kids in school

Back-To- School Health Tips

Without warning, summer flies by, and suddenly it is time to go back to school! It is easy to become overwhelmed with all of the many things on our back to school lists like shopping for school supplies and new clothes. However, it is important to add a few tasks on your list that are more important than new tennis shoes. Here are four tips to help your child have a happy, healthy and successful school year! 

 

Make sure sleep needs are met 

 

Did you know that the majority of children in the U.S. do not get enough sleep? Some studies show as much as 70% are sleep deprived depending on the age breakdown! To encourage healthy sleep hygiene, remove electronic devices from your child’s reach an hour before bedtime. Darken sleeping areas as it is still very light at bedtime in the summer months. Limit caffeine intake, especially in the afternoon. 

 

How much sleep is enough? For preschoolers (age 3-5) The National Sleep Foundation recommends 10-13 hours. School-aged children should sleep 7-8 hours, and teens should sleep at least seven hours. 

 

Fight off school illnesses 

 

Closer contact with more students means closer contact with more germs. Ward off illnesses with healthy habits! During the lazy days of summer, comfort foods and treats may be a normal part of your child’s diet. School time is a great time to implement a healthy diet rich in fruits, vegetables, a daily multivitamin and plenty of water. Hand washing is a must, but attaching hand sanitizer to your child’s backpack when the restroom isn’t readily available is a good idea too. 

 

To learn more about preventing specific illnesses, check out our article “Back-to-School Illnesses.”

 

Schedule your child a checkup 

 

All student-athletes should have sports physicals, but annual checkups are recommended rather your child plays sports or not. At your child’s check-up, the physician will discuss any needed immunizations, nutrition needs, and any other health concerns you may have. 

 

If your child does not have a regular pediatrician or primary care physician, consider reaching out to one of our Lawton Community Health Centers conveniently located in four communities throughout the area. 

 

Don’t miss out on the chance to visit with your child’s teacher 

 

Many parents do not take advantage of the opportunities offered to meet with their child’s teacher. Even if your child’s grades are fine, don’t assume everything at school is fine. Take the time to attend parent-teacher conferences. 

 

Many teachers undergo training to recognize a variety of problems that may affect your child’s school performance and health. The more specific questions you ask about your child’s performance, the more productive these conferences will be. Vision problems, depression, anxiety- sometimes it takes a teacher and parenting meeting together to discover concerns that require medical attention.

 

We hope the 2019-2020 school year is the best year ever for you and your family!

 

Disclaimer 

 

The Comanche County Memorial Hospital website does not provide specific medical advice for individual cases. Comanche County Memorial Hospital does not endorse any medical or professional services obtained through information provided on this site, articles on the site or any links on this site.

 

Use of the information obtained by the Comanche County Memorial Hospital website does not replace medical advice given by a qualified medical provider to meet the medical needs of our readers or others.

 

While content is frequently updated, medical information changes quickly. Information may be out of date, and/or contain inaccuracies or typographical errors. For questions or concerns, please contact us at contact@ccmhhealth.com.

school aged child with backpack

Back-to-School Illnesses

Back to school means back to the doctor for many children. It can be very stressful for many families to deal with what seems to be never ending illnesses. School is, unfortunately, a hot spot for viruses and bacteria to flourish including common childhood illnesses that attack immature immune systems of young children. You may already be very familiar with some of the illnesses that commonly spread at school such as the cold or flu. What about other school illnesses like lice or pink eye? Here are 4 common illnesses you may encounter this school year. 

 

Lice 

 

Lice are tiny parasites that feed on your blood. They spread especially easily from schoolchildren through close personal contact and by sharing belongings. It is difficult to completely prevent lice among school children because  they commonly store their items so closely together. 

 

To prevent the spread of lice, encourage your children not to share items. Lice spread through items such as brushes, clothing, headphones, hair decorations, combs, towels, pillows, stuffed toys and blankets.

 

Symptoms of lice include seeing nits in the hair. Nits are the eggs or young form of a louse that attach to human hair. Many  mistake them as dandruff, but unlike dandruff, lice do not brush off easily. Your child may complain of intense itching and have small bumps on the neck, scalp and shoulders. 

 

Nonprescription shampoo that’s specifically formulated to kill lice will usually take care of a lice problem, but you should see your doctor if the shampoo doesn’t kill the lice. 

 

Pink eye 

 

Pink eye (conjunctivitis) is an infection of the transparent membrane (conjunctiva). This membrane covers the white part of your eyeball and lines your eyelid. When small blood vessels in the conjunctiva are inflamed, they are  more visible. This causes the whites of your eyes to be pink or reddish. Pink eye is usually the cause of a viral or bacterial infection.

