During these times we are all staying home more to keep our family safe, but remember….kids need physical activity to grow up strong and healthy! All children should be physically active every day, and kids over 6 years old should be moving enough get their heart rate up at least one hour a day. Read on for guidance from the American Academy of Pediatrics on how often your child should be active based on their age.
Infants: Activity: Tummy time while awake. Frequency: 30+ minutes throughout the day.
Toddlers: Activity: Neighborhood walks or free play outside. Frequency: 3+ hours throughout day.
Preschoolers: Activity: Tumbling, throwing and catching. Frequency: 3+ hours a day including 1 hour of moderate to vigorous activity.
Elementary Students: Activity: Free play and organized sports focused on fun. Frequency: 60+ minutes of activity most days. Muscle/bone strengthening activities 3 days a week.
Middle Schoolers: Activity: Activities that encourage socialization. Avoid specializing in one sport. Frequency: 60+ minutes of activity most days. Muscle/bone strengthening 3 days a week.
Teenagers: Activity: Activities that encourage socialization and competition when appropriate. Frequency: 60+ minutes of activity most days. Muscle/bone strengthening 3 days a week.
Don’t skip vaccines or checkups, or ignore concerns about your child’s health. IHA Pediatricians are offering options like telehealth and have implemented strict safety measures in practices. Call to schedule an appointment with your pediatric provider today!
What is Lifetstyle Medicine? Lifestyle Medicine is the use of evidence-based lifestyle therapeutic approaches, such as a whole food, plant-predominant dietary lifestyle, regular physical activity, restorative sleep, stress management, avoidance of risky substances and positive social connection as a primary therapeutic modality for treatment and reversal of chronic disease.
Parents today have no shortage of information and input on raising a child. It’s easy to get overwhelmed, especially for new parents. We want to ensure our children have all that they need to grow and develop normally, but sorting through the mountains of recommendations can be daunting, to say the least. For parents of newborns, a frequent topic of discussion during well visits centers around vaccines. Which vaccines does your child need and when should they receive them? Let’s breakdown the most frequently asked questions around vaccines for our littlest patients.
There are a lot of vaccines out there, does my child need all of them? Just because a vaccine exists, doesn’t mean it is recommended for your child. Your doctor will discuss with you the routine vaccination schedule, which is based on current recommendations from the American Council on Immunization Practices. This schedule applies for all children living in the U.S. Additional recommended vaccines based on travel, disease outbreaks, or other unique circumstances, can be discussed with your doctor on an individualized basis.
Why does my baby get so many vaccines before they are two? Vaccines are given based on a thoughtfully developed schedule to ensure children are protected when they are most vulnerable or likely to be exposed to an illness. Pertussis (whooping cough), for instance, can be life threating to an infant, so three doses of the vaccine are given in the first year of life. For illnesses that may not impact a child until adolescence, the vaccine is delivered at a later time.
Is it safe to give my baby several vaccines at one time? Safety is of the utmost concern when giving a young child vaccines. That’s where the Centers for Disease Control’s Recommended Vaccine Schedule comes in. Extensive study and analysis have demonstrated conclusively that there is no risk or harm in giving multiple vaccines at once. Specifically, the Recommended Child and Adolescent Immunization Schedule in the U.S. has been carefully examined and has been proven to be safe and effective.
Does my child need vaccines? Definitely. In addition to protecting our own children from serious, life-threatening illnesses, we all need to be mindful of the risks we pose to others to when we don’t vaccinate. We’re constantly interacting with others in public (for example at school, playgroups, parks) and there are many people that are not able to receive vaccines. These individuals include infants or those with compromised immune systems from chemotherapy or other conditions, are at mich greater risk of severe illness or death when exposed to some of these diseases. When you have your child vaccinated, you are helping to eliminate the risk of a harmful disease resurfacing. This not only protects your child, but also helps to protect others who are vulnerable to the spread of vaccine-preventable diseases.
