Children's Health, Flu Season, Healthy Lifestyle, Jacksonville Illinois, Springfield Illinois, Taylorville Illinois

National Handwashing Awareness Week

It’s not the most glamorous subject, we admit, but boy is it important. Here’s why handwashing should not be ignored. 

Experts recommend washing your hands with soap and clean water for at least 20 seconds. Be sure to get a good lather going and clean the back of your hands, between your fingers, and under your nails. Dry your hands using a clean towel. 

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention calls handwashing a “do-it-yourself vaccine” and suggests using five easy steps: 

  1. Wet
  2. Lather
  3. Scrub 
  4. Rinse 
  5. Dry 

The four principles of handwashing are:

  • Wash your hands when they are dirty and before you eat (of feed a child)
  • Do not cough into hands 
  • Do not sneeze into hands 
  • Do not put your fingers in your eyes, nose, or mouth 

So why do we need to wash our hands? 

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, handwashing can prevent one in three diarrhea-related illnesses and one in five infections, including the flu. 

The CDC also reports that only 31% of men and 65% of women wash their hands after using a public restroom. 

A typical human sneeze exits the body at about 200 miles per hour and emits around 40,000 droplets into the air. 

Thinks of how many things you touch during an average day. Now imagine how many of those things were touched by other people’s hands. Yuck! Remember to wash your hands to prevent the spread of germs. 

Children's Health, Diabetes, Get in shape, Healthy Lifestyle, Jacksonville Illinois, Men's Health, Springfield Illinois, Taylorville Illinois

Diabetes is a leading cause of death in the US

One in 10 Americans has diabetes, which is equivalent to 30 million people. It can cause blindness, nerve damage, kidney disease, and other health problems if not controlled. It is estimated 84 million adults in the US are at high risk of developing type 2 diabetes. However, people who are at risk for type 2 diabetes can lower their risk by more than half if they make healthy changes such as eating healthy, getting more physical activity, and losing weight. 

So, what are the symptoms of diabetes? 

•    Urinating often 

•    Feeling very thirsty 

•    Feeling very hungry – even though you are eating 

•    Extreme fatigue 

•    Blurry vision 

•    Cuts/bruises that are slow to heal

•    Weight loss – even though you are eating more (type 1) 

•    Tingling, pain, or numbness in the hands/feet (type 2) 

Early detection and treatment of diabetes can decrease the risk of developing complications of diabetes. 

Although there are many similarities between type 1 and type 2 diabetes, the cause of each is very different – as is the treatment. Women with gestational diabetes often have no symptoms, which is why it’s important for at-risk women to be tested at the proper time during pregnancy. 

If you have any questions or concerns about diabetes symptoms speak with your health provider. At Central Counties Health Centers we offer FREE diabetes education classes each month. These take place at our Cook Street location and are taught by the SIU School of Medicine dieticians. You can reserve a seat at our next class by calling Vickie at 217-788-2381. Please leave a message and your name and number. Be sure to mention that you would like to attend the diabetic class.

There is a $50 gift card drawing at the end of each class, but you must attend the entire class to be eligible. Keep an eye out on our Facebook page for class dates. 

Central Counties Health Center, Children's Health, Healthy Lifestyle, Kids, Springfield Illinois

September is Fruits & Veggies – More Matter Month!

Most Americans don’t eat enough fruits and veggies. Fewer than one in four adults eat the recommended amount of fruits every day and fewer than one in seven eat the recommended amount of vegetables every day. It might seem that fruits and vegetables are too expensive to include in your diet, but there are ways to do so on a budget. 

Why is it important to eat more fruits and veggies? 

  • To stay strong and active – healthy foods such as fruit and vegetables have the vitamins, minerals, and nutrients your body needs 
  • To lower your health risks – eating a healthy diet with lots of fruits and vegetables can help lower your risk of chronic health conditions like heart disease and type 2 diabetes 
  • To manage your weight – eating healthy and being physically active can help you stay healthy 
  • To set a positive example – if you have children, how you eat can impact their food choices for years to come, so set them up for success! 

It may surprise you but eating fruits and vegetables doesn’t have to be expensive. There are many affordable options. It is also easy to include more fruits and veggies in your diet. Buy ready to eat fruits and vegetables, such as bananas and apples, or add chopped veggies to a pasta sauce. 

