Does your child pull their backpack off as soon as they step off the bus or out of school, and request that you carry it for them? As a rule, a child’s backpack should not weigh more than 10% – 15% of their body weight, but many kids are carrying bags much heavier than that. If your child is complaining of a sore back, they struggle to put their backpack on or they learn forward to walk once they get it on, their backpack is most likely too heavy. Read on for some tips to ensure they have the right backpack for their needs and their body type, and they are packing light.
Get the right backpack.
Discuss what will need to go in the backpack to ensure you get the right size
Your child’s backpack should not be wider than their torso
The backpack should not hang more than 4 inches below your child’s waist
Padded shoulder straps are a necessity
A padded back will help prevent objects from poking your child in the back
Waist and chest straps will help your child distribute the load of their backpack when it’s packed
Consider the weight of the backpack itself and choose one made of a lightweight material
Two straps distribute the weight of the backpack evenly, be sure your child is using both
Adjust the straps to ensure a good fit for your child (remember the backpack should not hang more than 4 inches below the waist)
Help decide what should come home every day, and what can be left in their locker
When they must bring home a full pack, encourage your child to use their chest and waist straps
Pack the heaviest items on the bottom, and make use of the multiple compartments to better distribute the load
To ensure you child is carrying a sensible weight, pick up their backpack once in a while, or weigh it on the bathroom scale. Make adjustments as needed to help keep your child’s back in great shape!
If your child is complaining of pain that doesn’t go away, make an appointment with your child’s pediatric provider. They’ve got your back!
Studies show that the COVID-19 vaccine is effective at keeping you from getting COVID-19. Some people will test positive for the virus even after they are vaccinated, but all three vaccinations (Pfizer, Moderna and Johnson & Johnson) are highly effective in preventing symptomatic infections, hospitalizations, and death. In fact, more than 99% of people who die today from COVID-19 are unvaccinated. Every death and serious illness is preventable today. We know there are a lot of rumors, myths and misinformation out there making it hard for some people to get the vaccine. Our physicians have gathered the most common questions and concerns they are hearing from patients about the COVID-19 vaccine and providing the facts to help more people get vaccinated. Afterall, the vaccine is our very best shot for ending this pandemic.
What You Need to Know about the COVID-19 Vaccine:
• COVID-19 vaccines are safe and effective at preventing COVID-19 disease, especially severe illness and death. • COVID-19 vaccines reduce the risk of people spreading the virus that causes COVID-19. • You may have side effects after vaccination. These are normal and should go away in a few days. • It typically takes two weeks after vaccination for the body to build protection (immunity) against the virus that causes COVID-19. You are not fully vaccinated until 2 weeks after the second dose of a two-dose vaccine or two weeks after a single-dose vaccine. • After you are fully vaccinated, you can resume activities that you did before the pandemic. • COVID-19 vaccines were evaluated in tens of thousands of participants in clinical trials. • The vaccines met the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) rigorous scientific standards for safety, effectiveness, and manufacturing quality needed to support emergency use authorization (EUA) with formal FDA approval imminent and likely soon. • These vaccines have undergone and will continue to undergo the most intensive safety monitoring in U.S. history. • This monitoring includes using both established and new safety monitoring systems to make sure that COVID-19 vaccines are safe • Permanent FDA approval is expected
What We Are Still Learning About the COVID-19 Vaccine
• How well the vaccines protect people with weakened immune systems, including people who take medicines that suppress the immune system • How long COVID-19 vaccines protect people • How many people have to be vaccinated against COVID-19 before the population can be considered protected (population immunity) • How effective the vaccines are against new variants of the virus that causes COVID-19
What impact is the Delta Variant having on the urgency to get vaccinated?
