday, December 13 | 3:00-7:00pm
Charles County Department of Health — 4545 Crain Highway, Waldorf, MD 20695

For more information about these clinics and other services offered by the Charles County Department of Health, visit CharlesCountyHealth.org or call (301) 609-6900.

Everyday Ways to Prevent Spreading the Flu

The CDC recommends a yearly flu vaccine as the first and most important step in protecting against flu viruses, but it’s not a guaranteed way to prevent getting sick or spreading the illness. Here are some everyday actions you can take to help prevent the spread of flu this fall and winter:

  • Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water, or use an alcohol-based hand rub
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth as germs are easily spread this way
  • Do your best to avoid contact with sick people
  • If you’re sick, limit your contact with others as much as possible
  • If you’re dealing with a flu-like illness, the CDC recommends that you stay home for at least 24 hours after your fever is gone except to get medical care or for other necessities
  • Clean and disinfect surfaces and objects that may be contaminated with germs

For additional information and tips for how you can protect yourself and your family from the flu this year, visit the CDC’s website.

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5 Tips to Keep You Active Throughout Autumn


Have your eye on some fitness goals this fall but worried about how the shorter days, colder weather, and comfort of pumpkin-spice lattes are going to affect your efforts? Here are five simple tips for helping you fit as much healthy activity into life this fall.

Make the Most of the Weather

Though many of us mourn the loss of summer, the simple truth is that fall weather is usually more favorable to outdoor exercise than summer. Don’t look at lower temperatures as a downside; take advantage of the cooler days and more comfortable humidity levels that fall offers by going for a run, walk, or bike ride. The beautiful scenery is reason enough to get outside.

Get Creative

You don’t have to equate “staying active” with a full-on workout. Throughout the season, you’ll likely encounter plenty of opportunities to get some extra steps or movements in here or there, and it’s a great time to take advantage.

Everyone knows that the best TV shows start this time of the year, so make a plan to do some push-ups or other light exercises during commercial breaks. The yard needs to be raked, and that’s a fantastic substitute for a workout. Or take the kids to the apple orchard or pumpkin patch. You might be surprised by how much additional movement you can get in your day.

Don’t Dwell on Missed Days

Unless you’re an absolute master of time management (in which case, we applaud you), you’re going to encounter days throughout the fall where it’s just unrealistic to get to the gym or get outside to exercise.

If you miss any workouts or realize at the end of a day that you haven’t moved enough, you’re not alone — it happens to everyone. Just don’t let a missed day snowball into a missed week, a missed month, or a missed season of activity.

Don’t Wait Until Winter to Set Some Goals

With the holidays and New Year’s right around the corner, it might be tempting to tell yourself that you should just wait until 2019 to set a fitness goal. But why not start now?

Set yourself a couple of reasonable goals so you can hold yourself accountable and aim for something in particular over the next few months. It could be as simple as exercising one more day a week than you already are for the rest of the year or just to lose five pounds before Christmas.

Change It Up

Unless you’re on a strict routine or just love your exercise routine already, the changing of the seasons makes for a great excuse to switch up your exercise.

At its worst, exercise should be tolerable, and at its best, it should be enjoyable, but no exercise plan should be boring because you’ll eventually get tired of it. So take part in that exercise group you’ve been thinking about or join that spinning class that everyone’s talking about — just try new things to find something you like this fall. You’ll be glad you did.

Want to see other tips for staying physically active? Check out these resources from the American Heart Association. And be sure to talk to your primary care doctor before beginning any major fitness or workout plan.

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