Category Archives: Healthy Living

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!

Knowledge is power!

Katie RouthRinggold County Hospital and the Mt. Ayr Medical Clinic are here for you when you’re sick, injured, and in need of quality health care. We’re also here for you when you’re not sick! We are your source for healthy living information and your partner in good health.

Katie Routh is happy to be back to her hometown of Mt. Ayr. A registered dietician, she works with Ringgold County Hospital patients both in and out of the hospital. While they’re in the hospital, she assesses their nutritional states and ensures that the food they’re eating is appropriate and assisting in their recovery. She takes a holistic view of her patients and recognizes that nutrition is an important part of the healing process. Her services are also available to outpatients and she works regularly with diabetics and those wanting to lose weight. “I enjoy helping people overcome their struggles,” she said. “It’s great being able to teach and show people that it’s possible.”

Health-CoachLeslie Dredge-Murphy is also helping Mt. Ayr Medical Clinic patients meet their healthy living goals. Her services are free to clinic patients and together they work to define individual success. Whether it’s weight loss, disease management, increased exercise capabilities, even quitting smoking, she is a coach and partner to help each patient meet their goals. “It’s all driven by our patients,” she said. “We can work on anything that’s holding them back from living a healthy life. We’re really promoting preventive care. It’s important to encourage healthier lifestyles.”

Walking is the easiest form of exercise to stay fit. It’s convenient because it can be done almost anywhere and anytime, whether you’re walking to class or down the street. In comparison to other exercise methods, walking puts less strain on the lower back and creates less stress on your joints such as your hips, knees, and ankles. Because it doesn’t require expensive equipment, walking is available to everyone. You can use your walking time as a social event and catch up with friends and family members. Along with physical benefits, walking can improve your mood, relieve stress, and alleviate depression.

Physical benefits of walking:

  • Aids in weight loss; burns body fat
  • Strengthens bones; reduces risks of bone fracture and lessens severity of osteoporosis
  • Strengthens heart and improves efficiency
  • Improves overall fitness
  • Lowers blood pressure; reduces cholesterol levels
  • Improves efficiency of lungs
  • Raises metabolism even while you rest
  • Helps control appetite
  • Increases energy

So don’t wait, get marching!

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Coach’s Corner

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

It’s a new year, why not try on a new attitude? Since it’s February, let’s focus on loving your life and yourself! Here are some ideas to get you started:

  • Create a “positive” or “grateful” journal and try to capture at least three things each day.
  • Volunteer! When you’re helping others and giving back you feel great. The more you give, the better you feel!
  • Challenge yourself by setting a goal. Achieving goals can boost your confidence and make you feel more in control of your life.
  • Set aside some “Me Time.” Do things you truly enjoy, just because. Whether it’s reading, going to a movie, spending time with a best friend, or taking a walk, recharge yourself with some time spent on you!

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