BE A CHAMPION! PLEASE IMMUNIZE!

Community Health Association of Spokane Valley Clinic

It is National Vaccine Awareness Month and that means… it’s time to talk about immunizations.

I will keep this short and sweet as we want to stay focused. Please come in and talk to a provider at any time if you have any questions or concerns about vaccination so we can discuss why they are safe and so important for you, your family and your community.

 

  1. Starting in September CHAS will have flu shots available for anyone who comes to any of our clinics. We will be here and ready to go to help keep you healthy thus If you have an appointment prior to the start of September you can come back in at anytime for a nurse visit to get your annual flu vaccination. If you are wondering “Do I need a flu shot” this post from a nurse who questioned her need for the vaccine while pregnant  may be just for you. http://www.voicesforvaccines.org/nurses-vaccinate-to-protect-families-and-patients/

 

  1. Please ask our medical staff at every visit if you need any vaccines. We should check every time you come in so we take every opportunity to keep you protected and healthy. If you don’t ask, who will? One question and 30 seconds of your time could save your life or the life of someone you love.

 

  1. For Teens- In 2014, nationally, 4 out of 10 teen girls and 6 out of 10 teen boys had not even started the HPV vaccine (Gardisil) series making them vulnerable to cancers caused by HPV. Your teenager also needs to shots to protect them from meningitis and a TDaP to protect them from tetanus and Pertussis (whooping cough). Please start asking about HPV and if your teen starts this vaccine series, please remind them to finish it.

 

  1. Be a Champion! This month, I encourage everyone to be a champion for vaccine Please look up just one vaccine, any one of your choice and become passionate about it for your community. Be familiar with the results of getting such an infection and how not getting immunized can impact your community. Please go to http://www.immunize.org/vaccines/ this site will give you discussion points about each illness, pictures of what the illness looks like, and tons of resources to access so you can learn everything you need to know about vaccination. Let’s work together to make our community as safe as it can be. Please look at this resource  http://www.voicesforvaccines.org/ too as it helps you see each illness through the eyes of families and individuals affected by each preventable illness.

Healthy Choices for Kids.

Do you know why there’s so much talk these days about obesity in children?

Children who are overweight when they are young have a much harder time losing weight when they are older than adults who were not overweight as kids. If you make improvements in your child’s diet and increase the amount of physical activity he gets now, you will have a much better chance of keeping him healthy as an adult.

Here are a few ideas to make changes in your family’s diet:

  •   Drink water!  (no juice, no soda)
  •   Eat at home!  (don’t eat out more than once or twice a week)
  •   Keep cut up fruits or vegetables around so your kids will snack on them instead of chips
  •   Eat together! Keep the TV off!
  •   Make sure you have 20-30 minutes to eat together (eating too fast makes it easy to over- do it)
  •   Eat 3 meals a day! (skipping leads to overeating )
  •   Keep junk food out of your house!
  •   Make salads with vegetables, not eggs, meat or cheese
  •   Toss your salad to use less dressing
  •   Treat yourselves sometimes!

Here’s some suggestions to increase physical activity in your family:

bike-helmet-child

  •   Ride a bike
  •   Go for a walk after dinner
  •   Dance
  •   Swim
  •   Play sports
  •   Walk when you talk on the phone
  •   Take a martial arts class
  •   Limit TV and video games to 1-2 hours per day

 

Good luck and enjoy the rest of your summer.

Wildfires and Children’s Lungs

With recent wildfires in the area you may be wondering what this means for your children. The smoke from wildfires contains a mixture of gasses as well as fine particles of burnt material. These can irritate your eyes, nasal passage, as well as your lungs.

Children’s airways are still developing and are much smaller than adults, and therefore are at a higher risk to be affected by poor air quality. Children breathe in more air per pound of body weight and they also tend to be more active which also leads them to breath in more air.

via Krem

via Krem

When the air quality is poor it is important to avoid going outside. If this is not possible, limit the amount of activity that is done outside. Anytime your child runs and plays, they begin to breathe faster, leading to more exposure of the dirty air to their sensitive developing airways.

Keep windows and doors shut. Make sure to run the air conditioner on the recirculate setting to prevent the dirty air from coming inside. A simple mask is not helpful. The small particulates that are present in the smoke are small enough to be allowed through a paper mask. It is also important to keep track of the air quality index where you live. You can check this out at www.spokanecleanair.org to find out the current air quality.

Symptoms of exposure to wildfire smoke can include runny nose, burning eyes, cough, shortness of breath, and nausea. If your child has asthma make sure to have their rescue inhaler available at all times since the smoke can trigger an asthma exacerbation. If any of these symptoms persist or don’t improve after going inside and resting, please seek medical care.

by Ashlee Mickelson, Physician

The Itch of a biting insect: How do I protect my child from them?

With the hot wet days and nights of summer come the biting insects, especially in those early evening hours when eating outdoors and enjoying the gentle weather of a summer evening.

