Trick or Treat! It’s almost time to bring out the spooky spirit in all of us. Halloween is right around the corner and ExperCARE wants to help you prepare! Here are some important safety reminders to keep you and your kids safe, and not spooked, during our favorite haunted holiday: 

Costume Check

Whether you decide to dress as Batman, a witch, or Cinderella… Let’s make sure you can see through your scary masks. We also want to be sure the cars driving by can see you. If you are wearing dark colors, parents consider putting reflective tape on both sides of their costume. Try to refrain from wearing overly baggy costumes, to avoid trips and falls on such a fun holiday night. It’s also a fun idea to wear a glow stick or carry a flashlight so you can see every spooky step you take. 

Trick-or-Treat Reminders 

We don’t like tricks, but we do love treats! As you go door to door on Halloween night, remember to avoid the houses without their lights on. When you find the ones with their lights on, stay on the porch… There’s no need to enter anyone’s home unless they are close family or friends. If you are under the age of 12, parents please accompany your little ones at night. If you are old enough to trick-or-treat on your own, remember to stay with your group and encourage everyone to stay on the sidewalk. 

Candy Concerns

The treats at the end of the night are one of the best parts of Halloween! When you get home after a fun night in costume, let the fun continue! Have your trick-or-treater dump out their candy,  spread it out in a pile on the floor, and take a look at everything they’ve brought back! Throw away anything that looks opened or tampered with. Also, make sure they haven’t picked up anything they might be allergic to. Homeowners, this is where you come in! Display a teal pumpkin on your porch to let trick-or-treaters know that you have non-food treats for those that have allergies.

Driver & Homeowner Cautions

If you are on the road on the evening of October 31st, proceed with caution. Drivers should eliminate any distractions, drive below the speed limit in residential areas, and  keep an eye out for kids crossing the street. If you live on/near a busy road, consider taking your trick-or-treater out before the sun goes down or to a neighborhood with less traffic. If you are lucky enough to stay home and see all the festive costumes come to your door, remember to clear your walkways, stairs and porches. Turn on as many outdoors lights as possible so trick or treaters can get to you with ease!

Last but not least, have fun! Share your Halloween photos with all of us at ExperCARE by going to our Facebook. We can’t wait to see all of our patients, family, and friends in their spookiest costume! Have an ExperSpecial Halloween!

A sudden sense of symptoms that no one wants to feel: fever, aches, chills, and fatigue. These are all defining symptoms of the dreaded flu. Seasonal influenza is just around the corner, which means the time to prepare is now, especially since it’s expected to be a highly active flu season.

“Flu is unpredictable but we can predict that it will arrive,” says Dr. Bill Schaffner, medical director of the National Foundation for Infectious Diseases (NFID). So ready or not here it comes. 

We are already seeing early flu-related activity right here in our region, and because of this health officials are warning of a more severe flu season than normal. While the flu is common, that is no reason to brush it off. The flu can be a very serious disease, especially for the very young, the elderly and those with compromised immune systems. 

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), nearly 80,000 Americans died and 960,000 were hospitalized because of the flu during the 2017-2018 flu season. 

So how can you prepare? This time of year, flu vaccines are highly recommended. So if you are one who considers getting a flu shot, the CDC recommends that you get it now. Early vaccination is always better as it allows your body time to respond internally and create an army of flu-fighters. If you are on the fence about getting the flu shot, this is your year to do it. 2019 will be a highly active season. 

If you are wondering why you should get the vaccination this season, just remember the CDC says it will cut your chances of getting the flu in half. Even more importantly, it reduces your child’s risk of getting the disease that much more. According to the CDC, the flu shot reduces children’s risk of flu-related pediatric intensive care unit admission by 74 percent. It is often said that a flu shot can give you the flu, this is in fact a myth. The flu vaccine contains inactive germs, which means it’s impossible to actually give you the disease from the shot. If you feel a little under the weather after your flu shot, that is good news- your body’s immune system is building its army against the flu. You may feel sore or stiffness in your shoulder, but that is just a short term side effect of the shot. 

Did you know? Even if you do get the flu after getting the flu shot, health officials say it is proven that you will have less severe symptoms, a shorter illness, and you are also less likely to have complications. 

The flu shot is easy. ExperCARE has the flu vaccine at both of its locations: Savannah and Richmond Hill. We make it convenient for you! No appointments are needed, as walk-ins are always welcome. We are open when you are able to come and get your vaccination: 7 days a week with extended hours on weekdays and, of course, weekend hours. 

The flu shot protects millions of Americans from the widespread flu outbreak each year. 

 

How Walking Improves Your Overall Health

A walk a day keeps the doctor away! We know that’s not how the old saying goes, but walking is one of the best ways to improve and maintain your overall health. The temps are starting to drop (just a little), which means the gorgeous, crisp fall air is right around the corner. There’s no better time to take advantage of the great outdoors, than now. Physical activity doesn’t have to be rigorous or dreadful, it can be something you enjoy, such as walking! Consistency is key!

 

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) say more than 145 million adults now include walking as part of their physical activity. Chances are, you had no idea there are as many health benefits to walking, as there are. Just 30 minutes a day is proven to increase your cardiovascular fitness, strengthen your bones and muscles, release tension, give you a better nights sleep, help with digestion, and boost your metabolism. And here is how: 

Improves Endurance

Each time you walk, you are building up your stamina and cardio strength. Even runners incorporate walking into their routine, to help increase their endurance. Walking may take longer, but it bestows the same endurance as running and also reduces the risk of injury. Every step you take makes your heart that much stronger. 

