August is National Immunization Awareness Month

The flu. Measles. Tuberculosis. 

Immunizations help to prevent these serious illnesses and keep you protected. 

National Immunization Awareness month is the perfect time to learn about vaccines and to remind our family, friends, and coworkers to stay up-to-date on their shots. 

Vaccines Aren't Just for Kids

It’s not only babies and young children who need to stay on schedule, preteens, teens, and adults all have recommended immunizations. Be sure to check these schedules before sending your kids to school or to college. 

August is National Immunization Awareness month, protect yourself and your children at every age. To schedule your checkup, contact your primary care physician, or learn more at Westshore Primary Care.

Immunization Schedules

Infants & Children (Birth-6 years)

Get Your Ohio Sports Physicals Early

Get your sports physicals early. Westshore has multiple locations with family physicians able to complete high school sports physicals. Image of boys high school soccer player from Hudson Ohio licensed CC BY 2.0

The Ohio High School Athletic Association (OHSAA) requires that all Ohio student-athletes are eligible, complete the pre-participation physical evaluation (PPE) form, and visit the doctor for a routine physical exam. 

So while you are relaxing this summer, make an appointment for your student to get this part of the process completed early. 

We list the four important steps in the process for your child to play sports in schools in Ohio.

How to Get Your Child’s Ohio School Sports Physical 

1. Make sure your student is eligible to play.

Go over the eligibility checklist for your student's school level: 

You’ll notice both checklists stress concussion education and awareness.  

Optional: Complete the Free Course on Concussions in Sports 

Required: Review and sign the Ohio Department of Health’s Concussion Information Sheet [PDF] 

For more information about eligibility, visit the OHSAA Student-Athlete Eligibility page 

2. Complete the pre-participation physical evaluation (PPE) with your student online or on paper. 

Schools need health information about your student to evaluate his/her ability to participate in organized sports or physical education classes. The information will not be used for any other purpose unless you sign another authorization form permitting such additional use. 

Do you have questions about the OHSAA consent form? 

Check out the OHSAA Frequently Asked Questions for parents.

When completing the PPE, have the following information ready: 

  • Family medical history
  • Personal medical history
  • Immunizations/ Allergies/ Medications
  • Primary Health Insurance Information

Complete the PPE Online 

Follow these steps to complete your PrivIT Electronic Pre-Participation Evaluation (e-PPE). Learn more about PrivIT e-PPE

  1. Search for your school
  2. Register for an account 
  3. Complete the questionnaire 
  4. Print your documentation
  5. Complete physical exam

Or Complete the PPE on Paper

Print the Pre-Participation Physical Examination Form 2017-2018 [PDF] and complete the six-page questionnaire with your student prior to visiting the doctor for the physical exam. 

3. Make an appointment with your doctor for a physical exam.

4. Bring the completed PPE form with you to your physical exam. 

We wish you and your student-athlete a healthy, successful sports season! 

Don’t have a primary care or family physician? 

Westshore Primary Care has multiple locations and weekend hours. Call us today to schedule your sports physical appointment 440-892-6424. 

DISCLAIMER: This blog is for informational purposes only. It does not replace medical care from a licensed physician. If you have a medical concern, please contact your doctor.

Photo Credit: "Hudson Soccer 2013” by K.M. Klemencic is licensed under CC BY 2.0

Sunscreen: What to Buy & What to Avoid

Are your kids heading out to play with friends? Or are you going on a vacation to the beach? Both of these situations require proper sun protection.

Since July is UV Safety month, we wanted to share some advice about sunscreen, how it works, and what to look for when you’re buying the next bottle for your family. 

July is national UV safety month. Westshore provides sunscreen tips to help prevent skin cancer. Learn more. Image of bottles of sunscreen licensed under CC BY 2.0

Remember: Always take sunscreen with you to reapply during the day! 

Who Should Wear Sunscreen?

People of all skin colors can get skin cancer from the sun’s UV rays. But you are more likely to develop cancer from UV rays if you have

  • Lighter natural skin color
  • Skin that burns, freckles, gets red easily, or becomes painful from the sun
  • Blonde or red hair
  • Blue or green eyes
  • A family history of skin cancer
  • A job where you spend a lot of time outdoors

How Sunscreen Works

The FDA shared this video a few years ago, but the information is still relevant. Remember to follow the application instructions on the bottle, because sunscreen wears off.


Vitamin D Deficiency: The Hidden Epidemic

Image of the sun and a statue of the thinker at the Cleveland Museum of Art in Cleveland, Ohio. The sun is one of two sources of vitamin D. Learn the risks associated with vitamin D deficiency in this blog by Westshore Primary Care.

It is now known that we have a nationwide epidemic among all age groups: Vitamin D deficiency. 

Studies over the last 10 years have conclusively shown that large populations of individuals in the United States do not receive enough Vitamin D

The statistics are sobering: Vitamin D deficiency has associations with:

  • Juvenile Onset Diabetes
  • Immune dysfunction, such as your ability to fight the flu or your response to infections
  • Rickets, a bone softening disease in children
  • Stress fractures in adolescents
  • Heart attacks
  • Multiple Sclerosis
  • Cancers in adults


July is UV Safety Month

The schools are out. The pools are open. And the sun’s shining. Yes, summer is officially here!

