While the winter holidays are a time of joy and celebration, the season is not without its pitfalls. Increased travel, family gatherings, and holiday decorations and gifts can bring unwanted stress, injury, and illness. Stay safe and healthy this season by following just a few simple precautions.
Millions of Americans will find themselves on the road this December. Whether it’s flying cross-country to see family or driving across town to a holiday party, you’ll want to travel smart. Follow these tips to stay safe and healthy on-the-go.
- Never drink and drive. Use a designated driver to help guests get home safely after a holiday party.
- Don’t drive distracted. Put the phone away and don’t fiddle with the radio. Your complete attention should be on the road.
- Pack healthy snacks. Whether gearing up for a flight or a road trip, you’re bound to be tempted by fast food and sugary snacks once en route. Keep water, fruit, and veggies handy to stave off hunger.
- Fit in exercise. Go for a short jog at the rest stop or choose to walk to your airline gate. A little activity can go a long way for your health.
- Buckle up. Always ensure that everyone in your vehicle is wearing a seatbelt, no matter the distance of the drive.
- Wash your hands often. The Journal of Environmental Health Research found that you are 100 times more likely to catch a cold on a plane than during normal daily life. Avoid touching surfaces as much as possible, practice good hand washing, and try not to touch your face.
Decorate and Give Safely
A holiday tradition like hanging string lights might seem harmless, but an estimated 15,000 injuries involving holiday decorating were seen in emergency rooms during the 2012 season. Take preventative measures to avoid unwanted injuries while decorating and gift-giving this season:
- Make sure your tree is stable and away from candles and the fireplace.
- Decorate the tree with children in mind. Keep fragile, breakable ornaments out of reach.
- Ensure there are no exposed wires, excessive kinks, or loose connections in string light decorations.
- Turn off tree lights and decorations when not in use.
- Always use a proper step ladder. Don’t try to stand or balance on furniture while decorating.
- Give safe, age-appropriate gifts. Small children can choke on small or removable parts.
- Avoid toys with button batteries and be aware of their risk.
We wish you and your family a very happy, healthy and safe holiday season!
Celebrate with Advanced Urgent Care!
Join us on December 9th for the Festival of Lights Parade! The 22nd Annual Festival of Lights Parade, sponsored by the City Of Brighton, starts at 5pm and is fun for all ages. Advanced Urgent Care will be one of more than 75 fully-lighted entries in the parade. This year’s theme is “A Hometown Holiday Tradition.” The parade travels south on North Main Street, turns east on Bridge St. to 10th Avenue, south to Skeel Street. Learn more here.
For jobs that consist of heavy lifting or frequent movement, it’s important for your potential employees to be able to meet the physical demands. Upon hire, a physical capability test (also called a Lift Test) is beneficial for the success and well-being of both your company and its employees.
- It helps determine the best fit for the job.
A new employee may take a Lift Test to ensure that any pre-existing medical conditions or
disabilities do not interfere with the job’s requirements. In addition to a pre-employment
physical, a Lift Test is great for evaluating an employee’s physical capabilities, and it can help you determine physical job responsibilities the employee is best suited for. They also give your employees the opportunity to address any medical conditions aggravated by the job, and request accommodations in advance if needed.
- It can prevent costly workers’ compensation claims in the long run.
As an employer, documentation of physical capabilities through a Lift Test can avoid costly worker’s compensation claims. For instance, if a new employee with a back issue develops more serious back problems caused by the job’s physical requirements, the cost could be on you as the employer. These situations can be prevented with a Lift Test upon hire, which can
save you lost money and time.
- It can help you determine whether an employee is ready to return to work.
While Lift Tests can help you take preventative measures for work-related injuries, they can also help determine when and employee can return to work after an injury. If an employee sustains an injury that prevents them from lifting or frequently moving, a Lift Test can be administered to determine their physical capabilities post-injury. This protects the employee from further worsening the injury through the job’s physical demands, and it also ensures productivity when he or she returns to work.
While a whopping eighty-six million Americans have prediabetes, 9 out of 10 of those people don’t even realize they have it.
So, what exactly is prediabetes? Educate yourself now on the all-too-common condition.
