Tag Archives: safety

Tips to Keep Safe in The Winter Cold

Winter can be a favored season for those who enjoy winter sports or are fond of the snow, but it can also be a perilous time of year, opening the door for many seasonal dangers. Let’s take a look at some precautionary tips to heed in the winter:

  • Bundle up – It is best to wear layers (and pack extra ones) in winter so you can take them off if you’re too warm or add to them if you’re too cold. If you tend to get cold hands or feet easily (or if you suffer from Raynaud’s), you can buy a variety of mini hand warmers to put in your gloves or winter boots.
  • Keep an eye on the weather – If you are planning an outdoors excursion in the winter cold, be sure to check up on the forecast beforehand. If the temperature or wind-chill is too low or there’s a storm brewing, you should plan it for a different date.
  • Don’t let hypothermia creep in – Many people think hypothermia only happens in sub-freezing temperatures, but that is a misconception. This deadly winter danger can strike in temperatures as high as 50’F depending on the other conditions. Read more about hypothermia in our post: Must-Know Facts About Hypothermia.
  • Keep a ‘Winter Kit’ in your car – Be sure to pre-pack a winter emergency kit in the trunk of your car in case you get stranded in the cold. You may want to include: a thermal (foil) blanket, extra coat, mittens and hat, an extra pair of boots as well as a full change of clothes including a couple pairs of socks (in case you have to spend the night somewhere without heat). You should also include some food rations, water, instant heat-packs, a first aid kit, some Advil or Tylenol, a flashlight and a swiss army knife or similar tool.
  • If you have a lung condition, avoid the cold air – The harsh, dry winter air can be rough on the lungs of an asthmatic or COPD sufferer. It can cause the airways to constrict (bronchoconstriction). This can directly contribute to an asthma attack, especially when combined with physical exertion. So, be sure to limit your outside time when the temperature drops too low or wear a scarf around your face if you have a compromised respiratory system!
  • Know the signs of frostbite – Are your extremities so cold they are starting to tingle or hurt, or change color? It is important to know the signs so frostnip doesn’t turn into full-fledged frostbite! Take our Frostbite Quiz to learn more.
  • Pack a car phone charger – It is important to always take your cell phone when driving or walking anywhere alone in winter. If you get stranded in the cold because of a flat tire or wrong turn and your phone has died, a car cell phone charger may save your buns. You can also purchase battery-fueled and solar powered phone chargers.
  • Beware of Icy Accidents – another feared winter danger is an icy slip-and-fall. Falls are major contributors to premature death, especially in the elderly population. It is so easy to hit your head or break an arm when slipping on the ice. Use special gripping tracks on your shoes and boots and always walk slowly and tentatively on icy surfaces with your hands out to brace you.

Keep an eye out for Winter Safety Tips for Children in the future! Thanks for visiting DocChat.

Tips for Exercising Safely in Winter

Winter can be a beautiful and refreshing season to pursue outdoors exercise and activity, but can also be the most treacherous time to do so if you don’t take the proper precautions. Let’s take a look at some essential safety tips for winter fitness:

  • Listen to your body – if you are feeling uncomfortable or out of the ordinary in any way while exercising outdoors, stop and head back inside to see what may be going on. You could be dehydrated, sick or even on your way to frostbite or hypothermia. You know your body best, so listen to its signals.
  • Avoid extreme cold – it is better not to exercise in extreme temperatures as the body has a difficult time adapting to the conditions and can more easily overheat, under-heat or overexert which can result in health problems such as fainting or even heart or respiratory issues, so avoid outdoor activity in extreme cold.
  • Try to avoid getting stuck in the dark – It starts getting dark much earlier during the winter months, so be sure to time your exercise so you catch the daylight. The last thing you want is to be stuck on some backwoods road on snowshoes surrounded by darkness (and who knows what else).
  • Practice extra caution if you have a heart or lung condition – The cold air can constrict the airways which is bad news for those with asthma or COPD, plus exertion can also bring on an asthma attack, so that could be a double whammy. Similarly, those with heart conditions should beware that the cold puts even more strain on your system than just regular exercise and tends to increase blood pressure.
  • Always take your phone or a buddy – In case you slip on the ice while walking, get lost or need assistance for any other reason, it is a good idea to take your phone with you whenever you exercise outdoors so you can call for help if needed. Exercising with a buddy is also a good plan in case of trouble.
  • Don’t venture away from the path – It is smart to map out your exercise route beforehand and to try not to veer off your predetermined course. More can go wrong in cold winter conditions, so don’t take any chances just for adventure’s sake.
  • Warm up and cool down properly – When exercising in cold or hot climates it is more important than ever to properly warm up and cool down to give your body time to acclimatize in the extreme conditions.
  • Invest in ice-gripping shoe tracks ­– A bad fall could cause heavy bruising, broken bones or a coma or death if you hit your head. Who wants to take that chance? Luckily, you can invest in ice-gripping tracks to go on your winter footwear to help prevent falls.
  • Wear layers – it is important to dress appropriately for the cold. Not only should you layer up (so you can take a layer off if you work up a sweat), but you should also make sure you wear mittens or gloves as well as warm socks and a hat if required. The CDC suggests an inner layer of wool or polypropylene to help draw sweat away from your body.
  • Check the forecast – Always check the weather before heading out to exercise in winter. If the wind chill is not ideal, temperatures are too cold, or there is bad weather on the way it is best not to tempt fate. Know when to opt for an indoors workout instead.

So, there you have our winter exercise safety tips! We hope they help you stay healthy and safe this winter. Thanks for visiting DocChat!

Medication Safety Tips (Part 2)


According to the CDC, each year there are hundreds of thousands of ER visits due to medication complications and mishaps. Most of these incidents could have been prevented with the proper medication care. We looked at our first 5 medication safety tips in our last post, now for the next few:

6. Always check the ingredients. Aside from checking for potential allergenic filler ingredients, you should also know how much of the active ingredient is in each medication you’re taking as it is easier to overdose on OTC medications than you may think. For example, acetaminophen (the active ingredient in Tylenol) is camouflaged in many OTC and prescription medications such as decongestants and cold medicine. In fact, over 600 North American medications contain acetaminophen! So if you are taking the maximum dose of extra strength Tylenol for aches and pains, along with another acetaminophen-containing medication you may be risking serious problems.

7. Practice caffeine caution. Some medications don’t react well with caffeine, so be sure not to chase them with a large iced tea or coffee unless the pharmacist says it is okay.

8. Make sure all medications are inaccessible to children and pets. Even 1 pill or supplement can harm a child, let alone if they happen to get into a whole bottle. Keep your medications tucked away on a high shelf or in a cabinet that can’t be accessed by little ones.

9. Use steroid creams sparingly. Unless it has been okayed by your doctor or pharmacist, be sure not to use topical steroid creams too heavily as they can potentially thin the skin (atrophy), especially in sensitive areas.

10. Know if it is safe to drink alcohol. Some medications can be dangerous when combined with alcohol.

11. Don’t discontinue medications before consulting your doctor or specialist. It isn’t a good idea to stop taking medications without first consulting your doctor, unless of course you are having an allergic reaction. In which case, seek emergency medical attention.

12. Rinse your mouth out after using puffers. Puffers can cause thrush (yeast infection) of the mouth if you do not rinse the medication out of your mouth after use. Some other medications may have similar instructions to follow, so be sure to check the label every time.

Well there you have the rest of our medication do’s and don’ts! Click here for more information about how to correctly take different medications. Thanks for visiting DocChat! Remember, our board certified physicians are on standby 24/7/365 if you have any medical or medication related inquiries.


