Make time for a Sports Physical this August

sports physical - a soccer cleat on turf
The start of the school year is just around the corner! And if you’re the parent of a student athlete, you’ll want to ensure that your child is physically and mentally ready to get in the game come fall. Head into our clinic now for a fast, affordable sports physical!

Most athletic leagues and schools require sports physicals –also known as preparticipation physical examinations (PPE)–, and it’s clear to see why. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, more than 3.5 million children under 15 get hurt playing sports or participating in recreational activities every year. Sports physicals can help athletes discover and manage health problems that may interfere with their performance, as well as reduce their overall risk of injury. Don’t skip this important annual check-up on developmental health.

During a sports physical exam, a medical provider will:

  • Record height and weight
  • Take a blood pressure and pulse
  • Test vision
  • Check the heart, lungs, abdomen, ears, nose, and throat
  • Evaluate posture, joints, strength, and flexibility

The provider will review the athlete’s medical history and offer helpful tips on concussion and injury prevention. The exam also provides an opportunity to discuss the effects of using drugs, alcohol, and supplements.

To prepare for the exam, make sure to bring any required participation forms for the provider to sign. If your child wears glasses or contacts, you’ll want to bring those too.
In some cases, your child may need a follow-up exam, additional tests, or further treatment before the provider can sign off on participation. Allow time for this possibility, and hurry in for your child’s sports physical!

Posted in Health Information and Tips

Water Safety Rules Every Parent Should Know

water safety rules for parents - sunny poolOn hot summer days, many of us head to local swimming spots to cool off and have fun with our families. However, a trip to the pool can quickly turn tragic if the proper precautions aren’t taken. According to the CDC, “drownings are a leading cause of injury death for young children ages 1 to 14, and three children die every day as a result of drowning.” Fortunately, parents can take practical steps to reduce this risk and keep kids safe.

Follow these key water safety rules to protect your children from drowning and water-related injuries.

Keep a close watch.

Never take your eyes off your child when he or she is in the water. Most children do not–or cannot–yell for help in drowning situations, so it’s imperative to actively supervise. Keep phones stowed away and minimize other distractions. In the time it takes to check a text message, your child can be submerged.

Use life jackets.

Life jackets are the best protection against drowning. Young children and weak swimmers should always wear a properly-fitted, Coast Guard-approved life jacket when near the water. Life jackets should fit snugly and be in good condition, as rips and tears can reduce effectiveness.

Learn how to choose the right life jacket (US Coast Guard Boating Safety Division).

Know CPR.

Make sure you have this life-saving skill to handle an emergency. If your child’s breathing or heart has stopped due to drowning, CPR can keep oxygenated blood flowing to the brain and other vital organs until medical help arrives. Read up on the basics of CPR from the Mayo Clinic and consider signing up for a class through the American Heart Association or American Red Cross.

Raise strong swimmers.

Sign your kids up for swimming lessons to ensure they know basic water safety and swim techniques. For most children, the American Association of Pediatrics recommends beginning lessons at age 4. However, it’s important not to become overconfident in a child’s ability. Swimming skills are just one level of protection against drowning. Toddlers and young children still require active supervision.

Posted in Health Information and Tips

Ultimate Summer Safety Guide

summer safety tips - man grilling hot dogs

Make summer safety a priority.

Summer should be a time of lighthearted amusement, and not unnecessary trips to the doctor! Learn these key summer safety tips to prevent injuries while enjoying all of your favorite seasonal activities. We walk you through the basics of safe grilling, swimming and fireworks.

 

Safe Grilling and BBQs

Each year, thousands of people seek medical care for injuries involving backyard grills. Reduce the risk of fires and thermal burns with these rules:

  • Never use a grill indoors.
  • Place your grill away from the home, deck railings and out from under overhanging branches and/or decorations.
  • Keep children and pets at least three feet away from the grill area.
  • Clean your grill regularly. Fat and grease buildup add fuel to the fire and can cause flare ups.
  • Never leave your grill unattended.
  • Always make sure your gas grill lid is open before lighting it.

 

Smart Swimming

Ready to hit the pool? You’ll want to memorize these water safety tips beforehand. According to the CDC, about ten people die from unintentional drowning every day. Water-related injuries and deaths are highly preventable. Make sure to follow these basic rules for safe swimming and water fun:

  • Make sure your children and family members are strong swimmers. Enroll in age-appropriate swimming lessons.
  • Swim in designated areas with a lifeguard present.
  • Don’t let anyone swim alone. Use the buddy system.
  • Always supervise children near water. Accidents happen quickly so active supervision is key. Avoid distractions and maintain awareness at all times.
  • Have young children and inexperienced swimmers wear a life jacket.
  • Avoid alcohol use.

