Tag Archives: protection

Summer Dangers to Dodge (Part 2)

For most, summer is the most enjoyable time of the year, but it also harbors its own unique dangers that can ruin any good time, or turn out much worse. Taking precautions is imperative when it comes to enjoying a safe, fun summer. In Summer Dangers to Dodge (Part 1) we looked at ocean safety, sun safety and preventing heatstroke. This time we wanted to take a look at insects, child safety and safe adventuring.

Fight The Bites

Aside from general discomfort, insect bites can pose a host of medical risks including disease transmission or severe allergic reaction. Some things you can do to protect yourself and your loved ones against the dangers of those creepy crawlie hazards include:

  1. Check the news for word on local outbreaks of certain mosquito transmitted illnesses in your area or where you intend to travel. Is a Zika outbreak happening? If so, take extra precautions to avoid mosquito bites such as wearing protective clothing, using repellent and spending time in air conditioned areas during peak heat.
  2. Check yourself and your children for ticks and chiggers regularly. Ticks can spread such diseases as Lyme disease which can be chronic if left undiagnosed and untreated. Prompt removal of ticks and showering after being in wooded areas can reduce the chances of tick infection.
  3. Carry necessary emergency meds – if you know you have an allergy to bug bites or bee stings, be sure to carry an Epipen auto-injector everywhere you go. If you are only mildly allergic or sensitive to bites, keep antihistamines and allergy cream in your carry bag or in your car.
  4. Use bed-nets in highly infectious areas, they are best pretreated with insecticide.
  5. Repel bugs – If you want extra protection aside from insect repellant, try treating your clothing with permethrin to ensure the mosquitoes stay away.

Don’t Forget Your Kit

If you’re heading out for a summer hike or adventure, be sure to pack emergency essentials. You can purchase mini first aid kits for $5-10 that can really save your hide in a pinch. If you get a nasty wound it is important to be able to properly clean it until you can be seen by a doctor. Other essentials to pack in your backpack are sunscreen, plenty of clean drinking water, emergency snacks in case you get temporarily stranded, fly repellent, extra clothing for temperature changes, sunglasses and any daily medications as well as some OTC pain relievers like Tylenol or Advil in case they should be needed.

Keep a Watchful Eye Out

Unfortunately, accidental playground-related incidents send over 200,000 children to the ER every year, many of which take place during summer months. According to the CDC, nearly 45% of playground accidents result in severe injuries such as concussions or fractures. Obviously you can’t prevent all accidents or watch your children around the clock, but stressing to them the importance of playing safe is a good step in the right direction. Keep an extra eye on small children swimming and playing in water as even an inch of water could pose a drowning risk for small children.

Well there you have it! Some summer dangers to dodge in order to safely enjoy the season. Thanks for visiting DocChat, if you have any questions or concerns about seasonal health issues feel free to sign up today for a video consultation with one of our highly qualified physicians! We hope you’ll check back soon!


8 Reasons To Vaccinate Your Baby


  1. There is no better way than vaccination to protect your baby against potentially life-threatening (but preventable) diseases.
  2. You may think multiple vaccines in the first two years will overburden your child’s system, but that is not the case. A baby could receive 11 different vaccinations at once and it would only use up one thousandth of their immune system.
  3. Vaccines are extremely safe and pass rigorous research, testing and approval by scientists, doctors and the government before dissemination.
  4. The bacteria and viruses in vaccines are weakened and therefore far less potent than the daily microbes babies have come in contact with every second since birth.
  5. While vaccination has drastically reduced the prevalence of many diseases, vaccine-preventable diseases such as the measles, whooping cough and mumps are still circulating in North America (largely due of travelers from countries with no immunization and unvaccinated people), causing several hospitalizations and deaths of children each year.
  6. When large numbers of parents refuse to vaccinate their babies, these preventable diseases thrive and spread easier causing illness and death especially for the immunocompromised.
  7. Vaccinations help protect babies and toddlers against not only diseases, but their subsequent complications such as amputation, hearing loss, seizures or death.
  8. The World Health Organization, The Centers For Disease Control And Prevention, The American Academy of Pediatrics and The American Academy of Family Physicians all strongly recommend immunization of young children against the 14 vaccine-preventable diseases.

