Category Archives: Health Tips

Message to Parents About Concussion

To maximize your child’s recovery from concussion, double up on the Rs: REDUCE and REST! Insist that your child rest, especially for the first few days following the concussion and through the three-week recovery period. Some symptoms of concussion can be so severe on the first day to two that your child may need to stay home from school.

When you child returns to school, request that he/she be allowed to “sit out” of sports, recess and physical education classes immediately after the concussion. Work with your Primary Care Practitioner to determine when your child is ready to return to physical activity, recess and/or PE classes.

Don’t let your child convince you he/she will rest “later” (after the prom, after finals, etc.). Rest must happen immediately! The school team will help your child reduce their academic load. However, it is your job to help to reduce sensory load at home. Advise your child/teen to:

  • Avoid loud group functions (games, dances)
  • Limit video games, text messaging, social media, and computer screen time
  • Limit reading and homework A concussion will almost universally slow reaction time; therefore, driving should not be allowed pending medical clearance.

Plenty of sleep and quiet, restful activities after the concussion maximizes your child’s chances for a great recovery! The Brain Injury Alliance of Iowa provides Neuro-Resource Facilitation, a free and confidential service offered to individuals with brain injury and their families. This program offers support in coping with the issues of living with brain injury and transition back to school and the community.
Source: Iowa Concussion Consortium

Additional supplemental information about concussion and other brain injuries can be found at www.biaia.org/ICC

Print & read the full article on concussion

Safety Tips for Swimmers

Swimming is a great recreational sport that can be enjoyed by people of all ages. But it’s important to know how to be safe while you’re in the water. The American Red Cross offers these important swimming safety tips you should be aware of before you head out to the pool or the lake:

  • Swim in designated areas supervised by lifeguards.
  • Always swim with a buddy; do not allow anyone to swim alone.
  • Never leave a young child unattended near water and do not trust a child’s life to another child; teach children to always ask permission to go near water.
  • Have young children or inexperienced swimmers wear U.S. Coast Guard-approved life jackets around water, but do not rely on life jackets alone.
  • Maintain constant supervision.
  • Make sure everyone in your family learns to swim well. Enroll in age-appropriate Red Cross water orientation and learn-to-swim courses.
  • If you have a pool, secure it with appropriate barriers. Many children who drown in home pools were out of sight for less than five minutes and in the care of one or both parents at the time.
  • Avoid distractions when supervising children around water.
  • If a child is missing, check the water first. Seconds count in preventing death or disability.
  • Have appropriate equipment, such as reaching or throwing equipment, a cell phone, life jackets and a first-aid kit.
  • Know how and when to call 9-1-1 or the local emergency number.
  • Enroll in Red Cross home pool safety, water safety, first aid and CPR/AED courses to learn how to prevent and respond to emergencies.
  • Protect your skin. Limit the amount of direct sunlight you receive between 10:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. and wear sunscreen with a protection factor of at least 15.
  • Drink plenty of water regularly, even if you’re not thirsty. Avoid drinks with alcohol or caffeine in them.

Hooray for a safe summer!

Whether your summer days are lazy and long or packed with activities, you and your family will enjoy them more if you remember these top 10 sun safety tips.

1. Exposure to ultraviolet (UV) rays from the sun or artificial sources like tanning beds is the most common cause of skin cancer. Melanoma is the most serious type of skin cancer. There are 72,000 new cases and 9,000 deaths from melanoma each year.

2. Indoor tanning exposes users to two types of UV rays, UVA and UVB, which damage skin and can cause cancer. Indoor tanning is dangerous for younger users. People who begin indoor tanning during adolescence or early adulthood have a higher risk of getting melanoma.

3. Protect your skin. Apply a broadspectrum SPF 30 or higher. Reapply after 2 hours in the sun or after swimming, sweating or toweling off. Check expiration date, sunscreen has a shelf life of up to 3 years.

LOOK FOR Cream, Broad-spectrum protection, SPF to suit your needs and ingredients like: Zinc oxide, Avobenzone, Mexoryl SX

AVOID Sprays, powders, SPF above 50 and ingredients like: Oxybenzone, Vitamin A (retinyl palmitate), added insect repellent

4. Wear protective clothing and a wide-brim hat. Pick a hat that shades your face, ears and back of your neck.

5. Sunglasses protect your eyes from UV rays. Choose ones that have both UVA and UVB rays. They reduce the risk of cataracts, but also protect the skin around your eyes from the sun.

6. Stay hydrated. Dehydration is more likely during hot weather.

7. Seek shade, especially during the midday hours. An umbrella, tree or other shelter can reduce exposure to the sun thus decreasing your risk of skin cancer and heat stroke.

8. When feasible, wear long-sleeved shirts and long pants or skirts that can provide protection from UV rays. A wet T-shirt has less UV protection than a dry one, darker colors offer more protection than lighter colors. A regular T-shirt has an SPF rating lower than 15, so look for clothing that has information on its UV protection factor.

9. Know the early signs and symptoms of skin cancer. ABCDE rule can be a guide. Lookout for and tell your doctor about spots that have Asymmetry, irregular Border, Color that is not uniform, Diameter larger than the size of a pencil eraser or an area that is Evolving.

10. Other warning signs of skin cancer include: a sore that doesn’t heal; spread of pigment from the border of a spot; redness or new swelling around a mole; itchiness, oozing, bleeding or pain of a mole.

Print & read the full June Newsletter

Recommended Early Childhood Immunizations

Some vaccines may be given as part of a combination vaccine so that a child gets fewer shots. Talk with your medical provider at the Mt. Ayr Medical Clinic about which vaccines your children should receive.

Birth
Hepatitis B vaccine

2 months
HepB, DTaP (Diphtheria, tetanus, and acellular pertussis), Hib (Haemophilus influenzae type b), IPV (Inactivated poliovirus), PCV (Pneumococcal conjugate), RV (Rotavirus)

4 months
DTaP, Hib, IPV, PCV, RV

6 months
DTaP, IPV, HepB, PCV, RV

6 months and annually
Influenza (Flu): The flu vaccine is recommended every year for children 6 months and older (two doses needed first year only)

12 months
HepA, Hib, MMR (Measles, mumps, and rubella), PCV, Varicella (chickenpox)

18 months
DTaP, HepA

4–6 years
DTaP, MMR, IPV, Varicella

Living Smoke Free

It’s time for you to make the call and quit tobacco for good. Learn how to bench your cravings by understanding what triggers you and trying to avoid that as much as possible. Plus, remember to rebound! Don’t be too hard on yourself if you slip up – it can take multiple shots to quit for good. And always remember that your team has your back. Have your friends and family keep you accountable and you’ll be on your way to being tobacco free. Visit QuitlineIowa.org or call 1-800-QUIT-NOW for help quitting.

Quitline Iowa 1-800-QUIT-NOW

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