Here are seven ways to get more fruits and veggies in your life: 

1 Try a new veggie recipe – try the recipe with a new vegetable (one in season)

2 Keep a bowl of fruit handy where the whole family can see it 

3 Cut up fruits and vegetables to grab and eat on the go 

4 Frozen fruit and veggies are just as good for you as fresh ones so great for making smoothies or adding to sauces

5 Involve the children in preparing meals and educate them about what they are eating  

6 Plant tomatoes, beans, and lettuces in your yard, or in pots on your deck, or balcony and you will have a supply of fresh veggies next summer 

7 Buy seasonal fruit and veg as it is much cheaper – and tastier than out of season produce 

Did you know that Central Counties Health Centers receives deliveries of fresh fruit and vegetables from the Central Illinois Foodbank every Tuesday and Thursday? You can come and grab what you need for FREE at the Cook Street location year-round. This is a great resource for anyone struggling to afford enough food for their families and wanting to also provide nutritional meals. 

Central Counties Health Center, Children's Health, Flu Season, Healthy Lifestyle, Jacksonville Illinois, Springfield Illinois, Taylorville Illinois

Flu season is approaching!

Believe it or not, flu season is approaching so it’s time to book your child’s flu shot. At Central Counties Health Centers, we are expecting to begin administering flu shots to children by the end of September. 

Children younger than five years of age – especially those younger than two years old – are at high risk of serious flu-related complications. The flu vaccine offers the best defense against getting flu and spreading it to others. Getting vaccinated can reduce flu illness, visits to the doctor, missed work and school days, and prevent flu-related hospitalizations. 

The flu is more dangerous than the common cold for children. Complications from the flu among children under five years of age can include pneumonia, dehydration, worsening long-term medical problems such as heart disease and asthma, brain dysfunction, sinus problems, and ear infections, and in rare cases, it can lead to death. The CDC recommends that everyone six months of age or older get a seasonal flu vaccine each year by the end of October. 

Flu vaccines are updated each season as necessary to protect against influenza viruses that research indicates will be most common. Immunity from the flu vaccination sets in after about two weeks. 

We encourage all adults to utilize Schnucks pharmacy for their flu vaccine. 

If you have any questions about the flu vaccine, please speak with your health care provider. 

Central Counties Health Center, Children's Health, Kids, Springfield Illinois, Summer Health

It’s time to book your back-to-school physical and dental check-ups

Annual physical and dental exams by your family’s pediatrician or physician is a vital part of your child’s healthcare. School and sports physicals help ensure your child is fit and healthy to join in activities. 

School physicals are required for all children entering Kindergarten, 5th and 9th grade. Physicals are also required if your children participate in any school sports at middle or high school level. Dental exams are required for Kindergarten, 2nd, 6th and 9thgrade. Vision exams are required when your child enters kindergarten.

Exclusion day for District 186 is 10 days after the first day of school with most returning the third week in August. Morgan and Christian counties exclusion day is Tuesday, October 15.

A typical exam includes a review of your child’s complete health history to ensure he or she is up-to-date with immunization and vaccine recommendations for their age.

Sports physicals are valid for a 12-month period.

To book an appointment call 217-788-2300 today.

Central Counties Health Center, Children's Health, Dental Care, Healthy Lifestyle, Jacksonville Illinois, Springfield Illinois

Do you know how to care for your child’s teeth?

Most children will have a full set of baby teeth by the time they are three years old. Teeth are at risk of decay the moment they appear. However, tooth decay is preventable.

Start cleaning your baby’s mouth the first few days after birth by wiping his or her gums with a clean moist washcloth.

Begin brushing your child’s teeth as soon as they come through and continue to brush twice daily until your child is comfortable doing it itself. Be sure to use a child-size toothbrush and a pea-sized amount (for children three and above) of fluoride toothpaste. For children less than three years use a smear of fluoride toothpaste. It’s always a good idea to supervise children’s brushing and remind them not to swallow the toothpaste.

As soon as your child’s first tooth appears it’s time to schedule a dental visit. The first dental visit should take place within six months of the first tooth appearing and not later than your child’s first birthday. Our dentists will even go to the pediatric side to do a visual exam with a child when called by the pediatrician. This introduces the child and parent to the dentist and many times they establish care after that initial visual exam. This is just one of the things we do to improve the oral healthcare of the children we serve.

The first visit to the dentist is mainly to examine your child’s mouth, check growth and development, discuss diet and hygiene, but it’s also an opportunity to help make your child comfortable with the process.

Here are five ways you can help in the fight against tooth decay:

  • Don’t share utensils with your child as you could transfer cavity-causing germs.

  • Feed them a healthy and nutritious diet.

  • Use fluoride toothpaste.

  • Make sure your child’s initial dental visit is no later than his or her first birthday.

  • Brush your child’s teeth for two minutes twice a day.

 

We offer a range of dental services for adults and children in Springfield & Jacksonville.

Call 217-788-2300 for more information or to book an appointment.