• Rapidly spreading and now responsible for over 51% of new US cases, up from 30% two weeks ago • 60% more transmissible than original COVID-19 strain • States with low vaccination rates experiencing increase in new cases • Vaccine protects against transmission so the more we vaccinate, the more we decrease chances of “escape variant” against which the vaccines would not work • All three currently approved vaccines are highly effective in preventing symptomatic infections, hospitalizations and deaths Why vaccinate when there are effective COVID-19 treatments? • With proven effective treatments such as remdesivir, polyclonal antibodies, dexamethasone, deaths are still occurring • Treatment will not curb the spread of this virus • Preventing infection with vaccination also prevents long-term complications (Long-haul COVID) • We fully support continued research into effective treatments
Do I need to get a booster dose of the vaccine?
• It may be required if there’s evidence that the vaccine’s protection against the virus weakens over time or if variants arise that require a booster. The FDA and ACIP (Advisory Community on Immunization Practices) continue to review data and will provide recommendations for boosters based on evidence and safety.
When can I get a COVID-19 vaccine booster?
• Not immediately. The goal is for people to start receiving a COVID-19 booster shot beginning in the fall, with individuals being eligible starting 8 months after they received their second dose of an mRNA vaccine (either Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna). This is subject to authorization by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and recommendation by CDC’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP). FDA is conducting an independent evaluation to determine the safety and effectiveness of a booster dose of the mRNA vaccines. ACIP will decide whether to issue a booster dose recommendation based on a thorough review of the evidence.
If we need a booster dose, does that mean that the vaccines aren’t working?
• No. COVID-19 vaccines are working very well to prevent severe illness, hospitalization, and death, even against the widely circulating Delta variant. However, with the Delta variant, public health experts are starting to see reduced protection against mild and moderate disease. For that reason, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) is planning for a booster shot so vaccinated people maintain protection over the coming months.
What’s the difference between a booster dose and an additional dose?
• Sometimes people who are moderately to severely immunocompromised do not build enough (or any) protection when they first get a vaccination. When this happens, getting another dose of the vaccine can sometimes help them build more protection against the disease. This appears to be the case for some immunocompromised people and COVID-19 vaccines. CDC recommends moderately to severely immunocompromised people consider receiving an additional (third) dose of an mRNA COVID-19 vaccine (Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna) at least 28 days after the completion of the initial two-dose mRNA COVID-19 vaccine series. • In contrast, a “booster dose” refers to another dose of a vaccine that is given to someone who built enough protection after vaccination, but then that protection decreased over time (this is called waning immunity). HHS has developed a plan to begin offering COVID-19 booster shots to people this fall. Implementation of the plan is subject to FDA’s authorization and ACIP’s recommendation.
Why is vaccination necessary if I had COVID-19 and likely have antibodies?
• Vaccination produces a higher level of and longer lasting immunity than natural infection. This is uncommon in many illnesses but is true in COVID-19 • Vaccination produces broader protection against variants
We take safety seriously. That is why Trinity Health and IHA require colleagues, clinical staff, and contractors to be vaccinated against COVID-19. You can read more about our decision here: bit.ly/3jX5RGV
Do you need to schedule your COVID-19 vaccination? Click below to find a time and place that works best for you and your family.
CDC offers the following tips for staying safe and slowing the spread of COVID-19 while scheduling services or repairs inside the home. This may include installation and repair of plumbing, electrical, heating, or air conditioning systems; painting; or cleaning services.
In general, the closer and longer you interact with others, the higher the risk of COVID-19 spread. Limiting close face-to-face contact and staying at least 6 feet away from other people is the best way to reduce the risk of COVID-19 infection, along with wearing masks and practicing everyday preventive actions. Before welcoming service providers into your home, consider these tips to help keep you, your family, and the service provider safe during in-home services or repairs:
BEFORE THE VISIT
Check with your local health department to see if there is a stay-at-home order in your state or local community that restricts non-essential activities or services. If a stay-at-home order is in effect in your community, consider if the service request is essential or if it can be delayed.
If you or someone in your home has COVID-19, has symptoms consistent with COVID-19, or has been in close contact with someone who has COVID-19, wait to schedule non-emergency services that require entry into your home until it is safe to be around others.