Prediabetes means your blood sugar level is higher than normal, but not yet high enough to be diagnosed as type 2 diabetes. The condition affects both adults and children and generally shows no signs or symptoms. You may be at high risk for prediabetes (and subsequently type 2 diabetes) if you:
- are overweight
- are 45 years of age or older
- have excess abdominal fat
- have a parent or sibling with type 2 diabetes
- are physically active fewer than 3 times per week
- gave birth to a baby that weighed more than 9 pounds
- had diabetes while pregnant (gestational diabetes)
Without lifestyle changes and intervention, prediabetes is very likely to lead to type 2 diabetes– a chronic disease with disabling long-term complications, such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol, heart disease, stroke, kidney disease, blindness and amputations. It’s also associated with extremely expensive medical costs. If you’re at increased risk of prediabetes, it’s important to make healthy lifestyle choices that prevent progression of the condition.
- Avoid red meats, processed meats, high-sugar drinks
- Eat more fruits, vegetables, nuts, whole grains and olive oil
- Get at least 150 minutes of moderate aerobic activity or 75 minutes of vigorous aerobic activity each week
- Lose excess pounds
- Keep your blood pressure and cholesterol in check
Kids love the magic of halloween. But for parents, the holiday may raise some valid concern. Ill-fitting costumes and sharp props can cause injuries, candle-lit jack-o-lanterns pose a fire hazard and above all, there is an increased risk of car accidents. According to Safe Kids Worldwide, “twice as many child pedestrians are killed while walking on halloween, compared to other days of the year.” Let’s take the necessary precautions to avoid this scary statistic!
Review these helpful Halloween safety guidelines from the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) to ensure a fun and safe holiday.
Tips for Safe Costumes
- Plan costumes that are bright and reflective. Make sure that shoes fit well and that costumes are short enough to prevent tripping, entanglement or contact with flame.
- Consider adding reflective tape or striping to costumes and trick-or-treat bags for greater visibility.
- Because masks can limit or block eyesight, consider non-toxic makeup and decorative hats as safer alternatives. Hats should fit properly to prevent them from sliding over eyes.
- When shopping for costumes, wigs and accessories look for and purchase those with a label clearly indicating they are flame resistant.
- If a sword, cane, or stick is a part of your child’s costume, make sure it is not sharp or long. A child may be easily hurt by these accessories if he stumbles or trips.
- Do not use decorative contact lenses without an eye examination and a prescription from an eye care professional. While the packaging on decorative lenses will often make claims such as “one size fits all,” or “no need to see an eye specialist,” obtaining decorative contact lenses without a prescription is both dangerous and illegal. This can cause pain, inflammation, and serious eye disorders and infections, which may lead to permanent vision loss.
- Review with children how to call 9-1-1 (or their local emergency number) if they ever have an emergency or become lost.
On the Trick-or-Treat Trail
- A parent or responsible adult should always accompany young children on their neighborhood rounds.
- Obtain flashlights with fresh batteries for all children and their escorts.
- If your older children are going alone, plan and review the route that is acceptable to you. Agree on a specific time when they should return home.
- Only go to homes with a porch light on and never enter a home or car for a treat.
- Because pedestrian injuries are the most common injuries to children on Halloween, remind Trick-or-Treaters:
- Stay in a group and communicate where they will be going.
- Remember reflective tape for costumes and trick-or-treat bags.
- Carry a cellphone for quick communication.
- Remain on well-lit streets and always use the sidewalk.
- If no sidewalk is available, walk at the far edge of the roadway facing traffic.
- Never cut across yards or use alleys.
- Only cross the street as a group in established crosswalks (as recognized by local custom). Never cross between parked cars or out driveways.
- Don’t assume the right of way. Motorists may have trouble seeing Trick-or-Treaters. Just because one car stops, doesn’t mean others will!
- Law enforcement authorities should be notified immediately of any suspicious or unlawful activity.
Come trick-or-treat with us!
Advanced Urgent Care & Occupational Medicine will be at Safe Street Halloween in Northglenn on October 28th and at Trick-or-Treat Street in Fort Lupton on October 31st! Stop by our booth to show off your costume, score some candy, and learn more about our healthcare services.
Flu season is fast approaching. Learn your personal risk of the illness, and how to make a fast flu recovery if you do wind up sick this season.
Many of us consider the flu a mild, common, and short-lived illness. However, for certain populations, the flu can lead to very serious complications, such as pneumonia, bronchitis, and even death.
The CDC lists the following people as high risk:
- Children younger than 5, but especially children younger than 2 years old
- Adults 65 years of age and older
- Pregnant women (and women up to two weeks postpartum)
- Residents of nursing homes and other long-term care facilities
- American Indians and Alaskan Natives
- People who have certain chronic medical conditions (e.g. asthma, diabetes, heart disease)
To protect yourself, and those at high risk, make sure to get a flu shot before the end of October. Vaccination is proven to lessen your overall risk of flu, flu-related complications, and chance of spreading the virus others. Read more on vaccination here.
