Healthy Family Expo!

Are you looking for small steps to healthier, more active, eco-friendly family living?WCF - 200 x 100 #2 for blog post

Healthy Family Expo has the answers for busy Metro Vancouver parents at the Vancouver Convention Centre on Sunday, March 26th!

THIS EVENT TURNS THE TYPICAL EXPO ON ITS HEAD! Parents can taste and shop their way around 200+ exhibitors, including the Whole Foods Market Zone, London Drugs Health Zone, Toyota Outdoor Living Zone, West Coast Kids Healthy Baby Zone, Green Living Zone and more. But it’s the kids who will be blown away by the enormous Active Kid Zone, with a giant hamster ball track, rock climbing wall, Springfree Trampolines, run bike and sportball areas, Tumblebus & TumbleTown, Science World fireball show, Vancouver Aquarium AquaVan, Bobs & LoLo and Jessie Farrell concerts and very popular meet & greets with CBC Kids favourites Daniel Tiger & Super WHY!

Mark your calendar for Sunday, March 26th and grab your 2-for-1 Expo tickets online for a limited time with promo code WCF241, and you will be entered to win the early bird Springfree Trampoline prize! First 200 adults through the door will receive an adult ticket to Science World and partial proceeds of ticket sales support the Canadian Autism Network.

WCF - 200 x 200 #1 for blog postSharing is caring, so the Healthy Family Expo is giving away thousands in pre-expo prizes leading up to the $15,000 Grand Prize Showcase to be won at the main event on March 26th, including a one-year lease on a Toyota Prius c.

To get involved in the fun:

  1. Join the Expo Facebook Event to RSVP to win thousands in prizes from Expo partners at their March 23rd Facebook Party!
  2. Grab 2-for-1 Expo tickets for a limited time using promo code WCF241 (click for tickets!).
  3. Grab VIP Expo tickets to get a loaded gift bag and skip the line at the door! Only 100 available (click for tickets!).

Britax Stroller Recall

Please note this safety recall on Britax strollers. Britax B-Agile and BOB Motion Strollers used as a travel system with a car seat carrier attached. For model numbers, click here.

This recall involves all Britax B-Agile and BOB Motion strollers that have Click & Go receiver mounts that attach the car seat carrier to the stroller frame. All models are folding, single or double occupant strollers and all colours are included. Consumers can continue to use their stroller or car seat independently without the car seat attached to the stroller.

The model number can be found on the inside of the stroller’s metal frame near the right rear wheel for single strollers and in the front middle underside of the frame on double strollers.

A damaged Click & Go receiver mount may cause a car seat to fall unexpectedly when using the stroller as a travel system.  This recall does not affect the safety performance of the stroller or car seat when they are used independently from one another.

As of February 16, 2017, the company has received 118 reports of consumer incidents in Canada with 1 report of injury, a bump to the head.  In the United States, the company has received 1,219 reports of consumer incidents and 32 reports of car seats unexpectedly disconnecting from the strollers and falling to the ground, resulting in 25 reports of injuries, including scratches, bruises, cuts, and bumps to the head.

What you should do

Consumers should immediately stop using their Click & Go receivers and contact Britax for further instructions about disposing the receivers and remedy options. Consumers can continue to use their stroller or car seat independently without the car seat attached to the stroller.Remedy kits can be requested by visiting the firm’s website or by contacting Britax Customer Service Department at the dedicated recall line: 844-227-0300 from 8:30 a.m.to 7 p.m. ET Monday through Friday and from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. ET Saturday.  If you live outside of the US or Canada, you should e-mail Britax.

WAMS Foundation Fundraiser!

It is that time a year again! The WAMS Foundation, Walk a Mile In Our Shoes, is hosting its 5th annual fundraiser at the Roundhouse community center on March 3rd! The WAMS foundation seeks to help MS sufferers fund alternative treatments, and with a country with some of the highest MS rates in the world, it is important that patients have options.

The fundraiser supports a different person each year, and this year it is for a woman named Shaneel. Shaneel is a wife, daughter and sister who has been living with Multiple Sclerosis for 12 years. She was diagnosed in 2005, just 6 days before her 25th birthday. At the time, she had her full independence working full time in the financial field with aspirations of climbing the corporate ladder.