 

Symptoms of pink eye include a gritty feeling in one or both eyes, itchiness in one or both eyes redness in one or both eyes, tearing and discharge that forms a crust during the night that may prevent your eye or eyes from opening in the morning. 

 

If your symptoms don’t begin to improve within 12 to 24 hours, make an appointment with your eye doctor to make sure you don’t have a more serious eye infection.

 

Pink eye can happen along with colds or respiratory infections such as a sore throat. Wearing contact lenses that aren’t cleaned properly or belong to someone else cause bacterial conjunctivitis.

 

To control the spread, teach your children to wash their hands often, use clean towels and washcloths daily and change pillow cases often. They should avoid sharing these items as well as eye cosmetic and eye care items. During a pink eye episode, be sure to throw away eye cosmetics such as mascara too. 

 

Hand-Foot-and-Mouth Disease 

 

Hand-foot-and-mouth disease is a mild, contagious viral infection. It is spread through bodily fluids. Young children often spread this illness by touching their diaper area during diaper changes or bathroom breaks. 

 

Symptoms include a rash on the hands and feet and sometimes buttocks, fever and painful sores in the front of the throat or mouth. 

 

Practice proper hand-washing and avoid close contact with people who are infected with hand-foot-and-mouth disease to reduce your child’s risk of infection and disinfect common areas often.

 

Contact your child’s doctor if the discomfort keeps your child from properly hydrating or if symptoms worsen after a few days. 

 

Mono 

 

Mononucleosis (mono) carries the nickname of the “kissing disease.” The virus that causes mono transmits through saliva, so you can get it through kissing, but exposure also occurs through a cough or sneeze, or food or drink sharing. Adolescent or young adults most commonly contract mono. Young children usually have few symptoms, however, and the infection often goes unrecognized.

 

Symptoms of mono include sore throat, fatigue, fever, headache, rash and swollen lymph nodes in the neck and armpits as well as swollen tonsils. 

 

If your symptoms don’t get better on their own in a week or two, see your doctor. It’s important to be careful of certain complications such as an enlarged spleen. Rest and adequate fluids are vital to recovery.

 

Is your child in need of pediatric care? Find a pediatrician in our online directory!

 

Disclaimer 

 

The Comanche County Memorial Hospital website does not provide specific medical advice for individual cases. Comanche County Memorial Hospital does not endorse any medical or professional services obtained through information provided on this site, articles on the site or any links on this site.

 

Use of the information obtained by the Comanche County Memorial Hospital website does not replace medical advice given by a qualified medical provider to meet the medical needs of our readers or others.

While content is frequently updated, medical information changes quickly. Information may be out of date, and/or contain inaccuracies or typographical errors. For questions or concerns, please contact us at contact@ccmhhealth.com.

mother holding baby

Flying With Breast Milk

August 1-7  is World Breastfeeding Week! A common concern many moms have is flying with breast milk either due to exclusively pumping or not having their child with them. Flying with breast milk for the first time can be nerve wracking. How much can you bring? What can you do to ensure your milk is allowed to pass security checkpoints? Before you travel this summer, take a look at this list of things to things to know about flying with breast milk to ensure you are able to fly without any added stress.

 

Know what you are allowed to carry

 

The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) states that you may pass the security checkpoint with formula, breast milk and juice for infants or toddlers ”in reasonable quantities.” You do not have to ensure that your milk fits into quart sized bags or meets the 3 oz rule that applies to other liquids.  Remove these items from your carry-on bag so the agent may screen them separately from the rest of your belongings. 

 

A breast pump is a medical device and therefore does not count as your carryon luggage.  The cooler you bring to store your milk in however, does count if carried separately from your other carryon luggage. Many times little attention is given to how many bags a passenger is actually bringing onto the plane, but be prepared to explain why you have an extra carryon item when carrying a pump if needed. 

 

You may also bring gel or liquid-filled teethers and canned and processed baby food in carry-on luggage. Additional screening may occur with these items.  

 

How TSA screens breast milk 

 

When going through security, always declare your breast milk. Kindly ask the TSA agent to change into clean gloves before he inspects your milk. TSA typically screens breast milk by x-ray. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) reports that there are no known adverse effects from consuming items screened by x-ray. 1

 

If your milk is frozen solid, the TSA agents will not perform special tests. If thawed, the TSA officers may ask you to open the container and even transfer a small quantity of the liquid to a separate empty container for visual inspection. Kindly request that the TSA agent put on clean gloves before touching your cooler. If the agent conducts a test, he or she wipes the bottle with a piece of paper and puts the paper in a machine that tests for explosives.

