Helpful Hints

 

 

If you’d like to share some helpful hints with other members on this page, please send them to Dotty (dotty@dundalkchamberofcommerce.org) at the Chamber.

 

Helpful Phone Numbers

 


 

BACK TO SCHOOL 101
Prepare a healthy student checklist


Baltimore, MD – Your children are enjoying every second of summer vacation but you need to get ready to send them back to school next month.  Don’t think your list stops with pencils, backpacks and new clothes.  You also need to prepare a back to school health checklist.  Children need to be healthy and alert in order to do well in school.  That means you need to prepare for everything from physicals to home schooling on germ warfare.  Where should you start? 


1.  Call your child’s school and ask about required immunizations. Different schools have different requirements.  Many school websites have a page of health-related requirements.


2.  Your child’s doctor should perform a school physical.  This physical can help identify health problems, including hearing and vision issues.


3.  Talk with your children about germs and how they spread.  Teach the kids when and how to wash their hands properly. Also, make sure your children know what to do when they need to cough or sneeze.  They should carry tissues or, if necessary, sneeze into the inside of their elbow instead of in their hands.


4.  Children fall out of their school day routine during vacation. Don’t wait until the night before school begins to get back into that routine.  Ease your children back into their sleep schedule by gradually imposing an earlier bedtime a few weeks before school begins.


5.  Have a plan for sick days.  Pediatricians stress that you should not send your child to school with a fever.  A fever means the immune system is trying to fight off something, and your child may be contagious to other children and adults.  Have a plan in place for last minute sick child care.  You will probably need it before the school year ends.



David Clark
Patient First

Back to top.

 

* * *

 

 

CELEBRATE THE 4th OF JULY SAFELY
A few precautions will protect your family


The 4th of July means patriotism, cookouts and fireworks.  You can handle patriotism with the best of them, but a few simple precautions will help keep you safe around the grill and fireworks.


Family cookouts are fun but they can also be dangerous.  Thousands of people are treated for grill related injuries every year.  You don’t have to be one of them if you take some simple safety precautions:

    Keep children and pets away.  Establish a 3-foot “Kid Free Zone” around your grill.
    Use your grill outdoors only.  Keep it away from your home, deck furniture and overhanging branches that might catch fire.
    Remove grease or fat from the grill tray so it does not flame up.
    Never leave the grill unattended.
    Grilling and drinking don’t mix.

The 4th of July also means fireworks.  But sparklers and other fireworks can cause serious injuries.  Here are 5 tips for fireworks safety:

    Sparklers cause most fireworks injuries.  They burn at high temperatures and can cause severe burns.  Do not let small children handle sparklers and dispose of burned out sparklers in a bucket of water.
    Stay away from ground based “sparkler” devices.  If one does not go off as expected, douse the device with water before approaching.
    Distance is important at public fireworks displays.  Do not get too close to the launch site in case something goes wrong.
    Do not pick up fireworks debris at these displays.
    Just like drinking and driving, fireworks and alcohol do not mix.

For your care and convenience, all Patient First neighborhood medical centers are open from 8 a.m. until 10 p.m. every day of the year, including the 4th of July.



David Clark
Patient First

Back to top.

 

* * *

 

 

DON’T LET HOT FUN TURN INTO HEAT EXHAUSTION


Heat Exhaustion


Heat Exhaustion is a common heat related illness that has the potential to be life-threatening.  The signs of heat exhaustion often begin very suddenly and often occur after spending time outdoors performing a strenuous activity.  Symptoms can include:

    Feeling dizzy
    Excessive sweating
    Nausea
    Cool, moist, pale skin
    Cramps
    Headache
    Fatigue
    Rapid, weak heartbeat

If someone exhibits the symptoms of heat exhaustion, it is important to get that person out of the sun – preferably into an air conditioned room.  Give the person cool water to drink, remove any excess clothing, and have them lie down.  If symptoms do not improve, seek medical help. 


It is important to take steps to avoid over-heating yourself.  Wearing loose fitting clothing, avoid sunburn, and drinking plenty of water are all good ways to prevent heat exhaustion.


Sunburn


Sunburn is a very common summer problem.  Skin that is red, painful, and often hot to the touch, is often sunburned.  This condition can appear a few hours after sun exposure and can take several days to fade away.  Very intense, repeated sunburn can increase your risks of certain cancers, including melanoma.  Other skin conditions caused by sunburns can include liver spots and dry, wrinkled skin. 


There are certain precautions that you can take to prevent sunburn, including;

    Wearing sunblock – A broad-spectrum sunblock with an SPF of 30 or greater is ideal.  Be sure to apply sunblock generously and re-apply every two hours and after swimming or excessive sweating.  It takes 20 – 30 minutes for sunscreen to be absorbed by the skin, so it should be applied at least a half an hour before going out in the sun.


    Covering up – Wear clothing that covers your arms and legs.  Also, a broad-brimmed hat that covers your ears offers better sun protection than a sun visor or a baseball cap.  There is also special clothing available that is designed specifically for sun protection.


    Avoiding peak sun times – Avoid excessive sun exposure between 10 am and 4 pm, when the sun’s rays are strongest.  Try scheduling outdoor activities for other times of day, and if you must be outside during these hours, seek shade often and use sunblock.



