Keeping children healthy this winter – Marc Davidowitz
Children can be very susceptible to getting sick, regardless of the season. The combination of their immature immune systems at times, increasing trend of inappropriate diets and the interaction with many viruses/bacteria at creches/schools all play a part.
The increasing trend of sedentary lifestyles in children with less playing outside and more indoors on electronic devices leads to decreased physical activity as well as decreased interaction with the necessary bacteria to develop an immunity. This combination also leads to a greater incidence of infections in children.
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There are however many ways for us to keep kids healthier and reduce the number of infections. You can, of course, address the issues mentioned above. In addition to this, the implementation of a proper diet with all food groups especially fruit and vegetables to ensure the necessary vitamins are ingested.
Playing outside not only improves their health but also exposes children to Vitamin D from sunlight which is important. Ensuring children get enough sleep is another element that is often overlooked. And most importantly, for the prevention of serious infections, is the need to stay up to date with vaccine schedule.
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Vaccines are arguably one of the greatest inventions in modern medicine. A lot of debate has arisen in the past due to common misconceptions about them. The subsequent decrease in the use of certain vaccines (e.g. the Measles vaccine) led to massive outbreaks in the incidence and morbidity and mortality from Measles in the country a few years ago.
The purpose of vaccinating your children is not only to protect them from often serious infections but also to provide “herd immunity.” Herd immunity is when the community is immunized against a contagious disease as a result of everyone being immunized. This leads to most members of the community are protected which in turn leads to little opportunity for an outbreak.
As a result, those who are not eligible for certain vaccines—such as infants, pregnant women, or immunocompromised individuals, are protected due to the containment of the disease. This applies to a variety of contagious diseases, including influenza, measles, mumps, rotavirus, and pneumococcal disease.
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The flu vaccine for an example. It is annually updated and protects against recent viruses. It is recommended for children with chronic lung, heart, renal disease, Diabetes, HIV. Ideally, should be given in March before the season due to antibodies taking 2 weeks to build-up in systems. In most 1st world countries everyone is vaccinated. Some of the benefits of the flu vaccine are that it can protect against flu, decrease the severity the illness if you get it, prevent serious complications such as pneumonia, bronchitis, sinus infections and ear infections.
The reported side-effects of the flu vaccine are minor and self-limited. They include fever, irritability, and pain at the site of the injection which responds well to OTC medication. A common misconception is that the flu vaccine can give you flu, which it cannot. Severe allergic reactions are also rare.
Many parents also avoid vaccines at times of minor illnesses, which is also unnecessary. The only real contraindications to vaccines, in general, are proven egg allergy, in which case the child can still be given vaccines including MMR. Only in children with a history of anaphylaxis to egg/flu vaccine, should they be avoided. And then in children with immunosuppression. They should not receive live vaccines (BCG, measles, MMR, OPV). In these cases, they should be delayed until 3 months if they are receiving therapy. Check your vaccine schedule in your child’s Road To Health Card to make sure they are up to date with all their vaccines.
Other ways to boost your child’s immune system is ensuring they receive certain vitamins and minerals such as Zinc, Vitamin C, Probiotics when they have bouts of diarrhea, as well as certain other immune boosters e.g. Echinacea.
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There is strong evidence that the use of Zinc and Vitamin C reduces the incidence of common colds by up to 50%, increases, iron absorption, aids in wound healing, reduces diarrhea and is vital in children with malnutrition.
Virtus Health & Medical
Tel: +27 21 439 1555
Address: 3rd Floor, The Point, Sea Point
Summer Wellness Competition
Want to look amazing this summer?
The Point Shopping Centre has the competition of the year, for you!
To enter is as easy as pie:
- Spend a minimum of R200 in any store at The Point Shopping centre
- Write down all your details at the back of your original till slip
- Take your slip to the 3rd floor and drop it in one of our entry boxes located at the reception area of BUC and Optismile respectively.
- Competition closes at 17:00 on Monday, 04 September 2017
*Winners (1 male and 1 female) will be announced at the beginning of September 2017.
What do you stand a chance of winning? Hold onto your hats, folks…
SWEAT & BUC:
1 month membership to BUC Fitness Club to one male and one female (value R 2000)
1 month of SWEAT1000 classes to one male and one female (value R 4000)
1 ImpulseFit EMS (electro muscle stimulation) session per week for the duration of the competition (R350 per session)
Full body composition analysis and assessment with a dietician, Gabi Lasker (value R750)
B BALANCED PILATES:
1 private session per week for the duration of the competition (R350 per session)
Examination and Consultation (including panoramic or 3D X-ray if necessary)
Scale, polish and Opalescence GO take home whitening kit (pack of 10 dentist prescription home whitening trays – guaranteed professional results) Value over R3000
A Podiatry check up worth R550
Power Pedi for each winner (valued R275 ladies, R235 mens)
YEMAYA HAIR AND SPA:
Wash and blow dry combo for the female (valued R240) and a wash and cut for the male (value R220)
SPORTSMANS WAREHOUSE :
R350 voucher for each winner
R200 voucher for each winner
Now this a prize to get the blood pumping and your hearts racing. Don’t delay, ENTER TODAY!