 

How to store your milk 

 

To store your milk, you need a water-tight cooler with plenty of ice packs. If you can do without bottles, breast milk storage bags will pack easier and lighter than bottles. After security, consider sealing your cooler with duct tape to keep it cool and prevent leaking. 

 

If booking lodging, try to find a hotel that has rooms with a refrigerator/ freezer. If you do not have a freezer in your room, or it doesn’t cool enough to freeze your milk, ask to keep your breast milk cooler in the hotel freezer. 

 

Pumping while traveling 

 

Many airports offer a breastfeeding lounge or baby care area. If one is not available, search for a family restroom with an outlet.

 

For your convenience, it is possible to mail/ship breast milk. This can be helpful if you are gone for an extended period and need to send milk home for your baby. However, shipping breast milk is costly. There are services that ship breast milk exclusively or you can ship via services such as FedEx. In order to do this, you must purchase dry ice, a styrofoam cooler, and a box for shipping. 

 

Dry ice is cold enough that it can make plastic breast milk storage bags or bottles brittle and break. To prevent this, seal your breast milk bottles in zip-lock bags and pad them with crumpled up newspaper inside your cooler.

 

The US Postal Service does not permit dry ice in the mail. You can however ship milk with regular ice packs overnight. This is much cheaper but of course has the added risk of milk thawing en route.

 

For international travel, contact the consulate of your destination country to determine their individual shipping regulations.

 

 

 

Comanche County Memorial Hospital is proud to be recognized as a Baby Friendly Hospital by the World Health Organization (WHO) and the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF)

 

Do you have questions about breastfeeding? For travel questions, always check the latest TSA guidelines. For general questions, our Infant Feeding Resource Center would love to meet with you and discuss any breastfeeding concerns you may have. 

 

Resource

1 U.S. Food & Drug Administration. Frequently Asked Questions on Cabinet X-ray Systems. 9 March. 2018.

 

Disclaimer 

 

The Comanche County Memorial Hospital website does not provide specific medical advice for individual cases. Comanche County Memorial Hospital does not endorse any medical or professional services obtained through information provided on this site, articles on the site or any links on this site.

 

Use of the information obtained by the Comanche County Memorial Hospital website does not replace medical advice given by a qualified medical provider to meet the medical needs of our readers or others.

While content is frequently updated, medical information changes quickly. Information may be out of date, and/or contain inaccuracies or typographical errors. For questions or concerns, please contact us at contact@ccmhhealth.com.

older couple at park

Health Risks of Excessive Vitamin D Levels

Without Vitamin D, the body cannot absorb calcium. Therefore, the body cannot then create healthy teeth and bones. Another benefit of this essential nutrient is warding off cancer as well as diabetes. New research shows negative effects for receiving too much vitamin D, however. 

 

How do we receive vitamin D?

 

When sunlight reaches the skin, our bodies synthesize vitamin D. We can also receive it from sardines, salmon, canned tuna, shrimp and oysters. Non-fish sources include mushrooms, egg yolks, and fortified food products such as cereal, soy milk and oatmeal.

 

Skin pigmentation, where we live and season are all factors that affect the amount of this nutrient our bodies produce. During winter, vitamin D levels can drop drastically if not be missing from the body completely. 

 

What are the risks of low vitamin D levels?

 

Besides those already mentioned, deficiency of this vitamin may play a part in conditions such as dementia, depression and schizophrenia. 

 

Older adults may especially be at risk of developing some conditions when vitamin D levels are not up to par. Some older adults struggle to absorb the nutrient due to lack of sun exposure.  When this is the case, a supplement or a multivitamin can improve memory and boost bone health.

 

How much vitamin D do I need at each age? 

 

These are the recommended daily amounts  according to the National Institutes of Health (NIH): 1

 

Infants 400 IU

Children age 1-13 600 IU

Teens age 14-18 600 IU

Adults age 19-70 600 IU

Adults 71 and older 800 IU

Pregnant and breastfeeding moms 600 IU

 

What are the risks of excessive vitamin D levels?

 

While vitamin D is crucial to good health, risks exists for excessive exposure as well. Researchers at Rutgers University found that older women who took more than three times the recommended daily dose who were also overweight showed slower reaction times. 2 Slower reaction times can lead to serious injuries for the elderly from falls. 

 

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that approximately 1 out of 4 elderly adults fall each year. 3 Scientists at Rutgers University studied the risk factors for falls. After analyzing the effects of vitamin D on three groups of women from ages 50–70 in a randomized controlled trial, they found improvement in memory and learning in those that took more than the recommended daily dose. However, these women also showed slower reaction times.

 

Examining various doses in people of various ages and different races over a longer period is the next step in investigating this issue. 

 

CCMH is proud to have a variety of general practitioners and specialists to meet your health needs as you age. To find a list of them, visit CcmhHealth.com/Directory.