David Clark
Patient First

Back to top.

 

* * *

 

 

MEMORIAL DAY SUN SAFETY
Save Your Skin This Memorial Day Weekend
Friday May 23rd is “Don’t Fry Day”


Baltimore, MD – Memorial Day Weekend is upon us.  As you relax the beach or at home, it’s important you know how to protect your family against the sun’s rays.  The Friday before Memorial Day, May 23, 2014, has been designated “Don’t Fry Day” by the National Council on Skin Cancer Prevention to encourage sun safety awareness over the long holiday weekend. 


Sunburn is a common summer problem.  Skin that is red, painful, and often hot to the touch, is often sunburned.  This condition can appear a few hours after sun exposure and can take several days to fade away. 


Enjoy the sun, but do so safely.  The following tips can help:

    Always use sunscreen with a minimum of 15 SPF, even when it’s cloudy, and reapply at least every two hours.

    Wear sun-protective clothing.  Hats are fine, but they don’t always protect your ears and neck.  Use sunscreen on these sensitive areas.

    Avoid uninterrupted sun exposure between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. whenever possible.

For your care and convenience, all Patient First Neighborhood Medical Centers are open 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. every day of the year, including Memorial Day.



David Clark
Patient First

Back to top.

 

* * *

 

 

SPRING ALLERGIES START TO BLOOM
Plants primed for “pollen explosion”


Baltimore, MD – Spring is here and so is spring allergy season.  You can expect a “pollen explosion” this month, according to the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America.  Allergists predict “a robust pollen season” so people need to have a treatment plan ready.


Tree pollen is the biggest cause of spring allergies.  Combine tree pollen with the grass pollen that arrives in a couple of months and more than 50 million allergic Americans are bracing themselves for sneezes and watery eyes.


This doesn’t mean you have to suffer without relief.  Over-the-counter allergy remedies may help people with minor symptoms.  For those with more severe allergic reactions, Patient First physicians may prescribe stronger treatments.


Allergy symptoms may also be reduced by:

    Closing windows and using the air conditioner to decrease the amount of pollen entering the home

    Minimizing outdoor activity between 5 a.m. and 10 a.m. when pollen counts are the highest

    Using pollen-removing air filters and changing them regularly



David Clark
Patient First

Back to top.

 

* * *

 

 

YOU CAN EAT GREAT ON THE GO
March is National Nutrition Month


Baltimore, MD – March is National Nutrition Month and a great time to remember that small changes in your diet can add up to big improvements in your health.  That may be easier to do at home but what happens when you are on the go?  Sometimes you can’t avoid grabbing a meal on the run.  Remember these healthy hunger-fighting guidelines the next time you are crunched for time:


1.  FAST FOOD DOESN’T NECESSARILY MEAN FRIED FOOD

The restaurant industry is responding to consumer demand by offering healthier, faster and tastier options.  Besides wider salad selections, many establishments offer sandwiches and wraps made with whole grain or whole wheat breads.  You can eat leaner cuts of meat, like skinless chicken breast or turkey.  Many fast food chains also offer vegetarian or soup options.


2. GO EASY ON THE EXTRAS

Make sure that you don’t get “too much of a good thing” by taking your salad dressing, sauce, cheese and toppings on the side.  Add them to the food yourself so your meal won’t swim in empty calories.  Also, avoid the high-fat and high-sugar condiments.


3. AVOID BELLY-BUSTING PORTIONS

Research proves that restaurant portion sizes have been growing for years.  Think about sharing an enormous entree with someone else or take half of it home for another meal.


4. DRINK WATER

There are countless coffee creations, plastic bottles filled with soda, and plenty of sports and energy drinks to go around.  Drink water instead.  Soda, sweetened iced tea, energy drinks and many juices are filled with high fructose corn syrup or artificial sweeteners -- and empty calories.  Water is a healthier choice.


5. PLAN AHEAD

You won’t have to worry about finding a healthy snack during the day if you plan ahead.   Put healthy, non-perishable foods in your desk, car, bag, or purse for moments when hunger hits.  Great ideas include dried or fresh fruit, granola, mixed nuts and whole-grain crackers.



David Clark
Patient First

Back to top.

 

* * *

 

 

SEASONAL FLU ARRIVES IN BALTIMORE AREA
Flu Vaccine Is Still Available


Baltimore, MD – The flu has arrived.  The Centers for Disease Control reports that the number of influenza cases is increasing in Maryland and across the country.

Symptoms of flu include a high fever, dry cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, headache, extreme tiredness, muscle aches and shortness of breath. Flu is contracted by inhaling respiratory droplets produced by coughing or sneezing.  You can also become infected by touching an object contaminated by the flu virus (possibly from a hand that covered a sneeze) and then touching your mouth, nose or eyes. 

To prevent spreading or getting the flu, you should:

    Wash your hands often, especially after coughing, sneezing, and wiping or blowing your nose.

    Use paper tissues when wiping or blowing your nose and throw them away after use.

    Cough into a tissue or the inside of your elbow instead of into your bare hand.

    Avoid touching your nose, mouth, and eyes as germs enter the body through these openings.

    Stay home if you have flu symptoms until you are fever-free without fever medicine for 24 hours.

