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Power Outage – September 27

We have no power at our Rocky Point Pharmacy today. The main electrical line to our complex is not working, but Duke Energy is in the process of repairing it.

Unfortunately, we cannot fill new prescriptions today, but are here if you need to pick one up that’s already filled. Sorry for the inconvenience!

Is it a cold, the flu, or allergies?

This time of year, we may get the sniffles, start sneezing, and a get sore throat. But, Is it a cold, flu, or allergies? It can be hard to tell them apart because they share so many symptoms. But understanding the differences will help you choose the best treatment.

If you don’t know which it is, you may take medications that aren’t effective or that make your symptoms even worse. So, how can you tell which is which? They all make it hard to breathe, but there are other symptoms that set them apart from each other.

Anyone who has had the flu knows that symptoms are much more severe than having a cold. Both can lead to a runny, stuffy nose, congestion, cough and sore throat. But if you have the flu, you can also get a high fever that lasts for 3-4 days, plus body aches and severe fatigue, and shortness of breath. Dizziness, vomiting, and even confusion are also signs of having the flu

With allergies, your body is reacting to a trigger, or allergen, which is something you’re allergic to, and not a virus. The most common seasonal allergy this time of year is ragweed. Though it usually starts to release pollen with cool nights and warm days in August, it can last into September and October. About 75% of people allergic to spring plants also have reactions to ragweed.

Allergies can also cause itchy, watery eyes, which you don’t normally have with a cold or flu. Allergy symptoms usually last as long as you’re exposed to the allergen, which may be about six weeks during pollen seasons in the spring, summer, or fall. Colds and flu rarely last beyond two weeks.

Most people with a cold or flu can recover on their own without medical care. But if you are at a higher risk for complications from the flu (including young children, people 65 and older, pregnant women and people with certain medical conditions), it’s best for you to contact your doctor.

Check with your doctor if symptoms last more than 10 days or if you aren’t getting any relief from over-the-counter medicines.

Drink plenty of fluids and get a lot of rest, whether it’s a cold or the flu. If you have a fever, pain relievers such as aspirin, acetaminophen or ibuprofen can help relieve pain and reduce fever.

Allergies can be treated with antihistamines or decongestants.

No matter what symptoms you are treating, be careful to avoid “drug overlap” when taking medicines that list 2 or more active ingredients on the label. For example, if you take two different drugs that contain acetaminophen—one for a stuffy nose and the other for headache—you may be getting too much acetaminophen.

Read medicine labels for the warnings, side effects, dosages. If you have questions, talk to your doctor or one of our pharmacists. You don’t want to over medicate, and you don’t want to risk taking a medication that may interact with another.

Don’t forget, we offer flu shots at both of our pharmacies. No appointment is needed! Just stop by during our regular store hours and we’ll take care of you so you don’t get sick in the first place.

 

Source: National Institute of Health and the Centers for Disease Control

Fall Safety Tips

It’s the time of year when the weather is starting to cool off, the leaves are falling, and all of the commercials on TV seem to be telling us to get outside and work in the yard.

Unfortunately, the tasks to ensure a more beautiful lawn in the spring can wreak havoc on our bodies. Raking, pruning, and cleaning gutters can cause back pain, muscle strain, painful injuries and even accidents that require a trip to the emergency room. According to the CDC, approximately 42 million people seek emergency treatment for yard work related injuries each year.

Hire a professional to do a job that requires equipment you are not confident using. If you do decide to do the job yourself, know how to operate the equipment safely and correctly.

Here are some tips to make your time more productive and keep you safe:

Wear Safety Equipment
Weed-eating, trimming bushes and trees, and fertilizing the lawn all seem relatively harmless, but without proper protection, flying debris can wind up in your eyes. Wearing safety glasses, earmuffs, and gloves can provide protection for your skin and eyes and ears. If you are spraying chemicals or spreading lime and fertilizer, be sure to wear a face mask to avoid inhaling deadly toxins. Also keep these away from kids and pets.

Keep an eye on your surroundings and to make sure no one else can potentially be inadvertently hit by a stray rock or branch.