How do I know which vaccines my child will receive for the first two years of their life and beyond? Your baby’s provider can discuss the vaccine schedule which is right for your child. Talk with your pediatric provider about which vaccines your child needs, and when he or she should receive them.
Don’t skip vaccines or checkups, or ignore concerns about your child’s health. IHA Pediatricians are offering options like telehealth and have implemented strict safety measures in practices. Call to schedule an appointment with your pediatric provider today!
Without a daily commute, extracurricular activities or
playdates, you’re going to find yourself with a lot of extra time spent with
your family. This presents a perfect opportunity to teach your kids some of the
basic life lessons we squeeze in on the weekends and evenings. We’ve got some
ideas to make learning these (and teaching) some basic life skills.
Ride a two-wheeler
Be sure your child’s helmet fits their head properly before the pedaling starts. Download this helpful step-by-step guide.
A long weekend is a perfect time to remove those training wheels.
Be sure to protect your child from inevitable falls by having them wear jeans
and knee and elbow pads. To make your job a little easier you may want to pick-up
a grab bar to attach to the bike.
If you prefer to get started with a balance bike rather then
jump right into a two-wheeler, give it a try on a grassy area with a slight
incline. Learning to balance while rolling down a small hill will give your
child a good start when they are ready to try riding a bike.
True, it’s much easier to continue to purchase slip-on or velcro
shoes, but eventually your child will have a need to tie their shoes. That
said, the things we do without really thinking about it can be the hardest to
teach. Here are some tips and tricks to help teach the art of tying a shoe:
Choose soft, easy-to-hold laces. Many children
do better with the wide, flat laces at first.
Use light-colored or better yet, two-tone laces
for more contrast. Shoe tying will be easier for your child if they can easily
see which is which.
Use a marker or pen to mark where your child
should hold their laces.
Be prepared to teach more than one technique in
case the first method you show your child doesn’t “stick.”
Watch a YouTube video with your child and learn
a new knot together. Have your child “teach” you what they learned from the
There are many shoe tying books and toys available
that may be helpful to your child as they learn to tie.
Learn the ABCs and Count
Download a version of the ABCs and a counting song and mix
it in with your kid’s favorite playlist. Your child will learn to sing the ABC’s
and count to 100 as quickly as they learned Baby Shark (doo doo doo doo doo doo).
Dressing and Undressing
Zippers can be a challenge for a 5-year-old suddenly on
their own in Kindergarten (especially if they really have to go to the bathroom).
Spend some time practicing zipping and unzipping pants and jackets.
Address an Envelope
Receiving mail during a quarantine is a major highlight of
anyone’s day. So, why not brighten someone’s day and teach your children the
art of addressing an envelope! You can purchase stamps online to avoid going to
the post office in person.
Don’t put-off important checkups and vaccines!
Skipping vaccines and checkups can be dangerous. IHA Pediatricians’ offices are open, and safety measures are in place. Call to schedule your child’s next appointment!
Fifteen minutes. According to the Center for Disease Control, that’s all it takes for the sun’s ultraviolet (UV) rays to damage your skin. When you’re on having fun outside, 15 minutes goes by quickly. It feels great to soak up those rays, but they are harming your skin and are putting you at risk for long-term skin damage and worse, skin cancer. Before you head out into the sun for the day, take some time and precautions to keep yourself and your family safe all season long, and you’ll be golden for some fun in the sun!
USE SUNSCREEN It’s one of the easiest ways to prevent skin cancer. Look for a sunscreen with broad spectrum protection against both UVA and UVB, an SPF of at least 30, and water resistant. When applying sunscreen, more is more. You want to be sure to get a thick layer of sunscreen on your skin in order for the SPF to do its job. For an average size person, remember the teaspoon rule, and adjust for all ages and body types: 1 teaspoon to the face/neck/scalp1 teaspoon for each arm1 teaspoon to the chest and abdomen, 1 teaspoon to the back, 2 teaspoons for each leg.
