Tag Archives: health

Health & Safety – Where are Ticks?

When the weather is nice, we spend more time outdoors with the children. Playing in the back yard, at the playground or walking on nature trails are great ways to get fresh air and exercise.

kids in woods

What are ticks? – Ticks are small mites that attach themselves to the skin and suck blood. Click HERE to see examples of ticks.

Where are ticks commonly found? – Ticks are normally found in areas with trees, bushes or tall grass. This includes back yards, parks, nature areas, and most places you would be spending time with the children outdoors in the nice weather.

What needs to be done? – When you return home from areas where ticks might live, carefully check the children and yourself (clothing, skin, and scalp) for ticks. If you find a tick on one of your host children, notify your host parents immediately.

Most ticks do not carry diseases, and most tick bites do not cause serious health problems. But it is important to remove a tick as soon as you find it. Removing the tick completely and cleaning the area with soap and water or antiseptic spray, may help avoid diseases such as Lyme Disease that the tick may pass on during feeding, or a skin infection where it bit you.

Click HERE for Instructions on Removing a tick from WebMD.com.

How do you reduce the risk of tick bites?  – Use a repellent with DEET on the skin. Repellents containing 20% or more DEET can protect up to several hours. Always follow product instructions. Adults should apply this product to their children, avoiding the hands, eyes, and mouth. When you come back in from outside, it’s best to wash the repellent off of skin with soap and water. For detailed information about using DEET on children, see recommendations from the American Academy of Pediatrics.

Fall Traditions: Trick or Treating Safety Tips

cdc.gov

We always share trick or treating safety tips each October. This year those tips are very different. While we still want to be sure kids are visible to cars and safely supervised, there are new health and safety considerations due to COVID.

Not all families will feel comfortable going trick or treating and that is completely understandable. For those who do, here are some tips from the CDC:

Steps to Take when Trick or Treating

Traditional Halloween activities are fun, but some can increase the risk of getting or spreading COVID-19 or influenza. Plan alternate ways to participate in Halloween.

illustration of a child wearing a pumpkin costume holding a Halloween treat bag wearing face masks appropriately and Make trick-or-treating safer

  • Avoid direct contact with trick-or-treaters.
  • Give out treats outdoors, if possible.
  • Set up a station with individually bagged treats for kids to take.
  • Wash hands before handling treats.
  • Wear a mask.

Wear a mask

  • Make your cloth mask part of your costume.
  • A costume mask is not a substitute for a cloth mask.
  • Do NOT wear a costume mask over a cloth mask. It can make breathing more difficult.
  • Masks should NOT be worn by children under the age of 2 or anyone who has trouble breathingillustration of two children in costume wearing face masks appropriately

Stay at least 6 feet away from others who do not live with you

  • Indoors and outdoors, you are more likely to get or spread COVID-19 when you are in close contact with others for a long time.

illustration of a child wearing a wizard costume washing their handsWash your hands

  • Bring hand sanitizer with you and use it after touching objects or other people.
  • Use hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol.
  • Parents: supervise young children using hand sanitizer.
  • Wash hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds when you get home and before you eat any treats.

Images: cdc.gov

Health & Safety – Where are Ticks?

When the weather is nice, we spend more time outdoors with the children. Playing in the back yard, at the playground or walking on nature trails are great ways to get fresh air and exercise.

kids in woods

What are ticks? – Ticks are small mites that attach themselves to the skin and suck blood. Click HERE to see examples of ticks.

Where are ticks commonly found? – Ticks are normally found in areas with trees, bushes or tall grass. This includes back yards, parks, nature areas, and most places you would be spending time with the children outdoors in the nice weather.

What needs to be done? – When you return home from areas where ticks might live, carefully check the children and yourself (clothing, skin, and scalp) for ticks. If you find a tick on one of your host children, notify your host parents immediately.

