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Cooking with Care
Safety tips from the Burn Center at Saint Barnabas Medical Center: New Jersey’s only state-certified burn treatment facility
Poor mental health is a medical condition that can be treated.

The Barnabas Health Behavioral Health Center offers free, confidential mental health screenings. They include: depression, anxiety, stress, obsessive compulsive disorder and post-traumatic stress disorder. Walk-ins are welcome but pre-registration in encouraged by calling 1-800-300-0628.

Mental Health Screening Days
Wednesday, July 16
10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Thursday, August 14
10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Barnabas Health Behavioral Health Center
1691 U.S. Highway 9, Toms River

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Sizzling Hot or Heat Exhaustion? Beat the heat: understanding heat illness

Today is going to be one of the hottest days so far this year. In order to beat the heat this summer, it’s important to look out for your health and the health of those around you.

While hot weather can be dangerous for anyone, people aged 60 and older are especially vulnerable to its threat due to underlying health conditions that make them less able to adapt to heat.

Regardless of age, Barnabas Health Emergency Department physicians urge individuals to be on high alert for heat cramps, heat exhaustion and heat stroke.

Heat Cramps: The mildest form of heat-related illness, heat cramps consist of painful muscle cramps and spasms.

Heat Exhaustion: Exhaustion occurs when the body has been losing essential fluids and salts, leaving the body unable to cool itself. Symptoms of heat exhaustion include pale, moist skin; cramps; fever; nausea/vomiting; diarrhea; headache; fatigue/faintness; and anxiety. If left untreated, heat exhaustion can lead to heat stroke.

Heat Stroke: The most severe form of heat illness, this life-threatening condition occurs when the body’s heat-regulatory system is inundated by heat exposure. Symptoms include warm, dry skin; high fever; rapid heart rate; nausea/vomiting; headache; fatigue; confusion/agitation; stupor/ lethargy and in severe cases, seizures, coma or even death. Seek immediate medical attention.

What to Do: Move to a cool area to rest, drink water and sports drinks, stretch muscles if they are cramped, remove clothing, place wet towels on skin or immerse the body in cold water, place ice bags on the armpits and groin areas. If symptoms are not relieved or you believe someone is experiencing heat stroke, call 9-1-1 or seek immediate emergency medical attention.

For more information about heat illness, visit the Barnabas Health online Health Library at

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A Blood Glucose test can help identify diabetes-- a major risk factor for heart disease, stroke and other diseases. Knowing your blood sugar level can also help you make good day-to-day choices about what you eat, your level of physical activity, as well as monitor blood sugar levels for those already diagnosed with the disease.

So if you are out grocery shopping, join Clara Maass Medical Center at their upcoming glucose screenings this month. A simple finger stick will test blood sugar to determine if glucose level is elevated.

July 9
9 to 11 a.m.
Belleville Shoprite
726 Washington Avenue, Belleville

July 10
9 to 10:30 a.m.
Nutley Shoprite
437 Franklin Avenue, Nutley

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Today, look for Barnabas Health’s special section in the Essex and Northern New Jersey editions of {The Star-Ledger}.
Inside, you’ll read about Barnabas Health welcoming Jersey City Medical Center into the system; cooking with care; the buzz on bug bites; swimmer’s ear; breathing easy in any weather; a guide to sun safety and the UV index; warming up to skin protection and understanding heat illness. You’ll also see our community photo essay highlighting some of Barnabas Health’s Golden Moments at the 2014 {Special Olympics USA Games}.

And, as always, make sure to check out our community events calendar.

For more summer safety tips and ways to keep active and healthy this summer, visit the Barnabas Health online Health Library here:

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Today look for Barnabas Health’s special wrap around The Asbury Park Press: Play it Safe this Summer. Inside you’ll read about how to make a splash with safety during the summer; swimmers ear; bug bites; ways to beat the heat, cookin’ with care and keeping a focus on fluid.

And, as always, make sure to check out our community events calendar.

For more summer safety tips and ways to keep active and healthy this summer, visit the Barnabas Health online Health Library here:
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Join Newark Beth Israel Medical Center for an {AARP} Driver Safety Course, July 12, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Newark Beth Israel Medical Center, Center for Geriatric Health Care, 156 Lyons Avenue, Newark.

This one-day course is intended to help drivers update their knowledge and skills and receive a 5 percent discount on their insurance and two points off their license.
The cost is $15 for AARP members and $20 for non-members. Please bring lunch and your AARP card. Registration is required. To register, call 973-926-6771.

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Myth or Truth - Quitting smoking can help your mental health

This is true.
Lung cancer. Heart disease. Asthma. Smoking can lead to these and many other health problems. But in case you need another reason to not light up, consider this: quitting may improve your mental health.

Mind over habit

In a recent study, researchers found a link between quitting smoking and better mental health. They looked at data from a large national survey on substance abuse and mental illness. The survey had 2 parts. It included an initial interview and a follow-up interview 3 years later. About 34,000 adults participated. More than 4,800 of them were smokers.

Over the 3-year period, 19% of smokers quit the habit. At the follow-up interview, quitters with a past history of an anxiety or mood disorder were less likely to still have such a problem. They also reported lower levels of alcohol and drug abuse.

A separate review of 26 studies on smoking and mental health came to a similar conclusion. In general, smokers are more likely to have a mental illness compared with nonsmokers. Quitting, though, seems to result in less anxiety, depression, and stress.

More health benefits

When you smoke, you inhale thousands of toxic chemicals. You also breathe in nicotine, a highly addictive drug. Nicotine quickly travels to your brain. Once there, it affects how your brain works, making you crave it.

