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Preventing Child Abuse


According to the US Department of Health and Human Services, Child Maltreatment 2013, the most recent report of data from the National Child Abuse and Neglect Data System (NCANDS) 678, 932 victims of child abuse and neglect reported to the child protective services (CPS) in 2013.

Abuse may take many forms. Neglect means that the caretaker did not provide for the child's basic needs. Physical abuse and sexual abuse may be a basis of the report. Physical abuse is the intentional injury inflicted on the child. Severe shaking, beating, burning are all forms of physical abuse. The child may have broken bones, unexplained bruises, burns or welts. The child may be unusually frightened of the parent or caretaker and may not want to go home. Emotional abuse can also occur with children including refusing to nurture a child, rejecting the child, and criticizing a child. Child abuse affects children from many backgrounds and of all ages. The abuser is often a person the child knows and trusts.

Parenting and/or caring for a child or children is hard. If you think stress may be affecting the way you treat your child or you want support try talking to someone, find some time for yourself, call a helpline (1-800-4-A-CHILD), seek counseling, take a parenting class and accept help from trusted others.

If you suspect a child of being harmed, contact:

State of Maine Department of Human Services at 1-800-451-1999.

You will be asked for information such as the child's name and location, the suspected abuser, description of what you have see or heard. Your name will not be given out to the family reported for child abuse or neglect. You may request to make your report anonymously.

For more information:

American Academy of Pediatrics - (847) 434 - 4000 www.aap.org

Childhelp USA 1-480 922 8212 www.childhelpusa.org

US Department of Health and Human Services http://ncc

Donate Life - Make Organ & Tissue Donation Your Way of Life

DONATE LIFE ~ Make Organ & Tissue Donation Your Way of Life

According to the organdonor.gov (see below) website "Each day, about 79 people receive organ transplants. However, 22 people die each day waiting for transplants that can't take place because of the shortage of donated organs."

According to this same source, "By deciding to be a donor, you give the gift of hope ... hope for the thousands of individuals awaiting organ transplants and hope for the millions of individuals whose lives could be enhanced through tissue transplants."

Additional information on the website provides you with a model donor card, provides information about myths, facts, ordering free material, frequently asked questions, and stories from recipients.

Common questions:

How does one express their wish to become an organ and tissue donor? You may indicate your intent to be an organ and tissue donor on your driver's license, carry an organ donor card. Most important, discuss your decision with family members and loved ones.

What can I donate? Organs such as the heart, kidneys, pancreas, lungs, liver, and intestines, can be donated. Tissues such as cornea, skin, bone marrow, heart valves and connective tissue can all be donated. Bone marrow may also be donated. The skin can help heal many burn victims or used for cancer patients in need of reconstructive surgery. Heart valves and hearts are used to correct congenital defects and viral infections. Your heart could beat for someone else! Your bone, cartilage, and ligaments could repair other people's damaged joints. Your corneas could give sight to two people.

If I sign a donor card, will it affect the quality of medical care I receive at the hospital? Every effort is made to save your life before donation is considered. The medical team treating people is separate from transplant teams.

Are there any costs to my family for donation? The donor's family does not pay for the cost of the organ donation.

Does my religion support donation? All organized religions support donation, typically considering it is a generous act that is the individual's choice.



Irritable Bowel Syndrome


Irritable bowel syndrome, or IBS, is a syndrome that interferes with the way the colon, large intesting, works. It is not a disease, but rater a combination of signs and symptoms such as crampy abdominal pain, bloating, constipation, and diarrhea. It can cause a great deal of discomfort, but does not lead to serious diseases or harm the intestine. Most people can control their symptoms with diet, stress management, and medications. The first step to take if you think you have IBS is to see your doctor!

Your doctor will take a medical history and may order tests to rule out other problems or diseases. Your doctor will ask about abdominal pain or discomfort, when your pain starts and stops in relation to bowel function, and how your bowel frequency and stool consistency are altered. If other diseases are ruled out, your doctor may diagnose IBS based on your symptoms.