    Avoid close contact with sick people.

    Stay away from crowds, if possible.

    Get a flu shot. Fast Track Flu Shots are available at Patient First with little or no wait.



David Clark
Patient First

Back to top.

 

* * *

 

 

STAY SAFE IN THE COLD
Protect your family from falling temperatures


Maryland is braced for a drastic drop in temperatures over the next two days.  This is a dangerous cold that we have not experienced in decades.  It is important to keep some basic winter safety tips in mind as your family deals with this bitter cold over the next few days:


Frostbite: Frostbite occurs when skin and its underlying tissue are exposed to very cold temperatures and freezing conditions.  Skin that appears waxy or hard and has a gray tone may have frostbite.  The damaged skin may also itch or burn and may turn red in color as the affected area thaws.

    The first step to treating frostbite is to get out of the cold.  Get inside to a warm place as soon as possible. 

    Once inside, remove any wet clothing.  If you cannot get out of the cold, place your hands under your arms to warm them. 

    Cover areas that can be most affected by frostbite (nose and ears) with a scarf and try not to walk if your feet may have frostbite, as this will make the condition worse.

    Seek the treatment of a medical professional as soon as possible if you think you may have frostbite.

Walking on ice: Icy patches can be tough to spot.  The slips and falls that come with ice can be serious.

    If you come across a patch that you believe may be icy, tap the edge of the area with your foot to be sure.

    Wear shoes with gripping soles to provide traction.

    Keep your hands out of your pockets when walking in order to keep your balance on a slippery surface.

    Don’t carry heavy items like shopping bags with you when walking on slippery surfaces.  This can change your center of balance, making you more likely to slip and fall.

Stay Hydrated: Dehydration is common during the winter months.  Winter activities are just as strenuous as summer activities.  We also tend to wear layers of warm clothing during the winter  so our bodies work harder (by sweating) to cool us down.  Dehydration also makes you an easy target for colds and flu.

    Drink before, during and after exercise or outdoor activities.

    Water-based foods like soup, fruits and vegetables are a great source of hydration and nutrients.

    Reduce the amount of sodium in your diet.



David Clark
Patient First

Back to top.

 

* * *

 

 

FIGHTING FALL ALLERGIES
Hay fever season is in bloom


Baltimore, MD – Leaves are already falling and the summer is almost a memory, but autumn brings little relief for many allergy sufferers.  Ragweed pollens have returned, causing trouble for millions of people with allergies.  Don’t confuse your allergic reaction with cold symptoms.


Colds are caused by viruses while allergies are caused by a person coming into contact with allergens – substances in the environment, like ragweed or mold, that cause an allergic reaction to that particular person.


The symptoms of allergies and colds are similar in most people, but there are differences:

    Fever is common with a cold

    People suffering from allergies do not have a fever.

    Cold symptoms usually last 3 – 7 days

    Allergy symptoms may last an entire season.

About Patient First
   Patient First currently operates 46  centers in Virginia, Maryland, and Pennsylvania.  It opened its first facility in Richmond, Virginia in 1981 and developed many automation-based operating systems and practices that were considered innovative at the time and which have been continually improved to meet the needs of today’s patients.


David Clark
Patient First

Back to top.

 

* * *

 

 

BACK TO SCHOOL 101
Time to prepare a healthy student checklist

Baltimore, MD – Your children are enjoying every second of summer vacation but you need to get ready to send them back to school.  Don't think your list stops with pencils, backpacks and new clothes.  You also need to prepare a back to school health checklist.  Children need to be healthy and alert in order to do well in school.  That means you need to prepare for everything from physicals to home schooling on germ warfare.  Where should you start? 


1.  Call your child's school and ask about required immunizations.  Different schools have different requirements.  Many school websites have a page of health-related requirements.


2.  Your child's doctor should perform a school physical. This physical can identify health problems, including hearing and vision issues.  The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that about one in four school-age children have a vision problem.


3.  Talk with your children about germs and how they spread.  Teach the kids when and how to wash their hands properly.  Use warm, soapy water after using the bathroom, before eating and when they come home from school.  It may sound simple, but it is the best way to battle germs that hitch a ride home on the school bus. Also, make sure your children know what to do when they need to cough or sneeze.  They should carry tissues or, if necessary, sneeze into the inside of their elbow instead of in their hands.  While it may be nice to share some things, it’s not good to share germs, so talk with your children about not sharing food, drinks, clothes, hats and hairbrushes with their friends.  Head lice are another classroom pest that may be slowed by these good health habits.


4.  Children fall out of their school day routine during vacation.  Don’t wait until the night before school begins to get back into that routine.  Ease your children back into their sleep schedule by gradually imposing an earlier bedtime a few weeks before school begins.


5.  Have a plan for sick days.  Pediatricians stress that you should not send your child to school with a fever.  A fever means the immune system is trying to fight off something, and your child may be contagious to other children and adults.  Have a plan in place for last minute sick child care.  You will probably need it before the school year ends.


6.  Do your children use their backpacks correctly?  It is uncertain whether heavy backpacks cause permanent damage in children, but overloaded and improperly work backpacks can cause temporary back pain.  Pediatricians urge parents to look for backpacks with individual compartments for sharp objects pike pencils.  Heavier items should be placed closer to the body.  Your child’s backpack should also have two should straps for even weight distribution.