While vaccination is a good line of defense, flu shot or not, you may still become infected with the influenza virus. Flu symptoms include:
- Sore throat
- Runny or stuffy nose
- Body Aches
If you’re not feeling well, and your symptoms indicate influenza, act quickly. When it comes to flu treatment, time is of the essence. Antiviral drugs can lessen the severity of your illness and shorten the time you are sick by 1-2 days. However, these drugs work best when taken promptly– within 2 days of getting sick. So when flu symptoms appear, don’t wait. The sooner you seek treatment, the sooner you can feel better.
You can walk into one of our urgent care clinics for immediate evaluation and care. With short wait times, convenient hours, and affordable rates, Advanced Urgent Care is here to help you make a fast flu recovery!
School is back in-session and temperatures are cooling down, which means cold and flu season is just around the corner. Learn what precautions you can take now to prevent cold and flu later.
Cold and flu are contagious respiratory illnesses that spread through droplets in the air. These droplets are made when an infected person coughs, sneezes, or talks. You can catch a cold or flu simply by being near a sick person or by touching a surface where droplets are present. According to the CDC, people with flu can spread it to others up to 6 feet away! So, what can you do to stay healthy this fall? We outline 5 easy tips below.
- Get the flu vaccine. A yearly flu shot is the best protection against seasonal influenza. It is the first and most important step you can take to avoid getting sick. The American Association of Pediatrics recommends that the flu vaccine be given to everyone 6 months and older, preferably before the end of October.
- Wash your hands often. This simple, everyday action is an effective way to remove germs, avoid illness, and reduce the spread of cold and flu. Wash your hands with soap and water, scrubbing for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water aren’t readily available, you can also use an alcohol-based sanitizer to kill germs.
- Keep a clean environment. Take extra care to keep your home and work spaces clean during cold and flu season. Use disinfectant sprays to sanitize any surface where droplets could land. Pay special attention to the bathroom and kitchen, and replace sponges and rags often to minimize the spread of bacteria.
- Don’t touch your face. Whether by rubbing tired eyes, itching the nose, or covering a yawn, we all subconsciously touch our face throughout the day. Each time we do, we increase our chances of transferring bacteria and viral particles on our hands to the face, where they can enter the body.
- Practice a healthy lifestyle. During cold and flu season, it’s important to eat right (think fruits, veggies, and lean protein), exercise, and get adequate rest. Studies show that regular exercise can strengthen the body’s immune system. It is also a good idea to avoid close contact with sick people.
Even with the best precautions, you might still come down with the flu. If you’re suffering from symptoms such as a stuffy or runny nose, sore throat, cough, headache, and/or body aches, head into Advanced Urgent Care & Occupational Medicine today. Our providers can evaluate your illness and get you the care you need.
Our goal is to help you stay healthy this cold and flu season! Walk in anytime for convenient, affordable vaccines and compassionate care.
The start of the school year is just around the corner! And if you’re the parent of a student athlete, you’ll want to ensure that your child is physically and mentally ready to get in the game come fall. Head into our clinic now for a fast, affordable sports physical!
Most athletic leagues and schools require sports physicals –also known as preparticipation physical examinations (PPE)–, and it’s clear to see why. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, more than 3.5 million children under 15 get hurt playing sports or participating in recreational activities every year. Sports physicals can help athletes discover and manage health problems that may interfere with their performance, as well as reduce their overall risk of injury. Don’t skip this important annual check-up on developmental health.
During a sports physical exam, a medical provider will:
- Record height and weight
- Take a blood pressure and pulse
- Test vision
- Check the heart, lungs, abdomen, ears, nose, and throat
- Evaluate posture, joints, strength, and flexibility
The provider will review the athlete’s medical history and offer helpful tips on concussion and injury prevention. The exam also provides an opportunity to discuss the effects of using drugs, alcohol, and supplements.
To prepare for the exam, make sure to bring any required participation forms for the provider to sign. If your child wears glasses or contacts, you’ll want to bring those too.
In some cases, your child may need a follow-up exam, additional tests, or further treatment before the provider can sign off on participation. Allow time for this possibility, and hurry in for your child’s sports physical!
