How to Prepare for Sport & Camp Physicals

child receives physical exam for sport and camp physical

Summer is just around the corner, which means you’ll want to make sure that your child has their sport and camp physicals up-to-date.

Every year, your child is likely to need a new sport physical or camp physical before participating in any recreational activities. Many parents may not understand why these physicals are important,
though. Additionally, parents may also not be entirely sure how they can save time when getting their child an updated physical.

Here is what you should know about sport and camp physicals to ensure your child’s summer starts off without a hitch!

Sport and camp physicals ensure your child has a safe recreational experience!

The main purpose of any updated sport or camp physical is to see if your child is healthy enough to participated in certain activities. Without an updated physical your child is likely not able to participate in most sports and athletic-centered programs.

This is because recreational staff including coaches, camp counselors, trainers, and similar professionals reference the information from sports physicals to ensure all children are safe.

A sports or camp physical evaluates if your child has certain risks or medical conditions that could put them in danger during certain activities. Physicals also cover conditions including long-standing medical ailments like allergies and asthma, which may present increased symptoms during certain sporting or summer camp activities.

Your child can receive an updated physical at a doctor’s office, walk-in clinic, or urgent care center. Before you choose a provider make sure you are prepared with the following information:

  • A updated history of your child’s vaccinations
  • Any long-term health complications your child has and any medications they need to control symptoms
  • Any recent health or developmental concerns after the time of your child’s last annual physical
  • Any additional health information that could impact your child’s safety during physical activity

Where you should get your child an updated physical? Try Synergy Immediate Care

Many parents may assume that you need to go to a primary care office to get an updated sport or camp physical. However, it is important to know that urgent care centers and walk-in clinics also provide these physicals without the need for an appointment.

Parents and their children can visit a walk-in clinic, wait a few minutes, and get their physical completed in just a few minutes. The benefit of getting a sport or camp physical completed at an urgent care center includes convenience as well as oftentimes lower costs compared to similar facilities.

Any patient located in Tysons, VA can complete sport and camp physicals at Synergy Immediate Care through both primary care and urgent care services! Our team of primary care providers and urgent care staff help patients of all types get their sport physicals up-to-date!

Don’t let a delayed physical get in the way of your child’s summer fun! Take the time to schedule an exam that will help your kid have the best possible summer!

How to Treat and Prevent Sports Injuries

Did you know that sports injuries impact millions of children every year? According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), nearly 3.2 million children every year go to the emergency room due to sports and recreation-related injuries. In addition, sports injuries are the leading cause of hospitalizations for children between 12 and 17 years old.

Even though the above statistics seem alarming, they should not dissuade you from enrolling your child into school sports and related activities.

School sports can be a great way for children to socialize, build athletic skills, and maintain a healthy, physical lifestyle. However, if you enroll your child into a school sport, just be ready to help them prevent sports injuries and treat any injury as it happens.

So how can you effectively manage, and mitigate, your child’s sports injuries?

Prevention is key for reducing sports injuries

The good news for parents and student athletes is that sports injuries are highly preventable with just a few simple techniques:

  • Before any physical activity or sports season, parents should get their child a physical. Most school districts require children to receive physicals in order to evaluate if they are healthy enough for competition.
  • Have your child participate in sports with an experienced coach that understands the rules, skills, and defensive techniques to safely play a sport.
  • Set realistic goals for fitness, exercise, and performance to avoid over-exertion when participating in physical activity.
  • Have your child stretch and warm-up before participating in any games. Also check to ensure the field/court/etc. is safe for playing.

Other factors to consider when preventing sports injuries includes checking if athletic equipment fits your child, having a first aid kit on your person, and encouraging your child not to “play through pain.” If your child experiences pain on the field they may exacerbate a potential injury with continuous play.

Treat sports injuries as soon as they happen

In the event that your child experiences a sports injury, make sure you get them to the nearest medical facility ASAP.

Before seeking treatment at a walk-in clinic, a trainer or qualified medical assistant should administer first-aid on the injured limb to stabilize the injury and keep it from getting worse.

Once appropriate first-aid is administered, make sure you take your child to the appropriate medical facility. As a rule of thumb take your child to the emergency room for only the most severe and potentially life-threatening injuries. For other minor injuries, try taking your child to a walk-in clinic or an urgent care center.

