Ask The Experts
Do my kids really need a flu shot every year?physical Health
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that all people olde than 6 months receive the annual flu shot. Your children seem very healthy but it is difficult to keep your children away from the virus during flu season. The flu virus is transmitted from water droplets that are released when a sick person coughs, sneezes, or talks and these droplets can spread up to 6 feet away! If your child were to become sick with the flu, he or she will become much sicker than an adult would and the risk of death from flu is much higher for a child. To learn more about the seasonal flu, visit http://www.cdc.gov/flu/index.htm or speak with your medical provider. Have a question? Email us at MarneHealth@gmail.com.
Why would someone choose to stay in an abusive relationship?emotional Health
There are many reasons why someone would chose to stay in an abusive relationship. Maybe, they have been married for a while and the victim does not want to end a long relationship. Maybe, they have children and s/he is staying for that reason. Maybe, the victim loves the abuser and wants to believe him/her when they say they will change. Finally, perhaps, they may stay out of fear. The victim has probably been told numerous times that either they or their children will be hurt or killed if they leave the abusive relationship. In any event, if you are a friend of someone who is being abused, ensure they know about their options (Temporary Protective Orders, Emergency Shelter, etc) and be patient. This type of relationship did not evolve over night. It will not be settled as quickly either.
Should I be making homemade pet food?physical Health
The occasional home-cooked meal is likely fine for most healthy pets. But to regularly feed your pet a home-cooked diet isn’t as simple as deciding what to cook for dinner tonight. Store-bought pet food is nutritionally balanced and fortified for their needs. If you do want to cook for your pet, you’ll need to meet with a qualified pet nutritionist with board certification in veterinary nutrition or a Ph.D.-trained animal nutritionist. They’ll develop a detailed recipe for your pet’s specific needs and recommend appropriate supplements to help prevent nutrition-related health problems later. - Cailin R. Heinze, VMD, MS. DACVN, Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine, Tufts University
Should children be allowed to drink sports drinks?physical Health
In general, children and adolescents should prioritize water over sports drinks. The American Academy of Pediatrics warns that sports drinks contribute excess calories and sugar, which can increase the risk of weight gain, obesity, and dental erosion. In addition, many sports drinks contain artificial flavorings and colors. If your children are tired of plain water, try adding lemon or lime slices to enhance the flavor. Even if your kids are active, the recommended drink of choice for children for hydration before, during, and after most athletic activities is water. The only time sports drinks may be appropriate is if children are exercising vigorously for more than one hour, especially in heat and humidity. In these scenarios, sports drinks replace the carbohydrates and electrolytes lost through sweat, and may help children recover faster. Keep a close eye on serving sizes; children should drink no more than 3 to 8 ounces every 15 to 20 minutes. If one gulp equals about an ounce of fluid, that’s just a few sips throughout the hour. Katie Kirkpatrick, M.S., R.D., Human Performance Resource Center Consortium for Health and Military Performance
What is the Paleo Diet?physical Health
The Paleo Diet is a way of eating that is based on the diets of our ancestors who lived before the Agricultural Revolution. The main food sources for people who eat Paleo are fresh fruits and vegetables, free-range or grass-fed meats, seafood, eggs, nuts, seeds, and healthy oils such as olive, coconut, or avocado. Much like any other diet regimen, processed foods and refined sugars are absolutely off-limits. Other foods that should be avoided when trying to eat Paleo are wheat-based foods, legumes (beans), white potatoes, salt, alcohol, and refined vegetable oils. Proponents of the Paleo diet claim that eating like our ancestors can improve or prevent kidney stones, stroke, asthma, insomnia, motion sickness, and various inflammatory diseases. If you are considering a transition to Paleo eating, be sure to speak with your primary care doctor or a registered dietician or nutritionist before beginning. Have a question? Email us at MarneHealth@gmail.com.
Can I use my cell phone in a government vehicle off post?physical Health
Only with a hands free device. Keep in mind that often times drivers become distracted even while using a hands free device. See the guidance from DOD below.
