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John F. O'Hara

John F. O'Hara
731 W Skippack Pike  Blue Bell  PA 19422
Phone:  610-277-4060
Office:  215-643-3200
Cell:  267-481-1786
Fax:  267-354-6973

My Blog

Expert Tips for a Healthy School Year

August 25, 2015 2:18 am

Beyond an annual physical, back-to-school is an ideal time for students and parents to take stock of their health. “The school year should be an enjoyable experience, and staying healthy–both physically and mentally–is one way to help get the most out of every day of class and extracurricular activities,” says Pennsylvania Medical Society President. Karen Rizzo, MD.

For students with food allergies, the cafeteria can be a minefield to navigate. It is important for students and parents to remain vigilant.

“Unfortunately, there’s no cure for food allergies,” explains Joel Fiedler, MD, president of the Pennsylvania Allergy and Asthma Association, “and sometimes the only line of defense for a person experiencing anaphylaxis is an EpiPen. Anaphylaxis is potentially life-threatening and can happen with seconds after being exposed to an allergen.

“Children in school settings can be vulnerable, particularly since they may not pay attention to what they are eating or touching during their lunch period and in some cases may not even know they have a food allergy,” Dr. Fiedler says.

Backpacks are also cause for concern, especially if they are too heavy for the size of the child. Says Pennsylvania Orthopaedic Society President Thomas Muzzonigro, MD, “As a general guideline, don’t allow your child to carry a backpack that’s more than 15 percent of their own body weight. Lugging around a ton of books and other supplies all day can eventually be problematic.”

When a heavy backpack is incorrectly placed on the shoulders, the weight's force can alter the child's posture. Many children will compensate by bending forward at the hips or arch the back, which can cause the spine to compress unnaturally. It's a recipe for shoulder, neck, and back pain.

School buses present inherent dangers, as well–all it takes is one distracted or impatient driver to pose serious risks to students. Todd Fijewski, president of the Pennsylvania College of Emergency Physicians, encourages students to not dart in, out or around any bus, and to avoid texting and walking when getting on or off a bus.

Issues can also arise when a child feels apprehensive about the first day of school or a significant event during the year. Students should remain proactive–with the help of parents, if necessary–to effectively manage stress, advises Robert E. Wilson, MD, PhD, president of the Pennsylvania Psychiatric Society. Dr. Wilson recommends students regularly give themselves positive feedback, reward themselves with leisure activities, exercise, eat a balanced diet, and develop time management skills.

Source: Pennsylvania Medical Society

Published with permission from RISMedia.


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Mortgage Default Rates Stabilize

August 25, 2015 2:18 am

The S&P Dow Jones Indices recently pointed to a stable consumer credit default rate, showing activity indicative of an improving economy. The Indices are a comprehensive measure of changes in consumer credit defaults.

The first mortgage default rate remained unchanged at 0.80 percent. The second mortgage default rate also remained unchanged at 0.55 percent. The auto loan default rate increased to 0.86 percent, and the bank card default rate decreased to 2.79 percent.

“The stable consumer credit default rates confirm the recent economic improvements seen in the unemployment rate and GDP growth,” says David M. Blitzer, Managing Director and Chairman of the Index Committee at S&P Dow Jones Indices. “Recent increases in outstanding consumer credit combined with stable default rates and strong consumer sentiment point to stable individual financial conditions. However, wage increases are running at about 2 percent annually–or under 1 percent after inflation–which means that there is little margin for error should the economy stumble. At the same time, concerns over the impact of an expected Federal Reserve rate increase are exaggerated. Interest rates on consumer loans are unlikely to be affected and no immediate economic fallout is anticipated.”

Source: S&P Dow Jones Indices

Published with permission from RISMedia.


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