Sunblock lotions are the preferred choice, but if you are using a spray sunscreen, apply outside by holding the bottle close to the skin and spray on each area for approximately 6 seconds, or until the sunscreen is visible on the skin (typically, when it looks white). Then, rub it in. Don’t apply spray sunscreen directly to the face. Instead, spray generously into your hand and apply to your face as you would a lotion. Don’t forget to apply a lip balm with an SPF of 30, too!
Sunscreen will wear off throughout the day. Be sure to reapply every two hours and following exposure to water or sweat.
If you’re avoiding sunscreen because you don’t like how it feels on your skin or you had an allergic reaction, try another type or brand. There are a variety of choices by a variety of brands, so if you aren’t happy with one, try another until you find one that works with your skin. You may want to make an appointment with your primary care provider or dermatologist to discuss your individual needs. After all, the best sunscreen is the one you will wear!
AVOID EXPOSURE BETWEEN 10 AM AND 4 PM Have you heard of the shadow rule? If your shadow is shorten than you are in real life, the sun’s rays are strong. During this time, you should avoid exposure or follow precautions to protect yourself and your family. For our region in the Midwest, the sun is most intense from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., so you’ll want to be the most vigilante in protecting your skin during this time.
USE SUNGLASSES Your eyes will absorb those harmful rays much like your skin does. Look for sunglasses that block and absorb UVA and UVB light. The lenses should fit close to the skin and be large enough to cover your eyes and the surrounding areas. The bigger the better! Polarized lenses will help eliminate glare, which is great for driving or days in the water or snow.
DRINK MORE WATER When you’re sweating, you are losing water. Drink plenty of water throughout the day, especially in hot weather to keep dehydration at bay. Don’t wait until you feel thirsty. Also, look for signs of heat exhaustion such as; feeling overheated, tired or weak. Nausea, headaches and dizziness are also indications that it’s time to get out of the sun, cool down and drink some water. Heat stroke is a more serious condition. If you or someone in your family stops sweating, has red and/or hot skin, a high temperature, confusion or is suddenly uncoordinated, seek medical attention right away.
GO LONG!: WEAR PROTECTIVE CLOTHING Long-sleeved shirts and long pants provide an extra layer of protection while spending time out in the sun. Look for clothing made with tightly woven fabrics. Those linen pants aren’t going to protect you from the sun, so be sure to wear sunscreen underneath. When playing the water, look for bathing suits that feature a sun shirt, especially for little ones.
HATS OFF ON!: WEAR A BROAD RIMMED HAT Wearing a hat with a full brim is a great way to protect the scalp, ears, face and neck from exposure to the sun’s UV rays. Tightly woven fabric is the key to a good hat, straw hats are cute, but don’t provide the protection you need. When purchasing sun hats for the family, be sure to pick the correct sizes for each person. Kids will pull off a hat that slips down over their eyes.Seek the shade & avoid direct sunlight
Trees or shelters block the sun’s UV rays and provide ultimate protection. Seek out these spaces when spending time outdoors to help protect yourself and your family from painful sunburns and help reduce the risk of skin cancer. When you can’t find shade, make it! Invest in a beach umbrella or tent to shield your family from the sunlight.
BE CAUTIOUS OF REFLECTIONS Your exposure to the sun’s rays increases when the sun shines onto and reflects off of bright surfaces, like water, sand or house paint, for example. When spending time near a reflective surface, ensure everyone is sporting sunglasses and sunscreen or protective clothing are being used consistently.
TANNING Don’t. Tan skin is damaged skin and the impact can last or even shorten a lifetime. Tanning should not be part of a beauty regiment at any point in a person’s life.
PROTECTION 365 DAYS Skin cancer prevention is not seasonal. Sure, we wear less clothing and spend more time outside in the sun’s rays during the summer months, but protection from those rays is just as important during the winter months. UV rays reflect off snow just as they do off of sand, water and concrete. Apply sunscreen to the face and any other exposed skin, wear sunglasses and lip balm every day. When it comes to sun safety, there’s a lot of information to soak in. Download this handy checklist and keep it in your beach bag to help ensure you and your family are covered for summer skin protection.
