Indoor/Outdoor Fun from Playmobil

As summer approaches, we’re seeing a lot more toys and games that are designed to be used outside or that replicate some aspect of the great outdoors.

playmobil ferris wheelSummer Fun Ferris Wheel with Lights
There’s nothing like waiting in a line for an amusement park ride to remind you that it’s summer. With this large set, your kids can have the joy (okay, misery) of standing in lines without having to lather up with sunscreen or put on a hat. The 117-piece set comes with seven two-seater gondolas, a functioning Ferris wheel, a ticket office (complete with a cash register and tickets), flashing lights (batteries not included) and quite a few other accessories. It also comes with two adult figures and two child figures, so your little one can make someone else (even if that someone is inanimate) feel the sting of waiting in line and then, when you finally get to the front, being told you’re too short to ride. Once all the seats are full, turn the crank and you’re off. The wheel can operate automatically but you’ll need to buy the Electric Ride Motor, sold separately. $79.99. Ages 4-10. http://www.playmobil.us/

playmobil gliderSports & Action Speed Glider
At some point, pretending to be outdoors really needs to give way to the real thing. And this sleek glider is the perfect way to encourage kids (you too) to stretch those legs. Just assemble it (which will take about a minute) and you’re ready for a really fun game of catch or a long-distance throwing competition. As long as the pilot is in his seat (he needs to be there to balance the aircraft), the glider is very easy to throw—even for young children. And with working LED lights, there’s no reason for the fun to stop when the sun goes down. $26.99. Ages 6-14, http://www.playmobil.us/

Gynecomastia: The Truth about “Man Boobs”

Gynecomastia is the benign enlargement of the mammary gland in men. This affliction is characterized by enlarged mammary tissue which gives these men what is colloquially referred to as “man boobs.” Contrary to popular assumptions, true gynecomastia often has little to do with being overweight. Rather, it is the enlargement of the actual mammary gland that causes the swelling. With an incidence of 32% to 65% in the general population, gynecomastia is a problem that plagues a large chunk of the male population. It is also rarely discussed.

The stigmatization of this type of surgery for men is different than it is for women undergoing a similar procedure. While female breast enhancement surgery is common and usually well accepted, surgical breast alterations for men are still highly stigmatized. The boys and men who suffer from gynecomastia often do so in silence. Some men who discuss their problem with their primary physician are told to lose weight or, if they are children, told that it is “baby fat” that it will disappear with age. Other men are ashamed because they think it detracts from their masculinity. But this is changing. The most recent statistics from the American Society of Plastic Surgeons notes that while the rate of cosmetic surgeries increased only 1% from 2013 to 2014, breast reduction in men increased 14% from 2013 to 2014.
[Read more…]

Diabetes And Male Infertility: What Are The Concerns?

By Matthew A. Pierce, MD and Edmund Y. Ko, MD

Diabetes is a worldwide epidemic with significant impacts on multiple aspects of men’s health. 3.5 in every 1000 reproductive aged men (18-45 years old) in the United States are living with diabetes (1). While it is true that many Americans are aware of diabetes’ impact on cardiovascular, renal, ophthalmologic, and neurologic health, many do not know that it can also negatively impact fertility. This occurs through a number of ways including: erectile dysfunction, ejaculatory dysfunction, hypogonadism and semen abnormalities.

Diabetes is a well-known risk factor for developing erectile dysfunction. Diabetes affects the nerves and blood vessels throughout the body, including those that supply the penis. Damage to the nerves can cause decreased sensation and arousal, while the decreased blood flow to the penis can lead to difficulty achieving or maintaining erections firm enough for a satisfactory sexual encounter (2).

Solutions for men suffering from erectile dysfunction are wide and varied, and the first line treatments are oral medications called PDE 5 inhibitors (Cialis, Levitra, Stendra, Viagra). These medications help relax the smooth muscle in the penis, thereby increasing the blood flow and allowing for erections. [Read more…]

Ready to Roll(er Coaster)?