9 Household Hazard Prevention Tips

Millions of Americans are injured or even killed by preventable household hazards annually. Sometimes it just takes a few safety tweaks to lower the danger level in your home. Some of those tweaks include:

  1. Go flameless – thousands of home fires are started each year by flames from candles that have tipped over or haven’t been properly extinguished. You may not like synthetic flames as much as the real thing, but such a small change could mean the safety of your family and home.
  2. Be step-safe – accidental falls affect over 1 million American adults annually. Many of these falls can be prevented by using extra caution when on the stairs or a ladder, as well as stepping on a dry mat when getting out of the bath or shower.
  3. Minimize the cargo – Falls also commonly happen when people carry too heavy a load of laundry or other items. Carrying lighter loads of laundry (especially when walking up or down stairs) can drastically reduce your chances of a nasty fall inside the home.
  4. Know the numbers – Does everyone in your family know the number for poison control? They should. How about the local fire station or health-line? Aside from 9-1-1, it is good to know (and teach your children) all the safety numbers that could help in a pinch. It is also a good idea to put these numbers in your child’s phone, if they have one.
  5. Childproof the kitchen – There are many measures you can undertake to ensure the safety of your children around the kitchen. Check them out in our post on Kitchen Safety!
  6. Have safety strategies in place – Your family should have emergency plans such as a household evacuation route in case of a fire or other emergency. You should practice these plans occasionally to ensure everyone knows exactly what to do.
  7. Watch the sockets – Unfortunately, around 2,400 children are shocked or burned by electrical outlets annually. So, if you have small children, you may want to invest in socket covers (spring-loaded electrical socket covers that help prevent tampering).
  8. Check water temp – According to the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), over 3,800 Americans are scalded by too-hot tap water each year, many of whom are children. It is always a good idea to test the water before jumping into the bath or washing your hands. It is particularly important to test the water before bathing your child. A step further in scald-prevention would be to ensure your water heater is set below 120°F.
  9. Check your alarms – Most people have plenty of functioning fire alarms, but do you also have a carbon monoxide detector? If not, you should invest in a quality one soon to ensure those levels don’t silently (and fatally!) creep too high. You should also periodically ensure you have new batteries in all your detectors and that they are functioning optimally.

That concludes our look at household safety! Keep an eye out for medication safety next! Thanks for visiting DocChat!

Healthy Halloween habits

Halloween is supposed to be full of scary fun and games, but it can get real-life scary pretty quickly if your child has an allergic reaction, eats treats that have been tampered with or has an unfortunate accident when it gets dark out, so there are a few tips that could help your whole family enjoy the fun of Halloween without the hazards!

Spoooooooky Safety Tips

  1. Really impress upon your little one the importance of not eating anything until mom or dad takes a look. Smaller kids are more likely to chow down on something without realizing it contains a serious allergen, or a young person may take a bite of a homemade item that could potentially have been tampered with. The best rule of thumb is “no treats until they are approved!”
  2. Be sure to ensure everyone is wearing reflective stickers or clothing so they will be seen by drivers in the dark.
  3. Ensure costumes do not inhibit eyesight, such as masks or hats that can slip to cover the eyes. It is also a good idea to make sure the child can move freely without risk of tripping over their costume.
  4. Avoid buying your child costumes that have sharp objects like swords that your child can fall on, or those that are flammable. Flame-resistant wigs and costumes are the way to go.
  5. Think about using battery operated candles in your jack-o-lanterns so a passerby can’t bump into it and start a fire.
  6. While colored contact lenses may look cool, they can cause permanent eye damage or even blindness, so it is important to run any decorative contact lenses by an optometrist before using them just for a costume.
  7. Ensure all children 12 and under are accompanied by an adult.

Tips for Teens

Children old enough to go trick-or-treating without adult supervision should be sure to follow these rules:

  • Plan the route with their parents before going out and stick to it
  • Have a group of at least 3 and stick together the whole evening
  • Stick to usual trick-or-treating hours of 5-9:30 so as not to run into late-night dangers
  • Have a cell phone on you for emergencies
  • Put your phone in your pocket and look where you are walking!
  • Carry a small flashlight on you
  • Scan your surroundings continuously for suspicious followers or cars that may not see you
  • Do not enter any homes or vehicles to get Halloween candy

Well, that concludes our Halloween safety tips, we here at DocChat hope your family has lots of spooktacular holiday fun!





Practice Pool Safety This Summer


Swimming pool fun is one of the biggest summertime perks – but there are some hazards to watch out for at public pools. Fun is fun, but safety first!