Who could have imagined the struggles that all of us would encounter from this unprecedented global pandemic? Not only has it brought our state and country great economic stress, but it also has changed how healthcare services will be delivered forevermore.
Early in the crisis, IHA’s healthcare providers and staff took multiple steps to help our community respond to the pandemic. Within a matter of days, our medical group opened drive-thru testing sites, implemented a free on-line COVID screening tool, and designated locations where patients with fevers and upper respiratory symptoms could be treated. Additionally, we rolled-out video appointments for all our patients and began piloting home care visits for our most vulnerable patients.
These are complicated times with rapidly changing standards, which is why IHA has been providing regular updates to our staff and providers, as well as our patients. In a matter of weeks, IHA has addressed the most significant and complex changes to face healthcare in our lifetime, but we are not done. We are moving toward what many are calling the “new normal.”
Staying safe in the “new normal”. Video appointments continue to be our primary method used to treat patients. Since launching this service just a few weeks ago, we have completed nearly 25,000 video appointments. The decline in new COVID cases is enabling IHA to reconnect in-person with patients whose appointments, surgeries or outpatient procedures were cancelled. Over the next two weeks, our physicians and practitioners will slowly increase the number of in-person appointments they offer and surgeries they perform. As we reopen more offces, we want to assure you that we are committed to being both responsive and responsible, navigating these unusual times with everyone’s safety in mind.
Numerous safeguards and quality measures are in place across IHA to care for COVID and Non-COVID patients. These include our use of telehealth visits which are actively being embraced by our patients and our providers alike.
IHA is following CDC guidelines and has put additional cleaning and screening processes in place to keep anyone entering an IHA building safe. These processes include requiring all staff and patients to wear masks and having their temperature checked before entering a practice. Along with maintaining appropriate social distancing, items such as hand sanitizer and tissues will be prominent in every location.
Saving lives, improving quality of life.
Our difficult journey is not over, but we must look to the future. Children need to maintain their immunization schedules, older adults or those with complex medical issues need their health and medications regularly monitored, and further delaying surgeries or exploratory procedures may cause serious harm or lead to other health problems. The steps we are following to reopen are being implemented with extreme care and will be constantly evaluated. As a member of Saint Joseph Mercy Health System, we are working together on safety and security protocols. We have developed COVID-Free Zones, areas where we provide care only for people not known to have COVID-19 or COVID symptoms. We wish to assure the community that our healthcare delivery system is working closer than ever to keep your health and wellness at the center of everything.
Over the past two months, no one industry has learned more than healthcare about the need to change and adapt quickly in order to care for those we serve. Our lives have drastically changed but fulfilling IHA’s mission of healing will remain with us forever. Please know that we stand ready to care for you. IHA’s motto “our family caring for yours” has never meant more to us than it does today.
We encourage you to call your provider’s office or visit ihacares.com today to learn about the many ways we can connect and safely provide the care that you need. IHA is here for you.
Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
Even the most laid back, easy-going people feel stressed sometimes. And considering our current situation, a pandemic and all, stress pretty much goes with the territory. Luckily, the CDC has some important reminders to help manage stress and support yourself.
Take breaks from watching, reading or listening to the
The news is everywhere, it’s so hard to escape. If your
stress levels are up, then an escape may be just what you need. Hearing about the pandemic repeatedly can be
Take care of your body.
When you feel like stress is taking over, take deep breaths,
stretch or meditate. Try to eat healthy, well-balanced meals, exercise
regularly, get plenty of sleep and avoid alcohol and drugs.
Make time to unwind.
Make a list of the things you enjoy most. What can you do
right now? What can you plan to do in the future, to help give you something to
look forward to? If you’re a person that creates a daily schedule, include some
time to do what makes you happy. You may also try setting an alarm or reminder
on your digital calendar to stop and take a few minutes for yourself.
Connect with Others.
Consider who you trust in your life. Who do you think would
best understand your current concerns? Seek out people in your life that can
help you navigate stressful feelings and lighten your load. With social
distancing rules currently in place, you may need to be creative in how you
connect with others, phone and video calls work great!