Use Proper Tools
Yard tools are now being made with ergonomics in mind, but they are only good if they fit you. Take time to try out tools in the store before you buy them. For example, hoes and rakes should have handles long enough for you be be able to use them without bending over. They should also be as lightweight as possible and fit in your hand comfortable. Look for hand tools with wide handles, and a padded grip. Wearing gloves can also help keep your hands from blistering.

Using sharpened hand tools is also key to reducing the amount of effort needed to dig and trim bushes. When tools begin to dull, use a metal file or whetstone to sharpen the edges. If you are uncomfortable or don’t have the tools to sharpen metal, taking your hand tools and lawnmower blades to a professional lawn repair shop is a safe alternative.

Clean and dry your tools at the end of the work day and store them in a shed or garage. This will keep the sun and rain off of them. If handles do become worn, sand and refinish them to avoid splintering.

Mind Your Posture
Avoid reaching over something to pick up another object. The closer the item is to your body, the easier it is to lift the item. Be sure to bend at your knees and use your legs, rather than bending at the waist and pulling a muscle in your back.

It’s also easy to use your dominant hand and arm when performing tasks. It’s important to switch things up and alternate between your left and right arms when doing yard work. This will help prevent overworking certain muscle groups.

Raking leaves is a good example of a task that can easily alternate your muscle movement. Also, don’t overfill bags of leaves. You should be able to handle bags comfortably and without straining to lift them.

Carefully Climb Ladders
If you must clean your gutters yourself, make sure your ladder is in good repair with no loose hinges, rungs, or screws. Place it on a firm, level surface and check to be sure it’s fully open and locked. If using an extension ladder, be sure it’s leaning at a safe angle against the house and that it isn’t leaning to one side. When climbing, wear shoes with nonslip soles and shoes that are enclosed — no sandals or flip flops. Never climb a ladder without someone holding it in place. And, always face toward it when climbing and descending. Never sit or stand above the level indicated by the manufacturer.

Take breaks throughout the day, stretch, and drink plenty of water. Getting the kids involved will also give provide some relief and give them some exercise, too.

At the end of the day, taking an ibuprofen, or an anti-inflammatory will help your muscles. Apply heat to your lower back if it’s feeling tight.

Stop by our pharmacy for any last minute first aid items before you do any yard work. That way, you’re prepared when and if you need relief.

September is National Childhood Obesity Awareness Month

When you were growing up, did you have an exercise routine?  You probably rode your bike everywhere and played with friends ‘til the street lights came on. Nowadays, it seems that kids play online more than outside. It’s a trend that is on the fast track to a health epidemic of obesity.

September is National Childhood Obesity Awareness Month and we are doing our part to help educate parents on the dangers of overweight kids.

One in 3 children in the United States are overweight or obese. Childhood obesity puts kids at risk for health problems that were once seen only in adults, like type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, and heart disease.

On the bright side, childhood obesity can be prevented and reversed.

Get outside

  • Take walks or ride bikes around the neighborhood. Make it part of your family’s daily routine.
  • Have a trail system near you? Pack a healthy picnic lunch and take a hike.
  • With plenty of parks in the area, you can play basketball or kick a soccer ball around.
  • Making exercise part of your kids’ lifestyle at an early age will increase the chances of them remaining active as an adult.

Turn off the screens

  • Limit time spent on computer, watching TV or playing video games to 2-hours a day or less.
  • Kids who watch more than 2-hours of TV per day are at a greater risk of poor school performance, social problems, obesity, and trouble sleeping.
  • Be an example for kids and limit your own screen time, too.

Eat and drink healthy

  • Make a list of healthy foods and limit your grocery shopping to what’s on the list.
  • Buy and serve more fruits and vegetables, and whole-grains.
  • Limit sugary soft drinks. Water is best, but smoothies are a good alternative to soft drinks and provide cold refreshment on a hot summer day.
  • Avoid buying unhealthy snack foods. Skip the chips and buy nuts, popcorn, fruits and yogurt as healthy choices.