Watch Out For Foot Fungus! 

The damp shower areas of public swimming pools provide ideal conditions for fungal and bacterial infections to thrive and spread. One particular infection people commonly pick up around swimming pools is Athlete’s foot. Medically known as tinea pedis, athletes foot is a fungal infection usually associated with the feet. It often starts between the toes and develops after a person sweats a lot in tight fitting shoes or pick the fungus up in a communal area such as public swimming pool showers. Symptoms include an itchy, burning rash with a scaly appearance. Untreated athlete’s foot can migrate to other areas of the body such as the groin area. It can be treated by OTC medications but it often resurfaces, so it is best to try to prevent getting it in the first place and use flip-flops in the shower and by the poolside when attending public pools.

Chlorine – Clean + Mean

Chlorine is a complex chemical – on one hand it does a great job of sanitizing and oxidizing swimming pool water, but it also causes reactions in some people, irritates eyes and skin and has other downsides as well. According to the Canadian Cancer Society, research has established chlorine by-products trihalomethanes and haloacetic acids as a carcinogenic. Studies suggest people exposed to chlorine excessively and over a prolonged period of time may have increased risk of certain cancers such as bladder or colorectal.

Precautions to Take Against Chlorine

This is not to say swimmers will develop cancer or adverse reactions, occasional chlorinated swimming will not increase risk, someone swimming in chlorinated indoor pools everyday for a decade may have a slightly increased risk. All in all, precautions to take to protect yourself against some of the effects of chlorine include:

  • showering afterward with soap
  • staying well hydrated before swimming
  • wear protective goggles so your eyes don’t become irritated
  • limiting your time in chlorine if you are an avid swimmer (try some natural lakes and ponds instead when you get the opportunity)!

Germs Love Pools

While pools that are chemically treated typically destroy most harmful bacteria, some of these can survive for a while in chlorine, allowing them to be passed from swimmer to swimmer causing infections and illness. Because of the moist nature of swimming pool decks and locker rooms, these are great places for harmful bacteria and fungi to spread. Be sure to take the following precautions to reduce your risk of contracting disease or infection around a pool:

  • Do not use a communal pool if you have an infection, open wound or spreadable illness
  • Do not put small children into a pool wearing diapers, only special “swim diapers” designed for pools
  • Get a shower before and directly after using swimming in a pool
  • Wear flip-flops when walking around the pool and be cautious of surfaces you touch in locker rooms
  • Don’t ingest pool water
  • Ensure you are swimming in a clean, appropriately filtered pool
  • Refrain from urinating or spitting into the pool water (this one should be a no brainer!)

Thanks for visiting DocChat! Keep an eye out for our next post on how to recognize a drowning victim.


Medical Mythbusters – Summer Edition!


We decided to start a Medical Mythbuster feature, so here is our very first on the topic of summer health and safety! Check out these common summer health myths and try to guess from the title if they are true or false before reading further. Let’s see how many you get right!

  1. Jelly Fish Stings – To Pee Or Not To Pee?

This is a very common medical myth that we’ve probably all heard, but recent research has debunked it, suggesting that urinating on a jellyfish sting may actually make the injury worse as urine is quite acidic. The best course of action is to use warm water and a numbing agent such as lidocaine and seek medical treatment.

  1. Eyes Can Get Sunburnt

Most people don’t think of their eyes as being a body part that can be sunburned, can you picture sunburnt eyes? Not a nice image. But unfortunately it is entirely possible. The eyes are quite sensitive, and when exposed to high intensity UV rays for too long they become red, sore, itchy and sometimes painful. The effects are similar to the “flash” some welders experience when they don’t use protective eyewear while working with intense flames. Turns out sunglasses weren’t just invented for driving in style! So, protect those peepers this summer!