Learn more about water safety from the Red Cross.

 

Fireworks Safety

Our best advice for fireworks safety? Leave them to the professionals!

If you do choose to use fireworks, the National Safety Council provides the following safety guidelines:

  • Never allow young children to handle fireworks
  • Older children should use them only under close adult supervision
  • Anyone using fireworks or standing nearby should wear protective eyewear
  • Never light them indoors
  • Only use them away from people, houses and flammable material
  • Only light one device at a time and maintain a safe distance after lighting
  • Never ignite devices in a container
  • Do not try to re-light or handle malfunctioning fireworks
  • Soak unused fireworks in water for a few hours before discarding
  • Keep a bucket of water nearby to fully extinguish fireworks that don’t go off or in case of fire

 

We hope these tips help you stay safe and have fun this summer!

If you find yourself in need of medical care, Omni-Med is here for you. Just walk in for fast and affordable treatment.

Posted in Health Information and Tips

How to Detect and Prevent Skin Cancer

May is Melanoma/Skin Cancer Detection and Prevention Month, and a great time to learn about strategies to detect and prevent skin cancer.

Skin cancer is the most common form of cancer in the United States, with 1 in 5 Americans developing it in their lifetime. Fortunately, when diagnosed and treated early, skin cancer can almost always be cured.

Skin Cancer Basics

Skin cancer is an abnormal growth of skin cells. It can affect people of all colors and races, but is more likely to occur in those with fair skin. The two most common types of skin cancer are basal cell and squamous cell carcinomas. Both cancers are highly curable, though if left untreated, can cause serious damage and disfigurement. Melanoma is the third most common—and deadliest—skin cancer. Melanoma generally develops in a mole or appears as a new dark spot on the skin.

The majority of skin cancers develop due to overexposure to ultraviolet (UV) light. UV light is a type of radiation produced by the sun, tanning beds and sunlamps. It is invisible to the human eye, but can penetrate and damage skin cells. Minimizing exposure to harmful UV rays is key in skin cancer prevention.

Reduce Your Risk

Stay out of the sun as much as possible.

The sun’s rays are strongest between 10am and 2pm, so seek shade during these hours or protect your skin with clothing. Consider wearing long sleeves, pants, sunglasses and a wide brim hat. Be especially aware if you’re near water, sand, or snow. These surfaces can reflect and intensify the damaging effects of the sun.

Always wear sunscreen.

It doesn’t matter what time of year it is or what the weather is like. If you’re spending time outdoors, it’s important to apply sunscreen to all exposed skin. Choose a broad-spectrum, water-resistant sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher. Apply it every 2 hours and after you swim or sweat.

Check your skin regularly for changes.

Check out this infographic from the American Academy of Dermatology for how to spot signs of skin cancer. Early detection is crucial for successful treatment.

Infographic: How to Spot Skin Cancer

Posted in Health Information and Tips

Help End Distracted Driving

distracted driving awareness - man holding cell phone while driving

April is Distracted Driving Awareness Month.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), “in 2015 alone, 3,477 people were killed, and 391,000 were injured in motor vehicle crashes involving distracted drivers.” This April, let’s educate ourselves on the hazards of distracted driving and learn how to make the roads safer for everyone.

Driving safely requires your full attention and awareness of the road. Sending a quick text might seem harmless, but accidents happen in a split second. Texting, talking on the phone, talking to passengers, or changing the music are all distractions that take your attention away from the task at hand. Engaging in these behaviors while driving leads to delayed braking times, missed traffic signals and an increased risk of crashing. When you’re in the driver’s seat, it’s critical not to get sidetracked by these extraneous activities.

Commit to being an attentive driver.

In honor of Distracted Driving Awareness Month, the National Safety Council is urging us all to take the Just Drive pledge:

I pledge to Just Drive for my own safety and for others with whom I share the roads. I choose to not drive distracted in any way – I will not:

  • Have a phone conversation – handheld, hands-free, or via Bluetooth
  • Text or send Snapchats
  • Use voice-to-text features in my vehicle’s dashboard system
  • Update Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or other social media
  • Check or send emails
  • Take selfies or film videos
  • Input destinations into GPS (while the vehicle is in motion)
  • Call or message someone else when I know they are driving

Visit the NSC site to officially take the pledge »

Taking the pledge is a great first step in tackling the issue of distracted driving, but how else can we initiate change? Choose to be a voice in your community. Support local laws and educate those around you on the dangers of driving distracted. If you’re a parent, make sure your teen driver understands the importance of being an attentive driver and encourage them to spread the word amongst their peers. We all have a role to play in the fight to save lives by ending distracted driving.

