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Archive for January 2020

Snow Shoveling Safety Tips

Mountains of snow covering sidewalks and driveways force many people out of their homes each winter. For a lot of those people, they’ve been leading a sedentary lifestyle until the snow can’t be ignored anymore. Then, it’s time to pick up a shovel. Shoveling snow is a strenuous and tiring activity, but did you know it comes with some serious health risks too? 

Snow Shoveling Risks 

Snow shoveling poses multiple risks. First, there’s a risk of injury. Injury can occur while shoveling snow due to falling, improper lifting technique, overexertion, and more. The most common snow shoveling related injuries include muscle strains, back injury, head injury, and bone fractures. In addition to those acute injuries, shoveling snow causes a high number of heart attacks each year. Those suffering from a chronic health condition or with a history of heart disease are at a higher risk for heart attack. 

Safety Tips 

Stay safe while shoveling by following these tips!

  • Don’t shovel immediately after consuming caffeine or nicotine – this increases your risk of heart attack when combined with colder temperatures. 
  • Don’t overexert yourself – stop shoveling when you’re tired
  • Take your time
  • Stretch before shoveling
  • Remember to push snow with the shovel, don’t lift it 
  • Spread rock salt or kitty litter to provide traction while you shovel 
  • Don’t shovel at all if you have a history of heart disease. Your risk is too high – ask for health from a friend or neighbor. 
  • Know the signs of a heart attack – common signs of heart attack include chest pressure or tightness, shortness of breath, pain in the left arm or shoulder, sweating, and more. 

If an injury does occur, visit your local urgent care center right away for treatment. If you suffer a hard fall and are unsure if you’re injured or not, it’s always best to go get checked out! If you believe you may be having a heart attack, call 911 right away. 

How Can Urgent Care Help? 

When you’re suffering from a chronic health condition that could lead to a heart attack, getting regular medical care is important. Visit your local urgent care to address any preventative care needs you may have and to assess your current health status. If you suffer an injury or illness that is non-life-threatening, urgent care can help! Don’t forget to bring a list of all current medications and inform our urgent care staff of your entire medical history so we’re able to treat you in the best way possible. 

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Public Health Tips for Managing Flu Season

Flu season begins each year around October and although it happens every year, many people still aren’t sure what they can do to avoid getting or spreading the flu. The CDC provides some useful tips to the public each flu season as a reminder that the flu can be managed and, in many cases, avoided all together! Check out some of those tips below. 

The Importance of Your Flu Shot

Getting a flu shot during flu season reduces your risk of getting the flu by over 80%. The flu shot has little to no side effects other than injection site redness, it’s covered in full by most major insurance companies, and you can get it with just a quick trip to your local urgent care center or walk in clinic. Experts recommend getting your flu shot at the beginning of flu season, but you can get it late in the season and still enjoy the benefits of a lower risk of getting the flu. 

Keep Clean Hands

The flu is highly contagious which makes hand washing during flu season more important than ever! Wash your hands regularly throughout the day and encourage friends and family members to do the same. Proper hand washing should include these steps: 

  • Wet your hands with warm or cold water
  • Lather soap 
  • Continue to lather your hands, including between the fingers and the back of your hands, for at least 20 seconds. Keep track of the time by humming the “Happy Birthday” song twice. 
  • Dry your hands using paper towels or an air dryer. Wet hands pickup and spread germs more easily than dry hands. 

Prevent the Illness from Spreading

If you do become ill, the CDC recommends minimizing your exposure to other people. That means calling off of work or school until you’re no longer contagious. It might be annoying to put your life on hold but keeping your illness away from others is the best way to prevent it from spreading. You should avoid close contact with anyone during this time of year too. Avoid handshakes and hugs by simply telling people you’re trying to avoid the flu this winter! 

If you’re in need of treatment for the flu, visit your local urgent care center. An urgent care can also administer flu shots to lower your risk of getting the flu. Even though peak flu season has passed, it isn’t too late to get vaccinated!

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