If you or someone in your home is at higher risk for severe illness from COVID-19, such as older adults or those with underlying medical conditions, consider not being inside the home during the service, or find someone else who can be in the home instead.
Do as much of the pre-service consultation as possible before the service provider arrives, to reduce the amount of time the service provider spends inside your home. For example, discuss the details of the service request on the phone or by email, and send pictures ahead of time.
Discuss any COVID-19 precautions the service provider is taking, including the use of masks for the duration of the service visit, any pre-screening procedures (such as temperature checks) and using the restroom during the service call.
DURING THE VISIT
Do not allow service providers to enter your home if they seem sick or are showing symptoms of COVID-19.
Ask the service provider to wear a mask before entering your home and during the service visit. Also, you and other household members should wear a mask. Consider having clean, spare masks to offer to service providers if their cloth face covering becomes wet, contaminated or otherwise soiled during the service call.
Avoid physical greetings, for example, handshakes.
Minimize indoor conversations. All conversations with the service providers should take place outdoors, when possible, and physically distanced indoors, if necessary.
Maintain a distance of at least 6 feet from the service provider, and limit interactions between the service provider and other household members and pets.
During indoor services, take steps to maximize ventilation inside the home, such as turning on the air conditioner or opening windows in the area.
AFTER THE VISIT
If possible, use touchless payment options or pay over the phone to avoid touching money, a card, or a keypad. If you must handle money, a card, or use a keypad, wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or use hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol after paying.
After the service is completed, clean and disinfect any surfaces in your home that may have been touched by the service provider.
If you have symptoms of COVID-19 and need to be tested, Save Your Spot at Fever and Upper Respiratory Illness Clinic at an IHA Urgent Care near you.
You’ve heard about the benefits of breastfeeding your baby. You know breast milk is best for your baby (the antibodies!). But let’s face it, returning to work after weeks of cozy breastfeeding sessions creates a lot of anxiety and pressure (pun intended) for mom. There’s so much information out there online and from every woman you know that’s ever had a baby. We’re here to breakdown some of the most common concerns around returning to work and continuing to provide breastmilk for your baby. Read on to learn how some common myths around breastfeeding while working are, well, busted.
Myth: Nursing less often will create more milk when I do nurse. Actually, the more you nurse (or pump), the more milk you will produce. Your body is creating your milk supply based on demand. Feed your baby when they ask (in their own way), and your body will produce the milk they need. If you are returning to work, this will help in ensuring you are producing what your baby needs while pumping.
Myth: My baby won’t breastfeed once they get used to bottles. You will always be your baby’s favorite way to get their milk. When your baby is with you, they will expect to be breastfeed. If your baby has a predictable feeding schedule, when you return to work ask your caregiver to hold-off on giving them a bottle close to your arrival, so you can breastfeed your baby when you return home. Also, be sure you drink plenty of fluids, avoiding caffeine and alcohol. Staying hydrated is important in general, but especially while breastfeeding.
Myth: I need a freezer full of milk to return to work. Just when a new mom or dad feels like they are adjusting to life as parents, it’s typically time to return to work. For a mother who is breastfeeding, this transition can be especially difficult. A few weeks before your re-entry into the working world, start mixing some pumping and bottle feeding into your baby’s routine. This will help in two ways; your baby will get some practice with and be more willing to take a bottle and you will have some milk stored for backup. We recommend a minimum supply of two days’ worth of breastmilk for a smooth transition. As you pump at work, you will get into a rhythm of producing what your little one needs. You don’t need a freezer stocked full of milk in order to return to work.
Myth: I can’t breastfeed and pump at the same time. There’s a balance between pumping and breastfeeding. Once you find it, your body will respond and produce the milk required. To start working pumping into your feeding schedule, pump between breastfeeding your baby. Pump about an hour AFTER you feed, and at least an hour BEFORE your baby’s next feeding. If you are returning to work, take note of when your baby typically eats, and pump based on that schedule. Continue to demand milk consistently and your body will get the signal to produce enough breast milk for your little one.
