Category Archives: Health Tips

Children are Sweet Enough Already

RCH Newsletter July 2016 WaterWe know it’s important to get kids to eat healthy foods, but what about getting them on board with healthy drinks? What kids drink can greatly affect how many calories they consume and the amount of calcium (needed to build strong bones) their bodies get.

Serve Water and Milk
For kids of all ages, water and milk are the best choices. Besides having zero calories, water is a no-sugar thirst-quencher. Plus 1 cup of milk has 300 milligrams of calcium, so it’s a big contributor to a child’s daily
calcium needs. Choose fat-free (skim) or low-fat (1%) milk products most of the time. Children ages 1-2 need whole milk.

Here’s how much calcium kids need each day:
• Toddlers (ages 1 to 3 years): 700 milligrams of calcium daily
• Kids (ages 4 to 8 years): 1000 milligrams
• Older kids (ages 9 to 18 years): 1,300 milligrams

The current dietary guidelines for milk or equivalent dairy products or fortified soy beverages are:
• Kids ages 2 to 3 should drink 2 cups every day.
• Kids 4 through 8 should have 2½ cups per day.
• Kids 9 and older should have 3 cups per day.
Juice should not be given to infants younger than 6 months old. After that, serve only 100% fruit juice and limit it to 4 to 6 ounces per day. Try to choose juice without added sugar such as corn syrup. When kids
drink too much juice, juice drinks, sports drinks, and soda, these beverages can crowd out other nutrient sources they need. Sugary drinks can also pile on the calories.

Brad Wilson, D.O.

Brad Wilson, D.O.

Childhood Obesity and Diabetes
5:00 p.m. Tuesday, September 27 in the Hospital Cafeteria

Join Dr. Brad Wilson for a free educational seminar to learn more about the causes of obesity and diabetes in children. The program is free, and a light dinner will be served. Call 641-464-4401 by September 23 to reserve your place.

Back to School Safety Reminders

RCH Newsletter August 2016

Summertime offers a nice reprieve from the constant shuffling of papers, carpools and heavy backpacks of the school year. But once fall rolls around again, parents and kids have a lot to juggle.  As your children march out the door on that first day of school – and every day – there is really only one priority: Nothing is more important than making sure they get home safely.

Lighten the Load

When you move your child’s backpack after he or she drops it at the door, does it feel like it contains 40 pounds of rocks? Backpacks that are too heavy can cause a lot of problems for kids, like back and shoulder pain, and poor posture. The American Chiropractic Association recommends a backpack weigh no more than 10 percent of a child’s weight.

Remember: A roomy backpack may seem like a good idea, but the more space there is to fill, the more likely your child will fill it. Make sure your child uses both straps when carrying the backpack. Using one strap shifts the weight to one side and causes muscle pain and posture problems.

Help your child determine what is absolutely necessary to carry. If it’s not essential, leave it at home.

Travel safely

Some 25 million students nationwide begin and end their day with a trip on a school bus. Designed for safety, school buses are the safest way to get to and from school. Riding a bus to school is 13 times safer than riding in the family vehicle and 10 times safer than walking.

While school buses are, by far, the safest way for students to travel, children need to do their part to stay alert and aware of their surroundings to prevent injury. The National Safety Council urges parents to teach their children safety rules for getting on and off the bus, and for exercising good behavior while riding. When waiting for the bus, children need to stay away from traffic and avoid roughhousing. While on the bus, they need to stay in their seats and keep the aisle clear of books and bags. After a long day at school, it’s important that they pay attention when getting off the bus at home– especially if they need to cross the street in front of the bus.

Watch your head

Every three minutes a child in the U.S. is treated for a sports-related concussion. Don’t think it’s just football players – or boys – who bang their heads. An estimated 3.8 million athletes a year suffer concussion, though the majority are underreported and underdiagnosed, according to the Brain Trauma Foundation. A study published by the American Academy of Pediatrics shows the number of sports-related concussions is highest in high school athletes, but they are significant and on the rise in younger athletes.

If your child gets hit on the head, do not assume he just had his bell rung, or she was just dinged. Concussions are very serious and always require medical attention. Signs and symptoms of concussion include:

• Confusion

• Forgetfulness

• Glassy eyes

• Disorientation

• Clumsiness or poor balance

• Slowed speech

• Changes in mood, behavior or personality

Research indicates most children and teens who have a concussion feel better within a couple of weeks. However, for some, symptoms may last for months or longer and can lead to short- and long-term problems affecting how they think, act, learn and feel.

Following a concussion, athletes of all ages are advised to undergo a series of steps before returning to play: rest, then light exercise and sport-specific training. Only then should they be cleared to resume contact drills.

Heads Up

The National Safety Council is focused on efforts to eliminate distracted walking – specifically walking while texting. According to a study by The Nielsen Company, kids age 13 to 17 send more than 3,400 texts a month. That’s seven messages every hour they are awake.

Before your children head out, remind them of these year-round safety tips:• Never walk while texting or talking on the phone.

• If texting, move out of the way of others and stop on the sidewalk.

• Never cross the street while using an electronic device

• Do not walk with headphones on.

