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Genesis Medical Associates, Inc.
Posted on 08/11/2017 16:11

Children_Back_To_School_Health.jpg Summer is winding down, which means many children and their parents are preparing to go back to school within the next few weeks. Between orientations, sports registrations, and purchasing school supplies, fitting in a doctor’s appointment can be easier said than done. Many schools, sports, and activities require yearly back-to-school physicals for each child, so it’s important to fit an appointment in before the first day of school. In addition to physicals, there are a few other ways parents can help kids to make healthy choices throughout the school year.

  • Backpack Safety: For many parents, a new backpack to help children carry their many books and supplies children is automatically part of their back-to-school shopping list.. However, improperly sized backpacks or shoulder bags, and backpacks that are too heavy, can lead to a number of health problems. Sturdy backpacks with strong straps are highly recommended, particularly for children that are hauling books back and forth. Be sure to remind children to use both straps on the backpack should be used at all time, as slinging the bag over one shoulder or using a one shoulder bag can strain muscles. Rolling backpacks are also recommended if your child’s school allows them. Finally, encouraging children to manage their work so that they never have to carry too many books is extremely beneficial for their young backs.
  • Developing a Sleep schedule: Transitioning from staying up late during the summer and getting to bed early for school can be tricky for many children. One of the most important things to do in August is to get your child back on a regular sleep schedule prior to the night or two before the first day of school. Many experts recommend starting with having your child get to bed an hour earlier than normal and have them wake up an hour earlier one to two weeks before the start of school. This way, they can slowly ease themselves into the routine and feel well-rested and adjusted when their alarm goes off on the first day.
  • Packing Healthy Lunches: Summer means ice cream, hot dogs, burgers, and sweets, but these shouldn’t be part of your child’s school lunch. It’s important to get your child back into the habit of eating a balanced breakfast, lunch, and dinner each day to keep themselves healthy. In addition, packing school lunches with more fruits and veggies and less sugar and preservatives is a way to keep lunches more nutritious. If you prefer buying lunch for your child at the school cafeteria, make sure to look at the menus to see what options are available and be sure to check up on any food allergies your child may have. Take a look at some healthy lunch recipes here.

Making sure your child has a sturdy backpack, a regular sleep and eating schedule, and healthy lunch options will get them off on a great start for the new school year. But before that, it’s important to schedule a back to school physical, especially if the school requires one. At Genesis Medical, our team can help you and your child prepare for the new school year and help them make healthy eating and sleeping choices. To schedule an appointment with a pediatrician, find your nearest location and our staff will more than happy to assist you.

Image courtesy of Pixabay.com 

Posted on 07/27/2017 18:50

There are ways you can help a child when they visit their primary care doctor. It’s a little scary when you think about it. You’re a child, still trying to figure out what’s what in the world. And once a year or so, you go to a special building to be poked and possibly given a shot by a stranger in a white coat.

It’s not surprising that many children can be nervous or scared of the doctor, associating the doctor’s office with needles and bad-tasting medicine. While some children may take years to get over their fear, others come around eventually when they become comfortable talking with the doctor about how they’re feeling. But what’s a parent to do before then when it’s time to see the doctor?

We’re here to answer that very question. Here are a few tips to help you prepare your child for their next appointment with their pediatrician:

  • Explain Why You’re Going To The Doctor. It’s always best to let your child know about a doctor’s appointment in advance, rather than making it a surprise. When it comes time to explain why a regular physical appointment is necessary, speak about the doctor positively. Saying things like “the doctor is going to see how you are growing and to make sure you’re healthy” may be helpful. Kids may also like hearing that all the other kids make trips to the doctor too, so they don’t feel alone. If you are visiting the doctor to treat an illness or injury, explain that the doctor is going to figure out how they can fix the problem and help your child feel better again.
  • Talk About What Occurs During Routine Check-Ups. Some kids may think the doctor can just look at them and determine if they’re healthy, so it’s best to detail the entire process (within reason) so they aren’t left with any surprises. Take your child’s favorite doll, stuffed animal, or action figure to break down the appointment for them visually. Demonstrate how their arm will be cuffed when the doctor takes their blood pressure, explain how the doctor will use a special stick to press down on their tongue to look at their throat, and lightly press on the stomach of the stuffed animal to explain how the doctor will check on theirs. Just in case, never promise that the appointment will be pain-free. Unless you know your child’s immunization schedule, there may or may not be a shot involved at the appointment.
  • Find a Pediatrician You Trust. Visiting the doctor can be a scary experience for children, and also for parents who are unsure about and how the doctor will treat their child. Trust is key, no matter which doctor you see.