On hot summer days, many of us head to local swimming spots to cool off and have fun with our families. However, a trip to the pool can quickly turn tragic if the proper precautions aren’t taken. According to the CDC, “drownings are a leading cause of injury death for young children ages 1 to 14, and three children die every day as a result of drowning.” Fortunately, parents can take practical steps to reduce this risk and keep kids safe.
Follow these key water safety rules to protect your children from drowning and water-related injuries.
Keep a close watch.
Never take your eyes off your child when he or she is in the water. Most children do not–or cannot–yell for help in drowning situations, so it’s imperative to actively supervise. Keep phones stowed away and minimize other distractions. In the time it takes to check a text message, your child can be submerged.
Use life jackets.
Life jackets are the best protection against drowning. Young children and weak swimmers should always wear a properly-fitted, Coast Guard-approved life jacket when near the water. Life jackets should fit snugly and be in good condition, as rips and tears can reduce effectiveness.
Learn how to choose the right life jacket (US Coast Guard Boating Safety Division).
Make sure you have this life-saving skill to handle an emergency. If your child’s breathing or heart has stopped due to drowning, CPR can keep oxygenated blood flowing to the brain and other vital organs until medical help arrives. Read up on the basics of CPR from the Mayo Clinic and consider signing up for a class through the American Heart Association or American Red Cross.
Raise strong swimmers.
Sign your kids up for swimming lessons to ensure they know basic water safety and swim techniques. For most children, the American Association of Pediatrics recommends beginning lessons at age 4. However, it’s important not to become overconfident in a child’s ability. Swimming skills are just one level of protection against drowning. Toddlers and young children still require active supervision.
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 Don’ts of fireworks safety:
Point the fireworks away from people, places, and things.
Keep water nearby in case anything happens, and to extinguish spent fireworks.
Wear safety glasses.
Light one firework at a time.
Use fireworks in wide, clear areas, and on dirt or cement if possible
Keep a first aid kit on hand. Saline, wraps, aloe vera, blunt scissors and a blanket will all be useful in case of an emergency.
Point fireworks at a person, even as a joke.
Relight a firework that didn’t go off.
Consume alcohol while handling or lighting fireworks.
Light fireworks in dry grass.
We hope these fireworks safety tips help you have a fun and safe 4th of July!
If an accident does occur, head into our clinic. Our medical team is equipped to treat minor burns and injuries from fireworks and can get you the care you need.
Make summer safety a priority.
Summer should be a time of lighthearted amusement, and not unnecessary trips to the doctor! Learn these key summer safety tips to prevent injuries while enjoying all of your favorite seasonal activities. We walk you through the basics of safe grilling, swimming and fireworks.
Safe Grilling and BBQs
Each year, thousands of people seek medical care for injuries involving backyard grills. Reduce the risk of fires and thermal burns with these rules:
- Never use a grill indoors.
- Place your grill away from the home, deck railings and out from under overhanging branches and/or decorations.
- Keep children and pets at least three feet away from the grill area.
- Clean your grill regularly. Fat and grease buildup add fuel to the fire and can cause flare ups.
- Never leave your grill unattended.
- Always make sure your gas grill lid is open before lighting it.
Ready to hit the pool? You’ll want to memorize these water safety tips beforehand. According to the CDC, about ten people die from unintentional drowning every day. Water-related injuries and deaths are highly preventable. Make sure to follow these basic rules for safe swimming and water fun:
- Make sure your children and family members are strong swimmers. Enroll in age-appropriate swimming lessons.
- Swim in designated areas with a lifeguard present.
- Don’t let anyone swim alone. Use the buddy system.
- Always supervise children near water. Accidents happen quickly so active supervision is key. Avoid distractions and maintain awareness at all times.
- Have young children and inexperienced swimmers wear a life jacket.
- Avoid alcohol use.
Learn more about water safety from the Red Cross.
Our best advice for fireworks safety? Leave them to the professionals!
If you do choose to use fireworks, the National Safety Council provides the following safety guidelines:
- Never allow young children to handle fireworks
- Older children should use them only under close adult supervision
- Anyone using fireworks or standing nearby should wear protective eyewear
- Never light them indoors
- Only use them away from people, houses and flammable material
- Only light one device at a time and maintain a safe distance after lighting
- Never ignite devices in a container
- Do not try to re-light or handle malfunctioning fireworks
- Soak unused fireworks in water for a few hours before discarding
- Keep a bucket of water nearby to fully extinguish fireworks that don’t go off or in case of fire