Urgent care centers offer a great resource for patients to get immediate treatment for various injuries including bone breaks, fractures, sprains, and similar sports injuries.

Additionally, urgent care centers provide walk-in clinic access so a patient never needs an appointment for medical care. In just a few minutes a doctor and similar urgent care staff will coordinate treatment for your child.

With some simple prevention skills, and knowing where to treat injuries, your child can have a relatively uninterrupted season during school sports!

Measles 101: How to Protect Your Children Against Measles

You may have read the headlines recently: measles is making a comeback and are now a significant public health risk for children across the United States.

According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), the 555 cases of measles (and counting) during 2019 is the highest number since the disease was virtually eradicated in 2000. Why have measles cases suddenly ballooned in the United States?

2019 has seen measles cases continue to increase in the United States because of key risk factors, according to the CDC:

  • A growing number of people are not vaccinating their children because of misinformation regarding the safety of vaccines. Some people falsely believe autism and vaccines are linked, which has resulted in many parents forgoing vaccines for their children.
  • Measles is still present in other parts of the world including Europe, Asia, and Africa.
  • Travelers coming into the United States can bring the disease into the United States. When combined with several groups of unvaccinated people, the disease can spread.

So what can you do to protect your children from measles? How should you address some of the key risks for getting measles?

Get your child a measles vaccine if they don’t have one already

Vaccines are the best way to protect your child against the measles virus. A measles vaccine, usually the MMR vaccine (measles, mumps, rubella), helps a child during early childhood to build immunity to multiple diseases like measles.

Additionally, vaccines are highly safe and are not linked with autism. Autism Speaks, the nation’s leading autism awareness organization, highlights all the risk factors of autism including:

  • Genetic risk factors
  • Advanced pregnancy age
  • Frequent pregnancies (less than one year apart)

Autism Speaks also emphasizes that vaccines are in no way linked to autism in young children. Make sure you always consult your primary care provider to double check any potential misinformation about vaccines online.

Stay up-to-date on new measles cases and avoid areas with outbreaks

Currently, there have been reported measles cases in multiple states and reported outbreaks in the U.S. It is important to understand that a reported case indicates the disease may potentially infect a community while and outbreak suggests the disease is spreading rapidly in a certain area.

Reported measles outbreaks were reported in Maryland, New York City, Washington state, Rockland County (NY), New Jersey, Butte County (CA), and Michigan. However, states that have at least a reported case include Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Missouri, Nevada, New Hampshire, Oregon, and Texas.

Keep your children (and elderly adults or anyone else with weakened immune systems!) safe by following local and national news outlets that report the CDC’s findings. Try to avoid traveling to areas with measles exposure when possible. Check your immune titers since sometimes immunity can wear off, unfortunately.

If you believe you or your children need an updated measles vaccination, do not hesitate to visit Synergy Immediate Care for fast and convenient vaccination services. Call us at 703-942-5331 or schedule an appointment online to keep your children measles-free!

How to Manage and Address Your Seasonal Allergies

Did you know that seasonal allergies such as hay fever impact millions of people in the United States every year?

woman with seasonal allergies requires treatment

According to the Centers for Disease Control, 19.9 million people were diagnosed with hay fever and seasonal allergies within the last 12 months. In addition, 5.7 million children reported having hay fever while another 8 million reported other types of respiratory allergies.

As spring rolls around the corner it is beneficial for patients to understand some of the best ways to prevent, manage, and address seasonal allergies. Especially during springtime, allergens like dust mites and pollen travel farther distances as they are carried by dry and windy air.

Thankfully, it is a relatively straightforward process to prevent and manage seasonal allergies. Here is a list of factors that patients can control when it comes to their allergies and other tips on when to start professional allergy treatment.

Manage household allergy triggers, especially during days with high pollen counts

Household allergy factors can significantly increase your risk of triggering a seasonal allergy. The good news is that these factors are controllable and easy to manage.

Common respiratory allergy triggers in households include dust mites, pollen that enters from the outside, and mold among many other types of riggers. A list of activities and prevention techniques to help control household allergy triggers is as follows:

  • Limiting outdoor activities and chores when days have higher-than-normal pollen counts. Ask a friend or family member to assist with outdoor chores during high-pollen days.
  • Keeping windows closed during windy days in springtime to help reduce pollen entry in your household.
  • Washing bedding in hot water at least once a week helps to reduce the spread of triggers. Additionally, using hypoallergenic linens also helps reduce the prevalence of allergy triggers.
  • Frequently cleaning and dusting household surfaces, including countertops, can reduce build up of dust and similar triggers.