 

Sources 

 

1 National Institute of Health. Vitamin D Fact Sheet for Consumers. 15 April 2016. 

2 Rutgers Today. More Vitamin D May Improve Memory but Too Much May Slow Reaction Time. 13 March 2019. 

3 Center of Disease Control (CDC).  Important Facts about Falls.

 

Disclaimer 

 

The Comanche County Memorial Hospital website does not provide specific medical advice for individual cases. Comanche County Memorial Hospital does not endorse any medical or professional services obtained through information provided on this site, articles on the site or any links on this site.

Use of the information obtained by the Comanche County Memorial Hospital website does not replace medical advice given by a qualified medical provider to meet the medical needs of our readers or others.

While content is frequently updated, medical information changes quickly. Information may be out of date, and/or contain inaccuracies or typographical errors. For questions or concerns, please contact us at contact@ccmhhealth.com.

school desk

Back-to-School Checkups for Children

School supplies, backpacks, new clothes and shoes may be on parents’ to-do list to get kids ready for the first day of school, but also important is scheduling a wellness checkup with a primary care provider to make sure kids are healthy and ready to learn.

 

Lawton Community Health Centers (LCHC) located in Lawton, Comanche, Elgin, Marlow and now Cache communities are available to help with back-to-school and sports physicals, verify immunizations are current and discuss any other medical or nutrition concerns with parents.

 

LCHC clinics provide convenient hours and locations to meet your family’s needs.  Some of our services include…

  • Primary Health Care
  • Dental Services with referral
  • Mental Health Services – Counseling (Child/Adolescent/Adult)
  • Diabetes and Nutrition Services with referral

 

LCHC provides family practice and pediatric services to individuals with Medicaid (SoonerCare), Medicare, and private insurance.  LCHC also provides healthcare to those residents who do not have health insurance on a sliding fee schedule. Patients are required to provide proof of income to ensure they receive discounts for which they are eligible.

 

For more information or to make an appointment with one of our LCHC clinics please call our Provider Referral Line at 580.510.7030.

 

The following health and safety tips are from the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP). 

 

Here are some things to think about before the school year starts.  Being prepared and ready-to-go can help get the new school year off to a good start.

 

MAKING THE FIRST DAY EASIER

  • Parents should remember that they need not wait until the first day of class to ask for help. Schools are open to address any concerns a parent or child might have, including the specific needs of a child, over the summer. The best time to get help might be one to two weeks before school opens.
  • Point out the positive aspects of starting school to create positive anticipation about the first day of class. They will see old friends and meet new ones. Talk with them about positive experiences they may have had in the past at school or with other groups of children.
  • Consider starting your child on their school sleep/wake schedule a week or so ahead of time so that time change is not a factor on their first couple of days at school.
  • Find another child in the neighborhood with whom your child can walk to school or ride on the bus.
  • Many children become nervous about new situations, including changing to a new school, classroom or teacher.  This may occur at any age. If your child seems nervous, it can be helpful to rehearse entry into the new situation. Take them to visit the new school or classroom before the first day of school. Remind them that there are probably a lot of students who are uneasy about the first day of school. Teachers know that students are nervous and will make an extra effort to make sure everyone feels as comfortable as possible. If your child seems nervous, ask them what they are worried about and help them problem solve ways to master the new situation.
  • If it is a new school for your child, attend any available orientations and take an opportunity to tour the school before the first day. Bring the child to school a few days prior to class to play on the playground and get comfortable in the new environment.
  • If you feel it is needed, drive your child (or walk with her) to school and pick her up on the first day, and get there early on the first day to cut down on unnecessary stress.
  • Make sure to touch base with your child’s new teacher at the beginning or end of the day so the teacher knows how much you want to be supportive of your child’s school experience.

 

BACKPACK SAFETY

  • Choose a backpack with wide, padded shoulder straps and a padded back.
  • Pack light. Organize the backpack to use all of its compartments. Pack heavier items closest to the center of the back. The backpack should never weigh more than 10 to 20 percent of your child’s body weight.  Go through the pack with your child weekly and remove unneeded items to keep it light.
  • Remind your child to always use both shoulder straps. Slinging a backpack over one shoulder can strain muscles.
  • Adjust the pack so that the bottom sits at your child’s waist.
  • If your school allows, consider a rolling backpack. This type of backpack may be a good choice for students who must tote a heavy load. Remember that rolling backpacks still must be carried upstairs, they may be difficult to roll in the snow, and they may not fit in some lockers.

 

 

Disclaimer 

The Comanche County Memorial Hospital website does not provide specific medical advice for individual cases. Comanche County Memorial Hospital does not endorse any medical or professional services obtained through information provided on this site, articles on the site or any links on this site.