David Clark
Patient First

Back to top.

 

* * *

 

 

DOCTORS WARN ABOUT “STOMACH FLU”
New Norovirus Strain Hits Maryland


Baltimore, MD – As if a severe flu season isn’t enough, Maryland is being hit with a new strain of norovirus, sometimes called “stomach flu.” The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says this strain is highly contagious.  It spreads easily in schools, nursing homes and other enclosed areas.  This norovirus strain is called the Sydney strain because it started in Australia and has caused outbreaks around the world.

Despite being referred to as stomach flu, norovirus is not really the flu, which is a respiratory infection.  Norovirus inflames the stomach and intestines which causes stomach pain, vomiting, and diarrhea.  Some people may also have a low-grade fever, chills, headache, body aches and fatigue.  These symptoms can show up suddenly from one to three days after you are exposed to the virus.

To avoid infection:

    Wash your hands frequently to stop the viruses from spreading.  Help children wash their hands thoroughly.

    Wash fruits and vegetables carefully and cook shellfish before eating.

    Disinfect areas in the home and at work when someone does become sick.

If you do come down with “stomach flu,” you should drink plenty of liquids to avoid dehydration.  You should usually feel better after two or three days.


David Clark
Patient First

Back to top.

 

* * *

 

 

 

Act Now to Avoid Early Flu
Fast flu shots available at Patient First


Baltimore, MD – Flu season is off to an early start and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says it could be a bad one.  The CDC reports that Maryland is seeing sporadic flu activity, with some states seeing widespread flu.

Flu is contracted by inhaling respiratory droplets produced by coughing or sneezing.  You can also become infected by touching an object contaminated by the flu virus (possibly from a hand that covered a sneeze) and then touching your mouth, nose or eyes.  Symptoms of flu include a high fever, dry cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, headache, extreme tiredness, muscle aches and shortness of breath.

Avoid spreading or getting the flu by:

    Washing your hands often.

    Coughing into a tissue or the inside of your elbow instead of your bare hand.

    Getting a flu shot.

It is not too late to be vaccinated against the virus.  But, keep in mind that it takes two about weeks from the time the shot is given for you to develop maximum protection. You can get a flu shot with little or no wait at any Patient First medical center.

The Patient First Fast Track Anytime Flu Shot Program features:

    8 am to 10 pm every day – walk in anytime

    Fast Track Flu shots are for patients who are not allergic to eggs, who do not wish to see a physician, and who are at least 4 years old



David Clark
Patient First

Back to top.

 

* * *

 

 

How To Pass The Holiday Stress Test
Patient First offers stress reduction strategies


Baltimore, MD – The holiday season means family, friends and fun, but stress is often an unwelcome guest.  Holiday stress happens to many and can hit when you least expect it.  How can you keep the “Happy” in “Happy Holidays?”  A few simple steps can minimize stress and help you enjoy the holidays.

    Be realistic.  Many people think the holidays are ruined if things aren’t perfect.  Real life is not like a holiday movie.  Nothing is perfect when people are involved.  Relax when things don’t go the way that you think they should.

    Stick to your budget.   You can’t guarantee a happy holiday by going on a spending spree.  Decide how much money you can afford to spend and stick to the budget so post-holiday bills don’t catch you by surprise.

    Make a plan.  Grab the calendar and schedule days for shopping, visiting friends, and other activities.  Don’t wait until it’s too late to finish your wrapping, baking and mailing.  Make time to get the work done so there’s time for fun.

    Simplify.  Remember that it’s okay to say no.  You can’t do everything for everyone or join every holiday activity that comes your way.  Make time for yourself so that you are rested for the time you do have with friends and family.

    Exercise.  Exercise and good nutrition help reduce stress.



David Clark
Patient First

Back to top.

 

* * *

 

 

Avoid Autumnal Aches
Doctors offer safety tips for yard clean-up


Baltimore, MD – Autumn is in the air.  Leaves are changing, the days seem shorter and temperatures are cooler.  But yard work won’t go away as you trade the lawnmower for a rake.  The rakes and pains of autumn can lead to more than a few muscle aches and injuries.

Remember to protect yourself by warming up with a few stretches and use the right tool for the right job.  Yard work sends thousands of people to the doctor’s office every year, so ease the strain and pain by taking a few simple steps:

    Avoid twisting your body while raking.  Use your legs to shift your weight instead of twisting your back.

    Lift with your legs, not your back, when moving bags of leaves.  Get help if something is too heavy to move or lift by yourself.

    Wear work gloves to avoid blisters.

    Drink plenty of fluids.  The temperature may be cooler but you can still get dehydrated.


Fall Ailments: Colds and Allergies



After a very hot summer, the cooler temperatures of autumn are welcomed by many.  As school begins and the days get shorter, fall ailments tend to emerge.  Fall is a time when many people get symptoms of colds or allergies.

Common colds are caused by viruses. Because colds occur more commonly during the winter, many believe that changes in temperature cause colds.  However, a connection has never been shown to exist between changes in air temperature and catching a cold.  An allergy is caused by a person coming into contact with an allergen.  An allergen is a substance that will cause an allergic reaction in a particular person.  Not all individuals will respond the same way to the same allergen.