  1. Don’t Swim After You Eat

Another widespread summer myth that has since turned out to be mostly inaccurate. Unless you eat a whole turkey and the trimmings, you should be fine to swim. You will not sink, the worst thing that may happen if you eat too much before swimming is a stomach cramp or heartburn. Most professional swimmers eat healthy protein almost directly before competing or training, as they have low body fat percentages and require the energy. Our moms may have been a little over-concerned about this old tale but they can all relax and let their little ones go for a dip after a light snack this summer!

  1. Eww! Spit On Your Fresh Wound?

FACT (Well…kind of).
We don’t recommend that you start licking your cuts, but there has been a fair bit of empirical research about the healing powers of a specific enzyme found in the saliva. These enzymes are very powerful in animals, which is how they heal superficial wounds so quickly in the wild. Opposing medical camps argue that the helpful enzyme is overruled by the millions and of bacteria in the human mouth, some of which are harmful and could potentially cause infection in an open wound. So there may be some truth to saliva having a medicinal property in theory (and could probably help in a pinch), but one should be careful licking cuts or the bacteria may cause more harm than good!

The Summer Sun Is Only Dangerous To Skin

While skin cancer is a huge and very real summer sun concern, overheating is often overlooked as a summer danger. Heat exhaustion is much more of a dangerous topic than people believe. Over 600 Americans die annually of overheating in the summer, and many others become very ill. Small children and the elderly are most at risk for extreme symptoms or death due to overheating. Many of these deaths are preventable by drinking a lot of water to remain hydrated in the heat (especially when exercising), removing yourself from spending too much time in the direct summer heat, intermittently cooling off, and never leaving small children (or anyone) in hot cars or other overheated areas in summer.

Well that is all for our first edition of Medical Mythbusters! Thanks for visiting DocChat! Keep an eye out for future Mythbusters posts!





Dietary Supplements – Under The Microscope

Over half of Americans take some kind of vitamin or mineral supplement daily. While vitamin supplements can be a puzzle piece to a healthy lifestyle especially if someone has a deficiency, they can also cause significant complications when taken in excess, in combination with other supplements or medications, or in the presence of certain conditions. Not only that, but dietary supplements aren’t regulated by the FDA the same as medications, so some of them contain unwanted filler ingredients that aren’t even required to be listed on the bottle.

What Are Dietary Supplements?

Dietary supplements are natural or synthetic reproductions of dietary components such as vitamins, minerals, herbs, or amino acids in pill form. They are intended to supplement micronutrients in your diet. Many supplements have extra “inactive” ingredients and make label claims to help or “cure” certain health conditions.

Potential Health Perks of Vitamin and Mineral Supplements

Micronutrients (vitamins and minerals) are essential to sustain good health, but you can generally gather the variety and amounts you need from eating a healthy, diverse diet. Unfortunately, too many Americans have poor diets, consuming ‘junk food’ or empty calories in place of vitamin and mineral rich foods like fresh produce. In these cases, supplements may help somewhat with diet-related micronutrient shortfalls, but won’t take the place of consuming them organically through diet.

Who Can Best Benefit From Supplements?

Some people have micronutrient deficiencies such as low iron or low magnesium. In these cases, the person may have trouble metabolizing the deficient vitamin or mineral through diet and may need the right dietary supplement to help replenish the deficit. Others who may benefit by (doctor-guided) consumption of supplements would be pregnant women (some take folic acid, or need extra iron or calcium) or senior citizens who may not get all their required nutrients from diet or may have deficiencies.

Supplements Come With Potential Risks

According to the FDA of the risks of dietary supplements include:

  • Overdosing: taking too much of a vitamin or mineral you don’t need (already have plenty of) can cause toxicity, causing problems with the kidneys or stomach, just to name a couple. It can be quite dangerous in some cases.
  • Drug interactions: many supplements can interact adversely with certain medications to cause illness. For example John’s Wort can interfere with the effectiveness of anti-depressants, blood pressure medication and birth control.
  • Combining unsafe supplements: similarly to interacting with medications, supplements can also interact with other supplements to cause adverse effects.
  • Substituting supplements for actual medications: Supplements are not It is dangerous to stop taking doctor prescribed medications and start self-medicating with supplements. This can lead to illness, progression of your illness or even death. It is important to consult a doctor before making any changes to your medical treatment.

aside from iron, the FDA doesn’t require supplements to harbour warnings about interactions or potential health risks like medications have to. So unless you actually show your doctor the bottle you’ve purchased, you can’t be sure what it contains.

