Thursday, April 01, 2010
How to be safe outside this spring

By Anthony Policastro

As the days get longer, we spend more time outside. Now is the time to make sure that we do not set ourselves up for accidents that can occur with spring activities. The first thing to think about is mowing the lawn. Lawn mowers are often taken for granted. However, they are dangerous. The first time we start the mower up for the year, it may be temperamental. As we are trying to get it going, we need to remember to keep our hands away from the blades. Once we start mowing, we need to remember that there may be objects in the lawn after the long winter. Those objects could be thrown by the mower so make sure no one is nearby who could get hit by them. Riding mowers present their own set of issues. If you run into something big hidden in the lawn, it can stop the mower and throw you over it. A special caution needs to be given about children and riding mowers. They are not toys and they are dangerous. Riding a mower with a young child on your lap is not a good idea. Asking a child to operate one is also not a good idea. We don't give a driver's license until children turn 16 and there is a reason for that. Expecting an adolescent to safely operate a riding mower under that age is not a smart idea. Using weed trimmers can be a dangerous proposition to unprotected feet so make sure you wear shoes and socks. Doing a lot of yard work when you are out of shape can put you at risk. If you are younger you might pull a muscle. If you are older, you risk a heart attack. Make sure you are in the right shape for the activities you are undertaking. In spring, some people climb on ladders to do things such as trimming branches, cleaning gutters or doing roof work. Make sure you have the right size ladder and that it is anchored properly. Now is also the time to take out the barbeque grill. We need to remember that grills need to be respected. It is easy to get burned around something hot, so you need to keep young children away when you barbeque. You also need to respect the source of the fire. Make sure your propane tanks are maintained properly. If you use charcoal, put enough lighter fluid on before you start the fire. Do not add fluid after you start the grill or you will risk the fire running up the stream and into the container. There are many other springtime sources of accidents and the goal is to recognize them before they occur so that they can be prevented. No one wants to spend the nice weather sitting in an emergency room.

Bayhealth revises visitation With recent flu activity in the United States reported as "low" by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Bayhealth Medical Center has reverted to its regular visitation policy. Supervised children under the age of 16 are now allowed to visit patients in both Kent General and Milford Memorial Hospitals. For more information on Bayhealth's patient-centered visitation program, visit

Dialysis treatment options program Fresenius Medical Care in Seaford will hold a free session about your dialysis treatment options on Wednesday, April 7, from 10 a.m. to noon. Learn the benefits of all the available treatment types, so that you can work with your doctor to decide what is best for you. You can ask questions regarding kidney health and Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD) and discover other valuable resources. To RSVP, call 1-877-TOPS-LIFE (1-877-867-7543). For more information, visit

Walk MS at Heritage Shores Heritage Shores in Bridgeville is home to the annual MS fundraiser, Walk MS: Twilight at Heritage Shores. This year's event steps off at the Heritage Shores clubhouse on Friday, April 30, at 6 p.m. "After the walk," promises the chapter's director of development, Holly Maddams, "we'll gather in the grand ballroom and outdoor patio, enjoy some good food and entertainment, and hand out prizes. We're giving a BPA-free water bottle to every participant who raises at least $25 and an event t-shirt to anyone who raises $100 or more." Day-of registration begins at 5 p.m., but advance registration is recommended. For more information, visit or call 302-655-5610.

Free cancer workshop offered The Wellness Community- DE, an affiliate of the Cancer Support Community, and Nanticoke Memorial Hospital present an educational program to cancer patients and their loved ones in western Sussex county. "Coping With the Side Effects of Cancer Treatment" workshop will be presented in the Nanticoke Cancer Care Center Lobby, on Tuesday, April 13 at 4 p.m. Join Dr. Paul Zorsky and Jaci Burdette, oncology nurse, both of Nanticoke Cancer Care Center, as they present an informational program highlighting the side effects of cancer treatment. Fatigue, blood counts and infections will be highlighted in this very informative educational program. A question and answer period will follow. All classes sponsored by The Wellness Community are offered to people affected by cancer and their loved ones free of charge. Call 645-9150 or 629-6611, ext. 2378 to register.

Spring into Health Walks The Sussex Child Health Promotion Coalition and the towns of Laurel, Bridgeville, Georgetown, Lewes and the city of Seaford have joined together for a fourth year to promote Sussex County's "Spring into Health Community Walk." This walk is being held simultaneously in all five towns at the following locations:

  • Woodbridge Athletic Complex, 14714 Woodbridge Rd., Greenwood; 8:30 a.m. registration, 9 a.m. walk
  • Seaford Athletic Complex Track, Virginia Avenue, Seaford; 8:30 a.m. registration, 9 a.m. walk
  • Laurel Senior High School, Laurel; 9:30 a.m. registration; 10 a.m. walk
  • Sussex Technical High School, Georgetown; 8:30 a.m. registration, 9 a.m. walk
  • The Villages of Five Points, 17339 North Village, Main Boulevard, Lewes; 8:30 a.m. registration, 9 a.m. walk
This year's theme is Get Out, Get Moving, and Get Healthy and promotes area parks that provide a great place to get outside and be physically active. The goal of the walk is to promote the prevention of childhood obesity and early onset diabetes particularly in children. There is no cost for this event and it is not a fundraiser, simply an awareness campaign. Special guests will appear around the community. The first 100 children at each site will receive a free t-shirt just for participating. Each location will offer special kids activities and health screenings. The mayor from each town or their representative will be present to read a proclamation on behalf of the town council promoting April 17 as Community Health Day. For more information on the Sussex Child Health Promotion Coalition, call 444-9062 or visit

Family caregiver training The Alzheimer's Association Delaware Valley Chapter sponsors The Family Caregiver Education Series four times a year in each of Delaware's three counties. Brandywine Assisted Living at Fenwick Island located at 21111 Arrington Drive near Selbyville will host the training on Thursday, April 8, from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Training for family caregivers is free and lunch will be provided by Brandywine Assisted Living at Fenwick Island. Pre-registration is required by April 2. For more information or to register, call Jamie Magee, branch office coordinator, at 854-9788.

