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With the release of the movie Concussion and all the surrounding research that has been present in the media, it is critical for parents to understand sports-related head injuries in order to protect their children’s brains. We often think football when we hear concussion.However, it isn’t the only sport where concussions are a concern. Soccer, lacrosse, basketball, cheerleading and many others are all sports where concussions are shockingly common.

Concussions cannot always be prevented, but there are ways to do your best to avoid them. For example, make sure your child’s coach knows and teaches techniques in a way that focuses on keeping athletes safe. Also, make sure that your athlete is not practicing excessively. This may seem like common sense, but more time spent playing the sport leads to greater potential for contact that could result in a concussion. Finally, stress to your child the importance of letting a coach or parent know if they hit their head during a game or practice.

It is easy for a young athlete to prioritize playing the game over being concerned about a potential injury. They often don’t understand how damaging a head injury can be. Make sure your child understands that they should never ignore a head injury. It doesn’t matter if it may seem minor to them at the time. If they experience one or more concussion symptoms or you notice them struggling with a symptom, make sure that they stop playing until you can come visit our office to have them checked out. For example, you may notice your child seems dazed, confused, or they may express visual abnormalities, vertigo, imbalance, a headache, feelings of nausea or sluggishness. Don’t second-guess when it comes to a head injury. If they hit their head and shortly after experience concussion symptoms, getting them to our office should be a priority.

Once your child’s concussion has been diagnosed and treated, young athletes should not rush back to play. It is important for doctors to decide when the athlete is able to resume activities. For example, most concussion symptoms will resolve in four weeks. Give your child the expectation of sitting out for a month unless cleared to play sooner by the medical provider.

We realize playing sports has dangers. These may include concussions, muscle pulls or various other injuries. However, don’t let that discourage your child from playing a sport. Playing sports help kids have fun and stay healthy. Being involved with a team can also help them develop leadership skills, learn to work with others and build self-confidence.

In conclusion, if your child does experience a head injury and symptoms of a concussion after playing a game or in practice, know that we are here to help.

Posted by Beacon Health Alliance | Topic: Pediatrics

Enteroviral Infections

September 23rd, 2019

The start of school brings an influx of germs into our children’s world. While sneezes, sniffles, and coughing may simply be signs of a common cold, sometimes, they are symptoms of something more: Enterovirus. Most of the time, these mild symptoms can be treated by rest, fluids, and other treatments typically used for common cold symptoms. However, sometimes symptoms can worsen and lead to more serious illnesses.

If you have an asthmatic child with severe symptoms, it is important to follow the asthma action plan and to communicate with our office often. It’s also important for children with asthma to get a seasonal flu vaccine. Ensure that you have your child’s rescue inhaler on hand during times of increased germs that could lead to enteroviruses and respiratory distress.

While enteroviruses might be especially scary for a child suffering from asthma, it can also cause respiratory problems for children without asthma. If your child exhibits a high fever and cold symptoms for longer than a week and if they have any difficulty breathing, it is important to contact our office or bring your child in for an assessment.

Enteroviruses are spread by contact. Your child can be infected by close contact with someone suffering from the illness, as well as objects that have the virus on them. To reduce the risk of enteroviral infections, make sure that your child is washing his hands thoroughly. Encourage her to avoid touching her face with hands that haven’t been washed and to wash hands before eating. Disinfecting surfaces that could be exposed to the enterovirus is also a good practice. Teenagers are known for sharing food and drinks. It is important to reiterate to them that sharing water bottles on the athletic or band fields is not best practice and can lead to serious illness.Hand foot and mouth disease is caused by coxsackievirus and is an enterovirus. Children and adults can be hospitalized secondary to dehydration that can be experienced from this germ. Enterovirus is also a common cause of viral meningitis.

Please call our office if you have any concerns that your child might have an enteroviral infection. Our excellent staff will be able to instruct you on your next steps in alleviating symptoms, bringing your child in for an assessment, or having medication called to the pharmacy. We have daytime and nighttime hours for your convenience, and a doctor is always on call for emergencies.

Posted by Beacon Health Alliance | Topic: Pediatrics

When many consider a visit to the OB-GYN, it conjures thoughts of pregnancy, menopause, or pap smears every three years, but there are many reasons that visiting a trusted OB-GYN before you or your daughter turns 21 is important. Visiting an OB-GYN is more than a doctor’s visit in a crisis scenario. Rather, an OB-GYN is an important part of every woman’s total health plan. Here are 4 reasons for making an appointment before you or your daughter turns 21:

  1. Putting your health first – OB-GYNs specialize in more than just pregnancy; these specialized doctors help women live a full life by teaching them how to put their health first. This knowledge extends far beyond the act of giving birth. OB-GYNs can do things such as helping patients identify a healthy body weight, establish good habits to avoid osteoporosis later in life, and achieve optimal health throughout the coming decades. Regular check-ins with your doctor can also identify emergency conditions, such as cervical cancer, in early stages. 
  2. Learn Accurate Information About Periods - An OB-GYN can help identify why women are experiencing heavy, painful, or infrequent periods. As women experience their first periods in their teens, it’s important to have a health expert walk alongside them to help understand premenstrual syndrome (PMS), spotting between periods, and other common menstrual issues that women face. This provides significant understanding throughout one’s life and avoids misinformation from other sources. 
  3. Get Unbiased Information About Birth Control - OB-GYNs can help patients in planning ahead in your teens and twenties by identifying a birth control plan that works for you. OB-GYNs can consult alongside patients to help them find the best birth control for their lifestyle and future plans. If pregnancy is in a woman’s plans, an OB-GYN can help identify the plan ahead for the coming months and years. 
  4. Testing & Vaccines - Visiting the OB-GYN office can also enable women to receive vaccines, such as the human papilloma virus (HPV) vaccine, or get tested for STI’s or HIV. Prevention and lowering of infection risks can also be discussed during an appointment.

Posted by Beacon Health Alliance | Topic: OBGyn