It's that time of year again. The air is cooler, the leaves are falling, kids are back into the swing of school and...it's time for that annual flu shot. Just as I encourage adhering to the recommended vaccination schedule for both children and adults, I encourage getting your annual flu vaccination.
My Top Reasons for Recommending the Flu Vaccine:
#1 To help protect yourself from the flu.
Seasonal influenza, or "the flu" is caused by influenza viruses that infect the respiratory tract (nose, throat, lungs). Unlike many other viral infections such as the common cold, the flu can cause severe, life-threatening complications in many people.
#2 To help protect others from the flu.
You can transmit the flu to others for about 1 day prior to showing symptoms and for a week after becoming sick. This is particularly important when thinking about those of us in the community who are at greater risk for complications (older, younger, etc) as well as those of us who are unable to get the vaccine ourselves (infants younger than 6-months of age and those with life-threatening allergies to the flu vaccine).
#3 To help protect yourself from having a heart attack. No, really.
A recent meta-analysis, which assessed 6,400 heart disease patients showed that those who received a flu vaccination had SIGNIFICANTLY LOWER risk of heart attack or stroke.
Frequently asked questions:
General reminders about the flu:
And to round out the discussion just a bit, I agree there are many other measures we can take to help protect ourselves from contagious diseases such as: eating well, getting enough sleep, managing our stress, covering our coughs and washing our hands regularly. Still, I believe vaccinations are an important part of disease prevention.
Health Suite 110 carries Flulaval, a quadrivalent (4 strain) flu vaccine and is available to members ages 6 months and over for $25. Contact clinic to schedule your flu vaccine today!
Wishing you a happy and healthy fall season with family and friends,
I've recently discovered something called the Big Life Journal - a growth-mindset tool to help raise happy, resilient kids. This week's topic is how to deal with negative outlooks, or as I like to call, "the Eeyore syndrome" for those Winnie the Pooh fans out there.
Be sure to check out the FREE download to create your own Jar of Awesome (see below).
Got other tips or tricks? Please share!
7 Powerful Ways to Respond When Your Child Complains
by Rebecca Louick June 28, 2018
Complaining and whining are two of the most frustrating things parents face. They are also completely normal. In fact, the average adult complains 30 times a day or 9 minutes total!
Kids complain for lots of good reasons: to blow off steam, to connect with us, and because they feel powerless. Other times, the complaints might mask an underlying emotion that needs to be released.
Whatever the cause, complaining and whining are opportunities to help our kids find better ways to express their feelings, and shift to a more positive mindset.
While it’s normal to vent sometimes, frequent complaining is not a healthy option.
Repeated complaining rewires your brain….Over time, you find it’s easier to be negative than to be positive, regardless of what’s happening around you. - Dr. Travis Bradberry
A study at Stanford University showed that complaining shrinks the hippocampus, an area of the brain necessary for problem-solving and emotion regulation.
Here are some strategies to help kids express their dissatisfaction in healthier, more positive ways.
Here's a fun activity for your home or classroom that will help you turn around the negativity and complaining. Get the free printable (see below), and create the Jar of Awesome by following instructions.
Whenever you need a little motivation or positivity boost, pick a piece of paper from the jar, read it, and celebrate YOUR awesome moments!
Guest blog: Courtney Gunnels, KU Pharmacy Student
Recently, CBD has been all over the news touting the numerous potential therapeutic benefits, so we decided to dig in and see what all the fuss is about.
What is CBD? CBD, or cannabidiol, is a compound found in cannabis that is non-addicting and produces non-psychoactive effects in the body. So, in other words, CBD is much UNlike THC, the compound found in marijuana that produces mind-altering effects. While medical marijuana is used for a number of different ailments, research shows that CBD alone has anti-oxidant, anti-inflammatory, anti-convulsant, antiemetic, and anti-anxiety properties, just to name a few.
Top 5 uses for CBD:
While the benefits seem endless, what about the side effects? CBD research has been on the rise in recent years and in general, it is viewed as one of the safest alternative therapies on the market. The few and most commonly reported side effects include: sleepiness, diarrhea, and changes in appetite (it has a better side effect profile than a lot of pharmaceutical medications!). Several studies suggest that CBD is non-toxic to cells in our body and does not affect our physiological functions or parameters (blood pressure, heart rate, body temperature). While CBD is considered a safe, non-intoxicating and non-addicting product, it can interact with a few specific medications. CBD may increase concentrations of drugs like antiretrovirals, benzodiazepines, statins, steroids, and some other medications, so it’s important to have a conversation with your physician about if CBD is right for you, and what dose to begin with before giving it a go!
