Author Archives: Advanced Urgent Care & Occupational Medicine

Why you should prioritize your child’s Back-to-School Physical

School Physical, Advanced Urgent Care & Occupational MedicineYour child’s back-to-school physical may seem like just another item on your To Do list, but it is so important! This annual check-in provides the chance to:

  • Help you understand and track your child’s medical history.
  • Access your child’s progress and general health.
  • Address any underlying emotional, developmental, and/or social issues.
  • Prepare your child to safely play sports.

Curious about what, exactly, a physical entails? First, the doctor will check your child’s eyes, ears, throat, lungs, and abdomen. They will also check in about injuries, nutrition, training, exercise, and attitudes toward school and exams, as well as ensure that all vaccines are up to date. When your child becomes a teenager, the doctor will discuss sex, drugs, alcohol, and unsafe activities.

But remember: the doctor should not be the only one asking questions! Make sure to check in about:

  1. How well you child is growing. Are they getting proper nutrition? The right amount of exercise?
  2. How to identify if your child has a learning disability.
  3. Upcoming issues or developmental milestones to watch out for.

If your child is interested in playing a sport, they will likely be required to get a sports physical. You, your child, and your child’s doctor need to discuss:

  • The basics of the sport and how much energy it will require.
  • What position your child will play.
  • Your child’s size, and whether they can safely play the sport in question.
  • Common injuries to be aware of.
  • The required protective gear.
  • How to safely play the chosen sport — and how to make the sport safer!

4th of July Fireworks Safety Tips

Fireworks Safety, Advanced Urgent Care & Occupational MedicineJuly 4th is fun, and the fireworks displays are beautiful, but this holiday sends thousands and thousands of people to the ER every year: In 2014 alone, emergency rooms reported:

  • 10,500 injuries from fireworks.
  • 7,000 injuries from fireworks in the 1-month period around July 4th.
  • 11 deaths due to fireworks.
  • That 1,200 of these injuries were to the eyes, and happened due to sparklers (1,400), firecrackers (1,400), and bottle rockets (100).
  • That men comprised 74% of the injuries; women 26%.
  • That 4% of the injuries happened to children under 15 years of age.

The safest way to enjoy fireworks is to let the pros do it. But if you can’t imagine July 4th without lighting a few fireworks at home, here are are the Dos and Nevers of fireworks safety:

DO:

  1. Point the fireworks away from people, places, and things.
  2. Keep water nearby in case anything happens, and put water on spent fireworks.
  3. Make sure whoever is lighting fireworks off is wearing safety glasses.
  4. Light one firework at a time.
  5. Use fireworks in wide areas, and on dirt or cement if possible.

NEVER:

  1. Point fireworks at a person, even as a joke.
  2. Relight a firework that didn’t go off.
  3. Drink while handling or lighting fireworks.
  4. Buy or use fireworks that come in brown bags, as they could be illegal or dangerous.
  5. Light fireworks in dry grass.

Another “Do” is to have a first aid kit on hand in case an accident does happen. You should have the following in your first aid kit:

  • Sterile saline: For cleaning eyes and/or affected areas.
  • Sterile wraps: For wrapping the the wound while on way to get care.
  • Aloe vera: Helpful for treating and alleviating pain from minor burns.
  • Blunt scissors: For cutting clothing off the affected area.
  • Blanket: For smothering a fire.

Remember to always stay safe when using fireworks. Most importantly HAVE FUN!

Educate yourself on the effects of Alcohol Consumption

Alcohol Consumption

Alcohol consumption is a charged topic. We constantly see bars and alcohol advertisements — as well as cautionary, if sensationalized, tales in the media — but we rarely have the necessary and difficult discussions about safety, addiction, and abuse. Education and open communication can, however, go a long way to ensure that we consume responsibly and pass on healthy habits to future generations.

It’s important to know how alcohol works in order to understand its power. Alcohol is a depressant, which means it slows the function of the central nervous system and alters the drinker’s perception, emotion, movement, vision, and hearing. When you drink alcohol, about 20% is rapidly absorbed into your bloodstream. The rest absorbs into your gastrointestinal tract.