Use of the information obtained by the Comanche County Memorial Hospital website does not replace medical advice given by a qualified medical provider to meet the medical needs of our readers or others.

While content is frequently updated, medical information changes quickly. Information may be out of date, and/or contain inaccuracies or typographical errors. For questions or concerns, please contact us at contact@ccmhhealth.com.

woman blowing dandelion in summer

Summer Safety

The summer season is a special time for many of us. There are holidays, outdoor activities and lots of sunshine to enjoy. However, during the summer, there are some unique safety concerns all should take to heart. Here are our top tips to help you enjoy a beautiful, relaxing, and injury free summer!

 

Boating safety 

 

Many boating accidents begin with alcohol, but water and alcohol really don’t mix well! Avoid drinking alcohol and boating to prevent injuries like drowning and boat collisions. 

 

Don’t be lax about lifejackets either. Make sure you have proper fitting life jackets for all passengers. Children and those who cannot swim especially should never go without their life jackets while boating. 

 

Also make sure you know what to do in case of a water accident. Visit the American Heart Association website at Heart.org to learn where you can take courses in CPR and First Aid training. These classes are simple, and you never know when you may help save a life! 

 

Driving safety 

 

Operating a motor vehicle after drinking is, of course, also a bad idea. If your summer plans include a road trip, take breaks every few hours to avoid fatigue while driving. Also, avoid driving after midnight. 

 

Avoid harmful insects 

 

To avoid bees, mosquitoes and other insects,  avoid wearing heavy perfumes, especially floral scents, wear light-colored clothing free of floral patterns, and keep a lid on sugary drinks like sodas. For mild insect bite reactions, patients may take acetaminophen for pain and an antihistamine for swelling. 

 

Seek emergency care when the following symptoms are present: 

 

Difficulty breathing

Hives, itchiness, and swelling over large areas of the body

Swelling of the face or tongue

Dizziness or feeling faint 

 

Hydrate 

 

Dehydration and heat stroke are common problems in the summer months, although, both can be easily prevented. Ensure everyone has plenty of water when spending time outdoors, take breaks in the shade whenever possible, and try to plan outdoor activities in the early morning or evening to avoid the hottest part of the day.  

 

Some of the symptoms of heat stroke include:

 

a core temperature of 104F or higher

confusion

rapid heart rate and breathing

headache 

nausea or vomiting

 

If you fear someone may be experiencing heat stroke or severe dehydration, call 911. Get the individual indoors as soon as possible, cool them with ice packs or wet washcloths, give them water and have them lie down while you wait for emergency assistance. 

 

Cover up

 

Sunlight can be dangerous for your eyes and skin. Wear sunglasses that filter out UV light. Stay in the shade, wear hats and apply sunscreen that has an SPF of 30 or higher, is water resistant, and provides broad-spectrum coverage every two hours while outdoors. 

 

Prevent food poisoning 

 

Picnic season is often when many individuals encounter food poisoning. To avoid it, practice the following: 

 

Clean your hands and the surfaces where you are preparing food well.

Keep raw meats wrapped and away from other food items. 

Have a meat thermometer with you for grilling to ensure meat reaches a safe internal temperature. 

Keep everything cool as long as possible. Store perishable picnic foods in an insulated cooler of ice. Keep whatever you will eat last at the bottom of the cooler. 

 

 

We hope you enjoy a safe and happy summer. If you need emergency medical care however, we’re here for you at the Drewry Family Emergency Center at Comanche County Memorial Hospital!

 

 

Disclaimer 

 

The Comanche County Memorial Hospital website does not provide specific medical advice for individual cases. Comanche County Memorial Hospital does not endorse any medical or professional services obtained through information provided on this site, articles on the site or any links on this site.

Use of the information obtained by the Comanche County Memorial Hospital website does not replace medical advice given by a qualified medical provider to meet the medical needs of our readers or others.

While content is frequently updated, medical information changes quickly. Information may be out of date, and/or contain inaccuracies or typographical errors. For questions or concerns, please contact us at contact@ccmhhealth.com.

hand holding bottle pouring soft drink

Sugar Substitutes and Stroke Risk

To decrease the amount of sugar in your diet, you may be tempted to reach for diet soft drinks or juices sweetened with sugar substitutes. Sugar substitutes are a confusing topic for many. For years it seemed that they received nothing but negative publicity. Recently, research reported they may not be as bad as we once thought. This leaves research relatively inconclusive at best. However, concern is once again growing.

 

Latest research demonstrates concern regarding  artificial sweetener consumption

 

Although they may seem like a good alternative to sugar-filled drinks, recent studies have discovered that there may be a link between artificial sweeteners and health risks including stroke.