• Be aware of the surroundings.

• Always walk on the sidewalk if one is available; if a child must walk on the street, he or she should face oncoming traffic.

• Look left, right, then left again before crossing the street.

• Cross only at crosswalks.

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Five Summer Reminders

Bug Bites

Bug bites can be annoying and itchy. They can also seriously affect your children if they bring an infectious disease like West Nile or Lyme disease. Prevent bug bites and infection this summer by avoiding buggy situations, using a good bug repellent and wearing long pants and sleeves when in buggy areas.

Heat Stroke

Heat stroke is a serious medical condition that can be life threatening. In heat stroke, the body’s core temperature rises. Much like a fever, extremely high body temperatures can lead to permanent damage. Some signs of heat stroke include:
• confusion
• short, rapid breathing
• stopping sweating
• a fast pulse
If your child has these signs, call 911 immediately.

RCH Newsletter July 2016Food Poisoning

The Centers for Disease Control estimates that 76 million people suffer from food poisoning. Summertime is full of picnics, and picnics bring food out into the open where it can stay warm too long. So if you take a tip from our Health Coach and go on a picnic with your children, avoid an outbreak of food poisoning by following simple guidelines about food safety and food handling. Keep perishable food cold and covered. Common sense will prevent you and your friends and families from coming down with a food-borne illness.

Eye Damage

UV rays in sunlight can damage your children’s eyes. If they are out in the sunlight in the summertime, get them to wear sunglasses that filter out UV light. Otherwise, sunglasses are opening up their pupils by making things darker, which actually lets in more UV rays, not less. Be sure their sunglasses filter out 100 percent of UV light and try your best to have them wear them, especially around water, which can reflect a tremendous about of light to their eyes.

Sunburn

Once your baby reaches 6 months of age, it’s time to introduce sunscreens. Choose a broad spectrum, water-resistant sunscreen that offers a minimum sun protection factor (SPF) of 15. Look at the active ingredients; zinc oxide and titanium dioxide are good choices, because these physical filters don’t rely on absorption of chemicals and are less apt to cause a skin reaction. Continue to cover your baby with a hat and protective clothing. Use sunscreen on all exposed areas, such as the back of the hands, face, ears and neck. Apply sunscreen 30 minutes before going out and reapply it every two hours or more frequently if you take your baby into the pool or if he or she is sweating. Also continue to seek shade, schedule outdoor playtime before 10 AM or after 4 PM and keep covering young children with hats, sunglasses and lightweight clothing that covers as much skin as possible. For added protection, look for special clothing marked with an ultraviolet protection factor (SPF) of 30 or more, which will allow only 1/30th of the sun’s rays to reach the skin.

Recognize the Signs of Dehydration

RCH Newsletter July 2016 WaterThe best cure for dehydration, especially in children, is prevention. Keep your children hydrated! They get enough water through drinking and eating. Total water intake for the day (all liquids and foods, including water, milk, soup, etc.) should be about half a gallon. When dehydration gets bad enough to cause symptoms, water might not be enough to make them feel better. Watch for these signs that children need additional help:
• dry mouth and tongue
• no tears when crying
• no wet diapers for 3 hours or more
• sunken abdomen, eyes, or cheeks
• high fever
• listlessness or irritability
• skin that does not flatten when pinched and released

Dehydration occurs when the body has lost too much fluid and electrolytes (the salts potassium and sodium). Dehydration is particularly dangerous for children, who can die from it within a matter of days. Although water is extremely important in preventing dehydration, it does not contain electrolytes. To maintain electrolyte levels, you could have broth or soups, which contain sodium, and fruit juices, soft fruits, or vegetables, which contain potassium. Sports drinks, like Gatorade, can help restore electrolytes. For children, doctors often recommend a special re-hydration solution that contains the nutrients they need. You can buy this solution in the grocery store without a prescription. Examples include Pedialyte, Ceralyte, and Infalyte. Untreated, dehydration may lead to shock. If a person with dehydration has a low blood pressure or very rapid pulse, the victim may need to get intravenous fluids. Call 911 for a dehydrated victim suffering from confusion, dizziness, or weakness.

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Coach’s Corner – Seasonal Allergies

Spring and summer mean flower buds and blooming trees – but if you’re one of the Ringgold County area residents who have seasonal allergies, it also means sneezing, congestion, a runny nose and other bothersome symptoms. Let’s face it: seasonal allergies can make you miserable! Before you settle for plastic flowers or artificial turf, try these simple strategies:

  • Stay indoors on dry, windy days. The best time to go outside is after a good rain which helps clear pollen from the air.
  • Delegate lawn mowing, weed pulling and other gardening chores that stir up allergens.
  • Remove clothes you’ve worn outside and shower to rinse pollen from your skin and hair.
  • Don’t hang laundry outside. Pollen can stick to sheets and towels.
  • Wear a pollen mask if you do outside chores.

When there is a lot of pollen in the air:

  • Start taking allergy medications before your symptoms start.
  • Close doors and windows at night or any other time when pollen counts are high.
  • Avoid outdoor activity in the early morning when pollen counts are highest.
  • And remember, it won’t last forever!

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