The symptoms of a cold and allergies can be similar.  Both can present symptoms of itchy, watery eyes, coughing, and sneezing.  However, symptoms of colds and allergies will differ in two respects: generally, a fever is common with a cold, while allergy sufferers will typically not have a fever.  Also, allergy symptoms may last up to an entire season, while a cold will generally last no longer than seven to fourteen days.  If cold symptoms persist, evaluation by a medical professional is recommended to determine if there is a more serious problem.

Determining the best treatment depends on whether an individual has cold symptoms or allergy symptoms. Since neither of these illnesses is bacterial, antibiotics are not an appropriate treatment. The usual treatment for a cold is to get plenty of rest and drink fluids.  For allergy sufferers who would rather not wait until the seasons to change for relief, there are over-the-counter allergy medications available that may help to alleviate mild allergy symptoms. If those medications are not effective, consult your physician to see what other options are available.

Colds and allergies are common ailments that pop up during the autumn months.  Knowing the specific symptoms and treatments for each will help you and your family to treat them appropriately, quickly and easily.


David Clark
Patient First

Back to top.

 

* * *

 

 

Fighting Fall Allergies
Hay fever season is about to bloom


Baltimore, MD – Leaves are falling and summer heat waves are almost a memory, but autumn brings little relief for many allergy sufferers.  Ragweed pollens have returned, causing trouble for millions of Americans with allergies.  Don’t confuse your allergic reaction with cold symptoms.

Colds are caused by viruses while allergies are caused by a person coming into contact with allergens – substances in the environment, like ragweed or mold, that cause an allergic reaction to that particular person.

The symptoms of allergies and colds are similar in most people, but there are differences:

    A fever is common with a cold, while people suffering from allergies do not have a fever.

    Cold symptoms usually last 3 – 7 days, while allergy symptoms may last an entire season.

Patient First doctors are available to help you with fall allergy treatments.


David Clark
Patient First

Back to top.

 

* * *

 

 

Fast Flu Shots Available at Patient First
Get on the Fast Track to health this flu season


Baltimore, MD – Fight the flu before it gets here.  Protect yourself and your family by being vaccinated against the virus before flu season starts.  You can get a seasonal flu shot with little or no wait with the Patient First Fast Track Anytime Flu Shot Program.

Flu is contracted by inhaling respiratory droplets produced by coughing or sneezing.  You can also become infected by touching an object contaminated by the flu virus (possible from a hand that covered a sneeze) and then touching your mouth, nose or eyes.  Flu symptoms include a high fever, dry cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, headache, extreme fatigue, muscles aches and shortness of breath.

The Patient First Fast Track Anytime Flu Shot Program features:

    8 am to 10 pm every day at all Patient First medical centers – walk in anytime.

    Fast Track Flu shots are for patients who are not allergic to eggs, who do not wish to see a physician, and who are at least 4 years old.

    If Patient First participates with your insurer, you will be responsible only for your co-pay.  The cost for self-pay is $27.



David Clark
Patient First

Back to top.

 

* * *

 

 

Stay Safe Labor Day Weekend
Don’t forget sun block and safety


Baltimore, MD – It’s the last hurrah of summer.  One last chance to enjoy a long weekend before another school year begins and vacations become a memory.  Whether you head to the beach or enjoy a backyard cookout, remember to protect yourself from the sun.


It’s still hot outside and the sun’s rays are just as strong.  That means sunburn is just a big a risk as ever.  Excessive heat exposure can also lead to heat cramps and heat exhaustion.  Enjoy some Labor Day fun, but do so safely.

    Always use sunscreen, even when it’s cloudy and reapply at least every 2 hours.

    Wide brimmed hats will help protect your ears and neck from the sun.

    Drink water throughout the day in order to stay hydrated.

    Wear appropriate light-weight clothing.

    Avoid strenuous outdoor activity in the heat.  Take frequent breaks in a cool place.



David Clark
Patient First

Back to top.

 

* * *

 

 

Health Risks Rise With Heat
Doctors Warn Against Heat Exposure


Baltimore, MD – The cooler days of spring will soon be a memory as forecasters call for rising temperatures across Maryland.  That means more health risks as you work and play outside, especially for older people and young children

Excessive heat exposure can cause several health problems including heat cramps, which are painful spasms of your arm, leg and/or abdomen muscles.  People experiencing these symptoms should rest in a cooler place and drink water or fluids containing electrolytes.

Heat exhaustion symptoms include profuse sweating, headache, dizziness, nausea, rapid heartbeat, skin that feels cool and moist, and muscle cramps.  Move this person to a cooler location, apply cool wet cloths to their body, and give them cool water to drink.  If the person vomits or refuses to drink, call 9-1-1.  Heat exhaustion can lead to heart stroke.

How can you avoid heat-related illnesses?

    Wear appropriate light-weight clothing.

    Drink water throughout the day.

    Avoid strenuous outdoor activity on hot days.

    Take frequent breaks in a cool place.



David Clark
Patient First

Back to top.

 

* * *

 

 

Spring and Summer Health Tips

Springtime Woes

   Blue skies and warmer temperatures are pulling people out of their homes and into the great outdoors.  While spring is a great time to get back outside and explore all of your favorite spots that have been hidden away all winter, there are certain springtime woes to watch out for.