In people with IBS, stress, emotional upsets, and conflicts can affect the colon quite strongly as the colon has many nerves that connect it to the brain. The colon responds to stress, contracting either too much or too little. It may absorb too little water or too much water. Stress reduction may consist of relaxation training, counseling and support, regular exercise, adequate sleep, and changes to the stressful situations in your life.

In addition to stress, the following may worsen the symptoms of IBS: large meals, bloating from gas in the colon, medicines, beverages with caffeine (coffee, tea, colas), milk products, alcohol, and foods with wheat, rye, barley, and even chocolate.

Your doctor will encourage you to make changes in your diet, control or manage your stress, and give you the best treatments available for your particular symptoms, such as medications. The doctor may suggest additional fiber or occasional laxatives for constipation, as well as medication to decrease diarrhea or drugs that control colon muscle spasms.



Arthritis is used to describe joints getting swollen, red, warm, stiff and painful, or inflamed. Arthritis is a chronic disease and has many different types. Depending on the type of arthritis it may occur as early as adolescence. Arthritis causes include when the cartilage in joints break down and bones rub against each other as a result of an injury or part of the aging process. Rheumatoid arthritis develops when the immune system attacks the lining of the joints, causing painful swelling.

Many people use the word "arthritis" to refer to all rheumatic diseases. However, the word literally means joint inflammation; that is, swelling, redness, heat, and pain caused by tissue injury or disease in the joint. There are over 100 forms of arthritis and other rheumatic diseases. The many different kinds of arthritis comprise just a portion of the rheumatic diseases. Some rheumatic diseases are described as connective tissue diseases because they affect the body's connective tissue--the supporting framework of the body and its internal organs. Others are known as autoimmune diseases because they are caused by a problem in which the immune system harms the body's own healthy tissues. Examples of some rheumatic diseases are: osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, fibromyalgia, systemic lupus erythematosus, scleroderma, Juvenile rheumatoid arthritis, ankylosing spondylitis, and gout

The goal in treatment is to reduce inflammation through joint protection, planned exercise, weight control, heat, relaxation, medication and sometimes surgery.

Three types of exercise are best for people with arthritis:

Range-of-motion exercises (e.g., dance) help maintain normal joint movement and relieve stiffness. This type of exercise helps maintain or increase flexibility.

Strengthening exercises (e.g., weight training) help keep or increase muscle strength. Strong muscles help support and protect joints affected by arthritis.

Aerobic or endurance exercises (e.g., bicycle riding) improve cardiovascular fitness, help control weight, and improve overall function. Weight control can be important to people who have arthritis because extra weight puts extra pressure on many joints. Some studies show that aerobic exercise can reduce inflammation in some joints.

Most health clubs and community centers offer exercise programs for people with physical limitations. People with arthritis should discuss exercise options with their doctors and other health care providers. Most doctors recommend exercise for their patients. Many people with arthritis begin with easy, range-of-motion exercises and low-impact aerobics. People with arthritis can participate in a variety of, but not all, sports and exercise programs. The doctor will know which, if any, sports are off-limits.

The doctor may have suggestions about how to get started or may refer the patient to a physical therapist. It is best to find a physical therapist that has experience working with people who have arthritis. The therapist will design an appropriate home exercise program and teach clients about pain-relief methods, proper body mechanics (placement of the body for a given task, such as lifting a heavy box), joint protection, and conserving energy. Most experts agree that if exercise causes pain that lasts for more than 1 hour, it is too strenuous. People with arthritis should work with their physical therapist or doctor to adjust their exercise program when they notice any of the following signs of strenuous exercise; unusual or persistent fatigue, increased weakness, decreased range of motion, Increased joint swelling, Continuing pain (pain that lasts more than 1 hour after exercising)

Resources: National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases Information Clearinghouse (NIAMS) a part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Telephone: 877-22-NIAMS (226-4267) (free of charge) http://www.niams.nih.gov/ Arthritis Foundation 800-283-7800 (free of charge) www.arthritis.org