Studies show that most children need multiple exposures (between 5 and 10 times) to try new foods. Making vegetables with different recipes can give kids more opportunities to experience new foods and hopefully find something healthy that they like! Involving your kids in meal planning, grocery shopping and preparation is also a great way to get them to eat healthy, too.

Sharing a family dinner is also proven to make the family bond stronger, and kids are less likely to abuse drugs and alcohol.

Take time today to clean out your pantry and eliminate unhealthy snacks. Make a fresh grocery list and have a health meal tonight and follow dinner with walk around the neighborhood.
Share these tips with family and friends and together we can build a healthy community.

September is Childhood Cancer Awareness Month

We hear the word Cancer and it sounds so scary to us as adults. Now imagine it’s your child.

This month is Childhood Cancer Awareness month. More children are being diagnosed with cancer today than ever before. Though pediatric cancer death rates have declined nearly 70% over the past forty years, cancer is still the leading cause of death from disease among children. We’d like to do our part to help educate families in our own community about childhood cancer.

Worldwide during the month of September:

  • 25,000 families around the world will get the horrible news that their child or teen has cancer
  • 6,667 families will experience the loss of a child due to cancer

In the United States in 2016, an estimated 10,380 new cases of cancer will be diagnosed among children from birth to 14 years, and about 1,250 children are expected to die from the disease.  The major types of cancers in children ages 0 to 14 years are acute lymphocytic leukemia (ALL), brain and other central nervous system (CNS) tumors, and neuroblastoma, which are expected to account for more than half of new cases in 2016.

What’s causing this rise in cancer? Most causes are not known and only about 5% of all pediatric cancers are caused by a genetic mutation that can be passed from parents to their children. In adults, cumulative effects of aging and long-term exposure to cancer-causing substances. However, identifying environmental causes in children is difficult to determine.

Thanks to pediatric oncology specialists and researchers, 80% of childhood cancer cases can be successfully treated. Like treating other cancer patients, treating children’s cancer depends on the type of cancer and and how advanced it is.

Common treatments include: surgery, chemotherapy, radiation therapy, immunotherapy, and stem cell transplant. However, treatment in children can have different effects than on adults. Children may receive a more intense regimen of medications and the effects on their growing bodies can cause drugs to respond differently than if they were adults. The treatments can also have negative consequences later in life.

For children to receive the best treatment and have the greatest chance of beating the disease, seek a specialist at a hospital that specializes in treating children with cancer. Most pediatric oncology centers treat patients up to 20 years old. The centers that treat children provide comprehensive care for the child. Specialists at a children’s cancer center are likely to include primary care physicians, pediatric medical oncologists/hematologists, pediatric surgical specialists, radiation oncologists, rehabilitation specialists, pediatric nurse specialists, social workers, and psychologists. At these centers, clinical trials are available for most types of cancer that occur in children, and the opportunity to participate in a trial is offered to many patients.

Coping with cancer is a family challenge. You want to encourage the child and stay strong, but that can be difficult with this diagnosis. There are books and guides for parents along with ways to help siblings cope, and how to work with the health care providers. The National Cancer Institute website is a wealth of information for parents and families. Download the Children with Cancer guide for information on talking with your child, treatments, clinical trials, support, and other resources.

Surviving a battle with cancer is a major success, to say the least. But, it’s important to follow-up with your child’s doctors to monitor your child’s health since late effects of cancer treatment are of particular concern. A survivorship plan will be created specifically for your child and will include information such as:

  • Exams and tests/procedures to check for the recurrence or metastasis of cancer, and a schedule of when they are needed;
  • Care and support to manage any long-term side effects and check for late effects;
  • Psychosocial support or counseling, and referrals as needed;
  • Referrals for legal aid or financial support, as needed;
  • Referrals to, and coordination with, specialists such as cardiologists, education specialist, endocrinologists,physical therapists, and psychologists and to appropriate treatments, clinical studies, and rehabilitation specialists;
  • Recommendations for healthy behaviors, such as advice regarding nutrition and physical exercise;
  • Family-based care, education, and outreach to your child and family.

Have a support network of friends, family and medical professionals from the first diagnosis through the survival process is one of the keys to beating the disease.
Source: National Institute of Health