Here are things that alcohol consumption can make us feel at first:

  • Relaxed
  • Self-confident
  • Happy
  • Sociable

Time and/or further consumption can lead to:

  • Slower reflexes
  • Poor coordination
  • Impaired thinking
  • Poor decision-making
  • Depressed mood
  • Memory lapses
  • Reduced ability to operate a vehicle

As you can see — and perhaps know from personal experience — alcohol can produce good feelings but also can, in excess, lead to negative feelings and experiences. The reality is that alcohol consumption is associated with a litany of problems, including:

  • Violent behavior and unprotected intercourse in teens and young adults
  • Sexual assault
  • Car accidents (in 2013, roughly 31% of car accidents were caused by drinking)
  • Suicide
  • Relationship issues
  • Drowning
  • Cirrhosis, ulcers, stomach bleeding, and pancreatitis
  • Heart-related issues such as cardiomyopathy, myocarditis, and arrhythmia
  • Bone deterioration and osteoporosis
  • Neuropathy (a common nerve condition)
  • Cancers, including of the liver, breast, esophagus, pancreas, mouth, larynx, and pharynx

All of this might be less worrisome were drinking not so incredibly common: about 87% of people 18 and older have consumed alcohol, with about 70% doing so in the last year and 56% in the last month. More worrisome is the frequency of binge drinking (defined as drinking 5 or more drinks in one sitting) and heavy drinking: roughly 25% of those 18 and older said they had a binge drinking incident in the past month and 7% said they participated in heavy drinking in the past month.

Okay so we have all of this information — now what do we do about it? The National Institute of Health’s National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) provides excellent resources for identifying, avoiding, and addressing alcohol abuse and alcoholism, including the following tips for moderation and talking to your teen about drinking. Check out the condensed versions below and then head to NIAAA’s website for more information.

Moderation can be hard for all us — especially when it comes to an addictive substance like alcohol. NIAAA recommends the following techniques for reducing and moderating your drinking (full list here):

  • Keep track.
  • Count and measure.
  • Set goals.
  • Pace and space.
  • Find alternatives.
  • Avoid “triggers.”
  • Plan to handle urges.
  • Know your “no.”

Talking to your teenage child about drinking is vital to avoiding problems down the line and resolving them if/when they do arise. NIAAA suggests doing the following when talking to your child about alcohol (full list here):

  • Treat the discussion as a two-way conversation — not a lecture.
  • Ask about their own views on alcohol.
  • Explain important facts about alcohol.
  • List the many good reasons not to drink.
  • Dispel the “Magic Potion” myth.
  • Discuss methods for resisting peer pressure.
  • Think about how you will or would answer the question “Did you drink when you were a kid?”

Tips To Help You Shop For Safer Toys This Holiday Season

holiday gift

Among all the hustle and bustle of pre-holiday rush, many parents will not (understandably) have the time or focus to read the warning labels on the toys they purchase. This can be a dangerous oversight.

In order to prevent accidents at home, we have outlined three major tips for choosing safe, age-appropriate toys this holiday season.

1) Read the age guidelines.

Every toy manufacturer includes guidelines that identify which age group can safely use the toy in question. Make sure to check these guidelines every time. It only takes a second, and buying the right toys for the right ages will allow the child to play safely and you to have peace of mind.

2) Watch out for small parts.

It is developmentally appropriate for small children to put things in their mouth – it’s simply how they experience the world. Knowing this, it is your job as a parent, caretaker, and/or loved one to prevent playtime choking hazards. But how do you know which toys are safe for a young child and which are not?

Here’s an easy test: any toy that is able to fit through a toilet paper tube is too small for any child under 3 years old. And inspect each toy carefully before handing it over — toys that seem innocuous in the packaging and easily pass the toilet paper tube test may have parts that break off and become hazardous. For example, dolls and teddy bears often have easily removable buttons or eyes. This can lead to a swallowed part at best or a choking incident at worst.

3) Avoid toys with button batteries.

Steer clear of any toy with a button battery that can be easily accessed by a child. Button batteries are the squat single-cell batteries used to power toys, watches, and hearing aids (among other items); their small, round shape and poisonous contents pose a big risk for young kids. Toy cars, light-up jewelry, and remotes are common culprits, so make sure to check that each and every battery-powered toy you buy (or household item within reach) is child-proof.

Halloween With Advanced Urgent Care & Occupational Medicine!

We at Advanced Urgent Care & Occupational Medicine had a busy, but wonderful Halloween! We were lucky to be a part of several awesome community events. Check out the details and photos below.

Advanced Urgent Care & Occupational Medicine Brighton Halloween EventSafeStreet Halloween

On Saturday, October 24th, we participated in Northglenn Police Department’s Safe Street Halloween event at Northglenn High School.  This event provided a safe environment for children to enjoy trick-or-treating, fun games, ghost stories and haunted houses inside of the school.

Advanced Urgent Care & Occupational Medicine Brighton Halloween EventArapahoe Ridge Elementary Trunk or Treat

On Friday, October 30th, we participated in the Arapahoe Ridge Elementary Trunk or Treat event.  Our staff handed out Halloween treat bags and fresh-popped popcorn to over 200 children, while Howie kept them entertained in his Batman costume!