 

Over 81,000 women between the ages of 50 and 79 participated in the study. The conclusion drawn by researchers was that  artificially sweetened drinks are associated with an increased risk of heart disease, stroke and even death.

 

Those who drank two or more diet drinks a day had a 23% increase of stroke risk compared to those who consumed less than one diet drink per week. 1

 

Sugar consumption alters taste

 

No matter if you choose real sugar, or an artificial or plant based substitute, the brain wants more sweet substances the more you consume.

 

Artificial sweeteners even alter our gut bacteria. Sugar, in general, also increases blood sugar and insulin levels.

 

All of these factors combined lead to excessive weight gain, including fat, and also inflammation.

 

The danger of consuming artificial sweeteners for many lies in the increase of sweet cravings it causes. Artificial sweeteners are designed to taste sweeter than real sugar. This causes your taste buds to crave and expect more sweet foods.

 

Decreasing sugar in diet

 

To determine whether or not you are consuming too much sugar, try eating some fruits such as strawberries and apples. If you notice that these fruits do not taste sweet to you, this could be an indication that you should decrease the amount of sugar in your diet.

 

With some small changes, you can greatly reduce sugar intake. Begin by removing any added table sugar, honey, syrup or molasses. Natural sugar substitutes such as unsweetened applesauce or spices like cinnamon and allspice are great baking substitutes. Also, cut back on your serving size when you do indulge in sugary treats and check food labels for treats with less added sugar when possible.

 

Making dietary changes always seems overwhelming at first. However, with practice, anything can become a natural part of your lifestyle. If you have questions about ways to consume a healthier diet, make an appointment with a CCMH provider. Visit our online directory to discover how to reach them by visiting http://ccmhhealth.com/directory.

 

Source 

 

Yasmin Mossavar-Rahmani , Victor Kamensky , JoAnn E. Manson , Brian Silver , Stephen R. Rapp ,et al. American Stroke Association. Artificially Sweetened Beverages and Stroke, Coronary Heart Disease, and All-Cause Mortality in the Women’s Health Initiative. 1 Mar. 2019.

 

Disclaimer

 

The Comanche County Memorial Hospital website does not provide specific medical advice for individual cases. Comanche County Memorial Hospital does not endorse any medical or professional services obtained through information provided on this site, articles on the site or any links on this site.

 

Use of the information obtained by the Comanche County Memorial Hospital website does not replace medical advice given by a qualified medical provider to meet the medical needs of our readers or others.

 

While content is frequently updated, medical information changes quickly. Information may be out of date, and/or contain inaccuracies or typographical errors. For questions or concerns, please contact us at contact@ccmhhealth.com.

4 juul devices on table

Juuling Much More Dangerous than Teens Realize

Kick Butts Day takes place on March 20, 2019. This national day of activism empowers our nation’s youth to take a stand against the tobacco industry. The initiative expects  more than 1,000 anti-tobacco events across our nation and the world.

This year’s campaign will focus on e-cigarette usage (juuling) among our nation’s youth. U.S. public health officials named youth e-cigarette use an “epidemic”. This trend is raising up our next generation with a harmful and addictive tobacco habit.

According to the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, the organizer of the initiative, cigarette smoking among high schoolers nationwide has dropped to 8.1%. However, e-cigarette usage among high schoolers rose an alarming 78% in 2018 alone. This is 20.8% of the student population. Furthermore, this means in 2018, more than 3.6 million middle and high school students used e-cigarettes. 1

The Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids encourages health advocates and youth to call for strong action to put a halt to the youth e-cigarette epidemic. Particularly, they urge the FDA as well as state and local governments to ban tobacco products the industry clearly markets to youth. This also includes flavored tobacco products such as e-cigarettes or Juuls that taste like gummy bear, mango and cotton candy. According to the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, research shows that flavors play a key role in the appeal of tobacco products for kids. 1

 

Why are Juuls so popular among youth?

 

Juul electronic cigarettes released on the market in 2015. Using any type of e-cigarette or vape has skyrocketed. However, this particular brand remains the most popular among teens and young adults. Because it makes up more than half of e-cigarette sales, Juul usage is an immediate public health concern.

The manufacturer cleverly markets Juul e-cigarettes to appear techy, sleek, and easy to conceal. Furthermore, they look just like USB flash drives and can even charge in a USB port on your computer. The device is also small enough to fit in a closed hand. For decades we have preached about the dangers of cigarettes to our youth. Juuls, however, don’t look anything like the traditional tobacco products we urge kids to avoid.

Also, kids do not refer to using a Juul as “smoking,” but as “juuling,” further disassociating the trend from the dangerous tobacco usage that it is.