As far as legality goes, CBD extracted from hemp can be legally sold in the United States, as long as it meets certain criteria. To ensure you are investing in a legitimate and valuable product, always check the label and product website to see if it has been tested for potency and ingredients - or check with us at Health Suite 110 to see what products we recommend/have in stock! CBD comes in many different forms to be taken orally, like oil, lozenges, gel caps, sprays and more. While taking CBD internally is the most common method, there are topical products available, too.
If you’d like to research CBD for a condition you may have, an organization called Project CBD collects articles, journals, and research on a variety of conditions that CBD can benefit. Here is a link: https://www.projectcbd.org/guidance/conditions
Living in Kansas City has taught me that nothing feels better than a cool pool on a HOT, midwest, summer day. The pool is a natural gathering spot for friends and family, and kids love it! That being said, we are constantly reminding and updating our own "pool rules" to keep safety at the forefront. After all, rules for a toddler are much different than for a 12-year-old.
The CDC estimates that there are 10 unintentional drownings each day and that 1 out of 5 occur in children ages 14 and younger. The biggest reasons for these deaths are lack of swimming ability, lack of water enclosure (gates, etc) and lack of supervision.
A fence with locking gait is always a good idea if you've got an in-ground pool, but don't forget the above-ground pools. Removing the ladder and storing it in a place that kids can't access is critical in avoiding pool-related accidents.
As far as "lack of supervision" goes, this doesn't just mean not having an adult in proximity to the pool. It's easy to get side-tracked when outside enjoying a summer day with a group of friends and drownings happen in group settings when everyone assumes everyone else is watching out for trouble. Be sure there is always at least one person on "active" life-guarding duty when hanging out poolside. I've seen kids get into a sticky situation in a matter of seconds even with a grown-up close by. The splashing and shrieking of the other kids can sometimes distract from a panicky child who can't call out for help so keeping a close eye on the whole pool is very important.
And lastly, there are tons of great places to get swimming lessons around town including: the YMCA, the Jewish Community Center, Infant Aquatics, UMKC, as well as lessons at local parks and recreation facilities. Basic life support classes are offered at a variety of places, including Kansas City First Aid.
See the tips from www.poolsafetly.gov below for some ideas on how you can help safeguard your family and friends.
Look after yourselves and have a safe and happy Memorial Day weekend!
The sun is finally out and if you're anything like me, you don't think about sunscreen until right after you've been out in it too long - ouch! This year, I'm ready and thought I'd share some tips on how to keep you and your family - of all ages - safe in the sun.
Tips for Avoiding Sunburn
1. Dress for success. In this case that means wearing sun protective clothing, hats, and other physical barriers to protect the skin from the sun. And don't forget sunglasses!
2. Try to avoid the sun's most intense rays by staying out of the sun during the middle of the day when the sun's rays are most intense. This may seem obvious, but it takes advance planning.
3. Don't be lulled into complacency by overcast days, since most of the sun's harmful rays will get through the clouds.
4. Keep babies younger than 6 months out of direct sunlight altogether. Shade can be found under a tree, umbrella, or the stroller.
5. Be especially careful if you are around water, sand, snow, or any surface that will reflect and therefore intensify the sun's rays.
6. Remember, the sun’s rays are more intense the higher you get in elevation. Use extra precaution when in the mountains.
Tips for Selecting Sunscreen
1. When purchasing sunscreen, select a brand with an SPF of at least 30, preferably greater.
2. Choose a sunscreen that says “broad-spectrum” on the label – this means it will provide protection against both UVA and UVB rays.
3. In general, infants' skin is much thinner and more sensitive to the sun than adults' skin, even in individuals with darker complexions.
4. The amount of sunscreen needed depends on how light the child’s complexion is. I prefer mineral based sunscreens to chemical based sunscreens where practical.
5. The AAP used to recommend not putting sunscreen on infants under six months of age. This is no longer the case, because the danger from sunburns outweighs the risk of sensitivity to sunscreens. For babies younger than 6 months, use sunscreen on small areas of the body, such as the face and the backs of the hands.
6. Sunscreen is most effective if first applied 20-30 minutes before sun exposure.
7. Re-apply after swimming.
8. Even waterproof sunscreens should be re-applied every 80 minutes or so, after being in the water.
Check out this great mineral based sunscreen that our family loves. Want more details on the best gear/products? Head on over to Lucie's List for all things summer.
Now go outside and play!
Kylie Vannaman MD
Dr. Vannaman is a proud family physician and co-founder of Health Suite 110
1. Track your food