Most ticks do not carry diseases, and most tick bites do not cause serious health problems. But it is important to remove a tick as soon as you find it. Removing the tick completely and cleaning the area with soap and water or antiseptic spray, may help avoid diseases such as Lyme Disease that the tick may pass on during feeding, or a skin infection where it bit you.

Click HERE for Instructions on Removing a tick from WebMD.com.

How do you reduce the risk of tick bites?  – Use a repellent with DEET on the skin. Repellents containing 20% or more DEET can protect up to several hours. Always follow product instructions. Adults should apply this product to their children, avoiding the hands, eyes, and mouth. When you come back in from outside, it’s best to wash the repellent off of skin with soap and water. For detailed information about using DEET on children, see recommendations from the American Academy of Pediatrics.

Places to Go for Urgent Medical Care

In a true emergency, seek medical attention as soon as possible at the hospital emergency room.

If you have a medical problem that you would like to be seen by a doctor the same day for, but you do not feel that it is an emergency, the best place to go would be an urgent care clinic. If you go to the emergency room for something that is not an emergency (like for a sore throat or pink eye), they will see you and treat you, but will not admit you to the hospital. In a case like that, there is an additional $500 deductible by the insurance company. The emergency room is not to be used as your regular doctor.

Here is the link to the medical insurance information and claim forms: APIA Medical
You may go to any doctor or clinic you choose, but if you go to an in-network doctor you are less likely to be asked to pay upfront. If you do have to pay upfront, you can be reimbursed by submitting a claim form to the insurance (providing you have met your deductible, if applicable.)

Here’s how to find the Urgent Care Centers near you who accept our insurance (Aetna)

  1. To find the one nearest to you, go HERE.
  2. Type in your zip code.
  3. Select a Plan. Choose “Passport to Healthcare Primary PPO Network”.
  4. Under “Find what you need by category”, select “Urgent Care” or “Walk-in Clinic”.

You will receive results like the examples below, in list view or map.

What if you know of another Urgent Care Center near you and it doesn’t appear on the insurance search results? You may call the facility and ask if they accept Aetna. If they say yes, you may go there also. Urgent Care Centers are popping up everywhere and they don’t always get added to the insurance listing immediately.

As of 1/9/2020, Patient First, Righttime, Concentra & Express Care are Aetna participating providers.  

For fairly simple medical issues the CVS Minute Clinic is a great option. 

CVS Minute Clinic – www.minuteclinic.com
Open daily – Hours vary by location. No appointment is necessary.
Locations including: Annapolis, Bethesda, Crofton, Edgewater, Langley Park, New Carrollton, Rockville, Silver Spring & Upper Marlboro
For less complicated illnesses including: Allergies, Bladder Infections, Colds, Ear Infections, Pink Eye & Styes, Sinus Infections, Strep Throat, Swimmer’s Ear, Athlete’s Foot, Cold Sores, and Vaccinations.
Visit their website for a complete list of locations, conditions they will treat and the costs.

Bring your Insurance Card – You will need to show your insurance card. You should have received an email from CISI when you arrived. You can search for that email and print your card. Another option is to register at the myCISI portal and print a card from there.

 

SaveSave

Staying Healthy in Cold & Flu Season

Here’s some useful information from the Center for Disease Control about how you can protect yourself from the flu and how to treat yourself and your host children should you get sick.

It is NOT too late to get a Flu Vaccine.  Au Pair insurance does not cover immunizations, but there are lots of places to get flu shots for $30 or less. Check your local health department or stores with a pharmacy such as CVS, Target and Walgreens. If a host family is insisting that their au pair get a seasonal flu shot and she agrees to get it, the host family would be responsible for the expense.

An Ounce of Prevention
There are steps you can take in your daily life to help protect you from getting the flu.

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water or an alcohol-based hand sanitizer
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth.  Germs spread this way.
  • Try to avoid close contact with sick people
  • Practice good health habits.  Get plenty of sleep and exercise, manage your stress, drink plenty of fluids, and eat healthy food
  • Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze.  Throw the tissue in the trash after you use it
  • If you are sick with flu-like illness, stay home for at least 24 hours after your fever is gone without the use of fever reducing medicine.