Juuling delivers nicotine faster, more efficiently, and at higher doses than other e-cigarettes. In return, this increases users’ risk of addiction. Each Juul cartridge of nicotine liquid (Juul pod) contains as much nicotine as whole pack of cigarettes. Many Juul users don’t realize the product always contains nicotine.  

 

Why is juuling especially harmful for teens?

 

Not only is juuling dangerous for kids, but it may be even more so than for adults.

A 2016 Surgeon General’s report concluded that youth use of nicotine is unsafe, addictive and can even harm the developing adolescent brain. 2

Similarly, a report that was published by the JAMA Network after pediatric research concluded that e-cigarette use increases the risk of youth ever using combustible tobacco cigarettes later in life. 3

 

We encourage you to discuss tobacco usage including new trends like juuling with the youth in your life. For more resources, you can visit Kickbuttsday.org.

Our CCMH health providers are also dedicated youth advocates and are always willing to discuss tobacco use with you or your child. To find a CCMH provider to meet your needs, visit our online directory at http://ccmhhealth.com/directory.  

 

Disclaimer

The Comanche County Memorial Hospital website does not provide specific medical advice. Comanche County Memorial Hospital does not endorse any services obtained through information provided on this site, articles on the site or any links on this site.

Use of the information obtained by the CCMH website does not replace medical advice given by a qualified medical provider to meet your medical needs.

While content is frequently updated, medical information changes quickly. Information may be out of date, and/or contain inaccuracies or typographical errors. For questions or concerns, please contact us at contact@ccmhhealth.com.

 

Sources

1 Torres, Gustavo. Campaign for Tobacco Free Kids. Kicking Juul: Youth take action to reverse e-cigarette epidemic.19 Mar 2019.

2 United States. Public Health Service. E-cigarette use among youth and young adults : a report of the Surgeon General. 2016. 

3  Watkins PhD, Shannon Lea; Glantz PhD, Stanton A. ; Chaffee, DDS, PhD, Benjamin W. JAMA Network. Association of Noncigarette Tobacco Product Use With Future Cigarette Smoking Among Youth in the Population Assessment of Tobacco and Health (PATH) Study, 2013-2015.

 

 

energy drinks sitting on table

The Dangers of Energy Drinks

When life is busy, many of us are tempted to grab an energy drink to put a little extra pep in our step. However, research continues to find concerning effects after consuming these popular beverages. Consuming multiple energy drinks in a short time or consuming energy drinks in combination with other caffeinated or alcoholic beverages, can be especially harmful.  

Some lawmakers are even attempting to ban the sale of energy drinks to those under the age of 18. These legislative efforts occurred following tragic events such as the death of a sixteen-year- old boy from South Carolina. Davis Cripe suffered a cardiac episode that led to his death after consuming an energy drink, coffee and Mountain Dew in less than an hour. 1

 

What are the harmful ingredients in energy drinks?

 

The main ingredients of most energy drinks are caffeine and sugar. However, many experts believe it isn’t necessarily the caffeine in energy drinks that is harmful. After all, most healthy individuals who do not typically experience adverse effects from caffeine can safely consume 4-5 cups of coffee per day without problem.

The problem lies in the amount of sugar and caffeine. Many energy drinks have as much caffeine as 3-4 cups of coffee and more than the recommended amount of sugar you should consume in one day.

There are additional herbal stimulants found in energy drinks that are not regulated by the FDA. These ingredients in combination with high sugar and caffeine content may be the cause of serious or fatal problems for some consumers. 2

 

What happens after drinking an energy drink?


Twenty minutes after ingesting an energy drink, you experience a sugar high. This blood sugar spike results in a quick release of the hormone insulin.

Forty minutes later, all the caffeine is absorbed. As a result, blood pressure rises, the liver dumps even more sugar into the bloodstream and pupils dilate.

Forty five minutes later, dopamine production occurs in the body. This hormone gives you a sensation of pleasure. This reaction is similar to how the body responds to heroin.

After 60 minutes, a sugar crash occurs. The caffeine slowly wears off and you can experience mood changes, lethargy, fatigue and mental fogginess.


Why are energy drinks viewed as so unsafe?



It is difficult to predict how energy drinks will affect different individuals, especially with underlying heart issues or in combination with other substances containing alcohol or caffeine.

Oftentimes, individuals do not know they have a cardiac problem until something fatal occurs. For this reason, it is better to be safe than sorry when choosing how to get some extra pep to get through the day.

