Now that school has begun, sports are in full swing. From football to field hockey and everything in between, today’s students participate in sports more now than ever before.
Physical activity is good for body, mind and soul. However, with its benefits come disadvantages such as injury. Even though high-contact sports pose a greater risk for traumatic injury, the majority of injuries are from overuse, especially in young athletes when excessive stress is placed on tendons, joints, bones and muscle.
In fact, growth plate fractures are as common as sprains and can often be treated easily. Your child needs to be evaluated by a knowledgeable medical professional since these injuries can be as common as sprains, if not more so.
In a growing child, point tenderness over a bone should always be checked by a medical provider even if there is minimal swelling or limitation in motion.
The most common injuries are:
- Sprains — injuries to ligaments
- Growth plate fractures — injuries to growing bones
- Strains — injuries to muscles
- Stress fractures — injuries to bones
Here are some practical tips by the American Academy of Pediatrics that can help reduce the risk of injury:
- Take time off. Plan to have at least one day off per week and at least one month off per year from training for a particular sport to allow the body to recover.
- Gear up. Players should wear appropriate and properly fit protective equipment such as pads (neck, shoulder, elbow, chest, knee, shin), helmets, mouthpieces, face guards, protective cups, and eyewear.
- Strengthen muscles. Conditioning exercises during practice strengthens muscles used in play.
- Increase flexibility by incorporating stretching exercises at practice, as well as before and after games.
- Use the proper technique for your sport.
- Take breaks. Don’t avoid rest periods during practice and games.
- Play safely. Follow the rules against headfirst sliding (baseball and softball), spearing (football), and checking (hockey).
- Do not play through pain.
- Avoid heat-related illness by drinking plenty of fluids before, during and after physical exertion.
If medical attention is necessary, the ER-experienced medical staff at New England Urgent Care can provide a thorough evaluation of your child as well as X-rays, splints and durable medical supplies including surgical boots, crutches and slings, if needed.
Source: American Academy of Pediatrics
With age comes wisdom, and unfortunately for many, health concerns.
We want our senior loved ones to be around as long as possible, and to be as healthy as possible. It could be helpful to be aware of some health issues that especially affect the elderly so you can help them seek medical treatment, if needed.
- Arthritis is one of the top issues people over 65 face; by maintaining some level of activity, depression can be avoided and further joint stiffening can be lessened
- Depression can lower immunity and lessen the ability to fight infections
- Chronic Respiratory Illness such as asthma, chronic bronchitis or emphysema make people more vulnerable to infection, and pneumonia
- Flu/Pneumonia are more serious in the elderly because they are less able to fight it
- Osteoporosis puts the elderly at a higher risk for fractures or broken bones
- Falls occur mostly at home, from hazards like area rugs and slippery bathroom floors
- High Blood Pressure and high cholesterol, if left unchecked, can lead to heart disease
- Obesity is a health risk factor that can contribute heart disease, diabetes, and cancer
- Diabetes if left unchecked, can lead to heart disease, sight loss and amputation of extremities
- Shingles is caused by the chickenpox virus and occurs in one out of three people over the age of 60. Medications are available that can speed up healing and slow down the progress of symptoms, especially if administered within the first 3 days of having symptoms
New England Urgent Care has the medical expertise and equipment to treat patients of any ages, from infants to the elderly. If your senior loved one has a health concern, stop in. No appointment is needed.
Each year, the National Grandparents Day occurs on the first Sunday after Labor Day. So this year, it falls on Sunday, September 8th. If you are fortunate enough to have your grandparents, then celebrate National Grand Parents Day with them!
In honor of grandparents everywhere, New England Urgent Care is offering FREE blood pressure checks during September and October.
Here are a few ways you can share your love and appreciation:
- Interview your grandparent — Ask them to share important events or stories from their past or how they grew up. It will help you understand their perspective!
- Cook or bake for your grandparents — If you’ve enjoyed recipes passed down from generation to generation, return the favor by making one of your favorites for them or better yet — with them.
Visit a nursing home — If your grandparents are no longer live, consider celebrating with the residents at a nursing home or assisted living. They’ll appreciate the time you spend with them and your gesture of kindness will make their day!