That said, we’d be remiss if we didn’t mention our own staff as a resource for young children and families. At Genesis Medical, our team can help you out with any of concerns as well as your child’s concerns, and giving you peace of mind at your child’s upcoming appointment. To schedule an appointment with a pediatrician, find your nearest location and our staff will help you with anything you may need from there!

Image courtesy of Pixabay.com

Posted on 07/14/2017 18:35

Healthy lungs are a critical part of a healthy life.Often times, we don’t pay enough attention to our lungs and how lung health is essential in keeping our bodies in good condition. We only tend to take notice of our lung health when we begin experiencing breathing problems and need to consult a doctor. But our lungs need just as much attention as the rest of our body does, as they provide oxygen to every cell in our bodies. That oxygen keeps our entire body and its many systems running - which is why lung problems affect our quality of life so drastically.

Fortunately, keeping your lungs healthy will reduce your risk of developing serious illnesses such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), heart disease, and multiple breathing conditions. Here are some things you can do to properly care for your lungs:

  • Avoid Smoking: Smoking is the number one contributor to a variety of lung diseases, such as lung cancer and COPD. It’s also the leading cause of preventable death in the United States, with over 438,00 deaths per year. And smoking isn’t just limited to use of cigarettes and cigars. Marijuana, electronic cigarettes, and smokeless tobacco are all guilty of contributing to lung cancer and other lung conditions. Secondhand smoke has also been linked to harmful diseases, with over 41,000 deaths related to it per year. Because of this, it’s best to avoid smoking or to quit smoking entirely. Quitting smoking, however, will take time and effort. If you are ready (or currently struggling) to kick this habit, you can ask your doctor for more information on smoking and lung health or for guidance on quitting smoking.
  • Exercise Regularly: Exercise does more than keep our bodies strong and in shape - it gives us a chance to use more of our lung capacity and to help them stay in shape. Getting exercise for at least 20 minutes a day - whether it’s a bike ride, a jog, or a walk around the block during your lunch break - will keep your body healthy, improve your mood, and give your lungs the movement they need to keep doing their job.
  • Be Wary of Air Pollution: Unfortunately, air pollution is still a major issue in a number of cities across the United States, including Pittsburgh. The American Lung Association suggests a few ways in which you can fight for cleaner air to protect your lungs from toxins in the air. Some of these ways include checking pollution forecasts in the area before venturing outside, which can help to reduce your exposure to air pollution. Other tips to address this risk include avoiding exercising near high-traffic areas, using public transportation or biking to work, and making changes in the home that can improve its air quality.

In addition to taking any necessary steps to protect our lungs, it’s important to make note of any negative changes that occur during breathing. These can be a sign of developing problems that need attention. If you’re experiencing sudden difficulty with breathing, chest pain, dizziness, or nausea, see your doctor immediately. At Genesis Medical, our team can help you out with any of your breathing or lung health concerns by providing treatment options and more. Schedule an appointment at  your nearest location and our staff can assist you with any of your health concerns.

 
Posted on 06/29/2017 18:08

Bug bites can be a serious source of health issues during the summer.Summer means spending more time outside enjoying the  warm weather and taking part in a variety of outdoor activities. But humans aren’t the only ones who come outside to enjoy the summer heat. Many species of insects have emerged from their winter homes to buzz around and do what insects do. While many of these bugs are harmless, others can bite us and leave marks or bumps that can sometimes be harmful to our bodies. Certain bites are itchy, while others are stinging and painful and can make for a miserable summer - and still others can cause additional illness at a later date. Let’s take a look at some of the biting insects found in Western Pennsylvania, what their bites can do, and how you can protect yourself from them.

