Just Say 'No' to Co-Workers' Halloween Candy

Originally posted on  October 14, 2014 by Josh Cable on ehstoday.com.

Workplace leftovers might seem like one of the perks of the job. But when co-workers try to pawn off their Halloween candy on the rest of the department, it's more of a trick than a treat.

Those seemingly generous and thoughtful co-workers often are just trying to keep temptation out of their homes.

"Not only does candy play tricks on your waistline, but it also turns productive workers into zombies," says Emily Tuerk, M.D., adult internal medicine physician at the Loyola University Health System and assistant professor in the Department of Medicine at the Loyola University Chicago Stritch School of Medicine.

"A sugar high leads to a few minutes of initial alertness and provides a short burst of energy. But beware of the scary sugar crash. When the sugar high wears off, you'll feel tired, fatigued and hungry."

Tuerk offers a few tips to help you and others on your team avoid being haunted by leftover candy:

  • Make a pact with your co-workers to not bring in leftover candy.
  • Eat breakfast, so you don't come to work hungry.
  • Bring in alternative healthy snacks, such as low-fat yogurt, small low-fat cheese sticks, carrot sticks or cucumber slices. Vegetables are a great healthy snack. You can't overdose on vegetables.
  • Be festive without being unhealthy. Blackberries and cantaloupe are a fun way to celebrate with traditional orange and black fare without packing on the holiday pounds. Bring this to the office instead of candy as a creative and candy-free way to participate in the holiday fun.
  • If you must bring in candy, put it in an out-of-the-way location. Don't put it in people's faces so they mindlessly eat it. An Eastern Illinois University study found that office workers ate an average of nine Hershey's Kisses per week when the candy was conveniently placed on top of the desk, but only six Kisses when placed in a desk drawer and three Kisses when placed 2 feet from the desk.

And if you decide to surrender to temptation and have a treat, limit yourself to a small, bite-size piece, Tuerk adds. Moderation is key.

Tips to Avoid the Scariest Place Of All

Originally Posted on Oct 23, 2014 by Sandy Smith on www.ehstoday.com.

Each year, 9.2 million babies, children and teens are injured severely enough to need treatment in emergency departments all across America, reports the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

“Nothing is scarier than a trip to the emergency room,” said Mark Cichon, DO, chair, Department of Emergency Medicine, Loyola University Health System. “In a season devoted to frights, it is our goal to keep everyone safe.”

Here are Dr. Cichon's top tips to avoid going bump in the night and for a healthy, happy Halloween:

Invest in a pumpkin carving kit and avoid knives. “Manipulating a sharp knife in a rigid pumpkin rind without injury is almost impossible for an adult or child,” said Cichon, a professor at Stritch School of Medicine, Loyola University. “Proper tools make sure you carve the jack o’ lantern and not yourself or a loved one.”

Supervise anything that is burning, from scented candles to carved pumpkins to firepits. “Fires can happen in a flash and get quickly out of control,” said Cichon. “The colder temperatures invite the warm glow of candles to the excitement of an end-of-season bonfire. Watch out for burning leaf piles.”

Use extra precaution when climbing ladders to hang decorations inside and outside. “Falls from ladders are one of the top reasons adults come to the emergency room and they are largely avoidable,” said Cichon. “Use the right-sized ladder, and one that is safe, and work with a partner to do the job right.”

Make sure Halloween costumes offer visibility and ease of movement. “Masks, hats, wigs, glasses, hoods – costumes often include headgear that can obstruct vision and lead to trips and falls,” Cichon cautioned. “And make sure it is easy to walk in the costume without tripping or catching on things.”

Dress for the weather. “It is easy to get overheated or too cold at this time of year, without the addition of wearing a costume,” Cichon pointed out. “Check skin temperature and watch for signs such as shivering or lethargy. Don’t forget to wear waterproof footgear that has treads for sure footing.”

Make sure your group is visible to motorists. Have one adult in the trick-or-treating group wear a reflective safety vest and give each child a glow stick or flashlight to increase visibility. “You want to be able to see where you are going and also for others to see you, especially around moving vehicles,” said Cichon. Stay in a group and put kids on the buddy system.

Avoid alcohol use when supervising children. “Don’t drink and accompany your kids as they trick-or-treat,” said Cichon. “If you choose, enjoy a beer or cocktail at the end of the night after kids are safely indoors, or better yet, in bed.”

Avoid over-tiring children. “Fatigue can lower resistance, leading to illness and injury,” warned Cichon. Make sure a good night’s sleep starts Halloween day and rest up before the night's activities. Eat healthy meals and drink plenty of water to stay hydrated. Maintain regular bedtimes.

Inspect treats when you get home. “Make sure candy and goodies are age-appropriate; avoid smaller pieces for younger children that could be a choking hazard,” said Cichon. And, if your child has food allergies such as a peanut allergy, remember to remove that candy from the bag.

Balance candy consumption with healthy foods. “When my four children were younger, my wife and I would hide their candy and allow them each to choose two pieces after dinner to limit over-consumption,” remembered Cichon.

Be aware of the potential for loud and scary noises. “Playful scaring antics by enthusiastic celebrants and even barking dogs can frighten children and cause them to react suddenly,” Cichon warned. “Falling down porch stairs, tripping over curbs and even colliding with others can result in harm.”

Drive vehicles slowly and cautiously on Halloween, especially on sidestreets. “Watch for trick-or-treaters but also be aware of any flying eggs or other debris that could impede vision,” Cichon cautioned.

Stories that Will Make HR Scream

Originally posted by Denise Rand on hrdailyadvisor.blr.com

Happy Halloween!!!  HR Daily Advisor decided to put together a list of some of the scariest HR Strange but True! stories from this year, guaranteed to frighten any HR pro.

And last, but certainly not least, here are a few frightening tales from our readers:

  • Toilet Talk or Dirty Seat? Clean It Up—This reader shared a story about how HR had to clean up a messy issue.
  • The Creepy Coworker—One SBT reader wrote in about an employee who had his own weird way to personalize his workspace.
  • Keep Your Clippings to Yourself—Personal hygiene can be an issue in the workplace. While you may immediately think of body odor as the main culprit, this SBT reader shows that there are other grooming issues that HR may have to address.

Do you have an odd workplace story? Share your story in the comments below!!!  Thanks!