Hospital admissions drop at the height of the holidays

Family forum

December 24, 1991|By Mary Maushard

WITH A WEEK of celebrations beginning, here are some last minute tips:

* It's almost a given that many people are more likely to be depressed this time of year. That isn't necessarily so. According to Duke University researchers, the number of hospital visits and admissions go down in the weeks before Christmas and rise again after Christmas. Christmas depression isn't entirely a myth, but it isn't inevitable.

* "Longevity" magazine says that champagne doesn't make you high faster than wine. It is a myth, however, that you can line your stomach with a glass of milk before an evening out and you won't become inebriated.

Adoption workshop

The Adoptive Alliances of Jewish Family Services is offering three workshops for adoptive families, adopted children and those wishing to become adoptive families:

* "Preparing for Adoption" will explore subjects such as deciding to adopt, alternative ways to adopt and raising adopted children. There will be four sessions in January, at a time convenient to all participants.

* Three sessions for adopted school-age children and their parents will look at children's feelings about adoptions and help parents understand these feelings and deal better with adoption issues. They will also be held in January.

* A "search workshop" will discuss the pros and cons of searching for birth parents and siblings, how to search and how to adjust to the newfound person. An adoption specialist will lead the discussion for this one-session workshop.

These programs are open to all families, regardless of religious affiliation. Registration is required. For more information on these workshops, phone Myra Hettleman or Irene Jordan at Jewish Family Services, 466-9200, Ext. 253 or 385.

Flower children

Here's a study that says kids aren't necessarily chips off the old block. Researchers at UCLA have found that children born in the 1970s to hippies, commune-dwellers, strong feminists and others who held countercultural values turned out pretty "straight." They performed better than average in school but were more aware than other children of such issues as women's rights and ecology.

Fireside cuddling

Duroflame, a maker of artificial fire logs, says 45 percent of Americans spend at least one romantic evening a year in front of the fire. According to a survey of Americans' favorite fireside activities, 29 percent picked being romantic or cuddling with a loved one (there were more men than women fireside cuddlers); 25 percent like to visit with family or friends in front of a fire; 13 percent watch television; 12 percent read a book, and 9 percent listen to music. Those without a fireplace who want to partake in their favorite fireside activity can pop in one of those crackling fireplace videos and crank up the heat.

: Drink your milk

Drink your milk, kids. Youngsters who consume plenty of calcium, largely by drinking milk, have significantly lower blood pressure and may be warding off heart trouble later in life, according to a new study presented at the annual scientific meeting of the American Heart Association.

Home delivery

Having a baby? Have it at home, says the European director of the World Health Organization. "In hospitals, you are taking a perfectly healthy woman and baby and putting them in an environment full of dangerous germs," says Dr. Marsden Wagner. "Again and again women are told home birth is dangerous. They must be told that if they have had an uncomplicated pregnancy, it's just as safe as in the hospital."

A winter warning

If a storm knocks out electricity, food in a full freezer will keep for up to 48 hours and in a partly filled freezer for about 24 hours. If necessary, the Tufts University Diet and Nutrition Letter says, move the food to a friend's or relative's freezer or put in dry ice, but don't let the dry ice touch your bare hands or the food. When the power comes back, cook anything that's even partly thawed and discard anything with a strange smell or color.

Family Forum welcomes items of interest to families. Notices 1/2

about events must be received two weeks in advance. Send them to: Mary Maushard, Family Forum, The Evening Sun, 501 N. Calvert St., Box 1377, Baltimore 21278.

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