Posted in Health Information and Tips

Make Heart Health a Priority

February is American Heart Month, and the perfect time to make your heart health a priority.

Did you know that heart disease accounts for a whopping 1 in 4 deaths in the United States? It’s currently the leading cause of death for both men and women. As a country, we must start taking heart health seriously.

No matter what your age, you can reduce your risk of heart disease through simple lifestyle changes and by managing existing medical conditions with appropriate treatment. For a healthy heart, follow the advice below:

Quit Smoking! (Or, if you don’t smoke, don’t start!)

Smoking causes real damage to your heart and blood vessels. To reduce your risk of developing and dying from heart disease, avoid smoking and secondhand smoke. No matter how much or how long you’ve smoked, quitting will benefit you and can even help reverse heart damage. Need help quitting? Call 1-800-QUIT-NOW quitline (1-800-784-8669) for free resources and assistance.

Keep your blood pressure under control.

Left untreated, high blood pressure can lead to coronary artery disease, an enlarged left heart and heart failure. It is a leading cause of both heart disease and stroke. High blood pressure can occur with no signs or symptoms so it’s a good idea to have your blood pressure checked annually. Follow these healthy lifestyle choices to help keep your blood pressure under control:

  • Limit the amount of salt and alcohol in your diet.
  • Exercise regularly.
  • Quit smoking.
  • Maintain a healthy weight.
  • Manage stress.

Depending on your overall health, your doctor may also recommend medication to lower blood pressure.

Know the symptoms of a heart attack.

According to the CDC, the five major symptoms of a heart attack are:

  1. Pain or discomfort in the jaw, neck, or back
  2. Feeling weak, light-headed, or faint
  3. Chest pain or discomfort
  4. Pain or discomfort in arms or shoulder
  5. Shortness of breath

If you are experiencing these symptoms, call 9-1-1 immediately. The sooner emergency treatment begins, the higher your chances of survival.

Posted in Health Information and Tips

Donate Blood this January

donate blood


Our new year’s resolutions often look inward and focus on personal improvement. Lose weight. Exercise more. Get organized. But what if this year, we looked outward instead? How can we, as individuals, positively impact our communities in 2017?

One simple way is to donate blood.

Every January, the American Red Cross celebrates National Blood Donor Month and this year, their mission is even more critical. Several cities across the country are facing emergency blood shortages. Complex therapies such as chemotherapy, heart surgeries and organ transplants require a large amount of blood and blood products. A shortage in our nation’s blood supply can delay urgent medical care for our community’s most vulnerable patients. Donating blood is a simple, life-saving act. It takes less than 1 hour and a single donation can help up to 3 people

If you’re able to donate blood, now is the time to do so. Below, we’ve outlined the blood donor eligibility requirements, tips to prepare for your appointment and how to find a blood drive near you.

Blood and Platelet Donors Must:

  • Be in good general health and feeling well*
  • Be at least 17-years-old in most states, or 16-years-old with parental consent if allowed by state law – see more information for 16-year-old donors »
  • Weigh at least 110 lbs

Other aspects of your health history will be discussed prior to blood collection. Your temperature, pulse, blood pressure and hemoglobin are also measured beforehand. If you have specific questions about eligibility, the Red Cross offers in-depth information on donor Eligibility Criteria by Topic.

Tips to prepare for your appointment:

  • Eat a healthy, low-fat meal
  • Get a good night’s sleep
  • Stay hydrated
  • Bring your donor card, driver’s license or two other forms of identification
  • Bring the names of any medications you are taking
  • Wear clothing with sleeves that can be lifted above the elbow

Click here to find a blood drive near you »

Posted in Health Information and Tips

Drive Safely this Holiday Season

impaired driving prevention

December is National Impaired Driving Prevention Month.

During the holiday season, incidents of drunk and drugged driving occur more frequently and pose a threat to everyone on the road. To keep our streets safe this December, let’s educate ourselves on impaired driving prevention and hold ourselves — and those around us — accountable. Below, we’ve outlined basic tips and knowledge to help you avoid preventable tragedies.

Understand the many ways in which alcohol affects driving ability.

Consuming alcohol reduces a driver’s capacity to make sound and responsible decisions. It makes concentration difficult and impairs basic comprehension and coordination. On the road, a driver needs to quickly interpret signs, signals and situations in order to react safely. Under the influence of alcohol, this is simply not possible. In addition, alcohol reduces visual acuity and impairs the ability to judge distance and depth perception. Learn more about the effects of alcohol intoxication on driving from the CDC.