Myth: I will have to stop breastfeeding when I return to work. Every mother has a legal right to take breaks from work to pump. That said, many women may still be anxious about taking this time. While you are pregnant and before you go on maternity leave, chat with your boss about a pumping schedule. That way, your boss will know what to expect upon your return and you will have some peace of mind knowing there is a plan in place to ensure you can continue to provide breast milk for your baby. Also, be sure to understand the accommodations available to you in the work place for pumping. Where is the room? Where will you store the milk you pump throughout the day? To get your questions answered, chat with a human resources rep or a colleague that recently transitioned from maternity leave and pumped at your office, to get your questions answered.
Myth: I won’t be successful at work if I have to stop and pump. For a mother that wants to continue providing breast milk for her baby, taking the time to pump will create peace of mind, and allow you to be more focused when at your desk. You may even want to use the time you spend pumping to catch up on some emails, or read through an article or report that you can’t seem to work into your day while sitting at your desk. Some of your colleagues will understand when you excuse yourself a few times a day to pump, and others may not. The fact is, it’s your right to take time to pump during the work day, so try to focus on your baby and not the opinions of those around you. If you have concerns, talk to a manager or supervisor.
Breastfeeding is a wonderful way to take care of your baby, but it can be a struggle too. If you are feeling stressed about producing milk for your baby, make an appointment to chat with a provider. There is no “one size fits all” when it comes to breastfeeding, and they can provide the support you need as you work through challenges that come with being a new mom.
Originally Posted August 2019
Did you know IHA offers Breastfeeding Medicine? While breast milk is felt to be nature’s first food, breastfeeding does not always come naturally. Breastfeeding is a physiological process that involves both the mother and baby. We provide specialized breastfeeding care for both mother and baby. Learn more about IH Breastfeeding Medicine below.
How to help your children navigate anxiety and depression brought on by COVID-19
As we head into the final month of summer, the effects of the COVID-19 vaccine surround us as life begins to feel more normal. For many children and adolescents, it’s a time to get back to sports and activities, hang out with friends and family, and soon return to school. Unfortunately, re-entry into “normal” is not as easy as it may seem for many youth in our community. Fifteen months of social isolation during the pandemic has magnified issues in children and adolescents who have struggled with anxiety and depression.
There have been studies regarding the relationship between loneliness and mental health in healthy children and adolescents. We know social isolation and loneliness can increase the risk of depression even a decade later. Throughout the country, pediatricians are concerned that the loneliness experienced during the COVID-19 pandemic will likely affect the future mental health of our youth.
Patrick Gaulier, Senior Clinical Social Worker at IHA WestArbor Pediatrics, notes that “many adolescent patients have talked about feeling isolated and separated from their friends and other supportive groups.” Children and teens have turned to social media as their primary source of maintaining a connection with their peers. In many cases, this online-only environment has ended friendships which, in turn, causes many adolescents to become reluctant to return to in-person learning. During a recent appointment, Patrick recalls a 10-year-old describing deeply disliking in-person learning because he “doesn’t know anyone anymore” and worries he will not be able to make friends again.
What to look for
With the return to activities, symptoms of anxiety or depression could show up at any point. Some children may initially seem fine, with parents noticing signs several weeks later. Other children will exhibit symptoms right away. Not all children will be able to express their feelings of depression or anxiety in an obvious way. Instead, they will show complaints of physical symptoms or behavior changes. Parents and guardians should learn to recognize signs of mental illness, as it isn’t always obvious. Children and adolescents may express their worries through behaviors such as withdrawal from family and friends, irritability, argumentativeness, and aggression. Some may try to avoid activities that they previously enjoyed. Or, they may show physical symptoms like stomach aches or headaches.
How to help the children and teens in your life
Checking in with kids about their mental health may be one of the most important things we do to help our youth out of the COVID-19 pandemic. Sometimes, it’s as easy as saying, “Hey, I see you are having a hard day today. Is something making you worried?”