Symptoms of the Flu
The flu and the common cold have similar symptoms.  It can be difficult to tell the difference between them.  Your healthcare provider can give you a test within the first few days of your illness to determine whether or not you have the flu.

In general, the flu is worse than the common cold.  Symptoms such as fever, body aches, tiredness, and cough are more common and intense with the flu.

Flu symptoms include:

  • A 100oF or higher fever or feeling feverish (not everyone with the flu has a fever)
  • A cough and/or sore throat
  • A runny or stuffy nose
  • Headaches and/or body aches
  • Chills
  • Fatigue
  • Nausea, vomiting, and/or diarrhea (most common in children)

Treating the Flu
You can treat flu symptoms without medication by:

  • Getting plenty of rest
  • Drinking clear fluids like water, broth, sports drinks, or electrolyte beverages to prevent becoming dehydrated
  • Placing a cool, damp washcloth on your forehead, arms, and legs to reduce discomfort associated with a fever
  • Putting a humidifier in your room to make breathing easier
  • Gargling salt water (1:1 ratio warm water to salt) to soothe a sore throat
  • Covering up with a warm blanket to calm chills

Children are at higher risk for getting the flu because their immune systems are not fully developed.  If your host child gets sick, always ask your host parents before giving any medications to the children.  There are strict guidelines for dosages and they MUST be followed.  Never give aspirin to children or teenagers who have the flu.  Giving aspirin to children with the flu can cause a rare but serious illness called Reye’s Syndrome.  Read ingredient labels on over-the-counter medications carefully to ensure they do not contain aspirin.

Photo: Arlington County

Halloween Health & Safety Tips

Going trick-or-treating? Check out these tips from the CDC website.  

alphabet letter s Swords, knives, and other costume accessories should be short, soft, and flexible.

alphabet letter a Avoid trick-or-treating alone. Walk in groups or with a trusted adult.

alphabet letter f Fasten reflective tape to costumes and bags to help drivers see you.

alphabet letter eExamine all treats for choking hazards and tampering before eating them. Limit the amount of treats you eat.

halloween

alphabet letter h Hold a flashlight while trick-or-treating to help you see and others see you. WALK and don’t run from house to house.

alphabet letter a Always test make-up in a small area first. Remove it before bedtime to prevent possible skin and eye irritation.

alphabet letter l Look both ways before crossing the street. Use crosswalks wherever possible.

alphabet letter l Lower your risk for serious eye injury by not wearing decorative contact lenses.

alphabet letter o Only walk on sidewalks whenever possible, or on the far edge of the road facing traffic to stay safe.

alphabet letter w Wear well-fitting masks, costumes, and shoes to avoid blocked vision, trips, and falls.

alphabet letter e Eat only factory-wrapped treats. Avoid eating homemade treats made by strangers.

alphabet letter e Enter homes only if you’re with a trusted adult. Only visit well-lit houses. Never accept rides from strangers.

alphabet letter n Never walk near lit candles or luminaries. Be sure to wear flame-resistant costumes.

Preventing Dehydration in Hot Weather

Dehydration means that the body lacks the necessary amount of fluid. Infants and small children are more likely to become dehydrated than older children or adults, because they can lose relatively more fluid quickly.

Here are some steps to take to make sure children remain hydrated in the summer months:

  • Encourage your child to drink plenty of water. On hot days, children should drink significantly more water than usual, as they are losing more due to the heat.
  • Do not wait until your child is thirsty to give him water. By the time they feel thirsty, they are already becoming dehydrated.
  • If your child is resistant to drinking enough water, have other liquids on hand for your child to drink throughout the day.
  • Be alert to changes in behavior. A child may act confused or more irritable when they are becoming dehydrated/overheated. Get them into cooler temperatures and drinking more fluids.
  • Dress your child in lightweight clothing in the summer months, particularly if she’ll be playing outdoors in warm weather. You may also consider clothes that are well ventilated as they do not trap heat close to the body.
  • When there are heat and/or air quality advisories because the weather is dangerously hot, you should avoid taking the children outdoors. Check with your host parents for further guidance on this topic.