Get treatment with over-the-counter drugs and visit your primary care doctor or an urgent care center for longer-term allergy treatment options

Even with a bonafide prevention plan, most patients are still likely to experience some seasonal allergy symptoms such as sneezing, watery eyes, nasal irritation, and coughing.

For mild symptoms, try using over-the-counter drugs such as antihistamines and nasal decongestants. Make sure to consult your primary care provider before using these medications even though most of these medications are generally safe for use. Additionally, always follow the directions of these medicines and don’t go above recommended dosages.

If your symptoms are hard to manage, or don’t seem to improve with over-the-counter medications, then it may help to get an allergy shot. An allergy shot helps provide long-term immunity and resistance for patients that are prone to respiratory allergies and similar ailments.

Allergy shots and similar treatment options are usually available in urgent care centers at a fair costs and shorter wait time than other medical facilities. For patients in the Tysons Corner, VA and surrounding areas, try visiting Synergy Immediate Care for your seasonal allergy needs!

OB/GYN

Women have unique health care needs at every stage of their lives and it is essential that they are always met with the correct professional & appropriate health care. Here at Synergy Immediate Care, we offer OB/GYN services that range from your routine services to immediate concerns you may have about your body. Note that by the age of 21 every woman should have an OB/GYN; it is recommended that you see one before your 21st birthday as well.

What is an OB/GYN?doctor happy

An obstetrician-gynecologist or OB-GYN is someone who has expertise in the field of women’s reproductive health and organs. This can range from STD screenings to pregnancy, childbirth, and other health concerns. It is essential for all women to make sure their reproductive organs and their bodies are in a safe and healthy condition at every stage of their lives.

What is Obstetrics?

Obstetrics has to do with the branch of medicine that is related to medical & surgical care before and after childbirth. The overall health of a woman that is pregnant and in labor can be an extremely delicate process. An OB/GYN will make sure to keep you in good health during this time.

What is Gynecology?

Gynecology is the branch of medicine that focuses on women’s bodies and their reproductive health. It includes the diagnosis, treatment, and care of women’s reproductive system. This will cover organs such as the

  • vagina
  • uterus
  • ovaries
  • fallopian tubes

This branch also deals with breast health care. Gynecology is responsible for the care of a woman from the beginning of puberty and throughout adulthood.

If you have not picked an OB/GYN or if you are in need of a new one, we hope you will give Synergy Immediate Care a try. We treat our patients with respect and confidentiality. To us, you’re not just a number or a visit, you’re a mother, a daughter, a friend. Contact us today at 703-942-5331!

2019 Goals

The new year has finally arrived, & now is the perfect chance to start making changes to your lifestyle. If you’ve made a mistake in past years of promising yourself something & you didn’t succeed, don’t get discouraged! Many people set their sights too high when making goals to improve their health for the new year, but there are plenty of ways you can make small lifestyle changes that have a significant impact on your health. Before you decide new year’s resolutions aren’t for you, check out how easy it is to follow these tips to improve your health.

Reduce Caffeine and Sugar

Many people rely on caffeine and sugar to get them through their day, but did you know they could actually be making you more tired? Sugar comes with a sudden high and then an extreme low, causing you to seek out even more sugar. By detoxing your body and ending that high low cycle, your energy levels will naturally even out and increase over time. Caffeine is another stimulant that comes with a great high at first, followed by a sudden drop in energy. Our systems are overstimulated by the world around us and adding another stimulant on top of that actually increases negative emotions including stress and anger. Begin by slowing decreasing caffeine and sugar rather than going cold turkey to avoid withdrawal symptoms.

Cut Down On Smoking

Trying to quit smoking all at once is discouraging and nearly impossible for most people. Instead of throwing out your cigarettes at the new year, begin slowly reducing the number you smoke each day. Most smokers have a routine of when they burn throughout the day, so you should evaluate which cigarettes are the most important to you. Then, begin cutting out as many as you can. Smoke half of a cigarette when you do smoke and eventually, cut down to just one cigarette per day. Slowly decreasing your smoking throughout the year will set you up for success that you haven’t been able to find when you tried to go cold turkey. If you’re really struggling, look into local smoking classes and counseling services available to determine why you smoke as much as you do. Finding new mechanisms to cope with stress and anger will make quitting much more comfortable. Other tools such as gum and nicotine patches can be helpful in the beginning, but your ultimate goal should be no nicotine at all.