Ticks

Ticks may not be a proper insect, but their bite is severe enough that we can’t ignore them in this list. While these pests are not a new problem, 2017 is proving to be a particularly risky year for Lyme disease, especially in the Northeast region of the United States. Worse, these days tick bites are no longer just a problem found in the woods, as many ticks hitch rides into our backyards via local deer populations.

If you are spending time outside, it’s essential to check your body and hair for ticks (and to keep an eye on your pets, too). Tick bite symptoms can include swelling at the site of the bite, rashes, burning sensations around the bite, and sometimes difficulty breathing if the bite is severe. If you are experiencing any severe, long-term symptoms, or have concerns about Lyme disease, consult your doctor as soon as possible. Be sure to check out our blog about ticks and Lyme disease in 2017 for more information on proper tick removal and signs of Lyme disease.

Mosquitoes

These long-legged insects are one of the more annoying ones that come about in the summer. They can be found almost everywhere; their bites are itchy; and some bites can also be fatal, as they are the most deadly animal in the world. Mosquitoes are known to kill over one million people worldwide per year due to the diseases they spread to humans.

These pests are known to spread a number of diseases, including malaria, the West Nile Virus, and the Zika virus. While more severe diseases like malaria are not common in the United States, the other two can still be contracted from mosquito bites and can be dangerous. Zika is more common in the Southern, Mid-Atlantic, and Southwestern U.S., where the ocean is closer and temperatures are warmer. West Nile, however, has been found in humans and animals in almost all of the fifty states, as it is carried by around 65 species of mosquitoes.

Mosquito bites are noticeable almost instantly, as a round puffy bump with a dot in the center will form at the site of the bite. Children and those with weaker immune systems may experience more pain and discomfort than others. Generally, the bite will be itchy for a few days and gradually go away. If you are experiencing prolonged symptoms, like body aches, fever, headaches, and allergic reactions, visit your doctor for treatment.

Preventing Bites

If you have concerns about contracting diseases from bug bites, or don’t want to deal with being itchy after spending time outside, there are a few steps you can take. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends using bug sprays that contain at least 20% DEET (diethyltoluamide). Be sure to follow instructions on the repellant packaging and reapply when needed. Other ways to keep yourself from being a target to these pests is by covering exposed skin, especially when in wooded areas where insects thrive. For extra precaution, avoid sleeping with windows open at night and use mosquito nets when sleeping outdoors.

Bug bites are a common part of our summer, and often they’re harmless and go away within a few days. However, when more severe symptoms arise and the bite isn’t subsiding, it may be time to seek medical attention. At Genesis Medical, our team can help you out with any of your bug bite concerns, treatment options, and more. Schedule an appointment at  your nearest location and our staff will help you with any other concerns you may have about bug bites this summer.

Posted on 06/14/2017 16:19

Good skin care is essential in preventing skin damage and skin cancer. Summer is here! Now that the weather has warmed up and we are spending more time outside enjoying the sun, we also need to be more cautious. While the warm sun feels good on our skin, it can be damaging and may contribute to a number of long-term conditions. Here are some summer sun safety tips to keep your skin protected from the sun’s harmful rays while still allowing you to enjoy the weather. 