Remember to follow these tips for yourself too, so you stay well hydrated.

Photo: Darwin Bell (Flickr)

Health & Safety – Where are Ticks?

When the weather is nice, we spend more time outdoors with the children. Playing in the back yard, at the playground or walking on nature trails are great ways to get fresh air and exercise.

kids in woods

What are ticks? – Ticks are small mites that attach themselves to skin and suck blood. Click HERE to see examples of ticks.

Where are ticks commonly found? – Ticks are normally found in areas with trees, bushes or tall grass. This includes back yards, parks, nature areas and most places you would be spending time with the children outdoors in the nice weather.

What needs to be done? – When you return home from areas where ticks might live, carefully check the children and yourself (clothing, skin and scalp) for ticks. If you find a tick on one of your host children, notify your host parents immediately.

Most ticks do not carry diseases, and most tick bites do not cause serious health problems. But it is important to remove a tick as soon as you find it. Removing the tick completely and cleaning the area with soap and water or antiseptic spray, may help avoid diseases such as Lyme Disease that the tick may pass on during feeding, or a skin infection where it bit you.

Click HERE for Instructions on Removing a tick from WebMD.com.

How do you reduce risk of tick bites?  – Use a repellent with DEET on skin. Repellents containing 20% or more DEET can protect up to several hours. Always follow product instructions. Adults should apply this product to their children, avoiding the hands, eyes, and mouth. When you come back in from outside, it’s best to wash the repellent off of skin with soap and water. For detailed information about using DEET on children, see recommendations from the American Academy of Pediatrics.

Places to Get the Flu Shot

Updated  9/22/2016
Many au pairs and host families are looking for places to get flu shots this time of year. Au Pair insurance does not cover immunizations, but there are lots of places to get flu shots for $30 or less.  If the host family is insisting that an au pair get a seasonal flu shot and she agrees to get it, the host family would be responsible for the expense.

If you are planning to get the seasonal flu vaccine, it is recommended that you get it as early as possible.

flu_shots

Anne Arundel County Health Department – Details have not been released as of 9/22/16

Montgomery County Health Department – Free (proof of residency may be required)

Prince George’s County – Details have not been released as of 9/22/16

Adventist Hospital – Free (while supplies last), then $28

Giant Pharmacy – Cost is not listed (last year, it was $30)

CVS Pharmacy & Minute Clinic – Cost is not listed (last year, it was $31.99) 

Walgreens Pharmacy – Cost is not listed (last year, it was $31.99) 

Rite Aid Pharmacy – Cost is not listed (last year, it was $31.99)

Target Pharmacy & Target Clinic – Cost is not listed (last year, it was $25)

Preventing Dehydration in Hot Weather

drinking-fountain-water

Step 1
Encourage your child to drink plenty of water. On hot days, children should drink significantly more water than usual, as they are losing more due to the heat.

Step 2
Do not wait until your child is thirsty to give him water. By the time they feel thirsty, they are already becoming dehydrated.

Step 3
Have other liquids on hand for your child to drink throughout the day. Juices also help with hydration.

Step 4
Be alert to changes in behavior.  A child may act confused or more irritable when they are becoming dehydrated/overheated.  Get them into cooler temperatures and drinking more fluids.

Step 5
Dress your child in lightweight clothing in the summer months, particularly if she’ll be playing outdoors in warm weather. You may also consider clothes that are well ventilated as they do not trap heat close to the body.

Additional Safety Note: When there are heat and/or air quality advisories because the weather is dangerously hot, you should avoid taking the children outdoors. Check with your host parents for further guidance on this topic.