Supplements Aren’t Well Regulated

According to Consumer Reports between 2009-2012 there were reports of 115 deaths and over 2100 hospitalizations linked to the use of dietary supplements. This is largely due to the fact that supplements aren’t as closely regulated as medications are. Supplement producers don’t have as stringent label restrictions and regulations either. Some more dangerous supplements out there actually contain drugs such as Viagra or synthetic steroids, despite the fact they market “herbal” or “dietary” products. This is dangerous because many patients have conditions or are taking medications that may react with these added drug ingredients.

Do Your Research!

  1. Is the supplement safe and effective?
  2. Is it good quality? Does it contain extra, potentially unwanted or problematic ingredients?
  3. Is the dosage appropriate for your circumstances?
  4. Be sure to ask a doctor before starting any supplements as they can interact with medications.

Thanks for visiting DocChat! Check out our posts on: Vitamin DVitamin B12 and Magnesium, and keep an eye out for more to come!

10 Summer Sun Skincare Tips

  1. Avoid ‘Peak Sun’ Hours

    Between 10 and 4pm are the hours when the sun is hottest. If you can’t avoid prolonged exposure during this time on hot days, try to restrict it best you can or take extra precautionary measures.


  2. Check Your Prescriptions

    Some medications such as antibiotics can cause dangerous photosensitivity, so make sure you read up on all your medications before venturing out in the summer sun!


  3. Slather Year-Round

    Even though we don’t think about the sun as a threat during colder months, it is still shining down on you all year round. It is best to wear sunscreen year-round to really protect the skin (perhaps a lower SPF in winter months). The sun is even a problem on overcast summer days – people think they can get away without taking precautions when the sun is hiding, but those days can be the worst for summer sunburns.


  4. Cover Up

    If you are spending a lot of time in the sun (especially if you’re not used to prolonged exposure), try to spend some of your time in long sleeves to give your skin a break from the sun’s powerful rays.


  5. Avoid Fake n’ Bake

    Unless you have a medical condition such as severe psoriasis that calls for UV therapy during shady parts of the year, just about the worst thing you can do for your skin is to spend time in tanning beds. They have been not only correlated with, but directly linked to skin cancer. People often use them as prep for warm-weather trips, but in actuality routinely using them can increase your risk of melanoma (by 75% if you start tanning before 30).


  6. Go Heavy Duty When Necessary

    If you are going somewhere or engaging in an activity that will prolong your exposure to the sun (especially during peak hours), use a broad spectrum, high SPF sunscreen with UVA and UVB protection. Remember, you’ll have to reapply every couple hours or after swimming.


  7. Protect Your Extremities, Lips and Eyes Too

    Protection from the sun isn’t exclusive to only some parts of the body. People often forget to sunblock hands and feet (garnering strangely shaped sandal burns). People also often forget lips and eyes – so be sure to rock those shades and some SPF lip balm.


  8. Make Sure Your block Is Full of Goodies!

    Try to use oil-free sunscreens with added antioxidants like green tea to give a little added protection. The less unpronounceable ingredients, the better. There is no guarantee that antioxidants will help your skin, but there has been research linking antioxidants to cancer prevention. Vitamin C has shown promise in protecting the skin against sunburn. It is important to make sure your sunblock is broad spectrum as well so you are protected from all types of harmful rays. The Mayo Clinic has an excellent sunblock guide.


  9. Have A Nightly Skincare Regimen

    No matter how careful you are, the sun is still hard on your skin, so engaging in a nightly moisturizing ritual is a must if you wish to avoid too many wrinkles, sun spots or other similar sun-caused skin issues (up to 90% of wrinkles are caused by lifelong sun exposure!)

  10. Monitor Your Skin

    One of the single best things you can do to protect yourself from skin cancer is to do regular self examinations of your skin. If you see any spots or moles that have changed since the last check, book an appointment and have your doctor take a closer look.

