Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Children's Eye Safety Month


August is the month for the awareness of children’s eye health and safety! Given that August is typically the time that children start attending their new year at school, it is important to get theirs eyes looked at. It is better to assure your children have excellent vision sooner than later on the off chance there is something wrong. 

Unlike having a fever, it can be difficult to tell if someone is having eye problems. A child can have eye problems, but not mention it because it is normal to them. It is a great idea to set up an exam every year to get them checked out. Children should get their eyes checked every time they visit their pediatrician. Age of three should be their first vision test. 

The following signs are what parents should watch out for:

  • Watch and see if your child occasionally gets cross-eyed
  • If they don’t seem enthusiastic about reading or have a hard time seeing objects in the distance
  • If there is an issue with others relatives having vision problems, that could also turn out to be genetic
  • If your child is often squinting during daily activities (or at all)

If you are worried your child may be color blind, crossed eyed, have a lazy eye, drooping eyelids, or if their eyes seem to favor farsighted or nearsighted, set up an appointment as soon as possible. The earlier the doctor can address the problem, the quicker your child can readjust as well as possibly fix the issue entirely. Special glasses are often used to take care of farsighted and nearsighted vision.



About 12 million children are visually impaired worldwide. One of the leading causes of eye injuries are sports that children participate in. 

To address your childrens' eye safety, ensure they are always wearing protective equipment during sports. Also ensure they are playing with toys that are age appropriate. Even though your child may appear mature, there is always a chance of an accident (stumbling and falling or they may not realize how close a toy is to their eyes). 

Hoping the best for this school year! 

For more information on eye safety and awareness, find information at this link as well as for adult vision care: http://www.preventblindness.org/

For more information on MHC Healthcare, check out the following link: www.MHCHealthcare.org

Thursday, August 18, 2016

Monsoon Season Safety

Arizona has been witnessing a lot of flooding and thunder storms from the monsoon season for a good part of July and through August so far. Weather forecasts on television, internet and even the radio are a good resource for weather information. Usually gray clouds are another indicator that there may very well be a storm on the way.




When listening or reading about the current weather, remember these key terms:

Watch: This means that a storm is possible.
Warning: Storms have been reported in the area and is the ideal time to prepare safety measures.
Flood Advisory: Rain is certain to cause flooding, mostly minor and is nothing life threatening. 
Flash Flood Warning: This warning means that the flooding is life threatening.

Given monsoon weather typically brings heavy rain, lightning, and at times even harsh wind, there are many ways to keep safe and out of harm. The following are in case of a flood:

  • Do not drive around barricades.
  • Do not try to cross streams in a flooded area.
  • If you are driving and your car gets caught by the water, leave your car and immediately swim or run to an area on higher ground.
  • During the event of the storm, when a traffic signal is not functioning, the light functions as a 4-way stop.
  • Do not attempt to drive through flooded waters.
  • Never let your children play in the flooded waters, especially near a wash area or a storm drain.


The following are safety tips in case of a thunder storm:

  • As soon as you begin to hear the thunder, know that it is not safe to touch any wires.
  • Cell phones as well as wireless phones are perfectly safe to use during a storm. However, it has been said that phones with cords have killed people before due to lightning traveling through the wires.
  • When you know a storm is approaching and the weather warnings are in place, it is best to unplug your electronics to avoid them from getting fried.
  • If you are outside during a thunder storm, seek shelter and be sure to bring outdoor pets indoors.


Following one safety tip could possibly save a life. If you are driving and lose visibility due to rain or a dust storm, pull aside to assure safety. It is also encouraging if you witness someone in danger (where you cannot risk your safety to help) or see a downed power line to call 911 as soon as possible. Your safety always comes first!




For more information about MHC Healthcare, click on this link: http://mhchealthcare.org/about-us


Author: Beth Jeffries, MHC Healthcare Volunteer


Friday, August 5, 2016



Media Contact:
Paul O’Rourke/Bolchalk Frey Marketing
520-745-8221 paul@adwiz.com


For Immediate Release

MHC Healthcare Celebrates National Health Center Week
Campaign runs August, 7 - 13

TUCSON, AZ (August 5, 2016) – MHC Healthcare, Arizona’s oldest community health center, is celebrating National Health Center Week (NHCW), August 7 – 13, 2016.  Patients who visit any of their 14 locations throughout Pima County will receive a gift bag and be able to test their artistic skills for a chance to win prizes in the MHC Coloring Contest.