Children are at risk for multiple types of insect bites; biting flies,  mosquitoes, and ticks to name a few. The best way to protect your child from these pesky critters is to apply a repellent containing DEET.

According to the AAP (American Academy of Pediatrics) DEET remains themost effective in repelling these biting insects. It can safely be applied by an adult to the children’s clothing and exposed skin.

Application of the product is best done in an open area. DO NOT spray this directly onto the child’s head and face, instead spray into the adult’s hand and rub onto the face/ears/neck avoiding contact with the eyes.  Follow directions on timing for re-application typically anywhere from 2 to 5 hours depending on the concentration of DEET in the repellant being used.

A common question heard can be: Is it safe for my young child?

The answer is simply:  Yes.  A repellent containing DEET of no more than 30% is safe for application to an infant older than 2 months of age when safely applied by a responsible adult.  Remember to always wash the child’s skin at the end of the day to remove the product to avoid irritation and wash their clothing.

Avoid use of scented lotions/fabric softeners/detergents as these can attract those pests more.  Dressing a child in floral prints and bright colors also can attract the pests.  It’s a good idea to protect the child’s head/ears by having them wear a hat with a wide brim.  Using mosquito netting around strollers and those portable cribs also can help protect the child from those pesky flying insects.   Avoiding stagnant water is a good idea as these are frequently breeding grounds for mosquitoes.

BugBite_0

Despite your best efforts your child ends up with an itchy bite, what next?

There are many over the counter products designed for this. Some good options to use are: a topical cream such as Calamine Lotion, Hydrocortisone Cream, or Benadryl Cream.  Another simple product is to mix baking soda and water into a paste and apply to the bite.

Remember if ever there is a question your Pediatrician is just a phone call away.  🙂

Enjoy your summer stay safe and protected!!

Daniel Moorman, MD

Hello Summer!

536714_10151589741797814_821778485_nHello Kids! Welcome to summer!

Parents, time to start thinking about summer fun and activities. Time to get kids outside and moving. But while moving about the wild summer days don’t forget a little bit of safety for your children. Simple reminders for the kids such as, “Wear your helmet!” can prevent injury and save lives. Kids 5 and up should be learning their home address and parents cell phone number and know about stranger danger. A safety plan should be discussed in case they get lost or separated from family while out having fun.

Helmets– Are highly recommended with all wheeled sports. Please help children remember that they only have one head and they need to protect that brain for many years to come. If your child gets a concussion, please get them in for evaluation and follow up. Problems from head injury can linger for a long time so let us know how we can continue to support you and your family.

bike-helmet-child

Swimming-Time to look into swim lessons for you children, keep them safe around all bodies of water with the upcoming hot weather. Please remember that even children who are believed to be good swimmers should be watched closely in the water especially when under the age of 7.

kids-swimming

Sunblock- A layer of clothing can be a good form of sunblock so keep your kids covered up if you don’t have sunblock for them. We recommend children use a sunblock that covers both UVA and UVB and an SPF of 70 would be best (with the way most people put on sunblock you only get about half the SPF number listed on the bottle).

sunblock

Camp Physicals-Summer time is a great time to get kids to camp and out of the house with the scouts. Make time now to get them in for their annual physical so they are ready for all activities at camp and get a jump on the next School Year.

Summer Treats– What summer is complete without a few sweets. Please help remind kids that we don’t get a summer break from brushing our teeth, we have to do it every day. If they haven’t been into the dentist in a while, now is a time to get them reestablished. We also have fluoride supplements for kids from 6 months old until 16 years old. If your child needs help with dental care please let us know how we can help or if you need a dental appointment with our staff.

The Scoop (via the Inlander)

The Scoop (via the Inlander)

 

Dr. Dan

Love Them. Protect Them. Immunize Them.

Community Health Association of Spokane Valley Clinic With it being National Infant Immunization Week (NIIW), it is a great time to make sure we are promoting, encouraging, educating and reminding parents to have their children immunized. If infants are not immunized the consequences can be severe and in some cases the preventable diseases can even be fatal. It’s easy for us to believe that these preventable diseases are a thing of the past but, as we have seen with the recent cases of measles and pertussis in our community, these diseases still exist.

CHAS offers immunizations through the Vaccines for Children’s program. The program is federally funded and provides vaccinations for children through the age of 18 at no cost.

Infant immunization protects from vaccine-preventable diseases throughout their life and offers protection against the 14 diseases below:

Hepatitis A – A virus that causes liver infection.

Hepatitis B – A virus that causes liver infection. In some cases, Hepatitis B remains in the liver for life and can lead to further complications including liver cancer.

Diphtheria– A potentially fatal condition in which the airways can become blocked, restricting breathing. Also associated with heart problems and paralysis of throat muscles needed for swallowing.

Hib Disease (Haemophilus Influenzae Type b) – A serious disease which can cause meningitis and pneumonia.