Know when it’s time to seek medical care.
If your stress is keeping you from your daily activities or social interactions, reach out to your healthcare provider. They will be able to help you find a solution and get you feeling like yourself again!
In the last few weeks, the
immune system has been brought into the spotlight. When functioning properly,
the immune system identifies a variety of threats, including viruses, bacteria
and parasites, and distinguishes them from the body’s own healthy tissue,
according to Merck Manuals. A healthy immune system could be the difference between
getting sick and staying healthy. Read on for tips on strengthening your immune
system focusing on Lifestyle Medicine. Increasing your body’s immune response is
not a guarantee against infection, but it’s a good start.
Pause. Take a few seconds to consider your breathing, listen
to a favorite song, or watch a funny video. The stress hormone, cortisol, suppresses
immune response. Being mindful, even in small doses, reduces stress and as a
result, cortisol production.
Avoid smoking, vaping, or inhaling any substance,
which can be toxic to the lungs.
What you eat makes all the difference! For strong immunity, consume a wide array of fiber-filled, nutrient-dense, and antioxidant-rich whole plant foods at every meal. Choose a rainbow of fruits and vegetables, eat your beans, consume whole grains, and use a variety of herbs and spices to enhance flavors. Stay hydrated with water!
Purchasing fruit and veggies is as easy as 1, 2, 3!
Commit to the piece of produce you choose. Try not to manipulate the produce items by touching them and placing them back.
Wash your hands with clean water and soap for a minimum of 20 seconds after returning from the grocery store. Hand sanitizer for 60 seconds can also be used.
Produce items should always be washed thoroughly with cold water prior consumption.
Aim to sleep for 7 to 9
hours. Develop a routine: Set an alarm for when to go to sleep and when to wake
up. Make sure your room is cool, dark, quiet, and comfortable. Avoid screens at
least 90 minutes before bedtime. Practice a “wind down” ritual, like listening
to soft music, writing in a journal, or reading a book.
physical activity is vital to keeping the immune system strong! While Physical
Activity Guidelines recommend at least 30 minutes, 5 days a week, as little as
20 minutes can suppress inflammation and support immunity.
Physical distancing is essential when contagious disease risks are high, but not at the expense of being isolated or lonely. Connect with friends and family via FaceTime, Zoom sessions, texting, and phone calls. Positive
emotions, which are shown to improve immunity, arise from even brief, virtual
What is Lifetstyle
Medicine? Lifestyle Medicine is the use of evidence-based lifestyle therapeutic
approaches, such as a whole food, plant-predominant dietary lifestyle, regular
physical activity, restorative sleep, stress management, avoidance of risky
substances and positive social connection as a primary therapeutic modality for
treatment and reversal of chronic disease.
that time of the year – trees and gardens “wake up” from hibernation with
beautiful blooms and scents filling the air. They also bring runny noses, itchy
eyes, and scratchy throats. It is allergy season. Allergies can (and do) happen
all year, but for many people, when spring starts and trees and grass grow they
start feeling allergy symptoms.
environmental allergies can be due to dust mites, animals, pollen, grass and
trees, just to name a few. Each of these allergies can happen more often in
different times of the year. Grass and trees are often bothersome to people in
spring, whereas pollens are in the late summer. Dust mite allergies can be
found all year round.
When symptoms are bad, many people turn to medications for help. There are some things you can try prior to using medications. For example, for dust mite allergies you can try using dust mite covers on your pillow and bed. Staying in air conditioning may help symptoms when the pollen count is high. You can also flush out the allergens by using a netti pot (follow safe-use guidelines) or saline eye drops.
you’re ready for medications, decongestants and antihistamines can be the most
helpful to allergy sufferers. Decongestants help relieve nasal congestion
symptoms once they have started. Antihistamines block the histamine reaction
and help prevent symptoms from happening. They often must be taken several days
to weeks prior to exposure to the allergens. Nasal steroids can also help
decrease nasal congestion symptoms and work right at the source of the congestion.