There are NHCW events scheduled across the country, including health fairs, visits by Members of Congress and state officials to local health centers, press conferences, back-to-school drives, community breakfasts, patient appreciation events, free health screenings and dental cleanings, and much more.

One of the bright spots in America’s healthcare system, health centers started over 50 years ago as a pilot project during President Lyndon Johnson’s War on Poverty. Today, they have compiled a significant record of success that includes:
  • Producing $24 billion in annual health system savings
  • Reducing unnecessary hospitalizations and unnecessary visits to the emergency room
  • Treating patients for a fraction of the average cost of one emergency room visit
  • Maintaining patient satisfaction levels of nearly 100 percent
  • Generating $26.5 billion in economic activity and over 230,000 jobs
  • Reducing infant mortality rates 
MHC is proud to be a part of America’s Health Centers’ legacy by serving over 45,000 people in Tucson, Catalina, Picture Rocks and Marana.  MHC delivers high quality, cost effective, accessible care while serving as critical economic engines helping to power local economies.  MHC Healthcare provides services to all people, regardless of the ability to pay or their insurance status.

MHC Healthcare is Arizona’s oldest community health center, providing continuous healthcare since its incorporation, as Marana Heath Center, Inc. in 1957, and was the first facility to offer integration of primary care and counseling and wellness health services in one location.  MHC Healthcare is a recognized participant of a Patient Centered Medical Home (PCMH), a model of primary care that focuses on the patient’s entire well-being. As such, the PCMH includes a team of care providers who work closely with patients and their families, recognizing the unique needs, cultures and beliefs of each patient. In short, as part of a PCMH, MHC Healthcare is dedicated to providing the most complete level of care for each patient.

To learn more about MHC Healthcare and NHCW, please visit: MHCHealthcare.org

You can also follow the conversation using #NHCW16 or #CHCsInnovate on Twitter.


 

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Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Heat Safety

With the summer comes intense heat. Temperatures for the month of July have been between 103 to 112 degrees already in the Tucson/Marana area. Dehydration in the heat can have severe consequences. This article shows ways to fight the heat and stay comfortable in the summer.

In the heat, it is very important to drink plenty of water. It is said that even those who stay indoors should be drinking between 1 to 2 liters of water a day. For those who are outdoors, it should be between 1 to 2 liters of water every hour. Alcohol and caffeine are both culprits that lead to dehydration.

  • When going outside, dress light. Light-colored clothing will also help to deflect some of the heat. Also be sure to wear a hat and sunglasses, or as some people prefer, carry an umbrella. As stated in a previous blog, always wear sunscreen too!
  • If possible during excessive heat waves, stay indoors.
  • When it comes to strenuous activities, aim to do them very early in the morning or later at night. 



Symptoms that you could be developing heat related symptoms.

  • If you are noticing you’re thirsty, you’re likely becoming dehydrated
  • Heat cramps can happen from the loss of water as well as excessive sweating. 
  • Heat exhaustion is dangerous and can cause shock to your body. This means your body is having a hard time trying to cool you down. If you have flushed red skin, excessive sweating, are developing a headache or migraine and possibly have nausea, dizziness, and exhaustion, find a cool place as soon as possible and drink a lot of water.
  • Lastly is the heat stroke. Heat strokes are life-threatening. The sweating that occurs to try and cool the body stops functioning during a heat stroke. Heat strokes can result in brain damage or even death if the body cannot find a way to cool down properly. Signs you may be having a heatstroke involve red dry skin, lack of awareness, rapid or weak heart pulse, and finding it difficult to breathe. In this situation or if you notice someone is having a heat stroke, call 911 as quickly as possible!


Always take precautionary measures in high temperatures. Water is very important! It is still possible to have fun in the sun, but always keep safety your first priority. 

For more information about MHC visit the following link: http://mhchealthcare.org/

Author: Beth Jeffries, MHC Healthcare Volunteer

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

UV Safety


The summer is here in Arizona and that usually means excessive heat and sun from dawn to dusk. There are many precautions to take when being outside to avoid sun burn and many other dangerous skin damage. Below are details about what UV is as well as how to prevent skin damage.

What is UV?

UV stands for Ultraviolet radiation and can be very dangerous if you don’t take the proper measures. Ultraviolet radiation is produced from the sun and although it has risks, it is also a great way to obtain vitamin D.   

