Multiple Health Benefits from Owning a Pet
Owning a pet creates a lifelong bond between man and beast. Non-judgemental, unconditional in their love and always there to listen, animals can truly be man’s best friend. As well as companionship, animals bring numerous health benefits to their owners.
Better Mental Health
Dogs in particular are known to improve our mental health. Playing with them increases our serotonin levels, which balances our moods, and their affection makes us feel valued and appreciated.
Having a pet also adds structure and routine to your day. Through their dependency on you, they teach the responsibility of caring for another creature.
Pets help to reduce loneliness and the symptoms of depression, and also encourage social, emotional and cognitive development in children.
Studies have shown that the act of stroking a dog or cat instantly reduces our stress levels and makes us more relaxed. This calming effect is caused by lowering levels of stress hormones like cortisol and elevating beneficial hormones like oxytocin, which is linked to relaxation.
Some people also experience greater outputs of endorphins, the brain’s ‘feel good’ chemical, along with lower blood pressure.
From the 1st April – 4th May is National Pet Month, which celebrates all the joys animals bring to our lives. The charity aims to promote responsible pet ownership and raise awareness about the benefits of having animals, plus the value of working pets to society.
Each year the charity has a different theme, which their numerous fundraising events are based around. This year it’s ‘Pets and the Elderly: Enjoying Later Years Together.’
Dogs – Man’s Best Friend
Dogs have been hailed as man’s best friend for years and some are being trained to go even further in their ability to help their owners. Medical assistance dogs are specially trained to aid humans who suffer from a range of conditions such as physical disabilities, mental health issues, epilepsy and diabetes. Some are even being trained to detect early forms of cancerous cells.
A Medical Detection Dog
Dr Claire Guest is Director of Operations and co-founder of Medical Detection Dogs. She set up the foundation in 2008 after her previous work showed that dogs could be trained to recognise certain smells, including cancerous cells.
“I knew we had a brilliant solution to early cancer detection using the amazing smelling power of dogs. I was determined to take it to the point where we started putting the science into practice and saving lives.”
Jobi, a cancer detection dog
As the weather starts to get warmer and the evenings lighter, spring is a great time to get your kids outdoors and introduce them to new sports. For parents of children with hayfever, allergies, asthma and other respiratory conditions however, spring time brings fresh challenges.
Active Kids are Healthy Kids
The health benefits of exercise for children and adults alike are well documented.
Sharon Bassett, Director and coach at A-Star Sports and Sports Xtra, a nationwide children’s sports club had this to say:
Sharon Bassett, A-Star Sports coach
“Taking part in sport and physical activity brings many benefits. Physical fitness can support children’s growth and development, improve concentration levels, self-esteem and confidence. It’s a positive thing to do with family and friends, to develop social skills and a strong support network.
“It’s also a fun way to learn how to deal with challenges in a supportive environment and develop skills that are transferable to many other situations in life.”
As allergies and chronic conditions continue to rise, parents worry that children are not given the appropriate level of care in schools.
The ID Band Company conducted a national health survey from October 2014 to January 2015, which was entered by 500 participants. 55% of parents who entered felt that their children with medical conditions and allergies were not adequately supported at school.
Diabetic Pupils Unable to Use Medical Aids
Some parents expressed concerns over school protocols not being altered to suit children with chronic conditions.
Neila Evans has experienced frustration with her daughter’s South Yorkshire senior school. The Swinton based mum was horrified when Arianne who has Type 1 diabetes was told to leave the classroom after using her blood glucose monitor – an important device for diabetes management.
“Arianne’s teacher thought she was using her mobile phone which is against school policy, but she was actually just checking her blood sugar levels as she had the symptoms of a hypo.
Pictured above: Neila with daughter Arianne, 14 and son Hayden, 8
Health Survey – Our Findings Revealed
Thank you to everyone who completed our health survey. We’ve now reached our magic 500 entries and can reveal our results.
One of the most interesting statistics we discovered was that over 55% of people feel children in the UK are not adequately supported in schools. We’ll be interviewing parents and teachers to get their take on this – if you’d like to share your experience please get in touch.
Diabetes leads the way as the most common medical condition, while most participants with an allergy are allergic to medication. In fact over half of people who completed the survey have at least one allergy, suggesting they’re a lot more common than 20 – 30 years ago when allergies were a rarity.
Pancake Day is just around the corner but for those with food allergies and intolerances, it can make you feel excluded and difficult to accommodate for.
Traditional pancakes contain three main ingredients: flour, eggs and milk. These ingredients all have associated allergies and intolerances but there are alternatives available, so it can still be a fun day for children and adults alike.
Food allergies and intolerances are becoming more commonly known globally. New laws have just passed meaning that all restaurants and takeaways across Europe must now provide information about whether their foods contain any of the 14 main food allergies.
Valentine’s Day is just around the corner, so why not give your loved one a personal, practical gift that could save their life? Medical ID jewellery offers protection in case of emergency.
The reverse side of each stylish bracelet or necklace can be engraved with important details about your condition, allergy and/or medication. The front side elegantly displays the widely known medical alert symbol, which paramedics are trained to look for in an emergency.
February is often associated with hearts and roses but many people are unaware that it’s also American Heart Month. This month sees thousands of people wear red to raise awareness of heart disease and fundraise towards research for this condition.
Gerard Moseley, from Stoke-On-Trent, has worked for the ambulance service for 31 years.
We caught up with the retired paramedic to get his thoughts and advice on medical ID jewellery.
Mum of two Jessica Bird, 29, from Northamptonshire, has Trigeminal Neuralgia, a rare brain condition which causes sudden pain attacks in parts of your face.
With no official diagnostic testing, and very little treatment available, living with what sufferers call ‘TN’ is far from easy.
“The pain attacks just come from nowhere and are incredibly difficult to deal with,” says Jessica, who has two children aged six and nine.
“It’s like having an amputation with no anaesthetic. It hurts when you try to lie down or even cry.”
Kerry Woods, 32, from Northern Ireland had the shock of her life when she discovered herself and all four of her children have long QT syndrome.The rare hereditary heart condition can cause fainting and episodes of abnormal heart rhythms, particularly when taking part in strenuous activities. Read more