Posts made in May, 2013

Fire Safety Tips for East Bay Campers

Posted on May 30, 2013

East Bay Area camping: three young girls roasting marshmellows on sticks over a campfireWe have some of the best camping in the East Bay Area, so if you are like most folks you’ll want to venture into the great outdoors.

While you are enjoying your s’ mores over the campfire and roasting hot dogs, be sure to practice fire safety.

Build your campfire pit away from overhanging tree branches, and make sure that your fire pit has a metal fire ring or is encircled with rocks. Keep a shovel and water nearby in case you need to put your fire out.

Never leave your fire unattended, and be sure to use fireproof cooking equipment.

Stop fires

When you are done enjoying your campfire, be sure to put it out completely by following these simple steps from the U.S. Forest Service:

  1. Allow the wood to burn completely to ashes.
  2. Pour lots of water on the fire, and be sure to drown ALL embers–not just the red ones.
  3. Pour water on your campfire until the hissing sound stops.
  4. Use a shovel to stir the campfire ashes and embers.
  5. Remove any remaining embers by scraping the sticks and logs.
  6. Make sure everything is wet and cold to the touch by stirring.
  7. Use dirt if you do not have water. Mix enough dirt or sand with the embers, and continue adding dirt or sand and stirring until everything is cool. Remember: do NOT bury the fire because the fire will continue to smolder; it could catch roots on fire and eventually get to the surface and start a wildfire.

Brought to you by Alta Bates Summit Medical Center.

Alta Bates Summit’s Live Well for Life Program Goes Gold!

Posted on May 29, 2013

Alta Bates Summit Medical Center has again been named one of the 2013 Best Employers forBest Employer Seal 2013 Healthy Lifestyles. This Gold Status award from the National Business Group on Health recognizes the medical center for creating cultural and environmental changes that support employees who are committed to long-term behavior changes.

Alta Bates Summit is one of only two hospitals in California and one of just 65 employers in the country to receive this recognition. That means you and your families are doing an outstanding job of making healthy choices and staying well through our Live Well for Life program.

The mission of the Live Well for Life program is to enhance the health and well-being of our employees and their families by providing resources, tools and incentives to help guide their path to good health. Our employees work in an environment dedicated to improving health, giving them a keen appreciation for the difference good health can make in their quality of life.

As caregivers it’s easy to let other demands take priority. Live Well for Life helps keep participants focused on priorities by giving them convenient access to on-site health activities and learning events, including customized health improvement plans supported by a personal health coach and/or physician.

The National Business Group on Health is the nation’s only is non-profit, membership organization of large employers devoted exclusively to finding innovative and forward-thinking solutions to their most important health care and related benefits issues and to being the voice for large employers on national health care issues. Group recognizes employers for programs that have best practice components and results and outcomes.

“We are delighted to recognize Alta Bates Summit for its innovation and commitment to providing lifestyle improvement programs designed to encourage healthier lifestyles for their employees,” said Helen Darling, President of the National Business Group on Health.

Other gold award winners include: Capital One Financial Corporation, General Mills, Target and State Farm.

The Latest News About Salt and Your Health

Posted on May 28, 2013

Salt shaker shaking over a pile of salt shows the danger of high blood pressure from consuming too much salt. East Bay blood pressure screenings can determine your risk.

Salt contains an important mineral called sodium that our bodies need to function. But too much sodium can increase your blood pressure and raise your risk for a heart attack or a stroke.

According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), the average adult needs about 2,300 mg of sodium per day, but most of us consume about twice this amount each day.

Regular blood pressure screenings can tell you if you are at risk. If you have high blood pressure, you may be able to lower it by limiting salt in your diet.

Here are a few ways to reduce your salt intake:

  • Read labels to see how much sodium foods contain.
  • Limit packaged foods and restaurant foods, which typically are high in sodium.
  • Don’t add salt to your food during cooking or at the table.
  • Use low-sodium spices and sauces to add flavor to your food.

Click here for more tips on healthy eating and make sure your kids are eating for their health too by checking out these nutritious snack ideas.

Partner with your doctor in the East Bay Area to keep you and your family healthy by getting regular checkups and blood pressure screenings.


Dive Into Memorial Day Weekend … Safely!

Posted on May 23, 2013

Rising temperatures, sunny skies and the return of long summer days mean fun by the pool!

Before you dive in, stay safe this Memorial Day weekend, and whenever you swim, by reading these safety tips from the U.S. Department of Young boy in Oakland dives into swimming poolHealth and Human Services:

Swimming safety tips

  • Make sure you and your kids know how to swim by taking swim lessons.
  • Swim where there’s a lifeguard on duty.
  • Never swim alone.
  • Don’t drink alcohol if you are swimming or watching children swim.
  • Don’t use floating toys, like water wings, in place of life jackets.

Keeping children safe

  • At least one adult should be watching when children are near or in water.
  • Make sure you aren’t distracted: Don’t read, text or use the phone when watching young children.
  • Even if your child knows how to swim, watch him or her carefully.
  • Safeguard your pool: Install 4-sided fencing that separates the pool from the house or yard. Make sure that your fence is at least 4-feet high and make sure the gates on your pool fencing open outward and self-close and self-latch, out of reach of children.

Enjoy your swim in good health!

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact one of our Alta Bates Summit pediatricians  about swimming safety and your children at Find a Doctor.

Is High Blood Pressure the Silent Killer?

Posted on May 23, 2013

red heart and stethoscope representing blood pressure screenings in Oakland, Alta Bates Summit Medical CenterDid you know that one in three adults has high blood pressure, but doesn’t know it?

High blood pressure is often called the silent killer because it usually has no symptoms as it “quietly” causes heart disease, stroke, kidney failure and many other health problems.

When you have high blood pressure (also known as hypertension), your heart has to work harder than normal to pump blood throughout your body.

Blood pressure screenings help save lives.

Prevent problems before they develop. Get your blood pressure checked and learn what your safe blood pressure range is.

Even if your blood pressure is within a healthy range, it could be rising over time. Fortunately, there are lifestyle changes you can make to help lower your blood pressure and stay healthy. Read more about high blood pressure (hypertension).

Talk to your doctor about blood pressure screenings to see if you are at risk. Find a doctor at Alta Bates Summit Medical Center in Oakland or in your area by clicking on TheDoctorForYou.