Ultraviolet radiation has an index to indicate severity ranging from 0 to 11, with 11 being the highest. So if your area indicates a very high index number, you have a very high chance of harm from unprotected exposure. Typically if you go online and check your weather site, there will be a section saying what number on the index your area has. For example, today in Marana, it says we have an index of 3. 0-2 would be low, 3-5 counts as moderate, 6-7 is high, 8-10 is very high, and anything 11+ is extreme.



How Can I Protect Myself?
  • Wear clothes that will protect your skin such as shirts with long sleeves and pants that cover the legs. Hats are an excellent way to avoid eye and head damage as well as sunglasses. For sunglasses, make sure it has at least 99 UV block as well as a wrap around shape to always protect your eyes. As for a hat, a wide-brimmed is the most recommended.
  • To avoid sunburns, always make sure to put on sunblock. Although it takes time and if you are in a hurry, it is always better to be safe than sorry. When you don’t protect your skin, you make yourself more vulnerable to skin cancer. According to the FDA, use sunscreen that is broad spectrum and has SPF (sun protection factor) of 15 or more to reduce skin burns.
  • Staying in shaded areas when it is unbearably hot or even wearing a good sized hat can protect your skin.
  • Be careful near anything that can reflect the sun’s rays. Examples include water, windows, snow, and even sand. Resources state that it is still possible to get a sunburn that way.
  • At higher altitudes, you are increasing your chance of getting hit by UV rays. When you are at higher altitudes, there are significantly less resources to absorb the rays.
  • Lastly, if you are going to be in the sun a lot, be sure to apply sunscreen at various times throughout the day. For maximum safety, apply every two hours.

By following the necessary precautions, you should be able to enjoy yourself in the sun at the beach, your local park and pool. Safety should always come first and saves a chance at winding up in the emergency room.

For more information on the UV Scale to see how severe it is in your location, check out this link: https://www.epa.gov/sunsafety/uv-index-scale-1

For more information on MHC Healthcare, check out this link: http://mhchealthcare.org/


Stay safe!

Author: Beth Jeffries, MHC Healthcare Volunteer

Monday, June 27, 2016

Fireworks Safety

The 4th of July is around the corner, meaning that fireworks are going to be on the loose like wildfire. Whether you’re in a small town or a huge city, residents enjoy playing with sparklers or shooting off small fire works. However, it is important to practice firework safety so that someone doesn’t set their house on fire or end up with an injury. Back in 2011, it was estimated that 9600 people were in the ER due to not practicing firework safety.


Here are some tips to follow to avoid hurting yourself:

  • NEVER let children play with fireworks and carefully read the instructions on the box. Even with adult supervision, children can still get hurt.
  • Always keep a hefty amount of water nearby in case a firework malfunctions (never try to relight the firework if that is the case) or someone gets a burn on their body.
  • If handling fireworks, it is important to wear protective eye gear.
  • Store fireworks away from children or pets, as both are naturally curious and the outcome of either getting into the fireworks could be deadly or result in a visit to the ER/veterinarian.
  • If you notice someone or a group of people using fireworks, be sure to steer clear if they are not using the above steps to avoid possible harm to yourself or those with you.
  • NEVER aim the fireworks towards anything you can harm or anything that is flammable to avoid burns or starting fires (as well as damaging property).


The picture showed below is a chart from the National Fire Protection Association.



Sparklers can get up to 1200 degrees Fahrenheit! That is far hotter than putting your hand in an oven at the maximum temperature. Fireworks are beautiful, but hearing this alone is a reminder of how dangerous they can be even if people are aware of this information.

In a celebration of the 4th of July, the town of Marana is putting together The Star Spangled Spectacular! There will be live music, food trucks, and a few companies giving out goodies as well as information. MHC Healthcare is a title sponsor of this event - visit our table for some 4th of July goodies! The event will start on Monday, July 4th at 5:00 PM to 9:30 PM so be sure to check out all the entertainment before the fireworks show. 

Below is a link to the event detailing the address and all of the vendors, events, hosts, and even more information!  
http://www.maranaaz.gov/town-calendar/2016/7/4/star-spangled-spectacular

For more information on MHC Healthcare, check out our website here: http://mhchealthcare.org/

Remember to practice firework safety and to have a fantastic 4th of July celebration whether it's celebrating at home with loved ones or enjoying the fireworks! 


Author: Beth Jeffries, MHC Healthcare Volunteer