Tag Archives: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Vaccines aren’t just for children; everyone should get them

August is National Immunization Awareness Month and the South Carolina Legislature has designated August 14-21, 2017 as South Carolina Immunization Week.

It is important that everyone get immunized to help protect against disease and even prevent some cancers. Vaccines are recommended for everyone throughout our lives.

If you are a State Health Plan primary member, you can get vaccines to arm you against many diseases at no cost to you. The Public Employee Benefit Authority (PEBA) perk includes flu, shingles, tetanus, pneumonia, HPV shots and more. In fact, all the adult vaccines the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends for your age range, health conditions and risk factors are available at no cost to you at a network provider.

Vaccines are one of the safest ways to protect not just your own health, bu​t the health of those around you. Make sure you check with your health care provider to see which vaccines offer you your best shot at a healthy future.

For more information on what immunizations you and your family need, visit cdc.gov/vaccines.

 

Make no mistake: Concussions are serious injuries.

With the start of football season fast approaching, this is a good time to talk about concussions and taking precautions to prevent them. Of course, it’s not just football players who get concussions; anyone participating in a contact sport is at risk. So are cyclists who might be involved in an accident. But the injury isn’t confined to sports: For older adults, falling and automobile accidents are common causes of concussion.

What is a concussion?

A concussion is a type of traumatic brain injury—or TBI—caused by a bump, blow, or jolt to the head or by a hit to the body that causes the head and brain to move rapidly back and forth. This sudden movement can cause the brain to bounce around or twist in the skull, creating chemical changes in the brain and sometimes stretching and damaging brain cells.

Concussions are serious.

Medical providers may describe a concussion as a “mild” brain injury because concussions are usually not life-threatening. Even so, the effects of a concussion can be serious.

Signs and symptoms

Signs and symptoms generally show up soon after the injury. However, you may not know how serious the injury is at first and some symptoms may not show up for hours or days. For example, in the first few minutes your child or teen might be a little confused or a bit dazed, but an hour later your child might not be able to remember how he or she got hurt.

You should continue to check for signs of concussion right after the injury and a few days after the injury. If your child or teen’s concussion signs or symptoms get worse, you should take him or her to the emergency department right away.

Concussion signs observed:

  • Can’t recall events prior toor after a hit or fall.
  • Appears dazed or stunned.
  • Forgets an instruction, is confused about an assignment or position, or is unsure of the game, score, or opponent.
  • Moves clumsily.
  • Answers questions slowly.
  • Loses consciousness (even briefly).
  • Shows mood, behavior, or personality changes.

Concussion symptoms reported:

  • Headache or “pressure” in head.
  • Nausea or vomiting.
  • Balance problems or dizziness, or double or blurry vision.
  • Bothered by light or noise.
  • Feeling sluggish, hazy, foggy, or groggy.
  • Confusion, or concentration or memory problems.
  • Just not “feeling right,” or “feeling down”.

HEADS UP

HEADS UP Concussion prevention program is a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)-sponsored program that works to provide trainings and resources centered on concussion prevention in youth sports and activities for children of all ages. Keeping children and teens healthy and safe is always a top priority. Whether parent, youth sports coach, school coach, school professional, or health care provider, the CDC’s HEADS UP website will help you recognize, respond to, and minimize the risk of concussion or other serious brain injury.

For more information on HEADS UP, visit the CDC website.

Be careful while practicing and exercising in the heat

There is a lot of buzz about the start of football season on all levels, whether pro, college, high school or other. But the excitement over a new football season — or even the start of a new outdoor workout routine — shouldn’t overshadow the fact that it’s hot outside. Be careful.

Anyone exercising outside, whether at football practice or out jogging or hiking, should take extra precaution when exerting themselves in the heat.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention cautions those exercising or practicing while it’s hot outside to take the following precautions:

  • Limit outdoor activity, especially during the middle of the day when the sun is hottest.
  • Wear and reapply sunscreen as indicated on the package.
  • Schedule workouts and practices earlier or later in the day when the temperature is cooler.
  • Pace activity. Start activities slow and pick up the pace gradually.
  • Drink more water than usual, and don’t wait until you’re thirsty to drink more. Muscle cramping may be an early sign of heat-related illness.
  • Monitor a teammate’s condition, and have someone do the same for you.
  • Wear loose, lightweight, light-colored clothing.

People who exercise in extreme heat are more likely to become dehydrated and get heat-related illness. Seek medical care immediately if you or a teammate has symptoms of heat-related illness.

Visit the CDC’s website for additional tips on how to prevent heat-related illness. The agency’s website also has more on extreme heat and how it affects various groups.

 

CDC’s ‘Yellow Book’ 2018: A guide to health risks for international travelers

If you’re thinking about taking an international trip, you might want to consult the “Yellow Book.” It’s not a guide to the coolest places to visit or a doorway to travel discounts, but it’s good for your health.

‘Yellow Book’ provides answers

Every two years the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) produces CDC Health Information for Travel, which is more commonly known as the “Yellow Book.” The new Yellow Book 2018 is now available and is useful for answering questions you might have ahead of your international trip.

Although the book is written primarily for health care providers (doctors, nurses, pharmacists) who help travelers prepare for trips, it is also a great source of information for travelers; in addition, it’s used by people in the travel industry, international corporations, missionary and volunteer organizations and others.

Focus is on international travel health risks

The book offers an in-depth look at travel health risks and ways to prevent them, advice for people with special travel health needs, updated vaccine requirements and recommendations, guidance for travelers with special needs, and more. It also offers health insights about popular tourist destinations and itineraries and includes easy-to-read maps, including global disease maps. You can also get the latest information about emerging infectious disease threats such as Zika, Ebola, and MERS (Middle East Respiratory Syndrome).

You can access the book free online. It is also available for purchase through Oxford University Press, other major online booksellers and most major bookstores.

Visit the CDC’s website for more information about the Yellow Book.

NEVER leave a child in a parked car

Some things should never, ever happen. Leaving a child in a parked car, even if the windows are open, is one of those things.

And don’t leave pets in that dangerous situation either.

Despite the many warnings and, tragically, the child deaths reported due to being left in a hot car, there are still those who take the chance. Again, don’t.

Here’s what the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says about infants and children and heat:

Keep children cool and hydrated

  • Dress infants and children in loose, lightweight, light-colored clothing.
  • Make sure they drink plenty of fluids. Avoid really cold drinks or drinks with too much sugar.
  • Follow additional tips on how to prevent heat-related illness.

Never leave children in a parked car

  • Even when it feels cool outside, cars can heat up to dangerous temperatures very quickly.
  • Leaving a window open is not enough: Temperatures inside the car can rise almost 20 degrees Fahrenheit within the first 10 minutes.
  • Children who are left unattended in parked cars are at greatest risk for heat stroke, and possibly death.

Tips for traveling with children

  • Never leave infants or children in a parked car, even if the windows are cracked open.
  • When leaving your car, check to be sure everyone is out of the car. Do not overlook any children who have fallen asleep in the car.

Visit the CDC’s website for information on symptoms of heat-related illness.