Encouraging children and adolescents to participate in physical activities and spend time outdoors with peers is an excellent step in helping improve physical and mental health. Kids will experience positive emotional benefits with increased safe socialization as we continue to vaccinate and cases continue to decrease.
Of course, when in doubt, you should always reach out to your child’s pediatrician. Pediatricians routinely evaluate patients for mental health concerns. They can make recommendations such as healthy lifestyle changes or connect you with a mental health professional who has experience and expertise in treating children.
We cannot ignore the negative impacts on mental health on the development of children and adolescents during the COVID-19 pandemic. We know that parents, family, friends, pediatricians, and therapists can all help address the mental health needs of children and adolescents. The earlier we intervene for our youth, the better chance we have of making a positive impact. If you would like to speak to a pediatrician about your child’s mental health, IHA Pediatrics is available for same or next-day appointments in-person or via video to determine the next steps. More information can be found online at then link below.
More than a pest, mosquitoes can carry and spread dangerous diseases to both humans and animals. And, it only takes one bite from an infected mosquito to cause and spread illness. The only way to prevent mosquito-borne illnesses is to avoid being bitten by them. Since we still have many weeks of mosquitoes, until the nighttime temperatures consistently fall below freezing, The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services has issued the following recommendations to protect yourself and your family against mosquito bites:
Avoid being outdoors at dusk and dawn when mosquitoes are most active. For those that work outdoors or cannot avoid being outdoors at dusk or dawn, be diligent about using insect repellent, and cover as much of your skin as possible.
Wear light-colored, long-sleeved shirts and long pants when outdoors.
Apply insect repellents that contain the active ingredient DEET or other EPA – approved product to exposed skin or clothing, always following the manufacturer’s directions for use.
Use nets over outdoor eating areas.
Maintain window and door screening to help keep mosquitoes out of buildings.
Empty water from mosquito breeding sites such as buckets, unused kiddie pools, old tires or similar sites where mosquitoes lay eggs.
If you’re concerned about or experiencing symptoms from a mosquito bite, reach out to your primary care physician: Make An Appointment
Each year 300,000 men die from cancer in the United States. The most common types that affect men include skin cancer, prostate cancer, lung cancer and colorectal (colon) cancer. Luckily, there are screening tests available that can detect cancer before you start seeing or feeling symptoms. This early detection can save lives. This Father’s Day we’re encouraging the men in our lives to focus on their health and schedule cancer screenings when recommended by a physician.
Colorectal (Colon) Cancer
Unless you are considered high risk, a colon cancer screening is typically done starting at age 50 and continue on a regular schedule through age 75. This screening can be done using a few different methods including, colonoscopy, sigmoidoscopy, or fecal occult blood testing (FOBT). Your physician will recommend a screening schedule depending on the type of test used.
If you think you may be at risk for colorectal cancer ask your doctor when you should begin screening, which type of screening is best for you and how often you should be screened.
The second most common cancer in American men, Prostate Cancer occurs when cancer grows in the prostate, a part of the male reproductive system. There are two tests that are commonly used to screen for prostate cancer: Prostate Specific Antigen (PSA) Test and the Digital Rectal Examination (DRE). There are risks associated with screening, diagnosis and treatment of prostate cancer. Before deciding whether to be screened, patients and physicians should discuss the balance of benefits and harms based on family history, race/ethnicity, current health, and any other health needs.
Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer death in the US. It often doesn’t present symptoms until the cancer is in an advanced stage. For high risk individuals, a screening may be done when the patient is asymptomatic in an effort to diagnose and treat the cancer early on. If you are 55 to 80 years old and are a heavy smoker or a past smoker who quit within the last 15 years, talk with your doctor about having a low-dose CT scan every year.