Failing

Finally, if you find that your efforts to make a “new you” are failing, take heart and don’t give up. The goal is not instantaneous perfection, but progress towards what you want to become. Long entrenched poor health habits don’t go away overnight for most people. It takes multiple efforts and attempts before many succeed. Cut yourself some slack and recognize that your path to a better and healthier you might take some twists and turns at first, but with hard work and the help of Synergy Immediate Care, your friendly neighborhood medical clinic, you’ll get there!

When to Choose Urgent Care Service over the Emergency Room

Injuries, illnesses, and medical emergencies usually pop up in life during the most unexpected moments. However, when you experience a painful injury or a debilitating illness, it is important to understand how to evaluate using either urgent care services or the emergency room (ER).

An urgent care service can provide several treatments for sudden injuries and illnesses that usually cost less, and are faster, than the emergency room. Many people sometimes forgo considering urgent care and develop a habit of using the ER for most medical situations.

Conversely, people may confuse the term “urgent care” with “emergency care” and try to visit an urgent care center when they require life-saving treatments only an emergency room can provide.

Deciding when to use the emergency room is relatively simple and requires a simple provide a convenient rule of thumb below to explain when you should use either urgent care services or the emergency room for unexpected medical events.

Use Urgent Care when your illness or injury is not life-threatening

Urgent care services are great at providing fast and near-immediate treatments for multiple minor injuries. Most centers offer a walk-in clinic where patients can receive treatment for shorter wait times, lower out-of-pocket costs, and faster follow-up care than emergency rooms.

The types of injuries that you should go to an urgent care center to treat include minor cuts and lacerations, bone breaks and sprains, bruises, seasonal allergies, skin irritations, and illnesses such as the flu. Urgent care covers the majority of minor services that occur throughout a person’s life. Urgent care centers also perform preventive care and treatment after experiencing illnesses and injuries. Patients can come back to receive follow-up treatment and evaluate the severity of a previous ailment. Find your nearest urgent care center and take advantage of the low cost and fast treatments offered via walk-in clinic.

Go to an Emergency Room if you are experiencing a critical life-threatening injury

Injuries and illnesses that put your life in immediate danger require an ER without any exception. ERs are equipped with capabilities such as life-saving surgery and intense trauma treatment to help save the lives of patients ASAP. Visit the emergency room if you are experiencing any of the following conditions:

  • Squeezing chest pain with shortness of breath
  • A gunshot wound or a laceration that won’t stop bleeding
  • Choking, asphyxiation, or severe difficulty breathing
  • Sudden loss of consciousness
  • Bone breaks that puncture the skin
  • Poisoning or ingestion of a toxic chemical
  • Severe burns including 3rd and 4th-degree burns
  • Inability to move or sudden seizures

Keep these tips in mind to use both urgent care and ER services as efficiently and effectively as possible. Responsible healthcare utilization can save you time, put more money back in your wallet, and preserve your overall health. If you need urgent care services, don’t hesitate to call us at 703-942-5331 or just walk right in. Wishing you a happy and healthy new year!

New Year, New Health

The new year is the perfect time to create resolutions to improve your health, but the sad reality is that most people abandon their resolutions by the end of February. We want to help you improve your health in 2019, so we created a manageable list of health tips and resolutions you can take on this year! The key to a good resolution is making one you can actually stick to, and these should all fit the part.

Eat Fish Twice A Week

Many new year’s resolutions include foods that you can’t eat, but this is the exact opposite. Eating fish at least twice per week can have significant benefits on your heart and brain health. The most useful types of fish include tuna, salmon, and mackerel. If you aren’t a fan of fish, go online to find fun new recipes to begin incorporating them into your weekly lunch or dinner meals. Who knows, you might even discover new favorite food!

Up Your Water Intake

Water is essential to every aspect of a healthy life. This year, dedicate yourself to increase your water intake. Begin making small changes to set yourself up for success. Some of those changes could include drinking a glass of water first thing in the morning and only ordering water at restaurants. If you struggle to drink water throughout the day, invest in a refillable water bottle that you love. Upping your water intake will promote weight loss and many other health benefits. You may even find yourself snacking less throughout the day when you’re properly hydrated! If the taste of water bores you, there are zero calorie drink flavoring options that you can add at a little cost.