Related Article: 10 Health Concerns for Grandparents
There are just some people mosquitoes prefer to bite more than others.
Sadly, I’m one of them.
In fact, 1 out of 10 people are “mosquito magnets.” Researchers discovered 85% is due to genetics, (thanks, mom). But, there are other factors to consider in the mosquito equation.
Studies have shown mosquitoes are attracted to people who produce high amounts of carbon dioxide. It’s like their version of catnip. In fact, mosquitoes can smell a “meal” up to 3/10 of a mile away! They tend to prefer adults and pregnant women because they emit more carbon dioxide than children. They also like heat and movement. You breathe heavier when you exert yourself, thereby emitting more appealing carbon dioxide.
Although a mosquito bite can make an annoying, itchy bump, it can also cause a serious illness like West Nile Virus, Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE), and Zika.
If you are a mosquito magnet like me, your best defense is to protect yourself.
- DEET has proven to be safe and effective since 1957. The American Academy of Pediatrics states that low concentrations of DEET (10% or less) are safe to use on infants over 2 months old.*
- Picaridin is an effective alternative to DEET. It is odorless and safe for children over 2 months old.
- Natural alternatives such as lemon eucalyptus products like Repel work, too, (and safe for children older than 3 years), but they do not work quite as well as the recommended concentrations of DEET or Picardin.
- Clothing treated the chemical insecticide permethrin works, too — especially for people who spend a lot of time outdoors or in the woods.
You can also try mosquito traps to attract and kill female mosquitoes, which are the ones that bite. There are many products on the market that use carbon dioxide, heat and/or moisture to draw and kill the females, which will lessen breeding and can significantly lower the overall mosquito population. (I personally use a Skeeter Vac for my yard).
- Avoid marshy, swampy areas
- Wear light-colored, long sleeve clothing if you’re going to be outside at dawn or dusk
- Eliminate breeding ground opportunities around your home by removing any standing water in garbage pails, plastic toys, or clogged gutters. (FYI: Birdbaths are notorious for breeding mosquitoes).
If you or your child exhibits flu-like symptoms for an extended period of time, stop in at any New England Urgent Care to be evaluated.
Source: Insect Bites and Safety Tips American Academy of Pediatrics
Dehydration can turn dangerous quickly, especially in children and the elderly. Even though people are most susceptible during summer months, dehydration can happen at any time of the year, to anyone, and no matter the age.
What is dehydration?
Your body needs a certain amount of fluids to function normally. Dehydration happens when you use or lose more fluid than you take in. If you don’t replenish the fluids you lose, you will become dehydrated.
Severe diarrhea and vomiting are the two most common causes of dehydration in young children. Older adults, however, may have minor illnesses, conditions or take medications that increase their risk of dehydration.
Dehydration is not limited to the very young or very old. Anyone who doesn’t drink enough water — especially when exercising or being outdoors for long periods of time in hot weather — can become dehydrated.
Mild to moderate dehydration can be reversed by drinking more fluids, but severe dehydration requires immediate medical treatment.
Symptoms of dehydration
You may not know if you are dehydrated! In fact, many people don’t even feel thirsty until they already are dehydrated.
Symptoms may differ depending on age. Here are some signs to look for…
Infants and young children
- Dry mouth and tongue
- No tears when crying
- No wet diapers for three hours
- Sunken eyes, cheeks
- Sunken soft spot on top of skull
- Sluggishness or crankiness
- Extreme thirst
- Infrequent urination
- Dark-colored urine
When to seek treatment
- Diarrhea that lasts for 24 hours or more
- Behavior that is irritable or disoriented and you feel more sleepy or less active than usual
- Can’t keep down fluids
- If you suspect that you have heat exhaustion or heat stroke
Did you know? New England Urgent Care can treat dehydration and administer IV fluids, if needed.
Complications of dehydration
Dehydration can be a serious matter. If left untreated, it can lead to:
- Heat cramps, heat exhaustion or potentially life-threatening heatstroke
- Kidney problems
- Hypovolemic shock also known as low blood volume. Which causes a drop in blood pressure and a drop in the amount of oxygen in your body.
Source: Mayo Clinic