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Learning the Early Signs and Symptoms of Asthma

Are you concerned that your child may have asthma? Treating asthma symptoms as early as possible is important to help your child breathe better. Many parents are concerned about their children and visit Family Health Care to get answers. It’s important for parents to be aware of the early signs and symptoms of childhood asthma because this is a condition that has the potential to be life-threatening. The bright side is that this condition is treatable  and the right medications are administered. If you believe your child might have asthma, continue reading to learn more about the earliest warning signs.

Child Holding an Inhaler

Common Asthma Symptoms

The symptoms of this respiratory disease vary from person to person. Some children experience severe symptoms that interfere with their ability to play and participate in sports or other strenuous activities. Other children have milder symptoms and may not have many serious incidents. The symptoms listed below can vary in intensity from child to child:

  • Shortness of breath
  • Wheezing
  • Chest pain or tightening
  • Coughing, especially at night

Early Warning Signs of an Asthma Attack

While it’s important to get your child seen by a primary care provider, it’s just as important to know how to spot the signs of an asthma attack if your child is diagnosed as asthmatic. Parents who spot the early warning signs can help their child better through the episode and provide the necessary support to help them manage the symptoms and not feel frightened . When you can’t breathe, it’s scary, especially for young children.

If your child has been diagnosed with asthma

stay alert for the following signs that an asthma attack may be imminent:

  • Feeling tired or weak following exercise
  • Trouble sleeping
  • Increased coughing and wheezing
  • Shortness of breath or losing breath easily
  • Exhibiting symptoms of an upper respiratory illness such as having a headache, sneezing, feeling congested or having a sore throat

These are general signs of an asthma attack and the subsequent episode could be minor or quite severe. As asthma symptoms worsen, your child may have trouble performing routine daily activities like walking up stairs or walking to the car without feeling out of breath. If your child experiences any of the following symptoms, consult with  your primary care provider  as soon as possible:

  • A cough that refuses to go away
  • Increased wheezing
  • Increased shortness of breath
  • Increased coughing
  • Quick-relief medications such as your child’s rescue  inhaler that  doesn’t  relieve the symptoms

When asthma symptoms continue to worsen, it’s not unusual for children to feel anxious, find it difficult to talk, and have a pale, sweaty face.

Work Closely with Your Child’s Primary Care Provider

Childhood asthma is a serious condition, but it’s treatable. In fact, when parents work closely with their child’s primary care provider  to develop a plan, it makes it easier to anticipate and handle a serious asthma attack when it happens.

Child and Parent Meeting with Pediatrician

Do you have a child whom you think has the early signs and symptoms of asthma? Contact Family Health Care for affordable family health care.

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The Importance of Staying on Schedule with Your Child’s Vaccinations

One of the best ways to protect your children from preventable disease is to visit their pediatrician regularly and have them vaccinated when it is appropriate. Getting your children vaccinated is necessary for more than school admission. In addition to providing your child’s vaccine record to their school’s student health office, your child needs to be protected from several contagious diseases.

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Common Medical Problems That Flare Up in Springtime

Spring often means warmer temperatures and a return to outdoor living. It’s also the time of year when illnesses start to wreak havoc on your outdoor plans so make sure you stay healthy and strong with the help of your Family Health Care Primary care provider.

Allergies

Seasonal Allergies

The very thing that many people look forward to in the springtime is the same thing that causes them so much grief. Warmer weather means flowers, shrubs, and trees bloom, filling the air with fresh scents and pollen—Yes, the dreaded pollen that causes so people so much trouble. Since seasonal allergies aren’t exactly rare, it’s not unusual for several members of the family to be affected. If you suffer from seasonal allergies, visit clinics that offer family health care for allergy medications and other treatments to make it easier to breathe when the trees bloom.

Asthma

Spring is hard for asthma sufferers because of the changes in the air temperature and outdoor chemicals. When spring rolls around, many people use yard fertilizers, bug sprays, and other chemicals that aggravate asthma symptoms in adults and children. If your child is having problems with their asthma or using their inhaler more than twice a week, tell the doctor about this during your well child visits at Family Health Care.

Colds

Do you think of the common cold as being a wintertime problem? You’re not alone. Many people are surprised when they get sick in the spring. Did you know that spring and fall are primetime for infections, especially rhinovirus, which is responsible for 50% of all regular colds? The good news is that by following simple prevention strategies, including washing your hands, you have a good chance of staying healthy this spring.

Ticks

Lyme Disease

As soon as the weather warms up, the ticks are out and about too. It’s not unusual for families to venture out on a hike on the first warm day and end up bringing ticks home. Deer ticks transmit Lyme Disease. These ticks are found in tall grasses and other vegetation. Health professionals urge their patients to be vigilant and check for ticks after being outdoors. Look for telltale signs, such as rashes on the body and fever. If you find a tick, use fine-tip tweezers to pull it from the skin, making sure that the head is intact. If you weren’t able to get the head, visit a full-service family health care center for treatment to remove the head.

Sport Injuries

Another medical problem that flares up in the spring is sports injuries. Soccer, baseball, softball, lacrosse, and any other sport you can think of kicks off when the weather gets warmer. That means health care centers see an influx of patients with varying degree of sports injuries. Doctors suggest that their patients, young, old, and in between, stay active year-round to make sure their bodies are conditioned for intense sport sessions when the weather warms up. Even if you’re just playing recreational sports on an after-school or work team, this is good advice to take.

Don’t let the warmer weather trick you into ignoring signs from your body that something’s wrong. If you’re sick or injured and need affordable family health care stop by Family Health Care today.