Improve Your Sleep Schedule

We neglect our bodies in many ways, but an odd sleep schedule is one of the most damaging. Many people’s bodies need at least 8 hours of sleep per night to function properly. If 8 hours is too big of an adjustment from your current sleeping schedule, begin by making slow increases until you reach the 8-hour mark. It may take some time to get used to the increased sleep, but your body and mind will thank you. Sleep affects your heart, brain, memory, and many other aspects of your health. This is a resolution that will have significant benefits to your overall health, and all you have to do is sleep!

 

We here at Synergy Immediate Care want to wish you a happy and health New Year!

Stay safe decorating for the holidays

The holiday season is one of the most beautiful times of the year. One of the best parts of the holiday season is to decorate your home. However, you have to be careful when decorating! The holidays are one of the more dangerous time of the year due to weather conditions, the weight of certain decorations (trees, boxes, etc), & the hectic traffic in public areas. We have some tips for you that will help you be safe this holiday season!

Watch out for your lights

Hanging lights all over your house & shrubbery can prove to make your home glow with a festive tone. You will want to make sure that the lights that you are putting around your house & outside are made to be decoration lights. The box that lights come in are marked with their wattage & their primary use, so this would be a good thing to look out for the next time you go shopping. You should also consider using LED lights; these lights have a cooler glow & are way more durable outside! These lights will reduce the risk of indoor electrical fires & outdoor sparks flying because of broken lights from the weather. If you are content with the lights you already have, make sure to check them! Older lights can have damaged or missing bulbs in them that can be hard to spot.

Watch out for black ice

December temperatures can be brutal & at nightfall sometimes temperatures can drop below the freezing point. This opens up the potential for black ice to form. This can lead to car accidents & slipping on cement sidewalks. To avoid injury especially while decorating for the holidays. An excellent way to prevent black ice is to pay attention to the weather & salt down your driveway & in front of your house, so you are not surprised by black ice in the morning.

Lift heavy objects with caution

If you are lifting a tree or a box full of ornaments, please proceed with caution. Heavy objects that are bulky should always be lifted with someone else, so you are not trying to distribute all the weight on your own. If you lift using only your upper body, then you run the risk of injuring your back. When you lift heavy objects, you should always use your legs!

If you have any questions or concerns, or if you have injured yourself while decorating, please free to call us at 703-942-5331!

Holiday Hygiene Tips

The holidays are here & once again it is the most wonderful time of the year! Holidays are the time of the year when we go home & visit our families & loved ones. Travel days can lead to lots of stress, & fatigue on the body. The last thing anyone wants to be worried about is their hygiene while traveling within a large group of people such as a crowded bus, train or plane. Below are some tips to use when going home for the holidays to ensure you have a comfortable trip!

Keep your face clean

When you travel for a full day, it is easy to forget to clean your face as you would on an average day. However, travel dirties up the face quite a bit. Grease & dust can block your pores resulting in breakouts & irritation in the skin. Always remember to bring face wash; even if you are traveling on a plane, there are containers you can buy at your local convenience store that will hold the correct amount to pass security. If you are eating greasy food or fast food on your travels, you should wash your face after eating. Nobody wants to go home & take holiday pictures with blemishes in their face from travel.

Wash your hands

If you are taking a form of public transportation, then odds are you are touching objects that have been affected by hundreds of people in that same day. Our hands acquire thousands of germs a day & you never know what type of bacteria may be leaking on seats or handrails. It is essential to try to wash your hands as much as possible while traveling. If you do not have access to a bathroom or sink then invest in getting a travel hand sanitizer. Hand sanitizer does a great job of killing germs & bacteria on the go & if used correctly can save you from sickness.

Deodorant

If you are traveling for a full day, then you have to be aware that you will be in the same clothes & on the move for an entire day. Not bringing deodorant can lead to you feeling unfresh & giving unwanted body odor. Having deodorant or perfume can take away a layer of stress that comes with traveling for the holidays.

We hope these tips will prove to be useful for all of you traveling this month! If you have any more questions or concerns, or if you would like to make an appointment with our multi-specialty practice, please feel free to contact us at 703-942-5331.