Ticks

   Spring means rising temperatures and growing plants.  Spring is also prime time for ticks.  These small, spider-like creatures feed on warm-blooded animals, including humans.  They will turn bluish grey and swell when they are filled with blood from their host.  Ticks usually live in tall grass and wooded areas, although they can be found almost everywhere. 

Ticks themselves are not dangerous.   If you find one crawling on your skin it can simply be brushed away.  Their bites, however, can potentially pose serious health risks.  Lyme disease is probably the most common illness caused by ticks.  Lyme disease is a potentially serious illness that causes a rash, flu-like symptoms, muscle and joint pain, fever, headache, heart problems, and can lead to chronic arthritis symptoms.  It is important to seek medical help as soon as possible if you know you have been bitten by a tick and experience these symptoms.  When possible, bring the tick with you to help the doctor properly assess the risk for Lyme disease.  Not all types of ticks carry Lyme disease, so being able to properly identify the tick can help in diagnosis.

If bitten by a tick, it is important to remove the tick from your body as soon as possible.  Try grabbing the tick with tweezers where it is attached at the skin and pulling gently until the tick is removed, being careful not to squeeze the tick.  Be sure to clean the affected area thoroughly after removal.

Poison Ivy

   Poison Ivy, Poison Oak and Poison Sumac are the most common plants that can cause a skin rash commonly known as poison ivy.  The sap inside these plants’ leaves, stems and roots causes the reaction.  People come into contact with this sap by touching the plant, touching clothing that has the sap on it, petting a dog which has run through the plants or even coming into contact with the smoke from a burning plant.  Most people, but not all, are allergic to this sap and will have a reaction when exposed.  The rash caused by the reaction is usually accompanied by itching and small blisters around the affected area.   

The best way to avoid contracting poison ivy is by avoiding contact with the plants as much as possible.  When outside, wear long pants, socks, and long sleeved shirts.  If clearing shrubbery, be sure to wear protective gloves.  Also, be sure to wash clothes thoroughly after exposure.

If you think you have been exposed to poison ivy, remove contaminated clothes and wash the affected area thoroughly with soap and water.  Over the counter remedies like hydrocortisone cream, oral antihistamines, and calamine lotion may help to alleviate some symptoms.  If the rash is widespread or does not respond to the above treatments, seek professional medical help as soon as possible.

Bee Stings

   Along with the fragrant flowers of spring come the buzzing bees.  While usually minor, bee stings lead to approximately 100 deaths every year.  Half of these deaths will occur within the first 30 minutes of being stung.

Bees leave their barbed stinger in the skin after stinging, killing the bee.  The stinger may continue to pump venom for some time after the initial sting.  Because of this, it is important to remove the stinger as quickly as possible.  Using a blunt edge (like the edge of a credit card) to scrape out the stinger is preferred. Avoid squeezing the stinger, if possible.

After a stinger is removed, apply a cold compress to the affected area as well as a local antiseptic. Over the counter antihistamines may also be given for the sting.  If the affected area does not improve within 30 minutes, or if the affected person develops hives, shortness of breath, fainting, tightness in the throat or vomiting, dial 911 immediately, as these may by signs of a severe allergic reaction. 


David Clark
Patient First

Back to top.

 

* * *

 

 

WARM WEATHER BRINGS TICKS & LYME DISEASE
Doctors Available To Speak About Symptoms & Treatments


Baltimore, MD - Blue skies and warm weather have pulled people out of their homes and into the great outdoors.  However, our warm weather is also wonderful for ticks.  These small creatures feed on warm-blooded animals, including people, and transmit serious illness through their bites.  Those illnesses include Lyme disease.

Ticks usually live on tall grass and in wooded areas, but also can be brought into your home by pets or on clothing.  While it’s a good idea to take precautions year-round, you should be extra cautious during the warmer months when ticks are most active.  Lyme disease symptoms usually appear in one to two weeks after a bite and include:

    Bulls-eye rash (erythema migrans)

    Fever

    Muscle and joint pain

    Fatigue

Patient First physicians are available to explain the diagnosis, symptoms, treatment and prevention of tick bites and related diseases. Please contact David Clark at (443) 577.2907 for interviews.


David Clark
Patient First

Back to top.

 

* * *

 

 

A “HEADS UP” ABOUT CONCUSSIONS
Pay attention to your noggin


Baltimore, MD – It’s the time of year to get active!  That means baseball tryouts, taking off the training wheels, and maybe even dusting off those old in-line skates.  Well, don’t forget about helmets, too.  Being more active means more chances for getting hurt, and we especially have to remember to keep our heads safe.

Any fall or blow that causes your head and neck to move back and forth quickly could lead to a concussion.  A concussion is typically a “mild” type of traumatic brain injury, and should be taken seriously.

Signs and symptoms – The symptoms vary from person to person, and sometimes take days or weeks to set in.  They can include: headache, nausea/vomiting, difficultly concentrating or thinking clearly, sensitivity to light/noise, a tired feeling, memory loss, changes in mood, sleep disturbances and blurry vision.

What to do – If you think you have a concussion, see a doctor.  He or she can look for warning signs of a more serious condition, and may recommend a CT scan.