Most cases of skin cancer are caused by overexposure to ultraviolet (UV) rays from the sun, tanning beds, or sunlamps. UV rays can damage skin cells. In the short term, this damage can cause a sunburn. Over time, UV damage adds up, leading to changes in skin texture, premature skin aging, and sometimes skin cancer. UV rays also have been linked to eye conditions such as cataracts. Skin cancer screening can begin at home. Examine your body on a regular basis noting any new or unusual moles or changes to the skin. Talk with your doctor about any concerns you have and whether or not you may be high risk for developing skin cancer.
Staying current with recommended screenings is important, but staying healthy involves daily effort.
Maintain a healthy weight
Get plenty of rest
Don’t drink alcohol, or limit it to no more than two drinks a day
Protect your skin from the sun and avoid tanning beds
Get a checkup every year
Is it time for your annual physical? Scheduling an appointment with your primary care physician is easy! Click below to make an appointment online, or call your practice to schedule.
IHA, Saint Joseph Mercy Health System and Mercy Health included in decision
LIVONIA, MICH., July 8, 2021 – Trinity Health today announced effective immediately, the national health system will require all colleagues, clinical staff, contractors, and those conducting business in its health care facilities be vaccinated against COVID-19. The requirement applies to Trinity Health’s more than 117,000 employees in 22 states nationwide in an effort to stop the spread of the virus and keep all patients, colleagues, and the broader communities safe.
This includes roughly 24,000 Trinity Health Michigan colleagues working across five Saint Joseph Mercy Health System hospitals, three Mercy Health hospitals, and two employed medical groups — IHA and Mercy Health Physician Partners.
Since December 2020, when the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved the first vaccine for Emergency Use Authorization, Trinity Health has strongly encouraged vaccination for all colleagues and within the communities its various Health Ministries serve. To date, the health system estimates that nearly 75% of Trinity Health employees have already received at least one dose of the vaccine, and it now looks to close the gap with this new requirement.
“As a faith-based health care system we have pledged to protect the most vulnerable, those that have a high risk of developing severe health complications if they were to contract this deadly virus,” said Rob Casalou, president and CEO of Trinity Health Michigan and Southeast Regions. “We are grateful to all colleagues working inside our hospitals, and specifically those navigating the frontlines. We understand that not everyone will agree with this decision, but after listening to their feedback, and after careful consideration, we know this to be the right decision.”
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimate that more than 331 million doses of the COVID-19 vaccine have been administered in the United States. The vaccines have proven to be safe and effective against symptomatic infections, hospitalizations and death, with more than 99% of COVID-19 deaths today occurring in unvaccinated people.
“As a trusted health care leader within Michigan communities, our patients and colleagues look to us to keep them safe,” said Rosalie Tocco-Bradley, PhD, MD, chief clinical officer of Trinity Health Michigan. “There is widespread acceptance of the vaccines and their effectiveness within the medical community. The science is clear – vaccines protect against infection and they help save lives.”
Employees at Trinity Health and its Health Ministries must meet a series of rolling deadlines, with most locations requiring them to submit proof of vaccination by Sept. 21, 2021. It has not yet been determined if a COVID-19 vaccine booster will be required annually, but if so, employees will also need to submit proof of the booster as needed. Exemptions are available for religious or health reasons and must be formally requested, documented, and approved. Employees who do not meet criteria for exemption and fail to show proof of vaccination will have their employment terminated.
Established in 1994, IHA is one of the largest multi-specialty medical groups in Michigan delivering more than one million patient visits each year, practicing based on the guiding principle: our family caring for yours. Led by physicians, IHA is committed to providing the best care with the best outcomes for every patient and an exceptional work experience for every provider and employee. IHA offers patients from infancy through senior years, access to convenient, quality health care with extended office hours and urgent care services, online patient diagnosis, treatment and appointment access tools. IHA is based in Ann Arbor and employs more than 3,000 staff, including more than 700 providers consisting of physicians, nurse practitioners, physician assistants, care managers and midwives in more than 100 practice locations across Southeast Michigan. IHA serves as the Medical Group for Saint Joseph Mercy Health System and a member of Trinity Health. To learn more about IHA, visit www.ihacares.com.