Effective 1 December 2005, on all Department of Defense (DoD) installations, cell phone use is prohibited in moving vehicles unless used with a hands-free device. The change is reflected below in (3) Driver distractions of Title 32: National Defense, PART 634, Motor Vehicle Traffic Supervision, § 634.25 Installation traffic codes.
My child’s baby teeth are going to fall out anyways, why do I need to brush them?physical Health
Your child’s baby teeth are very important in maintaining proper spacing to allow the adult teeth to properly erupt once the baby teeth fall out. Therefore it is very important to maintain them as long as possible. If by chance one of the baby teeth is knocked out, go see a dentist to assess whether or not a space maintenance appliance would be necessary. Have a question? Email us at MarneHealth@gmail.com.
What is Spice and can the Army test for it?physical Health
Spice is considered by many to be a natural, safe, and legal alternative to marijuana. Known by other names such as K2, Yucatan Fire, and Skunk, this synthetic drug is far from being safe or legal and is even labeled as being “not for human consumption”. The effects of this drug include an enhanced mood, feelings of relaxation, and an altered state of mind. All of these may sound great but there are also more serious side effects that are common in spice users. These side effects include anxiety, hallucinations, paranoia, nausea, muscle tension, vomiting, and heart attacks. Because spice is a relatively new drug, it took some time to develop tests that could effectively detect the drug. As of May 2013, the U.S. Army is now able to test for spice and bath salts and will be doing so upon commander request. For more information about spice or this new policy, please contact the Military Justice division at 767-2952 or the Installation Drug Testing Coordinator at 767-5944.
How do I talk to my partner about STDs?physical Health
Many people feel uncomfortable talking to new partners about Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STDs) but it is an important conversation that can potentially save your life. Bring up the conversation at an appropriate time and make sure you are somewhere private. Before watching a movie at home might be a great opportunity! Explain to this person that you aren’t concerned with the details of his/her past (i.e. number of sexual partners) but you want to make sure both of you are protected. Suggest that you both go get tested for STDs and share the results with one another. Just remember that HIV can take up to 3 months to show up on a blood test so it’s best to use condoms or practice abstinence for the first 3 months of being monogamous, or faithful, to one another. After 3 months, get tested (or re-tested) and decide if you would like to continue using condoms or not. If not, understand that you are always taking a risk when having unprotected sex. For more information about testing or STDs, speak with your health care provider or visit http://www.cdc.gov/std/.
How do I convince a friend to come forward about sexual assault?emotional Health
First, it's important to understand that individuals who are sexually assaulted feel many different emotions when trying to process their assault. For some people, one of those emotions is a sincere fear or discomfort with reporting. He or she may fear retaliation, may not want to relive the details of their assault, or may simply not want to go through the months and sometimes years associated with reporting. You can be supportive by ensuring your friend is safe from further harm and injury. Help him or her determine safety risks and listen to your friend’s concerns about reporting to make sure they have correct facts. You can also provide him or her with information on how to report by contacting a number of resources: Victim Advocates at 912-767-3032, the Chaplains at 912-767-8666/8667, the Rape Crisis Hotline at 888-241-7273, or www.preventsexualassault.army.mil. If your friend still chooses to not report, it's important to continue to listen and be supportive, as well as encourage your friend to seek help.
Is it true that infants can't eat honey?family Health
Yes! Honey is very healthy but children under a year old should not be fed honey or any products containing honey. Occasionally, honey is contaminated with spores from Clostridium botulinim, a bacterium that can cause botulism. Botulism is a serious gastrointestinal illness that can cause muscle weakness, breathing and digestion problems, constipation, and an inability to swallow. If you think your child has early symptoms of botulism, call your doctor immediately. Most infected infants are treated in a hospital setting and many require a ventilator and feeding tube. Visit the Centers for Disease Control site for more information about botulism.