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A Guide on Newborn Vaccinations for First-Time Parents

Baby getting a shot

While vaccines are a hot-button topic these days, science has proven that they’re more effective than ever at fighting serious diseases, such as polio, meningitis, and the flu. If you’re confused about childhood vaccinations in West Michigan and when to get them, keep reading for an easy breakdown for first-time parents.

Hepatitis B

Hepatitis B is a virus that causes irreversible damage and chronic infection to the liver. The vaccination is given in three doses, the first being right after childbirth. Mothers who are positive for hepatitis B can pass the virus on to their children during natural delivery. The second and third doses are given at 1 month old and 6 six months old, respectively. Immunization is usually good for up to 20 years.

Hepatitis A

While hepatitis A is more common in adults, immunizations at an early age reduce the chances of developing hepatitis A later in life. The vaccine is usually administered between 1 to 2 years old with a follow-up vaccination 6 months later.

Rotavirus

The rotavirus has two forms, thus, there are two vaccines to treat both varieties. The vaccine for the first rotavirus is given at 2 and 4 months old while the second rotavirus vaccine is given at 2, 4, and 6 months old. Both viruses cause vomiting, diarrhea, and dehydration but the vaccine prevents 85% of cases in the first year.

DTaP

DTaP is the combination vaccine that protects infants against diphtheria, tetanus, and pertussis. DTaP doses are given five times: at 2 months, 4 months, 6 months, 15 months, and 18 months. Booster shots of DTaP are administered at 4 and 6 years of age. Immunization is good for approximately 10 years.

Vaccinations and needle

Polio

Polio is a paralyzing virus eradicated in the 1950s thanks to widespread vaccination. Doses are given at 2, 4, and 6 months of age. Booster shots to maintain immunity levels are given to children between 4 and 6 before they’re admitted to school.

MMRV

The MMRV vaccine will immunize your child against measles, mumps, rubella, and varicella (chicken pox). These four diseases and their long term complications are not seen as often because of widespread immunization. MMRV vaccines are given between 12 to 15 months and again around 4 years of age before children start school.

Influenza

Newborns are usually not immunized against the flu because the mother is usually vaccinated during pregnancy. Doctors suggest waiting until their 6-month checkup before getting this vaccination, except in cases of widespread outbreak. Children and adults should get their flu shot every year as every year several children and adults die from flu or its complications.

PCV

Short for pneumococcal conjugate vaccine, PCV protects against 13 of the most common and severe strains of pneumococcal bacteria which cause pneumonia and ear infections. There are four doses of PCV given at 2, 4, and 6 months old with the final immunization administered at 12 months old. As bacteria adapt and become resistant to modern antibiotics, the PCV vaccine is more important than ever.

Meningitis

Haemophilus influenzae type b bacteria are responsible for the development of meningitis, an infection of the protective membranes that cover the brain and spinal cord. Immunizations are administered at 2 and 4 months of age. A third dose is given at 6 months old depending on the brand of the vaccine and the health of the child. The final booster is given around 12 months, and immunizations last for several years.

For childhood vaccinations and pediatric services schedule an appointment today with a primary care provider at Family Health Care.

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Top 5 Daily Habits to Keep You Healthy

Water

Rather than lamenting your poor health or stressing over the lifestyle changes you know you should make, start small with a few key habits that pack a big punch. Read on for 5 smart habits to employ daily for optimal health and wellness from family health care providers in Cadillac, MI.

Increase Your Water Intake

One of the easiest and most beneficial things you can do to improve your health and overall wellbeing immediately is to improve your hydration intake. An increased hydration level will help your immune system, energy levels, skin, and hunger cues. People often find that they’re more easily able to lose weight, complete physical tasks, and be productive throughout the day when they focus on drinking enough water. Try drinking an extra glass of water before meals, carry a reusable water bottle around with you throughout the day, or track your water intake to inspire you to take those extra sips all day long. Aim to start with at least 64 ounces a day, and increase those numbers as needed.

Move Your Body

Many people who set exercise and physical activity goals feel like they have to completely overhaul their whole lifestyle to make any progress. Luckily, health benefits can be reaped with less drastic measures, and any additional movement throughout the day is beneficial. Park at the back of the parking lot to get some extra steps, take the stairs instead of the elevator, do a few bodyweight exercises during commercial breaks, go on a walk at lunchtime, try a new fitness class at the gym, or simply stand instead of sitting whenever possible.  

Veggies

Remember Veggie Power

To make improvements to your diet, one simple way to begin is to remember the power of vegetables. They are full of nutritious vitamins, contain needed fiber, and are low in calories, so you can eat less overall while still feeling satisfied. By trying to include a few servings of vegetables at every meal, you can enjoy a more nutritious diet and consume fewer calories overall.

Prioritize Sleep Health

Another major concern for most people is getting enough quality sleep. Sleep deprivation has immediate effects on your physical and mental health, so aiming for 6-8 hours of quality sleep each night is a straightforward way to see immediate benefits. Avoid electronics for an hour before bed, limit caffeine intake, keep your room dark and cool, and set up a nightly sleep hygiene routine to help your body and brain settle in for the night.

Take a Moment to Be Mindful

Mindfulness and gratitude are getting a lot of attention in the health world right now, and for a good reason. Taking a few minutes each day to engage in mindfulness can help you feel more balanced, less stressed, and more able to take on your daily tasks. Meditation, yoga, breathing exercises, gratitude journals, or nightly visualization exercises are a great place to start.

To ask more specific questions about your health or set up an appointment for full-service family health care in Cadillac, MI, call the pros at Family Health Care today!

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