Importance of Back to School Physicals

The Importance of School Physicals

School Physical Importance

Did you know school physicals are required annually before the start of school each year? They are required for children and young adults of all ages. They ensure your child is healthy and have all their vaccinations up-to-date.

With physicals it allows your child to build their medical history so that their doctor can keep a record of your child’s development and progress over the course of time.  Not only does this keep on top of emerging problems but stay informed on past illnesses and immunizations.

When receiving a school physical form, it allows your child’s pediatrician to accurately fill out the form based on record from growth and development from immunizations as well as health check-up throughout the year. 

How can DOCS Urgent Care Help?

When coming to DOCS Urgent Care at any of our locations, one of our certified physicians will be happy to perform your child’s school physical exam. Walk-in or call and make an appointment with us. Once here, your child’s physical will include a review of health history, a performed exam, a signed form to bring back to school, and/or we will fax all applicable documents to specific institutions.  We also provide the following vaccinations: 

  • Tetanus Diphtheria (TD)
  • Tetanus Diphtheria Pertussis (TDAP)
  • Polio (IPV)
  • Varicella
  • Yellow Fever
  • Gardasil
  • Pneumococcal
  • Menactra
  • MMR
  • Hepatitis A (Pediatric)
  • Hepatitis B (Pediatric)
  • And More

As a leader in the industry of top quality medical care, we make sure you receive affordable and cost effective services from our trained professional staff. In addition to scheduling a school physical, you will ensure the wellbeing of your child to help them perform their best both mentally and physically. Call today to schedule your child’s school physical.

Everything to Know About Summer Allergies

girl sneezing due to summer allergies

Everything to Know About Summer Allergies

girl sneezing due to summer allergies

The Symptoms

Just because Spring is over does not mean your allergies are over. Many people experience severe allergy symptoms in the summer months. For some people the summer time allergies can be just as bad or worse than the spring and fall seasons. 

– Runny nose
– Water eyes
– Sneezing
– Coughing
– Itchy eyes and nose
– Itchy throat
– Dark circles
– Mouth breathing

 

The Causes

Mold

One of the primary culprits of your summer allergies, mold is most prevalent in hot and humid environments. Mold can spread through the air by the wind which makes it spread quickly. A spring with an above average amount of rain can lead to increased amount of mold in the summer months. 

 

Pollen

Pollen similar to Mold in the sense it is most prevalent in the summer months due to the warmth. The pollen comes off of trees, weeds, and grasses to fill the air and make your summer miserable. Trees such as birch, cedar, and oak all release high levels of pollen. Some common sources of weed pollen are sagebrush, pigweed, lamb’s quarters and tumbleweed. It is essential in the summer to look up the pollen count to see how much pollen is in the air at a specific time. Avoid going outside for extended periods of time on days with a high pollen count.

 

Summer Cold or Summer Allergies?

Are you worried that you could be coming down with a summer cold? First take a look at this list of differences between a summer cold and just summer allergies. 

 

 Typically with a cold you may experience general aches and pains which you wouldn’t experience with summer allergies.

 The duration of a summer cold is usually around a few days while summer allergies can last for weeks or potentially months.

 

Solving Summer Allergies

 It is imperative to check the mold and pollen counts to avoid outside contact on those days with high levels. This can help you limit your symptoms when the days are at their worst.

 Keep your home clean and potentially invest in an HVAC system instead of opening windows to let allergens into your home.

 Clean your furry friends when they come inside to stop them from bringing in any allergens.
 

DOCS Medical Group can provide you with the care you need. Contact us today to set up an appointment or visit our office.

3 Signs You Have Seasonal Allergies

women sneezing

3 Signs You Have Seasonal Allergies

women sneezing

Every year millions of Americans suffer from seasonal allergies. Some symptoms can include sneezing, congestion, and runny nose to name a few. Seasonal allergies can affect you year round, but most people find that their symptoms are more prevalent or intense at the turn of Spring. Whichever symptom may be bothering you, we have ways to help. Read on to learn more about allergy symptoms and seasonality.