Pre And Post Vaccination Tips

Even though vaccinations are essential to protect your child against harmful diseases, it is hard to watch your baby go through a painful ordeal. Thankfully, there are measures you can take to minimize your child’s discomfort throughout this process:

  • Talk to your doctor about any information they may have to share with you about vaccinations, ask about side effects and what to expect post-injection.
  • Swaddle, cuddle, breastfeed or sing to your baby right before and after the shot.
  • maintain both physical and eye contact while the shot is happening to soothe them.
  • Bring a favorite item such as blanket or toy to comfort and distract your baby.
  • Afterward have a cool cloth or ice wrapped in a cloth to reduce discomfort and soreness at the injection site.
  • Keep an eye on your child for a few days to make sure nothing seems out of the ordinary, and contact your doctor with any post-immunization concerns.

More Information About Vaccination


Thanks for visiting DocChat! We hope you’ll return again soon.

STI Prevention And Awareness

It is becoming increasingly important to promote awareness and become educated about Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs) as the numbers are steadily rising around the country and will only continue to climb if we don’t take preventative measures. Simple choices like not having unprotected or intoxicated sex may mean the difference between being healthy or HIV positive. Untreated STIs can have devastating reproductive consequences if left undetected for years.

STI Statistics:

  1. Over 110 million American men and women have Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs)
  2. Of the 8 most common STIs only: syphilis, gonorrhoea, chlamydia and trichomoniasis are treatable. The other 4: hepatitis B, herpes simplex virus, HIV, and human papillomavirus (HPV) are incurable (however there are medications available to help minimize symptoms).
  3. Gonorrhea is progressively developing resistance to common antibacterial treatments making it harder to treat effectively. If this continues, gonorrhea may become one of the incurable ones, therefore it is important to contain the spread of this STI.
  4. Many STIs are transferrable from mother to baby through birth including herpes and HIV. STIs can cause stillbirth, birth defects such as missing limbs, blindness, prematurity, or ailments such as pneumonia.
  5. Undetected or untreated syphilis causes more than 300,000 fetal fatalities annually, and leads to birth defects, congenital conditions and other health complications in 215,000 babies.
  6. Untreated STIs can cause infertility and pelvic inflammatory disease (PID) in women.
  7. Approximately 290 million women across the world have HPV.
  8. Each year HPV leads to over 520,000 cases of cervical cancer, 266,000 of which are deadly.
  9. Having certain STIs like herpes or syphilis can triple your risk of contracting HIV, so you should use extreme caution if you are already infected with an STI.
  10. Many STIs such as syphilis or gonorrhea can have few-to-no symptoms and may go undetected until they resurface to cause pregnancy complications or other issues years later. It is important to get checked for STIs when you first become pregnant so your doctor can take measures to protect your unborn baby in the presence of an STI such as to arrange a caesarian section birth.

STI Prevention

  • Avoid engaging in risky behaviors, such as: unprotected sex of any kind (unless you are in a committed monogamous relationship and were both tested); sex with multiple partners; sexual encounters with anonymous people; receiving unsterile or dangerous tattoos or injections; engaging in sexual behavior while under the influence of alcohol or drugs (your judgement may be impaired).
  • Females should be vaccinated with the HPV vaccination.
  • Use condoms properly every time you engage in sexual behaviour.
  • If you have multiple sexual partners (or one that you suspect may have an infection) get tested regularly for sexually transmitted infections.
  • If you are engaging in sexual activity with a partner who is HIV positive, ask your doctor about PrEP (pre-exposure prophylaxis) to see if it is a viable option for you.
  • Have open an discussion with your partners about if they were recently tested or have any existing STIs.
  • Talk to your doctor about your sexual habits and lifestyle to see what preventative measures he or she would suggest to help you lower your risk of contracting STIs, or prevent spreading STIs to others if you already have them.
  • Abstinence until you find a desired life partner is another preventative measure some wish to partake in.
  • It is also important to talk to your children when they are old enough about the importance of practicing abstinence or safe sex.

More Information

For more information about STIs or about how to talk to young people about STI prevention, visit the Centers For Disease Control and Prevention’s comprehensive database on sexual health and sexually transmitted diseases. If you already have an STI, there are resources available that can help with management and providing support, such as the American Sexual Health Association. For more information on these topics, you can talk to your doctor or one of our highly skilled DocChat physicians about STI prevention, treatment, management, or how to get tested today.

Thanks for visiting, we hope to see you again soon!