Strengthens Bones & Muscles

Weight-bearing physical activity, such as walking, causes new bone tissue to form, leading to stronger bones. In addition, your muscles will strengthen and your balance will improve each time you get out and get active. This helps reduce falls and fractures. 

Releases Stress

Walking gives your mind a boost and improves energy levels. Like all forms of cardiovascular exercise, a brisk walk will boost endorphins. This leads to a reduction in stress hormones, mental clarity, and alleviates mild depression.

Provides Better Nights Sleep

Getting out and walking will not only trim you down, but will also give you a better nights sleep. Physical activity will boost natural sleep hormones (such as melatonin), which will keep you up less often at night. Be careful, as exercising too close to the time you go to sleep might keep you up!

Helps with Digestion

Walking can help you digest your food and boost your metabolism. How does it do this? It aids in the breaking down of food and improves your blood sugar levels. Sometimes a short walk after a meal is a good thing.  


The CDC reports that adults need at least 2.5 hours a week of aerobic physical activity. This should be at a moderate level, such as a fast-paced walk for no less than 10 minutes at a time. The CDC also says less than half of all adults get that recommended amount of physical activity. 

The best thing about walking is that it doesn’t require any kind of equipment or training. It is very low impact, you can do it anytime and anywhere, and you set the pace. It is a great form of physical activity for truly anyone, any age, and mostly any condition.

Did you know that walkable communities result in more physically active populations, that’s according to the CDC. We are lucky to live in Coastal Georgia, where the communities we live in offer some of the best walking spots around. There are so many beautiful and historic sights, nature trails, and iconic parks in our backyard. Here is a short list of ExperCARE’s favorite spots to take a stroll:

Savannah

  • Forsyth Park
  • River Street
  • Historic Wormsloe Site
  • Bluff Drive
  • Lake Mayer
  • Skidaway Island State Park
  • Tybee Island Beach

Richmond Hill

  • J.F. Gregory Park 
  • Sterling Creek Park
  • Fort McAllister State Park
  • Green Creek Trail

Don’t forget! One of the best places to take a stroll is just out your front door – Your neighborhood! Making it easy, makes consistency more likely! Whether we decide to walk our dogs through our neighborhoods, go for a run at Forsyth Park, or get our history on walking through Fort McAllister State Park, getting physical is a must. No matter what you do, get out and get active.

5 Tips from ExperCARE

Ready or not… here it comes! A fun, hot summer has come to a close and it’s time for back to school. Back to school means early mornings, a daily routine, hours of classes, and a chance for kids to learn, grow, and become more independent. But school can also translate to a place of sneezing, sniffles, and sharing more than just your child’s summer memories. Here are five tips to help keep the back to school transition as healthy and germ-free as possible! 

  1. Get Plenty of Sleep: Sleep is even more important than you think. Setting a bedtime routine and a consistent sleep schedule helps improve your child’s physical and emotional health, and also plays an important role in how they perform in school. Children aged 6-13 are supposed to get 9-11 hours of sleep. But why? Between school, friends, chores, sports, after school activities, and homework… Their bodies and brains need a break. 
  2. Maintain a Healthy Diet & Drink Plenty of Fluids: A strong immune system helps ward off those illnesses floating around the school hallways. Breakfast, as you know, is the most important meal of the day… especially for our kids. A balanced breakfast jump starts their day and gives them the brain power and capability to maintain steady energy from the time they leavethe house in the morning to the time they get home. If you’re able, pack a healthy lunch for your child. Make it fun, colorful, and delicious so that they’ll enjoy the meal. After they hop off the school bus, prepare a nutritious after-school snack for them like fruits, veggies, string cheese, or protein.  Allow them to grocery shop with you, so they can help pick out these healthy snacks and lunches… It’ll make it more fun! It’s also important to have your child drink lots of water. Hydration is critical for proper immune system function. Drink early (starting first thing in the morning) and drink enough (according to the American Academy of Pediatrics, a child of about 88 pounds should drink 5 ounces of cold water every 20 minutes). Don’t forget about hydrating before and after outdoor activities and sports.
  3. Be Up-to-date on Your Vaccinations: It can seem overwhelming as a parent, but vaccines are some of the safest and most effective medicines we have. The CDC, the American Academy of Pediatrics, and the American Academy of Family Physicians recommend a vaccination schedule that covers about 14 different diseases. Vaccinations not only protect your child from deadly diseases, but they also keep other children safe.
  4. Stay Active: Physical activity helps prevent and reduce health problems for our children. When kids are active, their bodies can do the things they want them to do. Teaching them these healthy, active habits at an early age helps lead to a lifetime of enjoying physical activity, especially as schedules get busier, demands are heightened at school, and sports become more competitive. Active lifestyles translate to a healthy weight, better sleep, stronger muscles and bones, and a more positive perspective on life.
  5. Wash Your Hands Regularly :It’s such a no brainer, and seems obvious, but often times is forgotten. Encourage your kids to get in the habit of washing their hands after coughing, sneezing, petting animals, eating food, using the bathroom, and just regularly. Every time your child touches someone or something they risk spreading germs. 

And of course, if your child comes down with the back to school bug (or runs a fever), keep them home and away from school to protect that bug from spreading. 

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