1. Common Symptoms

Allergies can come in a variety of forms. You do not need to have every symptom to determine if you have a seasonal allergy. Here are some of the most common symptoms of seasonal allergies: 

– Sneezing
– Congestion
– Runny nose
– Watery eyes
– Itchy eyes
– Itchy throat

 

2. Additional Symptoms

These symptoms are not as common as the ones above, yet many people suffer from the following during allergy season:

– Headache
– Wheezing
– Coughing

 

3. Allergy Sources During Certain Seasons

As mentioned previously, allergies can occur at any point in the year. Although Springtime is the most common time for seasonal allergies, different sources can give you allergies during other seasons. This list can give you a better idea of what may affect you during different seasons: 

Spring – Birch, Cedar, Alder, Horse Chestnut, Willow, and Poplar

Summer – Ryegrass, Timothy Grass, and Weeds

Fall – Ragweed, Nettles, Mugworts, Sorrels, Fat Hens, and Plantains

Winter – Mold, Pet Dander, Dust Mites, and Cockroaches

 

Solving Your Seasonal Allergies

Unfortunately, seasonal allergies cannot be completely cured, but most symptoms can be alleviated with certain medications. There are over-the-counter medicines that fall under categories such as antihistamines, decongestants, and saline spray. An antihistamine can help prevent sneezing, runny nose, and watery eyes. A decongestant can relieve sinus pressure and open up your sinuses for better breathing. The saline spray is perfect for cleaning out all the mucus in the nose. Use the saline spray once in the morning and again at night to ensure you are completely flushed out. 

These medications are the first step in addressing your seasonal allergies. However, if you find that over-the-counter medication is proving ineffective, then consult your doctor regarding prescription medications.

 

DOCS Medical Group can provide you with the care you need. Contact us today to set up an appointment or visit our office.

How to Identify and Treat Pink Eye

How to Identify and Treat Pink Eye

Pink eye is very common, especially for young children who go to summer camp. Pink eye, or conjunctivitis, is fairly easy to treat, especially if it is identified early. Read on to learn how to spot pink eye and find treatment options. 

What Does Pink Eye Look Like?

As the name suggests, pink eye is an inflammation of the conjunctiva, causing the eye to develop a reddish/pink color. This coloration is the easiest symptom to spot. However, it is important to learn about the other pink eye symptoms. These can include: crusty eyelids/lashes, clear, white, yellow, or green eye discharge, itchy eyes, and increased tearing. 

How Do I Prevent Pink Eye from Spreading? How Do I Avoid Pink Eye?

Pink Eye can spread easily as viruses or bacteria. Some major ways to avoid pink eye are washing your hands often with soap and water, disinfecting common areas (for example, the doorknobs), avoid touching or rubbing your eyes, and stay away from sharing things like eyeglasses, contact lens/contact lens containers, and makeup (ex: mascara). 

What Should I Do If I Think I Have Pink Eye?

  • According to the CDC (Center for Disease Control), there are times when you should seek the help of a health provider if you have any of the following:
  • Moderate to severe pain in your eye(s)
  • Sensitivity to light or blurred vision
  • Intense redness in the eye(s)
  • A weakened immune system, for example from HIV or cancer treatment
  • Symptoms that get worse or don’t improve, including bacterial pink eye that does not improve after 24 hours of antibiotic use
  • Pre-existing eye conditions that may put you at risk for complications or severe infection
  • An infant or newborn with symptoms of pink eye should see a healthcare provider immediately

If you need to see a physician for pink eye, DOCS Urgent Care can help you. DOCS Urgent Care is the #1 choice for CT families and is open 365 days a year with extended office hours. Contact us today! 

DOCS Medical Group can provide you with the care you need. Contact us today to set up an appointment or visit us in Fairfield, Bethel, New Milford, or any of our 12 other offices throughout CT!

The Risk of Food Poisoning in the Summer

The Risk of Food Poisoning in the Summer

Summer is the perfect time for outdoor picnics and late-night barbeques. Hot dogs, hamburgers, and grilled veggies are summer staples. However, it is important to remember that warm weather can increase the risk of turning your fun food plans into a disastrous bacterial growth, leading to food poisoning. According to the CDC (Center for Disease Control), 48 million Americans get food poisoning every year. Follow these tips for food preparation and protection to ensure your summer picnics are memorable for the right reasons!

Keep Cool!

The heat of the summer is one of the major reasons why there is an uptick in food poisoning cases during these months. Bacteria can grow faster in warm climates, with the fastest growth in temperatures from 90 to 110 degrees Fahrenheit. Eating food that has been left out too long will make you sick. Prevent this possibility by keeping your foods cool. For instance, if you are hosting a BBQ, keep your raw meat, poultry, or seafood in a fridge or insulated cooler until you are ready to grill. Put your leftovers in a fridge or cooler as soon as possible. Keeping food out for over an hour or two could spell disaster. If you think your perishable food has been out too long, throw it out. Additionally, if you use a cooler, make sure you layer and replenish ice (when needed) to keep items properly cool.

 

Keep Clean!