About Trinity Health Michigan
Trinity Health Michigan is a leading health care provider and one of the state’s largest employers. With more than 24,000 full-time employees serving numerous counties, Trinity Health Michigan is composed of eight hospitals, including the five hospitals of Saint Joseph Mercy Health System located in Ann Arbor, Chelsea, Howell, Livonia and Pontiac, and the three-hospital Mercy Health, operating in Grand Rapids and Muskegon. The health system has 2,348 beds and 3,400 physicians. With operating revenues of $3.4 billion, Trinity Health Michigan returns $195 million back to their local communities each year. Together with numerous ambulatory care locations, three home health agencies, one hospice agency and 17 senior living communities owned and/or operated by Trinity Health, Trinity Health Michigan provides the full continuum of care for Michigan residents.
Nationally, Trinity Health is among the country’s largest Catholic health care systems. Based in Livonia, Michigan, with operations in 22 states, Trinity Health employs about 129,000 colleagues, including 7,500 physicians and clinicians. The system has annual operating revenues of $18.3 billion, assets of nearly $27 billion, and returns about $1.2 billion to its communities annually in the form of charity care and other community benefit programs. For more information, visit www.trinity-health.org.
Holiday safety tips for a fun and festive 4th of July
This Fourth of July, more than ever, we are looking forward to celebrating with family and friends. Although some of the restrictions around COVID-19 have been relaxed, there are some other health concerns to consider. Follow these safety reminders to keep yourself and your family safe this holiday weekend.
Fireworks are a favorite tradition and for the Fourth of July, but they can cause death and injury, including burns, cuts, bruises, and foreign objects in your eyes.
Never allow young children to play with or ignite fireworks.
Always have an adult supervise fireworks activities.
Designate the people who will be responsible for igniting fireworks.
Avoid buying fireworks packaged in brown paper, which often means they were made for professional displays and could be dangerous for consumers.
Make sure you and your family watch fireworks displays from a safe distance. Draw a line using chalk or string, so children have a visual indicator not to cross and get too close to where the fireworks are being launched.
Call 911 immediately if someone is injured from fireworks.
Hot weather and food that’s been left out a little too long are a recipe for a stomachache. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the summer months typically see a spike in reports of foodborne illness. Whether hosting or attending a 4th of July picnic or BBQ, follow these tips to ensure you and your family
Use separate plates and utensils for raw and cooked meat and poultry and ready to eat foods, like raw fruits and vegetables.
Use a food thermometer to make sure meat and poultry are cooked hot enough to kill harmful germs.
Don’t leave food at room temperature for longer than two hours – one hour if the outside temperature is over 90 degrees. Keep perishable food in an insulated cooler packed with ice or ice packs. If you are not the host or hostess and are unsure about how food is being handled, consider bringing your own cooler of food.
According to the CDC, drowning is responsible for more deaths among children 1 to 4 years old than any other cause except birth defects.
Designate a responsible adult to watch all children swimming or playing in or around water. Drowning occurs quickly and quietly, so adults should not be involved in any other distracting activity while supervising children. If there are multiple children swimming, have multiple adults to supervise, each assigned to monitor specific children.
Teach kids to swim. Formal swimming lessons can protect young children from drowning.
Always swim with a buddy. Whenever possible choose swimming sites that have lifeguards.
Avoid drinking alcohol before or during swimming, boating, or water skiing. Do not drink alcohol while supervising children.
Know the local weather conditions and forecast before swimming or boating. Strong winds and thunderstorms with lightning strikes are dangerous.
From parades to fireworks, the Fourth of July typically means a lot of time outdoors and in the sun. In hot temperatures your body may be unable to properly cool itself. This could lead to serious health problems.
Drink plenty of fluids, regardless of your activity level. Don’t wait until you’re thirsty to drink. Warning: If your doctor generally limits the amount of fluid you drink or has you on water pills, ask how much you should drink while the weather is hot.