Dear Mr. Dad: My husband and I are going to Orlando to visit some theme parks with our kids, ages 4 and 8. We’re all super excited, but I’m worried about how to make sure the kids have a good time and the adults still feel that we’ve had a vacation. Any suggestions?

A: I am so jealous. My 12-year old daughter and I love roller coasters and for years we’ve been talking about doing an extended coaster tour. It’ll happen one of these days. But let’s get back to you. Going to amusement parks with kids as young as yours and still having fun yourself will be challenging. But it’s definitely possible. Here are some ideas that will help.

  • Go online before you get in line. Make an adults-only visit to each park’s website. Find out their hours, age- and height restrictions, ride closures, whether you can bring in outside food, whether they have lockers, and so on. Most sites have recommendations for families with young children. Once you’ve mastered all that, go back and visit the sites with the kids—but show them only the things that they’ll actually be able to do. There’s no sense getting them excited about rides they can’t go on. Then, have them put together a list of their favorites.
  • While you’re online, follow the parks on social media (so you can get money-saving discounts and followers-only access) and download the apps for each park you’re planning to visit. Besides including maps of the park—complete with where all the bathrooms are—the apps usually include schedules for shows and photo ops with characters, restaurant menus, and more.
  • Plan your meals. To get your money’s worth, you’re going to want to stay at the park all day, and you’ll need to eat. Of course, it’s more convenient to buy all your meals and snacks in the park. These days your food options go way beyond burgers, fries, and fried donuts. Most now offer all sorts of ethnic options, and you’ll almost always be able to find fruit, veggies, and other healthy foods. If money is an issue, bring as much food as you’re allowed to (details will be on the park’s website).
  • Plan your day. The kids (and maybe you) will probably need some breaks during the day. If you’re staying at a nearby hotel, consider going back for a nap and a dip in the pool. Then hit the park again. If not, all the parks have air-conditioned theaters that are great rest spots.
  • Stay cool. Everyone needs a hat, plenty of sunscreen, and a water bottle. No exceptions. According to ThemeParkInsider.com, “more visitors suffer from sunburn, rashes, heat exhaustion and heatstroke than all other injuries put together.”
  • Start really, really early. If you get to the park before it opens, you can dash to the most popular rides before the lines start getting crazy.
  • Think safety. If your child has a tendency to disappear into crowds, consider a wrist bungee or harness. A lot of kids (and adults) find them horribly embarrassing, so the mere threat of using one might be enough to keep the kids nearby. You might also consider one of the many GPS trackers; some can be worn on the wrist, others attached to the kids’ clothing.
  • Split up. If you and your husband want to go on adult rides, think about having one of you stay with the kids while the other goes in the single-rider lines, which are almost always shorter. Then switch.
  • Remember, you’re on vacation. Relax and try to see the parks—and the world—through your children’s eyes.

Men’s Health Month is Here–How Will You Celebrate?

men's health month

men's health monthEach year Men’s Health Month is celebrated on the national, state, and local levels. Governors and mayors issue proclamations for Men’s Health Week in their jurisdictions, the week leading up to and including Fathers Day (June 15 – June 21, 2015). Private businesses, government agencies, churches, fraternities, and other organizations host health screenings, educational, and other awareness events. And, most importantly, individual men and women make a commitment toward a healthier lifestyle.

You can start your Men’s Health Month celebration by joining Men’s Health Network @Menshlthnetwork for two Twitter chats during the month.

The first one is TODAY! Just log in to Twitter and follow the hashtag, #MensHealthMonth.

6/2/15 — Chat on men and heart health. Use #MensHealthMonth to join the conversation. From 1PM to 2PM ET.
6/23/15– Chat on men and mental health. #ShowUsYourBlue to join the conversation. From 1PM to 2PM ET.

 

Wear Blue in June
#ShowUsYourBlue
We wear blue to support men’s health and encourage men to make health a priority. Join millions of men and women across the country by wearing blue this June. Send in pictures all month, especially on June 19th for the #ShowUsYourBlue storm.

Take selfies, or pose with co-workers, friends, family, and pets! 

Post photos on social media using #ShowUsYourBlue.