  • Apply Sunscreen Often (And Properly). While it is recommended that you wear sunscreen every day in all weather, this is especially true in the summer. We tend to spend more time outdoors this season, and even a simple daily lunchtime stroll can result in larger amounts of cumulative skin damage. When purchasing sunscreen, check the SPF - or sun protection factor - on the product, and ensure that you are using a product with a minimal SPF of 30. Additionally, always be sure the label says broad-spectrum, which protects skin from the sun’s UVA and UVB rays. Once you have picked a sunscreen, try to apply it 30 minutes before heading outside to ensure the product properly dries and settles into the skin. You should also reapply it every 2 hours, especially if you are swimming or sweating. And if you absolutely hate sunscreen, you’ll be happy to hear that many foundations and other makeup products include SPF in them - so check your bottles and purchase products that contain SPF.
  • Don’t Forget Other Sun Protection Products. Sunscreen is one the most effective sun blocking tools, but there are plenty of other ways to keep UV rays at bay. You can keep your eyes safe by wearing sunglasses with UV protection lenses. Cataracts, retina damage, and other harmful eye conditions can arise when eyes are exposed to the sun without proper protection. You can also wear wide brimmed hats to protect your scalp and face, and putting on long sleeved shirts and pants adds an extra layer of protection.
  • Properly Treat Sunburn. If you forget to wear sunscreen, or don’t reapply it frequently,  you may find yourself with a sunburn. Cool baths or showers can help ease some of the pain and relax the skin. After bathing, apply aloe vera or or a soy moisturizer to aid in the cooling process, which also prevents the skin from drying out or peeling. Because sunburns cause fluids to stay at the skin’s surface, you run the risk of dehydration, so always drink plenty of water. During the healing process, take extra care of your skin, especially in the areas that have been burned. Wear loose clothing with tightly-woven fabrics that covers the burned area. If burns are more severe, blistering, or aren’t properly healing, consult your doctor. (An important thing to remember, however, is that even mild sunburns can greatly increase your risk of skin cancer. So while properly treating the symptoms of one is important, prevention is even more so!)
  • Check Your Skin Frequently. Aside from burns, the sun can contribute to other developments on the body and skin, like uneven pigmentation, scaly patches, melanoma, or skin cancer. If you’re out in the sun often, it’s important to check your skin for any new freckles or marks, as these can be an indicator of your overall skin health. An effective method of examining suspicious moles or markings is the ABCDE Evaluation. Check all moles and marks for asymmetry, border irregularity, changes in color, a diameter greater than six millimeters, and evolving size. Make notes of anything new that has appeared or markings that have changed and consult your doctor or dermatologist for proper diagnosis. 

There are plenty of ways to keep our bodies safe from the sun and decrease our risk of skin cancer and other conditions. Additionally, if you have specific skin concerns or want to know about other ways to protect yourself and your loved ones from the sun’s rays, contact  Genesis Medical. Schedule an appointment at your nearest location and we will be more than happy to assist you with your sun care regimen.

 
Posted on 05/26/2017 19:09

Protecting your health during the summer is especially important when managing diabetes. Summer means getting outside, relaxing out in the pool, grilling in the backyard, and making a trip to the beach. While the sun is a welcome sight after a dark, cold winter, the hot and humid weather that comes with it is a problem for many. People who suffer from type 2 diabetes may not be looking forward to the summer months because of the problem the heat creates for blood glucose. Studies have shown that emergency room visits by diabetics increase during heat waves in the summer months. Fortunately, there are many precautions that diabetics can take to prevent emergencies and enjoy the warm weather.

  • Stay Hydrated. This is an important tip for everyone spending time in the sun, but it’s essential for diabetics. When blood glucose increases, the body excretes more urine, which quickly leads to dehydration. To prevent dehydration, drink plenty of water and caffeine-free fluids. Limiting sugary drinks like lemonade and iced tea and watching alcohol intake can also help in keeping the body properly hydrated while maintaining glucose levels.
  • Watch for Signs of Heat Exhaustion. Heat exhaustion is more common in diabetics and those with heart conditions, so being aware of the signs and symptoms of heat exhaustion could be life-saving. Dizziness or feeling faint, excessive sweating, cramping, clammy skin, headaches and increased heart rate are common symptoms of this condition. If you have concerns about heat exhaustion, avoid doing any physical labor or exercise outside without taking frequent breaks. Staying in rooms with air conditioning and fans can cool your body down and prevent symptoms from becoming worse.
  • Take Care of your Medication. Heat can also be a problem for diabetes medications. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) heat can be damaging to blood sugar monitors, insulin pumps, and other equipment. Take a look at medication bottles, boxes and equipment manuals for proper storage temperatures. Avoid leaving medications in a hot car or in direct sunlight. If you are traveling, keep insulin and other medications that require cool temperatures in a cooler to prevent spoiling.

Drinking fluids, being aware of heat exhaustion, and taking proper storing measures for medications are all helpful ways  diabetics can avoid a heat-related trip to a doctor. If you have other concerns about diabetes during the summer months, the staff at  Genesis Medical can provide additional resources and advice. Schedule an appointment at your nearest location and we will be more than happy to assist you.

Image courtesy of Pixabay.com

 
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