Plan ahead.

If you plan on drinking, also plan for a sober ride home. Designate a non-drinking driver when with a group, or consider calling a cab or ride-sharing app at the end of the night. It’s dangerous and irresponsible to get behind the wheel.

Help others get home safely.

Don’t let friends drive drunk. If you’re faced with a situation where someone who’s impaired tries to drive, MAAD offers these helpful tips to stop them:

  • Be as non-confrontational as possible
  • Suggest alternative ways they can get home, or that they sleep over
  • Enlist a friend for moral support; it’s more difficult to say “no” to two (or three or four) people
  • Talk slowly and explain that you don’t want them to drive because you care
  • If possible, take the person’s keys
Posted in Health Information and Tips

How to Prevent Diabetes


Today, 1 in 11 Americans has diabetes, and an estimated 86 million more are at risk of developing it. The disease can cause serious health complications and is currently the 7th leading cause of death in the United States. In an effort to raise awareness and understanding of this all-too-common disease, the American Diabetes Association (ADA) recognizes November as American Diabetes Month. We’re joining in on the cause and focusing on how to prevent diabetes.

While there is no known way to prevent Type 1 diabetes (an autoimmune disease usually diagnosed in children and young adults), there are lifestyle choices you can make to prevent or delay Type 2 diabetes. Before we get into these prevention tips, let’s learn a bit more about Type 2 diabetes.

Understanding Type 2

Type 2 diabetes is the most common form of diabetes, accounting for 90 to 95 percent of cases in the United States, and is caused when the body does not produce or use insulin properly. Risk factors for developing type 2 diabetes include being overweight, having a family history of diabetes and having diabetes while pregnant (gestational diabetes). Some people with type 2 diabetes can control their blood glucose (sugar) with healthy eating and being active; others may require oral medications or insulin, especially as the disease progresses. Type 2 diabetes is more common in African Americans, Latinos, Native Americans and Asian Americans/Pacific Islanders, as well as older adults (American Diabetes Association).

You can prevent diabetes by…

  1. Getting enough exercise.

    Exercise is key in preventing many diseases, and diabetes is no exception. The Department of Health and Human Services recommends that adults get 150 minutes of moderate aerobic activity or 75 minutes of vigorous aerobic activity a week. An easy way to remember this is 30 minutes a day, 5 days a week. In addition to aerobic exercise, incorporate resistance training for strong bones and muscles. The combination of aerobics and strength training will help you lose weight, lower blood sugar and increase your sensitivity to insulin.
  2. Maintaining a healthy weight.

    If you are overweight or obese, you are at a higher risk of developing Type 2 diabetes. Being overweight can affect your body’s ability to produce and use insulin, as well as cause high blood pressure. Take the necessary steps to achieve and maintain a healthy weight. In addition to the exercise tips discussed above, try the following diet tips:

    • Choose whole grains
    • Limit red meat
    • Avoid trans fats
    • Skip sugary drinks
  3. Not smoking.

    Need another reason to quit smoking? According to the Harvard School of Public Health, “smokers are roughly 50 percent more likely to develop diabetes than nonsmokers, and heavy smokers have an even higher risk.”

We hope these tips help. Let’s all stay active and eat right to prevent diabetes.

Posted in Health Information and Tips

Protect yourself and others with a Flu Shot

For most of us, the flu is a mild, albeit miserable, respiratory illness that lasts a few days. The symptoms — fever, cough, sore throat, runny nose, body aches — are unpleasant, but we recover and get back to our daily routines. For those with compromised or weaker immune systems, however, the flu can cause severe, life-threatening complications. Young children, adults 65+, pregnant women and people with certain chronic illnesses are all at a higher risk of developing scary complications such as pneumonia, organ-failure, sepsis or worsening of an existing condition.

What can we do to protect those at risk? It’s simple: get a flu shot.

By doing so, you are not only protecting yourself, but also those around you. Flu is a contagious respiratory illness that spreads person to person through droplets when we cough, sneeze or talk. You can infect someone up to 6 feet away, and spread the virus without realizing you have it. According to the CDC, “most healthy adults may be able to infect other people beginning 1 day before symptoms develop and up to 5 to 7 days after becoming sick,” and children can spread the virus for even longer.

Flu is contagious and not all of us have the immune system to fight it. Do your part and protect the most vulnerable by getting vaccinated today. The more people who get vaccinated, the harder it is for the flu to spread.

It’s as easy as a flu shot to keep yourself and your community healthy.



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