For itchy, water eyes, try allergy eye drops.
you are having allergy symptoms that are not improving with over the counter
medications, it is time to see your primary care doctor to discuss next steps.
There may be another reason for your symptoms or other medication or treatments
to consider. Allergy testing may also be needed to figure out what specifically
you are allergic to so that you can avoid the allergen.
article was originally published on March 20, 2015, and was updated on April 16,
Recommended precautions for household members, intimate partners, and caregivers of COVID-19 patients
Close contacts of COVID-19 patients should follow these recommendations: • Make sure that you understand and can help the patient follow their healthcare provider’s instructions for medication(s) and care. You should help the patient with basic needs in the home and provide support for getting groceries, prescriptions, and otherpersonal needs. • Monitor the patient’s symptoms. If the patient is getting sicker, call his or her healthcare provider and tell them that the patient has laboratory-confirmed COVID-19. This will help the healthcare provider’s office take steps to keep other people in the office or waiting room from getting infected. Ask the healthcare provider to call the local or state health department for additional guidance. If the patient has a medical emergency and you need to call 911, notify the dispatch personnel that the patient has, or is being evaluated for COVID-19. • Household members should stay in another room or be separated from the patient as much as possible. Household members should use a separate bedroom and bathroom, if available. • Prohibit visitors who do not have an essential need to be in the home. • Household members should care for any pets in the home. Do not handle pets or other animals while sick. • Make sure that shared spaces in the home have good air flow, such as by an air conditioner or an opened window, weather permitting. • Perform hand hygiene frequently. Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains 60 to 95% alcohol, covering all surfaces of your hands and rubbing them together until they feel dry. Soap and water should be used preferentially if hands are visibly dirty. • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands. • The patient should wear a facemask when you are around other people. If the patient is not able to wear a facemask (for example, because it causes trouble breathing), you, as the caregiver, should wear a mask when you are in the same room as the patient. • Wear a disposable facemask and gloves when you touch or have contact with the patient’s blood, stool, or body fluids, such as saliva, sputum, nasal mucus, vomit, urine. • Throw out disposable facemasks and gloves after using them. Do not reuse. • When removing personal protective equipment, first remove and dispose of gloves. Then, immediately clean your hands with soap and water or alcohol-based hand sanitizer. Next, remove and dispose of facemask, and immediately clean your hands again with soap and water or alcohol-based hand sanitizer. • Avoid sharing household items with the patient. You should not share dishes, drinking glasses, cups, eating utensils, towels, bedding, or other items. After the patient uses these items, you should wash them thoroughly (see below “Wash laundry thoroughly”). • Clean all “high-touch” surfaces, such as counters, tabletops, doorknobs, bathroom fixtures, toilets, phones, keyboards, tablets, and bedside tables, every day. Also, clean any surfaces that may have blood, stool, or body fluids on them. • Use a household cleaning spray or wipe, according to the label instructions. Labels contain instructions for safe and effective use of the cleaning product including precautions you should take when applying the product, such as wearing gloves and making sure you have good ventilation during use of the product. • Wash laundry thoroughly. • Immediately remove and wash clothes or bedding that have blood, stool, or body fluids on them. • Wear disposable gloves while handling soiled items and keep soiled items away from your body. Clean your hands (with soap and water or an alcohol-based hand sanitizer) immediately after removing your gloves.
• Read and follow directions on labels of laundry or clothing items and detergent. In general, using a normal laundry detergent according to washing machine instructions and dry thoroughly using the warmest temperatures recommended on the clothing label. • Place all used disposable gloves, facemasks, and other contaminated items in a lined container before disposing of them with other household waste. Clean your hands (with soap and water or an alcohol-based hand sanitizer) immediately after handling these items. Soap and water should be used preferentially if hands are visibly dirty. • Discuss any additional questions with your state or local health department or healthcare provider. Check available hours when contacting your local health department.
If you or someone you know has symptoms of COVID-19, take our free online screening today.