Are there really any benefits to yoga?physical Health
Yoga is definitely considered a work-out and hosts many health benefits that we don’t always see with other forms of exercise. Some styles of yoga focus on building muscle tone and strength. Other forms of yoga are gentler and focus more on stretching the body, which is great for releasing lactic acid that builds up in the muscles. Yoga has also been shown to increase performance in other sports, such as running. The stretching and deep breathing found in yoga studios increase your range of motion, lubricates your joints, increases lung capacity, and reduces injury. Aside from the cross-training benefits, a yoga session can relax you much faster than a day at the beach! Yogis tend to be in better moods than others and researchers have proven that they have lower blood pressure, rates of heart disease and stroke, and improved sleep habits. Check with your doctor to see if yoga is a good option for you and then check out one of the great yoga classes in Hinesville or Savannah.
What is BPA and should I be concerned?physical Health
BPA stands for Bisphenol-A, and can be found in food and drink packages, water bottles, and medical devices. This chemical building block has been found to have negative effects on fetal, infant, and child development, as well as on adult reproductive systems. These health effects, coupled with widespread use of BPA, have caused many people to worry about being exposed. In fact, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) found BPA in 93% of collected urine samples in the 2003-2004 National Health and Nutrition Examination survey. Fortunately, there are ways to limit your exposure to BPA. The National Institutes of Health suggests that you use glass or porcelain for food/drink storage when possible, never microwave food in plastic storage containers, and reduce your use of canned foods. Also, buy products that are ‘BPA-free’ when possible.
I've heard a lot about PTSD in the news and around post. What is it in a nutshell?emotional Health
Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, or PTSD, is a cluster of symptoms that are the result of exposure to a traumatic stressor which will negatively impact the person’s ability to function. Symptoms of PTSD include reexperiencing a traumatic event through dreams or thoughts, hyperarousal, and avoidance of common places or people. If you or someone you know is experiencing these things, it’s important to get assessed. There are clinics on and around Ft. Stewart which have Behavioral Health providers that would love to sit down and speak with you about your experiences. Only a medical professional can diagnose, so be sure to not be quick to self-diagnose. There are lots of reasons why people experience the symptoms of PTSD, but do not necessarily have PTSD. Contact your Primary Care Doctor (PCM) or MilitaryOneSource.com to learn about resources that are available specific to you. Finally, remember that you are not alone; there are many military members and civilians who suffer from PTSD. Help is only a phone call or doctor’s visit away.
How do I convince my spouse to stop screaming at the children?Emotional Health
Conflicting parenting styles are often a stressor for families. Remember it's easiest to discuss the issue when things are calm and when you’re not in the middle of a situation where tension is running high. I encourage you to contact Army Community Service (ACS) at 912-767-3683 (FS) or 912-315-6816 (HAAF). They offer parents education and support in dealing with many family issues including effective parenting strategies.
I have heard that boys and girls should both be vaccinated against HPV. Why is this important?Physical Health
There are approximately 40 strains of Human Papilloma Virus, or HPV, that can affect the genital regions of both boys and girls. Although many of these strains go unnoticed, some strains cause genital and throat warts, cervical cancer, and less common but serious cancers of the vulva, vagina, penis, and anus. Although there are two vaccines available to protect against some strains of HPV, only one has been approved for use in boys. Gardasil is approved for males and females ages 9-26 and protects against the big four strains that cause the majority of cervical cancers and genital warts. Obviously boys and men do not need to worry about cervical cancer but there is a risk of them passing a cancer-causing strain to their female partner(s). Furthermore, vaccination provides protection against anal and throat cancers for men.
I have a Soldier deployed to Afghanistan and I heard there is a risk of rabies there. Should I be worried?Physical Health
Many people worry about the risk of rabies during deployment but cases amongst Service members are actually quite rare. Rabies is a viral disease that can be passed from rabid animals to humans. Most domestic animals in the United States are vaccinated against rabies but this is not always the case in developing countries. Fortunately, there are effective preventive strategies that can e used to reduce and eliminate the risk of being exposed to rabies. These strategies include keeping a safe distance from all wild and stray animals, not keeping any pets while deployed, securing your living quarters so that animals can't get in, and removing all trash so animals aren't encouraged to come around. If a person is bitten by an animal, he or she should wash the bite with warm soap and water and seek medical attention immediately. If treated quickly, most rabies cases can be avoided. For additional information, please visit http://phc.amedd.army.mil/TOPICS/DISCOND/AID/Pages/Rabies.aspx.
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