Advanced Urgent Care & Occupational Medicine Brighton Halloween EventBrighton Harvest Festival

On Saturday, October 31st, we attended the 4th Annual Brighton Harvest Festival.  Over 7,000 people attended the small-town event in their costumes!   Our staff distributed treat bags, handed out candy, and ran the Cupcake Walk for the duration of the event.  Howie also made an appearance in his Batman Costume!

 

Advanced Urgent Care & Occupational Medicine Brighton Halloween Event

Kick Off National Diabetes Month with a Little Knowledge

Advanced Urgent Care & Occupational Medicine, Diabetes AwarenessNovember is National Diabetes Month, and it’s important that we all take the opportunity to educate ourselves on the harsh realities of this public health issue. Because the numbers are truly scary: the CDC reports that from 1980 through 2011, the population of Americans with diagnosed diabetes more than tripled (from 5.6 million to 20.9 million). Even more sobering: diabetes is now the seventh leading cause of death in the United States according to the CDC.

Alarming as these statistics are, education and support on the national level – plus proper medication, diet, and exercise on the personal level – can do so much. So read on!

What is diabetes?

The CDC defines diabetes simply as “a disease in which blood glucose levels are above normal.” There are three known types of diabetes: Type 1, Type 2, and gestational.

What are the different types?

Type 1 diabetes — also known as juvenile diabetes – occurs when the body fails to produce insulin. People suffering from this type of diabetes will always need to take insulin. Type 1 diabetes typically affects people under 40, and especially teenagers.

Type 2 diabetes describes when cells are resistant to insulin or the body fails to produce the sufficient amount of insulin. Type 2 accounts for roughly 90% of all cases of diabetes.

Gestational diabetes affects pregnant women. According to studies, women whose diets are high in cholesterol before they become pregnant run a high risk of developing gestational diabetes.

How to Manage Type 2 Diabetes if Have It (and Prevent It if You Don’t)

If not managed properly, diabetes can lead to limb loss, coma, and even death. But with education and support, those with diabetes can lead long, healthy lives. We are focusing on tips to manage and prevent type 2 diabetes as such cases account for the vast majority of those diagnosed:

1) Feel better. There are many reasons to control your diabetes, but the most simple is often overlooked: you will feel better. With well-controlled diabetes, you will be less tired, have less bladder infections, and experience fewer skin issues.

2) Eat well. Watch what and when you eat. Try to avoid foods that are high in starch, calories, saturated fat, salt, and sugar, and focus instead on high-fiber foods such as fruits, vegetables, and whole grains.

3) Exercise often. While you might not feel like getting out and walking, your body will thank you afterwards with a boost of energy. Exercise lowers both blood pressure and blood sugar, which will make you feel better and help control your diabetes.

4) Sleep! Getting a good night’s rest is a great way to help control your sugar levels (and feel great!).

5) Stay informed. Every year, new developments come to light. Make sure to do your own research and regularly consult with your health care provider.

For more information or to schedule an appointment, contact Advanced Urgent Care & Occupational Medicine.

Important Tips to Prevent the Flu This Season

Flu Season, Advanced Urgent Care & Occupational MedicineGet a Flu Shot today at Advanced Urgent Care & Occupational Medicine! Cost: $35 – cash pay only.

Protect yourself, loved ones, coworkers, and innocent bystanders by getting the flu vaccine this year.

The benefits of the flu vaccine are many. Ideally, of course, the vaccine will prevent the virus altogether. If you do come down with the flu, however, the vaccine can help reduce symptoms. This latter detail may seem like a sad consolation prize, but it’s important, as easing symptoms will reduce your chances of hospitalization. One study showed a 71% reduction in flu-related hospitalizations among vaccinated adults and a 77% reduction for vaccinated individuals 55 years of age or older.

The flu vaccine is especially important for those already suffering from other conditions, including:

  • Chronic health conditions
  • Cardiac issues
  • Diabetes
  • Chronic lung disease

Pregnant women are also strongly encouraged to get the vaccine because they are at higher risk for complications from the virus.

The CDC suggests taking the following three major precautions to help control and prevent the spread of influenza this season:

1) Get the flu vaccine. Just do it! You will reduce your number of doctor visits, miss less work and school, and lower your risk of hospitalization.

2) Once the seasonal flu hits, avoid going being around people who are sick. If you get sick, stay away from others when possible. The CDC recommends staying home and away from others for at least 24 hours after your fever is gone.

2) Practice good health habits to stop the spread of germs. What are good health habits? Cover your nose and mouth when you cough or sneeze. Wash your hands often with soap and water or an alcohol-based hand sanitizer. Don’t touch your eyes, nose, or mouth. Keep communal surfaces and objects clean and disinfected.