Before any food preparation/cooking, you should always wash your hands with warm water and soap. You should also wash your hands after handling any raw meat, poultry, seafood. Unwashed or improperly washed hands can contribute to the spread of germs and bacteria. You should also wash/clean kitchen surfaces, grills, and utensils to decrease the chances of food poisoning. Additionally, fresh produce and vegetables, such as lettuce, should be rinsed. Therefore, it is important to have a source of safe drinking water to properly cleanse food, surfaces, and hands.

 

Keep Separate!

Cross-contamination is a serious contributor to food poisoning. Keep bacteria from traveling from raw meats or seafood to other areas. If you are packing, wrap and separate raw food in individual bags. This will prevent any juices or marinades to stay away from one another. After cooking food, place on a clean plate and away from uncooked food. It is also important to remember to use clean utensils and to never use the same utensils between cooked and uncooked foods.

 

Keep Cooking!

You will need to cook your food thoroughly to kill the harmful bacteria. Never partially grill meat to finish later because it allows the bacteria to survive and multiply, eventually reaching a point where the subsequent cooking would no longer destroy the germs. Use a food thermometer to ensure that your food is properly cooked. Sometimes, eyeballing food from the outside is not enough to determine that the food is safe to consume. The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) recommends the following safe internal temperatures:

  • Poultry (whole, pieces & ground): 165 °F /74 °C
  • Ground meats: 160 °F /71 °C
  • Beef, pork, lamb and veal (steaks, roasts & chops): 145 °F /63 °C

 

Common Symptoms of Food Poisoning

  • Abdominal pain
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting or diarrhea
  • Fever
  • Headaches
  • Weakness

 

Many cases of food poisoning only require rest and hydration. However, it may be necessary to get medical help. DOCS Urgent Care can provide many services to aid if you contract food poisoning. Contact medical help if you find you have any of the following:

  • Vomiting or diarrhea lasting more than three days
  • A high, persistent fever
  • Bloody vomit or diarrhea
  • Extreme abdominal pain
  • Inability to remain hydrated
  • Difficulty seeing, speaking, or standing

DOCS Medical Group can provide you with the care you need. Contact us today to set up an appointment or visit our office.

Tick Prevention Tips for the Summer

Tick Prevention Tips for the Summer

The summer months are the perfect time to go on a walk, hike, or run outside. This time of year is also the perfect time for ticks. It is important to remember how to avoid ticks while enjoying your outdoor activities.

Ticks can carry harmful bacteria and pathogens that can infect humans and animals with disease, one of which is Lyme Disease. The East Coast is home to the Ixodes Scapularis, a carrier of Lyme Disease. Consider some of these tips the next time you want to head outdoors to reduce your risk of contracting a tick bite.

 

Protect Yourself from Tick Bites:

 

  • Avoid Heavily Wooded Areas and Walk in the Center of Trails

Ticks are often found in heavily wooded areas or in thick brush. If you are hiking or walking in one of these areas, it is recommended that you stick to the center of the trail to reduce the risk of a tick attaching to a host.

  • Wear long sleeves and pants when working with brush or in other common area of ticks

As mentioned in the previous tip, ticks hide in the underbrush of tall grass. If you are active in one of these areas, it is important to wear clothes that cover your skin (think long sleeve shirts and pants). Jobs that involve working in areas like this are at an increased risk for Lyme Disease (which ticks can carry if they bite an infected species and then attach to a host).

  • Use repellents that contain 20-30% DEET or use products that contain 0.5% permethrin on clothing.

Repellents are another strategy for keeping those pesky ticks away. Use repellents that contain 20-30% DEET. Additionally, you can treat clothes with permethrin which is a chemical that paralyzes and kills ticks.

  • Examine clothes, backpacks and pets after coming back from any outdoor activity

After spending time outside, it is highly recommended that you check your clothes and your body for ticks. An easy way to check yourself is to do a body check in the shower. Bathing can wash away any unattached ticks. Places to search for ticks include the following: hairline, inside/behind the ear, back of neck, armpit, inside the belly button, legs, behind the knees, groin, and between toes. Also remember to check your pets for ticks as well.

 

What Should I Do if I Find a Tick or Suspect I’ve Been Bitten?

 

If you’ve pulled off a tick or find a ring-like rash, it is possible that you have been infected with Lyme Disease. DOCS Urgent Care of Connecticut provides testing and proper treatment. If left untreated, this disease can lead to extreme complications. Follow this link to learn about DOCS Urgent Care tick removal, testing, and treatment services, or to set up an appointment:  

https://docsmedicalgroup.com/docsurgentcare/tick-lyme-testing/