How to feel better – Doctors recommend lots of rest and sleep, avoiding physically demanding activities, and just all around “taking it easy.”  You should also limit activities that require mental focus like balancing a checkbook; it strains your mind.  Since your ability to react could be slower, your doctor might tell you not to drive for a few days.

Prevention – Taking steps early is the best way to prevent a concussion.  Wear a helmet, avoid dangerous activities, and know when it’s time to get help.

Patient First doctors are available to talk with you about allergy causes, symptoms and treatments.  Contact David Clark at (443) 577.2907 for media interviews.


David Clark
Patient First

Back to top.

 

* * *

 

 

SPRING ALLERGIES BLOOM EARLY
Pollen is already in the wind


Baltimore, MD – The calendar says spring doesn’t arrive until March 20th but many allergy sufferers say it’s already here.  Plants, trees and flowers are already blooming thanks to our mild winter.  That means tree pollens are drifting in the breeze.

Tree pollen is the biggest source of spring allergies and studies suggest the pollen season has been getting longer and more severe over the past few years.  Tree pollen usually peaks in the middle of April and lasts until August.  Combine the trees with the grass pollen that arrives in a couple of months and more than 50 million allergic Americans are bracing themselves for sneezes and watery eyes.  

This doesn’t mean you have to suffer without relief.  Over-the-counter allergy remedies can help people with minor symptoms, but Patient First doctors can prescribe treatments for more severe allergic reactions.

Patient First doctors are available to talk with you about allergy causes, symptoms and treatments.  Contact David Clark at (443) 577.2907 for media interviews.


David Clark
Patient First

Back to top.

 

* * *

 

 

DOCTORS WARN ABOUT “STOMACH FLU”
Gastrointestinal Bug Hits Maryland


Baltimore, MD – Maryland has been able to avoid much of the expected seasonal influenza so far this winter but the so-called “stomach flu”, gastroenteritis, has swept across many parts of the state over the past week.

   “Stomach flu” is not really the flu.  It is caused by different viruses that inflame the stomach and intestines which cause stomach pain, vomiting, and diarrhea.  These symptoms can show up from one to three days after you are exposed to the virus.

Patients typically feel better after a day or two but can remain contagious up to two weeks after they recover. 

To avoid infection:

    Wash your hands frequently to stop the viruses from spreading.  Help children wash their hands thoroughly. Use hand sanitizer if water and soap are not available.

    Disinfect areas in the home and at work when someone does become sick.

Just remember: stay home if you become sick, drink plenty of fluids and see a doctor for possible intravenous fluids if the sickness becomes severe.

Patient First doctors are available to discuss ways that you can avoid and treat the “stomach flu”.  Contact David Clark at (443) 577.2907 for interviews.


David Clark
Patient First

Back to top.

 

* * *

 

 

HAVE A HEART-HEALTHY VALENTINE’S DAY
Celebrate your love with good health


Baltimore, MD –   Your heart may belong to a certain someone this Valentine’s Day, but it’s up to you to keep that loving heart in good shape all year long.  February is American Heart Month so Valentine’s Day is a great time to make sure that you are heart-healthy.

After you make a date with your sweetheart this Valentine’s Day, don’t forget to make a date with your heart. A few simple steps can make life a lot easier on you and your heart.

    Eat healthy – Many restaurants offer heart-healthy items but you have more control over what goes into your meal by cooking at home.  You can find many heart-healthy recipes on-line or in print.  It’s also a great chance for a romantic candlelight dinner.
    Be active – Exercise helps maintain a healthy weight and provides countless heart-health benefits.
    Limit alcohol use
    Do not smoke and avoid secondhand smoke
    See your doctor for specific ways to control your blood pressure and cholesterol.


Patient First doctors are available to discuss ways that you can stay heart-healthy.  Contact David Clark at (443) 577.2907 for interviews.


David Clark
Patient First

Back to top.

 

* * *

 

 

HAVE A HEALTHY, HYDRATED WINTER
Fluids Are Key To Your Winter Health


Baltimore, MD – You hear it all the time: drink lots of fluids.  But should you worry as much about staying hydrated during the winter?  The answer is simple: Yes.

Dehydration is common during the winter months.  Winter activities are just as strenuous as summer activities.  Anyone who has gone skiing, ice skating or even built a snowman knows that you can build up a healthy sweat.  We also tend to wear layers of warm clothing during the winter.  That means our bodies work harder (by sweating) to cool us down. 

If you don’t stay hydrated you can suffer exhaustion, muscle fatigue, cramps, loss of coordination or even stroke.  Dehydration also makes you an easy target for colds and flu.

Here are some tips to keep you hydrated this winter:

    Drink before, during and after exercise or outdoor activities.
    Drink half of your body weight in fluid ounces every day.
    Water-based foods like soup, fruits and vegetables are a great source of hydration and nutrients.
    Reduce the amount of sodium in your diet.

Patient First doctors are available to discuss the importance of winter hydration.  Contact David Clark at (443) 577.2907 for interviews.


David Clark
Patient First

Back to top.