For more summer skincare tips, or questions about skin cancer sign up to DocChat today for a video consultation with one of our highly qualified DocChat physician. Thanks for visiting!



Quick Tips for a Healthy Pregnancy

Asian pregnant woman make heart shape with hand on her stomach

Luckily we live in a world where pregnancy and parenting resources abound, containing a vast amount of helpful information for a healthful pregnancy. Keep reading to see some of our favorite prenatal tidbits for expecting mommas!

Change Your Diet to Suit Your Baby

Contrary to the public opinion that pregnant women are “eating for two”, they really only need to consume between 300-500 additional calories a day. These calories should take the form of healthy meals and snacks to ensure baby is eating well in there too. Here are some suggested guidelines:

  1. Do eat flaxseed! This superfood is jam-packed with goodies such as omega-3 fatty acids and extra fiber. It also helps lower cholesterol levels which can be on the rise during pregnancy.   
  2. Don’t consume much caffeine. Most medical experts cap it at about 200mg (11oz) of caffeine daily.
  3. Do eat small meals throughout the day as opposed to big ones. This can help stave off lethargy, giving you little energy surges to replace caffeine.
  4. Don’t opt for sandwiches containing deli meats, as they can harbor listeria, a bacteria that can be very harmful to unborn babies.
  5. Do drink a surplus of fluids, water in particular (about 10 glasses a day), and be sure to avoid artificial colorings and additives.
  6. Don’t ingest much mercury – avoid foods high in mercury including swordfish, mackerel or dark tunas.
  7. Do eat certain types of low-mercury seafood that contain beneficial omega-3 fatty acids such as salmon and shrimp.
  8. Don’t take any herbal or over the counter medicine without speaking to your doctor or pharmacist first.

Pregnancy Safety Tips

  • Quit smoking, and also avoid second hand smoke at all costs as the irritants can be detrimental to your little one.
  • Avoid harsh chemicals, such as those found in strong cleaning products.
  • Stop gardening and changing cat litter to avoid toxoplasmosis, a parasite strain commonly found in cats and soil that could be potentially fatal to a vulnerable unborn child.
  • When driving, wear your seat belt across your thighs as opposed to over your belly, and sit as far away from an air bag as possible to avoid the potentially tragic repercussions of its deployment.
  • Get plenty of sleep and rest. Pregnancy can be exhausting and come with heavy fatigue. It is important not to overwork yourself, as your baby can be in distress if you aren’t getting enough rest. Remember, you are resting for two!

Pregnancy Fitness

While you probably shouldn’t be participating in competitive gymnastics while pregnant, you definitely should be getting regular exercise. Exercise can bring a multitude of benefits to pregnancy, such as keeping your weight under control (if you gain too much, it will be harder to shed the pounds post-birth), switching up the routine for your tiny tenant (the movement can even be soothing for some babies), and helping prepare your body better for the tall task of giving birth. Some great pregnancy exercises include:

  1. Swimmingthis is one of the best exercises for pregnant women, as it is very easy on the joints and can help you keep fit without working too hard.
  2. Stretching – there are many stretching exercises such as pelvic tilts, that can help ready the body for birth, and avoid muscle cramps that sometimes come along with pregnancy.
  3. Walking – Walking is a safe form of exercise you can do all the way through your pregnancy. If you are a runner, you don’t necessarily have to give it up cold turkey when you are pregnant; there are certain guidelines you can follow to safely jog during certain times of your pregnancy – but only if you are an experienced runner, as it can be dangerous if not done properly. 
  4. Prenatal Yoga – tailored yoga activities can help strengthen your muscles so you are better able to carry around a baby and all of their accessories after you give birth.

Parenting Preparation

Educate yourself about what to expect during the labor and delivery, as well as premature labor warning signs to look out for. Pack a hospital bag in advance of your expected due date and remember to include important items such as your camera (with batteries and memory card!) and insurance information. If it is your first pregnancy, you can research different classes to take such as childbirth classes, breast-feeding classes or parenting classes with your partner or a close family member.