5K benefits Breast Cancer Coalition The Delaware Breast Cancer Coalition announces its First Annual DE-Feet Breast Cancer 5K Run/1M Walk sponsored by Tanger Outlets will take place on Sunday, May 2, at 9 a.m. The 3.1 mile course will begin and end at Applebees restaurant at Tanger Outlet Center, Rehoboth Beach. The family event is open to runners and walkers of all ages. All proceeds from Tanger's DE-Feet Breast Cancer 5K/1M will benefit the Delaware Breast Cancer Coalition (DBCC). On the heels of a very successful Pink Card campaign in which Tanger Outlets raised more than $90,000 for the Delaware Breast Cancer Coalition last October, Tanger's general manager Amy Norgate eagerly stepped up to sponsor DBCC's 5K event. Advanced registration, which is recommended, is $20/person. On-site registration is $25/person, beginning at 7:30 a.m. on race day; and the first 100 people registered receive a long-sleeve T-shirt. There's even a "Sleepwalkers" category for those who are unable to attend but want to show their support. Sleepwalkers simply register for $20, check the "Sleepwalker" category and then sleep in on Sunday. To register, visit or

Hospice plans fundraiser Delaware Hospice's Beef and Brew fundraiser will be held on Friday, April 16, from 6:30 to 10:30 p.m. at the Georgetown CHEER Center. Tickets are $30 per person through Monday, April 12, and $35 per person after April 12 or at the door. Beef and sides will be catered by the Georgia House and beer sponsored by Banks Wines & Spirits and the Starboard. The evening will include raffles, a silent auction and dancing with "The Funsters." Delaware Hospice invites you to participate through sponsorships or donations of auction items. Call Peggy Dolby, 856-7717, or Mary Morgan, 800-838-9800, for tickets or sponsorship information.

Registration open for Walk MS Registration is now open for this year's Walk MS season in Delaware. Organized by the Delaware Chapter of the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, the goal is to raise awareness and funds for the programs and services needed by more than 1,500 Delawareans with MS and their families. Each of the five events takes place on an accessible 5K route, and plenty of support is available as well as the opportunity for lots of fun with family and friends. Two events take place in Sussex County:
  • Walk MS: Twilight at Heritage Shores steps off at Providence At Heritage Shores, One Heritage Shores Circle in Bridgeville, on Friday, April 30, at 6 p.m.
  • Walk MS: Twilight at Baywood Greens steps off at the Baywood Greens Golf Course, 32267 Clubhouse Way in Long Neck, on Friday, May 21, at 6 p.m.
Day-of registration begins one hour before the event, but advanced registration is recommended. For more information or to register, call 302-655-5610 or visit

Cancer support group The Wellness Community-Delaware offers a free general cancer support group for people affected by cancer and their loved ones at Nanticoke Memorial Hospital in Seaford. The monthly support group meets in the second floor conference room of the Cancer Care Center on the third Monday of each month from 4:30 to 6 p.m. The Wellness Community is dedicated to helping people affected by cancer enhance their health and well-being through participation in a professional program of emotional support and hope. All facilitators of these groups are trained mental health professionals. Call 645-9150 for information or to register.

Man to Man support group Nanticoke Memorial Hospital offers a Man to Man support group meeting on the fourth Wednesday of each month. Man to Man helps men cope with prostate cancer by receiving information and peer support. Man to Man is a forum for men and their support network to learn about diagnosis and treatment options through presentations, written materials and videos. Specialists share information such as side effects and how to cope with prostate cancer and its treatment. News and information about nutrition, general health, research and treatment, as well as messages from men living with prostate cancer and other Man to Man activities, are offered to assist in the recovery process. Pre-registration is not required for this free support group. For more information, contact Larry Skala (337-3678) or Grafton Adams (628-8311).

Depression Support Group There is a free bimonthly Depression Support Group meeting in Laurel on the second and fourth Wednesday evenings from 7 to 8:30 p.m. Any person who has signs and symptoms of depression and is under the care of a professional counselor/MD is welcome to attend. To register, call 302-465-6612.

Breast cancer support group Delaware Breast Cancer Coalition, Inc. (DBCC) has expanded its Beginning Your Pink Ribbon Journey, a program for women newly-diagnosed with breast cancer, by partnering with Nanticoke Memorial Hospital Cancer Center in Seaford. The free, monthly program is offered at the Cancer Center located at 801 Middleford Road, Seaford, the third Thursday of each month from 3 to 4 p.m. The program is facilitated by Nanticoke Memorial Hospital Cancer Center professional staff - Terri A. Clifton, MS, NCC, Cancer Care coordinator; Mary Brown, RN, DSN, manager Cancer Care Center; and Wendy Polk, nutritionist - with assistance from Lois Wilkinson, DBCC special projects manager, who helps facilitate the program at Bayhealth. Together, they answer questions, help calm fears, and share information about resources that are available at Nanticoke, through DBCC, and other organizations within the local community. Of particular value to newly-diagnosed women is DBCC's Peer Mentor Program through which they are paired with a long-term survivor for one-on-one support. To learn more about Beginning Your Pink Ribbon Journey at Nanticoke Memorial Hospital Cancer Center, call Lois Wilkinson at 672-6435. Registration is required and light refreshments and small gifts are provided.