Her initial symptoms that led her to visit the doctor was a combination of unusual feelings, which included numbness and tingling in her fingers along with a lack of balance and daily fatigue. Just days after her visit to the doctor and MRI tests, the results had proven that Shaneel has Multiple Sclerosis. This was just the beginning of the journey she was about to be faced with. Shaneel is severely affected by this horrible disease and needs our help to raise money for treatment in Mexico.

We ask that please purchase you tickets now by following the link below, as it assists us in having adequate food and libations for everyone (including of course, jello shooters). If you can’t attend but would still like to support Shaneel, please do so by clicking on the link and purchasing a ghost ticket or two.

https://www.eventbrite.ca/e/lyle-construction-presents-wams-5th-annual-fundraiser-tickets-31270369517?utm_term=eventurl_text

As a reminder, the WAMS foundation is a volunteer run not for profit organization. No one takes a salary and every penny earned goes to those who need it most.

Backpack Buddies in Your School?

We are so fortunate to live in an area with access to locally grown foods to maintain healthy and active lifestyles. But for some in poverty, access to nutritious food is far out of reach, meaning too many children are going hungry. With more than 20 per cent of BC children living below the poverty line, how can we expect them to concentrate in the classroom with growling bellies? Backpack Buddies looks to eradicate childhood hunger by providing a weekend worth of meals to those in need.

This charity helps the Metro Vancouver area fill the weekend hunger gap by providing stocked backpacks for children to take home and share with their families, breaking the cycle of poverty. The program works with local partners and communities to distribute the backpacks through local schools. It was started in 2012 by mother and daughter duo, Joanne Griffiths and Emily-Anne King, and today they have helped deliver more than 8,000 backpacks in the 2015/2016 school year alone. Currently there are nine schools in the Lower Mainland who are part of the program, but you can help! Donate money, food, or time and be a part of the solution to child hunger.

Play Grant for Britannia Community Services!

For some kids, the opportunity to play is limited by finances, location and safe locations. Physical literacy is vital for children to develop appropriately and learn to live healthy lifestyles as adults. Answering the call is RBC and their Learn to Play grants, which support kids and youth in sport and recreation. The grants go towards teaching children to play through jumping, swimming, skating and more, mastering movement skills and building confidence while growing physical strength.

The Britannia Community Services Centre is the latest recipient of a $9,450 grant, part of which will go to the Vancouver Aboriginal Friendship Centre Society’s Learn to Skate program, which will provide urban Aboriginal children, tweens, teens and youth with an opportunity to learn how to skate while also encouraging future participation in the sport. “By providing organizations with the funding and resources to teach kids basic skills, we’ve been able to empower them to feel confident and competent to move their bodies, engage in sport and create lifelong relationships with physical activity,” said Elio Antunes, President and CEO, ParticipACTION. Not only will kids benefit from the grant but so will the greater community as a whole. Congrats to the centre for their grant!

Holiday Safety

The holidays are a great time to get together with family and friends. However, holiday traditions can involve some safety risks that may not be found at other times of the year. Health Canada reminds Canadians to follow these tips for a safe and happy holiday season.

Holiday lights and lighted decorations

  • Check the Healthy Canadians Recalls and Safety Alerts Database before buying or using seasonal lights, as some may have been recalled.
  • Use lights that have the mark of an accredited certification agency, such as CSA, cUL or cETL.
  • Light strings and other lighted decorations, such as wreaths and reindeer, are rated for either indoor or outdoor use. Ensure that indoor lights and decorations are used only inside. Read the instructions on the package and do not exceed the recommended wattage.
  • Check all light bulbs, light strings and cords. Replace broken or burned-out bulbs, and discard any light strings or cords that are frayed, or that have exposed wires or loose connections.
  • For pre-lit trees and decorations, ensure that wires are securely fastened to the product and are not pinched if the product unfolds or moves during use.
  • Always turn off all holiday lights, lighted decorations, pre-lit trees and decorations before you go to bed or leave your home.

