University of Pennsylvania Health System

Penn Health and Wellness

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Halloween Safety Tips for Parents

Halloween is fast approaching. Soon, the streets will be filled with ghosts, goblins, princesses and cowboys. To help make this year's festivities a trick-free treat, follow these simple safety tips:

For the Young Ones

  • Spotted in the dark. Bright-colored costumes are more likely to be seen after dark. Add reflective tape to your child’s costume or to the trick-or-treat bag so you and cars can keep an eye out. 
  • See and breathe easy. If the costume has wigs or beards, make sure they don’t cover your child’s eyes, noses, or mouths. Same goes for wearing a mask.
  • Toxic makeup. Consider using nontoxic face paint or makeup. Test the face paint or makeup on your child's arm or hand before applying; ensuring the paint doesn't irritate the skin.
  • Don’t trip. Try to avoid oversized and high-heeled shoes and costumes that have long fabric that can cause children to trip.
  • Home safe. Check all treats to make sure they are sealed. Throw out any candy with holes in the packages, spoiled items and any homemade foods from strangers.

For Parents with Older Kids

  • Be aware. If your child is trick-or-treating on their own, find out the route they'll be taking.
  • Safer in groups. Make sure they go in a group and stress that they stay together.
  • Welcome in. Advise them to only go to houses with porch lights on and walk on sidewalks on lit streets. 
  • Don’t play with fire. Steer clear from candles and other flames. 
  • Light it up. Equip your child with a flashlight with new batteries.
Finally, make sure trick-or-treaters will be safe when visiting your home as well. Remove anything that could cause kids to trip or fall on your walkway or lawn. Double check to see if the lights are on outside your house and light the walkway to your door, if possible.

Have a safe and fun Halloween!

Any other tips you’d like to share? Add them to the comments section.

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Transition Your Skin Care Routine from Summer to Fall

You likely have your skin care routine and products that you’ve been using for as long as you can remember. But as the seasons change, your skin does too. The same way you trade in your summer flip flops for boots in the fall, you need to modify your skin care routine and products.

You should seasonally change up heavier moisturizers, Vitamin C complexes and eye creams for puffiness and dryness. Try using a serum to add additional ingredients to your skin while your sleep. Because your skin can build up tolerance to certain products after some time, it’s important to note what works and what doesn’t, as well as which products your skin has a positive reaction or a negative reaction to.

To keep your skin looking young and fresh this autumn, we recommend:
  • Exfoliating the face and body to remove the dead, dry skin from the summer 
  • Starting with moderate or aggressive treatments, such as microdermabrasion or chemical peels
  • Adding a slightly thicker moisturizer, depending on your skin type 
  • Continuing using SPF under your makeup
Moreover, if you were ever out in the sun and not completely covered up this summer, odds are that you have some sun damage. Sun damage can range from freckles to dark tans, wrinkly skin and that taut-almost-leathery look. As we head into the fall, laser treatments are popular and effective to treat sun damage and refresh your skin.

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Get Fit While at Work

These days, it seems as though more and more people are working longer hours and using the old "no-time-to-exercise" excuse.

Unfortunately, this lack of physical activity can be harmful to your health, as it increases the risk of obesity, back pain, poor posture, leg cramps and tense muscles, among other things.

"The most profitable investment you can make in life is in your physical fitness," says sports medicine Michael C. Schettino, MD. "Any type of physical activity can improve an individual's health."

Wouldn't it be great if you could find a way to fit in some type of workout during those 8+ work hours?

Well, the good news is…you can. It just requires a slight change in how you work or get to work, to make a meaningful improvement.


Schedule walk-and-talk meetings. Who says a meeting needs to be held around a table? Take a brainstorming stroll with a colleague. If you need to take notes, schedule the meeting at a park where you can sit on a bench.

Avoid the elevator. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends adults get two hours and 30 minutes a week of moderate-intensity exercise to stay fit. Stair climbing for just 10 minutes, three times a day, for example, will total 30 minutes of heart-strengthening exercise, putting you well on your way to reaching that mark.

Take a stand. Set a timer to remind yourself to get out of your chair every 30 minutes. Use this time to walk to the water cooler or check in on a project.


Workout at WorkReach for the sky. Sitting at a desk all day can lead to neck pain between the shoulder blades. You can reduce the pain by reaching both arms up to the ceiling and arching your back. Then bring your arms down and stretch forward, opening the upper back. Do this every 20 minutes.

Stretch out your shoulders. Sit straight in your chair and reach one hand behind your back with your palm out. Then reach your other hand up and bend it down, trying to touch both hands. Hold for 10 seconds.

Point your fingers. Typing for eight straight hours can be harmful to your hands, wrist and forearms. Stretch one hand in front of you, pointing your fingers toward the ground. Use your other hand to gently push your fingers down and toward your body. Repeat on the other side. Then, stretch your hands upward doing the same.


Tone your arms wherever you can. A great way to sneak fitness into your day is to do a few push-ups here and there. Remember, all you need is a flat surface – and it doesn’t need to be horizontal. Simply lean against a wall, desk or other sturdy surface and get a few reps in.

Rise up out of your chair. Even if you are stuck in your chair all day, you can still get some core work in. Throughout the day, simply lift yourself off your chair with your arms.  If your chair is on wheels, it'll be even harder to hold your body still.

Get your legs up. While sitting in your chair, extend one leg out straight in front of you and hold for a few seconds. Then raise it up as high as you can and hold it again for a few seconds. Repeat with each leg multiple times.

These simple actions can significantly increase your physical health. Squeezing in a little exercise also improves concentration and could actually improve your productivity. Also, don't forget…

"The steps taken to improve physical fitness today will increase the likelihood of climbing the future steps of tomorrow," said Dr. Schettino.

Interested in more helpful tips for staying healthy? Check out our Patient Resources section.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Why Primary Care Is So Important

“At Penn Medicine, our goal is to have long-term relationships that span many, many years and really give the ability for the patient and their primary care provider to bond together with the goal of ultimately giving them a good experience and great outcomes.”
Ronald Barg, MD

The relationship you build with your primary care physician is one of the most important you’ll ever have. At more than 30 locations throughout the region, Penn Medicine primary care physicians partner with patients to provide the highest level of care.

Ronald Barg, MD, Executive Director of Clinical Care Associates recently discussed, among other things, the various types of practices that fall under the primary care umbrella and how Penn Medicine is making it easier for patients of all ages to receive personalized care in their neighborhood.

You Are What You Eat: Achieving Healthy Skin From Within

Did you know that what you eat and drink can affect the health of your skin? On Wednesday, October 8, Ruth Johnson, LMA, MS, will explain the effects nutrition has on your skin at a special Skin Care Program discussion, You Are What You Eat: Achieving Healthy Skin From Within.

Ruth is an aesthetician whose passion is to help people discover new ways to achieve healthy skin. At the event, you’ll have an opportunity to meet Ruth and the skin care team, and ask all your questions. You’ll also enjoy skin care giveaways and discounts, skin care basket raffles and light refreshments.

Please Join Us!

Wednesday, October 8, 2014
6:00 to 8:00 p.m.

Penn Medicine Radnor
250 King of Prussia Road
Room 203
Radnor, PA 19087

To RSVP, please call 215.662.4286.

Bring a friend and receive 10 percent off your purchase of a skin care service or product!

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