Pertussis (whooping cough) – A potentially fatal bacteria that is very contagious with symptoms including persistent violent coughing and choking which can last for weeks. It is particularly worrisome in infants and young children.

Pneumococcal Disease – A potentially fatal bacterial infection which can cause pneumonia.

Polio – A viral infection with possible symptoms of fever, pain, sore throat, head ache and in some cases paralysis and death.

Influenza (flu) – A bacteria that can cause respiratory complications and can result in hospitalization or death. Infants, young children, pregnant women, and the elderly are at higher risk of complications related to influenza.

Measles -A potentially fatal disease caused by a virus whose symptoms include cough, fever and rash. In severe cases, measles can cause brain damage, pneumonia, and seizures.

Mumps – A virus that causes headaches, fever, pain and swelling in the salivary glands.

Rotavirus – A virus that causes severe diarrhea and vomiting which usually lasts days. Complications can include severe dehydration and possible hospitalization.

Rubella (German Measles) – A virus with of fever, rash and swollen glands. A pregnant woman with rubella is at greater risk of miscarriage and her baby may have physical defects including loss of sight or hearing and heart problems.

Tetanus (Lockjaw) – A condition caused by bacteria, which affects the muscles, causing them to spasm. A person may experience headaches, increased blood pressure, elevated body temperature and muscle pain. The jaw muscles may spasm causing the jaw to ‘lock’.

Varicella (Chickenpox) – A highly contagious virus whose symptoms cause blister-like rash, sever itching, fever. Can cause severe complications that can lead to hospitalization.

So let’s do our part in making sure that parents and caregivers are educated on the importance of vaccinating and protecting their children against vaccine-preventable diseases.

References:

www.cdc.gov

www.immunize.org

 

-By Shereen Martin, Medical Support Supervisor

Talking with baby

Community Health Association of Spokane Valley Clinic

 

Did you know something as simple as talking to your baby can help them be more successful in school?  75% of your baby’s brain development occurs in the first 2 years of life.  You are your baby’s first teacher!  The more words they are exposed to during this time the better.  Simple things like telling your child what you are doing, “Mommy is making your bottle now,” and pointing out things you see, “Look at the big red ball,” help their language develop.  You may be tempted to turn the TV on and let your baby be exposed to language that way.  Unfortunately, studies have shown this actually makes their language development worse.  Instead, turn the tv off and talk directly to your baby throughout the day, making eye contact with them, and giving them a chance to respond.  This helps with language and communication skills that are needed throughout life.

Books and songs are another way to help develop their language skills.  Sing simple songs over and over again, and you will quickly see that they will begin to recognize the song.  Exposing them to books is a great opportunity.  You might find your 6 month old baby has no interest in sitting down and reading a book, but let them explore books.  They will probably start by sticking it in their mouth, but soon they will start looking at the pictures, and before you know it they will have their own favorite book.  Your baby may not want to sit on your lap and read the entire book.  That’s ok!  Flip through the book with them.  Point out different pictures.  Practice animal sounds.  Your baby will enjoy the time spent cuddling with you, while also building a foundation for their developing language and a love for reading.

By Ashlee Mickelson, Physician

Bye-bye colds and flu

Welcome spring and summer! Bye-bye colds and flu. It’s time for spring cleaning and that includes not only your homes but time to make sure you are getting your family’s health in order as well. Dental care is often overlooked or forgotten, but it’s time to get back in for that dental visit if this has slipped your attention. Pediatric and Adult Dental services are available at CHAS. Dental services are important because living in the Spokane area provides many challenges for dental care as our community does not have much, if any, fluoride in our water systems and wells. The current guidelines are for supplemental fluoride for children from 6 months old up to 16 years old. If you have run out of fluoride or forgot to get it at your last medical or dental visit please give us a call so we can make sure we are protecting your children’s teeth as best as possible.

It’s also time to dig out those old immunization records along with that house cleaning and make sure your children are up to date on all of their immunizations for the year. If you are not sure please give us a call so we can help you figure out what may be needed.

With the Sunshine returning to our area it’s time to think about sunburns and protecting our skin and our children from sunburns and potential skin cancer later in life. A light and breathable layer of clothing plus a hat is a great physical barrier, and is a better sun blocker than liquid sun block as it provides the right protection for your infant as well as for any family member. When wearing less than full coverage; a good sun block with both UVA and UVB provides the most protection. The American Academy of Pediatrics Recommends a SPF level of at least 35 for all children, but remember that sun block can wear off with sweat or with water. Remember to reapply sun block as needed to avoid that summer burn.

Also, along with spring cleaning it’s time to find that old book you haven’t read in a while. New books are always nice but search for that old favorite too. Remember to read to your children daily or better yet, have them read to you when old enough. Help them to read their old favorites to continue that love for reading and make sure they have books to read for their Spring and Summer breaks. The library is always a good place to find new favorites and it doesn’t cost you anything. So get out there and read and explore new worlds, you’ll be glad you did.

Daniel Moorman, MD

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