Preventing Mosquito Bites

Don’t let the cooler weather fool you, mosquito season is not over. More than a pest, these buzzing insects can carry and spread dangerous diseases to both humans and animals. Here in Michigan, health officials are advising residents to take precautions after several residents became infected with the mosquito-borne virus, Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE). The only way to prevent mosquito-borne illnesses is to avoid being bitten by them.

 

Until the nighttime temperatures consistently fall below freezing, The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services has issued the following recommendations to protect yourself and your family against mosquito bites:

 

1. Avoid being outdoors at dusk and dawn when mosquitoes are most active

2. Wear light-colored, long-sleeved shirts and long pants when outdoors

3. Apply insect repellents that contain the active ingredient DEET or other EPA- approved product to exposed skin or clothing, always following the manufacturer’s directions for use

4. Use nets and/or fans over outdoor eating areas

5. Maintain window and door screening to help keep mosquitoes out of buildings

6. Empty water from mosquito breeding sites such as buckets, unused kiddie pools, old tires or similar sites where mosquitoes lay eggs

 

For those that work outdoors or cannot avoid being outdoors at dusk or dawn, be diligent about using insect repellent, and cover as much of your skin as possible.

 

If you’re concerned about or experiencing symptoms from a mosquito bite, reach out to your primary care physician.

 

Simply visit our online appointment tool, scroll to find your provider, and click to schedule an appointment at a time that works for you!

 

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Or vist an Urgent Care location near you.

 

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Read the press release from the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services: Michigan.gov/emergingdiseases

 

 

Frequently Asked Questions about Eastern Equine Encephalitis from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC): https://www.cdc.gov/easternequineencephalitis/gen/qa.html

 

 

Tips for Traveling with Kids this Summer

 

Finding a balance between work and life is one thing. Throw school in there, sports team practice, a science fair project, a growth spurt that requires new shoes that are only available at the store across town, and you have a perfect recipe for physical and mental burnout. Burnout can leave you feeling exhausted, drained, or even physically ill. You can’t always eliminate the stress from a busy schedule or workday, but you can learn to manage it.

 

Start by asking yourself: What needs to be done? Look at your task list and separate what truly must be done from less critical tasks. Things like work tasks, school events and appointments are not negotiable, while others may be. Sort through your to-do list and eliminate low-priority tasks where you can.

 

Create a shared family calendar.Whether you like a paper calendar stuck to the fridge, or you’re a digital family, there are templates and tools for everyone. Get upcoming events listed in one place, so everyone knows where they are supposed to be.

 

Wherever you are, be there. “Be present” is a trendy phrase that we hear a lot these days. But, it’s hard not to look at the 5 notifications that just popped up on your phone. When possible, set your device aside and focus your attention on what is happening around you. Maybe it’s dedicated time to play with your child or have a conversation with your spouse or a good friend. Making a conscious effort to focus on one task or person at a time will help clear the clouds of stress.

 

Make time for your family. So many evenings are spent rushing to practices, classes or events, and dinners are consumed during the car ride. Try to find time each week to eat together as a family. Institute a family game night, a bike ride, or maybe a family meeting. Find ways that your family can be together enjoying each other without interruption or distraction (see point above). Ultimately those closest to you will be your front lines of support, so a weekly check-in will help catch when anyone is starting to succumb to stress.

 

Make time for yourself. The best way to work time for yourself into your schedule? Schedule it! Be creative (Paint! Garden! Journal!), eat a healthy diet avoiding sugar, caffeine, and carbs, have dinner with friends. Think about what truly brings joy into your life and make time for it.

 

Feel the burn! (Not the burnout). Exercise is one of the best ways to eliminate stress. That doesn’t mean you have to make it to a 5 AM barre class. A 10-minute walk can boost your mood and outlook for 2 hours! Find ways to work exercise into your daily routine, even if it means stretching on the sidelines at soccer practice.

 

Know when it’s time to ask for help. Burnout can happen at home or at work. Learn to recognize when stress is taking over, and you need help. Then ask for it. Burnout isn’t one size fits all. It can look and feel different for everyone. You may start to feel exhausted, moody or withdrawn. You may not remember what you had for lunch or where you are going when you leave the house. You may start to notice muscle pain from clenching or grinding your teeth.

 

If you are feeling the symptoms of burnout, seek support from those around you before you reach your breaking point. We’re here to help, too. Reach out to your primary care provider, they will help you extinguish burnout and feel like yourself again.

 

It's easy to schedule an appointment with your primary care provider – simply visit our online appointment tool, scroll to find your provider, and click to schedule an appointment at a time that works for you!

 

Make An Appointment

 

Family Fitness Fun

 

Physical fitness is truly a family affair – it’s good for every body! For people of all ages, physical activity is one of the most important parts of a healthy lifestyle. It’s recommended by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services that adults have at least 150 – 300 minutes of moderate physical activity per week and children at least 60 minutes per day. Working another 30 - 60 minutes into already packed schedules is not easy, so it has to be fun, or let’s face it – we’re not doing it. We put our heads together and came up with some ideas for summer fun that make getting active as a family no sweat.

Make a splash!

Pool, sprinklers, water balloons, slip and slide, a car wash, or just the hose: you really can’t go wrong with any water-based activity. Just don’t forget to keep your sunscreen on-hand, and reapply throughout the day.

Create an obstacle course

Using what you have around your home and yard combined with physical activities (jumping jacks, anyone?), create a fun obstacle course. Time each other to see who can complete the course fastest.

Take a bike ride

Explore your neighborhood or local trails on bicycle. Biking is a great activity for all ages and skill levels. Don’t forget your helmet!

Neighborhood scavenger hunt

Create a list of objects to gather or tasks that can be completed in your yard or neighborhood. Or, try a photo scavenger hunt: rather than collecting treasures, have your scavengers take a photo of the object or activity. The first to return with all their boxes checked wins!

Go to a park

Need a change of scenery to get motivated? Check out your local parks. They offer trails for running, hiking or biking, team sports, swimming, play structures and oftentimes activities for kids – all within your community.

Play a game

When you love what you do, it doesn’t feel like work. The same is true for fitness. If you choose an activity that you and your family enjoy, you won’t event realize you are achieving your fitness goals. Whether its soccer, baseball, kickball, basketball or something you make up – pick your teams and let the games begin!

Dance party!

Create a playlist of family favorite tunes, and turn up the volume!

Plant a garden

Planning and creating a garden creates a reason to go outside every day. Maintaining the garden provides an opportunity for physical activity and as an added bonus creates a sense of responsibility. Plant and cook from a vegetable garden for an extra positive impact on your family’s health.

Join a class

The best way to fit fitness into your schedule, is to literally schedule it. Find a local facility that offers family fitness classes, or sign up individually.

Sign up for a race

Many charities or organizations will host a fun run or race as a fundraiser. Find one that appeals to your family, and sign up! The approaching race date will give you the motivation to train, and most of the time there are shorter route options for different ages and fitness levels, so everyone can join in.

Use a fitness tracker

Weekly Fitness Tracker

Keeping track of your physical activity is a great way to ensure you achieve your goals for daily activity. There are several digital trackers available for purchase or use this fridge-ready template to add up your minutes. As a friendly competition, have the whole family keep track of their time. Accountability goes a long way!

 

Remember: 15 minutes counts. A quick driveway basketball game or bike ride around the block can make some great strides towards a healthier lifestyle, and make an impact on your child’s lifestyle as they grow.

  

If you have questions or concerns about physical activity for anyone in your family, make an appointment with your pediatric or primary care provider today. And then get moving!

 

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