Don’t drink liquids that contain alcohol or large amounts of sugar–these actually cause you to lose more body fluid. Also, avoid very cold drinks, because they can cause stomach cramps.
Stay in the shade when you can, and when you can’t, create your own shade. Protect yourself from the sun by wearing a wide-brimmed hat and sunglasses. Wear lightweight, light-colored, loose-fitting clothing.
Put on sunscreen of SPF 15 or higher – the most effective products say “broad spectrum” or “UVA/UVB protection” on their labels.
Uninvited party guests like mosquitoes, ticks, and some flies can spread diseases like Zika, dengue and Lyme disease. They’re also really annoying and their bites can cause pain, itching and in some cases, an allergic reaction.
Use EPA-registered insect repellents that contain at least 20% DEET for protection against mosquitoes, ticks, and other bugs. Remember always follow product instructions. Do not use products containing OLE or PMD on children under 3 years old.
If possible, wear long-sleeved shirts, long pants, socks, and a hat. Tuck your shirt into your pants and tuck your pants into your socks for maximum protection, especially if walking in a grassy area.
Despite taking precautions, illness and injury can still happen. IHA and St. Joe’s Medical Group Urgent Care locations will be open this holiday weekend to care for you and your family. Click below to save your spot in line at an urgent care near you.
How did anyone ever parent before smartphones? We all know the scenario: a family is sitting at a restaurant eating dinner and a young child gets restless. A parent hands over a phone or a tablet to keep them occupied while they finish their meal and have a nice conversation. This seems innocent enough, but we are learning that when we hand over screens or place a child in front of the TV, we are doing it at the expense of their language and socio-emotional development as well as physical exercise.
Time that a child spends staring at a digital device, or screen time, is time they are not interacting with other people. Learning to bond and interact with others is crucial for children starting at a very early age. Now, I’m not saying that parents need to engage in deep conversations or read books every time they interact with their child. Simple conversations with a young child, even narrating your activities helps. Screen time is a strictly passive activity. Kids are rarely, if ever interacting with a screen in a meaningful way. However, even the most basic of activities, such as building and knocking down towers of blocks, doing puzzles together or scribbling with crayons on a piece of scrap paper (or a napkin) help teach kids cause and effect, and foster human interaction. These are invaluable for stimulating language development and creating a healthy emotional foundation.
A child that has more than the recommended exposure to screens at a young age is more likely to lead a more screen-filled, sedentary lifestyle as a teenager and beyond. This often goes hand in hand with mindless, unhealthy eating. Kids playing video games all day aren’t usually reaching for apples and carrots. People with active lifestyles that include regular exercise and exposure to the outdoors tend to be more physically and mentally healthy in the long run. My recommendation to parents is to turn of the television and put handheld devices away. This is true for both kids and adults. It’s hard to ignore a TV that’s on or a phone that’s blinking with a notification. Parenting without screens is certainly more challenging, especially in the early years, but it’s definitely worth the investment in the long-run. Teaching your child to entertain him/herself without the aid of screens will benefit them throughout their childhood.
So, what are the age-based recommended limitations on screen time? Below are the recommendations from The American Academy of Pediatrics. Remember though that at ALL ages, less is more, especially in preschool/early elementary-aged kids.
Under 2 years of age: No screen time
Ages 2-5: Limit to one hour of screen time per day
Ages 5 and up*: Consistent limitations on screen time, ensuring children have healthy physical activity and sleep schedules as well as personal relationships and interactions.(*Notice this says “and up”. Screen time limitations are for everyone, not just children. It’s important for adults to limit the amount of time they spend plugged-in, not only for their own well-being, but to set a great example for children).You can start by being aware of just how much time your family is spending in front of a screen. Jot down the number of minutes per day on a piece of paper on your refrigerator, or try this tool from the American Academy of Pediatrics, to create a customized family media plan: Family Media Plan