Holiday trees and decorations

  • When buying a real tree, make sure it’s fresh and water it daily.
  • Keep trees away from heating vents, radiators, stoves, fireplaces and burning candles.
  • Choose tinsel, ornaments, artificial icicles and other trimmings made of plastic or non-leaded metals.
  • Don’t let children put decorations in their mouths, as some may be harmful to their health.
  • Keep metal, sharp or breakable tree ornaments, and those with small removable parts or button batteries, away from young children.

Toys and gifts

  • Buy age-appropriate toys. Toys for older children may contain small parts or other hazards that may make them unsafe for young children.
  • Read and follow the labels, warnings, safety messages and other instructions that come with a toy.
  • Purchase sturdy, well-made toys that come with contact information for the manufacturer or importer.
  • Ensure batteries are properly installed by an adult and not accessible to children.
  • Make sure that button batteries (often found in musical greeting cards, small electronic devices, children’s books and flashing jewellery) stay securely in the products. Look for products with battery compartments that prevent easy access.
  • Supervise children at play and teach them to use their new toys safely.
  • Toys can be recalled for health or safety reasons.
  • Promptly remove and discard all toy packaging like plastic bags, plastic wrap, foam, staples, ties and protective film. A child can suffocate or choke on these items.

Thank you to the Healthy Canadians website for all this great information!

Food Guide Changes

Staying healthy is about more than visiting a doctor. It is the result of the choices we make every day. The Government of Canada is taking action to help Canadians make healthy choices for themselves and their families.

Honourable Jane Philpott, Minister of Health, announced that Health Canada has started a process to revise Canada’s Food Guide to reflect the latest scientific evidence on diet and health, and to better support Canadians, including Indigenous peoples, in making healthy food choices. The announcement was made at the Canadian Cardiovascular Congress.

As part of the Food Guide revision, Health Canada today launched a consultation with Canadians, which will run to December 8, to determine how Health Canada can provide better dietary guidance that meets the needs of Canadians.

This revision is part of a multi-year Healthy Eating Strategy. As part of the Strategy, Health Canada will use every tool at its disposal—legislation, regulation, guidance and education—to create conditions to support healthy eating. In addition to revising Canada’s Food Guide, the Healthy Eating Strategy outlines how Health Canada will achieve the commitments set out in the Prime Minister’s mandate letter to the Minister of Health related to sodium, trans fat, sugars, food colours, marketing to children, and the Nutrition North Program. Health Canada will continue to engage with stakeholders and experts to further refine the strategy as it moves forward.

Quick facts

  • In Canada, four out of five Canadians risk developing conditions such as cancer, heart disease or Type 2 diabetes; six out of ten adults are overweight and one-third of youth are overweight or obese.
  • Poor diet is the primary risk factor for obesity and many chronic diseases, and places a significant burden on the health of Canadians and our health care system.
  • The annual economic burden of obesity in Canada is estimated in the billions of dollars.

New MS Breakthroughs and WAMS Luncheon

From potential stem cell treatments to new biomarker discoveries, Multiple Sclerosis Society of Canada’s vice president of research Dr. Karen Lee says the research work in multiple sclerosis continues to unveil new promising breakthroughs on a regular basis. “It is thrilling to see the kind of ground-breaking developments happening in MS research right nowwe are confident that more answers and improved treatments are on the horizon,” says Dr. Lee who will be attending this year’s Women Against MS (WAMS) luncheon in Vancouver.

Dr. Lee, who oversees day-to-day research operations and provides leadership for a broad range of initiatives around finding a cure and improving the quality of life for people who are affected by this chronic disease, gives an example of a new breakthrough presented at a recently held international MS research conference.

The study, presented at the 2016 European Committee for Treatment and Research in Multiple Sclerosis (ECTRIMS) Conference showed that certain biomarkers found in the blood could detect levels of nerve damage in MS, Lee explained. Researchers from Switzerland looked at levels of the biomarker, and found that levels were high in people with MS, and were linked to the number of lesions, relapses, and disability. This biomarker holds promise in detecting and assessing disease progression in MS.

On November 17th, 2016, the MS Society of Canada will host the second annual Women Against MS (WAMS) luncheon at the Four Seasons Hotel in Vancouver. Through MS research-focused fundraising, WAMS strives to unite women to fight against a disease that universally and disproportionately affects women up to three times more than men. 

