This time of year, many people are busy outside with gardening, picnics and just enjoying the beautiful weather. It’s not uncommon to see bees, wasps, hornets and yellow jackets while we are out enjoying these activities. We need to be aware of this, how to avoid them and what to do in case you or a loved one is stung.
Stay away from stinging insects. These insects are most likely to sting if they are provoked or they feel that their home is threatened. So be aware of your environment.
- Avoid brightly colored clothing or perfumes that may attract these insects.
- Keep food, drinks and garbage covered when eating outdoors.
- Beware that insects may enter a straw or a can of soda pop.
- Wear shoes because some insects will be in the grass and sting if they are stepped on.
If you have a close encounter with a stinging insect, remain calm and move away slowly.
What Happens After a Sting?
When most people are stung by an insect, the site develops redness, swelling and itching.
However, some people are actually allergic to insect stings. This means that their immune systems overreact to the venom.
If you are insect-allergic, after the first sting, your body produces antibodies called Immunoglobulin E (IgE). If stung again by the same kind of insect, the venom interacts with this specific IgE antibody, triggering the release of substances that cause an allergic reaction.
Many adults are unaware of what immunization shots, if any, are needed. This should be discussed with the person's physician during their annual physical.
For purposes of today's blog post, we will assume the adult has had immunizations up to the age of 19.
A tetanus diphtheria booster 10 years after the last tetanus shot and a tetanus diphtheria shot every 10 years thereafter is recommended.
Adults under the age of 65 who have close contact with an infant younger than 12 months should get the whooping cough (pertussis) booster added to this booster once if it's been at least five years since their last tetanus/diphtheria shot.
Most folks are aware of the annual flu shot. It is usually given in October and November but getting the vaccines even later will still be beneficial in most years for as long as the illness is occurring in your community. It can occur anytime from November through May but most often peaks in January and February.
These days we can identify two forms of disease:
- Communicable, i.e. infections
- Non-communicable, i.e. allergy, heart disease, obesity.
Non-communicable diseases are on the rise. Today I would like to focus on food allergies.
A food allergy occurs when the immune system overreacts to a particular protein found in a food.
Within minutes, the affected person may experience itching and swelling of the skin, breathing difficulty, light-headness and disorientation, vomiting and diarrhea.
Food allergies, especially to peanuts and tree nuts, are the most common cause of the most serious allergic reaction described above, also known as anaphylaxis. (an-a-fi-LAK-sis).
Emergency room visits for food-induced anaphylaxis occur about once every six minutes in the United States.
The most common foods known to trigger allergic reactions are:
- Cow’s milk
- Tree nuts
The rise in the prevalence of food allergy is unprecedented. The burdens personally, socially and economically are vast. And while food allergy affects both children and adults, the greatest burden from the rise of food allergy falls to our very young children.
Join Our Team and Help Us Say FAREwell to Food Allergies
If you are asking yourself why this is happening and what you can do to learn more and to help, here is your answer!
Join the Westshore Primary Care Center for Allergy and Immunology on August 12th for the FOOD ALLERGY RESEARCH and EDUCATION (F.A.R.E.) walk to raise funds and awareness for this very important cause. 2017 FARE Walk for Food Allergy Event Info.
Photo Credit: "Peanuts" by Daniella Segura is licensed under CC BY 2.0
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.
Infants & Children (Birth-6 years)
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.
- Search for your school
- Register for an account
- Complete the questionnaire
- Print your documentation
- 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
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.
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.
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
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.
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 skincancer.org.
ABCDEs of Skin Cancer Warning Signs
During your monthly self-exam, keep an eye out for moles with these ABCDEs of suspicious traits:
Summer is finally here and many of us are looking forward to picnics and barbecues.
Avoiding pesky picnic ants is usually much easier than avoiding something far more dangerous - food bacteria. These harmful bacteria (food-borne pathogens) are often impossible to detect by sight, small, or even taste.
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.