 

* * *

 

 

STAY HEALTHY THIS COLD AND FLU SEASON
Doctors Offer Advice On Avoiding The Bug


Baltimore, MD – You hear the coughing, sneezing and sniffling all around you.  Cold season is in full swing, the flu is right around the corner and you have too much going on to get sick.  You can reduce your risk by taking a few simple steps to stay healthy and not spread germs among family and friends.

    Wash your hands.  Wash your hands frequently, especially after being in public and after the kids come home from school.  Soap and warm water kill a lot of the germs that you pick up as part of daily life.

    Drink plenty of fluids. Fluids keep you hydrated and help clear toxins from your body.

    Exercise and nutrition.  Regular exercise increases your blood flow and your immunity. A healthy diet that includes vegetables and fruits builds up your immune system.

    Rest.  Take a little time now to rejuvenate your body or your body will force you to take a much longer “time out” when you get sick.

   What if you do start feeling sick despite your best efforts? How can you tell if it is a cold or the flu?  Cold symptoms can make you feel bad for a few days, while the flu lasts longer and can lead to more serious health problems. 

   A cold can start with a sore throat followed by runny nose and nasal congestions.  Adults usually don’t have a fever with a cold.  Influenza symptoms usually come on quickly and include fever, headache, muscle aches and cough.


David Clark
Patient First

Back to top.

 

* * *

 

 

Being ADA Compliant Makes Good Business Sense

   Are you familiar with how the American Disabilities Act (ADA) relates to your business? With the passage of this Act in 1990, commercial facilities must remove architectural barriers in existing facilities, including communication barriers that are structural in nature, where such removal is readily achievable, i.e., easily accomplishable and able to be carried out without much difficulty or expense.  Some examples of this include:

Installing ramps

Repositioning shelves

Rearranging tables, chairs, and display racks

Installing flashing alarm lights.

   Giving attention to these modifications will help you tap into the growing market of the disability population. The 2000 U.S. Census found that there are more than 50 million Americans with disabilities. Almost one in five people in this country are potential customers for businesses that are accessible to people with disabilities!

   The percentage of people with disabilities is larger than any single ethnic, racial, or cultural group in the U.S. At 19.3%, the number of people with disabilities exceeds the next largest group -- Hispanic people (14.9%) -- by a wide margin.

   For more information about the ADA and business, visit the Department of Justice ADA Business Connection at www.ada.gov. Or, call the toll-free ADA Information Line: 800 514.0301.

Back to top.

 

* * *

 

 

Choose Energy-Efficient Air Conditioning
by Lorene Bartos

This article appeared in the July 28, Lincoln Journal Star Newspaper.

   Trying to keep the temperature, humidity level and energy costs down? An important factor in lowering costs and efficient operation is an air-conditioning system that is properly sized, installed, maintained and operated, and is selected with energy and efficiency in mind.

   Common problems include improper selection and operation, faculty installation and inadequate or poor servicing and maintenance.

   For economical operation, set your air conditioner at a higher temperature when away from home. Closing registers in unused rooms may not save energy because central air conditioners are planned to cool the total living space. Programmable thermostats allow setting the time when the air conditioner will turn on or perform at cooler and hotter temperatures.

   Close storms, outside doors, shades and shutters when operating an air conditioner. Provide shade on the outside and inside of windows – especially those on the east and west sides. Proper landscaping can make a significant difference in summer cooling.

   Reduce moisture sources inside the house such as excessive showers. Use range and bathroom vents to exhaust moisture when cooking or showering. Always vent dryers outside. Fix leaks and stop any water or moisture from entering the home through cracks in walls and along foundations.

   Leaky ducts waste energy when cool air escapes from the supply ducts or hot attic air leaks into return ducts. In an average central air-conditioning system, 10 to 30 percent of the conditioned air may escape through the ducts into places not intended to cool such as the attic, basement or exterior walls. A professional service technician or weatherization professional can detect and correct duct leaks. Ducts can be sealed with duct “mastic.” Older duct tape can fail. Sealing with duct tape is not satisfactory because duct tapes can fail soon after installation. If duct tape is used, select foil-backed tape.

   Be sure supply or return air ducts and registers are not blocked. Blocked ducts can result in poor air-conditioning performance.

   Sometimes the amount of refrigerant in the system does not match the manufacturer's specifications and hampers the unit's performance and efficiency. When the unit is serviced, ask them to check the manufacturer's specifications. If a unit is low on refrigerant, it may leak or was undercharged at installation. The refrigerant level should match the manufacturer's specifications and not be over- or undercharged.

   Compressors or fans are more likely to fail prematurely if filters and air-conditioning coils are allowed to become dirty. If the system is oversized for the home, the compressor and fan controls can wear out because the air conditioner turns on and off more frequently. A larger-than-needed unit cycles off and on frequently, thus reducing its efficiency and resulting in temperature, humidity and comfort fluctuations.

  Check your air conditioner and keep it maintained for best service. Remember to set the temperature higher when no one is home. Conserving energy helps the budget and the environment.



Source:
http://lancaster.unl.edu/home/Articles/2002/airconditioner.htm

Back to top


Dundalk Chamber of Commerce .  7233 German Hill Rd, Dundalk, MD, 21222
Phone: (410) 284.3700     Fax: (410) 284.3700


© Copyright  Dundalk Chamber of Commerce.  All Rights Reserved.