With the hot weather and the strong sun rays, we wanted to remind you about the importance of UV safety for you and your family. Ultraviolet (UV) rays from the sun are the main cause of skin cancer, and can also cause wrinkles and blotchy skin. 

July is national UV safety month. Westshore Primary care shares skin cancer prevention tips for your family. Learn more. Image of child wearing a hat with sunscreen on his nose licensed CC BY-ND 2.0

UV Safety Month

July is UV Safety Month, so take time to spread awareness to your friends and families about skin cancer and how to prevent it. 

Skin Cancer Facts 

  • Skin cancer is the most common form of cancer in the United States.
  • One in five Americans will develop skin cancer in the course of a lifetime.
  • A person’s risk for melanoma doubles if he or she has had more than five sunburns.
  • The majority of people diagnosed with melanoma are white men over age 50.
  • People who first use a tanning bed before age 35 increase their risk for melanoma by 75 percent

For a full list of skin cancer facts, and a list of references, visit

ABCDEs of Skin Cancer Warning Signs

During your monthly self-exam, keep an eye out for moles with these ABCDEs of suspicious traits:


Concussions Explained

Concussions usually occur by a bump, jolt or blow to the head. Occasionally this may cause a loss of consciousness. They range from mild to severe and can affect a person's memory, judgment, reflexes, speech, balance and coordination. 

Concussions are common in contact sports like football, hockey, and soccer, but they can also occur on the playground. We must be cautious because this is a brain injury and can have serious consequences if not recognized and allowed to heal.


Keep Your Family Safe This Summer With These Water Safety Tips

Now that the temperatures are heating up, you and your family will be looking for ways to cool down.

Cleveland has many options for beating the heat in the summer, including:

  • Boating on the lake
  • Visiting beaches on Lake Erie
  • Swimming in public and private pools 
  • Enjoying time at water parks   

Swimming is a great active family activity, but it’s important to remember these water safety tips whenever you are in or around water. 

We summarized the most helpful information shared by the Red Cross and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services in the lists below. 

For additional references and resources on water safety, see our resources list at the end of this post. 

Important Water Safety Tips

Prevent Unsupervised Access to Pools & Hot Tubs

  • Install appropriate barriers around your home pool or hot tub and remove access ladders to above ground pools when not in use.
  • Add safety covers and pool alarms for extra protection.
  • Keep toys that are not in use away from the pool and out of sight. Toys can attract young children to the pool. 

Swim Safely

  • Use the buddy system! Never swim alone. Even at a public pool or lifeguarded beach.
  • Swim in designated areas supervised by lifeguards.
  • Make sure everyone in the family can swim well. Sign your kids up for swimming lessons once they are old enough. Cleveland Metroparks and the YMCA are two programs places that offer swimming lessons. 
  • Have young children or inexperienced swimmers wear approved life jackets around water, but do not rely on life jackets alone.
  • Don’t drink alcohol if you are swimming or watching children in the water.
  • Watch out for rip currents. A rip current is when the water pulls you away from the shore. If you get caught in a rip current, swim along the shoreline until you are out of the current, then swim to shore. 

Foods and Exercises That Fight Arthritis Pain

You know that eating right and getting exercise are part of a healthy routine. 

But did you know that specific foods and exercises may help relieve some of your arthritis pain and swelling? 

image of hand with arthritis pain

Foods That Fight Inflammation

No one food can relieve arthritis, but eating—or avoiding—certain foods can help combat inflammation throughout the body. 

What to Eat

  • Omega-3 fatty acids from cold-water fish, such as salmon and tuna
  • Beans
  • Flaxseeds
  • Walnuts
  • Green leafy vegetables
  • Canola and olive oil
  • Green tea
  • Margarine and butter

What to Limit

  • Omega-6 fatty acids from egg yolks and red meat
  • French fries and other fried foods
  • Packaged cookies, crackers, baked goods, and other processed, sugary foods
  • Fruit juice

In combination with these dietary considerations, staying active is one of the best things you can do for your body. 


June is National Safety Month: Bicycle Safety Tips for Kids & Parents

Since June is National Safety Month, we decided to focus on an area you can improve right now: bicycle safety

Whether it’s you or your child hitting the streets on two wheels this summer, keep these bicycle safety tips in mind. 

image of kids riding bikes

Before Riding

  • Check your equipment. 
    • Make sure your brakes work and your tires are inflated properly.
  • Adjust your bicycle to fit. 
    • If you stand over your bicycle there should be 1-2 inches between you and the top bar (road bike) or 3-4 inches (mountain bike). 
    • The seat should be level front to back and the height should allow a slight bend of the knee when the leg is fully extended. 
    • The handlebar height should be at the same level with the seat. 
  • Wear a properly fitted bicycle helmet.

Are your kids reluctant to wear their helmet?

Boston University made a great video that is entertaining and shares useful information. 

Warning: The song may get stuck in your head…[Video 1:34]

Rules of the Road