*Terms & Conditions Apply, Click Here to View.
Breast Cancer Information and Awareness
One out of eight women may be diagnosed with breast cancer BUT eight out of eight women can become aware of breast cancer. Women can make a difference in their lives and subsequently their family lives, by taking charge of their health by creating an early detection plan. Early detection of breast cancer when smaller and still confined to the breast can ensure thousands of lives are saved each year.
Bergman Ross & Partners Radiology supports women’s health and, in particular, breast cancer awareness. Their comprehensive range of radiological services includes general x rays, ultrasound, mammography, bone mineral densitometry, fluoroscopy, CT, MRI, MRI Breast as well as breast biopsies (core and stereotactic). At BRP, mammogram examinations routinely include a breast ultrasound thereby minimising risk and assisting in the preventative process in women. Tomosynthesis can also be done if required.
Suggested personal care includes the following:
- Performing monthly routine self-breast examinations.
- Ensuring annual clinical breast examinations as well as a pap smear test if 40 years and older.
- Scheduling preventative screening which includes an annual mammogram. (Ultrasound may be done in conjunction with this study.)
What every woman needs to know:
- One out of eight women will be diagnosed with breast cancer in her lifetime.
- Breast cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer in women.
- Breast cancer is the second leading cause of death amongst women.
- Men can also get breast cancer, but this is rare.
- Thanks to more advanced treatments, many of those diagnosed with breast cancer will go on to live full, active lives.
- Early detection is important as treatments can be more effective.
- One of the easiest ways to detect for breast cancer is the breast self exam, a physical examination of your own breast.
- By getting to know how your breasts look and feel is an added defence against dying of breast cancer.
- Family history of breast cancer, colon cancer and cancer of the womb.
- First pregnancy over the age of 30 and never breast fed.
- Never had children.
- Premature menopause.
Signs and symptoms:
- Changes in the shape of the breast or persistent discomfort.
- A small lump or thickening of the breast.
- Discharge from the nipple that occurs without squeezing.
- Irritation or dimpling of the skin.
- Redness or flaky skin in the nipple area or the breast.
- Pulling in of the nipple or pain in nipple area.
- Pain in any area of the breast.
Can you be at risk?
- Most women should have their first mammogram at the age of 40.
- If you have any changes in your breast or if breast cancer runs in your family, you might have to have a mammogram earlier than the age of 40.
- In extreme cases, we may have to do mammograms on patients younger than 35 but this is a rare occurrence and ultrasound will be the preferred method of examination due to the patient’s age and denseness in breast tissue.
What is breast cancer?
- Breast cancer is a malignant tumor that starts in the cells of the breast.
- A malignant tumor is a group of cancer cells that grow into surrounding tissue or spreads (metastasize) to distant areas of the body.
- With early detection and treatment, most people can live normal lives.
- Women over the age of 20 should perform breast self examination:
- Two to three days after their menstrual cycle.
- On the same day each month if you no longer have a menstrual cycle.
- Monthly BSE familiarizes you with the way your breasts normally look and feel and thus changes are easily noticeable.
Breast self examination standing:
- With a pillow or towel under your left shoulder, place your left hand behind your head to flatten the breast tissue.
- Examine your entire breast in the circular motion using the pads of the three middle fingers.
- With your right hand behind your head, repeat the procedure with your right breast. Also gently squeeze each nipple to check for discharge.
What is a mammogram?
- A mammogram is a radiological examination allowing breast problems to be detected whether they are benign abnormalities or developing tumors.
- Most women should have their first mammogram at the age of 40. If you have any changes in your breast or if breast cancer runs in your family, you may have to have a mammogram earlier than 40. In extreme cases mammograms may be performed on patients younger than 35. However, ultrasound is the preferred modality due to patients age and denseness in the breast tissue. Remember to bring your previous mammogram on the day of your examination. Remember not to wear any powder, deodorant or perfume on the day of your mammogram
For more information…
Further information on the practice and breast cancer awareness please contact the friendly reception at Bergman, Ross & Partners Radiologists on 021 110 5777 for further assistance and bookings. Suite 306, 3rd Floor, The Point Centre, 76 Regent Rd, Sea Point.