Category Archives: Health Tips

Coach’s Corner – Caring for Yourself

Eat Well: It’s common to pack on 5-10 pounds during the holiday season, but there are ways you can eat both healthy and well! Know which foods are high in caloric contents and low in nutrition. You don’t have to deprive yourself, but indulge in moderation. Eat smaller meals instead of one huge buffet. Opt for healthy options at home so you can splurge a little at holiday parties. Remember to be aware of all calories – especially liquid calories in alcoholic beverages.

Stay active: Exercise is just as important during the holidays as any other time of the year. You should be active at least four to five times a week, preferably with some aerobic exercise every day. The weather may be cold outside, but it’s worth it. Bundle up!

Prevent illness and injuries: Colds and the flu are most prevalent in the winter. Prevent them by washing your hands regularly and urging others to do the same. Stay warm by dressing layers. Sprinkle sand on icy patches.

Help others: Depression and suicidal tendencies can increase during the holidays. Watch for signs of depression among your friends and family. Take an active role to support those in need.

Free Crisis Hotline
Cross Mental Health
Available 24 hours a day

Stay Safe During the Holidays!

Here at Ringgold County Hospital, we love our patients, but we don’t want to see you during the holidays because of an accident around your home. We hope you enjoy these basic safety tips to help keep your family healthy as we head into the new year.

Happy Holidays from RCH

Happy Holidays from RCH

Decorating safety

• Never use lighted candles near trees, boughs, curtains, or with any potentially flammable item.
• Small children may think that holiday plants look good enough to eat, but many plants may be poisonous or can cause severe stomach problems. Watch out for mistletoe, holly berries, Jerusalem cherry and amaryllis. Keep them out of reach.
• If you display a live Christmas tree, put it up away from fireplaces, radiators, and
other heat sources. Make sure the tree doesn’t block foot traffic or doorways. Keep it well watered to avoid the dry branches from catching fire from the heat of light bulbs.
• If you use an artificial tree, choose one that is tested and labeled as fire resistant.
Artificial trees with built-in electrical systems should have the Underwriters Laboratory (UL) label.
• Turn off all lights on trees and decorations when you go to bed or leave the house. Unplug extension cords when not in use.
• Avoid placing breakable tree ornaments or ones with small, detachable parts on lower branches where small children or pets can reach them.

Hosting and Food Safety

• When preparing a holiday meal for friends and family, be sure to wash hands, utensils, sink, and anything else that has come in contact with raw poultry.
• Never defrost food at room temperature. Thaw it in the refrigerator, in cold water, or in the microwave.
• Keep your knives sharp! Most knife injuries occur due to dull blades.
• Refrigerate or freeze leftovers in covered shallow containers within two hours after cooking. Date the leftovers for future use.
• The holiday season is one of the most stressful times of the year. You can’t avoid stress completely, but you can give yourself some relief. Take time to enjoy the season!

Screenings Save Lives

Above, women who are breast cancer survivors circle around two Ringgold County Hospital medical imaging technologists.

Above, women who are breast cancer survivors circle around two Ringgold
County Hospital medical imaging technologists.

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month which aims to increase awareness of the disease. Monthly self-exams and annual mammograms are the best way to detect the disease in its earliest, and most treatable stages.

While most people are aware of breast cancer, many forget to take the steps to have a plan to detect the disease in its early stages. The American Cancer Society encourages women to make healthy lifestyle choices such as eating a healthy diet, getting regular physical activity, and reducing alcohol, if a woman drinks. These choices can help reduce their breast cancer risk. The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists recommend women at average risk start screening mammography at age 40 and continue annually or biannually after discussing with their health care provider.

Screening mammography decreases mortality from breast cancer. Residents of Mt. Ayr and surrounding communities are fortunate to have state-of- the-art medical imaging at Ringgold County Hospital. All of the radiologists and technologists at Ringgold County Hospital are state and board certified. Mammograms are performed in a gentle environment designed for comfort and women can be in and out in a little as 10 minutes. The FDAcertified, digital mammography suite offers the best in breast cancer detection; breast biopsies are performed in conjunction with the surgery department.

Did you know breast cancers found during a screening mammogram are more likely to be smaller and still confined to the breast? Finding breast cancer early (called early detection) can improve the chances that breast cancer can be treated successfully and with more treatment options, less extensive surgery, and ultimately, better treatment outcomes.

The American Cancer Society’s breast cancer screening guidelines vary based on a woman’s age and risk factors for breast cancer. It’s generally agreed that annual mammograms for women over the age of 40 are recommended. Talk to your
doctor about the screening plan that is best for you.

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Coach’s Corner: Halloween Safety Tips

Advice from Leslie Dredge-Murphy, Health Coach at the Mt. Ayr Medical Clinic.

Everyone remembers the excitement of dressing up and Trick or Treating for Halloween. Your kids can have as much fun as you did – especially if you follow a few safety tips. The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission recommends:

Treats: Warn children not to eat any treats before an adult has carefully examined them for evidence of tampering.

Flame resistant costumes: When purchasing costumes, masks, beards, and wigs, look for the label Flame Resistant. It doesn’t mean these things won’t catch fire, but it does indicate the items will resist burning and should extinguish quickly.

Costume designs: Purchase or make costumes that are light and bright enough to be clearly visible to motorists. Children should also carry flashlights.

Pedestrian safety: Young children should always be accompanied by an adult or an older, responsible child. Remind them to use sidewalks rather than walk in the street. Also caution them against running out from between parked cars.

Choosing safe houses: Children should go only to homes where the residents are known and have outside lights on as a sign of welcome.

Coaches Corner: Protecting Your Children

VaccinationYou want to do what is best for your children. You know about the importance of car seats, baby gates, and other ways to keep them safe. But, did you know that one of the best ways to protect your children is to make sure they have all of their vaccinations? Because of advances in medical science, your child can be protected against more diseases than ever before.

Vaccination is safe and effective. All vaccines are only given to children after a long and careful review by scientists, doctors, and healthcare professionals. Vaccines will involve some discomfort and may cause pain, redness, or tenderness at the site of injection but this is minimal compared to the pain, discomfort, and trauma of the diseases these vaccines prevent.

Immunization also protects future generations. Vaccines have reduced, and in some cases, eliminated many diseases that killed or severely disabled people just a few generations before. For example, your children don’t have to get smallpox shots anymore because the disease no longer exists!

For information about vaccinating your children, see your family practice practitioner at the Mt. Ayr Medical Clinic 641-464-4470.

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