Nicotine withdrawal can make quitting a challenge. But doing so has many short- and long-term health benefits. Besides better mental health, your blood pressure and heart rate will drop. You’ll be able to breathe easier. Your sense of smell will return, too.

Quitting also lowers your risk for many diseases. These include:
- Cancer
- Heart disease
- Diabetes
- Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, a serious lung ailment
- Another potential benefit: You may live longer. That’s especially true if you cut out cigarettes early. One study of more than 1 million women found those who quit smoking before age 40 gained at least 10 years of life expectancy.

Quitting isn't easy. But being prepared can help. Learn more here:,2139.

Tips to Help You Quit

Fewer Americans are smoking overall. But nearly 1 out of 5 adults still lights up. If you need help quitting, try these tips:
- Stay away from places where you can smoke. Instead spend your free time in smoke-free locales, such as museums, theaters, and stores.
- Avoid beverages you associate with smoking, particularly alcohol and coffee.
- Keep your hands busy so you won’t miss holding a cigarette.
- Learn relaxation techniques to combat anxiety.
- Start exercising to help reduce the possibility of weight gain.
- Keep oral substitutes like healthy snacks handy.
- Eat healthy meals and get plenty of rest.
- Consider using nicotine substitutes, such as the patch or gum, to help you manage the initial withdrawal stage.

Talk with your doctor about prescription drugs that may help you quit.

Seek support from a smoking counselor or group. Visit to find resources near you.

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Join the Women’s Council for the Leon Hess Cancer Center at Monmouth Medical Center for its 19th Annual Power of Pink Luncheon, on Thursday, July 10, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Old Oaks, the private estate of Claire and Woody Knopf, in Rumson. The program benefits numerous initiatives at the Leon Hess Cancer Center at Monmouth Medical Center, including the purchase of state-of-the-art equipment which (change to that) aids in proper diagnosis and effective treatment of cancer patients.

This year’s guest speaker will be founder of Huffington Post Media Group, Arianna Huffington. The event will also recognize Gregory A. Greco, MD, Chief of Plastic Surgery, Director of the General Surgery Clerkship at Monmouth Medical Center and member of the Monmouth Medical Center Foundation’s Board of Trustees, as this year’s honoree.

To purchase a ticket or reserve a table, visit
Start Your Week With Good Health: A Guide to Sun Safety

If you watch the evening news, you’ve probably seen the UV (ultraviolet) Index listed during the weather report. But what does it really mean in terms of sun safety?

The index is a next-day forecast that estimates the amount of ultraviolet radiation that will reach the earth’s surface, providing important information to help individuals prevent overexposure to the sun’s rays. The Index also includes the effects of cloud cover on the anticipated UV exposure level for the next day.

According to Barnabas Health dermatologists, while some UV radiation is essential to the body because it stimulates the production of vitamin D, UV exposure should be limited to avoid permanent damage to the skin and eyes. The dermatologists encourage individuals to be aware of the UV Index and understand its impact.

UV Index Guide

0-2 (Low)
Danger from the sun’s UV rays for the average person is low, but those who burn easily should cover up and use sunscreen with at least SPF (sun protection factor) 15.

3-5 (Moderate)
Take precautions if outside. Stay in shade near midday.

6-7 (High)
Individuals may be at high risk of harm from unprotected exposure to the sun. Cover up and wear a wide-brimmed hat and sunglasses. Wear sunscreen with at least SPF 15, as protection against sunburn is needed. Reduce time in the sun between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m.

8-10 (Very High)
Take extra precautions. Minimize exposure between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. Cover up and wear a hat and sunglasses. Wear at least SPF 15 sunscreen.

11+ (Extreme)
Individuals are at extreme risk of harm from unprotected sun exposure. Follow all of the above suggestions for protection from the sun.

For additional information about how to protect yourself from the sun, visit the Barnabas Health online Health Library at
Summer is heating up, and so is barbecue season. Whether you’re preparing for a family get together or grilling at home while listening to the game, Barnabas Health, home to New Jersey’s only state designated Burn Center, urges you to cook with care by following these safety tips to avoid the more than 6,000 fires outdoor grills cause each year.

• Only grill outdoors
• Always open the grill lid before lighting
• Never add lighter fluid to a fire
• Don’t wear loose clothing while cooking
• Supervise children and pets around outdoor grills
• Ensure hot coals are out by dousing them with water and stirring
• Never place coals in plastic, paper or wooden containers
• And, keep your grill clean to avoid grease build up

Remember: the best way to avoid a fire is to stop one from starting. Protect yourself, your family and your home this summer by practicing safe grilling procedures.

To learn more about fire safety or for other health tips, visit Barnabas Health’s online Health Library at
Thousands of Americans, many of them children, are injured each year in incidents associated with fireworks, according to the National Council of Fireworks Safety. Most of these injuries occur during the Fourth of July holiday and include serious burns, loss of fingers, and blindness.

Viewing public displays handled by professionals is the safest way to enjoy fireworks on the Fourth of July or any other day. Even then, keep a safe distance away.

If an accident injures someone's eyes while watching a fireworks display, these actions can help protect the victim's sight:
- Don't delay medical attention, even if the injury seems minor.
- Don't attempt to rinse out the eye. This can be very damaging.
- Avoid putting pressure on the eye. Avoid touching the injury.
- Don't give the victim aspirin or ibuprofen to try reducing the pain. These thin the blood and might increase bleeding.
- Don't apply ointment or any medication. It's probably not sterile.
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95 Old Short Hills Road, West Orange, NJ 07052, United States
Barnabas Health, New Jersey’s largest integrated health care delivery system.


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