Have a question you forgot to discuss at the doctor’s office or are too embarrassed to ask? The experts at Samaritan Health Services are here to help. Feb / Mar
Q: Is it necessary and safe for my child to receive the COVID-19 vaccination?
A: Even though COVID-19 tends to be more serious in adults, the virus isn’t entirely harmless to children and they can benefit from the vaccine, too. Not only does the vaccine help to protect your child’s health, other good reasons to get the vaccine include protecting others in your family and in the community, being able to attend certain activities, and no longer needing to quarantine at home if you are not showing symptoms after being exposed to COVID-19.
The vaccine has been studied and in use for more than one year now and has proven to be safe and effective. Rare side effects include myocarditis (inflammation of the heart) and pericarditis (inflammation of the heart lining). If side effects are going to occur, it will usually happen within days of receiving the vaccine. Such side effects are extremely rare and people who experience them typically have a full recovery. It’s reassuring to know that the medical community is looking closely for side effects and complications and finding them to be very infrequent and treatable.
Talk to your child’s pediatrician for advice or visit samhealth.org/Coronavirus for more information.
—Eddie Frothingham, MD, Mid-Valley Children’s Clinic
Q: Is there any reason that busy moms should worry about heart disease?
A: Yes! Heart disease is the most common cause of death in women — yet women tend to care for others first and take care of themselves in whatever time is left over in their day. That’s why we urge all women to care for themselves as they would for others, especially when it comes to their heart health.
First, be aware that heart attack symptoms are different in women than in men. Pay attention if you have discomfort or pain in the jaw, neck, shoulders or upper back; shortness of breath; pain in one or both arms; abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting or unusual indigestion; or lightheadedness, dizziness or unusual fatigue.
If you experience any of these, contact your primary care provider right away. If it seems life-threatening, call 911. We know it’s not healthy to smoke, to be overweight, to be overloaded with stress and to be too sedentary, but it can be difficult to take the first step to a heart-healthy lifestyle. Try reaching out to a friend who is a good role model and ask for encouragement or friendly competition. Ask your doctor for medical assistance and resources. Visit trustworthy medical websites, such as samhealth.org/Heart, for advice and ideas.
— Jacquelyn Sinclair, FNP, Samaritan Cardiology
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Call Samaritan Health Services Find a Doctor line at 800-863-5241 to find a provider who is right for you.