Health Talk

The NUS Health Blog for Undergraduate Articles

Month: May 2018

The Importance of Pool Safety


Throughout your child’s adolescence, they’re going to experience going to the lake, ocean or swimming pool. Of course, you want your child to have fun in the water, but you also want them to be safe. They’ll be times when you won’t be with them and won’t be able to keep your eye on them. So, what are you going to do? One of the best ways to keep your child safe is through education. So, here are the 6 ways to teach your children water safety.

Put them in swimming lessons

This is one of the best ways to help your children be safe in the water. Firstly, swimming instructors are going to be teaching your children valuable lessons about water safety, plus, give them the skills which will be able to support themselves when in the water. In the United States, one in five of the people who die from drowning are children under 14. By your child knowing how to swim, you drastically decrease their chances of accidentally drowning.

Be present

The best way to teach your children water safety is to be there with them in the water. If you’re sitting away from them or dropping them off at the swimming pool alone, they may have to learn these skills the hard way.

Respect the barriers

When a child sees a fence around a swimming pool, they rarely think about the reason why it’s there. All they’re focused on is going into the pool. But, you need to teach your children about respecting barriers as they’re there for a reason. Swimming pool fences such as the ones by Pool Guard USA aid to protect your children from entering the pool when unsupervised. It’s important to talk to them about this from early on and be consistent with reminding them why these barriers are in place.

Introduce life jackets

You want to teach your child that life jackets aren’t uncool but rather are life-saving devices. Many people avoid wearing life jackets, however, a life jacket is similar to wearing a seatbelt when in a car or a regular dental appointment with your dentist. If they don’t know how to swim, wearing a life jacket is a great incentive to get them to take lessons. However, they need to know that when on boats, a life jacket is an absolute must.

Show them the dangers

When we’re near a swimming pool, we usually become excited and forget to keep our eyes open to possible dangers. It’s important to teach your children what possible dangers look like when near water as it differs then on land. For example, teaching them about currents is one way to prevent them from going into choppy waters.

Take them to guarded areas only

You’re going to need to be an example to your children as they learn from their parents. Therefore, take them to areas which are protected by lifeguards, showing them the importance of being in areas which are properly protected. Of course, if you go to unguarded areas, you need to emphasize the importance of water safety when there’s no one around to help you.


Demystifying Dentistry


The history of dentistry is intertwined with the growth of human civilization. Excavations from the early Harappan period of the Indus Valley Civilization demonstrate that teeth were drilled 9,000 years ago. Dental surgery was probably the first medical specialization. Dentistry was, however, primitive till the middle ages, with barbers doubling as surgeons and dentists, and folk cures masquerading as genuine medical therapies. Modern dentistry has come a long way to become the structured and scientific discipline that is today. The French surgeon Pierre Fauchard is known as the Father of Modern Dentistry. Fauchard pioneered dental prosthesis, discovered methods to replace lost teeth, introduced dental braces and used substitutes made from carved blocks of ivory and bone. However, dental myths abound and are passed on by word of mouth (pun intended).

The No 1 myth is that there is no need to visit a dentist if there is no problem with the teeth. The fact is that it is important to visit the dentist at least bi-annually for a dental examination and cleaning to ensure that the teeth remain healthy and dental complications are nipped in the bud. There is an all-pervasive myth that parents pass on good dental health to their offspring. Truth be told, genetics only has a minimal role in determining a person’s dental health and it is the responsibility of the individual to take care of his teeth and gums. There is also an apprehension that brushing teeth more than once a day can prove harmful for the enamel. Actually speaking, there should not be any problem in brushing twice a day, provided one uses a soft toothbrush to avoid roughness on the gums and teeth. Chewing sugar-free gum after meals can clean the teeth and freshen the breath, but is not a replacement to brushing and flossing. When brushing and flossing are skipped, bacteria from food residues get stuck in the teeth and develop into plaque over a period of time.

Many people regard sugar as the primary cause of cavities and tooth decay. Bacteria is the real villain, though, as it produces acids that eat away at the tooth enamel. A diet high in sugar and carbohydrates can result in cavities, in the absence of adequate brushing and flossing. It is a blunder to attempt curing a toothache by placing an aspirin tablet next to the painful tooth. Far from relieving a toothache, an aspirin tablet that is in direct contact with the soft tissues of the mouth may lead to painful chemical burns. The arguably most insidious myth is that the elderly alone are afflicted by gum disease. In reality, even people in their 30s develop gum disease and teenagers can suffer from gingivitis. Gum disease, if left untreated, can be a leading cause of tooth loss and result in serious illnesses such as heart disease and diabetes. Emergency dental care offices should be the first point of contact in any dental emergencies.

It is easier to smile than frown. A healthy dental life, free of myths, would give plenty reasons to smile.

This article was written by the NUS community. If you would like to contribute your article, please get in touch.

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