In short: get the vaccine, avoid sick people (and quarantine yourself if you get sick), and keep your hands and home clean!

For more information about flu vaccines or schedule an appointment, contact Advanced Urgent Care & Occupational Medicine.

Eat More Fruits and Veggies! 5 Quick Tips to Get the Most Out of Your Diet

Eat More Fruits and Veggies! Advanced Urgent Care & Occupational MedicineDo you find it hard to eat as many fruits and veggies as you should?

Welcome to the club. Many people struggle to incorporate the recommended amount of fruits and vegetables into their diet. It’s understandable – we’re all busy, and that Hot Pocket is just so easy to microwave – but it’s also really unhealthy. Fruits and vegetables contain important vitamins, nutrients, minerals, and fibers that your body needs to function properly. In the interest of upping your intake and lowering the stress associated with it, let’s look at these five easy tips for getting the most out of your diet.

1) Chop and prepare your veggies ahead of time, so they’re ready to use.

Preparation might sound like a lot of work, but chopping up a few fresh veggies will help you plan your meal choices all week. After you’ve chopped them up, put the veggies in a zip-lock bag, add two teaspoons of lemon juice, and shake it up! The ascorbic acid in lemon juice will keep it all fresher longer, so you can grab a handful of veggies all week without worrying about them wilting.

2) Add more fruits and veggies to your morning routine.

Cut up a banana, toss blueberries or apple slices into a carton of yogurt or oatmeal, and voila! You’ve got a healthy, fruit-packed way to start to your day. More of a veggie person? Throw some spinach, peppers, mushrooms, and onions into your eggs. Incorporate produce into your breakfast routine, and you can get two of your five daily servings of fruit and veggies within an hour of waking up!

3) Maximize your trip to the grocery store.

Do not buy prepackaged meals. Just don’t. Instead, opt for your favorite veggies, some meat, and plain potatoes. Need a little spice? Frying potatoes in coconut or olive oil with pepper and onion is still far better for you than French fries.

4) Go to your local farmer’s market this weekend and take some of your spoils to work every day next week.

If possible choose fresh, local veggies from your neighborhood farmer’s market. Not sure if your town or city has one? Try searching www.localharvest.org. Once you become accustomed to a higher intake of fruits and veggies, you may find yourself automatically reaching for bell pepper or carrots. Make it even easier on yourself by chopping up your favorite fruits and veggies and bringing them to work every day. At home, you can throw them in a bowl with a little lemon juice for a fresh, easy snack that will stay good all day.

5) Try your best to incorporate fruits and veggies into dinner every night.

Once you get started loading up on veggies, it will be increasingly easy to add veggies to various meals (especially if you do step 1!). Try cooking a fajita dish with peppers and onions, or add some peas to your rice. You could drizzle a light vinaigrette on spinach for a simple salad, or add mushrooms, bell peppers, snap peas, and chicken for a fancier dinner option!

The choices are endless when you learn to love veggies. Working them into your diet is easier than you think, and once you start, you’ll experience a range of benefits. Chief among them? Your skin will improve, you’ll feel fitter, your energy levels will rise, and your food bills will drop — a win for you and your wallet!

September Events

Join Advanced Urgent Care & Occupational Medicine at these upcoming community events. We hope to see you there!

Northglenn Relay For Life on September12th

Advanced Urgent Care & Occupational Medicine Relay for LifeOn Saturday, September 12th, we will participate in the Northglenn Relay For Life at EB Rains Jr. Memorial Park. A Relay For Life event is not only a way to join your community in the fight against cancer, but it is also a way to inspire hope by raising funds and cancer awareness to help those facing the disease. An online fundraising page has been setup for those wishing to make donations to our team. For more information click here.

Northglenn Pirate Festival on September 19th

Advanced Urgent Care & Occupational Medicine Northglenn Pirate FestivalOn Saturday, September 19th, we will be providing First Aid at the Pirate Festival at EB Rains Jr. Memorial Park in Northglenn, CO. For more information click here.

August Community Events

Join Advanced Urgent Care & Occupational Medicine at these upcoming community events. We hope to see you there!

Rocky Mountain Air Show on August 15th

Advanced Urgent Care & Occupational Medicine Rocky Mountain Air ShowOn Saturday, August 15th, we will participate in the Rocky Mountain Air Show at the Rocky Mountain Metropolitan Airport in Broomfield, CO. For more information click here.

Market Day on August 22nd

Advanced Urgent Care & Occupational Medicine Market DayOn Saturday, August 22nd, we will participate in the City of Brighton’s Market Day event.  Market Day is a festival celebrating Brighton’s agricultural heritage. For more information click here.