Despite what we do not know with certainty, the American Academy of Pediatrics has a very clear opinion of energy drink usage in children and teens. Given the observed side effects, including irregular heartbeats and blood pressure changes, the AAP recommends that children and teens should not consume energy drinks at all. 3



How to pep up without excessive caffeine


You can successfully and healthily boost energy levels in many ways that are safer than consuming copious amounts of stimulants.

Exercise regularly and participate in activities to reduce stress. 

Be mindful of your diet. Reduce sugar and increase your intake of omega-3 fatty acids found in plants, seeds, fish and nuts.

Rest! Be sure to get 7-8 hours of quality rest each night.

Through safely managing your diet and routine, it is possible to achieve greater energy levels that do not involve risky habits.

 

Sources

1 KUTV. Gould, Cynthia. 16 Apr. 2018. 16-year-old’s death linked to energy drink, caffeine products.

2 Cleveland Heart Lab.13 Dec. 2018. Can Energy Drinks Harm Your Heart?

3 American Academy of Pediatrics. Energy Drinks.

 

Disclaimer

The Comanche County Memorial Hospital website does not provide specific medical advice for individual cases. Comanche County Memorial Hospital does not endorse any medical or professional services obtained through information provided on this site, articles on the site or any links on this site.

Use of the information obtained by the Comanche County Memorial Hospital website does not replace medical advice given by a qualified medical provider to meet the medical needs of our readers or others.

While content is frequently updated, medical information changes quickly. Information may be out of date, and/or contain inaccuracies or typographical errors. For questions or concerns, please contact us at contact@ccmhhealth.com.

hands making heart shape

Heart Murmurs

As we remember American Heart Month every February, it is important to us that we discuss heart issues that affect many of our patients.

A heart murmur is a common medical condition. Although the numbers vary from various medical authorities, as many as 30-50% of children may be diagnosed with a heart murmur at some time during early childhood.

Although no parent ever wants to hear that their child has a medical problem, the majority of heart murmurs are not serious and do not affect a child’s health.

In contrast, only around 10% of adults are ever diagnosed with a heart murmur.

 

What is a heart murmur?

 

When your doctor listens to your heart through a stethoscope, it is usually a steady sound. However, in some individuals, a “whoosh” sound is heard as the blood flows through the heart. We refer to this sound as a murmur. Sometimes this extra sound is due to normal blood flow moving through the heart. Other times, a murmur may be a sign of a more concerning heart problem.

Some heart murmurs may be soft and difficult to hear. Therefore, it’s not uncommon for a murmur to be noticed during a routine checkup when a doctor did not notice it before.


What is the difference between serious and non-serious heart murmurs?


The most common type of heart murmur is known as a functional or innocent heart murmur. An innocent heart murmur is the sound of blood traveling through a healthy heart in a normal way. This type of heart murmur may come and go throughout childhood. Children with innocent heart murmurs do not require any special restrictions or diet. Most innocent murmurs will also go away as a child ages.

If a doctor suspects that a heart murmur indicates a more serious problem, he or she may have a child see a pediatric cardiologist. The cardiologist may then order tests such as an EKG, and a chest X-ray.

About 1% of babies are born with a congenital heart defect which is a structural heart problem. Some children will show no signs at all of their heart defect while others will show symptoms soon after birth. Such symptoms may include difficulty feeding, cyanosis (blueness in the lips) or rapid breathing.

Older children with heart defects may tire easily, have trouble exercising or doing physical activity or have chest pain. Call your child’s doctor if you notice any of these symptoms.

 

What are common heart defects?


Several kinds of heart problems can cause heart murmurs, including heart muscle disorders, septal defects and valve abnormalities.

Heart muscle disorders (cardiomyopathy) make the heart muscle abnormally thick or weak. Furthermore, this weakening hurts the heart’s ability to pump blood to the body as it should.

Septal defects involve the septum (walls) between the upper or lower heart chambers. A hole in the septum allows blood to flow into the heart’s other chambers. The heart may also work too hard and become enlarged.


When heart valves are too small, too thick or too narrow, a heart murmur may occur. Sometimes a valve abnormality causes a backflow of blood into the heart.

 

 

If you have questions about heart murmurs or you would like to learn more about heart and vascular services offered at CCMH, please visit https://www.ccmhhealth.com/heart-and-vascular/.

 

 

Disclaimer

The Comanche County Memorial Hospital website does not provide specific medical advice for individual cases. Comanche County Memorial Hospital does not endorse any medical or professional services obtained through information provided on this site, articles on the site or any links on this site.

Use of the information obtained by the Comanche County Memorial Hospital website does not replace medical advice given by a qualified medical provider to meet the medical needs of our readers or others.

While content is frequently updated, medical information changes quickly. Information may be out of date, and/or contain inaccuracies or typographical errors. For questions or concerns, please contact us at contact@ccmhhealth.com.

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