WAMS is a collective of professional women committed to raising research funds to end MS while participating in exclusive networking opportunities. The luncheon attracts leading professionals and organizations from a wide range of industries in support of the movement to end MS. In addition to supporting one of Canada’s leading health charities, the WAMS luncheon provides table purchasers and sponsors high profile exposure.

Most people with MS are diagnosed between the ages of 15 to 40 and the unpredictable effects of MS can last for the rest of their lives. “Last year’s event raised over $85k for MS research thanks to those who attended. We are thrilled to be holding this event for a second time to continue this movement and bring together strong, passionate individuals who are fighting for such an important cause”, shares Tania Vrionis, MS Society of Canada, BC & Yukon President.

Ticket prices vary from $125 and up. For more information on this important event, or to buy tickets, visit: www.wamsbc.ca 

Testing that Helps Children with Cancer

New oncology patients at BC Children’s Hospital, an agency of the Provincial Health Services Authority, now receive state-of-the-art testing for genetic variations that increase the risk of serious complications from two common chemotherapy drugs. With the results of this testing, each child’s care team can develop a personalized treatment plan that balances the risks of side effects with the therapeutic benefits of these life-saving drugs. And they’ve just treated their 150th patient!

The Personalized Medicine Programme tests pediatric cancer patients for genetic variations that increase the risk of serious side effects from two life-saving chemotherapy drugs: cisplatin and anthracyclines. Cisplatin is frequently used to treat children with leukemia, brain, bone and liver cancers and can cause permanent hearing loss in some patients. Anthracyclines treat leukemia, bone tumors and other cancers, but can lead to heart damage that may result in heart failure and the need for a heart transplant. Children are at particular risk for these complications and live with the effects for the rest of their lives.

An individual’s risk of suffering side effects for these drugs varies greatly based on genetics.“If we find a child is more likely to develop complications, we can consider modifying treatment so he or she receives the life-saving benefits of these drugs while minimizing risk,” says Dr. Rod Rassekh an Oncologist and Investigator with the Michael Cuccione Childhood Cancer Research Program at BC Children’s Hospital, and a Clinical Assistant Professor in the Department of Pediatrics at the University of British Columbia. “We also carefully monitor children in the high-risk group for complications, both during treatment and years afterwards. For families of children at lower risk of side effects, the testing provides reassurance during a difficult time.”

More innovation is under way, and this is likely to be a big breakthrough in how children with cancer receive treatment.

 

Safe School Lunches

Getting ready for school can be fun for kids and parents alike. However, along with packing school supplies such as books and pencils, you’ll also be packing school lunches for your children. While there are food safety tips that you should follow to avoid food poisoning, it’s also important to remember allergy awareness when you are packing lunches. If your children pack their own lunches, you should help them understand how to handle food safely and be aware of food allergies.

As many as 1.2 million Canadians may be affected by food allergies and this number is likely increasing, especially among children. Currently, it is estimated that six per cent of children are affected by food allergies. Although many foods can cause allergic reactions, the majority of allergic reactions in Canada are caused by peanuts, tree nuts, sesame seeds, soy, seafood (such as fish, crustaceans and shellfish), wheat, eggs, milk, sulphites and mustard.Because of the potential seriousness of allergic reactions, many schools have policies in place to stop students from bringing certain items in their lunches. It’s very important for you to follow the school’s food allergen policy closely, even if your child does not have allergies. The health and safety of other students depends on all parents and students following the school’s policies. Here are some tips that can help:

  • If your child is allergic to a certain food, make sure the school knows about the allergy. Work with them to come up with a strategy to keep your child safe.
  • Remind your child that it is not safe to trade or share food.
  • If peanut is on the school policy as a restricted food, try thinking about alternative sandwich-making ingredients. For example, try hummus or apple butter instead of peanut butter.
  • Always read the labels on the food you pack in your child’s lunch. Don’t pack any food with ingredients that are restricted at your school.
  • Look for warning statements on the label such as “May Contain…”. Remember, even trace amounts can cause a severe allergic reaction.

Check out Healthy Canadians for more tips and tricks on food safety.